Luwuk Banggai, Central Sulawesi, Christmas break 2015

riska

For the first time in forever, spending Christmas away from home. I made one of the best decisions in my life to go to this place. And this is so far the best Christmas experience I have! Overwhelmed with the goodness and warmth of the people, the incredible encounters and experiences. I am thankful for the great two weeks spent in this place. This could be the longest distance I’ve gone on land, 32 hours on a bus to get there from Palopo. Unforgettable memories like riding on a rough roads to get to a hot lake on the mountain to praying in people’s houses on Christmas day. I am so blessed!!

Batuputih, Southeast Sulawesi, October 2015

irsan

The first unexpected journey to the other part of the island where I am residing now. It’s 7 hours away from Palopo and is located in a neighboring province. Lots of new things I experienced, from hair washing in a river and bathing in an emergency bathroom. I met lovely and precious people as well! What an unforgettable journey to the Province of Southeast Sulawesi!

The beginning of the third year.

Third year. Third grade. It’s me and my 37 kids. *cheers!*

KELAS3It’s gonna be a whole new experience.

There are gonna be lots of fun and challenges as well.

One thing for sure, we’re gonna learn together this year…

and God’s gonna be with us along the way.

So, bring it on!

We’re ready for the adventure! 🙂

Lots of love from us!

*Ibu Riska and 3rd graders Sekolah Lentera Harapan Palopo*

What do you see?

 

joyEasier said than done. Too many times our days are nothing but grooves without meaning. We see the same things all over again that we actually have lost their meanings. But to find joy in the ordinary is to take time enjoying every moment, every single thing we are to do. To find joy is to be silent for a little while, to really let the breeze of the grooves slip into the spaces of our fingers, to let the overflowing spirit fill in our hearts that we are ready to wake up again every morning, ready to do the things all over again. We may think that what we do is not that significant compared to what others have done or are doing. But I found this quote some days ago and I am reminded that everyone has his/her own part.

And how does peace come? Simple. By accepting who we are and what we have as enough for us. By recognizing and respecting who the other is and what they have as theirs. By finding within ourselves the pearl of great price, the richest thing there is in life, the sense of the presence of God who loves and companions us through all the pressures of life. Joan Chittister [Source:  “Peace” inUncommon Gratitude by Joan Chittister and Rowan Williams (Liturgical Press)]

Joy and peace exist simultaneously. If we are at peace accepting who we are and respecting who the other is also recognizing what we have as enough for us and respecting what others have as theirs, we have no time to compare ourselves and others. Then as the consequence of that, we find joy to be ourselves and doing what we are to do. We learn that there is that big picture of what we are doing, even though it seems so small and insignificant right now. We learn that no matter how small or insignificant the stuff we’re trusted with, we are all working for one single purpose, we are all heading towards the same direction, we are all part of the big picture and we are not left behind because we are small. We learn that the small puzzle pieces build up the beautiful big picture and if one piece is missing, it’s incomplete.

 

blessedIt is hard to see beautiful things in humble places because we have not been seeing deeper, we have not been seeing through what’s seen in the cover. We tend to see what’s seen, what’s in the outward look than to see what’s behind either the good or bad looks. We tend to judge the book by its cover.

It’s all about our perspective in seeing them. Blessed are those who find joy in no matter how small others see what they are doing. Blessed are those who find joy and understand the big picture of no matter how insignificant things they’re doing or even people they’re dealing with. Blessed are those who are joyfully doing their part no matter how boring it seems to repeat all the same things all over again every day.

Find joy in what you do. Find joy in the grooves of your days. There will not only sun shiny days in life, there will also be some rainy days in between. But surely, there is always, yes, always, something to be thankful for.

thankful

 

Now, what do you see?

*photos photographed and edited by SUPERRISKA*

March 10, 2013 – March 10, 2014: Counting my blessings.

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

March 10, 2013 to March 10, 2014. One year, millions of surprises. Places I never thought I could ever go, people I never thought I would ever be friends with, things I never thought I would ever do. To mention and count everything is simply too many. So here are some big events and things I am thankful for:

1. March 10, 2013. Sweet jello for sweet 22 birthday! 🙂

photo (1) photo (2)*I miss you all girls! Gladys, Nia, Irene, Pingkan and Feli!*

2. April 1, 2013: Bachelor of Science.

2013-04-15 14.11.04After 4 years of study. More responsibility to take on.

3. May 8, 2013: Hearing and reading the word Palopo for the very first time.

All excited after opening the letter but bursting into tears the next five days knowing that having to go so far away for three years. But life went on.

4. June 2013: Lampung trip

First time stepping my feet in Sumatra island!!

lampung

first time riding on an elephant!

2013-06-09 11.19.34

new friends!

group photo istiqlal 2

sisters!

ok miss you!

