“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 ๐ŸŒฑ 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 ๐Ÿ˜’).

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 ๐Ÿ”ฅ 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 โ›”๏ธ

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”

 

 

 

 

 

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“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

“Begin with Him”

Morning reading ๐ŸŒผ

๐ŸŒผ Marriage Topic ๐ŸŒผ

I sometimes complain to God, “why I have to be the one who need to ask forgiveness and/or give forgiveness (even when my husband didn’t even ask for one) and/or initiate good conversation after a conflict/disagreement happened?” #whyme #thatquestion

This morning this statement from the book I’m still currently reading (“What Did You Expect?” by Paul David Tripp) ring again:

“We must fix our marriages vertically before we ever fix them horizontally”
The core problem is not that I don’t love my husband enough, but my problem is I don’t love God enough, and because I don’t love God enough, I don’t love my husband as I should.

I let my little kingdom reign instead of the Lord’s.

To forgive and to seek reconciliation first of all mend my relationship with God. Can you really pray to God when in your heart you are disliking someone? (Other than the prayer “please Lord change him/her” #haha).

I hope over time and with intervention of His Spirit when a conflict arises (yes, it is ‘when’, not ‘if’), the question I wrote the earliest won’t matter anymore. It is easy to write this when things smooth sailing โ›ต๏ธ I’m praying there is grace we both need when we are required to put into practice what we know/learn.

“He must become greater,

I must become less”

John 3:30


#2017mindfulmarriage

Unity in Christย 

In February I and my husband agreed to fast together to seek God’s wills in each of our individual life as well as collectively for our marriage and family.

One word that I receive during the period is: “UNITY“. It is a simple word, but seemed like it’d been buried deep down amidst life busyness and “cruise control” operating mode for our marriage.
I was reminded and rebuked at the same time, when I was angry was it because of my concern for my husband or concern for our marriage? I have to honestly admit that most often, I was angry because he offended MY feelings. 

It’s not like we as couples are not allowed to have arguments, but my concern is we too often fight for issues that are simply rooted from our SELFISHNESS instead of fighting for causes that have eternal impact to God’s kingdom on earth!
This marriage certainly needs a greater focus; a greater plan, purpose, and calling rather than our own selfish agenda.

Otherwise, what differentiates our marriage as Christ believers with others?
We need the unity to love God above ourselves, 

because it is difficult to love our spouse without having our relationship with God restored.

You don’t fix a marriage first horizontally; you fix it vertically” – Paul David Tripp.
I’m still praying for His grace to make this revelation becoming real in my daily practical life.

For now I shall close with another quote from Tripp,

If you are God’s children,

it is never just you and your spouse,

somehow hoping that you can work your way through your problems.

No,

there is a third Person who inhabits every situation and location of your marriage.

He is with you, He is willing, and He is able to come to your aid”.
What a good news!

I never walk alone.

When He calls, He always equips.

I know He has prepared a greater plan and purpose for my marriage, and this year is like my “wake up call”.
Have a blessed day and marriage beloved (maybe one day I can write about “courtship” topic based on my experience for my single friends ๐Ÿ˜›).

.

#2017mindfulmarriage 

#crunchynatsjournal

“Valentine 2017”

Yesterday Valentine’s dinner at the comfort of our own home ๐Ÿ˜†

We usually didn’t celebrate Valentine, mostly because my husband thought Valentine was on Feb 28 (you get how charmingly unromantic he is ๐Ÿคฃ). However, this year I wanted something different. In line with my intention to “work out” more of this marriage rather than letting it “go with the flow” (inspired by Tripp’s book “What Did You Expect” I’m currently reading #2017mindfulmarriage – special hashtag I created on Instagram to record this year’s related journey ๐ŸŒž), I decided to plan something a little bit more special.
Since his love language isn’t about “giving gifts”, I didn’t buy him anything. Instead I planned to cook something special for him (not because my everyday meal wasn’t special ๐Ÿ™Š #selfcompliment #gataumalu ๐Ÿคฃ) and did an extra table arrangement with my limited skills and resources lol.

Few days ago I asked him before went to sleep his favourite meal (I was expecting “steak” ๐Ÿฎ would be his answer, but turned out his answer was: BACON ๐Ÿฅ“ hahaha!) – so there it was, I made Portobello Mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese and topped with bacon, grilled yellow nectarines and some more bacon to put them on top of the salmon avocado toasts, poached spinach, fried sweet potato chips – it was all like a big (mess) mixed up lol but hubby liked it anyway โœ… #missionaccomplished #thankyouforyourgrace haha).

The point is, I’m learning that “marriage is like a long-term exercise in gardening” ๐ŸŒฑ(thank you Tripp for this insight!). Beautiful garden isn’t a result of any shortcuts. Works need to be done, and surely not for a lazy or impatient gardener.

This small thing I do is just my act in planting seeds, seeds of mindfulness and my way in expressing my care toward him. Rather than complaining he didn’t do or give anything special yesterday (which he did give me something special hooray! #kemajuan ๐Ÿคฃ), I decided to be intentional and do what I could do best from my part.

Well, thank you for reading anyway. Sometimes it isn’t all about the “theory” but also the “daily practice”, and yesterday was just one of them haha.

God bless your marriage and relationships too beloved! โค๏ธ

“What Did You Expect?”

Happy New Year first of all!

Here’s to my first blog entry in 2017 ๐Ÿ˜„

My Current Reading

Obviously “Just Married” ๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿป๐Ÿคต๐Ÿปdoesn’t apply anymore to me and my husband, BUT that is why I bought this book by Paul David Tripp (adding him to my fave gospel-centered list of authors) – because the moment I thought I had “figured it out”, I was wrong.

I read more of motherhood books since I have my first child, and when I did read a book about marriage my mind thought “this is the ideal, but the reality is so much difficult this sounds just like a ‘nice theory’“.

Either difficult, or indifferent.
Last year I have met some tough situations in my marriage, not that they were the first times, but that season was hard it challenged me how I should “make a move and do something different”. Kinda like, “OK stop it devil, you are no longer allowed to take advantages of this!! ๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿป๐Ÿ”ฅ”
For a wedding we need to plan carefully ๐Ÿ’,

Why we have to quit planning for the better in our MARRIAGE?

Why we have to quit to learn about one another and enter the complacency zone?
I’ve just on the second chapter of this book and my heart’s hooked already with so many realities explained (we live in the fallen world, we are sinners, and we marry a sinner! Is there still any questions of why does our marriage often not live up to our expectations?).
The GOOD NEWS God is powerful, faithful, and willing. He has sacrificed Himself at the cross, why wouldn’t He even more pour out His grace and save/turn our marriage to the better? #helpisthere
I’m writing this not because my relationship with my husband is in “danger” in some ways (aka “di ujung tanduk” haha), but I just feel the need to PROTECT this marriage and my husband and ANTICIPATE better of what may come in the future.

My aim is not to reach a perfection, but in a more simple way: so that “we could response better to the things that normally trigger conflicts”.

For me to not take this marriage lightly, for me to not be lazy to stand up to pray for my husband (our husbands NEED our prayers – not only our children just because they are still little).
Thanks for reading this heart-to-heart sharing btw ๐Ÿ˜Š I’d recommend this book for those singles too (better “theory” preparation is still something than nothing).

God bless! โ˜บ๏ธ