Thursday, December 18, 2014

Perspective

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, December 18, 2014 0 comments Links to this post
Lately, I have been reminded of what life is, which route to take and where I should be focussing on. As the year draws to a close, it definitely makes people more reflective during this time of the year- makes me reassess what I have been doing, my goals and whether I am heading in the right direction towards them.

My simple goals as a wife and mother used to be
1) make my husband happy
2) make my children happy
3) make myself happy

I guess one glance at this, most wives with children would probably adopt this as well.. But my goals aren't that anymore as I feel that the more you focus on the above goals, the more you will be disappointed. For example, I try to make my child happy by doing things for them, buying what they like. Instead, this may end up not being able to be more independent, or fight over the toys I buy for them and even stop playing after a short while because they get bored of it. Its an endless cycle that will only spiral down to dissatisfaction, disappointment and disillusion. And of course, this wouldn't lead to me being happy in the end. So I have decided that it is useless chasing after these goals or striving to achieve them.

I realised throughout this year that there's only one thing that could bring me and my family JOY and that is to focus on God, my heavenly Father and spend time with Him. (Not too cliché, I hope)

Do take note that I used  the word, JOY and not happiness. Happiness is temporal- like sipping a nice glass of coffee for that ten seconds while joy is the fibre of your soul and it is eternal. It means that bad things may happen around you, but you can still sense the joy in your heart and take comfort in that.

So what is your focus? What are your goals in life? Reassess them and see if they are temporal or eternal.

I used to wish I can go Iceland and dip in hot baths, go Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis (or also known as Northern Lights) but to be honest, all of that seem so faint now that I think of what's more important. I think of a person lying on his death bed, would he wish for all those? I doubt so.. To be honest, I have travelled to so many parts of the world since young as my dad used to bring the whole family around for holidays. But after that, so what? So what if I have been to South Africa, even Hawaii two times, to New Zealand more than four times? It really doesn't matter and no one really cares.

As I focus on my Creator, I know I need to focus on the things He would focus on and that is life eternal. If you compare the life here on this earth, approximately 80 years for most people as to the life you have after death which will be forever and ever...wouldn't you then realise that life here on earth is just going to pass like the wind where everything you try to strive for will just be blown away quickly and not remembered? So why focus on that? Why spend all your time, money and energy on things that will pass away quickly?

 
I know I need to look at the bigger picture and what is really important.

So, if you are going a rough patch or suffering so much that you ever wonder if there is a God up there, I am here to tell you that: "For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is- limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death- He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile" (Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos? p4)

May you take on an eternal perspective on things and start thinking about your eternity. Where will you be going? Because THAT really matters!

Monday, November 24, 2014

My next season

Posted by Dawn at Monday, November 24, 2014 0 comments Links to this post
Women are seasonal creatures, and when we look at our lives in light of the season we are in, we are better able to cope with some of the challenges and are more likely to appreciate the blessings- while we still have them. For example, it may seem that we'll never reach the end of changing diapers, endless cries of babies in the night and wee hours in the early morning or having to deal with sending our children to school or for classes etc.

Suddenly, I will have time in my hands next year while both my children go off to primary school. What will I do when I am all alone at home?

I will definitely miss having spent wonderful quality times with my princess all these time- attending BSF morning class on Mondays, doing household chores together, eating breakfast together, playing together while waiting for the school bus and just simply chatting with each other (*sobsob*)



As much as I will miss a wonderful companion in my mornings, I know that God will be bringing me to another time of life during which I will have new discoveries to make, new roles to play and new blessings to enjoy.

In short, the season has changed.



To be frank, God has prepared me for each season that is come and that's not surprising since I know that God has everything all planned out already as I slowly see His promises from the Bible being fulfilled and unfolded. God wants us to be prepared for our future with Him. I am pretty excited as to know what lies ahead for me- good or bad as I rest in His arms and lean on my Daddy God.

I have learnt so far that this world is not my home. If I were to suffer so that others may come to know Him, it's an honour because God will not give us something we cannot bear and His plan has always been to save us so that we can be with Him in eternity. He cares more for your life after the physical death that your temporal life here on earth.

Of course, with more time next year in the mornings, my plans are to hone my cooking skills. I always love cooking and wish to put in more effort into that next year when I have more time. And one more thing is to EXERCISE! Ever since staying at home, I haven't had the time to do that..(okay, that's an excuse) but my plan is to drop the children off at school in the morning before doing my morning exercise.

But of course, above all, I want to spend more time with my Daddy God- to get to know Him better by sitting at His feet and just enjoying His presence. So though I will be physically all alone at my house, I know I will have the wonderful companionship of my Father.





 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Just the 4 of us..

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, October 08, 2014 0 comments Links to this post
My children have been asking me to give birth to another sibling more so during this period where we are surrounded by babies from my brother's family and my sister-in-law's family. On one hand, I don't mind as I love having more children. I always feel the more in the family, the more fun there is. However, when I think of going through the 40 weeks of ballooned tummy and the many months years after that of breastfeeding, it does put me off a little.

Of course, what is all that temporal suffering compared to the wonders of grooming a child and letting God use him/her for His glory for eternity? So I ended off my conversation with my children to pray and ask God. Let Him decide and if He wants us to have more, I am sure He will give me and CT the peace to have more...but for now, I think CT and I are contented with 2!

Moreover, since both of us are rather practical, we commented to the children before that most hawker centres only have 4 seats to a table and even when buying tickets for the family- It's usually 2 adults and 2 children. Not practical to have one more.

As a family of 4, we have been much closer and having more fun together. It's more so now because the children are older and we can now do more things together like each riding a bicycle to faraway places.

We cycled 17km from Punggol to Sengkang, Hougang, Buangkok, Yio Chu Kang then back to Punggol during Childrens' Day. It was super tiring plus the scorching heat didn't help. Thankfully, only me and Danielle were complaining a little but the boys were enjoying and zooming away in front of us!

Punggol Waterway

At the Kampung area

 
We also watched concerts together like Festival of Praise, Cavalia and recently, went to catch Israel Houghton and New Breed (Grammy Award Winning American Christian Music Artist, singer song writing, worship leader). He is so talented and his music arrangements and technical skills are out of this world!  His whole band is just so amazing to watch! So it was nice to expose my children to it as well as to focus on God during the worship time with Israel. He was also doing a live recording at that time.



We also play tennis together as a family. Thank God for our church cell group member, Allen who willingly offers to coach our whole bible study group for free.


Finally, during the recent Hari Raya public holiday, we went to Woodlands Waterfront despite the haze. Always wanted to visit this place as it looked really nice from the pictures online.





However, after going there today, CT and I figured once is enough because it is far and besides the big space and playground, there is nothing much there to do.

After that, we went to have dinner at Hong Ji Claypot Bak Ku Teh (#01-329, 19 Marsiling Lane). Cheap and nice. All this for $13. The children enjoyed it a lot because of the gravy. Just give them gravy and rice and there are happy! Thank God for my children who is not fussy with food!

 


So with all these activities that we have been doing together as a family, I can only see the prospect of having a third child getting slimmer. However, I know that even if I do not have a third one, I will definitely want God to bless me with spiritual children whom I can teach and train them up to be man and woman of God as I seek to be a good mummy and role model for my children and in whatever position in church God has for me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Simple, Free and Easy

Posted by Dawn at Monday, September 15, 2014 0 comments Links to this post
Many are sucked into the world's thinking that something is good only if you pay more for it or you work really hard for it. And if it is free, you better avoid it or be cautious because there must be something wrong with it. It is similar to the Good News. In the Bible, Jesus says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Jesus says that in order to have eternal life, you just need to believe! You do not need to go all out, strive and do lots of stuff to obtain anything. It is a gift that only needs someone to receive it. That is why many are hesitant to receive it, thinking only the worst of it. Thoughts like, "How can it be so easy?" or "What will happen to me if I receive it? I'd rather remain in my comfort zone where I am in control"

Anyway, I am mentioning this is not only to get you thinking (Well, that's what my blog is all about- metacognition simply means thinking about thinking), but to tell you that there are wonderful things in life that are free. I am glad my husband believes in that too and because of that, we bring our children to places to enjoy where it is not only free but fun! It can be as simple and fun as taking a ride to the nearest beach or going supermarketing together as a family!



Recently, we went to Gardens by the Bay to soak in the atmosphere of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Usually for Mid-Autumn Festivals, we would go down our block where lots of children will gather to light their lanterns and sparklers. CT suggested we do something different this year and I am so glad we went. I took a train with the children to the Gardens to meet CT there. It's always an adventure to sit trains and buses with my children. Love it!

At Bayfront Station

My wacky boy who brings me joy

The weather was perfect and the children were so infectiously excited.

 
 

It was a beautiful and pleasant night with the family as we went up the sky bridge (figured we should at least go up once to see what it is like)




 
 
It was nice and windy up at the bridge. Great view of everything with the full moon in the sky.
 
There were also food stalls set up in the Gardens to celebrate this festival. Of course, we just walked by as I feel its overpriced Pasar Malam (Night Market) food.


The Gardens is so spacious that I did not feel that it was that crowded. Here are more pictures of the beautiful lanterns and scenery that night..






We ended our night by walking through the love bridge with lots of colourful hearts! Very beautiful..




Thank God for my wonderful hubby and children! May His love overflow through us so that we can be a family that radiates Christ's love and blesses others with His love!

Friday, September 05, 2014

My third blog

Posted by Dawn at Friday, September 05, 2014 0 comments Links to this post
Introducing to you my new blog - Find rest in the Lord.

Why I named this blog (as well as the blog address) as such  is because I noticed how busy most people are- going from places to places, filling their lives with lots of activities, striving and many grow weary and tired. At some point in your busyness, struggles and tiredness, you may start to wonder why are you doing what you are doing.

This year, God has been speaking to me about the word, "rest "and its not just physical sleep He is talking about, but more importantly, spiritual rest. I have seen my worship leader in church serving every week  for consecutive about 7 times in a row. Its not easy as there are weekday practices and on Sunday, there are two services having to reach church at 730am all the way serving till second service to about 2pm. In addition to that, when you are on stage as the worship leader, you need to think how to flow in worship, the dynamics of the band and the responses from the congregation. So when she was sharing about the topic on "rest", she mentioned that she do not feel tired at all as she learned to trust in God completely. She allows the Holy Spirit to guide her when she is on stage to give her the directions. We just need to enter into God's Rest and trust God completely to take control.

So my hope and prayer for you is that you will come to know of your Creator and Heavenly Father, reconcile your relationship with Him so that you can enter into God's rest. Rest in God is not inactivity, but God-directed activity which it will be these three words for you- REST, EASY, LIGHT

In the Bible, Jesus says, " Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30)

Feel free to take a look at it and visit it!

http://myokeiseasy.blogspot.sg/

Friday, August 22, 2014

Loving my husband

Posted by Dawn at Friday, August 22, 2014 0 comments Links to this post
I am not one who looks back and dwell in my past unless it is worth visiting. Thoughts of how much my relationship has grown over these 10 years with my husband is definitely worth  rewinding , then fast forwarding it to the present.

Marriage life was not an easy path. It takes a whole lot of hard work, commitment and lots of prayers.

To be honest, whenever I attend weddings, at the back of my mind, I would ask myself if the couple really knew what they are getting themselves into because it is so easy to get sucked into the fantasies and glamour of getting married and falling in 'love'.

God's timing is so wonderful as during my wedding anniversary week, my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) lesson was on marriage and divorce. About how God hates divorce and how the Bible talks about God's intention and importance of marriage- procreation and the most intimate union of love and companionship.



Let me share with you a snippet of my BSF notes about the importance of marriage..

"Marriage is so important that it overrides all other relationships, even the relationship of a child to father and mother. In marriage, God joins a man and a woman together as "one flesh"- body, soul and spirit. When Jesus said that no human being has the right to separate this union, He laid down the principle that divorce is not God's will....Like God's relationship with His people, marriage is a covenant relationship...Marriage points to the eternal reality of Christ and the Church. Christ loved the Church and died for the Church; the Church loves and submits to Christ... God rejects divorce because it damages His picture of His own faithful love for His people."

Marriage is one of God's good gifts. But it requires unwavering commitment and repeated forgiveness.

Will marriage give you happiness and personal fulfilment? My answer is no. So, don't go into it looking for it in your marriage. I remembered an author once said in her book that "marriage is not about being happy, but being holy."

So back to my marriage with CT.. it is still a "work in progress" but I have seen fruits and watched how my cries to God has been answered as I watch my wonderful husband shower me with kisses before I sleep every night and before he leaves for work in the early morning, a wonderful father who plays with our children after dinner, a more patient father who instils discipline with love when it is due and a loving father who prays with his children before bedtime every night.

God is good for answering my prayers and how He has moulded my husband to be what he is today.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray and expect more good things to come from you, Lord as I claim on Your promises in the Bible that you will answer my prayers! You are a good God and I pray that You will use my marriage as a blessing to others and to bring you glory!
In Jesus' Name, Amen

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:10,11)

"I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first. " (Matthew 19:28-30)



 

Our 10th Wedding Anniversary

Posted by Dawn at Friday, August 22, 2014 1 comments Links to this post
Celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary on 8 Aug 2014 and months before that, I was actually thinking of ambitious plans like having a family photoshoot (figured I would probably chuck the pictures taken in some corner or cupboard), a renewal of vows wedding in church (too much logistics involved).

For the past anniversaries, I would go on a date with hubby alone but this time round, I thought it would be nice to include our children for them to celebrate together with us.

In the end, given that both CT and I are simple people, we decided to go Pulau Ubin for lunch and cycling. I am so glad CT chose this date for us to be married as it is not only easy to remember but also the children only go to school for celebrations in the morning and the next day is a public holiday since it is National Day.


My brave girl cycling on her own down the slope

where sleeping dogs lie


The order we went by with me cycling right behind

We cycled all the way to Chek Jawa, went to the Mangroves Area, Quarry and cycled back. Spotted big monitor lizards, crabs, wild boar and monkeys along the way. Loved it!

 

Monitor Lizard spotted
Quarry..if only we could swim in it

Cycling past a wild boar

Monkeys on the right side

It was quite a long and tough journey with stony tracks along the way to Chek Jawa. Many times, Danielle had to get off her bike to walk instead because it was way too dangerous. However,  we made it and I was sure the children felt accomplished!



After that, we took the boat back and drove to Changi Airport for much needed air con and good food!



Thank God for such a wonderful weather as it was quite windy and for keeping all of us safe!

Indeed, a wonderful time with the children celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Caleb's first visit

Posted by Dawn at Tuesday, July 15, 2014 0 comments Links to this post
It's Caleb's first visit to the hospital as a patient since birth. Thank God my children has been healthy enough to avoid going by to hospitals. On 1st July, just the second day after school reopened, Caleb commented that he fell down and his bone hurts. When I first looked at his elbow, it seems swollen and out of place.


During lunch he seemed okay but nearing to evening time, he said it was more painful. So I took him to the doctor down at my block, thinking maybe they have xrays in clinics. Sigh, but I was wrong. I made a wasted trip, paid for consultation which was about $20 just for the doctor to write a referral letter to someone to do the job for him. What easy money for the doctor to earn!

So after dinner, the family all went to bring Caleb to KK hospital. We had the peace and knew it wasn't a big problem but still, I wanted to get an xray done. Even if all is fine, well, at least Caleb gets to have fun seeing his bone in the xray film! I knew he would like that! :)

The process of seeing the triage nurse, to getting an xray done and a doctor's review went on so smoothly. The children had fun watching "Tom and Jerry" cartoon on TV while waiting.

The doctor said there's no bone out of place and maybe some hairline cracks causing the swell. So his hand was wrapped up in cast and was given a day of MC.




A week later, he was supposed to go back for a review but before it came, he seemed alright to me as he was already bouncing balls with his arm! So I took out the cast on my own and set him free!! Of course, I didn't go for the appointment back at the hospital!

Thank God for his speedy recovery and protection from an injury that could be worse!

Monday, June 30, 2014

June Holidays revisited

Posted by Dawn at Monday, June 30, 2014 0 comments Links to this post
In a flash, the June Holidays just ended with the first day of school today. That is why I have more time now to blog.

This June holiday was fun-filled for the whole family. As much as I wanted to instil routine in my children, it proved to be so difficult because of my tuition class at home as well as frequent trips out of the house!

While they were home, I tried to do some activities with them. It was tiring for me as I had to plan lessons to guide them..but fun!

Doing art inspired by Piet Mondrian
 


During the beginning of school holidays, Danielle went for her art class organised by her school. So we took bus together to her school, then Caleb and I spent quality time together while waiting for her.

Went to the library together with Caleb as well as to the beach.




I have been interested in reading Children's Classic books and so at the beach, I brought along "The Trumpet of the Swan". Its an amazing book! I never had the love for reading when I was young. Glad to pick it up now that I have children!



During the 3 days when Danielle had her art class, I had a great time with my son and enjoying his company for 3 hours a day alone!!


During this holiday, we also went to many interesting libraries that we have not been to because it is far!

First up, we went to Woodlands Regional Library.



 
They have an Asian Children's Literature Section which I loved!!

