Thursday, January 31, 2008

Inspirational Stories

Enjoy these stories!!!

He who is plenteously provided for from within, needs but little from without.
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Taken from here

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky.

The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going badly. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground--it just may be a smoke signal that summons The Grace of God.

By: Catherine Pulsifer

During the month of September, a dear friend of mine lost her husband suddenly in an accident. The tragedy was a shock to everyone.

This accident was sudden and certainly unexpected. It drove home the realization that you just don't know when a loved one is no longer going to be with you. We sometimes take our love ones for granted, and we expect that they will be with us forever. However, as we all know, life does not work that way and sometimes we get a wake up call that shocks us and makes us stand back and realize how short life is.

In consoling her, I tried to imagine if I was in her shoes how would I feel. It was impossible to imagine what she was going through. What words do I say to help her?

Sometimes words just can not express our feelings. Sometimes our actions are much more meaningful than words. A hug can sometimes express more than our words will ever express. Sometimes, just being there to listen is more meaningful and helpful to people.


As I was leaving the funeral parlor, I ran into a Marilyn. Marilyn has been a true friend to me over the years. She is one of those friends who is with you in the good times and is always by your side in the bad times. She has a sense of humor that makes everyone laugh and she makes everyone feel at ease. We chit chatted for a few moments, and then she asked me how my job was. So I started talking and talking and talking (am sure she wished she had never asked, ha) I was having a stressful week with my job and I was telling her all the issues and how I was feeling. She listened to me as I was raving about my frustrations, then without saying a word, she took her hands and placed them on my face, and said to me, "But at least you had a day."

The touch of her hands on my cheeks, the calmness in her voice, and the words she spoke, "BUT AT LEAST YOU HAD A DAY", hit me like a ton of bricks. All the frustrations, all the stress that was building up inside of me - came to a complete stop.

Since that day, when I start feeling stressed, I remind myself of Marilyn's words - but at least I had a day! Things could be a lot worse, the stress of the situation always could be worse, but I am alive and I have a lot to be thankful for - so I shall not waste my days with stress and frustrations - Life is too short!

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Full Time Course and Moving

No, no, no, I'm not planning on moving anywhere, but yesterday we helped Arttu's second brother moving his stuff from the truck to his girlfriend's apartment. We arrived there at around 7 pm and it was -9'C. He said it was freezing HE HE HE HE HE HE...We stayed there a while after we were done with it. Well, it wasn't really done yet. He still has to go back to Pori twice: one time to get the rest of his stuff and the second time to clean up the apartment before he can finally settle down here.

It was pretty funny when he offered us tea or coffee, since the apartment was pretty new to him, so he had a bit of a hard time trying to find everything HA HA HA HA HA...His girlfriend's apartment is very lovely. It's actually like a small housing complex, so there aren't any second or third floors, so there are just plenty of apartments near one another. Her apartment has two bedrooms and it's clear that it's a girl's apartment from the moment I entered the hall HA HA HA HA HA...Even though single guys here can also decorate the apartment well and neatly, there's just this distinct female aura that I can't explain. I'm sure you know what I mean, though HE HE HE...

I LOVE the paintings she put on the living room wall. The big painting is a painting of autumn leafless trees on a long stretch of a road. The colours are mostly white and brown and black. Splendid!!! I also love her sofa and her antique cabinet and living room lamp. No, don't worry, I'm not envious about it. I just thought that it was a nice place to live he he he he...

Another funny thing I found out was that Arttu's nephew (his eldest brother's youngest son) actually wanted to move here, as well. When Arttu's second brother said, "But you have to go to school!", he replied, "I can move to the school in Sodankylä." HA HA HA HA HA HA...Apparently he really likes living here much better than in Pori! ;-D

OK, now let's talk about my full-time course. At first I thought that the first course would be at around 8 am, right? WRONG!!! I got a letter from the firm that organized the course and they said that it would start at 10 am the first day.

