Jan 30, 2010

To what purpose ?

Yesterday I read about Wanda who lost her son and I wandered what is God's purpose for those who knew Chris and loved him.
Silouette mum & child

I posted this prayer button a while back. A young lady I knew learnt that the child she was carrying had  Edwards Syndrome. She was too far into term when discovered, they were confused and sad but continued on, prepared for his coming. What could the rest of us do but pray for the best, the infant, their strength and God's will.

Today, I attended the wake of this child, he was named Jeremiah, 8 months in his mother's care, a tiny life that never saw the light of day but will see the light of heaven. I never knew this little life and yet I feel extreme sorrow for his struggle to survive with this disease.

As his father says very calmly,  for the living, it is a test of faith.

A temporary soul.

Jan 28, 2010

I was Tagged, now you are Tagged..



I was tagged by Farila http://chaptersfrommylife.blogspot.com/, so here goes...

Shows I like to watch
rarely when I do get the time to plonk down in front of the set it would be for ..

- The Mentalist
- CSI

(the following are not listed in any order or preference)

8 things I look forward to
- the next coming holidays (in Feb)
- finishing my semester's assignment
- the moment the kids tell me they have finished all their homework.
- singing in Church
- taking walks on the weekends
- the next novel
- quiet time before bed
- upgrading my pc at the office (before I loose all my emails AGAIN)

8 things that happened yesterday (of course this was a few yesterdays ago)
- the flu came to visit me
- my son spilled his drink onto the floor(dropped the cup and all)
- the computer in the office hung on me
- it rained cats and dogs
- I finished reading my daughter's book 'Twilight'
- my MP3 ran out of juice in the middle of Celine's 'I'm Alive' (a sign?)
- I threw away a container of biscuits that had grown mouldy
- the road in front of my house got a new black coat of tar on one half.

8 things I love about winter
- it's certainly more interesting than the monsoon rain
- the landscape would be perfectly white
- I would get to wear winter furry clothing, boots and gloves
- COLD
- I imagine a cozy fireplace with a fire going
- snowball fights
- sleigh rides or sliding on cartboxes
- watching snowflakes fall outside your window

8 things on my wish list
- my kids will turn out well and do well in the future
- that there's enough food for everyone in the world
- a car
- the kids will leave me at least one chocolate mini-bar and not just the empty packet
- I will age gracefully
- a cure for all the terrible diseases
- my home loan would be paid off today
- I get a pay rise soon

8 things I am passionate about
- reading
- my kids
- chocolate
- my hobby craft
- speaking properly
- learning
- punctuality
- deepening my understanding of God

8 phrases I use often
- oh goodness
- well that's super
- 'wait til I win the lottery'
- crap!
- what goes around comes around
- tomorrow never comes
- who says life is fair..
- don't procrastinate


8 things I have learned from the past (not copied from anywhere.. genuinely learnt lessons )
- It's best to rely on yourself and no one else
- Keep up with your friends, don't expect them to always keep up with you.
- Your boss is not your friend, don't ever get taken in.
- You have to make an effort to reach out because people don't always read you correctly.
- My parents are not perfect, they are human and they are products of their time.
- Give freely because you want to, not because you expect to get back the same in return,  that way you are never disappointed.
- If you have no regard or respect for a certain person, then how he/she thinks or what they say of you should be of no consequence, their words would merely be noise in the wind and should not bother you in the least.
- You cannot please everyone. Ask yourself who is most important.

8 places I want to visit
- Rome
- London
- Turkey
- Scotland
- India
- Israel
- France
- Switzerland

8 things I want/ need
- love
- hugs
- more 'me' time
- a car
- more time to get things done(like 6 more hours a day)
- I'd really like to have a peaceful night's rest
- a clone of me to stay home with the kids
- peace of mind

8 bloggers I would like to tag









(oh and don't forget to alert your Tagee !!)
I hope you have as much fun as I had digging these out of myself.!

