Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Life Giving Home: Part 2 Seasons of Home (excerpts)

 January 
Creating a Framework For Home: Rhythms, Routines and Rituals 

Planning daily rhythms - meals, devotions, cleanup, bedtime routines - should take into consideration the abilities and personalities of everyone who lives in the home. 

Am I doing something now that doesn't need to be done? How can I simplify my work to provide more time to do what I value most? I want to avoid "mile-wide and inch-deep" commitments and commit to a few activities that are central to my values. 

What daily and weekly rituals will bring pleasure and mark important areas in which I can invest my moments?

Whatever your household or season of life, make your plans according to your needs, circumstances, life stage, and personality so that your home can thrive in sync with your own preferences. You will only find your plans sustainable if they fit you as well as those who live in your home. 

Decluttering the Soul: I also try to identify ways I have missed my goals and ways I want to strengthen my commitments in the major areas of my life - physical (diet and exercise), emotional (my relationship with Clay, the kids, my friends, and our a quite time, what I will study or read in the Bible, ways I want to grow) . I choose one or two areas I will concentrate on during the following year and find a pertinent Bible verse to memorize as a support.   

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Life Giving Home: Part 1 Thinking about Home (excerpt)

By: Sally and Sarah Clarkson

The very richness of this room brings life to my soul, and that is what this book is all about - how to create a home that nourishes, nurtures, and sustains life and beauty. It is all about how to order your living space and what happens there to embody the joy and beauty of God's own spirit. 

If we look at the lovely world that God has designed for us, we can see a pattern for what He has always intended for us - a home environment filled with color and creativity and order, a welcoming provider of laughter and refuge, a space where memories are made and shared. Instead of creating us to live in a house of weariness and colorlessness, God has made us to live in a home full of soul-beautiful elements. 

Give foundations of strength and inspiration to these precious ones, but give them wings as well. Prepare them to take risks, to live by faith, so that they can take the messages and cherished values they learned at home and share them with a hurting world. And so our home becoming a launching pad, a place of blessing, as we sent our beloved children on their way - hopefully strong, whole, and secure in the ideals, faith and values that truly matter. 

Part1: Thinking about Home 


1. A Lifegiving Legacy 

As I toured Biltmore, my imagination and vision were once again piqued by the idea of intentionally making my home a holding place for all that is beautiful, good, holy, and foundational to life - a place where those I love always feel like they belong, a place of freedom and grace that launches them into the persons they were made to be, a place of becoming. In the midst of demanding, constantly pressured lives, we all need refresher courses from time to time about what we are building and why we must be intentional about doing it. 

"All people need a place where their roots can grow deep and they always feel like they belong and have a loving refuge. And all people need a place that gives wings to their dreams, nurturing possibilities of who they might become."

Family was God's original organization scheme for society, and home was the laboratory where human beings could learn to glorify God through the work, relationships, and purposes of their lives. Home would be the place where love for God and commitment to His purposes would be passed down from one generation to another.

Homemaking - not in the sense of housekeeping, but in the broader sense of cultivating the life of a home - has to be done on purpose. 

The essence of home, you see, is not necessarily a structure. What makes a home is the life shared there, wherever they may be. And cultivating the life of home requires intentionality, planning, and design. There must be someone (or several someones) to craft the life, the beauty, the love, and the inspiration that overflows from that place. 

Because of our missionary, job-oriented lives, Clay and I knew from the beginning that we would probably not have a static homestead where we could congregate over our life as a family. So we focused on creating home out of less tangible materials - traditions, habits, rhythms, experiences, and values. 

Creating a lifegiving home, then, is a long process taken one step, one season at a time. 

The intentionality of seeking to build my home piece by piece, day by day, as moved me and my family toward the goal of creating a great legacy of healthy people who live and grow within its walls. 

Home should be the very best place ever to be. 

2. Made for Home 

We don't have to have a perfect family, a healthy background. We don't have to have lived in one place. We don't have to own a mansion or even a house. Nothing required for the making of home except a heart that loves God, an imagination fired by His Spirit, and hands ready to create. And, well, a bit of courage, spaces and fill them. But when we do, the Kingdom comes in the homes we make as the love of God becomes flesh in our lives once more. 

I'm still holding out for a cottage with a garden someday, but until then, I know that each new little student room is my space of possible creation. 

As I order and hope, fill and form, the Holy Spirit is renewing one more corner of the world. Here, in my room, the fallen stuff of the broken earth is being formed back into love, into home. There's no place like it. 

3. A Symphony of Grace 

- The Music of Welcome: We always try to write the name of those we know will be entering our home. 

