Increase Your Faith!

As with most parents, I felt really concerned and disturbed about last weekend's school shooting. Before going to bed on Sunday night, I started to think about the implications of sending our son to a 'big' school next year. I researched frantically about the school's security and even looked up on homeschooling options. Needless to say, i felt anxious and stressed and I almost lost sleep over it. I finally fell asleep at 2am.

Then i had a dream. I dreamt that a lady approached me (i wasn't sure if it was my sister or a stranger) and told me that she had a message from the Lord. She said 'The Lord wants me to tell you to increase your faith'  - and then i woke up!

I wondered about the dream for a few minutes as i've never really had any dream before with a clear message from the Lord. Then i remembered my worries the night before about my child's school options. So i prayed and asked God if my dream was really a message from Him. Did He really want me to be still? Is He asking me to just go with the plan (i.e. school of choice) and increase my faith? I prayed and asked God to send me a confirmation of His message.  So I opened my devotion for that day and saw God's confirmation.
I was anxious for nothing. I should have known that right from the start of our school hunting days that God has made his choice to me very clear. I was just being stubborn and fretting unecessarily because of my own desires and worries. God reminded me to trust Him and to 'Increase my faith' in Him. Sometimes, all of us need that reminder, don't we?

Whatever you're going through right now, increase your faith in Him. Worry is not of the Lord. Trust that He will see you through.


The Christmas Miracle

Troy is just 4 years old and he still believes that Santa brings the presents for the good little kids. Whenever we'd see Santa in the malls or in his school, he'd be excited to talk to him and take pictures with him. We indulge him but also make sure that he understands that all things come from Jesus. He is still too little to fully comprehend but i know he eventually will.

Troy and Santa (i think 'Santa' slimmed down a bit this year. hehe)
I received an email from my aunt over the weekend about a Santa story. I read it this morning and thought i would like to share the story with you too.

a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at the mall bringing a
picture of a little girl.

Who is this?" asked Santa, smiling. "Your friend?

"Yes, Santa,' he replied. "My sister,  Sarah, who is very sick," he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes. "She wanted to come with me to see you,  so very much, Santa!" the child exclaimed. "She misses you," he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy's face, asking hi m what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

"What is it?" Santa asked warmly.

"Well, I know it's really too much to ask you, Santa, but.." the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa's elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

"The girl in the photograph... my granddaughter... she has leukemia and isn't expected to make it even through the holidays," she said through tear-filled eyes. "Is there any way, Santa, any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That's all she's asked for Christmas, is to see Santa."

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do. Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon.  He knew what he had to do. "W hat if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying," he thought with a sinking heart, "This is the least I can do."

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked the assistant location manager how to get to the Hospital.

"Why?" Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah's grandmother earlier that day.

"C'mon.....I'll take you there." Rick said softly.

They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said, he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah in the bed.

The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl's brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah's mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah's thin hair off her forehead. And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah's aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with a weary sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, "Ho, Ho, Ho!"

"Santa!" shrieked little Sarah, weakly as she tried to escape her bed to run to him IV tubes intact.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug.

A child the tender age of his own son gazed up at him with wonder and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But, all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of, huge blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah's face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room .

As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa's shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering "Thank you" as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes. Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she'd been a very good girl that year.

As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl's mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah's bed, holding hands. Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels.

"Oh, yes, Santa... I do!" she exclaimed.

"Well, I'm going to ask angels watch over you." he said.  Laying one hand on the child's head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that, God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her . And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing, softly, "Silent Night, Holy Night....all is calm, all is bright."  The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.

When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah's frail, small hands in his own.  "Now, Sarah," he said authoritatively, "you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at McAllister Mall this time next year!"

He knew it was risky proclaiming that to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he "had" to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could --  not dolls or games or toys -- but the gift of HOPE.

"Yes, Santa!" Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.

He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and lef t the room.

Out in the hall, the minute Santa's eyes met Rick's, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.

Sarah's mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa's side to thank him.
"My only child is the same age as Sarah," he explained quietly. "This is the least I could do." They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa was again back on the set in Saint John for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

"Hi, Santa! Remember me?!"

"Of course, I do," Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a "good" Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the "only" child in the world at that moment.

"You came to see me in the hospital last year!"

Santa's jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little m iracle and held her to his chest.  "Sarah!" he exclaimed. He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy -- much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before. He looked over and saw Sarah's mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus.

He was blessed to be instrumental in bringing about this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, "Thank you, Father. 'Tis a very, Merry Christmas!

I especially like the part in the story where Santa prayed for the little girl. It gives the message that "Santa" was just, after all, an instrument of the Lord in this story. The real miracle came from God. 

