Who God truly is …

We all know that God is almighty and He is the giver of life. But these verses revealed to me who God truly is – His wonderful, loving and gracious character:

Psalms 103:1-5, 8, 17-18

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

Praise the LORD, O, my soul, Praise his holy name! Amen

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What my students taught me …

It is a misconception that teachers are in the best position to teach and guide their students because they seem to ‘know-it-all’. Truth is, teachers learn as much as they teach. My students taught me a lot of things, namely, how to manage them – their mood swings, their behaviour, their attitude towards studies and their learning styles.

I am thankful that God has led me to teaching – something I never thought I would be doing in my life. But after I’ve discovered that I am ADHD, I started researching on the types of jobs/career that would suit my personality and teaching is one of them! God certainly knows me best!

Children, like adults, want to be understood. Most parents and teachers (especially Asian) have the tendency to exert authority over children on the pretext that they know what is best for them. I’ve discovered along my teaching career that the best person who knows what they have learned and what they want to learn, is the child him/herself. I put myself in their shoes and try to think from their perspective – what’s going on in their head? Why are they bored? What upsets them? What interests them?

As a teacher, my job is not just teaching. I am facilitating and directing their thoughts. So I allow them the freedom to express themselves and I guided them to reflect on what they’ve learned.

My students also taught me that they are capable of thinking for themselves and that I ought to trust them. I need to trust and respect their decisions. Don’t we all want someone to trust and respect us? Likewise for children, they too want to be trusted and respected. I respect their learning styles. I respect the choice of words used in their essays. I respect their creativity and I hone them by giving them proper guidance and directions. I respect their thoughts expressed. Hence, teaching is about guiding students towards learning beyond their textbooks. It’s about cultivating their curiosity to continue researching on the topic/s learned for the day.

My students taught me that I needed more than just teaching, to know and understand their feelings and psychology. I need to practice the art of counseling children. I have had children with bad mood swings, who were rebellious and who had been bullied by their classmates. How they feel on that day affects their learning  – either it cripples their ability to learn or it excites or motivates them to learn. I’ve learned that I need to manage their emotions first, before I could even get them to read a passage or complete a worksheet. I’ve learned that children love it when we talk to them heart-to-heart. They love to share their feelings with you when they get the opportunity to do so. So I’ve learned that when they do, they are trusting me with their problems and I need to respect that. There’s a saying that goes ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’. But I’ll say, ‘discipline the child with kind and loving words and they will go a long way’. As a typical Chinese who grew up under the rod, I used to have the misconception that the rod is the best tool to discipline a child. But then I’ve learned that sometimes, we don’t have to resort to the rod to get our message across. It makes them even more afraid to open themselves up to you. It makes them angry and it hurts them. It makes them despise you all the more. As the bible verse states: Colossians 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Therefore, I’ve learned that I need to observe their behaviour and patiently understand their emotions before deciding on how best to discipline them. Yes, yes, patience is the essence of teaching!

I’ve learned and am still learning to understand my students’ learning ability and styles. Not all my students could write well. So I alter and adapt my materials according to their present skills so that they could learn how to write. My years of training in the education field have taught me well indeed – that we need to scaffold our lessons. It does not mean that if my students can’t perform according to my expectations, they are incompetent – it’s just that they have not learned it / acquired the skill. I need to have confidence that they have the potential to learn and flourish, and I need to give them this confidence so that they can become more than what they are. So I’ve learned to adjust my expectations according to their levels.

Lastly, my students reminded me that I am not perfect! I don’t have all the right answers to their questions. I make mistakes all the time. So I need to be a role model, to teach them that we should admit our mistakes and apologise for them. This is the hardest part of being a teacher. It is never easy to admit our faults and imperfections, what more, apologise for them. Because of my students, I’ve learned humility. And God loves a humble servant for He exalts those who are humble. 1 Corinthians 8:9 – But you must see to it that this right of yours does not become a stumbling block for those who are weak.

Sounds hard isn’t it? But I’ve learned that it isn’t that bad if I could just love them more. Because all children see in their innocent eyes is who loves them and who doesn’t With love, teaching could be the best career anyone could ever have. It is not tiresome. It is not burdensome. It is a joy!

Losing something we never had …

The fear of losing (something or someone) cripples our rationale and throws us into heaps of destructive thoughts and actions. But have we ever pondered, what if we never had these people or things in the first place?

This world is a temporary place as Carrie Underwood had sung it. Everything on this earth, will never last. Soon it will disappear and all that we claim we own, will be lost. So, is losing such a big deal? Yes, indeed it is for all of us.

I’ve been reading news on how two women (one young and one old) have lost their entire family so tragically in a fire breakout and road accident respectively, that it sent the readers to their tears. If by-readers could feel this strong emotion in them after reading their news, what more these two women who have to go through such a traumatic experience? Everyone asked, what have they done wrong to deserve this? Truth is, only God knows.

Frankly, what really cripples is is not the fear of losing, but the fear of not knowing what to do when when we lost them. How are we going to live our lives without them? How are we going to move on? How are things going to work out now, that everything has changed?

When I lost my baby, I thought God was being really unfair to me. But the suffering that everyone else go through, is no less that what I had been through. In this event, I learned that God replaces what is lost for something greater. What I’ve lost, belongs to God. He has taken back what belongs to Him. If only we could learn to accept that all things belong to God and that He is in control of all things.

I learned that hope is not as burdensome as worry, because hope brings about God’s presence in my life. Worry does not. Worry separates me from God. I worry that as I advance in age, I would not be able to bear a healthy child with my ageing body. I worry that I would not have the opportunity to be a mother in this lifetime and feeling hurt as I watch friends after friends being given this opportunity. I worry that I will be left out. And then I learned, that although I may never have this opportunity, I have God.

Will I ever lose God? Not if He can help it.

God never lies ….

Every day, every month as I continue to wait upon the Lord for His promise of a child, I have been reading His word and unknowingly, it has become a routine which I could never forgo. His word is like my heartbeat – something I can never live without!

Yesterday, again He sent me an assurance that He remembers me with a scripture taken from:

NUMBERS 23:19

God is not human, that he should lie, not human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Truly God never lies. Whatever he has said holds true and I will bask in the wondrous light of his love. As I wait, I learned to rely on Him for strength for I am weak and feeble. I do doubt occasionally but He never fails to uplift me with His word and presence of the Holy Spirit so I can stay afloat during this waiting period.

A love so divine …

We have husband and wife for 8 years and today’s our wedding anniversary … we still remain husband and wife – no extension to the family … yet. There came a time where my hope dwindled, but the Holy Spirit somehow reminded me that God is in control and He hears our prayers.

Just want to share how God has been so real to me this month that has given me a peace that is unfathomable by human understanding.

I have been monitoring my BBT for the past few years that I have become so accustomed to the routine that I know the second we have another failed attempt at getting pregnant. And so it was this month too. But this time, I felt peaceful when I looked at the dropped temperature, which meant that I would be getting my period anytime soon. We have failed once again!

Before the feeling of disappointment could sink in, God has already reassured me beforehand about His promise. That’s how I got the peace to move on with my life and celebrated our wedding anniversary today – disappointment-free.

These were the readings I received days before I knew of our failed attempt:

MARK 11:22-25

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

PSALM 46:10

He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

PSALM 48:14

For this God is our God forever and ever, he will be our guide even to the end.

NUMBERS 6:24-26

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD makes his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turns his face toward you and give you peace.”

and finally ….

1 CORINTHIANS 13:7-8

[LOVE] bears all things, believes all things, endure all things. Love never fails …

Truly after I read these verses, I felt the peace to fully trust Him once again and the hope rekindled. I know that if I love God, I ought to love him with all my heart, soul and mind and believe that with His love for me, He will never fail me …

AMEN and HALLELUJAH to a great and awesome God ….

Jar of Blessings ….

Another brand new year has started. I have been waiting for a year long to receive the bundle of joy from heaven above, but it seems like I still have to wait a little while longer. I don’t know how much longer do I have to wait, but each time I waited, I yearned for it even more.

Hubs and I are considering IVF this year. I am still very much hesitant to go through the strenuous process that entails in IVF. In fact, I get the jitters to the point of having nightmares about it each time I think of getting close to those needles. Honestly, I am extremely lost in what I should do next.

And there was nothing much I could do except to continue with the medication I am currently taking and …. praying. Not just praying, but praying with an unwavering faith and believing wholeheartedly that God will deliver his promise in His perfect timing. Though I had had disappointing moments last year, God has never left my side. I could feel his presence with me each time I pray and read his word telling me to just wait. He has not forgotten about my prayer request. And that itself is a blessing.

So this year, instead of harping on something that only God can control, I have decided to channel my attention to something else – counting His blessings! Every day, no matter how menial His blessings may be, it is still a blessing that I should be grateful for. I will write them down and put them in a jar.I believe God blesses us in many ways we many not understand or even see. And this is one way I could remember His love for me.