Run Your Own Race

Last weekend I joined 2 days women conference that hosted by Enjoy Church called Adore Conference. I really had a great time there and I could feel that God recharged my spirit. There were 5 great sessions in that conference that led by Georgie Baxter, Lisa Bevere and Lisa Kai.

I can't share to you all what I have learned from those 5 sessions (I've learned a lot!) But I remember in one of the sessions, Ps. Lisa Kai talked about "Run Your Own Race". What does it mean?

***

We are as a human (especially as a woman), we are tend to compare ourselves to others. We are tend to compare our look, our personality, our status, our talent and even our ministry to others. "Oh.. why I can't be like that woman.." "Why I'm not as beautiful as her.." "Why I can't preach or sing like she does.." and so on.. We want to be in other people's race and we forget that actually God has given us our own race!

You are unique.. yes.. you are different than others.. and God has set a special plan for your life.. Run your race and you can encourage others to run their race as well.. Don't be jealous and don't compete with others.. Find out what God wants personally from your life and do it with your best!

***

I know it was a very simple message, but without realizing we are struggling with it in our everyday life. We live in a "social media" generation and sometimes it can be like a competition.. how many followers do you have, how many likes and thumbs-up do you get, how many friends do you have on facebook.. and actually through those things, we keep following others and we want to be like others or more than them. Are you agree with me? I don't blame social media, haha.. Honestly, there were times when I almost want to deactivate all of my social media.. But I decided not to do that, why? Because I know God still want me to use it to glorify His name and to encourage others to run their own race :)

There is only one Marcella Flaorenzia in this whole world, I want to run my race and finish it well. There is only one YOU in this whole world. Run your own race and finish it well. For His glory.


Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. -Galatians 6:4-5, MSG



When Marriage is Hard

Today is my parent's 33rd wedding anniversary, and I'm so grateful to see the journey of their marriage. It wasn't an easy one.. a lot of challenges, a lot of fights, a lot of tears.. but at the end I can see that their relationship grow stronger and they keep loving each other until now :)

I still remember when I was a child, when my parent had a big fight and they almost wanted to give up on their marriage (surprisingly I still can remember that moment!) but thank God they decided not to give up and I can see how God restored their marriage beautifully.. Can you imagine what would happen to me and my family if they decided to give up?

Marriage is hard.. yes, I agree with it. Even the Bible says that those who marry will face many troubles in this life (1Corinthians 7:28b). It takes a lot of hard work and efforts. It is not going to be easy, but it is all worth it :)


The first year of marriage between me and my husband was also very challenging, even until now. We still face a lot of trials, challenges, differences (and I think it is something that will never end until we die, haha..) but we can always choose how do we want to respond. Do we want to give up or do we want to let God shape us more through our spouse?

When I was still single, I remember someone said to me (or maybe in one of the sermons about marriage) that when we decided to get married with someone, we have to delete the word "DIVORCE" from our dictionary. So when we fight or when we argue with our spouse, or maybe when you feel that you don't love your spouse anymore.. the word "DIVORCE" would never be an option :) Instead, we will choose to fight for our marriage and make things right with our spouse..

But sadly, the percentage of divorce in the world these days is getting higher! I read one of the articles from theriches.com about World's 10 Most Divorced Nations, and here is the percentage in 2014:

10. USA: 53%
9. France: 55%
8. Cuba: 56%
7. Estonia: 58%
6. Luxembourg: 60%
5. Spain: 61%
4. Czech Republic: 66%
3. Hungary: 67%
2. Portugal: 68%
1. Belgium: 71%

This is something that we really need to pray for.. And if we are talking about world transformation, I think this is one of the areas that need to be transformed. My heart is broken when I see this percentage and I really pray so this percentage will go lower and lower in the following years.. Let's pray for every marriage who has been struggling with this, and also for their children, for our next generation.

When marriage is hard, turn to prayer. Pray for your spouse and ask help from God to enable you to love and forgive your spouse. It is hard, but nothing too hard for our God. He is able to restore your marriage and bring back all the love and joy into your marriage. Don't give up, and see greater things that God has prepared for both of you in the future! I'm praying for you right now.. xoxo




Perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist? Are you a type of person who always want everything to be perfect?

