Sunday, March 31, 2019

Count it All Joy - We're Growing

March 31, 2019bl
Sunday, 8:02 PM

Today was an exciting day at HSK 9 AM service. We doubled the number of kids in our Pre-K room! That was first time for me leading the room for the said service. We normally just have 8 to 9 kids, but this morning was different. We had 18 total!

I had a reservation on having a lot of kids in one room. I usually thought of how noisy and chaotic it will be. But by the grace of God, everything went so smooth and well today. We were able to follow through the story they learned today at Bible story time. I heard two of our kids shared to their parents what they learned in the story today, and that was a WIN! I was able to lead the room well with the help of my junior leaders (who happen to be my daughters) and a new volunteer shadowing me today.  Her presence was perfect timing! I definitely needed another adult with me in that room. She did such a great job. I love how she engaged herself with the kids which is a must for a HSK leader. She is very excited and looked forward to the next time she volunteers.

I believe that as the number of our kids grow in the ministry, God will also grow the number of volunteers. I love interacting with kids. I especially love it when I get to have a one on one with a kid, just giving all my undivided attention. I wish I could do it often, but with our growing number, this will be a little challenge for me. However, even if I cannot give them my whole hour for just one kid, I can divide my time and get to know each one more. Can't believe I memorize all their names 😁

God is good and He always provides what I need.

On the other hand, I am so proud of E and F for stepping up today in the room. Both of them kept the kids busy with games while waiting for parent pickups. We are raising leaders!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Count it All Joy - Exhausted But Joyful

March 30, 2019bl
Saturday, 8:18 PM

Well, I forgot to write an entry last night. I was totally beat.

I volunteered to chaperone my 1st grader's field trip and it was a blast! My F was the happiest and excited because it's her fantasy land—the land of dinosaurs! She was mesmerized with all the gigantic, robotic dinosaurs that she saw at Pangaea. She never failed to raise her hand to answer a question from the tour guide who gave everybody fun facts about dinosaurs. She's a dinosaur fanatic and therefore knows a lot about dinosaurs! Mama beamed with pride as she answered questions (with funny hand gestures).

We had two other kids from her class and one was her best friend named Malcolm. He too loves dinosaurs like F. It's cute how they grabbed the same dinosaur plush at the gift shop without even talking to each other. They liked the same stuff!

Today was another great day. Both of the girls had their karate belt testing. They are now red belters! Yay! We're halfway to black belt! E is always on top of her karate class. F needs a little more focus and is really good at it when she does.

'Twas another busy afternoon. Ryan and I cleaned our front yard, moving the rocks to get rid of dead leaves piling underneath. We don't really work together a lot when it comes to this kind of activity. I am quite glad he went out and started raking. Our front yard looks cleaner and neat! And yes, we're both sore and very tired. Right now, I just want to jump on the bed and snore to my content.

I guess the girls are sleeping with me tonight on the big bed. They get to sleep with me once a week. Tonight is the night. I love it when the girls sleep with me. That feeling of having them wrapped in each of my arm feels so homey and relaxing. I normally wake up sore on both of my arms because of staying in the same position as I went to bed 😂

As I am typing this, I can still hear the girls talking. They're supposed to be asleep by now. Oh well.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." - James 1:2-5

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Count it All Joy - Busy Day

March 28, 2019
Wednesday, 9:33 PM

It was a busy day today. Lots of house cleaning, projects, and online listings (and still have a lot to list). 

Ryan suggested that we will just get Rudy's for dinner (yay, I didn't have to cook) when I told him that the dinner menu that was scheduled for today was eaten last night 😁 So we dropped by at Rudy's after karate class and brought the food home. 

I'm getting stuff ready for Felicia's field trip tomorrow. She is so excited about this field trip because it's a place where there are lots of dinosaurs. She told me which of the kids from her class belongs to our group. I heard that there's a lot of parents who volunteered. I cannot wait to see her HUGE 😁 when we get there. It's one of the beautiful sights I love to behold. I just want to freeze those moments. Thankfully we have cameras that can do it for me. I can actually freeze the moment with this awesome technology.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." - James 1:2-5

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Count it All Joy - That Wiggly Tooth

March 27, 2019
Wednesday, 10:01 PM

So many emotions and tears shed tonight all because of one small tooth. We spent more than an hour trying to convince Felicia to pull out her wiggly tooth. I volunteered to pull it out using a string and tears started rolling down. So many explanations on her side and ours (parents). 

