happy 2nd anniversary!

06.11.2011 ~ 06.11.2013

My best friend, my lover,
my leader, my husband.
Happy 2nd wedding anniversary, hun!

I thank God for these exciting two years with you.
It is true
there’s nothing easy about marriage life,
but it’s all worth it.
It’s all worth it, because I’ve got you.

I’m happy,
though it’s not always perfect
but I’m happy.
And I hope you are, too.
We are both doubled in size,
I hope it’s quite an indication hahaha

Sweet hubby,
thank you for everything.
For your love, your strong and protective arms, your commitment.
Your leadership, your kind words, your simple, humble, gentle heart.
Your silly jokes, your pranks, your playfulness.
You said we have to keep being young at heart,
and I think you’ve changed me for the better.

My prayers that you may continue being great,
that the wisdom of the Lord be your guidance,
and His love your anchor.
I pray that I may continue to be your loyal sidekick,
to honor, respect and support you,
and to love you according to God’s unfailing love.
I pray that we continue to put God in between us,
as our holy veil so we may see everything through Him.
May we continue to embrace this sacred romance with Him,
and God’s glory may shine through our little family.

I’ve experienced the abundance of God’s grace and favour
through you,
and I can only lift my endless praise to Him for that.
I thank God for you
I thank Him for bringing you into my life.

Happy 2nd wedding anniversary, Sayang,
and wishing for many more years to celebrate with you!

06.11.2011 ~ 06.11.2013

Love never fails
[1 Corinthians 13:8]

Please, and thank you.
That’s how Momma taught me to.
For what happened and wishes that haven’t,
please, and thank you.

From the day we were born, we were designed to ask, to demand, to take, to require. To get something to satisfy our comfort, to patch up the sense of lacking in our days. Giving wasn’t actually natural; we had to be taught on how to share our toys or cookies with our bench mates when we were kids, to surrender something out of what we have, to be willingly be separated from something out of our lives. And since it was more natural to take, we will more likely to demand something back after we give.

I’ve been learning about this law of give and take. I’ve pondered on the verse, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” from Acts 20:35b. When things around demanded something out of me, I often asked silently, “what have you got for me?”. And that’s when disappointment arises.

We demand more, making excuses that we can’t really give anything out if we don’t have anything to give in the first place. We expect things from everyone; from our parents, our families, our spouses, our friends, our community, our churches, our governments. Not necessarily material things, more than often we expect mental supports and loyalty, and love. Since nobody is perfect, more than often we all miss the mark. Expectations thwarted, and we simply chuck our ‘giving mode’ out of the window.

Disappointment suffocates. It hinders us to see the goods and highlights the faults in everything. It holds us from joy, it closes our ears from edifications. When things don’t go as expected, it’s hard not to be deflated. So what to do now?

Expect less, give more.

Simple, yet tough. There’s a huge challenge in Jesus’ message on giving, because He knew we need to learn everyday. We might be expecting, demanding lots of other things in life, but maybe, all that we need we have received. Right here, right now.

Please, and thank you. This “please” might not be about asking at all; it could be, for some of us, about letting things to happen, and we can still say, ‘thank you’.

I have hope that there comes the day when we will experience first-handedly on the joy of giving without having a return. Our God knows we need saving everyday, and He can only do that when we soften our hearts, leave our pride at the door, and receive from Him. We need to remember that God doesn’t demand perfection from us, yet He gives perfectly. How could we expect perfection from others when we are not perfect ourselves?

When we learn to give, and maybe, eventually, we find that even our imperfection in giving brings joy to others,  then we can understand the joy of giving. Until then, let’s learn to say, “please, and thank you”.

Dear Daddy, please, teach me, and thank You for everything. I’m humbled by Your love.

image courtesy of Three-Sixty Press from Keep Calm Gallery.

So. I have mentioned the possibility of enduring some ‘validity tests’ whenever I am to commit myself into something. This was what I wrote in my other post;

However much we try to think positive towards life, sometimes life takes the better of us. I’ve experienced in many occasions that just when I decided to choose to be happy and content, life hurled something at my direction and blew me off-track. And I had to work harder to build my happiness because now I was pissed I have failed to stay happy!

The focus was to challenge myself into having a positive attitude, every day, and ultimately, be a better person. To be someone that God has intended for me to be. But it’s not that easy, as we all probably have known by now. And this is the very reason why I took my sweet time to post this one. Integrity, yo.

As I become more aware about my personalities, I can say that apparently, I get annoyed quite easily. Even only by the slightest, most trivial thing. I can be annoyed by something simply because it is there, or by the absence of it. I think it’s because I am a perfectionist; I want everything to be meticulous, as planned and as I want it to be. I am not comfortable with things that are unaccounted for, stalled plans, even surprises, however delightful they might intend to be.

Life is harder to live in (and harder, too, for those who live with me) whenever I keep this attitude, especially when I start gloating. Victimizing myself, I feed my anger with reasons that my anger is the right anger (‘I deserve to be mad at you’), and something that was initially small became a major case. This can’t go on. I need to learn to let go.

If I may play around with analogy; being angry is like being thrown into a puddle of mud. You will get some stain on you when you plunge into it. The choice is yours now; whether to get out of that mud and clean up, or to roll around and bathe yourself in the filth, leading to a harder and longer time to get rid of the stain off you. Rolling around in the mud, hmm, it reminds me of something else, too.

