The growing eaglets in edlina's nest - learning, loving and living.
Every outing for us (especially if I go out alone with my children)never fails to attract attention. Some friendly smiles while others were strange stares...and still others led to interesting conversations and friendships.

Yesterday, I caught an elderly man smiled at me after I almost finished paying at the cashier of a bookshop. In a few moments, I saw the same man smiling at me again in the midst of the busy crowd of the mall. He pointed at my children and counted with his finger one by one, "1,2,3,4"...and then he gave a thumbs up! I smiled back. Ashlynn asked, "Do you know him, mum?" Obviously, I don't. He was one of those whom was delighted to see our little troop. It is not an uncommon gesture. I've got countless queries.

"Are these all yours?" (of, course, or else?)
"How many kids do you have?" (I am wondering if there's really that many to count)
"Huh? You got four!" (So?)
"Wah, so many kids!" (So many???)
"All girls? Oh, one boy."
"You are so little yourself...and you've got so many kids."

So many?! I thought I could still count them with one hand :)
Four - it's already SO MANY in our culture and generation. And to think God commanded us to "be fruitful and multiply". Thinking of the traditional (yet biblical) wishes to be productive when one get married and how genuine that wish is...hmm...I am pretty sure people don't think hard enough nor serious enough the extent of that wish. I've only a handful of well-wishers who really think this is a good and God-idea to be "fruitful and multiply". Should I highlight multiply? Ed says, in order to do that...the least is 4! When one couple has 2 (which is the urban norm), it is only replacement. Not reproduction.

So we are only hitting the minimum quotient.
I am subscribed to a Christian motherhood magazine which is a pro-natural parenting group. I admire their great faith of bringing up a big family of godly children. And I mean BIG. Not 4...but 8, 10, 20...and one particular case I read had 25!! Insane, right? How do you get such a massive number? Biological offsprings plus adoption. Four is certainly a small sum for these families :) Talking of touching lives...surely they have touched them under one roof.
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The hand phone beeped again early this morning...a sms came in informing me of my friend's passing away. No matter how prepared I was, I still felt the pain surged in me. What more for his beloved wife and dear parents whom he left behind!

Death doesn't recognize age, gender, race, religion, nor status in life. The fear of the unknown never cease to confront the candidate; and the pain of the loss of their loved ones is tangible.
But, for those who believed in Him, we are convinced that neither death not life, neither angels nor demons, neither present not the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

I rest assured my friend is now in the glorious place; having completed his assignment on earth is now resting in peace. For all of us still present on earth, we still have our assignment to complete. And, the One who entrusted us the divine appointment will take to completion what he has begun in us. Let us make our lives count for eternity.
Early this morning, my hand phone rang...
No, it wasn't my alarm.
I saw the name...I knew in my heart it was probably bad news.
A friend called...informed me of our mutual friend's ill condition.
My heart sank though I had anticipated this day will arrive.
I had planned to visit him soon but haven't managed to...
We hadn't been in touch for years. He was based overseas. Just married 2 years' ago. Diagnosed with brain tumour. The malignancy spreads. Came back recently to his hometown. Wheeled chair bound. Poor physical condition with a grim outlook.
Last night, deteriorated further. Admitted to ICU, comatose.

Ed just rushed off with the friend who called to pray for him.
I am seated here with a heavy heart filled with emotional pain for his dear wife and parents. The last image of his face with a sleek smile when we last communicated flashed in my mind.
My prayers go forth for him and his family.

who can explain it all?

I used to confront this issue of life and death everyday working in the hospital.
The intensity heightened during my posting in ICU.
Death confronted my patients. The pain of the loss was excruciating to their loved ones.
The urgency of the gospel of truth was intensified in me. I went to work every shift armed with a mission and compassion for the lost.

The intensity of that urgency can sometimes tapples off when the norm of life takes over...
We all know life is full of uncertainties.
Yet death is a certain route - for "even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..." but the Good Shepherd is our comfort - "I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

The certainty of death confronts all of us.
But each of us have a choice in our destiny.
My comfort for my friend lying in the ICU bed now is he knows Christ. He reconciled with his Creator. Heaven is welcoming him home.

Life is fragile. That's why we are asked to "watch and pray".
Today I heard my wake up call from heaven.
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After being the 4th time mum, I know full well babyhood doesn't last. The complete helplessness of an infant will soon pass so quickly and I'll look back every time and marveled at how the once upon a time baby has grown so much in every way. I've learnt not to complain so much but to appreciate the brief period of growth spurt. In the short one year, the tiny helpless newborn is nurtured through basic needs of just simple diet and play and lots of sleep. And of course, loving touch and cuddles.

I watched my own babies grew. Now Ashton will be 9 months' old soon and I can't keep up with how the days just passed by...from the sealed eyes at the first two days in the hospital nursery, now that same pair of eyes twinkle with such delight and excitement each day. The once immobile infant is now crawling and exploring new ground daily. He is determine to stand without support but fell many times; only to get up and got over his fear and tears almost immediately. He is ready to explore again. Potentials and possibilities are ahead of him.

His birth keeps my eyes open to my spiritual baby too...Gateway City Church was conceived at the same time. The church celebrated her 1st anniversary last week. There's a lot of hard work in nurturing a new church plant. But just like my biological baby, I watched in great anticipation the potentials and possibilities ahead as our Loving and Gracious Father set his basic foundations, supply, support and shield His spiritual infant. It will come a time to soar.
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