What’s it really like moving overseas?

Great morning to everyone from the islands!  It’s been a while since our last blog post – apologies for the lack of updates during the transition, while navigating through the challenges of moving to another hemisphere, terrorism, martial law, and shootings during our journey.  But suffice to say we’re alive and well ….. Our family of five recently packed up our lives into a few pieces of luggage and moved from TX to Southeast Asia this year after having a love-affair with Philippines.  We’ve been living here for almost 4 months now and have been getting a lot of questions about our lives so far.  The first two questions people ask are, “Why did you move?” and “How do you like living there?”

My wife Joan and I share several passions in life, one of which is pizza and another one being Travel.  Our marriage started on a snowboarding trip to Schweitzer Idaho, when I proposed to her in a freezing snowstorm on New Years Eve 2004.  We also had our wedding in Italy in the hill-country outside of Rome and honey-mooned all over Europe, which deepened our love for pizza (and eachother of course ;).  Our travel frequency waned after having kids, but after breaking beyond limiting beliefs about family travel, we started globe trotting all together.  Traveling with kids is another thing people ask us about, but that’s a whole different topic – we’ll save that for another day…. But our exploration of this world gave so much connection to others in meeting people from all different walks of life, and we learned so much about things outside of our normal routine.  We decided to give our family and children the opportunity to get full-immersion experiences to expand their education not just in the classroom but in the small towns in Europe, the coasts of Australia, and most especially about our own heritage and culture in the Philippines.  Plus we decided to take advantage of living in the current and unique environment where technology allows anyone to communicate with world through an internet connection, create income streams to live on and invest/grow wealth, and truly live a laptop lifestyle.

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It’s been anything but easy, but it’s been absolutely worth it.  After returning home from a 1 year deployment with the military, my wife and I made the choice to live with no regrets nor reservations.  One of our favorite family movies is the old Disney Classic, Swiss Family Robinson, where a family with 3 sons (we also have 3 boys) gets ship-wrecked onto a deserted island, and watching it with the family sparked a conversation.  The conversation revolved around a few questions: “What if we did what we wanted, when we wanted?  And, where would we live if we could live anywhere?”  The conversation morphed into actual plans and eventually a reality.  So we sold our house, unloaded the bulk of our “stuff,” and packed only the essentials – mainly clothes, books, and laptops. It was pretty therapeutic to donate and let go of the superfluous things we didn’t need.  I’d be lying if I said that leaving our family and friends wasn’t an emotion-filled decision, but we couldn’t escape the dream nor the vision.  Our sense of adventure kept shouting at us until we finally decided it was time.  We’ve been called crazy, reckless, and wild – but we choose to live by the cliche saying: LIFE IS SHORT, CARPE DIEM … (YOLO is a little too new for us old folks 😉

Flash forward to today, we are now living in the La Union Province of the northern Philippines, where the surf is up, the people smile big, and the beer is strong!  The first few months were a huge adjustment getting used new environment.  Spending a holiday at a place is very different than living there.  The true test of a place to call home is moving into a home and getting internet!  We’re still getting used to the pace of things, especially the speed of service and life in general (it took the internet company almost 2 months to activate our service).  There were a number of world-events and irritable situations that made us think about packing up our stuff and moving back to our comfort-zone in Texas, but we talked through the uncertainty and continue to find ways for making our own peace of mind.  It doesn’t take much for the people here living the provincial life to smile & laugh, so we may as well learn from them, adopt the culture, and do the same.  Every day we wake up to the sounds of the ocean, try all kinds of tasty cuisine, spend time with great people, and catch waves when the swell comes in.  Here we get a bite-sized vacation every single day of our lives in La Union, and live a good life with the company and community we’ve discovered.  It was a real treat to discover legit coffee at El Union so good it even impresses Italian travelers; ginormous burgers at Mad Monkeys that give TX beef a run for its money, delectable chocolate perfected by it’s Italian founder at Tigre y Oliva; and unforgettable places to hang out at like Flotsam & Jetsam, where you can escape to a rustic paradise at their hostel, restaurant, and bar.  If these things weren’t enough to put smiles on our faces, the open and awesome group of locals living in San Juan make us feel at home with each person we meet and connect with.  We’re lucky enough to have befriended other people and families who have moved out of their “safe havens” to this cozy little surf town.

