Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Difference

The difference between the mother-of-the-groom and the mother-of-the-bride is this: the former's life goes on unchanged whereas the latter lives with the realisation that things will never be the same again and that she has to salvage every remaining precious moment she has with her daughter before her baby leaves for a new life and a new home.

No wonder it's the mother-of-the-bride who cries at the wedding.

Monday, June 27, 2011

He Will Carry You

This song, also from "The Dreamer", never fails to lift me up whenever I am down.

It's so comforting to know that we are always safe in God's hands. He is always there to carry us through the most tumultuous of times and most difficult of days. When the world comes crashing down we are safe in the cleft of the Rock.

He Opens A WIndow

I remember those days in the late 1970s and early 1980s when all the churches in Penang would come together for a musical presentation.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

God's Hands

Today is in God's hands and so are you.

His hands are strong and will uphold you;
His hands are great and will enfold you;
His hands are gentle and will embrace you;
His hands are protective and will cover you;
His hands are reassuring and will quiet you;
His hands are powerful and will defend you;
His hands are parental and will train you;
His hands are masterful and will conform you;
His hands are compassionate and will care for you;
His hands are healing and will renew you;
His hands are calming and will comfort you;
His hands are giving and will bless you.

The hands that hold you will never let you down.

-Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer

Not Forever

Circumstances of the past few days bring to mind an ancient saying that has the ability to change everything. Not that it has some magical or mystical power but it helps us to put things in perspective and live our life in an attitude of hope and gratitude.

The saying originated as an ancient story from Persia, and has been retold throughout the centuries. Here is one version that is found recorded in Jewish folklore and as with all things pertaining to wisdom it involves King Solomon.

One day Solomon decided to humble Benaiah ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, "Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot which gives you six months to find it."

"If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty," replied Benaiah, "I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?"

"It has magic powers," answered the king. "If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy." Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility.

Spring passed and then summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring. On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of he poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day's wares on a shabby carpet. "Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?" asked Benaiah.

He watched the grandfather take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it. When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.

That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity. "Well, my friend," said Solomon, "have you found what I sent you after?" All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled.

To everyone's surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, "Here it is, your majesty!" As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face. The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band: gimel, zayin, yud, which began the words "Gam zeh ya'avor" -- "This too shall pass."

At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.


"This too shall pass." A simple four-word sentence and yet it holds a wealth of wisdom and truth.

It has brought hope and comfort to millions of people in times of despair, distress and discouragement. All of us go through good times and bad times. When we are down in the dumps we are so overwhelmed that we have to remind ourselves (because it is so easy to forget and lose perspective under such circumstances) that the situation will not last forever and that good times will return. There is always hope. That is why people pray.

Just as bad times do not last forever, in the same way good times also do not last forever. So let us appreciate and make the most of the good things, especially the people and relationships, that God has put in our life when we have them.

Ask anyone who has lost a loved one or has a loved one who is far away from home and you'll find that good times could be as simple as having all the family around the table enjoying a meal together. So be grateful for and cherish the precious moments you have with your loved ones.

Life is fragile. Never be stingy with your "I love you" to the ones you love. Be generous with your hugs. Learn to laugh more together.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ch'neh Erm

Today someone called me Ch'neh Erm for the first time. Ch'neh Erm in Hokkien means In-Law and is a term used by members of the bride's or groom's family to address the mother-of-the groom or mother-of-the-bride respectively.

The person who addressed me by my new title was the the aunt of my future son-in-law. She is his father's second brother's wife and she came to the house this afternoon bearing gifts in 2 red boxes and a beautiful siah nar (a nyonya carry basket). Accompanying her were her sister-in-law (my future son-in-law's father's younger sister) and my son-in-law-to-be's sister-in-law.

Without my mom and mother-in-law around and having never married any children before (my 'bee is an only child) we had earlier consulted my new ch'neh erm on what is to happen and what we should do. So we took the cue from and just followed the instructions given by her.
  • First we were to receive 2 bottles of wine and return either 2 bottles of F&N Orange or one bottle of wine and one bottle of F&N Orange. We are not wine connoisseurs so we played it safe and just returned 2 bottles of F&N Orange. Both 1.25 litre bottles fitted into the siah nar easily so you can imagine how big the siah nar was.
  • Then we were to receive 12 out of the 24 oranges given. This was easy.
  • When it came to the biscuits we hit a snag. We're told to just take the biscuits on the top layer of the box 'cos the biscuits will be in two layers which are separated by a piece of paper. But in these modern times the biscuits all come pre-packed in small packets and there are no 2 layers! So we consulted the Ah Erm who brought the gifts. She took out four of the 10 packets of one type biscuit and said that we can take those or more if we want to. So we took her cue, and took four packets of each of the four types of biscuits they gave.
  • Then we piled in the 12 kaya paus that they requested for.
  • Then, as instructed, we took half the amount of money inside the angpow for the "too kar" or pig leg. In the past the groom's side will send over the real "too kar" or roasted pig. We wouldn't know what to do with any of those stuff so cash was a good alternative.
  • Then came the angpow for the dowry. We were in a dilemma because we were not told exactly how much we should retain. We were only told to take as much as we want and return some. So how much do we want?
If we take too little, does that mean our daughter is so worthless?
If we take a lot, does that mean we are "selling" our daughter?
Nobody could come up with a satisfactory sum so I prayed
and I had a brainwave that I believe is from God.

For the Christian, a tithe is a recognition of God's ownership
of all of creation and Him as the source of all the bountiful blessings
that He has freely given to us. We have raised, cared for
and loved our daughter and now we are "giving" her
to be a blessing to her new family. I reasoned that like God,
not that we are God, a tithe would acknowledge symbolically
that this blessing they are receiving comes from us. Therefore
I decided to take a tithe, which is 10%, of whatever
the amount is given. Simple.

Thus we dutifully did what we were told to do and, where no guidance was given, did what we thought was right.

Now that the exchange of gifts is over we have to see to the wedding plans. There are only eight more days to the ROM and a fortnight to the solemnization. So little time and so many things to do.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


The biggest headache when you invite people to a wedding comes during the RSVP 'cos the RSVP etiquette is seriously missing among Malaysians. Only 25% of our guests bothered to confirm their attendance before the RSVP deadline.

The worst culprits are relatives. I suppose most of them think that an RSVP is unnecessary simply because it is assumed that they would be attending without considering the fact that we have to know the number of people coming along for the party.

The deadline for our RSVP was last Sunday and, after numerous smses and phone calls the past 3 days, we still have 6 invitations without RSVP and one tentative (subject to leave approval so considered excusable).

I really don't know how people manage huge weddings that run to thousands of guests.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hospitality Par Excellence

I was in KL over the weekend and since I was left to fend for myself on Saturday night I decided to impose on our old family friends' hospitality.

By the time I arrived at their condo after GPSing all the way from KLCC to Bandar Utama I was already feeling feverish from the durian supper the night before and the car trip down under the hot mid-day sun.

They offered a session on their massage chair hoping to clear my headache that way but that didn't really work. Nothing really beats a real massage by a human being but unfortunately all the expert masseuse they know have been booked. : (

Due to my over-heated constitution, they took me for a steamboat dinner in order to avoid anything fried or grilled or heaty. It's the Pulau Ketam steamboat that 'bee loves and it's now available at Ikano with individual pots of soup for the dinners. That's more hygienic that having everyone dunk their utensils into a communal pot.

By the time dinner was over I was only looking forward to fall into bed but first I asked for the Old Man Tea they first introduced to us many years ago when we ended up at their door-step with a headache.

To my surprise they don't have any at home. How can! We always have a few boxes in stock. Just in case.

Anyway, they went all out of their way to find a Chinese medical hall in BU that's still open at 9.30pm to purchase 2 boxes of the tea for me.

I was already shivery when I took a quick shower but after 2 Panadols and a cup of the tea I could feel the fire behind my eyes receding. Miracle cure!

This is the Tan Ngan Lo Tea that we have since introduced
to so many other friends (photobooth picture flipped
so you can see the actual packaging)

After a good night's sleep in their daughter's room, I was resurrected when morning came. I was then given a short tutorial on low-impact exercises that I videoed but have not yet downloaded nor put into practise.

A Place of Safety

The centre of God's will is the only place of safety.

- A quote from "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom

Something to keep close to our hearts as we head towards tumultuous times.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Advance Father's Day Celebration

I couldn't stand the thought of Hubby being home alone this Sunday which is Father's Day so I decided that we should celebrate in advance.

Dinner at Edo-Ichi Japanese Restaurant

Why are you all taking so many photos?

I requested for a happy face and this was what I got

Then he decided to join in the fun and show off
the iPhone's superior photo quality compared to that of my camera

Like father, like daughter. Both ordered the same dish.
Both requested for more gravy or "souce".

Their Tenderloin Teppanyaki with more "souce"

Unfortunately the restaurant decided to drown
my Gindara Teppanyaki
in "souce" as well : (

Green Tea and Black Sesame ice cream for dessert.
I prefer Black Sesame to the Green Tea.

And after that it's off to the movies – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Super Maid of Honour

'Bee went down to KL last Sunday for her bridal shower. When she came back she passed me two lovely gift boxes - one for me and one for her god-mom.

The silver gift box with a ribbon in the wedding theme colour

They were gifts from her maid-of-honour who organized the party for her. Every guest received one and she (such a thoughtful girl) prepared extra for the two of us who were barred from the party.

The gift tag in the theme colours

The Perfect Blend...yummy cookies made by the maid-of-honour and tea

The label for the tea

This maid-of-honour, she's da best!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Plenty of Sunday Left

We were among the few who were left behind last Sunday when the whole church went to Kampar for church camp.

We wanted to visit PCC but, after breakfast at Arati Vilas, we ended up at Fettes Park Baptist Church instead. Fettes Park Baptist Church is less than 5 mins drive away from our apartment and we saved so much time on the road.

The worship was beautiful. I especially liked the smooth flow from song to song with minimal comments from the worship leader. They had a guest speaker who spoke on the Father heart of God.

The service that began at 10am ended at 12 noon. After lunch and some grocery shopping we went home and managed to accomplish so much that afternoon. For once we experienced the advantage of going to a church near home that has an early Sunday service. No wonder many people change church whenever they relocate.

It was a real luxury for us to have plenty of Sunday left after church and it turned out to be was one of the best Sundays we have ever had in a long time.

It Takes So Little

Received the following sms (unedited) from my brother-in-law yesterday:
From jewel for father day, some day I will find a prince but my daddy will always be my king. Is all worth it.
I bet he forwarded that email to every one on his contact list.

Yup! It takes so little to warm a parent's heart and make all our sacrifices worthwhile.

Under Our Roof

In a few short weeks my babee is gonna get married. She's gonna move out of our house and call another place her home.

No more calls or smses in the middle of the night asking me to pray with (most of the time it's to pray for) her or to come over and snuggle in with her after a particularly bad dream or a scary movie. No more midnight chats under the covers.

I'm gonna miss all that.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Longing for Romance

There is a longing for romance that is implanted in the DNA of the female of the human species.

This longing is activated very early in our lives. Our favourite fairy tales are Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast where the common factor is the prince who falls in love with the heroine and transforms her life.

From the first time we set eyes on a bride we dream of our own wedding day. The person waiting for us at the altar may be nebulous but we have a crystal clear picture of our wedding gown and what the place should look like.

Of course this picture changes every time we dream which is why choosing the gown, the decor, the cake and setting the right mood for our own real wedding becomes such a monumental exercise in decision-making. With so many lovely scenarios to choose from, it is hard to decide on one.

When her prince comes into her life, all a woman desires is for her dream to come true.

Ideally it all begins with a spectacular proposal...

...that leads to a perfect wedding day...

...that culminates in a long and loving, faithful and fruitful marriage.

The effort for a sensational proposal naturally comes from the guy but most of the effort into making the wedding day perfect falls on the bride. Everything should be the way she wants it to be, or almost the way she wants it to be, and if things turn out as planned then all is well and good.

But the greatest joy for the bride comes when the groom plans a pleasant surprise for her on the wedding day. The surprise is the icing on the cake. For example, my nephew disappeared during his wedding dinner. The next thing we knew the band was playing and he appeared with a bouquet of flowers singing his love for his bride.

Beyond a myriad things that adds up to a perfect wedding the one thing that will surely captivate the heart of the bride is the something special the groom does for her on her wedding day that makes her the envy of all the women in the room.

Something that makes her dream of romance come true.
Something that tells her she is the most loved woman in the room.
Something that tells her her man would willingly climb
the highest mountain, and swim across
a shark-infested ocean for her.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Too Free

You know when you are too free when you have time for this.
Rev. W.O. Taylor, 91, was the oldest man attending the Southern Baptist Convention a few years ago. At the annual free breakfast for retirees, Brother Taylor rose and recited his own version of the parable of the prodigal son, which he entitled "The Final Fixing of the Foolish Fugitive:"

"Feeling footloose, fancy-free and frisky, this feather-brained fellow finagled his fond father into forking over his fortune. Forthwith, he fled for foreign fields and frittered his farthings feasting fabulously with fair-weather friends. Finally, facing famine, and fleeced by his fellows in folly, he
found himself a feed flinger in a filthy farmlot. He fain would have filled his frame with foraged food from the fodder fragments.

"'Fooey! My father's flunkies fare far fancier,' the frazzled fugitive fumed feverishly, frankly facing fact.

"Frustrated from failure and filled with forebodings, he fled for his family.

"Falling at his father's feet, he floundered forlornly. 'Father, I have flunked and fruitlessly forfeited further family favors.'

"But the faithful father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged his flunkies to fetch forth the finest fatling and fix a feast.

"But the fugitive's fault-finding frater, faithfully farming his father's fields for free, frowned at this fickle forgiveness of former falderal. His fury flashed, but fussing was futile.

"His foresighted father figured, 'Such filial fidelity is fine, but what forbids fervent festivities? The fugitive is found! Unfurl the flags! With fanfare flaring, let fun, frolic and frivolity flow freely, former failures forgotten and folly forsaken. Forgiveness forms a firm foundation for future fortitude.'"
Source: Daily Humor

Friday, June 3, 2011

So Sad

I am so sad for myself. My 'bee has blocked her blog. Nothing for me to read and I so look forward to reading her blog every day.

I am doubly, make that triply, sad for 'bee. Fiance not around (most of the time), her bestest of friends all in KL and now without the support of her online community. She is like a castaway all alone on her little island.

My heart goes out to her.