It feels surreal to go back to blogging! It really has been a while since my last “from-the-heart” entry. So how is everyone? Thank you so much for dropping by. I’ve always said this, but really, I was just incredibly busy. So many things happened—when something seems to have been resolved, another issue would crop up that I have to troubleshoot. I’ve been busy juggling being Gymboree Sta. Rosa’s Managing Director on Mondays to Fridays; a Brain Train teacher on Saturdays and Sundays; a mom during breakfast, lunch, dinner, bathtime and sleeping time; and a wife in between (Sweetheart, I promise to work on this). No time for blogging, really. But it’s sembreak and for the first time in what seemed like forever, everything seems to be in its proper place. Thus, this blog entry. And more to come, I hope.
A huge chunk of my time and effort has been chanelled to Gymboree Sta. Rosa talaga. We are months away from our first anniversay, but boy oh boy—we’ve been blessed with the perfect problem: we have lots of students already…and more are coming! That means I needed to look for more teachers and aides, space, furniture, etc.
This week alone, we had three consecutive events: our Preschool’s End-of-2nd-Quarter Culminating activity on Thursday; our first Pumpkin Patch Party (we have 4 this year!) on Friday, and a birthday party we hosted on Saturday. Whew!
October 22 event: End-of-2nd-Quarter Culminating Activity
To celebrate the United Nations month, our super cute Nursery 1 students each wore a national costume. The energetic Nursery 2 and the “big boys” of Pre-K went as community workers, as second quarter for these two classes centered on the topic, “My Community”. Each class had a performance for their parents!
But this time, he tried so hard to overcome his shyness. It was a proud parents moment for Randy and me when we watched Raviv confidently and clearly spoke in front as he introduced himself. And when he showed the people what a magtataho does, he brought the house down. He was painfully shy at this point but we know he wanted us to be proud. Watch!
After kids’s performances, we had a Mommy Talk/Parenting Seminar with Mommy Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan over brunch.
Every parent in the room learned a lot from Mommy Maricel. She gave practical advice and had a no-nonsense approach to parenting. I am so glad we got her to talk to our Preschool parents. She also had fun and we both agreed it won’t be the last time. 🙂
October 23 event: Pumpkin Patch Party 2015 Kickoff
I’ve attended quite a few Halloween/Trick-or-Treat parties, and partiality aside, Gymboree’s is really the best for very young kids. No host with Rated PG jokes and definitely no dull moment for the kids. It was a fantastic party! The snacks from Krispy Kreme and the trick-or-treat around the Brain Train Building were an added bonus. I’m so excited for our next Pumpkin Patch Parties (we have 4 more this week)!
Raviv and his friend/classmate Basti. Raviv wore his Mike Wazowsky costume again (he wore it last year. Kaso ang cute nito so we stuck to it even if he has other costumes). Everyone who has seen Monsters Inc/Monsters University would smile when they see him.
October 24 event: A Sports-themed First Birthday Party!
And then finally on Saturday, we hosted a birthday party. We were very happy to see the celebrant’s guests enjoying all the activities.
Tiring as these may all be, everyone tells me I have very good problems: a tiring search for new teachers and much preparation for our End-of-Quarter Activity means we have lots of preschool students; our seemingly never-ending parties mean we are patronized!
This week, two trainees from Cagayan de Oro City (because there’s gonna be a Gymboree there soon! :)) came to observe our site and help us out. They were in awe at how much our center has achieved in less than a year. They easily concluded it was because of my marketing skills, my constant presence, my being hands-on, etc. I won’t discount the fact that, yes, I worked really, really hard to achieve what we have so far achieved. But there’s so much more to that. Let me share something that my Victory groupmate, Joy (who celebrates her birthday today!!!) initially shared on our Viber group:
Just wanna share these powerful words:
1 Corinthians 3:7
So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
Sometimes, we think that the increase or success that we enjoy is the result of our own efforts or hard work. Now, I am not advocating laziness, but the truth is that God is the one behind our increase.
We see this truth when we read the story of Ruth, a young widow from Moab, who worked as a gleaner in a barley field from morning till evening. Now, we could attribute the entire ephah—a substantial 10-day supply—of barley she collected at the end of the day to her hard work. After all, she did work all day in the field.
But when we read about how Boaz, the owner of the field, had secretly told his reapers to “let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean” (Ruth 2:16), we know that it was because of Boaz’s intervention that Ruth ended up with so much.
I believe that Jesus, our heavenly Boaz, does the same thing for us today. He causes people to favor us and “drop” blessings on us because He loves us. Then, He causes us to “pick up” these blessings. Often, it happens so seemingly naturally we forget that it is the Lord who has blessed us with the increases.
My friend, your hard work is not behind your increase. The Bible tells us that it is “God who gives the increase”. He is the one who is behind your increase and He delights in blessing you because He loves you!
Yes, I worked hard. But even if I worked 24/7—without God’s grace, all my efforts would be in naught. God gave me people who are a huge part of what our branch has so far achieved: Randy, who is always there to encourage me when I’m feeling down (which is very often!) and of course my hardworking, sincere and superb teachers. But even as I told the trainees that I owe my teachers a lot for our success, Teacher Roxanne interjected and refused to take credit, “Ma’am sa prayer po ‘yun. Grabe kami mag-pray dati ni Teacher Joanna na maging successful ang center po natin.” And I agree, because prior to our Grand Launching, I would overhear them pray for Gymboree over lunch. So yes, even my teachers’ diligence, sincerity, and great credentials thrown in with my hard work–without God’s grace–would still be useless.
To have these people together is no less than God’s grace:
I was worried about the number of activities we had; I feared we were understaffed. Enter God: Two trainees from Cagayan de Oro were sent to us to be trained. And training means they have to help us.
My initial teachers’ credentials and personality left much to be desired, but I was willing to put up with them. I spoiled them rotten. I did everything, but they quit during training. My world crashed. Enter God: He sent me teachers who have great academic credentials (they’re from top schools and Teacher Cel even trained in Singapore for preschool teaching). They’re all also very hardworking, positive and nice. And all pretty! To think I was so desperate at first that I was willing to put up with teachers who were not even half as good as any of them.
When I first attended Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan’s Mommy Talk, I swore to myself I’ll get her for Gymboree. But I was very shy to approach her, anxious to get in touch with her, and scared I won’t be able to afford her. In short, I did nothing. Enter God: Mommy Maricel contacted me first for a collaboration. And I didn’t have to pay her a centavo for this fantastic Mommy Talk!
God is good, all the time!
Have an inspired week ahead!
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