Keeping The Gloves On

In the Midst of Tragedy

 Mrs. Blue

Mr. Red

 

Standing Firm

Last March 11, 2011 a powerful M9 earthquake struck Japan after New Zealand was rocked with a M6. A devastating tsunami followed and wiped out most of Fukushima, the northern part of Japan. Up to this time they are still experiencing M6 aftershocks, they are struggling mightily to control the nuclear fallout from their damaged nuclear power plant, a whole town has been reduced to nothing by the tsunami. If that earthquake and tsunami can cripple Japan, one of the leaders in Asia in technology and economy, what more of neighboring countries that are not as advanced?

But I see Japan’s strength in its people – there has been no looting, no pilferage, no violence, zero crime. In fact, the Japanese are seen going out cleaning, rebuilding, helping victims. The Japanese are truly a commendable and great patriotic people.

That is one thing positive we see.  Character is tested through the crucible of tragedy.  Against the backdrop of the worst events the light of discipline, integrity, and unshakeable hope shines through.

Right now disasters are the only thing that is in everybody’s mind. We are nervous of the impending doom, our imaginations dwell on unpredictable events. Yet as nervous as everyone could ever be. I will remain calm and trust that everything is according to plan by the Lord.

How we deal with our anxiety will reveal the strength of our soul.  The shadow cast by these disasters may seem terrible and big but hope’s radiance will always overcome it.

Hence, I refuse to be crippled by this fear and I will not allow myself to be a victim of unfounded fears. If this is a test, then I will hold on to the fact that God has better plans amidst all the chaos. Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis can plague any nation but I fear God than any disaster.

I stand firm in my faith.

 

Why?

The recent earthquakes experienced in New Zealand and the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan have caused a lot of people to question their faith. Many have started going to church, both regular church members and non-members alike seeking to find the answer to why such tragedies happen and how a loving God fits into the picture.

I had an uncle once who was a very devoted father and husband. They were not rich so his wife had to work overseas to help augment the family income. The internet was not yet around back then so he and his wife kept in touch through costly long distance phone calls and occasional telegrams when there was an emergency. Day after day the family did its best to survive life’s hardships. Only the sight of his children and the thought of being reunited with his wife in the near future kept him going.

A few weeks before Christmas, he made a phone call to his wife. With tear-filled eyes he asked, “Can’t you come home for Christmas? I don’t know if I could make it without you.”

“Just hang in there. My work contract will be renewed if I stay here and work this holiday season. Please just be patient a little bit more. When everything has been signed I will come home next summer,” she replied.

But the kids miss you. I miss you. Why not come home and just try to find a new job early next year,”
he said.

“Honey, you know it’s not that easy. I’m doing this for all of us. Please understand,” and with that, they said their goodbyes.

Two weeks before Christmas, he died of heart failure.

His wife came home. I spoke to her and she asked me, “Why? Why did God allow this to happen? Couldn’t He have done something to prevent this from happening?”

Many have echoed these words throughout history, and many are asking them again after the tragic events in New Zealand and Japan.

Sadly, I myself do not know the answer.

What I do know however is that God is still in control (Jeremiah 32:17) and that in the face of tragedy, during our times of loss and sorrow, God is with us. Remember that “the LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
If you are fearful or mourning the loss of loved ones, I urge you not to distance yourself from God. Instead draw near to the God of comfort and experience his peace in the midst of this storm.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. “ (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

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March 23, 2011 Posted by | Mr. Red, Mrs. Blue, Spirituality | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Feel The Ground

Mrs. Blue

Mr. Red

 

Wisdom’s tool

To be honest, I hated making mistakes when I was younger. It made me feel stupid, embarrassed and often times frustrated. After years of blaming hormonal changes, people around me, my shortcomings and my lack of perception in a given situation. I simply accepted that I do make mistakes.  The best thing though is I learned from most of them.  It was just too late to rectify the others.   The outcome nevertheless from those experiences is a better perception and discernment of things. Accepting that making mistakes is a part of life and that it can be harnessed as a learning tool made me a happier person.  I am no longer paranoid or deceptive in my decisions. As I started to improve my decision-making skills and got better at it, I now have a sort of sixth-sense that warns me when I know I might be making a bad decision or turning a bad situation into something worse.  It’s like a tingling sensation when Spiderman gets if something bad is about to hit him.

I am a semi seasoned-veteran of war of battling my way in life. Like any soldier, I have learned that bombs can either maim or kill altogether, and that exposing myself out in the open will get me hit by a sniper.  Also, leaving my navigation tools will definitely get me into a lot of trouble. Like Snake in the game Metal Gear Solid, I am learning stealth techniques, skills in combat, and I’m sticking to my mission of finishing this game. In real life, I am equipping myself with hope, joy, faith and the greatest of all Love.

