Monday, April 30, 2007

Shalom . A Child Again!

This is the beginning of the 4th week since I stopped working in an office, or considered the 3rd week I started “resting”. In fact the pace of life was the best last week. If working is considered driving at 90-100km/h (at times even speeding), then last week would be at a very comfortable pace of 60-75km/h, a bit of design work, a bit of lazing around, a bit of sight-seeing. Cool, I would say I would love to be able to do things at this pace all the time. I am really thankful to Papa God as when I started thinking of the things I would want to do last week, a new non-stress task was dropped unto me, and I was really thankful and blessed to be able to play a part in it, so last week was really quite meaningful completing the task.

As for this week, lots of things in store for myself, reading, drawing a little I hope, listening to sermons, sight-seeing, slowing down the pace to perhaps 50km/h, before I pick up speed to 75-80km/h next week, if everything turns out well. Shalom and grace grace! In Christ alone, I place my trust.

For today, we had some simple, fun, self-upgrading lessons, a few of my friends came together to learn a new software and drawing, and posted herein are what they have done. Bravo, friends! Can we also post the sketches you all did? Which one do the readers prefer out of the 3 smaller ones?

Finally, the reason for the above illustration, I believe I must be visualizing myself as a child again when the above image dropped into me, and at the same time, I wanted to create the effect of evoking a sense of movement within a still image, therefore I did this sketch, as this will definitely evoke in all readers’ imaginations of the next action that will take place, the lamb being carried in the arms of the Shepherd, this is what I hope to achieve with this, evoking multiple images with one simple image. Hope it is successful. Cheers! I would not write too long this week, cos last week I wrote too much…. But I will definitely continue on the topic mentioned last week again soon…. Elaborating on the architectural expedition…. Blessed week ahead!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Life . Architectural Expedition . The Next Step?

This marked the first week of my “sabbatical rest”. Amazing! For those who have worked with me, or knew me well, would know that I am a “hurry-hurry” person (a better term is “fast and efficient”?) , one who would attempt to finish what needs to be done asap, a silent rule residing in me “if what needs to be done can be finished today, then finished it today.” This could be the self-imposed principle that added undue stress on me. One that my Shepherd would have to deliver me from.

The reason I brought this up was that, it is truly tough for me to re-learn a lot of things afresh this week. First thing to learn is to do things slowly. It is truly a labour for me to rest, for someone almost a “workaholic” like me. By Tuesday, I had finished my folio cum printing, in just less than 2 days, something that I thought would take me a week. On Wednesday, my friends and I went to Johor by public transport, the first time I had ever done this in my life. Thursday and Friday, I attended a seminar. Looking back, I have yet rested, though I did catch some quick afternoon naps. It is not easy to learn to rest…. Especially when your mind would unknowingly wander off to unwanted restricted territory called “worry”.

Yet there are so many things I want to do, learn and study and most of all, to rest. But the rational part of me would remind me “there are responsibilities, there are expectations to meet.” The worried voice would attempt to distract me from my aim, unfounded worries, which has no basis if one is to probe further.

There are some fundamental issues to solve meanwhile, before I see myself ended in the same situation in the new job. That is when I started asking fundamental questions “Do I really like architecture?”, “what do I really like about this career?”, “Do I still want to be an architect?” “How should I approach design from henceforth?” “What design do I really like to do?” “What kind of architect do I want to become? (or rather what kind of architect the Lord would want me to be?”) etc etc…. At times, there will be discomforting answers, at times, answers that you knew that they are actually all along hidden within your heart, but that you need to take time to remove the accumulated dust above. (But please, do not be introspective, a subtle difference, I realized.)

