Just a striking wonderful quote

"When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go.
Only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He'll catch you when you fall, or He'll teach you how to fly!"

God bless you.


the little things

When someone is nice to you constantly, it is easy to take that person for granted. I know this totally depends on who you are, but really, when we receive kindness from someone who is inherently and constantly a good person, it is soooo easy to forget to be grateful to his/her acts of kindness. We are more aware of the less often act of kindness, received from people who don't do it so often.

I was reminded with this fact few days ago. Just for an example: my mom is a very nice person and one of the most patient person I know. I often asked her to watch my 4 year old when I had to go out or had to do some work. It may seem small or insignificant, but I find that her baby-sitting, or I should say toddler-sitting, is very helpful for me. I don't trust anyone else can watch my little girl as careful as my mom does.

My mom is always there, ready to help anytime I need her, in everything I may need. I also has a friend who is always there to listen when I need someone to talk to.
I feel grateful that I still have them in my life; around and always there for me.

They don't do big things, but I believe, it's the little things they do that really count. So I encourage anyone who's reading this, think about the little things that your family/friends do for you lately, and ask yourself, have you thanked them yet?


Something to be shared

Do you ever feel like giving up praying when what you're praying for has not come true? Well, do not give up yet. I just got a wonderful email that reminds me that God actually always answers our prayers, and He does it in these 3 ways:
1. When God says YES, it means we will receive what we asked for.
2. When God says NO, it means we will receive something even better that what we've asked for.
3. When God says WAIT, it means we will receive the Best according to His will on His time. God is never in hurry, God is never late, but God is always on time!

God bless you all :)


Message from movies

For those who doesn't know it yet, I am a freelance translator. And lately, I was lucky to get Christian movies that I had to translate. The first one was 'Second Chance', starring Michael W. Smith. Then I got a movie called 'Flywheel'. I was working on it when I suddenly remembered it was a movie that Ardy at The Solidrock (http://solidrock1611.blogspot.com) talked about in one of his posts. He was totally right, it was a wonderful movie with a powerful message. Do we dare to walk in faith? Do we dare to do whatever necessary to please God, even though it may mean going bankrupt and having no money? It was something to think about.

And the last movie, the one I'm still working on, is a movie called 'The Pistol'. This movie is about a great basketball player, Pete Maravich, when he was still in 8th grade. In the movie, it was told that it was Pete's dad who made him like he was. Pete never gave up and fought against the odds. And he finally made it. His dad supported and encouraged him all the time, gave him words of wisdom, and told him that with patience and perseverance, dreams can come true. And his dreams did come true.

This movie makes me want to be that kind of parent. You know, not limiting a child's dream. Being supportive all the ways even when the roads are not smooth. To be able to give my child the confident she needs to do whatever she wants. And I pray that God will help me raise a good person.

God teaches us using so many things. Even simple movies can be good reminders.


Natural Vs. Spiritual Blood

I went to one of those Bible studies this morning and got a very good message from it. The theme was 'The One From The Other Side', and it was about how we're supposed to react or behave in this world as God's children.

I came late as I had to drop off my daughter to school first. When I got there, the speaker was talking about how normal people react to a situation. Say, if your spouse hurt your feelings, the common way of reacting is to find a way to hurt your spouse back (the more the better). That's what our natural blood will tell us to do. But our Spiritual Blood should guide us to react in a better way: to pray for our spouse, to forgive, and to make peace.

Even though I was really late, and probably only heard a quarter of the whole message, I believe I got the really important points. We need to face reality using a different point of view: God's point of view, which basically is love.

So, next time my daughter makes me angry and makes me really really want to yell at her or even spank her, I will try better to hold myself and keep saying positive words to her. Or next time when I feel disappointed with our economic condition, instead of crying or feeling down, I will keep crossing my fingers for my husband who I know is striving to get us out from this situation. That's what my Spiritual Blood should guide me to do. I know it's going to be hard, but I think trying is the least that I can do right now.


Birthday Celebration

We celebrated my daughter's birthday yesterday and it was a very cheerful moments. There were only her, me and her dad, her grandparents, and two of her cousins. I don't think it counted as a party, but we did have a lot of fun. Singing, blowing the candle, taking out the decoration off the cake, eating the cake, and opening the gifts. Part of me wanted to have a big celebration before, where I could invite all families and relatives... but at the end of the day, I felt really content with what we had. It's a very small gathering, but it was comfy and happy. We laughed a lot. I think what matters the most is that my daughter really really had fun. She really enjoyed her birthday celebration. She got the cake she chose herself, she got the gifts she wanted, and she got all the lovings she could take for the day.



My little girl is turning 4 today! Yaayy!!

Although we're not having a big party, we're still going to celebrate her birthday this afternoon with her grandmothers and her cousins. Like any other kid, she just can't wait for her party. She even asked about it since few days ago. And today, when the day is actually here, she's just even more ecstatic and being more impatient (she's even asking about it now as I'm writing this post). And this morning she just said the cutest thing that really made my day.

She asked: 'Mom, can we have the party now?'
Me: 'No, we're going to have the party this afternoon.'
She said: 'Okay.'

