To Have and To Hold


Life just got serious for us man and wife.

Lately I’ve been seeing photos of newly wed friends, some as young as a few days old and others about a year or two. Seeing their adventures reminded me of my days with Joseph, up in the ski slopes of Utah, freezing around the tail-end winter time of South Africa, singing by the beautiful and quiet lagoons of El Nido and so much more. Wow, those days were fun. πŸ™‚


Moving fast back then was never a problem. We can experience three different time zones in a day and be sure that not a minute was wasted in any of them. Then of course Philip came along and that taught me a valuable lesson: prepare three hours before you leave the house if you want to arrive on time at your appointments, and add an extra hour if you want come with unwrinkled shirts and wonderfully curled hair.


Still, our adventures didn’t stop. They slowed down a bit by having our first child around, but because Philip is a calm boy that we got take him everywhere with us without encountering major problems.


Then the second pregnancy happened and early as January of this year I knew God was about to tell me a lot of things. As in —Β A LOT. of things.Β 


Shortly after the joy of our second pregnancy came mourning. I miscarried and though I’ve been public about my grief, I never told all about my physical condition.


I still don’t want to as I don’t think I really need to, but let me just fast forward to the part when I had to do D&C (dilatation and cutterage) which happened the other day.


It was a simple medical operation so I didn’t think I’d have to part ways with my phone and husband for a few hours before, during and after the procedure. But apparently, husbands are only allowed at births, so I had to bid him goodbye before I entered the recovery room. (Called recovery but this is where they prepare you as well.)


Now those hours of not being with my husband seemed long. It was a struggle not to think of things like, “What if something goes wrong and I never wake up from my sleep?” I tried hard not to cry because everyone else was quiet in the room. (And lest they think a cow was being prepped for an operation.)


After praying in the Spirit my mind began to think about the traditional wedding vows: “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”


For the longest time I would hear these words float at those holy ceremonies, and I even professed them myself on our wedding day, but not until last Tuesday morning did I understand a part of what it means.


Truly, I haven’t been well for more than two weeks now and I just realized that Joseph and I have been faithfully fulfilling our vow to have and to hold each other “in sickness and health.” We’ve had our share of our financial dips in the past and through that, we also held on to one another “for richer or for poorer.” Of course “for better or for worse” was easy to spot — it was established soon as someone farted under our shared blanket. πŸ™‚


But then the “until death do us part” — I had to stop and think of how profound a promise that was, that it shall take the forceful blow of death for theΒ two of us to stop having and holding each other. Because at that time it felt like with every ounce of energy I had and every life that is still within me, all I really wanted to do was to spend it by simply having and holding Joseph. And that really, death would only be the one to force me to say goodbye.


I loved my personal vows on our wedding day and I loved his. But in the rawest moments of my life I realized traditional vows have been there forever for a reason. Because when it boiled down to a matter of life and death, I didn’t think about how I learned to cook eggs for my husband, how I am a firm believer of his leadership, or how he has pursued me everyday of my life, no, the only thing IΒ thought about was having and holding Joseph for as long as I am actually allowed to live.


And the truth is I am still alive today. I woke up from the procedure well and happy. And for some reason I also have a renewed grace for dips of poverty, unfortunate events and even sickness for as long as my husband is there to have and to hold.


*take a deep breath*


The next life has its own promises, but in this one I am blessed to embrace the gift of my husband. The one who makes it better even when our situations are worse, the one who makes me rich even when our pockets are poor, and the one who brings wellness while my flesh and bones are weak.


Honestly, I don’t really like going through trying times, but for some reason, they are the ones that show me what our marriage is really made of and made for.






  • Jane
    March 17, 2016

    I love this post, Miss Carla! πŸ™‚ It shows so much about God’s grace and faithfulness. I’m currently in a verbally abusive relationship and I honestly don’t know what to do or how to break it off.

    However, seeing your married life reminds me to pray to God and be expectant of His mighty ways. Your blogs give me hope. You’re very blessed! I pray that all may go well for you and your family! πŸ™‚ More power!

