Special time with Clarissa!!!

Leaving then living in a new place and starting again are few of those challenging events a global family like us underwent. Anxiousness, fear and letting go of family ties and friends are also the hardest thing. We met precious people along the way. People who had something good to share, experiences, fun, and wonderful friendships. Some of them stay for a season because life is in constant motion and change, and some of them sticks closer no matter how many miles away!

There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.  – Proverbs 18:24 NLT

That no matter how many seasons life will bring, no matter how far a way we go, they will always hope to see you later on 🙂 . Jjust like what happened with us, and with our ever stunning Clarissa who effort-fully flew and visited us in our state and spent her time with our family, and finally met our daughter Abigail and again bond with us, with me and Joshua for a second time around.

Clarissa was one of those passionate youths who welcomed me and made me felt at home when I decided to attend a Sunday Service at the Church in Manila, Philippines year 2009.
Photo Courtesy of SBC/LifeHouse.
We automatically had this bond and connection, that she even welcomed me in their home and met her wonderful family. Same as mine too!
She’s not just a friend of mine but she is my sister in Christ 🙂
Abi meeting Tita Cla in Nashville!!!
a memorable bus ride with these two 🙂
it’s just me or I think, they have the same chin features?
It was funny, we trusted google so much that we thought, The Carnegie Center for Arts and History  in Jackson was open but it wasn’t. So we ended up taking this photo!
Rock a Billy Hall of Fame, Jackson TN
Take two…
Pinson Mounds Archeological Park and Museum. Prehistoric Native American Complex.
Candid Shot of these two beauties
Inside the Pinson Mounds Museum
The explorers!!!
Inside the “80-seat theater and Discovery Room”
“the lovers” 🙂
our princess!!!
the kikays!!!
Saul’s Mound. TRIVIA: For several hundred years, maybe about 200 BC until about 750 A.D., what is believed to have been the tallest man-made object in the land we now call the United States? Saul’s Mound, at the Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park. (Cited: tnhistoryforkids)
at the top of Saul’s Mound
Going down the Saul’s Mound
Sun Studio: According to them is the birth place of Rock and Roll and the home of the million dollar quartet
Reunited after seven long years
Abi looking Classic with Elvis
Tita Cla and Abi inside the Sun Studio
1, 2, 3 shot!
Finally, “the million dollar quartet meet the million smiles Haltom Family.” HAHA
Rock and Roll baby!
The Haltom Family inside the Sun Studio
Abi and Joshua getting groovy!
The story behind: can’t resist how they glanced at each other, so I quickly snapped a photo. One day, this will surely a most treasured memorabilia of these two!
Joshua doing the “Rock and Roll” with the iconic Elvis mic!
Snapped me a Photo at Johnny Cash Museum! 🙂
its a Johnny Cash Museum not a loan cash place…haha!
Snapped at photo at Broadway, Nashville TN. An entertainment district renowned for honky tonks and live country music.
Give me that Country Boots baby!
Cowgirls or just pretend? :p
Inside Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
See you again Cla!!!
We truly enjoyed your presence. You are such a blessing, always!
We love you Architect and Environmentalist Conservationist Cla!!! Again and again, thank you for sharing with us your laughter, your time, heart, brilliant mind and footprints in Tennessee. We are praying for you :). Know more about this stunning woman at clumsy clarissa

Special thanks to Aunt Kathy, Mama Tammy (my mother in-law) and our dear Roxanne and her family for extending your welcome to Clarissa, THANK YOU!


Happy Mother’s Day in Memory of Juanita

This story wouldn’t be written without the helping hands of my brothers, brother in-law, my sisters, my father and my husband. Thank you God for your faithfulness.

The yearly celebration of Mothers day is almost come and gone. I’ve been hearing the announcer on the radio, “What would you get for your mom’s on mothers day?”

Yesterday, after 43 years, my mother’s bone was collected and transferred to a more decent place. Most of my siblings and my father except me of course, were present on this monumental day.

Its been a long desires and prayers of my elders siblings who are old enough to have remembered her love as a mother to give her an own place for her bones to rest, and on May 8 (Philippines standard time) it was fulfilled. All glory to God, yes Praise His glorious name for giving us the season and reason to never stop waiting on the completion of His blessing, and for fulfilling this desire at the right season. Isn’t God amazing?

from left to right (My Father: Balagtas, Sister: Beejay, My brother in law: Kuya Nath, Sister: Cecile, My brother: Edwin, and my eldest brother: Louie). Kuya Teddy, not included in the photo.
They dont smile much here! I guess because of the seriousness of the moment? 🙂
I was told that it took hours for them to find my mothers bones. It was buried under a cemented bolt.
My father lighting the candle
My mother’s bones
Thank You God
Kuya Edwin, Ate Beejay and Ate Cecile

