Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Feeling Sorry - I love you

Everybody has asked me whether I’d posted a new blog lately, and I turned up saying ‘No, I haven’t!’ Just before I started thinking to write a new one, just now, I unconsciously was questioning myself what I’d happened to me lately. Then I said to myself, “Hm, nothing special, actually! Nothing special has happened; I don’t think I have something to share.”

Did I just explicitly say that God hasn’t blessed me lately?

(I push ‘rewind’ button in my brain and now I am back on the first scene.)

God has blessed me a lot, indeed.
There is actually a reason why I don’t really want to write a blog lately, it is because I am too embarrassed to myself, to you all and to God.

If you flash back to what I wrote two or three weeks a go, about my poverty, my needs of financial assistances and my arrogance to survive, you will read my anger, my self-esteem and my power over my life – instead of surrendering on God.

A little bit of background story

I’d grown up in a family where my dad had a really strong character (until God thoroughly changed him up-side-down). He always had his arrogance. You might be asking, “What does Nia mean by her dad’s arrogance?” He was a dad, who was really cool, not as hip and easy-going, but as silent, icy; he couldn’t easily express his feelings and thoughts. I remember in every birthday, he would just formally say ‘happy birthday’ with an icy gaze. Sometime my mom needed to remind him to say ‘happy birthday’ to his children, not because he forgot, but he was just too icy to say that.

It didn’t mean that he didn’t love his children: he really loved me and my brother at that time (I just had a little sister in 2000, when he had slightly changed). He laughed at some times, made stupid jokes who only we could understand, and doing crazy things together; however, he was indeed really bad at expressing love and ‘good things’. I don’t even remember my day has said ‘I love you’ to me.
I don’t have any idea whether he did the same with my mom. I think he might be better expressing love with my mom, rather than that with his children and other people, otherwise my mom wouldn’t get married with him. Once, my mom said that when they had a short long-distance relationship (thus, not only their daughter is in a long-distance relationship), my dad wrote her a letter, which was even worse than a letter for a boss asking for raising wages; it was really formal, without any love words (I could imagine how funny it was, hm,.. maybe my mom felt really sad reading the letter, hehehe).

In my opinion, it is also Indonesian culture as well when people not easily express their feeling about love; people wouldn’t richly say ‘I love you’ to others, even to their family or close friends.

As I am my dad’s oldest daughter and most people say that I look exactly like my dad, I had that ‘syndrome’ as well. I reckoned it was once even worse. I hardly say ‘I love you’ to my mom, dad and brother. It was hard for me as well to say sorry as well as to be sympathized by other people.
Remember my illness, my cyst? When I had that, my mom’s friends came to my house, wanted to pray for me. I was extremely angry to my mom. I didn’t want people feeling sorry for me. I also had asked my mom not to tell anyone about my illness, but she did. When her friends came, I locked myself on my room refusing to come out.

It is just an example. In short, I really had a problem with my self-esteem.

What happened next?

I went to Youth Weekend (Jongeren Weekend, Nijmegen) last month and God spoke to me directly, not with the words from the bible, but from looking to what happened there.

In the last session from Kendal Revees, we prayed together in a group. One thing that annoyed me was when I saw my friend prayed together with his sister (that you for Steven Huber for this). I, then, realized that I’d never prayed together with my brother (oh, my sister was yet too small to do this). Even worse, when I saw Steven hugged his sister, I was shocked realizing I’d never hugged my brother; maybe once when I was five or six, but not when we were grown up. I’d never said ‘I love you’ to my brother either. Shame on me!

Most of you might have heard some quotes about love: ‘if you love someone, you have to go and tell him/her’, ‘if tomorrow never comes, would s/he know how much you love her/him?’ Do you think these quotes are only for your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband and wife? No, it is not. You have to tell that you love your mom, your dad, your brother, your sisters, your best friends, your grandparents, and many more. Otherwise you might not have any chances anymore, as I lost mine to say ‘I love you’ to my grandpa.

