Motherhood, My Kids, Parenting

I Don’t Want You to Die, Mommy….

I don’t know if it’s because she is the youngest or because it’s just really her personality, but Gianna is majorly clingy to me. She really loves me and even though we are constantly together, she still tells me that she misses me and wants me….. to do everything with her, even though there are other members of the family. 😂 She also has so much compassion for me. She’s happy when I’m happy, cries with me when I’m sad.

A few months ago I learned that, for some reason, she has this fear of me dying. She has told me quite a number of times already, most often out of the blue and when it’s quiet and we’re about to sleep. With a sad face, she would say “I don’t want you to die, Mommy.”

At first I thought it was ridiculous. Clinginess overload. But I couldn’t tell her that that would never happen. That would be cruel and dishonest. So instead, I told her that I won’t die yet. That I will die when I’m old, when she is already an adult, married with kids. But then she told me that she doesn’t want me to grow old so I won’t die haha. I just hugged her and assured her that I’m still here. She has told me enough times for me to take it seriously and not laugh it off.

A few days ago, she said it to me again, but my response was different. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it sooner, since we always teach our girls to pray to thank God, to declare God’s promises, to ask for help, to ask for healing (even for the smallest owi), to ask for forgiveness, to help others too. But I told her to pray. Pray that God would take care of Mommy and Daddy, that we will be healthy and strong, and live a long life. I prayed first, and then she followed. And you know, since then, she has blurted out prayers or announcements that she will pray, when in bed, while she’s watching tv, and once while I was in the bathroom! She came in, told me she needed to pray for me, and prayed that God would take care of me. When I wasn’t feeling so well the other day, she prayed for me. I thanked her, and she proudly told me that it was what I taught her. I don’t hear her say she doesn’t want me to die anymore. I just hear her pray. When she is reminded of her fear, she now knows how to respond!

Wow. That is the power of prayer! My words were never enough to give her the assurance that she needed. There was always a follow-up to her worries. But prayer brought the peace of God into her heart, and continues to do so each time she fights her fears with it. Miraculous work that the Lord is doing in my little girl’s heart. Gianna does not know it yet, but she is already practicing Philippians 4:6-7. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ❤️

May we learn from the example of a young child, to trust the Lord and receive His peace, despite the enormity of our fears and the vastness of our uncertainties.

 

Just My Thoughts, Parenting

What Can We Do?

We are on enhanced community quarantine right now. I have not tried leaving the house since I last bought groceries from small stores, last Saturday. So far, we’ve been okay. Kids are somehow productive. I’ve been hearing the ukulele and piano more these days. We have been playing volleyball and badminton in the backyard. The kids have been baking and doing some reading. We have started watching The Chosen.

There is always something to do, especially with Gianna who wants to do different things and play different games all day. But I woke up this morning with the desire to set some daily goals for our family. I am the kind of person who wants to volunteer and help others, and right now I feel helpless. I feel like I can’t do much because I can’t go out apart from buying supplies. I want to obey the directive to stay home. I have no business being out. As I stay home, I protect myself and I protect others.

So I will do my part here. I will use the opportunity to spend quality time with my kids and teach them.

Goals for the kids. Remains flexible. If some are not done, that’s okay. Try again the following day.
I must not stress about the list, but focus on the overall goals. 😉

I admit, our family is not great at keeping a routine. I know this because of the years we have homeschooled. But I believe at this time, when they have no choice but to stay home and they have no more school work (4th quarter final exams were done early, providentially!) and they can’t give me their usual excuses of being tired, we can set daily goals. I want to be deliberate and yet give them some freedom to choose their individual tasks, such as the game, the chore, the art work, the song/piece. Other tasks of course, we have to agree and do it together. And they will also have ample free time to do what they want — play in the backyard, do other art, read other books, talk to friends online, tiktok, dance, exercise, bake, cook, netflix and chill. We will keep the schedule flexible. If we don’t get them all done daily, that’s okay. The overall goals are to bond as a family, to keep learning, to stay productive and active, to learn life skills, character building, and to stay in God’s Word. We may not be able to do much for others right now, but we can do much for and with our immediate family!