Jan 26, 2010

Random thoughts from stories of old England


I have a thing for old English novels, stories, movies revolving around old England especially late 18th and early 19th Century.  There's something fresh and innocent in the way that young ladies and children are characterized, portrayed in the old English countryside and the way conversations are created.  And romance ah, well, they don't make them like they use too. (lol).
I could not appreciate the novels until my late 20s, when the unfolding of the story becomes less compelling than the imagery, beautiful descriptions, the formal and the flowery language.

And sometimes wisdom comes through in the most unexpected moments.
In this book I am currently reading by Isak Dinesan (Karen Blixen) 'The Angelic Avengers' one of the young ladies(Zosine) says this to her friend(Lucan) who claims she has no imagination and therefore would not experience adventure.
"But perhaps that is just the way of the world .. and destiny will lose her interest in those people who are themselves capable of inventing things. She will leave them to have things happen to them within their own imagination. But with you she will take trouble to contrive the most extraordinary events."

It sounds like - take charge of your life or she(Destiny) will do it for you.
Now that is an interesting thought, a scary thought .. what is destiny's definition of 'extraordinary events' I wonder.

Here's another interesting prose about being Loved  .." The beauty of nature, music, poetry and art are all inextricably bound up with the idea of love. The woman who has denied love, she had then dimly guessed, will no longer dare to learn a poem by heart, to listen to a song, to pick the wild flowers of the woods, or the roses of her garden. Now, in pain and ecstasy, she knew for certain that the magic kingdom of beauty, sweetness and poetry in this world is open to the lovers as to its lawful heirs.".....  
If that is true, at least we do come out of it with more.

Jan 23, 2010

Telling My Story


This is my journal
about my unique little life.
It gets quite personal
because it's about my strife.
It is alright, that you know
I am not unlike you,
but I have my own woes,
and my path winds too.

It is my desire to share,
a story that unfolds gradually,
so you know not all life is fair,
and might appreciate greatly
that which you now have,
is truly special from above.

Always, it comes full circle,
seasons of calm then storms unfurl.
A sweet memory, an unforeseen smile
I may bring you for your musing,
melancholy to dissipate not to pile,
then return once more to the beginning.

There are times when I digress
into God or faith and pray,
exploring ways out of unrest,
seeking which is the way.
If you do hear,  lift my heart with a comment
for I am always uncertain.
But only if you can comprehend
then my soul shall be less burdened.

(HA)

Jan 20, 2010

Seeking Wisdom which brings Contentment....

The answer seems to be 'carry on with life, it's not my time to do anything yet'.

Seeking a miracle solution from The Book, there is none. They are work-at-it solutions.
There is hope for contentment in this life, without waiting for it in death. It appears that what we constantly seek can be gotten quite easily,  the incentives are wonderful and yet so very difficult in the doing.
Does contentment lead to acceptance or does acceptance lead to contentment?
Does this call for blind faith, to believe I am treading on the right path?  
How do I lay aside my own perception to trust Him 'wholeheartedly'. Do I stop thinking altogether each time I make a choice or decision.?
Not so easy to do - to think of Him in all things we do.

"Trust wholeheartedly in God
put no faith in your own perception;
acknowledge him in every course you take
and he will see that your paths are smooth."

And once we discover wisdom, it will
 ... "all lead to contentment.
... give life to your soul
and beauty to your neck.
You will go on your way in safety,
your feet will not stumble..
... you will not be afraid
.. sleep will be sweet"       
(Prv 3:5-6,17 22-24)..

Jan 18, 2010

Being Positive is Not the same as not being Negative

I dislike wet blankets. I try not to be one myself but I suppose I can't avoid being caught in the rain like everyone else........

 
The effect of being positive is not the same as not having negative thoughts.

I have come to a point of awareness where I am able to pull myself back from the brink of bleak moods, to minimise negative thoughts. I essentially 'talk' myself out of it or remind myself 'for the sake of the kids'. 
But putting positive thoughts into motion is more difficult.

Being positive, feels like putting yourself into gear for forward momentum, an anticipation that should lead you to greater engagement.

