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life lessons from the world of fashion…

A girlfriend sent the above video to a few of us this week: “TED talks is one of those apps I have on my iPhone. It is a series of talks given by people sharing their ideas in less than 10 mins. So here’s one  that makes me think about Ervina’s eclectic sense of dressing! Enjoy!”

For those who don’t have time to watch the video in full, below are some highlights and comments in parenthesis are mine:

“Secondhand shopping has allowed me to reduce my impact of my wardrobe has on the environment and on my wallet.” (Yes, another advocate of thrift-shopping!)

“It is almost physiologically impossible to be in a bad mood when you are wearing bright red pants.” (I am not so brave to own a pair of red pants although I do have red leggings…Does that count?)

“Fitting in is way overrated. Just be who you are. If you surround yourself with the right people, they will not only get it, they will appreciate it.” (Honestly, this is something I’ve only really learned entering into my thirties – choose a few people you will listen to and the rest is just ‘good advice’.)

“Embrace your inner child.” (Something I am good at, I think! In fact, perhaps too well, much to the aghast of Ben sometimes…)

“If you believe you’re a beautiful person inside and out, there is no look you can’t pull off. We should be able to rock anything we want to rock.” (So, what are you waiting for?!)

“Gold sequins go with anything.” (Time to look for gold sequins in my next opshop trip!)

“Developing your own unique personal style is a really great way to tell the world something about you without having to say a word.” (Bravo!)

“…it’s okay to let go. I don’t need to get emotionally attached to these things, because around the corner, there is always going to be another crazy, colourful, shiny outfit just waiting for me…” (De-cluttering is my fashion motto ‘cos I’ve realized by now that anything I haven’t worn in the last one year is never going to be worn EVER so it might as well go to someone!)

Since this post is fashion-related, this is what I wore for a casual dinner date with the Mr. last night.

Details: sunglasses – $2 brand-new opshop find; cardigan – Singapore; heart-prints blouse – Dorothy Perkins, Singapore; shorts – Rivers, Australia; shoes – Far East Plaza, Singapore; Esprit tote bag – $5 opshop find

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confessions of a bookaholic…

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Hello everyone. My name is Ervina and I am a bookaholic. I don’t exactly know when it started but I did remember receiving mostly books as presents when I was growing up. Any books by Enid Blyton, The Hardy Boys, The Secret Five and Nancy Drew were my staple (literary) diet. And libraries were my favourite haunts. In fact, I am very sure that my serious myopia today was caused by me reading by the dim lights when I was supposed to be asleep!

From my latest Amazon purchase, I had since finished ‘The Blue Parakeet – Rethinking how you read the Bible’, another excellent book by Scot McKnight. A must-read for those who wish to be jolted from their usual Bible reading habits. Anne Lamott’s ‘bird by bird’ is a book about writing. I like her sense of humor and the very practical advice about getting started on writing. It makes me want to get started in my new Moleskin notebook which I bought ages ago.

blue like jazz – the trailer

I am in the midst of reading ‘Blue like Jazz’ which is kind of like a quasi-autobiography of Donald Miller and a New York Times Bestseller. The book’s now been adapted into a movie and had inspired him to write another book – ‘A million miles in a thousand years’ (a highly recommended read for those who wish to live their lives more intentionally).

I hope to see it on the big screen here soon although I am not hopeful since this is not your usual Hollywood blockbuster material but who knows?!

“I never like jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself…I used to not like God because God didn’t resolve. But that was before any of this happened.” – Donald Miller

another time, perhaps…

Every now and then, I’d tell CS that if I could have our wedding all over again (Don’t get me wrong; no disaster happened at our wedding save for a crying child in the middle of our ceremony which was my fear but CS wouldn’t allow me to ‘ban’ people from bringing really young kids so there you go…), it wouldn’t be like the one we had.  Or perhaps I could have two? One to meet the family obligations and the other one just for us. And it would be something in the spirit of the video above – nothing fancy but just a small gathering of folks dear to us in an informal and casual setting with a touch of handmade wherever possible. Simple. Heartfelt. Joy.

p/s: This is a real life wedding of Elsie who is a blogger and celebrity scrapbooker/crafter in her own rights.

camp afterglow

Last weekend was our first ever church camp – two nights away in a rustic bushland with 130 people. Being one of the 2 key organizers, it was pretty awesome to see how we could pull off something like that in under two months. Thankfully, years of serving in church retreat committees came in handy.

Some favourite memories I took away from were:

1. The smell of crispy cold air in the morning;

2. Going for a mini bush walk with 5 talkative girls and seeing kids having a wild time roughing it out; childhood memories should be made of these;3. Eating toasted marshmallows straight out of the campfire.

On a personal note, the two things God began speaking to me last week (see previous post) was reiterated through the camp speaker’s messages: the importance of a disciplined life and being still before God today, not yesterday, not tomorrow.

cutsey!

Check out this cute wedding video. I love how it captures the in-between moments of what actually happens during a wedding. I also think it encapsulates the spirit of an Aussie wedding – casual and fun. This wedding took place in one of our favourite downsouth vacation spots – Margaret River.

weekend reflections

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.”

this moves me…

Things have been pretty rough at home here and with the family back in Singapore. Then I read this news and teared. Perhaps it’s time for me to be reminded that just having life itself is the best gift one can ever ask for sometimes.

the way of LOVE

[Extracted from ‘The Message’ translation; 1 Corinthians 13.]

“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled…

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

On a sidenote: Here’s one of my favourite love songs of all times – “The Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel in one of my favourite movies “Shall We Dance” starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon. I love how the beautiful lyrics complement the poignancy of the scenes.

listening to…

I heard this song at the end of a show last night and it brought back memories of when we left for Perth ‘cos I think that was when I first heard the song. It’s interesting how music often leads me down specific memory lanes…

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