Our precious gift

On the morning of April 29th, we got a little addition to our family! God started our little Noah’s story. He was born 8.12 lbs and 22 inches long. Meet our wonderful little guy! It’s been almost 3 months of enjoying him in our lives. We are so happy to be a family of 5 and grateful to God for such a wonderful gift.

Also an update of our little family of 5… here we go!

 

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Trust in the Lord and do good

“Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!

For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who

prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

Refrain from anger and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself, it tends only to evil.

For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place,

he will not be there.

But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the LORD laughs

at the wicked for he sees that his day is coming.

The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to

slay those whose way is upright;

Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

Better is a little that the righteous has than the abundance if many wicked.

For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever; they

are not to be put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance.

But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures;

they vanish-like smoke they vanish away.

The wicked borrows but does not give back, but the righteous is generous and gives; for

those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of

trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and

saves them, because they take refuge in him.”

Psalm 37:1-22, 39,40 (emphasis added in italics)

Sooner count the stars

I am just taken by these song lyrics at the moment, I hope you guys can enjoy them too!

Song “Sooner Count the Stars” by Sovereign Grace

 

I could sooner count the stars than number all Your ways

Though I only know in part, that part exceeds all praise

As sunlight fills the skies Your goodness fills my life

For all Your precious gifts receive my gratefulness

 

I could sooner drink the seas than fathom all Your love

Like a never ceasing stream are mercies through Your Son

The death of Christ alone deserves eternal song

For such a love as His receive my gratefulness

 

No praise is high enough, no thanks is deep enough

No life is long enough to tell of all You’ve done

No shout is loud enough, no words are strong enough

No song is sweet enough to sing Your love

 

I could sooner turn back time than turn Your heart away

Though the years go fleeting by, Your mercies never change

Before You made the sun Your love was set on us

For all Your faithfulness receive my gratefulness

Welcome 2017!

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It’s a new year and a great time to reflect on our lives and how we want to spend the rest of our time on the earth. This year, I’m not going to be too extreme in my resolutions and just keep it simple. I don’t want to set up expectations for my self and set myself up for disappointment. I know that with the new year there will be a lot of change and new challenges and stages of life, but by the end of the year, I will still be me.

What I truly want for this year is to take all of the little moments and challenges and stages of life and to choose to be a happy wife and a happy mom for my family. I want to make the best of all of the little moments and live to the best of my ability in all of those moments. I don’t want to be waiting for something else and miss the moments of my kids having a tantrum and take that moment to teach them about God’s grace and forgiveness and loving Jesus. I don’t want to miss opportunities of times when my kids are not having a good attitude all day and not be able to teach them the right way to deal with sin and our attitudes. I don’t want to take the easy way out and get them to bed faster or turn on a cartoon and miss my moment of dealing with the hard stuff. So, I resolve to be a happy wife and mom to bless my family with joy, and good food, and fun chasing-the-kids-around-the-room-for-an-hour times, and pretty home decor, and clean and neat home for them to enjoy life in. Whew! (mouthful)..

Another resolution of mine is to keep up with my Bible reading plan. For a while now, I haven’t been following a reading plan for reading my Bible daily. By the end of last year, I have been convicted in my lack of reading as well as a lack of organization in reading. In doing so, I have been more OK in missing days and weeks at a time of reading. When I did try to follow a plan, I would get very discouraged for missing days and having to catch up and end up being frustrated with that. But I have found a new plan that is perfect for someone like me, who has a hard time keeping up with readings and has a hard time with discipline. I think that what I need is to take small steps and work toward a goal rather than jump in to the “10 chapters a day reading plan” and kick myself in the butt with that only to give up a month later. By using a reading plan, I have seen how many days I actually missed, and it was a lot more than what it felt like for sure!

This new plan that I use has been recommended to me by Sean Higgins, who is a wonderful pastor in Marysville, WA. This plan only has 25 days of reading to catch up the last 5 or 6 if you do other reading or studying on Sundays or if you’re already caught up to do deeper studying of the Bible or read other books to feed your soul instead. So far, I have been reading according to the plan and been able to miss days here and there without the burden of trying to catch up. I feel like this plan should be called a “grace plan” since it’s about giving you a chance to catch up if you’re anything like me. The other nice thing about this plan is that you get a glimpse of 4 points of view of the Bible in one reading because you read from four texts per day. You can find it here. I recommend it very much. I started reading by this plan in November, so it’s not like I am only a week into it.

With this conviction of following a Bible plan, I am not afraid to be more “legalistic” about reading every day to check it off because I feel that I have been a little too “loose” with my standards of reading. I am convinced that the more I read my Bible, the more I will think of specific scriptures throughout the day and have that on my mind more, and that is what I really want. I don’t want to be OK with missing days because I already know that my salvation does not depend on how often I read or by “works” of the “doing” of the reading. I am rather, convinced that I need to “work” for my knowledge of Jesus Christ, and I am not near disciplined enough to read everyday, being a busy mom of soon to be 3 kids 3 years old and under. I know I need accountability of a plan to be pushing myself to read even when I don’t feel like it. If I wait for the perfect moment and opportunity to read, that would leave me to only a few days in a month of reading my Bible, and that’s not healthy :). So, that being said, it is good for me to have boundaries and schedules so that I can better read my Bible. I know that everyone is different and has different ways of learning and growing, I am just discovering for myself what will be more helpful for me and my life at this point. I hope you all have a blessed and exciting year! Happy new year 2017!!

