Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dancing with Him

It was a weird week, busy, yet fun and interesting. Notwithstanding that one of my presentations didn’t go very well, but it was fine with me, it seems that I may have grown calmer these days, learning to let go more…

So many little thoughts here and there, as many little incidents happened, that brings along all these thoughts…

Chatting . Lovely Assistants
I have always been quite curious about the past of one of my lovely assistants, so I finally “mustered” sufficient courage to ask her to share with me about herself and her family. We had a wonderful lunch, and I have yet gotten her permission to write about it, therefore, I shall shut my hands from writing it, for it sure has no small impact on my life, I salute her, for her faith, her simple trust, that she turns out trusting in the Lord than being bitter with her life. Indeed, I see the Shepherd’s faithfulness.

Another thing that I noticed is that I begin to see another of my assistants blossoms, begins to open up a bit more towards me, and I am truly very happy about that, more willing to speak up. I pray that one day she will come to know the Shepherd’s great love for her, for this is one of my greatest desires for her.

Perhaps the hardest thing to deal with, to me, is people, the relationship between individuals. Nothing to boast about, I knew that there are a few areas that Papa God has given me gifts for, for use in my work as unto Him, and even the personality traits that have helped me through difficult journeys in life are placed within by Him. Yet I know that what I am lacking in at several times is the compassion for the people, as I have little patient to tolerate mistakes, seeing the task accomplished as being more important than the person handling it. Something that I tried avoiding at times and if possible, let someone else deals with such situation when it arises. The task-oriented me begins to have a slow revealing of the Father’s heart, dawning on me that we are all in a people ministry, for at the end of the days, it is not how much you earn, how many buildings you have built, but the people that you have touched, the lives that have been transformed, turn around because of you, that matters. My Shepherd, give me a shepherd’s heart.

Just had a pretty good time yesterday at a praise and worship service, though my feet were tired for standing long, it was really enjoyable, indulging in Him. And during that service, it suddenly dawn on me that by 2007, it will also be the 14th year that I have come to truly know the Lord, not to mention that it is also the 7th working year in my life, perhaps I will write more on that next week, as the illustration for that is already finished. Yet one thing I would say is that, for the past 13 years, I have never regretted knowing Him, and that gratitude towards Him has not lessen or grow familiar, but in fact it is deepened, to the extent that as the days go by, my puny comprehension of His love for me has increased. All thanks to Him.

Remembered several months back, I wanted to draw the above illustration but the effect didn’t turn out as I expected. Yesterday during the service, the image was brought up again, of us dancing with the Lord, and I wanted so badly to draw this out no matter out, so that explains the above. Hope you like it, the things around just simply fade away, when we know that He is with us always, nothing else seems to matter anymore…

My Addiction
People around me would know that I am very addicted to the TV and drama series, especially the light hearted happy ending type. I am right now in the middle of a TV series (DVD), and I was so engrossed in it, that I even contemplated of taking leave to stay home and finish up the series, though I didn’t, because of the several presentations to prepare and do for the past week. Anyway this brings me to end this session quickly…. To indulge in a little wasting of time… TV here I come, who would deliver me from this addiction…. Ciao!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dream Maker

I have been really busy for the past week, even taken a day off to do some personal things. Though I was kept busy at home from morning till almost midnight on my off day, the time was satisfying, relishing every moment of it. Doing my dream work at home, spending some really simple yet quality time with my mom, having a simple porridge lunch with her, was joy unspeakable, this is what life is all about, no worry, no fear, doing all things from the onset just for Him. Busy, and yet not busy, because work is no longer work when you enjoy it, if you know what I mean. This sparks off the idea of taking more time off and do some of those things I like at home more often in future. I may soon get addicted to this lifestyle.

I am still in awe and wonder of all that has happened the past 2 weeks, though I am still kept relatively calm on the outside, yet deep within, I am filled with gratitude to Him, the fulfiller of my dreams. Thanks, my dear Shepherd.

