Sunday, 18 August 2013

Mirror, Mirror

When I stepped out from the shower, I stood in front of the window and inspected my baby bump. I feel a rush of happiness knowing that my son has been growing inside my tummy, but at the same time also noticed the changes in curves that pregnancy has brought.

These days I don't feel as attractive as I used to be - I used to be rather slim, and therefore always wear figure hugging clothes. Nowadays my appearance changes as my body does.

Sometimes I find it hard to grapple with the changes in looks, but then most of the time I am so so happy about our son. Happy about the expanding belly. Happy about the changes my body is making to feed our son when he comes. I am experiencing so much joy - and that would not have been possible if I keep thinking about myself only.

That brings to mind a scripture in the Bible -

John 12:24

New International Version (NIV)
24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

From being single to being married and being a mother, my life is less and less just about myself. To love, honour and cherish my husband, and to love and nurture our son have come to occupy all of me for most of the time. But my life has never been richer before all because I have allowed God to lead me to live a more self-less life, one step at a time.

That also makes me reflect on success in life.

Proverbs 27:19

New International Version (NIV)
19 As water reflects the face,
    so one’s life reflects the heart.

When we only live for our own ambition, desire and pride, we make choices differently and our life reflects the series of choices we make. At the same time, when we have chosen to be a blessing to those around us, the tapestry of our life reflects the matrix of choices we have come to make, too.

Ironically I have found that it is the people who have chosen the latter one that seems to always enjoy clarity and peace in life. Apart from the promises in Bible, I think it is the simple fact that when you have only your desires/thoughts as your guidance, confusion comes. It is like the blind leading the blind. How happy is happy enough? How clever is clever enough? How rich is rich enough? More and more frustration and darkness come to the soul that is trapped within oneself.

However, when we have chosen to be a blessing to those around us - all within the premises of loving ourselves as God loves us too - it opens up our eyes to the people around us, to the world, and within its context we come to know who we are. We deploy our resources and time wisely because we observe what a difference it makes on those around us, which is a more objective and reliable means than just my own whims and desires. And economically it also means 'business' - your needs, aspirations and resources just bounce off with the people you connect with. It means that our talents are more fully actualised utilised in this world to bring great fulfilment.

I love looking into the mirror - the mirror of my life and know where my heart is. Our bodies may grow older and change everyday, but may the fruits of our lives always bring us joy and fulfilment, with the grace of God.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Gift of Life

My baby son is kicking me right now as I write this very first article. I think he knows that I am going to talk about him!

6 months into my pregnancy and I can't help but notice how much my heart has changed. Thinking and planning for the practicality of raising a child - whether to hire a live-in maid or not, to keep a full-job or not, to have a natural birth or not, what kind of visions my husband and I have for our little family, etc., brings  our lives to focus. 

After much prayer and discussion with my husband, it has dawned on me that it is about getting my heart right. Life is not measured by how much money one makes, how successful one's career is, how sophisticated one's hobbies are. It is about whether one truly appreciates the good things in life - marriage, family, friendship, health, spiritual growth, wisdom, knowledge, beauty etc., and whether one truly lives out his or her life according to one's true self, without pride or shame, as evident by the spiritual fruits of one's life. Does my life yield good fruits, like kindness, peace, joy, perseverance, self-control, and charity? Or does it reek of greed, envy, jealousy, anger, and depression? 

Money is the natural outcome of living our lives well. But if we makes money our master, we are going to miss out the truly precious things in life because money is only one of the many means God uses to bless us. 

This gives me conviction to put our family first. I will not sacrifice the precious relationship with our precious little son, nor the peaceful privacy at our home for a glamorous career, or for money. At the same time, I realise that it pleases God to fully utilise my talents regardless of my job title, and putting motherhood first does not necessarily mean having no career at all, according to Proverb 31. And that's how I started praying about becoming a successful freelancer and women ministry leader while staying home to bring up our little boy in a way that pleases God.

And amazingly,  after praying about that, doors after doors open -  my husband and I have met no fewer than 6 people within 10 days who are either thinking about becoming a stay-home mom/freelancer, or useful business contacts for future freelance projects. God is really opening doors!

I don't know what tomorrow brings, but I know that our God will bless our marriage and our family when we follow His guidance. And He always give us sufficient guidance, resources and grace everyday, so that we can learn to trust him as our future unfolds, and live one day at a time instead of troubling ourselves with things we can neither foresee or control. 

And I am so grateful for the love, support, friendship and prayers of my husband, the father of our son. 

My son, my son. Your Daddy and Mummy are ever so grateful for you, a tremendous gift from our God. No matter what the worlds says about the challenges of parenthood, it is our joy and blessing to love and care for you, and watch you grow from a baby to a boy and to a man. We love you very, very much, and we can't wait to meet you face to face in good time.