One year on

How am I supposed to feel after growing up for 16 years with my Grandma by my side, and then have to continue growing up even when she’s gone? Sometimes I think about all the things that have happened or changed in this past year that she wasn’t here to witness, and wonder how she might have responded if she were here. Like how I’m no longer in a dance cca, and how I’ll be having another attachment at the end of the year, and how I’ve already almost completed one year of JC. Some days, I play out conversations in my head, like on the day I received my results. It’s been happening since primary 1 – me coming home from school to tell her my results – and now all of a sudden, I can’t tell her anymore.

I don’t recall when I first started the draft for this blog post, but here is a list I’ve accumulated for a while now, and revised 25 times (or so WordPress informs me). It’s in no way exhaustive, just

Random things I miss very much:

  1. Going downstairs on Bazhang days and not seeing her standing at the stove in her light blue pyjamas, the one with little flowers on them
  2. Having toast and tuna and otah and eggs for dinner
  3. Adventurous brands of ice cream in the fridge
  4. The TV turned on at full volume
  5. Random calls from family members in Hong Kong asking for her
  6. The pair of old-fashioned slippers with netting and golden soles that she wore around the house
  7. Me baking in the kitchen and her coming over to watch me whenever her TV show switched to an advertisement
  8. Helping her fix the TV
  9. The bright yellow plastic cup with a lid
  10. Her calling me “ah Hui (hwee)”
  11. Telling her my exam results and her praising me (?) (hmm maybe not the praising bit, but feeling like I made her proud)
  12. Baking and giving her the first one, fresh out of the oven
  13. Sometimes seeing her at the stadium on the way to school
  14. Getting her version of tempura, or just any special feast of my favourite food, on my birthday
  15. Watching her watch and nod at the TV
  16. Helping her fill out the lucky draw ticket attached to NTUC receipts
  17. Looking out for her/walking behind her whenever we went out for meals
  18. Planning what she would cook for when my friends came over
  19. Wishing her happy new year in Teochew on the first morning of Chinese New Year
  20. Watching Korean dramas or the 9 o’clock channel 8 dramas with her
  21. Her favourite Julie’s butter biscuits
  22. Folding wantons together
  23. Looking for chiffon cake recipes or less sweet, healthier recipes to make for her
  24. Thanking her for preparing each meal
  25. Folding angpow cranes together for Chinese New Year
  26. Simply being able to sit with her

Hi mama, 我非常想念你 ❤

2015-march

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Apart from Him, I have no good thing

Psalm 16

miktam of David.

Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

I am still reeling from the joy I experienced in the past week, in something very “worldly” but that I give God all the glory for. I am 100% certain when I say I could not have achieved it by my human strength, but God is a faithful and limitless God. Even when I commit just one part of the process to Him, He goes before me and claims all the victory. He really does not shortchange me when I choose to honour Him above all else, and He is a God of miracles.

The guest pastor shared today that faith is not a blind leap. Rather, faith is a commitment to action, often beyond our natural abilities, but based on our knowledge of God and His ways. Faith is when the impossible becomes logical and the supernatural becomes natural. And the basis of faith is God.

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil His promises to her!

Since church camp I have just gone on further, from a place of peace to a place of joy and rest in God’s presence and I pray that this will continue for the next 1.5 years. In a place of sleep deprivation, hopelessness and so often despair, God can move so mightily!

During worship today I was reminded of what Chris Tomlin said in one of his live music pieces on Spotify: “May they live lives that are as big as you are God, dream dreams that are as big as you are God, to have visions that are as big as you are God, that in no way will their lives belittle you in any way.”

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us (1 John 4:16)

Mid ’17 Roundup!

Lazy girl’s way of saving her blog? Haha I’ve been waiting for some big event to blog but it never really came/I just never got the time to sit down and write but here are some nice pictures I wanted to share and talk about! Mostly from May and June so they’re not that old!

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Have been really into putting effort into and savouring my breakfasts! Breakfast foods are easily my favourite foods; I would legit eat them for every meal if I could. Oatmeal, cereal, smoothie bowls, acai bowls, more cereal yum yum.

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Also went back to RG for their second last house prac! Really miss everything about it ahhhhhhh take me back to RG 😦 It’s been so long since I’ve planned something for school tbh! JC has just been studying all the way it’s really quite draining.

