Step by step

Foward together. 💓

::Bren and I went for the Tree-top walk @ MacRitchie this afternoon. It was much easier than I initially envisioned it to be! Granted, there were exhausting moments, and steep climbs to make, but going through it together made it so much more bearable.

At one point in our journey, we were nearing the finishing point, and the climb was so steep, I didn’t have the energy to speak at all. I chose not to look ahead, but looked down at my feet, gearing them up for the road ahead, telling myself, “just one step at a time. one step at a time.” Before I knew it, we made it!

It made me think of how our life journeys are full of hard roads and steep climbs too, but as long as we keep our feet moving foward, towards the direction that God desires us to head to, all is going to be well.

We rewarded ourselves with a sumptuous dinner and desserts after that. Ahh, what a wonderful date.

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{jan 31: wonderful achievement 💕} #capturinglifelaughterlove

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Hope you’d a good Saturday too!

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Carrying the beautiful ðŸŒŸ

I’m not sure when exactly it started, but somewhere along the days of childhood to my teenage years, I must have lost that sense of identity. Who am I? It wasn’t a question I would ask myself, but rather, who do I want to be? Who do people want me to be? There would be people around me that appeared to be “the experts”, or those who have “made it in life”, and they inspired and influenced {whether in good or bad ways}, and then there would be the magazines and television shows that wired me to think that when I grow up, I “should” be of a certain type, a certain way to look, a particular way to be.

How lost I was.

And I didn’t even know I was lost.

I didn’t know my identity was incredibly lost in the midst of all that mess till, … God.found.me.

Till I was found.by.Him.

Till that very day, my journey of being known and loved by Him started on 7 July 2006.

::Turning back the clock to my primary school years, I vividly remember one teacher having that impact on my ability to receive. And it wasn’t a positive impact. Her words and opinions were so crucial to how I lived with the wound of not being able to believe that I could receive anything good. To receive the good that God had in store.

It was the day she announced to the class those students who would be going to the EM1 stream, meaning those who did well enough to go through to the top few classes next year {which was a praise-worthy moment!}.

She called name after name, and those who were called were to stand up. Finally, she looked at me, mumbled my name, and I stood up, hoping I heard her correctly. And her eyes just pierced through my soul, saying, “Don’t be too happy. You only got through by the skin of your teeth.” My heart was beating so fast. What did she mean? Was it what I heard? Why is she so mean?

Needless to say, she didn’t make it to my list of favorite teachers. Till now, just thinking about that incident {and many more fear-inducing episodes from her} makes me shudder….wondering how did she even come to the conclusion that her role as a teacher was to say such things; wouldn’t she know that it would hurt?

It’s the very reason why I decided to enter into the social service line in the first place. To love the children who are the world’s underdogs, to protect them from the harshness of the hurting people around them, and to share with them that I know how it feels to be put down, to be experiencing emotional pain. And to point them towards the only Person who can love them perfectly – God Himself.

Years later, I learnt to slowly let these painful memories go, but they never truly go away, don’t they? At least, for me, it takes a long, long while… It’s still a work in progress.

But I realised the beautiful part in all these, was in how God can still turn all of the ugly parts around to create something beautiful out of it. That He has used everything that I’ve gone through, to mould my character to be more like Christ, and nothing is wasted when I surrender my life’s experiences to Him who loves me.

The wounds may take time to heal, but I’ve learnt to forgive…and to receive the beauty of the ordinary. I don’t need to be the best in class to know that God loves me. I don’t need to prove to my teacher that I’m excellent, because the God of excellence is already working in me. I can wake up everyday looking foward to the bountiful blessings because of what God has already promised me in His Word. There’s just so much joy to be receiving each day!

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Baggage by baggage, I’m unloading them unto my Savior, who promises that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And I’m awakening my soul to the beauty that’s all around me, to the joy that no one can steal.

💫my jumble-mix of thanksgiving for Jan:

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Who are you? Who has God made you to be? My heart is with you, as we allow God to unravel His beautiful masterpieces in us…in all of us. ✌️

Breathe. God’s got it all in Him.

Just ended a dinner meet up with funny guy friends, David and Kevin. Reliving the past memories has a way of rekindling the joy that sometimes appear hidden. Unraveling it again and having a good laugh makes a meet up even more special. It’s as if those friendship moments remain, even if seasons of our lives go through {major} changes.

::I went for a walk in Botanical Gardens this evening, before meeting up with them. It was just the thing I needed…quiet space in my day, to soak in the presence of God.

While I was there, Julia texted me to pray for a poor baby who’s currently going through a lot of painful physical conditions, and reading her text made my heart so heavy. But God whispers, breathe. And He reminds me that the baby is more precious than the birds and flowers, which are already well-taken care of by Him. Matthew 6:26 ✨

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All is good. All is in His good hands.

The guys reminded me on trusting and surrendering too. It’s going to be a long journey of healing, but I’m thankful God is with me. And very thankful for hilarious guy friends who’ll crack me up and show me adorable pictures of dogs to cheer me up.

