Seth and Noah | My Genesis Boys

  And one of the Holy Yoga sisters shared this on Facebook… I am fascinated by how God has chosen names for my children, too. 

Starting with Adam’s son Seth down to the last son in Genesis, Noah. 

The Bible is fascinating, of course… Because it is His Word.

Watch this video here which unveils the hidden message in the first book in the Bible… Just by looking into the meaning of the Hebrew names.

How a Holy Yogi becomes a First Aider, too! | First Aid Institute of Australia

As part of my Yoga Instructor requirements, I need to receive the ‘Provide First Aid’ training course.

I did it! I’m a first aider. And the funniest thing is that I have gone full circle back to my university days of medical science. I didn’t think there would be much of a career out of a being a paramedic/forensic scientist. And today, ironically, I’m having to complete the First Aider training.  How God plans our lives sometimes….

Today was lots of fun.  For those considering getting this training, I actually highly recommend it. If not the intensive version, at the the CPR one.  It may never come in handy but when it does, it can save lives.  Now, that’s meaningful…

Let’s just hope I’ll never have to use these skills for the reasons I needed to do it (i.e. in my yoga classes! :p )

P.S,, my key sharing here is DRS ABCD.

drsabcdactionplan

God, today I’m angry..with You and I pray that it’s ok? Please forgive me.

 “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” (Daniel 9:9, NIV)

Earlier this week, I was driving when I caught eye of a Whatsapp message, “Got a Sunday morning free. Can visit your church with you and your fam.”  This was from a dear friend whom I had been praying for, for some time now, to know Christ. How that made my day,  you cannot imagine. Firstly, I wanted to jump up and down in joy but I couldn’t because I was driving. Secondly, hallelujah.  Thank you, Jesus. I know… I just know… That He has great plans for my dear friend. So, within seconds, I was wiping away tears whilst driving home.

Even after I had pulled up and got off the car, my tears continued to stream down my face. When I got into the house, my husband saw my swollen eyes and nose. “What’s wrong, honey?” He asked with serious concern. “Nothing babe…. Nothing…” And wiped more hot tears… “I’m just overwhelmed by God’s grace. [My friend’s name] is coming to church with us this Sunday!” I cried! “Hallelujah!” My hubby came and gave me the biggest hug.

***

Today is Sunday. My friend came to church on time at 10am, as she does, as a punctual woman who respects everyone’s time. (By the way, this is one of the most admirable qualities of life that I need to observe. Punctuality…but thank God for grace!)

For the whole week, I had been praying about this Sunday and for the Holy Spirit to find a place in her heart. And during our first 20 minutes of singing praise to the Lord, I couldn’t help but focus on praying (instead of worshipping) for God to shine His light through my friend’s heart today, to deliver her peace.

Our current church series is ‘forgiveness’. A simple and accessible concept but possibly one of the hardest things in life. Central to Christianity and what God has offered to us through the saving grace of Christ, it is something that we (yes, Christians alike) struggle with. Whether this be forgiving ourselves, others, or even… God.

And so ironic that God wanted me to know this today.

Although my friend made it nice and early, sadly, she felt unwell and left halfway through a wonderful sermon.

“Why God? Why today? Why put me through all of this; ironically, what you ask of me to do every day… To minister Your Word, yet when I am so close to bringing You a sister to know You, You allow this to happen? Why, oh why?”

I was angry. Angry with God. Yes, I was.

But if there was one thing I remembered from the sermon today, it was to ‘forgive’ as we were ‘forgiven’. Even if it means forgiving God (though you may ask who am I to make such an outrageous statement.) But friends, I tell you what… Yes, it even means forgiving God because He first forgave us for our sins. So, we learn to forgive others….perhaps this sounds all a bit contradicting. But it’s really quite simple.  It’s replacing ‘resentment’ and those feelings of ‘frustration’ and ‘anger’ with just ‘love’ and ‘grace’. To learn from our Father above who has taught us and created us an image of Him:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  – (Genesis 1:27, ESV)

It is easier said than done. Trust me when I say ‘I know’. But asking God for forgiveness is the start to that journey.  You’ve got to want to start first.

