I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, and thought to share my own gratitude list inspired by the book. In particular, I thought it a good exercise to reflect upon the blessings of a challenging year gone past:
- For God’s grace and mercy, in allowing me the privilege of returning to help at the frontlines during the COVID-19 migrant worker outbreak. There is no greater privilege than to be counted worthy to be used even as a broken vessel. When I cried out to God in deperation to be used, I am thankful, so thankful that God counted my little gifts, these 5 loaves and 2 fish worthy to feed five thousand.
My first foray back into clinical work at the frontlines during the outbreak, after 7 years of non-clinical work, thanks to my inspiring mentor
2. For God restoring, reviving and rejuvenating our marriage, our inner lives, and calling to missions. If you are struggling in your relationships at church and marriage, or rather, care to confess to them, an excellent resource I would highly recommend is the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality/Relationships book and video series. It has revolutionized our lives.
Thankful for the many angels we met this year who have sowed into our marriage- helping us babysit when we needed a much-needed date, mentoring us, loving on us. Our marriage on our 8th wedding anniversary was in much better state after a difficult season through extraordinary transitions in our 7th.
3. For God’s protection and healing of all our family members- Baby Esther-Praise, that she no longer suffers from recurrent illnesses requiring hospital visits; Sarah-Faith, that she was protected during a freak accident this year requiring stitches (30, oh gosh!) on her face but there was no serious injury to her organs etc and she is still that happy, rambunctious toddler; Cliff, having all normal liver numbers and having his doctor suggest we lower his medication dosage yet again.
4. For a new home!
Just a little while ago, when God called us to stay in Singapore for another year, even when we had planned to move overseas for missions, we were perplexed. I had a dream that our agent was showing us a new home. True enough, two days later, our landlord said he would not renew our lease. In less than a month, God answered my prayer of “choosing for us”, leading us to a beautiful home that was clearly His choice, not ours.
5. For a renewed mindset and heart.
For many years, I held incredible grief, anguish and anxiety every time we moved. There was always so much transition. It always felt so alone. This year, I am grateful for God giving me the grace to find joy in the suffering. I am reminded, that when He bids us to come and die, this is what it means to die a thousand deaths to ourselves for His sake. This little sacrifice is nothing compared to what He has done for us. And so, I can count it not only all joy, but a grand privilege to suffer for His will to be done in our lives and others.
6. For the many thoughtful blessings of shoes, clothes, toys and books that friends and strangers have blessed us with, to encourage us- I cannot thank you enough <3 Every time we needed shoes, or clothes or backpacks for the children, someone would show up at our door miraculously with them. God always knows, always cares.
7. For Cliff’s renewed confidence in fatherhood and ministry. Being a stay-at-home-mum is hard. But being a stay-at-home-dad is even harder. I am so proud of the man he is, to give others light and hope as a stellar example of who a father-in-Christ and God-fearing husband can be.
8. For God’s profound revelation to me, to scale down to part-time work and to continue homeschooling our kids. It might seem insane, truly, to have four of us on less than one full income. But I know this is what the Lord wants, and He has been and will be faithful. We have always had more than enough.
Recently, we’ve started to work on letters and phonetics, learning through art and play. These are some examples of how we learn the letter C. I used to think I had to follow some sort of “best curriculum”. Now I know the best curriculum writer is the Holy Spirit, and every morning, He gives us fresh ideas and insight as to how to learn, what to do, what to impart.
I don’t think I will ever regret spending more time with these little ones.
And I can never fathom how God has expanded the migrant worker work He has asked me to steward (even bringing in World Health Organization), upon my obedience to go part-time. The answer is clear- He, and not me, is in charge of growing the work to save lives. What freedom to know that!
Learning through food play & prep
9. For God’s profound revelation that I am not my work. And my work is not me. What a breakthrough.
10. For God’s gift of new friends made who have journeyed with us through thick and thin, and the blessings of several strangers we will never be able to thank enough.
Thank you all for journeying with us through the years, through this space.
As we move to Marymount, we would so appreciate your prayers for us to find enough help and support for friends to play with our kids during, before and after our move, as we pack and unpack, as well as a new community of families and friends whom we can journey together with in the Marymount/Bishan area.
If any of you might have second-hand cabinets, consoles, chests of drawers, wall mirrors, ottomans to hand down/sell, please let us know.
If you live in the area and would like to reach out, we’d love to hear from you!
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
and make His face shine upon you.
May you obey Him and find your greatest Hallelujah in Him and Him alone.
Have a blessed 2021.