Mommy Plannerista | Philippines Blended Family Blog
I started this blog in 2011 to blog about my third pregnancy and our newly formed blended family. This is now become a Family lifestyle blog of a planner addict mom from Manila. Learn how planning keeps everything together in my hectic mom life.
It’s been a while since I last blogged. That’s because February has turned out to be such a busy month for our family. But I’m finally back and I’m so excited to share with you all about a robotics trial class for kids that my son, Ziggy, was able to join at Smarter Robotics. Ziggy […]
Yes, I know. February is about to end and here I am blogging about January. Sure, my response time for January is almost two months late, and it took me that long too to publish this post.
I always look forward to January. New year, new season, new opportunities, new lessons to learn. The church where I belong to holds a church-wide Prayer and Fasting week on the second or third week of January. I have, in many instances, received revelations and answers to prayers from the Lord after the Prayer and Fasting week. I add these to my spiritual milestones.
I remember the year I inquired of the Lord if I should pursue our small business, and His response was a resounding ‘yes’. Then, the Lord reminded me to pray for a specific thing that I have not prayed for in a long time. Last year, I had a rebuking during the Prayer and Fasting week. That experience and God’s timing led me to understand myself more.
Another event that I look forward to in January is the IDC. The International Discipleship Congress is an annual gathering of Chirst followers and leaders from all over the world to learn from a panel of Christian authors and leaders. I always look forward to IDC every year. From the time I started attening, the Lord has used these men of God to stir my heart to action.
I realized a lot of things in IDC, from raising Generation Z kids to the authenticity of the Bible. But one talk struck a nerve. And it was my first time to hear this pastor speak.
Here’s this very popular pastor who has been serving the Lord for 25 years and he still trembles at God’s word. I kept repeating that phrase, “tremble at God’s Word” in my mind for days. What’s it like to tremble at God’s Word? Dictionary.com defines tremble as to shake involuntarily with quick, short movements, as from fear, excitement, weakness, or cold.
Do you tremble at God’s Word?
I asked myself: Do I tremble at God’s Word? Am I excited to read the Bible? Do I have revere, honor, or fear the Lord’s Words?
There was a season in my life where reading the Bible became an obligation, a task I need to check off my to-do list. I had to do it because it was part of the discipline of a follower of Christ. But the rebuking of the Lord straightened me out. Two years ago, I promised myself I will read the entire Bible but everything went haywire. Now, I am continuing that vow and hope to complete my reading by the second quarter of this year.
More important that completing all the books of the Bible is the renewed desire of my heart. The Lord has given a new hunger for His Word. I am back to journaling as well. In fact, this post came from the pages of my journal.
Going back to this pastor… His love for the Lord moved me. I was jealous of his relationship with the Lord. Just when I thought I was passionate for the Lord, this guy shows up. He made me question my own zeal for the Lord. “Lord, how can this guy have so much love for you and your Word?”
I hope you didn’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. Hearing him speak and seeing his devotion to the Lord, moved me to take action in my own life. The Holy Spirit used this pastor’s testimony not only to inspire me to cause me to do something or change whatever needs to be changed in me.
So, aside from continuing my excitement for God’s Word, the Lord prodded me to have more offline connections with people. Yes, sharing inspiring posts and Bible verses regularly helps the readers. But I should get out there and have face to face conversations with women outside my Christian group. I have to stop hiding behind my social media posts and the real Inspirited Mom.
So, that’s my January. It was again a refreshing and empowering month from the Lord. So, how am I going to do this? I have no idea. I am taking the cue from the Lord one day at a time. He will lead me to the right people. And I hope I don’t make excuses.
Are you planning to visit the Philippines soon? You may have scheduled tours with your family within Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Since you will be on the road most of the time, did you consider how to keep your kids safe while traveling? Safe Kids Manila will make sure your kids are buckled up for safety.
Safe Kids Manila is the pioneer car seat rental service provider in the Philippines. It caters to tourists and balikbayans visiting the greater metropolitan Manila. It’s founder and owner, KC Constantino, knows the challenge of flying with toddlers or kids. Since they are based abroad, traveling with suitcases, babies, and car seats are a hassle. “There has got be a better way,” she tought.
