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Monday, May 19, 2014

MEMOIRS: My Father

My friend from Virginia, sent me a video with its title 'My Redeemer Lives' from GOD TUBE with its link: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=8cf08faca5dd9ea45513
She also wrote the narration of the video as I write below:

A son asked his father, 'Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?' The father who, despite having a heart condition, says 'Yes'. They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying 'Yes' to his son's request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his father, 'Dad, let's join the Ironman together.'

To which, his father said 'Yes' .

For those who didn't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island.

Father and son went on to complete the race together.

When I was watching it, I really cried, it wasn't only a lot of tears, until I myself heard my crying sound. I hadn't cried so long after my husband was sick +2 years ago. So, what the reason did I become crying? I think I saw the reality story of this video. I saw how big the father loved his son. He never said 'No' to his paralyzed son that wanted to do something together to reach an uneasy and challenging goal. I saw the face and actions of the father who showed his truly love to his son. There were no complains but I saw them as great Team was on fire to reach an uneasy and challenging goal. They made it! I heard my crying sound louder and louder, like a child. I was worried if my daughter saw me like that, it made her confused or afraid why I cried like a little child. I thought I cried because how impressive I was and could not tell anything about this video with my words.

This movie reminded me about my father in Indonesia (I live in USA now with my American husband). When I decided to study to the university, he proposed to get retirement soon from Navy 1 year earlier. They asked him not to do it because they would send him to Japan but he refused it. He actually really wanted to go to Japan but he thought me was more important than going to Japan. He was planning to focus in his new business soon he had just started at that time. He said that he needed a lot of money to send me to the university, but if he just made money from the government, it would not be enough, so he wanted to build his business soon and he could make money more than he was in Navy. Right now after many years, his business has become like his dream.

His decision was really surprised me. From that moment I knew how much he loved me. It really influenced my study. I wanted to graduate in Agriculture Bachelor with great result. I didn't want to graduate with regular result. I wanted to show him that he didn't spend time to make more money for nothing to me. Finally, my hard efforts gave me great result, I passed with satisfactory graduated student and in the list of The 5 Best Students. I got "A" for my final comprehension through a lot of hard efforts. Thanks God, everything just went well. I was so proud of him and he was so proud of me.(*)


Published at Helium, Aug 11, 2008, http://www.beyondprose.com/index.php/memoirs-my-father-14-181702/

POEM: Father

MY  FATHER

in the morning you have left
in the evening you have come home
in the night you always pray
never gets tired, that's what I remember
never gives up, that's what I see
discipline strongly, that's what I follow
gives me the spirit for learning continually
sharpens the brain for the future
gives me the direction in action
speaks from 'a' to 'z' in advising
what enormous you are
I know he is just a human being
who has pluses and minuses
one thing I always know
there are no 'tired' words to effort
all he does, are for the family
I respect him and I love him


(Dedicated to my father who lives in Surabaya, Indonesia)
Coatesville, January 31st, 2007

Published at Helium, March 1, 2007, http://www.beyondprose.com/index.php/poetry-father-92-317104/

PET STORIES: My Beloved Dogs

When I was 27 years old, living at my grandma house with my brother, I ever had a first little, cute and lovely dog. I named him, Vinggo. I got him from a photographer in my city, Surabaya-Indonesia. He was a baby and I adopted him when he was around 3 months old. I and my brother were so happy he let us having him. We thought he was the best one than the others (his brothers and sisters, they were 6 or 7 baby dogs). He adviced us to take care of that baby dog carefully and well. Of course, we both did it very well enough.

I always brought him to have a bath twice a week so he always had good smell. He liked eating my leftover food, even it was the vegetable. He was so strange! Mostly dog used to like eating meat or young bones, but not him. He liked eating vegetables beside them.

I loved to play with him, He was my best friend in home when I was by myself, meanwhile my brother worked overnight at the hotel. He liked cuddling on my feed. As long as he could feel a part of my body, it made him so peaceful. It was a pity, everytime he jumped to my bed and cuddled on my feed when I was watching TV, because of his hair fell down everywhere, I didn't want him to stay on the bed with me. I created a nice, warm and cozy place for him for resting. I thought he liked it, but anytime he saw me sitting on my bed and watching TV, he prefered to cuddle with me.

When I and my brother weren't in home, I prepared enough food and drink for him. He looked so happy when we went home.

One day in an evening he messed up my plants. Automatically I screamed on him and made him so afraid. I realized that he didn't know it, that was why he wondered of the new stuff I had. He run on the corner and looked confused. I felt so bad, I came to him and tried to hug him, but he refused me. I let him alone several minutes. Finally he felt normal again after I showed him that I wasn't angry anymore.

The children also liked playing with him. Almost every noon when I was in home, my grandma's house had the visit several children who loved to play with him. Vinggo looked enjoying his noon with them. I was so happy I got other accompany.

One thing happened. One day I went home earlier from work, I opened the door and I didn't see him coming to me. It was strange! I looked around home and called his name, but I didn't hear his sound at all. I run to my neighbour and asked if another family visited my grandma's house and they said, "Yes." I said them that Vinggo was gone. I was sure my other family that didn't like a dog living in my grandma's house, let him run out of house by opening door widely. Of course he would go out and maybe he didn't know how to come home or maybe someone had kidnapped him.

I really cried. I felt like I lost a loved one in my life. I tried to look for him around the area where I lived. That bad news was heard by the children who loved to play with him almost every noon. They came to me and asked other children to help me looking for Vinggo. Some of them accompanied me by taking a walk, some of them drove their bikes but we had nothing clues to find him.

Everybody was sad. I called my family who had just visited and let them know that I lost Vinggo but they mentioned that they didn't know. I asked them why they didn't checked him before they left the house but I just got the statement, "It is just a dog. Why do you take it seriously?" Oh my God! I hung up the telephone. It hurted my felling. Really! I tried to make myself calm down by calling my best friend, my brother at the hotel, and my parent with the tears I could not stop it. My step mom came and tried to comfort me but it couldn't work. My brother helped me to find him in the next morning at the place where someone made a temporarily shelter for the kidnapped dogs and sold to the buyer but we also didn't find him. We went to the famous place where most of the sellers sold the dogs and we didn't find him either.

Many weeks I could not put away my sadness. I hoped a good person had found him and took care of him nicely like us did to him. I really missed him many years. He was gone at 7 months old. He was still a baby. After that happened, my grandma's house was so quite without him. I didn't like it. It made me remembering him again.

Many years I had been in trauma. I felt the animals were like the human being. He was like another family member of mine. So, when he was gone without I knew, it was like I had lost a family member who I didn't know where he was. You may believe or not, I have tears on my eyes when writing this story. (*)


Published at Helium, March 2, 2009, http://www.beyondprose.com/index.php/pet-stories-my-beloved-dogs-151138/

How to Date your Spouse

Dating my spouse after marriage is surely different than when I and my husband were still having relationship before marriage. I and my fiance (my husband now) lived far away separately by thousands miles. I was in Indonesia and my husband was in USA. We spent our dating times most on the emails and phone calls. I could not imagine if at that time only one day I didn't get his email or maybe I didn't hear his voice in couple days. But that was him, he was never absent sending email to me everyday or called me three times per week. Also I said that he didn't need to spend a lot of money for phone calls every three times per week or even more than that. He replied, it seemed cheaper than we spent together every weekend to have lunch or dinner at the restaurants or had a date outside in USA. Hearing what he said, I could not claim it. I think he was right, and of course the frequency of the emails he sent and phone calls he gave, those made me so happy and felt closer to him. Gatting his emails and hearing his voice on the phone, those made me peace.

Now after almost 8 years of our marriage and we have a cute, smart and beautiful daughter, that situation above isn't same. We are busy to do our daily activities, our house, our jobs, etc. I can see him and talk to him everyday, but having dating privately looks little difficult, because of the different work schedules we have.

