Aside

Life Lessons as a 27

annice ultah
Last month I turned 27. Looking back at my life, I would say that my way of thinking is different from the younger me. I think because I have more life experiences than before. I’m not an expert in life, career or whatsoever, but I think some of the knowledge is worth sharing. So I decided to list down the things that I’ve learned in the past 27 years.

1. Friends come and go
I learned that friends I often hang out with would not stay with me forever. Friends come and go. They might get married in their early 20s and now have a different circle of friends, or they might have to move to another country. Well, in my case, a lot of my friends decided to move back to Indonesia after they finished their study. But you learn that even though you and your friends might go separate ways, true friends will always make effort to keep in touch.

A few years ago, I was having a hard time when some close friends had moved out of Perth. I wasn’t happy with the situations. My negative thoughts were thinking that I would not have friends anymore. But seriously, we have to fight off those silly negative thoughts. Start to get to know others. It’s never too late to meet people and make new friends.

2. Stop comparing
You will always be challenged to be content at any stages of your life. I’m not a competitive person, but there are times when I’m tempted to compare my achievements, my possessions, or simply my life in general with others. I need to remind myself that contentment and humility are the keys. I’ve learned to not only see a beautiful butterfly, but also to acknowledge that it comes from an ugly caterpillar who had gone through a process. Too often we only see the success of others, but not the struggle they have to go through.

Nobody has a perfect life, everyone has their own problems. Never think that the grass is greener on the other side, because the reality is not. So stop comparing, and be content with the life that you have.

3. Be gracious and forgiving
Forgive even though it’s hard. Forgiveness benefits you. It’s not for the sake of the person who has done you wrong, but it is for your own good. I believe at any stage of your life, you will always learn how to practice forgiveness. There were a few events in my life where I had to learn to extend grace and forgiveness to the people that hurt me. It was not easy to forgive, but it’s all worth it. You reap what you sow.

4. Love yourself and that’s why you need to take care of your health
I once heard that you must love yourself first before you can love someone else. It’s true in relation to taking care of your health. If you don’t take care of your health, would you be able to take care of your loved ones? Imagine if you were sick, they would have to take care of you instead.

When I was younger, I didn’t think much what I eat. But as I grew older, I began to understand the saying ‘you are what you eat’. That’s because I’ve seen the effect of eating healthy and non-healthy food.

5. Never stop learning
Graduation (for me it’s quite some time ago) doesn’t mean you stop learning. Read books and get knowledge! Learn about finance, health, creativity. Pick a new hobby, learn it. You’re only in your 20s! My pastor often said that your 20s is your learning curves. Once you reach your 30, you would have the foundation to build on it. Your 20s is the time when you absorb a lot of knowledge. You might fail, but you’ll learn how to get up and learn from your mistakes. Be content with your life, but never be content with knowledge!

6. Don’t forget those who love you
We live in the days when we rush to do a lot of things. Time has become something that is very expensive. Look at how you’re paid – you’re paid by hour rate! Often we forget that time is short too. One day your loved ones won’t be with you anymore. So appreciate the time and the moments if you can still spend time together with them. These include your parents, your closed friends and your sweethearts.

7. Save and invest early
If I could turn back to my early 20s, I would have started investing as soon as I started earning. It might not be your priority right now, but trust me it pays off when you get older. If you leave it to later years, you would have missed out on opportunity. And even if you fail in investing, let’s say the worst case scenario is you making loss, time is on your side. You still have a chance to either wait until you make profit or take it as your learning experience.

Hello (again) Blogging!

Just when I was about to create a new blog on WordPress, I came to realise that this login page was so familiar and I used to have an account here. So I gave it a shot, and it turned out that it still worked!! Yeay!

So here I am.. writing to give my awkward introduction, after my three years of absence from the blogging world.

I really thought that I had deleted this blog. I’m sorry I had abandoned you!. But I do have good reasons why I decided to stop blogging. One of them is that I didn’t spare enough time to do my online writing.

The story starts when I decided to reignite my passion for writing. And guess what, blogging should be one way to do so! But passion in writing is not the only reason why I started to blog again. I have thought for quite a long time that I haven’t live my best life. I’m not saying that I wasn’t grateful for the life that I have. I imagine my life was like a rubber band that was not stretched enough, and therefore lost its function.

What I mean with my best life, I think, is about living life passionately.  I don’t want to see my life passing by, and I have never had enough courage to pursue my dreams. Living constantly in fear of failure is not what God intends our life to be. That’s why I challenge and strengthen myself to live life.

Now that I found my old blog I’m glad that I don’t need to come up with a new blog name. You know it’s hard to find a catchy blog name.

Anyway, stay tuned for my next blog post :)

21 Days: Week 2 and 3

Well, it’s kinda late to post how my fast had been going, because I have ended my fast last week! And the result TA-RA…, I ate lots of meat yesterday. No-no, just joking.

I learned a lot through fasting. I believe when you fast, you seek God more than your regular bible reading or your prayer life. The Bible says in Hebrew 11:6 that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. As you draw closer to God, He reveals things that your physical eyes cannot see, gives you understanding for your problem and strengthens your weakened soul.

