Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A New Project - Societea Hong Kong

My friend Aileen and I have quietly launched our new business/community project called Societea Hong Kong. Our goal is to create a tangible community of business minded women who want freedom to follow their passion and their dreams.

What we hope to do is to pull together circles of business-minded women – women who might be former or current professionals who might want more flexibility in their work lives; women who have launched or are thinking of launching their own businesses; or women who just want to connect with other women in Hong Kong. We hope to achieve this by hosting a series of teas here we can come together and connect old friends with new friends, to share ideas and advice, and just have a fun time together.

As our community grows, we hope to be able to connect specific talents and professional skills from our community with people or companies who have needs for their talents and skills. We also hope to be able to support businesses launched by women and businesses serving.

We have started running teas as well as specific focus groups for new businesses being launched.

If you are interested in joining one of our teas or would like us to help run a focus
group for you, please contact us at – info @ societea . hk (without the spaces). Please also check out Societea Hong Kong's blog at http://societeahk.blogspot.com/.

As my husband said to me, worse come to worst, I will at least have a lot of fun having tea with my girlfriends!

Blessings,

Sonia

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cherry Blossom Theme

As you can tell, I changed the theme on my blog. I have always wanted to set up a Cherry Blossom theme. All 3 of my children were born in Japan during Cherry Blossom season. Cherry Blossoms also remind me of Rachel as they are so beautiful when they bloom but they only bloom for a very short time. In fact, we dedicated a Cherry Blossom tree located at the Tidal Basin in Washington DC to Rachel back in 2007. We haven't been back to DC since then to visit the tree but hope to some day.

So let me know what you think about the new theme. I know I have been saying this. But I really am going to start blogging more. This is in conjunction with a new project I am working on that I hope will help build up a community of expat or westernized working moms and wives in Hong Kong and be able to provide value and support for them. I am still brainstorming as I want to come up with something different to what is already being offered in Hong Kong but I know I need to get more active in social networking again. I do miss my old blogging days. It seems like life in HK is such a whirlwind I barely have time to write my thoughts down (or even to think them!). Anyway, I am going to head off to the AWA Charity Bazaar soon. Believe it or not, this will be my first time to visit after almost 3 years in Hong Kong. A good friend as a booth there and I am curious to see what other things will be there. I will bring my camera so I will report back later!

Sonia

Monday, June 27, 2011

Preemie Mom's Oath

I saw this on another micropreemie mom's blog and really like it. So I wanted to share this here as well.

Preemie Mom's Oath:

I have sat in the NICU and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover.
I will marvel at my surviving miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to a nurse taking another temperature, an alarm going off, another round of meds or because I am crying tears for fear of the unknown.

I will be happy because my baby is alive and crying out for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a preemie with physical challleges or medical issues, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body.

I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes I will be a wonderful mother.

Author Unknown

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sharing a Devotional by Brett Hilliard - With me, or without me?

I wanted to share this devotional written by the senior pastor Brett Hilliard at our church Island Evangelical Community Church. Both Jong and I were deeply touched by this devotion - I think it is because we did go through a period of time wondering why we had to go through so much pain and grieving, during the early days when Isaac was so tiny and struggling in NICU after losing Rachel. Yet, we were and have been able to cling on to the truth that God is always good, faithful and merciful. And now we are at a point where we could reflect back and and see clearly just how much He loves us and has blessed us through all that we have gone through. It is really, really good to know that Jesus knows exactly how we felt. I hope this devotional can be an encouragement to all those who are going through grief, or a painful or lonely time.

Devotional - With me, or without me?

By Brett Hilliard

I’ve always said that it’s the people I’m with that really make a difference. No matter how difficult a situation, a job, a location – if you are with people that you enjoy, then you can make it. It’s who you are with that matters most.

This personal conviction of mine is certainly even more vivid when it comes to experiencing the presence of God. Knowing God is with you is vital. Now of course we know this intellectually, but there are certainly times in which we feel this reality more experientially.

Knowing God is near can make all the difference. And those times of doubt or when God seems distant can be agonising, and make us vulnerable.

Matthew seems to point this out in the most unusual of ways.

There are only two times in which Matthew actually translates the original spoken language of Aramaic into Greek (the language the New Testament was written in).

Matthew 1.23 says, … that shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, “God with us”.

Matthew 27.46 says, “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachtani?” that is, “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?”

