On Second Thoughts

Believe me, this is the most difficult post to write. I have been typing, deleting, typing, deleting… and I am still here!

I have been thinking of stopping blogging altogether. Because I am running on empty.

Yesterday, I have my first batch of printed materials out for my church’s 40 Days of Purpose Campaign out. I am quite amazed by the result –

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I have the blog setup and updated now and then –

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Wesley 40DOP

I have also updated the Jubilee Celebrations blog at Wesley Golden Jubilee.

How could I have done all these when I am actually running on empty?

It’s the presence of the Lord, loved ones, friends and even friends in blogging world…

So, I am here now, after I am on a

On Second Thoughts…..

Yes, on second thoughts, why don’t I just let myself run on empty at the other “home” and close this temporarily? Meet you there! Fill my tank, please!

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Listen and Silent

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Rachel (right) and friend, Elspeth

I enjoyed a “plugged in” conversation of Rachel and her friend Daniel last night. Rachel goes to Daniel’s house once a week for tuition with other classmates. Sometimes, the group of friends make cookies or practice their choir songs at Daniel’s house. Mother is mother- someone who always wants to know what exactly is going on. Rachel assured mum that “nothing is going to happen between her and Daniel”.

Last night, I drove Daniel back home after their tuition at a new teacher’s place. It was quite a long journey. Just coming out from a meeting, I was too tired to say anything. I did not talk to Daniel, neither did I talk to Rachel.

In my silence, I really enjoyed their conversation. They talked superficial things, yet still very heartwarming. They talked little things, yet to me it seemed so profound.

After I dropped off Daniel, Rachel said, “Treating Daniel like a girlfriend, talking of anything is really good. Don’t you think he is a person who is easy to make friend with, mummy?”

I saw a different 17-year-old last night when I was silent.

I picked up from the Text Twist game on my palm that “Listen” and “silent” have the same letters. Perhaps that’s the clue that when you are silent, you are better able to listen!

(Read my other story on Text Twist here)

T-Shirts Speak

It was reported by BBC last year that a man spotted wearing a T-Shirt bearing an “offensive” slogan in a city centre has been warned he risks an 80 pounds fine if he is caught again (read it here)

The slogan on the garment read:
“Don’t piss me off! I am running out of place to hide the bodies.”

Are T-shirts an elements of speech? A friend of mine, Bobby, spotted this –

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For a while, I read this as “Ipod” only and thought what has my most-loved Ipod got to do with the person in the picture. It was only looking at it a few times that I realized I missed that extra “O”!

Spotted this one worn by one of my youths in my church! Give me some thoughts.

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Whether wearing it in private or public, I think when there’s respect for differences of others, you would not worn the wrong T-Shirt sending out wrong messages and offend others. Agree?

A Reading Holiday?

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Library Hotel

Rachel gave me a list of books on Sunday night to buy from KL where I would be on Monday! I did not have time to shop. MPH is just located in the same building of my hotel. After dropping my bag, before I went for meeting, I dropped by giving the list to one of the sweet little girls in the shop. She was nice to say she would find the books for me while I went to renew my MPH card. When I came back ten or twenty minutes later, I searched store-wide, but could not find the sweet little girl. I was told she went out for lunch and would not return until an hour’s later.

I would not think I would be able to come back again before the shop closed. But, she got my list!

It was a disappointment to Rachel last night.

I remember when she started to read and when we were on holiday, she would lock herself up in the bathroom and enjoy reading the books in the bathtub with bubbles around! I thought that was a luxury!

I found something even more luxurious recently!

How about checking into this New York’s Library Hotel? It would be heaven! Stumbled into this site, and had enjoyed the pictures and description of the hotel.

It’s a 50-room boutique hotel. Each of its room is furnished with a selection of books related to the theme. For example, you could check into a room themed “Literature” and you can choose a range of books on literature…

Check it out at http://www.libraryhotel.com and be amazed!

One and for all

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It was quite an impulsive decision to celebrate hubby’s birthday a day earlier. When I called my usual bakery shop to order the birthday cake, I said to the owner, who is also a church friend of almost 30 years,

“Please bake a cake for me of whatever flavour that’s convenient to you for tomorrow. I know it’s last minute order!”

He readily said OK. Normally he does not work on Sundays. Normally he does not accept last minute order. But because I am a good friend he always delivers the last minute order or even on days when his orders are high. His cake is so irresistible that a non-cake person like me will take a slice!

When it’s Chris’ birthday, it’s Black Forest cake with cherries. Rachel is a chocolate lover, so hers is chocolate with blueberries. Husband loves to have his cake plain, chocolate or non-chocolate. Mum in law takes any cake that is nice. Being a non-cake person, a little cheese on top of the cake would please me!

The anything-will-do order turned out to be very thoughtful –

A layer of chocolate cake for Rachel and Chris.
A layer of plain cake for the birthday person.
Sandwiched between is blueberry jam for Rachel and Chris.
A combination of all goodness for mum in law.
A little cheesy on top of the cake for me.
It’s garlanded with kiwi for the health of all.

On delivery day, the creator of the wonderful recreation said, “It’s paid. Paid in full.”

Being a “dull” person, I have never thought that I could ever order one cake that all the members of the family feel the cake is specially for them.

Thank you, HK, for the “One for all” and for the kindness and thoughtfulness of “Paid in full”.

Anchor my soul

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This is a picture I snapped from the window of my office in Bintulu. Yes, I travelled to Bintulu this morning on a business trip. Now, blogging from Bintulu airport…

When I was a young girl, there was a time when dresses with sailor’s collar was in fashion. I had one dress of this collar. It’s white. I loved it very much and wore it on special occasion. I would always imagine myself being the captain of a huge ship cruising in the sea.

The fact is most of my related memories of the the sea (or actually just river) are peaceful. It was sitting by the jetty watching the barges going by. Even on occasions when the river flooded, I still could feel the peace. Yes, the rivers, whether the one near my house in my childhood days, or the one in Kanowit where my father ran his sundry business, or the river in Sarikei where my father managed the cinema business, have been there long before I was born. And I know these rivers would be there long after I am gone.

May be that’s the reasons all the rivers in my life seem so peaceful and reassuring. It reminds me so much of the awesome beauty and the faithfulness of the One who created them!

In between my work schedule here in Bintulu today, I looked out of the window, there was a small boat, bobbing at anchor. I felt that calm, soothing, thoughtful and quietness in the midst of the busyness of my day. I anchor my soul.

There are many times in my life when storm raged, when there were uncertainties. I went through endless infertility treatments before I had Rachel. Just as I wanted to give up the hope of ever having a child of my own, I remembered the story of Abraham and Sarah. In Hebrews 6, God promises Abraham a son. And since Abraham had nothing greater than himself to swear by, He took an oath in His own name,

So that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.” (Heb 6:18-19)

As Christians, we know that the right anchor for our storms is Jesus Christ. And we know that He is always there.

Today, I anchor my soul, just like some 18 years ago when I had this hope of a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul in Him!

Could we find the anchor in the candidates who are prepared to serve the people in the coming nation’s general election?

His Perspectives

My childhood years were fun-filled. It was running in the rubber garden. It was playing in the river. It was also tapping rubber, collecting latex and planting vegetables. The cleaning and washing were also done in the river. My mum used to say that I was a very “good” girl. I could just sit by the jetty and watched her washing clothes for hours. Mum did not have to keep watch on me!

Today, I made a trip to Kapit. Kapit is a small town about two and half hours express boat ride from Sibu. It has a 100 years of history with rich natural resources.

The day started with hard boiled eggs. No, I did not buy one. I spotted this at the wharf. It brought back memories of those days when my dad would bring me to coffee shop in town and on each table were placed some hard boiled eggs. I remember looking “greedily” at the eggs but without dad’s approval, it was a no-no touch!

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Later, when I arrived Kapit, I found that coffee shops there still serve eggs on table like this! Thanks for the memory!

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I observed that my newspapers have almost been all sold out. Only one copy left here! What satisfaction it gave early in the morning!

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I boarded the express boat. I could afford a “first class”.

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Getting myself seated comfortably in that “first class” cabin, you know, it was two hours –

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I-pod and Palm Treo 680

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My newspaper!

I even have a chat with the Captain and hands-on steer of the express boat!

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It was smooth sailing!

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That old familiar feeling – playing and washing in the river in my childhood days!

I arrived Kapit town! That’s a beautiful town, isn’t it not?

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My journalist in Kapit, James Ling brought me to the market for a round. Here are some of the pictures I took –

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I bought this huge fish back home! It’s called “Patin”. Price at RM35 per kg.

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I could not afford this one. The fish is called “Empurau” (the bigger one) which costs RM450 per kg. “Empurau” is the most expensive fresh water fish. It could be as big as 10 kg or more. The smaller one is called “Mengaleng” which is RM65 per kg.

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This is “sago worms”. James said these worms are energy booster. Probably, he would need it for the election reporting? Dare to eat?

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A native woman with her jungle products

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The “ant-eater”, or is it? We call it “La-Ri”

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Journey back home!

I have never tried writing travel stories. When I made this business trip today, I did not think of taking these pictures. I did not even have my camera. All these pictures are taken using my Palm Treo 680, except for one using my Sony Ericsson phone to take the Palm Treo with I-pod. (Of course, with some touches on my computer.)

This is not my first trip to Kapit. This could be my fourth trip. The last trip, also on business, was two months ago. It was then a very bad experience. I did not see all these captivating scenes. I was then dealing with prickly people and thorny problems. My perspectives was then dark and narrow. I only saw thick carpet of troubles in the market, thick and thorny growth of shrubs along the journey, and stormy river during the boat ride. It was a prickly, bumpy and thorny experience.

Today, as I sat on the top of the express boat, the river banks, the river, the people, the objects are awesome sights to behold – aesthetically perfect!

I have allowed God to brighten my days with His perspective!

Ending with one of my favourites –

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
(Lam 3:22-23)