First week of maternity leave and into week 37 meaning Baby Yee could come anytime now!
It’s been a full and fun week so far though I’ve gotten far less done than I would prefer haha.
Friday: last day of work!, prayer with Ms. A, sympathy coffee for coworkers :), youth group
Saturday: breakfast with Duhee and Gina, Steph and Kathy arrived, Flame Broiler lunch, Beijing pie, staying up late talking
Sunday: Seeds, Baby Shower!! (Thanks so much friends & fam!), hanging out with AACF at… Where else? Flame Broiler
Monday: cleaned, walked 2.5 miles with Steph, dinner and dessert with Kristie
Tuesday: dropped Steph off, Acai bowl and time with the Lord in Burbank, went for a walk, cleaned, BSF
Wednesday: Mom’s BSF class, birthday lunch/walk/mystery activity with Erwin, laundry haha and dinner with family
Thursday: doctor’s appointment (baby is on target!), then cleaned cleaned and cleaned some more yet why is our apartment still a mess!?
Friday: spending the day with Kenny at Gab sharing about nonprofits and DOH!, d-ship tonight, then sleepover at my parents’ the whole weekend in case Baby Yee decides to some while Daddy is at Seeds leadership retreat
How am I feeling?
SOOO relieved to not have work anymore though I’ve dreamt about it several times so far haha. I told Kenny physically at the end of the day I still feel very tired, but mentally I feel a lot sharper. Also it’s been so much fun going through all the stuff for the baby and anticipating her arrival! Definitely don’t feel ready, but it is so fun and precious to look at all of her little gifts from the past few weeks. There’s this one outfit in particular from a co-worker with a navy dress and pink whale and Kenny MELTED when he saw it and proclaimed “I don’t stand a chance!!”
Acid reflux is unfortunately coming back with a vengeance as I think the baby is growing bigger and getting up in my intestines again. My left hip has been killing me too for some reason. I have been walking more so maybe that’s why?
Overall I’m just excited and can’t believe our baby is actually going to be here soon! It’s pretty unbelieveable that we will get to meet her soon!! Lately she’s been stretching a lot and our new favorite thing is feeling her feet as they protrude often from the right side of my stomach.
What is God saying?
I was telling Deb and Kenny after BSF that for some reason things kind of “clicked” this week for me in terms of the God of justice and the God of mercy being one in the same. I think the biggest thing I’ve seen through this past week’s lesson is how the Gospel demonstrates not just the love and mercy of God in Jesus dying for us, but also how it shows the Justice of God in that He punished Jesus fully with His full wrath for our sin. So as much as the Gospel is about grace it is also about Justice and God’s holiness and how sin must be punished.
Anyway more thoughts on the topic for sure, but that’s it for today. Time to talk to Mr. Yee’s kiddos again. And on that note, I must say I could NEVER be a teacher. And yes I do understand now why my husband is so tired at the end of each day and has a hard time listening to me lol.
It’s funny. Two days ago I wrote how I could totally continue working. As much as it’s partially true, I re-read a long, detailed email I sent to our COO yesterday, one that I went through at least 5 times before sending knowing that my brain’s been foggy, and to my horror I realized this morning that it was riddled with errors in grammar, punctuation, and clarity!
So yes. At least for the sake of my own work pride, it’s time for a maternity leave! Can’t believe there’s only one day left!!
Miraculously almost all of my projects are done. Only a few left and a few easy ones that I passed on to the girl covering me during my leave.
What I really wanted to write about though was the surprise baby shower work put on for me yesterday! I was almost completely surprised, but as I was walking into work, I ran into 3 of the gals from our DV site who happened to be carrying baby-themed gift bags haha. I was totally surprised and also horrified as 1) I hate being the center of attention and 2) I looked like a complete scrub with my Rainbows and lazy, old black Forever 21 shirt. I was also very thankful to God though that He gave me a little head’s up as I was able to slip into work quickly and try to freshen up in the bathroom (of course it was at this time that I noticed my lazy, old shirt not only looked lazy and old but also had two holes in it… ugh!).
