Something I forget as I time and time again strive at my pace – of stress filled hyperactivity- to slow down and work at Jesus’ pace:
Matthew 11:28-29 International Standard Version
28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Place my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble,[a]and you will find rest for your souls,[b]
I’ve burnt myself out the pass week – no it’s been months – working myself into a frenzy. Imposing high expectations upon myself.
It’s so easy to fall into this hectic mayhem and let myself become befuddled – so I give my yoke to you Jesus. Take this burden off me. Let me work within your Grace and at your pace.
Have the faith within to know that no matter how crazy, desperate and hectic the situation is, whether it is work related, personal or the family, I must trust that they hand of Jesus in my life will clear a path for me. This can be clearing the mental pathway to think and see clearer, or moving circumstances around us and others – this is His unseen hand at work.
We each have our personal narratives, our personal story that’s filled with our lived experiences…
…This is what makes us each unique. As each of us are different, we are also one under God.
When I made that decision to follow Jesus, I gave up the ME…and all the Me that was created by the “isms”, structures, framework and models of this world died with me as I gave my life for Christ.
This is a hard idea to grasp, as the world today focuses on “ME”, my individual voice, my cultural and ethnic identity, my race, my social group, and my economic group (the list is endless). When I think about it, the world has created many different categories for me to exist in. I call this systematic identification.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said
If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.
This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.
1 Timothy 2:5-6
How I ask…
How do I let God’s will in me play out? How do I let God lead me? So often I have asked myself how I know it is God’s will verse my own. How do I identify the difference? First, if I do not know the scripture and what God tells me though it, then I cannot discern. I know now having walked with God, sometimes closely, and at other times far behind what is his will, and what is mine. The Holy Spirit working within me guides me and always bring me back to His fold. Just as I know when I have fallen into the traps of this world, of power play, of sinful thoughts, of the ways of the flesh…there is a gut awareness. I know!
The challenge is whether I listen to God or not. God always has a way to nudge me and get me back on the right track. It can be through a life lesson, or through another person. Sometimes its’ painful, at other times I can laugh.
Often it is only in after thought that I can recount the many ways the Hand of God has been working to guide me through others, through the Bible, and though my inner sense of right and wrong. There are times when I am sensitive to His voice, and there are times when I am downright rebellious. He never forsakes me. For this I am grateful.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
It’s Victoria Day over here in Canada, and today it’s special for our family because our dog – Candy – is 7 years old. That’s middle age in doggie years.
She’s not our first Keeshond, and I’ve got to say she is stubborn – but fluffy and cute. She suffers from severe allergies, so we are careful what we feed her. For part of the year she has to take allergy medication. She has a fear of other dogs, but love humans. She loves to jump on the sofa even though I’ve told her time and time again – NO! When she hears the word “rice” she goes crazy! It’s her favourite food, so we give her some when we make it. She sits in front of the rice cooker and waits. She even knows it’s rice when we spell it out!
We have always had pets in our family. Over the 30 plus years Daniel and I have been together, we’ve had three dogs, along with pets we’ve fostered. Mathieu use to sleep on Maggie, our Golden Retriever . There was the time Celine the Black Labrador we fostered chewed up all of Meimei’s Barbie dolls. There’s never a dull moment, but loads of wonderful memories. There was also the time Shadow, our first Keeshond went blind and got lost. We panicked and looked for her in my mother-in-laws neighbour, only to find she was able to find her way back. She also climbed up the 3 flights of stairs to her balcony. Surprise can’t even describe how we felt when we opened the patio door and saw her sitting there.
I remember the grieving process when our first two dogs passed away (Daniel cried, while I was much more pragmatic about it). We had sworn we wouldn’t get another pet. Well 7 years ago while our kids were still young we adopted another – Candy.
Just some thoughts on pets as I think about my dog. So a bit of a ramble on my part:) There is a natural affinity within us to love animals big and small. We love them, care for them, and they are a part of our family. They can heal lonely hearts, and also fulfill within us a need to nurture. I adopted Maggie (our Golden Retriever) after seeing her at an animal shelter. She had just had a litter and her previous owners puts her up for adoption. She looked so lonely and sad. I couldn’t help but bring her home. Daniel was away for work at the time. So imagine his surprise upon returning home.
Do animals have a soul? I’ve often wondered about this and looked to the Bible to see what God has to say about it:
Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Ecclesiastes 3:21
The full verse of Ecclesiastes 3 basically sums up this bond between humans and animals. It’s hard for me to take out one specific verse, as the whole has depth and is meaningful.
