Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Who do you Depend on?

In today's world and in today's time, the idea of being dependant on anything or anyone is viewed as unhealthy and weakening. Especially in the western countries where a young child is brought up to expect that one day she/he will have to move out and get away from the house and people she grew up with and find her own feet. We are encouraged to go to university and begin our own lives without our family. But who began this culture, this idea that has held us and influenced us for so long now?
Is it really what we want? Do parents really want to grow old with none of their children near by to take care of them?

In the Philippines I know that when a woman marries, her husband will move into her home and there they will all live and raise their own children under the eyes and hands of their parents and grandparents. When someone gets old or ill, they will all take care of each other and even sell their farms and houses to pay for the medical bills for them! Surely that should be what family means- that all will begin together and end together. If one soars, so does the other, it is a base, a unit.
But here in Britain it is certainly not like this any more, though I wish with all my heart that it could be! Even though we would like to get out from our families sometimes and find ourselves, would we have these mind-sets if we were raised in the Philippines?
And sometimes I come across other big families like me own and people will say, 'Why are you still living at home? You're old enough now to leave aren't you?'
Surely the 'time' for leaving is nothing to do with that person's character and own pace in life. Each individual develops in her own time, why should we think that by the time we are eighteen we are adults? Why should we even think that by the time we have finished school we should be starting our career?
I don't want you to think that I am promoting laziness or uselessness, only family and there where you were raised, you should be at home. We are viewed as 'unsuccessful' in life if we are dependant. So instead the world encourages us to think of only ourselves. And then we feel sucessful when we complete something in our own strength.

The world is so fast-paced sometimes it scares me. But there is one thing that I will always be dependant on and that 'thing' is the living God. Even Christians can sometimes hardly be aware that they are actually not giving their everything to God, that they are holding back in some way too. It may be in finances or health, they believe it is all their own doing, they must be determined not to fail in that one area.
We are afraid to give everything entirely to God because we afraid of losing. But if only we could put this new mind-set through us and within us and floating around us all the time, something like this : God delights in providing for me. He is my father and my God, he will and is more than able to provide for me no matter what I am going through or all that is to come. And he wants me to enjoy what he gives us now, not to wait until tomorrow!

I always think that if God has given you something, than you shouldn't hold back- live it and enjoy it now! Start breathing, find out what God has burried within you. Do you know, it is so exciting, because I know God has given already so many gifts to me, but I still know that there is more to come, I can feel them there tickling my heart. They will come for you too, but only in his time, when we are ready for it. So if God has given you the gift, use it.

In the words of the wonderful Joyce Meyer- 'Compliment God by believing he is good and by expecting him to meet your needs according to the promises in his Word.

How wonderful is that? That we can actually compliment our living God? It is one thing to accept something that God has done for you, but it is completely another thing to expect him to keep doing good things!

Be dependant on God, you can't do it alone, do it better- with God!

And don't forget that he formed the mountains and scattered the stars in the sky. His dreams will take you beyond anything you'll ever dream on your own!


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  2. Hi Jo,

    you wonder why 'Britons' are pushed into leaving their families once they become legally adults. Honestly, I do not think this is the case. Maybe that is what is mainstream but I still happen to have some friends around my age (I'm 24) in GB and they are all living with their families. And they have all finished with their uni in their city or a city nearby, or are still at uni, and they all work. Of course, if you live alone then you have a lot more space, but if you don't really need or want the space why waste the money to live on your own? I think the most important here is economic independence. If you have that, then you can get all the space you need any time. You start working and study, you sort out your life, you get your car and when you are ready to move out you do it. Unless, of course, family situation is hectic, then that pushes you out itself I guess.

    (anti-protestant rant following - feel free to skip it)

    Of course, this might have to do with all those friends being of Irish descent and Catholics. In most Catholic countries (like the Philippines) and even more in Eastern Orthodox countries children are not pushed out of their family homes.

