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Ivy
16 November 2010 @ 11:46 pm
Since I stopped work a little over a week ago... I've had the time to prowl the web. Ok.. I do it at work when I have free time as well.

I chanced upon this article on someone's blog. It also brought to mind something that was on ACC (the Australian Christian Channel), when I happened to flick it on the other night. I don't normally watch that channel.. only when the hubby watches Joyce Meyer late at night.

I must confess that success to me has always been work-related. I've always thought my life included succeeding in my career. Oh of course I would get married and have a few kids along the way. But it was always about being THE doctor.

I guess one thing about living away from Singapore has made me see life from a different perspective. It's nice to be able to stop and smell the roses at times. It's nice to be able to be mum.. (6 more weeks to D-day!.. well.. though only 5% of babies are born on their EDD.) And it's also what God calls us to do. To raise our children well. To see it as a ministry. And it's something that just keeps coming back to me over the last few weeks. I guess God is really trying to make a point. (:

And to the Little Song.. your daddy and I are starting to look forward to meeting you soon!

For the Young Mother: Ministry, Guilt, and Seasons of Life
By Jani Ortlund

Guilt is a young mother’s habitual shadow. It has a nasty way of soaking through many of her efforts at nurturing, serving and loving others. “Am I doing enough for my children? For others? What do they think of me? What does God think of me?”

As a young mother everyone wants something from you—your family, your church, your boss, your neighbor. And most likely, you give way more than you ever thought you could. But along the way guilt nibbles at your soul, eating away your inner peace and joy. And it often lingers through the years, even after your children are grown and gone.

Dear young mother, don’t waste your guilt!

DON’T WASTE YOUR GUILT

Don’t waste your guilt, but instead listen to it and evaluate it. Take it out of the shadows and examine it in the light of Scripture. Lay out your feelings before Christ. Is this guilt legitimate conviction of sin? Then confess your sin, receive his forgiveness and ask him where and how he wants you to change.

But maybe your guilt is a nagging, self-focused fear that if you were just a bit better or worked just a little harder, then you would be noticed and admired enough to feel okay about yourself. That is false guilt, rooted in pride. It will hurt your family and hinder your relationship with your grace-giving Father. If this describes your guilt, then remind yourself that through Christ’s death and resurrection, you’re accepted by God. The solution to false guilt, as to true guilt, is the gospel.

Paul speaks of these two kinds of guilt in 2 Corinthians 7:10. There is a godly grief that produces repentance, and a worldly grief that produces death. Ask yourself this question: is what I give my time and energies to driven by life-giving repentance or life-depleting pride?

A YOUNG MOTHER’S PRIMARY MISSION FIELD

One reason a young mother can feel wrongly guilty is that she forgets that her first and primary mission field must be her children.

God values children. He places great importance on our teaching our children to love and serve him (Deut. 6:7-9). Jesus became indignant when the disciples didn’t value the worth of children in God’s expanding kingdom (Mark 10:13-16). And God tells us that children are his blessing to us (Psalm 127:3).

Mothering calls for the best in us as women. As mothers, we shape the souls of our children and ultimately influence the world. Children are our gift to the future. So accept your calling from God to serve your family. It is not godly guilt that would call you away from a wholehearted investment in your little ones for his sake. Don’t feel guilty over making your children your primary ministry investment when they are young. You are teaching the younger generation to form intimate emotional bonds with others. Your sensitivity, availability, devotion, affection, and unhurried attention are irreplaceable.

MOTHERING: PLAIN HARD WORK

On the other hand, Paul’s word to me as an older woman is to “train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (Tit. 2:4-5).

Why does the apostle have to tell us older women to teach these things to the younger women? Because it can be hard to love your husband and children. In fact, it can be easier to minister outside the home. Why is it more rewarding for us to plan a ladies’ retreat for two hundred women than it is to plan an indoor picnic with our preschoolers on a rainy afternoon? I think it’s because the rewards are more immediate and the demands are not so steady.

Being a young mother is plain hard work. At times it feels like slave labor! Young moms can identify with the cartoon of a toddler looking at a wedding album with his daddy and saying, “So that’s the day Mommy came to work for us!”

