If I catch COVID-19, this is what I want you to know

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It has been about 3 months.

The virus spreads at rocket speed.  It felt like the virus has moved to the ends of the world and is living next-door to everyone.

I have a friend in Shanghai, a kin in Taiwan (Proximity to the first initial epicentre)

I have my husband’s colleagues who were asked to take leave of absence because they were in a Grab car boarded prior by Wuhan visitors. He told me he walked passed them on the same day (2nd degree proximity to me and my family)

I have heard of a close friend’s condominium receiving notice of someone in the block who returned from overseas and was diagnosed with it and now her condominium is cleaning and disinfecting the entire place.

I received notice of one case of COVID-19 in the cathedral that my husband and I attend our Sunday services and where our children attends their Sunday school.

I have recently seen a notice at Sakae Sushi in the mall I frequent (only the mall not the eatery) near my home saying that it’ll be close for two weeks.  And now two other malls within walking distance from me have reported cases.

The impact of the response to the virus is also very real and close to us.

I have a chum’s company affected by the Malaysia lockdown that she has to convert her office to a dormitory.

I have a friend who worked as freelance Zumba instructor for the vendors engaged by Health Promotion Board, hit by the repercussions of the virus due to the suspension of the elderly group classes.

With two kids in tow and a family to cook for, I’m affected by the 5 days MC that was necessarily implemented, child care centre’s sudden closures for disinfecting, suspension of enrichment, the shift to HBL (even for piano?!?) and the lurking thought of running out of stocks of the usual foodstuff and dealing with no grocery delivery.

And in fact, I’m sure many more of my friends’ and friends’ of friends lives are affected

It seems to me no one can go unscathed from it and its effects.

In one video, https://www.facebook.com/kwca700/videos/10158438095934668/, Zou Yue, a news anchor for CGTN said,

“Sober up, Covid-19 respects no national borders. no social bounds, no political systems, no cultural values. It hits us just as hard.  It levels the world.  Facing the pandemic, it is not what happened matters. It is how we respond.”

I didn’t catch the first three words initially.  For a while I thought he was talking about death, because it fits in rather well as to how I’ve understood it.

“Sober up, death respects no national borders. no social bounds, no political systems, no cultural values. It hits us just as hard.  It levels the world.  Facing death, it is not what happened matters. It is how we respond.  

How true it is, even if I were to use death to describe COVID-19 as how he did!

So why are we afraid of death?  Is it because we will lose our existence and there will no longer be a “me” in this world?  Is it because we only know and love the comfort of living so much that we cannot fathom what death might entail? Is it because we have unfinished business and dreams on this earth? Is it because the feeling of losing, or being lost “in space” is unbearable?  Is it because of the thoughts of not knowing what will happen next?

Our mankind’s first main problem center around overcoming the problem of death.  Why do we even wake up every morning, to do all that we need to do?

Some have the nonchalant attitude that to be birthed, aged, sickened and die is just part and parcel and a matter of fact of life.  That there is nothing to be afraid of.  Whatever is intended to happen will happen.  Then if in that case, why bother to live at all?  And in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis, why bother with all the precautions and measures?  Why don’t we just close our eyes forever and not wake up at all, we’ll eventually die of dehydration and malnutrition.  But we don’t.  In most cases, we get on with our lives even if we don’t exactly know why we are here, on earth,  in the first place. As the song goes ” staying alive, staying alive ah  ah, staying alive …..”

Then comes our mankind’s second problem:  Figuring out why we even exists. Why does creation exists? Why are we even born? We have perhaps cast this very important question in our life aside in the busyness of our life.  Maybe NOW is the time to think.

So really, it all voices down to the basic necessity of survival and keeping alive in order to continue the purpose that was set for us in this life that some may have got it figured out while many are still in search of.

Like many of you, who have been searching or have stop searching, I too went through a fair great share of that when I did not yet know God.  But the search came to a stop when I encountered the Spirit of my unstoppable God.

Through the bible and His grace, I came to know why I existed, how I’ve come about, what I am purposed for, where I am heading to after this physical death on earth and who I’ll be meeting. I don’t claim to know all the answers in life, in fact, even most of Jesus’ disciples can’t.  But the bible answered enough of the important ones for me to make a decision towards Jesus.

If I could borrow some of the news anchor’s words as he explained about China’s approach to the virus to share with you the answers I get about life, it would be this.

