Halloween Again!

There is a Halloween mania in the air.  Everyone’s mouth keeps on mentioning it in all the conversation we heard.  As I observed, most of the commercials marketing the Halloween super hero’s costumes which I will not deny too cute-or-not to look at both for adults and children are colorful and very much enticing.  Personally, if I am not too careful, I’ll shop online and get our daughter one of those fancy princess outfit.  Okay I don’t find anything wrong with parents who decided to dress their kids with such detailed costumes. It’s their prerogative.  Our daughter can wear one colorful princess outfit, but I don’t see the dire need for her to have one.  With or without fancy or colorful outfit, we are training our child to believe that she is a blessing, precious on her own, a princess for she’s a gift of God for us. Our training is for her to be grateful for who she is.  As Abigail Exodus Haltom, princess.

At 12 noon we are allowing our daughter to have a structured viewing of Paw Patrol. Though it’s a kid friendly show, it’s not free from promoting Halloween and all those ghostly stories as an observance for the approaching yearly adapted tradition.  There is a temporary way for her not to see all these ghostly definitions of what the medias definition of Halloween and that is by restricting her not to have access to television. But this is temporarily.

Our mission is to lead her in a direction, and have choices narrowed down for her so that she will have a better understanding of making good and right choices, building a lasting value, character, and a strong faith in God. We believe, with constant prayers and training, with God, these are all possible.

Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it. -Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)

According to http://www.childstats.gov, a forum on child and family statistics, the projected number of children ages 0 to 17 years old in the United States is 73.8 million.  Envisioning the numbers of costumes and candies to be sold just for the observance of this once in a year traditional night. Wow this is a big income generating business.  But this is not really my concern.  I am more concerned of how our daughter’s will view, process this tradition and how she will handle this year after year.

I’ve been hearing the conversation between our little one and her Daddy, Joshua, my husband.  In one of their conversation, Joshua was asking Abigail what costume she wanted to wear on Halloween? Abigail responded saying, “I don’t want to wear costume, I wanted to be Abigail.”  It doesn’t stop there, it was a constant Halloween related question and answer segment between these two. And I am hearing the same respond from our daughter.  “I don’t want to dress up, I want to be Abigail.”

I wanted to know why a father and a parent like Joshua was so eager to ask his daughter about the same question again and again.  Was he trying to impose something or what?  Was he trying to become “chauvinistic,” and insensitive of his daughter’s firm stand about the matter? Was he just teasing her trying to change her mind?  What about our daughter, was she just wanted to not to agree with his dad or what?  Why she doesn’t want to give up and just agree with her father?  Where is she coming from?

Finally, I got an answered to why Joshua was so assertive towards Abigail dressing up on Halloween and do the trick and treat thing.

He said that as far as he remembered, he felt outcast for not wearing a store-bought Halloween costumes and just being the same “vampire-do-it-himself-look” with a blood on his mouth or cuts on his face as a zombie year after year. I know that my husband loves our daughter very much and when I said very much, he will do his very best just to let our daughter know that he loves her not just in words but mostly in action and his 100% support is for her.  One-time Joshua decided to helped Abigail to get rid of her shyness. He boosted Abigail’s confidence by involving himself to the ballet routine in one of our daughter’s ballet class. He walked tiptoed back and forth with Abi and the girls, and even bent his knees. He did it all in front of us mothers just for his love for Abigail until she was fully assured of her Daddy’s support, and did the routine by herself and us just watching at her in the corner. From where he was coming from concerning his childhood experience, his desire is to protect our daughter’s emotions which is one of his primary role as a father.  To provide emotional support.  His thought was all the kids outside will be dressing up with their own Halloween costumes while Abigail may feel left out.  In his mind, the outcast pattern, as he processed it, will be possibly prevented by conforming and wearing costumes.

Today when the topic of Halloween came across again in our conversation, Abigail’s made her final statement:

Daddy keep on saying Halloween again and again.   She turned to her Daddy and said, “Daddy looked in my eyes.  I don’t want Halloween and I don’t want to dress up.”  When we asked her why, she responded with a very decisive word. “Because its spooky and Jesus doesn’t want me to dress up.” 

Our daughter is only three years old, but just like us adult she is not free from feeling of being pressured mostly when she already expressed why there’s no need to be doing what she’s not persuaded of doing.  When she finally gave her reasons to why she doesn’t need to dress up for Halloween and just wanted to be herself, her expectation as a child just like us adults is to respect her believe, to receive encouragement from us her parents and adults surrounding her and go easy (if can’t be avoided) on the criticism, and to support her decision not to restrict her unnecessarily.

Alright, on the article that I wrote Jesus is not here, she expressed her fears of Jesus and doubt about Jesus not being with us.   By God’s grace, her doubt was addressed.  Praise God. When she reasoned that Jesus doesn’t want me to dress up I am pretty much convinced why she is clearly making that stand.

