Book Review: The Christian Mama Guide to Parenting a Toddler 


It’s been one solid month of staying at home and embracing this whole momma calling. Can’t say I’m not loving it but this is tougher than I ever could imagine. Kudos, to all the stay-at-home-moms out there! 

It is definitely not easy to manage your own home, making sure that your entire day is not wasted and you’ve got something meaningful added to your life and your family’s life. Well, it is easy to sit back and pretend that you just don’t care, but nope, if you wanted to be intentional, then you gotta do something intentional. Besides, that is exactly the reason why I quitted my job and came to agreement with my husband to focus on home matters and discipling our child. 

Going back to the book, that is also another reason why I’m back to this whole reading routine. I am craving, desperate for learning and inputs on how I can manage our home, in God’s way. So if I can devour all the learnings, definitely I would. But of course, it takes proper execution and practice but by God’s grace – surely I will learn and I will grow. 

First on my kindle library is this book “the Christian Mama Guide to parenting a toddler” – this book takes off the seriousness and the “tiger look” of parenting. The writer who is a mama herself raised her kids in good ways, she is also very honest in admitting some of the mistakes she made – reason why Im learning a lot. I would find my self giggling in the corner while my daughter is taking her nap because of the way she wrote her stories, it is just way too honest and incredible. 

This book provides prayer both for moms and their child. Encourages you to grow as a mother without pre-judgment. It’s like hearing your best friend share her stories, without stopping, all the truth and whole picture of this and that, which is cool! 

There are also some parts of the book where you get to be surprised on how much a toddler can do, like situations a “newbie” toddler mom like me, would never imagine it could actually happen but it did happen, at least to her (based on her own stories). Situations that can help us prepare for the “what-nots”. 
I personally like the idea of “toddler proofing” my home and how to become sensitive to toodler sounds – especially in “silence”…

There are so much more to this book and I could truly say that it’s worth all the time reading it. I may have to re-read it again if I needed some sound advise on some toddler stuffs. I may try some recipes too, now that my daughter is becoming more and more choosy with the food we are feeding her. The countless chicken nuggets and spam is already getting into me, she says “yuck” to everything else except those. 

So yeah, it’s 5 stars for this book! I really love it! 

Serve our Community: Thoughts and Lessons

Serve our Community: Thoughts and Lessons

The “Serving our community” outreach project of our church brings too much refreshment to me, everytime, personally. More than an obligation or task, it blesses me more. This outreach helped me realized and confirmed that God cares for his children continously, no matter how young or old they get. Whether we are physically complete or broken, rich or poor – it doesn’t matter, God loves us all the same. God cares for us all the same. 

The uncles and aunties in one of the old folks home that we are reaching out brought so much reminder of why God gave his life for us. The very reason why He came to save us – truth is, we are all broken, abandoned, lost and weak – we all need a Saviour who can save us all from this fallen world. 

Over the past weeks and months that I have been helping, it became no longer a christian duty – but more of an encouragement to share God’s love more and make people know the goodness of being in God’s family. 

My task is not difficult though,  I just have lead songs of worship during the chapel services before the pastor shares God’s word. And though the uncles and the aunties may or may not understand or respond to the songs we are singing, I felt like I am declaring God’s word over their lives through hymns of songs. 

Google images

And the Lord never fails to amaze me eveytime, even more, on how He works into the lives of each individual in that room. I always witnessed with my eyes that some of the aunties or uncles, despite the difficulty of them raising their hands – they would try. Despite the fact that they could no longer speak, they hum the tunes. I would see tears fall from their eyes as they touch their hearts. Isnt that amazing? 

It is not that ordinary sunday platform that you can lead people who are so ready to dance and shout, or to clap and sing with the songs of worship with you. It’s a night and day difference,  The Old Folks Chapel is a quiet room where all the wheelchaired uncles and aunties are sitting in front of you, looking at you as you sing alone add to that the languange barrier. They may scold you at times, if your guitarist got to play too loud and frown at you, if you have been singing too long. 

But, this place taught me so much more. Out of the confinements of my “christian comfort zone”, here is the real deal. This is the heart if Jesus. Sharing a piece of heaven to those who need it most. Even if they don’t respond, even if there is no crowd, or band – it’s like being a small lit of light to a dimming world of our elderlies. I may not understand the situation of how is it like to be old and sick but one thing I know, God loves us whoever, wherever and wherever we are. 

And everytime I volunteer to sing in front of them, I can really sense the love of God hovering in that place each time. It’s tender, gentle and comforting presence that envelopes the whole room, everytime. Making me cry with so much gratefulness because I recognize that kind of presence, it is God’s presence – Abba Father. When He walks in the room, You know that He is doing something internally, spiritually and emotionally. It’s soul-changing. 

