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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Counting My Blessings

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. – M. Kathleen Casey
Last week was thanksgiving season, it’s a joyous season in the United States and Canada; but for me I had time to reflect upon loved ones, blessings, the favour of God, and the undeserved mercies that had been granted on to me.
Unfortunately, sometimes I do take for granted and don’t show gratitude or count the blessings the way I should. Too often, I get in a mindset of doing the opposite. I end up focusing on the curses instead of the blessings. 
Just last week as I was sitting in the waiting room at the clinic, I find myself focusing on what’s wrong in my life, instead of what’s going right. As a result, I start a downward spiral of negativity, strife, and turmoil in my life. Every consultation I was referred from doctor to another, each time they requested for different examinations. Finally it was Saturday,wet and gloomy, I didn't expect to be sent to the Emergency Department, as I look out the window holding back my tears I told myself that there’s a silver lining in every situation.

The reality is God hasn’t promised us that everyday would be sunshine. Instead, He chose to mix it up with a little rain. It’s the rain that causes us to appreciate the sunshine. Our sorrows cause us to appreciate the joyous times. It’s the hurt and pain that causes us to appreciate the pleasures of life.
In a week alone, I had 5 blood samples taken and 2 drips insertion, considering that I had a blood test was 5 years ago, this was a bit of a shock. I did not enjoyed the needles; my arm became so sore following with bruises. Every normal result was actually a relief but does that mean, I have to go for further testing to find out the cause of the pain? And would the next test be more painful? When will it be the final test? What happens when the result come back abnormal? It was no fun waiting to get tested (for hours) or even waiting for the results (for days). I was nervous but yet I had to perform my daily routine, acting normal in front of everyone to avoid attention. Emotionally and mentally I knew that I would not want/able to answer any questions. Lucky enough, work kept me busy; I was so tired, got home late and all I wanted to do is climb into bed to rest.
During my free time, I thought a little retail therapy would help me clear my mind; I started online shopping for Christmas presents. Year after year I notice there is no easy gift that I can buy for people. Is there such thing as the "Perfect Gift"? 
Speaking of appreciation, have you ever given someone a gift, and after opening the gift, they showed a lack of gratitude for the gift? Maybe it was something they couldn’t appreciate. Maybe it was a gift that they couldn’t use. And instead of showing gratitude and thanksgiving, they complained. They seemed to miss the whole point giving.
Well in the same way, when I go around with my head down and focused on all the negativity in life, I’m indirectly saying to God, the ultimate gift giver “Thanks, but no thanks.” 
James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift, comes from above.”
A good thing to remember is that everything works out for greater good. Even if your enemies attack in a bad way, God can work it out for your good.
The bible says God wouldn't put more on me than I can bear. Every bad storm, every heartache, every disappointment will eventually work out for my own good. Even the seemingly small and insignificant blessings are specially tailor-made for me. 
I pray as I visit the doctor again tomorrow, it would be for the final time and she will deliver some good news because a friend once told me ...

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, 
it is about learning to dance in the rain,
and to see the rainbow you must first endure some rain.

Here’s sharing on How I count my Blessings (even during difficult moments)
Make a choice to focus on every good and perfect thing in any and every situation. Start by count the blessings, not the curses. The good news is that in the end, I’ll look back and realize that even the curses were blessings in disguise.
Take a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle. On the right column, list all the things that are blessings. And on the left column, list all the things that seem to be a curse. I was amazed at how the blessings outweigh the curses.
I know it sounds cliché, but things can always be worse. But be encouraged and make a habit of counting blessings. 
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrowfor tomorrow will worry about itself. 
Each day has enough trouble of its own”.
Tonight I experience an overflow of joy and peace as I charge forth on my journey of life tomorrow just like how I change my mindset around (after a week of painful experience) and embrace my blessings again.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Take Away the Pain

Whatever you want to do ... Do it. 
There are only so many tomorrows.

Last year a friend bought me a gift, a Try Diving experience. I was very excited. At first I was not comfortable but I adapt quickly, I started to explore and discover the shore around the bay. Everyone I knew went away for their Christmas holidays, I was alone and looking for activities to do, I decided to challenge myself and took up the Open Water Course. Every morning before sunrise I woke up and drove down to the beach for some recreational scuba diving. Of course there were course fees involved, plus on-line home study and medical examination. On the first day I bought my dive booties, mask, fins and snorkel. Wetsuits, buoyancy vest, tank and air fills were provided. After four full days of pool, shore and boat dive, I received the SSI Open Water Certified Diver Card. :-)

I started researching early this year and planned to dive in Asia (Sipadan, Philipines etc.) Sadly I wouldn't be able to do this any time soon :-( Over the past few weeks I had not been in my best shape, I was really looking forward to heading down to the beach to do some diving and surfing this summer.

But just this past week, I visited the health centre so frequently that the nurses joked that I should bring my bed into the clinic. At that point, it didn't sound funny but I did enjoy talking to her. I felt less nervous. As I was sitting in the waiting room patiently, I read Paul's Vision and His Thorn.
 1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  
For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:1-10 NIV)

Prayer: Lord, during times of trial I often ask the question "Why?" While I may not always know the answer, may I draw closer to you and be swept into your arms of compassion and grace. Amen.

Speaking of pain and fitness ... a friendly and sporty friend I once knew back in Tassie recently started True Colours Foundation which aims to help people to overcome physical, mental and emotional challenges after major road traffic accidents. 
Read her blog called     My pain is different to your pain! 
Learn how she loss her memory of the actual trauma (self-protecting mechanism) and why she cracked and when she broke, she finally found the peace and tranquillity of pain-relief medications.

  • Pain can cause stress and feelings of immense discomfort but never underestimate pain.
  • Some are more sensitive to pain and feel the slightest prick, pinch, cut, etc. 
  • Some of us start crumbling when the level of pain start increasing 
  • Some appear to be able to stoically sit through 'torture'.
  • Talk and laugh together to help distract the patient from feeling the pain
  • Focusing on breathing which might help to relax the body and reduce the effects of the pain
  • Be patient with those in pain cause we all differ in way we cope with pain, always be sympathetic, do not judge, cause if someone were given a choice, anyone would rather go without medications.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

When life hands me lemons

Last week I received a bag of lemons from our client, since no one in the office was interested I gave them away. While catching up with some friends over dinner last night, listening to our conversations made me realize how much I have grown up and changed. I am sure everyone’s heard this at one point in their life ...
"When Life Gives you Lemons...Make Lemonade!" It means making the best of an undeniably bad situation, even if it involves complete and utter denial, mixing lemons with cup loads of sugar until they actually taste sweet. Dale Carnegie used the phrase a lot in his famous book “How to win friends and influence people.”

When life hands me lemons - do I make lemonade? or ask for salt and tequila!
In the past I think when life gave me lemons when no one is looking, I will throw them through life’s window and run away haha ... Yes I would try any possible way to avoid any confrontation.

Now I would probably find someone else whose life was handed a bottle of vodka, and have a drink together ...
So last night when I was faced with a difficult situation, I told myself ...
"When life hands me lemons, why not throw a lemon party!"
I don't know what is in store for me in the future but we could probably look at life differently at various stages of life.

At 10, When life gives you lemons alter their DNA and make super lemons!
(young and naive, anything is possible)
At 20, When life gives you lemons, be sure to say thank you note for the lemons sincerely. 
(taught to suck it in, life is never fair)
At 30, When life gives you lemons, make orange juice, then wonder how the heck you did it. 
(lucky escapes)
At 40, When life gives you lemons sell them online. 
(everyone is looking for financial freedom)
At 50, When life gives you lemons, squirt the juice in someone's eye 
 (teaching the younger generation a lesson )
At 60, When life gives you lemons, ask for the receipt 
(longing for security)
At 70, When life gives you lemons, collect them, one day life will stop and you would have the most lemons ever. 
(at this point does it matter)
At 80, When life gives you lemons just shut up and eat your damn lemons 
(well no one cares anymore)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Dare to be Different

Here comes The Quote of the Day :
"You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same." - Jonathan Davis

After reading that on-line, it reminded me of a famous Chinese poem quoted by Stephen Chow in his movie 唐伯虎點秋香 'The Flirting Scholar' ...

Biérén xiào wǒ tài fēngdiān
Wǒ xiào tārén kàn bù chuān
Bùjiàn wǔ líng háojié mù
Wú huā wú jiǔ chú zuòtián

My direct translation would probably be,
People often mocked and accused me a fool, I teased back at their own shallow sight.
Unseen five mausoleum hero grave, without flower or alcohol hoe the fields. (I might need help explaining last part)
Layman's terms ... Others laugh at me for my being crazy, while I laugh at others for not seeing the true meaning of the life.