Grain-Free Bread

Ahhh…made these yesterday, and I was so pleased with it, haha. Kept touching the loaf, amazed at how “bouncy” {sorta} it was. I know, dorky. 😅

I hope you give this a try! A healthy alternative to the usual breads.

Grain-Free Bread
3/4 cup blanched almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted creamy cashew butter
2 large eggs, plus 3 egg whites
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 315F. Grease loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper, slightly greasing the parchment paper as well.

2. In a small bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Set it aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, add the cashew butter, eggs, egg whites, and honey. Blend together {I used my stand mixer} till smooth and creamy.

4. Add water to the nut butter mixture and mix till well blended.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix till batter is smooth and creamy.

6. Mix in the apple cider vinegar, then pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

7. Bake for about 40 mins, till golden brown. Allow bread to rest for about 10 mins. Then run a knife along the edges and invert onto a cutting board to finish cooling.

8. Once it has completely cooled, slice and serve! I love how it can be stored in the fridge for 5-7 days {in airtight container} or frozen for 2-3 months. I froze half of these. 😉

Enjoy!

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Loved, just as I am

I’m still allowing myself to slowly grasp this truth. The truth that God desires all of me, and every part is precious to Him.

Still learning this truth that there’s really no need to strive, or prove anything to Him, or seek to earn any love from Him. There’s nothing that I can do or not do to take away or add His love for me.

I think I used to know it in my head, but now…I’m realizing that my heart is only gradually catching up to what this truth really means. How much God loves me, simply as I am, and not what I think I should be as a “good Christian girl”.

*pause*

Got to really let that truth sink deep into me.

Into you too, perhaps?

*breathe*

Few weeks back, my Snr Pastor’s wife encouraged me to share my testimony of how God displayed His love for me in the midst of a very painful year, so I did it up on 1 Jan, & gratefully sent it in to my colleague. It’s such a blessing to even be able to share this as an encouragement.

I hope it blesses you too.

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This is the ring. 🙂 I wear it all the time now, as a reminder of how faithful God is to His Word.

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In this season of rest, I’m enjoying this book by Bonnie Gray, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. When I first got it, I thought it would be simply focusing on finding ways to physically {& emotionally} rest, but just reading the first few chapters made me realise that it goes a lot deeper than that. I found myself pausing a lot in between pages, fearful because of the unexpected places the book was taking me, anxious about what happens when I allow Jesus to enter those dark & desolate places of my life, of my heart. It took me a long while…to release them to Him, and thank God He is ever so gentle with me.

On pg.32, where it says “It’s not easy following Jesus into the whitespaces of the soul. I have wallpapered over many things, believing faith enabled me to move past them. But there comes a time when it takes more faith to fall apart with Jesus than to stay strong enough to stop it from happening.” This spoke so deeply to me, because whether in Christian circles or with pre-believing friends, I realise that many of us do not share openly about what we struggle with. Whenever I take that step of faith to share, well-meaning friends often offer a “fix-it approach” to things, as if a step by step method will be the answer to my heartaches.

I’m learning – and accepting – that sometimes, we miss out on our innermost needs – the need to be in a safe place, in a very, very real way, when we move past our innermost thoughts and feelings…..letting the demands of life numb us to what’s going on inside of us. Reading that passage assured me that it’s always safe to be vulnerable, to be fully myself {though I’m still on a journey on discovering who I really am}, & to just fall apart into the arms of Jesus.

To cry.

And be okay with it.

To get upset.

And not gloss over my feelings, my needs.

To acknowledge that I’m tired.

And not push through beyond what I’m able to bear.

I can be me. Full of needs and wants and dreams and desires, and I don’t have to hide anything from Him because He wants to share that part of my soul with Him too. I don’t have to shove my needs aside, because I am His child, His Treasure. He looks at me with the gentlest touch of love, and He strokes my face, beckoning me to just curl up in His warm embrace.

Of being Home.

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Home with my Father, the safest place with unconditional love.

::linking up with Beloved Brews Thursdays

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What are you thankful for right now?

There are many things that are filling up my heart with thanksgiving right now, but one thing that I’m experiencing immense thanks for on this very morning, is the love showered to me at my workplace.

One, a sweet card from an even sweeter girl, who shyly came up to me with this gift of words and colors from her heart. And another, a surprise hamper from the management at Noel, to each of the staff at my workplace! These kind acts have brightened my day so much. My heart is very touched.

{jan 29: thanksgiving right now…😄} #capturinglifelaughterlove

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Blessed day ahead!

He is my Shelter

The sharing from a dear sister-in-Christ didn’t shock me as much as it would have been in the past. My heart went out to her, my mind was almost in a blank, but in a calm sorta way. No hooha, no panicking…just a deep knowing that God is still in control, and His purposes will prevail.

{jan 28: looking up to my Shelter} #capturinglifelaughterlove

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He is my shield, my strength, my source of comfort & shelter from all of life’s storms. I’m choosing to remain in this Shelter. 🍁