For it is through God, we seek forgiveness. And it is through forgiveness, we are free.

Forgive me Father, today, for my anger knowing that You are faithful and has plans for all of whom you love.  Help me place my trust in You, that You will have a time that is right and planned with your love. And Father, thank You, for your forgiveness.”

Keeping Friendship Pacts | Californian Meeting

Keeping our pact to meet every year…we’ve done pretty well!

My oldest and closest friend, Michelle.  One of the sweetest people I know.  I love her… A LOT.  She did so much for me this trip I took to the States.  It was amazing.  She gave me a place to stay in her cute apartment in Anaheim.  Anaheim is no longer the little suburb as I knew it from years back.  It has been such a hip place, although I’m not sure I could live 45-minutes drive away from downtown LA (with no traffic!)

  
The highlights were Laguna Beach day, Warner Brothers,  dining at Inn of the Seventh Ray, our July 4th crazy hot Palm Desert Retreat (air B’n B fail and subsequently moving to JW Marriot), Palm Springs Outlets (where I stressed myself out from buying a truckload of stuff that I barely had enough luggage space to bring back).

I wish I could document every laugh, laugh tear, every joy and every frustration (though minimal) we had with one another.  But memories last for so long and savouring the ‘present’ is what Michelle always teaches me.  I love you, my dear friend.  I’ll let these photos keep those memories close.

Thank you for such an amazing time.


  
  
  
  

How Holy Yoga Retreat Changed My Life | Minnesota

Warning* This is a long post!

I survived retreat!!!! I still want to scream this out, even though retreat finished 4 days ago and I’m typing this on  the plane ride back to Sydney.

I am still so excited and overwhelmed by the retreat experience.  Firstly, it means that I am very close to graduating from my Holy Yoga Instructor training.  Secondly, the retreat was an experience of a lifetime that I would recommend EVERYONE to try. Lastly, and most importantly, I now know what it means to spend dedicated time with our Heavenly Father above.

I came out of retreat, refreshed, rejuvenated and as my small group leader described, “softened” by the Holy Spirit.

This is the first time I have ever been described to radiate ‘SON-shine’.  Shining Jesus’ warmth and light all over, as I surrendered and allowed the Holy Spirit to fill me.

Is retreat what I had expected? No.  It was far beyond what I had imagined.  The experience was far bigger, better, more intense, than I had imagined.

***

When I arrived at Minneapolis airport, it wasn’t difficult to spot the group of Holy Yoga sisters.  A bunch of somewhat nervous ladies chatting away, all with yoga mats sticking out of their luggage.  I checked my name off and already knew who I was assigned a dorm with.  They were mostly my sisters from the life group that we have been attending in the past 6 weeks.  Naturally, my first reaction was to find these sisters whom I knew a thing or two about already.  I was the only Asian there and I think everybody was interested in the Asian lady who flew all the way from Australia for this 😜.  So, it didn’t take long for my life group sisters and I to be united.  Immediately, I felt a sense of relief.  An overwhelming sense of grace from God.  He brought me here safely, to be here with His daughters so that together, we may start ministering His Word.  Wow…

We arrived at the conference centre that we were going to be spending the next 5 days together in.   It was beautiful.  Greenery, serene with crosses planted everywhere to remind us of Christ who died for us.  The first check in was our room.  And yes, that was shock factor one.  Eight of us sisters were assigned to one room.  You got it! ONE ROOM with beds lined up side by side and bunks.  No partitioning, no personal space.  Communal bathrooms were also a hallway walk away from our dorm, which means, no rolling into the bathroom in the middle of the night.  In fact, we soon learnt that night trips to the bathroom would mean sneaking out like a mouse with a room full of cats, walking down a hallway into a bathroom with bright lights.  By the time you finished your toilet trip and sneak back into bed, you would be wide awake. 

