Friday, February 8, 2013

She Was The Prayer List Of An Artist

It has been awhile since i last posted a wedding dream that came to reality on this site. Today, it's a privilege to share not just a wedding but a marriage that will bless your heart.

She's not just very close to me but she is one of my best prayer sister in Christ and in blood. Her name is Maria Lourdes Gadapan Navarro or simply called "Odette".

Her husband's beautiful painting.
Courtesy of  Val  Navarro
copyright 2012
all rights reserved.
unauthorized reproduction is prohibited by law

Let me describe her from her blog site profile...She has been married for ten years now with her artist husband Val and blessed with a fascinating son Gideon who's 9 years old. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts from the Royal Pontifical University of Santo Tomas here in the Philippines. Since then she has been in the Broadcasting industry, Marketing and Real Estate. However, there is a greater calling of motherhood entrusted to her that led her to be a stay-at-home mom, the most challenging management position, as she believes. She loves journaling, gardening, reading, picnicking with her two boys in summer, enjoying nature and savoring the beauty that God made available for our consumption. But most importantly, before the sun sneaks out of the horizon, she loves reading the Bible, praising and praying to the One who loves her and created her and gifted her to be more than what the eyes can see! ! She wants to make sure she comes up first before the rays come out and listen to what God has to say for the day! She lives on purpose! As for her, "Each day is a gift! Live it for Jesus!"

Ate (a Filipino word for sister) Odette
and her husband Kuya (a Filipino word for brother) Val

Since she is far from me now and our family (she lives in the U.S with her husband and son currently), i sent her an email interview and here are her answers to my questions on that interview...

Wedding Dreams And Reality:

What was your prayer to the Lord about 
your future husband before you met Kuya Val 
and what was his prayer before he met

Maria Lourdes "Odette" Gadapan Navarro:

God works in mysterious ways.  I met someone and he just asked me out of the blue if I was single.  And I said yes. Then he told me he will introduce me to someone he knows, an artist and drives a corvette, as if the corvette will help to convince me to meet the guy :-)  And I said no, I'm not interested because that time I was still sorting my heart out.  I wasn't letting go of someone in my heart who was not a christian.  He was actually one of the reasons I wanted to be in the U.S. for a vacation and my plan was to get a visa to cross to Canada to give our relationship another try.  But the moment I landed in the U.S.  and called him, he introduced me to a woman he was already dating.  I was devastated.  It was a heart issue I've been wrestling with God to answer.  But God had a different way for me to go.  

Kuya Val's painting before he met
Ate Odette. He entitled his painting as
"A Girl Waiting"
Courtesy of Val Navarro
 copyright 2012
all rights reserved.
unauthorized reproduction is prohibited by law

Going back to  the person who asked me if he can connect me with his friend. He convinced me to just try and make a new friend. I eventually gave my telephone number, I decided I had to move on and the next day I got a call.  We were comfortable with each other right away over the phone and we agreed to meet in person.  He picked me up from the house the next day with his corvette :-), ate in a fancy restaurant, and he knew I was a christian.  A lot of his family and friends have been introducing him to women but none was a believer.  He got tired of looking and he just prayed to God, "God I don't want to look anymore.  Just send her to me."  And then he met me. So that started a new friendship and I learned to know him more and met his family with whom I felt I belonged.  We have different love stories, different timing.  In our case, it was like on a fast forward mode.  In a matter of six months and after confirming it from God in my prayer, we decided to commit to each other and then we got married. 

Wedding Dreams And Reality:

It has been 10 years since you got married, 
what were the things you've learned so far 
(as a mother and as a wife)?

Maria Lourdes "Odette" Gadapan Navarro:

a) as a mother

The challenges of mothering, nurturing and raising a life is a great privilege that God entrusted to women.  It is a very challenging responsibility to raise up a new generation.  It taught me to be selfless and motherhood exposed my heart.  I have a child who needs some extra special attention which tend to be overwhelming a lot of times.  Those challenges molded and is still molding me and teaching me to total surrender and trust in the power of God.  In my weaknesses Jesus had been my strength.  Prayer and consistent time with God and His Word have been my source of strength to focus and remember that I am here to train up a child in the way that he should go (God's path) so when he gets old he will not depart from it.  

 b) as a wife

Marriage is a love triangle.  Jesus should always be a part of it.  In our ten years of marriage, God helped me to learn submission to my husband as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).  It was a struggle for me at first, especially when in my pride, I thought I was more spiritually mature than my husband in the beginning of our marriage. I knew more about the Bible than he did so I thought I must be wiser. But God dealt with me to submit to my husband's authority and decisions.  I always prayed for my husband's  spiritual maturity and God has answered my prayers.  We are serving God together, having our time with the Word together every morning before he leaves for work, pray together.

Kuya Val assisting the Pastor in water baptism (an answered prayer
to Ate Odette's prayer for Kuya Val's spiritual maturity).

Wedding Dreams And Reality:

 How do u start your day as a mother 
and as a wife:

Maria Lourdes "Odette" Gadapan Navarro:

  a) as a mother

Ate Odette and her son Gideon

I have a routine with my son.  He is home-schooled so we're together 24/7 most of the time. When he wakes up, we have our Good morning hug and kiss.  

Kuya Val's painting entitled "Homeschooling"
Courtesy of Val Navarro
 copyright 2012
all rights reserved.
unauthorized reproduction is prohibited by law

If I'm done with my daily devotions that time, we get ready for breakfast. He will read a passage from his own Bible and pray before eating breakfast

I have a schedule to follow but there are times we do other stuff depending on what needs to be prioritized.  

   b) as a wife

On weekdays, we wake up between 4:30 to 5 AM. While he takes a shower, I prepare his lunch box while brewing coffee.  After his shower we do our devotion together, reading a devotional while we enjoy coffee and pray . Then he leaves for work.

