Thursday, February 12, 2015

Five For 2015

For a long time, I've been planning, deliberating, procrastinating and the process repeated itself over and over again till I felt suffocated emotionally and physically.

What am I talking about? I've made a decision to stick to the one word focus in my spiritual walk this year but have still been wishy washy about the changes I desperately need to make in my practical life.
So when my good friend, Rachel, started this blog train - 15/5 Things I Will Do Differently in 2015, I knew it is now or never to just hit the road and work out the changes!
Offering grace and patience towards my children have been something I've struggled with for many years now. Looking in retrospect, I've spent far too much time reprimanding them vs laughing with them. 
It will be for me a time henceforth to quit sweating over the small stuff and to enjoy my children's company, relish the days and not let it slip by in regret. 

Too many books are sitting on the bookshelf collecting dust from months and even years of neglect. Yes, I am guilty as charged in being completely drawn away by the alluring social media and world wide web.
I've started to pick up a book that I now have been glued to. My all time favourite author Sally Clarkson, blessing me with loads of inspirations on how to be a better mom!

Being a chronic hoarder - yes I hoard everything, from kitchen towels, to stationeries, to craft items, to detergent, hand soap, electrical appliances, bake wares, cooking ingredients, books, to even tissue paper..... the list never ends... 

I want to be a better stewart of the gifts and blessings God has given me. I've made a promise to myself to buy need basis and not base on wants. 

Still in the middle of giving away more of items that I've hoarded yet have no use of, but am progressing!

When one steps into my home, it's not difficult to realise that I manage the home clutter in stacks of organised mess! And YES it has to change! 

It feels wonderfully good when some major areas in my home has FINALLY been organised and has been cleared of clutter! I am especially proud of my kitchen counter, refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, laundry room (aka Service Balcony), bookshelves in my study, the reorganisation process was really fun and most satisfying! 

The key I have learned was to put everything back to its proper place right after use that way I wouldn't accumulate clutter.

There's still much work to be done reorganising and organise my home, I know I am progressing!

There is going to be more homecooked meals from this year on. I am (and even my children are) sick and tired of takeaway meals. 
I used to cook only dinner for my family, I have however, decided to prepare a few days worth of lunches over each week, working to make time for it.

Read about the positive changes 33 other moms from Singapore Mom Bloggers have and are going to share on their blogs and be inspired!

Next on the "15/5 Things I Will Do Differently in 2015" Blog Train will be Rachael of Growing Up with JahBella. Rachael is a full-time working mum with 2 kids (Jah - going on 4 and Bella going on 2). As a couple. Rachael and her husband have ticked quite a number of boxes when it comes to dating and marriage challenges, think a 3 year long distance relationship and an inter-racial marriage and wedding to boot. But no one quite prepared them for the roller-coaster ride, in the form of two super funny, super opinionated, super energetic, and definitely super opposites little versions of themselves! Rachael blogs about her parenting journey, family travels/experiences and her hilarious conversations with Jah and Bella. Read about the 15 things that JahBella's mummy will be doing differently in 2015 on her blog tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Deaf Becomes Me - Not

The ability to hear has always been something so natural, so unnoticeable, something that I take for granted always until one morning, 3 months ago, I woke up with a heavy pressure on my right ear. All I hear on my right ear is a high pitched ringing sound and muffled sounds from the environment.

The pressure was much like how we feel when take a flight while ascending/descending, and the muffled sounds from the environment sounded like when we are under water.
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The first 2 days of the experience was scary. I thought I was about to lose my hearing - forever! I insisted on seeing the doctor immediately; the doctor did a very swift check and told me it was the ear wax that had blocked the passage, he assured me it would take about a week or less for me to recover after I've applied the ear drops for dissolving ear wax.
One week gone by, no signs of healing, pressure on the ear came and went after a few days. I saw at least 4 GPs (General Practitioners) for this ear problem over a span of 4 weeks. One said it could be a viral infection of the inner ear, the next said it was Vertigo/Tinnitus. None could give me a proper diagnosis and suggest a cure.

Finally one GP, according to my description of the problem, told me, it could be Meniere's disease, which upon research, sounded more like a right diagnosis for my problem. To my great dismay though, there's no cure for Meniere's disease!!!

Nonetheless, I went to an ENT specialist finally. After a nose & ear scope and hearing test, a few medications prescribed, and after spending $500 the problem still persisted. It got even worse on some days. This was the time, I knew I could only turn to God, my heavenly Father, the master healer!

And to my great comfort, I woke up one morning while turning to my devotion, God showed me His message to my cries.

For a whole 3 months, the ear pressure problem bothered me almost every other day, some weeks even at least 5 days a week. It was so bad that it was affecting my mood and I felt overwhelmed all the time by the demands of the day while managing the ailment. That's when I realize how much I needed God's strength to see me through the hard times. I am grateful for His blessing of a great group of ladies whom I can constantly rely on for prayer needs and support. This episode has also taught me to remain faithful and trust only in Him (my Heavenly Father) because what men cannot do, He can!

Incidentally, it was also during this period, I chanced upon this quote.
There's no coincidence in all these subtle messages that I get along the way of my hearing problem. It was an admonishment by God that it was time to heed His Word, and stick to my one word commitment - ie. Obedience!

The last review I had at the ENT specialist, it was discovered that some dead skin was crowding around my right ear drum and the doctor had it removed just a week ago, but the ear pressure continued on for a few more days. 

Within this period, I prayed, listened to & sang worship songs regarding healing and have felt God's loving grace upon me. He is good, since 4 days ago to date (still counting), I've experienced pressure-free on my right ear and I wake up unable to thank God enough for His mercies and grace!

If you are also facing sicknesses or have anyone you know who is sick, do read more about the ministry that my dear friend Rachel and I are in. We'd be happy to hear from you and help pray for the people that matter to you. Here's the link to read more about how our ministry works.

Monday, January 12, 2015

One Word - 365 Days

A brand new year has begun, I know, it's already been 2 weeks into year 2015. I didn't want to make any resolutions, nope! Not for me. For ermm... I cannot even remember when, I've stopped making resolutions that I cannot even keep nor remember after a few weeks into a brand new year.

Not so long ago, Danessa, one of the ladies in our Titus 2 ladies' fellowship group suggested to the group of us to take on a challenge for the brand new year by seeking the Lord for ONE WORD to focus on everyday, for the entire year of 2015. One word that sums up how I want to live. The one word will become the compass to direct my decisions and guide my steps.

For about 2 years now, the one word that kept on surfacing in my spirit every time I do my personal devotion, speak to a fellow christian mom during our regular meet ups and even through the kids' devotion materials, I heard God clearly! The one word is -
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Something I struggled with a whole lot and even more! Which explains why, this word just kept on pricking my conscience and heart for a good 2 years (yes, I am THAT stubborn!).
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It's always easier when I do things my way, at my preferred time, when it's the most convenient to me. Unfortunately, that's not how it should be in my christian walk. To add onto the emphasis, God sent this message to me via a dear sister-in-Christ just today (it's definitely no coincidence!)
"Old habits are hard to break, new ones are harder to learn, and sometimes we don't want to do either... God is faithful and will continue to teach us new ways, His ways..."
I know there's no way for me to turn away from my submission to God's call to be obedient. While it's not going to be easy, but I am taking baby steps towards obeying Him. One wise friend said and I quote "it's better to progress than to seek for perfection..." (not her exact words but that's the gist).
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Just what is it to obey God? Obeying Him is to take actions of what He's commanded us or when He springs us a surprise on an "assignment"eg. being a mom and taking on all the mom-sy responsibilities and submitting to our husbands even when we don't agree fully, we are to then do it with joy and not complain, even when it's inconvenient, not what we have planned for or not something we enjoy doing. Obedience is...
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It's no surprise that after 2 weeks of Year 2015, I am still struggling but with prayer and perseverance I will count my steps towards being obedient to my Heavenly Father effortlessly.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

[Book Review & Giveaway] Believe, Belong, Become

I was recently given a few books written by the life warrior without arms and legs, Mr Nick Vujicic. He's an inspiration! In spite of his physical limitations, he's lived a life demonstrating what our limitless heavenly Father can do through him.