After reading this story, i did a little research on to find out whether this story is true. The Truth or Fiction website ( confirms that it is. It is said to have happened in 1997-1998. I do hope that is true.

What an amazing God! May we all experience HIM this season. Have a Merry Christmas, everyone! :)


The Unintentional Parenting Lesson

I have a little story to share.  You see, we have been renovating our home for almost two months now. It has been pretty chaotic lately with all the dust and furnitures moving around. Dens and i couldn't wait to get everything done. We're already very excited to see our furnitures out of the hallway and into the bedrooms once again.

photo source 
 Being the master planner in all this, Dens has scheduled the work of the carpenters and painters so that we can make sure they will finish on time. Last Monday, Dens asked them to apply polyurethane on the floor of the rooms so that our furnitures can go back in today.  That was the plan...until i got home in the afternoon and hurriedly went inside the room. I totally forgot about the wet polyurethane and stepped inside.  I looked at my footprints marked on the floor and thought 'oh no, lagot ako kay dens' i courageously called up dens and told him what happened. But instead of getting upset, Dens' reaction was 'naku, nasaktan ka?' [are you hurt?] I was very surprised and touched by his response. He was more concerned about how i was rather than getting all upset about the floor damage and disruption of the renovation schedule.

This got me thinking. We experience a lot of similar situations with our kids. More often than not, they get into trouble simply because they are too playful. They either knock something down or fall down themselves from too much running and jumping. Just yesterday, i almost got angry at Troy for something quite similar. We went to visit a friend and received a box of sweets which i placed at the backseat of the car right beside Troy's carseat. As soon as we got home, Troy was hurrying to get out of his carseat when he tripped over the box beside him (almost sitting on the box!). My first reaction was to save the box and ask Troy to be more careful next time. Then I remembered the 'parable of the polyurethane footprint' and stopped myself. I immediately asked Troy if he was hurt to which he replied 'I'm okay, mommy!'.

I am a work-in-progress in this area but I'd like to be better. I'd like my children to know that no material thing is ever more important to me than them. I thank God for my wonderful husband who never fails to show me how much he loves me...and for unintentionally teaching me this parenting lesson. You rock, love!


One Sad December Morning

I still remember it vividly. The dreaded phone call that woke us up on that early December morning. I answered the phone and the nurse told me 'Mommy, punta na kayo dito. Nahihirapan na huminga si Tyler' [Mommy, you have to come quickly. Tyler is having difficulty breathing]. I immediately shared the news with my husband who was axiously sitting beside me. Without saying a word, both of us jumped out of bed, grabbed the nearest set of clothes we can find and rushed out to the car.

We hardly said anything on the way to the hospital. I remember how my hands felt so cold wrapped in Dens' hand. When we got to the parking lot, Dens' cellphone started to ring. I looked at the screen and saw that it was our pediatrician calling. Both of us were already out of the car but the doors were still open.  My heart sank and i gave Dens a terrified look. He stared at me and slowly answered the phone. He just said 'hello, dra?...okay...okay...bye' then he looked at me and i knew he wanted to embrace me and tell me it's going to be okay. But the car was between us and Dens looked stunned and couldn't move. I immediately knew what the pediatrician said. I collapsed to the ground and kept on asking Dens to call the pediatrician back and tell her we're already here. I wanted to tell her 'Please, wait for us! not yet!'

After those few seconds that felt like forever, Dens and i closed the car doors and started running up the hospital to the NICU. I was running and praying but i really didn't know how else to pray. When i got to the NICU, all the nurses and pediatrician were in Tyler's room. They were huddled around his little crib crying. I saw our lifeless baby boy wrapped in the light blue blanket that we had excitedly bought for him several happy months ago. He looked like he was just sleeping. I carried him and cried like i never cried before. I asked him to wake up but he never did. It was the saddest day of my life.

That was six years ago on December 9. Four days before my birthday. 16 days before Christmas.

Last night as Dens and i were about to go to sleep. We were laughing as we were viewing some pictures and videos of Troy and Dawn on my iPhone. I told Dens how blessed we are to have them. As i was about to sleep, i just couldn't stop praising God and thanking Him for our two beautiful children. I closed my eyes and smiled - God truly loves me. And my children are His reminder to me every single day. I just felt so happy.  Yesterday was December 9.

It's amazing how God restores. He restored my joy and my peace. He has turned our lives around by His love and grace.

Some of you may be going through a difficult time right now. Just like me, you may be thinking you will never be sincerely happy ever again. Know that God is amazing. He can touch your heart like you never thought possible. Don't lose hope.  Have faith in Him. I assure you He will never fail you!

Psalm 30:11 "You turned my mourning into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy"

I leave you with the best Christmas presents i can ever receive!

Best holiday store display in my opinion


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