The car seat rental concept came one night as KC was driving with her child. She had a lightbulb moment while fixing her child’s car seat. Being an advocate of child safety on the road, she set up Safe Kids Manila in the Philippines. Not only will parents be literally unburdened with bulky car seats in flight, but they are able to provide safety for their kids while vacationing in the Philippines.
Car Seats are Mandatory
Did you know that the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation approved the bill requiring all private vehicles to install car seats for children?
The proposed Child Safety in Motor Vehicle Act of 2017 ensures that the state provides safety for children in any form of vehicle while in transit. The Department of Health reported that car crash is the second leading cause of death among children 0 to 17 years old.
Photo from Safe Kids Manila
Safe Kids Manila provide only quality, safe, and sanitized car seats. Because the founders are parents themselves, they know the concerns of other parents. They make sure they provide quality service to their clients and 24-hour customer support.
Whether you are a Philippine resident or visiting, it is a MUST to have car seats while traveling. Strapping our young with seat belts is not enough. Make safety a priority.
What Safe Kids Manila Offers
Safe Kids Manila offers car seats for infants (newborn to 6-month-old), convertible car seats for 4 to 5-year-olds, and booster seats for 5 to 10-year- olds or depending on the child’s weight and height.
Baby in rear-facing mode on the Mother’s Choice Avoro car seat. Photo from Safe Kids Manila
Evenflo Tribute car seat for toddlers. Photo from Safe Kids Manila.
Maybe you are living in Manila but find high-end car seats expensive, but you want to secure your kids’ safety when you’re driving around the city. Safe Kids Manila can still help you. You have the option of renting car seats for an extended period. Reach out to their team to make arrangements for you.
If you plan to visit the Philippines any time soon and you’re traveling with your kids below 10 years old, book a car seat with Safe Kids Manila. Get in touch with them through their Facebook page or their website. You and your family will be enjoying a vacation while keeping the kids safe.
For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. Psalm 92:4
What has God done in your life this year? Is there a reason for you to celebrate His goodness?
When the Lord formed me in my mother’s womb, He had a plan and a purpose for me. No one can thwart that plan. Even I cannot change His plan for my life. However, part of His plan is a time for pain and rejoicing.
It was in 2017 when the Lord broke me. He needed to do this to get me back on track. He knew if He allowed me to continue I will headed for disaster. But before I could find that way, I had to go through a difficult season in my life. The level of pain I went through was exactly how the Lord measured it.
He counted the tears that fell. The negative thoughts that kept running through my head, He read them all. He couldn’t stop me from feeling miserable and depressed. His Word (the Bible) was there to comfort me. But many times it didn’t get me out of the rut. In fact, I had momentary bouts of ending my life to stop the pain.
January 2018 came and I finally understood what was going on. It was His Word that got my attention. His Word that I disregarded for some time became my lifesaver…again. When I meditated on it, everything made perfect sense. The dark cloud over my head dissipated. I had my breakthrough. Now that the Lord got me where He wants me, He was going to show me a new thing.
Right smack in the middle of the year, my husband and I joined the Glorious Hope Recovery Program. After that aha moment in January, I know my faults, my negative attitudes, and my insecurities. All these played a crucial part in who I have become. In the past, I tried to get rid of these negative thoughts and change my behavior but they kept coming back. I was unsuccessful and couldn’t get them out of my system. I knew I need help.
A Commitment to Change
I discovered while I was going through the GH program that it is between me and God. It is a commitment to myself and to God. The success of any ‘recovery’ lies on the person. The success of my GH journey is dependent on my determination to address all some of these life issues.
Yes, we had the support of our life coaches and group mates. But if we did not commit our entire being to the process, we will not receive healing… Healing from emotional, mental, and spiritual brokenness.
The reality is we all have that. No matter how good or perfect our life may seem. We have learned to adapt and live with these issues. But we never had the opportunity to face them. Like me, I thought everything that I experienced as a child was ‘normal’. But after processing those experiences, I discovered they were not the norm.
