Parenting

VISUAL, are you?

I believe I am a visual person. When I see something that catches my attention, I most probably will remember it for a long time. So you can bet that some of the obscene things I’d seen in the past are still in my memory, though I choose not to actually picture them in my head. I wish I did not get exposed to such things and have to go through that, but I did. I guess in this case, my memory loss or the slowing down of my brain (which I totally blame on giving birth and epidural hahaha) is a good thing.

And that is why guarding what our children watch is so important to me and to King. We want to protect our kids from things they see that could harm them. We do our best to monitor what they watch on TV and in the movies. At home, they can watch most of the shows on Playhouse Disney unless the content is about Halloween or anything scary, and very few shows on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. They are not allowed to switch channels by themselves because of the possibility of accidentally switching to a channel that is totally not safe for any kid, such as channels that carry shows with violent or sexual content. We choose the movies that they watch in the theater, making sure beforehand as much as possible, that it’s safe, meaning no kissing scenes, no witchcraft, no foul language, no violence and anything we deem too mature for our children. If not, we’re ready to cover their eyes.

When Shrek came out, we watched it with the kids. We didn’t realize they’d be showing a lot of trailers of movies that aren’t kid-friendly! During the first trailer, King’s hand was over Pablo’s eyes, mine were on Danae’s and Noelle’s. Imagine how tiring that was! Danae was on my left on her own seat, while Noelle was on my right in her stroller. It was practically 2 minutes long. Only 2 minutes, but it seemed like forever for my unfit arms! After that first one, I asked King to bring Pablo and Danae out while the movie wasn’t starting yet. That was a good 10 minutes. After the movie, we also realized that it was funnier for the adults and too mature for the kids.

Recently, Danae came to the knowledge of a certain Justin Bieber and since has claimed that she loves him. She told me that she saw the video on YouTube and that there’s no kissing, only Justin’s face very close to a girl’s face. She even showed me, putting her forehead to mine. A few weeks ago, King left his laptop on at home while we were out on a date. When we came back, Danae told us about this new Justin Bieber song that she learned. After a while, I asked her where she got it coz I’d never even heard of it. She said she saw it on Dad’s laptop, and then King told me that he saw on his Google search the word “Jasten”. She did that by herself! We already told her that it’s not safe to just click away on the computer, and that not all shows on YouTube are okay for kids. Not all shows or videos are okay for adults, for that matter. She was disciplined for that, and since then has not been allowed to watch anything on YouTube unsupervised.

I know my daughter. She’s very perceptive and impressionable. And her memory is exceptional. But she’s only 4, for crying out loud!!! I don’t want her mind to be filled with unnecessary thoughts of boys and such. She’s already very curious about weddings and marriage, and we’ve recently been hearing the word “boyfriend” in her monologues. As you can see, we cannot shield her from EVERYTHING she hears or sees from people around and in places we go. But we still want to do what we can to protect her. It doesn’t matter to me if people think I’m overreacting or that I’m too strict. I don’t buy into the “it’s okay, they’re too young to understand it anyway” thing. I am a firm believer of NOT UNDERESTIMATING A CHILD’S INTELLIGENCE, even a child Noelle’s age or younger. Having said that, I am also a firm believer of NOT OVERESTIMATING A CHILD’S EMOTIONAL MATURITY. There are things we think our children are ready for, but they may really not be, even if we properly explain it to them or even if they seem to respond the right way. I choose to not expose my kids to certain things because I know what I went through — the impure desires that got stirred up from watching romantic shows, movies, videos, and reading romantic stories, also the foul language and bad attitude I picked up from all sorts of movies. I do not want my children to suffer from the same mistakes I made, whether from neglect on my parents’ part or from my own unwise decisions. It is just unnecessary to allow them to be subjected to that kind of torture. Torture???? Yes, TORTURE. You see something, it plays over and over in your head, you don’t know what to do with it, you can’t get it out of your mind, it affects your thoughts, your speech, your dreams, your behavior. Adult minds are not immune to this, more so young minds.

