One Night with My Niece

So last night, I went over to put Thea to bed (brother and sis-in-law had gone out for dinner and a movie).

7.20pm: Time to bring Thea home (from my place) for her bedtime. Went through her usual rituals – Hug and kiss ye ye(爷爷 ), nai nai (奶奶), and po dou (婆逗). She picked out one of my sandals for me to wear, managed to convince her to let me wear my slippers instead lol!

7.30pm: Finally out of the door.
me: Thea come, gu gu (姑姑) carry you down?
T: no.

me: Piggy back?
T: no.
(proceeds to hold my hand and walk down the stairs)
me: sigh this is going to take awhile..

7.45pm: We reach the foot of her block (they live in the block of flats next to mine). Realised I forgot to bring their house keys. darn.

8pm: Finally entered her house. She runs to let Candy (the dog) out of her cage. And then waits for me to pass her Candy’s food bowl, before running over to the Kibbles box. She scoops out 3 scoops of Kibbles, and very carefully carries the bowl over to Candy’s eating spot. Meanwhile, Candy is salivating..probably thinking why this little human is taking so long lol!

8.05pm: Made Thea’s milk and brought her to her room. Switched off the lights and switched on the air con. Laid next to her. Tried not to fall asleep.

8.15pm: She finished her milk. But she’s not asleep yet!

T: mooshic. mooshic! MOOSHIC!
Me: ???
Me: Oh! Music! Okay. 
(Climbs out of bed to switch on her music — so her baby monitor is quite ups lol, can play nursery rhymes..each cycle lasts about 15 minutes, I think)

8.16pm: Climbed back into bed. Just about to close my eyes when suddenly,

T: Pooh bear! Pooh bear!
Me: *mutters* oh god.
Me: Okok I go find! 
(searches the entire house, fails to find Pooh bear. Meanwhile, door to her bedroom is slowly swinging shut. She cries. I panic.)
Me: Thea, gugu can’t find Pooh bear! (sees a stuffed rabbit at the head of her bed) Can you hug rabbit instead?
T: No!
Me: *sigh* Okay, wait ah. I ask pa pa where’s Pooh bear okay?
(Finally locates Pooh bear)

8.30pm: The music stops.

T: mooshic!
Me: I’m on it!

8.40pm:

T: Hi Mi Ow. Hi Mi Ow!
Me: Whut?? (Thinks she’s just babbling nonsense, and so I ignore her)
T: Hi Mi Ow!!
Me: o.o
Me: omg is she talking to herself?? to someone?? is she saying Hi meow?! omg help!
T: Hi Mi Now!
Me: …………..
Me: OH OH! Hide Me Now? You want me to sing Hide Me Now?
Me: (proceeds to sing)
T: Again!
Me: (sings)
T: Again!
Me: (hums the song)
(At this point, her baby monitor music stops)
T: MOOSHIC! (I turn on the music again and crawls back into bed)
T: Hi Mi Ow!
Me: (hums) (thinks to myself: when does this stop??)

At some point, I fall asleep lol. I assume she fell asleep too shortly after.

10.30pm: I wake up. I need to pee. I very carefully climb out of bed, and try to open the room door quietly.

I failed. She stirs. I freeze.
T: Du du? (She calls me that because she can’t pronounce the ‘g’ sound)
Me: *turns around and walks over* Hi! Thea, can gu gu go to the toilet?
T: *thinks* okay.

10.35pm: I crawl back into bed.

Me: Okay come let’s go back to sleep
T: …
T: mooshic.
Me: *omg* 
(goes to switch it on)

Thankfully, this time she falls back asleep quite quickly.

 

 

Seven Steps to Strengthen Prayer

My struggles with prayer run deep. The spiritual deserts in my life have always been accompanied by a parched prayer life. Eventually, I came to realize this was not only a symptom, but a cause. I was neglecting the very thing that would satisfy my weary, thirsty soul. I was ignoring the path that would not only lead me out of the desert, but keep me out of the wilderness in the first place.

I often fall short of my good intentions when I fail to view prayer as a discipline that needs to be learned and practiced and developed. We speak frequently of the importance of prayer, but often don’t know (or forget) the “hows” of prayer. Even Jesus’s own disciples had to ask Jesus how to pray (Luke 11:1). They saw something in the way he prayed so fervently and intimately to his Father that made them long to do the same. Lord, teach us to pray!

While it won’t be the same for everyone, seven specific actions have really helped me in my battle against a weak prayer life.

Preparing to Pray

1. Set prayer apart. The more we pray, the more we want to pray. To do this, you need to build it into the rhythm of your day any way you can: set alarms, leave notes, put it in your day planner. Prayer is a practice that requires discipline and perseverance, and we should own the cost. Prayer is the greatest act of our day, and we must fight for it. And not just in times of need. It matters how we train and prepare for the battle.

