Friday, December 30, 2016

Thoughts of a New Mother

Matthias is 12 week old today! I haven't quite had the time to blog down some of my thoughts ever since becoming a mother. There's a tension between being tired and enjoyment - my friend says this sums up parenthood!

I have been tired due to the night feeds, and baby loves being carried/cuddled and rocked to sleep. For this - there's different point of views - some say that you will spoil the child by carrying too much, and you got to train your baby. Others say that baby is fresh from the womb and is used to Mother's touch, and that research shows that babies whose needs are met tend to grow up to be more secure. I tend toward the latter philosophy (hence my tiredness), but try to find a balance between the two. This is just one example of parenthood philosophy that everyone has different views of, and one needs to find a sweet spot amongst all views. However, how do I know if my views were "correct"? I will only know when Matthias is older - but then again, there will be all sorts of other factors that affect his growth. So who knows? As a couple, we have to discuss, agree, and entrust to God. A friend told me to do everything in love, and that has helped so much in thinking about what we ought to do. Sometimes tough love is necessary!

Tough love comes in when it comes to feeding baby with milk bottle. I have been direct latching him, and thankful that breastmilk has been sufficient for him. His growth (physically and developmentally) has been encouraging. Initially, it was stressful not having enough milk.. but we persevered and only topped up 3 times of formula milk of very little quantity. Supply of milk did meet demand as baby suckled more. There were some who advocated for me to pump out milk- otherwise, how will you know how much baby has drunk? Due to the breastfeeding workshop I went to when I was pregnant, guess I became somewhat a purist - i.e. baby knows when he is full. And being a sole caregiver for most times after the baby's first month, I cannot imagine having to sanitize the bottles + pump, feed baby and care for him.. everything has to be done twice. Breastfeeding is one whole new arena, and baby has become closer to me as a result of it.
Now that I am returning to work in Feb, and sending baby to infant care, we have to start introducing the milk bottle to him! We have tried since last month, but with very little success. :( tough love is seeing baby cry and "training" him to drink from bottle.

I am entrusting this aspect of parenthood to God! Working mothers face the tension of going back to work, and the "guilt" of letting someone else care for baby. My heart melts when baby cries/sobs/whines. Matthias is quite a mama's boy -which makes me feel loved and appreciated. This developed after 1-2 mths. Sometimes when others carry, he cries, but once he is passed to mama, he stops crying. In the morning, he recognizes my face and gives me a wide smile, while making sounds and trying to talk to me. I enjoy seeing his growth over the past weeks. However, despite these little treats, staying home hasn't been easy, and I am thankful for help from parents here and there, and I am so happy when Ferris is on leave to help me! I don't quite feel called to be a stay home mum. Not sure how it will be in a month's time when I go back to work, but I am starting to brace myself for the changes.

There's so much that we can plan as new parents. But baby is a growing human - his schedule is not fixed. There is some structure, but it differs as baby grows. As soon as I thought I deciphered his behaviour, it changes again in the next week. A wise friend told me that I should give thanks that Baby is not the same every week! It shows that he is growing. Yes I am... but for a person who needs much structure, letting go of control hasn't been easy, especially in the first month of being a mother.

May the Lord grant us wisdom..both to the parents and Matthias!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

God leads our paths

A quiet moment today for me.. sorting photos, doing up a photobook, and listening to Nichole Nordeman's Gratitude.

Spent some time to look at my old blog posts in 2006 here when I was struggling about leaving CHC. Thankful for His grace and the clarity to make such a difficult decision to leave then. It was really quite a journey and struggle to leave my church of 8 years then.

If anyone else in CHC is struggling to reconcile what is going on, feel free to reach out.

Things has not been easy this season due to certain challenges. As I read my previous blog posts in 2006 where I wrote of how I felt God had called me to the broken hearted, then it began to make sense as to why this is a season that He is bringing me through.

With Facebook, now it seems so much easier to just post short sentences, as and when events come. And also, I know write down my deep thoughts in my personal journal. Deep deep things that I wrestle with God about, or hear from Him about. Not sure if anyone still reads this blog.

I still love writing!

Dropping by here in reminiscence of the past journey God has walked me through. He is faithful.

Work has been good for me, having a good boss who coaches me at work, and also enjoying the field that I am in - all about developing people. It is a good alternative from the social sector, because of how learning and org development is after all about people as well. I like the corporate environment too! I have passed 3 years and still counting. The first year was challenging, and persevering has allowed me to see some fruit and the joy of learning new skills.

