We are pregnant

It took me a while before writing another post.  We became busy these past days with Herblend Teas, our herbal tea business.  Accompanied to our busyness was the changes I noticed with myself as well as my husband noticing.   

Almost every night, Joshua and I always prayed to God that if it His will to reward us a children, we asked Him to make them healthy and that they will grow up loving Christ Jesus and seeking His will for their lives.

We mostly talked about a sooner possibility a life will begin to be formed in my uterus.  Month of June when I asked Joshua to watched with me the miracle of life.  The first time I saw this documentary video about Concepcion from the beginning of miraculous semen ejaculation was when I was in 2nd year high school.  The whole time of watching, we were both amazed how this video was shot and how God designed a beginning of life through the fertilization of the egg through sperm carried a father’s genetic material merges with the mother.  

I always teased Joshua every night, to gave a goodnight kiss to my tummy.  I was just having a feeling of being pregnant.  

Last June 24, I started to experience an easiness in my stomach.  I thought I was just being hungry, and I assumed that my stomach produced acids for it was a meal time for me.  The same day, on our way to Savannah for Joshua’s retest of gaining his driving license, I told him and our friend Candace that I felt like I wanted to puke (excuse my word).  I was being dizzy by that time.  Candace asked me, “are you pregnant?”  I answered back and I said, “no”.  We stopped by to a gasoline station, and since my mouth was craving for salty food I asked my husband to get me a potato chips.  I had a weird feeling that time, my stomach was stirred like a scrambled egg, and my whole body was so cold.  What a relief, when I puked in the comfort room of the gasoline station.  I informed my husband about it and he was so concerned.  When I started to eat my potato chips, it was like the best food in the whole wide world.  I became better in a few minutes. 

Having a baby is highly encourage in our marital life, we are praying for them.  In fact, before I flew here in Tennessee a dear friend of mine told me her vision about us and our future children.  It was my last few days in the Philippines when we met at the food court of the nearest shopping mall in our place.  After we had a dinner, we prayed for one another and I heard her praying for me and in a soft voice she uttered her vision to us.  She said, “I can see two children that will faithfully serving God in a big ministry.”  She uttered a boy and a girl.  

Just like all parents, Joshua and I desire the best for our kids.  We are not yet sure of their gender for it is too early to know but we both trust in the Lord that He will give us the desires of our hearts.  Joshua and I both have a twin gene in our family.  His grandfather in his mother side had a twin brother while my deceased mother’s has a twin brothers.  Genetically, there will be a possibility that it might happen but as my husband always said,” Let your will be done Lord.”

I recalled the blog post that I wrote while reflecting back on how God prepared us to parenthood.  I mentioned that, ” Dealing with a bunch of kids was not that easy, getting their interest and attention was a big achievement.  Praise Jesus for the patience.  Hand salute for their parents in all their effort and time raising their kids.” Continue Reading

A weeks ago, I
had a dream about the pregnant woman at the Church.  In my dream, she gave birth to a beautiful, healthy and bouncing baby girl at grammy’s house.  I was looking at them while they were both laying in the bed, and her husband stood beside her.  I said hello to the baby and she smiled.  The child’s face was shining, and she could turned back even if she was only a day old.  Her bones were so strong,  she was moving towards the end of the bed,  I grabbed her immediately and carried her before the child fall.  In my dream, the baby was glad.  My arms were wrapped around her, and we walked towards a pile of newly harvested corn cobs.  

I shared it with Joshua.  On my part, I found it odd since we were not thinking nor talk about them.  In reality, the mother will have a baby shower scheduled days forward before this writing.  We decided to gave our unisex gift earlier to the mother before the start of the Sunday worship with a note for a baby girl.  We were not informed about the gender of the child, but there was a soft voice spoken to me that the baby is a girl since that was I saw in my dream.  We found out that the baby actually is a girl.  

We are not always a high spirited couple, there are ups and down just like most couples.  During the times that doubt struck us, the two of us were reminded about one of God’s many promises to us.  Mostly the part wherein God made a covenant to the Israelite’s in the book of  Deuteronomy.  His words in Deuteronomy 7:12-13 says, 

“12If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors.
13He
will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless
the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and
olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the
land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

Because of the signs that my husband noticed with me like nausea and vomiting, strange cravings, pregnancy fatigue like being sleep lover.   I remember, waking up at noon having brunch (combined breakfast and lunch) then taking a nap until dinner time and had some food and going back to bed immediately.   He insisted that night that we should need to buy the pregnancy test kit.  The following morning, Joshua and I went to the drug store with Lindsey my sister in law (Joshua’s sister).  He was the one who look for it and paid over the counter.  Praise God that my husband was so supportive.

