Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eng at 51

Today, my alarm woke me up as usual at 5:30 a.m. I hit the snooze button 2 more times and slept some more but by the third alarm; I was brain awake even though my body still wanted to be in the prone position. I began to silently pray and talk to God and thought about what today would bring. What's different is that a few minutes later, Eng started to pray aloud right beside me. It was the first time he’s done it so I was pleasantly surprised. What’s even more surprising is what he prayed about. He asked for many things that I know we need but then he asked for the Lord’s blessing on our marriage. He asked for help that he remain committed to our marriage and to be willing to do the work to make it a better marriage. WOW, that really woke me up because my eyes started to water. It’s completely baffling! I know why he’s different but I’m still quite perplexed. How did it happen?

On Saturday, January 22nd, he turned 51. He was in Hong Kong and arrived late on Monday night so we were only able to celebrate his birthday on Tuesday evening. When later on we wanted to pray for him and asked him what he wanted for prayer, he responded by saying that he wanted his sons to become Godly men and that he wanted to be able to spend more time with me. HUH? I was really glad to hear that but where did THAT come from? I don’t get it.

Here's Eng and I at a wedding we attended just 10 days ago.

Maybe I should explain that a few months ago, Eng wouldn’t even talk to me. It took several weeks before we related well again. I prayed so much then until I didn’t know what to pray about anymore. And now, here we are, at the place where God’s response is evident. Nothing is impossible for Him. He can change the hearts of kings, or in this case, Eng’s and mine. His arm is not too short to help. He amazingly transforms. He changed us. Thank you, Papa God. You are so good.

I just don’t get it. How did You do it? Is nothing too difficult for you? Obviously NOT! But I am completely AWED. What an amazing God we have in you. Praise you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Here's Eli in front of shoes, one of his many preoccupations.

Not too sure where that name above came from but up until a few weeks ago, Eli was using it as his Facebook name. Right now, he’s ELi Yeong, and of course, the ‘L’ has to be in caps. This is all to say that as Eli turned 15 today, it’s probably a safe assumption that there’ll be many changes yet to come in his life in the near future. Eli is our exuberant, excitable, enthusiastic, energetic, emotional, passionate (I ran out of ‘e’ adjectives!) extrovert son. We’ve gone through a LOT together especially in the last few months but we’ve all learned to relate better. As parents, we’d be the first to admit that we just didn’t really know Eli well. It took this long but we’re finally at the place where we understand one another more. We’ve learned that Eli is so right on insightful and perceptive. He surprises us with statements that just speak point blank into our situations. I’ve often marveled at his keen observations and the way he’d speak about what will happen is just so uncanny! We’d pass by unpainted lamp posts for example and he’ll say something like, “They’ll probably paint those green,” and sure enough, the week after, the posts are green! He can get amazingly accurate in his predictions.

Still, the best thing about Eli is his compassion and humility. He has such a tender heart. Understanding what he’s done wrong, he’ll go deal with it right away and albeit shy, he’ll do what it takes to finish the task he’s decided to do. Whether his task involves apologizing to the whole soccer team or some parents, if Eli is convicted to do it, he’ll quickly do so. We are so proud of him. He’s also fun, strong, and extremely generous. Happy 15th Birthday, Eli! We’ve had some trying times together but we love you and just appreciate you more and more. Keep on. =)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Grace Led

Today was a grace led day. We woke up at 5:30 a.m. and when we left the house at 7:44 with Eng wanting to leave at 7:45, I turned to him and said, “Wow, we did that so well!” As I type this now before going to bed, that’s the last line I want to put down.

Eng and I left for the airport in Chiang Mai to catch our 9:10 a.m. flight to Kuala Lumpur (KL). We are on our way to Manila to attend a wedding on Saturday. Everything went very well with our checked in luggage at 30.2 kg. (with a weight limit of 30!). We just had to wait for our flight to go. As it neared our boarding time, things started to turn unusual. An announcement came on saying our flight was delayed. Much later, another one said our plane couldn’t get technical clearance. We prayed and having done our part, I slept. I would have done just that for a longer time but Eng decided to speak to the folks at the counter. Since his leg was my pillow, I was forced to forgo my nap and took stock of our situation. It was already 11:30 and we were still in the waiting area. I wondered what Eng would accomplish. Aren’t we suppose to just wait out our delayed flight? They should announce next that we’re boarding and then we do, yes? Apparently, NOT!

Eng came back and quickly said we were leaving for Bangkok (BKK) and that I should follow him. We were led by a flight crew to the immigration counter and we were soon racing from the International area towards the Domestic area of the airport (not near at all!). We were with two other couples who wanted to catch their flight to Brisbane this evening. Thankfully, our flight to Manila doesn’t leave until tomorrow so I wasn’t concerned about not making it. Unknown to me though, we were catching the 12:10 p.m. flight to BKK but as I looked at my watch, I wondered how we could make it since it was already 12:20. Well, make it we did! We bypassed people in the long line up and were whisked into the plane which abruptly shut its doors the moment we got in. As all eyes stared at us as we made our way to Row 21, I told Eng that the Lord had to re-route us since we would have been in separate seats in the flight we missed. =) Completely relieved though, we talked about needing to quickly get our baggage in BKK, check in for our 3:10 p.m. new flight to KL, and then head over to our gate to make the flight. Arriving at 1:30, I thought, we can do it.

As Eng and the other men picked up our luggage from the arrival carousel, one of the women went up with me to get our boarding passes on the 4th floor (also not near!). We had no tickets to show other than the handwritten flight at the back of her sheet. Who does these things? But, we thankfully had no problems(?) and soon had our boarding passes. The only problem was that we had to wait for Eng and the other men as they retrieved our luggage. The lady at the counter said they’ll wait for another 15 minutes. Hmm, just to add more excitement to our predicament. It was about 45 minutes to our departure time and we had no luggage to check in and still needed to clear immigration and head over to our gate.

For what seemed like a really LONG time, Eng and the others soon arrived. We got our luggage through and headed over to the immigration area. At this point, it was 2:40 p.m. so I was contemplating what to buy for lunch but knew we had to keep going. WOW, I wasn’t prepared to see the immigration area literally FULL of people! There were at least a hundred people before us and we had a half hour left to catch our flight! The line-ups snaked through from the end of the hall to the front of the counters. We anxiously turned to someone in uniform who might be able to help but she just said we had to stay in the line up. How were we going to make our flight? It was impossible! It was then that the lady who got the boarding passes with me said we just had to break through the dividing line-up post strips and beg to be let through. Then she went under the one nearest her and asked to be excused. We followed her and went under at least 7 of those dividers until we got to the front where 3-5 people were still in line-ups in front of the immigration counters. You can let your imagination run wild as to how the folks in the line-ups responded. Some said, "Oh yeah, that is so NOT cool!" and "I don't mind that at all!" (sarcastically, of course!), etc. A guard stopped us and said we couldn’t break through the lines. While we tried to explain our situation to him, the unfazed lady stepped up to the immigration officer behind the counter and asked if she could be served before the others. The folks in that line up didn’t seem to mind at all! The Immigration officer surprisingly agreed and we all sheepishly asked the same. Eng took the longest but we were soon all accommodated. Next was the mad dash to Gate F which happened to be the last one down the long hall. We started near Gate A and the sign said 250 meters separated each gate. It was added incentive to walk in sprint like fashion. We are now in my brother-in-law’s house in KL so yes, we made it. AHH, what a relief it was when we finally got to our airplane seats! We six all laughed at what we all had to go through. At some point during the flight, we actually got introduced to one another. When Eng and I heard the name of the daring lady who broke through the lines and made it all possible, we both had to chuckle. Her name? Grace.

Yes, Lord, we did that so well, didn’t we? Thanks to your grace, using Grace. We get it.

Here's us having breakfast in Manila the next day. We realised the grace and our blessing. Had it not been for Grace and the string of events described above, we wouldn't be enjoying that meal!
(this was posted later)

When Eng’s brother in KL finally saw us almost six hours late, he was extremely puzzled. The sole flight for KL that we were supposed to take this morning never left Chiang Mai today. Yes, grace indeed! Thank you, Papa God. =)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Great Start to 2011

It's been an amazing year already and we've only just begun! We met up with old friends too (below) as we started our year attending a wedding. We're looking forward to the rest of this year. May we love, understand, and hang out with our Lord even more than we do.

Blessings and love from us,
Eric, Ethan, Linda, Eng, and Eli

For those observant ones, yes, those are the same stuffed animals ~ Yeong Bear and Lamb Chop ~ in the previous post's picture below (with Eli under the tree).