We want all who enter our little kingdom - family, friends, and guests - to know that they are welcome and cherished in this sacred place we call home. 

- The Music of Safety: I try to ensure that wisdom, truth and the reality of God's grace are kept within and that my home is a haven from the destructive voices of the outside world. 

In order to protect ourselves and others from finding menacing influences, as much as possible, we must purpose ways to keep our homes as havens of all that is good, pure, innocent, and excellent. If the Lord guards our own coming and going, so we should be guards over what is allowed into our homes. 

- The Music of Knowledge and Wisdom: As a young woman, I began to picture my children's hearts as treasure chests of a different sort, and I vowed to fill them with intrinsic treasures: the best stories, memorized Scripture, priceless images of classical art, excellent books, memories from great feasts enjoyed together and special days celebrated, great Bible stories and wisdom passages, plus heart photographs of love given, holiday cherished, lesson learned. 

- The Music of Beauty: We honor Him when we make beauty a priority in our homes. 

- The Music of Relationship: Relationships are the core focus of celebrating life together in a place. Consequently, the desire to create spaces for friendship, companionship, and fellowship, influenced many of our home choices - even the furniture we bought, where we placed it, and how we used it. 

- The Music of Nourishment: I believe every meal should be a celebration of life itself as we break bread and enter fellowship together. And the way those meals are planned, prepared, and served enhances the connection and the celebration. Every meal, in other words, should be a feast for the senses and the spirit. 

- The Music of Rest: - a personalized space for each occupant (in a bedroom) 


Having home that tells a great story happens over time as we mature, refine, create, and love. 

I hope you will have that experience as well. Whatever your taste, preferences, and style, you have the freedom to create your own home art and make your dwelling a place that is distinctively yours - a place of comfort, safety, and delight for you and everyone who steps inside your door. 

4. The Rhythms of Incarnation 

A Renewed Awareness 
If we want to embody the life of God in our homes, we need to understand what God intended human life to be, and we also need to be aware of what distracts us from that intention or diminishes it in our lives. 

A Scrambled Consciousness
The rhythms of earth and body require me to sleep. The limitations of my physical senses mean I can only hear so  many voices, so many words at one time. But the online world is unresting. 

We can only create what we have imagined. We can only embody the life of God if we have internally known and tasted His goodness. 

If the precious, limited hours of my day are used bit by bit in scanning information. I will have less and less time for the attentive, slow, good work of creativity, conversation, and connection that real people and real homes require. 
If my awareness of space is concentrated on a screen, my home will reflect the absence of my attention, my creativity, and ultimately, my love. 

We cannot change the world if we cannot incarnate God's live in our own most ordinary spaces and hours. Homemaking must be understood as a potent Kingdom endeavor, not merely a domestic task. Homemaking requires a willed creativity, a conscious diligence, because we are called to create new life and challenged to do it in the midst of a world that actively resists us in this endeavor. 


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Atomic Habits (excerpt)

 Introduction 

Changes that seems small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you're willing to stick with them for years. We all deal with setbacks but in the long run, the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits. With the same habits, you'll end up with the same results. But with better habits, anything is possible. 

1. The Surprising Power of Atomic Habits 

That said, it doesn't matter how successful or unsuccessful you are right now. What matters is whether your habits are putting you on the path toward success. You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results. 

Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy. 

Mastery require patience. The San Antonio Spurs, one of the most successful teams in NBA history, have a quote from social reformer Jacob Riis hanging in their locker room: "When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it - but all that had gone before." 

All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. 

Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results. 

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. A handful of problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing your systems. 


2. How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa) 

Habits like exercise, meditation, journaling and cooking are reasonable for a day or two and then become a hassle. 

However, once your habits are established, they seem to stick around forever - especially the unwanted ones. Despite our best intentions, unhealthy habits like eating junk food, watching too much television, procrastinating, and smoking can feel impossible to break.  

Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons: (1) we try to change the wrong thing and (2) we try to change our habits in the wrong way. 

Many people begin the process of changing their habits by focusing on what they want to achieve. This leads us to outcome-based habits. The alternative is to build identity-based habits. With this approach, we start by focusing on who we wish to become. 

It's hard to change your habits if you never change the underlying beliefs that led to your past behavior. You have a new goal and a new plan, but you haven't changed who you are. 

True behavior change is identity change. You might start a habit because of motivation, but the only reason you'll stick with the one is that it becomes part of your identity. 

The effect of one-off experiences tends to face away while the effect of habits gets reinforced with time, which means your habits contribute most of the evidence that shapes your identity. In this way, the process of building habits is actually the process of becoming yourself. 