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Okay but I’m still very thankful to be part of 3A because this is such a happy bunch! A good balance between happy and mugger 🙂

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All the sick kids who went for Sportsfest! Hehe loved seeing so many familiar faces and meeting the teachers again! They seemed more happy to see us than we were ahahaha and they didn’t even ask why we were there x)

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Best thing that came out of Cambridge tbh!! Surer thankful for Claire for being my ranting buddy, smart and over-qualified advisor, and just my 100% relatable friend who somehow knows me vv well after just half a year of friendship that has mainly been established over WhatsApp HAHA.

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Food adventures with J!! Of course Jap and of course we needed dessert :~)

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Yum yum yum yum.

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Yx graduated! And YQ and I baked her this carrot cake to celebrate :–) This is one bake that hasn’t failed me thus far hahaha but I guess it’s because I actually followed the recipe lol.IMG_2167

Treat yoself right … Have been wanting to try this bread for a while so one morning I treated myself to this nut butter and honey atop sourdough! V tiny for the price but oh well it was not bad!

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Happy birthday Mom haha tempura overload that night but no ragrets!
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Went to try Veganburg with YX!! After driving past it for so many years and seeing posts on Insta all the time. Really not bad but still pretty far haha will be a while before I go back.

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And Happy Birthday Pa!

Okay legit cannot believe 3/4 of my June holidays are already gone. Don’t even know what I DID AHH but I guess all good things must come to an end :”( One more week of good breakfasts, slightly better sleeps and a lot more studying before the 3 days of CTs roll around. Hopefully the next post won’t come in December! :~)

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Youth camp this year really exceeded my expectations because God met me in every place of need. Before camp, I was letting myself be so consumed by work that God took second place in my life. But then came burn out and a loss of my sense of purpose and confidence. I needed God to rekindle my fire for Him, to give me new purpose and give me the courage to dream and love myself again. And He did just that. At the very first service, even before we left for Malaysia, Ps Gerald and Ps Mavis already spoke God’s word to me during the altar call. I was reminded that God will never let me go and that I mustn’t let the devil assassinate the dreams that God has given me. Their prayers for me were really so spot on in addressing what I had been struggling with, I actually wondered how else God could surprise me and refresh me during the camp.

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Almost every altar call during the camp was a place of encounter with God, where I received visions and words from God, where prayers prayed over me continued to help me confront the doubts and fears I had stored up in my heart. I think the biggest problem I have is not that I don’t know God’s truths and promises, but that during difficult phases I find it hard to fully believe them. I’m always going to be a work in progress I guess! Every day can be a step closer to God 🙂

Besides getting to hear from God, I’m also really happy that I managed to get to know more people over the course of camp, including the younger p6s, sec 1s and 2s and the tertiary people! I’ve been really inspired by some of them and excited by the prospect of possibly doing some of the things they’ve shared with me when I’m older 🙂

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Really managed to let loose this camp and realign myself with God; I hope this won’t be an emotional high, or even a spiritual high, but become the new spiritual norm in my walk with God. I’m going to try my very best to let God take over my studies as well and trust that He will help me through the next two weeks and even 1.5 years 🙂

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Baptism

Prepared a 3/4 minute testimony for my baptism ceremony, but everyone before me spoke for a grand total of 20 seconds so I felt obliged to cut mine… Here is the full thing though! (After much previous cutting too…)

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I first came to know of Christ through my sisters. They both attended church as they had been invited by their friends. When I was younger, my sister invited me for an Easter service, and I accepted Christ then. But at that time, I didn’t fully understand the sinners’ prayer and also didn’t continue going for regular services.

When I entered secondary school, I joined dance as my CCA. But, in dance, I was constantly falling behind my batch mates. I always felt inadequate and dreaded CCA tremendously. I tended to overthink all the little things, which led to me having headaches. Julia was my senior in dance, and I noticed that although she had many things on her plate, she was always cheerful. I began talking to her more and opened up to her about my insecurities. She invited me to church and that was the start of my refreshed relationship with God. I felt that God spoke to me through the worship songs and sermons and that really helped me walk out of my self-pity.

Just last year, I had to campaign to become House Captain. My campaign was inspired by a bible verse, which encouraged me very much because I knew God was running the race with me. The journey from campaigning, to actually becoming house captain and having to manage my new responsibilities was definitely difficult. We faced many setbacks, but at the very end, we miraculously emerged as House Champions. That proved to me that whoever God calls, He will also glorify.

