I can’t believe that 16 Mother’s Day celebrations have already passed for me. For this Mother’s Day, my children blessed me with the gift of words, along with a beautiful orchid. My sons (yes, sons!) each wrote a poem, and my daughter wrote some sweet words for me.

Each Mother’s Day has been a reminder of the joys and challenges of being a mom. I’m still learning how to trust and depend on God through prayer as I struggle with inadequacies and uncertainties as a mom. When they were younger, I would sometimes wish they would hurry up and grow up. Now that they are older, with my oldest going off to college in a couple of years, I sometimes wish they would stop growing up so fast. I have gotten into a routine of checking in on my kids before going to bed. These days, when I check in on them, my heart gets a bit sad knowing that his bed (and my other children’s beds) will be empty one day.

I found these videos very touching and encouraging (get ready with some tissue). They are reminders that our labor investing in our children is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)!

 

 

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this is not how i wanted my life to be. busy. stressed. overseas. single. 
 
then i turned twenty nine. this is REALLY not how i wanted my life to be. 
 
one to two days before my birthday, i was experiencing intense spiritual battle.  just knowing that i was entering into my last year of my twenty’s with still so many unknowns and questions unanswered got the best of me. i was thankful in my heart but also fearful of what’s to come and not to come. i could feel the evil one whispering in my ears to “slow down” “start taking care of yourself” and “get on with life”. 
 
i dont usually think this way, but it nearing my birthday, one naturally turns more emo and self-focused. i just knew that God was using even “MY DAY” (haha, no such thing) to expose my sins. being busy is life. being stressed happens every now and then. living overseas has its ups and downs. but being single – did i really choose this?
 
my parents seem to think so. they think im choosing to be single. im choosing to hide myself from all the potentials in the world by living in a certain faraway country. im choosing to break their hearts by not moving on to the next stage of life. some other friends think im choosing to be “picky” “unavailable” and too “independent”. 
 
no, what im choosing is to love Jesus and be loved by Him. i’m choosing to walk with him, and follow him wherever he leads me. im choosing to live life, not as my parents and peers tell me, but as my Father tells me. i’m not choosing to be busy, stressed, or single, but honestly, it comes at times as i choose Jesus. am i okay with that? 
 
if i believe God to be sovereign and perfect, that all situations and contexts are filtered through his fingers of love, then i have to be okay with that. heck, i should be more than okay with that ! for not a single detail is missed by him. therefore my being tired, stressed, and single is not a mistake, but perfectly and individually fashioned for me.  
 
so my conclusion after being 29 for about five days now is that although i get older and “singler”, i never, ever want to grow old in my passion for Christ and His church. my prayer for my upcoming years is that i wont stop dreaming big, wont get comfortable or seek comfort, and start to “settle” for far lesser things (i didn’t say people, i really mean just things, situations.) 
 
i am ready to live this year choosing him, over and over again. 

anyone else think that slew is the past tense of slay? well, i did … until i googled it.

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slew /slo͞o/

Verb: (of a vehicle or person) Turn or slide violently or uncontrollably in a particular direction.

Noun: A violent or uncontrollable sliding movement.
A large number or quantity of something: “he asked me a slew of questions”.

Synonyms:
verb. turn – slue – rotate – swing – spin – wheel – swivel
noun. mass – turn – slue

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“Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. ” Psalm 78.34-35

i see a direct cause and effect here. when God “slews” us, then we seek him. what is it about slewing that makes us seek him? from the definition above, i see it like this:

– sometimes life is going oh so dandy, and then something comes up. your family member gets sick, somebody wants to “talk” to you, you lose your job. that’s slew.

– when you realize you dont have control over your life, or worse people, anymore, that’s slew.

– when things are not going your way, you know, that particular way that you like to have people listen to you, remember you, serve you, love you, change for you? that’s slew.

basically, when things are spinning, swiveling, turning out of control, that’s God’s MERCY on our lives. he is waking us up, and by his grace moving us to seek him once again. (and he will do it again and again)

we all need a reminder or two, dont you think?

It’s Olympics season, and I’ve gotten swept into the craze over the gold medal U.S. women’s gymnastics team, especially the story of Gabby Douglas.  This video on CNN shows her mother talking about the sacrifices it took for Gabby to achieve her gold-medal destiny.
Their family had to send Gabby away to Iowa to train with a new couch, and as a single parent she even sold her jewelry to pay for Gabby’s training.  It moves me to think about how she had to release her baby girl, in this case literally sending her away, so that her daughter could achieve her destiny.

I’ve been struggling over this idea of releasing my loved ones lately, not in the case of my child, but with my husband.  About a year ago, God gave him a vision to start a company, and while it’s a really exciting endeavor, it definitely takes a lot of his time, energy, heart and soul.  The recent weeks have been particularly tough, with him leaving home after dinner each night and coming back anywhere from 2 to 4 in the morning. I’ve been feeling a bit like a single person, and although I know it’s temporary, but I can’t say that it hasn’t affected me emotionally.  However, I truly believe that he’s living out his God-given destiny, so the question is, can I release him to do what he’s called to do and willingly make sacrifices along the way? It’s my hope and prayer that I will, and that one day we can celebrate his gold-medal moment together.

Before my LIFE group and I went around town to ask women what scars made them beautiful, I didn’t know what to expect.  Would it be too forward to ask people to revisit their past pains?  Theoretically, I knew it would be an interesting question – our struggles shape us and strengthen us.  But I had no idea how moved I would be to meet so many people willing to share about the adversity they faced that made them stronger.

Our scars are beautiful.  When I think about my own scars, I’m reminded of God’s faithfulness.  In the times when I wasn’t sure if i could keep going, His promises to be a shelter and refuge rang true. He traded my ashes for a crown of beauty, and as I look back at the scars, I see that God somehow made them beautiful.

Enjoy this week’s installment!

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Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

Baby monitors are a funny thing. As parents, we essentially spy on our kids as they sleep, and there isn’t a single move that goes unnoticed. It’s hilarious watching my son, Joshua, in the baby monitor. He has no idea I’m watching him, whether he’s sleeping peacefully or, in the case of this video, doing his toddler version of yoga.

As a parent who often watches my sleeping or not-sleeping child, I catch just a small glimpse of God’s parent heart for us. Especially when I sneak into my son’s room at night and watch him sleep, I have a hard time fathoming how it’s possible that God feels even more love for me than I feel for Joshua. I’m reminded of Psalm 121:

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm —
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.