We are teaching our children to protect their minds and hearts by being careful with what they watch, what they read and what they hear. I only learned to do this at age 24 when I gave my life to the Lord, and am still doing it now at age 33. We want them to form this HABIT as early as now, so that it will, sooner than later, become a strong CONVICTION and a consistent LIFESTYLE. We pray that our girls will live pure and holy lives before God. That’s why we named them Katina Danae and Katrin Noelle. Katina and Katrin mean PURE. We claimed it then, we claim it now, and we claim it tomorrow and each day after that. 🙂

My Kids, Parenting

TEETH, TEETH, TEETH

Ever since Noelle had multiple teeth, which was when she was about a year old, I’d already noticed some white stuff on her upper front teeth. I would try to brush it away or even scratch it off with my fingers, but it wouldn’t come off. I asked around and I was told that it was normal. I was worried but I ignored it. I kept thinking that Danae has perfect teeth, so it’s pretty certain that Noelle will have the same. MAN, WAS I WRONG!!!

About over a month ago, I noticed that the white stuff was becoming brown. My worst fears (regarding my kids’ teeth) were coming true. I consulted with a dentist who is a friend of ours, and when she saw Noelle’s teeth, she told me that the white stuff is due to decalcification already. I was horrified! I truly felt like a failure. She gave me advise and I tried to stop breastfeeding, since Noelle practically stays attached to me the whole night and therefore the milk lingers in her mouth and causes her teeth to rot (though breast milk isn’t as bad as cow’s or powdered milk). A few days after that, when I was playing with Noelle and I put her in sort of an up-side-down position, I saw that the back of two of her upper teeth were already completely brown! I quickly had her scheduled for a cleaning. King took her to her Ninang Liza because I was not feeling well on the day of the appointment. I was happy to hear the report that she was cooperative while on the dentist’s chair, though she did cry. We were advised to apply tooth mousse on her teeth once every night after brushing, and to clean her teeth, even with just a cloth, after breastfeeding. Brushing before nap time and bed time is not enough.

I felt a little bit more at ease, but when we got to Coron, I noticed that one of her teeth chipped. And the brown stuff seemed to get worse. Noelle is only 1 and a half, so you can imagine the worry and the apprehension in letting a dentist cover her teeth with pasta. How many teeth need to be treated? How much will it cost? How long is it going to take? WILL IT INVOLVE SEDATION? My 2 yr-old nephew went through the same thing and I felt somewhat assured because I could go ask my sister-in-law about it.

To make the long story short, we were able to have Noelle’s teeth treated without sedation!!! When the pediatric dentist was poking her teeth to look at them, Noelle was completely cooperative. But when it was necessary to put a clamp on her mouth to keep it open, so as not to get the pasta wet with saliva and allow it to dry, that’s when all the screaming began. It was like listening to a squealing pig that was about to be butchered!!! The dentist stopped and removed the clamp for a bit, when she was finished with one part, to give Noelle a break. She was really strong too, so I had to let King be the one to hold her after the break. Whew! What a relief to know that my daughter’s teeth need not deteriorate further. We do have to continue applying or brushing with the tooth mousse, and to see the dentist every 3 months for some calcium treatment, if I remember correctly. And no more juice! We rarely give Noelle juice these days to help keep her teeth strong and healthy. Juice is acidic, and therefore contributes to the weakening of the teeth. Even though we still have the night time feeding and occasional day-time feeding, at least we have countered the spread of the cavities. We’re praying they stay isolated and none of her other teeth suffer the same problem.