5. June 2013: Proper goodbye for great people!

spv lama 2013-06-03 17.28.45 2013-06-03 17.25.22 2013-06-03 17.21.30 2013-06-03 17.40.06Ex-roommies: Priscilla & Gladys. Great mentors and friends from SPH Sentul City: Leanne, Mr. Scott, and Stephanie. Friendly bakso-seller couple at SPH Sentul City.

6. July 1, 2013: Ron’s birthday

with ronthe night when Ron, the birthday boy, kept us waiting for more than an hour for karaoke. He never showed up. Finally, ended up singing like crazy and taking silly pictures in our hotel room. At least he finally made it there.

2013-06-26 19.13.11Farewell dinner with the Metcalfes. Lovely couple who have been great mentors during my college life.

7. July 6, 2013 – now: Welcome to Sulawesi!

First time stepping my feet in Sulawesi island!

New places. New people. New experiences. New things.

GRADE 5SMILE! singingmy students 🙂 little beautiful faces who color my life now.

palopo new lovely friends that I have never imagined I could be friends with. 🙂

superriskaa Latuppa 2-001 Latuppa 4 2013-08-06 06.18.30DSCN0756 places I never thought I could ever be.

planting! reading Bible praying kids walking to class teaching them how to read. teaching them how to pray. Things I never thought I could ever do. Here. With these people.

In a year, God has been blowing my mind with what He’s done and I believe that there will be many more surprises coming in the coming years. Wherever this life may go, have Your way, Lord. Wherever this long road may end, have Your way, Lord. Whatever this life may bring, have your way, Lord. Nothing more I wish for this birthday than to enjoy the ride as I’m going this life through.

Because at the end of everything, You must become greater, I must become less. Because I am just an unworthy servant who has simply done my duty.

One of those days.

bird 2

Some days, there won’t be a song in your heart, sing anyway. — Emory Austin

There are times in life that busyness is too overwhelming

That you can’t even hear the birds sing in the early morning

There are those days when you just can’t see the silver lining

When things are no more than grooves without meaning

Take a little time to pause from everything

Let the music swing as the rain is falling

 

Written this very morning, one of those cloudy mornings.

Wishing you people a wonderful day! 🙂

-superriska

 

*photo photographed and edited by me*

Welcoming Christmas season: Classroom decoration.

A teacher. One occupation, many job descriptions. A teacher takes care of the teaching and all administration stuff, gives counseling for students who need it, and also, of course, decorates the classroom.

For the last job description, you just don’t need to ask me to do stuff like this, I will do it voluntarily, wholeheartedly, and just excitedly. haha.

This will be my first classroom decoration since this is my first year of teaching. My very first time I have my own classroom 🙂 the feeling is just amazing. My partner and I agreed to have this as our Christmas theme this year: Peace to whom He is pleased. And instead of using some green-red mainstream decoration, I choose blue-silver combination for our Christmas decoration. Let me explain some of the reasons why I chose these two colors as the theme colors in my classroom’s decorations. First of all, I really want my students to be aware of the “why” of doing what we do. Christmas decorations are nice to have for sure, as long as they help us to really understand the real meaning and not drag us into having them as the focus instead. Just like a photo frame, no matter how pretty it is, still, the photo itself is the focus. Having pretty photo frame is nice, but why bother having a nice one without any nice picture with nice memories in it? It’s still pretty, but it’s empty. Blue and silver have meanings as colors. Blue represents peacefulness, tranquility, and calmness. Our theme is “Peace to whom He is pleased.” then blue is just perfectly fit to depict the peace we’re embracing this Christmas.

Here are some of the pictures of the Christmas decorations for my classroom.

wreath2 wreath1simple blue-silver wreaths.

how to make the wreath 1no sophisticated materials needed for these simple yet beautiful wreaths. You just need some used papers, clear tape, and this thingy (what do you guys call this thing huh? haha) well, you can find this in many stores, especially in this season, there will be many of these available at stores. Oh for the bow, you only need origami paper. How to make it? Simple, just go to this link. Very easy.

envelope1 envelope handmade envelopes for Christmas cards for each person in our class. I use gift wrap papers for the envelopes. I’ll post on the how I am going to do with these envelopes soon! oh, plus the cards! They’re still in the making.

I hope to get all done by Friday!

Yeah yeah!

Happy welcoming Christmas everyone! 😀 😀 😀

Happy December!

happy dec

Sunday morning rain is falling. Marking the coming of the last month in the year. The scent of the wet ground, the sprinkles of the fresh downpour on the glassy window, the coolness of the morning breeze, all wet, all fresh. December is coming and the nature parties. This is the time for all the wandering hearts to fly back home, including mine. I am looking forward to being there, where the beautiful familiar faces is all I see, where the sweet embracing smiles is all I know.

Hold on a sec, I’m getting all done, and I’m getting home in no time.

Happy December, everyone.