Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts

Feb 14, 2016

God is great, he's wonderful

Did I not know he was there before?
That's because I was looking but did not see.
It's been 4 years or so now, life has happened
and I am grateful.
I have a job still in this terribly terribly unstable
and roller coaster economy,
the love of family who stand by me
and friends who share their ears and hearts with me.

He asks little from  us, but gives us so much
yet half the time we think and feel
it's not nearly enough, and we're never contented.

Weather 's hot but not that crazy.
The plants are still green and flowering.
The children will still moan and groan,
and I will still nag and push
but that's life.
I like quiet but I also miss the noise.

Is that how we're made, to live with noise and silence;  to have one and sometimes we must have the other. Extremes and boredom keep us afloat and living.

In spite of everything that has happened , I know I am blessed.
It doesn't matter how anyone else judges.
I don't aim for perfect, just better than OK.

God will still love us inspite of our chaos and continue to be our guide even if I don't see the driver.







Aug 18, 2013

A question of fairness



Is it normal to constantly think in terms of balance of problems ?  I know that others do not have perfect lives but some just seem to have less troubles than I do. Then I think that's unfair. Why me ?

My life has improved much, and it is ridiculous to expect it to be perfect BUT from time to time (when I am tried) I wallow, I compare myself, my life with that of others and I always feel like I have more to weather than others.

I think in terms of no kids vs 3 kids vs 1 kid vs parents with smart kids vs kids who have to work so hard vs the busy parent vs SAHM vs the single (happy go lucky), the well traveled vs luck vs luckless..  etc etc etc..


There' s a saying that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, but why do we have to have more than others at all. Isn't some enough ? Why do some seem to have none at all ?

I read somewhere too, that we experience problems because God wants to see or test our reactions to it rather than the solution of it.  So does it add to our credit line somewhere or reduce our debt on some conscience balance sheet for a place in heaven ?
It seems that we all don't begin with the same starting balance.

The mulling lasts a little while and then I thank God because there is more goodness to be grateful for than what went before. We all have different strengths to handle life differently, I suppose that is why.

There's a reason for all things that happen to us, I believe that strongly and yet ..........





 

Jun 17, 2013

My God loves me...vs Mother Nature

It's a beautiful hymn, that is infrequently sung in church, why is that ?
From time to time, we all need reminders that no matter what the failings or the weaknesses He still does.

Mother Nature is acting out in our part of the world too in a different way. No hurricanes or blizzards or floods or droughts.

All things happen for a reason - anywhere.

The environment has taken a turn for the worst at the moment. The mosquitoes are causing problems with a new strain of Dengue.  Many factors are probably the cause besides breeding sites which we are constantly reminded to prevent, the extreme weather could be the other reason that's helping the mozzies along. No, there is still no cure against the virus of the Aedes mosquito. Nature will continue to find ways to survive.

The PSI (air quality)is bad, every year we go through this problem for a while, where the neighbouring countries (farmers) burn the land to such an extent it affects the air (smells of smoke)all the way across the seas not just here over in Singapore but the whole of the west coast of Malaysia  too. We aren't pulling on oxygen masks just yet. Hope the winds change.

One would think I was not talking about urban Singapore but some backwater  'ulu' country, but this is happening here and now.

How much is within our control, not much I think. We'll just have to weather it.

Apr 29, 2013

Coping with ........

As I tried to title this post I was trying to figure, what am I coping with ?
There are just too many areas.

First I thought 'school', the kids timetable and their or my or the schools' push towards academic performance is taking it's toll. Yes exams are around the corner. Exams always seem to be around the corner.

Dealing with the ex is no longer a problem directly but dealing with his antics through playing with the kids'head is another kind of problem. I am learning how to deal with that too, unfortunately I can't say the same for the kids who are neither too young or too old.  You can't force courage or grow it when the fear never really went away and strength never had the opportunity to take root. My ex can't seem to think first for the goodness of his kids except his own selfish end. To him, it's still about winning the game and that means using the kids.
In this instance I think prayer is the only strategy and everyday I strive to keep the kids going at what is important for them.

