I finally get it. This life, this world, it’s not the end. It’s not what I should be living for. I have nothing to fear and nothing to lose. When I die, and I will die someday, it won’t be the end. I have eternity to look forward to. Someday I will meet my Savior face to face. The things of this world will pass away. I will have forever to be with God. And those who go before me and go after me, I will get to see them again if they have placed their hope and trust in Jesus. I don’t have to make the most of this life as if this is all I have. That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t value the time I have. Of course I should enjoy the life I have been given. I should love others, point them to Jesus, and follow God’s leading in my life. There’s so much more to life than what I’ve been living. I don’t have to live in fear or worry. So, what if today is my last day? I have Peace that God will take care of my family. What if Yusheng passes before me, I have the knowledge that I will see him again. Of course I will miss those who go before me, of course my heart will ache. But I have hope, joy, and peace. It’s not the END! I will get to see them again. I feel like I can live life more fully now. I can boldly follow God wherever He calls me.
Today Chrysantha learned how to walk along the couch. She was motivated by a ball that she really wanted. She saw her goal and she went after it. But, it wasn’t easy. She would hesitantly move her hand just a little. Then she would pick up her foot and move it just a little to the side, testing things out. She needed lots of encouragement. She was doing something new and it was scary. She had to keep looking at her goal and take those small steps towards it. She even went back to the safety and familiarity of the wooden cube (which is lower and easier to hold onto) for a moment. But, she kept going.
Watching Chrysantha reminded me of my journey with God. So often He calls me to step out in faith. If I am willing to focus on Him and take even just small steps towards Him I am rewarded. It is so tempting to stay with what is familiar. It is tempting to give up. Chrysantha wanted to give up. She got so frustrated. But, she kept moving forward. She made it to her goal. It was hard, it was tiring, but she did it. She persevered.
I need to be more like her and like Paul. In Philippians 3:7-14 NIV Paul says:
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
I want to press on. I want to keep going forward. I want to keep learning and growing. I want what God has for me. It may take a lot of baby steps to get there, but I choose to follow Christ.
A couple weeks ago my small group discussed Luke 14. Jesus tells the Pharisees a parable about guests at a wedding banquet. Jesus says in Luke 14:11 (NIV) “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” This led to a discussion about being humble and about our self worth. I realized that it is easier to be humble when we are rooted in our identity in Christ. We are aware that what others say or think about us doesn’t matter. How others treat us doesn’t matter either. We, as Christians, are children of God. Our worth is found in Jesus and the fact that He died on a cross to save us. We matter to Him. How society views us is not important.
It wasn’t until today that I realized how this applies to my life specifically. I’ve been dealing with an issue with someone for a couple of years. It’s pretty simple really, I paid for something, but have yet to receive what I paid for. There have been many conversations about it and plans to resolve the issue. But, it’s taking a while. Every time I think about it, I get angry. Months go by and then I remember again. The anger can be consuming. This morning, I was reflecting on why it makes me so angry. A light bulb went off. It’s because I’ve tied it to my self worth. This issue has made me feel unimportant, forgotten about, not cared for or valued. When I untangle my sense of worth from the issue, I am no longer angry about it. When I remember who I am in Christ, I realize that I am valued, loved, cared for, and remembered. God sees me and knows me. I don’t need others to feel good about myself.
I know that I do the same thing in lots of areas in my life. I hold onto offenses and let them dictate who I am. When another driver cuts me off, I get annoyed and it chips away at my identity. When the barista gets my drink wrong for the umpteenth time, I get frustrated and wonder why nobody cares to listen to me. When someone forgets to call me back, I feel unloved. I’ve tied who I am into how others treat me.
Today, I am recognizing how my thought process needs to change. I know I will forget, but as I focus on God more and listen to Him, I can choose His voice over the voice of others.
I can’t believe my baby girl turned a month old yesterday! It seems like time is flying by so quickly. I’m amazed at all that has happened in just such a short time. My life has changed dramatically.
There are times when it doesn’t seem real. The reality that I’m a mom and that I have a daughter has yet to fully sink in. I’m living this life, but mentally I just can’t quite comprehend it all.
Did you ever have that thing that you hoped and dreamed about for a long time and then when you got it you just couldn’t believe that it was really yours? That’s kind of how I feel. I feel like I’m living in a dream. Until 2 AM happens and I’m up nursing my baby and then she falls asleep so I try to put her down, but then she wakes up again and is hungry and repeat. Now that, that doesn’t feel like a dream. But I digress. I think part of what makes it feel like a dream is that it’s still hard to believe that I’m a mom. But also, motherhood is so different than what I expected.
I didn’t know how much I would love my baby. When she crys it makes me sad. I just want to make everything okay for her. When I’m apart from her I’m sad. I just want to hold her and snuggle her all the time. I don’t want to share her with anyone else, not even my husband. We have this special relationship that can’t be had with anyone else.
I also didn’t know how frustrated I would get. Like when she won’t latch on even though she’s clearly hungry and her body is rigid making it hard for me to help her find my breast. Or in the middle of the night when all I want to do is sleep, but she’s hungry and wants to snuggle with me. And then I get frustrated at myself for getting frustrated at her. She’s just a baby who needs her Momma. A sweet innocent precious baby.
I’ve learned a lot in a month, about her, about me, about my husband, and about God.
I used to think my daughter hated wet diapers, but it turns out that’s not true. She much rather eat when she wakes up and then have her diaper changed. She also likes being carried in the Boba wrap. It helps her to fall asleep. She likes her paci to help her fall asleep and then she spits it out and keeps sleeping. She likes car rides better now that I moved her straps up a notch. She loves it when her Baba sings to her and plays with her.
I’ve been lonely. It’s hard being by myself when my husband’s at work. I need people. I’ve always known this, but I feel it more acutely now. I also don’t know how to talk to people. It takes so much energy to have a conversation, but I need those interactions. I get stressed when the baby seems unhappy. I need to work on that. Stressing out doesn’t help anybody.
I’ve learned how incredible my husband is. He loves our daughter so much. It makes me so happy to see him with her. When he changes her diaper he’ll sing to her or play a game. I love those moments that I get to witness. And he loves me so well. He takes care of me so I can take care of baby girl. He puts up with my crankiness. He even lets me take naps while he takes care of the baby. My love for him has grown so much.
My relationship with God has changed. I don’t have that deep intimate time with Him. I’m trying to spend some time in the middle of the night reading and praying. Lately I’ve been too tired though. But, God is always there. I’m understanding more of how He loves us. A parent’s love is so different than any other kind of love.
This whole being a Mom thing is so different than what I thought. It’s so much better and so much more incredible. I don’t love it every minute, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in a battle of wills. There’s what I want and need on one side and what my daughter wants and needs on the other. Sometimes our wills match up. Unfortunately this is usually not the case in the evening and middle of the night hours. She’ll wake up and want to be changed and fed. I, on the other hand, just want to sleep. Or she’ll want to be rocked and held, but I want to go to the bathroom or eat food.
When our wills are out of sync, we’re both unhappy. She cries if her needs aren’t being met. I get cranky when I don’t get sleep.
I am totally reminded of my relationship with God. I have a battle of wills with Him sometimes. Though I don’t see it as tangibly as I do with my baby. No, it’s much more subtle. But, the outcome is the same. When I am living and moving in the will of God for my life, I have a sense of peace and contentment. But, when I ignore His will and selfishly do what I want and desire, I am left feeling empty and unhappy.
My thoughts on this are still developing and formulating. I’m sure there will be a follow-up post.