“For almost as long as we lived, sin infected all in the world in a day when it entered through Adam, then everyone’s heart was occupied with sin and a void for God exists.  Now an empty tomb and closure on the issue of physical death.  How did God solved the problem of death? It may not be very new to you, you may have heard it before, it is definitely worthy to know and review it again.  

According to the bible, Romans 5:12 says ‘Therefore, just s sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

In John 11:25, Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;’

What God did was to break the cycle of sin and death by the intervention of His only son- Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection.”

Anyone who have watched passion of Christ would know how extreme the method of death God had planned for His own son was.  Cruxifixion is one of the worst form of punishment in history.

Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-EVfxABSoU

The method is not unprecedented, BUT the fact that God allowed it to be carried out on His own sinless son is unprecedented in history.  I wouldn’t hesitate to use the word “extreme, draconian and aggressive” to describe how God have done it.  But this is really what is needed for God to deal with the problem of our sins and the issue of death that mankind has struggled with as long as they lived. As is written in Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In a nutshell, in order to be a fair God, He needs to see to it that our sins are answered for i.e. all the consequences of our wrong thinking, motives and doing are dealt with.

BUT in His great love for us, He got His sinless son to take our places.  So technically, instead of us, being on the cross.  He went up the cross for us so that He can right the wrong in us, and give us all a fresh start.  How amazing is this love!  How can it be?

As I continue to give a new spin below to what the news anchor had said, may I urge you, my dear friends who are reading this to take a moment to consider what I have said.

 “Sober up, God’s love crosses all national borders. all social bounds, all political systems, all cultural values. He loves us just as hard as how He went up the cross.  He levels the world by saving all equally regardless of what you have done before.  Facing Jesus, it is not what happened matters. It is how we respond to Him.” 

I’ll end here with the below verse, and hope this message of Jesus’ love (together with my love for you) may spread quickly and reach you faster before the virus reaches more.

16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”[a] 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.”[b]

He knows the pain of the crown before we even do.

Passion of Christ crowned Jesus

Matthew 27:29:

“[A]nd twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’

Father Lord,

We praise Your Holy Name
We praise Your rule and reign
We praise Your sovereignty
Amidst chaos and uncertainties
We know we have sins
Big and small
Known or unseen
We should be sorry for them all.
We thank You for Your daily provisions
With each breath that we take
We thank You for putting nature in place
That not only grows what we need
But allow us to pause and enjoy a break
We have a new visitor in town
A virus wearing a crown
It’s driving the people mad
With the way that it plays tag
We pray for all who have been tagged
To be able to fight and defend
With their immune that has been put in place
By our Creator in love and in grace
We pray for all who are serving their best
To keep the virus at bay
That they be given that extraordinary strength and protection
To serve relentlessly day by day
We pray for all who might be in fear
That your gospel, they may hear.
May all who keep that high vigilance
Be as vigilant for your return
We pray that You’d take it away
In all Your sovereign mercy and grace
Because we know only You and You alone
Have conquered death and won the victory to the throne.
In Jesus Name we pray.
Dedicated to my Lord.

Penned on Feb 13

Author God’s child.

If you like to listen, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQGaovbY97s

It only take 5 mins and 22 secs.

If you have children, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL8R158Ujp4

They definitely have 5 mins and 21 secs.  And you should also have 5 mins and 21 secs to watch with them.

If you like to read, go to https://creation.com/why-did-jesus-wear-a-crown-of-thorns. Depends on how fast you read.

 

 

Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame. Romans 10:11. 

The grim tale of Ananias and Sapphira

I have recently been offered a weekend teaching assignment.

In the past, when my family was struggling with some finances and both my kids went to childcare, I think I’d jump at a job that comes along.  The simple reason/excuse was “Hey, I could earn some extra income for myself or the family! Why not?” Which was what I did last year, juggling between working part-time in the morning, settling the home front in the afternoon and throwing in an occasional me-time in the afternoon without the children.  We also managed to outsource for part-time cleaning later part of the year because, thanks be to God, that my mister found a full-time job.   The equation is very simple. He can’t do the weekly cleaning anymore, and I’m already doing the daily housekeeping, meal preparation, AND most importantly, I’m working.  Then someone else has to do it.