Although we face it together our marriage life that is still full with love, trust and loyalty, and feeling we find a little difficulties to have dates, we don't give up, especially for me.

Dating my spouse for me is a simple way because I am just a simple person whom my husband loves and gives a big trust on. I always cook great food and he loves it. Sometimes he wants to bring it to share the food with a friend or some friends at work. Then he calls me from work and tells me how good the food is. Sometimes he puts the friends on the phone so I can hear them adoring my food. It makes my husband so proud of me and loves me more and more.

Sometimes I send an e-card to show how I love him especially for the special day, like his Birthday, Valentine Day, Fathers Day, our Anniversary, Christmas Day or New Year. I always surprise him with different gifts, or even it is only my own poem for him I write on a nice paper. He loves it because it comes from my heart.

I like playing on his skin, and it makes him feel likes the signal that I want to make love with him although I don't, but finally we enjoy it together and sometimes bring us to make love.

Once a year we can schedule to plan a small vacation out of city and stay in the hotel just one night and from this way, we will create a great memory for both of us.

One key for me to date my spouse is just to make him happy and he feels like a special needed person for me. I don't need to spend a lot of money to do it but here I am, through my simple ways as a simple person I have brought our dating worthy, memorable, enjoyable, and sweet.(*)


Published at Helium, March 26, 2007, http://www.relating360.com/index.php/how-to-date-your-spouse-13-46030/

Success Writing Story

I almost didn't believe when I got an email from the most Indonesia prestigious public magazine's editor that my writing about a book review had been published. They sent me a link showing my article was there with my name was printed next to it. I also was so amazed how much money I got from them in just one full page in writing. It was like an average of Indonesian's income. I couldn't believe it, since that time I understood why writing world became one of the career most the people chased for. That moment had given me more confident, I felt like I could do well in writing and got a great confession.

I think it was a beginning of my serious adventure in writing. Actually I have long story in my writing world. Many friends said that writing was difficult but it wasn't for me. When I was a little child, I had been trained by my father to write. I asked him what the topics I should write. He said that I could write anything, about the activities after waking up in the morning, my activities after school, my activities for the coming holiday, etc. In the beginning I found the difficulties but after trying many times, finally I could do it although it was just couple lines in my writing. I thought at that time writing was easy, It wasn't like I thought before.

My first short story titled 'Kidung Kasih buat Lintang' was written in Indonesian when I was in Junior High School. As a teenager (13 y.o.) who wrote a such uncommon thing made me very excited, especially it was published in the first edition of my school magazine, then I kept writing several poems there and they kept them published.

I was so lucky I still could continue my writing when I was in Senior High School because I had 3 close friends who had the same interest in writing. We got involved in several writing competitions or sent our writings to the school wall magazine and local daily newspaper. The very fun thing from this activity was if everybody got their writing published and got honorarium or other stuffs from the sponsors, we would share them each other. But after I went to the college, my writing activity was totally stop instead doing many paper-works especially many homeworks from my laboratory class. This situation continued till I had a job that kept me so very busy and never thought to have desire again in writing.

Thank God! after I moved to USA, four years later, a new online Indonesia news based on citizen journalism attended in cyber world. I was so glad, finally my desire in writing appeared again especially after I did blogging. I also registered as a member in an English writing site, Helium, to improve my English skill in writing. I enjoyed every story and poems I wrote and got rewards there.

Now I am running my three own blogs, they are my personal Blog, my published stuff Blog and my daughter's Blog. I totally worked hard to make these blogs beautifully and interesting to be read and visited by the visitors. What I did for those three blogs were amazing. Till right now I have gotten 39 Blog awards from my Blogger friends for my personal Blog that has been running since February 2006, and 2 (two) awards for my daughter's Blog that has been running since August 2007. My published stuff Blog is a new Blog I created last month in November 2008 since I have published my first e-book and my own classic calender that contains my 24 own photographs taken from my own garden and a poem of mine.

I'm also a freelance writer at Helium, a writer team at Cross Written and an author at The Daily Avocado, a new online magazine. Being a freelance writer at Helium was a very smart step I ever took. In there I can really practice my English writing skill and I am so proud of myself because I have written 59 articles including poems and get 67% in writing score. I'm sure one day with my consistently writing in this site, I will reach at least 2 writing stars.

Another site, Cross Written is a devotional Blog which the founder invited me as a writer there with some other Bloggers he had choosen already. We never meet each other and we just meet from blogging. He said that he liked my writings at my personal Blog. They inspired him, were written well and smoothly. In just one year of its anniversary, we were so proud to publish our first devotional e-book that was free to be downloaded. Since that time the visitors at this Blog increased.

Now I'm in progress to finish my first book that I'll write in series after I published my two e-books last month. Although they are self published but they are a good start for me to be a confident writer who just knows how to publish e-book/book in USA publishing world.

Honestly, the world of writing becomes one of my interests beside landscaping and broadcasting. If most other people write for money or hobby, but is not for me. Writing becomes a part of my life. Every thought, feeling, and imaginaton about something, I express them through my writings. There is a special thing that I can not say in writing. I just feel free, comfortable and satisfied to express everything I like, I think and I fell without any interuptions from the others. The various comments I got from writing, either from my own Blogs, and other sites I join with become the special supports for me to keep me writing and writing, better and better again.

One day, I'm sure after I feel more confident in my self-publishing after finishing my series books, I'll write an interesting topic about myself who married with an American man and moved to USA with many interesting stories that will be published by a great publisher! I should be patient to wait this moment happens in my life. I just need a high discipline attitude to keep writing well to reach my dream. This is what writing success means to me. We don't need to wait becomes a popular writer or a best seller book. Writing success is about mindset. If we say that we are success in writing, our action will bring us to do the effort to be a success writer.(*)


Published at Helium, December 2, 2008, http://www.beyondprose.com/index.php/writing-writing-world-memoirs-in-writing-memoirs-of-success-writing-success-writing-story-166077/

POEM: Hope

When the trials come in my life
I should ask, "Why?"
But I don't
Cause I know He permits them
When the trials come in my life
I should say, "I am tired"
But I don't
Cause I know He examines me
When the trials come in my life
I should scream, "No!"
But I don't
Cause I know He values every step I have made
When the trials come in my life
I should run away
But I don't
Cause they never go away
When the trials come in my life
I should not care
But I don't
Cause they are the part of my life
When the trials come in my life
I just say, "Please, help me!"
"Please, give me the strength to face it!"
"Please, give me Your hand to lift me up!"
"I can not stand without You"
"Please, don't go!" "Be with me!"
When finally I see the sun rises
I know what He means
I know what He has planned
He wants me becomes better and better
As a candle, a light giver
Then I hear He says, "Well done, My child"
"Peace be with you"


Published at Helium, January 3, 2009, http://www.beyondprose.com/index.php/hope-poetry-3-162071/

Best Friend

Yes, it is OK. Let me explain little bit about this theme according my experiences that I write them below.

What does the best friends mean for me? If I consider them as my best friends, they should be the persons that I can trust one hundred percent. I should be able to confide in them knowing that they will not spread my news to other people. They are also the place where I feel comfortable to talk to and get the great support from. There are some criteria that I consider someone becomes my best friend. He/she is a loyal person, a good listener, a trustworthy person, spending time together, caring about me, avoid expectations and being himself/herself without pretending to make me like her/him.

I had several best friends and some close friends in Indonesia. They were the friends where I always came to share anytime I needed. They were also good listeners and they were never bored every time I shared about something. As a human being, I need someone to talk to. I felt good every time I had talked to them although I knew it didn't solve my problems but it could give me the fresh energy in facing my problems. They were my great friends I ever had in my life. Through them, I got the supports from their prayers, their inputs and advice.

