Marriage, THE PRODUCTIVE WIFE, Uncategorized

Our Words Have Power

Wife, do you tell your husband you are proud of him? When was the last time you did?

Husband, do you tell your wife she is beautiful? When was the last time you did?

The tongue has the power of life and death, the Bible says. Let’s lift each other up with our words.

Wife, your husband will feel secure and significant, knowing that you are proud of him. Let him know that you are proud of him not only during successes, but most especially in failures. Hold the criticism, the “I told you so”s. I know sometimes this is hard, since apparently we wives are always right (hahaha), but this will teach you to trust in the Lord more. To pray. To be silent when your husband needs you to be. Hug him. You standing by him, being his number one fan no matter what, will encourage him to get back on his feet and keep going. Your support means the world. It will encourage him to keep giving his best.

Husband, your wife will feel loved and secure when you tell her she is beautiful. Mean it. Focus on a particular detail about her beauty, whether physical or internal. Change it up. Be creative. Find new beautiful things about her. Discover her. Tell her. This will teach you to step out of your comfort zone, to pause and reflect, and to be grateful for God’s goodness in your life. It doesn’t have to be cheesy. Trust me, I’m not cheesy either, though King often is (hahaha). Just tell her sincerely. Details help. So she doesn’t have to ask you why, and you don’t have to explain further either. Right? She will appreciate your appreciation of her, and you will put a smile in her heart all day.

 

The tongue can bring death or life;
    those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21 NLT

Gentle words are a tree of life;
    a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4 NLT 

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips. Proverbs 141:3 NIV 

 

 

Discipleship, Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, YOUTH MINISTRY

Who are you?

About a month ago, I had the privilege to teach about Identity to the youth ladies of our church. As I was studying my notes and figuring out how to share my testimony, God reminded me about a tweet I posted: PURPOSE determines your priorities. In your IDENTITY lies your security. It was a nugget of truth I learned from a preaching by Ptr Bernhard Wewege of our New Zealand church.

Whatever or whoever it is that you identify with, you get your security from. Whatever it is that makes you feel secure OR insecure, is an indication of where you get your identity.

Do you feel very insecure when you don’t have make up on? Don’t feel pretty because you don’t have nice clothes, shoes, or bags? Can’t show yourself to anyone unless you are all dolled up? Can’t leave home without being all decked out? Do you look in the mirror every 5 seconds? Do you feel prettier or uglier, more accepted or less accepted, because of your skin tone? Do you feel good about yourself when people look at you and feel rejected when no one notices you? Your physical appearance may be a source of your security & identity.

Do you feel like a complete failure when you get one mistake in the quiz? Do you feel like you are a disappointment because you came second in the science quiz bee? Or if you didn’t get into the school or company you wanted? Do you have a difficult time moving on from a failure? Do you feel significant when you are recognized for your skill? Or insignificant when nobody recognizes your abilities? Your achievement, intelligence, or talents may be a source of your security & identity.

Do you feel insecure when you don’t have the things other people have — toys, gadgets, phones, cars, money, club memberships? Conversely, do you feel more secure, more complete having these things? If you have them, are you afraid of losing them? Will your world crumble if you lose one of them? Or are you at a loss at the mere thought of it? Your security may lie on material wealth and the comforts it brings.

Does one person make you deliriously happy? Do you feel lost when he or she is not with you? Does this person’s presence make you more confident in yourself? Or, does his or her absence leave you in despair? Do you feel empty when you are not in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship? Your security (and identity) may lie on one specific person (friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, parent) or on having a relationship.

Are you riveted by the fact that guys or girls look at you and want to be with you? Does it make you feel good to see that men or women still show interest in you, despite your age or unavailability? Does it make you feel good to know that you can get the “un-gettable,” unavailable man or woman? Does the chase excite you? Being desirable or desired may be a source of your security & identity.

Do you feel useless when you’re not doing anything? Do you feel the need to always serve or please people? Do you find significance in getting smiles and words of appreciation from people? Do you feel rejected when you are not appreciated, not recognized for your efforts? Maybe being needed is your source of security & identity.

The list goes on. Our identity, whether we know it or not, dictates how we live our lives. The question is, what IS our real identity?

We were made in God’s image and likeness — glorious, beautiful, pure, holy. Sin ruined that. Satan stole our identity and left us lost, but God made a way, more accurately the way, the only way to bring us back to our original identity — Jesus, who while 100% God allowed Himself to be 100% human at the same time, died on the cross so that He could exchange our unrighteousness with His righteousness, therefore giving us the ability to be reconciled to the Father and have direct access to Him, and lived on earth for 33 years so that we could identify with Him, and be led back to who we are and what our purpose is.

