*FAITH, *MARRIAGE, Down Memory Lane, Relationships

MIKAtolika: What’s in a Name?

Let me start by saying that this blog (which I started a little over a decade ago) isn’t new when it comes to “change.” It has experienced several theme changes, rebranding, etc. in the past years. But what makes this “new” different from past changes is that personally, I also experienced a major change in my life.

A new chapter. A transition. A change in life season — I GOT MARRIED! 😉

Photo by Creative Juices Photography

And with it comes a mix of different preferences and priorities compared to when I was still single — including the topics I want to write about. A few months into my engagement, I already thought about the word play for the topic closest to my heart: my (Roman) Catholic faith.
[I’m particular with the “Roman” part because the Catholic Church has other members who belong to other “rites.” The Philippines, though, predominantly practices the “Roman rite” that’s why we’re called “Roman Catholics” — but there are also Byzantine Catholics, Greek Catholics, Maronite Catholics, etc. who are all in communion with Rome — and that’s for another blog post altogether!]

Anyway, I prayed about it and true enough, I was able to incorporate my nickname into it with the help of the Holy Spirit’s prompting.

“Mika” is my nickname and “Katolika” is the Filipino term (I’m from the Philippines!) for “Catholic” —

Hence, MIKAtolika! ❤

YOUR NAME IS PART OF YOUR ANOINTING

I’m maintaining this blog so I can learn more and go deeper when it comes to my own faith. I don’t claim to be an expert nor a perfect person because just like YOU, I’m an unworthy and perfectly imperfect person who is loved by a perfect God! I’m a work in progress. What I do know is I’m a cradle Catholic who used to have weak faith — “weak” in the sense that I didn’t really have a personal relationship with Jesus back then. It was only a few years back when I was “re-converted” to the true essence of my Catholic faith (thanks to my different Catholic charismatic communities — more about them in another post, too!), and I will be honest with you, it has been a daily (spiritual) battle ever since.

Even as of this writing.

But I’m always grateful for the Lord’s grace and mercy that empower me every. single. day. Part of that is His daily reminders of what my life’s mission really is, which is already present in my given names.

In one of the Jesuit-inspired silent retreats I attended, there was one passage we were required to read and I’m convinced that God revealed to me who I am through my name because my fellow retreatants read the same passage but received different messages. The passage I’m talking about is entitled “Recover the Stars” by Fr. Jojo Magadia, SJ.

There’s a line in that passage that talked about the “tiller of the soil.” Fr. Magadia wrote that tillers of the soil learn to wait on nature, which teaches them that her cycles cannot be hurried, that she ripens the harvest in her own good time, if she decides to ripen it at all. The tiller still tills the soil, nevertheless, but with “great patience and great placidity,” willing “to watch the grinding mills of God.” They have this almost “blind belief” that in the end, nature, “lush, inscrutable, irresistible—shall work her will in the end,” guided by a God who ceaselessly labors in creation.

Tillers of the soil also labor tirelessly, who plant and water and weed, but in the end can only wait on God who alone can bring new life from the earth and make it bear fruit.

Since that retreat was Jesuit-inspired, I was also made aware of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s spiritual exercises and prayers, such as the Suscipe. I’ve always known that my first name, “Mikhaela,” is the female counterpart of the Archangel Michael’s name, which means “who is like God. On the other hand, I researched my second name, “Georgette,” before and I’ve always known it means “farmer. But when I Googled it again on the same day I read the passage, I was blown away to read its other meaning: “tiller of the soil. When I found that Google search, I couldn’t help but receive God’s meaning for my life through my two combined names, “Mikhaela Georgette.” I realized that I’m a “farmer” or “tiller of the soil” “who is like God” (as in holy or made in His image). Add to that the season I was in then, and having complete trust or surrender to God (the meaning of Suscipe) made perfect sense to me.

It’s like the nature in the passage means God in my life, the cycles as my seasons (pruning, waiting, etc.)—and I’m a tiller who surrenders all to Him!

Except surrendering to God isn’t easy. You and I know that.

And surrendering to God? That’s a whole new and wide topic to write about.

Well, I’m starting with THIS. 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

TO GOD BE THE GLORY ALWAYS AND FOREVER!


Do you know your name’s meaning?
What’s your reaction to God’s call for your life through your name?

