Friday, May 1, 2015

Baby Wash, A Parallel Story

Our only daughter Abigail suddenly became afraid of having a bath which was unlikely of her.   From being excited in soaking her feet into the water just by herself during bath time, she turned to being fearful even if I accompanied her.   And this attitude of her made me evaluate where she was coming from.  

Abigail being playful

Back then...
We are aware that some of the baby products that are readily available in the market are formulated with irritating chemicals that might harm our daughter's delicate skin so even before she was born, her Daddy (Joshua) and I ordered through online an organic and non-toxic baby wash just for her use.  These products were naturally grown and produced in  the Philippines then shipped in the USA.

When she started using the products that we specially got for her,  we didn't notice any problems while she was on it and we were happy about the results because our baby was happy too.   But when she was run-out of supply of her organic baby wash, we started using the non-organic baby wash we received for her during the baby shower.   On our mind,  it was not practical to waste all those things.  Besides, it will take us a matter of 3 days or more for us to receive her organic baby wash.   We also justified our reasoning with the mentality of saving some dollars, plus the thinking that it was just for temporary use overcame our convictions.   We thought all will be good.  But the temporary thing became a practice, it became a habit and later on became part of our nature.   Every time we went outside, we made sure we shopped the same baby wash for her.  The one that was cheaper, the one that wasn't organic, the one that was easy to get with, and the one that has harmful chemicals.  

One day, when I was giving her a bath I confidently applied the non-organic baby wash all over her head (since she was using it for a while without irritating her eyes) but to my dismayed, it suddenly irritates her eyes, and made her cry.   Her eyes down to her cheek were so red.   From then on, it was hard for me to give her a bath.    

I became concerned about our daughter's attitude and that led me to mentioned it to Joshua.   It wasn't a big issue but if it will remain unresolved, it will lead us facing an unhappy baby bath time which of course we can't prolong any longer.    The pattern needs to break.  

A Parallel Story

Repeating the same pattern in dealing with life circumstances

Let me put into words that I love our families (both sides).  But if the immediate families' words is adding pressure to the decision of the husband and wife and  it is affecting the foundation of what you believe in together, without setting a boundary, in the long run it might cause the marriage to compromise. 

But on the other hand,  in our family, we believe that God is using every circumstances for an individual or a family to grow, to be matured, and to transformed the  characters to what is pleasing to Him.   So whether good or bad circumstances, our main motivation is to always be prayerful, and thankful.  

When Joshua and I got married, we started living in a small room and being with the immediate family.  I will say I was comfortable being with him living in a small room, but what I wasn't used to was living together with the immediate family.  Before I got married, I was renting my own space, living independently by myself without anybody minding my own business, unless I'd asked for a solicited advice. 

So imagine the scenario in which we got used with.  That time, it wasn't easy for us to apply major  decisions whenever we wanted to.   We need to consider all the variables.  And because of that, we became fearful in facing what life was outside the box or the comfort zone we were in.   We both know that it was for our betterment to have our own place and independently manage our own family.  But the circumstances we were in haunted us with the  thought of,  "what if  "we can't pay the bills?"  

The desire of moving out and having our own place were enormous, but the courage in doing it was not whole.   It was there, but wasn't firm.  It was easily shaken by words of worries.   To the point that we just kept on praying that God will provide a place for us to move, planning, and allocating money, but it just stopped there as in period.   Instead of us focusing on what God can do for us, if we responded in faith, what happened was we focused on the circumstances we were in, and it overcame us, and we just settled with it and were thankful for what we had.   It doesn't make sense right?  It doesn't align with the word of God in James 2:17 which says, Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

In our minds, it was just a temporary thing, it wasn't yet the right time.  Againthe temporary thing became a practice, it became a habit and later on became part of our nature.   The thing was we started compromising by not immediately responding in faith and applying God's design and principle for marriage that was the leave and cleave principle.  And knowing God, His words never change.  His words are constant and direct.   Genesis 2:24 NASB For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Warren Buffet said, " chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken."   And this was true in us.  In fact what had happened was, we lived by sight and not by faith.   We became used with what was easy to grabbed.  

But what God was teaching us while we were in that circumstances?   

On my part, God knows that I was thankful to Him that we were living with a family that was there for us 24/7 to help us with our immediate needs but at the same time I became unhappy that I wasn't able to experience the freedom of being married and living independently.  I started to become bitter, doubtful of the future, and restless.  I started comparing my capacity in making decisions when I was single versus when I got married.   There was no peace.   I even questioned my husband's ability in executing firm decisions for our family, which was totally wrong and disrespectful of me.   But in the midst of those circumstances, we didn't adapt the "under the rug"  way of facing marital issues.   In fact through those circumstances, God made us more united.  How?   
  • We learned that we can't face issues together and with a proud hearts-but only with a humble hearts and with God.   This means apologizing with each other and presenting to God all of our concerns through praying.  In doing this we acknowledge that God is Sovereign and powerful enough.  That He is in control of our marital concerns including having our own place.    
         Isaiah 55:9 (NLT)
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

  •  We learned to be thankful for who God is and for what he is doing in our family and what He is going to do.   Yes sometimes it doesn't make sense, but one thing is for sure: Joshua and I both knew that He knows what He was doing.   
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
  • We learned to appreciate the kindness and concerns of our immediate family for us.   Why because we believe that God loves us so much that it was His way of protecting us, and of showing how He loves us.   
John 3:16 (NLT)
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
  • We learned that there were so much to changed in our characters mostly on my part.  Through that I learned that I was human and still human (Haha).  That I had a tendency to be ugly whenever my faith was being stretched.  Whenever God wanted me to wait, I had a capacity to be impatient and because of that He showed to me that there was more to improve about myself and to repent.  He used those circumstances for us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus.  Why did God allow those circumstances? Simply because God is Holy.  
1 Peter 1:16 (NLT)
For the Scriptures say, "You must be holy because I am holy."

I am thankful to God that my husband never gave up on me.  He remained patient to my impatience.   He didn't surrendered when I was getting tired of lifting our marriage flag. His responds to all of my reactions was a foreshadowing of God's love for me being an impatient wife.   

Breaking unhealthy pattern 

  • Admit that change is needed
  • You're not in control but you are in charge.  We acknowledge that we are responsible for our family but we are not in control of the circumstances.
  • Be thankful, stop grumbling
  • Appreciate People.  Through them God reminded us that He love us.  
  • Apply the learning.    Stop reacting.  Respond in God's principle.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT)

22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Today, we are happy renting an apartment by ourselves and managing our own family.   Plus Abigail is not afraid of having a bath, she has a new baby wash.   

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