Sunday, January 31, 2010
There's been a lot of discussion about staying faithful in a marriage, and recently Pastor said that increasing number of married couples are not able to pass the 3-5 year mark. He referred to a well-known couple in our midst where one party was proven unfaithful and it resulted in a divorce. As a celebrity couple, definitely all eyes are on the remaining person. Will he suffer depression? He had a bout, of 6 months which I think is normal for anyone in that situation. Rumours abound. Some say the lady's lover is from The Church. Some say she has more than 1 lover! True or not, what causes anyone to be led astray, according to Pastor, is the lack of a firm foundation and intimate walk with God. TheBoyfriend and I were discussing this matter because he knows the lady and I, the husband. Since it's so easy for leaders to fall, and even some pastors... what more mere members like us? For one, I sympathize being the husband. All his memories, not just the 3-5 years but much more, are entwined with her. Removing photo evidence of their being together is probably like swiping off almost all data in his memory bank. Sure, he is still youngish, but that's not the point. Being a leader, you have many time constraints too. Take my friends in the youth ministry. They have to serve in committees, chair prayer meetings, attend leadership meetings, general meetings, meetings with pastor, meetings with members, core group meetings and not forgetting their work and social life. It's no wonder most of them are single or break up. Sure, the godly message that would be told us is that God will give us the strength to do this and more... but when you're so exhausted and hardly any time for your family, it does not really put you in a romantic mood. I've been there, done that, and I can say there is really no mood... in fact, I was thankful for not having to juggle a relationship in the midst of all that jazz. I'm not saying we shouldn't be leaders but we have to see everything as it really is. There are rewards to serving faithfully for sure.
For this couple, a fault could be placed on this area perhaps. What's the next step for someone who has lost all his past happy memories, to be replaced with sad ones... maybe it's to build faith in something that will last. Life is tough... but looking at our asian counterparts, we can be happy in the fact that we are so much more blessed than them.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I'm back to my pre-boyfriend weight now, just half a kg less and I can be back to my... secondary school days' weight! Being at home I just eat lesser - since I wake up later, I'm awake for lesser hours, and hence, eating lesser. I do eat more junk, like tao kae noi, ruffles, sinful choc biscuits, etc... but lesser on the whole. Being in a new relationship, I guess we will tend to eat out more at restaurants, nice restaurants with nice food. And tend to want to share some sides which adds up in the waistline and on the bill. Because he doesn't have a sweet tooth and I have a huge one, we tend to share cakes and I'm eating 70% of it... gah. So I've put on about 2.5 kg. Half of it from Bangkok and 1 kg-ish from Melaka christmas weekend. It sounds like it isn't much, but think about it: If I, or any woman, puts on 2 kg each year, 10 years later, that would be an aunty-ish 20 kg. So no thanks for me. I'm going to stay as stick thin as possible. Or at least maintaining my weight. It's not good for weight to fluctuate up and down either. Ok, back to books...
Ortberg is my all time fave author in Christendom authorship, I just wonder why not many bookstores stock his stuff. They only have one or two of his popular ones. I spied this and bought it... Kie wanted to buy it for me for christmas but I couldn't remember the name of the last of his books which I haven't actually read. It's smart, witty, and actually brings you closer to God, to thinking about God, which... sadly not all christendom books do.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
A tired looking me holding up the completed works of art. I like the yellow sequin flowers...
Framed up the card from TheBoyfriend, rearranged stuff under the tree of accessories. Yes, I have black photoframes from Ikea lying around.
And knowing that one of our mates was feeling in the doldrums, I was recruited along to make up a hamper of goodies that we knew would bless her heart. At that instance, I truly felt that we were not just friends, but - family. Truly, sisters in Christ. Ones you know you can share anything and it will be kept confidential and not blabbed out to the other party maliciously. Ones you knowwho have your best interest in mind, and asking 'how's your day' not for the sake of killing time but really, wanting to know.
After choosing the goodies, I wanted to pay for my share, but one sister just waived it off, knowing I'm currently jobless. I felt super touched at that gesture. Though it may be a small sum and I still can afford it, this act is truly a kind and sincere act from the heart. I cherish it! It saddens and astounds (or should the cynical me expect it?) that some people have spread false demeaning words about her.
