2019 was a year of multiple transitions. With every transition, came uncertainty. But with every uncertainty, came faith and God’s faithfulness.

Today, as we embark on a new year, we give thanks for God’s amazing grace in seeing us through these various milestones, in the past year, believing He has more in store:

  1. Of starting the Kitesong podcast, which was birthed through pain: http://www.kitesong.sg/2019/01/kitesongs-podcast.html

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  1. Of witnessing God’s spectacular love even in a dark pregnancy, and becoming parents all over again, after yet another beautiful and memorable home birth in Canada that taught me the deepest spiritual lesson on pain.

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  1. Of saying goodbye to a home and neighbors we so love in Canada, and saying hello to a series of inconceivable miracles- God’s thoughtful provisions on a long-haul flight with two little ones, Sarah-Faith’s miraculous healing, God’s lavish love through Community.

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  1. Of returning to Singapore to a journey of bountiful and specific blessings, each one thoughtfully given by our Abba Father.

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  1. Of starting work in medical school, under gracious and loving bosses, who are more than superiors, but spiritual parents. Of being able to give back, and sharing my life journey through Kitesong Global with doctors-to-be.

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  1. Of strengthening our marriage, of reinstating date nights, and going for inner healing together, breaking down the walls of hurt and miscommunication accumulated over the years of tremendous transitions and uncertainties. Of supporting one another, through each other’s depression and healing.

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  1. Of seeing our children grow in love and togetherness. Of seeing Sarah-Faith blossom into an older sister who cannot stop kissing Esther-Praise. Of seeing Esther-Praise be a witness of being an unreasonable outcome, who is growing into a giggly, loveable, sweet baby who brings joy to strangers and loved ones.

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  1. Of reviving our heart for the mission field, to see Kitesong Global brought into the nations, to the poor, underprivileged and needy.

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  1. Of admiring my husband more, as he grows in his identity in God as a father.

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  1. Of trusting God for more to come.

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Thank you Jesus, for the miracles you have done.

We love you.

An unreasonable outcome, is who she is.

Her laughter, a birdsong, the gurgling rush of rainfall down a river in dry heat.

Walking along the streets, or sitting in a crowded train, we’d see the deepest furrow of volcanic frowns lift and erupt to become joyous smiles, bursting into hearty chuckles of, “Your baby is laughing at me!”

Down the sterile aisles of the hospital, past the grim faces of worried families, Esther-Praise’s giggles lit up the face of every stranger she passed. An auntie runs towards us, startling me, “你的宝宝一直笑!不停的对我笑! (your baby is smiling, she can’t stop smiling at me!)”

But who would have thought. Nothing pointed to this outcome, this unreasonable outcome.

You see, just a year ago, back in the womb, the nights were a torturous tunnel of death. Antepartum depression was a black room, and I, a corpse groping in the darkness, searching for a door handle to pry open.

Medication would affect the fetus, but avoiding it might end our lives. Life was a prison. Words cut more often than they helped. It was better to have company than advice.

Those who tried to help warned that the depression would affect the fetus, not realizing how those words cut further, deeper and left one wondering, night after night, if ending it all for the two of us would make things better.

Why live on if the fetus would be affected so negatively? Why hold on if the outcome would be tragic? And so lies these questions in many of our lives- why hang on if our dreams within us have little chance of making it to birth?

But Hope won. And with it, came an unreasonable outcome.

I am learning, that God works even in the tiniest shred of hope, the littlest bit of faith. He loves to boggle minds, unravel expectations, overturn logic.

Halfway into my dark pregnancy, I remember a complete stranger sitting next to me at a conference and the most bizarre words he said to me.

Had I been in any other situation, I would have scoffed. But that dark day, this stranger looked at me in the eye and said he had a vision of a magnificent rose in a glass jar, like that in Beauty and the Beast. He said that vision was for me, that he felt God wanted to encourage me not to worry about protecting my baby, because He would do it. He left shortly after, not realizing how much those words, however crazy they sounded, meant to me at the time.

Counting down the days to labor, I sometimes wondered how I could possibly live. The odds were stacked high- antepartum depression dictates a higher rate of postpartum depression. With a toddler, a newborn, an impending move cross-country, how would we thrive? There was no logical way, that the darkness would lift.

All circumstances pointed logically to a poor ending. Yet, in one of a million possibilities, God chose the unreasonable outcome.

The day after I delivered our baby, my mother-in-law, who didn’t know a thing about this incident, arrived at our doorstep with a vase of 7 of the most beautiful red roses I’d ever seen, each blooming as large as an open palm, just like the one in Beauty and the Beast.