Yes, I am one of them... I am a type of person who always want my house to be clean (not only clean, but very very clean) and organized. I am a type of person who always double check everything that I write, everything that I read and everything that I do (my husband knows that I will always double check our front doors and garage to make sure they are locked every night, or even when I leave the house :p) I am a type of person who always have an agenda, goals and to-do-list everyday.

I know, there are few good things about being perfectionist.. but we really have to be careful with this perfectionism.

Perfectionists tend to be harsh critics of themselves when they fail to meet their standards. When perfectionists do not reach their goals, they often fall into depression. -Wikipedia

Sometimes I really need to remind myself that it's okay not to be perfect. And actually the truth is, none of us can be perfect.. nobody is perfect.. and there is no perfect life or a perfect job. The One who is perfect is only God himself.


Few days ago, my husband asked me to listen to this program that he listened on a radio. He knows that at that time I was really struggled with my perfectionism. And what they discussed on the radio, it is truly me! I have let my life to be driven by my perfectionism and it makes me stress. Trying to be perfect in everything is a very tiring job.

Focus on the Family – 20/05/15: Ending the Pursuit of the Perfect Life – Part I

Focus on the Family – 21/05/15: Ending the Pursuit of the Perfect Life – Part II


Through this radio program, God reminds me that actually He never expect me to be perfect (because He knows that I can't and I would never be..) but He wants me to depend on Him and surrender my life to Him. My husband also said to me that he never expect me to be a perfect wife.. "I want you to be a woman that God created you to be," that's what he said. So why do I need to push myself so hard to be perfect?

These days, it is very easy for us to be intimidated by others. For example, through social media.. people will always post something nice about themselves, about their family, their marriage, their house, what they have.. and everything looks perfect! We will see that they have a perfect life and we wish that we could have that too.. But don't be intimidated by that.. remember that there is no perfect life, and everyone also has gone through a hard times and hard seasons in their life.

Now look at yourself, be grateful with your life, with all that you have and all that you have done. You don't need to be perfect and try to impress people. You are good enough. And God loves you just as who you are..


God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
- Psalm 18:20, MSG

So... Being driven by perfectionism or being led by God? It is your choice.. :)




Diamond In The Rough

This morning I had a devotion from "Wife After God" book by Jennifer Smith. And I wanna share to you a bit, what she said in the chapter that I read about Diamond In The Rough...

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Diamonds have always been treasured as highly sought after gemstones throughout human history. They are resilient, strong, and beautiful. Diamonds are formed beneath the weight of the world. Despite the harsh conditions required to form a diamond, its name is derived from an ancient Greek word meaning unbreakable.


You are like a diamond; however, your worth is far greater! As you journey through life you will endure harsh conditions. There are so many different pressures that you may face daily. Pressures to be better, to be a superwoman, a wife that manages perfectly or a mom who does it all. Ridicule, rules, standards, and unrealistic expectations: chains wrapped around your heart, pushing against your soul, forcing you to conform to the world.

However, that is not the message found in the love story of Christ! Rather, His love says you are worth more and with Him you are unbreakable!

Like a diamond endures through time resulting in an exqusite sought after gem, you can endure every season and circumstance allowing each one to refine you, resulting in an exquisite God-fearing woman who is worthy, far more than diamonds, you are worthy! You are resilient, you are strong, you are beautiful!

***

Dear Lord,

There are so many pressures in my life. I feel heavy burdens at times and I also feel insecure that I don't always measure up to people's standards. I pray that you remind me daily to find hope in you, to rely on you and to trust what you say about me. Your opinion is truly the only one that matters!

Thank you for being my source of strength to persevere, my everything. May you continue to transform me into the woman you created me to be. Help me to see myself as beautiful. May your Holy Spirit guide me through every season, every circumstance, every pressure and every moment of intensity.

I pray that I can be a wife who endures for the sake of her marriage. Please bless my husband and release him of the burdens of this world. In Jesus' name, AMEN!


The pressure of this world cannot destroy me if I place my hope in God.



