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

 

 

 

 

 

Kids Church, My Kids

VBC 2016

We just finished Victory Alabang’s Vacation Bible Camp entitled Waterworks Park! It was a great 3-day event for kids aged 4 (though a few were 3) upto 9 years old. Our Kids Church team has been preparing for this for months — production, design, snacks, registration, tech, team leaders. I once again was privileged to be part of the praise dance team!!!

 

These are just what the design team did on the outside. I wasn’t able to take pictures of the wonderful rooms! We have such talented people serving in church! 

The very first ministry I volunteered in when I came to church and got discipled was Kids Church. I was single, but had always liked kids. As a kid, I was fond of babies. I grew up enjoying playing and talking to kids. My friends trusted me with their babies too. And when I started with my discipleship journey, my victory group leader then was a Children’s Church (4 to 6-year-olds) teacher. She included me in her team. I served in Children’s Church a couple of years, til I got engaged (see here how Kids Church played a role in the start of our courtship), got married and got pregnant.

The baby-making train paused for a few years and so I was able to volunteer for VBC 2013. Noelle was 4 years old, Danae was 7. With two small kids, I knew I couldn’t go back to being a regular volunteer. Summer was the perfect time for me, VBC the perfect event to serve. Both girls were attendees (Noelle’s second VBC, Danae’s third), and Danae joined me also in the praise dance team. However, the train got going again later that year, so I wasn’t able to volunteer for VBC 2014. The girls attended, and Danae chose to be part of the kids’ choir at that time. For VBC 2015, which would have been Danae’s last, we already began our practices when I realized that our family was set to go to Cagayan de Oro for my cousin’s wedding! Thank God we were able to tap my friend Bianca Peralta to lead the team. They were in very able hands.

Early this year, Ms. Fely, our Kids Church staff, made sure we were free for VBC 2016 hahaha. I am so honored and privileged to be part of the praise dance team!!! Bianca and I were the mentors (aka the old ones). And not only did Danae and Noelle join me, their friends decided to join us as well! At first I felt sheepish that I invited 5 additional kids to the team without permission, discovering that there was a limit haha, but I think we all agree that it turned out for the better. This is the first time that we were more than 20 in the team and that there were more kids than teenagers and adults.

The praise dance team, ages ranging from almost 2 to 16 years old. Not included are a 14-year-old and her 20-something-year-old sister, a 38-year-old (me), and the youngest 40-year-old. 🙂


It’s such a joy to see 11-year old Bianky and 12-year old Josh, who have been Kids Church volunteers for a few years already, lead the team. Such a joy to see the faithfulness of all the kids, even the teenagers, to be there for practice week in and week out. I am so proud of the team! The biggest surprise, especially for me as a mom, was Gianna. She was not only such a trooper as I took her to all the practices I attended, but she actually danced with us and memorized all the steps! She is only 21 months old and she already has the makings of a dancer, just like her dad.

Technical rehearsal. Gianna knows all the steps! She loves to dance. 🙂 photo credit: Ms Fely


My daughters make me so proud. They practiced in church and at home. They took it to heart. They were taught first to follow, so that they could lead. And because they are leaders, they must set a good example for the other kids. They were reminded that all we are doing is for the Lord. I love what Ptr Carlo said to us on the last day of practice. How we worship reflects the kind of God we worship. When we worship and dance with all we have, the kids will see that the kind of God we serve is deserving of all we have. They will see that God is an awesome God because His children worship Him so.

Danae and Noelle, and even Gianna when she was not sleepy or distracted by the other kids, gave it their best. Danae stepped up and wanted to greet the kids once we were in the praise dance room. She smiled the whole time she was in front leading the kids in praise dancing. When it was Noelle’s age group’s turn to be in our room, Noelle owned it. She was up there leading her class, smiling and giving it her all.

VBC participants Coleen and Noelle leading their age group (7-year-olds). Their song, “I am not Afraid.”


Josh with the mic, Bianky to his left. Danae also with the other mic (under her elbow). The 8-year-olds’ song, “People Be Strong!”


Bianca and I could have dominated everything, but we truly believe in the next generation. Some were nervous, but they took on the challenge to be the ones to lead, to talk to the kids and teach them the steps, to greet, encourage and even pray for them. It’s such a privilege to witness young worshippers worshipping and young leaders rising. We agree with what Ptr Carlo said in our meetings — we want to get out of the Holy Spirit’s way. We don’t want to be the ones hindering these children from doing what The Lord is calling them to do. We do not look down on them because they are young. We nurture them, teach them, disciple them, pray for them, equip them, empower them.