Goosebumps rose all over me, as I felt God speaking, “Do you remember what the stranger told you? I’m in control. I’m protecting your baby. No human logic will explain this baby’s outcome.”

Ten months later from her birth, I stand and marvel at the faithfulness of God, at the incredible cheer and infectious joy this baby brings, to family and strangers alike.

Such is her unbreakable bliss, her tenacious joy. A mockery to the enemy’s derisive ploy to destroy.

Who would have expected this miracle? A miracle that ran contrary to everything that made sense? That the baby would surely be born listless or sullen, that surely the move to another country to finish my work contract would be a poor choice.

But God knows. He loves to write the twist in the plot. He writes Hope in the sand we walk on, the same sand we sometimes feel like we’re sinking in.

I marvel at this photo. At the joy of Baby Esther-Praise, and the healing of Sarah-Faith.

After all, just months ago, our toddler was covered from neck to ankle with angry red welts of eczema that left us feeling helpless, in spite of the best medical advice and torturous moisturizing regimens.

Walking in the thick snow one day, I remember crying out to God in desperation for her healing. Then came the well-meaning but cruel words, “Be prepared for it to get worse in Singapore.”

Three days after touchdown in hot and humid Singapore, the persistent, unabating eczema that left us anxious for months dissolved like a mist. What is left now, are merely remnants of an evil ravage.

Friend, no one may know what you’ve been through in 2019- the darkness in the nights, the words that cut deep, the thoughts that bring the death of the past to the present. Those who do, may convince you that your past and current circumstances will lead to only deeper despair.

Yet, one thing remains certain- our tiniest hope in God unleashes His power to bring redemption to our tomorrows, even when our past and present cry “Despair!”

Though the year past may be filled with poignant disappointments, empty petitions, unanswered prayers, our God of hope is still working towards a future we don’t yet know or see.

Just as how it made complete sense for a dark pregnancy to produce a listless child, the heat of a tropical country to worsen severe eczema, God is the expert of overturning logic, of rewriting our tomorrows with hope, hope that defies reason.

He is a God of unreasonable outcomes. And because of that, we can have hope.

I shudder at times when I think about what would have been lost, had I believed in those reasonable conclusions, and taken both our lives.

At the brink of a new year approaching, as you fiddle in the dark for a door handle, as you fall to your knees and cry out for the answers you spent all year searching for, know this- God is in tomorrow already, and His tomorrow holds unexpected beginnings.

While Hope may not be here yet, it is coming. If you’re losing hope in lost dreams you’ve been carrying, let Him carry them to birth for you. And when you look back, you’ll see how Hope always been there- like a candle in the dark, a rose amidst the thorns, fingered letters scribed in the sand.

Trust Him.

This new year, may 2020 bring you the assurance of His hope, and Faith in unreasonable outcomes.

SF and EP

So close to Christmas.

And it felt like I had committed a crime.

With one violent contraction, triggered by a massive bawl, the colorful contents of a toddler’s tummy were all, in three projectile instances, spewed all over the floor.

I felt like the worst parent in the world.

Smothered in guilt, my face flushed with shame.

In more parts of the world today than ever, spanking is frowned upon.

That evening, however, after repeated warnings, Cliff and I agreed that the repeated acts of boundary-pushing warranted discipline. We had spanked before. There would be an explanation, a controlled, un-angry spank, tears, a debrief, hug and life went on.

We had read books on this, discussed it, prayed, spoken to mentors, thought this through.

But that day, little did any of us expect what happened next.

Perhaps there were gastrointestinal factors at work. Perhaps I was a little more heavy-handed than before. Perhaps I was simply a bad mom.

But spank, I did. And the bout of projectile vomiting that ensued after, triggered by a choking sob, traumatized the both of us.

On my hands and knees to wipe the mess and calm her at the same time, I couldn’t stop saying, “I am so sorry, sweetheart.”

I apologized, explained that that was not my intention, explained that I had meant to discipline, but wasn’t expecting this.

“I am so sorry, sweetheart. Mama did wrong.”

I am learning- that the longer I am a parent, the more a certain black box of shame inside of me has the propensity to grow, if left unchecked.

Shame, for the things I had done wrong; shame, for what I thought people would say of me; shame, for the things I did out of the best of my intentions which went sorely, sorely wrong.

It was an ironic sight.

The more tears dammed behind my eyes, the more composed my two-year old toddler became.

