Why We Have a Large Family

If I hadn’t known about my dad, his siblings, and their parents, then I probably wouldn’t have even considered reading this in the first place. Such wonders, indeed. 😀

joy of nine9

Even though my large family has faced hard times and even suffered, I could not imagine life without every one of my kids in my life.

I did not plan on having a large family; I had never even held a baby before our firstborn. I had moved east with Michael after our first baby was born which cut me off from daily contact with friends and family.

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Although I enjoyed living in the country, raising our own vegetables and later even all our own meat, it was an isolated existence. I felt like Ruth in a foreign land but without family support because Michael’s mother was busy with a huge extended family. In addition, my husband struggled with depression. Worldly opinion screamed we should not have any more children.

The question we had struggled with for years was,“How could we remain faithful to Church teaching when Natural…

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Lola’s Additions

On another Monday, a usually no-class day in which I would be available to pick up my youngest brother from school some barangays across my family’s house in the morning while my mother was out doing consultancy work and such, I was sluggishly preparing myself for that aforementioned task yet again.

Sure, I can go say “Mondays are horrible and are the worst day of the week for every person ever,” but then again, I had been up way late the night before that Monday, also sluggishly processing how the rest of my life would go, all while the majority of my mind was preparing its amateur promotional activities for my comeback as Tobby Who Tries to Sing.

And hey, it should be noted that those activities, along with all my activities as Tobby, are currently extracurricular. Not like losing sleep as a professional would be healthy, though.

Anyway, with me building and wrapping that chain of sluggishness around myself in my complex relationship with idolization, that Monday morning then had me staring at the monitor of my computer and doing extracurricular activities some more for seemingly short but actually long periods of time. Prayer ended up feeling more like a useless thing to do, especially when I and my rushing habits wanted me to pray the Rosary right when the clock was ticking for me to get to my youngest brother’s school already.

So yes, resisting further indulgence in digging through the highlights of the historical-to-the-world yet extracurricular-in-my-schedule performance of the Bulletproof Boy Scouts in the American Music Awards during that Monday morning, I managed to get myself bathed and dressed up for the task I had to embark on, along with swallowing my bitter pride and deciding to just discreetly use my Rosary beads while on a jeepney ride that will certainly be taking more than fifteen minutes because of expected traffic.

But before that, my dear maternal grandma asked me to buy squash at the supermarket, squash to mix in with the pork to cook for the next mealtime.

Also, before that request, she asked me to buy Cornettos as snacks for when I and my youngest brother got home as well.

It should also be noted that my rushing habits combined with my chain of sluggishness still aren’t totally dead yet, so yes, the pile-up quickly had me groaning when Grandma asked me to buy squash.

She then took back that request for squash from the supermarket, just letting me remember as far as the Cornettos while I focused on the urgent task of picking up my youngest brother from school. She didn’t shout at me when she took it back, though. To be more specific, the speed of her speech went up when she did the takeback.

Once I went out of the house and walked and commuted my way to my youngest brother, though, I guess my focus on the task at hand upped my focus on other more important things…things like what I should be doing once I really go out and be a young professional and more in the future.

I do feel thankful for Grandma understanding that my head was feeling piled-up already back there before I left the house, but then I thought of the inevitability of dealing with people who would also deal important tasks for me to do but won’t be as lenient as Grandma usually was to me. She also didn’t know that I was like that because of my own actions as well, actions she’d certainly fuss over.

I want to be a good citizen, a good family member…but how can I do that if I don’t put effort into serving other people? How can I do that if I don’t put effort into making sure that I would be fit enough to serve other people?

And certainly, I would need to stop doing certain things I’ve been quite into. I’d certainly need to spend less time reading fanfiction. I’d certainly need to admit that uploading Tobby works online takes chunks of time that are bigger than I think. And I’d certainly need to admit that I’ve been slipping up with this, stuffing thoughts about this reflection series in between my thoughts about the task of picking up my youngest brother and other important tasks I also want to finish in a flash.

And so, because of all those struggles, because of all those chores and errands being pushed to me, the most convenient and the most proper option my elders could find at the moment…well, I think I should be thankful for all that, especially to God.

Still, I have a long way to go.

Case in point: Grandma still packs the clothes I bring to my boarding house.

So yeah, God Almighty keep on helping us all.

And to my dear Grandma, whom I usually call “Mama” (while I call my mother “Mom” or “Mommy”)…Thank you very much for the inspiration. 🙂

Secrets of the Rebound Queen and the Blonde Bastard

Secrets of the Rebound Queen and the Blonde Bastard

a RWBY fanfiction by The Overlord Bear

Summary: During another one of her more frequent visits to the Xiao Long-Rose residence some years after defeating Salem, Blake Belladonna sneaks a peek on the contents of another diary which was once owned by her Beacon team leader’s mother. Her curiosity gets her discovering a little too much information, though…


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Beaming and Lighting

Once upon a Sunday Mass homily, my thoughts had an intersection of family, feminism, and religion.