A Thing of the Past
Those five grueling months in the program opened my eyes to the impact of our childhood to our adult life. The way we are today is a product of all our experiences as a child, a teenager, and young adult. Whether parents or other relatives raised us, they all left an imprint in our lives. Some, we still struggle with until today. Others, we have gotten over with. While some, we brush aside thinking ‘it’s okay.’
Looking back at our past is relevant to finding who we are today and what we can become. Reliving the bad experiences caused by other adults in our life hurts. Imagine going through all those criticisms, ridicule, blame, and shame again? The purpose is not to blame these people. (They too were hurt by the people around them). The purpose to see the internal effect it has in our hearts. Unfortunately, those experiences made our hearts hard. It taught us how to feel indifferent, proud, insecure and a lot of other negative feelings.
A Transformative God
I have heard this question many times… “Why does a good God allow pain?” We cannot blame God for the choices people make. Heck, we cannot raise our fist at Him when we make unwise decisions. We cannot curse at God because adults choose to hurt us.
God did not make us robots. He gave us a mind to think, a heart to feel and a soul to connect with Him. God is not a dictator. He gives us the freedom to make our own choices in life. But He never leaves us all to ourselves. He has provided a way for us to know His will and His desires for us. The Bible or His Word is for us to read, meditate, and live with. But, we have the face the consequences of our wrong choices.
My GH experience allowed me to see the goodness of God once again. I have defined my life by the mistakes I have made. I allowed all these negativity to poison my mind and think the worst in me. God came in and rescued me at the perfect time. He removed all the filth and shame and cleansed me. God loves us so much that He will never leave us the way we are.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
A Renewed Purpose
I came out of the program committed to right the wrong and do God’s good. The Lord has provided a way for me to make amends to some people I have hurt. I had to acknowledge that I too had some hurtful words and deeds done. And what a relief it was! Somehow there are some who are not open to burying the hatchet. They still hold grudges against me. And that’s fine. I am aware that rejection will be part of the process. A time for them to heal will also come.
At the same time, I have allowed myself to let go of control and let God take the wheel. I prayed and surrendered to His will for my life.
Today, I see where the Lord is taking me. He has opened the door for me to work as a writer. I have shared about my insecurity as a writer and dared to call myself one. This is because I lack the credentials to boot. But the Lord is not looking at my diploma. He put this gift in me for Him to use in this season of my life.
My relationship with my family has also changed. Though we are still a work in progress. But I am thankful for the changes that are happening. My mom, with the help of GH, has a new understanding of her daughter. We communicate better now and see each other in a different way. My other sibling has also been more open and been more connected with the family.
My life is still not perfect. There are some issues in my past that I have not gotten over completely. I know this will take a lifetime to process. Neither am I Ms. Goody Two Shoes. I never was in the first place. I still get pissed at bad drivers. Unkind people frustrate me. My default tendencies haunt me once in a while. But I now have the tools to control my anger and extend as much grace as needed to the pesky creatures of the world. Now, isn’t that a cause for celebration?
Joy and happiness are two distinct things. Happiness is an emotion but joy is a state of being. Let’s say today, you found out that your child received an award in school. So if that is important to you, so, that will make you happy.
Another difference is happiness is dependent on happenings. It is conditional and based on circumstances. Who do you draw happiness from? If you’re a mother, you draw happiness from your children. If you are a career-driven woman, you get your daily fix from high-fives at work.
Can we also say that happiness is fleeting? It’s temporary. When there is no more trigger, the emotion dies down in a few hours or even minutes.
Joy is internal
Joy is different. It is accepting the truth of who you are and your circumstances and being content with it. Joy is internal and deeper. The source of joy is intangible that only the soul can feel and describe.
Being joyful does not mean all is well. It’s not you jumping for joy when your child is sick or belly laughing when you lose your job. Joy emanates despite the difficulty or pain because it is not dependent on external things. It is the stillness of the heart that keeps you hopeful. It’s a sense of peace that overcomes your weary soul.
What will you choose to have? Joy or happiness?
