Tuesday, March 31, 2009


At our ladies Bible study at church last week, our subject was Temper. It was such a great reminder to read verses that address anger. There are so many verses in the Bible that command Christians to cease from anger. In this culture where being real with our emotions is encouraged... in this "free" world where showing emotions is okay, it is easy to accept even those emotions that are biblically unacceptable. When God says, "cease from anger!" it is because He knew how anger could go overboard, hurting those around us and hurting our own selves.

The story of Moses blowing up his temper is especially serving as my red flag. If we remember, in his anger he threw the tablets that contained the 10 Commandments that God Himself wrote on them and broke them into pieces. That very scene warns me to be very careful with my hands when I'm angry. What if it's my little girl that I am holding when I give myself to anger? I would hurt her... and eventually realize that I actually hurt myself for hurting my own child. It would be terrible! I would find it hard to even forgive myself. This is really a warning to me because I have a tendency to slam-bang the cupboard doors when I am upset... I know, terrible!

Another story that really got into me regarding temper is Jonah's anger account. In his anger, he spoke death on himself. How easy it is to find the most hurtful words to suffice our anger! I have to remind myself over and over again never to say anything when I am angry. I better shut my mouth up than throwing daggers to those around me with my words.

Last Friday night, I felt like my hormones were out of whack... I was angry for some reason. I was pouting. But then, I prayed for God's power to help me control myself. I told Him I was angry but that I would not want to hurt my precious family in anyway. Then I made a decision to never give in to my temper. I chose to tame myself. I think that for our anger to be harmless, we should pray first of all, then choose to do the right thing... that what pleases God! When God's word says, "cease from anger", He knows that His children are not powerless to be "angry but sin not!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Yesterday, I was reading an article about how psychotherapy has become so common among Christians who are supposedly struggling from psychological dysfunction. The said article quoted a key point that Dr. James Dobson mentioned in his book about women. The key point the author of the article wrote is that most women in America suffer low self-esteem. I was totally taken aback! All this while I have always believed that American women are the most confident women in the world. How in the world did that happen?

As an Asian woman, I have wished I had the confidence of an American woman. I used to not feel comfortable around men, especially talking to them. I didn't feel comfortable saying "thank you" to someone who tells me that I look pretty. I didn't receive compliments well. It was not convenient for me to voice my opinions without being asked. I used to view giving unsolicited advice as cockiness. I, therefore, avoided giving it to people to the best of my ability. I used to wait until people discover my talents and abilities. I, definitely, was not the type of person who tells the world what I was good at. If I appear to be a very confident woman now, then it is purely because of how God changed me.

I have no idea where Dr. Dobson was coming from when he said that most American women are suffering low self-esteem because I haven't read his book. I am just bewildered over that report. American parents are so good at affirming and building their kids' confidence. Something ordinary Filipino parents need to learn. So where does this low esteem come from? I don't know. But here's what I think... from my experience teaching 15 teenage girls with my husband at our old church and from spending time with our American friends and family, I think the problem that most American women are suffering from is high self-esteem. Most of them think they're better than what they are and have now. In saying this, I don't mean to say that it's wrong to be ambitious, because it is not if the said ambition is in line with God's purposes for our lives, but if it means discontentment and covetousness then it will surely lead to depression.

When I think about depression among women, I think about how many women believe that they deserve better than what they are and have now and be angry at the world they are in. There is no contentment because they think highly of themselves.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Barbie Dolls

As a little girl, I was into dolls. I used to play dolls a lot with my baby sister. At first we made dolls out of Coke bottles, dressing them up with my mom's scrap fabrics (Mom used to sew our dresses). I remember sewing a dress for our bottle doll one day. But when my dad started traveling to big cities, he would come home with baby dolls for me and my sister. Oh, how we loved them!

Isabelle wasn't really into dolls until last Sunday. Her cousin gave her a Dora doll set. Since then, she got herself busy changing Dora's clothes and shoes. While doing it, she would say lines that she has memorized from Dora tv show. It's fun to see her enjoying her new toy. She had a Dora rag doll but it's not the same as this set she has now.

Speaking of dolls, I know that a lot of my friends buy their little girls barbie dolls. And their daughters have started collecting them. From the beginning barbies didn't fascinate me for some reason. I just find them cute. Last Sunday, driving from my BIL's place in St. Paul, my husband and I were listening to a radio talk show. The host was talking about Barbie dolls and why they have adult features even though they are little girls' toys. There was a lot of complicating views from the listeners making phone calls to the broadcaster.

Watching Isabelle play with her Dora doll set this morning, I decided to do some readings about Barbie dolls. And here is what I have found...

"History: Barbie's Debut in 1959 by Erica Wolf

In February of 1959, Barbie was first introduced at the American International Toy Fair in New York (Barbie Dolls). Her creators, Ruth and Elliot Handler (co-founders of Mattel) modeled Barbie after the German doll known as Lilli. Lilli began as a cartoon character in a daily newspaper called the Bild-Zeitung (BillyBoy 19). This character, known for her large breasts and sexy clothing, was created for adult entertainment "a symbol of sex and pornography for the men of Germany" (Johnson "History"). Handler discovered Lilli while shopping in Switzerland and brought the doll home for her daughter to play with.

