Do You Have What It Takes?

I am not incredibly smart. I am not an expert in all subject matter that I teach my kids, but I made a commitment when I said yes to homeschooling. And it is this commitment that gets me up each day to keep parenting and teaching my kids.

Whatever fears parents may have about ability, it is not the biggest challenge of homeschooling. The hardest thing to do is to stay immovable, steadfast, resolute.

When Edric and I made the decision to homeschool our kids, there wasn’t any other option we preferred over it. We were dead-set on teaching them ourselves because of Deuteronomy 6:5-7. And we gave ourselves no exit. Indefinitely…until God says so.

My greatest hurdle so far has not been the actual teaching. My greatest obstacle is often ME. But when my commitment starts to wane, I hold on to a vision, a beautiful hope.

I look forward to the day when I can present my children before the Lord — grown men and women, who are 100% in love with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Men and women who are fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives and making a positive difference in the world, for the glory of God.

When I fixate on this purpose, it’s like getting my gas tank refueled with the motivation I need to press on. And my source of strength is not my own will or drive. As 1 Corinthians 15:57 and 58 says, “but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”

I love this passage. It reminds me that Jesus has given me the capacity to homeschool victoriously. Because of finished work at calvary, he conquered sin, death, limitations, human failure. His victory makes me able. I just need to wake up and be willing to homeschool one more day, one more week, month, year.

When I had my fourth child, I had the craziest homeschool schedule. It had to revolve around breast feeding, my exhaustion, and the demands of a baby. But I gave it what I could. I did not give myself excuses. And somehow, in spite of my great inadequacies and the many distractions that interfered with my daily routines, my second son learned to read, and my eldest scored in the 98th percentile on his achievement test. I am sharing these academic progresses because it matters to those who worry about the “school” part of homeschooling. In reality, however, it is the spiritual maturity of my kids that matters more to me.

But their academic progress represented God’s faithfulness. It was his personal encouragement to me. When I saw the results of my son’s assessment, I cried. It was God’s personal encouragement to me. If I could have put it into words, it felt like he was saying, “You keep homeschooling, just stay faithful, and I will be faithful. Keep nurturing your children spiritually. You do your part and I will do mine.”

God has not failed to fill in where I miss out, to remedy my errors, realign my perspective, recharge my battery, or take over when I have reached my limits.

Homeschooling, for me, is a testimony of the “in spite of.” My kids are turning out okay (so far and by God’s grace), in spite of me. I just do what is required. COMMITMENT. Duty not drama, faithfulness not feelings, resolution not revolution. Just do it.

My confidence is this — If I am homeschooling because of God’s call, through him and for him, then I can surrender that vision and beautiful hope of my children to him. He asks for faithfulness but he is the most faithful. His faithfulness is completely dependable and trustworthy. Like his word says, “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NASB)

Afternoon Delight

Thanks to one of Edric’s college friends, we spend the afternoon in Serendra. I am not a sales person for Ayala Land, buy wowza! I could be. They make the best amenities for their home owners. Serendra is one of those places that feels like another world. With its gardens, open spaces, children’s playgrounds, sports facilities and spectacular pools, it’s like an oasis in the city. The kids and their cousins couldn’t get enough of the “obstacle course” playground area. I was happy to see them love being outdoors all afternoon.

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Popsicle Stick Puppets

This morning, I taught the kids how to make Popsicle puppets. We used cut out pieces of colored paper, pasted on goodly eyes and drew smiles, made pipe cleaner curly ears, and stuck everything together with double sided tape and voila! The kids had a blast with their cousins making up stories and putting on a show for me. I was thoroughly entertained! It was definitely a fun way to teach communication and language skills. 20120428-201540.jpg

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K to 12 Basic Education System

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This is what basic education is going to look like for Filipinos. Instead of calling Grades 6,7,8 Junior High, the Philippines will have Grades 7,8,9,10 as Junior High and Grades 11 and 12 as Senior High School.

Kindergarten is a mandatory requirement for children entering Grade 1 this year.

For homeschoolers enrolled with an umbrella program or accredited organization, the transition to the new system will be managed by the program or organization they are connected with, Independent homeschoolers who are not enrolled with an accredited organization, will still have to take validation or placement tests with the Department of Education if they plan to transfer their students to an accredited school or homeschool.

As an independent homeschooler, how do I know if my child needs the PVT or PEPT?

If you keep records of your child’s schooling and follow the prescribed grade levels of DepEd, you can ask for a PVT. PVTs are give to students who are NOT connected with DepEd accredited institutions. “PVTs are intended to validate learnings acquired by those who enrolled in elementary/secondary schools without permit; those who dropped out of school by force of circumstances before the school year ends; and those who studied in non-graded school.” (Source:NETRC)

For example, if your child is entering Grade 5 and has “home made” report cards and portfolios to prove that he finished his previous levels, you can request for a PVT to validate his previous levels. This PVT will then serve as an official report card to enter accredited schools or homeschools.

How do you get a PVT?

PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS (c/o Edric Mendoza)

1. Prepare documents for submission to DepEd-NCR (Behind SM North Edsa)

• A letter of request for a validation test or placement test signed by requesting parent.

• A photocopy of birth certificate (better if NSO certified copy, bring along original just in case)

• A photocopy of previous report cards (bring along original just in case)

• Bring several back-up photocopies just in case

• Addressed to Regional Director

Contact info:

Mr. Rizalino Jose T. Rosales
Officer-in-Charge
Office of the Director, NCR
928-0104; 921-4274
453-8374 fax

2. Submit documents to Record Division for stamping and sign acknowledgement book

• Docs in item 1

• DepEd-NCR, Window personnel, Record Division

3. Submit stamped documents to corresponding division: elementary or high school, then wait for endorsement letter from Director Domalanta (for testing validation)

• Docs in item 2

• DepEd-NCR, official rep, Elementary or High School Division office

4. Prepare documents for submission to DepEd’s NETRC (located in former ULTRA)

• A certification letter addressed to Mrs. Domfelia Pagatpatan, Senior Education Program Specialist, NETRC, prepared by parent-teacher that contains:

• materials used in each grade level

• number of years child was homeschooled and the respective grade levels

• Evidences of homeschool activity of previous year/s, well-filed and aesthetically acceptable (the more the better):

