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In a moment of doubt,
or confusion, or despair.

Pause.
Be still.
And listen to your heartbeat.

Listen to its strings
humming, stirring
Those stretches of muscles
Handmade,
with love

Listen to its rhythm
living, kicking
Echoing against your eardrums
Handmade,
with love

In that moment
It is His, too,
living, kicking,
echoing against your eardrums

Listen to His heartbeat
Listen to His engulfing love
softly, yet steadfastly ringing
unfailingly caring

Listen to His heartbeat
echoing against your eardrums
And be still.

I’m losing it.

My mind, most of all. But if I must list everything, it’ll start with passion. For whatever I’m doing at the moment.

And it’s so ungrateful of me.

I’m waking up groggy and sleepy most mornings, with a little bit of excitement in my belly for a new day, which will turn into something that resembles having a brick stuck in my throat as the sun rises.

And Pippa… oh, Pippa. She’s turning 5 months this Sunday. People said if you want to know how it feels to have a child, start with a puppy. It sure does feel like it.

An organised chaos. (one of my favourite oxymorons).
A suffocating sweetness of a demanding, gentle soul.
A neurotic, irresistible little spark of madness.
A breath of fresh, milky air.

A dog. A puppy. A child in essence.

It’s mind-blowing how she sucks time and energy out of both of us. And it makes me feel so guilty inside. It’s like I don’t want to give myself to anything else but my own need. That’s why we bought a dog for. Mostly for me, so I can learn to carve that selfishness out of my flesh. And to learn to thread through the challenges with A, who most of the times has different views on how to handle things. It’s a big, real, eye-opener test for me.

I even stop being excited about church. I opened myself to God only in mornings and afternoons, and occasionally called on to His sweet name when I felt like I was about to losing it, and needed to remind myself to hold on to the Solid Rock. And to be grateful.

Not a third-world problem, I realized that. But still, sometimes it’s just so.. crippling.

I saw a screen of mist suspended above some fields on the way in to work; that’s when I know my favourite season is arriving. And I really hope it’s going to help me overcome this  wave of helplessness.

Now that I wrote all of this, and re-read them, I know what I’m lacking.
I’m desperate for a time for myself.

A day-off. I need a day-off.
To be suspended in the air like a pool of mist; just me.

 

 

 

Really? It’s only been 3 weeks?

Goodness me, I thought it’s been 3 months already.

Time flies when.. uh, wrong quote.

“Time stands still when you’re having it rough”
*cue crying/laughing hysterically emoticon*

I don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into. Or why, really. Oh, I know why.

I want something else to cuddle. As if my husband is not cuddly enough.

Having. a. puppy. is. hard. work.

She’s super cute, and has been growing really fast, too. She weighs in 3.7kg last night when we went to the Vet to get her ears checked. We found out she’s had an ear infection when we brought her in the first time, and has been on Dermotic ear treatment for 10 days. It’s pretty much cleared up, which is good news.

Now comes the hard part. It’s called ‘discipline’.

*insert crying/cross-eyed emoticons here*

So. We bought a puppy.
*cue nervous squeals*

We’d been looking at The Trading Post for some puppies for months. And as much as it had made me nervous, I couldn’t help myself but kept scrolling through those pages and photos. And wondered; what it felt like to have one of them.

And which one of them that I would go for.

And based on price and location, we decided to check out this home breeder in Melton. She bred first generation Cavoodle; which is a cross mix of Cavalier King Charles and Toy Poodle. We looked it up on Google and Pinterest, and we were quite happy with their temperament, characters and their look when they’re older. Puppies will always look cute, we just want to make sure that the look goes on as they get older haha.

We drove there on Sunday, 7 February 2016, on Chinese New Year’s Eve, and it was also Sophie’s (Nin&Stan) 4th birthday. We didn’t realize how far Melton was. It was like a full-on industrial road trip to the West. At least for me. Maybe because I was so nervous my senses were running wild.

When we arrived at the place, we saw three people walked out of the house, and one of the girls was holding a cream, fluffy puppy. My heart sank a bit; both because of the fact that I might be missing out, and also because I might be going home with one of those fluffy fury ball.