 

happy servant leaders! 🙂


I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be volunteers alongside my daughters and the future leaders of our church and our country. I pray they will never stop giving of themselves, of their time and talents to serve God’s people. I pray that faithfulness, commitment, servant leadership will be instilled in them. I pray that they not only strengthen their existing relationships, but also establish new ones as they bond over serving in church. I pray that their hearts remain pure before the Lord, living the truth that nothing is ever about them and everything is always about Jesus.

Our awesome volunteers!!! One last dance — Splish splash, it’s a bible bash! 🙂

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” Matthew 21:16

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

Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. Psalm 149:3

 

Family, My Kids, Parenting

Me and My Dad Camp 2016

Last April 1, three-fifths of my family went to Bangkong Kahoy, Quezon for Me and My Dad Camp. It was the fifth time for Danae and third for Noelle. It is a yearly event that King and our girls look forward to — a great bonding time for father and daughters, “roughing it” in tents, participating in water gun wars, cooking and eating all the junk food that they don’t get to eat much of at home! Noelle is looking forward to have her turn alone with King in camp when Danae is too old to join, and to have Gianna with her and King when her little sister is old enough to join them.

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Our Kids Church team led by Ptr Carlo always devotes a session for only the fathers to encourage and empower them to be the dads that God has called them to be, to be worthy of the respect and adoration their children give them. The team never fails to teach the kids to love, appreciate and honor their fathers. This year’s theme was My Dad, My Treasure. The kids were taught to see their fathers as their precious treasure.

The kids had an activity where they were to choose among many words on the board, one word that would best describe their dad. Words like courageous, bald, TV, workaholic, handy man, cigarettes, smart, funny, brave, busy, and more. Lo and behold, both our girls chose the same word for King without the other’s knowledge!

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How amusing and how wonderful to know that King and the girls are consistent. Last year, their activity was to write one word to describe their dad on a paper cup. Both girls also wrote the same word — FUNNY. Haha. I guess among all other descriptions, it’s their dad’s playfulness that resonates with them.

Thank you King for being the best dad to our girls! Thank you for making sure that they know that you love and prioritize them. Thank you for making family, whether on ordinary or extraordinary days, fun! We pray that your joy, your sense of humor, and your childlikeness will remain as we all grow older. May you influence us to always look at life with enthusiasm and to live life with much faith and grace, loving and honoring God. You are the father that you are because of how our Heavenly Father fathers you. We love you. 🙂

 

P.S. Thank you Kids Church for thinking about our children and helping us be better parents! We still have the booklets you guys had the kids answer last year to discover their love language. They are precious to us because they help us understand our girls better. They help us love our girls better. Thank you.

 

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matt 13:44-45

My Kids, Parenting, Spiritual Family

Summer Camps

I know, I know, it’s nearly the end of July. Summer in the Philippines ends in May. I just want to finish writing about my girls’ summer activities (this is mostly for me and our family, but keep reading if you’re still interested) before I move on to my next posts. And I’ve been busy, but I figure I’d better get my blog in order before I give birth.

The girls & their friends
The girls & their friends

Danae and Noelle went on the Joshua Camp with King last May 1 and 2. Our church has an annual Me and My Dad Camp, but this time apparently, the moms could join too. Too bad (or good thing? hehehe) I was, still am, pregnant that King and I decided it would be too hard for me. I’m pretty sure I would have survived, but anyway, we wanted the girls to bond with their dad, especially since this is Danae’s second time and Noelle’s first time to be sleeping in a tent up on a mountain. It was also King’s first time to be out on camping grounds alone with the two girls. Haha, it was fun seeing King squirm a little, knowing that the younger one is kinda squeamish about bathrooms and stuff.

 

 

Noelle planting a seedling :)
Noelle planting a seedling 🙂

Noelle was a little sad when she left home because she usually likes to stick close to me, and

Danae planting a seedling too :)
Danae planting a seedling too 🙂

she, as usual, cried for me a little that night. Signal was non-existent there, and so we weren’t able to communicate at all until the next day. I was very happy though, that she and Danae came home happy and excited! She said that “Me and My Dad Camp was soooo fun, mom!” I love that not only did they “survive” the cold water, the bathroom, the heat during the day, the cold and darkness at night, they more importantly enjoyed bonding with King (sleeping in a tent, eating marshmallows and hotdogs around the campfire, participating in the games together), and they got to spend (more) time with their BFFs Ana, Andrea, and Coleen.

