Follow Me

There was a time when I thought myself unworthy 

as my soul moaned my lost of innocence 

my journey into the fringe drew me deeper into a dark journey

How can I explain to you that despite the shadows of death – there is hope
That with just a glimmer of faith

Jesus was right there with guiding me out of my misery

Like a tapestry with interweaving thread, a medley of people and circumstances intertwine and weaved their way into my life and guided me out of my self destructive path.

In hindsight, Jesus never forsaked me, and He watched over me and walked with me until my eyes could see him.

He is patient 

He is Grace

He loves me 

How can I explain that once I cried out to Him to be my Saviour – That all the bad decisions I’ve made in the past stays in the past – my life took a 180 turn away from my old life.

“Follow Me”, is all He asks of me.

Thank you Jesus for reminding me this past Easter weekend of your sacrifice for me❤️


Notes:

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Luke 24:30-32 | NIV
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 

Luke 9:23 | NIV

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Happy 15th Birthday Son!

14 years and 5 months ago, my husband and I received the most precious gift from God – a bundle of joy from South Korea.

At 42, I a was a mom! Those tumultuous and self centered years of meandering through life, faded into the background as I held him in my arms.

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We had prepared ourselves with many self help books for newbie parents. Resourceful guides to help us through the first 24 months of our son’s developmental progress. Nothing prepared me for the act of selflessness that comes with caring for an infant(s) – and although I thought I was prepared to be a new mom – I wasn’t.  It was humbling.

We had given up hope of having children – it was just going to be the two of us, until that summer when my sister and her husband entrusted Dan and I with the care of their two young children while they went on vacation. It was a life changing experience.  We discovered the joy of children, and imagined being parents.   We wanted a family – and my biological clock was ticking.  Adoption was the only option for us!

We placed all our hopes in God to fill the hole in our lives. How I must have whined daily and I’m sure I was a pain in the neck as I scribbled away in my prayer journal.

With every stroke of the pen, with every prayer I asked God for a child.    My daily prayers were simple and full of hope.   I even gave God a list of what I wanted in our child.  Oh I can imagine God’s lift eyebrows as I look back on those prayers.

God you are all forgiving, all merciful, and all glorious!!  You have done great thing in my life!
All my hope is in you!

We went through the adoption process in December 2011, and had our application in by March, and our bundle of joy arrived in July 2012.  God’s hand was present throughout the process, and when he arrived at the airport, he was 4 months old.  Surround by family and friends, we welcomed him into our lives.  Our promise to God – to bring him up within His embrace.

Oh there were many challenges of taking care of an infant.   After 21 years together, we went through a period of adjustment.   Each day saw our love grow deeper as we fell in love with our son.  Living in the moment, we savored and appreciated the new challenges in our lives.   Each day was a learning experience, from being panicky and nervous parents, to watching him pull his first temper tantrum at 24 months, to the tenderness and love as we embraced being parents under God’s hands is precious.

Dear God,

You gave Dan and I what we could handle – both spiritually, and in our lives.  You have taught me many life lessons about being a believer, a mom, a wife, and a teacher.

The joy of being a mom, is also a life long process where each thought, idea, inspiration, goal, ability is examined and made new. Along with trials to my patience, attitude, prejudices, bias, and character flaw mirrored and revealed – You Dear Jesus, guide me towards change.

“Down on my knees again surrendering all…I’m desperate for you…. drench my soul, I hunger for you….”. I Surrender- Hillsong Live Cornerstone

Thank you God for the gift of answered prayer!
Thank you Jesus for guiding me to be the best mom I can be. For showing me daily my flaws and short coming as I interact with my son – with my children.  Thank you for your grace, that with You in me, I can make the effective changes to be an awesome mom. Thank you for always being there to get me back on track when I make a wrong turn ❤

Stepping Out

What a way to start my day…I popped into the kitchen for some coffee while a feisty rant fest was playing out with my co workers.  Before I knew it I made a comment which further stirred the pot as 3 pairs of eyes glared at me.
“Sheesh!”  “I really need to remember to simply shut my mouth!”

When we are Jesus filled, I can honestly attest that we go through a transformation.   The way we see the world changes, just as that sinful person we were goes through a series of self reflection and insight, and change.  God’s grace changes our perspectives and perceptions of the world.   The negative we once felt make way for an understanding as we leave our sinful past behind us, and yes, we are made new.   Those things we love to do or say in the pass is behind us.  I am not saying it’s an overnight phenomenon, but over time, as we embrace Christ within us…we go through a transformation process, because He is now guiding us.

Stepping outside of my comfort zone, of my Church and worship community, and dealing day in and day out with the world around me is daunting and challenging.   


