Saturday, August 23, 2014

Her Husband Had Bought Her a Hearse?

It was time to buy a new car for their growing family.  They tried to shop around but could not find the one that they could afford. After a month or so, when the husband could no longer ignore the struggle and pain, watching his wife putting all five kids in their small, old car, he decided not to come home that day until he found one. That afternoon he came home with his news; he finally had found a car for her.  She was so excited when she learned the news.  She immediately left the clean dishes that she was trying to dry on the counter. " Awesome! I want to see it!"  She would not have to deal with her kids trying to squish themselves into their small car anymore, and no more whining and complaining  about not be able to move a muscle or breathe.  She was smiling with excitement and anticipation to see her new car.  When she went outside and finally saw it, the expression of her face changed dramatically; the joy and excitement in those beautiful blue eyes suddenly disappeared to be replaced by horror and shock as she stared at the car. This could not be! Her hands shook, and she had to blink twice to make sure it was what she  thought it was.

She could not speak for a minute and was so terrified to hear confirmation from her husband. When she finally recovered and found her voice, she turned around to face him. "Is this our new car?" she asked holding her breath. He nodded his head proudly.  It was a great bargain! he exclaimed, beaming from ear to ear. "Is it a  hearse?" she questioned.  He nodded his head again. Her husband of ten years just stood in front of her looking determined and pleased with his accomplishment.  "Yes sweetheart, it was on SALE and it is perfect for the family.  The car has enough space to accommodate everybody," he said gently, his eyes were pleading for her understanding. He took her into her arms.  "You will get used to it; it is not that bad.  It really was a great buy."  Her body was tense, and she felt like crying and screaming with disappointment.  Why on earth did he buy a hearse! She reluctantly looked up at her husband's eyes and tried her hardest to understand his reason. She knew that he had a good sense of humor.  That is one of the things that she loved about him, but he had gone too far this time. This was not funny anymore!  But this was the man who worked so hard for their family, the man she trusted with her life, adored and loved with all of her heart; he  had bought the hearse because it was the only car that he could afford. He wanted to make things easier for the kids and for her. He did not care what other people thought about their transportation.  He cared about the comfort of his kids and his wife.  Her eyes softened, and she relaxed and rested her cheek against his shoulder and  smiled sadly, "Whatever you say, but I do not want to park this ugly thing in front of our house ever."  He nodded his head in agreement.  So they parked that dear thing in the garage and tried to keep it from the public eye until one day... a family came knocking at her door and asked for a ride to  the airport because their car had broken down in the middle of the road and they had a flight to catch.  She  asked nicely if they could find someone to take them instead.  The family said no and they did not have time to ask other people or they would be late. She led them to the garage where she parked the hearse.  She did not bother looking at them to see the expression on their faces.  She had to tell them that it was indeed the car that would take them to the airport.  The family reluctantly climbed in the car.  The looks on their faces were so comical, but she could not bring herself to smile.  It had been over a year since she had the car, and she drove it every week day to take the kids to school. She never heard any of the kids complaining about space anymore and climbing in the car was no longer a battle; in fact, everyone seemed to be happy,  but she still could not get over the fact that her car was a hearse.  She drove silently to the airport. When they reached there, she asked them to get out of the car quickly to spare the family embarrassment from the people at the airport.  That they did, immediately, instantly, right away! Whew! She gave them a smile and sped back home to hide the hearse in the garage. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mom Kuhns

We try to travel every summer to visit friends and family; however,  this year, hubby decided to travel to Ohio in the spring instead of summer which we normally do.  He also planned for us to visit the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee after a couple days in Ohio. This year is extra special because I will be seeing my best friend Jojit  in Ohio for the first time since she came to the United States over a year ago.  I was not able to attend her wedding day because of my school schedule, so to see her again was pure excitement. She and her husband John are coming with us to Tennessee too, so we have plenty of time together. At that time I was emotionally a wreck.  I felt physically sick which I believe reflected how I felt inside, depressed and frustrated.  I am just so blessed with my husband who knows my needs and somehow knows how to meet them  by taking me to the shopping mall and trying to listen to my complaints. I am not that always bad when I feel frustrated, I have my moments too like normal people (boy, am I so defensive!)  My husband is super nice to me even if I act like a brat sometimes, but he does not seem to mind it(bless his heart).  In any case,  I needed to get away, and I needed to see my best friend.

 This was taken in Dollywood, Tennessee.  We love the place and we are planning to visit there again next year.

