It doesn’t mean you have to.

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Research shows that the more time you spend on screen scrolling down you social media accounts the more stressed you’ll be. Especially, when you look at your timeline and you see your friends’ updates: some got engaged, some got married, some got babies, and some graduated for their masters and even doctorates already! Then your heart starts to sink and think like you’re not getting anywhere.

This is the thing: you have your own timeline and it doesn’t have to be the same as your friends’. It is wonderful to be reminded that God never used cookie cutter when he created each person’s story. Here are some implications for you to put it into perspective:

When most of your friends got their second degree at the age of 27, it doesn’t mean you have to.

When most of your friends tied the knots by the age of 25, it doesn’t mean you have to.

When some of your friends who went abroad for studies found their soulmates there, it doesn’t mean you have to.

When most of your friends got their first baby at the age of 26 or even younger, it doesn’t mean you have to.

You are on your own timeline and you are fine! You just need to live your life as if you’re gonna die tomorrow. Don’t let those thoughts worry you. Don’t let those thoughts wear you down. Remember that God makes everything beautiful in its time. Your story doesn’t have to be the same as your friends’. Your story is special, specially woven by the hands of the Lord Himself.

Everything doesn’t have to happen now, rest assured that the Lord is at work and He will make it happen in His time.

Have great evening, great people!

Love always,

-superriska

People will always have something to say.

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Familiar with the picture? I bet you all are.

We always worry about what people think or say about us. We always worry that we sort of have to please everybody around us. But the truth is, we don’t have to. Just like what we can see from the picture, no matter what they do, others will comment. Well, that must be exhausting to live like that. Living a life that is bound to other’s perception and judgment. It is impossible to please everyone and it is definitely not your job.

In the beginning of her diary, Anne Frank wrote:

I haven’t written for a few days, because I wanted first of all to think about my diary. It’s an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither I – nor for that matter anyone else – will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Still, what does that matter? I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.

To be honest, I had the same thought when I began this blog. Who will be interested in reading my writings? Who will be interested in my ideas? Who will bother reading my shallow writings? Oh well. Just like what Anne Frank said, “I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.” Then I started it and I will keep writing no matter what. I know that it is a practice and it is good for me.

So, if you’re thinking about doing something today and you’re afraid because you worry about what people would think about it? Better throw that thought away now. Do what is right, do what makes you happy, do not bother the hearsay. Remember, people will always have something to say anyway. So, do what you believe is true, you’re not doing it for them, you’re doing it for you.

Love always,

-superriska

Just keep going.

I was talking with a good friend of mine about skin care tonight. We realized that we are kind of behind about this whole thing about skin care that in our mid-twenties we just started seriously paying attention to it. At the end of our conversation we encouraged each other that it is not too late to start now. We reminded each other that “The expert in anything was once a beginner.”

Yes, the expert in anything started from scratch as well. Just like you and me, they were not born great. They’ve got to learn and they did have a starting point when they were nothing but a beginner themselves. They kept going and they did not stop. They kept pushing themselves beyond their limits and they reached where they’re at right now. It took time, yes, years and years of doing. It did not come overnight. They worked hard to get to where they are. In between the beginning and the peak of their achievement, there are failures, tears, perspiration, and heartbreaks. But those are part of the process and it is normal to have them around.

So, this is an encouragement to all of you. If you don’t yet succeed, there is nothing wrong with you, those great winners have been in your shoes but they have passed it long time ago. It is fine to fail now, it does not mean you’re not gonna get there. You are just in a process of getting there and all you’ve got to do is get up and try again. Keep this in mind, nobody’s born great and winners are not built overnight. You need to keep going, you need to keep doing, you need to keep moving.

Whether you just start exercising or writing, learning a language or just anything, just ceaselessly tell yourself: “The more you do it, the better you get.” Don’t give up!

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Have a great week ahead, great people!

Love always,

-superriska

 

A lesson from a trip to Jakarta #2

What do you see?

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This post is still inspired by a trip that I took to Jakarta by train yesterday. I am happy that I got to fill my Christmas break with some trips that are full with eye-opening experiences and life lessons. What a great way to spend a holiday for sure!

Okay, this time is a lesson about perspective. See that picture above? Yup, I believe you guys are familiar with that kind of picture. There are a lot of perspective pictures like that and they usually go with the question, “What do you see?” or “What did you see first?” different people come up with different answer. Some will say they saw a dog and some others will say they saw a bird. I am not intending to go deeper with the discussion of the meaning of seeing a dog or seeing a bird, but I am using that as an example to convey my point. Different people can see one thing at the same time but have different interpretations/reactions/responses to it.