I chose to muck around in the puddle most of the time. Why? Because sometimes, it’s easier. Rather than getting up quickly and getting myself a set of clean clothes, I would just stay there for a while, making mud castles and building up the tension, to see what’s going to happen. I’d get more and more stain on me, and I’d drown deeper and deeper into my fury. Eventually, I would make stupid moves, or bad decisions. I would hurt. And, as I’d known it by now, it would left me feeling way worse compared to if I just let my anger dissipates.

Last week was my testing ground for this Commandment. Wednesday night, hubby annoyed me for his reluctance to take photos with me on a birthday occasion. He has never been big with being in front of a camera, though he has improved a lot since being with me. But his public hesitation irked me so much as I took it as a personal rejection (‘you don’t want to be seen with me’, which is stupid since he is married to me). He might be too shy to ‘make a scene’, asking to take photos when everyone else was still busy eating, but no I didn’t care about his feelings. I ranted at him on the way home, asking why is it so hard for him to change and to actually use the camera if he really likes taking photos. He answered me with, “but I didn’t say no, did I?”. He did go up and ‘surrendered’ himself to get his photos taken, together with me and his sister and the birthday guy, but still. I took it personally, and I spent the night giving him the ‘silence is golden’ treatment.

Saturday night, hubby planned on having a quality time at home, since we’ve been quite busy with homemaking and glueing our eyes on the computers for long hours for work. Delighted by the idea, I made sure I finished tidying up the house earlier. But hubby, habitually, had the laptop on his lap till late at night, again, and I ended up too sleepy to do anything else. Annoyed, I announced I was going for bed. Sensing my rising temper, he begged for me to wait for a bit more, saying about the slow internet not processing his request. I didn’t care, I just covered my head with the blanket. When he was done with the laptop, he persuaded me to talk. And it all went downhill from there.

“Why can’t you try to…”
“Why are you always…”
“I don’t like you…”

All those classic run. He avoided me for a while, thinking that I might need some room to blow off some steam, but it got me more furious. Finally, he sat next to me, held my hand and looking at me in the eye, “why are you so angry? Why do you have to be so mad at me over small things?”

I couldn’t answer him.

Why do I have to be so angry? I really can’t blame the monthly hormones all the time, so I better come up with better excuses. I need to learn to let go of things that don’t matter that much in the long run. Small glitches in everyday life shouldn’t stop me from giving thanks to God and enjoy what I have.

Letting go doesn’t mean losing. It means you’re strong enough not to let it hurts you further. It means you’re wise enough to see what matters more. It means accepting the situation, and moving on. Wednesday night, I fell asleep without resolving, and was awakened by a bad dream. In my dream, I shouted in anger at my husband, and awoke screaming at nothing. He was awake, too, and I told him, “I dreamt that I was screaming at you, angry at you”, and he said, “it wasn’t a dream”. I felt like somebody pinched my heart; I hurt him, and it was too late to take it back. I let go on Saturday night. I apologized to my husband, and went to bed in peace. It felt so much better, because being angry actually drained your energy. I also minimized the chance of prolonging the pain between us inflicted by my anger.

Letting go also means that I am accepting that nobody is perfect. As much as I crave and demand perfection, none of such thing will happen, if I don’t learn to accept and let go. My husband is not perfect, just as much as I am not, either. And I need to remember that as imperfect as I am, he loves me. And God loves me, and He loves my husband, too. If I choose to see, life is too precious to be contaminated by murky matters that won’t cause any dramatic effect in the long run.

And I can always choose, every single day.

I’ve spent some time thinking about my personal happiness commandments, and the first question I asked myself was,

“What makes me happy?”.

I could think of some answers.

Having a good laugh with good friends.
‘Me time’; good book to read, painting my nails, writing.
Singing; it makes me happy most of the time.
Goofing around with my husband at home.
Snuggles with my mom, recalling old stories.
Snuggles with my husband after a long day.
Ice cream!

When I asked myself to think deeper, I feel happy and content when I can comfortably be myself, and nobody minds. When I feel secure that no one’s going to judge me or think differently about me when I am being myself. When my imperfections and everything else in me don’t give any reason for others to think twice but to love me nonetheless.

What makes me happy? Or happiest? It’s when I feel secure. Secure and content of what I have at this moment.

I did mention in the previous post that I’d have “Be Yuko” as my first commandment. But when I thought about it, it wasn’t completely true. Sometimes I wished I was somewhere else, or someone else, or I wished I have done more or differently than what I have done right now. Being myself sometimes disappoints me. And whenever this condemning thoughts of “you’re not doing enough, you should’ve done differently, you’re not good enough” started to take over my head, the only thing that will calm me down is the conviction that my God loves me no matter what.

How so? Because if He doesn’t love me, He wouldn’t even bother creating me in the first place. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14), and this is more than enough to calm my heart on any rainy days. I am secured in His love for me.

I’m not going to be naive and say that everything is okay. As a matter of fact, I know full well that life has its ups and downs. But whatever life may bring forth, I know in Whom I shall confide. When I don’t feel that my day deserves a smile, I want to remember that there’s one Being that loves me no matter what. And His love will never end for me.

This is my fundamental understanding about my life; rain or shine, God loves me. Good day, bad day, God loves me. And no one can take that away from me.

So, Happiness Commandment #1 is : God loves me. Simple, straight-forward, and very true!


ps. here’s a blog I found when browsing about ‘what makes you happy?’. The tip is quite handy, too! and it’s got a short video of Joel Osteen talking about happiness.