Walking out of the valley

Ps 23:4 is the verse that comes to my mind as I reflect upon the past months. It has been tumultuous to say the least, with me being admitted to hospital for pneumonia earlier this year followed by an operation last week, to John and Desmond being constantly plagued with allergy which also resulted in an A&E visit, and to Janine being diagnosed with croup and dealing with her subsequent reflux for months.

Even as I am recovering now from the side effects of the antibiotics post operation, I thank God for this time to rest and take stock of the past months. To give thanks that “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps 23:4)

Indeed, God is with me every step of the way. The pneumonia episode was possibly the hardest period of my life, even harder than the time when I had to undergo treatment for breast cancer. Physically, this was at a whole new level as I could not move due to the excruciating pain in my ribs and lungs. Every breath felt like an acute sharp stab into my body and I had to rely on sleeping pills and massive drugs in the hospital to get through the day. It would have been impossible to get through those days without hanging on to the promises of God and knowing that He was for me and with me. I was surprised by text messages from friends/shepherds/Pastors who said they felt led by the Lord to message me. All your prayers and encouragement shone a light in the darkness I experienced, reminding me that our God cares and He is the ultimate savior.

By His grace, I recovered way faster than what the doctor had expected and could be discharged after several days. Nevertheless, it took another month before I could feel any semblance of my ‘normal’ self and begin to carry and play with my kids. I will always remember the time when John asked for me, and everyone told him I was too sick and unable to move. He immediately said he wanted to pray for me and said a prayer to Jesus for me to get well. Then, he told Des that he wanted to give me his “Jesus loves me” sheep. He brought his blue sheep, which he’s had since he was a baby, and gave it to me before leaving the room. Tears still well up whenever I think of that moment.

Having gone through the different health episodes, I cherish my children more than ever. They are so precious and I feel so blessed and privileged to be given the opportunity to steward and nurture them. They bring me incredible joy and delight, and it makes my heart so full just to watch them. Janine is the sweetest angel, always smiling and happy to play and relate, even when she was very sick. Her gentle and independent spirit also made caring for her easy for us amidst our health challenges. John has been an incredibly loving and sensible son and big brother. His gentleness and graciousness towards his sister has inspired me to be more gracious and gentle as well. His hugs, kisses and prayers for me, especially when I was unwell, are like medicine to my soul. Just like night, John recited Ps 23 together with me as I put him to bed and it blew my mind how three years has flown by since he first arrived!

I thank God that the health issues are now behind me. As David declared in Ps 23:5-6, (You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever), I shall continually enjoy life and life more abundantly!

 

2017.08.23 - morning John hugging Janine in cot 4 (good)  Continue reading

Advertisements

Thankfulness

Janine has finally been discharged after spending over 2 weeks in the NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit). We were so excited to bring her home earlier this week!

Our hearts are incredibly grateful for God’s perfect and diving timing for all that has transpired! 

Thank God for

  • Protecting and delivering Janine from all the early concerns that the doctors had!
  • A super fast recovery and for strength so that I could spend half a day in the hospital daily over the past two weeks!
  • Adequate milk supply for Janine despite having only one working side! 
  • Janine who is a natural at latching and drinking from the bottle! The NICU nurses were impressed and shocked at how fast and efficient she was at drinking!
  • John, who has recovered after having had cough / sniffles the past week. 
  • A super man hubby and daddy who had to manage work, an unwell John, and hospital visits to Janine. 
  • Competent, professional, caring NICU nurses, who took such great care of Janine, and whom I’m gonna miss!!!! 
  • All the love, kind thoughts and prayer support from family and friends! 

Having spent quite a bit of time in NICU, and looking at the progress of other babies, I’ve come to realize what a blessing and miracle it is to have and hold a healthy baby! 

I am so blessed to have two precious healthy darlings, John and Janine! When they first met earlier this week (as John wasn’t allowed in the NICU), my heart melted when I saw them interacting!

Thank God that John has had a smooth transition to being the big brother, and it has been so touching to see how he looks for Janine every morning when he wakes up, and in the evenings when he comes back from school!

Truly, God knows what is best for our family and we trust that His goodness, grace and mercy will lead us all the days of our lives! 

By His grace and mercy, we will celebrate Christmas as a family of four this year!!!! 

Blessed Christmas everyone!!!

“We love because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19

0m-12-19-2016-last-day-in-nicu-mummy-carry-outside-nicu-7-good 0m-12-20-2016-pretty-hand-pose-on-face-good30m-12-22-2016-john-holding-janine-after-school-4-good-fav

Precious Gift

Over the past week, I happened to be listening to Pastor Prince’s “The God that rewards” sermon. In it, Pastor expounded on Hebrews 11:5-6 which states that “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Pastor mentioned that:

  • when you give a gift to someone, it should be based on what the receiver likes and not based on what you like.
  • Daddy God is a good God who wants to supply all your needs in your life.
  • God is a Rewarder!

