Posts Tagged With: hope

What It Takes To EnCOURAGE Others

It has been almost a year since I wrote my last blog. 10 months to be exact and I am so “encouraged” to write my first entry for 2014 today. ☺

I read another blog this morning and I really have to share it with everybody else:

“From rape and tragedy to forgiveness and victory: the Joy Tan-Chi story”

Ms. Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza has been my inspiration since I attended a homeschooling seminar by HOMESCHOOL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS (HAPI) last May 2012 with my husband. I looked up to her since then because of how she talks about her faith, God’s faithfulness, marriage, motherhood, homeschooling and how important it is to train and teach a child about Jesus. Reading and learning about her rape story today has made me love her more as my inspiration on how I can grow stronger in my faith. If you are also inspired by her and want to follow her journey, you can follow her blog “Teach With Joy” and be fond of her as much as I do.

What I realized today is that God really uses different stories and lives to ENCOURAGE others in Faith, Hope and Love. In Ms. Joy’s story particularly, God made her an instrument to encourage those who were abused to see the goodness and faithfulness of God despite tragedies. The other side of this truth though is the difficulty or hardship of the person being used by God to experience an actual tragedy and be part of the story being written by Him to share with others later on. Can you imagine how much pain you need to undergo, accept and heal from to be able to inspire others effectively? Same with leadership, it is always better or more effective to lead others by example than by force or fear. That is maybe why God made sure that trials will be part of our lives so we can learn from them, rise from them and later on have the credibility to talk about the things we’ve learned because we’ve experienced them first hand. People who would be hearing about your story would be left with only one choice — listen… because the actual experience speaks louder than opinion or perspective. That is also why God gave up His one and only Son to live like us and die for us so He can set an example of what “sacrifice” and “unconditional love” truly means.

The Bible says a lot about encouraging each other but these two are my personal favorites:

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT)

23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)

29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Encouraging others takes more than an actual experience or story though. It also takes COURAGE… Courage to tell and share your story no matter how painful it is and how deep it can bring you back to that pitch black hole you fell into when the story happened. I think no one would ever want to go back to a painful experience that almost cost his/her whole life. More than courage, encouraging others takes a lot of Faith, Hope and Love really. Faith is what will tell you that no matter what happened before, God has made a “new creation” in you and He can always make a “new life” out of you. This means that no matter how much pain and fear can sharing your story with others bring back, He can put the light back in a snap because He’s already healed you. Hope, on the other hand, is what will remind you of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Love, as a last note, is what would keep you sharing your story with others who badly need to see God’s light and love. It is also the only thing that would remind you why you are accepted, healed and restored…

…so continue to share your stories, inspire others how you’re able to overcome trials and encourage others in growing their Faith, Hope and Love.


May God’s grace be with you always. ☺

♥ ,


Categories: courage, encourage, faith, God, hope, Love, suffering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

“Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone.” – 1 Peter 2:16-17a 

If JUSTICE is what LOVE looks like in public, according to Mr. Cornel West, I say RESPECT is what LOVE can be to other people, most especially, enemies or anybody who have hurt us for that matter. RESPECT is what anybody can use to replace ANGER in their hearts. 

I was reading a few pages today from “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian, a beautiful wedding gift from our Ninong Dodie & Ninang Lalaine Pereña, when I got stuck with the word “respect” and how I have been living my life with it for almost thirty years now. I have realized that just by choosing to be silent and NOT humiliate any person who have wronged us not only humbles us but shows great respect for others. I have quite a few experiences to share how this can be possible. 


