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Its almost June so a lot of couples are most likely busy preparing for their weddings. A wedding is a public expression of a couple’s commitment for one another.  It is regarded as a Covenant, a three party contract between the bride, groom and God.  In a covenant, there is a set of terms, the commitment and the sign.  In marriage the terms are read in the form of a question. The spouses in turn express their agreement to the terms.  To seal this they give the sign in the form of the wedding rings.

I remember purchasing our wedding rings.  During this time, my parents still had some reservations to my marriage plans so I had to shop for the rings for myself. (I should have waited a few months later when they gave their blessing).  Naive as I was, I bought a nice looking 22k gold pair of rings in a trip to Malaysia.   They looked nice and elegant.  After the wedding, I realized that they were too soft and easily deformed.  Years later, mine accumulated so much deformation stress that the band just broke in two.  Another problem was that my wife started having allergies with her ring. The explaination is that the alloying agent used may have been a material she was allergic to.  So she wore her ring on a chain around her neck. I should have known that there were Jewelry buying guides online that I  could have checked out before buying those rings.

So I planned to replace the rings with something else. Something in silver or platinum. Something like this:

Platinum Engraved Wedding Band

Platinum Engraved Wedding Band

This unique hand engraved wedding band is crafted in beautiful platinum. 950  platinum.
Price: $3,500.00
(I found this online through Shopwiki.com)

Fortunately, after 10 years of marriage, my parents decided to give us their wedding rings.  While these are silver instead of gold, these carry more character, as they were passed on from one generation to another.   They are sturdier and neither of us have had allergies so far.  Perhaps it would be a good idea to pass on these wedding rings to one of our children someday.

The old second hand 8-cylinder “bat-mobile” is gone. The red-plated Minica is no longer. The Mitsubishi lancer was sacrificially sold to pay for attorney’s fees to settle a sibling’s case. I remember these cars my father drove while I was growing up. I can still recall how big the “bat-mobile” was and how I would sink into the backseat and become nauseous. I could barely look out the window because it was too high. Or was I too small? One day it was no longer in our garage. Some time later, my father brought home a smaller car – a red-plated Minica. I remember my dad taking a picture of me in front of the car right before he drove me to PICC for my college graduation. Later on, he gave it back to the office when he retired and our garage was empty again. Finally, my father brought home a Mitsubishi Lancer. A car he bought with his retirement money. He lovingly took care of it. This car was his prized reward from all the years he had been working as a government employee. He would drive more than 40 kilometers just to fetch me and my dirty laundry from my dorm and then bring me back the following day. It didn’t matter even if it was already late in the night. I clearly remember those moments with him in the car. Everything was safe when I was with him. Unfortunately, there came a time that he had to sell it for a greater need. Without a thought he gave it up sacrificially to shoulder the legal fees of someone so dear to him. Our garage was empty once again. My father has since passed. I miss him terribly and though I’ve accepted the fact that he is in a better place, the pain is as real today as the day he left me.  Life is not the same.

Today, I have a family of my own – a husband, two kids. We have our own car, but it was just the other day that I realized something missing from it. I received an email that reminded me what it was. I quickly rummaged through our house to find it and when I finally did, tears welled up in my eyes. My childhood came flooding back to me and the little memento I found was the only witness to all those years of riding with my father. This little memento had been hanging in every car that we had. They are my old and tattered little red shoes that I wore when I was a baby. My father kept and preserved them and hung them on the rearview mirror in each and every car we ever had. Maybe my father wanted to remember me whenever he saw my shoes hanging on the mirror. Maybe he wanted me to be close by… to be within reach… to be his little baby even if he knew I was pursuing my own career. When we sold the Mitsubishi Lancer, I forgot all about those shoes. I got married, moved house and had kids. There was no place to hang them… until today. Thanks to that email, I can now hang my little red shoes once again. This time it’s to remind me of my father and how much he is still a part of my life. Hopefully, I can do the same for my own children – that they too will have many, many fond memories of riding with mom and dad in the car. Thank you, daddy. I love you and miss you.

(here are my little red shoes hanging in our car today)

Thank you Nuffnang for emailing me about this contest.

I was watching the Oprah show earlier today. She had as guests, Dr. Oz and David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine and author of  “Eat This, Not That!” series. Their topic was about obesity in kids and the discussion revolved around the how’s and why’s kids end being so overweight. David shared a lot of information about the food choices that are out there in the supermarkets and how to choose wisely.

