Archives for April 2014

I am Officially in a Long Distance Marriage

This is the first time I am addressing a topic on my blog that I often try to avoid.

I don’t think I am in a position to advise people how to maintain a good marriage. I may have been married for 10 years, but sharing tips about how to maintain a good marriage is just too contrived for me. Besides, the rule of thumb for a blogger, don’t write about something that you don’t know much about.

I used to think that I wanted to keep that part of my life private from this blog, and have avoided discussing about my marriage in this space. But I think its time to break my silence about it.

I am officially in a long distance marriage, after sending hb to the airport this morning.

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Life from today consist of pretty much just Kyle and I, with my extended family. And communication with Daddy will be limited to Skpe, FaceTime and What’s App daily, with the occasional family time 2-3 days a month.


What transpired?

A few days before hb shared that he will be going to Philippines for an interview. I had a dream that confirmed that we will be separated for a season, I woke up from the dream in the wee hours of the night and sobbed. Amid the tears, I knew this was God’s way of preparing me for the changes ahead, and I said, “If this is your will God, I will accept it.”

A few days after when hb broke the news that a business associate called him up and asked him to go to Philippines for an interview, I vehemently disagreed and told him “No…you can’t leave the country to work and leave us, what will happen to our marriage?” He obviously didn’t have the answer to my question and went for ahead to travel to Philippines for the interview.

Fast forward a week later, he signed the offer letter and he quit his job in Singapore. He shared with me how the whole process had no hiccups. The offer was way above what he initially expected and most importantly, during his days leading up to the interview and after, he had numerous confirmation from God that this was the path that He wanted him to take.

With a dream confirming this ‘separation’ and more confirmations from his end, we both were able to decide together that going to Philippines for work was indeed God’s will for him.

Morever, since July 2013 last year, spending only the weekends together was ‘boot camp’ of sorts to prepare us for the real thing, to face the real challenge of having a long distance marriage.

Why didn’t we go with him? There are several reasons why K and I are not going with him, and don’t plan to in the long haul. Even if this overseas job stint may be for 2-3 years or more, we are planning to stick with the existing arrangements.

Sure, I got my fair share of advice from well-meaning friends and family. But we have come to a point that we are certain that this is God’s will for this season of change ahead of us. I have experienced enough to vouch that indeed, God’s thoughts and His ways are not the same as our ways (Isaiah 55:8)


Two Halves Making a Whole?

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In every marriage, a husband and a wife is often dependent on one another emotionally, that I believe the old adage about ‘Two halves making a whole’ is coined in perspective of that. So often people get into relationships or marriages hoping to find their ‘other half’.

With this same dependence on their spouse, in considering a long distance relationship, comes the insecurities of “What if he/she finds someone else?” or “What if after these few years, we realize that we don’t need one another.”

I think that it is not healthy to look outside yourself to find someone who can validate you, find worth or depend on emotionally. How strong can a marriage be when one party has differing expectations of the other, or the other person could feel ‘drained’ by the dependence?

Nonetheless, I do agree that it will be hard to maintain a long-distance marriage and have this lack of ‘father’s physical influence’ in my child’s life for a time.

Hug 1A kiss from daddy before K left for school

I admit that it has been hard making this change, for all 3 of us. Being the only one left to ‘hold the fort’ here in Singapore, I can choose to let this problem take me down, resent it and then feel sorry for myself, and then dwindle into a pit of self-pity.

And how would the world see me? “Oh it must be so hard to be apart from your hb, be prepared that things might happen” or “Oh your son so poor thing, don’t have his father with him” or the well meaning advise, “Watch him carefully, if he cheats on you, walk out on him…”

This change may have potential problems, but I see them as a perspective-lifters.

Besides, if ever hb decide to cheat. It’s between him and his personal accountability to God.


Perpective Lifters

I have come to realized that I don’t lead a conventional life.

What normal things that most receive easily, often I have had to sit back and watch as “others may, and you may not”. Some people will say that our lives are a consequence of the decisions that we make. I agree that consequence play a part but I think there is a bigger picture in it all.

Is there anything in our lives that God don’t know about? He already know what decisions we will make and have planned it all in the life story that He has written for us.

Lack is a good thing. I perceive this lack as a LADDER. A ladder to enable me to climb up and see my life from God’s perspective.

Why? Lack are opportunities to latch onto God for unashamed dependence. I have learnt that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success. Happy families, health, wealth, or even life can disappear overnight.

In case, you have an impression that I am a very strong individual. Trust me I am not, I often tell God that I can’t.

The only thing that I have learnt to be strong in, is the awareness of my inadequacy, which I believe is a rich blessing, that trains me to rely whole-heartedly on Him. I rejoice in this insufficiency, knowing that His power in my life is made perfect in weakness.

So life really have not ended for me, instead, life as I know it, has only just begun.

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This song really says it all for me;

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Why I don’t celebrate Good Friday or Easter

I didn’t go to church this Sunday.

Well, if you have read my previous posts about church. You would recall that I shared on this blog before that I don’t attend church, and I am still not attending church.

This weekend, most Christians celebrated Easter Sunday where most churches recognize it as the day that Christ was risen. Churches usually get extra crowded on this day, apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day services and the watch night service the day before the New Year.

I always wondered why.

Being a non-church goer, special occasions set in traditions by the church doesn’t motivate me to go to church either.

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I never liked to be fed information by religious institutions and then believe for the sake of what a church pastor or leader proclaims, or common practices in Christian traditions. I always like to find out truth for myself.

I have always been really curious about why eggs and Bunnies are celebrated visuals used during Easter, and why the word Easter? Before finding out the roots to ‘Easter’, I have done some research through this post about Christmas, and this Christian celebration sounded suspiciously like it was from the same roots.

So neither I am keen to buy easter eggs for K from the supermarket and be all enthusiastic about Easter egg hunts organized by the churches.

Many believe it is harmless, it’s all in good fun? How do you explain to a child, when he/she asks when we have eggs or visuals of bunnies during Easter. The closest lie I can think of is, ‘”Eggs signify birth, its like a new birth of Jesus” and uh.. “Bunny signify fruitfulness, Jesus died so that we can be blessed abundantly…”

Sounds pretty convincing doesn’t it?

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I don’t like to perpetuate nonsense to children. Especially religious claptrap, or false information (in this case, paganistic practices) masquerading as Christian tradition.


Good Friday to Easter Sunday? 

Jesus resurrection has nothing to do with eggs or bunnies, and Good Friday or even Sunday.  The question I have is, how do you fit three days, three nights on a Friday to a Sunday?

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” – Matthew 12:40

So Good Friday and Easter Sunday works out to only 3 days and 2 nights, so what are we missing here? The only thing that can explain this contradiction is that Friday-Sunday timing is not biblical.

So oops…the church have not been getting this right all along.

It just seems a little more suspicious now when I share this possibility that the person from the past or some religious institution conveniently used this Friday-Sunday timelines to bring in paganistic Easter on the Sunday.

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So then, after saying so much, is this week being Ressurrection week even biblical? It is.

This month is the first month of the Hebrew Calendar, the month of Nissan. Jesus was buried on Nisan 14, either on AD 30 or 33, which works out to Wednesday – Saturday (Sabbath).

Saturday afternoon Resurrection of Christ is supposedly found in Matthew 28:1, 5-6. The text reads: “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the tomb. . . And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (KJV).


Passover this Week

The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a remembrance of how God redeemed the Jewish nation from slavery in Ancient Egypt, that was ruled by the Pharaohs. The original celebration centered around the Passover lamb, which was sacrificed and its blood put over the doorposts as a sign of faith, so that the Lord passed over the houses of the Jews during the last plague poured out on the Egyptians – the killing of every firstborn.

The Passover lamb has been eliminated from the Passover festival. However what matters here, is the significance that Passover has for Christians. The New Testament says that Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb. The Passover lamb was to be a ‘male without defect’, which was the same description given to Jesus.