God loves us all the same. We need that kind of love resonating to everyone that we see. I remember a quote from John Maxwell when he said; 

“People dont care how much you know until you care”

True isn’t it? 

LESSONS

When our eyes are all focused on what we need, what we want and everything that concerns only about “us” – we easily forget the importance of living. We live for a greater purpose and not only to strive in this life – and we lose that idea of purpose when we care less about our surroundings and about others. 

Our attitudes becomes rough and tough when we dont care. That’s why Jesus during his life on earth, He did not stopped in one place – he walk town to town to reach out. Because He knew that there is just one massive number of people who needs help. 

Keep inspiring! 

Productivity: Understand the Process 

Productivity: Understand the Process 

The results of fasting, physically, is now showing some good results, which is actually a bonus. So I realized that I am already up for a good start. That’s why last night, I shared with husband Jake that I am really serious about losing 10kg off from my weight this year and so on. 

My husband is always very supportive of my goals and dreams, so he bought me some gears and dumbells to help me reach those goals. Downloaded some workout tutorial to help me tone the fatty places in my body. And though, I run almost everyday, I wanted to look as fit as I can, to look good as well. So I did check-out to see the exercises that helps me tone my arms, shoulders, etc – at first, it looked easy, but, it’s totally different when I did it, painful! 

*** 
“He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.” 

Proverbs‬ ‭12:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

So this was the verse, God dropped to my heart this morning during my quiet time with Him, it changed my perspective about the goals Ive set this year. It gave me a clearer picture of how is it like to plan “intentionally”. 

As to any goals, “preparation” is always one of the keys to become successful in reaching our target. Here in this proverb, king Solomon, uses “farming” as a visual for us to understand – how important planning is. 

 

The statement says that those who “tills” his land – will be satisfied with their bread. If we don’t prepare and just dive into things we think, we will definitely lose. We must be intentional, strategic, precise with our goals. It talked about the whole process, from preparing, to doing, to cultivating, to harvest, to baking it until it becomes bread. And he said ” we will be satisfied”, satisfaction guaranteed! 

 Planning plus hard work produces good results.


 
Warning: But he that follows a vain person is void of understanding – this is the opposite of those who don’t prepare, they follow. They follow the trend, they follow the popular and etc, but that’s not what God wants – if we want to achieve our goals we must be anchored to the goal-provider! 

 

But first what “vain” means
* To produce no result

* Conceited, excessively have high opinion about themselves

 
We choose the people we want to spend our time with. The circle and the group we wanted to build our lives with. We meet different people with different characters, and one that should be off our “friend’s list” is those that doesn’t walk the talk.

 
They blabber about this and that, but never really produced any result. To be highly effective, we need not only prepare, we also have to work hard for it and be intentional with our dealings. Our influencers and mentors should be those who can contribute to our well-being. 

***

So the rhema on me, is to become intentional with my actions, dealings and activities. I listed 3 major goals to achieve this month. I had to be realistic with this urgent goals – and I realized that there is really a process of prepping myself, the process of sacrifice, the removal of some unecessary things and so on. 

I once read somewhere, that those things we can routinize must be routinize, so we can preserve more energy in doing rather than being overwhelmed with planning. 

I have to start somewhere, so I made a daily log. And I commit to review where I spend my 24 hours to, is it productive? Does it add anything to the goals Im trying to achieve? If it doesn’t maybe I should not focusing in that activity. And so far, the results are giving me so much awareness – with the things I do. 
Here’s a sample of how my day was and what I did so far. 


Being intentional even to where we spend our time with. Making sure that our days, are filled with successful hours, productive minutes, so we can have a productive days – which will eventually result to a productive week, then productive months! 

Be Productive: Serve Our City

Be Productive: Serve Our City

My Saturday is fulfilled with great productivity and my heart is bursting with so much gladness, I was given an opportunity to serve our uncles and aunties in one of the old folk’s home in Singapore.

What a great privilege to serve the older generation for all of the contributions they’ve given, that we now enjoy currently, as the younger generation. 

My heart is bursting with so much gratitude and I felt so renewed seeing all of the older folks. More than mercy, I felt that we just needed to pour love and compassion on them. 


One of the many lessons I got in my heart today is the lesson of availability. How much are we willing to give for the people around us? How much are we willing to share to the needy? Can we open up our hands to help those who need them? 

I went home refreshed and renewed, with a different perspective about how I view people now. I was reminded that when we refresh others, all the more that we will be refreshed. 