This year, thanks be to God again, I didn’t have an imperative need for a job.  But I remembered how, last year, I felt good just telling people that I’m out working even it’s only a part-time.  A sense of pride rushes into me when it appeared to people that I’m working and also at the same time managing the home front with 2 kids.  That I’m neither a tai-tai living a good life with a helper, nor a pesky house”fly” who has no passion, no pursuit and buzzing in every bit of the drudgery of homemaking. BUT I’m in fact having the best of both worlds and pulling the whole act of juggling together!  Isn’t this how those super mamas are supposed to be whenever they are interviewed and they talk about how they manage a super career/blog/some business of their own (though I know mine is nothing to boot about) with don’t-know-how many kids in tow.

The best part is I could tell that I’m teaching.  It makes me feel like I have a profession.  It makes me feel like I’m making some contribution to the workforce, to the next generation and to the largely skewed ideals of being a useful person.

And also, I entertained the thoughts for the weekend assignment because I thought it might be a good time since it’d be the weekends and the husband should be and would be at home anyway.  Great time to ask him to take over the kids while I go “save the world” also. I don’t have to worry about child care even if they were to fall sick.  He would be at home and it should rightfully be his duty to take care of them while I’m out at work.  Furthermore, it’s just for 12 weeks.  Pass them on.

So I mentioned it to my mister.

First response:  “You know, you don’t really need that money now?”

Second response: “You know, all your talk to me about asking me to keep the weekends free?  All your efforts to try to shift the kids’ enrichment to the weekdays just so that we can keep weekend free for family time?”

Third response: ” How is that 2-hour job going to fit in? You know, you still need to factor in another hour or so for transport. Is it worth all the effort? Pray about it first.”

To be honest, my sinful heart’s first response was that the mister was selfish to deny me to do what I want to do for myself on weekends.  Mmm… Is that what I get for all the past weekends I’ve solo parented in the past when he had to network on weekends for his career switch? Can’t he just let me have that 2-3 hours for 12 weeks only to go work while he manage the kids on weekends?  Why is it just so difficult for me to leave the kids and home to go work? The negative thoughts may just have spiraled on.  My brain is almost always predisposed to them.

Two days on, the requester asked for the reply about the assignment.  I declined it for Covid-19 reasons.  But deep in my heart, I also know I declined it because of my mister’s responses. His responses reminded me of God’s provision, God’s priority for our family and God’s commandment for rest. And the final concluding words ” Pray about it first” is to seek Him and His kingdom.

I know that we had a conversation a few years before that if God is willing, He would provide for us such that if we meet a certain amount of household income and live prudently, I may worry less about going back to workforce fully and concentrate more on the home front, work on something from home and educating our children.  There is no doubt that God worked miraculously to provide for us.

I also know that I have been trying to dissuade him from taking more work, lest they overspill into the weekends as he fights for time to finish them.   We have also attempted to cut down the children’s commitment on weekends just so that we can protect our family time.  God has always put in me that conviction of family first, right after Him. 

I do know that working that two hours on weekends would create some logistic issues as well as eat into my rest time and quality time with my family when I usually take a break from the kitchen and lesser chores on weekends just so that I can recharge together with them.  I might also have to put in some extra time for lesson preparation and it’d definitely lead to less rest.  And boy, I should know, God ordained rest!

Most importantly, there are other things that God has placed in my heart to work on.

So why? Why didn’t I say ‘no’ right away?

It boils down to a misplaced sense of identity.

That sense of identity of how I’d like to be perceived by the world instead of how God is perceiving me.

That sense of identity that should be rooted in Christ instead of what you can tell others and what you can show or prove to others.   It also seems as though I felt ashamed for the current vocation that God has called me into.  I wanted to conveniently go into a job placement to have instant income so that I can continue to “justify” not to do the things I find hard, have little faith to do, fearing of not being able to make it and getting nowhere.  So this is the Truth.

God showed me this verse twice.  “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:11.  It comforted me to know that God is with me and the last thing I should feel is embarrassment for all the work that He called me to do from home and at home. 

And in the most recent bible study fellowship studies, God showed me Act 5:1-10 about how Ananias and his wife Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit and kept for themselves some money for the land.  It was pointed out to us that, there was technically nothing wrong with keeping the money for the money was at their disposal and the land had belonged to them.  But the wrong parts were in the lies and hypocrisy that were involved that they have lied that they gave everything but in fact they did not.  (Earlier verses in Acts 4:32 stated that: No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had).  And also the desire, to look as good as Barnabas who sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet in the preceding verses, were the covetous sins in their heart that led to their instant deaths.

