The Blessing

In April, the high school vocal music class presented a concert. The last song they sang that evening was called The Blessing - the lyrics taken from an Irish Blessing - -

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

This is an appropriate blessing for anyone. As I listened to the class sing it I felt it was an especially appropriate blessing for the seniors singing in that group - Kirsten, Joy, Soy, Janey, John.

Enjoy listening!

Slipping Through My Fingers

As Kirsten gets closer to graduating high school, the song "Slipping Through My Fingers" plays in my head often. I suppose all parents, as they launch their children from high school to beyond feel this melancholy "where has the time gone" despair that can invade one's soul.

*"Slipping Through My Fingers"

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile I watch her go with a surge of that well known sadness And I have to sit down for a while The feeling that I'm losing her forever And without really entering her world I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter That funny little girl*

Kirsten, Soy and Joy 3rd Grade

Kirsten, with her friends Soy and Joy in 3rd grade - just a week or so after we moved to the Philippines in 2006

Kirsten, Soy and Joy 2016

Kirsten with Soy and Joy after the recent music concert they all sang in

Slipping through my fingers all the time I try to capture every minute The feeling in it Slipping through my fingers all the time Do I really see what's in her mind Each time I think I'm close to knowing She keeps on growing Slipping through my fingers all the time... Then when she's gone, there's that odd melancholy feeling And a sense of guilt I can't deny What happened to the wonderful adventures The places I had planned for us to go Well, some of that we did, but most we didn't And why, I just don't know.....Slipping through my fingers all the time I try to capture every minute The feeling in it Slipping through my fingers all the time Do I really see what's in her mind Each time I think I'm close to knowing She keeps on growing Slipping through my fingers all the time[1]

So, I enjoy the moments with my children. I relish looking at photos. And I rest in my Abba's watchcare of each His children, commending each member of my family to God, our Abba, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build each of us up and to give each of us the inheritance among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32); knowing He who calls us is faithful (1 Thess. 5:24).

[1] Writer(s): Benny Goran Bror Andersson, Bjoern K. Ulvaeus Copyright: Union Songs Musikforlag AB

Flexible Homeschooling

James and I sometimes take his workbooks outside, especially in this season of power outages and road construction. The noise this morning with the crane and sledge hammers disturbed quality study time so we took a break for a few pictures and he finished an assignment outside. Here's a few photos of the construction and of James studying!

outside our gate

men working on the road

James studying on front stoop

More photos of outdoor homeschooling during a recent power outage

Hot James

a hot, tired James hamming it up for the camera during a power outage study time outside.

James studying

happy to be outside during a power outage studying with no shirt on.

Who's Who?

Rev 21: 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

I received a letter the other day informing me my name has been written in a book for who's who among students in American Universities and colleges.

One of the sentences in the letter states, "It is my great pleasure to officially announce that you are a part of this elite group..."

Luke 10:20 "...but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

While happy to receive the recognition (and a chance for a scholarship), it got me thinking that more than anything, the only "elite group" I really desire to be a part of is the Kingdom of my Heavenly Daddy. May I always strive to live according to His ways as outlined in His Holy Word. I am thankful He has engraved me on His hand, loves me just as I am, and will welcome me into His eternal Kingdom when that day comes!

Isaiah 49:16 (God speaking) "...Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands"

"Jesus loves me, this I know".....

and to me, that is the highest honor.

Isaiah 43: 1-4 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you"

I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you. -- Romans 8:16-17The Message (MSG)

15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us - an unbelievable inheritance! -- Matthew 25:34

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'"

Kirsten's Graduation Announcement

Kirsten senior

We are please to announce that our daughter, Kirsten Joy Symanzik, is graduating May 26th from Faith International Academy Davao.

Kirsten with her graduating class

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, '... plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11

Kirsten will be taking a gap year to research career options and colleges, learn to drive, visit relatives and adjust to life in the USA. She and I (Beth) will be coming to the USA in August.