Friday, March 17, 2017

But I know I can Trust You

I've been in Singapore for almost 6 weeks,
and haven't seen my husband for that long.
This is the longest we've ever been apart, and for a daddy to not see his 2 year old daughter for that long hasn't been easy.
But I know I can trust you.
Back when we first got asked if we wanted to relocate to NYC and said yes, and then Mark having had to fly up that following Monday 3 days after we said yes, was exciting yet frightening. We didn't know how much he would be paid, we didn't know when I would fly up, how I would get our house rented out in time, whether all our furniture would fit into our new place there (and then ending up in a 1 BR because everything was so expensive and we had to get rid of so much and so many of everything ), and we almost didn't know anybody. Family and friendless, with an income halved by taxes and insurance , stress piled up and almost buried me till he encountered me with his love and promises.
And then I trusted him.
And then we had a baby, whom we waited for, for so long and she came in the perfect time in the perfect place. And then we made so many friends and then he just blessed us above and beyond all we could even ask for or imagine. And time after time he just showed that he is faithful beyond measure.
And then now, how all things worked out for the good. How Mark gets to fly back for work and gets to see us. How I got to spend so much quality time with my family. How I was led by his peace and not by stress and fear. How much of a difference this time has made. Time I would not have had if not for the delay. And despite not knowing what or how long more or when AGAIN, after a few days of gathering my thoughts and wrestling with the "what ifs", I recalled all the times all things have worked out for the good and how every season had its perfect time and place and reason, and I knew this -
I can trust him, AGAIN.
With every prayer I say, I know you can, but EVEN IF it doesn't happen the way I envisioned, I know you know better.
You have the best plans I cannot plan for myself.
Thank you Abba 

The Beauty of Jealousy

// The Beauty of Jealousy //
Today as I read Joel 2:18 " then the lord was jealous for his land and took pity in his people " , and the word JEALOUS captured me.
The past week I realized I was getting what I thought was jealous, that since he came back Aletheia wanted only daddy for the first few days . I felt hurt and rejected and even though I knew she was a child and she has not seen her dad for 6 weeks, I still felt very sad.
I tried to suppress this emotion because the word Jealous has always seemed to have quite a negative connotation to it. In school , a girl gossips about you because she is "jealous" of you. A boy whom she likes, likes you and she is "jealous". In work, someone gets promoted over you and you are labeled "jealous". So I was so surprised and puzzled when I read that God was JEALOUS!
God is a jealous God and I've heard that many times before. I never really sought to understand why. I've heard in songs that "he is jealous for me " but what did that really mean?
I googled (but of course!) the strong's concordance Greek meaning and it was like an AHA moment for me. In the way he sees it and almost like how I felt, to the degree he is jealous is the degree of how much you mean to him and how much he is FOR you.
"To burn with zeal, to be deeply committed to something with the implication of accompanying desire - to be earnest, to set ones heart on, to be completely intent upon"
And as soon as I read that, I felt loved that God was Jealous over me. Somehow, I caught a glimpse of how much we hurt him when we reject and refuse his love when he has so deeply committed to loving us, when he has earnestly set his heart ON and upon us with full intention.
The thoughts that went through my mind was how I've never felt so rejected by someone that I had put so much of myself and love into in the past 2 years. Even though I knew she didn't mean it, she is a toddler, it still broke my heart.
When she said she didn't want me to tie her hair, change her diaper, brush her teeth, etc etc and it all had to be daddy, it really hurt me. The human nature in me wanted to just also reject her and not try to care so much about her since she was rejecting me - and all this while I felt him whispering that this was where Grace and love had to take over and this was what it looked like - still standing by and loving on even when you weren't being "loved" back.
While we were still sinners, still rejecting Jesus, he DIED for us. While the world rejected God, he sacrificed literally a part of himself, his son, for the world for he SO loved. The more I think about that in relation to what I have gone through with Aletheia, the more I come to see that the gospel is so Crazy!!!! This crazy love !!!!
God how do I love like that?
"For we love because he first loved us"
Thank you for being Jealous for Me 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Trust His Heart

As I was talking about baby names to a friend I was telling her how I love that when people ask me what Aletheia means, I could tell them the following - That I was watching Joseph Prince and the word Aletheia and its meaning flashed on the screen. Aletheia was the greek word for Truth. Not just any truth, but " but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness. '
Aletheia was the same Greek word that Jesus used when he said, "I am the way, the TRUTH ( Aletheia) and the Life".

