Archives for December 2011

Redeeming the time

I had an epiphany last night.

While being trapped in the middle of the bed, between the man and boy in my life, and staring at the ceiling in total darkness. It was another night with too much on my mind, and the uncomfortable position of being sandwiched by the 2 boys really did not help to lull me to sleep.

It was a post Christmas + pre-new year night that got me overwhelmed by the thought that the year was ending soon and we were entering into another new year. Throughout the whole year I have been lamenting that time is passing too quickly, my kid is growing up too fast and everyday is the same for me; there is simply not enough time in a day. While I was dwelling about the lost time and how I wish time doesn't go by so quickly, I heard this quiet still voice in my spirit, "I am eternal. I stand outside the confines of time, Why are you lamenting about the time?"

Unlike men, God is eternal and sovereign of time. And He is not confined to the 24 hours in a day, and the certain number of days that He has given us. With God, one day is as a thousand years and thousand years as a day (1 Timothy 1:17; 2 Peter 3:8)

This verse came to my mind as I heard the small quiet voice

Ephesians 5.16: 'Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.'

What do I hear God saying to me here? Does redeeming the time means I should be more efficient, work more quickly, or be better organised? Or does it mean that time spent without a result yield or accomplishing something tangible is wasted time?

The bible teaches that we need to be good stewards of our time given on this earth, however we need to be careful and not fall into a utilitarian mindset where performance and accomplishments is the all-important goal. When we start to have this mindset about time, we lose the capacity to simply enjoy God, people, and the life God has given us.

As I get older, I feel the urgency of time pressing down on me.

Before we go into the new year, I want to take stock of how I can be a good steward of the time that God has given me :

– Stewardship of time means giving God first priority. I cannot be too busy not to spend time in God's word daily, learn to be wise by understanding what God's will is, taking the time for meditation in God's word, time alone with my heavenly Father. Time to rest and renew my mind and strength.

– Stewardship of my time means setting aside time to be with the ones that I love most on this earth. So many of us tend to get caught up in the busy-ness of life, that all encounters with friends and even loved ones are so fleeting. I need to make this commitment to spend the time needed to pause, linger around for a longer while and develop deep relationships with loved ones and friends.

– Stewardship of my time means making use of my gifts and talents. I am still discovering what exactly are my gifts and talents that God has equipped me with. My prayer for this coming year is for the Lord to show me what they are, who will benefit from it (really goes beyond just earning some money or a salary from it) and how I can use them for God's kingdom.

I guess this is not the typical resolution setting post for the new year, but a time where I can take stock of where I am in life and remind myself; who God is, who am I in this life, together with how my relationships and talents should be managed with the time He has given me.

Studying 1 Peter the past few weeks have reminded me that I must understand who I am really as a Christian. I am a child of God and a citizen of heaven who is a sojourner to this earth. Everything in this world is designed to get us to make life in this world our ultimate aim, but I should not live my life simply as an earth dweller who search for his/her meaning and purpose in life from this world alone.

It means adopting and maintaining this new attitude toward my time on earth and what I do with my life. It means surrendering all to God and saying, "You are my God, all my time is in your hands." It is time to redeem my time here and use it to the best that God has ordained it for me.

I will move ahead to the new year with courage and hope, living one day at a time.

I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow and Who holds my hand in this journey

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A Christmas list of handmades

It's been all about handmades this Christmas.

It started with crazily crafting for fund raising for the Children's Hunger Fund. Incidentally, I got an email from the people from the organisation, that a total of USD$835.00 was raised from Singapore! About 40% was raised from our sale of handmades, while the rest were from direct donations online. This is not a huge amount, but I consider it an achievement since Children's Hunger Fund had little or no awareness from this side of our world. This amount roughly translates to 16,700 additional meals for the hungry children! Every little effort to help was indeed significant!