See, in the middle of the priest’s homily about the importance of spreading the Word within the family, the domestic Church (the Gospel was the one with the Parable of the Weeds, though, by the way), and giving parent-oriented reminders and lessons, he also reminded us about how the father, in the Filipino language (like, the usual and mostly Tagalog-based Filipino which most Filipinos often interchangeably refer to as Tagalog nowadays), is called “haligi ng tahanan,” while the mother is called “ilaw ng tahanan.”

About those phrases, well, the one for the mother is easier to translate into English, it meaning “light of the home.” The one for the father is more complicated, as the “haligi” is, according to my understanding of my dad’s explanation when I asked him about it, a post or a column which has a foundation keeping it in place, and it’s also something which works like a cornerstone. So yeah, I guess it can be translated as “foundation post of the home,” if we were to talk about sticking it closer to what it means in the Filipino context, but I find calling it “foundation beam of the home” in English funnier, because there’s something hilariously awesome about Mom and Dad working together to become a beam of light.

Get it?

Well, whether you found that funny or not is a different story.

Anyway, in that intersection of fields of thoughts I mentioned at the start of this reflection, an intersection that was triggered by the priest’s reminder about those titles for the parents in the Filipino context, I realized how presumptuous we’ve been with thinking that there should be one parent who has an inherent overall upper hand over the other…especially when it would be foolish to try looking at a construction post or beam like it can be a ball of light, or a ball of light like it can be construction post or beam.

Like, really, can any of them work well without them working together as well? Looking at it in the more earthly sense and also in accordance with those titles I mentioned, a house built with strong foundations but with weak or no light is a place where its residents would stumble around a lot when the darkness comes. A light that burns brightly yet has a weakly founded or an uncovered house is something that can get snuffed out way more easily, still causing big trouble for the residents.

With that sort of thought, I laughed with glee as I realized how such can be worthwhile stuff in reflections that I’d like to share to others. But of course, the sharing is another thing, so do remember to give honest constructive feedback on how I’m doing that as well, okay?

Anyway, I also realized how my parents were still living by those titles which the priest reminded about. Along with that, I’ve begun more firmly feeling like there’s no reason for me to be worrying so much about how my parents’ dynamics should work in our family.

Like, hey, Mom and Dad are two different people, sure. There are things that Mom is better at, and there are things that Dad is better at. For example, Mom’s better at working with English, something that Dad has a hard time learning about, while Dad’s better at processing current social events, something which Mom isn’t as good at, as far as I’ve observed.

But hey, it should be remembered: Their differences don’t make them unequal overall! Whatever inequality they may seem to have…well, I guess that’s the darkness of our hearts messing up our vision. For example, I had times when I thought that Mom was a worse parent than Dad because of her fiery attitude, an attitude I had a very hard time taking, especially when she got stressed, while Dad seemed cooler, because, well…he had a cool way of listening and talking when I talked to him about my problems. I guess I became more of a wimp back then because of that mindset as well.

As time passed, though, I realized how they were always on the same boat in terms of being different but equal in terms of overall value. They have their strengths, and they have their weaknesses, but put Mom’s set and Dad’s set on the scales, and you’d find that they weigh the same, even though they’re composed of different stuff overall.

And with those differences, each of them are meant for certain things. We just haven’t tried hard enough to find out what they can really do in their respective elements if we think that such a setup is foolish. Like, for example, put Mom’s fiery attitude and Dad’s cool attitude, especially in synergizing tandem, and we get some equilibrium, yo~

And hey, I think that Mom and Dad understand that, considering how our family’s been doing lately. Me, well, I’ve been pretty much a worrywart the whole time with that, empathizing a little too much with people who aren’t as fortunate as I am in terms of family, feminism, and all that. Sure, it sucks to know of men who look down on the potential of women and vice-versa, but I don’t think it would ever justify me making my soul rot and making things worse.

Also: Do not underestimate housewives. I repeat: Do not underestimate housewives.

See, my mother, who’s pretty much a housewife now, considering how she left her regular job (though she’s currently working as a consultant), has to deal with not only her husband, but also us four kids, with two of said four being special kids as well, if you get what I mean. And lately, I’ve begun to realize how awesome she has been because of her great efforts for the family and how she still keeps on caring for us despite our faults and weaknesses. She left her regular job at a certain well-known company for the sake of watching over the family better, and because of that, she’s now able to do things like watching over my youngest sibling some more, the one who needs a lot of parental supervision because of his special needs. And although she took up work as a consultant, said work doesn’t really eat up as much in terms of her time for the family.