When I was little kid, mum used to tell me that I should do what is right, follow what everybody else does. If I wanted to wear black during CNY, she would say ‘No. You should wear red or lighter colours, like everybody else.’

I never understood why we should all be the same. What’s the point? How can my personality develop if I try to be like everybody else? We are all different, even if our school teacher tells us we are all the same. Not a human being on Earth is the same with another one, and I strongly believe this is how God intended it to be. I grew up a nerd (always studying) while my sister was surrounded by attention (because she was cute). I was the brain in the family while she inherited good looks. We both have the ability to express ourselves differently. How I wish I grew up embracing my inner beauty then I do not have to think for one minute what others say, because in the end I am living for myself, not for anybody else.

Why do everyone laugh at the people that are different? What about the individuals that act the same and dress the same, the 'popular people’? What people don’t see is that those people that are different, is that they are beautiful on the inside. It doesn’t matter whether or not they have the latest clothes fashion, if they have perfect hair, or if they dating the cutest guy, it matters who they are and what they’re like.

We live in a prejudice world where we won’t look twice at a person, because of what they’re wearing, whether they’re hot or not, what their skin color is, if they smell bad, or whatever the reason may be. Either way, we always find something different about people and somehow form an opinion before we even know what they are like.

Before you judge someone, think of how you would feel if someone did that to you. Try getting to know a person before you form an opinion, because that one person just might change your life.

The funny thing about bringing up this saying is, I told myself that it is time to visit the saloon but I wanted to wait till after the Nov wedding. Once last pretty photo before I change a new drastic look. Finally yesterday I decided, I will have my hair cut tomorrow, I called Miyuki and made an appointment. I can't recall exactly when was the last time I had short hair. I did a quick on-line search and found some photos on Punk and Bob Hairstyle. A few of people were very supportive but there were a few who knew I would chicken out. Could I prove them wrong, we will see?

If you see me walking down the streets, I may just want to hide, I know this is one of those decision I would regret later BUT ...  JUST DO IT.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

When God Says “Wait”

Come on ... we all have to admit ... being asked to WAIT is CRUEL.

No one enjoys waiting, although sometimes, it is the only thing one can only do. For example, imagine recently, you found yourself caught in the middle of a situation and it is something that you needed to know to understand everything that happened but no one had the guts to tell you about it. Everyone is like I cannot answer that now... give me some time to think ... it is not probably not a good idea to talk to that person. That may sound quite fine to you, but I am sure at that time I wanted to get off the hamster wheel so badly.

Let’s look at work, I recently heard a new position that I would be perfect for my career advancement, I was invited for an the interview, they tell me that I would fit the position, but I need to wait. Since the list of candidate was long and they need to have a meeting to make a decision whether I am suitable. I waited for their phone call, I left messages but they never bother to call back.

Let’s move to a simpler example. I already made an appointment to meet someone at a certain place for dinner. But then the person did not show up, then I tried calling but no answer so I waited … yes… doing nothing but wait for a reply, to continue waiting or to go home?

I think it is not about how long it is or what you are waiting for. It is because waiting is a mixed-up period where you build your expectation so high that it comes crumbling down when it becomes unstable and seems impossible to happen any more. This cycle keeps going on and on, it seems endless, until finally the answer reveals. Now you see how terrible the process is?

While you are waiting for that certain someone, you keep on hoping that he will finally come, he is probably just trap in a traffic, woke up late, or he has something important thing to do. But after several minutes or hours, your mind shifts, you start to think that he probably hates you, trying to avoid you, or even worse you are the one who got the time or place mix up. Finally you try to re-ensure yourself that those negative things are just not possible, he is just late and has no respect for your time. And the cycle goes on.

So people are basically cruel, since we tend to make other people wait. Sometimes we do it on purpose; sometimes we just don’t have any options. Why do we NOT start saying YES… if we feel like it and NO… if we feel it fits? And if we really need to make someone wait, then please remember no one deserves to be hold up, do not do unto others what you do not want others do unto you , then you will stop making them wait for too long.