How will all these things make sense and pen out? I am still journeying and I feel sometimes it is not about the outcome, but everything about the process and journey of trusting God with each step of the way.

I encourage all who are reading this to keep on trusting in our loving Father.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Heart of Thanksgiving

This was the speech I gave on 26 Nov, for my Project 10 to Inspire Your Audience:

2014 will come to an end in a month's time, it is a good time to take stock of how our year has been. To give thanks, to reflect and spend time with our family.

In fact do you know that in a day's time, it will be thanksgiving day? Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in America as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and for the preceding year.

How has your year been? Are you able to give thanks for your year? For some of us it has been a good year maybe you had a promotion or a new addition to your family. For others it has been a year of transition with house move and new roles at work. And for some it could have been a painful year with the lost of a loved one or a loved one being hospitalised.
You do not need to raise your hands, but on a scale of 1 to 10.. 1 being it has been the worse year ever and 10 being it has been a wonderful year, how would you rate 2014?

If you are like a typical Singaporean, well they say Singaporeans like to complain. We complain about the MRT, COE, ERP, and most often of all about the PAP.

Singapore’s GDP per capita is one of the highest in the world, and yet all signs point to the fact that Singaporeans are also one of the unhappiest people in the world based on a survey by Gallup.

They say that laughter is like medicine for the soul. How can we be happier?

How can you end this year with a joyful and thankful heart?

I want to share two points using two stories.

The first is that we can give thanks by being grateful for what we have.

The first story is still very vivid to me. This took place about a week ago, I was awoken at 1am with the sound of heavy breathing from my husband. I walked out with him to the living room, and he was in such pain that he could barely open his eyes. I can still vividly remember his expression. He was sweating profusely. He was having a bad pain on the right temple of his head.

I was very worried and I decided to take a taxi to the hospital. When the taxi reached the a&e, someone wheeled a wheelchair for him and then shortly after he was wheeled into the emergency room. It was a long and worrisome wait for me. I waited there for an hr while he was being examined then the doc came out and told me that they were doing a CT scan for him. After another hr they said that he was to be warded for further investigations tho the CT scan didn't seem to show anything sinister.

When I saw him, his pain had subsided. I went home at the advice of the nurse and rested for about 2 hrs before coming out again to visit him where he was warded.

The next day, the doctor told us it was very unusual for a sudden onset of headache. They were concerned if there was any bleeding in the head. They have to do two other tests including getting fluid from the spine to test the brain fluid. I began to text my friends and relatives to keep my husband in prayer.

That evening as i went home, I was very heavy hearted, I was very fearful. I did not dare to switch off my hp for fear that the hospital will call me. I was fearful, and the fear of losing my husband was very real. You know many times we think that we men are in control of our lives, but at that point in time, When things happened so suddenly I felt helpless and knew that men are not in control of our lives and i could only pray and trust God's plan.

With much fear, the results were released. Thankfully, the tests turned out negative. There was no bleeding in the brain. The doctor said it might be due to stress. I was so thankful. It was the feeling like i had a second chance to live with my husband. I imagined the worse, but it turned out fine. Even now, i am giving thanks daily and am grateful to hear the music of my husband's snoring.

For first pt is that we can cherish and be thankful for what we have.

When was the last time you praised the Lord for the gift of being alive?

My second pt is that we can give thanks in spite of our adversities.

Nick Vujicic is a man who was born without any limbs. He suffered from depression when he was younger wondering why he was born this way and laughed at at school. You would think that naturally he would be a very negative person. Do you know that now he is married and has a beautiful baby with his wife.

He says "In life you have a choice: Bitter or Better? Choose better, forget bitter"

Many men who are full bodied are not as happy as him, why? It is because of our attitude.

How would you end this year? Will you end the year in defeat because of the challenges you face, or will you give thanks for being alive, and appreciate your loved ones?

I urge you friends, to treasure each moment of your life, and to end the year with a heart of thanksgiving.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

True love that the world needs today

I first knew about the Father 's heart in 2010 when the team came to Singapore for a conference. It really blessed me and uncle Julian's invitation to me to go to Penang A school was in many ways for me, the personal invitation of Father God to me. Next, I went to Going Deeper in 2011.

Last week, I went to Penang again and it was an amazing time with Father. 

