All About Life, Marriage, Parenting, Homeschooling as we walk our lives with Jesus

Friday, November 11, 2016

On 4:18 AM by A Bucket of Grace   No comments
We planned about having an annual family fun day but the Lord impressed it in our hearts to have a Family retreat at the same time.

We wanted to know how our children are experiencing God in their lives, how deep is their relationship with Him and how we can be more intentional in passing on a godly legacy.

We praise God for allowing us to learn more about parenting with the past few retreats and workshops we have been to. God allowed us to create our own Noble Family Vision and one of these is for our children to Love the Lord with all their hearts.

However we cannot pass on our faith alone. We need to connect their hearts to the Lord. Faith is experiential. They may know the Lord from their minds and not from their hearts.

It's all about nurturing ghe heart of our children.

"Seek first Hist kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you"- Matthew 6:33

The purpose of the retreat is like a starting point for our children to experience God's sovereignity and allow them to feel the Lord's presence moment by moment and we wanted to plant the seed of gratefulness and thankfulness in our children's heart.

Hotel Kimberly, one of our favorite hotels in Tagaytay is having a month long celebration of Thanksgiving. It was so timely with our retreat's theme.

We started with some family activities like Kite flying...I love this moment. Watching all of them playing together, seeing all of their smiles and laughter. I praise God for the time,
sometimes it is difficult to go back with these old ways when we live in a world full of gadgets.

We also allowed our kids to play and run around while waiting for the availability of our room.

I remembered few years back how we were so active in joining halloween costume contest. Our children were always looking forward to this event. Most often than not their mummy costume will always be a hit and they would win the grand prize. We wanted to change our children's heart and replace this tradition with something that is glorifying to the Lord.

The same weekend when we are about to start our 3rd decade in our marriage we opted to have our family retreat and an annual family fun day.

After their kite flying we allowed them to have a rest and enjoy the place before we started with our first activity.

We started with singing worship songs Sean and Simone happily danced while singing.

We also discussed our schedule for the entire stay. This is to give them an overview what to expect and what we will be doing together as a family.

Aside from this we set our rules:

1. No gadgets
2. No cellphones
3. Be prepared to share and Be Honest
4. Be cooperative
5. Have an open heart

We read Psalm 105 and rekindled God's goodness. How faithful God was to the Israelites was the same faithfulness He is giving us. Despite of our sinfulness, failure, and unlikely attitude He never changed.

The venue was close to nature and gave us a closer feeling of God's presence. I prepared a journal for the entire family.

I was blessed to download this Thankful Journal from It was what we needed at the right time.

I know my boys are not a fan of writing too much however keeping a record of how you feel is like pouring your hearts into something.

I remembered how Rick Warren wrote it in his book A Purpose Driven Life.

Writing helps clarify what God is doing in your life. Dawson Trotman used to say, "Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through your fingertips." The Bible has several examples of God telling people to keep a spiritual journal. It says, "At the LORD'S direction, Moses kept a written record of their progress.

We started pouring our thoughts on thanking the Lord for who He is.

"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." - Ephesians 5:20

Then Arnel and I started asking our children their view of our family. Are we walking in spirit? What needs to improve on? How can we improve as parents?

My 2 sons Ivan and Kyle were able to share their thoughts which gave us opportunities to know what can we do to be better.

While they were sharing we kept quiet and just listened. We tried to absorb and understand their feelings.

We closed with a prayer.

Part of the schedule were activities from the hotel that the kids participated with.

Pizza Making

Cupcake Decorating

Scavenger Hunt for Arnel and Kyle (Dad and son activity). They enjoyed this very much and they won!

This was their wacky picture entry :)

There was a bonfire too but we were not able to join it anymore.

And there was this beautiful sunset.

Then they had an early night sleep after eating their dinner. Arnel and I went down for our Dinner date while watching a movie under the moonlight.

During our dinner time we talked about the Lord and our family and what actions we can do next.

The following day we continued with our Bible Reading in Psalm 106 and talked about God's goodness.

We explained what Grace is. How God blessed us with a lot of things that we do not deserve. I was teary eyed while it was my turn to share. I can feel how unfaithful I am to our faithful God. But at the same time grateful for His unconditional love, so many times I have failed Him but He remains gracious and merciful.

We were blessed to smell the morning fresh air while having breakfast.

We praise God for his mercies are new each morning. Each day is a gift and a blessing. How we live each day is a matter of choice.

Having a conversation with my loving husband about God and our family are one of the things I am grateful for. Sometimes we reminisce and we have never thought time will come that we will always sit down and talk about the Lord. God brought us in this stage of our marriage and we are fully thankful. That is why I believe in God's grace because without it we will not experience this joyful and intimate moment.

God's work is really marvelous. During our stay God allowed our paths to crossed. We were able to spend time on our 21st anniversary with Arnel's cousin who introduced us. Praising God for this time.

Our last activity was to give out our thankful card for family members and hotel employees that we want to thank for their unique service.

We want to model to our children how to have an attitude of gratitude.

One thing I love about the hotel is we can see smiles everywhere and hospitality is genuine.

We want to encourage our children to learn and practice thanking workers in places we are visiting. Giving them small tokens because we want them to have a giving heart.

Training shapes the Habits - Clay Clarkson

"Even a child is known by his action, by whether his conduct is pure and right" - Proverbs 20:11

This is Kuya Alex - whenever we go and visit the hotel farm he would always go out of his way to explain new additions in the farm. He would also tour our kids. I admire his service and kind heart.

He is our all time favorite, Kuya Chito whose smile is endless. We always want to thank him for his excellent service and hospitality. You would feel that his service is from his heart. His service is one of a kind.

Don is a super employee. He hosts the program in the afternoon and he serves as a chef in the evening. What I admire about him is his beautiful and warm smile that is unlimited. You would not see that he gets tired despite of his busy day.

Praising God for their lives and thanking the Lord for their faithfulness in their job and the kind hearted service they have given us.

It was really a blessing that you get to experience a family event in such a beautiful place close to nature.

The kids enjoyed feeding the animals plus we learned a lot from their edible farm.

It was a first for us having a retreat as a family and we plan to do this as often as we can, it helps us to determine what level of relationship they have with our Lord, how deep is their love for Jesus and assessed ourselves as parents.

We will continue with our thankful journal for the entire month, adding entries each week as a family.

Part of this is our gratitude tree that we will also make to be thankful each day, it is a way in adding our daily thoughts of God's faithfulness.

Our family is still a work in progress but by God's grace we want to build positive memory banks in our children's lives and at the same time we wanted to create a family tradition that will nurture our children's hearts and will be glorifying to the Lord. Our prayer is for our children to carry this tradition once they have a family of their own.

Leaving a godly legacy for God's purposes.

Whatever goals we set for our children, we must also set for ourselves. Whatever we want to be on our children's hearts must be first on ours. We are the whetting stone of the hearts of our chidren -Clay Clarkson

All Praise and Glory to God!


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