Surviving Long-Distance Relationship

My husband and I had gone through long-distance relationship for more than three (3) years with an approximate distance of 6500 miles and 15-hour time difference. With that, we always get asked with questions: “How do you survive being away with each other?” and “Is LDR possible?”. We thought it would be nice to share the things we did in our journey in order to make it work and hope it would help others who are going through the same thing as well.

 

1. COMMUNICATION. Just like in every relationship, communication is a must. You have to do it FREQUENTLY and it should be based on HONESTY and TRUST. Don’t intend to conceal things and pretend that everything about you is perfect because it is just not the way it is. Make use of the tons of tools available in the market that are usually free for your advantage like facebook, facetime, viber, skype, e-mails and even snail mails!

Frequency and honesty. We would talk for hours in a day about anything! We want to maximize this time to learn about each other’s likes and dislikes. We would even sometimes do cooking sessions together because we talk so much about food!

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Snail mails. This can be a good break from the usual video calls. I don’t know about you but there’s something about opening envelopes with handwritten letters fresh from the mailbox. Yes, it can take months before the letter arrives. Yet, it is still worth the try because this effort can be so fun and romantic for the both of you!

2. VISION. Set goals as a couple. Ask questions like “When are we having the next video call again?”, “What are our future plans as a couple?”, “When are we moving on from being in a long-distance relationship?”. Of course, married couples are not meant to spend the lifetime away from each other. We do not intend to stay in this kind of relationship forever! By asking questions like these, you have something to look forward to that lessens the longingness for each other.

Set virtual dates. In our case, we would always try a new coffee place to have our virtual dates or if you’re saving up, you can just set it up at home and make a 3-in-1 coffee. hehehe

Plan and save up to see each other once in a while. Together with my parents, I visited him and his family and friends in Canada.

3. CREATIVITY. It sucks that you don’t get to see and spend time with each other on a regular basis so instead of wallowing yourself in frustration, use your creativity to cultivate your relationship. LDRs don’t have to be boring! You may want to try these:

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Flower delivery. He would surprise me with flowers for special events by ordering online or sometimes by asking help from friends or my family members. Just make sure that the website you’re trying is legit. There are also other things you can order online like balloons, cakes, books, etc.

 Send gifts via couriers. I’ve tried DHL for a couple of times and they have met my expectations. Just a reminder that when sending gifts internationally, the receiver would sometimes have to pay the customs tax. For this package, Genis had to pay $21CAD (about Php700) just to claim his gift. haha

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Send e-gifts via giftaway to each other. Giftaway is such a cool idea for sending e-gifts. It only works for the Philippines though. We’ve tried this for several times too and there are a wide variety of e-gifts to choose from like e-money for restaurants, massage services, etc.

Surprise Videos. you can do videos for him/her. With the help of my wonderful friends from Mustard band, we made a surprise music video for his birthday! You can find the link here.

4. FAITH. For Genis and I, all the things mentioned above will never be enough. In this world where a lot of things are unsure and shaky, our relationship in Jesus Christ has been our solid ground on which we stood. We have learned to love like how Christ has loved us. We have learned to forgive how Christ has forgiven us. We have learned to stay faithful to our commitment to each other because we are committed to Jesus Christ first. I don’t have pictures to show on how we’ve shared our Bible studies and prayer times together but a big chunk of our time has been spent in doing these things.

In closing, I would say LDR is not the ideal setting for any relationships. It sucks to be away from the ones you love. Yet, I hope the things I’ve shared here can help inspire you as you journey in this process until you see each other and begin a life together. If asked whether LDRs are possible? I would say YES! With much effort and prayers, it is possible!

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3 Principles For A Life of Genero$ity

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Growing up, we have not been financially well-off. Though I’m so grateful that my parents had provided for our basic needs (food, shelter, education and clothing), I still had to work for the other things that I want. So why would I even consider generosity when I don’t even have anything extra to give? Let me share three (3) principles I have learned that would counteract that mindset and would help us live a generous life:

Principle #1: God is the SOURCE. Everything else is just a RESOURCE. Our jobs, businesses, parents, investments, and other means of acquiring money is just a channel from the ultimate source. We may have the tendency to unconsciously brag about our abilities. Yet, if you think about it, we are really nothing apart from Him who enables us to produce wealth. With that perspective, we can be so generously giving knowing that we have such a rich source that never runs dry!

