Dear SAHM, you impact the world…

Children running with the wind.

When I made the decision to be a stay-home mom, I was terrified and clueless. I wondered if my time at home was worthwhile (I still do at times). Most say, leaving your job before 30 is career suicide.

Like many young women, I had dreams of making a difference for God. Going into the marketplace and impact the world for His glory. Isn’t that what we often hear from the pulpit?

Instead of important business meetings and nailing that presentation, my priorities become getting through today’s Chinese lesson and laundry while also buying groceries and Popsicle sticks for my kid’s craft.

I start to feel like my all-consuming tasks aren’t very important…

How can I use my gift to serve Him? How can I be missional as a SAHM?

True, I’m making a difference in my family. However, can I impact MORE than just my family?

Yes, you can.

Continue reading Dear SAHM, you impact the world…

Happy Mother’s Day 2016

Happy Mother's Day 2016

Every year, on Mother’s Day, we thank our mothers for their selflessness and love. Although, we mothers, often question our choices and how we fall short of the idealistic image of a perfect mom.

Just a couple of days ago, a friend and I lamented about the weariness of raising a family.  We wondered why we chose to leave our careers and raise children who drive us insane.  There are times when we are envious of yummy mummies who get to dress up, wear high heels and still have time to head to the gym while we, in sweat-soaked tees, chase after monkeys children in our Mary Janes.

It is an intense period of hard work: physically, mentally and emotionally.  Often sleep deprived, we continue to entertain the little people in chirpy voices, singing the same song every time they say: “Sing again, Mama! We want to hear it.” and reading the same story until we’re able to rattle off every sentence without looking at the page.

On top of that, we handle “Hulk” moments a.k.a. spontaneous meltdowns and skilful negotiations.

Throw in cleaning, washing, cooking and picking up Lego pieces.

All these at an average of 12 hours a day. Every day.

Clearly, this isn’t going to end anytime soon.  So what’s a mother to do?

God reminds me that my children are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalms 139:14)

Look past the “Hulk” moments, the fidgeting as if they had ants in their pants, and past the “you can’t catch me…” even though you specifically told them to stop…

Those little hands and legs….their heart….them.

They are God’s masterpieces.

Fearfully and wonderfully made
Source: Darlene Schacht (Time-warp Wife)

It is extremely difficult to keep thinking the good when faced with a terrible, no good, very bad day.  It’s almost impossible to think that your child is God’s masterpiece when he/she is screaming right in your face.

The good news is, we aren’t to do everything on our own.  God promises us to be the source of help. (Psalms 73:26)  God is faithful. He will never give us more than what we can bear. (1 Cor 10:13)

God is the strength of my heart
Source: be-the-change via model me girl

As for my friend and I, we concluded we would make the very same choices, when given a second chance.

So why bother having such a conversation when the choice remains clear?  I’m not sure.  Perhaps, it’s just one of those things we had to talk it out of our system. 🙂

To you, weary mom who ask yourself the same question and yet raise your children anyway, Happy Mother’s Day!

Not forgetting you, yummy mummy, Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother's Day 2016

 

Easy Easter Kids’ Crafts

Easy-To-Do-Easter-Kids-Crafts-Dyed-Eggs-Homeschool-Crafts

I’ve always been apprehensive about making our own Easter eggs, especially the mess I’ve to clean up if Hannah breaks an egg. That’s until I realised we could use hard-boiled eggs!

I know you must be thinking, “What have you been thinking all this time?!”

This egg crafting business is really new to me.  Here are several ideas for newbies like me:

Food Colour Dye Eggs

Mix 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon vinegar and drops of food colour to achieve your desired colour.  Dip your hard-boiled eggs in the dye for 5 minutes. Remove and allow the eggs to dry.

Easy-Easter-Kids-Activities-Painted-Eggs-Homeschool-Crafts

Painting on Empty Egg Shells

Daddy contributed this idea!  He made a small opening on the eggs, removed and cooked scrambled eggs for breakfast, then washed the egg shells.

With chopsticks and a cup to prop the egg shells, we left them to dry before painting them.     The chopsticks and cup helped keep Hannah’s hands and clothes clean.  Minimal clean-up effort!

Crayon Decorated Eggs

Now, this method requires some practice.  We had used crayons to draw designs on hard-boiled eggs.

I meant to dye the eggs after that to create crayon-resist effect. However, the eggs were crushed after Hannah drew on them.  So we skipped the dye.

As you can tell, we had a lot of eggs to finish for the week!

Crayon-Decorated-Eggs-Easy-Easter-Crafts-Homeschool-Crafts

Yarn Eggs

A friend taught us this.  Blow up a ballon to the size of your fist.  Secure balloon with a knot. Dip yarns in PVA glue (diluted with some water). Wrap glue-covered yarn around balloon.  The balloon should be fairly well covered with yarn.

Allow balloon and yarn to dry completely.  Pop balloon and remove it.

Oh, you could also use this egg to share about Jesus’s resurrection.  The egg is hollow because Jesus has resurrected!. The tomb is empty!

Easy-Easter-Kids-Craft-Yarn-Egg-Homeschool-Crafts

Sticker Decorated Eggs

We did this on Thursday at MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers).  Simply stick stickers on a hard-boiled egg.  You could even tell the Easter story with the stickers.  Hannah chose to illustrate Jesus’s crucifixion by pasting 3 crosses.  Two for the criminals and Jesus in the middle.

Easy-Easter-Kids-Craft-Sticker-Egg-Homeschool-Crafts

Easter Kids’ Activities

In the run-up to Easter, we recount Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection with Easter Activity Workbook.  It’s a 7-day countdown that covers Palm Sunday through Christ’s resurrection. You could get your free copy by subscribing to ABC Jesus Loves Me Blog.