After the “surprise,” which at this point everyone knew was actually not a surprise haha, we started with one of Ms. A’s famous breakfasts of Ethiopian-style eggs, bread, potatoes, and fruit. Then the staff shared touching and sometimes hilarious blessings, affirmations, and advice. After, to their glee, the guys were dismissed, and we played a game, opened presents, and finished with a time of prayer and blessing.
As much as I was very resistant to being the focal point of the morning and according to co-workers had a pained smile on my face for half of it (ha!), I must say I felt tremendously loved by the staff and by our Heavenly Father and greatly enjoyed celebrating what God has done in creating Baby Yee!
I know our org has shortcomings, and there is a lot to fix, but I would say the one thing DOH employees do is love one another well. Yes, there are still politics and there’s incredible dysfunction at times, and yes I tend to be very lazy when it comes to building close co-worker relationships, but at the end of the day, I think our staff truly embraces what it means to be the family of God. People always comment too on how diverse we are and that our staff is like the United Nations. I absolutely love that diversity and I think it shows what the Kingdom of God is like and what the Holy Spirit can do in bringing together vastly different people to love one another and work in unity for one common purpose.
I also just feel so grateful to be working at DOH. As I always say, I seriously prayed for this job for FOUR YEARS. I can’t imagine a position better suited to my strengths, skill set, and interests. I am always so proud when I tell people I work at DOH and so excited to share about our purpose and mission and the things God is allowing us to do.
On that note, a few years ago I would’ve thought my work preferences would have been a no-brainer post-baby, but it really might be hard for me to decide what it is that I want to do. Definitely something to start praying into during my leave. I’m going to need guidance and wisdom and I really do want to only pursue the plans of the Lord, whatever that means.
Ms. A shared a while ago that she got Isaiah 55 for DOH during her Christmas break and has been encouraging us to spend time pressing into it. In her words, when God gives her a passage she refuses to let it go. To be honest, the first couple times I read it probably over a month ago, I wasn’t that enthused haha. I mean it was good and there’s many great truths in there, but I was like hmm this isn’t really life-altering or anything. But it’s been interesting as I’ve noticed the verses from the passage coming up at random times, and as I’ve continued to read, in the past week or so, this is the verse that has been sticking out to me:
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
What a shame it would be to live life without the Lord. To labor without Him for that which does not satisfy. To follow my own plans, what I think is best for me/my family, but neglect what God has for me, to miss out on what is good and rich and will bring true delight.
I want to be careful to really follow God’s lead as I determine my next steps career-wise. I had a plan years ago of stay at home mom-ing and more recently my plan has been seeing if I can swing something part-time (something I haven’t even explicitly discussed with my employer yet), however what is it that God really wants for me? Will I turn over control and invite Him to show me His plans for me?
And His plans might not even seem logical or delightful in the moment. I truly believe that prior to DOH, the 4 years spent at Zii were exactly where God wanted me to be career-wise, but oh my goodness they were often excruciating! Yet as I struggled to find purpose, struggled with feeling like I wasn’t living out my dreams, struggled with discontentment and co-workers (or mostly a co-worker) I couldn’t stand, God taught me so many things. He truly gave me (in the wording of the verse) food that was good for me.
He grew in me so many ways. He showed me the power of prayer: what it was like to ask Him daily for help in loving that co-worker I couldn’t stand, and that He really did have the power to change me when my heart was so callous. He showed me that it wasn’t my job that was causing heart problems, but it was me. I thought “when I get my perfect job, a job in ministry, a job in social services, then I’ll live for Him.” But God showed me that if I couldn’t live for Him in this job, it really meant my heart wasn’t right and I really wasn’t that into living for Him at all. I learned contentment and how to trust even when I felt forgotten and that my passions were for nothing. In the 4 years at Zii, God also gave me time to truly figure out what I was good at and enjoyed doing, which were actually very different than the things I thought I wanted to pursue when I first finished college and even in my first year of working.
Anyway, I had no idea when I started writing that this was the direction this post would take!
All this to say, I am truly thankful for my work and for God’s goodness and how He’s guided me thus far in my career. I know He has great plans for me regardless of what my future work life will look like, and I choose to trust in Him.