Maybe it's a matter of opinion, surely, everyone is entitled to their opinion about other people... Myself included, I tend to dislike strongly some characters who rub me the wrong way, and don't mind telling others exactly what I think, too, in a sense I pride myself for being blase and unhypocritical... But the word that she was called, 'desperate', is honestly, mean, and uncalled for, and to probe, there is no supporting evidence to support this name-calling. Is there anything in her actions that warrant such an insinuation? From a neutral perspective, outsider point of view, I would say none of her actions describe that in the least.
We have our speculations on the perpetrator, and despite what may be her/his best intentions (I really cannot think of any), insulting someone does not do him/her any favors with anyone. Plus, even if what you say was supposed to be treated in strictest confidence, too bad, it's already out... So, it's either the case of the pot calling the kettle black(she is more desperate!!!), the person has some selfish agenda(tearing down people's reputation), or is just a tiresome-nature kind of person. Whatever the case, I do not want to speculate further. Hopefully this person will change her/his tune and his heart as well.
My favor tends to smile on those 'siwun' looking guys, wearing specs, mostly engineers somehow, clean cut and no loud colors, dependable guys. In fact, many of them are my lifetime friends and buddies. I tend to appreciate their straightforward view on life and their kind heart as a friend. But not all 'siwun' guys can be trusted.
I mentioned about 2 years back, one ex-auditor from XXXX co, whom I got acquainted as a biz contact, through a church friend. Not knowing him well, (he was about to marry her ex-classmate and cellmate) she thought the introduction would be beneficial for me. But I was taken for a ride, in a sense - he leveraged on my contacts, I found a contract staff for him, my friend, to work, and he did not pay her, eventually delaying a month's payment by 3 weeks'. This may be commonplace you might think in the biz world. I came to know of other people almost being cheated by him, or at the very least being made use of. His modus operandi: depending on his churchy links to link people to him, and his 'siwun' 'nature' to make people want to help him.
And this guy is now a leader in The Church, shocking isn't it? I can tell of more than one instance that some guys with skeletons in their closets or even psychological problems are made leaders, I just wonder how far they can go. Another 'siwun' guy in our midst, recently set tongues wagging with his insistence of asking a young girl out for dinners and communicating with her almost everyday. This might be hearsay and knowing the guy, it baffles me how he can do this, having just gotten attached to another 'siwun' girl. Some guys need to share their hearts with young girls? I can say that thankfully on the young girl's part, she is naturally hesitant and so far, have not gone out with him. BUT... for the guy's character, what light does it cast on him? These sms-es have made her feel harassed enough to share with one friend, thereby causing others to have a bad opinion of him. Does his girlfriend know? And... sorry to be skeptical, but I'm sure, it has happened or will happen to more than one girl. Knowing guys' nature all too well.
So hearing about these instances in the last few days, I really think that we should not think the best of everyone and share your secrets with them, getting labelled as 'desperate', or worse. And for girls who have been cheated or made use of by 'siwun' guys, hope you don't marry one such fellow... I'm glad that TheBoyfriend does not have the tendency to call young girls out for a chat, I should know, I've been meeting him every day... ... =)
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
To read, when one does so of one's own free will, is to make a volitional statement, to cast a vote, it is to posit an elsewhere and set off toward it. And like any traveling, reading is at once a movement and a comment of sorts about the place one has left. To open a book voluntarily is at some level to remark the insufficiency either of one's life or of one's orientation toward it.
- Sven Birkerts.
I've been praying lots more now, perhaps when our busy life becomes a simpler life, we have more time to pray. Maybe simplicity is good. I find that when I'm with myself I'm not a worrywart, or a busy-bee person. I'm just someone who lives in the present and enjoys the moment and enjoy my own company, perhaps far too much. I've allocated at least an hour to cleaning out my cupboards, I seem to have numerous cupboards... and folding clothes. I've achieved a bagful more of clothes (very 'home clothes') I will throw away/recycle, after going through my wardrobe again. And surprisingly, I feel the peace of God. Despite incessant worries that my bank account is going to dry up if I am jobless for more than a few months, and what if I don't get my dream job... I feel the peace. It's in the little things I am aware of, that I have experienced this year.