2. Learn to withdraw. Pull away from distractions — the phone, the computer, the TV, the constant noise of modern life — and find a way to separate yourself so you can be and feel “shut in with God.” It can be a challenge when you work away from home for long hours or are sharing your house from dawn-to-dusk with a bunch of loud and energetic children, but make it a priority. Your car on lunch break, a quiet corner in the office, a closet in between meals or feedings or naptimes, or simply the quiet of your heart if that’s all you can muster. But find solitude, and pray (Luke 4:42; 5:16; 22:41).

3. Have a posture of prayer. Do what you need to help you focus on what it is that you’re doing. Kneel, stand, close your eyes, look to the heavens — when your body is focused, it’s often easier for your soul to follow. If able, pray out loud. I’ve found that just softly whispering during my private prayer time is quiet enough that it doesn’t inhibit the flow of my praying, but loud enough that it keeps my mind from wandering. As C.S. Lewis observes, “The body ought to pray as well as the soul. Body and soul are both better for it.”

Practicing Prayer

4. Pray Scripture. This is a great way to start. What joy it brings to a father to know his children hear his words, cherish them, believe them to be true, and then speak them back to him. So much of my prayers are “plagiarized” Scripture. Without even realizing it, they become the vocabulary of my prayers, sometimes because the beautiful promises make my heart sing, and sometimes because all I can do is desperately cling to his words.

5. Pray fervently. Praying should be active. We cannot truly come into contact with God and not be a different person, at least in some small degree, by the time we say, “Amen.” Struggle in prayer, wrestle with it, and let the Spirit move. Answers to prayer are a blessing, but prayer in and of itself is meant to be a blessing. Sometimes it feels like the moaning of parched lips in the desert, and we should still persevere because prayer is not just the fruit of spiritual life, but the means of attaining it.

6. Pray specifically. Vagueness can be the death of prayer. Not that we can never be general, just not at the expense of praising God’s specific attributes, confessing specific sins, or thanking him and asking him for specific things. We must learn to pray specifically and boldly due to the status we have through Christ, while simultaneously being completely submissive to God’s will. Bold and expectant faith coupled with humble submission is a powerful thing.

7. Pray for and with others. Prayer is meant to knit together the children of God, oftentimes, people we have never even met. We share a Father, we are family, and we should bear each other’s burdens in prayer. We become invested in each other’s struggles and triumphs. We start to care more about the people we pray for and less about ourselves. What a beautiful thing to come before our Father of one accord with the same appeals out of love and care for each other. Prayer binds the church together.

Prayers Like Arrows

Prayer is not a formula or something that only “works” if we do it perfectly, in just the right way. But it should never be careless. Careless prayers are like arrows that fall haphazardly at our feet. Prayers that we offer with little care or effort typically will do little after leaving our mouths (but be careful about underestimating God). On the other hand, when shot with strength and desire and fervor, our prayers fly swiftly toward heaven to the throne of God himself (Revelation 8:4):


It is not the arithmetic of our prayers — how many they be;
nor the rhetoric of our prayers — how eloquent they be;
nor their geometry — how long they be;
nor their music — how sweet their voice may be;
nor their logic — how argumentative they be;
nor yet their method — how orderly they be;
nor even their divinity — how good their doctrine may be, which God cares for:
but it is the fervency of spirit which availeth much.
(Bishop Joseph Hall, 1808)


God loves to make his people into skilled archers in the discipline of prayer, with prayers like arrows — fervent and strong ones that change lives, bring healing, impact our nations, alter history, unite the church, and above all display God’s glory.

source: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/seven-steps-to-strengthen-prayer

Goodbye 2016. Hello 2017.

2016 really seemed like it passed by in a flash! Where did the year go lol. But honestly, looking back, I think 2016 has been a rather good year. I:

  1. Started full time work in Habitat for Humanity Singapore. This is probably the highlight of my 2016. My first full time job! And I think I’m really really fortunate and blessed to be doing something I enjoy and also to have such awesome coworkers! And come February, I’ll have worked here for a whole year! Crazy lol. It really feels like I only just started work yesterday.
  2. Taught in Sunday School. Honestly still terrified of teaching hahaha. Am always afraid that I’d say/teach the wrong thing, or that my lessons won’t be interesting enough for the kids. But I’m so thankful for encouraging co-teachers, and that though some of the kids may be quite a handful, they’re honestly all really sweet and fun kids to be with! Thankful for the opportunity to teach them!
  3. Walked alongside 2 new-ish girls in Youth. It was really quite challenging at times because of my (and their) introvertedness. Also, same as above, afraid of saying/teaching the wrong thing to them. My prayer is that I’ll be able to break down walls (both mine and theirs) and walk closer with them 🙂
  4. Went on multiple holidays with family and friends! There was Hong Kong with the Melbourne gang in January, Hainan homecoming (homegoing? LOL) in March with the family, My first house building (Batam Build) project in June, Malaysia with the parents in September, Australia with the cousins in November, Church camp in Malaysia in December, and a final Malaysian getaway with the parents and godparents to end 2016! That’s like a holiday every 2-3 months hahaha! No wonder my leave ran out so fast!
  5. Decided I needed to keep fit and exercise, so I started going to the gym to work out! Though every single time I go I wonder why I’m torturing myself like that LOL! But I’m thankful for a good trainer who always encourages me and never lets me give up!
  6. Also decided to start learning the Guzheng again after 8 years! Took my grade 5 exam in December (while feeling super unprepared!) and passed with Merit LOL. That was a nice surprise because apparently the examiner was super strict, and I really thought I’d fail lol.