As much as I love being in my comfort zone, I think about Jesus – Our wondrous God who came to us in human form so that we may come to know him.  He walked among us and help those in need.  He healed the sick.  His ministry was with the outcast of society.    Jesus emulated love.  How do I emulate love when I hide from the world?

When we let Jesus into our life and soul, there is something inside us which is transformed.   The judgmental, bitchy, negative me – the me who use to sit with the girls and trash talk has faded away.   Instead my heart is filled with a love for Jesus that raises in me a depth of soulfulness that I cannot even articulate.  I can say that there is a song in my heart. My pen composes love songs for Jesus.  There have been moments when I am so overwhelmed with his love, I feel the tears of joy run down my cheeks.

There is also this incredible feeling within to share with others the love that emulates from with in…I want to shout, and sometimes imagine myself lifting my arms in praise of our glorious God.  I am aware that those around me – those who have known me – do not understand the changes in me.   I have become an outcast and a freak!

Yes, I am happy to live in my bubble, sharing with my fellow Jesus loving family and community, but He calls out to me to walk among the non believers.   They are in our workplace, our schools, and we pass them by daily….and Jesus wants us to show mercy, to love, and share our love of Him with those around us.   He wants us to tell others how much Jesus loves them too!

Out there, not everyone is gonna think like me, or even share the same religion as me.  It’s not about me!  It is about sharing the love of Jesus!   There’s someone out there who desperately need to know of his love.  There is someone out there who wants to know Jesus.  Repeat, it is not about me, but about sharing the love of Jesus with others.

God wants to use us as an instrument of help and hope in the world.   How can I let God use me if I hide in my shell – my comfort zone?  The world yearns for hope, and I have a God who is all about hope and glory – How can I be so selfish that I would want to keep this good news to myself?

Yeah it is scary – they are different from me, with different backgrounds, different opinions, diverse personalities, and their lifestyles are not necessarily like mine, but God still calls us to the world.

Yes, I will feel discomfort, as I did when I should have shut up!   I will definitely feel the blunt of their disagreement, and their disdain, but we have a God who wants to partner with us, and He calls us to follow him like fishers of men to outreach!

The next time I find myself in a similar situation, I pray I have the insight and wisdom to smile, and simply say,”Good Morning!” 

 

Holding on To My Steadfast Anchor

As an teacher, my heart goes out to children whose parents are going through a separation or divorce.  From my experience, the children in my charge go through an emotional and grieving process that often leads to low self esteem and anxiety as they cope with new changes in their lives.   What was once a “happy” nuclear family is now a dysfunctional one that sometimes require a calendar to meander through the weekly changes of being shuffled from one house to the other, to who has the authorization to to pick up the child, to a slew of other changes emotionally and psychologically.

My son confides in me the stories of many of his own friends and the drama that unfolds during the divorce of their parents.   He tells me the heart wrenching story of his best friend –  His bestie has two other siblings (one older and one younger), but after the divorce of his parents, his Sikh father only wants to see him every other week, and wants nothing to do with his two other siblings. His Quebecois mother has custody of the other two, and share custody with my son’s bestie.

I thought at first how unusual until I discovered this week an ex-student of mine is also involved in a divorce.   Her mom left her dad with the two eldest daughters, leaving her 24 month old sister behind.

My heart cries out for these children and the fractures in their young lives.   The intercultural dichotomy in a relationship can be challenging, especially if there is a difference of religion and culture.   In my ex-students situation, her mom left a strict traditional Chinese patrilineal marriage which denies her the rights from a cultural standpoint.  “Married life is hard work”, is what I recently told a newlywed friend of mine. There will always certainly be ups and the downs in married life, and from my own experience, honest and communication is the only way to weather through it.    What helped my husband and I through every trial was TRUST and the God centered attitude to work through it.  With honesty, there is no denial, just as without communication, there can be no reciprocal relationship.

The love of a newly married couple is very different from the love within a relationship after 30 plus year of marriage.  As a couple grow and face the challenges in their marriage together with total honesty and communication, the love slowly develops into something that is full of depth and substance.

I remember when I first met my husband as a young university student in a punk rock club – Yes, a noisy club I use to slam dance and listen to hardcore music.  Dan was a friend of the bouncer, who kinda took it upon himself to keep a careful eye on me – a petite Chinese girl who was kinda nerdy, and totally out of her depth amidst hardcore punk rockers.

Dan and I are from two different walks of life and culture, but my dad saw in him something of substance, and shared with him the love of Jesus.   Dad planted those first fruits seeds in Dan – love and kindness.  Those first years as a couple saw much changes in our relationship – from being a boy friend, to a “common-law” couple, to marriage.   I am sure my parents prayer were long and steady on our behalf, just as with every visit, my dad never stopped sharing with his testimony and his love of Jesus.

