My Kids, Parenting

Undeserved 2

Last night, a discussion suddenly became an argument. The intention was to motivate and hopefully produce obedience, but the result unfortunately was the opposite.

Noelle: Mom, I’ll just give Ate (big sister) my prize.

Me: But love, do you think she deserves your prize?

Noelle: (with a smile on her face) Then grace mom. Grace.

 
Wow. The compassion of this one has always been extraordinary. Sometimes her loyalty is misplaced, but her compassion always reminds me of Jesus — willing to give grace, to be generous even after being pained and saddened.

That is something we parents must be willing to do for our children as well. We must love them through the pain. We must teach them through the disappointments. We must discipline them through the heartache, despite the difficulty. We must give whether or not they are capable of giving back, whether or not they are willing to give back. We must initiate even when they do not reciprocate. We must keep encouraging them even when they’ve already given up. We must keep hoping and praying even when we see little or no fruit. Our parenting must always be with wisdom and discernment and many times with godly counsel, and our love must always be without conditions. Lord, help us. ❤

 

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

In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. Isaiah 63:9

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

My Kids, Parenting

Undeserved

I have random conversations with my kids, some silly and not so important, others deep and meaningful. Sometimes it starts out with a question or a simple topic, but then I get these thoughts that turn the conversation into a teaching moment. Admittedly, some are so far off topic or too deep that they go way over my kids’ heads haha, but some make easy sense.

Kids: Mom, can we have…. (I forget what they were asking for)

Me: Hmmmm. Let’s see.

Me: Do you know that we don’t deserve anything good? (hahaha. Sometimes we get tired of hearing sooooo many demands)

Kids: (insert crickets)

Me: Everything you have is a gift from God. A gift that you don’t deserve.

Kids: Mmm yeaahhh…..?

Me: Do you remember what an undeserved gift is?

Danae: That’s called grace, mom.

Me: Yes, that’s right. Everything we enjoy is because of God’s grace, only because of God’s grace.

I pray that our children learn, not just in their head but in their heart and living it out, to be faithful, not irresponsible. To be careful, not wasteful. To be joyful, not resentful. To be content, not critical. To be sensitive, not indifferent. To be grateful, not entitled.

I pray that we, their parents, set the example as well.

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

 

 

 

Family, Just My Thoughts

In His Shoes

I’ve told King that in a way, I’m grateful that this (slipped disc) happened to him and not me, because I would not have gotten through it with much grace. I’m a big baby when it comes to pain! As I put myself in his shoes, I could only imagine the thoughts running in his mind and the frustrations he must have felt.

Being dependent on another person for your basic needs doesn’t sound like much of a big deal, and some of us might even think it great to be served and waited upon. But think about it. Meals. Basic hygiene. Nature’s calls. Not only that. We take our bodies and movements for granted. We don’t even think twice about sitting up or abruptly getting out of bed or turning on our side in bed. King could do none of that for at least 3 days. Lying flat on your back is good for sleeping, but it’s pretty tiring when you have to do it all day. He needed me to do everything for him. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could handle not being able to help myself or handle letting someone else clean me. I wouldn’t be at peace putting so much burden on other people as well. King was very very grateful and appreciative, don’t get me wrong, but I would have complained and cried the whole time.

Being told that you won’t be able to carry your kids or do sports is pretty daunting. King is a very active individual. He has always been an athlete and a dancer. He loves to travel, go on tours, road trips & adventures. He loves to play with the kids. He loves to be daddy — daddy who protects his girls and carries them when they need him. Imagine. If you were the track, badminton & basketball athlete when you were younger and loves sports, how would you feel when you can’t walk fast, let alone run? If you love to dance and see that your kids love it too, how would you feel when you can’t even bend over or twist your body? How would you feel if it looks like you can’t go on adventures anymore, if it’s one of the things you love to do with your family? I’d probably be angry and disheartened at the same time. The saddest for him, actually, is the reality that he cannot carry his daughters or let them ride piggy-back. For now.

Watching the people around you go about their daily routines normally can be frustrating. King used to help out in the house as much as he could when we didn’t have a more regular helper. I could rely on him to do many things when I had to attend to something else. Him seeing me have a hard time and get tired must have made him feel helpless, and him feeling helpless must have gotten him very frustrated with himself.

The whole thing was a test of character. I would have failed miserably, but King overcame.

Because of God’s grace, he has been able to break through. We have been able to break through. There were times that he felt impatient (read his blog about it) or that it seemed there wasn’t enough progress, but because we decided that I should not baby him and instead let him try to do normal things or find other ways to do them, and because we decided that he should challenge himself, he continually improved. Now he’s back at work! I can feel his joy and relief, that he can already go back to his normal activities. He has some therapy to go through still and though there are restrictions, we are very hopeful that he’s on his way to full recovery — maybe even go back to sports. He started dancing again the other night when he got challenged to a dance battle on my brother’s Xbox! It’s really really looking good! 🙂

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them;
    he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Psalm 107:19-21

Family, Just My Thoughts, Spiritual Family

HOMEBOUND!

