Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Archive for the ‘Young Child Writer’ Category

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. (Proverbs 10:4 NIV)

We read a book entitled, “Unang Unngoy” (“The First Monkey”). It’s a local legend about how a fairy tried to teach a little girl how to be useful; mainly to make a dress from the most basic material — cotton blossoms. Once the lazy girl realized how tedious the process is, she threw away the cotton blossoms saying she’d rather not wear dresses than spend so much energy and effort to make one. This made the fairy very angry and she punished the girl by turning her into the first monkey.

While the concept of fairies and magic and certainly punishment by turning a kid into a monkey is obviously not a good thing — there is always a moral lesson that can be picked up from such children’s books.

So after we read the book, I carefully explained how God hates witchcraft and that God show us that instead of immediate punishment, Jesus modeled patient training, gentle correction, forgiveness and grace.

Then I thought we could follow the said process and make our own “How to” book from it.

So here it is:

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My Memory Book

My Memory Book

One of the great things about the BJU (Bob Jones University Press) Beginnings for K5 curriculum offered by VCIS Homestudy is the use of a “My Memory Book.” It’s basically a ring binder that holds the collection of her experience stories and the like from her lessons in class. It has been a great way to encourage her to reflect on different things and write about them. Here are some of her more recent work (from 3rd Quarter lessons):

A couple of my favorites is the one about animals in Alaska. She colored her polar bear brown. But look at her lovely eyes! 🙂

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Another one she made after the lesson on “Mountain Treasures” and how the people panned for gold in Denver, Colorado.

BJU Activity: Panning for Gold (using brown rice as sand and pasta shells as gold nuggets)

BJU Activity: Panning for Gold (using brown rice as sand and pasta shells as gold nuggets)

The writing activity was about what she would do with the money if ever she found a lot of gold. Her answer made my mommy heart very proud. I hope God keep her heart always willing do His will and someday allow her to fulfill this dream. She specifically wants to build a building for our home church “Prince of Peace” in the Philippines because we are currently using the school’s open-air multi-purpose hall. She hopes it will have walls and she asked me to make a “No Parking” sign because the current place is also being used as a parking area.

Little church-builder

Little church-builder

We’ve grown quite fond of this particular activity and we’ve been asking her to write experience stories about other things that happen in her life. We went to a family trip to a mall where they have moving dinosaur displays.

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Afterwards, we watched “The Land Before Time,” and I used the story to tell her how we are all also in a journey like the 5 little dino friends, with our “great valley” being “heaven.” We need to listen to the Holy Spirit that Jesus placed inside our hearts when we believed in Him, just as Littlefoot had to listen to his mother’s voice in his heart, because it tells us the right way or the “good way.” As we travel, there will be “Sarah’s” who will try to lead us astray, and many of our friends might follow her because her way seems easy, but in the end, it leads to danger. If we follow the voice in our hearts and stay on the right way even when it’s hard, then eventually, we will also reach the “great valley” which is our home in heaven with Jesus. Together, we came up with this prayer to help us remember our experience and this wonderful story.

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Truly, this “My Memory Book” has been a great way to remember all things that make us praise God!

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

Nehemiah 8:8, 12 NIV

8 “They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.”

12 “Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.”
The reading of God’s Word brings about the fruit of joy when its meaning is made clear; God has given certain people in the church such as pastors and teachers the gift of exhortation so that the Scriptures may be explained and others may understand. Diligent study, prayer and meditation play a big part for those called to preach, and careful attention and an open and teachable heart a must for those who listen. But in all this, true knowledge and understanding — along with the wisdom on how to use what is learned — comes from the Holy Spirit.

BJU Bible Class scroll craft

BJU Bible Class scroll craft

We are blessed because we have the Word of God as a lamp to our feet and a light on our path (Psalm 119:105), but how can it be so if people complicate it and make doctrines and teachings that make it hard to understand? Let us therefore allow God’s Word to be what He intended it to be — a bright star that guides our way as we move away from the darkness of this world and into His glorious light!

As I grow in God’s grace each day, I’ve found that the best way for the Bible to be understood is to make it practical. Use every opportunity and circumstance to reflect and apply bible verses and allow it do its work in our lives. We try to learn and memorize scripture but it will only get to really shine its light on us when we find ourselves in a situation where we are able to actually apply it.

Learning God's Word thru crafts and coloring pages

Learning God’s Word thru crafts and coloring pages (BJU Bible Class crafts and Kids Church activities)

In our case, it could be as simple as going on what we initially assumed to be an uneventful and fairly short car trip to claim the iPhone5 that my husband won for me from a facebook contest (Yey! It’s really free! What a wonderful gift!) But, as all good trips go, we got lost. For three hours we drove through the night trying to find the office where to claim the phone. At first we were fine, singing along with really nice acoustic versions of Hillsong praise and worship music, but eventually, our nearly 1-year-and-a-half-old Sam started to get bored and so did 5-year-old Ate Allyra. So it became a lesson in patience and creativity, because we all tried to keep our cool while inventing a million and a half ways to keep the kids busy in the car. We also used the opportunity to teach about prayer, and since we were lost, the most logical bible story that came to mind was the parable of the lost sheep. I asked my daughter whom she thought would be able to find the lost sheep, which at that time meant US, and without hesitation, she replied, “The Good Shepherd!” So she led us in prayer and it went something like this:

“Father God, our Good Shepherd, please help us to be found and protect us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

Simple, right? But it was truly heartwarming to hear our little one pray so innocently, and trusting our Father God, our Good Shepherd, so fully.