While I was on my hands and knees wiping up the mess, my two year old stood firm and hugged me, “It’s okay, Mama. I forgive you.”

There was no resentment, no holding back. No bitterness.

“Does your hand still hurt?” I asked, certain that it was still smarting.

“No, Mama. Jesus healed it. See?”

That night after I had put our little trooper to rest, Cliff held me as tears streamed down my cheeks.

At once, I felt God speaking to me about the freedom of forgiveness and the purity of a child’s faith.

When I became a parent, certain childhood incidents shaped the narrative of my own parenting. Having been spanked when I was little to the point I lost continence, I promised myself I would never be heavy-handed; Having been raised by a series of domestic helpers while growing up, I promised not to make the same choices my parents had to in their time.

But when this happened, I was unraveled. In a moment, I saw how the best of my intentions were all for naught.

In a grand moment of generous mercy, my two-year old perfectly modeled what extravagant forgiveness looks like, and the freedom it brings.

She made me wonder- how different our lives would be if we gave forgiveness as freely as she did, not only to others, but to ourselves.

As my toddler held my hand, at once I learned a lesson from her- that perhaps, the greatest gift we could ever give to our loved ones this Christmas is the gift of forgiveness.

Forgiving our parents for the way we were brought up, for even their best intentions may result in unintended consequences.

Forgiving our children, again and again, for the cups they break, the lies they tell, the mess that never ends.

And forgiving ourselves, for the crimes we commit, the mistakes we make, our brokenness within.

This year, as we look back to year of major transitions, moving countries, moving homes, from being a stay-home mum to a working-homeschooling mum, and as we look towards a new year of potential transitions back to a developing country to serve… we could question and berate ourselves for the many choices we made and will make for our children.

Would they grow up resenting the choices we made, the lives we lived, or embrace them fully? Only time would tell.

So many people had raised their eyebrows at us, given our untraditional model of homeschooling, full-time daddying and full-time-flexible-work-mummying.

Yet, in that moment, as Sarah-Faith held my hand and said, “I forgive you, Mama” and days later, said, “You are a good Mama,” as she nestled her little head into my lap like a kitten, I learned one thing- that perhaps, all God and our children require of us, is not perfection, but a willingness to be perfected.

And all we can expect from our own parents, whose parenting journeys might have ended, are not perfect ones, but journeys of imperfection that can spark redemption and grace in ours.

That day, my two year old taught me a deep lesson on forgiving well.

That to forgive well, requires celerity, before the root of bitterness springs up. How quick she was to say, “Mama, I forgive you.”

That to forgive well, requires empathy to affirm, to assume the best of the other person, even when circumstances don’t suggest it. “Mama, you are a good Mama.”

That to forgive well, requires a faith in God’s power of restoration and redemption and thus absolves us from the need to have our debts repaid by another. “No, Mama. My hand does not hurt. Jesus healed it.”

This year end, as you look back on a year of failures and hurts, heartaches and regrets, would you join me in learning to forgive well, too?

For all the joy that you bring- Blessed Christmas, little one.

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In a world that sells sex, love and romance like the next IT thing, many of us are drowning in lies sold as truth. I’m amazed at the boldness of Kallos Magazine, a ministry that has so fearlessly called out the lies of our culture.

We might talk about love and romance to our young people. But few of us dare to broach the difficult topics on sex with our young women today. Young women who will grow to become wives, mothers and women wielding power over more lives tomorrow. How crucial it is for us to find our identity as women of God.

If you know a young woman desiring to seek TRUTH in a world selling us myths, share this with them.

Hear true stories, have real conversations- this is a place to bring your uncomfortable questions, your darkest thoughts to find hope, life and truth. Sign up at: bit.ly/RealTalk2020

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Quoting Cliff:

Tomorrow, we will be married for seven years. When we first got together, I thought we were a team. I didn’t realize what working and living life together really means until we had two little Tams in our midst.

 

Thank you, Wai Jia, for being the MVP in Team Tam. You are a great (ministry) partner, a helper, and a great friend.

 

I am so thankful that we get to travel the world, serving Christ together.

 

May our marriage be deeper, richer, and more surrendering in Christ for His Kingdom’s sake in the coming years.

 

Amen!

 Wai Jia + Cliff - Engagement Session by Contagious Design~21

Having left Singapore for three years, it sometimes hurt my heart just thinking of Grandpa Zhou, the elderly busker with cerebral palsy who walked with a limp, who had left such a deep imprint on our lives.