And I will pray. Anytime and all the time are good times to pray. I pray when I am reminded of other people. I pray when I see posts and videos and hear news reports. I pray when I talk to people online. I pray when worry strikes. I pray when my imagination goes wild. I pray when I watch my children sleep. Prayer is our friend and our weapon. Let’s pray God’s promises over our families and our current situation. Receive the calm that prayer brings and the peace that Jesus gives. Fight the enemy through prayer, using God’s very words, deafen him with our worship to the Almighty. Bless others with our online presence and our sincere how-are-yous, uplift them with our encouragement. Let’s stay connected and pray for one another — so that as we face the facts of our situation, we can rise up in faith together!!! We may not be able to physically help others at this time, but our prayers are powerful! And the Lord is faithful to hear and answer them!

PARENTING AND PRAYER. Worthwhile endeavors during, but definitely not limited to, these unusual times. 😉

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer, 1 Peter 3:12a

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:17-19

4 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

My Kids, Parenting

Katrin Noelle

Noelle turned 11 last week! Before we knew her gender, I was already thinking that I wanted our second child to take my Dads second name Manuel. My dad had already passed away two years prior, so it was my way of honoring him. I wish he had still been alive to meet his nephew, my brothers first son Gabby, who was given my dads first name for his second name, and of course meet my second baby. I love its meaning as well, derived from Immanuel — God with us. Again, naming our children is something we ought to do thoughtfully and prayerfully because it is a faith declaration. We wanted to declare that our child will walk with the Lord all the days of his/her life.

It turned out that second baby is a girl again! And the name Noelle just made sense to me. From Manuel to Noelle. Plus she was scheduled to be born around the holidays — Noel means Christmas. Not to mention Immanuel is Jesus — the reason we celebrate Christmas! “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23  I just prayed really hard that I would give birth after New Year. 😀

In keeping with the tradition of giving a K name to our kids, we gave her Katrin, which also means pure. This I found in the same names book I found Danaes names in.

Years later, I came across the definition of the name Noelle in a christian names page or something. Its apparently derived from Nicolas of the book of Acts, and it means victory of the people. My dads first name is VICTOR. ❤ ❤ ❤ Writing this just makes me cry, realizing how God was really with us at that time. There are no accidents. No coincidences. I am humbled and amazed.

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Katrin Noelle. Another beautiful name for another beautiful girl. Who knew we would have a chunky and white baby?! She was the heaviest baby I gave birth to — my first C-section. And she was sooooo white. We knew she would be chinky. She is actually the chinkiest among the three. She had such thin hair that grew ever so slowly, and now her hair grows beautifully straight.

We declare that you will live a pure and holy life before the Lord, Noelle. That you will make wise choices, be determined to honor God in everything you do, and be victorious in all that the Lord leads you to do. The Lord is indeed with you, and I pray that you will grow more and more secure of your identity in Christ. I admire your faith. I admire your insights when we talk about the Bible, or stories, or situations. May you hear His voice even more, and obey Him. We agree with your prayer to be more like Him. You have always had humor and joy as a child. Just like Christmas! May you bring humor and joy to others, and I pray that puberty and hormones 😉 don’t get in the way of that.

You are my original clingy baby. Thank you for being sweet, loving, and thoughtful, though many times a “madame.” Thank you also for being funny without meaning to. You adorably still mix words up. I am glad you are able to laugh at yourself, and not take yourself too seriously. You are also the picky one, about food or beds or bathrooms, but I know none of that will matter when God calls you for His purposes. And I will be secretly, or maybe not secretly, laughing. Hahaha. Not at you, but because of God’s humor. ❤

Last week, coming down from Tagaytay on your actual birthday, when Daddy asked us what we appreciated about one another, I told you this. I love that all three of you love children. A person who loves children, I believe, has a big capacity to love others. I am proud of you for being such a person. You’re a kid, of course there are many times you are self-centered, but I know you and your sisters will grow up helping and serving others. We love you Noelle! Happy 11th! ❤

Discipleship, Kids Church, Parenting

I thank God for VBC

Aaah, Vacation Bible Camp. Not something I have to do, but something I get to do. I thank God for the privilege to be part of a huge team of amazing volunteers. Their passion to serve, their love for God and for the children, their commitment and dedication to do things excellently, to push to the end, their effort to work as one team. If you could see the work that each team put in, how it all came together, you would just be in awe. And yes, they may be talented and skilled, but I believe it’s so much more than that. It’s that love that God has lavished on them, that they are able to also love others through what they do. That love and passion truly trickles down from the leadership of Ptr Carlo and Lea, and the Kids Church staff. Their impartation, and even the care they show us volunteers (shout out to Aubrey and Fely), inspires us to give our best to the kids as well.