This is a gradual evolution. We do not change by snapping our fingers and deciding to be someone entirely new. We change bit by bit, day by day, habit by habit. We are continually undergoing microevolutions of the self. 

Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. .... This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. 

The most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do. 

It is a simple two-step process: 1. Decide the type of person you want to be. 2. Prove it to yourself with small wins. 

Building better habits isn't about littering your day with life hacks. ... Habits can help you achieve all of these things, but fundamentally they are not about having something. They are about becoming someone. 

Ultimately, your habits matter because they help you become the type of person you wish to be. They are the channel through which you develop your deepest beliefs about yourself. Quite literally, you become your habits. 


3. How to Build Better Habits in 4 Simple Steps 

Habits reduce cognitive load and free up mental capacity, so you can allocate your attention to other tasks. 

Habits do not restrict freedom. If you're always being forced to make decisions about simple tasks , then you have less time for freedom. It's only by making the fundamentals of life easier that you can create the mental space needed for free thinking and creativity. 

The ultimate purpose of habits is to solve the problems of life with as little energy and effort of possible. 

Any habit can be broken down into a feedback loop that involves four steps: cue, craving, response, and reward. 

The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits.
They are:
(1) make it obvious -> cue
(2) make it attractive -> craving 
(3) make it easy -> make it easy
(4) make it satisfiying 

THE 1ST LAW = Make It Obvious 

4. The Man Who Didn't Look Right 

One of our greatest challenges in changing habits in maintaining awareness of what we are actually doing. This helps explain why the consequences of bad habits can sneak up on us. We need a "point -and-call" (raising level of awareness from a nonconscious habit to a more conscious level) system for our personal lives. That's the origin of the the Habits Scorecard, which is a simple exercise you can use to become more aware of your behavior. 

To create your own, make a list of your daily habits. 
Once you have a full list, look at each behavior, and ask yourself, "Is this a good habit, a bad habit, or neutral habit?"

As you create your Habits Scorecard, there is no need to change anything at first. The goal is to simply notice what is actually going on. Observe your thoughts and actions without judgement or internal criticism. 

The process of behavior change always starts with awareness. 

5. The Best Way to Start a New Habit 

Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity. It is not always obvious when and where to take action. Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement. 

Give your habits a time and a space to live in the world. The goal is to make the time and location so obvious that, with enough repetition, you get an urge to do the right thing at the right time, even if you can't say why. 

The implementation intention formula is: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].

When it comes to building new habits, you can use the connectedness of behavior to your advantage. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking. (It is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a current habit). 

The habit stacking formula is 
"After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT]." 

The key is to tie your desired behavior into something you already do each day. Once you have mastered this basic structure, you can begin to create larger stacks by chaining small habit together.

Habit stacking works best when the cue is highly specific and immediately actionable.

The 1st Law of Behavior Change is to make it obvious. Strategies like implementation intentions and habit stacking are among the most practical ways to create obvious cues for your habits and design a clear plan for when and where to take action.  

Friday, May 1, 2020

My 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes

I still remember how I felt hopeless when a friend of mine told me that there was no chance I could make a hazmat suit that would give enough protection to the medical workers on the field.
..
I still remember how I felt hopeful after I chatted with a doctor, and he told me that a REAL waterproof material was good enough at this moment, better than nothing. To prevent droplets going in.
.. 
I still remember how anxious I was while trying to find a supplier that provided one. Waiting for suppliers to reply us seemed like forever. 
.. 
I still remember how I felt like a failure, when we had found the so-called waterproof material (claimed by the supplier) and tested it ourselves, it was completely soaking-wet! Even worse, we had bought the material. 
.. 
I still remember again, how excited I was to finally find and test the finally!! real waterproof material, and we could make it a go and tell people about it. 
..
I still remember how heartbroken I was to tell the needy people on the field that at that moment we hadn't made enough hazmat suits yet, as we barely started a few days back. My heart broke to tell them to wait, that we would do as best as we can. 
..
I still remember how useless I felt when I watched the news saying Indonesia needs millions of hazmat suit, help from big organisation had arrived -- ten thousand something. While we only could make less than a hundred a day that time. 
.. 
Then, at that moment! God spoke to me, clearly.. "I just need 5 loaves and 2 fishes from you, I will multiply them" 
I am not a miracle maker. I am just a boy who is holding my lunch my mom prepared, and I want to surrender them to Jesus, to feed thousands of people in hunger. 
If there is one thing I learnt during the pandemic, it is this! 

It is surely a journey of faith.

He initiates, He leads, He provides.
At the end of the day, whatever the result is, all credit belongs to Him.
To God be the glory.
The One who takes my five loaves and two fishes.
The miracle maker.

