Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Devotions: Wait

Scripture Reading: 
Psalm 40:1  “I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he turned to me and heard my cry.”

I’m almost 39 weeks pregnant and I’ve been waiting and expecting her to arrive every day since week 36!  I feel like I’m in limbo, in a coma like state where I can’t do anything until it’s time to wake up . . . and wake up time is when she’s here.  During this time of wait I sit, and sit, and walk and sit again.  I keep telling her to come out but I know that she’ll come when she’s good and ready and that’s in His perfect timing. 

I guess in life there are these transition phases.  A time that feels like nothingness until the next thing happens.  A time in between phases of life.  Maybe you’ve felt stuck in the same routine of life and you’re waiting for the next ‘thing’ to happen.  Maybe you’re in between making large decisions or you’re waiting for an answer to one of life’s many questions.  Whatever you’re waiting for relax and enjoy this time.  This is a time to wait on Him and His good and perfect timing.  Reflect on His words and rest in Him.  I guess it’s kinda like flying from one destination to another.  When you’re on the plane, you can’t do anything but wait to land.  You may be anxious about what awaits you on the other side but the plane ride is your time to sit back and watch movies, take a needed nap, or reflect about experiences from the place you’re leaving and preparing for the adventure that awaits.  The good thing is, you’re moving forward, towards something.  So if you’re in a time of wait like me . . . sit back and enjoy the ride, you will be arriving at your destination shortly.  “Thank You for flying Life airlines, This is your pilot God . . . you’re in good hands”.

Reflect in Action:
What do you do in your time of wait?  Maybe write in your journal reflecting on the experiences that have brought you to this point in life and committing your future destination to the only one who can bring you there . . . God.  In His perfect timing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I have a lot of fears about being inadequate in life.  Sometimes I go through these feelings where I think I’m not enough.  I question if I’m enough of a wife for Jon, or enough of a mother for Aaven (and soon to be Myla).  Am I who I need to be for them, am I all that I can be for them?  Am I enough of a friend, sister, daughter? 

In whatever relationship we could have, whether it be with a boyfriend/girlfriend, parent/ child, husband/wife, or in our friendships, there is a question regarding our roles.  Are we fulfilling our roles and are being ‘enough’ for that other person.  Are the other people in our lives enough for us?  Sometimes I feel like I’m not enough to fulfill my role for others.  Sometimes I get disappointed because I feel like others are not fulfilling my expectations of who they should be for me.

Then I remember . . . it will never be enough.  I will never be enough for anyone else and no one else will ever be enough for me.  Others are not meant to fulfill us entirely nor are we meant to fulfill others.  We can strive to do our best and be willing and humble enough to allow our Lord to change us in the ways He needs us to be, but I don’t think He’ll really change us to benefit others, but rather to better serve Him.  When we allow God to change us, that in turn makes us better people and allows us to serve others better . . . but not necessarily to be enough for them.  I don’t think we’re meant to be ‘enough’ for others or for others to be ‘enough’ for us because that’s His role.  God is more than enough for me, and more than enough for you.

Now as I look at my inadequacies I remember that although I can try to be the best wife and mother, I am not meant to fulfill their lives, I am only meant to try my best and hope that in turn my family will forgive me of my faults and only look to Him to fulfill them in the way they need to be filled.  I shouldn’t be enough for them; they deserve much better.  But I can hope and pray that they will grow to know that satisfaction is from Him, people will always be lacking, but He is more than enough.  Okay . . . that’s enough.  =)

Not enough ice cream.
Not the same meaning . . . but I can relate.
ENOUGH by Chris Tomlin

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You are my supply my breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward worth living for
And still more awesome than I know

You're my sacrifice of greatest price
And still more awesome than I know
You're the coming King you are everything
And still more awesome than I know

More than all I want, more than all I need
You are more than enough for me
More than all I know, more than all I can say
You are more than enough for me

Friday, October 28, 2011

Devotions: The Next Stage

Scripture Reading:
Ecclesiastes 3:1
“There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens”