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most of the VBC volunteers 🙂 photo grabbed from Aubrey

I thank God for the privilege to mentor the praise dance team! We were rarely complete during practices, some of us had trouble with our left and right, our number of praise dancers fluctuated until the very last week of practice hahaha. We played the stay quiet for 1 minute and then 2 minutes challenge, after which of course their noise doubled! But I would do it again next year. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to work with kids I already love and with new kids I have grown to love. Grateful for their parents as well, who entrusted their kids to us. I believe we all learned something from everything we went through. I am just so proud of the team for giving their best! Through hunger, sleepiness, tiredness, and sickness for some, they gave their best to the Lord for 3 straight days. The same passion and joy from day 1 to day 3. Talk about commitment! Talk about the power of the Holy Spirit in them! How wonderfully blessed the Lord was by His children. ❤

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the praise dance team! all except 1. 23 kids in all! 🙂 

I thank God for the privilege to serve with my girls. The first time I joined the praise dance team, Danae, while a participant, joined me. Then, Noelle, while a participant, and Gianna, the youngest volunteer (1 yr old), joined us. Now I don’t dance anymore. Only they do, with other kids aged 5 to 13. I think that fact alone is amazing! Danae and Noelle were participants first, then volunteers. But Gianna, a volunteer first, then a participant next year hahaha.

Somehow we have taught our daughters to give of themselves — their time, talent, and energy (though it is fun for them, they get tired too 🙂 ). To joyfully serve others, without thinking about getting anything in return (except maybe food because they get hungry easily 🙂 ). To love children. Well, we didn’t really teach them. I guess they naturally like little kids. To work with a team. It is not a show, and it is not about who’s the best dancer. It’s about being in sync, not only in their movements, but most especially in their hearts — the goal is to worship God and teach other kids to do the same. To worship God through their talents. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know because it is beyond what I can see. I see them having fun dancing and singing (sometimes too much fun 🙂 ), and I wonder if they get it. But I believe God sees. God knows. And God is doing something in their hearts, growing them into ladies who worship Him in spirit and in truth.

I thank God for the songs. They are full of truths about God that make you just feel loved and want to love God more. I pray that as they continue to sing and dance the songs at home, these truths will be ingrained in their hearts and minds. I highly encourage you to listen and sing them out loud. Dance, even. Here are the lyrics to one of our favorites…

The Maker (Maker Fun Factory)

I see You in the sunrise

I see You in the rain

I see You in the laughter

I feel You through the pain

Everything that You have made is beautiful

Oh, my God I can’t believe my eyes

But in all of this to think that You would think of me

Makes my heart come alive

Your love is like a mighty fire deep inside my bones

I feel like I could climb a thousand mountains all at once

And I never have to wonder if somebody cares for me

I love the Maker

And the Maker loves me

See if you can spot the littlest volunteer! Thank you for the video, Bless and Aliyah 🙂

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I thank God most of all for His abundant grace. None of it would have been possible, even the patience they tell me I have (which I don’t believe I do — ask people who know me hahahaha), if not for the abundant grace of God. All glory to Him!

❤ ❤ ❤

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Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2

 

 

 

 

 

Just My Thoughts, Parenting

What did you learn from the movie?

Every time we watch a movie, we ask the girls what they learn. We did the same after watching The Greatest Showman. One of them said that we shouldn’t care about what other people think about us, only what we think about ourselves. My immediate response was, “What if you think you’re ugly?”

I think this is a common mistake that we make. We may not allow other people to define us, which is good, but we choose to define ourselves. What’s wrong with that? Well, in the movie, the oddities believed that they were ugly and worthless all their lives, and they operated according to those beliefs. They hid. They were ashamed. They kept to themselves. It took a PT Barnum to awaken them. It was like Barnum gave them their worth and their identity, when he called them out to be part of one great show. He was the only one who saw them for more than just “freaks,” more than the labels people put on them. They started believing and living according to what Barnum believed about them — that they are useful, talented, that they have a purpose in life and they can bring joy to people.

