Thursday, July 31, 2014

Broken.

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"I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing with a broken heart that's still beating. In the pain, there is healing. In your name, I find meaning. So I'm holding on, I'm barely holding on to you..."

This would have to be the song in my heart right now. Yes, my heart is broken. :'( Awww. Ang arte ko lang. Haha!

Anyway, it's because of this. The man of my dreams or the man who I thought is my future husband has already found the woman of his dreams - and unfortunately, it's not me. :( I feel so sad, but surprisingly, I'm not crying. I want to cry and I'm forcing myself to cry but the tears just won't fall down, and I don't know why.

I think this is one of God's trial of my faith. Because honestly, I questioned Him as to why He put this desire in my heart. I really thought he was the one God wants for me. He was one of the reason why I became closer to God. Or maybe that's his purpose?

What makes me really sad is because I already planned my future with him in it. It's so pathetic but I already planned our wedding, our family, I even imagined myself waking up next to him, our travels, and everything. I already planned my future family with him as my husband.

I guess this is one lesson God wants me to learn - that many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is still the Lord's purpose that will prevail.

I am so sad right now. Really heavy heart. :( But I know God has a purpose for everything. I know everything will make perfect sense in His time. Who knows what the future holds, right?

I'm thankful that today is the last day of July. And so August will be a brand new start for me! I promise to focus on God more and to surrender everything to Him.

So to my not so future husband (CNON),

I want to thank you for pushing me closer to Christ even if you have no idea of any of this. I hope she is everything you've been praying for and I hope she will love you the way you deserve to be loved. Truly, I am happy for you from the bottom of my heart. :)

XOXO ♥

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Husband List : The Wife List

"Marriage is more than finding the right person. It's being the right person."

Here below are the qualities of what you should look for in your future husband or future wife, but more than that, it's the qualities you should aim for yourself in order to become THE ONE. :)

The Husband List: 12 Non-Negotiables 
*Repost from HERE.*

Many people use the fact that God already knows the desires of our hearts as an excuse not to pray. Although, he does know them, he still commands us to, “in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6. In the book of Mark, a blind man had his friends take him to Jesus to be healed for his eyesight. Yet when he got in front of Jesus, even though it was obvious what the blind man wanted, Jesus still asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Therefore, even if you have a vision or idea of what your future husband will be like, it is important that you define the specific traits in your life partner. I was in a bible study where we were required to make a “husband list” for homework. It couldn’t just be a short list of the basics. We had to be specific. An example would be, “A man who has a calm temperament and handles stress well.” This may sound silly, but the reason it is important to put the important qualities you desire into writing is to hold you accountable. It also gives you heightened discernment in dating situations.

Let’s be honest ladies, it can be easy to let something slide or dismiss a red flag when a cute guy tells us yummy, fluttery words we want to hear. But is it an ugly situation when we let our hearts get too wrapped up into someone who ultimately doesn’t take care of it. The list keeps your standards in check and can help you quickly discern whether or not that guy gets a second date. It protects your heart against unnecessary wear and tear. In fact, your heart is so important to God that He says, “Above all else, guard your heart for from it flows the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

I encourage each of you to make a husband list too. After I made mine, I met my husband 2 months later and not only was he every single character trait on that list, he was more. But I shouldn’t have been too surprised because, “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20.

Now, each one of your lists is going to have unique things according to who you are, your quirks, likes and dislikes. But there are some fundamental traits that God wants to be non-negotiables. Choosing who you will partner the rest of your life with is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Too many young women are settling for less than God’s best because they don’t know exactly how He expects His daughters to be treated. Based on scripture, here is a list of non-negotiables for you so you don’t have to second guess anymore.

1. He is a practicing believer. 
“Do not be yoked together with an unbeliever…For what agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16. Issues and conflict are bound to rise in marriage, so it is crucial that there is a common foundation on which to hold the marriage accountable. The last thing you want to be fighting about is your faith, whether or not to pray and your viewpoints on religion. Believe me, I’ve been there before. It is exhausting.

