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Changing

A friend posted this on facebook, “If you had 1 year of free time, what will you do?”

My first immediate thought was, “Worship the Lord.”

How … weird. Legit this wouldn’t be my immediate thought in the past.

I’m changing.

God’s changing me.

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To a friend.ย 

These 2-3 weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. From my grandma, to being rejected. Tbh i was pretty okay on Monday, but i ended up depressed on Tuesday morning. Think the pain really hit me then.
So i tried to focus on work, my mum was concerned for me, but she urgently wanted to close the accounts for the month. And i did my best to hold it together. 

Throughout the day, while sneaking in some break time at work, i tried to go to ymi (run by our daily bread), desiring god sites to figure out or find some comfort. 

I didnt even know what i was. Do i call myself an unhappy single as many articles addressed that? But i was a happy single until i (liked you and) got rejected. What abt just broke up people? I was never with you in the first place. 

Why wasnt there an article that spoke to me about being rejected? 

It was only later on that night, that i had time to myself and i decided to seek God again. This quiet time thing has become a habit of mine every night now. I placed my QT journal, my bible, and my pen on my bed. And i started telling God that i was really hurting. 

I told God i needed help to heal, to let go, move on, to be at peace with myself. So i told Him “okay idk how this will work, but God, if your Holy Spirit is with me… please talk to me. And i dont want some “cliched” verse like ‘for i know the plans i have you, plans to prosper you’ etc”. 

(Okay side note, i googled on that and turns out many christians misquote it for any situation in life without realising the actual context of the verse.)

So i randomly flipped the bible open. I know, this method is dodgy. But im not as well versed in the bible as i used to be in sunday sch when i was 10. 

First thing i flipped to was 1 Samuel chapters 1-2. “Eli’s sons have nothing to do with me.. i cant be that bad..” But my eye caught specifically this verse (1 Sam 1:15-16): “… I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” 

Suddenly I started crying. Within a second. I felt connected like this woman described my pain. Of all the people I could have read in the bible, I got Hannah. 

Pain, not just from the rejection, frustration like how long must i pray for the man God prepared for me, but pain from seeing my grandma weak, fear from the condition she was in, fear she would go.. everything came pouring out in tears and mucus. 

Then i saw another verse when Hannah praised the Lord for hearing her. Verse 2:2: “there is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” 

So i told God, okay, you answer prayers, I am on stable ground with you as my Rock.. and i asked God, what about another random bible flip? 

Second flip was not that applicable because it was in proverbs talking abt Tribes of Judah i think. 

So third flip. I ended up in Psalms 25:4-7, where David asked the Lord to teach him, guide him, while asking the Lord to remember him with his love and mercy. He also declared his hope was in the Lord. 

Next page was Psalms 28:1-2 where he declared the Lord is my Rock. And he subsequently pleaded with God to “hear my cry for mercy, as I call to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your most Holy place.” 

Where did i read that “the Lord is my Rock” thing again? Probably short term memory, so i flipped back to Hannah, and found her declaring the same. And both Hannah and David, in their respective problems, declared the Lord the Most Holy one. I soon realised the connecting themes between both bible flips. 

Maybe the “random” bible flips, werent -that- random? 

I prayed and also thanked God for this heartbreak, cause if honestly I didnt have this heartbreak, and if you hadnt rejected me, I wouldnt have found these 4 verses reaffirming God’s love to me. 

And then i realised i have not heard the phrase “The Lord is my Rock” in such a long time. Idk why, is it because i never pay attention in church, or we havent heard it in sermons for a while, or whatever. I was reminded of something so basic and true again. 

My identity was and is confirmed in the Lord as his beloved child, compared to the morning where I didnt even know whether to classify myself as an unhappy single or felt like a broke up person. 

This was when i felt i could move on already. 

The next day QT was abt personal behaviour improvement, ridding myself of filthy language (which i have a bad habit but my use of vulgarities has gone down this month..), slander, anything malicious. Rather treating people with love, compassion, mercy, humility. Colossians 3:8-17. 

Tbh i didnt see how this linked with the previous day, but as i prayed, it dawned on me that now that i am reminded and taught of my identity in God, that how i behave was my responsibility, as part of my identity. 

Then on the 28th, QT was abt the times we cant pray because we either dont know how to put our thoughts to words, helpless, or whatever, but the Holy Spirit would intercede for us too. Not only that, our friends’ prayers also intercede for us. 

This was also the day that I just let my emotions get the better of me and ranted my worries abt finding the “right guy”. 

You told me you trusted in God’s timing, and thus you are not stressed abt being single at your age. 