Lastly, I wish I had taken a picture of our staff at my work shower. If you want to see a picture, apparently I’m on DOH’s Snapchat. I won’t be checking though as I know I’ll probably be horrified and as the Marketing/PR Director said yesterday, “This is like your worst nightmare!” to which I responded, “Yes, this is.” Haha.
So thankful for my time so far at DOH. Excited for my last day tomorrow, but also very unexpectedly, but understandably, quite sad.
Last week of work!!!!! Oh my gosh I can’t wait. I am so excited to sleep, clean, cook, get the baby room ready, spend time with the Lord (sad, I didn’t immediately write that one and had to add it in later… will talk about this in latter portion of post, but thankful that there’s grace!), and hang out with family/friends! I have been so tired this week (I know, I know, I sound like a broken record) and struggling to function in life and at work. Of course this weekend was packed so that’s probably part of it too.
Weird thing is like I mentioned in the last post, I don’t feel “disabled” at all and definitely think I could keep working. But after learning SDI covers 4 weeks before your due date, even though it’s not going to cover my entire salary, it’s kind of like why not? This is my last hurrah before a lifetime of child-rearing haha.
Other than tired and irritable, I feel relatively good though. I did have a bad stomach ache last night, but I realized since we’ve been so busy (seriously we’ve had something almost every single night this entire month… but of course now’s the time to do it!) I haven’t cooked anything in the last week, thus I’ve been eating very few vegetables. PTL though for good digestive movements today! No joke, I am sooo relieved/happy/thankful to the Lord haha.
Regarding the baby, I’m definitely still excited to meet her, but I guess this past week there’s been this realization that things will never be the same again once she’s born, and honestly that is a little frightening. Of course there’s no turning back now and of course I wouldn’t want to(!!!), but I do feel a bit anxious thinking about how much everything is going to change for our little family!
Baby’s looking good! Movements are still frequent and strong! Yesterday she was relentless when I had my stomachache and wouldn’t stop kicking me right where it hurt! Doctors appointment went well this morning and she said Baby’s growth is on target and she should be around 6 lbs., 1 oz. right now give or take 15%.
As for this weekend, it was quite full. Highlight would be our 30th Anniversary Gala on Saturday night at Noor. It was a bit of a roller coaster and quite chaotic with very few staff there, but I thank God for His grace and help– I think my attitude could have been far far worse than it was and by the end of the night I realized I did have an enjoyable time, and the chaos, well, it was actually quite comical.
The biggest praise is that we raised over $150K, which was absolutely a miracle! And ultimately, the hope is that God received glory and praise for all that He has done to sustain our ministry over the past 30 years, despite our many mishaps and shortcomings (even the ones that very night!).
Not really a part of the weekend, but another highlight would be Staff Development on Monday. In my 1.5 years at DOH, it was seriously the best Staff Development I’ve attended. The workers from our DV site shared and it was eye-opening to learn more about victims of domestic violence, how to minister to them, and how the Gospel can bring tremendous hope in the face of devastating circumstances.
Startling facts about DV:
An average of 3 women are murdered every day by an intimate partner.
Nearly 1/3 of American women report being abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
In California alone, domestic violence occurs in 436,000 households per year, exposing nearly 916,000 children to violence in the home per year.
When a battered woman leaves her abuser, there is a 50% chance her standard of living will drop below the poverty line.
Such mind-boggling and heartbreaking statistics. So proud to be a part of DOH and to support the ministry of these amazing ladies who work so hard to bring the hope and love of Christ to the broken-hearted.
What has God been saying?
Honestly it’s been another hard week and I’ve struggled to spend time with the Lord and press into Him. I think this is the first week I haven’t finished all of my BSF lesson before the day of class. It’s crazy because just one year ago I would do the back half of my lesson the day of class (meaning by Tuesday I’d have 50% done) and a year before that and all the prior years of BSF I would do almost all of my lesson the day of class. (As a side note, I can’t believe this is my SIXTH year of BSF. Say whaat!?)
To me, this is so indicative of God’s grace. For whatever reason, He has been giving me tremendous grace and help to spend time with Him this year and I can absolutely see how it’s been helping me in my walk and in life.