A word to pregnant women! Do not neglect taking your milk or your calcium tablets! It’s important to give your babies a head start. If you don’t, your babies could be pre-disposed to weak teeth, like Noelle. Trust me. With my eldest Danae, I drank my Gerber for Moms milk twice daily. Even though I couldn’t take my calcium tablets, Danae’s teeth are perfect to this day. She’s almost 5 and no cavities at all. Well, not yet anyway, haha. Plus it helped that her first tooth came out when she was 10 months old, as opposed to Noelle whose first came out at 7 months. I did not drink any milk nor take calcium meds when I was pregnant with Noelle because I had a more difficult pregnancy with her. So now I’m suffering the consequences. I figured that my neglect is partly to blame for my very young Noellee to have dental problems. Thank God we still have a chance to make things right with her, especially when she loses her milk teeth and her permanent teeth come! And thank God her smile is unaffected — still radiant, beautiful and captivating! 🙂

Parenting

EN2010 (pre-con): Discipleship@Home

There were quite a number of sessions before EN2010, and King wanted me to attend the international staff meeting Wednesday morning, the day before the conference. I had to wait for Danae’s class to finish, pick her up, get the kids and everything ready, then proceed to ENLI building in the Fort. In other words, I missed the staff meeting. But King relayed Ptr Jim Laffoon’s message to me and I couldn’t agree with him more when he said that we need to be careful with technology, be careful that it does not take over our personal life, our priorities. It’s so easy to be so absorbed in the internet, facebook, our phones, etc. That convicted me and made me decide to turn on my computer for blogging & stuff, as much as possible, when the kids are asleep or when I know it will not interfere with my priorities. I don’t like that often Noelle has to literally pull me away from the computer when she wants me to just sit with her. She and the rest of my family should come first.

Anyway, we were able to drop the kids off at my in-laws’, and I attended the afternoon break-away session of my choice: Discipleship@Home. Who’s Discipling Your Kids? I picked up a lot, listening to Ptr David Houston, his wife Sandy, our Ninong Ptr Paolo Punzalan, and his wife Jenn. Awesome, witty, funny, real people who are imperfect parents just like us, who know what we’re dealing with, and who make a whole lot of sense. Our Alabang senior pastor, Ptr Ariel hosted it, and he and his wife Shirley are also one of the couples we look up to especially with regards to parenting. Some of the things shared, I already knew. On one hand, it encouraged me all the more to keep doing what we’re doing, and on the other, it reminded me of the things that we have forgotten and that we should be doing. Still some were somewhat new, and it’s always great to learn from people who are wiser and more experienced than myself. Let me share the points that struck me the most.

Life is in the power of the tongue, and it is especially powerful when the father speaks it to his children. Dads! Your kids need verbal affirmation from you, just like how God affirms His children. Even if it’s uncomfortable for you, do it anyway. Your kids will not even know that you’re feeling awkward, and they will definitely appreciate it, whether they express it to you or not.  And dads! Don’t give all your energy at work. Save the best for your family, so that when you get home, you won’t be too tired to engage with your wife and with your children. Pray for your kids and speak destiny to their lives. Be the one to put them to sleep. The quality time you spend with them will have a great impact on them. King is an expressive dad who makes time for our kids, but I still immediately downloaded these to him. Fathers have such a critical role in the lives of children, and we want to do right by ours.

We need to say our instruction ONE TIME and back it up with consequence when disobeyed. This is of course based on Biblical discipline and our instructions are those that are best for our children, not those that harm them. Many times we wait to get angry before we take action in disciplining our kids. I’ve experienced this a lot. We need to discipline them right away the first time they disobey. That way, we’re still moving patiently, IN LOVE, and NOT OUT OF ANGER. We need to be consistent, no matter how tiring and taxing, and believe that discipline will bear the peaceable fruit of righteousness. I say amen to that and I believe we are improving. It’s very timely too, because Noelle is also a force to be reckoned with hahaha.

Discipleship happens at the dinner table. Let’s eat with our kids! It can be stressful especially in my case, I have a 1-year old who won’t stop calling me until I look at her and acknowledge what she’s doing or take care of what she needs, a talkative 4-year old, and then a husband who wants to tell me about his day. Trust me, it can get crazy! But if we let other people feed them so we can eat in peace (which I do sometimes for valid reasons, but not usually), how can we teach them table manners? More importantly, how can we teach them to pray, or not to waste, or to share? There are many teaching moments at the dinner table, from etiquette to prayer, to being thankful, to generosity, to quality time, to family, to God’s Word and so on. Let us teach and disciple our own kids.

