the girls and i had a wonderful/busy weekend.
we haven't been able to make it back to KL to spend time with these dear ones because the girls got sick, and happened to work out to meet in malacca- perfection! i hope we can meet again before leaving malaysia.
i love this family soo much. well, i should say that WE love this family as the girls simply ADORE them!
one of my prayers before coming to asia was to meet wonderful people that i felt a deep connection with, and the Lord answered my prayer through them!
i had a post started the other day where i give them a proper introduction: how we met, what they do, their vision for their family and their mission in life. i never got to finish the post and then so many other things happened this weekend, that i would have never been able to catch up with all this blogging!
i'll give you a brief review of what i love about them:
- zeal and murshidah are equal partners in everything that they do. one of the first times we all hung out together, zeal told me that he was a really driven person and knew that he could never marry a woman who had been taught her whole life that her sole purpose was to follow her husband. he wanted to marry someone that would inspire him to be his best, and who accomplish is goals. murshidah always says that zeal is her life coach and pushes her to be her best, and he feels the same way about her.
- they have a very solid family unit. zeal and murshidah work together, travel together with their daughter, munirah, for work and they take turns with their speaking engagements so someone will be there for munirah. zeal is even praying that other financial opportunities come through so that he can become a full-time stay-at-home dad. he even watches barbie princess movies! they are a family completely devoted to each other.
- murshidah is amazing! she is full of wisdom, light and love. she has an infectious laugh, and you feel better just being in her presence. if you're holding on to unforgiveness listen to some of her steps for letting go here. i hope to have her share some of her recipes for natural skincare on the blog one day!
- i love their vision of love and respect.. we have the best conversations about faith; even though there is much that our faiths have in common, there is also so much that is completely different. we know this, yet we can walk out our friendship with love and admiration for each other, and these differences don't come between us. this is rare, people.
- munirah, ama and lili are three peas in a pod! they love spending time together; ama and munirah have identical personalities! if you ever want to see a great show, watch ama and munirah act out the movie "brave"- it's a sight to be seen! they are both bossy and strong willed, and i love watching them boss each other on how to act out the movie the right way! lili occasionally joins in, but she makes up her her characters!
- munirah is a six year-old on a mission to inform the world of the dangerous chemicals in their beauty products and to promote healthy eating! she was going over a book with ama, telling her which products she should hand shouldn't use! it was great!
- i feel completely uplifted and full of love and support after being with them. and after the rottenness and negativity that had been around me the past few years, this means the world to me!
i could go on and on about them. they're simply amazing people, and i feel soo blessed to have apart of my life.
when zeal, murshidah and munirah came to pick us up from the hostel, ama was already at the stairs waiting for them to arrive! and when lili and i were walking downstairs, lili heard mushidah's voice and said, "mommy! mommy!"- excited to hear murshidah's voice!
lili had the HUGEST smile on her face when murshidah greeted her and then said, "where's munirah?"...the girls were all thrilled to see each other again!
we drove around malacca for a bit looking for somewhere to eat. we saw signs for a dish that's famous to the city, chicken and rice balls. none of us had ever tried them, and we decided to give it a whirl!
when we arrived at the restaurant i told lili that i needed to go potty, she started screaming that that she had to go as well- we never made it.
i didn't have a change of clothes for her and zeal got some of munirah's pant for lili wear! they were way too big, but lili felt like a princess and was happy to wear something of her new friend's!
we ate, ama and munirah didn't! they were too busy creating a theatrical performance- it's always dinner theater with those two!
if you're ever in malacca, make sure you try the chicken and rice balls!
afterwards, we stopped at an organic shop to look around.
we were on our way to walk around near the sea, when we made wrong turn and happened upon a center with a wildlife show! all the girls were SUPER excited, as were the adults. it's amazing the things you begin to enjoy when you become a parent: children's movies, dora's songs and wildlife shows!
it's really about the moments one get to spend with one's children, and the joy one feels from seeing their faces glow!
there were exotic birds at the show, and the girls each got to hold a 1RM bill and a bird would fly and get it. uncle even became apart of the show- which was a thrill for the girls! we saw snakes, lizards and a seal show. it was SUCH a great time! amazing memories made.
saturday morning, howard asked if the girls and i wanted to attend a traditional malay wedding. we accepted, of course.
a friend of howard's picked up me, the girls and our new friend from germany, silvia, from the hostel- we also we picked up a guy from bulgaria, chris. we ended up late to the wedding and missed the procession. in a malay wedding, the whole village walks behind the bride and groom down the street playing music and announcing their new marriage- the girls would have LOVED that. we missed most of the ceremonial parts of the wedding, but made it for the food (yay!) and were able to greet the bride and groom.
the bride and groom were seated on thrones of sorts and below them were kids playing instruments. both the bride and groom had henna on their hands, and you put perfume in their hands (i believe it was to bless the marriage) and then you are given a gift.
i loved the colors, the music, the food; the fact that the whole village is invited to come and celebrate the special occasion. no rsvp, no 'plus one'- just the gathering together of an entire community to celebrate a man and woman being joined to together as one. it was awesome!
no one gave us dirty looks as we obviously didn't know either the bride or groom- we were welcomed in as part of the celebration.
everyone made sure sure had enough to eat, they were concerned if the food would be too spicy for the girls and made sure we all got our wedding favors- it was awesome!
after the wedding we had plans to meet zeal, murshidah and munirah!
we went out for arab food -yummy lamb- and met with some other good friends of of theirs who live in malacca.
it was another rich night, full of love and great times. of course we were treated to another dinner theater performance written by, produced and staring ama and munirah- i think last night it was "barbie mermaid part II"- those girls are AWESOME.
it was bittersweet saying our "goodbyes" when they dropped us off- we treasure this family. when lili woke up this morning she said, "mommy, i see munirah..." it was adorable!
after i put the girls to sleep, i ran into silvia and had a great time chatting with her. she was going to leave for KL today (because it's sunday afternoon in this part of the world), but decided she would wait until monday to get to hang out with the girls and i a bit more! she began to open up about a situation she's been going through for awhile, something very similar to things i've been facing. it was great to sit and chat about it- very therapeutic. she's a great person and it's sad she's leaving tomorrow. but who knows, we may meet again!