This is a place of community to inspire and encourage one another as we nurture the children God has entrusted to our care.

Waking up from my slumber, getting right up again to write and share my story...

A New Beginning...

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Go, See, Hurry, Then Tell Your Story!




When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. Luke 2:15-19 (NLT)


It's the most wonderful time of the year!, as one Christmas song says.  What really makes this Christmas season wonderful? The frantic madness of going around endlessly hunting for items marketers are hinting? Seeing and checking things out there somewhere that might satisfy emptiness deep within? Hurrying, sometimes not really knowing what we're pursuing? Then at the end of the day there is that moment, wondering, sighing, the emptiness, darkness still gripping.

That first Christmas night, the angel appeared to the unexpecting shepherds. During the time of the Lord Jesus, the shepherds were at the lowest level of Palestinian social ladder. They were marginalized by society. They were valued less. In the midst of their dark night, literally and figuratively, the Almighty God chose to tell them first about the Good News of the Savior's birth, words of hope, of good tidings of comfort and joy. 

In our generation, at this present time, with all the glitters we see during Christmas season, there are some who feel down and lonely, hopeless. The good news is that the same message the shepherds heard is still here ringing. When we hear it, do we choose to go where God tells us to go? Do we want to see what He wants us to see? His gift of love lying in a manger, His One and Only Son, the Savior, the Messiah, the Lord! Where do we hurry to go? The light of the Lord Jesus appearing that night is still shining to us these days. "Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79 (NLT).  What wonderful words! 

Truly this is the most wonderful time as we remember,  reflect and run to God's wonderful presence of light and peace.  Just as the shepherds did, let's go and see and hurry to what the Lord has told us about!  As we do, we will have our own astonishing stories to tell! 

The Lord Jesus is waiting in the mangers of our hearts.

Monday, September 5, 2016

On Labor Day...Abound!




Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58 (ESV)




Backyard barbeques,picnics, get aways, get togethers, town festivals, big sales in stores...these are just some of the things we see on Labor Day holiday in America. My husband and I with our thirteen year-old son were talking last night as to what we were going to do today. We slept without having a final plan.

I woke up very early around three am and I couldn't sleep anymore. So I just got up and had my hot chocolate milk and digged into my "chair time" as I listened to praise and worship songs and read my Bible. This is the best time of my day, my date with God. This is the time when God speaks and reveals His truths and plans.  As I was on my prayer, I was reminded of the verse in 1 Corinthians 15:58.  What a reminder so appropriate for today.

I started reflecting on the work that I have been entrusted with.  We all wear different hats. I have work as a wife and mom at home. I have a part time work in a not for profit faith-based organization. These are not just work. These are assignments from the Lord, a calling for God's Kingdom work. I am a steward of all these assignments.

With all the daily grind of work, there are times I feel discouraged and down when I don't see my expectations. I always  ask myself at the end of the day, "Did I give my best to what I was assigned to do today?" There are days I fail. But discouragement should not stop us from moving on. God who gave us the work will help us finish our race. Our labor in the Lord is not in vain. Whatever He assigned us to do, He will always be with us and help us accomplish His work. We need to stand firm, immovable. Just keep going, abounding in the work of the Lord.

At the end of the day, I want to hear God's whisper just as written in Luke 19:17:

And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ (ESV)

On this Labor Day, may we, as God's stewards of the work He assigned to us, give Him glory and honor and thanksgiving for giving us the blessing of the work we have.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Fanning Into Flame


For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on 
of my hands.  
2 Timothy 1:6 (ESV)




I feel like Paul personally wrote 2 Timothy 1:6 to me! Actually, he talks to Timothy here. He urges him to fan into flame his gift.  This has been the message that God is speaking to me lately, fanning into flame the gifts He has entrusted not only to me as an individual but to my whole family. 






Fanning requires intentionality.  Once I know the gifts in me, I need to nurture them and use them for God's purposes, not for my own ambition. Not only am I thinking of myself, but as a wife and mother, I also support the individual gifts of my husband and son so that they will be encouraged to fully use their own gifts. 







As a family, just the three of us, we had our "Fanning the Flame" retreat last month, identifying our gifts and the next steps we need to intentionally do to serve God. Our family verse is Joshua 24:15 "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." We sat down together after our picnic lunch at a riverfront park overlooking Wisconsin River in Wisconsin Dells where we always go fishing every year.   We focused more on our son's gifts and told him God uniquely created him and that he was given gifts to give glory to God in his generation. 






As parents, it is one of our responsibilities to observe the gifts that our children have so that we can support, encourage and inspire them as they joyfully serve God and His purposes. It is a priceless legacy we can leave to them more than anything else.  As they love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, everything in their  life will fall into the best place God has prepared for them in line with what God created them to be. But the gifts should be nurtured and fanned into flame just as Paul instructed Timothy.






REFLECTION:

Romans 12:4-8 identifies some of those gifts:

For as in one body we have many members,and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;  the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (ESV)


The spiritual gifts are also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (ESV)


Do you know what your spiritual gift or gifts are? 



If so, are you using them for God's purposes? 



If not, pray that God will reveal it to you. He will lead and guide you.



Saturday, July 16, 2016

Transitions...Total Trust Test!


Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
and He will make your paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)


Where did the days go? We're already halfway through 2016 and to me, it feels like we just began the year. It has been a period of transitions to our family since we made the decision to take some steps of faith starting school year 2015-2016.  We embarked on a new boat of faith-challenging decision to go to unknown and unfamiliar places.  I want to particularly talk about our family's journey of transitions from homeschooling to public schooling.  It was a tough move and through it all God showed so many faith-strengthening adventures and favors that, as always, prove His amazing grace and dependable faithfulness.

