The Apostle’s Creed

There is nothing like saying or singing out loud one’s beliefs. The powerful words of the Apostle’s creed describe the very foundation on which I build my entire life. It is the reason I love, I laugh, I weep, I trust, I hope…

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.














Recently, some of the conversations I have had with people in church have made me realise something that really bothers me.

People don’t seem to know how to talk to other people anymore.

Granted, I have been attempting to engage in “small talk” with new people at church, so these aren’t the typical conversations that I would have with friends. As a church that is focused on being lovingly hospitable, I see it as an obligation to be warm and welcoming and chatty to the new faces that rock up to our church. However, if you know me at all, you will also know that it takes a lot of energy and courage for me to step out of the comfort of my introversion to do so. I literally have to psych myself up to talk to these strangers every single week.

“Turn around and say hello to someone near you whom you have never met before.” These words are uttered in the middle of the church service every single week. Oftentimes, I just wish to sit in silence and be left alone. Yet, I pluck up the courage to turn around, smile and greet hello.

What is your name? What do you do? Where are you from? Are you new to the city? How long have you been here for? Is this your first time at our church? How long have you been coming along for? What are your plans for the summer/ Christmas/ Easter holidays?

I try and take an interest, but often get very little in the way of response. Sometimes they answer sincerely, others give me monosyllabic answers punctuated by long and awkward pauses. Most poignantly, the conversations are almost always one-way… to the point that I often feel like I am interviewing these new people. Yes, I get that you may be shy. Maybe you are an introvert like I am and would much rather be left alone too. Maybe you hate small talk. BUT, is this really the way to respond to someone who is trying to take interest in you as a person? Shouldn’t a conversation be 2-way traffic? The least you could give back is “What is your name?” “What do you do?” Honestly, I cannot tell you how many of such conversations I have come away from whereby the other person probably does not even have a clue as to who I am and what I do… because they never ask!

This problem doesn’t even seem to be related to culture. I have had the same problem with a mainland Chinese man, a Korean girl, a Hong Kong lass, a German dude, an African guy, an American ministry trainee… one way conversations and a very apparent complete lack of interest in me.

I’m not saying that people should be thoroughly interested in me and my history. What I am saying is that I am surprised how people can feel that it is ok to respond to someone else’s attempt to make you feel loved and welcome through conversation without even so much as “pretending” to be interested and making a feeble effort to engage. It makes me so discouraged.

I look back on the day when I first met my now best friend SH and miss it dearly. She sat down next to me in church and we greeted each other hello just like I currently do with all these new people. She listened to my stories and remembers them. She asked me questions in response to my own attempts to explore her background. We became friends quickly and deeply, simply because we were both willing to invest in conversation.

It takes 2 people to meet.

2 mouths to talk.

2 hearts to engage in conversation.

You can take this girl out of Singapore…

… but you cannot take Singapore out of this girl.

Just been browsing through some of my old blog entries and I didn’t have to scroll back much before coming across this post. I listened to the national anthem in the video and found my eyes brimming up uncontrollably again.

So many memories started to flood back into my mind. The happy days of childhood, the careless and carefree days of my teenage years, the depression of departure, and then multiple snapshots of my visits back home over the last decade and a half.

I am missing my home country again.

That is where my family and my best friends are. The people who have seen me at my best and my worst. The people who hold on to me and whom I hang on to. The people who have walked alongside me through days of “growing up.”  The people who are constantly asking me “when are you coming back?” The people who promise to help me resettle back to work and life in our little red dot when I am ready to be home again.

Yesterday, I found out that Gillian is all packed and her entire family will be relocating back to Singapore soon. I was surprised, since I was expecting her to stay on a little more in her new post as a paediatric consultant before heading home. Perhaps I was also a little sad, given that she has been here with me since my first day as a first year medical student (she was the most helpful 2nd year “senior” to me). Now, I feel almost a little jealous… that she will be heading back to the only place that has ever truly felt like “home” to me, to us.

It is not yet time for me to go back though. I still have to accumulate some experience as a new consultant before looking for jobs back in competitive Singapore. This time will also be useful for me to do some research on how and what needs sorting in the process of resettlement. And by the time I am ready to go back, I will be of an age to qualify for an HDB flat to call my home as well.

Singapore, I love you and miss you. Wait for me. I will be home soon.

(Another song to make the tears rock and roll….)

