Thursday, July 14, 2016

The truth about Sex and Marriage

I am so thankful that by Gods grace, I have a wonderful and loving husband today. 

However, there were many years that I battled and questioned and lost my purity because I did not understand why sex out of marriage would  hurt me. I only saw it as one more law in the bible that I just did not understand that made me feel guilty and more ashamed to come to God. It was my reason for thinking that it was so hard to be a Christian and that I would only go back to church when I got married because only then, it would be acceptable in the eyes of God. 

As I have come to know the heart of God who is the creator of our sex drive and the pleasures of sex itself and knowing his heart for covenant relationships, it is sincerely on my heart's cry that no one else should have to go through life without knowing this truth about sex. 

Praying this will bless you as it has blessed me! 

Friday, June 3, 2016

You, a work of art.

As I was in the shower meditating on what I had just read in Elizabeth Gilbert's book on creativity, "big magic", I was concurrently  thinking about how it was "time" for baby number 2.

Yet, the recent news of a friend's friend's second child being born wth Down syndrome (after their first child being born a genius) plagued me with fear. What if, after having such a wonderful first child who was perfect in every way- Aletheia, if we got pregnant again and our second child had a disability? What if our second child wasn't as perfect ?

This ties in with my recent fight with the fear of failure. 

You see, I am about to show my art in a small gallery near our place. For the first time, a whole series of my art would be on display for people to buy. I panicked at the thought of prices and which pieces to show - to the point where I had an anxiety attack whereby the nerves in my hand started to make my hand hurt. It took some "stress away" oil and much praying to calm me down but thank God that pain went away. 

The thing is, what if it doesn't sell? What if people don't like my art? What if I feel rejected? Having done Hadasity for years and having built a relatively "successful" business in selling my craft ( in that what I make, sells), I have recently felt myself being attacked with the lie that how creative I am and who I am as an artist is defined by whether my work sells. I am so thankful that the pollution in the air of these thoughts have been cleared for me amongst other things - but the point He was trying to make in the bathroom boiled down to this - who says ? 

Back to my thoughts (in the bathroom). I was thinking about making "baby number 2" and the "what ifs" about baby not being perfect when I felt like I heard God telling me - who is to say that what he has created and will give me will not be beautiful? Who is to say that his ART, his creation in us isn't good? Who says?

Just like the abstract art I have been creating and that I have been thinking about; Just like how someone might look at an abstract piece of work and think it looks like child's play, worthless, or even pure nonsense - some might see the beauty of it and buy it for a million dollars. 

It's puzzling why it can mean so many different things to different people - but I realized that art sends a message and it evokes emotions. Sometimes we can't understand why, but it speaks to us. But maybe not to all, and maybe not to anyone else but the creator - and that's okay. 

Who says? I felt God say in the bathroom. If a child born doesn't seem to fit perfectly in the mound of "fine art", but to God is "abstract art" - in the sense that he sees the beauty and has different ways and strokes in how he is bringing out the message and emotions in that piece, who is to say the art is not good when he is the first and original master artist, creator and gallery owner and collector in the world? He paid the ultimate price and out the highest bid on each and every artwork that he has created, molded, painted - and every piece is beautiful and wonderfully made - he thinks so! 

Beloved if you have been struggling with these same thoughts of failure and fears, lets eliminate those lying voices ( and I am talking to myself right now). The truth is that, Your identity is not in how successful you are in your craft, your job, even how good a mother and wife you are. 

The truth is that your identity is in that you are a beautiful work of art, created by a master craftsman who happens to be your dad. The truth is that your identity lies in that you are a child of God - and that might seem like it can't be all that is important - but it is. Because it is from that identity that allows for all the good gifts and things that you need and want (that you don't have to strive and struggle in fear for like an orphan) to flow through when you know who you really are and what you already have. 

The truth is that You (and every child and human being born in this earth) are a work of Art. 

You've been sold, and you've been collected.
You've been appreciated, you have been deemed worthy of a high price. You have been called wonderfully and beautifully made. 

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”

Psalm 139:13-16 MSG

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fear and Creativity

I think that so honestly, the one thing that prevents me from being creative is fear. Fear that what I create will not turn out nice. Fear that nobody will buy what I make. Fear that what I like and love isn’t commercial enough, and that it wouldn’t sell. In part, this fear seems to me like a sort of fear of rejection – in a business and creative sense.
I think the biggest turning point for me was when I stopped fearing (as much). I still do fear sometimes, but I always bring it to God – because I now know his word and his promises. And these truths are my stronghold in being creative because it allows me to come into agreement with the ideas and colours that come from within my soul and to trust that I AM creative because I was CREATED in HIS image – My father is a Creative Creator and he has made me just like him.
Before I make any jewelry or paint these days, I always raise my hands and just thank God that whatever I put my hands to prospers, and that I am highly favoured and blessed! I thank God for the unlimited creativity that he has in heaven and I just RECEIVE it – that instant. I receive the ideas by faith. Usually almost 90% of the time after that, I am rearing to go. I trust the first colour combinations and materials that catch my eye. I trust the inner voice I hear. I trust the Holy Spirit is guiding me and giving me ideas. I trust that he is blessing my process – and then whatever I make is full of love – because we put God in the center of the work of our hands, there is no fear.
I just googled the definition of INSPIRE and it read “ 1. to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. “ and “2. To breathe in (air); inhale. “ And suddenly it all makes sense.
When we Inhale HIS Love and Presence and Promises, we are so filled with creativity because he is a creative being, that we exhale and release, and overflow with the urge to do just what we were created for – and our passion comes alive.

The Magic Of Faith and Toddler Fears

Perfect love casts out all fear.
What if , you walked around, ran around, met with strangers, knowing that your dad had your back ALWAYS , like you ACTUALLY BELIEVED he was right there beside you and behind you, watching over you?
Upon coming back to Singapore, and seeing how carefree and friendly Aletheia is with strangers and her surroundings, some had said to me that it seems like she doesn't need her mummy! Or that it is a strength but also a weakness cause she might run off with strangers since she is so trusting.
I lay in bed today wondering if she really "didn't want her mummy" today and conversing with the Holy Spirit I felt him say that it was because she had no fear. That we had brought her up so secure and given her so much love and not given her any reason to be afraid. That children, without being taught fear, can be very courageous while being cautious ( though sometimes accidents still do happen but they fall and pick themselves up again ).
We made it a point to never make it a big deal when she falls. We would say, just get up its okay and smile at her. We sing a song we made up , "it's okay, it's alright, Aletheia will fight fight fight! " and laugh cheerfully and she gets up and continues playing.
In the past 2 days staying with family, I noticed something. When my family members worried over her too much and were fearful or her safety over uneven floors and steps and corners and let her know about it, she became afraid. She didn't want to try to walk down the tiny step. She wanted to be Carried over. She froze at the step because everyone shouted with concern over her "be careful!!! It's dangerous!!! Watch it there!!! " till she didn't even want to try and froze with fear. It took awhile at night of me being alone with her around that area and acting like it's not a big deal, showing her how I crossed it with ease and how I had no fear. When she approached it I continued with my her activities and pretended to pay her no attention and she inched toward it slowly and crawled over it. Today she finally walked over it with ease.
This spoke to me... How we instill caution can sometimes instill fear. How can we assist and encourage our children without crippling them with fear when we just want them to "be careful"?
Sometimes in complete love and concern I know that it is commonplace in Singapore for people to say the following ( because they have been said to me as well as a child) -
"Don't run around or you will fall down, sit still don't move "
" don't talk to strangers or they will kidnap you and catch you away "
" don't run around or be naughty or the policeman will come and catch you"
"If you don't .... Monsters will Come and bite you"
"Don't run in the rain or you will fall sick" ( of which only recently my husband emphasized to me that it is really untrue that a few drops of rain on your head would make you sick. But it was so ingrained in me already that I was quite fearful of the rain.)
What if we told them that strangers are people too and that it was okay to go be friendly as long as we were around?
What if we didn't try to make them fearful of strangers, policemen, monsters or random things that we think will help to control them and keep them safe because we ourselves are truly fearful for them out of love ?
What if you knew that your dad had your back and you didn't have to be afraid because you knew he was there to protect you?
Today I was reminded that so many of us and myself forget that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and protects us and is always there for us, watching over us. We have so much fear because we don't understand the perfect love that he has for us. We just don't trust him to be there. We don't trust or believe that he is around and that he is FOR us, so we fear and strive and go on survival mode like we are orphans.
You see, Aletheia isn't always so friendly with strangers. She doesn't just always let anyone carry her. When I drop her off in he care of strangers during church where hey have daycare or bible study, she screams and cries for really long. The thing is, I realized she's comfortable with strangers and doesn't have fear around her surroundings and people because she knows I AM THERE. She's is secure. She is safe. Because I am watching over her, and she knows she can run to me anytime she wants.
Maybe today you are struggling with some fear. Maybe you don't trust people. Maybe you don't trust yourself or your surroundings - but can you trust your father in heaven? He loves you with an everlasting ( meaning unconditionally, forever and ever no matter what ) kind of perfect love!
And when we know that and believe that truly, that's when I think that "magic" of faith JUST HAPPENS.