“Trust” 

I felt the Lord was challenging me, testing me to trust him. Just because i had faith, doesnt mean i trusted him. Idk why but “trust” and “faith” seem like 2 different things to me. 

During these challenging weeks, sometimes i really dont know how to pray. Demand God’s healing? Beg? Plead? What to say? 

In my times like that Tuesday night, i cried to God in very choppy sentences, wasnt coherent, and somehow, the more i prayed on, the more i felt i could talk to God. Like i was becoming comfortable with talking to him. 

I really felt God was testing me. So i asked God, are you testing me? Why is everything happening now? Why is it that I feel more and more keen to do my QT? Pray more? To lean on you more? Havent you thrown enough life problems for me to deal with already? 

For context though, my theme song per se has been Oceans by Hillsong. Idk why but in the midst of my grandma’s condition, i wanted to look for worship songs, and Oceans popped up. i knew the song, didnt know the lyrics but youtube recommended or listed it anyways. 

So the past few weeks i have been listening to Oceans. 

Speaking of trust, the lyrics went “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders” and then “That my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Saviour”.  

Actually i wrote the entire song lyrics into my journal for Tuesday night when I was depressed and hurting a lot. 

So this song kept coming back to me. Was God challenging me to have faith in him, and to trust him that he will remember me in love as David prayed? If David even needed to pray like this, then all the more I need to. 

So i finally told God to help me to trust him in preparing a man for me, and that i will be prepared for that man too in future. 

Today’s QT was abt being born anew in the Lord. John 3:1-8, 13-16. 

“In reply, Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 

Our daily bread was talking abt how sometimes we sense something is wrong, so we change our exterior, be it appearance, habit, actions, but our hearts remain unchanged. And only Jesus could bring abt change in our hearts. 

This felt like an immediate answer to my question to God “are you testing me?” 

I cant even bother to exercise daily. And some people claim that you need 3 weeks to form a habit and make it stick. I cant explain why but it must honestly be the Lord when i find myself wanting to load up the day’s QT in the morning, and read bits of it during work .. to meditate it at night. My mum had been nagging me for years, and i couldnt be bothered. 

Also now my friends question why i can move on from you, sure i move anot? And regardless whether they are christians or not, i confidently said it is because i have you as a brother in Christ, that i can move on already. A friend claimed im defending myself too much, but really, im not lying. And i told her that you have helped me to learn to rely on God again. 

In the past, i would never really talk abt God or my christian faith. I never wanted to meet church staff or cell group leaders individually cause i was stressed by it. I was super surface level. Super shallow. Now i feel like i found something pretty damn good, and i feel at peace, joyful, and not shy to tell my friends abt my faith in God, my relationship with him. 

All this change has to be by God. 

He is testing me to come closer to him, and to lean on him. To have faith in him. 

So i guess this is why i decided to type everything out. I feel like a new Christian, and excited again. 

On that note also, thank you for being a really good friend, for being so patient with me, guiding me wisely. And please be assured, i have moved on. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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Human Acts by Han Kang

I’m copying and pasting what I wrote on my facebook.

Took a few hours to finish a book called “Human Acts” by Han Kang. It’s been a long time since I finished 80% (or the entire thing) of a book in 1 sitting. Human Acts revolves around the Gwangju Uprising in 1980.

If I were to say I was “engrossed” by the book, it would feel like I am disrespecting the author, and the people in the book. How can you be “engrossed” by death, and torture?

At first, the book isn’t easy to follow. You get thrown into Death. You’re a kid calledย Dong-Ho. 15 years old, and somehow dealing with dead bodies already.

As I read on, it gradually dawned on me that Dong-Ho was a real victim of the Gwangju Uprising. This name wasn’t magically conjured up by the author. It was someone she had come to know because Dong-Ho stayed in her old house.

The violence, during and after the Uprising, haunts. Am I exactly shocked to read accounts of torture and crimes against humanity? I really don’t know. The author wrote simply, yet vividly enough for readers to visualise the torture made to those civilians who took part in the Uprising; the torture made by those in power.

Maybe it is due to my uni studies, that I’m unfortunately not as shocked as I could have been. I studied some really dark subjects during my Monash days. Since I was majoring in International Studies, and minoring in Political Science, I chose to study on war crimes, terrorism, crimes against humanity, political violence, civil wars, disasters… and so forth.

A few of my course readings still haunt me.

Maybe I’m somewhat desensitized already, which is why I’m saddened by the accounts in Human Acts, but not shocked at the violence.

What struck me the most was how Dong-Ho’s second elder brother said to the author, “Wasn’t it lucky that he was shot so he died straight away, don’t you think that was lucky?”