Not long after that, my Brit friend MC called me and said, "We have a HUGE problem!" Turned out that she had called our full-time course teacher and she couldn't speak fluent English, though she understood English. Well, at least MC has warned our teacher that the majority of the students will not be able to speak proper Finnish at all, so she needs to brush up her English. MC also said that we'd talk about the rest of the days of the course, whether we'd start at 9 am or 10 am.

Last night Arttu also mentioned this problem to his brother and we were joking about it. I told them that I'd better bring my thick dictionary to the classroom and whenever the teacher said something I didn't understand, I would have to ask her to stop and then I would have to look up the words in a dictionary. That would be "fun" HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...Ahem!!!

I know that it IS good if we're forced to speak in Finnish and to listen to Finnish all the time, but the problem is...if we don't even master the basics yet, how are we supposed to do it, right? It'd be more ideal to listen to Finnish during the whole class if we know some Finnish already and we're already in the intermediate level. Oh's gonna be VERY interesting. That's for sure. I'd better brush up my Finnish, as well, 'coz I haven't studied it well for a while. Oops...there goes my New Year's Resolution HA HA HA HA...Not to worry, though, once the full-time course starts, I'll be studying Finnish more diligently than ever HA HA HA HA HA...

Okie it's time to blog-hop!!! ;-D

Made to Love - Toby Mac

Heard this song on RadioGrace this morning while I was showering and I really liked it, so let me share it here. Too bad I can't find a good video clip with a good audio quality with the singer itself, but this is the best I can find he he he he...Those two guys aren't the singers, of course he he he he...

Enjoy Toby Mac with "Made to Love" and no, it's not a Valentine song HA HA HA HA HA HA...Just listen to the lyrics and you'll know what I mean. ;-D

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Love Oh Love...

I'm in a "love" mood, so let me share these with you...

I found these quotations in an old email folder, so I don't know the authors. If any one of you knows who wrote these quotations, do tell me so that I can give the credit to them.

True love is NOT blind at all; it sees what is and feels it as it is with no rose-colored glasses and no anesthesia.
Love is open, allowing our hearts to be touched and moved by what exists.
Love is honest, willing to be present to life just as it is, in all its beauty and ugliness.

Human love necessarily includes friendship: friendship within relationship, within marriage, between husband and wife. When a man and a woman are truly friends, they know each other's difficult points and weaknesses, but they are not inclined to stand in judgment on them. They are more concerned with helping each other and enjoying each other than they are with finding fault.

Love is content to do many things that ego is bored with. Love is willing to work with the other person's moods and unreasonableness. Love is willing to fix breakfast and balance the checkbook. Love is willing to do the down-to-earth things of life because it is related to a person, not a projection.

One of the glaring contradictions in romantic love is that so many couples treat their friends with so much more kindness, consideration, generosity, and forgiveness than they ever give to one another!

And here's a poem I wrote in December 2006, right after I got married the month before. We were still separated by then since I had to do the paperwork first.

More Things I Love About You

I love the way you dream of me, of us,
I love the way you daydream of me and us and our future,
I love the way we talk about our future,
I love the way you write about me in your diary,
I love the way you tell me everything,
I love the way you sigh dreamily of us,
I love the way you miss me,
I love the way you want to tell me everything else that you might have forgotten to tell me before,
I love the way you think of me,
I love the way you appreciate every little gesture I make,
I love the way you keep every little memento of our togetherness safely,
I love the way we click even we've only been together in real life for 5 weeks,
I love the way we argue about silly stuff,
I love the way we giggle together about our own private jokes,
I love the way we watch movies together and comment on them,
I love the way you shake your head as fast as you can and loll your tongue out at the same time like a maniac,
I love the way you make me smile and laugh,
I love the way you touch me and kiss me,
I love the way you melt my heart over and over and over,
I love the way you tease me evilly only to hold me and love me and comfort me again,
I love the way we've been holding on together even if the odds had been against us,
I love the way you take care of my feelings,
I love the way we purse our lips to each other like baboons craving for kisses,
I love the way your leg hair tickle my legs.
I love the way you make me FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love the way we do nothing particular yet still enjoy each other.

