one fifth

The end of week 3 of school marks the completion of one fifth of the thesis research (semester 1) journey. So far, so good. Thank you Father for keeping me going. You are good, indeed, all the time.

This week at school I took notes throughout the visual communication design class on Monday to stave off my boredom and judgement, and to try to learn something new with humility and meekness; shared a piece of controversial critical design and thoughts, gave some intelligent feedback and comments, and presented our design proposal (kind of?) during studio on Tuesday; met with Hans the supervisor and JiaShiyuTzeyuNaroth the thesis group mates together for the first time on Wednesday; learnt HTML5 and Javascript coding (somewhat) in four hours on Thursday in a dreaded-workshop-turned-good session of my least anticipated studio/work this sem.

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My body is getting into the rhythm of waking early, sleeping early, working long hours, and having times of refreshing and strength from the Living God through the day. My day is typically segmented like this: wake up, preparation, travel to school, start work (meeting, read, research, write, meeting, etc. usually in random order), lunch with friends, continue work (meeting, read, research, write, meeting, etc. usually in random order), have dinner (when I remember), stop work by six, travel to tutee’s place, start tuition (patience, guidance, patience, teaching, educating, praying, singing healing songs, patience, peace, love, love, etc. in random order and different proportions according to the demands of the night), end tuition, travel home, eat leftover foods, bathe, sleep; repeat.

The weeknights I am not at tuition I have meetings elsewhere. This week for example saw me going to church twice for different occasions: kids camp planning, and unit life group. The travelling space (in time and place) has become my time of quiet, rest, recharge, and refreshment. I thank the good Lord for that unlimited access to Him and His reserves because of what His Son Jesus has exchanged for me on the Cross.

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On Wednesday, the Heavenly Father the Giver of all good gifts knew I needed Him more. And by more I mean really MORE>>>. Of course He knows I had been getting by on less than enough. I was beginning to rely more and more on my own strength, talents, and abilities. He knew, He knew; of course He knew. And HE SHOWED UP BIG TIME just to make a point. During worship, He cajoled me into leaving my anxiety, my stress, my fears, my lack, my insecurities, my inadequacy, my pride, my worries, MY EVERYTHING at His feet in His presence, and my God, what a peace. All those tears. THAT FREEDOM, THAT PEACE. Of course the Father cares. About EVERY SINGLE LITTLE DETAIL of MY LIFE. Yes, so I surrender. I will continue to surrender. And yield to You.

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Today, Friday. I started a new routine with Tzeyu to go to school even earlier than our stipulated time of nine to swim. It’s a good routine. I hope it’s sustainable! During lunch with the Happy People Gang (read: Hans studio interns and boss himself), God the faithful One spoke up. (Rewind a little: some time ago during the internship, I had a inspiration to share my “lmzhyng” story and how “Isabel” completed the tale of my name with them to start some sort of spiritual conversation. But it never was the right time, and the opportunity never came, and I had even forgotten about it until today after the sharing ended.) So, Hans was sharing about the performance he watched last night and I asked some questions about set production design which he mentioned briefly. Embarrassingly, or rather divinely, he had been referring to his church set production team of which he is a part of (some spiritual groundwork here…). Then I can’t remember what triggered, but I started saying, “don’t you think ‘lmzhyng’ is a brilliant idea? it was an epiphany in the bathroom many years ago that my name has only one vowel and they are all ‘i’s!” and then it just flowed on to “and then you know I was baptised last year right, then I wanted God to give me a name instead of just googling nice/meaningful names, so one night…… and so the ‘I’ in the ‘Isabel’ completes my name…” The sharing was interjected with laughter and stunned faces at the knocking of door part etc and then the conversation just naturally flowed to another person’s knock-in-the-middle-of-the-night story. It was CRAZY. AND THEN, later the conversation flowed to me sharing about those scuttling rats sound that freak me out so much and how one night I said, “in Jesus’ name stop!” to no avail and then I told my sister, “oh I didn’t say amen” so I declared “amen!” and then the scuttling noises stopped! I shared my bewilderment and awe of God with all of them. Oh my God, on hindsight, that was really bold and courageous! Your glory! I hope these little seeds help You reach them a little more deeply inside!

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