After I moved to USA, I felt something lost. It was my best friends and close friends. Although we still keep in touch till right now via phone and email but it can not substitute the quality of the conversation if we meet and talk each other face to face.

After I married, my husband has been my best friend. He is the place where I can go to tell my sadness, my happiness, my worry, my dreams, my feelings, etc. He is also the place where I want to laugh together, to share everything and also the place where I want to throw my anger, my disappointed, etc. What a perfect best friend! If before I had some friends with different characters and different purposes to tell about, right now I just have one person, a place where I can tell everything.

I know he is not a perfect person because there are nobody perfect but I believe he is the best person God has given me to be my husband. As a husband that God has given to me, he should be a safe place whenever and wherever I want to talk about and to talk to. Trust is a single miracle word that can build the healthy relationship in the marriage life. Without TRUST, how can the marriage life will be survive?

On Sunday, October 5th, it was our sixth Anniversary. There were no special present I wanted to expect beside a HOPE that my husband would be always my best friend forever and ever. (*)


Published at Helium, Oct 21, 2008

POEM: Clock

tick tock tick tock
hand of clock is moving
tick tock tick tock
counting the seconds

tick tock tick tock
time is changing
tick tock tick tock
changing the day

tick tock tick tock
going forward
tick tock tick tock
showing the life time

tick tock tick tock
it is the sound of time
tick tock tick tock
going forward never backward

tick tock tick tock
there is on the wall
tick tock tick tock
it will stop on its time


Published at Helium, Dec 19, 2008

POEM: Rock of Life

I put my hands up to You
holding Your hands tightly
I lay my body down on You
feeling Your comfort nicely
I stand my feet on You
reaching Your support straightly

I am strong and not weak
when I stand on You
my Rock of Life

I still stand perfectly
between storm and thunder
because
I stand on You
my Rock of Life


Published at Helium, Nov 30, 2008

Christmas Reflection Story

"Life" Present is the Best Christmas Present I ever received. Below is the story I try to write why I say that "Life" Present is the best Christmas present I ever received directly from God.

Saturday, early in the morning, December 23rd, 2006

The following road from Walmart, Parkesburg to Route 30 was so quite. I was so peace in my driving to home. I saw several cars in front of me got ready to move and crossed the intersection on the green light and only me who turned right. After finishing my right turning and starting to move straight suddenly "Brak!" ..I had no any idea where a Big Trailer Truck came from and hit my left car, exactly on the left door. I just remembered I screamed automatically and could not handle the stirring. My car spun several times and finally hit the curb. I was so lucky there was no other cars behind me. If not, I didn't know how I would be.

I could go out from the car easily because the left door was opened and had terrible damage. I tried to see in the dark if the Trailer Truck Driver stopped but he didn't. So with my bleeding left hand I tried to get a help but there were no drivers passed by. I decided to walk in the middle of the street and waiting for the other drivers passed by. Around 1-2 minutes finally I saw a car came by. I lifted my both hands and moved them crossed giving the sign to stop and I yelled, "Help! Help!" but she/he didn't stop neither were other second and third cars. I almost gave up and .thanks God the fourth car stopped that came from the same road where I came from. I told him what was happened with me. He wanted to bring me to the Police but I refused him. I showed him my bleeding left hand and I didn't want to leave my car. I asked him to call the Police. Then I saw 2 other cars stopped and the drivers called 911. I told them what was happened. One of them was a Nurse. She helped me carrying out some stuff from inside the car. In my panic situation I still could find my cell phone and made a call to my husband.

Around 3 minutes the 911 crews and Policemen came. Sometimes I screamed when they tried to touch my left hand. It was so pain and very cold. My left hand was shaking, maybe because of the opened skin and cold weather. When I told them everything about a Trailer Truck Driver passed the red light with the high speed, a man who came couple minutes after them said, "I was driving". Then I stared at him and yelled him, "You did it! What was happened with you? Why you drove so fast?...". I hadn't finished my words, he stood up and left me walking to my car. After that I didn't see him again.

A Policeman said to me that they had had him. I hoped they would ask me more questions but they didn't. It was a pity there were no evidences. I just could hope the truck driver would tell the real story.

They brought me to the Emergency Room at Brandywine Hospital. They did the X-ray to my left fingers. Thanks to GOD they were fine, no broken bones. I still kept cleaning my whole body from the small pieces of the mirrors. The Doctor said that they designed the mirror like that so it would not hurt the passengers when they got the accident. I found them on my eyes, hair, my back and many in my mouth. It made me spiting many times.

After around 5 hours in the Emergency Room, they let me go home because there were nothing to be worried about. The rent car man picked me up and drove me home. My husband hugged me and glad seeing me fine. But after he knew how the car looked like, he was sure that was a great miracle that I was still alive. My car was totally damaged of the left side and it was a strange to see that I was still alive and didn't have serious injury in my body

Sunday afternoon, December 24th, 2006

I called my brother telling him about my car accident. I said to him that I was safe because I wore the seat belt and because of God had protected me too. HE saved my life. I never missed to pray before leaving the house especially every time I went to work.

After I finished telling the whole story, he asked me when and what time the car accident was happened. I answered him and then I heard he said, "How could it happened with us. I got a motorcycle accident too at the same day but couple hours earlier than you. I was Ok, I just had small wound on my hands and knees. And the funny things, there were nobody there as the evidence. It was same like you. Oh. this is Christmas present for us". We laughed together. Inside of my heart said, "Thank you, GOD! I am still alive."

I thought what my brother said was true. Our safety from the accidents are the present from Him. "Life" present was the most important in the life. I said to my husband that God had given me Life' as the Christmas present of that year. I would never forget it. My life was more important than anything, so I still had a chance to serve Him through my family, my friends, the community around me and other activities that needed my help.

Monday, December 25th, 2006

It was Christmas. Although I felt whole of my body was so pain and my head felt strange, I never stopped to thank to God. I still had Christmas to celebrate with my whole family. Everybody looked so happy when they looked at me smiling. It was a sign that I had no sadness but thank to God. My car insurance had taken care of everything, so there were nothing to be worried of.

Thank you God for all of your blessings and the Life' present you had given me already. Christmas 2006 was my special Christmas I ever had.(*)

Published at Helium, Oct 3, 2008

Success Definition

What does 'success' mean to you? I think before we talk about this interesting word, we should know about its definition.

Several resources I got, they said that 'success' is:

1. Success means different things to different people. For some, monetary reward is a measure of success. Yet others have multiple definition of success.

a. The Different Areas

They measure it across a few areas. It can be career, health, spiritual, emotional, time or financial. As an example, one can be successful in one's career but not emotionally. Of course, this list isn't exhaustive - so you can add areas that are relevant to you.

To find your own definition of success you need to dig deep within yourself and question your values in life. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are the things that are important to you? By answering these questions you can then come closer to your own definition of success. Be aware that this can be a long process. You may not get the answers so quickly. But it is alright. Define your measure of success, one at a time.

b. It is A Journey

When defining your success, remember this important thing. Success is a journey. It has multiple peaks and not one ultimate pinnacle. One success builds on another. Setbacks and mistake will also help you build success. At different periods of your life, success is defined differently. (http://www.career-success-for-newbies.com/)

2. Success is a mindset (Jennie S. Bev)

Two of those resources above are enough for me to define 'success', and brafely I will say that I am a success person because I have a happy life with my own family although I am just a simple person who becomes a lovely wife for my husband, a lovely mother for my children, a good person to be a friend to my friends, a good and loyal associate at my work, a responsible and loyal person in doing the activities that I like to do them, and as an inspirational person to the readers who they might think I am as their inspirational person to them (thank you), although I don't have millions dollars at my bank account, I drive my own car, 1997 Oldsmobile (silver sedan) that I bought with my own money after 1 year working and put away 20% of every paycheck I got, living in a cute and small house with almost a half acre land, feeling free to express everything through my writings, feeling happy in doing a lot of things that I like to do, and exciting in doing several things in order to reach several achivements in the future.