I love the way you move me, melt me, fill my love tank like nobody's ever done before.
You make me wanna teleport myself to you this very second...
I've never been surer that we're so meant to be together.
I only wish God gives us years to come to cherish together.
I can't imagine living without you...
It's like we've truly known each other forever...
I wanna grow old with you...
I don't care even though I keep on writing clichés here.
No language in the world has enough vocabulary to express what I feel for you.

You make me believe in magic, hope, eternity in harmony.
No matter what happens later on in years to come,
I still LOVE the feelings you've made me feel.

Do you know how you've made me feel?
First you filled up my love tank,
Then you made it burst out and got bigger,
Then you filled it up again,
Then you made it expand again,
Then you filled it up again,
And again, and again, and again...
I can't even believe that someone's capable of doing it!
I'm just glad the person is YOU, My Love.
You were made especially for me,
That I know for sure.

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Well, it's always good to learn about beneficial info like this, don't you think? After all, health is one of the MOST important things in life.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Isn't It Ironic?

I read these stories in one of the books I translated in Indonesia and I thought I'd share them with you. Unfortunately I forgot the title of the book he he he...

Before I start,
I want to apologize if I miss some of your comments. It seems that since yesterday Blogger has been borked in delivering notification on your comments to my mailbox. So it's been a bit tough for me to follow all the comments. Sometimes I get only one for one post, though there have been four already!!! Geez...I sure hope the problem's fixed soon. :-))))

* When Pablo Picasso lived very poorly with his first girlfriend, they were so happy. However, once his paintings were sold at high prices and they moved to a big house, she started to be so extravagant that he couldn't take it anymore. Thus, happiness flew away from their love nest. What a pity!

* Charles Millar (a Canadian lawyer and financier) left large sums of money to certain people in his will just to test how far they would abandon their principles for money. He left shares in a racetrack to a preacher and a judge who were against gambling. What did they do? They both accepted the shares.

He also left shares in a brewery to a group of churchmen who strongly opposed alcohol. All of them except one accepted the shares.

He also left $500.000 for the winner of a contest he created. What contest? The contest about whichever woman from Toronto who has given birth to the greatest number of children by the end of the tenth year from his death. The prize money was shared by four winners who'd each given birth to nine children (all the kids had to be alive to qualify for the contest). To read more info about this contest, go to Stork Derby.

Ah...the things we do for money...What WOULD you do for money?

Great Deal of the Day at Second Act

If you want to find Great Deal of the Day for HDTV, you can click on the link! Second Act specializes in selling HDTV at a low price. However, they only send their goods to all the 50 states in America and Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Hawaii.

If you don't want to bother checking the site to see Great Deal of the Day, you can subscribe via email
. If you have any queries, you can visit their Customer Service Centre. There you can find a list of questions and answers.

Speaking of TV, I remember when our old TV started being weird and we had to buy a new one, Arttu got a HUGE discount in a store. I think we got a €100 off from the shelf price and we were SO happy to get it! After all, who doesn't like discounts and saving money, right? ;-D

My Adventure: Cutting My Own Hair

HA!!!! I finally did it! I cut my own hair last night. Arttu didn't help at all except to cut just a few strands of hair that were longer than the rest at the back of my head which I obviously couldn't see.

I think I didn't do the job very badly, even though I managed to mess up my fringe HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...So, I need your honest opinion. What do you think of my new haircut? I'll show you the picture of before and after HE HE HE HE...The before picture was taken last October, so my hair was actually longer than this prior to the cutting adventure (I just couldn't find a nice picture of my hair without being covered by a pipo in January or December!).

And here we new haircut hi hi hi...Tell me the truth, do you think I look like a D I S A S T E R????????????

OK, OK, so the bottom isn't too good, but what can you expect, right? HE HE HE...After all, it wasn't easy to cut one's own hair ha ha ha ha...

Anyway, yesterday I received another book that I won in eBay (What to Expect When You're Expecting). Arttu brought the book home from work and I was a bit confused since I hadn't received any notification about it. The postman had come already earlier without any notification about it. I asked him then how he found out about it and he just giggled like crazy. He said that he just knew. I couldn't believe it! Impossible!