These two verses retain the original spoken language, but then provide a translation. The Man who is named, “God with Us”, questions God by asking, “Are you with Me?”

Do you catch the irony?

I’m strangely encouraged by this not-so-obvious point that Matthew makes. Because even though we know that God is always with us, we certainly feel His presence more at some times than others. And we are the most vulnerable to sin when we somehow question whether God is near.

Yet even in Jesus’ doubt, he clung to truth. Even in His anguish, He chose to stay.

As we approach Easter and reflect on the cross, I’m struck by the oft-overlooked aspect of Jesus’ words from that tree – the gritty, raw, words of questioning. The sense of abandonment expressed by Jesus, but coupled with devotion even amid the emotional pain.

Who we are with matters. Or better yet, Who is with us matters even more. And whether we feel it or not, the truth of God’s constant presence in our lives is a grounding truth for our lives.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Isaac! (and Happy Angel Day Rachel!)

Wow Isaac! I can't believe you are turning 5 years old. How is it possible that you are already that big! When you were born, the width of your head was barely half the size of my index finger. Now, most people can't tell you were a 23 weeker micro preemie except that you are on the skinny side.

I am so incredibly proud of you my son. You have worked so hard. When you first got assessed over 2 years ago shortly after we arrived in Hong Kong, you were about a year behind in your expressive langauge, fine and gross motor skills. 2 years later, you have not only basically caught up in EVERYTHING, you are ahead in your expressive language skills - my little boy who was almost completely non verbal a little over 2 years ago! (So you are still a little behind in self help skills but putting on shoes on the correct foot and getting a jacket on right can be hard!)

You inspire me. You have such a loving and gentle spirit with a quiet strength that can only be from our Lord. The other day, you told mommy, "Even when things are hard, you have to keep trying." Hasn't that been the understatement of your life! *tears in my eyes* I am so incredibly grateful that Father God let you stay with us despite the incredible odds against you.

I am so humbled that God has seen to it that I would be reminded EVERYDAY of his awesome power, mercy, grace and goodness by seeing you every day. So Happy Birthday my little boy. Please don't ever lose your love for Jesus and the Bible!

And my dear sweet Rachel in heaven. I know you are smiling on us from heaven to see us so blessed by the sacrifices you made. I know you will be having the BEST birthday party in heaven. We love you and miss you so much!

Mommy

Happy 3rd Birthday Abigail!

Happy Birthday my darling Abigail, who turned 3 going onto 5 (bc that's how old Oppa will be tomorrow). My funny girl who is so full of ideas and opinions. She shows us how to love life, laugh and we just love to watch her sparkle! ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, February 28, 2011

Nothing but the Bug of Jesus? And the Most Important Person in the US Govt

One of our favorite CDs is a Christmas gift we received from my sister called I'll Fly Away: Country Hymns and Songs of Praise and the song we really love is song no. 10 - Nothing But The Blood of Jesus by Ronnie Freeman. (I included the song number because Isaac seriously remembers all the song numbers of the CDs we have in our car so some of our favorite ones are etched in my mind.) Anyway, we were listening to the song and singing along to it again today as we drove up to the Peak for our balloon release for Rachel and after we got off the car, Abigail said, "I really like 'Nothing but the Bud of Jesus' but I don't like Buzz." I went "Huh?" After repeating that she doesn't like "Buzz" a few times, she finally said, "I don't like Bumblebees! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!" So now I am wondering if she thinks the song is called "Nothing but the Bug of Jesus?!??" :D

Another sweet thing that happened today. My friend and I participated in Isaac's class today to teach about different cultures as Small World Christian Kindergarten will be celebrating its annual Day of Culture this Friday. We were teaching about the United States of America and we decided to teach a bit about the U.S. Government and democracy. So we were getting ready to talk about the President and how he is elected and I started with the question "Do you guys know who is the most important person in the U.S. Government?" And I swear, Isaac's entire class, in unison, shouted, in all earnest, "GOD!" That made my heart smile. :) And of course made me love Small World and early childhood Christian education even more!

By the way, to illustrate democracy, we had the children fill out ballots to vote for Lay's Potato Chips or Oreo Cookies as a snack. I will take guesses as to which snack won the day and reveal the answer in the comments section later. If you live in Hong Kong and you made the right guess before I reveal the answer, I will send you a free sample of Gummy Vitamins or Gummy DHA as a prize! :D