Finally at the very end I can say :

 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."  (2 Tim 4:7)

 

 

Erasing Mistakes

The other day, I was helping Little Miss Pink with her homework.  Only after she answers it first do I give her my inputs and let her do the necessary corrections.  It so happened that this time, she made a few mistakes and I taught her how to correct it.  Since she’s only in kindergarten and using pencils, it’s easy for her to erase her answers and write the necessary corrections. 

On this occasion, she wrote hard on the paper using her Number 2 pencil and was erasing away such that the paper was starting to thin.  Before rubbing a hole, she stopped, satisfied that all remnants of the previous answer were gone and started to write the correct answer.

This reminds me of life and how often we make mistakes both small and great.  Some mistakes we can easily rectify or at least minimize the damage it may cause us or others, but some are just too damaging that there are some of us walking wounded as we go through our daily routine.

Yes, we live with the consequences of our bad decisions and actions, but we do not have to walk in defeat with head bowed down and hands in our pockets.  The way I see it, accept your failures for what they are, try to make amends where necessary, and then move on.

I remember Christian and Hopeful in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress when they were crossing the River of Death:

"They then addressed themselves to the water; and entering, CHRISTIAN began to sink. And crying out to his good friend, HOPEFUL, he said, ‘I sink in deep waters, the billows go over my head; all his waves go over me.’"

"Then said the other, ‘Be of good cheer, my brother; I feel the bottom, and it is good.’"

March 17, 2011 Posted by | Family, Little Miss Pink, Mr. Red, Mrs. Blue | , | Leave a comment

Love Thy Parents

Mrs. Blue

 

When I was younger I hated it when my father never seemed to have the time to spend with me.  My dad was the culprit whenever he made excuses of not making it on my birthday, my presentations at school and even my graduation.  I hated that I missed him on regular days; it was worse when he wasn’t there on occasions that I needed him.  He broke my heart again and again.

Now that I am a parent going through the same motions my father went through during his corporate years, I am anxious of my managed time I spend with my children.  I am so tired that I barely have enough quality time to play with Ms. Pink. I spend as much time with her on regular days and make sure I share those special occasions with her. And now I understand in a way how my dad was whenever he wasn’t able to be there. The deadlines are harsh and the need to do all the work is so overwhelming at times.  I am appealing to the children right now regardless of whether they’re six or thirty six and bitterly missing a parent.  Try not to hate your parent. There is no justifiable reason for them not to be there and yes not even their work should ever be an excuse.  But I’ll tell you a secret that I wish I knew when I was crying and hating my dad.  Your Mom or Dad is trying their best to work things out and hurrying up those deadlines because they want to be with you.  Every parent’s priority is keeping their children safe, healthy and happy.  Making sure you have the best education, enjoy traveling, sometimes even extra things that you demand.  All these things mean more time is spent at their jobs than with children.  It is difficult to manage things but I encourage parents that it is possible.

Now that I know better, I wish I spent the time laughing with my dad than arguing with him when he did manage to take a day off just to be with me.  To really talk with him, share and open up when he did get home and have dinner with me and my mom.  If I was given a chance to be with my dad again, I think I will just hug him tightly. Now, I miss him so much; but I don’t have the chance to tell him that I finally understand him.

To the children who still have parents. Whenever they are around, show them how much you appreciate them because they’re giving their best to make you comfortable, providing your needs and wants.  Be obedient at all times.  They only have the best intentions for you.  On moments when they are absent, always consider they are missing you and thinking about you all the time.  Whatever the circumstance, keep in touch and keep good relations with them.  Kiss your mom and dad; your hugs and kisses are our ultimate joy. And yes, no matter how old you are, we will always see you as our baby.

February 11, 2011 Posted by | Family, Mrs. Blue | , , | Leave a comment

Love Thy Partner

Mrs. Blue

 

Since this is a blog about partnership then I would like to start it with loving your better half. Here’s a famous sample vow: I, (name), take you, (name), to be my [opt: lawfully wedded] (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

Some of you may have used this actual vow or made your own and however it was I am sure it meant so much between the two of you at your wedding day and I hope until this day. As the years go by I am hoping that you are as excited to hurry home and spend time with your spouse and family.