In the article that I read, parents and adults are being reminded why we shouldn’t sell children short.  “Children’s faith may be simple, but it is often real and profound.”  Our three-year-old saying, Jesus doesn’t want me to dress up is a pure message she wanted to follow and to deliver to us and its giving light to why she wouldn’t be liking the idea of dressing up for something portrayed as spooky (scary, frightening, ghostly, unnerving, and mysterious).  Her young mind clearly received and processed the messages of two opposing views.  God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.   Isn’t this something us her parents need not to carefully considered about?

5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. -1 John 1:5 NLT

The other night when everyone was resting, and our daughter was already sleeping.  I heard her scream.  I checked on her (she was sleeping on her cot), and when I knew that nothing was wrong with her, and she was sleeping tight, I went back on our bed. But after a few seconds, I heard her screamed again and this time louder. I was deeply concerned because it was the very first time I heard her screamed at sleep.  I woke her up, and asked her if she had a dream.  She nodded and said that a vampire was trying to bite her.  My constant encouragement to her whenever the shadow of darkness cast fear on her young mind, is to remind herself to pray and put her trust in Jesus. As her parents, we ought to train her to walk in truth. The truth that leads to peace.  That The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of Holy One is understanding. –Proverbs 9:10 NIV and not the fear of darkness projected to Halloween.  We aren’t some perfect parents, but our desire is becoming a transitional generation parents to recover from the sins of the past and not to repeat it.  We wouldn’t like to twist our own statement between faith on Jesus and His words and fellowship towards darkness that corrupts the light in our child’s mind and frightened her leading to a divided heart.

During my Elementary days in the Philippines, as far as I remembered my sister and I never experience Trick or Treating, but I remembered that most of the retail store sold some cheap vampire teeth fangs and monstrous paper mask.   I bought those vampire fangs since its cheaper, and most of the kids were buying it.   My intention was to scared my sister, but I ended scaring myself, and didn’t want to be alone.  I even had some nightmares like being followed by ghostly characters.  I didn’t had peace.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. -1 John 1 NLT

Halloween Philosophy & Fact:

  • Halloween projects a day fear
  • Those who observed the human traditions most probably spend on spooky costumes or dress up like a super hero’s.  A day of commercial seasonWhich according to National Retail Federation (the world’s largest retail trade association) ” this year, consumers are expected to spend $9.1 billion, up from $8.4 billion in 2016.”  The top costume for children is reported to be an action hero or superhero, while the top pick for adults is a witch. Pets will not be left behind, with 10 percent of consumers dressing their pet as a pumpkin.  (Source: National Retail Federation) 

Our resolved are the following:

As a family, we need to be perfectly united in mind that our fears are for God alone, it’s called reverence. So, we don’t need to terrify ourselves or others.

  • We don’t need to spend our pennies to create a spooky atmosphere, not even to dress up ourselves with a scary costume to fit in, together as a family we will represent ourselves with the image of who we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We believe it’s  a more THRIFTY-PRACTICAL way to invest resources to something that we can use for a long time as a tool for our family to be more relational and just have fun and laughter.  This Wooden Stacking Board Games Blocks for Kids-60 Pieces will arrive tomorrow.

  • We will prepare ourselves to give our service to kids by sharing candies, and tell them that Jesus love them. Our daughter rarely joined with her cousins with their school schedules and stuff so it’s a perfect time for her to enjoy them, and to develop and invest a good relationship and friendship not in a spooky way but in a replenishing relationship to build up each other in a very fun way. Playing.

All this God willing.

Abigail’s final reservation for now regarding Halloween, is that she will share candy with the other kids, like the young boy share to Jesus his bread and fish.

“There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”  10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) -John 6:9-10New Living Translation (NLT)

Today,  as she joined us in our prayer, she thank Jesus for the Rolo Chewy Caramels  that her Daddy shared with her yesterday, and expecting for a more to come.

 

 

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Jesus is not here…

Jesus is not here…these are the words that our three years old used to cut me off while I was encouraging her to remember a comforting verse from the bible, remember whenever you are afraid…(paraphrase from psalm 56:3) then that four words came out from her mouth without warning.   I am not prepared.  How in the world I will address her innocent rebuttal?   Do I need to wake up my husband to help me explain with our daughter that Jesus is with us, and there’s nothing to be afraid of?

As of now our daughter was sharing bed with us. This is just temporary.  We are still deciding what bed we need to get for her. But she was used of sleeping by herself, she was only 8 months when we started training her to sleep on her own bed, in a separate room, and a few steps away from our own room.