It’s not easy to spend time with the Lord. And I know I mentioned it before, but even our middle school youth girls say things like “I don’t have time for devo’s” or “It’s just so hard” or “I don’t get anything out of reading the Bible/praying” and my heart aches for them because I know it’s not going to get any easier, but oh how I hope and pray God gives them grace to start spending time with Him NOW. I’m not sure it will ever be easy. And though it makes me laugh when they say “I don’t have time to spend with God,” it reveals the human heart, for isn’t this the excuse we use in almost every season of life? I don’t have time. I’m too busy. Too tired. Even MIDDLE SCHOOLERS feel too busy to make time for God in their lives.
So I try to encourage them. It’s worth it. We’ll always feel too busy and guess what, in the next season you’ll be even busier no matter what age you are! We will always find excuses to not spend time with God and say “in the next season of life, then I’ll really pursue You.”
But the time is NOW. The time is now and it is worth it. Like I wrote earlier, I think by God’s grace this past year or so I’ve been able to see how spending time with Him daily, though it might not seem like it makes a significant impact immediately, really does help and fills me with more peace, more wisdom, more significance, and lends itself to growth.
So I guess this is an encouragement to myself to not give up. To keep pressing in. To know that it’s worth it. Especially as I head into what many consider the craziest season of life. (As so many people have said, the first year of having a baby is just a blur.)
Reminds me of these two verses:
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
& this one, which of course also reminds me of my dear friend Sung haha:
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
1 Corinthians 9:24
Lastly, I’ll end with this:
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”
We’re in the homestretch! Ish. Or so I like to think haha.
Tonight will also be our 3rd Lamaze class, so after its completion, we should be 3/4 ready for childbirth. Woohoo!
How am I feeling?
I honestly think last week may have been one of the toughest weeks of pregnancy with my acid reflux problems. I don’t know if I have been more miserable than I was last Wednesday and Thursday. But praise God, the reflux issues started dying down Thursday night and I honestly felt pretty great the whole weekend! I keep telling Kenny I will NEVER complain ever again about GERD/acid reflux once the baby’s out haha. What I had before was NOTHING compared to pregnancy reflux.
Other than that I’ve been feeling pretty darn good! I haven’t been waking up nearly as much and I realized too that I haven’t had leg cramps at night in ages. Thankful for sleep and trying to cash in as much as possible pre-baby.
I am also super excited to be ending work soon! Next Friday will be my last day and I can’t wait. So honestly, most of the time I feel like I could definitely work several more weeks and financially it might make more sense, but then I’ll make a bunch of dumb mistakes or forget what I’m doing or become overwhelmed by things that aren’t that overwhelming at all… and then I’m grateful that I can take a bit of time off and I think it really will be better for work this way. (Plus our nursery is still a mess so that will be my pre-baby project!) I talked about it with my boss during my review, but I just don’t feel like I handle stress very well anymore. I used to love fires and crave the variety, but since being pregnant, I get flustered much more easily and can’t deal with the crazy anymore. I’ve even noticed that lately I can’t handle the stress of being late (which is actually probably a good thing haha). In Steph’s words from when she visited last weekend, “Who are you!?!?”
Lastly, of course, I am very excited for the baby. I can’t wait to meet our little miss! I keep wondering who she’s going to look like, what her personality will be, where her interests will lie. This weekend when we visited All People’s Church in SD (it was BOMB btw), I noticed that the drummer was female and I added “worship team drummer” to the list of aspirations I have for our little one haha. Other aspirations include evangelist, prayer warrior, and of course, due to Daddy, baller. (We said hopefully she’ll get his offense and my defense. Oh and same goes for academics: my English, his math!)
Spent the weekend in SD for Annie & Emerson’s wedding, VDay, and our Babymoon!
The wedding was fun and it was so neat to see the Kairos building and how far the church has come. Spent a lot of time catching up with old friends and reliving the college days. As much as I loved college, it’s funny to realize now that I really would never go back. Definitely one of my favorite times in life, but maybe, just maybe, as Steph keeps asserting that really wasn’t the peak of my life and things really are going to continue getting better ;)
On Sunday, we visited All People’s Church. It was an awesome time of refreshing through the amazing worship and Word. The pastor talked about what it looks like when the Spirit moves in the church and it definitely made us think about what it means to be a part of a Spirit-filled community.