There’s a definite shock to the system after the initial move abroad.  It’s tested our patience, discipline, and ability to live in a constant beautiful state.  It’s not like in America, where if you want almost anything, you can easily find a way to get it.  Here, you have to spend an extraordinary amount of time and effort to do even the simplest of things.  Many people look at us like walking ATM’s as they try to charge us triple the price as soon as they hear our “foreign” accents (I do my best Filipino/Tagalog accent, but still sound like poser).  I see things every day that make me say “WTF” on a regular basis, like really bad off-pitch karaoke parties that go into the wee hours in the morning, looking at mirrors that only reflect as high as your chest, the unbelievable ant infestations, or breathing in fumes when people burn their foliage/grass (which they often cut with scissors).  Also, the insects are colossal.  Back home, they say everything is bigger in Texas.  But they haven’t been here, because the cockroaches and bugs (in which the boys love collecting) are like crawling hockey pucks.

Despite our list of complaints, the storm of 1st-worlder-frustration always settles, and we always come to realize the stuff we bitch about here actually is tolerable and not a real threat to our lives or happiness.  Sometimes, we simply have to adapt and compromise some of the little things – like learning to find ways to get comfortable without central air-conditioning or becoming local-vores, eating local food/fruits/veggies instead of what we’re used to in the U.S.  We’ve been forced to learn to be grateful for the things we have instead of counting the crap that bugs us.   Before departure for Asia we planned for the unexpected, but we didn’t expect to throw so many of our plans out the window and have to improvise.  Instead, we get to practice the art of trading expectation for appreciation.  While an element of unknown remains that is both exciting and unnerving, we’re growing more and more comfortable with the uncertainty.   Who knows what we will find or who we will meet in the coming days ahead?   We may find absolute bliss or come across an even greater challenge.  But in any case, you’ll be able to find us spending time as a family, enjoying the beach-life on a surf board, laying in the sand, or eating a fresh catch of the day.  I’ll take that any time of the week instead of the old story of my life sitting at a desk, wasting away working to fulfill someone else’s dream.

If you have any questions for us or would like to drop a line, please comment below.  We’d love to hear from you 🙂  Cheers and Mabuhay!

Love,

The Limitless Family

P.S. If you’d like to know more about how we live our laptop digital nomad lifestyle CLICK HERE 

P.P.S. Bitcoins are pretty freaking awesome too… CLICK HERE to know more

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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Operation: Get My Life Back

Exactly 1 year ago today I finally returned to my TX home after leaving my wife, kids, family, and friends to serve a 1 year tour to Africa.  It was challengingu to leave all the people and things I loved in the good old U.S. of A, and the separation from family, the hectic schedule & transportation, sacrifice of everyday comfort & freedom, the rigor of war-time operations, and the miserable heat of the desert were enough to make me think hard about why I chose to join the service in the first place.  My own friends and family in their own way of caring would ask if I was sure that this was a good choice.  To me, it was absolutely, without a doubt the right thing to do.

Why would I be willing to depart from my beautiful wife, fun-loving sons, and everything near & dear to me to go to a barren, scorpion-filled desert?  You have to know a little about my family history first…

 

“No history; no self.  Know history; know self” – Dr. Jose Rizal, Filipino revolutionary and national hero

 

My family immigrated to the USA for the opportunity of a better life.  My paternal Grandfather (Oscar Dizon), an artist and a writer, moved to the US for freedom of speech upon becoming a target of supposed treason by Ferdinand Marcos.  After writing in the local newspaper column about the political corruption of the Filipino president and becoming a target of the regime, my grandfather and our family escaped to America.  My maternal Grandfather (Guillermo Joya) was a fireman by day and singer/actor/musician by night.  His home was burned down in World War II by the Japanese and in search for a better life, they looked for a land of safety, security, and freedom.  My mother would tell me stories where she had to eat ketchup and rice because that’s all they could afford to eat while living in their humble province in the the Philippines.

