Pen Pals

Fun fact: I love hanging out at the stationery shop. Whether it be the Suva Bookshop, the Daiso in Narita or the stationery section in Target, I will be there lost in wonder and time. I love a good find and I can always find good things there. Hehe!

Diaries/Journals hit my soft spot. As if I don’t have enough, I am always picking one up and thinking You, my dear, would fit right in with the others. I think that recording one’s journey and experiences along the way is a very powerful thing. In high school, I used to write to get things out of my system. I wasn’t much of a talker so I wrote and wrote and wrote until the poems flowed freely and songs seemed to sing themselves into existence on the pages of my journal. I get that I might sound a little *whistles* crazy but you actually might be able to relate. If you can then you’ll know how meaningful it is when you look back on your journey—its highs and lows—and see how far you’ve come, by the grace of God.

Now without further ado…

What I have in my hands right now are just what I need and I am so excited to share them with you. Let’s head into the armory.

THE CLASSIC This one is something special. I’ve had her since February 10, 2017. (3 years, wow!) Unfortunately, I can’t tell you where this was purchased because it was a gift from my brother who lives in England. I had run out of pages on my previous journal so this one joined the family just in time! She looks old for 3 years and I guess I’m to blame for that. I take her EVERYWHERE with me- my trips to the cafe, restaurant, grocery store, church, office and even across the Pacific Ocean. I mean, you just never know when inspiration is going to hit. She holds my deepest and most personal, my most real conversations with God and myself, my dreams and desires, my memories and prayers for the future.
Lately though, I have had to make a conscious decision on when and where I’ll allow myself to take her. She’s a heavy one and can really weigh down on my shoulder. I’m getting better at making those once-difficult decisions and the grocery store definitely does not make the cut.

2020 DIARY She’s only 4 months old but with all her dust stains, she already looks identical to number one age-wise. Sorry, Di!
Collins Diaries are my favourite. I love the sleek black look and sharp edges. It’s everything that a diary needs to be: Simple. Apart from its day to day pages, it contains additional information like conversion factors (because you never know when you’ll need to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius), moon phases, commemorative dates and sunrise/sunset times in Wellington (It’s useful to someone).
I use Di to keep track of my personal + work schedule (avoiding clashes if I can), my bill + rent due dates and payments. She’s a gem.
Purchased from the Post Office, Namaka. She sells out fast so you need to snatch her 1-2 months before the new year.

THE WEDDING PLANNER 2020 is the year I marry my best friend. I love our story and to help me tell it well on our day, my sister gifted me with this planner. STRICTLY WEDDING-RELATED. It’s not a necessity but it definitely helps to have a separate planner specifically for the wedding. Even better when it’s a gift. Now here’s a top tip: We tiny humans can make plans all we want but when plans have to change, don’t fight it. Accept it with grace and keep moving forward. 2020 has been a surprising year yet we remain thankful.

KONICHIWA I bought this cute little notebook from the Daiso (Dollar Shop) in Narita, Japan. I had been to Narita as a little girl and this was my first time back, except this time I was here for work. You could say it was a “Welcome Back!” souvenir. Today its pages are filled with prayers and reflections from the different countries I’ve visited. I like to check in at least once a day while I’m on duty overseas. I’ll note the date, time and location. Then I’ll write the prayer on my heart. I often write prayers of thanksgiving because in my line of work, things can go horribly wrong. In light of that, I never take for granted reaching my destination safely. I also write prayers for the country and city I am in. I like to ask myself the question “What is God saying to me in this place?” and make note of that. Obviously, she is a dear one! I’m looking forward to filling out more pages.

HOLA The lady in the red dress. I am very sentimental so naturally when my fiancee brings me back a red leather diary from one of his travels, it becomes one of my nearest and dearest. He travels a little more and a little farther than I do and this is a gift he picked up from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He bought this at a time when I was sharing some of my digital sketches with him, one being my blog logo. I am not a sketch artist by any stretch of the imagination but it meant the world to me knowing that he was encouraging me in my art. And that is what I have decided to use it for: Art. More specifically, for travel art. She was brought to me from afar and Afar is what she will hold.

To wrap this up, I’m going deep. In Malala Yousafzai’s biography, I came across a remarkable quote that goes: “There are two powers in the world; one is the sword, the other is the pen.” If that doesn’t send a shiver down your spine, please stop here and read that again. You have the power to change hearts and minds through the written word for better or for worse. Personal journalling I believe is no different. There is something about writing yourself out—experiences, feelings, thoughts, prayers, desires, plans, disappointments, victories—that is like healing balm to the soul. Not to mention, there is so much fun and revelation in revisiting the journey and either cringing or laughing or remembering EXACTLY what that pain felt like and then realising that joy came in the morning.

Do you believe in the power of recording your seasons, dreams and prayers? How do you process your journey? I’d love to know so go ahead and drop a line in the comments. Looking forward to hearing from you.

All my love,
Fehi

P.S. Stay home and save lives. Maybe start writing.

LOCKDOWN DIARIES

The news of our city going on lockdown was totally bizarre. I thought it would be interesting to keep track of the days that followed.

