For those who are closer with me would know that my life in 2008 has been filled with much more than I anticipated at the end of 2007. I am a strong believer in the idea of writing new year's resolution, and enjoy spending the start of each year reflecting the past and preparing for the upcoming, and this year I will do the same.

2008 was a year filled with new experiences and new challenges, as it included my first time doing many things; first time serving in a committee, first time living independently, first time working for my own living, first time sharing God with people personally, and mostly, the first time I failed. I took 5 days off from work so I can spend time to do reflection and preparation of heart for another exciting year ahead. This may be a long-ish note so bring your coffee my beloved readers.

So the year started with my return to Darwin after first year uni in Adelaide. Spent a lot of quality time with my best friends after having been separated from then for nearly a full year. Although I can't remember everything we did or shared (except the sleepover and random strolling), it was great to just meet up to them and see that our friendship passed the test of time and distance.

Then comes late February when I returned to Adelaide, I began to channel my focus back to OCF. In 2007 I was the recipient of the hospitality of the O Week team and buddies dinner, and in 08's O Week I had the privelege to be a part of that team, even if only just sitting in the booth to smile at people as some of them awkwardly sped past the religious stands.

The first highlight of the year for me was my moving house and out of college. Although I never really got into the college 'spirit' so to say, but I do enjoy the lifestyle and missed everyone that I met there; the DotA gang, the group that I always sit with for meals, board games ppl, and just random visits between familiar faces in the corridor. I also had the opportunity to learn how to play better table tennis through lots of practice with amatuer professionals, with a master player from Malaysia overseeing our games.

Moving into the a rented townhouse was in itself was a challenge because, as students with no rental history and the assumption that we are all party animal, we are not first pick for any leasing agents. So the first few applications were not successful, and through much prayer, we ended up getting a nice house 5 minutes walk from our church! Praise God because he provides abundantly, and this house was so much nicer than the others that I had in mind too.

I praise God because it wasn't just numbers that got us the house; over 21 applications were submitted, of which more than half of them were working adults with spouses and measureable rental histories, so they were probably much better selection for tenants. Yet for some reason the landlord decided to give us the house for a 6 months contract. and at least 18 more if we prove ourselves to be good kids and take care of the place.

The next highlight was passing my Associate exame for performance piano. Although lots of people thought that I would pass for sure, to be honest I wasn't very confident. Due to lack of exercise in the first half of the year and having been rusty from 'piano exams' since 2006, I really only signed up for the exam on a whim, just to see whether I'm still musician material. Very fortunately I had an effective teacher who gave me a crash course on playing recording-worthy music, and through some last minute rushing through my recital program, my fingers managed to persuade the examiners to give me the passing grade. Phew!

Technically I am able to teach piano up to 8th grade now, but after the exam I felt I wanted to pursue something different with my music training. Songwriting caught my eye after Christian songwriter Geoffrey Woo came by to visit my church. After hearing what he had to share and being inspired, I began a series of 'experiments' to try song compositions, and made a commitment for the following year to expand my horizon of musical experience beyond classical, final fantasy and j-pop.

The next and perhaps major highlight was the OCF Convention, where I had the privelege to serve in the organising team, and to witness the camp from preparation to running. It was not just a learning experience for me in working through my portfolio, but also a humbling experience. How is it humbling? Because I am normally a person who can't deal with situations unless I am to some degree in control of it. And working in a team, or even more generally, working with others, was a very foreign concept to my comfort zone.

Over the course of the year as we built up on our plans and programs, I gradually learned to not just put faith in God, but to put faith in others also, and to know that my strengths are for supplementing others' weakness, BUT at the same time, my weaknesses I must let others support me and not just stubbornly carry to failure because I thought it was my sole responsibility. "There is no I in TEAM." Is what I told myself a lot during the final weeks of planning leading up to camp, and during the camp itself also.

Nothing was more memorable than the camp itself. As my main duties of publicity ended when camp started, I had slightly more opportunity to be a participant than the rest of the team. And although I was most of the time working at the camp shop, I could squeeze a few sessions here and there to attend bible study and know more people also during mealtimes. I had the opportunity to host my house for 3 people from WA, one of which was also my camp group leader so I got to know him even more. I also met lots and lots of amazing and *ehem* 'interesting' people.

The sermons from our two speakers, and the workshops I attended were all inspiring and heart-changing. I won't say they are lifechanging yet because I have yet to live out the change in me. But definitely, all that work we put into camp was more than worthwhile. And if ever given another opportunity to do something similar I would gladly help given I'm not already overloaded.

Now, I would like to say that the year was filled with success, but I did experience a few failures throughout the year, which I believe are worth sharing because it taught me lessons in life that may be helpful through others' struggles too.

My first failure would perhaps be my first relationship, which I regret how I mismanaged it. Not that I wasn't happy that it ever happened, but the fact that I didn't let time marinate my friendship with her first so we had a stronger baseline to carry over romance. If I had more patience and careful planning like I do with other things in my life, it would've helped us through the first hurdle of commitment, which was probably what scared her off as it happened too fast. Though witnessing her get together with someone else so quickly post-breakup might have highlighted a second cause of why we didn't work out.

My second failure was uni. As far back as I recall, I have never really had any trouble with studies, even during my emotional highs and lows and no matter how busy I was. But this year was the first time I really failed at something that I didn't expect to.

I won't say that I'm putting zero or 100% effort, but a half-hearted effort may be exactly what killed my grades. And I will testify here that playing too much computer games CAN have a significant effect on your general attitude and energy level when it comes to studies.

My third and final failure was perhaps lifestyle, which is actually the key project of this year. Too much gaming, too much junk foods, too little exercise and not adequate sleep or quiet time. This has led to many problems in my health (e.g. worsening vision and insomnia) and was a major factor in my fail in uni. One of the mature Christians at my church shared with me about time tithes especially since I was serving on a comm while doing uni and part time work, and I'm sure that the year ahead I will more than definitely have to cut time doing things that aren't productive, important or even useful. Games, facebook, movies, even oversleeping, these are bad habits that must go or at least be contained.

I cannot guarantee how I well I achieve those new year resolutions I set earlier, and I don't even know what will happen tomorrow. But I do know that as long as I walk this walk with God and with others, Then there is nothing that I cannot recover from, and nothing that is too hard or too heavy.

Guess to kick start 2009, I will share a song that I really love.

I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from it's sunshine,
For it's skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
and I know Who holds my hand.

Ev'ry step is getting brighter,
as the golden stairs I climb;
Ev'ry burden's getting lighter;
Ev'ry cloud is silver lined.
There the sun is always shining,
there no tear will dim the eyes,
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky

Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
and I know Who holds my hand.

I don't know about tomorrow
It may bring me poverty
But the One Who feeds the sparrow
Is the One Who stands by me
And the path that be my portion
May be through the flame or flood
But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood

Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
and I know Who holds my hand.