Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Psalm 27

Tonight's reading was Psalm 27. I can almost hear King David singing the song....well, a modern version of it.   Then, I remember my favorite Stuart Townend song (which I just found out was a hymn based from Psalm 27).

Buy "You Are My Anchor (the Father's Embrace)" from iTunes

I could sing/play this song over and over. The lyrics remind me:

- that my hope and salvation belong only to the Lord
- to be confident, because God leads/teaches the way to those who the faithful
- that all the troubles and waiting in this life will definitely be worth it because one day, I will dwell in the house of the Lord and see His face, forever.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Achi Perl and Jakarta

It was a very sad news that made me and my husband hurriedly searched the net and booked our way to Jakarta. One of our ninangs in our wedding, Achi Perl was diagnosed with Stage 4 bone cancer earlier this year. And so, with our tickets secured, leaves approved, Eldee, Dan and I found ourselves on a flight en route to Jakarta to visit Achi Perl.

I met Achi Perlita thru Dan 3 years ago (we were just bf-gf then).  She is a picture of strong and independent woman.  She is confident, smart and very funny. Many could be said about her (not to mention,  people love her! very evident during our wedding...hahah!), but there are two things that I really admire about Achi Perl - her passion for God and her passion to seek and save the lost.

Achi Perl is a missionary in Indonesia.  Even before I knew her, her heart was already set for the Muslim. She'd also been a missionary in Palawan (where she evangelised to Tagbanua tribe) and Davao. Her whole life was devoted to God and His people. Before,  I thought she was insane - to leave her family/friends just to go to a strange place ALONE (she's still single by the way) to teach and spread the Good News. But now,  I really admire her courage and sacrifices to follow and heed God's call. 

Soooo back to our visit, these are the things we did with Achi Perl when we went to Jakarta (apologies for the blurred iPhone pics):

Ate some Peranakan dishes 
Tried some not usual local dishes
we also did some local shopping. Above are colorful batik shirts
did more window shopping...(ooooh!! look at those Japanese fluffly ube and pandan buns)

back to regular eating :) - ate those yummy kueh

Tried the #1 bottle drink (yes! more famous than Coca-Cola) - Teh Botol

treated ourselves with A&W's waffle and float. Both taste too sweet!!

We also got to visit Achi Perl's local church

Regarding Achi Perl's condition, we were so relieved to find her okay, and very well loved and taken care by her peers! :)

Previously, I had this notion that if you are in the mission field, you live in tacky, old, dirty place. And with Achi Perl's illness (which was not so obvious because she even walked faster than me and Dan!!! >.<),  it might be too much bear.  But that is not what we saw. Achi Perl lives in a condo (with a swanky pool). Her place is just a tumbling away from the mall,  near the taxi stand, laundry shops, restaurants, etc. Everything was so convenient. 

We also learned that she has colleagues living within the condo so in case something happens, there are people she can call. In a way, we were relieved, and thankful to God for being so gracious to Achi Perl. To me, it's a testimony that God provides and is faithful to those who trust and obey Him.

We were also blessed to visit the Achi Perl's school, where she is the chaplain. I had the opportunity to share my testimony with the primary school kids and it was really nerve-wracking (my stage fright kicked-in!!). All in all, it was a good experience! :)

new student or new teacher ang peg?

loitering new students...

With the school chaplain
Though our 3-day visit to Jakarta was too short, I want to thank Achi Perl for taking care of us (instead na we take care of her).  May God take care of her, and use her as a vessel of God's love and grace to people around her, in sickness or in health.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Half a Year

We survived! Woohooo! We made it thru 6 months of being husband and wife!!

The road was bumpy. There were arguing, forgiving, compromising and adjusting. But at the end, we are still together... bounded by love and forgiveness (yes, cheezzzyyy!!) and by God's grace and sustenance (lots and lots of it!! :) ),

From the beginning, I knew that marriage is not a bed roses. And I want to thank my husband for not making it a bed of thorns either. hahaha!

