The practice of Examen is one which has grown to be part and parcel of my life. I thought today I’d try a thematic approach at least stretching to the last one year.
Last night, May Chin and the kids decided to take me out for dinner. It’s been awhile since we went out. Blame it on the busyness of the parents. The kids have a generally leisurely life thus far 🙂 I told May Chin let’s just go and eat the regular favorite “Woh Tip” (Chinese dumplings). But she counter proposed a more special place. I told her, “Let’s not waste so much money, especially after my rousing sermon on simplicity, stewardship and generosity this morning!” She replied. “It’s your birthday!” Then I thought, “If you are paying, ok-lah!” But then again, that’s May Chin my beloved wife whom I dated for 10 years, and got married in 1999 now carrying our third child … she keeps me on the ground and no such thing as acting more super-spiritual than I really am. It’s been a great season of ideals and more big picture stuff … very local, very Malaysian concerns which interestingly now is getting my attention. But nothing beats the most local concern of all – my family. And it’s times like last night which replug me into my most contextual reality – the people I live with!
The food was good. A pleasant surprise was to meet my guitar guru during seminary days Pastor Adam and his family. We joked that when we pastors meet each other in places like this … it must be for something special. Rituals like birthday celebrations don’t have to be elaborate but they can be special.
Elysia has made me feel special lately because she picked up the music them for Star Trek The Next Generation … and she gets very excited about seeing “The Captain”. I love her smile, and her songs .. especially when she improvises the lyrics or even the tune. She’s been a bubbly addition to my life. She’s on turbo energy most of the time so that does take some toil on us as parents but all in all she’s surely the musical one – sounds like she’s pretty determined on what instruments she wants to start with. Lately, I noticed how she likes puzzles and the passion she has in putting those pieces together …
Gareth is one who feels deeply, and also asks good reflective questions for his age. His reminds me a little of me at times but with enhancements 🙂 Especially, when I’m in awe his ability to remember moments and events with such detail. May Chin and I have talked about our childhood a number of times. For me, I have vivid memories of many details as compared to her. And in some ways, I find Gareth is a little like me in this area. And he loves to books and reading, both of the kids do
Of course, both our kids and I believe baby no.3 get other good or the best qualities from their mother (*smile*)
I do hope, pray and wish to be a better father of three and husband of one.
For that desire to happen, I need to constantly fight the temptation to “neglect” them because of so called “immediate concerns” from work. As a family, we are in constant “adjustment” mode in dealing with multiple changes and demands which surround us. And there is no such thing as “true balance” in life … when we do get that it’s pure grace. I’m learning more each that that integrating family, work and leisure will be a life-long battle … and a battle it is .. because once we are not alert or slack … there are consequences which hurt in the long run. And one thing I do know, when I’m personally not centered within it’s harder to keep focus and I’m pulled into all sorts of directions. So, while giving family due attention is necessary … the ultimate inner strength to cope and even to flourish and blossom comes from outside – comes from “Our Father” 🙂 The one who is the source of grace, faith, hope, love and patience .. .. all the ingredients needed for a family to be “Family” …
Oh yes … Today is my birthday .. 🙂 Thanks to all who’ve begun to flood my facebook with best wishes!