As it was for me, there is nothing wrong with me, taking on the assignment or not. There is also nothing wrong with me to have went on to work part-time last year by His grace. The wrong part is what I might have secretly wanted , the “wow” from people rather than God’s approval.

I was struck at the heart by God’s word, thankfully, not to a physical death.

I give thanks to God for sparing me and revealing my heart’s condition, that the Holy Spirit is actively putting to death this part of my old self and encouraging me to embrace myself as His new creation.

May He continue to grant me the grace and mercy until the day of His return.

You may wish to check out the link below for a really well done mini movie and support his work.

https://www.danstevers.com/store/ananias_and_sapphira

And also the podcast titled “The Point of Work” by Timothy Liu in the link below

https://cathedral.org.sg/podcast

 

 

 

Attacked (Part 3: Monster revealed and slayed by His Words) 


God knows best how to reach us. My husband has always been sensitive to the encounters and divine appointments that He brings to him. As for me, I need to be reached via His words in the Bible..

And so came God personally to me during one of the first few BSF lesson in March. 

It was an account of the reply John the Baptist gave when his disciples reportedly told him that Jesus was drawing away the crowd and followers that were previously following him. He replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater ; I must become less.”

‭‭Although this verse was speaking more of guarding ourselves against the bitterness about another’s position and exemplified the willingness of John to play second fiddle to the Jesus. I felt God was addressing the issues that kept recurring within my souls. That green eyed monster of envy and jealousy that kept creeping up my back! 

In one of the BSF readings, 

When tempted to envy, remember that if you are a believer, God has prepared work for you to do. It is exactly suited to accomplish His purpose for you and for the world. 

It struck me that I need to know the work God has given me as John did and be content with what God has given and purposed for me instead of fighting and coveting for the things that I think I should have. 

I need to yield to God’s good and perfect will. I need to trust and obey God, take hold of His power and ask for grace to be faithful in “little things”. 

And indeed, the accumulated moments of looking at my do-thing husband honoring his “I Do” vows by helping me with the home affairs amidst striving in his career and our two lovely girls – one amusing and the other smiley, uplifted my weary soul from all my labour. 

I started to recognise that God has put me in a place where I can best experience and express the gifts – my husband and my children that He has given me. 

Without my husband,  I would not have the guts to be a single unstable income family. I would not be able to truly experience what it means to depend on God’s provision for the manna in the desert. 

Without my children, I would not have left my job outside to spend time with them in their growing years.  I would not have thought that I could stretch this much and effect so many changes in my life.  I would not have understood what Jesus’s “love is patient, love is kind” truly mean as I deal with Ms R’s wants and needs (as much as I need to deal with my own too) amidst all my tiredness. 

And I certainly would not have thought of being able to learn piano at my age if not for the fact that Ms R is learning now. 

And most importantly, without God, I’d not have the courage and strength to do all the above. I would not even have restart this blog! 

And in the last few lessons, I came to this 

But those who depend on Jesus for forgiveness have the power and desire to examine their lives and repent from impure thoughts that invade the mind, habits that conflict with God’s character and pride that distracts from honest insight.

How I thank God that He saw exactly what I  needed i.e to deal with my sins of covetousness and the lust of the eye! And intervened it in time with an angel that we may not step into the folly of overexpenditure on unnecessities. And also slayed that green eyed monster in my heart through the power of His words! 

So I repent of my sins, turn over a new leaf and ask God to lead me to continue to support my husband and children that they may flourish with the talents that God has blessed them with. That, I think will fulfil the purpose God has placed me in this season of life. 

As I rubbed and gazed once again into my crystal ball, it is no longer holding a coveted holiday scene.

It is holding the scene of something better now — a vision of an adventure planned for my family by a pair of sovereign hands to the land promised by Him. 

Life is an adventure in itself. And the risk is  is worth it when there is an eternal vacation with Jesus that all believers can look forward to. 

For Part 1 & 2 of the story, please click 

https://myloguewithj.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/attacked-part-1-the-siege/

https://myloguewithj.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/attacked-part-2-the-angel-undercover/

Attacked (Part 2: The Angel Undercover) 


What happened was last year we had discussed about the possibility of traveling after I delivered Ms V and before she needed solid feeding so that there would not be hassle of finding appropriate food for her. We might even be able to crash in with a family relative in order to save on accommodation.

    1. But after the “accountant” of the household did the sums and reported to the “director” of the household, they both realised that to afford the air tickets, would mean zeroing their reserves to the pit in the months to come.  It would not just be living on the edge as they are already doing now but practically hanging on the cliff.

      The “accountant” tired from all her labour, said, “Just do it , it can be earned again, God will provide. ”

      But the director said, “Don’t you think holiday is a luxury? We’ll pray about it.”

      And so the story went, for one whole week, the “accountant” waited and waited for the “director”, in hope of a go-ahead. Finally, on the last day of the week, the director spoke, “I got the answer. I think it’s no.”

      Apparently, as someone was catching up with the “director” after Sunday service, she applauded the “accountant” for sacrificing and staying home to take care of the kids and the “director” in return was sharing how tough the situation could be now that we are striking out on our own, and that we are just relying on God’s mercy everyday.  The person replied,

      “It can be done, just don’t go for holiday lor!”

      And thus, he believed our almighty CEO, i.e God from above had heard our prayers and was giving us (more of me) a wake up call.

      Feeling quite sore about it,  I had passed it off as the “director’s” assumptions that The someone was sent by our CEO from above in order to justify  his decision.

      But as the wife who wants to respect the decision of the head of the household, I dimmed the lights for staring into the holiday crystal ball… or was it just a bubble … * blob blob burst *

      For part 1 and 3 of the story, please click

      https://myloguewithj.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/attacked-part-1-the-siege/

      https://myloguewithj.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/attacked-part-3-monster-revealed-and-slayed-by-his-words/

      A Father’s heart 

      Thank You for giving our children

      A father who fears You

      Who listens and looks to You

      Who obeys and follows Your sovereign leading

      Thank You for giving our children

      A father who understands his wife

      Who really means his “I Do!” when he helps with chores

      Who yearns to love her

      As You love Your church

      Thank You for giving our children 

      A father who is strong

      Who will oblige to them sitting on his shoulders or arms, riding on his back or clinging onto his neck

      Or being carried or swung through the air

      Even amidst his weariness

      Thank You for giving our children 

      A father who is ever so patient

      To explain to and answer the little inquisitive minds

      To honour the times that are spent discovering the beauty in the books

      To bear with an overbearing wife

      Thank You for giving our children 

      A father who is willing to change

      Because of his unchanging love for us

      His hobbies, pursuits and habits slowly made ways for ours

      Thank You for giving our children 

      A father who never fail to inspire

      And knows the real legacy to leave behind

      That will not be exhausted, nor perish over time

      That will etch into the precious memories of our children

      The attitude and values that shall last a lifetime

      May You see the father of my children

      And bless the work of his hands

      See his heart that holds us dear

      And not give him more than he can bear.

      May You guard his heart to look to you.

      In all things that he needs to do.

      May You grant him Your wisdom

      For discipline and discernment

      May You strengthen him spiritually

      And grant him Your grace to abide in You

      For it isn’t easy to be a godly and loving father

      Without the love from You.

      1 John 4:19

      We love because He first loved us.

      img_3121

      Watch what happens when a woman attempts to be super at the end… 

      “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”
      ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭25:35-36‬ ‭NIV‬‬

      At a recent wedding that I attended, I came across this verse again. I was reminded to finish up this post that God has impressed upon me to write about quite some time ago.

      Ever since I stayed home to look after my first child three years ago, I’ve often wonder how I can be an outreaching Christian and a disciple of Jesus called to fulfil the great commission of “going out and making disciples of all nation and baptizing them …”

      Day in day out, I’m mostly either in the kitchen cooking, breastfeeding, bonding with my children, doing laundry, folding their clothes, carrying out standard operation* when they fall sick, carrying them when they can’t walk yet, and when they are able to walk making sure that they get enough outdoors to expend their energy.

      The first time I came across this verse after I stayed home to look after the children, it struck me that I was literally doing what Jesus has called us to do. Let me explain. 

