Thursday, November 22, 2012

Love Knows No Fear

As a new parent, I am aware of the incredible outpouring of emotions towards my son. The love that flows in my heart for him is constant and surging, free-flowing and seemingly boundless. When he was a small infant, soft, fragile, sweet, and in need of me, the love was just gushing out of me. Now at a year old, and a bit more feisty, playful and interactive, the love takes shape in various, more active forms—-through constant talking and communicating, through affectionate touch and embraces, and through discipline. At night when I put him to bed, I sing to him that I love him and that I always will, forever. And deep in my heart, I know that to be true, even when the time that he will go his own way will come, or even if he will disobey me, question my authority, or even dishonor me. I know that my love for him will never change. But I will admit to the fact that the thought of him hurting me, while possibly inevitable (I believe a person will go his own way and sometimes hurting others can’t be helped; I just pray that he will always be led by the Spirit in all that he chooses to fight for), is a bit stressful for me to think about right now haha! But never did it occur to me to give up the fight, to give up mothering, to give up on my family. Even if I knew for sure that Gabbie will give me a headache and heartache at some point, I will still choose to have him and take care of him and love him. Knowing this in my heart certainly puts things in perspective for me about my God. If I, imperfect to the core, can find such enduring love for my son, how much more our Creator who has given us Himself and had us call him, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). And this IS, indeed, what His grace has given us.

I had been asked by a friend once, “If God is omniscient, then He must have known that we, His creation, would eventually sin and fall. Why, then, did He still choose to create us?” I believe it is because God wanted us to have a relationship with Him. He wanted us to know His love. He wanted us to know Him. (When we truly know Him, we will surely stand in faith, bringing Him glory as He had intended) But the price of that love was very high, yet God still chose to pay for it. Don’t you see? God has, and always will be, led by love. Love for you and I that endures the test of time, of trials and backsliding. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b]neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38)”

By His grace, our sins have been removed from us and we have been given right standing with the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ has given His own life so that we may have ours to the full (John 10:10). I remember how my life was without Him—full of darkness, lies, and fearful relationships. I did not know Him as my Father then. Then, He saved me. He brought me out to the light and gave me new hope. Everyday, He paints a fresh layer of my destiny. He gave me, a hopeless sinner, a brand new start. And by His grace, I am now able to claim the life and purpose He had intended for me. A glimpse of that are my wonderful husband and sweet baby boy. They are beautiful, glorious, and completely undeserved, much like my God, much like His love.

So, when I look at Gabbie now, and thoughts of future disobedience, insolence, stubbornness and other possible heartaches enter my mind, I lift up my head to God. I will not be fearful of having this relationship with my son or of loving him, for my Lord has shown me that love will indeed conquer all.

I love you, Gabbie.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Strong-Willed Child

Many who know me, and my husband, know Gabbie already. In fact, he has amassed quite a “following” of his own among our family and friends, with all the smiling photos I’ve posted on him on Facebook. Now, at one year and three weeks,
our little one is so much more than just a smiling face (though that’s a pretty cute one!). It’s time to get to know our Little Mister Sunshine deeper. He’s not just smiley, and happy, and a people-person (he’s exhibited these qualities since he was about five or six months). I’ve discovered in just the last month that our baby has a strong-willed personality. He knows what he wants, and is fiercely determined at getting it. He goes towards his goal without hesitation and has now become fearless in doing so. When restrained for whatever reason, he gets angry and shows his displeasure by crying, wailing, kicking, shaking his head and even babbling very loudly.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post (, we have begun disciplining Gabbie already as he has shown quite an aptitude for throwing tantrums. I admit that the constant saying of “no” and “talking” to Gabbie when he’s having a fit sometimes takes its toll on me. I don’t know if I’m just not patient enough or if this is just a natural reaction of parents when their child is showing signs of insolence. But, in the one year that I’ve taken care of my son, only now have I felt fear. Fear at the upcoming challenge and headache of teaching a child discipline, and of possibly failing at it. At the heart of it, I don’t want my son to grow up nurturing a rebellious spirit for that will surely get him into trouble (my husband and I both know from experience). And even deeper, I don’t want him turning his back on his purpose as God had intended. I know, I know. I’m over-thinking this. Which is why I am grateful for one truth: It is God who has mapped out my son’s destiny, and it is He who will equip him, and us as his parents, to help ensure that he will claim his life’s purpose. And one more truth I am especially thankful for: Disciplining our son is within His will, and we will be able to do that all by His grace, which is fresh and brand-new every single day. In fact, by His grace, I have already learned better ways to communicate with Gabbie to minimize frustration and thus, tantrums, and to enable us both to enjoy our time together. I’m looking forward to learning more and more, and to really just take this experience all in, while enjoying our son to the hilt!

We may not have parenting schools to attend and we may not have prior experiences to learn from but thank You, Lord that we are not in this alone. May Your guiding hand be upon us, and all parents of strong-willed children, always.