In 2010 and 2011 I felt the journey was a lot about inner healing and coming to know the love of the Father. Now in 2014, I feel my understanding has grown. It started with being aware that we as Christians have a Father who is waiting for us with open arms. He is that loving and compassionate Father and He is with us in every situation and challenge. His love is poured out into our hearts like a real substance. And u grow in that love. This love transforms u on the inside out, and day by day we grow and manifest God's nature in our life.

The message was so life giving to me, as I had grown up in an environment of rights and wrongs. Sermons tell u that God wants our obedience and surrender.. That is true yet not complete. When we are so aligned with His heart, it is no longer about obedience but such harmony in our walk with Him. We don't have to fear that we will trip, walking on a tightrope of rights and wrongs. God sent His Son because He loves us. And His son in the gospel, Jesus knew who His Father was. He had such an intimate and secure relationship with the Father such that He did whatever the Father was doing.

So it is not longer about living our lives with laws and guilt. There is a new found freedom in my heart. And with that it is so much easier to enjoy life as a Christian.

At the school, God also spoke to me about an area of sadness. I had a miscarriage in April this year. I don't mind sharing this with people except sometimes people may feel awkward. God was our comforter during those difficult moments. The loss is still there in a part of the heart. But what really brought tears to my eyes was the verse that God spoke to clearly to me at Penang. 

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:14-16 NKJV)

Ofcos there was doubt in me that God had forsaken me, but Father so gently and intimately reminded me of His mothering love that He will always have compassion on me and is with me. When I came back to Singapore as I prayed, Father brought up the memory of our child who is in heaven with Him now... And revealed to me that as much as I grieved for this child, He grieves for and with His children. And now this verse has so much more a deeper meaning having been a mother myself.
There was also often this struggle that I don't find myself beautiful. In the most gentle way, He asked me, if your daughter doesn't find herself beautiful, how would u feel? I would be sad and my daughter was ofcos beautiful in my eyes. Then I felt God tell me, what more when u tell me that u are not beautiful? You are made in my image my daughter. I teared knowing in my heart how God had spoken to me in such an intimate way.

I believe He wants to restore us to the knowledge and identity as His son and daughter. As a servant, we ask for wages, but if we serve our Daddy as a child of His, we would be able to serve with so much more compassion. That is the true love that the world is looking for today. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I can cook, so can you

I prepared the following speech for toastmasters, and realized it was good enough to be posted as a blog post. So here it is

They say: the way to a man's heart is thru his stomach, and the opposite is a hungry man is an angry man. Because i have heard of these sayings and my husband loves to eat, prior to being married i had hardly cooked. cooking and i were like strangers.
after i got married i endeavored to learn how to cook!
the first meal that we cooked together was after we came back from our honeymoon all excited! they say the abc soup is the easiest to cook just throw in carrots potato onions and meat to boil! we used some beef because i had seen my mother do that before. after about 15min the meat looked cooked, we scoop out the soup and lo and behold the carrots and potatos were as hard as rock and the soup tasted like water.

Since that attempt i have picked up some skills in cooking. let me share with u three tips on learning to cook.


1. Seek help
it was obvious i needed help with cooking! the first person to approach was my mother. Mothers are like walking cookbooks, they have all the dishes in their memory! They will tell u, just put some salt, put some soya sauce, how much you ask? They say just roughly put as you think is right. 

i learnt from her for soup to be tasty, u need to let it simmer for at least 30-45min, in fact longer the richer! i also learnt from her chicken stew recipe! for the chicken to be more fragrant, stir fry with garlic for a short while first before throwing in all the other ingredients and water. the other resource that came in v handy was a cooking website recommended by my friend at in there were recipes for Chinese and western food.including baking steaming braising. From there I learn recipes like steamed beer prawns and cereal prawns.

2. Practice with people who encourage 

When I first started cooking, I cooked for my husband, there's only two of us, and he has to be my guinea pig. From the start he always finished the food I cooked. And sometimes he would say things like this is the best meal I have ever eaten. This really warms my heart. 

Another couple I cooked for one month after our marriage was my best friend and her husband. They finished the food and encouraged me to practice more.

3. Adapt and dare to innovate

Having sought help I tried innovating using food that I had. Last sat was my husband s bday and he requested for fish maw soup. The recipes mostly included chicken stock, which I was reluctant to use cos I'm health conscious. I bought a thermal cooker and cooked the chicken soup with mushroom overnight. In the morning when I opened the pot it was pipping hot and the soup was rich. I added the fish maw, scallops and more mushroom. The outcome was beautiful. Brown rich soup with smooth bits of fish maw, tender chicken pieces and juicy mushroom slices. We took our first bite. we both felt it was not very salty. It's ok however!