The lady (Laura) had four puppies left; three girls and one boy. The boy was apricot and round, the girls were blenheim (white and red spots). I stood there unsure of what I was supposed to do, Andrew dunk in amongst the jumping puppies straight away. You could guess who’s the animal person here. After a while, two of the girls seem to be interested in us. One straight-haired girl (more Cavalier) sat next to me and started licking my hand; another curly-haired girl (more Poodle) showed her tummy to Andrew as an invitation to rub her. So that narrowed it down. Laura said amongst the four, the cutest was the one who were friendly with Andrew. She has a more round teddy-bear face, and her curly hair will help the look, too. AND she was quite popular. During our time there, there were about 5 phone calls asking for her.

It took a while before I made a decision. We went for the straight-haired girl, because she was gentle and she seemed to like me. Andrew actually let me decide. He didn’t say a word about his preference, which was a bit nerve-wracking. But I was sort of glad he did, because I was the one who had to be very sure about this. He’d been wanting a dog since he was a kid so he wouldn’t have mind either way. As I was sitting down, filling in the new owner’s forms, I looked up and saw the curly-haired girl sitting on her hind legs, looking at me with her round eyes. And she looked so perfect. I actually said it out loud.

Laura replied, “It’s up to you. All I’m saying is: you can choose your puppy, not your child”.

And that’s how we ended up going home with Pippa.

She was quiet and a bit scared on the way home, and I had this tightness in my chest as I tried to make her comfortable on my lap and hoped she wouldn’t pee on me.

Omaigodiamactuallybuyingadog.

Why ‘Pippa’, you may ask?

Well, I like that name, first of all, ever since Kate Middleton’s wedding and we heard about her gorgeous sister. But I wouldn’t name my daughter that, so this is a perfect chance for it. Also, it rhymes with puppy/peepee/poopoo haha!

So here’s to a totally new adventure. Bring it on, 2016.

 

 

 

impulse.

a sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling.

i. have. an. impulse. to. buy. a. puppy.

There.

Remember when I said when I’m too scared/nervous at something, I tend to not see it in writing? Because seeing it will make it real?

So yeah, there you go. I can’t believe I am actually thinking of buying a dog. A freakin’ dog. The one little thing that my Dad prohibited when we grew up. The one thing that I know will require a lot of commitment and effort and attention and time. And effort.

So why do I have an impulse to get a puppy now?

Well, we thought it could help with our stress level. And our love handles. And I want something fluffy to cuddle. And it could be good with kids.

Since we’ve got the idea of getting a puppy, we still haven’t decided on what to buy. But definitely something small. One that you can carry. Something fluffy. Not white. I don’t mind black. But might go for brown/black. Spots.

I’m not even sure if it’s going to be good for us. With our work hours and everything else.

Ayayay.

Happy New Year 2016!

It horrified me to find that I haven’t actually opened this page for 2 full years!! My last entry was on the 6th of November, 2013. My 2nd wedding anniversary.

Unbelievable.

That said, I occasionally delivered my rantings through Instagram. So, technically, it’s not two full years without any sort of typing or commenting or complaining or just typing away. Can’t imagine not doing anything to do with words for two full years. I’d die.

Anyway,

I will not talk about New Year’s Resolution. I think it’s a lot of crap; you have this list that will ultimately makes you feel depressed because you’ll find that you don’t fulfill some/all of them. Or worse, you’ll actually forget about them. And I sound very.. negative.

This year is also The Odd Room’s second year. Time flies when you have fun, they said. The thing is, it’s not always fun. At least not around here. I thought I knew what I wanted. But apparently, hospitality drains me. It still does.

I’m still passionate about service. I’m still excited when it comes to food and coffee. I just don’t know how to keep up with all these changes and trends and demands. I guess this is the difference between working for someone else and working for yourself. I’m just not sure if I have it.

and now A is talking about starting another TWO businesses. I should be grateful; my husband is not lazy. He is a very curious man; and he is seriously serious about coffee. And making money. To secure our lives, of course. I just don’t know if I could bear another TWO big responsibilities. And to be honest, it’s fighting for space in my life with my other passion; I would love to be a mother.