After service, we hit up Lolita’s in Gaslamp and I got my pollo fries fix and you bet I was thankful that my AR had died down! Found some acai bowls for dessert and the kind worker gave us two bowls probably after seeing my preggo belly!
Took a nice long nap, then K got to watch the first part of Kobe’s last All-Star game. So yes, a big part of our Babymoon was watching TV and sleeping, but I figured hey, it’s Kenny’s Babymoon too and it would not be a true Kenny weekend if it didn’t include those two things!
For VDay dinner, we walked to Ocean Pacific Grille and had private patio seating (yay for late reservations!) which was actually quite lovely and then we roamed around the Gaslamp a bit more looking for dessert (ended up being gelato and crepes!).
We were both proud of ourselves for doing so much walking and said one way to make the Yee’s walk is by the prospect of having to pay for parking and appealing to our Chinese-ness!
Monday morning we both were in and out of sleep through 11:30 (I love it!!) and we ended the weekend with a hefty Broken Yolk brunch. I had an omelet and pancake… both the size of my face.
So thankful to spend a relaxing weekend with the husband. I am so grateful to have him as a companion and truly can’t imagine doing life with anyone else. He is kind, thoughtful, passionate, and a joy to be around. I appreciate that we can have deep conversations about the things we care about (Jesus, etc.), but that we also spend so much time having fun/joking around/laughing. Marriage is an incredible blessing. And though I know it will at times be tough and we don’t know the future will bring, I feel secure knowing that my husband is a man who pursues the Lord in all he does, and that ultimately God holds whatever is ahead for our family.
What is God saying?
I feel like God is saying, “trust me.” That’s it. “Trust me.”
Reading Revelation this past year really has been no joke and it’s truly been tough to comprehend and read. Reading has stirred up the age old question of how could a loving God punish people? How do we reconcile the God of judgment with the God of grace and love?
It truly is difficult and I’ve been realizing more and more how essential it is to have faith. Though we can find answers to some of our questions, there will never be answers to all of them, and therefore, it is essential if we are to remain believers to have faith. Not sure if it’s true or not, but at least at this point in my life, I feel like there will always be some room for doubt, so faith is choosing to take the leap and believe.
In faith, I choose to trust God even when I don’t understand completely. In faith, I choose to take Him at His Word when He says He does not wish for any to perish. In faith, I choose that even when it seems unfair to me, sin truly does need to be punished and that God allows people to eventually have what they truly desire if they choose to reject Him: an eternity without Him.
It still seems unfair. It still is hard to believe. But what Duhee said last night in lecture did help. He said the only person who has the right to call God unfair is Jesus. And what did He say when faced with the greatest injustice of all time? “Not my will, but Yours be done.” And He unjustly took the full cup of wrath on the cross so that we who believe could be spared the very same thing.
God does love people. He does show extravagant grace. He does wish that all would be saved. But as with many things in our faith, salvation must be done on His terms. His way is most holy and His way is most loving. Sin must be punished. Evil must be dealt with.
Another thing that helped me is when Duhee said hell was created for Satan and his demons. Hell was not created for people. People were created to be with God and in His presence. Yet, in our sin, we chose a different way. And God still lets people choose a different way. He allows us to choose a life without Him and eventually an eternity of the same. And if we do not choose eternity with Him, then the alternative is an eternity separate from Him, which is hell.
So again, it’s not easy to comprehend, and it’s not easy to imagine, but the God of judgment and the God of love are one in the same. God’s characteristics do not contradict each other, instead they somehow go together in a way that is too difficult and perhaps even too wonderful for me to comprehend.
At this point, though I’ll continue to study and seek understanding, I think there still is something to just having faith in the end. It seems so textbook, simple, elementary, a cop-out even. But I’m led again to the place of realizing that faith is so necessary, so essential. So here I am, choosing to have faith in Him.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.
Recommended reading alert (and don’t worry– it’s short… quite unlike this blog post!)
So much of this post resonated with me, which is a good but also not good thing.
