“Lesson From My Weed”

My baby succulents

We don’t have the budget to hire a professional landscaper, so our front and back garden rely solely on our willingness and determination to transform them from bare soils to (at least) have something greens 🌱 BUT other than the weeds….
Speaking of which (the weeds), I spend my morning trying to pulling out all the weeds from our miserable planter box on our front yard. Luckily, it is such a lovely weather with the sunlight and my kids playing cheerfully (before I have to yell repeatedly to Aimee to please stop blowing off the bubbles directly on to Arielle’s hair πŸ˜’).

Sadly, I cannot finish the job, it’s too tough for me and my mum muscles… the weeds already grow so thick and deep (my giant shovel doesn’t work either to uplift the root, it’s too deep planted down the bottom I suppose. I. Need. My. Husband).

As I stand there feeling my back starts to ache #oldladysysndrome miraculously, His Spirit speaks to my heart – about all these weeds, how they relate to my marriage.

Marriage is supposed to be a beautiful garden full of colorful flowers blossoming throughout the seasons of the year. That’s the ideal, but we all know (don’t we?) that is not always the case. Very rarely the case, if we don’t work out the garden on DAILY basis.

Sure the weed wouldn’t seem to appear in just a matter of days; but add the busyness, laziness, indifference, life with kids, works etc etc days become weeks and weeks become months.

By the time we have the moment to draw back, and watch and observe, the weeds have been crazily growing up to all side of corners. It’s become too messy. Too deep to uproot in just single (or couples more) pull. And you can’t do it by yourself either pulling off the weeds, you need your other half to #workittogether with you.

This is what I experience.

Usually my moment to “draw back and watch” is when we have fight πŸ”₯ by then it seems too late, the garden has been overpowered by the ugly weeds. They are green and add color to the garden rather than plain brown/black soil, but they add NO value to the garden ⛔️

Over time I have grown tired and thinking something have to change. Prevention is the key. Start to pulling off the weeds when it’s only a tiny sprout. It requires diligence, but it is more manageable and easier to pull off rather than waiting to work them all only after the weeds have gone too thick and deep and spreading everywhere else (like me this morning).

I’m learning to accept the reality, that a beautiful garden needs work, great works. That a beautiful garden won’t just grow by itself. There will be no rose (or peonies and hydrangeas, few of my favourites haha) if I don’t plant them. Easy peasy, very logical. But, how often I’m living it without realizing this truth.

When marriage is between two sinners and we are living in this fallen world, YES it needs great (sometimes gruesome) works!

God is teaching me so many things from the last month, maybe one day I can share more with you. But for now, I know God is teaching me to have a listening heart, humility, and a gentle heart. They’re not easy for me for sure. But when I am weak, He is within me is strong. And He is the One who will bring out the change in me, from the inside out.

I would like to see a stronger marriage between me and my husband. Deeper and stronger unity. Not so much about conforming more to what other party wants, but we can deal and handle better of our DIFFERENCES, and make them to compliment one another.

I would like to see my heart is more willing to let go of my little kingdom with its too little wants, and trading it joyfully with God’s greater kingdom and purpose for this marriage.

I would like our marriage to bless our children, and others.

I am not alone, the Lord is with me. I know when Christ is at the center of this marriage and the head of this family, other things will fall off at its places accordingly. Christ is our factor of success, because efforts from two sinners alone are simply fruitless. This is my conviction.

And I have to bear in mind there would be a lot of pain for my flesh, saying “no” to pride and “yes” to respect (my husband) and be humble. There would be days when I will cry out to God to save me from my own self. But I’m praying it will worth it, and my husband and children can taste the fruit of change as the result of God’s grace working in me.

And btw, the above picture is my baby succulents haha. I cut some from the front yard and plan to replant them (maybe create diy terrarium? sounds like good idea, thanks in advance to Google and YouTube lol).

