People say that persons closest to you (in smallest scope: family) are the easiest one to hurt your feelings.
Not because they don’t love you, but because they don’t have to put their guards up, nor any mask on.
This is the place where we can just be who we are. It’s as if we are prone to “speak first and think later” and becoming less considerate when it comes to their feelings compared with our treatment to our friends/acquaintances.
But we know this shouldn’t be.
The place where we are most accepted and can become genuinely ourselves – this should be the MOST precious place that deserve our foremost love, care, and priority, right?
Then again, other than our own family, there is the Greatest Person who loves us mostly for who we are, simply because He created us, and we belong to Him.
No condemnation, only grace.
Shouldn’t He become the most treasured Person above all, who deserves our most life dedication…?
Just an evening pondering when I frame my artwork with the written quote 🙂
This morning is unusual. When I was thinking of Christ’s cross, I didn’t think of it as a beautiful thing (symbol of God’s love for this world as I generally do). No. Instead, what came into my mind is its agony and pain. The suffering and the blood. It’s ugly. And hurtful.
This cross is a serious thing. We may often forget that we gain our status as the ‘righteous’ and the ‘believer’ because Someone else’s pain and sufferings enabled us to.
The cross may have become too cliché, or only goes as far as a ‘Christian accessory’. Of course we are not meant to mourn over the cross just to be able to ’emphatize’ what Jesus has done for us; we will never know/feel/understand the level or depth of His agony involved throughout the journey. Yet we are meant to celebrate His victory!
I just hope that I’d never forget the reason I follow Him. Not only so I can be a “good person” or to fulfill the empty spot in my heart of needing a deity to give my worship to.
But because this GREAT love at the cross, and the GREAT pain and suffering involved. This, what has called me to Him. A kind of love that covers my multitude of sins like nobody else can.
It’s about what He has done.
Thank You for the cross, Lord
Thank You for the price You’ve paid
Bearing all my sins and shame, in love You came
And gave amazing grace
Thank You for this love, Lord
Thank You for the nail-pierced hand
Wash me in Your cleansing flow, now all I know, is Your forgiveness and embrace
Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns, You reign victorius
I’m grateful for having a God full of LOVE and GRACE. When I am in doubt, He never force me to trust in Him. He always works in a most gentle way, slowly yet surely, giving me assurance of His faithful promises.
Through songs (particularly the one that I wrote there, “Touch The Sky” by Hillsong United. Lately I feel it really moves my vulnerable heart every time I listen to it), through His promises in Bible, through devotionals I read (“God’s Job is Not My Job” from Proverbs31Ministries has been a spot-on. I read it last week and I knew God’s speaking to me so I re-write it too on my journal).
Who am I that He’s willing to “persuade” me in this rather beautiful and affectionate kind of ways? With all His sovereignty He could simply “force” me to “just believe and just do it”, but He did not at all.
Truly even my desire and willingness to obey You only come from You alone.
I found myself as not being able to sit down and pray with eyes closed for too long (other than when I’m in a prayer meeting), so over the years I’ve seen that I let myself enjoying God’s presence by sitting down, reading the Bible, and JOURNALLING my prayers instead.
I’ve experienced so many times how He reveals what’s in His heart through what I write, as if the words flow from Himself and speak to my soul. I love the way He uniquely speaks!
For example, there in one of my journals, I purposely placed a photo of my husband working in his office cubicle (I snapped the pic when we went there together with Aimee on one Saturday 😋📷).
That photo helps me in visualising his reality everyday, and I wrote down my prayers for him and his work just next to the pic.
Maybe in a way I’m putting an extra effort when I can just simply pray by my mouth (which I do as well), but I just love journalling my prayer as it helps me to put my mind in (more real) words, and it is a great reminder of my faith journey (and who knows one day I can inherit them all to Aimee).
Aren’t we grateful that we are praying to a living, great and true God that doesn’t despise our own individuality ❤️
Exactly same date today, a decade ago, I committed myself in a relationship with Someone… I was in awe just finding the truth that being with Him had nothing to do with religious duties or activities. I was grateful that He actually offered me a real RELATIONSHIP.
Since then I witnessed how He is truly real and alive in my life. Through major life moments and life mundane tasks, He is always there and I become to understand Him more and more of His personality.
Trust growing, openness in telling Him everything including my fear, worry, and life resentments evolve. I found divine strength in doing things I myself can’t, even if I tried with my strongest will.
I have no regret. Someone has taken my place at the “death penalty row” that I supposed to have. He took my debts away and nailed them at the cross. He faced the True Judge and gave me His own credibility and guaranteed me a new beginning, free from condemnation. No one would ever do the same to anyone.
I live my imperfect life for Him, not because I feel “I have to”. It’s not about my duty to “pay back” to Him, because I will never can. And that is not the essence of our relationship. But because this Person has shown me how great His love is for me, and that love, fixes my eyes on Him.
