For our 10th anniversary, CS had wanted to buy me what I’d been eying on since I started seriously baking last year – Kitchenaid Mixer. I’d found that out only because he didn’t want to spend a bomb and buy me one in a colour I didn’t like so he decided to let me know earlier. To his surprise, I suggested why don’t we go camping to celebrate it.
Frankly, that camping suggestion was inspired by what Donald Miller wrote in his book, ‘A thousand miles in a thousand years’:
“A good movie has memorable scenes, and so does a good life.”
What he said really resonated with me. Not wanting to sound unappreciative, but if you asked me what CS had bought me in all our years together, I’d fail the test miserably. Life, as I’ve slowly come to realize, is not about the things we owned or bought or were given. It is about memories and shared moments.
So I am glad we went camping to celebrate our 10th anniversary because that will be remembered in many years to come. But just for the records, here’s our ‘memorable scenes’ from the trip:
* 1st meal @campsite: Mee pok dry with mum’s chilli and vinegar, along with a sunny-side up;
* Awesome seafood platter lunch on anniversary, with a panoramic view as backdrop;
* Received excellent service from an Indonesian lady at a local supermaket while buying cheeses and olives;
* Champagne, olives, cheeses, roasted almonds and biscuits for dinner;
* Brekkie @Bay Merchant cafe;
* Sunday market @ Albany Boatshed, buying live yabbies for dinner;
* Taking afternoon naps in the tent;
* Watching dvds with wifey in the tent.
* Waking up to the sound of raindrops and rustling of the kangaroos while sleeping at night;
* Singing together to the music from our IPOD while driving;
* Lazy afternoons – watching movies and having a picnic just outside our tent;
* Climbing Mt. Clarence to the ANZAC war memorial in Albany – I thought the weather that day was befitting the occasion – overcast skies with drizzling rain;
* Looking out of the restaurant where we had our anniversary lunch – literally, it was a ‘top of the world’ moment;
* The conversation with the owner of Oranje Tractor vineyard and learning more about their story – I find that smaller vineyards are often better this way because they are more personable;
* All the meals we cooked at our campsite;
* Setting up camp and giving it as much a ‘homely’ feel as possible.
Over the Christmas period, we went on a mini roadtrip to a seaside town with some friends. And it was memorable for many reasons:
1) It was my maiden camping trip – that’s right, I’ve never done camping ever. The closest experience to that would be those campus crusade camps I’d attended during uni days where we would sleep in classrooms.
2) I don’t survive well under heat so thankfully the extreme heat only happened during the first afternoon we were there. All it does is make me want to drink Coke, Coke and more Coke…
3) Travelling with a dog. The story of how Missy was adopted by Jay was a touching one and the bond between them is definitely noticeable.
4) Eating freshly cooked fish that we caught from the sea ourselves.
5) Sunset fishing – for a non-fisherman like me, the gorgeous sunset is enough to take my breath away.
6) Going for an ‘off-road’ driving – since we drove up in two four-wheel drive vehicles, we decided to venture into a national park for a little adventure. And it was certainly well-worth it. We saw many wild kangaroos (in fact, they were known as the Big Red cos of their massive size).
This camping trip had whetted my appetite for more. And I definitely look forward to the next one!
The last 5 days had been a blast. I went on an all-girls roadtrip to Margaret River and Denmark with 3 other girls. One of them was Liz, my best friend from university which means we’d known each other for 16 years by now. Nothing beats catching up with a girlfriend whom I’d known for ages and spending quality time with her, and also getting to know new friends, Carol and Cheryl who are Liz’s friends.
The best thing about catching up with an old friend is the comfort and familiarity you both share. It’s also funny how you unconsciously slipped back to the younger days of being silly and carefree with each other. After all, if you can’t share a laugh with a friend you grow up with, really, who else can you do it with? So here are some precious moments I was blessed to share with Liz over the last couple of days:
And this is my favourite picture:
the spider a web,
This roadtrip/weekend getaway will always be special to us because besides doing all the fun stuff, we had intentionally taken time out each morning to spend with God. In fact, CS was impressed that I ended up waking up earlier than I would on a normal working day! It was all worth it, I reckon. As we stand on the threshold of leading the young adult ministry, prayer has to be the foundation upon which we stand.
