Walkin' into Fullness

{May 6, 2011}   Epiphany of the day 060511

The areas of sin in our lives exist simply because we have strayed far enough from Jesus.


I had a really amazing spring break last week.

It was one of those perfect holidays where I got to be involved in lots of activities, but it was still restful at the same time. The best thing was, I got to experience the lovely and unexpected hospitality of so many YWAMers there. Some of these people are friends of my friends, but nevertheless, they were so warm and welcoming. We stayed at at one of their houses (at a lovely place in Beaverton), got rides from our accommodation to downtown Portland (about 30 min’s drive away), and even got shown around town and treated to home-cooked dinners. I felt utterly blessed by the people I got to meet. It really inspired me to wanna be as open and generous with people when they come visit in my hometown in future.

I felt really taken care of and loved by God too. A mixture of perfect timings and divine appointments was what made me sit up and realize that Daddy God was orchestrating stuff even when I was quite clueless and taking a holiday in a city I knew nothing much about and without much needed transportation. I love it! I love it when God cares even about me having fun and taking breaks.

We got to attend a Good Fri (night) service last minute because of Arli (one of my dance pals)’s friend, and I experienced one of the nicest service I’ve had. It was at Solid Rock Church in Beaverton, and I really like it because the concept was different – short worship, sermon/word, then break up into groups for discussion with appointed leaders, regroup for worship and then a great tacos dinner and cookies after that. Even though it was uncomfortable discussing the word with people i didn’t know, I felt it made me think and vocalize what I just heard, instead of just sitting in the pews and absorbing non-interactively. Cool concept! I hope to see it done in our services one day.

Anyway, there’s too much to write about spring break. I’ll let the pictures do the talking… they’ll hopefully convey more than what mere words can do.

But here’s a list of things to check out if you ever go to Portland, Oregon. It’s a really neat city!

– Powell’s City of Books (mega book store that’s very much historical there)

– Art walks on 1st thursdays of the month – artists and musicians open shop in the evenings and share their craft over complimentary wine and snacks.

– Oregon Zoo… they have Californian sea otters there! Woohoo

– The many ‘green’ stores there, for e.g. Seventh Planet in Chinatown. Everything is recycled, and they sell interesting things like greeting cards that contain basil seeds that you can bury and plant after you read them. Hehe.

– Lots of wineries and breweries!

– Voodoo donuts – the maple-covered ones are crazy yummy! They are THE donuts to check out in town.

– Shopping at Buffalo Exchange (cool brands for really cheap prices)

– Ride the MAX line for free in downtown Portland.

– Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and if you like there are Starbucks every 3-5mins of walking. NOT kidding about this one… it’s hilarious.

– Saturday Market (a time where artists display and sell their wares. In my opinion though, I think lots of stuff are overpriced. I much prefer our local pasar malam anytime).

– Cheap but really good Thai food after 7pm at Pioneer Place food court.

– Portland City Grill at night. Happy hour on food! And a great view of Portland from the 30th floor.

Home-made mix-fruits wine! Arli's friend, Mark, is a chiropractor who farms his own fruits. And he also stays in a lovely home out in the countryside. Cool

Portland is known as the City of Bridges, for obvious reasons 🙂

I love train rides. We had to walk 30min to the nearest train station to head to Portland from the place we stayed at.

Oregon Zoo has a really cool bat exhibit. And they get up close and personal!

Californian sea otter at Oregon Zoo! My first one upclose! And this baby was sleeping but opened his eyes for the briefest second.

Recycled windows for overhead lamps? One of the nice finds at Seventh Planet

A singer-songwriter we met on our art walk. She used to be a YWAMer too, what a coincidence 🙂

Our dear hosts in Salem on the last night 🙂

Nick from Salem (Oregon), Emily from London, Crystal from Pennsylvania, me and Ethan (Nick's lil bro).

Nick's dog is called Peppy too!! Oh I miss my baby back home. This Peppy is a Shihtz-poo (mix of a Shihtzu and a poodle)

Oh my goodness… I can’t believe 20 days have just flown by like that since my last post. I can’t believe how hectic life is now, and I’m barely keeping on top of things. But the good news is.. this week is my last week of the first quarter! Hooray! I gotta survive this week though….

1 Final exam for Anatomy this Thur, 1 write-up on West Side Story musical to do (means I gotta watch it and research on it), 1 short write-up about my experience so far in SODS, a big concert coming up this Fri (I’m doing 5 dances!) so there’s rehearsals every day, and I gotta choreog a little dance for a Korean friend….I’m gonna heave a HUGE sign of relief when Friday ends. And I’ll reconnect with people back home again. Missing you all LOADS!!

Some random thoughts ….

I just participated in a ‘living’ art gallery today. We did our dance solos (composed it myself ^_^) for an hour in the student centre together with some musicians and artists doing their thing. I got to present some of my own artwork as well… so I did up some poems. I never dance non-stop for 1 hour before… it’s exhausting! But it was a good challenge to improvise with what is around you (I had a pool table and a couch and some fools ball tables… haha…) and to whatever the musican is playing. So instead of dancing in a conventional setting, we tried dancing in the laundry room, classroom and fireplace and snackbar (the latter two were my ‘territory’). It’s a new and refreshing concept. Bookmark!

I saw flowers for the first time this year… growing just outside my dorm… sweet yellow dandelions. Spring is definitely on her way. I can hardly wait. I have had quite enough of this butt-freezing, toe-nipping cold.