Lemme share our wedding SDE (I know it's been long overdue!)

I still get goosebumps and kilig every time I watch it (even hearing the music). Sometimes, we wonder, was it really us (on the vid)? Did it really happen? It was such a fun and blessed day. And I pray that whenever the going gets tough, I will remember that day, all the kilig, promises, love and hope. :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Before the clock hits 12 midnight, and the whole universe screams that this year will be my last of being 20-something years old (ooohhh nooo!), let me look a bit back and a little forward into the pages of my life.

 ...enters melancholy music :D

I realised how funny things turned up because I've never been that kind of girl who plans (even my husband can attest!). There are people who have their whole lives planned out - that they should be this or that at certain age....and I am absolutely not one of them! I never planned to be a DLSU graduate at 20, a mainframe developer at 21 and an OFW here in Singapore (still now, I cannot believe this) at 24. I never imagined knowing God and His People at 23!

And because of this unplanned life, that I am thankful to God. Every moments and every stages in my life seem accidental to me, but for God, they are certainly not. He has everything planned out! He is the Author of my life (His promise and also my hope). Sino ba naman ang di maghohope kapag ang Author ng life mo ay yung the best and out of this world/universe (the One that time and space cannot contain, the Alpha and Omega)! :)

Now I am finding a hard to look forward coz I don't plan nga.. :)  But lemme just enumerate some of the things that I wanted to do and achieve (with God's guidance and blessing) , at the least on my 29th year on earth:

1. Adapt on my new roles and responsibilities at home, career and ministry.
2. Be more productive - less time on social media apps and more time for Bible-reading, blog-writing...anything that would nourish my mind, soul, and body.
3. Exercise more :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Taming the Dragon (A Post About Submission)


13 days?!! Oh boy! Where did the days go?! Our wedding day is just so around the corner...YIKES!!! I CANNOT BILIB IT!!! (okay, all exclamation points should stop right here. hihih) :)

Since our big day is fast approaching, we decided to finish our stationaries by last week. And by God's grace we were able to finish most of them. Gaaah! It was such a relief.

You see, me and Dan are sooooo involved in this wedding - even which pasta goes into which bowl in our table centerpiece, we both make the call.  Sometimes we finish tasks easy breezily. But sometimes it takes us millions of years! Conflicts arise when both of us have opposing views (like when we have different opinion on what are necessary or just plain kaartehan). And being the bridezilla bratty me, I want to get things my way. I know it is wrong but I CANNOT HELP IT!

The Bible calls wives to be submit to your husbands, as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).

I know!! IT IS NOT EASY! Pride and some feminist views get in the way at times. Or there are days when I'll say, "my way is better" or "ikaw kasi kahit anu-ano lang, okay na".  I cannot just let go of things sometimes.

One of the reasons (I think) why I won't submit to Dan is I do not TRUST him enough....that we he would make the best decision and that he cares about what I want. Ako naman kasi, nauunahan kaagad ng tampo and emotion kaya drama queen kaagad ang peg. But now I realize, he hasn't done anything that he didn't think through (and through and through to the nth level). Si Dan pa! One of the things I like about him is that he is very responsible. And the lola in me, always forget that! Oh, screwed up me...

As our wedding day approaches, may God continually change my heart from being an aggressive and dominating one to a trustful and submissive one. I definitely cannot do it alone, but I know God (Who sustains me each day) can.

Tonight's Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for bringing Dan into my life 6 years ago. Thank You for sustaining him, showering him with Your love and patience to withstand all my quirkiness and sometimes evil me. Thank You for not making him come to his senses, even asking my hand for marriage...Lord God, after two weeks, I will be one with Dan. I pray that may You mold to be a suitable partner for him, trusting and supporting him always. I know I am still far far away from being a perfect / ideal wife. But I do not trust myself, I trust You (a quote from Ptr Jeff's wife). I know You will never forsake and leave me. Amen.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wedding DIY: Pouchette / Petal Envelope


1 month to go, and I will be a Mrs. Danilo Chua!! Imagine?!? ONE MONTH!! I am excited, nervous and panicky all the same time. It's like there's a whirlpool of emotions going on inside me. :)

Lately, I find blogging as some sort of relaxation and relief. Or maybe, I just need an outlet...hahahah! Since I don't have anyone to share my excitement and rants with (other than Dan), I just write everything here (journals are made for that, right?). I also decided not to create a separate blog/wedsite for our wedding. I just find it a waste of cyberspace coz there's no more use for it after the wedding (just my opinion)...or maybe I am just plain lazy? hahah!  

Anyway, today I'll share our DIY petal envelopes for our pre-wedding celebrations. Yes, PRE-WEDDING! and not just for one, but for two pre-wedding celebrations... :) By God's grace, Dan's both side of the family were blessed with big families. And since our wedding venue can only accommodate 250 guests, we cannot invite them all on our big day. Thank you for my future in-law's kindness for arranging everything and also for their generosity for footing the bill. Yey! :D

Sorry, I digress. :)

You can find a lot of DIY instructions for petal envelope on the web, but some requires a lot of tools (like protractors, bone folders, cutter machines, etc.). For my pouchette, these are just the materials that I used:
-  A2 vellum paper (got it for SGD1.2 at Fancy Paper, Bugis)
-  ruler
-  pencil
-  eraser
-  typewriting paper
-  scissor
-  brush (optional) 

Step 1: Go to Printable Paper site and print the polar graph with 15 degrees angle and 1/4 inch radial. Cut to desired size (my invite is 6 inches, so I cut a 6 1/4" diameter circle. Fold the circle into half.

Step 2: Get the vellum paper. Fold it lengthwise.

Step 3: Fold again the paper into 3 even pieces, then cut. By now, you should have 6 12"x12" square vellum pieces.

Step 4: Get a piece of the vellum paper and the ruler. Draw a box with the same size as your base circle. Get and trace your "improvised" protractor to create the flaps. Cut to have something like this (this will be your trace paper):

Step 5: Before folding, you may want to erase the traces. You may use a brush to wipe off the dirt.

Step 6: Fold each flap in to form the pouchette. Create folds with your finger or a ruler to help the flaps lay flat.

Step 7: Insert your invite...then, taaaddaaahh!

At first, I was contemplating if I will just buy online and have them delivered from US. Thank God I did not coz I saved more than 40SGD from shipment and stuff! I also thank God for my very loving and supportive fiancé who stayed up with me til wee hours to cut and fold the papers. :)

More DIYs to come :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

All About Changes


I may exude calmness and 'everythin' is all right' demeanor about our wedding preps but deep inside I am screaming, "Our wedding's gonna be SOOOOO SOON, and I am not yet ready!!!".

It's not just about wedding preparation - the table seating, which we haven't finalised, Dan's DREADED first dance which I haven't figured out yet, and others stuff....

It's just that, I am still not ready to face the CHANGES that's gonna happen in my life. I am not good with changes. I worry about the changes that those changes would bring into my day-to-day life. I hate all the inconveniences and all the adjustments, like when Dan was accepted at Visa, I cried like a baby (because I won't see him as much anymore). When I first heard Eldee (Dan's sister) would study here, I worried that she would bother us all time. Even the minute things - the bathroom when we moved house, the finger scanner in the office (before, we used card access).

For our upcoming marriage/wedding, here are the changes that I am a little squeamish about:
1. Change of my name title from Ms. to Mrs 
    - It's just that I feel so old (yes! I am still in denial. hahahah! )

2. Change of my surname from Sia to Chua 
    - Don't get me wrong, I like Chua. There's nothing wrong with. It's just that it is so hard to let go of my precious father's name that has been with me for 28 years of my life.

 3. Change where I should now submit to someone
    - To submit to my parents, to the government, to my bosses is natural (but still, sometimes I fail... :( ) But to submit to Dan is such a struggle. Is it because I am the eldest in my family, and he's the middle child? Or because I am months older? I don't know...

  4. Change that I should not always think about myself, but Dan and my future kids (if God will provide).
     - Because sometimes, I tend to be selfish

 T-38, and I am still thinking about all these things!! I don't know what to do but I am convinced that God would get me through me this.
Tonight's Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing us this far in our wedding preparation. As we prepare for our big day, help us prepare our hearts and minds for marriage. As a new season of life unfolds before our eyes, we are confident that You will be with us in each step, as You've been with us all this time. Help us not to worry, not to rely on ourselves but on You. Because we know that You are faithful and You don't change. You are the Author of our lives and all its seasons of changes has been written lovingly by Your Hands. Help us to cling on you always. In Jesus Christ's precious name, I pray. Amen.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Broken and Unthankful Heart

The next few entries are intended to serve as a memoir of a period of my life, when I was reminded by the Lord how fragile a man is, and only by His grace and mercy, that I could have a hope of a renewed heart...and a renewed life. May all these help me to remember the goodness and lovingkindness of our Lord, all the days of my life.>>

It was almost 2 months ago when I was diagnosed to have an ASD (atrial septal defect). I can still vividly recall what happened that ordinary annual check-up turned into a nightmare. I can still remember how I lie down chilling, my body uncontrollably shivering, while the Filipina radiologist performed an ultrasound on my heart.

She said, "Nalulungkot naman ako para sa'yo..."
I asked, "Mamatay na ba ako?"
She said, "Ano ka ba! May sagot naman diyan..."

A TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram) confirmed the ultrasound results. Everything was a shock. All these days, I thought I am pretty much normal...I played the chinese garter (10-20) tirelessly in grade school. I trained for the basketball team in high school. I swim. I play tennis. I join marathons. I go for badminton. I ride roller coasters. Not a sign. So how could it be? How did I not know? That for 27 years, I have this hole, an almost 2-inches rupture in my heart?

It took me days to sink it all in (ganun yata talaga ako..). But thank God for Dan, for being clear-headed, and for arranging immediately what needs to be done first - search for a good doctor and hospital, get all the test results from Raffles Hospital, help me look at my finances, and send email to family and friends for (emotional and spiritual support).

At first, I was asking a lot of questions, and a bit worried...why we just found it now? Is it too late? Will I be going for heart surgery? Can we find good doctors and hospital? Where are we going to do the procedure? in the Philippines or Singapore? Will my savings be able to pay for it? Will my insurance cover for it? Endless questions....

Then, I remembered the song that Dan and I sang that night, before I underwent the TEE. A part of that Matt Redman song goes like this....

"I will offer up my life in spirit and truth.
Pouring out the oil of love as my worship to You.
In surrender I must give my every part;
Lord, receive the sacrifice of a broken heart.

Jesus, what can I give, what I can bring

To so faithful a Friend, to so loving a King?
Savior, what can be said, what can be sung?
As a praise of Your name for the things You have done.
Oh my words couldn't tell, not even in part
of the debt of love that is owned by this thankful heart."

My heart is broken, but I forgot to be thankful. I had forgotten how the Lord sustained me for 27 years without pain and discomfort. I had forgotten to thank Him, that this ASD of mine can be left undetected. I failed to understand His perfect timing, that we found out about this now that I am in working in Singapore, and not much of a burden to my family. I failed to be grateful, that I was diagnosed in a time when the catheter procedure is available and still doable while I'm young and healthy.

What did I give and bring to our faithful and loving King? Ungratefulness! Oh, shame upon me! Now that we are studying Deuteronomy, I realized that I am no different from the Jews, who grumbled at the Lord. I forgot to trust and obey Him.....May the Lord forgives this ungrateful heart.

After all these reflections, I've finally stopped worrying. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I try to look through God's lenses why all these are happening in my life. And to be always grateful, because everything works with His purpose, and for His glory.
Now I know what it means when the radiologist said there is a solution. Yes there is... and I believe God has it.