I choose joy but it won’t hurt to have some happy episodes too. Knowing that I am in the right place and at the right time gives me joy. There is joy in this season of my life. Because I am confident that God has carved this out in his book.
He has planned everything from the time I was in my mother’s womb. All the mistakes, triumphs, tears, laughter, doubts, and fears that I have gone through are part of His bigger plan.
What brings me joy
Relationships bring me joy. I am not the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and leader. I am flawed just like anyone else. The people in my inner circle helps me become better. Most of the time these relationships become challenging because we are all imperfect. We have our uniqueness that is not in tune with the others. But that’s okay. I find joy knowing that we can all live harmoniously despite our differences. The key to that is grace. Oh, grace that abounds to all who seek it.
Reasons why am I doing what I am doing today. Why I am homeschooling? Instead of ordering takeout food, why do I choose to cook from scratch? My husband and I don’t always agree, but why do I still support him? Why do I work from home? Why? All these why’s have a personal reason. My reason for getting up in the morning and doing all my motherly duties is because I love my family. Being a work from home mom is not easy but I want to do it.
I am able to redo my life and change my behavior.
Restarting my life. After a tumultuous 2017, the Lord has given me the opportunity to redo my life this 2018. Then, I was able to hear from Him during the church-wide prayer and fasting. He gently rebuked me to own up to my sin. And the Lord was not done with me. My husband and I had the great opportunity to find healing in the Glorious Hope Recovery Program. I have discovered a lot about my past and how it has affected who I have become. Slowly, with the tools I have now, I am able to redo my life and change my behavior.
Rekindling an old love. No, I’m not talking about an affair with another person. I am talking about my love for writing. I have forgotten this first love of mine. It has been hidden for many years. Life went on until, at the opportune time, the Lord reminded me of my love affair with words. Now, after many years of uncertainty and waiting, I am doing what I love. Today, I am getting paid to write. One day, I will be able to publish this book that I have worked on for the longest time.
These are a few of the many things that give me joy today. At the same time, I also found peace and hope. My life is not a bed of roses, and I know it will never be. But I am joyful despite the seemingly imperfect aspects of my being and my circumstances.
How about you? Will you choose joy or happiness? What brings you joy today?
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grow up? We get asked this question a lot when we were young. Some of us would exclaim, “A doctor!”, “A nurse!”, “A policeman!”, or “A pilot!”
Twenty to thirty years later, how many of us are living out that dream today? Hmm, I got you there! Are you? If not, why?
“My family couldn’t afford Medicine, so I took up Accounting instead.”
“I didn’t know what course to take. I lined up in the shortest enrolment queue and ended up taking Philosophy.”
“We are a family of lawyers. I had no choice. “
“I got pregnant and didn’t finish my degree in Nursing.”
The Sad Reality
Can you relate? Especially, if you are part of the GenX generation where parents had so much influence on our courses. Many of us were too afraid to speak up because that was how our parents and grandparents raised us.
Also, at 16 or 17, we were still unsure about what we want to do in the future. We survived four years of high school. How in the world can we figure out what to do next? But there are some exceptions, of course. We have batch mates, who at a young age, have set their hearts and minds to what they want to be in the future. Good for them.
But how about for the rest of us? It may sound cliche but the struggle is real especially for me. You may already know my background. I am a dentist by profession and practiced for more than 15 years. Until I finally called it quits in 2016 and focused on a small food business that my husband and I started.
The Journey to Somewhere
I knew from the time I started seeing patients on a regular basis, Dentistry was not for me. Something in my heart tells me that I am made for something else. But I couldn’t quit, not yet. First, I was a mom with two young kids. I couldn’t afford to take a new job and leave them. That was my non-negotiable. Second, I had to honor my parents who put me to school and supported me. Third, it was a struggle but I had to adhere to the oath of my profession.
Even if I wanted out, I had no idea what to do. I have studied for a long time and my profession was my source of income. When I shared my sentiments with other people, they couldn’t understand my predicament. They told me to stick with it and suck it up. And I did for years. But the Lord has His ways. I was able to say goodbye to the profession who took care of me for more than 15 years. You may want to read my transition from being a doctor to a small business owner.
Business is good because God is good. I love food and I love creating recipes from scratch. That’s why my business tagline is freshly prepared. But I had this tug in my heart for many years to do one more thing and starting a business is not that “one thing.”
It is writing.
What I really want to be when I grow up
People say I can write and I write well. Thanks to blogging, my writing has improved over the years as some friends have noticed. I need to develop and improve because I have no diploma or certificate to boot. But I am pursuing a writing as a career now.
The Lord has been very good to me because He affirms this new desire of my heart. He has given me writing jobs in the past years. Today, He has given me more. I received a long-term writing project that may even a permanent one. Of course, I was ecstatic but I didn’t say yes right away. My default was to turn to God for wisdom. I know that not all opportunities are God’s opportunities. I also sought my husband’s wisdom on the matter.
After a few days, in a quiet conversation with the Lord, I asked, “Lord, do you want me to take this job? Is this for me?” Then, He replied, “Didn’t you pray for a writing job last year? I’m giving this to you now.”
Let me share my IG post the other day about this new journey of mine.
But when I sought God’s wisdom and comfort, I was able to free myself from the fear and insecurity that has held me captive for a long time. In His perfect time, I am able to pursue what I love to do.
Now that I am walking on this new path the Lord has prepared for me, I am so excited to “work”. In fact, I don’t see it as work anymore. It is an opportunity to hone the gifts that He has given me. At the same time, it becomes an instrument to help others grown their business.
As I write this post, the Lord reminded of the verse that so aptly describes this new season in my life.
Delight yourself in the Lord: And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
When people asked me what I want to be when I grow up, I would say, “I want to be a doctor.” But I forgot for a brief time in my younger years if people asked me the same question, I would reply, “I want to be a writer.”
How about you? Are you living your childhood dream?
I decided to commit to blogging in 2013. Like any love relationship, I want something that’s legit and lasting. I bought my domain name, got a friend to manage my site, and hired a brilliant creative, Rhiza Oyos, to set up my site. This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with blogging.
My blog and I had some ups and downs in our relationship. Some are good writing days. But there were the meh months. Either I was too lazy to write anything or life happened.
I let my insecurities as a writer get the best of me when I started blogging. I was afraid that grammar nazis would devour me and my blog post on social media. Having no literary credentials to boot, every published post was a nightmare.
But I have to be proactive. I enrolled in online classes that will help improve my writing skills. Books on writing and grammar were added to my reading list. I subscribed to bloggers who focused on writing and blogging. Attending writing workshops also kept me busy.
I would say that these tools gave me a new confidence in writing. A writer friend of mine noticed the improvement in my writing as well. This new feather in my cap led me to accept writing jobs as a side income. And I want to do more.
Pioneer bloggers would tell newbie bloggers to be an expert in a certain field. There are lifestyle bloggers, food bloggers, mommy bloggers, tech bloggers, and so son. Yes, I am the Inspirited Mom but I wouldn’t consider myself a mommy blogger.
Though I blog about homeschooling, I am not limited to that. I am also not a lifestyle blogger because I’m too lazy to write or post about the places I visited or products I’ve tried. Yes, I have a small food business and love cooking and baking. But I also can’t call myself a food blogger. I am not an expert in motherhood, homeschooling, or cooking. There is more to learn in these areas.
There is one thing I know I would never tire writing about. It is my journey with the Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot separate my identity in Christ to the things I do every day. Would I call myself then a faith blogger or faith writer?
According to the Myers Briggs Personality Test, I am an introvert. You may disagree with the results but I am a true INFP whose strategy is Constant Improvement. That is why writing about my personal faith journey may be embarrassing most of the time. But it gives me the freedom to be real.
I am not Miss Goody Two-Shoes as some may assume. I do not live a perfect life. Never did I claim that. God also does not play favorites. I am not His favorite. He loves me and disciplines me at the same time. He does not always answer my prayers the way I want it. Oh, you don’t know how many times the Lord said, “No” to me. My heart and soul have experienced brokenness and restoration by the Lord. It is a life of constant improvement as my personality tests say. And that’s what I want to share.
