Finally.

Oh yes finally I am being connected again. I am ready to publish some of my writings I wrote while my internet connection was down last week. Even though the internet was down, I kept myself writing daily.

I’ve got some stories about my first Teacher’s day in my first year of teaching, my thoughts on some topics like priority, life’s abundance & lack, being an example, and some others.

As every day has its own cares, I believe that every day has its own story to share.

Stay there, people. I’m making sure I’ll get the stories published soon 😉

Have a great day! stay positive! cuz…

Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.

— Ernest Holmes

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Another day, another lesson learned. #7

What you don’t feed, dies. What you do feed, grows.

Plants need certain conditions to optimally grow. They need light as the source of energy (trust me, the scientific explanation about why plants actually need light for their growth is a long story. I got the long story from a semester-long of torture studying biochemistry and botany in college, haha. Owell, I passed them anyways). Some amount of oxygen, water, some certain range of temperature and many other requirements in order them to grow optimally.

Just like plants need those things to (physically) grow optimally, so do we, people. If we are hoping of personal growth, we’ve got to get ourselves properly fed. Talking about physical growth, I believe we already know what that means, we need nutritious food to get the metabolic system in our body to work as well as it is intended. We do need carbohydrates as the source of sugar in our blood, we need protein for damaged cells repair and etc. This post is not intended to be a scientific article on nutrition and living things’ need of nutrition. But the idea of how living things do need nutrition to grow is the main idea of this writing.

Our souls are pretty much the same as our physical bodies in a way that our souls, in order to grow, do need to get properly fed. As in our daily life, there are many kinds of food, drinks, supplements, vitamins and etc edible or consumable. But not all of those kinds of stuff are good for our body, correct?  Also, it is up to the individuals themselves of which food or drink or vitamin to consume. I am not talking about what people like to eat, but what they need to eat.

Let me use myself as the example. I have a condition in which my metabolic system is unable to break down a chemical compound called uric acid. Uric acid is basically one kind of protein that is mostly found in green veggies, peanuts, animals innards and certain kind of fish. If I consume too much of those kinds of stuff then the content of uric acid in my body is increased and they will be deposited in the joints. When it happens, then I will get inflammation in joints, especially in joints around my toes or knee. Well, the inflammation may occur differently for each person. I really like green veggies, like, so much! But ever since I got that condition, I am never again being able to consume green veggies as much as I want. So, do you see my point? I am not talking about something that we like to eat, but something that we need to eat and do some good to our own body.

Now, back to talking about the soul. There are many thoughts, ideas, wisdoms out there. They bombard us every day, even more in this kind of days, which we are overly exposed to media. Whether we realize it or not, the media have really great impact on our personal growth. How couldn’t it impact us for we are exposed to them almost every minute of our life. And I believe that constant exposure to certain things can finally stay, grow, and root deep in our thinking system. This way of thinking then creates habits in our thinking system. Habit, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is translated as “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.”

So, on feeding our soul, don’t we need to be very careful?

There are many thoughts, ideas and wisdoms exposing us every single day, even every single time we open our PDAs or computer. As for my personal experience, I have stopped following some twitter accounts that exposed to me nothing but sarcasms, negative spirit, and just some cynical statements about life. It did have some effect on me: I was so negative, sarcastic, and cynical to many things, you bet, just the same as what I have been feeding myself with.

What you don’t feed, dies. What you do feed, grows. If we feed ourselves with negative spirit, sarcasms, cynical statements, then so be it. If we keep ourselves exposed to such thing, then the system in our thinking will gradually accept it as true.

There is a good saying that I want to share here,

It is hard to let old beliefs go. They are familiar. We are comfortable with them and have spent years building systems and developing habits that depend on them. Like a man who has worn eyeglasses so long that he forgets he has them on, we forget that the world looks to us the way it does because we have become used to seeing it that way through a particular set of lenses. Today, however, we need new lenses. And we need to throw the old ones away.

— Kenich Ohmae

We can never hope to harvest figs out of thornbushes.

Stop feeding our soul with negative thoughts, sarcasms, cynicism about life or things around us. They give us nothing but crushed and broken spirit while we ought to grow as we are intended to grow. A broken spirit is severely contagious. It doesn’t only affect us, but also the people surround us. Remember, what we don’t feed, dies. Cut them off, they will not stay alive. Uproot them, they will be finished. Instead, start feeding your soul with stuff that gives you courage to face each new day, gives you new lively spirit to live better, gives you enlightenment to share the light to others.

You can choose to live your life out of two options: either a living testimony or a potential menace. You choose. You can choose to feed your soul with out of two options: either stuff which extremely beneficial or plainly destructive. You choose.

“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, …” — Ephesians 6:15-18

 Another day, another lesson learned.

Another day, another lesson learned. #6

Reflection I wrote on Friday, November 15, 2013. It’s a reflection on first times.

Everybody has their own first times on things. Whether it is on teaching, speaking in front of many people in a seminar, becoming a worship leader in a cell group, having an official job interview, and many other things you can mention.

I still remember the nervousness on my first time teaching in front of tenth graders of an international school, and I was teaching about the chromosomes. I have practiced many times before that day. I was pretty sure I was gonna make it well done. Yeah, until 10 minutes before the class started, my body started shaking a little bit and I couldn’t control the cold sweats dripping on my back. I was young. I just started my student-teaching. I was so inexperienced. I was just a twenty-year-old intern having her first time teaching in an international school with big name and reputation. My first time didn’t go as well as I thought. Haha. It was pretty much a mess. I was speechless to one question asked by one of the students. I lost my hearing to what he said. However, that was last year. Today, a year from that day, I have grown to become better and better every day. I have grown to be more confident and experienced. But, that’s part of the journey. I had my first time. I had that dummy moment until I finally learned something that helped me to become who I am right now.

 Today, my school’s boys’ basketball team had their first match. Our school was invited by one local school for a friendship match. At first, the students were afraid. Yeah, pretty much the same feeling as I had before that first time teaching. They were confident but at the same time, they all know that this was their first time.

Their first impression about the opponent? Haha. Yeah, my students were pretty much shaken. This team we faced is a team with reputation, they’ve been playing for quite some time, they are just simply more experienced than us. It was obvious for us to see, the style of both teams were just different. The team with more experience played more maturely. They were relaxed, they were calm. They played with a rhythm. They had themselves enjoying the game. On the other hand, the young team played with rush, lacking of self-control, and just sometimes too afraid to move forward. They are young. My boys just started the journey. They were a little down after the game, but they learned something. Everybody has their own first times on things. And today’s experience is their first time as a team. I am so proud of them. They just started their journey.

In sports game, I wanna have my kids to understand one important thing: winning is important, but it is way more important to play to their highest level, to play in an attitude of a winner. That is MORE important than anything. They have learned that lesson after all 🙂 Well, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, doesn’t it? I know my boys will get over it, and for sure, they will become better and more mature in the future. It’s just a matter of time.

Another day, another lesson learned.

Another day, another lesson learned. #5

This is a reflection I wrote on Friday, November 15, 2013.

Suddenly I feel like writing about writing. Well, I love writing. I love taking notes and making lists of things. I always have that small notebook in my purse everywhere I go. Mostly my notebook contains some kind of to do lists, some random stuff I found as I go to places, and just random thoughts as I observed something I found interesting. I love taking notes in seminars or in church. Writing, for me, is anywhere. (this is my secret, I used to bring my laptop to the toilet in my dorm especially when I was busy writing my thesis, haha). Writing is something I like doing, it’s fun for me, and it helps me communicate my ideas, my thoughts, my views about things into words.

I started out this blog August last year, when I was doing my final student-teaching. I started out with sharing pictures of my students and sharing about what I thought as I see the pictures. Writing, is like a tool to convey that big urge of sharing inside of me. Most of my writings is about reflections on things happened to me, or things happened around me and I happened to be there observing. About some inspiring quotes I read and my thought of those quotes in relation to what I experienced. Or about some inspiring messages I heard or got from daily conversation with friends, parents, or just some random people I had encounter with.

Writing, like photography and card-making, is something I am passionate about. Something in which I can spend my leisure time with. Something I would do without any force from outside of me. Something that I would do just because I really want to do it and of course because I always have those things that I think are worth sharing.

One of the reasons why I love to take notes: because I am a forgetful person. Like, really, I am bad at memorizing stuff. I am good at names and faces, but when it comes to things I need to do, I am just bad. That is why I always have those little notes with me about the lists of things I need to do, I need to buy, or just some ideas that I got along the way. But thanks to my weakness, I have grown to develop that weakness into something that has been very delightful to do. Most of the things I wrote in my notes have been my very inspiration to write more than just notes. I do some research before I write, I compare the statements to other statements from other people, I reflect on them as I write. Well, writing has been really good tool for my reflection skills. Writing helps me to think more deeply about things, enriches my knowledge and facilitates me communicating my thoughts to the world.

