Tina’s Wifely Steps: Of Whirlwinds, Missionary Life and Being H.O.T.


Tina guest blogs today on Wifely Steps. Read on and be inspired!

Over at my blogs (here and here), I write a lot about parenting, family life, homeschooling and other things related to my life as a homeschooling-semi-work-at-home mom of two. I also write about my personal advocacies and my faith journey, among other things. Occasionally, I write about my husband.

Well, since these occasions are quite rare, I’d like to take the opportunity to write about him here at Wifely Steps (which is an AWESOME blog, by the way. I.am.such.a.fan.of.TONI!). By writing about my own wifely steps, I’d also like to pay tribute to my hubby, who is H.O.T. in more ways than one.

A Whirlwind Romance

Let me start by letting you guys in on a not-so-well-known fact: hubby and I had a whirlwind romance, which was actually frowned upon a bit by the people around us. We met in February of 2001 at a campus event organized by the Catholic youth ministry to which we both belonged. I remember thinking he was cute when we were first introduced, but I was actually crushing on someone else at that time. LOL! We left that event not thinking that we’d run into each other again — I actually thought I’d never see him again after that!

Well, God must have had a different plan, I guess. We did see each other again, mostly at events related to the youth ministry we belonged to (I was a member of the UP Manila group; he was a mission volunteer) — youth camps, conferences, prayer meetings, etc. We served together at times and, well, I guess you could say, nagka-developan kami, as we Filipinos say.

To make a not-so-long story even shorter, we became an official couple on March 17, 2001. (Oh yes, whirlwind romance it was!) Some people disapproved of it (because they wanted us to get to know each other better first) but, well, I guess in our case, whirlwind romances (with A LOT of help from God, teehee!) CAN work out.

We were “together” for five years before we got married on January 7, 2006 (after a “whirlwind” six weeks {!} of preparation) and most of those years were spent in a long-distance relationship (he was assigned to serve in our youth ministry inEastern Visayas; then I was assigned to Borneo; then he was assigned to India while I was based in Manila). It was not easy at all, and there were MANY times we wanted to break it off (or was it just me? LOL!) but, well, here we are — married for six years now, with two wonderful kids!

Missionary Life: Lessons for Being a Mom and Wife

I always say that the BIGGEST and BEST blessing we had as a married couple and young parents was being assigned by our Catholic community to go on mission in Timor Leste. We were based there for roughly five years, and were blessed to be able to go home to the Philippines every year for vacation. I learned A LOT about marriage and family life while we were there — from my parents, who headed our mission team for the first three years; from our co-missionaries, who at one point included another married couples; and from our Timorese members. I learned that in order to be a good wife and mom, I needed to embrace my role as a woman, wife and mother first.  I also needed to accept the fact that once I became a mother, my mission in life had changed. I’m glad I was able to define that mission recently by writing it down here.

Don’t be fooled though — I am FAR from being the wife and mom I know my husband and kids deserve. I get cranky every darned day at times. I snap at hubby. I yell at my kids. I’ve even spanked my eldest a couple of times (and cried buckets of tears every time). I’ve done A LOT of things I am not proud of. I’ve failed my husband and children many, many, many, many times. (Oh, please don’t let what I write on my blogs and elsewhere deceive ya!)

Yet, despite all my failures as a wife and mother, I try to make the most out of what I am — by celebrating the fact that God made me H.O.T.! Just like my dearest hubby!

On Being H.O.T.

So what does H.O.T. mean exactly? Well, in hubby’s case, it’s being:

Honest with who you are

Open to change

Trustful that everything will be OK

On the characteristics listed above, I must admit that I am sorely lacking in the trustful department. I’m a worrywart by nature and it sometimes affects how I am as a wife and mom. I’m glad hubby’s a bit more secure when it comes to that department, so he is always my “go-to” whenever I’m worried about something.

I would like to be more H.O.T. now that I’ve transitioned to a different “stage” in my life — having moved on from fulltime mission work to being a writer/editor. I work from home three days a week as the managing editor of an inspirational children’s magazine (plus doing other tasks in our department as assigned, like proofreading, copy editing, etc.), and homeschool our kids (or at least, TRY to, LOL!),  so being open to change is something I really need to take on as a daily mantra , as our daily schedule can be interrupted by oh-so-many things, including work and blog-related things, plus advocacy-related activities!

So, yeah, I guess you could say that my wifely steps include accepting the fact that I’m still a work in progress — and being happy with it. After all, nobody’s perfect, right? In the meantime, I’ll just keep at it — and try to document everything through my blogs, too! 😉

Image and video hosting by TinyPicTina Santiago-Rodriguez is a wife and homeschool mom by vocation, a licensed physical therapist by education and a writer and editor by profession. She has been writing passionately since her primary school years in Brunei, and contributes regularly to the Smart Parenting Philippines website and Working Mom magazine, among others. Some of her advocacies include intentional parenting, homeschooling, financial literacy and laity empowerment. Find out more about Tina through her personal blogs http://www.trulyrichmom.com and http://www.teachermamatina.blogspot.com.

Would you like to share your wifely steps too? Drop me a line at wifelysteps@gmail.com and let me know! I’d love to feature your wifely steps story here!

2 Comments on Tina’s Wifely Steps: Of Whirlwinds, Missionary Life and Being H.O.T.

  1. TIn | The Average Jane
    August 20, 2012 at 8:17 am (12 years ago)

    I don’t think there’s ever a parent who never regretted not being able to do something better for their family. Regardless of how we did do our best already, there’s still the thought that you could have done better. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual. Like all the rest, we learn from our mistakes. =)
    TIn | The Average Jane´s last blog post ..Who Moved my Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson


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