The naughty guy kept on giggling and wouldn't tell me. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHH!!! After he had fun giggling and making me confused, finally he admitted that his friend who worked at the post office had called him to tell him about the package. GRAAAWWWWRRRRRR!!! How could I forget that his buddy worked at the PO? HE HE HE HE HE...

Oh now I have three new books to read. OHHHHHHHHH JOY he he he he...OK, I'm going to blog-hop now! ;-D

Another Biggest Heart Award for Me

My dear friend Sindi has shared this Biggest Heart Award with me. THANKS A LOT, Sindi!!!

This time I want to share this award with:

And while I'm typing, let me have fun with a quiz:

You Are 50% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...

But too damn weird to do anything about it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Life Without Pain (An Old One)

I wrote this one in September 2006, but I thought this is a good reminder of the importance of physical pain in our lives. Maybe you've seen the show as well, so this is nothing new, but here goes...

WARNING: The post includes disturbing descriptions, so if you don't wanna be disturbed, don't read it.

How does it feel to live without pain? I saw Oprah Show today and it was so graphically disturbing. There was this girl who couldn't feel pain ever since she was born. Her nerves for some reason couldn't transmit pain to the brain. What happened? When the girl was teething, she kept on chewing her lips and biting her fingers as though they were doughnuts and she didn't even feel any pain even though her lips were bleeding and her fingers were mangled!!!

The doctor had to pull her teeth out so that she stopped biting her own body parts. Then the doctor had to stitch her eyelids so that the other eye would be unharmed, but she kept on scratching the stitches, so her other eyesight was also imperfect. She also had to put goggles on her eyes to protect them, since she started scratching them so hard that she injured one of her cornea. Yeah, that meant she had to wear a fake eyeball (every day her Mom put the fake eyeball inside her socket). Once she also held a light bulb (the switch was turned on) in her palm until it burned, yet she didn't feel a thing.

When she was a bit older, her parents didn't even realize that her neck was broken until a month after the incident had happened. Because of her 'dysfunctional nerves', she also couldn't feel the weather. She also didn't know how it felt like if her bladder was full. Her parents were still grateful that she was still alive (she's now around 7 years old), but her Mom said, "Well, we all want to get rid of pain, but look what happens when we can't feel any pain at all!"

Yeah, God lets us feel pain for a reason. A good reason. I'd never even fathomed the depth of why God let us feel any physical pain until I saw the show this morning. Sometimes I think we learn more from suffering than from joy. Oh least the show has opened my horizon SO widely. :-))) I'd NEVER look at physical pain the same way again after watching this show!!!

Blessed with More Awards

Juliana and Liza has shared the same award with me. Juliana created this CUTE Forever Friend award. THANKS SO MUCH, girls!!! You can grab the codes here.

FF Award

Meanwhile, Dawn created an award, as well, and she's shared it with me. THANKS A LOT, Dawn!!! Crystal's shared this one with me, too. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!! ;-D

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My Parents' 30th Wedding Anniversary + Books

I'm baaaaccckkkkk already!!! Couldn't get a haircut since it was fully booked already. They only had one spot open for next Tuesday at 1 pm. YARGH!!! I can't possibly do it then since my course starts next Monday, so I said I'd give it a thought. I feel like cutting my hair myself later, but we'll see if I dare do it or not HE HE HE HE HE HE...

Anyway, after I got back home, I felt the urge to call my parents. It was weird since I had called them already 8 days ago, yet the urge felt SO strong. Well, I thought to myself, "Well, why not call them again since starting next Monday I'll be busy anyway?"

And what did I find out when I called my parents? It's their 30th wedding anniversary!!! Yeah, I had forgotten about it ha ha ha ha ha...but somehow my subconscious mind must have remembered it. That was probably why I felt the urge to call them in the first place!