P.S.: “Mika” means “beautiful fragrance”
when used on its own. Mine’s just a nickname,
but it’s still wonderful to know the meaning behind it.

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*FAITH, Down Memory Lane, Marked on the Calendar, Year Enders

My Year of Provisions and Transitions

photo taken on December 30, 2019

For most of my holiday gatherings this year, I tried to ask those I met with, “WHAT ARE YOU MOST THANKFUL FOR THIS YEAR, 2019?”

All kinds of answers come up, and when it’s my turn, my most obvious answer was my engagement plus God’s provisions for my and my fiance’s wedding AND marriage preps.

This year, we got engaged, budgeted to pay for our wedding suppliers, purchased our first major investment, and of course, attended seminars (some required, some we decided on our own) here and there as preparation.

Yes, we’re not just preparing for our wedding, which will last for only one day — more importantly, we’re preparing for our lifetime commitment to MARRIAGE. 🙂

This year, I transitioned from a girlfriend to a fiancee. In the coming days, I’ll be transitioning from fiancee to wife. For most of 2020 and beyond, I’ll be spending my days not just for myself, but also for my (future) husband… and if God allows already, our first child, then second… then third… (pray for us!). After being single for three decades of my life, I’m answering God’s call in being married for the rest of my life to the one who can help me do His mission here on earth better. I know that’s a lot to digest. But I believe I’ll be living more decades as a married woman (I plan to live at least until 90 years old! In Jesus’ mighty name!) than as a single girl, and with God by my side through it all, I’m not worrying.

Sure, there are many things to learn (and unlearn) as I continue with the transitions that come with the season I’m in, but mosty, I AM EXCITED! 😉

So yes, I thank God for His provisions. I’m also thankful that I’m given this chance to transition in the direction He wants me to take.

Anyway, I’ll keep this year-ender short and simple. As I already shared to some people, here are MORE good questions (shared to me by my sister) to reflect on as we end 2019 and start 2020 — use these as you evaluate and think through this past year and trust God for a new year. (You may even opt to write them in your journal to make it more meaningful and memorable!) 😀

  1. What’s one thing you can do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

  2. What’s an impossible prayer you can pray?

  3. What’s the most important thing you could do to improve your family life?

  4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year?

  5. What’s the single biggest time-waster in your life, and how can you redeem the time?

  6. What’s the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

  7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

  8. What’s the most important way, by God’s grace, you will try to make this year different from last?

  9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

  10. What single thing can you plan to do this year that will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

❤ ❤ ❤

photo by CJ Alayon Go of Creative Juices Photography

A blessed 2020 to all!!!

TO GOD BE THE GLORY ALWAYS AND FOREVER!

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Down Memory Lane, Marked on the Calendar

#MikaIshTheOne: The Proposal

It has been more than six months since I got engaged. ❤ My fiance, Ish, and I decided to post about our engagement publicly only after two months (with the exception of our families and close friends) because we wanted to focus on the wedding- and marriage-planning (a.k.a. book our major suppliers, scout our launching pad, etc. — see previous post), and savor the moment.

Well, for those curious and who keep on asking me (haha), and since because I haven’t written on this blog for a while, here’s the version of our engagement story based on my perspective. 😉

❤ ❤ ❤

February 4, 2019. It was an ordinary February Monday — or so I thought. I woke up, said my morning prayers, prepared myself for work, went to my daily eight-hour grind, sweat some at the gym after, and even asked one of my female colleagues to grab some street food as a post-workout snack (isaw is protein, right? LOL!) because I wasn’t in a hurry to go home. Safe to say, I didn’t have a date scheduled that night because the day before, Ish and I had our #Sundate. I was all prim and proper in my maxi dress and “no makeup” makeup look, we ate lunch at a newly-opened Filipino-inspired restaurant, then visited one of my favorite jewelry stores, Pandora — but only to window shop, of course. So on that ordinary Monday night (or so I thought again), between biting and savoring one of my isaw sticks in the middle of Padre Faura, Ermita, I received a call from Ish asking if we could meet up at my house. I said sure, thinking that it was just one of those usual random visits we’re so used to because of our proximity to each other — a big plus in our dating season. Upon ending the call, my colleague and I immediately rode a jeepney and headed home.

