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Equal at the foot of the Cross.

Yesterday, Cub pointed out my sin to me. For the first time. Unprompted.

I’d confessed sin against him before, but this was the first time he pointed it out to me before I confessed it.  And he did it so sweetly: “Umma, you sinned against God and against me when you screamed at me to clean up the shapes.”

Dang. He was right.  (And thankfully, he brought it up a little after the event, so I had time to cool down.)

So I had to ask him for forgiveness on the spot and pray for God’s forgiveness, too.

I’m sure I won’t always feel this way when my son unearths my sin, but at that moment, by God’s grace, I felt a sense of the beauty of the gospel.  A gospel where a son can humbly point out his umma’s sin and they can approach the cross together, confessing sin and rejoicing in God’s grace for sinners together.

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A missionary mother.

From Susanna Wesley, as quoted  by Dorothy Patterson in “The High Calling of Wife & Mother in Biblical Perspective,” Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood:

No one can, without renouncing the world, in the most literal sense, observe my method; and there are few, if any, that would entirely devote above twenty years of the prime of life in hopes to save the souls of their children, which they think may be saved without so much ado; for that was my principal intention, however unskillfully and unsuccessfully managed.

To renounce the world. To devote the prime of life to save the souls of my children.  To spend my energies there.  Not for myself but for them.  And not for them but for Him.

That is my prayer.

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.

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.