Archive

Motherhood

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)!

 

 

Advertisements

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.

Image

My son’s current favorite toys are kid-sized vehicles: scooters, walkers, cars. He received an array of vehicles for his birthday, so he’s been pushing them around the house, laughing gleefully as he whizzes around.  The problem with this, however, is that he doesn’t want to walk on his own because he is afraid to let go of the vehicles. So, it was a heart-wrenching decision, but my husband and I decided to hide all the toy vehicles so that he can learn to take steps without them. 

 
The funny thing is, I feel really really bad now. I wonder if he’s thinking to himself, ‘Where did all my favorite toys go?” The most sad part to me is that I know how much joy it brings him when he can push the vehicles around, so it breaks my heart that he can’t experience that joy now.  I know it sounds overly dramatic, but I really do feel that bad!
 
As I thought about this, it suddenly hit me – this is how it must feel when God has to take things away from us, for our own good.  Sometimes there are things in our lives that are not inherently bad, but they may be inhibiting our spiritual development, so He needs to strip them from us for a period of time. Once our son starts walking, my husband and I will bring the vehicles back because he’ll have learned to walk without them.  We’ve only taken them away temporarily, but we had to in order to help him grow the courage to walk without them.
 
For the first time, it really hit me how much it must sadden God when He has to take things away from us, even temporarily, because it delights Him when we enjoy His gifts.  I’m learning about God’s father heart for his children, and perhaps next time He has to remove things from my life, I’ll remember the words from Matt Redman song: ‘You give and take away / my heart will choose to say / Lord blessed be Your name.”

We recently celebrated my son’s first birthday. I can’t believe it’s already been a year since God plopped this incredible little human into my life.  As I reflect on my first year of parenthood, there are so many lessons that I could dedicate a whole blog to them. I’ll just share a few here:

Raising a baby is a crash course in partnership:  My husband and I have partnered together in the past: we led a LIFE group together before we even liked each other, we went on a couple missions trips together, we planned a wedding together. But there was no greater test of our partnership and communication skills than raising a baby. I’ve never been so thankful to have a husband who is always asking, ‘How can I serve you more,’ and is willing to sacrifice until it hurts.

Wow, my parents really are pretty great: Having a child of my own has deepened my understanding and appreciation of my parents. I think back to some of the heartaches and headaches that I caused my parents, and I imagine how I would respond if Joshua did those things to me. It leads me to give them much more grace for the few times that they failed, and appreciate them so much more for all the times that they gave their best.

I can’t control outcomes:  I often wonder what kind of person Joshua will become. I hope he’ll be smart, athletic, musical, popular (but he won’t know that he’s popular so he’ll also be humble) … that’s not asking for too much, right? But in the end, Joshua will become whoever God has destined for him to be, and God will use whatever it takes to mold him into that person. The question is: can I relinquish all control and give God full permission to have His way with my son?

God truly does love me unconditionally: As cliched as this one sounds, as I think about how much I love my son, who can’t even reciprocate the love, sacrifice, sleepless nights, and labor pains that our relationship has cost me, it gives me just a tiny glimpse of how much God must love me.

And to leave you with a few practical lessons I’ve learned:
-Oxiclean is miraculous: it gets out even the worst poop stains.
-I can save money on gym memberships by using a baby to do arm curls and lunges.
-I can throw out my alarm clock because I have a little human alarm clock that is stuck on 6:30am and a snooze interval of ‘every 3 seconds.’
-Always have a camera within arms reach, because these little people do something new and exciting every day.

Earlier this month, my father’s extended family got together in California to celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday. It is incredible to imagine living that long (she’s more than 90x
older than my son!) There were 4 generations gathered together in one place, since my cousins and I now have kids.

My grandma is an incredible woman of faith and courage. She and my grandfather led their children out of Northern Korea during the Korean War before the border was shut. I’ve heard stories of how my grandfather was imprisoned at one point, and she went daily to the prison to fight for his release. They eventually brought the whole family out to Argentina and then to the U.S., all so that future generations could have a better future. It’s stories like theirs that remind me to never take my life, freedom and opportunities here in the U.S. for granted.As I looked around and saw 4 generations gathered in one room, I saw my grandma’s legacy of faith and courage right in front of me. Most of our extended family is walking faithfully with the Lord, thanks to the prayers and discipleship of my grandparents. I was truly challenged to live my life so that I could one day leave behind such a legacy of faith, that my son and his chidren and grandchildren could be blessed.

I love this song, hope it blessed you too: