Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Will You?



A dear friend recently asked me, 
“What would be your best advice for your married friends?” 

It has been eight years since the passing of my late husband. It has been eight years since I knew how it feels to be married. It was quite painful to think about marriage during the first few years after losing him because I’ve always dreamed to be married and to raise my children in a healthy and happy family. So when the dream was shattered, every thought about it came with a deep pain.

But surprisingly, as my heart was being healed, God started to send people who need direction in their current and future marriage. It was not easy in the beginning because every marriage advice I got asked has a memory and somewhat a degree of woulda, shoulda, and coulda attach to it.

I still remember that day when I asked God to give me another chance to be with my late husband. I told myself, I don’t care if he’s annoying and can be irritating at times, I don’t care if there is a lot of differences and disagreement between us, I don’t care if he’s wrong or I’m wrong, I don’t care who wins the argument, I don't care if we have enough money or not, I don’t care about whose turn to do the laundry, run the errands, clean the house and those tiny issues between us. I remember to beg God with one request, “Can I just have another chance?”

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, 
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. 
They’re created new every morning
How great your faithfulness! 
Lamentations 3:22-23 (MSG) 


So what if I were given a second chance? 
The first thing I would tell him “Let’s start all over again”. 

Let’s forget our differences.
Let’s set aside those disagreement.
Let’s come back to point 0, where it was just you, me and God.
Let’s erase those scores on the board.
Let’s walk side by side again.
Let’s trust each other again.
Let’s have faith toward each other again.
Let’s dream big and bigger again.
Let’s laugh at those silly & stupid mistakes.
Let’s cover each other’s flaws.
Let’s talk about it.
Let’s see each other again.
Let’s surprise each other again.
Let’s sit next to each other again.
Let's admit our mistakes.
Let's embrace our journey.
Let’s sing together again.
Let’s live. Let’s love. Let’s give. Let’s serve.
Let’s forgive. Let’s forget.
Let's lean on grace.
Let’s start again.




A dear friend recently asked me, 
“What would be your best advice for your married friends?” 

Have the courage to start all over again.

I don't know about your situation. You might be newlyweds. You might have just taken a new role as parents and somehow your marriage is a little bit unnourished. You might be in a bad place right now and simply don't know what else to do with your marriage. You might be praying for a way out or for a second chance.

Friends, have the courage. It might feel scary but I think it worths the try. Remember the reason why you chose to be together in the first place. Remember the dreams you envision together a while ago.

Friends, there is hope. I believe you are courageous and your marriage worths fighting for.
Will you start all over again?



Love,
Felecia


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ten Years from Today



In the midst of #10YearChallenge hype, I found myself drowning in mixed feelings of brokenness and gratitude. The other night, the kids and I went through old photo albums on facebook (yup, most of them were switched to private since 2011), and we couldn’t help but shed some tears and shared laughters as we scrolled down those good ol’ days.

So, where was I ten years ago?

I was a thirty-year-old mom with three children under 10. My youngest child was only six months old and I still had a lot of baby weight stuck to my body. I was a full time mom living a simple life in a small city of California, running an online business with my late husband, and serving together as a family in our local church. My day consisted of getting the kids ready for school, dropping them off, getting groceries, feeding the baby, preparing lunch & dinner, tackling an everest-high of laundry weekly, cleaning the house, and millions other chores in between. My simple dream was to raise my family well and have more than enough resources to bless more lives.

Where was I ten years ago?

Writing, speaking, leading people, movements and institutions never crossed my mind.
Cooking, changing diapers, folding laundry, chasing little ones were my familiar.

Little did I know two years later, my world was taken apart and flipped upside down.
Little did I know two years later, my dream was shattered into millions of tiny pieces.
Little did I know three years later, we left our familiar to walk on water.
Little did I know ten years later, we are exactly where we're supposed to be.
Saved by grace, sustained by grace.



Friends, maybe you’re like me. Instead of getting excited with #10yearchallenge, you found yourself in between sadness and joy, brokenness and gratitude.

You’re happy to watch the children grow but wish to share the joy with your late spouse.
You’re thankful for good opportunities in the past years but still long to spend those days with a soul-mate.
You’re happy for all the memories made with your spouse but still wish to hold that baby of your dream.
You’re thankful for years of bountiful life but wish you didn’t have to go through those chemotherapies and medications.
You’re happy with your weight-loss victory but wish to have a better relationship with your parents.
You're thankful for these years but wish to at least see one of your dreams come through.

Friends, the past ten years may not be easy for you and we may share a similar story but we need to remind ourselves that we wouldn’t be here today if it’s not for God’s grace. Yes, we have so many reasons to throw ourselves a pity party but we also have a lot more reasons to trust God. My God, your God is someone who can be trusted all the way.

You keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, 
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
 Isaiah 26:3 

Friends, no matter how hard it is and how stormy the future looks like from here, we have to keep the posture of gratitude and good expectation. Let us live, love, work, create, serve from the position of trusting the One who is in control, who is never confused, who is never surprised, who never walks away, who is never too busy, who always remembers, who always understands, who always cares enough to give His best to each one of us. And therefore we must stay grateful and push ourselves to find joy even in the midst of a mess.

So, where are we today? 
We are right in the middle of His loving hands, tenderly cared for.

Where will we be 10 years from today?
We will be in the center of His plan, soaring like eagles, living lives beyond our desires, petitions and imaginations, carrying hearts that overflow with gratitude.

Friends, have hope, find joy and enjoy this gift called life




With love, 

Felecia




Tuesday, January 8, 2019

#finallyforty




It feels like yesterday when I penned down "Life in 39 lessons". Somehow turning 39 was filled with high anticipations of a new season. Call me a weirdo, but I truly couldn't wait to be forty, you know, just like a girl who can't wait to be seventeen. I had butterflies in my tummy thinking about being forty. I could smile all day thinking about the day when I'm finally forty. I would imagine the places I'll go, the people I'll meet, the dreams soon to come true. 

There is something about becoming forty.


Little did I know, soon after, I embarked on a wild ride of the decade. Within three hundred and sixty five days, life challenged me to make vertical leaps of faith in the midst of a spinning world. Many days, I felt powerless and cornered. In the back of my head, there was a voice that kept chanting "life is too hard". Imagine a young fifteen-year-olds who came home after days of High School dramas, I would end many days sulking & crying due to all the "dramas" of my life.

Lesson #39:
Life is hard but we can do hard things
Loving others is hard 
Marriage is hard 
Raising kids is hard 
Building career is hard 
Serving people is hard 
Pursuing dream is hard 
Staying on course is hard 

This is how we were created to be 
We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength

Preaching to myself didn't always work when I had to deal with mental conditions, financial struggle, betrayal, health challenges, disappointments, brokenness, confusions, questions, doubts and postponed dreams. 

There is something about becoming forty.



And as much as I wanted to curl up in bed every single day, I had no choice, I was already on the way to forty. "Just keep swimming" I told myself and there in the midst of the chaos, I found a treasure, one important lesson in becoming forty:


Life is a gift
(lesson #40)


gift /…°ift/ -noun 
a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.

As a mom of three, I have learned that one magical element of any special day is the gift. Each birthday celebrated in my house is always highlighted by a gift (from a simple handmade one to the epic-wish-list-dream-comes-true one). And because I love my kids so much, I would try my best to give them the best, to give them the biggest smile (and maybe some happy tears), to out-give them, to make their dreams come true, and to give them even more than what they ask.


One day, Jesus told a story about the good shepherd and his sheep to His disciples and He said "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]". John 10:10 (AMP)

So, my Father, out of love, has given me (and you) a gift, life itself. Knowing Who my Father is, the gift He gives is always good, enjoyable, fun, beautiful, over the top, well-thought-of, above and beyond imagination. Therefore when He said that He came to give us an enjoyable life that is full and overflowing, I had to trust His words. I chose to trust His words regardless the reality in front of me.

I am choosing life.
I choose to receive the gift of life.
I choose to see life as beautiful because it is a gift from my good good Father.



Friends, I may not know your current situation. You might be dancing on the hills or walking through the valley. I am too still waiting for my breakthroughs to come. I am too still facing impossible situations. And maybe you are too.

But please allow me to offer you a different perspective. I would like to invite you to see life as a beautiful, well-thought-of, and purposeful gift. Yes, you may still need that income you've lost, you may still need that healing in your body, you may still need that peace in your marriage, you may still need a life-partner you've been searching for, you may still need that good relationship with your family.

But I want you to be aware that God knows exactly what you need, He knows your deepest desires, He hears you prayers, and He is working on every detail of your life. Therefore, we all can rest and instead of focusing on the battle,
we can start breathing the air He gives,
we can start chasing those butterflies, sunrises and sunsets,
we can start laughing at those funny moments of life,
we can start smiling at those beautiful souls around us,
we can start taking things lighter,
we can start singing,
we can start dancing,
we can start learning something new,
we can start enjoying every meal,
we can start dreaming impossible dreams,
we can start climbing those mountains
we can start creating epic inventions,
we can start living an overflowing life now.




Today, I am finally forty. 
I have arrived to the day that I have been waiting for and I plan to live & enjoy this life.  
Join me, will you? 


With love, 

Felecia 



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