Yesterday, when I was on a train, I sat next to some young moms with their little kids. I believe the moms are around early twenties and the kids are around 4-5 years old. In front of me there standing two young ladies who were bank workers (I could tell because of the name tags hanging on their necks). The moms let the kids play on the floor and they looked happy with it. The same thing with the two young ladies in front of me, they seemed to be okay as well, they were holding on a handle and talking to each other.

While watching the scenes around me, I recalled a conversation with a friend of mine. He once shared with me about his reason of pursuing his masters in Urban Planning. He is especially interested in revitalizing the mass transportation systems especially in the cities. He told me that the precursor of pursuing the higher education is from his experience commuting with trains every day while he was doing his internship in Jakarta. He was inspired to do something about how the mass transportation systems in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, through his own experience as a passenger.

What I am trying to say is this: there are many people taking the very same trains every single day, but their responses to the experiences are varied. There are people like those young moms and young ladies who seem to be okay with the situation and they just accept it as it is. But there are also people like my friend who sees a situation and it inspires him to do something about it.

Isn’t it interesting? We may look at the same thing but we may see different things out of it.

Well, just another interesting thing to write about. Have a great one, everyone!

-superriska

Write again…

This and that

here and there

you and I

life…

questions and more

some have no answer

just yet

or maybe never

too many, too much

stories and more

some have no words

just yet

or maybe never

some even ended

before they started

why?

I am clueless

I am just tired

of looking for the answers

I just want to sit still

I just want to think

I just want to write

Yes, I want to start all over again

I want to write again.

-superriska

 

Celebrating loss.

First post on March project on birthdays.

The title sounds antithetical, doesn’t it?

On birthdays, people celebrate the adding of numbers of their age. Like this month, in a few days, I’ll be celebrating mine, God willing. What do people usually do on their birthdays? People like to celebrate birthdays as they want to be thankful that God’s been with them along the way to that very day. The day of remembrance of their coming to this world for the very first time. People like to be with their loved ones on their birthday. I mean, who doesn’t? We always love to share the goodness of days with the ones we love the most, don’t we? We want to be surrounded by our familiar people, our family and friends. We want them to be part of it, too, as well as they want us to be part of theirs. People like to ponder and reflect on their birthdays, especially those who are in older and higher stage of life. They like to think of what they have done the past year and they like to think of what they want to do in the next.

People do things on their birthdays.

But, how many of us realize that on birthday, we actually are celebrating loss. The loss of another year of life. As a believer, I believe that God has ordained it all. A lifespan for each person. Nobody knows where it ends, nobody knows how long it will last. But from a certain lifespan we are given, on birthday, we are actually losing another year. From the only lifespan we’re given, the question is, have we done our best? Have we put our maximum efforts on living out the best of what we’ve got?

God doesn’t gift the birds in the air this capacity to think about it. They were out of their eggs yesterday and they don’t care about doing something on the given lifespan they’ve got. God also doesn’t gift the flowers in the field this capacity to celebrate the day of their bloom. They are here today and gone tomorrow. They don’t care about maximizing the lifespan they’ve got. They just don’t care if they’re blooming beautiful enough to bless the people who see them. They don’t. They don’t.

But we are more than the birds in the air and the flowers in the field. Not only God cares for us more than all other creations, God gives us the ability beyond all those other creations.

While celebrating the losing of another year, I am thinking to myself: have I done my best effort to maximize what I’ve got? One thing I want to keep in mind, I don’t know where it ends, I don’t know how long it will last, I’ve got to seize the day as long as I am alive.

Have a great day, everyone!

Love, Riska.

I am thankful today – A smile

I was thinking of what I could share today. Then there she came, one of my students, standing by the door, smiling and greeting me good morning. I felt somehow filled with her smile. The smile was so beautiful that I felt like I was ready to start the day again. Then I remember this!

This is one scene in one of my favorite movies, You Stupid Man (2002).

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Nadine and Owen were celebrating Valentine’s day together and they decided to have gift exchange. They were out of the shop with a present for each other. They gave each other the present. Owen opened his and he got a pair of Snoopy sandals. Nadine opened hers, a small present wrapped in a small box. She opened it up and she got a mirror. Her face was puzzled, questioning the reason why she got a mirror for a present. There was Owen said to her,

I think that you have a really beautiful smile. Your smile cheers me up when I am down. So, every time you feel down, you just need to see the mirror and give yourself your beautiful smile.

They hugged each other and they walked home happily that day.

***

Life can wear you out but a smile can cheer you up! 🙂

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Young and inspirational. -The reason I start this.

I believe that everyone’s called to do something extraordinary. Everyone’s called to live a life that brings colors to the bigger picture, the Master’s plan, and every soul matters. I believe, whether young or old, man or woman, rich or poor, simply everyone, has some best thing they’re good at and each has the same potentials to inspire.

