Thanksgiving for September 

  
There were 2 major parties in September! Firstly, a surprise party for my ex-boss, Aunty Margaret to celebrate her 60th, and secondly, my Aunty & Uncle’s 30th wedding anniversary party. In between the festivities and loud laughter, were the slow days which I’m learning to embrace. 

Since I’m physically more limited now that I’m in the last stretch of the pregnancy, I can’t help but scale down on my daily activities. Have also been trying not to “waddle” around so much, but honestly, it’s really, really hard! 😝

Preparing myself for entering the unknown…this new-to-me world of motherhood, I’ve also tried coming up with simple routines that I can rely on once baby joins us, so I don’t have to spend much time thinking about it and instead focus on the new adventure ahead. 🙂 

Routines involving quiet time with the Lord, easy and healthy recipes to fall back on during hectic days, and even what to wear {yes, I always have had a system for clothes and accessories, haha. Some call it having a “capsule wardrobe”!}. Guess I’d rather spend my time and energy on things that matter more in the long run…like what to do when baby poops and cries. 😁

Onto the exciting month of October! Ready or not, our baby is coming! Whee. ❤️

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Chocolate, communion and a cookie

I love going to town, but I really dislike jostling with crowds. And so I search for quiet cafes, which then becomes my “default go-to” place each time that I head into that specific area. Very predictable, and a little boring…but I really like it this way. 🙂 

This afternoon – after being cooped indoors for the past few days due to the terrible haze – I decided to head out again…and away from all the incessant noise of machines, traffic, and chatter…I found respite in a cuppa hot chocolate, soft cookie and sweet, deep communion with God. 
  
We all need such moments sometimes. Am cherishing it…💝

For the love of writing 

Why do you write? 

This afternoon, I thought back on my pre-teen and teenage years and realized that writing – whether it was in the form of jotting thoughts in a diary, doing up English compositions required by teachers, or even listing down things I needed to complete for the day – has always been a big part of my life.

I remember writing my first “love story” many years back {fictional, of course} on plain ol’ foolscap paper, secretly indulging in a world of naive teenagers, and secretly stashing it in a corner of my bookshelf so I could continue whenever I’d the chance. 

When my sister later discovered it, I was mortified…so, so  embarrassed 😱 but when she said she actually enjoyed reading it, a tiny sense of pride blossomed from within and that comment ended up motivating me to write even more! Well, I didn’t really finish the story, haha…and I’m not even sure if my sister remembers it now, or whether she’ll say the same thing now, but recalling that incident does bring back good memories. 

The process of writing is one that helps clarify my thoughts. It helps me when I’m overwhelmed, to simply jot down what is on my mind, take note of how I’m currently feeling, and at times I’ll do what I call a brain-dump: simply dumping everything on paper so I don’t have to struggle with remembering all that’s inside my head. The process of writing somehow makes me more aware and in tune with things going on internally as well as externally. 

The first time my parents lent me a typewriter {remember those days??} was a fond memory too. Every single alphabet was beautiful to me, sometimes more so than the story I was actually typing out. Whenever I finished typing out a piece, I would take a moment to admire the letterings, the ink, and then make corrections using liquid paper if needed. It was quite a therapeutic activity! Gone are the typewriter days…I miss the “click click” sounds. 😄

These days, blogging is my writing outlet. I don’t give myself any pressure to write perfectly, and I usually grab moments on-the-go to record my thoughts on my phone {super convenient}. The act of writing helps me to slow down in the midst of busy days in order to savor it a bit longer, and the best thing happens whenever I read posts from the pasts, and reminisce about the memories – some good, some not so good. But all in all still an important part of my days. 

It’s such a gift. 

To be able to pen our thoughts down freely is such a gift. 🙂 

Why do you write?

Embracing the slow, the small, the limited

2 years ago this time, I was knee-deep in work.

Meaningful work for sure, but many times, it was very draining too. It wasn’t just an overbearing workload that kept my heart tired, but the expectations of people around me as well as my own expectations of myself, and what I should be doing.

A lot has happened between then and now, as the Lord relieved me from all the burdens I was carrying – unnecessary ones that involved a lot of “should”s.

Reflecting on the past 2 years has been enlightening, to say the least. My spirit has been so lifted by the Lord’s everlasting love, and his mercies which are new every morning are what I look forward to.
It has never been easy choosing to go downstream when pretty much everyone else is going upstream. But as I fight the urge to please, and fight the urge to unwisely meeting the demands of everyday life without seeking God’s voice, I am choosing to fight for my soul to remain in the presence and guidance of God.