On Monday I used left over food from my mother in law -sausages, and potato and prawns from last week. I suddenly thought of the lagsana.I took the mozzarella cheese and the dill weed from my friend who left it in our kitchen, and suddenly I was able to have a meal that tasted a bit like pasta.


I believe these principles are not just for cooking, but in any new skill u are learning,these three points will help u! I hope this has been good food for thought for you.

I can cook, so can you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Life after marriage

I have been busy! What have I been busy with?
I have been busy learning how to be a good wife. Learning to cook, to wash, hang clothes, wipe the floors etc. I make breakfast for my husband every morning, whether it is a toasted sandwiches, cornflakes with milk or just sliced bread with kaya and milo. I try to cook at least one to two times a week whether it is simple soup noodles with yong tau fu or a full meal of rice, chicken stew, steam fish, chicken mushroom soup, stir fried vegetables, oatmeal prawns.
This is what I have been busy with!
The really wonderful thing is we learn to do these things together.

I make myself sound like a housewife, which I'm not. But I discovered that women build the house ( as what the sermon on mothers day preached), women can transform the atmosphere of their home with kindness, joy and warmth. :)

We hosted some friends at home too. Ferris mops the floor, washes the dishes etc. We are a team!

In aspects of building a family together, I smell something familiar, it is one of the simple joys of living. Same simple joys that I experienced in the village because it has to do with something so uncostly, but so expensive, the human to human relationship with each other.

I come home each day looking forward to be home. :) no matter how tired, home is where the heart is.

On the work front, it has been humbling, as I start afresh from the "bottom" in a field that is unknown to me of talent management and organizational development. Sometimes it is a bit like consultancy work. The best part is great bosses, the rewarding part is seeing yr work being appreciated, the growth part is having opportunities to try new projects, the grace part is guidance without nit picking. I struggled with the humbleness of starting afresh, but now I'm reaping the benefits of sticking it out. Being able to be home to cook is a super plus point.

I'm at a rather happy place and praying and preparing and managing expectations because life is not a bed of roses. Even then, I remind myself to smell the roses that come my way.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pre-wedding reflections

I have been busy planning for my upcoming wedding! Wedding planning involves more than two people, but also our families. There has been some tension here and there, together with work, we have been working through issues. However, I am thankful each time we manage to talk through an issue, we come out stronger, with a better understanding of each other, and with a greater sense of thankfulness as to how God has led and is leading.

Yesterday we went to watch Argo, based on a real life story set in 1970s. The violence in Iran shook me, it was a senseless mob that did not think killing the innocent or hanging someone on a crane to die was cruel. There was so much fear in the country, and so much hatred. Is this the nature of human beings? I whispered to Ferris, I think this occurs on a daily basis in the middle east and some other places, he agreed that we in Singapore are so super blessed. It stirrs my heart to remember God's heart for the world, the poor, the marginalised, and most of all the unreached. How would these people be reached? I really do not know. And who would go to these places?

This makes the string of mosquito bites on my legs and hands (YUCKS) look like a super small problem. I have been concerned about it, as I am particulaly worried there would be scars when I wear my gown. :( Pls pray for me. It also makes the decor and flowers concern pale in comparison. Ferris reminds me that wedding is for a day, marriage is for a lifetime.

Another question I ask myself is whether my current corporate job is working towards the mission goal that I have? Is this where God wants me to be at this time? And am I willing to surrender again my career to Him?

No answers yet... just mulling, and have been feeling stretched due to back to back planning, programmes, events. I want to sit at Jesus's feet and wait upon Him...

I am also certain storms would come in our marriage, but I am certain with Jesus in the centre, we can brave any storm together.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Leaving the social sector

My ex-boss who is was a volunteer used to give the analogy that volunteers are like chickens, who lay eggs once in a while. Full time staff are like bacon, they are the ones who truly die for the cause. Do u agree?

Some have asked why I quit the social sector. To be honest, I was struggling all the way to hand in my resignation letter. I chickened out and sent it by email on the night before I flew for a holiday. I cried in the few weeks leading up to the resignation, because I recalled the journey of 70% pay cut to join the social sector in 2006. My emotions included feeling lost, confused, sad, disappointed etc.