Also, I think I should stop wrapping my head around my extracurricular activities too much to feel the good changes with Mom being a housewife some more, hahaha…

So yeah, to all you husbands and kids and everyone else who thinks that being a housewife is a stupid and demeaning job: Do not underestimate housewives. They may not work like most men do, and the darkness of our hearts may have made their work seem like a mark of ignorance, but with the responsibilities that they have and the effort that they have to put, their work does not make them unimportant, let alone useless or inherently weaker.

Along with that, think about household chores some more, especially while you’re doing them, please. You’ll understand what I mean much better by doing that as well.

And speaking of housewives, I once wrote a story with such a woman as the main character for a writing prompt response…and I think a certain Roman Catholic woman from Canada, whom I met through blogging, can talk about such things better…

Now, to end this reflection, I would like to say that I’m continuing to look forward to my parents becoming better light beams, and that I’d like to become an awesome light beam combo with the awesome girl of my dreams as well. God Almighty keep on guiding us, too.

Pro-Life Motherhood: A Feminist Career Choice

I know I’ve read this before, but I don’t know why I haven’t reblogged it before! Anyway, God keep on blessing you, Mrs. Juneau, for you are among those who helped me appreciate housewives better!

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Raising children is not a default chore for women who were not successful in the world of business, power, and wealth.  However, the trend in the last few decades has been to delegate childcare to women who are often treated like second-class citizens. Society seems to dismiss and even ridicule women’s most sacred, natural role as nurturing mothers.

I fully realize most mothers have no choice but to work in our present economy. My contention is with prevailing attitudes about children, mothers and child care. From preschool, we are groomed to get ahead, surpass our peers by getting into the best universities and snatch prized careers. But success alone will not make us happy. Just take a look at the generations who have gone before us. The all-too-common mid-life crisis is a testament to the failure of a life focused on career advancement to the exclusion of family. Many women bemoan…

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The Cat Shall Nurse the Bunnies

joy of nine9

Perhaps there was a bit of heaven on earth on our hobby farm because natural enemies became friends. I like to think that the Holy Spirit flowed from our hearts into the land and swirled around, soaking into and transforming our animals’ personalities. In Isaiah, we are told a sign of the kingdom of God is when-

 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.-Isaiah 11:6

On our little farm,

The cat shall nurse the bunnies.

The goat shall weed the garden.

The horse shall dine in the kitchen.

56034A friend gave the kids a huge, white rabbit but she would leave tiny balls of poop on the floor. Unfortunately, baby Daniel crawled faster than I could sweep, so we moved the…

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Fellow Fools and God’s Mercy

These days, it seems like when a person makes a mistake, a popular response to such a thing would be to condemn that person and consider them irredeemable. And considering how much I know, I feel like such a response was popular even during ancient times, even before the Roman Catholic Church was founded. Heh, even me and my fellow Roman Catholics aren’t fully immune to being merciless towards people who make mistakes! Freaking sad, no?

Really, such mercilessness breaks my heart, even when I’m not the target.

And you know, that sort of conflict has led me towards appreciating three saints more. They’re freaking significant people in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, but their lives weren’t perfect. Still, God called them, and they answered, followed, and served well.

Perugino’s “Delivery of the Keys,” or “Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter”

Saint Peter, the First Pope…and the Apostle who had disowned Jesus thrice.

Saint Paul the Apostle…the man who was once known as Saul, one of the people who actively persecuted the Christians.

And then there’s Saint Augustine of Hippo…a man who had spent years of his life in loose and sinful living before his conversion.

Unbelievable, no? I wouldn’t be surprised if there are people who would call God an idiot after knowing about this. Such a reaction is something that I fear, but it’s not so scary when I think about my experiences and those three saints’ lives. Believe it or not, God showed mercy to them and called them to serve Him, and I’m sure that he shows mercy to us through various ways…ways that we imperfect beings don’t clearly sense all the time…

Sure, we humans aren’t perfect. That’s true, and I’m sure that God knows that everyday. He hates sin, yes, but He sees goodness in us, even though it seems like we sinners don’t deserve His mercy. That’s something that I realized as I lived and grew up. God’s mercy…that has inspired me towards being merciful to other people, even though doing that is freaking difficult at times.

So yeah, trying to follow Jesus Christ seems freaking stupid these days, and I once thought that being faithful to God was a freaking stupid thing to do. Now, I understand why Jesus went through all that suffering, and why He said “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” and kept going through that suffering, not even doing the smiting that we warmongering idiots highly expect from God Almighty.

