A Chore for Everyday

A Chore for Everyday

Friday, November 13, 2015

My Goal is God Himself--Not Joy, Nor Peace

I have been quite wordless these days. My heart is often in turmoil and my mind vexed. Nevertheless, He holds my hand gently and speaks to me lovingly.

Words by F. Brook
Music by Mark Giacobbe

My goal is God himself--not joy, nor peace
Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God
'Tis His to lead me there, not mine, but His
"At any cost, dear Lord, by any road!"

So faith bounds forward to its goal in God
And love can trust her Lord to lead her there
Upheld by Him, my soul is following hard
Till God hath full fulfilled my deepest prayer

No matter though the way be sometimes dark
No matter though the cost be oft-times great
He knoweth how I best shall reach the mark
The path that leads to him, it must be straight

One thing I know, that "no" I cannot say
One thing I do, I press towards my Lord
My God my glory here, from day to day
And in the glory there my great Reward


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

1 Week to 15 April 2014

When I had only Sethia, I thought to myself, how could I love another little person as such.

When I had both Sethia and Hana, I thought to myself, how could I love another little person now that I was bursting with love I could not contain.

And as I grew bigger and heavier with another little person, I thought to myself, is this what the Bible means by "love never ends" (1 Cor. 13:8)?

You're welcome soon, little one. I have been waiting for you the whole of my life.

8 April 2014, 1 Week to Due-date


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Why Love Never Ends (And Why Everything Else Does): http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/november/love-never-ends.html

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

31 Weeks

"He is obviously posing for you!" (The Midwife)


"As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all." Eccl. 11:5

"To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:25-31

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Di-di (Little Brother)

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. (Psalm 128:3-4)

Children are God's blessing. So, LORD, this is me trusting You.

Week 20. A baby Boy, due in April 2014, D.V.

Coveting your prayers,
Adi, Grace, Sethia, Hana


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Unloosed and Frantic

1. Unloosed: http://www.feminagirls.com/2013/11/15/unloosed/

So many things about mothering are harder than I thought they would be. So many moments that didn’t sound hard in advance, didn’t sound hard at the time, and didn’t even sound hard when I was trying to explain them to my husband through tears. There are just so many opportunities to be surprised by your own weakness. 

It wasn’t that I had a low view of motherhood coming into it – I knew it would be hard. I guess the thing that I didn’t realize was what kind of hard it was going to be. I got on this treadmill expecting a hard work out of running, and I had good shoes. I was ready! What I was not prepared for was being pelted with potatoes while I was running. I didn’t realize that the real struggle of motherhood is not the using of my own strength, but rather the exposing of my weakness. 

I don’t think that this is unique to me. There is a reason that you hear mothers so often talking about being burned out, being tired, being lonely, feeling lost, being discouraged. There is a reason that women so often turn to doubting their worth as a mother or as a wife. There is a reason that we are so quick to feel inadequate, so quick to feel like we are doing the wrong things, and so quick to want to give up. There is a reason that we are so vulnerable to stupid fights about mothering methods, so quick to be threatened and hurt. 

The things that we have come to believe about the value of life, the quality of life, the kind of work we should desire, and the kind of reward we should receive have been painstakingly imparted to us by the world. We are a generation of women who grew up in a world that corsets young women with selfish desires, shallow ideals, visions of unattainable beauty, and a false understanding of success.The kinds of muscles that we need to be a mother at home with a bunch of kids are seriously out of practice. How bizarre is it that a woman with a brood of little people growing up in her care, with her love can regularly wonder what it would be like to do something important? How is it possible that we can easily get discouraged and feel like this work – this work of being everything for other people – isn’t enough for us? What has gone wrong that we can actually feel hurt by a stranger counting our children or laughing at our pregnant bellies? We are simply finding that we are unable to sit up in bed without the encouragement of the world.

And this is what I mean when I say that the true challenge of motherhood is meeting your own weakness.

