A Mother’s Love

19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

Becoming a Mother

In the middle of an airport terminal was the first time I saw my adopted son. I recall feeling a sense of awe and anticipation as I took him in my arms. A surreal feeling washed over me as I held him. He was little bundle, and 4 months old. I’ll never forget the flicker of fear that passed through me as I realized nothing prepared me emotionally for this moment. I am a mother. I didn’t have 9 months to biologically bond with my child. Although my husband and I had received regular updates, and photos taken by his foster mother – I had that initial feeling of awkwardness when meeting someone for the first time. Then the stunted reality that this precious bundle will be my son, and I will be his mom.

We repeated this process a few years later. This time, my husband and I picked up our adopted daughter (8 months old) from an orphanage in Taiwan. The same feelings resurfaced. I again felt like a newbie, and was just as emotionally overwhelmed. I am now a mother to two children.

In retrospect, there was and still is, a sense of awe and thankfulness to our Almighty God for answered prayers. Both times, I recalled the feeling of inadequacy, “What am I getting myself into”? Each time I felt the surreal – when reality and longings fused. There was also the overwhelming weight of responsibility that comes with answered prayers. “Yes, I am now endowed with the responsibility for two gifts from God.” “Lord, guide me to be the mother you want me to be to them, and let my gift back to you be worthy.”

I cannot to this day, imagine the emotions their biological mothers must have felt in giving up their babies. I can only thank the Lord my God for blessing me with two beautiful children. One is now a young adult, and the other a teenager. By God’s mercy, He has given me two gifts and my job is to love them with all my heart.

Motherly Love

The love of a mother is not just an emotion. When my I first held them in my arms, I had to learn to love them. The bond of love is developed over time. My love for my children is also a relationship which starts with caring for their needs, guiding, teaching, mentorship, and above all. in the giving of myself without expectations for rewards. Both children are uniquely different in temperament and personalities. Their learning styles were also different. Love not only grows and deepens as I got to know each, but it led to my own growth as a person and mother. I learnt let go of my own ego, to love the uniqueness and difference in each of them. It also opened my eyes to who I was as a mother and as a child of God.

Now that my children are older, this love continues to grow and mature in depth and width. In fact, this feeling of maternal relationship and love never ceases, and grows with every trial that each child goes through.

Daughter

So often, my relationship with my own children has led me to recall my mom, and my relationships with her. Often I hear her echoed in me when I talk to my children. As I live in another province and city, I miss her, and often make the effort to call and talk to her. Our mother – daughter journey is reflected in the different stages of my life, from that of a child, a rebellious teen, a young adult, and finally, as a mom.

Holy Mother Mary

The care, love and nurturing of a mother is a bond she establishes with her child. Nothing can compare to the love of a mother. I thank the Almighty God for giving me the opportunity to be a mom. It is in being a mom and daughter, that I can imagine the depth and width of our Holy Mother’s love for her son Jesus, and for us. Her immense love pours out for us, and she longs to intercede on our behalf to her Son – Jesus.

My initial steps towards our Holy Mother – The Virgin Mary, was awkward. Coming from a Protestant background, I was not familiar with her. I remember asking the Holy Spirit to grace me with a sincere heart in getting to know her. Like a newly adopted child, I looked upon her to take care of me, and I embraced her with child like trust.

Praying the Rosary is part of my steps towards my Holy Mother. It is through prayer that relationships are established. It is through communicating in prayer that our relationship with one another – between Mother and child – is deepened. From silent whispers, to fumbled sentences, to soulful moans, and now with trusting velocity, I have a better understanding and insights into my faith. Like a child, I thirst for intimacy to be in the abode of the Holy Family.

I long to get to know my holy family through the graces of my Holy Mother.

Let us pray for the grace to love Mother Mary more, and for the grace that through her we can ask her to intercede on our behalf to have spiritual closeness with God the Father, His son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Praise be to God. 💖

Let’s Get Personal

(Personalizing Christ the King Novena)

(In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit)

Jesus, my Savior, and King

I humbly pray before you

May you grace my heart to love and adore you more,

to give me the grace of deepening faith

to give me the grace to place my trust upon you above all others,

and to give me the grace to be confident you are ever present in my life.

I proclaim you Prince of Peace and lift you high above all in this mortal realm.

As I wait for your second coming, let me not waste a moment

I ask that you grace me – this unworthy sinner –

with the inspiration and confidence to use the gifts you have given me

to share your story and love with others.

So that they may also rejoice in having a living God in their lives.

(In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen)
Grant Whitty (@grantwhitty) | Unsplash

I started praying the Christ the King Novena yesterday, and following the lead of my sponsor, I have reflected upon it, and personalized it. As I think in the abstract, one of my challenges is to bring it down a notch – or to bring it out of my headspace into the everyday.