Well, 5 Dec is my beloved husband, Des’ birthday! And I believe Daddy God has prepared a most precious gift for him (and me)!

We are thrilled and blessed to welcome sweetie Janine (who arrived on 4 Dec) into our family!!!

janine

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” Ps 127:3

P.s. In Hebrew, the meaning of the name Janine is: Gift from God.

P.O.P

The church theme for this year is “Possessing Our Possessions” (P.O.P). Never did I imagine that POP would entail this for our family!

Daddy God decided to let me in on the surprise on Mother’s Day – that’s when we first suspected He had other plans for John – to be a Kor Kor!

Even the doctor was surprised that this was an “unplanned” incident – given our history of having no kids after 6 years of marriage and the cancer diagnosis 4 years back.

But daddy God has indeed renewed our youth and here we are, pain free and healthy, expecting our younger champion at almost 40 years of age! Haha

Since finding out that I was expecting in May, it’s been an exciting 3 months of witnessing God’s intervention and divine timing:
– In June, we started considering a potential house move and decided to focus on one particular development. On the weekend that we wanted to view available units, only one unit came up! And it was newly listed! We all felt it was perfect for our season and we sealed the deal within days.
– In July, we moved into our new place and were so thankful that John had no issues settling! In fact, he loved it!

– Meanwhile, we also felt that John was ready for school. We had a school in mind but had a slight reservation about the campus which looked quite dated. Moreover, the waiting list was so long that they wouldn’t be able to accommodate us. But we found out that the school was opening a new campus 5 minutes from where we stayed and they were taking in students from August! So John managed to secure a spot in the new campus and he’s been adjusting really well to school! He’s asked me for “more school please” on many occasions! John had bonded well with his amazing teachers whom I am most grateful for!

Daddy God has proven time and time again that He will take care of us – He opens the doors no one can shut; and when He shuts, no one shall open (Is 22:22). Even when it comes to younger champion, he prepared us on the gender, yet in a different way from when we had John!

This time round, Des had an inkling that it’d be a girl and the meaning of the name would point to grace. All our friends who came to know about the pregnancy in the early weeks all called the baby – “her” and one particular friend shared her dream. Apparently, in her dream a few months back, she saw our family with John and a baby girl in 2017. So she wasn’t surprised with the news of the pregnancy. All these culminated in our research for a girl’s name and only one name resonated with us. At week 15, 5 weeks ago, it was confirmed that we’ll be expecting Janine (which means God is gracious / Gift from God) around 2 Jan 2017!

We can’t wait to welcome Janine into our family. John’s been hugging my tummy/Janine since we told him (from the start) that he’ll be a big brother soon! We know that this is God’s plan for our family and surely, He who has gone before us will be with us – to provide, protect, deliver and bless!

“But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, And there shall be holiness; The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” ‭‭Obadiah‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭
24m 06.15.2016 - Dr Ong clinic, holding baby pic 9 FAV26m 08.04.2016 - after school, drinking water smiling FAV (good)

The year of His Restoration

Earlier this year, Pastor Prince shared that this (2015) was the year of His restoration.
During one of the recent church services, it suddenly struck me that 2015 has indeed been a year of His restoration in my life!

I can still remember vividly the days of
– never ending migraines and headaches that were so bad that I felt like “chopping off my head”. This was during my time in Boston Consulting Group more than a decade back.
– thinking that I may never be able to feel my shoulders again. My neck, shoulders and back were in such a bad state that I found myself unable to breathe when I walked. My back was in “seizures”. My shoulders were so “tight” that I could no longer feel them. Massage only made matters worse as the muscles were extremely tense and unable to “relax”! That was when I was referred to a pain specialist who treated me from 2006 – 2012.
– tendonitis in my finger which meant I had to lay off computer work for almost 3 months. I typed with only my left hand for a few months and could only hold a pen after 6 months.  I finally recovered after 9 months! Thank God for my amazing bosses in UBS who allowed me time to recover during that challenging phase.

These were just some of the worst pain episodes in my life. Post cancer diagnosis in 2012, I also thought that I may never experience motherhood and breastfeeding.

Yet today, I am the mother of a 19 month old bundle of joy and I experienced the intimacy of breastfeeding in the early months. Moreover, I can feel my shoulders again and I have no problems playing the piano (which I couldn’t for a long time after the tendonitis episode). Living with intense pain and migraines are now a thing of the past. I am not just healed, I have been restored. In the past, I never thought I would be able to care for a baby, given the pain I was in and how weak my muscles were.
But God, who specializes in the impossible has done for me what I thought would be impossible. He has given me the strength and healed me even as I looked after John. Despite caring and running after an over 10 kg active toddler, I have never felt stronger and younger 😉 Even a masseur commented on my biceps recently (he asked if I worked out regularly)! Lol

Truly, He is the one who satisfies my desires with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Ps 103:5)

All praise to Jesus and I know my days ahead will only get better and brighter because Jesus has gone ahead into 2016! John seems excited and so am I!

