The last few weeks had been suffocating, to the point where it was impossible to even squeak a word of “help”.

I thought that I was prepared for this crazy life of adventures, I thought I would have the stamina to last a long time. I was confident, but.. I am now reduced to clouds of doubts and fear. Do I have the strength to carry on? Will I lose my sanity? Will I have the strength to continue on in this venture? If I don’t, will I have enough to support myself and my family? So many questions, so much pressure to seek answers.

But, life is to be lived. I am sick and tired of worrying. And perhaps these mindless worries are the reasons for my weariness. See how the flowers of the fields grow when they do not even labour or spin? One step at a time, Alicia. Believe that God will provide. His grace overflows and his love abounds and if you hope, trust and obey, you will be able to soar on wings like eagles. And when you do this and look back, you will be grateful for the work God has done in you.

 

 

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School Life

Hello blog, I have missed you so! Work has been hectic, real crazy. Everyday, I feel as if I am an air molecule trapped in a long, unending wind pipe. Everyday is spent squeezing pass and with other air molecules. Every one of us is trying to make it to the exit, where we will be able to bounce freely in the open air. Things have been tough… But, I am learning, and, that’s a good thing.. I guess? After all, learning opens the eyes to a whole new world that awaits to be explored. And thus far, this is what I’ve learnt:

  1. Sleeping less than 5 hours spells disaster at work the next day.
  2. Carry a hand sanitiser, ALWAYS. You never know when a student’s mucus or saliva may land on you. I experienced both nasty situations in a day. It was… nasty.
  3. When your student gets you to ask if a bottle is okay, you jolly well look at the bottle and ask (with a stupefied look), “are you okay?” Nike was right, and will always be right. Just.do.it.
  4. You can gain instant “fame” just by informing a student’s parents that he did not hand in his work. Of course, this instant “fame” comes with many dagger stares and offensive comments. What can I say? Thank you for the support and for showering me with these gifts. I hope you will all see the good of my action, one fine day.
  5. Bubble tea and random kidnapping of colleague’s smurfette will help you release any stress trapped in the body.

Work’s been interesting. But, March holidays, come quick! I need a break.

Happiness is…

Do you get a sense of satisfaction from sitting down? (:

Happiness is:

  1. When your students come up to you to say “Good morning, Miss Alicia” with the brightest Sunkist smile, every single morning.
  2. When your student stops “cleaning” his nose in public when you give him the “I-am-watching-you” death stare.
  3. When your student does his work and keeps his worksheet neatly in his bag just because you pouted.
  4. When your students do your homework, and get them all right (:
  5. When your students share puns in class!

Gratefulness are these, because God provides joy and happy endings to seemingly endless and trying periods. And I move on with confidence, because God will do it again.

Here’s to my 1st week at Pathlight and here’s an earworm – a song to tide through the rough waters – for anyone who reads this.

When my hands stretched out towards the sky, You never let me run up dry.
When I dive into the depths of You, my heart is made anew, Jesus in You.

 

2018

It’s hard for people to predict what may happen in the coming year, much less what is going to happen in 2 years’ time, because we do not have 20/20 vision.

Happy 2018! The first week of 2018 has passed, and really soon, the year will reach the end of another cycle. Being the Singaporean I am, I was fretting over the last two weeks on the resolution(s) that I should set for 2018 – resolutions that would provide some guidelines as to how I should live a non-regrettable 2018. But, truth is, resolutions are hard. They cause the mind and body to go into endless conflict and pain, and often even if the mind is willing, the flesh is weak, and useless. It’s hard for the mind and the physical being to come to terms with a realistically challenging resolution that stimulates growth, in a manner that does not require much effort. It’s difficult for resolutions to be achieved after they are set because of the ever changing circumstances, and the often failing body.

Thus, this year… I’ve decided to go easy on myself and set one general resolution that is to ask myself “how can I love God more in whatever circumstances I am in and in whatever I am saying, doing, or thinking?”. 2018 is gonna be a year of uncertainty as I transit into a new role in a new environment. And, rather than trying to live life my own way (which never really seems to work out – I either end up losing something or getting physically or mentally injured), it’s time for me to listen to what the Creator has to say, and to sync myself with his directions so that I can receive the promises of a prosperous and hopeful future.

With that overarching resolution in mind, here are 5 things I can do to achieve my one big resolution:

  1. No matter how busy life may be, pause and take some time to rest, review and reflect. Meditate on God’s words.
  2. Not use the iPhone 30 minutes before I sleep. iPhone has been disrupting my rest, and my energy levels for the next day. Don’t even get me started on how it has destroyed my eyesight…
  3. Be a better teacher who is always on the go to find ways to engage and challenge students in learning life values. Let lifelong learning start from reading widely and experiencing life.
  4. Be intentional in maintaining relationships. Write cards for festive occasions, stick post-it notes of encouraging words on colleagues’ desk, catch up over an activity or a meal, and clear those ridiculous overdue 139 unread messages in Whatsapp.
  5. Keep a healthy lifestyle, and do whatever it takes to break the annual hospital staycation cycle. More health = more time to do other meaningful things (like creating puns)!

Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving day everyone!

On this thanksgiving day, I would like to give thanks for:

  1. The Americans in my workplace – the only two Americans, Monsieur GG and Madame MM – who reminded me that it is thanksgiving day today with a little card and my favourite snacks, Julie’s peanut butter cracker and Grand Torino Praline Di Cioccolato. Would also love to thank them for being important members of the Friday Lunch Club and Code Name Club.
  2. James, and Kristy, and Daryl, and Dhibu, and Seong Hae, and Stephanie, and Seongtae, and Jeong Su, and Quan, and Zhang Yu, and everyone else in the Middle High School department, for being an entirely pleasant and encouraging bunch of colleagues who supports me through my professionally and personal growth (:
  3. A youthful dad who disturbs me from my beauty sleep by engaging in pillow warfare, but spoils me by sending me to work and treating me to my daily breakfast combination of kaya butter toast and a hot cup of teh-o, every single morning.
  4. A caring mom who sacrifices her sleep in the morning to make me heartwarming meals that I can pack for lunch! I would have to thank her for the kilos that I’ve put on in the last few months too!
  5. A fashionable sister who shares her wardrobe with me so that I will not be the LIMElight on the streets. I’ve definitely got to give thanks for my handsome looking and mature slave, aka my brother Timo Chan, who accompanies me to watch movies, fetches the remote, towel, glass, phone and keys for me, and helps me buy my McDonalds supper when I’m hungry at night.
  6. The really cool weather during the last few weeks because cooling weather equates to less water and electricity bills, and also the light breeze makes sleeping so much more comfortable.
  7. Friday movie nights and cycling nights with Wesley@Cathay crew! Though it’s harder to make friends after entering the working world, but I’m glad to find more friends and support and accountability in the Wesley@Cathay crew. And, I am sure our relationship will grow even stronger with durian nights! PS, you know where to go to if you would like to find more friends and support! Start serving in Wesley@Cathay or join us for our Sunday services right now!
  8. Friends who care even if they are miles away. Thank you Jean, Lei Hing and Maggie for being by my side and praying for me and sharing words of encouragement with me even though you are all miles away. I love you all so, so, so, so, much and I will be back, soon (: Wait for me Rusty and Daniel! Don’t grow too fast!
  9. Pathlight – A new beginning (:
  10. Jeremy Lee, the one who supports me through and through, and tolerates all the nonsensical mischief I throw at him! But you really can’t blame me because I received all those from my dad (: Thank you for being the one I can always count on ❤