2. God is the center of his life. 
He seeks God’s wisdom in all the decisions he makes.
“With wisdom are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.” Proverbs 8:18-19

3. He has integrity and does not put himself in tempting situations.
He guards you against harm and protects the relationship. “Keep to a path far from evil, do not go near the door of that house, lest you give your best strength to others.” Proverbs 5:8-9

4. Seeks mentorship and counsel.
It is important that your man is wise in realizing he can’t carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. When he is surrounded by men who are older than him who can offer advice, prayer and mentorship, he can be a better husband to you. “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” Proverbs 12:15

5. He is slow to anger. 
There is peace in knowing your man holds an even temperament even when he is provoked. A man who allows his feelings, emotions and anger to determine his actions typically has tarnished relationships and is not a healthy place for you or a family. “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18

6. He holds strong conviction on the sacredness of fidelity.
A man is wise when he understand that infidelity and looking for pleasure outside of the marriage only brings strife. God actually calls him to rejoice over you all of his days. “May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth…May you be ever captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?” Proverbs 5:18-20.

7. He is honorable of your heart and emotional well-being. 
I hated when a guy I was dating exposed my embarrassing moments or the private matters of our relationship with his friends. Picking on you may seem cute and funny at first, but it will get old after a while. You should feel honored and safe knowing you can always trust your husband to cover and speak well of you. “Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers,” Proverbs 5:17.
“Love each other deeply because love covers all wrongs.” 1 Peter 4:8.

8. He is disciplined in living a life of integrity.
Watch how he handles temptation or sticky situations that test his character. Does he choose to do what’s right even when no one is watching? It is imperative to observe these things because it will indicate if you can trust his decision making. When you’re married, almost all of his decisions impact you. “He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.” Proverbs 5:23

9. Has solid work ethic. 
“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest- and poverty will come upon you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:10-11.

10. He pursues and loves you passionately.
The man you marry should make you feel loved like you’ve never felt before. Safe, accepted, desired, nurtured, protected and comforted. Jesus loves us deeply, he loves us so fiercely, that he willingly gave up his life to save us. 
Pursues: “So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.” Genesis 29:20.
Loves: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25.

11. Romances you. 
I know women who feel guilty or wrong for desiring romance in their relationship, as if they don’t deserve it. But God desires for your heart to be romanced, just as He longs to romance us. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.” Song of Solomon 1:2
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” Song of Solomon 8:6.

12. He is humble and can admit when he is wrong.
There is nothing worse than a petty conflict blowing out of porportion because your partner refuses to admit they were wrong. Taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing for his mistakes is the sign of a real man. “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

No person will be perfect and grace is a beautiful thing that makes relationships flourish. That being said, this list for single ladies is to give a basic framework of character traits to look for or recognize whether or not there is desire for growth. Of course, use common sense when someone amazing walks in to your life but wasn’t exactly what you dreamed up. God surprises us, but always gives us what we need.

“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband…” 2 Corinthians 11:2.

Ultimately, your divine Father wants you to be treated in a way that it is compared with how Christ cares for us. It is up to us though to believe we are worthy, set the standard, and have the faith that God works in perfect timing to introduce you to your husband.

The Wife List: 10 Qualities 
*Repost from HERE.*

Well, I can sum up most of my friends’ lists right here: 1.Blonde, 2. Skinny, 3. Hot. A few others might include: she likes football, she drinks beer with my buds, and she’s at least a full C. No matter what I write below, that list isn’t going away for some of you guys. We’re all stubborn, but we can also be authentic. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

Earlier this week, I wrote the article An Uncrafty Guy’s Guide to Making a Vision Board about keeping you visually focused on your dreams. Should we be specific about the woman we want to marry? Absolutely. However, make a list with long-term vision. Most of the characteristics we think we want in a wife aren’t ones that make for a good, lifelong relationship. They are characteristics of a woman we want for one night.

Just like character is the most important quality of a good guy, the woman you’re going to marry should have good character as well. When you find her, she is more valuable than anything. Here are 10 qualities of good future wife material:

1. She shares your beliefs
When it comes to finding your wife, I’ve heard “equally yoked.” It has nothing to do with weightlifting for those of you guys who like muscle women. Your potential wife should have the same beliefs you have. Now, you may think you can do some missionary dating, and turn that situation around so she will believe everything you do. You’re probably going to be very disappointed with some bad side effects. If you don’t have the same core beliefs….good luck.

