FAITH · FOUR|EIGHT MONTHLY · MARRIAGE · PARENTHOOD · RELATIONSHIPS

FOUR|EIGHT MONTHLY: APRIL 2016

For those who are new to my blog, I’ve assigned the last day of every month to be a ‘FOUR|EIGHT MONTHLY’ blog post, where I will give a list of four things and a list of eight things – but both will relate to each other somehow. You can check out last month’s post here or see a full list of all the FOUR|EIGHT MONTHLY posts here!

I didn’t really realize it until I was asking my husband a couple of days ago for ideas on what I can write for this month’s ‘FOUR|EIGHT MONTHLY’ post, but he pointed out to me that a few significant events have happened in my life during the month of April. (Leave it to him to rescue me from my current lack of creative juice)!  Read on to find out what they are ❤

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FOUR SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN APRIL:

  • Sharing my testimony with Paul (04.29.2005).  It was a Friday night.  I was a college sophomore and I just emailed my Accounting professor a 7-page extra credit paper I wrote about pensions & mutual funds (disclaimer: I don’t remember, nor did I understand, anything I wrote).  By this time Paul and I were not dating yet but were talking a lot over the phone for the past several months. He was attending seminary in upstate NY at the time and it’s become a norm for us to have long talks over the phone about what he’s been learning and the discussions he’s been having while up there.  In this particular night he just asked a simple question of, “So if someone asked you for your testimony about how God’s worked in your life, what would you say?” At that point I’ve never shared my full testimony to anyone before because I was scared to put myself in such a vulnerable position; but for some reason I was calm and had the urge to share to him details of how God has worked in my life – through the good, bad, ugly (and very ugly, even).  And so I shared. And cried. And cried some more.  While I was sharing to him, it still felt like those experiences I was mentioning were so fresh; yet at the same time, I was grateful for  being reminded of the ways God has rescued and loved me my whole life!  At the end of it all, Paul just quietly asked if he can pray for me.  I knew then that he really was a special person in my life, regardless of whether we were going to end up together or not ❤
  • Our wedding (04.15.2011).  I know everyone says it about theirs but our wedding really did feel like a dream for us, especially when we miraculously were able to afford our venue (you can read a bit more about it here).  Hating being the center of attention, I remember telling friends/family that I wish there was a way not to have people look at me that day – I pictured everyone being asked to stand up and face the walls while I was walking down the aisle =P.  Fortunately that did not happen and there was actually one moment in our ceremony where our officiant (Paul’s youth pastor) asked us to turn around so we can look at our friends & family who were there to joyously and lovingly celebrate that day with us.  I’m very grateful for that small moment because it was a loving reminder of all the people whom we’ve been blessed to have in our lives, especially those who’ve had an influence in our relationship ❤
  •  San Francisco trip (04.14.2014 – 04.17.2014).  I fell in love with San Francisco after being there twice for work (thanks for those trips, Etsy) and I wanted to have Paul see and enjoy its beauty for himself.  And so we did just that!  Our lodging was free – thanks to the Hyatt points we earned from our wedding – and we saw the usual tourist spots, as well as a few places recommended to us from friends who used to live in the area (e.g. We now know where we can get ‘crack’ chicken =D).  But it wasn’t doing those things that made this trip memorable.  At this time, Paul just recently found out about the possibility of being part of Redeemer City to City’s fellows program, whose requirement entailed having him quit his full-time job.  He still had to submit an application and get interviewed; and I didn’t share this with him then but I just knew without a doubt that he was going to get accepted if he applied.  We ended up having really hard, honest conversations about it (I cried. A lot).  I told him how I was really concerned about his having to quit his job and the weight of becoming the sole breadwinner for us; I told him how I was scared of this church planting endeavor and all the uncertainties and sacrifices that come along with it; I told him how I felt completely incompetent in being a church planter’s wife (or a pastor’s wife, even).  Paul validated my feelings and he didn’t really know how to comfort me exactly, which was totally fine with me.  All he said was that he knew this is what God wants us to do and he’s going to rely on the way that God has spoken and affirmed things with us before – separately but saying the same thing.  I also told him that I was glad we had our friends/family who were rooting and praying for us this whole time but that I ultimately needed peace that can ultimately come from God.  The complete peace didn’t hit me immediately like a thunderbolt right after that conversation.  In fact, it took a few weeks right until the morning of Paul’s scheduled interview with Redeemer City to City.  During our drive to work (he drops me off at the train station before heading for his work), I told Paul that if he were extended the offer to the program right there on the spot, I was fully on board with it and that we didn’t need to further discuss it.  He asked how this came about.  I told him that God used a verse I’ve heard so many times ever since I was a kid but it struck me differently this time: Seek ye first the kingdom God, and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).  The journey we’re on is seeking God and to expand His kingdom through church planting; and whatever we would need along the way – whether it be finances, resources, abilities, etc. – God will remain faithful and will be with us.  It really was as simple as that.  That’s how I got the peace that I’ve been asking from God.  And to this day whenever feelings of worry, doubt, and insecurities about church planting overwhelm me, I remind myself of how God was faithful in speaking to me and Paul back then and how He has never left us ❤
  • Baby announcement (04.15.2015).  Of course we told our immediate families before this day that we were expecting.  But we decided to hold off in publicly sharing the news to others until this day (which was also our four-year wedding anniversary); and later that month on the 24th (during my mom’s birthday dinner), we revealed the gender to our families:

EIGHT SONGS THAT REMIND ME OF THOSE EVENTS:

  1. Back to You by John Mayer: (April 2005) Paul and I listened to a lotttt of John Mayer that summer. Back to you / it always comes around / back to you…
  2. She’s Not Alone by Devotion: (April 2005) I’m a sucker for slow jams and acoustic music; this song definitely reminds me of Paul because 1) well, he was the one who introduced me to this song =P and 2) he wrote me the lyrics to this song back when we would send handwritten letters to each other (“Mail, it was called mail!” – let’s be friends if you can guess what movie that line’s from <3) God, will You let her know that I love her so / that when no one’s there that she’s not alone / just close her eyes and let her know my heart is beating with hers…
  3. Because I Love You by Drop N’ Harmony: (April 2011) It was a song that Paul and I listened to a lot but it became that more special because he surprised me by serenading me – while playing the guitar! – with it at our wedding ❤ It was instantly right from the start / a special bond between you and my heart / how it skips a beat whenever our eyes meet… 
  4. Don’t Let Me Fall by B.O.B.: (April 2011) We listened to a lot of B.O.B. this year and this was just a fun song that Paul and I listened to that reminds us of our wedding and honeymoon =) It was just a dream / just a moment ago / I was up so high looking down at the sky / don’t let me fall…
  5. Called Me Higher by All Sons & Daughters: (April 2014) This group’s songs have spoken to both me and Paul in several ways, and this song is definitely one that caught me – and convicted me – the first time I heard its lyrics.  It was fitting, especially at the season of our life back then. ‘Cause You have called me higher / You have called me deeper / And I’ll go where You will lead me, Lord…
  6. MTV Unplugged performance of Lauryn Hill: (April 2014) I still remember the first time this aired on TV and my love for Lauryn grew even more!  I would play this performance on repeat when I used to work at Etsy.  I hope that you can hear me / ‘Cause I know it’s not profound / I just want you around…
  7. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars: (April 2015) Yet another fun song that Paul and I (mostly Paul) loved to listen to.  I particularly love the old-school feel of it! Uptown funk gon’ give it to ya / Saturday night and we in the spot / don’t believe me just watch… 
  8. You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music: (April 2015) This was a song that God used to speak to me about what He was calling me to be (and a reason why I started this blog).  I didn’t know it then but in hindsight, a part of His calling me to be brave could be something practical, such as regarding the labor experience I had; but even more would be about the church planting and becoming parents.  And even now I feel God challenging me to go further beyond where He’s already led me.  You make me brave / You make me brave / You call me out beyond the shore into the waves / You make me brave / You make me brave / No fear can hinder now the love that made a way…

Has this month (or year) been significant to you in any way so far?  In what ways – such as through songs – have you been reminded of those important times?

 

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