You might have a giant house or have millions dollars in your bank account, a good career, as a famous person/artist, going to vacation every year to another country, or driving an excellent car, but if you have unhappy family or you feel unhappy by yourself, feeling not safe, feeling nobody loves you and maybe they love you because of a certain purpose; do you think you still consider yourself as a success person? I don't think so.

Success is not a happiness, but a happiness in doing and having something that I do and enjoy, it will bring me to be a success person.(*)


Published at Helium, January 25, 2008

The Art of Giving

What do you think when you hear about the word of 'giving'? Most of us think that giving is about giving something, either it is money or other things. Or we can say every giving has a purpose in order to expect someone does something as in return or not. For several examples: we give a special gift to our children when they celebrate their birthday. It can be a cake, a card, a small gift or having dinner outside, etc with a purpose, of course to make them happy and show that we care and love them.

Do you ever do the volunteer? Do you think the 'volunteer' action is a part of giving?

If I answer this question, my answer is "Yes". When someone is doing the volunteer work, he is giving his energy, his attention, etc to do something that he is doing. We can take several examples, volunteer at the church community, volunteer at the school program, etc.

Since December 2006, I have been registered as a Citizen Journalism at Kabarindonesia.com, an Online Indonesian News. I have contributed my thoughts, my opinions, my devotional stories, my knowledge, etc, through my writings. For me, this 'writing' action can be said as 'giving'. It means I give my 'writings' to the readers without anything in return (honorarium). When I got the comments saying they were inspired by my writings, this statement was more than enough to make me so happy. It means I have contributed the useful things to the readers.

Recently, I also do the different way in giving. One of my dreams, I really want to contribute every single of my published stuff to them who are in need. What are they?

1. My first published e-book, What Prayers does Mommy Teach Me, I dedicate to Unreached Children Program. This program has reached the Asian countries and Indonesia has been in their list. I have been couple years as one of their supporters. Now, I would like to do more through one of my creations.

2. My first classic calender 2009, BEAUTIFUL GARDEN in bloom is dedicated to my son, William. He has cystic fibrosis and has been struggling since he was child. He is a very smart and strong young man and I'm so proud of him. Knowing the first time that he has had this chronic disease, I have supported him through my daily prayers. The information I ever heard from my husband that he was almost die when he was 14 years old, this gave me tears on my eyes. He said that maybe through my prayers, God will give him the longer life. When I heard again he said that to me, I really could not stop my tears.

Yes, this is one of creations I dedicate lovely to him. All the revenues of every single of sold calender, I will contribute to Cystic Fibrosis Research. How do I get the revenue? I get 30% discount from the publisher during this holiday season and all of the discount I get will be contributed to Cystic Fibrosis Research. Its price is included Tax, shipping and handling, and small cost for Paypal administration.

3. My second published e-book, Dancing in My World, I dedicate it to the cancer research program. The motive why I support this program, because the people who I know well have been died because of the cancer. My relative, Tante Ditje (alm), who ever supported me several years when I was in university. She passed away last year because of breast cancer; my Vocal Group friend in Indoensia, Linda Sigar (alm) who passed away in April this year. She had ovarian cancer; Om Yossey (alm), my best friend's father had passed away because of the lung cancer; my mother in law who I never see her before. My husband told me that she also passed away because of a cancer. Special to my sister in law, Cathy who has been cured from the ovarian cancer, I am so very happy for her. Thank God!

I'm sure every small donation is made will be very useful to support this research. More donations they get, more people in the world will be saved.

The examples above are the variety of how we can give something' to other person, our community, other people, foundations who are in need.

Actually, to be a giver, we don't need to do the big things to show that we act as a giver. We can do every simple thing in our life in giving especially to our family member, our attention, our love, etc.

Art of giving is an art of the action. We can express that we care to the others from our action in giving, we can express that we love to the others from our action in giving through our own ways.

Actually, God has showed us about this. He gave His Son to be born in the world and died to save the world. He showed His love to us with this great action. He has taught us an Art of Giving, showing His greatest love that many people haven't known yet. As the receivers who get this Great Gift freely, we should know how we act. A good receiver knows how to act to bring this Great Gift to other person.

The art of giving, shows that there are many kinds of way we can express a word of 'love', 'care' from our actions in giving.(*)


Published at Helium, December 9, 2008

Should Mothers Bring Their Children To Work?

Should mothers bring their children to work? My answer is Absolutely NO.

My youngest daughter was in the Pre-School last year. There were 10 kids in the class. One day when I picked her up, I saw a little girl and she looked so younger than other kids in the class. In my mind at that time, I didn't think that she was one of the teacher's daughter because I believed the rules of the school didn't permit it or maybe it hadn't mentioned about this case yet. Then suddenly the teacher came to me and introduced her little daughter to me. Finally I knew that she was hers. She said that her Mom was sick so she wasn't able to take care or watch her. That was why she brought her to the school.

Couple days later, It was happened again and it was different other little girl and finally I knew she was a youngest daughter of teacher's assistance. What a suprise! She said that the lady who used to take care of her daughter was sick and there was nobody in the family taking care or watching her daughter that was why she brought her to the class too.

Another day I ever saw both of those young girls were in the class too. What I saw, of course the attention of both teachers were disturbing between their daughters and the kids in the class. The attention of the students were also disturbed.

So what we could see from those both cases above? The attending of their little daughters in the class always disturbed their teaching and the students learning time, no matter what they mentioned the reasons, they should prepare it before in finding the solutions if something was happened like they said. Like or not, difficult or not, they should not bring their kids to the class. There were several center places for the kids for Working Mom. Of course, they were little expensive but it was a risk being a teacher. Am I right? Or maybe the Administrator in the scholl didn't take the problem from this case as long as they are just fine (The teacher's kids and the students in the class)? How about if one of the Pre-K students hurted their little daughters without purpose or its opposite?

For me no matter what the reasons, they should not bring their young kids to the class. Beside it was about their safetiness, also the attention of the teachers and students?

I think this casses can not be followed to other cases for Mom who works at the other places too. Beside it will not look profesional for the customers, it would invite the negative things in their friend's mind at work, for an example, their concentrating. (*)


Published at Helium, June 9, 2008

Tips for Healthy Skin

I had many small red pimples that almost covered my entire face when I was a college student. I lived at a small room in a boarding house. One day the owner came and spoke to me. She just wanted to let me know that she was concerned about my face. Then she recommended that I should clean my face with a cleanser and toner. I thought she was right. From that time I tried so hard to be disciplined in cleaning my face at least once per day with those products.

When I chose them. I first need to know what type of skin I have. My skin is in the oily skin category, so I should buy them special for the oily skin. Because at that time I was a student, so I should choose the products those were not expensive at all but could help me as my purpose: to clean my face well without any effect. I chose the products those contents natural ingredients. With using those natural skin care products, it helped me feeling safe because they didn't contain chemicals. Then I followed the directions on the back of the product and I apply them at least once per day before I went to bed.

Through my patience, in just a couple months, my face cleared up, without many red pimples everywhere on my face. My old friends could not believe it. They thought I used a special face medicine to get rid of my small red pimples. I told them honestly, I just used the cleanser and toner every time I came home, especially before I went to bed, but they still didn't believe me. They thought I was hiding a personal secret in taking care of my face problem. Since that time, after I knew and experienced how great those cleanser and toner were. I realized I had saved my face, I never stopped using those products in my daily basic beauty routine. Besides cleanser and toner, I also used a moisturizer (same brand). This skin care product helped my face avoid dryness, especially at the time when I lived in tropical country, Indonesia.