2. Frantic: http://www.feminagirls.com/2013/11/19/frantic/

But it wasn’t that long ago. Only a handful of years ago in our house, if playing in the toilet had come to a vote, I could have lost. The people could have spoken and called it all good fun. I was outnumbered, outsmarted, outrun, and seriously outdone. My days at home were blindingly tiring. I’m not exaggerating, and I know some of you are right with me here. Many of you are still in it. You are hanging on by a thread. You are puking in the bathroom for the 10th solid week in a row while little children whom you love dearly are running around the house largely unkempt and unruly. You are lying on the couch trying with all your might to eat a cracker and not smell anything. You are wary of people who smell like showers. Or onions. Or garlic in yesterday’s food. You resent people who talk about tortillas. You are holding your breath as you walk into the kitchen and fill a sippy cup against all odds. Or you might even be as desperate as I have been and tell children who certainly aren’t big enough to go ahead and pour themselves juice.

I recently spoke at a local MOPS group, and during the question and answers, a lady in the audience asked me about my coping mechanisms. And when I looked out to talk to this brave soul with her three under three, I saw it in her eyes. Oh, how I remember that time. It was a desperate time – and here I am, surprised as anyone to be looking back on it. But I want to write to you who are still in it and tell you a few things. Don’t believe that you have made a mistake that this is what your life is like. These little people were called by God to your house now. He knows what He has given to you to do, and in the middle of all this craziness is some profound mercy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Parting, Meeting, Making Friends

Never shall I forget the partings I have had in my life. They are such a rending thing I shall never want to repeat them.

God Himself has led us to Plymouth. God's leading to us was not so much by any miracles, such as a pillar of fire, an audible voice, an angelic visit, handwriting on the wall. It was by ordinary methods by which in combination God seems to nudge us in the paths of righteousness, through circumstances, commonsense, godly counsel, biblical principles.

Plymouth was God's will, so there was peace in my heart as we prepared to leave Trondheim. But, it did not utterly cancel the pain of parting. It was so depressing to say good-bye.

And then I became quite seriously ill. It was quite plain I had the recurrence of thyrotoxicosis symptoms but I ignored them initially; we were so busy moving from one place and settling down in another. Soon enough the disease developed that I barely had sleep. When I laid down I felt my heart palpitations and noticed tremors in my hands and body. My bowel frequency increased to 4-6 times a day and my eyes watered and burned so much I would rather having them closed. After examination [this was in June] the doctor recommended a minimum of 12-months treatment with anti-thyroid drugs, during which I was advised not to plan to conceive whilst thyrotoxic because of the high risk of miscarriage.

I have not been imagining that I missed Trondheim and its people, have I? :')

With medication, I am slowly regaining my health - and my enthusiasm. And I have also met a few mother-friends.

Our house is at the end of a row of houses, which share a common private pathway away and safe from traffic. Some of our neighbours are families with small children. I have met V, with her three girls, H with a 2.5 year old girl with her 2.5 mths old twin-girls, T with a girl called E who is a little older than Hana, & some older boys and girls who belong to other families. At late afternoon just before "tea" (they call dinner "tea" here :)), the mothers chit-chat while we watch the children play together on the pathway. We are really thankful for the pathway that helps connect people. At toddler-groups in different churches, I met H and R, each with two boys. There is also L and her family of 4 who live in the countryside, and then S, a homeschooling mother of 5, whose homeschooling home I frequent at least once a week. It is not uncommon here to keep the young ones mostly home until they are at least four or five years old, so this presents opportunities for Sethia and Hana to make friends even outside schools/nurseries/child-cares.

I believe a place grew to be special to us because of the memories of friendships that we made. That was why each parting that I had was more painful than one before.

Have we made friends in Plymouth? I remembered I wrote this several years ago, when I met Adi as a friend and brother in Christ:

"Friendship nowadays appears to be a broad and common interest, but it is ones with you which finally urged me to write about it. These friendships I do not make, these friendships I find myself in, these friendships spring. I find them, or rather not I, but the God in me and you. You my friends, come to me unsought, God gave you to me. A friend is not gained, a friend is given, a friend is a gift. I have always wondered, what brings two friends together? How does one become friend of the other? I cringe at the idea of discernment or taste. We often talk about choosing friends, in fact friends are self-elected, or more aptly, divine-elected. As Jesus says, you have not chosen Me but I have chosen you, friends have not chosen one another but He has chosen them for one another.

