Guest Post: “Birthday Resolution”, by Carol Chin

Posted on March 2, 2012



Peter: I have always found myself most moved and convicted not by sermons, but more by testimonies, primarily because they are so personal and relatable.  And so I have asked a few people to share their stories on my blog as guest contributors – if you would like to share your story of what God has done in your life, let me know!  To start things off, my wife Carol (who hopefully will become a regular contributor, *nudge*) shares a few thoughts from her birthday last week:

—————————————–

­­­This week I celebrated my 36th birthday, the end of my thirty-sixth year of life, the beginning of the thirty-seventh.  One afternoon, a couple weeks before my birthday, I noticed a dark, little cloud forming in the corner of my mind, and bringing with it these thoughts:

Thirty-six, now I’m officially ALMOST forty…almost FORTY.  What?!?  Is that right?!?  I don’t feel like I’m ALMOST FORTY, I don’t think I look THAT old…  but that’s what the calendar says.  Wow, how did I get this far along in years, and have *looks around blankly* to show for it?

I was brought back to the moment at hand by Jonathan’s demand for applesauce and milk (which is actually any beverage except milk, which he cannot drink), and the girls’ requests for more paper and tape.  But that little cloud stayed right where it was, casting a small shadow on my heart.  For the next few days that darkness made its heavy presence known at various times throughout the day, causing wrinkles and furrows in my brow, only to be dispelled by the need to find Katie’s beloved Bunny or the star sunglasses, or the need to change a dirty diaper.

Then one evening, as I washed the dishes, the “thirty-six almost-forty” thought again came to mind, but with it, another thought, an unexpected remembrance:

Remember where you were two years ago.  Two years ago…yes…I was recovering from my mastectomy and lymph node removal, with tubes coming out of my chest to collect fluid drainage into plastic bulbs that Peter helped me empty every day, trying to reconcile that I was pregnant but that I needed chemotherapy ASAP.

And with this remembrance came a realization:

Yes, that’s where I was two years ago, but now, I’m here. This is where I am NOW.  I am STILL HERE.    

Thankfulness welled up in my heart overcoming that little, dark, heavy cloud shadow, and raising in its place a prayer:

God, thank you that I’m here, washing the dishes from which my loves ate dinner, belly bulging with another miracle life.  Thank you, Father, that the demands of the “now” kept my mind from taking those incipient dark, discouraging thoughts any further down a more destructive slope.  Thank you that next week I get to celebrate thirty-six.

I’m sure you know all too well, though, that dark shadow thoughts like those aren’t easily banished.  No, they often sneak back into our minds and quietly occupy the cobweb corners, unnoticed until that moment when the absolute last thing you need is to notice cobwebs and dark shadows.  Against such thoughts I’ve learned that the best defense is a good offense—active, mindful gratitude, thanksgiving.  I must daily lift up thanks, declaring like the prophet Samuel, “Thus far the Lord has helped me” on my journey through this life.  And I must seek the help of God’s Spirit in my heart to open my eyes to see all around me for which I should be thankful.  And truly, I must choose to do this daily.

I’ve decided that I can’t lose time feeling discouraged that I’m growing older.  Instead I resolve to be thankful that I’ve had the gift of another year, thankful for my health, thankful for changes and surprises.  And I will proudly wear the paper birthday queen crowns made for me by the kiddos.  Forty, here I come.

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Posted in: Guests
7 Responses “Guest Post: “Birthday Resolution”, by Carol Chin” →

  1. sara choe

    March 2, 2012

    [obviously this comment is for carol]
    girl, you don’t look anywhere near 40.
    and thank you for the reminder that gratitude is my weapon against despair.
    you are a blessed, beloved woman!

  2. oh wow, i was so moved reading this post by Carol. it’s really interesting that she wrote about these sentiments because recently when i wrote birthday wishes on her FB wall, i wrote along these same lines– but i almost didn’t (for fear that it would be inappropriate? who knows.) it’s always incredible to hear how God has taken care of you all…what a testimony of His everlasting goodness & grace! thanks for sharing, Carol!


  3. Noora Elkoussy

    March 2, 2012

    Absolutely beautiful! Yes, there is much to be thankful for; you have had so many blessed events among the scarier ones and it is lovely and inspiring to see your strength, courage, and positive outlook. If only everyone could have just a little bit of that faith you have, we would have utopia! God bless you beautiful. Continue to inspire and live life with love and faith as you have already been doing so well.

  4. Sara, Ayumi, Noora, you ladies are too kind. Thank you for the heartening words!

  5. Carol, your writing was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Carol, I don’t think we’ve ever met but I’m a huge fan of PP’s blog and because of his blog, I wanted to go back to church and I always thank him for that. Saying that, if you are going to have your own blog one day, you got yourself a fan! I don’t understand you two… Where did you guys get your writing skills like this??? lol~

  7. Thanks, Lauren!

    Thanks, Seong!

