A Starchy Snack from my growing up years…

๐Ÿ˜žAlmost cut my fingers this morning while trying to peel off the skin of these starchy cassava tubers – or yuca as they call it here in the US, or what we simply all as ” kamoteng kahoy” in the Philippines. What an early morning struggle it was. But after it cooked – I guess it was worth it. My Ma use to serve this a lot for snacks when we were growing up. And she had so many ways to make it – most of her recipes included coconut milk and sugar, or milk and butter. And I intended to make it with coconut this morning – but the struggle was real. I think I spent about 45 minutes trying to peel off 2 tubers only, and plus the boiling time – I did not feel like I wanted to continue cooking it with coconut. But it isn’t that disappointing at all – because eating it as it is after it got softened from boiling, was just as good๐Ÿ˜‹. Enough to remind me of the woman I always looked up to for so many reasons – and her being a great and creative cook is one of them. Thank you, Motherโค๏ธ.


Beef Soup After A Short Evening Run

Tuesdays are usually the longest days for me when it comes to work schedule because I don’t leave work until our office closes. And so dinner usually is all about reheated leftovers from Monday, or a salad ๐Ÿฅ—, or baked mac and cheese, or sometimes I throw in one of those microwable burrito bowls from Costco. Anything that is quick fix. Today, however, is different. When a co-worker and I were walking out to the parking lot, we talked about how pleasant the weather is. Not hot. Not cold. Just perfect. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ And I thought I might want to run around my neighborhood when I reach home. So I decided to make my Mother’s recipe for “nilagang baka” (beef soup), or what my Spanish friends refer to as “caldo de res”. Not sure if I said or spelled that right, but the 1 and half hour simmer time gave me the opportunity to run a mile around my block, by the train tracks, and back. And as the cooler breeze folds in through the evening – a sip of this soup provides warmth and comfort just perfectly ๐Ÿ˜Œ.

Although I originally planned to grill the salmon I thawed in the fridge all day – and I did not want to refreeze it, I thought I’d just do both. A thirty minute marinade on low sodium soy sauce, honey, lotcha garlic, vinegar, and cayenne pepper – the most tender and flavorful baked salmon was perfect to go with the beef soup. And I am stepping out again right now to share a bowl and a piece to my neighbor, who, like my husband, thinks I can cook ๐Ÿ˜…. Bon appetit! ๐Ÿ˜‹โค๏ธ

Ordinary Charcoal Gray Shirt

Every morning when I am all dressed up for work, my husband has this funny habit of assimilating the color of my clothes to things. Like if I am wearing blue, he would say I look like a blueberry, or like a pink lily when I'm wearing pink, or would ask which garden of roses did I come from when I'm in red, and like a ray of sunshine with my yellow dress one rainy day, and so on and so forth. But this morning was a little bit of a challenge for him with my charcoal gray shirt. His comment was plain and simple – "Oh, no color today? It's alright, you have a beautiful smile anyway". 😉😁😜

Such a funny guy. ☺️

Still smiling through all that morning banters while driving to work, and God reminded me of Psalm 43, especially verse 4 – "…to God my exceeding joy…" We all go through those moments when there are no colors or flashes of light – and no apparent thrill to life. When our daily routine becomes so ordinary and plain. When we wear charcoal gray shirts. Thankful to realize that even in the smallest detail, and most mundane and not so colorful moments of our lives – God calls us to find our joy in Him – for He is our exceeding joy and our delight. We do not have to fall in the trap of looking for bigger things and brighter days only. He works, and is Omnipotent even in small things and ordinary charcoal gray days. Thank you, God. This, this puts the smile on my face. 😌❤️

Of chicken adobo and Hebrews

Made my Mother’s version of chicken adobo tonight for dinner – and its vinegary aroma while it simmers brought back so many memories. Amazing how the sense of smell can really evoke powerful memories. Makes me long for home. And for her. โค๏ธ

This also reminds me of some others in the Bible who were longing for home in a different way. The author of Hebrews tells about those who, instead of looking backward, were looking forward with faith for their home in heaven. Hebrews 11:14-16. It may be too far ahead of them to hope for it, but they trusted God’s faithfulness and His promises to bring them home – in heaven – with Him forever. We are all strangers and pilgrims (v. 13) in this world – and our time here on earth is only for a while. And the past, nor the present, can never compare with what is ahead of us. Just thankful tonight for the hope we have in Jesus – King and Heir of all things.๐Ÿ˜Œโค๏ธ

How Do You Say, ‘Thank You’? – A Special Tribute For Mother’s Day ๐Ÿ’

When it comes to paying tribute to Moms, especially on Mothers’ Day, I always find myself in a place of utter inadequacy in trying to find words to thank my own Mother, for all the love and sacrifices she did for me and my family. she is my closest example of Jesus in laying down His life for others. When I count my blessings, I am always in awe to realize that most of my blessings can be traced right back from her. She did not run out of ways to motivate me to become the best person that I can possibly be, and I am a stronger person because she loved me and prayed for me. She taught me what it means to be a woman of integrity and honor, and lectured many times to make decisions that will benefit not only myself, but my entire family, and people around me. 