For my whole body, I always use lotion after taking a bath/shower everyday. The frequency would be higher when the winter comes. I would use it every time I feel to need it. In the summer, I always protect my skin with anti-UV products every time I go out under the sunshine.

After I moved to the USA, those products I mention above always accompany me in the daily activity in taking care of my skin. After I reached 30 years old, I have chosen the skin care products that are extra strength (including with anti-aging) especially for my moisturizer and eye cream products. Those products can reduce the wrinkles around my face and my eyes.

Those treatments I mention above aren't complete without following a good daily life style. What is that?

- I drink water a lot more than any juice or soda. Every morning after I wake up and before going to bed, drinking a glass of water is a duty for me and is one of my good habits. - Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits is a must for me in my daily meal. - I always avoid eating a lot of food that contains a lot of fat, like peanuts or peanut butter, etc. everyday. I will consume them when I just want to eat them. These kinds of foods will boost the problems on my face, like pimples easily.

- To maintain our stamina and build the stronger muscles,I and my husband always take the schedule in the middle of spring-in the middle of autumn, to walk together at the park. Out of those seasons, we do our regular fitness at home. I like doing the aerobic gymnastics. The stronger muscles will show the tighter skins.

You may or may not believe that right now most people believe I am about 19 years old. Even my husband says I look younger than they guessed. My friends at work scream when they hear my real age (38). I am not very tall so this adds to the same illusion.

Well, I might be missing some details in the paragraphs above, but I believe everything I wrote can give simple guidance/tip to promote the healthy skin for the readers. Just in case you are interested to know more tips for healthy skin, I suggest you visit this website at http://www.prevention.com/cda/homepage.do. (*)



Published at Helium, March 15, 2008

Stay at Home Mom Story

Proud to be A Stay at Home Mom

This question I would like to ask to every stay at home mom either work at home or not who is reading my short and simple story. "Are you proud being a stay at home mom?"

I was a stay home mom with a baby who was born in January 2004. Around a year of her age, most of my friends in Indonesia asked me why I didn't work. It was strange for them knowing that I was being a stay at home mom because when I was still in my country, Indonesia, before married in USA, I was a workaholic. I was tired to explain that I didn't want to work and would like to focus in raising my baby until the time came and I would be ready to work someday. I also tried to explain to them that I didn't want to send my baby to babysitter while I worked with many other reasons. They were shocked when I told them how I enjoyed being a stay at home mom at that time. I thought they just felt strange hearing a statement from someone who they knew before as a workaholic person.

Yes, I was never shy or felt not confident to answer every question coming from my friends that I enjoyed being a stay at home mom, raising my baby myself, taking care of her, cleaning the house, cooking, and other housekeeping activities. They didn't know and felt as I enjoyed the joy of being a stay at home mom who took care and watched my baby growing everyday. I was proud to be a stay at home mom who always woke up every morning and prepared the breakfast, cooked for lunch and for dinner, cleaned the house, did the laundry, and had a lot of time to read many books that gave me the knowledge in raising the baby, how cooked the delicious food without needed a lot of time, tried many kinds of recipes from around the world, etc. From that time, I had learned many things new for me as a person who just moved from different country to USA. Yes, I really enjoyed my life although I didn't work and make money. My baby was everything for me. She was my future life. I wanted to be 100% for her in her growing periods.

My husband also supported me in every way I did. I liked cooking, so he almost gave me presents or bought a small surprised gift of cooking tools. He liked the food that I cooked. I was happy every time he gave the compliments to the food I had cooked. Maybe if I worked at that time, I could not have enough time to cook a delicious food everyday because I should take care of the baby after coming back from work.

So, why other person complained meanwhile I didn't complain about my situation and enjoyed my life being a stay at home mom? The status of being a stay at home mom wasn't so bad at all for me. I didn't care what my friends asked as long as I was happy with my family. My family was the most important for me than working out site and making a lot of money. Of course we needed money, but it wasn't the priority while my husband could work and made enough money for his family. The happiness was the goal in the family life and I had it. I was sure someday I would find something I worked on it either from home or not. And, yes.right now when my daughter is 4 years and a half, I become a part time associate and work at home online as Managing Editor for an online Indoensia News, www.kabarindonesia.com. I still take part time job so I can have more time to take care of my daughter, prepare her school, drive her to school and pick her up, cook everyday, etc. When my daughter is going to pre-K, I will have a lot of time to work online before picking her up from school. When my husband comes back from work, I should get ready to prepare going to work. What a gorgeous life. There are no substitute for me to be a mom who has a lot of time for her child. She is my priority. My husband and I has already seen the result, my daughter is growing great even my husband ever said to me honestly that he never saw a child like our daughter before. Yes, she got all our attentions in the very important periods of her growing age. My husband is so proud of her and me. I also thank to him who has given a great support in everything I do. Without her support, I would never be success that I was ever being a stay at home mom 100%.(*)


Published at Helium, Sept 1, 2008

Reflections Favorite Biblical Verses

It has been so long till right now when I find the inspirational Biblical verses, I always write them on my special book. Beside they can be a reminder of the God's word & give me the strength, I also use to enclose them as the supported biblical verses in my Christian writings either at my Blog or other Group Christian Blog where some talented Blogger in writing write there.

The Biblical verses also reflect us in comunicating with God. They are as God's words can be the messages in every single condition and situation we have in our life. They can be the encouragements, reminders, advices, giving us the strength, etc.

Some of my friends also sometime send me the Biblical verses to share with me and I always thank to them as I have been in their thought. One day, one of my good friends from Indonesia sent me a topic about Biblical verses as the answers when we called God. Below is the reflection I have learned from it.

When we call somebody, we might get an answer directly to somebody whom we want to talk to, or we just hear the answer machine and leave a message there, or we must press the other numbers to direct the person we want to talk to, or we just can leave a message to somebody else who answer our phone, or the operator will answer it. Those all mean that somebody whom we want to talk to isn't available in 24 hours everyday.

But it would not be happened if we call God. He is always available in 24 hours a day, in 7 days a week. We can call Him anytime we want. There are no Operator, so He would listen our voice directly. He is never too busy to listen and answer our calls. When we call Him, He would answers us. When we cry asking His help, He would says, "Here I am." (Isaiah 58:9)

I hope these emergency numbers would help you and I in every single situation we have as blessing in our life. Amen.

When we condole, press John 14
When we are disappointed by somebody, press Song of Solomon 27
If we want to fruit, press John 15 When we sin, press Song of Solomon 51
When we are in worry, press Matthew 6:19-34
When we are in danger, press Song of Solomon 91
When we feel so far from Him, press Song of Solomon 139
When our faith needs to be strengthened, press Hebrews 11
When we feel alone and afraid, press Song of Solomon 23
When our life in bitter, press 1 Corinthians 13
To know the secrets of Paul's happiness, press Collossians 3:12-17
To know the meaning of Christian, press 1 Corinthians 5:15-19
When we feel disappointed and be left, press Romans 8:31-39
When we want peace and calm, press Matthew 11:25-30
When the world is seen bigger than Him, press Song of Solomon 90
When we want the Christianity guarantee, press Romans 8:1-30
When we are on the go, press Song of Solomon 121
To Big challenges, press Isaiah 55
When we need a brave for a duty, press Joshua 1
To know how we can build a good relation to the others, press Romans 12
When we think about wealth, press Mark 10
When we are in depression, press Song of Solomon 27
When we are in financial difficultiness, press Song of Solomon 37
When we loose trust to the others/somebody, press 1 Corinthians 13
When the people around us look like not good, press John 15
When we give up in our work, press Song of Solomon 126
When we find small world and we feel big, press John 19(*)


Published at Helium, July 21, 2008

What To Do if You Win the Lottery

This question 'What to do if you win the lottery?' is very familiar I hear from many persons who I know. Even I ever asked this question to my husband when he looked so busy with his power-ball numbers. Without any long thinking, he described what he wanted if he won the lottery, from the private jet/airplane, having own hospital for the poor people in my country (Indonesia), etc. Those are general.