To love is to ask not to be loved in return, but to be a friend to you is to have you have me as your friend too. When the goodwill and delight and tenderness and warm caring in and for the other cease to be reciprocal, friendship ceases. With strength of God’s love, I can choose to love. But I cannot choose to make friends. I cannot make friendships. People are tied by admiration, by hope, by fear, by duty, by circumstances, by hate, by love, but friends are drawn together to each other by something more than that. There is some spontaneity and absence of calculation involved in it, a leaning of mind rather than an awareness of what is to be contributed or to be derived from it. I admit I used to put you on the pedestal, I knew then it was not a friendship. When I stop looking up or down at you, and when I start looking at you yourself, you become my friend.

Only God can turn evil to good, and only God can wreak havoc in the corrupted course of nature, even if that slice of nature is called the self of weak human being, the weak you and me. I have to be patient with whatever wrong I cannot make right in you and me. If I cannot bend my will to what I would wish to be, how can I bend your will? I cannot want you to be severely corrected while I do not correct myself. But we do not have to be perfect to correct, to counsel, to advise each other. No man is perfect, no man is without fault, no man is without burden, no man is sufficient on his own and no man is wise enough. It is our dues therefore, to support and build each other. No gift is too trivial and no man is too good for the meanest service. Each and everyone are a student and a teacher." (http://reposeinthee.blogspot.co.uk/2007/06/letter-to-friends.html)

Have we really made friends in Plymouth, I asked myself again and again. The answer has been, I am hopeful. GOD has chosen them for us when He appointed us to Plymouth.

"I really hope that you get good friends, spiritual friends in Plymouth, by patience, watching and praying. I think you can wait for the godly friends from God." -EF


Make us Thy labourers,
Let us not dream of ever looking back,
Let not our knees be feeble, hands be slack,
O make us strong to labour, strong to bear,
From the rising of the morning till the stars appear.

Make us Thy warriors,
On whom Thou canst depend to stand the brunt
Of any perilous charge of any front,
Give to us the skill to handle sword and spear
From the rising of the morning till the stars appear.

Not far from us, those stars,
Unseen as angels and yet looking through
The quiet air, the day's transparent blue.
What shall we know, and feel, and see, and hear
When the sunset colours kindle and the stars appear?
(Elisabeth Elliot)


From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier would follow Thee

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,)
From all the dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.
(Elisabeth Elliot)

Blest be the dear uniting love
That will not let us part:
Our bodies may far off remove,
We still are one in heart.

Joined in one Spirit to our Head,
Where He appoints we go,
And still in Jesus' footsteps tread,
And show His praise below.

O may we ever walk in Him,
And nothing know beside,
Nothing desire, nothing esteem,
But Jesus crucified.

Closer and closer let us cleave
To His beloved embrace,
Expect His fullness to receive,
And grace to answer grace.

While thus we walk with Christ in light
Who shall our souls disjoin,
Souls, which himself vouchsafes t’ unite
In fellowship divine!

We all are one who him receive,
And each with each agree,
In him the one, the truth, we live,
Blest point of unity!

Partakers of the Saviour’s grace,
The same in mind and heart,
Nor joy, nor grief, nor time, nor place,
Nor life, nor death can part:

But let us hasten to the day
Which shall our flesh restore,
When death shall all be done away,
And bodies part no more.

Monday, June 10, 2013

SODD meetings

 Another Sunday has been here and gone. How was your Lord's Day, my friends? May you who love the Lord find delight and peace in one another's presence, face to face.

Adi told me he missed the "Sodd meetings". For a moment I was puzzled, "Sodd meetings?" "Sodd meetings, whereby we would have Sodd and share God's Words." Oh, I missed them so, too.

