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INFANTICIPATION!

Fatherhood

A week ago I visited a good friend who’s wife just gave birth. They had a beautiful baby girl.  My wife and I can’t help but talk about her even after we left. On that same day, we visited a friend who just recently lost his mom to cancer. I can’t help but see the irony of life in both of the visits. One is celebrating new life, while the other was mourning the end of it. I was somber the whole day. It made me think of the life that we live, its meaning and its value.

INFANTICIPATION.

I saw this word a few months back from a baby magazine. Yes, I was so bored that time that I read what my pregnant wife was reading. I got so curious and did a little research about the word’s existence. I got lucky and saw it in Merriam-Webster’s open dictionary.

Infanticipation (noun) : The emotion one experiences during the gestation of their baby, and or maybe a feeling that you get when you are expecting something, similar to the feeling of expectant parents.

My wife does not want her pregnant photo to be shown

In a few month’s time my wife and I are welcoming another beautiful gift of life from God through the birth of our second baby. I can’t help but be excited, we waited for this bundle of blessing for close to 6 years. We have a daughter who’s turning six next month. I know our wait can never outweigh the time spent by friends who, for a number of years waited for a baby. I have quite a few of these friends. Sometimes, I don’t understand why God allows these things to happen – People who are not ready, unmarried and incapable of raising a baby, get pregnant so easily. But those that are ready, and are potentially good parents, just have a darn hard time. I will never understand this completely. But this I know, God’s ways are not my ways, my thoughts are not His thoughts as described by the prophet Isaiah. Thus their infanticipation are prolonged, sometimes it will never come. Take heart though friends, for God has a plan, and it is going to be perfect for this I am certain.

Others on the other hand experience a different kind of infanticipation. There are those who are waiting for the right person to come along, but that person never comes. Friends who after much waiting and dating still are unable to find someone to settle down with. By the looks of their faces, I can actually tell that they are more than ready to be wed, all the lines and dark spots reveal ones age after all (joke!). But again, God’s ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not mine.  But, His plans for you to have a future to hope for is certain as what was shared by the prophet Jeremiah.

In the process of composing this blog, I just realized that God to is infanticipating. I mean remember the story of the friend who just recently lost his mom to cancer? God must have been anxious for her return to heaven, probably a bit similar to how anxious and excited my wife and I are for this coming baby. He is as excited also for those who ran away from His love and are now on their way back to His forgiving arms. We have a God who like all the fathers are excited for the coming of their sons. He is waiting. He is expecting and ready to love you.

Something to make you smile: Joke for the night.

Signs that you’re a New Dad:

Getting six hours of sleep is a privilege.

The sentence, “Honey, could you take his foot out of my pocket?” sounds normal.

You are used to doing everything one-handed.

The thought of your mother-in-law coming over for a few hours is a pleasant one.

The list of bodily fluids that disgust you has shortened, possibly to zero.

Your idea of romance is hand-holding.

You answer the question “How are you?” with “We’re fine.”

You decide whether a shirt is wearable not based on sweatiness, but based upon how well the spit-up stains match the shirt’s main color.

You see a slender teenage girl walking down your street, and you think, “Hey, I wonder if I could interest her in… babysitting?

So Near, Yet So Far

Photo by Nihele: So near, yet so far

The past week was hectic for yours truly, but I pray and hope that I was able to deliver what was required. In the past week we also saw how teams in the NBA scampered to woo LBJ (LeBron James). All the while, everybody thought he was going to sign up with his home team (Cleveland). But all of Cleveland’s effort fell short of LBJ’s need for a championship. To Cleveland, you guys were so near, yet it was so far (to meet LBJ’s needs). I also saw the 2nd game day of the UAAP. The game was between ADMU and FEU, the first has been the champion for the past 2 years and the latter, the perennial 2nd placer. It was such a close fight but the champion fell short in the end game. To ADMU, you guys were so near, yet it was so far.

Have you ever been in a situation wherein you had a strong feeling that it is in the bag, but fell short in closing the deal? I know, you have your own “so close yet so far” experiences. May it be with school, work, ministry or with relationships, we all go through this at some points in our lives.

A friend of mine who has been working for the same company for years aspired to seek a higher position at the start of this year. He was up against a younger candidate, who was a fairly new but more qualified worker. Just last week he lost the position to this younger guy, as he said he was so near but yet so far. A friend who was with someone for over 5 years as boyfriend and girlfriend called it quits just recently. The reason? Well, the girl was already set for marriage, while my friend was “preparing” for- in his words their better future together. In one of our conversations, he told me that he was already to propose, he was just waiting for the right time. So near and yet so far.