If I get that question or someone asks me that same question, the first thing I would tell him that I really don't need hundreds million dollars in my life. I am pretty sure when I win a very huge lottery (around hundreds millions dollars), right away, at that time, I can not close my eyes, I can not sleep very well. Of course, my heart will full with a huge happiness because I have a lot of money but I am sure beside on it, on the corner of my heart I will have a great worries. I worry about my safety, my family member's safety. Although I will have some bodyguards, for the example. It means that my life will change drastic, from 'freedom' to 'being body-guarded'. It will make me not comfortable and not enjoyable.

GOD said in His Word, "Where your treasure is, there are your heart!" So, if there are some alternatives, I would prefer to choose not hundreds million dollars, but some million dollars is just more than enough for me. I would take 10% from its net to contribute for God's work. I also use some of my money to open new business so it will give more vacancies to everybody who needs a job. What is that? I still don't not exactly but I think it would be connected with the Indonesian things.

What's else? With all of my money, I would not spoiled my children and my own family. We will have the same life, regular life, with smart and hard working and let them buy their own car with their own money. With that way, I am as a parent, has given several of the greatest things in their life: They will give the respect with their owns, they will know how give the respect with the money they get, they will give the respect with their hard works. Through this way, I will shape a quality generation in my own family.

So, what will I do with the rest of my money? Beside I will save it in my Bank Account and other Bank products account, I will use those money to visit hundreds of beautiful places around the world especially in my country, Indonesia with my whole member of my family every year, also I will use those money to advance my interests and hobbies: buying a new house in safer area with large lawn, so I can create my own landscape; having nursery; having studio for my crafting, painting, etc; having sunny room so I can display my plant collections nicely there, etc.

Are they enough? No! Because in my mind, I am pretty sure that I still have many lists of things I would like to donate/contribute especially for other persons/people who really, really need a HELP. (*)

Published at Helium, Feb 27, 2008

Best New Places To Retire Around the World

Talking about Retirement is very interesting to me and my husband as both of us come from different countries. I am from Indonesia and my husband is from USA. We have the opposite in deciding the retirement life. I will not go everywhere as I really want to be there for my children when they need me anytime because I don't have any relatives and family who live in USA. That is why I want to be there for all of my children when I am old someday.

My husband has different option. He prefers to live in Indonesia which is famous with many beautiful places, like Bali, Lombok, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, etc. He said that with his social security fund, and his other retirement fund, we can live more than enough in Indonesia than in USA. He really loves enjoying many beautiful places especially in Bali. He also likes the friendly Indonesian.

I can understand what he wants as I have seen many people in their retired life, they live out of their country. Of course, they will pick the countries where the value of the money is lower than their country's. Through this condition, they will not be worry about the financial. Even with their standard retirement fund, they still can enjoy their life because of the lower cost they will spend.

I think it is better I will give a simple example:
If you have the retirement fund just from Social Security, for example $ (USA) 1,500.00/person so for the couple, the total would be $ 3,000.00. How could you survive living in USA if you still have the mortgage to pay off? If you spend around $ 1,800.00 for the mortgage, it means the couple still have $ 1,200.00 left. If They spend $ 100.00/week for food, in one month they will spend $ 400.00. It means they still have $ 800.00 left. Then they have to pay for the monthly bills, like electrical, telephone, TV channels, insurances, other debts, etc, I predict around $ 600.00 so they still have $ 200.00 left every month. The amount of that money isn't big enough to be allocated for the extra expenses, like visiting Doctor, buying gasoline, medicine, gifts, even the cost for the vacation.

Can you imagine if they live in Indonesia or other Asian Countries, with total amount of $ 3000.00 = around Rp 30 million (IDR) if right now the value of every $ 1.00 = Rp 10.000,- (IDR)? With those money they can live in a standard luxury apartment with high security. They can pick very nice apartment and just spend around Rp 5.000.000,- till Rp 10.000.000,- ($ 500.00 - $ 1000.00) and they can live more than enough like the rich people with the rest of their money (Rp 20-25 million - IDR) so they can be easily visiting other places or going to vacation to other places or maybe visit their country every once per year.

With the cyber system we have right now (Internet), it can boost the retired people because everything just goes 'click' and 'click' even to do the Taxes, checking their bank account, communicating via email/chatting or via telephone. All these Hi-Tech just make them more confident to live even far away from their country.
Of course beside those I mention above, the security stabilization of the country is needed and a must to be considered too.

So, the conclusion is the best new places to retire around the world are beautiful Asian Countries. You can choose them, like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, etc. (*)

Published at Helium, March 5, 2014

How To Be the Perfect Wife

How to be the perfect wife, it seems same with this sentence: How to be the perfect person. We have known already that there are nobody perfect in the world, so I may say also that there are no perfect wife in the world. But it doesn't mean we may not try to become a perfect wife, it means becoming a good wife.
Just be yourself and never try to change to be other person/woman as our husband likes. Every person is unique, so if our husband has married us, beside because of love, there are something or several things that he likes from us. Maintain the good things that we have, make it better something that it really needs to be better.

Love our husband with whole of our heart. I think everybody can feel that they are loved or not. With this love, it can bring our house as a palace to him and our family.

A Wife who is fear in God, she will be a jewel for her husband. She will be more worthy than any treasure he has.

Some other tips maybe can help:
Be Honest : it can make our husband a happiest man in the world because he has someone who can be trusted in. He also won't have a doubt to tell his secret things to us.
Be Creative in everything: it can make our marriage life never get bored.
Be Supportive: it can help him confident when he is down.
Be a good listener: it can make him always come to us first telling everything that he needs to share about.
Be Happy: it can make him feel like a success husband who can make his wife a happiest wife in the world.

You may add more 'be' on the list above as long as they are good to build a good relationship in our marriage life. Remember, everybody is different, it means we may add more 'be' on the list above depending on our husband characters. But maybe I can add one more according my experience. I always cook the good food even always try the new recipes when I have a chance. He loves my cooking and he is so proud of me. He never shy to promote me to his friends how good I am in cooking and he never shy to invite his friends to have dinner with us at our house and enjoying my cooking. This will make him love me more than ever.

Remember there are nobody perfect, so don't ever try to be a perfect wife, just try to be a good wife. Trust me, our husband will state that he is a happiest husband in the world.
Good luck! (*)

Published at Helium, June 1, 2007

Why One Should Avoid Artificial Preservatives in Food and Cooking

Why should we avoid artificial preservatives in food and cooking?

Before we talk more about this topic, I think we should know first what the artificial preservatives are. They are used to be added to processed foods to enhance color, texture or flavor, facilitate food preparation or increase shelf life. They don't have nutritive value to the product at all. Artificial preservatives can be found in almost our food except the fresh food we eat, from the canned foods, frozen food, butter, margarine, prepared meats, etc in many kinds of product names.

What is the affect for our body so we should avoid them when we consume the kind of food that contains artificial preservatives? They are not usable and must be detoxified, or removed from the body. The best defense against them is to avoid processed food. We know this is impossible, but there is three examples of the worst offenders to watch out for when looking through our food labels. They are artificial color, Mono-sodium Glutamate (MSG), and Sodium or Potassium nitrate. Why are they dangerous?