I also heard good news about my brother. He had a raise!!! ;-D Thus he treated my parents today by ordering some delicious food from the restaurant where I got married (Queen's Restaurant). They have VERY delicious food and right now I'm DROOLING all over the place as I WANT to eat those food (yang cheow rice - I don't know how to spell it - and beef steak)!!!! ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH he he he he...

I had a chance to talk to my parents and also to my brother and his wife. ;-D So it was fun for me!!! As usual, my brother was teasing me on the phone he he he he...I told him that if he had ever had enough money to visit me, then he should definitely come. ;-D

Other than that, today I received one of the books I won in eBay (Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg) and also a book from Fish. Fish and I made a book exchange deal a while ago, so I'm EXCITED to read the book she recommended (One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson) he he he he he...THANK YOU SO MUCH, Fish!!! I hope you enjoy the book I sent you!!!

Hmmm...Maybe I'd better read her book fast this week before I get too busy next week HE HE HE HE HE HE...

To my parents, I hope they grow gentler and more loving towards each other and they let God break down all their insecurities and their past issues and their internal wounds so that they can enjoy a fulfilling marriage until their last breath...May God's love run through their hearts and minds and souls forever...Love you bothhhhhhh...

Monday, January 28, 2008

New Shoes + The Little Mermaid

In my last post, I forgot to say that I had ordered a new pair of boots. They were on a sale in one Finnish website. I also ordered a pair of sports shoes for Arttu's birthday. Even though his birthday is in March, but still I thought that it'd be cheaper for me to buy them in one package so that I'd only pay one shipping fee he he he he...

I decided to buy a new pair of boots since my two boots are a bit too tight if I need to wear two pairs of thicker socks. I found the boots online and they cost only €20 (compared to the ones in the stores in Sodankylä which are still WAY costlier than that even after they're on sale!!!).

I also asked Arttu to try on his shoes just in case they didn't fit. After all, we could return them if they didn't fit. I haven't paid for them yet since I can opt to pay it next month HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...^_________________________^ Oh, and yeah, fortunately they DO fit.

OK, now let's talk about my second topic: The Little Mermaid.

When I was small, I remembered watching the original version of The Little Mermaid (not the Disney version with a happy ending). I still remember it clearly as if it was yesterday. I was hoping that the mermaid could end up with the prince, yet the prince didn't recognize her as she had lost her voice in order to be a human. I was crying profusely at the end of the movie as I thought it was SO unfair. She had lost her beautiful voice just to be with the prince, yet the prince didn't know that it was her and he ended up marrying someone else!!!

Come to think of it, I think it was the first time I started hating sad endings. I no longer hate sad endings that much now, except for some sad endings in which I think the hero or the heroine dies for nothing.

How about you? Do you dislike sad endings, too? Or do you think they're important as they reveal that real life isn't "they live happily ever after"?

I grew up watching Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and all those wonderful cartoons. I also grew up reading lots of fairy tales, including Hans Christian Andersen's stories. I remember having two THICK volumes of fairy tales with WONDERFUL illustrated works of art. I LOVED being immersed in a different world, a world where reality didn't reign. A world where imagination runs amok. What a free-spirited world!!!

How about you? What did you grow up with? ;-D

New Styles of Fancy Sunglasses

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The site is user-friendly, so you'll be able to find specific types of sunglasses easily. They have sports sunglasses, polarized sunglasses, clip ons, hologram sunglasses, kids sunglasses, and many more. They also offer more discounts if your order reaches a certain amount. For example, they offer 20% discount if your order is over $2,000.

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What can you find there?

1. One sunglass rack for 24 pairs of sunglasses.
2. 36 pieces of assorted sunglasses. You'll get the latest styles of sunglasses from them.

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Busy Monday

ARRRGGHHH!!! Haven't had time to do anything with my blog until now. Haven't had time to blog-hop, either, but I'm gonna do it soon after I publish this post.

First of all, I had to exercise today (in keeping with my New Year's Resolution, plus it always makes me feel good afterwards, especially when I see my thighs getting firmer and firmer HA HA HA HA HA...), then I cleaned up the house and the toilet, then I cooked pizza after having lunch. As you all know, I'm a slow cook, so it took some time for me to do so.