Yup that about sums up my 2016. There were many other things too of course. I feel like I’ve done so much is this past year and I’m so grateful to be able to do so!

So, goodbye 2016. And hello 2017.

Please continue to be good to me 🙂

It’s been 6 months!

Oh wow time has really flown by this year…In the blink of an eye, I’ve already been working for 6 months! There’s really so much to give thanks to God for.

It is really amazing to see how He has sustained me and helped me all this time at work. Couple of examples:

  1. Times where it seemed like my cleaning session was going to be a mess, but things turned out well in the end.
  2. The time when I had high rate of volunteer and Champions (our regular volunteers) drop out, but everything kinda worked out in the end because there was also a homeowner who pulled out of the session last minute.
  3. The other time that there was a homeowner drop out last minute on cleaning day (just last week actually, lol), and we randomly met a Lions Befriender at the void deck, and he was able to help us approach 2 seniors on his list, and they were willing to let us go in and help clean their houses even though it was so last minute!
  4. Good work colleagues!!!!! Still think it’s really amazing how there is like no politics in our office! It’s most probably because everyone has the same goal in mind – to put God’s love into action, by bringing people together to build (or in our case, clean) homes, communities and hope.

Also, one thing that I really liked about starting work was, having time (and more importantly, money LOL!) to pursue interests and things that I never had the time to do before! I’ve managed to take up Guzheng lessons again (It’s been 8 long years since I’ve touched it in Secondary school), and I’ve also started gymming more regularly (trying to keep fit heh!) The downside, I guess, is that with all this extra money, I’ve also been online shopping a lot :/ bad habit that I really need to curb..

The other downside, and the far more important one, is that after starting all these activities, I’ve not been spending too much time with God, and it’s something I really really want to work on! Going to start setting aside time everyday to do my QT, read the word, and talk to God. Hoping to start reading more christian lit too..have bought so many books from Logos Hope, but it’s all just sitting on my shelf lol.

Father, I thank You for sustaining me all this time, and for helping me so much even though I’m so unworthy. Give me the discipline to set aside (and follow) time every day to spend with You, and grant me the desire to want to know You more and more.

Lord, Prepare Me To Be A Godly Wife

Father,

You know this road isn’t easy for me. You know my heart’s desire; to love and be loved. You’ve seen where I’ve come from in life, and you see where I’m going but in this moment, waiting on you is just so hard.

I’m surrounded by a culture pushing me into ideas and ways that I know don’t align up with your will for me. My heart tries to pursue, yet you tell me to wait.

I am your cherished daughter, and I know the plans you have for me are great. But I pray right now, in this moment you fill me with your peace.

Help me to become fully satisfied in you, before you bring my Boaz to me. Help me to trust the process of becoming the woman you desire for me to be.

You see my heart’s full potential. You know that when I love, I love deeply and when I fall, I fall hard.

Father save my heart for the man you have set aside for me. Prepare me to be the kind of wife he needs me to be.


I want to be a wife after your own heart.


I choose to fully chase after you, God. When you bring along the man I am meant to marry I will not stop chasing you. We will chase after you together. We will be each other’s helpmate.

We will love each other purely and deeply, but we will love you the most. We will constantly strive to keep you at the center of our lives and marriage, for I know you are the glue that will hold us together.

When my Boaz comes along I will not forget my first love. I will not forget the one who loved me first, and loved me enough to give me a godly man who will love, cherish, and treasure the woman that I am.

While I am here waiting on you, I will choose to serve. I will choose to chase after your heart. I will choose to embrace all that you have called me to be. Wherever you go, I’ll go. Wherever you stay, I will stay.

I will leave the world behind to chase after the God of my heart. I will trust in you, even when the road seems hard and I feel like I can’t take another step.

I will let you mold me into the wife you have called me to be. I will love, cherish, honor, and treasure my future spouse. I will rely on the covenant of marriage and your strength to bring me through when my emotions try to lead me astray.