Next, I choose to put my trust in God because of the promises He has revealed to me. I’ve wanted to become a doctor for some time now and my motivation stems from my desire to help those in less privileged countries. During the Festival of Praise conference just a month ago, we were praying for God to show us His plans for our lives. At that moment, He showed me two faces I had never seen before – one of an African woman and one of a young Asian girl. I believe those were the faces of people I will reach out to in the future, and that was His promise that I will one day go out to the mission field, and not just cure illnesses, but also spread the joy of the Lord.

Also, I’ve always prayed for my parents to come to know Christ, and recently they’ve started attending our church services. This year has honestly been very challenging for me and my family. There are definitely still times when I slip back into overthinking my problems, but the difference is that with God, I can find comfort in the truth that He has a the perfect plan for me.

The following is an extract that I wrote a few months back:

When you fight the right battles, God fights for you. You can have confidence that you have already won the victory. When you suffer, God sees your tears and your hurt, but find comfort in the fact that you can run to your Father empty handed, and he will always cover you with His love, and nothing can harm you when you are in His embrace. Our Father’s love always protects, always hopes, always trusts, always perseveres. Ask and you shall receive, seek Him, and you will not fall.

God is too big for any human heart or mind to fully understand, but because He has carried me through everything so far, I commit to put my faith in what is unseen, and my trust in Him alone.

I’ll end off with a line from one of my favourite songs: Faith makes a fool of what makes sense, but grace found my heart where logic ends.

//

Honestly life is so much better and easier with God. Today while I was ushering, my fellow usher was talking to me and he said if you focus on your problems it’ll be very hard, so just focus on God. Which is 100% true! God already has a perfect plan for you, and you trust God, so you believe in His plan and therefore there is really no real need to worry. Our human hearts just cannot fathom what He has in store, so just believeeeeee ❤

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Sweet Sixteen

I spent last Friday in school, doing a Jap test, and then going for an overnight House camp 🙂 Not exactly how I would like to spend my sixteenth birthday but I’m really grateful to everybody who planned surprises and made the day an unforgettable one!

My 113/213 friends + house comm surprised me in the morning with a cake in the canteen! I really wasn’t expecting it so thanks J for coordinating!! Haven’t seen the nincompoops altogether in so long and it reminded me of how much I miss 213 😥 also thank you Rach for the matcha cake – it was really delicious even though I got a sore throat after that that escalated into a fever and then now a cough and runny nose HAHA. I get sick on my birthday every year lolz but it’s learning journey week now so I don’t wanna miss school!!!

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After school my Chinese family (comettos) sang me a special primary school version of happy birthday:
Happy birthday to you
You were born in the zoo
You look like a monkey
And you smell like one too

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I love my friends ❤
Thank you guys for the pretty cork board too hehe it’s up on my wall!!
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Then at the cafe, my friends from 407 sang me a song too x)) by now I was carrying the giant helium cupcake balloon so everyone was staring eeps. I appreciate all the food y’all have me!! Especially the happiness and funny jars it’s such a sweet present ❤

Jap friends gave me presents too and we spent our lunch talking and laughing rather carefreely unlike our usual quick lunches + studying after if we had a test. I think we are all beyond being super stressed for CAs especially since only prelims and Os are counted for Jap this year. Anyway I felt the test was okay-ish (still not gonna do well) but lol listening is a confirmed 0.

After Jap, J and I went back to school for house camp!! Where I spent the night + next day lelz but I got another cake from COZIFAM ❤ Y’all are autocorrect caps on my phone.
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On Sunday night I finally got to see the cake that Yq ordered but didn’t give me any details about. I was so excited when I found out it was from litying!! It was a really funny cake to cut HAHA we cut it in half horizontally before cutting slices because the feuilletine was too hard and the marshmallows were impossible to cut through. It was a banana and chocolate flavoured cake and it was quite yummy! Especially the macaroons 🙂 I would have preferred more sponge though, and next year I’m going back to coco exotic or some other off the shelf cake! Will just stick the wooden monkey cake topper in whatever I get 🙂 but thanks Yq for the cake!! ❤
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This is turning into birthday week but the last birthday celebration was on Wednesday night! We went to Aura at the National Gallery 🙂 The ambience and food and service were all really good so 9/10 would recommend for a special occasion! I’d been craving pasta for really long and I finally had ravioli yesterday. Apart from that the tuna tartare was also super yum.
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After all the birthday celebrations and cards I received, what I felt the most was the love that is always there but is just expressed more explicitly on birthdays. I’m very thankful to have been blessed with so many genuine friendships that have lasted time and space, like friendships from Rosyth and from 213! Even though everyone is stressed out and bogged down by Y4, meeting up and laughing just helps to remind me that I’m not in this alone and school is not all work and no play. Rgs may have been a challenge but I’m going to miss this so much next year 😥 My senior said because RI is so big she hardly sees the same friends around anymore and it really shows you who your real friends are and who you will set aside time to meet specifically! So I’m going to treasure the remaining time in rg and make the most out of it in terms of strengthening friendships 🙂

