True Calling

you have a gift

Each person has his or her own gift.  Each of us has our own calling.  It’s not always, though that we find out right away what that calling is…

I used to ask myself what my calling is.  Whereas some people knew right away what they wanted to be or what they see themselves doing, I, for the longest time, was quite clueless.  I knew I was smart enough and I could be hardworking enough so I could pretty much do whatever task or job I would set my mind on. 

But then again, there are things that one does out of need… ie, because one needs a job and it’s the only job available… or because one feels the need to prove something to other people that they do things that others expect them to do.

And then there are the things we do out of passion.  Things we do because our hearts call out for it.  Things that make us feel more alive.   Things that give us the feeling of importance… a sense of purpose. 

Like I said, there are fortunate ones who know their gifts and get to use them in day jobs.  To those who can’t quite figure out what they are called to do… or those who are still uneasy about showcasing their God-given talents, well, it can be a struggle. 

~*~

Certified M.O.M.

I like love being a mom.  I love being a hands-on mom.  Despite everything I heard — the disbelief, the negative remarks, the dismay — when people found out that I chose being a full-time mom over being a career woman, I was never sorry about my choice.  If there is one thing that I know I am firm about, it’s the decision that my son will always, ALWAYS come first. 

Some people think it’s easy.  People from the outside think that being  “just” a mom is synonymous to not doing anything (wait ’til they see my daily ‘to-do list’). Well, it’s not that simple. Motherhood is not easy.  Raising an individual and making sure that said individual will grow up to be a decent, loving, God-fearing human being is a challenge.  Parenting does not come with a manual.  Mothers make mistakes, too.  We try to be good role models to our kids, but we do trip and fall sometimes.  And we have to rectify our mistakes, and at times, swallow our pride, so we can teach our kids what is right. 

Motherhood is not just about giving birth.  It is about molding, shaping, loving the child that you brought into this world.    It is about giving one’s time, attention, one’s heart… one’s self to the child.   

There is nothing easy about that.

~ * ~

One thing I like about being a full time mom is that I am given the chance to extend myself to other children, as well.  Sometimes it’s not just my son that I take care of.  There’s my nephew — who practically grew up with me, and even my son’s friends when needed. 

My friend and her husband had to go out of town for four days last week.  And so for four nights and four days, they left their two boys, Super Slugger and Whiz Kid (aged 10 and 12) with us.  They are my son’s baseball teammates and really good friends so you can imagine how happy the boys were when they found out they will be together for four whole days.    

It wasn’t just a regular “go to school” schedule for the three boys, believe me.  The boys had full schedules going into the weekend.  Full meaning baseball tournament for Super Slugger, Math contest for Superson, Computer contest for Whiz Kid.  Our mornings began at 5:30 am and our nights ended well, pretty late (tell me, how do you make three boys sleep early?!).  My days consisted of shuttling them to and from school, or waiting for them to finish their practices, or watching Super Slugger’s games.  I had to make sure they were well fed, hydrated, with homeworks done… I had to make sure they woke up early, their uniforms were complete, they had enough socks and underwear…  

I had to make sure they were happy and not in anyway homesick.  I was particularly more mindful of Super Slugger because he had a three-day tournament and I didn’t want him to feel alone so I watched every game that I possibly could. 

It was a busy and tiring weekend. But my heart was quite full.  I was happy because I was doing what I do best.  I was being a mom… and I was extending it to other children.  I was in my element.   

You know what made the whole thing more special?  It’s the realization that my friends trust me enough to leave their children under my care.  Knowing that they can entrust their kids to either their relatives or other friends, but still they chose me to take care of their children, doesn’t that say something?  Isn’t that a high form of compliment that not everyone gets freely?

~ * ~

We are all called to do something.  Sometimes we have to dig deep to find out what we are called to do, what our purpose is.  Oftentimes we make the mistake of comparing ourselves to others… we think that they are more special, or their gifts are more important, more valuable.

What do you do best?  What does your heart tell you to do?  What skills and talents do you have?  Find your purpose.  Find your passion.  Find your calling.  Stop comparing yourself to others (like what I’ve done half of my life) because you are who you are.  Just be the best you that you can possibly be.

