a little reflection

It’s been a long long time since the last time I wrote down my thoughts about God, my relationship with Him and my reflections toward life. As time passes by, I come to realize that as I was slowing down in writings I am too, swimming away from my devotional hours. I remember when I was in Melbourne, it seemed easier to be focused; to sit still, to brainstorm and think, before typing away on my blog. Is this what you call ‘holiday mode’ ? 

I guess I’m just slacking-off. meh. 

I could only imagine if the Almighty God who creates heaven and earth imparting the same attitude of mine towards His creations. Imitating my silly excuses, He’d say, “I love you, my dear child, but instead of spending my time and maintaining my relationship with you, I have better stuff to do”. Would you even believe that He cares for us, let alone loves us? And what would happen to us, afterward ? But thank God, literally, that He is unchanging and faithful. Thank heavenly that He has sweet and divine attitudes that envelop all of our imperfections. As moody and impersistent as we are, He is always standing right outside the door, waiting for us to open the door and let Him in and takes care of us. 

I have a little story, actually, regarding this understanding. 

During my summer holiday over these past two years, I have been invited to be involved in a family business handled by my most lovely uncle (dad’s youngest brother). It’s an even-organizing company which generally focuses on product placement and promotion. If you are a keen audience of Indonesian TV programs, you’ll know about Idola Cilik, a kiddy version of Indonesian Idol. The company had the chance to handle auditions for contestants around East Java, and the events were attended by more than 1,000 children with various degrees of creativity and talents. Some were cute, some were heartbreaking, and the rest were craving for extra money and popularity. 

Couple of weeks ago, the company was hired to organize an award night and a gala dinner for a giant household product company that would be held at Marriott Hotel, Surabaya. I was assigned to work on the rundown for two days, script + cue cards for MCs, and background music for the entire event for creating suitable ambience. I was so thankful that I was trusted with something that I know I’m good at. Well, at least I know I can do this job better rather than going out and lobbying for vendors and all those technical issues. So yes, I spent a whole week preparing, brainstorming, editing, and so on. During pre-production process I was trained (well, it was more chastened, actually) to be super fast, super flexible, and to keep smiling no matter what. As I am a perfectionist, I tend to fuss quite easily over trivial things but I just want to make sure that I covered EVERY single mouse holes even if they’re not there yet. Talking about kiasu ^^’

The day minus one 
Our team had a meeting with the client past dinner time. As I expected, there were changes and additions occurred, and that was what I meant by ‘keep smiling no matter what’. I mean, the event started in 10 hours and they still wanted to change stuff ?!! I almost didn’t go home that night because I was afraid that once I was out of that boardroom I would lose all the ‘working’ mood and ended up staring blankly at my laptop in my room, not knowing what to do. But thank God my cousin gave a helping hand (and a helping brain, as a matter of fact), so I could finish everything in 2 hours. Small issues such as an uncooperative printer and dizziness had me distracted for a while, but I was determined to finish my job. 

On the day, I was positioned on the backstage as a stage manager. And nothing’s cool about that, let me tell you. You spend most of your time screaming through your walkie-talkie, running around fixing things, briefing MCs and talents (pengisi acara), and switch your tone and your facial expression into a sweet, accommodating crew when the client approaches to inform that there’s 30 minutes addition for Q & A session after the last presentation, before you switch back into business and brief your confused MCs. Swell. 

On those two days, each early morning when I entered the ballroom, I almost fell down in tears. I said I couldn’t do this, I was very tired. It was so stressful it seemed that everything that you’ve done would not be enough, and there were still more to cover. It was nerve-wracking, because this event was our first huge, national event and we wanted so bad to impress the client. As I walked slowly to the backstage passing the tables lining up across the room to the backstage, my area of authority, a bold yet soothing voice sounded in my heart to remind me that ‘whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might’ (Ecclesiastes 9:10a). And that small yet empowering verse had sustained me to keep moving and deliver my responsibilities till the end.

I remembered one of my dad’s employee mentioned that she is always confident in doing her job, because she knows that she’s doing it for good purposes, so it’ll end well because Allah is with her (She’s a Moslem). I give a nod to her statement, knowing fully well and have experienced it for many times myself. That two-day event came out as successful. Oh, did I mention that it was closed by Project Pop ? They were hilarious as always on stage, though Tika Panggabean was surprisingly sour off stage. But she did look unwell so maybe that was it. One of the client committees congratulated me when I approached him, stating that he was satisfied as all the attendees were. I said, “Good! We are satisfied if you are”. Still can’t believe that I actually said that to a stranger, but there’s always first time for everything, right? 