If we fail to point them to God, we are missing what really matters. Ms Jenn shared this story about a mom who gives demerits to her son whenever he does not get a perfect score in his quizzes or tests. That’s a bit extreme, but I know I too have a tendency to over-emphasize the importance of grades, of answering tests correctly. I realized that when Danae had her first set of long tests this week. I felt bad because I felt like I pressured her about knowing the right answers to her test, since we already went through them. I saw her face when I showed my disappointment that she wasn’t able to answer me when I was reviewing her. Thank God it didn’t stick! I really do not want her to be pressured to do really well in school just because she wants to please me. My kid is smart. I want to trust in her abilities. I want her to enjoy test days as she enjoys ordinary school days, and not dread them. But what really matters is she learns to do the work, learns to ask God for guidance & wisdom, and eventually she learns to be excellent — to be excellent not in fear of Mommy’s wrath, but to be excellent as an overflow of her desire to please God.

We need to let little boys be little boys. Let them be active! The first thought that popped in my head was, “What if my little girl is LIKE a little boy?” Haha. Danae is super active and she can definitely run with the boys, but I guess the answer to my question is the same. Let her be her. As long as we give her boundaries, guide and discipline her, I believe it’s right to let her be herself, be who God made her to be and not make her conform to what society thinks a girl should be.

Two other points that Ptr Paolo & Ms Jenn gave were that the relationship is more important than the rules and that it has to be in you before it can be in them. Click here and here for their blogs that beautifully capture these points.

I really enjoyed this pre-conference session because it is a serious subject, one that is very close to my heart, but the speakers made it light and fun. I did not feel condemned for my mistakes, but convicted to correct them and encouraged to keep at it. I love what Ptr David said about restoration after the painful discipline. We embrace our kids, we wipe away their tears, we forgive them, we assure them of our love, because that is how our Father deals with us when we repent of our sins as well. Thank God He forgives me for all the mistakes I make, that He loves me unconditionally, that He gives me hope and grace to be a better mother. 🙂

Parenting

God’s Word to a Child

Attending the 8am service today and hearing Ptr Jun’s preaching about the authority of God’s word in our lives reinforced my plan to share about what our daughter Danae has been learning these days. As much as possible, King and I read the Bible to our girls (though Noelle doesn’t really sit and listen yet and Danae gets distracted a lot still) before bedtime. We believe that we are sowing God’s word into the hearts and minds of our daughters whether they understand it already or not, whether they listen attentively or not, whether they stay awake for the whole thing, including processing and prayer, or not.

But teaching them about God does not begin or end at Bible time. Every situation is a teaching opportunity. An ordinary moment like a ride in the car can turn into a teaching moment when we teach our kids to be thankful for what we have as they see other kids selling sampaguita or begging for money in the street, when we teach them to pray even for a mere parking space, or when we teach them about helping others as we bring friends to the bus/fx station or straight to their homes. A hilarious instance like when Danae did not listen to me during Family Camp, kept walking on mud and fell like I said she would, became a teaching moment on listening and obeying right away. There are countless opportunities to teach our children.

When Danae says that she does not love someone, either a friend or family member because they’re not being nice to her, we always remind her that the Bible says that Jesus wants us to love others (John 13:34). When we hear her complain because she wants something that a friend has even though she already has one that’s a different version, we remind her of what she learned in Kids Church — “Do not compare. Be happy. (Exodus 20:17)” When we discipline her and she says that she will obey, we remind her to let her “yes” be “yes” and let her “no” be “no” (Matt 5:37). Let’s just hope and pray that she never says “no” to obeying haha.

