Monday, April 25, 2005

My Reward from Heaven

MOTHER & SON...The author Monina Kaufmann (right) poses with son Nathaniel during a family trip to Canton Schwyz, Switzerland last winter. (January 2005)

By Monina Kaufmann, M.S.

In retrospect, I remember my college psychology teacher saying, "My psychology ends where my family begins." Her words made no impact on me up until I became a mother, too.

Parenting is no easy profession. Living abroad makes it even harder. Here in Zuerich, Switzerland (Swiss German/German speaking part), I enjoy neither a maid’s nor a nanny’s services (something that my friends in the Philippines have). Such were the overwhelming joys and struggles of motherhood that they even inspired me to compose a poem in German for my son Tanni -- an expression of my love for him on his dedication day when he was just eight months old. My little boy will soon turn four. How time flies!

As a non-working mother, I’m confronted with daily challenges that demand not only my energy, creativity and flexibility, but also an abundant supply of patience. Coping with parental stress -- and life’s problems in general -- can indeed be exhausting. I feel my energy and patience gradually dissipate.

This has not escaped my Italian teacher’s eyes (she was also my German course teacher; one of the friendly souls I met here in Switzerland).

"Sei stanca (Are you tired?)," she would ask me in Italian. My dwindling strength actually made me consider to quit my Italian course, but I soon dismissed the idea. Attending my weekly evening class is also a welcome respite from the daily household routine. Besides, being able to speak another language is always a plus factor, especially during travels abroad. I’m grateful to my husband for being such a supportive partner -- taking care of our son every time I hie off to the Italian tutorial session with my sister.

When I feel down and tired, nothing comforts and inspires me more than God’s words. I have found in the Bible a more profound meaning of my role as a parent -- something that goes beyond just providing my child with life’s basic necessities.

Parents are God's entrusted people who are responsible for bringing their children to Him (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). They are called to bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

I am blessed to have been part of our home church's two-session seminar billed "Erziehung aus Biblischer Sicht (Child-rearing from a Biblical View)." The inputs proved very helpful indeed! And it was a bonus to meet other Christian parents with whom I share the experience of going through the highs and lows of parenting.

Psalm 127:3 reads: "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him." I believe that children, as a reward from God, are precious and are, therefore, not only to be cherished but also to be disciplined with love.

More challenges await me as a mother, but I find solace in God’s promise that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). God’s purpose prevails (Proverbs 19:21) and He has a perfect plan -- not only for our lives, but also for our children.

CHEERS! Nathaniel "Tani" Kaufmann (left), son of Christian Cafe blog contributor Monina Kaufmann, plays with his first cousin Samuel during a Christmas family gathering. (Photo taken in December 2004)

(Note: A daughter of a Bacolod-based pastor, Monina Kaufmann has been living in Switzerland for six years now. Before migrating to Europe, she worked as a college instructor and psychology department head of the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City, Philippines. A regular attender of the Zurich-based Christian Center Buchegg, she is married to Dr. Stefan Kaufmann of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. They have one child, Nathaniel. W.W.C.D. welcomes testimonials from Christians who have a heart to profess God's goodness in their lives.)


Blogger Jayred said...

Thanks for this submission, Mons! Much appreciated. It was nice of you to share this story with us. May the W.W.C.D. blog readers be blessed as well. All the best and God bless!

9:20 AM  
Blogger Matapoor said...

Ilongga ka? Ano batch mo sa LaSalle. I have cousins there baka magkakilala kayo.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Monina K. said...

TO MATAPOOR: Yes, I am Ilongga. I belong to Batch '89. Thanks and God bless!

9:39 PM  
Blogger Matapoor said...

hi monina. my cousins last names are jover, saldajeno and canieso. ring any bells?

11:57 PM  
Anonymous monina k. said...

Hello Matapoor. I think I had a LIACOM student with the family name of Canieso - just can't recall her first name at the moment.

9:19 PM  

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