Now, let me ask you. Do you think I should continue blogging? Is the blog worth saving? Here are things for you to consider.
I have renewed my domain name, Inspirited Mom, last month, and I own it until next year. Do I need to change my domain name? If you think I do, what do you suggest the new domain would be?
As my tagline says, “Let us spur one another”. Is the blog helping you or someone you know get to know God more? If so, how?
Is food blogging something I should look into? Or do I stick with writing about faith?
Feel free to send me a message on Facebook or respond this blog post. Have a great long weekend!
Did you know that your 250 pesos can help fund the medical treatment of cancer patients? Think about it. That amount of money can buy you a decent meal at your favorite restaurant or get you and a friend your coffee fix. But if you have an opportunity to help save a life with just 250 pesos, would you do it?
I did, and you can too.
I came across these classy watches the LoveHopeFaith Group sell on Instagram. When I checked their profile, I was more impressed. Fifty percent of their sales help support the medical treatments of cancer patients! Whoa! Can you believe that?
Their Live Saver watches come in big and small and in a variety of colors. Both sizes sell for the same price of 250 pesos. Visit their online shop and choose your favorite color.
Let me share with you the online interview I had with the company’s team.
When and how the company started
In 2013, a relative of the founders was stricken with breast cancer. They provided emotional and financial support to her fight against cancer. This relative became the first beneficiary of the LoveHopeFaith company. And this inspired the founders to help more cancer patients. The business aims to help cancer patients win their battle against the disease.
LoveHopeFaith Group is a company that helps cancer patients fund their medical treatments. Fifty percent of the net proceeds of their products’ sales go to the beneficiaries.
We are a cause-oriented enterprise who aims to give joy and hope by providing affordable products to Filipinos, at the same time, giving back to the community.
Why did you choose watches as your primary product?
LoveHopeFaith Group initially did not plan to sell watches but considered it as an instrument of God’s grace. Back in 2013, the opportunity of making use of the watch as a primary product of LoveHopeFaith Group was a divine intervention – to help a loved one who is suffering cancer and later on, to help more cancer patients.
Beneficiaries and selection process
We always dream of helping people who need our help. We have started by helping children that have cancer but we are targeting to help more. At present, LoveHopeFaith Group’s beneficiaries are children aged 0 to 15 years old who have cancer.
Before becoming a beneficiary, the guardian must apply and send the necessary requirements. Then, a series of screenings and interview will follow. Soon, the selected beneficiary will receive medical and financial support.
How have these kids and their families responded to your company’s desire to help them?Can you share a memorable experience?
We conduct interviews twice a month to more than 30 beneficiaries. Our group has met various situations that a beneficiary’s family can go through. Each family’s journey through cancer has always been an inspiration to us.
Aside from the giving 50% of your sale to the patients, do you have other donors who regularly help your recipients?
The success of the LoveHopeFaith Group is a collective effort. There are very important people who made it possible. We have the customers, the employees, friends, and families of the founders. All have donated and helped sponsor events.
How do you envision your company in the next 5 years? What are your plans?
In the next 5 years, we would like to help at least 3,000 cancer patients. We would want to give more than what we give today.
We envision the team to grow and hire more employees that have the heart to help cancer patients. It is also a goal aim to create new connections so that we can impact more people. As we do this, we can help patients not only here in the Philippines but in other parts of the world.
I purchased my LoveHopeFaith small watch in Army (green) online at 250 pesos. In my little way, I know that buying it would help fund a child who has cancer. I am hoping to buy more for my family. LoveHopeFaith Group can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.
If you’re looking for purposeful gifts to give this Christmas, why not buy these watches from LoveHopeFaith group? It’s time to help save a life!
When Jesus’s disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus told them to “pray like this.” But before He shared with them a pattern to follow, He first reminded them how not to pray.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:7-8 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”
Prayer is Personal
Prayer is personal because Jesus is a personal God. He knows our hearts so well. When we babble on in our prayer, He knows that prayer is not sincere. Jesus continues to say that repeated words do not turn into magic words that will cause God to move. Meaningless prayers do not impress God.
