I still remember how I didn't really know what was my life for even as I entered my early adulthood years… noone prayed or guided me in finding the answer to that big question "what is the purpose of my life?". Thankfully, God's grace found me, and through His series of orchestrated scenarios, I finally found the true calling and the meaning of my life now (find on my blog on the header, one of the pages "My Moment of Truth" to read more of my early journey in finding Christ personally).
I desire to be that person I missed in my own life; a mother who faithfully prays for my daughter. It's not an easy answer and everyone has an unique calling. I believe she will find hers in God's perfect timing. Until then, and forever, I want to pray for you my little darling. For your life, talents and gifts be used for God's glory and blessings to others. I pray may the Lord equip me and your father to nurture, train, and to give learning experiences and opportunities you need. I pray may the gifts and talents You placed in her life be released to find their fullest expression in glorifying You.
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
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 “cliché”, 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 🙏🏻 (This is my first scribble entry on my new Journaling Bible btw, see my testimony how I received it miraculuously from my previous post 😁) 💞💞💞
I wrote the above verse on my journaling card to place it on the wall against where I usually sit whenever I’m reading my bible, writing, or even when doing my craft (basically I’m going to see it very often okay lol). I found this particular verse couple of months ago and it really inspired me. The concept of “frugal living” is surely not the most popular in the world we’re living in. For example, I find those who have more (usually random) followers in Instagram are usually those who often display their interesting trinkets and branded items collections. They’re surely pretty things to see and get us (or in particular, me :P) to wonder where they can get those ‘endless’ budget buying those branded stuffs lol. Or for more particular example, because my hobby is craft and card making, those who have thousands of followers are usually those who purchase the latest stamp release and embellishment (other than of course, they can produce so many beautiful creations out of them). Well, I’ve started to picking up this kind of ‘pattern’ as if like I was ‘studying’ them huh!? Because I am also one of the followers (in terms of I follow those who can create pretty inspiring cards and seem to have plenty of budget buying the kits and stamps!) hahaha… Well, these pleasure worldly thing is surely eye catching not only to our eyes but also to our heart.
So, “consumerism” is clearly the more popular concept than the “frugal living” and how easily I can be entangled by it too! Now, frugal isn’t mean same thing with being stingy. Frugality (I quote this from Wikipedia :P) means “the quality of being prudent and economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness, or extravagance”. What this author (Denise Glen from “Wisdom for Mothers”) wrote was really inspiring for me the first time I read it, even until now,
“Jesus didn’t worry about His food, clothing or shelter. He didn’t stay up at night anxious over the future. He lived simply but had all of His needs supplied. He worked as a carpenter, and then went into a full-time ministry. He did not worry about money in either vocation. He did not indulge Himself nor did He hoard and live in fear“
“Moderation” sounds like the key. I don’t blame people buying branded stuffs if they personally like it. I personally also like branded bags because I know the quality is at its best and will always be ‘trendy’ (for a classic piece in particular haha). But I don’t force myself (or worst, my husband) for having one especially when this household needs the money for better things (paying mortgage and bills! lol). When I do have branded bags, they are mostly gifts from my extended family or gifts from my husband on my birthdays (what a privilege, right!) – mind you, this was before now we have mortgage lol.
Well, I’m writing this without intention of being judgmental whatsoever. I can ‘confess’ that now my ‘craving’ is not on branded things anymore, but can be as simple as craft supplies (how fancy huh :P). The thing is, these kind of ‘things’ can really consume my mind and hearts and making them becoming “treasure of my life”. Matt 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” and I’m trying (maybe still not as my best) to really put this God’s words into life.
But I am grateful because God gives me His Holy Spirit staying in me, who patiently always ‘alarm’ me whenever my heart has turned into these many idols. “Many times I fail, still Your grace remains“, just like the lyrics from one of my fave songs “From The Inside Out” by Hillsong.
In practical side, I was really inspired by an episode I watch in Channel 9’s Current Affair, about how this family managed to pay off their mortgage ($100,000) within 5 years with single income of $40,000. I’m not sure whether I can go to the length of making my own detergent and cleaning product like how the wife showed us how in the television (hihi) but I’ve started become wiser in my grocery spending, for the most basic practical step I can put into practice. I’m really inspired by this! Yes, I choose to pay off our mortgage earlier than we should have (within 8-10 years?) rather than enjoying ‘unnecessary indulgence’ and have to bear with this loan ‘until the rest of our life’ hahaha… oh Lord, let Your grace enable us 😛
Along the way I have battles with ungratefulness (eg. always wanting more ‘stuffs’) but once again it is to Holy Spirit I must give credit to. Somehow, after His discipline and rebuke, He always gives me comfort, joy and strength to go further doing what is right. For now my husband is the sole provider and I can’t put any more burdens with my selfishness, so I choose to “bring him good, not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:12). Some things that I can still get to enjoy now are far way more than a privilege (eg. enjoying good food, trips, and yes, craft supplies (in moderation) lol). I’m afraid due to its regularity, I may have forgotten that they are actually have been a life privilege rather than “necessity” and then become ungrateful and complaining when I couldn’t have what I want (and this often happens, forgive me Lord).
Oh well, this is just what I feel like I want to share. The world that we’re living in surely has plenty to offer, however, be careful to which side we’re actually putting our hearts into. Care to share some thoughts? 🙂
Approaching Christmas my days were much busier (in a good way), having friends coming over or visiting their houses, had a good laugh and plenty of food. I really thank God for those wonderful moments, and mostly for God’s love in sending His own Son which making Christmas Day be alive at the first place.
This morning I am also surprised by good intention from my husband on my special day… by secretly placing a bunch of roses and beautiful card on the kitchen bench top before he left to work (while I was still snoring haha). My husband by nature is not a romantic person, so when he does this kind of thing it really makes me happy and appreciate his effort 🙂 this time he also hid the roses well before I accidentally found it (as I’ve usually always busted his previous surprises :P).
Then I spend my first hours in the morning writing my diary thanking God for everything that I could think of (while multitaskingly taking care of Aimee, of course, one skill that I think all moms must have got it better and better as demands for themselves increasing haha..).
I am surprised by how many I could thank Him for, maybe I can share some points of my “Birthday Give Thanks List” from what I wrote in my diary here in this blog 😉 I’m just gonna put them in numbers just so it’s easier and more straightforward to read. So… here they are,
I give thanks God for:
giving me another year to live!
giving me His words in time when I need them. During my tough times especially the last couple of months I could feel it was His words which sustained and strengthened my faith to keep moving forward and trusting God. He allowed the outward circumstances to be tough just so I could find my strength and joy inwardly, from Him and His words alone;
His goodness and patience to me. When I fail Him, He never give up on loving me. When I’m stubborn, He is patient to me. He is still the “everything good and loving” although I don’t behave the same;
working the inside of me, so I don’t need to force myself to ‘do good’ but He’s working inside my heart first to produce the change to the outside naturally by the work of His Spirit in me;
giving me role as a wife and mother. What a wonderful and beautiful feeling and experience to love and be loved by my husband and daughter. For me they are my priority in life and my ministry. From all people and friends, I want them mostly to see that Christ is in me and that “I am a Christian” to them…
fulfilling my basic needs – house for our temporary stay before we move to our own (next year yipi!), for every nutritional food (and occasional junk food lol) we can enjoy, for clothing and the choices I have (many unfortunate people and beggars have to live with the only clothing attached to their body…)
family, friends and community, for BIC (Bethany International Church) and FA (cell group), for Ko Dan as the church pastor whose message always direct my focus to God’s grace and the above things;
bringing deliverance and relief for the ‘settlement issue’ which had been our struggle for the last couple of months and brought me and my husband to another level of faith in God! I’m so glad that it is now over and although we are now left with not much of money but God shows His miraculous providence for us in paying for bills and our necessities;
bringing me back to the discipline of reading and studying God’s words through good resources of Bible Study which I begin to cultivate again at the beginning of this year after not having such commitment for a pretty long time (“God Brought Me Back to My First Love” written on Sept 5th)
… and many many others!
I’m just so grateful mainly for wonderful things He has worked out in my heart, and many of them as a result of undergoing difficulties, not so much when I am “happy and content”. For many other questions and prayers that to date are still unanswered, I want to trust in God’s wisdom and timing.