I recently had this waiting period for a brilliant idea, it passed for months, and finally the answer for me was no. I was sad, of course, since I wanted to make it happen kinda badly, but I regretted the waiting period, not the answer afterwards. I regretted on how tired I was being fixated on that uncertainty period. I wanted to forget that I was still waiting for something, yet the thought of it kept on coming at night, when I was alone, or simply when I had nothing important to do. Of course I understand that I need to work on my feelings during those times, but I hope I do not have to pass this terrible stage again. However, will it be better if everybody were not asked to wait? I rather be rejected, sad and get over it quickly.

Just last weekend I was suppose to meet up with friends for dinner to catch up, I waited for this opportunity to tell them about the China trip. But I did not notice the time, basically skip breakfast and lunch, I worked till 10pm, I walked up late and had supper instead. We had a few drinks and at the end of the night they said "... the trip sounded like hard labour to us, when was the last time you did something like this ... but as you were explaining to us, you had a smile on your face the whole time, we could tell that you will do great over there ..." Was I happy? Was it the drinks talking with an empty stomach?

The next day I wash pushing myself to finish a dateline, I was suppose to meet some new friends, they too heard about the trip, after dinner we went to a network marketing seminar. A few great speakers presented and again I pick up on phrases that not only encouraged me but also reminded me of my own goals. 

What is the True Measure of Success? They touch on how it is everyone's dream to travel to places they want to go and stay as long as they want, no worries ... financial independence. How your problem will not be a problem once you solve other people's problem and so on ... 

The rich people are considered as the most successful and highly honoured in the world. Right? They are given the best seat wherever they go. They are highly esteemed people. They live in the most expensive communities. They drive the most expensive cars. They are dressed with the most expensive wardrobe. They eat the best cuisine. No wonder it becomes everyone’s dream to be rich.

This is the main driving force behind everyman’s hardwork. Hardwork is good and highly commended in the Bible but it should not be used as a means to satisfy one’s greed. Slowly greed becomes the driving force behind hardwork. So many people become discontented in their life, dissatisfied with just having the basic things in life. So they pursue for their worldly ambitions and turn away from the ways of God.

“Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own.” Luke 12:15

In Jesus mindset to become rich or being successful is not measured by the worldly standard.

Everything in the world, all the things it crave such as wealth, material possessions, money, position, power, and prestige are all bound to fade away. The world system is not meant to last forever. There will be an end for everything. Worldly success is not bound for eternity for one day God will judge the world and will destroy it. Those who hold on to the things the world give will be greatly frustrated.

And who will remain forever? According to the passage those who do the will of God will live forever. Can you count on to your earthly wealth to make you live forever? Even the world’s richest people have no power to make themselves live forever. Their vast wealth cannot make them live for eternity. When they die, they cannot bring their wealth to their tombs. They have to pass it to somebody else, to their next generation.

Can we then consider worldly wealth as a measure of success if it has no power to make us live for eternity. Therefore the measure of success is based upon whether you have fulfilled the "Will of God" in your own life for this will make us live forever. You can say that you are successful then if at the end of your life you can pronounce what apostle Paul has said before he died: “I have fought a good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” He was able to say this because he was able to fulfill the mission God entrusted to him.
Lesson : Measurement of our wealth is not on how much you can accumulate but how much you can give away to help others.

I know God cannot possibly reveal to me the whole of revelation in my life because I would not be able to either understand it or accept it. And so God reveals it slowly so as to patiently wean us off our own wills and onto His.

I have hope in God’s forgiveness of sins, and thus receiving my eternal life. However, I imagine that, in this life, I also have confidence that God will reveal to me everything that I need to know. This seems to be a pretty obvious statement, why would God not reveal to me what I need to know in order to fulfil his will? Because of one common human weakness, I frequently doubt God’s intention to reveal his plan to me, primarily because I am impatient.

I must always be patient with God. He knows me better than myself and so I must be prepared to bear the burden of the unknown until He sees fit for me to know it. This patience also entails an element of humility, because it will be the humble person who realizes that they are restricted, and that God knows better. It will also take a humble person to realize that they may have a lack of patience.

Often in prayer I ask God, "What is it you are calling me to do, Lord" Most of the time God answers with "Wait" I find this usually the case especially when it concerns my career. Often time's I am so eager to do God's will, or even just know what it is so I can be put at ease, that I forget who's will I am actually doing.  God's work is bigger than mine, and thus I cannot possibly understand in my own time, but only in His.
Waiting for the Lord is necessary because from the depths I am crying out to him. Indeed God hears my pleas, and he cries out to his children to wait until the appointed time for his revelation. God will always comfort us and always tell us what we need to know, sometimes it just takes time. It is then when we must offer up whatever suffering we may be enduring, in order to come into better union with him and eventually be lifted from the depths and into the eternal light.