So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, "We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty." Luke 17:10 



Here is Corrinne May's song that accompanied me: 

"Take my five loaves and two fishes
Do with it as you will
I surrender
Take my fears and my inhibitions
All my burdens, my ambitions
You can use it all to feed them all"
I often think about that boy when I'm feeling small
And I worry that the work I do means nothing at all
But every single tear I cry is a diamond in His hands
And every door that slams in my face, I will offer up in prayer
So I'll give you every breath that I have
Oh Lord, you can work miracles
All that you need is my "Amen"
- Corrinne May -  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

God Touched My Heart With a Playdough

Lately, saya ngerasa Tuhan speaks to me the same message (almost) everyday:
- to put my hope only in Him
- don't be afraid about the future
- God is still in control
Saya sampe heran, kok tiap hari baca Alkitab, dapetnya yah tentang itu mulu itu mulu... and, emang iya banget, saya rasa.. "Tuhan, is it because saya tuh belom get the message ya, so You keep repeating the same thing to me every single day"

And yes, emang betul... lately, I feel very discouraged! I am so scared, and worried about the future.
Keadaan politik yg sungguh memprihatinkan, keadaan negara dan dunia yg mencekam..
Betul, saya tiap hari baca firmanNya, tapi saya juga tiap hari mencekokkan diri saya dgn berita2 itu (my bad!) .. the more I read those news, the more I feel scared and discouraged!
The more I asked Him, if His promise that He is my refuge, still relevant.
If.. my all time favorite "God is in control", masi bisa saya say it out loud.
If I can teach my children dgn segenap hati dan imanku, bahwa Tuhan memegang masa depan mereka. (walaupun kami memutuskan for good ke indo dalam keadaan yg patut dpertanyakan ini)

In fact, bacaan firman Tuhan saya kmrn adalah:
Amsal 3:25-26 (TB)  Janganlah takut kepada kekejutan yang tiba-tiba, atau kepada kebinasaan orang fasik, bila itu datang.
Karena TUHANlah yang akan menjadi sandaranmu, dan akan menghindarkan kakimu dari jerat.

Saya berusaha mengimani -nya dan dengan segenap hati mendoakannya! Entah dgn iman, atau dgn berusaha untuk beriman. But, still... di hati kecil ini bertanya, can I still trust You Lord?

Kemarin... yah kemarin, saya bilang ke suami:
"Kayanya sora boleh deh dibeliin playdough, dia keliatan dah mulai tertarik, walaupun emang ngerepotin sih kalo anak maen playdough, tapi i think it is good for him.. tar coba deh kamu liat2 di sg"

Dan hari ini donk!
Sora dapat playdough di kelas Sekolah Minggu dia. Sora sih super clueless kenapa dia dapat itu playdough..
(well, apparently, our family pic itu menang di perlombaan yg diadakan di kelas sora. Yg saya juga ga sadar kalo ada lomba. Saya simply cuma pengen participated kirim foto, karena saya appreciate usaha guru2 sekolah minggu sora yg udah susah payah bikinin props tuk parents' day last week)
Sora was thrilled of course.

and me... Yes, Me! I was so touched! God spoke to me very clear, with that playdough!
Hey, My daughter, yes, My words is still relevant, You can still and always trust Me.

I know that I can buy playdough for sora anytime. But received it today, it was really something.
I know that berkat Tuhan dalam hidup ku itu sungguh tak terhitung, and I can't thank Him enough everyday for what He has given me..
but God surely won my heart with that playdough.
-- you know, when you were little, you secretly wanted an ice-cream, and your saviour (whoever he/she was) gave it to you without you asked.. what did you feel? Suprised, loved, lucky maybe..
But I don't consider myself lucky, no! It wasn't luck.. it is God's way to speak to me: I still listen to your prayer, to your fear.. and You still can count on me.

Oh dear God, I feel like a little girl again, but I don't care.. saya mau punya iman spt seorang anak kecil, yang menaruh kepercayaan sepenuhnya kepada Bapa.
Kepada Bapa di Surga, yg sama kemarin, hari ini dan selamanya.
Bapa di Surga yg memeluk erat anakNya. Yg tidak meremehkan permintaan remeh temeh anakNya.
Bapa, Allah yg berdaulat, yg memegang sejarah.. Allah yg adalah gunung batu, keselamatanku..