    Writing this from our family holiday home in Naxos, Greece where I am taking a weekly vacation every year with parents. Village has some 80 inhabitants and since today we celebrate the "Dormition of Holly Mary," which is a very large celebration in Orthodoxy, over 95% of inhabitants went to Church this morning.

    Ok, sorry for the rant. I do not hate Protestants. I just tend to think that many of them have lost their way. Have a nice day and may Holly Mary (Panagia) be with you!

    m k

  3. Hi Jo,

    You talk of trusting God and the hact he would have many gifts for us. I hear many people say such things. I don't find it hard to understand, but i do find it hard to experience. You bring it as if it is something you can see or touch, but for me this is not so.

    What do you think? At the moment i could use God's opinion. I'm considering moving to England. I want to work in a pub in London. I've had enough of Holland. How do i get to know what God thinks i should do?

    1. But it could be something you can feel or touch, you may not be aware of them yet, but God can give you the discernment to find them. It may be in ways you haven't thought of before, you may have the gift of giving, or listening, encouraging, or leading, or caring, or of wisdom. I know the fruits of the spirit should give us these, but some people are more naturally gifted in certain ways than others who couldn't be. I think you are a wonderful encourager, you have an honest, open heart and are ready to learn. You are only just beginning as am I. But don't forget that you have something that no one else can give to this world, that is your purpose, God has a special purpose just for you!

      Coming to England to work in a pub? Have you worked in one before? If you have a peace about leaving Holland than speak to God about it and doors may open in that direction if it is His will. “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." - Rev 3:8
      If God opens a door no one can shut it and if he closes one then no one can open it. God will take care of you! I know it is so hard when you feel like you are just waiting for whatever it is God has for you. But the time will come and as it does you are made into a better you!

      Have a look at this and watch all the parts I think Leo will cheer your spirit - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opGlp1pE59s

      Bless you :)

    2. Hi Joanna,

      Thank you for showing me this. It did cheer me. I have seen all parts.
      The reason I want to move to England is because I want to make a new start. I’m quite clever, but because I have dyscalculia I want to move elsewhere. It wasn’t always easy on school. If I can things learn my own way, it causes me no trouble. It’s a problem with applying mathematical or spelling rules. Mathematical principles are usually lost on me. And when I have to learn a page of grammar rules, then I just cannot see through the explanation. I do not wish to boast, but I’m quite clever. Apart from my small issue, I can easily have university level. But because I failed to pass an orthography test, I was send away from my university journalism course. After having had many of these experiences in my youth, I want the rest of it deprived from the trouble and disappointments I’ve had in the past. I’m twenty years old now and I want the rest of it to be joyful. That’s why I want to go abroad, and see some of the world and meet new people.
      Have you thought of your purpose? Do you know what you like to do in your life? I see you have a sincere affection with people and the world around you. Otherwise you wouldn’t write these story’s, and you wouldn’t let Mr Leo cheer me up!

    3. That is terrible that your journalism course kicked you out because of your dyscalculia! Why is that even to do with journalism? Well don't worry, it is there loss. I am not particularly good with maths either, I much prefer English. In fact when I had got everything I needed from maths, I made up my mind that I would never touch it again- obviously that has its consequences! But never mind :)

      Why not travel and see the places and people of the world, I want to too, so many more places I have to go to. My purpose? Only God knows all of it and the fullness of every part of it, but I have ideas of what I know it to be. I want to show the world things they have never thought of before, I want to bring to light issues that need to be known, I want to discover places no one has ever known, and I would love to do that through acting. I also cannot live without my music, I know also that I need to reach the human trafficking somehow, in a way God will show me! And if you believe, than you will see- God won't let you down, he knows your heart!
      I do love people and each individual that makes up history and life. Each mind and heart has a story, it can be good or bad. Loving people is what it is all about!

    4. Well, thats a lot of ambition. I like your idealism, we have enough cynism in the world. Anyone has his or her dreams, but don't imagine they all come true. You wouldn't want to be disappointed. Its nice to see some of the world and to hear some the ideas people have. You are quite different than anyone i could possibly speak in Holland. And don't mean that in a negative way.