I’ve highlighted the following:
18. I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
God loves his creation. God also provides for His creatures. The Psalmist writes about this: He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. Psalm 147:9
We also see that The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. Psalms 104:21
If God loves us and all his creation, how can we also not love animals big and small: Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? Luke 12:6
Have a Blessed Day and Happy Victoria Day to those in Canada.
It’s official….High School for my daughter and son restarts in September. Today my daughter went to her high school and collected all her binders, shoes (2+), and all her “junk” (What? 3 bottles of body spray? Really?) from her locker. My son was still in bed!
Being at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, routines have been a bit off for my children. The tiger mom in me has been lenient. I only ask each child make their own schedule. The only demand I have comes from Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life An Antidote for Chaos – 1. Make your bed!
I’ve got to say there are many benefits to being a “tiger mom” (coughs, coughs, OK it means I am pretty strict!). My daughter sets aside 6 hours daily to focus on her studies using zoom and other online platform supplied by her school. She is able to organize and schedule in time for breaks, snacks and working out. My son on the other hand is now a young adult and stays up till the wee hours. I personally don’t mind his nocturne habits as long as all his school work is done. As long as he maintains his standards of excellence, I basically don’t need to supervise his study time.
On the weekends they are free to relax and chill, but my favorite time is Sunday morning. We watch an online Sunday Church Service together, and then I cook brunch for the family. These are precious moments for me during our quarantine.
What can we do when there’s nothing we can do about it?
We are all living with some sense of anxiety, challenges and financial fall back. That’s a given!
My sister sent the family a link this morning – How to Persevere in Tough Times by Andy Stanley.
It reminds us to make a conscious paradigm shift, and to embrace the trials we have with an attitude of faith. Yes, our faith in God will be tested, and if we are afraid – we pray and ask God for wisdom. Are we strong enough to endure? I for one can honestly say I can stand strong in the face of chaos only because I know that the Hand of God rests upon me.
1. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,2. knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.5. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1: 1-5
My personal to do list during COVID-19 stems from not wanting to waste time during my quarantine. My goal is spiritual growth and reflection upon the grace of God in my life. It’s of trusting God, and stepping outside of my comfort zone. My goal is to motivate my children to want to know more about God. It’s to share the story of Jesus – let them who have ears – hear. I want to share my love for Him. I want to be a living example of someone who lives in with the Holy Spirit in me. Finally, I want them to live mindfully and embrace the daily nuances big or small.
Within all the unknowns around the COVID-19, it is my time to time to “persevere” and trust in God to guide me/us. It is also for me/us to ask for wisdom to think critically and sheive make the right choices.
Let us start each day with a time of silence. It’s not hard to take 5 to 6 minutes out of our day in quiet prayer with God.
I pray for the perseverance to to endure. I pray that my faith grows stronger. I will stay with God and not quit!
13.Here is something I am still sure of. I will see the Lord’s goodness while I’m still alive. 14.Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14
One of the challenges I’ve had is finding time for God each day. Before our national wide shut down and self quarantine, my daily routine was jam packed with family and work. I am a workaholic (OCD) at heart, often time’s I don’t stop till past midnight. I use to joke to my kids I can survive on 4 to 6 hours of sleep🙃
Where is God?
There are a lot of vehicles that can help with our daily worship – from online bible studies to booklets, to more serious discipleship. There is actually something out there to meet our different styles of learning and lifestyles when it comes to drawing nearer to God.
For myself it’s different depending on my mood. There are days I read and contemplate over Gods word. There are days I watch teachings by certain pastors online. Then there are other days I listen to Christian music. There are some days I feel more needy for God.
I think as long as God is in our heart, He will always guide us as we search for truth, and as we strive to deepen our relationship with Him. Keeping it fresh keeps it from becoming a stale relationship.
These days I use the Churchome apps developed by Judah Smith. I first came across this pastor through his book: “Jesus is ________”
The guided prayer in the Churchome apps is a good way to start my day. For myself, since using this apps, not only does it fits into my zany day, but I find my mind drifting back to God. Sometimes it means exploring and reflecting upon a specific incident or memory that require inward reflection and purification (asking for forgiveness and maturity). Some days I dig deeper and read the chapter related to the Bible verse, or I read the whole book from which the verse was drawn.
Gods word is also an inspiration for my daily living. There is immense joy in His words, just as it can trigger a reflection and inward understanding of “self” (ego). Gods’ word can humbled me, give me insight, and open my heart to His immense love.