 


It seemed like a treasure island where I borrowed amazing books like "The Royal Bee" by Frances and Ginger Park as well as "Crow Boy" by Taro Yashima 

 
Would definitely recommend these 2 books for ages 6-9 years old.
 
Aside from visiting Woodlands Library during the June Holidays, we also went to Bishan Libary and Jurong East Library
 

 
 
The reasons why I specially chose these libraries to visit is because I am always in search for good literature for my children to read and only big libraries like these ones that I visited carries these books. Getting my hands on these valued and treasure classics is fun!
 
Aside from visiting libraries, my family also went to KSL Resort, JB for church camp. It was one of the most amazing church camps as we had enough time to spend together as a family by swimming and watching a movie- Dragon 2 (since our hotel is on top of the shopping centre cum cinema) as well as getting fed spiritually from God's word.
 
 
 
 
 
Another highlight of this trip was also the visit of my ex-helper, Wina. She is from Indonesia and was a Muslim when we first had her. But by the end of her time with us, she converted and accepted Christ into her heart. She then moved to Kuantan to work in a Chinese Restaurant as her husband works in Malaysia. She actually took an overnight bus all the way to come to JB to visit us and stay one night with us at the church camp! God had a purpose and during the camp, she was ministered by the messages and went forward for prayers. So blessed to have known her! She also bought lots of stuff for the children and myself too!
 


She even wanted to give us a dinner treat..but of course, we couldn't allow that!

Roast Duck for dinner

During the church camp, the speaker Micheal Ross Watson shared on the topic, "Faith and Obedience". It was amazing to come from a guy who exemplified that in his life as he tells of his wonderful real life experiences of how God provides each time he obeys.
 
 
Also had an amazing time serving the Lord on stage during worship..
 
 
Worship with the children on stage with the Clancys from Australia


 
This guy that I served with. His name is Benjamin Lee. I first knew him when we were in Bedok Methodist Church. He was in primary school then. I always remembered him to be the only one seated right in front during the adult service and worshipping the Lord with his hands raised up. So encouraging and inspiring I thought as he was only in upper primary then.
 
Then in Secondary school, he was studying in a school where I was teaching in. He also became my student in the Computer Applications class. And now, God brought us together again in Riverlife church and during the church camp, I finally could serve with him on the stage as he plays the drums. Now, he has finished army and is now teaching in a drum school. Amazing guy with a heart for children as well as a talented musician. Am definitely thankful to God for allowing me to cross paths with him again and serving our Daddy God together!
 
After the amazing church camp, we also made our own trips to the Southern Islands. It was very fun especially if you like the outdoors! We went to St John, Lazarus and Kusu Island for swimming and picnic!
 
Blog it in a separate post here-  Trip to the Southern Islands
 
Also went to the Science Centre, specially to visit the new attraction there- KidsSTOP!
 
It was fun and interactive! I went with my mum together with Janine and Joyanne (my nieces).
 
By the way, pls remember to bring your own socks when you are there!!
 



digging fossils




The 7m giant slide is probably the most fun of all! Of course, you can opt to go from 3m onwards...up to your own confidence. Caleb started from 3m then in the end, he went to 5m. So proud of him!

I went too and went all the way up!! Super scary!




After that, we went to watch "Animalopolis" at the Omni Theatre! It was a humourous show of all kinds of animals.


 
 
Also brought the children to the National Museum where they had loads of fun there. Coincidentally, there was a section where they introduce the Southern Islands of Singapore. How apt since we just visited there.
 


 
 

All made from cardboard

Games for the children



Diorama art from toilet roll

Games with physics and art combined



Catching short films in a tent

Using torchlight as a paintbrush

Chalkboard fun

Genesis-appreciating photos

Defining Moments of Singapore
 
 I have learnt so much during this holidays and I hope the children, too have learnt something.
 
Lastly, to end off the holidays, we went to an event organised by NTUC at the Marina Bay Promontory. Its everything from the past- with games, food, shows, music etc etc..
 







Caleb receiving his prize in the Tikam game

Tikam Tikam

Zero Point rubber bands

Ding Dang Candy



Kacang Puteh stall


Ice Sticks

All of us enjoying ice sticks together and taking a selfie!

 
Playing marbles

Daddy, the trishaw man

Catching a glimpse of Wayang
 

Treated to fireworks at the end of it all
 
 
I couldn't ask for a better holiday- a time spent with the family having fun and learning together! All glory to God who has blessed us-kept us safe, healthy, happy and united as a family!




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