Thank You God for the playdough <3 nbsp="" p="">

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I am tired of being tired

These days, I feel weary, restless... bolak balik cek instagram and fb, seakan lagi search for something. Yup, most of the time, di instagram, I really admire the women who seem to have it all. You name it: cute kids, healthy food on their table, aktivitas for their kids, and they still got to take care of themselves. They even make money with that, aduh makin asik banget kan. They make money by living their lives yg keren. The more I read about them, the more I think and think.. what I can do?
Pengen banget punya instagram yg lebih "layak diliat" dan bisa bagi pengetahuan tuk yg baca, u know, review these products, or sharing aktivitas anak2, or anak2 yg fashionable. Lah, saya?
Si ciel aja pas awal2 pake baju kokonya, maap yah nak .... >.< masak aja seadanya. In fact, I am carrying my 4 months old baby in my ergo rite now sambil ketik ini, karena dari tadi dia ga mau dilepas.

Yes, semua pemikiran itu bikin saya weary, akirnya jadi ga fokus.. jadi ngerasa ga total juga buat urusin my 2 bocah, my 2 langit, Sora dan Ciel. Karena yg ada, si mama, yg tangannya pegang hp, sambil liat insta orang dan jadi down down down down down!

I know, it wasn't right. I cried for help.. I am tired of being like this..
And God gave me this verse:

Philippians 4:11 ==> for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.

He gave me the reason saya berasa ga karu2an spt skrg: I am not content! - ternyata, oh, ternyata -

Selama ini, sejak ada anak, sejujurnya, saya sudah berasa content with what I have (so I thought).
Pake baju yah muter muter dari senin sampe senin lagi, cuci gosok pake .. begitu terus.
Makan juga apa yg ada yah cukup, ga banyak neko-neko makannya. Yg gampang aja cukuplah.
Bedak muka habis, masi bisa content.. belum sempet beli, tanpa ngerasa kacau.

But today, God taught me what being content really is! Bukan cuma dalam hal materi. Tapi, with whatever I have. In this season.

- Tuhan ajar saya to be content dengan waktu yg terbatas, Ya ya ya, I have 24 hours, sama seperti selamanya... tapi skrg berbeda, my 24 hours itu juga milik anak2. I have less time skrg.
Me time? Apaan tuh?
- Tuhan ajar saya to be content dengan tenaga yg terbatas. Kalau dulu saya masi bisa super aktif sampai malam2, bisa do this and do that. Masi bisa nulis. Sekarang, anak dah bobo, yah saya ikut pingsan. Tenaga saya terbatas.
- Tuhan ajar saya to be content dengan ide yg terbatas. Dulu mgkn masi bisa nyumbang begitu banyak ide tuk acara ini dan itu. Skrg? Ide tuk masak aja kok ga muncul2.
- Tuhan ajar saya to be content dengan kesempatan yg terbatas.
Sejak resign waktu sora umur 8 bulan sampai sekarang, saya dah ditawari kerja oleh 4 orang yg berbeda. Dan tiap orang ga cuma sekali, hampir beberapa bulan sekali, mereka contacted me again, tanya... "dah bisa kali skrg kerja? Sora dah lebih gede?" etc... Terkadang, sering ngerasa... ahhh... I would love to take that opportunity, really2 do, but sadly, I have to say no. (Saya orang yg hobi kerja, btw)
- Tuhan ajar saya to be content dengan teman yg terbatas (hix hix)... I used to hang out super sering dgn banyak grup yg beda. Skrg? huhu.. ga usah dtanya deh. I know I know, some mothers could manage to bisa catch up with their friends. (di situ saya merasa sedih!) but, not me. I am truly sorry, my friends.
.........
Tuhan benar2 ajar saya hari ini...
to be content in this season dengan keterbatasan saya, dengan what I have.

Are you able to get along happily (be content) in any circumstances you face? Paul knew how to be satisfied whether he had plenty or whether he was in need. The secret was drawing on Christ's power for strength. Do you have great needs or are you dissatisfied because you don't have what you want? Learn to rely on God's promises and Christ's power to help you be content. 

How true!
Drawing back to God helps me to regain my focus.
Listening to His voice alone helps me not listen to what the world offers.

What  I need saat ini adalah to focus, to be IN THIS SEASON, to really touch the ground.. bukannya melayang2 - seandainya saya punya tenaga lebih, punya waktu lebih -
'coz yes, this is the season God wanted me to commit fully,  ya ampun yg 1 baru 29 bulan. yg 1 baru 4 bulan. I believe, when God thinks I am ready for more (opportunity, ministry, even jobs!!, or maybe new kid bwahahaha, jk, jk), He will bring it to me.. ga usah saya sibuk cari-cari yg ga jelas.
I just need to be His faithful servant in this season, like in any other season in my life.