Forgiveness makes our marriage better, not bitter

Forgiving someone is difficult but humbling yourself to seek forgiveness? That’s a tall order.

When we are confronted with our mistakes, our natural instinct kicks in to flight or fight. We flight when we retreat in silence or build walls to guard our emotions from further pain. Perhaps we don’t fight in the physical sense where blows are exchanged, instead we fight to seek justice, to retaliate, to get even.

Yes, even getting back at our spouse. We get even with character assassination by pointing out their flaws, justifying that they too have their imperfections.

We get triggered. We get angry. We get hurt.

If not careful, our defensiveness can lead us down a slippery slope where bitterness take roots in our heart.

Love keeps no records of wrong

But love is not selfish. Neither is self-seeking, protecting our self interest and dignity. Instead in 1 Corinthians 13:5, it say that love is “not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.

You know what happens when we keep records of wrongs? The past gets brought up, again and again like a broken record because you’ve not let go of the hurt inflicted on you.

Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.

Without even realising it, you find yourself hardening your heart towards your partner and can’t stand everything they do. Instead, ask God to soften your heart  to prepare you to accept the rebuke in love.

If you’re in the wrong, apologise.

Stop keeping scores

It is never easy to make a apology especially when we feel indignant. Our sinful nature keeps whispering to us that we cannot back down and lose.

This was what played out in my head as I was fuming and asking God why can’t my husband see the plank in his eye when he pointed out my shortcomings. But the Holy Spirit told me that if I humble myself and not get blinded by my anger, I’ll be able to see my husband’s perspective and agree that there is truth in what he said.

As I prayed for God to help me walk in obedience and not keep scores, He told me to take caution that I don’t allow my heart to get hardened. Harden towards my husband or hardened toward God because I wouldn’t be sensitive to hear to hear His voice and prompting.

Get better, not bitter

Eventually, I had to eat humble pie and laid aside my pride to ask for forgiveness. I choose to be better, not bitter as I’m not allowing the devil to have a foothold in my marriage by sowing seeds of discord and disunity between me and my husband.

Post reconciliation, we made a pact to be more thoughtful to each other’s feelings when we speak the truth in love. That he’ll be kinder with his tone and I’ll be less sensitive when I receive his message. Learning to communicate will be a lifelong journey but it can only get better when we learn to listen with our hearts and not listen to defend ourselves.

Maybe you have been hurt or misunderstood and bitterness has come between you and your spouse. Identify the issues, the conflict triggers and work at resolving them one by one. Uproot bitterness in your relationship and work towards reconciliation as you draw close to God for his grace in your marriage.

Remember forgiveness makes our marriage better, not bitter.

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

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Raising teens to be independent

Dear mums of teenagers, how do you do it?

How do you have certainty to know you are raising teens to be independent and confident?

To trust that your child who once had their tiny hand gripped to yours, walking shyly beside you is ready to let go and chart their own path. To be sure your child is capable of making good decisions as they enter adolescence – a stage that is wonderful, challenging and confusing all at the same time.

The teenage phase where we ought to slowly loosen our grip, so our youths can take to the skies like a kite without us holding them back.

When our kids are young, instruct them. As they get older, inspire them

I found myself in this place of tension when Sophie turned 11 years old this month. To me, she’ll always be my baby even though she protests to that endearing term because it embarrasses her. Yet, it’s undeniable that she’s evolving to be her own person with each passing birthday.

While there may be a thousand and one things I worry about my daughter, from friendships, academics, untold dangers online and the list goes on, I remind myself to trust she’ll turn out good and fine as she slowly develops independence.

A strong foundation where good seeds of character and faith were sown to root her in good values. I look back at those many life lessons and know that not one of them will be in vain.

  • From the time I taught her to dust off the dirt and stand on her feet when she fell at the playground.
  • The time when she was bullied in Primary 1 and learnt that not everyone will be kind with their words.
  • The time when I trusted her with a mobile phone and taught her the importance of responsible phone usage and consequences if she breaks our trust.

