When God Says “Wait”

My parents and I ate dinner two nights ago and my dad randomly shared an observation he had over the past few months. He told me and my mom that he noticed how God has been answering my prayer requests and heart’s desires lately. He mentioned that when I prayed for a dog more than 4 years ago, God provided thru a family friend and we had our first dog: a fluffy, golden brown 4-year old Pomeranian named Copper. Also, he remembered how I prayed for certain gadgets before and by God’s grace, He again provided those a few months ago. It was interesting and ironic because by the time God gave our family the things that I prayed for, I wasn’t thinking about them anymore. After praying about them, somehow, God helped me surrender those things to Him and focus on Him instead. I am grateful for His grace.

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That random conversation with my parents was a timely encouragement for me because I’ve been praying about specific things lately. And somehow, I’ve felt like God wasn’t as “active” as He was in answering my prayers this time compared to my previous moments with Him. But, after talking to God that night, He reminded me of Kerrie Robert’s song “Seek Your Face” which talks about one’s desire to seek God (know who He is) and not focus on what He can give to us or what we ask from Him. It spoke to my heart because there would be times when I would feel unmotivated and discouraged to pray for specific things because of unanswered prayers or “delays”. However, by His grace, I am encouraged to see God for who He is in my life. He is my peace, my provider, and my Lord. Reminding myself of who He is helps me seek Him and His Word more, have faith in Him, and trust that He does want me to experience His best for me no matter what.

Manila Bay
Manila Bay

Despite the challenging moments that I have while I wait on the Lord, I really appreciate the fact that He uses those moments to help me get to know Him more. I remember commuting via MRT last week and while I was waiting for the next train to arrive (which took 20 minutes), God encouraged me to spend that time to talk to Him instead. Also, just this morning, I woke up at 3:30 am because of an intense dream that I had. It was about one of my prayer requests. I immediately got my journal and wrote to God. It was comforting to know that as I pray for and wait on God, I know that I can always count on Him to hear me out even in the wee hours of the morning. After praying, I closed the lights and went back to sleep with a hopeful heart. If it is God’s will and if He thinks it will be for the best, by His grace, He will provide for me. He will make a way.

From my journal
From my journal

The morning after the random conversation that I had with my parents, my sister and I walked our two dogs (Copper and Clue). While I was preparing their meals and fresh water, I remembered how we started training Clue to wait during their meal time. Clue, our 2-year old Schnauzer, was graciously given to us by a family friend as well. When we first had him, we noticed how quickly he eats his food. Before the food even touches his bowl, he would immediately eat the pellets, which was quite frustrating for us.

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So, for the past months, we’ve been doing our best to train Him to wait whenever we put food in his bowl. Sometimes, he does wait. Sometimes, he tries his best to. Haha. But, I have noticed some improvement in him lately. Whenever we put food in his bowl, we call his name and say the word “Wait.” Every time we do this, he always quickly looks at his food first and then looks at our eyes while drooling. It’s funny, really. It’s like we play a staring contest every meal time. And whenever he does wait, he waits for our go signal (the word “Okay!”) before gobbling up his food.

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Every time I give Clue a bowl of dog food, I am reminded of what I should do while I wait on the Lord. Clue continuously looks at his master while he drools and waits for his food. It just shows how Clue really desires to eat his food, but at the same time, knows that his master desires for him to learn how to wait too. Ever since Clue’s first day at home, the only thing he cared about during meal time was his precious bowl of dog food. But now, it’s encouraging to see him pause and take time to wait on his master before digging in.

 

God has been teaching me to wait on Him these past few weeks and although it has been a rollercoaster ride for me lately, I am grateful for the privilege of praying specifically, trusting completely, and waiting on Him who knows better than me.

“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”

-Psalm 27:13-14

Clue and Copper
Clue and Copper

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

I Gave an Apple Away

It is quite challenging to get a nice parking space at the office every Wednesday morning because our colleagues from the satellite offices usually gather and have meetings at the main branch. So, this morning, I did my best to leave the house early. However, despite my efforts, I still encountered heavy traffic which caused me slight delays. At one point, I was starting to get impatient especially when the traffic enforcer signaled me and the cars beside me to halt while we were about to turn around a rotonda.

I pressed on the brakes and sighed because I was running a bit late. But, as I looked around, I noticed a woman who was collecting garbage and scouting for food inside the open rotonda. She wore dirty clothes and looked like she was really hungry. I then checked the car to see if I still had extra crackers that I could give to the woman, but I only saw a big, juicy, and fresh Fuji apple in my bag. At first, I hesitated to give it to the woman because I wasn’t feeling well a while ago and I thought that eating the fresh apple would help boost my immune system. However, I felt a nudge in my heart to give it to the woman instead.

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I got the apple from my bag, opened the window of the car, and called the woman. She was only about a meter away from the car, so it was easy for her to reach out and get the fruit from me. I gave her a big smile and she said thank you while she looked at me. A few seconds later, the traffic enforcer called my attention and the cars beside me and he gave us the signal to drive and go around the rotonda.

As I drove away, I saw the woman eating the apple and I told God how grateful and joyful I was at that moment. It’s amazing how ones heart can feel so full even after giving something away. God’s grace really is remarkable.

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After a long day at work and a lot of challenging moments in the office today, I went home with a tired heart. But, on my way home, God reminded me of the apple incident that I had this morning and encouraged me to be grateful still. Despite the delays and hassles in any situation, I am reminded that God is greater still. And even though we may not always realize it at first, I know that He causes all things to work together for the good. If the traffic enforcer didn’t stop me and the other cars beside me this morning, I wouldn’t have been able to give the apple to a hungry stranger in the rotonda. In the same way, I trust and know that He can cause good things to happen through the difficulties we experienced at work today. Tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity to give an apple away. :)

“You know there’s always another story, another side to every coin. And how you see your circumstance is all about a choice.”-33 Miles

 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”-Romans 8:28

Simple Sunday Snack: Puff Pastry

I recently watched a video of Gordon Ramsay and a baker in Paris making freshly baked croissants. It caught my attention because the video showed the basic steps of making the delicious, flaky, buttery bread from scratch. The baker used a machine to fold and knead the water-based dough with a huge block of butter since he was making bulk orders for his store. After folding the dough seven times, they prepared it for baking.

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As I watched them roll out, cut, assemble, and bake the dough, I couldn’t help but crave for croissants and other puff pastries. I then remembered a shop (Sweet Craft) that offers really good, pre-made puff pastry dough. So, during the recent long weekend, I invited my siblings to join me in buying and baking the dough. We spent two hours assembling, decorating, and baking the puff pastries. It was really fun! We also experimented with different kinds of shapes and used some of my favorite fruits, chocolate, cream cheese, and nuts as the filling/topping.

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Using the pre-made puff pastry dough helped me appreciate the art of baking more because it reminded me of the hearts and skills of the professional bakers out there. In order to make really good puff pastry dough from scratch, the baker needs to make sure that he/she uses the right amount of ingredients and measure them down to the last gram of flour or butter or teaspoon of water. Also, the baker needs to carefully discern how many times he/she would fold and knead the dough without letting it get tough. These are just some of the crucial aspects in baking and it’s just amazing how bakers can create such interesting and beautiful things.

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Indeed, it really was a wonderful experience for me and my siblings to bake pastries that night. I loved the fact that I was able to do something that I love (baking) and enjoy it with my family. Also, I enjoyed seeing the puff pastry dough transform into delicious, crisp, golden brown, flaky, and buttery treats! They were beautiful. They were exactly how I imagined them to be!

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The day after we baked the pastries, my older sister and I decided to give some of them to our family friends who were visiting the country for a few days. My sister packed a couple of pastries and informed me early in the morning that she would pass by their place to give them the treats. Before she left, God somehow urged me to give our friends fresh strawberries too because we had extra strawberries from our baking session the night before. So, I asked my sister to add three strawberries to the container too.

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A few hours later, I got a message from my sister and it showed a photo of our friend, Ate Riz, and her daughter, Cami, holding the pastries and strawberries. I remember feeling delighted and shocked at the same time because my sister shared to me that ate Riz and Cami randomly prayed for strawberries that morning. It was really amazing to see God’s grace and provision in that simple moment with our family friends. When I woke up that day and asked my sister to add strawberries to the container, I didn’t know that Ate Riz and Cami were already praying for some.

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It reminded me of how sovereign our God is and it encouraged me to continue listening to His voice and obeying Him even in the smallest things. He can use even the simplest moments and acts of obedience in our lives to bless others and ourselves. Thank You, Lord, for allowing us to experience You in moments like these. :)

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” -Deuteronomy 5:33

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Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)