What has 10 years with Him made me into?
I am not changed into a “more perfect person”. Do I follow Him only so I can become a “better person”? No. I did for some times making this “change to a better person” as my goal, but then I would focus my eyes more on “me and my effort and my righteousness” instead of on His works at the cross.
In short, having a relationship in Him, changes in life are just inevitable. And I have nothing to brag about.
Just a simple gesture from my deepest heart before the night ends.
Happy anniversary Jesus, thank You for taking me as Your beloved ❤️
Approaching Christmas my days were much busier (in a good way), having friends coming over or visiting their houses, had a good laugh and plenty of food. I really thank God for those wonderful moments, and mostly for God’s love in sending His own Son which making Christmas Day be alive at the first place.
This morning I am also surprised by good intention from my husband on my special day… by secretly placing a bunch of roses and beautiful card on the kitchen bench top before he left to work (while I was still snoring haha). My husband by nature is not a romantic person, so when he does this kind of thing it really makes me happy and appreciate his effort 🙂 this time he also hid the roses well before I accidentally found it (as I’ve usually always busted his previous surprises :P).
Then I spend my first hours in the morning writing my diary thanking God for everything that I could think of (while multitaskingly taking care of Aimee, of course, one skill that I think all moms must have got it better and better as demands for themselves increasing haha..).
I am surprised by how many I could thank Him for, maybe I can share some points of my “Birthday Give Thanks List” from what I wrote in my diary here in this blog 😉 I’m just gonna put them in numbers just so it’s easier and more straightforward to read. So… here they are,
I give thanks God for:
giving me another year to live!
giving me His words in time when I need them. During my tough times especially the last couple of months I could feel it was His words which sustained and strengthened my faith to keep moving forward and trusting God. He allowed the outward circumstances to be tough just so I could find my strength and joy inwardly, from Him and His words alone;
His goodness and patience to me. When I fail Him, He never give up on loving me. When I’m stubborn, He is patient to me. He is still the “everything good and loving” although I don’t behave the same;
working the inside of me, so I don’t need to force myself to ‘do good’ but He’s working inside my heart first to produce the change to the outside naturally by the work of His Spirit in me;
giving me role as a wife and mother. What a wonderful and beautiful feeling and experience to love and be loved by my husband and daughter. For me they are my priority in life and my ministry. From all people and friends, I want them mostly to see that Christ is in me and that “I am a Christian” to them…
fulfilling my basic needs – house for our temporary stay before we move to our own (next year yipi!), for every nutritional food (and occasional junk food lol) we can enjoy, for clothing and the choices I have (many unfortunate people and beggars have to live with the only clothing attached to their body…)
family, friends and community, for BIC (Bethany International Church) and FA (cell group), for Ko Dan as the church pastor whose message always direct my focus to God’s grace and the above things;
bringing deliverance and relief for the ‘settlement issue’ which had been our struggle for the last couple of months and brought me and my husband to another level of faith in God! I’m so glad that it is now over and although we are now left with not much of money but God shows His miraculous providence for us in paying for bills and our necessities;
bringing me back to the discipline of reading and studying God’s words through good resources of Bible Study which I begin to cultivate again at the beginning of this year after not having such commitment for a pretty long time (“God Brought Me Back to My First Love” written on Sept 5th)
… and many many others!
I’m just so grateful mainly for wonderful things He has worked out in my heart, and many of them as a result of undergoing difficulties, not so much when I am “happy and content”. For many other questions and prayers that to date are still unanswered, I want to trust in God’s wisdom and timing.
To think again that before I was even born God has had a purpose for my life (wayyy back than 30 years ago!) – I just want to discover more of that and letting my life to be His faithful vessel…
Thank You, Lord Jesus.
ps: for some people age is ‘taboo’ to mention, but guess not really for me so I’m just gonna post this image to show numbers of my age (because I feel younger anyway hahaha…)
pss: I also hope that this blog will lead me to ‘somewhere’ (wherever God wants it to) rather than to ‘no where’… Thanks all for faithful, occasional, and new readers out there, I pray God will give you the equal joy as He’s given me today!
Well, if you really open it because of what I wrote in the title, you might have opened it based on an inccorent assumption (and sorry for the misleading title :P)
Here’s a chunk of truth:
“There’s nothing you can do that will make God loves you more”
I often hear the above statement, but in today’s sermon, Ps. TT Quah asked those who have had kids and to position ourselves as ‘God’ and the children as ‘us’, and suddenly I see a completely new perspective and the above saying becomes ‘more real’ as in not just being processed in my head but sip down to my heart.
What can Aimee do to make me love her more? Exactly nothing! I have loved her, always. Not because of what she does, but because of her status: she is my child.
So are we. God loves us because we are His children, we are His creation. He longs to always be close with us, not in one moment that He is disturbed by our willingness to seek Him in prayer, worshipping, reading His words, and any other acts we could possibly do to be closer to Him.
