On Saturday, we celebrated Nompe’s 91st birthday in a Chinese restaurant near our place. Aside from my family, Tita Nora’s family (mom’s youngest sis) also came all the way form Cainta to celebrate. Nompe is the husband of my mom’s eldest sister Ninang Oying who is turning 85 this May. Nompe, as he is fondly called by all of us kids of Ninang Oying’s sisters, is short for Ninong Ped. It was the first time that all of us really celebrated Nompe’s birthday – he requested for it since not everyone in this day and age would still have the physical and mental agility at a ripe age of 91. We had a wonderful time chatting and sharing the good food. It was just a time for our family to be together.

Nompe and Ninang Oying

I thank the Lord for the gift of life, for giving us the privilege of growing up with Nompe and Ninang Oying who treated us like their own kids. I thank the Lord that Nompe is still physically strong for his age, he is very sharp mentally and still teaches in Bible Studies, and most of all, he is still being used by the Lord in His ministry. It’s truly a blessing to see him reach this milestone. I am praying that he will still have many years ahead of him and that he will continue to be an instrument of God’s love to the people around him.

After lunch, my cousins headed off to our place in Kawit to hang out. We chatted, watched the kids play outside, ate siopao, watched Hachiko, and took photos. I am thankful for my cousins. Although I only have one sibling, it felt like I grew up in a huge family because of my cousins. And I am thankful that we are not just bonded with our family ties, but also with our strong friendship.

On Sunday, we picked up one of our helpers from the airport. I am so thankful that she is back. I had a difficult two weeks without her so I’m glad that she is back. She certainly made this week a lot easier for me and Ariel. I am thankful for the luxury of having household help. And I am even more thankful that we have been blessed with one we can really trust and who has been with us for a long time.

We got our new passports on Wednesday – after a delay of one day. I got worried a bit because we really need to get the new passport so we can schedule our Visa appointments for a trip we are planning in April. There were many times that I felt anxious about the small details. At first I was thinking God couldn’t be bothered by small things like this, but studying The Purpose Driven Life taught me that God is interested in these little details of our lives. So I started praying about our trip and all our requirements, and it gave me a sense of peace. I know that God knows and sees things that are far beyond our comprehension, so I just entrust this whole thing to Him. May His will be done. We were finally able to schedule our Visa appointment and we are now hoping that everything will turn out well.

At work, I had the opportunity to join a Market Visit with out General Manager. It was a wonderful experience seeing what’s happening on field. It’s also a good learning opportunity for me and also a privilege to team up with our GM. I’m thankful for the nice weather – it was a bit cloudy and cool – so we didn’t have a hard time going around in the middle of the day. I’m also thankful that we were able to go around safely, we had a company vehicle to drive us, we had a good lunch and a meaningful discussion with the entire team.

I’m thankful for all the blessings this week – for the car that I drove to work almost everyday, for the healthy food I enjoy, for my photography class, for the fun lunches I share with my colleagues, for the time I spend watching sitcoms with Ariel, for getting to and from work safely everyday. Thank you Lord!

Written by Alby Laran

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