We’ve taught her the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), but for some reason, only the first 5 has stuck with her. Before, every time she would see a statue or a bust, she’d point it out, say that it’s an idol, and remind us that God said to not make idols. She says “Oh my gosh” a lot but months ago, she heard someone say “Oh my god” and started copying it, jokingly even, knowing that we disapproved. Now she knows not to take God’s name in vain (or disrespect His name). We also have the R word, which is respect. All we need to say is “remember the R word?” and she immediately quotes the 5th commandment, “Respect your parents.” Though of course sometimes, it takes her getting the rod before she actually does it.

I find that it’s easier to go to the Bible to explain to Danae why something she is doing is wrong, because she accepts it as the truth. It actually matters to her what God says, and she actually wants to obey God and make Him happy. In other words, God’s word already has authority in my little girl’s life! I’m so amazed because I was nowhere near her maturity when I was her age. Of course she’s only 4 & 1/2 and acts like it a lot, but we can see that the Word of God is already at work in her life. Wow. 🙂

My Kids, Parenting

MORE WISDOM FROM MY CHILDREN

One time last week, Danae recalled an episode of Jojo’s Circus, where Mr. Muscles, a single parent to Maya, got married to Ms. Kersplatski (or something like that). She asked me this very interesting question: “Why do they have a baby? They’re supposed to get married first.” Obviously, I explained to her that Mr. Muscles had a baby with his wife before, who may have died already, and then married Ms. Kersplatski years later. But I did tell her that she was right to say that. She doesn’t know the details of how a baby is made, but it’s interesting that at age 4, she already grasps this concept of MARRIAGE FIRST BEFORE BABIES.

In the car the other day, Danae was whining and complaining about something that we said NO to.
Me:       It cannot always be a YES, Nae.
Danae: I want always YES.
Me:       Okay, so if you ask me if you could go out in the street by yourself, you want me to say yes? So you can get run over by a car?
Danae: No.
Me:       If you ask me if you can jump off a building, you want me to say yes?
Danae: No.
Me:       NO is a very important word. It can’t always be a YES.
Don’t we all need to learn to accept this word? WHEN GOD SAYS NO TO US, IT’S FOR OUR BEST.

We’ve been trying to teach Noelle to clean up, as she is not as compliant as Danae was at her age. It takes effort and some convincing, and there’s sometimes crying involved, before she helps in cleaning up the toys/flashcards/crayons she uses. Danae is almost always eager to help and sometimes volunteers to do it for Noelle. She’ll pick something up even when I specifically tell Noelle to do so. I constantly remind Danae that Noelle will not learn if she keeps doing it for her sister. IT’S GOOD AND NOBLE TO HELP OTHERS, BUT NOT IF IT’S ALREADY GETTING IN THE WAY OF THEIR PROGRESS AND GROWTH.

Family, My Kids, Parenting

WISDOM FROM MY CHILDREN

Danae was watching tv one day, waiting for the next show on Playhouse Disney. She looked at me and said, “I hope it’s Chloe’s Closet.” It just amazed me to hear Danae use that word. She uses “wish” a lot, saying she wishes she could ride a tricycle, or have some toy or whatever, but not “hope.” She wasn’t hoping for anything deep like world peace or justice either, but as little as she is, she already knows how to hope. Her first written sentence is also about hope. “I HOP I COD WISH FOR MI SCOTR.” What about us? As old as we are, do we still know how to hope? Or have we lost all of it? Who do we put our hope in?

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. Psalm 39:7

A few weeks ago, Danae didn’t want to read her Bible before going to bed. When we asked her if she didn’t want to know God more, she said, “I already know God.” Hahaha. Sound familiar? Do we think we already know everything there is to know about God? More importantly, do we think we’re so close to God that we can’t get any closer? Do we already know God’s next move, His plan?

