Eugene Cho

the courage to go for it

As an introvert and someone who has struggled with “shyness” for a good chunk of my life, I can’t tell you how proud I am of all of our kids.

Our kids are naturally timid and shy. At times, it’s difficult to see since it brings up memories of my personal struggles and confidence – particularly as I immigrated to this country at age 6 only equipped with three English words: Hello, Bye, and Thank-You (or “Sank you”).  I was even voted the “shyest person” in 6th grade.

But, I suppose this is all part of the process of “finding” oneself and maturation. While our kids are still young (13, 10, and 8), it’s been beautiful to see them emerge in courage and confidence.

I’m especially thankful that as they wrestle with identity and personality, they are finding the courage to:

  • Speak up and voice their opinions
  • Pursue their passions
  • Try new things and adventures

Speaking of trying new things, our son, Jedi  – our youngest child – came home recently to share that he had decided to run for School Council.

And with that, he launched “his campaign” by making his poster and prepared this speech below:

” I am running for a student council, because I’m in 3rd grade. I believe that 3rd grade is special because you are in the middle of elementary school.

My goal is to do new things in 3rd grade. So I am doing student council. And I want to help you with your needs. And I know you and me will change throughout the year. That is why you should vote for me.

And “May the force be with you!'”

And…he won. Got the most votes in his class but who’s counting.😉

  • Am I happy that he won? Of course.
  • Is he happy that he won? Of course.

But honestly, it’s not about the “victory.” It’s the fact that he wanted to try and went for it.

We all need that kind of courage.

 

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11 Responses

  1. Joey McGee says:

    This is awesome! Thanks for the encouragement and reminder!

  2. katey says:

    I ran our student store in third grade through student council. On my first day, I was so nervous I could barely give people the right change for their $.09 cent eraser tops and $.15 pencils. the force is definitely with your sweet Jedi.

  3. YJK says:

    Where IS that “love” button!!!🙂 Totally relate as someone who fights being an introvert to this day. May the force be fierce! Go Jedi! (Awesome name, btw).

  4. jddoug17 says:

    Love that Jedi stepped out of the circle that so easily constrains and contains us. Just wrote a blog along these lines today.

  5. Jason says:

    What a cool kid…love the poster…bonus for naming you child Jedi…my wife would never let me get away with it.

  6. Tony says:

    I can’t get over the fact that your wife let you name your son Jedi. My wife wouldn’t let me name mine John Calvin… I had to go with just Calvin.

  7. Angela says:

    Good work, Jedi! As Student Council Advisor that is the first “May the Force Be With You” Campaign I’ve heard of. Totally beats guaranteeing pop machines in the lunchroom (never gonna happen…)

  8. Irene (Eunhae) says:

    I’m also an introvert and shy person, and I am currently a freshman in college. It’s been hard trying to come out of my shell, but reading this has given me courage to be myself. Gam sa ham ni da! ^^

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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