Dear Paul

I’m down to less than 2 weeks until I pop! Actually, Haniah can come out anytime now since I’m already on my 38th week! Paul and I are a pretty laid back and chill couple, but I know we’re both excited to discover what parenthood will be like. Many of our married friends with children have already told us how everything will change—our daily routine, our priorities, and our dynamics at home. It’s a lot to take in, but we are assured that He who is faithful will continue to walk with us in this next chapter.

We’ve been having late night talks about what we should do differently once Niah arrives and how we should always be at our best. I remember in one of those nights, Paul jokingly asked me, “You will love me more, right?” Then he added on a more serious note, “We should love each other more, even more than Niah.” And I agree.

I will always love my husband more, but it will never be a matter of comparison. I believe it’s a matter of honoring God’s design for marriage and fulfilling one’s vow. Marriage is supposed to be an unbreakable bond formed when two individuals make a committed decision to be each other’s for life. I made a vow before God that I will choose him every day—“loving him with a love that knows no bounds, a love that knows no ends”. My loyalty will always be with Paul. We’d be getting ahead of ourselves when we think about how Niah will one day have her own family, God-willing. But that’s reality and I embrace it with joy. I know that the best gift we can give Niah is the security of being loved by parents who are first committed to a Christ-centered marriage. When our marriage is solidified in Jesus, then and only then are we able to love this little human the right way without compromising our relationship.

So yes, my husband, you will always be my greatest blessing. In this married journey, I know there will be days when you won’t feel that way. I know in the months to come, you might only get what’s left of me after I’ve given my best to Niah. I know I will lose my patience and might act unkindly towards you when I lack sleep. I apologize in advance (hehe). Please try to remember that next to God, you are and will always be my most treasured answered prayer. I hope and pray that my words and actions will reflect this.

The past 9 months went by so quickly! Here are some photos we can always look back to.

  • The night I told him I was pregnant!
  • Our first visit to my OB-GYN
  • The evening we told our parents
  • First ultrasound
  • Our gender reveal to our family
  • Some of our friends throwing us a gender reveal party/baby shower
  • Paul squeezed in one last travel to Sapporo for our 2nd year anniversary ❤️

Thank you for loving me just as much even if I’m huge and sweaty with angry stretchmarks!

Hon, I’m dedicating this post to you and being extra sweet so that when the grumpy me decides to come out, this should make up for it. Hahaha kidding! I’m writing this to remind myself of how you deserve my best… because you’re simply the best!

I love you!

When a Season Ends

In 2 months’ time, I am due to give birth to our first daughter. Just saying it still sounds surreal! I am excited to finally meet the little human inside me. I am so curious to see what she looks like. I am eager to hold her and hear her voice.

taken during my 28th week

As I anticipate this inevitable new chapter, I think about the season that I must bid goodbye to. I have mixed emotions that are hard to put into words. It’s not sadness. I have this mental countdown telling me that I am running out of time. What I feel now is not the fear of beginning a new journey. I worry that I won’t be able to end this season strongly.

Right now, I’m at this point where I can be the wife that gives 100% attention to my husband without having to breastfeed or change diapers. Am I giving him my attention? I can still go out with family and friends and enjoy the time spent together without constantly checking on my newborn baby. Am I making time for them? I still have 4-6 weeks to meet my students for speech therapy before I go on maternity leave (for who knows how long). Am I still making a difference? I have projects that I want to finish before June. Will I have enough time? I can meet people to have intimate conversations about life without feeling haggard or tired. Am I available…or should we just schedule it 7 months from now?

I have about 65 days left before I take on the role of being a mother. I know I should be busy preparing for that, and I have been reading up on several books on parenting, breastfeeding, teaching infants to sleep etc. etc. etc.!

In all those books, however, only one gave me the best advice. It was during my Bible-reading several weeks ago that I found myself reflecting on this passage written by the apostle Paul. He said in 2 Timothy 4: 7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” He wrote this knowing his death was imminent and he was challenging Timothy to remain faithful in the christian walk.

It must sound absurd that my perspective focuses on the end when I am literally expecting our baby to arrive in 2 months! Our life’s race comes in different stages and I’m trying to view my time on earth in shorter segments—maybe in phases based on my current roles and responsibilities. I believe it helps when we think this way because we wouldn’t be planning too far ahead, all the while assuming that we have unlimited time on earth.

We’ve all heard of stories where someone unexpectedly departs this world—a newborn baby, a father, a mother, a young student, a grandparent, an aunt, a teacher, a security guard, a pastor, a friend—leaving loved ones in so much pain. Recently, I am learning to live life with the end in mind, reminding myself that the end is not when I’m 80 years old. The end could mean next week, or next month, or next year. Paul’s words reminded me to focus my time and my energy on completing the race God has called me to run TODAY.

It applies to whatever stage we are in. Whether we’re studying, working, looking for better job opportunities, waiting for the right person to come along, preparing for marriage, expecting children, raising a family, coping with sickness, experiencing loss… the list goes on and on. Many times, we envision the next chapter to be better. We plan and pray to make sure it is. But in doing so, we put less emphasis on where we are and focus instead on where we want to go. The next chapter won’t be as exciting if there was no grand season finale. So, here’s what I think. Let’s embrace the season where we are in and be all in. This has been my prayer:

“Father, help me to finish this season of my life well.”

Before I give birth to my daughter, I want to be able to say with confidence that I have completed the mission assigned to me, that I have been faithful with the work and the people He has entrusted me. Then and only then can I look forward with a steady heart knowing I have done my best, I have kept the faith, and I have finished the first 27 years of my life well.

“I will live this day as if it is my last. And if it is not, I shall fall to my knees and give
thanks.” -Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman In The World