I’m going to Oregon, Portland, for my Spring break! Oh my… I can’t wait. I’ve heard about what an artsy town it is and I’m gonna go check out the art walks, the live music scene, and visit the zoo with my roommate, Crystal. Am praying and hoping for cheap accommodation or even friend’s friends to offer their homes…. ~cross fingers~.

I miss home lots… like SUPER, especially in the times when I got time to breathe and slow down, or I fall sick (like last week). But I know I must also treasure the short time I have here, and fulfil the purpose that I came here for. So yeah… motto now is Savor Today For Today.

Am still sick –  got a sore throat and body’s still not in optimal strength, but I’m drugging myself now to keep going. : ) The warrior in me is coming out!

The first few flowers of Spring ... I never quite noticed the beautiful details before.

This flower bud reminded me about something a lady at church prophesied over me a month ago.

This was the space I chose to do my solo in. It's part of experiencing site-specific art 🙂

Improvisation work between dancers and musicians

One of the artwork I contributed... I wrote this during a retreat with the Korat team in Dec last year.

Another angsty poem I wrote...

{March 2, 2010}   Soakin’ in classical music

I have a music theory test coming up on Friday, in which I have to listen to different classical music pieces and identify the different eras they are from – the medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic or Contemporary periods. Gonna have to listen to lots of Stravinsky, Bach and Beethoven the next few days. ACk~.
Maybe it’ll help me tune my ears! Make them more refined in taste 🙂
I am glad though, that we get to learn about music and how it is such an important partner to dance. I remember how I used to dream about getting songwriters and composers to make music for specific dance themes I have. It happened to a certain extent… but I need to dream more boldly and believe for more.

Off to bed now… it’s gonna be a looong week ahead. A solo composition to work on, knee injury research for anatomy and tests to study for.

Home sickness flows like a deep undercurrent… but I gotta bone up.

Sometimes you come across music that seemed to magically capture all the crap and emo-ness you feel in your heart but expresses them in such an eloquent way that you find cathartic release just by playing it over and over again. I found one such song 2 weeks ago. It’s no point really to dwell on negative emotions, but I guess sometimes we just need to let it out.

Half Life (Imogen Heap)

It took me awhile, but I finally got some pictures up! 🙂

The base is a lovely place really. In the past, it was an airbase and was used as a rest stop for the military. How fascinating that today, it has become a home for many missionaries and creative people. It is so quiet here, and I struggle with that since I’m such a city gal at heart. But I’m starting to embrace it gradually. It’s forcing me to slow down, to contemplate, to enjoy beauty and relationships without the need to rush. The quieter it is, the more my soul can make itself heard…

Welcome to YWAM Montana 🙂

A cosy dance studio with proper flooring and mirrors 🙂

Their very own black box theatre! I love the creative environment here... it's infectious!

The base has studios too! And they produce some really nice stuff here. Been listening to some of their homegrown artists...

The view we sometimes get when the skies clear up. I can't wait for Spring!!

Our school verse and the inspired painting by our school leader, Kate Espy.

The food at the cafeteria is usually varied and yummy!

Mmmm...see what I mean?

My desk of inspiration!! Pictures of all my loved ones on the wall

I'm still uneasy sleeping on the top bunk. My stuff keeps falling off!

My little store of Singaporean food! Hehehe

My closet! The base has a place called the boutique that we could give away clothes we no longer want. I've gotten some nice sweat pants there for free! It's a cool way of exchanging clothes really.

My BEST BUY!!! A mini black and decker rice cooker from Walmart for just USD$14! I tried cooking instant noodles today, and my friends loved it.

(From left to right) Esther from Georgia, USA, Tiia from Finland, Juliane from Germany, Arli from Maine, USA and Holly from NZ!

Juliane and Crystal, my dahlin' roommate!

Montana Night. We were supposed to dress up for it, so we went as 1980s aerobics instructors! Super unglam huh 😉

This is the way they sell rice here... it's quite amusing really. Yay... it's porridge time! Missing my favorite noodles and porridge :S

Tombstone Pizza, anyone?

I went mad over the bacon bits they have here. Real smoky bacon... Oh dear, how am i gonna lose weight here??

{January 16, 2010}   It’s Saturday!!

The 2nd week of school flew by! I must be getting used to the routine of things. So glad it’s Saturday and I finally have time to catch up on emails and space out. I’m gonna take a stroll thru’ the woods later and explore the surroundings. Thank God it’s not so cold today. It’s 3degC!

{January 12, 2010}   Dancin’ in the cold

Dream – Priscilla Ahn

It’s the 2nd week of SODS (School of Dance Studies), and I’m finally settling down to reconnect with people back home. Yay!

The past two weeks have been furiously busy and unsettling… from rushing to meet close friends and packing back in Singapore, to getting on the plane(s) and enduring a 35 hr travel to Montana, and then jumping straight in to the 1st week of lectures and dance classes. WHOA.Not to mention the intense cold that hit me…  basically, it’s great that I’m dancing here now. If not, I’ll be hibernating like a little bear in my dorm ‘cuz the weather makes me sooo drowsy.

: ) Anyway, here’s just an introduction post to everyone who’s reading this. A big thank you to all who came to send me off… both at home and at the airport, who called to wish me well, and who organized meal meet-ups with me. That was immensely sweet of you guys, and really gave me courage to take this big step into the unknown. We all find courage to do crazy things when we love or are loved, don’t we? : )

et cetera