2. She makes you a better man
If everyday is hell with her, that should be a red flag. Your potential wife should elevate you toYourself 2.0. You can get a good idea from your friends and family. Do they say you act differently in a bad way when you are around her? Not a good sign. She should bring out the best in you, not bring out heartache and frayed nerves.

3. She’s trustworthy
In fact, she should inspire trustworthiness within you. If you don’t trust her, you’re probably making her as bitter as you’re making yourself. Not worth it. If you can’t trust her, maybe you’re not ready to date her or maybe you need to work on confidence issues within yourself. If there’s good reason not to trust her, don’t even go there. Just like any cheater, it’s bound to happen again.

4. She has ambition
She should have strength in character and carry herself with confidence. As a man, you should be the leader in the relationship, but for any dictators who feel justified here; we’re talking servant leadership. You probably don’t want the consummate follower either. She should have plans too. In fact, she should be a hard worker just like you. That doesn’t mean having a job is a requirement. One of my friends is a stay-at-home wife with three kids, and she works harder than any of my friends with careers.

5. She’s selfless
She should care about others. Look at the way she treats her family and her friends. If she’s not close with her family, and doesn’t have any good friends, that’s not a good sign. If you start dating her, much less marry her, you will discover why soon enough. Some questions to ask yourself: Does she care about causes? Does she go out and volunteer? Does she give change to the needy or buy them a meal? These are important characteristics to consider.

6. She’s attractive
In your eyes, she should be a “10.” When my wife walks in the room, I’m awestruck by her every time. She’s beautiful from the inside out. However, I’ve dated “hot” girls who ended up being downright ugly by the time we broke up. Personality plays into attractiveness big-time. Just remember, “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting.” She should be beautiful down to her soul because that kind of beauty lasts forever.

7. She’s smart
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with her, so she should be able to hold a good conversation. She should be wise, smart, and give you good advice. Her women’s intuition should be strong. I look to my wife all the time for advice. She’s collected all sorts of wisdom from her mom. She remembers everything. Yes, everything….maybe too much.

8. She loves you unconditionally
If she’s trying to change you to be another person, it’s time to move on. Your future wife should love you just as you are, regardless of anything you’ve done in your past. There will be minor adjustments along the way, but if she nags you about your core characteristics, it won’t get any better in marriage.

9. She’s responsible
Does she remember appointments and meetings? Does she flake all of the time? She should already do a good job of managing her own life. If she’s got loads of debt and doesn’t work, you’re going to be taking all of that on. Ultimately, she will have some part in your financial well-being, and guess what? Finances remain one of the leading causes of divorce.

10. She gets along with your family and friends
If she doesn’t even try to connect with your family and/or friends, let her go. She shouldn’t be critical of the people who you love and have been loyal to you throughout your life. There might be cases where your mom doesn’t like your future wife, and that may require your intervention; but in general, she should be a good fit with the people in your life. Marriage is a joining of two lives that existed prior to meeting the other person.

When it comes down to it, you know what you can handle. Love can overwrite any of the qualities above, but having these qualities will certainly make your lives easier once you are married. No one’s perfect. Even with this list, both of you are still going to bring some kind of baggage into the relationship. First start with yourself. Check out The Self List. Make sure premarital counseling is a huge priority once you find her. My wife and I did a relationship bootcamp in addition to premarital counseling. One session just doesn’t cut it. Throw everything but the kitchen sink at the most important decision you will ever make.

XOXO ♥

Singlehood: Is God's Love Really Enough?

I hope my single friends and every single women out there are able to read this. Repost from HERE.

An Honest Perspective on Singlehood

In just a few short months I’ll be reaching the ripe old age of 30. Perhaps that sounds young to some of you, but to a still single woman who figured she’d be married with kids by this time, that mile marker is a bit daunting. In the midst of reflecting on the past few years; a heartbreak or two, the obvious absence of little ones running around the house, and the overwhelming desire for companionship with the right man, I’m faced with a question, is God’s love really enough? In the aftermath of recently stepping out in obedience and saying goodbye to a man that I cared for deeply, I have to ask myself, is God’s love really enough? In considering the fact that neither a life long marriage nor kids are promised to me in this life, I have to ask, is God’s love really enough?

