Friday, 30 January 2015

She has replayed it all in her mind almost a hundred times now. 
Some scenes come back vividly, others not so. 
She holds on to whatever she can - the way their hands brushed, their shoulders met, the way she caught him staring at her while she prayed, the way they quietly, secretly held each other's gaze. 

I've replayed it all many many times. 
And each time, I am surprised again at how much I love you. 

Thursday, 29 January 2015

What marriage is, and what it is meant to reflect.


Reads

I think many of us ladies have grown accustomed to being independent and strong, but I certainly can't deny that I do wish that someone would do these things for me at times.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

So...the weekend away was GREAT, as expected. Everyone was so united, and we really enjoyed His presence throughout the retreat. The worship sessions were so amazing that I felt myself thanking God over and over for His mercies in bringing such a diverse group of people together with one purpose : to worship His holy name. When we worship with such intensity, not only is His name lifted high, but we are also opening our lives to Him to use us to reach out to others. I am so amazed at how much He has done in Bread of Life in the short amount of time since I joined the church. And I truly believe that He is going to do much more this year, and our group of young adults will be stronger than ever before, standing up for His glory and purposes.

On the second night there, as I went out in the dark to throw out the rubbish, I looked up at the sky and saw stars - more than I have ever seen before. It was so, so beautiful. I couldn't stop looking! I really love looking at the stars, and I really love laying down next to someone I love and admiring the beauty of His works.

I went back inside and got a few of the others(Sarah, Rachel, Jason, DanFan) to join me star-gazing, and Sarah pointed out some star groups so we knew a bit more of what we were looking at. The sweetest part of the whole night for me was when we started story-telling, each of us adding a few words to the story, which ended up being about a pig with wings, who couldn't fly because he was overweight. SHO CUTE. And we also played the laughing game, which was so funny!

Back to work today, but I haven't done very much today because there isn't much to do.


Friday, 23 January 2015

Australia Day weekend

This week has gone by so quickly. The weather has been very pleasant all week, and the nights have been filled with spending time with family, and especially little darling Mia. She definitely recognizes me now, and gives me a heart-melting smile when she sees me. I'll really miss her while I'm away.

The Magnify group (our group of youth and young adults) will be heading down to Tootgarook, which is between Rosebud and Rye, after work today. It's going to be my second retreat with the Bread of Life group, and I'm really looking forward to it.

I still remember the last retreat at Phillip Island, where I kept feeling like I couldn't focus, and the more frustrated I got, the less I focused. It turned out that months later when I looked back, that time I spent with God at the retreat was where everything else started. I remember having quiet periods of time when we were meant to just sit and listen, but I was actually having conversations with Him; not just pouring out my frustrations anymore, but really asking Him to show me His will for my life, and honestly telling Him that I might not hear very well, so please speak to me clearly. And that whatever it is He has in plan for me, I will try my very very best to honor His will. I told Him that there will be times when I would be afraid, but I asked Him for courage. I told Him that sometimes I would be weak and tempted to give up, but I asked Him for strength and abundance of faith.

That retreat was where I decided to do my TESOL course, and I had no idea what the next step would be after that. It was also where I learned to speak to Him and to really really seek His heart. And that was the most precious lesson of all. I might not have learned very much in terms of biblical history during the retreat, but I learned how to look for His promises found in His word and to trust them.

How much has changed since then. Only about 7 months ago. My life has changed, my approach to Him has changed, I see things more clearly, I learned to be wiser based on His holiness, and I learned that some situations just require complete surrender.

I'm really looking forward to what He has in store for me this long weekend.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

The connection between a mother and child is such a beautiful thing.

My little niece is back from Japan, and oh how she has grown! She's such a bundle of joy. She has always, understandably, been close to her mother. And even now, she would only allow anyone else to hold her if her mother was within her sight.

Just last night, we were all sitting around her on the floor chatting, and she was so happy to play and giggle because she knew her mother was just behind her. The moment Sayo stood up quietly to go to her room to get something, Mia immediately sensed it, and turned around. Seeing her mother had left, you could just read her sadness on her face; before she started sobbing.

I'm sure she will allow her mother to leave her side for some time as she grows up, but the bond between a mother and a child is so strong, and so natural.

It is terribly sad when children lose their mothers at a young age. It is even worse when they are rejected by their mothers, or abandoned, when the only people they trust at that age are their mothers.

That is why I love being with children who have had to go through such situations. When they hug me, I can sense how much they need someone to love them, to protect them. And just for a moment, I am able to be that person for them.