As parents, we all want to raise normal, healthy kids and sometimes our food decisions aren’t always the best ones simply because we lack information. We have evolved into a “fast-food” generation where everything is quick and easy but not necessarily healthy. Hence, the rise of liposuction, diet pills and all sorts of weight-loss products. Although, these books are geared more towards the American consumer, still, there is much to be gleaned from them because a lot of these products are now available locally in major supermarkets. If you want to know if ‘regular bacon’ is healthier than ‘turkey bacon’, you gotta read the book. You’ll be surprised. So before you reach out for that bag of chips and that box of “multi-grain’ something, read the back label or better yet get yourself a copy of these books.

Check out these books. They are available at Amazon.com and you can read more reviews by those who have bought them. You might even qualify for their Free Super Saver Shipping. (Click on the links to get there)

Eat This, Not That! Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds–or More!

Eat This Not That! for Kids!: Be the Leanest, Fittest Family on the Block!

The past few days my emotions have been on a roller coaster ride. I have been quiet on this blog. The death of President Cory stirred up so many emotions I have tried to manage for the past two years. August 4 marks the second death anniversary of my father and I couldn’t help but go back to those moments while I was watching the necrological service of Tita Cory at the Manila Cathedral late this afternoon. The circumstances have been so similar it just brought me to tears. I am reminded of these two verses that somehow give me a glimpse of what still needs to be worked on in my own heart.

Genesis 32:28 (NIV 1984)

When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

2Corinthians 12:7 (NASB 1995)

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me– to keep me from exalting myself!

A broken spirit and a contrite heart, I know God will not despise and that is what He so desires. It is the best heart jewelry one can wear and worth more than all the jewels in the whole wide world. It is what pleases God. The question is, is pain necessary to achieve closeness to God? Is the path of sorrow and suffering the only way to be near God?  In my opinion, my answer would be yes. It is necessary.

We do not need Faith if we have the ability to do things on our own. It is the impossible that requires the divine to be employed. Faith is what moves the mountains of pain and suffering aside and parts the sea of sorrow so that we can take one more step closer to the promised land. Faith enables us to struggle and wrestle inspite of the thorns of imperfection and the flaws of our character. It is the adrenalin that pushes us forward to overcome all odds and step into victory. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Unfortunately, this does not happen overnight. This is where patience comes in. Through plodding and perseverance. Mountain after mountain, valley after valley, struggle after struggle… day after day. Through faith and patience we will overcome. It has already been two years since I have started on this road of coping with the grief and pain because of my father’s death. I am reminded more so today because of President Cory’s death.

My father was working for the Marcos government during that time when the People Power Revolution happened. He was the Chief Engineer in charge of setting up the government transmitters all over the Philippines. How he got into government is a whole other story but I knew he was a man of integrity and uncorrupted by what was around him. He knew what was going on when the transmitters in Malolos were taken over by the military sympathetic to Cory. He told me how crucial communications and media were that’s why these were one of the first things that were taken over aside from power and transportation. He often told me inside stories about media and propaganda and the psy-war tactics that were being employed by both sides. Aside from being an employee of the government, he was also a son of Tacloban and a kababayan of Imelda Marcos. A lot of what I know about government and country I have learned through him. His love for country and integrity in fulfilling his duties have been imparted to me and have made me come to love this country as well.  This is his legacy to me. Every province where I see a government transmitter, I am reminded of him. It is a struggle to hold back my tears…to wish for him to still be here. It is a journey that anyone who has lost a loved one deals with everyday. And I guess a “thorn in the flesh” to ground us and remind us of our need for God each day.

Yet inspite the pain, the thought of knowing that the memories and the legacies of our loved ones will live on through us they have left behind, is an assurance that their lives are not in vain. Thank you Tita Cory for reminding me about my father once again. My father is not a well-known figure. He lived a simple quiet life. A life of faith. A life of patience. A life of forgiveness and generosity. A life that overcame self and became selfless for others. A life that mattered to me. A life I will remember always and will be grateful for forever.

Remember this?

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into Springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

(from the Musical – The Sound of Music)

I have a few of my favorite things that make me feel happy on the inside and no, it doesn’t include the latest tech gadgets today. I was thinking more of the “rustic, make you feel warm and cozy” type of stuff much like patintero, kite flying and playing on swing sets make you feel.