Much of the symbolism of Jesus’ last Passover week is lost to us due to ignorance of the customs during that time. Jesus came into the city of Jerusalem five days before the lamb was killed in the temple as the Passover sacrifice for the sins of the people of Israel. Five days before the lamb was to be sacrificed, it was chosen. Therefore, Jesus entered Jerusalem on lamb selection day as the lamb of God to be sacrifice for the sins of the world.

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Passover starts on the 15th Day in Nisan and ends 7 days thereafter. It started Monday April 14 and will be ending on April 22.

So it will just be Passover week that I will celebrate from henceforth.


Still Not Attending Church

As for not attending church.

Don’t try it, unless you have made a commitment to search out the bible daily and spend time dedicated to reading the bible and prayer daily.

Don’t even consider, if Christianity is limited to Sundays only, and special occasions like Easter, Christmas or the New Year. Just stick with attending church weekly, as I believe you will still benefit from some preaching of the Word of God.

It is still a personal choice for me and my faith is still going strong despite finding out all these untruths from Christian traditions and churches.

I don’t wish to blindly believe what traditions or what pastors tell me, I want to find out the truth from the bible myself and search it out. Faith is not a walk between me and the leaders of the church, it is between God and I.

I want to be like the 1st century Christians in Thessalonica;

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so – Acts 17:11

And I take this very seriously;

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My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. – Hosea 4:6 

This is no laughing matter for me. As I sure don’t want God to reject me or forget my children.


P.S. I am aware that I got some Christians irate for publishing the last post about not attending church the last time. Christians were concerned that I was turning people away from attending churches by reading a post like that.

Well, the modern church these days are not exacty role models of what the bible deemed a fellowship of believers to be. I have learnt that the truth offends, and I don’t mind being that person to say it, whether people like to hear it or not.

For non-Christians reading this, I do encourage you to search the Christian bible if you are curious and also do ask God if He is real.

The church route may not work for everyone. It didn’t for me, at least for a while.

Update Sept 2014 – I have since found a local church and have been regularly attending weekly and appreciating the fellowship of the small congregation from this new church. To read about my journey searching for a church, go to this post.


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The Problem with Technology

I am worried about how children deal with technology.

As a blogger mum and someone who spends half her life in a day online multi-tasking checking Facebook, updating statuses, emailing, texting, googling, while working online all at the same time. Technology has been a very useful and helpful invention, but a dangerous one as well, if we do not make an effort to regulate our usage of it.

The past week, two challenges have been thrown in my path to highlight the problem of technology and to test how I should manage it with my child.

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Minecraft or Nightmares?

The first one was a call from the teacher who called me one evening, to ask if K was going through any difficulties at home. Her feedback was K seemed listless and could not focus in class for the past 2 weeks. He didn’t used to be like that and she wondered if his changes in behavior had anything to do with some issues at home.

My first assumption was, his mind could be distracted by plans for the upcoming weekend, thinking of things to build in the ‘Minecraft’ game on PS3.

After the call, I told K that I just spoke to his teacher on the phone, and he burst into tears. I calmly asked him why he was facing this problem in school and probed if it was his obsession with Minecraft that he was distracted with, or was it something else?

He told me that he wasn’t able to keep up in class as he has been feeling really tired, since he has been waking up numerous times at night due to disturbed sleep. I recalled that the past 2 weeks, he has been going to bed close to 9.30-9.45pm daily. And deep into the night, I have been woken up by his sleep talking and watched him tossed and turned in his sleep.

So was it his distraction with Minecraft or disturbed sleep affecting him in school? We prayed to give him restful sleep that night, and I will be evaluating his time spent on PS3 and iPad on the weekends.

He spends an average of 1.5 – 2 hours each Saturday and Sunday playing on games PS3, or watches Mindcraft videos on iPad. On weekdays, he is not allowed to play games and watches about 1.5 hours of TV a day.