I love him so much, but he passed away now.
Did he know I love him? Maybe, but I just never said it. I felt sorry about it.

I suggest you to start thinking about it, start saying ‘I love you’ to someone close to you, and then also pray for them – pray together with them, too.

It could be difficult for some people, especially for some Indonesians. As what I learned in my first year BA Communication Management in Marieke de Mooij’s book, Indonesia is a high power distance country. Young generation has to put respect to old generation; youth has to be really polite to the parents, family, etc. This kind of respect creates a method in most of our mind, which causes a difficulty to express love.

Thus, it might be difficult for you, and as well for me, but I’ve tried. When I got back from the youth weekend, I sent a text message (SMS) to my brother in Indonesia and in the end I wrote ‘I love you’. It was a bit awkward, I think he would feel strange too, but in the end it was nice. Now, I do that with my mom when we are on MSN or when I write e-mails. I also start doing that with my dad, although not very often yet.

Now, grab your mobile phone, or start to click ‘compose’ (on yahoo!) or ‘new’ (on hotmail) to write an e-mail (or SMS) and end your message with ‘I love you’.

So, Now I just finish talking about saying I love you, not about feeling sorry for moaning about my poverty and needs. Hm,.. I will talk about it later.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

My Friend is a movie star

I was really shocked this morning when I read my good friend's website, Mark .
How cool is that?!!

Yes,. he lives in United Kingdom, Wales and I met him when I was in UK this year.
(anyway, he is cute :P)
I met him as well last September when I was in HK for transit to Indonesia
and he was a figurant in that movie,..
but still,..
he was only a couple feet from Renee and cute Hugh Grant
oh,.. how lucky he was

I actually don't have any money to go to the movie
I'm really broke
I have to be prepared because within few days T-Mobile is gonna rob me
Sorry,.. I mean, I have to pay my bill

Okay,. thus I need to spare some money
to watch that movie
It's nice to realize that one of my friends is very lucky, like Mark

Hey,.. I think telling you about Mark is a nice topic.
He is a good bro for me
I will tell you next time
(now please let me finish my website)

Nite nite

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN® LIFE Daily Devotional November 09, 2004

Opposites Attractby - John Fischer

How do you become like Christ? Interestingly enough, God is more committed to this than we are. And it’s a good thing, because if it all depended on us, we would never get very far in this process. We would probably be too easy on ourselves.
“And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again” (Philippians 1:6). He started it; He will finish it.
Okay, but how does this happen? One of the ways God does this is by letting the opposite thing happen to you. Do you need to learn how to love? Get ready for someone you can’t stand. Need patience? Better prepare for some aggravations to come your way. Looking for peace? Here’s a little chaos you weren’t expecting. Joy? Did I mention sorrow?
Now why is God like this? Is He some kind of killjoy in the sky? Does He get a kick out of kicking us around? Actually He does this for the very reason that He is the one who starts and finishes the work in us. You see, all these qualities really belong to God. Love, joy, peace, patience are actually fruits of God’s Spirit in those who believe. In other words, He’s provided all these things we need, but we don’t find them until we are desperate for them. It’s just the way we were made.
If we could come up with all these qualities on our own, we wouldn’t need God; we would have rules and formulas and steps to go through to better ourselves. In other words, religion would be enough. As it is, we are deeply flawed. Even our best attempts at producing the right things in our lives come up short. Religion is a fine thing; it’s just that it has never made anyone like Christ. In fact, the more religious we become, the further away from Christ we get. You get to be more like Christ by needing Him more and more in your life.
You can’t make the right stuff out of the wrong material. Or as Jesus said, you can’t put new wine in old wineskins. So God allows things into our lives that break the old, to bring in the new. The new is beyond us. We are forced to discover it when we are stretched beyond our means. So God brings the opposite to create in us what we really want. That’s when we grow.

note: it's obviously not my writing, but it spoke to me. It is really early in the morning. I couldn't sleep. I woke up around 4ish,.. I turned on my laptop, and I found this. Thanks God!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Don’t hate me because I am poor!