But it is only for a while that we part, for this thought soothes our pain, that we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

Come over for a sort of British meal. Baked potatoes with butter and grated cheddar, thick pork sausages, watercress spinach ruccula peashoots & cherry tomatoes for salad. Olive oil is essensial.

We await you in Plymouth!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Congratulations, Adi: Our Desires and God's Will

"God bless your time as you all now are busier with the new addition. May God provide the desires of your hearts regarding what's going to happen after Adi's sponsorship is over. Praying with you. Take care." - m

"I have been getting updates and was hoping that you and family will settle down here. God's will is the best." - eu

"... Of course, personally, we also have our desires that you can come back to Singapore to labour in PCC together. But we must also submit ourselves to His higher will. ... because God's will is the best." - ss

" ... our God Almighty is good, and He leads us gently into the place that He wants to be, in His time." - hj


Singapore, 16 Feb
Dear Pastor,

I have just arrived in Singapore today. Sorry for my delay in replying, as I did not have good internet access while in Indonesia.

Singapore, 19 Feb
Dear Pastor,

Thank you for remembering us. Today was the interview with the search committee, meeting with the Dean and Head of Dept. I hope they went well. Tomorrow afternoon will be the seminar [in NUS]. In the morning I am visiting NTU."

25 Feb
Dear Pastor,

I arrived safely in Trondheim on Thursday afternoon. On Wednesday evening, while waiting for my flight at the airport, I had a telephone interview with Plymouth University. On Friday, I had another telephone interview with the University of Manchester. Both are for research positions on wave energy.

Now both of them have decided to offer me the positions. I have promised one of them to give an answer today. I have yet to know the outcomes of my applications to NUS and NTU. I am inclined to accept either one of the offers by the British universities; then I will start working in April/May.

As you have lived in the UK for some time, I would like to seek your advice on the two places, in terms of church and family life, and other aspects which should be taken into consideration.

I would be grateful for your advice.


13 March
Dear Pastor,

I have decided to accept the offer from Plymouth University. I am still waiting for the formal documents to arrive in the mails, which will allow us to apply for visas, etc.

Our initial plan was for me to go to Indonesia by the expiry date of our current permits, that is, 15 March, and come back here in April for my defence, with a visitor's visa. But then in the final week of February I found that one cannot come back to Schengen area with a visitor's visa at least 3 months after leaving the area. Finally we decided that Grace and the children should come back here before our current permits expire on 15 March. So last week I made a quick trip to Indonesia to pick up Grace and the children.

8 April
Dear Pastor,

Thank you for your message.

After my last update, I fell sick, and then also the whole family. It was a few days of fever and weakness, with bad cough and sore throat. Thank God that we are all well again now.

At the end of March we had to move to a new apartment, because our initial plan had us rent the previous apartment only until March. The university apartments are all fully booked until November, while people usually do not rent out apartments for only a month. So we thank God for His provision just at the right time. We have also extended our permits to stay in Norway until the end of this month.

Because of our illness, we had to delay applying our visas to UK, which requires us to travel to Oslo. Only last week we had our applications sent. We are now waiting for the outcome. It may take about 2 weeks to process.

I am required to start working in Plymouth from May. God willing, we will move to the UK by the end of this month.

Please pray with us as we make all the necessary preparation, and for my defence, which is yet to take place on 23 April.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tulisan Nainai

(A writing by Grandmother)

My mother-in-law's writing!

Xiexie, Ma, for writing so well. It inspires me to instill the love of reading and writing in Han-ye and Han-na, like you did in your sons.

Xiexie, Ma, for writing so well of us here as well. It encourages me to give even more of myself to your son and your son's children.