This sounds all too much like me if I dig down deep into my flesh/heart:
But lately I’ve been considering one simple and disturbing aspect of this sin: I’m better than you. At least, this is what I believe in most of life’s situations. I’m just plain better than you. Somewhere deep inside I believe it’s true and too often I live and act like it’s true.
When you lead your ministry, I have trouble following because I see all the things you are doing wrong, all the ignorant decisions you are making.
When you are given a privilege or responsibility, something that puts you in a position of trust or authority, I am certain that the privilege should have gone to me.
I can see this sooo clearly in me and especially at work lately. At work, I have this air of superiority toward a certain person and I think it is unhealthily spurned on by others having the same air of superiority toward him therefore “justifying” my beliefs. And I know it’s not right, but I feel like I can’t fight it and truth is deep down I still do believe I am better/smarter/could handle things better or more efficiently.
So the blog seems to raise more questions than answers for me: What do we do with those feelings? What is the right response? And what if sometimes we are possibly right maybe not in the attitude in general, but about specificities and really do see how things can improve?
What is our/my response?
Do we fault-find and gossip and point out to others all the mistakes that are being made? Do we air our complaints to everyone but the person we are judging? Do we resent and look down on the other person in our hearts, considering how we are so much better? Do we treat the other person with contempt and pride when they try to give us instructions, not being open to their ideas or corrections, the possibility that hey I just might be in error too about in certain things?
So I know those are all the things I’m NOT supposed to do… and unfortunately all the things I usually do. So how should I respond? And to make it concrete I’m thinking narrowly about this work situation.
I think I’m called first off to pray. No, not even for the other person yet, but for my own heart toward this person. How does God see him? How does God see his ministry? As much as there are inefficiencies and yes even possibly sin issues too or at least places where he can grow, I really do think God is pleased. God is pleased with this brother and with his heart for the Lord, the population we serve, and our ministry. Does he fall short? Yes. But don’t I fall short too? Maybe not in the same exact ways, but in so many others?
Yes, I’m convinced, that when God looks at my brother, He is pleased.
So how should I see this person if God sees him this way? And if I am to correct him or point out his shortcomings to him, can I do it in love, with love for who he is, with a desire to really see good come to him? If God loves him, so should I love him. Because he is God’s creation, His chosen. Because I should be able to relate to him in the sense that I am just as lacking and fall just as short, maybe not in the same ways as him, but in other ways. I am just as offensive in my transgressions, if not MORE.
And that’s why I need to pray for my heart toward him. That God would show me His love for this brother and by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, give me His love for him. And that God would humble me. That He would help me to lay down my pride, my judging, my feelings of being better than this person. That He would help me have a clear view of myself in light of Him… not him.
Secondly, I’m to pray for my brother. Pastor Kyle always says,
Which do you do more: talk to man about God, or to God about man?
As much as I think I’m so smart/know exactly what to do, doesn’t God know even more? My words and corrections really have so little power. Only He can truly change, and bring conviction/life.
Do I pray for this brother? Do I ask for God’s blessing and grace and favor on him? Do I ask God to help him grow in the areas where he is weak? Quite honestly, only when Ms. A forces me to haha.
And so that’s part of the problem too and it really stems from the issues listed above: that my heart is not in the right place and remains in a state of pride and that I do not truly love.
Lastly, after these two things, only then, with love and discernment should I consider correcting him and talking to him directly.
Too often we tell others all the ways someone else needs to change, but we don’t actually tell the other person. And when it’s suggested that we do, we backtrack saying “oh no, it’s not a big deal, it’s fine, I’ll get over it.”
I still remember Jess Sato sharing with us that Pastor Jason rebuked her for that attitude and said something like “No, if it really is a sin issue, then you really should lovingly correct them.”
Now the keys are 1) correct them LOVINGLY (thus the need again for prayer) and 2) correct THEM. Don’t tell other people. Tell THEM.
I think I already mentioned this in another post, but as I ranted to Kenny about work a little while ago, I felt so convicted after. I justified my rant by saying well he’s my husband so I should be able to tell him anything I’m feeling and he’s a strong believer, he won’t be swayed by my complaining.