Whether you’re thinking about your parents or other family members, or just an elderly person walking down the street or waiting for a bus ride at a terminal, what do you think respecting elders mean? Yeah I have shown respect to elders who were not related to me. I think that’s the easiest part. But what if the challenge for you is to show respect to your parents who choose not to give respect to their children? Does that give children the right to disrespect their parents? I have a lot of friends who have different difficult experiences with parents, including mine, and of course I can only share my experience. The thing is I am one of those people who have very dramatic childhood experiences with parents and only my closest friends (who respect my parents by the way) know the exact details. Yes, parents can hurt their children too. Whether they hurt them physically, mentally or emotionally, parents can cause a very deep hurt among their children. Maybe one of my experience that I can openly share with you is when I was in fourth year high school (secondary education). I was 15 or 16 years old then and was hardly working on a term paper that I needed to submit the next day when my parents were fighting behind me, throwing off things at each other, fax machine, telephone unit, and anything their hands were able to hold on to, while cursing each other with the most hurtful words you can think of to say to a partner. I was literally crying while I type my paper but kept my heart strong and was praying that I wouldn’t fail in my studies so I could get a job just in case my parents ended up killing each other and I will be the only one left to feed my younger siblings. Anybody who’s hurting tend to somehow think of just themselves, how they feel and not care about anything or anybody around them at that particular moment. I’ve had these moments. So did my parents. We can say that parents who choose to fight in front of their children is a form of disrespect, not thinking of the possible effect on the children, but will never be considered as enough reason for children to disrespect their parents. In my case, I chose to respect them as parents in these situations by being silent, while hurting and crying, only talked when asked, and only uttered the words “Mommy, Daddy, enough” while crying and looking after my younger siblings.

RESPECT FOR OTHERS (most especially for those who have wronged you)

In my whole life, I got involved in an actual fight twice, because I needed to defend loved ones who couldn’t fight for themselves. I was around 9 or 10 years old in the first one and kicked a boy on his groin area because he threatened my little brother that he’s going to hurt him. I stood up for my little brother right away. I was 12 years old when I’ve had my second and last actual fight with a 16-year old girl who was like a foot and a half bigger than me. It wasn’t really my fight but was my best friend’s fight. I was just with her when suddenly they were already fighting physically and saw the big girl punching my best friend on the head. I stood up for my friend, went in and tried to stop them when I found my hair being pulled by a big 16-year old girl. I tried to punch her but I couldn’t reach her face. I kept on thinking how I can stop her from all the crazy things so I just kept on pinching her chest, the only thing I could reach in front of me, hoping I could make her stop but didn’t. Fortunately, the fight got big enough to make a scandal in the whole neighborhood so our families came running to us and saved the day. This was the fight that made me swear I wouldn’t let myself get involved in another situation, that I can always do better with my good intentions. There was a girl who wanted to fight with me when I was I think in 2nd year high school because of envy but I chose to talk to her instead so we can have peace. We made peace but we never became friends. I grew up with this mindset to keep peace as much as I can no matter how other people try to hurt or ruin me with their backstabbing words and deeds. I can choose to respect them even if they don’t respect me. As I grew older and live a life in the corporate world, I realized that there are more judgmental people, who wouldn’t blink an eye when they backstab you or ruin you and hurt you so they can get you out of their way and bring you down. They call this crab mentality. I’ve met different kinds already from one company to another and I know that wherever I go, I would meet another kind. I always try to humble myself and not fight back as much as I can. For whatever reason, no matter how I want to keep peace and not pick a fight, I guess there are people who wouldn’t stop until they see you completely out of their way. My close colleagues from previous companies who know me well and know the truth have told me the same things, fight back or at least defend myself. I chose RESPECT. At least by not saying anything bad about the other person to other people, no matter how hurt I am, would show respect. And knowing that I am not perfect and also bound for limitations and weaknesses, I leave, at least before I lose all of my patience and peace that I’ve been trying to build all my life. I always tell myself that the enemy can always try to hurt me and bring me down but the peace that I get from showing respect instead of anger and leaving or running away from evil temptations cannot be taken away from me. I later on realized when I became a Christian that the peace in me was God’s voice telling me how I should live this life His way and no other way. Respect has become my form of forgiveness.


