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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Okay, this is my corny attempt to pun on a well-known movie from a long time ago. But the past two weeks has truly seen several reasons for celebrations.

I thank God for:

  1. Celebration of a bestie’s birthday

Last Wednesday, I had a catch-up with besties Gail and Jing Siew from Uni when we celebrated Jing Siew’s birthday over breakfast. Can’t believe how time flies and that we have known each other for over 3 decades through every birth, passing and other highs and lows. Thank God for over 30 years of friendship and counting!

2. Celebration of bosom buddy’s birthday

Over the weekend, I celebrated another bosom buddy’s birthday. I’ve known these girls since Primary school (a few since Primary 1). I shan’t count how many years that is…gulp! I’m thankful for this year of #50 Wonderful Birthdays, even as we constantly pivot birthday plans back and forth with the changing Covid restrictions. This was a One-derful meal out.

3. Celebration of my dad’s 77th birthday

During 2020, I wanted to change the conversation away from everything Covid-related. So, I started interviewing my dad on his life stories, systematically from his childhood till my mum’s passing. After many rounds of drafts and editing, I was thrilled to wrap it up in time to publish My Life, My Stories in good time for my dad’s 77th birthday. He looked at the book and said that it is his best birthday present. (More on the stories in the next post.)

I thank God for publisher friends who kindly offered up help for the critical last mile of book design and layout, and the printing of this very small print run for family and family friends.

4. Celebrating Singapore’s 56th birthday

Our National Day Parade was postponed from 9th August to 21 August, in line with Singapore’s reopening to our ‘new normal’. Caleb and I watched the NDP hybrid show on TV. We sang our hearts out with the performers and cheered through the parade highlights. I felt uplifted watching the animated storytelling of true stories of overcomers from our pioneer generation. And I thank God for our collective unity through this crisis of our generation.

5. Sew Sow Good Start

This week, we had our kick-off (or should I say sew-off) for our new fundraising product line. Last year, when Covid happened, I found it hard to write-as-usual and formed a collaborative with a mum-and-daughter team of creatives. Together with more friends, we fundraised for Child at Street 11, a non-profit childcare centre for children from low-income families. With Covid still raging on this year, we decided to to do a round 2 of fundraising for Street 11.

I’m thankful for new friendships forged with these ladies whom I only got to know last year when we decided to proceed with our Sew Sow Good Stuff SG initiative! (The rest of them knew each other…haha).

And the numeral for me? Oneness.

“Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace” – Ephesians 4:3

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30 years ago, Ben gave me a log which he had smoothened and carved my name with his army knife. He time-marked it 29 June 1991 and gave it to me as a gift. We decided to call it the day that we “went steady” (it’s as 1990s as it sounds).

In carving the wood, he cut his thumb very deeply and it bled profusely in-camp. It left a mark on his thumbprint.

Today is exactly 30 years from that fateful day. We decided to celebrate it with a simple breakfast of our favourite bak chor mee at the corner coffee shop at Geylang Lorong 11 (it’s as senior-moment as it sounds).

What I had forgotten was that the Geylang coffee shop, which Ben brought me to 30 years ago, was down the opposite end of the same lane. Ben had brought me to Mong Kok coffee shop on our 2nd date. After we finished 5 plates of dim sum, he asked if I was full. I said “No” and ordered a couple more plates. He said that he was so impressed with me because I was the first girl he met who not only didn’t push food to him but even ate his food. (I had thought it was my wit that bowled him over but it turned out to be plates of dim-sum.)

We dated 7 years and have been married for 23 years since.

We’ll gone through mountain-top experiences as well as valleys.

Through sickness and health. Through thick and thin.

For “the God in the mountains is still God in the valley” and He has seen us through good times and bad. God’s grace and mercy has marked our 30 years together. And I’m thankful for it all.

When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. – Ps 84:6

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. – Isaiah 55:12

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Today is Thank God Friday (on the other side of the world…LOL).

I want to thank God for:

1. Father’s Day

Our family was able to gather at home to celebrate Father’s Day last weekend with Singapore entering Phase 3 Heightened Alert from 14 June, allowing up to 5 household visitors. We celebrated three fathers – my dad, my brother and Ben – over a simple meal of Yong Tao Fu, ngor hiang and chicken wings.

2. Munia Family ends Stay-Home-Notice

I got to see the two Munia chicks on 13 June. They had grown and clearly passed flight school. I sat with them for quite long and I’m glad I did. Because, right on timing, when Singapore entered Phase 3 the next day, the Munia family flew the coop!

3. Wholly Fellowship

We have been permitted to have two household visitors per day for the past month up until 13 June. Since it’s about observing the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law, I kept my entire month socials-free except for two occasions – a friend’s 50th birthday and another friend who needed a listening ear.

This week, Singapore opened up outdoor dining for two persons per table. I’ve been in no rush to eat out but I realised that I did miss seeing friends.

So, it’s been wholly a week of fellowships with school friends and college friends. And I took Caleb out for one meal (yes, it was Din Tai Fung) before school reopens next week.

In this pandemic period, as Covid-19 continues to rage and mutate around the world, I want to remember and give thanks to the One who is in control of all things in our world.

Ps 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

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Today is Thank God Friday.

Everything Covid-related in the newspapers is depressing to read.

So, I look closer to home for things to be thankful for:

  1. Stay-Home Carbo-Overload

I’m thankful that we have supermarkets and hawker centres/coffeeshops all nearby for buying essentials and satisfying food cravings.

I’m an introverted homebody, so personally I quite enjoy staying at home. My only ‘complaint’ (which has to do with my own lack of self-control) is that my past week has seen a repeat of my carbo-overload from last year’s Circuit-Breaker, where the whole of Singapore had to stay home, except for trips out to buy essentials.

This week alone, I piled on a whole load of carbo-meals:

Laksa. Chicken Curry. Macaroni Bolognaise (one of Caleb’s favourites, so I ate with him…or so I say.) Nasi Lemak. Ba Chor Mee. Mee Siam (today).

I hope to exercise more food discipline next week. That said, I had a delicious food week.

Me could not siam Mee Siam today when I went out for my supermarket run

2. Home-based Learning

I’m thankful for all the hard work that our educators have put in to pivot classes online since last week.

I know home-based learning has been a pain to families where both parents work from home and have multiple kids to juggle with this on-line learning.

I personally quite liked it.

Yes, it was laggy (since the whole of Singapore was logging in).

Yes, I had to remind Caleb repeatedly to get back to school work (because with every lag, he went off to read comics or watch TV).

But it’s the last week before school holidays and we all got to sleep in since I didn’t need to send him to school.

3. Our Healthcare Workers & Frontliners

Ben and I got our 2nd vaccine jab last week as Singapore’s Vacci-Nation continues.

Even my domestic helper has also gotten her 1st vaccine shot.

I’m grateful for how our leadership and everyone involved in this mammoth exercise, from the healthcare providers to front-liners have provided such a seamless vaccination process.

We went with Moderna because that was the vaccine offered at the community centre nearest to our home. The medical team was polite, efficient and I had a young chatty nurse who was intrigued by my Spasmodic Dysphonia voice. I told her that the botox injections that I used to have to my neck were administered with a needle easily 4-5 times larger than the vaccine needle that she was jabbing me with. So no, it didn’t hurt one bit.

And we left with door gifts of a bottle of sanitiser and a box of masks. Singapore-style.

And I continue to pray for our nation and our neighbours through this Covid season.

I urge, then, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf and give thanks for them. Pray in this way for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives, marked by godliness and dignity. -1 Timothy 2:1-5

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It’s been full-on the past two months, but I have to pause to thank God this Friday, for many reasons:

  1. Thank God for our Healthcare Workers & Clean Breast

I’ve been in and out of hospital the past two months, accompanying a loved one for medical appointments and all. I thank God for all the amazing doctors and nurses who have rendered much assistance and assurances along the way.

Amidst all this, I forgot my own medical review with my cancer surgeon, which I went for today. My beautiful surgeon told me that she’s pleased that I have a very clean breast, and did I realise that I’ve just crossed the 5-year window on remission?

I told dearest Esther we had a take a photo today to mark the crossing of this 5-year window.

I also had to take a photo with dearest Jamie three weeks back to mark the moment when she dropped by the hospital waiting area to pray with me and keep me company when I was accompanying a loved one to hospital.

2.  Thank God for Bosom Buddies

I’ve been gradually catching up with friends over the past few months, from birthday celebrations to small catch-ups with friends I’ve known for over 30 years and more. With the pandemic going on and fewer catch-ups the past year, each gathering has been precious and a reminder that relationships are best strengthened when you can see each other.

3. Thank God for Book Buddies

I’ve had the joy of seeing two books launched over the past two months. Given the current climate, the launches have all been done through social media. But the meet-ups with dear, dear friends and book buddies, and with my publisher and illustrator still works best face-to-face.

Had laughter therapy this morning with Hwee and Arlene, the biggest cheerleaders for my books.

And last week, I went to my new publisher’s office for the first time since we started working together 3rd quarter of last year!

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. – Psalm 9:1

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Today is Thank God Friday…. in time zones at least 16 hours behind Singapore!

The first day of Chinese New Year, yesterday, was markedly different from past years because of this Covid19 pandemic we are in.

Yet, there has been plenty to be thankful for in this Chinese Year of the Ox:

  1. Family visits

We visited Ben’s parents first thing in the morning on the first day, as with tradition. We skipped the usual visits to another 5-6 older relatives’ homes due Singapore’s Covid19 restrictions of a maximum of 8 visitors per household. Instead, we had Ben’s family over for a leisurely 2-hour lunch for a change.

We’ll see a couple more relatives over the days ahead in a more spread out, by-appointment timetable.

Caleb’s angpow artpiece hangs from the ceiling whilst my dear friend’s pot of pussywillows stands at our entrance

2. Gifts of Beauty

Caleb made two beautiful art pieces, each made out of 15 angpows stapled together, which I’ve proudly displayed in our home.

And a very dear friend surprised me with a pot of pink pussy willows after I made a passing comment that I loved the one I saw at another friend’s home.

This has been a quieter Chinese New Year. But that we can still celebrate is worth celebrating in itself. And perhaps, it’s meant to be a season for more introspection, less ‘oxpectation’ of worldly pursuits and more gratitude for the things that truly matter in this season of safe-distancing and masking up.

Ecclesiastes 3: There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.

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Today, we celebrate Singapore’s 55th birthday amidst a global pandemic.

Last night, Caleb and I watched the various song recordings for National Day. I was so heartened and uplifted by the song videos and we sang along in one voice! And this is coming from the non-karaoke person.

I absolutely love the spirit of how our people of Singapore have risen up in a time like this to unite our voices in harmony, style and song to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

I pray that we will come out of this pandemic a more united, resilient and kinder people. May God’s hand of protection always be upon our little nation! Happy Birthday Singapore!

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city… Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” – Jeremiah 29:7

 

My National Day favourites:

  1. People of Singapore (New Creation Church)

 

2. Semoa Bahagia
3. Room at the Table (Charlie Lim)

 

4. The evolution of National Day Parade songs (Micapella)

 

5. Count on me Singapore (Benjamin Kheng & the Singapore Symphony Orchestra)

 

6. Our Singapore (NDP Theme Song 2019)

 

7. Home (Dick Lee – sung by 900-strong virtual choir)

 

Related Link:

Thank God Friday: One Nation, One People, One Family, One Life leh

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I thank God for Singapore’s Polling Day yesterday.

In 2011, I became a newly-minted mum. I made my decision quite quickly.

In 2015, we celebrated SG50 and mourned the loss of MM Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s Founding Father. It was a good-sentiments election.

In this very confounding 2020, there have been many issues to ponder amidst this Covid19 climate – for our country’s future and also what kind of Singapore I would like our children to grow up in. It’s been a full week of reading manifestos, watching online rallies and broadcasts and the like from various parties.

This is the 3rd time that I have voted in my life and the one with the most deliberation up till Polling Day itself.

To borrow the meme going around the past week about two much talked-about individuals, Singapore went for Polling and voted Wisely.

I thank God for:

  • Our leaders who have governed well and the Opposition teams who gave us a chance to vote.
  • Our frontliners who manned the Polling Stations under extenuating circumstances.
  • Our healthcare workers who continue to plough on through this challenging pandemic climate.
  • Singapore, where we can enjoy kopi with prata, and teh tarik with chicken rice at wee hours of the morning and into the night.

This is Home truly and I hope that we will always stay united as one people.

 

“I urge then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1- 4 

 

Related Link:

Pandemic Pause #7 – When a virus strikes, what becomes essential?

 

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Counting my blessings and thanking God through all seasons – COVID19 and non-COVID19.

  1. DORSCON Orange Outfits

Our family made a contribution for the flowers at our church service the past Sunday in memory of the first year anniversary of Mum’s passing.

I wore a restyled version of the dress that Mum had made for herself for last year’s Chinese New Year. She never wore it. She was admitted into hospital on Day 2 of Chinese New Year and passed on three weeks later.

I brought the dress to Mum’s tailor and altered it to fit me. More of that in another post on another day.

Coincidentally, Ben wore orange too. And we very rarely wear matching outfits, coincidentally nor intentionally. That’s just a father-son do.

So, I just had to take this photo in church last Sunday because there were so many symbolisms.

DORSCON Orange Statement

Mum’s memorial flowers.

Mum’s Chinese New Year dress which I took over.