Principle #2: Sowing and Reaping. Let’s understand the importance of sowing GOOD and PLENTY seeds on GOOD SOIL and reaping it in DUE TIME. First, good seeds can be your actions like sponsoring someone else’s tuition fee when you know he/she cannot pay for his/her own, paying for somebody’s medical needs, or just simply helping a friend that is in need. Second, plenty seeds would mean taking all possible opportunities – not just one time but all the chances life would give you. Third, ask God for the good soil where you can start planting. It can be a missionary in your church or an organization with  a good cause. Lastly, in due time you will reap your harvest. It’s not that we are after the blessings but it’s just that we can never out-give God!

Principle #3: A Flowing River versus A Stagnant Water. I keep envisioning myself as a river that continuously flows and gives life to many. Whenever I share what I have whether it is cheerfully or sacrificially given, I just know in my heart that my river will be once again replenished! There’s just that unexplainable joy knowing that you live for something bigger than yourself. Do you want to be that of a stagnant water where bacteria and mosquitos breed? Of course not! Truly those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed!

Let’s choose to practice being generous because it is the faith to look beyond your present situation. With a strong track record, I would say God has been more than enough through the years! I had tremendously experienced his amazing provision in my life in many different ways! If you have any other principles on how to live out this kind of lifestyle, please don’t hesitate to comment down below!

10 Things I Learned From My Wedding

Exactly two months ago, I got married to the man of my prayers! Looking back, I can’t help but miss the wedding preparations we had gone through. While weddings can be so fun and exciting, it can be so stressful too. Here are my top 10 things that I’d like to share to the bride-to-be’s out there:

  1. Perfection Is Not The Goal. Having 13 months to prepare before the big day and being the slightly obsessive-compulsive that I am, some things still didn’t go the way I wanted them to be. My hair that was a little messy during the ceremony because of the wind, incomplete family members due to rejected vacation leaves, missing wedding shoes, and I could go on with my list. I am reminded that though the program might not be perfect, the idea of marrying the man I will be spending the rest of my life with is already enough. Everything else beyond that is already a bonus! 1 (59)
  2. Don’t Burn Bridges. Some people from your guest list won’t make it, suppliers will sometimes disappoint, and other relatives can be hard to talk to. Learn to stretch your patience and understand them. After all, REALationships are more important than your DREAM wedding! You can’t afford broken ones after the big day!
  3. Consider The Fiancé/Fiancée. The wedding preparation is also a good training ground for the future couples. It is like preparing for a big project and both of you are the ones who are mainly responsible to it. Learn to compromise and communicate with each other for small and big decisions you have to make.
  4. Hiring Professional Suppliers Is So worth it! I suggest on hiring a team of professional suppliers for: on-the-day coordination, photographers/videographers, caterers, hair&makeup artist, and even the host! It would really make a difference when you do this. They can be pricey but if you make some time to research, there are affordable ones out there who can also give quality services. quote-if-you-think-it-s-expensive-to-hire-a-professional-to-do-the-job-wait-until-you-hire-an-amateur-red-adair-744
  5. Stay Within Your Budget! Upgrading your packages, buying additional decorations, and hiring more well-known suppliers are just some of the things that can be so tempting to do. At the onset of your wedding preparation, it is but necessary to set a budget and to stick to it! Yes, there are last-minute unexpected expenses as the big day approaches but be disciplined not to go overboard.
  6. Be A BRIDECHILLA. Do you want to be tagged as a bridezilla or a bridechilla? As women, we can be so detailed and perfectionist when we envision our wedding day. Do not be consumed by the small stuff and be missing out on the bigger ones.
  7. Pinterest Can Be Your Bestfriend! Pinterest is an application worth downloading for hacks, DIYS, entourage gowns inspiration, and more! Dear bride-to-be, do yourself a favor and download this for yourself too!
  8. Choose Wisely Your Entourage Members. Personally, my entourage list was not too long. Some of the things my husband and I considered were their significance in our lives when we were still single and their commitment to stand with us during and after the wedding day. I’m so glad we had such an amazing line-up! 1 (13)
  9. Prepare For Your Wedding Vow. The goal is not just about to enthral the viewers of your same-day-edit video and your lovely guests but to also come up with a weighty list of promises for your lifetime partner. During the times that life can be challenging between you and your partner, it’s so helpful to remind yourself of the things you have pledged before God and before the eyes of men. And with that, i think you really need some alone and extra time to come up with a beautiful vow. Set a time to do it!DSC_0659
  10. The Wedding Day Is Not About Me. I had made a conscious effort to remind myself that it’s not about how beautiful my gown is, how famous my suppliers are, or how many likes will my pictures get on social media once they see that I’m married already. Of course that can be too shallow but if you’ll really be honest, we can be so consumed about it. Do not forget that marriage is an institution ordained by God. As you celebrate the day, be reminded that it is not just about the bride and the groom but it is a special day where we can honor Him the most!