Monday, October 31, 2005

Misses Home

Kind of misses home, how is my mom, anyone? How is everybody back home? Would be leaving Rome tomorrow for Siena. A bit drain after several days of walking and minimum public transport, would definitely prefer to take lots of public transport than walking, yet in order to save cost....

Rome is quite a beautiful country, finally have enough of art museums and sculptures and cathedrals and basilicas..... guess would definitely want to have some great time shopping for gifts and hopefully Christmas presents.

Right now, I am using a paid internet access, so would not be long, as I do not want to burn a hole in my wallet. Just wish to drop a line here for all my beloved ones at home, miss you all, and yap, do keep me in prayer, and surely our Lord Jesus is with me! A bit exhausted only after 1 week. Will update more when I reach home... all the stories! Ciao! Blessed week!

Friday, October 28, 2005


Sorry, niece, I am unable to enjoy this wonderful birthday occasion with you this year, yet I hope I am still able to give you a pleasant surprise from Italy, most probably from Rome. I am not sure if I would be able to deliver this birthday wish personally and promptly though. In fact, I am now writing this blog several days before your birthday, hopefully I can find an internet access at my hotel to post it from there. So by the time you read this, I must have cleverly resolved this. Or should I get your sister to help me?

How time flies! Now that you are already working, and even considering of studying again. I am happy for you, in whatever decision you make, as I am so sure that whichever path you embark on, our Papa God will surely take care of you and He has great plan for you, way beyond your imagination.

The above was a sketch I did many years ago, I believe when you were perhaps 6 or 7 years old, and when I possibly was in my secondary school, asking you to be my model, while I practiced my sketching for my fine art class. I discovered this drawing while I was unpacking all my stuff during the moving of house, and what sweet vivid memory it evoked. It was not really a masterpiece, just a piece done by a simple young girl, whose aspiration then was to be an artist. I did a little touched up before I published it, but certainly, there are many flaws still.

This niece is another precious gem of mine, and most certainly the Lord’s. From young, she is quite unlike her older sister. Perhaps with a seemingly “outstanding” older sister in terms of study, she is always under scrutiny and comparison by adults and relatives, and indeed she may seem weaker in studies when compared with her sister, yet in other ways she is no inferior, and it does not take too long for one to discover. She is cheerful, bubbly, and at times almost “rowdy”. She does have the ability to make everyone around her comfortable.

From young, just like her sister, she spent a great deal of time with us, although she was cared for by a nanny. She would often come and stay with us over the weekend. As she grew older, and I grew wiser (I presume), I became her tuition teacher when she was in secondary school, giving her many intensive classes and drilling, preparing her for “O” level. I believe it must have been a frightening episode in her life, some sort of drilling that was, and thank God, she passed pretty well!

I remembered about 2 years ago, when she turned 21, we went backpacking in Shanghai, as part of her birthday wish to fly, and that was when I realized she could really shop, amazing! It was a wonderful experience, though I was a bit of a “fierce” aunt at times, which I know! Do forgive me!

Mei, know that you are no ordinary person, you are His beloved, special and unique in His eyes, and even in mine, and you have many gifts in you, placed there by our beloved Papa God, which you have yet sharpen them and use them to their fullest. Always remember, you are not a face in the crowd, you are special in Him, and even in my eyes. And for today, you are the superstar in my blog!

As promised and requested, I wrote about you in this blog as a birthday gift to you! Cheers and love ya! Blessed birthday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Just a short note

I am now in my final day at Ancona, and tomorrow I will be leaving for Rome, visiting one of Renzo Piano's auditoriums. That to me is kinda of interesting as for the past few months, and in fact, almost 2 years, I have been dealing with quite a bit on auditorium design, perhaps this is one area that I should study into... I ponder.

Been saying that dinner here in Italy last for 4 hours, and it is quite an experience, I already had tasted twice for the past 2 days. How the dinner stretched into the wee hours of the night, and the most 'exciting' thing about it was that we never know what is coming next, we never know what was the next dish and what we are eating, until we ask the waiter. This was kinda of 'scary' for me as I am pretty fussy about food as most of my good friends would know, most of the time, I only eat vegetables, fish and chicken. And perhaps for once yesterday, I ate beef (other than in burgers). It was quite tasty after all, thank God it was prepared quite well, or else...

Many things to thank the Lord for. Perhaps not many of you know, I suffered 'air sickness' on plane sometimes, yet this time round, I decided to just trust the Lord with no medicine, and thank to His faithfulness, the 12-hour flight was great, I could eat and sleep and I actually finished 3 movies on board. Must be God.

