A ROOM FULL OF BALLOONS

Joaquin's balloonsThe last thing the party host said was “Goodbye everyone! And you can take all the balloons you want!”. Ryan immediately ran to the front and grabbed one of the 2 big balloon arrangements decorating the stage. The first thing that entered my mind was “Why in the world would you want to bring that home?” He got different kinds of stares from people as he walked across the party hall carrying that big balloon tower, that was at the very least twice his size. Some looked amused, some looked puzzled, but he couldn’t care less. All he thought was “I’m bringing these balloons home!” The balloons wouldn’t even fit in our car. Luckily, the party was just in our village so he actually walked home with it. And then as if that wasn’t enough, he came back to get the other balloon tower! Now his room is filled with balloons!

I actually admire Ryan’s boldness! He was told he can have the balloons, so he charged and took what he wanted! Without hesitation, no if’s, no but’s. Something we can all learn from.

Josh 18:3 So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?

WHAT IF I GET IMPATIENT?

Janina's recitalConversation in the car:

Janina: Mom will I ever get famous? When will I get famous?

Mom: Yes you will! But I don’t know exactly when. Do you remember the timeline you made for your school project? God has His timeline for your life mapped out even before you were born.

Janina: What if I get impatient?

Don’t we all relate with her question? This was a good time for me to explain to Janina what it means to wait upon the Lord and not go ahead of His will.

I don’t like waiting. Whether it’s waiting in line, or waiting for my husband to pick me up, or waiting for an answer to a prayer. Left to our own, we will give up waiting. That’s why we need God’s strength as we wait. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength .Often times, we get tired of waiting and take matters into our hands. That’s when the trouble starts. When we can’t wait any longer and try to make things happen on our own. That’s when we find ourselves ending up with the second best, instead of God’s best.

Waiting is a part of lives. There will always be something we will wait for… a promotion, your own house, your life partner, healing, restoration of your marriage, and the list goes on and on. I believe God allows us to go through seasons of waiting so our dependence on Him will grow. But nevertheless, God assures us of His great plans for us and we just have to trust Him. When we wait on Him, He always makes the wait worth it!

Psalm 25:3 (New King James Version)
Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed

RYAN’S 3rd QTR ANECDOTE

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Punzalan,

As part of our ongoing communication with each parent, here’s an update on your child’s progress during the 3rd quarter. Below is a story that I would like to share with you regarding Ryan. I hope that this will give you a glimpse of how he is doing in school.

Thank you and God bless!

In Christ, Ms. Jas

Ryan's gift Everyone was so excited to open their gifts during the Christmas Party. When they had opened it, their attention was only on the gift they had received. They were so happy and I couldn’t even get their attention back. Realizing that I wouldn’t be able to get their attention again, I decided to just give them the rest of the time to play and enjoy the gifts they got. When it was time for them to go, Ryan stayed in the classroom for a while and helped me clean the mess. I told him that he can already go but he said that he wanted to stay and help first since his fetcher had not arrived yet. He picked up even the smallest part of gift wrapper and threw it in the trash can. Having Ryan around to help tidy things up made things easier for me. I really appreciated the way he sacrificed the time he had to play with his classmates just to do some extra work like cleaning up. I believe that this young lad has a servant’s heart.

KEEP OUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK

After-school conversations:
Janina: “Mom, I gave away all my Pixie sticks to my classmates!”
Me: “That’s good Janina. The Bible says ‘It’s better to give than to receive.'”
Janina: “Why don’t I feel good about giving them away?”
Me: “It’s ok. It’s not about what we feel. But about doing what honors God.”

Ryan: “Mom, I always carry Janina’s bags to the car.”
Me: “Wow, that’s good Ryan. You’re serving your sister.”
Ryan: “Cause it’s fun to carry a lot!”
Me: “What if it’s not fun anymore? Will you still help her?”
Ryan: “Of course!”

VISA picsFeelings or emotions are powerful. God created us with feelings to help us discern many things. For instance, when we feel fear, it helps us discern danger. Emotions are the driving force to a lot of our behavior. If we are not passionate about something, we will not be motivated to act. But we have to learn to balance our emotions. This is something we need to teach our kids. Some emotions, when left unchecked, can drive us to wrong behavior like how anger can make a child hit another.

So how do we keep our emotions in check? Always see if it is in line with the Word of God. Sometimes, a child of mine will say “Mom, I am so annoyed with our helper.” I remind her that 1 Cor. 13:4 says “Love is patient…” When a child doesn’t want to forgive another, I remind him of Mt 6:15 “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Or when a child is afraid, the book of Joshua says “Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

It is easier said than done but this is how we keep our emotions in check. The Word of God is alive and it will help us overcome our emotions. God’s Word supercedes our feelings.

CHILDLIKE FAITH

Since late last year, our whole family has been praying to go for another vacation to the US. We cut down on trips and some expenses to start saving up. At the start of this year, I’ve been calling Delta Airlines to book our award flights from our mileage. I was hoping to get 3 free tickets from them so we would have to pay for just 3 tickets instead of 6. After 2 weeks of trying, there haven’t been any slots available. I started to feel discouraged and talked with the kids and proposed if we could just go to Hong Kong this year, and to the States next year to give us more time to save. Our kids reacted by saying “Where is your faith mom? God will provide for everything we need!” That was enough to shut me up.

Two days after, as I was on the phone again with the Delta Airlines Customer Representative, I was informed that there were 3 available award tickets for a flight to San Francisco. When I told the kids this great news, Nathan said “And you would have settled for Hong Kong.” True. Right then and there, I was convicted. I limited myself to my own resources.

childlike faithWe are always encouraged to have a childlike faith. Grown-ups calculate too much. We evaluate, analyze, criticize. We always think of the limitations, instead of thinking of the possibilities. Children just believe! They’re very confident and enthusiastic! And they hang on to every word that is spoken to them!

I thank God for reminding me how to have faith like a child. Had i given in to my doubts, I would have missed out on God’s blessings.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15)

HAIRCUT

After years of cutting my sons’ hair, (well only when we don’t have time or we want to save money), I’m still lousy at it.

Joaquin's haircut
Joaquin, 2.4yo