Because of the transitions we had faced these past months (migrating from one country to another), she became used again of sleeping with us, and with the comfort of skin-to-skin.   So last night, after praying with her, bed stories, and with my hand wrapped around her, I was assuming she already fell asleep.  I slowly moved my hand away from her, and scoot myself down from the bed aiming to finish some online task.  But she suddenly turned to me, and said “Mama, I need you.”   As a mother, this sounded good to my ears but I also sense that our daughter was being fearful.  With her body gestures not wanting to leave any space between me and her, and wanted me to hug her so tight.

Every time we sense that she was feeling afraid, our words for her was to remember that whenever she was afraid, she can put her trust in Jesus.  And after we prayed with her, she peacefully went to bed.

But last night was different.  So, I stayed with her, hugged her tight and I decided to be quiet.  I felt like my tongue was cut short that time! ‘’Jesus is not here.’’  That was the very first time I encountered those words, and the hardest part was, it came from my daughter.  I didn’t take any apologetics class.  I wasn’t prepared to answer such statement.   I CAN just pretend that I didn’t hear it, go back to sleep and forget that online task.  It’s okay.  But in my heart, I knew the abrupt need to address Abigail’s doubt.  I silently prayed, and asked God to give me wisdom to properly address Abigail’s doubt about Jesus not being with us.  To enlightened her young and innocent mind that faith in Jesus is not measured alone by physical senses but found in spiritual senses.  

Praise God for the ability to remember things.  One morning (few days ago) when we were having breakfast, we were talking about the story of the four friends and how they intentionally brought their lamed friend to Jesus by climbing up the roof and made a hole in it, and lowered their friend in front of Jesus who was lying in a stretcher and unable to walk.  (Luke 5:17-26)   When Abi heard that story again, she said to me confidently that “Jesus like this house, (Grammy’s old house).  Jesus is coming here.”   And she even repeatedly said that Jesus was in her heart.  

 So, I told her.  “Remember, you said Jesus like this house, that Jesus is coming here.”  I told her that Jesus might not be here physically, but he is in your heart. His spirit is with us.   “Remember you said, he is in your heart?”

And one of the good example that Jesus is here is remember whenever you see daddy and mommy had some arguments, and it wasn’t good but, when we ask forgiveness and said sorry to each other and love each other, that is Jesus working in us.  Because Jesus loves our family.   And Jesus loves you, He is in your heart.   And, immediately she said, “Mom, we will wait for Jesus.”      

Years ago, when the gospel was first presented to me, and what Jesus did on the cross for my redemption my friends who shared to me the love of God didn’t use eloquent words to speak the truth to me.  But the two things that they did that up to now inculcated in my heart, my mind, soul and spirit were:  their intentional heart to pray with me and  their faith, how they claimed boldly by faith in Jesus  that I would received healing, and turned away from my sins.

The revelation of your words sheds light,
    gives understanding to the simple.

-Psalm 119:130 New American Bible (Revised Edition)

Jesus is not here_haltom family (1)Jesus is not here_haltom family (2)Jesus is not here_haltom family (3)

 

 

 

 

Seeds Family Worship, ‘ALL OF EM SEEDS TEN PACK’

Year 2015 when Joshua was looking for a song with a bible verse on it.  He came across with Seeds Family Worship song entitled Romans 5:8; 6:23.  For the year to follow,  we would be finding several different tracks of seeds songs from scriptures on Youtube.   One of seeds song that we used for kids outreach in the Philippines is The Good Song (Psalm 34:10).

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

For our family, its one of the best resources for memorizing scriptures both for kids and adults.   The songs are written with talents and melodic skills.  WE LOVE IT!

TODAY, and up to the succeeding days, we would like to give thanks to Ms. Linda Houser and the entire Seeds Family Worship Team for providing our family a digital copy of ALL OF ‘EM SEEDS TEN PACK’,

This pack includes all 10 albums with over 110 songs to word-for-word scripture. Our modern worship music is performed by the Seeds Family Worship team and award winning guest artists like Matthew West, Jared Anderson, Tiffany Lee (Plumb) and others. Seeds music makes it fun and easy for kids and families to learn, memorize and store God’s Word in their hearts. Sing! Learn! Memorize! Hide God’s Word in your heart! –Source: Seeds Family Worship, Album Description. 

Its a good scriptural songs for family worship, devotions and even teaching your kids at home.

SEEDS OF COURAGE

SEEDS OF FAITH

SEEDS OF PRAISE

SEEDS OF PURPOSE

SEEDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

SEEDS OF CHARACTER

THE CHARACTER OF GOD

 

THE WORD OF GOD

THE JOURNEY

 

WHEN YOU LIE DOWN: LULLABIES & SCRIPTURE SONGS

 

SEEDS OF CHRISTMAS EP

 SEEDS OF EASTER EP

ALL OF ‘EM SEEDS TEN PACK’

CD_10-Pack_Resized

Photo Credits: www.seedsfamilyworship.com