Preventing or putting off negative thoughts feels more like putting the gears into neutral, holding back but not quite daring to take a different step.

Anyway, being totally composed all the time is impossible, I think we need moments to allow ourself to cry or scream.
I did that on Sunday, it felt good.

Jan 17, 2010

Lost in thought - just a date?

I don't have all my answers yet.
This month is the month of my wedding anniversary. I don't think much of it because as far as I am concerned the marriage has been over over for a few years now(perhaps longer if I want to analyse it) and yet.
What am I, neither divorced or married in the sense of the word just very definitely a single mother.
In church when the blessing was given to all who were celebrating their anniversary this month, I did not stand up. While the priest gave his blessing, I felt like crying.  Should I have stood up?  What would I be celebrating?  What does God say ?  I got no answer.

I can't not think of it because I am reminded by my family.  They are merely thinking of it in the usual way. I try not to think of it because I don't know what to think of it.
What does it really represent? 

A commitment that created three little lives, three new hearts and minds with their own expressions and experiences.

I suppose like many things, I need to come to terms with it, rationalise what to do with this date, because it will come again each year until  it no longer means anything to anyone. 
Instead of 'anniversary', I could call it something else.

Why should I celebrate it or remember it ? 

It's more than just a date.. it's the reason for my three little hearts.

Jan 15, 2010

Hope and a New plan - Bible thoughts


I think God does experiment (Reflections) with us, because he wants what is best for us. But still, he gave us free will.
As  Helen S Rice wisely puts it...
'... whenever we are troubled and when everything goes wrong,  It is just God working in us to make our spirits strong".

My bedtime prayers have turned towards reflections of late, here's one of them that's been going through my head.

When I read the old testament stories, I feel envious of the early people of God.  They were so very blessed to have God literally manifest himself in so many ways. God showed himself, showed his works, made himself heard and showed his mercy so often to these people - of and on he sent destruction upon those who did not obey,  destroyed cities and spared those who deserved it. The bible continues on with death and mercy, warnings, threats then mercy, of prophets pleading with the people, of holy men and prophets who failed God too because they were merely human, of people not heeding the warnings ..throughout the years before Christ.

It's as if God kept on trying to control and direct his people (to save them) to gain their obedience through the generations but STILL could not.  Are we as stubborn as the early people of Israel?  Would we behave the same way, if God decided to manifest himself the same way today?. Would He be disappointed too?

Thus finally I believe, He decided on a New and different plan to keep us true to himself. The onus now falls upon ourselves to follow by the example of one Man.
The Good News as the New Testament is called,  is really that,  there's a feeling of Hope when you read these new Chapters after reading the Old.

Jan 14, 2010

Having extra weight on your behind, big hips and solid thighs "is good for you"

This headline cheered me up some.... and Alice's poem  "I Remember When" made my day today..


Here's the news story ........with some interesting information....
http://www.asiaone.com/Health/News/Story/A1Story20100113-191580.html
Wed, Jan 13, 2010   AFP
LONDON - Having extra weight on your behind, big hips and solid thighs "is good for you", British researchers said on Tuesday.
Carrying fat on the hips, thighs and behind, rather than around the waist, has a range of health benefits and actively protects against diabetes and heart disease, experts at Oxford University said.
"Fat around the hips and thighs is good for you but around the tummy is bad," said Dr Konstantinos Manolopoulos, one of three scientists behind the research, which was published in the International Journal of Obesity.
A big bottom is much better than carrying fat around the waist, which tends to release more harmful fatty acids into the body, the research shows.
Belly fat also releases molecules called cytokines which trigger inflammation - raising the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
But fat carried on the thighs traps these harmful fatty acids and stops them from latching on to the liver and muscles and causing a range of health problems, including insulin resistance.
Although fat around the thighs and backside tends to burn slower and be harder to shift, it can release beneficial hormones which protect the arteries and help blood sugar control, the research showed.
"The idea that body fat distribution is important to health has been known for some time," said Manolopoulos, who is a researcher at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM).
"However is it only very recently that thigh fat and a larger hip circumference have been shown to promote health, that lower body fat is protective by itself."
It is shape that matters - and as far as health is concerned, being 'pear-shaped' is preferable to being 'apple-shaped'.
In an ideal world, the more fat around the thighs the better, providing the stomach stays slim, Manolopoulos said.
"Unfortunately, you tend not to get one without the other," he said.
Unfortunately !