What do you think if a student, like me says “I’m poor! I don’t have any money.”?
I bet you would think that I’m just poor at that moment, or you would think that I’d spent money too much lately.

Okay,.. now I will say “I’m poor! I don’t have any money!
And I mean it.

Or maybe you still think that I lied?
Once again I say, I really mean it.

It’s been a while when financial problems had occurred in my life. My parents had a big crisis two years ago, and it is not over yet. I couldn’t tell what it is as my parents would chop me into pieces if I do that (sorry, a bit exaggerating, they are not that creepy!). I used to work quite a lot in Albert Heijn (my part-time job) to my expenses and school fee by myself, especially in the summer, I’d spent the whole summer working everyday in Albert Heijn to pay my school fee this year. However, since I’m doing my (unpaid) internship at this moment, I could only work once or twice a week, which caused me financial problems so that I had to ask some money from my parents.

It’s ashamed really.

In the beginning of my internship, I struggled a lot. I couldn’t even pay my rent. I had to owe some money to my roommate to pay the rent and then paid her back when I got my salary.

I used to watch Indonesian soap films, which exposed slums and poor people. The children, one day, were walking around in the big city, Jakarta. They did anything to earn money: begging to people, singing (or should I say making noise) near the traffic lights, or even worse, they tried to find food in the dustbin. Do you familiar with the scene when those children standing in front of restaurant window, watching people eating their lunch or dinner and then they said to themselves that they wish they were rich.

I would tell you a secret; I did the same last week.I lived in a heart of Amsterdam and there are a lot of nice restaurants in this neighborhood. Last week, I stood in front of Thai Restaurant, thinking that as if I had money, I would sit in that chair, ordered a portion of Tom Yam Khung as an appetizer.

In that period, I also had to sacrifice my favorite food, my proper meal. There was a time when I could only eat eggs and instant noodle (Indomie, typical Indonesia). I stopped buying my favorite snacks and candies.

I know it is sad.
At this moment, thanks God, I could manage my life. I live quite normal lately, although I still have to be careful with my expenses.What did you do, Nia?
Some of you might ask this question.

I work more.
Thus, I do my internship Monday- Thursday and Thursday night, I work in a restaurant, in front of my house. Twice a month I also work on Friday and Sunday there or sometimes more and on Saturday, I work in Albert Heijn.

I am indeed tired, I hardly have time to relax, but I think it’s the price I need to pay if I want to survive, do I?

“How come your parents allowed you to do this, Nia?!”
Some of you, again, might think like this, but I will tell you, They don’t know!
They just know that I work in Albert Heijn, and once in a while help in an Indonesian restaurant. I still, indeed, request some money from my parents, however it is only a little amount of money, to help me paying my rent. The rest I try to pay by myself; I have to, even I have to give up some things.

One thing that I want to say to close my story, please don’t be sorry because I am poor. I am poor, but I am happy.
I don’t have money but I have God.
I would more appreciate if you help me in prayer rather than treat me every time. I know I have great friends, nice friends who support me in every occasion, but treating me, buying me a dinner, paying when we go to the cinema, is not solving my problem.
I have money for it, if I want.
But I don’t want to spend money for unnecessary things, at least at this moment.

(Special message) Please don’t hate me if I am poor, because I might act sensitively or even scarily when you touch this area, but don’t be sorry either, because I am happy in my weakness.

As Jesus said in Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”
Don’t think that Jesus was out of His mind when He said that. Being poor is indeed not pleasant; however in this case He wanted us to learn to be happy and thankful in our weaknesses.

I don’t even know how long I have to stay in this condition; however I know He will give the best for us, as Isaiah said “For my thoughts are not Your thoughts, neither are Your ways. …As the heavens are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Friends, if you are in a bad condition and do not even know what to do, everything seems hopeless, please depend on Him and remember that there will be a rainbow after a big storm.