I first arrived at my house, with only our house helper in the midst. It wasn’t long after when Ish followed and greeted me with a smile, kiss, and hug. He was wearing one of his white short-sleeved polo barong tops, and I was in my gym clothes — sweat and all. He loves me that much that he didn’t care, and I love him for that. We both came from work and upon entering our living room, he stood beside one of our sofas near the door. He started sharing how his day went, and I was eagerly listening while I multitasked in preparing him a glass of water. He even cracked a joke in between about him winning a very small amount from the lottery, and we both laughed. And then I noticed the change in his demeanor, his smile was still there, but somehow, I’d gotten the signal that he’s serious already — serious enough that I thought he wasn’t kidding about the lottery! 😛

And then he started telling me that he loves me… Not that that was unusual, but I knew something was up and my brain was trying to figure it all out. Haha!

To be honest, everything was a blur already. In hindsight, I just noticed that he had been standing there at one corner of our living room since the time he arrived. That must have been a few minutes already, so I walked to our other sofa, tapped the empty seat space on my right as a signal for him to sit beside me. He did sit, but on the other sofa near my left.

He was still speaking, but my mind was really trying to figure out what was going on during that regular “date” visit. I was that clueless.

And then he suddenly pulled out a white box.

For a second, I thought it was a Pandora box containing the pair of earrings I was eyeing the day before… Laughtrip talaga! When he said it wasn’t and further removed the packaging that revealed a purple box, I knew this was the moment.

But my mind still couldn’t fathom what was really happening!

Then he opened the purple box, and inside was a beautiful white gold ring with a shiny diamond in the middle. My mind couldn’t believe what was happening, and I couldn’t keep myself from thinking about his joke earlier and kept laughing.

I kept on yellling in a laughing tone, “TOTOO BA ‘TONG NANGYAYARI?”

To which Ish replied, “Sabi ko na nga ba ganyan ka mag-rereact [referring to my loud voice] kaya hindi ko ‘to ginawa in public.” Well, my friends would agree. Wahahahaha!

Then, he continued, “Will you marry me?” [I swear it was more romantic than the way I’m narrating it here! Hehe!]

To which I answered, “Teka, ‘di ba dapat luluhod ka muna?”

He replied, “Hindi ka kasi relax eh… gagawin ko palang kasi.”

And then while down on bended knee, he asked me again, “WILL YOU MARRY ME, Mika?”

Trying to compose myself (from laughing as a result of my excessive joy, mind you), of course I answered a resounding “YES!”

He put the ring on my finger, and I was amazed at how it fit perfectly. I asked him how he got my correct ring size, and he mentioned that he had help from a Saint. Just a little back story, I’m a devotee of St. Benedict of Nursia and I always wear a St. Benedict medal ring on one of my ring fingers. I remembered on one date, Ish jokingly borrowed it briefly from me, he tried to slip it on his ring finger but it fit only up to the middle of his pinky. Little did I know, he was already taking note of my engagement ring size then! *hint, hint to all the men planning to propose to their girlfriends* 😉

Anyway, two days after our fateful engagement night, we reserved our date and church.

Our engagement was very casual and personal, which made it more authentic for me and Ish as a couple. There were no cameras, no fuss, and we had an audience of One: God. At first, I asked Ish why he didn’t propose the day before when I was in my “prim and proper” outfit?! Hahaha! He said that he wanted to propose on a day that would really surprise me, and well, he sure did succeed in that! 😀

Almost two weeks ago, we had our engagement/prenup shoot. Just like our engagement, it was casual, fuss-free, and very relaxed. It also dawned on us that we have a few months left before our wedding… time flies really fast when you’re having fun. So yes, I can say that I’m enjoying our wedding preps and engagement. But more than that, we’re enjoying our marriage preps and we can’t wait to finally say our vows in front of the One Who orchestrated our love story in the first place. ❤

Having said that, Ish and I continue to ask for your prayers as we journey to God’s altar. Likewise, we also pray for our fellow engaged couples, especially the ones we made friendships with during our Discovery Weekend retreat — highly recommended for engaged couples or boyfriends/girlfriends serious enough to consider marriage, btw!!! 🙂

TO GOD BE THE GLORY ALWAYS AND FOREVER!

“…I found the one my heart loves.” -Song of Songs 3:4

 

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