As a parent, it hurts to see your child emotionally and physically struggling because of the fear of pain. She kept begging us that she will pull it out herself. But days had gone by. We gave her a chance, but until now, it's not done. We're quite frustrated trying to find ways to convince her. I'm frustrated by how we dealt with it.

Felicia is very sensitive to pain. Little owies need band-aids. She has a very low tolerance to anything that causes physical discomfort.

Evie tried to help calm her sister down. She's very concerned about her. It melted my heart when she held her little sister's hands, asked her to close her eyes and calm down. She described to Felicia a dinosaur scene with candies and other fun stuff. Felicia smiled. Felicia laughed. They hugged.

That tiny wiggly tooth won tonight. It was very late when she went to bed. We decided to let go again. Her eyes were red. She's exhausted from crying and burdened emotions. We calmed her down and made sure that she knew she is so loved despite what happened.  "Tomorrow is a new day," she said. "I will wiggle my tooth again." I asked her Daddy to stay in their room until she's asleep. She needed it. My poor baby. It breaks my heart witnessing all that she went through. It's hard, but as parents, we need to do what we need to.

A hug of assurance from the big sister.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." - James 1:2-5

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Count it All Joy - The Girl in My Mind

March 26, 2019
Tuesday, 10:04 PM

Beautiful day. My most favorite part of the day was spending time with my husband just talking about different things, mostly personal, church,  friends, life, and the book I am currently studying. We were talking about different kinds of tests (personality, IQ, SQ, EQ) and he hates personality test. I told him about the book that I'm using and how the author said that these kinds of test puts an individual in box. I mentioned to him about the Unique Qualitative Profile (UQ Model) that she developed and how the first few questions and my answers to the UQ made me very emotional.

I just found out that he doesn't create pictures in his mind. When he thinks about something, what he sees are words, not pictures. It's quite surprising to me. Oh my, the things I still don't know about my husband, and how it feels good to discover new mysteries about him. He said that he doesn't know how it works when he draws. I asked if he has pictures in his mind when he draws and cannot answer about it. So I asked him if he can draw what I saw of myself to answer UQ's question #3. I told him to draw it on the notebook I am using for the study. This is what he drew:

I am not able to type continually the things I wanted to say here because every now and then we stop what we're doing and talk (we're at the kitchen table right now, he's reading a John Maxwell's book). I am trying to finish this up.

I still have a lot to say, but it is getting late. Brief description about other things:

  1. I got a notification from Facebook of a video of Felicia when she was two years old. She's so cute and chubby, playing mud, using it like play dough. I thank FB for these memories. Being reminded of how my girls were like years ago is nostalgic.

  2. So proud of my Evie for doing the right thing at school today. She told me about an incident that happened in their music class where some kids in her class just threw carelessly the books that they used instead of putting them on where they're supposed to be. She and her best friend picked up the books and returned them to where the teacher asked them to return. That's my awesome girl!
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." - James 1:2-5

Monday, March 25, 2019

Count it All Joy - Just Like Eeyore

March 25, 2019
Monday, 9:55 PM

How was my day had been? My body is exhausted. My back aches. I feel sleepy. Today is one of those days that feels normal. Like nothing spectacular happened. But if I close my eyes and try to replay what happened throughout my day, I see happy faces. I see beautiful smiles. I see tight hugs. I see frustration.  I see laughter. I see a pat on my back coupled with proud words, "That's my girl!" 

Today I was thinking about Adam and Eve. Did it ever cross your mind what kind of animal God killed to use its skin to cover His precious children from nakedness? Straight away I thought, it must be a lamb. I wonder why of all animals God chose a lamb? Is it because it looks so cute and innocent? My reasoning is so shallow, so human. God's reason is so much more than that. The symbol of a lamb plays a significant role in the story of salvation. It something that I need to dig deeper in a study if I want to find out why.

Meanwhile, Felicia after tucked in by their Dad to sleep came out minutes later and complained that her cow plush has a hole on the back. Last night while taking out laundry from the washer, I found a fuzzy thing that looked familiar. A cow's tail. She finally figured out that her cow was missing a tail. She laughed like crazy after we told her what happened last night. She thought it was silly. Her Daddy said her cow is like Eeyore who lost his tail.

