8 things I’m thankful for

8 days of 2016 have passed. 2015 whizzed by, and here I am in year 2016. Wow.

2015 has been an eventful year – both for the good and bad. But God has been so gracious to me that amidst the bad, I have been blessed with so many good things. Here are 8 things I am thankful for in 2015:

1. Deren graduated. Sanity restored for him, and for me. We could finally go overseas, head to weekend movies, watch tv dramas at night, and not worry about incomplete assignments.

2. My new house. Remember my post almost 3 years ago (check it out here)? I was still thinking about it and now, here I am, living in it. I love chilling in my house on evenings, sitting beside my window and gazing out to the peaceful park and flowing river. I love nature, and I believe Heaven would be so full of flowing rivers and green pastures. So the view outside my window is like a tiny, little glimpse into eternity in Heaven.

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Relaxing at my reclining sofa, admiring the calm evening outside

3. My mommy and sister. They have been such great help in easing me into my new house. I suffered terrible adjustment issues when I first moved. I doubted my abilities to manage a household and felt completely at a loss when it came to household chores and handling of bills. I didnt know how to cook, the appropriate detergent or cleaner to buy etc. Basically, I felt dumb and helpless. It was darn scary, I tell you. Worse still, I had to separate from my mom whom I have depended so much on for all my 28 years. This means, no more home-cooked food and cleaning my own house *bawls. I dunno how to do it* but, thankfully my mom and sister stepped in and helped to buy many household products to settle us in, cleaned our house and bought pretty bowls and decor to bring cheer to the house. Now, my mom comes over every other week to help us iron our clothes and cook dinner for us before she goes off for work in the afternoon. For that, I’m really, really thankful.

4. My new workplace. Someone told me that when you dread going to work every day, it means it’s time to leave. Leaving, it was, from the job I had for the past 5 years and one that I no longer found joy in. In fact, I sometimes woke up feeling nauseous last time. I was amazed how God opened paths so smoothly and quickly for me to go to my new workplace. There are new challenges in this new place, but having gone through the heat at my last workplace for the past 2 years (late-night rushing of major papers to fault-finding, perfectionist bosses; piled-up projects that were waiting to get started and never-ending work), I feel that these challenges are not as daunting.

5. My parents’ health. I thank God for watching over them and keeping them safe. Because they do not have any major health issues, I can concentrate on managing my work and personal life. I pray that they will continue to be healthy and enriched through God’s Word. Gotta admit, now that I moved out, I go back home about once every 2 weeks (as the other week is spent at Deren’s parents’ home), and darn, I miss my house and the comfort of being with my parents. I realise time is limited with them. So I do want to spend more time with my parents.

6. My friends – JC gal pals and C Girls. They kept me sane and human. They were understanding when I told them I felt too tired to meet up due to work. They allow me to be who I am, and cheered me on when I was going through a loooong rough patch last year.

7. My Nainai’s recovery after hospitalization. My nainai had a pacemaker inserted near her collarbone late last year. Thank God she recovered relatively well, but I really do hope I can help her more to ease her daily life in her twilight years.

8. God. I was torn down, ripped to the core of my identity, both at work and in my serving in church last year. DR said I probably was going through depression last year. But on hindsight, I believe God allowed it so that my identity could be rebuilt, rooted in Christ Jesus and not on my own supposed abilities. I remembered the many tears I cried, on Sundays during church, at home.. Oh, they still bring tears to my eyes as I think back on those days last year. God was so good, because He helped me up and sent so many different angels to encourage me in different ways, including healing me through the Pixar movie, ‘Inside Out’. For this, I am thankful that when I realise I had nothing, I still had God. He was and is really all I need.

So yes, this sums up the 8 things I am thankful for last year. Onward to 2016!! Can’t wait for the 1st exciting thing to happen in 2016 – our trip to Taipei in February!! And I will make Trip NZ happen soon, preferably by this year…must save $$.

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Fullerton/Clifford Pier – Great place for dates with friends & loved ones

I haven’t explored the Fullerton area for a long time. My last visit was probably about 1.5 to 2 years ago?

Boy, was I surprised to see the view of the Esplanade, the Singapore flyer and MBS from the Fullerton bay side. That Fullerton stretch that leads to the Esplanade is gorgeous! And Clifford Pier has been transformed to such a beautiful, charming place!

Here are 3 beautiful places/view around that area.

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Clifford Pier wonderfully restored. It is now the Fullerton Bay Hotel.

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The 100th Starbucks store in Singapore. The vibe is like Central Perk in the show, “Friends”.

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View at a pavilion opposite the MBS

The chill vibe there really beckons me to spend more dating time with DR there. I would like to go back there again before the end of this year.

The joy of reconciliation

I had personally experienced the freedom and joy that came from reconciliation recently. It was a wonderful and liberating moment for all of us, I believe. The cracks that grew all faded away because of that moment when we made a pact not to allow disagreements to separate us.

As I write this, I am filled with thanksgiving.

If reconciliation can be so liberating between friends, what more a reconciliation with God, our Creator. Even more joy, even more liberating, even more wonderful!

How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.

It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.

(Psalm 133:1-3)

Different views but still friends

I have been pondering about friendships – those that have been built for many years but shaken due to differences in beliefs or perhaps, less time spent together due to different priorities, work commitments… the list is endless.