      “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat”- 

      Slogging at the kitchen churning out meals, being the “cow” for almost 3 years (终于知道”做牛做马” 那头牛的感受) and now still counting for Ms V. And tackling Ms R’s two-hourly “I’m hungry” and “Is it tea-break?” with fruits and healthy nutritional snacks. Tick. They were hungry and I gave them something to eat

      “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink”  – 

      Breastfeeding (oh yes, you know they are just thirsty when they cry their balls out and then only suck for a little while or just suck stop suck stop like sipping Chinese tea), ensuring that there is always boiled water at the kitchen pantry for the family, meeting Ms R’s “I need water/ I want coconut water /I want cold milk, please ” request. Tick. They were thirsty and I gave them something to drink. 

      ” I was a stranger and you invited me in” –

      Bonding with my children and acquainting them with us and the rest of the extended family members. You see, truly we really don’t know how and what kind of character each little being is when they were delivered and brought home from the hospital.  We don’t have anybody to reference our children’s character except to uncover them for ourselves or get a glimpse of them from ourselves (they say it’s in the genes!) Strangers right from the beginning and we bring them right into our homes and make them part of our family. Tick. They were strangers and we invited them in.

      “I needed clothes and you clothed me ” –

      Seriously I had never fathom that little beings need so many change of clothes due to their spit-ups, poop-ups, leak-out. Ever since, little beings came into our lives, my days are no longer paced just by Mondays to Sundays, they passed with alternate laundry days because laundry could pile up to a full load quite easily. And I’m so thankful for God’s provision, I’m clothing two girls mainly with hands-me-down from friends and sisters whom He has placed within my network. Tick. They needed clothes and we clothed them. 

      “I was sick and you looked after me” – 

      You bet how I’m always quick to swing into action – the SOP whenever I see a bug, virus visiting my family. Sambuccos, echinacea drops in the morning, doctor visits, taking temperature, sponging when fever, cool pad, honey drink, onions in the room, watercress, pear, radish Chinese almond soup in the menu, socks on at night. Tick. They were sick and we looked after them. 

      “I was in prison and you came to visit me” – 

      I know this verse could literally mean imprisonment but in many interpretations it could be also mean spiritual imprisonment or any sort of limitations figuratively.

      Think about it… actually little children are really homebounded if the adults don’t bring them out of the home. And before they can walk, they could really just cry for help. In a way, babies and children don’t enjoy the freedom that most adults have i.e to move around as they please. Maybe that’s why God bless them with so much imagination that their mind are so open to all possibilities. The freedom to conceive all sorts of possibilities to compensate physical limitations and the safety boundaries that they have to be in as dependents meanwhile. So part of my parenting style is making it a point to bring the children out whenever possible to give them exposure to what they should do in public places and how they should behave, even if it means doing it alone.  We don’t own a car. Economical transport aka BMW (Bus MRT & Walk) and lots of cycling and scooting is our way of getting around in life. 

      I’m glad that Ms R could get on the bus pretty much her own and find a yellow seat near the door under my watchful eye as I get ready to lug my stroller up the bus next.  Practice is the key. 

      So Tick. They were in ‘prison’ and we ‘visit’ them by bringing them out and about. 

      ““Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

      ‭‭
      Thank you God! Honestly, I never knew exactly how I could so comprehensively obey this command until I became a parent – a mother! I’m sure one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine can no doubt also mean the children that God would welcome.  Of course, I’m not saying that the Lord condones inward looking attitude by only caring for our own family needs and ignoring the compassionate outreaching aspect of this verse. I believe that the Lord gave us our own family unit – our children as a training ground to get the basics right.  

      Ms R only started attending school the year she turned 3. I took 3 years to look after her , grow her spiritually, physically, emotionally and intellectually to my best ability before that.  I hope by God’s grace and through prayers, I maybe able to take another about 3 years to look after Ms V personally. Down this tough homemaking and child-raising journey, it dawned upon me that Christ also spend about three and a half years in ministry developing and forming close knitted relationship with His disciples before He send them out into the world. That reaffirmed my vocation, especially when the going is tough, to raise my children personally from birth and to form deep meaningful relationship as Christ did for his disciples. I’ll always remember how one of the first few BSF home training lesson has aptly put it. You will never again have such unchallenged credibility or control over what your child learns. 

      A pastor once encouraged me, “Home ministry is one of the most difficult ministry, and it is very good that you took it up!” I almost teared at that point because it was much needed encouragement after 3 years of joy and toil (really!) and my life was just about to be more sane when it rebooted with Ms V’s birth. All over again! Nonetheless, praise be to God! 

