Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Loving Beyond Limits

I've been subscribing to this weekly newsletter for a couple of years, but does not read it regularly. I do not normally just copy paste information to this blog, but this newsletter edition is a gem that I want to remember and be reminded of.

If you're blessed, you know what to do. Go subscribe ;) 

Loving Beyond Limits

Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

"Love never fails." -- 1 Corinthians 13:8

Perhaps you’ve heard someone in a failed relationship say, “We always loved each other, but we just couldn’t get along.” They may have loved much, but they didn’t know how to love well.

First Corinthians 13 is great counsel on how to love well in marriage. Loving well is the most essential ingredient for even the most spiritual people.

For one thing, loving well brings music to our words (see verse 1). In times of trouble, we can be suspicious of the things our spouse says to us. If our actions don’t show love, words of love will only clang in our hearts. But loving behavior makes even our most mundane conversations melodic.

Similarly, loving well adds muscle to our faith (see verse 2). It doesn’t matter what kinds of obstacles we overcome or what kinds of insights we have; without acting in love toward those closest to us, even the greatest spiritual accomplishments turn to dust.

Finally, loving well brings value to our sacrifices (see verse 3). In marriage, we often sacrifice for our partner, but there can be a point at which we start keeping track of what those efforts cost us. When we love well, even the smallest sacrifices become treasures rather than points scored.

Verses 4–7 are practical reminders for marriage.

Verse 4:
When he is thoughtless and inconsistent, “love is patient.”
When she hurts you, “love is kind.”
When other couples have what you want, love “does not envy.”
When you were right and he was wrong, love “does not boast.”
When you did a better job than she did, love “is not proud.”

Verse 5:
When you know your spouse hates it when you are habitually late, love “does not dishonor others.”
When no one thinks of you—your needs, your feelings, your desires or your rights—love “is not self-seeking.”
When you’ve had a long day and you’re tired, or when she seems to be taking potshots at you, love “is not easily angered.”
When your spouse doesn’t say “I’m sorry” for some offense, love “keeps no record of wrongs.”
Verse 7:
When he or she is taking a pounding from the world, your love, like a roof overhead, “protects.”
When you’ve been hurt or disappointed or betrayed, love “trusts.”
When no one notices how much you care or how often you cry, love “hopes.”
And when your love has been abused and questioned, when the door has been slammed in your face, when you’ve been completely ignored, love “perseveres.”

My thought: so far so good in text, so impossible to do. Thus, I thank this next paragraph:

Of course, if we’re honest with one another, we have to admit that none of us measures up to the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13. No matter how much we love our spouse, loving well is too hard for us. That is why our relationship with Christ and the infilling of the Holy Spirit are so crucial. The Lord expects us to do our best—to throw our hearts and wills into all aspects of loving well. But when we’ve reached the limit of our ability, stunted by our sinfulness and weakness, we can pray for grace to do better. God can dial down our selfishness, release us from our insecurities and scorekeeping, and refresh our delight in our partner, so that we can begin to know the blessing of loving well.

--Lee Eclov

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How Is Motherhood?

When my son was 2 weeks old, a friend asked me: "How is motherhood?" I told her a very short answer: "It was crazy," but I think the answer is not that simple; it needs a whole blog post to answer.

I am new to motherhood. Of course. As I'm writing this, my experience of motherhood is merely 16 days. But, oh man, I didn't sign up for this. Well, I did pray and beg for the Lord to give me a child, and He has been good. However, *sigh* the constant need of this one tiny creature baffles me. His life relies on me breastfeeding him, and he doesn't care if it's day or night. He just keeps asking for more milk.

Every time I look at him, I am frightened. I literally shudder with fright. My friends and family said that things will get better. But I cannot see the light at the end of this tunnel. I'm just trying to pass each day and night, but really, there is no passing each day. I realize that by the time morning hits, the same scenario is played all over again. I am exhausted and terrified.

Right now I'm just clinging onto the hope that what people say is true, that things will get better, although I don't have the slightest idea how this can change.

Motherhood knows no day off. God help me.

Written at January 10, 2015
#latepost #throwback

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Raven's First Baby Spa at VITA Baby Bright, Surabaya [picture heavy]

Although my husband and I do not like shower so much, my baby Raven loves his bath time. On his first day at home (I think he was 3 days old then), we invited a nurse to teach us how to bathe a baby, and the nurse commented that Raven seemed to enjoy the process. And since then, we have observed that Raven always anticipates his bath time, and smiles and giggles. For a couple of days, he even always cried after bath time. I think he got upset because wet time is over.

By the way, Raven is my baby son, born near the end of 2014.
Raven, 4 months.
Current hobby: licking anything.

Anyway, because of that, I have been wanting to take my baby Raven to a baby spa. I was sure he was going to love being able to swim in a more spacious place, instead of just soaking in his little bath tub.

So, with my employee discount (oh, the perks of working in a school), I took Raven to have baby spa session in Vita Baby Bright.

Here are some pictures of the facility:

Pool for babies from the age of 0 month.

A closer look of the duck spa pool.
The spa bath tub for older kids.

The massage room.
So, what is actually a baby spa session? In Vita Baby Bright, the session consists of 20 minutes baby swimming and 40 minutes of baby massages. The therapist explains that baby swimming is very good for babies' motoric development and brain development as well, since babies learn through physical activities. And not to mention that the activity is fun for the babies!

The massage has many added benefits, including improving weight gain and giving the baby better sleep. Sleeping baby means sleeping mommy and daddy. And mommy and daddy need sleep! So we say yes to massage! Massage is good! :D

Only babies more than 6 kg can wear the neck ring.
The warm water is newly refilled for every baby.

Ready to splash into the water.

"I love water!"

I love it that the pool facade is transparent so we can actually see what the baby is doing.


You can also view the video at my Instagram: https://instagram.com/p/2morh4SKcq/

Unfortunately, after 10 minutes or so, Raven got cranky. The therapist suspected that he's tired already. Oh, well.

The auntie helped holding Raven while the therapist took off the neck ring.

After the swim, the therapist suggested that the baby needs to drink milk before we went on to the massage session. However, I didn't bring any bottle with expressed breast milk to feed Raven, so I had to breastfeed him. Unfortunately, it was the day when Raven rejected my breast (it had been going for a couple of days -- it's another story) so he did not want to nurse, and got even crankier :crying:

Raven did not want the massage
Luckily, the therapist is very nice and patient, so she suggested that I held Raven while she gave the massage.

We were both oily, but it kinda worked. Raven was more relaxed.

If I may give suggestions, I really hoped that when customers booked for the session, we were told some guidelines such as feeding the baby half an hour or an hour before the session, or the need to bring a bottle of milk. Overall, it was a very good baby spa experience for baby Raven! Thank you, VITA Baby Bright!
The baby is pleased.

VITA Baby Bright
Jl. Dharmahusada Indah Timur II/8, Surabaya
"Second home for your little star" 
Enrichment Program. Gym&Ballet. Baby & Kids Spa. Little Star Shop. 
Contact: +6231 599 0477, 0851 0242 6777 
BB Pin: 24CF9977  
Website: http://vitababybright.com

Instagram: @vitababybright
Go follow their IG to check out their promo, or even just to look at pictures of cute children!

I wanted to say that this is unsponsored review, but the fact that I work in somehow the same institution, the fact that I got an employee discount for this, and the fact that I've never been to any other baby spa might make me a little biased. However, the institution did not ask me to write this review, and I've tried to write as honest as possible. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bakso B2 Jl. Polisi Istimewa Surabaya [Makan Ngemper Review]

Peringatan: Maaf, postingan kali ini mengandung makanan yang haram menurut agama tertentu, yaitu sapi pendek alias B2.
Yang tidak mau membaca silahkan klik tombol x di pojok kanan atas.
Yang malah penasaran membaca, hati-hati ngiler. You've been warned.

Mari kita mulai review Makan Ngemper.

