January – the blessing of friends and friendship Our friends, the Mafrici family were selling their family home to downsize. We got to spend the last New Year’s eve at their house. Our children had a ball in singing Karaoke and dancing. My son is quite a shy person, watching him sing and dance without being self conscious was such joy.
February – the blessing of work commute Sydney opened up from the lockdown in February. We were able to return to work in the office environment 3 days a week and work from home 2 days a week. I enjoyed the long commute train ride to and from work where I did most of my blog post writing. Watching and observing people going about their daily life gave me a lot of writing material and inspiration.
March – the blessing of art One of my clients is a painter artist. She invited me to an art exhibition for emerging artists where a painting of hers was on display. We got to spend time together to view and appreciate other artists’ work. I had learned a lot from the exhibition about the history and political background of each piece of art. I had never been a fan of politics or history until I understood them through art.
April – the blessing of diversity We went to a 50th birthday party in Canberra. It was a South Pacific island style party. The children of the birthday man performed a traditional Samoan dance to honour their father. They wore colourful outfit and danced to exotic music which gave such a celebratory atmosphere.
May – the blessing of family Autumn is my favourite season. I take a drive to Mount Wilson to see the autumn leaves every year. This year my family went with me. There was a storm damage on the road so part of the road was blocked and caused heavy traffic. We decided to quit the trip and turn around. But that didn’t ruin the day for us. We stopped by an orchard to get some figs and apples as well as visited a lookout to have a lovely family photo taken.
June – the blessing of fellowship I have been in a women’s connect group for over ten years. We do a yearly women’s retreat. This year we went to St Benedict’s Monastery. Its serene surrounding gave us such peace and harmony with our creator. We did a labyrinth walk and shared our spiritual insights with each other by the fire. Our testimony encouraged and strengthened one another to keep living in victory .
July – the blessing of prayer In late June, Sydney started its 2nd long lockdown due to the covid-19 case number spiked. We worked from home full time again. Only essential outings were allowed. I was able to stay connected via online platforms. I joined a few regular online prayer groups. One of them was our church morning devotion group at 8am for 15 minutes. I got to share our common love for Jesus with other brothers and sisters. Another one of the prayer groups was the Global Harvest Monday prayer. Christians all over the world joined online to pray for our different country’s key events. We prayed about the Covid-19, the war, the government rulers, the election and more. The most intimate prayer group was the three sister prayer group. One of us is in missionary work in Cambodia, so we gathered to pray for Australia and Cambodia as well as our personal needs. All these three prayer groups helped me through the second lockdown. And I believe our prayer have changed the course of history.
August – the blessing of rain We had above average rainfall in August which supported above average yield prospects in most eastern Australian growing regions.
September- the blessing of fathers Australians celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday of September. Traditionally I treat my Dad to an authentic Cantonese cuisine to celebrate. This year we were in lockdown, so we ordered home delivery Cantonese food for dinner. I must admit he was equally happy.
October – the blessing of social media detox In October, I deleted a few social media platforms to give myself more healthy head space. It worked wonders. In the process I had to sacrifice some really great contents like poetry and art accounts. However the benefit outweighed the loss overall. Facebook Instagram Messenger Twitter
November – the blessing of patience Our apartment was flooded in March, but the repair didn’t start till late November. We lived between Airbnbs for 24 days until the repair was completed. We worked from home in the chaos of repairs all through that time because the low cost Airbnbs we slept in didn’t have Wifi or appropriate desk space. I also ‘fought’ my way through with real estate agent, strata manager and the owner. I applied politeness, passive aggression as well as outright aggressive threats. In the end the repair was done just in time for Christmas which was a relieve and of significance. So I thanked God for His gift of patience.
December – the blessing of Christ Jesus It has been a very testing year. I am exhausted by the end of the race physically and mentally. All things happened and still happening are very big deals in ways of testing of faith. Nonetheless,they will never be any bigger deal than the birth of our saviour Christ Jesus. God so loved us and He gave us His beloved Son. If there is only one truth that matters in my life, this is it.
2020 was a year that seemed to have more than usual stuff to grumble about. But would I give in to it and drown myself in complaints? I really rathered not. If I went down and was under, I had no capacity to share light with my fellow humans. I chose to give thanks and stayed afloat.
Friendship comes and goes. I think writer-reader relationship is similar. It’s better to celebrate the journey we shared than be sad about the departure.
My special thanks go to the following fellow bloggers who have been bringing joy and love to my creative world:
2019 has been a year of grief and loss. Forever is a word I shiver on when I hear it because I experienced the fragility of life.
Time is the greatest healer. Most of the time I feel I am healed until I broke down in tears when:
drove auto pilot to my old house which is no longer mine;
caught myself forgetting to revert to my maiden name;
had the urge to share news with my best friend whose voice I no longer hear;
curled up in bed where my cat once cosily slept.
Then I come here to WordPress, a place I found many sad people come and celebrate being sad. This community has been helping me through my grief and loss. My load is shared, my sadness is heard, my heart is touched. I am accepted and good enough.
It is through trials and tribulations, God’s grace comes through. I have found hope in a hopeless state; I have formed deep friendship in a desolate place; I have found love with a wounded heart. So in the end, it is all worth it.
Although suffering is very much a lonely thing to endure, life indeed is a journey better to journey with others than alone.
My special thanks go to the following fellow bloggers. You have all brought positivity into my life and enriched my creativity.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 sums up 2018, a year of perseverance. I feel a call for patience in the new year.
May the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) be with me and you in 2019.