By Natalie Yap
Undeniably, being a mother brings about much joy and fulfillment. But any mother would share that motherhood is also difficult. In the midst of the cuddles and laughter there are also worries and tears.
This Mother’s Day we ask a few Malaysian mothers to share what they’ve learned along their faith journey that helps them enjoy the journey of motherhood.
“Reading Scripture daily changes my perspective, allowing me to release my worries and enjoy the journey” – Joycelyn Chan
I’m always worried about not being a good enough mother to my children & I frequently have thoughts like – what if my mistakes cause my children to lose out on life? These unhealthy worries can be crippling as they prevent me from enjoying the motherhood journey.
Hence, I make it a point to remind myself daily of Matthew 6:33-34 to take things day by day, one step at a time and to seek Jesus first every morning and in every matter. These verses remind me to trust God fully and to focus on Him in this privilege of being a mother as I thrive to bring my children up according to Proverbs 22:6. Having these verses changes my perspective on my worries, allowing me to enjoy my motherhood.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. – Matthew 6:33-34
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. – Proverbs 22:6
– Joycelyn Chan (children ages 3yo and 2mo)
“The best gift I can give my children is a relationship with Christ” – Eunice Woo
I struggled with losing a sense of identity when I first became a mum. One key lesson I learnt is that identity isn’t found in what I do, or my child’s success, but in being “in Christ” and that will never change throughout my life. Knowing my identity is in Christ also revealed that life isn’t found in the abundance of our possessions (Luke 12:15) but in Christ. This nugget of truth has shaped everything in motherhood.
It has helped me know that life (and social media!) isn’t a competition, and that the best thing I can give my children isn’t beautiful muted-coloured silicone or wooden toys, or the best experiences and education but a relationship with Christ. Everyday, I come back to this and can find joy, direction and contentment in this intense season of motherhood.”
Then He said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” – Luke 12:15
– Eunice Woo (children ages 3yo and 1yo)
“As a mother, I’ve learned to stop ‘enduring’ my children and realise that I get to participate in creation and the nurture of lives” – Joyce Lam
Someone once told me – the nights are long but the years are short. I felt that so strongly when my kids were in their infant/young toddler stage. A persistent thought in my head was, “I can’t wait until they are less dependent on me”.
But that same sentence someone shared stopped me rushing through and just ‘enduring’ my kids. This really gave me a chance to learn their little fun quirks and enjoy all those baby snuggles while I could! Knowing that in motherhood I also get to participate in creation brings a strange sense of joy and value, and I enjoy being given these lives to nurture and love on.
– Joyce Lam (children ages 6yo and 3yo)
“You can make mistakes along the way and not feel guilty. God is big enough to make everything right” – Goh Gaik Suan
I gave up my job to be a full-time mother. There was just that unspoken pressure to get it right. I’m home 24-7 so my children should grow up more secure, better behaved, more disciplined, have better grades and better eating habits!
I began parenting for others to see. Or maybe for me to justify my lack of contribution to the family income. I think it took me years to come to that realisation and then to try to stop parenting that way.
When I could take a step back and allow myself to make mistakes and not to feel guilty, I think I began to enjoy the kids more. I remember it was such a relief to be able to roll the burdens off my shoulders and onto His. I have a God big enough to deal with all the wrongs I did and He can make it right – I only need to go to Him, confess my failures and trust Him to come through for the children in spite of myself.
I would not have survived except for the fact that I know at the end of the day, God reigns and God rules over the lives of all His children.
– Goh Gaik Suan (children ages 32yo, 29yo, 27yo; grandchildren ages 2yo and 3mo)
“Allow people (who love you) to help you become a good and effective mom” – Amelia Williams
I have many important people around me that have really helped and made me enjoy motherhood. First would be my ever present and dependable husband who is a hands on father. He had made it his mandate that he would be able to do anything with my two gals if I was not around.
And also firstly (I cannot say ‘second’) both my moms; my mom in law and my mom who were there since day one I entered motherhood. They shared with me all the mistakes they made when they were new moms, showed me the correct ways to do certain things and they were so willing to learn new stuff! They made me realise what a blessing it is to be a mother!
So I guess in a nutshell, one key thing that really made me enjoy motherhood was actually allowing people (who love me so much), help me to become a good, effective mom and to bring up my children to be great Godly people who will be a blessing to their family, society and country.
– Amelia Williams (children ages 14yo and 5yo)
We thank God that His grace abounds on us mothers even in the most frustrating and lonely times. We can take heart that He bears all of our burdens. He assures and comforts us, and gives us joy on those especially dreary days.
We encourage you with the words in Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
Happy Mother’s Day! May God fill your hearts with hope and joy for the coming days.