Today, I choose to pause from my busyness. I choose to savor my little victories. I choose to smell the flowers and appreciate the sunshine in my life. I know it has been raining in the past days here in Manila. It has been raining also in my life. And when I say it has been raining, I do not mean that it's raining with blessings alone. I mean that rain has also dampened my mood and spirit and my momentum in pursuing a few of my God-sized dreams. But today, I choose not to focus on what has been wet because of the rain. Today, I choose to focus on the beautiful flowers along the road of my life. Today, I choose to celebrate because in spite of the rains and the delays it has caused me in my journey, I am aware that I still have plenty of blessings to count.
Today, I'd like to take time to gaze at two of my biggest blessings even as I stand in the rain. Have you already experienced that in the past? That it was raining but the sun was also shining brightly? Today, is one of those days in my life.
One blessing I choose to celebrate today is my baby Mateo's 19th month of life. This cliche has been used too many times but I will still use it today. Time flies so fast! 19 months! Wow! I had been spending each day in the past 19 months with this beautiful baby - God's gift to me.
My experience of raising him and caring for him has been a bit different from my experience of raising his older brother. I feel that I had been more hands on with his older brother because I was not working from home then. I sometimes feel guilty that I was not able to do some of the things I used to do for his older brother. But last night as I read a few more chapters in the book I'm currently reading, I felt God's loving reminder that I should not be too hard on myself. God reminded me through the book I was reading last night that as long as I give my best, I should not feel guilty. I needed to be reminded that I'm human and I have limitations. That my circumstances now as a mother of two active boys is different from my circumstances before when I was just caring and raising one child. That my responsibilities then as a full time stay-at-home mom are different from my responsibilities now as a work-at-home mom.
God continues to remind me this morning to celebrate the good that are happening to me now. And so I thank God for the gift of another son and the gift of breastmilk that I'm able to nourish him with. Mateo is exactly 19 months today and he continues to breastfeed from me. The past 19 months were full of joyful and memorable moments between me and my Mateo. I have not been able to document or blog much about our bonding moments as much as I would want to but they are all treasured in my heart. I thank God for helping me overcome all the challenges I've experienced and still experience in breastfeeding my baby. If not for His grace, I don't think I would be able to breastfeed this long. I thank God also for showing me that all my sacrifices and effort in giving the best milk for my baby is worth it. Just like his older brother, Mateo shows signs of good health and proves to be a very intelligent boy. I believe that this is partly because of breastfeeding.
This brings me to the next good thing that I choose to celebrate today. I choose to celebrate my relationship with my God, my Dream-Giver. My relationship with God has been my greatest treasure and my source of greatest joy for many years now. I've had countless adventures with Him! Recently, we've had a number of adventures going on at almost the same time. One of these adventures is the God-sized dream He planted in my heart to publish a book on breastfeeding.
|Mateo breastfeeding at 18 months old |
during our Mother's Day pictorial.
I'm actually close to finishing it. But I guess just like what many speakers and authors said in the past, it is when you are closest to accomplishing your goals that you encounter the greatest challenges. I believe that I'm at that point now. Frankly, I felt stuck in the past weeks. I feel that I'm making teeny-weeny progress. And what I think as my deadliest deadline in publishing this book is fast approaching! That's approximately 6 weeks from now!
I think I was already in panic mode since a few weeks ago. Thank God that I am currently reading the book You're Made for a God-sized Dream by Holley Gerth because I needed an encourager at this time. God has been giving me a lot of encouragement through this author.
Last night was one of those nights when I felt some tears in my eyes as I read her book. Let me share some lines which pierced my heart with the love of my Dream-Giver.
It's a wild ride, this dreaming. Our role is simply to hang on with all our hearts. And to remember that it's worth it because GOD IS WORTH IT. (Emphasis mine.) The One who called us by name... fashioned our hearts, and walks with us every day is the ultimate reward. He's the reason we keep going, keep pressing on, and refuse to give up.
Truly, it has been an unpredictable adventure with the Lord! My adventure with Him in working on this book project was filled with many ups and downs, joys as well as challenges. But it's all worth it! Because this book project is not about me. It's about the God who called me to be part of His plan to bless many families, moms and babies most especially through this book. God wanted me to be part of His team in reaching out to many whom He wants to bless through breastfeeding.
As Holley Gerth writes it in her book:
The God of the universe has chosen you as his ambassador, his partner, his way of sharing his light with the world. You may not feel qualified. You may not feel ready. You may not think you can do what he asks. Listen, my friend: you are all you need to be to do all he's called you to do. "It's not about you" can be hard words to hear, but in this context they can also bring a profound sense of relief. You do not have to be superwoman to make God's plans happen in your life. Because it's ultimately about him, and your role is simply to let his light flow through you. You're the vessel - he's the source.
In other words, let what you do shine in a way that helps people see who God is.
Yes, people will see you.
You're still being humble.
And it's not certainly about you.
Amazing! Very beautiful words of encouragement and affirmation from God's messenger straight into my heart!
Yes, indeed it's all worth it! It's worth it because through all these experiences of mine of breastfeeding my children and writing a book on breastfeeding, I'm experiencing the love of my God. I'm getting to know Him better, deeper. I have grown to know Him in ways I wouldn't have known Him had I not made these decisions and pursued these God-sized dreams.
I thank God for calling me to join Him in these adventures and for calling me to invite other moms, other families to join Him in this adventure.
My role is to simply obey the One who called me and gave me this assignment. His role is to make things happen according to His plans. He is in charge of the results. My commitment is to give Him my best.
May His light shine brightly through me! I am but His light bulb! He is my power source!