Many people who look at me and my life now may think, “Wow, she has it all together!” or “Gosh, how confident she is!” or other similar thoughts.

The truth is, though, that I don’t always “have it all together,” and I’m not 100% “confident” all the time. From the time I was in grade school (or primary school, as it’s called in Brunei) all the way to college and even as a young mission worker, I struggled with my identity.

You see, I didn’t really know who I was and who I wanted to be. I seemed to always want to fit in and gain the approval of my peers — and I’m ashamed to admit that there were many, many occasions when I would do and say things that I knew were wrong and sinful, just to “fit in.”

It took me a looooong while to discover and embrace my true identity — my identity in Christ. “I am a Christian, a child of the living God,” as it says in the previously linked article. Thus, I am called to live out my life as God’s child, especially as a Catholic.

I must admit, though, that even now, as a married woman and mom to three kids, and a self-declared “media missionary,” I sometimes struggle with embracing my identity. I can be insecure at times, and a lot of days, I am not a very Spirit-filled person.

This is why I need to constantly seek God and His grace. I need to ask for His forgiveness every day, to “return to Him,” to “find a way back” to His loving embrace — just as I wrote in my Didache reflection for today. Without Him, I would not have the boldness to do what I do now.

As Pope Francis said in one of his Masses at Vatican City:

“We are saved in Jesus Christ and no one can take from us this identity card… Civil status: we are free!”

“This is how I identify myself, as a child of God; what a beautiful identity!”

“That is the root of our courage, I am free, I am a child, the Father loves me, and I love the Father!”

I invite you, then, to embrace your identity in Christ. Let us remember that God created us to do great things in this world — “great” by His standards may not be “big” and “grand” things according to the world, but remember that even the little things we do with great love count!

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on May 25, 2015 · 0 comments · Advocacies, Catholic, Media, Truly Rich Reflections, TV appearance

I must admit — I’m not a huge fan of teleseryes. Actually, I’m not a fan of TV in general (though I must admit it has its uses!). We try to limit TV/screen time at home as much as possible.

So you may be wondering why I’m writing about “Forevermore,” which finally ended its run on TV last night. The show, which my mother and mother-in-law (along with millions of other viewers, I bet!) love to watch because of its “kilig moments, ended with the two main characters, Alexander Grande III or “Xander” (portrayed by Enrique Gil) and Maria Agnes Calay or “Agnes” (Liza Soberano) getting engaged on top of a mountain, in the rain.

As with other teleseryes focusing on “true love” though, the couple had their share of difficulties and challenges before getting to their “Forever,” but I will not go into detail here (mostly because I didn’t follow the show closely in the first place, ha, ha!).

I will, however, share what I learned (or rather, recalled) about true love from watching the show. If you’re a single looking to be in a relationship, or are already in one, or even if you’re already married, I pray this will be useful to you somehow! :)

1. True love can change people.

forevemore

Image from TFC.tv

Xander was a “broken” man when he met Agnes. He seemed to have no sense of direction (coming from a broken family, which, in reality, really can cause one to have anxieties and problems) until a turn of events had him working in the strawberry farm owned by Agnes’s father.

Xander ends up a changed man — mostly because of Agnes, but also because of the La Presa community. True love, I believe, should come not only from one specific person but from other people around you, too.

Of course, it goes to show that the truest love ever can only come from God. If we refer to 1 Corinthians 13, we can see all the qualities of “true love,” as described by Saint Paul — qualities that describe our Lord Himself! :)

So, if you’re a single person looking for a spouse or are already in a relationship, try to keep Saint Paul’s description of love in mind. Try to live out those characteristics, too — because, in reality, if you want to experience true love, you should also try to change yourself (something which I am STILL working on!).

2. True love requires sacrifice, selflessness and hard work.

forevermore

Image from StarCinema

If you’re a follower of the “Forevermore” series, you’ll know that both Xander and Agnes had to make lots of sacrifices in their relationship. I believe this applies to any relationship, but especially that between husband and wife (or boyfriend and girlfriend who have a vision for marriage).