Prayer is one way we can be intimate with Jesus. Prayer is a personal conversation with Jesus. It’s not a nonsensical talk. When we come to Him in prayer, we draw from our innermost desire and longing. He wants us to speak from our hearts.
Let us talk to him as if we are talking to our best friend or our father. We can be as transparent as we can to Jesus because He knows what is going on inside of us in the first place.
So, if we can tell him anything, what will we share with him? If we can ask Him anything, what will our question be? That’s how we are to pray.
Jesus’s Prayer Pattern
Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
Jesus did not command his disciples to pray this prayer but to pray like this. We are to follow the pattern he has set for his disciples. What we all know as the “The Lord’s Prayer” is in fact, the disciples’ prayer. The prayer Jesus taught his disciples was an example of how we all should pray or communicate with God.
Pray Like Jesus
Jesus teaches us to honor God is first. We acknowledge that God is above all and His throne is in heaven. He is fully in control of everything in the world and in our personal lives. We praise His name and his character.
I’ve experienced God’s forgiveness, compassion, faithfulness, mercy, and graciousness. I have seen how He has provided for me. He has healed me and saved me. How would you describe God as you get to know Him intimately? Get to know the God of the Bible more intimately as you read His Word.
As we praise Him, we also give thanks for everything He has given us. We thank Him for the big and small things that He has provided. Only a grateful and humble heart can look past the things that went wrong and focus on the good things.
Then, we check out hearts. We review what has transpired during the day and recall if we have committed any sin. Did you lie to your boss? Did you dishonor your parents? Let us ask the Lord to show to us any hidden sin and seek forgiveness. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. Psalm 90:8. We sincerely confess our sin before God.
Finally, we make our petitions before Him. Even though He already knows what we want and need, asking the Lord for them is humbling. Why? Because we acknowledge that He is the source of everything. As the Bible tells us in Matthew 7:1, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Let us keep in mind that when we come to the Lord in prayer, He will respond according to His character and His perfect timing. He is a good God no matter what. So he will answer our prayers out of the goodness of His heart. His timing is always perfect. He is never late or early. He is always on time. We can trust His answer and His timing.
If you have babbled in prayer for so long, maybe it’s time to change the way you pray. Get personal with God. Talk to Him as if He is beside you or in front of you. Speak from your heart and He will listen.
What changes in your prayer life will you make as you start a more meaningful conversation with the Lord?
This year our family celebrates 10 years of homeschooling. This is not a brag. It’s more of a pinch-me-please-I-can’t-believe-it-either.
Our family’s homeschooling journey has been a pivotal point in my life as a mother and as a woman. Teaching our kids at home is never easy but it is enjoyable. I have doubted myself and thought of giving up many times. But by the grace of God, I am still at it.
The first four years of homeschooling our first child was difficult. My son and I had our ups and downs. It was the lowest point of my life as a mother and I believed I was the worst mom ever. Then, I realized I had to let go of my wrong thinking to be a better homeschool parent-teacher.
“Homeschooling has taught me more lessons in life than my son learning from his lessons.”
So here are 10 Things I Learned in 10 Years of Homeschooling:
1. To prepare my heart. Before I start the lesson with our child, I need to talk to my source first. I need to pray and ask the Lord to prepare my heart for another homeschooling day. I ask for a double serving of patience and kindness. Having my heart checked by the Lord will tame my tongue and control my emotions.
2. To prepare my lessons. When I don’t prepare for the day’s lesson, I have short-changed my child. Over the years of homeschooling, I have found a system of lesson preparation that works for me. If you’re the type who can prepare lessons for a month or a week, then do it. Find out what works best for your and stick with it.
3. To be flexible. There are good homeschooling days and then there are not so good days. The kids get sick or something comes up that needs our immediate attention. We need to adjust to the need of the moment. Allow interruptions. These interruptions can either be the Lord telling us to take a break. Forcing our kids to study because “they have to” will end up in tears. You will regret it. Trust me. I’ve been there and done that.