When we got home, it took a while before we had the test.  I waited for my husband to became free from discussing something with the family.  This is one of the best thing that neither one of us wanted to missed. 

Finally, we went inside our room and agreed to do it.  I was seating in the corner of the bed, I asked my husband to pray first.  He knelt down and initiated the prayer.  I vividly heard him said, “God please take care of us, and God let your will be done.”

That day was the 2nd month after our wedding, July 19, and four days passed after my 31st birthday.  Joshua was the one who gently squeezed the dropper with the urine sample to pregnancy test kit, and in a glimpse of seconds a two pink lines appeared so rapidly.  

It was positive, we were speechless.  What can we say in this first time and remarkable experience but to praise God.  We looked at one another, hug each other and  the rest was teary eyes.  His will was done.  

We were not a perfect couple to be rewarded with a gift of fatherhood and motherhood.  But we have faith with a perfect God that in His time, he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.   

I will end this story with the song my husband posted in His fb profile.  God is with us by Mercy Me.

 

 

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China King Lunch Buffet Experience

Before proceeding,  let it be said that I strongly valued a good customer service not just to make business that will last for a day, but to established a strong and lasting relationship with the customers and a probable friends.  

This article and review was not made to attack anyone specifically people involved in the business but to offer a perspective and opinion to edify, give awareness and a suggestion for the improvement of the existing services.  Praying that this will result a good things for everyone.


Joshua and I long time planned was to try the Lunch Buffet, All You Can Eat at China King at Henderson, Tennessee.  But whenever we went there, we were always a minutes late because it ends at exactly 3:00 p.m.  

We are thankful that today, it happened.  We made sure that we had ample of time for us to get there without rushing ourselves.  It took us 10 minutes to be there walking with our four feet.  In fact the buffet just started,  a perfect for lunch time. 

It was not our first time to tried their Chinese cuisines, we tasted some of the few-foods listed in their menus several times.  Though it was our first time having their lunch buffet which is $5.75 per person and for the two of us we paid, $13.00 inclusive of tax.   

The
unlimited drinks were included in the price, and you have your
options to choose from sweet or unsweetened Gold Peak tea, water to soft-drinks
such as Coke, Dr.pepper, Diet Coke, Mellow Yellow and Sprite.

Of course with a permission of the cook, we took some shots of the mouth watering foods that were included in the buffet.  

 

Joshua’s favorite was the sweet and sour chicken, he indulged his appetite for a several plates of it.  

I started with the soup which they called “Hot and Sour soup”, it was hot, spicy and a bit sticky.  It was a soup made of carrots, and mushroom.  If you will try it during a not buffet hours, its price in the menu are $2.30 a pint and $3.70 a quarter.

Since I grew up in a country which rice is a staple food, when I saw the fried rice rowed in the buffet trays, I immediately grabbed the serving spoon and had a portion of it in my plate.  It was not as good the way my father cooked it (sauteed with young garlic) but I thank God that it was included in my diet today. 
 
We also tried the “Lomien”, their soft noodles.  Joshua and I love it, the other time we went there, we had a regular order of “House Special Lo Mein which was $4.60 a pint and a Beef Lo Mein which was $4.30 a pint” it satisfied both our tummies.  If you will avail it during the lunch buffet, you will have an unlimited of it and everything as long as you can.

According to my husband, China King is obviously a family owned restaurant.  Everytime we go there, the younger girls were the ones who promptly assisted us and doing all the waitress tasks such as taking orders, cashiering, busing out and cleaning the tables.  At the young ages, they were quick and trained in addressing inquiries.   

Though they always said hello to the customers entered the door, we noticed they not usually give a smile.  They were serious most of the time and having a poker faces when they were talking with the customers. 

Yours truly is so sensitive in many things mostly in the field of services.  Based on my experience, when I worked in one of the known Chinese restaurant in the Philippines we were trained to always have a professional attitude towards the customer the moment they walks inside the restaurant.  We were taught to stop for a while in what we were doing, look at them, greet them enthusiastically and give a good smile.  This was not just applicable to the waitresses, take orders, and bus staff but including the entire staffs. 