Then not five minutes later ... she asked again: 'Mom, is it afternoon yet?'

Man, talked about impatient. I can't help myself but laugh and just take her to go to school right away, before she insisted to have the party right at that moment.

When adults being impatient, we're usually turn annoying to everybody else. But when a kid being impatient, he/she seems to be able to make everyone else smile :)


God speaks

I just got a new follower, and as usual, I went over to this person's blogspot to check it out. Well, I got more that I can expect. I read his latest post titled 'Peaceful Anxiety' and I can't be more agree with him. I feel like he's talking about me because it's exactly how I feel. For those who's interested, go check it out at http://solidrock1611.blogspot.com/

This reminds me again how God works and speaks to us in unexpected ways. It reminds me to trust in God, despite all the doubts that I may have. And just believe that God loves us no matter what, and that He will carry us through our burdens. I'm thankful that in this troublesome moments, God still speaks to me, even through a total stranger.


New opportunity, new worries

My husband may have a new business opportunity ahead, but it will need a lot of capital which we don't really have right now. While we both think that this might be a good opportunity, we also realize the risks it entails. It was hard to decide what to do, but we've decided now.

We have decided that the risk need to be taken, otherwise we are stuck doing what we're doing right now, i.e., spending our savings bit by bit until it's all gone.
Although it will be hard, especially with the loans already on hand, we will try to get some more loan from the bank to start up this new business.
We will still try to sell our house because we can definitely use the money.
The new business may need few more months to start, so we're gathering as much information as possible, and prepare what we can prepare to make sure the road ahead will be less bumpy.

I don't know why, but I have a good feeling about this business. I really hope I'm right. I really hope it can give us the break that we desperately need. I'm crossing my fingers :)


Oh my little narcissist

Remember about my little girl's school concert? Well, I got the DVD and all the pictures from her event few days ago. And like every selfish mom does, I only looked for my girl's pictures :)
Some of the parents at school were complaining because they didn't get great pictures of their kids. Most of the pictures were blurry and it was taken from a distance, so no close up photo for any of us.
Anyway, we were all really excited to watch the DVD. And I wonder if this is what every family do. We fast forwarded to the part where my little girl was dancing, watched it, and then that's it. We didn't even watched the other part, beginning nor the end. Just the dancing part. Yeah, that's it. My daughter even asked me to rewind to the her dancing part again, so she can dance again at home. I thought it was so cute of her. I wanted to show her the other classes' performances, but she would go 'No, I don't want to see. I just want to see me.'
Hmm ... do I see a little narcissism going on here? :)


Pointless Actions

Okay, this will be my first posting that's not related with my family. I'm sure you've heard about the bombing incidents that happened recently in Jakarta. I was soooo upset when I heard the news the morning it happened. And the more I watched the news, the more upset I got. I feel sad for the innocent victims and feel really angry to the people responsible for it. Some says the people who did this were the people who were not satisfied with the president election. Some says they were the same terrorrist who did the bombing few years ago. Well, whoever they are, I think they are stupid. Their actions are pointless and brought nothing but grief and sadness, not to mention material lost and this country's instability.
I can't simply understand why they did this. What is the point, really? Until today, a week after it happened, I still feel mad everytime I remember this incident. I mean, I understand when people demonstrated for something to gain, like maybe for a raise or a better working hours, but to kill innocent people? What is it that they try to gain? A president re-election? I don't think the government would do that. Or maybe a place in Heaven (if this really is related to religion)? I don't think God will approve of such cruel actions. And how can the people who did this sleep at night, knowing they got blood on their hands? I just wish these people would realize that what they're doing is simply wrong and unjustified. And please ... just don't do it ever again.


Focus on the good things

I went out with one of my best friend few days ago (not the one with the sick mom). And as usual, we try to catch up on each other's story about what's going on with us and with our other friends. And we usually share a rather similar stories because we both are in financial difficulties right now. And we usually end up reminding each other to never give up or lose hope, and to try to look at the brighter side of things.

Anyway, one story led to another, she mentioned about a friend of a friend's story. She told me about these two persons who have been going out for years before they finally tied the knot. The husband is rich, so they have no financial problem whatsoever. They have good business, nice house, and the wife is pregnant right now. Nice, right? Well ... not so much. Because the husband is cheating on the wife. None of their friends dare to tell her because she's pregnant. (I certainly think that it's none of their business anyway)

So me and my best friend just sat there and talked a little about it. Don't get me wrong, we did not discuss about the cheating husband or the wife anymore. We only talked about the fact that everyone had his/her own problems. We might not have the money we wish we have right now, but we have husbands who we can trust completely. And I think that is much much better than having lots of money but a cheating husband.

We must constantly look for the good things in life, the brighter side of everything. It's hard and sometimes tiring. But that's life. There are ups and downs, happiness and sadness, times to laugh and times to cry. At the end of the day, we just have to take a deep breath, be thankful that we can still get through today, and hope that we will have a brighter tomorrow.


