Sunday, February 20, 2011

Me, of Little Faith

(pic from this site)

Me, Of Little Faith

(Lessons in Humility, Patience and Trust)

Lying in my bed for the past two hours with no sign of sleep only made me more antsy, frustrated and hungry. Debating whether to maintain the rest mode or feed my grumbling stomach- it wasn't long before I gave in to my flesh.

It is easier to appease a growling tummy than to pacify an anxious heart. I lazily got up, cooked instant noodles and sliced a piece of egg pie.

The worry rat that I am have been on the edge for days. My source of restlessness- our visa application, rather the long, hard wait for the K1 a.k.a US Fiancee visa.

What if our packet got lost? What if John forgot to include a document? What if we made a mistake? What if it takes years before they finally approve our application? There goes my what if tirade again...

It’s been more than two weeks since my fiancĂ© sent our pack I-129F, the first step to the fiancee visa application and we have yet to receive any response or information from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). From what I’ve heard from other applicants I’ve met on-line, it typically takes a few days to two weeks the most to get an approval or worse, the dreaded Request for Further Evidence (RFE). We haven’t gotten either of the two and two weeks have already passed.

I couldn’t silence the what-if voices inside my head anymore. I finally instructed John to give USCIS a call which I would later regret. The USCIS staff informed him it might still take a month before we’ll get a response from them.


That just sent me to panic mode. The phone call only made me feel worse.

That's such a long time! What about our wedding date? Our invitation? How come? Why?

Thank God, He gave me such a patient, understanding and prayerful future husband. John tried everything he could to console me and keep me optimistic. The night after the call- between chewing my midnight snacks and trying to make sense of the turn of events, my wandering eyes caught a familiar sight: my maroon passport peeping through my plastic envelope where I keep my K1 documents.

The Lord, in a still, small voice gently rebuked me.

"Lj, my child when will you ever learn to fully trust me? Have I not shown you enough? Have I not proven what I can do? Have I ever failed you?

I felt so ashamed I almost choked on my noodles. I answered NO to the last three questions. Then, He lovingly reminded this forgetful, faithless, frail soul…

"When you applied for a tourist visa, you didn’t have the money and everyone was telling you, you wouldn’t get it. But I proved them wrong! You didn’t just get a 10-year multiple entry US visa, it all happened at a record-breaking period of one month including your renewal of passport!

How many times have you been to the US since you got your visa? Twice! And without spending much.

You are the only member in your extended family to ever step foot on US soil. Not even your very hard-working, late grandmother made it out of the Philippines.

Some of your cousins have settled down and have beautiful kids, but you are the only one in your family who has the privilege to plan and prepare for a wedding. And to actually have one in the US!

You envy people who have lots of money? Guess what? They've worked longer than you and harder than you, but were they able to enjoy the wealth they've amassed? Most important of all, have they invested in what really matters?

To top it all- have I not blessed you with a great guy and an amazing family-in-law to-be?

Patience, my dear. Worrying will not get you anything or anywhere. Have you forgotten your favorite verse?

I, not you will make all things beautiful in MY time, not yours. (Ecc. 3:11a) Trust me."

Though embarrassed, I slept humbled that night.

A few days later my fiance posted this message on my FB wall…

John Schroeder LJ good news it (NOA1) came today finally in the mail Yayyy!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Help me help these youth finish high school.

The school year is almost over. Although this is a time for celebration for most students and parents, there are those who are filled with uncertainty if they'll be back the next school year due to poverty. Such is the case of these youths. Most of them out-of-school for a year and some longer.

As a sign of gratitude to the good Lord and in honor of the people He used to help me with my own education, I committed a huge portion of the sales of Eating With One Chopstick limited, hardbound edition to Bring Them Back to School Project. I vowed to help 10 young people in Bicol finish high school by providing for their basic expenses such as tuition fees, baon, school supplies, books etc.

Whenever you buy a copy of the hardbound issue of Eating With One Chopstick (P500) part of the sales will go to their high school education.

Whenever you tell your friends about EWOC, you bless not only these kids but family members living in solo-parent homes as well.

Whenever you promote EWOC, you also support local publishers and local authors like me!

If you're interested to buy in bulk or even just a piece or if you want me to talk to your church or organization about Bring Them Back to School Project or sign some books, just let me know by e-mailing me at

Many thanks and Dios Mabalos!