Hadasity Workshops and the Teaching Heart

To be so very honest, I have been quite nervous about the Hadasity workshops because I always thought that I did not have it in me to teach. My immediate response to anyone who asked me in the past, why don't I expand - was that I couldn't teach what I did. Even Talitha has not been taught how to make a statement necklace till now.
Not just that. If you had asked me a few years ago to teach a class, I would have actually been offended! What? Asking me to teach you how I make my statement necklaces - you might as well ask Bread talk for their pork floss bun recipe!
What has changed? A change of heart. A change of mind. A renewed mind.
It dawned upon me not too long ago that it would be pretty funny if I claimed all the credit for my necklaces when I pray all the time and ask God for ideas. Because that would be like asking him to the blueprint and then when I have it, start thinking that I came up with it myself! Kind of like when your parents give you pocket money and then you think it's YOUR money - but really, it was theirs given to you!
Not just that. I used to think that if I taught others how to make, people would copy my ideas and there would be competition and I would lose out - as if our Heavenly Father doesn't have creative and original ideas enough for all of us to share!
The truth is that we were created in His image and we are all creative creators, just like him!!! In your own original way, and it doesn't have to show itself in painting and jewelry making - it could be in the way you organize your closet, dress yourself, COOK, CREATE solutions ... You and your very own creative way. YOU ARE CREATIVE!
Today I received a gift that I never had. I never knew that I could teach, and perhaps I never was able to till now. I was amazed today at how I was able to communicate and guide my mom and auntie and sister patiently and joyfully throughout a good 3 plus hours and actually enjoyed it!
I prayed a simple prayer - "God I am not a teacher, I don't know how to teach and I have not taught a class before. But I know you can and right not I just ask for a gift of teaching and I receive it. Give me a spirit of utterance and patience and wisdom to be able to guide and bring out the creativity in the girls that are coming to the class. Guide their hands and mine."
Today we decided to do a dry run of the class with my mom and auntie. And they made beautiful necklaces which I am so proud of! If my mom and auntie can do it, so can you!! ( If Yan can cook, so can you! )
When I am weak, then I am strong.
When I can't teach, then I can teach.
His Grace is for every place for when you say to him that God I can't , but through you, I can.

Discipline and the Heart of "No"

After having spent one week with family in singapore - and having all the attention and being fussed over and picked up and Carried at every scream or whimper, I now sit all alone with Aletheia in our Phuket hotel room feeling frustrated, because it seems, she has somewhat been infected with what I hope is a temporary "scream to get my way" mindset disease.
She had always been really good at sitting in her chair during mealtimes, feeding herself. But after a week of inconsistent chair sitting and mealtimes, it has become hard for her to sit down for more than 5 minutes, let alone eat anything. She would want to run around and maybe take a bite or two if you would feed her while she goes on her expeditions around the house. If you try to keep her in her jailhouse of a high chair, she would scream to be carried out - and a loving and obliging family member would surely come to her rescue.
The past week of "love and attention" being showered over her has surely proven itself detrimental. What has happened to my cheerful independent baby that feeds and plays by herself and has always been very happy to do so?
This got me thinking today about discipline and delayed gratification, and how sometimes God doesn't give us what we want NOW because of what he wants to give us LATER.
How while at that moment, your whole world might seem like its crumbling ( to a toddler i believe so), your parents don't just give in to you and your ways because they can actually see how letting you have your way at that very moment would impact your character and how you see the world and people, 20 years from now - when all you can see is the 2 seconds in front of you.
I think back to all the prayers that in those moments I felt were unanswered. I think back to times I was disappointed and threw a tantrum because I didn't get what I wanted, or things didn't happen the way I prayed it would. I think back to those moments right now and think - God thank you for saying NO to me. Thank you for your discipline. Thank you for seeing how those circumstances would shape my heart and mind and for all those lessons they taught me. Thank you for loving me enough to not always give me what I want, as and when I want it because you see so much further ahead in time that I could ever see.
Thank you for allowing me to fall and to try, and for helping me when I learn to get up and not give up - to learn that it's okay to make mistakes and to make a mess because your grace and love is enough - And my mess becomes my message.
Thank you for giving me choices and letting me make them - even the bad ones - because they have taught me that truly in and of myself, I have no good thing. That all those years i didn't have a relationship with you, I had actually tried to fill an empty spot in my heart that only you could fill.
Thank you for your discipline.
I have seen this verse before and it brought me to appreciative tears today as I felt tremendously loved while reading that God disciplines his children and it is because he loves us... And I hope it blesses you too, to know his fathers heart for you:)
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:5-11 NIV

A Toddler's Time Out and A Parent's Sacrifice

Over the week as I realized Aletheia's temper tantrums were growing wild, I made a decision to have an action plan. I would put her in the crib (that she doesn't sleep in ) for a 1 minute "time out" in the room alone the next time she threw a fit.
As I stood outside the door counting to 60, hearing her cry her guts out, it occurred to me that this was just a tiny bit of what God must have felt when he had to turn away and allow Jesus to be crucified on the cross for us - it was painful and heartbreaking, but necessary.
No parent can watch their child cry without feeling heartache to a certain degree. This night was tough for me. As much as I wanted to pick her up immediately to stop her tears, I knew I had to stick to my guns for the point to get across.
Of course, the 1 minute of Time Out was followed by a good 10-15 minutes of hugging, comforting, nursing, explaining, and telling her how much I love her.
At that moment, this verse came to mind - "For his anger only lasts a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime" ( psalm 30:5).
Which also got me thinking -
If in my imperfect love as a person and mother - I can feel this much heartache and pain in that 1 minute of seeing my child cry, how much more our Heavenly Father he had to watch his son suffer on the cross because it was so necessary and because he loved the world SO MUCH that he gave his only son?
This verse has been used and said and heard so many times, but how many of us truly know the degree of heartache experienced that moment a Father had to turn away from his son? Do we know what that day cost a Father? Do you know the heartache of this dad? Do I even realize the depth of love this dad (which is now also my dad), had to have for me to have allowed his son to be tortured and humiliated for my sins?
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Beloved, if you do not yet know - you have a dad who loves you SO much, that he turned away from his own son whom he loved with all his being, because he has no other choice ; because he doesn't want to be separated from you and wants a relationship with you - and the only way you can experience his love is through receiving the love he has for you through what he and his son went through FOR YOU.
This parent's sacrifice ,
is your love story.
This dad is your dad too -
Do you know him?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

How my breastfeeding went from zero to hero

Let go and let his supply flow

Today as I was listening to Pastor Prince's sermon , "let go and let his supply flow", I recalled all the times that I had worried and stressed out and how when I committed it all to God, his Grace could be released in that area.

Come to think of it, the fact that I am still breastfeeding and managed to fully breastfeed Aletheia till she turned 6 months is quite a tale of perseverance and God's grace in an area I committed to him.

I recall that fateful day when I had left 4 packets of pumped milk in the fridge of the hotel we were at. I was waking up at 2am to pump milk while giving Aletheia formula because I believed I didn't have "enough" milk. I would always breastfeed, top up with formula, and then pump after that extra and save whatever drops of milk I could get. Without nursing, after pumping for 45 mins, I could probably only get 1.5 oz to 2 oz on both sides. If you have been a mom, you would know that that is very little. I was comparing myself to friends who could pump at least 4 oz from both sides in one sitting. Every drop of milk was precious to me and literally felt like drops of sweat and tears. 

Pumping and breastfeeding was no easy feat. Sitting in one place with plastic shields on your nipples for 30 mins at least to an hour , every 2-3 hours throughout the day, on top of the lack of sleep and pain in your upper and lower back from hunching to pump and feed, can really drive someone crazy.