Day 1: Devotion at 6:30am. Last day of self-quarantine. Meant to be cleared by health officers today. Can’t make my way back to Nadi for work due to LD. Starting house-cleaning at 10am. Laundry already done.

House work completed at 12pm. Sat down and jammed some Hillsong.
Prayed for songs from the heart of the Holy Spirit. Getting my vocals back into shape.

Broke fast at 3:20pm.

Day 2: Sat in on C3 Worship session. Blessed by the session and conversations. Called COVID-19 Helpline to find out how I can get clearance letter re: self-quarantine. Referred to nearest Health Clinic. Referred to Fever Clinic. Nurses examined me and deemed me asymptomatic. Got a sick sheet stating my self-quarantine period was complete. Should allow me to move freely until Monday to get clearance letter from Health Office.

Drove to Suva Point. My fiancée convinced me to sail on the drua with him and an old friend.
Note to self: Remember to always take a change of clothes whenever making plans with Biu. Somehow we will end up in the water. Love him for it.

Broke fast together. Watched live update together concerning new COVID-19 confirmed cases and cases of interest. Realised that even though I was just coming out of home confinement, I will have to commit myself to it again. Missing Biu already.

Biu dropped me home at 5pm. As of last night, curfew was moved forward from 10pm to 8pm.

Day 3: Went live for 5AM prayer. Went back to sleep at 7am. Woke up at 9:30am. Watched Hillsong Worship live with Brooke Ligertwood and Christine Caine. (Reminder: We are in spiritual battle and we can fight from our homes). Tuned in to C3 Livestream Church Service. Broke fast. Prayed with Biu over the phone. Read him to sleep (“Delighting in God” A. W. Tozer). Slept around 11:30pm.

Day 4: Last one to wake up at 7:30am. Everyone was waiting for me for devotion. Reading today taken from I Kings 5. Hiram and Solomon’s correspondence regarding building materials for the Temple of God. Lesson that stood out for me: David’s relationship with God (man after His own heart) left a legacy that protected and favoured his descendants. Housecleaning duties again. Prepared lunch for those who worked on the farm. Prayed and broke fast at 3pm. Encouraged to cultivate stillness in all the chaos.

Rainy days and endless laundry

Day 5: Last one to wake up for devotion, yet again. For devotion, we had Bible Quiz. Team Koia and Tia beat Mele and Joelinda by 3 points. Started devotional today “Practice of the Presence of God” Housecleaning duties- Today is Mop Day. Also wiped windows. Decided to make a delicious spread of Indian cuisine for lunch knowing how famished the rest will be from working out on the farm. Made curry, dhal, tomato and cucumber chutney. Wish I knew how to make roti. I’ll get there one day.

Broke fast after 3pm. Had a shower and took a nap. Woke up at 8pm to find all the lights out. WOW! Felt hungry so did the two little girls. Made our milo and I had avocado sandwich. Yum. Biu and I watched a sermon together over video. “The Shock of Suffering” by Pastor TD Jakes. Discussed and prayed. Very encouraging. Slept at almost 3am.

Day 6:

Woke up to strong winds slamming the bedroom door shut (TC Harold). Got up for devotion. Deferred our New Testament study to next week as we focused on the Passover today. Went back to bed after devotion. Winds still strong as ever. Woke up again around 9:30am. Day 2 of devotional plan “Practice of the Presence of God” Prayed for life’s motive to be love of God

Sat down to work (blog) when called to prepare lunch. Settled on making babakau. The WHOLE family decided to join me in the kitchen. As much as I love my space, I enjoyed being cramped up in there with them. I’ll never forget

TC Harold Aftermath

Day 7: Devotion at 6:30am. Reading from Matthew 26. The eve of crucifixion. Housecleaning. Aimed to finish by 11am. Finished at 11:15am. Side note: Biu shaved off his beard today. Brought back all the high school memories. Swoon. Hehe.

Prepared lunch. Made chicken + corn soup. Lunch was ready a little after 1pm.

Drove to church for recording of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday worship

Day 8: Good Friday. Spent today with fiancee’s family.

Got my clearance letter (finally). KUDOS to my friend on the frontlines: Dr. Sekaia Niumataiwalu.

Day 9: Got up. Started cleaning at 8am as I will have to leave for worship recording with Ronnie and Biu. Finished at 9:15am. Went out with siblings to see/feed the pigs.

Worship recording with Ronnie and Biu. Helped Biu record C3’s home ministry and worship recording. Supposed to help Biu edit but couldn’t stay up as long as I should have.

Day 10: Streamed Wesley Resurrection service at 10am with Biu.

Day 11: Normal day at home. Not a normal night. God revealed parts of me where I needed to allow Him to come and do deep healing and transformative work.

Day 12: Humbled by the Holy Spirit

Day 13: Still humbled by the Holy Spirit

Day 14: 6am devotion. Slow morning. Got a surprise call from my brother in the UK. Picked Biu up and broke fast (final day) together with Dan’s Fish & Chips and Maccas on the side. A wonderful time sharing about the experience the last 3 days. Dropped him off around 5:30pm. Curfew still stands at 8pm. Suva Lockdown to be lifted at 5am tomorrow.