Having my son homeschooled from first grade to sixth grade was a great blessing.  In hindsight, I see that that season of my life was really more of God homeschooling me.  God taught me and showed me the condition of my heart, revealing both the good and the bad in the core of my being. As I went through the daily lessons He was teaching me, He molded my heart in such a way that I became more aware of myself as a mother.  There were days that were so full of joy and fun and adventures with my son.  On the other hand, there were draining days of doubts and difficulties that pulled me down. But in whatever side of the pole I was, the Lord Jesus had faithfully carried me through to carry out the task He has entrusted me for that specific time of my life.  I will forever treasure all the memories of moments my son and I shared and savored together.

The decision to put Gideon to traditional school set up was a struggle. My husband and I prayed and searched for the right school.  I wanted to put him in a Christian school but after checking out different schools, the tuition rates are not within our budget.  Also, my son has a special need that the Chistian schools we went to had no program for it.  It was an eye opener for me and my husband. We, then, had to go to public school as the alternative. I was hesitant but God reminded me of Moses who grew up in Pharaoh's palace getting a secular education and still grew up knowing the One true God through the sovereign favor of having his mother as his babysitter.  I had to totally trust God's sovereign hand to hold my son's heart and hand in this circumstance.

It was a late registration for my son.  School started two weeks already. It was another challenge when I told them that he was homeschooled from first to sixth grade. I was referred back and forth by the middle school and the elementary school whether he should go back to sixth grade or enroll at seventh grade. It was finally decided to put him to seventh grade and provided the Individualized Educational Plan. With all the challenges of adjustments, Gideon made it to the Honor roll and at the end of the school year, received the President's Education Awards Program in recognition of Outstanding Academic Achievement.

School year 2015-2016 was a "total trust test" year for me, letting go and letting God take full control of every detail of the day.  The very first day my son stepped up the school bus by himself, I had to be strong and fight the separation anxiety with the trust mindset, taking refuge in the truth of God's Word that He is the One watching and caring for my son. It was a huge adjustment for all of us. I missed the days of being with my son the whole day and doing things together. But there is a season for everything. This season of transition was designed by God. All I needed to do was to trust that He is sovereign and  what a comfort to know that He makes all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

In the midst of the struggles and doubts whether it was the right choice that we made, God showed His unfailing love and kindness. He will always glorify His Name in all circumstances and transitions in our journey. This life has endless transitions ahead of us. Constant changes. But for all of us who believe and has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our unchanging God, we can rest assured that as we move along the path we go through, He is always there with us. That was His promise. We just have to trust!

REFLECT:

  • What transition are you going through right now?
  • What is God telling you?
  • Where is He leading you?



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Moving On

On the edge of summer!  August seemed to have just started and we are now almost at the end.  This has been a busy month for our family.  Crazy good busy!  Too many voices, too many noises, too many chores and choices.  But in the midst of it all, the Holy Spirit speaks, tapping into my soul, leading and guiding towards the new season looming on the horizon.  "Move on," a phrase that God loudly whispers to me as I navigated through this month's spectrum.

August is the highlight of our summer and a preparation for fall.  We celebrate Gideon's birthday on the first week, our wedding anniversary in the middle of the month, Global Leadership Summit in between the two and the last week starts our new school year.  These are the events of this month that we focus on and pay attention to.  And in the busyness of each, although it is exciting, sometimes it gets exhausting and overwhelming that we get distracted, get stuck and stranded, not moving on towards the vision.

It is time to move on.  But how?  I want to share some wisdom I gleaned from the last two Sundays in our Church through Henry Cloud's two cents:  "Never go back!"  My take away was about patterns in our lives that need to be pruned and taken out in our system.  These are patterns that hinder us from being fruitful. It is a mindset.  I need to change a particular mindset  that is preventing me from giving my highest and best for God.  But since this is wired in my brain, in order to change, I have to replace it with a new one.  How?  In Romans 12:2 Paul admonishes us to renew our mind so that we will know God's perfect will.  It all starts in the mind.  The thinking pattern leads to action or inaction in our part.  So, in order for me to be able to move on to the vision to be fruitful, I need to surrender my thought life to God and renew my mind by filling it in with God's Word and meditating on it and put it into practice in every area of my life.

Reflections:

  • What are your thinking patterns, or habits that hinder you from knowing and doing the perfect will of God in your life?
  • What next step can you do to move on?


Only in Jesus Christ can we have a new way of life.  John 3:16

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abOut mOi

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Flawed. Broken. Wretched sinner. Forgiven. Embraced by the grace and love of God through Jesus Christ. I'm married for fourteen years with my artist husband Val and blessed with a fascinating son Gideon who's 13 years old and we reside in Illinois, United States. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts from the Royal Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines Since then I've been in the Broadcasting industry, Marketing and Real Estate. I'm currently working in the Outreach Department of a faith-based not-for-profit Christian organization. I love journaling, gardening, reading,picnicking with my two boys in summer, enjoying nature and savoring the beauty that God made available for our consumption. But most importantly, before the sun sneaks out of the horizon, I love reading the Bible, praising and praying to the One who loves me and created me and gifted me to be more than what the eyes can see! ! I want to make sure I come up first before the rays come out and listen to what God has to say for the day! I live on purpose! Each day is a gift! Live it for Jesus!

bOoks in my list to read

  • Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
  • the me i want to be by John Ortberg
  • Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

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