    • Mrs.BO
      March 23, 2016

      Jane thank you! Hoping you get to find the godly way out of the abuse. πŸ™‚ He is mighty to save! πŸ™‚

  • Gail
    March 17, 2016

    This is what marriage is all about. God-honoring and selfless. Praise Him for His grace. May your marriage be strengthened more. You truly are meant to be. πŸ™‚

    • Mrs.BO
      March 23, 2016

      Thank you Gail!

  • Joei Revilleza
    March 17, 2016

    This made me cry. So blessed to read this and be reminded of our vows. Thanks Carla ❀️

    • Mrs.BO
      Joei Revilleza
      March 23, 2016

      Hey Joei! <3

  • Farrah
    March 17, 2016

    Thanks for posting this Mrs. Bo, it is indeed something very inspirational. Such a great reminder. Praying that every married couple would see, keep remembering and honor marriage vows. God bless your marriage and family!

    • Mrs.BO
      March 23, 2016

      Yes Farrah. I hope so too!

  • Rose
    March 17, 2016

    Hmmm…i realized..i regretted not being prepared with my wedding vow. I realized it is especial not how it is written or for anything else, but it is a lifetime commitment to hold on to..sayang, i did not write it. It could have been sort of documented..parang Bible. All its sincerity and truthfullness is written..documented.

  • mycell karen
    March 17, 2016

    napaiyak mo ko Ms. Rica. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me. Praying for you

    • Mrs.BO
      mycell karen
      March 23, 2016

      Thank you Mycell!

  • maan
    March 17, 2016

    and i look forward to saying this “vow” to the person God has prepared for me..thank you for being such an inspiration Mrs.Bo..praying for you and your family! God bless you even more.. <3

  • Joy Isla
    March 17, 2016

    I love this blog, Carla. Heartfelt, and so much love. (teary eyed) πŸ™‚

    • Mrs.BO
      Joy Isla
      March 23, 2016

      Yes, naimagine mo na ba ang iyak ko sa hospital? Hahaha

  • Khacee
    March 17, 2016

    I cried after reading this story of yours. You are truly blessed woman having Pstr Joseph with you. I just pray I could also have a partner like him.

    • Mrs.BO
      March 23, 2016

      Khacee, if you have Jesus, you already have everything. πŸ™‚ This only works, me and Joseph, because we both have Jesus. Apart from Him, we both are nothing!

      • Michelle
        June 5, 2016

        I totally agree! Trouble comes when we start expecting people to do for us what only God can do πŸ™‚

  • settie
    March 17, 2016

    i love this post Rica. truly heartfelt. =)

    • Mrs.BO
      March 23, 2016


  • Maria
    March 18, 2016

    Thank you for this post! I’m a 28 year old single woman, busy turning away men who don’t know or love Jesus, or so it feels! But your life, and other examples of couples where both spouses love and follow Jesus, is such an inspiration those days when it just seems hopeless and like it’s “never gonna happen”. Seeing your example gives me courage to keep hoping, believing and praying, as well as a renewed determination to “not settle”. So thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your heart – God bless you and your family!! Hugs, Maria

    • Mrs.BO
      March 23, 2016

      And even if it never happens, Maria, Jesus is the only man you’ll ever need in your life. If I didn’t have Joseph, I believe life will be different, but it will be no less long as I have God in my life! God bless you!!!

  • JC
    March 18, 2016

    Thank you for this post. You made me realize and appreciate my marriage more. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  • Krizette
    March 18, 2016

    This is such an eye opener πŸ™‚ I’m not yet married, but it gave me a new perspective about the vows that couples say on their wedding day. You are such an inspiration, even to single women. I hold on more to my faith and love for God because of what I read here. I’m praying for you and your family! <3

    PS: PhilipBo is such a cutie pie! I enjoy his videos on Instagram. Watching him makes me smile, sometimes I get a little teary-eyed (Don't worry, good tears po ito! haha) Maybe because I can feel that he is surrounded with so much love from his parents and family..Nakaka touch! πŸ™‚

    • Mrs.BO
      March 23, 2016

      Hahahaha Krizette thank you. πŸ™‚ He is really well loved. Hope he realizes that enough when he grows up and have a grateful heart!