We can’t rush learning
4. To understand your child’s limitations. This was a hard lesson to learn in our early HS (homeschooling) years. I thought that if I teach our child a new lesson, he will immediately remember it and recall the next day. Who am I kidding? Even adults forget what was said a few minutes ago. I can’t expect him to get it right away. We can’t also expect them to learn as fast as we (adults) do. They have their own pace and level of maturity.
A gentle reminder: If your child is a fast learner then provide more or advanced lessons. However, if your child is taking the time to learn a new concept, be patient. We can’t rush learning. Maybe we could present the lesson in a new way to make it more interesting.
5. To accept each child as unique. As the Bible says, we are uniquely and wonderfully made. If you teach multiple kids at home, do not compare one with the other. It will hurt them and damage their self-esteem. They will grow up thinking, “I am not good enough.” Acknowledge your child’s unique sets of strengths, skills, and even weaknesses. Encourage the strengths by developing them more. And develop the weaknesses by presenting the lessons in a creative way. This will free your child of any unwanted expectations and boost confidence.
6. To discover your child’s learning style. Children have different learning styles. There is no one-size fit all way of learning. Knowing how your child learns will help you plan your lessons that will be effective.
Our son is an auditory learner so I allow him to listen to music when he does his work. We discuss more as well since he loves to talk. Our daughter is a visual learner so we do a lot of reading together and arts and crafts. Most of her output or projects are art-based.
7. To connect with other homeschooling families. Homeschool support groups and Facebook groups based in the Philippines have sprouted online. When you check out Homeschoolers of the Philippines’ (HOP) page on Facebook, you’re in for a treat. There are thousands of members that are willing to connect with other HS families. Plug into a homeschool support group or COOP in your area. If you can’t find one, start one.
8. To ask for help. It takes a community to homeschool a child. You can quote me on that. We have to admit that we don’t know everything and we can’t do everything. If you can’t teach your child music, arts, or sports, then, find a class or a mentor who can teach your child. Don’t be afraid to hire someone or a tutor who will make your load lighter.
It takes a community to homeschool a child.
When our eldest child graduated from elementary, we wanted to continue homeschooling him. But I know my limitations. My husband, together with our son, opted to enroll him in a homeschool hybrid program in high school.
He is still enrolled under our homeschool provider, but the teachers at the Brainy Bunch Study Center are teaching him. I am no longer his teacher. The center is like a mini school where he got to meet new friends and learned to adjust to different personalities.
9. To go back to your ‘Why‘. Our homeschooling days will not always be sunny. I’ve spoken to fellow HS moms in the past and they all said that homeschooling is a lot of work. When you commit to teach your child at home, you are committing to the demands of HS. When you feel like throwing in the towel and think that nothing is working, take a break. Breathe. Remember why you made that decision in the first place.
If a change happens in your family and it would be impossible for you to homeschool, then reconsider. I know of two moms who decided to send their child to a regular school because they had to go back to work. Another mom enrolled her son in a Christian school because he got bored at home. Today, all the kids are doing well in their new school set up.
10. Homeschooling is not for everybody. When I was a newbie and an on-fire homeschooler, I would urge all the moms I know to homeschool their kids. But I realized I was wrong. God called us to be moms but He did not call all moms to homeschool their children.
Today, when prospective moms seek advice on homeschooling, I always tell them to pray first. It is not one mom’s decision but a family decision. Educate yourself about homeschooling by attending orientations, seminars, workshops; reading blogs; and interviewing homeschooling families.
Homeschooling is not something we do because every mom in our church group or community does it. Homeschooling is not an activity you add to your already busy schedule. It is not a fad. Homeschooling is a lifestyle.
What’s next for us?
This year we celebrate 10 years of home education. Next year our youngest child will be in seventh grade. The thought of sending her to a regular school already entered my mind because I plan to work outside the home. We are still praying about this decision. Again, even quitting homeschooling is a family decision. In the meantime, let’s finish that test of addition and subtraction of similar fractions. Shall we?