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Posts from the ‘marriage’ Category

Be careful how you walk.

We’ve been visiting a church in Bellflower the past couple weeks and finally made it to the evening service last night, too.  I especially loved the time of sharing and corporate prayer.

The pastor gave a short exposition of Ephesians 5:15-21, and he made a particular comment about the surrounding context that I want to remember.  Not verbatim but the general idea —

“Ephesians 5:15 says look carefully then how you walk.  And in the passages following, it tells you how to walk in your home.  With husbands and wives, children, slaves.  Why do you think the focus is on the home?  Because we tend to walk the most carelessly there.”

Just because home is a place I can take off my makeup, street clothes, and formal manners doesn’t mean it’s a place where my heart can put its hair down, too.  The fight with my flesh and the careful walking of my heart (near to God) does not take a break as soon as I walk through my front door.

Fight, by God’s grace.  Be careful how I walk — only, only by God’s grace.

 

His wise, kind hand.

“Mother says we ought to study God’s Providence more than we do, since He has a meaning and a purpose in everything He does.  Sometimes I can do this and find it a source of great happiness.  Then worldly cares seem mere worldly cares, and I forget that His wise, kind hand is in every one of them.”

(Elisabeth Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward, 274)

I’ve picked this book up again.  The first time I read it, I was a depressed, bedridden sophomore in college.  I was in bed for two days and read this book, missing all my classes.  Then I read it again as a senior, nursing a broken heart and wondering what the future held.  Then I read it again, maybe even twice, while teaching high school and/or in grad school.  Then I read it again after marrying JE, finding him to be very much like Katy’s dear Ernest.

And now — I read it as a mother of two, feeling more pressed by worldly cares than ever before.

But to remember that God’s wise, kind hand is in all of my worldly cares.  This brightens the dull task, the worry for so many loved ones, and the hidden service of being a wife, a mother, a daughter.

I’m grateful.

 

Provision in little things.

A couple weeks ago, JE’s bff and his wife offered to watch our kids if we wanted to go on a date night sometime.

And I cried.

Haha.  I have great social skills.

But I was touched to the point of tears because that thought never crossed my mind.  I didn’t think we would have the luxury of a date night or any little moments away for a long, long time.  Maybe not ’til the kids grew up or unless one of my parents came down to watch the kids.

God reminded us that we have friends who are willing to be sacrificial and thoughtful in their care for us.

His provision even in the little things.

When I cry.

After JE and I reconciled after a particularly heated exchange yesterday, I cried.  Hard.  In front of my kids.

JE was holding me as I was crying.

Pup was so miserable to see me cry, he kept making this wretched cry face, whimpering and trying to get me to hold him and lightly batting at me (like “stop it! whimper whimper. stop it!”).  Cub never reacted to my crying in obvious ways when he was this young, so I was a little surprised at Pup’s agitation.

Cub was all mush.  At first he put his favorite toy in my hand and asked if I wanted to play with it.  Then he thought I might like the hotel’s TV remote.  Then he just wrapped his arms around me, pressed his head against me, and said, “I love you, umma.  Don’t cry.”  Then he ran to get me tissues.  And he kept hugging me and reassuring me.

It was a redeeming moment for JE and me, but it was also a sweet moment for me as all three men (big and little) in my fam were trying (in their own way) to comfort me.

JE has a full quiver … and I have a full, grateful heart.

No and yes.

I’ve been learning to say no lately.  And I’ve had to say no to some incredible opportunities.

But no no ever happens without a yes to something I believe it greater — or more valuable.

And in this season of life, the better yes is to my family and employing my energies here.  Because in the end, if I haven’t been a faithful wife and mother, if I haven’t been faithful to preach and love and live the “whole counsel of God” here, everything else is rendered empty.

Gospel love at day’s end.

A couple days ago, I had a lousy day.  Nothing happened as I planned or wanted.  The littles were cranky, I was cranky.  I didn’t get to finish anything I started.  Except dinner.  But it wasn’t seasoned properly.