I don’t know where I would be, or IF I EVEN WOULD BE here had it not been for my family’s chance of moving to a free country.  In my twenties, I felt so much gratitude for this I wanted to pay it forward.  Inspired by my late father-in-law, LCDR (ret) Eleno Corpuz, Jr and Godfather, LCDR (ret) Winston Centeno,  I submitted an application/package to be a U.S. Naval Officer.  (Contrary to popular belief, it was NOT Tom Cruise or Val Kilmer in Top Gun that moved me to join)!  In 2010 I received my commission, and trained at Rhode Island, California, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, and Virginia before deploying to Africa for one year leaving my wife and kids – ages 5, 3, and 8 months-old at the time.  I wanted to pay my dues to Lady Liberty, and this was a chance to serve the people of the USA by following the sound of chaos and fighting in the war against terrorism.  I felt moved to live out the things I valued more importantly than simply talking about it or thinking about it.  To be in the arena was a different ballgame than watching from afar – and it excited me.  I felt and still do feel that if I die, then I’m going to die proudly.  The worst thing for me is the thought of living life with nothing to die for.  I know that when my time is called to knock on St. Peter’s door, the earth will still turn, the sun will still rise, and the Dallas Cowboys will still remain winless in the Playoffs (so long as Jerry Jones is GM).  And if I’m taken from this world, I hope the example I embodied showed my children even just a little something about character, values, and morals.  My prayer is that my wife and kids will take all they have been blessed with and serve this planet to their greatest ability – even more so when I die.  But the fact is I’ve already lived enough life in the back seat and now I’m at the helm.  So I put on my big-boy drawers, fit into my Kevlar vest, and went on an extended “all-inclusive” desert expedition.  To be perfectly honest with you, I walked away at the airport on the way to my first training-stop bawling my eyes out when my wife, sons, and mother-in-law turned around and walked off, knowing the count down to seeing them again had just begun.

 

“A true soldier doesn’t fight because he hates what’s in front of him. He fights because he loves what he left behind.” – G.K. Chesterson

 

The year went by super fast and super slow at the same time.  I had some really great times during the deployment.  I met some of the best human beings on the planet and shared an espirit de corp with my brothers and sisters in arms.  They showed me what Honor, Courage, and Commitment looked like in real life.  To this day, I still keep up with them and plan for the next reunion we can get together again in some part of the globe.  But I also faced some tough times as I battled myself, my fears and limiting thoughts.  For those married couples out there – imagine fighting with your spouse while thousands of miles apart, or hearing about the difficulties of your wife/husband/kids without the ability to be right there.  Or hearing others complain about their comfortable life that seemed to burden them like it was the end of the world, when people in poverty or civil/political upheaval were facing real problems like not knowing IF they could eat or feed their family, or whether they would live to see the next day.  When things got serious overseas, these kinds of thoughts left a bitter taste in my mouth and would keep me up at night.  But I learned to accept things I couldn’t control.  If people were oblivious to the destruction, death, and despair in other parts of the world, then that would mean that people of service were doing their jobs.

 

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  – T. Roosevelt

 

Day by day, another wake-up and task was completed until my mission finally came to a close.  I was so excited to get back home, but at the same time I was just hoping that I could pick up right where I left off the year before; and that same love could burn for my wife, sons, family, and friends.  And homecoming was even better than expected.  The taste of freedom was oh so sweet – the endless choices of how to spend time, people to connect with, places to see, different food to eat, what type of adult-beverage to drink – I was like a starved fat kid at the pizza buffet.  But soon after the ‘honey-moon’ phase of partying, celebrating, and feasting ended, reality struck.  Joan and I had to re-learn to live as a husband and wife again in the same house.  I had to re-learn how to be a Dad, and peel off my cover as a warrior, officer, and manager.  We also had to make some critical decisions that would affect our lives forever.  After my wife guided me to sit still, meditate, and pray again we decided to sell our house, our stuff, our material things, and do something we love to do together – TRAVEL.  People must have thought we were a little crazy, wild, and volatile for choosing to give up that life of comfort and live a nomadic and improvised lifestyle.  I had to trust that our daily needs would be taken care of by pure faith alone.  But I knew without a doubt that I didn’t care about my house, swimming pool, toys, and comfort more than I cared about my wife, sons, and our freedom to live life on earth on our own terms.  The decision didn’t come easy or without debate, but I’ll tell you that this past year has been THE BEST of times.  We reconnected with family & friends back in TX, did the Disney World thing in Florida, visited family in Jacksonville, celebrated with my sister’s family & friends at her wedding in Colorado, moved my parents to Arizona, visited family in California, and explored Europe this year – all together as family even with the kids. The chance to stand still, enjoy “carefree timelessness” with my family, quiet the rapid blabbering story inside my head, and regain the sense of living life to its fullest is something money can’t buy.  And we have more adventures on deck: Las Vegas, NV, Fort Myers, FL, Pensacola, FL, and the Philippines!  To say that we’re excited to travel, reconnect with friends & family,  meet new people, and help others along the way is an enormous understatement.

