February thanksgiving

It’s my Mum’s birthday today, and we received just the *best* news ever. 🙂 A very special day of thanksgiving, which I’ll share a bit later!

For now, here’s my jumble-mix of thanksgiving for February:

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Here’s to a happy March! 🌺

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He fills my empty spaces

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The children, wearing their adorable kindergarten uniforms, strolled towards me as I walked along the path at our home’s neighborhood park. One hand in each other’s, with their teacher guiding them along. It was a very sweet sight.

As they walked closer to me, these children looked right towards me, and they actually SMILED. They had the sweetest Hi!-It’s-such-a-happy-day smile. 🙂 And it was as if they knew me, but – I didn’t!

Such a moment of God’s love.

I’m keeping it close to my heart.

::Last night, had another Chinese New Year dinner with family @ Roland’s. Guess who I bumped into?

My ex-colleagues! We were all so surprised, but those moments of seeing each other again were such delightful ones. After all, it has been 2 straight weeks since I left BCCSC. I didn’t expect to see them again in a restaurant! Ha..ha.

They were coordinating a Chinese New Year dinner for the elderly beneficiaries. Very lovely boisterous singing throughout ! So anyway, as I made my rounds, wishing them, “Happy New Year”, this old auntie in her wheelchair looked at me, again straight in the eye as if she already knew me {it was the first time seeing her}, whispered “Happy New Year” to me, and then clasped my hand warmly in between hers. She smiled so sweetly, and later brought my hand right next to her warm cheek. It was such a special moment…..

Truly another moment of receiving God’s love.

In such unexpected situations, God whispers His love notes to me. He orchestrates life in such a way that I cannot deny His sweet presence and favor in my life! Am incredibly grateful.

Here are two pictures of our recent New Year meal gatherings. One with my in-laws, and another with my family. Yes, we are still feasting!

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Will end this post with this quote I love:

Wilfred PetersonWalk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground, let their spirit ignite a fire within you, to leave this world better than when you found it.

💗 my little love note for you: but most importantly, walk with God. He will be the one that walks every step with you, as long as you desire it to be so.
How are you leaving this world today? Where are your stamps of love going to be? May you be blessed, as you bless others. 🙂

“What do you want to eat?”

It’s a question that appears to be so “normal”, but I really do struggle with answering it. What do I want to eat? Well, whatever works for you works for me, is my usual thought. I’ll usually allow the other person to pick the place, and then pick out of that place’s menu something for myself.

It’s hard having a preference when you have not had much of a preference for several years. After a while, you seem to lose touch with what your innermost desires are, even in something seemingly mundane like, what do you want to eat?

Do you know what you want to eat? You really want to eat that? Isn’t _____ so much better?

And your mind changes when the opinions of others are voiced.

I dunno. I think I am like that most of the time.

But I’m trying to get more in touch with the little girl’s needs deep inside me, and I’m giving myself the chance to pause and ponder on that really simple question of, “Really, what do you want to eat?

Is it years of numbing myself to my desires, and valuing others’ input a lot more than my own?
Is my own opinion not worth the consideration at all?

No, Jesus tells me.

Listen to that voice, that authentic voice that has been buried under the voices that have been surrounding. Allow her to speak again.

Really?

Yes. I love that child in you. Come to me as you are, Jacinta. Even when you are still figuring out what you want to eat. Come to me as you are.

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Bit by bit, I’m experiencing the touch of God’s true rest in my soul. That touch of grace. That touch of immense love. That love for who I really am, the person He has made me to be. Slowly, He’s helping me shed the layers…and beckoning me to find rest in just being loved by Him. My true self being adored by Him, my Most High God.

What a wondrous truth to grasp.

I wrote in my organizer for today’s calendar, that I’d like to sit a bit in the sunlight at the beach…just squeeze in some time for that today.

Minutes later though, I cancelled it and shifted it to next week instead. After all, there was housework to be done, food to be cooked, … things to do.

But journaling my thoughts here right now, I’m realizing how I need to prioritize my thoughts, my innermost desires. How I have to allow the little girl to be with God, and not tear her away from communing with Him, simply because of the guilt that would come when I take such time out.

The housework will still be done.

The meals will still be prepared.

Maybe not as perfectly clean as I’d hope it to be.

Maybe not as elaborately cooked as I’d envisioned to be.

But it will be done.

And it will not be done at the expense of my soul-rest. My desperate desire to simply be.

