Eugene Cho

“You are part of an imperfect family with imperfect parents…and where the foundation is God’s grace.”

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Dear Son: Happy Birthday to you, J!

Today, you turn the big ten. 10 years old! Double digits. Goodness gracious.

Mom and Dad love you so much. It’s difficult and perhaps impossible to fully articulate the depths of our love for you and your sisters.  We are so blessed to be your parents and I am so proud and blessed to your father. I am so proud of who you are and who you are growing to be. While I am proud of your accomplishments and how you seek to honor your parents, I am simply proud of you: The person that you are and not just what you do. Your love for God and your desire to serve Him with your life – even at such a young age –  brings so much joy. Your sisters love you. Your grandparents love you. And of course, God loves you. His love for you is vast and deep.

My hope is that through our love for you, we can give you a glimpse of God’s love for you.

Yet, you are part of an imperfect family with imperfect parents – including and especially your father. You know this very well. You’ve seen me be impatient, not be fully present, lose my temper, be moody, and the list goes on. You’ve seen me at my best and seen glimpses of my worst. In other words, you’ve seen be get angry and scream at you  for nothing you’ve done, fiddle with my smartphone while I’m talking with you, forget things and details you’ve shared with me, and sometimes, even forget my promises. You also are not perfect but I don’t have to list them here…because…well…it’s your birthday.🙂 What I want you to know – and to know deeply and clearly – is  that despite our imperfections and selfishness, we are a family where:

We say “I’m sorry”.
We ask for forgiveness and forgive.
We reconcile and harbor no record of wrongs.
We shower each other with love and affection.
We laugh, play, and pray.
We cheer each other on.
We love one another with words and affections.
We believe and trust in God.

As clear as it is that you are in an imperfect family, it is as clear that you are in a family where God’s grace is our cornerstone and foundation.

Don’t worry…We have a nice gift for you but this – a home where God is honored, pursued, and glorified – is our ongoing gift for you (and your sisters) and we pray that you will commit this gift to your wife and children some day.

You are truly blessed because so many have poured into your life and will continue to do so. Because you have been blessed, may you learn and be compelled to live a life of blessing to God and to the nations.

I love you.

~ Dad

PS: Remember this? One of my favorite games with you. I’m sorry I choked you.

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4 Responses

  1. Steph Chang says:

    Happy Birthday J! I just love that picture… God’s blessings as you raise these beautiful children. We love your family!

  2. Penny H. says:

    Ten is one of my favorites. Happy 10.

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One Day’s Wages

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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. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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