Tag Archives: Christianity

Destination: Homeland – Malaysia

Standard

the time has come but all too soon for us; we’re finally going back to Malaysia for good this Sunday. it’s been nearly 2 years (come August) and just when we thought we’ll be here for another 1 more year (we’ve prepared our hearts for it), God has other plans for us.

it’s so disheartening when we first got the confirmation; one of the main reason for me was because i just got back here in Brats with the kids in March and we just got to know better the lovely and wonderful people from Citylights! we spent our first year here being so lonely (we only have 1 close family friend – the Dale’s) and ‘unhappening’ and then suddenly we joined this new church and we found a Family. Just when it seems like everything is going well, we’re being sent back. sighs~

even so, we trust that God has great plans for us back in Kajang. on the other hand, Ayl and i are both looking forward to building our own home (finally!!), a place we can call our own. we’ve been renting and staying at other ppl’s houses since Uni…

so what have i gained from this blessed opportunity to live abroad:

1. Family > Work

– people here leave work sharp, few do OTs and when it’s a major public holiday like Easter or Christmas, everybody (and i really mean EVERYBODY) spend time off work. Malls/Shops/Restaurants are closed, much to the misery of ppl like me because oftentimes on holidays, i’d rather celebrate these occasions out of the house i.e. the beach (there is no beach here), the mall, the eateries… you get my drift. well, you Brat friends can argue that there are the many beautiful parks or the Slavin memorial 😛 but we can’t go there at night with kids right? come to think of it, the honest truth is we just don’t want to be home alone; it’d be nice to get invited to join in with a family. so for those of you looking for triple pay income during the holidays, there’s no such thing here.

– women who has just given birth are given 3years maternity leave, after 3years the company will take you back. (wonder what happens if you have one baby after another??) meanwhile, the state will provide a certain financial amount to the family. here, it is an unwritten rule for women to stay at home with their babies till they are 3years old; leaving the babies for work earlier will be deemed as ‘a bad mother’. imagine that!

after nearly 2 years here, we’ve caught on this priority; Ayl and i agree that we should put family first before work. now that we’re heading back, i would like to stay home to take care of the kids rather than going out to work until they start going to pre-school. however, this of course will depend very much on Ayl’s income, if it should be sufficient for us.

2. Cooking with the Oven

– yeaaa… sad but true. i only got to know how to use the oven when we got here. i didn’t grow up with an oven at home and never got to know how to use it; that’s coz  (i think it’s safe to say) 80% of the Malaysian households do not use the oven to cook or even own one. what we used to use was a small round plug-in electric oven whenever we wanted to make a marble cake or kuih bankek (a type of traditional cookie) during the Chinese New Year. so, after getting this chance to fully use a modern ‘full-fledge’ oven, i think stir-frying comes second best. it’s convenient (don’t have to keep checking up on it or stir it), cleaner (no cooking oil splish splash everywhere) and some of the recipes are soooo easy and healthy.

[can’t believe this has been sitting here for 2+ weeks now, i better finish up]

3. Encounters with God & His people

– i remember just sitting by myself and tears will come; i was so depressed and lonely when we first came here, esp during the dark winter days when we would only get sunlight for 4hrs a day. God has been extremely good to me (and to us). i really can’t begin to tell each and every experience that i’ve personally had with him, there are just so many esp after we have joined Citylights. BLESS THE LORD O MY SOUL!! i have been strengthened in my faith 🙂

– even when i was away from Aylwin in Kuching, He has strengthened our bond and has revived Ayl’s spirit. i feel that he has a new level in faith and that is extremely good for me and the family. God is awesome!!

i think i better end here and post this up before i’m caught up with the daily motion of things at home again and this post might end up not being posted at all… 🙂 shall write more when i’ve the time and thought of something more.

Advertisements

The Noble Wife

Standard

last thursday marked our 4th wedding anniversary, how time flies. the walk down the aisle is still fresh on my mind 🙂

so i was reading up on what the Bible has to say (more like a reminder) about wives, these are just some of the many verses i found in my New Living Translation.

Eph 5:22 – You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.

Titus 2:4 – These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

Prov 12:4 – A worthy wife is her husband’s joy and crown; a shameful wife saps his strength.

Prov 18:22 – The man who finds a wife finds a treasure and receives favour from the Lord.

Prov 21:19 – It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife.

and more… but the verse that caught me most of all is this one here.

Prov 31:10-31 – Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. 11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. 12 She will no hinder him but help him all her life. 13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. 14 She is like a merchant’s ship; she brings her food from afar. 15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. 16 She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. 18 She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night. 19 Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. 20 She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. 21 She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes.

22 She quilts her own bedspreads. She dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth. 23 Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council meeting with the other civic leaders. 24 She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. 25 She is clothes with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future.

26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. 27 She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness. 28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: 29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. 31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

One word –> SUPAWOMAN!!!

this lady gets up before the sun and sleeps late at night; she manages the house & servants; she knows about trading & currency; she threads and sews; she even plants her own vineyard; etc; all of these and she doesn’t blow up and go crazy on the kids and husband from all the stress.

OR maybe, she doesn’t have 2 really young and demanding  kids like i do… aaaaannnnd, it doesn’t say that she has to make dinner every night before the husband gets home from work. 🙂

there, now i feel a little comforted.

