Sunday, December 25, 2005

Summary 2005

A slight delay in delivering this journal, partly because I am consolidating some thoughts of this year, coupled with the festive season, and the fact that my pc went through another challenge again yesterday, the eve before Christmas. I am really thankful that I can still manage to get it to work today (after I prayed and spoke to my pc nicely, it actually worked!). My pc, please endure with me for another month, until I back up all my files and am blessed by the Lord with a new laptop, thanks pc, for serving me well these last 3 years.

Chapter 1
Finally bought and move into my new flat, perhaps this can be considered the main event of the year. Never really like responsibility, but still I am learning to adapt. Yet I am thankful to the Lord for my cosy little abode.

Chapter 2
Been a year since I got to know my new home group, and am really thankful for them, as I enjoyed their company greatly, hope they felt the same. For the new year ahead, I hope to have more time with all my "old" friends. Suddenly, I realised that I was so caught up with my daily life and work, that I actually missed their company for the past few years. Pals, forgive me, I know you will. Really looking forward to catching up with you all soon!

Chapter 3
It's been a year since I came over to a new team in my job. Being pretty apprehensive at first, with an initial fear of having to compromise and conform with my peers who work so hard and so late, and of sacrificing much of my own time other than proper working hours and weekends in office, this proves to be on the contrary, all thanks to Papa God. It is a miracle, and in fact, time seems to have multiplied unconsciously! Miracle does happen, for He stretched the day just for me! (Not that I have less things to do I believe?!) Work is supposed to be fun after all, not a chore, anyway!

Chapter 4
In the midst of the busy schedule, home, work and church, the Lord sees me through them all. Not that this year is less hectic than last, yet I seems to have much more time to smell the flowers, and have a prolonged holiday break. And yes, I got to see the Alps!

Chapter 5
This is by no means the last chapter, yet it will be the summary of all. For the longest time, I finally picked up my paint and brush this year to start drawing again, never drew so much illustrations for the past 10 years except architectural plans, etc. Only now did I realise how much I miss the fun of painting, not for anyone, just for the fun of it. Hope you too share my joy in looking at the illustrations. This itself is also a miracle from Papa God, that He makes time for me to do what I enjoy doing in the midst of all that I got to do!

Finally, with the above illustration, it shows the diagrammatic summary of 2005, and yet ahead of me, I know He is holding my hand, walking with me on the path of 2006, and that applies the same to you too! Hope you all have a blessed Christmas today! I sure do, had a great time with my family yesterday, having dinner together, opening gifts and watching TV, the simple pleasure in life! For this is the season to celebrate His birth!

Monday, December 19, 2005

How much are we worth?

Just happened to watch a few scenes of a Taiwanese show a few days ago, not that it was a good drama that got me talking about it, in fact I can’t even remember the title of the drama, but an interesting phrase was brought up in the midst that made me ponder on it and also prompted me to redraw a similar illustration I drew a few weeks ago, but in a different expression.

In the show, a girl saw herself worthless, simply because she felt that she is of no use and that she matters nothing to anyone. Just at that moment, I saw something I never really study in depth before. How often we see our own worth through the eyes of others? How often we weigh ourselves based upon how important we matter to someone or how useful we are in this world. Suddenly, I realize how pathetic we are, to fall into this trap, this vicious cycle of searching for our self worth in this world, through the eyes of others, even through the eyes of our loved ones. If in this world, we matter not to anyone, does that mean we are worth nothing?

Perhaps that is why many fall into the trap of depression. Or perhaps that is also why many of us could not help ourselves but fall into the trap of the rat race, climbing on top of one another, stepping on others to hopefully bring greater “honour” to ourselves, and perhaps to even impress our superiors? Selah. (Not that I am suffering from such a situation now, just felt adamant towards it all of a sudden.)

I am glad and felt extremely fortunate, blessed, that the once inferior me, seems to have come out of that trap slowly. Not that I have already climbed to the top, by stepping on many others, but that Someone proves to me my worth, my price. I must have worth a great deal (the price tag on me is priceless), that He is willing to give up all that He has, even His life for me. Selah.

Perhaps in people’s eyes now, I seem aloof, I seem stubborn, refusing to compromise, refusing to follow the norm. I chose to walk in a different, untested ground. Yet let it be. Because I know my worth. I am contented. I am satisfied. I am happy. I am learning and determined not to fall into the trap with His help because I am different, I am priceless in His eyes. I know where I belong, as I am already on top, on His broad, strong shoulders, and there is nowhere else I would rather be. I don’t live or make my dwelling in another’s opinion, I live and ride upon His shoulder! I felt the sudden sense of freedom. And you too! We are special! We are priceless! In Him alone! Just His little lamb!