I shall close this with a verse from 1 Corinthians 3:6 written by Paul:

“I planted the seeds, Apollos watered them, but God made them sprout and grow”

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

“Intercessor at Home” – reassuring my calling to pray


I made this art couple of months ago, because I admitted that this was true. “A family that PRAYS together, STAYS together”.

However, every now and then I (we) often let ourselves catched off-guard; fence down and weeds reappear. We “forget” every now and then about #UNITY in #marriage.

It is not about our own (too little) kingdom, but it’s about God’s kingdom on earth.

Then when conflict arised, we weren’t prepared. By then it felt like it was “too late”.

 

Yesterday I had a talk with my close friend/cousin/sister #thebest about this topic, I told her I don’t want to pray out of fear as the result. You know, fear that “if I didn’t pray, things will get chaotic“.

I believe this isn’t the right motive and the correct heart condition to pray. And it soothed my soul that she understands! She knows and experiences the same thing (the beauty of sisterhood in Christ).

 

This morning then His Spirit reminds me this verse:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,

but of POWER, LOVE, and SELF-DISCIPLINE” (2 Tim 1:7).

I can, CAN, pray not out of fear – because His Spirit enables me to!

Praying out of flesh will result in burn out, praying in spirit will take me to higher places with Him.

 

This morning I choose to reject the lies and intimidation,

This morning I choose to listen to the Shepherd’s voice.

He knows my name, and I belong to Him.

I will keep praying and become the “pillar of prayer” for this family #istriadalahtiangdoa

I will not complain and asking God (again), “why me? why do I have to be the one who prays?”. I know now that the Lord is reassuring and reconfirming me once again, to pray is my calling. I am called first and above all as an intercessor. Not in the church, not in my cell group – but firstly at my home! Just between me and Him, beneath the silent walls of my home.

When later I get weary, I shall take rest in Him, again and again.

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it” – Isaiah 30:15

 

 

 

#crunchynatsjournal

“The First One with Me in the Delivery Room”Β 


As weeks approaching my delivery date getting closer #hellodedeAimee πŸ‘ΆπŸ» there are times when worry and anxious thoughts crowd my mind.

Second time pregnancy doesn’t guarantee “I know all” as the experience is still different compared with my first one (eg. physical discomforts that I didn’t have when I was pregnant with Aimee, getting used to the medical shared-care system here in Australia, and what-yet-to-come-next the delivery procedure itself, etc etc). 

Sometime I think it may be better for the first time pregnancy as I didn’t really know much = less expectations. 

However, uncertainty in life is inevitable.

Thankfully my Lord knows all my thoughts and everything in my heart. Couple of days ago when I was awaken at 1.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep, I turned to my pregnancy devotional, and found this promise of God from Deut 31:8.

The devotional itself discussed at first the option we could have to request someone to join the mother in the labor/delivery process (well I didn’t think of this at all, as I did an emergency caesarean with Aimee when I was in Jakarta – I wasn’t given the option to have my husband be with me at that time). But regardless of who we invite to the room, GOD HIMSELF will be in the delivery room with me, as promised at the above verse!

WOW! What a powerful promise and assurance He’s given me!
His promise may not erase my fears all at once, but it makes a GREAT difference whenever I am being attacked with one. I can recall and speak out loud His promise! 

His promise and words always arrive in time. I can only surrender all to Him; that’s what gives me the peace and strength I need. 

#crunchynatsjournal

Lesson from Mustard Plant Part 2 (end)

  

Two days ago I’ve shared what I learn from mustard seed and the tree from “Simply Tuesday” book by Emily P Freeman #currentreading (check hashtag #crunchynatsjournal on Instagram where I compile all my “art devotions”) 🌱🌿🌳 and here’s the second lesson I’ve got:

You know (even “church people”) say when something happens that looks favorable: 

“You must have had God’s favor in what you do!” BUT when something happens that doesn’t seem to catch on, we say things like: “Maybe it wasn’t God’s wills” or “just wait and be patient” – but what I learn here is:

What is the measure of God’s will or favor?