Anyway, got to go, someone is waiting for the computer as well. We all are deprived of proper internet access. Not sure if I can find an access in Rome, see you all soon. God bless and have a blessed week! B, send me an sms, please with your email address by today! Thanks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Greetings from Italy

I am now in Italy, in a countryside area, having my seminar, really kinda slow here, and I am still trying to get used to it. The good news is that there are internet access in my hotel room, but the bad news is the software is too old and I could not access my blog, and therefore, I am really grateful to find an internet access here at the seminar place, of course, sneaking out of the seminar to have a quick fix of blog.

Things are really kind of relaxing here, we have long italian seminar with English translation and long Italian dinner, that last for 4 hours due late into midnight. There are so many things I want to say here, but guess I got to rush in for my seminar.

Meanwhile, my dearest niece, can you send me your email address via sms to me I am trying to contact you but I have difficulty locating your email address. Thanks, dear.

Dear ones, our Lord Jesus loves you and miss you all. Will get back soon if I find an access again.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

On Leave Finally

Almost could not send this journal out before I embark on my holiday tonight. My pc almost "dieded" on me again, until I prayed and spoke nice word to it, and even threaten it, and like an angry parent, I took out the last straw, I hit it literally on its side, and suddenly it came back to life, amazing, miracle! Guess it is high time I get a laptop, yet this has to wait till early next year, since I spent so much already this year, on my flat, renovation and this trip, although it is already half paid for. Why am I still grumbling? Papa God help, You overlooked all my imperfection and You are my provider!

Was thinking perhaps I would drop a line here in my blog, if my pc still could not work, at the airport later tonight, yet thank God, this needed not be consider afterall.

Once again, I sound like a broken record, I just want to apologise to my niece and my friend, sorry for not being able to celebrate your birthdays, but for sure, you will get a present. As for the 2 weddings I missed, sorry for that, I am sure you will definitely be very blessed, for I know my Papa God takes good care of you, be the most beautiful brides ever.

As for all the dear ones who sent me smses and emails, knowing I am going for a long break, thanks, and do keep me in prayer, that this will be a wonderful relaxing trip, where I do not need to think too much. Finally, I let my brain sleep a while, and just satisfying my 5 senses will do. Thank You Shepherd, for bringing your little lamb there, and you'll be there with me still.

And not being sure whether I would be able to post anything here while in Italy, if I can find an internet access, I would definitely drop a line or 2 during the trip, when I have nothing better to do at night, and when I miss home, but I doubt I can post any pictures even if I draw a lot, unless I find a scanner, or use my camera to take my drawings? Too troublesome, I suppose, being the lazy me...

So many things to say, yet so little time... cleared almost everything at work finally, about 80%, I suppose, guess my colleagues will have to take care of the 20%, not totally my fault, simply wrong timing. But guess what? I finally cleared my table. (After being reminded by my boss to clean and pack my table before I go on leave. I actually planned to do this, but with his reminder, I did it with great reluctance, it is so human nature, to dislike doing things when asked to do it...) It was so clean and tidy, that I couldn't believe it myself, I finally see what is the color of my table top! It is white with many scratches! Amazing! I could hardly recognise it. Hope it will be maintained as it is till I come back, hopefully my colleagues will not dirty it while I am away, and hope you all read this! For colleagues who have read this, perhaps you can kindly forward this to my dearest 3 assistants sitting next to me?

I also like to take this chance, to thank them, thanks dear colleagues, for helping me out all these while, and many more days to come, and also covering my work for me while I am away, you all are really dear and precious in my eyes, and more so in my Lord Jesus' eyes, hope you will come to know of His great love for you all. Meanwhile hang on! Thanks, see you all in 3 weeks' time. You all are great, and are great blessings to me!

As for the dear friend-colleague, I can't wish you farewell personally, but I wish you all the best in your future endeavour, and also, you know me, I still hope you can join me for one service in church someday! Hope you get to read this, ST, can forward this for me to her? Thanks.

ST, also I pray for you, knowing surely, our Lord Jesus, He is your wisdom, you sure will do real well! Jia You! Rest in Him is the key!

Lastly, my dear nieces and nephews, my dear ones, if you have any time to spare, do visit grandma while I am away, keep her totally occupied, okay? I sure can trust you all with that right? For one though, I know I can trust Papa God to take good care of my mom, while I am away, for He cares for her even more than me! Thank God I have You in my life! See all of you soon..... will miss you all....But I will sure have great fun!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

No picture, just a "Long Line"

It is like a final countdown to me, as the day of my long break draws closer. Having many seemingly endless amount of things to clear, and things to plan, everyday seems to fly past so fast, or has time indeed moves faster than we thought it is? i ponder with no answer.