Navigating changes at different stages of our children’s life require new approaches. When our children are younger, they need clear and direct instructions. As they become a teenager, they need us to inspire them.

Raising teens to be independent 

Beyond teaching our children life lessons, as parents, our role according to Proverbs 22:6 is to “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

I often tell Sophie that independence is a mark of maturity. That while she’s taking one step away from us towards independence, she’s taking a step closer to God, as she learns to depend on Him.

But having a rock solid faith in God for our children doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it doesn’t happen just because they tag along for church and go to Sunday School. But it happens when parents are intentional in sowing seeds of faith, and nurturing our children in God’s Word.

Raising teens to be independent from parents but dependent on God

Only when our teens are rooted in God’s Word, can they internalise the promises of God personally and look to Him knowing “my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1).

Our charge from God is to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” and this cannot be outsourced to anyone else.

Make God’s Word a priority for your teen

“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119: 9-11

Build up your child’s faith day by day. To live out the truth, they first need to know the truth.

We’ve been using this series of devotions from Our Daily Bread which are written specially for children for our family devotions. The stories are relatable and challenges kids to make God’s Word applicable in their lives with reflection points and actionable ideas. You can get a copy by clicking on the link above.

For parents using the Bible app, there is also a Kids Bible Experience inside the YouVersion App. Sophie enjoys the video segment which makes her daily devotions more engaging. I like that there are practical insight on how to apply God’s Word in her life.

Through discovering God’s Word, I believe Sophie will learns she’s never alone even as she grows in independence from us because God is for her and is always with her.

So parents, don’t be anxious when your child slowly gains their independence. Celebrate their next milestone. Set them on a firm foundation by raising your teens to be independent with a healthy dependence on God.

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may like these posts where I share my heart about parenting and motherhood

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Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence– Energy Booster for Working Mums and Children

Going back to work and resuming my juggling mum duties means I need more energy to stay alert for the day. While coffee is a constant companion to keep me awake, there’s nothing like a good chicken essence perk up to keep my energy level throughout the day.

I was introduced to a new form of chicken essence from Tian Yuan Xiang (田原香) that comes in frozen packets. Unlike bottled chicken essence that we’re all very familiar with, Tian Yuan Xiang double boiled chicken essence comes in frozen sachets, sealing all its goodness in individual packs.

High standard of quality chicken essence

To ensure you get the best quality from every mouthful, Tian Yuan Xiang raises free-range chicken where only 150-day-old, hormone and chemical-free chicken are picked for the process. Pure chicken essence is extracted from 8 hours of steaming over charcoal, giving it a distinct brewed aroma.

No water is added, and oil from the chicken essence is filtered repeatedly, reducing calories and cholesterol. This results in an uncompromised, concentrated and flavourful tonic to give you a much needed boost of energy.

Tailor made chicken essence flavours

To cater to different groups like men, women, pregnant and nursing mummies, teenagers and children, Tian Yuan Xiang developed tailor-made flavors by cooperating with certificated traditional Chinese physicians and dieticians.

What’s note-worthy is that Tian Yuan Xiang’s chicken essence is Halal certified (except the ingredient Eucommia杜仲), so it is also suitable for Muslim friends to consume too.

We tried two flavours that are suitable for children and it is recommended for kids above 3 years-old.

Chicken Essence for Appetite (九尾草滴鸡精) and Chicken Essence for Digestion (四神滴鸡精). This is the ingredient list for Chicken Essence for Appetite: Essence of Chicken, Jujube Fructus, Lycii Fructus, Hairy Uraria. And the ingredient list for Chicken Essence for Digestion is as follows: Essence of Chicken, Nelumbinis Semen, Euryales Semen, Dioscoreae Rhizoma, Poria.

These nourishing ingredients help to promote appetite and improve the function of the spleen and stomach. This helps to enhance the absorption of food that will help in the growth and development of growing children.  A special mention of one of the herbs, Hairy Uraria (九尾草). What I learnt is that this herb can help to alleviate growing pains during children’s puberty period. 

