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Part I: Welcome to the club. My new (additional) identity – Mom.

Motherhood is definitely a completely different world to the regular one. It’s highly exclusive and can really suck you in and wrap you up so tightly, you could very easily lose track of what’s going on in the normal people’s reality. This club also seems to get a lot of approval from other people: strangers who offer their congratulatory messages and compliments about our babies, or the people who chat to us about simply how awesome our babies are, and other women – mostly older ones – who give us nice, genial smiles as they pass us by, as if we moms were some local heroine.  Of course, we are somewhat of a champ when you think about what we had to go through to have our babies, but it’s funny that all of a sudden, the world becomes much friendlier to you when you have a little one in tow. Other moms who pass you by look at your little one in the stroller, and give you the smile and nod of approval, as if to say, “well done, sister, you’re one of us now.”

AND, I love it! I love being part of this club and getting those approval looks, and chatting with random people about motherhood.

However, I remember being out a couple times sans little Benji, and suddenly the affable people were nowhere to be found. Nobody smiled at me on the bus; even the driver did not seem particularly interested in me. It felt weird, for I have been treated first class ever since we moved here to Canada. I felt somewhat uneasy, and almost insecure that Benji – my pride and joy – wasn’t there to “boost” my ego. Before becoming a mom, I would hear stories of the overbearing mom who constantly fussed over their kids, or the overly anxious mom who had trouble leaving their children for a day, and think: that would never be me. These moms need to learn to get their own lives. And here I am, only 2.5 months into this business, feeling quite lost just a few hours without my little guy!

Mommyhood can wrap you up so tightly, you forget your other identities, and have trouble simply being YOU. I have certainly gotten lost in this wave a few times. I hope God will always remind me that I am first and foremost His child, and that being a mom is just one of the many ways God wants me to serve Him. Apart from being a mom, I’m also a wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, work colleague, neighbor, etc. I need to still be the best of the other “people” I can be. And instead of being overwhelmed with pride about our baby (which I am and should be), I need to convert that all to humility and gratefulness that we have an adorable son. Instead of simply thinking “yes, he is the cutest!” I should add that “and yes, I am so blessed. God has been amazing to us.”

Having said that, though, it really is hard to detach yourself from the giddiness of being a mom where everyone is constantly paying you/your baby compliments and when you look at your newborn and think the world of him/her. Maybe it gets easier as the years go by, especially when they turn into unbearable adolescent monsters and nobody (me included) will be telling you how awesome your child is anymore.

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Tulips from Bry. We spent a great Valentine’s day together and with Benji. Bry got me flowers, I got him chips, and we made a nice dinner together (i.e., took turns to cook and look after Benji).I like that Valentine’s day has now broadened to be a day of remembering to show love for your significant other AND friends/family. In all that, I also remembered the great love that Christ showed to us from the verse in John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s day celebrating with friends, family, and most of all, basking in Christ’s love for us.

Jericho Beach by chertartlet
Jericho Beach, a photo by chertartlet on Flickr.

Once known as “Jerry’s Cove” that morphed into “Jericho” (so Biblical sounding!), this beach is really just about a 15-20 minute walk from our rented cottage. It’s such a calm and serene place, which overlooks North Vancouver and Downtown.

Already so beautiful in the winter, I have no doubts this place becomes absolutely stunning in the summer. Such pretty sights invariably invoke in me a sense of awe and wonder of God’s works.

While I believe in evolution and am constantly amazed by the science of how nature intricately works so well with one another, at the end of the day, I become even more convinced that something so wonderful and beautiful that works so well, can only be created by a higher Being, God.

The Apostle Paul in the Bible is an amazing man. He was a persecutor of Christians, then converted to the Christian faith and become one of the most powerful preachers and writers in the Bible. The love he had for God’s word and His people was amazing. His zeal and determination are inspiring. Yet, he often reminds us that it is not through his strength, but God’s, that he is who he was. He reminded us again and again that he was the “chief” sinner (in persecuting Christians). He was unworthy of God’s kingdom. Yet, in his final days in prison, just before he was beheaded, he garnered the strength and courage to write this in the book of Philippians 4: 13-16

13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”

God reminds us through Paul to look ahead. I don’t think he means to completely erase from our memories what had happened in the past, for that would be impossible and be living in denial. However, we are to learn from our past mistakes and look forward. It isn’t easy, I think, as Paul said to “press toward” which suggests a laborious movement. It is even more difficult when you are looking ahead to try to attain the high calling of God, as He wants us to strive toward righteousness in Him.

I pray that God continues to keep me looking onward and forward. To keep my vision on Him. To not be double minded anymore. To always be proud to be a daughter of God and never deny Him again. I have made many mistakes, and they have humbled me. I now understand why God said in the bible that he came not to call the righteous, but sinners. I never understood sin until I walked the wrong path and woke up from it. Then, I realized what sin was, and how much sin everyone has. For God has also said, there is no one righteous.

I thank God for the trials in my life and especially for the outcomes: finally having a solid understanding of my faith and drawing me closer to Him.

Yes, He is. “It is finished,” He cried; and on the third day, He arose. Sin hath no more dominion on man. We now live under grace, not law. Whosoever believeth on Him shall never perish but have eternal life. What Christ did on the cross only became so much more meaningful to me in the last few years even though I accepted the faith when I was about 8 years old. Better late than never. Because once I fully understood, everyday, I am more and more amazed and astounded when I think about Jesus’ life, salvation, God’s love for mankind, and Jesus’ true power especially through His resurrection.

Hallelujah, the tomb is empty and because He conquered death and is risen, we who believe, will have eternal life in  Him. I pray that the world will reflect on this great message of Salvation amidst all the chocolate eggs, easter bunnies, ham, and other festive foods. Thank You for the Cross AND for this great message of love, power, and everlasting hope.

Thank You for the cross, Lord. For today we observe a “symbol of the noblest of traditions.” Christian theologies, religious rules, differences, and all the other noise aside, today is the reminder of the gracious act on the cross for my sins and that of the world and His triumph over death three days later. It is this core message that drew me back from the disappointment in religion and Christianity, back to Him.