We too need to anchor our identity onto Someone. But not just anyone. Not even ourselves, for we are flawed. Our views of ourselves vary and fluctuate, depending on mood or circumstance. We need to anchor our identity to One who is constant. Perfect. All-powerful and all-knowing. The One who created us, the One who created us for a purpose. The One who knows all, who knows every minute detail about us and cares for us. Infinitely good, infinitely wise. Limitless. Trustworthy. The One whose ways are higher than ours. The One whose love for us isn’t and cannot be changed. We believe what and who He says we are, and live accordingly — His child — valued, loved, accepted, blessed, forgiven, safe, secure, significant, useful for all kinds of good work. FREE.

Anchor yourself to Jesus. Build a relationship with Him. He will set you free from the shame and the fear. He will teach you and mold you into the best you can possibly be. ❤

 

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

 

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor 5:17

 

Discipleship, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Parenting

3 Life Lessons from Cars 3

Even though I was standing for probably half the movie, because of course, Gianna and her desire to move struck again, I liked Cars 3. It spoke to me.

1. “Truth is always quicker, kid.”

I completely agree. We get to the heart of the issue if we just tell the truth. No mincing of words, no beating around the bush, no sugar-coating or trying to cushion the blow. Always with love, but clear and straight to the point. It will lead to better understanding.

Also, the quicker we hear the truth, the quicker we accept the truth, the quicker we deal with the truth, the quicker we heal, make changes, and move forward. Lightning didn’t like hearing that he was old, but the sooner he accepted it, the better he was able to train for the race. Denial, because of pride, just delays the inevitable. It’s counterproductive. It does not solve the issue. It may even make things worse. We should seek the truth with humility. Be open to correction and advice.

2. “My last chance to give you your first chance.”

Lightning McQueen prepared the way, showed the way, and though that wasn’t his plan, he got out of the way. In his pursuit to become faster and better, he taught his trainor, Cruz, to race. And in his last chance to win and continue his career in racing, he gave her the opportunity to shine. Even if it meant she would outshine him. Her youth, her speed, and her passion were an advantage. He even continued to coach her during the race. This ought to be our attitude in discipleship and parenting, but deliberately and with a goal. We lead, we teach, we let them grow, we tap their potential, and we let them soar. We take a chance on them, support them, root for them, believe in them. We celebrate when the “rookies” (our children, both biological and spiritual), turn out ten times better than us. We continue to be there to guide and mentor.

And like Lightning, we don’t quit. We don’t quit life. We don’t quit church. We don’t stop discipling others when our mentees outgrow and outshine us. We don’t stop because we’re getting old. We keep running the race with them. We make disciples together. Better and stronger, together.

3. “You got into his head.” “You’re a racer. Use that.”

Storm was a fast racer, but he played dirty. He fought dirty. Not with how he raced, but with his words. He would act all supportive and pleasant, but he was really speaking death to Lightning, implying retirement, the end of his career, the decline of his talent or skill. He used the same tactic on Cruz, when she was catching up to him during the race. He told her the lie that she did not belong there, that she did not have it in her to be a racer, that she was just a trainer/motivator. All while smiling and appearing to encourage her. Cruz almost believed him. But Lightning told her that the only reason Storm was trying to get into her head was because she had already gotten into his. He was afraid she would beat him. Satan is exactly like that. He is the expert at planting seeds of doubt, fear, hopelessness in our hearts. He does that because he is afraid of us. He is afraid of our potential to ruin his plans. He is afraid of our calling, which is to advance God’s kingdom. He is afraid of our design, which is to bring glory to God.

If Satan fights with lies, we fight with the truth. We must always remember and be secure of who we are in Christ. The power of Satan lies on our belief in his lies. When we are armed with the truth of who our God is, of who we are and whose we are, we can overcome. Cruz overcame when she believed in who she was. She was a racer. No amount of lying or berating Storm did, changed that. She did not let him go on “winning.” She did not cower in defeat. She did not give in to discouragement. She fought back and came out victorious.

 

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Eph 4:15

And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15

 

Just My Thoughts, Parenting

T.R.E.N.D.S.

I’m not one who is easily influenced by today’s trends. I like what I like, and they may not necessarily be what’s cool at the moment. Actually, sometimes I only have cool (but very useful) stuff because my husband or mom or friends give them to me as gifts haha. Anyway, this is something we want our kids to learn. To be wise and discerning, and not easily be drawn to the world’s trends.