Talking with my spouse is one of the joyful benefits I share in our marriage. Going through the daily grind in life, it is comforting at the end of the day to talk with my husband. The conversations range from silly babbling to serious decisions or concerns, and mostly about the funny escapades of little Ms. Pink. Whether I am excited to share some great news or releasing my stress I am secure that he is always there to listen. I tell him everything, his opinion matters so much to me; he eases out my insecurities and understands my fears. Our decisions are a process of talking things through, weighing and sharing our responsibility together.

It touches a nerve whenever I hear – “I’m still talking to my wife even when she has passed away”. I don’t even want to think that either one of us would die soon but the line resonates how much a couple feels about each other. Marriage is sharing everything, going through everything together and I think that is what God says “and the two shall become one flesh” Mark 10:8a

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Family, Married Life, Mrs. Blue, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Love Love Love

Mrs. Blue

 

Introduction

Since it is the month of love I want to write a series of blogs regarding – LOVE. To start off I would like to lift a famous verse from the bible:

“Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous, love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13)

Love comes in different forms, with people, in relationships, under circumstances, spanned time, continents, even imaginations and history. We have cheered, condemned, laughed, gossiped, cried, and intrigued about love. Much has been written in fiction or in real life. In fact some stories don’t seem to be complete until the love element is included within the plot. At the beginning of time it was the love of a creator that fashioned us into the same being. The love of the first man to his wife that gave the first scandalous plot with a fruit mixed into it. At the end of it all, it is still that same perfect love that will save us. Wouldn’t you agree then that LOVE does make the world go round?

hearts2

February 5, 2011 Posted by | Mrs. Blue | , | Leave a comment

Having fun with games

Mrs. Blue

 

Games

One of my favorite pastimes is playing games, whether it’s on a game console, online gaming on the laptop, games on FB and even on the phone. Technological advances have given us gamers a variety of great choices.  There is a wide selection of games and you can even pick and choose how to play certain games.  The war of game consoles to give high definition quality, larger disk or memory capacity, cutting edge effects, louder and crisper sound effects and music, dramatic and bigger explosions, touchscreen capability, skins, etc. keep pushing the gaming industry forward.  They’re even developing technology that lets the person be the controller, if not the console itself.  Coming from playing that ping pong game on a DOS system with a green background to a very accurate first shooter sniper game – gamers have truly come a long way.

There are also different genres of games – sports, shooting, driving, fighting, combat, and my favorite: RPG – horror RPGs to be accurate.  Nothing excites me more than playing at the wee hours of the morning when I plug in the headphones, sit in the darkness with only the eerie light coming from the screen and feeling the  controller slowly vibrating as unspeakable terrors unfold right before my eyes. It’s like reading a really good, scary novel or watching a movie – but the best part is: I am part of the story.

Modern video games allow such a range of possibilities – driving recklessly in a dream sports car 160 mph with amped music, choosing to become your fave hero and save the world again and again, travelling the world as an adventurer seeking hordes of treasures, being a farmer and watching your plants grow, dancing yourself silly to the latest hip music, dodging bullets and rockets as an agent out to destroy any government you target, exploring the universe with your alien friends, commanding thousands as a Roman emperor or general set on conquering continents, being a chef, a thug, a dinosaur even a plant fighting zombies – play it by yourself or with a team.  The prospects are endless enough it can last a lifetime.

Yet like any other pastime – it’s a form of relaxation, a stress reliever.  But to be honest, when the game is new, it’s so exciting that I forget the time and I get so engrossed with everything in the game. Exciting as it is to escape into those worlds, I put the game down to play tea with my Miss Pink or share a meal or watch DVD with my family, talk nonsense with my husband, go on a tickling spree with Ms. P or simply go out and take pictures of an amazing sunset. The point is: games will undoubtedly be improved in ways I can’t even imagine, yet life still takes my breath away with simple yet important things – better than any game played or invented.

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Games, Mrs. Blue, Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Little Miss Pink

Mrs. Blue

 

Little Ms. Pink

I mentioned earlier that we have a little daughter.  We have decided to call her Ms. Pink or simply Ms. P – she is thrilled with the nick.  Since the blog is also a testimony of our life ,it is expected that Ms. P would be an integral part of the blog.

Current ambition – Chef

Difficult subject – Filipino

Challenging feat at the moment – saying words with ‘th’ since she lost all four front teeth

Favorite game: Spongebob (TV show also)

Your world is a hue of pastels in gold and pink and lavender blue
Your eyes are deep innocence
Your kisses the lightest of a butterfly’s wings
Your laughter the chimes of cherubs
Your cry as fresh as the new sunshine

We love you so much it feels like our hearts will break
You believe in magic but you are the magic
In your world of pastel hues of gold and pink and lavender blue
We are lost as we enter anew

 

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Little Miss Pink, Married Life, Mrs. Blue | | Leave a comment

Poisons and Passions

Mrs. Blue

Mr. Red


What’s your poison?