 

Looking Back

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October is the month we celebrate our anniversary with my husband, and this year we are celebrating our fourth year as husband and wife. We went out on a lovely date and were able to look back at all our years together; how we started off as friends, how we grew through all the seasons of our relationship and became more in love with each other with every year; with every moment of bliss as well as the tough times.

One thing that really struck me through all these memories is the big picture of how God began shaping us from the very beginning through one simple truth and then the rest of our lives up till now is just made up of a lot of little and big tests and applications of that truth. As you may probably guess, it is the one and only, “Desiring God” motto, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” (John Piper). I don’t mean to be repetitive, I’m just too excited to share and ponder just how foundational that truth is in my relationship with my husband long before we were married.

When Victor and I began to date, he was 17 and I was 16, he introduced me to this truth and bought me the book “Desiring God” by John Piper. In all of my times of depression and hardships, Victor just kept reminding me that God is sovereign, he is in control and he loves me. Most of all, that he never changes although every circumstance in life does; he is always Holy and Righteous and loving and just. He is always my greatest source of joy, and comfort and relief. No matter what, he is better than anything. When I put all my trust in him and seek my happiness in him and my comfort and peace and relief in him, I will always be filled, and he will always fulfill. That is his promise. He wants us to be hedonists, but not about anything, about him! He wants us to be Christian hedonists. He wants us to seek our greatest joy in him because he knows nothing else compares and he wants to give us the very best-himself! And that is the most loving thing he can do for us, and he does through the life and death of Jesus Christ. Praise God!

As we were looking back, we have noticed that this is what we have been learning throughout our dating years, when I thought to myself “Who can I possibly love more than Victor?!” but I kept learning that he is a sinner and fails just like I do, but God never fails; he never changes. Then thinking back to becoming pregnant and nervous to be the great parents that our little boy deserves to have, but God never changes and the best thing we can show to our son is how dependent we are on God for doing the right thing and for constant joy and happiness and living a godly life. When Victor got into the State Patrol and all I wanted to do was to run to my husband for a hug and a kiss and comfort and not being lonely during the long 7 month academy, I saw more and more how God really is the one who is always there with the greatest comfort and fulfillment in my heart and he never fails to give it. When it was hard to raise my son on my own those 7 months, God gave me strength and comfort and true joy when I needed it most. And just being a mom up till this moment with my two little kiddos and the challenges of having them 17 months apart, I see more and more of the every day lessons in God being most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in him.

I also see how I could never have faced the challenges in my life through a different perspective. I know that I could have ended up bitter and cling to my husband and never let go. I could have been living in fear and bitterness and despair, showing my kids that it’s in my hands to be happy and provide the good things in life for them and how unfair life is. But God, in his mercy, gently led our family through and through to grow in our love for him, and because of that, grow in our love for each other.

I remember, in our first months of marriage, the difficulty of thinking about losing my husband or him not being the number 1 in my life was just too hard to wrap my mind around. In my heart I knew that God is greater than life, but that wasn’t something that my heart was feeling. I knew that I was afraid to learn this the hard way too, but God is too good to let me stay in my naive thinking and wanted me to have true and everlasting joy. Instead of staying in my little box of happiness, he led me to knowing more of that glorious joy. I love my husband more than ever, and that is because my understanding of love has grew in learning the love that God has for me. I am able to let him enjoy his hobbies and friend time a lot more than before when I would just cling to my husband and expect him to only want to be with me, and I can truly be happy for him as he enjoys his weekend hunting with his buddies.

I am so amazed at the wisdom and love of God in bringing us along in our marriage these past four years, and many years of dating and friendship before that. I know that this foundation for our lives will just keep testing us and helping us grow, and one day we will discover together just how glorious and amazing that everlasting joy in Christ really is. Here’s to many more with my sweetheart!

Confessing is a big relief

1 John 1:8-9

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Reading this passage in 1 John is such a relief! I just feel a big and thankful “sigh” coming from deep in my soul. We don’t have to try to be perfect and sinless on our own and fool ourselves into thinking that we can live without sin. In fact, we deceive ourselves and besides that, we fool ourselves; the truth is not in us.

This instantly made me think of myself in front of my kiddos. I try so hard, everyday, to live the example life for them to follow. I try to show them how to correctly respond to every kind of situation that comes our way. I explain to my son about dealing the correct way with sin and anger and sharing. But the truth is, I fail. I fail to show him the correct response in being a submissive wife to my husband, like God has designed; I fail in acting out in my frustration towards my kids or situations and just being a good Christian sometimes.

The very encouraging part about this passage is that we don’t actually have to be perfect and sinless to live the Christian life that honors God. Instead, we are to confess our sins that we will still be making. We will never be perfect and sinless no matter how hard we try anyway. We must confess and deal with the sin correctly. Especially when it comes to our kids. We must show them that we still mess up, but what we must do when we mess up. I think this shows a great need for our Savior and this is such a great opportunity to live out the Gospel to our kids, by showing them our great need for Christ! There is absolutely no other answer to our problem of sin other than Jesus Christ. That is why I also find myself often apologizing to my son for incorrectly disciplining him, or being angry at him or yelling at him.

God is so good in being faithful to forgive and cleanse us of our unrighteousness! All that we must do is confess and ask God to cleanse us, to brake and mold us. To rid of us of our sin and pride and nasty things. And he does! God is good.

I feel a huge burden lifted when I am broken and humbled in front of my two year old, and apologizing to him. It takes a lot of humility and it isn’t easy. But that is when I receive great joy and peace. God really knows what He’s doing! He is amazing to guide and lead me through and mold me and chip away at my pride through my amazing little children. They are such huge blessing in more ways than I ever imagined. Thank You Lord!