Today, I will share my thoughts about his new book that's targeted at children, "Believe, Belong, Become". In this latest edition of the "Give Me a Hug" series involves 8 lessons where Nick engages his reader in a spiritual conversation; he describes how he went from feeling weak as a young child to starting to gain strength through God at the age of fifteen.
As I turned the pages of this book (even though it was meant for children), I wished I had read this book when I was still a student. I could certainly use his encouragement to live a life with purpose and the will power to pursue my dreams. I could identify with Nick in his story during his growing up years, the experience of labeled as different, not able to blend in, being teased and bullied.
In this book, Believe, Belong, Become, Nick Vujicic, offered practical advice for realizing a life of happiness and sense of purpose by waiting upon the Lord as he persist and trust God for the journey. He encouraged the reader by showing how he learned to accept what he could not control and focus instead on what he could. All these could only be done because of his faith in God who's been his central source of strength.
It was great that I could sit with my children to do read this book aloud with them. The opportunity to share and discuss with them the life lessons Nick has gone through was immeasurable. They have learned with perseverance and faith, they will be able to pursue and fulfil their dreams. Growing up can be a scary process especially when one don't feel the acceptance and sense of belonging, I am thankful for the sharing by Nick through this book which I could use to guide my children as they face similar challenges in school or even life in general for the examples illustrated in the book was rather easy for the kids to identify with.
"You must learn to wait. In the process, you will encounter difficulties, restlessness, doubts, fear, etc. People who are determined can feel the strength from God and move forward bravely like eagles flying against the wind. Those who lack confidence blame and complain; their weakness is the cause of their failure to spread their wings. Please don't rush, remember while you wait, do your best and God will do the rest. God will surely reward those who are willing to wait for Him with strength, peace, happiness, and the salvation of eternal life." ~ Nick Vujicic, Believe, Belong, Become
GIVEAWAY: There are 3 copies of the book, Believe, Belong, Become to be given away. All you need to do is to fill up the Rafflecopter form below and follow the instructions stated there accordingly. All the best!!!
*Contest is open to all Singapore residents

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: I was gifted the books by the distributor for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Not for Likes, Nor for Shares

It's been a while since I minimize my sharing actively and loiter less around the social media. For those who are among my Facebook circle, you would have noticed I am much quieter on that platform now. I have even volunteered to step down from Munch Ministry, a little baby I've worked long and hard for in the past few years.

All these decisions and actions was birthed when I started a 40-day Love Singapore concert prayer throughout July till Singapore's National Day. Praying for the nation, for the people and for our families was what I've committed to do on this 40-day prayer journey (something which I've never consistently done, but I did this year). During this 40-day journey I've been jolted out of my comfort zone to take a long, serious and hard look at my life as a christian the past few years.
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Like what my dear friend, Rachel has shared in her recent blog post (click on link to read), I've fallen into the social media trap. I eat, live, breathe, being active on the social media. Trying to get ahead - to look out for increased number of likes/shares of my posts, working long and hard all day so that I can look successful. I try to say the right thing, share the right ideas, have the right "stuff", have the right social status, rub elbows with the right people, all in an effort to pass society's popularity contest and win its approval. This is indeed a result of placing all the priorities at the wrong place with a wrong motive. It's just a means to win love and acceptance from the outside world.

I was reminded by God that I am His child and I am loved by Him. He is well pleased with me. It's not based on my performance. It's based on my relationship with Him through Jesus, so I have to stop striving to establish my identity and prove my worth. Gaining acceptance, more likes and followers was never His plans for me and it shouldn't be a scoreboard others grade me that I should base my worth on.
Henri Nouwen rightly puts it - "life, service, worship, everything flows from God's affirmation of us at the deepest centre of our being. But when we try to establish our identity on something other than relationship with God, the consequences are devastating."
This calls to mind of a song I've sang as a christian for so many years, and the truth in the lyrics only recently dawn on me that when I turn my eyes upon Jesus, everything else in this world (the world's way of seeking self-worth, gaining riches and being influential) just grows strangely dim (ie. not of any great importance anymore).

With a more deliberate decision to stay away from social media and to be in a position walking closer and waiting upon the Lord, my dear friend, Rachel and I have started a prayer ministry. We avail ourselves to pray for anyone who has a prayer need, so please feel free to drop me a PM in Facebook or email. You don't have to be a christian, you just have to share your need for prayer, and we will gladly pray for you.
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We are open to any christian friends who wish to join us as part of our Intercessory Prayer group. Our prayer meetings will be weekly on either Wednesdays or Thursdays from 10am - 12pm, in various locations of Thomson/Bishan/Toa Payoh/Upper Bukit Timah.