How easy it is for relationships to have cracks, and eventually, broken. As I write this, I sense heaviness in my heart.

It is sad to see friendships experiencing tensions, especially due to differences in views. When we were all young, we had no views about the world because we all see it in the same way – bleak due to exam stress and peer pressure, and happy when we were allowed to play and hang out together. But as we grow up, no longer are we limited to simple dichotomies of bleak/happy.

We see things in different shades now.

However heavy this issue feels, I will make an effort to remind myself that despite the differences in views we may hold in our convictions and beliefs, when all these are stripped away, what will remain are the simple dichotomies we use to share and hold true – things that will keep the friendship going.

Bachelorette’s Party x Part 2

I know this is sooooo long overdue but yes, here’s my post on my second bachelorette’s party spent with Char, Pris and Yue just one week before my wedding. We booked a room at Amara Sanctuary Resort and decided to play tourists for the day at Sentosa.

Coincidentally, all four of us were wearing white tops! How apt for a bachelorette’s day-out

Going up the hill to check in to Amara Sanctuary Resort and photo-ready Prisci poses on.

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Got photobombed by the lady in red zzzzz.

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Yoga on the beach

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Yea, we played Monopoly Deal and Taboo till late in the night

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Blueberry pavlova with lemon-thyme ice-cream

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My breakfast – pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup! at the foreground are truffle fries!

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For the last few pictures you see here, they were taken at Tanjong Beach Club where we enjoyed brunch the next day after our one night stay.By the way, the blueberry pavlova paired with lemon-thyme ice cream was divine. It was an almost-perfect balance between the sweet pavlova and the slightly tangy lemon-thyme ice cream. Their truffle fries? Worth the calories!

Bachelorette’s Party x Part 1

Before we move on to updates on my wedding or “honeystar” vacation, how could I forget the wonderful bachelorette’s parties I had?

As you can see from my title, one post isn’t enough as I had two bachelorette’s parties with both my church girlfriends and JC gal pals. I shall leave the second “party” for Part Two.

For the first one, my sister, who’s also my chief bridesmaid organised a Sunday for us to gather to catch up, wine and dine. After church service, we trooped to The Wine Company at Sentosa boardwalk which has a gorgeous stained glass background, and had cushy, velvety seats. Makes you feel like a Medieval queen for the day. We spent our afternoon there whiling away the hours, talking and quizzing me strange questions about DR.

And the highlight for the day…. a private dining space at 1 Kampong Bahru!

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The private space for the 6 of us, decorated to the theme of blue. Lovely, isn’t it?

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The menu for the night – specially tailored and vetted by Sarah

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First up: Potato and Leek Soup, flavoured with truffle salt. Before the soup came, we were drinking bubbly and ciders like it’s free. Well, actually, it was free-flow 😛

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Still the entree – Saffron risotto. Rather filling but oh the prawns were good.

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THE MAINS: Roast beef and asparagus. Sarah specially told them to prepare beef cos I am quite a beef lover (well, thanks to bowls of beef soups I was made to drink when I young to strengthen my body against childhood asthma)

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Dessert: Pomegranate Oolong Panna Cotta. Love the subtle fragrance of oolong tea infused in the wobbly, smooth panna cotta. Too bad I was a little to full (and a little drunk, teehee!) to finish everything

All in all, it was a wonderful dining experience with loads of bashful laughter and honest talk. We had other entertaining stuff too but I guess, some things are better left unsaid in the public sphere. Let’s just say it didn’t involve any other boys/men at all, okay. Now, don’t think dirty!

Because I’m worth it

Girls want to be wooed. It’s true.

It’s not enough to say “I like you” and expect the girl to reciprocate.

I was a skeptic to such things in the beginning. I didn’t want DR to buy me flowers or send me home or offer to carry my bag. I wanted to be the unconventional girl but in the end, I failed quite miserably.

When DR wooed me, he got me flowers and was really helpful whenever I needed to get something. I remember I was very irritated with him then. Heh.

In retrospect, I was blessed, yet I did not know I was. Being wooed showed that I am worth all the effort and money. It is an honour to be wooed.

TIPS ALERT FOR SINGLE MEN

A close sister and I were talking about guys liking girls, and it struck me that there is a difference why some guy could get girls and some couldn’t. A guy can pay a lot of lip service but if he doesn’t demonstrate with action that the girl is really special in his eyes, by doing the fundamental thing of courting her (e.g buying her flowers, being exceptionally helpful/gentlemanly towards her, writing cards on her birthday, showering her with simple gifts – no need for extravagance), forget about getting a girlfriend. Do not fall into the trap of elevating yourself to show how good you are in order to attract the girl. Remember that she’s the one who’s special and you want to do things that make her feel special, not things to boost your ego!

Another thing for men to remember, please be patient. Do not be so overly enthusiastic that you forget that the girl you are wooing is human, not an object or a goal to be achieved. Even if she rejects you after ALL your wooing efforts (I mean real actions, not just declarations please), be a gentleman. What doesn’t kill you make you stronger! You never know, perhaps the girl might be attracted to you after seeing you handle the rejection with so much poise and grace.

Lastly, remember that once you get that girl, continue to pursue her, just like how God loved and pursued relentlessly His people. Afterall, she is special and she’s worth it.

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