The Secret to 30 Years of Marriage

My dad and mom were supposed to split up during their first year of marriage. Back then, my parents had opposite personalities and they came from different family backgrounds which triggered the tension, arguments, and emotional and physical hurt between them. But, by the grace of God, He used one of my dad’s best friends to share Jesus and the Bible to my parents and it turned their lives around! Last night, our family celebrated their 30th anniversary and we thanked God for His goodness and grace in their lives.

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During our family dinner, my siblings and I took turns in asking our parents about the memorable experiences they’ve had and the lessons they’ve learned since they got married. It was an encouraging time with the family because we got to know their hearts more as they opened up about their past. They shared about some of the mistakes they’ve done and how they were encouraged by God to keep on learning and improving for His glory. They also recalled how God changed their hearts and allowed them to grow in their relationship with Him, which greatly influenced the way they dealt with the hurdles and calamities that our family encountered these past years.

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However, if there was only one thing that I could take home from our celebration last night, it was our parents’ emphasis on the grace of God. It was because of God’s grace, that our parents were able to honor God and be faithful in their relationship throughout the years. After attending Bible studies and knowing Jesus more during their first year of marriage, they realized that they were just living their sinful lives for themselves. They understood that they needed our Savior, Jesus Christ, and by His grace, they placed their faith in Him and accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

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It says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God desires that we spend an abundant life with Him for eternity because He loves us so much. However, because of our sins, we were separated from Him. In Romans 6:23, it even says that the penalty for our sins is death – and this death refers to us spending eternity in hell; being separated from God forever. But, the amazing thing about God and His Word is that we always have hope in Him. God already made a way for us to be reconciled and to spend eternity with Him in heaven by sending His one and only Son, Jesus, to die for us and to conquer death when he rose again after three days. It is only through Jesus that we can have eternal life.

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Three decades ago, my parents came to know Jesus and experienced Him in a personal way. This radically changed the way they lived ever since. Their desires for sin lessened and their love for the Lord grew. And because of the overflowing love and grace that they received from God, they were encouraged to share Jesus to each other and to others too, including us (children), relatives, and friends. Whenever they are tempted to sin, to be bitter towards each other, or to dwell on their mistakes, they would be reminded of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness and their hearts would be changed.

What was the secret to their 30 years of marriage? It was experiencing God’s grace and sharing it to others.

My dad and mom still have arguments and still get hurt by each other every now and then, but by God’s grace, they continue to trust in the Lord and choose to honor Him in their marriage.

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Dearest Dad and Mom,

I want to take this time to honor you and appreciate you both. Thank you for being faithful in your relationship with the Lord and with each other. It is inspiring to see you reach this milestone despite the many bumps you’ve experienced along the way. Indeed, it is only by His grace that you are still happily married and serving the Lord together. Hehehe. I pray that God would continue to touch your hearts and help you grow more in love with Him each day. Thank you for constantly sharing Jesus and His word to the people around you (e.g. during birthday parties, wake services, casual meals, vacation trips, and at different church activities). Thank you for encouraging us to always seek the Lord, spend time with His word, and honor Him by discipling others. Thank you also for giving us practical tips on how to manage the resources that God has blessed us with. May the Lord continue to use you to be a blessing to the people around you. I love you, guys! Happy 30th anniversary!

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Encouraging others one treat at a time. :)

Showing Love through Larcy’s Cupcakes

A few days ago, our parents informed us that they were having a double date with our former neighbors, Tito P. and Tita A. When we were still living in the same village, this couple graciously shared their food and gifts to our family. They even let us try their new products before releasing them in the market. What a privilege! Years later, we eventually moved to another village, but, we still get to experience God’s grace and goodness through them.

 

Larcy's Cupcakes
Larcy’s Cupcakes

When they invited our parents for a double date to celebrate dad’s birthday last week, I remember how my dad was so encouraged by their thoughtful gesture. One of our parents’ good, couple friends remembered his birthday and sincerely wanted to enjoy it with them. It was definitely encouraging! But, it didn’t end there. Surprisingly, when our parents came home from their double date that night, they also had a box of Larcy’s cupcakes with them. Tito P. and Tita A. also thought about us (children) and treated us with six, beautiful and delicious Larcy’s cupcakes!!!

Larcy's Cupcakes
Larcy’s Cupcakes

When I found out about it, my heart was so blessed. They even went the extra mile! It was so inspiring to see others share God’s blessings and goodness to the people around them. But, it also made me check my heart. Do I also have a sincere heart for others? Or am I stingy when it comes to sharing the resources that I have, time, or even words of encouragement?

Banana Cupcake
Banana Cupcake

Pastor Peter Tan-Chi once said: “Why are we still selfish sometimes? Maybe it’s because we forget how much our Father God loves us.”

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake
Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake

By God’s grace, I hope that I can also sincerely share God’s goodness and love to others, just like our former neighbors. If you’re reading this, Tito P. and Tita A., thank you very much for your kind hearts! May God continue to bless you even more as you walk with Him and share Him to others. :)

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” –John 15:12

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LARCY’S CUPCAKES

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LarcysCupcakerycafe

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LarcysCupcakery

Phone: 4782849

 

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

When I Sat on Chocolate Cake

I rarely eat sweets. But, when people offer chocolate cake, brownies, or crinkles, I usually give in. Most of the time, I buy or make these chocolate desserts whenever I crave sugar. I guess eating them is just a delightful thing to do! On the other hand, sitting on chocolate (or chocolate cake, in my case) is a different story. Haha! Let me share with you the highlight of my day.