I’m going to the beach. Yes, Jesus, I’m bringing that little girl into Your divine presence to be loved.

To simply be.

Thank You for Your grace upon grace. For loving me, just as I am. Thank You that You are doing a new work in my soul, and I know that whatever You have started, You will bring it to completion.

💗 my little love note for you: would you join me in paying attention to your innermost thoughts and desires too? it would be so great to journey along together. God loves you, sweet friend. 🙂

::linking up with Beloved Brews Thursdays

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Rest

To be honest, as my new season of being a stay-home wife approached, I had serious waves of panic.

It felt like there was an underlying current of worry, and an anxiety that I didn’t see coming. I would sometimes brush it aside, saying to myself, I’m getting into something that’s going to be better for me…what is there to be anxious about?

It was subtle, but I later realised – that I’m actually treasuring this new season so much, that I’ve underlying worries of messing it up. Y’know, not wanting to waste my time, not wanting to be unproductive, … so much so that I completely forgot – God wants me to rest.

Just. Rest.

Oh, my soul is so restless.

Even after the realization, I wasn’t completely freed from the self-imposed pressure.

It was as if I forgot about it, enjoyed my farewell closure with the children and dear colleagues…rode on the wave of the Chinese New Year festivities, and then when my first full day of being a stay-home wife arrived yesterday – the first day not having Bren around after the long holiday break – I became a housework + cooking machine. I cleaned and cleaned, and cooked and baked and cooked even more.

And exhausted myself by the end of the day.

Thankfully, I came to that realization this morning that it’s not how it should be, and acknowledged the fact that I desperately needed some good ol’ me-time.

Time to simply enjoy.

To do things that my soul craved, instead of feeling the unnecessary expectation of being “productive”. {Yes, even as a stay-home wife, there were unwritten expectations in my mind about how I should be “producing”.}

So I made a choice.

A very conscious choice.

I chose to linger. 🙂

Treated my Mum to lunch at a nice quiet Japanese place, and we just talked.

Chatted about her old neighbors, about their stories growing up, and helped with photo apps that she wanted.

It was soul-nourishing, and my heart went away so much happier because of it.

After making payment, I told the wait staff that we’ll just be hanging out there for a while. He smiled, and said it wasn’t a problem.

I can’t explain how it felt SO good being able to say that. 🙂

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Lingering.

I’m going to do that more often.

After all, we are not machines, but real people with real needs and authentic desires.

💗 my little love note for you: what can you linger over today, dear friends? what will make your soul deeply nourished? would you choose to make space for it today…?

Vegan Cuts Beauty Box: January

Oops, was so caught up with the festivities of Chinese New Year, that I left out reviewing January’s Vegan Cuts Beauty Box.

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Well, as a whole, I didn’t find the set particularly exciting, though I had 2 favorites. The let down was the nail polish, simply because they gave me black, which I’ll never use. What a waste! {If any of you Singaporeans want the black nail polish, please drop a note to let me know! Would be happy to give you for free.}

1. Modern Minerals eyeshadow
I like that it’s free of parabens, so I can safely use it. It’s light, and the shade gives my eyes just that little shimmer of bronze.

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2. Crazy Rumors moisturizing lippie
This is one of my favorite. Very moisturizing and the tint is just-right. 🙂 Love the sweet scent too!

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3. Gourmet Body Treats exfoliator
Another of my favorite! Love, love, love the coffee scent. So intoxicating, ha..ha. I just wished they’d provided more.

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4. Dermaorganic shampoo & intensive hair repair masque
These were just alright. Nothing really to shout about because I didn’t see/feel much of a difference…but nothing bad either. 😉

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There you go! Now, looking foward to February’s box…..💭

Simple pleasures to unwind…

How do you usually unwind?

For me, I need a lot of silence and solitude, time to be on my own, doing things that are nourishing physically and emotionally.

Bren is on leave today and tomorrow, so we caught a movie {such a rarity for us on a weekday} and had an early dinner.

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I’ve also been cooking and baking a lot more, taking strolls at Botanical Gardens, having leisurely mornings and hot chocolate {mostly on my own – I love sitting at the balcony, watching the clouds roll by with my thoughts…and sipping on hot chocolate and sweet marshmallows, mmmmm…….}.

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And today, made chia seeds strawberry jam! This will go so well with my Grain-Free Bread; looking foward to trying it together tomorrow morning!

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This Chinese New Year celebration is turning out to be a very lovely long one. 😊