My yeses are now so much clearer, and when I commit to something, I have so much more space in me to actually anticipate it with genuine joy, instead of dreading it as days draw nearer.

Saying no has also been less of a guilt-trip, as I seek to please God alone, and leaving spaces in my days for Him to interrupt my plans, instead of seeking to fulfill my own agenda is so incredibly gratifying.

I am {slowly} embracing how God has made me…and the wonderful thing I am learning and realizing, is that this is allowing me to embrace how He has uniquely made others too. 💗

Sunday morning 

Thank God for the lovely, non-hazy weather this morning. Just perfect for our maternity photoshoot. 🙂 

We connected back with Sherman, the photographer who did our wedding shots 5 years back, and he was still as personable as ever and in Bren’s words, “real.” We wanted something casual and outdoors, so we chose Bishan Park since it’s near our home. 

There were so many out early on a Sunday morning! Elderly doing taichi exercises, young ladies stretching near the little pond, children cycling with parents following closely at the back. We would usually be in church at that particular time, so it was interesting to see what others usually did on their weekends. 

The photoshoot was fun and relaxing, and we had a great time catching up with Sherman. 

Popped over to Canopy for a sumptuous brunch after that, so am now very happy. 🙂

  

When the unexpected happens

It was a text. 

And many questions and replies followed.

Then came a call, just when I was trying to put my head back on the pillow to get some extra rest. 

I could hear the anxiety in my aunt’s voice, and sensed her frustration at not being able to get a cab. I told her I’ll pray, and yes, I’ll get my believing friends to pray too. 

I wrestled between the need to continue my rest for just a few minutes more, and the gnawing feeling I’d that I needed to quickly get out of bed and prepare to be ready at a moment’s notice, in case any help was needed. 

Then came the peace. 🙂

Oh, such a divine and enveloping peace, from my Jesus. 

At that moment, I just knew that things would be okay, no matter what. 

So I snoozed for a bit, sent out texts requesting for prayers, and even had the peace to wash the breakfast dishes before I headed out to the hospital. 

My grandma had a fall. 

One that made her giddy, nauseous and in great pain. 

She just turned 90, had been grieving over her late twin sister’ death, and basically…common sense tells us she would be at a high risk for injury if she had any type of fall. 

But Jesus. 🙂

He has always been, and always will be in control. I believe His protection was upon her, and as my dear prayer warriors called out to Him, His presence covered everything in this unexpected situation. 

While waiting outside the A&E, I’d the chance to chat more with the helper who was taking care of my grandma when it happened. Thank God for her alertness at getting another maid to help lift my grandma up from the floor when it happened.

She also showed me happy pictures that grandma and her took {selfies! who would have imagined, haha} when they got bored at home, which I thought was so cute. 

When Kaelyn went over with us to see her in the evening, grandma was in very good spirits. We were told that results from the CT scan and X-rays were okay, and right now, we are just waiting for a blood test result, and praying that she can be discharged soon. 

When we live right in the very core of Jesus’ love, there is so much joy and gratitude. 🙂 The peace that surpasses our understanding is a gift that keeps on giving. 

  
I left the hospital last night with so much thanksgiving just bubbling up all over my heart, not just because grandma seems to be doing better than we thought, but also because we got a chance to remind Kaelyn of how Jesus takes away our every fear, when she got a bit nervous entering the hospital and seeing many patients in wheelchairs. 

Slowly, and with a few hugs,  she got over her fear, and later could whisper a sweet prayer of thanksgiving for grandma’s dinner and uttered a prayer after me for grandma’s speedy recovery too. 

Unexpected situations can bring about so many unexpected blessings. 

Only because of Him who loves us. 💕

Honest Bee

Thanks to Lynn for the recommendation, I gave this online grocery shopping site a try. So far, I’ve ordered twice from them, and service has been prompt! 

It is especially helpful since I have been avoiding carrying heavy items, but still want to do a bit of cooking and baking once in a while. I also like that they do not charge you till they’ve confirmed the items’ availability on the day of delivery. Ordering is a breeze too.

There’s a discount for first-time customers (minimum $10), and Lynn has a coupon code that’s good for the month of September (minimum $30): see HERE

My delivery this afternoon even came with complimentary mooncakes!

  
The mooncakes were handed to me from a young lady dressed in Chang Er costume, haha. I had just woken up when they arrived, so when she asked to take a photo with me, I was confused but obliged. I just hope I didn’t look too groggy! 😅