Sunday, November 27, 2005

Most Charming!

Pondered a lot recently on something that I discovered 2 years ago (but I forgot all about it until I caught it again recently), especially with all the hype of the recent release of PSLE results. Not that it has anything to do with me, but I have so many people around me whom I knew who had something to do with the release.

I went to a wonderful, enjoyable concert yesterday. Not that it has many stunts or many change of clothes etc, but it is a purely "music first" kind of concert. Guess if you are not new to Chinese pop, you will probably know what concert was held yesterday in Singapore. Anyway, just in case you don't know, it's David Tao's. Perhaps you might be asking, what has this got to do with the release of results I mentioned earlier? In fact, it has to do with a "revelation" I had 2 years ago, when I was at a similar concert, it created a no small impact on me, not just the music, but I caught a glimpse of beauty, charm, that is always happening to people around me that I never seem to notice until then. I saw and realised then, a person is at his or her most attractive moment when he or she is enjoying what she is doing at that very moment, that passion covers any lack of cosmetic or charisma.

I realised that everyone exudes a certain amount of charm in one way or another, be it an athlete, an artist, a teacher, a singer, a musician, a pastor, a chef, a social worker, a marketing personnel or even for my profession, an architect. At that very moment when one is caught enjoying his work, that passion just oozes forth, and suddenly that person unknowing is at his or her most attractive moment.

Plus the recent sermon I heard, indeed, almost all people who are true to their inner hearts' cries, when they answer the call, that desire in their hearts, despite of all the anticipated difficulties ahead, despite of all the rational reasonings or people's opinions, they will almost all the time find themselves most happy as long as they persevere, or they didn't gave up their dreams. And I believe and think it is true, all successful people are those who tapped on their inner desires and move ahead to nurture that hidden treasure, that God-given gift within. (Papa God is fair, and He certainly has given everyone something special!)

I saw that at the concert last night, again (I am a quiet supporter, fan, not one of those who stand up, shout and sing), I saw someone on stage, immersed in his passionate work, or rather his enjoyment, and the audience enjoyed the concert simply because he enjoyed his passion, and he at that moment seemed to be most charming.

And you know what? My mind just suddenly wandered off, just as he went on to shake the hands of the people off stage. I saw Jesus in my mind, in my imagination all of a sudden, I went back 2000 years in the midst of the concert, I saw the people throoping unto Jesus, desiring to touch Him, and then, I am perfectly sure He must be the most charming, as He enjoyed His work of reaching out to the lost ones, His beloved ones at all moments. No wonder most folks liked to be around Him then, and even now!

My mind wandered for 5 minutes and I came back to reality. I realised all of us are differently made, PSLE does not determine what the outcome of a kid should be, each kid has his or her own bent, and parents are just God's stewards, to identify the gift laid within each child by Papa God, and they are to guide him or her in that direction to fully sharpen the gift. I am convinced, I am assured, I am certain this is the way it should be. Thank you Papa God, that from young, I am not sure how, but I was surrounded by people who led me to study art, to enjoy art, and finally to make art as part of my career, and almost everyday, you know what, I look forward to work, it is fun! Thank you Lord, may you make me most charming in the process while I enjoy my passion too! Amen!

(Just a side track, as the concert ended so late last night, I actually missed the last train...sigh...thank God the concert was great! Or else my complaining spirit was sure to manifest....)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Venice: What a sight!

Perhaps it has become a routine to drop by here to write a line or two, although I have no clear direction as to what to write. But I did paint a lot since I came back from Italy, with so many beautiful sceneries fresh in my mind, and over 2000 digital photos with me, I just hope to share the beauty of God's creations with you all, if you can spare a little bit of time.

Of all the places I visited in Italy, I would say I like Venice the most (or one of the "mostest"), and perhaps, that will be the place I may go back again when opportunity arises. To me, I was fascinated with the fact that there is absolutely no vehicles, and everyone depends on either the water transport or by foot. It is a beautiful sight, with the element of water going right to one's door step, and even the buses are in the form of small ships. I simply could not use words to explain the beauty and the peculiarity of the place!

Another quality I love about the place is the atmosphere of the arts. I can't say I met any artist or musician there, but it does have the quality of art in the air, everything is so picturesque. The wonders of glass are everywhere, no doubt, it is a place where beautiful works of glass are produced, yet quite beyond my budget to buy any. I would love to own one of those one of its kind vases though.

The only down side during our expedition in Venice was the weather, so wet and the day seems so short. Yet despite of this, it is still beautiful, it must be much more enchanting when the weather is fine. Meanwhile hope you like the little picture I drew of a little water "street" in Venice!

Have a great blessed week ahead! Life is worth the living because of the Lord who makes everything beautiful no matter what! Cheers!

(By the way, just want drop a line here for you to share my little excitement, I am eagerly waiting to go for the concert this Saturday, thanks dearest sister, for remembering me even when I am thousands of kilometres away, to ask if I would like to go with you, and thanks for buying the ticket for me!)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

With Me Always

I may sound like a broken record, but then truly, I still want to say "how fast time flies!" It is already November and soon it will be Christmas.

Today, as I was on my way to church in the train, listening to one of my favourite songs "Jiu Si Ai Ni" by David Tao, I suddenly found my mind wandering off, reflecting on several beautiful memories of this year and the goodness of God in my life, and I was overwhelmed. (Not sure if you remembered this song, I wrote down the lyrics before in my blog several weeks ago.) Yet even before the year has reached its end, I realised how much has changed within this short span of time, and how much I have received and am still receiving, and I just want to take this time to list a few.

It's been about a year since I was transferred over to this new group in my office, to work directly with my present boss. I could still remember I was quite apprehensive initially, as several of those in his team are "crazy" workers, they worked really late (as in till 12 midnight and even beyond) and during weekends as well. Those who knew me, know that as far as possible, I don't work on weekends, and I don't work overnight, at most twice a year, in extreme exceptional cases. Yet, throughout this year, the Lord has been so faithful, I did not have to compromise on my working principles, and in fact, I did enjoy working with my "new" boss, he is great! (Of course, can't let him know.)

It's been slightly more than a year that I am in a new care group in Church, initially, wondering how I can relate to them, as most of them are married with kids, and I, being single. Yet as time passes, I enjoyed their presence deeply, missed everyone of them whenever they are absent, they are very wonderful people, very dear to me indeed, and this is a great year that I got to know everyone of them much deeper, all thank to Papa God, for bringing every single one of them into my life, that they are great blessings to me. I can almost say they have become another of my extended family, thank You Papa God.

In fact, last year I still remembered, I was under extreme stress, that I could feel my health being affected, and I was troubled too for being so stressed, and with work, with finding my new flat, perhaps even with a new ministry, etc etc, feeling inadequate, frustrated, and at times unworthy. It was a year of learning to let go, learning to delegate my work, trusting my assistants more, and from there learning to rest, which I am still learning. But the strange thing is, as you learn to let go more, more responsibilities are added at the same time. Why? Yet, this year and the years to come is not like last year, and it will never be, new tasks and challenges no longer seem burdensome, but another opportunity for the Lord to prove His wonderful faithfulness towards me. And yes, thank you Lord for my healing!

As the year went on, learning to let go is hard, yet ever important, if not the most important, to me. As one who is self-willed, with extreme belief only in my own self and own achievement, this was a very difficult process, yet ever so critical. In the process, I felt that blessings come when one does not look for them, and they always catch you by surprise. (How I used to run after them!) To list a few, I got a new extreme long play mp3 player without my asking, at almost half the original price, to me, it was never something I thought of getting this year, since I already had a very good one, though that one has a very short battery life. And who is to know that this new player is to keep me "company" through several really long journeys which my previous mp3 player would definitely failed me. But God knows.

Even for the renovation of my flat, I believed I must have done the least supervision ever, I only attend to it on saturdays, and at times, before I went to work, and I have never taken any leave to attend to it! Come to think of it, that was amazing! The Lord is truly wonderful by blessing me with a good contractor that gave me worry-free work, and little supervision.

As the year drew near the end, when I was tired and felt drained, wanting to plan for a holiday, out of nowhere, I was given an opportunity for a trip to Italy, therefore with half the trip paid for, though it was never on my agenda to visit Italy, never before have I ever thought about it, yet it came as a wonderful great blessing to me. The Lord knows, and His blessing chases me down. I ponder again.

This is not the last, but to me one of the greatest of all blessings, all through this year at work, I was given opportunities to do the things I enjoy doing, and to do projects that I always dream of doing, yet never dare to believe that I would actually do them one day, and my dearest Lord sees the desire of my heart and gives them to me. Somehow, sometimes, I felt I was really born for such a time as this, that Someone loves me so much, that He has pre-arranged everything wonderful, beautiful for me to attend to, to enjoy life itself and most of all, to enjoy Him.

And as I was pondering on all these on the train, I was touched, almost to tears, with the image of the above painting in my mind, the beautiful song in the background, and I hope you too will spend a little time, in this last coming month of the year, to ponder on the goodness of the Lord in your life, surely He has blessed you, and you too are like the little girl in the painting, He leads you by your hand, and He never let go, all you need to do, just follow, He knows best! And yes, He loves you deeply, with a passion!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Home, Work and Routine

It's been about 4 days since I came back from my holiday. I headed back straight to work on the Monday, finding myself having a slight jet lag (almost falling asleep while drawing), meanwhile I am still slowly adjusting to it, and therefore I doubt I would attempt to write a long journal, since it is almost time for bed.

Everything is back to simple routine like the past, not that I am particularly fond of, but it does feel good as well. My work in office is not as hectic as when I left it to go for my long break, perhaps it is just the beginning, or rather, because my boss is also away for his holiday? Guess I will find out soon in a day or two when he is back. Yet I learnt to cherish this quiet peaceful tranquil moment, something I missed particularly. This does not come often and I simply enjoyed it, able to have nice chatty lunch with colleagues, not having to buy lunch back to office, work, eat, and draw at my work top, what a blessing this is!

Wanted to post something hilarious today, no particular reason, just wanted to show my dear travelmate-friend, as I had mentioned to her, I will draw her with the leaning tower of Pisa, so here it goes. Pal, I had a great time with you traveling to Pisa, and up to the tower, cheers, you made it to the top, I am proud of you! It was fun and unforgettable for ages to come! This exercise was going to last you for another year before your next expedition to the next wonder?

Perhaps to the surprise of many people, this is my first visit to one of the wonders of the world. Despite my frequent trip to China, I have yet visited the great wall, something that I really wanted to do in the past, a wish I had, that I could go there with my dad... Yet I know one day I would still visit, now for sure with my Papa God!

As for Pisa, after my simple analysis, I realised perhaps this could be one of the most convenient wonders to visit among all! No strenuous exercise required except for the 8 storey climb, as compared to the great wall, etc etc.

Pardon my babbling, guess it's time I hop on to bed, and yet today is another new day, with new challenges that await me (my boss is back), and yet, I know my Lord will always see me through victoriously! You too have a great week ahead, face your challenges with no fear, cos He is with you always! Cheers!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

This was done on a train ride, while trying to pass time, my self-portrait with my backpack. No color added, just the original, the way it was drawn in a lovely red sketch book that a dear friend-colleague had given me as a birthday gift which she bought from Europe. I forgot to draw in my mp3 player and earphones, that was how I stayed in touched with Singapore, listening to my Pastor's hilarious, heart-warming sermon.
little lamb art

I'm Back

I'm back, touched down this morning, well-protected in the arms of God, safe, healthy and sound. Can't think of any other ways to describe my condition, but all the worst case scenarios described as warnings from friends who were there before, about the stealing, pickpocketing, losing items, etc, did not happen to me, or was it ever close even.

I am truly thankful to Papa God for all He has done throughout the trip, His wonderful grace and protection, and most of all, Jesus' personal presence with me, without which, I am not sure how I managed to come through the 3 weeks. Beside the local food and family I missed in Singapore, it was Christian fellowship. For 3 weeks, I could hardly breathe words of thankfulness to Jesus openly with my travelmates, except in my blog, that was why I was so keen to find internet access everywhere I go.

