|A rare treat I gave myself|
after clearing our debts!
As the year comes to an end, I am filled to the brim with thanksgiving.
Running an impossible schedule at the mercy of school bus timings during term time was exhausting to say the least. On top of that, I made good my word to bring the kids on an outing by myself twice a week during school holidays. Although meaningful and worthwhile, it had nonetheless been severely taxing physically and emotionally.
For the first half of the year, I could not get used to winging it all alone; the chores, the cooking, the care-giving of 4 young children; and struggled to find time to eat. Watching the numbers going down each time I went on the weighing scale got me worried. The necklines of my t-shirts became too loose and my face looked like I aged 5 years all of a sudden. My lips were perpetually pale.
It took me quite a while to learn how to put my needs first. God has truly stretched me like a rubber-band and thankfully, I am now quite accustomed to the routine without sacrificing my own sustenance. Having so little time to eat, I have to make sure every morsel count by choosing healthy options. I inculcated in myself the habit of taking supplements and drinking 3 litres of filtered water everyday to maintain my health. In short, I grew in my ability to take care of myself appropriately. By the grace of God, I am now maintaining my ideal weight.
There were so many challenges just this year: my back problems, husband's promotion and subsequent marked increase in workload, the baby's hypersensitivity gag, the eldest's adjustments to formal education's rigours and demands, multiple eczema recurrences in the children, the battle against Jaide's phlegm and mucus for half a year, Jaide's toilet training and water-drinking struggles, persistent toddler meltdowns, my sudden onset of terrible PMS, ovarian cysts, severe ovulation pain, our financial difficulties... And these are just the more significant ones.
Yet, time and time again, I see how God works miracles through the trials. I had God's reassurance that He is indeed in control. No suffering is unnecessary. For without the tough times, I would not have seen how in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. I would not be able to treasure the wonderful life I now enjoy.
Without the helplessness in handling Jaide's wilfulness using human strength and wisdom, I would not have experienced the victory in allowing God to be Lord over my daughter's life. Ever since Jaide accepted Christ, she has become so much more obedient and cheerful. For someone who woke up crying inconsolably every morning, it was truly a miracle when she started walking into our bedroom, greeting us 'Good morning' with a smile. The budding growth in her faith becomes more and more evident with each passing day. Life is now so much easier when she realises how to draw upon the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Oh, what joy we see in her when she knows that Jesus now lives in her heart!
Without the pain I suffer in my body and the desperate ways I sought to help my children become healthy, I would never understand the relief which comes after God's miraculous healing with very simple solutions. A mere doubling of water-intake for the children and enforcing water parades before each meal cleared all the phlegm, ulcers and sore throats. By consuming the prescribed pills for my hormonal imbalance, not only were my cysts, ovulation pain and PMS resolved, even pre-existing problems regarding my monthly cycle have ceased to be. My hair stopped dropping excessively too!
Joram overcame his food problem. My back completely healed. My husband made it through many storms at his workplace. A tuition job, to help make ends meet, dropped into my lap at the perfect time. Despite being the most difficult year in my home-making journey, this is the year when I see most how God makes all things beautiful in His time. If someone had suggested to me in the beginning of the year to spend some time giving myself creative outlets, I would have thought him utterly mad. Yet, in the recent months, I've hosted themed events, made pretty bentos and crafted accessories in abundance. How could I have done it without God's empowerment and provision?
I look forward to another year of journeying with the Lord. May the works of my hands and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to Him. To God be the glory!
|At a wedding dinner|