Q : Is God Saying, 'Wait'?
I received the same reply TWICE from different scenario ... often the toughest times in life are those moments when all we know about God doesn't seem to help or get us the results we want. That's when we learn about His silence. Whenever God doesn't say a word, He's teaching, even in stillness. He's allowing us to grow by forcing us to think, study and arrive at conclusions while He stands by like the loving parent He is. 
Faith comes by hearing, but patience comes by silence. Patience is what God gives you when bad things remain unchanged. It's His sedative for the troubled heart. It's the balm He rubs into your aching muscles when it feels like you're being stretched to breaking point.(and recently Costochondritis returned, it's like a reminder of pain for me every single day)  These are the times when the pain lasts so long that only God can release the patience required-the sheer grace to get you through it. 
There are great benefits to waiting. For example, if you learn to wait and observe, you'll make better choices. The thing you think you can't live without today, you may be glad to live without tomorrow. '...No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.' (Psalm 84:11) So when God says, 'Wait,' trust Him. Either it's not what you need at this time, or He has something better in mind for you. You say, 'But what am I going to do in the meantime?' The Bible says, 'Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...' (Psalm 27:14) Stop fussing, stop trying, allow God to work and you'll come out of this stronger and with a better result. 

A: The Fact is Most of us FIND this HARD but we still have to learn to WAIT for GOD

Monday, 14 November 2011

Love is a part of Life and not the Heart of Life

Falling in love is like jumping off a really tall building, your brain tells you it is not a good idea, but your heart tells you, you can fly. 

Well I do not agree with jumping off any buildings, maybe because I spend most of my time at work trying to make sure buildings stand strong and safe. Now go find me an Architect who would be thrill when someone jumps of their design. Plus it is a very stupid thing to do, to jump of a building or even jump in front of a moving vehicle.

I don't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me every time I attend a wedding; looking at the bride and groom walking hand in hand it reminds me ...
...  love is knowing all about someone and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, 
... love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, 
... love is forgiving someone who hurt your feelings, 
... love is being there to support and always listen to each other in any difficult situations, 
... love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone when they walk into a room and smile at you.

LOVE for me is the greatest gift God ever gave man.
Love is not wanting to go anywhere without him.
Love is not caring what other people think about the two of you.
Love is when you feel depressed and sickly when you're not with him.
You feel like your life has no meaning or purpose without him.
And that if he wasn't holding your hand you would float away to heaven from where he came.
Love is caring for your partner physically and emotionally.
It's telling him everyday, anytime, anywhere, anyhow, for no just reason that you love him.
Love is telling him you want to spend the rest of your life with him.
Love is wanting to marry him even thou ya'll haven't been dating that long.
That you would do anything and everything for him.
It's the feeling that you would give up everything just to see him smile or him looking into your beautiful eyes or hear your soft, soothing voice.
Love is pure happiness.
Love is the feeling you get when all you have to do is think of him and it brings a smile to your face and a yearning to your heart.
Love is not being able to think about nothing but him.
Love is having the sweetest dreams about him and waking up with a smile on your face.
Love is an overwhelming feeling of pure bliss when the you kiss.
Love is wanting to hold him in  your arms till the end of time.
Love is wishing your time with him never ends, that your lips would be locked together forever, that he will be in ur arms till the end of time, that you could cuddle with him for all of eternity.
Love is being helpless and deeply in love with him and knowing your love for him and your feelings for him will never change or end.
Love is the world, the world is love, and He is the world to me...

Sometimes, you have to FALL ... before you can FLY.
Trust He'll either catch you when you fall or He'll teach you how to fly!!
You've been SO GOOD to me Lord. 
Looking forward to what the future has in store for me.
I pray 2012 will bring me Faith, Hope and Love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

 1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Friday, 11 November 2011

11.11.11 Stand by Me, Count on Me

All my life I never dreamed of being a bridesmaid, now as life unfolds, I notice close friends are always watching and looking to invite a great friend, great help, for their most important day, wishing for the perfect wedding, dreaming for a fairy tale ending.