Wedding Dreams And Reality:

What do u think are the things that hold your marriage together?
Maria Lourdes "Odette" Gadapan Navarro:

    a) spiritually 

Having our devotion together and connecting with God is what makes us focus on the purposes of God for marriage.  Our guiding verse for our family is Joshua 24:15: "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord."  We also serve together in the Church.

Kuya Val, ate Odette and Gideon

    b) physically
 (share the importance of staying attractive 
and taking care of each other physically, romance, etc)

This is actually a struggle for me right now.  With the overwhelming things to do at home, there are times that my husband comes home from work seeing me in the same pajama I wore when he left that morning.  But I always make sure that I look extra special on Sundays when we go to the Church service.

    c) emotionally
 ( share how you understand each other's view/ 
the importance of submission/respect)

We have to face the reality that we will not always agree with everything. I do express my feelings and opinions and honestly tell him my part.  In the end, I do submit to his decision.  He is accountable to God :-)  Also, when you marry, you carry with you a lot of emotional baggage and history that will affect the way you communicate or not communicate with your spouse. Sometimes you don't even know why something pushes your button quickly.  Those reactions are part of your past that affect the way you react in the present.   It was helpful for us to study together with other couples some books about marriage.

    d) socially
 (how do you interact w/ each other's friends /in laws/ relatives)

We have a small group in the Filipino community and that's basically our circle of friends.  My husband is flexible so he adjusts and I do, too.  It's all a matter of respect to other people.  

    e) financially 
(importance of tithing and seeds to sow during marriage life)

During the first 2 years of our marriage, my husband has not totally understood tithes and offerings. We were struggling financially because we only have one income. But when we started to faithfully tithe and give offerings, God showed us miracles and divine provisions when we face challenges at our most difficult times.

    f) activity-wise
 (importance of recreation to marriage)

We are a "go out" family.  We do cheap escapades.  In summer, we go to forest preserves (parks) and have picnic, fishing.  

My boys are nature boys so we love to go out and just enjoy the beauty God had given us to enjoy.  

We live simply, not catching up with the latest technology. Godliness with contentment is great wealth (1 Tim. 6:6).  We love being together as a family. During colder days,sometimes we just drive around.  We also have a tradition during Christmas season to drive around different neighborhoods just to check out the different Christmas lights. During harvest times, we go to farm for apple picking or strawberry picking.  We make sure that we have a vacation every year to unwind even just in the nearby city to fit in our budget.


Wedding Dreams And Reality:

Can you give us biblical principles that you follow as a wife and as a mother?

Maria Lourdes "Odette" Gadapan Navarro:

As a wife, I do follow the instruction in Eph. 5:22.  I also always pray for my husband.  I've read the book "The Power of a Praying Wife" and I've seen how God worked in my husband's own spiritual journey with the Lord.

As a mother, I make sure that I sow seeds of God's Word in my son.  First and foremost, I let him know that the most important thing is to love God with all his heart, mind, soul and strength and to love others as himself.  I believe that my role in my child's life is to let him know and love God and serve His purposes in his generation.  I believe in the power of the Word of God so I make him memorize verses and we are now in the next level of memorizing chapters of the Bible.

Wedding Dreams And Reality:

How do you apply Proverbs 31 in your own marriage life?

Maria Lourdes "Odette" Gadapan Navarro:

I'm constantly challenged by the lifestyle of that woman :-)  But the most important thing about her is her fear of the Lord.  And because she fears God she was able to accomplish whatever she finds her hands to do (which is a lot :-) One of the characteristics of Proverbs 31 woman that really impacted my life next to her fear of God was her diligence and not being lazy, so I make sure I make the day productive and purposeful in our household.

Wedding Dreams And Reality:

 What can you advise wives or couples
 to make their marriage successful and intact?

Maria Lourdes "Odette" Gadapan Navarro:

The love of God binding the two of you together is the most important ingredient in marriage.  As a couple, or a family, we should have a mission statement to guide us why we are here.  Marriage has a purpose which is to glorify God.  It's not about us and our own selfish satisfaction and happiness.  

The trials and challenges of marriage will not always make you happy.  Love is a decision not a feeling.  We should always decide to love.  When I was single, marriage seemed like a fairy tale where I will meet my knight in shining armor.  But it's not.  The challenges of having a family takes a lot of faith and courage.  Trips to emergency room, financial burdens, emotional turbulence, are just some unforeseen events in  fairy tale marriage conjured in my mind.  Marriage is a bed of roses, I guess, because there are thorns around in the midst of the beauty and scent of the flowers.  But God created it that way and it is beautiful and good.  In addition, as exemplified by Jesus, humility and love are very important to keep the marriage alive, bonded and intact.

Thank you so much, sistah, for giving time to answer my interview 
and sharing the ups and downs of marriage. 
Continue to be the person that God wants you to be
 and continue to glorify God in your marriage.
 I pray that God will add more beautiful and abundant years in your marriage life 
and may God crown every year of your marriage with his bounty.

Note: You can also visit her blog sites here:

 Copyright © 2013  by Mari Ann Rose "Mariah" F. Gadapan . All rights reserved worldwide.
(I put "copyright" on my every post because this is my blog site, it's like my signature on my every post.)
By the grace of God I am what I am

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