Showing posts from 2018

There's a Time

Well I'm also happy for this part in my life too, though its really quite scary/tiring to experience barely controlled tears. How do you feel? The question I train myself to ask my clients, the same question that is so hard to answer. Both because its legit hard to describe feelings, and uncomfortable to answer. I sense that this time, there cannot be quick answers or resolutions to the tangle inside. 好像在和自己玩冒险游戏。But the irony is, this risk is to take with people. To make myself known , to give and to ( highlights ) receive . How to do that without getting burnt-out or self-centred is something that bewilders me. I just had a conversation with Mum about my menstrual cramps. 我的 team 现在很复杂 , I say as an explanation for the increased work stress cited as a reason for the cramps. Before I could continue, she jumped in to say 我的工作那边才复杂啊! and proceeds to say more about her work.  When that happened I thought  Oh. This is how I feel unlistened to and it could really


剪一片云拽着,纪念曾珍惜的, 就此远去了,但是心还悬着 怪怪的忧伤。而这歌词正唱出了心声。 Sometimes I reflect that social workers must either be superhuman, or robotic in order to function. To use the self as a professional, be fully congruent, yet not allow the self's experience and emotions to spill over. It is a wistful kind of sadness- delayed and projected grieves mingled with the joy of knowing these people and God. (Much as I can value independence and fun at the expense of others, my top primary goods are relationships and purpose okay.) Anyways, right after I typed this during lunch I had a session with a youth whom I basically said "Sorry social workers are not superhuman I can't read your thoughts" when he expressed that he sometimes wished I could just read his mind. And he complimented me twice: (1) For expressing how people cope with emotions through their own means even if it is a stupid way to others (e.g. self-harm), and (2) For being the first person to not focus on school, whi

The Japanese Man Who Made Me Cry

This morning I read a rabbi's commentary on Chiune Sugihara- The Japanese Man Who Saved 6,000 Jews With His Handwriting . Deep emotions that cannot be expressed in words welled up into tears as what this man did was stored in my heart, the same heart that knows it is far from such (if his deeds sprung from faith) prophetic imagination. He brings to mind a tree. And a tree has been planted in memory of him at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum so it is fitting. He brings to mind a verse. "He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." (Psalms 1:3)

The Oikos\\ The Condition

"May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart. May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people. May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy. May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done." 不是莫名的感动,而是因 神而感动。The past 3 days at The Oikos have been nostalgic, somewhat convicting but more reminding of my vision. Especially when B. excitedly reminded me that we had first met on the streets when


在飞云之下 我看着海峡 走月光沙滩 我也承认我还是会想他 且慢 前面听说风很大 在飞云之下 以为忘了的家 在耳里说话 叫我别烦心那些痛与怕 喔 半路上的我 穿上回忆和风沙 I was 30 mins late for work because I lost track of time venting through the pastels btw. There is really that delinquent side of me that screams F**K THIS ALL!!! some times. Yet, even as I started on this and reflected on how much better I felt- I could hear Mr Rogers' fatherly voice saying: Only you know how you are feeling and what you are thinking. You can talk about your feelings to people you love. 前面风很大,还没有比我的 神大。 23 Sep It would be a lie to say that I am good. My soul is affected by these happenings, though I am surprised that I am surprised at how these could ever happen. I broke on Monday when the sheer yearning for God's perfected kingdom combined with the deep realisation of how broken I am, how broken the team is, how broken the organisation is. That was a good beautiful kind of brokenness I guess. More often than not, the hardness of heart and pride wraps up the G

Cry Heart, But Never Break

I am glad that I have a really meaningful (not well-taken but whatever) photo of you. In the photo, you were looking on at L. pen down his response to: 'What is Man's purpose in life?" We were all wearing the camp shirt emblazoned with Romans 10:13-15. How beautiful is your feet! Thank you for your kind cheery heart that looks out for those on the fringes and seeks greater love amidst the strife. I am very sad, but also somewhat joyful too. You have brought people together like how you would have wanted and worked for. Father of compassion and God of all comfort, You have not left us orphans in the grief.  Even as I grief, not just for this dear child of Yours but also for mum's response this morning, it turns into something beautiful by faith.  Watch and wait and see, what is yet to be

A Year Old(er)

One year old, and one year older, as I reflect on the week, I still very much like my job.  Definitely not the interpersonal stress part though that has taught me some. Maybe not the needing to lead and put thought into developing people, though that process has changed my beliefs and attitudes towards mentoring.  Definitely yes: The colleagues I can call friends, and not only that! Who willingly take photos like the above because they know my irrelevance and roll with it.  But still, a belated reply to my colleague who asked earnestly: How do you always stay happy? I see you always look so happy in the office.   When she asked that I just came out of my 3rd engagement in 3 hours so I was zonked and couldn't manage a decent reply. (So I became irrelevant hahaha) Now that I think about the answer, it is quite funny that I thought of myself as more moody/emo. I was really surprised when a good friend described me as optimistic slightly more than a year ago.

Little Children

I have been realising more and more how much the kindergarten Sunday School has taught me about faith and being. And as I intentionally have some quiet time with God, He linked all these together: "People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “ Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms,placed his hands on them and blessed them."  Mark 10:13-16 (NIV) This is a very dear bit of what Jesus said to me because in that few sentences He reminds me that the Father's world does not give a heck about attainment or prestige, but loves the seemingly weak and useless.  Throwback to today when I taught 2 active boys about physical and emotional

The Life Look

"O GOD, I bless thee for the happy moment when I first saw    thy law fulfilled in Christ,    wrath appeased,    death destroyed,    sin forgiven,    my soul saved. Ever since, thou hast been faithful to me;    daily have i proved the power of Jesus' blood,    daily have I known the strength of the Spirit,         my teacher, director, sanctifier. I want no other rock to build upon than that I have,    desire no other hope than that of gospel truth,    need no other look than that which gazes on the cross. Forgive me if I have tried to add anything to the one foundation,                    if I have unconsciously relied upon my knowledge,                          experience, deeds and not seen them as filthy rags,                    if I have attempted to complete what is perfect in Christ; May my cry be always, Only Jesus! only Jesus! In him is freedom from condemnation,                fullness in his righteousness,                eternal vitality in his


I was journalling this bit of reflection down and thought it would be wise to blog it for easier access- I need to be reminded of this constantly. That is: Knowing myself, and with people affirming that I am capable, I must never give myself over to the lie that I am of greater worth.  My worth is not in skill or name In win or lose, in pride or shame But in the blood of Christ that flowe At the cross       [My Worth Is Not in What I Own] "According to the bounty of his land, They have embellished his sacred pillars." (Hosea 10:1) The last thing I want is for my thinking to be so fixed and so closed off to others due to pride that I become like the person I have difficulties with now. I'm pretty sure there is a lot of room for examining my thoughts about this person but that is for another time. On a brighter and totally different topic- met up with 3 friends from JC today! It was our first meeting together in like 5 years?! I am filled becaus

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

This 1960s children's show is super lit. So so so much goodness, genuineness and the sense of neighborly love modeled in Fred Rogers and the other characters. Truth in a simple way too-  What if I were very very sad, And all I did was smile, After awhile, I wonder what might become of my Sadness What if I were very very angry And all I did was sit, And never think about it, What might become of my Anger? Where would they go,  And what would they do, If I couldn't let them out? Maybe I'd fall, Maybe get sick, Or doubt. But what if I, Could know the truth, And say just how I feel? I have been watching this show ever since coming across a FB post on how Fred Rogers intentionally modeled the equality of man by persuading brown-skinned Francois Clemmons to join his show- just when battles over integration of 'blacks' and 'whites' were raging. Teared when watching that episode where Fred Rogers welcomes

Surprising Myself

More than one person has told me that I constantly surprise them. I think I surprise myself too. Crazy crazy thing I just did- Sent a long email to Prof Teo YY and telling her about my intention to apply for PhD. What on earth. But I'm glad :) I read the research proposal on community development I sent in 2 years ago, and although some of the language has become quite abstractly unfamiliar, the essence of it still excites me. So here goes... Let's see where this leads.

Isle of Man

Today is day 3 of the SWSD conference and my mind is one swirl of new concepts, ideas and ideals. So I'm going to hold my horse on it (haha can it even be used like that never mind lah hor I am proud of my Singlish). I was in the Isle of Man alone yes, but contrary to what image friends might be having in their minds when they say I am on a solo trip- I have been far from going at it alone. I needed others so much. The kindness and warmth of another person- there was this gentleman who walked me to the railway station, or especially the smiles/short exchanges with passer-bys. They were as important as the sun and glimmering sea. So yeah. In a small way through my reflections I want to foster a culture of community, of vulnerability (which requires humility, which actually needs courage). So the thing I most want to get out there is how much insecurities I have, even though I am at this place where some people look up to me and think how confident I am. Throwback to GoFort

Partaking in the Mundane

Eid al-Fitr 2018 first saw me joining the throngs of Malay families and young couples milling around the Geylang Serai bazaar. Artery-clogging char kuay sotong But I actually liked the walk from Paya Lebar MRT to the bazaar more than the bazaar itself; trailing behind the 2 Malay families with their young energetic children made me somehow very happy: "Ikan! Ikan!" the cherubic younger sister squealed as she leaned as far as she could against the railing. At her Nenek's chiding "Payar!", her abang pulled her away, and they jogged along, abang's hand holding his sister's. Then, blessed koinonia at GBG Oikos: The last iftar for 2018- when walking down the whole stretch of Geylang Road The best lontong everrrr Friday: Chocolate- drizzled Custard Creams sans cream- biskuit Raya style. Then we stuffed ourselves with popiah and Chinese tea for lunch/tea. The porcelain remind me of how my parents bring us on overseas tr

The Wind Blows Where It Pleases

Bethel. Who would have expected that God will draw a song out of me? Keeping a memory of it raw, as it is. Such is the creative action from the Creator, reflected in me the created. Indeed, the glory of God is man fully alive (Irenaeus).  The wind blows where it pleases, The Spirit breezes, teases, kisses, Leads us to a place of rest and resting. Just resting, in God. In God, the Father. The wind blows where it pleases,  The Spirit leads us to places, With rest and abounding graces. We bring, we bring,  A wind of peace. We bring, we bring, A breath of life. The Spirit breezes, teases, kisses, And people come, and people come, Together, as one. The wind blows where it pleases. Dreams. They surface again when I clear my mind junk field. A downloading from the Spirit? I envision a space where people come to enjoy coffee or quaint teas, have a slow meal. Sit at the window seat, with sunlight filtering through, watch the dust mites while

Nokia Phone Days

I really love Saturdays where I drift in and out of slumber in the morning knowing that there is nothing that I need to wake up for except to have a hearty breakfast with my parents. Just being a child and hugging my crocodile soft toy (his name is Peebo btw), thinking fluffy thoughts. Found this in my old recipe notebook today when I was trying to find a recipe to use up the custard powder lying around. Those days when I only had a BW Nokia phone and so much time to read- A bit blown to see how nearly 10 years from then, most of what I wanted to do 'when I, Kang Li grows up' have been checked off. It is like God heard the prayers that even I had forgotten, and stored them in His heart. Chocolate Pound Cake and writing a book- these two are more stuff of dreams- but let's see where the adventure with God takes.

Things to Hold

"I hold all things loosely" has been a kind of new running joke ever since I used that phrase as a snarky comeback for being rightfully jibed for refusing to do an important work process. (Please do not learn this from me, it is not acceptable I admit. I am impulsively stubborn too, I admit.) There is definitely value in holding your job loosely though- probably why I score low on ambition in this work behaviour survey that I did for a professional development course. I feel like my 'ambition' is not the ambition as in wanting to progress in career goals (which I don't think I have if you are talking about the conventional sense of the term). Still, there are things to hold loosely and things to hold tightly. I had the thought to blog this morning when I got the goosebumps recalled what happened during VCF AGM this Monday. It struck me as very beautiful that the person was given the platform to make his speech via video, and that he shared his mental he


颠倒世界 好奇怪 有多坏 让我无法释怀 颠倒时代 盟国作战  蒙黑显白 颠倒耶利哥 七次吹角 城墙塌陷 颠倒福音 活出爱 国度来 让我们齐心代祷

Cigarettes // There Must Be More Than This

Heavy on your heart Heavy on your soul Thinking there must be more than this You are not alone We can be broken together Cigarettes The taste of abandon 'Cause I promise you I'm a dreamer too Heavy on my heart Thinking there must be more than this When the party has ended And your young heart's full of nothing Let's get high on believing I can promise you Yes, I am a dreamer too Dreaming in broken reality If you're looking for a home You are not alone We can be builders too Let's get high on believing I can promise you Yes, I am a dreamer too Credits: Dreamer // Axwell & Ingrosso

6 Months In // What a Social Worker Really Does

(Okay I must qualify that today isn't a so-called typical day , but seriously, seems like nothing is typical as a social worker) What I did today that really surprised me- Right at the top place : Dissembling the clogged toilet sink and pulling on years-worth of muck and hair. I literally crowed when after seriously being stumped on just how to put back all these parts, we managed by sheer force and equal willpower to stick everything back in place.  Coming in second : Counseling a distraught grandmother of my youth client over the phone for 1 hour, and giving actual counsel. We had a 1 hour call yesterday too. I am surprised at many things for this one actually- (a) Me asking point blank up front about whether symptoms of depression were observed (b) How calm and emotionally unaffected I was, even as I reflected her emotions which elicited more ventilation of these long pent-up issues (c) Being able to somehow counsel in Chinese A close third : Gettin