DORSCON Orange matching outfits.

Orange dots stuck on us following temperature checks.

#God is Greater.

 

  1. Friends of Old & Gold

I’ve been seeing much more of some friends whom I’ve known, friends of old and gold. It’s usually difficult to see everyone altogether. Since DORSCON Orange, a couple of friends have seen business and events disappear and others have cancelled work travel plans. What better time to catch up on each other’s lives?

AwesomeFriends

  1. Awesome Friends & Stars

My latest picture book Little Mole’s Awesome Star burrowed into the bookstores this week.

I was starry-eyed to see Little Mole receive a 5-star review rating from Readers’ Favourite as well as a lovely review in Straits Times’ 8 Reads for March.

Mole

I’m also thankful for many awesome friends who shared Little Mole’s news on their Facebook pages.

I couldn’t have asked for a better way to e-launch the book in this no-public-events COVID19 climate.

(On an online note, you can now also order Little Mole’s Awesome Star and Little Godwit Finds His Wings at Times Bookstore’s Goguru with free delivery in Singapore!)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phillipians 4:6-7

Related Links:

Awesome Star! Little Mole surfaces in Straits Times’ 8 Reads for March

God Knows Leh #36 – Devoted Wife, Mum, Grandma, Sister, Friend & Nurse

 

 

 

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It was disturbing to see the panic-buying that occurred over the weekend after our government raised the alert to DORSCON Orange, following a few clusters of community spread of the novel corona virus. (DORSCON is the acronym for Disease Outbreak Response System Condition.)

I think it boiled down to a few things. Fear. Misinformation. Social media virus.

Fear can spread faster than virus and spark off all kinds of responses and over-reactions.

And misinformation travels faster than droplets through viral social media contact.

 

  1. Supermarket run

When the alert was raised to DORSCON Orange, my phone was pinging incessantly with photos and WhatsApp messages from friends showing photos of the runs in the supermarkets on household items like rice, instant noodles, canned luncheon meat and toilet paper.

The next day, on Saturday, I went to Ghim Moh wet market as per routine. It was the 15th and last day of Chinese New Year. The market was well-stocked and the crowd was orderly.

In the aftermath of the supermarket runs, I went to buy some groceries during the week. Once at Cold Storage. And another day at Hao Supermart.

I was one of very few people in the supermarket. The staff were restocking supplies. There were pockets of empty shelves yet to be filled. Namely instant noodles, luncheon meat and toilet paper.

But really, the rest of the supermarket was well-stocked with plenty.

A counter staff wished me a safe day and I wished him the same.

Hao supermart

Hao Supermart was stocked very hao

 

  1. Hospital stand

Yesterday, I went for my 3-monthly injection, an ongoing post-cancer treatment. It’s a 5-minute job and to me, simply like a vitamin booster.

There were checkpoints at all entry points into the hospital. I filled up a travel and health declaration form and hospital staff took my temperature and details of which clinic I was headed to. They stuck a sticker on me to show that I had been cleared.

At my doctor’s clinic, I filled up a second travel and health declaration form, had my temperature checked again and had a second sticker stuck on me.

I’ve kept both stickers as a reminder of this current climate we are living in.

All the clinic staff were masked up, as with the hospital staff I saw on the way to the clinic.

Senior staff nurse Maggie administered my injection, as she has frequently done during my chemotherapy sessions in 2016 and post-chemo treatments after.

Maggie is from China. She has worked in our healthcare system in Singapore for 10 years now, both on the hospital side and now in a cancer care clinic.

“Can we take a photo today?” I asked her and explained that I wanted to blog about this clinic visit.

Maggie Braveheart

 

These are testing times for our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. Whilst most of us have a choice to avoid hospitals and clinics, our healthcare workers are there daily, risking the greatest exposure.

In short, take sensible precautions, take stock of facts from falsehoods and thank a healthcare worker.

If you have a relative, friend, acquaintance or family doctor, why not send them some encouragement for their good work in these testing times?

 

I told Maggie that I would be sending her this blogpost. This is my thank you note:

“To Maggie and all the healthcare workers who continue your good (and draining) work of caring for patients with all kinds of sickness and diseases through all kinds of climates. May God bless the work of your hands and keep you all safe and healthy.”

A grateful patient

 

Jesus said: “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled and afraid.”

                                                                                           – John 14:27

 

Related Link:

Go Green Lah #2 – Don’t Let the Blame Game become the Next Virus!

Sign up for your extremely regular updates on the novel coronavirus directly from Gov.sg Whatsapp at  go.gov.sg/whatsapp

 

 

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