During my fast, I asked God which areas I need to pursue, which ones I need to prepare even before I could see the possibility, which ones I need to surrender to God. If you know what it mean, I will try everything I could but I will surrender to God’s way above anything else. So I need wisdom to differentiate those two.

God did answer me about that. But I can’t agree more that I was strongly intimidated during the fast. As I drew near in prayers, on the contrary I felt so defeated. I didn’t know where hope had left me with. The very negative thoughts had hit me almost every time. So many times during my fast I was on the verge of giving up. I felt like giving up on hope and ministry. The attack was so real that I had planned to talk to the leaders that I wanted to quit the ministry. Thanks God, I chose to stay calm and follow a whisper in my heart. Stay faithful! Your God is a faithful One.

I didn’t realize that it was the enemy’s attack until the end of my fast. Fasting is like running a race. The race is long, tiring and tough, but the prize of the race is much more rewarding than the race itself. Sometimes the enemy knows better and believes more strongly than we do. The enemy knows the potency in each everyone of us. He knows if we get into our destiny, we will be people of influence because we are abundantly blessed. And the enemy doesn’t want us to reach our destined place.

To conclude my 21- days fast, I have recommitted myself that I will finish the race no matter what happens. I wouldn’t easily give up because God himself never thinks of giving up on me.

21 Days Fasting: Week 1

Starting 2011, I have committed myself to begin with seeking God first above all. Before writing down my vision and goals for this, I’ll make sure that these goals are not merely for me but more like what God wants me to achieve this year.

So I decided to join in 21 Days Fasting Movement that is being held by Free Chapel, churches that are pastored by Pastor Jentezen Franklin. I was reading his book about fasting last year and my heart is moved to offer God more than my normal prayers. I decided that I wanted to fast.

So here I am! I began my fasting last Monday and today is my 6th day of 21 days fast. I printed out a copy of commitment sheet, writing down the reasons for fasting, such as: (1) In need of financial miracle,  (2) Salvation for the loved ones, (3) Dreams and goals for 2011 that only with God I can achieve, (4) Walking deeper in Spirit, (5) Ministry (H2O leaders and the congregation, vision and plans)

*Don’t worry about the numbers, they don’t mean the priority of the fasting.

During the fast, God has clearly spoken to me through the reading of scripture and prayers. Amazingly, He has spoken of all the aspects of my life that I have been praying for. Ministry, family, financial, romance and dreams. I can’t wait for His next revelation in the next few days.

God is reaffirming His promises. I feel like Abraham looking at the starry sky and imagining his children becomes God’s chosen nation. I am a little me looking at the sky of promises, believing God is bringing to pass a great purpose that my mind can’t even know how to reach it. There will be a set time when God fulfill every single prayer, every wish and dream, and things that I have never asked for nor heard of.

Lastly, I wrote down those visions that only my eyes of faith could catch. They might look silly for the time being, but trust me, when the fulfillment comes, it will just come natural. I encourage you to do the same. Write down your goals for this year, please! Humans often forget that good things come from the Lord. Some people, including me, tend to think that our great effort contributes mostly to our success. We forget that we had asked for them in prayers. Then when we receive the blessings, we tend to take them for granted.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know -

Jeremiah 33:3

What makes you feel alive?

When my heart is troubled, I always find myself easy to write poems. Taraaa! They just popped up in my mind without thinking hard about what to write about.

Oh well, call me pathetic! But I found that writing makes me feel alive.

What makes you feel alive? Things that make you alive might be God’s given seed to find out your dream. They could easily speak to your heart as your heart desires.

So, what makes you feel alive?

I wonder about… Comfort Zone

Have you ever realized about your comfort zone? Is that your career, your relationship, or even your fascinating dreams that might have drifted you away?

I believe that your comfort zone can be one of your biggest enemy to live in God’s perfect plan. When hardships come on your way, you may think hard what God wants in your life. Oh well, I did. And the hardship, I think, will make you understand a step deeper about God’s will.

At one time, I’ve noticed some Christians that hold tightly their business as though it was their main treasure. I’ve seen others that cling to a relationship. I just wonder what if all these comfort zones were suddenly taken away from you. What will remain in your life? Shouldn’t we pursue something that is eternal? Shouldn’t we pursue holiness and righteousness? Because God who has called us is Holy and Righteous. I believe that’s what matters most when we talk about our eternal relationship with God.

I wonder about… God’s heart

I’ve been wondering about God’s heart, and what He is thinking about me. Me? A small moving dot whose name is Annice – this is the view from the heaven. Obviously, we as human wouldn’t fully understand His mind. But…

I found an interesting fact in the bible. I’ve been reading the books of prophet in the old testament, (Isaiah, Jeremiah) and I do think that God’s mercy is still deeper even in His anger. I read some verses that showed God mourning for Israel’s unfaithfulness.

Not so interesting? Well, to me… it is. In His anger, He still loves His chosen ones. He just can’t hate His own children. And so… I wonder what if we, as His adopted as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, take the best place in His heart. If we please Him, how much more will His mercy and love be shown to our life?

Ps: I am not making any I-wonder series, btw. It just happens I am lazy to write a long post :)