Consuming Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence

Heating up to consume Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence was a breeze for us. Simply, cut the packaging and pour the frozen chicken essence block into a bowl with lid.

We popped the bowl into the microwave at high heat for 1-3 minutes and you can also use the double boiled method over the stove or with a slow cooker.

I was surprised by how sweet and aromatic the chicken essence was once I opened the lid of my bowl. It tasted so much like a bowl of home cooked chicken broth, fresh and nourishing.

Sophie who usually shy away from traditional bottled chicken essence was amazed that it didn’t have the fishy taste at all. In fact, she didn’t have to pinch her nose while drinking it and asked me to prepare this more often for her.

To cater to busy individuals and make it easier to bring around, Tian Yuan Xiang also offers room temperature storage editions which doesn’t require freezing. This makes it so much more convenient and it promises the same aromatic taste.

For those of you who are put off by traditional chicken essence, I guarantee you’ll have a change of heart once you try Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence for yourselves. I’ll definitely recommend it anyone who is looking for chicken essence, especially for your growing children.

Tips for consuming Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence

  • No defrosting in required. Just take it out from the freezer, pour the contents into a bowl and heat up using the microwave in 1-3 minutes or slow cook for 5 minutes
  • Besides drinking it directly, chicken essence can be added to soups and congee
  • Best time for consumption is in morning on an empty stomach
  • Consume before 4pm so that you don’t end up sleepless

== Tian Yuan Xiang Anniversary Sale ==

Tian Yuan Xiang is celebrating their Anniversary with a #2Good2BeTrue Anniversary sale in December from 6 -19 December 2019. Take this opportunity to snag these great deals with shopping vouchers!

* First-timer 2 box Bundle –> 7 % OFF+ $10 Takashimaya voucher

* Family Guardian 6 box Bundle –> 10 % OFF+ $30 Takashimaya voucher

* #2Good2BeTrue 10 box Bundle –> 15 % OFF+ $50 Takashimaya voucher

 

– WIN TIAN YUAN XIANG CHICKEN ESSENCE-

The good folks at Tian Yuan Xiang are giving 4 A Juggling Mom readers a chance to win 5 packets of Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence to experience the goodness yourself.

I’ll be picking 2 winners from FB and 2 winners from IG where you will stand to win 5 packets of Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence.

To participate, simply head to my Instagram account @ajugglingmom or my FB account @Ajugglingmom.

  1. FOLLOW @ajugglingmom and @qchicken_tyxsg and LIKE this post.
  2. COMMENT on the post with the name of the herb that helps relieve growing pains in children
  3. TAG 3 other friends to share this giveaway with them and share the post on your IG stories for bonus entries.

This giveaway is open only to those residing in Singapore and closes on 14 December 2019. You must complete Steps 1-3 to be eligible for the giveaway. All the best!

Take note:

  • Winners will be notified via email or direct message on IG
  • This giveaway is only open to all readers residing in Singapore. This giveaway is by no means endorsed, administered or affiliated with Instagram and Facebook.

 

Tian Yuan Xiang Store location

Address: 101 Thomson Road, #B1-24A United Square, Singapore 307591 (Novena MRT)

Phone number: 6200 6789

Opening hours:

  • 10:30am-09:00pm:  Sundays to Thursdays and public holiday
  • 10:30am-09:30pm: Fridays, Saturdays and eves of public holiday

 

This post is brought to you by Tian Yuan Xiang

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I’m not letting working mum’s guilt trip me up this time

So how’s it like going back to work?

October was a month of adjustment for me where I returned to work. After being home with Sophie for more than a year and a half, it’s back to being a juggling mum and finding that elusive balance between family and work like so many working mothers in Singapore.

Just like how my career break wasn’t an anticipated move, the decision to return to work was equally unplanned. But here I am 4 weeks into my job, doing something I am so familiar with as I transit from being a SAHM to a FTWM.

Returning to Work as a Stay Home Mum

While I enjoyed every moment as a stay home mum, spending more time with Sophie in her important pre-teen years, a part of me yearned for more beyond the walls of my home.

At the start of the year, I took on some freelance work and also volunteered in Sophie’s school, with Angel Hearts and also in church. I really couldn’t ask for more because these part-time work kept me meaningfully occupied while ensuring I kept my marketing skills relevant.

And the best part is having pockets of time to meet my friends, especially other SAHMs when our kids were in school. But there was a growing restlessness that I wanted to do more instead of shelving my skills and experience away for fear that they would be regarded as being out-dated or irrelevant.

My initial plan was to return to work next year after the parent volunteer mums prepped me about the long school hours once Sophie hits Primary 5. With extra lessons on top of CCA and other school activities, I’ll see less of her and don’t even get me started on Primary 6 when the school will run at full steam for the PSLE.

So I committed my heart’s desire to God and asked Him to pave the way for both me and Alexis’s job search. To open doors that are in His will and to trust in the waiting. With the fourth quarter of the year was approaching and a slowing economy, I tempered my expectations and hoped for the best.

Out of the blue, an ex-colleague shared a job opportunity and it was perfect because it was a contract role which would allow me to ease back to work gradually.

The First Step is Always the Hardest

You would have expected me to jump up in delight and seized the opportunity in an instant, but instead, my first response was that of doubt. I second guessed my decision to go back to work and doubt stood in the way of me saying yes.

Doubts if I was up for the job after being out of action for some time.

Doubts if I was able to cope with the demands of the job and the unknowns that came along.

Uncertainties if I’ll be laden with mum guilt especially when Oct is the final year exams for Sophie.

Fears if I can do this whole juggling mum act all over again and not feel mum’s guilt.

But God knows me better than I do and He sent people my way to encourage me to go for it.

 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Fear Gives Way to Faith

I didn’t want fears to stand between me and what God has clearly provided. And as I loosen my grip of fear and surrendered them to God, I asked for a double portion of faith.

Faith to believe that I’ll do well where He has planted me and that I will not just survive but thrive. That I will thrive well as a working mum, capable of balancing work and family with understanding boss and colleagues as well as back home with a supportive family. That I don’t have to feel burdened with working mum’s guilt because I can be my best both in and out of the home.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6

There is a peace that comes from being in the will of God and giving up my rights to control my life to someone who knows best. At the same time, I will remember that I have chosen this path for myself and to be thankful for this contract role.

In fact when Sophie asked if I liked going back to work last week, I told her that I did without having to feel mum’s guilt because now we both have stories to exchange at bedtime.

More importantly, I want to remember that work can be a form of worship but it doesn’t define my worth. My identity is so much more than a job, a title, and even possessions which will never be enough of. I don’t want to forget this sweet spot where I’m in right now where I am contented.

Work can be a form of worship but it doesn’t define our worth.

 

I was hesitant to share this story of how I rejoined the work force. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about how SAHMs should never regret our decision to choose our family. However,  life is never about staying still in one spot. Life ebbs and flows and we have to be ready to readjust our sails when the winds of life take us on a different course if we want to keep thriving instead of sink under the waves of change.

And after having the privilege of being a SAHM, I am more aware of my life choices and I don’t believe that working mums must subscribe to a life of struggle and be burdened with mum’s guilt. Make our choices well and don’t regret our decisions be it staying home or returning to work. If we always wake up in the morning feeling torn by our decisions, we will never be able to be our best for ourselves and our family. 

If you are facing a situation that requires a leap of faith to go from fearful to faith filled, I hope that you find courage to change your situation. To be able to look beyond what lies before you and see what the future holds for you when you make that decision to be brave for yourself. If you need an extra dose of courage, drop me a message and I’ll be happy to pray for you too.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may like these posts where I share my heart about parenting and mtherhood

Enjoyed reading this post? Do like my Facebook page to get more sharing on parenting. You can also follow me on  Instagram (@ajugglingmom) for travel and fun places to go with your family.

 

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Where to stay in Johor Bahru – Airbnb in KSL D’Esplanade Residence

No one ever says no to a staycation.

And ever since we discovered the KTM train to Johor Bahru, it’s been a major game changer where our staycation is just 5 minutes across the causeway.

READ: Singapore to Johor in 5 minutes

via GIPHY

 

I’ve often raved about Doubletree by Hilton as our choice of accommodation in JB. But on our recent trips, we decided to explore the many Airbnb options and landed ourselves up in a Star Wars studio apartment.

Airbnb in KSL D’Esplanade Residence

Where to Stay in Johor Bahru for Airbnb

For families with 2 or more kids, Airbnb are Godsend. Not only is it a more budget friendly option, Airbnb also gives you plenty of choices for apartment size to fit everyone in your family without having to make them sleep in the bathtub or balcony.

As we were travelling with group of families, we had a list of criteria that the apartment has to check off.

  • a variety of apartment sizes
  • centralised location (<15 minutes drive from JB Checkpoint)
  • amenities such as swimming pool and gym
  • free carpark
  • food choices without having to drive out

We decided on KSL D’Esplanade Residence for our Airbnb which met our requirements and we had no complaints.

Okay, maybe just one and it’s how s.l.o.w the lifts are. Both towers service 37 storeys and there are easily 20 units on each floor… It was quite a nightmare waiting for the lifts during the peak hours like breakfast, lunch, checking out, dinner time.

I can vouch that we’ve all flourished and bloomed with the fruit of patience after this trip.

via GIPHY

But that aside, it was mostly made up by the fact that there was so much good food and of course the company was priceless too.

Airbnb Star Wars Room in JB

Our studio apartment fits a family of 5 nicely. Upon entering the apartment, there is a kitchenette with an induction stove, fridge, microwave and sink.

 

King size bed and bunk bed

The room will be a hit for Star Wars fan with its consistent theme around the apartment. Good size for a family of up to 5 pax.

We paid S$175 for 3 nights, which works out roughly to S$58 per night.

For those with drive, the apartment in KSL D’Esplanade Residence also has free parking and rest assured your car wheels will still be there in the morning as there are security guards patrolling the carpark. 

Shopping Mall at Your Doorstep

KSL D’Esplanade Residence sits above KSL Mall, so there was never a lack of food or shopping for us.

I prefer shopping at City Square Mall, the newly opened Mid-valley Southkey, Paradigm Mall and AEON Tebrau but KSL does have a few shops that make the cut for me.

READ: Things to do in Johor Bahru for families

One of them is Sports Direct on the ground floor, which is a sporting outlet. There is also a supermarket, Tesco, at the basement where you can pick up household necessities.There are also your usual suspects like Popular bookshop, Watsons, Daiso.

And lately, they’ve also turned into a bubble tea heaven with so familiar names like The Alley, Tiger Sugar, Whale Carp Tea and Ji Long Tang on level 1. The latter is worth a try as this is the first outlet out of Taiwan and a first in Malaysia too.

Try their signature items Brown Sugar Boba Thick Milk or Brown Sugar Boba Milk. Their brown sugar pearls are cooked to perfection and I was happy to indulge in them with a daily fix here.

KSL Mall is also the go to place if you’re planning to visit the hair salon and nail palour as they have more than 40 names to choose from. Head up to level 2 and you’ll be spoilt for choice.

And of course, there’s also the food glorious food where we explored local options that were highly raved this time. Check back on the blog for more 🙂

The next time you’re deciding on Where to stay in Johor Bahru, do check out the Airbnb in KSL D’Esplanade Residence. Let me know if there are other recommended areas to stay too.

 

KSL D’Esplanade Residence

Address: 56, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

 

Don’t miss these posts where I share where to stay in Johor Bahru and places to eat across the causeway.

Getting to JB

Where to stay in JB

Fun Things to do in JB

 

Enjoyed reading this post? Do like my Facebook page to get more family friendly travel updates. You can also follow me on Instagram (@ajugglingmom) for more travel and parenting posts. Follow us on all our travel adventure at #Taystraveldiary.  

 

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