This week is my LAST week when I can get up late in the mornings, so I'm going to ENJOY it thoroughly HI HI HI HI HI HI HI...Tomorrow I'm going to go to the unemployment office to report myself and then to KELA to submit the form that states that I'm going on the full-time course so that I can get some student money at the end of next month.

I'll also probably go to a beauty salon to get a haircut. It's been bothering me for a while. I asked Arttu to cut it, but he refused. He said that he would ruin it. I begged, but he wouldn't budge. In the end he just said that he'd pay for my haircut, which would be €26. YIKES!!! At first I was planning on going to the beauty salon, but now that it seems I'm going to Indonesia near the end of this year, I just don't want to waste that much money when I can get a proper haircut by only paying around €4-5 in Bandung. That was why I asked Arttu to help me cut my hair he he he he he...Oh well...since he's paying, then I'll just go to the beauty salon. After all, I'm curious whether or not they can handle my Asian hair HA HA HA HA HA HA...

So if tomorrow I'm MIA again, don't wonder why, OK? I choose tomorrow since the weather prediction for this week says that it's gonna be the "warmest" tomorrow (around -5'C). Last night the temperature dropped down to -22.5'C during the night. Still hasn't reached -30'C yet he he he he...I wonder when it'll happen!!!

Ummm...what else? Oh yeah, some nights ago I talked to Arttu about the possibility of going to Indonesia. I was thinking of going to Indonesia alone, considering the cheapest ticket I could find was €1200 (a two way ticket from Rovaniemi to Jakarta), but then he said, "So you want to go there alone?" He didn't want me to go there alone!!! Well, come to think of it, there are several good points of going back to Indo with him:

1. I don't have to go through the LONG trip alone, so I have someone to talk to. As you probably know, I'm not someone who likes chatting up with other passengers on a plane unless I really have to HA HA HA HA HA HA...For example: when I need him/her to get up since I have to go to the toilet hi hi hi...
2. I can bring MANY more things to Finland since we'll have two big suitcases. I left many unread novels back in Indo.
3. All the Indo people won't ask me, "Where's your husband? Why is he not coming with you?" so I don't have to explain to different people again and again and again.
4. He can help me with the luggage HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...

However, another point we should consider is whether or not he can come with me. I was first planning on going to Indo for a month, but then he said that it would be too long. He thought I'd only go to Indo for 2 weeks!!! TWO WEEKS?!?!?!?! The trip from Sodankylä to Bandung takes at least 24 hours PER it takes 48 hours to go back and forth...that means we're losing 2 days already!!!

Well, he said that I should let him know when we're planning to go to Indo so that he can arrange his holiday. He'll get his one month summer holiday this year and I DO NOT know if he can move it to a much later date. I sure HOPE so!!! The bottom line is that once I find out how much student money I can get per month during the course, I'll calculate it first and if I'm sure it's enough to buy me a plane ticket to Indo, then I'll decide when to go already. Only then Arttu can talk to his boss about it.

I've been researching the prices of plane tickets to Indo this year and it seems that the cheapest ones would be around October. I've already been thinking of the things I'll bring there (canned reindeer, etc.) and the things I want to buy in Indo to bring to Finland (HOT chili sauce, etc.) HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...

Okaaayyy...enough daydreaming...time to fall back to the real world!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Debilitating Fear

Note: This is the post that I've been wanting to write since I heard the news about my uncle's death, but I needed time to sort out my thoughts.

Fear can be debilitating. After getting news about my uncle's death, there were so many "what if" questions rapping their knuckles eagerly at my door. A few minutes after taking the news in, I realized that the SMS could have been about one of my parents or even both of them. I had sometimes prayed to God that if it was His will, I would love to be able to go back to Indonesia when one of my parents died (not in a situation where I'm almost giving birth or that I'm renewing my residence permit or something else that makes me unable to go to Indo).

Then I started realizing that my husband could die before me and fear started slithering inside, ready to choke me. My brain kept on asking me, "What if Arttu dies when you're pregnant? What if he dies before you get pregnant? What will you do next? Will you continue living here or will you go back to Indonesia? What if...what if...what if...?"