Indeed, there are so many spiritual applications to the parable of the lost sheep; it has been preached and taught in so many ways, but I believe that for our family, that particular “Word of God” became most “alive” for us that day. And of course, God is truly faithful, we eventually got found, claimed our free gift and went home.

As I love to claim and exclaim, “God is good, ALL THE TIME!” Be blessed!

Writing and Experience story

Writing and Experience story

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11

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This budding young little writer of mine (my 4-year-old Allyra) loves to make “mini-bibles.” The text on the cover page is actually read as “Bible,” and on the inside it says, “God so loves us for made so beautiful.” (Please excuse the spelling-she’s learning phonics and I’m sure she’ll learn to spell later.) She decorated the cover with colorful things to show how “it is beautiful.”

As we end 2012, it is a good idea to reflect on all the good (and not so good) stuff that has happened in the past year. And as we look forward to 2013, may we know and experience more of God’s love and hold on to the truth that whatever sort of circumstances may come our way, truly God makes everything beautiful in His time.

Have a blessed 2013 everyone!!!

It’s finally Christmas day in our side of the world. While the kids and hubby are fast asleep, I type away the thoughts that come to my head.

What for you is the true meaning of Christmas?

We’ve watched several movies and cartoons about the birth of Jesus (the “Beginner’s Bible” cartoons on the birth and life of Christ, “The Visual Bible” series and “Veggietales”, to name a few). We’ve done the usual Christmas arts and crafts like this angel craft from her lessons from BJU.

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We’ve made greeting cards.

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We studied the events leading to that most glorious day in the manger in the little town of Bethlehem in our Sunday school.

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My hubby and daughter even got to be part of a Christmas play in our church (my baby girl is the pretty little angel in the middle).

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Of course, there was the usual gift-giving and feasting and merry-making. Our Christmas eve was spent with our church family eating good food and enjoying the fellowship with one another.

After all the celebration is done, we go home and my I tell my kid to paint whatever she wants to show me what Christmas is for her. She goes to work and presents me and her dad with this:

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Puzzled, I ask her what she meant by “God is daed for born.”

She explained that Jesus died, was in the cave 3 days and 3 nights, and then was alive again. (An “Aaaaah! Okaaay!” moment). She may have gotten her spelling a little mixed up (“daed” for “died”) and her choice of words not very clear (“born” meaning “resurrected”), but as I reflected on this, it dawned on me that my 4 1/2 year old daughter actually bull’s-eyed the true meaning of Christmas. Hallelujah!

For indeed today, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but that birth would not have served its purpose unless Christ died and lived again. For we are saved not by His coming as a little infant but by His sacrifice on the cross to redeem us from sin and open the way for us to be reconciled to the Father.

I thank the Lord for touching my little girl’s heart with this message and for reminding me of this truth as well.

Happy happy birthday dear Jesus! Thank You for coming to save us! May we always remember that even during Christmas, the message of the cross is as alive as ever. To You be all the glory and praise!

Xmas 2012 greeting fb

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We’ve all been asked the question, “What would you like to be when you grow up?” I’ve asked my little girl that quite a few times in the past, but she was always too young to know. This week, we’ve been studying about authors and illustrators and how these wonderful people put together the story books she loves to read. And when I popped the question again, just out of the blue, she joyfully exclaimed, “I want to be a writer!”

I think if ever this little girl of mine ever becomes a successful writer, then I would be most proud. I remember back in the day when we were given creative writting assignments in school (both in highschool and college), that I greatly admired (and yeah, envied a bit) certain classmates who wrote these amazing stories and essays. I used to wonder how come I couldn’t write as good as they did, no matter how hard I worked on my own writing. I used to photocopy their work and read and reread them because they were about as good as the stuff I also loved to read in the school library.

In any case, I intend to encourage my little one to pursue this dream as far as the Lord will let her take it. We all wish our kids would grow up to be successful in whatever field they choose, but I’ve also known for a long time that it’s not about what WE WANT, but it’s all about what HE PLANNED.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

I’ve read somewhere that success is not about planning something and asking God to bless that plan, but TRUE SUCCESS is in seeking God’s plan and walking in it for it is already surely blessed.

One of the reasons we decided to homeschool is because I don’t see my children as growing up to be employees in the future. Our current “traditional” school system generally trains them up to be that — a well-trained group of future job-seekers, many of whom will end up as employees that are used to an 8-5 schedule and sitting on a desk doing their assigned task. I simply can’t see my children as something like that, and don’t get me wrong; I don’t look down on employees. I was raised by one (althought my folks eventually went into business full-time), and my amazing husband is a great employee (in my humble opinion). I just believe in my heart God has something else for my children. What it is, I do not know. Of course, I could be wrong; God may actually have worked out something different for them — like they may start out as employees — which is why we are using a DepEd approved homestudy system from VCIS. We’re making sure our kids learn what they have to as per our country’s educational standards. Only time will tell what God really has planned for our beautiful children.

In the meantime, we continue to pray for them and “train them up the way they should go (Prov. 22:6),” guiding them to discover their God-given talents and gifts and teaching them to use all these for the glory of God.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31