• Workbooks used

• Quizzes, long tests, quarterly tests done

• Report cards

• Art works

• Other material to show that substantial work was done

5. Submit documents to Mrs. Domfelia Pagatpatan and await comments/feedback for final testing date (note: date may not be given on same day as submission; must be parent-teacher who submits)

• Docs in item 3 and 4

DepEd NETRC – 2/F Mabini Bldg., Meralco Ave., Corner St. Paul Road, Pasig City

Test Administration Division
Presently, this position is vacant
Chief, Test Administration Division
tad-netrc@deped.gov.ph
631-2571
631-2571

Test Development Division
Aurora F. Fernandez
Chief, Test Development Division
tdd-netrc@deped.gov.ph
6312589

Notes:

Subjects of validation tests are Science, English, Math, Filipino, and Araling Panlipunan (for Grade 1 & 2, no Science)
Filipino and Araling Panlipunan are given in Filipino (Tagalog), all else are in English
To pass validation level, child cannot fail 2 or more subjects; passing mark is 75%
Cost of PVT is P100 per level per child
Results of PVT are given about 1 month after, depending on discretion of DepEd NETRC (so pls ask to clarify)

Special thanks to Cathy Borja for organizing this list on her blog. :)

Most independent homeschoolers will take the PVT, but in some cases where parents have not tracked their child’s levels, have no evidence of work done, and have no idea what grade level he should be in, they may opt for the PEPT. The PEPT places students in the formal school system, accrediting and validating knowledge and skills acquired over the years. The requirements for the PEPT are: birth certificate, two 1 x 1 photos, and transcript of record of the LAST grade/year level passed.

Stress-free Homeschooling

I never wanted to be the kind of mom that loses her temper or sounds irritable around her children. In fact, I did not even think I had it in me. Having grown up with an extremely patient mom and an emotionally steady father sort of made me believe I would genetically end up the same way. However, this has been far from true. There have been times when I have expressed irritation toward my kids and God showed me that there is absolutely nothing good in me. None of us can inherit being controlled by the Holy Spirit by osmosis. It is a conscious choice and effort that we must make every single day – walking by the Spirit.

But it is not just about walking by the Spirit. We all need to come up with a game plan for the responsibilities and roles we have to juggle. Each of our circumstances warrants a different “tactical” approach to managing stress. For example, one mother’s stress of homeschooling and meeting the demands of a part-time job is unlike the stress of a mother who is homeschooling a high school student and has forgotten everything she used to know about physics and advanced mathematics!  In my case, it is the stress of raising four young children, homeschooling, , discipling a group of ladies, giving seminars and talks, ministry activities, running the household, and most importantly, being a helpmate to my husband.

Even though each of our situations as moms may be unique, I’m sure you can all relate to the fact that we have a long list of responsibilities and roles that we cannot run away from fulfilling. And when all these responsibilities and roles collide at the same time, it can be overwhelming, to say the least! This is when emotions start to heighten and if we are not careful, we can turn into our very human selves – the kind of moms that are stressed out and stressing everyone else out

But here is the good news.  Just as stress can be triggered by our surroundings, the pressures, and the burdens we have to bear, stress can also be avoided. While I am not an expert at stress management by any measure, having four kids has necessitated the need for me to come up with tactical measures so that I can be a better mom, better wife, and better servant of the Lord. I believe that one of the Devil’s strategies is to make us feel like we are a slave to our personalities, that we cannot change, that our circumstances are really too much to bear. But I also believe that God does not want us to live a defeatist life. He wants us to experience the abundant life as he says in John 10:10.

I would like to share with you simple stress avoidance tactics that have worked for me and hopefully, you can take what applies to your situation and make it work for you, too.

Tip # 1:  As often as possible, sleep early and wake up early. If you find yourself rushing into the activities of the day, give yourself some extra time every morning by waking up earlier. But the key is to sleep early so you are well rested. My doctor friend suggested no later than 11 PM because your body repairs itself between that time and 2 AM. Also, studies show that sleeping well keeps you from gaining weight! Do you know that you will die sooner without sleep than without food? You can’t go 10 days without sleeping!

Tip # 2: Re-charge your battery.  Personally, I get recharged by alone time. Even though this may not seem possible with so many children, it is! I have a little strategy for this. After breakfast (which ends by 8 AM), the kids shower, brush their teeth, and play together. They know that by 9 AM we start homeschooling. So before then, I go to my room and have alone time to read my Bible, take a nice shower, read or write. Sometimes, I even get to take a short nap! Since the kids are busy playing, reading their Bibles or practicing violin, I don’t need to entertain them.  This time allows me to charge up my battery for the day. In the afternoons, I also encourage my kids to nap. Two of them are past the napping age, but it can’t hurt to let them get at least an hour of quiet and rest. Besides, I treasure my afternoon peace!

Re-charging your battery is about doing activities that energize you. Some moms need to be with other moms. Others need their cup of coffee, the parlor, or some shopping once in a while. Whatever it is, make time for activities that you enjoy doing (as long as they aren’t excessive or immoral!). Homeschool moms don’t have to be haggard-looking or 10 years old than their age!

Of course the best way to re-charge is to rest in God’s presence. If you have time to, please read A Life of Rest, A Life of No Limits and Psalm 27.

Tip # 3: Get fit and fabulous with your husband and kids. In the past, pregnancy and breastfeeding gave me excuses to give myself “treats.” But these treats did not contribute anything good to my life. In fact, before I started exercising again, I had 33% body fat!  Even though I didn’t gain a lot of weight during my pregnancy, all the junk happily became fatty tissue in my body. Ugh! Yuck!

Edric and I finally got into an exercise routine. We would run three times a week. We still do this. Honestly, I don’t like running, but Edric motivates me because he is so disciplined about it. And I have seen the benefits of exercise. My mind is clearer. My energy levels are higher. I also have greater self-discipline.

The apostle Paul saw the connection between physical fitness and spiritual fitness. Physical discipline helped him to stay spiritually focused and faithful.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Family fitness is easier to do when there is like-mindedness and accountability between you and your spouse. Imagine a household where one spouse wants to eat all the lechon, chicharon, chocolate, spam and where the other one wants to be organic and vegetarian. (And, no, we aren’t vegetarian. We are somewhere in between!) It just won’t work.  So decide on a fitness routine and meal plan that you can do together as a family. And please don’t tempt yourself by buying junk food and sweets for the kids. If it’s in the house, it’s too accessible!