There were ups and downs as I left the wild punk rock scene and buckle down to studying – first two bachelor and then my M.F.A.  Dan always supported my educational drive, even through he only completed his high school degree.   He also supported my walk back to Jesus.   In the early days of our courtship, Dan would drive me every Sunday to St. Stephen’s for worship (he would stay in the car).  This period also saw my dad pass away, and I think his death was a living testimony and opened my husband’s heart and soul.

One Sunday I asked Dan to accompany me into St. Stephens, and he did.  A non practicing Catholic by birth, Dan was able to relate to Nick Brotherwood, an ex-punker himself, and now one of the pastors at St. Stephens. With his British accent, and insightful sermons, God used him to touch my husbands heart until His whispers was heard.   What follows was miraculous, as my husband joined the Alpha course offered to young adults at St. Stephens, which in turn led to a renewal in Christ Jesus as his personal Savior.

Our journey as a couple has not always been an easy one as we worked through the many changes thrown at us.   First from not being able to have children, and after much prayer – the miracle of adopting two beautiful infants, to learning to become parents, and to keeping God center in our relationship  – it is with God’s blessing we are still married and together.  The last 15 years saw us go through a financial consolidation which saw us lose real estate holdings, and  my husband being laid off many times, as his industry went through changes.

In retrospective, much of the challenges thrown our way has helped us grow stronger as a couple, and as parents.  It has also deepen my faith in Christ, without whom I would have probably left my husband and become one of the many dysfunctional families around me. By God’s grace, I have been lifted up when I felt discouraged and weak.   Faith gave me hope.

Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of. – Charles Spurgeon

I see the hand of Christ in my husbands life, as He opens doors for him,  just as I see my husband’s faith remain steadfast with all the curves thrown at him.    We dealt with our financial lost together, knowing that God provides for our needs.  Most of all I praise God for guiding me to be the best wife and mom I can be, just as I see God working in my husband to be the best husband and dad he can be – loving unconditionally is the key – just as Jesus loves us.

Holding on to our faith, and to God in our time of need is the glue that keeps our family together:

Jesus is our sure and steadfast anchor, without which we would have been lost in the depth of the sea…

 

Cool Mom

I always try to keep an open line of communication with my kids.   This is important to me, and I like to keep a tab on the music they listen to, the YouTube channels they watch, get to know their friends, and above all be a  c o o l  mom.

Contrarian by nature, and as a child growing up, I challenged the cultural, ethnic, and religious norms around me… I was a pain in the neck.   My parents were typical of most Chinese immigrants, who arrived in the 50’s.  My mom was a homemaker and didn’t work (but I do remember her doing the odd seamstress job at home), while my dad worked hard to provide a comfortable life for all of us.  He was also an active evangelist and social activist within the Chinese community (hey it was the 60’s – the dawn of “isms”)- building the first Chinese Alliance Church in Toronto, as well as advocating for ethnic (Chinese) books in public libraries, as well as pushing for social services for Chinese elderly.  What I remember most is the giving heart my parents had in opening our home to the Chinese Christian community.   It is through my own dads unconditional love for those around him that I can understand the breathe and depth of Gods grace – love for me. 

It was a long journey for me before  I sought refuge in the grace of God.   I remember leaving the Church and my family values –  seeking instead to learn about life through all the post “isms” and leftist discourse I could experience, read and study.  My own journey back to Jesus is marked with a long and winding road, very much like e a seed that falls along a pebbles path.  It withers quickly under the glare of the sun.(1)  Eventually I was able to plant my faith upon rich soil – my dads’ unconditional love for me guiding me to Jesus’ grace and mercy.  The images of Jesus’ trek bearing a cross upon his shoulder, and a crown of thorn on his head, as his blood pour out of him is engraved in my minds eye.   His blood with every step he takes cleanses me of my sin so that I can be lifted on high.



Now the cool mom in me, having been around the block a few times, want to protect my own children and shield them from the path of inequity.   I want them to delight in walking with Jesus, without fear, knowing his precious grace, and his bountiful love – to know that at every turn, He is with them.

This includes sharing with them more unsavory parts of my life, along with an openness to leave a line of communication open to them, so that they can talk to me about anything – everything from the light, mundane to the more serious (profane).

Cool mom tries not to freak out – OK lets be honest – I occasionally do shriek and freak out big time, but thank goodness I can look to God to calm my soul, and strive to be non condemnation, and always seek restoration.  This cool mom is not shy to speak about Jesus, talk about my own shortcomings, or discuss my need to seek forgiveness for my gutter mouth.  This cool mom also listens to her 10 year old daughter when she reprimands me for using God’s name in vain – God bless her!  I also listens to my son as he talks about the personal details of his friends and their lives.  I try to not to freak out, or condemn, but listen.   Yeah Listen!    I bravely tell him to make a prayer list so that we can pray for them, and ask for the hand of God to enrich their lives with  blessings.

