Elijah turns 8!

Happy Birthday, Elijah!

Elijah turned 8 today. It may not seem too old if you have a teenager, but for a mom like myself who still has young kids, 8 seems so grown up! When Edric and I went shopping for his birthday gift yesterday, I kind of wasn’t sure what “cool” toy to get an 8 year old.

I was looking at playdough, board games, science kits and Edric said, “What?! Are you serious? Playdough? He’s not a little kid anymore. And he already has too many science kits and things that keep him indoors. I’m going to get him Nerf guns so we can run around and play together.” I objected for a bit, but then I realized Elijah will like whatever Edric gets him so I relaxed. Sure enough, as soon as he opened the Nerf guns, the boys all started shooting each other. It looked pretty fun, so I joined in, too!

Elijah doesn’t realize it but he gave me a gift on his birthday. When Elijah woke up this morning and saw me setting up balloons, the first thing he said was, “I’m going to get my Bible and read it.” I didn’t say, “Elijah, you need to put God first on your birthday, so get your Bible and read it before we do anything else.” He took the initiative to start his special day out with his quiet time. Afterward, he said, “Mom, can you help me summarize what I read so I can write it down in my journal?”

Elijah reading his Bible

This made my day because I realized that Elijah is becoming a young man with his own convictions about faith. His example encouraged me to write him a personal letter. Edric wanted to do this, too. We both decided that we would start a family tradition of giving meaningful letters to our children on their birthdays.

Part 1 - My letter to Elijah

Part 2 - My letter to Elijah

Part 3 - My letter to Elijah

We had a lot of fun with Elijah today – breakfast together to pray, read letters, and open presents, then off we went to Time Zone and lunch at High Street with his cousins, and in the afternoon, we all took a road trip to Cavite. But, the most memorable moment for me as a mom was seeing him on the couch holding his Bible and reading it.

I thought back to the time when we first shared the gospel to him as a three year old. This marked the beginning of his faith journey. And since then, it has been the Lord working in his heart, helping him to mature and gain wisdom. Watching him put God first this morning was a beautiful reminder of the verse that says, “He who began a good work in you will complete it” (Philippians 1:6).

Praise God it is He who will complete the work in the lives of our children! I don’t have to be worried or panic about whether they will turn out okay. I certainly need to do my part by making sure that my children understand the gospel and learn about who God is. But, I don’t have to force them to love God. That desire will come from the Lord as he works in their hearts. Their personal relationship with him will develop personal conviction.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing, Joy! I am amazed at how he has grown. God is indeed awesome! I see the Lord using him to expand his kingdom. You and Edric are such great parents. I am blessed by you guys!

  2. Joy T Mendoza says:

    Thanks Pria! It’s God’s grace! Love you!

  3. 8 already?! I still remember you and Edric bringing him to our home when my Alexa turned 1! Elijah was a tiny newborn. You and sioti Edric are raising him up well. 🙂

  4. Michelle Ang says:

    Your blog is such a blessing to me. I am just curios as you said here that when Elijah was 3yrs old, you shared the gospel to him. Can you share it to me how? Thank You.

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Hi Michelle! It probably went something like this…we talked to him about God’s plan, how he created man to have fellowship with him (Adam and Eve in the garden), but Adam and Eve disobeyed God and chose not to follow God. Our fellowship with God was broken. (We talked about how children disobey their parents and how that affects a relationship between child and parent) And then we explained how God loves us so much that he wanted to make a way for man to still have fellowship with him and be together with him. But because he is completely good and we are sinners, we needed someone to pay for our sins. We needed a Savior because we couldn’t pay for our sins on our own. Then we shared about how Jesus, God’s son, came to earth to die for sins to take our place. God says if you believe in his son that you will be saved and you will be with him in heaven someday. That’s the meaning of eternal life — Jesus’ life for ours. We can be with God forever. When we believe in Jesus, we express this belief by asking him to come into our heart and making him our Lord and Savior. We say sorry for the wrong things that we have done and decide to obey and follow God. And God gives us the power to live a life that is pleasing to him. He helps us to obey our parents, to make the right decisions. He gives us peace so we don’t have to be afraid…

      And then we asked him, “Do you want Jesus to come into your heart?” In Elijah’s case, he understood the gospel pretty clearly and was willing to make this decision and pray with us. With one of my sons, he needed more convincing about heaven and what it would be like someday. 🙂

      Of course, we would continue to reinforce their decision by asking them questions like, “Where is Jesus?” “In my heart,” they would say. Or, “If we obey, we make Jesus happy.” And we live out Christianity in the home so that our children understand that following Jesus affects everything you do and everything you are. There should not be any dichotomy between faith and life.

      If you have any other questions, let me know. 🙂

      • Michelle Ang says:

        Thank you for your immediate reply. I will try this. Please continue blogging. I am so blessed on how you & Edric train your child for God’s glory. Keep it up. God bless

  5. Hi, Joy.

    I just started reading your blog and it really uplifts my heart. This is such a blessing to me and I am truly enjoying reading them. I have a daughter who is 10 and a son who is 5. They both enjoy going to Sunday School at CCF and I actually feel happy about it and I thank God because you and Edric are my inspiration. I feel so blessed that God lead me to your website. I really needed this. God Bless you and your wonderful family.

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