Post-Wedding Reflections

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If you asked Ingrid three years ago if she envisioned herself tying the knot, she would outright tell you–NO. It’s been an interesting journey from being a lovestruck teenager who couldn’t wait to find true love, getting my heart broken, being made to hope and then finally surrendering to God in the area of relationships. I settled into my single life, enjoying and living every moment of it. I wore the NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) tag like a badge of honor, thinking “No man has ever come close and all the others who tried were just not serious.” I envisioned myself devoting my life to media and ministry, traveling the world and just living the single life to the hilt AND THEN DAVE HAPPENED. If you watched these videos, I talked about how I came to a point of confusion. How I was already happy as a single but then I began developing feelings for Dave. I asked God if I was sinning and during my plane ride to Singapore then, I felt the Lord assure me that it was okay. That Dave was from Him. Some people thought our romance was a whirlwind: We became a couple in October 2017, Dave proposed in January and we tied the knot on the exact day of our first year together.

Looking back, I really saw God’s involvement in everything: from the schedules, to the suppliers, the venue, financial provision and the availability of people we chose to be a part of our wedding day. The wedding planning was also an avenue for God to teach us about the essentials of the covenant of marriage. See, we had a very intimate wedding of just 80 guests. Of course it was daunting to put the guest list together. “Baka sumama loob nito pag di natin siya ininvite.” “Should we include him/her? Kilala ba niya tayo talaga or baka acquaintance lang?” Dave and I both are practical with our finances. We could have gone with a 250-person guest list but how would that affect our life after the celebration was over? We wanted to cover our bases, meaning after ng wedding, kailangan sigurado na may pambayad kami ng housing and utilities namin, our transportation, basic needs and the other things for us to build our home. There is nothing wrong with those who choose to splurge on their wedding day–that is your wedding, this is ours. That is your budget, we also have ours. 🙂

I guess through this whole process, one thing I can impart to fellow brides (and grooms) is to not be pressured to mount an extravagant wedding just because someone you know did so. Do not be pressured to avail of all the wedding trends just because a lot of couples have been getting them too. One question that I found very helpful every time I was tempted to avail of a wedding add-on was this: “Will the wedding not push through, if this were not included?” (Hindi ba matutuloy ang kasal kung wala yan?)

It’s been several weeks since we said our vows. As we joyfully build our home together, we’ve been affirmed that we made the right choice to prioritize our life after the wedding day, without any fear of huge debts or the fear of not having enough to sustain our daily living.

 

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Married Life: Chores, Routines, Big vs. Small House

Settling into our new routine as husband and wife has been both a joy and a challenge. My former radio partner Chloe was right when she said that it can be daunting to realize that you’re no longer living alone (as a single woman) and you spend each and every waking day with a person you vowed to be with for the rest of your life. Things aren’t always peachy; there are times when I catch myself chomping on the fact that my husband and I cook and wash the dishes differently. We don’t fight about it, we just have to talk about the most efficient manner that would benefit us both. In the video below, I share the routine we’ve established so far, the chores we’ve come to enjoy doing together and my thoughts on having a big vs. small house.

Backstory: When I was younger, I really wanted a big house. Whenever my family would visit relatives or friends in subdivisions, I always enjoyed looking out the window and appreciating the architecture and design of big houses. I even told myself that even if I don’t get married, okay lang ako living in a big house all to myself. But then, things change. As I grew older, my faith and view on finances shifted my desire to live in a big house.

Our Wedding Day Vlog

I thought it was highly possible for me to vlog the whole wedding day. I needed help! I’m thankful that our wedding photographers, my bridesmaids and maid of honor were more than happy to step in and tell the story of our wedding day.

Things I learned?

  • Matagal pala talaga yung prep shoot. Of course it looks so easy and fast when the photos are put together na for the SDE but… haha let me tell you NO. With all due respect to our photographers, they really did a great job and I know they wanted to get a lot of amazing shots because this is their craft. I guess I just had to properly psyche myself. Hindi kasi professional mowdel si Ingrid. :p
  • EAT. AS IN. It’s bound to be a long day.
  • We should have taken pictures with our family and other guests in our photobooth. 😦 I’m thankful that our supplier Photomocoh extended their hours just to make sure that Dave and I had shots of ourselves at the photobooth. That was very nice of them.
  • Even if you think you’ve planned everything, you have to learn to let go and entrust the execution to the coordinators and people involved. Yes, there will be things that won’t go according to the outline but you just have to let go and ENJOY EVERY SINGLE MOMENT because the time just zooms through so quickly.

Enjoy our wedding vlog!

The Day Before We Said “I Do”

After months of planning, meetings with suppliers and spreadsheet encoding, everything just seemed to fast forward to our wedding day. We had a quick wedding rehearsal with Pastor Larry (our officiating minister), our coordinator Ate Rose, my maid of honor Jirah and Maow, the best man. Honestly, I never gave the wedding ceremony choreography much thought. Iniisip ko lang–automatic na yan. I’ll do my slow bridal march towards Dave and Papa hands me over to him. There was more to it. Pastor Larry and his wife, Tita Joy coached us on the bridal march–where to look, how to carry ourselves. It’s so different from the Powers walk I learned in JRP!

Upon reaching the altar with my parents, I’d have to kiss them goodbye, Dave would have to pay his respects with a mano or a handshake and then my father formally turns me over to him. I swear, when Pastor Larry was describing that to me, I couldn’t help but tear up. I’d be the first daughter my Papa would give away in marriage. After the rehearsals, Dave and I agreed that we won’t be exchanging sweet, emotional messages nor see each other until the wedding day itself.

I cried before sleeping because I kept thinking about God’s faithfulness and how He still writes love stories. From #HappySingle to a #HappyBride. Thank you everyone for journeying with me.