Monday, 21:00 after a big storm hit me.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Indonesia, I'm in love [3rd - final]

Thus, how could we be together again?
It was the only thing that we did.

Apart from it, I’d one time been overwhelmed with what we normally called ‘guilty feeling’ and ‘unconfident’.
I felt guilty that I didn’t love him as he did; I’d never realized how he cared about me. In the end, as many people did, I said to myself “I wish I could turn back the time.”

I also felt unconfident.
I was only less then two weeks in Indonesia, and since my grandpa was really and then he passed away, I didn’t have a lot of time with Stefy. We just called in the middle of the night for a few hours, and sometimes if he had time, he would pick me up from some places, or we would go somewhere together, only for a while. It wasn’t enough at all to know what had happened with him and his life lately.
Did he have another girl? Did he fancy anyone? Had he ever fancied anyone else?
After all storms in my heart, I encouraged myself to ask him about our relationship.

We started first to analyze what had happened lately, what we thought about everything and what we expected if we would be together again.

>> (imagine it as a fast-forward button)

“So, the conclusion is,..”
It was my way to ask him what he actually wanted. In our conversation, we both said about what we liked and we didn’t about each other. He said that he did actually meet someone, but he felt that she wasn’t me. I did the same too. When I was in England, I met a totally cute Chinese-British guy, in the end of the day I also realized that he couldn’t replace Stefy.
“Hm,.. ya,.. let’s we try again!”
It was what he said!

I was the luckiest girl in the world. (oh,.. it is such a soap opera,.. hiks hiks,..!)

Is there anything better that could happen in my life?
I bet not, if it is qua relationship and finding a soulmate.

I hope this article will always remind me when I have fight with Stefy, as I had last week (it is the reason why I just wrote an article about Stefy now), that I was really happy to have him back.

God, thank you!
You plan good things for us (Jeremiah 29:11)


Indonesia, I'm in love [2nd]

Back to my adventure in Surabaya.

Since the request is to tell what happened so that I could turn to Stefy again, I would tell you directly what happened in my second day in Surabaya.

I made a conspiracy with my mom (what a cool mom I have!)
My mom called Stefy, telling him that I gave him some stuffs via my friends who came back to Indonesia, thus my mom told him that she wanted to drop by to his house to give the stuffs. In this case, I would go to his house and surprise him.
In the end, it appeared that Stefy would go to MY HOUSE, to take the stuffs.
My goodness!

I couldn’t explain what I felt when my mom told me he wanted to go to my house.
I was speechless.
My heart was bumping so fast, as it was in the first time I felt in love with him.
Hehe,.. did it sound bullshit? But I promise you, it was true.
I was having my dinner at that time, around 6- ish, and he would come on 7 ish. I looked the clock every five minutes, making sure it wasn’t 7 o’clock yet.

Teng tong teng tong (let’s imagine that it is my doorbell)

I knew it was him. I just knew it.
My mom went outside to open the door while I prepared my heart.

My mom went inside the dining room, telling me that Stefy was there.
I wasn’t ready,.. I wasn’t ready!

“Stefy, here, I will introduce you to someone” said my mom, right before I walked into the living room.

“Hi!” I said while I was holding my glass of water to release my nerves.
He stunned.
He didn’t move, he stared at me and he, again, stunned.
I turned back to the dining room, with an excuse to put back my glass; however I was just too nervous to meet him.
“Oh no, he is there. He is real!!” I said in my heart, and probably mumbled too.

I sat on a sofa, opposite his.
“Hi! Sorry that I didn’t tell you that I was about to go back to Indonesia.” I broke the silence.He just smiled and nodded his head. He was speechless as well.
We spent the next 5-10 minutes talking totally useless things and made observations about each other, with our looks.

