Tragedies

I was going to put up a Christmas post but in the light of some recent events across the world, I felt that it was almost inappropriate to be celebrating amidst all the grieving.

I was reading an article about The Biggest Tragedies in 2014 and it made me remember how fragile life is; how mortal we are and how suddenly things can take a turn for the worse. Some of these tragedies particularly resonate with me being a Malaysian – I’ve flown with Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia all my life (and my parents still use those airlines on a regular basis) so it does feel a bit surreal at times. In fact, my parents were on an Air Asia flight less than 24 hours before this most recent crash. And I even knew a person on the MH17 flight; an acquaintance from high school and a loving person who is dearly missed by her family.

But really, it’s not all about me. It’s about all those lives lost. It’s about all those people who won’t be able to welcome in the new year with their beloved family members. It’s about ideals torn apart, hearts brokens and promises that weren’t able to be kept. And I think, what if it was me – how would I feel? What would I do?

I’m not sure if you know, but I LOVE Avril Lavigne’s music – I grew up with her music blaring in my rooms and I know the words to most if not all of her songs. I was SO happy to get her Goodbye Lullaby album after my car ate up her CD (radio died on me and ruined my old one) and I feel it’s her best album, or at least one where her emotions really do resonate with mine. One of my favourite songs on this album is “Everybody Hurts” and I’ve been playing it over and over again (much to my hubby’s dismay). Then I remembered that long ago, back in the day when I still had my green guitar, I actually sang a cover version of this song – and here it is:

Okay, it’s not the best video but really, it’s the lyrics that really touch deeply and that’s something I want to share and dedicate to the people in these tragedies.

Don’t know, don’t know if I can do this on my own
Why do you have to leave me?
It seems I’m losing something deep inside of me
Hold on, on to me

Now I see, now I see

Everybody hurts some days
It’s okay to be afraid
Everybody hurts, everybody screams
Everybody feels this way
And it’s okay, it’s okay

It feels like nothing really matters anymore
When you’re gone, I can’t breathe
And I know you never meant to make me feel this way
This can’t be happening

Now I see, now I see

Everybody hurts some days
It’s okay to be afraid
Everybody hurts, everybody screams
Everybody feels this way
And it’s okay, it’s okay

So many questions, so much on my mind
So many answers I can’t find
Wish I could turn back the time
I wonder why

Everybody hurts some days
Everybody hurts some days

Everybody hurts some days
It’s okay to be afraid
Everybody hurts, everybody screams
Everybody feels this way
And it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay

Everybody hurts some days
It’s okay to be afraid
Everybody hurts some days
Yeah, we all feel pain

Everybody feels this way
And it’ll be okay
Can’t somebody take me away to a better place
Everybody feels this way, it’s okay

It’s okay, it’s okay
It’s okay, it’s okay

I know I can’t tell people that it’s okay because it doesn’t feel okay at the moment, and perhaps there’ll be a void that can never be filled. But to all of you out there who are hurting and grieving, be it from a natural disaster, accident or even just personal tragedy in your own life, I pray that you will be able to see the silver lining behind the cloud.

I pray that you will be able to one day lift your head up and smile despite the tragedy that has touched your life – and that you will be okay.

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What a world we live in…

I’ve been dwelling on things that have been happening in the world and sometimes it just feels like this world is so sad.

I’m sure most of you have heard about the MH370 incident and, like me, are flabbergasted. I don’t know why it troubles me so much – perhaps because most of my Facebook friends are Malaysian and I get updates non-stop on my Facebook feed. I have friends who are pilots, who are quite vocal about the topic, and I also have friends inviting me to Candlelight Vigils in observance of this tragedy.

Perhaps because it is my home country’s national carrier, which I’ve used year after year without a moment’s hesitance. Perhaps it’s because I started to read about the profiles of the people on board – the pilots, the crew, the passengers… And then you don’t think of them as just part of a piece of news, but you see them for their roles – as a parent, as a child, as a colleague and as a friend…

It doesn’t help with all the speculation around the incident. I’ve read a number of theories that are really interesting but unfortunately don’t answer the question. It doesn’t help that one party says this and another party says another, and subsequently they retract their statements. Whether it’s poor leadership or irresponsible reporting, it does not provide closure for all the families waiting for news. 

I pray that answers will be revealed and that hearts will be comforted at this time.

Here is one of the ‘live update’ links, which I will be tuning into:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mh370-live-deliberate-action-taken-3242322

This morning, we also heard more sad news that is closer to home. A family that we know was involved in a terrible accident that left a 14-year-old and a 4-year-old dead, and most of the family in hospital in critical condition. Dan actually taught the 14-year-old at school – he says she had a wonderful, bubbly personality and will really be missed. 

I went to a funeral last week of a wonderful woman who lived well into her years and left behind a beautiful family. I’ve been to a few funerals of older people, but never for one for a child. It just doesn’t seem right for a parent to bury their child. As a mother, I can think that it would be the hardest thing one could ever do. 

