“Dear Diary – pressing the pause button and choosing the better part”

“My Souvenirs” ๐Ÿ’›

We’ve been back from our month long holiday, life with its all routines has gone back to places. Some has changed; I’m talking in particular with Arielle, who has just turned 9 months old. She has started crawling actively, pulling herself up and standing and back to sitting position less wobbly, pulling drawers in and out (my first experience putting on the safety guards for the drawers turned out to be pretty much an accomplishment to myself as a mother lol – I didn’t use any of these safety guards when I was with Aimee); my little trinkets aren’t that safe anymore ~ welcome to the newย phase with a crawler baby at home!

Not forgetting to mention, she becomes more clingy too. I guess (I HOPE) this is just a temporary phase that soon will come back to “normal” again, and maybeย mostly caused by the frequency we had to carry her more often during our holiday (you see, the perks of coming back to our own lovely #homesweethome is we get to enjoy clean floor again – one which is really up to my standard! I am notย a total clean freak, but yes I like to keep my home clean and free from hoarded stuffs lol).

Oh, and her cries and screams become louder too *sigh* *lol* (but I’ve got myself used to the higher pitch her sister has so this one isn’t thatย threatening, perhaps haha).

While with baby number two I am more demanded to excel in “physical fitness” lol, maybe not so much anymore with my first daughter (turning 6 years old in September!!). With herย I am “forced” more often to get down on my knees and pray asking for wisdom, evenย for the simplest task like assisting and keeping her up to her premier’s reading challenge this year. All these new things I get to experience with a prep student is fun and exciting, but because they are also “new”, I lean on closer to my Father in Heaven. Why? Because I know I won’t be able to do it all without His strength, His wisdom, and His grace. Of course, I can ask advices from my friends with older kids, I can read some practical tips from magazines/internet; but I stillย firstly trust in the One who has assigned me this calling as a mother.

Well, they are about my kids. Then the rest ofย my other lifeย roles as a wife, as a homemaker, as a handmaker, as an artist, as aย friend, asย a minister, as an intercessor, as a daughter – and much much more. I admit I don’t have all the time to do this equally “good”. I am torn between many responsibilities, I have to prioritize some roles above others, and contribute more hours according to my life focus.

Eg. at the moment I’m still not ready yet to get back to my business life. I haven’t got back to any painting yet, my mind is cluttered. I need to ask the Lord once again for the purpose and direction. Meanwhile, I know that my family and kids are my number one priority with my time at the moment, and life as a mother of two hasn’t been any better. My kids grow up so fast, this isn’t a secret anymore and I don’t want this phrase to catch me off guard one day in the future and leave me with any “I wish”.

โค๏ธโค๏ธ

While my mind was racing with these kind of thoughts (in between talking to my own self and praying to Him on the other), one still small voice whispered in my heart, “worship Me, and all the other things will fall at its places accordingly“.

His Spirit reminded me to not get caught in life busyness, that I forgot to sit down at His feet and just enjoying His presence.

Take one part, the best part, and do it heartily.

Luke 10

โ€œMartha, Martha,โ€ the Lord answered, โ€œyou are worried and upset about many things, 42ย but few things are neededโ€”or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.โ€

In the midst of this life busyness, let me choose “what is better”. One that will not be taken away from me.

One day when life and all its routines and responsibilities end – HE is still my portion.

Matthew 6:33

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The world can wait, yes, the world can wait.

But my soul will not.

My soul thirsts and hungers for more of You.

Soak meย with Your presence.

For only in Your presence I can see what is true, precious, and noble.

Nothing else than You.

The world can wait, yes, the world can wait.

Let me worship You above all else.

 

“Grace More Than Enough”

“A late post from September”
It’s been a while I haven’t updated my blog at all, the reason: I had forgotten my password! Lol (perhaps you wish another fancier reason haha). I only update my blog from my mobile phone app (to save time I usually just copy paste what I write from my Instagram “online journal” with the hashtag #crunchynatsjournal along with my handlettering quote/verse of the day), and most often within minutes I’ve got distracted again to make an effort recovering my forgotten password ๐Ÿ˜… so my apology for being MIA! 

