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.

The long forgotten envelope.

You’re actually looking for a needle in one of your drawers at home. The drawer is a bit messy that you need to take almost everything out to find the needle you’re looking for. As you’re taking things out, you find that old forgotten purple envelope. You stare at that envelope for a moment and the memory brings you back to one moment of your life in the past. You open the envelope and you find a simple letter written by someone you used to know.

It was a letter you wrote yourself. It contains all the dreams and the things you wanted to pursue. Many years went by and many things happened that you forgot you have once written all those things you’re reading right now.
You suddenly remember all the fire that once burned you. But the busyness of this life has brought you forgetting its spark, leaving it kept for so long in the dark. The spark from who you were in the past. The spark of the spirit you’ve got within you.
The grooves of life have worn you out that you forget all the dreams of your own. The draining routines have consumed all your energy.

You freeze at where you sit.
Now you can see the silver needle you’re initially and intentionally looking for. You never plan on finding that long forgotten envelope in that drawer. It was not something you’re looking for. But now you have found both.

Many times in life, we’ve got our own plan on finding something. We started the quest. We drive off the car and go down the long road. We’ve got the destination pictured right in our head. But along the way we encounter many other things that we never actually plan to find.
You don’t forget the reason you came to the drawer, it was to find the needle. But the fact that you find that long forgotten envelope brings you something else that you can learn.
God can use many things to make us learn. And one of the many things may be found along the long road. You plan to find one thing but God can bring you to find other things you don’t.
In all processes of life you go through, God’s got something along the way. You can actually find that “something” only if you’re willing to take time to pay attention.

What would Jesus do?

I remember reading this story somewhere and this story leads up to this writing right now (forgive me of my broken memory, I am just trying to write what I remember).

One day, on a family night devotion, a mom shared about “What would Jesus do?”. At the end of her sharing she told her son to think of what Jesus would do before making any decision. The following morning, as usual, before they left for school and work, they prayed together. It was the son’s turn to lead in the prayer. To his parents’ surprise, this eleven-year-old boy ended his prayer with this: “Lord, in whatever we do today, whatever decision we are to make today, help us think of what you would do. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”

When the mom came home, she found that her son was not in a good mood. He looked unhappy. As a mother she knew something had happened to her son. So she came to him and asked what troubled him. The son stared at the floor that finally he was crying.

Mom: It’s okay son, tell mommy what happened.

Son: Mom, I remember what you shared last night, and I also remember my prayer this morning. That in whatever I do today, I would think of what Jesus would do. We had a math test today and my classmate, Nick, didn’t study for the test. He asked me for the answer. I didn’t want to give him my answer at first, but he kept begging and begging. He also told me that his mom would be very angry if he failed the math test today. I didn’t want to give him my answer but at the same time I didn’t want Nick’s mom got angry. So, I gave him my answer. It wasn’t right… I know…

Mom: Then, what happened?

Son: At the end of the test Ms. Rogers asked us to submit our test sheet. After that she asked us if there was anyone being dishonest during the test. I was scared. I knew I did something bad. I didn’t want to raise my hand. But deep in my heart I knew I had to tell her that I had been dishonest during the test. She asked one more time. I looked at Nick and he gave the signal to stay quiet. I was scared. Ms. Rogers then asked for the third time and I couldn’t hold it anymore. I raised my hand and everybody was surprised. We got called to the principal’s office afterwards. Ms. Rogers gave us zero for the test. I knew Nick was unhappy with that. I think that Nick would hate me. I knew, if Jesus were me, he would not give Nick the answer in the first place. But as I was given the second chance to be honest, I knew I had to take it.

I suddenly remember this story out of nowhere this afternoon and there is actually a huge urge within me to write about this.

Now, let’s question ourselves:

In many situations, have we been asking the same question before we make any decisions? Know what, I think that what the son did is a daring action. He dared himself praying like that and that prayer guards his heart and guides his heart to do the right thing. In my case, no, I have not. Too many times I lean only on my own understanding and you bet I ended up regretting my decisions. But, as I realized that Jesus has been so merciful to me that he gave me more than just second chance. He gave me new hopes and chances every brand new day. As I learned about this, I know, I have to take it.

what_would_jesus_do

An ending is actually a new beginning.

I used to ask myself why people call it commencement when it’s actually a graduation ceremony. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word commencement is defined as the time when something begins. However, the word commencement is also used to refer to a ceremony during which degrees or diplomas are given to students who have graduated from a school or college (source).

Well, according to its position in the timeline, graduation is actually at the end of your study. It’s the point where you have finished the process of study and you graduate. You’re done with the set of learning goals of that level of education. I am not saying that you’re done with the learning, because learning is a lifelong process. You’re still learning even though you’re not at school anymore. So, it’s kinda funny to realize that graduation is both an ending and a new beginning.

end

Yes, graduation is an ending to your study but at the same time it’s actually e new beginning of a new stage of life. You’re gonna go out there and ready to apply what you’ve got along the process of education. Even though, I must say, all the theory you’ve gotten ARE NOT ALL APPLICABLE. You may have built your own idealism, that you think things should be like this or like that. Trust me, you’re gonna need to tear down everything because you’ll find that everything doesn’t seem to be exactly the same as it is portrayed in the textbooks. I’m not here to scare you, this is just a reminder for you so you won’t get too surprised.