We had left him while I was pregnant. Now that we had returned, we had had two children.

During our time away, a few precious friends and blog readers who visited him would try to video call so we could say hello.

Now, visiting him with two of our children in tow was surreal. To think what a crucial role he had played in our lives, that contributed to Cliff and I marrying, when I first witnessed Cliff’s authenticity in helping the poor.

Back then when we met, I was a medical student. Now, a big part of my work involves mentoring medical students.

Tears dammed behind my eyes as he shared with us in that old candid way in Chinese, “Shortly after you left, I fell very sick and never left home. I’ve never played my harmonica again outside. Chronic dizziness. Doctors say I’ll never get better.”

Sarah-Faith seemed to understand. In that cramped, dark living room in his home, she never flinched nor complained, as if she understood the reason for our visit- to tell Grandpa Zhou we cared, and to deliver an air purifier amidst the terrible haze.

“GIFT,” she said. “FOR ZHOU YEYE (grandpa).”

My six-month old infant couldn’t stop giggling and smiling at him.

“My right eye is blind, but I can see your little one loves to laugh!”

His old house, once filled from ground to ceiling with trash because of his hoarding, was now clean, neat and decorated with beautiful furniture, donated from his neighbors upstairs- a reflection of the transformation which had taken place in his life over the years.

Some things had changed drastically, his life never the same after the fragrance of Christ touched his once hardened heart.

And some things, never changed. “Did you bring my steamed yam cake and chee cheong fun (a local dish)? Did you get my red medicated oil?”

Today, on our second visit, we brought along some young people with a heart to serve. Young people who had taken notes from me about Grandpa Zhou’s likes and dislikes, who arrived an hour earlier to buy the food he liked to eat.

“I used to never like visitors. But Wai Jia, now I do feel lonely. I like it when people visit- ask them to come okay?”

As we left, how my heart swelled with warmth when our two year old walked right up to Grandpa Zhou, who must have seemed intimidating in some way, and gave him a confident high-five.

“XIE XIE ZHOU YEYE. GAI TIAN JIAN.” Goodbye Grandpa Zhou, she said. See you again.

And as we left that familiar corridor, we saw his wispy frame leaned against his metal door, saying, “Come again, come again.”

* To those of you who have asked about Grandpa Zhou, he is doing all right but always appreciates company. If you would like to visit him regularly to encourage him, take him for a walk outside or to church nearby on a wheelchair or bless him, please let us know.

More about his story on: http://www.kitesong.sg/category/grandpa-zhou

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During our move to Singapore from Canada, several things were misplaced- one of which, was Sarah-Faith’s one and only backpack.

It was a little blue owl backpack, a gift from a lady at church in Canada. I teared receiving it, as even before we had children, I remember seeing the exact same one at a store in Singapore and thinking, “Oh this would be cute if we had kids.”

Then we lost it during our move.

“MAMA,” Sarah-Faith would say, “I WANT OWL BACKPACK.”

Sheepishly, I would tell her I was still looking for it. Deep down, I was resigned that it was lost.

In the initial weeks of us moving back to Singapore, when disorientation hit its hardest as we moved into a new neighborhood, I remember walking in an HDB (public housing) estate when a stranger walked up to me at a playground.

“Are you Wai Jia? Someone shared with me your Facebook testimony some time ago. I feel God wants me to link you up with Mums in the area so we can support you and your family.”

I almost cried. That week, that was heart’s prayer, to be able to make new friends in our new hood.

Shortly after, I was connected to a few mums.

“I will be your pit stop for any baby items you need,” said one. We hardly knew each other.

Several weeks later, I finally plucked up the courage to text her to ask if she might have a baby backpack to pass down. I had drafted the text, deleted it, then redrafted it. For days I looked at the text, afraid to send it out. I hate imposing, I thought. She must think I’m a bother.

I then confessed I had lost Sarah-Faith’s favorite owl backpack and texted a picture of it to her.

As long as it’s not a Disney princess, I thought, I’d take it. And then try to convince my two-year old that it would be okay.

Imagine the goosebumps we both had when she sent me the exact photo back, saying, “This was donated to me a while ago- I don’t need it.”

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I felt the love of God overwhelm me.

So often, we think we have to experience some grand encounter with a spiritual being to understand who God is. But more often, it is in the little things where He makes Himself known to us, not only as Creator, but as Father.

As I thought about the chain of events that led to this moment (the loss, the serendipitous meeting on the street, the connection to this Mum, my fear and reluctance to reach out, the random donation to that one mother)… I marveled at the sequence of events that culminated in this divine moment.