 

“What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” -H.D. Thoreau

 

I have to call out and thank my wife, Mrs. Limitless, for putting up with me and my crazy ideas and projects.  She helps keep me grounded when I start flying off into chaotic territory.  I can’t tell you enough about how much this woman does for me, my family, and for others.  She has this brightness about her that can make a blind man (me) see the light.  I’m not shy in saying quite literally, “I LOVE YOU TO DEATH!”  I’m so very grateful for my three sons, even though they may not understand this story now.  But they served as well and continue to serve our world by being the strong, independent, and curious little guys they are.  I’m really having the time of my life seeing them grow into awesome young men, and they surprise me with their humor and gifts every day.  I’m also thankful for my parents for always supporting me and the family – to my Dad, Mom, and Mother-in-law: You’re the best parents anyone could ask for!  To my Father-in-Law up above – I hope to make you proud and look forward to the day we catch up on life.  To our friends and family and the people who are always there, both near and far, and share both the good & bad times – y’all make life fun and worth living for.  Thank you to all the Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Soldiers, and Coasties that I had the pleasure to serve with.  Your friendship, mentorship, and followership will never be forgotten.  And last but not least, thank you to the warriors and heroes that are away right now, defending freedom & democracy around the world, and bringing the fight to terror’s soil – thank you for your service.

It is,
D

 

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A Meditation For Mothers

A few weeks ago I posted a lecture on The Stations of the Cross.

And tonight I attended a gathering at church called Mary’s Way of the Cross.  Basically, it’s  The Stations of the Cross from Mary’s perspective.  I was moved to tears by the process, and again.. I felt a tug to share my faith in this blog post.

She obviously relates to and has a deep connection to all mothers.

And I believe that ALL mothers, no matter what religious background or spiritual beliefs, should take time to mediate on Mary’s Way of the Cross.

It won’t take you long to be captivated by her sorrows.. and you will meditate and pray to the end.

 

Mary’s Way of the Cross

By Richard Furey, CSs.R

Meditation:

“I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to be as you say.” Those words, some of the very few that Mary speaks in Scripture, set in motion the process of our redemption. Those words also opened for Mary a life which she could never have imagined, one which must have certainly been blest with happiness, as well as great sorrow. Simeon told Mary at the very beginning of her Child’s life that “a sword of sorrow” would pierce her heart. With so little written about Mary in Scripture, one can only wonder about these joys and sorrows. What was it like for the one person who was perhaps closer to Jesus than anyone else as she daily came to understand her Son’s life? What can we learn from her experience of this process of redemption?

Mary stood by her Son throughout His passion and, in her faith, experienced the joy of His resurrection.

As we reflect on our theme, let us begin this Lenten season walking with Mary’s suffering as she watched her Son.

 

First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Die

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Meditation:

It was early Friday morning when I saw my Son. That was the first glimpse I had of Him since they took Him away. His bruised and bleeding skin sent a sword of pain deep into my heart and tears down my cheeks. Then Pilate, from his chair of judgment, asked the crowd why they wanted my Son executed. All around me they shouted, “Crucify him!” I wanted to plead with them to stop, but I knew this had to be. So I stood by and cried silently.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, it is hard for me to imagine the anguish your mother felt at your condemnation. But what about today, when I hold a grudge…? “Crucify him!”

“When I judge others…? “Crucify him!” Doesn’t this bring tears of anguish to both you and your mother? Forgive me, Jesus.

 

Second Station: Jesus Takes His Cross

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Meditation:

Regaining a little strength, I walked with the crowds to the entrance of the square.