My tired not-baby.
So my son Aaven just turned 2 and I just tried to rock him to sleep in my arms.  Yes he’s much too big for me to carry (especially since I’m carrying a baby in my tummy) but there are times that I just don’t want him to grow up.  I want to hold him like a baby, even though he wants to escape me.  I want him to stay near me always so I can keep him safe, even though he wants to venture away from me and try dangerous new things.  I want him to know he’s loved always, even though he may doubt it when he is in trouble.  He’s growing up and off to the next stage in life . . . I don’t want to let him go.  I think being a mother has really opened my eyes to view my children the way God views His children.  I’m sure He doesn’t want to let us go try new things He knows is not good for us, or want us to doubt His love for us, but He lets us go anyway because He loves us enough to give us our freedom.  I can imagine how God must feel when we fail or fall and hurt ourselves.  Or how hurt He must be when we blame Him when all along He’s just trying to teach us and protect us.  I fear the day Aaven is able to turn his back on me and disregard my love.  Thinking about that possibility makes me want to run to my heavenly Father and apologize for ever turning my back on to Him.  All I want is the best for my children and I know that means letting go, no matter how hard that is for me.  I have to let Aaven grow up.  I thank God for letting me grow up and for giving me my freedom.  It is in that freedom where I learned to appreciate His love for me.  God’s the best mom and dad!

Reflect in Action:
Write a letter to your child and tell them how much you love and appreciate them.  Tell your child how precious they are to you and give examples of how you delight in them and all the things you hope for them in the future.  Date the letter and put it in an envelope.  Give your child that letter in 10 years, yup 10 years!!!!!  They’ll appreciate it and it’ll give them a little insight to how you’ve always loved them!  God wrote us a love letter a long time ago and think about how much we appreciate that every time we read about His love for us.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Devotions: Guide the Light

Scripture Reading:
Matthew 5:13-16
 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
    “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

As children of God, we are responsible to be the ‘light in dark places’.  We are His example of love and we are to shed hope to the hopeless.  We are called to deliver this world in His name, in hopes to have others know Him.  As mothers raising little disciples of our own, we are responsible to help raise our child in His knowledge, guiding them to know Him and to eventually become a little light for Him.  Aaven loves playing with flashlights.  He turns them on and goes wild, trying to find where the light hits.  He doesn’t quite have control of the light but nonetheless can tell if the flashlight is on or off.  He has trouble finding the light when the house is already bright.  When hurricane Pedring hit us in the Philippines a couple weeks ago, we were without power and electricity and so we used flashlights all night. The light is so much stronger in the dark and I think he appreciated the light more during the power outage because it’s more apparent when it was pitch black and the flashlights were necessary.  He’s still small and until he can truly control the light, I had to help him guide the flashlight towards what we needed to see. After doing this for an hour or so, I saw it as an analogy.  In our children’s younger days, we have to teach them that they are indeed a light in the dark world and until they can fully understand it, we have to guide that little light.  They are capable of so much and we can only pray that when they are old enough to make important decisions, that they will choose the right path and use their capabilities to serve Him and others.  Until they have full control of the light that they can be, we must guide them and show them how strong and effective a light can be in dark places.  A light is used best in the dark, it is not needed in a bright room and it serves its purpose in places with no light.  Let us be a light to our children and help guide them to be little lights of their own.  Don’t forget to buy extra batteries!  =)

Reflect in Action:
Take a flashlight and play with your child.  Watch them enjoy finding the light in dark places.  If your child is older, talk to them and tell them about how important it is to be a light in dark places.  Pray for your children (or child to be) and ask God to give us guidance as mothers to help bring them up in His knowledge, to be lights ourselves and to help them become a light of their own.

Friday, October 07, 2011

28 . . . so what!

The wisest bottle I own.

So I turn 28 today and I wanted to jot down some key things that stood out to me when reflecting on the past 28 years.  This is more so for my own memory and reflections and I would do it when I turn 30 but my lululemon water bottle says “do it now do it now do it now”. 

Here we go . . . mind you, not that interesting, just a lot of moving, you’ll see what I mean.