How blessed one is to have a loving mother-in-law. :')

Xiexie, Ko Budi, for translating ever so promptly. I hope Han-ye and Han-na will grow as close as An-an and Bing-bing were and have always been. :)



End of Year Bits

Today is December, 30 (Sunday). Went back home after church in the morning, my younger brother gave me his house keys. He, sister-in-law, with their son and daughter were going to Surabaya, to gather together for two or three days. Not long, Mr. Wu came to buy cigarettes, he told me that he and family were going to Surabaya, his wife’s brothers and sisters who live in Bandung and Jember would get together in auntie’s house in Surabaya. Her house is big. Before leaving, he said, "yu duo hao zhong tian, ren duo hao guo nian" (much rain make good farming, many people make good new year celebration). He said it spontaneously, really amazing.

I recall watching the CCTV 4 programme "Yuanfang de jia bei wei 30 du" (Faraway Home - 30 Degrees North Latitude). The crew went to Yuechi in Sichuan. Yuechi rice vermicelli have more than 300 years of history, it is well renown. There is an old rice vermicelli shop there which has many customers. On the front door beam hung a shanglian (first line of a couplet) which says: "Yuechi hao, hao Yuechi, Yuechi mifen yue chi yue hao chi" (Yuechi is good, good Yuechi, Yuechi rice vermicelli the more we eat it, the more delicious it is). The xialian (second line of a couplet) is ???? Who can complete the couplet with a xialian, can eat rice vermicelli for a lifetime for free here. But after three years, no one can do it. My husband tried this, "Sishui lü, lü Sishui, Sishui lühua ren ren dou you ze" (Surabaya is green, green Surabaya, greening Surabaya is everyone’s responsibility). (smile).

Because the situation in Indonesia is quite stable, in 2011 and 2012, Indonesia were able to maintain its 6% economic growth. The improvement of economy and society has made the number of middle class people increased, and this drove consumption. 70% of Indonesia’s population is 20-50 years old labor force. This brought swarming foreign investments, reducing unemployment rate. We hope in 2013 Indonesia can maintain its powerful economic growth. A friend said, at the past, if school started in July, and Idul Fitri was in August, there would be not much business in September. People’s savings were already well spent in July and August. But this year is unexpectedly different, after Idul Fitri, people’s business were still hot, it even made the merchants exhausted. They used this two days holiday to rest their body and mind, and also used it as an opportunity to get together with family, which is a good thing, because it enhances relationship in the family.

My husband turned the computer on, and found that our daughter-in-law from far away on the north had sent a video recording of grandson and granddaughter. Today, grandson Han Ye is 22 months old, granddaughter Han Na is 7 months old. The recording showed the two kids were reading books. Little Ye took an animal book, he pointed at A and said "A", opened page after page, learned saying lion’s roar and dog’s sound. He took another book, on the cover is a family picture. He pointed at "father" and said loudly "papa", pointed at "mother" and said loudly "mama", pointed at "little sister" and said "meimei", then pointed at Han Na and said "meimei". This time, he crawled over and kissed his little sister’s forehead, it’s really touching. It’s winter there, there are only four hours of daylight. Outside was freezing cold, inside the house three people were waiting papa to come home. Thank you, daughter-in-law! You had patiently accompanied the children to play.

A month ago she sent us the recording of "preaching" little Ye. He sat beside a table, in front of him was the Bible. He constantly babbled in 14 minutes full. His voice was sometimes high, sometimes low, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes he raised his hand and pointed at the lines of the book page, afterward raised his hands high, as if really putting on grand airs. Little Ye, you are grandpa and grandma’s pleaser! At the end, happy new year everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2012

This is the way we use our hands

S: We put them on our laps, Me..
H: Yes, Koko!

S: Then we clap our hands. OK?
H: Okay, Koko..

S: We can also draw a circle in the air.
H: Wow, you are smart, Koko!

S: Urmm. That's all.
H: That's all, Ko?

Activity for Sethia: Stickers-pasting

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Only Christ

Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? - Proverbs 20:6

G: "It is you, Di."
A: "No. Only Christ."

Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? - Proverbs 20:9


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A company makes for a happy reading

S: Meme, let us read together yaaa!

S: I'll read this book for you, Me! 


S: ... Finishedddd!
H: Thank you, Koko, that was nice. Will you read for me again next time?

S: Anytime, Me. Anytime at all.