Then there is work. Does such a thing exist, work-life balance?.  No job is stable today, perhaps if you work in the public sector. Dissatisfaction is one thing, but holding on to it and making it work does not help when the economy is so volatile.
Inflation used to be subtle and silent, but today it's the opposite and so tangible that you hear and feel it constantly when you shop for basics or have a simple meal.

Besides that I've been thinking of moving out of my sector to something more worthwhile but that's difficult at my age too.

So we plod on and make whatever works work.
My mind is constantly racing even when I try to do something restful and calming, there's always something to worry about, to plan for, to frown about and just so little to smile about.

It's hard to just throw caution to the wind.

No I'm not feeling melancholy, just low on faith and irritated by all these bumps along the road.






Dec 21, 2012

Divorce and my Faith

Saying it out loud is about facing it.

I've been trying to get my parish priest to come bless my new home and of course he is busy but I am hoping he can soon.

Ever since the divorce was final, every sermon and every 'opinion' about those divorced or about divorce pricks my conscience. I've been thinking I do need to speak to a priest about it but I procrastinate.

Is it guilt or fear? My only thought is that man judges differently from God. While I feel confident that God understands my circumstance I'm not so confident how a priest would.  Because I did not initiate it even though I had more cause to,  I have always believed this is was God's solution to my many pleas.

Everything I have heard is about - not going there. There's nothing about it when you are there and every time the subject comes up I step into this void - no white or black or grey. I don't know how to describe it, I don't know what I should think there's just no ground under it. There are articles, some web pages that attempt to address and interpret what the church law implies, but nothing is really clear to me I suppose.

 I'm handling it with the family and friends, no issues there.

For me, it's never been a dead end, it always was the beginning for healing and learning to be again. 

Jul 31, 2012

Moving right along and falling into place.

I have been gone awhile. Have been busy. And I thank God, things are falling in place.
I am moving out soon with the kids.

I was having a major headache about moving out in time and yet being able to have sufficient time for the renovation of the new apartment to my satisfaction without compromising. Despite the grace period for exit from the current home, the new apartment is just not going to be handed over soon enough.  The timing of the move was in the middle of the kids' exams, can you imagine the disruption. 

At the same time given my ex's neuroticism, I decided the best was for me to exit the house first before him as early as possible to reduce the tension all around. His allegations and threats through the lawyer about 'his' property in the current home is mind boggling, there is no civility in his response to simple requests, insults my lawyer almost as if he is going psycho. He still sits as if in authority and control. My lawyer tells me, to flick it off like a irritating fly and not be perturbed by him or for her.  I cannot begin to describe the sleepless nights and weight of worry.

He is working up to his appeal and his paranoia and interference is getting more frequent and disturbing.

For more than a month I had been searching for short term rental which is tough cos landlords prefer at least 1 year if not 6 months, on top of that I needed to be picky on location that would satisfy the three kids (school - timing, disruption, proximity etc).  And I don't need more than 3 months.

It's working out better than I could have directed myself, we've just got a rental to settle in,  during the short school break and then we'll have plenty of time to move into our new home during the long school break after their exams, and the workmen don't have to rush and I can take my time to get the furnishing.

An unseen hand, yes....

Apr 25, 2012

Gently he leads...

This phrase is so apt, and I know most assuredly, I don't have to worry. Things are going really smoothly, and because they are moving I believe God takes care of those things I have no control over while I do what I can do.
I'm talking about selling the house.

I had been worried that things would get messy and confused with both of us using different realtors trying to handle the sale but it has not been the case because this guy came into the picture.
And I do thank God.

There's this real estate broker who knew us(my ex and I) both from a long way back, and while he is more my ex's friend and associate (and probably the only real friend my ex has left), I think he's a God sent. He has taken care of the sale arrangements and very objectively acts as liaison for the necessary.
Sure he is going to get something out of the sale for himself, but it is his character I read and know. He is a nice family man, mature in his outlook and  draws one's respect.  Because of him, my ex is not making a nuisance of himself (as much) on the house sale either.

I am not a overly religious person but I must say it He is there beside me and my trust in him is all the more.

Soon , these things take time... it's coming, I hope I'll be posting from new home..very soon....

Feb 8, 2012

Sorting out Loose ends...

