It’s been an amazingly grace-filled birthday weekend. I did not expect or even think to ask for so much but God has been showering and showering me with love through the people in my life.
Two weeks ago, I got an email that went like this:
Dear Miss Michelle Ng,
Miss Katherine Tsang and Miss Grace Fung cordially invite you to your own birthday celebration on Saturday, July 7th at one o’ clock in the afternoon into the evening. The dress code for this event requires that you wear a pretty summer dress and delightfully cute sandals. Your driver will pick you up at your front door for the day of festivities. See you then!
And so I wear not a dress and not cute sandals and got picked up at 12:30PM. They blind-fold me between stops and we go from
1) cute brunch place in LIC to
2) mani-pedis to
3) a car wash for Grace’s mini cooper (which is what I’ve wanted to witness for months now…) to
4) about 25 people camped on my front lawn screaming “Surprise!”
Then there was a BBQ and some mingling in the heat/AC (depending on gender). Then praising God in my living room (which was awesome. Felt magical in the way it does when we praise our Father together). Then brothers and sisters prayed for me (which made me cry again because that is so much undeserved grace, as is everything!) Then more praise and fellowship.
On top of all of that, there were a number of postcards that people wrote poems (because a sister indicated that I loved poems!) and notes on that fit together into a puzzle that reads “I’m so glad you were born.”
On top of the top of that, the next night when my extended family had dinner together, my dad made a special request and the live singer and piano player played a jazzy “Happy Birthday” for me. If you know my dad, you’ll think this is as amazing as I think it is.
And on top of the top of the top, my actual birthday was spent with some (to clarify, only some)of my dearest sisters from both college and QHC.
Right before bed last night, as I was walking into my room, I see a Pandora bracelet, which is my mother’s present to me. I then read every birthday message. And there is your post for me.
I’m still tearing up when I think of such grace in my life! I don’t deserve any of your love or any of this thoughtfulness. I don’t deserve your words and your time and your friendship. I will never deserve God’s love for me that is manifested in the tangible ways that I am loved through people, in His relentless pursuit of me, and in just the knowledge of Him and the grace that I swim in every day. I deserve nothing and yet I have been given so, so, so, so much. But that’s grace. I will never deserve it but God will give it regardless because that’s who He is and how He does.
This post only records my dramatic birthday weekend. But His grace and your grace to me extends before and after and in ways that are even more powerful in my life. What else can I do but be thankful, praise God, love Him, and ask that He can use me to show the same grace you all have shown me?
Thank you for your love.
Heard the gospel shared in Mandarin behind me on the bus this morning. It was one lady to another and she said things like
“Jesus died on the cross for us…that’s not only something people believe. It’s the truth.” and
“Getting to know God is very important.” and
“Church is for all kinds of people.”
She was kind of forceful with her statements but God can use her boldness! I was really encouraged to hear a sister share. I was also really curious to see who they were so I looked when we all got off and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a very old lady sharing with one of the ladies that my mom has also been sharing with.
God is really pursuing her. Doubly encouraged!
I was dreading returning to work this week after an awesome, refreshing time in DR and as I was preparing food the other night, I said to my mom,
“Ohhhhh noooooo, I need to go to work tomorrow.” And she quickly corrects me:
“Ohhhh yesssssss, we get to go to work tomorrow. Praise God that we have jobs.”
Too true! Many things are really a matter of perspective. I too often forget to be thankful for everything that I have, which really is everything I need and more. God is so gracious and so good and so loving and I’m a spoiled child with a complaining spirit.
The next morning during devotional time:
“…Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Ephesians 5)
Got it, dear Father. Thanks for the reminder!
With just a guitar, her indie voice, and simple lyrics, she sure can tell a story and paint a memorable feeling.
as it turns out
poems can spook a peaceful mad
a chill a favored mourning never had
you ask me what becomes of our poetic dust
is it mirage we all are heading for
from “poetic dust” by Elizabeth Jill
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb…And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”
Rev 7:9-10. That’s the image that came to mind while I watched this. A glimpse of heaven and a glimpse of God’s heart for the lost.
“May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.
Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us.
God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.”
May we always be moved to pray Psalm 67 as a promise!
Young Oceans - “None But Thee”
I’ve been into more experimental/folk-inspired praise and worship (e.g. Gungor) and conveniently, a friend recently introduced me to Young Oceans (which happens to be his church’s praise team). What a great sound!
Give a listen and check out NoiseTrade to legally download for free. :)
Oh, how I love Walk Off the Earth! Gianni is also playing a cigar-box guitar that he opens and closes for percussion purposes. HAHA!
by Julie Adams
It is his name that means blossoming,
yet I’m the flourishing flower in his gentle light.
Most commonly noted, he’s a supporter, an ally,
perhaps that is how he scaled my protective garden wall.
Rumi says much about the wonder of the sea current,
the strong wind, how love carries us along;
I wonder if this buoyancy could be the same
tenderness to which he refers. Am I the ruby,
is he the sunlight, bright and apparent before me;
does he manifest this as his name also suggests.
I wonder at the flowing I feel, the fish in me
that swims like a fry new to the water.
How long can I swim against the rushing current;
I am no salmon.
I wonder at the heights I feel, the stork in me
crossing the sky, gliding into warm air.
How mad can I be to fly against the imposing wind;
I am no swift.
He is part of me now, perhaps he’s been there
all along; waiting patiently for me to look and see,
like a mirror, all I ever wanted reflected back;
His light to my ruby soul, his love to my desire.
My heart slowly opens in his hand, a gentle petal.
My lips give way to his kiss, a moment blossoms.