October 8, 1983 – Born in Mississauga, ON – Carmi Rose Tunay
1987 – moved from apartment to Valley’s townhouse
– June 21 my favorite one and only sister Maricar Grace    
Tunay was born!
1989 – family drove across Canada to British Columbia in a moving 
             truck, celebrated my 6th birthday in one of the prairies in a Tim Horton’s on a cliff.
            - lived in a motel for about a month
            - moved into an apartment
            - moved to Curlew Drive in Abbotsford, BC (house #5 in my lifetime)
1991 – visited Philippines for a month
1993 – moved from Curlew Drive to another house in Abbotsford
            - moved from Abbotsford back to Mississauga, ON(Ventura’s house)
            - moved from Ventura’s house to Dundas apartment
1994 – moved to Brampton, Ontario (house # 9)
2000 – started dating my best friend Jonathan Edralin (at the time aka ‘madmidget’) hehe
2001 – moved to Hillcrest in Mississauga
2002 – graduated high school at Turner Fenton
2003 – moved to Hanson Rd
2005 – moved to Robert Speck
2006 – graduated from University of Toronto
            - got engaged
2007 – moved to Etobicoke, ON
            - Jon and I bought our first home on Acorn (house #14)
            - June 8 – married my best friend – now known as Rev. Jonathan Edralin (dropped the      
2009 – September 15 – our gooby son Aaven Carlos David Edralin is born!
2010 – Jon and I bought our second home on River Grove (house # 15)
2011 -  moved to the Philippines (house #16)
            - our daughter Myla Jade Edralin is expected to arrive shortly

When I look back on my life the main thing I think about is change.  In 28 years I’ve gone to 7 different schools, lived in 16 different homes in 3 different provinces, in 2 different countries . . . and more to come I’m sure.  I’ve never really been attached to a house or looked back and related a specific place as ‘home’ because I’ve moved so often.  Maybe that was God preparing me to be a missionary.  Maybe that was God teaching me that my home is not on this earth.  When we were at a missionary conference in Bali, one thing really stuck with me and that was the fact that one day we will all be going home.  Home is not on this earth, and every moment that passes brings us one moment closer to when we will indeed go home.  This year I’ll be spending my birthday in the Philippines.  If God wills me to live until 29 only He knows where I will be. Our lives are His and I’m excited to see where He will lead us.  This life is an adventure and as I look back on my past 28 years I feel blessed.  Not because I’ve done anything super amazing but because He’s allowed me to see His grace in my life and that throughout all the changes that’s happened, despite all the places I’ve lived or been, He’s been there and has been the ONLY thing that’s stayed the same.  That lets me live the rest of my life feeling safe in a world of uncertainty . . . through it all He knows me, my life, my future, and will hold my hand until He needs me to finally come home.  So what, I’m 28 . . . age ain’t nothing but a number, it’s more of a count down of when I finally go home, I’m just trying to keep busy until then.

Monday, September 19, 2011

10 Reasons why my child is better than yours . . .

This may upset some people, but just keep reading.

10 Reasons why Aaven seems better than other kids

1.  Aaven was born in Canada (an amazing country) 
2.  He can afford to eat pretty much whatever he wants.
3.  Most of his clothes don’t have holes or stains.
4.  He has an abundance of toys.
5.  He sleeps in his own bed.
6.  He’s traveled to more countries in 2 years than most have in their whole lives.
7.  He can afford to play in clean parks and indoor playgrounds.
8.  He’s usually clean.
9.  When he’s old enough, Aaven will have an amazing education.
10.  When he’s older, Aaven will have options and opportunities.

One of God's children.
There are so many homeless children in the Philippines.  We see them everywhere.  They’re begging at car windows, they’re sleeping on the sidewalks, they’re walking around bare foot beside us.  Sadly I think that I see them so often I’ve become desensitized to the overwhelming disparity.  Why is my child in a better position then they are?  What did Aaven do to deserve to live a better life then the boy on the streets?  Aaven did nothing to deserve his life.  He was born into it.  The boy on the streets did nothing to deserve his life.  He too was born into it. 