Friday, December 16, 2005

What to write? Simplicity

Since Wednesday, I have been wondering what to write, and therefore this explains the slight delay till today, and the above picture I drew. Thanks for dear ones and friends that have encouraged me a lot through this year, be it in the form of an encouraging note, or sms, or even a simple comment on the blog, I really appreciate it, and thanks for taking time to read them. I do re-read my own writings at times, and I realized perhaps I wrote too long too much, with slight deviation from my simple initial intention of sharing some simple, hopefully, encouraging cartoons and drawings, to brighten your days. Therefore for the coming year, I shall concentrate on the drawings more. (Hope I will keep to this.)

Yet before the new year begins, pardon me for writing long for the meanwhile. Being the “shy” me, I realized writing is much easier for me to express than speech, and thus this explains why I tend to write too much, do forgive me for this. (I am very quiet when I am working, therefore I need to fulfill my quota of word somehow everyday through other means such as writing.)

Nothing in particular happened this week. Life is a simple routine, and today is as of any other days. However, I reached home extremely early today, as I came home straight from site meeting. My mom was so pleasantly surprised when she opened the door for me, that she gave me such a huge smile on her face. Indeed, this could be one of those really rare days that I reached home before 8pm.

After having a prolonged dinner, with my usual salad, steam egg, fish, and specially made Bah Kut Teh (A soup cooked with pork ribs etc), I spent the entire night watching TV, from 8.30pm to almost 12 midnight. This, the simplicity of it all, was truly a blessing. When was the last time I had such a luxury of sitting in front of the TV and indulge in such an activity?

Looking around me, nothing much to do, just a sense of thankfulness in my heart, with all the needs met in life, and more than that, being blessed with all the modern equipments in life, which are not necessities for living, but good to have, I am thankful and contented. Able to sit in front of my PC now, able to read and write, typing away on my keyboard is a luxury that I almost forgot most of the time, taking things for granted. I truly have everything. Thank You.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I Have Wings

Heard a beautiful Christian song today and reminded me of another Chinese song I loved. That was how the above drawing came about. Since a child, I had great inferior complexity, and even as the Lord restores me as I grow older, there are still times when I felt inadequate, unworthy, though the frequency of that happening has reduced much over the years. This is especially so in my career and another area of my life.

From young, I never felt I was smart or gifted or talented. People around me may feel that i have the gift for arts, but I had never thought so of myself and I tend to put in much effort to achieve and line up with people's expectation of me. Over the years, I worked very hard, knowing that since I am not clever, I had to be extra hardworking, believing that, so long as I double the effort what others would normally put in, I should be successful. And for many years, this theory had not failed me till later on in life, when I entered the field of design. That was when I went through many failures, times and again, doubt and self doubt again and again, seeing my theory of success failing me. Finding myself not able to catch up with my peers, having no gift and talent, no ability, I utterly gave up on myself and design, went through a period of dark ages, wanting never to touch design again.

That was when I went through one of my life's most precious lesson. Having utter disappointment with myself, I finally gave up. Perhaps also for the first time, I turned to the Lord, seeking for His help, finally. (All this while He never leaves me.) Having still a lingering love for the arts and design, yet having no courage to turn back and restart from scratch, having no gut to see my utter lack of talent, He brought me up, put the passion into me, restored me and put me back on my feet. More than that, He gave me a pair of wings, in fact, He gave me Himself, He becomes my pair of wings. He taught me the steps to fly, He taught me to soar and then finally He makes me soar. He becomes my source, my strength, my inspiration, my only and final hope.

Once I related briefly this short past to someone, not in detail, and he mentioned something that caused me to ponder. He said if the Lord has not helped me, I may have become a very proud person today. And indeed, it may have been so, how scary that would be.

Today, I cherished this pair of wings very much, I thank the Lord for them every day in my heart, as I work and enjoy the process of my work, a sense of gratitude always overwhelms me. I know I could never have done or design anything without Him for He is my pair of wings.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Simple Blissfulness

Just came home, having heard a pretty unusual sermon today, and again, I felt I am in a state of blissfulness. Just a simple day or almost a week passed by, and I did not attempt to ponder on any deep thought to share. Nothing major or great happening this week. Perhaps this itself is a form of bliss, being able to live simply, enjoying each day as it comes, nothing and no need to worry about tomorrow, forgetting the "unhappiness" of yesterday, if any, and enjoy the present.

In fact, having moved into my own little flat for coming to 4 months, once a while, when I remembered, looking at my small little cosy abode, I would feel that I am very fortunate and blessed. Not that my house is beautiful, (though I think it is beautiful, at least in my eyes), that the fact I have a little home to look forward to everyday after I knock off from work, a bowl of nice delicious soup waiting for me at home, specially prepared for me by my Mom, and even some nicely cut up fruit prepared by my brother for me, I feel blessed. Simple pleasure, simple joy, simple gift of life, making everything so beautiful. The beauty of it all.

Just like the picturesque landscape I saw in Siena. The rolling mountains and valleys with plantations, and little huts or farmhouses scattered around. Nothing spectacular, yet in itself, the simplicity of it makes it so beautiful after all. Little human intervention, where man and nature co-dwell. Time seems no more. A state of rest, a state of just enjoying the moment.

Hope that while you are busy with work this week, or greatly anticipating the coming of the weekend, you too have time to enjoy the little NOW you have. Have a great blessed weekend ahead! (Not sure if you understand what I am writing, seems like I am just babbling nonsense, guess it is late, I am tired and it's time to sleep.) Thank God it is Friday today!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Festive Mood

I love Christmas! I can't say it enough, I simply love Christmas, the season of giving. Is it because it is the festive season, that makes my everyday work seem less hectic recently? I was surprised that I have time to relook and refine some of my previous designs, and even make changes to them as requested by the clients, with no complaints, wherein in other times I would have done. Or have I been transformed or changed? I hope it is the latter.

Looking back many years ago, we first started celebrating Christmas when my sister-in-law, then my brother's girlfriend, started buying presents for us every year. It was also then that my dad bought our first Christmas tree into our home, a white Christmas tree. As we moved to another abode, my dad bought another one, a 7 feet green Christmas tree, which is still in use now, at my brother's place. As for my small little cosy abode, I went to get mine about 3 weekends ago, a 5 feet green Christmas tree.

I love this season of giving, in fact, with a little bit more love for it than Chinese New Year, since young, even way before the Lord found me, much more now that I am His beloved. Shopping or making Christmas gifts is never a chore to me, but a really fun and enjoyable process, as I visualise the facial expressions of my loved ones as they open the presents. It is almost like a chance to reunderstand everyone of them again, their likes and dislikes, the things they need etc. Every year this is a learning process, as I would again need to re-educate myself on the most trendy toys, gadgets or fashion. It is fun. And the best part of it all, is to be able to buy something that one would love to have but would most likely never buy for themselves.

As I ponder on this, if this brings me so much joy, how much more would our Lord feel when He give to us, rather than we trying with our puny little strength to do things on our own? If He would give himself for us, how much more would He not give us all the good things we need in life?

Therefore, as we prepare for this great season of giving, may you too have a great time shopping for the gifts, the fact that we can give means that we must be very blessed, to be able to bless someone else! Meanwhile, have a great week ahead, as we draw nearer to Christmas!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas Tree and Presents

For the past 3 weeks since I was back from my holiday, there didn't seem to be any weekend that I really stayed at home and did nothing, except for the actual day when I landed, I was having jet lap and needed a long nap. Yet, for the following few weekends, I was either busy going around selecting and buying my Christmas tree and decorations, or scouting for presents for my family. How fast I have forgotten the little resolution I made when I was back? I told myself, trying my best with my puny effort to tell myself to have at least 8 hours of sleep everyday, but I think I broke my one and only resolution perhaps on the very next day.

Now that the Christmas tree is up, the lights are on, and about 85% of the gifts bought and ready, I felt that I should perhaps slow down my pace, something that I kept telling myself, do slowly and enjoy the process. How true it is! Just heard about this message and it kept ringing in my ear, how we tend to "postpone our enjoyment", thinking that perhaps I would be happy when Christmas comes, or when I go for my break, etc etc. How often we dwell in the future, doing things now to perhaps "buy" happiness for the future! Yet how often we forgot that what we have is actually now, and the right way to live is to enjoy NOW! Just as my beloved Jesus said, sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Live one day at a time! Most of all, enjoy it! In fact, how true it is, there are only 2 ways to live your life, to enjoy or not enjoy.

Having said this much, to be honest, I did enjoy all the shoppings I made, the process of putting up the tree, preparing all the Christmas presents, pondering on what to buy for each individual etc etc. In fact, it is my family tradition, to have a wonderful family get together on the Christmas eve, to stay late, hopefully past midnight, if the children can stay awake, and open the presents together. It is always a memorable time to be, and there is no other place I rather be, or no other people I rather be with on a Christmas eve than with my family.

Yet this year will be slightly different. Since we moved out, the celebration will be at my small humble yet very cosy home. And I am sure that my Papa God will be just as faithful to bless this wonderful memorable occasion for my family and I. Thank you Papa God. Meanwhile, while I am looking forward to the celebration, I shall also enjoy my NOW, and before my 7 hour sleep (changed to 7 hours now, cos more achievable) resolution becomes another unfulfilled desire, I shall end here. Nite!