I, along with millions of other Christian singles in their 20s/30s have believed, in theory, our entire lives that God’s love is enough for us. We’ve had plenty of well intentioned friends, family and church leaders tell us, we just need to be satisfied in God’s love before the right man will come along, as if His gifts are conditional. So we tried harder to be more satisfied in His love, not for the sake of love but for the sake of recompense.

For years we’ve sung songs about how “He Loves Us” and how His love is “Enough”. We’ve known the good sounding words. We’ve sung them a thousand times, tears flowing down our faces, fully in the moment. Yet, we still find ourselves at home alone on a random evening, in the stillness of our bedroom, doubting again. Exactly because it is in the silence, the stillness and the absence of others around us to help drown out the longing, that we are forced to face our fears. It is there that we are forced to face the reality of the here and now. We are forced to face the fact that we are “alone” while seemingly everyone around us is getting engaged, and married or having kids and plastering their joyous memories all across social media feeds. And as we sit in that moment we ask, “Are you really enough God?… And if you are, why do these longings and desires for companionship and intimacy still remain?”

This is the struggle. But what I have come to realize after one too many years of living it is that God’s love is in fact enough, but not in the way I always imagined it to be. I’ve gone year after year waiting for this longing inside of me to go away. Waiting to finally find, “The One”. To have one of my love stories finally end in “‘Until death do us part.” To have this seemingly eternally dragged out question answered. But the answer has not yet come. And after nearly 30 years of “waiting”, what I’ve realized is that I’ve been searching for the wrong thing.

In theory I’ve known God’s love is enough and have even preached that to other women but in practice I have never fully believed it. I have spent years of my life doubting myself, doubting God and believing that the answer to my doubt, longing and even fear could be found in the arms of a man. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with desiring a spouse, deep intimacy with a man and companionship. It is natural and beautiful and we absolutely should desire that. But we must realize ultimately that that is not the solution to the eternal longing that lives inside of us and if we enter a marriage relationship believing it is, we will be sorely disappointed. I’ve had one too many married women remind me of this over the past several years.

So for the first time in my life God has brought me to my knees and I’ve realized that I’ve had it all wrong. He is Enough. He is my Beloved and I am His. That is the totality of my validation, worth and the reason for my existence. It has nothing to do with being married or single and it has everything to do with being a child of God. It is not just some cliche, good sounding idea. It is truth and the definition of my life. His love has been enough for me since the day I was born. I was the one all along who chose not to accept it and allow it to define me.

This doesn’t mean that my desire or longing for intimacy with a man will disappear. It doesn’t mean that things will always be easy. It doesn’t even mean that my heart will never again be pulled towards the desires of this world or be tempted to be defined by them. I am human. We are human. And all of these things are natural outflows and longings of the human soul. But I believe we find freedom when we discover that Jesus didn’t come to make us happy, He came to make us His. And this is where he steps in and offers His grace.

He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.“(2 Corinthians 12:9). So when we struggle, doubt and fear we turn to Him and He reminds us that we were “bought at a price” (1 Cor 6:20). I am reminded here of a quote by Henri Nouwan, “From the moment we claim the truth of being the Beloved, we are faced with the call to become who we are.” That is our call in this life, that is our aim. Not marriage, not children, not the perfect job, success or fame but simply to discover what it means to be the Beloved of God and live our whole lives there.

The definition of Beloved is “dearly loved, adored, cherished, treasured, prized, highly regarded, admired, esteemed.” That is why Christ died, to make that our identity. His blood, our freedom. His pain, our wholeness, His sacrifice, our identity. So that we are free someday to enter our marriage relationship knowing that His love is enough and our spouse is simply a beautiful gift from Him.

Until then, my prayer for any single or married woman reading this, including myself is that you/we would truly understand that He offers us more love in one moment than any earthly lover could give us in a lifetime. He has already done the work, it is up to us to receive it and live like it is all we will ever need because it absolutely is. 

- You know what's cool? My name, SHERI, is a French word, which means BELOVED. :) -

XOXO ♥

Life Coach

I've recently discovered these husband and wife duo who are Christian bloggers and I can say are qualified as life coaches. Their blog articles are very rich with wisdom and you can really learn a lot from them and even discover some things from yourself that you didn't know before. :)

Here are the links:

For the women, check out this blog:
http://sheismore.com/

For the men, check out this blog:
http://goodguyswag.com/

XOXO ♥