Unfortunately until I am able to sell this house and move out with the kids, I will not see the back of my ex.  My youngest grows impatient waiting for the move. There are a few hurdles to get over and I will have to use the courts again to clear the sale should my ex create more delays and thwart the orders, in the process.

I am advised to push through and I will.

The biggest part is over, I know I can do what needs to be done next. It's a lot of planning and formulating and meeting with the banks and looking at new homes.

Because of the appeal I believe my ex intends to put through, I still am wary although I'm told not to worry. I've seen his actions translate to whining in the past 6 months on paper and while I'm closer to understanding how the courts read this, I am still going to be paranoid as long as he is under the same roof and looking over our shoulders for the slightest incident to twist and spin.

He is still going to try his damndest to be a thorn in my side but I am going to use the courts and the police for the slightest reason that he gives me to ensure he understands I am standing my ground and that he does not intimidate me any longer.

If you have included me in your prayers, please continue cos it 's not over and  peace is the goal for all of us and I thank you.

Nov 2, 2011

Waiting for Joy

It's been an exhausting few weeks, mentally more than anything.
I can't wait for everything to be over and to have my X out of my face. It will be soon,  looking forward to the joy of living.  The children are impatient too but I think they are handling it better than I am. In fact they play the 'game' quite well.  They seem almost stoic about  their father's behaviour, which is escalating in terms of the show of power and aggression. They do not want me confronting him. I have to wait it out.
He thinks he's winning, well he can have his illusion.

-------------------------------------------

My latest diversion is reading Eric Fromm, it's seriously tough text to follow but here and there there is light on particular subjects of interest. Here's something I want to remember particularly from his discussion....I keep trying to imagine how and what it would be/feel like in this ultimate situation of true Joy.

Eric Fromm writes about the difference between joy and pleasure and that what God wants for us is Joy as a virtue of living in the mode of being. Pleasure is transient, momentary and a product of possessions and the need to have.

Master Eckhart's thinking interprets it such.."When God laughs at the soul and the soul laughs back at God, the persons of the Trinity are begotten..
...when the Father laughs to the son and the son laughs back to the Father, that laughter gives pleasure, that pleasure gives joy, that joy gives love and love gives the persons [of the Trinity] of which the Holy Spirit is one. .................
Joy, then, is what we experience in the process of growing nearer to the goal of becoming oneself"

Oct 20, 2011

Why did I not get out?

I was waiting for a miracle. I prayed for help, a way. I suppose in the deepest deepest part of my mind I had this everlasting hope.

choppy waters, rocks aplenty...
But my prayers were not to be answered so easily or too soon. The abuse, the narcissistic behaviour began a long time ago and I suppose another reason for hanging on was the hope that he would mature and change.

But that was not to be even as I carried my first child. I was treated no better or differently. But still I hung on. I am Catholic and as much as I think myself a grade B- quality type of Catholic, deep down my faith mattered , my vows mattered, the sacrament mattered. It would not be right for the kids. So I held on. Was it cowardly?



Imagine having to hold your breathe on your partner's reactions/response to soup that comes out of a familiar can; because that taste too is your responsibility. 90% of the time, nothing is good enough or well done or right ..
I didn't make it worse, I took on the meek role and stayed in the silence which grew longer and longer each time, but I couldn't make it better. Maybe if I kept the peace long enough, he would see?

After the third child, he didn't change for the better, he got more arrogant and his self-esteem did not improve with respect to me, more tyrannical, using the silent treatment permanently on me as his means for punishment and his physical temper emerged more and more frequently.  Sometimes I think he has a brain disease. And still I did not think of getting out. I prayed for wisdom too.

I got the courage to take out the protection order, not for myself but for the kids. When I think back I can't recall what pushed me to take those steps, did I plan did I think it through.... 
Hoping again that he would see (reality) what he had to do (a chance to try to hold this family together) and consequently would shake him and make him realize he needed help and advise for his behavior that was not right; that he would then attempt to salvage us all as a family unit.  But that didn't happen.  I once said that hope can be bad thing,  this is what I meant.

And so I wondered then what was the answer, I got up the courage to take ONE step, was it up to me to take the next and last resort, to break the vows, was that the way ?