In God’s eyes they are one and the same.  Not one child better than the other.  Both precious in His sight and loved equally, but for some reason on this earth they are different.  They look different, they sleep, eat, and live complete opposite lives.  But they are one and the same.
Also God's child.

If Aaven was on the streets, would I not do all I could to rescue him?  Would I not risk my life to provide a better life for him?  I would do anything to help my family, I would so desperately do anything to feed and clothe him.  If the homeless child has parents, I’m sure they are risking their lives doing desperate things to take care of their children.  When you see a prostitute, think of the child that awaits for his mom to return home. 

I’m sure the poverty in Canada is much different.  It’s rare to see a homeless child sleeping on the street, we have child services and government organizations that assist with that kind of severity but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  Sometimes the poverty in the Philippines is so overwhelming that it’s almost hopeless.  There’s just too many people, too many circumstances that prohibit the improvement of these social issues.  

So what can be done?  What can we do to help?  Pray and pray hard.  Put our own selfishness, our own issues, our own vain desires aside and think about the others that God loves just as much as us.  If you’re reading this, then you can afford a computer and internet.  That makes you far better off than the people I’m talking about.  What did you do to deserve the position in life God’s given you?  Nothing.  We could have been born in a third world country, with different social circumstances, on the streets . . . but we weren't.  We are in this specific place in our lives at this specific time for a reason.  Ask God to open your heart . . . now ask Him to break it.  Ask Him to show you specifically how you can use the position He’s given you to serve those less fortunate.  Ask Him to see people the way He sees people and to love others the way He does.  Let’s put ourselves aside . . . we’re not better than the next guy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2 years of Aaven!!!!!!! Happy Birthday love guy!

by Jonathan Edralin
(written August 12, 2009)

Baby Aaven is a boy
Baby Aaven is our joy

Baby Aaven is so fun
Baby Aaven is our son

Aaven boy is a cuddle
Aaven boy will splash a puddle

Our baby boy smiles so sweet
Our baby boy has little feet

Our little guy will be  so silly
Our little guy will play with Billy

Baby Aaven will like to sing
Baby Aaven will like Miming

Aaven boy's cheeks are so rosy
Aaven boy will hug cousin Josi

Baby Aaven's a gift from above
Baby Aaven is very loved!

AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!  Aaven turns 2 today!!!!  I have a 2 year old!?!?!  This has been the most amazing 2 years of my life.  It has been full of change, challenges, and blessings. There is nothing I can do other then be thankful to our Lord for His guidance and provisions.  I can't even imagine what it will be like to love another little kid, it's too much!  =) 

Jon wrote the above poem a month before Aaven was born.  Aaven was so loved and we didn't even meet him yet.  It's amazing how love works . . . it just exists, then it grows and spreads and when you think there's no more left to give, it turns out there is!  God is awesome and it's amazing that God is love.  His love rocks!!!!! 

 Jon and I are very blessed to have had 2 years with our gooby son and we are looking forward to many more years of adventures to come.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Our Loss is His Gain

Scripture Reading:
Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

His children are safe in the palm of His hand.
I’ve never experienced the loss of a child but I know some mothers who have.  I can’t even imagine how difficult losing a child must be, no matter in what form the child was lost from us, to outlive a child has got to be the most devastating experience.  I was recently reading a novel called “Heaven is for Real” where a 4 year old boy had a near death experience during surgery and was recalling his visit to heaven.  During his time in heaven, he met his sister whom his parents had miscarried before he was born as well as other family members who had passed.  When he had told his mom about this sister he had met in heaven his mom began to feel a peace within her because although her child didn’t make it on earth, she was alive and well in Heaven.  The mother felt reassured and reminded that the child she had never delivered she will one day meet in heaven.  The Lord loves us and although we may not always know the plans he has for our lives, we can trust that they are the best plans.  Although there may be pain and sorrow in our hearts, there is hope of a tomorrow, an eternity of peace with the ones we have lost.  I don’t know if that’s supposed to be helpful but I do claim the truth that children are His before they are ours and that even though they may not be with us, they are with Him.  How the Lord loves His children!  If we are unable to spend time with them on earth, it must be His gain because He gets to play with them up there!

