Category Archives: Musings

Day Two Writer’s Challenge – Believe

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Day Two’s writer challenge is about ’believe’. Here’s how it is defined in the dictionary:

be·lieve   [bih-leev] be·lieved,be·liev·ing. verb (used without object)

to have a conviction that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation.

I like how ’believe’ is defined both as an intrinsic attitude and an external behaviour. To believe I am a writer I have to write besides thinking of myself as one. Period.

As part of the challenge, we were challenged to get up two hours earlier than our usual routine and just write. I didn’t. Though I did end up waking up in the middle of the night and thought about what I would write.

Then I remembered an unfinished piece of writing I did earlier on about my puppy entitled “Lessons I learned from puppy Ginger”. I decided I would write about her. It also felt right to do that since I am holidaying and missing her terribly. Writing about her, in a way, would perhaps allay my missing her…

“Lessons I learned from my puppy Ginger”

1. Never sleep alone, if you can. The best way to sleep is to snuggle up to someone.

2. There’s always room for play anywhere, anytime.

3. You got to eat everything at least once and then decide if you liked it enough to ask for seconds.

4. Be friendly and accepting to anyone or any dogs. No matter how they look like – breed, size, colour. It really doesn’t matter as long as you are up for a good play!

5. Keep trying. When at first you don’t get your way, don’t fret. Just keep at it. And a dopey helps. A lot.

6. Discipline is hard medicine but love conquers all. Hugs and kisses that follow afterwards is proof that you are loved.

7. Sleep with abandon. I love how you could just fall asleep anytime and shortly after, be snoring away.

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Day One Writer’s Challenge – Declare: I am a Writer

I am a writer. There, I’ve said it. But am I, really?

Who is a writer? Is it someone who writes for a living? Or who has published works? Or is it just someone who simply, writes.

As part of the challenge I had to declare to someone that “I am a writer”. So last night I told CS my significantly ’better half’ – “I want to be a writer! Will you support me?”

“Of course!” he nodded at me from across the bed. “Remember the time I got you that PDA because you told me you wanted to write?”

Oh yes, of course. I’d forgotten about that actually because the PDA broke down just barely after a year. And I returned to writing in notebooks again.

So am I a writer? No ifs. No buts. Today, I am declaring: I write, therefore I am, a writer.

Well, hello there…

I am breaking the blog hiatus by participating in Jeff Goins’ writing challenge.

Over the next fifteen days I will be writing on a specified topic and posting it here.

It’s good to be back…

Faith of the ‘what if’

What if you are wheelchair bound and your recent operation is the first of the two you had to go through?

What if you are the main caregiver of your aged parents, one of whom is also wheelchair bound like yourself?

What if your aged parents who have never being apart in their 70 years of marriage now face the prospect of moving into different nursing home ‘cos of illness and financial constraints?

What if your only child’s only son had Asperger and they live hundreds of miles away for all of you to be of support to each other?

Except these are not ‘what-ifs’ for G. This is her life.

And my faith, my so-called faith pales in the light of hers. My faith seems like a walk in the park even though it didn’t seem like it sometimes. Hers, on the other hand, seems like that of an athlete in a hurdles race.

Ironically it was me who broke down while praying for her. She didn’t even tear when she shared with me earlier. That goes to show the strength of her inner being as compared to mine.

And before going onstage to emcee at the church service later, I asked God for a word to encourage His people, particularly G. I was led to read Habbukuk 3: 17 – 19 (The Message):

“Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain!”

Still, I cried when we were worshipping God. I had no answer why certain things happen to certain people. But this I know – He gives grace and strength when we never thought they existed because I saw them in G today.

personal project\two people twelve times\December 2011

December 2011

This is our last couple photo for 2011. It’s a cliche to say time flies but I suppose it does when you don’t pay attention to it. Looking back, I could vividly remember those moments where we argued; we made peace. We disagreed; we compromised. Despite it all, we remain.committed.to.each.other.

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Photo credit to Jonathan Wong @A Better Definition

personal project\two people twelve times\November 2011

November

This month we celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary and also CS’ birthday. I love it that we are still having as much fun as we are as a married couple than we were as a dating couple. In fact, we probably enjoy each other’s company now more than ever! [Photo taken outside our house on the driveway.]

reflections from a small island

1. Nothing beats local food. Period. The variety and the affordability. If only we could transport the food culture back to Perth!