On the first day of the year, at about 530ish to 6 am, TheBoyfriend and I were travelling home from a couples games night... his car battery went flat. In short, we couldn't possibly find anyone to help tow at that unearthly hour plus we HAD to get out of my residence's narrow carpark (but it was impossible to push it all the way out to the main road, those who have been to my carpark would know.) While getting quite irate at standing there and not knowing what to do, I suddenly had the idea of getting into the car and praying like a religious nut, 'laying hands on the dashboard' and hoping by some miracle the car would sputter to life. So we did that. And turned the key, hoping to hear the engine roar instead of a dying man's cough, which the dead battery sounded like... and we heard... the dying man's cough. Sigh. We got out of the car only to be approached by, 2 men, DRESSED IN WHITE, asking if we needed help to restart and before we could nod, they took out the cables and drove their orange car nearer and voila! Problem solved. Now here I must say that in Singapore, not many people 1.are knowledgeable about how to restart a car battery using their own battery, and 2. possessing the cable needed. Even my dad's car would not have such a cable (that is why I did not wake him up.) So in short, God really provided us with what we needed at the right time too. The next day the car battery was replaced in the afternoon. We just felt... at that time that we were so blessed to really have this unique experience, so very blessed.
And then, last week, TheBoyfriend's Mom, all by herself (invited by her hospital's boss) went to church!
She looked happy and here is my vague translation of dinner table talk(being 'poor' in Mandarin I did not say a word), eating the famous chicken rice at Queenstown area...
Uncle James: So you went to church today? Your son's church?
TBF Mom: No, went to one in Jalan Besar, they have buses, etc...
Uncle James: You should go 'xi li' (baptize), Go 'xi li' la...
Uncle James went on to talk about some relative who baptized and the whole topic...ended up with him saying: Who knows (what may happen in the future), I might be an 'alleluia alleluia'!
Aunt Sally: You will, meh? Don't bluff. You got all those 'fo' (little buddha idols) hanging around.
Uncle James: Actually I am not the kind of devout believer, I have those because I felt it's nice to buy them, but I am not devout at all. So you never know one day.
Seems they are quite open to Christ.
She later said someone in the church gave her a Bible because she had a spare, and we all could see she was utterly touched by that gesture! Here I have to say that if you feel compelled to give someone a Bible, please do so, even if you feel the person won't read it, somehow, this will make the person feel very blessed and it's a small step pointing them towards Jesus.
And I am blessed because for this year 2010, I believe too God will bless my career. It may take me 5 more years or so to reach where I'd ideally like to be, but throughout God will lead me through.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Am getting a bit panicky. Especially since the job I so want seems so close but seems that the door might be shutting on it. Sure there are other opportunities around. But I want this so much, for once, a job that I feel is designed, for me. I like EVERYTHING about the job scope and I can do well in the everything which I like... which is more than what I can say for other jobs. Before finding this job I prayed that if it's for me, let the door be open. So there were open doors, first interview, and second interview (a month later! Isn't it long?) and now I am dying with the excruciating wait. I've prayed and called everyone to pray. I've gotten a bit of a corporate wardrobe (2 pants 4 skirts 1 coat and some blouses)...Dear God!
Watched 'Invictus' with TheBoyfriend. A must-watch. Clint Eastwood shows has that luminous propensity to it that makes you laugh and cry, identify with the characters, all the characters in some way that makes them endear themselves to you, even the little black boy listening in to the police car's radio transmission. And while you watch this show you are faced with the questions you don't dare question yourself about, like a deep seated apartheid mentality.Of couse maybe we are born with the right skin tone, thankfully we are not 'darker', but are we discriminatory unjustifiably? I love the way the movie is being filmed and it's not easy to film sports scenes, trust me.
