Tag Archives: Love

Lots of letters and one beautiful love story

I’ve been discovering a lot of great videos lately. I came across this one through Sam’s blog. I finally took the time to watch it and I’m glad I did. It’s time to take out the tissues!

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

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Everybody has a different story. (A guest post by Owie Burns)

I am almost embarrassed to admit that as I type this, I cannot remember how I first met today’s guest blogger, Owie Burns. But make no mistake, Owie is one of my favorite people, and one of my closest and dearest friends. In the last couple of years, we have seen each other through laughter and tears,  trials and victories, heartbreaks and joyful days…you get the point. :)

Owie and Kristo

When I thought of asking Owie to write a blog post, the topic to came to mind was exactly this one: Everybody has a different story. The reason behind this is that I felt that Owie’s life proved this statement to be true. As a single mom (to an adorable boy named Kristo) and a media missionary, she is no ordinary single woman. I’ll let her tell you her story:

Everybody has a different story.

I know, it isn’t rocket science and you’ve probably heard that line a gazillion times, but reality is – we always need to be reminded. Otherwise, we tend to look at other people’s stories and oh-so-wish that our story would be a like a fairy tale just like as theirs OR we tend to look at a list of the usual steps or procedures or formulas that most people say work – and we stick to them as if they were THE ultimate rules of life.

For instance, we try to put the whole dating process in a box, following step 1 through step 94 before we can really say it’s God’s will. We’ve gotten so used to formulas when it comes to relationships – even our relationship with the Lord! We see the lives of those who’ve walked ahead of us, and we so try our best (even if we don’t admit it) to follow the exact same path they’ve taken and we’ve dreamt for their stories to be our own.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against processes and formulas and steps and all that. I’m also not saying that you should just go for it, do whatever feels right, etc. It’s just that sometimes we’re too focused on getting from one point to another according to other peoples’ standards and rules and we don’t give God enough room to move anymore in our lives – because, well, we’ve put everything (even God) in a box.

One of the books I’ve recently read and thoroughly enjoyed is Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Now that’s a book that clearly shows you that everyone has a different story. Period.  Here’s one of the parts that struck me most:

Ravi Zacharias says that what the heart is really longing to do is worship, to stand in awe of a God we don’t understand and can’t explain.

It comforts me to think that if we are created beings, the thing that created us would have to be greater than us, so much greater, in fact, that we would not be able to understand it. It would have to be greater than the facts of our reality, and so it would seem to us, looking out from within our reality, that it would contradict reason. But reason itself would suggest it would have to be greater than reality, or it would not be reasonable.

When we worship God we worship a Being our life experience does not give us the tools with which to understand. If we could, God would not inspire awe.

If I may add to that, if our stories are so predictable, it robs us the chance of being in awe of God.

To explain my point, allow me to share a bit of my story.

I thought my story would be something like: I meet ‘the one’ and we become friends, we go out on a bunch of group dates, then when my friends have gotten to know him well enough, he’ll tell me he likes me, and we’ll finally go out exclusively. After some time he’ll propose, and then eventually we’ll get married and have our first kiss at the altar. It sounded so right, but…

…it isn’t my story.

My fairy tale didn’t turn out that way. I went to a gig and bumped into someone I’ve casually known for six years. We ended up talking all night and he said we should grab coffee some time the week after. Four days later we went out for dinner, and after dinner I just knew he was “the one”. And by the time we were having dessert he said it out of the blue, he said “This is it. You’re the one!” and just like that, we knew and we decided to commit to love each other according to the Bible’s standards.

My son who wasn’t at all open to me having a relationship instantly fell in love with my boyfriend! Eighteen days later he proposed and in about two months we’re getting married! So it’s nothing like what I thought it would be, but since the day we decided, God’s been confirming and reminding us both that these were those secret wishes we individually asked for. And when we talked about it, we realized that our story fits our personalities perfectly. Allowing God to move just left us and everyone around us in awe.

Everyone has a different story because we are all different. The one thing that remains constant is this: as long as God writes the story, you can expect it to be beautiful and full of surprises!

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Note from Liz: When Owie called me to say that she and Rommel were getting married, I was beyond thrilled! God had given her a good man who loves her and her son, and above all, loves God. Whenever I see them together, I marvel at this match that God had created. She’s so right…every story is different, but every story written by God is awesome indeed!

Owie Burns is a Media Missionary for The Edge Media, where she constantly bugs their volunteer graphic artists and writers about their deadlines for the youth devotional Word 4U Today. She is mom to ultra-inquisitive Kristo who’s 5 years old, and in a little over two months, she will be Mrs. Owie dela Cruz! She normally posts stories about her son at http://mommyowie.wordpress.com but since she got engaged, she’s also been posting on their love story-wedding site http://www.owiebarns.com.