      Christian living is a lifetime of ministry, mission work and dependence on God wherever we are 24/7.  How amazing it is that God gave us this privilege of parenting that mirrors just that! 

      So for whoever that might think being a parent or mother immediately disqualifies one to be suitable for missionary work, I’m glad you have read up to this point.  For I can look into your eyes and tell you I’ve gone the way to make disciples of the children He has blessed us (though we haven’t got down to baptizing Ms R yet) and the time will come when my children (when they are all grown up) will in turn make disciples of all nations. 

      Thank you God for your Holy Spirit in bringing this verses of encouragement to me. 

      For more details, on Christ’s ministry on earth 
      https://bible.org/article/daily-life-time-Jesus

      You’ve come to the end of the post and must be wondering what happened to the woman who attempted to be super. 

      ​​

      Just for laughs, this is what I do sometimes when I want to feel like a super woman even when I’m clearly not! 

      I only have a super God! 

      What happens when your child is a rebel…(Part 2:  Grace and mercy must follow)

      Then I had a realisation.  That most often then not,   Ms R would usually run to her Papa if she had offended me.  Or run to me when she had offended her Papa. And for this case, since her Papa was not around, so she ran to her Granny. Basically , she was trying to find her escape route for the wrong that she has done.

      How true it is, that we all sinners need Jesus as our escape route and our mediator to be spared from the wrath of God! 

      Subsequently, I was reminded that God, himself provided His one and only Son Jesus to take the wrath upon himself that we maybe redeemed and have that eternal relationship with God the Father.

      Thankful to God that my mum was around to be the mediator between us and helped Ms R came around to acknowledge her mistake in a more gentle manner. One could arguably say that it might not be a good thing that there is another adult that she can escape to in a situation like that and may end up undermining the other parent’s authority.

      However, I think that as long as the parents are on the same page regarding the kid’s behaviour and the standard of discipline is kept the same, it would give the kid that sense of what is right and wrong and receive that grace and mercy to try again (or not to try again in this case)

      Thankful to God for teaching me how to love my child that even as I discipline them and cultivate godly values, I REALLY need to be patient, gentle and to also be the grace and mercy dispenser at the same time. (How hard can parenting get?!)  simply because justice needs to be met by grace in order for the relationship to be restored.

      That is how God loved us.

      John 3:16

      For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

      For the first part of the story, please go to

      https://myloguewithj.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/what-happens-when-your-child-is-a-rebel-part-1-let-justice-be-done/

      Attacked (Part 1: The Siege) 


      There were a couple of weeks some time in March, I was plagued by Ms R asking about why our family does not own a car, telling me that she’d like to stay in the condominium that we always past by where there is a swimming pool and a playground,  telling me that she wants that toy that her friend has or the bun that someone else was having just after she had her lunch! And to go to Japan, Taiwan, Australia for holiday, which I suspect that her friends in school probably told her about. ( I mean where did she get the idea?) 

      A few times I was patient. But yet a few times, I just blew up at her.  And I noted consciously that the few times that I blew up at her were the moments that I myself was feeling bitter and resentful of my own situation.

      I tried to explain to her that because her mother, that is me, sort of stopped some middle income work to look after her and Ms V, so we don’t have that much income to be able to afford these luxuries in life.  

      And then the evil me, further found one opportunity when we were out scooting downstairs at 5-6pm, to show her that her friends’ parents /grandparents were only just about to fetch her friends home when she had been able to come back much earlier to spend time at home with me and Mei Mei. 

      And I asked her, “So would you like me to go to work outside and you stay in school the whole day, until 5pm like your friends, just so that we can have some money to go for holidays? ” 

      She looked on, shudders shaking her head and said , “No, I don’t want!”

      Phew! At least she said no. I actually don’t have a solution should she have said , “Yes”. 

      Because Ms V is still young, and I want to take care of her personally as I have said in another post. I do not wish to resume work out of home and put her in the care of others yet. 

      And the truth is that there are friends around me staying in condominium, driving cars, going for regular holidays, and are looking after their own children! 

      First and foremost, I must disclaim that there is anything wrong with the above way of life and there is also nothing wrong with putting your children in a full day child care facility.  Ultimately, it’s one choice of lifestyle and what we deemed as good care for our children. 