And God certainly spoke to us in those times with Him and impressed upon us the anchor Bible chapters – Hebrews 11-13. We are excited yet humbled by this privilege. If you like to know how you can be praying for us specifically, drop us an email.
Here’s my favourite photo of the trip – the wild lilies in the field. It brings home to me the oft-quoted Bible verse from Matthew 6: 27-33 (The Message Bible):
“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
It is a long weekend this week and mum-in-law is off to a church retreat until Monday. Thanks to a friend who had generously offered her beach house to us, we have headed down south to Yallingup (Aborginal meaning ‘Place of Love’, isn’t that beautiful?). And this is where we will be spending the next few days:
Over the next couple of days, we are looking forward to:
- lazy days ahead with nothing on the agenda;
- watching the sunset from the verandah (pretty amazing according to friend…);
- cooking meals with fresh produce to be bought from the weekend farmers’ market;
- reading and falling asleep on the deck chairs on the said verandah;
- writing long-overdue letters and cards to friends;
- visiting some local farms if we feel up to it and
- taking time out to pray for the young adult ministry – after a year of leading a connect group, the pastors and us agreed that it is now time for us to take direct leadership. Essentially, we have been given a free rein to lead the ministry. Yet, it is not a responsibility we take lightly. We are entering this challenging phase with much prayer and excitement. And we are trusting God to give us a certain number of young adults (we are still seeking God for confirmation of a faith target) that we can mentor and develop so that they in turn, will be the ones to lead the young adult ministry in church.
With the arrival of Huifen and Mike to Perth last Friday and Monday being a public holiday, we took off for a short roadtrip to Margaret River over the weekend. This must be the umpteenth time we’ve been down south so I tried to include something new for both of us lest we get bored. Some highlights were:
The beautiful house we stayed. It was really nice to hang out by the fireplace every night after a long day out; Kudos to the guys for collecting the firewood and starting the fire. And the loft bedroom with the ensuite jacuzzi was a real treat!
Trying to spot as many cows at random spots in the region because it’s the annual cow parade in Margaret River
The retro-vintage shop stopover at Witchcliffe – this was a shop E had always wanted to visit on her previous trips but never did. For her, it was almost heaven and it was a miracle that she only walked away with vintage alphabets and a chest of wooden drawers!
And so another weekend roadtrip had come and gone. Yet, somehow we have the feeling that it won’t be long before the next roadtrip happens again!
So after the surprise appearance of Hann last Friday, we drove down to Albany and Denmark for a mini-roadtrip. It was a good trip for various reasons. We took a break from work and spent quality time with Rachel and Hann; ate some glorious food, visited animal farms and saw some amazing work of nature, courtesy of our awesome Creator God.
Last Saturday, we squeezed in a trip to IKEA to have breakfast and buy stuff. Our haul for the day: candles, napkins, floor lamp, picture ledges, 3 coffee tables (which CS is going to modify it into a shoe rack for the hallway).
Then in the afternoon we went to Serpentine Falls National Park to see the water falls and the wild kangaroos. It’s been a long time since we got up close and personal with the kangaroos, so it was fun to re-acquaint ourselves with these furry things again. I must admit they frighten me a little initially when I saw them approaching but they turned out harmless. It was also fun mucking around with Terry in the great outdoors!
On Sunday, we went whale-watching. I think the whole experience was a lesson in patience because most of the time was spent waiting for the whales to surface; and the law actually prohibits us from coming within 100 metres of them. But our patience was rewarded when we caught glimpses of the magnificent mammal bobbing in and out of water every now and then.
In the night, we had an Australian/Kiwi couple from church over for drinks. This was the first time we’d invited people from this church we started attending since June. And it was an intentional effort because we finally felt this was where we could settle down in; thus we started looking out for people we could possibly connect with.
Jay and Aida was one of those. We had a meaningful night getting to know each other and our respective life stories. It’s always good when you are able to know someone beneath their usual Sunday appearance, probe a little deeper and suddenly that person is not just a face but a unique individual with his own story to tell…The drinks went on for 3 hours but it didn’t feel that long. CS and I went to bed exhausted but satisfied that we finally took the first step in building relationships with people from church…
On Monday, we went to Ivan/Bel’s for brunch. As usual, the good food was always accompanied by an even better company. It was a lazy day spent indoor watching movies which was the perfect winding down to the long weekend…