At first, I perceived the idea of transferring the bones of my mother from the old cemetery to a new one impractical. Why we needed to entertain such a plan, what are the benefits of it? At first glance it seems like illogical. It doesn’t make sense. Her bones were actually fine though it was crowded with other bones of deceased relatives, and love ones. But I remembered the word of God, the story of Joseph, the dreamer. The Jewish guy in the coat of many colors, who was greatly loved and favored by his father Jacob. Joseph, whose brothers were jealous and hated him and who planned evil against him, and sold him into slavery. Joseph, even in slavery God’s heavenly wisdom and knowledge was upon him. That he succeeded in everything he did as he served Potiphar, the Egyptian master and who appointed Joseph to be in charged of his whole household. Joseph, whose Potiphar’s wife begun to looked at him lustfully, but he refused to commit such wickedness for he doesn’t want to sin against God and because of his righteous act, he was place in the prison for the crime he didn’t commit.
21 “But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.”-Genesis 39:21

Joseph, who rises to power and became a ruler of Egypt.
38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. 40 You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” -Genesis 41:39-40

The more I read about Joseph’s life, the more I discovered the faithfulness of God. Why? Do you know that in each season of Joseph’s sufferings, God was with Joseph and never abandoned him. In the hands of his brothers: “These patriarchs were jealous of their brother Joseph, and they sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God was with him” -Acts 7:9 As a slaved of his Egyptian master, Potiphar: “The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.”  -Genesis 39:2

While in the dungeon, and was accused of the crime he didn’t commit:
21 But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.” -Genesis 39:21.

Joseph, that in all of the recorded years of his sufferings God favored was upon Him. That even in his death, God fulfilled Joseph’s spoken faith. ” 22 It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left.” -Hebrews 11:22 NLT

The most interesting fact was, Joseph’s spoken faith in God concerning his peoples freedom and his bones weren’t diminished by the hundreds of years of slavery and sufferings in Egypt. It was fulfilled because God is faithful.

40 The people of Israel had lived in Egypt[c] for 430 years. 41 In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord’s forces left the land. 42 On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation.

Going back to my mother, she was named Juanita. She died when I was at the age of 2 years old and her death was caused by a rabies of an infected cat. Yes, numerous people in our town including my families have told me that she suffered with so much oppressing pain before her death.

As far as I can remembered, there are only three vivid memories I had with her. The first one, there was a women gathering. As I recalled, I was with my sister Beejay. We were under the dining table, we were eating sopas (chicken noodle soup) on a colorful cups. I was hearing my mother and some other women, they were singing a glorious song called Alive, Alive. I was hearing their voices singing, “Alive, alive, alive forever more. Si Hesus ay buhay, buhay magpakailanpaman. Sing Hallelujah, sing Hallelujah, si Hesus ay buhay, buhay magpakailanpaman.”

The next one was, the memory of her face on a photo lying on her coffin on her green dress. When I was younger, I think I was at the age of grade school since she wasn’t there to comfort me or hug me, whenever I got sad, and crying I always pulled out her death photo, looked on her face and called on her name Mama. I guess I was trying to used her photo to buffer whatever stored memory I had with her. Sensory memory.

Lastly, her old beautiful photo with my sisters, young Cecille and young Beejay.

from left to right (Ate cecile, my mother and my sister beejay)

I think my influence and motivation of being a committed mother to my daughter Abigail was the absence of my mother on my growing up years. We didn’t choose it, but its the will of God for us. That’s the main reason also why I intentionally making and collecting more memories with Joshua and Abi.

And to answer this question, “What you will get for your mom’s on mothers day?” I will bring her honor the way I live my life as a wife and as a mother. A lifestyle that will bless her name not only on one season not just on Abigail’s generation but the generation after me and to those who will come. I will influence my child to not forget to always give praises and give thanks to the one who fulfilled prayers and the one who conquered death, and bring life even after death, and that is to live for Jesus Christ. I will always remind her, to remain grounded and faithful in God in the days of joy and mostly in the days of sufferings.

  • Proverbs 31:28–29: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.'” 🙂

My siblings and I are very excited. I was informed that they already made a plan to gather together at our mother’s tomb, and celebrate our mother’s birthday this coming June 16. My prayer is that even in our imperfections as a family, we will never fail to celebrate God’s goodness in our sufferings. That He is a God who fulfilled His words. That He is a God who heard our prayers. That He is a God who answered our prayers according to His will, and according to His timing. To gather together and build a lasting tradition. To share a story, that with God nothing is impossible.

40 The people of Israel had lived in Egypt[c] for 430 years.41 In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord’s forces left the land. 42 On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation. -Exodus 12: 40-42

For us to remember to turn our anxiousness in prayers. To have faith that God’s words will never return void.

57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. -1 Corinthians 15:57

Sharing this commentary of Matthew Henry for the book of Joshua 24:29-33 “Joseph died in Egypt, but gave commandment concerning his bones, that they should not rest in their grave till Israel had rest in the land of promise. Notice also the death and burial of Joshua, and of Eleazar the chief priest. The most useful men, having served their generation, according to the will of God, one after another, fall asleep and see corruption. But Jesus, having spent and ended his life on earth more effectually than either Joshua or Joseph, rose from the dead, and saw no corruption. And the redeemed of the Lord shall inherit the kingdom he prepared for them from the foundation of the world. They will say in admiration of the grace of Jesus, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”