No attempt was made today to draw something but just to drop a line here. Thanks my dear colleague, for offering me help in finding hotel accommodation. All thanks to our dear Papa God, we found a hostel already, though not as inexpensive as yours, but it is fine. And sorry for not being able to attend your wedding, I would really really love to be there, as since I joined this office, this would be the first colleagues' wedding that I would be attending, do pardon me! Wish to be there, this is my sincere desire.

Going for such a long trip, with no clear direction as yet whether all the hotels we are staying would have attached bath, and also to save the hassle and time to wash my hair, I cut my hair short recently, no special style in particular, just told the hairdesser, shoulder length please with layers, despite the chances of the hair ends curling inwards, I do not really care, so long as it is easy to maintain. No particular reason, simply utilitarian. The reason I am spending time here to explain this was because several persons came to ask why I cut my hair, was it a change of look? I ponder again in deep thought, not sure, maybe subconsciously? And thank God, I think I look fresh in this short hair. (When I was in high school, my hair was only at my ears' length.)

And lastly, I pray that I would have a wonderful time travelling with my pals, one is a great co-worker, the other a pal I just knew for less than a month. Lord, teach me to appreciate one another's differences, and enjoy one another's company, only you can! I decide from day 1 that we would agree to disagree and resolve amicably any hiccups that arise. Thank You Lord, I know it is already answered.

Friday, October 14, 2005


It’s been almost a week since I last wrote, and about a week more, I will be off to my long break! And thanks for my niece’s support, who asked me why I didn’t post for the past 5 days. I pondered as well. I do not know how I manage to write when I was so busy a week before, and while this week I am relatively less busy, I was too lazy to write.

And indeed, I am thankful to Papa God, for this wonderful peaceful, less hectic week, though there are still many “datelines” and with the fact that the day of me going on long leave approaches, I would like to finish all the things on hand to prevent passing on too much things unto my assistants. Indeed, I cherished the peace and slight monotonous of this week, certainly a little amount of routine in life could really be enjoyable at times.

While I am looking forward to the break, I was also sorry to say that I would be missing a few good friends’ wedding and a few dear ones’ birthdays. Wish you have a blessed birthday.

As the day of my Italy trip approaches, my pals and I began to realize we have so many things to do yet so little time left. In fact, I have tried booking several hotels in Rome but to no avail. Papa God help! Only you can put us at the right place at the right time! Thanks, Dad!

This would be the second real backpack experience I would be having in my life, the last one was about 5 years ago, and it was truly fun, with 8 of us, including my friend’s parents and another friend’s sister. Really unforgettable, how we try to save and cut cost, waiting for the supermarket to announce discount price after 7pm, and how we bought fruit and vegetable to bring back to our small hotel room to savor with our instant noodles. How we studied the maps, took night trains to save on accommodation, and how I “forced” every one of them to go Disneyland with me. It was fun!

While that was a past episode in my life, I move on, ready for another adventure, and I pray for peace between my travel mates and myself, no argument! And do pardon me, pals, I am not the really adventurous type, I don’t like to cycle and I don’t like to swim, though I can do both a little…. I just want a simple break, a getaway, a no brain trip, and an eye opener architecture retreat….

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Learnt this great truth about nature today, and was almost touched beyond words. Have you ever consider if the amount of water held up in the clouds did not descend upon earth in the form of rain or snow? The amount is tremendous, and if we were to imagine pouring out the water like we are pouring out water from buckets, how much of this beautiful earth will be destroyed by the tremendous force and impact? God in His love for His creation has created rain, pouring forth the water in droplets, so that even the weakest, most vulnerable flower can still survive and bloom after a heavy shower, how great is His love for us!

little lamb art

Thanksgiving vs. Taking Things for Granted

I apologized for my previous journal which seemed to dwell in an air of unhappiness and discontent. I was indeed so for the past 2 weeks. Things have turned around during these last few days, and situation will surely become clearer after I come back from my long break in a few weeks’ time.

I have opted to be dropped out of a team of a “prestigious” project with the “unbearable” colleague, I can only tell Papa God, I failed to see that Christ loved him and died for him too, and I wanted a quick way out, and God in His mercy has allowed a way of escape for me, thank You, Papa God. I am thankful for being blessed with wonderful bosses that understood and did not insist on me staying in the team. Thank Jesus for great bosses that understand. “Prestigious” to me is not as important as compared to enjoying my daily work.