2. The gift of friendship. From a girlfriend who spent her day off picking us up from the airport and driving us around on the first day to satisfy our food craving to another who came down all the way to where we were living, after a long day’s work just to have a coffee with us at night. Liz & Becky – we love you both!

3. Family ties that bind. Visiting grandma and mum-in-law and seeing their crown of white hair is a reminder that time is slipping away right under our eyes. Having fun with our nieces and being blown away at how much they have all grown is a reiteration of that. And that is why we had made family time a priority for this trip.

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4. Sense of welcoming. Since we arrive last Thursday, we have been catching up with different ones everyday. Most were organized only when we touch down but still folks went out of their way to arrange their schedule to accommodate ours. It definitely feels good to be in such ‘popular demand’ even though we had been away for years now.

5. Being on the receiving end. One thing that really stood out in this trip is the fact that many young adults whom we had known for years have started working and were eager to shower their generosity on us. As a result, most of the meals we enjoyed were free!

6. My brothers and I. This trip was the first time in many years that we had the chance to really hang out together. It made me realize how much we used to enjoy each other’s company and I hope we will continue to do so in the years ahead…

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We have reached the halfway mark of our holiday. We miss the comforts of home back in Perth but at the same time, the great company and food we had so far had been amazing. So we are looking forward to a better secondhand of our trip!

personal project\two people twelve times\October 2011

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Shortly after the photo was taken, we met an elderly couple strolling on the beach and heard their amazing love story which spanned over 52 years when they fell in love as teenagers. However, it was only two years ago through a Facebook search that they were reunited again at the age of seventy and sixty-eight years old. ‘We will never be apart again.’ she said.

I am glad that our love story started twelve years ago and still continues today…

bits + pieces

extraordinary week, so far

Sharing stories – On Sunday, we had Pastor Charlie and his wife over for dinner for the first time. He was the reason we kept returning to the church when we first visited. His friendliness and down to earth nature was so evident even in our first encounter with him. Dinner lasted three hours and it would have gone on longer if not for the fact that the next day was Monday. It is always refreshing to interact with the pastors outside their main “domain”, the church, and see the humanity that lies beneath.

Ministry at work – On Monday, I took a staff out for coffee when I sensed she wasn’t herself that morning. For an hour, in between sobs she shared her anger and pain from a relationship. I just held her hand and listened. I wished I was brave enough to pray with her there and then so she knew there is a God who cares…

Dinner with the boys – That night, we invited two young adults over for a roasted dinner. Good meals are always a great start! We chatted and caught up with one another. One is getting married in a year’s time; the other is still in uni. We shared about how we were travelling in life and some God-stuff. And I hoped the boys also got to know us better.

Church Connect group – On Wednesday, we had our fortnightly meeting again. The topic that night was the grace of God. And everyone shared about how their faith journey began. There were ten of us. I looked around the room and saw the most diverse bunch of people before me. Just in terms of age, we were ranging from 18 to 41 years old. Unsurprisingly, everyone was at different life stage – married couple, mother-to-be, students, working adults. Yet most of us have been meeting fortnightly for two years now since CS and I started the group. I felt blessed to be part of a group that God had brought together – a bunch of people who under normal circumstances, wouldn’t be hanging out together; yet here we are, fellow travel companions on a faith journey.

Heart-to-heart – On Thursday, I received an email from a young adult who shared openly about her disappointment and hurt from a friendship. I deliberated over what to write, stayed back after work and replied to her email. The same night, I chatted with another young adult about his struggle on how to handle a situation he was in. We disagreed at some point but there was no love lost. And I ended our hour-long chat by praying with him. In both instances, I made it a point to share from my own personal experiences. It is so easy to talk in cliches but what if it is me who is in the situation? Would I do likewise? I am learning to be authentic.

Is it any ‘coincidence’ that all these encounters happened at the time I’ve been thinking about relationships and community in our 21st century from one of the books I’ve been reading ‘Above the Line’ ? And attending Edmund Chan’s discipleship conference two weeks ago was a reiteration of what has been on my heart lately. Discipleship – the philosophy and its practical outworking in my life; I think I am slowly getting a glimpse of that…

“biblical Christianity assumes disciples of Jesus are being transformed by life changing encounters with God, a transformation that results in qualities such as gentleness, meekness, and humility being expressed deeply and regularly in the way Christians relate to one another.” Peter McHugh

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