You are glorious, beautiful, pure, holy. That is who you are. That is how God made you. Your purpose is to be with God, in His presence daily, and because many are lost, your purpose is also to help them know the truth about Jesus and about who they are in Christ. Believe it. Once you view yourself according to how God views you, your actions and decisions will change. Once you view your life according to God’s purposes, your lifestyle will change.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

For he chose us in him before the creation of the worldto be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  he predestined us for adoption to sonship  through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace,which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:4-6

Just My Thoughts, My Kids, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Parenting, THE BRAINY BUNCH

We Weren’t Invited!

Some time last year, we were looking at pictures of a party posted on Facebook.

Danae: Aww, how come we weren’t there?
Me: Oh because we weren’t invited, love.
Danae: Why?!
Me: It’s okay, babe. We don’t always have to be invited.
Danae: But why? Did they forget us?
Me: No. Of course they haven’t forgotten you, but remember, not everybody will be invited to everything.

Danae was a bit bummed, but she quickly let go of it. My theory is she didn’t see either me or King feel bad or offended by it — something that we have learned through the years.

It’s true that with parenting, more is caught than taught. Our children pick up so many things from us, both good and bad. Because we spend the most time with them, our influence is just massive. It’s up to us to be responsible and conscious of what we pass on to them. Will we let them get our fears and insecurities? Or will we teach them, encourage them to respond better by getting over our own fears and insecurities?

Will we reinforce their feelings of rejection by showing them our disappointment or self-pity? Or even through the occasional disappointment, which of course everybody feels sometimes, will we comfort them and teach them to battle rejection by showing them acceptance and understanding — that it’s okay to not be part of every party that each of our friends will have?

Will we teach them to feel entitled, that they or our family should always be invited? Or will we teach them to be grateful for the events that we are privileged to be part of?

Will we teach them to hold grudges or harbor ill feelings towards other people? Or will we help them understand that not being invited does not mean we are unloved, unwanted, unimportant, unappreciated or forgotten? That not being invited does not diminish their value?

Will we teach them to find security in the love and acceptance of other people? Or will we teach them to be secure in their identity in Christ?

What do we want to pass on to our children, and what would we want them to pass on to theirs? Let’s be aware. Let’s be responsible. Let’s be deliberate.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9


Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

My Kids, Parenting

Easter Experience!

Easter Sunday. Kids swam in the kiddie pool with their friends, morning till early afternoon. Service in the afternoon. Pizza, Xbox after. Dinner out to remember my dad’s passing 5 years ago. Last minute dress shopping at a store near the restaurant.

All was well until I went back to get my newly steamed dress. The girls, including my goddaughter, came with me. The saleslady, however, folded the dress into a bag, which obviously made the steaming useless. I insisted that the dress needed to be hung because I was going to use it the next morning. The saleslady made some phone calls, got permission to give me the hanger for free (haha thanks, that should be part of your steaming service), but could not find a plastic cover to protect the dress. The lady steamed the dress again and apologized. It was fine since I could bring the dress straight to the car, which was parked right out front.

I sent the two older girls, Danae & Raerae back to the restaurant. It was a few meters away, so I was confident that they’d be okay. I waited till I saw them go inside before Noelle and I walked to the car. That was a quick 5 minutes, but walking back to the restaurant, King met us at the mall entrance with a “WHERE ARE THE KIDS?”

He and my mom apparently left the restaurant, WITHOUT TELLING ME! He tried calling me, but my phone was charging at home. I ran back to the restaurant, hoping to see the girls there — they weren’t. Panic started setting in. Pictures of them screaming, being taken against their will by big, awful men kept flashing in my brain. And the other one’s not even my kid! How on earth was I gonna explain this to her mom?!! I ran around, searching, mad at King for not telling me that he was even planning to leave the restaurant. In situations like this, I normally don’t cry, I get mad (hahaha). Noelle was with my mom at this point. When I saw a guard walking, I decided to ask him and praise God, he knew who I was talking about! He said something about the security office being in the 2nd floor. As I was marathon walking going there, two people asked me if I was looking for two girls. I guess they saw my face, frantic with worry. They pointed me to another guard whom they saw with the girls. That guard told me that he did find the two “english-speaking” girls (his words haha) and told me that my companion (King) was on his way there, but directed me to the security office anyway.

I ran as fast as I could to get to them. Danae cried as soon as she saw me, saying she was “so worried.” I was huffing and puffing, and sweating like a pig (is that even a real expression? how much do pigs sweat?), but I was so relieved to know that they were safe and sound. I was pretty impressed with SM South Mall’s security. They were on top of it, thank God!

