Friday, October 15, 2010

Our Secret Place

Every evening, I target to get my children to sleep by 9.30pm. As all of us are sleeping in the same room, its easy to see what are they are up close to bed time. One evening, after our usual devotion, I realised that Clarissa had sneaked out of the room. “Where did Clarissa go?” I asked. “She must be in the living room with Gong Gong (or grandpa).” Joe answered.

Recently, as part of a tin-mining museum contribution project, my dad has been busy with the building of a miniature palong. As Clarissa loves art and craft, she has taken a keen interest in the project by observing what my dad does every night and helping to pick up rubbish scattered all around his work station.

As the time ticked pass bedtime, I was wondering if I should get Clarissa. Afterall, I was glad that my dad had found himself a young fan and it was not frequent that they shared some thing in common. When the hour hand hit 10pm, I could hear Clarissa coming into the room. She was pacing up and down in the bedroom, looking thoughtful.

“What’s the matter?” I asked. “Gong Gong is having some difficulties in assembling his palong. He needed to find a medium to support the stilts, so that he could put it all together.” She said while giving a frown. “There must be a way. I have to help him with this.” Again, she was walking around the room, thinking. I was amazed at her determination. More importantly, I was touched by her keenness to help. I could almost imagine myself in her shoes, trying to resolve a problem “for God”, whether at my work place or with my children. My response would have been “There must be a way! I must pray and ask for God’s help!”

While I was getting absorbed in my thoughts, Clarissa turned to me and asked “Mummy, do you know of any suitable material?” I suggested “How about plasticine or play dough?” Immediately, she left the room to tell Gong Gong the options. Although Clarissa was too young to come up with a solution, I was profoundly moved by her intentions and actions. If my dad were in the room to see how troubled she looked, he would be moved. Similarly, when God sees us, in our secret places, how burdened we are over His people, His church, His designated workplace for us, He will be immensely moved too.  And when we turn to Him with our problems through prayers, He could but only help us.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

File picture of a palong:-

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Old Job vs New Job

Sometimes, I like to day-dream about my previous job. I enjoyed the nature of my work: playing with figures. I also got on very well with my colleagues and my bosses. On retrospective, I thought I had the perfect job! The only imperfections were: the hours were long and I was making lots of money for my corporate clients who were already filthy rich to begin with! The latter rendered my career meaningless, to a certain extent. I loved my work but I didn’t like the idea that I was making money for a selected few at the expense of many. That was when I decided to quit and embark on something totally different.

Now, I am still seated at a corporate office. God has blessed me with great and dedicated colleagues and of course, I also get on with my bosses, who happen to be my father and my brother. I loved the environment and the quality of life, except now, I dread and even have nightmares about my work! Afterall, dealing with PRs and damage control are not my forte; I was only good at figures. Therefore, for sometime, I had been struggling with my work unconsciously until last Saturday.

We met up with R and S for dinner. Although we haven’t really spoken for more than three years, our conversations certainly went deeper than any other conversations we have had for the 10 years that we have known one another! They shared about how God had provided for them, each and every step. And the most amazing part was: when R had to go overseas for 9 months to pursue his master, S was left to take care of their already ballooning overdraft without a permanent job, and it was within the 9 months, that God had helped them to clear all their bank overdrafts! When R asked me how I was doing, I shared with them my work dilemma. “Although I don’t enjoy my work as much as I did before, I find it more meaningful as I am actually helping my colleagues.” I finished off with a sigh. “Well Fee, you never know. God might have placed you where you are, to train you up for a greater purpose!” R responded immediately.

Not only was I taken aback by his remark, I also realised that God was speaking to me through this brother. It was as though God wanted to reassure me that I was walking on the right track as on the very next day, He again reminded me of these verses through Rev Marvin:-

“That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

It was precisely that I am not good at what I am doing, that I have learnt to rely on God so much, including praying through each and every obstacles that I face at work. If I had relied on my own strength or wisdom, I would no doubt fail miserably.

Thank you God for blessing me with friends, who remind me of who you are and your assurances, that all is well in your hands, including my career.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rainbow in a Different Form

My week kick-started with an unexpected tragic incident that occurred at my workplace. As the week progresses, bad news continue to flood in. In fact, just yesterday, as I was putting damage control to yet another problematic customer, I began to feel discouraged and downcast. Out of the blue, I received a call from one of our internet providers, that they had just arrived for a meeting. “I wasn’t informed of this beforehand! How could they just drop by to see us!” I said to my colleagues, venting my frustrations. After a few days of fire fighting, I was not prepared to meet yet another party to hear about their assessment of our “problematic” internet cabling or poor equipment.

I dragged my feet grudgingly to the meeting and prayed “Lord, I don’t think I can handle another meeting that might require another round of damage control! Please help me to be nice to them and give me strength for this!” I had earlier on prayed for some blue skies and rainbow to cheer my day, but this meeting was definitely not the answer I had anticipated.

At the meeting, I was surprised that the company’s reps were all politeness and they were in fact, giving me a list of suggestions, as to how we could improve our internet services to our customers. For the first time, I was just happy to sit back and listen to their advice, and the best part was, they were also offering their help and cooperation, so that in the event of complaints, one of their technicians would be here to standby to trouble shoot (for free)! So far, I have been trying to solve endless problems with my team of already overloaded IT staff. To be offered assistance at a critical time such as this is truly God sent! The amazing part was: one of my key IT staff needed to go on leave for a week when we were expecting maximum usage. Just as I was thinking how I could get experienced part-timers to cover for the week, the answer landed on my lap, literally!

Sometimes, blue skies and rainbow come disguised in a different form and I couldn’t thank God enough for this, which was way beyond my expectations!

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:10)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pleasure in Donuts

First thing in the morning, Joseph came to me with a big smile, normally a prerequisite for a request. “Mum, I feel like eating a donut today.” He looked at me with his soft eyes. Usually, I would brush such request aside and try to distract him with food that was already in the house. Today, I felt like making an exception.

I recalled seeing a dunkin donut outlet on the other side of the highway while sending Clarissa to Boys Brigade. That would mean that I had to use the highway on the way back and drop by at the donut place. Not only was I incurring additional toll charges just to get a donut, I was also surprised to find a price surge in them. “How could people spend RM2.40 on a donut!?” I murmured to myself. 

But when I arrived home, I couldn’t wait to see the look on Joseph’s face. I could just imagine the joy on his face. “Yummy! This is the best donut I have tasted!” he exclaimed while munching away. For that, I was willing to go back to the highway store again and forget about the inflated cost of the donut.

In many ways, our Heavenly Father too loves to surprise us with gifts, especially when we least expect it. Thank you Father for Your unending love for us. 

Joseph restoring joy to a friend

We were at a family retreat at Cameron Highlands. Children were having a fun time playing frisbees when one child, Ashton, threw the frisbee...