One of our protocol, to made a rounds at customer tables.  We asked them if the food they ordered were served completely or if they still need something.  Promptness in addressing their needs and even informing them about the duration of food preparation were one of the most important thing that needs to consider to omit the tendency of them walking-away that might result to a negative impact to the business.  The word of mouth is so powerful in building and causing destruction. 

We also made suggestions,  such as the best seller and special food of the day.  This also lessened the time spent in taking the customers orders plus it gave them a sense that we knew what we were doing and that we were there to serve them better.  Talking with the customers in a respectful manner builds a rapport and if done well developed to affinity. 

Being informative,  about the way the food was being prepared, its ingredients and delays in food preparation if any.  This lessened the thinking that their presence were being neglected.

Grooming and Hygiene, it was our standard operating procedure to always wear a complete uniforms since we were dealing with food handling and preparation.  

I believe most of the customers are observant, aside of the good quality of food they are also after the good customer service and friendliness of the staffs.  Good customer service is the life blood of any business.  You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new
customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to
come back, your business won’t be profitable for long
. (Read more: 8 Rules For Good Customer Service).

Another worth while thing to consider is knowing the customers.  By providing the customer an evaluation sheet towards the services you rendered through this you will know what needs to be improved.  Any how all of us, have a room for improvements.  

Mark 10:45

New International Version

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Discontentment, a work of the flesh?

I was being preoccupied for a matter of months of doing a project that I
tried to finish several times. This project was enhancing the designs of our personally manage websites to make it more professional and to achieve what it needs to serve with a mission of serving and witness for Christ through our writings and sharing the gifts that we have to bring glory to His name.

My husband and I are wired daily to updates our blogs, mostly Joshua since he needs to comply strictly on his online schooling at Ashford University.  The articles he researched and wrote on his papers were being uploaded to If You Want My Input, his self-maintained blog.  


While me, updating our Whats HOT website that talks about Relationship & Marriage, Counseling & Discipleship, Growth & Education, Beauty in Fashion, and Herblend and Healthcare not to mention the other sites like Herblend, that talks about Herbal tea and its health benefits; Blogger eHOW, a blog Marketing; BizHUB e-Ads, a website that promotes businesses online for free.

I almost lost my cool and being bothered one time I can’t figure out what banner designs are appropriate for each sites, including its design and layout even the text-font-style and color.

The other instances happened when I was designing the banner for Herblend site.  In my mind I already planned and visualized the output but when I was doing it, I struggled on resizing it because the dimension didn’t fit to the point that I stopped.  I even uttered, “Oh Lord, why I can’t do this?”

I even changed the template several times using the ready available and downloadable HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) at the web just to achieve the looks I think it must have.  But when it was uploaded and already there, a part of HTML command needs to be edited and when I figured out how to change it another ideas pop-out in my mind and looking for something to enhance it.  As a result  it doesn’t satisfy what I plan in the beginning.  

Joshua is confident that I can do it, and he knows how serious I am in doing it.  Whenever I felt bad, he is always ready to cheer me up and encourage me.  He always told me, “you are doing good”, but for my own eyes good was not enough, the results I wanted were not being achieved. 

There were several times that I stayed late at night just to finished what I started to do but never come to an end.  One time, when I was being short of having patience to myself, I looked at Joshua, I saw him relaxing and reading fb news and said to him, “you are not supporting me with this task.”  But obviously he does, he always helped me in editing, gave me a shoulder massage and sweetly made us tea.

I became frustrated to finish this project to the point that it always occupied my mind. I became ill tempered.  A not healthy night routine was developing in me.  Almost every night, after Joshua and I prayed before I retired to bed instead of having my quiet time and meditate on God’s words in the Bible I found myself tapping the screen of our Android phone, browsing the web and looking for possible and simplest solutions to adapt and apply into the websites.  There were some moments that I woke up my husband just to asked him that I need to open my laptop again. 

The frustration I felt made me more hooked into it.  It became my nature by constantly doing it nightly then an obsession and an idol.   

I gave much effort to do the
“work” and not to Christ.  To the point that it already became an idol that took my focus from my fellowship with Christ and His leading to me.  At first, my intention was pure until it leads in me being dissatisfied.  My husband reminded me about being discontent is sowing to the flesh.  I pressured my self much that I almost forgot
the real work that I need to do is to put Christ first in everything. 

Though it is established in my heart that I love to put Him first, but unconsciously I allowed this idol to replaced Christ and dethroned Him out from my heart.  This work that became my idol captivated me from from my close fellowship with my maker.  Being separated from the vine who brought life in me, made me unfruitful.  