I can’t thank God enough for letting me drown into this ‘mess’, cause this whole experience has taught me how to swim. I learnt on how to handle people, how to please them even though you feel like scratching them in the eye, how to command without being bossy (which was WREALLYY HAWWRDD), and most of all, to be humble. To sincerely apologize, and ask what you can do to improve. Last but not least, I learnt how to laugh in the middle of all those chaos, cause it really helps releasing the stress. One quite unbelievable story was that one of my team members told me that one of the talent commented that the stage manager, which was myself, was too kind. That I should talk a LOT more, I arrange and command and direct more, that I should be more stern and GALAK.

Scuse moi ? 0.o’ 

But anyway, it all ended well. One little reflection in the middle of wet and windy January, and I do hope I can write some more. And maybe not this long, as it reaches 1,200 words now. I thank You, Lord for never letting me go, for always be there no matter what, and for teaching me how to live my life. 

May you all have a lovely week. And Gong Xi Fat Chai for those celebrating =) God bless!

hmm..

as weird as it seems, my Friendster account is actually working again. I couldn’t recall if I have changed my password, but apparently that was the case. Not wanting to let my Friendster account go, I requested a new password, provided that my own password was refused. Strange, strange.

So. Gladly I’d announce that I have my Friendster account back into the circulation of cyberworld. Which is accessible to me, of course.

=D/>=S/+.+

It’s been 2 weeks and 5 days (but who’s counting..) since I landed in my busy hometown Surabaya. Many have changed; my little cousin’s major improvement in verbal skill, Surabaya Town Square was quite brandished with fashion retails and restaurants, there’s new tollway from Juanda International Airport across the city which becomes a huge relieve for city commuters, and a way faster internet connection nowadays. Good stuff.

But on the other hand, many stayed the same. The same crowded roads with motorists crisscrossing despite “Taat Marka” signs along the street, the same reply of “ya” instead of “terimakasih kembali” when we say “makasih” to shop retailers, the blast of chants from every corner of the city, on TV and radios at 6pm daily, and the sound of jingles from ice cream sellers on their bikes around the complex. As for me, that same feeling of confusion and lost are still overwhelming as they get stronger when nearing Sunday.
Where should I go ?

This year I followed my pastor’s advice to go to one of the big Bethel churches in Surabaya in the middle of CBD. I’ve been there twice, and the services were quite conformable to BIC, which is a good sign. Of course there’s always differences, whether the way the WL lead the congregation, the process (this church has its offering in the middle of the service, before the sharing. Pretty sure they have a strong reason for doing that), and so on. The most important thing that I’m looking for is the Word, and I may say that I am humbled and strengthened by the Word shared in both services.

Bigger complications, instead, come from the inner circle. One significant decision has turned my life into a huge swirl of dilemma that has been tearing me apart since 2006. On one side, I have found true peace and joy and hope; I have encountered my Lord Jesus and His sweet majestic presence. Through worship and being obedient shall I spend my life for His glory. Now, on the other side, that transformation of me has been rebutted and rebuked by some, and the strongest comes from my beloved mother. Not the actual act of commitment and faith, but the label under which I entrusted that commitment to. It breaks my heart because once again I have failed her, ironically when I found my triumph. It breaks my heart that she couldn’t and wouldn’t see the changes as something that will mold me into a better person, a better creation. Or perhaps, I have failed that already ?

I remember KD taught us about ‘growing’. For us to grow most effectively we need to grow UP and DEEPER. A strong and healthy plant is not merely indicated by the greens of the foliages and the size of the buds, but also by its strong and stern roots. That, I come to realize, is my weakness. The reason of my confusion everytime I return to Surabaya is the absence of community, of that sense of belonging that more often than not causes me to swing around undecidedly. I felt stronger and belonged when I joined FA and choir in BIC Melbourne, because together with my fellow followers of Christ I learn and I grow. And here, in Surabaya, I have not a place to plant my feet, let alone to grow.

Men are not created to be alone (Gen 2:18), and I do believe that we all need someone and maybe more to surround our lives, a company to go through life. I admit that I am a bit worried about finding a new community, with all the inevitable changes and alterations. And what if I chose the wrong community ? I can only depend on the provision of He who brings me forward up until this moment. Where He guides, He provides (Psalm 37:23). I do know the roads are never going to be as smooth as that new tollway from Juanda Airport, but I will learn to see everything through the eyes of faith, to see the unseen and to hope for things to come.

Have a lovely week, everyone. God bless.

this little place called ‘home’

I went to bed at 3.30am the morning of my departure to Surabaya. My fault, I didn’t prepare my luggage in advance and got busy with going around the city instead. I also missed watching Wicked for the last time before I went home due to bad time management =(

Nevertheless!

After around  3 hours delay in total both in Melbourne and Denpasar, the five of us were safely arriving home in Surabaya, welcomed by little drizzle across town. Lovely, and gladly, I’m home =)

note: this entry was originally written on the evening of 18 Dec 2008.