See even fat has its' uses. :)

Jan 12, 2010

A day in the Life ....my cup runneth over.....



I'm still in the doldrums, I 've figured out what's bothering me...(besides the eostrogen problem).
These days I am bogged down with work. I think and think of the need to do lots more but  just haven't the time or the energy. I could use another 5 hrs in the day I think.
My children need me,  all three of them but there's only one of me. This bothers me

Dad helps but I think he needs to be a grandfather more than study tutor to them. This bothers me.

My oldest is stressed by school, but I can't really help there because much depends on her own efforts and methods. I can only keep encouraging her and not add to her stress.

I need to curb the 2 boys from their computer games, so I'm going to unplug the machine. They'll probably hate me for a few days or more or until they figure where I've hidden the cable.
I'll have to do more to keep tabs on their activities from the office.

The madman of the house is away for work more often so that helps reduce everyone's stress levels.

And then, there is this course which I have taken up, it's once a week but still(homework and reading) ...it is meant to be a  back up .. you never know which way this industry will turn or turn on us,.. should I postpone it (I kept postponing it ). This bothers me.

Stress wise I think I am coping, I ain't giving in, but coffee only goes so far.
 
Christmas tree needs to come down soon like yesterday!

Dad is worried about me, I tell him I'm fine.
But I worry about him too.

It's just another phase I'll survive this.

I should pray, but when I pray I come up with more questions about God and his presence (or lack of it ). I just want to believe he is there, I don't want to think about it. 
Sometimes it's just easier to pray for others than my own.

Jan 11, 2010

Silent drama on board.....A day in the life



Encountering rude impatient people at the train station is nothing new but every now and again something a little more 'entertaining' occurs!
This happened on one of the mornings as I travelled to work.

The train comes, as usual it is filled to the door , some patiently wait for the few to alight and of course there are a few impatient ones who will just shoot in while people are attempting to get out. 
Finally I get in, luckily, there is some space near the door, as I step in I am suddenly thrust forward into the people standing in front of me, I apologise feeling ‘bloody irritated’ and turn around to see who or what came through behind me.  Few others were similarly affected too.
‘A pair of morons’ I thought very angrily (pardon the language) – a young couple( girl and big guy) stood hand in hand facing the door continuing some conversation, oblivious to the hard stares at the back of their heads. I just kept staring as if my irritation might be able to seep through their thick skulls if I stared hard enough, I wanted to look at their faces. Just so they could see my displeasure.

There was a lady standing just alongside them, and she stood her ground through the next 2 stops, not budging from her spot even as people went out or came in. The rude couple still stood side by side at the front.  I thought to myself  'rarely do you see good in people on the subway'.

None too soon .. 'one good turn deserves another', I wickedly thought...
At the third station, there was a surge of people and the girl got ‘rudely’ pushed in by like-rude people and the boyfriend could not move backwards to her side because the lady moved back some and refused to budge to give way to him, she stood her ground and merely looked forward, ignoring him. He was very disgruntled, muttered something under his breathe, stared at the lady and then stared at persons who pushed his girlfriend in.
I had a smile on my face by then, as I watched him. As the big guy turned to look at the commuters,  I got to see his face and he saw mine.
I find it amazing that some people have no awareness of their own behaviour eventhough they are capable of recognising inconsiderate behaviour.

Jan 9, 2010

Seeking


Why do I look out the window
when all I seek is here in my heart;
only now with less sorrow.

I feel lonely today, a little downcast
my heart seeks warmth,
my mind wonders the past.

Seeking friends of old times,
girlhood giggles and smiles,
of music and rhymes.

