Hello friends! πŸ˜€

I apologize for lagging behind in posting these past two weeks, but I must tell you that I intended for this to happen. My purpose behind it is simple: I preoccupied myself with Someone Who called me to Himself–my Father God. Because of that preoccupation plus schoolwork, a leadership conference in church (which I shall be talking about soon), a redirecting episode that God sent my way (again, sharing later), and the consequences of my past delays, I did not find any time to squeeze blogging in my schedule. Well…except for one short post about delay. But like I said in that post, I must delay no more. In that post, I mentioned I was doing a video about a special someone, a family member to be exact. Well, I finished it three days ago! The short birthday video of about five or at most, ten minutes that I planned weeks ago ended up lasting for twenty minutes! Nevertheless, I was happy because I brought my dear Mom to tears (Dad was also part of it since January 24 was also their 19th wedding anniversary). With my parents, I don’t gauge my success level in birthday and special day presentations with how wide their smiles are, but in how wet their eyes are after the presentation. We laugh and smile as much as we eat and sleep so for us to cry tears of joy means our hearts were penetrated to the core. πŸ˜€

Last Tuesday, Dad treated us plus our dear Mama Rose (Dad’s mom) to an intimate dinner at Greenbelt 3 and 5. If given a choice between a big, bongga (informal for prodigal, lavish) party and a small, intimate dinner (plus a game or another short activity), I’d prefer the latter option. Don’t get me wrong, I love big, bongga birthday parties. But in big bongga parties, you need to watch how you act because a lot of people are present (and watching you) and inevitably, you pay more. =)) So this year, Mom also preferred the small intimate dinner with the five of us. πŸ™‚

this garlic roasted chicken is a winner! a must-try! I love the tenderness of the roasted whole garlic cloves. πŸ™‚

I am grateful to God for blessing me with a Mom who is also my best friend and confidante. Many times God used her to help me make the best decisions (versus the good ones). Mom also taught me and helped me see at situations and circumstances from God’s perspective so that my decisions would always be aligned to God’s good & perfect will.

Unfortunately, I could not convert the project I made to AVI-format video because it was too heavy. 😦 But as Mom always told me, “Gawan mo ng paraan.” Opo, eto na. πŸ™‚

Born in the 24th of January in 1967, Jean P. Jarlego was the 10th child of Elena & Wiro and youngest daughter. Since she was young, Jean was hailed by both her family and peers as the life of the party: charming, full of energy, sweet, and friendly. Jean never attained a 36-25-36-measured body, and she did not bother having one because she was way too confident in her own skin. If there is one characteristic Jean did not possess (and still doesn’t), it is insecurity. Augment to her plump and kind heart honesty, integrity, and transparency, and you have for yourself one of the most trustworthy people you would ever encounter in this planet. πŸ™‚ (I am not exaggerating; ask any friend or friend of a friend of hers. Or a sister of a friend of a friend of hers.)

Jean met Ferdie S. Talam back in high school. Ferdie related the first time he saw Jean and what he did to get to know her (in a school with more than a thousand students):

I was in a lower floor when I saw her. She was standing along the hallway. I asked my friend if he knew her, and he told me her name was Jean Jarlego. I instantly had a crush on her–not in love just yet. That would happen later. *smiled* anyway, I found out that she was placed in section 4. I am a smart guy myself, *smirked* but because I enrolled late that school year, I was placed in section 15. Thus, Jean became my inspiration to study hard. So I did. I studied hard, aced all my tests and requirements, and watched as I got promoted. Finally, when the time came that I was being promoted to the top 4 sections, I was placed in the 3rd one! I was ahead by 1 section. I wanted a demotion. Thankfully, the teacher in section 3 asked if anyone of us wanted to be transferred to section 4 because that section was underpopulated. Without thinking, I raised my hand and volunteered to be moved. I was not at all sad for being “demoted.” She was more important than a promotion. πŸ˜‰

However sweet this narrative might have been, not enough romantic fireworks sparked between in Ferdie & Jean to cause them to be serious in their relationship. Actually, Jean did not want to be serious with anyone, so that’s one reason for them not to be together. She just wanted friends–girlfriends to be exact. Anyway, they remained an “okay” friendship–not too close, not too distant either–so right after college when they enrolled in different universities, they lost in touch.

