PLPC Prayer Series (6) – Being Genuine in Your Friendships

Lily Ma

I love travelling, but sight-seeing is not my only reason for travelling. Neither joining a tour nor searching for new travelling spots comes first on my list. Instead, sometimes I prefer to revisit places that have left a favorable impression on me. I like to remember how it touched my heart when I first visited, or to discover something new and be excited about that place again. Sometimes just looking at pictures or reading my travel journals describing what I heard, saw, and thought brings back a lot of memories.

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Praying for Parents Series (3): Praying for Parents through Every Season of Life

Natalie Kwan

Life is dynamic — a confluence of circumstances that constantly fluctuate, often in dramatic and unpredictable ways — and praying for our parents through every season of life means being cognizant of these changes. Each new life stage brings unique opportunities and challenges, which have the potential to affect our parents’ physical, mental, emotional, and, of course, spiritual health.

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Presence Life Planning Prayer Series (5) – Overcoming Challenges in Life

Anonymous/Presence Editing Department

Editing Department: What obstacles, difficulties, or challenges have you experienced in life? How did God help you overcome? What did you learn, and how have you grown from those experiences? We hope that this blog post will encourage you to examine your life experiences, and may God’s grace continue to guide you through your life journey.

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Measures of Manhood

(Edited by Presence Editors; original article appeared in Presence Family Magazine, October 2011, 3rd Issue)

Melvin Wong, Ph.D./Presence Editors

The reality that a man faces as an adult in marriage and family is quite unique and challenging, having no experience that prepares him to be a husband and father. Most men have to learn how to function in these roles on the job; however, some fail to live up to their responsibilities. I would like to address the cultural and psychological aspects of Manhood in marriage.

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Presence Life Planning Prayer Series (3): Life Planning vs. Managing Life

Felicia Fan/Presence Editors

Life planning* and managing life (i.e., balancing work, life, and rest) … To me, these terms initially seemed more like corporate slogans than biblical commands from the Lord. They do not sound “spiritually-related.” Boy, was I wrong.

Our God is a planner. From Genesis 1, I can see the orderly fashion in which He created the world. Then the Lord rested on the seventh day — even God took time to rest and enjoy His creation. This is an example of working and resting in perfect balance. Also, throughout many psalms and books from the prophets, God invites us on numerous occasions to come back to Him to rest and to gain strength. Thus, it makes sense for us to take a period of time to rest — not only to cease from work, but also to focus on God.

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Life Stages Series: From “Mom” to “Mom-in-Law”

Cindy Eng

Children are gifts from God, and as parents, we are to love, protect and provide for them.

When my oldest son introduced his fiancée to others as “my future wife,” my first reaction was, “So cute!” But when the wedding date was approaching, all of a sudden I realized this was for real – my son was getting married! I had to sit down and think about how to live with my adult son and how to be a good “mother-in-law.”

I love my son very much, and deep down in my heart, I want to continue to do things for him and take care of him no matter how old he is, but…

I need to adjust my mind that my son is growing up and getting married. He is no longer a 14- year-old boy; I need to give him space to experience life instead of treating him like a highschooler and keeping him by my side.

The first lesson I learned after they had moved into their own place was respect. One day I was near their home, and I had a piece of important mail to deliver to them. So I dropped by without letting them know, but the door was unanswered. Afterwards, as I was reflecting upon this incident, I realised I have to respect their privacy, just as I would like them to respect mine. Even though I would welcome them to drop by my home any time, deep inside I would want them to call me first.

As for my daughter-in-law, when she comes to my home, she is my guest. Just as I would not expect my other guests to help out, I would not expect my daughter-in-law to help make dinner or do the dishes. This, too, is “respect.”

The relationship between a mother and a son is very close. How can a mother face her own son building an intimate relationship with another woman? In traditional Chinese families, parents always come first. But in the U.S., inheritance order is: spouse, children, then parents.  Understanding the importance of spousal relationships, as a mother, I know that I’ll need to step aside and encourage my son and daughter-in-law to make their own decisions. This will allow them to build a foundation of love and enlarge their family. Later, when they have children, their children should have priorities over me. If I insist on keeping a close relationship with my son and want to help out or be involved all the time, such “love” may become detrimental to our relationships.

I pray that God will help me become a happy and wise mother-in-law. I pray also for my son to grow and become a responsible husband. May he and my daughter-in-law find joy in their marriage!