Yet, thankful to God, I have great travelmates, but still, true enough, we also had conflicts despite of it all. Guess most of the problems may have stemmed from me, a stubborn gal, as what a longtime friend recently told me, I am still as stubborn as 15 years ago. (Thank God, stubbornness may not be bad all the time, it could also mean persistence!) Yet I hope there is no hard feeling left after the trip between my travelmates and me, just a case of differences in opinions, and may we keep only the sweet memories.

We travelled a lot. We went from Rome to Siena, Florence, Venice and finally Milan, before 2 of us took a night train back to Rome for our flight back. It was pretty fun, except for all the walking, which I would have very much preferred to have the quantity reduced, if we had bought day pass everyday (pardon me pals, if you read this and disagreed still). I am one person who would rather spend a little more, think a little less with a few simple conveniences right at my finger tips, such as day passes and a few good meals! How I loved those last few days when we finally gotten day pass, how I travelled! I think I learnt and would recommend to anyone, if possible, get the day pass, the few dollars more per day is worth it all, as one get to see more within a shorter period of time, and can travel much further and being less tired! Think about it this way, since you have already travelled all the way across oceans and continents there, what is a few more dollars anyway! This is my opinion, and since this is my blog, everyone is subjected to my opinion here! Hahaha!

I am a typical tourist, and I took on a typical tourist's objective. I was there to see things that tourists would see, and I did exactly that, that was when my path and my pals' parted. I went to several other places alone such as to see the sculpture of David at Florence (it was impressive, the expression on his face), the civic building's clock tower at Siena (the unforgettable sunset), Como lake at Milan and a few others. I enjoyed going to museums, and to climb to the highest points of most towns to have paranomic views, and my "poor" travelmates would had to visit them with me, guess it was better to part ways at times, sorry pals, I am just a typical tourist, no losing out. And also pardon me, pals, for being inflexible, I know I must have made you all very uncomfortable, about paying the full fare for several of the entrance tickets, not wanting to lie and all the integrity business, it is just me, the stubborn sheep, if you know me long enough, you would know I am like that.

The most uplifting portion of the trip, to my surprise when I looked back, besides conquering the clock tower and leaning tower of Pisa (will talk about this fun trip later when my sketch on the leaning tower is ready) was the little day trip I made alone to Como on the last day. Having no agenda, and no feeling for shopping, I bought a very early return train ticket, alone, and ventured into my little adverture with Jesus. In fact, for the entire trip in Italy, I harboured a desire to take a little look at the Alps, and that was the highlight of it all. Not knowing anything about the place, all I knew was where I could find a tourist information counter, and I asked direction all the way from the train station to get there. With half a day there only, I was recommended to take a boat ride in the lake and the funicular ride up the mountain when it was less foggy, and that was exactly what I did. I was beaming all the way, smiling on the boat, sensing a strong presence of the Lord, smiling at almost everyone I met. It was so beautiful and it was such a wonderful time alone and yet not alone! You may think I am a freck, but I felt I was on a date with the Lord!

The weather was to my surprise, so bright and sunny, with blue sky. Have I mentioned that we met with heavy rainfall both in Siena and Venice, where our main purpose was for scenic reasons. Yet when we headed north to Milan, thinking it would be colder, not to mention Como, which is at the border between Switzerland and Italy. It was a miracle to me then, a gift from Papa God that day that I could actually see the blue sky! With a heart of thankfulness and joy was how I made my way up on the funicular ride. And the climax of it all, was the moment I stepped out of the cable, I saw the Alps, the beautiful snow-topped mountain ranges in the distant, brightly lit by the sun! I was close to tears, with gratefulness in my heart, who am I to deserve this, yet cos of His love for me, I saw what I wished to see! Thank You Jesus! It was so beautiful, beyond words, and I was almost envious of the people staying on this mountain top, they are having a 7 star view from where they lived! And yet, of all people, I am to be envied the most!

There is only one dear Person to thank, despite of all the walking, I was not really tired, there seems to be Someone carrying me, I felt I was like mounted on wings, I would walk and not be weary, run and not faint. That was how I felt, except for the heavy backpack and the increasing products I bought everyday that added on the weight. Yet, He is my strength!