Just a side track, it would be wrong if I don’t even mention this here, something that has caught my attention for the past few weeks. Talking about TV addiction, as I mentioned before, I am a TV addict. Recently, I have been quite fascinated with the “Superband” programme, and I am really amazed and encouraged that there are people out there who dare to pursue all the way for their dreams. These are simple people from all walks of life, but what brings them together is the common passion for music. To me, all the groups that have gone into the final are already champions in their own right. I am not sure if I would vote for them yet maybe I should get a ticket to go watch the final…

Now back to reality, it is back to office on this coming Monday, with many things to rush and finish, in fact, with so many presentations due this week, its seems a relatively busy week ahead. Yet I am reminded again that He who has seen me thus far will continue to see me through the days ahead, for He is ever so faithful.

As for this blog, being so busy for the last 2 weeks, I have not produced any new illustration, but the amazing thing is that I actually drew 4 little lamb cartoons 3 weeks ago to last me till this week’s blog. (I think my Shepherd knows my busy schedule ahead of time, and therefore inspiration comes much earlier, phew!) So the above concludes the series of cartoons I have drawn 3 weeks ago, in search of all the friends for the little lamb, hope you like all the friends shown in the past 2 weeks.

The little lamb enjoying a cool breezy night in the open… You too take some time to enjoy your dreams!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Am I dreaming?

It is past midnight and my hair is still wet. So while I am sitting near the fan drying my hair, I started writing this week's blog. I was actually contemplating to master the "Flash" program, that somehow, someday, I will be able to produce my own little animation online, on the first ever little lamb cartoon, yet I may have to put this idea off again for a little while...

Several years ago, when I was still studying in the university, I treasured a little dream in my heart, which some of my close friends would know. A dream that I was willing to give up everything I had for that, though the dream never seemed to be forthcoming then, despite my endless prayer to almost "begging" God.

Since then with all the disappointments, I had almost given up, went back to school to complete my study and moved on with my life as a designer. Yet that little dream has always been lying deep down within me, thinking that, perhaps someday it may still happen, but now, no longer as a dream that consumes me, but rather... a happy daydream.

Yet, back then, I could never have thought that what I go through now, the skill that I picked up along the way would in fact draw me closer to seeing my dream fulfill than if I would have chosen to try to fulfill it by my own. I used to live through a season in my life when I regretted entering into this architecture journey, thinking that, the further I moved on with this, the further away I was from my dream.

But who would have thought that one day Papa God would have use of this little skill that He imparted into my life as a result? That it is after all not a wasted journey, but a more fruitful path, where I could be of greater use to Him. That puts me to ask, "Am I dreaming?" I am still trying to contain my little emotion, as I could not share my joy openly here. As I looked back through those years, I am amazed by each little step, and I can almost see it visibly the invisible Shepherd that leads me all the way by His loving hands.

Now, through a series of events recently, I was suddenly brought to see my dream come to pass, to see a group of people from the land that I loved blessed, and to use the little skill that God imparted to realise this dream. I am truly awed by the awesome wisdom of Papa God. Who would have thought that it will be done in this manner? He truly knows what is best for me. So friend, do not be discouraged, if you have been dreaming for a long time, and yet that dream is not forthcoming, do not despair, in His time, for He has a great plan for you too. He is our beloved Shepherd, He will lead us there.

As for the cute sunflower above, it is the little lamb's little confidante, whom the lamb can always confide all its little dreams and secrets to. It is a continuation of identifying the little lamb's friends to continue the story...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Struggles . Relationship . Life

This is a continuation of yesterday’s thought. Yes, I am struggling… been struggling for a few months with a young assistant of mine. Every now and then, I will ask myself why am I made to fall into such a situation when the assistant was not even employed by me, he was forced into my team when his supervisor left the office.

Pardon my prejudice here, guess this is one good place for me to vent a little of my frustration. I have come to the point of beginning to doubt myself, whether the way I am treating him was because of his poor working output, or it has already changed into a form of prejudice on my part, a judgment formed, that whatever he does tends to frustrate me, I am not sure. I can no longer differentiate the two, I am confused, who can deliver me from this?

