Good Example

Joshua does not fail to amuse me… He is one smart little ranger (this is what his uncle Ken would call him). He was only 2 months when he started to to do tummy crawl. At 3 months he can open and close his hand when we would show him our fist opening and closing. He also got the gist of the “animal sound” game on my iphone, where he had to touch the screen in order for the animal to make its sound. He watches what we do, and imitates us.

Just the other night, Joshua woke up in the middle of the night. He was wide awake and did not want to go back to bed. Instead I decided for him to hang out with us in the room. He was resting on a pillow and watching tv just like his daddy. He just kept looking back and forth between the tv and his dad. Later, his eyes was just glued on his dad who was eating pakwan (Squash seeds). A little later, I found him on his tummy exerting effort to crawl. So I placed my hands at the sole of his feet to help him with his crawl. He pushed hard to get his way to guess where? He crawled from his side of the bed to his dad’s side!20130429-212434.jpg

A little later he stood by his dad and kept looking at what he was doing. He was observing his daddy cracking and peeling the seeds and chewing it. Later, Joshua understood that daddy seemed to enjoy it, and was constantly eating it. He became interested that he grabbed the bag and tried to give himself some…

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I was taking these photos and giggling while watching how Joshua was trying to imitate his dad. What dada does, he wants to do. He also does this when Steve works on his laptop, Joshua would come near and push himself downwards so his fingers could touch the keyboard. He has a fondness of his Dad, that he wants to try what his dada is doing.

What I saw just stuck in my head like God was showing me a life lesson. Parents have a great influence over their children. Joshua observed what his Dad was doing and followed it. It was not his dad’s words that he was imitating, but his dad’s actions. This reminded me, we as parents have to be good examples to Josh. “Actions speak louder than words” suddenly meant very real to me. Parenting should be intentional not a “que sera sera – whatever will be will be” kind.

God is showing me that our child will follow us… Our good traits and including our bad traits. So, we need God’s power to model righteousness so he would grow up to live in righteousness. We can’t teach this to our son, apart from God.

I realize as parents, we need to stay connected with The Lord. How else will we be able to raise our kids in the knowledge and love of God, if we starve ourselves from reading the bible and exercising love? I admit that with the demands of a young infant, I can find very little time for quiet time. But when I do, I feel empowered and energized. I can have more quiet time if I look at my Facebook less. Hahaha. It’s true though, God wants me to grow as a parent. He is teaching me many valuable lessons through his Word. So, I am writing this as a declaration that I will continue to have quiet time so I can grow in knowledge and love and that will make me the best mom I can be for my son. So help us God become good examples of your grace and love!

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The Blessing Habit

I am celebrating my 36th birthday today with my son Joshua who also turns 4 months. I also am not forgeting my twin sister, Monique, who I am privileged to have in my life. I feel really blessed, and looking back in our lives, I can truly say God has turned curses into blessings. He continues to shower us with His love, its been an amazing journey.

I want to share about my conviction on the Habit of Blessing. Steve and I joined a bible study where the topic touched on the culture of blessing. If you are Filipino, you know that we are a hospitable, nice, and warm people. You also know that at the other side of the coin, we are a very critical and judgmental people. Just greeting people casually we would say things such as, “You got fat. (Tumaba ka ah!)” or “You got dark. (Ang itim mo ngayon).” or “Why are you so skinny, you must not be eating. (Bakit ang payat mo, hindi ka kumakain, ano?)” and so on and so forth. You get my drift.

Generally, we are not a people that like to praise or give away blessings. Its quite counter-culture for the Israelites for Blessing is part of their life. Every Sabbath, the father would gather his family and over a meal he would initiate the blessing of each of his children. From there each member of the family would bless one another. It is no wonder that even if they are few, Israelites are strong, intelligent, and prosperous people. This makes them a blessed nation.

Our conviction is to bless our family and to ask the Holy Spirit to help us be less critical and judgmental of people. So, even while Joshua was in the womb, Steve and I would speak blessing over his life. We would pray that God would make him a healthy and strong boy, handsome and tall, intelligent and wise, would have a loving and obedient heart to God and us his parents, to have a humble yet joyful spirit. Oh, and the special blessing that Steve is declaring includes that Joshua will bring million upon millions to Jesus! Even after Joshua was born we continue to practice this daily to declare blessing in his life.

I truly believe what the bible says about our mouths and blessings:

Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.”
Proverbs 12:14 “From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.”
Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eats its fruit”

In the bible the final blessing of a father is sought after by the children. Look at the accounts of Isaac and Jacob, and how this final blessing is so important to the next generation. Just last Christmas, Steve’s family experienced this very special and meaningful blessing. Daddy Ruben called his children over the Noche Buena dinner table and for the first time, I see my father-in-law deciding to lead the prayer. He first thanked God for his life. After, he started to bless his children and grand children. As he called each child by name, I saw them closing their eyes, nodding and their hearts openly receiving their blessing. It was such a profound sight. That Christmas dinner had laughter, tears, songs, and overjoyed feeling of family and love. Even Joshua received his blessing from his Lolo. He said “Joshua, may you be a good Christian just like your parents.” This we believe and declare.

Today, I too received a blessing from my mom, who accidentally thought I was turning 37 today! Hahaha.

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As they say, if you discipline to do something regularly it becomes a habit… And blessing as a habit is a very good thing!

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Daddy time

Yesterday was my hubby’s birthday. Usually he is quite particular about taking our little one out because he is only 2 months. However, yesterday was different. Daddy wanted little Joshua with him.

We went to church, we had lunch, spent quiet time as a family, bathed Joshua, and brought him to dinner with us. My husband, Steve, on his birthday wanted the most important people in his life to be around him. I really felt good that he made that his priority.

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We make it a point that there will be “daddy’s time” everyday between Steve and baby Josh. When Steve gets home from work, he hurries to shower or freshen up just to hold and play with Joshua. They have conversations ( Joshua responds by cooing), they have play time… And at night, daddy Steve does family snuggles before he goes to bed.

Joshua coos and laughs, crawls on Steve’s chest, and finds rest sitting on Steve’s legs. I really enjoy watching them bond.

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Yesterday, Steve decided on his birthday to read scripture during lunch over his parents and siblings and over us… I look forward to that day when Joshua does that as well.

I prayed over Steve that God would mold him to be the best father to Joshua and the best husband for me. I declare God’s favor over his life and that he will be a godly example to me and to Joshua. He is the leader in our home and we will serve God together.

Being a good father is not inborn. It needs a heart attuned to God that is humble enough to be changed and even broken. It is a commitment that a person makes in his life to raise his family in the fear of the Lord. This is why as a wife it is important I pray for my husband, the father of my child. I release him to God and I watch God move in his life. As I love and submit to Steve, my son will grow, love, respect his father.

This proverb is a reminder to Steve and I on how we are to rear our child.

Proverbs 4:10-13
My child,listen to me and do as I say,
and you will have a long, good life.
I will teach you wisdom’s ways
and lead you in straight paths.
When you walk, you won’t be held back;
when you run, you won’t stumble.
Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go.
Guard them, for they are the key to life.

Power of a praying parent

I love Stormie Omartian books. I have read “Power of a Praying Wife”, and “Power of a Praying Woman”. It is filled with heartwarming personal stories and helps the reader express specific prayers and declare specific scripture verses.

In December 2011, I received another of Stormie’s books from a random exchange gift. At that time I was still childless. After seeing the book, “Power of a Praying Parent”, I took it as an advance notice from God that I will become one someday. When I learned I was pregnant, I started reading this book and praying for my child even when he was in my womb.

This book leads the parent to start praying for the different aspects of a child’s life. It includes your child’s health, emotional maturity, intelligence, freedom from fears, including his circle of friends and even their future spouse.

What I am realizing more and more is that children are really “loaned” to parents by God. We are just stewards of their life. I cannot ensure to protect my child 24/7, but His Heavenly Father can. So, instead of worrying, I lift my child up in prayer.

Now that I have Joshua, we make it a daily habit to pray each morning. He usually wakes around 5am – 6am. While he is tucked in my arms, I start praying out loud. We thank God for another day, we thank God for his goodness and faithfulness. Then we pray for our loved ones and our household. I also pray that Joshua will know the Lord, and will love and obey Him.

I look forward to the day I hear him utter his own prayer and converse with God.

Deuteronomy 11:18-22 “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him.

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