Setiap kali lewat Jl. Polisi Istimewa bersama Pak Suami, dia selalu menunjuk satu penjual makanan kaki lima yang sama dan bilang, "Ayo kapan-kapan kamu aku ajak makan di sana. Bakso babi tuh." Begitu sering Pak Suami melemparkan janji ajakan makan bakso babi ini tanpa segera merealisasikannya, sehingga rasa lapar penasaran saya menumpuk makin tinggi.

Akhirnya setelah suatu hari saya berkata, "Ayo kita makan bakso babi. Jangan janji melulu!" merapatlah kami ke penjaja kaki lima yang berjudul "Bakso B2" ini. Letaknya di Jl. Polisi Istimewa, di depan Gereja Katedral Hati Kudus Yesus dan SMA St. Louis 1.

Waktu itu siang hari dan saya sedang hamil besar. Cuaca panas sekali dan tempat duduk yang disediakan rombong bakso ini kecil dan sempit. Sungguh pas untuk makan bakso. Makan bakso memang harus agak tidak nyaman, supaya kita kepanasan dan keringatan. Percaya deh, dengan cara ini baksonya akan makin nikmat, dan es degannya terasa oh-so-fresh.

Menu isi mangkok yang ditawarkan Bakso B2 adalah:
  • bakso
  • rambak
  • usus
  • paru-paru
  • kulit
Dengan pilihan minuman: es degan atau es jeruk. Saya sih #TimEsDegan.

Sekarang review makanannya!
  • Kuah Bakso. Menurut saya ini bagian terpenting dari bakso. Dan kuah Bakso B2 enak dan manis, meskipun belum digejrot kecap manis dan sambal. Mungkin karena dari kaldu babi ya, yang konon lebih nikmat dari kaldu sapi. 
  • Bakso. Sayang sekali baksonya tidak terlalu banyak mengandung daging. Alias rasa kanji. Jika ingin bakso babi yang lebih terasa dagingnya, saya sarankan ke bakso babi yang terkenal di Malang. (Maafkan saya lupa nama depotnya).
  • Rambak. Sedap. Dicelup di kuah tetap enak! Tidak dicelup kuah juga kriuk.
  • Usus, paru-paru, dan kulit. Usus dan kulit rasanya mantap karena juicy dan tidak hambar. Saya dan Pak Suami tidak mencoba paru-paru karena alasan kami jijik.
  • Es degan. Segar dan manisnya pas. Apalagi es degan di sini tidak ditambahi sirup, membuat rasa degannya tetap terasa. #TimDeganTanpaSirup

Saya juga sempat ngobrol dengan Om-om yang makan di sebelah saya, yang rupanya sudah menjadi pelanggan setia Bakso B2 ini sejak dia masih sekolah di Sinlui (nama beken SMA St. Louis 1). Dilihat dari tampang dan kebuncitan perutnya (maaf, Om), sepertinya Om ini sudah berusia 30 ke atas. Berarti paling tidak dia sudah menjadi pelanggan setia selama 15 tahun! Woot!
My verdict:
Saya curiga kuah dan jeroannya-lah yang membuat Bakso B2 ini tetap eksis dan orang-orang terus datang, karena jujur saja, baksonya sendiri tidak terlalu menarik hati (terlalu banyak kanji.) 

Jadi yang belum pernah coba, silahkan langsung saja cus ke TKP ya ;)

Bakso B2
Jl. Polisi Istimewa, Surabaya
Jam buka: siang hari selalu terlihat buka, kurang tahu jam persisnya hehe..
- Bakso: IDR 10,000
- Es degan: IDR 3,000

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Facial Review: Facial Ozon Herbal at Profira Aesthetic & Anti Aging Clinic

I love facial.

I like being massaged and touched and caressed. So I like to venture and try different clinics that offer spa and facial treatment, although I haven't been to as many clinics as I hope.

Let's see, in Surabaya so far I've tried Natasha, LBC, Amethyst, erha. I've always wanted to try Miracle but the facial treatment price is not within my budget. Then Profira opened. Because I've heard that it's opened by a doctor previously working in Miracle, I thought the quality will be on par with Miracle. And the price, too, so I never went there. Haha..