T.EMPORARY. Trends are temporary. Styles of clothes, shoes, bags, gadgets, homes, even diets and workouts change so quickly. One day it’s in, and the next day, it’s out. All sorts of lists of new establishments and food to try. Vacation spots and unique experiences to put on the bucket list (and hopefully not the “bakit?! list”). The newest movies, shows, bands and artists to check out. The latest toys and apps to play. I’m sure most of us want to be updated and relevant. But why chase the coolest and the latest? Why put a premium on commodities that are so fleeting? When we purchase, or dive into, or buy into something, it shouldn’t be just because it’s cool (or hot or lit — depending on which generation you belong to — I myself can’t seem to bring myself to say hot or lit, haha), or because it’s new. Let’s please have a more sane, better, bigger reason than that. Let’s ask ourselves if they are useful and helpful, if they add value to our life or other people’s.

R.ECKLESS. Following trends may cause us to make reckless, rash decisions. Things change so fast, and trying to keep up with them produces impulsive actions. I believe there is much wisdom in delayed gratification. We get to think, to mull it over, to give it some time. Usually, when the motivation is just the trend’s novelty, the interest quickly wanes. This happens to our kids often. They tell us about a new toy that their friends have, a cool but expensive brand of clothes, a new diy idea (yeah, like allergy-causing slime), a pet, an event they want to join or watch, a place they want to visit. We don’t readily say yes because we want to know first what we’ll be getting ourselves into. We want to figure out what it will entail (for us and for them), and if we are willing AND able to do it. It teaches our kids to wait, to pray, to think, to weigh what’s important to them and what’s really not, and then to either let go or persevere. Trust me, as a parent, there have been times that I’ve kicked myself in the head, so to speak, for saying yes to something that they wanted but was not the best idea. There are still moments that I’m torn between giving them what they want and being wise, and I end up telling them that I can feel that this is one of those times that I’ll be kicking myself in the head if I say yes. I already see the results, and so wisdom wins and I say no. As adults, we know what it’s like to make reckless decisions that leave us with consequences and with regret. We realize later on that we shouldn’t have jumped the gun, or that we shouldn’t have jumped at all.

E.XCESS. Trends are exciting and fun, but they potentially lead to excess. Trends cost money. Chasing fads leaves us with a lot of waste — items that are still good, but are no longer used because we’ve moved on to the latest model. Chasing trends may cost us more money than we actually have. Let’s not get into debt just so we can be like the cool kids (like the cool kids). Have money? Let’s not spend it all. My kids sometimes come to me and tell me that they want to purchase something, and that they have the money for it. They’re willing to blow their savings for 1 concert ticket or 1 expensive pair of shoes. I ask them, then what? Of course they say it’s okay because they think money grows on trees (or more aptly, the bank gives us endless supply of cash), but when they actually need the money for something important, they’ll no longer have the means. It’s wise to have savings, especially for a rainy day. Have money to spare? Okay. Occasional splurging is okay. Bless someone, treat yourself, do something nice with or for the family. I’m all for that, especially when, for me personally, it’s travel.

N.ECESSARY. The next question we ought to ask ourselves is “Is this necessary?” “Is it necessary for me to have or do this?” “Do I need this?” “Do I need it now?” If the answer is yes and you have the resources to purchase and/or commit to it, then by all means, go for it. But more often than not, we don’t really need it. We can live without it. Or we can do it another time, catch the next opportunity. We ask our kids this all the time. If it’s necessary for school, of course we do our best to get it for them. But again, it teaches them to think, to work within a budget, and to think outside of themselves. We have three children, and we need to think of all three of them, not just the one (or two) who wants something. So they have to think of their siblings as well. They have to think about what works for our family, and not just for themselves. We also remind them that even though we do have the budget for something, we still need to make wise choices with our finances. There are better, more important, more worthwhile things to spend on than the latest trend. Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial (1 Cor 10:23). And there is a right time for everything.

D.ISTRACTING. Trends tend to distract us from our goals. From our priorities. They keep our time, focus, energy, and resources from going where they should. There are trends that do help us pursue our goal, that add to our skill and knowledge, that are useful in our profession, that are fun for bonding and de-stressing, that promote family togetherness, make us grow and all that — good things to invest in. And there are those that don’t. Those that are useless and fruitless. We need to sift through these fads with wisdom. It may be a need, but not the priority. It may be affordable, but not necessary. It may be a good opportunity, but the timing is off. It may be fun, but too pricey. It may sound good, but it would tear you away from your family. We need wisdom, prayer, and at times godly counsel. It’s quite easy to be influenced by ads, commercials, and friends. Our kids are especially prone to this. Even though some seem harmless, we like to research, ask around first. We remind them that not everything good, is necessarily good or right for us. Not everything available, we must avail. Not everything advertised, suggested or offered, we must take. It teaches them to think, determine their priorities, and to be responsible with those priorities.