Also, being selfish will not benefit anyone in the relationship, and may even cause others to be hurt. Case in point when referring to “Forevermore” — Xander’s new girlfriend, Alexandra Pante, who was portrayed by Erich Gonzales, whom Xander ends up ditching because he realizes that he is still in love with Agnes. In last night’s episode, Xander made a joke upon Alexandra’s request, to make her stop crying.

He asked her, “Anong tawag mo sa fish na kasing guwapo ko?” to which she replied, “Ano?”

Xander answered sadly: “Sel-fish.”

So yes, we must learn to be selfless when it comes to love (refer again to 1 Corinthians 13).

We must also be willing to work hard at our relationships. We must be open to each other, and willing to forgive each other when needed. (Yup, still working on this myself, too!)

3.  When it comes to true love, there is no such thing as “happily ever after.”

Let me tell you a secret (ok, so it won’t be a secret anymore now, but still) : Last week, my husband and I got into a huge fight (gasp! YES, we’re human! We’re not perfect!).

I won’t go into the details, but it was mainly because of a lack in communication mixed with insensitivity (mostly on my part). Both of us were very, very hurt, and we only patched things up after a few days of being away from each other (the fight happened just before the kids and I were about to leave home to spend time with my mom).

Why am I telling you this? Why am I so “my-life-is-an-open-book” sometimes?

Because I want you to know that love — true love — isn’t a “bed of roses” all the time. In fact, there is no such thing as “happily ever after.”

However, by God’s grace, there can be a “happily along the way to the true Forever.” “Forever,” at least in my opinion, is eternal life with God. The journey to that Forever can be happy, whether you are married or not.

If you are married though, it can be a lot happier if you let God guide you and your spouse, and put Him at the center of your relationship.

forevermore

This is us, one week after the fight. Happy and working on sharing true love with each other.

SO… if you want to experience “Forevermore” in your own life, remember these three points.

Most of all, remember that God is the ultimate source of True Love. Before we can love others, we must allow Him to love us, change us, mold us (yup, another thing I am still working on!). It is He who can transform the ugly into beautiful, the sinner into saint, the love-less into love-filled! :)

What lessons on love did you learn from “Forevermore”? If you’re not a fan of the show, do you have lessons on love that you’d want to share with us? Feel free to leave a comment! :)

 

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on May 23, 2015 · 0 comments · Catholic, marriage

It’s finally live, friends! :) Thank you for all your prayers and support!

As I watched the pilot episode of the show, one of my first thoughts was, “Hmmm…It might be time to learn how to put on make-up and style my own hair!” ;) Ha, ha!

(Other thoughts were: “I really need to get some style tips from my fellow blissmakers, like Martine, Ginger and Louise! :) I need to sleep more so my eyebags are less visible! Oh gosh, this is SO surreal! He, he!)

parenting speaker

Screen shot from the pilot episode! :)

On the other hand, I love that the “natural” look that I have here (and in the next few episodes, because we did all of them in one day) is totally ME — because that’s one of the things the show is about: keeping it real while we discover and grow the riches that we already have, specifically when it comes to parenting, family life, and our Catholic faith (plus our finances, of course)!

Basically, as the name suggests, this is mostly an online show for moms… and other people, too — especially those who want to enrich their family life, faith life and maybe even their finances.

So I pray that this first episode — as short as it is — may speak to you and bless you somehow, so that you will be inspired to be truly rich and blessed! :) Thanks for watching! And please do keep praying that the show will be a blessing to others!

Click here to watch the pilot episode on Bukal.TV

 

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If you have any feedback about the show, or have ideas for specific topics you want discussed, please feel free to let me know by sending me a message or leaving a comment! Thank you again for your support! I love you all! :)

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on May 12, 2015 · 0 comments · Catholic, Family, Parenting, The Truly Rich Mom Show

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow so I thought I’d pop in for a bit just to let you know that:

(a) I’m still alive (and have “recovered” from Pacquiao’s loss, thank you very much! Focusing on those life lessons from the fight really helped, me thinks!);

(b) yes, I’m still trying to catch up with work after our amazing Cebu trip (which, on hindsight, reminds me once again about how blessed we are to be doing His “mission” in our own way); and

(c) if you’re a mom reading this, you hold a very special place in my heart. :)

These videos are for YOU, as much as they are for me.