Here we were all humbled.  We need nothing but Jesus. No, seriously.….  Really, how blessed are we that we already have nice beds to snuggle in at the end of the day!  It really grounded me and confronted me with my ridiculous sense of entitlement.

Our daily schedule started at 6.15am.  To think that was going to be my biggest struggle was naïve.  No, we didn’t start our day with nice and relaxing breakfast.  Instead, we did something better.  We spent time with the Lord.  One hour, first thing, every morning.  Oh how I’ve learnt how dear this time was.  I found this part of retreat to be the most powerful, awakening and restoring for me.  Leading up to retreat and as required by the immersion program, I had been meditating a lot.  I’ve learnt that there is meditating…and then, there is MEDITATING.  Laying there with 60 other sisters in the chapel facing the wilderness, the Holy Spirit filled the room.  If I had to, you could even smell the warm, sweet aroma of the Holy Spirit. 

 

Each day, there would be tears.  Tears of comfort, tears of joy, tears of relief, tears of security, tears of repentance, tears of confessions.  Tears that only the Holy Spirit can draw out from you.

I vividly remember spending time with Jesus.  He was like a friend, a brother.  He gave me a pat on the back, squeezed my shoulders with a gentle massage even…sat next to me and just chatted.

Another day, I threw myself into the embrace of our Heavenly Father.  He is Big.  Enormous, in fact.  He is all light and He told me He yearned to spend time with me.  I realised how hurtful it was for Him in the past when I would say, ‘It’s hard to find time sometimes’ or ‘After all of this is done, then I’ll sit down with You.’  Is not talking to Abba more important than the laundry? Than the dishes?  Than painting my nails? Oh Abba, how I fall at your feet and weep for my guilt and shame.  I now understand and yearn for this unadulterated time with my Abba, too.  I leave retreat having a genuine change in my perspective and I pray that I am changed forever.

Following our meditation session would be worship and yoga all awhile still in fasting.  Here, we collectively praise and glorify our Father.  Here, I’ve learnt that our mind and body is so much more capable than what we think.  I always believed that I could not do yoga before breakfast, that my body would not be able to cope.  Wrong.  I leave retreat with yet again, another take away: “I can totally praise and worship on the mat without food.”

We were served nutritious food but not always what you wanted to eat.  We didn’t get the wide selection that we would if we were to plan our own meals or pick the brunch of our choice.  Don’t get me wrong, the food was great but you eat what you are given.  Now, this, was another realisation for me.

By now, I have landed on a true understanding and belief that, “You do not NEED anything other than the basic essentials that give us life and breath.  In fact, the only thing you NEED is Jesus, for He is faithful and He will provide.”

By the 3rd day of retreat, I realised how very, very blessed I am.  Actually, that’s an understatement.  I am SPOILT to the n-th degree.  Everything that I have is a luxury.

I had brought along all my painkillers in fear of my migraine attacks, preparing for the early morning, sleep deprivation and the physical load on the body with all the yoga practise.  This is without even knowing the sleeping conditions (sharing bunks with 7 other women). Yet, God provides.  Not for a second during my whole trip did I feel any sort of migraine.

For the whole 4 nights I was at retreat, I slept well.  I awoke rejuvenated and looking forward to spend time with Him.

I also built some new and stronger-than-ever friendships with my fellow roommates whom I will call sisters-from-another-Mister (a term that was founded by one!) .  We shared testimonies with one another; we saw each of our darkest times and how faithful God was to shine light through our darkest times in life.  The bond that us sisters shared is, and will forever be, the strongest of friendships.  And I am so grateful that God blessed me with them.

Apart from the spiritual growth of retreat, the knowledge I gained on Anatomy, Yoga and the Scriptures was jaw-dropping.  Who would have thought that yogi’s are physicians?  I learnt more about the human body, its intricate systems and functions, the muscular skeletal structure than I did with my years of science study throughout school and even my first year of Medical Science in University.  I’ve heard fellow sisters who are already trained yoga instructors compare this course to theirs and agree this is one of a kind.  World class.  So, for those looking for an all-rounded yoga instructor course, this IS the one for you.