Power Struggle

Standard

don’t know what it is?

try dealing with a 2year old toddler everyday and you’ll know the exact meaning of it. don’t have to be in politics or business.

nearly everyday i have to struggle with Arielle on simple things like eating her food, toning down so she doesn’t wake her brother up, getting dressed, going to bed… but most of all, not to touch things she shouldn’t be touching.

she listens according to her mood or when chocolate is offered (this is a sureproof way) but most of the time; 7 out of 10, she just does whatever she wants whatever we say. things get worse when i’ve to attend to Ashton first.

just yesterday during nap time, she said she’s not sleepy (when she is!) and doesn’t want to nap – usually, i’ll convince her to sleep but yesterday i thought i’ll let her go her own way. so i told her, if you don’t want to nap, you mustn’t cry later and no tantrums.

O.K!

so with much difficulty, i put Ashton to bed because this lil missy was making so much noise; whining and playing with stuff. and then she started getting cranky and asking for this and that (not really wanting them), just being ‘funny’; touching things she knows she shouldn’t. so after much heedless warnings from me, she got some smacking. she cried very loudly and terribly as if it’s the worst thing ever and didn’t want to stop. needless to say Ashton got up, and because he didn’t get enough sleep, he cried as well.

OH!!! i was soooo mad – emotionally and psychologically!! these kind of days really test my patience and sanity. i felt as if i could slap her senseless.

and then i’m reminded about what LOVE is supposed to be in 1 Corinthhians 13:4-8, through a bookmark which i was using for a book i was reading. wonder why i didn’t really notice the contents before.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is no proud. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps not record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails.’

oh Lord forgive me for being so quick to anger. i pray that i’ll always be reminded of this so that i’m able to be a good parent to these 2 small, innocent and beautiful children of mine.

Grace Flows Down

Standard

His Grace is sufficient for me.

it’s going to be 2weeks now since Ashton’s born and he’s nothing like his older sister! Arielle was an easy baby… an angel, she hardly ever cried even when she’s hungry. Ashton however cries very very VERY loudly when he’s hungry, especially when he’s hungry and not getting his milk. this time i’ve chosen to breastfeed baby fully and so far it’s proven to be quite a challenge for me.

some days are good when he’s latching on properly, other nights are horrible when he cries and cries and forgets how to latch and that made me panic and frustrated as well. with sleepless nights and body aches, he’s being a big bully when he doesn’t stop crying (to put it nicely). every time i feel like losing it, i look up to God and ask for H.E.L.P.!!! short simple prayers get answered all the time, and i’m so grateful i’m still able to sit and find time to blog about this, otherwise i think i would have already gone crazy pengsan (fainted)!!

this is an old song; heard it in one of Passion’s live concert album that’s in my pc and it captured me immediately. it’s simple yet comforting. i found the vid from YouTube and cried after watching it. So great is God’s love for us. Thank You God for Your faithfulness and Your grace.

When life takes a sharp turn…

Standard

how do we deal with the consequences of it? do we simply look up to God and without any hesitation just say, ‘Your will be done’, or do we contemplate and begin to question? when life takes a sharp unexpected turn, our fundamentals will be shaken without a doubt. 

today we received a shocking and tragic news about an old friend from UKM who had just passed on, leaving his wife and 2 toddlers without a husband and a father. he was a good man; cheerful and warm-hearted, musically inclined and a good brethren. it is still so unreal that he’s left us so early on in life. we can only pray for his family for life to go on and for faith to be strong. 

reminds me of a question i asked my dad recently:

pa, have you ever wondered where we will go when we die?

his reply:

Only the living has to suffer! There are so many versions of where we go when we die. So far nobody can testify the truth, so let us worry about our living commitments than to worry about that. Because nobody has gone there and come back to tell the story.

truth is, when we die, we will either suffer even more than when we’re alive or otherwise, but heaven is only for the gods and goddesses and it is unattainable. just like how i was taught in Taoism/Buddhism when i was young – when you die, you will become/face whatever it is that you have done on earth, there is no escape. for Taoism, it is which level/kind of punishment you will receive in hell, while from the Buddhism that i learnt; you will become some kind of ghost or animal depending on how heavy your sins are on earth. whichever way, you don’t get to win. 

isn’t it easier if we know we actually have options? there is a way to heaven and it only requires us to believe. 

Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but made alive by the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18

we believe our friend is in heaven now, and it’s comforting in a way to know that he’s in a better place and that we will meet again when our time on earth is also done.

Un-Charismati-zing

Standard

i thought this song is superb. ‘The God I Know’ – City Harvest Church; like it a lot! 

honestly, i really really miss the worship we have back in KAOG. there were live music, and we could clap or dance or lift our hands whenever we wish – a far cry from where i used to attend church in Penang (Burmah Road Gospel Hall). i wonder how or when i’ve become so ‘charismati-zed’. 

attending church here brings me back to the days at church in Penang; it reminds me of how i could worship without loud music, without the ‘essential’ instruments, without having to clap even. because worship also comes in a form of reverance – i don’t always need to lift my hands to show how much i want to praise God, it’s the heart that matters most. the thing is, i got so used to having those ‘environment’ for worship in KAOG that i’ve become somewhat lost in service here in a Lutheran church. 

then i start asking myself:

why has music become such an important part of worship for me? am i able to worship just the same without it? if not, why? 

‘Heart of Worship’ by Matt Redman speaks volumes about this. i really need to re-consider and check myself.