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How He Loves Me

One of my favorite bloggers, Lindsey Nobles, has a series on her blog where she invited other great bloggers to write guest posts reflecting on the song “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan. On the last post of the series, she invited readers to share their reflections on the song. This one is mine.

I first heard the song when I was hanging out with some friends, several months ago. One of them just started singing it and playing it on the guitar, and everyone just ended up joining in, even if it was the first time some of us heard the song. It was just one of those moments that you can’t quite capture in words. Just like love….words cannot fully describe it.

I was out for a run this afternoon, and I started thinking about love. I wasn’t thinking about romantic love, just love in general. I was thinking about how it feels to love people, and how sometimes, I feel like I have so much love to give that my heart wants to burst. I was thinking about how I love seeing my nephews smile and I was thinking about what else I can do when I’m with them to bring out those smiles more often. I was thinking about how often I can hug them without them getting tired of it and how I can tell them I love them again and again without them thinking that something’s wrong with me. I was thinking about how, even though I’m single, God hasn’t given me a shortage of people to love and how He has surrounded me with loving people. And I was thinking about how grateful I am that God even gave me the capacity and ability to love, and how easily I could mess it up sometimes, as I’ve done so many times before. I was thinking about how the old version of my self would be too selfish, too needy, too insecure, too scared, too analytical, and too cynical to truly love others. I was thinking about how, sometimes, it’s easy to fall back into my old ways. I was thinking about the times that I felt unloved, overlooked or forgotten, and how God pulled me through those bouts and reminded me time and time again that He sees me, hears me, and loves me as if I’m the most precious and special being in the world. I was thinking about how amazing it is that I even find myself in this place–this place of being able to give love instead of holding it hostage, waiting for something in return.  This was not the heart I used to have. My old heart was numb. My old heart was hiding. My old heart was hibernating.

And when I try to think back at how my heart changed, it all goes back to God and His amazing, mind-boggling, unwavering love.

I am only able to love because He first loved me. That’s the beautiful and humbling truth. And I am so thankful, SO THANKFUL, for the times when I had no choice but to surrender into His loving arms and be consumed by His incomprehensible love. That means I’m grateful for the disappointments and heartbreaks, the seasons of loneliness, days of depression, and moments of frustration that opened, softened, and prepared my heart to feel and receive God’s overflowing grace, and ultimately, His abundant and unconditional love.

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” -Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)

I didn’t see how He was working then, and sometimes I still miss it. But it’s the truth that surrounds me every day. I go through tough times and difficult seasons, but through it all, He cares for my heart as if it was the most precious treasure in the world.

It’s crazy, but that’s how He loves me. And that’s how He loves you. And if you haven’t felt it, tell Him. Ask Him. That’s what I did. And though I can’t say things changed overnight, I am where I am today because He heard me then…and I know He’ll hear you, too.

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I love God-authored love stories :)

Congratulations to my friends Joe Bonifacio and Carla (Rica) Peralejo for finally tying the knot AND finally having their FIRST KISS! I’m so happy for these two; they really make such a great couple.

Watch Jason Magbanua‘s Same Day Edit Video here: (If the video doesn’t appear below, just click on the link!)

Carla (Rica) Peralejo and Joe Bonifacio’s Same Day Edit from Jason Magbanua on Vimeo.

Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

I’m on a [reading] roll!

In marriage, is love really enough? Now that’s a common question, don’t you think?

Having grown up in a broken home, I always thought that a good marriage was something only found in fairy tales. I was pleased to find out later on that a good, strong, faithful, and godly marriage can actually be a reality. But I always wondered, how is it possible? Do people just get lucky? Does it depend on how attractive or ‘cool’ you are as a spouse? Are people just naturally better at it than others?

I figured I wouldn’t get all my answers, but as a single woman with my family background, I always wanted to understand more about marriage. No other book explains the relationship between a husband and wife better than Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I first heard about it through one of my former employers (and one of my mentors), Anthony Pangilinan. Shortly after, I heard about it again from my friend, Eric Villarama. Anthony and Eric both have awesome marriages (Anthony is married to Maricel Laxa and Eric is married to Donita Rose), so I made a mental note to check out this book. One year later, I’m happy that I finally got a copy!

Based on Ephesians 5:33, the book gives a fresh perspective on marriage the way God intended it to be. People can read this verse over and over again and totally miss out on what Dr. Eggerichs picked up and wrote about in detail in this book. Have you ever heard of unconditional love? Yes, right? What about unconditional respect? Now that’s something you don’t hear often.

I don’t want to spoil it because I think it’s a “must-read” for all married folks out there. And for all the single people like me, I think it’s a great book to read, too. It sheds a lot of light on the differences between men and women, so if you find yourself often having conflicts with the people around you from the opposite sex (e.g. parents, siblings, classmates, co-workers), this just might be the reference material you need. :)