Sunday, 12 January 2014

♥하루 116 - Giving thanks: 2013

Before you read: You're going to encounter the looongest post I've ever written - please refrain from falling asleep. 

"The Bible never once says, 'Figure it out'
But over and over it says, 'Trust God'. 
He's already got it all figured out."

Many times I've went, Wow, there's so many things I have learned in the year of 2013! Double wow, there's so much thanks I learned to give in this wholesome year. Again, many times I could not find time to share the details. Looking back into 2013, my heart ached with gratitude and strengthened with faith at how my Lord father had lead me through in His Godly ways.

Like the quoted, one of the biggest lesson I've received in this year is that;

1. Family is the greatest gift from God

"We love because He first loved us." 
- 1 John 4:19

pap's birthday '13! (this was the few precious seconds javen wasn't eyeing the cake LOLOL)

As I sat here staring at the screen thinking how to phrase this and also reminiscing the wonderful journey I've went through with my family.. I just felt like it's absolutely impossible to ever put this equally to how I feel about these 7 + ½ people. (½ being a one year and a month old baby hahaha) Honestly, the only two words I can phrase them with are Gift and Blessing.

They are the ones who held me through when I learn how to speak, my childhood, teenage, rebellion and to right now, being graduated from high school and grown stronger and wider in faith. One morning a few months ago when I was depressed for SPM but still porkishly lazy, I was speaking to pap after breakfast about the durian season and I suddenly realized that I'm pretty much same height (or taller!) than my dad.  

"I used to measure myself everyday using my pap's breast-pockets as a standard measurement when I was younger"

How tall was I?! I realized that dad's white hair has increased significantly too, but I have never noticed until then. There's beyond an entire planet-worth of thanks I need to give to Mr Koh, my superhero. He is the hero in my heart, there's nothing that can replace him better. He worked so hard just so he could provide the best to his family, there has always been this quote from momoke (my mom),

"你的爸爸 ah 把整间屋子塞满食物, 我们没有一天会饿到的la"

This is undoubtedly true (ask sukkie hahahaha) pap's forever stocking up the pantry and we forever have unlimited supplies of classic sultana biscuits and cream crackers and nescafe and fruits (esp: guava mixed and shaken with crushed dried sour plum) and so, so many other things I will not be able to list everything here. He's also the fix-it-felix in our household, making sure all light bulbs, water supply, tiles (etc) are working fine, repairing things that he is capable of once it's out of order. He does all sorts of house chores that a father would rarely do and he used to complete my kemahiran hidup wood craft for me cause I suck too bad (lol). My father makes sure we live in the maximum comfort, even if that means sacrificing his own convenience. He is the durian supplier to all, sharing the best musang king and D24 to everybody - packing them into huge transparent containers and sending them house by house. 

My father is a man of little words, but expresses through his actions, for that I did not understand at first - cause usually it pisses my mom off dreadfully but however, now we see my father as who is he, and the limitless effort he is willing to give to his family. My father's life principle, "Everybody except myself is my priority" it sounds hard and even harder to walk the talk. Thank you Father in Heaven, for gifting me a dad like him.

"I want to marry papa"
- W
hen I was 5 years old

anyway my mom said cannot.

ignore Javen boy first! "how is that possible?!" - can lah that will come later ok I promise

That's momoke! She's the most beautiful lady in my heart, I'm not just spitting out general compliments but I mean it - My mother has the deepest brown eyes, the perfect teeth, the loveliest smile and she has dark, black, healthy curls. She speaks the wisest words and she always, always knows what is best. I've spent more time than I ever had in the past year with my mother, learning so much more about her that I had never learned before. Sharing my thoughts with her is like sharing them with a good friend, except that the friend actually gives practical and helpful advices. and asks you to have more ginger tea. Hahaha!

Praise the Lord, if it wasn't for momoke being insistent for us to grow in sunday school, we might not even have this day. Momoke always played the "bad cop" while pap's the "good cop" since childhood, cause fathers are always spoiling the child and buying ice-cream whenever we want hoho. However, my mother always had a firm stand to discipline and teach us while we run and hide behind dad. Hahahaha. But when dad's out.. *catching-catching with mom and cane*

with grandpa, momoke's father, javen's great grandpa - who's 103 this year.

Momoke was strictly brought up in a family lacking of love, her dad used to chase her siblings and her (9 of them!) all over the huge vegetable farm they own to hit them. There are stories I laughed uncontrollably over, but I believe that 25 years ago God's love had transformed my mom into who is she now, calm and loving and wise! (big bro suffered a period of broken combs - working efficiently as canes). My mom too, like my dad, has worked harder than I ever imagined to bring us up and to provide us with more than we need. Throughout the year I could not understand how is it possible for momoke to think of so many different dishes to cook every. single. day and all of them so satisfying.

it is mom's magic!

