Even with our very different personalities, there’s still a large part of me that takes after my Mum
Thank you for being our mother—for your years of devotion and your many sleepless nights worrying over our future and praying for our hearts.
You and I cannot be more different in our personalities; you, the advocate of structure and discipline, and me, the laid-back daydreamer. You used to say that I couldn’t kill an ant even if I tried. My relaxed attitude towards everything must have been a source of great stress for you when I was growing up.
I remember when I was about 5, you signed me up for one of those colouring competitions where we had to present our best work on the spot. The room in which the competition was held in had a big viewing window for parents and I must have been daydreaming because you were so mad with me at the end of it. I never completed my colouring and obviously never came close to winning but it didn’t bother me one bit!
I may not have understood it then, but now that I am a parent, I’ve learnt to appreciate the value of structure and discipline. As a result of the foundation that you’ve given me, I know that providing my children with a structured environment gives them a sense of stability. At the same time, I also believe in giving them the freedom to discover themselves within that structure. In this way, my children get a little bit of me as well as a little bit of you!
Mum, you have been gifted with magic fingers and creativity. You must have gotten it from Grandma because she, too, was a whiz with her hands. From cooking to crafting anything out of nothing—you could give Martha Stewart a run for her money. My primary school art and craft abilities fell way short of your standards of perfection. As such, you could not stomach sitting idly by while I, in my signature laid-back, non-urgent demeanor, attempted art and craft assignments. You ended up finishing almost all of my art homework (save those that we had to finish in school) and my flawless pieces were often even selected for display by my teachers!
Even though it frustrated me growing up, I have come to admire your strong belief in taking pride in all that we do and because of you, I am an advocate of teaching my children to live life with a spirit of excellence. I hope that they glean from you the value of accomplishing things to the best of their abilities and that they, like you, take pride in the work of their hands.
I am so sorry that it’s taken me this long to say thank you for being my mother. Thank you Mum, for loving us to the best of your abilities, for giving up your career to care for us and for only wanting the best in life for us. Time has taught me to look out for the gems in others, and in you I see compassion, hospitality, selflessness and a loving heart.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Used with permission from Focus on the Family Singapore. This article was first published here.
Stay-At-Home-Mom, Sue-Ann is hiding a ‘dirty’ little secret from her 3 children. Her idea of the perfect meal: chocolates for breakfast, cotton candy for lunch and television for dinner!
In January 2016. Mdm. Janie Chang, 61, felt unwell and went to see a doctor. The doctor ordered a series of tests, after which she was diagnosed with stage 4, cancer of the nose. The cancer had spread down to the lymph nodes in her neck and shoulders. The news was a huge blow to Mdm. Chang who was the fourth person in her family to be stricken with cancer. The disease had already claimed the life of her mother.
When Mdm. Chang’s brother (Pastor Danny Ching) heard the news, he immediately activated prayer amongst the staff and cell group members in the church.
Mdm. Chang subsequently received treatment at the National Cancer Centre where she was recommended an intensive combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments – 6 cycles of chemotherapy and 33 sessions of radiotherapy in all. The sessions often left Mdm. Chang feeling exhausted, drained and weak. However, the knowledge that members of our church were praying for her, gave her a sense of assurance even in her weakened physical state.
May 2016. After Mdm. Chang had completed 2 cycles of chemotherapy, she underwent another diagnostic test. This time, the test results showed that no more cancer cells were found in her body and further treatment was unnecessary!
God’s mighty miracle is evidenced by Mdm. Chang’s medical reports (see below). Through His grace, Mdm. Chang has been healed. Praise the Lord, our God!
Mdm. Chang and her nephew.
January 2016 : Cancer cells detected
May 2016. Cancer cells COULD NOT BE detected!
Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
The recent spate of tragic events in our region awakened many to the stark reminder that our time on this earth is limited. In our pursuit of contentment, many of us are lulled into a false sense of believing that we must do more, have more, and achieve more in order to be content. In actual fact, contentment is a state of internal satisfaction, that no amount of money, food or material gain can buy.
We may not have any power to control time but we can be in control over the time that we have been given by treasuring every new day as a precious gift from the Lord.
It is important to remember that life isn’t just about accomplishments or amassing material wealth. Instead, it’s about the people who have been placed in our families and our communities that matter most.
As we head into this Father’s day weekend, these tips might help us make the most use of our time with the ones we love:
#1 Be Present
To be present means to put away any distractions – devices like mobile phones, tablets and computers – so that we can engage in real conversations. Ask meaningful questions and be intent in listening to the answers.
#2 Make Time to Plan
Spending at least 30 minutes before starting your day (or before going to bed the night before) to plan your schedule can help you to use your time wisely. Without a rough plan, you could find yourself running in circles and wasting precious time.
#3 Advocate Family Time
Make a commitment to set aside a fixed day and time to spend as a family. Again, “be present” during this time together and remember that the objective of Family Time is to enjoy each other’s company.
#4 Rest Effectively
Giving ourselves enough rest is essential to making the most use of our time and being able to enjoy our time with loved ones. Rest is akin to nourishing our bodies with food, air and water.
Being grateful for our treasures of time will help us embrace the gift of each new day and count all our blessings. In the words of a good friend, “I am grateful for my wife, that I have a home, a job that I enjoy, a family and a community…for my freedom to worship, my freedom to speak reasonably freely, for the food I eat. I am grateful to live in a land where no one begrudges me the right to live.”
Everyone has his or her own idea of what motherhood looks like. For many, motherhood represents a seemingly never-ending season of sleepless nights. For others, it marks a lifetime of devotion (sometimes even at the expense of one’s own personal growth).
As for me, my current vision of motherhood looks more like this: 3-hourly diaper changes, being patient with a tantruming 4-year old, dancing wildly with my 7-year old to her favourite tunes, nursing a pre-schooler’s bruised ego after losing to his sister at a game of UNO, coaxing a 4-month old to sleep through the night and teaching a primary schooler, discouraged by the endless task of schoolwork and tests, to take on her responsibilities of being a student with a glad heart.
When my days seem long and my nights even longer, I am often tempted to wonder what life might be like without the immense task of having 3 spirited little individuals to mother. But something holds me back from indulging in that thought. It is the whisper of a small voice telling me to “breathe” – a humble reminder that my children each represent a unique miracle of God, created by His very hands. And so, when I am most challenged and feel like I’m losing control, I take a deep breath, close my eyes and ask God to show me His heart. Instead, He shows me mine, the heart of a mother who started out overflowing with love for her newborn babies but then got caught up in the grind of daily life.
The contrast between His heart and mine leaves me awestruck at how enormous our Heavenly Father’s heart for us is and I am encouraged to keep on trying, trying my best to love unconditionally; to delight in my children even when they are at their most disobedient.
I will wear my heart – my mother’s heart – without fear. A heart that has been transformed by my Heavenly Father and called to speak life into the hearts of the children He has chosen for me to mother. I look at my 3 who are full of life, full of depth, full of joy, and my heart is brimming with a love far more generous than my own.
To Skyler, Elijah and Zeke, I endeavour to mother you with my eyes fixed on God’s love for me; that I may use His wisdom to disciple you 3 to be honourable in character, to employ His sensitivity to know when to let go and to pursue His heart so that I may know how to love you for a lifetime.
Sue -Ann is a mother of 3 who is in constant pursuit of the calm in the chaotic. She drinks a little too much bubble-tea for her own good and secretly spends her mornings in pyjamas while her children are in school.