      If you want to know more about human trafficking, you can go to our capital city. There is enough to see. But the windows are just a leaflet, an advertisement of the whole bussines. Most of the activity is via the internet. Children, pensioners, male, female and anything in between. Off course i don't know you, and i can be totaly wrong. But i think you are an innocent girl from a small English town in the rural part of the country. Forgive me my prejudice, but maybe its a bit like 'pride and prejuce'. I think you are an idealist, a dreamer, a person who likes to marvel at Gods creation. To feel the wet grass on your feet and look at the sunset ect. If you go out to a place where trade in humans takes place, where you will see people suffer, your view on the world may become different. You may be disillusioned, after which you might not be able to enjoy the trees anymore. Also, i have seen one of your imitation video's, which was really good fun! (are you going to do a Dutch impersonation?) You are a very pretty girl. This is not an advantage if you are to go to an unwilling place. Please be carefull what you wish for. I hope i didn't offend you, and that you do not feel belittled.

    5. I understand what you saying and how I may appear to you. You are right, I am a country girl who lives by her senses, I haven't seen enough of the world, but I have a ready mind to be ready. I am aware of it, and how much it would affect me if I went somewhere dangerous, I would change, but not for worse. I may become scarred, but that scarring will give me understanding and empathy and strength. I can help in other ways than the direct going straight into that 'world' but also when I am ready for it, with God's strength I can do it. It is not for now anyway, it will be some time in the future, well I hope and pray that it will be. But it isn't about anything that I can get out of it, it isn't for me at all, it is for them- for the women and children, for the hurting, it is all for God and his people! Not my dream, but my vision.

      I have known of suffering, who hasn't? When I was 12, would I believe the things I have been through or the way things have turned out? Probably not, we never know what will happen. But even here out in the country, all is not perfect, I am not as sheltered as you think.
      I am not offended in the least, I know that people all ready have an idea about me before I even get chance to show them who I really am and what is within me.
      I will be careful, but I also need to take risks.

      I am a dreamer. AN idealist? Perhaps a optimist. I try and hope.

    6. What i just said wasn't right. I think i was being degrading. In different languages things can sound different, even if you are saying the same words. I cannot have an idea of you because i don't know you. But i didn't mean it in a negative way. So, i'm sorry. Its just that what happens on the street made an impression on me.

      I hope you can do what you love to do. You can already write very well. I'm looking forward to your next story. People are usually best at what they like. I'm sure God will make good use of your enthousiasm. Have a nice service today!

  4. Nice write up Jo Jo. I am with you on this, and I agree with you fully.

    To get to “GOD” you first have to go through Jesus. “GOD” cannot be seen, only felt. You can talk to him by having a one to one conversation, and he will answer you. He may just appear In the form we all know him as to, but for this to happen first you have to let Jesus In to your heart.

    If you are willing to have a relationship with “GOD” then prepare yourself for the truth. Promise him that you`ll be sincere, honest, loving, kind, but really mean It. “GOD” does not like people who are disobedient.

    If you follow the great book then you are following “GOD”

    Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through Me. Once the Holy Spirit breaks through your spiritual blindness, and reveals to you who Jesus Christ really Is, then you will understand why a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Is more than everything. Jesus died for our sins 2,000 years ago. He was not just a man. He was “GOD” In human form. He died especially for you, and I. If I was the only sinner here on earth, he would still die for me because his love Is unfathomable

    “GOD” loves you. He wants you to have a relationship with him. He Is trying to get Inside of your heart, but he won't just enter, you have to Invite him In. You have to step over that line of human reasoning, and In to the realm of faith that releases “GOD” to do the Impossible. Not just In you, but through you.

    "GOD" bless..!

