Saturday, December 31, 2005

Goodbye 2005! Hello 2006 :)

Yet another year has gone by. It's the time of the year for New Year's Resolutions and to reflect back at what one has accomplished in the past 12 months. A time to reflect on the highs and the lows, and the lessons learnt. 2005 for me, has been a year where strength, courage, determination and freedom have never been more real. It definitely is a significant year - coming back home, my first job, first paycheck, new friends, new beginnings.. it was a blast!

Highlights of my year:

- Going places: Bangkok, Pangkor, Singapore, Redang, Damai Laut, Korea, Camerons ... all packed with excessive fun, shopping sprees, sun, sand & sea... thanks to my best-est travelling buddies

- Work-wise: Met a bunch of fun, crazy new colleagues who allow me to be myself :) , stationed in a project with equally fun, crazy supervisors who really know how to work & party hard. Won best new hires performance despite 2 weeks notice, 2 practices & having to 'lead' the team that I've not met. Having to take lead of clients after my boss' resignation (stressful stressful times) but was surprised with an award... (which includes retail therapy... ;)

- Going back to church: Although it was a tough journey, I've 'run' back to God, the One who matters, and is probably the sole reason this year was a blast! Would not have managed to pull through all the struggles if not for Him. Also the source of my joy, strength and purpose in life. Also, miraculously found a cell group that is so, so warm, caring & genuine (after a long search) - it always touches me how people who hardly know you can be genuinely so nice and helpful & be there for you when everything crumbles. Love you guys heaps!

- Family & friends: Being back with family and friends - the 2 most important factors to anyone's lives. One cannot deceive oneself too much, it's usually the people around you that matter most and make the difference - the pursuit of material things and career sometimes blind us but we should never lose sight of what's truly important to us.

- Fitness: Joining the gym - the one thing that anyone who knows me well enough will find shocking. Yes, I've not exercised like my whole life, so after being persuaded to join the gym by my colleague, little did I know that I could actually increase my stamina and feel good after exercising! From being a person who can't do 20 minutes of stationary cycling (level zero) without panting, to going an hour in the gym with treadmills, cross-trainers & aerobic classes... and actually enjoying it! Anything is possible! ;)

- Rediscovering myself: Being stuck in a rut for the past 2 years & living to others' expectations of me, I think my biggest accomplishment this year is to have gotten out of that hole that I've dug for myself. I've never felt so liberated, and so confident to just be me, and to be accepted for who I am, not to be judged by my outer appearances. I've come out more determined, confident and happier in ways I've never thought possible. Once again, all glory to God.

I wanted to write about the 'lows' of the year, but I realized that it was because of the 'lows' that shaped my year to be such a great one. Life is never easy, but it's what we make of it & how we approach situations that determine your happiness.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Happy New Year 2006! It' s time for me to write my New Year's resolutions once again. Thanks heaps to my crazy friends and colleagues who made my New Year's Eve celebration such a blast last night! :)

Of turkeys, Christmas trees & bubbly

Our family's first homely Christmas dinner, complete with a 6 kg turkey, bubbly, Christmas tree with lovely ribbons, lighting, ornaments... gift exchanges & jazzy Christmas music in the background with candles all round. Thanks to my amazing sister & bro in law :) Love you all heaps!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

My Christmas pix... :)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Merry Christmas & a Happy Happy New Year!!!

Merry Christmas everyone & a blessed New Year!! :)

I just loveee Christmas - it just gives the feeling of love, joy, peace & happiness ;)

It's the time to cherish & spend with family and friends, time of giving and caring and to think of those who are less fortunate and bring Christmas cheer.

Most importantly, for me, personally, it's a time of remembrance of Christ's birth - the reason for the celebration & a reminder of the HOPE that He gives!

"Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth & mercy mild, God and heavens reconcile..." lalalala...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"Most Unintentional Joker"?

Last Friday was a significant day for me - it marks the one year since I've graduated (can't believe it!) and probably 7 years since I found God. It was also a significant day as my cell group has multiplied into 2 groups. So, there was a little 'awards' session that the lovely leaders have creatively put up... our group was called Living Springs, and look how much effort and detail my leaders put into thinking up a meaningful award for each of us. A homemade bottled water with personalized label (it had my name on it which I've removed in the pic) ;P .... and mine was "Most Unintentional Joker". Apparently, sometimes I don't intend some things I say to be a joke but it just comes out funny - hmmm... :) Thanks!!! It was a really lovely night!!! :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

If an enemy had reviled me...

"If an enemy had reviled me, that I could bear; If my foe had viewed me with contempt, from that I could hide. But it was you, my other self, my comrade and friend, You, whose company I enjoyed, at whose side I walked in procession in the house of God." Psalms 55:13-15

Came across this line in the book "The 9 to 5 Window" by Os Hillman. Somehow it gave me some "blogspiration" - so I decided to blog about it. I think the psalmist was reflecting on something really personal, stating that if an enemy was to betray him - he can accept that, but not a close friend. Can you imagine? Someone very dear to you, someone that you trust deeply and confided in, betraying you? How does that feel?

Cheated. Broken. Hurt.

That's how it feels. Sometimes it takes months or even years to regain the trust (if there's any left) and rekindle the relationship (if it still remains). Trust is a very fragile thing - it's like if you shatter a glass and try to mend it, it could be done but the cracks are always visible, always there.

And yet, the bible says to 'love your enemies'. I think that's one verse that is very difficult to live by. It states that everyone can love the people who are dear to them because that's easy to do, but how different are you if you do not love your enemies. The only way to do that is to rely on God for that extraordinary strength, to swallow your pride and remind yourself of God's grace. If He could forgive you and love you despite all the crap that you have done, who are you not to forgive and love those who have hurt you?

Monday, December 05, 2005

All glory to God!

Wow, I'm so surprised! Right when I feel so tired and bogged down by everything around me, especially with work, at the end of my Monday and I got an award from my senior for my work!

All I can say is 'Praise God & all glory be unto Him' !!

It's a good feeling, a real morale booster to know that I'm on the right track. And especially when I need it most, working on a tight schedule and under pressure these days. :) Thank you God for carrying me through even when things are rough, when my heart is heavy & thank you for blessing me with a wonderful supportive family and so many close, sincere friends (both old and new), who are there for me throughout it all..

"Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28)

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you" (Psalm 55:22)

And the verse that I put on my desktop every day to remind me:

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." (Colossians 3:23 & 24)

So if you are reading this and feeling bogged down with work, just know that there's Someone up there who can carry you through and bless you beyond what you can imagine. Of course there are some sacrifices I've made to put myself right with Him, but it's all worth it. Nothing comes close to the power of God...