In a way, the brother is honestly true. Dong-Ho was tragically robbed of his life at 15. Yet he was not tortured like the rest of the people or friends he had come to work with. Those who survived the Uprising, and subsequent torture, have PTSD, and physical permanent damage. One senior that Dong-Ho followed, committed suicide.

I don’t quite know why I feel inclined to review this book, but maybe people should read it. I’m not sure if I’m encouraging people to be emotionally and mentally scarred by reading such accounts honestly.

Or maybe this book just hit home with me, considering what I’ve studied couple of years ago.

People will always be willing to die for their freedom, and to fight against oppression.

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I’m a lushie – LUSH quick reviewย 

I guess I qualify to be a Lushie now …? Hahaha.

This was today’s haul


Kinky was the sample for today :).

So I thought I’ll do a quick summary of all the LUSH products I bought so far:

  • H’suan wen hua: my favourite for hair hands down. My hair is long, and had been permed, dyed… so this is a saviour. Even my mum likes it now.
  • Mask of magnaminty: my favourite for my combo skin hands down. Gives me a good scrubbing, controls my oil levels, and makes me feel so fresh. Plus factor is the smell. Nothing more refreshing than a fresh tub of this. I love sniffing it hahaha!
  • Tangled: this thing is freaking magical. ย It being on a stick is like it’s a magic wand itself. I used it just the night before I flew to Indonesia last week for my bro’s wedding. At this point in time, my hair was very difficult to deal with because it was very long (til it touched my lower back), and super dry, frizzy, knotted up. I used about 70% of the treatment, and it really freed my hair.
  • Cup o coffee: the coffee smell wakes me up always. I can’t drink coffee because of gastric/acid reflux problems but this is as good as waking me up if I were able to drink coffee. The exfoliation is a bit stronger, so gotta be gentler when scrubbing and washing it off ๐Ÿ™‚ but it does leave my skin smooth, whereas mask of magnaminty may leave my skin a bit drier (especially if I left it on longer).
  • Grease lightning: this works better than Body Shop’s tea tree oil honestly. I’ve been a fan of Body Shop for many years, but this works better for me. Probably because I work out in the gym twice a week, thus exposing myself to more germs and bacteria (you know, all the sweat from everyone ..), I seem to get a mysterious ย pimple on random parts of my body. Tea tree oil didnt get rid of them quickly, but this grease lightning did.
  • Catastrophe Cosmetic: calmed my face drastically. I shd have taken a before and after pic because the redness was gone. Also left my face smooth, and moisturised ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Charity Pot: this is my favourite for hand creams hands down. It beats so many hand creams I tried from Body Shop to Crabtree and Evelyn. It doesn’t leave my skin greasy and sticky. And it healed my broken skin pretty quickly (abrasions from doing planks on rough gym floor)
  • Ambrosia: I love how this doesnt make my skin feel dry after shaving. I used to use Veet but it’s troublesome to wait for 5mins or whatever before I can shave it off with their … spatula or scoop thing idk. Ambrosia smells good too, and my skin doesn’t feel as irritated afterwards.
  • Daddy-O: I only used this a couple of times after I dyed my hair. The lemony smell makes you feel like a little kid again, you know where many kiddy products have nice fruity scents. Plus purple shampoo is awesome to look at. My only problem at the time was that my hair felt a bit dry or still tangled up after washing off, but this could be because my hair was already so bad in the first place. I’ll have to give another review sometime soon after I dye my hair (probably soon)
  • Purmice stone: I love it because I guess I’m like a touch sensory kinda person? Feels like this sand scrubbing my feet but not as painful as sandpaper. My feet feels cleaner. However it breaks up pretty easily when it becomes smaller, like most soaps.
  • Pink Peppermint: unlike Mask of Magnaminty where the smell of pepperment is much stronger, this one is less intense. However it is pretty cooling to tired feet ๐Ÿ™‚ only thing to note is the pink colour probably can stain? So I have special socks I bought from Body Shop years ago, that are meant to keep you from slipping and prevent foot lotions from being all over the floor
  • Outback Mate Soap: my go-to soap when I need a pick me up after gym, or just a tiring long day.
  • Sunrise: makes me feel happy cause I love orange and yellow so that’s a win for me. Also that orange fruity scent is uplifting especially on tiring days.
  • Sunny Day: saviour of frizzy hair and knotted locks. Took me a while to get used to the idea of spraying and taking the time to comb through my locks but it is worth it!!! I was amazed at how long my hair stayed knot-free.
  • Honey Lip Scrub: oooo this is a fun one that I need to stop licking off my lips literally. But I have dry lips, so this feels good to scrub off those dead peeling skin ๐Ÿ™Š
  • Honey I Washed The Kids: this one is like endorphins making me so happy. Or maybe the name is funny. But the honey smell is sooooooo soothing. Like I could really use a bit more sweetness in my life. My only pet peeve is the top honey comb part, which feels a bit too hard to use at times. Oops. But I love to look at the honey comb structure. It is pretty cool to really look at, and I think it reminds me how beautiful the natural world is.
  • Coalface: if my face was really oily at that moment, I would use this immediately. The charcoal smell took me a while to get used to, I wasn’t a fan of it instantly tbh. But this does the job damn well, and it leaves me face so so clean. ( O_O)
  • Movis: I received a small piece as a sample on the very first time I walked into LUSH because I was very self conscious about my acne scars, and I remember asking the salesgirl if LUSH had any chemical peels to remove scars. So she gave me this to try, after explaining LUSH is about being natural. I don’t use it quite often because my face becomes oily quickly, and I end up using Coalface instead. For the times I do use Movis, I would use it straight onto my face for that gentle exfoliation. And after a while I started feeling good because my face felt cleaner and the scars weren’t as bad.ย My only problem is when I use it often, it can melt pretty quickly. But when I don’t use it that often, it becomes hard and takes a bit longer to lather up again.

