Happy Chinese New Year! To everyone, here’s wishing you a blessed new lunar year filled with prosperity of heart, body, mind and soul!
I’ve had an amazing Chinese New Year weekend. So packed with activities, good food, laughter, wonderful company and fun that I have decided not to give a detailed account of what happened. I would, however, like to share some thoughts of gratitude that I have been mulling over this weekend.
As usual, during CNY, my thoughts turn to family and friends, both absent and present. There are many whom I have thought of, and many things that I am thankful for. But amidst all the good things that I have been blessed with in my life, and for which I heartily thank my Father in heaven, these that follow are the highlights…some of which have been with me for years, some of which are fairly recent developments. Anyway, this is the prayer of thanksgiving that I wish to say to my Father and Creator. I choose to share it so that those who are mentioned in it will know it. :)
Thank You for the gift of my family. I thank You for a dad who is humorous, and who is generous such that he doesn’t mind being the butt of family jokes because he knows how much laughter and joy it brings us. I thank You for a mother whose faith, love, patience, wisdom, intelligence and courage continues to astound, humble and inspire me. I thank You for a brother whose wit, talent, patience and love has filled my life with laughter, companionship and joy. I thank You for a loving spouse whose very being inspires me to try and be more like You, and for the family that he has brought with him into my life…how lucky am I that they are such welcoming, loving and faithful people! I thank You for Cathy too… whose kindness, patience, simplicity and love bring such warmth into my family. I pray that I will be a loving peace-maker, and a bringer of joy to this family You have given me.
I thank You for the gift of my friends. You know how as a child I yearned for a special friend to share my thoughts, fears, and joys with. There was a time when I thought You denied me that wish…but it has been long since that I realized what a mistake that was. I’ve made many friends over the years, all who have had a place in my life and from whom, through love, I have learned something about living. But I thank You the most for those friends through whom Your love for me have been most powerfully manifest both in the past, and in the present.
Thank You for my St. Nicholas sisters, especially Yinwei, En, Zhen, Bea & Ivy – these are the friends who made growing up so fun and exciting and memorable. We shared girlish dreams and hopes, helped each other in finding our own paths, supported each other through first loves and heartbreaks, and, subsequently, marriage and motherhood… Their trust, support and love helped me form my identity. I am so grateful that they let me into their lives to stay. I pray that You will continue to teach us how to enrich our friendship with one another even as we enter into new and foreign circumstances in our lives.
Lord, You have pampered me so much with these friends that I never expected or hoped that I could still make new friends that could mean that much to me. I should know better than to underestimate Your generosity! And so it is that I find myself thanking You for a whole new group of friends in Toronto! There are so many that I am grateful for…truly. But there are five gems for whom I am especially grateful. Thank You, of course, for Yuandong & Wanting! They’re such lovely, funny, wonderful people and such dream housemates! Thank you especially for Ting…whom I can always count on for an encouraging pat or hug when I’m down, whose sweet smile and infectious laughter never fails to brighten my day, and who is so obliging in letting me dote on her.
Last, but certainly not least, thank You so much for HJ, HM and HX. I feel that You’ve outdone Yourself in generosity (ha ha if that is possible). I never would have thought that my wish for a younger sister would be answered 22 years later and in this way. I was already grateful for Wanting. Then You surprised me with three more adorable ‘ready-made’ little sisters. Thank You for Hui Jun who, I suspect, does not realize just how grateful I am for all the time she’s given me, how much I enjoy talking with her, or how much I am learning from her. Thank You for Hui Mei, whose simplicity and sincerity always make me feel humbled and welcome. And thank You for Hui Xuan, whose exuberance, affection and enthusiasm simply makes me happy, and whose thirst for understanding the world reminds me of how much more I need to learn. Lord, help me to be a good friend to these precious people, and to be an effective instrument of Your love and peace in my friendship with them.
Thank You, also, for blessing me in my work – for an understanding and supportive supervisor and committee, as well as for leading me in discovering my calling with regards to my work. Thank You, for all these obvious blessings, but also for the crosses You have given me to bear and the lessons You have given me to learn. I know that without these I would never grow. Please continue to be patient with me, and teach me to live and to love as You did.