This is the news report about the crash:
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/boy-and-girl-die-after-horror-crash-at-port-wakefield-rd-lower-light-while-cyclist-critically-injured-at-west-lakes/story-fni6uo1m-1226855444297

It just makes me remember how precious life is, and how blessed we are to be safely in our warm beds with a roof over our heads. I love to watch Jacob sleep because he makes me feel safe and at peace (yes, he actually has two arms but only one wriggled out of the swaddle):

Image

The world is indeed a fallen place; full of tragedy and sadness. But it is also a place where love and beauty can blossom. Today I also met my friend’s beautiful baby girl Ruby for the first time – I didn’t hold her because I have the tail end of a cold, but she is a gorgeous little girl.

When I think of babies, I think of the hymn “Because He Lives” written by Bill and Gloria Gaither. For those of you who haven’t heard of them (don’t worry, I didn’t know who they were til a few years ago), they are country gospel singers and songwriters who wrote many beautiful Christian songs. 

The story goes that Bill and Gloria were going through tough times and they were expecting a baby as well. It was the time of the hippie movement as well, where there was an increase of sexual infidelity and drug use that made them think about what a sad world it would be to raise a child in.

It inspired one of the most famous hymns of all time, and the lyrics of the second verse particularly touch my heart:

How sweet to hold a newborn baby, 
And feel the pride and joy he gives 
But greater still the calm assurance 
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow 
Because He lives, all fear is gone. 
Because I know, I know, He holds the future 
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

I know not all my readers are Christians – but for myself, this song really grounds my faith and gives me hope. It reminds me that Jacob indeed has a life worth living and that I can show him that the world, amidst the sadness, is a world full of beauty and joy. 

And right now, he is my beauty and joy:

ImageHave a lovely weekend everyone!

 

Jacob’s Dedication Day!

I don’t know how many times I’ve said that I’m busy, but I really am!! Been sleeping late, waking up early and still doing several wake-ups each night so it is a wee bit tiring. We’ve just had so much on – a funeral and meeting with my mum’s friends, and a lot of cooking to do – but it’s all been worth it.

Before I get into it, I’ve added something to my living room – can you spot it here? I said it was a gift to Jacob but really, I think I might enjoy it more than him. 🙂

ImageAnyway, while there was a lot going on in the week, it was really just the lead up to Jacob’s Dedication which happened at church today. It was so lovely to have our friends and relatives gathered for this event.

Just to clarify, for those who do not know the term well, this is different to christening and baptism. Being in the Seventh Day Adventist church, baby dedication is a practice of praying for the child and the parents that the child will be brought up in a godly manner. This is reinforced by a prayer of support from the church and others present who pledge to be a part of the child’s upbringing. After all, it does say that it takes a village to raise a child.

ImageI was slightly worried because the service was cutting into Jacob’s nap time. Even though he had a sleep in, I knew he would be a bit cranky. He was really quite squirmy when we were up the front, though he was still relatively alert and smiley. We said a prayer for him and Jacob was silent the whole time, just gazing at the pastor as he spoke. What an angel he was!

I’d like to thank everyone who came to his dedication – we really loved having you there to support us and share in our joy. And also thank you for all the gifts we received! We are just so blessed!

prayI look forward to seeing Jacob grow up with some firm beliefs behind him. While the direction in his life is his choice, I really hope that Dan and I can give him a good Christian upbringing and a childhood to look back on with joy. Today we had many children in the church, and it just made me think of how Jacob will have so many friends in the church, and a whole heap of fun. 🙂

I sang a special item for the dedication today:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q03zbRst1K4

I just fell in love with the lyrics – here’s the first bit:

When the sun starts to rise
And I open my eyes 
You are good, so good
In the heat of the day
With each stone that I lay
You are good, so good

With ever breath I take in
I’ll tell you I’m grateful again
When the moon climbs high
Before each kiss goodnight
You are good

So how can I thank You
What can I bring
What can these poor hands 
Lay at the feet of a King
I’ll sing You a love song
It’s all that I have
To tell You I’m grateful 
For holding my life in Your Hands

I hope I did the song justice! I made a silly mistake and put the microphone stand too near me, to a point that I couldn’t reach some of the lowest notes of the song – I dodged the stand once in a while but then just decided to knock it each time and hope it didn’t fall over.

Anyway, to the cooking!! My mum made some lovely melt-in-your-mouth bites called Momos, and I made cupcakes (though I have to admit I cheated and used packet mix!).

20140308_140848_AndroidAlso, family events are the perfect time to get group shots. The older two cousins were running around outside, but we got a picture of Jacob and his cousin Malachi. It was so cute to see them interacting, but Jacob can be a bit pushy.

PushThese two are only 3 months apart and I’m sure they’ll be very good friends when they’re older.

MalachiAnyway, on a final note, I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 that went missing (and has reportedly crashed in the ocean off the coast of Vietnam). Such news saddens me and while things sound grim, I will direct my prayers to them and to the families who are agonizingly waiting for news of their loved ones.

Have a great weekend otherwise, everyone!