      I’m stating it as a matter of fact that it was the disparity of household income of my family as compared to my peers that was truly confronting me. Not whether I am working with a substantial income or not actually.

      And the truth is also that I can do without a car, a condominium, a helper but I myself am really dying for a holiday break from all the labour. 

      For Part 2 & 3 of the story, please click 

      https://myloguewithj.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/attacked-part-2-the-angel-undercover/

      https://myloguewithj.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/attacked-part-3-monster-revealed-and-slayed-by-his-words/

      What happens when your child is a rebel… (Part 1: Let justice be done)


      The other day I was getting Ms R to do some simple writing practices which she had agreed. But because one of her favourite person (Granny) came by, she had to be disrupted from her play to do the writing practice. I was quite glad that she obliged, honoring what was agreed and got down to it.

      However, about five minutes into it, came a point when she either got tired or frustrated that she started coming up with all sorts of antics such as dropping pencil, erasing haphazardly etc. I was guiding her along, all the while watching what she was doing.  I attempted to correct her behaviour by firmly telling her to pick up her pencil and how she should be erasing carefully. However, instead of doing what I had asked her to do, she stood up without saying a word, walked to the toilet to wash her hands.

      I was mad. So mad. Partially because this was not the first time, she just ignored me and walked away from my instructions. The other reason was my judgement on her rebellious action. I could feel it in my gut how rebellious her walking away was.  I decided that I needed to do something about it – to point out to her that she had crossed over the boundaries of how a child should respond to her parent.

      So I walked to the toilet and locked the toilet door with the intention to hold her there to tell her that her walking off was unacceptable and that she should tell me that she was tired and would like to continue the next day instead of just walking off. I meant to highlight to her that it was very rude of her to not respond when I called out to her about her unfinished work.

      However, things turned awry. She resisted (I should have expected. I honestly need more parenting wisdom and experience ) and bawled ever so loudly.  Holding her in my arms, getting her to focus on what I was trying to say was just seemingly futile. The more she struggled, the more she seemed to be rebelling, and my fury burned against her rebellions. At that point , I whacked her twice at her buttocks with my hands and questioned her on the acceptability of her earlier rude behavior.

      Then I wanted to proceed to shower her but she refused and wanted her granny instead. Her granny on the other hand was carrying Ms V who had been much affected by her sister’s crying. Sensing it was getting nowhere, I relented and took over Ms V, acceding to R’s requests for her granny.

      After I brought Ms V back to the room to nurse, I overheard my mum tell Ms R that she was wrong to have ignored me and that she should have listened to me. My mum told her that she’d need to apologize to me.  Gradually, Ms R calmed down. After her shower, while seated at the dining table, she tried to strike a conversation with me as if to sound out if I was still angry with her. Asking me questions about the food and this and that.  I, on another hand, was trying to reiterate why I had done what I had done and clarified that my purpose was to make known to her that it was disrespectful and rude to wilfully not reply an authority, giving her examples of figures of authority such as future teachers and principals in school that she’d meet in her lifetime in the future.

      She apologized, explaining to me that she had earlier on wanted to go wash her hands to get ready for dinner, so just went ahead without a word.  She probably would not have expected me to lash it out at her.  Perhaps, I have let her off too many times for not replying when questions were asked. So she probably thought she was going to get away with it this time as well.  Some might think it was my bad to not have lay boundaries clearly in the first place and considered it as coming on to hard on a four year old.

      I justified my action that it was needed as I really wanted her to learn to respect authority, and to nip off the rebellious root that might be growing in her. I thought about how God zapped people for the slightest sin and disobedience in the Old Testament and how His fury could burn against the stiff-necked and rebellious people in the past.

      But still I cannot help being bothered by the whole saga. After all, I am NOT God! I’m also a sinner.  Just that I have been assigned parenting duty and given authority by God to steward my children and train them in the way that they should go!  As I self reflect, I could even have been wanting to exert my parental authority over her just because my mum was around because Ms R, as with most children, has a tendency to act up when another adult (especially grandparents) is around.

      As I wrestled with the rights and wrongs of the situation, I kept asking myself if I had been given a second chance to respond again, how would my reaction be different?

      1 Corinthians 4:21 

      What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?

      For the second part of the story, please go to

      https://myloguewithj.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/what-happens-when-your-child-is-a-rebel-part-2-grace-and-mercy-must-follow/