I thought to myself, if I have a daughter, that would be her name!

As she approaches 2 in 12 days, I find myself now struck by God's Presence and wonder at how he indeed used Aletheia to bring so much Divine Truth into my heart and life.

I look back on all the blog posts that came about because of the downloads I had in my heart from my love and experience with Aletheia and I don't even have words, just tears.

How moving to New York, being forced to meet new people ( and then having new perspective and having my heart expanded to love different), moving into a 1 bedroom apartment ( from a 4 room flat and moving every single thing I have every owned from Singapore here, forced me to stop hoarding THINGS, memories, and even people) , having a baby ( and experiencing motherhood and all the ups and downs of it all) has shaped me and changed my mind about so many things in so many ways!

How Truth has been revealed to me in these past 3 years!

Oh how JESUS has been revealed to me in these past 3 years!

Which always brings me back to this song that has played in my heart for years since I first heard it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLn0cRl-0GE

TRUST HIS HEART
----------------------------------------
All things work for our good
Though sometimes we don't
See how they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth
Our Father knows what's best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just don't see him,
Remember your never alone

Chorus:

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When don't see his plan
When you can't trace his hand
Trust His Heart

He sees the master plan
He holds the future in his hand,
So don't live as those who have no hope,
ALL our hope is found in him.
We see the present clearly
He sees the first and last
And like a tapestry He's weaving you and me,
To someday be just like him

(Chorus)

He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you

(Chorus)

When you can't trace his hand
When you don't see his plan
When you don't understand
Trust His Heart

#cry #crysomemore #trusthisheart

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The truth about Sex and Marriage

I am so thankful that by Gods grace, I have a wonderful and loving husband today. 

However, there were many years that I battled and questioned and lost my purity because I did not understand why sex out of marriage would  hurt me. I only saw it as one more law in the bible that I just did not understand that made me feel guilty and more ashamed to come to God. It was my reason for thinking that it was so hard to be a Christian and that I would only go back to church when I got married because only then, it would be acceptable in the eyes of God. 

As I have come to know the heart of God who is the creator of our sex drive and the pleasures of sex itself and knowing his heart for covenant relationships, it is sincerely on my heart's cry that no one else should have to go through life without knowing this truth about sex. 

Praying this will bless you as it has blessed me! 

Friday, June 3, 2016

You, a work of art.

As I was in the shower meditating on what I had just read in Elizabeth Gilbert's book on creativity, "big magic", I was concurrently  thinking about how it was "time" for baby number 2.

Yet, the recent news of a friend's friend's second child being born wth Down syndrome (after their first child being born a genius) plagued me with fear. What if, after having such a wonderful first child who was perfect in every way- Aletheia, if we got pregnant again and our second child had a disability? What if our second child wasn't as perfect ?

This ties in with my recent fight with the fear of failure. 

You see, I am about to show my art in a small gallery near our place. For the first time, a whole series of my art would be on display for people to buy. I panicked at the thought of prices and which pieces to show - to the point where I had an anxiety attack whereby the nerves in my hand started to make my hand hurt. It took some "stress away" oil and much praying to calm me down but thank God that pain went away. 

The thing is, what if it doesn't sell? What if people don't like my art? What if I feel rejected? Having done Hadasity for years and having built a relatively "successful" business in selling my craft ( in that what I make, sells), I have recently felt myself being attacked with the lie that how creative I am and who I am as an artist is defined by whether my work sells. I am so thankful that the pollution in the air of these thoughts have been cleared for me amongst other things - but the point He was trying to make in the bathroom boiled down to this - who says ? 

Back to my thoughts (in the bathroom). I was thinking about making "baby number 2" and the "what ifs" about baby not being perfect when I felt like I heard God telling me - who is to say that what he has created and will give me will not be beautiful? Who is to say that his ART, his creation in us isn't good? Who says?

Just like the abstract art I have been creating and that I have been thinking about; Just like how someone might look at an abstract piece of work and think it looks like child's play, worthless, or even pure nonsense - some might see the beauty of it and buy it for a million dollars. 

It's puzzling why it can mean so many different things to different people - but I realized that art sends a message and it evokes emotions. Sometimes we can't understand why, but it speaks to us. But maybe not to all, and maybe not to anyone else but the creator - and that's okay. 