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! 1 Chronicles 16:11

Danae is a lot like me in terms of personality, where she can make a big deal out ofsomething so small. She doesn’t know yet how to pick her battles, while I am still learning hehehe. Noelle is the one more like King, who is easy going and is fine with almost anything. They get into arguments (well, Noelle expresses herself physically, while Danae does it verbally and physically), and Danae is the one who easily gets upset. When Noelle grabs from Danae, you’re sure to hear a protest from Danae. When Danae grabs from Noelle, unless it’s something that she really really likes, Noelle doesn’t complain and finds another thing to play with or use. Danae is an active kid (probably an understatement), and can be rough many-a-time. She gets excited and “gigil” with Noelle, and we’re the ones fearful that they both might get hurt. Noelle most often just giggles away. When Noelle hurts Danae, whether deliberately or accidentally, Danae pretty much gets annoyed easily. We often remind her to take a look at her sister. Even though Noelle is younger, she could learn a thing or two from her.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

My Kids

My Noelle!

Noelle is 1 yr and 3 weeks old. She’s not walking by herself yet, nor is she talking, quite unlike her older sister who walked and spoke before she turned 1. Even so, I am not worried because she’s just as smart. She communicates by pointing, gesturing or calling at what or who she wants, and by rejecting what she doesn’t. She tells you that she got hurt by pausing and rubbing the hurt part of her body with her hand. She understands quite a few things already. If you ask her, she knows the light, switch, fan, tv, phone, remote, shoes, ball, balloon, dog, banana, etc. She can tell you where her head, ears, nose and belly button are. If you ask who Noelle is, she’ll put her hands on her chest as her way of saying “me!” Of course she’s been able to do the usual tricks since she was 7 months old – close open, clap hands, pat, high five, wave hi or bye. She could also gesture as we’d sing twinkle twinkle and itsy bitsy spider, and clap whenever she hears d happy bday song. And one of the first tricks she did was put her hand, the phone or anything actually, on her ear when she’d hear the word hello. And then she’d make “uh” sounds as if she was talking to someone. It was also automatic for her to respond by looking around when she heard someone or something and when she was asked where anything or anyone was. By 10 or 11 months, she learned to play peek-a-boo, do beautiful eyes, make pa-cute, sleep sleep, kiss and hug. She learned to put her hands together to pray, and she does it when she knows it’s time to eat! When you give her shades or a headband, she knows to put it on, though she cant do it properly yet. Give her a comb or brush, she’ll try to brush her hair with it…her very little hair hehe. Recently, she’s been climbing a lot. When she got tall enough and discovered she can reach ate’s chair when she raised her leg, she would climb and kneel, sit or even stand on it! When she sits, she immediately points to the matching table, telling me to get it. Cute haha! Oh she also makes this face when she’s making drama. Nobody taught her that! But when you say cry, she’ll show you haha.

Noelle just loves Danae. Ever since, when we’d ask her where ate is, she knew where to look. Gosh, when I ask her where mommy is, she ignores me haha! But when it’s ate, she looks, points, smiles and moves toward Danae right away, even when Danae is sleeping. She loves to hug and kiss Danae. Sigh. It’s such a joy to see it. One of our prayers is that they will have an extraordinary bond as sisters. Thank you Lord! 🙂

People keep asking me how different my two girls are. Well, besides color hehe, Noelle seems to be the more humorous one (kengkoy and patawa) though also strong willed. Danae is less patient but is pretty funny and witty too. Danae is also generally the more fearless one, adventurous and unafraid of most things, while Noelle is more easily intimidated I guess by loud sounds (except fireworks for some reason hehe), people, darkness, and being thrown up in the air. Development- wise, everything was generally quicker with Danae. She transitioned from breast to sippie cup in one day when she was 10 months old. She downed her first cup full of milk just like that! And because of the filling milk, she slept through the night already. Noelle is still breast feeding, though much less now, and won’t drink any milk from the bottle, cup or glass. She doesn’t sleep through the night yet either. But I’m still going to try other milk brands and flavors so I can finally wean her completely. We can do this! 🙂

My girls are different from each other, yet they are both beautiful, smart, blessed, and most importantly very much loved. I’m truly grateful for my danaenae and my noellee. King and I are raising two lovely, lovely daughters.