As I looked at my two-year old proudly posing and showing off her backpack to me, I caught a glimpse of the different perspective that can result when we choose to receive with gratitude and child-like faith. While I saw a very, very well-used backpack, a shirt with stains and shoes which were well-worn, all that Sarah-Faith saw was her favorite bag and special details, “MAMA, LOOK AT MY SHIRT- CATS WITH GLASSES.”

It didn’t matter to her that everything she was wearing and so much of what we own was given or passed down to us.

If you’re a parent, and you feel overwhelmed or stressed by the provisions you need to give to your children, financially or otherwise, know this- that God knows yours and your children’s needs far more than you do. And all the resources, on heaven and on earth, belong to Him.

Most of all, He loves our children far more than we ever dared imagine. For truly, He is a Father, not only to us, but to the little children who dare come to Him in childlike faith and trust.

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It was every parent’s nightmare.

She could have died, and it would have been my fault.

We were in a splash pad, and our little two-year old was giddy with glee playing with the rain spouting out from giant flowers. Seeing how there could be a danger of her falling into a pool nearby, I whizzed around to look for a buoyant swim vest someone had given to us.

“Ah got it! Now where are you Sa -“

Panic. Complete panic.

Within two seconds, she had disappeared.

In my recurrent nightmares, I always lost one or both of my children. Now it was real.

Just before I turned hysterical, she emerged from underwater like a drenched hummingbird, under the giant arms of a stocky, eagle-eyed father who was playing with his older son.

Seeing how much fun the big kids were having, she had taken a first step into the shallow end, not realizing that the next step would be too deep for her.

I knew from that day, that our little braveheart would dread swimming like the plague.

“DANGROUS (Dangerous) MAMA. FOR BIG KIDS,” she told me one day walking past a swimming pool. “TOO DEEP. NOT FOR AH-FEI.” Ah Fei being her own affectionate nickname for herself.

So imagine my internal struggle when my paediatric colleague reminded me of the importance of ensuring our children knew how to swim. I’d casually bring up the topic, and Sarah-Faith would assertively remind me with the conviction of a preacher, “NOT FOR AH-FEI!”

The day arrived. We enrolled her for a swim trial.

As Cliff got into the pool with our little toddler who was wailing like a cat, putting little ring floats round her arms, he said, “See Sarah-Faith, if you wear these, you’ll be safe, okay?”

”No, Papa, tell her that she’s safe because she’s with YOU,” said the swim instructor. “There’s nothing magical about the floats, it’s YOU who is keeping her safe.”

As Sarah-Faith became transfixed on the little water toys tossed around, Cliff pulled out her arm floats without any resistance.

“Papa got you,” Cliff kept saying, “Papa got you.”

Tears welled up behind my eyes. All at once, I felt God speaking to me about our situation.

In a time of several major transitions, with us moving from Canada to Singapore with a toddler and a newborn, into a new neighborhood, I was exhausted. Without my mum-in-law’s help, I was fatigued and overwhelmed. I wanted help but didn’t know who to turn to. I fell ill with a cold that raged into an oozing, yucky sinusitis. Emotionally and physically, I was depleted.

Many of our friends with young children sent their older child to preschool or had a live in domestic helper. We had prayed about this and given the intense transitions and unusual stresses our family might face serving the underprivileged in the field, we felt God’s leading for homeschooling our children this season instead of institutionalizing them so soon.

But with me starting work soon, and already feeling completely depleted with a raging sinusitis infection and struggling with nighttime anxiety from worrying about the things only mums worry about, I felt defeated.

An angel in the form of a homeschooling mama had already reached out to me genuinely to offer her help but I felt guilty accepting it; another grandma we had met through a divine accident graciously offered to accompany Sarah-Faith to her weekly playgroup, even suggesting for us to go on a date while she helped with our children.

Yet, every day I would google private pre-schools, public kindergartens and nanny services online, even when I knew it was not what God wanted for our family.

The first preschool we visited had the words “HUNGRY FOR SUCCESS” plastered over the walls of a junior kindergarten class. Another informed us they had no outdoor time at all because of the possibility of mosquitoes.

The possibility of mosquitoes.

Those options I googled were my floats. My floats made me feel safe. With them, I knew that at least we would survive.

But it was not true. It is God, our Papa, who’s got us.

From time to time, whenever Cliff said, “In Team Tam, we don’t just survive,” Sarah-Faith would belt out with the enthusiasm of a cheerleader, “WE THHHRIVE!!”