Some quick updates for now:

โ€ข Baby ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป number 2 is HERE already! 

โ€ข Meaning: welcome back sleepless nights (and day!); some days are manageable, some other days are tougher than ever (at the moment I am the latter, with the bub waking up every half an hour to an hour during the day and two hours at night – I am totally exhausted #realmumlife ๐Ÿ˜…)

Becoming a mom to a newborn can be “lonely” sometimes. Those wee hours at nights when you’re breastfeeding your baby #silentnights (not as serene as that Christmas song lol) and the struggles during the day – you wish people closest to you will get to understand how much tired you are – but the reality: they don’t, and they won’t.

Inside my heart nonetheless, His Spirit reminds me His grafe is sufficient. In midst of my desperate sighs and stressful groans, the still small voice inside my heart telling me: He understands and He cares (even at times I do ask Him back, “do you really, Lord?).

All the setbacks and weaknesses are only to bring me closer to Him, to keep me on my ground pleading for His grace.

This home needs grace, this family needs grace, I need grace. I need Jesus.

Wherever you are, maybe you are not a mother, but you do feel alone sometimes, wondering if the Lord cares for you at all. If He cares why He seems didn’t do anything?

At this time my friend, only to His words we can hold on to. Words that has power to change lifes, words that will never come back in vain. Don’t trust our feelings, they are full of deceptions.

9 โ€œAs the heavens are higher than the earth, 

so are my ways higher than your ways 

and my thoughts than your thoughts.  

10 As the rain and the snow 

come down from heaven, 

and do not return to it 

without watering the earth 

and making it bud and flourish, 

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,  

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: 

It will not return to me empty, 

but will accomplish what I desire 

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:9-11

Within this short time frame I can only leave you (and my own self) with the verse I handlettered at above #preachingtomyself

2 Cor 12:9-10

9 But he said to me, โ€œMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.โ€ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christโ€™s power may rest on me

 10 That is why, for Christโ€™s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

He who promised it is faithful, and He cares beyond our imagination. 


“Motherhood and His Calling”


As I’m writing one of my fave quotes from CS Lewis to be screen printed to my “welcoming baby gifts” goodie bags (am I well prepared enough? ๐Ÿ˜† #lessthanamonthtogo), I can’t help not to think how God has been faithful leading me and my husband to arrive to this decision for having the second baby.

It wasn’t easy for us (especially me), as circumstances had not been “right yet” for us. But when I felt somehow “it might have been”, still there were so many fears, worries, and concerns overwhelmed my heart. 

Yet God is so good and full of love, He gave personal confirmations for me and my husband on separate events through end of last year (you know that moment when you shared things with your spouse and he also said “me too!!” ๐Ÿ˜ #beautyofmarriage #inChrist), and eventually the PEACE and CONFIDENCE overtook all the fears – how amazing!

And this confidence that I have, is not based on some positive thinkings that “I can do it”, but because God’s GRACE will never change in my life. Jesus Christ is the same in the past, now, and forever. He is the Alpha and the Omega. 

Soon I also realized this wasn’t just a matter of our decision to parent this baby, but it is God’s personal CALLING for me. Just like God called Moses, Gideon, Esther, and many others in the Bible. 

They were also hesitant at first, but by God’s grace they took the first step and the rest is God’s and the stories of amazing faith were born. 

When I did realize it is God’s calling to be a mother to this baby (not just “I have to”), how could I reject and runaway from Him? 

Glory and praise to Him who is able to do MORE than I can imagine; His grace, providence and love will always be in our steps. 

When in doubt, look above. Look up to His grace.

“The First One with Me in the Delivery Room”ย 


As weeks approaching my delivery date getting closer #hellodedeAimee ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป there are times when worry and anxious thoughts crowd my mind.

Second time pregnancy doesn’t guarantee “I know all” as the experience is still different compared with my first one (eg. physical discomforts that I didn’t have when I was pregnant with Aimee, getting used to the medical shared-care system here in Australia, and what-yet-to-come-next the delivery procedure itself, etc etc). 

Sometime I think it may be better for the first time pregnancy as I didn’t really know much = less expectations. 

However, uncertainty in life is inevitable.