There is a great restructuring of the team I am in, and I am still adjusting to it, I will attempt to talk about it in future when I am back from my break. Guess I need to spend this long awaited break to think about my new team and trust the Lord with all the new team players. Lord, give me wisdom and grace, without You, I am truly nothing. Yet, I trust my Lord that this restructuring will result in better time management in the team, better welfare and greater efficiency, leaving all with more time with loved ones and yet able to accomplish our work and more, this is my prayer, Lord.

Many a times, we tend to overlook small little things in our lives, taking things for granted, and I am truly thankful for a wonderful pastor who reminded me today how blessed I am, and how much I already have. I am glad to be born and living, having all my senses working, able to walk, talk, see, smell, taste, touch, hear, and enjoy simple pleasures in life. I am thankful for a beautiful home to come back to after a long day work, and a nice warm meal waiting for me.

I am thankful that I have a close-knitted family, and a mom who loves us unconditionally. I am thankful for wonderful siblings who care and love one another although they each have their own families and we are staying apart. I am thankful that I am already an auntie with great nieces and nephews since I was seven. I am thankful for friends I have, friends of old, from primary school to university, wonderful co-workers and dear friends in the office, understanding bosses, beloved friends from church, a wonderful gang of caregroup members who care and pray for me always, a wonderful church that I grow up in and humble pastors who teach me the wonderful love of God and His Son.

Yet, most of all, I am thankful to Papa God for loving me so unconditionally, always trusting me again and again even when I failed many times, and my dearest Shepherd Jesus, who never leave me nor forsake me, and is always with me despite of my many imperfections and shortcomings, yet He loved me the same and died for me. Thanks Jesus.

I am thankful. I am reminded and learning to appreciate all that I have, and to enjoy the simple things of life, enjoy the journey of life itself. I reflected. I changed my mind, realizing my past 2 weeks of unhappiness partly came as a result of me losing sight of what I already have and kept looking at what I hope to have. Remind me always of this, Lord, truly I am a very blessed person, and in fact, I have everything because You are in my life, Jesus. I am learning to cherish all that I have now.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

No Regret

Didn’t have a good sleep last night, or rather this morning, tossing and turning on bed, although I was extremely tired having reached home from work at 4am and having to rush to office for an early meeting. I am one who can fall asleep in less than 5 minutes the moment I hit my bed. Thus it was an unusual day for this to happen. Today’s blog will take on a sad note, do pardon me. I was deeply upset yesterday, and perhaps the first of a long time, I cried tears of sorrow.

Yesterday, I decided to get some cough syrup from the family doctor before I headed to work. I had a nice short stroll with my mom, chatting about work, food and simple everyday occurrences. Recently, I noticed my mom enjoy going shopping with me, which in the past, I could hardly drag her feet to go anywhere further than 30 minutes away by train.

I perceived she is lonely. In the past, she would not have wanted to walk all the way to the MRT station with me, yet yesterday she volunteered. I began to wonder what she does everyday at home, despite my giving her the best Chinese cable entertainment channels possible, helping her plan things to do when alone, teach her to go Orchard to shop which she never does when alone, as she tends to get lost in the underground MRT train, as announcement is made in English only. She is lonely. I can’t emphasis this enough to let myself know. I was arrested with this heartache upon realizing this.

In the midst of my busy schedule, now having a home to take care of, I felt an unknown burden which I may have placed upon myself, with bills to take care, and added responsibility, for a moment, I lost sight of the reason of why I worked for the past couple of months, and I realized I have unknowingly fallen into the trap of working too hard and late into the wee hours of the day. Is it worth all the while? I repented.

I hardly see my mom everyday except for the brief 15 minutes in the morning when I am having breakfast, as several nights when I reached home, it was already late. Yet all these have never bothered me so much until yesterday, coupled with working with an unbearable colleague, who really made my work which used to be fun into a chore. I dreaded working with him, who has the ability of making a relatively fun project into a strenuous task, stretching my working hours into the wee hours of the night, because of that.

I was mad, frustrated, and this was further aggravated with sorrows, guilt and emotional pain. After a long day at work, on my way home on a cab, raining cats and dogs just before dawn, I saw a familiar figure standing at the lift lobby at 4am, it was my mom, waiting at the void deck for me. What if I did not come back till 6am? She must have stood there for more than an hour. My heart sank, and I cried, alone hiding in the toilet cubicle, fearing anyone to see. My eyes are opened. I repented. Sorry, mom, I should know better. It is not the money that I gave her that shows her I care, but my time with her.