For all of us who “mother.”

For the moms who find joy in raising their kids.

For the moms who want to give up (yep, that was ME earlier this week, because I felt like I was “the danger lurking in our home, ready to attack“).

For the moms who seem to have boundless energy and Pinterest-worthy lives. (You are very special, you know? And I realize we all do what we can do for our families, to the best of our abilities, so I promise, I won’t envy you anymore! ;) )

For the moms who are TIRED. Because I.FEEL.you. (High fives and hugs all around!)

For the moms who feel alone, even if they have a spouse and kids to “fill up” their homes and hearts.

For the moms who are alone, doing their best to raise their kids by themselves, for one reason or another. (I salute you, single mommas everywhere!)

For the grandmas who still mother on their kids (and now, their grandkids too). You are such a blessing, you know that?

For the adoptive moms, foster moms, everyone who plays a “mom’s role” in a kid’s life.

Keep on mothering. Keep on loving. Keep on keeping on. I’m here with you, cheering you on, every step of the way.

So watch these videos on Mother’s Day, and any other day that you want to (because, really, every day is Mother’s Day. Right? Right.)

And remember:

You are mighty because you mother.

You are your child’s champion, warrior, advocate. Your choice to give him or her life is a blessing to others.

You are unique and special.

Yes, even to Google. ;)

You are momnipotent.

Happy Mother’s Day! :) 

Oh, and if you missed my latest update about “The Truly Rich Mom Show,” I’m re-posting what I said on Facebook here:

Let me tell you a true story…

Late last year, I told a few people that I planned to launch my first book on Mother’s Day 2015. I asked them to pray with and for me about it.

Early this year, though, I knew that I would not be able to do so — because I am far from completing my first draft of the book. So I had resigned myself to the fact that the book would have to wait.

Little did I know that God had other plans in store for me. Thanks to Him and Mama Mary (everything started to fall into place after I had finished the 33-Day Consecration to Mary), instead of a book, “The Truly Rich Mom Show” will be “launched” instead — this Mother’s Day 2015, via Bukal TV. It is not a long show — actually, each episode is only 4-7 minutes long! Still, I hope and pray it will bless others, despite my being an “imperfect” bearer of the Good News!

So, in a way, God still made one of my ‪#‎lifedreams‬ come true — i.e. to bless others more through what I can do. Please pray with me that the show will truly be a blessing to others! Thank you in advance and God bless you and your loved ones always! :)

mothers day

So… this is it! The first episode of “The Truly Rich Mom Show” will be airing online via Bukal.TV this Mother’s Day 2015! (It won’t be long — just short enough to give you a quick dose of inspiration {I hope!}.)

Truth be told, I sort of wished that the show would not go “live” online anymore — because I feel like such a hypocrite most days.

Most days, if not every.single.day, the word “inspiring” would definitely not describe me. The words “#trulyrichandblessed” would most definitely not be in anyone’s vocabulary when referring to me, if people could see me at my worst (and I thank God you don’t, but pity my loved ones who do).

I am not worthy, yet He calls me to do this.

I am a sinner, saved by His perfect sacrifice on the cross.

I am imperfect and I fail my family — especially my kids — every single day, but He heals what is broken.

Please do pray that, despite my unworthiness, sinfulness, imperfections, brokenness, this show (and the blog!) will bless others, especially moms!

As always, thank you for your support and prayers.

To God be all the glory, now and forever!

“Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)

{Thank you again to the Bukal TV team, Areopagus Social Media for Asia Inc., and CBCP for your trust. Special thanks to Mercygrass – Inspiration & Designs for this new logo! And to my family and friends who have been supporting me all throughout this great adventure, this is for all of you! I love you all!}

This Mother’s Day and beyond, I pray for God’s choicest blessings for you and your family!

Be truly rich and blessed,

Tina :)

P.S. I want to give a special shout-out to my fellow moms in the Pursuit Manila community, which is headed by my fellow blissmaker, Rhiza Oyos. I totally regret not being able to attend the first Pursuit Manila Moms gathering at Karen’s Kitchen last Thursday — I was totally out of the loop and missed the announcements! :(

Even if I wasn’t there, I am totally inspired and encouraged by all the #thankGoditsMomDay and #PursuitManilaMoms posts I’ve been seeing on social media! Thank You, Lord, for the gift of community, and for the gift of motherhood! Hope to join you ladies in the next gathering! :)

And to my fellow blissmakers (especially those who — like me — have been feeling down this week), hugs to you, ladies! I hope to see you all very, very soon!

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on May 9, 2015 · 1 comment · Motherhood, Parenting

Earlier this week, I made a confession over at CatholicMom.com — about how I had never heard of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla before I became a homeschooling mom. Today, I’m going to make another confession — I am not a boxing fan, and don’t think much of the sport.

However, just like thousands (maybe even millions?) of people here in the Philippines and around the world, I watched the boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather earlier today — the “fight of the century,” as people called it.

My brother-in-law asked my husband and their other siblings if they wanted to split for the pay-per-view airing of the match, and so all of us ended up watching it (and getting terribly disappointed) together.

pacquiao mayweather

Waiting for the fight to start at my mother-in-law’s place

Of course, once I went on Facebook after the official decision and declaration of the winner was announced, I could see that there were so many people who did not agree with the news that Pacquiao had lost to Mayweather. There were a lot of funny memes, too, and, not surprisingly, many, many rants about the decision being “unfair,” and the match being “luto” (or rigged/set up).

I’m not going to add to all the hullabaloo by posting my own memes and rants here though. I thought I’d squeeze in a post to just share my insights on the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight — and yes, I do believe we can glean a few life lessons from it. Here are three of them:

1. Life isn’t fair — but do good anyway.

pacquiao mayweather

A lot of us may think that the fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather did not end fairly. Unfortunately, the truth is life really isn’t fair 100% of the time. However, we are all called to do good anyway.

As I type this post, news reports about Manny’s camp crying foul over the decision are coming out, as they are claiming that he wasn’t allowed an injection to help relieve pain in his right shoulder, which apparently was injured prior to the fight. It’s still unclear what actually transpired, but let me say this again: sometimes life is unfair — but do good anyway.

2. It’s not about winning — it’s about doing your best and giving your all.

pacquiao mayweather

Pacquiao may not have won the match against Mayweather, but many of his fans believe that he did his best. He gave his all during the fight, and that is what matters.

We need to remember that life isn’t about winning — it’s about doing our best, and giving our all. It’s about embracing our trials and challenges, getting up again after we fall, and moving forward. It’s about not giving up on our dreams, and doing what we can to make them come true — with God’s help, of course! :)

3. At the end of the day, it’s who you are that matters most.

Many people — even famous (non-Filipino) celebrities like Sylvester Stallone and Jim Carrey — believed that Pacquiao was the better fighter today. A lot of people, especially Filipinos, are still hailing him as their “champion,” and declaring how proud they are of him, “the People’s Champ.”

I’m sure the whole world knows by now about Pacman’s spiritual conversion, and how he believes that “God has a purpose” for his life, namely to “glorify his name, to let the people know that there is God who can raise the people from nothing into something.”

Now, as a Catholic, I firmly believe that one can experience spiritual conversion and renewal without leaving the Church. Having said that, though, I also believe in the importance of ecumenism, and admire the way Manny is using his celebrity status to tell others about Jesus.

Mayweather, on the other hand, well… just read this article to find out why I think he needs to work on his “identity.”

Even if he lost to Mayweather today, Pacquiao is still a “winner” because he has found Christ. His identity is not based on his accomplishments during his boxing career, but on who he is in God’s eyes.

The same applies to you and me, friend. :)

pacquiao mayweather

At the end of the day, what matters most is who you are in God’s eyes, and not what you have achieved.

As we move forward and return to the “daily grind,” especially as we begin another week tomorrow, may we reflect on these life lessons and use them as a springboard for living a “truly rich and blessed” life. :)

Did you watch the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight too? What are your thoughts on it? Do you think the life lessons here are pretty accurate? Let’s “talk” in the comments!

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on May 3, 2015 · 13 comments · Catholic, Intentional Living, Truly Rich Reflections