What I Learnt From a 40 Day Sugar Fast

What I Learnt From a 40 Day Sugar Fast

Towards the beginning of last year, I came across a 40 Day Sugar Fast initiated by Wendy Speake. I was curious, because I thought there’s no way I could ever stay away from sugar, sweets, cookies or cake for that long.

I didn’t really think I could do it. But since we had just come out from the Christmas season and loads of sugary treats, I decided to sign up for the fast.

The basic idea is to stay away from foods containing sugar for 40 days, and let the sugar cravings turn us towards Christ instead. It’s up to each individual to customize what sweet treats they’re planning to stay away from. Some people fast from other sweeteners such as honey and sugar substitutes, while others give up coffee and white carbs too for 40 days.

It’s not about having a rigid plan about what you can or cannot eat. Rather, it’s about finding out which food group you’re turning to when tired, angry, hurt or upset.

I knew for certain there were few times during the day when I turned to sweet treats to keep me going:

  • Sugar in my morning, mid-morning and evening coffee. (Always)
  • Cookies or cake in the evening when I’m low on energy. (Often)
  • Chocolates or sweets after lunch or dinner. (Occasionally)

Well, I was surprised that I actually completed the sugar fast last year (albeit not perfectly). And there were a few things I learnt in the bargain.

  1. A lot of our regular food has added sugar. I was surprised to read labels and find the amount of sugar added in bread, cornflakes, peanut butter, ketchup and mayonnaise.
  2. Fruits can easily satisfy a sweet tooth. I turned to bananas, apples, cucumbers and dates when I was tempted to grab a cookie, and it worked!
  3. Falling off the wagon is OK as long as you get back on. There were a few times I had a dessert or coffee/tea with sugar because I didn’t want to make a fuss at gatherings.
  4. It was a heart issue rather than a food issue. I realized that I often turned to the snack box when I was frustrated or tired. I had to learn not to eat my feelings, but acknowledge them and talk to God instead.
  5. I was surprised I stuck with it till the end. Despite having a few setbacks, I was astonished to have stuck with it for 40 days. It was eye-opening and helped me make a few changes to my regular food intake as well.

This sugar fast is an annual affair and it’s happening again this month!

5 Reasons Why I’m Doing the Sugar Fast Again in January 2019

  1. I need the discipline. I admit I have a fondness for sugary treats and this helps me exercise self control and reset my food choices for the new year.
  2. There’s a Bible study to go along with it. I learnt so much about treating my body as God’s temple and glorifying Him through it.
  3. It’s short enough to be doable. I don’t have to vow off sugar for the rest of my life – it’s just 40 days!
  4. And it’s long enough to be a challenge. It lets me wean off sugar that I would’ve got accustomed to during the Christmas season.
  5. I’m learning so much from the daily emails and private Facebook group. It truly opened my eyes – spiritually (through the Bible study), physically (on what our food contains) and emotionally (how sugar affects our mood).

The sugar fast begins again this Tuesday, January 8th. You can sign up here if you’re interested.

Sugar Fast

Do let me know if you’re signing up… I’d love to cheer you on!

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2018: Year in Review

2018: Year in Review

And… another year comes to a close!

It always amazes me how slowly each day drags on (especially the hard ones) and yet, the years are flying by. My boys are tweens now and I can’t believe how quickly they’re growing up. I’m all the more determined to make memories that matter and cherish the little things.

I’m reflecting over the year gone by with the help of 3 questions I stumbled upon a few years back. It really puts the year in perspective and helps me start the new year on the right foot.

1. What made you happy in 2018?

We spent more intentional time together as a family than the years before. We took a week-long road trip in April that covered a bird sanctuary, botanical gardens, historical monuments, dams, a national park, a beach and a hill station!

The time we spent with the kids has opened up room for meaningful conversations and some amazing discussions on a range of topics – from the Bible and the world around us, to good manners and why things work the way they do.

2. What made you sad?

My husband endured a couple of health setbacks this year that were frustrating for him. He is not someone who can be grounded at home for even a couple of days, so this was really difficult for him.

Seeing my husband in pain was difficult, but I was so grateful for all who stepped in and assisted us in every possible way. We had family and friends who supported us in prayer, took care of the kids, ferried us around, cheered us up with their visits, encouraged us and helped my husband get back on his feet.

3. What are you proud to have accomplished in 2018?

Honestly, I felt like a failure in many areas of my life.

  • I didn’t read as many books of the Bible as I had originally planned.
  • I blogged only thrice this year.
  • I didn’t go on any dates with my husband.
  • I barely spent any one on one time with the boys.
  • And… I didn’t get my driving licence!

But this question really made think, and I did come up with something… 3 things, in fact! 

Regular exercise. My husband’s unexpected injury earlier this year opened our eyes to the need for fitness in our daily lives. My workouts are usually just 20 minutes or so, but I’m happy this has become a regular habit I can sustain in the long run.

More reading. I’ve been able to read more than the years past. I intended to read just 10 books this year, but ended up reading 26!

Re-educating myself. I was able to re-learn a bit of swimming this summer and overcome my fear of the water. I also dusted off my piano notes and played a few simple pieces I learnt decades back.

The progress I made was partially due to my 90-day goal setting process, but also because I chose to make time for the things I enjoyed (without feeling guilty).

2018 had its highs and lows but there are many things I’m truly grateful for.

  • The kids’ good health this year, when compared to years past.
  • A marriage that weathered the storms and came out stronger.
  • Seeing the kids grow into unique personalities with different interests.
  • Family and friends we can always count on.
  • Opportunities to grow spiritually and serve through our church.

I’m sure 2019 will have it’s own ups and downs, but I believe the Lord who goes before us is able to keep us till the end.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. – Jude 1:24-25

How was your 2018?

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38 Things I Love About You

38 Things I Love About You

After a 2 year hiatus, I thought it would be fun to resume my annual tradition of celebrating my husband on his birthday!

This probably sounds cheesy, but my husband has been my best friend, closest companion and trusted confidant for the past 12 years… and this is how I get to tell the world what a great guy he is! 😉

Dear Binny,

  1. I love that you are serious about the stuff that matters…
  2. …and so casual about the ones that aren’t!
  3. Thank you for keeping me grounded when I feel overwhelmed.
  4. That you walk in after a long day at work and offer to help in the kitchen. 👨‍🍳
  5. The way you explain science stuff to the kids. ⚛️
  6. That you’ve taught the kids to question how things work. 🛠️
  7. Your amusement at my inability to question why things work the way they do!
  8. That time you held the elevator door open for me! 😘
  9. For being our very own Mr. Incredible! 🦸‍♂️
  10. The way you insist you’re the Hulk and not geeky Bruce Banner. 🤓
  11. Your concern and care when I fall sick… 🤒
  12. …and the numerous times you ask me, “Are you ok?”
  13. For training the kids to clean the house. 🏡
  14. Your commitment…
  15. …to family,
  16. …ministry, ⛪️
  17. …and work. 💻
  18. That you’ve made travel an integral part of our family culture. 🚗
  19. For saying yes to Zurich… 🏔️
  20. …and letting us experience Europe! 🌍
  21. Your determination to get back on your feet after major injuries. 👟
  22. The way you breeze through exercises that leave me huffing and puffing. 🏋️‍♂️
  23. That you’ll fight to keep the flame alive in our marriage. 🤵❤️👰
  24. Your innovative ideas for conflict resolution. 🥊
  25. The garden on our balcony… 🌱
  26. …and your excitement when flowers bloom. 🌸
  27. That you’ll make time for your friends…
  28. …and strive to be available for those in distress.
  29. For taking the kids out when I need some alone time. 🛋️
  30. For the pretty earrings you buy me on your travels.
  31. The way you push me to go out and meet my friends. 👭
  32. The pure joy on your face when you hear a complicated note in a song. 🎼
  33. That you let the kids follow their individual interests.
  34. Your short and sometimes annoying “Hmm”s.
  35. Your one word feedback comments. 😜
  36. The way you cover all our bases when we make important decisions.
  37. That you wait for me to be ok with something before you go ahead with it.
  38. For buying me my very own smartphone! 📱

For all these and more… I love you, now and always! ❤️

To all the married women out there…
Go ahead, write a note, a text, an email.
Let your husband know all that you love about him.
You’ll be glad you did!

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Crippling Fear to Crazy Faith

Crippling Fear Vs. Crazy Faith

A couple of years back, I went through several months of extreme fear and anxiety. This blog post is a recollection of that period and how God helped me move from crippling fear to crazy faith.

It started when my husband was offered a work assignment at Zurich which was expected to last 1 – 2 years.

We realized this was a God-given opportunity for him, but it wouldn’t be possible for me and the kids to join him there.

Since I’d never been apart from my husband for an extended period of time, let alone mother 3 boys alone, the thought of him leaving sent waves of panic rushing through my body.

So, I did what seemed sensible at that time… I refused to think about it.

I was on auto-pilot, making lists and getting things ready for my husband’s overseas assignment. I was torn and conflicted inside and my faith took a beating. But I pulled myself up and did what needed to be done for my family on a daily basis.

The initial few days after my husband left, I was extremely sad but also determined to strengthen myself and pull through each day for the sake of the kids.

I was counting on God to make life easy for me in the absence of my husband.

Well, He didn’t.

Everything that could go wrong, did.

We faced plumbing and electrical issues in the house, appliances stopped working, we had several near misses on the road, and our car needed a minor repair.

The kids’ attitude and behavior went off the rails. They somehow started acting out in the absence of their father. {He did try his best to parent them remotely, but only so much can be done via FaceTime.}

And that wasn’t the worst of it…

The kids started falling sick every week. It ranged from minor respiratory and stomach ailments to severe wheezing and a flu that lasted over 10 days.

Since I was the only decision maker at that time, the constant sickness and things going wrong at home sent me into a constant state of anxiety.

I worried that the kids weren’t sufficiently protected from the cold, or the house wasn’t ventilated enough. I worried the kids might puke in school, or their fever would spike during the night. I worried we’d have an accident on the road. I worried our marriage would grow cold after an intermission.

Since things were bad as it is, I kept fearing they would only get worse. My emotions during that period ranged from feeling numb and crippled by fear to heart pounding panic.

Somehow, I’d lost faith that God was in control… that we would make it through. I was angry at God because He wasn’t making life better for us.

I started feeling better when my husband came down to spend Christmas with us. The situation hadn’t changed but it felt good to make plans to visit him over the summer and spend a few months together as a family.

The panic was slowly dissipating, but I still needed to overcome the fear that constantly gripped my soul and destroyed life as I knew it.

Here’s what my long road to recovery looked like…

1. Recognize and Repent

I remember one Sunday our pastor mentioned that worrying was a sin. It hit me like a lightning bolt. God has interspersed the Bible with verses saying:

Do not fear.

Don’t be anxious.

Do not worry.

It was a sin for me to go against God’s Word, doing the exact opposite of what He said. My worry was proof that I didn’t trust Jesus to be Lord over all my life. I had to recognize that my fear and anxious thoughts were sinful and repent.

2. Pray through the Panic

Repenting of my sins did not take away the panic, though. But prayer certainly did. Every time I felt the panic rising, I would walk up and down our apartment and keep praying. If our floors had been carpeted, I’m sure I would have worn down a pathway down the middle of our home! It helped to voice out what was troubling me, seek God’s guidance and pray that God would take control.

3. Battle Worry with the Word

I always spent time reading the Bible after the kids left for school. But now, this time became much more precious. I would pore over my daily Bible passages for strength to battle worry, and then seek out sermons and devotions from trusted online sources for encouragement. Many days, the tit-bits I heard or read would be just what I needed to keep going.

4. Journal my Days with Jesus

My blog was neglected but my journals were not. I wrote more that year than I had in all my previous years.

I wrote down my worries…
Noted takeaways from my daily Bible reading…
Jotted down quotes from other authors and speakers…
Recorded answered prayers…

This practice was what my soul needed to heal and fully surrender to God again.

Have I moved on from that crippling fear? Absolutely!

Do I have the kind of crazy faith that never doubts God and His ways no matter the circumstance? Not completely… But I sure am on the right track to get there!

I do still have some fears, though not on a daily basis. But I’ve learned how to encourage myself like David did.

When I fear I’m failing as a wife, mother, homemaker, writer… I remember God’s love for me is not based on my own strengths or abilities.

When I fear that illness, pain or an unpleasant change might shake up our family… I trust that God is powerful enough to strengthen us through the trials and deliver us from evil.

If you’re a chronic worrier, I hope my testimony offers you hope and encouragement. You don’t have to live in panic all the time. Allow the Lord to lead you into a peace that surpasses all understanding.


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90-Day Goals: How they Worked for Me

90-Day Goals: How they Worked for Me

As we slowly but surely make our way through the last week of June, I can’t help but wonder how quickly 6 months of 2018 have flown by.

I’ve realized that half-time is a good time to pause, reflect, re-strategize and plow on ahead to crush some goals!

Just ask any football fan.

While I’m trying to wrestle the TV remote away from my husband during half-time, the teams are probably making the most of that 15 minute break… planning how they can score more goals in the second half and win the game.

Side note: I’m not really a football fan, but my husband and sons are… so, I’m learning more about the game than I really care to!

Well, so back to the topic…

I’ve always been a goal-setter, list-maker, checkbox-ticker… Writing down everything I want to get done gives me almost as much satisfaction as getting it all done!

I had taken a break from setting yearly goals the past 2 years since my husband was away and our life seemed to be on survival mode.

So, when 2018 dawned, I knew it was high time I got back to my goal setting ways.

I already had a running list of things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 40. So, I decided I would incorporate some of them into my yearly goals as well.

In truth, I was looking for a different method of setting goals because working on only one set of goals for a whole year can be quite boring and exhausting.

When I came across a couple of articles about setting 90-day goals here and here, I jumped at the idea.

After 2 quarters of following this plan, I’ve made more progress than I expected to.

In case you’re interested, here’s the method I followed.

1. List the different areas of life where I wanted to see progress.

For me, it was:

  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Relational

2. Note down specific things I wanted to accomplish in these areas over the course of the year.

Here’s what that looked like…


  • Read X books of the Bible.
  • Revamp my prayer list
  • Read X non-fiction books by Christian authors.


  • Walk/Run X Km on the treadmill.
  • Reach a particular goal weight.
  • Relearn swimming.


  • Journal consistently. (I hope to publish another blog post on this soon!)
  • Read good literature to improve my vocabulary and writing skills.
  • Publish X blog posts.


  • Go on X dates with my husband.
  • Travel to one new place as a family.
  • Visit/entertain friends and extended family.

3. Take just a few of these goals and focus on them for just 90 days.

I did not want to overwhelm myself, so I listed only 10 goals for the first 90 days. In complete honestly, I did not achieve all 10 by the end of the quarter.

But I chose to look at what I did accomplish (which was quite a bit):

  • 6 goals fully completed
  • 2 goals partially completed

The beauty of setting 90-day goals is that you can add/delete/tweak them as you see fit each quarter. You get to start afresh every 90 days, instead of waiting a whole year and feeling like you’ve failed at achieving your goals.

Out of the 11 goals I listed for the second quarter (April to June), I’ve completed just 4. But I’ve made quite a bit of progress on 4 more.

As much as I love setting goals and achieving them, I’ve also realized the importance of giving myself wiggle room and being gracious with myself.

I’m ending this month going back over my previous 90-day goals and setting new ones for the upcoming quarter.

I’ve written a lot about goals over the past 6 years. I look back and laugh at my naivety now, but I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learnt through the years.

If you want to laugh along, you should check out these posts from my archives.

Is goal-setting something you’re interested in? How do you do it?

Photo Credit: freestocks.org on Unsplash


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2017: Year in Review

2017: Year in Review
There’s this exercise I do towards the end of every year…

I write down my thoughts about the year gone by, and reflect on it.

Some years, I have a lot of positive events to be report… while others leave me feeling disillusioned. But I’ve realized there’s always something to be thankful for!

This annual exercise helps me in several ways:

  • I realize that every year has its own ups and downs.
  • I see evidence of the faithfulness of God through the months.
  • It shows me how far I’ve come since the beginning of the year.
  • It points out areas where I need to get my act together in the coming year.
  • It reminds me to thank God for His goodness and favor over my life.

I posted my annual review on the blog in 2014, and thought I should do it again this year…

If you’d like to review the past year as well, here are some questions to guide you.

1. What made you happy in 2017?

  • Our first ever family vacation! It took us 10 years and we needed to leave the country to do it, but Europe was a blast.
  • My husband rejoined our family in India after a year abroad.
  • The knowledge that God plans situations and events that work out for good, even if it didn’t look good at first.

2. What made you sad?

  • My dear father-in-law went to be with the Lord a couple of months back. The loss is tangible but his legacy lives on.
  • Although I made a bit of progress, I didn’t quite reach my Bible reading goals this year.
  • A few personal battles have left me feeling quite frustrated with myself.

3. What are you proud to have accomplished in 2017?

  • I started blogging again, albeit sporadically.
  • Freedom over crippling fear. It was a huge struggle but God helped me through.
  • The little seeds of faith we’ve been sowing into our sons’ lives have started bearing fruit.

2017 has been a roller-coaster year. Each quarter was a different season that came with its own conflicting emotions.

January – March: Holding down the fort while my husband was away, and getting our travel documents in place.
April – June: Packing and traveling as a family of 5.
July – September: Getting back into our regular routines and catching up with school/work.
October – December: Grief, sickness, and Christmas.

I had chosen the word “Remain” for this year, and it was the only way we could make it through… by remaining in the Lord and resting in His promises over us.

In a nutshell, we experienced God’s…

  • Protection over our family while my husband was away.
  • Guidance as we faced hurdles before we had to travel.
  • Wisdom as we readjusted to life after an intermission.
  • Comfort in the midst of our loss.
  • Peace in the midst of turmoil.
  • Strength through sickness and stress.
  • Grace on a daily basis.

Through a year of highs and lows, joys and sorrows, gain and loss, I’m learning never to take another day for granted.

God is teaching me to:

– Love hard.
– Learn just enough.
– Laugh often.
– Live well.

And that’s something I’ll be taking into 2018 as well…

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. – John 15:9

How was your 2017?

Photo Credit: Geran de Klerk on Unsplash


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Peace in the Midst of the Storm

Peace in the Midst of the Storm

Tomorrow, our sons turn 10 years old.

My memories of the 50 days they spent in the NICU still bring tears to my eyes – but you already know that story!

There’s one other story I haven’t shared much, but it prepared us for the birth of our triplets and the days that followed…

It was the night before their birth – December 9th, 2007.

We had rushed to the hospital in the morning, knowing the time was nearing. I was hooked on to monitors and IV fluids.

The nurses would visit every hour to check the triplets’ heartbeats… and every time they did, they’d say they couldn’t find one of their heartbeats!

The doctors were hoping they could put off surgery for at least a few more days. However, late in the evening, my doctor popped in to say hello and casually remarked that I would be having surgery the following morning at 7AM.

My husband texted our pastors and a few friends, while my mother contacted everyone she knew who could support us in prayer.

Between the nurses’ constant prodding, my mother’s tensed countenance and the never ending sounds of the labor ward, all I wanted was peace. But it was difficult to even think clearly with all the pain and the constant turmoil around me.

Would all my babies survive?

Would we be able to afford the NICU charges?

Would I survive?

When I realized my thoughts were getting out of hand, I asked my husband to sit by my side and read from the Bible.

He read from Psalm 91:

2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust…
11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways…
12They shall bear thee up in their hands…
14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him…
15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

…and from Isaiah 54:

10For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
13And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

… and from Isaiah 41:

10Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
13For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
14Fear not… I will help thee, saith the LORD…

These were passages that had ministered to us during my pregnancy. And they kept us both calm that night in the hospital room.

While there was turmoil all around us and we were physically exhausted, my husband and I felt a deep peace in our hearts. We knew the unusual calm we experienced was the presence of our Prince of Peace.

The night was stormy.

The nurses were constantly in and out of the room, and my surgery prep started way too early in the morning. I was in pain and none of us got any sleep.

We didn’t know how many babies would make it out alive the following day. We had no clue how we’d raise triplets.

But we knew, beyond any doubt, that God was in control! The peace we felt in the midst of the storm that night was incredible.

I realize this blog post may be 10 years late, but it had to be written.

Perhaps you are going through a storm in your own life that’s making you weary and exhausted. You feel torn and ravaged, while everyone else seems to be going on with their lives.

Jesus can be the Prince of Peace in your life too.

Let His words calm you mind and wash over your soul.

I have personally experienced the power of scripture when spoken aloud or written down. Maybe you can do the same?

Pick up a few verses from the Bible that speak peace into your situation.

Believe God’s words to you.

Proclaim it out loud.

Write it down in your journal.

God’s Word is powerful and effective.

I believe it will restore your faith, heal your soul and bring you peace.

The same Jesus who calmed the wind and the waves with His words can calm the storm in your heart. Lean into Him and trust Him to carry you through.

Photo Credit: John Towner on Unsplash

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Don’t Sell Your Birthright!

Don’t Sell Your Birthright!

“…like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.” – Hebrews 12:16b

I’ve always been confused with the story of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob.

I mean, this guy was famished…

A humane person would have fed him without expecting anything in return… but Jacob didn’t!

Jacob demanded Esau’s birthright in exchange for a bowl of lentil stew.

That was just such a mean thing to do!

But why was Esau giving up his birthright such a big deal?

And how does it apply to us in the 21st century?

Google tells me the definition of the word “birthright” is, “a particular right of possession or privilege a person has from birth, especially as an eldest son.”

Well, given the customs of ancient Israel, I can understand that the eldest son had special privileges (even if he was born mere seconds before his twin brother).

Did Esau understand the enormity of what he was giving up, just to satiate his momentary pangs of hunger?

(He gave up his inheritance for a measly bowl of sambar?)

Do I understand what I’m giving up, when I choose to give in to negative feelings and temporary pleasures that might displease God?

I admit…

I’ve given up peace of mind by harboring bitterness.

I’ve trod on healthy relationships because of the need to win an argument.

I’ve sold my happiness by giving in to anger.

I’ve jeopardized friendships by the need to have my own way.

I’ve trampled on my identity as a daughter of Christ by giving in to willful sins.

I’m guilty of giving up long-lasting rewards for temporary gratification.

As children of God, born again into His eternal kingdom, we have quite a few birthrights too…

  • Abundant Life – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬)
  • Eternal Peace – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John‬ ‭14:27‬
  • Everlasting Joy – “…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah‬ ‭8:10‬

Are we consciously holding on to our birthright? Or are we giving it up for things that might satisfy us for the time being?

Let’s not sell our birthright to enjoy a single meal… or give up eternal promise for temporary pleasure.

It’s easier to give into the moment, but it’s more rewarding when we hold on to the promises of God and await our inheritance from Him.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…” (1 Peter 1:3-4)


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Not By Might

Not by Might - Zechariah 4:6

2017 didn’t start out all that great for our family.

One of our sons had staples on his head (he’d injured his head on Christmas Day)…

All three boys were recovering from respiratory infection and a dose of antibiotics…

One of our car tires burst on the highway, while we were returning from church on New Year’s Day…

My husband was leaving back to Zurich in a week… and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to spending the rest of the year alone with the boys.

I hoped and prayed that 2017 would be a better year for our family.

It was challenging at first, but God reinforced my faith and taught me to remain in Him.

Eventually, things did turn around for us.

The kids and I were permitted to join my husband in Zurich.

His work assignment ended sooner than expected.

We got to take our first real vacation as a family.

Now that we’re back home in India, I look back at the past year and wonder how we made it through. Each of us went through bitter struggles, as our family was separated by distance and time.

I certainly missed my husband. The kids felt the absence of their father. And my husband couldn’t completely savor his overseas assignment without his family beside him.

I could say we made it through by sheer will power, determination, our own strength and abilities… but that would be a lie.

It was the Lord who helped us every single day.

It wasn’t my planing…
I tried to plan our days efficiently, but when you have 3 young sons, things never go according to plan!

It wasn’t my strength…
Many evenings I’ve stood at the kitchen counter with barely enough strength to get dinner on the table.

It wasn’t my will power…
I can be a very determined person, but it all crumbled when we went through continuous seasons of sickness.

It was the Lord who planned our days (though I personally didn’t always like what He allowed).

It was the Lord who strengthened our bodies to endure the strain of everyday life.

It was the Lord who nourished the soul and spirit, so we didn’t buckle under pressure.

It was not by my might, nor by power, but by the Lord’s Spirit that we made it through.

It’s the Lord who bolstered our faith and kept us firm through sifting sands.

It’s the Lord who reunited our family and made the bond between us stronger than before.

It’s the Lord who taught us countless lessons through suffering that we might have never learnt otherwise.

And to Him, we give all the glory…

Thank you, Jesus!

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD.” – Zechariah 4:6

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2017: The Year to Remain

2017: The Year to Remain

We’re 2 months and 10 days into the “new” year. The novelty of a fresh beginning has worn off, and so have many plans, goals and resolutions.

The one thing I wanted for 2017… was that it wouldn’t be a repeat of 2016. (Strange, I know!)

Last year was a roller-coaster ride that I didn’t quite enjoy at all. My husband was deputed overseas, the kids faced numerous health issues, and I honestly struggled on a daily basis.

For months I wrestled with God as desperate prayers remained unanswered. I’m ashamed to admit, at times I felt God was determined to make my life miserable.

But something beautiful did come out of all that brokenness and pain…

I drew closer to God than ever before.

When nobody else could help me, I realized it was God I truly needed.

The words, “Lord, I need you… Help me. I can’t do this without you…” became my constant refrain. Life did not magically become easier. But I did become more aware of God’s presence on a day to day basis, and my prayers transformed into a never ending conversation with Him.

Late last year, when I asked God what He wanted from me in 2017, He gave me the word “Remain”.

I had been busy striving hard, using every physical, emotional and spiritual muscle I possessed… but all God needed from me was to simply remain.

Remain in His presence…

Remain in His will for our family…

Remain in constant communion with Him…

Remain in His Word…

Remain steadfast in faith…

Remain His daughter…

Remain in His unending love for me.

My husband is still away at work, the boys are still a handful, and I still struggle to do it all.

But through it all, God’s been faithful.

His grace is always enough. His love is all we need.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

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