Is it a number? Is it outside behavior based on human judgement?

Can you really measure it at all?

Healthy things grow, but they may not grow at the rate, in the way, or in the timing I want“! 

And the growth may be so small we never see visible progress, or so unexpected that we don’t realize what God is doing because it looks different that we thought it would. 
We have fallen into the incorrect thinking; we equate growth and size with God and favor, and may despise the kind of His works in secret, small ways – without our effort at all – like the mustard seed. 
Tiny, but can grow easily and without much care, and can grow into a huge tree much taller than man. 
This is surely an eye-opening for me πŸ‘€ .. 

“We can plant, but we can’t grow”

“We can act, but we can’t determine”

“We can build it, but we can’t fill it”

“We can offer, but we can’t control”

#totalsurrender

#humility

#godssovereignty 

Lesson From Mustard Plant Part 1

  
Days ago I learnt something extraordinary about the mustard seed and mustard tree 🌳 

I’ve read these verses so many times but reading the book “Simply Tuesday” by Emily P. Freeman opened my mind to another new perspective and revelation… I know mustard seed is so tiny, but I didn’t realize how HUGE it can grow up to!
I also just knew that mustard plant can grow easily and without much care needed. If you plant it in your garden, it can quickly take over. 

It grows beyond your expectation, beyond the boundaries you set – it’s like a weed! And if you look up a pic of a mustard tree (which I did googled and became the reference for my drawing), it can grow much taller than a man in all directions! 

And this is all comes from just a TINY seed – and the kingdom of God is like that!
When kingdom of God takes root, it will grow without human effort at all. “What begins in secret will culminate in glory“. Things we do may start from something small, invisible, and take us wondering and into doubts – whether we are doing the right thing? Whether this is God’s will? Why He didn’t make it any sooner?
But one of the lessons I learn is: just because it looks different that what we thought it would, it doesn’t mean God isn’t working! 

Don’t judge God’s works by our own expectations ❀️ 

I feel there is more to share from this “mustard revelation”; but for now just remember: “We can plant but we can’t grow” 🌱🌿🌳

One Thing That Will Never Change

I need Jesus

Yesterday there were devastating news involving Jakarta, place where I was born and grew up. Bombs and gunfires were happening at road familiar to me in Central Jakarta. Also, I heard a news about a lady who died after drinking a sip of her coffee in a cafe in a mal which I used to work at (allegedly poisoned, but this hasn’t yet to be confirmed). 
Would you be in fear hearing news like this? Those were things that happening in ‘larger’ scale. But even in our everyday’s life there could also be lots of uncertainties happening; the world is just not a safe place, and I guess it will never be. 
I try to refocus my mind back to God’s words and promises in bible. Because focusing on those things won’t bring peace to my mind and heart. I can only try to focus on one thing that will never change,

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, 

But My steadfast love shall not depart from you,

and My covenant of peace shall not be removed”

Isaiah 54:10 
And on God’s promises,

“No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed” – Isaiah 54:17a

Have a blessed Friday everyone.
#crunchynatsjournal 

Greatest Fashion Designer Ever!

  
Did you know the first ‘Fashion Designer’ ever on this earth? His masterpiece wasn’t merely a haute couture dress, it was the HEARTS of men! Yes, it was God who ‘fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds’ (Psalm 33:15).
It is interesting for me to read this verse because it’s my first time to read the word ‘fashion‘ in use in the ESV bible. In the NIV, it is written as,

“He who forms the hearts of all, 

who considers everything they do”

If you’re a fashion designer, or designer in any kind, you’d probably more understand and get fuller picture from this verse; the intricate process involved when God created each of us. It wasn’t like an instant magic, but I believe it is more like a thorough and thoughtful process. Full of love and wisdom in planning each of our days in His book of life. 
Each time when I start every project, there is a careful planning and envisioning involved before I begin. Well God must have planned much much more in details for our lives! He fashioned our hearts, above all, to be like His. 
Give glory to Him who fashioned our physical heart when we were still in our mother’s womb, and praise Him who fashioned our spiritual heart and mould it to be more like His everyday πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸŒŸ
Find #crunchynatsjournal on Instagram to see and read other posts that I haven’t posted in my blog πŸ™‚ 

Have a blessed day everyone! 

