Hello Lovely People!
Sorry for another long hiatus… married life is tough acclimating to, I tell you! Living with someone else really makes time pass by in a hurry. Everyday seems to pass by so quickly – one moment it’s October, and *boom* next thing you know, it’s Christmas! And soon, it’ll be 2019!! :0 *gasps*
I hope you’ve all had a Merry Christmas, and that you’ve received and unboxed many lovely gifts! 😊
I’m Malaysian, and in Malaysia, it’s not customary for us to gift each other with presents during Christmas. Although many revel in it, not everyone practices it. Christmas is a public holiday here (thank God) unlike in some of our neighbouring countries, but it’s not as huge of a celebration as compared with the Lunar (Chinese) New Year or the Hari Raya (Muslim New Year). And in Asia, cash is king – so many prefer receiving money packets versus gifts.
This Christmas has been special. For starters, I bought my first Christmas tree.
YES, my first tree!
Needless to say how excited I was when I dragged Victor out tree-shopping. We got a small little tree with some decorations, see the picture below! I have this image of us building on the decorations with each passing year. Yes, I’m a sentimental person 😉
It’s also my first Christmas as a married woman – a wife. I still have not really wrapped my head around this yet. The other day, Victor gave his first sermon at church and he mentioned his wife in one of his statements and I was like “Who? Oh, it’s me! I’m the wife he’s talking about!”.
As I’ve said, still adjusting to married life!
On the plus though, I’m learning new things about my husband’s capabilities. He wasn’t as good at planning and pulling surprises, but he has really improved in this area after we got married!
My birthday is always a week before Christmas. This birthday, my dear husband got me a personal chef as a present. Now, my husband is real practical, so he won’t pay someone an exorbitant amount to cook for us. No way; he would rather step up to the challenge. Yup, HE was the “personal chef” – Chef Victor!
And oh, how he threw me off from guessing this… So this happened the Saturday before my birthday. He brought us to brunch at my favourite brunch spot in KL (@VCR Café – I loveee their Turkish Style Eggs), then followed by a 2-hour Thai body massage. The whole time, he made me believe that he’s made reservations at this nice restaurant and got me guessing what type of restaurant it will be. When it came time to go to this place, he told me – in the car – that we are heading back home to Victor’s Restaurant. I was puzzled at first, and I was asking him how he’ll be cooking because I didn’t notice any groceries in the fridge. Sneaky guy apparently bought and hid all the groceries in areas of the fridge he knew I wouldn’t search! And he managed to bake and hide a cake in there too! He went home from work and baked it over a long lunch break the day before, then hid it in a compartment in the fridge. He pulled off the perfect surprise indeed.
It was the perfect gift, but it wasn’t something I expected I would get from him. He certainly over exceeded my expectations. But then again, it’s not what he does that makes it the perfect gift – he is my perfect gift. 😊
This holiday season has got me pondering on this fact more than ever: about how I am so blessed to have this man in my life and how he been a gift to me from our Heavenly Father. We were just talking about this last night during one of our late night “pillow talks”. Marriage is like a never-ending sleepover with your best friend, after all 😉
We talked about how we came together despite the odds, about how we’ve matured over the years, about the things we’ve learnt about each other and how our love for each other and for God has grown. If you were to tell me 10 years ago that I’d end up with someone like him, I would have told you a straight “no way”.
I would have told you my list (which I wrote in my diary and still have till today), and one of the points is that my guy must be older than I am.
I would not date/marry a younger guy.
In case you don’t already know, my husband is 3 years younger than I am, and in the Asian culture, it’s rather a ‘no-no’ to date/marry a guy younger than you. For many (silly) reasons, like financial stability, maturity and so on. The older ones tend to believe that an older guy would bring better financial stability and maturity to a relationship. Though there could be some truth to this, I believe that in today’s modern society, you can’t necessarily accredit someone to being richer or more mature just cause of his age.
But fun fact, I crossed check Victor with the list I wrote when I was 15 years old, and he ticks off the other points apart from the age requirement. God works in miraculous ways indeed! He was just laughing away when I told him about this.
Now, I realize that I have been painting this wonderful image of my dear husband and I need to set the record straight before he feels too high and mighty about himself 🙂 : Victor isn’t perfect… come on, nobody is perfect. He does have his shortcomings as do any average human being, but bottom line is, we have proven that love conquers all (so far)! Okay, that does sound cliché. Love is one thing, but without a conscious decision to continue loving each other, any relationship won’t last for long. That’s why so many people with broken relationship and failed marriages claim that they’ve “fallen out of love”. Let’s set this straight: you simple don’t “fall” out of love. That just means that you’ve chosen to stop loving them; to stop finding the beauty in them; to stop reigniting the love you once shared for each other. It’s all about your choice.
A marriage is a conscious decision every single day; it’s more than just a feeling.
Check out this song Victor wrote for our engagement. It’s talking about how we choose to love each other and will choose to do so for the rest of our lives. I think it’s the perfect embodiment of my theory above. Yes, it’s us singing 🙂 Enjoy!
SheiKit – Choose To Love You
But then again, who am I to give marriage advice? I’ve only been married for a little over 4 months and been in a relationship with Victor only for 6 years or so. I am under qualified, but I do believe there are some merits to what I’ve just written above.
Coming from a broken home, I have seen how a selfish and loveless marriage operates and how damaging the consequences are on the family unit and its members. The scarring effect lasts a lifetime. I’ve always wondered how I am seemingly unaffected by my past, in terms of the relationships I’ve had. I know of some others who also come from broken homes and how they have sworn off love and marriages. They just don’t believe in the notion of a happy relationship anymore. That’s a rather sadistic point of view. After all, the Bible has taught me that God is love and if He can love me for my shortcomings, I certainly can love someone else. What is life without love?
Although Victor and I find each other to be an awesome gift from our Father to each other, our love is certainly not the greatest gift we have from Him. The greatest gift is what Christmas is all about – it is the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, who came to us in the form of mankind and who eventually died for our sins on the cross many years later.
This salvation that saved us from the wages of sin, from eternal torture, from the darkness of death … this is the greatest gift anyone could ever receive.
And non-believers will roll their eyes at this usually, but I don’t blame them (or you). It’s a hard truth to comprehend. It’s like a complex gift that you’ve received, and you don’t know what it’s for or how to use it. So, you usually tuck it away or try to give it away because you don’t know the use of it or you don’t have a need for it at that period of time. I got a pizza cutter as a Christmas gift last year, and at that time, I didn’t see how I’ll need it or when I’ll use it. So I kept it in a corner for about a year. This Christmas, we had some friends over at our new home and we ordered pizza. Guess what I needed? Bingo. The pizza cutter. It came in handy when I needed it, so I didn’t have to go out looking to buy one.
I myself took a couple years to fully understand the meaning behind the gift of Christmas. I accepted the Lord when I was 9, but I was too young then to understand. To me, being a Christian meant attending fun Sunday school. It meant not having to burn incenses and prayer papers anymore (I was a Buddhist growing up). It meant flipping through a picture Bible to enjoy the colourful graphics, but I didn’t appreciate the stories it told. It’s okay, it takes a specific time and season in your life to realize that you want to open up this gift. When that happens, the gratification you get from realizing that you already have what you needed will make you mind-blown, really!
And it won’t necessarily happen during Christmas. It’s spoken about most during Christmas because that’s the time the gift came about, but you may open it anytime else throughout the year. All you need to do is realize that there’s a need for it (ie, Him) in your life, and then you can open it up by simply uttering four words:
“Lord, I need you.”
I truly found meaning to this gift when I was going through a lot of pain from my broken circumstances. I opened up the gift of eternal salvation and relied heavily upon His strength to pull me through many dark nights. In Him, my hope is found. I can hope for and expect a better future. I can break the chains of my bondages, which is the chain of broken homes/relationships – and that is why I can love again. 😊
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16