I was so afraid of giving him any work to do, that I have decided to split the work between myself and my other assistants, until finally I was “reprimanded” by my other assistant, why is he still receiving a salary when he did so little (partly because I tend to have to redo whatever he does, I figured it might be better to do it myself), and make ourselves so miserable…. I pondered… sorry…

I also tend to ask others in my team to give him work to do, so that I do not have to. And the nasty me within, in fact rejoices when I saw the same frustration I faced happened to them, taking delight that I am not the only one, trying to justify myself for my misbehaviour, trying to alleviate my guilt and misery. The terrible me…. Lord, thank You that you love me just the way I am.

In fact, almost everyday, I am counting down to the day when he is leaving, because he would be leaving to further his study in September, I wish it can be tomorrow, I wish. To be honest, there are several times, I ask him maybe he should consider leaving earlier for his study in England, to get himself used to the new environment, trying very very hard to sound nice…. But somehow he doesn’t seem to get my hint… sigh! Help! I wish someone would forward this message to my boss… for him to take some action. I am tired, dealing with him… really tired.

I have come to the point of doubting myself, blaming myself, looking within myself, asking why am I such a person, not at all behaving like a Christian, respecting others like the way Christ does, I truly cannot, the harder I tried, the harder I fall, the angrier I am with him and with myself…. And my voice rises ever higher at him as the days go by! After that, I feel bad for behaving such. I have been pondering of even taking leave on the week that he is leaving so that I do not have to pretend to be nice while sending him away. Even if there is a farewell lunch, it would most probably be a celebration lunch deep within my heart… forgive me for my frankness…

And yes, that also half explains the illustration above. As I was thinking of the friends for the little lamb, I decided that its good friends will be the elephant and the giraffe, my favourite animals in the zoo. I love the elephant, much as it is big, it always look so kind and gentle, perhaps of its slowness. I love the giraffe because it itself is so cute, almost a joke in nature, with such long neck, but ever so adorable, almost elegant and very colourful. Yet despite of it all, they can live peaceably, though the elephant has to be careful, not to stamp on the little lamb, and the giraffe has to look out for its lowly friend. Yes, in other word, in all relationships, tolerance is important, something that always cripples me because I have little patience… Guess after the above incident, my fruit of longsuffering would have gotten so big! In life, such incidents do happen… I wish it is the last though…

My Shepherd, you will see me through this all! Let there be a miracle!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Za Ba Lang

There are many thoughts this week, but they are all over the place, therefore I shall take on the phrase my lovely assistant used “Za Ba Lang”, in Hokkien, meaning a mixture of many things.

Little Lamb Art
How did we first come across this word in my chat with my colleague? We were discussing whether we should go do something else, rather than sitting in the office drawing and designing? Such as selling sweet beancurd, chicken rice, etc. A common nonsensical topic that we would casually bring up at times. She came up with the idea, why not I go develop on the little lamb series and create all sort of products and she would go and sell them, that is, to create a series of “Za Ba Lang” items. In fact, the name “Little Lamb” has already been used by a shop, so we may have to change name… or why not use “Za Ba Lang” as the name? Anyway this was just a casual chat… though I have entertained this thought before.

My Mom

Today I brought my mom to see a doctor. She has not been feeling well for the past few days, feeling giddy. As I brought her there, I held her hand, and suddenly I realized that my mom is old. In the past, it was always the other way, when she would reach out her hand to hold mine, when crossing the road, etc, and even when I was older, in my secondary school, there were even times when I felt shameful, to be seen by my friends that my mom held my hand. How time passed. Now it was the other way around, who would have thought that now I would hold her hand to cross the road… a heavy feeling hit me. My mom has indeed grown older.