I'm starting to see what did my parents have to sacrifice in order for me to become who am I today, and I realized that I need to appreciate and give a help out to lift their burden off their shoulders. (it's hard but changes occur long term!) I hope I am not too late - thank you momoke and pap!
My siblings (dai sou is considered my sister too!) - really, what can I do without you guys?

That's big bro from the left, Joyceet, me, Euniceet and Dai sou! I reeeeally like this picture, I feel sooo happy when I look at it! These fantastic people have played so many important roles in my life - the nappy changers, math teacher, music trainer, two-wheel-bike-coach, counsellors, discipline managers, chauffeurs (ah mat), birthday-surprise-planner, atm machine (eunice and joyce cracks knucles) etc. Especially dai sou, she has been a great blessing to our family, talking to her never fails make me feel much better! She's a very carefree and outgoing person and honestly, she makes a super wonderful mother to baby Javen, wife to big bro, daughter to my parents and caring sister to us! ^_^ 

They've bring countless joy to the family and always been examples for me to learn from. None of us is perfect but thank God we have a willing heart to learn from mistakes and to go according to His directions! The best times of the year must be when everybody sits around baby Javen for his training sessions after dinner, chatting about our day, joking and laughing heartily. These are the moments that I have abandoned my SPM books and be telling dai sou "5 minutes more 5 minutes" but ending up talking up to an hour or more. I will never regret it, these bonding times I've enjoyed much more than any other things we are able to exchange with money!

Spending time with big bro and dai sou - good food plus good talk! My brother used to make me learn my 9 times table when I'm in standard 1 and trains me to recognize music notes without looking at the piano. But I think I'm abit of a disappointment la cause I always end up crying - I suck in math like Joyce (HAHAHAHA) and he will be looking for the cane I keep hidden (usually behind the piano). Unfortunately, he always finds it. eeeeek!

Something I hear very often, 

"I am so jealous of you for having a big brother like that!"

Three most important men (and boy) in my life!

When I was young I'd disagree cause my brother and I have a 10 year-age gap, that makes him own an authority from mom over me, and when we are kids: whatever that is good for us is bad. My siblings stays at the hostel and only comes back during the weekends, so I don't see them much! However, despite the little time we interact, I'm still really fond of them, especially my big brother. I used to always tell my primary school friends that

"My brother is VERY VERY tall and HANDSOME!!"

I used to think he's the tallest guy ever! He's still really handsome now but abit fat hehehehe jk he has a unity pack! (6 in 1) God has blessed me with a brother whom I really respect, him being my spiritual leader and my role model. It's too surreal that my brother is already a father of the cutest baby who has strong legs and chubby rifle arms hee when it seems like just yesterday he cuts my mother's curtains and cycles to the train station to get to a mall for ToyCity. Thank you brother, for the limitless lame jokes you're always coming up with, the delicious noms you've treated us, the efforts you and dai sou have put in for the growth of the youths and the amount of rice you always give me in my favourite bowl. (inside joke) LOL

A special shoutout of thanks to Euniceet and Joyceet! The time, money, and energy both of you (not so) willingly sacrificed for me is incredibly impressive. This thought has come to my mind several times throughout last year,

"Thank God for sisters!"

It's like we're best friends living together and sleeping side by side (and the other one next door), we don't share similar personalities but we always have this telepathy with each other (really one! I can always guess what song is joyce singing in her head or what is she thinking or what is she going to say!) plus when I run out of money I always go to my sisters and they're not like loan shark will spray red paint on your walls one they always lend a hand eventhough deep inside they know I won't be returning the money just kidding! I promise to return your money! hee hee hee. I love shopping trips with my sisters the best, they understand what I want like nobody could ever do! My sisters have always surprised me with really nice and affordable gifts they know I will like despite being quite penniless WHERE ELSE CAN YOU FIND SUCH AWESOME SISTERS?!! I love you both so very very much! *big hug*

Aaand, to what everyone was waiting for, a frrrreaking adorable blessing to everybody and the first guy that is able to make me cry just cause I miss him too much;

JAVEN KOH ZHI JIAN, my baby nephew! I loveeeee him to bits! He is the soft spot for everyone and the ultimate secret weapon when my parents start nagging. Nobody could ever help but smile when you see him! His chinese name is 许旨坚, as in 神的旨意坚定, meaning that He will be steadfastly following God's purpose for him. Too cute to describe verbally, so glad that I'm able to share his journey of growth by taking lots of photographs (something I missed out when I was young) and creating the sweetest memories for this little boy.

Baby javen's first trip to the aquaria! He wasn't afraid of the enormous horrifying fish at all and just tried grabbing them with his tiny fists. (even I got scared! yuck)

This post is much longer than I thought - I shall leave details until next time!