Thankfully my Lord knows all my thoughts and everything in my heart. Couple of days ago when I was awaken at 1.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep, I turned to my pregnancy devotional, and found this promise of God from Deut 31:8.

The devotional itself discussed at first the option we could have to request someone to join the mother in the labor/delivery process (well I didn’t think of this at all, as I did an emergency caesarean with Aimee when I was in Jakarta – I wasn’t given the option to have my husband be with me at that time). But regardless of who we invite to the room, GOD HIMSELF will be in the delivery room with me, as promised at the above verse!

WOW! What a powerful promise and assurance He’s given me!
His promise may not erase my fears all at once, but it makes a GREAT difference whenever I am being attacked with one. I can recall and speak out loud His promise! 

His promise and words always arrive in time. I can only surrender all to Him; that’s what gives me the peace and strength I need. 

#crunchynatsjournal

“The Quiet Impact of One Woman”


I read “The Quiet Impact on One Woman” from @proverbs31ministries daily devotional on May 30th yet the message still speaks strong to myself ’til today.

Ever since I have a daughter I’m not as physically mobile and flexible as I used to in terms of serving the Lord in and outside the church, but I do not regret this.

I believe there is time and season for everything. 

I’m also fully aware that once I give birth to my second, my time will be much more consumed in taking care of the newborn. But I won’t regret it either.

Over and over the Lord reminds and convicts my heart that becoming a mother is a “calling”. It is not just a status, or a duty. The Lord has set a specific purpose for me to nurture these precious souls.

It’s impossible to meet all the needs surrounding me, but through the devotional God reminded me that by investing in another person what I’ve learned from Him, my story expands beyond my lifetime into the eternity

My story becomes God’s story, and isn’t it just wonderful to walk in agreement with Him! 

And I believe our child/children is the priority. If it’s not us the mother teaching them the way of the truth, who else (certainly not the teachers at sunday school). 

You may not be a mother (or yet) as you read this, but there may be a “one woman” out there who needs your encouragement; perhaps your colleague, school friend, or an elderly in your neighbourhood.

I pray that the Lord will show you as you ask, and we’ll never know what kind of an eternal impact we will give to this precious woman soul. It’s not about us and our ability to do well, but it’s about HIS ability to use us well. 

Have a blessed Friday โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜˜ 

#crunchynatsjournal

Parenting with Grace


Lately my pastor has been preaching about Grace every week in correlation with the Law, and I can’t help not to relate it with the way I parent my child.

For months I’ve been struggling a lot more with my daughter’s disobedience that it brings me grief now much more than anger. I fully understand that just as we were all created with a freewill, that my child didn’t come with a manual book, that every child is different and there is no universal way in treating this unique precious soul.

Yet in my loneliness I used to ask God the “why” questions, why He created my daughter with the strong will and emotions this raw at her age – BUT now, I focus more on how to parent her with GRACE.

Because I realize and I see that Law do not have the power to bring the true change – change from the inside, NOT change in behavior.

Change in her behaviors might be good and bring more peace to this mother’s soul, but God opens my eyes once again and remind me my mission of motherhood is not to raise her as a “good moral person” for the sake of my pride. 

My mission is to raise this soul to be a God-loving adult, who has the faith in Christ not because that’s the way her parents teach her, but because she does experience Him personally. 

To bring good works to her community, not because that is what’s expected from the society, but because that IS the purpose she was created for.
Lord, please teach me “how”. Your Spirit of Truth is in me, and You are the greatest Teacher among all advices the professionals, books, friends, or my mentor can give me. 

I need YOU. Help me to understand and put the revelations practically. 

I thank You for every comfort, for Your Words in the Bible which comfort and direct me – they are truly lamp to my feet and light to my path.

#crunchynatsjournal

#mothersheart

#begenuine #bevulnerable

“Being A Mother, to Me (in a nutshell)”

I will always love you, my daughter

A throwback to the very early day I started my handmade business (ColorPopCraft) from my interest in scrapbooking, and pictured above was one of those very first layouts I created, which ignited a beautiful memory of me and my daughter ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿปโค๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป 

Often I tell God how I feel incapable being a “good mom”, how I am still lacking of the “unconditional love” a child should have received from her mother, how many times I feel like I just want to runaway from the huge responsibilities; not merely in taking care of her physical needs, but more into directing her ways of life according to God’s wills and not what I think best. 
Yet on the other side, I think also how I have been so much blessed by her presence. How I am grateful to be a mother, to be able to love someone greatly without the need for her to pay me back ever. 

