31st December 2010 morning was full of washing and cleaning. It was of course a must after two weeks away. I cancelled participating in New Year Celebration together with some friends in Amsterdam as I was feeling exhausted. After washing and cleaning, I had some rest while I was listening to songs from Sovereign Grace Music. It was a perfect moment!
Around 14.00, after completing my ‘things to buy’ list, I headed off to Centrum to buy things, as I planned to do some cookings for the New Year Celebration. Just like tradition in my family, in every New Year Celebration there will be special dishes. So, even though I am away from family, this kind of cooking appetite is still there!
In that foggy afternoon, I managed to go and buy things. It was so slippery outside…Having been entering some shops and being sure that I got all the stuff as listed, I returned back and started cooking. I cooked beef rendang (curry), chicken ala Enta (actually no name for this dish..:)), and veggies. I cooked quite much even though I wasn’t inviting friends, as I said, that was only because of my New-Year-cooking-appetite.
At 16.00 NL time, meaning that it was already 22.00 in Indonesia (Indonesia is 6 hours ahead of Netherland), while I was cooking, I called my mum, also brothers and sisters in Indonesia. They were preparing for the family New Year celebration. As this is my first New Year celebration far away from family, there was a weird if not homesick feeling. I wished I could be with them.
There is a tradition in my family that in New Year, all the family members will gather together, singing and praying started from the youngest to the oldest, ended up with the prayer of my bapak (=father, RIP). After that Christian agenda, there will be another agenda where each will deliver complaints and thankfulness about others, started from the youngest to the oldest. This time, because I am away, I lost my right to deliver my complaints…:D
Spending around three hours cooking I realised that I needed partners to finish the dishes. As most of the flat mates were going out for New Year celebration, I decided to invite two friends who I was sure were still in the flat; Amani from Sudan and Jackson from Zambia. Amani prepared eggs and bread in addition to my cookings. We then were having nice dinner and chats.
Our chat started from courses in campus to rice production and weather issue. We talked about rice because the context was eating, while discussion about weather was suitable with the current uncertainty of weather in NL. In Sudan, rice is mostly imported, weather is hot (40-50 degrees Celsius in summer and 20-30 in winter); in Zambia, rice is imported and domestically produced and weather is not as hot as in Sudan; while in Indonesia rice is plentifully produced, but is not well-managed so that imported rice is also high which strikes if not kills domestic farmers.
Finished with dinner, Amani helped me out doing some cleaning in the kitchen, and after that returned back again to my room. Itunes in my laptop was still singing. This time, song of Jane Saunders ‘He leadeth me’ from ‘In His Hands’ Album. Gratitude to God again sounded in my heart. Now, reflection time!
Outside, people were busy with their firecrackers, making lot of noise, even though it wasn’t the time yet. New Year is identical with firecrackers, fireworks, and colorfully decorated carton trumpet. On the other hand, some people might choose to be busy with their wishes list, resolution, and planning to be pursued and completed in the year to come. I myself celebrated it alone in my room. I chose to do that. This sounds so sad, doesn’t it? But to tell you, it wasn’t that bad. It was a perfect time to look back and look forward. This might be the first and hopefully the last–alone-new-year-celebration..:)
Herewith I am writing down things that I’ve learned in 2010 and will continue to learn in 2011. But I am afraid that only some will be shared with you.
- Managing to do the right thing. Doing the right thing is always followed by tough struggles and battles (putting things right side up on the upside down world needs lot of effort). Perseverance in Him is the key for this. Finding communities that can build up and pray for each other is another important thing.
- Idealising and idolising things/people other than God is leading to destruction and disappointment, as nothing/nobody is perfect, but God alone.
- Living in regrets means no gain. Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.
- Never diminishing the quality and quantity time with Him. Relationship with others will be strengthened when the relationship with Him is kept and nourished. The better knowledge of Him is also a tool towards having good relationship with Him. How do I know Him better? By searching of what He’s saying through His word.
- Contentment is the answer for the question of greed. How to pursue contentment? By understanding the meaning and goal of your life from His perspective.
- Pursuing self-achievement/pride than encouraging others towards His likeness is nothing but rubbish!
- No place is as comfortable as in His presence.
While I was doing some writings, fireworks outside distracted me. I was in a rush going outside and seeing awesome fireworks all around Enschede for almost an hour or so. Yes, this is New Year, Year 2011! Goodbye 2010, welcome 2011!