As the swim instructor encouraged the parents to hold their children under their armpits and swish them around in the water, Sarah-Faith refused. With her legs wrapped round Papa’s torso like a constricting python, there was no swishing, for sure.

Time passed, and as the other toddlers squealed with delight, she, too, began to let go and loosen up. Within minutes, she had turned from an angry python to a delighted duckling.

By this time, my face was drenched in tears.

So often, we try so hard to maintain our sense of security by securing life floats for ourselves- better finances, better prospects, better options. We strive and busy ourselves endlessly to make our lives more secure, stable. We do everything we can to purge it of worry and uncertainty.

If we can pay for a service with the money we’ve earned, we’ll take that instead of relying on a relationship. It feels more certain, more secure.

Those of us who DO take the God-led path, which may seem more tenuous, suffer humiliation, fear and the pain of uncertainty.

It was there and then, when i saw Sarah-Faith smiling in Cliff’s arms that I felt God saying, “I’ve got you, Wai Jia.”

We may not have a domestic helper. We may not have my mum-in-law here. We may not have a dual-income family. We may have many things set against culture- like the desire to homeschool, to live simply, to live as though we were preparing for someplace else, somewhere in the mission field, or in eternity.

Yet, with God by our side, why did I fear? Did He not provide this homeschooling mama friend to encourage and strengthen us? Did He not send this “random” grandma our way when we were visiting a missions organization to bless us temporarily till we found more regular help? Did He not allow a random Facebook reader to identify me on the street last week, only to offer to connect me with other mums in the neighborhood, when I was feeling isolated and at my lowest? Has He not sent us countless angels and strangers to run backwards to hold elevator buttons, open doors, offer their directions, and offer us their tables when I was struggling with two little ones in public?

And so, if God is by our side and fighting for us, is there more we need to fear?

So many people had warned us against this- saying that this arrangement would unsettle Sarah-Faith, that it lacks the structure and predictability of a nursery, that it would not be good for a child who just underwent a major transition of moving homes and countries.

Yet, in God’s divine way, we now see He handpicked Sarah-Faith’s caregivers- she sees them as part of our extended family. Each of them were moved by God in specific and divine ways to reach out to us, and none were willing to accept any form of payment because “don’t you see Wai Jia? We are one family”.

I now see that God’s way supersedes our own ideas, for where else would I find a 1 to 3 or 1 to 1 ratio from people who intentionally chose to love and dote on her like family? No preschool, however expensive, could provide that.

In reality, sending her to an institution would be much easier and feel more “secure” for us all.

But the truth is, our floats won’t save us. Even if we feel safer with them.

But resting in His arms, neither flailing nor resisting Him, learning to graciously accept the unconventional help He has chosen to provide, will.

It grows our spiritual muscles to stay afloat, the very ones that will help us swim, in the very thing that we once felt like we were drowning in.

For whatever He has called you to unconventionally, however tenuous it may seem, is it time, perhaps, for you to put your floats on shore and take to the waters with Him?

Papa’s got you.

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*We are currently praying for a Big Sister or Grandma to help us with Sarah-Faith’s care. If you could pray alongside us, or if you’d like to reach out to us and join us for playdates, we’d love to hear from you <3 

A month has passed since our major move to Singapore.

While we’ve all better coped with the change and healed somewhat from acute homesickness, I’ve always wondered what our little two year old must feel, how bewildering it must all seem without being able to articulate it.

Why and how did EVERYTHING change suddenly?

Ever so often, she still talks about “Our Vista Big Home” (vista being how she refers to our old neighborhood filled with parks and tall trees) and “M’s motorcycle,” M being our neighbor’s red shiny vehicle which enthralled her every time it zoomed off.

I’m not a child therapist of any sort. But since she mentioned “Vista Big Home” a number of times, I asked if she wanted to make a craft of it. As much as I was grieving, I wonder if perhaps, she was, too.

“YES MAMA. BIG VISTA HOME. SARAH-FAITH’s HOUSE. WITH GOLDEN SUN.”

While it appeared to be a lesson on shapes and colors, my prayer deep down is that it helped her in some way to process this unspeakable change where everything familiar to us disappeared overnight.

That it helped her realize that what we left behind has not been forgotten. That what no longer is, still lives in our hearts. That Home still exists, even if it is far away.

With her characteristic big smile at her masterpiece and tears behind my eyes, I thought, perhaps it was helpful not only for her, but for me too.

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