Honeymoon


Sebelum married: "Nanti kalian honeymoon ke mana?"
Sesudah married: "Kalian abis honeymoon dari mana?"
Setelah lama married: "Dulu kalian honeymoon di mana?"

Jadi pertama intinya, honeymoon itu identik sama tempat. Kalo punya budget gede, ada yang bisa honeymoon ke luar negeri or ke negara-negara yang terkenal romantis di Eropa. Kalo budget gak gede-gede amat, bisa ke luar kota (ke Bali or Lombok misalnya). But gimana kalo budgetnya bener-bener terbatas? Hmm..

Kedua, honeymoon itu identik sama newly wed, alias orang-orang yang baru abis married. Pasangan yang mau menikah juga biasanya excited mikirin rencana untuk honeymoon. But gimana dengan pasangan-pasangan yang udah lama menikah? Apa mereka masih bisa honeymoon? Hmm..

Jadi sebenernya, apa sih honeymoon itu?

A honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in intimacy and seclusion. This is the period when newly wed couples take a break to share some private and intimate moments that helps establish love in their relationship. This privacy in turn is believed to ease the comfort zone towards a physical relationship, which is one of the primary means of bonding during the initial days of marriage. -Wikipedia

So first, honeymoon is a getaway and it is not about the place. Jadi gak perlu sedih kalo kalian misalnya nanti gak bisa honeymoon ke Eropa or ke Korea (hehe..) apalagi kalo budget memang terbatas, we need to be wise as well :) Beberapa tahun yang lalu ada satu pasangan yang aku kenal di Indonesia, dan sebelum menikah, mereka bilang bahwa mereka berencana untuk honeymoon di Puncak. Jarang-jarang kan denger orang mau honeymoon di sana, hehe.. But I said, "Wow, that's great!" Karena mo honeymoon di mana aja sebenernya gak jadi masalah, yang penting bisa punya waktu berdua :)

Aku sama DM dulu juga budgetnya terbatas, kita gak pergi jauh-jauh, cuma nginep 2 malem di B&B di daerah mountain (DM cuma nyetir sekitar 30 menit dari rumah) but we had a great time :) Intinya, kita bisa punya quality time and intimate moment berdua without any distraction.. And ini juga bisa berlaku sewaktu kita kembali ke dunia nyata, hehe..

Kedua, buat aku, honeymoon gak cuma berlaku buat newly wed, tapi setelah kita udah menikah lama atau udah punya anak pun, quality time and intimacy with our spouse harus selalu jadi prioritas. Make sure setiap hari kita bisa punya waktu yang berkualitas dengan suami (mungkin after anak-anak udah pada bobo) or set time to have a special date (nonton, jalan-jalan or dinner berdua). Take a break, and enjoy your marriage relationship again.. again.. and again :)

Also enjoy physical (sexual) relationship yang udah Tuhan kasih sebagai hadiah pernikahan. Jangan biarin Iblis merebut hal ini dari kita. Setelah menikah, it is the BEST time for you to enjoy the physical (sexual) relationship with your spouse! (Bukan sebelum menikah lho ya..) Ini ada satu artikel bagus buat para married couples yang mau honeymoon lagi, hehe.. Click here:


And you know what, pernikahan itu sebenernya sama seperti hubungan pribadi kita dengan Tuhan. Di tengah-tengah semua kesibukan kita, we need honeymoon everyday with God. Take a break and spend quality time with Him. Building an intimate relationship with Him. Gak peduli tempatnya di mana, hehe.. And gak cuma berlaku buat orang-orang yang baru bertobat or lahir baru. Kita yang udah ikut Tuhan berpuluh-puluh tahun juga bisa tetep terus mengalami yang namanya "honeymoon everyday" :)


"Lord I pray for every marriage right now, so that You will strengthen their relationship as a husband and wife. Let your love flow into their hearts and let them experience 'honeymoon' again, everyday in their marriage. I also pray for everyone who is reading this post right now, so that they will have an intimate relationship with You as well. Let them experience your love everyday in their lives. In Jesus name. Amen."



 
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