Whenever I am feeling low
I look around me and I know
There’s a place that will stay within me
Wherever I may choose to go
I will always recall the city
Know every street and shore
Sail down the river which brings us life
Winding through my Singapore

This is home truly, where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me, where the river always flows
This is home surely, as my senses tell me
This is where I won’t be alone, for this is where I know it’s home


When there are troubles to go through
We’ll find a way to start anew
There is comfort in the knowledge
That home’s about its people too
So we’ll build our dreams together
Just like we’ve done before
Just like the river which brings us life
There’ll always be Singapore


This is home truly, where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me, where the river always flows
This is home surely, as my senses tell me
This is where I won’t be alone, for this is where I know it’s home
This is home truly, where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me, where the river always flows
This is home surely, as my senses tell me
This is where I won’t be alone, for this is where I know it’s home
For this is where I know it’s home
For this is where I know I’m home

Atomic habits 1 & 2

Been reading a new book “Atomic habits” by James Clear.

I am inspired.


  1. An extremely small amount of a thing; the single irreducible unit of a larger system.
  2. The source of immense energy and power


  1. Routine or practice performed regularly; an automatic response to a specific situation

Small habits make a huge difference

  • It is easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements daily. We think that massive success requires massive action.
  • Improving by 1% is not noticeable, but in the long run can be far more meaningful. This is about the aggregation of marginal gains. If you get 1% better everyday, you’ll end up 37% better by the end of the year. If you get 1% worse everyday, you will decline down to nearly zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more.
  • Habits are like compound interest of self improvement– the same way money multiples through compound interest in the bank. The impact of change in your habits is similar to the effect of shifting the route of the plane by a few degrees. The small change is not noticeable at take-off, but when the magnitude is multiplied across the size of USA, you can end up hundreds of miles away from your destination.
  • Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Breakthrough moments are a result of many previous actions (e.g. cancer spends 80% of the time undetectable before taking over the body in months, bamboo cannot be seen for 5 years while it builds an extensive root system before it explodes 90 feet into the air within 6 weeks). Similarly, habits make no difference until you cross the critical threshold called the Plateau of Latent Potential (during which time you suffer in the Valley of Disappointment). When you work and don’t see any result, remember that your work is not wasted- it is just stored (e.g. tectonic plates rub against each other for years until one day the tension is too great and the same action one day leads to an earthquake).
  • Be more concerned about your trajectory (i.e. process/ systems) rather than your outcomes (i.e. results/ goals). The score will take care of itself. You do not rise to the level of your goals, but fall to the level of your systems.

Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habits

  • Changing our habits is hard because we try and change the wrong thing, and because we approach change the wrong way.
  • There are 3 levels at which change can occur. 1. Changing your outcomes (e.g. losing weight, winning a prize) 2. Changing your process (e.g. new routine at the gym, decluttering your desk) 3. Changing your identity (your worldview, your self-image, your judgments about yourself and others).  Instead of focusing on changing what the outcomes are, we should focus on changing who we wish to become. Identity change leads to behavioural/ habit change. The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. Behaviour that is incongruent with self will not last.
  • Conversely, the more your repeat a behaviour, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behaviour. Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.  You don’t have to be perfect… as in an election, there will be votes on both sides. BUT, you don’t need a unanimous vote to win, you just need to win the majority of the time.

To do:

  1. Decide the type of person you want to be
  2. Prove it to yourself with small wins.

Who I want to be: Healthy, strong and beautiful

What this person is: Disciplined, consistent, positive

What the process is:

    • Choosing better nutrition (avoiding sweets and chocolates, avoiding MSG, eating a colourful plate, eating more protein, meal-prepping, mindful eating of small-moderate portions).
    • Choosing to exercise/ lift at least 3 times a week, even when I am tired and “don’t feel like it”. Taking the stairs instead of the lift, hitting my step count target, trying a new exercise that I enjoy.
    • Sticking to my skincare routine- exfoliating regularly, using my galvanic device daily, using face mask once a week, seeing a dermatologist, eating foods good for my skin.
    • Always ask myself “What would a healthy and beautiful person do?”
    • Never saying to myself “I am fat and ugly” ever again. Say “I am a work in progress. I am strong and gorgeous. I can do it!”

Who I want to be: A competent and confident doctor. A doctor who loves her work and is loved by the people she encounters at work.

What this person is: Attentive to detail, up to date, cautious, prayerful and positive. Sensitive to others, generous, smiley.

What the process is:

    • Study. Reading up on latest guidelines, involved with departmental updates & CPD activity, exchanges ideas with colleagues.
    • Prays daily for the safety of her patients.
    • Observant. Learning from own and other people’s mistakes. Observes other people’s moods and behaviours.
    • Positive in self-talk and talk to others. Reminds self of a job well-done. Remind others of jobs they have done well. Apologises and says thank you when appropriate. Not engaging in work gossip however tempting it may be.
    • Patient.
    • Smile.

Complex conflicting feelings

Currently in Taiwan alone.

Feeling extremely lonely, yet extremely fearful and anxious about SP joining me tomorrow and disrupting my zen.

Really wanting to talk to someone, yet completely put off by the prospect of having to “chat to someone next to you” at the conference.

I am decidedly an undecided woman.

P.S. The conference has proven to be incredibly boring. Some interesting talks on quality improvement and safety, but I am uninspired. There are many delegates, most of them Taiwanese, quite a few Singaporeans. BUT nobody wants to be friends with me. 😦

Not a fool

A twist on English preacher Jim Elliot’s famous quote:

He is no fool to lose what he cannot gain, BECAUSE he has what he cannot lose.

I am already rich in Christ. I can give everything in this life away.

We do not bury the dead, but plant them

1 Corinthians 15: 35-49

There is a hope in death. Death is not burial but planting.

The resurrection is glorious, hopeful, real and even creative.

  • The worry about what kind of body we will have is as irrelevant as the question of what kind of plant will emerge when a seed is planted (v37). When we talk about the resurrection, we are not talking about reanimated corpses… rather, we know that God gives us new bodies! God makes all things different (v39-40), so your new body may well be very different from mine. The point is: our resurrection bodies are as different from our current ones as a plant is from the seed that is planted. They are not just different, but also glorious- they are what they were meant to be! We take much more pleasure in flowers than in seeds. We get far more nourishment from fruit than we do from seeds. The flowers and the fruit are what we get when the seeds become truly what they were made to be.
  • The plant and seed analogy also shows that there is continuity. A plant does not just emerge from the ground. The plant and the seed are not disconnected. If you plant a tomato seed, you get a tomato plant. If you plant a sunflower seed, you get a sunflower plant. The body of the plant may be different from the seed, but the DNA of the seed is exactly the same as that in the plant. In the same way, at the resurrection, our new bodies are not going to be so divorced from what we are right now.  You and I are still going to be who we are. Everyone who has ever died in the Lord will still be who they were. The difference is that they are NOW the plant.
  • What a wonderful, hopeful, glorious picture with which you and I can face the death of a loved one. When Christ returns, we are not going to be reanimated corpses. We are not going to be strangers who are disconnected from who we are now and not recognising each other. NO, at that time, we will be the plants… plants that our lives now are the seeds of.
  • Our bodies now are perishable, but our bodies then will be imperishable. There will be no hearing loss, no blurry vision, no arthritis, no dementia. Right now, we find dying and death sad because it robs us of the glory and honour that we once had–it is sad to see somebody not as they once were because death drags us down. When a seed is buried, it is covered in dirt. Yet, when a seed is buried, it is then that we get the glory and the beauty of the flower! Seeds are ok, but don’t love them too much because a garden that is filled with sweet fruit and bright flowers is REALLY GLORIOUS! We do not know what our resurrection bodies will look like, but we can be sure that their glory will surpass that of our present bodies- just as the glory of a flower surpasses that of its seed. Our bodies that are sown in weakness will be raised in power! The hope of the resurrection is that our new bodies will not fail, and will not break. In our new physical bodies, we will not be desiring  pointless things. We will thus love and pursue only the best, the purest, the most loving thoughts and actions, because we will be filled and led by the spirit.
  • We have not buried our loved ones who have died in the Lord. We have simply planted them. We have hope in death as we wait for the beautiful bloom of their flower

There is a hope for life

  • Although the plants are not yet, the seed is still ours now. We are living now. We are not just waiting for the flowers to spring up. There is work to do! v58 stand firm, let nothing move you, give yourselves fully to the Lord. If we have hope in death, if there is hope for reunion with loved ones in imperishable bodies, and if there is glory waiting to blossom and we look forward to a life that will never die, then we should NOT “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Rather, there is something that we can invest in today, labour that we can give ourselves to that will bear fruit in eternity. We can and should cultivate the seeds today by working hard for the fruit we expect to come later. 
  • Because we believe in the resurrection, we do not feel any pressure to complete our bucket lists. You are not going to miss out. We are free from the obsessions over our carb intake, our gym routines and our career plans. We do not have to be misguided by the advice to “maximise this life” and “seize the day”- we have hope for a glorious eternity.
  • Our hope for life thus helps us choose between 30 minutes in the gym vs 30 minutes in the bible, summer holiday vs summer missions. The hope of the resurrection helps us make choices that are not meaningless.

This is a hope from heaven

  • v50 Our current perishable bodies are not the right ones for God’s kingdom. Our bodies were made for earth, from the earth (v47). We need new ones fit for God’s kingdom in heaven- just like the one Jesus already has! Jesus has a physical resurrection body, so will ours be. And just as spiritual his resurrection body is, so will ours be. We inherit our earthly body from Adam, but we inherit our heavenly bodies from the life-giving spirit that is Jesus.
  • The man from heaven brings life to the dead of the earth. “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25) Jesus broke death. If that is true, Jesus will raise those who belong to him, follow him and rely on his death as a punishment for their sins. His resurrection is a blueprint of what will happen to us when our turn comes to be raised from the dead!

Majulah Singapura

15 years away from my home country.

Yet, listening to this rendition of our national anthem  on our 54th national day still has me in tears.

I had sung these lyrics every single day of my schooling life in Singapore. Now, 15 years on and in the UK, I still remember every single word of it.

I am so proud that my Singapore has progressed and prospered in the very ways that our forefathers had wished when this song was first penned. From a humble fishing village that was part of a Malays’ Malaysia, we have transformed into a stunning, developed and independent Singapore. A true rags-to-riches story, an awe-inspiring tale of proving nay-sayers wrong.  A change that I am proud to witness, and a progress that I am glad to be a part of.

I love our Singapore story.

Come, fellow Singaporeans. Let us move forward together.

Come fellow Singaporeans,
(Let’s) renew life as one nation.
With peace and effort,
we move forward together.

We live in peace and cooperation
to achieve happiness
(May) our noble aspiration (make)
Singapore successful!

Come, let us unite
With a new spirit
(Together) we all proclaim:
Onward Singapore!
Onward Singapore!

Come, let us unite
With a new spirit
(Together) we all proclaim:
Onward Singapore!
Onward Singapore!

좋은 day!

I had a really good day today!

  1. Smashed my workout at P.T. (this was the 3rd workout day in a row and I should have been very tired/ underperforming). I really struggled with my usual weights for pull day at the gym yesterday… but today’s legs day was not bad at all so I am mighty proud!
  2. 3rd day on the trot with new mindful eating habits and I have managed to keep my calorie intake within 1400cals without feeling too deprived. I have really struggled with self-control and overeating these last few months (which has resulted in the reappearance of my double chin and rotund belly), so 3 consecutive days of self-control is something I am really proud of! Listening to the hypnotherapy track provided by the “well-being lady” at work has also helped with reprogramming my subconscious mind to believe that I only need 3 small meals a day. Eat till you are full then stop. Eat till you are fuelled then stop. Do not feed your head hunger. Do not clean up the plate. Do not treat your stomach like a rubbish bin.
  3. My iPhone screen was smashed by an 8kg dumbbell that rolled off a step and directly onto the phone on Wednesday. I was devastated, especially since the iPhone 8 cost me a pretty penny and is less than 2 years old! I was convinced that I did not purchase AppleCare for it and had mentally prepared myself to fork out £150 for its repair. Thankfully, the Apple genius who served me at the store today found out that my phone has indeed been insured and so I only needed to pay an excess of £25!! I was made up! The unexpected necessary expense was causing me a load of mental anguish so this little surprise made me feel very blessed! Now, I have a new phone screen without having to break the bank, and have in fact ensured that the initial costs of purchasing AppleCare have been made worthwhile!
  4. As I walked past the O2 shop in town today, I decided to pop in to discuss options for my mobile SIM plan. It has been something that I have been meaning to do but have struggled to find time and motivation to sort out… however, my current data plan only provides me with 500MB of cell data which is wholly insufficient! Every alternate month, I find myself having no data left to use and have to “ride it out” for a week or so until the new month’s data allowance commences. It has been doing my head in! Anyway, I met a really lovely server at the O2 store today called Ava who recommended a plan change such that I now get 4GB of data, unlimited texts and phone calls for essentially the same monthly payments!! It also helps that she was super young, energetic and friendly, and we enjoyed  a really nice chat about stuff unrelated to my mobile contract. She made my day yet again by commenting that I did not look old enough to be my age! Haha!

Superb days like that don’t come by often enough… so I want to make sure I document it and remember the little blessings that I have enjoyed today!

Thank you Lord.