But God has called you to this ministry. He knows there are no neutral moments in a young child’s life, whose experience is one of continuous need and development. Your children will bear the imprint of your mothering throughout their lives because much of human behavior springs from imitation.

You are the only mother your children have. Your ministry to them is the deepest expression of your love for them. Raising your children has to be done right the first time around. It is one of the few places in life where you can not say, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

You have received this commission from God. As a mother your privilege is to teach them how to respect their daddy and be kind to their siblings, how to choose good nutrition and wholesome entertainment, why they should value courtesy and orderliness, and which causes are worthy of their efforts, their reputations, and even their very blood.

Are you discouraged as you spend day after day immersed in the mundane tasks of mothering? Then think of the honor of guiding the spiritual and intellectual and social development of young minds and hearts. Think of the thrill of teaching them eternal truths from God’s Word. Think of the importance of teaching your young children how to live under authority, and of preparing them for future relationships by teaching them about love and trust. Think of the delight of sending one more godly, vibrant, strong, secure, loving young person into this needy world with the courage to live well for Christ’s sake. What a worthy investment!

WHAT YOUNG MOTHERS NEED: A HEART FOR THE HOME

Another challenge for a young mother is cultivating a love for the home.

God has called us to love our children from home base (Tit. 2:4-5). We can’t improve upon God’s design! This means more than staying at home. It means fixing your heart on your home. Women can leave their homes through more avenues than work or outside ministry. Cell phones, emails, and chat rooms can take a mother away from her primary ministry, too.

Ministry means being “all there.” It means rejoicing that you get to show your children how to peddle a tricycle, make their bed, build good memories, and share their toys with others. You serve your family, and ultimately your heavenly Father, by helping your child do that puzzle for the seventeenth time, by washing those sticky fingers, by planting a little garden, by acting out Bible stories and praying together, and by preparing for their daddy’s return as the highlight of your day!

What is the alternative? “A child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Prov. 29:15).

Remember this: you have the privilege of passing on to young hearts a sense of God! Should you feel guilty for that? As you let your children experience intimacy, nearness, and availability in their earliest years with you, you can point them to find those soul-necessities in Christ, their Savior, as they mature. And then you have the delight of sending them out with a light in their souls to bless this darkened world.

Someone is going to be influencing your children, inculcating values and imprinting standards on their impressionable young minds. Let it be you!

THIS SEASON IS JUST A SEASON

Does this mean you will never invest in others outside your family? Goodness, no. But if you are a young mother, use your primary ministry of mothering to guide your choices about where to serve Christ now. Don’t let anything woo you away from your unique role as a wife and mother.

This season in your life is just that—a season. And each season is a divine calling from our Creator and King. Organizing a new church event is important. Teaching your little boy to be kind to his sister is also important. But which one can best be done by you during this season? Serve God well by ministering to your children first. Very soon they will be grown and gone and all those uniquely teachable moments will be gone. And you will have ample opportunity to serve Christ outside your home in the seasons ahead.

“But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7).

Jani Ortlund is a former schoolteacher and holds a master’s degree in education. She is the author two books, Fearlessly Feminineand His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy. Jani is the wife of Dr. Raymond Ortlund, Jr.

July/August 2010
©9Marks

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Current Location: Mulgrave, home
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
Ivy
09 November 2010 @ 09:48 am
I am completely hopeless at keeping up with blogging. :/ The good news is.. I'm not working anymore till bubs shows up.. and for a few months after... so hopefully I will be able to do this more often.. so Mummy can show Little Song all our memories.. on his 21st birthday... haha...

We see the doctor again tomorrow for our 33 weeks check. Little Song has learned how to kick really hard! It hurts at times even. He's good though.. his little head is down.. and the doc says it's really rare for babies to turn once they are head-down in the last trimester.. so YAY! No breech! But the position of his back will probably change from time to time. I can attest to that fact since he seems to create a complete upheaval of himself in there from time to time. Nowadays I can feel a little foot or elbow sticking up at times.. and it moves away when I rub it. He's not a morning person! But he wakes up each morning when I tap my tummy. He seems to be most awake in the afternoons nowadays.. they say babies form a sleep-wake cycle by this time.. and they also go into deep sleep at times.. but let's see.. since I will be awake during normal hours from now on.