Difficult to Comfort a Friend

Do you ever been in a situation where you want to say so much but you can't find the right words? Yesterday, one of my best friends told me that her mom is dying of cancer. The doctors have given up on her. They've tried many alternatives medicines but none worked. We've been friends since we're in primary school, so I know her mom pretty well too.

My heart breaks when I heard the news. At that moment, I wanted to offer my friend words of comfort and encouragement, but my mind seemed to be blank. I really really didn't know what to say to her that can make her feel better. Maybe because deep down, I feel that whatever I say will not make her feel better. Because deep down, I was putting myself in her shoes. And I know that if I were really in her place, no one can make me feel better. I mean, think about it, to actually know that your mom is going to die ... it's just unbearable. And me? As her best friend, I thought I could at least say something meaningful, but I couldn't. I kept thinking, what am I going to tell her? That her mom is going to be okay? That everything will go away? Unless a miracle happens soon, I think it would be a stupid statement. I feel so helpless right now.

I haven't visited her mom until now. Not that I didn't want to. I wanted to visit her mom, but my friend said her mom would cry when people visited her. I really hate to upset her (the mom). And I also wonder ... what am I going to say to her if I really do go? I mean, what do we say to someone who knows she's going to leave the world so soon? This is more than uncomfortable situation. This is sad.

And it's sad for me too because her mom is just like my auntie. We've known each other for years already. Gosh, if I'm tearing up just thinking about this, how does my friend feel? She must be going through hell right now. So ... here's my prayer for her: May the Lord bless her and her mom with strength and courage to go through this situation. Whatever the outcome may be, just please be with her always. Send Your angels to keep her company so she'll never feel alone.


I Buy For You

I went to the mall a few days ago. Oh yes, this is news for me because I hardly ever go out anymore lately. Anyway, I went there with my sister and my daughter. While we were there, we went into one of the stores that sells shoes and other ladies' stuffs. The minute we looked around, my daughter started to taking shoes and sandals from the shelves, putting them down, and telling me to try them on. And she always gave me the colorful ones, like red and blue. Oh dear, I said to her, I'm looking for white sandals. And as expected, she started to look around again. What I didn't expect was her comment. After finding a white sandal, she put it in front of me, looked at me in a very serious way, and she said (and this is her word by word): 'Mama, try it on. If you like it, I buy for you'. Right there in that moment, I felt so happy. I mean, I know she's just doing what I usually do to her. But for her to reciprocate it to me ... it's just so wonderful. Knowing that she wants to buy things for me is just great. Plus she said it in English. It's far from perfect, but I think it's great, because we usually speak in Indonesian. We speak in English too, but Indonesian is the dominant language in our home. Anyway, it's just a nice experience that brighten up my mood that day.


The New Activities

Well, it really has been a while since I post something up. I was really really busy and didn't have time to surf the internet for fun. Gosh, I miss blogging, and reading people's blogs and commenting on them.

Anyway, for those who doesn't know, I'm working as a freelance translator right now. I don't need to go to office 'cause I can simply do the job right at home. I only translate English to Indonesian (and vice versa) because those are basically the languages I know =)

Anyhow, I was lucky enough to get a translating project 2 weeks ago. The project is for a local TV station here in Jakarta and I need to translate a TV series called "Early Edition" first season. I have 23 episodes in my hand that I need to finish, well, as soon as possible. I also need to put them in the format of subtitles (with time code and everything). That's basically why I don't blog so often anymore.

Right now, I have to allocate my time between taking care of my daughter (playing, feeding, bathing, etc.), cleaning up the house, cooking, and translating. It feels like I don't have enough time to do all that, but I just have to make the time. But at the end of the day, although I was exhausted, I felt happy and useful. I made a little money doing this translation job too, so that's a plus side :)

Unfortunately, until I finish this one project, I won't be blogging as much as I want to. I'd still try to find the time though, because I need to blog to relax (like right now). I have to log off now to attend to my little girl. I'll try to blog again soon ....


Yay! Another award!

The most active blogger I know and also the kindest one, if I may add, SquirrelQueen at The Road to Here, has delivered the Love My Friends award to my blog. First, I apologize for taking so long to put it up. It doesn't mean that I don't think it's important, but I have been kept rather busy lately that I didn't have time to blog (I'm stealing time right now, while my little girl is still asleep).

Well anyway, The Love My Friends award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.

As a rule, we need to deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award. But I won't be following the rule this time (sorry). Instead, I would like to pass this award to all my followers who are kind enough to leave comments when I post something up.
I will post again soon :)


Another proud moment

Last Saturday was my daughter's preschool event, where they had their K2 students graduating to primary levels, and their "annual concert". It wasn't much of a concert, but every single class got to perform on stage in front of the audiences (who's basically all the kids' parents and grandparents and nannies). I know all the kids had been preparing for the event like weeks before. I know it's tough for the teachers. I mean, try imagining lining up 10 2-year-old kids and almost 20 3-year-old kids, and teaching them a dancing steps routine. They even done 2 routines for each class. There were also the 4 year olds and the 5 year olds, but they're much bigger so they're easier to manage and more receptive to the teacher's instructions. Anyhow, the event was considered a success. Most parents showed up. All the classed performed well. The graduation ceremony went smoothly. I think everyone agreed the teachers had done such a wonderful job with all the kids.

Well anyway, my proudest moment was seeing my daughter who's in the pre-K senior level (age 3.5-4 years old) got on the stage and danced her heart out. I could tell how happy she was. And she was proud too. Days before the event, she kept telling me that she was going to be on stage, and that she's going to sing and dance, and that I should watch her do all that. I knew she was all prepared to do all her routines, but still, to actually see and watch her did all that brought me a special kind of feeling. I was proud and scared at the same time. I was proud because ... well, I think everyone knows why I'm so proud of her :) But I'm scared because she's growing up so fast in front of my eyes. I still can remember when I was pregnant with her, and now? She's almost 4 and being so independent. It feels like if I close my eyes just for a moment, she's going to just grow up and grow up and grow up ... I guess part of me is afraid of losing my little girl. I know it's ridiculous. I know she has to grow up. And I also know she'll always be my little girl no matter how old she is. She is just such a joy ... and I thank God for giving her to me. Well, I must stop writing now, I think I'm tearing up again just thinking about this. Just as an end-note, if I weigh the proud part and the scary part ... I must say I'm more proud than I'm scared.


Lemons and Lemonade

When life gives you lemons, make some lemonade.

Thank you, Anne at My Husband, Love and Soul Mate is on Kidney Dialysis for passing this wonderful award to me.
I honestly don't feel like I deserve it, but I greatly appreciate the thought behind this award. And it made my day too :)
I encourage anyone who reads this to visit her blogs and become her follower. She is such a wonderful and kind person. Thanks again, Anne ...

The Golden Heart

SquirrelQueen at The Road to Here is so kind and she's passing The Golden Heart Award to all of her followers, making me one of the receivers. I feel so happy and grateful.

Please pay a visit to her blogs and become her follower! I for one really enjoy them and find them educating, encouraging, fascinating, and just simply fulfilling. With daily quotes and beautiful pictures, she reminds me of the simple things in life, yet so important.

Thanks again, Judy. You're the best!


a blessing: 10 Guidelines from God

I received this email from a good friend of mine. No one really knew who wrote it, but it was beautiful. I hope it will be a blessing for you as it has been for me. You're welcome to share this to as many people as you'd like.

Ten Guidelines From God

Effective Immediately, please be aware that there are changes YOU need to make in YOUR life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfill My promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you. Please, follow these 10 guidelines:

Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all... God. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

Once you've given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For My sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do my job.

I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please, don't forget to talk to Me - OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.

I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me; you wouldn't want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.

Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please, know I love each of your differences.

As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only -- to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me. Don't ever forget.

Touch someone with your love.
Rather than focus upon the thorns of life,
smell the roses and count your blessings!


Sad blog?

I recently asked my sister in law to visit my blogspot and click on my amazon link if she ever needs to buy anything from amazon. She took the time to read over my posts and she thought they were sad. I was not surprised by her response but it wasn't exactly what I was aiming at actually. I realized I might have sad stories to tell but what I wanted to share was the way I dealt with those sad situations.

My first goal when I started this blog was just for fun, to have an outlet for all the emotions that's building up on me. There were times when I thought I was going to explode. I felt angry almost all the time and I thought that wasn't healthy. And I hated what this did for my daughter. It was so hard for me to have fun with her because even though I was smiling and played with her, there was always a bothering thought at the back of my mind: how am I going to provide for her if business doesn't turn up well? But then I found out about blogspot and how people used it for all kind of purposes. My sister actually uses it for some kind of her diary so hers is private and no one can read any of her posts. So I tried this blogspot stuff ... and it worked out for me.

My sister in law comment was actually helping. I really don't want to tell just the sad stories of my life. I'm still waiting for the good happy story to tell too. And I'd like to tell my dear readers out there ... I really appreciated all your comments and advices all this time. Your comments are always welcomed. And I really hope I will post something more 'happy' soon.


The Most Wonderful FavoUrite!

As I wrote in my previous post, sometimes it is hard to find things to be thankful about. But today, I have something to be happy about.
My fellow blogger Jase at Fool Stop has just shared The Most Wonderful FavoUrite award with me. See the 'U' in capital red? Jase came up with that and I think it's wicked hehehe ... Anyway, thank you Jase for giving it to me and making me feel good today. Oh by the way, you can see the award at the side part of my blogspot. I listed the bloggers whom I have received the award from.


Are you enjoying the ride?

My family financial situation is in really bad shape right now. And it's getting worse by the minute as we are draining out our savings to survive. These are the times when I start to stress out about just everything. I've been reading people's blogs lately because I really don't know what to write and too stress out to write anything basically. But reading people's blogs are fun. It takes my mind off things for a while. Some blogs are even refreshing and encouraging. I'm not saying reading blogs can just magically remove all my problems, but it just gives me new insights.

My last post was about 'enjoying the ride'. Well, not so easy to do when we are in a really bad shape, isn't it? How the heck we can enjoy the ride when everything seems to stumble down right in front of your eyes? Well, we can ... if we allow ourselves to find the good things in life. For me, I'm just trying to be thankful with what I have today. Remember the sayings 'you never know what you've got until it's gone'? Well, if possible, I don't want to experience that. I want to know what I've got before it's gone. So from now on, I'm going to try to be thankful. And I say 'try', because sometimes being thankful is not so easy either. Sometimes, we need to look a little harder for things to be thankful about. I read in someone's blog (can't remember whose because I read so much lately), but in this blog, she (I think it's a she) lists things she's grateful about each day. I thought it was a wonderful idea. So today, I am going to be thankful for:
- being able to drive my daughter to school myself (because I didn't know how to drive before)
- having a very good friend (who didn't run away because we're broke)
- still having a home to go too (because although we're selling the house, no one's interested yet)
- having a husband who I trust completely (because I know he is working really really hard to get us out of this whole situation)
- having an internet connection so I can still blog and meet fellow bloggers (who helped me although they probably didn't realize it)

Returning on 'enjoying the ride' topic ... well, I'm going to enjoy all these things that I have today. I don't know if I'm going to still have a car or a house tomorrow, but while I do, I'm going to just enjoy them as much as I can. And I hope that tomorrow is a better day and I will have even more things to be thankful about.


Unexpected Lesson

How about that Susan Boyle from Britain's Got Talent, eh? A few months ago, nobody knew her name. And now? She is the new superstar. People all over the world is now reminded again and again: don't judge a book by its cover. Well, that's one lesson we can definitely learn from Susan Boyle.

But another thing that taught me is that life is unpredictable. I don't think she expects to be this famous at the age 48. I don't follow the story of her life to be honest, but I'm taking a lesson for her experience. Sometimes, things happen. Things that we don't expect to happen can happen and bring us something unexpected. Does that make sense at all? What I'm trying to say is that we never know where life takes us. We can plan all we want, but life can steer us to a much different path.

So, for me, instead of being sad about our not-so-good life right now, I am going to try to just enjoy the ride. Expecting the worst but always crossing my fingers and hoping for the best to come. Of course, we still need to fight and do our best in what we do right now. But let's not forget the possibility of the unexpected. After all, there is a greater power than us humans :)


Too Many Roles

We always play different roles in life. We play a role as a son/daughter, a sister/brother, a husband/wife, a father/mother, a friend ... the list goes on and one. I always think that we should play the role as best as we can, or at least to try to do that, by being the best person we can be. Finding the balance, I always thought. But lately it seems to be harder and harder, especially when there are more roles to play. As a single woman, I turn into a wife when I got married (one more role added) and also be somebody's in-law (another role added). As a daughter, I turn into a mother when I have my first child (yet another role added). So there it is ... 3 more roles to play.

One more thing ... I know we're not supposed to keep everyone's happy, but I was raised as a sort of 'peace-maker'. My mom always taught me not to fight with relatives (although the person can be so annoying at times) and always try to be nice to everyone.

What's bugging me lately is how I should 'play' the role as in-law. My husband is having sort of a fight with his family, and I feel like I'm caught in the middle. I tried to just be me with his mother and siblings, but it's odd going to their houses without my hubbie. And although my husband didn't say this directly, I feel like he didn't like it if I hang out too much with his siblings anymore. I know my mother in law expects me to be the one to tell my husband to stop fighting, but she also knows how hard-headed his son is when he thinks he is right. So there I am ... trying to be a good wife and be a good daughter in law at the same time. I wanted to be both, but I know I can't.

Am I getting too personal again? Arghh, I hope not. My lesson is just that I have to stop trying to make everyone happy. It's just not possible. I need to forget what other people expect of me, and be what I expect of myself.


Surprised Surprised ... it's the Friends Award

Wow ... I just received an exciting award, and believe me or not, I got it from Knight Writer at Life as a Layperson and The Laughing Idiot at The Goofy Gardener. Thank you both so much. I just feel so honored especially because I'm still new with this blogging life. I mean, I'm even happy with just having one more follower :)

Well anyway, there are rules in accepting this award: Deliver this award to eight bloggers who then must choose and deliver the award to eight more and include the following text into the award.

"These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers."

So, I would like to pass this award to the following bloggers. I hope I can one day call them friends and encourage everyone to visit and read their blogs. And they are ...

1. Afternoon Tea Break @ Career Changing in the Credit Crunch
2. Jane @ Days Of Our Lives
3. The Laughing Idiot @ Life Makes Me Laugh . . .
4. Laura Cococcia @ Laura Reviews...
5. - bxn @ In My Sad Little Opinion
6. The Drifter @ My Sanctuary
7. latin_girl87 @ Comedy Stylings of a 3yr Old
8. Super Groovy Girlie @ Super Groovy Girlie's Blogs

Okay, so there's my chosen 8 bloggers. Each has his/her own ways of teaching me, making me smile when I'm a little down, even making me laugh so hard that I forgot my problems for a while ...


How strong is your family bond?

Everything seems to have to be tested and challenged nowadays. We can't say we are faithful until our loyalty is tested. We can't say we are wise until our wisdom is needed. We can't say a friend is a friend indeed until that person has proven to be so. And we can't say our family has a strong bond until that bond is put to the real test.

I don't mean to get too personal here, but I just learned this the hard way. When everything is alright, when there is no problem/trouble, we can find friends anywhere. Because those are the guys we hang out with, go to movies together, eat out together, people we do fun stuffs with. But when we are in trouble (say, financial trouble) and we don't have the money to spend for fun anymore, those 'friends' suddenly disappear. Okay, that's not too odd. What I find really odd is even brothers/sisters can disappear too. It's odd because I always thought a family is a family. Whatever trouble you are in, you're supposed to back each other up. Don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about financial aid or anything like that. I am not asking for that at all. What makes me wonder is that they never ask about our situation, knowing that we really are in financial trouble. None of them ever call to ask, 'hey, how's it going with the new business?' or just a simple 'how are you?'. I just find it fascinating weird, because I used to think this is a family with the strongest bond that no one can ever break. I was totally wrong. Honestly, we are like strangers now.

Well anyway, I really don't want to be over-sensitive about this. I just want to share the lesson I learned. We never know how strong a relationship is (even siblings-relationship) until there are waves come crashing down on it. But now that I know, I say to myself: I will not do this to my friends or my families who are in need. I will not turn my back on them. I might not have the money to help out, but I still have words of encouragement that I can share.

I hope you guys have a stronger family than mine. And please be good to your family and friends. They're all you've got after all.


Strength Within

Finding the strength within us is not as simple as it sounds. And it's definitely is not as easy. Sometimes we got to do what we got to do simply because we have to. Although it may be scary or hard, sometimes there are just things that need to be done, there are just situations that we must go through. I guess when we finally did it or when we finally went through whatever hard situation we were placed at, that's the moment where we could finally say: "yes, I have that strength within me".

For me, we never know how strong we are until we are faced with difficulties in our lives, until we are really challenged to face those difficulties. Situations may force us to be strong, for ourselves and sometimes for others. So I'm grateful, that until today, I still have that strength within me to fight and to survive. That along the way, there were people who gave me words of encouragement when I was down. Even a stranger's blogspot post can be meaningful and cheer me up at times :)


I've been tagged!!

I’ve been tagged by Jane. Sorry for the late response though, kind of busy lately. It’s so wonderful knowing that you like me enough to tag me, Jane. I’m being a good sport so I’m going to keep this ball rolling.

Okay, first thing first. The Rules:
First, you need to mention the person who tagged you.
Second, you need to tell 7 facts about yourself.
And thirdly, you need to tag another 7 bloggers, let us know what you tag them, and let those bloggers know that they’ve been tagged.

So … have I followed the rules? Let’s see …

Number 1: mentioning the person who tagged me. Checked! It was Jane at
Days Of Our Lives .

Number 2: 7 facts about me, eh? Here it goes …

1) I only have one best friend who I can share everything with. Some people may think that’s weird, but she’s the only person who I can confide in without worrying whether she’s going to tell or back-stab me later hahaha … I think I’m lucky that I can be friends with her for more than 15 years now . I have other good friends but my really really best friend is only one.

2)I much prefer western food than asian/chinese. My family thinks this is odd because I'm chinese and have been living in Asia forever, but that's the truth. I can't resist a burger/pizza hahaha ...

3) I just started learning how to drive at the age of 31 ;p

4) I need a cup of coffee in the morning and one in the afternoon to keep me going.

5) I always name my pet either Marco or Polo or Marcopolo. Weird weird ...

6) My idea of exercise is cleaning up the house and taking care of my daughter.

7) I have a fear of drowning and that's why I've never been on a cruise.

Number 3: Who should I tag, eh? Thinking thinking … alright, made my decision. The 7 person I’m tagging are:

1) bxn at In My Sad Little Opinion – because he got opinions on a variety of topics, and his opinion is neither sad nor little.

2) zeththebest at ~i picture what i see~ - because he posted so many different pictures and not afraid to after what he wants.

3) The Laughing Idiot at Life Makes Me Laugh . . . – because she made me laughs to hard that I forgot my problems for a while. You guys should really check her out.

4) SquirrelQueen at The Road to Here – because I really like her posts. She got many uplifting words that keep your spirit up. Btw, SQ, I know you’ve been tagged before. Sorry about this, but I know you’re having fun and I kind of want to know the 7 facts about you ;)

5) Small Footprints at Reduce Footprints - simply because it's a very meaningful and caring blogspot.

6) Sharon J at Finding Simplicity - because she's a wonderful bargain hunter, and all for the good stuff :)

7) The Drifter at My Sanctuary - because it's just interesting.

Yeahh I'm done. And now I'm off to letting these people know that they've been tagged.


Just a pic

Honestly, SquirrelQueen kind of inspire me to share beautiful pictures. I took this picture when I was in Canada like 9 years ago. But I still love it everytime I look at it, and it makes me want to visit Canada again. It also reminds me how wonderful, majestic, and great our God is. Please enjoy ...


Motherhood Wake Up Call

I'm always thankful with my mother. I know she must be an angel sent from heaven to take care of our family. I've never seen such patience and wisdom in anyone I know. Even when I know she's mad, we've never heard one harsh word coming out of her mouth. And I always wonder, where the heck she got the strength to do it all? To be a wife, a mother, a daughter-in-law (for a very hard-to-please mother-in-law, if I may say), a grandmother (for a very needy granddaughter), and to do it all at the same time. And lately, I just realize it and realize it even more how great she is. She's supportive even though she doesn't agree 100% with my decision. She keeps caring even though when she has problems of her own. she just keeps giving and giving, not only to me, but to the whole family ... So, I'm dedicating this post for the most wonderful person on earth (by my book, of course), stating my love for her, and my deepest gratitude.
My only hope is that I can grow as a person and be more like her, be a better child for her, be a better mom for my daughter, be a better wife for my husband, be a better listener for my friends. And I encourage anyone who read this to think about your mom/dad, and just be thankful.


Quotes of the day

A friend of mine sent me an email few weeks ago and I'd like to share it with my fellow bloggers. These words are from Rick Warren (author of the 'Purpose Driven Life'):

"I believe that (life) is kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for."

"Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD."

These words were a blessing for me, and I surely hope it will be a blessing too for anyone who read them.



My daughter and I went to my niece's birthday party yesterday. On the way there, I kept thinking "gosh, this might be one of the days where I have to be super patient", you know, because she hates loud noises and usually hates being in crowded place. When we got there, there's two big clowns getting ready for the party, and knowing she hates clown too, I'm like 'uh-oh'. But to my disbelief, my daughter acted calmly. She even sat on one of the little chairs that's reserved for little children without objection. She participated in the party activities and seemed to really enjoy herself. I was sooooo relieved and happy. She exceeded my expectation in every way. I guess we as parents can't really expect our child to behave a certain way just because she acted a certain way before. Every opportunity means a chance to see how our child has grown. And believe me when I say, it was such a proud moment for me and her dad.


Thanks to Blogging

I'm actually new in this blogging life, but I recently went to see other people's blogs and, to my surprise, some really captured my attention. Some actually taught me things, and some showed me that my problems and troubles are not so unique after all. And if they can fight and survive and win, why can't I? So, thanks to my blogging life, I found new teachers in life. They may be strangers, they may not know me, but I thank them for opening my eyes :)


Article: Discipline Versus Punishment (By Kim Olver)

Do you know the difference between discipline and punishment with their Latin roots? Punishment implies inflicting pain, while discipline means to teach. Parents who use punishment are missing important opportunities to teach their children better behaviors and help them self-discipline. Children can actually be taught responsible behaviors to help them get the things they want without breaking the rules.

However, when parents are only interested in compliance, they often impose strict and severe consequences to stop or prevent the behavior. This generally leaves the child not thinking about how they were wrong and need to develop more appropriate behavior, but leaves them instead thinking about how unfair their parent is.

Punishment generally teaches children to become better at not getting caught, rather than stopping the undesirable behavior.

All behavior is purposeful. We don't engage in behavior-responsible or not-for no reason. Everything a person does is that person's best attempt to get at least one of his or her needs met in the best way available at that time. Children do not set out to be intentionally "bad." The "bad" behaviors they engage in are helping them to meet a need they have, which is why they do it.

Punishing children for attempting to get their needs met does not stop them from needing to get their needs met. If a child is attempting to get their need for freedom met by being with people of whom the parent doesn't approve, that freedom need does not go away by punishing the child. In fact, often punishment restricts the freedom need even further, making it more likely that the child will engage in more severe and desperate ways of meeting their freedom need.

For example, if the child is grounded for being with people the parent disapproves of, then they may end up disrespecting the grounding and attempting to go out anyway. Then, it will become necessary for the parent to become more severe in their punishment to attempt to gain control.

The interesting thing about control is that we really don't have control over our children. We cannot be with them 24/7 and thus, we really don't know what they are doing when they are out of our site. We may think we are controlling them by grounding them, but are they sneaking out? If not, what happens when the grounding is lifted?

Instead of punishing, let's look at what it might be like to teach self-discipline instead. Let's say your child has a habit of not abiding by his or her curfew. The child agrees to the curfew and then chronically comes home late espousing sincere apologies. Naturally, you want to ground them or make them come home even earlier the next time to make up for the infraction.

What do you think would happen if you had a different conversation? What would happen if you attempted to learn what the child was doing that prevented them from being home on time? What would happen if you believed your child when he said he really lost track of time because he got so involved in the game of basketball he was playing with his friend? Your child tells you he meant to be home on time but simply lost track of time.

If your goal is to help teach self-discipline, wouldn't it make sense to help your child find a way to independently remind himself of his curfew. Perhaps he could get a watch with an alarm on it. Or if he has a cell phone, have him set the alarm on it with enough time for him to get home at the agreed upon time.