Who says? I felt God say in the bathroom. If a child born doesn't seem to fit perfectly in the mound of "fine art", but to God is "abstract art" - in the sense that he sees the beauty and has different ways and strokes in how he is bringing out the message and emotions in that piece, who is to say the art is not good when he is the first and original master artist, creator and gallery owner and collector in the world? He paid the ultimate price and out the highest bid on each and every artwork that he has created, molded, painted - and every piece is beautiful and wonderfully made - he thinks so! 

Beloved if you have been struggling with these same thoughts of failure and fears, lets eliminate those lying voices ( and I am talking to myself right now). The truth is that, Your identity is not in how successful you are in your craft, your job, even how good a mother and wife you are. 

The truth is that your identity is in that you are a beautiful work of art, created by a master craftsman who happens to be your dad. The truth is that your identity lies in that you are a child of God - and that might seem like it can't be all that is important - but it is. Because it is from that identity that allows for all the good gifts and things that you need and want (that you don't have to strive and struggle in fear for like an orphan) to flow through when you know who you really are and what you already have. 

The truth is that You (and every child and human being born in this earth) are a work of Art. 

You've been sold, and you've been collected.
You've been appreciated, you have been deemed worthy of a high price. You have been called wonderfully and beautifully made. 

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”

Psalm 139:13-16 MSG

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fear and Creativity

I think that so honestly, the one thing that prevents me from being creative is fear. Fear that what I create will not turn out nice. Fear that nobody will buy what I make. Fear that what I like and love isn’t commercial enough, and that it wouldn’t sell. In part, this fear seems to me like a sort of fear of rejection – in a business and creative sense.
I think the biggest turning point for me was when I stopped fearing (as much). I still do fear sometimes, but I always bring it to God – because I now know his word and his promises. And these truths are my stronghold in being creative because it allows me to come into agreement with the ideas and colours that come from within my soul and to trust that I AM creative because I was CREATED in HIS image – My father is a Creative Creator and he has made me just like him.
Before I make any jewelry or paint these days, I always raise my hands and just thank God that whatever I put my hands to prospers, and that I am highly favoured and blessed! I thank God for the unlimited creativity that he has in heaven and I just RECEIVE it – that instant. I receive the ideas by faith. Usually almost 90% of the time after that, I am rearing to go. I trust the first colour combinations and materials that catch my eye. I trust the inner voice I hear. I trust the Holy Spirit is guiding me and giving me ideas. I trust that he is blessing my process – and then whatever I make is full of love – because we put God in the center of the work of our hands, there is no fear.
I just googled the definition of INSPIRE and it read “ 1. to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. “ and “2. To breathe in (air); inhale. “ And suddenly it all makes sense.
When we Inhale HIS Love and Presence and Promises, we are so filled with creativity because he is a creative being, that we exhale and release, and overflow with the urge to do just what we were created for – and our passion comes alive.

