A Happy Place

via Daily Prompt: Candle

“Which one do you like?”

He jerks his head away from inspecting the fake plants as I hold a deep-red scented candle under his nose.

“This is ‘Sweet Berries’,” I say, then swap to a gray candle, “And this is ‘Calming Spa’.”

He dutifully sniffs, pauses, then shrugs and smiles.

“Both are nice. You choose.”

“Okay! ‘Sweet Berries’ it is!”

Then I skip away to return the gray candle to its shelf, while he goes back to the fake greens, deciding which of the deceiving plastics is deemed worthy to go home with us.

This is one of our happy places — IKEA. From admiring the cleverly-designed showrooms, to measuring tables and testing couches, to falling prey to pretty knick-knacks like scented candles and storage organizers. Sometimes, we just roam through and end up at the restaurant for Swedish meatballs, salmon, and dark chocolate almond cake. Oh, and the occasional ice-cream after the check-out counters.

It’s not just us. I know of at least a few other couples who call IKEA a happy place too. Why is it so? What is IKEA’s secret formula that so appeals to lovebirds young and old?

Maybe there’s just something about shopping for a house together. IKEA’s aesthetic display of bedrooms and kitchens suggest that one’s dreams for the future can indeed become a reality. Maybe it’s in the very inspecting and deliberating — regardless whether it’s a bed frame or scented candle — that is the outworking of two minds learning to communicate and compromise for the good of both.

Maybe IKEA just found the right formula for being the right space for two hearts to come together for a common vision. In this case, the vision is not about having sleek furniture in a house. The vision is of building a home —  which is the real happy place.

Habit tracker: Week 2/4; Post 3/5

Book Review: The Pattern

ThePattern_frontcoverweb_300Title: The Pattern: Discovering God’s Design for Marriage

Author: Dev Menon

Publisher: Graceworks

Price: SGD 12


Lately, there seems to be renewed discussions on the institution of marriage. The discourse goes beyond the “how-tos” of communication skills and financial management. Instead, it goes behind the scenes, focusing on ideas and principles that shape one’s view of matrimony. The common conclusion is that ultimately, marriage is to glorify God and testify to the gospel of Christ.

In his latest book, The Pattern, author and minister Dev Menon explores that same line of thought. But The Pattern is not just about what a God-glorifying union should look like. It hopes to reveal that an authentic, successful marriage is dependent on a proper understanding of God Himself.

Almost from the get-go, 1 Corinthians 11:3 is introduced, “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (ESV).

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5 Lessons We’ve Learned from 2 Years of Marriage


More than a week ago, my husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. As we reflected on two wonderful years, we got to talking about what we’ve learned in that time. Some were about each other’s traits. Others were life lessons in general.

I thought I’d share a bit of what we learned. Granted, I’m fully aware that two years is nothing compared to the 10, 25, 50, even 70 years of many other couples. But young as we are, I’d wager it important to record the important moments of every stage. Who knows, maybe these lessons need to be reaffirmed in our lives one day in the future.

Hence, here are five nuggets of truth from two years of marriage.

1. It takes a lifetime to know someone

When I married Sailorboy, we’d known each other for some 15 years. But it was only after marriage that I learned how good he is with impersonating accents. ‘Twas a delightful discovery, especially when he’s telling me about his day at work. He also came to learn traits of mine I didn’t even know I had.

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