Are You Listening?

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20 NKJV

My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry. James 1:19-20 CEV

Listen (webster): to hear; to attend.
1. To hearken; to give ear; to attend closely with a view to hear
2. To obey; to yield to advice; to follow admonition

Greek:
akouō (ak-oo-‘o)
A primary verb; to hear (in various senses):
– give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), (shall) hear (-er, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand.

Listening is hearing with attention.

I have to admit, I am not always listening with attention. We live in a busy world. Everyone is busy with something. We are always busy. As a mom, I am guilty of not listening to my son enough. Even though at 2 years old, he is speaking gibberish most of the time, and I don’t understand a single thing he is saying. Reflecting on this made me feel convicted that he deserved my full attention.  It is important for me to give him my full attention so he won’t stop telling me his thoughts and sharing his stories. I want him to know that mommy will always take time to listen to him.

Secondly, is to be willing to listen to the advice of those who love me, trusting that they have my best interest in mind.

Above all, is to listen to the gentle voice of my Heavenly Father.

 

Rhythm of Grace

For I the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, “fear not, I will help you. Isaiah 41:13 NKJV

This verse to me, reminded me of the GRACE of our loving Father.

It has been a challenging month, and there are times where I felt I could not make it through the day, or when I was ready to retire for the day I told myself I will do better tomorrow. But, when tomorrow comes, instead of having a happy boy, I get a rowdy boy and here I am trying to figure out what he wants.

As a mom, I don’t always know what I am doing. In fact, I find myself wondering what on earth am I going to do! I read books about momming, hoping to find encouragement and insights, learn from other moms, and etc. I try to give my best, but still fall short.

GRACE.
Greek = Charis (char’-ece)
The unmerited favor of God; this term refers to God’s inexplicable giving of good things (especially salvation) to underserving people who could never earn it.

This is the word that the Lord put in my heart for the last couple of weeks. I pondered on the word GRACE and as I meditate on this word, I saw a picture of an eagle riding on the wind, effortless flying above the sky. That is the kind of mom that the good good Father intended for me to be. Riding on the rhythms of His grace. Not striving by my own strengths, but recognizing God, learning from His word and inviting Him each day to help me and teach me as I become the mom He intended me to be.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Recognizing your calling for the season

To everything there is a season… Ecclesiastes 3:1

I recently launched my Etsy store. It was something I wanted to do since last year. I like to knit and crochet and I thought it will be nice that I could sell some to fund my hobby. I was a very nervous.

“Will people buy the things I make?”
“What if they don’t like what they get from me?”
“Can I handle negative comments?”
“What if nobody like the things I make?”

These are some of the thoughts that run through my mind. Being a seller means I am also being vulnerable, my biggest fear was if I would be able to sell something. (Although to date I only listed one product.)

My business occupied my mind for the whole week. I keep checking if anybody visit my shop and also checking on my instagram account, I was consumed by it. Then I was reminded about my calling for the season. I was called to raise my boys right now. Raising them are my priority and my business comes next.

Recognizing the calling of the season is important so that I don’t find my value in the success of my business. I am not just a homemaker, I have a higher calling, which is to raise the next generation of men that would be Christ disciples.

 

Flourishing within the home

… Your wife will be like a fruitful vine,
flourishing within your home. Psalm 128:3 (NLT)

Flourishing
= (of a person, animal, or other living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
= developing rapidly and successfully.

Hebrew: Parah (paw-raw)
= a primitive root; to bear fruit (literally or figuratively); bear, bring forth (fruit), (be, cause to be, make) fruitful, grow, increase.

Photo taken from IAMPETH archive

When I saw the word flourish, this image came into my mind.

When something flourishes, it is often beautiful and admirable.

I definitely do not see myself “flourishing” at this moment. I feel I am far from flourishing. My patience with my son is getting shorter and shorter each day as he pushes his boundaries. That’s not what I envision myself to be. I wanted to be patient with the soon-to-be 2 years old, but I fall short.

The good news is, God is not done with me.

In order for me to flourish, I need to allow God to prune me. The process of pruning is painful, but it is necessary. Cutting off the parts that will stunt my growth.