To think again that before I was even born God has had a purpose for my life (wayyy back than 30 years ago!) – I just want to discover more of that and letting my life to be His faithful vessel…
Thank You, Lord Jesus.
ps: for some people age is ‘taboo’ to mention, but guess not really for me so I’m just gonna post this image to show numbers of my age (because I feel younger anyway hahaha…)
pss: I also hope that this blog will lead me to ‘somewhere’ (wherever God wants it to) rather than to ‘no where’… Thanks all for faithful, occasional, and new readers out there, I pray God will give you the equal joy as He’s given me today!
“Finding a house is as much difficult as finding a soul mate” – Natalia Wijaya
Yes, it is my personal comment based on my experiences lately, feel like been riding an up-and-down emotional rollercoaster. For a little bit of background, you may want to read my earlier post in November 2012 “Wedding Anniversary Gift from the Lord” about my testimony of how I can end up being here in Melbourne 🙂
In Jakarta both of us had to work and might be difficult for us to have much saving yet at least we have had our own apartment. Here, I can enjoy the privilege of taking care of Aimee by myself and we personally feel we can enjoy much better value-for-money entertainment and living standard in Melbourne but we don’t own a house. We have known it’d be a huge challenge for us once we moved here. Yet as we walked along through God’s opened doors, I’d always proclaim my faith “if God brings us here, He will not work half way. He will provide for us everything including a house of our own“, and how much I want to trust Him in a difficult situation like now.
We have just had an experience close to agreeing to buy a house & land package from one developer (we have put a deposit to show our interest in securing the land and have met their finance staff to discuss our loan options-for us that is very close in tying our knot to either the right or wrong path) – before then we decided not to proceed, just tonight.
Before then, I have to ‘suffer’ from the dilemmas and “what if” questions, enough to making me not be able to sleep well. The process made me emotionally tired, as I was really confused waiting for God’s answer whether that house was ‘the one’ or not, it was a thin line between we moved by our own wills or God’s wills.
So, my statement above (making the process in finding a house to be very much similar with the process I had to go through before I decided to be with my now husband), is based on the following circumstances 😛
1. You can’t always tell whether ‘it’ (as in ‘the house’) or ‘your spouse’ (he/she) is the one from the first encounter
Some people were lucky if they could, and I used to hope I could have that “instinct” or probing from Holy Spirit too when I first met my husband, but “sadly” it wasn’t that easy for me. However, as my journey in finding a house still continues, I hope I can!! (I dunno, maybe within the first minutes we talk to the agent, or within first seconds entering the house (if it’s a second). By the way, you are welcomed to visit my other blog to read the story of how I met my husband 😛 *blush*
2. Better to suffer heartbreaking moments before you move into a more serious relationship (as for the house, before you sign any contract. As in term of relationship, personally for me before you even agree to be his/her girlfriend/boyfriend. But of course what is more vital is, before you say that “I DO” 🙂 )
It is disappointing indeed for me when we finally decided not to proceed with the house as we had given our time and effort (plus that emotional burden by having that sort of dilemma), as much disappointing and hurtful as to be in a close relationship with someone but then turns out things don’t work out between you two, but hey, it is truly better to withdraw now than later when it’s too late!
3. May have to undergo a “wide array of selection” before you eventually meet the right one
These paragraphs I quote from my other blog about how I met my husband desribe it best haha…
“October 5th 2008 – That day he finally told me he wanted to be closer to me more than just a friend. I couldn’t remember whether I was happy or surprised, back then I didn’t know what to expect. That wasn’t the first time a man told me his feeling and asked me to be his girlfriend, it has happened many times before. For some I agreed to give a think and pray for a decision within a certain period (always ended up for ‘No’), while for the rest I just straightforwardly knew the answer would also be ‘No’.
For this one?
I didn’t know what I should answer and do. A part inside my heart said, “Ah, not again, the ‘cycle’ is happening again! Maybe it’d be just like the others, for not more than a month later the answer eventually would be a ‘No’.
But on that night somehow I just found that God was my hiding place. I didn’t know what I should pray or ask to God related with this issue. I just knew He would be the place where I could find the answer and He would guide me in making the decision”.
