As you may know, our whole family has been deeply traumatized ever since we experienced Glenda’s wrath. Even Raviv. Sometimes, even a gust of wind will stop him in his tracks, give him that faraway look and then he would say, “Nanay I’m scared of the storm.” Randy has been preparing for Ruby for days now, giving our helpers instructions on how to secure our windows and roof. We’ve been constantly monitoring weather reports, jumping onto our feet every time there is a development. Paranoid na kung paranoid, pero buti na ang handa.
But more than any preparation, we need to pray. I tell you, our prayers can do wonders. Remember the miracle God has shown us—when Raviv dodged a major skull surgery? I actually had an encounter with God’s power and mercy recently. Not as major as what happened to Raviv, but I still want to share it with you to encourage you to talk to The Big Guy Up There.
Anyway, I told you some weeks ago my problems with my new business. You know when I blogged about it, I was actually trying to console myself. That’s why I seemed optimistic. Ang totoo n’yan, I was carrying so much burden in me. I no longer bothered telling Randy about them because I wanted to solve them myself. Well, I did tell Randy pala, but only in passing—I just mentioned them casually as though they were no big deal. I guess it’s pride—these problems that I keep to myself are problems I initially shrugged off as small problems that I could solve in no time. And then they snowball into something big.
I’ll be honest with you: when one of my teachers quit on me because she had a “miscarriage” (there are quotes because until now, she hasn’t presented a medical certificate yet. She also does not reply to my text messages as to when she’ll give me her medical certificate and does not answer my calls. #shady), I did not worry that much because I have several other prospects (besides, I was told that she wasn’t “Gymboree material” anyway). I had a very good prospect who was definitely Gymboree material and really wanted the job. Unfortunately, her dad had other plans for her. Then there’s another one who kept on postponing her interview until she just vanished into thin air. Others naman, hindi talaga Gymboree material. My training was impeded because I had to interview so many applicants.
Port congestion problem
And as if my teacher problems were not enough, I also struggled—no, wrestled—with the port congestion issue. See, I scheduled Raviv’s Gymboree birthday party this December. And then I heard about the port congestion issue. I acted and started bugging our broker. I learned that we have two shipments coming: one from Busan (South Korea), and one from the US. At that time, the ship from Busan has arrived, but a week in the Philippines and still it hasn’t docked! After docking daw, mga one week pa before the cargo would be delivered to me. Then the ship from the US—the one carrying 75% of my play equipment—was supposed to arrive here on Nov. 26, pero malamang delayed daw. The broker told me she thinks I would receive the cargo in the 3rd week of December pa. Whaaaat?!? E December 21 ang birthday celebration ng anak ko!!! I panicked but started to solve the problem again. I asked the Gymboree Manila Polo Club to lend me their play equipment. They initially offered to host Raviv’s birthday for free, but I refused because that’d be too far from my guests. They said tatlong balikan daw para mahakot ko lahat ng play equipment, pero kebs na lang. Anyway, they will close for Christmas break beginning Dec. 19. I gave myself a pat on the back, telling myself I was sooo darn good.
But then two days after I “solved” my equipment problem, I learned that someone booked a party at Gymboree Manila Polo on Dec. 20. Hapon pa ang party. That means male-late ang hakot namin pag nagkataon. Sabado ito guys, malapit na sa Pasko. Malamang alamang gravity ang traffic nito papuntang Laguna! I was really, really, really down. The birthday party is very important to me because:
- Raviv is so excited about his birthday party. Dati kebs siya sa party, but now almost every morning when he wakes up he would ask how many more days are left before his birthday party. What kind of mother could stomach not pushing through with her son’s party given that?! Raviv hasn’t had a “proper” birthday celebration since his 1st birthday party so deserve niya ito.
- As bad as it sounds, this is also a business decision. Birthday parties are a major event for parents, so we don’t want to bungle our first party clients. Better to “practice” on Raviv’s party rather than on a paying customer. Moreover, we could use Raviv’s party’s photos to give parents an idea what to expect from Gymboree Sta. Rosa parties, right?
And there’s also my problem on where to get my tables. See, Gymboree requires us to use a specific kind of table and chairs set. And they’re quite difficult to find.
I was advised to order from China, pero hel–loow, yun ngang equipment kong antagal nang na-order waley pa rin, paano pa itong table na ito?! Then I was told by the Gymboree Alabang branch that they got their tables and chairs from the Gymboree Eastwood owner. Yipppeee!!! I contacted them with glee, only to shatter my hopes again: they are no longer selling these tables and chairs. #basagnanaman I found a supplier online that was selling something slightly different from this at P19,800 per set. Ang mahal di ba? I told myself that if I don’t get a supplier soon, I have no choice but to close my eyes and buy 4 freaking sets of this.
One time I just burst and told the people at the Gymboree back office, “Lahat na lang ng kamalasan ibinigay sa akin dito. Akalo ko solve na, ‘yun pala hindi pa rin.”
I was sooo tired worrying and troubleshooting problems that just grew worse every day. Then the Metro Manila commuters’ problem also took a toll on me: waiting for taxi for almost an hour, riding a taxi for almost two hours (from Forbes Park to EDSA Shangrila lang ito!), then paying almost P300 for that snail of a ride. Then the next day, I would wait for a taxi to take me to Forbes Park for more than an hour again, battle heavy traffic, and then pay an exorbitant amount.
I was mentally and physically tired. I tried everything in my power to troubleshoot problems, but there was nothing I can do. One evening while I was travelling back to our condo during heavy traffic, I started meditating on His Word. This was what struck me the most:
That night, I was alone in our condo. I cried to God. I told Him what I was feeling. I told Him that I did not want to ask for His help because I was afraid His will was to make me fail. I told Him I can’t do anything anymore without Him. I told Him I felt jaded, and that I needed to feel His love and power again. I just poured out the feelings I’ve been keeping all these weeks. I told Him that I do not want to let Randy down, because our investment in Gymboree was the result of Randy’s years of toil. I told Him I had good intentions, and also asked for forgiveness for my misdemeanors.
And true to His Word, I felt refreshed. I felt like He was with me again, telling me He’ll take care of everything. It was a good feeling. And then I boldly told Him–in a loud voice– “God, if it’s Your will, I claim that by next week, my problems would be solved. I know You can do it, if it’s Your will.”
I slept fitfully that night.
And wouldn’t you know it, the following day, I received this email the following day:
I was jubilant the whole day, and knew that my mighty God was at work. Yes, He was that quick. All He needed from me was to ask and trust Him!
So it was a happy week for me last week. I was more optimistic—but no longer because I think I’m so good and diligent—but because I knew God was now in charge.
On Monday the following week, the perfect Gymboree teacher expressed how much she really wanted to join our team. We only needed to find her a replacement in her current job. But while waiting for her replacement, she’d be willing to start training on her days off already. As of Friday, there have already been three applicants who’d be great for the job she is leaving behind.
It was also on that Monday when I received this email from Ann:
It was also on that day that I met the owner of Gymboree Eastwood/Trinoma. She was very friendly and told me to try looking for the tables and chairs at Play and Display.
On Tuesday I did not go to Manila Polo because I wanted to do office work. I called Play & Display, expecting to be disappointed again. But lo and behold, they have the tables and chairs I need!!! The first batch of our equipment was also delivered on that day!
On Wednesday, I went to Gymboree Manila Polo to meet with Rachelle Gonzales and finalize what else I needed to have before opening. Konti na lang, thank God! Then I went to Glorietta to pick up my tables and chairs. Two of the Gymboree corporate office staff came with me to Sta. Rosa to check on the delivered equipment. I couldn’t help but be happy the whole time.
Grabe. Until now, I am still in awe of how God put everything into place. I swear, talagang pinaghirapan ko ‘yung pangungulit sa broker ng cargo, paghahanap ng teacher (posted ads everywhere), paghahanap ng tables and chairs…but all I needed was to humble myself to Him. How great my God is.
To many, my “problems” were no big deal. Totoo naman, especially if you compare it to the problems that Typhoon Ruby/Hagupit will likely bring. But remember too that if God helped me solve my “shallow” problems, why won’t He help in solving serious problems?
Trust God and be bold in declaring His love and power. You too, will be in awe.
Have a blessed Sunday!
Psalm 107:28-30 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Tell me what you think!
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