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, 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?



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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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