Reflect in Action:
Pray for someone you know who may have lost a child.  Pray for peace, comfort, and understanding.  Pray that the Lord will continue to reveal His plans for their lives and that they will draw near to Him even though they may be angry and hurt.  If you have lost a child, commit your sorrows to the Lord and let Him heal your pain.  Let the Lord love you and trust Him to comfort you and care for the child you loss.  He loves His children.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Devotions: My Little Miracle

Miracle in the Making
Scripture Reading:
Psalm 139: 13-16
 “For you created my inmost being;
   You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   Your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
   When I was made in the secret place,
   When I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   All the days ordained for me were written in your book
   Before one of them came to be.”

It is crazy how God can create a child in our bodies.  The way He intricately designs a woman to sustain life inside a womb, then to deliver another little person into this world is nothing short of a miracle.  We are blessed to be given the opportunity to become ‘mom’.  There is nothing more fulfilling in the earth then to be given the experience to build a little creature within us, a little miracle.  The first flutter of a kick, the first sound of a human heartbeat, the first picture of life and the first cry; all this is nothing short of a gift.  From the day we find out we’re going to be a mother, our lives change drastically.  Sure, we lose our awesome pre-baby figure, but we gain something completely incomparable.  We are given the gift of life.  We are given the responsibility to grow and deliver a child of God, then to raise that child in His name and His knowledge, only praying that one day the child will in turn know our Savior.  This is a gift, a miracle, and a responsibility that only He can grant us.  We are in turn, miracle makers, part of a cycle of life that only ‘woman’ can continue.  Our mothers gave birth to us, and we are in turn to give birth to others.  We are miracle makers because after 9 months, we can stare back at the image of God and say “Thank You Lord for giving me my little miracle, my baby”.

Reflect in Action:
Look at your child (or your belly if one is on the way) and thank Him for your little miracle.  No matter how tired, or how frustrated being a mother (or a mom to-be) can be, you are this baby’s little world and your child is His child and until He calls us home, they are our gift on earth.  Tell your child how much you love them and how much God loves them too.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mother Blogger

So I guess I'm a mother blogger! This 'blog' is something I'd like to share to whoever cares to read it! =) I'm not technologically advanced, so this blog isn't going to be super good looking. I'm not a writer, so this blog isn't going to be spelled perfectly or be gramatically correct. I'm just a mother. A simple mother.
My husband Jon, my son Aaven, and me the mom.

My husband and I are serving as missionaries in the Philippines, originally from Canada. I am blessed with the opportunity to stay at home with my children. I have a 2 year old son and a daughter on the way!

When I first came to the Philippines, I thought I was going to be a super missionary. I thought I'd be able to save the world by doing all these great things like helping the poor, teaching kids, or being part of meetings that help establish and accomplish our mission here. When I arrived I realized that I can't do as much as I wanted to because I have a child who requires so much of my time and attention. I didn't have the freedom to serve God and others the way I used to before having children. I felt bad, here I am as a missionary and unable to do any ministries (unless for the rare occasion where Jon and I didn’t have ministry at the same time). I was asking God “why am I here? What can I do for you? How can I serve you when I’m constantly being needed by my child?” Then I saw an angel . . . ok, not a real angel but a wonderful missionary’s wife who has been in the ministry for almost 40 years. I expressed to her my frustrations and she simply replied “Your ministry is your husband and your children”. She said that Jon is able to do his ministry because I effectively do mine. She continued on to say that God has provided me with a little disciple of my own, Aaven, and that I should do all I can to serve him as I would serve a cell group or a Sunday school class.

I was reminded that my ministry is my family. To serve my husband and children as I would serve God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 states “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” My idea of ministry shifted and began to change. To all you mothers/wives current or to be . . . as frustrating and time consuming as family can be, when God blesses us with family, they become our main ministry and a joyous and fulfilling one at that!

I guess this blog is just to share some things that touch me during my ministry as a mother. I think I'll be organizing this blog either as a form of a devotional or just my thoughts. Hopefully you'll be able to take something from it and grow with me as we continue together on this journey of being 'mom'.