Monday, October 25, 2010


A selection of words spoken by Emeth at age two and a half (30-month old) 

Applecado -- A green fruit, mommy and daddy eat it with seaweed and rice.
Bay -- What I do when I listen to mommy, what is better than smart, the verb for bedee. 
Bedee --  The kind of boy I am when I bay. 
Bet -- A B C D E... 
Boon -- Ball-like things that fly, usually attached to a string.
Brea-kes -- What I eat when I wake up, eggs, cereal and milk, yogurt. 
Bun-ton -- What is on the shirt I wear to church.
Chicken -- The place I cannot enter, where mommy cooks and washes the dishes.
Goolala -- Large, black, monkey-like animals. 
Mana -- Yellow fruit, often associated with monkeys. 
Magget -- Shapes and letters that sticks to the refrigerator and other metal objects.
Patter -- What I cannot touch, screen, keyboard, mouse. 
Plan-tets -- Neptune, Earth, Eenus, the one with rings. 
Sheen -- The thing with the button I get to press when mommy does the laundry.
Tapa -- Known also as funny shaped noodle (or "doodle"), a favorite food, sometimes pronounced with an "s" sound, "Tapas." 
Troy -- What I like to do to my buildings and blocks, when I do this I like to say "CRASH!" 

Some favorites from Old Emethese

Deedah -- The big guy who plays hide and seek with me, whose shoulders I sit on, who builds planes and trains with me.
Dahdee -- The other big one, the one who feeds me, a.k.a. mommy.
It was a little sad when he stopped saying these.

Up-pang-ge -- Upward motion, the act of coming out of the crib.
For a few months, Emeth would attach meaningless syllables after short words. He still says this for fun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Sometimes, I hear testimonies and think: "wow, I wish I had an experience like that" or "I wish I was special like that." More often, our testimonies are about us, rather than about who God is and what he is doing. Recently, I came across testimonies of two young women that are great examples of the latter.

Like resounding bells, I continue to hear "Great is the Lord! Great is the Lord! Great is the Lord!" long after their voices ceased. It is a wonderful truth that God uses the weak and common among us to reflect his glory.

The woman who survived abortion (watch part 1, part 2)

The hidden Christians of North Korea (read here)

Discipleship is as visible as light in the night, as a mountain in the flatlands.
To flee into invisibility is to deny the call.
Any community of Jesus which wants to be invisible is no longer a community that follows him.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, 113.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dreams of Dust in Jerusalem

Part of my job as Hans' wife is to remind him of all kinds of obscure anniversaries. Such as May 22 -- I call it The-Universe-Stopped-and-I-Fell-in-Love-with-You Day. Today, October 15, is one of the big ones. The fifth anniversary of our engagement. Hans calls it You-Said-it-was-OK-to-Ask-You-to-Marry-Me Day.

I've mentioned elsewhere that I did not want a diamond. So instead, Hans proposed to me with seven gifts. (Sweet, right?) We took many walks together that weekend. I showed him my favorite streets in New Haven.

For two hours, he proposed, over pizza. Thin-crust. Brick oven. Bacon and Onion on one side, Eggplant Parmesan on the other. I said yes -- to both the pizza and the proposal.

The first of the gifts was my ESV Bible;
My favorite was the promise of a trip to Israel, together.

Being Malaysian, my passport explicitly states that I am not allowed entry into Israel. I used to joke around about how I would marry an American just for the passport.

I am not yet a US citizen; and with two little ones, this is hardly the time to travel such a distance. But, the hope is a joyful one, and I can hardly wait.

Meanwhile, we dream.

Standing on the Mount of Olives,
walking under the trees of Gethsemane,
covered with the dust of Jerusalem,
catching a storm by the Sea of Galilee.
I close my eyes and see him
talking to fishermen, playing with children.
My foolish heart imagines
that he would somehow be nearer -- there.

Until then, I will miss Jerusalem.
Happy to be on the road, with you.

Happy engagement anniversary, darling.
Thank you for dreaming with me.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I have a very wise mom. Since we were babies, she was adamant about not allowing us to be attached to "things." For example, she despised pacifiers because she didn't want us to become dependent on "things." When I was two, she instructed me to say goodbye to my most beloved blanket and had me throw it into the river. (I shiver even at the thought of throwing Emeth's Precious -- Meow Meow the polar bear -- into the river. It would be like murdering a family member.)

I am sorry to admit, however, all that training did not wean me from wanting the stuffs of the world.

Just two days after my big resolution to keep a simple wardrobe, my eyes are already distracted by all sorts of end-of-summer sales.
Clearances. Coupons. Free shipping.

But I'll need it for next summer!
"Need" is a very strong word for another pair of shoes.

But it's so cheap!
Fertilizer is cheap ($1 can get you 40 pounds), do you buy fertilizer?

But, so pretty...
Don't you have another one like that?

Coveting things that are on sale is not
better than coveting things that are full price.
A house overloaded with stuff from the thrift store is not
better than a house of stuff from Pottery Barn.

Stuff is still stuff,
Excess still excess.

Soul, learn to live with less.
Soul, learn to see true worth.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Necessity of Clothing (On Simplicity)

A while ago, I posted a few reflections on why we wear what we wear. I ended the series with some applications. I read the last post again today. I can barely recall anymore why I wrote some of the things I wrote.

So, here is another go.
And here is another resolution.

Resolved, to keep my wardrobe simple.

Uncluttered, keeping only clothes that I regularly wear.
With a few "special occasions" items.
Clean, practical, pleasant to the eyes (especially of my husband).

(Hans is going to read this and know I have a lot of purging to do. *yikes*)

So I would not allow what I wear to define who I am.

I am grateful to know a few older, godly women. One of them befriended me during my time in New Haven. When I first met Judith, I certainly did not think, "My, she dresses so modestly!" In fact, what she wore was of little significance to my first impression of her. Instead, I noticed how friendly, how kind she was to me. She asked thoughtful questions, and was genuinely interested in my responses. She invited me over for lunch, or tea, as she called it; she was from the UK. I remember feeling so comfortable, so grateful, so happy, even though our meeting was brief.

As I got to know her, spent time with her three children, and attended church with her family, I began to notice her wardrobe -- because there were very few items. She had two skirts, a few tops, a few pairs of pants, and a very nice pair of tall black boots. Simple.

Modesty and humility are very similar virtues. C.S. Lewis describes humility so well, in the following quote and elsewhere:
To even get near [humility], even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.
Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody.
Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.
If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
(Mere Christianity, p.128 of this edition)
A modest woman would not be occupied by how modest she looks,
she would not be thinking about herself at all.

Now, there is something to aim for.

Here are the links to the series:
Part 1: In the Garden
Part 2: Shame
Part 3: Sackcloth
Part 4: Bridal garment
Part 5: Christ
Hunger: Modesty is not just about clothes