But to get there, we need the moolah. I don’t want to be irresponsible and expecting my parents to cope for my life’s expenses all the time. Well, and also other things. Like, quality time. That, we don’t have much lately. I don’t even know if he shares the same goal as me on this one. He said he does, but his action just doesn’t reflect what he said. The cold fight last night was also around that same topic. I said ‘cold’ because he neither agreed nor disagreed to what I said. He just lied there in the dark, forgetting about whatever I said. And went to sleep.

This might be my raging PMS hormones speaking. Or typing. I should’ve taken two instead of one calcium tablet before bed. They said PMS gets worse when you reach 30. Hurray. I found myself swearing under my breath way too often, and more drawn to articles about home remedies for younger looking skin and muscle pains. Boy is getting older a lot of fun or what.

There’s a lot of uncertainties around. Ngkong Tjien passed away two weeks ago. I always thought that the others would go first; that he’d be the last one standing considering his health. It was a great comfort he didn’t suffer. He walked to the market on Monday morning; an umbrella in his right hand, newspaper in his left. And his heart just decided to quit on him. I would love to think that he didn’t feel as much. It’s just that… it was such a shock. I can’t even put my feelings into words. ‘Weary’ will be the closest.

This is comforting. The sound of the keyboard clickety-clacking. Writing has always helped me solidifies my thoughts; straightening them out of my scrunched-up mind. The absence of auto-correct helps, too (iPhone is killing my spelling). I feel stupid for not being able to type ‘responsibilities’ without counting the ls and is. It also pleases me when I realized I’ve had these uncommon words which I rarely use but they just popped up when I needed them. It’s like they were stored deep inside my head, waiting for their turn to shine.

Help me, Lord, please help me. This.. anger. This.. desperation for release. This frustrating phase of my life. I tried so hard to suppress this unhappiness; my head acknowledges the grace that You have showered me with but my heart keeps yearning for everything else. I wonder if being unhappy is okay. I’m sure You understand this feeling, Lord Jesus. In Your sweet, powerful name I pray. My eczema on my right forefinger has gone better rapidly in the past two days since I prayed over it in Your name. I know firsthand how powerful Your name is.

I realise the mood has gone somber since I started writing this morning. That’s usually the case. I write when my mind can’t keep up anymore. I wish it isn’t always the case, because I love writing. And I actually feel a bit better now. Just a bit hungry. Had one banana, one apple, a quarter of a pita pocket filled with cajun chicken, avo and mixed salad, half a cup of Cappuccino, and 350ml of green tea with a slice of lemon. Shouldn’t be hungry yet. But again, damn PMS does whatever it feels like.

It’s lunchtime. Time flies today. Usually I will be reaching about 3,000 steps according to my Health app on my phone. It’s 12.03pm, 827 steps. Nice. I think I can afford ‘not working’ today. I need to recharge on my ‘extrovert’ battery; it’s been drained for waayy too much since we opened in 2014.

Anyway. What should I work on now…

happy 2nd anniversary!

06.11.2011 ~ 06.11.2013

My best friend, my lover,
my leader, my husband.
Happy 2nd wedding anniversary, hun!

I thank God for these exciting two years with you.
It is true
there’s nothing easy about marriage life,
but it’s all worth it.
It’s all worth it, because I’ve got you.

I’m happy,
though it’s not always perfect
but I’m happy.
And I hope you are, too.
We are both doubled in size,
I hope it’s quite an indication hahaha

Sweet hubby,
thank you for everything.
For your love, your strong and protective arms, your commitment.
Your leadership, your kind words, your simple, humble, gentle heart.
Your silly jokes, your pranks, your playfulness.
You said we have to keep being young at heart,
and I think you’ve changed me for the better.

My prayers that you may continue being great,
that the wisdom of the Lord be your guidance,
and His love your anchor.
I pray that I may continue to be your loyal sidekick,
to honor, respect and support you,
and to love you according to God’s unfailing love.
I pray that we continue to put God in between us,
as our holy veil so we may see everything through Him.
May we continue to embrace this sacred romance with Him,
and God’s glory may shine through our little family.

I’ve experienced the abundance of God’s grace and favour
through you,
and I can only lift my endless praise to Him for that.
I thank God for you
I thank Him for bringing you into my life.