Ideas fade away as we forget about them. Writing them down will help us remember and preserve them as time goes by. Well, I am not like those famous and brilliant writers out there, I am just that young lady whose liking is sharing what’s in her head out to the world.

People have different ways of sharing their thoughts to the world, some with simple writings, some with colorful paintings. Some with beautiful melodies, some with blissful photographs. They’re all usable. No limits. But we do have to  make sure that we’re sharing the good things to the world, because things do have impact, no matter how small. Do not get too focused on making big things, but stay faithful on doing small things that we are trusted with. Because we never know that maybe what we think as simple or small, can be such a great impact or inspiration to others. Another day, another lesson learned.

 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31

Another day, another lesson learned. #4

This reflection is inspired by Lecrae’s quote.

“Believe the best about people. Pray for their shortcomings. You ARE NOT the standard. We all need grace.”

This is what I have come to know as a teacher: I have to believe in the best about my students. No bargaining. It’s a must.

It reminds me about an event one month ago, October 18, 2013. The first Parents-Teachers Conference in my life as a real teacher. Well, even though I was not directly involved as in writing the narrative report or meeting the parents to present the report, I learned something from what I saw.

A narrative report is a report written by a homeroom teacher which contains information of the student’s learning and behavior progress as well as his/her strengths and weaknesses during some period of time. A narrative report also includes a commitment taken by the parents and students about the improvements they are going to make in the future. A narrative report is usually reported four times in a year, or once in every quarter. The narrative report has to be written in a positive manner that the teachers should find each student’s strengths and weaknesses. According to most of my fellow teachers who are responsible to write narrative reports, it is very easy to write the reports for good, nice, bright students, because it’s obvious that they have strengths in many aspects. But there are also some other students that are very unique, in a way that it is also obvious that they have strengths, but in doing violations, in having very low achievements, or in showing no motivation in class. Remember, a narrative report has to be written in positive language. I learned that most of fellow teachers were having hard times writing some reports for some students. Every teacher had their own students that they struggled writing the report about.

This is what I learned. We, human, have that tendency to be so hard finding other people’s strengths especially if they have been already labeled as “bad” or “difficult” or “troubled”. And shame on me, I have been doing the same thing to my students too. There are times in class when I am about to have tests, I often have that picture in my head of students that I think are not going to make it. There are times that I call on some students’ names for tests, deep in my heart there is a whisper like “Oh, this student again. He is not gonna make it like the other tests he has failed.” And true as I have thought, he failed for the many times as he has been.

Oh. Such a slap in the face.

Instead of believing the best about my students, I put many kinds of labels on them.

If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. – Matthew 5:46-48

To put those verses in teacher’s version, it will be like this:

If you love only those bright students, what reward is there for that? If you are only kind to only good, easy-to-handle students, how are you different from other teachers out there who don’t know Me? But you are to be perfect, even as your Teacher in heaven is perfect.

Taking a commitment to follow and obey Him is not a once-taken-commitment. We fall short almost every time. Well, I fall short every time. But that commitment is to be taken daily, as we start a new day, we are given a new opportunity to learn more, to be better, to be more like Him. It takes all the courage to admit that we all fall short and we all need grace. It takes all the awareness that we have limitations to surrender fully to His strength.

Another day, another lesson learned.

Another day, another lesson learned. #3

C. S. Lewis once said, you are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

Oh yes, whether it is writing a book, composing a new song, establishing your own company, founding a school, pursuing education, or anything you name it. It’s never too late, and you’re never too old to have those dreams. The goals and dreams that you have are the ones that keep you going, keep you alive, keep you moving forward. Imagine our life without purpose or goal or dreams, we’re moving, but down to nowhere. Everyday’s work is just like checking on a list. Everyone is given 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, and 7 days in a week, all the same amount of time. But the problem is, not all of them use the gift equally. Some do their best, some not. Some use the time they have gratefully by enjoying their life, some curse the situations that they know exactly they cannot change.

For all those dreams you have in your heart, believe. Wake up today, do something and make them happen. Live to your fullest self, live bigger than yourself and share.

Never part with your illusions. Without dreams you may continue to exist, but you have ceased to live. – Mark Twain

Pray for your dreams, pray that God may use you at your best contributing to His Kingdom. The branches cannot bear fruit if they are apart from the True Vine, remember?

Have a great day, people! 🙂

Another day, another lesson learned. #2

This is Tuesday again, and it’s super cloudy in Palopo this morning. It’s nice tho, cool and fresh. Really nice to start a new day again. Today is November 12, 2013, which means it’s been 4 months of me being away from home.