In the distance, church bells toll,
I return from reverie,
little arms around me, lovingly fold.

With love of a family 
and friends aplenty,
I strive to be happy.

Still, I seek what escapes always,
wisdom that enlightens, fortitude to march 
and peace that touches like the sun's rays.

(HA - 2010)

Jan 5, 2010

You Can't always have Everything !


Is it possible to have everything you want and be happy ?
I think life is what we make of it BUT God keeps the balance.

The kids constantly lament about unimportant things like why 'I didn't get' perfect eyesight or perfect teeth, 'why didn't God give me more brains, why do I have to study harder than others, why didn't i get straight hair, why they weren't born rich etc etc etc '.

It is difficult for the kids to comprehend when I say that God is always fair or Life is always fair and  'you can't have everything' .  It's difficult for them to get out of the narrow view where they can only see their personal imperfection without being able to look at the many more good things about themselves by comparison.

It's also tough getting them to pay serious attention to the idea that God knows us and sees all,  there is no hiding from him; and we don't always get what we ask for. The question I put back to them - 'do you deserve it' and 'is it good for you'.

------------------------------------
There are many situations when I forget and think too, that others are luckier than me. But I am constantly reminded that nothing stays perfect' and we are given our moments.

I used to think if you have 1 child and that child is perfect, what more could one ask for. You pour all your resources into one lucky child and it pays off well, isn’t that great ?  BUT then I know that no life is perfect and it is forever changing.  
One of my close friends has a son (1 child only by choice), he went to a good school, went abroad to study, came back found a job. BUT my friend recently complained to me ‘he does not want to settle down, he's always out ‘.   I said 'you can’t always have everything !' and she said 'we can only hope', I had to agree.
Ok so maybe I wanted to say GOD is fair !.

Jer 17: 9
" The heart is more devious than any other thing, and is depraved; who can pierce its secrets?
I, Yahweh, search the heart, test the motives, to give each person what his conduct and his actions deserve"

Jan 4, 2010

Sticky about grammar

Grammar stickie...
I am a stickler for grammar. No, I'm not a perfect English major or anything like that, I'm just fussy about speaking right and writing right!. I don't always know all the words but I try. 
Here in Singapore, we have a concoction of local vernacular words/ expressions mixed in with English - to become Singlish... (la, oi, eh ...ah.. makan (eat), kopi (coffee)).

I use it often enough but I am conscious of who and when I use it with, and always in informal, casual situations with familiar people.  After all there are very few habits or characteristics that we as locals can actually call our own, 
We are mostly descendants, some 3-4 generations ago originally from China, India or neighbour, Malaysia. My current generation is proud of who we are here, eventhough they are not really open about it as in waving flags and singing the anthem; but it exists and surfaces when talking points arise over national reps and sportmen. 
While I am proud of the Singlish in a 'nationalistic' sense,  I firmly believe it should not become more than that, an informal attribute and expression among locals.

But speaking properly should be a must have for oneself and for communication to the outside world.

Jan 1, 2010

Moving forward, making plans.



The season is almost over, it's been eating and eating and merry making mostly at one house after another. The presents have all been given out except for a couple of delayed meets. Dieting begins tomorrow I hope !!.

The school holidays will be over soon and the kids will be preparing to go back to school. (The kids are groaning, but I am glad!). Kids have so many different distractions today and yet they get bored SO fast. I will be glad to get back to the 'quieter'  'less chaotic' business of living.

I hope that the economy will pick up in 2010, and morale will generally pick up after the rather gloomy old year.
My resolve for 2010 is to pray and listen more on the spiritual front.  Even the three wise men followed the Star, (the light), they didn't try to figure it out through their own wealth of knowledge. There are many lessons in the nativity story.
The family PROBLEM is still present but I believe I have done what I can, shall leave it in God's hands for now until there is a sign.
On the kids front, I intend to work with my middle child and help him moderate his negative characteristics.
On the personal front, well I have already begun with a new course for personal enrichment, that should keep me busy PLENTY.

Looking forward to a better, positive year in 2010.

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