However, for a little while, well, for today, enjoy the end of your study. Enjoy the celebration that you’ve come this far. Be grateful that God’s been with you along the way and just ENJOY THE DAY. Because the moments on the mountaintop will be your strength for the moments in the deepest valley.

Congratulations to you all, cohort 2011! 🙂

God bless.

The Sojourner.

This is a poem I wrote in a faraway land, miles away from my homeland.

Especially for the one sojourner I know, the one who is loving her new land. This new land has become part of her heart, part of her soul.

superriskaa

There’s a price to pay.

Will you (still) go?

This may stretch you to your farthest limit.

Will you (still) go?

This may be inconvenient for you.

Will you (still) go?

This may take you out of your comfort zone.

Will you (still) go?

The world may offer you something brighter than this.

Will you (still) go?

The people you’re gonna meet, some will hate you, some will break you down.

Will you (still) go?

But,

You’ll find it worth it.

You’ll learn something new.

You’ll realize that following Him is not about convenience but obedience.

You’ll get to places you’d never thought you’d ever go.

You’re not to live only for yourself.

You’ll meet people who will love you, embrace you, as they count you as their own family.

Life is like two sides of coin.

Like the black and white of piano keys.

Surely there are sorrows,

But the joy from above is given to you every time you need it.

I am a sojourner.

In a faraway land.

I meet many challenges.

But here I declare, I am more than just lucky.

I am blessed.

Palopo, December 5, 2014.

superriska.

Dear young lady

This is a poem I wrote for myself, as I am thinking of the why of everything I am doing and going to be doing.

For a young lady I hardly know, for the one I know of longing for flying her wings so high.

riska

Dear young lady,

So young, so proud

So vocal, so loud

Like a little kid, walking on a cloud

Dear young lady,

Daydreaming, oh so ambitious

Fast-walking, oh so adventurous

Like a little kid, oh so curious

Dear young lady,

Waking up, oh so early

Working out, oh so lively

In hopes that things would turn out to end happily

Dear young lady,

You may think of going to NYC for study

Or meeting a godly man to marry

Or maybe having a baby

Oh young lady…

Go ask yourself and think more deeply

Life is more than just walking in the grocery,

Taking things into the trolley

There’s so much more than just having the titles so many

There’s so much more than just having so much money

Oh honey…

What about the why?

Why you do what you do?

And why you want to be what you want to be?

It’s a more important task.

A more important question to ask.

I am betrayed.

I am betrayed,

By the good looks

And the enticing words

I am betrayed,

By the pretty innocent faces

And the sweet sayings

I am betrayed,

For just too many times

Giving away my trust

I am betrayed,

By the people who call themselves my friends

But friends won’t do such things but they did them anyway

I am betrayed,

And I keep questioning

I keep trying to make sense of everything

But I failed as many times I tried

I have a question,

Why aren’t people being honest?

Showing who they really are

Another question,

Why aren’t people being true to themselves?

Showing what they have in their hearts

And one more question,

Why are people wearing masks?

Like something has to hide

All the questions are wrong.

Maybe.

It was all always my fault.

I was being too naïve all these times.

I let my guards down too easily

And now that I am betrayed,

Once again,

It was all my fault.

I am falling in love.

simplicity

I am falling in love with simplicity,

Dancing under the falling rain.

Seeing my little kids praying before they’re eating.

Walking barefoot on white smooth sands.

I am falling in love with beauty,

Seeing the flowers bloom in my mama’s garden.

Seeing the colors of the rainbow in the afternoon.

Seeing the reddish cheeks of blushing lovers.

I am falling in love with the blue sky as well as the cloudy days.

I am falling in love with the green leaves as well as the colors of the fallen leaves.

Like the two colors of piano keys, both sunshine and pain color something we call life.

Both has to exist so we can learn how to appreciate,

How to handle,

How to respond,

How to love,

How to be thankful.

I am falling in love with life.

that I promise to strive,

As long as I am alive.

-superriska

*photo photographed and edited by superriska*

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

For us to ponder…

SMILE!when was the last time we put on a genuine smile like these?

when was the last time we just burst into laugh freely?

when was the last time we jump, play, and run without worries?

 

growing up sucks. we’ve gotta admit that. but growing up is part of our life cycle. that is for sure.

however, once in a while, take off your shoes and walk in the rain..

get with some friends, get some ice cream

look around and laugh at random things!

indeed, life is just not the way we used to know it.

because the older we get, the harder choices we make.

-superriska