Until the day I saw this at groupon:

The link is here: http://groupon.co.id/voucher/surabaya/71966/up-to-52-percent-offfacial-ozon-herbal-chemical-peeling-at-profira
It is in my facial budget range, so why not? This is a good deal, or so I thought. So I bought two vouchers, one for me and one for my husband. It was quite easy to make the appointment, and I went there this noon with high hopes.

Profira Manyar, Surabaya

The place was very doctor-like, my husband commented when he stepped in. Indeed, the place was very clean and smelled fresh.

After registering and such and such, we were ushered to the second floor.

Sponge and such. All new.

The facial treatment included the following steps:
  1. The beautician showed that they are using new sterilized tools. Nice.
  2. The beautician used antiseptics on their hands, and gave some to my hands as well. I think it'd be useful in case I touch my face accidentally.
  3. Cleansing.
  4. Scrubbing and steaming and more thorough scrubbing.
  5. Massage. After the massage was over, I peeked through the clock and realize that only 15 minutes passed by from the first step. What a quick massage. *a little disappointed as I love massage*
  6. Blackhead/whitehead extraction. Only 10 minutes.
  7. High frequency treatment.
  8. Facial mask. 20 minutes.
  9. The last step: Anti-irritation cream and sunblock applied.
In total, 55 minutes passed by.

I was a bit disappointed. When I called to make the appointment, I asked how many hours will this facial ozon herbal treatment lasts. Profira said: 2 hours.

Yeah, 2 hours. And the husband and I only got 55 minutes. Perhaps it's because my face was not so dirty. But on my defense, I haven't been to any facial treatment since I was pregnant and now my son is three months old. That's one-no-facial-year. I know my face is horrible and rough to touch. And the husband's face, no matter how gorgeous and handsome he is *wink*, is no better than mine. He rides motorcycle everyday and he washes his face with Sabun Lux. LOL.

Okay, maybe that is not a problem. Quick facial is not a sin. I do not blame the clinic. Maybe the beauticians are very skilled, so they can finish the facial treatment well in a very limited amount of time. *sarcasm intended*

But here lies the real problem, in my opinion. Dear readers, please read the deal:

Btw, it's funny that the logo is the Naripan Hotel. LOL.

"Selain itu, Profira Aesthetic & Anti Aging Clinic juga menghadirkan Facial Ozon Herbal yaitu facial terbaru menggunakan bahan herbal yang mengandung azulen yang menyejukkan dan mendinginkan kulit. Facial ini dikombinasikan dengan penggunaan ozon spray untuk menyegarkan dan meningkatkan suplai oksigen untuk kulit."

I didn't get any ozone spray. I know what an ozone spray is like. I had facials with ozone sprays. And my husband didn't get it either. WE ARE NOT HAPPY.

I know some people will say something like: You bought a facial at a discounted price, don't expect the best. I cannot take that excuse. I bought a facial treatment valued Rp. 200,000 for Rp. 99,000. I know I should get a Rp. 200,000 valued facial treatment. And for the one who makes the offer, what is their purpose in the first place? I'm sure it's for marketing, so that people will get a taste of the clinic and be satisfied and come back later and be loyal customers. Not me. I'm not going back. Why do they treat new customers like this? They're throwing away potential customers, really.

Finally, here is my verdict on the Facial Ozon Herbal at Profira:

  • The clinic is very clean, fresh, and quite luxurious.
  • It's easy to make appointments (at my favorite clinic --Natasha, that is-- you have to queue, and it's a long queue, trust me).
  • New and sterilized tools (not at my favorite clinic).
  • Not the best place for me-time moment because the treatment ends fairly quickly. I don't even fall asleep. And if you know me, I fall asleep everywhere, even when I drive. LOL.
  • They don't deliver their promise. I really want to say that I feel cheated here. But people would say things like: "You should have asked." No, I don't bother to ask. I'm already disappointed.
  • Facial ozon herbal sounds so good, but really it feels like a very quick, standard facial treatment. 
  • I'm touching my nose as I'm typing right now, and boy, it still fells like a porcupine. Well, a little tame porcupine. Blackhead/whitehead still wins.
Coming back for any treatment at Profira? No.

As for the result of the facial for my acne, I'll see in a couple of days. Usually I assess the result of a facial treatment from how many pimples show up in the next days. A good facial treatment will not produce any new pimples. A poor facial treatment will produce a lot of new pimples. So, let's see.

By the way, if you are one of the 800 something people who bought this voucher, tell me, are you satisfied? Did you get the ozone spray? And if you bought the voucher but haven't used it yet, make sure you demand what you deserve to get.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Golden Rule? Bullshit.

Golden Rule yang diajarkan Tuhan Yesus itu bullshit.

Kata Yesus sih, "Segala sesuatu yang kamu kehendaki supaya orang perbuat kepadamu, perbuatlah demikian juga kepada mereka. Itulah isi seluruh hukum Taurat dan kitab para nabi."

Mantap sekali. Seluruh hukum Taurat dan kitab para nabi ribuan tahun dirangkum dalam 2 hukum, dan salah satunya adalah Golden Rule itu.

Tapi saya kecewa ketika mencobanya, ketika berusaha mencoba meningkatkan kualitas salah satu relasi saya dengan seseorang. Karena merasa tidak dihargai dan ingin dihargai, saya menghargai dia. Karena sedih sering ditegur ketika berbuat salah, saya tidak menegur dia meskipun saya melihat kesalahannya. Karena ingin mendapatkan pengakuan dan support atas kerja keras yang telah saya lakukan, saya berusaha memujinya setiap ada kesempatan. Karena ingin diajak berkomunikasi dengan baik, saya selalu berusaha berkomunikasi dengan sejelas-jelasnya. Karena ini dan itu, saya ini dan itu.

Dan saya lelah. Karena ternyata saya tidak mendapatkan balasan. Saya tetap merasa tidak dihargai, hati saya masih sering sakitnya tuh di sini *permisi joget* karena ditegur atas kesalahan kecil, yang bahkan terkadang saya tidak paham salah di mana, saya tetap tidak mendengar kalimat pengakuan atau dukungan, malah sebaliknya, dan komunikasi tetap blur dan tidak jelas, at least bagi saya.

Jadi hipotesa sementara adalah: Jesus, your Golden Rule is bullshit. It doesn't work.

Lalu saya mencoba kembali membaca Matius 7:12. "Segala sesuatu yang kamu kehendaki supaya orang perbuat kepadamu, perbuatlah demikian juga kepada mereka. Itulah isi seluruh hukum Taurat dan kitab para nabi."

Lalu saya baca lagi lima kali. Lalu saya baca ayat selanjutnya. Loh, kok kalimatnya tidak lengkap ya. Seharusnya ayat ini dilanjutkan dengan: "Dan mereka juga akan berbuat demikian kepadamu." Tapi kalimat lanjutan ini memang tidak pernah ada. Rupanya ayat ini bukan alat untuk mendapatkan yang saya mau. Rupanya ayat ini adalah pedoman ideal bagaimana SAYA harus bersikap.

Tapi kan capek, Tuhan... Seperti cinta tak berbalas. Cieee... Tuhan sih bisa mencintai tanpa syarat, tapi saya manusia. Mba Katy Perry, sekalian saya mau bilang di post ini, lagumu Unconditionally itu bullshit deh.

Oh well, itu perintah dari Tuhan sih, bukan untuk ditawar-tawar. Namanya perintah ya dijalankan. Kalo capek jalaninnya? Ya minta lagi kekuatan dan support dari yang ngasih perintah.

Jadi sekarang saya cabut deh predikat bullshit dari Golden Rule. Ternyata saya yang salah paham. Tapi, Tuhan, kasih kekuatan untuk saya melakukannya ya? Janji? Janji suci?

Okay. Deal.