The Holy Spirit At Work

Danae has been asking for a phone for quite a while now. We always tell her that we don’t think she’s ready for it yet. And besides, if we do get her a phone, it would probably be a non-smart one. Basic, old school phone first. She has an ipad because it’s required for school, and we see that she needs to be more responsible with regards to its use and with regards to our rules.

The other night, however, she said that she didn’t care about getting a phone anymore. We were having a heated discussion about her attitude, and somehow being responsible and having a phone was brought up. I took her word, even though I knew she didn’t mean it.

Later on, she apologized for her attitude. She seemed sincere, but sometimes apologies are just words until you see change. But of course as parents, we need to forgive our children despite that, because we are called to love them and model grace and forgiveness to them. So all was well.

The following night, she brought up “her phone” again. I smiled and half-jokingly said,

“I thought you didn’t care about phones anymore.”

She said, with a sheepish smile, “Mommm, I was full of pride then.”

As a parent, that gave me so much encouragement. You know, I talk and talk and talk, trying to give them wisdom while hopefully setting a good example, and hope that something sticks even though many times their actions, words, and reasoning baffle me. We pray, pray, pray constantly for and with them. We discipline them and do our best to deal with their heart more than their behavior. We have Bible time with them. They go to Kids Church, we have victory group. At times, I cry to God because I’m so tired of the craziness — three kids coming at me with their own issues, sometimes their issues are with one another, and often they’re the same annoying issues. Few other times, I check out. I let King handle it when he gets home (poor King hehe 😬).

But when Danae said that, it just confirmed to me that the Holy Spirit indeed is at work in her life. She recognizes the specific issue in her heart, and she listens to the Lord! She may have a difficult time fighting it or controlling it sometimes, but she is aware of what God is teaching her. After her emotions, she eventually listens and obeys. God made me smile as He gave me that assurance. The word of the Lord is living and active. It changes me. It changes my children. The Lord is transforming me. The Lord is transforming our children. King and I are in faith, despite or maybe moreso because of our occasional despair (yes, our children are awesome many times too), that we will eat the fruit of our labor, that our children will love and honor God all the days of their lives. 

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezrkiel 36:26-27

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. Psalm 128:1-2


Top of the class!

Last month was Danae’s school’s parent-teacher conference and I was pretty excited to find out how well my daughter did. As I was waiting outside for my turn, I saw on the bulletin board the names of the top 3 students… the 3 kids who topped the kinder classes’ 1st achievement test. DANAE’S NAME WAS NOT THERE. I was assessing myself, how I felt about it. I was trying to be all okay with it, but the truth is, there was a pang of disappointment.

But before you judge me, hear me out!

I felt a little disappointed that Danae didn’t rank, but I was not disappointed in Danae at all. I went from “aww sayang (too bad)” and “hmm, i wonder why?” to “well i’m sure she did great in her exams” and to “uh oh, i wonder what other issues the teacher will discuss with me!” Haha, when a woman is left alone with her thoughts, she goes from one extreme to the other! Well at least, that’s what happens to me sometimes. It was actually just my ego, my pride talking, because being on top of the class would prove that Danae is super smart. But actually, I don’t need to prove anything because she is! One conversation with her and you’ll already know. And there was no doubt that Danae knew her lessons. It was just a matter of correctly following the test instructions, and a matter of who scored more in the test. And what was really more important was Danae’s growth in terms of character.

I was happy to hear Teacher Grace tell me that Danae’s test scores were great. She was actually surprised that Danae didn’t rank. And instead of being disappointed, I had a good laugh because the reason for the 5-point pull on her grade in Writing was just the coloring part. She didn’t finish coloring the whole picture haha! And her mistakes in some tests were only due to carelessness, which is so true even when we do exercises at home. Yes, she did not rank, but she did exceptionally well nonetheless. Imagine being able to cope with her classmates and nearly perfecting all her tests even with her absences due to her health! And not only that, according to teacher, she is one of the students who needs the least supervision. How can I be disappointed? I AM SO PROUD OF HER!

Having no doubt that Danae is doing well academically, I asked two more important questions. One was if they did or if they will adjust Danae’s curriculum according to her capabilities. Teacher Grace told me that they are considering adjusting her curriculum in Reading already, since she’s somewhat ahead in that area. Then I also asked the teacher what she thought we should work on more with Danae. I was impressed by what she told me. Maybe she also believes that Danae is smart and has no problems with academics, but I think it’s more than that. She told me that we need to teach Danae to, in my words, respect others more — respect their space, respect their own decisions. Danae has a tendency to be bossy, forcing people to do what she wants, and gets upset when it doesn’t go her way (hahahaha, sounds so familiar). I am thankful that Teacher Grace knows what is important for our children — CHARACTER, JUST AS MUCH AS OR EVEN MORE THAN SKILL. We are on the same page regarding this matter, and we can work together to help Danae grow and mature.

They have had their 2nd achievement test already and I don’t feel pressured anymore (because I do unconsciously put pressure on myself and sometimes Danae when it comes to her tests). I know that she did well, even considering 2 weeks worth of absences due to her week-long pneumonia-like symptoms and our week-long vacay. Whether she ranks or not, doesn’t matter that much anymore. Heck, it doesn’t even matter to Danae! So we really don’t bring up the subject of being an honor student. We just always tell her that she’s doing well, and she’s happy with that. But we do tell her about her attitude and character issues, so that she knows we are serious about disciplining her and teaching her to ultimately obey God. My kid is happy, secure, and confident. She’s naturally smart, active, assertive, and has a great personality. But she’s a kid. So, with necessary boundaries and much encouragement, we’re just letting her enjoy being one. She will eventually learn to up her standards and be excellent in everything she does, top of the class or not. 🙂

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