   
 

Word of The Year 2016

 

begin our day with Jesus πŸ™πŸ»β˜ΊοΈ
 
My “word of the year” last year was “BELIEVE”, and when I asked God what will it be for this year 2016, somehow the word “FAITH” keeps ringing in my head. 
At first I thought that word was too “clichΓ©”, I’ve heard it and have it referred soo many times it’s like countless! Yet there is a deeper desire to really “live out” the word, to really “live by faith“. Not as a ‘Christian slogan’, but to really understand its meaning and let my life be totally changed by the renewed perspective of faith!
If I do what I do now, what is the motivation behind? Is it merely “by default”, “a good thing to do”, OR do I really do it because I have FAITH in God (this applies to EVERY daily activities I do in and for Him). 

Can I trust Him more, can I surrender every aspect of my life – because of FAITH? 
Knowing only FAITH can please God (Heb 11:6) and not our offerings, good deeds, or else, it is crucial to begin just right from this point. 
Anyway, Happy New Year 2016 everyone!! Wish you all a blessed year filled with abundant of His blessings, providence and protection πŸ™πŸ» (This is my first scribble entry on my new Journaling Bible btw, see my testimony how I received it miraculuously from my previous post 😁) πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’ž

There is No Such Thing as a “Silly Prayer”

 

wish came true yeyyy
 
Totally excited and happy to receive this happy mail from Koorong just in time on the last day of 2015! 😍

I’ve been wanting a “Journaling Bible” for quite a long time (plenty of space and blank pages inside to write and draw God’s special message which I usually do it on my prayer journal #crunchynatsjournal) but this Bible is quite pricey (minimum AUD$60) and my husband’s response: “you have got many Bibles anyway” (which is true BUT not this kind of Bible #womenwiththeirreasoningskills πŸ˜‚). 

Then I prayed (yes I did, even for this simple decision of purchasing things, #needvswant #havetobewise 😜 hehe), I prayed a “silly prayer” that somehow I could receive a Journaling Bible as my birthday gift, even though I didn’t even know how. BUT! 
On the Christmas Day (2 days before my birthday), someone unexpectedly gave me a gift card from Koorong with a generous amount of AUD$100!!!!!! 😱😱😱 Not only I could now buy the Bible, but with the extra credit I also could buy other books in my wish list too! (And the other good news, I had a special 25% discount from Koorong because of my birthday 😍).
Then when I did my orders via online, the total summed up around $96 (free shipping with a minimum order of $100), but I didn’t know what else to add lol. So I decided to purchase the “top-of-the-range” Journaling Bible (with that fancy pattern and beautiful leather), original price was $80 (with the discount it came to $60), and the order came up to $106 (free shipping and I only had to add another $6 out pf my pocket) πŸ˜†πŸ˜†
God answered my prayer wayy more than what I originally asked for!!

Now when God fulfills my needs/wants, I know I shouldn’t stop just there. God wants me to look beyond the gifts, and see HIM, the GIVER
This may seem like a “great coincidence”, but for me this is God’s miracle. Please have a read of Matt 7:7-8,11 

7 β€œAsk and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Thank you for reading til the end, I hope this can bless you and sort of “increasing” your faith that God the Father knows your NEEDS and He shall fulfill them in HIS time (mind you to discern the distinction between Needs and Wants though hehe).

Be blessed, you are loved, and enjoy the last day of 2015!!!