31 July 2008

Learning from My Kids

Lately, God has been teaching me some lessons through my children. Lessons about myself, my parenting and most especially my relationship with Him.

Lesson 1: Unconditional Love
No matter how many times I reprimand them or nag or scold, or discipline them or turn them away when I'm in a really crabby mood, all my three kids still manage to come up to me just to give me a hug with a heart-melting "Love you, Ma" to match.

And I hear God saying, "I love you just like that. Nevermind that you're upset with Me at times or don't want to talk to Me or that you just plain ignore Me. I love you just the same and I will never ever turn you away."

Then I also realize that I really should be careful with my kids' fragile emotions. The thought that if Christ doesn't come back just yet and they get to grow up into adults, makes me promise myself to be a better parent--a more loving mom--so as not to leave emotional scars on their tender hearts.

Lesson 2: Faith
My children always believe what I tell them. Period. And they think I could do just about anything. The idea that I sometimes can't draw them a Parasaurolophus (one of their dinosaurs) is simply unthinkable. I'm supposed to know how to draw that or to make a paper cutout of it. They have a fit if I seriously tell them that I really really don't know how to make it.

I can hear God telling me, "You know I can do absolutely anything. Nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible or too hard for Me. So why don't you just hand over that ministry situation or co-worker relationship that you think is impossible to fix. I can make it much better if You just believe and let Me work on it."

I also realize that I have to live my faith in the God of the impossible in front of my children if I want them to learn how to trust God absolutely. I must first set the example.

Lesson 3: Pay Attention
Just these past couple of weeks I keep hearing myself tell my eldest son, "Caleb! Pay attention! Listen well to instructions. Pay attention to them. Instructions are very important. You won't know what to do without them...are you listening?"

I feel like I have to repeat those same sentences to him every so often these days. But just last week while I was running my usual tirade about paying attention, I suddenly stopped. It was like God was telling me in a loud voice, "You should practice that yourself...paying attention." I also heard Him say almost audibly, "Have you been paying attention to what I've been trying to tell you? Are you listening my child?"

Too often, I now realized how I always seemed to be in a hurry during my time with God. I need to pay attention more to Him if I ever want to fulfill my life's purpose. I also need to pay attention to my husband and children before I expect them to pay attention to me as well. Reciprocity. Mutuality.

Three major life lessons, I must say. I may not have mastered them, I admit. But I'm getting there--learning to apply them everyday, a step at a time. Easier said than done. But still I'm getting there. And getting better.

05 July 2008

Too Thin

I have not posted anything for almost three months. The reason is in my post below. It's actually a repost from my private online journal. I just hope I recover soon...


I'm afraid I have spread myself too thin.

It used to be that teaching kids got me all excited. NOW I feel tired and a tad irritated at just the thought of having to deal with the mixed-age group of youngsters in our church. It used to be that I loved working at the computer. NOW I'm only in front of it because I have an online job and I need to write stuff but I feel relieved when I don't need to turn it on. It used to be that I got all fired up just thinking about and planning what we would do at the next ladies' fellowship. NOW I get anxious contemplating what we're supposed to do on the next meeting. It used to be that I would look up resources for the youth ministry, the music team, or prayer group. NOW, I just feel so very tired when I think that I still have to do all that.

It used to be that I would rush the Sunday newsletter even to the wee hours of the morning and have it printed in time for 9:00 am Sunday worship. NOW, the Sunday Word has been put on hold. I have not thought about it or really planned when to resume preparing it.

It used to be that I would diligently look for what else to work on when my online tasks are done. NOW, I just sleep while waiting for them to give me another task to work on. It used to be that I would say "Hi" to people on my YM list when work was on a lull. NOW, I think twice then back off because I feel tired at the thought of carrying on an online conversation.

It used to be that I looked forward to thinking up new preparations for our daily family meals. NOW, I prepare what cooks in no time. It used to be that I was a really sunny and nice-to-be-with Mom. NOW, I'm simply monster-mama because I get so crabby and grumpy at the slightest provocation.

The list of "It used to be's" and "Now's" could go on and on. I want the world to stop for a while or may be I can go take a vacation for a week doing nothing but sleeping and eating and reflecting on how I am to go on with my life. I have been wanting, longing, desiring, praying to be able to take a much needed break.

I got back from kids camp just before summer officially ended. During that time, one of the staff suggested I do something...I forget now what it was but it sure was ministry-related (or was it work-related?). Anyway, I told the dear sister that if I did that I would have to be scraped off the wall. I am just so tired to do anything. It's like what my husband calls being on "auto-pilot."

Yes, I am probably on auto-pilot because there doesn't seem to be time to take a break yet...however, badly needed it may be.