The Magic Of Faith and Toddler Fears

Perfect love casts out all fear.
What if , you walked around, ran around, met with strangers, knowing that your dad had your back ALWAYS , like you ACTUALLY BELIEVED he was right there beside you and behind you, watching over you?
Upon coming back to Singapore, and seeing how carefree and friendly Aletheia is with strangers and her surroundings, some had said to me that it seems like she doesn't need her mummy! Or that it is a strength but also a weakness cause she might run off with strangers since she is so trusting.
I lay in bed today wondering if she really "didn't want her mummy" today and conversing with the Holy Spirit I felt him say that it was because she had no fear. That we had brought her up so secure and given her so much love and not given her any reason to be afraid. That children, without being taught fear, can be very courageous while being cautious ( though sometimes accidents still do happen but they fall and pick themselves up again ).
We made it a point to never make it a big deal when she falls. We would say, just get up its okay and smile at her. We sing a song we made up , "it's okay, it's alright, Aletheia will fight fight fight! " and laugh cheerfully and she gets up and continues playing.
In the past 2 days staying with family, I noticed something. When my family members worried over her too much and were fearful or her safety over uneven floors and steps and corners and let her know about it, she became afraid. She didn't want to try to walk down the tiny step. She wanted to be Carried over. She froze at the step because everyone shouted with concern over her "be careful!!! It's dangerous!!! Watch it there!!! " till she didn't even want to try and froze with fear. It took awhile at night of me being alone with her around that area and acting like it's not a big deal, showing her how I crossed it with ease and how I had no fear. When she approached it I continued with my her activities and pretended to pay her no attention and she inched toward it slowly and crawled over it. Today she finally walked over it with ease.
This spoke to me... How we instill caution can sometimes instill fear. How can we assist and encourage our children without crippling them with fear when we just want them to "be careful"?
Sometimes in complete love and concern I know that it is commonplace in Singapore for people to say the following ( because they have been said to me as well as a child) -
"Don't run around or you will fall down, sit still don't move "
" don't talk to strangers or they will kidnap you and catch you away "
" don't run around or be naughty or the policeman will come and catch you"
"If you don't .... Monsters will Come and bite you"
"Don't run in the rain or you will fall sick" ( of which only recently my husband emphasized to me that it is really untrue that a few drops of rain on your head would make you sick. But it was so ingrained in me already that I was quite fearful of the rain.)
What if we told them that strangers are people too and that it was okay to go be friendly as long as we were around?
What if we didn't try to make them fearful of strangers, policemen, monsters or random things that we think will help to control them and keep them safe because we ourselves are truly fearful for them out of love ?
What if you knew that your dad had your back and you didn't have to be afraid because you knew he was there to protect you?
Today I was reminded that so many of us and myself forget that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and protects us and is always there for us, watching over us. We have so much fear because we don't understand the perfect love that he has for us. We just don't trust him to be there. We don't trust or believe that he is around and that he is FOR us, so we fear and strive and go on survival mode like we are orphans.
You see, Aletheia isn't always so friendly with strangers. She doesn't just always let anyone carry her. When I drop her off in he care of strangers during church where hey have daycare or bible study, she screams and cries for really long. The thing is, I realized she's comfortable with strangers and doesn't have fear around her surroundings and people because she knows I AM THERE. She's is secure. She is safe. Because I am watching over her, and she knows she can run to me anytime she wants.
Maybe today you are struggling with some fear. Maybe you don't trust people. Maybe you don't trust yourself or your surroundings - but can you trust your father in heaven? He loves you with an everlasting ( meaning unconditionally, forever and ever no matter what ) kind of perfect love!
And when we know that and believe that truly, that's when I think that "magic" of faith JUST HAPPENS.

Hadasity Workshops and the Teaching Heart

To be so very honest, I have been quite nervous about the Hadasity workshops because I always thought that I did not have it in me to teach. My immediate response to anyone who asked me in the past, why don't I expand - was that I couldn't teach what I did. Even Talitha has not been taught how to make a statement necklace till now.
Not just that. If you had asked me a few years ago to teach a class, I would have actually been offended! What? Asking me to teach you how I make my statement necklaces - you might as well ask Bread talk for their pork floss bun recipe!
What has changed? A change of heart. A change of mind. A renewed mind.
It dawned upon me not too long ago that it would be pretty funny if I claimed all the credit for my necklaces when I pray all the time and ask God for ideas. Because that would be like asking him to the blueprint and then when I have it, start thinking that I came up with it myself! Kind of like when your parents give you pocket money and then you think it's YOUR money - but really, it was theirs given to you!
Not just that. I used to think that if I taught others how to make, people would copy my ideas and there would be competition and I would lose out - as if our Heavenly Father doesn't have creative and original ideas enough for all of us to share!
The truth is that we were created in His image and we are all creative creators, just like him!!! In your own original way, and it doesn't have to show itself in painting and jewelry making - it could be in the way you organize your closet, dress yourself, COOK, CREATE solutions ... You and your very own creative way. YOU ARE CREATIVE!
Today I received a gift that I never had. I never knew that I could teach, and perhaps I never was able to till now. I was amazed today at how I was able to communicate and guide my mom and auntie and sister patiently and joyfully throughout a good 3 plus hours and actually enjoyed it!
I prayed a simple prayer - "God I am not a teacher, I don't know how to teach and I have not taught a class before. But I know you can and right not I just ask for a gift of teaching and I receive it. Give me a spirit of utterance and patience and wisdom to be able to guide and bring out the creativity in the girls that are coming to the class. Guide their hands and mine."
Today we decided to do a dry run of the class with my mom and auntie. And they made beautiful necklaces which I am so proud of! If my mom and auntie can do it, so can you!! ( If Yan can cook, so can you! )
When I am weak, then I am strong.
When I can't teach, then I can teach.
His Grace is for every place for when you say to him that God I can't , but through you, I can.

