When you hear someone say ‘It’s been a good year!’, naturally you may imagine lots of goodies, be they, $$, health, relationships, babies, maybe? All the good stuff rolled in to 1 fat year as the Chinese might say.

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But this year has been GOOD with 4 Capitals for us, not plainly because of those reasons. In fact, as i sit here typing, I struggle to sit upright to not strain the wounds from my appendectomy operation just 3 days ago at the Royal Perth Hospital. I just want to take a moment to praise the LORD for HE IS SO GOOD. When you have tasted the goodness of the Lord, it is not what pleasures or challenges the eyes would see in the flesh. His love is better than life. That’s it. Sums it up.

Christmas assortments?

Christmas assortments?

It’s easy to say this when everything is a-ok and you take the road not so uncommonly travelled and sail on, sail on. But our lives were never naturally led into those paths, and so we tread these mud roads. Many people sing and play music but not many do so singularly. Even fewer dare say they do it successfully for a living. We used to be able to say that. But unless you enjoyed rising to a level of fame, and allowed other concerns to take a backseat, ie make that sacrifice, you will struggle to make ends meet doing the thing you love. Having said that, we are simple folks with little wants. We don’t shop, or eat out, or catch the latest movies. That is just who Didi and I are. We share the same values about money. It is for times when our loved ones need it, to treat or honour someone we feel prompted to bless, or when we have the occasional array of medicines to purchase from the chemist… We once experienced a moment of not having enough to give to someone in need, and it brought more sadness and grief to us to not be able to feed someone else who needs it more than to receive all those presents from each other on ‘special’ days like V-day. For us, love looks like this.

And so it is not hard for us to manage and cope with the reality of a musician’s lifestyle. We must add, we also have very very very kind and thoughtful friends.

This year has been great, not because it was smooth because it wasn’t always, but because we went through the rocky bits, the cliffs, the valleys, and the moments of drought Together. The Lord was with us, and He is with me today. Thank you Jesus.

Since I personally don’t enjoy dropping points in prose, here you go, the highlights/lessons of 2017:
+ Getting a job (other than music)
+ Realising what i think i can isn’t what i’m called to
+ Learning to be patient and wait on the Lord (that was a big one, ended up in the clinic again)
+ Learning to communicate with the husband (husbands and wives are different animals)
+ Learning to communicate with my parents (Asian families don’t hug, or talk… not much anyway)
+ Trusting my instincts when they are led by the Holy Spirit (that not only resulted in my ‘sharky-darn’ moments, but also almost costed us our Christmas video)
+ Knowing the Lord through people and how he opens up relationships
+ And also sometimes gives us the courage to close in on untimely ones
+ Saying ‘no’
+ Painting: I started out 2017 with the goal of doing more playing, singing and painting, and this self-taught practice really is starting to take off!
+ Go DEEP (not far/wide)
+ Spending time with Him
+ Yoga: Striking a friendship with Josephine from Holy Yoga Australia/GracexStrength really was the most natural and most gracious thing that I’d encountered on the www. (Christ-centred a crying gaping hole in the market and the oppositions that came with it – that had been sorely on my heart for the longest time)
+ Witnessing His Timing is Perfect (be it reconciliation, work, or the salvation of a lost soul, or my having hubby cook and take care of me in this single 1 week break we hadn’t had in years – we’ll make it up with more interesting excursions, but believe it or not, it is a sort of holiday to just rest!)
+ Picking up sign language and understanding their world of truly ‘listening’ and meeting others who are Auslan-enthusiasts
+ When you know your kings-ly position, you give kings-like. Conversely, one may be the richest man on the planet and yet live like rats on scraps, fearful of their tomorrows. Know my inheritance as a child of God, am blessed to bless.

Here I’m grinning like a bobcat because I’d just had a great time witnessing generosity in action. A man was drinking his Jim Beam at the busstop, and i backed off thinking he was one of the drunkards who needed some space. As we boarded the same bus, he held his carton of assorted beer bottles and pulled one out for me. For you. I just found them at the alley behind. Is this common, for people throw beer away here in this town? he asked. I just rejoiced with him. He was genuinely happy. He wasn’t even that into drinking since he gave me 2 other bottles and thanked me for the conversation. Before we parted he said, nobody would believe my story. They’d say ‘That’s a good story’. Isn’t that funny? That things can be ‘too good to be true’ even when you hold them in your hands? Learning to receive is often harder than giving. This man understood this well. :)

I'm not even a drinker, the look of a happy receiver of gifts.

I’m not even a drinker, the look of a happy receiver of gifts.

Unfortunately, right after this, i was admitted to the hospital for appendectomy. :)

Some new goals for the new year 2018:
+ Participate in more song-signing projects
+ Paint my 50 mark
+ Sing, from the position of the blessed and favoured
+ Continue to walk closely with the Lord
+ Arrangements for Polkadot + Moonbeam’s original compositions of 1/46
+ Enjoy more quality time with hubby and friends (without the phone)

Before I go, just a headsup, we will be seeing you in Singapore (and Malaysia) in 2 months’ time. Have a blessed Christmas and amazing New Year!

Love,
Juliet

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