It has been known that from numerous studies have shown artificial colors to be responsible for a number of symptoms, like hyperactivity in children, interference in fertility and birth defects, liver and kidney damage, interference in brain function and learning disabilities, etc. Mono-sodium Glutamate (MSG) is a food additive used as a flavor enhancer. It is known as an "excitotoxin," a substance that artificially excites, and can damage the nervous system and brain. Sodium or Potassium nitrate is used to deter the growth of botulism. It is used in the preservation and flavoring of meat products, like ham, bacon, sausage, and is also used in certain types of cheese. The various forms of nitrates have the ability to alter the blood, making it less able to carry oxygen to the cells. In severe cases, this alteration of the blood can lead to death.

From the short explanation above, we know how very dangerous they are for our health if we consume the food that contains those artificial preservatives frequently. If we have known how very danger they are, we should avoid to consume them. We know it is impossible because most of the food that we find at the supermarket/grocery stores or even at many places, like our favorite restaurant might use them. So, it is better we begin from ourselves. In our daily/weekly list grocery shopping, we prefer to consume the fresh products more than processed food. If we are used to buy the frozen vegetables, or any other kind of frozen food, or buy the canned food, it is better we start to buy the fresh vegetables, and other fresh food. By consuming them most, we have taken a right step to keep our body prevented from the danger stuffs. If it sounds good, why don't we start right now? Fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, pepper, salt, gralic, onion, etc are the examples of the kinds of fresh food we should consume more if we care of our body to stay healthy. Drink a lot of water instead of drinking soda is one of the solutions to keep our body healthy.

By choosing the right and healthy food for our daily consume, we have been so wise to keep our life happy because we will stay away from many diseases.(*)

Published at Helium, March 18, 2008

Top Five Beauty Products

I still remember when I was still in Senior High School, my face was full with many small red pimples. When I saw the photographs of mine at that time, I felt sorry for myself. Nobody in my family gave me the advices as its solution because they thought it was normal for the teenager at that age having that face problem.
When I was a college student and lived at a small room in a boarding house, the owner came and talked to me. She just wanted to let me know that she concerned about my face. She said that I was a beautiful girl and looked different with other girls who lived at that boarding house but she felt sorry why I didn't take care of my face. Then she recommended me to clean my face with the cleanser and toner. "Just give them a try, because everybody do the same thing here. They always clean their face everyday with those stuffs," she advised me. I felt something hit my heart with her simple advice. I thought she was right. From that time I tried so hard to being discipline to clean my face at least once per day with those products, cleanser and toner.

Through my patience, finally what she and I expected was came true. Just couple months, my face turned so clean without many red pimples everywhere on my face. My old friends didn't believe me if I never used a special face medicine to rid off my pimples. I told them honestly, I just used the cleanser and toner every time I came home from everywhere, especially before I went to bed.

Since that time after I knew and experienced myself that how great those cleanser and toner had saved my face, I never left those products in my daily basic beauty products. So, let me write down below my top five beauty products that I should never leave them:

1. Cleanser and toner, I use everyday, at least once per day before going to sleep in the night. In the morning I just clean my face with special face soap.
2. Moisturizer. This is a must especially I live in Southeast. The weather can decrease the quality of my skin face if I don't use this product. The wrinkles will appear easily. That is why, I always use this product after cleansing and toning my face and before applying face powder.
3. Face powder. I used to apply foundation before I use face powder just for special events.
4. Lipstick is a must for me every time I go out. This stuff can promote my face brighter and look sweeter. I also use lip balm everyday in the house to keep my lipstick skin moisturized.
5. Eye cream is also a must for me especially when your age turns 30's. This eye cream I use every night before going to bed after I clean my face with the cleanser and toner. This eye cream will help reduce the wrinkles around the eyes.

I am sure with those my top five beauty products, they can keep me confidence in every performance I make and they have been already.(*)

Published at Helium, February 29, 2008

Recipes: Spaghetti

When I was in my country, Indonesia, before moving to USA, spaghetti was sold and found only at Mc. Donald. I didn't like it at that time. I didn't know why, but I thought maybe the blend of the spicy was not suit with my taste. After I moved to USA and finally I knew that spaghetti was one of the regular food in USA, I started to learn how cook the tasty spaghetti. Thanks God, my husband was the only person who taught me about the kinds of new herbs I should know to cook spaghetti.

I still remember the first time I learned to cook spaghetti. I followed the recipe from the spaghetti package but I didn't like it, it was to blend for me. As I am from the country where the people like the spicy food very much, so you should understand why I like the spicy food. Because I like pasta, so I tried at the next time when I cooked spaghetti I used my own ingredients. Below is my own recipe. It is simple but spicy enough to me. I would give the name My Own Spaghetti'.

MY OWN SPAGHETTI

- 18 oz package of spaghetti, cook as directions, drain and pour with 1 TBS olive oil to toss.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- cup diced sweet onion
- 2 clove of garlic , minced
- 1 fresh medium tomato, dice
- 1 30 oz jar of chunky spaghetti sauce or any kind you like
- tsp freshly chopped oregano
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground white pepper to taste
- - tsp chili powder (if you don't like it, don't use it)
- cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 TBS olive oil


Directions:

- Bring water to boil and add spaghetti according to box directions, drain and pour with 1 TBS olive oil to toss, set aside.
- Meanwhile you are cooking the spaghetti, brown the ground beef in a large non-stick skillet, drain and discard the fat.
- Pour 1 TBS olive oil on medium heat at the same skillet.
- Add garlic, saut for 1 minute, add diced tomato, diced onion, saut around 6-7 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Add brown ground beef, salt, pepper, chili powder, stir and close the skillet for 3 minutes. Open and stir again.
- Add chopped freshly oregano, stir and let them cooked around 2-3 minutes.
- Add the mixture spaghetti sauce to spaghetti, toss and pour with grated parmesan cheese.

Hmmm, even my husband who is American likes it. We like My Own Spaghetti. (*)

Published at Helium, July 5, 2008

Doa Bapa Kami

MATAKU menatap ke layar komputer, lekat. Di sana kelihatan jasad Bapak terbujur, tubuhnya seperti lebih besar daripada yang kuingat. Hatiku teriris tiap kali kamera didekatkan ke wajah Bapak yang membengkak. Ingin menangis tetapi tak ada air mata. Pendoa Doa Bapa Kami telah tiada, batinku sendu.

Bapak punya kebiasaan, menutup doa-doanya dengan Doa Bapa Kami, bahkan doa makan. Meski doanya panjang, namun tak menjadi masalah bagiku. Hanya sedikit kekhawatiran bila saudara-saudaraku yang lain merasa tidak nyaman. Aku bahkan semakin bersimpati kepada Bapak, mengingatkan aku bahwa Tuhan Yesus yang telah mengajarkan doa tersebut.

Bapak memberikan teladan kepadaku untuk mengikuti jejaknya. Lalu aku memulainya, tapi ternyata susah juga mendisiplin diri menutup doa-doa dengan Doa Bapa Kami. Tampaknya sepele, ternyata tidak.

Dalam doa-doa malam sebelum tidur pun aku pernah mencobanya, tapi hanya bertahan beberapa kali saja. Doa Bapa Kami akhirnya kembali aku ucapkan hanya di setiap kebaktian-kebaktian minggu atau pada acara-acara kebaktian lainnya.

Bapak seorang sederhana. Ia tak banyak bicara. Sikapnya dalam berdoa telah memberikan contoh kepada kami anak-anaknya. Ia selalu melipatkan tangan dan menundukkan kepalanya, berdoa dengan suara yang mantap. Ia menyebutkan satu per satu nama-nama anggota keluarga dengan permohonan, lalu menutupnya dengan Doa Bapa Kami.

Kenangan itu masih kuat di ingatan meski sekarang aku berada jauh ribuan mil dari rumah. Lebih dari sebelas tahun aku tinggal di negeri asing, bersama suami dan anak-anakku, dan sejak itu pun aku belum pernah bertemu muka dengannya lagi selain bercakap-cakap melalui telepon atau mengirimkan surat. Hatiku nelangsa mengingat betapa lama kami tak jumpa.