What made me continue using LUSH:

Movis + Mask of Magnaminty became the foundation for my face to improve and thrive on. I’ve received a lot of compliments from my mum, my relatives, my friends about how my face isn’t that bad anymore. It looks darn good on its own without make up.

My self esteem grew thanks to these 2 products. Honestly I went into LUSH despite initially disliking the strong scents from the shop (I have a really sensitive nose which is why I don’t use many perfumes either), because I was fed up with the amount of criticism my brother’s mum in law was giving me. (Okay she’s a toxic lady, but that’s another matter.)ย I just wanted her to stfu honestly, and I really wished my face would be better.

Thanks to Liana (I got her name wrong in my first post on LUSH in January) for her recommendations, that my face improved. Then my hair felt healthier and was glowing. My friends said my curls were beautiful, and looked soft. Also probably why my perm lasted longer tbh. Then I went into more and more products, my skin started to feel less dry. As I worked out more in the gym, I toned up, lost weight, and LUSH helped to get my skin to a good healthy level. For people who lost weight, they would know how bad stretch marks can get, and so I think LUSH taking care of my skin contributed to my stretch marks being less visible now.

So I have a number of products I have not used:

  • Love Lettuce
  • Retreat
  • Hands of Friendship
  • Kinky
  • Volcano
  • Damaged
  • Tender is the night

I’ll update in future ๐Ÿ™‚

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One stitch at a time

It has been crazy these past few months, and it feels like finally everything will be over in a few weeks. 

My stress levels have been really high. 

As a result, I made the conscientious effort to knit as often as possible. Daily, if I could. 

I have been learning to relax, tell myself to stop stressing and stop working. Leave those for tomorrow, and for now breathe and knit before bedtime. 


My current progress on an entrelac blanket throw for a dear dear friend :). I really love how this photo turned out, the blue contrasting with my golden/yellow/tumeric coloured bedsheets. 

Don’t forget to knit, a stitch at a time. 

Don’t forget to breathe. 

โค๏ธ

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My trainer’s evil laughter

Going to bed soon so this is to record my workout. I knew I was in trouble when Gordon started laughing while setting up my second circuit. @_@. 

First circuit

  • 37 squats with a 10kg dumb bell. (Last set, Gordon told me to do 16-16? Then a rapid 40 squats without dumb bell without a break. I still took a small break or two to catch my breath.)
  • 2m10s plank. (Really proud of myself for completing two! Dropped during the last set.) 
  • 10 inclined push ups. (Gordon lowered the pull up bar rack. Sooner or later I shall be doing normal push ups on the floor @_@.)
  • 10 inclined pull ups. (Again bar was lowered.) 

Do 3 times entirely. 

Second circuit – Gordon changed the circuit entirely!

  • 10 Sumo squats deadlift kinda style with 12 kg kettlebell
  • 10 “go into bridges when my feet are balancing on fitness ball and then pull in before extending again?” IDK what they are called but I think I described it well enough. This one burned my glutes, thighs, and back. I shd ask Gordon for the official name. 
  • 10 burpees. With the freaking Bosu ball. Rip. 

Do 3 times. I got faster subsequently. And managed to hold my bridges higher ๐Ÿ™‚

Third circuit

  • 10 single rope swings
  • 10 ball slams
  • 10 reverse lunges per leg
  • 10 chair dips. Ahhahahahaha I can’t feel my arms ๐Ÿ™‚

I think my ball slams scared away some guys who looked like they started working out recently? Tbh my arms are bigger than theirs. They remind me of my ex, who was scrawny. 

