A review of 2017

Before we usher in the new year, I thought I should pen down some of the highlights of 2017.

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This is my IG’s #2017bestnine and I think it truly reflects some of the best moments for this year. One of the most memorable and one which I’m immensely grateful for is the salvation and baptism of my father. There is no greater joy than to see your loved ones and friends accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. I recalled very clearly how I was prompted to ask if he wanted to receive Jesus into his life as he rested on the ICU bed. He told me just moments before that, “I told God to save me because it’s so painful.” And I knew that I had to ask him that life-changing question. He’d never wanted to accept Jesus because he needed to perform his duty to pay respect to his deceased parents and well, he was very much rooted in his belief all those years. At the end of it, God must have worked in his heart. At his baptism, his testimony was read and I’m certain he’s assured of his salvation. It’s all by His grace, not by works so that no one could boast.

We had two family trips and I had one all-girls’ trip this year. I’m thankful that the trips were wonderful ones and that none of us fell sick during the holidays. I love the Perth (WA) trip because it was with the in-laws and that means help with the children! Haha… but I truly love the self-drive trip.

My eventual goal is to travel in a caravan and rough it out (when the kids are older). Couple trip? I don’t see that possibility until the kids are much bigger since help is not available.

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I managed to do a few runs this year and I think I’m slowly going back to what I love to do – running. I run at a slower pace now for sure but that doesn’t matter. I’m trying to regain what I’ve missed over the past few years. I hope to be more serious and consistent next year. We ended the year with F doing the kids’ dash and me participating in the SCSM’s ekiden category.  She’s definitely in the mood to run more now. 😉

This year, handling both kids has been better than 2016. The hubs and I regained our beauty sleep (sorta); at least I didn’t have to wake up every half an hour at night. We have had problems of course – tantrums, disobedience, stubbornness, etc – but we have to continue to work with them through their growing up years. Being a parent makes me a better person because through the process, I understand myself better, a very selfish person, and I learn to trust Him more and it’s truly by His grace that I survive EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s a lot of heartache in parenting but well, I’m reminded that I’m a WIP still, till I’m at my deathbed.

 

I’m slowly availing myself to serve. Since I’ve had kids, I dared not serve in church or in any capacity because I’m fearful of commitments and I’m not sure if I can handle anything more (especially serious stuff). There is a stage when I served till I encountered burnout and it had affected my fellowship with the Lord. I’m careful this time round, to hear from Him and to make sure I depend on Him rather than on my own strength. I’ve started to serve in the Chinese Sunday school, and to allow Him to work through me because teaching in Chinese is not my forte AT ALL! But again, if I’m using my own strength, then it’s all about me and not about Him. I’d let Him shine through my service.

 

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Towards the end of the year, I decided to embark on the business side of Mary Kay. I had run out of my skincare products and needed to purchase more. However, my account has ceased because of inactivity for some time and this time round, my friend/mentor/consultant, sensing my readiness, asked me if I wanted to know more of the business opportunity which I took up eventually. I’ve said again that after using the products for more than four years, I’m convinced of its effectiveness. I took some time to understand the business side of it and think I like the company’s or founder’s motto and I have seen this philosophy at work when I went for meetings.

img_1611There are people who shun direct selling or MLM but I’m fine as long as the products are good and I’m definitely okay with the company paying the consultants for their work rather than spending millions on a supermodel for advertising, marketing, rental fee and middlemen, whatever whatever. Obviously, I don’t have the correct terms (haha). I’ve seen many women being empowered through MK and it has truly lived out its belief – enriching women’s lives.

I do think it’s tough if you want to work and take care of the kids at the same time (I’m referring to a stay-at-home-working-mom). It’s a struggle. You basically can’t work as long as the kids’ eyes are open. I can’t bake (I had to turn down requests) and attending events (for blogging) is also difficult. I gave up baking for others completely this year and limit my blogging activities because I just can’t do much anymore. There is a high opportunity cost when I do the said activities.

At the end of the day, I want to be with my kids during the growing up phase. Anything that takes too much time away from them is a no-no. So MK works because it’s flexible and allows me to meet up with fellow moms (ME time!) and to help them find a product to address their skincare problems . I don’t want to earn lots but yet I need to continue to hone my skills and hopefully I can enrich my life and women’s lives.

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The year end holidays proved to be an eventful one. We had multiple playdates and outings and the children were kept busy and happy all the time. I’m thankful to have met a few moms online and their company was so precious to me. It’s truly a blessing to have found like-minded moms whom you could share deep thoughts with.

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During this period, we could do more sports with the children and because of that, Faith could finally swim (after 1.5 years of lessons) unassisted. By that I mean she could swim across the breadth of the pool on her own. She’s still learning to swim with the correct stroke but it’s heartening to see that she could swim now.

The girl has been practising more on her balance bike during the hols and when I saw that she could balance well, I suggested that we fit the pedals. The next day, she could ride the bicycle effortlessly! Now, I understand how a balance bike works in training the kid to ride a bike! I guess we really ought to be intentional about carving time for the little ones to practise their gross motor skills!

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As the year draws to a close and as we celebrate Christmas, I couldn’t help but thank the Lord for His presence in my life. He is the best and most perfect gift and He is all that we need.

有一件礼物,你收到没有,
眼睛看不到,你心会知道,
这一件礼物,心门外等候,
是为了你准备,别人不能收。

生命有限,时光也会走,
如果你不珍惜,机会难留,
礼物虽然好,如果你不要,
你怎么能够得到,
怎么能得到?

亲爱的朋友,你是否想到,
马槽的婴孩,是为你而来,
亲爱的朋友,你是否了解,
最好的礼物是人子主耶稣。

He is the reason for this season.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15

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