Given that we’re not perfect, we’re bound to hurt others as well no matter how much we try not to. We may or may not know it, or we were doing it for immature or mature reasons that we couldn’t comprehend until the actual issue is already in front of us waiting to be ignited or has already exploded. Now I must repeat that anybody who’s hurting tend to somehow think of just themselves, how they feel and not care about anything or anybody around them at that particular moment. I’ve had these moments. So did other people that I’ve hurt. One other thing that I chose to do aside from pray and ask forgiveness is that I also chose to give respect. Letting them be and allowing them to get hurt without defending or justifying your actions while you ask for forgiveness, whether they choose to give it now or later, show great respect for others. Even if the people that you’ve hurt chose to destroy you after and have their revenge by ruining you publicly, whether they’re telling the truth or not, they’re hurt. They will try to explain why and how much they’re hurt and shout to the world that they don’t deserve any of it, even if you’re getting hurt in the process and the person you’ve hurt have unnoticeably turned the situation upside down, respect is something you can still give after praying and asking for forgiveness, just by being silent and still, keeping your peace.    

RESPECT FOR LOVED ONES (Disclaimer: I asked my husband to review my blog and asked for his permission first before I posted this blog. Respect. ♥)

Maybe some of you will notice why I separated the parts where you give respect for others and respect for loved ones. I felt that I needed to separate the “others” who are considered not as close to our hearts as our “loved ones”. Based on observations, I realized that most of the time, it is harder for people to give respect back to our loved ones who have hurt or wronged us. Simply because the damage is greater and deeper. But this doesn’t change the need to still give respect, most especially to our loved ones who need respect from us the most. Me and my husband have been thru a lot of difficulties already, from the time that we started our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend, engagement stage and until we got married. Maybe our experiences were not as many as those who have been together for 10 or 25 years now but I’m sure they’re considered difficult. The thing is no matter how much my husband has hurt me in the past, or hurt me now and maybe in the future, respect is still something that I can choose to give to my husband no matter how hurt I am or how much hurt I get. Showing respect for my husband can be as simple as not humiliating him in front of other people, by keeping our fights within ourselves, the two of us, and not involving others as much as possible. There were times that we got friends involved but those were his choices. After a while he learned that our fights and disagreements must remain within our walls. He learned to keep that. I respect my husband in such a way that his imperfections need not to be heard or seen by others, most especially if there are already people who misjudged him in the past and ruined him by talking about his mistakes publicly and make fun of him. A man’s self-esteem, once tramped deeply and crushed his heart, do not need to be crumpled all over again especially if he already knows his mistakes. I respect my husband, the love of my life, in such a way that I will not let the enemy use me and my words to destroy him in front of others. I can get hurt and cry in front of him really hard and tell him how much he’s hurt me but I will never cry in front of other people about my husband and rant about his mistakes and how he’s hurt me. I respect and love him enough to not give other people a reason to judge him and see him any other way than how God made me see him thru His eyes.

There may be times before that I was able to share our stories and issues with our closest friends but not because of “vengeful” or “anger” intentions. But because we’re blessed with caring friends whom God used to get in the way to help us, love us enough to initiate communication with us in a way that we can both share trustfully and share issues that we won’t be able to fix on our own. These friends who will love you no matter how imperfect you are and who will not judge you no matter how many times you fail, I consider faces and hands of God in the midst of our challenges.

Any living thing in the world, from animals to environment, men and women, aside from Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, wants and deserves RESPECT, as much as how God loves us.

RESPECT IS WHAT LOVE CAN BE WHEN YOU’RE WEAK AND HURT. If we can’t love everybody as much as how God loves us because we’re hurt, we can choose to give respect instead, and love later on unnoticeably. ♥

“God will bring to judgement both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:17, NIV

“Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” ~ Ecclesiastes 12:13b-14, NIV

Categories: faith, God, hope, Life, Love, Peace, Respect | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 21:30

“No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against GOD.” ~ Proverbs 21:30 (NLT)

We may be asking ourselves now HOW, WHY, WHEN, WHERE, WHAT or WHO in our lives… and until now we cannot seem to comprehend everything that’s happening to us.

Some people may be asking about the love of their lives or their God’s best. “How will I make him or her love me?”“Why did he/she leave me for another person?” – “When will I meet the right person for me?” “Where can I go to find a partner?”“What would make him/her notice me?”“Who is the person I’m going to marry?”

Some people may be asking the same interrogative words about the financial or professional aspect of their lives. “How can I get a job abroad?” – “Why am I getting paid so low?” – “When will I get an increase?” – “Where can I get money?” – “What are we going to eat today?” – “Who will be our next boss?”

We can keep on asking questions the whole day or even all through our lives but the sad truth is… most people would rather spend their time asking, wondering, questioning and complaining about everything that happened, is happening and will happen in their lives… and this is only happening to people who put their hopes and faith to the world, than GOD. Believe me, that’s the only difference. You might be surprised to know that you and your neighbor may be experiencing the exact same things but you handle them differently. You might be spending your time crying, questioning and complaining but your neighbor is crying and praying to God, and most importantly, reading the bible. I learned a long time ago that we cannot expect God to answer in our prayers. Would you like it if you suddenly hear a clear voice answering each and every prayer you’re asking? I don’t know about you but I personally am not sure if I’d be scared or screaming. I learned a long time ago that there are only three (3) communication tools we can use to talk and have a relationship with God and I tell you, iPhone 4 or 4s, Blackberry and other popular devices known to men in our time now ARE NOT LISTED.

1. PRAYER – it’s our ONLY WAY to talk and say EVERYTHING we want to say to God. Financial provision, loved ones, partner, job, business, gratitude, failures, mistakes, forgiveness, strength, endurance, etc.

2. BIBLE – I learned a long time ago that the Bible is God’s medium to talk TO US, to say something to us. Prayer is when He just listens, while reading the Bible is when we listen to His Words and answers. You’ll be surprised how He accurately gives us every answer we’re looking for.

3. Lastly, EVERYTHING ELSE IN OUR LIVES (People, situations, events, etc.) – I learned a long time ago that each and every situation, people, moment and event that happened, is happening, will happen in our lives have purpose and meaning to our deepest desires. God uses people and events in our lives either to DISCIPLINE us or TEACH us to be better, to be more like Christ. If we’re asking How, Why, When, Where, What and Who – the Bible, as the voice of God, shows us WHAT to do and HOW to handle the WHEN, WHERE, WHO and EVERYTHING ELSE IN OUR LIVES. How we handled everything will result to SOMETHING. This something will eventually answer your most questioned word, WHY. If the result is something that have broken you, God is definitely trying to humble you and show you that your life can never be managed by any human wisdom, experience, understanding or plan because we are naturally imperfect and still bound for weaknesses… BUT ANYTHING IS STILL POSSIBLE and can only be done if SURRENDERED TO CHRIST. Let go of your own strength and let God’s strength reign in your life.

Aren’t you amazed how just one (1) bible verse, Proverbs 21:30, can say a lot of things to me? It’s also possible that this one verse can tell more things, even more than this, to you. Live IN God, not just WITH God. Sometimes if we use the word WITH we still forget to let God reign and put His authority in place simply because we think He’s just WITH us, as an observant. If we live IN God, we live BY HIS WAYS, BY HIS COMMANDS, BY HIS WORD. We surrender EVERYTHING to Him, we lose ourselves, our own desires and we let God lead our lives. It’s the most humble act I can think of but also the most peaceful and purposeful way of living a life. Once we surrender and live IN God, you’ll be surprised how all those interrogative words in your life – HOW, WHY, WHEN, WHERE, WHAT, WHO – will slowly be answered and replaced with just one answer – GOD.

May God live in your hearts, always. ♥

Categories: faith, God, hope, Life, Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Official SURF PreNup Photos of LA + Eesai by ©Allen Pangan ♥

Official SURF PreNup Photos of LA + Eesai by ©Allen Pangan ♥

Location: Bacnotan, La Union, Philippines (our favorite surf spot… so far ☺)

Bride-to-be: Eesai Garcia
Groom-to-be: LA Garcia

Make-up Artist: Hannah Roa
Check her out:

Assistant Director: Gis Muñoz
Direction & Photography by: Allen Pangan
Check him out:

Visit LA + Eesai’s official wedding website at: ♥

This is God’s work, definitely. From the weather, location, existence of our beautiful nature, gifts/talents, awesome friends and planted unfailing love in the couple’s hearts… you can’t help but surrender and SHARE HIS LOVE. ♥

Categories: Love, Marriage, Prenup, Surfboard, Surfing, Wedding, Wedding Dress, wedding rings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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