So many other to-dos weren’t even started.  Nothing was convenient or easy.

Then.  Finally.  The kids were down, our visiting family was out for a bit, and I had a moment of quiet to catch up on custom orders that needed to go out.

And finally something went my way that day.  The watercolor wash was exactly the way I envisioned.  The color, the strokes, the blending, the balance.

Big, satisfied sigh.

I cleaned my brushes, left the painting to dry on the kitchen counter, and put everything away.

Then.

Our visiting family came back home as I was brushing my teeth  — and plop!  A plastic bag of groceries was dropped right on top of my painting.

I gasped loudly — and then reassured them it was okay while frantically trying to salvage it.  But it was ruined.

Later, I complained to JE about my everything-gone-wrong day for a long time.

He listened patiently even though he was tired, but after I made a sour comment toward him, he left to go upstairs and sleep.  And I sat on the couch for about an hour, frustrated with myself and trying to get my heart back on track.

Near midnight, I turned off all the lights and felt my way up the stairs — only to find that JE had waited for me on the stairs.  Asleep, but still waiting for me.

It was a small thing, but after my ugly attitude and sour words, I thought he’d gone to bed as frustrated with me as I was.  But his gesture of love was so unexpected and undeserved that it was almost shocking to me.

Sinful?  Check.  Detestable?  Check.

But forgiven?  Check.

Loved?  Big, surprising check.

And nothing else from the day mattered anymore. ♥

Love.

Whenever I ask Cub questions about love — like does umma love you? do you love Pup? — he always chimes in with his own commentary on who loves whom.  And he always starts with, “And appa loves umma?”

I love that he knows his appa loves his umma. ♥

A fool gives full vent to his spirit.

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11

A fool gives full vent to his spirit.  Or as other translations put it, gives full vent to his rage.  Or always loses his temper.

The world says speaking your mind, making a show of your unrestrained emotions, is strength.  God’s Word says it’s foolishness — and not just a stupid kind of foolish but a destructive, evil, sinful, wicked, anti-God kind of foolish.

And the wise man doesn’t just stuff his anger in, waiting for a more calculated opportunity to unleash his sin.  Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit.  It’s perspective, it’s meekness, it’s Christlike, it’s godly strength.  No venting is needed, because no sinful response is surging against the lid of the wise man’s mouth.  Rather there is peace within.  Trust.  Humility.

I need to remember this toward my husband and children especially.  I’ve been giving full vent to the filth in my heart lately.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…and those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:16, 22-24

Mid-way through writing that last verse, Cub pooped for the second time this morning in his pants and the cleaning, reminding, wiping, etc., ensued.

God has a promise to keep regarding my sanctification.  And He will keep it, using all kinds of circumstances in my life, whether great or potty-accidents-small.

New York Miyukguk.

Today, I made miyukguk for dinner.

I put beef flank on the grocery list for JE last weekend so I could make miyukguk today, so while I was rummaging through the freezer today, I found some beef.  It wasn’t beef flank, but it wasn’t labeled either — just frozen in a random ziploc bag — so I assumed it was some beef that my mom gave us for making soup.

When JE came home, he saw beef in the soup and, slightly panicked, asked which beef I used.  I had only put one kind of beef on the grocery list, so I answered, “The beef from the freezer.”

Turns out it was the two pieces of New York steak he was saving for Valentine’s Day.

Woops!

I thought it looked a little yummier than stew meat…

Cheeky, cheeky.

Me, complaining yesterday to JE after a long day: I need a husband who comes home by 5 pm.  7:30 is tooooo laaaaate.

JE, with a twinkle in his eye: Hmm, where we can find you a husband like that?

(Later that evening)

Me: Our kids need a godly mom.

JE, with another twinkle in his eye: Hmm, where can we find these people?  A husband who comes home by 5 pm and a godly mom for our kids?

I think he won that exchange.