Tip # 4: Train your kids to be self-directed and independent learners. It helps alot that my two older sons are reading well. My second is still on his way to becoming an excellent reader, but I don’t have to mirco-manage him all the time. They both have pretty good comprehension, too. Because of this, I can assign them tasks and they can do quite a bit of work on their own.

Raising children who love reading begins with us, as parents. Reading with your kids, letting them see you reading, and making reading fun are ways to get your kids on the path to reading on their own. Of course, using a solid phonics program for pre-schoolers helps alot, too.

Tip # 5: Don’t be pushy. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t encourage hard work in our kids, but as an example, I won’t force Elijah to write a paragraph or story on a day when he has already done a lot of writing for other subjects. Why? I don’t want to kill the joy of learning in my kids. That is a higher value for me than finishing an assignment. Besides, he can write the paragraph later in the afternoon or the next day. Homeschooling gives us a lot of time to make up work that isn’t finished. That’s one of the things I love about it. And I absolutely refuse to be hostage to the daily lesson plan dictated by a curriculum. As homeschooling moms, we can set the end goals and make adjustments to the process. However, as a safeguard measure, interact and dialogue with your kids alot to find out if they are retaining information they learn. Can they answer your questions and formulate judgments and conclusions about what they are learning? This is important.

Tip # 6: Make homeschooling a lifestyle. A whole lot of learning happens when my kids are playing together, interacting with each other and others, exploring, inventing, reading independently, practicing music and piano, exercising, and accompanying us on trips, errands and various activities. Instruction time is about 2 to 3 hours, but learning doesn’t have to start and end during that period of the day. Class periods have programmed us to believe that education happens inside a classroom. But education can have so much more depth and dimension to it. Once a parent understands that homeschooling is a lifestyle of learning (and that children are learning all the time), the academic pressure eases.

I remember an occasion when our sons were watching a performance of students on stage. We were seated on the balcony and could see all the little heads bobbing up and down as the children danced and sang. Our kindergarten-aged, Edan, said, “There are 67 people on the stage.” I turned to look at my husband, Edric, for two reasons. One, I was surprised that Edan bothered to count everyone. And two, I was hoping Edric would verify if his counting was accurate. Well, it was. This pleasantly surprised me. This was math applied to real life. Do we do alot of counting drills at home? Not really. But we do play a lot of board games that require him to count and add up his points.

Tip # 7: Smile and laugh often. This may sound like silly advice, but it has helped me to be positive with my own kids. Learning should be fun! If I can’t smile or laugh while teaching, then something is wrong. I’m too uptight, not spirit-filled, or too focused on my goals. I am not enjoying the process. And if I am not enjoying the process, how can I possibly expect my kids to either?

Tip # 8: Be purposeful. When I was younger, I would easily say yes to speaking engagements and ministry activities. I would also take on projects thoughtlessly. It wasn’t until I attended a talk by Wayne Cordeiro that I learned the principle of the 5%. 95% of the things we do, others can do. Meaning, these are not my priorities. But there is the 5% that only I can do. Growing spiritually, being a wife, a mom, homeschooling, discipling the ladies I meet with, homemaking…These are part of my 5%. No one else can do these things for me. Everything else is second in importance.

Matthew 25 is a good reminder that we are all given a stewardship. God has not entrusted to us everything, but he has entrusted to us certain things. He expects us be faithful with these certain things. To Joy Mendoza he has entrusted the role of a wife, motherhood, homeschooling, and the mentoring of other women.

14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

   19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

   22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

When people ask me questions like, “Can you speak for this event. It’s for single ladies and the topic is relationships?”, it’s much easier for me to say, “I’m sorry. Thank you for considering me but I cannot commit to speak for your event.” Before, I would feel pressured to say yes. And then I realized, wait a second! There are so many women out there who can speak on this topic, who have more time to prepare for it and who can do a better job than I can! Saying no to opportunities or activities that are not part of my 5% has helped me to say yes to God’s calling and purpose for my life and devote my energies to the right priorities. Furthermore, Edric helps me determine what’s important. I channel schedule decisions through him so I get his input and seal of approval.

I am not only accountable for my preoccupations, I am also accountable my time. As much as possible, I refrain from scheduling appointments or doing errands before 12 Noon. Weekday mornings are devoted to homeschooling. It’s my job. When I make compromises with my morning schedule, the homeschooling work piles up for me and the kids. This can get stressful. But if I safeguard my weekday mornings, the kids and I are able to finish our goals by the end of the year.

Maybe you have a stress-buster idea or tactic that has worked for you. I would love to hear about it or include it in this list of tips. Let’s find stress-free solutions together! :)

Writing with Tears

I have often heard other moms talk about how difficult it is to get their sons interested in writing. Well, now I am one of them. My 9 year old, Elijah, is an incredibly intelligent boy but writing is his least favorite activity.

Last Friday was one of those days when he resisted an assignment I gave him. He was asked to write a short story using the vocabulary words he learned and he was visibly upset about it. Sigh. In my heart, I was wrestling with my own rising irritation. I watched him bury his face in his hands, yank at his nose a zillion times, and then stare at nothing. We sat like this for about twenty minutes and he wrote zero sentences.

One of the amazing things about homeschooling, however, is that it is a character education for me, too. So I prayed and committed not to lose my temper. And I didn’t, but he heard me say that I was frustrated. (Oops)

He started tearing and said, “I feel bad because you are mad at me.”

I replied, “I am not angry or mad.”

“But you said you were frustrated.”

“I did say that and I am sorry. I was frustrated, but our relationship is more important to me than your writing assignment.”

To reassure him, I gave him a big hug and held him for a while. Yet, the teacher mom in me knew that Elijah had to learn to write. I couldn’t let him remain negative towards this skill. It was an important ability that he needed to develop. And while I believe in allowing children to learn at their own pace, I also believe that they can be lovingly encouraged and challenged to do hard things.

It wasn’t just about doing a writing activity, it was about overcoming self-doubt and self-imposed limitations and negativity. I knew that Elijah could write and that I wasn’t asking him to do something beyond his capacity. But I was asking him to do something that wasn’t comfortable or easy for him. The question was, what strategy would work to motivate him?

God gave me an idea…

I continued our dialogue, “I need to ask you something. Do you think there is anything you can improve on? Do you think your heart is right?”

He shook his head to mean, “No.”

“What do you think is wrong?” He admitted that he didn’t like writing and didn’t want to do it.

“Do you think it’s okay that you have this attitude toward writing?”

He shook his head again. Another, “No.”

At this point in our conversation, I knew that he recognized his aversion to writing. He knew it was not good or right.

When I saw him soften up a little, I said, “Okay, I want you to repeat after me…”

I don’t like writing but I will try my best for Jesus. I asked me to say this several times until it became somewhat comical and he started to smile. There is my Elijah! I thought to myself. Breakthrough.

It was my opportunity to try again.

“How about we do this. Choose 10 of the vocabulary words to use in a story and you can write about a topic that you like. You can also use my computer to do it.”

“Can I choose my own font?” He asked.

“Yes.”

Prior to this, his assignment was to write a story using about 20 words and he had to use them in the order they were dictated. This was stressful for him. But when I changed the mechanics of the assignment and gave him enough space to be creative, he was excited. I also said, “Afterwards, you can play the educational game about countries on my IPad.”

“Thank you, mom! This is more motivating.”

Praise God!

I left him to work on the computer and when I came back, he composed a wonderful piece. Mission accomplished!

Here is a copy of what he wrote: (Re-printed with permission from Elijah)

One day there was a commotion outside the house. There was a booth that allowed you to get free plane tickets that let you go on an expedition anywhere in the world! There was a long line when I looked out the window. There were about 150 people waiting to get tickets! A few days later we got tickets and we chose this place called Adventure Islands.

Once we got there, we first went into the subterranean cave. The next day we reached one of the precipices. We climbed up to the top, and I saw an eyrie below us and an ingenious invention flying above us. We also went to one of the mystery places. I was flummoxed by how the place looked. Soon we saw some menacing, dark rain clouds overhead. We settled in an uncanny place and it was a bit eerie for a while, but soon we fell asleep.

The next day it was time to go home. Three days later we got home. I looked out of the window and saw that the booth was gone. But soon we might go on another adventure…..

After I read what Elijah wrote, I immediately said, “This is fantastic, son. You are such a good writer!” He was quite happy with this encouragement. And I meant it. He was able to use difficult vocabulary in the right context. For a 9 year old who seemed mentally constipated an hour earlier, I was very pleased with his output.

This experience was a confirmation that academic goals are achievable even if I don’t follow the cookie-cutter approach to teaching. I customized my son’s learning experience. And customization is a key benefit of homeschooling.

The reality is that a teacher educating thirty kids will not be able to customize assignments for each of the children she teaches. Yet many times customization is exactly what a child needs to be engaged and motivated to learn. When children are engaged and motivated they do not need to be coerced or pleaded with to learn or try their best. In contrast, when they are uninspired, getting them to do their work feels like pulling teeth…teeth that won’t come out!

Therefore, my challenge as a homeschool mom is not getting my children to do their work but inspiring them to do their best and to love learning. It requires me to adjust (which is not always easy or comfortable or me) and it requires a whole lot of prayer for grace, wisdom, and patience, but the results are worth it!

We’ve got more writing assignments to deal with this coming week, but I am looking forward to how God will move in the heart of my son and help us get through these challenges. :)

The Listening Learner

Do you have a child that easily retains and remembers information that she or he hears? If so, you’ve got an auditory learner. These kinds of learners will enjoy dialoguing with you about their lesson and listening to you read a story or hearing you read about a topic.  My oldest son, Elijah, is very much an auditory learner. He is a listening learner, which is great because I can dictate, read, or talk with him and he can process that information.

The downside is that if he is in a room trying to work and his siblings are noisy, he has a very hard time concentrating. (The other downside for me, but upside for him is that he remembers everything I say…a whole lot better than I do!)

I find creative ways to accommodate his learning style. One way is to isolate him in a room with me so he can think when he has to do math or writing assignments. This helps him stay focused and engaged. Otherwise, he wants to be a part of every conversation and activity that he hears about.When it comes to his lessons, particularly Science, Local Civics, and History, I read aloud to him and ask him questions as I go along.

While it is pretty easy to teach him, the challenge is that I have four kids. And if I were to read aloud to all of my kids every single day, I would run out of saliva. Seriously. I read The Chronicles of Narnia to Elijah when he was five and my mouth would get parched. He would run to the kitchen and get me a glass of water so I could keep going, but it was tiring!

I was happy to discover some years back that many audio books of children’s literature and classics have been made by ingenious people. Not all books can be downloaded or played online, but once in awhile you discover a gem of a site with free audio books and it makes your day!

This evening we listened to the Velveteen Rabbit on Light Up Your Brain. This site has a few stories in MP3 format so they play on any audio device and of course, they are free. Kids can listen to each story and visit the story’s page, where they can read along.

For other audio book sites you can check out the following: (Please be aware that some of these sites have books for adults only)

Books Should Be Free

Lit 2 Go Adventure Genre

Audio Books for Free – Fiction Classics

Gutenberg: The Audio Books Project

 

Best Job in the World

A homeschool mom, Abi Lasquety Ruelo, shared this link with me on my Facebook page and I couldn’t help but repost it here. It is a beautiful video of moms doing the best job in the world — being a mom!

Praise God for moms! Praise God for you!

Best Job in the World

First Kiss

Introducing Joel and Carolyn Pedro

I wish I had a professional camera to take photos at my sister’s wedding to share with you all. But I had to rely on my Iphone and Facebook to get photos of the event. (Will wait for the wedding photographer’s selections and share them when I can.)

It was an amazing wedding, which I believe really brought glory to God above all. My sister, Carolyn, and her husband, Joel, had never kissed until the wedding ceremony. They had tried their best to stay pure and not get physical before marriage and I want to applaud them for this choice. (Edric and I weren’t as self-controlled!)

The day after her honeymoon (the first night), she and Joel dropped by my parents’ house to pick up some things and say hello to everyone. What brave souls they were to enter into the dinning room with family members ready to pounce on them with a million questions about their first night together! But we were kind enough. I wasn’t super kind. I pulled my little sister aside and grilled her (in a gentle way, ofcourse). She said, “I’m so glad I waited. It was worth it.”

That’s all I needed to hear. And I’m writing this to encourage parents to be guardians of their children’s purity. We cannot control what they do when they are older, but while they are young and innocent, entrusted into our loving care, we can make a big difference in this aspect of their lives.

My parents discouraged us from dating or having boyfriends early. Unfortunately, I got a boyfriend in high school because my parents were more lenient with me. I went through a personal crisis when I was fifteen and my parents thought it was important that they give me more leeway. Looking back, I wish they could have been more strict about me and dating, but God has since worked all things out for the good. I do know one thing…My parents prayed for each of our future spouses ever since we were little children. And they told us what kind of spouse to look for way before we were ever interested in the opposite sex. (I call this preventive medicine. It becomes very difficult when we wait until they are emotionally involved with the wrong person to tell them that they should look for someone else or that they should get out of the relationship.)

Candy and Carolyn, my two sisters, did not have boyfriends in high school or college. They had guys who were interested in them and who pursued them, but they did not get into any sort of committed relationship with anyone. What helped alot was that my sisters were always busy playing sports, studying, learning music, being involved in ministry, spending time with the family, hanging out with friends etc. There was really no time for casual dating. Boys were friends but there was no need to get serious with any of them. Furthermore, we were very “tight” as a family and my siblings and I were very secure in our relationships with one another and with our parents. In short, there really was no desire for them to get boyfriends because their emotional needs were also met at home.

Naturally then, there was less temptation for sexual immorality. And the longer they did not date, the more they valued their purity and the more they realized that being single had amazing benefits. It wasn’t until they were both out of college and working that they were open to the possibility of getting to know guys more seriously. But even then, it wasn’t really a priority. Instead of making themselves “available,” they focused on maximizing their single state.

My sister, Candy, was married four years ago. But, Carolyn, had no prospects in sight. She met a lot of great Christian men who were wonderful. But none of them quite captured her heart. She never felt like any of them was the “one.” It wasn’t until my dad and my brother, Paul, got into the picture that Carolyn’s heart became open to Joel. She had never really gotten to know Joel as a friend because they only saw each other at Dgroup (or Bible study) meetings. When Paul asked Joel to consider Carolyn as a potential life partner, Joel was shocked. Here was my brother offering Carolyn as an option. Since Paul was discipling and mentoring Joel at the time, Joel considered it, even if he felt like Carolyn was not interested in him. He prayed about it.

In the meantime, my dad also spoke to Carolyn. He asked her to consider Joel. Carolyn was resistant at first but decided to pray about it and obey. With Carolyn’s heart now open to the possibility of getting to know Joel more seriously, and Joel open to the possibility that Carolyn could be a potential life-partner, they started to hang out as friends. And they connected on so many levels.

As family members, we watched their romance unfold like a storybook. I saw the hand of the Lord on their relationship. Joel hung out with our family often and Carolyn hung out with his family, too.  Every family member had some sort of involvement in their relationship, but by far the most valuable contribution was parental. My parents, as well as Joel’s, advised and guided both of them. Finally, Joel and Carolyn came to the point of recognition — that it was God who brought them together and intended that they should also marry. Soon after Joel asked Carolyn to be his girlfriend, he proposed marriage. By this time, Carolyn had truly fallen in love with him and opened her heart to him.

When I saw my sister walk down the aisle last Sunday, I was in awe of God’s faithfulness in her life. She is a woman who walked with the Lord and listened carefully to his leading. She obeyed my parents and trusted in their wisdom and insight about Joel. And because of this, she walked down the aisle to be wed to the man that God hand-picked for her — the first man she ever kissed or ever loved.

But I was most blessed by the tone and feel of the wedding. Joel and Carolyn wanted Jesus to be the central figure in every part of their wedding, and he was. The verse that God brought to my mind was this:

“…And in your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

Psalm 139:16

I pray that God will be the one to write the love stories of our children, too!

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Celebrating Our God-Given Chromosomes

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“Mommy and Tiana are…” I used to say this when Tiana started talking and she would finish off the statement with the word, “girls!” And eventually I also taught her that her dad and brothers were “boys.” I don’t know if it meant much to her, but I wanted her to understand that physically, she and I are different from the men in our home. I used to do a simple thing with my sons, too. Whenever we would enter a mall and there was a line for the men and a line for the women, I would tell them, “Boys, you are on that side.” Furthermore, Edric has “Boy’s Time” with our sons so they identify with one another and with Edric.

Some time ago, my oldest son, Elijah, asked me this question, “Mom, how come that boy behaves like a girl?” It was the first time I was confronted with the reality that our children will observe gender distortions and will need explanations from us. In response to his question, I said something like this, “When God made people, he made man and woman, but people who do not understand or follow God’s design want to be something different. So some boys try to be like girls and some girls try to be like boys. But that is not God’s design and it is wrong.” I also explained to him that we are not to look down on or reject people who are like this because Jesus loves them, but we must hate what is sinful.

After reading the article, 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters, I was even more convinced that the most natural way for children to learn how to be men or women is in the home, in the context of family, with a mom and dad who follow God’s principles for marriage and parenting.

What are some practical ways we can celebrate and encourage what it means to be a man or woman in our children?

1. Identify differences and complement masculine or feminine behavior. For example, when my sons open the door for me or help me carry things, I tell them, “Wow, you are such gentlemen! I really like it when you take care of me.” When Tiana wears a dress, it is my sons who instinctively say, “You look so pretty!” (They never seem to do this when she is wearing shorts. But they totally notice billowy dresses or ribbons in the hair!)

2. Remind our children that God created both man and woman to be equally important. He died for all sinners — men and women — and loves us all. At the same time, emphasize that roles were created for harmony and collaboration to accomplish God’s purpose and will. During seminars that Edric and I give to engaged or newly married couples, we often say, “You can’t have a point guard playing post or a post playing point guard. Each player was designed to compliment the other and to work as a team. And the team works best when players are fulfilling the role they were designed to.”

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; (Ephesians 5:22-28 NASB)

3. Kids need to know that their parents have a healthy, loving relationship and enjoy being with one another. Our kids may still feel sad when we go on date nights without them, but they know that this is our special time as husband and wife.Very recently, Elijah said to me, “Mom, I know that Dad loves you very much.” I smiled and asked, “Really? How do you know that?” His answer was, “He takes care of you, he tells you he loves you, he hugs and kisses you, you go out on date nights.” If children see their parents loving one another, doesn’t it seem logical to assume that they would desire the same kind of relationship in the future?

4. Protect children from the wrong kinds of media influences. We are very careful about the shows and movies we watch with the kids. If there are portrayals of homosexuality, emasculated males, or women who “wear the pants” in a marriage, we avoid watching these things or we have discussions with our children about what they saw (especially if it was accidental). Edric and I used to like the Glee series because of the musicality. But after the first season, we discerned that it is not a good show. It blatantly promotes homosexuality and all sorts of immorality under the pretense that “this is the real world.” I used to enjoy watching America’s Next Top Model, but I stopped after my sons started watching with me.

5. There has to be purposeful mentoring for boys, affirmation of their masculinity, and support for them as they transition to manhood. Similarly, there needs to be purposeful mentoring for girls, affirmation of their femininity, and support for them as they transition to womanhood. I am grateful to my mom who taught me to cook, bake, sew, do the laundry, clean, take care of a home, do the groceries, plan menus, manage househelp, deal with my menstrual cycle, relate to boys, and stay physically fit. She prepared me for womanhood and helped me to mature as a woman. More importantly, both my parents taught me what it means to be secure in the Lord, to anchor my identity in Christ.

6. Stay close. I mean this physically and relationally. When children feel unconditionally loved and have their emotional needs met by their parents, they are less dependent on others to affirm who they are as a man or woman. And they don’t need to go around trying to be something they are not to get the attention they lack at home. And when you are physically close (meaning, you are with them often), you can detect behaviors or perspectives that need to be corrected. For example, one of our boys started dancing one time and it looked like he was gyrating his hips. Edric took him aside and talked to him about this. He asked him where he learned how to dance like that and he showed him how boys should move instead. Our son corrected his “dance moves.”

7. Use the home as a training ground for male and female roles. We ask our sons to take care of their sister and watch out for her. This feeds on their naturally protective instincts. We also give them opportunities to lead, to be accountable, and demonstrate problem-solving skills to help family members. This affirms their masculinity. When the younger boys have a problem with the computer or need assistance when putting together a toy or learning how a toy works, I ask Elijah to help them. I tell him, “Hon, you are good at that kind of thing, can you help them?” And he willingly does it. He feels a sense of gratification when he can come to the aid of others.

8. Teach children to be aware of strangers or people who can abuse or hurt them. We tell our kids, “Don’t let anyone touch your private parts. If they do, tell mommy and daddy. If they scare you and tell you that they will hurt you if you tell us, you should still tell mommy and daddy. Mommy and daddy will protect you.” We also tell them not to play with their privates. (It’s a little more challenging with little boys because they tend to do this without malice when they stop wearing diapers.) But eventually, they get that it is not appropriate to hold their crotch in public or to play with their penis. We don’t ever embarrass our boys, we just explain to them (the older ones) that the feelings they have when they do touch themselves are reserved for marriage. (Edric will soon have a more serious talk with our older son.)

9. Be the first resource for sex. Sex is beautiful when it is understood and experienced in the context of a relationship between husband and wife. The amount of immorality and sensuality that our children will be exposed to is going to get worse. They need to understand that there is nothing wrong with sex, but the context is wrong if it is outside of marriage. They are not to awaken passions or appetites before they are ready for marriage.

Generations of Virtue says that we are “not to awaken romance” in our children until they are ready for marriage (especially for girls). When it comes to boys, we need to protect them from pornography and visually stimulating images that can incite sexual arousal. Edric and I know men who encountered pornography as little children (below the age of 8). Some years ago, I explained to my older sons that if they ever see nudity on the computer or on TV, they should run away from it. They have to guard their eyes because they aren’t supposed to see pictures of naked people. We are very careful about the internet and too much TV or media in our home because of the amount of sensuality and romance that they may be exposed to (besides violence and other undesirable things).

A distortion of God’s design for sex leads to perversion. Sadly, I found out that many youth experiment with same sex relationships because they are bored or because it is the “in thing.” One young lady that my mom was counseling said this, “In our school, it is more special when a girl is attracted to you.”

(So there’s another good reason to homeschool! Children are protected from crazy ideas like that! :))

10.Most of all, teach them that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for them. There are certain unchangeables in our lives and gender is one of them. If you are a boy, then the most fulfilling life for you is to become the man that God wants you to be. If you are a girl, then the most fulfilling life for you is to become the woman that God wants you to be. God is not a cruel person who will ask you to be something he did not design or create you to be. What is cruel is people mutating themselves to change their gender!

Psalm 139

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Let us cultivate healthy, God-centered families and homes where husbands and wives fulfill their God-given roles; where we exemplify and celebrate what is masculine and feminine; and where we protect our children from wordly views and influences that distort God’s design and purpose for them.

The Chromosome Crisis

In an age where social “engineers” are trying to push for the idea that gender is changeable; that there are many genders; and that gender is a matter of personal preference, there is a need, more than ever before, to celebrate who God designed us to be for the sake of the generation we are raising and the future of humanity.

Sweden, which prides itself in its support of gender neutrality, recently added a gender-neutral pronoun to their National Encyclopedia. It’s the word, “hen.” In gender-neutral schools, they don’t call children girls or boys, but “buddies.” Sweden has also published its first gender-neutral children’s book, Kivi och Monsterhund”. Their intention is to allow children to be “freed” from gender stereotypes.

When I first read about the Egalia pre-school in Sweden last July 2011, I was deeply disturbed. I don’t hate liberals or “free” thinkers, but I do believe that morality and truth are not relative and that absolute truth exists. We are free to choose what to believe in, but not free to escape the consequences of our choices.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

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I don’t share this because I think that my perspective is superior. I am a nobody. But I believe in what the Bible says because Jesus Christ died and rose again. Therefore what he says in his word is valid, correct, and proven. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my time writing about the things I do in this blog.)

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One of the important truths that we need to teach our children is that God created two genders, male and female. And these genders are distinct, unique, equally important, and necessary.

Genesis 1:27 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

God made and makes no mistakes. I have seen, first-hand, that men and women who accept and celebrate their manhood and womanhood as God design them to be are the most liberated and free to enjoy his plan and purpose for their lives. In contrast, I have observed that those who refuse and deny their God-given gender, have greater struggles with self-esteem, confusion, depression, and relationship problems. As a mother of three boys and a girl, I also know that my sons and my daughter behave in distinctly masculine and feminine ways.

But these statements may seem subjective and baseless to people who want facts and figures. And so I decided to create a more convincing case for gender. My desire is to help parents understand that it is our responsibility to teach our children to be the man or woman that God so lovingly created them to be.

I came across a fantastic read called 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters. I have copied down the reasons and salient points here because it is a lengthy article, but please take time to click on the link above and read the entire article. It is complete, informative, and eye-opening. It will also help you and I to better understand why gender is necessary for the healthy development of a person and the proper functioning of a society. These are not my ideas and this article was written from an academic and scientific perspective, but these points validate what the Bible says about God’s design.

1. Gender uniqueness and complementarity means that each gender has a unique contribution to work, society and interpersonal communication that cannot be filled by the other gender in its entirety.

“Men and women bring unique and complementary skills,abilities, gifts and talents to relationships, to work, to society, and to one another. There is overwhelming medical, social, and psychological evidence affirming the naturalness and critical importance of traditional sex roles. These unique contributions are most evident in the family unit.

2. Acknowledging gender differences helps children learn more effectively.

“Major differences start to occur early in children’s development. Studies have found that one-day-old baby girls look longer at a a picture of a human face, whereas boys look longer at objects. Day-old female infants cry longer than male infants when they heart the sound of other crying infants. These difference are found throughout a child’s life. Girls like cooperation more than boys do, and like competition less. They care about playmates’ feelings and they can read others’ emotions better than boys. Girls like one-on-one relationships, and they say sweet, affirming things to friends and put their arms around them. they bond through confiding talk. Girls play house, and their pretend play involves more cooperative role playing. Boys are more self-centered; for example, they have a harder time learning to share, and they act up more and are less likely to be team players in schools. Boys develop strong passions for particular things, the passions seem to arise out of nowhere, and they change through time. A boy may be unable to get enough of cars, trucks or tractors, then of dinosaurs, then music, then computers.” Therefore, it is necessary to acknowledge that boys and girls learn differently and to teach them with these differences in mind.

3. Men and women are happier and healthier when they acknowledge and celebrate their respective gender differences.

“Congenital malformations are sometimes referred to by the gender feminists. But they are comparatively rare, and they do not prove there are more than two sexes and do not prove that heterosexuality is not natural any more than the fact that some babies are born blind proves that it isn’t natural for human beings to see. Biological sex is not determined by external organs alone but by genetic structure. Every cell of the human body is clearly marked male or female, and the human brain, which is the primary sex organ, is masculinised or feminized in the foetal stage of development by the presence or absence of testosterone.”

4. The masculine gender is an essential ingredient for fatherhood, and children raised by a committed father do much better in life.

“Research is quite clear that children need a loving father to protect, defend and guide them. Children growing up without fathers experience numerous problems, including: an increased risk of being involved in crime and criminal activities; a greater likelihood of involvement in illicit drug use, alcohol consumption and tobacco use; a greater chance of committing suicide; a greater likelihood of developing mental health problems; an increased risk of sexual promiscuity and other sexual problems, including, gender confusion issues; an increased risk of becoming a victim of child sexual abuse; and a greater chance of growing up poor or in poverty.”

5. The feminine gender is an essential ingredient of motherhood, and children do better in life with an involved and committed mother.

“It is only women who can bear and breastfeed babies, and their role as nurturers and carers is clearly found throughout history and all human societies. Dr. John Bowlby, in two definitive books, Maternal Care and Mental Health and Attachment and Loss, described the harmful effects on babies and young children of being deprived of maternal care.”

6. Marriage is the best way for men and women to enjoy gender complementarity.

Firstly, men and women are anatomically designed for physical union resulting in the “generation of new life.” Furthermore, men and women “have areas of specialization due to the differences in their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual gifts, which when brought together, complete each other and make for a harmonious richness in their relationship, and in the home they create, by mutual cooperation, thus providing the best balance between the protection needed and nurture required to raise children.”

7. Gender complementarity in a life long committed marriage between a man and a woman is essential for the continuation of humanity.

Statistics show that when traditional marriage disappears, so does childbearing. When people choose to co-habit, the “retreat from true marriage and the retreat from children go together.”

8. Gender complementarity in a life-long committed marriage between a man and a woman is needed for a healthy, stable society.

“When marriage breaks down, along with the very idea of marriage, then societies struggle to stay together.”

9. Gender complementarity in a life long committed marriage between a man and a woman is good for the economy as a whole.

“Married men have greater work commitment, lower quit rates and healthier and more stable personal routines (including sleep, diet and alcohol consumption). Marriage also encourages savings and asset accumulation and reduces poverty. Cohabitation does less to raise overall incomes than marriage does.”

10. Marriage involving a man and a woman is the foundation of a successful family and the best way to protect children.

“Marriage is the best means to bring and keep a man and a woman together, to regulate human sexuality and to raise the next generation. The evidence is quite clear as to how children are most free from abuse and other problems when living with their biological parents, cemented by marriage. As one leading expert has put it, ‘Research clearly demonstrates that children growing up with two continuously married parents are less likely than other children to experience a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and social problems, not only during childhood, but also in adulthood.’”

(I want to add that the foundation of a successful family is Jesus!)

Children who are raised by homosexual parents are more likely to become homosexual

11. Gender complementarity in a life long committed marriage between men and women is the best way to teach children the value of gender.

“Married male and female parents are the best role models for children, and the best school for passing on the value of two heterosexual parents. In fact the best way to raise children is in the natural tension that is created between both genders. It is in the midst of this tension that a child finds his or her gender identity.”

12. Gender is important in understanding the significance of manhood.

“Before individually based, child-centred pedagogies were embraced by post-enlightenment in the West, most ancient cultures ‘initiated’ young boys into manhood through ‘rites of passage’ rituals. All of these ceremonies had some common features. They all included the ritual of transition, the role of relationship, pain and the acceptance of responsibility. Almost all of these initiation ceremonies coincided with the new level of sexual feeling that a young man feels at puberty. In many ways they prepared him to accept responsibility for his sexual prowess and required a commitment to self control. When a young male reaches his teen years, he instinctively looks for ways to affirm his manhood.

In societies where rites of passage are part of the norm, each young male participates in a formal ceremony during which his manhood is publicly and undeniably affirmed. From that day forward, he is treated differently by those around him and receives more freedom, rights and privileges. In response the young man begins to think and act more an as adult than as a child. For the rest of his life he pursues maturity rather than manhood.

In contrast, a young male living in a society with no formal rites of passage must find his own path to adulthood. Without formal affirmation of his transformation, he vainly tries to find manhood on his own through a variety of means. Sadly, his pursuit of manhood rather than maturity will lead him down many side roads that are fruitless at best, destructive at worst.”

13. Gender is important in understanding the significance of womanhood.

…in general we see that female verbal abilities assist them in raising and teaching their children, while greater male strength and visuo-spatial abilities are suited to the protector and provider role. The female hormones of oxytocin and prolactin prepare women for nurturing and breastfeeding their young, while the male hormone, testosterone, encourages men to explore, discover and compete in the world outside the home. Testosterone, in particular, has an effect on the male brain not only at puberty but also in utero.”

14. Gender differences are universally celebrated and acknowledged around the world in healthy societies. Conversely, societies and civilisations which reject gender uniqueness and complementarity often face harmful consequences.

“Finally, on a broader scale, historians have noted the role of moral decline in general and sexual deviancy in particular, as leading causes of the decline of nations. For example, Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin has written much about ‘sensate culture,’ and how declining morality and sexual debauchery have led to cultural decay.

Writing at almost the same period, historian J.D. Unwin studied a number of cultures which had declined throughout history. He noted that the rejection of marriage and sexual morality was a leading contributing factor in the destruction of nations. He wrote: ‘In human records there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on prenuptial and postnuptial continence.’”

15. Healthy gender development is important because it prevents individuals of either gender from developing compulsive obsessive disorders that can lead to sexual addiction and other pathologies.

“Many homosexuals report that as children, they had a dysfunctional relationship with their same-sex parent – such relationships being their primary means of gender identification and affirmation. For some children, particularly those whose parents are separated or divorced, the dissociation from their same-sex parent can cause an unconscious but directive drive for gender identification and affirmation among same sex peers, which, after puberty, can manifest as sexual behaviour…Some homosexuals report that they over-identified with their opposite sex parent and peers – thus a boy becomes increasingly feminized while a girl becomes more masculine. In both cases – lack of identity and over identity – there is a common denominator, which is emotional deprivation. In their formative years, all children need emotional and physical closeness with their parents – particularly with their same sex parent, and they need to develop a healthy sense of their gender identity as male or female. Healthy gender development secures a person with a positive self esteem, a recognition of one’s own value as a man or woman, and the knowledge that sexual love has to do with the giving of oneself as a gift to the beloved, rather than having a neediness which seeks fulfilment through sex. Secure gender identity enables respect for other people of both genders and self-control in seeing others as whole people rather than as objects of lust. Their sexuality is channelled within healthy boundaries. On the other hand, when people are insecure in their sense of gender, many are driven to compensate, and try to build a sense of gender security through sexual activity.”

16. Gender disorientation pathology, as in the form of sexual addictions, is often a symptom of family dysfunction, personality disorder, father absence, health malfunction or sexual abuse.

“The causes of gender disorientation pathology have been shown to be largely social. One leading researcher summarised, ‘Sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations.’ Psychotherapists tend to agree that the major factor in the emergence of same sex attraction is a defective gender identification in childhood and teen years.”

17. Gender disorientation pathology will lead to increased levels of drug abuse and partner violence.

“Evidence shows that there are increased risks of drug abuse, partner violence, suicide and other problems associated with the homosexual lifestyle. Gender disoriented relationships tend to derive from dysfunctional families of origin, and also tend to repeat the pattern. Higher incidences of drug abuse, violence and suicide indicate that same sex relationships struggle to meet emotional needs or provide fulfilment and stability.”

18. Gender disorientation pathology will increase the risk of communicable disease and the likelihood of suffering bad health.

“The lifestyle which encompasses gender disorientation pathology causes increased incidents of other physical illnesses. Diseases such as anal cancer, herpes simplex virus, human papilloma virus, microsporidia, gonorrhea, viral hepatitis types B and C are particularly common among homosexual men. These diseases are much less prevalent among heterosexual men. Syphilis, though found among heterosexuals, is far more prevalent among homosexuals.”

19. Gender disorientation pathology will decrease life expectancy.

“Promiscuity, AIDS and other diseases cause sexually active males who suffer from gender disorientation pathology to lose up to 20 years of life expectancy.”

20. Gender disorientation pathology is preventable and treatable.

“Many have left the homosexual lifestyle, and restoration to wholeness can occur. While it may well be a slow and difficult process, substantial healing and freedom is possible, as experienced by many thousands of former sufferers of gender disorientation pathology. Like all sexual addictions, it takes a lot of effort to break free, but it can be done.”

21. Gender disorientation pathology encourages the sexual and psychological exploitation of children.

“A recent review of the child molestation literature as it appears in medical and psychological journals concluded that between 25 and 40 per cent of all recorded child molestation was homosexual. Also, a Family Research Institute’s national (US) random survey of 4,340 adults found that about a third of those who reported having been molested were homosexually molested. Other polls have come out with similar findings. Also, homosexual pedophiles victimise far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles (150 to 20).”

“A lesbian mother has publicly expressed her regret at bearing three children through artificial insemination. The New Zealand woman, who says she is ‘now in the process of becoming a heterosexual,’ had a stormy relationship with her lesbian lover, which eventually broke down. Her comments are worth noting: ‘I realise now that I deprived my kids of their right to a father, and I see the hurt in their faces every day. . . . I believe children should have the best opportunities in life. The best way they can have a balanced view of what is normal is with heterosexual parents.’”

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To follow…Celebrating our God-Given Chromosomes

Other helpful resources:

Lies Women Believe

Hope in A World of Gender Confusion

What is Womanhood

1,2,3 Smile!

I want to thank Andy and Leslie Samaniego for taking our family photo. They made us look better than we really do! Andy and Leslie are part of our discipleship group and they are dear friends. Last week, I organized a photo shoot for the entire Tan-Chi clan because everyone is in Manila. It was crazy, tiring, but lots of fun. Andy took some great shots. He really has an eye for capturing moments and emotions. You can view his work at Andy Samaniego Photography.

Psalm 127:3-4

3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

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