Heck I am not perfect, but I am trying – remembering always my own faith is made stronger in the presence of Jesus Christ our Savior:

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6
Ephesians 2:4-6a | NIV

Oh Lord give me the insight to be a good mom, to listen, and share with them my love of Jesus Christ.

Amen!

 

Notes:

1.  14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Mark 4:14-20 | NIV

 

Getting Out the Door

Some mornings, especially on the weekend, it’s just hard to get up in the morning.  After a hectic week, I am physically tired.  Today is a particularly yucky cloudy and snowy day.  It is enough to make me want to stay in bed and cuddle with my  down duvet, and sleep a few more hours.   Well this morning is one of those days when I yearned for a lazy Sunday – do nothing!

Nope, I have Sunday Service at 10:30 am, and it is my one day during the week to spend with my family and our Church congregation in worship and praise of God.   Sometimes I must ask myself if this is Satan’s way of working on me to create a snowball of incidences that lead to a having a bad morning – of disobedience.  Agitated and cranky to boot, I almost want to miss this weekly ritual. It is when I feel like this, that I know I need get myself out the door, and to worship.

All the signs pointed to staying home, so I made a greater effort to get out the door.  First, not wanting to get out of bed, and then running around like a chicken without a head as I busy myself preparing a roast in the slow cooker for our evening meal, make breakfast for the kids, and general crankiness all the way to Church.   I was in a piss off mood even up to the front door of the Church.  I was bitchy and snarly.

It took me a while during sing-inspiration to finally put my angry heart aside, and silently pray to God.  With the sound of music in the background, I ask for God to open my heart to worship and praise – to transform me.  To trust Him without boundaries.   I ask him to make my faith stronger, as I wrestled with the sinful nature within.  In the presences of my Savior, I ask for forgiveness.  I ask him to take me deeper into my faith, and to renew me.

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  

2 Corinthians 5:17 | NIV

Oh Forgive me dear Lord God

for letting the frivolous things

and stuff get in the way of my relationship with you.

I let my cranky, agitated nature get in the way of our relationship. 

You ask for nothing from me

except to truly worship you and believe you

Your grace you give me freely

Transformed this cranky soul

I lift my voice in adoration of You and

pray for deliverance of my cranky nature

Here I stand before you

Changed and set free 

With adoration, I lift my arms and proclaim Hosanna

Your grace has transformed me as I open my heart to thee

and embrace your presence with humbleness, love and obedience.

Draw me deeper into your presence, deeper into my faith,

as I worship you with truth and depth.

 

Amen

 

 

 

The Lost Necklace 

Ephesians 2:1
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us


Ok I lost it last night, got angry at my daughter for losing a special necklace I had given her on her 10th birthday, specially because she had lied to me.  For the past 3 months whenever I asked her why she was not wearing it, there was always an excuse until I was cleaning her room – then I saw the empty jewellery box.

She was afraid I would be mad at her, and indeed I was since she has hidden the truth from me for months.

As a parent I am angry she lied to me, and needed her to recognize and own the fact she lied.

I’m sorry is too easy a way to get out of a situation without owning and taking responsibility for her action – in this case not the lost necklace, but the lie.

All too often we resolve situations, especially in children by teaching them to say, “I’m sorry”. How often do we teach kids to own it. Paying lip service and saying “I’m sorry” does not teach a child the depth and responsibility of owning their lies or actions that lead to the lie.

Yes I was angry and in my cloud of emotionalism directed it at my daughter. I feel remorse that I did not handle it better, and in turn feel I fall short of Jesus ‘ loving nature. Gods love for us is without condemnation, he loves us unconditionally. How it must have hurt and sadden him when I myself have lied and sin against him.

He asks us to own our sin and then sin no more.

As a parent that is my own hope for my daughter. I love her unconditionally, but am hurt she feels the need to lie to me. How we must hurt God with our sin.

Lord God, forgive me for falling short of your glory – for getting mad at my daughter for lying to me. How I must have hurt you when I myself have done the same. Guide me to be a wise mom, and guide me to be a role model, and the mom you meant for me to be for my children. 

Open my daughters heart to understand the difference between a lie and the consequences that proceeds its. Guide her to take responsibility and own her lie so that she can restore her relationship with you. 

Guide me to do the same with her, to have a calm heart, and the wisdom to handle the challenges of a mother and daughter relationship. The ability to keep my mouth shut.

In the name of Jesus,
Amen