I know this topic is going to be a challenge for Mr. Red since he has no known poison. Out of curiosity I would like to know if he would write a mirror post on this. We have agreed when we started this blog that we would blog side by side on some topics but on some other interests we can blog it individually – like I don’t know he might want to blog briefs or boxers and I can blog about menstrual cramps. But at the main blogs we agreed to give a point of view on each side.

Like I said, he has no vices at all. He doesn’t drink, smoke, doesn’t do drugs and does not even like beer. We are totally on opposite poles on this.  I on the other hand had done or tasted all of the above and liked doing it at that time.  I never hid it from him but when we got together, I promised that I wouldn’t do any of those vices from then on. A little beer he allows or some wine and it’s understandable. I was curious at first at how square one could get; but, like he simply put it – it’s not that he was pressured into not doing it. For him it just wasn’t fun.

Which brings me back to my question – what is your poison?


My passions are my poisons.

Mrs. Blue is right.  I never was predisposed to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.  For the life of me I honestly don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because I disliked seeing people act when they’re drunk, coughing while smoking, or not being in control of their speech or actions when they’re high.

Instead of indulging myself with the mentioned vices, I enjoy myself with my passions.  Which is probably a good advice to those who are suffering from alcoholism, smoking and drug addiction.  I enjoy playing chess, playing with my guitar, and spending hours on video games.

Ahhh, but looking at what I have just typed, it seems that overindulging in my passions could lead to a form of addiction itself.  I think that’s why the Apostle Paul said that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.  Overindulging in one’s passions can lead to an unbalanced life, much like indulging in the aforementioned vices.

Which brings me to my last passion – girls.  But with Mrs. Blue around, (and I’m not sure if this is grammatically correct), she is all the women I need.

January 6, 2011 Posted by | Married Life, Mr. Red, Mrs. Blue | , , | Leave a comment

Modern Families

Mrs. Blue

Mr. Red


 

Changing roles in fast times

Most have grown up or have been led to think that a family consists of a dad, mom and kids. At the start of the day mom cooks breakfast, everybody sits down, then kids and the dad troop out to go to school and office.  Mom gives everyone a kiss, rosy cheeks and all.  I’ve got nothing against this norm; in fact, it’s what everybody’s been patterning their family into.  In our case, it isn’t ‘normal’ at all given that scenario.  I go to work, as in wake up and do the whole 9-hour shift and at very odd hours; so you can throw the cheeky breakfast out too.  My dear Mr. Red takes care of the kid, does the household chores, runs the errands but plays the PS3 instead of watching soap operas.  Mr. R gets projects via work at home jobs until he gets a steady employer.  It’s been the set up ever since our little girl came; not that we planned it.  Just like everything else we were thrown into it.

I know of some other families with different arrangements – kids staying with second of kin, single parents, mixed marriages, interracial, long distance family relationships, extended families, etc.  Yet we cope as a basic unit.  It’s still family and in the end it’s our home.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a dozen or just a tandem – you will find your heart with family.  It is true when they say that you get to choose your friends but not your family; I believe there is a good reason for that.  In the sum of things, who you are – whether you would admit to it or not, the most influential people is your kin.  It is your first intimate encounter with relationships.  With that, I am hoping to find you in a “normal” relationship with your own family.

 


 

Families – at home, at work and online

As Mrs. Blue has intimated, the structure of the modern family is far more complicated today than the traditional model.

Families who own and operate their own businesses are not rare.  Since the dawn of time, fathers have been known to pass down to their sons and daughters their skills and trade.  But since the advent of the industrial age all the way to our modern informational, digital age, there have been great changes.  Sure, there are still those who want to pass on their skills and trades to their children; like doctors encouraging their daughters to become doctors themselves; lawyer parents trying to inspire a son to become a well-known and well-respected lawyer, etc.  There are also those who own good businesses that have survived through the generations and will undoubtedly continue to do so.

But what I find very interesting is a family working as employees for one company.  I’ve heard that there is a family, composed of a father, mother, sons and daughters who work for this one particular corporation.  Wow!  Imagine seeing them happily eating their lunch at the cafeteria!  It’s just a wonderful to know that family unity and love can be seen at the workplace.

The internet and social media sites also have changed the way family members interact with each other.  It’s just magnificent to see a mother commenting on a daughter’s picture from Brazil, a son’s video from Japan, all posted on Facebook.  They’re not together, and yet not really apart.