The nausea and vomiting has come back! But in no way as bad as it was the last time. *Phew* Thank God for that! After what I experienced in the first 2 trimesters.. I have been praying.. please God.. don't make it bad again. And Praise God! It's been pretty bearable. I only puke about once a day... normally when I am really exhausted. But I don't get bad heartburn at all.

We've been attending antenatal classes. Ian usually comes out amused. Like how they recommended doing pelvic floor exercises. Yes dear.. I know I'm meant to be exercising!

We went to Auckland last week so I could get my PR approved. Spent 2 full days there.. sandwiched between 2 crazy days of flying.. we flew in really late at night and flew out really early in the morning. Was a nice short break. Spent the first day walking around the city.. they have Dennys, Wendy's and Dunkin Donuts in Auckland! Ian persuaded me to go up the Sky Tower later that night. Ok.. I'm not terrified of heights.. but I don't like them. The view was really pretty. The glass floors freaked me out. Haha... The next day we went to Waitomo to see the glow worms in the caves. Haven't been there since I was 4!.. and that was XX years ago. Haha... we came back and had dinner with the Sohs.

So it's back to cleaning up the house and being a housewife time! I think I can actually get used to this kind of life! Let's see where God leads. (:

Ruth got me a pair of maternity jeans and they are oh so comfortable! I love them so much. Have been considering getting another pair.. but with only a few more weeks to go.. I'm not sure if I want to spend that money. I really want shorts though! Cos the weather's getting too hot to wear my normal tights.
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Current Location: Mulgrave, home
Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful
 
 
 
Ivy
08 September 2010 @ 10:26 pm
Ok.. so I did not keep my promise to update this every week. :/

We're at 24 weeks this week. My waistline is now at 38.5 inches and growing. Some people say I'm still quite small.. others tell me I am big. Ultimately, it's about trusting and believing God that all's going well and good with Little Song. He sure kicks a lot! And he kicks all over the place. 2 days ago I was prodding my tummy..(one of my favourite things to do now).. and I thought I couldn't find him.. but then I crossed my arms over my chest and there he was kicking away...

People have been asking us about names.. and of course suggesting names too! No we haven't completely decided on a name. To us, the meaning of the name is very important. Which is why Ian is totally against me calling our kid Manasseh.. meaning.. God has made me forget... and no.. we are not calling him Rock or Pop or Jazz... many have advised me I need to make sure my kid lasts through school...

I think one thing that's really been on my heart is the spiritual preparation involved. I guess it helps that I actually know what the physical bit entails.. since I see it on a regular basis.. PLUS.. I need to shelve my medical knowledge most days cos knowing too much makes me worry too much as well. But popping the kid out is one thing.. raising the child to know God and love God is another thing. True that we like to say that kids should have a choice etc.. but it does say in the Bible that if we train a child in God's ways, he will grow up to know them and live by them. A book I read has advised us to pray aloud for baby. And we also sing to him... Ian sings his favourite songs.. I sing the kiddy songs.. since I was the one who attended Sunday school.. then there are also the songs my cousin's little boy listens to.. like Sally the camel has FIVE humps (Ian doesn't like the song.. hahaha...)

And the thing about the pregnant brain.. being absent-minded an all! Well.. I can attest to the fact that it is true!!! I am so slow up there now it isn't funny...

I am also growing out of a lot of my clothes... but at the same time I'm not too keen on buying maternity wear cos it costs quite a bit.. a lot of it looks pretty frumpy.. and I prob won't wear it after... I hope I can go back to less than my original size!

Not puked in about 2-3 days too! So that's good news. (:

Back to 7 days of work again tomorrow.. I wonder why off days go by so much faster than work days!
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Ivy
28 October 2009 @ 06:48 pm
Okies...

I have concluded that I am pretty bad at keeping my blog updated.