My appreciation goes out to all the blogging moms friends (you know who u are smiley) who have helped to create the awareness needed for this fund amongst their friends and contacts. As well as fellow crafting friends, Pauline, Lena and Rachel, who spent so much of their time to painstaking make the handmades needed to raise the funds. Thanks once again for your time and effort, ladies!

Despite not being in a celebratory mood during Christmas, I still rejoiced…knowing that we were able to make a difference to someone else's life this year. And how about repeating this for Christmas next year, ladies? 

As for personal handmade gifts, since Christmas presents have all been opened, it now safe for me to post this without spoiling any fun for anyone.

I spent another 2 weeks, post Children's Hunger Fund-raising crafting…to make these items for family, friends and for myself cheeky

Kokeshi dolls on magnets


'Houses' – Needle felted on linen zipper pouch


'Greetings' – Needle felted + embroidery on a linen zipper pouch


'Matryoshkas' : on a cotton zipper pouch for myself!

I made matryoshkas hairclips for my friends' daughters, and each of my friends got a matryoshka brooch in a different shade.


'Snap' – Needle felted on a small linen pouch for myself, the self appointed family photographer

I am really enjoying needle-felting, so I will be making a couple more small zipper pouches for my friends, each with a personalised picture on the pouch. 

I hope to be making more handmades in the coming year, possibly considering to peddle them on my personalised etsy shop…will have to depend on how much time I have on hand, just have see how things pan out.

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Our Christmas

This year's Christmas was a little different.

It started with me totally not in the mood for merry-making, feasting or parties. And the ultimate mood dampener, was this; I found out about 2 years ago from WIKIPEDIA that December 25, wasn't even the actual day that Jesus was born, and the date and symbols used in Christmas (like the Christmas tree) all have pagan origins. Fabulous, All of that, together with the frantic consumerism during Christmas and don't get me started on Santa Claus…

So this year, there was no Christmas tree at home. Which I was rather pleased about anyhow. I used to enjoy putting up the tree and hanging up the ornaments, but hated taking down the tree. So I skipped the hassle and concentrated on the presents.

I thought this comic strip from Calvin & the Hobbes put it ever so aptly.

Christmas is really not about Christmas trees, mistle-toe, Santa Clauses, or even the presents.

However, we still practiced gift-giving during this season, as it is a way to show our love for our family and friends, to demonstrate our appreciation for them in our lives.

I am like the most boring gift giver ever when it comes to Christmas. Generally, I think getting gifts for friends or family is extremely hard. It was worse in the past when I was not able to do any handmades. It got easier getting gifts for the ladies in the gifting list, as almost all the ladies in the list got a handmade. The guys in my list got books, all except hb. There was no present for hb this year, and he did not get me a present either, as the both of us have the same attitude towards the consumerism of Christmas.

Traditionally with my extended family, we celebrate Christmas with a family dinner and gift exchange. Incidentally, Christmas eve is my mom's birthday, so Dec 24 becomes a 'double celebration' of sorts. 

For Kyle, it is an exciting time for him, Despite knowing about the significance of Jesus' birth during Christmas about 2000 years ago. He's like Calvin from 'Calvin and the Hobbes', it is still fundamentally about the presents.

Nonetheless, the more significant memories which I am sure he will always remember about Christmas time, are meeting with his friends (actually, mommy's friends' kids, who has also become his friends).

He thoroughly enjoys their company and talks about playing with them for the next couple of days. Which reminds me that gatherings like these should be organised more often, without needing any specific occasion for a reason to meet up.

What's still the same for us is that, Christmas is all about the love of God for humanity,

It is all about Jesus really. No matter what I think of the commercialism and paganism that surround this holiday season, we cannot deny the love of God that was demonstrated in His coming through Jesus. For we are the reason, that God from Heaven came and live on Earth so men from Earth can make the choice to have eternal life in Heaven.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

I am now thinking of a way to make Chinese New Year a bit different for the coming year. Seriously, I have never been a fan of festivities. Maybe I will just have to find somewhere soon where the 3 of us can 'disappear to'…

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