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I’m thrilled to be part of a team of 7 writers who collectively wrote 100 Prayers for Mothers to Pray – a prayer book published by Our Daily Bread Ministries to coincide with Mother’s Day tomorrow. I was also asked to write an essay sharing my parenting journey while coping with breast cancer.

I’ve written children’s books and personal essays but this is the first time that I am writing prayers. It was doubly meaningful because the editor matched the prayer writing to the age group of our children and hence, allocated us writers topics close to our hearts.

 

Prayer-Thankfulness

1 of 11 prayers that I wrote 

 

This is also my first time writing for Daily Bread Ministries and I am privileged to be in the company of writers who are all mothers serving in different mums’ and children’s ministries.

Thank you to super-editor Ruth Wan-Lau for inviting me on board this meaningful and heartfelt project.

Daily Bread Ministries (DBM) is not funded or endowed by any group or denomination. They do not put a price on their books as it is a ministry. But you can bless DBM Ministries with a love gift when you requests copies of books and other devotional resources from them. Check out www.ourdailybread.org/singapore for more information.

 

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I was delighted to attend the opening weekend of my Bunny Finds The Right Stuff show, to find out that the shows have sold out!

I was doubly happy to have watched the theatre show with one of my favourite people Arlene, and her family. Arlene was my biggest cheerleader when I went through chemotherapy in 2016, sending all sorts of creative videos and messages to cheer me up. She’s also been an amazing supporter of my books and writing and a super-dear friend.

Bunny found the right stuff in knowing that he was deeply loved by his Maker and his floppiness wasn’t from lack, but from love and countless hugs. He also realized that the right stuff was the stuff of friendship.

Likewise, I rest in the knowledge that I am loved by my Maker and built up by the stuff of precious friendships.

BunnyShow2018 with Arlene

With the fabulous cast of Bunny Finds the Right Stuff theatre show

 

The book-to-stage adaptation of Bunny Finds the Right Stuff starts its show season from 4th May 2018! Previously staged in 2016, Esplanade is re-staging this show by popular demand.

Bunnyshow (edited)

Little Day Out is giving away 2 free tickets to the show (deadline for contest entry is this Sunday 15 April). Read Little Day Out’s review of the show and my book as well as details of the contest here.

Thank you Little Day Out for your lovely review! I was a ‘hoppy’ happy camper reading it :).

 

Salt quote p3 edited

Salt & Light recently asked me the question, “What does the finished work of the Cross mean to you?”

This question gave me pause to reflect on my personal response in the lead up to Easter week.

Read the full article here.

 

 

 

 

On this Good Friday, I want to pause to thank God for:

— the small voice that prompted me to do a breast self-examination two years ago, leading me to discover a pebble in my left breast

— the review with my breast surgeon this Good Friday week where the scan showed that my reconstructed left breast is all clean, my right breast is also now free of cysts and lumps, and I have cleared the 2-year critical window where recurrence is highest

— family and friends who prayed for me through this time

— Jesus, my Saviour and Healer, who died on the Cross for my sins and sickness so I am made right before God

The diseased left breast that clouded my heart has been cut out and made new. A strengthened breastplate of righteousness covers my heart. My right breast has also been wiped clean.

On this Good Friday, I thank God that the old is gone and the new has come. I am a new creation. My Saviour died so that I can live, scrubbed clean, with a clean breast and a lighter heart.

 

good-friday-images-017

source: techavy.com

 

 

 

 

For 5 Saturdays over January and early February this year, I ran a memoir essay writing workshop at Central Library, organised by National Library Board. After Finding My Voice with my own memoir and several recent personal narrative essays, I was happy to guide aspiring writers to write that burning story in their hearts.

I took 17 participants through the process of developing the one-important story that they wanted to craft, and then guided them in shaping their personal essays. As many wrote their stories of their personal journeys for the first time, I was privileged to have been privy to very deep sharing by participants over the weeks of the workshops. Many wrote about their families and others about significant life-changing moments.

It’s been an intensive few weeks for me as I discovered that I am an OCD editor who nudges willing newbie writers repeatedly in courting the write relationship with their readers. We wrapped up the final workshop session with everyone reaching the finish line this last Saturday, just in time to switch gears for Chinese New Year celebrations!

MemoirWorkshoppic2

 

My baby-no-more just turned 7 and is now adjusting to Primary 1. I too am adjusting to his big transition, mainly because primary school starts at 7.30am whereas his kindergarten started at 11.30am 😅!

Caleb’s interests has been very distinct from year to year.
At 3 years old, it revolved around jigsaw puzzles.
At 4 years old, it was around board games.
At 5 years old, it was Lego, swimming (without a swim jacket) and cycling (on 2 wheels).

Caleb’s 6th year has been equally distinctive:

 
1. Pretend Play
From the first day of Kindergarten 2, the entire year has been defined by pretend play, somewhat like Calvin in Calvin & Hobbes.

The only difference is that Calvin’s parents were never part of Calvin’s pretend play world with Hobbes.

I’m in Caleb’s pretend play world and exist alongside his “Hobbes”. I guess being a children’s book author gives me extra liberty to wear kids’ gloves.

calvin_and_hobbes_off_ritalin

 

2. Reading Ready
For the past couple of years, Caleb had been lamenting that he could not read.

I’ve wondered often how exactly a child goes from not knowing how to read to knowing how to read. It’s a wondrous transition.

From Caleb’s first day of kindergarten 2, I resolved to read to Caleb daily during breakfast time. And I did. I read over 20 books of the Magic Treehouse series, the entire Kingdom of Wrenly series, the Dragon Masters series, Kungpow Chicken series and numerous picture books. And I brought my Kindle along when we had meals out so I could read to him during that time as well.

And suddenly, a few months on, he started reading on his own. I knew he was really reading, and not merely recognizing words picked up from repeated exposure to them or from memory, because he was able to read big words that were new to him.

Next to learning to speak and walk, I believe being able to read has to be a child’s biggest leap in development.

 

3. Never-ending Stories
When Caleb turned six, one of his favorite lines was, “Mummy, tell me a story.”

And that would be when I was driving him to and from kindergarten.

“I don’t want the book’s story. Make it up!”

I write books. I do book readings. But I have never been an oral storyteller. Neither have I been particularly adapt at making a story up on the spot. I need days and weeks to mull over story ideas and a few more months to actually write one.

Thankfully, he’s forgotten this line and now I can drive easy again!

(Postscript: I spoke too soon. After several months off the hook and immediately after I wrote this blogpost, Caleb said, “Mum tell me a story.”
“I’m driving,” I replied.
“You’re an author,” Caleb said. “You can make it up easily.”
“Err…I need my mind to concentrate on driving,” I said.
“Drive with your hands and eyes and make up the story with your mind,” my backseat driver told me.

 

4. Scoring at ball games
Somewhere at 6 years old, Caleb’s inherited ball sense (from Ben) went from good to amazingly good.

He was able to dribble the football and volley the badminton shuttlecock back and forth with Ben numerous times.

And then he aced a birdie and a par on the same Par 3 on our 3rd and 4th time on the golf course when we took him for 9-holes.

 

For all the amazing growth and development in his 6th year, one moment stood out the most for me. And it had everything to do with words and nothing to do with developmental milestones.

A few months back, I had just showered Caleb and was toweling him. As he was rolling around in his towel in the bedroom, he suddenly turned to me and said, “You are the right mummy for me.”

“Huh? Why do you say that?” I asked, rather surprised by this out-of-the-blue pronouncement in the middle of a mundane activity.

To that, he replied, “You are everything I need.”

I was dumbstruck by that answer.

When I found my tongue the next day, I said, “You are the right child for me.”

Calebis7