We also learned about the story of the resurrection eggs through the book, “Lily’s Easter Party“.  It’s an interesting concept to recount the Easter story using symbols.

Intrigued by the concept, I shared this at our Mandarin co-op. Retelling the Easter story in Mandarin proved to be a feat!  It surely was a relief to know that the children enjoyed the Easter egg hunt and discovering the symbols.

Life Your Way and Teaching Heart provide free materials to go along with story.

Even if you didn’t get to do any craft or activity, don’t be dismayed. Take this Sunday to quiet your heart and let God speak to you. He’s the reason for Easter.

14022783319_ee3e72485b_bPhoto by Andrea Howey on Flickr

Happy Easter!

Unstuck: Looking Outward

Fly AwaySource

After much blog silence,  I’m back.  From my previous post, “Sitting on a Seesaw with God“, things hasn’t changed drastically but I’ve learned a lot (and still am learning) from this period of waiting.

Look beyond our problems

I’m starting to look outward and beyond the problems at hand.  One day, when I no longer feel the weight of the problem, then perhaps I might come to realise that the problem no longer exists.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Norman Vincent Peale

Count our blessings

Rather than focusing on the things that I have no control over, I’ve begun to thank God for the little things.  Like rejoicing the very breath that we hold!

Give and be an encouragement

Charles Dickens’ once said,

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.

Often, I’m stumped by situations at home: how can I get the children to eat better? What can I do to make Elijah sleep through?  How do I juggle homeschool and housework when I feel so drained?

Now, I try to pay more attention to people around me.  Praying for others and just being there for another really helps put things in perspective.  And well, reminds me that God hears my prayers.

Self-care is important

Most stay-home moms will agree that we tend to put our family first and neglect ourselves.  During this time, I’m reminded that self-care is equally important.

As Elijah continues to wake up at night, I don’t get quality sleep.  To get a good head start in the morning, I’ve started to turn in early.  That means, sacrificing my blogging hours. So I need to accept that there might come a time when no one reads my blog (except for my ever supportive husband!)

Also, I’ve been watching my diet.  I try to practice proper nutrition by snacking healthily (less chocolates!) and exercising whenever possible.

God is always constant

Above all else, I remember that God is always constant.  His love endures forever.  What He says, He will do.

To you, in need of an encouragement, do not be dismayed.

Your entire life is already written out in His master plan.  Take heart!

He hears your cries and saves your tears.  God will never leave you nor forsake you.

Hallelujah!

Lessons I’ve Learned While Having Insomnia

Ever since the early weeks of pregnancy, I’ve been finding difficulty to stay asleep.  I’d suddenly wake up in the wee hours of the morning, unable to fall back to sleep until around 5 or 6 a.m.  Then, Hannah will wake me up at 7.30 or 8 a.m (on a good day).  Initially, I’ve tried very hard to lull myself to sleep – counting sheep, drinking warm milk, listening to soft music, adjusting the bedroom temperature etc.  Nothing helped.

Tossing and turning in bed was a sure way to get my thoughts run wild.  Many things will run through my mind, and somehow anxiety, fear and worry creeps in.  Doesn’t help at all.

Instead, I’ve learned to get up and spend some quiet time with God.  Praying for the family, friends with prayer petitions, listening to online sermons and reading Bible devotions.  With everyone asleep, it’s very quiet and conducive for a me-and-God time.

Here are two things I’ve learned this week:

Women in O.T were everyday women walking with God

While going through a Bible lesson on the women in the Old Testament (e.g. Sarah, Hannah, Rahab and Ruth), I’ve come to realise that these inspiring women were just like any of us.  They have chores to do, children to raise, responsibilities inside and outside of home.

But their trust and hope in God kept them going. Their walk made a difference.

The women in the Old Testament were everyday women, just like us.  But their trust and hope in God kept them going. Their walk made a difference.

Nothing from God is ordinary

During bible-study group, when my church leader asked the group if there’s something good to share for the week or if there’s anything to give thanks for, I’m usually quiet. I’d gathered that the things to share were usually things that made people go “WOW!”.  I have no earth-shaking testimonies to share.  So it’s better to remain silent.

But I was wrong.  There’s nothing ordinary about what God has done for you.  That throbbing pain in your head that God healed, the kind encouragement you needed for the week, the small voice that reminded you to do something wasn’t all by chance.

There is nothing from God that is ordinary

I’d like to share with you a testimony that I’ve only shared with my husband thus far.   In January, I missed my period.  I did a test and the result was negative.  By end January, I still wasn’t having my period.  I did a test again and it was negative.

On the first week of February, my stomach felt bloated.  I thought it’s likely due to my missed period (similar to past experiences).  I decided to make a trip to the doctor to regulate my menstrual cycle.  Usually, he’d give me medication that I’d take for about a week, and then my period would come.

On that morning before, at around 3am, I was awoken by my inner voice nudged me to do a pregnancy test.  I didn’t want to since I just did two tests and both came out negative.  But I couldn’t get back to sleep, and the nudging persisted.  Since I couldn’t fall back to sleep, I did the test.

As expected, the line under “Control” appeared almost immediately.  I was very sure that the result was negative, and was about to throw the stick away.  Then I saw a change.  A faint line under “Test” started to appear.  The line became bolder.  I was speechless.

Pregnancy test results are out!

Skeptics may say it’s all in the head.  Others may say, “Your doctor would have checked before giving you the medication anyway.”  I’m not sure about that.  I wouldn’t know.  All I know was I heard the reminder, and I’m glad I did checked.

What I’m trying to say is, many a times, our days may seem ordinary and nothing’s a biggie.  But take those moments to reflect, you might find the hand of God in those ordinary times.  And say a little “thank you” to our ever-faithful Father.

Live a good life for Christ!

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.

Psalm 34:8