At the end of the night, after he spent the next few hours in my home, I felt really guilty and confused.
First, I felt guilty because I knew that he still loved me; he loved me as he used to. I felt that I didn’t deserve it. Second, I was really confused because I indeed had the feeling, the ‘fall in love’ feeling, yet, I wasn’t sure. Is it just a temporary feeling, because he was here? Is it just a passion and happiness to have a REAL boyfriend, after having two years long distance relationship?, I asked my self.

In the end, I closed my day with a prayer, God, let Your will be done. Not my will, but Yours!


Indonesia, I'm in love

“I am home!”
It was my first thought when I put my first step in Juanda airport, Surabaya.
I couldn’t imagine that I was home.
It was just three days preparation. My mom called me on Wednesday night to tell me that my grandpa was really ill, Thursday I booked a ticket and talked with my manager in the supermarket (I worked full-time as a cashier in Albert Heijn supermarket), Friday, I bought some presents for my family and friends and on Saturday I was already on board.

It was just like the answer of my prayer, like a dream came true.

If there is anyone that doesn’t like being home, with families and friends, that would be me. I felt miserable because I came home for my grandpa. Also, I wasn’t ready at all to meet Stefy.

I didn’t tell him about my visit to Indonesia. I wanted to make a surprise. It is actually the only one excuse that he knew.
There was actually another one.
I wasn’t sure with my relationship with him, Stefy, sorry if I didn’t tell you exactly, but I believe you knew it. We talked a lot at that time.

We had a big fight, a couple weeks before this dream-come-true visit. I was so tired that I wouldn’t even care about him anymore (it was my straight phrase in our last phone conversation). He was too easy-going person; he didn’t sweat small things that I did (in common, some guys don’t care what girls do), for instance about replying e-mails and efforts to show that he actually cared about me, missed me or loved me.

I am type of person who would more appreciate what you do rather than what you say. I admit that I felt honored and happy when he said he cared about me, loved me or missed me, but when the words just until the end of his tongue, I, then, would see him as a liar.

This problem happened not just once, twice, but many times; I reckoned it was the one, and only, and the most intense problem we’d had since the first time doing long distance relationship.

Thus, at that time, I gave up. I told him, not to call me, not to bother me; I told him to think what he actually wanted, his feelings and what his opinion about our relationship. Shortly, I was hopeless at that time. Even though I didn’t say out loud, I said, to myself, “Nia, you are totally single now! It won’t work.”

The days after that, everything was getting better, as usual; yet it didn’t totally change my mind, although, it, indeed, softened my heart. I turned up praying for our relationship. I asked God, what I needed to do, and as usual, I was asking God whether Stefy was ‘the one’.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

My Blog Re-launch!

Apparantely most of you have seen my new 'house-style'!
I believe so.
I change most of my profiles, settings and I (will) change the background as well.
You could see obviously that my website is, now, called Free Prayer.

Maybe some of you will say, oh, Nia just tried to boost her spiritual life
or other would say that I am hypocrite.
That's fine, but for me personally, I have another reason.

Last week, I read my devotional reading in the morning, and then I found the topic that day was really interesting, about free prayer. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance. —Ephesians 6:18

My first idea of making this blogger was to share my experiences. If, then, someone feel similar feeling, or something similar happened in their life, they could share it to me; hopefully I could help them and give them solutions. Other words, I wanted to help people; I wanted to be meaningful to somebody.

Unfortunately, it happened that I was the one who complained about everything bad in the world, asking for prayer and in the end you might be bothered with my foolness.

God spoke to me at some point. He taught me that maybe we couldn't do a lot of things for people, maybe we are 'useless' for somebody, but we can give them to God; we can uphold them in our prayers.

Therefore I changed most of my 'house-style'.

Fron now on, if you have something to be prayed, you need supports, prayers or anything, just e-mail me, send me sms (for you who know my numbers) and I will definately pray for you. You don't have to mention your problems, but I will just pray for you. I will remember you in my prayer (that said Paul in most of his letters).

God bless you, friends