The Playful Parents

Love at Play

Stop Putting Up Pretences!

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I am really struck to the heart by Elisa’s guest post, Learning to Live By Faith, because it is a challenge that I have been given as well. .

How much do I love this world? Too much.

How do I know? Because I spent way too much time obsessing, worrying, hankering after and complaining about things in life that would prove to be mere mortal fluff, and useless for conquering the real crises in life, should they strike.

Issues like…

  • Is my son’s kindergarten helping develop his potential?
  • What primary school should I send my son to?
  • Am I doing enough to teach and prepare my son ?
  • How come I still can’t come up with a decent Homelearning programme?
  • Why am I still so stressed up as stay-home mom after 4 years?
  • Why do I find myself envious of someone else, wishing I could be more like her, and less of me?

Things I covet…

  • Nicer clothes
  • Better hair
  • Better complexion
  • More frequent travels
  • A nice landed property with a big garden and pool

Oh, how foolish indeed for me to think that by splitting hairs over these issues would actually help me chart my course in life better!

Indeed, how foolish because I am mere mortal – powerless to change my hair colour, powerless to create new life, powerless to make the stars shine. Powerless in myself. Powerless even over the beating of my own heart.

And so, I realise that the past few years I have been working so hard and being frustrated trying to store up treasures here on earth.

The Word of God has a very clear stand on this.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 6:20

A change in focus.
A change in perspective.
A fundamental shift in values.
A fundamental overhaul of daily activities.

This is why I am determined to stick to my Anti-Worrying decision.

And this is why I have also determined that in my parenting, I shall no longer be conformed to the standards of society nor concerned about what society says is important in raising children.

Intellectual development now ranks right at the bottom of my Parenting Must-dos.

Instead, I want to ensure I am storing up the right treasures in my children’s hearts and spirits.

On a personal note, I have been very much challenged in laying down my dreams. Some will call me foolish (” You just need to learn to multi-task!”) and some will call me extreme.

Whatever.

But I know that at the end of the day, at the end of the road, I am going to be the only one standing who will have to give an account for my life.

In Retrospect

Looking back at the past few years – Oh boy, do I have a ton of treasures I really badly want! And all too often I have tried to attain this at the expense of my children.

My Vain Selfish Ambitions

Here are snippets of how life in the last 4 years has been:

Taking on jobs in my first weeks after birth, writing in the dark after Baby Lee was asleep…Leaving baby to cry and scream lungs out, dirty and hungry, in a messy house while I rush to do yet another project….Busy chatting on FB or some tea house trying to peddle yet another ‘creative dream’ I want to pursue…Worrying about how others will view me as mom… Of course I want to be thought of as ‘creative’, ‘amazing’, ‘capable’, ‘inspirational’, ‘lovely’, ‘sweet’ (add on all the other nice labels you can think of) by others…BUT BUT BUT…feeling like a big fat failure often..

What Was I Doing? What Have I Been Doing?

REALLY! Was the opinion of others MORE important than that of my children and husband?

The right answer is of course, “NO!”

But since I’m on the honest path, let me tell you that my heart and actions said otherwise.

I am convicted. Very convicted over the past few weeks that nothing, nothing, nothing BUT God’s opinion of me should matter.

What is the real motive behind my actions?

A dear mum-friend in the DyNaMaMas group I’m running shared at last week’s book study session that she came to a point where she was staying up to 3 am laminating and cutting learning aids for her children.

Everyone around her were praising her for being such a dedicated mom.

But she shared that she came to a point where she had to ask herself, “What am I doing this for?”

Who am I performing for?

It is with much shame that I confess I have been far too often performing for the world outside my home – my friends, my FB social circles, my Motherhood groups. Strangers.

But not God.

So in 2013, it is my deep desire that I will no longer live according to my own desires but that the beating of my heart will echo the beating of my Maker and Greatest Lover – Daddy God.

And so, I’m losing my pretences, leaving behind selfish ambitions, quitting the perform-to-impress game.

Yes, I’m losing face to gain some heart.

That my heart of stone may be a true heart of flesh that will beat with compassion for the needs of those around rather than seeking my own comforts.

This post is part of an ongoing series, My Heritage of Faith.
If you have a faith story to share with us, do email me at sarah[dot]wong[at]theplayfulparents[dot]com.

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10 Comments

  1. I love this post. Especially the part about not living for the world to see, but for God to see. Thanks for the timely reminder. And I love this series! Looking forward to reading more inspiring tales.

    • Thanks San! It is often very difficult to press on doing what we know we ought to do, especially when it runs counter-culture or when we feel so unappreciated and the task is tough. But I love this verse that says we ought not to grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap a harvest! ( Galations 6:9)

  2. A very heartwarming piece. I too am working towards a close walk with GOD.

  3. Thanks for your honest sharing…As a Christian Mom…I echo some of the reflections you’ve made…esp the part about storing up treasures in Heaven…not on earth…I am also seeking God for spiritual breakthroughs in my personal walk with Him in 2013…I can sense the quickening!

    • Angie, I believe our Heavenly Father is calling His children to seek Him first again, to love Him first again. And when we do love Him above all else, then are we able to love others as He does…and by loving so, we will be able to share His love and life with others too. May you have your breakthroughs this year too!

  4. Yup, great reminder to do all we do as unto Him and for the right motivations. Too easy to seek the world’s approval… Me too!

    • Littlebluebottle, it is so easy to get lost and forget the real purpose of our existence sometimes, isn’t it?

  5. You have put it so well! My dad reminds me from time to time about this too. The whole social media thing can unconsciously and easily become a tool for self-validation in place of Him who is more important! Or not even just God, but also family. Thanks for reminding all of us!

    • Corsage, your dad? My mom does it all the time! And the term ‘self-validation’ is so apt! Let’s continue to encourage and spur each other on towards Christ!

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