Minggu di Bulan Mei

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Siang ini tidak sengaja membuka-buka kembali file foto dari berbagai social media yang masih tersimpan. Berbagai foto dari jaman SMP sampai dengan S2 skarang banyak yang masih tersimpan dengan begitu rapih. Banyak hal yang telah dilewati sepanjang usia ini. Berbagai pengalaman suka dan duka datang silih berganti mewarnai langit kehidupanku. Tak habis rasa kagum karna penyertaanNya begitu sempurna menemani hingga detik kutiliskan postingan blog ini. Bila dilihat ke belakang, betapa luar biasanya kehidupan seorang manusia. Dia tidak hanya diciptakan menjadi seonggok daging yang hidup, namun memiliki tujuan, visi, dan maksud tersendiri untuk dimuntahkan ke dalam dunia.

Tidak terbayangkan semua kesempatan dan pengalaman tersebut terjadi dalam hidupku. Membentukku menjadi diriku yang sekarang. Tetap ceria dan bahagia. Entah suddah berapa banyak titik terendah dalam hidup yang telah dilewati. Entah sudah berapa banyak puncak gunung kehidupan yang telah didaki. Mengagumkan kehidupan manusia itu. Entah semua perjalanannya baik dan buruk. Penuh merona cinta ataupun air mata. Penuh kebahagiaan atau kedukaan. Semua itu indah terajut dalam kehidupan manusia.

Ah Tuhan, siapakah aku dihadapanMu. Hanya manusia biasa yang diberikan kesempatan kedua untuk hidup. Hanya seorang perempuan biasa. Namun di tanganMu, aku yang biasa ini menjadi perempuan yang luar biasa. Terima kasih untuk hidupku yang begitu indah ini.

Masih banyak yang akan dihidangkan di depannya nanti. Kagum bagaimana Dia, pemilik kehidupan merangkai segalanya. Bahagia menanti tiap pengalaman itu datang. Walau kebahagian kadang ditemani dengan kesesakan, kehilangan ditemani oleh kedatangan, air mata ditemani oleh senyum merona wajah, diri ini begitu antusias menyambutnya. Selamat datang di babak kehidupan yang baru, nona 🙂

How do I learn how to be confident?

qwcdevos:
“How do I learn how to be confident?
Day 6/31
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone...

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. – Mt. 5:14-15

“There’s something different about her.” It’s a phrase that we have seen or heard at some point in our lives in a chick flick or a shampoo commercial or in a romance novel. Maybe when you hear the phrase, you automatically think about a beautiful woman walking down the street and capturing the glances of everyone she passes. Maybe you think about a woman in your life or a woman you follow on social media who seems to have discovered the fountain of youth and lives a carefree, joy-filled life. Whether you aspire to be like that woman or not, we’ve all had that moment where someone captured our attention or inspired us and all in all, it just seemed like there was something different about them.

But while we may find inspiration to have this kind of presence and confidence about ourselves, as followers of Christ, we must remember that it is only the light that comes from Jesus that truly matters. Let’s be the kind of women who radiate His light more than we radiate with what the world says is confidence. Even on the days that we’re having a great hair day, a great work day, or we’re just in a generally good mood, we’ve got to continue to let what stands out about us be the light that shines from within us because of Christ!

Also, this has nothing to do with personality. Being a light isn’t reserved for the extroverts and outgoing. God wants to use each of us in unique ways to be a light. All around you there are coworkers, classmates, friends, and family members in your life who are desperately needing to be reminded of Jesus’ love for them. Go out of your way to put others first this week. Make it a point to be that friend that encourages. This world needs more people like this. This world needs more Jesus! Let people see that you don’t stand out from the crowd because you’re super confident but because Jesus is at the center of everything you do.

Biblical context + further reading: Mt. 5:13-16

It Starts With Me Taking Responsibility

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If you want to do all that God has called you to do so that He gets the glory and you get the joy, then it starts with you taking responsibility for your life.
There comes a point in time when you have to man (or woman) up and take responsibility for your own life. That time is now. No more can you blame your parents, your teachers, or lack of opportunities, for who you are or who you are becoming. The Bible tells us that “we are more than conquerors” through Christ, which doesn’t leave much room for excuses  (Romans 8:37). Jesus said it, so we better believe it!
Too often people allow the past circumstances to determine the future outcome. The only power that your past has over your future is the power that you give it. God has a great plan for your future so quit making excuses as to why or how you can’t get there. Take responsibility for the person you are today and trust that God will provide you with all you need to become the person He is calling you to be. Jesus doesn’t agree with our excuses nor does He affirm us when we play the blame game. As He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Your weaknesses are simply opportunities for Jesus to reveal His grace in your life.
 Do you recognize any situation, limitation, or person in your life who you’re blaming for how things have turned out for you? Instead, choose to take responsibility for your life and trust that Jesus will turn any weakness into a strength for His glory and for your joy.
“…I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Source: http://bible.com/r/GX

Disappointment: God’s Provision and Protection

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From the moment Pam picked up the phone, I knew something was wrong.

For months, Pam had been waiting to hear some good news on a new opportunity and as she said, the perfect opportunity. Pursuing a new career wholeheartedly, she was so disappointed when she received the news that she had been passed over for another candidate.

Devout in her faith, Pam had prayed diligently and believed that God had opened doors and ordained this new venture just for her. She was not only significantly disappointed, she was also greatly disillusioned that God had not opened the door she expected. In fact, as far as Pam could see, God had not opened any door. She was confused that she could have been so mistaken about the plan God had revealed to her.

After she vented her frustration for a few minutes, I suggested she thank God for this very moment. My comment perplexed Pam.

“Be thankful for something I wanted to happen did not happen?” She asked. “Yes, Pam, thankful because God is either planning to provide something better for you or protecting you from something that will bring harm to you” I replied.

As a parent, this is a conversation I have often with my sons.

Now, when they look back, they see how this principle has played out in their own lives: the sports team they didn’t make, the girl that broke their heart or the job they did not get.

All of those situations are orchestrated by God so that we will arrive at the exact place and plan that He has chosen for those who seek Him and walk in His will.  

When we discover God’s perfect plan, we can see how His provision and protection provided the opportunity.

Consider 3 ways to strengthen your trust in God in times of disappointment:

1. Believe that God loves you and wants His very best for you.

God created us, gifted us uniquely and has a perfect plan for each of us. He is the author of our story He knows what happens in the next chapter. He orchestrates events to help us arrive at the perfect plan He has for us when the page is flipped.

In Isaiah 40:26, we read,

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.”

We are not forgotten by God in our disappointment.  He knows exactly where we are and He is simply ensuring that His best becomes ours.

2. Surrender your own desires to His will for you.

It is impossible for God’s perfect plan to be revealed to you while seeking your own path. As a young girl, my mother tucked me in each night and as she did, she symbolically reached out her hand and asked me to place my worries in her hand. She explained that she would carry them for me and that I need not continue to carry them.

She asked me to surrender to her the concerns of my heart. As I grew older, she taught me to surrender the concerns of my heart into the hand of God and rest in HIs peace. With an open hand, surrendered to the Lord, He is able to fill it with what he believes will be the abundant life in Him.

3. Trust the promises of His Word.

God has promised again and again in His Word, that He will never leave, nor forsake us. Times of disappointment are opportunities to be refined by fire to be more like Him in every way. In Proverbs 3:5-6, we are encouraged to “trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding and He will make your paths straight.”

With all of its twists and turns, one way streets and seemingly dead ends, God is leading us to the opportunity where we will be best used by Him and the place where He will prepare us to live and worship Him for eternity.  We miss His best for us when we do not trust Him, but instead, believe in our own way.

Many months after that phone call with Pam, we met for lunch for her to tell me about the unbelievable opportunity she had been offered. She was so thankful that she decided to trust that God was providing her something better.

As it turned out, the position she had been hoping for a few months earlier had already been eliminated in a merger transaction. She would have been unemployed, and living alone in a new city where she would have relocated. Pam’s mother had become critically ill during these days and Pam would have been far away and unable to care for her needs as she would have liked.

Of course, only God new Pam’s needs and He protected her from an opportunity that would have ultimately been more disappointing than not receiving the offer at all.

In times of deep disappointment, it is wise to remember that God is either protecting us from something not in our best interest or preparing to provide something better.

Believe in his plan, surrender your own plan and trust in the path he sets before you.

Source: http://www.propelwomen.org/content/disappointment-gods-provision-and-protection/gjeb63

The 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman

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The 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman

1. Faith – A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15

2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)

3.  Mothering – A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)

4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)

5. Service – A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)

6. Finances – A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)

7.  Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)

8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)

9. Time – A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )

10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)

Lowest Point

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If Joseph had not been sold as a slave by his brothers, he would not have ended up in Potiphar’s house. If he had not been in Potiphar’s house, he would not have been thrown into prison. If he had not been thrown into prison, he would not have interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s officers and then be summoned to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and eventually be promoted to become prime minister over the Egyptian empire.

If you think you are at the lowest point in your life today, God is telling you, “Don’t give up. It isn’t over!” Just like Joseph in the Bible, God can make the lowest point in your life the launching pad for one of His greatest callings.