I sewed it back on and tomorrow when she wakes up, she will be delighted that her cow has its tail, back. 😍

Just like Eeyore who lost his tail.

All better!

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." - James 1:2-5

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Count it All Joy - Welcome Back Home

March 24, 2019
Sunday, 10:08 PM

Highlights of the Day

  1. Today was a great day. After three weeks of not being able to attend church service, I was finally back. I had been struggling spiritually lately. Church service plays a very important role in my spiritual life. There is something powerful inside the building, surrounded by church family, singing my heart out at worship, listen to the teaching, and much more. The church atmosphere is very contagious. It gives me the sense of peace and joy deep within my soul. Seeing beautiful smiles, shaking hands and saying hello, hearing praise reports, lifting up my voice to heaven for prayer requests from church members, seeing familiar faces—they are food to my soul. It feels so good to be back home.

    Moreover, I was so grateful to see a friend who I have not seen in a while. I am happy to know what is going on with her life, and I am hoping I will see her every Sunday.
  2. Felicia asked me several times today if I can play with her. I was working something for my online store and told her to wait a little bit. I like it when she bugs me about playing with her. I need a reminder for it. I normally don't play with them. I normally don't ask them with my own accord if they want to play with me. I don't know why. I am not intentional about it. Makes me feel guilty as their Mom. This is one area that I need more grace of.

    We ended up playing after dinner in their bedroom with her Ate. It's funny that she named two of her dinosaurs after our pastors 😂. I took videos of them. We laughed so much, until it was almost time for bed and I asked her about her wiggly tooth. I wanted to pull it out. Explained to her about my concerns and she just cried and cried. She's so scared about getting hurt. She even asked me to pray over her about it. That poor baby, her tears were racing after another without stopping. Her Daddy and I talked to her and made sure that her heart was at peace before she went to bed. New day tomorrow, something needs to be done.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." - James 1:2-5

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Count it All Joy - Be Yourself

March 23, 2019
Friday, 10:27 PM

Hubby's location: couch, watching Hillsong Channel and at the same time looking at his Kindle. Multi-tasking mode.

Well, I'm tired. I went to bed at 1 in the morning last night. Today was a busy day. We went to Goodwill (it's half price day, yay!) and got home with a big haul. Later in the afternoon, I went back (it's about a mile from us) and got more stuff. I love Goodwill! I love thrift stores! I mostly look for vintage items to resell and some to keep.

Highlights of the Day

  1. My daughter Felicia taught me a lesson today. While we were grocery shopping at Walmart, we passed by the socks isle. I asked if she needed socks (I guess she does that's why I asked) and I got a positive answer. First stop was the boy's section. Immediately, I noticed the Jurassic dinosaurs theme socks. I showed it to her because she is crazy abot dinosaurs. Of course, she liked it! But the colors didn't look girly to me (they're an assortment of dark green and black). So, I suggested we'll go and check the girl's section. She's dismayed that it didn't have dinosaurs. I suggested some pretty looking ones but she told me she's not really into them. I told her that the dinosaur colors are boy colors. Lo and behold she said something that taught me a lesson. "Mommy, there's no such thing as a boy color and a girl color. Everyone can choose what color they want." I felt like a big splash of cold water hit my face. Honestly? She was totally right! I am so proud of her for speaking out her mind. I am so proud of the kind of wisdom she has that I don't. I immediately validated her opinion of the issue because I realized that what she said was true.

    The world that we live in labels everything which limits us to become the best version of ourselves. Most of the time, we listen to the voice of the world because we don't want to miss out anything that the world is crazy about. We crave for that feeling of belongingness, of being "in," that we lose the uniqueness of our individuality.

    I am quite grateful to learn a new lesson today. Thanks to my Felicia.
  2. It's crazy to watch my Evie turning into a little lady. Today she wore a maxi dress that accentuated her beauty. I kept calling her my "pretty little lady." She blushed. I think she loved my compliments. Later she got annoyed because of the compliment's repetition, so I took a break—yet did it again.
    I wish I can slow down the time so she doesn't grow up so fast. Yet time is all I have with her. I pray for grace to take advantage of what I have now for one day,  my once lttle girl is already a grown-up.