I sat there on my sofa being so so mad with myself and the people at the hotel for he mix up ( I had brought home a bag full
Of ice with no milk in it because I had Thought the hotel staff had placed he packets in the bag already when I picked it up). I wished at that point that I had lost my iPhone instead - that was how important he milk was to me. It was like losing soooo much. I sobbed and cried and went crazy. I wanted the hotel to Fedex the milk to me in dry ice. Mark tried to comfort me... "You will always have more milk" and that it wouldn't be fresh for baby to drink anymore. But it didn't work. I got more mad. "You don't understand!! How hard and long it took me to pump that milk out !!!! "

In those moments as I was just plainly, "losing it", I felt the Holy Spirit say to me gently in my heart .... "Don't be upset, don't worry. The reason you are so upset is because you have this huge fear and knot in your heart that you don't have enough milk and I know you want what's best for Aletheia but can you trust me to give you more milk? Do you believe that I can give you more milk? Do you believe that you HAVE enough and it is okay? It is absolutely okay... Even if you don't fully breastfeed, it doesn't make you less of a mom, it doesn't mean you are or trying hard enough."

I calmed down. Fine, I won't harass the hotel lost and found staff anymore. I was just tired. That night, I was so so so tired and exhausted from being angry and crying and tired from the 7 hour drive back from DC that I was too tired to get up to pump. When Aletheia woke up in the middle of the night, I just carried her into bed with me and nursed her back to sleep - and miraculously - I woke up the next morning feeling like I had the first good nights rest since she was born! And she was fed. She wasn't starving! And I didn't pump, and she had fresh milk, and I got to sleep!

That day onwards, I decided ... I will stop pumping and just nurse her - for as long as she wanted, for however long it took for her to have enough, for as often as she wanted, and for whatever reason. Whether she was hungry, fussy, tired, wanted comfort, I would just nurse her. Previously, in the first 3 weeks we had hired a confinement nanny who told me I should only nurse for 15 mins each side then top up with formula because I didn't have enough milk. She didn't let me hold her to sleep or nurse her too much. She said that it would cause her to stick to my boobs forever and I listened because I thought that I didn't know any better and should listen to a confinement nanny who knows best. 

From then on, I also took fernugreek and drank mothers milk tea. I didn't pump so I didn't know if I had more milk but j just kept nursing her. She has grown up to be strong and healthy and chubby- thank God! And I always had enough. Later on, I also read hat actually breastfed babies don't have a schedule and can nurse more often because the milk digests faster! And that it is very normal for mothers who breastfeed to cosleep with their babies. Before, I had another fear of sleeping with her because of what the doctors warn could be so dangerous. They say that it could cause "sudden infant death" and that you could suffocate your baby. Later on after reading some pro-breastfeeding websites, I also realized that they say research has even shown that cosleeping and nursing to sleep can save your baby's life! 

I now know and respect that every mom and parent makes decisions based on what they think is best for their baby and their lifestyle. And it is totally out of the love that they have! They only want the best for their baby! I have so much respect for working moms who have to pump at work! I have so much respect for moms who do whatever they can to give heir baby the nutrition they need be it with formula or breastmilk! You are doing the best you can - follow your mom instincts because you know what's best for your baby!

I am sharing my breastfeeding journey not because I think that everyone should 100% breastfeed and that's the only way to go and it can be done- I am sharing because I realized that when I had let go, I let the supply flow:)

Beloved be it in being a mom, breastfeeding woes, work-related matters, stress at work, school projects - whatever it is that you are going through - give it to God. Let go, and let the supply flow. When we stress up and worry, believe in lies that cause us to fear and think that we don't have enough, we squeeze the tube of blessings that God is already pouring out on us and stop it from flowing. 

I hope my sharing has blessed you. 
For the whole sermon from Pastor Joseph Prince, you can watch it here on YouTube at 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I Used To Be a Lesbian.

I used to be a Lesbian.

There, I said it. For a year or so, I was in a relationship with a girl, at 16.

She was much older and looked just like a boy. Everyone in her workplace thought she was a boy. Her father wished he had a son, and she didn’t want to disappoint. She called me princess, and made me feel very loved. Growing up in church, I knew that the relationship wasn’t right, but I justified it. It was all about loving a person for who they are inside, and it didn’t matter what they were outside. That was what I told myself. Eventually I knew I had to break it off at some point because I knew I wanted a family, I wanted children, and I knew that despite this feeling of being “in love”, this was not going to last and there would be no happily ever after.