Fast forward after college graduation. Apparently, Jean liked Ferdie back in high school and thought of him occasionally during college because during their high school reunion after college, she wrote to him, asking if they can reunite and hang out. Unfortunately, Ferdie declined. (But really, he just played hard to get, the initial reaction of any friendzoned guy). However, unable to contain his feelings for her, Ferdie soon accepted her request and after a few weeks, they officially became an item. πŸ™‚

Fast-forward to January 24, 1993. But two years prior to that momentous day, Ferdie man-ed up and decided to take their relationship to the next level. He asked Jean if she could be his lifelong partner, and Jean said…

YES! πŸ˜€

On her 26th birthday, Jean was wed to Ferdie. πŸ™‚

The following year, on May 8, just a day short of Ferdie’s 27th birthday, Jean & Ferdie became parents for the first time. Their first child and only princess, Jennifer Grace, was born. In the next seven years, Jean & Ferdie welcomed their boys, Joshua and James. πŸ™‚

My Mom taught me a lot of things (a parent is experienced differently by each child so I’ll be speaking from my personal experience). Of course, she taught me the basics: read, write, dress up, apply make-up (yes, it’s a basic! :D), fix my stuff, shower, etc. The most important and memorable lessons, however, I learned either when I was either very happy or very sad. The lessons in between those two extremes were reinforcements. With my experience with her, I saw the stark difference between intelligence and wisdom and why the latter was more valuable & important than the former. I am more intelligent (in academics) than my Mom, but oftentimes, she makes better decisions than I do. πŸ™‚ (naiiyak na ba kayo? Kasi ako po, OO! Hahaha)

Mom, I’ve said it a gazillion times, but I’ll say it again: Thank you for bringing me up in the way He wants me to go. You don’t know how much you’ve influenced me to a better person. I am a better person because of your influence. I trust you–your instincts, guts, wisdom, and intentions–because I know you love God more than anyone of us in our family or yourself. Although you may struggle and wrestle with God in certain issues in your heart, you still cling to Him because He Who promised is faithful. You are not perfect, but that’s okay because I’m not perfect too. Damayan po tayo. πŸ˜€

Thank you for teaching me to be secure in Who God is, not in what I could do for Him. Thank you for listening to me during my most broken moments, those midnights when you postponed your sleep to help me sort out my problems. Most of the time, we ended our conversations with my problems still unfixed, but because you whispered timely words of faith in my ears and in my heart, my broken heart became intact. Whole. Calm. Rested. Ultimately, it was God Who caused all these things to happen, and I am grateful to Him for you because you’re only a few feet away when I need you.

Also, thank you and Dad, too, for holding on to Jesus for your marriage because I know it’s not easy. Thank you, both of you, for modeling Christlike & joyful generosity to me. I’m not surprised when blessings overflow your vats because you guys give more than what you’re expected or required. πŸ™‚

At 45, you still look pretty young, Mom. It’s as if you’re only 44. πŸ˜€ I hope I can be as young-looking as you when I reach your age.

Change for the better, submit to Daddy, and pursue our Master. I can’t believe I just “commanded” you. Hahahaha! God is using me to speak to you, too. πŸ™‚

I love you! ❀ Belated Happy birthday & 19th anniversary!

PS: Did you know that Jean means a gracious gift of God? πŸ™‚

Author: Jenny J. Talam

Storyteller who actually prefers to read and listen to stories. Food fan. Budding events host. Collector and avid user of colorful pens and stack-high notebooks. Media enthusiast. Learner. Adventurer. Introvert. Child and servant of the one true King. Forgiven and loved. Hello, my name is Jennifer Grace. You can call me Jenny. Welcome to my story of grace! :)

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