From Entertainment Web Shots

Perhaps, the most classic example of being so near yet being so far was Judas Iscariot. I mean he was so near to Christ himself, as  a supposed close ally . But, yet we saw how far off he was in his relationship with Christ.

Matthew 26: 14-16

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. 16From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

The challenge really is not to do a Judas. And by that I mean give up. My friend who was in that long relationship can still end up being friends with his ex (different topic, soon), the friend who lost the position he so aspired can try again, and again and again. ADMU knows it’s just the first game, they can try to beat everybody else and hope to beat FEU in their next meeting. I don’t know how LBJ’s relationship is going to be with Cleveland, but I guess in the end, the Ohio natives will forgive his move and again be friends with their former “king”.

We betray Christ too in some degrees daily, but this does not mean that we cannot make amends and go back to His loving embrace. That’s why I love and am proud of my Catholic faith. Imagine being able to ask for forgiveness and be actually forgiven through the sacrament of confession.

Confession is one of the least understood of the sacraments of the Catholic Church. In reconciling with God, it is a great source of grace. Us Catholics are encouraged to take advantage of it often.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, commonly called Confession, is one of the seven sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church. Catholics believe that all of the sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ himself. In the case of Confession, that institution occurred on Easter Sunday, when Christ first appeared to the apostles after his Resurrection. Breathing on them, he said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23).

Yes, our lives are sometimes too far away from the loving embrace of Christ, but we can do something to be so near. Now, is the time to unburden yourselves of sin and guilt. You are loved. God is nearer than you think He is.

Quote of the night:

“Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.”

Split Ends!

I don’t know where to start with this blog. The last break up that I was involved in was back in college.  I met my mighty wife when I was on my 3rd year pursuing a degree.  So the last break up that I was personally involved in was some 13 years ago. But this does not mean that I am not too privy with what’s happening to “involved” young men and women who chose to split up or should I say called it quits. Remember my blog about “bridesmaids”? Well, most of them were actually involved in a relationship; it’s just that it did not proceed to something deeper, like marriage, hence always a bridesmaid never a bride.

I asked around and read some books why people break up, and the top 5 answers were:

1. An abusive relationship.
2. No trust.
3. Found someone else.
4. Loss of interest.
5. No future together.

I guess all these are valid reason to call it quits. Imagine being verbally abused, or emotionally abused, mentally abused or physically abused or a combination of all or of some of these abuses. I do not want to be in that relationship either.

Trust: A friend used to tell me that relationships are about “trust”, it’s all about trust. How many times have you heard this line? “To be trusted is greater than to be loved”,written by George McDonald. Honestly, I don’t know him and this is not a common line. I don’t agree one hundred percent but, it makes sense to some degree. I think the point that he wanted to emphasize was that TRUST is very important in a relationship (may it be as friends, co-workers, much more when you’re together).

Have you heard of this song by Bryan Adams and Barbara Streisand? I think it goes something like this…I finally found someone, who knocks me off my feet,I finally found the one who makes me feel complete,It started over coffee, we started out as friends
It’s funny how from simple things, the best things begin. This time is different (la, la, la, la)It’s all because of you (la, la, la, la)
– Imagine your girlfriend singing this while you are still together? And No, she doesn’t seem to be talking about you. Apparently, this happens all the time.

The worst excuse that I have heard but still included on my list was, that he/she simply lost interest. Have you ever experienced talking to someone almost about anything and everything and then one day, find that he’s all of a sudden busy with other things and seem uninterested in what you have to say.  Or he would rather play ball with friends or do something more interesting than spend time with you?

“It’s not you, it’s me”.

This comment would be nice if you’re stuck in an elevator with someone and a suffocating egg smell fills the elevator.  Joking aside, the line simply means that “I don’t see me with you tomorrow or later”. This is a classic line we hear and see in movies, when someone needs a “break”. This happens when they don’t see themselves in the future with you.

Sadly, break ups affects everyone. Even a very solid relationship grounded in Christian values can fall apart. As with all things in our lives, we must turn to God’s wisdom when we prepare to end a relationship.

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5


You may be feeling ashamed about an impending breakup or concerned that God isn’t interested in the small affairs of your heart. In this verse from the book of James, we learn that in every instance in which we want to learn something, we should first ask God. One big reason we should do this, James says, is the attitude with which God will approach our search for the truth. Unlike the way our friends and even our family can sometimes behave, God will give “generously and without reproach” – God will freely give the wisdom you’re after, and will do so without judging you or embarrassing you. God has probably already laid some things in your heart about your relationship. Maybe you aren’t following His will in respecting your partner; there could be a lot of reasons why God may be pushing you in one direction or the other. Listen to this voice, no matter how soft it may appear to be.