During the short few hours in bed this morning, I finally made up my mind that I would let my boss know, hopefully something will work out to reduce my workload, and I would have no regret even if I am to resign. And indeed, I did, after the presentation that we rushed out the previous night, I did precisely that, I relented to my boss in a clear, concise email, and a sense of joy came and the burden left me totally. I know I did the right thing, I know I got to let go, and trust God. I know it is time to prioritize the things I value in life. Thank you Father for making me see. Thanks, Dad, thanks, Jesus. No regret. All things will surely turn out for good. (I do have a good working environment and a good boss, despite of that "hard to work with" colleague.)

Now I know what is precious to me, spending time with my family, having time to attend church and bible study, is indeed a blessing no money can buy, time with my loved ones. And now I finally see and know. No more compromise, no more waiting till tomorrow to cherish and appreciate those you love, now is the time.

I am assured that tonight I will sleep like a baby, in His arms.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I am always fascinated with seashell. Isn't nature beautiful? Having just moved house, I can finally understand the hassle of moving around, upgrading apartments, etc. Yet Papa God is so amazing, look at the seashell, isn't it the home to a sea creature. It grows with it, adapting to its new needs and growth, and most of all, it moves wherever the owner moves, without packing and unpacking. This is the silent cry of a lazy person like me. Just a simple sketch, hope you too have time to look at a little beauty in nature today, certainly it is one of God's way of expressing His love towards you with His creation.

little lamb art


Yesterday was an unusual Saturday for us, as a family, since my mom, my eldest brother and I moved away about a month ago. So busy was the past few weekends, with house warming and office’s cruise, that I hardly noticed the difference until yesterday.

It is part of our family routine to have family dinner on every Saturday night. My mom being the binding force for the entire family, draws everyone together every Saturday. At least to me in the past, to have dinner together was effortless, as all my brothers and sister would come to my second brother’s place for dinner, and I needed not to travel at all, since I was staying with him.

Yet, things have changed since the day we moved. My house isn’t that big and spacious, and for the entire family to gather at my place seems a bit out of proportion. Thus, we gather we shall still meet at my second brother’s place for dinner. Yesterday was the first dinner after our moving away, it was a strange feeling to me, as we made the journey to my old place of residence for dinner. No longer do I wait for my siblings to come, but I travel to meet them. Perhaps, I was nostalgic, or not used to it, somehow it just felt a bit different for me.

I also experienced a strange and yet familiar feeling again yesterday. Seems so familiar, it reminded me of the day when I passed the exam to qualify as an architect. I felt I was finally free to do whatever I want, to pursue whatever dream or something totally different, and to go anywhere, and even to give up architecture totally. As if a huge stone that I have unknowingly put upon myself, trying to work it out on my own, without Papa God’s help, has been removed. I felt a burden suddenly disappeared and I was ready and free to pursue my dream. This feeling came back again to me yesterday. Only now did I finally realize, I have truly moved house. For the past few months, I was so caught up with choosing the flat, buying the flat, getting the loan, finding the correct contractor, designing my flat, renovating and finally moving and unpacking, it is only now that it dawned on me it is finally over and I have a place of my own.

And at the same time, it freed me. For the past few months, I have been postponing all my travel plans, and dreams, thinking that all these can wait till I have settled down, and now, it almost caught me by surprise, it is all over and I can move ahead with my life to do whatever I want again, except for the unwilling loan at the back of my mind.

I wonder why I felt this way. It could be due to an old friend of mine. She has decided to pursue a long cherished dream of working oversea. All along, she is one of the few that to me, who constantly displays great passion for architecture. She can spend days to perfect a design which I felt already perfected. She explores, she experiments, she enjoys the process, and for that, I salute her and am proud of her for her boldness to move ahead to a land where her talent can be further sharpened. I wish her all the best in her journey, and most of all, during this phase of her life, may she and her husband find the greatest love ever, the love of Jesus.

As for me, I still cherished within me some precious long time dreams, I am still not so sure whether architecture will be my lifelong career, yet for now, I enjoyed it, the joy of seeing spaces and forms in my mind and transforming them into blueprints and finally into reality, is still a thrill to me now. There are still many dreams, and though I am not sure how they are going to be fulfilled, I just know right within my heart, it is in His hands. Meanwhile, I just live a day at a time, enjoying the process while He continues to open door for me. Rest in Him is the key. Rest.