I thank you for all that you are, and all that you are preparing me to be. I thank you that I can trust you with every single detail of my life, that everything that matters to me matters to you.

I know that in your perfect timing, when you see fit, you will bring us both together to love and serve you. Thank you for loving me.

~Your treasured daughter

source: https://www.waitingforyourboaz.com/godlywife/

Memories

It’s 4am and I should be asleep.After all, I have to be awake in 2 hours to catch a flight.
But I can’t seem to fall asleep no matter how hard I try.
Maybe it’s the coffee that I stupidly drank after dinner.
Or maybe, it’s because I’ll be returning to Hong Kong tomorrow, the place where the best 3 months of my life started. I honestly thought I was over it. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and I was honestly sad to leave though I did not show it.
I thought I was okay with goodbyes. But now I realise, I’m really not. All I’m good at is burying those feelings of sadness deep inside me, pretending I’m okay, when I’m really not.
I have mixed feelings about this trip. I’m excited to be making new memories with the friends I’ll be holidaying with, and yet I feel somehow sad, that when I go back to the harbour, I know I won’t see the ship that I once called home docked there, waiting for me to board.

I’m sorry my thoughts are all over the place. Maybe it’s really just the coffee.

2015 Reflections and Thanksgiving

This post is long overdue lol. Have been meaning to write this since 2 weeks ago, but was never able to get started.

Anyway, I was looking back at this past year, and I realised, that I’ve done so incredibly little, and yet I’ve done so much too. You see, in actuality, I’ve only done 2 things last year, the internship in church, and the mission trip on Logos Hope. And yet, these 2 things have given me so much experience, more than I’ve asked for, and they have also step by step led me to where I am today.

So I graduated in December 2014, and had no idea what I wanted to do, apart from the fact that I knew I did not want to do anything that was related to my degree in Mass Communication. Not that I didn’t like the work. I love it. But I also decided that I wanted a job with a better work-life balance, and not having to go for entire weeks working from 7am to 12am or later doing production work and not seeing my family. I really really love the job as I mentioned in a previous post. But it was just not something I could envision myself doing for a long time.

Thus, in 2015, I decided I was going to go into Social Work. Somehow between then and now, I got the opportunity to go on Logos Hope for a 3-month short term programme. However, since my trip on Logos Hope was only happening in August, that meant I had almost half a year to spare. And so after talking to my youth pastor, I decided to join the church as an intern for 3 months starting in March. It was a really wonderful experience as I got to see the inner workings of a church, and got exposed to different ministries as well. Through this, I got to help prepare for the church camp, and also got to join the Children’s Ministry as a helper (and this year, I’ve also taken on the role of teaching in CM), among other things. We did weekly devotions every Tuesday morning, and it was nice to hear from the team about things they had learnt or discovered as they read the Word of God.

In August, I embarked on my first ever (and longest too) mission trip on Logos Hope. I had no idea what to expect, but I had the time of my life there. It was really great to be able to minister to people, simply talking and being there for them. I was also able to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone. I performed and connected with the visitors in Taiwan, went on a prayer walk in Penang, and visited an orphanage and a home church in Myanmar. And in between all this, I got to work with the most amazing team onboard the bookfair. Sure there were time where I felt useless and had no idea what I was doing there or what my purpose was. But times like these, I can only remember that God had sent me there for a purpose, I may not know, but God knows, and that is all that matters.

When I came back in October, I was in sort of a limbo period. Not knowing what comes next, all I could do was rest and start applying for jobs. Though, honestly, I did a lot more resting than applying! I think I applied for a total of 10 jobs in a period of 3 months! Hah. But anyway, after 3 interviews at different places, I’m glad to say that I was finally offered a job. And a huge plus was that this was the position that i liked the most and was most hopeful and excited about.

Looking back, I can honestly say that, everything that has happened to me so far, was really by the grace of God. God led me to Logos Hope, led me to work in my church office, and these 2 have, I believe, ultimately led me to this organisation that I will be working for. How do I know and believe that? I actually applied for this position back in July, but had not received any reply then. I only got the interview and offer after updating my resume when I came back, and these 2 experiences were of interest to my interviewer as she kept asking me about them. (It’s a Christian organisation too!). Therefore I can honestly say that I can see God’s hand in my life and He has been really good to me. There were times that I felt so completely far away from Him, that I’d thought He’d abandoned me. But no. This really reminds me of poem “Footprints in the Sand”

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

– by Mary Stevenson

PS. on a lighter note, I think it’s really annoying but funny that, when I had so much time (before I found a job), I was bored but could not find a decent drama to watch or rewatch. But now that I will be starting work soon (in a week’s time), I suddenly have so many dramas that I want to watch, both old and new lol. 8 of them, at last count. Sigh

PPS. Am really annoyed that I can’t find all my fav winter stuff and my country road bag. Meh. Bag and clothes, where art thou?