Here’s my take-home as we go home after ten days in the hospital….

COURAGE is not the absence of fear, but STRENGTH IN THE MIDST OF FEAR. I saw this in my husband despite his pain, his fear of feeling the pain, and his fear of what his condition will mean in the future. Although I saw him go through some emotions, I never saw him give in to his fear. I did not see him cower in despair and unbelief. He definitely felt fear and worry at times, but his faith was intact. He was and is secure of God’s love, goodness, power & sovereignty that a few disheartening words did not destroy him. I have courage because he has courage.

ENCOURAGEMENT is something you can’t do without when you’re in the hospital or facing any adverse situation. I did my best encouraging King, but he also drew courage from others. My friends would always ask me not just how King is, but how I am. The family needs just as much encouragement as the patient. Danae broke down at one point and I had to be the one to encourage her that daddy’s going to be okay. THE TONGUE IS INDEED POWERFUL, able to build up or tear down. We are grateful for family and friends who helped build us up by their hopeful messages and timely visits. We appreciate the conversations too, and all the laughter. Nothing like laughter to lift up one’s spirits!

We are also grateful for the few who spoke hopeless words to us because it just showed us that that is not what we want to be, when it’s our turn to be “there” for another. We choose to be encouraging and uplifting, knowing that one discouraging word can bring such gloom to a bright, sunny day (exactly how I felt).

PRAYER is a strong weapon. When that person said those discouraging words to us, it wasn’t anything new. We heard it already, but he just said it in a way that it seemed hopeless. I literally found myself at a loss for words when King and I were alone that night, an hour or two after. I looked at King and I knew that we both felt the same way –DISCOURAGED. We didn’t know how else to deal with it but to PRAY. We fought the discouragement and found courage once again when we prayed. The prayers of our family and friends give us much courage too, to press on and not give up.

SUPPORT from our families and friends was unbelievable. From helping us with the kids and bringing us clothes, to bringing us food and other needs, messaging or calling us, visiting us, praying for us, running errands for us. There was no shortage of KINDNESS  among our families and friends. It makes us all the more appreciative of who we have in our lives.

GRACE is what gets us through each day. THE INCREDIBLE GRACE OF GOD. God gives us the extraordinary ability to be grateful for little things. God gives King the extraordinary ability to push through his fears. God gave me the extraordinary ability & strength to take care of one who, in the first 6 days, could not do anything without my help and of two little ones at the same time. God gives us the extraordinary peace in our hearts, assuring us that everything is going to be okay. God gives me the EXTRAORDINARY LOVE to do everything I never thought I could do for my husband. I now know somehow what my mom went through, taking care of my dad as he received chemotherapy in the hospital. I now somehow know what IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH truly means.

We don’t know yet exactly why God allowed this to happen, but we do know that in times like these, how we respond is always a choice. By God’s grace, we are able to CHOOSE TO BE GRATEFUL. 🙂

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:9

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. Phil 4:6-7

My Kids, Parenting

Danae Learns Responsibility

One afternoon two weeks ago, Danae told me that they made something in school that involved cutting. The first time she shared her story, she just said that they made something. By evening, before going to bed, she told me that somebody cut her hair after making the craft. Curious, I asked her who it was. When she said she didn’t know, I immediately asked if it was her. And it was! She told me that when her teacher asked, she said it wasn’t her.

I wasn’t angry that she cut her hair (because thank God it wasn’t noticeable at all), but I told her that what she did was wrong. She shouldn’t have lied to her teacher about it, and she needed to apologize. She cried her eyes out. She didn’t want to apologize because she was afraid that her teacher will get mad (her words). She said she lied because she was afraid of her teacher. She was so upset that for the first time, she said that she did not want to go back to school anymore. I comforted her and assured her that I will be with her when she apologizes, that we will not do it in front of other people, and that her teacher will appreciate her honesty. After much talk, we settled it and she agreed. I did my part in accompanying her the next day and making sure that it was only her teacher listening, and Danae did her part.

What a great opportunity for our child to learn responsibility. Now we know for sure, that she will not cut her hair again OR lie about it again. We made her own up to her responsibility by letting her face her fear, admit the truth, and apologize for her mistake. She is only 5 but she is already starting to actually learn the value of honesty and integrity (also that lying is unacceptable in our family), learn the reality of actions and consequences, learn the power of her family’s love and support, and learn the freedom that forgiveness (asking for it & receiving it) and grace bring.

That day, my daughter acted like an adult. That day, my daughter made us so very proud.