Reminder for myself: do not give up in finding my future ‘anointed house’!!!
4. Both requires HUGE leap of faith
Sure you may have liked what you see (“the offer, deal, house type” vs. “the person’s character, background”) but you are not able to find out “the real it/him/her” unless you make that first step, a huge step of faith that is. Would there be something wrong in the house which might be only found out after we move into it? Would I be able to accept his/her weaknesses which may arise later when we are into a more serious relationship? Would he/she change after we get married? etc etc
5. It is very rare to get 10 out of 10 from your “perfect house/spouse list” all’s checked, necessary adjustment has to be made as long as it does not overrule your most important value or principle
I used to write a list for my ‘future dream husband’ (knowing what your criteria is helping you a lot in deciding one from the “wide array of selection” I’m talking about at above. I forgot the complete list already and only remember the ‘important parts’, it was written in one of my diaries stored in my parents’ house in Jakarta) and my husband scored 7 out of 10 hahaha… Now when he annoys me, I tend to focus more on those 3 that he’s lack of and forgetting the other 7!! *ups* 😛 But on our ‘high’, I know I am with him for right reasons and he scored all the ‘3 very principle things that my future husband should have’ lol :-*
6. Don’t go for it at the first hand if you have known the house/he/she is “just not for you“
We have set a certain budget and we won’t make ourselves a fool by approaching a house that is way exceeding the budget range, we won’t even ask for more information from the agent, why would we waste our time and energy finding for more information for something that we cannot afford even though how beautiful the house may seem? For me before I was with my husband, this verse is my ‘limit’: “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) and I used to bear in my mind, “not all Christians are Christ-followers” 🙂
Well… maybe I can add some other points for the comparison, but I gotta go to sleep 🙂 After making that decision of letting it go, we both are more relieved now…. God may have saved us from a huge mistake… I know, because now I can sleep well again and I can feel that peace in my heart, at least I can save that dilemma for another time (still hoping we will get that hunch when we meet our future house!!) and back to the basic: “if God brings us here, He will not work half way. He will provide for us everything including a house of our own” I proclaim that God won’t fail us!
Have any encouraging stories or comments related with my story? 🙂
Prayer is a very strong foundation in every relationship, most importantly with our God, secondly with our life partner 🙂 Nowadays I realized I and my husband have neglected this part for a quite a long time (especially since we have Aimee). The marriage is also not always flowery (every marriage relationship is, I think), and after several ongoing issue that always ended up in a conflict between us, I asked God seriously what’s gone wrong here. He gently reminded me, that we have forsaken the “Love Triangle” (God at the peak, me and my husband at the other two corners). The more we focus our heart and align our eyes to God at the top corner, each of us will be connected even stronger as we move further way up to reach the peak. Prayer is the greatest tool we need to climb up that ladder. Our individual relationship with the Lord is indeed significant, yet “A cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).Together (husband and wive) and the Holy Spirit, we are even stronger.
So I prayed to God yesterday morning, to give us an opportunity at night to once again devote our time to pray together, to just sit together and dedicate the time to God. Aimee also did not have any difficulty to sleep, as before 10 pm she has quietly fallen asleep after drinking her milk 🙂 Then, I noticed flashing message from my Blackberry, from my cousin, with her broadcast message saying an old lady -grandma of her friend- urgently need blood donation as she had to undergo a brain surgery, and the blood type is ‘O negative’. I know my husband’s blood type is ‘O’, but both of us were not sure whether it’s a ‘+’ or ‘-‘. Apparently, my husband has contacted my cousin prior to my knowledge. Showing the conversation message, he asked whether I would agree if he went to the hospital which was quite far, out from the city, together with my cousin. Don’t know why, I could not neglect this broadcast message. Imagining that if same thing happened to one I dearly love, I would also wish people who have the blood type will voluntarily help in a swift. After giving a thought for several minutes, I responsed with “OK”. Then to my surprise, he came to me and asked me to pray for him. Wow! Here there was, together we were joined in prayer, although in a much different circumstances and topics, but I could feel the intimacy blossomed again through that short moment of prayer. Really praise You, Lord!