  • KM
    March 18, 2016

    Hi Carla! Isa sa mga characteristics ng posts mo na gustung-gusto ko ay yung pagiging makatotohanan nito. Sa harap ng maraming tao, parang “perpekto” na ang pagsasama nyo ni Pastor Joseph. Kahit alam ng lahat na bawat tao ay may pinagdaraanan, ganoon pa rin ang gusto nilang paniwalaan. Maraming salamat sa tapang na pinakita mo sa pagbabahagi nitong karanasan mong hindi madaling i-kwento.

    Sa kasalukuyan, ako man eh may pinagdaraanan din sa buhay may asawa. Hindi madali, pero siguro araw2x talaga dapat ipagdasal at ipaglaban ang pagsasamang may basbas. Pinagdarasal kita, Carla. Sana huwag kang panghinaan ng loob at makahugot ka pa ng lakas mula sa pamilya mo.

    Itong mga posts mo, ilang taon na nila akong sinasamahan saan man ako mapadpad at anuman ang kalagayan ko. Para lang silang mga kaibigang masarap kausap!

    • Mrs.BO
      March 23, 2016

      Maraming salamat KM! And yes we are not perfect, but not having a perfect life means we are not blessed hindi ba? πŸ™‚ I pray for love and mercy over you and your family!

  • Peachy
    March 19, 2016

    I love this post, Carla. Sorry about your loss. Thank you for continuously inspiring women like me. You don’t know how much you encourage us to look at the bright side in trying times of our marriage. I love you and I pray to God that He continuous to bless you and your family many more fruitful years ahead.

    • Mrs.BO
      March 23, 2016

      Thank you Peachy! My love to you always!

  • Nenen
    March 24, 2016

    21 years married…and still learning from yours..

    • Mrs.BO
      March 31, 2016

      Wow…thank you so so much, this is such an encouragement!

  • Joyce
    March 27, 2016

    Hi Ms. Rica,

    I have been following your blog for years. πŸ™‚ I just felt I had to comment because just last night, my fiance and I were trying to decide whether or not we should write our own vows on our wedding or just stick to the traditional one; he is okay with the traditional while I want a personal vow.

    Seeing your post this early in the day somehow makes me feel like I now know what our vows will be on our wedding day. πŸ™‚

    Thank you,

    • Mrs.BO
      March 31, 2016

      Awww wow Joyce, thanks! I feel so honored to have been used in this part of your special day. Enjoy the wedding!!!! Congrats!!!

  • Animrac
    April 1, 2016

    Hi ms rica. I just had a miscarriage last week. It was the deepest pain Ive ever felt. When your family tells you that your child never lived for there wasnt a heartbeat in the very beginning. Didn’t know that kind of pain existed. Felt like no one understand what Im goin thru. Bec of your blog, I wasnt alone in this trial that God is giving. Thank you for sharing how brave and strong you are. Everything will be fine in God’s perfect time. Jeremiah 29:11

  • shaina
    April 2, 2016

    Hi Carla! I really love your post. Actually, andun ako sa point ng buhay ko na kinu question si God. Minsan ginagawa kong busy ang gabi ko para makakatulog na agad ako sa pagod… Para may excuse ako na hindi makapag pray. Nagtatampo kase ako… Feeling ko d ko sya maramdaman sa buhay ko. Until naisipan ko na hanapin ang blog mo, yung binasa ko ang mga blog mo, dun ko ulit nabuksan ang bible.. Super naiyak ako at humingi ng forgiveness sa Panginoon. Ang kelangan mo talaga sa buhay ay ang salita ng Diyos para ka matauhan. I salute you carla! Salamat dahil tinulungan mko ma appreciate ang buhay.. Ang pagmamahal sa asawa, at pagmamahal sa Panginoon!

  • grace
    June 15, 2016

    I just love back reading here. And I really, really admire you, your husband, your marriage – all about your family! My marriage is on the rocks, my husband stopped going to church and I can’t convince him to go back. He stopped working to take care of the kids and since that day that he stayed at home, we started to fight, we lose respect and love we have for each other, we blame each other and we forget that we are a team. I am praying that God restores my marriage and I am praying that I can become a better wife and a better mom for my family. Thank you so much for inspiring me. Thank you for your faith, it gives me a higher level of hope. Still, life is beautiful and God is faithful πŸ˜€

    • Mrs.BO
      June 20, 2016

      Continue to ask, Grace. God’s ear is never too dull to hear. πŸ™‚ Praying for you as well. πŸ™‚

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