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when perze and i had emma, we had to set aside our ministries in church and really focus on our ministry at home, being parents.  it’s been a season of being accountable to each other and supporting one another through such challenges in adapting to such a huge responsibility.  i’ve talked with a lot of women who’ve been busy with church ministries, who had to also set them aside to give main priority to their babies.  some of them were initially bitter that they couldn’t balance both spheres. i have to admit that when you’re taken from all that’s familiar in your sphere of ministries, from working and doing something you passionately work in, and are given the responsibility to minimize all your efforts to just one tiny baby, far away from the excitement of the church activities, you feel out of place.  You feel as if you’ve lost a part of yourself, as well as your opportunity to spend time with people you’re ministering to.  You’re coerced to now minister to your baby, and all that’s been public has become private.  You’re given a ministry that no one sees.

At first, upon hearing some women share their honest testimonies about being a mother for the first time, I could relate with having to really focus on the baby, but i’m really thankful that i didn’t have to go through emotions of feeling like my ministry being a wife and mother weren’t as important.  If anything, it made me more nervous because, personally, to me, it is difficult to be a good wife and mother.  To me, the responsibility of raising a life is harder than when i conducted choir, or implementing education programs, or leading youth.  And although i’ve had to sacrifice a lot of time hanging out with friends, I never regret spending that time with emma.  i’ve never really understood it when young moms still arduously try to maintain their social life as they were before they were single.  i admit it is healthy to keep your friends and go out once in a while, but you can’t expect to keep your social life exactly how it was when you have a baby.  you just have to mature and know where your priorities go.  when you see all your unseen efforts on your baby, you see the fruits of your labor, and nothing can really compare to that. 

Recently though, i felt God leading me slowly back into my ministries in church, esp. in the youth group.  Just last week, I was voted to be an assistant to Ate Tess in the Christian Education Ministry, the same position I had before I had emma.  I returned back to my responsibilities helping Rog with the youth group, setting up new projects for next year, and not just events, but things I feel more important to focus on for the youth.  I never equate progress with how many events we can come up with for youth.  If anything, I don’t want to over-event them each week because it does cut down on family time that they can have instead.  I don’t want their parents thinking they’re always out with the youth group, and knowing the youth, you can’t always give them those options, because they will choose being with their friends instead. 

I am however excited with the goals for next year because I see how passionate they are to learn.  Ever since I resumed my responsibilities with the youth, God’s blessed me with seeing so many changes in them.  I know i can’t mention specific details, but knowing what most of them went through, I’ve just felt proud of their budding maturity.  Also, this year, i’ve been challenged with some of their deepest problems, things i could never imagine.  As a youth leader for SJBCI, I’ve forgotten that the kids you minister to are not exempt from life’s sharpest arrows and you do end up being a counselor of serious issues and not just a weekly teacher.  I can honestly say that I’ve cried for several of them.  But aside from those really tough moments, there are those more lighthearted times when some of the youth share their greatest blessings like relationships, and honest talks when they ask for advice…even from certain individuals who i thought would never open up to me. 

Nevertheless, I’m just thankful.  I really am.  I can work with the youth group seeing things with the eyes of a parent, and not just as someone young to relate to them, and it’s helping me.  it’s a new perspective to me, and i really hope as zem grows up, we can be just as close as i can be to the youth.

i’ll write about my daughter next time, cuz there’s so much to say about her.  she’s 17 months now…and i’m really proud of her.  I LOVE being a mom. I love how my parents have really taken such a joyful attitude with being grandparents.  they’re so in love with their apos, and it gives me extra joy that my parents have this happiness.  

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