Reading 'Chasing Daylight' by Eugene O Kelly, he was the CEO (US) of KPMG when he had to step down, diagnosed with only 3 months to live. In the book he describes 'a perfect moment', the time you have with a friend, or saw something magnificent, and everything then was perfect. I hope to count such perfect moments in 2010. A beautiful sunset (or rise, if I can make it) that God created just for me. A landscape to view which you can only view by trekking for some hours or driving some hundred miles.
And I've started to enjoy the Perfect Moments.
-Playing couple game night : Rummytub and Blokus whiling away the first hours of the year. Also since we were at McDonald's, I was one of the first to buy the Doraemon 'rabbit' toy, which was later sold out during the week, which added increasingly to my glee.
-When TheBoyfriend gives me a massage : Unlike most guys, TheBoyfriend enjoys wearing couple tees, and giving massages and is actually quite good at it. And very willingly wants to serve me in this area, heh heh. He even bought a Bodyshop moisturiser for my pleasure, heh heh! I am very blessed indeed.
-I wanted to buy a pair of shoes, corporate shoes in black or brown, like a court shoe, but not so boring. And comfortable. You can imagine it's hard to find! I went to Naturalizer where the shoes are so comfy but rather ex ($150 and up) but I don't mind for a shoe I would wear almost everyday in a corporate setting. However, all the designs I liked did not have my size and I grudgingly walked out. Later, in that same shopping mall, in a shoe shop I would have never set foot in but somehow I did (Everbest), I found the perfect pair. And it was on 20% discount which made it about 1/3 the price of the former, AND the shop assisted affixed it with additional comfort pads for the sole, as the shoe was slightly large for me (it was their smallest size... are my feet really that small?!) It was a Perfect Moment when I spied and tried the shoe, and later walked out. I think the satisfaction beats buying 10 shoes you don't really love.
The author of the book also writes about unwinding relationships, friends he had to catch up with for one last time. And throughout the course of this 2010, I also want to catch more of the people I would like to spend time with, and make the reverse also true. Without meaning to sound mean, there are some people I hang out with (and you will agree with me on this) just because they are more proactive in meeting us, or they happen to live or work nearby. But if you think about it sincerely, they aren't the people you would most like to spend time with. (This ideology also applies to holidays or where we spend our weekends, the most often-gone place may not be the place we ideally want to spend time at).
And spending time with those means that we neglect to spend time with the ones we care about more. He writes that in the last decade of his work, he only found time to have weekday lunch with his wife.... TWICE. In the last decade. And he reminisces that if he had lived the way he did for the next decade, things would be exactly the same, until he found out that he had 3 months to live, and so his upcoming death changed his life. For me, I innerly lament that some people whom I'd love to meet more often, I meet seldom-ly in the last year. So, I'm going to make an effort this year.
It's a good book which we all should read before it gets too late - oh, and especially hard to find. Despite it being a NY bestseller, I think I only saw it at Pageone Vivocity.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
I'm in the midst of cleaning out my cupboards of which I seem to have numerous... and sorting out my stuff. The urgency of doing this is coupled with the fact that I need more space to store my new stuff, mostly buys from Bangkok and an array of toys, art and stationery I brought back from my office space (yes, no job = no money = more love from my honey). I've already packed one 'china bag' full of unwanted but still wearable clothes -Mom doesn't let me throw any clothes away, and now it's in TheBoyfriend's storeroom (from storeroom to storeroom...) awaiting new owners in the form of his lovely cousins or perhaps, it will languish there till the end of time.
I've found two belts (you shall see me wearing belts every day now), 3 scissors (I shall donate them to somewhere), books and more books I forgot I had read, old cards, old bags. Looking at your old things brings out a sense of nostalgia although, you have forgotten about them, and although I am, unlike my mother, rather vicious about throwing out things, a part of me wants to keep them for some reason I can't understand. I probably would not carry some of those bags again but it's just for some godforsaken sentimental reason that we can't throw them out. And I suspect, also the reason for some of my childhood clothes to be in a bag somewhere in my parents' room... ....
I've cleared out a drawer and three cupboards, I'm left with 8 more places to clear up/out. Hopefully I can get it done! It's quite exhausting...