On the other hand, I've always thought being a bridesmaid may not actually be all that much fun, and I know I would not be asked if the bride don't think I am suitable or important. They would never ask me to do any boring things like addressing envelopes or red packets, just fun things like helping them plan their hen's night, pick the most elegant dress that would make them stand out, put on their make-up abd set their hair to make them look like a princess. There was even once when I arrive at Crown, I asked the bride why her nails are still not done ... Panic!!! The bride totally forgot, but it was too late, every saloon was close or hotel spa booked out. I had to rush home to get my nail polish to give her a french manicure. Not one wedding that I am involved, I had more than two hours of sleep the night before and that was all I was allowed. No matter how hard we planned ahead or how long a checklist was prepared, Murphy's Law applies - Anything That Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong. Stress level is always high.

Being a bridesmaid, 101 rule, prepare to not ask questions when there is a problem, just find a solution first and deal with the rest later, no blaming, no why not, no what if, no how about, nowhere is, no when (you should know the run down by heart, family names & important contact numbers) Everyone will ask you for everything at anytime.

If you can handle stress without any sleep but still make critical decisions even while you are putting on your make up and answering your phone at the same time (multi-tasking is crucial) ... You maybe qualified
If you can still look pretty at the end of the day, even though you are dead tired, annoyed and almost in tears but still manage to put a smile in front of everyone ...You passed

What makes being a bridesmaid so special? Just look forward to the day, as it will definitely be my best friend or sisters, who I'll be bossing around! Hahaha ... probably the only day they will let me decide or even listen to my advice.

Now I can't recall exactly how many bridesmaid invites I accepted or declined, but definitely I know there is a couple of waiting list in place already (Yes! No official wedding and I am book in advance)

On the day of the wedding, my place or principal duty being a bridesmaid is to provide practical and emotional support. Just assist the bride with dressing, manage her veil, bouquet of flowers, wedding ring, make sure she feel awesome and Flower Girl and Page Boy are ready, focus on walking down the aisle (praying no one trip over). At the reception, prepare a speech or offer a toast to the newlyweds, always being social. Be sure to talk to as many guests as I can, making them feel warmly welcomed. If there's a dance floor, help get the party going! It looks simple and easy to the patrons right? 

Sigh ... well in the midst of all the above predicted stress and problems experienced, there is always a long story behind every successful wedding.

Yesterday after work, I went for Zumba Fitness (combination of Latin and International music with a fun and effective workout system) it helps me to concentrate; I have to focus my mind on my body, coordinate the movements and rhythm. If my mind is worrying about something else, I can't focus on myself, and I notice if I can't dance or follow the steps I know I can't perform well. As the final track was playing "Stand by Me" I started humming "When the night has come and the land is dark and the moon is the only light we see ... No I won't be afraid ... And darling, darling stand by me ... If the sky that we look upon should tumble and fall and the mountain should crumble to the sea ... I won't cry, No I won't shed a tear ... Just as long as you stand, stand by me ... Whenever you're in trouble ... 

I knew I had to talk to someone tonight, all I needed to tell that person is
... no matter who you are 
... no matter where you go in your life
... at some point you will need somebody to stand by you 

I went to bed praying that all is going according to plan; trust that there is a bigger picture and that life is unfolding as it should.

Today, I was prepared, I took the day off straight after the couple announced their wedding date (even though the venue was not selected) as I know that I need to be ready. I wanted to try to avoid the last mistakes and do better this time. As usual I woke up, happy and looking forward, knowing very well the task I am appointed and will be doing.

I always end up waking up early on a day off, I really can't believe myself, I should have just sleep in. But I couldn't so I went and treat myself to a facial and massage probably followed up with a haircut, manicure and pedicure. 
But life never stops just because you planning for a wedding or while you are attending a wedding. I had only one hour to myself before important calls start flooding my phone, friends asking for urgent help or even clients want to know why I am not at work replying their emails. Oh boy, today was a roller coaster ride. 

Of course I manage to answer questions, help to solve a few problems, and try to work on a few issues. A few people were very thankful that I choose to help even if I am rushing off to prepare myself for tonight's wedding. (I had literary no luck with my hair, almost gave up but at the end manage to style it right)
But there were some who are upset or offended when I had to make changes to plans last minute to accommodate a difficult situation. (I am really sorry, but why the attitude and cold treatment throughout the night?)
Traffic was crazy, roadwork and peak hour traffic, driving around town was really taking a toll, but I manage to survive by listening the radio playing a song. I arrive on time and the bride was late, while waiting at the venue, I search up the song, it is called "Count on Me" by Bruno Mars.