Recognizing the loopholes I created in my spiritual walk made me learned three things: First, losing my self-sufficient attitude.  Sharing the plan and consult my husband, seat, and talk about it first and set a goal and options.  Second, never neglect a mentor’s advise who has a specialization.  Third and the most important thing, pray and do it for the glory of God.  “As plants draw nourishment from the soil through their roots, so our life from Christ.”

A friend and a mentor of mine in the Philippines, tagged me a picture on facebook with an exact message at a different time. 
 

Credits goes to The Grain of Mustard Seed

1 Corinthians 10:31

King James Version (KJV)
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Bridal Shower

Yesterday, our Christ Community Church family gave us a Bridal shower.  It was organized by the mothers and sisters in Christ as headed by Mrs. Allison, the wife of our pastor.
 
It was an overwhelming experience for my husband and I knowing that we haven’t experience anything like it before.  On my part, I couldn’t remember attending a bridal shower of my relatives or friends, probably because it was not a customary practice in the Philippines.  Some do it but majorities are not.  Obviously, on Joshua’s part, bridal shower is a girly thing.  

Joshua decided to stay with me after the indoor and outdoor picnic, an earlier Church celebration of Independence day.  At first he was hesitant, he was thinking that the shower was for ladies only, but the good thing about it, a young boy Aaron, the son of our sister in Christ, was also there to witness the unwrapping of gifts. At least Joshua was comforted that he wasn’t the only male present.

The shower was announced weeks earlier through the effort of the ladies in Thursday prayer team.  Joshua and I were not expecting such gracious treatment from any body, perhaps being together and be married after an overseas relationship and long period of waiting was one of our greatest desires.  It was enough for us.  Praise Jesus Christ for making the desires of our hearts fulfilled.  A warm welcome from our church family is an additional reward from our fatherly heaven that made our hearts wanting Him more.

When church family heard about the shower party, they started asking us what was our preferred gifts.  I remember heard the old brother named Mr. Steve asking my husband, “What do you need?” my husband who was always honest replied back, “computer software”, and Mr. Steve started laughing.  I over heard someone saying, “it’s cute”.  Joshua was serious when he said it.  Truly, being wired together on his online schooling, and maintaining our websites required a good computer software/installer mostly the one with Microsoft office and outlook.  Then Mr. Steve turned to me and threw a joke, “let me ask the boss.”  Everyone looked at me, waiting for my response.  I replied back and said, “we need prayers.”

Every time people asked us about what we need, I always responded that we need prayers.  We are thankful enough to God that He is providing our daily needs more than we deserved.  If I will use the secular definition of being rich in terms of worldly possession or based on materialism, I would say that my husband and I have just enough.  We both believe and are confident that the blessing we daily receive from the Lord make us rich including the salvation and eternal freedom we are celebrating day after day.  

We always grabbed the opportunity to let people know that prayers are highly needed in our live, mostly those who intentionally asked us.  When Apostle Paul wrote a letter to Ephesians, he encouraged them to, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.  To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the the saints (Ephesians 6:18, English Standard Version).”  Joshua and I are both encouraged to make our life become a prayer for it make us more dependent and closer with God not just for our own benefits but to reach people of the world at large.  

 Before I left the Philippines, I remember the words of my spiritual mother and mentor as she  prayed for me.  “She beseech God to bless me and be surrounded with people to make me more closer with Jesus Christ to edify me, and that I will love Jesus Christ daily as He reigns in my life.”

The prayer was answered, my husband and I are blessed with people who shared their time, helped us in their sweet-genuine ways and welcomed us lovingly. 

The whole time of the shower was fun.  I love the part wherein, we played the game commonly known as broken telephone.  We were divided into two teams.  I was at the first team while Joshua was to the other one.  Mrs. Allison requested us to seat at the end of the lines.  The catch was the last person must decode the words she wrote and handed to the person seating in front.  She quoted a words in wedding related phrases.  

It
was fun seeing the two teams while they were whispering to one
another.  Joshua was the first one who asked to decode it but
unfortunately it was nothing like how it started out to be so we don’t
remember it anymore.  When it was my turn, instead of saying ” to have and to hold from this day forward.” I said, “to love and to hold from this day forward.” Gee!

I love to end this article with a verse from some Psalms 36:7 -9, KJV: “How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of
men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be
abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make
them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain
of life: in thy light shall we see light.”