Friday, November 22, 2013

Wild chases

I turned 32 about a month ago. I am now Jesus' age when he was walking around, healing the sick, changing the story of the world. I still can't decide how I feel about being 32 (not that I can change my age). I'm still breaking it in, so to speak, like a new pair of shoes.

Some days, I miss my 20s. Ah, the possibilities! The dreams! The thrilling chases! New jobs, new opportunities, new cities.

I miss my 20s, that is, until I remember the hungry days as a grad student juggling a few jobs. All I was chasing then was a warm and quiet place to study. It was so cold in my apartment that I could actually see my breath. And the apartment was mold-infested. And sewage flowed into my bathtub.

Yeah. That would cure anyone of any romantic delusions of my 20s.

These days, I am mostly chasing souls, boy-shaped souls that are running (and crawling) around on fast little feet. It's a very different kind of chase. For one, the stakes are much higher. As opposed to my previous dreams (that are now obsolete), these boys are eternal. They will live on forever. At the beginning of every morning and the end of every night, the question that I am to answer is this: What am I teaching my children to love?

Many ask us why we choose to homeschool our children. There are many different ways we would approach this question, but this sums it up nicely: Homeschooling is the method Hans and I have chosen to pursue our children, to win their hearts to love the right things. Like all methods, we want to hold this one loosely. We know that ultimately, we cannot move their hearts — only the Spirit can. Our job is to faithfully sing the tune, in hopes that the boys would sing along.

(In case you want to know how it is going, I am huffing and puffing from the steep climb up the learning curve. Thankfully, the boys are kind to forgive their mommy every time she apologizes for her unruly behavior.)

The boys and I are memorizing first Corinthians 13 this week.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind.
These are good words to cling to as I break into 32. A familiar passage, but this week I read the apostle's words with an ache, a longing to understand, to be. It was then I realized that I, too, am being pursued. My Father chases me still.

I write this with thoughts and prayers for those of you who are in your teens and twenties, in hot pursuit of your dream school, dream career, or perhaps you are, like I was, just planning to survive the exams and stay warm this winter. The thing is, I didn't have to wait until I am married and birthing kids to be chasing souls. Love should be our pursuit no matter how old we are.

Do not be deceived as I was and make your life about "finding yourself" and "finding your voice." Lies. You will find your life's purpose by giving yourself to others. Jesus said, "Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever who loses his life for my sake will find it." Finders losers; losers keepers.

So, pour yourselves out as an offering to the Lord, into vessels that lasts forever — people, people, people.

We are teaching Emeth to pursue love. We are teaching Hanan to pursue love. And Khesed, well, he is still a baby, but his name means love. Speaking of love and wild chases, Emeth was fetching all sorts of things the baby was throwing from the high chair at dinner today. The big brother then explained to me: "We are playing Khesed's favorite game. He is human and I am his dog."

Their love for one another is God's kind mercy to me. Like a warm cup to cold hands. Like water to thirst. Their love for one another is the stuff my dreams are made of.


Sherryberry said...

Love it Irene! I can attest to the cold winters- gotta keep that heating bill low! ;) thanks for sharing!

Sharon said...

Irene, thank you for being wonderfully transparent (particularly enjoyed the part on "huffing and puffing"; I can relate!!) and also for pointing the way to God's love, He who patiently pursues us even when we are chasing other things. And oh... Khesed's favorite game hahaha!

Carrie said...

I cried reading this! Actually, I cry reading almost all your posts - whether be out of joy and laughter, or humility and repentance. I'm also just a crier. :)

Irene Sun said...

Sherry - Ah, yes, heating bills! ugh. I could only afford rent at the time. =) Good to know someone can relate. As always, thank for reading. =)How is your NEW job?! I can't wait to hear all about it.

Sharon - I am so grateful for His patience and mercy. I am learning more and more what it means that we love because he first loves us. We've got nothing without his love. Thank you for your reflection. You are always so thoughtful. I learn so much from you. =)

Carrie - AWW! Thank you for your comment! You made my morning. =) I AM A CRIER TOO! I have made peace with my tears. hahahaha. <3

estherliu said...

This makes me want to sing with you.

Serenely said...

I've actually toyed the idea of homeschooling myself. But I received many comments from friends like "Why on earth would you want to do THAT to your kids and yourself???"

In a way I'm kind of embarking on my own homeschooling journey too as I've decided to start my own family daycare so I don't have to send Nathan away every day to another person's home to learn and grow.

It will be exciting to see where our paths will lead.

Irene Sun said...

Esther - and I want to sing with you.

Serene - I've been sooo behind on my blog reading. I am sorry my congratulations are coming a little late. Congratulations! I am so excited for you! And I am in awe, though not surprised. Wini and I used to have these predictions about the awesome home-maker and care-taker you were destined to be. And we were right. =)