09 | The little moment

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When:  07/10/14, Thursday.

Where: Chinese summer school.

Who:  Gege.

What:  Chinese summer school performance.

The kids sang and danced according to music.  I was surprised how many songs and dances they had learned in just several weeks.

Gege danced 3 times and did a nursery rhyme recitation.  I felt so proud of Gege because he performed confidently and did his best.

In the beginning when he just started the summer school, Gege was shy and didn’t talk much.  Now after several weeks, he made a huge progress.  He made a lot of friends.  He became cheerful and talkative.  He also learned a lot academically.  I felt so proud of him!

reflection

I got a serious diarrhea yesterday.  It took me one and a half day to completely get rid of the virus and be fully recovered.  There is nothing much to say about this sickness.  However, I was moved by my hubby’s good deeds.

Yesterday morning I struggled to drive to the office after sent Gege to school, hoping I would get better later.  As soon as I arrived at the office, I felt a sharp pain in the stomach.  Without turning on the PC, I went directly to the bathroom.  After vomiting and diarrhea for about 20 minutes, I called the hubby for suggestion.  He immediately decided to send me home.  On the way back home, I couldn’t even sit still but have to lay on the back seat.  That’s how sick I was.

As soon as we arrived home, I went to bed at once.  To avoid me to be dehydrated, Hubby immediately went out to buy pedialyte and drinks.  Before he went back to work, he put snacks beside the bed so I can fetch easily.  He even put the wireless phone on the bedside table so I could call him anytime.

I didn’t have any appetite to eat, so I skipped the noodle that hubby prepared for me as dinner.  In the midnight, I woke up with a severe headache.  The pain made me moaned a lot, which woken hubby.  I told him I want to have porridge.  Without a word, hubby got up and cooked me porridge.  How a wonderful hubby he is!

I tend to complain hubby sometimes because he spends too much time playing chess.  However, comparing all the good things he has done for me, his laziness isn’t something that I couldn’t put up with.  Besides, playing chess isn’t so bad as playing video games.  Next time when I have the intention to criticize him, I shall think twice of his goodness before talking.

 

Bible Reading | Deny the self

Galatians 2:20

 I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Subjectively experience life

Our old man has been crucified with Jesus.  This is an objective fact.  When we became Christians, we admitted and accepted this fact.  However, when it comes to subjectively experiencing life, there is much more to it.  When Lord was crucified, He solved the problems of our old man.  Since our old man has many facet, there are likewise many aspects of dealings in our experience.  We have to deal with soul life, flesh, temper, self, and the breaking the natural constitution.

The subjective experience of dealing with self is the Holy Spirit.  If we have seen the fact that our old man has been crucified, then in our daily living, whenever we discover our expressing of our own ideas and opinions, we must let the Holy Spirit work the death of the cross upon our ideas and opinions to put them to death.

Deny the self and live by Christ in spirit

We should live in spirit.  Galatians 2:20 says, “It is no longer I.” “I” is the self; “I” is the soul, and soul consists of three parts: mind, emotion, and will.  “No longer I” means no longer mind, emotion, and will; will but “Christ who lives in me.”  Christ lives in me, in my spirit, and we have to learn to deny the self and live by Christ in spirit.

 Giving up our natural life

Our old man, our life of soul has been crucified with Christ. We now have to take the Lord as our life.  We take the Lord in our spirit as our life.  This doesn’t mean, however, we’ll have to give up the faculties of our soul, but the life of the soul.  We’ll keep the faculties of our soul to be used by Lord in spirit.

 

Do you trust professional?

Usually a  job position assumes certain authority to it in its service area.  And a person in that position is presumably qualified for that position in the eyes of its customers.  So they — the person in that position and the position — are regarded as one by customers.  The person becomes a person of authority, and the words from that person are then crowned some authority to the position, which makes a customer feel timid to ask for clarification if he/she is doubt of any words out of the person’s mouth.

That’s my logic of thinking.  However, two recent cases made me realize that a person in a position doesn’t equal to the authority of the position.

Case 1:

One morning I went to drop off an item at a courier service office.  The item was in its original retail box, which was brand new and sturdy.  I had printed out shipping label and attached it to the retail box.  Since I sold items on ebay, I was very familiar with shipping items.  This was what I always did in the past.

However, when I gave the item to the staff over the counter, she said I couldn’t use retail box, and I have to use their brown package box.  I was a little confused for a second, and then I thought maybe their policy changed and now it was one of the new requirements.  I  asked her if there was any additional charge.  She said no and then started to add a package box outside the retail box.  After she finished the repackaging, she said the total will be $30.  I assured her I have paid the postage and printed out the shipping label.  She replied there was no additional charge to the postage, and the money was for the packing box material.  What?  I couldn’t believe it.  My item was only worth $10, and the package box would cost me $30!! In disappointment, I said I didn’t want to post it.  She then agreed to tear off their package box.

Later that afternoon, I told hubby what had happened.  He couldn’t believe it because in the past retail box was accepted well.  He took the item to the same courier office again to try his luck.  This time, another staff was there.  That staff just checked the postage and shipping address, and accepted the item in its retail box without saying anything.

Which staff was right?  I don’t know.  But clearly, two staffs in the same position handle the same item differently.

 

Case 2:-

I bought 1 year supply of contact lens at a store.  The lady told me the total was $400.  I was surprised because the amount sounded very high.  I asked her to double confirm it was for 1-year supply.  She replied, “Yes.  It is correct amount.  Actually it is cheaper for you to buy 1-year supply at a time.  If you buy 3 -month supply a time, the unit price will be much higher.  You see, your total amount is less than $600.”  Whatever.  She sounded like she knew her stuff well.  I asked her one question, and she replied me four sentences.  I nodded and paid $400 quickly.

When it was time to pick up the contact lens, another lady was there.  She looked at the receipt and asked me if I bought for 1- year supply.  I replied yes.  She then frowned and said from the receipt I paid for 2 year supply, instead of 1 year.  Oh, so I paid double!

Money-bound mindset

I admit that money occupies my mind a lot.

I don’t mean I love money, because in my eyes money is only a kind of tool, a medium for articles exchange.

Then why should I as a human being be confined to a tool? I gave it a second thought on my own question and found that I am actually bound to some worries and some longings.

My worries come from the insecurity feeling and uncertainty of future.  Emergency fund is absolutely necessary.  I’ll need to roughly calculate the money needed to put aside.  Maintain a good mindset is even more important.  I’ll learn to live in the present, instead of worrying the future, or agonizing the past.  Not a time I realized that savoring life and being myself are higher level pursuit than material goals.

I have some material longings which can be achieved if I have more money.  These longings play a much heavier role in confining my mind.   One of them is a bigger house.  My son likes to have a house with upstairs.  I want a newer house with 4 bedrooms.  But we can’t afford such a house for now.  In some sense, to have some longings is good, because they turn into goals and motivate us keep going forward, like a carrot hanging in front of a donkey.  But the thing to me is, sometimes I tend to overdo.  I push myself too hard and get backfired on these goals.   I couldn’t help anxiously keeping on thinking of possible solutions to achieve the goals within a short time frame, which is usually unrealistic.  Then, with disappointment, I start to marvel at the power of money, helplessly.  That’s a vicious circle.

However, if I am not so aggressive, I should know that our current house is a nice and big dwelling place to hold our family in.  After all, home is not the building we dwell in, but it is the warm haven our family always refer to.  What’s good if we really purchase a new house and move in?  I’ll most likely have some new longings and still feel the pressure of lack of enough money.  Honestly I don’t know how much money is enough to fulfill all these endless longings.

Learn to be content with what I have and feel grateful is the only solution to change all the money-related greedy mindset.

Make bread for the Lord’s table

I was in charge of making bread for the Lord’s table in our Church last Lord’s day.

I got up early on Sunday morning and scheduled half an hour to the work.  Sister Su taught me how to make bread before and I scratched some notes of the procedures and attached them on the fridge for easy and quick references.  Also, this was not the first time that I made bread for our Church.  I did twice before, and they were both successful.   So, I thought half an hour was a reasonable time slot to make it done.  However, beyond my expectation, I redid the bread five times and it took me more than 2 hours.

For the first two, the pie dough went dry quickly when they were rollen flattened.  I thought it might be caused by the flowing air from the open windows.  So I closed the windows.

The third one was better and not so dry.  But when I attempted to gild the lily and make the pie thinner, the bread broke.

Then I made a fourth dough.  The pie was good during the rolling.  This time I didn’t follow the recipe by putting the baking plate in the oven in advance,  the bread was broken again quickly after it was baked.

For the fifth time, I strictly followed the taught procedure.  I put the baking plate in the oven during pre-heat.   When the pie was rolled well, I put it in the hot baking plate and turn it 8 times on each side, and then I bake it for 4 more minutes.  Finally this pie turned out good.

My hubby said the many failures were due to my perfectionism.  I always tried to make the bread thinner and thinner, till it was like a sheet of paper.  Hubby said it was unnecessary to make it so thin.  I agreed with what he said.  So the fifth one wasn’t as thin as my pre-set criteria.

At the same time,  I believe so many failures were a sign from the Lord to make me to watch.  These days my spirit was weak, and I haven’t read Bible for many days.  It’s time for me to strengthen my spirit and start to read Lord’s words.  Praise the Lord for the “watch”!