Then I knew it was a “sin”. It didn’t sit well with me and it had always made me uneasy. I stopped going to church as much because it just made me feel guilty. I figured that I would just avoid God altogether since I was disobeying his laws.

What is sin? Sin is anything that falls short of the glory of God. Anything that falls short of the glory and perfection of his creation. Yes, he made us perfect. He made Adam, and said it was good. He made us IN HIS IMAGE, but he also gave us the freedom of choice. Sin is anything that isn’t good for us, that hurts us, that goes against the DNA of who he has made us to be – LIKE HIM.

Everyday I am amazed, at how much my baby girl looks like both my husband and I. How does God do such a great job at combining two people into one perfect little human being? Just as how I look at my baby girl everyday and am so in love with her and see myself in her, that is how God sees us. That is his father’s heart for us. He loves us so much, that he gave his one and only son up, FOR US. If there’s any definition of love, it is the cross, and the cross is grace.

Paul himself said, and I too feel this way – like we are the worst sinners of all! Because when we know how amazing the grace of God is, when we know that we seriously don’t deserve any of his love, when we know that we definitely could not have earned our right standing before God based on what we do – it’s hard to feel like others have sinned more than you – because “we all have sinned and fallen short”.

I’m sharing this because a friend asked me about my views on homosexuality and the opposition stance against the pink dot movement in Singapore.

I have quite a few LGBT friends, and I love them, A LOT. I know the path they have chosen (on who to love and be with) would not complete them in the way God has made us to be complete in – a family unit of man and wife, and the ability to conceive and have children in their image. Does this hurt God and does this make him sad? I believe so. Does this make him stop loving them? I don’t think so.

Is homosexuality a sin? Yes, because it isn’t the way God designed for us to live, and it clearly says in the bible that it is  - along with – a proud heart, a lying tongue, eating too much (gluttony), being drunk, undressing a woman/man in your mind without actually doing the act, hating your brother/friend (it is akin to murder according to Jesus) and much more….

Am I making light of homosexuality? No I am not. The point I am trying to get across is that all sins are sins. There are sins that can be seen and there are sins that you can hide – are we in a position to judge if others have greater sins that us? As Jesus said to the crowd that wanted to stone the adulterous woman, “May the one without sin cast the first stone”, and to the adulterous woman, “who is left to condemn you? Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”.

See, it is through NO condemnation that we can SIN NO MORE.

I draw a parallel to my ex-addiction to smoking. Did my desire and addiction for smoking dwindle as loving friends and family “nagged” me to quit? Did the lung cancer ads on the cigarette boxes stop me? Did the government’s new rules of “no smoking in this and that place” stop me? Did ostracization from non-smokers or dirty looks from religious Christians stop me?

None of the above.

Smoking is and was an addiction for me after all. It wasn’t till I got embraced by the people at this church called Tuesday Group – who said they didn’t condemn me for my smoking – that I continued to go and grow in my relationship with God. It wasn’t till I went to New Creation Church and learnt about God’s grace that I made me realize that God still loves me and that I have right standing with him not because of anything that I do, but because of what Jesus has done. It wasn’t till I reminded myself that I was still loved, still righteous and that this SIN and addiction had no control over me (Romans 6:14-23) because I am under his grace (unearned, unmerited favor and love) not under law (blessed if you obey ALL and I mean ALL the laws not just some. Cursed if you break even one of the laws) and that I was a New Creation, a new person in Christ – The old has passed and the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17)

So if I was in Singapore would I be rallying and protesting against the Pink Dot Movement? I know its not the same thing to compare the addiction of smoking to choosing your life partners but since I am already drawing parallels – I have close friends that smoke and have same-sex partners and I love them all the same. Since they are already smoking and being in those relationships, would I be happy for them if they were able to smoke wherever they wanted to or be legally recognized as being in a relationship to make their lives easier and to be seen as one in the eyes of the law? I think I actually would be happy for them.

But do I want smoking and legalized same-sex marriages to be taught in schools as perfectly good and normal to my children, and to be socially accepted and taught in society and our culture that my children grow up thinking that is the way we were made to be and this is how life should be like – that smoking is good for your health and body and that it would give you long life and be a blessing to your family and loved ones? – No, I would not.