But God convicted me so deeply in my heart, in a way I’ve never been convicted about my words before, that we sow from what we speak. My words of complaint and fault-finding and arrogance had spiritual implications and were sowing spiritual things.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
I want my words to sow and reap life, therefore I need to be so careful about what I speak. I need to be careful about the things I say to others, and if I am to correct someone it needs to be done in all love and humility.
Anyway, this has turned into a tremendously long blog, which will hopefully bring more conviction to me specifically at work and generally.
Challies ends his blog by talking about why it matters to think about these things:
This makes us useless counselors. We are useless counselors unless we can counsel from Scripture and toward holiness rather than from our own arrogance and toward conformity to us. This makes us miserable because we are always convinced life would be easier and better if only others were more like us. This lessens our usefulness to God and his kingdom because we spend so much of our time lamenting all the things others are doing wrong rather than joining them in doing things their way. This increases our sin and hinders our holiness.
Tired… so tired. I heard this was coming. That the second tri surge quickly abates once you start getting too big for comfort. I have been also trying to fight off something and not get sick. Pretty much everyone in the office now, save the sturdy 60-something-year-old Maintenance Manager has gotten sick. I’m awfully proud of myself. I have a terrible immune system, yet I’m still not full-blown sick and still fighting!!
Cranky… so cranky. If you know me, I love my sleep, so the struggle’s been real lately with waking up in the middle of the night either to pee, to combat a leg cramp, or for no apparent reason at all (I’ve been wondering if the baby’s been kicking me?). We’re also gearing up for a very busy week and a half starting Friday with work and parties and out-of-town friendsies all sort of other things. I used to absolutely LOVE Christmas, but it has been getting harder as an adult. Quite honestly I’m not looking forward to the busyness and I have had ZERO desire to decorate. Like there’s not a single bone in my body that cares about setting up a tree. It’s quite sad really, but thankfully the husband and my dad are going to force me to get one this coming Sunday. Also, I’m sure next year when babyee is here I’ll feel more compelled to do something for the sake of the baby.
I do still like gifts though! Haha. Well I mean, who doesn’t, but what I meant was gift giving. I am definitely a gift person. I love trying to come up with something fun or weird or creative and I love spoiling people. Harder to do so this year with the baby budget in mind, but still gotta try!
This was fun too:
My first Reddit Secret Santa was a success! Lakers outfit and furry friend for the baby, my very own Pilot G2 pens to hoard at work, and a luxury line starter skincare set. Woohoo! Thank you, Secret Santa (and Jesus)!
What has God been saying?
I’ve been thinking more and more about my hopes and dreams for the baby, all the desires I have for her.
I want so much for our little baby in regards to the Lord. I want her to know His presence and to walk with Him all the days of her life. I want her to have an incredibly rich devotional life, constant communion with Him, and sense of His presence. I want her to love, treasure, cherish the Word. I want her to love walking in His ways and obedience, knowing that from it comes fullness of joy. I want our baby to love the lost, the marginalized, the difficult with a fierceness and boldness that only comes from the Lord. I want her to count her life as loss for the sake of Jesus and be unafraid to extravagantly pour out her all to Him.
There is so much that I want for her. I want her to know Jesus on this earth far better than Kenny and myself have ever known Him. I want her to love Him better, treasure Him more, follow Him harder.
Yet, something God’s been impressing upon me is that you cannot lead where you have not gone. A good leader takes people with them and blazes the trail. A good leader sets an example, then asks people to follow.
If I want all these things for my little baby, I need to pursue all of these things MYSELF.
And I think a part of that is why I’d also like to keep working at DOH to some capacity. I want our baby to see that there is a huge priority on serving and treasuring the marginalized in society. I know, I know, I hardly see my job that way anymore and have been struggling yet again with job contentment, but I do want her to see that as much as I love and put my family first, there is still a call on my life to love the “least” not just in words, but in actions, time, and money.
Anyway. Things to think about as we prepare for the baby yes physically, emotionally, and most of all spiritually.
Where has November gone!? Totally missed making a week 21 post and barely squeezing in this week 22 as today’s the last week 22 day!
How do I feel?
