Today is the last day of 2008! Excitement is in the air as people all over the world gather to celebrate, to party, to countdown the last few seconds of the year. There are so many ways people will celebrate the year ending, some in reflections of how their year went, some will be busy making resolutions, some will be planning on attending street parties all over, some may be just staying at home watching TV, some might be in much uncertainty of what 2009 will bring them….
As for me, last week I came upon this poem as I was publishing my church’s monthly events calendar:
Instead of making a New Year’s resolution
Consider committing to a biblical solution
Your promises are easily broken
Empty words, though earnestly spoken
But God’s Word transforms the soul
By His Holy Spirit making you whole
As you spend time alone with Him
He will change you from within —Mary Fairchild
The little poem certainly speaks to me, as I’m not one for making resolutions. I always thought sometimes after making resolutions and then not being able to fulfill them makes one feel disappointed, and you beat yourself for failing to live up to your words. However, it doesn’t mean don’t make any commitments to anything in your heart, as the poem suggests, commit to God’s Word that is never changing. Commit to spending time with God, commit to allowing Him to change you from within.
So what was 2008 like for me? In a few words, it had been a year of many blessings, trusting in God, and seeing His promises come true, even certain trials that helped me learn.
In January 2008, I celebrated my birthday! One of the best birthdays ever. Just a day before that, I was super down when my blog was hacked. I learned not to take servers for granted and started looking into back ups. At that time, I couldn’t afford to pay my hosting company to do back ups for me, so I had to do weekly database backups myself, which was quite a chore. Last couple of months, I signed up for a backup service with my hosting company, so hurray, no more worries about lost data now. Losing my blog entries is equivalent to losing all my best memories which I journaled here.
February 2008 was one of the best months of the year. It was probably my last Chinese New Year celebrations back in Sarawak with my family as just a couple. I had a great time with my parents, my sisters, my in-laws, and the time seemed too short. In the same month I traveled to Singapore for a Cell Leadership Conference. It was such an eye opened while I was there, and so many things I learned about cell that I never could see before. I was extremely grateful for the person that sponsored me there. Another great thing that happened this month was when working hours changed from Mon-Sat week to a Mon-Fri week. That was such a super relief! It was also the first time I met Jaron, my new born nephew at that time.
In March, God’s providence continued to pour in. It was my 3rd month to be able to withdraw money from Paypal, meaning my income from my blog was steadily climbing!
In April I found myself a new hobby, sending and receiving postcards around the world. To date, I’ve sent and received 20 postcards from Finland, Germany, Japan, France, US, Australia, Italy, Denmark, Canada, and China. Well, I’ve kind of slowed down a bit now, but definitely will continue sending. It is great fun to hear from a stranger miles and miles away!
May 2008 was unforgettable as it was my first visit to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. I found KK to be the most beautiful place in the whole of Malaysia, they have the sea, they have the mountains, they have the great seafood. It was a great blessing to be able to witness God’s amazing creations there.
In June 2008, I found out I was pregnant! I praise God daily for this miracle, as we did not have to spend months and years trying to conceive like many stories we hear. The moment we decided we are ready, the next moment the baby came. I continue to praise God for giving me physical strength during my whole pregnancy, and now I’m already at 34 weeks, and for 34 weeks, I did not suffer from any physical symptoms that usually plagued pregnant women. God has totally spared me from morning sickness, from food cravings, from any possible problems so far. I continue to pray for another smooth going 6 weeks and especially the delivery and thereafter.
Just one month after the pregnancy news, God started to open the floodgates of heaven to show me He can provide for all my financial needs, especially at this time when expenses shoot up for the checkups and baby things that we needed to prepare. Out of the blue, a blogger I did not even know previously emailed me to ask me to join a company of other bloggers and get paid for writing. Blogging is my passion so getting paid for it is even better. So I signed up and got accepted, and the pay was really, really good. The supposed 3 months turned to half a year and the money was really timely that I managed to get a lot of baby things without feeling the financial stress. God is amazing! I remembered during devotions once, that God spoke to me to trust in Him concerning the baby.
August was probably the saddest month of the year for me emotionally. It was the month my old friend Elma passed away from a freak accident. It was a hard time for me, as Elma was much more than just a pet. She was hard to forget and everything around the house reminded me of her. Her being gone left a big hole in our hearts. Nevertheless, God healed the wounds and made me stronger to face unexpected events in life, and taught me that life comes and goes, but God remains the same forever. August however was also the first time I received a Google Adsense cheque.
In only a month after Elma’s passing, we received not one but two new cats. We had not wanted to adopt anymore cats for a while, but these two cats were sent to our doorstep and it was hard not to take them in. So we adopted Cocoa and Butter but Butter did not survive past two weeks due to her flu and sickness. Cocoa however is now 5 months and totally healthy, having been given 3 times vaccine and numerous deworming tablets at the clinic. God certainly provides, even in little things like these, giving us the perfect house companion in times of need. September was also a the time when God really tested our patience with the most eventful day. Well, God meant it for good everything that seemed bad for those who love Him, so eventually, we are able to smile and thank God in all circumstances.
Well, in October, my pagerank dropped! This taught me not to take my blog for granted and continue to work on it to make it better. As November came along, there is more work to be done at work, preparing for Christmas, for year end. So I continue to give thanks to God for His strength, without it I wonder where I’d be. Numerous meetings without end for all kinds of events and things, some lasting to near midnight, I had to continually remind myself that it is not me, but for God which carried me through, and true enough, the results were most fulfilling. No regrets at all. In November also, I managed to go through my Masters Work Completion Seminar. Now, this totally could not have happened without prayers from many and God’s favour upon me at that time.
And it was December. We had a successful Drama production, without all the problems I used to have, it was a big production and the stress was not as high as it was before, thank God for great committee members. Even though we faced some issues, some external problems, but nothing is impossible to overcome if you put your trust in God. In the end, I was amazed at how smooth everything went and how well it all came out. Praise God for everything, as we continue to pray for the impact on those that came and saw and made friends.
Throughout the year, new friends were made, old ones well remembered. I cherish everyone that I met along the way, and hope to know everyone more deeply in years to come. I am especially thankful to God in no particular order for my family, for relationships, for my friends, for church, for my job, for my pastors, for my fellow leaders, for my colleagues, for Kajang, for my house, for my cat, for my doctor, for my cell members, for cell, for ministry, etc etc. So many things to be thankful for. Let me leave you with this video. Reflect on your 2008, and be thankful in all circumstances. PS: Yes I like Scrabble..who wants to play?