To think of God chooses me to be a mother and entrusted me with this beautiful soul to be taken care of – it overwhelms (and scares) me, yet at the same time filling me with grateful and awe tears. 

That is just the rollercoaster experience of how motherhood is for me, I guess. 

At the end of the day, I can only say “I love you, my daughter”; and “Thank You Lord for this special gift” out of the fullness of my heart. 

I am grateful for this journey.

#foreverlove

Best Parenting Tip… PRAY!

  
I somehow believe that every parents must have prayed for their children; and praying for their (1) safety and (2) health perhaps are the most frequent prayer topic parents do. 

As Christ-followers though, do our prayers go way beyond that?

Most times I don’t remember to pray for my daughter’s spiritual life and other “unseen aspect of her life”. I also still need to instill the truth that “having strong faith in Christ” is more crucial than praying for her success in this world life. 

Of course all of us want our children to be successful, but is it the kind of “success” by the one that this world defines, or success as GOD pleases? (Even I as a woman have had a struggle on this matter – I’ve shared it a whileee ago, sometime in early last year on #crunchynatsjournal (hashtag on Instagram), as well on this blog https://crunchynat.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/what-success-is-for-me/

And yet I have witnessed and experienced, how PRAYERS for my daughter are trully effective much more than any other “parenting methods” (perhaps I can share this one day). 
It is now between me and God, something that I want and asking God for help; for this conviction to live in me practically everyday, for me to have zeal and to ‘remember’ praying for my daughter, not just a “come and go” but to pray fervent prayers for her. 

I just feel eventhough I am her mother and it is part of my calling to pray for her willingly, I still cannot do it FAITHFULLY without having Holy Spirit in me helping me (this is for a long haul!). 
If you’re also a parent, let’s embark on this journey together ๐Ÿ˜Š There are many books that can help us to pray for our children, many ideas to inspire us; yet above all we need Him to help us to pray in the midst of our own weaknesses. 

Romans 8:26 

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

The best parenting tip… PRAY! – Lysa Terkeust #wellsaid 

#Lordhelpme  

#prayingmom

#standinthegap 

“Hello June 2015” (Hello Winter Months)

 

sweet moment-in-truth with Jesus
 
Waking up to the next half chapter of 2015, it’s June already! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ 
I re-read again the note I typed back in February for my intention to make this year “my most purposeful year yet” (inspired by the Make It Happen book by Lara Casey). I purposely printed out the note so I can always have a read whenever I want to. This may sound like planning a company or a business overview, but well for me, my mind always become more clear everytime I put down my mind into words on paper (or blog ๐Ÿ˜›), that’s why I love to write and journalling and cannot pass few days without writing down my mind (I love how God created me uniquely ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š).
As I read, there is a sense of feeling overwhelmed yet also grateful for the past months. I am thankful for all the happy moments, for God’s deliverance through all my difficulties, and for doors that are yet to be opened, and for prayers that are yet to be answered.

There are tears and painful moments throughout my parenting journey and marriage life. There are moments when I have tried so hard and yet I still fail or things still don’t work as I planned. I would cry out to God for His help, and sometimes I’m just not that patient enough to “wait and be still”.

There are also moments when God is more real than ever, through “impossible times” He showed me His miracles, protections and faithfulness. What can I do more other than giving thanks sincerely from the deepest of my heart to my Divine Creator and Eternal Father.

Although at times I may feel as if I am alone and a “sole fighter”, He is always with me.

Well, that’s it for now, need to attend Aimee and her craft session ๐Ÿ˜›

I hope though as you read this, you may also find your strength in God alone. Perhaps that struggle, challenge or painful moment were meant for you to look up, to Him. To utter words of prayer from your humbled heart, to give God the best thing you can give: your surrendered heart and life.

“That is why I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. 
For when I am weak, then I am strong” – 2 Cor 12:10