But for the few people who read my blog...

I am gonna post more at: http://m0rethanasong.livejournal.com now.. since I am.. ahem... a married woman. (:
 
 
Current Location: Mulgrave, Victoria
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
 
 
 
Ivy
25 June 2009 @ 02:27 pm

Okie... I am sitting in an Indian cafe, waiting for my tandoori chicken pizza. Poor ian's prob starved by now, but to my benefit, I haven't eaten all day too!!! Meant to go dfo after this. Fingers crossed. I need new work shoes! So hungry. The smell's killing me!!!! I'm just rambling... Haha

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Current Location: Australia, Victoria
 
 
 
Ivy
28 May 2009 @ 12:11 am
Hello everyone,

No I am still around. Just exhausted with work everyday. I mean, I love the kids, but it does take a lot of effort to deal with the little things everyday. Plus I have all the other things going on in my life... which adds to it all... moving house... wedding... looking for job for 2010...etc..etc..etc... hence it title..

To date.. I have not done

1. My PR application (don't ask)
2. Transferred my linking account to my ING account from my CBA one to my ANZ one (don't ask again)
3. Lost sufficient weight (9kg more in 3 months, 3 weeks and 1 day is NOT enough)
4. Bought my wedding shoes
5. Bought any furniture for my new place
6. Settled our guest list
7. Thought of what flowers I want
8. Thought of the wording for our invitation cards
And the list goes on...

To comfort myself.. I have
1. Found a signing song... shhhh... it's a secret!
2. Changed my bedsheets after x months
3. Packed some of my room

I dunno what else... ):

Arghhhh.. I need more time!!
 
 
 
Ivy
06 May 2009 @ 01:03 am
I haven't blogged in a long, long time. I think I am a great procrastinator! Haha...

I am finally off my nights rotation and doing paediatric ED now. I really like it. Then again, after doing medical nights, everything is so much better. I really like the kids. Except their parents can sometimes be such a pain. Plus we've had winter come early this year, so it's croup, bronchiolitis and asthma galore! I managed to catch the bug myself last week.. sighz.

Anna came to visit.. and it was good fun catching up and bringing here around! Miss her that she's gone!

As far as wedding planning goes, well...I've concluded that Ian's much better at it than I am. He told me yesterday that I have a really short attention span! Haha.. like goldfishy... but I do need to get somethings done....

Okies... bed time for me now.. tata!
 
 
 
Ivy
26 April 2009 @ 02:02 pm

I'm sitting in the car waiting for Ian. On the way to leaders meeting then to Phillip Island to see the penguins cos Anna's here for a week. Whee! It's also freezing cold... Cos it's Melbourne. Will prob freeze more later on the island. Been an eventful few weeks.. Will blog more soon. (:

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Current Location: Australia, Victoria
 
 
 
Ivy
30 March 2009 @ 02:35 am
So I came back to S'pore on my 7 days off to settle my wedding stuff. (: I like being home. Food's good, no need to work, my mommy and daddy are here. *beams*.. ok.. I can't stand the heat.. but hey, life's not perfect.. I also get to meet up with my friends here, whom I see like once every few years cos I hardly come back!

I used to admire people who could thank God for the smallest things in their lives. By nature, I'm pretty pessimistic. I usually see the negative side of things. (Ian, on the other hand always sees the positive.) But coming back this time, preparing for the wedding... I think I'm learning... always a work in progress...

1. I really dislike my current rotation.. medical nights.. you work for 7 days.. you get a 7 day break.. cool you might think.. but when you work for 11 hours a night. 7 nights straight, in the said hospital I'm at.. you can go bonkers! I always get depressed on night 6...cos it's the... I'm almost there, but not quite there yet night! But I have good company on this rotation! I have learnt how to knit.. I have new Birks to wear to work... and also.. this would probably be the only rotation I am doing this year that would allow be to come back like that for such a stretch... minus annual leave that has been used up for the wedding... for the rest.. AT MOST I would get 4 days.. if I was really lucky. So I am back here, trying to settle my wedding stuff... which is what my mom would call a blessing in disguise.