Discipline and the Heart of "No"


After having spent one week with family in singapore - and having all the attention and being fussed over and picked up and Carried at every scream or whimper, I now sit all alone with Aletheia in our Phuket hotel room feeling frustrated, because it seems, she has somewhat been infected with what I hope is a temporary "scream to get my way" mindset disease.
She had always been really good at sitting in her chair during mealtimes, feeding herself. But after a week of inconsistent chair sitting and mealtimes, it has become hard for her to sit down for more than 5 minutes, let alone eat anything. She would want to run around and maybe take a bite or two if you would feed her while she goes on her expeditions around the house. If you try to keep her in her jailhouse of a high chair, she would scream to be carried out - and a loving and obliging family member would surely come to her rescue.
The past week of "love and attention" being showered over her has surely proven itself detrimental. What has happened to my cheerful independent baby that feeds and plays by herself and has always been very happy to do so?
This got me thinking today about discipline and delayed gratification, and how sometimes God doesn't give us what we want NOW because of what he wants to give us LATER.
How while at that moment, your whole world might seem like its crumbling ( to a toddler i believe so), your parents don't just give in to you and your ways because they can actually see how letting you have your way at that very moment would impact your character and how you see the world and people, 20 years from now - when all you can see is the 2 seconds in front of you.
I think back to all the prayers that in those moments I felt were unanswered. I think back to times I was disappointed and threw a tantrum because I didn't get what I wanted, or things didn't happen the way I prayed it would. I think back to those moments right now and think - God thank you for saying NO to me. Thank you for your discipline. Thank you for seeing how those circumstances would shape my heart and mind and for all those lessons they taught me. Thank you for loving me enough to not always give me what I want, as and when I want it because you see so much further ahead in time that I could ever see.
Thank you for allowing me to fall and to try, and for helping me when I learn to get up and not give up - to learn that it's okay to make mistakes and to make a mess because your grace and love is enough - And my mess becomes my message.
Thank you for giving me choices and letting me make them - even the bad ones - because they have taught me that truly in and of myself, I have no good thing. That all those years i didn't have a relationship with you, I had actually tried to fill an empty spot in my heart that only you could fill.
Thank you for your discipline.
I have seen this verse before and it brought me to appreciative tears today as I felt tremendously loved while reading that God disciplines his children and it is because he loves us... And I hope it blesses you too, to know his fathers heart for you:)
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:5-11 NIV

A Toddler's Time Out and A Parent's Sacrifice

Over the week as I realized Aletheia's temper tantrums were growing wild, I made a decision to have an action plan. I would put her in the crib (that she doesn't sleep in ) for a 1 minute "time out" in the room alone the next time she threw a fit.
As I stood outside the door counting to 60, hearing her cry her guts out, it occurred to me that this was just a tiny bit of what God must have felt when he had to turn away and allow Jesus to be crucified on the cross for us - it was painful and heartbreaking, but necessary.
No parent can watch their child cry without feeling heartache to a certain degree. This night was tough for me. As much as I wanted to pick her up immediately to stop her tears, I knew I had to stick to my guns for the point to get across.
Of course, the 1 minute of Time Out was followed by a good 10-15 minutes of hugging, comforting, nursing, explaining, and telling her how much I love her.
At that moment, this verse came to mind - "For his anger only lasts a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime" ( psalm 30:5).
Which also got me thinking -
If in my imperfect love as a person and mother - I can feel this much heartache and pain in that 1 minute of seeing my child cry, how much more our Heavenly Father he had to watch his son suffer on the cross because it was so necessary and because he loved the world SO MUCH that he gave his only son?
This verse has been used and said and heard so many times, but how many of us truly know the degree of heartache experienced that moment a Father had to turn away from his son? Do we know what that day cost a Father? Do you know the heartache of this dad? Do I even realize the depth of love this dad (which is now also my dad), had to have for me to have allowed his son to be tortured and humiliated for my sins?
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Beloved, if you do not yet know - you have a dad who loves you SO much, that he turned away from his own son whom he loved with all his being, because he has no other choice ; because he doesn't want to be separated from you and wants a relationship with you - and the only way you can experience his love is through receiving the love he has for you through what he and his son went through FOR YOU.
This parent's sacrifice ,
is your love story.
This dad is your dad too -
Do you know him?