For the next few blogs, I should be putting up lots of sketches of the places I visited, really beautiful, and I really hope to share with you all, but not with photos, as this is a blog dedicated only to drawings, hope you all don't mind. And just a final note, thank You Jesus, for Your unfailing love towards me, despite of all my imperfections, which I get to see more during the trip, You remain faithful and true towards me, truly in You, I have everything!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wet Day

Today was really a wet day, it was pouring so heavily, and the places we were visiting, the small little town, Chianti (not sure about the spelling) was so foggy, it felt like it was winter. This would be the first day we encounter any rain here in Italy since the day we arrived. And we are leaving Siena for Florence tomorrow, hopefully we get to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa tomorrow afternoon or the following day. Not that we are really enchanted by the architecture or whatsoever, but merely out of vanity, how can we say we have visited Italy without going to take a look at this wonder of the world? Merely vanity, sigh, vanity.

Papa God was really kind today, despite the rain, we managed to capture a glimpse of sunlight streaming through the cloudy sky in the evening, while we were out in the little town, therefore my spirit was not totally dampened by the rain. All things work together for good, I believe.

You know something? I felt I almost have enough of my fair share of pasta and pizza for the entire lifetime, I really miss all the simple food back home. My kimchi ramen, tom yam soup, my daily salad prepared by my beloved mom, chicken wings, etc etc.... endless. Only till now did I realise how bless I am to be able to eat different type of food everyday back home in Singapore, truly we Singaporeans are fortunate. I missed chilles.

Another thing I missed is washing machine! It was kind of a thrill everyday, that we have to gauge whether we have enough time to wash our clothes before we move on to the next stop. Today was pretty disasterous, we washed our clothes last night, thinking it would be dry by today, but due to the wet weather, most of our clothes are half dried, so while I am blogging, my travelmates are busying drying their clothes with the hairdryer, thank God we still have a hairdryer in our room. Guess I just need to wash one more round of clothes and that will last me for the next 10 days, I would just wear the same T-shirt for 2 days! Another option is to buy new clothes, guess the second option is a bit too costly.

Meanwhile, I wish to send my regards to everyone back home. B or Mei or Xiang, can you kindly forward this blog's address to my brothers or sister-in-laws? Let them know I missed them! And also to let them know how I am for the past few couple of days. Till we meet again, stay blessed, everyone! (Not sure when I would get an internet access again.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Had one of the most breathtaking view today in Italy, not in Rome, but in a small medieval town, Siena. It was so beautiful that it almost took my breath away. Initially, I was in a moment of wallowing in self pity, as none of my travelmates desire to conquer the tower that overlooked the whole city, due to the price we had to pay, 6 euros. For a moment I was truly very sad, having made our way to Siena without having a paranomic view of the city, and I was certain I would definitely have a sense of regret at the end of the trip.

In the end, I queued up alone for 45mins for my turn to proceed right up to the top of the clock tower, praying in my heart, knowing that I was not alone, but my dearest Lord Jesus would be with me all the way, ready to give me a most beautiful gift. Truly, He remains ever so faithful, I was able to catch the spectacular moment of the sunset, if I would to reach earlier or any minute later, I would have missed that moment, and I finally understood why the 45mins wait, any earlier, I would not have ventured to stay so long to wait for the sunset, fearing the long queue of people waiting for their turns. Thank You Jesus. I would never want to exchange this precious moment for anything else, as You prove to me Your never ending love to me once again. And yes, the view was beyond descriptions, I can actually see castles and fields in the distant from the top of the clock tower!

Siena is truly beautiful, it has that intimate, human scale, that gets into you, an unforgettable feeling, so unlike Rome, which is so majestic, so awesome, that makes one feel really out of place at times, as all the things around you seem to be blow out of proportion, being so many times bigger than what is required.

Tomorrow, we will venture to the surrounding smaller town in Siena, making our ways to winery and a castle. Sounds really fun! Will update more if I have time.

Meanwhile, very thankful to God that the place where we are staying, though a bit out of the way, has internet access. Thank You Papa God, thank You Jesus, You are with me always!