 

 

camp equipFrom May 13 to 16, Danae joined Camp Equip, a 4-day daily morning training for kids aged 8 to 12 (if I’m not mistaken). They were given 3 options — dance, theater, or singing. Danae’s initial choice was theater, but because there were only a handful of students, the class was dissolved. She chose singing with her friend Ana, though it was clear that she would have also enjoyed dance. She was actually the smallest and youngest in the class and in the alto group. They were taught not only to sing a couple of songs, but to vocalize, sing correctly with the diaphragm (something I know nothing about) and what true worship means. She made new friends too. They sang their songs as a group during their recital, and though I know she enjoyed every bit of it, she could not help but move and groove when it was the dance class’ turn to perform. And as I expected, she told me afterwards that she will be joining the dance class of next year’s Camp Equip haha. She will also join me as I go back to volunteering with the VBC dance team next summer. I am hoping I can convince Noelle to do the same.

 

 

The following week was Vacation Bible Camp — Danae’s 4th time and Noelle’s 3rd. I’ve VBCalways been able to count on Danae coping well in classes or activities, but this was the first time I had no problems with Noelle. She stayed in her class all morning during the entire 3-day event. That’s I think thanks to her BFF Coleen. I don’t think she would have been as enthusiastic and consistent if she didn’t have a constant friend there. I am very proud of her nonetheless. Of course, the girls enjoyed this year’s theme Boomerang Express – It All Comes Back to Jesus. New songs, new lessons, new crafts. We’re excited for next year too!boomerang express

These are summer activities that we look forward to each year. I thank God that our church gives much importance to teaching and discipling children. We as parents are passionate about this and we are happy to be part of a movement that is passionate about the next generation as well. Thank you to Victory Alabang’s Kids Church Team for making it all fun and incredibly worthwhile. Thank you Ptr Carlo, Lea (and Eli :)), Merlee, Grace, Leni, and your amazing volunteers! God bless you all. 🙂

Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Spiritual Family

VBC 2013

It’s been a week since Victory Alabang’s Vacation Bible Camp and my kids still sing and dance to the songs! I have LSS, last song syndrome, of the songs too. Even as an adult, I am so blessed by the lyrics. The worship song Master of the Universe ministers so much to me. Another favorite is God Does Miracles.

Like I said in my previous post, Danae and I volunteered to be part of the dance team. What we did was lead the kids to dance to the songs of this year’s theme, Cosmic City. We danced the theme song on stage, and danced it, along with other songs, in the classroom. There were 5 groups of kids — the 4-year-olds (Noelle’s group) named Red Comet, the 5-year-olds named Green Planet, the 6-year-olds named Yellow Star, the 7-year-olds (Danae’s group) named Blue Moon, and the 8-to-10-year-olds named Orange Sun — who came into our room. We had time to teach the kids around 3 to 4 songs per group. We danced practically all morning for 3 consecutive days!

During lunch after the third day, our Kids Church pastor Ptr Carlo Santos thanked all the staff and volunteers for their contribution to make the whole event a success. He thanked me too for being involved, and I just smiled because I didn’t really know what to say, until now.

I am so grateful for the honor and the privilege to serve again in Kids Church. You thank me, but I really thank you more, Ptr Carlo, Merlee, Grace, and Leni for allowing me and Danae to volunteer! Teaching the pre-schoolers was my very first ministry involvement when I became a Christian and an active member of our church 12 years ago. I love Kids Church! I was so inspired by last year’s VBC that I made sure I volunteered this year. It was my first time to be part of the dance team, and I loved every single minute of it! It was tiring but it was so much fun and so rewarding, seeing the kids enjoy praising God through their songs and dance moves.

Some of us ladies experienced health problems before or during the event, but none of it stopped any of us from showing up and dancing. I just want to honor my team mates for honoring their commitment to God and to the kids. I am so blessed by you!

I have truly missed being a volunteer! Not that I don’t do anything in church. As a pastor’s wife, I am a full-time volunteer. But there’s just really nothing like volunteering with church mates, making new friends, bonding with them, working together, learning and getting impartations from one another. I love being part of a team and “getting down and doing the dirty work.” Now that my kids are older, I can actually do more of it and get them involved as well. I am excited for more!