A door flew open and my Son stumbled out, the guards laughing behind Him.

Two men dragged over a heavy wooden cross and dropped it on His shoulders.

Then they shoved Him down the road. My pain for Him was unbearable.

I wanted to take the cross from Him and carry it myself.

But I knew this had to be, so I walked on silently.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I beg you to forgive me for the many times I have added more weight to Your cross by closing my eyes to the pain and loneliness of my neighbour.

Forgive me for gossiping about others and for always trying to find excuses to avoid certain people who wish to talk with me. Help me to be like Mary, always seeking to lighten the crosses of others. Forgive me, Jesus.

 

Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

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Meditation:

I followed close behind my Son as He stumbled toward Calvary.

Nothing had ever hurt me more than to see Him in such pain.

I saw the cross digging into His shoulders. My heart dropped when I saw Him fall face to the ground, the heavy cross landing squarely on His back. For a moment I thought my beloved Son was dead. Now, my whole body began to tremble. Then the guards kicked Him. He rose slowly and began to walk again, yet they still whipped Him.

I wanted to protect Him with my own body. But, I knew this had to be, so I walked on and wept silently.

Prayer:

Lord, how often have I seen You fall, and, unlike Mary, have left You there without concern? How often have I seen people make mistakes and laughed at them?

How often do I find myself getting angry when someone does things differently than I? Mary offered You her support through your entire passion. Help me to do the same for You by the support I give to others. Lord, have mercy on me.

 

Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Grieving Mother

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Meditation:

I had managed to break through the crowd and was walking side by side with my Son.

I called to Him through the shouting voices. He stopped. Our eyes met, mine full of tears of anguish, His full of pain and confusion. I felt helpless; then His eyes said to me, “Courage! There is a purpose for this.” As He stumbled on, I knew He was right.

So I followed and prayed silently.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, forgive me the many times our eyes met and I turned mine away.

Forgive me the times things did not go my way and I let everyone know about it.

Forgive me the times I brooded over little inconveniences or became discouraged and did not heed Your call to courage! Yes, Lord, our eyes have met many times but fruitlessly.

 

Fifth Station: Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

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Meditation:

I could now see almost complete helplessness on the face of my Son as He tried to carry His heavy load. Each step looked as if it would be His last. I felt His every pain in my heart and I wanted the whole thing to end. Then I noticed some commotion near Jesus. The guards and pulled a protesting man from the crowd. They forced Him to pick up the back of the cross to help lighten my Son’s load. He asked the guards why this had to be. I knew, and so followed silently.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I have many times refused to help You. I have been a selfish person who has often questioned your word. Don’t let me remain like Simon, but help me to be like Your mother, Mary, who always silently followed and obeyed.

 

Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

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Mediation:

As I continued close by Jesus, a woman pushed past the guards took off her veil and began to wipe my Son’s sweating, bloody face. The guards immediately pulled her back. Her face seemed to say, “Why are you doing this to him?” I knew, so I walked on in faith, silently.

Prayer:

Lord, this woman gave You the best she could. On the other hand, I have wanted to take more than I give. So many opportunities arise every day for me to give to You by giving to others—but I pass them by. My Saviour, never let me ask why again, but help me to give all I have to You.

 

Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time

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Meditation:

Again my Son fell, and again my grief was overwhelming at the thought that He might die.

I started to move toward Him, but the soldiers prevented me. He rose and stumbled ahead slowly. Seeing my Son fall, get up again, and continue on, was bitter anguish to me. But, since I knew this had to be, I walked on silently.

Prayer:

Lord, of all people Mary was Your most faithful follower, never stopping in spite of all the pain she felt for You. I have many times turned away from You by my sins and have caused others to turn away from You. I beg You to have mercy on me.

 

Eighth Station: Jesus Speaks to the Women

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Meditation:

I was walking a few steps behind Jesus when I saw Him stop. Some women were there crying for Him and pitying Him. He told them not to shed tears from Him. They had the opportunity to accept Him as the messiah; like many others, they rejected Him instead. He told them to shed tears for themselves, tears that would bring their conversion. They did not see the connection between that and His walk to death. I did, and as He walked on, I followed silently.

