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Jun. 26th, 2010

[sticky post] you, He, and I... as always =)

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

May. 4th, 2015

in His time

Dear baby,

Do you know that we have been waiting for you for quite long now?

First, we hoped you would be born on April 24th, to mark our family's second anniversary in London. But you didn't come out.

Second, we hoped you would be born on any day in April, cause pama needs to attend a wedding on May 9th (and your sister will be the flower girl!) so it'd be great if mama can have one or two weeks of adjustment before that. But you didn't come out.

Third, we hoped you would be born on May 1st, on Friday, cause it's a nice date (1-5-15) and because all of your family's birthdays fall on Fridays this year. But you didn't come out.

Next, we hoped you would be born on the same day as the royal baby. But the little princess Charlotte was born on May 2nd and you still comfortably stay in my tummy.

Tomorrow, mama will be carrying you for 40 weeks. Your sister was born when she was 38 weeks 3 days, so mama thought you would be born around the same week too. But, mama is wrong.

Sometimes, mama is getting impatient. Sometimes, mama is getting worried that you will be too big a baby. Sometimes, mama feels like inducing you.

But the midwives here ask mama to stay calm, that mama doesn't need to induce you. Let you come out naturally, when you're ready.

Oh dear, it's kind of hard, cause mama (and all of us!) really wants to see you very soon. But, well, mama needs to learn to be patient and wait for the right time - for God's time. He knows what's best for all of us, and you will definitely come out on the day God has chosen :)

So in the mean time, please stay healthy and happy in there, dear. Mama will try to enjoy the last few days of this big (and heavy) bump until you come out.

Mama can't wait to see you, but mama will be patiently waiting for you, dear :) love you loads xoxo



- ming -
everything is beautiful in His perfect time

Apr. 22nd, 2015

Home sweet home

A house is the building.
But a home is the people living with us :)

We've been moving houses for a few times, but I thank God that for each house, He doesn't just give us a house, but makes it a home too. We carry our home wherever we move :)

Here in London, we lived in a humble studio for our first year. And even though it was small, we loved it. It was our first home here.

Then, we moved to this place until now. Again, we thank God for such a home sweet home. In fact, He gave us more than that. Our current place is really strategic. Lots of things are just within walking distance.

These are the places we can reach on foot, 5 min or less:
- supermarket
- bus stop to school
- bus stop to church
- bus stop to work
- tube/train station
- hospital
- dentist
- garden with children playground
- cafes and restaurants
- asian store
- leisure center (with swimming pool)
- bank (atm)


And for 10 mins walking or less:
- doctor
- pharmacy
- library
- children center
- £1 shop
- more cafes, restaurants and shops


Lil c:'s school is 10-15 minutes by bus. Our church and hubby's workplace are about an hour by bus, but still, it's more than we can ask for. Well, there are actually 2-3 churches near our house (about 10mins walk), but we still stick to the one we went to since we first arrived here.

Home sweet home doesn't always mean a big house. It can be of any size, but it has to have these two elements: God and love. Or, it's just one element basically since God is love ^^

Thank You God for a great house and a warm home You provide us with :)



- ming -
grateful for her home sweet home
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Mar. 30th, 2015

More than conquerors

Romans 8:31-39 NIV

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

***

The sermon a few weeks ago was based on this passage, and it greatly blessed me in many ways. Not only it speaks to me personally, this is exactly my prayer for the baby in my tummy.

Life won't be easy. We struggle each day and most of the time, we need to deal with fear, insecurity, guilt, and suffering. But this passage says that we are more than conquerors in Christ. What about our struggles then? Here is what the Word of God says.

Fear - If God is for us, who can be against us?

God is FOR us. That's a strong statement. He is not only with us, but also for us. And really, what should we fear about when He is with and for us?


Insecurity - He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Oh indeed. God didn't spare His own Son to die on the cross for us. His Son is the most precious gift of all. What else He wouldn't give?