Yesterday, I heard a bad news from a friend. Her mother got injured due to a robbery attempt two days ago. She is so down, even until right now. That must be very hard, to be far away from your loved ones and at the same time knowing that they just had something bad happened to them.

I text her yesterday, making sure she’s got the comfort she needs in this kind of time she’s faced. After such a conversation, I got reminded of something which I’m going to share in this post right now.

No matter how far you go, you know exactly that home is always the best place. It’s not the comfort of the house, it’s not the facilities you have in your house, it’s not the nice neighborhood you live in, it’s never about the material things, at all. It’s all about the people who know you, accept you, and embrace you as the way you are. It’s about the laughter and the joy you share together as a family. It’s all about the warmth within your home that makes you feel peaceful and safe. It’s about the smile of the familiar faces. It’s about the very people that through the good and the bad will always be there for you, stand right beside you, pray all the best for you and love you for who you really are. It’s about feeling right where you belong.

You might be in a place where the world seems a lot better, a lot nicer, way cooler or whatever than your home. But you just can’t buy a family, can you?

However, while I am away now, I am thankful for the people I am surrounded by 🙂

Another day, another lesson learned. And wait, as you read this post and you remember your loved ones, make a phone call, send an SMS, or any communication tools you can grab right now. Tell them how you love them and pray for them. Even though you can’t see them in person and hug them right now, you know you can hold them real close in your hearts through your prayers.

Prayers do connect people, even though they are miles apart.

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Have a great one 🙂

Another day, another lesson learned. #1

Just like the sun rises in the east every morning, God’s mercy is new every day. Giving us new hope and spirit to get through a new day. There are too many days we passed as merely another day, like we’re doing a countdown. Well, counting down to what?

Recently I had a conversation with my friend, and while we were talking, she said something that becomes the main idea of what I’m going to write here.

She said, “We never know how long we will live on earth”

Yes, she’s right. We never know when, where, or how this life we’re living right now is going to end. It can be today or tomorrow. It can be in here where we are now, or somewhere else under the sun. Well, we just don’t know, and surely, will never know. Moreover, it’s not even our job to know that, after all.

Every morning we wake up, we practically get older, agree? Yes, we’re getting older in age, but at the same time we’re getting closer to the end of the journey. I remember some people once said that our birthday is an annual reminder that the span of our life is decreasing. One more year passed and we’re left with some uncertain moment of the rest of our life.

King David once wrote in one of his psalms, [people’s] entire lifetime is just a moment to God, and at best each of us is but a breath (Psalm 39:5). Another reminder of how fleeting our life is. We’re like the flowers in the field, we’re her today and gone tomorrow. But, the thinking now arises, what makes us different than them, then? The flowers bloom this morning, but then wither later in the afternoon. No one will ever remember them. They just passed and faded away.

We were created to be more than those flowers. There are activities available to us. We just add meaning to each of them. Every new day is a new opportunity, for doing all the good work we are entrusted with and with the people we are surrounded with. We are not the focus, we take the role to contribute our best for the Kingdom.

YOLO! You know you only live once. With whatever you have, with however long the time you have left, do something meaningful today. Oh, I know, there are lots of things to complain and humanly speaking, our tendency is to complain. But, if our complaints do not change the situation, why not change how we see things around us? Not easy. We fall every time. We all need grace.

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pine

There is no day ended without lesson in it. Because today is not just the other day.

Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend 🙂

Another day, another lesson learned.

There is no such thing as another day. There must be new lessons learned from a new coming day. Every day. Every single day. I believe that each day has its own story to share. There is no day ended without a lesson in it. But surely, most of the time, we just live each day like a working machine. Following the exact same routines from the beginning of the day to the time we go to bed. Over and over again. The lessons offered by this journey we called life must not only be found in big events that we experienced. They might lie secretly in the simplest form of the series of everyday life.

Therefore, starting today, I will commit to write at least one lesson to be posted on this blog. This is part of the challenge offered by WordPress through the NaBloPoMo, the National Blog Posting Month. 30 days this month, with one blog post every day. I have missed the first five days, but from now on, I will try my best to not miss any more day.

Once again, there is no such thing as another day. As Charles R. Swindoll once said,

“Today is unique! It has never occurred before, and it will never be repeated. At midnight it will end, quietly, suddenly, totally. Forever. But the hours between now and then are opportunities with eternal possibilities.”

Happy new day, everyone! Don’t forget to look around, you may not want to miss another lesson to be learned today. Yes, today 🙂