So what are some of my favorite “comfort” things:

  1. Chocnut – who needs See’s or Godiva when you’ve got chocnut! The fat one of course.
  2. Lugaw Tokwa – I miss the authentic probinsya lugaw-tokwa with lots of browned garlic on top.
  3. Rain – not the typhoon kind or the ones that cause flash floods but I remember growing up listening to the raindrops pitter-pattering on our roof. Music to my ears.
  4. Fresh bedsheets – especially when they’re cool because of the rain in #3. 🙂
  5. Fishballs in UP – I’m not a UP grad but I remember going to UP with my roomate and just pigging out on fishballs and sago. I loooove it when my little fishball swells up with vinegar and the sweet and sour sauce. yum!
  6. Chinese garter, tumbang preso, patintero, sipa and piko – nope. no Counterstrike for me.
  7. Ice drop with munggo, keso, beans or buko – they used to make it with those metal molds.
  8. Chikam – a word coined by my little girl. It’s actually, pork adobo fat cut up into little pieces and fried till crunchy before adding rice from the night before – something I learned from my dad. Singangag to the max.
  9. DZFE FM – there’s something soothing about classical music. I love listening to the classics especially on a rainy day.
  10. My dad’s keys with his dogtags – I miss hearing the sound of the clicking of those keys with his dogtags. Once I hear those keys, I immediately know my dad’s finally home. I miss you, daddy!

So these are some of my favorite things. How about you? Care to share what your favorite things are? Just leave a comment if you do.

I had no intentions of being heroic but I literally did “stand in the gap” or was it “stand in the way” yesterday and it hurt like hell. We went to a children’s birthday party at Hotel Kimberly in Amadeo yesterday right after church and of course being a children’s birthday party, there were games… not just for the kids but for the mommies and daddies as well. The host called my name to join one of the games and I obliged. I’m normally a reluctant participant but I wanted to be a little “game” this time and so I did. It was a mini race where you had to circle a chair twice, write the word SOS with your butt and then pass on the hat to the next person. I did my part as fast as I could and as the last person turned the corner to run to the finish line I saw her body headed for a fall. Being a dancer, I instinctively recognized that her body was going to crash into the tiled floor and she was going to get hurt pretty bad. So I poised myself to catch her. Unfortunately, the force of her fall was so strong we both crashed on the floor with me hitting my tailbone so hard I was stunned and couldn’t get up. I remember something hitting my cheekbone as well so hard I was in a daze for a few seconds. The first thing that crossed my mind when I was down on the floor was “Oh no! I might not be able to dance tomorrow!” The people around us tried to carry us up. I was disoriented but walked to my seat as if nothing had happened but I felt everything as I sat down. The hubby tried to do TKM (The King’s Method) on me and it did relieve me but it made me want to close my eyes and just sleep. I was scared to fall asleep because I feared that I wouldn’t wake up. My kids were so surprised and couldn’t believe I did what I did. They had mixed feelings of anger and concern… anger at the person who crashed into me and concern for my well-being as well. That made me think hard. I needed to teach them something. They needed to know why I did what I did.

I had one of those “my life flashed before my eyes moments” and “what is the purpose of my life conversations with myself” running through my brain as I was trying to find a little relief from the waves of pain and disorientation. The hubby who’s been studying on kinesthetics and all that dance physiology blah-blah-blah assured me that my tailbone was the location of hundreds of nerves that’s why I was feeling that way and it had just gone thru trauma so it was normal for me to feel that way. I was having a spiritual moment on the other hand. LOL

These are some of the things I learned, realized and remembered all at once:

  • Standing in the gap is hard. I realized that what Jesus did on the cross was so hard compared to what I did. I had it easy. I had a thick layer of fat on my butt to cushion the fall. It still hurts the day after but compared to what Jesus did for us, this is a walk in the park. Jesus had nails thru his hands and feet. His pain was so much greater than mine.
  • Standing in the gap saves lives. I’m no savior but had I not been in her way even if I did not intentionally try to help her, she would have crashed her face into the concrete floor. Newton’s first law of inertia says “An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Jesus is the force that stops us in our tracks and saves us from crashing into whatever.
  • Standing in the gap is not faceless. I hardly knew the person who crashed into me. We saw each other just minutes before the game started. No heroics. Just instincts. Standing in the gap is also commonly interchanged with intercession. Many times I receive prayer requests for people I have never met and yet I still pray for them. Sometimes God puts people and circumstances in my heart to pray for whom I have no inkling about and yet I know it is not in vain. This has been my training hence this is my instinct.  Jesus loves us and knows us by name. We are not faceless to Him.
  • Standing in the gap is a choice. My children kept asking me after “Why did you do that, mama? I don’t like it that you got hurt…”. My kids are the sweetest kids in the world and I know they are and will always be protective of me. What I want them to know is that Jesus chose to do what He did. He died on the cross to save us from our sin, by choice. Why? Because He loves us. I can’t say I loved that person. I hardly knew her. I don’t think she realized she needed any “saving” from me. Does God love her. I’m sure He does. But what about me? I’m the one who got hurt? Doesn’t He love me? Why didn’t He spare me from the pain? This passage came to my mind:

New International Version (©1984)
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

another version says this:

Bible in Basic English
That I may have knowledge of him, and of the power of his coming back from the dead, and a part with him in his pains, becoming like him in his death;

Sometimes, it’s the painful times, the seasons of hardships and the difficult moments that yield more insight into another person’s life. These times create deeper bonds, deeper friendships that transcend time. They give us a peek into the other person’s heart and soul. We all have friends but those who share their most intimate thoughts and share their deepest pains with us are those who regard us as true friends. We end up “knowing” them beyond words. This incident has made me “know” God more and has made me appreciate and love Him more. It allowed me to peek into His heart and understand why He did what He did for all of us.  I know now that I am His friend.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Both of our kids are sick today – coughs and colds. So this necessitated a trip to our family pedia. After ds had her check up and prescriptions we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of authentic Bikol “pinangat”, crispy pork, corned beef omelette, atsarang ubod topping it all off with homemade avocado ice cream served by our gracious host Dr. Ninong as we fondly call Dr. Almelor.

Our discussion turned to anything and everything under the sun – from the endless stream of patients that kept pouring in to food and even the Katrina-Hayden-Vicki issue.  It got me to thinking later on about women’s rights and who had the real right to sue. I have not seen the video and don’t have any intentions of watching it. I have been asked twice already why I haven’t and my answer to both was a simple “no”. I have a daughter myself and I wouldn’t want her to undergo what Vicki and Katrina are going through.

Who is the real victim and who is the perpetrator? Either way, both have lost a lot already. Who’s rights have been trampled on? Most, if not all of us, know who got trampled the most. Who will win in the courts? A whole team of Mesothelioma lawyers is not enough to sway the court of public opinion. Who stands to benefit after all has been said and done?

If laws are given more teeth to protect women’s rights from being violated in whatever form, most especially in this digital age, then my daughter has a safer future ahead of her. If women will be wiser and more discerning in choosing who they will trust because of this incident then bravo to us. Hopefully, this case will not just be one of those fleeting sensational issues that are forgotten after it doesn’t make the headlines and sell the newspapers and magazines anymore… Hopefully, we won’t just watch from the sidelines and allow any woman to be treated less than how our Heavenly Father has created us… for our sakes and for the sake of all our daughters.

My kids were arguing with each other about some ridiculous nitpicky thing at breakfast today and it was getting out of hand. I sort of blew my fuse and put my foot down. I told them they had to write down 100 things to be grateful for and 100 things they were not happy about.  Halfway into it, my son told me that one whole sheet of paper was not enough to fit all that. He had written the things he was grateful for on one side and on the other, the ones he was not.

I thought it was a perfect teachable moment for him to choose how to view life. We all have our daily struggles in life, the weight of which depends relatively on how we see them. This is not to say that our struggles are negligible and the pain is not valid. I would surmise to think that it depends on how you see the big picture.

At this point, I told my son that this was what I wanted him to know. I told him that he could view life either half-empty and look at all the bad things, or he could also look at life half-full, where life is full of possibilities and hope. Even before I could finish my point he said it was just like being Squidward. I said yes. By this time he had already written down so many things to be grateful for and the argument at breakfast was a thing of the past. He had gone off to play with his sister again. Intermittently, they come back hugging me, giving me little “I love you, mom” notes and scribbles seemingly content with their little lives.

How about you, which Bikini Bottom character are you? Sponge Bob, Squidward or Patrick?

I don’t know if I’m alone in this thing but reminding my eldest son to brush his teeth is a daily tug-of-war. Although he does do it when I remind him to, he doesn’t do it well and now his teeth have a yellowish tint to it already. I inspect his teeth all the time to see if there are any food particles left near the gum and in his molars. His baby teeth have fallen out already more than a few months ago and he is sporting his “hammy look” with his two front teeth sticking out like Bugs Bunny. A regular checkup at the dentist’s office is certainly a must and I’m glad we don’t have to go all the way to a Plano Dentist in Texas just to do that. We found one in our church and the kids really like her and are not scared of her and that definitely is a good thing.

Our lifestyle is ever evolving. As a family, we are transitioning into a more fast-paced routine because dh and I have taken on new things while we increase the extra-curricular activities of our kids. Ever since they started ballet class (yes, both my kids-boy and girl) and dh started teaching in De Lasalle and College of St. Benilde this term our schedules have become so volatile. We’ve had to work around time constraints and travel time considerations just to fit all these. It’s a good thing that we are a homeschooling family so we can take our “school on the go” anytime, anywhere. I’m not quite there yet but I think we will be needing a laptop or probably a netbook especially for the kids so that it’s a bit more convenient for all of us (especially mom and dad who have to lug around those books once the little hands get tired). In fact I checked out this Sony Vaio laptop at Buy.com to see if the specs will fit our needs. Hopefully, when the budget permits we will be able to have all the resources we need to support this lifestyle.

Sony VAIO NS290J/W Notebook

Just popping in to say that we are about to have one hectic week ahead. Kids recovering from sudden cough and colds due to the erratic weather, a death in the family, visiting grandparents from Davao, visiting family relatives from Cebu, a just concluded summer dance workshop in Sta. Rosa, an unfinished article, layouts to finish, a costume to paint, a surprise party for a dear, dear person, technical dress rehearsals and a photoshoot, of course the first two-day Noah’s Ark ballet recital of my kids at the CCP no less, costumes and makeup to attend to and would you believe after 10+++ years of not dancing, I and a few of my dance ministry friends will brave a dance for a friend’s birthday…. whew, are you still breathing while reading all this?  All of that in 7 days!!! I feel like I’m riding a tiny little scooter and am about to have a head on collision with a ten-wheeler truck in the middle of the freeway! Get me an Oakland motorcycle accident lawyer, pronto!

With a gazillion more things I might forget, I know that God’s grace is sufficient for me. To my mind, I need buckets and buckets of it but it is amazing how He can quiet down your soul and order your world if you let Him. I heard someone say this long ago ” I have too much to do today, I think I need to spend more time praying.” And so I shall.

Here’s something that you might want to check out. Filipino Drummer and College of St. Benilde Scholar, Michael Gemina, is on his way to Berklee this summer. He recently got his U.S. Visa approved and is inviting everyone out there to be a fan on his website – michaelgemina.com. He is a part of the band Private Publiko and they will be launching their album pretty soon so watch out for that as well. Here’s a little something I did in support of Michael because I believe that this kid is going places. If you want to be a part of this project click on the image below to take you to Michael’s webpage. Support the Filipino Artist!

I didn’t notice the hour, but I think it’s way past my bedtime, folks. Sleep is still the best all natural acne treatment for me. I’ll catch you all later coz I don’t want my face to be zit filled in the next few days. LOL

When I woke up this morning, I found my little girl all cuddled up beside me.  A few minutes later she was exchanging arguments with her brother about a toy.  I gave instructions to cease hostilities and to stop handling the contentious toy.  My directives fell on deaf ears leading to my administration of discipline.  This is mostly a form of isometric calistenics which serves a secondary purpose of developing their physique. (Makes me wonder when parents stop worrying about this and concern themselves with acne treatments.) After a post-discipline self-pity party, my daughter proceeds to the consumption of her breakfast.  She engages me in a conversation during this meal.  It wasn’t what she said that touched me but it was her eyes.  A gaze at those innocent, trusting disks melts away any irritation, anxiety or anger I may have had previously.  This little lady trusts me!  She knows that whatever I do is for her good.  Why can’t I be like her, most of the time, when it comes to my relationship with God?  He has my best interest in mind but I only see the pain in my life.  I guess it’s time for me to see his heart just as my daughter sees mine.

Well, for good reason actually so I’m not going to hang myself for it. So what’s the good reason? Real life gets in the way of virtual reality – hahaha.

First, it was exam week last week for my homeschooled son – he had an assessment exam for his grade level at the DECS accredited school where we enrolled him. Since we use a homeschool curriculum different from DECS, I had to drill him and review him on the topics that were part of the exam but not necessarily part of our curriculum. (I’ll probably write a post about what your child needs to know at a certain grade level in the future.) So that took up most of my week – I had to make sure that “papasa sya, este, kakasa sya sa Grade Three”. LOL 

Trivia: Did you know that the DECS scope and sequence covers only 4 subjects for Grade Three?        What are these subjects?  English, Math, Science and Filipino

Next, since my kids started doing ballet twice a week, my schedule has become topsy- turvy. Why? because I lose two “virtual” days a week since I have to go with them to ballet school. Of course, ballet always wins hands down as far as I’m concerned. No contest! I will go with them wherever and whenever necessary! I am a self-confessed ballet addict! I wonder what will happen to my bloggie when they start doing everyday class in the summer? hmmmm…. aargh! I need a MBPro ASAP! Or maybe an Audemars Piguet designer watch on my wrist will do so I can I watch time slowly tick away while waiting for them in the hallway. Either way, I need to blog more so I can buy any of those two. LOL

Of course, I do all that aside from my own “rakets” online and IRL. The future is bright but it’s getting tighter and tighter as far as time constraints go.  So much to do, so little time. I know, I know (sheepish grin 😛 ), I can hear it coming. It’s all about time management. I haven’t come to that place yet where my everyday life is like going to the office – you time in and you time out. Same thing, day in and day out. Life is more volatile with kids, you know – the sneezies, the dirty tights and leotards, the unpredictables and all that jazz. I’m trying though. I have a dream… (I’m not MLK, but I have a dream, too, you know).

Anyhoo, sa mga ka-LP ko, babawi na lang ako neks wik pag maliwanag na ang panahon. 🙂 So that’s it, pansit! I might be able to squeeze a few more posts within the week and not be a “baaaad blogger”.

Adios, amigos! Hasta maniana! (spelled as pronounced – can’t find the enye right now hahaha)

I had a wonderful mommy moment with my son tonight. He’s slowly growing up into a fine young man and I’m so happy to say that I’ve witnessed up to this very moment every step of his journey. I’ve been there from day one and will continue to be there until the homerun. I am not a perfect mom, I’ve had my bad hair days and my “alto soprano” moments and many times I question myself whether I “get in the way” of what God wants for my children. I used to think that I was a patient person, tolerant and not easy to anger – I thought too highly of myself and my journey as a mom for more than nine years has truly  convinced me that I am not. 🙂  But by the grace of God I have learned to move according to the measure of grace that He gives me in each and every circumstance.

Why was tonight special? Well, perhaps it’s because I was able to reach my son’s heart and help him to understand that life’s obstacles are not hindrances but God’s way of forging character and fortitude into our souls. I am reminded of a blacksmith pounding away at a red hot piece of metal on a heavy anvil and how each time the mallet hits the hot metal, it slowly transforms it into the shape that he envisioned the metal to be. I saw this in my son tonight – (btw, he’s only nine years old). God was the blacksmith, my son was the metal and I was the heavy mallet that became the dreaded instrument of torment, er I mean transformation.

At first, it was a struggle of the wills – him succumbing to self-pity and condemnation and I, the imperialistic queen dispensing the law upon him. But I am no queen… I am his mother and I saw that divine opportunity to speak into his life. To lift him up from where he was wallowing and impart destiny into his soul. What joy it was to see him step out of his self-centered world and into an awareness of the world around him where his greater destiny lies.  It was a priceless moment. I don’t want to forget it – hence this post. 

Sometimes the pain of discipline (not necessarily physical) can blur the lines of love and acceptance and distort it into separation and rejection. When that distortion happens, the one who delivers the discipline may be perceived as unloving and uncaring. I believe as a parent, one needs to address those doubts immediately and reassure the child that it is the behavior that is being corrected and not the person being rejected. What do you give a child who misbehaves? Give them a “sandwich”! Yup, a “sandwich”. You give them the “big fat juicy discipline” between two buns of praise and acceptance. A word of encouragement right before the correction and a word of acceptance right after the correction. A sandwich, right? 

Well, my sandwiches aren’t perfect all the time but I try to arrest those “self-pity party” moments when I sense them rising up in my children. I always assure them that my love for them is unconditional and is never based on how “good” they are. That is not to say that they will not be corrected when they misbehave.  But good or bad behavior is not the criterion for my love for them. I hope that when they grow older there will come a time that they will see that side of the picture as well.

I love them dearly and I thank God that they have made my life so much richer in every way imaginable. I will be forever grateful to God and to them for giving me a chance to know and experience the reality that children are indeed precious, priceless gifts from above.