A point that I have been avoiding to write for sometimes since I made the decision, I had finally mustered sufficient courage to write. “Guilt and condemnation”. Ever since the decision was made, I had been asked by many, even my own self, “why quit?” There is no one reason to explain, perhaps an accumulative number of reasons or circumstances? Afterall, I was treated very well by my bosses and I had great colleagues. And I would be disappointing some of the people I respected greatly with my decision. Yet, there has been a constant unexplainable frustration that kept emerging, hot-temperedness that seemed to surface itself constantly and getting ever more frequent, and this is not normal, in fact, it is scary. To pin point the reason was not possible to me, though there was a tiny indication of the cause. To solve this is urgent, at least to me, there and then.

Life is meant to be an enjoyment, as created by my Lord. Ever since, having the haunting questions “what is the meaning of life? Why are we born into this world” answered, life to me has taken on another meaning. These questions haunted me since I was a child, I would constantly ask myself since a young child, why live? Are there greater beings in this universe other than us? How can we ever come into this universe simply out of nothing? And where do we go once we died? Into nothingness? Although I was very young then, perhaps less than 10 years of age, I was constantly haunted by these questions. No amount of religions could give me a reasonable answer to settle these haunting questions, until one day, Jesus found me, and since then I knew that I knew He is real, all doubts and questions were answered since. That unforgettable experience etched forever in my heart, when I was about 15 years old. That settled the episode of the haunting questions, and I was never really bothered about the meaning of life ever since. To me, Jesus has become the reason to live, and life is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest in Christ!

Yet, recently, as the enjoyment of my career seems to decrease, I was reminded again of the long forgotten episode of my childhood. I believe many people must have asked themselves these questions before at one point of their lives or another, but how many would have brushed them aside and move on. Reason why I was reminded again was I believe many people may have also experienced a point of great frustration in their career, however, perhaps they are in their comfort zone for sometimes therefore they disregarded it, or take it as normal to be frustrated, or perhaps, it was turned around finally. I would not say that I knew the solution to this now, but I choose escapism, looking away for a while.

To be honest, I don’t really like this transitional phase, I felt weak, indecisive, unsure. I am not one who can wait very long, yet it seems to be so now that the traffic light is still red, and I can’t wait to just speed off asap with the change to green light. I am anticipating… waiting for the change… waiting… waiting… waiting. Learning to wait…

This marks the beginning of the 2nd week of my break. So many things I have lined up for myself to do. Putting one important task that is meant to be completed this week till next, just felt within that it is still not time yet…. My rational mind kept saying, hurry hurry, get this done, but my heart would say wait…. Perhaps for one of the few times, I am going to let my heart decide rather than my mind… but I don’t think I have faith to sustain the postponement of this to another week if my heart still says so.

Today will also be my first day to re-learn a software that is critical for me to embark in a new job. I had known this software 4 years back, but trying to pick up from where I left off 4 years ago, was not really that easy, I almost want to “cry” while using it, how to measure, how to draw a box, how to pull out toolbars, etc etc…. sob!!!!!!!! Help! My fear 4 years back has now come back to haunt me, my fear that I would forget this software 4 years ago has returned! God help me to pick up this as much as I can within this week! Grace grace!

Guess enough has been written, this was written over the last 3 days….. I don’t like to end off with a sad tone so here explains a new illustration, surely He will shower His blessings of love all over my life! Fear not! Just abide in Him and enjoy Him now. Cheers, everyone! Shalom, shalom.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Beginning of My Long Awaited Rest

It was an adrenaline high week, working till the wee hours into the night, perhaps later than what I would do when I was working officially in an office setup. However, this time, it was different, I was not paid for what I was doing, the funnier thing was I even had to start investing in a new printer, etc etc, to accomplish the work. Yet for a long time since perhaps mid of last year, I again enjoyed designing. This time, I design for an imaginary client, with my Shepherd as my Employer and my friends, as my co-partners. It was fun, cool in fact, that we all went through a lesson trusting in the Lord, entrusting the entire project into His hands, after all, many of us are not trained, and God's grace is truly amplified as a result, because when we are weak, then we are strong, and it is not by might, nor by power but by His Spirit, and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

In fact, it was almost immediately upon my leaving of my previous job that I hop on this train to take up this fun adventure with my friends, and I am really thankful to them for joining me in this expedition, almost with no hesitation from them, must be God! And most of all, the fun and fellowship we all derived from it as a result was rewarding. And for me, I was able again to indulge in designing, using my imagination to dream up and create spaces, for the enjoyment of mankind. It was truly fun indeed, how I missed designing of such kind, I am sort of reminded that this is what I like most about my occupation.

