edlina & the lynns
Today I watch a capable young girl adorned with an apron fully occupied in the kitchen. She has made herself available for service as a "kitchen police" this month helping Ah Ma to prepare meals as mum rest in her postnatal month. Every morning she awoke at the break of dawn, cleansed and changed waiting for her marketing date with Kong Kong. She crept into my room, collected the soiled nappies and clothes for laundry. It saved Ah Ma a trip of the tiring staircase.

She sneaked in a corner for her quiet moments with the Lord before she quickly completed her daily academic assignments. In between the day, she grabbed a book for a good read, made a dance with her sisters, played a board game, taught her 4 year-old sister reading, writing and math, practised her times-table with an incredible creative idea - cha-cha moves! She urged her sister to dance along. They had a swell time dancing gracefully while doing math. Times-table was a dreadful feat before this!

The newborn cried...she jumped at the opportunity to carry him. How well she handled him - so much more confident than most adults! She sang her own composition to soothe him and he calmed down at the sound of the melody as he snuggled in her arms. She is a big sister for the third time.

She helped Ee Ee with the Sunday school preparation before she pulled out all that she needed to bake her own birthday cake. She has always been a leader. I watched her gave orders to her sisters who eagerly wanted to help with the baking. They baked a chocolate cake which was later coated with Betty Crocker's rich and creamy chocolate topping. She carefully sprinkled the silver beads to create a figure of 10 and lots of almond nuts around it. I could see a satisfied look on her face.

It has been a decade since she was born, making me a very proud mum! It seems like a wink of an eye. The day I held her for the first time, I cried the tears of joy and then a gush of anxiety flooded me. Suddenly such a big responsibility was entrusted into my hands. I've been enrolled into the School of Motherhood - an enormous volume of life training modules with no certificates nor graduation; but blessed with a life-time of divine exchanges.

I held in my hands a precious gift from heaven.

I have every reason to be thankful as I watch her grow from a tiny tot to a terrific ten. Ashlynn - the strong and beautiful is 10 today!

edlina & the lynns
Being a fourth time mum, I kind of expected what entails in a labour process...just that I have no say in the timing of baby's arrival. I never reach - not anything near to my expected date of deliveries. All my girls came really early with one premature baby of 29 weeks. Even though I quite expected this fourth offspring will also be early but on one hand prayed that he will be carried to term.

Gateway City Church first church camp ended with my session on "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross". I stood there heavily pregnant preaching what God had laid in my spirit. As I urged the church to look ahead at Jesus our focal point, I was also reminded no matter how difficult and heavy I felt with my small frame supporting a growing baby at 33 weeks plus in gestation, my comfort was to endure for the sake of the joy set before me. Soon...yes, soon I will be holding my baby tangibly in my hands. Interestingly during the night before, I dreamt I had given birth but awaken at night only to rub on my existing protruded abdomen realizing it was just a dream. Somehow dreams have been significant in many of my life's stories. Deep down my heart I knew he was coming.

Indeed it was fast. The night I returned from camp, I went into labour. I was so ready to deliver, but my doctor wasn't, being a preterm case again! I was transfered to another bigger hospital just in case baby require neonatal ICU care. All necessary treatment were administered. I was left completely contraction free the entire day time and lying down in the labour room talking to God and claiming His promises. I had read earlier in Isaiah 66:7-8 which declares:

"Before she goes into labour, she gives birth;
before the pains come upon her,
she delivers a son.
Who has ever heard of such a thing?
Who has ever seen such things?"

No. Never, unless one uses medical intervention. Though I knew I cannot escape labour pain yet this portion of scriptures was very comforting and I boldly asked God for his miraculous intervention. I confessed the Word throughout and hold it dearly in my heart. God had walked me through every childbirth; and each has its own story of his faithfulness. The nurses always marvelled at my childbirth processes - fast and easy. They would tell me I should have more babies! And I laid in the labour room wondering what would be the story this time?!

Since my nursing days, I've watched patients using epidural. However, in the recent years this medical technology has caught up significantly with many educated women requesting it in order to be pain-free. Never did it crossed my mind to ever ask for it all these years. Had always thought the labour process is part of the beauty of motherhood. For some reason, as I await this round, I was wondering if I should try epidural this time to compare and perhaps come to a conclusion of certain thoughts of the debate of the usage of epidural. My smart husband smiled at me and threw back the question to me, "If you've asked God for a miracle, why do you need epidural?" Afterall, I never used in the past 3 times. Hmm, I was left with abandoning myself in my Father's Hands again. Surely he will take me through it once again. I empathized with the women in the next rooms. I could only whispered prayers for them as they groaned and cried in labour...and then rejoiced with them silently when I heard the cries of every newborn.

The night came and I began experiencing some mild contraction. It was getting more frequent and I knew the labour couldn't be prolong till the next day anymore. I informed the nurse and she checked on me regularly and commented perhaps my threshold of pain is high as my response had always been "bearable". But I believe it was my Father's Hands holding me. I was in full control of my situation, composed and washed by God's peace. Then...the much awaited moment...the bearing down sensation came upon me but unbelievably mild compared to all my past experiences! I told the nurse "baby's coming"...the obstetrician and Ed arrived shortly. Withing less than 15min, a son was born unto us...and he shall be called, Ashton - the strong fortress or settlement, the supplicant; "I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfil his purpose for me" (Psalm 57:2 NLT).

The Lord released his word in Isaiah 66:7-8. I watched the word come to pass. Although not completely without pain but significantly less in intensity. Tremendously less that I could still talk and discuss with the nurse during the bearing down sensation (which I remember were the worst part of labour for me in the past 3). Indeed a miracle. Who needs epidural when carried in our Father's Hands? And preterm Ashton is doing great at 2.4kg and ruled out the need of respirator and incubator. All because we were in His Hands.

edlina & the lynns

The Lynns has been looking forward eagerly to the movie, "Prince Caspian" after their craze over "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". We are into the last 3 chapters of this classic literature and getting ready to enjoy the visual effects and seeing the unfolding of the book at the big screen; then plunging into an adventurous unit study on it. Every night, they will excitedly sit around mum for this bedtime reading and tapping over my tummy to talk to sayang. Yep, sayang had no choice but to 'join in listening'.

Every time we passed by the billboard of Prince Caspian...Chrisa never fails to remind us of the classic hitting the cinema in town on May 16. However, another prince decided to race in first taking over Prince Caspian as he has been quietly listening all this while.....he arrived 6 weeks earlier than expected on May 6!

Announcing the early arrival of Prince Ashton (Lynns' sayang)!

You think Prince Caspian is cool? Here's one cool pic of Prince Ashton with his "first sunglass" - sunbathing under the phototherapy :)

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of the warrior are sons born in one's youth." - Psalm 127:3-4