Home for Valentines

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. – Oliver Holmes

This Valentines I honor the man who asked me to marry him. Last year he gave me diamonds but this year’s gift is more than a thousand diamonds for me… he gave me a home.

Ever since I graduated from high school and left my province for the big city, I was a vagabond, moving from one place to another. In my nomadic journey of 7 years in the Philippines, I have stayed in a campus dormitory, a missionary house, rented rooms, friends-cousins-teammates houses and a rented apartment.

I have slept in waiting sheds, public highways, a lot of Starbucks, 24-hours McDonalds and football fields. I remember nights when I’d wander the streets and wonder who’d be willing to adopt me for the night.

In my 1 working year in Abu Dhabi, I stayed in a total of 3 different shared-flats and 5 more transient flats I’d run to when I needed deep sleep.

Having experienced the life of a stray, I appreciate more than ever having my own house to go home to at the end of the day. And a husband who comes home and keeps me company every night.

Before going to the Philippines for the wedding, my husband spent weeks scouring Abu Dhabi for a place to start our life together. God led him to this newly built tower along Corniche.

When we came back to Abu Dhabi, it took us yet another week to move in because the place still wasn’t done. When we finally moved in, an overwhelming sense of security came to me.

At first, it was just a few bags and us.

The Captain working with the curtain guy.

This inflatable bed was all we had for a couple of days.

From August 2011 to early January 2012 it was just us and a few necessities. The ironing board-cum-table-cum-everything became my best friend.

For all those months, our house looked unkempt because there was no proper place to put stuff and we were still trying to recover from the financial damage of the wedding. I have learned to improvise on a lot of things.

For me it wasn’t a sacrifice because I have lived with a lot less and just having a constant roof over my head was already a luxury. But I know for my husband, who I believe is a man of extravagance, it was an ordeal. Nevertheless, I haven’t heard a single complaint from his lips since the day we moved in.

Mid January this year, God finally said, ”Ok, squatter days over! It’s time to furnish, people!”

He provided us funds and people to help us fix our home.

I love these two for being cheerful and patient. They’ve been used to working with blueprints and architectural measurements and all. So when I handed them a paper with stick drawings and boxes, they scratched their heads and laughed.

Tadaa! Living room done!

For the rest of the house, I am still trusting God for his next go signal and provision.

Until then I bask in the unconditional love He bestows and the love my husband unselfishly gives.

Indeed, it takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Happy hearts day, everyone!

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