After my husband left, God touched my heart, and I could only pray in silence with tears overflowing my eyes, grateful tears. I ask God for forgiveness, for disrespectful things I might have done to my husband. After all, it is God who commands me to honor and obey my husband. Set aside who’s right and who’s wrong, I still have my utmost duty to God and to my husband. Holy Spirit also rebuked me, to love my husband for who he is, someone who has a very kind heart, and that cannot be compared with worldy riches! I bet not every man would want to sacrifice his time and energy to go out of city at almost midnight and donate his blood to whom he does not even know!
I could also feel how God has missed me a lot… to just spend time intimately with Him…Last night I had it all, I regained it all, and I could only thank God, who truly know the deepest of my heart.
I only prayed nonchalantly for an opportunity to pray together with my husband, and He did give me one, in a much surprising way! I could also see the beauty of my husband’s heart… and that strengthen the ‘vow’ inside my heart :”)
Thank You dear God… This really strengthens my faith, that God surely listens to my prayers, no matter how simple I say it. I relate this with my ‘unanswered prayers’ about my parents… God must have a very good reason to not yet answering it now…. He must have.
Keep holding my hand, dear Lord… I love You so much, and thank You for loving me thissssssss muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….. :’)
June is going to end soon, so is the “Second Semester” of 2012- what does our ‘report card’ show? Do we still have that ‘burning spirit’ when we first enter the New Year?
A devotion I read this morning remind me of something. Here’s what I’m gonna share with you, an illustration about “a carrot, an egg, and a coffee bean” (no, it’s not a blog entry about cooking recipe :P)
“If carrots, eggs, and coffee beans are boiled, the effect on each item will be different. The carrots will soften, the eggs will harden, and the coffee beans will change the color of the water and spread a delicious aroma (I miss Melbourne’s coffee by the way :P).
The boiling water symbolizes problems or pressures in our life. The carrots, eggs, and coffee beans symbolize different human reactions to problems or pressures. The soft carrots represent people who grumble, complain, and pity themselves when faced with problems. The hardened eggs represent those who become stubborn, rebellious, and angry at God during tribulations. But the coffee beans represent people who obey and trust God, changing the atmosphere around them while spreading the fragrance of Christ.
God offers to each of us faith greater than any problem we face. The magnitude of the problem is not as important as our reaction to the problem. Our faith determines how we will respond as we meet the challenges of daily life – as a carrot, a hard-boiled egg, or a coffee bean“-The Upper Room, Thursday 21 June 2012
Reflecting on this illustration, I realize God allows me to experience problem and life difficulties to challenge me to still praising Him in spite of many strives I’m facing. May and June have been tough and difficult months for me honestly…
It’s easy to praise God when we feel blessed or in good condition -the unbelievers can even do it- However, can we still praise Him in hard times? Can we keep our faith if we do not sense God’s help? I feel it’s very, very difficult.
Many times I’ve been acting like the carrot instead (I was like the egg in my early years following Jesus). Yet it’s very rare I can act like the coffee bean! Overwhelmed by troubles, I don’t even remember or care to ‘spread the fragrance of Christ’ to others because my focus has been too absorbed in the problem itself!
I think this blog has been very often listing my wish/prayer to be ‘more grateful, more patient, more like Christ’, because yes, it depicts how I’m really struggling to be one! I pray these prayers aren’t just empty words, as God’s grace continually sustaining me everyday… Only God can truly judge and know what’s inside my heart. Only Him can truly help me in His divine ways, to turn my ‘identity in my report card’ from a carrot to be a coffee bean instead…
This verse I read yesterday has really strengthened me. I’ve read it many times before but somehow God has opened my mind to a different facet of the verse yesterday.
“Whatever things are true, whatever things have honor, whatever things are upright, whatever things are holy, whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value,if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, give thought to these things” – Philippians 4:8 (Bible in Basic English)
Holy Spirit has simplified this verse to me: Think only things that will bring praise to God!
The verse says “.. if there is any praise..”, surely we have at least one everyday, right!? Even though we are in trouble moments, there MUST BE something that we can think of which we can give praise and thanks to God.
Lord, I give thanks to You, God of comfort, God of Shalom! You have reminded me ‘peace’ in Christian life doesn’t mean an absence of problems, but an assurance that You are always with me, never leave nor forsake me, NEVER.