Happy 2nd wedding anniversary, Sayang,
and wishing for many more years to celebrate with you!

06.11.2011 ~ 06.11.2013

Love never fails
[1 Corinthians 13:8]

DAILY DEVOTIONS, NEWS AND INFORMATION

Charles Stanley

Some choices should be based solely on Scripture. We don’t need to pray about whether or not to commit adultery, steal from our employer, or avoid paying the taxes we owe. For each of these, God has clearly laid out instructions for us in His Word. But on areas where Scripture is silent, the Holy Spirit desires to guide our steps along the specific path the Father has chosen for us.

For instance, whom should you marry? Which career should you pursue? What home should you buy? True, the Bible gives a few guidelines on these topics. It tells us to marry only fellow believers, to steer clear of jobs that require unethical behavior, and to avoid overspending. But we also need specific guidance from God in these areas.

The Prompting of the Holy Spirit

After we have received Jesus as our Savior, the His Spirit dwells within us to…

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Back in July, me and hubby went to Koorong to look for The Picture Bible for Children. Hubby told me that his first encounter with the stories in the Bible was from this book when he was a kid. Feeling nostalgic, he insisted to search for the book since he lost his original one. As he was looking for that book in Children section, I roamed around Women and Relationship shelves, hoping to find a good book for myself so I could get it for 20 percent off, too. Instead, I chose to buy a devotional. Another devotional. Andrew raised his eyebrow when I handed that book for him to pay, knowing that I’ve got two other books on my bedside table, but he didn’t say anything. Once in the car, he asked me, “you need another devotional?”. I paused for a bit, then I said to him, ‘no, but the book looks pretty’. I rest my case.

As it turned out, God used this pretty book to bash me.

Packed with different themes each week, God led me to get to know Him, and myself, through this book. And many times, as I read and ponder on His Word, I felt like I’ve been hit between the eyes.

A month ago, the theme was about ‘Courage’. This spoke quite loudly to me, since I am generally quite apprehensive. I get anxious over little things. I am careful in everything, maybe way too careful, so I can avoid mistakes or bear any failures. And being a perfectionist, I tend to want to get things done my way. And when they didn’t, I would see that as an offense, and I wouldn’t be too nice about it. A control-freak, in short. As I went through each page, day after day, I came to one brutal conclusion; damn, I really am a coward. It is one thing to strive for perfection by covering all loop holes and planning everything to a T, but it is another thing to be so afraid to start anything because you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t do it perfectly.

My parents know that quite well about me, and have been encouraging, nudging, and badgering me when it comes to my reluctance to ‘come out of my shell’ and embrace new things.  And I know how much deeper my Father, my Creator knows my heart and my character. But it didn’t really stop me from asking, “why does God seem to challenge my weaknesses? Why does He always strike my soft spots?”. D’uh, right? Yet, I found it hard to accept why God had to ‘complicate’ things before I could get to what He’s got in store for me.

The verse from the second day of the week was taken from 2 Timothy 1:7,

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline”

As I pondered on this, Holy Spirit kept asking me to look at the word “give” in this verse. I asked Him to elaborate, and He reminded me of the movie Evan Almighty. Nearing the end of the movie, Evan’s wife was so troubled that no one believed in Evan and his mission to save the world. God (Morgan Freeman) approached her, and said this line,

Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does He give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does He give them opportunities to love each other?

I know this was not (the real) God’s Word, but man, such wisdom!

Holy Spirit continued to guide me in understanding this verse. If we truly believe that the Word of God is the truth and alive, that He is our DNA, then it’ll make more sense that God will work from within us first before He changes our surroundings. When He gives courage to us, He will be working inside-out, not outside-in. He won’t necessarily create peaceful, calm, smooth situation for us to feel peace, because what’s the point in giving us courage if we have nothing to use it against? When we claim and receive courage from God, though our surroundings may not look too promising, we can activate, exercise our faith through the courage that He has given us.

Pam Brewer, the writer for this topic, explained that ‘(God) will never direct you to compromise your faith or your integrity in order to accomplish His will… God is always at work in and around us, allowing our needs to collide with others, so that He can fulfill His plans in both. When we are faced with tests, and we are confident that God is with us, we can act with courage that the sacrifice will be worth the blessings for everyone touched by it.”

