Tag Archives: christianity

Black Heart

28 May

3.50am and I’m awake.

I don’t suffer from insomnia. Ne-ver. Just say the word “pillow” and I feel drowsy already!

5.50am and I am still awake. Two long hours in the middle of the night makes for a lot of thinking, some praying too. Friends, just know that you were prayed for. 

It’s also a long time to reflect about what has been on my mind lately. Wrestling with deep personal struggles, questions, disappointments and realisations – about myself.

A black heart.

Face to face with the voice of the Lord. Convicted to not fret, to not seek the world’s recognition, to face my sin, my weakness, my frailty, my own helplessness. As dark as the night, I see my black heart.

And yet, in the midst of seeing the mistakes I’ve made and the wrong thinking I’ve become entangled in, in the midst of looking at my black heart, I feel the absolute Grace of the Lord. He reminds me that He chooses to use whom He chooses to use. Even me, with my I-cant-do-it approach. Even at the point of feeling like giving up (exaggerat-ingly speaking), not feeling worthy to even pray to Him, let alone living for Him, there, at that point, He reminds me that He has work for me, people to encourage, guide and love,  witness to and love some more.

With thankfulness, I keep my eyes on His grace, for His Grace is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in weakness.

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Attachment Parenting

21 May

How do you feel when you look at this picture? If you are like me, this is your reaction:

***shocked, slightly disgusted face ***.

If your child can stand on a stool and breastfeed, haven’t you crossed the line!?!

The reason why I react in this way is because this parenting style, called the attachment parenting method, is not in my western christian culture – although at times, it certainly felt like it was going towards it.

Flash back 8 years ago when I had my first child.

Although becoming a mother brought me immense joy, I vividly remember all the dos and donts that I struggled with. In christian circles, we sometimes make the mistake of taking a widely accepted principle in our culture, reacting against it, opposing it and making it a godliness issue, not truly reflecting on what the Bible says about it. I wrestled with breastfeeding, routine, spanking, staying-at-home, homeschooling… you name it! I was told that breastfeeding is godly, that a lack of routine will lead to ungodliness, that no spanking is disobeying God’s word,  that working (instead of being a stay-at-home mum) might show that I do not love my children the way I should and that homeschooling is the only christian way to educate my offsprings…

As I read about attachment parenting, I realised that my reaction towards it is no different that the people saying that homeschooling is a mark of better parenting – read godly. I pass judgement on that parenting method simply because it is different from what I’m used to do in my christian culture. Some aspects of the attachment parenting make me feel uncomfortable but are they are ungodly? I cringe in my chair at the sight of a 6 year old feeding from his mom’s breast as much as my own family cringes at me homeschooling my children (They’re getting used to the idea slowly). As long as those practicing attachment parenting do not imply that their way is the only way to raise psychologically healthy children, I say breast-feed-away!

As a christian though, I would want to be careful that my children do not become the ‘be all and end all’ of my life but the Bible has never blamed any parenting methods for turning our children into idols (Rats!!! It would have made parenting so much easier!). If I adhered to that method of parenting, I would want to be careful not to alienate my fellow christian mothers who won’t or can’t do the same, by making them feel that their choice is only second best. I would want to absolutely be certain that, whatever I advise, (not the Lord), does not add any unnecessary burdens on other mums.

The driving principle of motherhood should be love: Love for God – Not love for what I feel comfortable with according to my culture. After reading and digesting this article, I was challenged on the view I hold of people that do things differently. I was reminded that in Christ we are free.

Inside the box that God has defined, I am free to make my own decisions, whether they go against the trend of the day and the culture of the time.

 

The secret of contentment

4 Aug

Contentment.

The word in itself brings this idea of peace, happiness, tranquillity and relaxation; and yet, to reach contentment, the road seems overwhelmed with pain, frustrations, fights and anger.

At the women’s convention, Sarie King walked 960 women through the theme of Constant Craving – the Secret of Godly Contentment.

What a treat it was!! Not only is Sarie an great Bible teacher but her simplicity, her sense of humor and her public speaking skills made the whole day fly far too fast.

Here is what I’m left with after sitting through 3 sessions:

1. Israelites vs Moses (Numbers 10)

  • We looked at the way Israelites grumbled through their journey in the desert and the way Moses complained to the Lord about the Israelites. The Israelites showed their spirituality state (disgruntled, discontented) that only revealed that God Himself was not sufficient for them. Moses, on the other hand, takes his troubles to God, without trying to show himself in a good light.
  • Israelites complained about the Lord while Moses complained to the Lord.

2. Paul and his secret (2 for 11 and Phil 4)

  • Paul learnt to be content in every and any circumstances. Emphasis on learnt. It implies practice, training and it tells us that it’s an ongoing process. Just like prayer.
  • Paul did not find contentment because he was disciplined enough, or experienced enough but because Christ is in him. Contentment is not found in circumstances, it is found in Him who gives us strength. Circumstances don’t make us who we are, they often reveal who we are.
  • Sarie very helpfully pointed out that discontentment is NOT the absence of grief, pain sadness or uncertainty but rather that it’s the way we respond to these emotions that matter.

3. Cultivating contentment (Psalm 73 and Phil 4)

  • The psalmist envied the wicked, became bitter towards God and was tempted to give up. He cultivated himself and was self-focused. His trust in the Lord faded when circumstances were not good and started to doubt the Lord’s goodness.
  • …Until he ‘entered the sanctuary of God”. We need to cultivate trust (God is good and is for our good), holiness and perspective (from self-pity and self focused towards God and His constant presence. True understanding comes from looking towards God, not by looking at the world or at ourselves.
  • Paul cultivated his knowledge of the Lord by reflecting on Christ’s character and by thinking about “whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…” He also cultivated prayerfulness by entrusting himself and his struggles to Him.

A lot of food for thought indeed. Part of the day was also 2 testimonies from 2 women who are learning to be content; the one in her state of singleness, the other trusting the Lord with her daughter’s precarious health. No matter who we are, we are all struggling to find contentment when things don’t go our way. “A confident trust in the Lord because He is in control”, only a few words but a big task!!

I finish with this quote by Josh Harris that Sarie included in our leaflet.

What you see in your spiritual life today is the direct result of what you’ve put into the soil of your life in day’s past. The difference between the person who grows in holiness, and the one who doesn’t is not a matter of personality, upbringing or gifting; the difference is what each has planted into the soil of his or her heart and soul. So holiness isn’t a mysterious spiritual state that only an elite few can reach. It is more than an emotion, or a resolution, or an event. Holiness is a harvest”.

What am I sowing?

Parenting 001

17 May

Parenting has probably been one of those words passing through my lips and my mind on a daily basis for the past 7 years. Parenting is a roller coster with lots of ups, lots of down and lots and lots and lots of ??????? and !!!!!!!!!

This article managed  to gather the essence of my feelings  and thinking. I found it incredibly, no, INCREDIBLY encouraging and reading it brought a sigh of relief, realising that after all, I’m not alone in this race, or rather marathon.

I hope it is as encouraging for you as it’s been for me.

Parenting 001.

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