The Christians protesting the pink dot movement might be living from the same virtues as Jesus, but would Jesus have been part of the protest?

All I saw in the bible was Jesus hanging out with the lowest of society’s outcasts –tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, lepers - what everyone would call the greatest sinners of them all. It was the religious Pharisees that he wasn’t too happy being around - those whom felt that they knew the law and had kept them all, those who felt that they were “holier” and “better Christians”. It was to them that Jesus was trying to drive across the point that it wasn’t just your outwardly actions that mattered, but even the thoughts in your mind and what as truly in your heart.

I used to read those chapters thinking it was TOO HARD to be a Christian because even my thoughts were sinful, it was TOO HARD to try to please God and to not sin, so I gave up altogether. What I didn’t know was that Jesus was trying to say… stop trying to justify yourself by your own efforts because it will never be good enough.

We will always miss the mark of God’s glory if we try to be right with him based on our own good deeds. For we ALL have fallen short, and Jesus is the only way that we can have right standing with God. Through believing in what he did for us and who he is and allowing him to love us, we start to see ourselves for whom we were really made to be – a reflection of him, “his image”.

My friends, no matter where you are on this journey of life and whichever stage you are in, all I know is this – we are all a “works-in-progress”.

I am praying that everyday, there will be a renewing of your thoughts to realize how loved you are by God, and that this love and his grace will set you free from whatever that is holding you from being all that he has made you to be. 

He loves you with an everlasting love.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Making Sense Of It All

I've got to admit, I felt disappointed that I did not have a natural birth. I had confessed I had believed I had declared and decreed and prayed that she would turn and not be breeched, that I would have no complications in this pregnancy, that it would be pain free and fast, that my baby girl would be perfect in every way and healthy and beautifully and wonderfully made.

Did I not have enough faith? Did I not declare enough? Or was it because I did not meditate on the verses of promises enough? Because if you believe what you say, you can surely have it and if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to the mountain, be thou plucked out and thrown into the sea... Right? Well, I think like most people, I have not seen a mountain plucked out and thrown into the sea. But God is still good.

As I was hospitalized due to low amniotic fluids at week 36, I was seriously exhausted. I had no words, no declarations left. I only had one name to call upon, "Jesus". Do you ever run out of ideas of how to pray and what to pray? I realized that sometimes, I try to figure out a solution to my problem and then I pray that the problem be solved with my solution. Am I afraid that God will not have a better idea than me? 

If there's one thing I've rediscovered over and over again like a breakup cliche are the words "It's not you, it's me"... Only that it means something else. It means..."My daughter, my dear daughter, it's not you its me. It's not your effort your prayers, your works your faith, but it's me. It's my heart for you, my finished work, the faith of Jesus, it's me. It's my grace, it's my love, it's my faithfulness."

Today my baby girl Aletheia is 18 days old. It's been a marathon of breastfeeding, pumping, diaper changing and burping and I hardly had time to decompress all that has happened. As I was pumping today while the good daddy takes care of our girl, I decided to pray in tongues and just sing. I felt his presence just  so over me and I realized again that he is good. He is good, all the time, and all the time he is good.

I realized that I did have a great pregnancy. The complications were actually just false alarms but in actual fact everything was perfectly fine. I did have a quick delivery as she came out within 15 mins and I did feel no pain with the epidural during the C section. I did have a perfectly healthy and beautiful baby girl and she had no complications. The doctors said it was a perfect surgery and she is perfect and I was recovering well. I can hardly hardly even see my stitches and there were no complications with my C section at all or in my recovery. 

I am so so thankful to a God for answering my prayers. maybe not in the way that I had expected or wanted, but he did hear me and he is good. I know I won't have the answers as to why things didn't go a certain way but I don't want to play God and assume to be able to read his mind. All I can say is I don't know. but I guess that's also what faith and trust is all about right? 

I will hold on to the things I DO know - that is he faithful merciful and he loves me and has the best for me.... To make sense of the things I DON'T know.

Thank you Father for this miracle of life, this precious gift, my baby girl. 

Dearest Friend, maybe there has been a time in your life where you've wondered why things didn't go the way you prayed for and you've felt disappointed or that you didn't have enough faith. Let's take our eyes off ourselves and keep them on the one that has all the faith and all the plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future, who is making all things work out for the good of those who love him... Let's keep our eyes.... On Jesus. :)