But I needed to vent out my anger at the shitty time I had in Indonesia last week. And Gordon wanted me to slam the fitness ball so hard that 1) the entire gym heard it, and 2) he doesnt hear the music cause one of the EDM tracks was shitty hahaha. 

Then I said to him, “Thanks to you, I won’t get a boyfriend here.”

He said, “Let them be scared of you.”

๐Ÿ˜‚

But that’s the good thing about Gordon, he constantly encourages and pushes you to the limits, and he obviously as a fitness alpha male bodybuilder, he doesn’t care if your muscles are big, or if you, as a girl, are using your full force. He wants you to push through and give your ultimate best, and show the power you have. 

So I’m lucky to have him as a trainer ^_^. 

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Review of Star Wars Run SG 2017

So me being the lazy one, here’s the copy paste from my facebook ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

Enjoyed #StarWarsRunSG! This is my review of the event.

Pros:
1. Baggage deposit and baggage retrieval was efficiently done. Many crew members on hand, which helped speed things up.

2. There were a good number of cosplayers and crew who cheered on the runners. Really love this!

3. Running through MBS, Esplanade, Helix Bridge, Gardens was a thrilling experience. One of my bucket list items to run through at night so I’m really happy.

4. The emcees did a good job hyping the crowd before each wave was flagged off.

5. Event kept to the theme very well. Especially how even the supertrees in Gardens were lit up to be light sabers.

6. My biggest thumbs up goes to the food stalls available. I have been to quite a number of run events to know what is bleh, and what is good.

A) Generous big UFC Coconut water bottle given to everyone. I took two cause I think I was dehydrated.

B) Chobani giving out free 100g cups, one for each runner! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป to Chobani.

C) Aloha Poke had a stall. First time trying and OMG IT IS DELICIOUS. Queueing and ordering was pretty orderly. And serving was quick. I will try to buy more often in future when I’m out.

D) Vitagen giving free vitagen to everyone. Really good job.

E) There was also a stall selling coconut related drinks/soft serve, and a korean stall. I didn’t get them cause I was low in cash (only $17), so I went for Aloha Poke.

7. Last but not least, outdoor viewing of The Force Awakens. Nothing can beat this. The atmosphere was fun, you could hear the audience laugh at the jokes, all focused and pretty much considerate to each other’s space and belongings.

8. Also a well deserving shout out to the clean up crew. Really, from where I was, they cleaned up litter so quickly. That say, I am disappointed so many littered.

EDIT
9. THE FIREWORKS BEFORE THE RUN STARTED.

Cons:
1. However due to the sheer number of participants, the routes were squeezy at some points, especially after Esplanade and behind F1 pit building. I know the organisers would have done their best to ensure the best and most interesting routes for both light and dark sides, so this was kinda unavoidable.

2. There needs to be more signs to the public and the participants because a) we are running through a popular area, b) sometimes the routes can be clearer. However, the attempted segragation under and after the Helix bridge wasn’t too bad.

3. The organisers should have reminded participants of race etiquette. This is probably my biggest problem with the event and all running events.

They should have told participants that slower participants or those who were walking to keep to the left, and let those who want to run, run on the right.

I know this is a family-friendly event. I’m not against families of course, but this is for safety. There were some near brushes where people could have collided, and I nearly collided with people too. There were families with prams too.

This is a standard runner’s etiquette I’ve seen in major running events like Sundown and StanChart.

Also many people were swinging their light sabers without considering or checking around. I saw an ang moh politely telling an aunty, “Mdm, please be careful with your light saber,” after she nearly hit him in the face with it unknowingly.

4. The human jam at the finish line was tough to deal with because many people just didn’t want to move off quicker despite the organisers’ attempts to tell people to keep moving. I think this is partly due to: a) people queueing up for the coconut water which was quite near to the finish line, and b) people trying to cross the same narrow way back to baggage deposit area.

I’m not sure where else the organisers could have put the baggage deposit, because it was in a good spacious location. However, they could perhaps consider to give the coconut water at the same time while giving the medals out. Like how some of the major races give bananas and water with the medals at the same time. (I remember when I did Sundown 2014, they gave the banana at the same time.) Hopefully this reduces the human jam around the area.

Photos!

Close to being flagged off!
โ€‹

Night view of MBS. Always wanted to run here at night so this is a dream come true. =)

The supertrees of Gardens by the Bay being converted into lightsabers!

My supper: Free Chobani + Aloha Poke (Wasabi mayo salmon + Mentai salmon (seasonal)) + free UFC coconut water!