Ruth was inspired to create an adult doll for little girls. Handler had Jack Ryan, executive of Mattel, purchase the rights for Lilli and negotiate with a company from Tokyo to create a doll like Lilli. The reason for going overseas was in order to create an inexpensive new doll. American male designers told Handler that it would be impossible to make such a doll (with stylish clothing and accessories) for an affordable price. The new doll had a softer look created by the "rotation-molding" process used in the making of the vinyl body (Johnson "History"). In addition to a different body, Bud Westmore, the "make-up czar" at Universal Pictures, gave Lilli a makeover (Lord 32). He discarded her "bee-stung lips, heavy eyelashes, and widow's peek eyebrows" (Lord 32). Following these improvements, Ryan modified the doll's joints.

Finally in 1958, Barbie Millicent Roberts was born 11 1/2 inches tall and weighing 11 ounces. She debuted as a teenage model in a black and white striped swimsuit that came with sunglasses, high-heeled shoes, and gold-colored hoop earrings (see Figure 1). Her body was shapely with movable head, arms, and legs. Barbie was the first doll in America with an adult body.

Just by reading that portion made me feel like throwing up! I would never want my daughter to play with that doll.

Another thing that makes me dislike a barbie doll is that it sets a standard of fake beauty. Girls grow up thinking that they have to have a body figure and shimmering skin like that of a barbie doll to be called beautiful. Barbies became a fashion statement too. Many little girls today have a barbie beauty mentality. How sad! Christian mothers should be very careful about what they give their little daughters. It is important to train our daughters to learn to mirror the Bible for authentic beauty.

My Normal Days

A friend of mine asked me what my day is like. Well, it's pretty much ordinary. The only thing that makes it special is the thing I learn from God as I spend time with Him in His Word and prayer. Anyway, I will attempt to describe my daily schedule here...

On weekdays, I wake up between 7 and 8 am. I usually go straight to the couch in the family room and continue waking up (I wake up really slow!) under the throw blanket for about 10 minutes. Then, I would walk to the center aisle in the kitchen to turn my laptop on. While it's doing its thing, I would make ham or tuna and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my husband to take to work for his lunch. I would go back to my lappy and open my Audio Bible Online website to listen to a least 3 chapters. Sometimes, I open Revive Our Hearts website for Nancy Leigh Demoss' online radio broadcast. While that is playing for me, I make coffee and eggs for myself. When my coffee and eggs are ready I'd go back to where my lappy is and start following the words in my Audio Bible while having breakfast. Paul is usually done with his breakfast by the time I start mine. Isabelle usually wakes up between 10 and 11 am. By the time she wakes up, I'm done with my breakfast and listening to the Audio Bible and praying. Isabelle, most of the time, calls me to pick her up from her (sometimes our) bed. I'd then go and greet her "good morning" and ask her if she had a dream. Normally, she would say, "yes". Then she starts making up stories. I'd bring her to the kitchen and gave her breakfast. While she is having her breakfast, I'd make the beds. When she is done eating, I take her to her room to change her diaper and clothes. Then, I am ready to face the house work. While she is coloring, playdough, reading her books while listening to her music, I am blogging or blog-hopping, facebooking, doing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen and doing three of the following once-a-week chores: talking to friends, vacuuming the floor, cleaning the bathrooms, doing the laundry, ironing and folding clothes, dusting the furniture, fixtures and windows, cleaning the main floor, cleaning the basement and going out with friends. Once in two weeks, Izzy and I are at the Bible study in our church at these hours. Then we have lunch. We always have rice, veggies and fish or shrimp for lunch. After lunch, we usually study and play. I read her her books and teach her numbers, letters,shapes and colors. We also do picture reading. Then, she takes a nap. She usually naps for 2 hours and while she is doing that, I study. Now, I am working on David 90 Days with a Heart like His. After studying, if Izzy is still sleeping, I do journal or scrapping. Then, I would cook for dinner. Paul comes home and we all have dinner. After dinner, I usually chat with family and friends for an hour or two, while Paul and Izzy are spending time with each other. Then, we sometimes watch the news or talk and get ready for bed. So that's my weekday except when I decide to go out with friends shopping or getting together. Interruptions also include traveling- like driving to Winona which rarely happens- just on holidays.

On weekends, we usually wake up at 9 to 9:30 am. We all have breakfast at 10:30. It normally is a long breakfast. We have long conversations on Saturday mornings! We then go out for fun or shopping. Eat out for lunch. When we come home, Izzy naps and Paul and I read or do things around the house. The we go to friends' house for dinner. Sometimes they come to our house. We would talk the evening away. Sleep. Wake up on Sunday morning. Go to church. In the afternoon, I sleep for 2 hours. When I wake up we go food shopping. That's about it.

Izzy and I at Cub Foods- Apple Valley

Monday, March 9, 2009

Just Follow Your Heart!

"Just follow your heart." I have heard this piece of advice over and over that I also became one of its thousand "users". I guess it is not necessarily wrong if the recipient of that line has a heart that was redeemed by the blood of Jesus and is ruled by His Lordship.

How can we say, "Just follow your heart" to a person whose heart is not surrendered to God's lordship? The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all things. And that out of it comes evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.

We can only follow our heart when God is on its throne!