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My prayer for you is that you’ll find time to connect to your city, to become connected to your community and become a blessing. Rather than complaining and whining about the situations of the society, let’s be that light – that shines ever brightly to the world who needs it. 

Refresh others! 

Productivity: 5 Apps (tools) to help us “plan”in reaching our 2017 goals

Productivity: 5 Apps (tools) to help us “plan”in reaching our 2017 goals

One of the many things I learned from last year which I will carry out, I think to forever – is becoming “clear and intentional” with everything. 

Last year, my husband and I were so determined in reaching our savings goal and home-acquisition goals incuding our health and fitness dreams and our timeline of going back home. 

These were all the framework that guided us in many of decision-makings last year. Of course, it demanded a lot of bargaining, sacrifices and re-alignments. It also helped us re-processed our priorities. All of that helped us reached what we wanted to achieve last year. 

2017, we are excited. 

We have lots of things to achieve in the coming days. Our calendars are quite packed with so many projects and we are grateful that we have come to this stage, where we are no longer afraid of task and goals. We were successful in training ourselves to be disciplined in this aspect, yet, we are still learning. 

As I have sat down to review what we achieved, I recognized that most of our “goals” are penned down. Most of it have timelines and checklist. Our savings goals are even calculated on a spreadsheet. Wow! (Is this us? Thank you Lord for your grace and wisdom) 

So I wanted to share 5 tools (apps) we used to help us reach last year’s goals that helped us plan better. I pray that you too, will learn to become more intentional this year, clear with your plans and more strategic. And may we all reach our targets this year and beyond. 

  • FREELETICS

  
For those of you, who have fitness goals like me, to lose weight and wanted to get the “fit” body, this app is for you. 

Freeletics is a free-app that coaches you to get fit. It is a high intensity training (HIIT) work out tool. You also have the flexibility to choose what kind of work out you want to do. You can do anything from running, body-lifting, diet and muscle toning and whole lot more. If you want to be more specific, you can use their paid ” coaches” for certain amount of dollars on a monthly basis, so to get more encouragement. It is good for those who don’t want to spend much money on the gym and wanted a hassle free training outdoors or at home. 

  • MY FITNESSPAL

  
My husband and I discovered that much of our weight gain is due to the fact that we have eaten a lot. Most of these food that we consumed are not needed and we feel that we are so irresponsible with our choices. 

My fitnesspal helped us monitor and track our food-intake. We can easily see how much we have eaten, how much water we have consumed or how irresponsible we are in our food choices. It helped us a lot specially in the area of self-control and discipline. 

***
Note: You just have to be diligent in recording on noting down the food that you are consuming so it can be tracked for you. And be honest when writing the amount of food portions and when it comes to the ingredients. 

  • ONE NOTE

  
Is a new discovery for me. I love to note, to write, to blog and to journal – all that can be placed in One Note. It’s a good place to keep all my stuffs accesible, the best part is – it can be kept in “cloud drive” so to save space on storage or if you want, you can send your notes to our own emails after writing it there, so you can have more access. 
***

To avoid digital clutter and physical clutter – I keep all my things in one place – so I can access it all at once. 

  • GOOGLE PHOTO APP 

  
This is also one of our later discovery. If you are like me who have lesser iphone storage it would be very difficult to keep all our memories in our built in “photo” storage. I read about google photos and after transferring all my photos in that app, I saved tons of space on my phone. No need for an upgrade anymore yet I can still keep those memories longer. Yes!
 And last but not the least; 

  • EXCEL/SPREADSHEET

  
Yes, excel has been my bestfriend. All our plans, income, expenses, projections and yearly plans are recorded here. I keep a spreadsheet at hand, copied on my phone so I can track all our money movements. 

One key advantage I learned as a financial planner is to become intentional with out spending habits. As they say it does not matter how much you earn, what matters is how much you save. 

I learn to keep track of every single dollar that comes out of our pocket, if we missed a month, overspend, underspend, impulsively buy something – we would definitely know. I can also easily say yes or no to a project because I am aware of how much money we have. Are we on track or are we running short – we definitely know.It helps us prioritized. It gives us an overview of what our future would be like because it’s all recorded.
*** 
There is also one reminder my Dad taught me when I was younger, which I follow even now Im older, having my own little family. 

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalms 90:12

This reminded me of the importance of planning. We cannot live life by chances. We have to be intentional, we have to account it’s value. One thing that we cannot change is “time“.

Although, it is not an obligatory requirement, yet it defintely wise to “number our days”. Know the value of each day, ask ourselves; 

Are we growing or we just getting older? 

If we are lazy and sluggard, we can easily spend our time on unimportant things or those stuffs that does not have any value. We may not even know our priorities, we will definitely get confused, like headless chickens. No goals, no dreams – no purpose. 

So this year, be intentional. Let’s all plan to succeed! Don’t give up even when it’s hard, find ways to reach your target. Be committed and be consistent – surely we will hit the goal! 
**** 

All photos taken from google images, not mine. 

Forming New Habits 

Forming New Habits 

2016 has been a good year of teachings and adjustments for me and my family. And as I write, we are 11 days away to meeting 2017, a new year. 
  
 
I am so delighted and definitely looking forward to the next year but before 2016 ends, I would like to share news that I gained some new wisdom that I’ll be taking with me for the next year ahead. Teachings and instructions from the bible and some disciplined people who are successfully living wisely. These were my take-aways from 2016 that would really help me become more productive, strategic and intentional with my 2017 goals and more. One great instruction that I received from the Lord is this; 

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:18-19‬ ‭

  

This bible verse confirms that God already had started something new even before the new year starts, He has been working things out for us and preparing since the last quarter of this year to make way for the upcoming changes that our family will face in 2017. Making me look forward to the “new” and yes, we are hopeful that there will an amplitude of blessings and favors to expect from the Lord this coming year. 

Although my husband and I are excited for these changes, the transitions of course required some re-alignment in my habits and routines as well. It was not an easy, acceptable moment – there were some trimmings and adjustments with our plans, here and there but we trusted God that He knows better, that is His nature. As a couple, our priorities also changed a lot. We learned to say no to some irrelevant activities, unnecessary expenses, we have been more thrifty towards the last quarter of this year too. Personally, I realized that there will be some things that I have to eliminate “character-wise” to give space for the new things that is coming. We cannot accept the new if we are so clumped up with the former. We learned to let go and trust God, then repeat. This last quarter of the year, it’s ad if the Lord is guiding me as well to look into the details and affairs of my life. Helping me think of the future and what really matters, so I listed some of my “macro-goals” so I can begin to visualize the process I need to work out on, henceforth so I can have a breakthroughs. Some of these were personal goals like; 
  

  • To speak in wisdom
  • Health and Weight Goals
  • Enhancing my writing ability 
  • Cleanliness and Orderliness
  • Money Stewardship 
  • Business Planning 

As I sit and write down all of it, to tackle and dissect all of these macro-goals, I realized that these were all the ingredients I need for the transitions that will happen to us beginning next year. 

So after I read my bible, receiving instructions from the Lord,  I prayed. I got inspired by the series of confirmations from the Lord I hurriedly researched to check if I can find some practical tips on how to kick off these bullet goals that I have and become more intentional in achieving it. Intentional in a sense that all of my activities should have relevance towards achieving it. Sticking to the habits if required some and etc…

 Then I found one good article writen by 99u – Scientific Ways to Build Habits that Stick and the author pointed chunks of wisdom of which he calls “scientific” or practical tips/suggestions on how to form new habits and making sure that a person can stick to it. 

Forming new habits are vital for our everyday agenda. The start is never an issue but the consistency will always be. So I must filter and make sure that my actions and decisions are producing productive and fruitful results. The productivity question always leads to: Where do we invest our time and efforts, our money and energy? 

There are ways to tackle our daily activities in order to achieve productive results, to help hs us reach our bigger goals and  make us see what to eliminate – the excessive ones. And if we are open to instructions and humble to accept wisdom from others who exemplifies it and willing to follow their ways we can surely hit our goals. Taking time to also examine our hearts to whether we are just living life as it goes or if we have become more responsible people. We can check the mundane, eliminate the unnecessary and focus on our priorities. Making us better, productive and wiser people. 

The year ahead is going to be exciting. Fired-up for changes that will soon unfold, new surprises, testings and achievements. But to whatever seasons we face, my confidence is that the Lord has already gone ahead of our future! 

Embracing the new, starting today. I have decided to start my new habits today, like “micro-quotas” vital to achieve the goals that I have set. 

  

It is also important to visualize the process that is required to achieve these goals,like this one, to enhance my writing skills and abilities, I would write 1500 words daily and post it in my blog, regardless whether I feel good or not. And if I am lazy then I am going to read other blogs first or read my bible so I can be encouraged. There are so much more in-stored for those who are willing to accept, to learn and to grow. I see myself growing in these areas and I am so excited to walk in it and hve breakthroughs soon! 

We are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but it’s a habit – Aristotle!