Why do I like this apps? I like the fact that I can spend 6 to 10 mins each morning in guided prayer with God. It guides us with scripture and prayer to think and meditate upon Gods words. This apps is able to capitalize on technology and embrace God within our popular culture. It’s tech savvy and easy to use. It is a good vehicle in welcoming and sharing the Gospel with the young. It passes on Christianity to the next generation…
There are a lot of online platforms – online Churches using apps and online platforms like YouTube to spread The Gospel. Some are better at reaching our young children and youth than others. Regardless of our prejudices towards technology (especially us older folks) – our youths are immersed in technology – and the only way to reach them is through multimedia platforms that sparkles with their type of hip and flash.
God bless and thanks for reading❤️I think at the end of the day it is personal discernment. I teach my students to use the shopping cart method. There are a lot of different critiques and “isms” out there. Pick and chose those that suit your personal learning style and mind frame. At the end of the day, God will guide you. Ask for His guidance to help you make the right choices.❤️
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14 | KJV
Your unending love pouring down on me…Daniel and I adopted our two children when they were infants. We were in our 40s. We were not sure about starting a family after 20 years together – the thought of being parents so late in our lives was life changing and daunting! We put our faith and trust in God’s hand, and with a prayerful heart we waited.
I kept a prayer journal during this process. Reading it recently I can honestly say I am embarrassed by the nagging, pestering, and whining – what a pain the the neck I must have sound. I was like the many women in the Bible who didn’t trust God’s plan. Like Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Job’s wife and many others in the BIBLE…our insecurities abound. Doubtful and sometimes mournful:
“Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son,’” (Genesis 18:13-14).
God answers prayers!
As undeserving and as imperfect I was and am – I am thankful!
My promise to God was to bring them up in Christ Jesus. This itself was and is a proven challenge especially our world today. Children meander in a very different world! Their grasp and in your face technology is not to be ignored. As a mom, I’ve embraced this technology to communicate with them. From finding the right Christian atmosphere, to looking for ways to share with my children God’s teachings has been nothing short of challenging!
My gift to my children is this blog. Here I can share with them. I can share some insights about being a mom, along with the living testament of an extremely flawed individual. I can also share the story of my Salvation through the blood of Jesus.
Praise be to God!
Believe it or not this is how I share with them Jesus’ story, and how my life has been impacted by Him.
Every blog post is sent to my children. They read it and in some cases they tell me what typo or grammatical errors I’ve made.
Aleeza was actually insulted I use MeiMei when I refer to her. I told her it was a security precaution, but she wanted me to use her real name ^_^
…was the Western name we gave – Aliza – was chosen for its’ Hebrew roots. It means “great happiness” and “joy”. Her name is a living testimony of Gods hands in our lives – “great happiness” and “joy”. Hmm, not mentioned there is and will be challenges that comes with being parents. Different age = different issues! The journey is never ending!
…is the French version from the first book of the New Testament- Matthew. Also with a history that stems back to the Hebrew and the Old Testament – Gift of God:
(Mattityahu)meaning “gift of YAHWEH“, from the roots מַתָּן (mattan)meaning “gift” and יָה (yah) referring to the Hebrew God. Matthew, also called Levi, was one of the twelve apostles. He was a tax collector, and supposedly the author of the first gospel in the New Testament. The name appears in the Old Testament as Mattithiah.
Time passes quickly and in a blink of an eye he is a young man. I miss those days when he was a toddler. A young adult – my husband and I encourage him to be autonomous, to make proactive decisions about his goals and walk in life. I pray God walks with him.
14 years and 5 months ago, my husband and I received the most precious gift from God – a bundle of joy from South Korea.
At 42, I a was a mom! Those tumultuous and self centered years of meandering through life, faded into the background as I held him in my arms.
We had prepared ourselves with many self help books for newbie parents. Resourceful guides to help us through the first 24 months of our son’s developmental progress. Nothing prepared me for the act of selflessness that comes with caring for an infant(s) – and although I thought I was prepared to be a new mom – I wasn’t. It was humbling.
We had given up hope of having children – it was just going to be the two of us, until that summer when my sister and her husband entrusted Dan and I with the care of their two young children while they went on vacation. It was a life changing experience. We discovered the joy of children, and imagined being parents. We wanted a family – and my biological clock was ticking. Adoption was the only option for us!
We placed all our hopes in God to fill the hole in our lives. How I must have whined daily and I’m sure I was a pain in the neck as I scribbled away in my prayer journal.
With every stroke of the pen, with every prayer I asked God for a child. My daily prayers were simple and full of hope. I even gave God a list of what I wanted in our child. Oh I can imagine God’s lift eyebrows as I look back on those prayers.
God you are all forgiving, all merciful, and all glorious!! You have done great thing in my life! All my hope is in you!
