Perhaps the place we really need to KonMarie is not our home

For the last two weeks, my Facebook feed was flooded with articles of the world’s most organised guru, when the new Netflix series, Tidying up with Marie Kondo was aired. The series came at a fitting time as many were already planning to declutter with Chinese New Year around the corner.

I was no exception and was itching to put her method of organisation based on what sparks joy to the test. But I’ll have to put that off for a while more so I don’t get into a sneezing fit which may burst my stitches.

 

Does it Spark Joy

If you have been living under a rock and are still clueless about the KonMarie Method of tidying up, it can be summarised in 2 points.

 

  1. Tidy by category – not by location

Begin with clothes, then move on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items.

2. Discard items that no longer spark joy.

Aim to keep only things that speak to the heart, and throw away items that no longer spark joy for you. Thank them for their service – then let them go.

 

After I caught 3 episodes of the series, I can see why people are so quick to embrace her philosophy where folks have even termed themselves Kon-verts of her methodology.

What sets Marie Kondo apart is how she advocates respect for your belongings, including the embarrassing impulsive buys that still have price tags on them from years ago, and how her method also makes one more mindful of the things you own.

She encourages her clients to have a vision for their life which serves as a guide as they contemplate if an item is one they intend to carry with into the future.

While the end goal is not to throw away bags and bags of trash, most folks on the show end up decluttering tons of stuffs that they no longer need in their life after thanking them for the memories or service.

 

Successfully Decluttered your Life? Think Again.

What struck me the most after the show is that while we take pain and efforts to KonMarie our home, we often allow other things to accumulate in our lives.

Thing that may not be seen with our eyes but weigh upon our hearts and mind.

 

Like bad habits that need to be kicked.

Toxic relationships that should end.

Thoughts that must be surrendered.

Bad memories of the past that needs forgiveness.

Fears, doubts, bitterness, insecurities…

 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

 

So often, these things are not cut off and we allow them precious real estate space in our lives to clutter up our hearts and minds. And worse when they surface to hurt us or haunt us time and again like a broken record.

Because these are not physical things like a wardrobe bursting at the seams or a drawer filled to the brim, they go unnoticed as no one knows.

No one except you.

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

But like those families who long for a change in their lives, a desire to clean up their act, how long more do you want to live with those bad memories, the hurts, the disappointments, and the bitterness that makes you miserable and unhappy?

 

Make Space for a New You

January is the time to start a clean slate and tell yourself that all these that are not profitable for your soul must go. There is no better time to let go, move on and make space for more in your life.

Last year, I let go of bitterness to forgive my Dad and extended the olive branch to ask him for forgiveness as well.

I let go of my pains and disappointments when I knew I had to go for my op because I know that I didn’t want to be bitter on the inside while trying to smile on the outside. I wanted to be healed, both on the inside and out.

 

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2

 

They were the toughest things to do and if I had it my way, I know I don’t have the capacity in me to forgive or to let go. As cliche as it sounds, but it’s only when I chose to let go and let God and surrender them all at the foot of the cross was I able to accept what had happened and to look ahead to the future God has in store for me.

The pruning process will be uncomfortable. It may even be painful. But knowing that you will be more fruitful as you remain in Christ and Him in you, it will be all worthwhile.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may like these posts where I share my heart about faith and relationship.

 

Enjoyed reading this post? Do like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram (@ajugglingmom) where I share more faith and parenting posts.

 

 

Finding a New Hope for the New Year

Lying on the operating theatre bed just 2 days after Christmas was the last place I imagined myself to be, but this time I was ready for the new life ahead of me.

Having to go through a second operation in the same year was something I’ve been trying to avoid this whole time. But when it became clear that an op was inevitable, there was a surprising sense of serenity and peace to go through it knowing that ultimately this decision was for the better.

 

Putting an End to a Season of Suffering

I thought that I would be an emotional wreak going for this surgery because unlike other ops where I had to remove fibroid growths, this time was different.

As I had already gone through 3 myomectomy ops, the only way to eradicate future fibroid growths according to my gynae is to remove the environment for them to grow – my uterus.

My gynae was very sensitive to my feelings as he knew this wasn’t an easy decision given that I’m no where near menopause coupled with the fact that I’ve been dealing with fibroid issues for the past 16 years. But Dr Chew who has a wealth of experience was very reassuring in his assessment as well as medical advice as he patiently explained the procedure along with the pros and cons of alternatives and that gave me the confidence to go ahead with it.

 

“Mummy, have you ever asked God why He allows you to go through all this?”

Three days before the op, I explained to Sophie that going for this surgery meant that she’ll be mummy and daddy’s only child. She cheekily replied that she cannot imagine having a baby sibling when she’s already 10 years old and that a baby will be so troublesome because we will all have sleepless nights which made us laugh.

But she paused and then asked, “Mummy, have you ever asked God why He allows you to go through so many operations?”

Before I could reply, she added, “My teachers in church says that everything happens for a reason and we simply have to trust God.”

Oh what a great reminder to have childlike faith and trust in our Heavenly Father’s plans from my daughter!

Lovely flowers from friends who brought cheer during my hospital stay

Hope for a Better Future

With this being my 7th op, I went in with the confidence knowing that God is in control and the op will put an end to my troubles as I look forward to a new me in the new year in 2019.

The Lord spoke to me so clearly with these verses from Isaiah 43:18,19.

 

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

 

And that was what I resolved in my heart to do- To let go of the past and forget about the pain and disappointments and to look forward to a new season because His plans for my future will be good and far better than what I can even imagine.

Discharged on 01.01 so I can spend New Year at home

Warm welcome from Sophie

After I got discharged from the hospital on New Year’s Day, I was just blown away by the amazing grace of God as I recounted all these blessings.

  1. A fast op that was done in 2 hours. Initially the gynae prepared me mentally that it may take up to 3, 4 hours if they had to do more repair work but it was all over before I know it.
  2. No need for blood transfusion even though this was on stand by in case I lost too much blood during the op.
  3. Being able to walk unassisted to the toilet by the 5th day post-op.
  4. Much faster recovery compared to my previous ops even though this time I had a vertical cut for the open op.
  5. Hospital fees all fully paid as my gynae is on the panel for Alexis’s company and I didn’t even require a LOG for my hospital admission.
  6. Understanding boss. Not mine but Alexis as he was given time off to take care of me in the hospital and a day after I was discharged even though they were already one man down in their team.
  7. My mum being able to stay over at my place to take care of me.
  8. And of course family and friends who have rallied around me during this period to pray and offer support and encouragement as I slowly get back on my feet.

 

Trusting in God’s Perspective

Despite losing a part of me which I’ve struggled with for so long, I’ve been in good spirits and even joked that I’ve already achieved my weight loss goal for 2019 as I was on a liquid diet for 3 days when l was in the hospital. It was a nightmare for a foodie like me and I was squealing with joy when the doctor said I can finally start on porridge.

As I look back on this whole experience, I can only say that without HOPE from God, I would have been a mess dealing with yet another surgery that I didn’t want to go through. When disappointing things come our way, it’s easy to sink into a place where we feel we’ve fallen out of God’s plans for us.

But through this, I can see that God is in the picture, and He’s with me through every single decision as I prayed that He open my eyes to reveal his purpose.

Only He has a perspective of all things, our past, present and future and He’s not certainly not done with the story of my life.

Though I don’t know how the rest of my story will unfold, one thing I’m certain and that is my future is secure in Him. My hope is in Him that his plans for me are to prosper me  and not to harm me and His plans are to give me hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

In whatever circumstances, good or bad, let’s hold on to this hope and promise that God is going to use everything according to His plans and purposes as we surrender ourselves to Him.

 

 

I’m so very thankful for friends who have been so supportive and encouraging in their personal experiences dealing with hysterectomy. I know this is something that people don’t talk openly about, but I’ll be happy to share my experience if anyone out there needs advice or just needs support if you have to go through it. You are not alone.

 

I’ve shared my journey on these other posts and hope they bring you comfort that you are not alone.

 

Enjoyed reading this post? Do like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram (@ajugglingmom) where I share more faith and parenting posts.

 

 

{REVIEW & GIVEAWAY} Impact Ergonomic School Bag by ERGOWORKS

With just less than a month to the new school term, Sophie is all ready for Primary 4. We’ve purchased her school books, school shoes and recently upgraded her school bag which she’s outgrown.

Right from Primary 1, we have established that it was important to buy Sophie a quality school bag that gives her a good back and spine support. This is one aspect that should not be compromised or skimped on as she is still growing at her tender age.

Even though many schools now allow students to leave their textbooks in school, the weight of their workbooks, exercise books, stationary, lunch box and other knick knacks can still add up quite considerably which would invariably hurt their back and development.

For the past 3 years, Sophie has been using the same ergonomic school bag with little complaints. But by the end of Primary 3, she shot up and we decided it’s time to upgrade her to a bigger bag which would be more suitable for her height.

We went with IMPACT as their spinal protection backpacks are medically endorsed by Singapore Physiotherapy Association and The Chiropractic Association (Singapore).

ERGOWORKS Showroom at Marina Square

We headed to ERGOWORKS showroom in Marina Square on level 3 (#03-140/141) and Sophie had a hard time deciding on which bag to get for herself from the wide variety of models on display.

IMPACT Ergonomic School Bags from ERGOWORKS

The first thing we did was to take her height to ensure that we get her the correct size.

Based on Sophie‘s height, we were advised by the friendly sales assistant to get size M for her. This helped to narrow down our selection and these are the designs that she shortlisted for her 127cm frame.

Ergo-Comfort Spinal Support Backpack IMPACT IM-0037A 

This model promotes better posture and spinal health for your child with its patented orthopaedic spinal protection system to reduce stress on both spine and back.

It has stress-free backpack straps and a comfy U Neck fit back straps. This model has a slightly structure and comes with detachable waist belt to redistribute weight stress effectively.

Dimensions: 36cm (H) x 27.5cm (W) x 14cm (D). Weight: 950g. Price: $119 (Usual price $139)

IMPACT Air Light Spinal Protection Backpack IPEG-226 

This backpack is one of the latest models and it features a patented 3D Airy Light Back-Care System to reduce stress on spine and back. Unlike the other models that have zip closure, this has a draw string.

The multiple compartments make it easy for kids to organise the contents of their bag.

Unlike the previous model that has a waist belt, this has a chest stabilization belt which provides the same effective distribution of weight stress.

This will be the model for the giveaway at the end of the article and it comes in three colours, blue, pink and purple.

Dimensions: 40cm (H) x 27cm (W) x 17cm (D). Weight: 850g. Price $129 (Usual price $169)

 

IMPACT Ergo Air-Cell Spinal Protection Backpack  IPEG-229

This is another latest model that just hit the shelves recently. Sophie was drawn by its unique “bubble” back straps which uses air cell technology to relieve pressure off shoulders.

Similarly, this model comes with a chest stabilisation belt and parachute pull rings allowing your child to adjust the backpack, ensuring that it sits nice and snug around their back.

Made with super polyester material that is dust & water-resistant, this bag checks our boxes for having a wider width and being lighter in weight at 800grams. This model ultimately became Sophie‘s final choice as well.

Dimensions: 45cm (H) x 31cm (W) x 13cm (D). Weight: 800g. Price: $129 (Usual price $149).

 

I also got Sophie the ion energy water bottle which has a unique inbuilt nano ionizing technology.  With a negative ion water bottle, water molecules can be reduced, making it easier to be absorbed and increases the capacity to promote the body’s metabolism, activate cells and enhance immunity.

It is recommended to change the bottle after a year or when scratches start to appear on the inside of the bottle as the ionizing properties diminishes over time. The bottle is BPA free, lightweight and and comes in 4 different colours.

 

With a minimum spending of $90, you are entitled to the Purchase with Purchase Promotion and get the stationery pouch and carry bag bundle at just $9.90.

In addition, I’ve been told that we can enjoy a 20% trade in offer with any used IMPACT bag (regardless of condition) and a 15% discount with SAFRA membership card or Cordlife Circle membership card. Note that this discount is applicable for regular priced bags only.

Ergonomic Furniture

We were also introduced to the children’s ergonomic furniture and gained a better understanding on the benefits on having furniture that are adjustable as your child grows.

The DUOREST chair makes a great ergonomic chair that can be used with the ergonomic desk or on its own. If you notice from the photo, it has a foot rest which ensures that your child is sitting upright so that their legs are angled at 90 degree.This can be removed when your child grow taller and can touch the floor while seated upright.

Ergonomic Sleep Solution

As my husband tends to get shoulder and neck aches, I was curious to find out more about their customised sleep support pillows. Here at ERGOWORKS, they offer a choice of 2 customised pillows.

The first option is the Made to Measure Pillow which is specially customised according to your measurements, preference as well as sleeping patterns, i.e. side or back sleeper. The made to measure pillow also comes in kids size.

The second option is the ERGO Adjustable Pillow which allows you to control its height by 1mm by adjusting 4 parts which are neck, back of head and both sides to find the maximised height for each individual.

 

Comparison of Ergonomic School Bags

As Sophie was using another brand of ergonomic school bag previously, I got her to do a side-by-side comparison of both bags.

The air cell technology on the back straps of her new IMPACT bag were very comfortable and they help to take the weight and pressure off from her shoulders.

Air cell technology on the back straps

There are also more compartments in her new back pack compared to her previous school bag, which makes it easier for her to organise the contents of her bag and to prevent them from shifting around in her bag.

With a more sturdy structure, the IMPACT backpack stands on its own easily without “collapsing” or sliding down behind her chair too.

 

Multiple compartments that makes organisation a breeze

One thing that could be improved is to have double belts to secure the shoulder straps and the waist belts to further improve on the weight distribution.

Over all, Sophie is very satisfied with her new IMPACT back pack and she can’t wait to use it in the new school term.

 

ERGOWORKS OUTLETS

Marina Square
6 Raffles Boulevard #03-140/141 Marina Square (One level above McDonald’s)
Opens Daily: 11:30am – 9.00 pm
Telephone: 6837 3370

Centrepoint
176 Orchard Road #03-36 Centrepoint
Opens Daily: 11:30am – 9.00 pm
Telephone: 6836 8488

Causeway Point
1 Woodlands Square #03-26 Causeway Point
Opens Daily: 11:30am – 9.00 pm
Telephone: 6893 8488

 

 – – – – – – – IMPACT ERGONOMIC SCHOOL BAG GIVEAWAY – – – – – – –

Thanks to our sponsor ERGOWORKS, we are giving away 2 IMPACT Ergonomic School Bag, each worth S$129 (Model: IPEG-226. Choice of Blue/Purple/Pink) to 2 lucky readers (1 bag each).

To participate, simply:
1. LIKE & SHARE this post (must be set to public)
2. LIKE ERGOWORKS & A Juggling Mom Facebook pages
3. LEAVE A COMMENT on why you want to win this for your child and TAG 3 other friends to share this giveaway with them.

All 3 steps must be fulfilled to qualify for a chance in the giveaway. Giveaway ends on 28 December 2018.

I’ll also be picking another winner from my Instagram (@ajugglingmom) so do take part there to double your chances of winning!

 

2 winners will be randomly chosen from Facebook and Instagram and winners will be notified via email. This giveaway is only open to all readers residing in Singapore. This giveaway is by no means endorsed, administered or affiliated with Facebook or Instagram.

 

 

* This is a sponsored collaboration with ERGOWORKS to write this post. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and photos are mine. 

When healing looks different for you

As a Christian, I’ve been asked why God doesn’t heal everyone who prays and ask for healing. It’s a tough question to tackle as healing and miracles are what a supreme God can do, but yet He sometimes chooses to withhold them.

And if I can be completely honest, it’s a question that I’ve asked myself too.

What’s the purpose of all this pain?

Having gone through multiple surgeries for fibroid issues since 2002, I was not prepared to hear yet another diagnosis from the gynaecologist for more fibroids that were developing some months back. And this time, he’s suggested the ultimatum, which is to go for a hysterectomy, a surgery to remove the entire womb.

This was dropped on me like a bombshell as I just undergone surgery less than 3 months ago to remove the cysts along with my fallopian tubes as they got badly entwined with the cysts. Even though this was something that the doctor preempted me before the operation, there was still a sense of “loss” for someone who’s struggled with fertility for years…

I recalled coming out of the clinic feeling defeated, crushed and devastated after I received the latest diagnosis.

I cried out to God, “What is the purpose of all this pain that you’re making me go through again and again?”

On the way home, silent tears rolled down my cheeks as I prayed for extra grace and strength as I tried to make sense of yet another disappointment in 2018.

Seeing the purpose despite the pain

Though the doctor has made it quite clear that I should do the surgery without any further delay, I decided to adopt and monitor and see stance as I didn’t want to rush into another operation within the same year.

I’ve committed my health and well-being to the Lord and there is an assurance that God is in control despite what I’m hearing from the doctors. In fact, right after my visit to the doctor, my cousin whom I’ve not spoken to for a long time contacted me as she has similar issues and wanted to get my gynae’s contact.

The timing of it couldn’t have been more divine and I recognised immediately that the purpose of it all was perhaps to share my journey of faith with others who were also going through the same thing.

Healing of another kind

Though I’ve decided to delay the surgery as much as I can, this was not acting out of blind faith where I’m clinging on to the promises of God and not doing anything about it.

In the months that followed, I’ve adopted a healthier lifestyle by focusing on exercising, a healthier diet, sleep and stress management.

I can say that these positive changes have been making a difference physically, mentally and spiritually. Friends around me have commented that I look happier, slimmer and am glowing with better skin these days.

But it’s not just the changes on the outside as there is a new lightness in my spirit as I’m no longer focusing on the pain, but reminding myself that this is a season where my faith muscles are developing and growing.

But it’s going to take time and I’ve got to trust the process and the promise.

What has been encouraging me are these verses from Romans 5:3-5.

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;  and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Detours exist because construction is taking place

 

I hesitated sharing my journey because what if a miracle doesn’t happen?

What if at the end of the day, I still have to go for an operation?

But after hearing a sermon by Pastor Christine Caine, I am convinced that healing alone comes from God and I just need to share my story. She shared something which spoke to my heart and I saw my position from a different perspective

“It’s not about you. There are so many on the other side of your obedience that can find healing”.

Our testimonies have more power than we know it and it’s not just about a feel-good changed life kind of story that will garner likes and shares on Facebook. But a life where we can be vulnerable and honest, that  points others to Christ and his amazing love and grace.

Moving mountains of disbelief and disappointments

While healing may not have come in to conventional way for me, i.e. a supernatural healing where my fibroids, shrink or even disappear, I can say that my heart which was previously heavy with disappointments have been healed.

I no longer carry with me the disappointments of a body that is not yet whole.

I no longer wallow in depression that this is happening to me, yet again.

I no longer feel powerless of my health condition or diagnosis.

 

God is sovereign regardless of my circumstances, whole or otherwise. And one thing is for sure, that is I’m called according to His purpose and nothing should stand in the way of living His purpose in my life.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

 

If you’re looking for healing, physically or otherwise, know that there is a God who loves you exceedingly more than you know. He promises to restore, heal and make us whole and you can receive this healing. I’ve shared my journey on these other posts and hope they bring you comfort that you are not alone.

 

Enjoyed reading this post? Do like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram (@ajugglingmom) where I share more faith and parenting posts.

Hit Musical Mamma Mia! Returns to Singapore November 2018

In the spirit of keeping romance alive, I went on a date night with my Super Trouper hubby to catch Mamma Mia! this week.

I almost can’t believe that it’s been 14 years since we last caught this musical. Back then, it was performing at the Esplanade and I invited Alexis to watch this acclaimed musical.

And here we are 14 years later, where I’m still the one taking the initiative for our dates. But I’m glad I did because hubby has been so busy at work lately and this was such an uplifting and feel-good musical that it chased the work blues away for him.

(more…)