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 ESV

Master of the Universe

You are the Master
Of the universe
Of the mountain, seas and sky
You’re the Master of
Every beat of my heart
You put rainbows in my eye

You’re the God
Who keeps on loving me
No matter what I do

In Your world without end
You call me friend
Oh Master I love you

God Does Miracles

My God does miracles
He is strong and powerful
He can do anything
He is Lord of everything

He is awesome
He’s my friend
I can believe in Him
I know that God does miracles

When Jesus was preaching and teaching
A lame man came for healing
Jesus had mercy and forgave his sins
And he could walk again

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LAUGH-A-MONDAYS, My Kids

Kids Church with Noelle

Noelle didn’t want me to leave her in Kids Church last Sunday, so I sat in one of the little chairs. After they colored, the teacher called for the kids to sit on the floor with her.

Teacher Joanne: (in preparation for the story telling) Okay kids, what do we do in Kids Church every Sunday? Why do we come to Kids Church?

Kid 1: Dance!

Kid 2: Sing!

Kid 3: Crafts!

Kid 4: Color!

Noelle: (taps teacher on the knee; I wait for her to say something about God) EAT.

Hahahahaha. I should have known. 🙂

My Kids, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Spiritual Family, THE BRAINY BUNCH

My Kids at Vacation Bible Camp

Danae and Noelle at Pandamania, May 17-19Danae attended her 3rd Vacation Bible Camp this summer, while it was Noelle’s first ever! Danae attended her first Me & My Dad Camp last April, an amazing time for her and King. She also wished for a Me & My Mom Camp and a Me & My Sister Camp after that haha. She joined McDonald’s Kiddie Crew and had piano lessons too. But because Noelle’s only 3 and she already had her summer school last year to sort of prepare her for Nursery this school year, we didn’t have anything lined up for her to do except VBC (though technically, kids have to be at least 4 to join).

I never had much problem leaving Danae in any class because she was almost always willing to stay even without me. Noelle is the complete opposite. Her summer school experience last year showed me just how clingy she was, and she was the same even in “Kids Church 3” (she means kids church for 3-year-olds) this year. When she was interested to go, she didn’t want to join Danae’s age group. She wanted her own age group, but she wanted me to stay with her, which I did.

One Sunday, however, I was able to leave her in her class room and I was able to attend service! I guess our never-ending pep talks, encouraging her not to cry in class because she’s a big girl, finally worked. The teacher only came to get me during the last 15 minutes because Noelle was asking for me, but with no tears!!! What a breakthrough! I knew then that I wouldn’t have problems during VBC. I was so proud of her.

All in all, my kids’ VBC experience, or I should say OUR VBC experience, was really memorable. As usual, Danae enjoyed her time with friends. There was no doubt that she would actively participate in the activities and learn from the shows, songs, and stories, which she did. Noelle, as usual too, did not participate as much. There were a couple of times I saw her just sitting with a teacher or a classmate, while others danced and a few more others ran around haha. She did her crafts and watched the shows, but I only saw her sing and do the actions during graduation (in her seat and with her teacher). But that didn’t really matter. The fact that she actually stayed in class for nearly 3 hours for 3 consecutive days already made me extremely happy! I also appreciated what Ptr Carlo said about Noelle, that she would approach and comfort any classmate who was upset (so cute). He also said that my two girls knew how to respect authority. Praise God for that haha.

Noelle’s the type who listens only to what she wants to listen to. When we’d read books, it’s like she doesn’t have time to sit and finish the story! I didn’t really expect her to understand or remember the lessons in VBC, but I was surprised that she was able to share with me the stories of Elijah (though a lot unclear haha), Moses and Hannah. She’s got a wild imagination, so some were accurate and some were not hahaha. Still, it made an impact on her, enough to make her remember.

If there’s one big thing I learned about Noelle this summer, it’s the fact that she listens, pays attention, understands, remembers more when we make the stories animated and acted out, not just read. Which means, the VBC volunteers did a great job conveying the Bible stories through their plays. They got through to a 3-year-old! All the volunteers were actually amazing. Their dedication, their energy, their heart….WOW!

I can’t tell you enough how great it was, except by telling you that I got so inspired to join and volunteer next year! It’s simply not enough for me to bring my kids there, wait and pick them up again. I want to be a teacher (and a dancer) too!

So to Pastor Carlo, Lea, Grace, Leni, Merlee and all the staff and volunteers who labored out of love for God and His children, thank you! You guys are the best! 🙂

Parenting, Spiritual Family

EN2010 Through A Mom’s Eyes

We just concluded our 3-day Every Nation 2010 World Conference at SMX last Saturday. What an awesome time, coming together from all over the world as one church, hearing the most inspiring testimonies, learning from the most diverse bunch of speakers ever, and worshiping God in our own ways and languages! Check out the article on Inquirer.