BOOK HAUL AT THE 39TH MIBF! | INGRID NIETO Vlogs

Did a bit of early Christmas shopping at the #OMFLit Booth at the
Manila International Book Fair.

My suggestions for those who are going:
1) Best to go early if you can. I attended the first day and IT WAS CRAZY PACKED.
2) Payment options: They accept cash, credit and debit cards naman.
3) Bring a trolley bag/maleta. I totally forgot that. Ang sakit tuloy ng likod ko. Walking around the halls and booths while carrying your books can take a toll on your arms and back. Don’t make that mistake. 🙂
4) Wear comfortable shoes for the book hunting marathon.
5) Make a list before you go. If you’re buying books as gifts, list who you’re buying for and what kind of books you’ll be getting for them. Having a list also helps you discipline yourself that you don’t linger too long and buy stuff you don’t actually need.
6) ENJOY. ENJOY. ENJOY! Having started school in seminary, we’ve been given a mix of physical books and ebooks to read. Ebooks may be more handy and convenient, but nothing beats the feel of turning the pages of a real book, highlighting and attaching sticky notes with your annotations.

Throwback Blog: I received another credit card?!

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REMEMBER THAT I CLOSED MY GOLD CREDIT CARD LAST MONTH?

This morning I was surprised to receive a packet from the bank. The messenger asked for my ID so I thought “This is legit and not some random letter. But wait, didn’t I close my card last month? What’s this then? I don’t remember applying for anything!!!” So I asked the messenger and he told me that it’s a credit card inside the envelope.

I ran back to my room and opened the packet. TADAAAA! An American Express card! Shopaholics would usually jump for joy if they receive such a thing, but my initial reaction was PUZZLEMENT. I don’t remember applying for anything! And then the letter goes “the card is active…membership fee is waived for the first year.”

Continue reading

Throwback Blog: Cutting my Gold Card

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Oh the freedom and the joy! I rarely use it yet pay for the exorbitant membership fee. 

For those who just started working, you may be easily tempted to sign up for a credit card, feeling ever so powerful because you’re earning your own keep.

THINK REAL HARD and have an accountability partner who will remind you if you’re spending too much. There is nothing wrong with credit cards, but take caution because it may end up controlling you. Do not be enslaved by it and drown yourself in debt. Use it wisely.

Should you need to use that piece of plastic, make sure that whatever you charge is something you can easily pay off with cash. Pay your bills on time and in full, as much as possible. Rewards offered by credit card companies can be very tempting, but again… think and pray! Do you really need it? Do you really have to go on that trip? Is it a matter of life and death?

Have a great Friday!

 

SEMINARY DIARIES: Learning and Unlearning

After several years of studying the Bible inductively in BSF and being reared by the expository preaching at GCF, I still find myself in awe and overwhelmed with God’s Word. We can never settle with what we already know. In school (like I have shared with a lot of you), there are a lot of things I needed to unlearn and that is very humbling.

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Discernment: Listening to God in Life and Ministry with Dr. Tim McCowan

Upon entering seminary, we were told that we’ll have to put off the pre-conditioning we’ve grown with. Now that doesn’t mean that our previous understanding of the Bible is entirely bad or wrong. There’s just that reality that there are certain positions we’ve come to accept as true but when you get to the nitty gritty of the text, you’ll be surprised that the original intended meaning isn’t so similar with how a lot of people have been interpreting it today. We have to keep in mind that when people read and interpret the Bible, biases come along with it–intentionally or unintentionally. These biases may have been ingrained in us through culture, education and the church.

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A common mistake we make is taking one verse alone and interpreting it without the passages before and after. There’s nothing wrong with using verses from the Bible and making them a personal, motivational reminder. However, we have to make sure that we know the context of the passage and the book. For example, a verse that is often misused is Matthew 18:20:

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

When you look at this verse, it does look very encouraging in terms of prayer. So many times, I’ve heard this recited in sermons and prayer gatherings. The passage in Matthew however, talks about dealing with sin or conflict in the church. It discusses rebuking a fellow believer in private about the sin.

If the fellow believer takes heed, then “you have won him over”–>this phrase can also take on so many meanings. “Won him over” meaning you won the argument or “won him over” meaning you have won his confidence? In the literal translation from Greek to English, it reads “you gained your fellow believer.” So the “winning the argument” angle is not what the passage meant.

This is just an example of the many verses taken out of context. I would love to share more but each verse might require a separate blog entry each. 😀

LEVELING UP MY HERMENEUTICS SKILLS

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Hermeneutics class group work

I’m amazed that with just a few verses, you can unpack a ton of things. Context. Main clause. Subordinate clauses. Key words. The words in the original language. Did the author use the word the same way we use it today? The intended audience—who were they? Where were they located? What was life like for them at that time? So many questions. We were doing termal, grammatical, literary and contextual analysis yesterday when my classmate David told me “Nasa exegete talaga yung trabaho no? Yung exegete yung mag-tatanong, siya din hahanap ng sagot sa text.”

And it made me think, as one person I can only ask so many questions. I cannot ask all the possible questions that may arise from the text and THAT IS HUMBLING. For me, it means that as a community of believers studying the Bible, team work is essential. One cannot do it alone. Our pastors, before they preach their sermon, present their outline and manuscript to a group of other pastors and church leaders and they discuss the text, the interpretation and what it means for us in the present day. In school, I like that we are also usually in groups when we do our Bible exercises for it broadens the way we observe and interact with the text, allowing us to see things from a different perspective.


There’s still more for me to learn and unpack. The Bible is truly a wonderful book and our God–though He is infinite and incomprehensible is definitely KNOWABLE.

God bless you! Until the next seminary diary…when I finish with my reading assignments! 🙂