Guest Post: “Birthday Resolution”, by Carol Chin

Posted on March 2, 2012



Peter: I have always found myself most moved and convicted not by sermons, but more by testimonies, primarily because they are so personal and relatable.  And so I have asked a few people to share their stories on my blog as guest contributors – if you would like to share your story of what God has done in your life, let me know!  To start things off, my wife Carol (who hopefully will become a regular contributor, *nudge*) shares a few thoughts from her birthday last week:

—————————————–

­­­This week I celebrated my 36th birthday, the end of my thirty-sixth year of life, the beginning of the thirty-seventh.  One afternoon, a couple weeks before my birthday, I noticed a dark, little cloud forming in the corner of my mind, and bringing with it these thoughts:

Thirty-six, now I’m officially ALMOST forty…almost FORTY.  What?!?  Is that right?!?  I don’t feel like I’m ALMOST FORTY, I don’t think I look THAT old…  but that’s what the calendar says.  Wow, how did I get this far along in years, and have *looks around blankly* to show for it?

I was brought back to the moment at hand by Jonathan’s demand for applesauce and milk (which is actually any beverage except milk, which he cannot drink), and the girls’ requests for more paper and tape.  But that little cloud stayed right where it was, casting a small shadow on my heart.  For the next few days that darkness made its heavy presence known at various times throughout the day, causing wrinkles and furrows in my brow, only to be dispelled by the need to find Katie’s beloved Bunny or the star sunglasses, or the need to change a dirty diaper.

Then one evening, as I washed the dishes, the “thirty-six almost-forty” thought again came to mind, but with it, another thought, an unexpected remembrance:

Remember where you were two years ago.  Two years ago…yes…I was recovering from my mastectomy and lymph node removal, with tubes coming out of my chest to collect fluid drainage into plastic bulbs that Peter helped me empty every day, trying to reconcile that I was pregnant but that I needed chemotherapy ASAP.

And with this remembrance came a realization:

Yes, that’s where I was two years ago, but now, I’m here. This is where I am NOW.  I am STILL HERE.    

Thankfulness welled up in my heart overcoming that little, dark, heavy cloud shadow, and raising in its place a prayer:

God, thank you that I’m here, washing the dishes from which my loves ate dinner, belly bulging with another miracle life.  Thank you, Father, that the demands of the “now” kept my mind from taking those incipient dark, discouraging thoughts any further down a more destructive slope.  Thank you that next week I get to celebrate thirty-six.

I’m sure you know all too well, though, that dark shadow thoughts like those aren’t easily banished.  No, they often sneak back into our minds and quietly occupy the cobweb corners, unnoticed until that moment when the absolute last thing you need is to notice cobwebs and dark shadows.  Against such thoughts I’ve learned that the best defense is a good offense—active, mindful gratitude, thanksgiving.  I must daily lift up thanks, declaring like the prophet Samuel, “Thus far the Lord has helped me” on my journey through this life.  And I must seek the help of God’s Spirit in my heart to open my eyes to see all around me for which I should be thankful.  And truly, I must choose to do this daily.

I’ve decided that I can’t lose time feeling discouraged that I’m growing older.  Instead I resolve to be thankful that I’ve had the gift of another year, thankful for my health, thankful for changes and surprises.  And I will proudly wear the paper birthday queen crowns made for me by the kiddos.  Forty, here I come.

Posted in: Guests
7 Responses “Guest Post: “Birthday Resolution”, by Carol Chin” →

  1. sara choe

    March 2, 2012

    [obviously this comment is for carol]
    girl, you don’t look anywhere near 40.
    and thank you for the reminder that gratitude is my weapon against despair.
    you are a blessed, beloved woman!

  2. oh wow, i was so moved reading this post by Carol. it’s really interesting that she wrote about these sentiments because recently when i wrote birthday wishes on her FB wall, i wrote along these same lines– but i almost didn’t (for fear that it would be inappropriate? who knows.) it’s always incredible to hear how God has taken care of you all…what a testimony of His everlasting goodness & grace! thanks for sharing, Carol!


  3. Noora Elkoussy

    March 2, 2012

    Absolutely beautiful! Yes, there is much to be thankful for; you have had so many blessed events among the scarier ones and it is lovely and inspiring to see your strength, courage, and positive outlook. If only everyone could have just a little bit of that faith you have, we would have utopia! God bless you beautiful. Continue to inspire and live life with love and faith as you have already been doing so well.

  4. Sara, Ayumi, Noora, you ladies are too kind. Thank you for the heartening words!

  5. Carol, your writing was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Carol, I don’t think we’ve ever met but I’m a huge fan of PP’s blog and because of his blog, I wanted to go back to church and I always thank him for that. Saying that, if you are going to have your own blog one day, you got yourself a fan! I don’t understand you two… Where did you guys get your writing skills like this??? lol~

  7. Thanks, Lauren!

    Thanks, Seong!

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