Through prayer, especially the Rosary, I feel the depth and width of my love for Jesus growing with each passing day. There has been a few instances when during prayer I have been overwhelm with emotions and tears as visons of sin unrealized and unconfessed come to mind. Jesus has also shown me through prayer that He has always been with me, and He has also shielded me on numerous occasion from falling into the clutches of darkness. Just as he has opens my eyes, He also comforts.

Once a part of the darkness, the road back to the light is soul wrenching. There is no other way to describe it. I know that meeting my husband was God send – His unconditional love for me never faltered through our 30 year plus relationship. Just as my children were gifts from God – to me – a woman who fervently claimed I would never bring children into this world. God blessed me with two adopted children.

The goal is making Jesus Christ real in every facets of our lives.

Since the start of the Advent, my sponsor and I have each chosen a Novena to focus and pray on. Through the process of sharing our thoughts each day via phone or text, I have come to realize how each of us have personalized and made praying real based on our personalities and character.

Through a process of self reflection and reflecting on key words or concepts, it opens up for each something uniquely special and personal. It leads to a journey of deepening faith and love for Christ. It guides us to prepare our hearts for celebrating not only Jesus’ arrival to us through His birth, but preparing our hearts and soul to receive Him upon His second coming.

Having a partner during this prayerful period has enriched me. As I am a person of extremes, my prayer partner reminds me to maintain a balanced life. This has been an enriching experience for me, as I realize through our conversations and text messages that not only are we two unique individuals, with different approaches to prayer, she has shown me her own process of personalizing the Novena. This has helped me to bring abstract concepts from my headspace into my daily life. Coming down to earth so to speak – as I think in the abstract – personalizing my Novena, brings it down to my everyday.

From the Mouth of a Child

My daughter often says to me, “Mom, use normal words, I don’t know what you mean.” Upon which I would stop and rephrase my sentence, or explain to her what I mean.

The other day I reminded Aleeza to pray (and ask Jesus for the confidence to stand in front of her class for her oral). Her adamant response was, “Mom, I don’t pray. I talk to Jesus.” I smile now as I recall her statement. Yes, that is what we do when we pray, we talk to Jesus. I like the way she has personalized her relationship with Jesus. He is her friend.

Finally, from the mouth of a child, “Jesus is our friend”.

Aside: God has a way of grounding us through our friends and family.

God Bless.

God’s Breath

My favourite season is Fall, especially when it’s sunny and the skies are a beautiful shade of cyan blue. The air is fresh, and even though it’s a bit nippy, with a warm jacket, a scarf and boots, I feel snuggly warm.

I used walking the dog as an excuse to get my 14 year old to accompany me. Like every teenager, she delights in staying in bed until 11:00 am on weekends. After some insistence along with the promise she can chill and have a lazy Saturday, she agreed.

I love the sight of leaves falling. It creates a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop of yellows, ochre, red and rust. Although all the trees in my neighbourhood are starting to look bare, there is a silent understanding that God’s hand is the maestro behind the intricate design – the masterpiece is called life. For me, it is the profound realization and sense of awesomeness that it is God’s majesty.

God is the Breathe of Life

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2: 7

I imagine God’s Breath of life upon my birth. This understanding gives me great joy – life is wonderful because God’s Breath (Holy Spirit) was within us from the very beginning.

The realization we all start with God’s Breathe at the onset makes me realize that it’s our choice whether we remain close to Him or not. God’s Breath is free.

I pray to God in thanksgiving for your grace and love. You gave each of us Your Breath of life.

I pray your Holy Spirit continue to guide me throughout my day – filling it with an inner happiness. It is an attestation that life is wonderful.

I pray for those who for whatever reason do not have Your Breath of life. I pray the Holy Spirit opens their heart and fill them with Your abundant Breath, that they may experience the joys in knowing you.

Praise be to God.

Amen

Happy Mother’s Day

I wanted to celebrate and wish my mom and moms everywhere – Happy Mother’s Day💕

Happy Mother’s Day💕

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. John 16:21 NIV

When I think of my mom, I thing about her strength and perseverance as well as her deep love for God.

She first came to Canada in the 50s as a young bride to my dad. It was based on a prearranged match made by her mother and future mother in law. I cannot even imagine the sense of uncertainty, anxiety and anticipation she must of felt as she got off the plane and met my dad for the first time. I can’t imagine the loneliness she must have felt in those early years as a young mom with no friends or support network.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25

I must say I lived my childhood within a hazy bubble (until my rebellious years surfaced when I became teenager. Then my angst and disagreeable personality took over.)

My mom was a homemaker who decided when we were old enough to go into the work force. How daunting it must have been for her with no English proficiency skills and no work experience. She really wanted to work and have financial independence, so my dad gave her the go ahead. My siblings and I were too young to understand how lonely and difficult it was for her.

I remember her sitting on a stool crying one day, but my immature self as wasn’t able to process it. It’s only now as an adult I can look back and feel deep empathy for my mom.

My earliest memories of my parents becoming Christians was when my mom was baptized while she was pregnant with my youngest brother. I remember sitting in the pews and thinking, “What would happen if the paster dropped her?” – the thinking of a young child!