Back to the picture of the bird, a penman put in many hours of practice and consciously studying his lines and being mindful of his strokes and pressures, making a beautiful bird flourish does not happen overnight. In the same way, I have to intentionally and consciously follow the Lord’s teachings and commands.

Let us not grow weary walking in the Lord and allow him to work in us and through us.

 

Knowing Yourself

Whoever belongs to God hears what God says… John 4:47 (NIV)

Belong (according to Webster dictionary)
= to be the property of a person or thing
= to be attached or bound by birth, allegiance, or dependency
= to be an attribute, part, adjunct, or function of a person or thing

Knowing who we belong to is very important because it will shape our identity and how we view ourselves.

When I first got married, I had the tendency to ask my husband’s permission if I could eat something that he bought for the house. That’s because growing up, I stayed with my aunt and I did have to ask permission if I wanted something. I did not feel that I belong to her family, she was just my guardian. That view carried on into my marriage.

One day early on in our marriage, my husband looked me in the eyes and asked me, “why are you asking permission to eat something that you want? Everything in the pantry and fridge belong to you as well regardless of who bought it.” What he said that day was like a revelation to me. I now carry his last name, I am entitled to his protection and care.

The Bible tells us that God created us in his own image and we belong to him, we are who God says we are.

He says,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“I shaped you first inside, then out; I formed you in your mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

“You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

When negative thoughts flood your mind, remind your soul that you are a child of God, and you are who God says you are.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

Rest

Hebrews 4:1-3 (MSG)
For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified. We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith. Remember that God said,

Exasperated, I vowed,
“They’ll never get where they’re going,
never be able to sit down and rest.”

The word rest was in my heart for the whole week. I was wondering how can I rest when I have a toddler to attend to and chores to be done. As I dive a little deeper into the word REST in the bible, I found out…

Rest
= cessation from motion, peace and quiet.
= to rest on, to abide
= to trust, reliance

Rest, is one of God’s many promises.

Throughout the week I learned:

  1. Being able to stop doing things, and enjoy the fruit of your labour.
  2. Rest is not just about doing nothing, but to fully rely on God and his word. Feeding my soul with his promises other then just letting it filled with the troubles and to-dos that I have each day.

Each day I have to tell myself, my security is in the Lord. It is not about what I am able to do or not do, but it’s about what He is able to do through me and in me.

My interpretation on rest: trusting His words, having peace and being able to sleep at night (the Bible also says that God gives his people good sleep).

Matthew 11:28(MSG)
Are you tired? Worn out? Burn out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you will learn to live freely and lightly.

Pressing Pause

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and teaching in righteousness. 2 Tim 3:16

Archer is going to turn 2 in a few months. I must admit that motherhood is the toughest thing that I have ever done. The more I spend time with Archer, the more I realized I need to press pause each day to be with Jesus.

Scripture reminded me that ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD-BREATHED. If the scripture is God-Breathed, that means it’s life-giving. If I do not breathe in the breath that God has given me, how then can I make my home a life-giving home?

People say you must receive in order to give; I do agree with this statement, but receive what? Receive from who? The Lord is my creator, I must receive from him. He breathe life into my nostrils so I may live. He died on the cross so that I could have a life. In order to give life to my home, I MUST breathe in every word of God because all scripture is God’s breathed.

Giving what the lord has imparted in me is the best gift I could give to my children and my husband.

Hello Parenting

ETA – June 2016. Announce for the baby has been made to friends and family. He was only 12 weeks old, size of a pistachio. Greg and I was excited. We tried to prepare for Archer and prepare to be parents to our best knowledge.

Time passes, my tummy getting bigger and finally on June 6, 2016, around 5 pm, while preparing for dinner I felt some kind of pain and later my mum in law told me it’s contraction. I nod, and I keep on cooking and done by 6pm. We sat down for dinner and after the dinner, contraction becoming more frequent. Our brilliant mum asked Greg to time my contraction. We time it. every contraction last longer and longer. We called my doctor office, and we grab our bag and head to the hospital. After 22 hours, I finally get to hold Archer at 1:57pm, June 7, 2016.

Our world changes ever since. I will never know what a joy and fulfillment a child could bring until I have one myself. I constantly thank our Lord for giving us this precious gift.

Psalms 127:3
Children are a gift from the Lord;
They are a reward from him.