The Power of Prayer

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.

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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.

Teacher problem

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 paWhaaaat?!?  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 nagkataonSabado 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?

Tables problem

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.

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SOURCE

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:

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Acts 16 : 31

I should be working now but I can’t.  I am so down.  Ironic, because in my last post I was expressing how very happy I was.  But I got a phone call early this afternoon with terrible news.  Dears, ibigay n’yo muna sa akin ‘to, ayoko munang i-share.  Baka naman (sana!) wala lang.  What’s holding me together now is God’s promise.

Acts 16:31, New International Version (NIV)

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Anyway, I’m trying to be positive today amidst the negativity.  For one, I’m looking at this as an opportunity to rekindle my fire to be in His presence, just like what happened with Raviv before.  These past days I’ve been backsliding…this is probably brought by the fact that I haven’t been attending weekly Bible studies.  The schedule of my group went from Thursdays to Saturdays and you all know how crazy my Saturdays are.  But I hope I’ll be able to attend again.  You know, attending these groups are a lot of help.  When you’re in a pickle, your group mates would not give you just ANY kind of advice but advice that’s from the Lord.  Your fire for the Lord also shines more brightly every meeting as you hear and witness how God works in your group mates’ lives.  Being a Christian is tough—your group mates are there to cheer you on and remind you that everything is worth it.

Anyway, to keep my mind off that problem, I took time to check messages on Facebook that I have not opened since my birthday.  And as usual, they cheered me up.  Truly, when the going gets tough, kind words from appreciative people keep me going.  The gloominess in me was diminished.  For one, I am surprised again that my blogging makes several people happy.  I blog because it’s really therapeutic to me—it’s an outlet for me to take whatever’s on my chest:  extreme happiness, extreme anger, extreme loneliness…whatever!  And after blogging I usually feel a lot better.  Ergo when other people express how my blog also relieves their stress, I feel an extra surge of glee.  So indulge me in sharing with you the messages I opened today that made me feel my special day is far from over yet.

bday roi Roi, I feel happy too that you eagerly await my new posts.  Thank you so much!!!

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When God Parted Our Red Sea (Part 3)

continued from When God Parted Our Red Sea (Part 2)

The next day (Wednesday), we brought you to Asian for an available anesthesiologist to check you.  The anesthesiologist who checked you was so very nice (too bad I forgot her name!  I’ll try to check who she is).  She looked so gentle and compassionate.  She cleared you and asked why you were to undergo an MRI.  She told me, “Pray lang kayo.”  Again, I felt God’s presence in her.  She even praised your nose, “Grabe ang tangos ng ilong!” she said.

Feb. 3, 2012

Dear Raviv, 

That Wednesday night (Feb. 2, 2011), you slept with your Yaya Michelle (she was your first long-term yaya–she was a gem!  Too bad she had to leave to care for her own children) and Ate Alona.  This was because your Tatay and I had to sleep well for we will have to wake up early to bring you to Asian.  Still, I kept getting out of our room to check on you…I can’t sleep fitfully without you by my side.  Moreover, I had to make sure that your last feeding would be four hours away from your scheduled sedation (I pumped my breastmilk).

At 1 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2011, I rose and checked on you.  You underfed yourself–you didn’t finish your normal bottle, and this was supposed to be your last feeding!  This had me worried: ever since you were born, you’ve always had a voracious appetite!  Infants are supposed to feed every 3-4 hours, right?  But in your case, you start wailing for your milk less than two hours after your last bottle, begging to be fed.  You were such a pleasant baby, but when you’re hungry, all hell broke loose!  You cry loudly and start kicking!  Thus I was worried, because that was supposed to be your last feeding and yet for some reason you dud not finish it!

At around 4 a.m., we roused you from sleep.  I was so nervous of waking you up, because when you wake up you usually ask for your milk.  We tried to feed you water (which was OK up to two hours prior to the sedation), but you refused to.  To add insult to the injury, the onesie I prepared for you to wear was already tight (it was the first and last time you were able to wear it), and we had trouble putting it on you.  I was panicking that you would be irritable, especially because you were supposed to be very hungry…but you were not!  I started to be amazed…little miracles were already taking place!

The onesie Raviv wore (for the first and last time) during “THE day”

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When God Parted Our Red Sea (Part 2)

continued from When God Parted Our Red Sea (Part 1)

…A few hours after, she came.  I told her about what the neuro-pedia said.  She told me to pray, and I told her I didn’t want to because I think it’s futile.  She explained to me that God wants us to ask from Him, to put our faith in Him, to be closer to Him.  Before Li’Ann left, she laid her hands upon your lump, and we prayed.  That jumpstarted my deeper relationship with Him.

Jan. 31, 2012

Right after Li’Anne left, I started to pray.  Other relatives called, and I still cried whenever I talked about it.  But then when I was alone, I’d pray again.  I finally took you from your nannies, looked at your face, touched your lump, and prayed while I cried.

The following morning (Sunday), we were able to get your X-ray, urinalysis, and CBC results.

Urinalysis, X-ray, and CBC results

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