Prayer:

My Saviour, many times have I acted like these women, always seeing the faults of others and pitying them. Yet, very rarely have I seen my own sinfulness and asked Your pardon. Lord, You have taught me through these women. Forgive me, Lord, for my blindness.

 

Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time

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Meditation:

This fall of Jesus was agony to me. Not only had He fallen on the rocky ground again, but now He was almost at the top of the hill of crucifixion. The soldiers screamed at Him and abused Him, almost dragging Him the last few steps. My heart pounded as I imagined what they would do to Him next. But, I knew this had to be, so I climbed the hill silently behind Him.

Prayer

My loving Jesus, I know that many times I have offered my hand to help people but when it became inconvenient or painful to me I left them, making excuses for myself.

Help me, Lord, to be like Your mother, Mary, and never take my supporting hand away from those who need it.

 

Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

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Meditation:

With my Son finally relieved of the weight of the cross, I thought He would have a chance to rest. But the guards immediately started to rip His clothes off His blood-clotted skin. The sight of my Son in such pain was unbearable. Yet, since I knew this had to be, I stood by and cried silently.

Prayer:

Lord, in my own way I too have stripped You. I have taken away the good name of another by foolish talk, and have stripped people of human dignity by my prejudice.

Jesus, there are so many ways I have offered You through the hurt I have caused others. Help me to see You in all people.

 

Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

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Mediation:

As they threw Jesus on the cross, He willingly allowed Himself to be nailed. As they punctured His hands and His feet I felt the pain in my heart. Then they lifted up the cross. There He was, my Son, whom I love so much, being scorned as He struggled for the last few moments of earthly life. But I knew this had to be, so I stood by and prayed silently.

Prayer:

Lord, what pain You endured for me. And what pain Your mother went through, seeing her only Son die for love of me! Yet, both You and she are ready to forgive me as soon as I repent of my sin. Help me, Lord, to turn away from my sinfulness.

 

Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

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Meditation:

What greater pain is there for a mother than to see her Son die right before her eyes!

I, who had brought this Saviour into the world and watch Him grow, stood helplessly beneath His cross as He lowered His head and died. His earthly anguish was finished, but mine was greater than ever. Yet, this had to be and I had to accept it, so I stood by and I mourned silently.

Prayer:

My Jesus, have mercy on me for what my sins have done to You and to others.

I thank You for Your great act of love. You have said that true love is laying down your life for your friends. Let me always be Your friend. Teach me to live my life for others, and not fail You again.

 

Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken From the Cross

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Meditation:

The crowd had gone; the noise had stopped. I stood quietly with one of Jesus’ friends and looked up at the dead body of our Saviour, my Son.

Then two men took the body from the cross and placed it in my arms. A deep sorrow engulfed my being. Yet, I also felt deep joy. Life had ended cruelly for my Son, but it had also brought life to all of us. I knew this had to be, and I prayed silently.

Prayer:

Lord, Your passion has ended. Yet, it still goes on whenever I choose sin over You.

I have done my part in Your crucifixion and now, my Saviour, I beg Your forgiveness with all my heart. Help me to live a life worthy of You and Your mother.

 

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

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Mediation:

We brought Jesus’ body to a tomb and I arranged it there myself, silently weeping, silently rejoicing. I took one more look at my loving Son, and then walked out.

They closed the tomb and before I left, I thought, I knew this had to be…it had to be for you! I would wait in faith silently.

Prayer:

Yes, my Lord, this had to be because You love me, and for no other reason. All You ask is that I live a good life. You never said such a life would be easy. I am willing to leave sin behind and live for You alone, in my brothers and sisters.

 

Fifteenth Station: Jesus is Raised From the Dead

Meditation

I could only be most grateful for the sacrifice of my Son for us. Yet, what emptiness I felt trying to live without Him whom I loved so! But, only two days later that emptiness was filled beyond belief—He had risen! Our Saviour had opened the doors to a new life. That is the way it had to be—because His undying love for you would not stop at anything less. I could rejoice forever, but not in silence.

Prayer:

My Saviour, thank you! Thank you for such endless love that helps me to rise out of my own sinfulness. I will try again to live a better life. Help me to always remember that love. Mary, mother of our risen Saviour, teach me to be like you, and in my love for others, love Him in return.

