Child-like happiness and family time bubbles

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To be a child, is a lovely thing.

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How incredible it must be, to be able to rest in the knowledge, knowing that you are provided for? Not having to worry about what lies ahead, for your every step is watched?

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A child is never bored of the same toys, and she finds delight in exploring simple things.

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Every day springs forth a freshness. Curiosity begets experiences.

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A child can teach you more about happiness than what you can imagine.

I hope to always have a child-like sense of wonder, for there is so much to learn from children.

(A tribute to the young ones around me, my beautiful niece Keira Rose and our ever-loving family, the stars in my life).

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“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” —Henri Nouwen

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” -Abraham Lincoln

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
~Matthew 18: 1-4

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A Love Letter from God to a Single Singaporean Christian Girl

It’s been a while. My future husband must be lost, and he must be too stubborn to ask for directions.

The more I love God, the more my perspective of romance and relationships change. I wouldn’t date some of the guys I used to date, and I definitely don’t look for the same qualities that I looked for 5 years ago. Morals and maturity are more important than money, men with holy hearts suddenly appear on the attractiveness scale more than handsome ones, BMWs and bottle-popping have a much lower importance than biblical values… Please don’t faint, I don’t think anyone ever expected a Singaporean girl to talk like that!

#gonearethestereotypes

Will other real Jesus girls please stand up so I don’t feel so alien and strange?

Keeping my first love for God is hard, but most days I couldn’t be happier at the emotional space and time I have to spend with family, helping out friends, playing with other people’s kids, traveling, sorting out my business projects, trying to be a blessing and all-round making myself a better person. Sometimes I’m sharing so much on Facebook that it looks like my social media is on steroids. I have gone a bit crazy on Instagram (@estellekiora)!

A few of the days though, it feels unfair and lonely. The world is cold and cruel without someone to cuddle you. You flick through your Facebook feed and it looks like your friends have got a nicer car or cooler boyfriend. You wish you had more money and shiny things. You watch some stupid movie’s ridiculous love story and you feel vulnerable and inedequate.

“What do they deserve that I don’t? When is it my turn?”

“Matthew 6:19-21 – Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
It’s only human of us to compare, envy, and look at others when we should just really be looking at God. Don’t look down on yourself – look UP.

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In need of some encouragement, I spent some time with God and wrote a letter to myself. If God sent snail mails/emails/Tweets/Facebook messages, this would be it. This is what I imagine God would say to me – and to you – if you’re a single Jesus girl like me.

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Dear child,

It is so great to hear from you. I’ve missed you so much. I love you and I am saddened to see that you feel alone. It breaks my heart that you miss having someone hold, or even to stroke your hair. I understand that while I am with you always, but you may not feel my presence. I assure you that I am with you always – I was with you while you were rushing around Raffles Place yesterday, while you grabbed that coffee at Starbucks, and even when you were sleeping on that plane to Hong Kong. When you quiet the things around you, you will hear my voice. Talk to me often, for I always want to hear from you.

It makes me glad that you are spending your time in worthy and wise ways, in your quest to become stronger, sweeter, smarter, and everything else that I have laid out in Proverbs 31. I have a wonderful man that I am preparing for you, the same way you are preparing yourself for him. He will be attracted to you not for your body, but because you are beautiful inside out. “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised. Proverbs 31:30.” He will pursue you with a passion, as I loved the church. Chivalry is not dead and he will be a gentleman, romancing you the way you desire in your heart. He will challenge you, travel with you, grow with you and he will most certainly make you laugh.

“Proverbs 4:23 – Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the wellsprings of life. ”
Your heart is the wellbeing of your life. How you treat your heart, will translate into everything in your life. So keep guarding your heart, so that someone would have to come to me for it. I created you and I want the best for you, please don’t throw your purity and values away. You are far too precious to waste it, and such fleeting situations will not give you the happiness and satisfaction that you seek – only I can. I know you crave physical intimacy, and fear that you will not find something emotionally deeper. Come to me first to fill you up with love, because I am the only one who will never run dry or disappoint you. You feel something or someone missing in your heart, but it’s not what – or whom – you think.

It has taken you and your future husband time to learn these things.

He is not ready for you yet, but he will be. He will be the best man he can, but are you ready to compromise some things to be the ideal partner for him, too?

My princess, you may not presently understand my plan for you, but trust me for it. I have died and rose again for you. I sit with my angels in the heavens and watch you. Your heart is so precious to me, and only a man who treasures it will be worthy of it. I know you are in a haste, but I do not work within the constraint of time, so you are still young and you still have plenty. Don’t forget to enjoy your freedom now, I want you to have fun and fill your life with fulfilling things. Singleness is a desirable gift (1 Corinthians 7), so enjoy and embrace it. Remember Ruth, and I will give to you as I have given her Boaz.

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Don’t give up on me yet. I’m here and I love you.

LOVE,
GOD

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Singlehood doesn’t have to suck – let’s all try to enjoy the Jesus journey we are on.

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Spending a week in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia is heartbreaking, but will make you a better person

I love my country, but Singapore is getting too glitzy and I know I need to shake myself out of this spoilt bubble that I’ve created around me. Singaporeans like me spend hundreds of dollars on taxis every month, and it has become so normal to watch my friends or overseas visitors spend anywhere from $2,000-$30,000 a night at my favourite nightspot haunts. Having my own business now means that I need to better appreciate the value of money, so I am taking a break with my parents to visit their friends in Cambodia. I need to escape this unhealthy perspective that I sometimes create for myself in my comfort zone at home.


Phnom Penh is much cleaner and has a surprisingly slightly westernized landscape. My days here are easily filled with $3-5 meals in beautiful restaurants, $1-2 coffees and drinks at spacious alfresco settings and conversations with a substantial number of expatriates – mostly sent here to work with the government, business projects and NGOs.


With the strength of my US dollar or Singapore dollar, it is simply impossible to be disappointed with $2 clothes at The Russian Market or Central Market, sleeping in $40 boutique hotels, or enjoying $9 per-hour massages at fine spas.


(Cambodia… #likeaboss)


In the rural countryside, the clouds are much nicer and there is lots of space. Locals tread under the searing sun and atop raw sandy land, going about their day to day.

It’s common to see motorcycles carrying trays of heavy and bulky items, or 3 adults clutching each other as scarfs and hats shade most of their face. Skinny cows or cats roam the land, and young children beg me everyday for food or money. Some are commonly run by begging syndicates and by giving in to one person, you are usually just disappointing 100 others. I want to give them all the dollars I have, but I know that’s not the way to help get them off the streets. The Cambodians need more than just money to break their poverty – they need a lot of support, jobs, education, love and probably a miracle.


Sure, people see that the Golden Triangle (Thailand, Cambodia and Laos) is dirty and backward, but when I look at Cambodia with my heart instead of my eyes, I see so much more.


(Challenge your compassion – go back in time and witness the horrors of humanity at the Genocide museum and The Killing Fields.)

The Cambodians are lovely people, albeit shy and fearful – oppressed by the unfortunate circumstances that toppled their once glorious kingdom. They were the second richest empire next to the Roman empire! How could so many problems happen to one country in such a short period of time? I am deep in sad thought as I sit in my wonderful air conditioned first class bus and eat my Twisties.

It’s one thing to see pictures or read books, but being present here will fill you with genuine understanding and clear impact of the change that the nation needs.
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(Still in Cambodia on the way to Siem Reap… More stories and pictures to come soon.)

Just another late night Saturday soul searching

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I searched with all my heart,

to know if God was really there;

He graciously revealed himself,

through his mercy, love and care.

(Image from Google)

Don’t listen to me… Just 5 Lousy Lessons in Love I’ve learnt this week

BEFORE we grew up, we were told fairytales and were showed that knights in shining armor would canter in on magnificent horses and sweep us off our feet. If Princesses fell asleep for forever, a Prince Charming would find you and romantically kiss you in your sleep. (Dragon slaying totally optional.)

Not everyone gets their royal fairytale.

AFTER we grew up, we watched Hollywood shows and my oh my did that make things worse. It promised love in vampirism or violence. Everyone dies or everyone cries. The exclusively rich and good looking were bad boys. The few good men didn’t lie or cheat, and would dramatically chase you down the street.

Twilight says love is dangerous/jealousy/twisted/beastiality and borderline incestous...?


Kids, none of this is true.

I’ve learnt some lessons in love of late, and I thought to share some of my own with you.

Disclaimer: This blog post is not actually meant for “kids” (under 18s).

1) Love gives you heartache, but it also gives you a headache. Both hurt.

2) Many girls like to be chased, but not all want to be caught.

3) If you play the game of love, it doesn’t matter who holds the best cards – no one ever wins.

4) Love is like acne.

People tell you it’s this thing that’s big and red, and you don’t realize how painful it really is until you have it.

It comes and goes, but will it go away? If you don’t touch it the right way, it could pop.

They never really heal, and the scars will remind you of the battles you have fought and lost.

Be careful, things could get ugly.

5) For those who know nothing of how to satisfy a woman, let me teach you this – the G spot is located at the end of the word shopping.

In my case, mine’s located in eatinG.

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Where’s my prince charming?


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Where the fairytale ends, real life begins.

Looking for (real) love

Have you ever lost an important deal, got your phone stolen, been disappointed by a close friend, or been heartbroken? Then you know how I feel.

People seem to think I’m some infallible social barbie who lives in a perfect material world. My life is full of good things and cool people right?
At the very most, someone like me should have the least problems in finding a boyfriend or having friends right?

Yeah right.

These same people might be surprised to discover that as much love I receive, there is also hate. For every success and win, there are more failures where I’ve lost. For every stranger who’s nice, there’s a friend who’s nasty.

To me, dealing with these things or these people is like seeing a balloon drift away. Sometimes it slips away, sometimes you let it go on purpose – But at the end of the string, it was nice to hold and you can’t help feeling a little sad watching it go.

Losing a balloon reminds me that love sometimes vanishes from lives.
A husband and wife grows apart. Children grow up. A colleague stands up and shakes your hand, but if you turn around he/she stabs you in the back. Your boyfriend grows cold. Your friends don’t care.

Yes, I live in the real world, and reality bites. But I’m so thankful that I found a real love. My God’s love is steady, and I’m safely secured in the promise and knowledge that “his love endures forever”. Everything else here on earth will come and go, but Jesus’ love will last. My life is a living story of how he has taken such good care of me – I can’t imagine how lost my life would be without Him. It’s true! Try it before you buy it.

Think about this: Have you watched love disappear from your life? Would you pick the transient VS the eternal? Heaven VS the earth?

Romans 8:35-39 (New Living Translation)
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[a]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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Isn’t that great? We should celebrate!

Suddenly, I’m not so sad watching that balloon float away. Now I realize things look so much better from here.

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I’m not pushing my values and beliefs on anyone, but here’s sharing with u the lessons I’ve learnt in love and life.

I had a really difficult day today. It reaffirmed my decision to look for real love and real friends in my life.