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Passionate Pup.

I’m learning Pup is a kid of passions.  He’s fire and grit and kisses and snuggles.  He feels things deeply and I love that, but I pray for his passions to be guided, directed, and confined by the Word of God.  By the Spirit of God.  He still runs at those he loves and grabs them in an I-LOVE-YOU-BOOM! kind of hug. (Maybe my kid after all?)

Yesterday, during our church’s evening service, he gave so many kisses to a friend’s dog.  And he was so delighted when she gave him a lick back on the forehead.  So gentle, so affectionate with dogs.  And so gentle and affectionate with babies.  (Next to trucks, puppies and babies are his favorite.)

Yet with those who bully him or those who have something he wants, he can be pretty pugnacious.  Last night, as I was falling asleep, I heard him screaming, “No! NO!” in his room, the same way he would if he were being bullied or fighting with someone.  I went in and he tossed and turned, but his eyes were still closed.  He was dreaming.

Baby of mine who loves snuggles yet throws punches, did I give you the middle name James only to find that you’re a boy much like the son of thunder I named you for?

Yet that son of thunder was transformed by the gospel of the grace of God.  And his ruling passion became Jesus, no longer his own tempestuous, self-seeking heart.  And according to tradition, he became the first apostle to be martyred for Jesus’ sake.

May God do the same work in your heart, little boy.

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Love protects.

Cub and I were walking to the store today on a busy street, cars zipping by.  And I put him on the inner half of the sidewalk so I’d be closer to the cars.  In the past, I had explained to him that umma and appa walk on the outside closer to the cars to protect him because we love him.

As I did that, he said to me, “Umma, when I become a man, I’m going to walk on the outside and you’re going to walk on the inside.”

“Aww, you’re going to protect umma?”

“Yes.” And he pulled his shoulders back and walked a little straighter. “See, I’m almost a man.”

Pooh-isms.

While making pizza together for dinner tonight —

JE, sternly: Cub, are you eating the flour?

Cub, quoting Pooh: You never know with me.

JE and my mama.

Part of a note my mama sent to JE today (the original was in Korean):

You aren’t just like a son.  Although I didn’t birth you from my womb, you’re a son birthed from my heart.  I love you so much!

That mama of mine.  And that husband of mine.

My heart is bursting with gratitude.

Child of divorce, do not fear marriage.

An excerpt from an article I wrote for Desiring God, Child of Divorce, Do Not Fear Marriage:

The gospel defines you more deeply than earthly roots and the generational merits or sins that come with your family name, because God is effectively conforming you into the image of his Son (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Thicker and purer than the blood that binds you to your earthly family is the blood of Christ, spilled for your redemption.

1,000 words is very little space to speak to the fears and pains a child of divorce might face in this situation — and words apart from a warm person speaking them, pressing your hands, weeping with you, can come across as a cold bandaid slap on a wound.  But inasmuch as a stranger’s words can speak to your fears, I pray these words give comfort to anyone who walks the same path I did.

Every child of divorce experiences their fears or pain differently, but if you find your experience shaping to be like mine, I pray these words from my heart, reaped from deep pain, would minister to your heart.

P.S. And if it wasn’t clear, the point of my article is to battle the lies in children’s hearts as a result of parental divorce, not to blame parents or condemn all divorces.  May God bless not only the children of divorce but the parents as well — deeply. ♥

Full healing one day.

My mama-in-law’s Alzheimer’s has been accelerating into the final stages lately.  Her body has become more stiff, and she’s very hunched over while trying to walk or — as it gets later into the day — hunched over on the floor, unable to rise.

Last night, when JE was there with Cub, JE was trying to get her off the floor and into a more comfortable position.  Cub bothered him in the process, and he told Cub, “I’m trying to help Halmuni, because she’s sick.”

And Cub stopped bothering him and thought for a bit.  Then he said, “When Halmuni gets to heaven, she won’t be sick anymore.”

Hope from a little mouth in the face of Alzheimer’s.

A praying mother.

The impression that a praying mother leaves upon her children is life-long. Perhaps when you are dead and gone your prayer will be answered.

Dwight L. Moody

Baby talk.

This morning, Cub asked me for some books from the top shelf.  As I reached up to grab them, he said, “You’re the tallest!”  I better savor the very, very short time I have before he realizes his mama is actually very far from being the tallest. 😉

After dinner, as the boys were playing, we were reviewing the names of certain things with Pup.  And JE noticed that he ends every word with a glottal stop (e.g., map is ma’, pillow is pi-o’).

And as JE was bathing the boys right now, I heard him and Cub laughing as he tried to correct Cub’s pronunciation of steamroller.  Cub kept saying steam-wo-wo and steam-ro-ror.

My favorite from today was when we were driving home from the beach and as we were listening to Shane and Shane’s Forever in the car, Cub said, “Umma, I remember the crown of thorns.  And the cross.”

I hope my boys always do.

But God.

 

JE and I talked about how the artwork our parents hung in our childhood homes are seared in our memories to this day.  He remembers the Korean Scripture that hung over his mantle, I remember the Serenity Prayer that hung in our bathroom, as well as other pieces our parents chose for the home.  A quote here, an image there, a verse here, a portrait there.

So we’ve been thinking a little more strategically about the things we want hanging in our kids’ memories.  A map of the world to hopefully give them a perspective and heart for the unreached.  Our life verses.  Hebrews 13:14, which I have yet to make.  And a little square  with just two words — But God.

I wondered at what age our kids would begin to ask us what “but God” means and why we have that strange, incomplete thought on the wall.

So I painted But God on an 8 x 8″ piece of watercolor paper today.  Cub watched me paint it from afar as he was reading during Pup’s nap time.  When I finished, he came next to me and read it.  “But God.”

And then he said, “But God…..still loves us?”

He was asking if that was what it meant.

I was so surprised all I could do was kiss him.

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.