 

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Must Read Poem For A Badass Day

I have been listening to the audio version of Outwitting The Devil by Napoleon Hill (By the way, this book is so real that I can’t believe I hadn’t read it sooner).  He mentions that this poem played a vital role in his life.

Napoleon-Hills-Outwitting-the-Devil-2769113… and I want to share it.

If you have read the book.. This is a good reminder to have a badass day..

If not, I hope you read this and have an extraordinarily badass day…

 

Invictus

By William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

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The Sex Life of a Military Wife

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My husband is deployed on the other side of the world.  We have an eleven hour time difference.  We are able to squeeze in a Skype or Facetime conversation about once a day, twice if we are lucky.  Most of our talks are limited in time because of the time difference and in that short amount of time we divide the talking time between myself and our 3 boys.  So, most of the time our chats are brief and I would say about 2-3 times a week my husband and I can have a decent conversation on the phone with no interruptions from the kids and no time constraints.  And all of that, depends on if we have a good internet connection. 

During the daytime I’m with the kids, and we normally keep busy to make the days go by faster.  At the end of the day, the kids go to bed, and the house is finally quiet.  There are some nights that I’m so exhausted that I fall asleep with the kids and there are nights that get incredibly lonely. 

I miss having my husband’s shoulder to rest on my head.  I miss being held by his strong arms.  I miss the taste of his kiss.  I miss the comfort and warmth of us just holding hands.

I miss having physical contact with a man.

I struggle and I think about the options I have to relieve the void of loneliness and disconnection.  Surely there is a solution to end this problem.

I could seek another man for fun and for the sake of fulfilling sexual desires.  It would be a heated love affair, a secret that no one needs to know about.  We would have evening or early morning rendezvous.  My needs would be easily satisfied.  It would be hot, steamy, new and temporary.

OR

I could go to the nearest adult store and get the most popular adult toy and batteries.  Then, get on my phone or personal computer and download some porn that is readily available.  I could please myself without involving anyone else.  And in my research this kind of self pleasuring is “healthy.”

Which did I choose?

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Well, let’s put it this way, 85% of of deployed military including military spouses cheat.  (I’m going to have to round up it up to 90% for this next example) That means roughly 9 out of 10 military and/or spouses have affairs.  That means maybe 1 or 2 are faithful.  Clearly, in this sex crazed world, it has become the norm and almost expected. 

So, WHICH DID I CHOOSE?

NEITHER….

I chose complete CHASTITY (definition below, in case we forgot)

chas·ti·ty
ˈCHastədē/
noun
noun: chastity
  1. the state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially from all, sexual intercourse.
    “vows of chastity”
    synonyms: celibacy, chasteness, virginity, abstinence, self-restraint, self-denial, continence

 

No other men, no porn, no toys, no batteries.  I am the part of the few, faithful 10-15%. 

WHY?

First and foremost, faithfulness and fidelity were instructions by God through our wedding vows

Priest: (Name), do you take (name) to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love him and honor him all the days of your life?

Bride: I do.

Second, in this time of struggle and suffering, at a point in my life where I need love, strength, faith and hope the most – why would I sabotage my mind and body with anything artificial that doesn’t promise me love, strength, faith and hope?

And in this time of pain and loneliness – there is meaning.  Which leads to my last reason of staying chaste.

Lastly, when sex, self pleasure, porn, infidelity and temporary comforts are running rampant and available to us everywhere we turn in all forms of media today … how much more will our minds be polluted 5-10 years when our children are older?  In the path that this society is going, will the future generation picture love as disposable, temporary, and self indulgent?  How would you want your kids to treat love and marriage?  Will our boys grow into true gentlemen?  Will our daughters become ladies?

“The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.”-St. Pope John Paul II

Chastity isn’t easy – my meaning to this suffering?  I believe God put me in this situation to bring balance to our hedonistic society.  That maybe my story will bring hope and inspiration to for men and women to set much higher standards for themselves when faced with challenging and painful situations and in sexual decisions- and have a ripple effect to our children of the future.

Chastity, like honesty, is a civic as well as a personal virtue. When a society loses chastity, it begins to destroy itself. —William Schickel