Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (9)

8. Marital blessing (a)

and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.” Mark 10:8

Married or single, it is all for the glory of God! He sanctifies in singleness and in marriage. I am so thankful God has protected my heart for the one I am happily married to now. It was a totally unexpected gift for me to marry my best friend from across the ocean (read our story here). Each year the Lord has brought us closer as a couple, as one! The process can be challenging but it is always so rewarding for His eternal purposes and for our good.  

When people heard about bits and pieces of our love story, they always wanted to know more. We love each other and I absolutely adore my husband. Six years of friendship before our marriage laid a good foundation for our married life. He is my hero, my rock and my joy in this life. I wish I could say we lived happily ever after the wedding day back in 2006. However, no matter how much we tried to be ready before marriage, when two VERY different and sinful people live together for an extended period of time, clashes are doomed to happen. In fear of conflict and/or my lack of language abilities, we hardly fought or argued early in our marriage. Everything seemed perfect from the outside.


A little glimpse of the kind of city life I knew

I didn’t grow up from a Christian family and had no clue about how a Christian wife should live in real life. I was overwhelmed at times when I felt like marrying my best friend could also be the most lonely journey. I set my hopes and expectations high. I felt the  pressure to witness for Christ as many new believers and non-believers were watching how a cross-cultural marriage would turn out. I expected my mate to experience the joys and sorrows the same way or even the same time as I did. My heart was growing tender to my beloved. My desires were intimate. My needs were not openly expressed. For all the reasons above and many more I can’t think of now, I started to notice myself telling our love story with less passion but more rote. I knew something was going wrong in terms of my ideally passionate relationship with my husband, even with my Lord! I let life just happen instead of earnestly seeking and investing into that oneness with God and with my husband. No one, but Jesus, can bring me true joy and contentment. The moment I set my happiness on a human being, I was setting myself up for heartaches and disappointment. Ultimately, marriage is a powerful God-ordained sanctification tool. Continue reading

Called to Go, Willing to Stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (7)

  1. Social blessing
    “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt 22:39

With no flooring but lots of sawdust around, it was hard to have guests over for a comfortable gathering, not to mention entertainment. We were blessed to have wonderful in-laws,. and friends, who were more like angels in our eyes, simply show up to offer helping hands. At some points, I felt like we were more like guests rather than the owners, as we received so much needed help. It was a special season for our 9-year married life to not be able to outreach through our home. We knew that season to build would not last very long. This realization helped me cherish the time to seek God’s definition of a Home as we were building our earthly home.

Growing up in China, I had no concept about what a Christian home would be like. However, entertaining guests was part of my life during childhood. It was warm and fun family time but without much deeper purposes. God graciously tailored this time for me to develop a mindset of practicing hospitality for His name, His people and lost souls. Even nowadays, the Lord uses those days as a reminder for me to entertain with joy and intentionality, especially when I feel stressed or self-conscious before we receive guests at our home


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Waterproofing the basement

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Happy Valentine’s !!!

 We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 

Love, love, love! Love is in the air in this season of life in the States! I say in the States is because the Valentine’s Day I experienced in China was much more narrow-minded. It was only limited between couples. It was so commercialized that guys felt obligated to have to come up with something to please their wives or girlfriends. Instead of “giving” as a theme of the holiday, “what-did-you-get” might be the most used phrase. From our recent visit in December to China, we’ve found the material pursuit and satisfaction have taken up more space of many people’s mind and heart as life pace sped up.

Looking back, I see we could have done more to take advantage of this western holiday to express God’s love. Being a mom in the States now, I am learning all the kid’s activities along with my boys. I love how Valentine’s is celebrated by all ages, especially among kids. It is a day to express love to those around you. It is love in action, the center of Christian living. The whole book of the Holy Bible is a master piece of a love letter from the Savior, the romantic and Victorious King, the Almighty God. His love is extravagant, abundant and never fails, because He is love! If we could just scratch a little surface of the source of true love, we are enabled to love, to experience the joy in extending love. On the flip side, if we love out of selfish motives, we experience emptiness and bitterness when our expectations are not met.

For this holiday in celebrating love, I am so grateful I just finished my draft of a blessing counting journal started last October, recording the Lord’s blessings in our most recent move. I will be posting them in the following days. Here, I just want to take this opportunity to dedicate the journal first to my First love, who has always sustained me to record all the blessings. Next, I want to give this journal to my best friend and husband who walked this journey with me to open my eyes for a greater world. Also, I want to thank my wonderful in-laws and many friends who made our move much smoother through sacrificing their time, labor, and many prayers.

It took me a while to finish recording this journey but the Lord is faithful. Never thought about the day when I am going to start posting it would be on Valentine’s! Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of your Love and love around us through your people. Help me to be a clean vessel for Your use! Amen!

As a faithful listener to Revive Our Hearts program, I am very much looking forward to the upcoming new series How to Fall and Stay in Love with Jesus. Check it out and perhaps this is exactly what you need in this season of love!