How do you say ‘thank you’ to such beautiful soul? Words are not enough to express my gratitude for all that she’s been to me. So today, I am going to thank her by making it my everyday goal to live my life that I know will make her proud of me. ๐Ÿ˜Œโค๏ธ

“…But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.โ€ – Proverbs 31:30b

Wonder of Rain

Picture-perfect outdoor scene after the rain. And one of my favorite moments of all time – right after the rain stops ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ’š. When the colors of the earth become more scintillating and vibrantโœจ – especially the greens ๐ŸŒฑAnd the fresh, earthy ๐ŸŒsmell that comes with it.. and then a bright beam of sunlight forces its way to break through a heavy cloud ๐ŸŒฅ – and its light reflects off of the street which makes everything that your eyes can see seem to glisten โœจToo bad, my low resolution phone camera couldn’t give justice to such beauty. But thankful to God for the wonder of rain. โ›ˆ ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ’š
โ€œHe gives rain on the earth, And sends waters on the fields.โ€ – Jobโ€ฌ โ€ญ5:10โ€ฌ โ€ญNKJVโ€ฌโ€ฌ

Ephesians 6:11 on G’s New Shirtย 

Fun moment to come home to husband Gino today as he shows off his new shirt with Ephesians 6:11 print on it to me. It would’ve been nicer if he got me one too, right? ๐Ÿ™„ But it’s okay๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜Œ – it isn’t really a critical thing for me ๐Ÿ˜œ. I am just overjoyed ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿปthat my excitement and joy of studying Ephesians with my awesome friends at EBC – extends to him and finds joy in God’s word himself. โค๏ธ 

Ephesians 6:11 is Probably one of my favorite verses from our recently concluded study. From the cradle to the grave – our life here on earth is an ongoing war – not with flesh and blood – but war with supernatural evil powers (Eph 6:12). Our families, careers, relationships, even ourselves are all areas of conflict. And God made a provision for us to stand and not fall as we face these conflicts every day. This provision is the Armor of God. Ephesians 6:11. Until Jesus returns, we are called to be vigilant and keen and constantly ready by putting His full armor on. 

So thankful for such an empowering, life-changing study that I will never graduate from ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ. And Thankful as well for the lives of the women I studied it with (photo insert) they are all God’s grace and encouragement to me – and so is husband Gino. ๐Ÿ˜Œโค๏ธ

Knowing Jesus on a Rainy Weekend

โ›ˆRain did not stop since Saturday morning – and will continue to pour for the rest of the night tonight, and tomorrow too per the weather channel ๐Ÿ˜. This wet weekend caused me to stay home most of the time – which I enjoyed. And as usual, I spent a lot of time in my kitchen making soup ๐Ÿตand salad ๐Ÿฅ—, and chicken tacos ๐ŸŒฎ, and ๐Ÿค’s and baked husband G’s favorite apple pie ๐Ÿ˜ and lots of hot teas, hot chocolate and โ˜•๏ธ here and there. There is no place like home ๐Ÿก indeed. โค๏ธ

I love cheap foods so I enjoy homecooking a lot. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

But also couldn’t help feel a little sad to realize my study of Ephesians with my awesome friends at church has concluded two Wednesdays ago and won’t do another study until next Fall ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ. I will miss them and our times together. But thankful and glad that our spiritual mentor encouraged us to study Hebrews on our own – and I love that we are sharing what we are learning to each other thru texting. So thankful for this accountability with friends in the Lord. โค๏ธ

Love these women from our Wednesday Bible Study group. They are all encouragement to me.โค๏ธ

I will never graduate๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽ“ from Ephesians. Still so much to ponder on and learn to be able walk in the manner that is worthy of God’s calling and choosing of me before the foundation of the world. ๐ŸŒ But I am also loving our new study of the book of Hebrews – and I enjoy knowing Jesus in chapter one. And I love how I learned to make lists from our group study, so I listed out who Jesus is from the first chapter. Mind blowing. Love that Jesus is the heir of all things – and that even angels worship Him! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

 He is my ultimate dream – and He gives me joy and peace that no one and nothing in this temporary world could ever give. If you want to know Jesus and find joy – start with the book of John in the Bible – and your life will never be the same again. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ And you may study Hebrews with me. Happy week y’all!

Refreshing Treat from The Maker of the The Sky

๐Ÿ’ซ Ended my domesticated Saturday by hanging out on my porch, and with a treat from the Maker of the sky – way better than an earlier treat I was hoping for. The sunset rays streaming through the trees in pomegranate pink shades was refreshing and beautiful I stood and watched with unwaivering gaze…

“Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” – Psalms 36:5 

A Hymn of Love to The One Who Has Chosen Me

Everything I am and all I hope to be is, and should be rooted in God’s gracious choosing of me. My work, my hope, my faith, my family, my friends, my birthday… are results of God’s electing, amazing grace. I enjoyed this day just thinking of this truth, boasting in Him only. And today turned out to be a truly happy birthday! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ So I end this day singing hymns of love to Him who has called me and chose me before the world began. โœจ ๐Ÿ˜Œโœจ

And you are all God’s grace to me as well, and I want to thank you for all the happy birthday greetings. All of you who texted, called and left messages, and pm’d me – I hope you get to read this as well. Thank you for loving me and for rejoicing with me. It so means a lot! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ See you again next year! ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜

Lastly, thanking the Lord for husband Gino, who took me to a very early breakfast to Blueberry Hill. And I woke up to a beautiful fragrant bouquet of roses before we headed out and ran in the early morning rain. We need to buy a new umbrella ๐ŸŒ‚๐Ÿ˜‡. I laughed a lot while we were running, and forced some smiles at his not-so-funny jokes ๐Ÿ˜ณ. He is one of God’s biggest grace to me. I tear up thanking the Lord for him. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight…” – Ephesians 1:4