2. "God has His plans, His timing, His progress,beautifully  all set out for each of you."

I went through things that made me learn.

It's like suddenly you find yourself in a huge maze. (for me I suck in surviving la in thriller movies I'm probably the first to scream and die lol) There's no way you can get directions. You have nothing, all you possess is yourself, your humanly abilities. You feel lost, like there is no hope in getting to the end. You are hungry, you are frightened and you are dehydrated, but there is still a long, long way to go. You keep getting back to the same place over and over and the maze is so dark, you feel horrified. It's hopeless. You get frustrated and push yourself against the walls, again and again.


"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, 
for the Lord your God goes with you
He will never leave you nor forsake you."
 - Deuteronomy 31:3

Trust me, I've felt that way many times this year. (err, SPM year ahah! haha jk that's only partly) I was in pain, but I could not show it. In fact, I've felt so helpless and I did not know what to do. I felt hurt but whatever I thought of doing could only rub salt on my wound. And the worst thing is, it's not even physical. Do you know how that feels like? I bet alot of you do. The mental pressure from disappointment drove me mad.

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 
'I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, 
but will have the light of life.'
- John 8:12

Then I remembered:

Which father would voluntarily leave their child outside, lost and cold? The answer is no father would. As I suffered in the maze of  life, I know that God has already sent his only son, Jesus to die for our sins on the cross and rise again after three days so that we are able to be with God. He lit a lamp for me, He saved me, He will surely lead my way.

You know what? I believe that God has a perfect blue print for our lives. Along the past few years, I thought what I did was right, I thought what I had was the best. In fact, I went against my principles and I went against God's timing. I thought, it's okay, I'm enjoying it. It will definitely last, it seemed so nicely laid out. Even when things skidded off track and went further than I intended, I just could not be bothered to consult God anymore because things are going my way. The satisfaction I got only lasted me for awhile.

God opened my eyes.

Well the point is, at most times we think what we see is the only choice we have. Like the wall in the maze, I felt like it was my only solution at that moment. We're blinded by selfish ambitions and needs. We totally neglected the fact that God is indeed the Creator, He is God and He can see beyond what we can see. He knows what is right for me, what I'm better off with or without.

"A man's steps are directed by the Lord
How can then anyone understand his own way?" 
- Proverbs 20:24

3. Take a leap of faith. (In fact, one step is more than enough!)

Throughout this year, I happened to be convinced many, many times to go ahead and complete something I've never thought that I will actually do. Well honestly la I always thought I'm quite tough one lo but as I grow older and wiser I realized that I'm one of  the timid-est person I know! (don't say the roller coaster or the height or the dark la that is just NORMAL. bleh.) What I meant is in LIFE. The most reasonable excuse is that I never had to get out of my comfort zone before! I'm so spoilt by life, having a perfect family and they give me more than I ever need. (especially the food. hahaha. it shows hahaha ackk)

I'm not complaining. However, I thank God, for this year year I saw that if I'm willing to try, amazing things would happen! The most significant experience I went through this year was,

Achieving in the school level cross country and got in MSSD (initially prior cause can skip school the whole day!) I'm already in my last year of high school and I have that "aiya suan liao just try my best and have fun out of it" thing cause I never participated in any inter-school competitions. I run for fun, I run cause I'm fat and I run cause I like running. 

But ofcourse la I want to win too cause everybody also want to win one right T_T I just never imagined that I could achieve what I achieved, it was so surprising and such a blessing!!!!

Photo and the cat credited to: Ling Jee

Then I had to enter MSSS camp. 

I was like "NO WAYareyoukiddingme definitely NO" directly cause camp will be held in a sekolah kebangsaan *goverment primary school and it's kind of old plus we have to shower in a public bathroom (as in there will be a huge tank in the middle and everybody just stand around it) and I've to talk to a bunch of people I don't really know and sleep (and shower) with them and some of them even told me beforehand that daily training starts at 5:30am! Alamak.

Luckily Isabel persuaded me and I thought it would be alright since we already have a few training sessions with them and the speed of my BM speaking improved tremendously..  Also, my heart really wanted me to go for it cause it's something I will not be able to experience another time. Hmm

I had fun! I'm so glad I went and I'm so glad for all these incredibly talented people I made friends with. We did aerobics in the middle of the night on our mattresses and we ran and ran and ran and gave each other so much support and I've broken my record of speaking such an incredible amount of BM in four days. (basically that's the only language we're able to use except when I talked to bel or wei rou) 

Btw, the girls' training starts at 8am and only the guys' training is scheduled at 5:30am, phew. I didn't want to use the public bathroom so I showered at the cubicles' with wei rou.. but on the last day there was a water stoppage so I had to do so.. It wasn't as awkward as I thought la hahaha and there's so many epic happenings I truly miss. I also forgot to bring my toothbrush, so I substituted toothbrush with my finger for four days ooooo!