Find out what we're made of
What we are called to help our friends in need
You can count on me like one, two, three
I'll be there and I know when I need it
I can count on you like four, three, two
And you'll be there 'cause that's what friends
Are supposed to do, oh yeah,
You can count on me 'cause I can count on you

Finally all went well her new chapter begins, a wonderful journey I am so happy for her.
This time round I manage to sleep last night, but sadly tonight, I am wide awake, 2 hours of sleep is all I could get. I woke up soaking in tears realizing my dream just ended.
How could it that when I try to do good I get an unfair treatment when all my intention was to protect her, by standing, by helping the people around her who were failing. Why can't you be understanding for once and not be difficult at me? You know very well this day is important to me too. The special friendship meant a lot, she is my best friend.

God has a plan for everyone. I may not be in your plan now, but know my name will be in someone else's. So I have to keep smiling and continue praising.

I put on a good show and everyone went home with a smile, that is all matters ... now I finally let loose just can't hold it in any longer, let it flow. How I wish I could only remember the good that happened and not the bad on 11.11.11.

A fairy tale might end for some but nightmares just started for others. To Shim and Shiv who had difficulty at work this week and shared, thank you, I am happy that I manage to ease your worries this week. But to "ultimatelavidian" I am so sorry, after all the effort to prevent it from happening at work, you got to leave but thank you for putting on a strong face, when you are actually falling apart inside. I knew something was not right the moment you sat next to me on the table, but you hold it all in (like me) and only let it all out after the wedding. Very well done, I am proud of you, you have changed. As years pass, we have all grown wiser and matured. Everyone we know is getting married, some of them at the wedding are pregnant, we are just getting more and more awesome.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Learning The Art of Wedding Toast

All is going according to plan. Trust that there is a bigger picture. Trust that life is unfolding as it should.
Like I always remind myself,
God is an artist and I am his canvas. It's never too late to make a difference. You always got to start somewhere...

Through the years for some reason "toasting" is becoming less and less prominent.
I know there are plenty of toasts that you can refer from books, the Internet and others sources.
I know there are some people out there that are very capable of writing a toast and speeches.
I have heard some of these people at weddings, retirements and company outings.
If you are one of these people, who are gifted with words, you are truly blessed.

Today, I had a sudden urge to write a toast for my best friend, I choose not to refer but I look for words from my heart, it was not as difficult as I thought it would, I kept it simple and direct.
But proof reading it over again and again is the hardest part as I question myself which word is appropriate or which sentence is unnecessary.
I wanted to keep it short but meaningful. (... this is my first personal toast ... the previous wedding was technically not a toast it was more like on group speech which I wasn't please with myself ... I could have done better)

I still recall in 2008, as I was walking to work one day, my mind keep thinking about her wedding day, Will I be invited? What will I say? Where? When? I guess at that time the questions were hope (preparation) for me, to test our friendship and to look forward to her big happy day.
I am not the type of person who is good at writing or speaking in front of a group of people. But if I happened to come across a desire to speak for someone, I will try my very best to be worthy of standing in front of the mic or on stage in public. Well at less I put some effort into learning how to do it well before accepting the task. Somehow, I just knew I had do this, to send my best wishes to her as we have been through a lot together over the years.
Your marriage is a gift, it is a blessing from God, they had an opportunity to meet and I saw how they both decided to start a relationship, quickly they chose have a future together and agreed to committed to one another. It is a huge task to accomplish and a long journey to travel, but today I strongly believe that JC will take good care of my best friend PG as they have both proven their love and respect for each other. So on this special day 11 Nov 2011, I would like to ask everyone to lift their glasses to join me in giving a toast, We wish both of you happiness, living a fun and fulfilling life together. I pray that you will continue on a smooth journey and God will continue to bless both of you along the way. I am sure all of us here have just one request or task for both of you to accomplish, to start a family very soon. Cheers.
As tomorrow fast approaches,
May your hearts be open with patience and love.
May your lives be filled with blessings from above.
May you always share the best that life can provide.
As you spend your lifetime together side by side.