Should I be reducing his time spent on the weekends on the gaming console and iPad further? It is tempting, but I think I will be exploring other measures before deciding.


The One with the Naked Women on Youtube

The second one was with a neighbour whom K has been playing with for the past week, a Korean American boy, J.

It is a routine for K to visit the estate’s playground 3 times a week from 5 – 7pm, however since mid last week, J (who rarely joins in with the rest of the children in the playground) came to our door on evening, asked if K could go to his house to play. Seeing that he was a year younger than K, I allowed K to go to his home twice last week, without supervision

Yesterday early evening, J came to our door with his domestic helper. His domestic helper said that J’s mum was very angry as she found a video on her iPad of ‘Naked women’ and implied that K was the one that influence J to see this, since J cannot spell.

A convenient assumption as the older child will always be blamed for influencing the younger one, and what a way to acquaint yourself with your child’s friend’s mum…


I questioned the boys, both denied it. The exchange between the two boys consisted of K’s teary and worked up response of, “He was the one with the iPad, why would I want to see naked women. He went to the closet, ask me to go inside with me and watched the iPad. I want to vomit when I see that!” While J, said with a straight face said, “It is not me, I am not lying. He is the one.”

I told J’s domestic helper that the iPad cannot be used by a child unsupervised and moving forth, K will not be visiting their home and vice versa for J. If J wants to meet K, he can see him downstairs at the playground.

After they left, I asked K when this happened and why he didn’t tell me about it. He said the incident happened when he was in J’s room. J got the iPad, climbed into the closet and told K to go with him. Then told him, “This naked woman video is so cool.” According to K, he closed his eyes while J finished watching the video on the iPad. K didn’t tell me about the incident as he was afraid that I would scold him for that.

Now, as a parent, will you choose to trust your child? Or someone else’s report of your child? Hearing K’s side of the story, he is either telling the truth or a really good liar.


Could this be my child’s problem?

K isn’t an ‘angel’ but I understand him well enough to know that ‘Naked woman’ pictures will have no appeal for him. I don’t think he is even curious about this, since he has seen pictures of this nature through paintings and art. We have a barely dressed woman picture on the wall in the bathroom, another statue of the same kind in our weekend home, both of which we have discussed about before.

And supervising his use of iPad and online, the ‘viewing history’ for the device has never shown that he has ventured into videos or website of this nature.

His time online is so limited, that I think he would spend his time seeing the blocky, half naked Minecraft characters in their ‘printed-hearts’ underpants, than real-life photos of barely dressed women.


I chose to trust my son and this incident confirmed that K should stop going to J’s house.

If J’s mum thinks that my child is the one with the problem, so be it. I just hope she manages this with her son and not conveniently sweep it under the carpet. I don’t think she would accept any form of advise from me to supervise J’s usage of her iPad, since her conclusion is that K is the one influencing her child.


The Problem with Technology

Now I wonder, why would 6-7 year olds be interested in pictures of naked women?

Unsupervised use of technology is likely the culprit for this issue, since video pictures of naked people can be randomly featured in Youtube without a child knowing how to search for it in Google.

In a poll done in October 2013 about the use of internet, 94% of parents interviewed said that they allowed their kids unsupervised access to at least one device or online service like email or social networks. Most parents allow their kids access to gaming consoles and computers at eight eight. When it comes to kids under the age of seven;

– 41% of parents allow them to use a gaming console unsupervised

– 40% allow unsupervised access to a computer

– 29% of parents unsupervised use of a mobile apps

Spending half of my life online daily, I am fully aware of the dangers that lurk online for a child, as well as the risk with children being addicted to gaming or handheld devices.

Apart from limiting his time spent on the gaming console or iPad. It will be hard for K to get rid of me while he uses any technology device, at least for the next decade, since I will be watching him with eagle eyes to ensure that he never dabbles with questionable sites or videos.


Do share! Do you supervise your child’s use of technology? How many hours does your child get to be on the iPad or on the gaming console daily? How old do you think the child should be before parents can cease to supervise their online / gaming usage? 


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