  3. Evie and Fi played with the kids in our neighborhood today. I am delighted that they finally have new friends around where we live. I hope that their friendship continues to flourish as days and years go by.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." - James 1:2-5

Friday, March 22, 2019

Count it All Joy - New Beginning

March 22, 2019
Friday, 10:26 PM

Day 1 for this "new thing." Honestly, I am a little hesitant and doubtful if I will be able to live up to doing this consistently. The uncertainty is from past experiences. But you know what? I will not let my past stop me from moving forward. I may succeed or I may fail. What's important is, I keep trying until I get there. I keep standing up even if I fell down too many times.

So let's start.

My husband is on the couch looking at his Kindle. I am not sure if he's just browsing social media or actually reading a book. But I love the fact that he is close to me. That's all I need right now. 

Highlights of the Day

  1. I yelled at my daughter this morning. I got mad. I hate yelling to any of the precious people in the house. It's so draining—physically, emotionally, spiritually. It's been a while since the last time I acted irrationally. I was not happy, she was not happy. I hurt her feelings. I tore her innocent heart. I apologized, we reconciled, and there were tears.

    As I spent the time to analyze what happened, I realized that before issues between us escalated, I already had unresolved issues juggling in my mind. I was in a state of urgency to finish several tasks before they leave for school. When her attitude and my stressed brain collided, it blew up. It was a disaster. However, the grace of God was bigger than my failure. His love healed our broken hearts.
  2. My husband was so excited to share the news to me this morning that the online sign-up/RSVP for the Junior Leaders Kickoff Party is finally up and running! He spent days and nights for this event. I am very proud of him. I am so happy that he found the passion to lead the elementary kids in our church to become junior leaders and serve the kids' ministry. This is the first time I've seen him so passionate about something. He read a lot of books, watches and listens to leadership talks online. He is digging deep into this cause. Revival is going on!
  3. Felicia was very happy to tell me this morning (while both of us were laying on the big bed) that her not-so-wiggly tooth is getting more wiggly! What great news! We encouraged her to wiggle her tooth more because her adult tooth already popped out. And yes, it's behind the wiggly tooth.
  4. Felicia really wanted to have a huge metal brachiosaur figure as a gift on her birthday. While on our way to karate class, we passed by a place that makes enormous metal figures of animals. She saw dinosaurs including her favorite brachiosaur and told me, "Mama, what if you will give me the brachiosaur on my birthday? I really want to ride on it." She said it with so much enthusiasm and innocence. I love her imaginative mind.
  5. My two girls had a great time playing together with dinosaurs in the living room while I was doing my business stuff. Such a joy to hear and see my girls enjoying each other's company. I am more appreciative of Evie for playing with her sister, knowing that it's Felicia who is really into dinosaurs.
  6. I celebrate myself for successfully starting this journey. God is awesome! God is good! I think I need wine. Cheers to me! 🍷 😊
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." - James 1:2-5

Count it All Joy - Every Day Highlights

I will start a new journey by carrying out this plan in mind for a few days now. I realized that I just let the memories of my everyday existence slip to nothingness. I become too familiar with the daily routine that I treated it "normal," "ordinary." But when I really think about it and set aside a time to engage my thoughts in reflecting how my day had been, each day is actually "very special," "miraculous," "out of this world" kind of day. I came into a realization that each day is unique, no day is the same. My eyes were blinded by this truth before. The good news is, it's never too late to start anew. While the breath of God comes in and out of me, there is hope.

I will call this everyday highlights as "Count it all joy." I will be writing down a summary of my day's highlights in this blog. I will not go into very detailed description unless needed. I may also share my reflections. Doing this will help me develop my meditation life. I just learned that deep thinking is healthy for the brain. I believe that this endeavor will also deepen and hone my heart to be more grateful in every circumstance. This will also help me appreciate the "miracles" of everyday life, be it with family, friends, or strangers.

"Count it all joy" is taken from the book of James 1:2-5 which says, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

I used the aforementioned verse as the title for various reasons. No matter how my day went, good or bad, I will count everything in it, joy. Every day is a trial that I have to face. One day will be beautiful, another day will be ugly. I believe that as I take time to think through and record the highlights of my day, even on the worst day, I will find joy in it. Not because of the circumstance or the event that happened, but because of the assurance that God was (and is) with me in every tidbit of the happenings. 

It is my hope and prayer that I will be committed and consistent to do this every day. It's a scary notion. I have this tendency to start something and lose it along the way. Please pray for me in this journey because there will be times my flesh will not cooperate with the Spirit.