Category Archives: by mary

Crazy mommy imagination or true compassion?

I was extremely tired this afternoon, after morning Gymboree class with Matteo, and a big lunch. Matteo was zooming about in the living room enthusiastically, bringing me books he wanted me to read aloud. I couldn’t help dozing off each time he took off to find another book. Finally, I told him “mommy is so sleepy, can you read these book by yourself?” He complied but could only last about 5 minutes. After the third time, he climbed on to the sofa, and cuddled up next to me(after looking for airplanes out the window), and signed that he was sleepy.

Not believing him (since he was 1.5 hour away from his nap time), I asked him if he was sleepy. He signed the sleepy sign, and rubbed his eyes. I still did not believe him, though I was really hoping it was real. I thought, maybe I will let him play another 45 minutes, then put him down for nap. While I was thinking to myself, he got off the sofa and started putting away his books one by one. A routine we do right before each nap. Shocked, but I followed his lead and helped him clean up. Then I asked if he would like to change diaper and go upstairs, while fully anticipating him not going through the rest of the sleep routine. To my surprised, he led me to changing station, got changed without fuss, and afterward, walked toward the stairs. The bedtime routine went smoothly and he waved bye bye as I exited his room.

I went straight to my nap spot on the sofa, turned on the monitor to see if he really was tired….he ended up entertaining himself for one full hour before falling asleep. I was in and out of sleep during the hour, but I could hear him babble throughout my nap.

At this point, my heart was swelling with love and awe. While I was not sure Matteo was even capable of being considerate, I definitely felt cared for by him. His willingness to go to bed not sleepy, and play on his own for one full hour without complaining, seemed so beyond his age.

Later when he woke up, he remained quiet in his crib until I went into his room. His cheeks were rosy, his eyes were smiling at me. My whole being just melted all over again.

imageMaybe it was all in my head, but the love I felt from my 14 month old son was insurmountable.

A steep learning curve & a recipe

Learning curve

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The birth story

M 4mo4wk

Dear M,

I cannot believe how time flies. It seems like yesterday you were just born, and now you are almost 5 months old. I want to record our time together not just with pictures and videos, but also  with words so that I can remember how we felt along the way. Since mommy started late, I better start from the beginning.

When mommy was pregnant with you, I had very minimal discomfort. Very minor nausea in the first trimester, and I never threw up. That was probably why I gained so much weight! Total of 35 lbs! Before you were in my belly, I have always wanted to have a daughter, but strangely enough, after you were conceived, that feeling was totally gone. I knew that you would be a boy even before we found out, and my heart was overjoyed. Surely enough, the ultrasounds revealed your gender, and we couldn’t be more happy. It did not matter which gender, the moment we saw your little body, we were smitten.  There were a couple hiccups during the pregnancy, each time mommy was very scared of losing you, but each time, God made it okay. Btw, your nick name was also hiccup, since you were always hiccuping whenever we saw you through the ultrasound. After you were born, you, to this day still have frequent hiccups, which your grandma thinks to be after my gene. Mommy was a very happy pregnant lady, and ate really well. I tried to give you a full preview of all the yummy food we enjoyed except for things that were not safe. You would often respond with flips, kicks and bubbles inside my belly after some meals. You seemed to really liked ice cream, smoothies and cakes. That, my dear, is a trait from your dad. I, who never had a sweet tooth, began to bake excessivly during the pregnancy. See how influential you were even when you were in my belly?

The night before your birth, mommy decided to celebrate daddy’s birthday early, thinking we would probably neglect daddy after you were born. That was the last night of our family of two. You were born the following night, 10/3/2013, at 8:45 pm at Washington Hospital. Your birth was very smooth, and mommy was able to push you out within 30 minutes of trying. Even though it was very unglamourous, and painful, the thought of meeting you soon kept me going. I lost a lot of blood giving birth, but none of it mattered, all that mattered was we finally got to meet you. The moment you came out, you cried ferociously. But you immediately calmed down as soon as you were placed on my chest. You weighed 6lb 3 oz, much smaller than we imagined considering how big mommy was in the last trimester. It was love at first sight for us, we fell madly in love with you. Our hearts were filled with joy, love, peace, and gratitude. At that moment we knew your name would be Matteo, which means ‘Gift of God.’

You truly are the most precious gift that God has given us, besides salvation through Christ Jesus. It is our hope that you one day may also experience the grace of Jesus. And we cannot wait to see how that unfolds!

Mommy has babbled on for quite a while, better get back to house chores. Until next time~

Love, always





Shalom = Heart of MKliving

(it’s a long post… I am in my rare ‘intellectual’ moment )

As I was was working on a custom order for my shop, I was listening to Timothy Keller’s  sermon on Justice. He was extrapolating what justice meant to God based on one of the Old Testament book, Zechariah, Chapter 7 (Emphasis mine):

7 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men, to entreat the Lord by asking the priests of the house of the Lord Almighty and the prophets, “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me: Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? Are these not the words the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?’”

And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: 9 “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.

So what does Justice have to do with the word Shalom (which is mostly translated as peace)?

Here is what Wiki has to say about Shalom (emphasis mine):

‘Hebrew root shalam – meaning to be safe or complete, and by implication, to be friendly or to reciprocate. Shalom, as term and message, seems to encapsulate a reality and hope of wholeness for the individual, within societal relations, and for the whole world. To say joy and peace, meaning a state of affairs where there is no dispute or war, does not begin to describe the sense of the term. Completeness seems to be at the center of shalom as we will see in the meaning of the term itself, in some derivatives from its root, shalam, in some examples of its uses in Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and in some homophone terms from other Semitic languages.’