S.ATISFYING. I always hear this from my girls, though not necessarily about trends – it’s so satisfying! Following trends and accumulating stuff can be satisfying! We feel happy, giddy even. To own the cool thing. To experience the latest craze. To belong to the in crowd. It gives us some satisfaction. Sadly, it’s a false sense of satisfaction. It’s satisfaction that does not last, so we end up wanting more and more because we chase that feeling of pleasure. This is the time we must dig into our hearts. The time to pray. We might be trying to fill a void, striving to make ourselves happy. None of these, however, will ever fill the emptiness. Material things, experiences, people – they’re all temporary, all inconstant, all limited. We need the eternal, the unchanging, the unlimited source of satisfaction, and that is only God Himself. With God, there is true joy and contentment. No more striving, no more chasing useless and fruitless things. We gain the ability to see God’s goodness and be grateful for every blessing. Because God, if He really is our source, is more than enough.

Blessed are those who find wisdom,
    those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
    nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
    those who hold her fast will be blessed. Proverbs 3:13-18

 

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5

Motherhood, Parenting

Oh Motherhood!

Oh motherhood!

“Mooooooommmm?” 

“Heeeeeeelllpppp!”

“Can I have rice please?” When the bowl of rice is an arm’s reach away.

“I can’t find it.” And IT (whatever IT is) is right there in front of her.

“Mommy, look!” “Mom mom, look!” “Mommy, look at me!” All at once.

“Mommy o!” “Mom, she (insert verb) me!”

“Carry!” 

“Only mommy.”

“Stay here, mommy.”

“Don’t go, mommy.”

“Stay with me.” When we’ve been together ALL day, EVERY day.

“I’m scared. Can you come with me?” To the kitchen, in our house.

“Can you feed me?”

“I’m hungry.” After just having a meal.

“I’m thirsty. Can you get me water?” “I want milk.” When you’re already lying in bed.

“Mom? Mom? Mom? (tapping or shaking your arm) Can I (insert verb)? Can I have (insert noun)?” While you’re fast asleep.

“No! Please? 5 more minutes (which always translates to more)?” When you’ve already told them 5 minutes before that we’re leaving in 5 minutes.

“Aww, please mom? Can I just…..? It’s just so and so pesos. But you said….. But we haven’t…. But my friends…..” Negotiation after you’ve already answered their question.

 “I don’t like the rod.” 

“Mom, I don’t get it. Can you help me?” And then she’ll fight with you because she thinks you’re making it harder.

“Can you hold this?” “Can you put it in your bag?” Like the baby isn’t heavy enough.

“Awwwgh….” When you ask them to do you a tiny favor.

“Why me? I didn’t make that mess.”

“I want to buy this.” “I want to get that.” 

“How come he/she (friend or cousin) is allowed?” 

“Can you read with me?” When you’re already so so sleepy.

“Can you make chicken ala king and phoebe for lunch?” When it’s 30 minutes to lunch time.

“Ow, ow, oooooowwwww….” With so much tears and loud crying.

“I don’t want to sleep!”

“I don’t want to take a bath!”

“Waaaiiiit.” After the nth reminder.

“It’s so hard.” “I never get to have any fun!” “It’s always NO.” Sweeping statements of ungratefulness, even after a fun vacation.

“What if someone asks me on a date?”

“I think he has a crush on me.”

“I think he has a crush on ate.”

“He’s cute…..” If only I could put into words the sound of King, loading a shotgun. 😛

 

So many words, so many needs, so many wants, so many delays, so many excuses, so many arguments, so many questions. Mommy this, mommy that. These are the things that make me tired, exasperated, feel pressured, feel frustrated, and feel panicked. And at the same time, these are what make me GRATEFUL for being their mommy.