Yes, we are idiots, and we have misunderstood God again and again. But still, we can be truly good to each other and experience true happiness, things that shouldn’t happen without God.

Unbelievable, no? 🙂

Worth Revisiting: Faith + Humour = 36 Years of Marriage

A beautiful post about a certain married couple’s beautiful relationship. 🙂

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My husband, Michael, and I have been married for 36 years, and we are happy and still in love. Surprisingly, we have become one in reality, deeply in tune with each other’s spirits even though we are still opposites in personality. Our tangible joy is inexplicable through secular eyes, because from all outward appearances our life together has been a tough journey including poverty, nine kids, overwhelming chores on a small family farm and long-term, clinical depression.

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Accessing Power in the Sacrament of Marriage

The grace available in the Sacrament of Marriage is not some esoteric theology;  it is real and it is powerful. The power available in the sacrament is what kept my husband and I together through the rough years. We both understood, beyond a doubt, that God brought us together. We never questioned this basic call from God, our vocation together, even during the dark years.

I have…

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Contraception Destroys Marital Chastity, Marriage, the family … civilization

I support the Catholic Church’s teachings regarding contraception because I have known about the bad things that occur when sex is treated like a toy, and not because “They said so.” This article led me to hating my perversion more, and I thank God very much for the help.

Littlemore Tracts

This was published today on TheCatholicThing.Org because they have a much larger readership than this poor blog. One Christian example is worth a ton of words, even those coming from a Church Synod.

Chastity: the Crucial Message of a Canonization

To my way of thinking, the single most important event that will occur during the 2015 Synod on Marriage and the Family will be one over which the participating bishops will engage in no discussion and take no votes. Indeed, I think the most inspired decision surrounding this whole Synod is to have the canonization of St. Thérèse’s parents – Zelie and Louis Martin – take place this Sunday.

The Church has always pointed to the lives of saints to teach us the great truths of our faith. In this case, the example is not only the fidelity of this…

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Sitting Down And/Or Pacing Around #6

Family. Today, that’s probably one of youths’ biggest annoyances.

Family. Dear and precious family.

Calling the family an annoyance is saddening, really. But hey, even I have called my family an annoyance before, ’cause at times, I thought that they weren’t doing right things. And almost all the time, they were teaching the right things, and my pride and other imperfections were keeping them from properly getting into me.

Family. Today, it seems like Hell to adults too.

Family. Dear and precious family.

I remember my parents mentioning that Mom started bearing me before she and Dad got married. They could have done something that’s popular these days, which is throwing my life away. But they didn’t. They let me live, and they even took care of me. I had grandparents and aunts and uncles who took care of me too. Now, I’m here, and I have three younger siblings. They’re handfuls too, just like me. I’m sure that each of us family members has once wished that we stopped being a family so that we can spare ourselves the trouble. When I start looking outside, I feel like I can face it. But the longer I look there, the quicker I turn around, because I don’t know how to properly deal with the outside world and its many larger troubles, let alone deal with them by myself.

Family. Today, it’s tearing itself apart.

Family. Dear and precious family.

I’ve noticed a lot of parents worrying about money more than their family. I’ve noticed a lot of self-righteous parents too. Government officials, terrorists, religious leaders, businesspeople, celebrities…the blame is usually put on them only…while the ones who throw the blame forget looking at themselves and their families. The family can be a source of trouble, yes. But at the same time, the family can be a source of progress. I’ve lived enough to be certain of that. All the money in the world can’t heal a broken family, and a broken family is not something that should be considered insignificant.

Family. Today, I’d probably get laughed at most of the time when I say that I want to start one.

Family. Dear and precious family.

I know that having my own family is going to be a challenge. I know that I’m still not good enough to be a boyfriend. I know that I’m still not mature enough. But I still want to be more mature. Not that “mature” which means “having a lot of fame, money, and sex” or that “mature” which means “always wearing dung-colored glasses” or even that “mature” which means “no rules and no social restraints.” The “mature” that I’m looking for is the one that means “doing true good for humanity.” A lot of people will mock me, most likely, and my pride will frequently ask me to give up, but I won’t give up. I’m not perfect, but I know that I can get help and improve. Living with my family can teach, has taught, and will teach me a lot of precious lessons, and I’ll try to show those precious lessons to all of you through my life.

Family. Praise the Lord for the family, and God Almighty help the family.

Family. Dear and precious family.

My fellow immediate family members aren’t dead yet, but right now, I feel really lonely when they’re far away from me. I know that they’ll die someday, and I guess I’ll be going through some major pain when one of them dies.

Family. Dear and precious family.

I love my family very much, so much that I feel like this post isn’t enough to show all the love that I hold for my family.

Praise the Lord, and God Almighty help us all.