We apologized to the girls for OUR mistake. I should have just let them come with me. OR King should never have left the restaurant (hehehe). I also called my friend Bev, who entrusted her daughter to me for the night. Raerae got worried and said, “Oh no, she’ll get mad at me.” I said “Of course not. She won’t be mad at you.” Then Danae said “She’s gonna get mad at you, mom.” Hahaha thank God she didn’t freak out! Anyway, LESSON LEARNED. NEVER TAKE CHANCES WITH OUR KIDS. Thank God for His protection over them, despite our mistakes. It was the first time something like that happened to us, and I don’t want to ever experience it again. EVER.

Just My Thoughts, Parenting, YOUTH MINISTRY

Back to B.A.S.I.C.S.

Because it’s the love month, I promised my victory group that we would be talking about relationships. Last Saturday, I taught them about the basics that I believe would equip them to make the right decisions when it comes to relationships.

BOUNDARIES. If you don’t set the boundaries, there is no guarantee that the boys will set them for you. We have the power to draw that line. At Danae’s young age, we are already teaching her this. DRAW THE LINE OF RESPECT. Do not let others cross it. If you do, like letting a boy kiss you or be rough around you, you are allowing them to disrespect you. Teach them to respect you. If you yourself cross it, you are disrespecting that person and yourself. Learn to respect others and most importantly, respect yourself.

“Everything is permissible” — but not everything is beneficial. 1 Cor 10:23. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with chatting for hours. Nothing wrong with spending so much alone time together as “best friends.” If you’re already in a relationship, there’s nothing wrong with holding hands. They are NOT SIN PER SE, but if not done with great care, they CAN lead to sin. Make a decision to live well within those boundaries, not pushing them and hiding behind the technicality that it’s not a sin. Make a decision right now, so that when that time and that situation arrives, you already know what to do or what not to do.

ACCOUNTABILITY. You are accountable to God. No one can make you do anything, therefore you cannot blame anyone else for your own actions. “I had no choice,” “He was so persistent and insistent,” “I couldn’t break it to him” are mere excuses. You always have a CHOICE TO SAY NO. If you don’t like him, tell him. Do not lead him on. If you do like him, think before you act. Nothing “just happens.” Where you end up is a result of choices that you make. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for your own actions.

Be accountable to people you know care about you and want to help you. If you’re struggling with something, seek help. Having accountability partners does not mean you’re giving them permission to lord it over you. You’re giving them permission to check on you, to give you a different perspective, to give you godly counsel, to pray for you. We can’t do everything on our own. We need the help of those who may know better.

STANDARDS. What is your vision? Do you have a vision for your life, your future? Without vision, people cast off restraint. Prov 29:18. If you don’t have a vision of the kind of man you want to be married to, the kind of woman/wife you want to be, the kind of family you want to have, the kind of marriage that you want to have, the kind of life you want to live, then you won’t have serious standards. Whatever looks good, feels good or seems good will be okay with you. Your standards get compromised once the guy is good looking or seems kind. Sometimes, even when it’s clearly a bad idea, because it is presented to you and because it is what’s available, you allow such things or people in your life. Get a vision. RAISE YOUR STANDARDS. Uphold them.

IDENTITY. KNOW WHO YOU ARE in the eyes of God. Not who you think you are, or who others say you are. If you know who you truly are, who God made you to be, it’s easier for you to make decisions. You won’t be easily swayed by the influence of others. You are the daughter of the King of Kings. You are a princess – precious, special, highly esteemed, admired, accepted, respected, loved. So act like it.

CHARACTER. Part of our identity is our personality, which God made different in each of us. Some are meek, gentle, soft-spoken. Some are loud, funny, talkative. I am one with a strong personality and I may rub some people off the wrong way. In the past, I hid behind my personality, using it as an excuse for my behavior. But God has been teaching me that I cannot do that anymore because CHARACTER IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MY PERSONALITY. Yes, I am still the same person, but now with more wisdom and hopefully grace (haha).

Being exposed to boys and relationships, or even being in a relationship is a time of testing. Times of testing build our character. Being victorious over temptations builds our character. Giving in to them can too (not that I’m encouraging you to learn the hard way, because trust me, it is hard). Such mistakes remain as failures when we don’t learn from them. When we blame others for our mistakes, we get stuck. We’re not able to move forward. But mistakes become lessons when we take responsibility for our decisions, get up, make the necessary changes, and move forward.

SECURITY. Where does your security lie? Is it dependent on the love of a man or of any man? Is it dependent on the acceptance of a certain group of friends, your parents’ approval? Or is it dependent on the love of God for you? This is our prayer for our girls every night, that they will be secure of God’s love for them. No woman/boy/friend/man can complete you. One incomplete man plus one incomplete you, still makes an incomplete him and you. Only God can make you whole. Never enter into a relationship to fill the void. GOD’S LOVE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH to fill it, if you just allow Him to.

Security also means your safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It doesn’t matter if others think you’re overreacting or bordering on legalistic, because of your high standards and self-imposed boundaries. What’s more important is that you GUARD YOUR HEART AS IF IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, because it is.