Motherhood is a joy. Quality and quantity time. Family. Fun. Games. Tickles. Piggy back rides. Laughter. Silliness. Dancing. Food. Trips. Dates. Memories. Service. Car rides. Times of house arrest. Sickness. Errands. Budget concerns. Conflicts of schedule. Conflicts of interest. Clash of personalities. Arguments. Stress. Bonding. Growing together. It’s not always great, but by the grace, love, and redemptive work of God, good always comes out of anything bad. We rest in the promise of God that as we walk in obedience to Him, we will EAT THE FRUIT OF OUR LABOR. The sacrifices we make are worth it. 

Motherhood is a privilege. Secrets. Open and intimate conversations. Inside jokes. Family meetings or one-on-one talks. Sensitive topics. Senseless topics. Friends. Feelings. Hurts. Heart issues. Dreams. Likes and dislikes. Crushes. Movies. Shows. Music. Social Media. Quirks. Habits. We have the opportunity to knit a close relationship with our children. We have the privilege to be part of their lives, to KNOW them, to WATCH them, to LOVE and ENJOY them. 

Motherhood is a stewardship. Teaching. Training. Listening. Learning. Discipline. Teamwork. Character building. Strengths building. Life skills. Discovering and developing talents. Discipleship. Volunteering. Church. Worship. Prayers. Faith. Bible. Wisdom. The Gospel. Loving and honoring God. God gave us captive audiences since our children were conceived in our womb. We have the opportunity to teach, inspire, impart, lead, empower, equip. We need to BE DELIBERATE in using, and not wasting, this opportunity. 

Motherhood is a gift. Smiles. Hugs. Regular kisses. Eskimo kisses. Nguso kisses. Thank yous. I love yous. I miss yous. Sorries. I forgive yous. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Yes, we have the opportunity to give it to our kids, but we also have the opportunity to receive it from our kids. They not only need us. They love us, despite our failure to love them. They love us, just because we are MOMMY. ❤ ❤ ❤ 

 

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I have very few pictures of me with the girls. It’s because I like taking pictures more than being in them. I hate and am not good at taking selfies (self-wes). My phone lacks the space for new pictures. But yeah, I need to be deliberate in having my picture taken with them. ❤ 

Thank you Lord, for making us mothers.

HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY TO ALL THE MOMMIES OUT THERE! ❤

 

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,

who walk in obedience to him.

You will eat the fruit of your labor;

blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house;

your children will be like olive shoots

around your table.

Yes, this will be the blessing

for the man who fears the Lord. PSALM 128:1-4

 

Funny Fridays, Parenting

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby!

When the girls were still little, I dreaded the inevitable sex talk. Because we have girls, the responsibility to teach them is mine. My friends and mentors told me how important it is to educate our own kids about sex by age 9, so that they don’t get misinformed or get wrongly exposed to certain details about sex or how the world perceives it. They recommended a book but I never really got to buying, much less reading it.

For some reason, sex is an attractive word. I say this because each time my girls would see or hear it, they’d ask me what it means. I would always reply that sex means gender, like when we fill up forms, it asks us if we are male or female. Thank God they accepted that answer for a few years haha.

And thank God for His wisdom, guiding us about handling this topic with our daughters when it was time. There were two crucial things I believe, that we did. First was we (or I haha, sometimes it’s awkward for daddy) made sure that it’s an open subject. When they ask, we don’t shoo them or forbid them from asking about it. We treat it as a casual conversation. That way, they won’t be afraid to ask. They may feel awkward at times, but if they know that we, their parents, are not awkward about it, they will feel more free to talk to us. Also, it wasn’t a one time-big time conversation, where we sat them down and formally gave them a lesson. It began with a simple question, which gave us the opportunity to lay down the right foundation regarding sex. The conversation has not ended. But, we are also mindful of their ages, their maturity, and their privacy (what to talk about, when, and around whom).

Second, we made sure that they knew the truth about sex — that it was created by God, and it was created for the husband and wife to enjoy. We believe that beginning with that, our kids have a healthy and godly perspective of sex.

So because sex is a free topic of conversation within our family, I’ve been asked the funniest questions.

Daughter: Mom, what is a condom?

Me: Where’d you hear about that?

Daughter explains. Something about seeing it on Musical.ly and it being blown up like balloons.

Me: (after warning her about being careful of what she watches online) It’s a thing that keeps the sperm from uniting with the egg.

Daughter: (after asking where it’s placed, etc etc) Wait, why would they want to keep the sperm from the egg?