Mataku masih menyaksikan jalannya ibadah penghiburan dalam layar komputer. Kepalaku mulai menggagas untuk mengajarkan putri bungsuku berdoa Doa Bapa Kami. Mengingat itu, aku bersemangat, menoleh ke arahnya, si delapan tahun, di sisi kananku. Ketiga anakku yang lain, dan suamiku juga ada di ruang keluarga,masing-masing dengan pikirannya sendiri.

Doa Bapa Kami, Doa Bapa Kami. Aku terus mengucapkan kalimat itu dalam hati sambil berpikir, kapan akan mulai mengajarkannya? Waktu itu Desember menjelang.

*

Ya, ampun! Aku baru sadar beberapa hari lalu menerima kiriman gelang plastik warna-warni bertuliskan Doa Bapa Kami yang kupesan. Rencananya, aku akan menghadiahkan gelang itu untuk Wanda, si bungsu, sebagai hadiah Natal, setelah itu mengajaknya menghapal Doa Bapa Kami.

“Kakek selalu mengakhiri doa-doanya dengan Doa Bapa Kami,” kataku malam itu.

Ia hanya diam. Aku memakluminya karena ia belum tahu apa itu Doa Bapa Kami.

“Mau Ibu ajari Doa Bapa Kami?”

Ia hanya menatapku, mengangkat bahu, lalu berlari menjauh, menonton televisi. Aku menghela napas panjang.

Sampai Natal telah lewat, kami belum mulai menghapal Doa Bapa
Kami. Keinginan itu seperti timbul-tenggelam. Ada semacam dorongan melaksanakan keinginan itu sebagai rasa hormatku kepada Bapak, tetapi juga keengganan karena tak tahu bagaimana membuat Wanda tertarik melakukannya. Maklumlah, ia masih kanak-kanak tapi aku memang berhasrat mengajarkannya sedini mungkin.

Sampai satu malam, aku memasukkan baju-baju bersih ke lemarinya, kulihat gelang-gelanghadiah itu lagi, di sudut meja belajarnya, dan di bawahnya tercantum catatan Doa Bapa Kami.

“Wanda!”

Beberapa detik wajahnya muncul di pintu. Aku melambaikan gelang dan kertas doa itu, berkatadengan riang, “Ini Doa Bapa Kami. Ayo, baca!”

“Ahhhh....,” katanya malas.

“Ayolah, Sayang. Mulai malam ini kita belajar menghapal Doa Bapa Kami ya?”

Wanda mengangkat alisnya, mengangkat bahunya.

“Kamu akan berusia sembilan tahun. Sudah besar, jadi harus belajar doa yang lain.”

Senyumnya mengembang. Rupanya ia senang dengan sebutan sudah besar. Sebelum ini dia hanya berdoa sangat sederhana, berterimakasih kepada Tuhan atas hari itu dan memohon penyertaan Tuhan di malam hari sewaktu tidur dan bangun dengan segar keesokan harinya, kemudian amin. Ia lalu mendekat, mengambil kertas berisi Doa Bapa Kami dari tanganku

“Tapi itu doa yang panjang, Bu,” keluhnya setelah beberapa detik memandangi isi kertas itu.

“Lama-lama kalau dibaca tiap malam, akan hapal. Yuk!”

Tak ada bantahan lagi darinya. Ia lalu membaca cepat sambil menjatuhkan dirinya di tempat tidur.

"Kalau berdoa, jangan cepat-cepat. Berdoa itu bicara kepada Tuhan. Kita harus hormat. Berdoa dari dalam hati," kataku lembut.
Ia duduk kembali dan mengulang membacanya lebih pelan.

Begitulah tiap malam kami mengulang Doa Bapa Kami. Tetapi selama itu ia tak menghapal, hanya membaca, dan ia tampak tak berminat. Aku tak tahu harus melakukan apa, namun tetap mendampinginya membaca doa itu sebelum tidur.

Satu malam aku ke kamarnya, dan tak kan mengingatkannya berdoa. Melihat beberapa kertas hasil corat-coret gambarnya berserakan di lantai, aku berniat memungutnya. Sambil memungut satu per satu, aku memperhatikan hasil coretan gambar animenya.

"Duh, putri Ibu satu ini memang punya bakat menggambar. Bagus benar gambar-gambarnya. Mungkin Ibu sendiri tidak bisa menggambar seperti ini," ucapku dengan penuh bangga.

Namun ia tak meresponsnya, malahan aku mendengarnya mengucapkan Doa Bapa Kami. Seketikan itu aku menoleh ke arahnya. Ia duduk di atas tempat tidurnya, berdoa dengan kedua mata ditutup dan melipat kedua tangannya. Badanku tak bergerak, menunggunya selesai berdoa. Ketika ia membuka matanya, mata kami bertatapan. Aku tersenyum. Kertas-kertas yang baru kupungut itu berhamburan lagi ke lantai. Aku tak peduli.

“What?” tanyanya sambil mengerutkan keningnya.

“Ibu senang sekali, Sayang. Akhirnya kamu hapal doanya,” kataku sambil mendekap tubuhnya yang mungil dan menciumi kedua pipinya. “Kakek pasti senang melihatmu.”

“Dari surga?” tanyanya.

“Tentu. Cucunya yang cantik dan pintar mengucapkan Doa Bapa Kami seperti Kakek.” Kulepaskan kedua tanganku, lalu sibuk menghitung, “Januari, Pebruari, Mar… Kurang dari tiga bulan kamu sudah hapal!” kataku sambil menciuminya.

"Ibu, stop-stop!"

"Oke, maaf, Sayang. Ibu terlalu senang. Sekarang, tidurlah."

“Tapi, Bu!”

“Apa?”

“Bolehkah aku mengucapkan doa lamaku?"

"Tentu. Doa apa pun Tuhan senang.”

Pelan-pelan aku menutup pintu kamarnya. Kejadian itu seperti melepas beban di hatiku. Aku sudah meneruskan kebiasaan Bapak ke anakku. Bagaimana denganmu sendiri? Tiba-tiba perkataan itu melintas di telingaku. Aku?

Aku tercenung. Ya, bagaimana denganku. Aku mengajari Wanda berdoa Bapa Kami sementara aku tidak berdoa. Sesuatu menyentuh hatiku, dan tiba-tiba kedua mataku terasa panas. Ya, Tuhan, apa yang harus kulakukan?

Hati terganggu sementara aku menuruni anak tangga ke ruang keluarga. Suamiku sedang menonton televisi sambil online menggunakan laptop.

"Sayang, ada berita bagus," kataku sambil duduk di sampingnya.

"Oya, apa itu?"

"Wanda sudah hapal Doa Bapa Kami."

“Hm, bagus. Dan kamu senang dengan itu, kan?”

“Yaaa....,” jawabku panjang.

Kemudian aku diam, mataku lurus ke arah televisi. Suamiku menoleh, melebarkan lengannya dan memeluk pundakku, berkata,

“Lalu apa yang mengganggu hatimu sekarang?”

Pertanyaan itu tepat ke jantungku. Apa yang menggangguku sekarang?

“Sayang, sudah saatnya kita berdoa bersama dalam waktu khusus. Hanya keluarga kita. Bagaimana menurutmu?”

Suamiku terdiam. Aku menunggu jawabannya dengan tenang, dan merasa hatiku lebih lega, karena sedikitnya sudah melemparkan gagasan itu.

***

*Fida Abbott, penulis buku Antusiasme, tinggal di Pennsylvania, Amerika. Blog: www.abbottsbooks.com

Tulisan ini telah ditayangkan di Kebun Cerita, Mei 2014: http://kebuncerita.com/?p=1271