365 days calligraphy challenge: follow your heart

calligraphy: grief

‘I want to swim again’

said my late mum to her oncologist when at her stage-4 cancer, he asked what is it that she wants to do (to encourage her). Fight she did, but she never got the chance to go into the pool ever again.

What is it that you want to do even if it’s just a simple thing—but you are giving yourself excuses not to?

Or, are you questioning ‘does it matter to do what I’m doing?’

I question myself many times about my role in the church office. I question my blogging; writing about God. I question myself even over this 365 daily word thingy. Does it matter? Will it make a difference to other people?
Hubs told me, ‘Even if you do it, you may not know in your lifetime whether it will matter. But if you don’t do it, you will NEVER know and will live with this niggling thought. Maybe even at your death bed; regret.’

So.
Swim.

#day3 #dailyword #dailycalligraphy #noregrets #makeadifference #365

What will we leave behind when we die?

I recently took a trip to Penang. Hugged my daughter in the morning (she doesn’t want to go; I don’t want to force her) and said goodbye as best as I can, given the strained relationship at home. And I wondered, in the event if I leave home and never make it back, have I done enough to say a great goodbye to this life and the people in it?

I’ve been thinking about death a lot. I mean, I’ve always been morbid—I carry my organ donation card with me so that the hospital has the permission to use my old body to give someone a new life. But increasingly, I’ve been thinking about death. Call it age. Call it maturity. Call it losing loved ones and seeing others lost theirs.

I don’t fear death, for I know of my eternal hope and destination when I die. But I fear the life that I didn’t live when I’m alive—people who I didn’t show enough love, dreams that died when I do, leaving merely footprints-in-the-sand in people’s lives, washed away as soon as the next wave comes.

I’ve read this amazing story of Susan Spencer-Wendel, who when diagnosed with ALS, decided to leave the best memories for her family. Her year of living with joy. See, more things to add to my thinking-about-death-a-lot list.

I don’t want to wait for an illness to remind me my time is up. Live it up. Love more. Quickly. Nor death’s hand to suddenly come and snatch life away, leaving no chance for goodbyes.


I guess that explains why the change of my perspective during the trip to the market with my mother-in-law, where I saw her in a different light.

Why I’m giving on-a-whim mini awards to my husband.

Mini awards for loved ones

 

Created a Spotify ‘long drive ahead’ playlist based on his songs request to accompany his driving, quietly enjoying seeing his enjoyment and his singing along.
Spotify play list Long Drive
Also thinking about my work a lot—talent, gifts, contribution, serving, dreaming, opportunities. How do I tie it together, if at all?

So I’ve been thinking about death a lot. And what kind of footprints I want to leave, with God at the center of it all. One moment at a time.

A Day Ahead Prayer
My morning prayer

I’ll leave you with this short animation trailer, ‘Inner Workings’ from Disney about living life using both your heart and mind. You gotta go watch Moana to watch the full animation though. C’est la vie.

Inner Workings from Walt Disney

 

And this delightful scene of an old man making his work enjoyable. Kinda like the ending in the short animation above.

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The side effects of divorce

Kids get hurt in a divorce

This article is written for married couples in different stages of their marriage; rocky or otherwise. It’s not for those who are in an abusive marriage, a spouse who’s a serial gambler or cheater, etc.
It’s also for those of you who are thinking of getting married.


Let me begin with the lamest duh-mest statement: Divorce is not pretty.
Of course, it’s not pretty, one would say. Breaking up is painful, and it’s a bloody mess. But after the divorce, it should be a happier future, right?

Well…for some of us who haven’t experience living the mess; months on, years on, I will attempt to share a glimpse of life after divorce.

First up, let me clarify, I ain’t divorced. My husband is. I married a divorcee with the sole custody of his beloved daughter.

Secondly, this is a reflection of my personal experience. If you are living a happily-ever-after unscarred life after divorce, I’m happy for you.

With that said, let’s dive into the most important message of this article:

The consequences of a broken family last a lifetime.

Let me repeat, l-i-f-e-t-i-m-e.
Lifetime.
Lifetime.
Lifetime.

If you don’t read on, just remember the above statement.


Here’re the side-effects of divorce which I’m still dealing with after almost ten years, and on a regular basis.

In no particular order:

  1. Trying to reduce the pain of the divorce for my step-daughter with more love, but.
  2. Daughter is tired of going back & forth two houses.
  3. Daughter is coping with having no say in bio-mum & dad’s plans in moving her around.
  4. Daughter misses bio-mum and misses dad, but they are not together. Torn.
  5. Me trying hard not to feel rejected, but.
  6. Handling the backlash that surfaced from years of the daughter being shuffled back & forth her dad & bio-mum.
  7. Getting angry at bio-mum for regularly not keeping to her words of sending daughter back on days that she said she would, but.
  8. Feeling helpless when bio-mum insists on her plans and we can’t confront her because we don’t want daughter to be caught in-between.
  9. Learning to suppress disappointment when we made plans with daughter but bio-mum decided on a whim not to send her back.
    (So you think it won’t be complicated to arrange for your kids to be shuffled over the weekends, or holidays to see the other parent?)
  10. Me feeling like an idiot when husband talks with daughter and the word ‘mummy’ came up and to the eaves-dropper, that word is obviously not referring to me.
  11. Daughter during her tender age of seven comes home from seeing her bio-mum and cries her heart out because she misses her. And there’s NOTHING I can do to take that pain away.
  12. People making statements to me like ‘oh, she’s not your daughter, is it?’
  13. People making statements to me like ‘why don’t you have one of your OWN? It’s different, you know.’
  14. People asking ‘does she like you’?
  15. People ‘advising’ me as a stepmum to leave the raising and disciplining of the child to the father.
  16. Mother-in-law said a few years back ‘when daughter grows up; she will go back to her mother’.
  17. I’m scarred. Still not able to rub those statement off my mind.
  18. Me feeling that because there is no bloody umbilical cord, we may not have that kind of bond as mother & child.
  19. Whenever I chose to believe otherwise, statement 12-16 came back to haunt me.
  20. Rinse & repeat.

My ultimate pet peeve is the naivety of parents thinking (hoping?) that their kids will be fine eventually.
Yes, they cope.
No, they are affected and will be for the rest of their lives.
And so will your life.

Please give your marriage a fighting chance. 


Note: Item #9 happened today. I was angry. Not at the situation per se, but angry at how the world makes divorce a norm; to end what can be reconciled. So it prompted me to write this article.

I’ve Snapchatted and asked the permission of my daughter if I can share this post because I don’t want to embarrass her. She said yes—it would help other families. And ended her message with I love you, and I miss you. My darling daughter, I will always love you. 


18 Oct 2016—I’ve received good response and comments not only on Facebook but Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger as well. Thank you to everyone who took the effort to comment. It encouraged our family. If you think the article will be helpful to someone out there, feel free to share it. Never know who may need it and read it. God bless.

God works thing in our lives that we could never do for ourselves

“Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Don’t these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God.”
Galatians 3:5-6 MSG

Don’t be easily offended

Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense’ (v.11, AMP).

Lord, forgive me when I am too easily offended. Thank you that, through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, you overlook my offences. Help me through that same power to overlook the offences of others.

Source: http://www.bibleinoneyear.org/bioy/commentary/2253