God’s wisdom is perfect – even so, it may not always be enough for you. The good news is, there are other sources for wisdom on breaking up.

“Without consultation, plans are frustrated.  But with many counselors they succeed.”      – Proverbs 15:22

If you are going to go through or are going through a break up, please consult or seek help from someone. The ministry that I serve in provides guidance to single men and women by giving them households (support groups, prayer groups). This is because we believe that it is difficult to make it on your own no matter how hard you try. Well, as they say “no man is an island”. Seek out a counselor of the same gender, so as not to further confuse your feelings. But be careful not to turn the consultation too specific – you’re looking for general advice on Christian breakups, not the counselor’s anointing on your breakup, right?

Lastly, “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.” – Jeremiah 29: 11

If God led you into a breakup, you should rejoice – it means that God has a better plan for you, a plan “for peace”, and a future “filled with hope”. It is a powerful feeling, to communicate with God and see your life changed for the better. It is essential to the Christian experience to commune with our Creator this way. If you’re a Christian and you want to grow closer to God, you have help when it comes to making decisions about your personal life. Seek God’s wisdom, and the guided wisdom of those older and wiser than you, and your breakup will have God’s blessing.

Quote of the Night:

“Never be sad for what is over, just be glad that it was once yours”.

*I am not an expert on love. Whatever I shared was based on my own personal experiences and observations. One thing is certain though, I am very much in love with my mighty wife and these are just summaries of our discussions about break ups.

Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride…

wedding of a lifetime

Who's married?

” A Happy Bridesmaid is a Happy Bride”

– Lord Alfred Tennyson

I have been to a lot of weddings. Come to think of it I can say that because of my involvement with a ministry for single men and women I have been to close to a hundred weddings.

This blog seeks to discuss those who occupy supporting roles in weddings – the bridesmaids.

Quite often, a lot of us look at the bridesmaids expectantly. We have great expectations that they are going to be the next brides. With what they wear (beautiful or not) for sure they can easily catch the eye of a searching bachelor. But from my circle of friends, I have seen some become bridesmaids for 17 to 20 times but have remained unmarried. Alas, the saying “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” has become frustratingly real in their lives. Do a quick count. For the married readers of this blog, especially to those couples who has been married for the past 5 years at the least. How many of your own bridesmaids are married now?

The wedding

The Bride and her Bridesmaids

Women ask, “When will my time be?”. This I have heard from a lot of my friends. See, I got married at the age of 27 and my wife was only 24 then. So for a good number of years, most of our close friends have remained unmarried up until they were 30 or so years old. On discussions over dinners, they ask you hypothetical questions as to when they’ll end up marrying or when their boyfriend is will propose. I always answer with a joke so as not to further frustrate them.  I do remember a close friend asking me this, “What age do you see me walking down the aisle?” Without giving it much thought I blurted, “Probably when you’re 35”.  She was 21 years old then. She is now 30 years old and has never been in a relationship. Every time we talk about relationships, she tells me that I placed a curse on her. What gives?

The Bible says that:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3. 1-8.

And yes, I believe that there is a season for you to get married, maybe now is not the time. But we also have to remember that not all of us are called for marriage. Some are called to do other things.

A soon to be saint once said;

“The truth is that each and every person has been called into existence for a reason. We have all been created out of love and for a loving purpose. God has a special plan for each one of us.” – Cardinal Newman

To further look at it, consider that following your vocation is a journey towards God.  That journey is full of different experiences. Like on many journeys, we each have to read the signs and make choices about which way to go. These choices affect the outcome of our lives. God does not predetermine the journey we make; rather he gives us freewill – an ability to choose one way or another.

There you have it friends. All called for a special purpose. So to all the perennial bridesmaids out there, your time will come. I just hope you really get to ask the Lord if this is where He wants you to be.

Something to think and pray about today:  Where do you want me to be today Lord?

Something to make you smile: Quote of the day

“A perfect wife is one who helps the husband with the dishes.”