I am a mother… and I strive to be the best mother that I can be. 

In the end, that’s all that matters.

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photos via weheartit.com

And then there was… baseball

from dusk 'til dawn

It was another baseball weekend.

Two full days of tournament.  On Saturday my son’s team played two games, on Sunday they played three.  Since they kept playing, it also meant that they kept winning (losing two games means the team should start packing ‘coz they’re going home).  They could have reached and won the championship game if only the last two teams they played against were not that good.  But well, all the teams played to win.  Our team came in third.  Not bad for a new team.

To say that it was an exhausting weekend would be an understatement.   The long day, the heat, the waiting in between games truly sucked the energy out of me.  At some point during the day, I was already starting to imagine what my alternate self in my alternate universe would have been doing on that weekend.  Probably Christmas shopping.  Alternate SGM was joyously strolling at the airconditioned mall, shopping for Christmas gifts, looking so pristine while sipping her favorite iced mocha.   The real ME on the other hand, spent the two days under the sun and the heat and the occasional drizzle.  With sand and soil on my shoes and my pants.  I was the perfect poster girl for the Sahara desert. 

When we got back home Sunday evening, I was just so tired.  Dead tired. 

~ * ~

happiness in a glove

Enough of the whining, though, because I know that despite the heat and the exhaustion, it was a good weekend for all of us baseball parents who were there to watch and cheer for our boys.  We had food, we had drinks.   And do you know of people who are very gifted at entertaining others?  Well, we had those, too.  Ergo, we had laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. 

It is really nice when parents get together for a certain goal. Ours was to extend whatever support our kids needed… not only to win the games, but for them to learn from the actual experience, as well.  So whether they win or lose, our prayer was that they take something valuable home with them. 

It is not always just about the skills that the child develops when he does sports.  It is also about the values that he learns.  The life lessons that he will bring with him as he gets older.  It is also about the memories that these children build individually and even as a team.

And to be part of those memory-building moments… isn’t that what parenting is about?

*** *** *** *** ***

next blog:  Parenting from the Other Side… (The kind of parent you wouldn’t want to be). Watch out for it.  I still have to collect my thoughts. As I said, I was dead tired over the weekend, I haven’t really recovered yet.

photo via weheartit.com

 

The #2 is MY #1

After the end of every school year, for the past six years, I have been going up the stage in school to accept and hang on my son’s neck a silver medal for academic achievement.  Out of more or less 400 students in his grade level, my son has consistently been Top 2.  The students getting the first and the third spots have changed several times, but The Son stood his ground. As one parent puts it, he has kept his throne.

As a hands on parent, maybe I should share in taking credit for his achievements.  I can always claim that without my help and guidance — and the tons of reviewers that i used to make (okay, honestly, I still make some up to  now) — without me giving encouragement and support, maybe he wouldn’t have been consistent.  Maybe my persistent nagging (how redundant is that!) does the work.  Maybe i can claim that he is doing well in school because i won’t let him do otherwise (translation: confiscate every single toy, book or whatever that normal boys make time for… or ground him for the rest of his student life!).

Honestly? I won’t take credit for my son’s achievements.  He has reached this far because he worked hard for it.  Yeah, maybe I give a little nudge every once in a while… maybe i do nag him, specially when time is of the essence… and yes, i still help review him come exam day.  But once he is in school he’s on his own.  He uses his own brains to understand things. He works hard to  perfect his activities and he relates to the teachers and peers in his own personal way.  It is all him.  I dare not take away his glory.

As a parent, the most i can do is to give the best guidance, support and encouragement as much as I can while he is young.  I just sow the seeds and he does the rest of the work.  He makes his mistakes and learns from them.  He makes decisions and face the consequences.  But sometimes, too, I can only watch and guide from afar.  Sometimes i can only pray that i guided him well enough to make good choices when he’s on his own.

So far, he is doing pretty well. 

This morning, I was the picture of a very proud (and beaming) mom.