I ran at the places I never imagined running at before, and I ran with the endurance I never thought I had before. It's so cool and I only wish I'm still at high school so we can meet each other again! :(

I'm glad the Seal went with me too! I bet he had lots of fun meeting Tasya's bear.

made our way together to the state levels! well, I can only say God's blessing is more than I expected, much much more than I need! 

Then the Standard chartered KL marathon! Really. Many times I've been asked disbelievingly "walao what kept you going" (actually I never jog for 3 weeks cause my ultimate motivator went to japan sobs but she's back now sooo ok oh man) 

Anyhoo I'm lucky la cause I enjoyed running. When it's 6pm everyday I feel superrrr lazy one I will make so many excuses just to not go run "I think will rain later" and do everything in my power to not get off the couch. However I know that after I complete my training I will feel really really satisfied la. The only part that sucks is when you need to tough up and go outside, you will definitely feel great after awhile!

I don't know if you can relate anot la but I just write so next time when I old I can read. "wow how I used to make myself run" like that. Hah!

It was my first open marathon, and I'm really happy I participated! KL is such a beautiful city and the feeling of running with all kinds of people is just amazing! The LRT service is specially opened early for the event and the whiff of awesome fresh air and having to stand in a train fully packed with people in their SCKLM running vest is so.. special. Sunday morning definitely well spent, and we made it back in time for church more energized than ever

Marathon: Joyceet's version click here!

 A big round of applause to Standard Chartered Bank, the event was so well planned! Despite breaking the Malaysian Records of marathon participants with up to a million runners, everything is well organized with sufficient toilets, power-revitalisers (bananas and isotonic drinks and power bars ooh), huge medical team and volunteers. The distance markers and marathon signboards are really convenient to see too! I even made friends with this grandma whose entire family are participants, from junior fun-run category to 42.3 full marathon. It's too amazing for words!

(ya we made the angry bird mascot ourselves! it look so epic angry right?! LOL)

And 2013 athletics wrapped up beautifully with Sports Day! I've never participated in any sports day of my high school life before cause they're usually on weekends (which I'll be occupied) and I always think it's embarrassing lo also cause I'm afraid of judgements plus I hate running in front of a huge bunch of people. 

Well I guess this year it's different cause it's already my last year and I also ran for MSSD Track & Field (and skipped four days of school!!!) plus this year is the first inter-sports house aerobics competition in school history! We went for it and it was made one of the sweetest memories of my high school, I never regretted it! Everybody on the team are such great people, our training and practice sessions was made sooo much fun!

I feels like we're in High School Musical!

In 2 Kings 4 of the bible, the wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves." She was asked what does she have in her house, it was that she has nothing except a little oil. Then Elisha the prophet responded ,"Go around and ask all your neighbours from empty jars. Don't ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side."

Wait, what? go ask bottles from the neighbours? Why? What does he know and what can he do? Why should the widow even bother to try, her situation was so pathetic and at loss that time.

Surprisingly, the widow responded with faith.

At verse 5-6 it says, "She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, 'Bring me another one."

The little oil she had filled all the jars.

The widow and her sons had willingly took a step by believing, and not just by believing, they took action. God could wondrous miracles just by the little we had at that time. When we let go of the hardship, stop scratching our heads bald from worrying and entrust entirely to the Lord, he ensures that we will be blessed more than we can ever imagine as His beloved children.

The widow went and told Elijah, and he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left." 

Not only God makes sure we have enough, in fact, He makes sure we have more than enough. There is no need for us to go in rounds. 2013 have taught me this better than I could understand it.

4. "To love your neighbour as yourself."

I had my insecurities this year, and I hardly survived with so much disappointments inside.

It's embarrassing but;

An extremely simple lesson, yet the extremely hardest to achieve. It took me long enough to overcome this and I know it is impossible by my own means but it is by the strength from God!

I am learning to see every brighter side of others! Confirm got one, the only matter is whether you are willing to see it or not. I'm glad I tried. You will start measuring things with a whole new perspective! It's amazing to see how wonderful are the people you have around you, and their even wonderful qualities. ☺

"... But the greatest of these is love." 
-1 Corinthians 13:13

Hello. You sleep already anot. HAHAHAHAHA.
Don't la like that. Wake up please!
Ok fine. GO SLEEP.
I'm going to take a nap too, I love naps! ♥♥
But before that I'm going to show you one more selfie HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. #thickskinlevel:expert

sigh I don't know how to wink but can laaaa hehehe thanks for reading!

Have a blessed year ahead,

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