“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

“Valentine 2017”

Yesterday Valentine’s dinner at the comfort of our own home 😆

We usually didn’t celebrate Valentine, mostly because my husband thought Valentine was on Feb 28 (you get how charmingly unromantic he is 🤣). 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 🌞), 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 🙊 #selfcompliment #gataumalu 🤣) 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” 🐮 would be his answer, but turned out his answer was: BACON 🥓 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 ✅ #missionaccomplished #thankyouforyourgrace haha).

The point is, I’m learning that “marriage is like a long-term exercise in gardening” 🌱(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 🤣), 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! ❤️

Happy New Year 2015!

Well, I’m late by one day in wishing you all a happy new year, although not really ‘hot from the oven’ I hope the spirit of welcoming new things is still there (it’s still warm! :P).

I actually have written my reflection for year 2014 and wishes and desires for this new year in my own private diary, I almost forgot to write some here! To be honest, as years gone by (and I’m getting older lol), the spirit to making some new year resolutions have dissipated. I still treasure being given that point in life as a benchmark in “starting what I haven’t and improving what I should’ve been”, but I’ve become more aware and realize that I don’t have to wait for a new year to commit to make changes that I want to happen in my inner being and life, and also the change itself is more of a process rather than “a decision made in beginning of January and is forgotten by February”… So, maybe, because of those reasons this time I didn’t treat the day of 1st January as that ‘super special’ anymore… Yes, it is a new year, new beginning, and this point should have been used to renew commitment etc, but other than that nothing’s really changed much for me personally 🙂

Besides, I’ve just gone back 3 days ago from my “25 days unexpected holiday” in Jakarta so I was still busy cleaning up things and sorting my life back to normal that’s another reason I forgot to write yesterday. I had to go back to Jakarta all of sudden in early December because my grandfather passed away… Today is actually a month after he’s gone… Other family members and relatives might have their chance to be with him when he was hospitalized and during his critical condition, but for me who lives overseas my last memory with him was during last year’s Chinese New Year (31 January 2014). I was very grateful I still had the chance to meet him back then when he was still healthy, I’ll never forget the picture I had together with him when he still smiled and able to speak normally (several months later he fell from his bed and since then had to use wheelchair. Days before he passed away he vomited blood, liver failure soon followed and his heart rate weakening)… I’m sad I couldn’t see him for the last time other than on that day, but I’m also thankful at least the last moment we were together he was still smiling happily and that smile is what I keep in my memory instead of pictures of him that my dad sent me when he was in unconscious, emergency state…

I miss him.  We lived together in one house since when I was a baby for 8-9 years before my parents bought their own house and we moved. Maybe because I moved when I was still that young, I didn’t remember much my memory with him in particular other than from my childhood photos that I still kept to date. Then when I studied in Melbourne I only met him once a year until I was back and lived in Jakarta for two years in which I thought I’d stay there for long time. Nonetheless, two years ago I decided to move back to Melbourne with my husband and daughter, and I still remember his face, his gestures and words when he met me and asked whether I had been sure with my decision and he just smiled and nodded as sign giving me the permission. I met him twice since then (once a year in two years after I’ve moved to Melbourne, the last time was in January 2014).

Strangely, through all the years I actually wasn’t that very close to my grandpa, but losing him this time really hit me quite hard. That ‘life routine’ that I thought I’d always have; visiting my grandpa whenever I had holiday in Jakarta, buying his favorite Cherry Ripes bars beforehand as a ‘routine gift’, I’ve lost those “routines” now. I felt weird when last time I went to Coles to buy some gifts for my family after just a short notice that I must be back to Jakarta for his funeral, yet not buying any Cherry Ripes.

My Grandpa (Kong) had lived for 90 years, he had lived a long life indeed. During his funeral many testified about their admiration of his hard work, diligence, faithfulness and commitment to my grandma (who passed away 12 years ago before him), and generosity. I was one of them who went to the front and gave my testimony before I sang “Kasih Dari Surga” to comfort the mourners. For me, Kong is a sacrificial and faithful person. He migrated from China when he was 12 years old to Ternate (Maluku) before then to Jakarta, having none, yet with hard work and perseverance successfully establish a business empire and legacy to his next generations. He never forget where he came from, he still regularly donated and built many schools, hospitals, and orphanages in mainland China and also in many other places. He definitely wasn’t a type of person who kept it all for himself.

During giving my testimony, God reminded me a verse from Proverbs 22:1

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold”

so I shared the above verse, and I can truly see that God’s word is true. The best legacy of all Kong has given to his family is his good name and living example.

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Kong, I will always remember you, and I thank God I was still able to come to Jakarta. I arrived just a day before his funeral, and I still got the chance to see his peaceful face before they closed the casket. Teach me Lord to use my days wisely while I still live on this earth.

My thoughts and prayers also go to the families of the victims of Air Asia flight QZ8501, I can’t understand the depth of the loss and how they have to welcome this new year with such great loss and sadness… Let God’s love and divine comfort fill their hearts, for only He understand and have the reasons for all things that happened (Romans 8:28).

Have a miraculous 2015 everyone!

Are You in the Pity-Party Guests List?

Hello, how are you fellow readers? Hope you are all doing fine, healthy and content (keep your body fit during these days of Melb’s strange weather in spring – alternating sun and rain and wind ^^”) I just need to share this thought about ‘loving myself the way God loves me’.

First of all, I love a quote from what Ko Dan (my BIC pastor) shared last Sunday, “Count yourself the way God’s accounting you” He said so many times we unconsciously don’t respect what God says in the Bible about us and other truth, by our unbelief. He gave an illustration about how good our friend plays his piano, how we are so touched by the melody came out from the play, yet when we approached him and gave him the compliment he deserved, instead of accepting it and said thanks, he gave a despise look saying ‘you must be lying!’ What would we think and react in his response? Wouldn’t we feel offended? Here we are trying to give a sincere compliment yet our dear friend didn’t believe us, didn’t pay a respect and judging us as a liar!

Yet so many times that is similarly what we do toward God, when He said to us that nothing is impossible for Him, our response instead was we chuckled and said inside our heart “yeah right, easy to say but the situation I’m facing isn’t as simple as what you think!”

Or when God said to us to not be weary in doing good because at the proper time we will reap the harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9), in our heart we still complain about how we don’t see any result at all in loving this difficult person, we don’t trust God that there is truly a reward and harvest waiting for us, if, we don’t give up. Or, we are accusing God to not being capable of taking care of our life and needs by worrying constantly. Plus so many other examples…

For me personally, this week I’ve had another truth be opened by His Holy Spirit about my mistake in not trusting God’s words wholeheartedly.

Let me share some personal stories of mine… 🙂

I have a kind of ‘unique relationship’ with both of my parents (I was meant to say ‘rough’ or ‘absurd’ relationship yet I realized how God’s been so so good to me, He continues to fix my heart and my mindset so slowly I started to extend God’s grace to my parents. So yeah, a term of ‘unique relationship’ will be so much better :P) It’s such a long story to describe why I’d say it as an unique relationship, involving constant yet decreasing (praise the Lord!) battle of fighting with bitterness and letting go of forgiveness. It had resulted in me many wrong thinking and mindset, one of them was how I often be tempted to invite myself to gathering around the “pity-party”.

Because I didn’t receive the kind of ‘unconditional love’ I deserved from my parents, I had this big hole in my heart craving for that need to be fulfilled. I carried this heavy, unmet expectation into my marriage and not a surprise to whom I passed on this baton of heavy expectation? to my own husband, of course!

I would demand my husband to love me the way I wanted to be loved. For months I nagged him to ‘speak same love language’ of mine and rarely appreciated his own love language to me. I’d demand him to ‘go an extra mile’ to make me happy and yet I was difficult to be pleased (thank God I have a super patience soul mate :P). I had this “false philosophy” thinking or wishing that my husband’s love could redeem what I didn’t get from my parents. I compared myself with other people who seemed to have ‘good loving parents, friends, and family’. I used to think to myself, why were these people was simply ‘lovable’ and seemed like people would be wiling to do nice things and spoiled them? Why didn’t I get the same kind of ‘loving treatment’? What was wrong with me that my own parents and husband (or friends) didn’t seem to be wiling to make an extra effort just for the sake of my happiness? Was I not loveable?

These were the thoughts from a Christian who has known very well that “God loves me that He sent His own Son to die for my sins” and that “only God can fill that black hole in your heart, not any human being”…!

This is my honesty 🙂

I struggled questioning God, saying “Lord, I know that You love me, but why I seemed not deserve to be spoilt by my closest people? Why other people could be loved by You and people? Why couldn’t I have both? I know that Your love is the most important thing beyond love from human, but didn’t You show Your love through people around me too, God?” I used to think that I very often did not get what I wanted through an easy way while others seemed didn’t even have to ‘ask’ to be spoilt yet they still got it voluntarily from others.

Of course on the other hand, I knew this was not right, and I fought this battle hard and all of the times I thought I failed yet somehow I started to see God’s invisible hands carrying me through and higher reaching His throne of grace. One intimate appointment with God to another slowly had lower my false expectation and erased my desire to be loved by ‘human’. Another one I had was yesterday, when I was in quiet time having my Bible Study (topic this week is ‘loving and accepting myself the way God does’) and reading God’s words in Isaiah 49:15-16

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me”.

Reading these verses and remembered what Ko Dan said “Count yourselves the way God’s accounting you”, suddenly my eyes be opened. I didn’t know nor understand why it only had to be yesterday! Suddenly I started to see all these self-pity thoughts about myself were all LIES! The devil tried to feed my mind with these lies and manipulated situations around me to believing into his lies! I finally come to see that my value is not determined by how others treat me, but by how God treats me! By how God thinks of me…

and in Isaiah clearly He thinks of me very very deeply, He has my name engraved on His palms! The Bible didn’t simply say it was ‘written’, but ‘engraved’, meaning it is there and will be there eternally, forever on the palms of God’s hands! Something’s written on our palms may be removed (by sweats, for example), but to be engraved will forever leave a mark. That is how much I am valued by God!

Overleap with joy and conviction I straightaway prayed to God, that I wish from now on I don’t have to be self pity anymore regardless whether I received expected treatment from those who are important for me or not. I prayed asking God for victory to stand firm on this truth and not to be deceived by the lies anymore.

Then finally the moment came when my heart prayed to God, that I wish I would stop denying that truly only God’s love can satisfy me… not God’s love through others… but the kind of love I directly receive from Him, through an intimate relationship with my Lord…

I guess my struggle and question along this time have been answered yesterday… with that stronger desire to be fulfilled with God’s own love, and not by human’s love.

My question along the time of whether could I have both love (from God and people) was not the main focus anymore.

Then as I sat amazed by how the Holy Spirit had opened the eyes of my heart to this truth, I started to wonder, what other lies that I still don’t realize and I still live within…?

I can’t wait to have new revelations and have my mind be changed, resulting in life changes…

I am excited with so many revelations God’s given me throughout this year, began by when I came back to my first love with Him…

I’ve started writing my spiritual goals and at the same time have many life questions that I yet to find a personal conviction. I long to not just know, but seek to understand. Just like this sharing I write, I know God loves me but not really understand the truth. I rely on God’s grace to uncover one by one of the truth… There is still a lot more to uncover about this great Person!

Meanwhile, I am so happy to not be invited to the pity-party anymore. Next time the invitation comes, I prefer to attend to GRACE-PARTY instead! 🙂

pity party

Merry Christmas 2012!

"Christmas is about His story"
“Christmas is about His story”

I’ve been arriving in Melbourne since the 15th, and is very grateful that now I am here, and Christmas this year feels so different.. More contentment in my heart. Being away from my family is better I guess… sometimes distance is necessary in a relationship, even with your loved ones… days before my parents were back to Jakarta, somehow God showed me a revelation which unburdened my heavy loads for years about my disappointment toward the circumstances in my family… That my parents actually love me. It’s just because life circumstances in Jakarta that make them ‘unpurposely’ did things that hurt my heart… It is simple, yet very relieving… and I don’t know why I couldn’t accept it while I was still in Indo… 5 days where they were with me, my hubby, and Aimee gave that revelation… and I could only give thanks to God. Not being able to see the daily reality in Indo is better, particularly during certain festive occassions such as this Christmas. I will never stop praying for them, my faith tells me one day they will be changed, they will.It will be one day of God’s appointed time.

Today’s Christmas message which was taken from the history of how the birth of Jesus fulfilled the prophet’s revelations which were proclaimed 700 years before Jesus actually was born, tells me that God does work in all things in our life, things that may seem like naturally happen, or sometimes could be supernaturally like how the virgin Mary could carry the baby in her womb by the power and miracle of the Holy Spirit. But mostly, through all natural things happen in our life, never underestimate them. They may seem happen like ‘the way they suppose to’, but God works behind all of those to do good for all of us who love Him (Romans 8:28).

Just like the Bible tells about how history begins, let our life becomes His story.

Entering the new year, don’t ask “what should I do with my life? what are my dreams? what are my future plans?”. Instead, ask “what God wants to do with my life? what dreams God wants me to have? what future plans God wants me to concieve?”

I’ve forgotten that life is God-centered, and is never about myself.

This Christmas season the Holy Spirit reminds me, to return to what my true life purpose is. My life is for Him alone, for His glory, His kingdom. He works through all my weaknesses and errors, He transforms it for an even greater miracle and testimony.

Thank You Jesus.

Happy Birthday, I’m very proud that the whole world celebrates Your birthday. One day those who only celebrate it with god cause and presents will understand that Christmas is only about Your story and never about themselves.

Merry Christmas everyone! HO HO HO 😀

 

Don’t Ignore or Runaway, Keep On Moving!

Not all parents and child get along well together. For me, i have an ‘unique’ sort of a love-and-hate relationship with both of them. I used to keep this thing discreet, yet as i grow older, i tend to accept it the way it is and try not to make it a fuss especially after i”ve got married and have my own family. However i have to admit, this family issue thing isn’t that easy to ignore or forget. Maybe at the first place, it’s not a response that God wants me to have anyway (to try my best to forget and ignore it). God wants me to face it, to deal with it. Until when? I do not know.

Yet as I’m writing this entry, i come to really realize that it is so right what i said at above, that God wants me to face it, face every challenge, every things that look like pain.. instead of running away from it.. Holy Spirit is truly speaking at me right now..

These verses really strengthen me in facing this moment, as how the writer was very burdened by ‘trouble, wandering, the bitter root and poison’.. similar things I”ve been continuously carrying on and off for so many years…

Lamentations 3:19-26

Keep in mind my trouble and my wandering, the bitter root and the poison.
My soul still keeps the memory of them; and is bent down in me.

This I keep in mind, and because of this I have hope.

It is through the Lord’s love that we have not come to destruction, because his mercies have no limit.

They are new every morning; great is your good faith.

I said to myself, The Lord is my heritage; and because of this I will have hope in him.

The Lord is good to those who are waiting for him, to the soul which is looking for him.

It is good to go on hoping and quietly waiting for the salvation of the Lord.

In the end, the grace of the Lord prevails,
Giving me hope and courage to not giving up.
Thank You Lord for picking me up once again.

“To be a Praying Mother”

Today I learn something… And also getting to know another desire that God has put in my heart, which is to be a praying mother for my children.. To bless them by my prayers, love, & commitment..

It all started this morning, when I met my mom just for a couple of minutes at her house before I left to work. Last night I also met her when I dropped by to play with my niece. From those two occurrences, she has made three negative comments about my pregnancy (and I think those comments aren’t valid-according to my faith in Christ as well as logically based on doctor’s comment).

I admit I was annoyed by those negative comments. Instead of speak blessings, judgment and critics flowed out from her mouth so easily (and I have to admit too, I’ve been struggling to face this ‘trait’ of her for a long time, I feel it’s getting even worst during the last year). I cannot understand why her comments are always negative…

Then suddenly God opened my heart and mind when I was in the car thinking of what just happened…
All of her negative comments must come out of her heart. The problem is her HEART. Bad and negative things happened in her life have shaped her mind into what it is now…
I have been blessed because I have known Christ personally and He is the One who is continuously renewing my mind with His words.. Otherwise, I think more or less I would be the same with her!
And this knowledge and experience of Christ is all by grace.. Nothing I can be proud of!

The important lesson here is, having a mother as Christ’s believer truly make a difference! SHOULD or, even MUST make a difference!
Out of every Christ’s believers’ mouth should come out words of blessings and encouragement!
And I am sure this will make a great influence in the child’s life too, since his/her young age.

I may not experience having a mother who can encourage me with her words, but I have a desire for my children to have one. I have a desire to be the kind of mother whom I always long for, for my own children… 🙂

Bless and empower me Lord, to be a praying mother who blesses my children with my prayers, love, & commitment. It’d be my greatest joy if one day I could hear this from them,
My mom is my role model. She has a great faith and has faithfully guided me in the way of truth. I am so blessed by her

So Blessed by My ‘New’ Family

Just wanna share a simple sharing…
Over the last three weeks, my mom&sis-in-law were having their holiday in Jakarta (visiting from Jambi). They actually came to fulfill my ‘special request’… We (me&my husband, especially) are undergoing difficult times and I know how having his mom & sis close would mean so much for him. Nothing makes me happy other than to see my husband is happy too, and besides, his mom & sis are very nice and funny, I love them too 🙂

Simply said, having them in our home meant so much for me. I get to feel living as a ‘family’, something that I don’t experience anymore for a long time from my own mom&dad…
Here from my mom-in-law, I could feel her love and caring from simple gestures she did (she cooked many yummy and healthy dishes for me and my baby, we chatted and laughed together almost every night while watching tv, went shopping together, even bought me clothes, shoes, etc). Indeed it’s not the ‘things’ that I could get from her, but more to ‘time’ that she dedicated for me and her profile as a ‘mother’ beside me, eventhough she’s not my biological mom…

During my hard day on last Thursday (I lost my money in my bank account misteriously in a quite big sum and I got bad case at work causing me to be scolded severely by my boss… T_T), mom and sis-in-law were there to comfort me (it was their last night before went back to Jambi again on last week Friday)…

Thank You so much, Lord.. Having them is a precious treasure for me.. Having a wonderful husband besides me is truly Your amazing grace, something more than I ever imagined before.. Even more to have and to feel the warmness of a family again through my husband’s family… I can only say THANK YOU LORD!

Well… That’s it for now.. We keep praying for my husband’s family to be saved in the Lord (and for my own parents too)… One day that day will come, until then, help me to keep my hope alive in You, God… Thank You for Your mercy…

God’s Waiting Room

Being in God’s waiting room feels so long for me at the moment… “Until When?” is the question that often pops up in my mind… Then today I’m feeling a bit low on this Ramadhan day… After many years, this is my first time to be in Jakarta in this ‘Lebaran moment’… It triggers some memories back in the past… I remember I used to spend this long holiday season with my family going out to overseas or cities within Indo. Now as I see some teenagers happily updating their status in FB or BB, stating they’re going out for holiday with their family to overseas (Europe or Japan, how fun!), I can’t hide the sad feeling how I want to experience the same with my family… Beautiful places in overseas are just a bonus for me. What’s more important is the opportunity to spend our time together, enjoying the togetherness as a family. I don’t mind to have our time together in Indo either. Going to Bali, Puncak, Bandung – anywhere, I don’t mind. Even just to enjoy a happy family dinner together at home – I don’t mind. But… I don’t have all. I can’t remember when was the last time I experienced these moments… Moments that now can only be in my own imagination…

Lord, when will You bring back my family together as one…? When, Lord…?

I really want to enjoy being in Your waiting room, knowing that You, with the breakthroughs and surprises, will show up. But I’m starting to grow weary, God…