Sooo much better in general! No more nausea! Finally!! Still tired, but not as much as before.
It’s mind boggling that we are more than halfway there! Been feeling a wee bit overwhelmed because it seems like we’ve barely done anything to prep for the baby. I was looking at Baby Registry sites and it hit me that I know SO LITTLE about babies! Making the Wedding Registry was fun because we both had an idea about things we wanted for our first place together (what were necessities, what were nice to haves, and what were our pie in the sky items [ex. Vitamix!! which we did not get haha]), however with the Baby Registry I truly have NO IDEA what it takes to raise a little one. Eek!
In addition, there’s been a few moments here and there when I start worrying again about the baby. I used to think that when I could feel her I’d have less anxiety because I’d get a little kick now and then that lets me know she’s still there. But now that I feel her every day, I worry during the times when she’s not moving. Is she still okay?? The doctor said around week 28 I should be able to feel movement more consistently and we can start kick counting then, but all this anxiety made me think once again that there will always be things to worry about, and really I need to practice EVEN NOW putting everything regarding my baby into God’s hands.
Overall though, the moments of anxiety are few and mostly I’ve just been very happy. SO happy. Especially with Kenny haha. I’ve been feeling so grateful for him and I’ve been trying to enjoy this last season of just us for a LONG time (Lord willing!) as much as I possibly can. Also we recently heard some exciting news… can’t share yet, but so thankful for the community we’re sharing life with!
What’s God saying?
The one area I feel like I’ve been preparing fairly well in though is my walk with God. I feel like knowing our little baby is coming has made me focus on getting in shape spiritually. Like I better start building up my walk NOW before life takes on such a major change.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to live a lifestyle of worship and to practice the presence of God (shout out to the Kairos days when we studied Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence of God… even if I was super irresponsible and didn’t read all of it! Side note… when I told Kenny this he was like “that’s pretty bad. You’re never going to find a Christian book shorter that that one.” Sigh. My irresponsible college days!!).
What would it look like use every single part of my day as worship to God? What would it look like to spend every single moment in communion with Him? How much more joy, freedom, and peace would I have if I truly spent every moment communing with Him?
Short tidbit about Brother Lawrence… based on what people told me haha (though seriously, just read his book– it’s not that long and I just might do the same over the holidays): Brother Lawrence was a cook in a monastery. Now I don’t know much about monastery hierarchies, but I’m guessing this means he wasn’t at all a big shot, just a humble cook. Of course he was a monk, so that’s gotta be saying something, but I’m not picturing him as the spiritual all-star of the monastery.
Basically, Brother Lawrence’s whole deal was that he strove to spend all of his time focusing on God and communing with Him throughout the day. As he grew in this practice, he came to the point where set aside times of prayer were unnecessary to him because he communed with God just as much during those set apart prayer times as he did when he was preparing the food or washing the dishes.
This is what I want in my life. So what if I’ve now (by God’s grace) been able to set apart consistent devo times at night? Big hoot. That’s such a TINY amount of time. It’s not enough!!!
I’m also blessed to witness this in part in Ms. A’s Christian life. What comes to mind is a funny memory (and a telling one!), but one time Ms. A told our Program Manager she’d shred all of his confidential documents. We’re talking BAGS of confidential papers that he had been stashing. As she sat in my office with the shredder, she started praying aloud as she was shredding. “Jesus, make our lives like this basket– overflowing with blessings!” as she emptied the shred basket out. She even prayed for the machine when it overheated and stopped working haha.
Another example that comes to mind is a friend who was telling Kenny how to improve his coffee. As He extolled the Hario Coffee Grinder (he said it would make Kenny’s french press 4x better lol), he also shared with us about a friend who wrote a liturgy to recite every morning as he made his coffee. (Ex. “I crush these beans as Your body was broken and crushed for me.”) Again, comical, but this is the kind of communion and constancy I want to have in my life!!!
Lord, give me a greater desire for Your presence. I want to live life aware of and in constant communion with You. I want my whole life to be a life of worship to You. So help me, Lord. For I cannot press into Your presence on my own, and my flesh will fight it as much as I want it. Give me more of You in my life.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”