Crazy Thought
Pondering on the thought that maybe one day I may truly publish the little lamb series just like what we discussed earlier, I was suddenly hit by the fact, the lamb has no name, no other supporting characters, except itself and its Shepherd. As I dwelt on this further, a crazy thought came over me, I better start evolving the little lamb, to have some identity, and again to reexamine whether this present image of the little lamb is what I want to portray. Just like Mickey Mouse, it truly has evolved, from black and white, to coloured with eye balls, to the present computer generated form. So all at once, I drew quite a few, to sort of search for an identity? Plus I have identified its friends, etc…

So below was what I drew, and after looking at it for sometime, I felt actually it looks more like a slimming advertisement rather than choosing the desired look, A, B or C. Please don’t be mistaken, it is NOT a slimming cartoon…. I want to clarify again. Anyway, my conclusion is, I still prefer image C. In fact, I have finished the illustrations for all its friends, but I will publish it later in the week or next week, while I ponder a little more.

Name: No name yet (Any suggestion?)
Date of Birth: 30 May 2005
Age: 1+

Gender: Female
Country of Birth: Dreamer Land
Owner: Shepherd
Friends: Sunflower, Elephant and Giraffe (name for the friends?)
Hobby: Daydream, taking naps, taking vacation
Favourite food: Chocolate and ice cream
Character: Blur, playful, tend to roam away unknowingly on its own until the Shepherd has to go and find it.
Favourite place: Near the Shepherd, because that is the place where food can be found, and it is warm and peaceful, no worry of wolves.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I have settled into my new flat (though it is an over 20 year-old flat, but to me it is new) for coming to a year, since I moved in last September. In fact, I am getting so used to it, being so near the MRT, I left my home heading to work, more than 20 minutes later than the past, sleeping later than usual, hardly take any bus these days, and even when working late in office, I find it much faster to take a train home rather than catching a cab at times.

How fast new habits begin to form as a result of moving to this new place. In fact, I have gotten lazier, not wanting to leave my house unless necessary. In fact, the last time I used to stay in a HDB flat, (HDB flat is Singapore’s public housing) was more than 10 years ago, when I was still attending junior college, and ever since then, I have been staying at my brother’s landed property for more than 10 years. Never was there a need to take a lift to my apartment then, and catching a public transport was not really that easy, though it was a really nice cool walk to walk to the nearest bus-stop in those days. I used to sleep on the 1st or 2nd storey then, and being on a lower level, the sunlight hardly entered the bedroom, keeping the sleeping environment pretty dark and cosy. Yet these days, especially during weekend when I can afford to sleep a bit later than usual, I am usually awoken by the stream of bright sunlight entering my room, being on the 10th level.

I am not complaining, just comparing the huge difference. Now staying near to many amenities has its pros and cons. Snacking becomes almost a very easy task, as I would have to pass by a 24 hours coffee shop before I reach home everyday, with great temptation crying out at me, chicken wings, fish ball soup, rojak, roti prata…. etc, etc…. I am trying very hard by my self effort to shed the extra 2 kg, Lord, help me!

Why am I dwelling on this topic “flats” then? I have been wondering, if I can afford it (which I think I maybe one day), to get a condominium or private property, would I ever want to move into one? This question came to me recently, as I have been designing many such building type for the longest time, perhaps the one building type that I have been constantly designing, despite of the fact I wish there is something new I can design soon, though I still enjoy doing it, finding new ways to look and design housing, breaking new grounds hopefully at the same time. (Come to think of it, about 3 or 4 of such building type that I did have been or are currently being built.) Yet, honestly, I may not want to stay in one, despite of the prestige, the facilities, or even if it is designed by myself. Why, I ponder. Perhaps I still like the simple pleasure of staying in public housing, in a midst of a well established housing estate, where all the facilities are there. I prefer convenience above all. And being pretty busy even now, I doubt there is time to even enjoy the facilities of the condominium, even as of now, I hardly have 2 hours a day to enjoy my TV and some serenity moments in my bedroom… perhaps it is my time management problem that I got to solve first…

Most of all, I do not like to be in debt for too long, having to take half of my lifetime to pay off my housing debt, I see it as a crazy choice to make, just for the sake of staying in a condominium, etc, this is just my thought. I prefer freedom, able to go anywhere I like, not having to worry about keeping a job to pay off my debt. And yes, I hope I didn’t offend anyone in this week’s blog, especially I hope this writing will not jeopardize my housing design career…. Oops, I better run off before I get into any trouble! Ciao!