31 Dec 2015 - NYE alpha gym

Blessed 2016 everyone!

 

Divine exchange

This happens to be one of ‘those’ days.
  • Days when I see an accident in the making and lo and behold, it happens. Earlier today, John bumped his head and face badly, twice within an hour.
  • Days when I fail to see the fish bone when feeding John his lunch.
  • Days when the circumstances scream that I’ve failed as a parent because of my carelessness, negligence, lack of foresight, …
But these are also the days when I dig myself into His grace. For only His divine exchange can set me free from self condemnation and empower me to move forward because He’s got my back. Moreover, He never fails to show me that He’s got John’s back too:
  • Despite the 2 terrible falls, John escaped unscathed. I can hardly believe that there is no swelling on his face and head.
  • Amidst my failure to pick out the inch-long fish bone which was well masked with the rest of his cod fish, John miraculously refused to eat that very spoon of fish. His surprise refusal led me to put the fish back on the plate and that’s when I discovered the fish bone! After I removed the bone, he happily continued eating the rest of the fish. Truth be told, this might be the 5th time we’ve experienced a similar “fish-bone” situation this year and John had, on every occasion, refused the very spoon of fish with a bone in it. Once, I ate the spoon of fish that John refused, and I was badly hurt by the hidden fish bone! Thank Abba for His divine protection over John!
It is so apt that my leader shared this devotional* earlier this week:
“You see, because of Adam’s fall, you became a prisoner of sin the moment you were born. You became a sinner not because of your sins, but because of Adam’s sin. And because you were born a sinner, you couldn’t help but sin. That’s why Romans 6:17 says that “you were slaves of sin.”
But Jesus did something beautiful at the cross.
Because of His unconditional and unfailing love for you, He broke you loose from the prison of sin and secured for you a place of righteousness.

He provided the divine exchange – His perfection for your imperfection; …..”

Indeed, despite my best efforts, I will be an imperfect parent. God knows that and so He gave me His son Jesus to save, redeem and restore. That’s why God’s grace is so meaningful and precious to me. In the past few years, I’ve seen Him restore my soul, health, family relationships and more. These days, I witness His hand in redeeming my parenting mistakes and saving John from them.

🙂

So on days when I am tempted to blame myself for all the things that are going “wrong”, I will believe and say Amen to the reminder at the end of the devotional*:

“Today, know that when God sees you, He sees you in Jesus. And in Christ, you are accepted, complete, and righteous. Keep seeing yourself as God sees you, and receive His power to reign over area of weakness or failing!”
Amen! ~ John who more than survives mummy's mistakes, by the grace of God

Amen! ~ John who more than survives mummy’s mistakes, by the grace of God

*from Grace Revolution app devotional by Pastor Joseph Prince

ONE

Parenthood for the past year has been an incredibly blessed journey. I could never have imagined the amount of fun and joy I have experienced – watching John grow by the day; parenting with the best hubby and daddy Des; receiving much love from family and friends.

God knows the many fears I had about becoming a mother. Fears of not having enough personal time, losing touch with friends, and even losing too much hair! etc etc. Yet, as I look back at the past year, I realize that He cares deeply for me and He has more than adequately addressed every fear! In fact, I have never felt younger, stronger and more rested!

Above all, He has blessed me with a healthy, strong and super cute darling John! As John turns one today, my prayer for him is to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Christ’s love for him. We believe that Jesus will continue to help Des and me to be the best stewards of this precious gift!

Thank you Lord for giving us John!

You are ONE, John!

Blessed birthday from your parents who love you beyond words can express!

First day

0 1st Day (23 May 2014) - JOHN FAV

1M

1M Day 25 (15 Jun 2014) - cutie FAV done

2M

2M Day 58 (18 Jul 2014) - chubbers cutie smile done

3M

3M Day 81 (10 Aug 2014) - @ Star stroller FAV done

4M

4M Day 136 - mummy

5M

5M Day 147 - John FAV done

6M

6M+ Day 186 - 6M pear beard FAV

7M

7M Day 198 - Awesome family shot - grey tops (daddy's prezzy)

8M

8M Day 247 - Playing with String FAV done

9M

9M

10M

10M Day 317 - big wink 4 teeth FAV

11M

11M+ Day 348 - hands on hat and new jumpsuit FAV done

John is ONE! 

12M (23 May 2015)

You are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved!