2014: Year in Review

2014: Year in Review
The last couple of months in 2014 included a whirlwind of activities as is always the case. The kids’ exams, Christmas choir practices and a couple of weddings kept us on our toes. Now that the new year is upon us, I finally have time to reflect on the past year, and pray about what God wants from me in 2015.

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

1. What made you happy in 2014?

For me, it was seeing a picture of my husband leading the choir at a major conference. I was also simultaneously humbled and proud when one of our sons walked up on stage to collect his award for academic excellence. {I blogged about it here: Imperfect Parents; Perfect God}

2. What made you sad?

I didn’t like how my kids kept falling sick every month for the past 6 months. I also neglected the goals I set for myself and achieved only about 10% of them. {Pretty sad, eh?!}

3. What are you proud to have accomplished in 2014?

I’m glad I finally took the plunge and launched my own website in April. I’ve also made quite a bit of headway in reading through the Bible again.

2014, in review was a mixed bag. There were some important areas I neglected, some unexpected blessings and new ministry opportunities that have kept me clinging on to God with all my strength.

I chose “Peace” as my word for 2014, and boy did I need it! I didn’t always feel at peace when storms rocked my boat… but God kept reminding me that He was there with me, and He was going to carry me through.

As I tuck 2014 back into the recesses of my mind, I am grateful for the Prince of Peace who led our family safely through yet another year on this earth.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.

(Isaiah 26:3)

How was your 2014?

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Let. It. Go.

Let it go

I started this week with a heavy heart.

3 children I knew (one of them, my own) were going through 3 different struggles – physical, emotional and spiritual. My heart was burdened for them, and I did the only thing I possibly could – I prayed.

I went to sleep Sunday night very disturbed about what each of these little ones had to go through. And I woke up Monday morning with an even heavier heart.

The fact that I couldn’t do anything to help them only compounded my anxiety. I continued to pray, but my heart did not become any lighter.

As the day wore on, I was so consumed with thoughts of these children that it became exhausting. And then I heard it…

Let. It. Go.

I don’t always hear something very specifically from God, but there are times when He speaks so firmly into your spirit that you can’t deny it was Him.

This was one of those times.

That afternoon as I was pacing the footpath, waiting for the school bus to bring my boys back home, these 3 words took on a different meaning.

This wasn’t Elsa’s mantra, or a careless attitude. God seriously wanted me to let the kids go.

But why?

God reminded me that I was already praying for them; He held those precious children close to His bosom. He loved them more than I possibly could. He cared for them, and He could do for them what I personally could not.

Yes, I would continue to pray for them until my prayers are answered. But I would no longer worry about them.

I would offer to support them in any way I could, but I would not break my head over what I cannot do.

This whole episode taught me such a valuable lesson!

So often, we pray about situations that bother us but then continue to worry about them as well. Isn’t it sufficient that we’ve already placed our burden in the hands of an Almighty God? Why then do we constantly try to ease His load by holding on to the weight with our petite hands?

If we have truly surrendered our problems into His able hands, we should be able to rest and allow Him to do the impossible.

So, does that mean we do nothing?

Absolutely not!

We continue to pray…

We continue to do what God has asked us to do…

We continue to trust Him to work things out…

But we DO quit worrying!

Is there something burdening your heart today? Leave it in God’s hands, and then take your hands off!

Take a backseat, and let God steer you in the way He wants you to go!

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.”
(Philippians 4:6)

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What is Your Learning Style?

What is Your Learning Style?

Growing up, I was one of those weird kids who preferred the sound of silence over the sound of music. While friends and family members preferred to learn with music in the background, I found it way too distracting.

Well, I haven’t change much over the past couple of decades. Give me a quiet room and a good book, and I’ll be the happiest girl on the planet!

And then I had triplets…

3 loud, noisy boys who shattered all my dreams for quiet days, and silent nights! 😀

…and I was expected to give them an education amid all that noise! Let me tell you… it’s no fun at all. I am not a naturally gifted teacher, and I admit that I constantly struggle with teaching my sons.

Well, I eventually realized that each of them had their own style of learning. So, I couldn’t use a one-size-fits-all approach while teaching them their school lessons.

I’m still in the process of deciphering my boys’ learning styles, but I discovered it could be one of the following:

  1. Auditory
  2. Visual
  3. Kinesthetic

I came across this handy chart that helps us identify our personal learning styles. I realized that I’m a hard core visual learner, and my husband is probably an auditory/kinesthetic learner.

You should take the quiz too… It’s fun and interesting!

Learning Infographic

 Source: Online Education

Now I’m off to identify which learning style each of my sons prefer!

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34 Things I Love About You

It’s my husband’s birthday today… which means it’s that time of the year when I write a mushy blog post listing all the things I love about him 😉 .

{If you’d rather go read something else, I wouldn’t blame you! How about some inspiration, links I love, parenting stuff or stories about the trio?}

Well, here goes…

34 Things I Love About You

To the one my heart loves, here are 34 things I love about you!

  1. The way you look in a suit.
  2. Wrestling with you for the remote.
  3. Your taste in music that has {slightly} influenced mine.
  4. For accepting my limitations.
  5. That you are a responsible son / son-in-law.
  6. For listening to me when I vent out my frustrations.
  7. The times you’ve cooked when I’ve had a work deadline.
  8. For being someone I can look up to for spiritual guidance.
  9. For ordering pizza on nights I’m too tired to cook.
  10. The Saturdays you took the kids with you to church.
  11. For bringing your friends (and their wives) into my life.
  12. The times you’ve sneaked ice-cream into the house just for me.
  13. For doing the dishes when I burn my hand cooking.
  14. For chipping in with the cooking after I’ve burnt myself.
  15. When you tearfully chop onions for me.
  16. For dressing up the kids’ wounds every time they fall.
  17. The way you delight in imitating my quirkiness.
  18. For taking us out to 3D movies the kids will enjoy.
  19. The way you talk about cars & bikes with the boys.
  20. For taking us to the super bike show on Mother’s Day this year.
  21. For teaching the kids to respect me.
  22. The time you walked to work because you didn’t want to disturb the puppies snuggled up under the car.
  23. That you can keep your cool, even when the kids are pushing all your buttons.
  24. Your eagerness to gift the kids something new, once in a while.
  25. Your commitment to stay where God has placed you.
  26. For listening to my ramblings about days past.
  27. That you care for me more than I care for myself.
  28. The cross-trainer you plotted beforehand to buy me.
  29. For being my cockroach-slayer.
  30. The hands-on computer lesson you gave the kids.
  31. The way you share what God’s been telling you lately.
  32. The brunch date you planned for my birthday.
  33. For keeping a listening ear to what God wants for our family.
  34. The way you make me fall in love with you all over again, even after 7+ years!

I’m definitely blessed to be your wife!

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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Remember Who Holds You!

Remember Who Holds You!

My husband is an avid lover of music. When a singer he loves hits a particular note, the expressions on his face are priceless. I often wonder what it would feel like to be so enthralled by music.

Well, just recently I heard a song that did the same to me. No, it wasn’t the music that touched me, although it is quite good. It was the words…

As I heard about the One whose arms held me, and whose voice called out to me, it made me feel loved, protected and truly cherished. I certainly hope it encourages you too, today.

The Arms that Hold the Universe

If you can’t view the video above, click here.

Lyrics:

I know it seems
Like this could be
The darkest day you’ve known
But believe you me
The God of strength
Will never let you go
He will overcome, I know

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It’s gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He’s in control
He will never let you go

Through many dangers, toils and snares
You have already come
His grace has brought you safe this far
(And) His grace will lead you home

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It’s gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He’s in control
He will never let you go

You can hope, you can rise, you can stand
He has still got the whole world in His hands
You can hope, you can rise, you can stand
He’s still got the whole world, the whole world in His hands

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It’s gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He’s in control
He will never let you go

He will never let you go!

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Counting My Blessings: 1621 to 1630

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for. If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started. Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1621. My firstborn losing his first tooth. A milestone of sorts.

1622. The boys enjoying the animals, birds, insects, and all the space at their grandparents’ village home.

1623. A 12 hour road trip that included a flat tyre, and an icky, sticky mess.

1624. Enjoying the journey… rather than rushing towards our destination.

Boys enjoying the journey

1625. A stocked up freezer, thanks to my mother.

1626. A Life Worth Living by Nicki Gumbel.

A Life Worth Living

1627. Easing back into our routine after a week away from home.

1628. Jason giving me an impromptu kiss in the morning after a restless night.

1629. Authentic South Indian filter coffee.

Filter coffee

1630. Watching the boys during their Christmas choir practice.

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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How do you greet God?

How do you greet God?

It was a Sunday night and the boys had just jumped into bed. My husband and I sat down beside them, so we could end the day together in prayer.

As Judah began to pray, we noticed that Jon was still reclining on his pillow. My husband asked him to sit up for prayer, but he was simply not in the mood to comply.

We took a few minutes to explain to Jon (and the others) why their stance during prayer matters. Here’s what we said.

“Imagine Grandma just walked in through the front door. What would you do?”

“We’d jump up, and run to her,” they said.

“Wouldn’t you hug her, and talk to her about everything that’s on your mind?”

“Yes!” they admitted.

“If you would do that for Grandma, won’t you do that for Jesus who loves you, and has done so much more for you?”

… I think they got the point!

And I think I got it too…

When we sit down for time alone with God, our physical stance does not matter as much as the state of our mind.

What is our attitude when we approach God’s throne of grace?

Do we approach the Master of the universe with reverential fear?

Do we run to our Father with overwhelming joy?

Do we get excited over what He’s teaching us from His Word?

Spending time with God everyday is not a mundane ritual, or a non-negotiable duty.

It is life-giving…

Hope-inducing…

Fear-abating…

Joy-filling…

Peace-stilling…

Clarity-producing…

…time alone with our Father, Master, Savior, Creator, Brother, Shepherd, Redeemer, and Friend.

I am blessed to know Jesus, and consider it a privilege to meet Him without any hassles on a daily basis.

I’m learning to greet my God with a cheerful attitude every morning.

How do you greet God?

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Top 3 Thursday – Edition #49

Top 3 Thursday

Here are 3 blog posts that encouraged me this week… Click through and read them, won’t you?

1. 3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church @ FaithIt {Eye-opening!}

2. Surviving The Strong-Willed Child @ Tricia Goyer {Some really good pointers, some of which I’ve successfully implemented with my boys.}

3. Running on Empty @ Missional Call {A reminder that we can’t reach out an minister to others, when we’re running on empty.}

If you have read or written an encouraging blog post during the week, would you share the link in the comments below. I’d love to check it out!

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Counting My Blessings: 1611 to 1620

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for. If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started. Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

{I’m not one to post a lot of pictures… But this batch of long-pending blessings needed some imagery to express my overwhelming gratitude!}

1611. Enjoying this view outside our home with the family.

Sky

1612. Saying “Goodbye!”

Accent

1613. And, “Hello!”

Mobilio

1614. Relishing an Onam Sadya for the first time.

Onam Sadya

1615. Getting a free copy of this.

Messy Beautiful Love

1616. Learning the difference between Logos and Rhema here.

Bethel

1617. Barbecue with friends, another first.

Barbecue

1618. A friend’s surprise baby shower.

Baby Shower

1619. Our first Comic Con experience.

Comic Con

1620. Having this as my desktop background. Calming.

Water

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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Book Review: Living Life Undaunted

Book Review: Living Life Undaunted

Living Life Undaunted by Christine Caine is a daily devotional book based on the author’s bestselling book, “Undaunted” and her other inspirational writings.

The author takes us on a year long journey through the 4 sections in the book:

  • Broken
  • Loved
  • Empowered
  • Commissioned

In the first section of the book, we are led to confront our brokenness and trust God in the healing process. The second quarter reveals God’s unconditional love for us, and teaches us to be more like Him. In the third segment, you will find encouragement to be whole again and grow in faith. The final section of the book calls us to participate in God’s commission and make a difference in the world.

There are 365 devotions in all – one for each day of the year. Each devotion begins with a verse from the Bible, contains a few thoughts from the author, and ends with a couple of questions to help us reflect on the day’s passage.

I loved the author’s personal stories that were woven throughout the book. And there are several nuggets of wisdom that God has used to challenge and inspire me.

Here are some of them:

“God’s Word does not say that all things that happen to us are good, but it does say that God is able to work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

“When there is a fight between my heart and my head, experience has taught me that the best thing to do is pick up my Bible and remind myself of what God says.”

“It is always dangerous when our gifts take us to a place where our character cannot keep us.”

I do not normally recommend devotional books because they tend to overshadow our daily habit of reading straight from the Bible. But I will recommend Living Life Undaunted as a great supplementary resource if you’re looking for bite-sized daily inspiration.

On a personal note, I have been deeply touched by the author’s personal testimony, and tremendously inspired by her story of healing. I’m eagerly looking forward to reading her other books!

Disclosure: I received a free Kindle version of this book from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.

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