Lastly, I wanted to close this post with saying that I walked away a new person.  God has relieved some of the most deep-seated issues I’ve had.  I surrendered everything to Him and I was renewed.

 

  
  

1 Peter 1:24-25, The Message Bible:

“Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said,

The old life is a grass life,
its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers;
Grass dries up, flowers droop,
God’s Word goes on and on forever.

This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.”

My 33th Birthday | Sydney, California, Minnesota

One of the most memorable birthdays ever with celebrations spanning over 2 weeks, starting with a surprise party my hubby organised at the delicious Yullis Vegetarian restaurant in Surry Hills.  I was in tears when I arrived at the venue thinking it was just a family dinner but was greeted with good friends.  My dearest friend who couldn’t make organised for my favourite chocolate brand, Pana Chocolate, to deliver the best raw cheesecake to the restaurant.  I felt all this love, that I didn’t deserve!

I was showered with gifts…

Next up was another chance to have cake with our joint celebrations with my Aunt and Uncle in Masuya (my all-time favourite Japanese restaurant).

 My next celebration took me all the to California in the U.S. where my closest 20-year old friend celebrated with me with her girlfriend.  I had great conversations and great company over a nice brunch at Urth Café in Art District in Los Angeles, followed by a tour at Warner Brothers.  Finally, a relaxing dinner at a very special restaurant, Inn of the Seventh Ray

Binding my 33th birthday and one that I will never forget, my last celebration was on my actual birthday 28th June in Minnesota where I started my Holy Yoga retreat. 60 sisters of Holy Yoga sang Happy Birthday to me in the chapel and brought wells of tears to my eyes.  Thank you, LORD.  Thank you for your blessing, your gifts that I do don’t deserve.  Thank you for your GRACE ABOUND, ABOUND and ABOUND….

Noah | 9 Months

Another month, more progress. Every now and then, as I write these updates for Noah, I get déjàvu. Of course I do! I’m doing it all over with my 2nd child. Some posts, such as this month’s, are a little more mundane than others frankly because there isn’t anything exciting in Noah’s progress. I continue to write because I know that one day, I will look back and appreciate these memories.

Actually, that’s not fair to say there isn’t anything exciting.  To a new mum, I suppose the fact that your baby can move around in all fours (not exactly crawling but just getting more proficient in propelling himself forward) should be exciting enough.  Last month, we saw the first signs of him doing so. This month, we can be sure to use the term, ‘crawling’ loosely. Let’s just say, if you left him on the floor unattended, it would be a BAD idea. He can move around, reach for the most dangerous things, most commonly electric sockets and iPhone cables, and lift himself up to standing wobbly against the coffee table.

The sleep is still hit and miss so nothing has changed much on that front.

He’s had a taste of adult food on a few occasions when his dad would sneak in a smidge of ice cream or dessert. This boy definitely takes after his father, not necessarily on the sweet tooth. I mean, his appetite(!), to be precise…

I haven’t weighed him yet but at a wild guess, he would be just over 10.5 kilos.

One highlight this month is that I took a trip down to Melbourne by myself with the two boys and I am somewhat proud to say that God carried us and got us there in one piece. We were so privileged to travel in the new business class seats on Qantas domestic which gave us individual cabin seats. I was so blessed to have a sleeping baby all throughout the 1.5 hour flight, it was just amazing! Well done, Noah!

Meanwhile, his older brother has grown to adore him.  I can only foresee that Noah because the bossy boots in the family, overtaking his older brother’s throne.   Seth adores his little brother so much it shines through his eyes.  I’ve never seen such love before from a young 6 year old child.  I often hear about household domestics between siblings.  Perhaps I may be so blessed on that front to never have to deal with them?  Wild wishing there but on this trajectory, I only have to worry about Noah bullying his older brother, I must say!