I’m also infinitely thankful to my family for always being my constant pillars of support at home. On one hand I’m excited to be growing up (quite quickly?) because I’m looking forward to uni actually! Looks like a lot of fun from Yq’s and Yx’s pics + hard work behind the scenes haha. But on the other hand growing up means more responsibilities and I think I have enough for now x)

Thank you to everyone I’ve met along the way, for making the past 16 years such an adventure ❤

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Start of an end, Jan 2016

(This is for you Diwei)

Where has January gone 😮 I can’t decide if I’m glad that I’m 1/12 done with this year or if I should be alarmed at how quickly the exams are coming at me. This year has already been so much more hectic than I ever imagined. I would say I started it off on a pretty good note by sticking to the goals I set for myself, but I’m starting to lose sight of the master calendar for the year and being overwhelmed by the never-ending daily piles of work. Telling myself I’m going to finish everything as soon as possible also doesn’t work when I just fall asleep on my desk…

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House has been a big part of this year thus far! Some nights are just spent on House work till 10ish (or 1ish…) and then I start on homework haha ha. It can get frustrating sometimes, but working together with House Comm on every little initiative is super fun! Also, realising that this work is meant to impact such a large group of people means I can’t push it aside and do something else. I was rather nervous before House Practice 1, but then I met my buddy group Y1s and they are so cute! They named themselves Richardson Roti Prata haha. I’m also so grateful to have such outgoing House Commers and SLTs in the buddy group! It helps so much in easing the Y1s into House and I hope all of them grow to love House more and more ❤ Really exciting for the coming House Prac and seeing all of them again!

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Cozifam after orientation concert

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Leadboard heads!

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After Orientation Challenge!

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Farewell to our House teachers Ms Lee and Mr Foo :-(((

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Roti Prata

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House Comm!!! <3333

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Such a bad photo omg but Y4s

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EXCO + Banners!

CCA has also been oddly fun this past month! I remember dreading CCA a lot in Y1, but this dislike decreased each year and now I really love dance. It has been pretty slack this past month because we kept watching the juniors work on their CNY piece! It was really well put together – we’re so proud of them :’) But last prac we did 2 hours of improv w o w I wasn’t expecting it!! I love improv though – partly because it doesn’t require memory work and laoshi encourages us to not use technique and just be as wild as we need to be. Concert is coming up so soon and I’m both excited and terribly anxious because there’s so much to do! I love both our batch item and the Y1 batch item that Shu and I are choreo-ing hehe. In Y1 I just wanted to quit in Y2, and between Y2 and Y3 I just couldn’t wait to step down in Y4 but now I don’t ever want this to end 😦

 

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Recreating this photo every year

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Y2s-Y4s!! Y1s coming on Thursday hehe

Our batch outing (missing Shu :-() to Botanic Gardens! This started off as an idea for a CNY lunch but evolved into a picnic and photo-taking session haha. Much love for this bunch! Not looking to forward to us splitting up in JC 😦 We were so protective of our batch in Y3 haha and so against the idea of anyone new joining us because we just couldn’t imagine altering any part of Braidotes. Another reason why I don’t want to leave this CCA urgh D-:

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V successful chill picnic!

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That’s Chopin

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Jump shot with Yixuan!

After CNY celebrations in school, we went to meet Jing for a Comettos/Chinese family tuan yuan fan! Ate at Wimbly Lu hehe finally tried their waffles 🙂 It was q yum but nothing super special! It was a v cozy space and great catch-up session though! Probably said this 1 billion times already but I think it’s amazing how we seemingly just pick up where we left off last time and have comfortable convos like we used to in primary school.

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Colour scheme super on point IMO!!

Eeps not much to say for January evidently!! Sigh so many seniors said Y4 was easier but really… I don’t think so HAHA. Just thankful for people around me for being so understanding and tolerant of my temperament!! Am struggling along.

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