 My best friend and me

It was almost six o'clock when we got to their place.  I immediately jumped out of the car and ran to their entrance door where she was waiting for our arrival.  Jojit and I were screaming, hugging and jumping! Nothing changed.  We are still the best of friends.  Instead of pouring  out my misery to  Jojit, I found myself laughing and just having my best of times with her.  Her presence comforted me a lot, but it was not until one afternoon when we visited Mom Kuhns( Jojit's mom-in-law), and she shared with us her life back in the past that I felt encouraged and comforted. Her stories opened my heart. The positive attitude that she had shown in different circumstances captured my attention.   Yes, her stories were funny; in fact,  I could not stop laughing while listening to her.  I have not laughed that hard for years, and it felt good.  Her stories were entertaining, but that was not all; I also learned something.  I realized that she had a positive attitude that I lack.  She had that openness, that trust and self-denial that I lack.  I started to see things differently through her.  I left Mom's place a changed person.  I felt good and awesome! In case you are wondering what this drama is all about, I withdrew  from the nursing class because I was failing. THERE! I said it.  Some people may have trouble understanding my disappointment and frustration. You are not alone.  I too do not understand why whenever the EAGLES football team loses against the Cowboys my husband looks so SAD and somehow very frustrated. We may have different frustrations in life, but the bottom line is how we handle them. My husband handles Eagle losses by talking to his son about the game over the phone, rolling his eyes up and says, "ayayay!"  I handled mine with lots of crying and complaining.  I want to change that, which is not easy, but I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I want to have that positive attitude that Mom Kuhns had and trust the Lord even if I feel confused and at a loss when I do not see lights at the end of the tunnel. I decided to  try to go back in the spring to tackle the class.  I am learning to not ever give up on my dreams and not to whine when things do not go as planned.    

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Get-Together with the Landis Family

 This is Mrs. Landis, Jonathan's mom.  She is pretty and a very sweet lady.

 The children were  awesome! Jonathan kept them happy by playing baseball with them and giving them rides on the wagon. They had a blast!  My son Matthew asked us if we could move to Pennsylvania so he could play baseball with them again.

My sister Vine and Karen Benner are pictured here. Karen has always been a blessing to me in so many ways.  She has five wonderful kids and a big house to take care of, but she  always looks so beautiful. She is a wonderful mom and just the sweetest wife.  I have never seen her lose her poise and confidence. She is simply amazing. 

One of the highlights this summer was the get together with the Landis family.  Our family and my sister Vine and her family from South Carolina drove up to meet  the Landis family in Pennsylvania.  Jonathan had planned and arranged this get together for a while, and it finally became a reality.  Jonathan, by the way, is my sister Leah's fiance.   When we first met Jonathan two years  ago at a Thanksgiving dinner at Karen's place, hubby and I were so interested to know if he was single.  Just so you know, Jonathan is  Karen's sister and Karen  happens to be the wife of my husband's nephew. This is kind of a "merry go round" thing.  In any case, for so long we have been praying for Leah's husband, so we tried to seek one for her. Not an easy task!  We wanted to see Leah married to not just any Christian man, but a godly one who would accept and love her unconditionally.  Back to that Thanksgiving evening, I noticed that Jonathan enjoyed playing with his nieces and nephews.  For some reason, I thought about Steven, Leah's five-year-old son back in the Philippines, who did not have a daddy to enjoy and play with; I felt a pang of emptiness and sadness inside my heart for Steven.  As I looked at this six foot, good looking man playing with the kids, my heart cried to the Lord to give my sister a man like him, yes, just like Jonathan. The question was, would he even entertain the idea of meeting someone not of his own culture and from a far away land, actually from halfway across the world.  I realized that it was a long shot! My heart sank a bit. When hubby and I drove back to our hotel that night, we talked about Jonathan, and when he suggested he call Gladys, his sister, to make some inquiries about  Jonathan, I became ecstatic. I noticed Gladys and Jonathan seemed to be close Thanksgiving night.  Talking to Karen about her brother was out of question; we were not that bold. :) Hubby had to remind me over and over NOT to get my hopes up because we did not know anything about him yet.  We found out from Gladys that he was single. HALLELUJAH! It was spring of the following year when we gave the pictures of Leah to Gladys.  We asked her if she would give them to Jonathan.  Gladys said that she would give them to Karen and let Karen give them to her brother Jonathan.  Finally, one day Jonathan's dad and one of his brothers drove him to the international airport to fly to the Philippines to meet Leah while at the same time in Valencia, Philippines, my father dropped my sister Leah at the bus station to head to Cebu to  meet Jonathan.  Here are some of the pictures of them:

I do not know about that figurine fish that Jonathan was holding, but I know that they look very happy to have finally met each other.

They look in love! This shot was taken at my parents' farm in Mabuhay. Jonathan shared God's word in Papa's church there.  My papa was so taken with Jon, and he treats him like his own and is so proud of him.

They got engaged. 

They look wonderful together.  I hope that the Lord will continue to bless them everyday and become a blessing to their family and the people around them. Oh, and the get-together, it was so awesome! I love the Landis family. They are a wonderful family, and I feel so blessed that my sister has a great family here in the United States. 

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