*Can’t wait to see Noelle walking behind me and to hear her talking! I’m so excited! 🙂

My Kids, Parenting

LIFE LESSONS FROM RAISING TWO PRINCESSES

When Noelle turned 4 months old, she already wanted to drink from my glass, and she would stare at food like she wanted to eat. I let her try drinking from my glass, which she was able to do, but she coughed up most of it. When I fed her with a spoon, she still didn’t know what to do with it. She didn’t even suck on it. After a doctor’s visit, I confirmed a lesson that we could apply in our lives. Even though Noelle wanted to eat and drink already, she wasn’t ready for it yet. Much like us, there are things that we want and want now, but God can’t give to us yet because we’re just not ready.

One evening, just recently, while I was helping her drink her milk, Danae was asking me if she could do something. I think I told her to finish her milk first. She has this habit of grunting and tsk-ing when she doesn’t get her way, which she did. I found myself saying “di ka kasi nag-oobey kaya ka nafu-frustrate.” Think about it. The reason why we get frustrated with life is because we do not obey God, and we’re so insistent on our way, forcing things to happen how and when we want them to.

Many times, we tell Danae to obey first before she can get what she wants. There’s nothing we enjoy more than seeing our girls happy and having fun. But sometimes they need to obey first before they can enjoy the things that make them happy. Why? Well, I can’t give my children chocolate first thing in the morning, without having breakfast first. I can’t allow them to watch tv or play computer games when they wake up, buy every toy they see in the store, let them make a mess and not clean up afterwards. Those would not be good habits to form. I can’t let them leave the house or go to sleep without brushing their teeth first. I can’t let them run around outside the house without the supervision of a trustworthy adult. I love them too much. God is the same way with us. He wants us to obey Him first, seek His kingdom first then all these things will be added to us. He loves us perfectly and knows best after all.

When Danae was around two, I heard her say when she was sitting in the corner after a rod, that she’s bad. That really broke my heart because we never said that to her and we never meant for her to feel that we thought she was bad. Right then I prayed with her and let her declare that she is a good girl. I remind her every single day that she is a good girl, despite the many rods that she gets. Now she knows it well. I wanted her to declare herself that she is a good girl so that she will remember and believe that she is good. When she believes that she is good, she will act according to what she believes. Isn’t that the same way with us adults? Sometimes we make mistakes and condemn ourselves. We start believing the lie that we are no good, unworthy, ugly or unlovable, and start acting out those beliefs. Then the cycle starts again. I say declare that you are good, that you are a new creation, changed by God! Declare it, so you’ll believe it, and then live it.

Danae is 3 and a half. The things that we discipline her for are the same things that she does over and over. It’s pretty tiring, so aside from telling her that we give her the rod because we want her to learn and we want her to learn to obey because we love her, we tell her to remember the pain of the rod. If you don’t want to get the rod because it’s owie, obey. It’s that simple. But of course, she’s only 3, so she does them again. She only remembers the pain when it’s already time for the rod. She doesn’t remember it when she’s in the middle of disobeying. If only we adults would remember the pain of disobedience too. Sometimes we act like 3-year-olds and forget God’s discipline, committing the same offenses over again. God disciplines us because He disciplines those He loves. Discipline is always painful, so let’s remember the pain!

King taught Danae this “catch phrase”, which we remind her of every time she gets the rod: REMEMBER TO LISTEN AND OBEY RIGHT AWAY. Listening, after all, requires obeying, or else it’s just hearing, and delayed obedience is still disobedience. But it doesn’t end there. I added something to that as well. When she says that sentence, I ask her “without?”, she says: WITHOUT WHINING, OR SHOUTING, OR MAKING DABOG. She must learn to obey without complaining. Can’t we all learn from this? Say it with me. REMEMBER TO LISTEN AND OBEY GOD RIGHT AWAY WITHOUT COMPLAINING. Good job hehe. 🙂