2. I got really cheap tickets to come back this time on Emirates. I'm an SQ girl.. I like to support my local economy. Plus, I get really air sick. So I'm quite fussy about the airlines I fly. I was about to fly SQ back this time, and was telling Ruth about it. And Ruth was like wait, don't book first. SQ had an offer then for about 900 bucks.. but then she sent me this promo.. Emirates had tickets for $605, but I had to book and pay THAT day.. last day of promo. So I decided, Emirates is pretty good too (which it is, but SQ service still better.. haha).. so I saved $300 bucks. (:

3. When I bought my wedding dress at Brides of Melbourne, they were having a clearance. Ruth thought I missed it, cos the big sale was the weekend before Ian proposed. Haha. But guess what! There was still a sale going on when I went. So I managed to get two dresses. One off the rack and one ordered in. The off the rack one was originally $1400++ but cut down to $100. With dry cleaning and alterations, it will now cost me $350! The other dress, I got at full price for almost $1500.. I went on the day I flew back to S'pore to take a picture of i.. it's now almost $2000.. price went up... I also got my evening gown here for half-price.. cos recession.. it's a one-only piece.. that I went into this little shop.. owned by the designer herself.. cos I saw this purple.. lilac thing actually poking out from the rack outside.. this was after going to another shop and almost buying something else...thank goodness mom was with me and she persuaded me to look around... so I got this really really nice dress.. not telling what it looks like.. just that it is hand-beaded... that fit me almost perfectly.. ok.. I am too short... that's a given... ahh... it's even better than tailoring it!
I

I also have been blessed with my parents and friends who've helped me so much since.. ok.. minus the engagement party sabo!!! But yeah...

Okies.. I might climb back into bed...

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.~Ps 100:4
 
 
Current Location: Home, Singapore
Current Mood: contentcontent
 
 
 
Ivy
05 March 2009 @ 12:18 am
I sometimes divide my life into the before and after. Before was the time I spent in S'pore.. after is the time since I've been in Melbourne. I think there are lots of similarities between the two.. I'm still Ivy... I still like to sleep a lot...

Difference range from my relationship with God, my understanding of the Word of God and His ways.. my ministry in church... my independence... hey.. now I can cook and do my own laundry and all... no Mommy and Daddy around.. which is quite sad at times.. no Bukit Panjang Plaza that I can walk to and buy my curry puffs... I have a car here... but really, I seldom look back and compare.

Till Now!!!

I am going to say it... I miss singing... ):

I miss my choir days... I miss my singing lessons.. I miss sectionals on Monday afternoons.. combined prac on Monday evenings till we got chased out of the LT... and dinner after... I miss sectionals on Wednesday afternoons...and the time when I was in SYC.. prac on Wednesday nights... additional sectionals on Thursday during competition periods... singing lessons on Friday afternoons.. church choir prac on Friday nights... school choir prac on Saturday mornings.. and the choreo sessions in the afternoon... SYC in the afternoon dragging on to the evening... church choir on Sunday morning.... I miss singing in the small groups.. I miss performing... I miss the RJ alumni choir that I only got to sing with ONCE.... I miss preparing for performances.. I even miss the four hours straight choir prac!!!! I even miss memorizing songs in a zillion different languages.. like my grade 8 piece that had 5 verses.. in German!!

Yes yes... I know I still sing in church and all here... but it's not the same... I still sing my best each time as my worship and offering to God.. but yet.. there's this big part of me that misses doing it at a higher level.. working at the art.. perfecting it... I miss the concerts and the musicals we used to do... the cheesy costumes we used to wear....

I was even thinking today of getting a singing teaching so I could finish off my diploma... since I prob can afford to pay for my own singing lessons now.... but of course.. time is another issue...

I guess I'll have to satisfy myself singing in the car.. when no one's there with me.. but someday.. hopefully someday...

Oh I'd love to climb a mountain
And to reach the highest peak
But it doesn't thrill me half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek

Oh I'd love go out fishing
In a river or a creek
But it doesn't thrill me half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek