Quick Update


So my last post was quite awhile ago and I’m now a married woman! A very happily, joyfully married woman!

I’ll try to keep it brief but I tend to stress a lot about pleasing others and how my actions affect people (even the tiniest things that don’t really matter e.g. petty things). I’m trying to work through it but often as a result I feel stuck (helpless because I don’t think I can make everyone happy and meet the expectations, or tired because I’m working too hard on petty things). I’m so glad that as the days of the wedding came closer, I felt a lot more at peace about everything. God really showed me love and support through my closest friends and my family. Not only love but also really remembering the purpose of a wedding and a lifetime of marriage gave me peace because I felt so excited to marry my now husband.

The wedding day itself was wonderful. I’m so grateful for the many, many hands who helped and those who stepped into help without even being asked. I literally had nothing to worry about and all I could see was laughter, smiles and love.

Whilst it is just one day, it was such a great day to our start of married life. We loved the speeches and it was so nice to have proper conversations with those around us. Our pastor reminded us what a Christian marriage looks like and how we’re not perfect but Jesus is and we’ll need to remember His sacrificial love when we’re so frustrated with our spouses! We can forgive because we’ve been forgiven. We can have the strength to have grace because God showed us grace. The sermon was pretty funny too with some silly digs at Aaron.

As we said in our speeches, really the rest of our lifetime being married is the most important part to remember and we need to be kept accountable to our vows.

It’s only been a couple of months but I am loving married life! My husband has been so easy to get along with and we still share laughs and silly moments each day. We’re still learning more about each other but he’s been a great support and we work well as a team with the chores.

I know it’s not always going to be easy but I feel so much peace knowing that we are committed to each other and the vows we share are strong and not to be taken lightly. Marriage is sacred and I have vowed to keep my promises in all seasons and emotions.

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Reflections

A cheeky bitmoji my Fiance created of us years back when… 

Planning a wedding is difficult and it has brought me more stress and worries than I could have specifically imagined. I think this is because outside of this, I already am a worry wart.

I am grateful that I have my Fiance by my side supporting me all the way. Like we laughed about today, if it wasn’t for each other, we wouldn’t even be in this situation. This is only the beginning of many more hardships and challenges of commitment we will face. We only think we know what hardship is.

During this season of wedding planning, I have been challenged by so many things. Thinking about a wedding and getting married brings up topics of what getting married really means (what we’re saying yes to and what we might be letting go of), who are our true friends, what do our families value, what do we actually want our wedding to be about – and is that actually the reality? It has brought some harsh realizations, extreme feelings of guilt and insecurities as I make transitions, sacrifices and face the change ahead of me. When it all gets so overwhelming I have tried to pray and put my focus on God, but honestly it has been difficult to stop listening to my own voice and hear God’s. I am excited to get married and I am excited to celebrate and make this commitment but only as long as it is truly God centered. I can only have joy then because I won’t be focused on anything else and my attention will be on the truth. By being God centered, that is the only way I can truly love, respect and honor my future husband. However, I’m human and I can’t always do that and before I know it I get swept up in worries and thoughts that aren’t beneficial or productive.

I feel that by worrying so much, I have become selfish and so self focused because I have forgotten to cast my worries to my Creator. I have forgotten to focus on Him. Him being God, the creator of the universe; the one who gave me/us life, who is sovereign, who gave me the opportunity to meet my Fiance (in what I truly believe is such an unlikely relationship for starters), who has helped me every single day since the day I was born, who chose me despite my unworthiness – I could really go on and on, is here for me. What is actually important to God? God isn’t condemning me despite my imperfections and my mistakes, and because HE is judge, I should stop judging myself and let Him do it. And if He chooses to forgive me and love me, I need to learn to accept it. Who do I think I am placing all these high expectations on myself?

I am surrounded by loving people that God has provided me and I am unbelievably blessed. I don’t know why I spend time worrying when I have God on my side, my fearless leader who will always protect me and help me to face everything ahead of me.

And just like the song In Christ Alone says, I can have peace.
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

I need these constant reminders to help me through, not only with wedding planning, but everything in life that comes my way.

After having a series of difficult conversations with my Fiance today, a lot of them where I felt very overwhelmed and incomprehensible (because I had too many thoughts going in my mind), it just so coincidentally happened that a friend of mine posted the below picture on Facebook.

I sent to it my Fiance and he replied, “I don’t think you’re irrational”.

That’s probably one of the most sweetest things he could have said.

 

 

 

Inefficient friendships

Just recently a friend of mine mentioned the topic of efficient friendships aren’t always healthy. It really got me thinking. He was discussing about how when you love someone you don’t care about the boundaries such as the insecurities – you’ll go out there and spend time with this person. You’ll forsake the worries about how late it is, or that you have other things to do. It’ll be a priority to talk to this person. It won’t be ‘efficient’ anymore. If it’s too efficient it becomes a calculation. To value friendship in a less efficient manner (I’m not talking about logistics here; because we do need it) is to love like Jesus does. It’s to put their needs before your own. It’s to be willing to face rejection because they’re worth the rejection.

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.TT

Maybe I’m not explaining it all too well but it really got me thinking.

Cultural Comparisons

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It wasn’t too long ago where I found myself boarding a plane and heading all the way to the US! Keeping it short and sweet here are a few plus things that I’ve discovered along the way about living in the states!

  1. Strange vending machines don’t just exist in Japan. I have now come across ice cream vending machines, vending machines that sell pringles ANDDD frozen meals!
  2.  I’ve learnt a crazy amount about currency/exchange rates. I never thought I’d get used to the US dollar (what with the pennies, nickels and dimes?!) And the coolest thing? There’s such thing as Disney currency. Yep! There are Disney dollars and they look like pretty cute colored dollar bills.
  3. Bottomless mugs are a big normality. Bottomless meaning that sodas at restaurants are often refillable for free!
  4. Tip and tax are different. Tip and tax/gratuity are not usually included in the bill or on price points. Tax is usually about 10% of the price however gratuity could be 10%-20%, 18% if you’re on Disney property.
  5. There’s no such thing as Maccas. It’s Mickey D’s!
  6. On the topic of wording, chips = fries, soft drink = sodas, rubbish = trash, postcode = zip code, mobile = cell and there’s plenty more to add to the list!
  7. Waffle fries are an awesome delicacy.
  8. Driving on the other side of the side/being a passenger is scary. And I’m not sure if it’s an all America-wide thing but I rarely see anyone signal. I also don’t feel like pedestrian crossings have humans as the first priority…
  9. Eggs your way are really indeed eggs your way! Overhard, overeasy, scrambled, boiled, sunny side up, soft boiled AND poached! So many options.
  10.  The date order. I’ve been so used to writing date, month, year all my life but now it’s month, date, year!

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Enduring Hardships // Reflection Part 1

A while ago I did a talk about ‘Enduring Hardships with A Christ Focus’. In my talk I shared about how we could apply this focus in our lives and what the Bible says to encourage us when we go through trials and difficult times.

I thought I’d do a post on what I shared about. Perhaps at a later time I’ll share further on other points I discussed (it was quite lengthy!) and more about what I’ve been through personally.

I share this post from a Christian perspective and although I know not everyone shares the same theology I hope that if you’re going through sufferings of your own you’ll be able to find out more about who Christ is and what it means to have His love in your life.

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Scarvelli Cafe // Balwyn

First time visiting Scarvelli Cafe and it was a delight!Scarvelli TT (1)
 I liked the overall presentation of the cafe, the simple decoration of flowers on the table and how spacious it is! There is also an outside seating area which fits heaps more people (larger groups).Scarvelli TT (4)
Apart from their regular menu they also have salads, muffins and baguette type of foods at the counter area.
Scarvelli TT (3)
The menu! I was tossing up between the Good life bowl, Dukkah Eggs, Wood Fired Salmon, Open Omelette and the Chilli Eggs & Ham – hahaha, too many choices meaning I’ll be back!
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#yayfortealeaves #noteabagsatcafesplease (unless it’s teadrops/tea2 in my opinon…)Scarvelli TT (5)
Chilli Eggs & Ham // $16.50
Boyfriend said it was delicious :) He really liked the presentation – the eggs reminded him of ying/yang.Scarvelli TT (6)
 Wood fired Salmon // $17
This was my dish! It was so delicious. One of my favourite breakfast dishes I’ve had no joke. I thought everything complimented each other really well – I liked the citrus flavours (I think from the mustard salsa and avo) against the crispy polenta. #justyum. I wouldn’t say I was full afterwards though, but it was a comfortable stomach.
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The waiters were friendly and the atmosphere was nice. I came on a rainy day too. The only downside was that it did take awhile for the food to come out after our orders were placed. The food was worth it though! I’ll be back :)

Scarvelli Cafe on Urbanspoon

“Impossible/Possible List”

tangertalksI’ve decided to give this ‘Impossible List’ as inspired by Mishyymoo a go! The original ‘The Impossible List*’ comes from Joel Runyon who says that The impossible list is that* challenge. This list of impossible things contains all the things I ever thought I couldn’t do because it was “impossible.”

I’ve decided to do a SLIGHTLY different take and incorporate some general goals of mine into the list as well. I’ll probably add/edit/cross of and work on this list throughout the year/my life (haha – probably life – I think it’ll be awhile before I even begin to attempt some!)

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Moka Pot Cafe (Good Food, Iffy Service)

Moka Pot Cafe
They provide breakfast, lunch and drinks (breakfast till 2:30PM!)
I’ve been to Moka Pot Cafe a few times and each time the food has been quite good. It’s definitely more costly than Aura Cafe but the food is probably just a tad better here – however their service is not (Aura has top notch service, friendly staff members who greet you and check on you once in awhile). I have to say at Moka Pot Cafe it’s been highly disappointing. I really don’t know why because Moka Pot Cafe is generally quite busy and has pretty good reviews on Urbanspoon – it’s a visually appealing place and it just SEEMS like a friendly environment so I get drawn to wanting to go in (it does look inviting from the outside) but the last two times I’ve gone, I haven’t really been greeted at the door, instead slightly ignored. I will continue this line of thought at the end of my blog post since it’s quite long (Don’t read it if you don’t like rants!). For now, moving onto the GOOD stuff – the foooood!!! 

The last time I came here, I ordered the Egyptian Eggs ( poached eggs, dukkah, spiced pumpkin, caramelised onion, spinach + toasted Turkish pide) and it was SO good. I really enjoyed the combination and they were generous with the amount of pumpkin they gave (cubed pumpkin). The flavours and spices went well together. I remember I thought that it may not be filling without toast but it was just right. I was so tempted to try it again, but decided to go for their Health Kick (though they had this special mushroom dish which sounded pretty good).

moka3Health Kick $16.9 // poached eggs served w/ confit tomato, smashed avocado, spinach, tomato relish on multigrain toast)
Disappointing smashed avo (quite a thin mushy layer of it), but I loved the tomato relish combo with the poached eggs and spinach. (SERIOUSLY YUMMY RELISH!!) Overall a good dish and quite filling too. (Fills you up more than the Egyptian Eggs). I like the concept of the dish with smashed avo because at other cafes you usually only have the option to get smashed avo by itself or just with eggs.moka2Big Breakfast 19.9// choice of poached, fried or scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash brown, mushrooms, oven roasted tomato, spinach + toast
I didn’t order this dish (bf did) and it looked very yummy! Nothing too special about it though. The negatives is that bacon (a lot of the pieces were quite burnt), but those scrambled eggs and mushrooms look very nice! It was a pretty big serving as well. 
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Having joy is not the same as being happy // Reflections

Joy is an amazing feeling and a wonderful way to live and view life, but it can often be confused with ‘happiness.’joy

Sometimes joy doesn’t come so easily because of our emotions, our situations, and what we currently have.  We can often fall into the trap of focusing on what we don’t have  and if you’re spending all this time wishing life was something else, it’s going to be pretty easy to feel unhapppy. It also brings up the problem of discontentment and comparing yourself with others (which completely sucks! But we’re humans and it’s something we are ALL capable of feeling). Now of course, there are plenty of situations to be unhappy, sad and miserable about and it’s not really unjustifiable… In a fallen world, that’s something to be sure of. I’m definitely not saying you have to be happy or telling you to be happy…What I am saying is that JOY and HAPPINESS are different! You can still be capable of having joy in your life despite your circumstances.

Trouble is going to come our way in multiple occasions but  it can be used for good! That’s why we need joy in our lives. Joy is being able to get through these difficult circumstances and these tough and hard to deal with emotions because there is HOPE in God. With hope, there is peace. We can find rest and assurance knowing that  even though sometimes things are just out of our control, there is God. We can put our faith into believing that whatever happens God CAN still make good happen. That whatever He chooses to do, even if we don’t understand why, it is still part of His sovereign will and that one day it will all come to light. God is still a LOVING and JUST God. It’s a struggle of faith when we can’t seem to see these characteristics, but I believe that God is still above us, and who are we to question his decisions? He doesn’t change and he’s loving, so what happens – the bad- the terrible- I wouldn’t say God is happy, but if He allowed it, we can still turn to him for comfort, instead of anger.

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