With Our Entourage

Goodnight Love

My greatest fan

Mighty Wife

The Wife of Noble Character
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.  (
Proverbs 31: 9b-31)

The Hills are Alive

Vacation with family in Bohol

I am watching my wife fall asleep, listening to her breathe as I type away. I just realized that I am still her biggest fan. Every time she goes through something, I just have this urge to cheer her up. She’s 6 months pregnant and is looking so lovely as always, well, of course she sees it differently with all these added weight. But, to me she is still and will always be as sexy, just like the first time I met her. Good night love.

Husband’s Prayer (by: Shok Ariola)

Tonight I praise the Lord as I watch you. I praise His glorious name for allowing me to hold, keep and love you. I thank Him who gave you to me, for He knew exactly what I needed and that is you.

I pray for the Lord God to embrace you as you sleep. To fill your dreams with me and our kids. I summon His angels to guard you, your heart and desires. I ask the Blessed Mother’s intercession to mold you in her likeness. Goodnight love, I will see you in my dreams, kiss you when you open your eyes and be your man til the day I die. Goodnight love. Amen!

*Carel and I have been married for the past 6 years and a half. We are blessed with a beautiful daughter and a baby on the way. We serve the Lord together as missionaries for Couples for Christ. We spent close to 5 years on mission in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa as a missionary family. The blessings that we received in loving and serving the Lord makes us even committed in building up a mighty family for Christ.

Ndebele and me

With the Ndebele tribe of South Africa

Something to make you smile: Quote for the night:

“When I took the marriage vows I was told that I would go through thick and thin. I didn’t realize that I would also have to go through thin and fat” – anonymous

Friends With Benefits

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)

Early in life, I have learned to surround myself with friends. I was doing a quick count and I can honestly say that I have a lot of friends. I also belong to a Catholic family life renewal ministry that increases your circle of friends at an exponential rate.

This blog is about friends who benefit from PAGIBIG, SSS, GSIS, PHILHEALTH or my so called friends with benefits…just kidding.

I learned a lot about friends when I got sick in 2002. I learned that a friend is someone I trust to be with me when I am at my weakest and most vulnerable.  And they are people who, no matter how painful it is to see, are willing to be with me when I am so helpless and weak. If I am willing to trust my life with you, and vice versa, I consider you my friend. It’s not about whether you are trustworthy, or whether you are friendly, it’s the actual act of trust that is the basis of friendship. If I trust you to be truthful, then you’re a friend. If I find I must be careful how I say things, then it’s something other than friendship.

Friendship is not a state of mind, it’s an act. It’s something you do, it’s not about whether you’re good or not, it’s not a reflection of you, it’s a balanced relationship between people. That doesn’t mean it tips at some point. Sometimes you “need a friend” and other times it’s the other way. It’s a trust that’s returned. When I was younger and thought I was in love, a friend said it’s not love unless it’s returned. Friendship and love are not quite the same thing, although there’s a lot of love around friendship. I learned that love isn’t even something about two people, it’s a state of being for one person. You aren’t in love, you are love. You are, whether you acknowledge it or not. The heart that’s pumping blood through your body is an act of love, 24 hours a day, whether you’re Mother Teresa or Adolf Hitler. (Sorry for the extreme example.)

There’s a world of difference between being a friend and being a fan (acquaintance). I’ve heard people who I’ve never met say we’re friends. And then of course when I do something they don’t like, I’ve betrayed the supposed friendship.

I read this from Dave’s blog :“When a friend changes you can find the bond that’s connecting you at a deeper level. The surface stuff isn’t a good thing to depend on. Physical bodies change as they grow. So do emotional bodies and intellectual ones. Take a deep breath. People move, life is more like a wild dance than a ceremony. You just can’t tell what’s coming next.”

So if you find yourself trying to coerce someone into not changing, then dear reader friend, that is not friendship, that is coercion.

A postscript

One thing I feel needs to be said is that there are many other relationships that aren’t friendship that are still positive. There are many people I admire who aren’t friends.

The world isn’t divided into two parts — friends and enemies. I choose to think of friend as a very strong word, representing a very close relationship. A friend is a personal relationship. I like and admire many people who I don’t consider friends.

A second postscript

One of the hallmarks of a person who is more likely to be a friend-that-was than a friend-for-life, is that person who shares a close friendship with God.

“Friends always show their love. What are brothers for if not to share troubles?”– Proverbs 17:17

*quotes from a friend, thanks Dave Winer!

Something to make you smile: Joke for the day!

Two friends, Nirva and Junie were thinking what to play during the afternoon. For a long time, they could not decide upon any game. Suddenly, Nirva had an idea. She turned to Junie and said excitedly. “Let’s play school”.

“OK!” said Junie. “But I’m going to be absent.”

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