When I think of God’s amazing love, I think how it changed my parents to become different people. Thinking back, I can see how the Holy Spirit moved in them to do the will of God. My parents opened their home and hearth to the Chinese community. Welcoming new Christians to Wednesday night woman’s group to Friday night prayer meetings, to opening our kitchen to international students. My earliest childhood memories is of my mother as a strong woman who over time grew closer and closer to God. After the death of my father, and as she got older, she came into her own person as a servant of God. Today, she is active in her church, as well as a role model to those around her.

My relationship with my mom has also grown as I also became a mom. I think a big part of it is excepting my mom for her experience, insights and wisdom, and letting go of my own baggage and misconceptions of what I want my mom to be like.

Her process and journey was not a smooth one. For one she had to deal with me – the prodigal daughter who during my late teens and early adulthood was rebellious and disobedient.

The journey of mother and daughter relationship also mirrors my own journey of understanding and acceptance. It’s a journey of becoming my own person within the socio-cultural confines of embracing two opposing paradigms – the Chinese and Western – and of Christianity. It is also the story of God’s love and of the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Thank you Mom❤️

As I grow older, the depth of my appreciation and love for my own mom, grows stronger. Thank you mom!

God bless all mothers❤️

Little White Lies…

For we have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

It’s often hard for parents to teach our children right from wrong, and especially hard to teach them from a Christian standpoint. It’s hands on, and oftentimes preparedness armed with the tools God gives us – the BIBLE. Through the BIBLE we are given wisdom and knowledge.

Little white lies…

The other day I noticed a full bag of chips shrunk by half. I casually asked my 13 year old if she had any. Her immediate reply, “No”.

“Who?”

“I don’t know”

It was a small matter, but I repeated the question and got the same response. The issue in my mind was how do I make my daughter recognize that her little lie has consequences. How do I teach her that it’s wrong to lie. How do I guide her to understand that lying however big or small, it’s still a lie and it’s not only wrong, but a sin!

How do I as a mom get her to owe it?

Mom, “MeiMei you are doing bad stuff that makes God sad”.

If we sin, we will go to a bad place when we die.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.Revelation 21:8 KJV

Mom asks, “MeiMei, do you think you’ve sin?“

“Hmm, No.”

He came to earth as an infant.

With a calm face, I tell her the story of Jesus. I explain to her how Jesus is God who lived in heaven, but he came down to earth as man (human). He lived for 33 1/2 years without sin. There were certain people who were jealous of Jesus and using fake charges, lied and framed him. They crucified Jesus and then buried Him. Jesus raised himself from the dead. Jesus is now in heaven.

Hence, He was crucified, buried and resurrected.

Do you know why Jesus went through all this bloodiness for?

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

It’s because of our sin. This prevents us from going to heaven. The only thing that can wash away our sin is the blood of Jesus. This is the only way we can go to heaven.

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Romans 5:9

Only through the blood of Jesus can wash away our sin.

Mom, “Are you sorry for being a sinner?”

“Yes.”

Upon which this mom tells her daughter, “All you have to do is say it to God.”

If we believe and say to God. He will forgive.

Amen!

The Lost Necklace 

Ephesians 2:1
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us


Ok I lost it last night, got angry at my daughter for losing a special necklace I had given her on her 10th birthday, specially because she had lied to me.  For the past 3 months whenever I asked her why she was not wearing it, there was always an excuse until I was cleaning her room – then I saw the empty jewellery box.

She was afraid I would be mad at her, and indeed I was since she has hidden the truth from me for months.

As a parent I am angry she lied to me, and needed her to recognize and own the fact she lied.

I’m sorry is too easy a way to get out of a situation without owning and taking responsibility for her action – in this case not the lost necklace, but the lie.

All too often we resolve situations, especially in children by teaching them to say, “I’m sorry”. How often do we teach kids to own it. Paying lip service and saying “I’m sorry” does not teach a child the depth and responsibility of owning their lies or actions that lead to the lie.

Yes I was angry and in my cloud of emotionalism directed it at my daughter. I feel remorse that I did not handle it better, and in turn feel I fall short of Jesus ‘ loving nature. Gods love for us is without condemnation, he loves us unconditionally. How it must have hurt and sadden him when I myself have lied and sin against him.

He asks us to own our sin and then sin no more.

As a parent that is my own hope for my daughter. I love her unconditionally, but am hurt she feels the need to lie to me. How we must hurt God with our sin.

Lord God, forgive me for falling short of your glory – for getting mad at my daughter for lying to me. How I must have hurt you when I myself have done the same. Guide me to be a wise mom, and guide me to be a role model, and the mom you meant for me to be for my children. 

Open my daughters heart to understand the difference between a lie and the consequences that proceeds its. Guide her to take responsibility and own her lie so that she can restore her relationship with you. 

Guide me to do the same with her, to have a calm heart, and the wisdom to handle the challenges of a mother and daughter relationship. The ability to keep my mouth shut.

In the name of Jesus,
Amen