{Warning: This is a rather lengthy post, and it won’t have a lot of photos, so it might be a bit ‘taxing’ to read. ;) Still, I’d really appreciate it if you would read it to the end! Thanks, and may God bless you abundantly!}

I can’t believe it’s already the 3rd week of November… a little over 1 month to go, and we’ll already be starting a new year! This also means that Advent (and Christmas, of course) is just a hop, skip, and a jump away!

For those of you who regularly read this blog (hello, hello!), you probably already know that October wasn’t a very good month for our family — it started with me getting sick, soon after Anne started coughing. Then Anthony got sick just as Anne was getting better.

Tim followed soon after, then Anne had a second “helping” of a cough/cold plus conjunctivitis!

My immune system must have been really weak by that time, because I ended up with a terrible cough/cold too, and  conjunctivitis, of course! Thank God Rysse was the “lone survivor,” though she did have a minor cold, too!

I am ashamed to admit this but with all that was going on, I did end up being too “whine-y” — and my poor husband and kids can attest to that!

Can you say, “self-pity”? Oh yes, add that to my “afflictions” last month.

How about, “exhausted”? Yeah, I was that, too.

Hmmm… “difficult to be with”? Uh… yup, most definitely!

Most of all, I felt this: guilty.guilty.guilty.guilty.guilty.GUILTY!

Oh yes, I was so so so so so burdened by my guilt!

It’s a long story, but I ended up blaming myself for most of the things that happened to us. The kids getting sick. Totally my fault.


Because the house isn’t clean enough. Because we sometimes (OK, often!) end up eating leftovers. Because we have a mabait leaving traces of its existence everywhere in the apartment (or maybe there are several of them?! *sighs*). And so on.

Everything seemed to be my fault.

And I started thinking about and doubting our decision to be yaya/helper-less. About my working at home. About homeschooling, even.

(Please forgive me if I seem to be going nowhere in this post right now. I promise you, I do have a point!)

The thing is, I got tired of feeling guilty. I didn’t want to feel crushed by all the “should haves” and “would haves” that were going around in my head.

I wanted to say “no” to the burden of condemnation that I think, on hindsight, was a form of spiritual oppression for me (and my whole family, too!).

You see, my husband is one of the key players in Bo Sanchez’s Kerygma Conference 2014. And it’s happening really soon (like tomorrow, actually!).

Since he started helping organize the Conference two years ago, it seems that someone (or several someones) in our family would always get sick, the closer we’d get to the actual Conference week.

We are not strangers to spiritual oppression, having been immersed in fulltime ministry work before. Sometimes though, I forget about it.

I forget that we are in spiritual warfare every day.

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I forget to bathe my family in prayer. I forget to immerse myself in prayer, too.

I forget to say ‘yes’ to Him first, and so I miss the opportunity to be showered with His grace and blessings — “just enough” to help me get through the day.

Well, let this post serve as a reminder for me (and maybe, for you too?).

It’s time we say ‘no’ to the burden of guilt, and give in to the ‘grace of yes.’

It’s time to leave our burdens behind, and to be lifted high.

Only our God can do this for us — but He needs our ‘yes’ to be able to do so.

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So let’s say ‘yes’ to Him today and always, shall we? :)

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For those of you who joined the Kerygma Conference giveaway on my Facebook page, thank you so much for being so ‘game’! :)

If you’re attending the Kerygma Conference and happen to see me, please do come up and say ‘Hi’ (but only if you want to, of course!). May you be truly rich and blessed in all aspects of your life! :)

By the way, this post was also written as my contribution to the Grace of Yes Day Link-Up at CatholicMom.com (CM). 

CM’s founder, Lisa Hendey, has published her newest book — titled “The Grace of Yes,” of course — and I’m taking my sweet time reading it! It just arrived last weekend, and I’ve already been so inspired by what I’ve read so far.


I’m taking part in the #GraceofYesDay to show my support for Lisa — come and join in the fun, if you want!

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on November 19, 2014 · 0 comments · Catholic, Truly Rich Reflections

I’m a firm believer in the importance of strengthening one’s faith, plus an advocate of lifelong learning. :) This is why I’m so pleased to invite you to the Kerygma Conference this year — it promises to be jam-packed with faith-building, educational experiences for all of us! :)

Now on its 8th year, Kerygma Conference, the country’s biggest inspirational learning event, will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), SMX Convention Center, and Mall of Asia Arena on November 20 – 23, 2014.

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[click to continue…]

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on November 14, 2014 · 1 comment · Advocacies, Catholic

philstar.com-first picture

All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are an important part of many Filipino families’ annual traditions, especially for the Catholics and Christians who make up more than 80% of the country’s population.

While All Saints’ Day is a special day to remember the saints in heaven, All Souls’ Day is a time for us to honor the memory of our dearly departed through prayer and other gestures.

According to CatholicCulture.org, this is the main “purpose” of All Souls’ Day:

“On this day is observed the commemoration of the faithful departed, in which our common and pious Mother the Church, immediately after having endeavored to celebrate by worthy praise all her children who already rejoice in heaven, strives to aid by her powerful intercession with Christ, her Lord and Spouse, all those who still groan in purgatory, so that they may join as soon as possible the inhabitants of the heavenly city.” - Roman Martyrology

Here in the Philippines, it is also a time for relatives and friends to gather together. Thus, it is an occasion for teaching not just the value of prayer to our children but also to strengthen relationships with others, especially with our own family members.

Below are some ideas for making your family’s commemoration of All Souls’ Day more meaningful: {Head over to Philstar.com for the rest of this post — thanks for reading!} 

*Image courtesy of koko-tewan | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on November 1, 2014 · 1 comment · Catholic, Family, Parenting


For us Catholics, All Saints’ Day is a truly special occasion. More than just a holiday, i.e. a “day off” from work, which usually translates to long weekends and extra time with loved ones, it is a “holy-day” too, a time to remember the Saints and all their good works.

When I was a child growing up in Brunei though, All Saints’ Day was not really a big thing for our family. We were “nominal” Catholics at the time, and it was only when our family got involved in the Charismatic Renewal that “religious” things became more meaningful for us.

Now that I’m a parent myself, it’s my hope that our kids will look at our Catholic faith as not “just a religious obligation,” but something that is part and parcel of who we are and what we do.

That’s why we try to live the liturgical year, inspired by other Catholic homeschooling families, especially those in the U.S. Part of living the liturgical year is making occasions like All Saints’ Day special for our children. {Read more on how we celebrate All Saints’ Day over at The Learning Basketthanks!} 

Photo credits: All Saints by Albrecht Durer (Source: Wikiart)

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on October 31, 2014 · 0 comments · Advocacies, Catholic, Family, Homeschooling, Parenting

October 31 is known all around the world as Halloween, a day for trick-or-treating, dressing up in scary or silly costumes and everything-in-between, and, generally, for having fun.

In fact, most, if not all, parents probably look forward to celebrating Halloween with their kids, and many of you reading this have probably already joined trick-or-treat events during the past weekend.

However, many of us may not be aware that there is a deeper, darker side to Halloween. According to the Church of Satan website, it is actually one of the holidays that satanists celebrate. To quote:

“Halloween, October 31, is the Fall climax and may be celebrated as a time when one’s inner self might be explored through the use of a costume… We see this holiday as the night when the mundane folk try to reach down inside and touch the ‘darkness’ which for Satanists is a daily mode of existence.”

{Read about how some satanists celebrate Halloween — and why our family doesn’t — over at Philstar.com.}

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on October 29, 2014 · 0 comments · Advocacies, Catholic, Family, Homeschooling, Parenting