In 2010, my life changed. The year began with amazing things that included traveling to the Philippines and going on a missions trip. It was also the year that my husband and I found out we were having our fourth child! It was one blessing after another and we wanted to share that blessing with others.
When we went to the Philippines, we did a missions trip to Zamabales. With the support of my husband's aunt, who is a Pastora, the community of Guagua and supporters here in the U.S. was able to fund our mission and provide over 200 bags of food (with slippers and clothes) to a Filipino tribe called the Ietas. The Ietas is a tribe in the southern part of the Philippines that lived near the mountain forest of Mount Pinatubo, a Volcano. Well, in the mid 1980s, Mount Pinatubo, erupted and when it started its eruption, the tribe had hidden their families into the caves. They felt safe and secure. Another, half, however, had followed other Filipinos outside of the forest and mountains and found safety in the areas the Filipino government governed safe. Unfortunately, the large majority of the tribe that hid in caves suffered an instant death. The ashes of the volcano trapped the tribe in the caves and everyone died. What was left remaining of the tribe was less than 100.
Visiting the tribe was an adventure. We traveled through the volcanic ashes that still laid (untouched) over a region that was once water. I had just found out I was pregnant, so traveling over this body of 'river' covered in ashes was a little risky, because no one knew what areas was true land. Can you imagine if you drove over the ashes and started to sink?!! Eeks!
We did get to meet some families along the way. There were children running around freely and the families were living in huts. It was such a beautiful, so natural, so FREE of a sight. If anything, I was a bit jealous. I want to live like that. I don't want to worry about where to get my food (I can just grow it myself or raise chickens, cows, and pigs); I don't want to worry about clothing (after all, I was born into this world naked); I don't want to worry about money (the simplest things in life is family and friends, the sun, the moon, the stars, and these things you can't buy with money); I don't want to worry about health (we are all going to die someday; it if is time, then it is time).
Seeing all this beauty made me humble. It made me realize that these people are not truly in need. They are at peace, they are content, this is their life. For me to say that they NEED help is my selfish way of saying, "I can't live that." And perhaps that is what most of us think, too. Can you live the rest of your life without electronics? How about eating eggs, veggies, and fruits that you raised and farmed yourself? There is no cell phones, no computers, no vacuum, or even a tempurpedic bed to lay your head on. Instead, you have a hammock or a mat where you can rest on a bamboo made bed underneath a hut that is held together by twine made out of coconut tree bark. Doesn't that just sound so exotic? Exotic is such a lavish term for simplicity. What makes their life so simple? I realized it's because they don't have to worry about the things we worry about here in the United States.
In the U.S, we worry about our looks, our properties, or job, our families, but do you know what intertwines our lifestyle into one? ... Money. I am a Christian woman and the bible has over 2,000 verses in regards to money. Some say that money is evil, and that it is the root of all evil - it is the LOVE of money that makes it evil. I'm not going to go off topic on this, but it is the LOVE of money. When someone LOVES money, that is all they think about. However, God never said that money is bad for you. He said that He will provide for you. Isn't that amazing that He will do that for His children?
But what if you are in debt? Well, who's fault is that? No one told us how to spend and buy things and next thing we know, we have nothing to spend and instead we owe. It's not a very nice feeling to always have to pay back something borrowed. Even worse, if you live your entire life from a young age to our senior years and not have anything or anyone to help us. If I told you that there is a way to live life peacefully, with no regrets, and enjoy having money and provide for your family in ways that God will provide your needs, and a little more, would you be interested?
Of course!? Well, my husband and I got married when I was only 19 years old and he was 21 years old. Everyone thought we were crazy. The first thing we told each other is, "We can do this." I knew there was going to be some obstacles in our way. So, we asked each other this simple question and we listened...
1. What do you want?
Have you watched THE NOTEBOOK? This was and, I still think, is one of the best love movies of all time. In the movie, when the Allie (the main female character), saw Noah (the handsome hunk) again, Noah asked Allie, "What do you want?" Well, my husband had asked me a similar question like that and of course, I chose him. I also wanted a house and a car of our own. By the time I was 25 years old, we got our house, we got our car, and our little family started to grow.
You have to know what you want. If you don't know what you want then you're not going to know how to start. Knowing what you want is setting your goals. Write down your goals and get started.
2. Have faith...
I'm not quite sure where you are with your walk in life, whether it be spiritual or not, but I know that my God has put me in situations that He knows I could handle. When walls are build around you and you feel like there's a boulder in front of you, what do you do? Well, don't stop! I like to remind myself, "If there's a will, then there's a way." I also remember this verse from Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is having hope in something you can't see." SO you have to believe that you can accomplish something and when you do, you can move mountains, "Faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains." (
Now, you can have all the faith that your hear can carry and you can hold onto as many mustard seed as you want, but I was also reminded that "Faith without works is dead." In other words, faith is present, but you have to act on that faith to make the change that you want. God is present among us and He always finds ways to open doors or create an opportunity to achieve what we ask for, but if we choose to keep that door shut or follow a different path, then our faith is not there. "Faith as small as a mustard seed," is not very big at all, but if you don't have even just an itsy bitsy bit of it, then that equates to nothing.
3. be disciplined.
When it rains outside, I just want to stay home and sleep. The rain is so calm, so peaceful, and it's just the best 'stay at home' reason ever to protect yourself from getting wet or rush through traffic to get to work or school. In California, it rains, and when it rains, it's truly like cats and dogs falling from the sky. There are accidents everywhere and it takes an extra hour just to get form point A to point B, when on a normal day, it takes 10-15 minutes to drive.
This is the same with discipline. Sometimes, situations happen in our lives that we have no control over. We can choose to sit back and observe our surroundings and just watch it pass us by, or we can get up and do what we need to do to make it happen, so that our start has an end and we can say, "I made it!"
In every situation, whether I've achieved a goal or overcame a situation, I take the moment to first thank the heavens above and praise Him for the guidance. People were placed in my life to help me, to guide me, to nurture me, and to give me hope that I can do what I need to do to make things happen. Even if it made me cry, disappointed, fearful and yet felt joy, excitement, love, and assurance along the way. There are going to be ups and downs in this moment we call LIFE. Life is not meant to be boring. If we lived in Pleasantville (a movie from 1998 with Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon), everything may seem perfect, but deep inside, there are things that we want to release and let go. In other words, everyone has a need and most of the time it is for personal reasons. So whatever has happened in your life, share you story. Let others know that they are not alone. Most importantly, I learned that I was not alone. People who heard more story or knows what my dreams and goals are always helped me through words of encouragement and support.
So this blog, this site, was created for someone like you. I want to share with you my thoughts, my prayers, my dreams and goals. And if I can show and share with you how my family has overcame the challenges we've been through, and we planned for our families' future, then I know I have done my part and helped make changes in someone else's life. We want to share the blessings and we want you to know that you can ask me anything.
Let's start with the first step... "What do you want?"
Whether it is planning for a wedding, college, protection for yourself or your family, or for retirement, the person who cares more about your financial situation is YOU! Just like visiting a doctor yearly, a dentist every 6 months, when was the last time you've seen a financial doctor? Yes, even your finances needs to be checked every year.