Families.  There indeed have been changes through the years, yet the love within stays the same.

 

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Married Life, Mr. Red, Mrs. Blue | , | Leave a comment

My Online Emotional Affair–How We Survived It

Mrs. Blue

 

How it Started

The online EA started when I was playing this game via FB. It was a team game and I was getting to be good friends with a particular group. It was still a healthy game when I was chatting and just playing. To get help with it, I picked someone from the group that was good at that game – and he was a guy. At first, it was just sort of a mentoring kind of relationship to get my game better. Eventually we were spending more time with each other than with the group. Then it became personal when we started sharing details about our own lives. I was spending more and more time with this person. I was looking forward to our time together and before I knew it, we weren’t just saying good night politely but it started with a heart emoticon. Next thing I knew we were blowing kisses at one another and the emotional floodgates opened and it became an online emotional affair.

The Confrontation

When I was first confronted by my partner I was clueless as to where he was coming from. I adamantly maintained my innocence. I was thinking he was joking about the whole thing. I was thinking even when my “friendship” with this other guy was going on, my marriage was still great. We were still having great sex and still very much affectionate with one another. In the next weeks that i would go online and my husband would ask about the other guy online I would get so annoyed and we started to fight about it. I claimed it wasn’t for real. For me at that time it was just a person who I was flirting and enjoying playing games with. We were now arguing every time I got online and I saw that he was getting devastated by what I was doing. I started to feel guilty and bad because my “real” relationship was going bad over my fake one. I felt resentful also for my husband not being to understand that it was harmless; yet I felt that I craved talking to this other person. Whenever I went online then, he would leave. He couldn’t stand being in the same room. He said he couldn’t take me screwing with another person while he was in the same room. I was still making excuses. I was now telling my online partner about my problems at work and he was so supportive. I never brought home my problems from work because I did not want to stress my husband about it.

The Last Straw

One day my husband finally laid it down on me hard. He gave a detailed rundown on why it was hurting him and he begged me to end my affair and get back to him; to how in love we were with each other. He made me choose between him and the other guy.
It wasn’t so hard to choose for me. I really love my husband but it was really hard ending the affair. I realized how hurt my husband was and I knew that I had to end the affair. It was hard because I was so dependent on the other guy. I needed to tell him my problems, I needed to feel him caring for me, I needed him listening to me and him talking to me. I realized then it was an affair because our feelings for one another was so real. When you start thinking about being together with him physically, then your real marriage is in trouble. We were even starting to have “plans.”

The Way Out

The first step I believe is the confrontation and making your wife realize how hurt you are and how much it is destroying your marriage. The second is, you have to make her realize she has to choose. As long as I thought my husband could take it – I wouldn’t have stopped. The third and most important part is her support from you. My husband didn’t push me, instead he supported me – he prodded and listened to the things I needed and enjoyed with this other man. When he knew I was talking about my problems – he wanted to know them and help me with my problems at work. He was more gentle and patient and attentive to my every need. The less dependent i was of the other man, the more I became convinced that it wasn’t fair to any of us. The thing I also appreciated much from my husband was he still trusted me even when i had already betrayed him and that he never involved anyone else with our problem. I know if he involved any other of our friends or relatives I would have reacted differently – more defensive and it would be harder to resolve the conflict. He was just patient and waiting and was there all the time. At times when I felt he wanted to fight with me he courted me instead. I felt so guilty, my husband didn’t need to do this but he won me back by proving he loved me that much and our marriage was worth fighting for. The communication was also constant – it’s also essential because my husband did not only know things but we both realized what was lacking in our marriage. Don’t stop talking even when you’re both emotional and confrontational because at least things will get exposed. Then after patiently waiting he asked when I was going to end it – we pegged a specific date and planned how to end it.

In our case since my online guy was also jealous and suspicious, we had to be careful. We decided to close my FB account without him detecting anything. We started telling all my friends that I was deleting my account and opening a better one. We started migrating “chosen friends” – we made sure we did not include friends that knew the other guy. When the day came I went online like any other day and when we said goodbye we deleted my account.

A Stronger Union

Up to this day I never went back. i still think about it but my husband is all I need. I had cut all communication with him and ended it. Today our marriage is a stronger and we learned a lot from that experience that improved our relationship for the better.

(To view an earlier related post by me and my husband, click here.)

(In keeping with the spirit of Keeping The Gloves On, I kept the gloves on. – Mr. Red)

January 3, 2011 Posted by | Married Life, Mrs. Blue | , , , , , | Leave a comment