Nemo and Panda

This is part 2 of the previous post – “Favor”! Upon reading my side of the story on how blessed John and Janine were to receive their Nemo and Panda, Vernice wrote to me regarding “her side of the story”!

Thank you Vernice for sharing your testimony, as follows:

I tried my luck at one of the booths using a coupon booklet I received from TOUCH after giving away all the others I had to random kids (because my whole cell group couldn’t make it so they gave all their free coupons to me). I was pacing around the festival, wondering which booth I should use my coupons on. The nemo soft toy among other prizes caught my eye at the ring throw station, so with an expectation to win something, I gave my coupon to the station master. I had 12 tries, and after the first few throws not winning anything, I thought to myself, “oh I’ll probably just not win anything” which was completely fine with me.

It was my fifth throw and I managed to secure a medium prize. My heart was lifted, I thought again to myself ambitiously, “oh hey maybe i can win the big prize”. A few more throws and lo and behold, I won the big prize; even the staff was amazed because there were many others who paid to try at the game multiple times but couldn’t win anything, then there was me who used free coupons and won two prizes in a row. In the end, my spoils were a big nemo soft toy and a panda plushie. I was elated and pleased, I rarely won prizes at festivals.

I was about to head back to my grandmother’s place when another thought came into my mind. I found myself asking out loud (like not kidding, it just came out of my mouth all of a sudden), “do I want to be selfish or do I want to make someone’s day?” To be honest, I wanted to keep the toys as a momento so I struggled with letting go. I even asked my brothers through whatsapp if they wanted the plushies, hoping they would say yes so I could keep them at home. At this point of time, I was already looking around for kids to give the toys out and I actually spotted a huge family with three small children. However, I still didn’t approach them because my brothers have not replied me. Meanwhile, a family of four walked past me, with the mother pointing me out to her children and kids staring at the prizes in my hands. I had a prompting immediately to give my prizes to them instead.

I stalked them for a while before my phone buzzed with the message from my brothers saying they didn’t want the toys. At that moment, I knew I had to give the toys away. Approaching the family slowly, I explained that I won the prizes at a booth but I didn’t really have a need for them so I’m giving both plushies away. The mother was extremely excited and exclaimed that the nemo toy was exactly what her son was trying to win for the past two days at the festival, and that the panda toy was her daughter’s favourite. She then said, “wow God really loves the both of you.” (to her kids)

My heart melted at the scene. God’s timing and purpose is really so amazing! We took some photos and I left the festival right after, smiling to myself as I walked to the mrt station.

This whole incident made me learn one thing: The assistance you render to someone might just be God’s next provision or blessing for them. You might think little of it, but it might mean the world to someone else. The family is very thankful to me, but I am thankful also to them for giving me the chance to bless others and really affirm that God really does love all His sons and daughters.

2018.09.02 - Carnival, Panda

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Favor

Unbelievable.

This weekend was unlike any other, partly because it was John and Janine’s first visit to a carnival. Despite having had lots of fun at different rides and games on Saturday with his grandparents and Auntie, one particular game store stood out for John. He recounted how he tried to throw hoola hoops into cones in hopes of getting a Nemo stuffed toy. Unfortunately, he did not succeed in the game.

As such, he was very excited when we decided that we would go to the carnival again on Sunday. Obviously, John asked to play the hoola hoop game again. Whilst we were at it, I was hoping that we could either win the Nemo (the big prize) or at least the small Panda, as this has been Janine’s favourite animal. Alas, John (and daddy) failed again.

Empty handed, but still happy, we left for dinner. After dinner, we decided to head back to the carnival to say our goodbyes to Auntie Camy, who was helping to man a station. Out of everyone in the crowd, I spotted a lady who was carrying a Nemo and a Panda stuffed toy. At that instant, I just thought about how blessed she was as they were the very prizes I was hoping to win for my kids! Nevertheless, we continued walking towards Camy’s station, while the lady walked in a different direction.

A couple of minutes later, while the kids were playing at Camy’s station, the same lady came up to me and asked if John and Janine would like to have the Nemo and Panda! She explained that she had won them but wasn’t planning to keep them. Apparently, she followed us as she saw how Janine was staring at her stuffed toys!

My jaw literally dropped. There were SO MANY stuffed toys and SO MANY people at the carnival. Yet, my kids were about the receive the exact gifts they desired from a complete stranger who spotted us! This HAD to be God in action!!! Daddy God pouring out His undeserved, unmerited favor, simply because He loves John and Janine and wants to bless them!

My kids seemed almost as shocked as me when they took the Nemo and Panda over from dear stranger Vernice. We took a quick photo with her before she left.

This amazing encounter convinces me, once again, that I have a daddy God who cares very much about the desires of my heart. Nothing is considered too small or insignificant, because what matters to me, matters to Him.

I can just imagine the smile on His face, as He sees the smile on John and Janine’s faces!

Thank you Vernice and Thank you Jesus!!!

2018.09.02 - Carnival, Nemo Panda2018.09.02 - Carnival, Ferris Wheel2018.09.01 - Carnival, horse carousell with mummy Camy 2 (good)

(The Giving Family Festival organised by Touch Community Services,
Singapore Sports Hub, OCBC Square, 1-2 Sep 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Sweet

Our Sweet Sweet turns 1 today!

It has been quite a ride since Janine’s earlier than expected arrival a year back at 1.95kg, warranting some time in the NICU. By God’s grace, the resilient tough sweetie has now quadrupled her weight!

As I reflect upon the past year, Ephesians 3:20 comes to mind.

Because…

Janine’s the daughter who is jolly and easy going (almost) all the time, even in the midst of physical discomfort . She’s always game to try and push herself to new heights, yet respects the boundaries we set for her. She’s the angel baby who enjoys her swim and gym class and has never once cried when attempting something new. She’s the sister who adores her brother John, often watching and imitating him, yet willing to give him the space he needs when required.

Janine is more than what we could ever imagine or ask for in a daughter and sister.

So to our dearest, most precious, Sweet Sweet:

We are so grateful to God for bringing you into our lives. You are His reward to us and you have more than multiplied the joy and laughter in our family. You are uniquely intense, intentional, resilient, determined, adventurous, full of joy and life – and we pray that you will continue to prosper in all things, as your Heavenly Father surrounds you with favour and crowns you with wisdom!

Eph 3:20 – Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think..

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1m 2017.01.16 - day 44 pink polkadot dress ballerina pose edited (good) FAV

 

 

 

 

 

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2m 2017.02.08 - day 67 with headband

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3m 2017.03.10 - smile (good)

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4m 2017.04.04 - smile in bumbo (good) FAV

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5m 2017.05.21 - trying to take passport pic, polkadot 8 FAV

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6m 2017.06.04 - trying to take passport pic BEST (good) FAV

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7m 2017.07.06 - Little Splashes, first swim class 3 (good) FAV

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8m 2017.08.21 - grin on cot 2 (good) FAV

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9m 2017.09.06 - happy after nap 7 (classic) (good) FAV

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10m 2017.10.19 - standing by John's cot, cute smile 4

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11m 2017.11.21 - purple dress, stand in cot 13 (good) FAV

Janine is ONE!

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You are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved!

 

 

 

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

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

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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)