When God called me into marriage and motherhood, little did I know that this was to be a journey of faith. Embarking on this very interesting, albeit trying, journey of discovering myself has indeed taught me a lot about trusting God.
I realised my children had turned into teens when they seemed to have suddenly grown a mind of their own and oppose almost everything that I say. I learned then that not only do they need to listen to me, but I too need to listen to them in order to understand them and help them to grow into good Christian adults.
Just the other day, thinking my son has disobeyed me and betrayed my trust in him, I pounced on him and berated him without giving him a chance to speak. Then later, he explained the whole situation to me and I realised that I had accused him wrongly. I immediately apologised and asked for his forgiveness.
I discovered that the best way to teach them godly principles and values is to show them by example which both my husband and I strive to do to the best of our abilities. For the many times that we failed, we asked forgiveness from one another. This in turn taught our children the need to forgive and be forgiven. I have also learned to show my love and concern for them in a more supportive way instead of the “I am always right” attitude!! I seize every opportunity to turn their minds into looking at things from a spiritual perspective rather than that of the world.
Our children also take turns to lead the family in spontaneous prayer and praise which helps them to stay focused on God as the head of this family. The children are also encouraged to read the Bible and share their understanding of what they read and how they can apply these godly principles in their lives. Last but not least, I learned to lift them into the hands of God daily knowing that he loves them more than I ever could.
Isabella lives in Kuching, with her husband, Paul Wong, and three children, Zephaniah, Abner and Othelia.
Diaper change, frequent night feedings and endless clean-up of toddler muddle around the house are some of the things most mothers-to-be do not foresee. When I was expecting my first child, I imagined motherhood to be just like those moments portrayed on posters of a maternity clinic – filled with peaceful sleeping babies, bright-smiling toddlers, and daddies playing catch with their children in the park. Well, I wasn’t wrong about those except that there’s so much more to being a mother than just blissful times.
After having one boy and two girls, I discovered that motherhood is a long process of learning and it never seems to end, especially because every child is uniquely created by God. The minute I think I’ve learnt something about my children, they’ve started another phase in their growth for me to start learning all over again.
With the recent increase of crimes committed against children around us, Terence and I get more and more worried about the safety of our own children. This adds to the stress of accidentally inflicting any emotional trauma in the future when we discipline them. In today’s world, Christian motherhood is more than just providing for the children’s needs and bringing them up with godly values. As a mother, I also yearn to protect them from everyone including myself in many ways. It can be really exhausting emotionally sometimes.
I remember when my husband, Terence, was away on a job for one week last year, I was in the fourth month of my pregnancy and alone with two toddlers, running up and down the stairs and around the house. I was screaming my head off at the children because they were at the age where they just didn’t want to listen. My pregnancy was unstable at that time too and I was worried about not having enough food at home because I couldn’t take the children out to shop for groceries with a big belly and they were insanely overactive when they were outside together. No doubt I got through it and I can laugh about it right now but at that moment when I was emotionally and physically tired, I just wanted to throw in the towel, thinking, “How did I get myself into this mess?”
But at the end of the day, as I watch all three of my children tucked asleep in bed just like in those posters in the maternity clinic, I know that I could never trade motherhood for anything else in this world. With grace and strength from the God who created them, the wonderful moments of being a mother surpass all anxiety and stress and make motherhood the most rewarding experience in my life.
Victoria Joanne is a mother of three, aged from 4 months to 4 years.