Pastor Keller pointed out the passage is implicating that while one can be morally just, ceremonially excellent, one may miss the true meaning of God’s shalom. Which is an integrated community where people within are connected, complementing one another’s lacking. A completeness of soul, mind, physical well being, relations, and surrounding environment.

Therefore, true peace, or true shalom, is not merely a personal achievement of moral high ground, and worshipful practice, but an integration into the community that surrounds. When the surrounding is hurting, one is also hurting. When children elsewhere cannot receive same standard of education one’s own child is receiving (thus missing out on a better livelihood), the heart is aching. As one aches, one plunges his or her resources into the lacking area, in order to bring forth shalom. 

Pastor Keller went on and quoted someone’s definition of wicked vs. righteous:

Righteous: One who deems his/her resources not his/her own, but a gift from God. One who contributes wholeheartedly when encountering others in need.

Wicked: One who deems his/her resources as his/her own. One who withholds from contributing to another person’s need.

Jesus himself also used the analogy of sheep vs. goat to define what true righteousness is. Those who take care of the poor, the oppressed, and weak are doing unto Jesus himself.

What drew me to Jesus Christ is his own experience of injustice. He, being God himself, was born in a poor family. Then he was betrayed by his friends. More so, he was mis-trialed, humiliated, and beaten to death. Why? So that He can empathize with mankind. 

I would like to pretend that I am able to do justice ALL the time, but I know that is a big fat lie. In fact, sometimes I purposefully avoid those situations because I am afraid of the risks involved. While it is in God’s heart for his people to ‘administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another’ everyday, every single moment, He also understands the limitation of mankind. Thus, grace via redemption of the cross. 

Therefore, MKliving is one of my feeble pro-active attempts of shalom. The sermon was a good reminder.

Shalom & peace on earth…..

Simple pleasures….

  • laugh and have fun with loved ones – check
  • enjoy good food with loved ones – check
  • make homemade waffles and latte for loved ones – check
  • heart-to-heart talk with loved ones – check

feeling extra blessed today.


Year 2013 outlook – part I

First off, Happy New Year!
May this new year bring you joy and blessings. <3

On a personal note,….not to mention New Year Resolutions.
Why? Because usually, they are broken by the time March rolls around. You see, trying not to discourage myself :)

But that doesn’t stop me from having new outlook for the new year.

M’s 2013 outlook

1. Be a smarter shopper – cut down on quantity, invest in quality.
I have a tendency to buy (clothing especially) small price tag in large quantities. I really love outlet prices. However, there are many items that hardly see the light of day because I simply don’t have the opportunity to wear/use them. Also, I tend to choose the less ideal items due to their small price tag. But these don’t last long in our home. So, I want to buy less, use more of what I have, and purchase quality things when there’s a need.

2. Be kinder to my body
My line of work is both mentally and physically taxing. Over the years, I have learned how to better manage the mental stress, and not bring negative emotions home (still do sometimes). This past year, the physical stress has really affected my entire person. Pain, really kills!
Besides eating healthy and exercising, I want to work smarter. This means resting periodically throughout the day, and learning when to say ‘No’ and not feel guilty. Which is really hard when it comes to little children in need of my service.

3. Incorporate my hobbies into fruit bearing activities.
This is where this blog comes in. I’ve always wanted to contribute to this world with my own hand. however, there are too many activities competing for limited time. This space allows me to balance the two. The time I dedicate to craft is also spent on giving back.


How about you? I would love to hear from you about you thoughts for 2013 :)

In the next post, I will share some exciting projects for MKliving 2013.
Stay tuned…..

For unto us a child is born~


Merry Christmas!

Last night in our home, the family cooked a feast together, chatted and opened presents by the tree. A simple, peaceful yet merry Christmas Eve.

At times, these moments are taken for granted. This year, it felt extra precious.
In light of recent events all around the world, I really didn’t feel Christmassy at all until I started to assemble and wrap gifts. And I realized Christmas is all about blessing others! Even when the future is unsure and the world seems chaotic, we are still capable of blessing others.

2000+ years ago, a tiny baby born in a manger was sent to bless the world. This innocent child later faced betrayal, persecution and ultimately unjust death. Yet he was willing. Willing to die on a cross nakedly so that he may bring peace on earth.

Peace, is defintely what this world needs. He promised that when all is past, those who trust in Him will have peace, joy and love for eternity.

Thank you, Jesus, for blessing us with that hope.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

shall we brown bag?

Two years ago, hubby and I kept a steady supply of brown bags filled with granola bars and bottled water in the back seats of our cars. We would pass it out whenever someone needed it.

Then we ran out. After we replenished our supply, things got busy, and we stopped. For two years.

In these two years, as we become more willing to spend on ourselves, I’ve noticed that I have become less willing to share. I still say a prayer every time I see someone in need, but I rarely stop to offer help now.

One rainy afternoon, as I was rushing to my next to do item, I drove past a crippled man by the freeway asking for help, his grimacing face in the cold wind struck me. Quickly, I offered up a prayer for him, then the radio station sang “I pray and I move on as if nothing has happened”. Wow! God, has a way of waking people up!

So, I am putting it out here for accountability, that brown bags are coming back to our cars. And this time, I hope they will never go away.

So….shall we brown bag?

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