Friday, 16 January 2015

I fall in love with people's hearts.
I love people who are kind. Those who do stuff for others without hesitating. Who go out of their way to help others. Who sacrifice their time for some who might not even realise just how much they are sacrificing, or even show any appreciation. Those who love deeply, to the point where they could get hurt easily.
Whenever I find someone like that, I just love them. Not necessarily in a romantic way, but I just love them and hope that they meet people in their lives who would appreciate them for the wonderful people whom they are. I would want to protect them from those who would hurt them, because I know people can be mean. Mostly I don't want them to get hurt because I know that they would put up their fences to protect their hearts once they have been hurt. But the most beautiful part of them is their soft, gentle and kind hearts - loving others without withholding anything.

Monday, 12 January 2015

The past weekend has been so magical!! I was so busy Friday and Saturday. 

The cupcakes

The initial plan was to relax on Friday night after work, but I somehow felt I should start the baking process. And am I glad I did! I thought I would be alright making all the cupcake dough in one batch, but it almost ended up being a disaster! Also, I was using new baking cups which Rachel (the beautiful bride) gave me, and I didn't know how long to bake them for. Anyway, I managed it in the end, and I did proper icing decoration for the first time on Saturday morning! 

I'm so so glad that Rachel approached me to make some cupcakes, and even though I didn't end up making very many, I enjoyed every minute of the process. I realized that consistent with my character, I often focused more on making/baking stuff which tasted good, more than on the appearance of it. Knowing that these cupcakes were for a wedding gave me that extra push to learn how to decorate, and also to actually taste and alter the recipes the way I like them. There's just something about the calm and focused process of decorating that felt really really good. And of course, looking at the final product, feels oh so good. 

Baking with music to sing along to - the best!

Does anyone else feel really happy looking at butter and eggs?
My favourite Babushka apron


Makeup, Hair & Dress
After the cupcakes were decorated, it was then my turn to be made up. Hair and makeup were done by looking at tutorials online. I have much to improve on, but again, I enjoyed the whole process of trying something new. I believe this year will be filled with many more new experiences, so I'd better enjoy it!



The wedding. 

Oh the wedding. Oh my. I was quite excited about the long drive to the venue alone - I've always loved long drives alone. And the journey was so enjoyable. I'd never been down that direction before, and I couldn't believe how scenic it was! I wished I could stop the car to snap some pictures but there wasn't anywhere to stop by the side of the road. It was so relaxing to wind down the windows, blast the music, and just sing along while driving. 

Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures during the ceremony, as the lovely couple requested us to be in the moment, instead of getting busy snapping away. And boy was I in the moment. I could hardly hold back my tears when Rachel said her vows. I don't think I've ever heard such heartfelt vows. The part where she said "I promise I will never leave this marriage. There might be times when I would want to, but I promise I never will.". 

A bit of a back story. My parents got divorced when I was 7. Even before the papers were signed, the family never really felt complete. And I think because of that, one of my main aims in life is to have a loving family of my own. I promised myself that I would rather be single than to marry someone who isn't right for me, because I knew I would never ever leave the marriage. And I want someone who would be happy to say the same. 

So Rachel, if you are reading this, thank you for reminding me what marriage is about. A true reflection of Christ and the church, where He never leaves us, no matter how we rebel against Him at times. 


Friday, 9 January 2015

Cosy Friday

Listening to this playlist while working, from one of my favourite movies of all time, The Holiday. I'm feeling cosy today, as it's the first cool day in Melbourne after 2 weeks of HOT weather.
By the way, I adore my new seating in the office, where I have my own tiny corner, to focus and do my stuff. Or some other things at times, haha.

Only 5 hours to the weekend, and tonight I can relax, before a whole day of baking and icing tomorrow, for Rachel & Jason's wedding!! I'm so excited, and I know it's going to be beautiful, especially because it'll be outdoors. Pictures to come!

For more pictures from my favourite scenes in the movie: here.

Get it, and watch it. I hope you'll love it as much as I do :)

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Valid.

Most of my friends didn't believe me when I told them that I'm a shy person, and understandably, because I relax around people/places/culture I am familiar with. However, since moving to Australia, I found myself wrestling between who I really am, and fitting in to the culture here. The people here are amazing and very nice generally, but all cultures are different. I thought it might not be a problem anymore, having lived in various countries and learning the local culture. But something I learned in my TESOL course is that every culture is different, and we all still need to learn to adapt again, each and every time we go some place new.

I want to be myself, speak out and voice my opinions. Without being afraid of people labeling me as 'different'. Just as I was struggling last night, I prayed and started reading my Bible plan before going to bed. The verses I read were just simply as if God was in the room sitting next to  me and talking to me, comforting me. Which He probably was. :)

Then this morning, I saw this article.

"Self-approval comes out of self-acceptance, which rises out of the recognition that we are, in fact, enough, just as we are. With that recognition, we can free ourselves from fear; we no longer need to look outside for a validation that, on the inside is self-evident."

I want to stop looking outside for validation. Because I accept myself.