Me: So the mommy won’t get pregnant.

Daughter: Eeeeeew, so you mean people do it just for fun????

Me: Hahaha, yes! God created it for husband and wife to enjoy, remember?

 

Daughter: I know what sex is.

Me: Okay, what is it?

Daughter explains what she learned from her science class.

Me: Yes, that’s right.

Daughter: But how does the sperm meet the egg?

Me: I’ll tell you when you’re older.

Daughter: I know mom.

Me: Okay tell me.

Daughter: The private part of the boy and the private part of the girl.

Me: Okay…..

Daughter: But mom, which private part? Here (pointing to her chest) or here (pointing to her crotch)?

 

Hahahah, I love conversations with our girls! It keeps me on my toes, and keeps me seeking God’s wisdom. I pray for courage, wisdom and discernment when the time comes for you to begin and to continue that conversation with your kids, in Jesus’ name.

 

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
My Kids, Parenting

On Stage Again

One of my daughters has been interested in acting ever since she was little, but we didn’t have the chance or time to commit to any workshops. When Homeschool@Alabang opened in June last year, offering a Musical Theater class that fit into our girls’ regular school schedule, we enrolled both girls since my other daughter expressed interest as well. My friend May of FullyHousewifed encouraged me that the class is good, especially with Ms. Anamarie Quirino teaching it.

It was extra work and extra expense for us, but we went for it. There were times that they both didn’t want to attend the class because they were tired, times they had to skip it because of sickness or exams, times they wanted to quit. But we are all so glad that we PUSHED ourselves to finish what we started, to honor our COMMITMENT. I would have also easily agreed to them giving it up, but King reminded us that he had already paid for the entire year’s fees. What a waste of time, energy, resources, and OPPORTUNITY it would have been if we just quit, when we’d already invested 6 months of our lives and their show was only a few months away.


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The play was entitled Happily Forever After (A Musical Play About the Kingdom of God), held at Maybank Performing Arts Theater in the BGC Arts Center.

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The result was wonderful! Danae’s call time was 10am because she was part of the Shadow Play team. They had a part in Homeschool@Valle Verde’s show at 1:30pm. King brought her since King had work in the area, and my friends (moms of the other girls) took charge of her while I couldn’t be there with her. Noelle’s call time was at 3pm, along with everyone else. King came back for us at home and we all went in time for Noelle’s call time. With all the time and work they put in that day, I did not hear a single complaint!!! They both enjoyed themselves so much. They loved it! I think being in a real theater with real dressing rooms added to the excitement. When they heard “company call!” they bolted out of the dressing room while I was in the middle of braiding Noelle’s hair! They were so busy and excited about their rehearsals, makeup, costumes, and about delivering an EXCELLENT performance. Not to mention the FRIENDSHIPS they built with new people, and the MEMORIES they created with their oldest friends. This was one for the books!

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inside the dressing room, after the show 🙂

 

We are so proud of all the kids! They were all adorable. Kids with talent, who gave their BEST, whether their part was big or small. Kids who WORKED TOGETHER and displayed so much COURAGE! We’re grateful our girls got to be a part of it. The best bit — they got to SHARE THE GOSPEL through their play!

Our girls truly surprised and impressed me. I could never do what they did with much comfort, except maybe the dancing part. They didn’t have speaking lines, but their facial expressions, their acting chops, and their confidence??? They may look like me, but they’ve got their dad’s performing genes. For sure. And Gianna? She mentioned a couple of times that she wanted to go down and dance as well. Her words seeing Noelle right after the play — “Noelle, I like your make up!” She’s two, and I don’t think she has a problem being on stage either. 🙂

 

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the opening scene — our trumpeteers Danae, Ana and Cassie!
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Danae in red and white (rightmost, upstage), and Noelle in purple (rightmost part of the image)

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The shadow play – Danae handled the head of the dragon. This was a beautiful depiction of Jesus’ death and His victory over death.
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The girls of the shadow play crew 🙂 Thanks for the photo, tita Trickee 🙂
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Danae and Noelle in sync! at least in this shot 🙂 Thanks tita Michelle 🙂
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With their talented director, Anamarie Quirino 🙂
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Wowo, Wowas and ate Ella came to support! Wish Wowo Vic were alive to see this. Thank you, family! 🙂

 

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. Luke 16:10a

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3