  5. The way I see the idea of moving out when you're 18 is as a trial you NEED to undergo in order to get yourself well acquainted with the World which you'd have to face no matter what! If you start off early, there are better chances of your success (though not necessarily always, it can be a bad idea too) and God forbid, if something wrong happens along the way, you know where to go back (it's obvious that your parents would be in a better position that they would be 10-20 years forth).
    But yes, you NEED to come back to your roots, take care of them, love them back! I know the scenario of the West, but in India, children stay along with their parents even if they're financially independent! Most homes have three generations (some even have four to five) living together. It's usually like this, the son(s) goes to the work, the daughter-in-law(s) takes care of the home or even works to support the family financially, while the grandparents enjoy their retirement years watching TV, chatting with old buds, gardening, doing yoga, some even contribute to the society, taking care of their grandchildren and presiding over all the matters related to their family. But sadly as India itself is getting westernised, all this is changing and in a very ugly way. The children often think that their parents are interfering with their lives when they advice them, they think that they're a financial burden on the family and that they're losing their independence. There could be exceptions where the parents could be "over caring" (yes I couldn't think of another word for describing our parents' feeling towards us) towards their children and grandchildren, but I think that the elderly start to behave like infants as they grow older and older, be it mentally or physically. They start to be dependent on their children whom they brought up and we know how annoying, silly, irrational, the young ones can be! But if they could bear with them and love them unconditionally why can the children pay off their debts by loving them back?! You know, we're so indebted to our parents especially to Mothers and would always will be, as Her love to us would always be in excess of 9 months than ours to Her!

  6. Excellent... Such an important subject in this day and age... How can civilizations flourish without the proper respect, treatment and mercy due upon our parents & elders??... The media, school curriculum etc can do more to promote these eroded values once again into our lives... The values all the prophets of God came to teach mankind, whether Noah, Abraham, Jesus, Moses or Muhammed (peace be on all the messengers)... A few verses and narrations I'd like to share regarding Islam's perspective on this issue...

    "Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." [Noble Quran 17:23-24]

    "And We have enjoined on man [to be good] to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and his weaning was over two years. Be thankful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination."[Noble Quran 31:14]

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said in a famous narration:

    'Paradise lies at the feet of your mother' [Musnad Ahmad, Sunan An-Nasâ’i, Sunan Ibn Mâjah]

    In another narration... A man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah (God)! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother." The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: "Then your father." (Sahîh Bukhârî 5971 and Sahîh Muslim 7/2)

    Abdullah Ibn Abbâs (d. 687CE), a companion of the Prophet and a great scholar of Islam, considered kind treatment of one's mother to be the best deed for strengthening or rectifying one's relation with God. He said:

    I know of no other deed that brings people closer to Allah (God) than kind treatment and respect towards one's mother. [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhârî 1/45]

    An even more powerful example is found in the statement of another one of the Prophet's companions, Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (d. 692CE), who was also a great scholar of Islam. It has been related that:

    Abdullah Ibn 'Umar saw a Yemeni man performing Tawâf (circumambulating the Ka'bah) while carrying his mother on his back. This man said to Abdullah Ibn 'Umar, "I am like a tame camel for her! I have carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I have paid her back, O Ibn 'Umar?" Abdullah Ibn 'Umar replied, "No, not even one contraction!!" [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhârî 1/62]

  7. Hi Joanna
    My name is Iker, I am 17 years old and I am from Mexico I wanted to contact you by email or something similar but because I couldn't find one I decided to do it in this way. I was looking for videos in youtube that show the different accents in the english language and as you surely have noticed most of them are made by guys and so I saw that one was made by you so it caught my attention, and honestly I couldnt believe what I saw, you are pretty young and you are already a complete actress, I was very impressed, principally because I also love acting, it is my greatest passion so I think you understand the feeling when you see someone that does it with such dedication, congratulations, of course I watched some others videos and so I found your blog and saw some of the things you write about and I was even more impressed not only because you are an excellent actress but also because of the way you think, and see life, it is something you dont see everyday in people of your age, and that is why I send you this message because when I found someone who is "awake" if you know what I mean I need to at least say something to them. But seriously congratulations, never lose that attitude and the way you think. And by the way because obviously you like them a lot, you have a very charming accent, very attractive, and more for me because I live in vancouver and the girls here speak in a very sassy kind of way, like valley girl and I can stand it sometimes, but yours is very refined, use it wisely.
    The best