From the challenges that I’ve been allowed to go through, I learned that to be courageous is not always about being bold and brave, or ticking the boxes and getting things done. Sometimes courage is needed when God asked me to be vulnerable, to let things go, and give up myself (my plans, my thoughts, my pride) though it hurts. Or to open up and write about it, though it means highlighting my weaknesses. One obvious thing I know He’s teaching me is to be compassionate. To exercise love and mercy, and to be persistent about it, especially when I don’t feel like it. His Word didn’t say, “God (give) spirit of power, of love, of self-discipline when you feel like doing it“. Nope. It is an encouragement that despite my situation, God’s gift is abundant for me to do His work.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” [Philippians 4:19]

His grace is enough. Through all the ups and downs, I know He will sustain me. Though many times I questioned how long should I endure the uncertainty and the unknown, I can always look back and declare that all the things that have been happening to me..they were all perfect and wonderful, and there’s no way I could’ve done all that myself. Deep down I believe that my loving Father is standing at the end of the tunnel, smiling widely at me and says, “I told you so! I told you everything is going to be okay!”. I just have to believe, and take the step!

God knows I need to exercise my courage. He knows I’m weak and defenceless, so like a baby needing some vaccinations, He gave me some ‘weak virus shots’, right where they’re needed to stimulate my faith and thus activate my ‘antibody’. It will be uncomfortable for me at first, I might be in pain for a while, but as I continue to hold on to Him, to satisfy myself with His presence, He will make me stronger. And when I am faced with some more challenges in the future, I will be ready. Eventually.

I’m not there, yet. But I will be.

“..for truly I say to you; if you have faith even as little as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain ‘move here to there’, and it will move;..” [Matthew 17:20]

I had trouble understanding this verse for a long time. But finally it dawned on me. The keyword is not in ‘as little as a mustard seed’, but Jesus said, ‘if you have faith’! I’m not sure how we can measure our own faith, let alone compare it to something as small as a seed. But once we commit ourselves to believe in His Word, taking the steps amidst the impossibles and give no room for doubts; that’s when we know that we have faith! and God can work through that faith, no matter how small. Like trickles of water among a pile of rocks; it doesn’t matter how small the size of the gap is, the water will find it and flow through it. Likewise, the size of our faith, or should I say, our effort is not the main component here. It is God who can make the difference. It is God through us that can move those mountains!

Courage. Alongside obedience, it is one of the ingredients of faith. This revelation is a tremendous burden off my shoulders; that when God asked me to be courageous, He didn’t intend to just let go of my hand and let me walk through the wilderness by myself. Like the famous quote that said, “If He lead me to it, He’ll lead me through it”, He is with me every step of the way. Even if I cowardly decide to take my time and delay things and ignore His nudge, like I did many times before, but hey, He will still be here. Right here with me. I just pray that every time I feel afraid and insecure and unsure, I will always remember that it is not my effort, it is not about me. Everything that happens are all working together, no matter how wrong it may seem at that moment, for His glory. To serve His perfect plan. I pray that as He continues to mold (and bash and crack and remold) me, His Word and His love will always feed me with strength and encouragements to keep moving forward, no matter how mentally/spiritually/physically strenuous it may be. A small girl like me can only do so much, but my GOD can do ALL THINGS!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” [Philippians 4:13]

enough said 🙂

Thank You, Lord!!

DAILY DEVOTIONS, NEWS AND INFORMATION

Charles Stanley

When I was a teenager Proverbs 3:5-6 became my spiritual compass. Whenever I faced a difficult decision, I always turned to it for assurance. God etched its simple but profound truth in my mind and heart. It continues to be a signpost along life’s road, ever pointing me to the bottom line for all decisions: trust and obey God. It is an eternal combination that always makes one a winner.

Why? Because God is trustworthy. He is dependable. He is sovereignly working everything together for his glory and our good.

His wisdom is given to those who look to him, lean on him, rely on him. The more we depend on our Father for instruction, strength, hope, and guidance, the more abundantly he confers on us his divine wisdom.

We cannot receive wisdom from God apart from a relationship with him. God is not interested in teaching his ways to…

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