Welcome to the another chance to sit down with a cuppa and just listen in to my conversation with another amazing mother and blogger. If you missed the first two then do catch them here – Naomi and Ruth (and no that wasn’t planned to fit in the with bible story!).
It’s really nice to meet you – please introduce yourself to us all!
Hi, I’m Joanna Chee (married to a Chinese Malaysian, hence the surname), and I’m 45 years old.
Where do you live and what do you like/loathe about it?
I’m from England, but have lived in Istanbul, Turkey, for the last seven years. Istanbul is an amazing city, spanning Europe and Asia. We frequently travel between continents to go to work or see friends!
Things I love about being here:
living close to the Black Sea (and practically next door to IKEA), the many new friends I’ve made, and strawberries that cost less than £1/kg.
What’s not so fun:
living in a city of 20 million in dense apartment blocks, crazy traffic, still feeling like a foreigner and getting my Turkish all mixed up.
We move back to UK in four weeks time, probably to Berkshire. We don’t know where we will be living yet. Prayer appreciated!
How many kids do you have?
I have four lovely kids, three boys ages 17, 16 and 13, and a girl age 11. Having a daughter last was a lovely surprise. We hang out a lot together (while her brothers are lost online). She loves to dress me up, and do my hair and nails. I just relax and enjoy!
What is the best thing about motherhood for you?
Sharing my life with 4 unique and special gifts from God. Lots of laughter, fun, and hugs.
And what is the worst thing?!
The physical exhaustion of having four kids close in age was tough when they were little. Now that they’re older, it’s more emotionally tiring. The hardest thing was trying to help my son through a season of depression, and seeing him lose the will to live. I wrote about it in this post: I Can’t Carry My Children Anymore: All About Coming to an End of Myself, Letting Go, and Letting God. Very thankfully, God has broken through in his life, and he is in a much happier place. But that was really tough…for him, and for us as his parents.
How do you try to help your children connect with God and the bible?
We are very relaxed Christian parents (for good or for bad). I think we’ve modeled our Christian walk more than taught it. Our kids have seen God provide for us in miraculous ways, have experienced our heart for the lost, and have joined us in ministering overseas. We encouraged each of them to invite Jesus into their lives when they were young, which, praise God, they did. I share about that in my post Your Little Children Can Come to Jesus. When our kids were little we read Bible stories together, had fun acting them out, and loved crazy dancing worship times. We don’t do this anymore. Teen embarrassment! We now have to let go, and let our kids make their own decisions. We don’t press them to read their Bibles or pray, we have given the older ones the choice of whether to come to church or not. As teens, they need to find their own way, and make their faith their own. There have been times they haven’t come to church, and we’ve had seasons of crying out to God for them. But, just this last year, it has been wonderful to see God really moving in their lives, and them each desiring Jesus for themselves.
What is your “mission-field” at the moment?
We are in between fields! We’ve been involved in a church plant in Turkey. It’s been exciting to see locals come to know Jesus, often through dreams and visions. I’ve particularly had a heart to come alongside other international women here, who are often very lonely. In a few weeks we will be entering a new community in UK! We will see how God leads. It is always our heart to make friendships as a family, and share and pray with others as opportunity arises.
What causes or activities are you particularly passionate about and why?
I don’t have any causes as such that I support. But my passion is to see women set free into knowing how precious they are to their Heavenly Father, and coming into all that God has for them. I’ve recently experienced the love of Father God in a new and amazing way. I’m writing a book about it, from the perspective of Eve and the love relationship between her and Father God. I’ll be excited to let you know when it’s published.
Where do you blog and what do you blog about?
I blog at Mums Kids Jesus. It’s my heart to encourage and inspire mums, practically and spiritually. I’ve also written two free resources to help build family and marriage: The Cultivate Love Challenge: 50+ Ideas and Resources to Help Your Family Grow in Love and Enjoy 7 Days of Praying for Your Husband.
Thanks so much for having a cuppa with me!
Thanks for inviting me! And, you know what? I don’t usually drink tea…but a virtual cuppa sure tastes good! J
Make sure you pop back next Friday for another cuppa with installment. x