*FAITH, *MARRIAGE, Down Memory Lane, Gathered Thoughts, Marked on the Calendar

#MikaIshTheOne: Some Wedding Traditions Done with a Twist!

First off, my heart goes to all those in the middle of wedding preparations during these very trying times. Experiencing a pandemic in this lifetime is really hard. Planning a wedding is stressful enough — then add a pandemic to that equation? I don’t even want to think about it. For some, this may sound trivial, but married couples who went through the same ordeal AND engaged couples going through THIS ordeal would understand. My prayers are with you! May this strengthen your relationship with each other and with God. 🙂

Anyway, it has been almost a quarter since me and my husband got married. Nobody said marriage is easy, but I’m blessed to have a partner in life who makes it easier somehow. (Shout-out to my husband, Ish! I LOVE YOU!). I decided to create this post to also give engaged couples some ideas not just about their upcoming weddings, but also about the more important aspect of their entire preps: marriage.

Those Godless and Silly Myths

I’d like to mention that I don’t believe in superstitions (including feng shui, zodiac signs, etc.). Let me just put this out there. Sure, there was a time when I believed in those and I realized that instead of being progressive, superstitions just instilled fear — I believe it’s aim was to control a person using exactly that: FEAR! And where does “fear” come from? Definitely NOT from God (1 John 4:18). Besides, if you think of it, superstitions make no sense. Most people say that there’s nothing to lose (“wala namang mawawala” in Filipino) when they follow superstitions. But based from personal experience, it shows lack of TRUST — especially, TRUST IN GOD! Yes, I realized that when I believed and followed superstitions, I was subconsciously losing trust in God: trust in His provisions (Matthew 6:25-34), trust in His plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11), trust in His perfect love (John 3:16). And truth be told, losing trust in God is a BIG DEAL! That’s why I don’t subscribe to superstitions. As a practicing Catholic, I follow traditions approved only by the magisterium of the Catholic Church.

“Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Train yourself in godliness.” –1 Timothy 4:7

Our wedding day was one perfect example of how I wanted to glorify and honor God, and I did my best not to restrict myself from that — there are many superstitions connected to weddings, and they are actually limiting and restrictive! To be honest, aside from God, the most important ones for a wedding to take place are only the bride, the groom, the priest presider (for a Catholic wedding), and the two witnesses. Others are just extra. But since God has been really faithful in our lives, Ish and I made sure that the “celebration” of our union would be some sort of thanksgiving to Him and to the people who’ve been part of our individual lives and journey as a couple. From my bridal march song (“Thank You Jesus” by Hillsong Worship – instrumental version) to our wedding reception, we made sure that our guests knew how Jesus played a very big role in our relationship.

What else? Well, we added a twist to some of the known wedding traditions! 😀

Some Wedding Traditions Done with a Twist

  • Additional bearer for our Papal Blessing (instead of just the usual: Bible, Coin, and Ring bearers)

Usually, a wedding entourage has only three bearers for the Bible, arrhae/coins, and wedding rings. Since we had an intimate wedding with an equally intimate entourage (mostly family members), we decided to also include the Papal Blessing parchment we received from the Vatican. By donating to the Papal Charities Office, you can receive an official blessing from the Pope across the miles. More information can be found here.

  • Bible verse engraving in our wedding rings (instead of wedding date)

Aside from engraving our names inside our rings, we decided to also include a Bible verse — Romans 1:12.

“…or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” –Romans 1:12

Ish and I decided to make this our “marriage verse” — so that anytime, especially in difficult times, we can be reminded that we couldn’t do this whole marriage thing without Christ at the center of it.

  • Coins from travels in our arrhae (instead of the usual modern arrhae coins)

When I was searching for wedding suppliers, I came upon a store that was selling 13 arrhae coins with engraved symbols for almost Php2,000. I was like, NO! That was too expensive! So I researched the history of the arrhae and found out that originally, real coins were used for it — and since I love traveling and collected coins while at it, I decided to use my leftover coins. What’s important is the priest’s blessing, anyway.

According to Wikipedia (haha), “the thirteen coins today have the alternative meaning of Jesus and the twelve apostles. The exchange of the coins represents the groom’s promise to provide for his family and the bride’s trust in his ability to do so.”

At present, the arrhae with coins is located at our home altar (as well as our Papal Blessing).

  • Washing of the feet by the groom (instead of the garter toss)

Holy Week just passed; the tradition of washing one’s feet is traditionally done on Good Friday to commemorate Christ’s humble act of “servant leadership” to His apostles. Ish and I decided to do this at our reception to signify what true love really means — it’s not a feeling, it’s not just a decision, but it’s about dying to one’s self for the good of the other. Did you get that? Authentic loving means dying — selfless, not selfish.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” –Ephesians 5:25

As for me, well I also have my own commandment to follow as a wife: submit to my husband as I submit to Christ, trusting that he only wants what’s best for me (Ephesians 2:22-24). Will definitely write more about this topic in another post! 😉

  • Flowers for single ladies from the bride (instead of the bouquet toss)

When I was single, one of the awkward things I did when attending weddings was join the bride’s bouquet toss (no choice, they usually call pre-selected names!). I would go in front with other single female participants and would “fight” over the elusive bouquet! Haha!

When it was my turn to be a bride, I decided to give an artificial single-stem rose (bonus souvenir!) with an attached vocation prayer to each of my single ladies so they wouldn’t feel the same way I did when I was still single and in a wedding. I pray that they also heed God’s call in whatever vocation they’re called to. ❤

Don’t get me wrong. I know that each wedding is unique, and there may be times that some couples wouldn’t be able to let go of following certain traditions out of respect for their elders, culture, etc. I’m just sharing what worked for me and my husband. Also, always check your heart for your intent. If you’re doing a tradition with some uncertainty in your heart (meaning, you don’t really know or understand it), you might want to reconsider. But if your heart’s at peace, then that’s a good sign.

What matters most is getting married to the love of your life in front of Love Himself:
Jesus Christ.
(Revelation 19:6-9)

❤ ❤ ❤

TO GOD BE THE GLORY ALWAYS AND FOREVER!


What are your favorite wedding traditions?
What are your not-so-favorite wedding traditions?
Do you know why you feel that way toward these traditions?

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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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