Maybe in your conversation, you learn that your child no longer believes his curfew is appropriate. Perhaps he thinks because he is older, he should be permitted to stay out later. You may review your expectations and realize that he is right. The curfew you have set may be too early for his age. In this case, you might be willing to adjust the curfew to a later time as long as there is compliance with the new curfew.

There are several solutions for every situation and remember every child and every set of circumstances is unique. Take the time to talk to your child to determine why they are breaking the rules and then help them figure out a way to honor the rules and still get what they need in their lives.

When you do, you will have a much more harmonious home and your children will be learning self-discipline skills so that by the time they no longer live with you, you can be reasonably assured that they will be able to take care of themselves. After all, isn't that what you REALLY want?

For more parenting advice and help go to Empowerment Parenting.

Kim Olver is a life, relationship and executive coach. Her mission is to help people get along better with the important people in their lives. She teaches people how to live from the inside out by empowering them to focus on the things they can change. She in an internationally recognized speaker, having worked in Australia and the continent of Africa, as well as all over the United States. She is the creator of the new, revolutionary process called, Inside Out Empowerment based on Glasser's ideas. She has consulted with the NBA and other major league player development specialists. She is the author of Leveraging Diversity at Work and the forthcoming book, Relationship Empowerment. She co-authored a book with Ken Blanchard, Les Brown, Mark Victor Hansen and Byron Katie, entitled 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. She works with individuals, couples, parents, social service agencies, schools, corporations and the military--anyone who will benefit from gaining more effective control over their lives. She has consulted on relationships, parenting, self-development, training, leadership development, diversity, treatment programs and management styles.


Article: Happiness Is - Teaching Our Kids About Kindness (By Patrick Mcmillan)

To witness a child display kindness to another child is a wonderful scene to observe, though it is becoming a rare occurrence. To hear about a child in a confrontation with a bully while coming to the aid of a friend being picked on is an even less frequently heard about event. Though these scenarios do play out in the real world, on the playground and in neighborhoods, we need to make a much bigger deal of it, and encourage more of it.

We seem to have instilled a "feel good" attitude in our children, rather than a "do good" attitude. The self-esteem movement created in the 1970's is partially to blame. It does not take a social science degree to understand that self-esteem is a result, and does not cause anything but momentum in either the increasing or decreasing of self-esteem. Self -esteem rises or falls with doing and being because feelings about ourselves depend on what we do and how we react to what happens around us. However, in addition to our conscious reactions, we all have the ability to create our reality with a conscious choice to be kind to others.

The biggest culprit of all in my opinion, are our societal habits and misconception that providing ourselves with more of life's pleasures will provide greater levels of life satisfaction. We, the parents of the world, have pulled our children onto the same treadmill on which we run, and we wonder why children today seem so entitled and ungrateful.

By helping our children understand what events in our lives bring about the greatest feelings of happiness, and engaging in these events with our children, we are instilling in ourselves and our kids that "doing good" far outweighs "feeling good" in terms of lasting happiness. When we do well toward others we feel good, and when we feel good more good comes to us. This is not to say that pleasures in life should not be sought after, but rather an understanding be developed that a pleasurable life combined with a meaningful life leads to a happy life.

Kindness is not just about being kind to others. We must also be kind to ourselves. We have a tendency to be quite hard on ourselves when we make mistakes or experience failure. Our inner-dialogue will tell us things we would surely defend ourselves from if said by someone other than ourselves. Being less critical of ourselves makes learning from mistakes easier, makes us more likely to accept challenges and sets an example for our children that mistakes and failures must happen in order to grow and learn.

A helpful way to be kind to yourself, and a great lesson for kids to learn, is to recognize your strengths. Rather than focus attention on weaknesses in an attempt to overcome them, it might be more productive to focus on your strengths in an attempt to cultivate more of them and use them more often in your day to day life.

We can help our children learn to be kind to others by simply making someone smile, and to consciously recognize the feeling you get inside when you do. It is as easy as smiling at a stranger or giving a friendly wave. It does not take much effort to practice kindness in front of your kids.

Here are some simple things you can do, and encourage your kids to do, to make kindness a part of who you are.

• Hold the door for someone, even if they are not carrying anything.
• At the store, let the person in line behind you with less items go ahead of you.
• Be courteous to the telemarketer that calls you, or to anyone trying to sell you something. They are just trying to get by too.
• Stay calm in traffic, even if you are running late. Life is too short to get all worked up over something out of your control.
• When ever possible, help someone who could use a hand.
• Always be kind to children!
• Say "Thank You" even quietly to yourself for all that you have in your life, ever day.
• Always say "Thank You" when someone helps you.

You can make your day with a SMILE!

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Patrick McMillan is the founder of http://KidsCanDoAnything.com and author of An Exercise in Happiness, an Emotional Fitness Program for kids and parents based on the ancient philosophy and the science of happiness.

Being a stay at home dad with two young boys for many years has motivated Patrick to share with every child the tools and lessons he has learned to create a fulfilling and happy life for himself and his kids.


Wonderful Things

Wonderful things you can do when you know photoshop well enough :)

This is one of my favorite pic ...