Now that we had finished the task, I am going to truly take a break, prepare my portfolio and start writing resumes. (Actually, my dream is I don't have to write a single resume and be employed.... who knows?) I think I would start doing this this comng week but ask for a deferment to start work in June? And at the same time, I hope to start drawing my comics and fulfilled a little dream, etc during this break. Meanwhile, do support me, I took part in a comic competition, and I sent 3 wall papers and 1 comic. Do go vote for me, k? My comic is very easily recognisable, it is the little lamb series and the style is similar to those I have been posting in this blog. The link as follows:

(Just a point to note, they spell my name wrongly.... they added an extra "n" to my name.... somehow I can never understand why people tend to add a "n" or remove a "n" from my name, it happens to me all the time, even when I was working, my clients and consultants tend to spell my name wrongly even when my email address shows my name in full!!!!! sigh)

My 3 wall papers title are : Friends forever, I can fly, Carefree
My comic title is:Sheepish Dreamer
Do support me! Thanks a million! Would really appreciate that!

Recently, been thinking a lot, perhaps not writing as much, and most likely I would write on them in the next journal. Two questions:

What is life, and why are we in this world? (I knew the reason years ago the moment Jesus found me and with that I went ahead and enjoy living with little fears of the unknown, or question about the "other world"and I had sort of taken the answer for granted, until I began to realise that many people around me actually did not know the purpose of living, and that is why some are still haunted by this question, which is good.)

What kind of architect I would want to be? I can briefly write this now, in a summarised version, I want to be an architect that designs good, sensitive buildings, no longer just merely focusing on the visual, but more for the good of mankind.... very noble dream I suppose, but I really mean it.... hahahah, only by the grace of God can this be accomplished.

Guess I would write on the first question in the next journal.... if I am led to... cheers! Have a blessed fun filled week ahead, and a great time with the Shepherd! Finally my resting time has come! Yeah!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Concluded the last month of work just before Good Friday last week, and will rest for one or two months before I start all over again. (What a great day to conclude and start afresh actually, come to think of it, Good Friday!) It is actually not an easy task, to put away the past, and move on, just as I began to realise. There will still be occasions when I caught myself unaware looking at the past, or wondering what happened to a particular project, I am quite emotionally attached to my projects, something that I am learning to let go, Papa God, please teach me to hold everything with a loose hand. Guess this is the transitional period. However, I would say this is an appropriate move as I really badly needed a good rest, or perhaps the body seems to be requesting for a rest.

But it seems that I still have to put off my rest to yet another week, as a few of my good friends and myself have decided to come together to do something fun, trusting Papa God in this little adventure that we all have decided to undertake, He will have to be the Inspirer, Motivator, Masterplanner, Chief Architect, Ultimate Designer, while we listen and follow Him every step of the way, and may Him be glorified in our lives. Grace grace, favour favour, wisdom wisdom and a hearing heart!

Today is Easter, in fact I was not sure what to write or even draw, but I saw a short footage of the "Passion of the Christ" again today, and am reminded that all that I ever needed in life is actually already purchased for me on the cross, I almost lost sight of it for a moment, so glad to be reminded again! Thank you Daddy! Thank you my Shepherd, my Saviour Jesus for all that you have done. So the above is just a quick little sketch of the crown of thorns on His head, He carries all our fears, worries and give unto us His shalom peace, good health, joy, His all! Stay blessed, everyone!