Take a breather

Hello. It’s been two months, this is a new record. It seems like I have been busy going through life. Half the year have passed, I’ve gotten older with many thoughts along the way and yet less had been recorded. As I journey on the train I can feel how fast paced the life in this city is. The queue before entering the train, the sound of the shoes ‘ticking’. Such haste, such busyness. On the train, people stare at the phones, some already begun their day’s work. Some need to read, in order not to be left behind by the pace of life. Some play their mobile game, watch the videos they love, because this is a time of enjoyment before everything starts. As I look back in the past few months and even the past few days, I felt perhaps I am not made for this pace of life, or am I just weak? Nah. Sometimes it’s not that one is weak but the city is simply too stressful. I now understand why people would want to migrate and seek a life elsewhere, start anew. It is pretty tempting to me haha. Anyway I already felt I won’t be staying here for long. What is long? I don’t know. I had various aspirations and desires in the past few years and I am seeing people around me fulfilling it. It’s sad that I could have done something about it and yet I didn’t. It seems like I have not achieved anything at all. So what are the past 10 years for? I believe that it is a preparation for what is about the come, the life that I really desire and being able to do the things I want to do. So people would ask, “what do you want to do??” Pretty much in doubt that a boring person like me would have desires. Well, if I can I would take a year off just to learn the things I want to learn- music, cooking etc. Also to exercise, travel and write. Can I do that? The demands of life doesn’t seem to allow it. Where do I get the money? I also don’t wish to communicate much with people, leave the chats and just enjoy what I do. Is that possible too?

Sometimes I think of leaving everyone without saying a word and move on to the life I desire. Then again, is that what You desire of me? Travelling to work again after a night of OT makes me feel really tired. Yet, I feel happy because I bought breakfast that I like. Ha. So what is this? I am just thinking ahead of what the next stage of my life can be like. I know that wherever I am at now is temporary. Knowing this, I guess I have the right to dream, to hope?

My body is tired but my soul isn’t yet. Now, let me take a breather and enjoy this train ride.

Advertisements

Hiding

Hi it’s been awhile. Today’s post is really some of my thoughts on escape, running away etc.

There are so many ways we can connect today yet these methods also allow us to escape, cover up, go into hiding. How? Don’t post anything, don’t reply text, or just leaving a line to say “I’m leaving”. No need for face to face interaction, no need to be accountable because whether I do or not, “so what?”. It seems more alright to leave everything behind without being accountable. On the surface level, we see it as irresponsible but the underlying root is Shame.

Which reminds me of

Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
Genesis 3:9‭-‬12 NLT

We feel shame, we hide, then when asked about this, we push it to others. Sometimes, we put the blame on the one who was meant to help us. Have I been in this? Yes, many times. Now that I witness how others hide and yet cannot be fully hidden, I realized how much shame can do and hinder us. It makes us weak, it makes us beat ourselves up. Initially, I could not fully comprehend it. How can one not take responsibility? It is not as easy as it seems. How can responsibility be on my mind in times of shame? It is grace. Few days ago He repeated to me “My grace is sufficient”. Probably countless number of times in my life. Have I not understood how much I lived in His grace? Not fully. This time, the emphasis was on the word “sufficient”. What does sufficient mean?

Enough to bring it into completion
Enough to turn things around
Enough to keep going

I understand that this season is the season of preparation for the next. It feels like it is just me and You. But I believe. I believe. I believe.

青年如何保持純潔呢? 就是要遵守你的話。 我全心全意地尋求你, 求你不要讓我偏離你的命令。
詩篇 119:9‭-‬10

Keep my heart right, in the midst of all these.

At the end of this post, it seems like I have deviated from the topic. Haha. I thought it was just my thoughts about others but it is also Your message for me. Don’t run, don’t hide, be ready to embrace what is about to come.

Time Out

Have been off ig and fb the past two weeks. Honestly, I feel that I would be back to it very soon, maybe after I type these. Haha. I did not set any end date for this. I just dont want to go back to catching up on people’s life while wasting minutes of my own. Then there’s another argument that it is the place where you get updated on what people are going through and it would help in your relationship with the person? Really?

I am glad to spend the past two sundays just having some alone time. I don’t have to talk to anyone, I just do what I wish, watch videos that I want. Cleared some of my stuff, caught up on my short daily records, bible reading etc. I need all of these so much.

看到身旁的人對於人生的期許,嫉妒及埋怨,我更清楚自己所做的決定。只有跟隨祢,我才能活出最精彩的人生。也許我的時間表和祢的不一樣,我知道祢的安排永遠超越我所求所想。

I’m not getting better

Hi, it’s been awhile again. I guess this is becomingly a monthly thing. If you look at my title it seems like I’m struck with some disease. For the past months I have been struggling with myself, the line between being myself completely and being “good”, doing the right things. What are the right things to do, right things to say? Im still struggling. There are so many thoughts about the future and I’m not sure which is “right”. I also struggled to be disciplined, I am not living in the word that dropped in my heart for this year. In fact, I’m getting worse. I know this is a seasonal, the struggle is temporary. As I search deep in my heart I felt this desparation, a desparation for breakthrough, a desparation to walk in His will. This desparation for change is not in sync with my outward actions. Or am I simply too ambitious? There’s too many things I want to do and yet not all of them I need to do. As I typed this I felt Him telling me.. “it is all very simple”.

Then my mind start to piece the different words that were spoken to me.
“royalty”
“do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of mind”
“old things have passed, all things have become new”
“unforced rhythm of grace”
“let Your will be done”
“we can make plans but God’s way prevails”

Even though it seems complicated piecing all of these together, I felt that it is actually very simple. I dont have to complicate things, I dont have to conform, I dont have to strive.

Last week I had another moment of desparation. I strummed the guitar hoping to get something out of the songs that I was playing, but I was striving. It was when I stopped and strummed only one chord (C), He said, “this is the first chord you learnt how to play” I broke down and cried. I felt so much desparation in my heart to hold on to His presence and hold on to that encounter. To be honest, tears dont come by as easily these days so I knew it was something, it was what I had been searching for in my heart. I found it and I didnt want to let go. Yet the truth is simple, “I am with you always”. Dont conform, dont complicate, dont strive.

Im not getting better, yet it does not make God love me less. So much is in the future which I do not see but I am choosing to believe. To my friends that might have sensed some change in me, my apologies. My attitude has changed, my words have changed in its tone. It is a self I do not wish to embrace but I know it came because I have entered into a season of raw-ness. Coming to know myself completely and learning to embrace this weak and imperfect me. I don’t like me but I will learn to love me because You love me. It is because I am me that grace prevails and helps me to overcome every single time.

Meanwhile, would you bear with me?

130219

Hello, it’s (almost halfway) February. A month passed and still many revelations coming in. There is this realization of how much of a mess I am. It sounds serious but I mean it. I can be manipulative, timid and always wanting to run away. At times, also self-righteous, justifying myself of my weaknesses. As these parts of me became clear to myself, I wondered, why am I still here? I should just stop everything and find the good parts of myself again. Then again as I have this thought, another came, “am I running away again?”. It is complicated, how God has made us, yet He understands our complexity as the creator. I asked Him, “why? How do I continue from here?”

He said, “My grace and mercy are new everyday.”

Why? Why must I live on grace and mercy? Why can’t I be stronger than this? What made me worthy of the word “royalty”?

I have been a wanderer. I can’t stay long in a place. I can’t take people who wishes to control my actions, sometimes even if it is out of love. Yet, I desire a constant. I sense huge change and major decision to be made as I come to the end of this year. Another…change…

But I know You still knows best, You are good.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 MSG

I will walk with You and work with You. Show me the unforced rhythms of grace.

On a side note, I experienced this skin infection recently which really scared me. It was a wake up call for me, to take good care of my health, body, soul and spirit. I really need to be disciplined this year.

For a start, under “soul”, I am starting a 30-day guitar challenge, where I will go through the guitar lessons on udemy for 30 days. One of the regrets in my life is not learning music consistently. But God has been telling me that I still have time and still able to -cues video of old grandma learning guitar-

Hello 2019

I know, I don’t have a 2018 post and seems pretty late to have one. I think I have expressed most of my thoughts about the year in the last few posts of 2018.

17 days into 2019, what has been ringing in my head is the word “crown”.

You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance.
Psalms 65:11 NKJV

In the last quarter of 2018, I have been told of my value in His kingdom. First, it was me beautifully dressed before the Lord, then another word given to me was “Royalty”. How would you imagine me when you put these two together? I can’t imagine myself as that. And now, “Crown” kept appearing in my mind (partly because of church and the verse above). I said, “I don’t deserve this.” He said, “the crown is not just your value, but your identity”. My identity is set, it cannot be changed. I am very much valued and have authority. I am someone close to the King and He has a plan for me. In the kingdoms of the world, the plan for an heir might be restricting but in the kingdom of God, it is one of freedom. I want to trust in that.

You, out there, may think I am mad, living a life like this. I am not surprised, sometimes I do think that way too. I can’t see the full picture of everything yet but I know it will be good. I will keep writing these, hopefully one day it will make a difference to some of you out there.

“Crown”, however, is not my word of the year, “Discipline” is. For the first 17 days, I think I am doing rather well, at least better than the year before. As I look at the coming two weeks, it is going to be really really packed and busy but I am also looking forward to it. May I continue to be disciplined, in recording, in setting aside time daily for God.

想做的事情好多,時間卻好像不太夠。
但好像是我不懂得控制時間。

Go Anywhr

Like what Zach from the try guys would say, this post is NOT sponsored..but it could be.

Wendy and I planned to go for a year-end trip since the start of this year. Initially, we did have a place in mind and wanted to check all the information on it. In the midst of researching about the place, Wendy stumbled upon anywhr.co.
It is a website that curates surprise trips for you based on your preferences. After some discussion we decided to go ahead and give it a try. Some of my friends didn’t think that I am the kind of person that would go for such surprise trips. Hmmm I guess I left an impression of being rather serious and rigid? Actually I think when it comes to this, I can be more spontaneous than Wendy (unlike popular opinion). That said, there are indeed certain things I can’t be spontaneous about. Anyway..

First up, the type of trip. [At this point, I am aware that more customization options has been added- head over to their website to have a look ]

Adventure/Experience/Getaway/Wildcard
Wendy wanted Adventure while I wanted Getaway haha so in the end we opted for Wildcard to see where it would bring us to.

Next, we both filled up a preferences form and received an email 3 working days later. From the timing of the email, I can tell that Anywhr team works really hard to churn it out on time for the travellers- thank you! The travelogue and details of the trip was delivered one week before the trip. We decided to only open at the airport. As we shared with our friends, there were many guesses as to where we were going but they were all wrong! Haha.

IMG-20181228-WA0004

Day 1
We reached the airport around 5am and opened the envelope there (yes we resisted). We had no idea about the place and have not heard of it which made everything really exciting. There were some typo in the travelogue but it was fine, I guess the team could be rushing it out.

Another thing was also discovered- we did not get the bus ticket for transfer (someone else’s flight information was placed in the envelop instead). The flight arrived 20min earlier but I had to do visa on arrival and the queue was really long. I think I spent about an hour there. Without the early arrival of the plane, we might have missed the bus. Thank God! And yes back to the bus, I dm-ed anywhr rather last minute but they responded nevertheless and managed to whatsapp me the correct bus details within minutes! (Thank you Summer!)

The bus (or coach) was really spacious and very comfortable. It was a comfortable journey of 4 hours to destination X. We transfered to a van at the bus station and we managed to see some of the places around along the way. This added/changed some of the itinerary that we had in mind.

We arrived at our accomodation- a guesthouse in the afternoon and we were greeted by the friendly french lady at the reception. Our room was indeed lovely, simple with nice decorations.

20181228_192126

First up, time for a meal. We stayed on a street with many cafes/restaurants/bars, massage parlour and a 7-11. We went to a nearby restaurant and ordered food. It was a pretty good first meal as we were really hungry. We didn’t managed to get food/snacks because I spent too much time getting the visa on arrival and it just slipped our mind. Right after this, we walked to the 7-11 to stock up some food & drinks for the next few days.

We then decided to visit a night market in the evening- one which we saw while the van drove past (also pretty famous). We more or less went by spontaneous decisions throughout the trip. We arrived rather early where there were not many people in the place yet. The stalls (apologies, did not take picture as I wanted to just enjoy the walk in the area). Bought some souvenirs for our family members and ourselves before going for dinner.
A variety of food were sold in the food stalls and we were rather spoilt for choices.

IMG-20181228-WA0016
Overall, a great night and we returned to the guesthouse.

Day 2
We wanted to go to this cafe that was walked past for breakfast but when we arrived, it was not opened yet so we went on to another nearby. Nice ambience and good coffee to start off our day.

20181229_081325

The highlight of the day was a trek that started with 1hr taxi ride. Felt that we probably paid more than we should have but oh well I guess it was a learning point to always double check the price before getting on the taxi. Nevertheless, it was a nice windy ride and to and fro. The trek was at a national park where we had to first pay the entrance fee before proceeding. We could choose to walk all the way or we could take a boat nearer to the destination and start the hike from there. We opted for the hiking option but soon decided that we should take the boat ride when returning haha. There were two parts to this hike, hike to the end of island (boat ride as alternative) then another hike to the actual destination. Overall, it was not easy as most of it were upward steps. The whole journey took about 2 hours. Coming down was a lot easier and the boat ride was also quite an experience.

20181229_105628

IMG-20181230-WA0027

20181229_130430

I had a cut when I slipped and fell during the trek but still I felt good 🙂
All part of an adventure isn’t it?

The same drive drove us back to the area we were staying and we stopped at a shopping mall to have lunch. We ate at a food court equivalent and it was pretty good (had some local cuisine).

Next we went to another place which we saw along the streets the day before but only to discover it was not as nice as we thought.

20181229_162518

Walked to a night market nearby, this was much smaller scale than the night before. Had some drinks before finding ourselves walk into a Coles-equivalent. There is something therapeutic about walking in the supermarket, seeing all the different types of items on the shelves.

Ended the day early as we planned to catch sunrise the next day.

Day 3
Up early to walk to the beach and catch the sunrise (one of the mission in the travelogue). The beach was about 15 minutes from the guesthouse. The walk was really comfortable under the breezy weather. Tide happened to be low so we could walk in the intertidal zone. There were many sand bubbles in the sand 🙂

Sunrise was supposed to happen around 6.40 but it did not, due to the cloud cover. So yes unfortuntely we did not really catch the sunrise but here is what we had:20181230_071530

Well, we tried. We enjoyed the walk on the beach nevertheless.

For breakfast, we managed to go to the cafe that we wanted to go to the day before.

20181230_091140

There were many cafes on the street where our guesthouse is located. They are cozy and the shop owners/barista were really friendly. We could possibly stay there the whole day if we wanted to.

It was a rather chill day where we took a walk around noon to the train station. It was nice just to walk and explore the place around us.

20181230_131848

I have to say that the weather has been very good every day that were there. We stayed in the guesthouse in the afternoon where I managed to finish a book. 🙂 another goal of the trip fulfilled- to take time to read.

In the evening we decided to visit this night market nearby the guesthouse to have dinner. Definitely much smaller scale than the famous night markets but it felt really good to be able to sit and chill, especially when it was not very crowded. The food was good and there was live music.

20181230_181432

This pretty much sums up our trip. Day 4 was mainly travelling and returning to Singapore. The travel to the airport as similar to the way we traveled on the first day. However, the instruction given to us in the travelogue was not really accurate. I did overhear the staff at the guesthouse that it was a “new bus station” so we decided to go to the place as she mentioned and it turns out to be correct 🙂 we feedback this to Anywhr team and they were open and willing to accept the feedback. Is this something negative? Well, not really. I guess this is what travelling involves- challenges, problems and learning to solve these problems.

Thank you Anywhr team for sending us to destination X. We explored, we had fun and gained a little more knowledge than we did before.

Some may say, “Why do you need to pay more for someone else to plan for you?” Well, we can definitely plan it with a smaller budget on our own but I guess it is also the experience that we would not be able to find elsewhere. The same package can still result in a different experience of the travelers. One may choose to complete all the missions, one may not. One may have walked to explore like us while others might have taken the train. Anywhr may have curated the travelogues, decided on the flight and accommodation, but it you that curate your own experiences. Is there a best option? I guess not. Travelling is all about trials and errors, sometimes it’s good, sometimes not so but all turns out to be your experience. Every trip is unique because you make it so. 🙂