When registration opened, we were out of town, and we asked a friend to register for us, including the kids. It was not cheap, I tell you, but we knew it was best to bring them along. Aside from the fact that we didn’t have a choice on who to leave them with, I couldn’t also bear to leave them for 3 days. The most we’ve left them at home was for about 10 hours, 4 hours of which they spent sleeping. Anyway, going to the conference last Thursday, I was slightly nervous about leaving Danae in Children’s Church by herself. She’s almost 5 and quite independent, but I guess my protectiveness prevailed a bit over my confidence in my daughter. Kids Pastor and our friend, Larry Uy, said  I was more concerned than my daughter was. I kept expecting to see Danae’s name on the screen haha, as they might need me to get her, but Ptr Larry was absolutely right. Danae was perfectly fine in Children’s Church!  She was there for 4 hours on Thursday night and around 7 hours (not continuously) on Friday. She even told me she met new friends. Ptr Larry’s presence there made me even more at ease, too. I’m so proud of her! The problem came only when it was time to go home and she didn’t want to be separated from her cousins. She loves them so much and misses them since they don’t see each other often, that she’d cry every time. Having said that, I am so blessed by the wonderful fact that King’s family is also part of our spiritual family. My parents-in-law served as ushers at the event even. 🙂

So where was Noelle? With King and I, of course! She was manageable enough, except when she started making too much adorable noise or when she started pulling me to walk around outside. It was a riot having her around though. She had really really funny moments! She danced, made friends, charmed everyone’s pants off. Every time she saw a baby at the back or outside, she approached them, pulled her shirt up and showed her tummy for some reason haha. She didn’t stop eating her snacks. When one session was over, her favorite “Aris” (Tito Francis), took a piece from her stash and just held it, asking if it was okay with her for him to eat one. She responded by staring at first, then putting the rest of the cookies in her mouth and taking the one that was in Francis’ hand! Hahaha. She didn’t want to share at all. I saw many dedicated dads and moms alike, taking their kids up & down the escalator to entertain them when they got bored or restless. Noelle loved that escalator! It was a long and fun ride for her. When she got outside, she almost always refused to go back into the huge doors.

Truth be told, I missed some of the preachings and testimonies because I had to attend to Noelle, but thank God for my husband who did not mind doing diaper duty when needed! And because there were times that Noelle was occupied with the music, with eating, or coloring or writing (on the chair even — sorry!), and quietly distracting others hehe, I was able to sit through many of the sessions. I learned a lot, got encouraged and inspired a lot, and my faith got stirred up a lot!

The first 2 days with the kids, however, were extremely tiring for me. I slept tired and woke up tired, especially since on the first night we ate dinner in Makati  really late (MOA was closed & other restos nearby were full) and got home around 2am thanks to SLEX traffic. Poor Danae missed school the next day, which starts 7:30am, because she was also bushed. We let the girls sleep longer so they’d be ready for day 2 of EN2010. But as you can tell from the picture, by afternoon, during the break as we had our early dinner with a friend and delegate from Victory Cebu, Noelle was out cold! We actually decided from the first day that we’d leave them at home on the last day. We wanted the kids to rest and I wanted to rest too. My muscles were aching from carrying Noelle, I lacked sleep, and I just didn’t have the energy anymore. It was the right decision, although we missed them and talked about them constantly, because we were able to spend time alone and I was able to worship and listen without much distraction. And I’m sure the others around us were able to do the same haha, although they did miss Noelle’s presence too.

Looking back at EN07, I remember bringing Danae with us as well. She was 1 year and 8 months old then. This year, EN2010, Danae is 4 years and 8 months old, while Noelle is 1 year and 6 months old. It was definitely inconvenient, but I wouldn’t change the fact that we brought our kids. Even though they don’t actually listen to the preaching of the Word or sing praises to God (well, Danae does now), I believe something supernatural happens in their minds and hearts. We are starting them early, exposing them to the huge, world-wide spiritual family that we have, to praying and worshiping together, and to appreciate the beauty of our God that resonates through and transcends the diversity of His people. We are sowing God’s Word, sowing seeds of faith in our children. That alone makes it worth it! EN2013, God-willing, here we, the Luceros, come! 🙂

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. 🙂