But that was not.  In the end, it was he who did it. Why at this time, I can't figure?

But this seems to be that final answer to my problem and repeated prayer.

There are several thoughts that come to mind as I surmise what has passed:
I was meant to have three kids and not stop at one
There is a purpose for their being.
I was meant to take that extra journey of suffering, it made me stronger and to become a different person from the one who started out. My faith is stronger.
I have come to appreciate what normal means in most human natures - my tolerance is that much more for the range of human temperaments as nothing comes remotely close to the evil nature of my ex whom I have had to  survive with all these years.
Perhaps this is where fate is meant to take me.
This is where his guiding spirit led me.  God does not intervene until you give him permission and so he couldn't give me the miracle I asked for.

Sep 28, 2011

Wednesday Solitude: Working on defects

There were two reflections that stayed stuck to me this past week and seemed to follow me, entering my mind at the oddest times and places.
I have been worrying additionally as events are coming to a head soon, I suppose one leads to the other....

1. A reflection from the 25th week Friday encourages us to be more present, to make good use of the time that is now and not think about yesterday or worry about tomorrow. Essentially offer only the present moment to God and fill it with your worth.

Mat 6:34 "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day"
Ecc 11:4 "He who observes the wind will not sow; and he who regards the clouds will not reap"

2. In a reflection of 26th week Tuesday reading,  I am reminded of CS Lewis's Screwtape's letters, in that our defects are our weakest points through which temptation enters. 
The apostles themselves I am reminded were not perfect and Christ was patient and taught them. I am encouraged.
 
Somewhere in the reflection it goes "progress in our life of piety depends a good deal on our recognition and understanding of our dominant defect.  This is the defect which has the biggest influence on our behaviour and thinking."

So it's not the same for you and me, I will have to find my own path to holiness by working on that defect and strengthening the interior life.

Sep 10, 2011

Managing tension? Add Faith...

‘Hypertension’ the moment the doctor mentioned that my BP was approaching that level it has kept me thinking.  Am I in a state of distress ?. Am I putting myself there?. I have always considered myself calm and patient and yet perhaps it’s being eroded by all the negative things going on in my life for the past year. I just realized it has been a year, since the actual proceedings began.

I’ve moved from acceptance to elation to worry.
Acceptance because I can finally get on with living and not the hollow shell I have been for so long, acceptance because this is where my prayers have led me and this must be the step, the only solution which I am grateful has been taken out of my hands.
Elation because of the liberation from the abusive environment and the hell of my ex’s ill-foreboding ever-presence. Worry over the mischief the ex is

Jul 17, 2011

Sunday Solitude: how to do his will

Be still, and in quiet we will find the answers 

Isaiah 30 .... 15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
   “In repentance and rest is your salvation,
   in quietness and trust is your strength,.."  

Be patient


 18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
   therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
   Blessed are all who wait for him!

Jul 3, 2011

Sunday Solitude: message for the weary soul...

A pertinent reminder indeed in the Gospel reading today, for me .... ...

'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden , and I will give you rest . Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'   
(Matthew 11: 28-30).

Jun 26, 2011

Sunday Solitude: calming down

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  (Jn 14:27).

Assurances .. over and over. Why fret ?

Corpus Christi, the best form of fortification ......

 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.

Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV)

Jun 12, 2011

Sunday Solitude: clearing the cobwebs

Do I sound angry ? Yes I do, I am. I can't think clearly when I feel threatened.

As I sat in church today, and it being Pentecost I thought what is stopping the spirit from entering, from taking over and therefore setting me free.

I believe, I mouth the words in prayer, I ask for it, I want to leave it all in HIS hands and yet I suppose my 'windows' are not open to receive anything, that is my heart and the right parts of my mind.  What is the baggage cluttering up the way?

Why do I not let it all go and leave it to HIM.   'We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him. -Rom 8-28 '

It is worry about the kids and their feelings, more than anything else.

When I am not thinking about the kids, but that I can finally move forward, these are the moments of lightness, a minute of peace-like feeling, a weightlessness.
Yet I cannot hold on to it longer.
Because I cannot stop worrying about the kids.
What does it mean?
That I do not have sufficient faith in God to look after the kids. Does this mean I attribute my X with more power?
That is ridiculous!
Time to clear the cobwebs in my brain and clear the clutter.