We went through the adoption process in December 2011, and had our application in by March, and our bundle of joy arrived in July 2012. God’s hand was present throughout the process, and when he arrived at the airport, he was 4 months old. Surround by family and friends, we welcomed him into our lives. Our promise to God – to bring him up within His embrace.
Oh there were many challenges of taking care of an infant. After 21 years together, we went through a period of adjustment. Each day saw our love grow deeper as we fell in love with our son. Living in the moment, we savored and appreciated the new challenges in our lives. Each day was a learning experience, from being panicky and nervous parents, to watching him pull his first temper tantrum at 24 months, to the tenderness and love as we embraced being parents under God’s hands is precious.
You gave Dan and I what we could handle – both spiritually, and in our lives. You have taught me many life lessons about being a believer, a mom, a wife, and a teacher.
The joy of being a mom, is also a life long process where each thought, idea, inspiration, goal, ability is examined and made new. Along with trials to my patience, attitude, prejudices, bias, and character flaw mirrored and revealed – You Dear Jesus, guide me towards change.
“Down on my knees again surrendering all…I’m desperate for you…. drench my soul, I hunger for you….”. I Surrender- Hillsong Live Cornerstone
Thank you God for the gift of answered prayer! Thank you Jesus for guiding me to be the best mom I can be. For showing me daily my flaws and short coming as I interact with my son – with my children. Thank you for your grace, that with You in me, I can make the effective changes to be an awesome mom. Thank you for always being there to get me back on track when I make a wrong turn ❤
What a way to start my day…I popped into the kitchen for some coffee while a feisty rant fest was playing out with my co workers. Before I knew it I made a comment which further stirred the pot as 3 pairs of eyes glared at me. “Sheesh!” “I really need to remember to simply shut my mouth!”
When we are Jesus filled, I can honestly attest that we go through a transformation. The way we see the world changes, just as that sinful person we were goes through a series of self reflection and insight, and change. God’s grace changes our perspectives and perceptions of the world. The negative we once felt make way for an understanding as we leave our sinful past behind us, and yes, we are made new. Those things we love to do or say in the pass is behind us. I am not saying it’s an overnight phenomenon, but over time, as we embrace Christ within us…we go through a transformation process, because He is now guiding us.
Stepping outside of my comfort zone, of my Church and worship community, and dealing day in and day out with the world around me is daunting and challenging.
As much as I love being in my comfort zone, I think about Jesus – Our wondrous God who came to us in human form so that we may come to know him. He walked among us and help those in need. He healed the sick. His ministry was with the outcast of society. Jesus emulated love. How do I emulate love when I hide from the world?
When we let Jesus into our life and soul, there is something inside us which is transformed. The judgmental, bitchy, negative me – the me who use to sit with the girls and trash talk has faded away. Instead my heart is filled with a love for Jesus that raises in me a depth of soulfulness that I cannot even articulate. I can say that there is a song in my heart. My pen composes love songs for Jesus. There have been moments when I am so overwhelmed with his love, I feel the tears of joy run down my cheeks.
There is also this incredible feeling within to share with others the love that emulates from with in…I want to shout, and sometimes imagine myself lifting my arms in praise of our glorious God. I am aware that those around me – those who have known me – do not understand the changes in me. I have become an outcast and a freak!
Yes, I am happy to live in my bubble, sharing with my fellow Jesus loving family and community, but He calls out to me to walk among the non believers. They are in our workplace, our schools, and we pass them by daily….and Jesus wants us to show mercy, to love, and share our love of Him with those around us. He wants us to tell others how much Jesus loves them too!
Out there, not everyone is gonna think like me, or even share the same religion as me. It’s not about me! It is about sharing the love of Jesus! There’s someone out there who desperately need to know of his love. There is someone out there who wants to know Jesus. Repeat, it is not about me, but about sharing the love of Jesus with others.
God wants to use us as an instrument of help and hope in the world. How can I let God use me if I hide in my shell – my comfort zone? The world yearns for hope, and I have a God who is all about hope and glory – How can I be so selfish that I would want to keep this good news to myself?
Yeah it is scary – they are different from me, with different backgrounds, different opinions, diverse personalities, and their lifestyles are not necessarily like mine, but God still calls us to the world.
Yes, I will feel discomfort, as I did when I should have shut up! I will definitely feel the blunt of their disagreement, and their disdain, but we have a God who wants to partner with us, and He calls us to follow him like fishers of men to outreach!
The next time I find myself in a similar situation, I pray I have the insight and wisdom to smile, and simply say,”Good Morning!”