Chocolate Cake and Outfit of the Day
Chocolate Cake and Outfit of the Day

Before going to work today, I spent time with God by writing my thoughts and prayers on my journal. In my heart, somehow, I knew that I was struggling with pride because I was dwelling on thoughts about “my” strengths or “my” good points. It was crazy. I wanted to share this struggle to God, but instead of acknowledging my pride and asking for His forgiveness, I just wrote “I humble myself before you, Lord, etc” on my notebook. After writing, I felt like I just sugar coated the words that came out of my heart. When I think about it now, it is so weird that I didn’t write what was really inside my heart. Was I worried about getting caught by others who might read my journal? Was I trying to hide my pride? Why was I so afraid to accept and write the truth when I was having a conversation with the One who created me; who knows my struggles even before I confess?

Fast forward to 6pm, while I was leaving the office, one of my colleagues asked if I had my period because it seemed like I had a huge stain on my black skirt. I told her that I didn’t. But, eventually, we realized that I had accidentally sat on a huge piece of chocolate cake this afternoon during our break. I felt so embarrassed because I walked around the building for hours that afternoon and I didn’t notice or feel it. Also, those who may have noticed it probably didn’t know how to inform me. Huhuhu. You could just imagine my reaction when I found out hours after the incident.

As I sat inside the car on my way home, I still felt ashamed. But because I didn’t want to think about it anymore, I tried to process things. I asked myself why I was so bothered by it. And then, I realized that I became so conscious of other people and of what they thought about the chocolate stain on my skirt. Clearly, my pride was affected and I was thinking too much of myself. I then remembered my time with God earlier today.

God spoke to my heart and convicted me of my pride. If I continue to be proud and if I choose not to acknowledge that the “strengths and good points” that I have were all because of God and His grace, I won’t be giving God the glory He deserves. Today’s incident was such a humbling reminder for me to always humble myself before God, acknowledge my weakness, repent, and do my best to honor and obey Him.

“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”-Matthew 23:12

Grateful for today. :)
Grateful for today. :)

In spite of the embarrassing (and funny) situation today, I still thank God for showing His grace to me through these three things:

1.) At least, I was wearing a BLACK skirt. Haha!.

2.) I had a colleague who was kind and brave enough to warn/inform me.

3.) God didn’t want to let this day pass without helping me guard my heart from pride.

 

“Whenever I climb too high
Keep my feet on the ground
And when I get full of me turn me upside down
You know pride and not just summer
Come before the fall
So if You that’s getting bigger
I don’t mind being small”

[Jimmy Needham – Being Small]

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.

Your Mistakes Do Not Define You

“Aaagghh! No, no, no, no, no, no, nooooooooo! Man!”

I shouted and panicked as I stared at the melted piece of fabric on the hot iron while I was ironing my top this morning. After five years of using and taking good care of my favorite pink top, I accidentally burnt a part of its delicate fabric which created a hole in front of it. I couldn’t believe it! Suddenly, I had flashbacks of the times when I used it and I remembered how much I loved its femininity and beauty.

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In the recent years, by God’s grace, I challenged myself to shop less and less. Because of this, I rarely buy clothes and shoes so I could save a bit more. So, I really, really do my best to maintain what I have in the closet. However, what happened this morning gave me a mini heartbreak. I felt so annoyed with myself for being so careless. I looked at the hole in my top and thought to myself “I can’t take back time. I can’t undo what I’ve done. And I don’t even know if it’s still possible to repair my top. Ughh!! This is so, so sad.”

After taking a bath, I sat in front of the fan and I silently poured my dampened heart out to God. I felt that the pretty top with a hole in front of it wasn’t usable anymore. I couldn’t even imagine stitching a patch with a similar fabric on it because it would look weird. I just felt like I ruined its beauty and I could never bring it back to its original, lovely state.

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But, as I was trying to cool myself down in front of the fan, my mom (who was near our room), noticed and mentioned that the hole wasn’t exactly in the middle of the top. By God’s grace, it was located at the side part, which wasn’t too obvious. True enough, when I tried to wear it again, it didn’t look that bad – unless, of course, I raise my arms to the side. Haha. Somehow, in spite of my carelessness, God still showed His grace to me by allowing me to burn a hole only at the side part of my favorite pink top. I wish that it didn’t have to happen, but it did and I know that God used it to get my attention and teach me something important.

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While I was on my way to work, I still thought about my burnt top and I asked God why He allowed it to happen. He then reminded me of one of City Harbor’s songs where it says: “I am not my failure. I am not my flaws. I am not defined by my mistakes, only by Your love. It’s a constant battle to believe what’s true, that Your love is unconditional no matter what I do.” As I started to sing the lyrics of the song in my head, my heart began to melt because I knew that He was encouraging me to focus on His goodness, love, and grace in spite of my carelessness and regrets this morning.

“I constantly trust in the LORD; because he is at my right hand, I will not be moved.” -Psalm 16:8

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Yes, my favorite pink top will never be as good as its original state, but I can still thank God because at least, the iron didn’t burn the whole garment… nor my hands/our place.

Yes, I loved the pretty, flawless piece of clothing because I felt good, girly, breezy, and comfortable whenever I wore it. But, I am also reminded that it is still just a piece of clothing and it will not define my beauty or value.

And yes, I made a mistake today and I will obviously make more in the future. But, I am encouraged to constantly put my trust and security in the One who never will. :)

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.