“However, there are things that you can do to please Him”
Yes, there are things which Aimee could do to please me, by acting cute (hahaha) and mostly is by her obedience; if she do what I advise her.
We are supposed to be just like that, the “God-pleaser”, be the doer!
I know it is hard to obey completely and everytime He tells me to do something and many times I fail. Some other aspects in particular are harder for me e.g. being patience and forgiving. But in some occassions when I am able to obey Him, I feel another source of power overtaking my flesh and my heart tells my head, “clearly it isn’t me, it must be the power of His Holy Spirit”.
“..My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weaknesses” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
And in the midst of my cry out “Lord, please please change my misbehaviour” because of my weaknesses, that is actually one of the intimate moments with God that He allows me to experience.
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” – 2 Corinthians 12:10
Thank You Lord for speaking to me in a very simple yet convicting way, to reveal many things about Your character as a loving God and Father through natural things I do and possess in my life: from my relationship with my lil kid Aimee.
I pray that God may use simple and natural things around you in helping you to understand by heart that He really loves you so much, not because of what you have done, but because you are just… you, His children and creation 🙂
Just wanna share a simple sharing…
Over the last three weeks, my mom&sis-in-law were having their holiday in Jakarta (visiting from Jambi). They actually came to fulfill my ‘special request’… We (me&my husband, especially) are undergoing difficult times and I know how having his mom & sis close would mean so much for him. Nothing makes me happy other than to see my husband is happy too, and besides, his mom & sis are very nice and funny, I love them too 🙂
Simply said, having them in our home meant so much for me. I get to feel living as a ‘family’, something that I don’t experience anymore for a long time from my own mom&dad…
Here from my mom-in-law, I could feel her love and caring from simple gestures she did (she cooked many yummy and healthy dishes for me and my baby, we chatted and laughed together almost every night while watching tv, went shopping together, even bought me clothes, shoes, etc). Indeed it’s not the ‘things’ that I could get from her, but more to ‘time’ that she dedicated for me and her profile as a ‘mother’ beside me, eventhough she’s not my biological mom…
During my hard day on last Thursday (I lost my money in my bank account misteriously in a quite big sum and I got bad case at work causing me to be scolded severely by my boss… T_T), mom and sis-in-law were there to comfort me (it was their last night before went back to Jambi again on last week Friday)…
Thank You so much, Lord.. Having them is a precious treasure for me.. Having a wonderful husband besides me is truly Your amazing grace, something more than I ever imagined before.. Even more to have and to feel the warmness of a family again through my husband’s family… I can only say THANK YOU LORD!
Well… That’s it for now.. We keep praying for my husband’s family to be saved in the Lord (and for my own parents too)… One day that day will come, until then, help me to keep my hope alive in You, God… Thank You for Your mercy…
I was impatient to wait for the AC repairman to come over doing the new installation. After waiting for 3 hours more than the promised time, he finally came *fiuhh.. Turned out he was driving a bike (not a car) to reach our place, a big (heavy) compressor, the aircon, and bag of tools were with him. Then it wasn’t as easy as I thought to install the AC! The repairman who installed the old aircon did it wrong (with the pipe etc) and he had to handily use his hammer to break over the wall (poor wall… Luckily we haven’t lived here yet and much renovation still has to be done..)
Waiting while sitting here observing him working, I kinda admire how he knows every bits in doing it.. It’s a tough job, and surely it comes from, maybe years, of experience.. Then I remember my servants at ‘home’ (which soon I’m gonna say goodbye and hello to my own new home, my own new family!), they’ve been working since young, many hard experiences and difficult times they must have undergone.. Things that surely were very much different than what I’ve been through..
Surely we are all processed by God through our life circumstances.. Could I survive if I have to undergo the same problems and life challenges as theirs? Maybe not..
They are very much shaped through facing (and avoiding) life’s poverty.. Sickness, perhaps.. Limited choices due to poor education and family background..
God has assigned each one of us life’s situations that ‘fit’ us perfectly.. What kind of wisdom He has? Can we trust His wisdom?
Thinking what I’ve been through is hard, how about them? Or for many others in third-world countries who don’t even know what to eat the day after? Who don’t even have the chance to smile or laugh because they’re too frightened out by intimidations, threats, murders, wars in their surroundings?
How many who would take my position now?
I’m sure it will be PLENTY!
Why can I givethanks for my own life?
Stop staring at above.. There’s always more to want..
Looking underneath.. So many people with broken dreams just because they don’t have anymore choice..
Forgive me, Lord..
Forgive me to go astray..
Thank You for Your loving kindness, for Your patience, for Your understanding..
Keep using everyday’s people to teach me lessons, to humble me, dear God..
How I long to return to Your loving hands.. And I am convinced You are always available for me!