From GB to SIF, I had already switched into a more developed world, social good role. In this role I have learnt a lot, such as communication and writing, multitasking.. I am grateful and enjoyed meeting people of different nationalities. I had the opportunity to be part of the young social entrepreneurs programme, and meeting my heroes from Ashoka, PDI. If u know me long enough, I eat, drink, speak of SE, ever since it captivated my heart in 2004 in the business school - that business could meet social causes. But of all the programmes, I had the most difficulty handling something to do with SE. SE is my passion, and it was difficult that it became a work subject.

I don't wanna become bacon! Working 10- 12 hours a day is no joke (and more during peak hours). I recognize that nothing good comes without hard work when I saw the programmes bearing fruits, but the other side of me yearned for creativity and space to implement my own ideas, to dream, to fail. Working for a social org, u very much have to work according to the mandate of the organization. I recognize that my desire to dream can be done in two ways, one if u are a volunteer, u can choose the causes u want to support and do it with passion and zest. Two, u could start your own social org!

I don't wanna glorify my own quitting, and part of me wish I could do more, hang on. The other part of me thinks differently.... The core part of me that seeks to be a Christian to make an impact in society... This other part of me feels that the private sector offers opportunities to grow, learn, pick up skills that I can use to contribute back.

I'm keeping the dream alive... Thru a different route.

This is an interesting season. I feel that my life has a pattern of over committing to stuff, ESP if they generate social good. Ferris encouraged me to track my expenses, and my goodness,,,,, the amt of money I am spending, but other then that, in retrieving expenses, I also noticed my timetable has always been a series of rushing here and there. Pastor Edmund shared About the inner composure of the heart that Mary - not so much cos she was sitting at Jesus feet just listening, but rather, the way she was rested on the inside. I too want this restedness, and hope to grow in this. Nothing to prove to others, serving with delight and not out of compulsion. So now I am no longer doing some awe inspiriting social job. I am a white collared person, who is working with God, and not for God.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Two more working days...

Listening to Andrew Yeo's My Healer even as I am typing this. Felt touched, as I know that God is so near to me. 5 June marks the last day of my work in the social sector. Touched because I recall how God led me there, my struggle and journey with Him for the past 4years in the social sector. I felt He had to bring me through this process of breaking, to rely on Him. Yet in the midst of my breaking, revealing to me how good He is. That even in making a decision to head back to the private sector, I felt that intimacy with Him, such that I was able to know, It is a partnership with him, and that He works through our desires. I feel empowered to make the decision in my life, knowing that He is for me and with me no matter what I chose. Dreams.... Surely He is unlocking those in my heart. The freedom that He longs to bless each of us with. What are some dreams He has put in your heart? It is ok to dream.. With your palms lifted up to God. He takes the dreams, takes your hand, and brings you on that adventure.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I was going to on my laptop to finish up some work, decided instead to write some stuff that have been crossing my mind.

Work has been super crazy, clocking 11-12 hrs daily (almost). It has been fulfilling with the closure of each successful project. :D I have been tired because of the lack of sleep.

At this moment however, I am feeling thankful. Ferris is away on a mission trip. I just can't give thanks and praise enough as to how our personality complements, and our values and beliefs converge.

When I was a single, when I spoke to my happily married/attached friends, they often told me to wait, and that God would send the right one. That sounded cliche to me. I think it was the Lord who led me to pray this prayer early last year. For Mr X, my future partner:

"I'm dreaming of U. U whom i will learn to love completely, and U who will love me for who i am. U whom Abba loves, U who will know Abba loves u. U who will know it is me. U whom i may or may not already know. It will be that amazing day!"

When when and when would that "glorious" day come?

It came, surprisingly, not with sparks or fireworks. There is no lalaland, since we got attached, we have been angry and upset with each other a few times. We had have to walk through issues together. But I see the Lord's hand in this.

I went for a alumni gathering yesterday for Walking in Wholeness- a programme I attended at church. As I was worshipping, memories of the past Breakthrough Weekends that I had gone to flooded my mind. The breakthroughs that I had encountered, the healing of my broken heart through several dramatic incidences, the rhema word in season from the bible.

I re-observed that I had learnt in my "single" life back at church. The lovely people i met in church who i look to as family now. The pulpit ministry, going deep into the word and cultivating the inner life. The community and warm friendships. Thank u Covenant for being a wonderful church for the various milestones in my life. I had wished to be attached, but I was happy as a single.

I am preparing myself for a new season, to be spending three months at
Riverlife church, to pray about where Ferris and I should eventually settle.
No matter where we settle, i am thankful for Covenant. :)