Guilt - Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Christ has redeemed us and covered us with His blood, so that when God sees us, He no longer sees us (and our sins), but He sees Christ! Payment for our sins has been made so that noone will condemn us. The preacher gave a very interesting analogy for this. It's as if we are in the court room with God as the Judge and Christ is our lawyer. A lawyer doesn't beg for mercy. He pleads for justice. Christ has made a full payment for our sins and so, no further payment is needed. Only Christ can intercede for us and release us from our guilt.


Sufferings - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Some sufferings are overwhelming, it's true. Sometimes it feels like they are never ending. But here is a beautiful truth we can hold on to:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Whatever sufferings we are facing, God is always with us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. NOTHING! And because He is always on our side, we will be able to get through it.



More than conquerors doesn't mean we always get the best things in life. But it's a promise that in each battle, Christ will help us so that we can come out of it as a winner because we don't give up and we don't go out of God's way.


So baby, here is our prayer for you (and for us, too):
That you will strive to be perseverant and faithful to your calling, and keep fighting to fulfill God's purpose in your life - cause you are God's warrior and in Him, you are more than a conqueror. Also, always know and believe that nothing can ever separate you from God's love :)



- ming -
praying for you, baby

Mar. 20th, 2015

hello 2015!

O wow.. It's been 3.5 months since my last post. Well, many many things happened that kept me overwhelmed. It's an old excuse I know, but I guess my family is still my first priority, so as much as I want to write many things here, I will only do it when time permits :)

So, for this very first (and extremely late) post in 2015, let me summarise my life so far.

December 2014:
All I can remember from this month is how gloomy and stressful we were handling lil c:'s tantrum. It was the worst so far. Also, the whole family was sick due to the winter season. But thank God that by the end of the month, things got better.

January 2015:
How exciting! We flied home! :) we spent time with our family and friends in Indonesia and Singapore. It's been a year since we last came home and it was really precious for us.

February 2015:
Celebrating CNY with our family in Jakarta. Then returned here on the second last day of the month.

March 2015:
Here we are now. Was jetlagged for the first week and slowly got back to our routine. Lil c: is back to school and I must say that after that tantrum period is over, she gets sweeter and sweeter each day :)

And oh, I guess I haven't mentioned this.
We are expecting :)
Yes, baby #2 is coming soon in Spring!
I've been having backache for months and nowadays I get tired and shortness of breath easily. I guess I must slow down :) but it's alright. I'm thankful for all this, cause you're growing healthily, baby :)

So, 2015 will be an exciting year for us as we get ready to welcome the newest member of our family. And we're looking forward to more surprises God has prepared for us :)



- ming -
counting down to Spring
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Dec. 1st, 2014

Amazing love

Always shed a tear when I sing this song.
What an amazing love, indeed.
Thank You, Jesus.

***

Amazing love
by Graham Kendrick


My Lord, what love is this
That pays so dearly
That I, the guilty one
May go free!

Amazing love, O what sacrifice
The Son of God given for me
My debt he pays, and my death he dies
That I might live, that I might live

And so they watched him die
Despised, rejected
But oh, the blood he shed
Flowed for me!

Amazing love, O what sacrifice
The Son of God given for me
My debt he pays, and my death he dies
That I might live, that I might live

And now, this love of Christ
Shall flow like rivers
Come wash your guilt away
Live again!

Amazing love, O what sacrifice
The Son of God given for me
My debt he pays, and my death he dies
That I might live, that I might live

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Nov. 26th, 2014

Live simply

We don't have a TV, but we're fine and happy.
We don't have a car, but we still can go far.
We don't have an iPad, but we don't really need that.
We don't have branded stuff, but we always have enough.

For wealth and all these things can't give true happiness.
Never rely on them, ever.
But rely on the Giver of wealth and all things.
Never we'll be in want, ever.

Enjoy God and live simply.


***

Living in this expensive city, with glamorous lifestyle adopted by the majority, the pressure to conform to hedonism and consumerism is real. Many people buy things just because they're in fashion now, just because they make them feel or look good, just because everyone else has them, etc. Most of the time, they buy things because of 'want' and not 'need.'

This gets me thinking about wealth and what really matters in life.

If I'm to adopt this lifestyle, not only will I have no savings at all, I'll also be stressed out to keep myself updated with the newest trend. But, why should I adopt it in the first place? And even if I have all these things, so what?

A wise man once said: Chasing wealth is like chasing the wind - it is meaningless. We will keep wanting more, yet it will never be able to satisfy us. Many even fall into greed and find it hard to count their blessings. And the saddest thing, but true, is that wealth and materials are only temporary. They will be gone one day.

A simple life, on the other hand, teaches us to have a thankful heart and not to take things for granted. Our lives will be filled not by wealth or materials, but by our relationship with God. And here is the good news: our relationship with God is eternal. It gives our lives a meaning, and nothing comes close to the joy it brings. This, my friends, is what I believe worth chasing for.




- ming -
enjoying a simple yet fulfilling life
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Nov. 11th, 2014

Tough days, tough lessons

These past few weeks have been challenging. I find myself losing my temper easily and almost evey day. Not that I wanted to, but things just drove me mad. And honestly, being angry is tiring! It robs my joy and peace.

So after finally crying it all out yesterday, I came to realize that I have to change. I can't be angry all the time. I seek God's forgiveness and pray for more patience and wisdom. Oh parenting is so so tough!

And some thoughts cross my mind.
Perhaps God wants to remind me of a few things through these tough motherhood days, that:

- both my child and I are sinners who need God's grace and His perfect love every second of our lives.

- if I get angry easily, my child will copy this behavior and will become impatient quickly.

- I need to emphatise more with her struggle to obey us and God. Even I, as an adult, find it hard sometimes to obey God. I need to help her with that, and not demanding perfect obedience instantly.

- I am such a helpless mother without God.

- Motherhood is a process God is using to show me my weaknesses and to mould me to be a better person according to His will.


Tough, yet humbling lessons.
Parenting is surely not easy.
Motherhood is surely challenging.
But this I know too, that Your grace is always sufficient for me, Lord :)



- ming -
needing God all the time

Oct. 25th, 2014

Perfect master plan

I am quite bad at waiting.
I am quite high in uncertainty avoidance.
I don't like it when something is uncertain, and that I have to wait for a period of time, or worst, when I have no idea when it can get more certain.

But as years go by, and as I look at how my life has been thus far, God has shown me over and over again, that I really should leave it to Him when it comes to perfect planning. He knows best. And His plan is ALWAYS perfect.

Here is a snippet of my life that shows His perfect master plan. Let's go back to 11 years ago.

In July 2003, I first came to Singapore for my undergraduate study. I was the first in my family to go and to live abroad alone (although I'm the youngest!). It was hard for me and my parents, especially my mom. I was in doubt whether this was really the best thing to do that time. But hey, God proved me it was! Not only I got to pursue great education and met wonderful professors and people at the Indonesian students Christian fellowship, God had planned for my meeting with my soulmate :) We got together in February 2005, and the rest is history.

In 2007, a semester before my graduation, I was working as a student assistant in my school. Then one day, a lovely lady came to ask for my help. Apparently, she was the new head of public and promotional communication division. I just knew her and instantly thought she was a nice person. And after helping her for a few times, she seemed to have a positive impression of me and we started to have a good working relationship. Little did I know, that I would be working with her for the next 5 years! Yes, she was my boss and Masters supervisor. And she introduced me to another nice professor to be my co-supervisor, who then became my boss too. God had planned it all :)

In June 2010, just two days (and one day for hubby) before our wedding day, we submitted our thesis (Masters for me and PhD for hubby). Just in time, right? :p we felt so relieved that we could have our wedding and the two celebrations in Indonesia without having to think about them. Perfect timing. And I'd say, it was God's work.

Also, I had secured a job after I finished my study. And thanks to my kind boss, she allowed me to start working in August, so that I had time to enjoy my wedding celebrations and honeymoon and some holidays before coming back to work. But I told her to just give me one year contract, cause at that time, hubby was thinking of finding a job in another country. It had been his dream to get some experience outside Singapore and Indonesia. We hadn't known where yet, but just to get prepared, I would work for a year first, August 2010-July 2011. My boss could always renew my contract if we ended up staying in Singapore after that.

But guess what?!
On October 20th 2010, my home pregnancy test was positive! I was so thrilled. We were pregnant!! So we made an apppintment with a gynae, and on November 1st, we heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time. And two weeks later, we came back and saw a tiny bean :) there was lil c:! And the baby's due date? Mid June 2011! And I was entitled for 8 weeks maternity leave. Do you see the connection with my work contract? Baby due in June, 8 weeks maternity leave, contract expired in July. What a perfect timing! And I managed to save some of my annual leaves, so my last day of work was around May 22nd. Then my mom came on May 26th. And I started my exactly 8 weeks maternity leave from June 5th to July 31st.

And guess what (again)?!
Lil c: was born on June 5th! The first day of my maternity leave. Although it didn't really matter, but it felt like I maximised my maternity leave really well :) I couldn't understand how everything fell into the right place at the most perfect time. It all looked like it was very well planned. And indeed, things like these (conception and due date) only God can plan!

So after lil c: was born, I didn't continue working in office anymore. But I never thought that I was putting myself into a more challenging work, at home. I was ao stressed, even with my mom around. Baby blues were real for me :p I kept thinking how I could possibly survive taking care of a baby, a husband, and myself without any help from mama? It seemed impossible. Mama was supposed to help me for 3 months, but then suddenly something happened.

In end of July 2011, my maternal grandma's (was 99 yo then!) health started to drop. My mom had to go back to Surabaya to take care of her. So we quickly bought her a ticket home, and by August 1st, when lil c: wasn't even 2 months old, I finally had to face the reality. Mama went home and now, the hard reality began. I literally cried every day for 2 weeks. I was hopeless, clueless, lonely, and exhausted. In addition, there was this growth spurt that made lil c: became even more cranky, that I felt I didn't and couldn't understand her at all! But I really had to learn to survive. At some point, sooner or later, mama would go home anyway. So God started to train me, the hard way, since then. The training to become a stay at home was never easy. Lots of tears, for sure. But as days went by, God gave me the strength, and most importantly, the joy to do it all. I began to be able to manage my time for the chores, and to learn cooking and even baking. I started to get my sanity back and things became make sense again. It was a hard decision to be a stay at home mum, but I wouldn't change it for a thing :)

And little did I know, that God had planned this all to prepare me for what to come. Yes, He prepared me for 1.5 years, before finally in April 2013, we came to London. London!! Who would've thought?!
All the trainings came handy. While eating out is expensive, I've been used to cook everyday before coming here so I can handle that. Occasionally when I am not feeling well, hubby helped with the cooking, or we simply eat out. Once in a while is still fine :) While it's impossible to get help from others (family is far away, and we can't afford hiring a helper), so far we manage to do the chores our own, and hubby has been really helpful. For this, God took 1.5 years to train us. And His training is still currently in progress. We believe that whatever He is doing with us now, it's a training for whatever He has prepared for us in the future :)

Oh Lord, You have shown us Your great mercy and Your perfect plan in every step of my life. This is only a small part of what You've perfectly planned for me. I believe that every single day in my life falls into Your perfect plan. Help me to remember this and to trust You when things get uncertain or rocky. Let all my life glorify, honor, and praise You always. Thank You for everything, Lord..



- ming -
amazed by His perfect plan

Oct. 20th, 2014

A joyous day

My joy overflows.
My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude.
Oh we give thanks to You, o God.
We praise You for Your wondrous works.
For the endless blessings You've poured on us.
For the protection You've given us.
For the peace You've put in our hearts and minds.

All honor and glory are Yours.
Forever and always.



- ming -
grateful and blessed
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