“What Did You Expect?”

Happy New Year first of all!

Here’s to my first blog entry in 2017 πŸ˜„

My Current Reading

Obviously “Just Married” πŸ‘°πŸ»πŸ€΅πŸ»doesn’t apply anymore to me and my husband, BUT that is why I bought this book by Paul David Tripp (adding him to my fave gospel-centered list of authors) – because the moment I thought I had “figured it out”, I was wrong.

I read more of motherhood books since I have my first child, and when I did read a book about marriage my mind thought “this is the ideal, but the reality is so much difficult this sounds just like a ‘nice theory’“.

Either difficult, or indifferent.
Last year I have met some tough situations in my marriage, not that they were the first times, but that season was hard it challenged me how I should “make a move and do something different”. Kinda like, “OK stop it devil, you are no longer allowed to take advantages of this!! πŸ™…πŸ»πŸ”₯”
For a wedding we need to plan carefully πŸ’,

Why we have to quit planning for the better in our MARRIAGE?

Why we have to quit to learn about one another and enter the complacency zone?
I’ve just on the second chapter of this book and my heart’s hooked already with so many realities explained (we live in the fallen world, we are sinners, and we marry a sinner! Is there still any questions of why does our marriage often not live up to our expectations?).
The GOOD NEWS God is powerful, faithful, and willing. He has sacrificed Himself at the cross, why wouldn’t He even more pour out His grace and save/turn our marriage to the better? #helpisthere
I’m writing this not because my relationship with my husband is in “danger” in some ways (aka “di ujung tanduk” haha), but I just feel the need to PROTECT this marriage and my husband and ANTICIPATE better of what may come in the future.

My aim is not to reach a perfection, but in a more simple way: so that “we could response better to the things that normally trigger conflicts”.

For me to not take this marriage lightly, for me to not be lazy to stand up to pray for my husband (our husbands NEED our prayers – not only our children just because they are still little).
Thanks for reading this heart-to-heart sharing btw 😊 I’d recommend this book for those singles too (better “theory” preparation is still something than nothing).

God bless! ☺️

“30 Days of Gratitude”

Hello good morning all!

I couldn’t believe it is almost November already! Only two months left in 2016 ~ am getting older by this end of the year #Decembergirl πŸ˜„

Speaking of month of November, in US they celebrate thanksgiving day on the 24th. In Australia we don’t celebrate it as much as they do ceremonially in the States, but let’s take a purposeful step by taking up this challenge “30 Days of gratitude”!

HOW?

“30 Days of Gratitude” for the month of November

I found this image from Pinterest and have printed it into a cute size to have it handy on my working desk as a reminder. If you’d also like to join in just print it out too and/or journal it somewhere πŸ˜‰

I will be posting the answer/challenge for each day on my Instagram @crunchynat and will be using a hashtag #my30daysofgratitudejournal because I like to refer it back in the future and simply count my blessings! 😊

Well that’s it I guess for now ~

1 Thes 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

God bless you my friends! 

“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 πŸ˜… so my apology for being MIA! 

Some quick updates for now:

β€’ Baby πŸ‘ΆπŸ» number 2 is HERE already! 

β€’ 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 πŸ˜…)

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 β€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, β€œMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me

 10 That is why, for Christ’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? πŸ˜† #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!!” 😁 #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”Β 


As weeks approaching my delivery date getting closer #hellodedeAimee πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 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 ❀️😘 

#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 πŸ‘§πŸ»β€οΈπŸ‘©πŸ» 

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

Lesson from Mustard Plant Part 2 (end)

  

Two days ago I’ve shared what I learn from mustard seed and the tree from “Simply Tuesday” book by Emily P Freeman #currentreading (check hashtag #crunchynatsjournal on Instagram where I compile all my “art devotions”) 🌱🌿🌳 and here’s the second lesson I’ve got:

You know (even “church people”) say when something happens that looks favorable: 

“You must have had God’s favor in what you do!” BUT when something happens that doesn’t seem to catch on, we say things like: “Maybe it wasn’t God’s wills” or “just wait and be patient” – but what I learn here is:

What is the measure of God’s will or favor?

Is it a number? Is it outside behavior based on human judgement?

Can you really measure it at all?

Healthy things grow, but they may not grow at the rate, in the way, or in the timing I want“! 

And the growth may be so small we never see visible progress, or so unexpected that we don’t realize what God is doing because it looks different that we thought it would. 
We have fallen into the incorrect thinking; we equate growth and size with God and favor, and may despise the kind of His works in secret, small ways – without our effort at all – like the mustard seed. 
Tiny, but can grow easily and without much care, and can grow into a huge tree much taller than man. 
This is surely an eye-opening for me πŸ‘€ .. 

“We can plant, but we can’t grow”

“We can act, but we can’t determine”

“We can build it, but we can’t fill it”

“We can offer, but we can’t control”

#totalsurrender

#humility

#godssovereignty