Being born and raised as a planner made my brain automatically started asking me those uninvited questions. More and more questions popped out...

I used to have a problem hearing people say, "If it's God's will, then I'll do this and that." Why? Probably because I've seen some of them prayed and fasted with all their might without doing their parts. They even used other people's resources without permission and then they dared thank God for those "blessings" and they told those people whose resources they used, "May the Lord pour His blessings upon you."

However, recently I've changed my mind. We DO have to do our parts, yet the bottom line is: since I believe that He's the God that created everything and that can take away our lives just with a twitch of His eye, that means that EVERYTHING else is under His govern. Of course I have free will and I can do anything I want to do, but still if His time has not come yet, no matter how much I want it to happen NOW, it won't happen. And if somehow I can force it to happen NOW, nothing good will come out of it.

I was gripped by fear during one night while lying awake in our bed, thinking about the "what if" questions...but at the end of the reflection, I was reminded again that God wouldn't give me more than I could bear and that His plans were good plans and not evil plans. I was reminded to surrender to Him completely and to let go of my worries and my need to control everything or at least to anticipate everything.

And then it struck me how WELL He'd been taking care of me. I started remembering that when I moved to Finland, I had NO idea how I could find a Finnish course or how my husband could find a permanent job or how I could find friends in Sodankylä or how I could find some income online or how I would survive in this cold country, but in due time everything worked out well, haven't they? Even MUCH MUCH MUCH better than my wildest hope. All I needed to do was trust Him to open or close doors for me and wait for His perfect time to unfold.

Well, as you can imagine, only then I could start drifting to sleep peacefully. I breathed a sigh of relief as I left the rest of my worries to Him and just left them there.

Ironically, I find that trusting God isn't as easy as ABC. In normal circumstances, when everything seems to work out just fine for me, it seems easy to trust God. Oh yes, God has provided everything I need and I needn't worry. Life couldn't have been better!!! I'm on a roll!!! YIIIHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAA!!!

However, no matter how much I WANT to trust Him with all my heart, mind, and soul, in critical situations, I doubt and worry and fear.

But then again, without those doubts and those critical situations, I wouldn't be able to let my faith grow, would I? So let me just let my faith be shaken and stirred...and hopefully I'll always cling to God and surrender to Him at the end of the day and become more graceful and gentle and more loving and more teachable...until my last breath.

Image taken from here

Lapland in January 2008

Now let me share some pictures I took this month.

Before that, here's a short video clip I took when it was snowing heavily last week. Well, not too interesting, but just wanna let you know that for those of you who've lived their lives in tropical countries, you needn't really envy us who live in snowy countries. One of the troubles living in a snowy country is that whenever you want to go anywhere, you have to spend time cleaning up your car first from the frozen snow HE HE HE HE HE...But I'm loving it here since I'm not the one who has to do it HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

The first picture was taken a week ago when we went to my in-laws. She made strawberry soup dessert and this time she decided to decorate the top with some candies and white chocolate HE HE HE HE...

The next two pictures were taken in Kelujärvi yesterday. Look at how much snow there is!!!

Next two pics: taken today. Sunny weather but it was -18'C outside this morning he he...

3BT: Weekend Wrap

1. Getting a warm reply from my Aussie friend whom I found in Facebook. YAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!!!

2. Being able to see pictures of his CUTE sons!!!! ;-D

3. A foggy Saturday. Everything was white. So beautiful!!! It was -15'C when we left home to go to Kelujärvi and it went down to -17'C when we came back home.

4. The package for my family has arrived safely in Germany and my friend liked the warm socks I sent her HE HE HE HE HE...

5. Sitting on hubby's lap while he hugged me and swayed his body. Mmmmmm...

6. Receiving an email from my mother and Shen (my sister-in-law). ;-D Mom told me that they had fun watching my brother taking part in a music competition. He played the bass. It was a fun time out for my parents with my brother and his wife. ;-D

7. Playing jigsaw puzzle (920 pieces) for the first time in my life HA HA HA HA HA HA...Arttu bought a puzzle for his parents a while ago and we played it yesterday.

8. Realizing I sucked at playing puzzle whereas Arttu and my mother-in-law could find and match the pieces rather quickly. WOWWWWWWW!!!!

9. Winning another bid at ebay. So I'm REALLY looking forward to receiving and reading all the books I've won in ebay. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!!!! ;-D

10. Chatting with one of my closest friends and hearing that she's been doing fine despite the hard circumstances in her life. She's letting go and letting God. :-)))) Superb!!!

11. Strawberry-blueberry dessert made by my mother-in-law. YUM YUM!!!

12. Mother-in-law telling me that she liked the risoles I gave her. ;-D

13. Watching snowy tree tops blanketed with sunshine. ;-D It is SO sunny today and the temperature has gone rapidly down. It was -18'C this morning and it's now -21'C.

More Awards from My Great Blogging Buddies!

Max has shared this Friendship Ball Award with me. THANKS A LOT, Buddy!!! I LOVE our friendship he he he he...

Juliana shared this award with me. THANKS A LOT, Jul!!! I'm sharing this award with every one of you who comes here to my blog he he he he...

And Liza has signed a contract for me he he he he...THANKS SO MUCH, Liza!!!

Here's the contract!

After serious and cautious consideration...your contract of friendship has been renewed for the New Year 2008! It was a very hard decision to make. So try not to screw it up!!!

My Wish for You in 2008

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts. May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills. May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips! May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires! May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy. May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words ...May 2008 be the best year of your life!

I'm sharing this contract with every one of you who wants to be my friend still throughout 2008 he he he he he...

Meant To Be?

One of the stories that often happened in the past (read: during my grandmother's generation and sometimes even during my generation) was a forced breakup of a couple since the parents disapprove of the relationship. There may be numerous reasons as to why the parents did that. Some of the reasons may be reasonable, some may not. Let me tell you a romantic story of my Mom's uncle.

When he was young, he fell in love with a neighbour girl. Unfortunately, the neighbour was a native Indonesian and his traditional Chinese parents forbid him to have anything to do with her. Then then introduced him to a girl and they eventually got married. Decades went by...the neighbour girl got married, as well, and had plenty of kids and grandkids.

I don't remember anymore whether my Mom's uncle got a divorce or his wife died, but in the end he met the neighbour girl again and found out that they still loved each other. They ended up being together once more in their old romantic is that? ;-D

I don't know whether they got married or they just lived together, but the story proved to me that if some people are really meant to be, no matter how long it takes for them to be together and no matter how many obstacles they have to face to be together, they'll end up together anyway! I can just imagine how happy they must've been that they finally got a chance to be together again, even after their skin had wrinkled!!! ;-D

I also have a sad story about a forced breakup that happened recently. A friend of mine has an elder brother and this guy had been seeing a girl for years. However, the girl's parents disagreed to her choice. Last time I heard from my friend, the girl had been married off to a guy. She tried escaping from the arranged marriage, but I guess in the end she didn't have any more choice.

I think parents sometimes have valid reasons for not approving their kids' choice of spouses, but sometimes they can be wrong. After all, they're only humans and sometimes they dislike their kids' spouses merely due to personal reasons or even prejudices. All in all, I'm glad that my parents approved of my choice of spouse and they supported me wholeheartedly. ;-D

Big Bang - Master List (Copied from Mel Kaye)

Note: This post is copied from Mel Kaye's post. If you're interested in joining this meme, go to Mel Kaye's blog and leave a comment there so that he'll add you to the Master List. Then I'll update mine from his Master List.

*Start Copy Here*

You do not have to be tagged to play along. This game is simple and so are the rules.

  1. Copy from *Start Copy Here* through *End Copy Here*
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  3. Tag or don’t tag, your choice, however, the more tags you create the bigger the list will grow.
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  5. Come back and copy the master list back to your site, often. This process will allow late-comers to get as much link benefit as the first ones in.

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