I have to let the system work but I must trust HIM still, in this.

Dec 9, 2010

We are not Perfect

Why do I feel the need to defend my imperfections ?
We cannot be perfect in whatever we have chosen to do. But we can work hard at it and perform the best we can be. So why worry over what you are not doing right.  Instead, worry how you could do better.

In reading C S Lewis' Screwtape letters, I come to understand a little more about the purpose of our creator.
To fulfill our purpose on earth, we need to make ourselves worthy.
To make ourselves worthy, we need to forget our self.
By forgetting our self, we strive for others and improving their lot.

Truth and honesty is at the basis for all things we do. To others, to ourselves, to God.
What is our motive? Is it self-serving or God-serving? Sometimes the answer may not be so simple or to our liking but it comes down to that fact that we are not perfect and of course, God knows this.

We have weaknesses and our self-consciousness and selfishness keep us from freeing our thoughts totally when speaking to God.
Our temptation is drawn from our inner most wants and 
in Screwtape's(devil) words of instruction to his demon nephew-in-training....
"The simplest is to turn their gaze away from Him towards themselves. Keep them watching their own minds and trying to produce feelings there by the action of their own wills. When they meant to ask Him for charity, let them, instead, start trying to manufacture charitable feelings for themselves and not notice that this is what they are doing. When they meant to pray for courage, let them really be trying to feel brave. When they say they are praying for forgiveness, let them be trying to feel forgiven. Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling; and never let them suspect how much success or failure of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment."

I am not perfect. Accept it. 

Nov 19, 2010

Staying sane (random thoughts)

Is God always testing us, when do we graduate ?

One cannot be a counselor to one's own children. Our job is to love them unconditionally and get angry conditionally.

I find comfort in the psalms than some of  the usual prayers these days, they help me to let go, and still pray. "Show me the path I should walk' is what I have repeatedly asked for these past ten years and more.
The anger builds and ebbs and churns and then empties and it wavers with the children's moods. 

Lord, hear my prayer; in your faithfulness listen to my pleading; answer me in your justice.
Do not enter into judgment with your servant; before you no living being can be just.
The enemy has pursued me; they have crushed my life to the ground.
They have left me in darkness like those long dead.
My spirit is faint within me; my heart is dismayed.
I remember the days of old; I ponder all your deeds; the works of your hands I recall.
I stretch out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
Hasten to answer me, Lord; for my spirit fails me.
Do not hide your face from me, lest I become like those descending to the pit.
At dawn let me hear of your kindness, for in you I trust.
Show me the path I should walk, for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me, Lord, from my foes, for in you I hope.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.
May your kind spirit guide me on ground that is level.
For your name's sake, Lord, give me life; in your justice lead me out of distress.
In your kindness put an end to my foes; destroy all who attack me, for I am your servant.
- Psalm 143

Oct 11, 2010

Mine only

No one can be there exactly 
where  I am or have been, 
it is uniquely mine. 
The feeling of fear and fearlessness 
at once beating at each other
in a realm of emotion
winding its way to free us,
the mess of impression and expression 
is wholly mine.

(HA 2010)




"The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow.

Today I am blessed. "    

- Maya Angelou's  Letter to My Daughter

Sep 13, 2010

.. it's all in the timing

It's like events have been timed to support, strung out to lessen the impact. Stranger things have happened I suppose.

When I was retrenched 5 years ago, it was precious time I needed to keep an eye on my father who had undergone major surgery. For the first time in his life, he needed someone to drive him around and help with the household and my mum. I had 6 months to do that before I managed to find another job. I was glad for it in the end. .. co-incidence?

This time round, I'm about to move out of this house, but not before I am able to do my part for the folks who need a temporary place with space to stay while their place is being renovated... co-incidence?

I have been unintentionally preparing myself as I accompanied them around noting how to get a new home ready, what to look out for, finding out how much furnishings and fixtures actually cost (so I have an idea) so I am more ready in a way to do those very things for myself... co-incidence.

If this had happened 2 years ago, I would not have been ready psychologically in spite of all that has passed.

It all happens ' in his time' as they say.

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