But potentials stay potentials if they’re not cultivated. Potentials are great initials, great starts, and a fresh start line doesn’t make any difference on the road. It will be simply a thin line, people see it because it exists, but it doesn’t matter to them. What makes it matter then is that it drives people to cross it, to start taking the first step, to start running. Indeed, people have potentials, but not too many of them cultivate their potentials. Not many of them do something about it. not many of them put maximum effort on developing it. even sadder, too many of them don’t realize that they have potentials.

I remember quoting Lecrae’s quotes, “Believe the best about people. Pray for their shortcomings. You are not the standard. We all need grace.” Believe the best about people. When we meet a person for the first time, say that he or she is handicapped. We must start feeling sorry for him/her and start thinking about how this person overcomes life’s struggles with that situation. We tend to see the shortcomings than the potentials deep within. Even to ourselves. We tend to be stuck with our shortcomings and weaknesses that we don’t realize that God has also graced us with strengths and just something we’re actually good at. I have seen so many people, ordinary people, directly and indirectly, with many life’s struggles and limitations but did overcome and make brilliant breakthroughs. It all starts with the minds. Do we, today, choose to believe in the best of people and even ourselves, or in the reverse? Not an easy question though. There are times that we failed and things seem to be falling apart. There are times that we are trapped in inferiority because there are people around us seem to belittle us. But there are also times that we are trapped in inferiority because we just can’t stop comparing ourselves with others. Again, it all starts with the minds.

This very hour I am writing this, I would like to choose to believe in the best of people, and in the best of me. Not because I feel like I am good enough or people are good enough. Never. We are never good enough. We are who we are because of grace. God’s grace is so rich that we are called to take part in his grand plan. I choose to believe that, by God’s grace in you, you can overcome. I choose to believe that, by God’s flowing grace in me, I can overcome. Each of us is equipped with something good so that we can inspire others to do the same thing with their lives as well. I believe that you and I can do something extraordinary.

 

There are many experiences and encounters that have brought me to stand on where I stand right now. God has graced me with such an opportunity to have gone through almost 25 years of life. I cannot claim that I have experienced many because I know there are some others at the same age as I am but have experienced more. However, I am thankful for the little experiences I have. In almost 25 years being alive, breathing, I have got an opportunity to get exposed to education, higher education a luxury of which some others haven’t got to have.

I am thankful that I got to go to a good school and get encounters to inspiring people. It’s definitely a luxury that I got to learn inside and outside the building. I got good classes from good experienced professors and I got connected to great people from inside and outside the school. Being exposed to ideas, knowledge, and people with their thoughts has enriched my in many ways. One important lesson is this: each person is unique, each person brings unique colors to the grand picture, each person matters, each person is called to do something in contribution to the kingdom. Nobody’s left behind. In their own way people take part and function as a member of the whole body. Nobody’s too great and nobody’s too small, because each one is given his portion. Not more than he is capable of, nor less than his capacity.

I have seen so much both directly and indirectly, how people in their weaknesses and limitations strive to live bigger than themselves. I have seen many examples how people make a difference in an indifferent world. Living bigger than self, seems to be the key. When life is no more about me but it’s about the good of others and the glory of the Maker. Life gets its best meaning. We get the best reason to live. We live the best eternal purpose planted deep in our hearts, even way before we were born. I believe, God has something great for us to do. And only his grace alone drives us to keep working.

I believe that the people have once been in a desperate moments of feeling inferiority and insecurity, feeling unworthy because of their shortcomings or limitations. But they believed that they were meant to be more than who they were. They had faith that God has something great for them to do. Their faith then moved them forward to become who they are today. They realize that they are limited, they have shortcomings, they know they are not perfect, but deep inside their hearts they believe that they are given precious gifts to unwrap, ready to be cultivated. And they did unwrap their gifts and cultivate them to bless, inspire, and above all else, to give back all the credits and glory to the Maker.

 

So, what now?

I know of some people who are young and inspirational. I may not have known them personally but I have heard of what they do and how God works in their lives bringing them to the place and things they’re up to right now. They have inspired me and I hope that they can inspire you as well. So, here I am, with the gift I am given, I would love to write and share to you how God works in people’s lives that they are enabled to believe in, to get off their limitations, to make a difference, and to inspire.

Grace

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Something I’m undeservedly bestowed upon

Something that keeps me moving on

Something that makes my fire keep on burning

In the bleakness and the world spinning

It’s what makes me grateful when I look back

It’s what makes me confident upon the future’s track

It’s the drive when I make good decisions

It’s the strength when I face life’s transitions

It’s the bottom line of all my answered and unanswered prayers

It’s at the core of all my accomplished dreams and future endeavors

 

-superriska