Tuesday, May 29, 2012

M.I.M: life giving in the kitchen

Sorry it's been a little while.  Hubs and I took the girls to visit family and although I kept reminding myself to finish this series, time escaped me.

Today is a real treat.  I know I say that every time I write but it's because I believe it.  The women I interviewed were not an exhaustive list.  There are so many wives, mothers and single gals that I wanted to bring into this series but alas, I had to go with my gut reaction and asked who God laid on my heart first.  These women are in all stages of learning to make their home work.  Megan is newly incorporating her baby life into her ministry life and finding that they shouldn't be that separated. Beth is a "veteran" mother who can look back on years of learning and share with us things that God has taught her.  I know I say every woman is a "real treat" but I say that only because it's true.

Today I am sharing with you my dear friend Jin who is a real treasure.  I had the pleasure of living in Jin's home for a while when I moved to a new country. You can read about that experience here.  I am super excited to share with you what Jin has been learning and experiencing using her home because I was the recipient often of life giving moments in her home.  In fact, a lot of what I do today is based on either what my mother or Jin do in their own homes.  Jin is a wonderful friend.  She's a phenomenal cook, a mother of 3 and a wife for 13 years!!  I am so thankful I get to share her thoughts with you today to wrap up our Mothers in Ministry series.  I hope you enjoy.

Thanks Jin for answering my questions!

**How long have you been overseas?
10 years!

**What has been a highlight of living overseas with your kids?
I'd have to write a book to tell you all the highlights for us.  Often, Mark and I look at each other and say to ourselves, "Our kids are having such a great childhood".  There's struggles for being a foreigner for our kids but none less than the struggles kids go through in their own country.  Some highlights - our family is tighter as we are each others biggest supporters, our children have such a wider perspective on culture and language and understanding people within this frame, being bilingual, being a third culture kid makes them flexible and love for all cultures.  They've met so many beautiful believers from all over the world who have come as guests in our home.  The list goes on.

**What has been a hardship?
Paperwork!! Sounds small but this is out biggest frustration is when we have to fill out some legal document/city paperwork with the language barrier.  Stress!! Our kids still get the stares (not from their classmates who are used to them) or finger pointing "guyjin (foreigner)" as its the first time for many of the kids to meet a foreigner.

**Do you intertwine ministry and your children's lives? If so, how?
We've taken them along to most of the student's activities and meetings that we have.  Our kids are good friends with our students.  We find that our biggest testimony is our marriage and our relationship with our kids.  They are watching and what they see is powerful for them, even though we're not a perfect family but we make it a goal to keep Christ in the center and to love our kids the way God would want us to.

**Looking back, would you do anything different?
Definitely.  I wouldn't have been so nervous about diving into the culture and the school system initially.  Preschool starts here at 3 years old and I wish I had put our kids in at 3.  We waited a year and thought they are amazing with the language, they would have gotten even more of a head start.  And entering together with all the new moms would be have been more bonding for the friendship with those moms.

**Looking forward, are there things you want to try to teach your children?
I'm at a stage in life with them where I'm needing to let go more and more and God is really speaking to me on this.  I was a good and very thorough caretaker in their young years and I realize they're growing up and needing to grow in independence.  I want to support them from the back and encourage them that they can go through anything in life if they depend on the Lord.  Key verse for them, "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength".

**What's one thing you want to share with college women, single, newly married or women with children who are struggling to do or are new to ministry?
For women with children:  I heard a message from John Piper on missions and he said one thing that has struck with me til now that effects how I view their struggles in a foreign country... "God calls not just you the parents or parents, but God is calling the whole family".  Let the children grow up in ministry knowing that they are so blessed to be, not the "poor you".  Have fun with them doing ministry together as a family.  Few months ago, we as a family went with our students on a work camp trip to Thailand!! It was phenomenal.  Our kids learned with our students the value for other cultures and how God has a heart for them along with fun things like riding elephants and petting tigers. :)

**How can we pray for you?
Pray that the Lord would continue to guard our times in the Word, in our marriage and our children.  For wisdom and steady love as we shepherd our kids into their preteen and teen years.

I hope you've enjoyed this series.  I know I did.  I think I'll reread these questions and answers now and for times to come.  There's so many good thoughts from all sorts of different women in different life circumstances.  I'm especially thankful to the women who took time to answer my questions and share life over emails and my blog.  If you have enjoyed the series be sure to leave a comment and let us know!! I'll be back later to post more Love Bugs pictures.  Can't believe how big they are getting!! Until then...

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