  8. Hi there. It is great the way that I feel now for I am in the company of a wise person, an understanding one who has despite all paranoias prevailing in her mind disposed of all thoughts of failures. Challenges I have faced,am facing and will face and it is a surity that I will not falter. I can not collapse because the attempts of my foes are weak. I see in you the you the unnerving spirit,the innocence,the quality of being trustworthy,the virtues which belong to any great person,great in the sense of mastering themselves. For I have always felt in myself and feared recklessness,that very unwanted uncontrollable move which shatters everything but me. For I am already. Now that I write to you,now that I put forth almost everything my friend. All that I have faced I assure you has been a learning process. I am rebuilding myself. Trying to understand myself. I have to admit that all the failures(people around me) have thought me and told me as one of them. The pain that I have,the agony that I have fellt,those sleepless nights I've had,those tears I've shed, those tortures I've withstood, those confusions which they created in me,the unsafety that I have felt. Alas! I will payback. I am not a surrendering whatever. I have written in a lot of haste. A lot of stuff has gotten amiss. Ah! Alas the mind I have been blessed with, they are all trying to destroy it. I just wanted to say this friend J. That's my own stanza! Penetrate this heart and see what you found,
    A heart most horrid and astound,
    He awaits no one to come and knock,
    He just knows he is getting the move on!
    And I know I'm getting the move. Just one thing though. Is there any way of contacting you personally? Via email or any social network. Please tell me if there is. You greatly inspire me. And I'm sorry if I got offensive in anyway in the middle. Take care. Stay blessed.

    1. Wow Saad, your poem, words were beautiful, well done. I hope I can keep inspiring you through my videos and blog!
      Take care,

  9. He is the One to be depended on...

    "If God helps you, none can overcome you; and if he forsakes you, who is there after him that can help you? And in God (alone) let believers put their trust" [Noble Quran 3:160]

    “Say: Nothing will happen to us except what God has decreed for us: He is our Protector: And in God let the believers put their trust.” [Noble Quran 9:51]

    What especially caught my interest in this post was how you talked about - having good expectations of God - which reminded me of the following passage by Ibn al-Qayyim (a 13th century scholar) :

    “The more you have good expectations of your Lord and hope in Him, the more you will rely on and trust in Him. This is why some explained true reliance and trust to be having good expectations of Allah (God). In reality, having good expectations of Him leads to relying on and trusting in Him, as it is unthinkable that one can trust in someone that he has bad expectations of or no hope in, and Allah (God) Knows best.”
    He also said: “The one who hopes in Allah (God) should always be optimistic, cautious, and hopeful in Allah’s bounty, expecting the best from Him.” [Tahdhib Madarij as-Salikin’, pp. 240]

  10. Hi...
    I'm from the Philippines, and I've just read what you wrote about how the family works in the Philippines. It is so true!
    My father married only when he was 45 years old, because he first made sure to make his brothers and sisters finish university (he had 11 siblings) . So when those of his siblings who were interested in university had already graduated, it was only then when he thought of marrying and having his own family.
    Then I remember when I was still a little child, my parents would always allow the siblings of my mother (she also had 11 siblings) and their families to live in our house. So it wasn't just me and my family and grandparents at home, but also several aunts, uncles, and cousins :)
    And now my sister is married and she and her husband and son are living at our home (although the uncles, aunts, and cousins are no longer here)..
    And when my sister and husband was having financial difficulty concerning their baby, I stopped university for a while and worked to help ease their burden. And my brother also provided for us when we were having some hardship. :)

    I wonder if that's the ideal family to you? :) When i talk to people from Western countries about it, they sometimes express that the family culture in the Philippines is "impractical" because it hinders the success of the individual who is doing great on his own way.
    So I wonder what can you say about those opinions that it is "impractical?"

    And I also want to know if the Filipinos who are now living in Britain still practices the Filipino family culture, or have they stopped practicing it and start to adopt the British "independent" family culture?

    I agree with you that when a person becomes 18, it doesn't mean he should be independent, and that when a person finishes school, it doesn't mean that he should start his career. I like your statement that you are now promoting laziness, but only the family :) Here, we are always taught (from primary school, through secondary school, and even in college and university professors would still mention it that we get a little bit tired hearing it: "The family is the smallest but most important unit of the society" :) It is always emphasized in all levels of education. Always :)

    Most of all, God is the very center of people's lives here :) For the families who are not too busy, they always eat together. If the family is busy and each member has different schedule for work or study, we still try to eat together if opportunity allows it :) And we pray before eating.
    And we never throw away excess food, no matter how small is the amount, because we all believe that food is "God's blessing, and those who conserve it would be blessed with such blessings :)

    And of course, when everybody in the family are too busy, so there is no time to go to Church, it is okay as long as everyone believes and trusts in God. But for Christmas,, there is usually no work, so the family goes to church together :)
    We also go to church together during on Easter Sunday, because the priests always say that Easter Sunday is EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN CHRISTMAS itself, because Easter Sunday was the commemoration of the day WHEN JESUS HAS ACTUALLY FULFILLED HIS MISSION ON EARTH.. So families here would always try to go to church together on Easter Sunday. :)

    Thank you for mentioning what you know about the families in the Philippines! :) Here, the center of the society is the family, and the center of the family is God. :)
    God bless you for appreciating such way of life!
    If you have time, I hope that you'd answer my question about Filipino families in Britain :)
    God bless you and your family!

    Ramon :)

    1. Yes your family morals and ideas of what is family is what I find so beautiful! You all help one another there is no question of anyone suffering alone. That is what family should be. They should always be there for one another. Though independence is good for individuals within the family to find out who they are and to find new experiences, but there should always be home with the family, always in one another's hearts.
      I think to westerners it may be impractical, but then if they answer with that than they do not fully understand what love from a family is. I haven't met many families like mine here in the U.K, or people my age getting homesick the way I do, I guess it all depends on how you were raised. Children today aren't taught what is family time instead of computer time. They don't really see the point of families and what they are truly there for. I find that sad and I'm sure you do to.

      As for the Filipinos who live here, I couldn't answer for them, but I know that they are a different kind of people- so very loving and although I think some of them may be trying to fit in with the others around them, I hope they see that they don't need to.

      The family is the smallest but most important unit of the society, is a wonderful notion. How wonderful that your education tells you this!
      And your family acts in the same way as mine, we eat together and pray before our meals. I think our family would fit in well to Filipino life!

      God bless you Ramon and your special family.

  11. * NOT promoting laziness...that's what I meant. sorry, I misspelled it..

  12. Yes, indeed, I think your family would fit in well with Filipino life :)

    Thank you for saying that my family is special :) But I think my family is just typical of families here. There are many families here like my family :)

    I think the reason why Filipino families are like this is because it is a country that has been Christianized (by the Spanish) and since this is not a part of the Western world, it has never shared the secularist ideas of the modern Western world. So it stayed devotedly Christian :)

    Your family is the real special family! You yourself said that you haven't met many families like yours in the U.K. In the midst of the secularized Western world, your family remains faithful to God, and follows the good traditions of family bonding :)

    Your parents must be very wonderful people because they are able to raise such a wonderful, ideal family in the midst of many families who are no longer ideal.
    I think the cause of it all is God :) Your parents are so devoted to Him, so they raised you and your sisters in God's way---and the result is a unique loving family! :)

    I hope you can imagine how much it touched me when you told me that you are homesick! People your age are the ones who are mostly desiring to be away from family and start lead their own lives with friends. Some even rebel from their families and go away... There is indeed such a great bonding of love between you and your family if you are that homesick despite being at the age when most young adults would want to be away.

    I am so proud of you and your family!
    May God always guide you and your special family! :)