Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cool to be Holy

Cool: Socially adept; great; fine; excellent.
Holy: Dedicated & devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion.

Can anyone tell me if these two words are antonyms? Can't a person be both or one has to be only one of these, in so saying, does it mean that these two are two opposite extremes?
I was having a conversation with friends the other day. At one point, we were talking about the Tsunami and other natural disasters. At the end of that topic, a friend said, "Life is so short." In a way, she's saying, "We'll never know what might happen to us tomorrow," to which she replied, "That's why we must enjoy life." I, of course being the smart-ass, said in return, "NOOO... That's why we must go to church..."

Now, imagine you were there with us. How would you react to that? Or, what would you think of me?
Coz the friends that were there all stopped what they doing and looked at me. No, STARED at me. And when they finally said something, it was, "Why'd you have to cut off the steam?" and "YOu sound like my mother." Ha ha.

I wouldn't classify myself as being holy. By 'holy' I mean, according society's definition of holy, or pious. I am a Christian. I try to practice my belief the best way I know how. And although I fail it most of the time, it doesn't make me quit trying to be a good Christian. But the world we live in makes it harder and harder to even belief in God, what more to say, to practice that belief. People wants to be seen as COOL. And it's not COOL to be religious, or to even bring it up in conversations. It's not cool to go to church. It's not cool to pray. It's not cool to be holy.

Sometimes, it (talking about religion or God) even feels like a taboo. It almost feels like you have to think twice before bringing it up in conversations, like you have to watch it if you're going to say anything God-related. Yes, we have different beliefs. But it doesn't mean that you stop talking about it altogether. Why can't we just talk about God like we talk about other people. How come it's easier for us to talk about other people's flaws (mengumpat lah bah) than to talk about God, when God is supposed to be the center of our lives? Our very being exist because of Him... Why is it a shameful thing to be talking about Him?

Religion being a sensitive issue is one thing. But amongst Christian friends, why does it have to be? From my observation, these friends are usually people who hadn't been to church for a very long time. For them, religion and God had been like a long-forgotten subject they refused to ever talk about again. Why? My guess is, GUILT. There's that huge void filled by guilt, building a wall in between them and their faith.

Well friends, newsflash: everybody has guilts. I have guilt. I feel guilty all the time. But it doesn't mean that I make it worse by shutting God out completely. When I talk about God or my belief, it doesn't mean that I'm pious. I hope to be, but truth is, none of us will be pure enough, at least not in this world. I like to think that there will always be hope for me, for all of us, no matter how guilty...

I love Jesus. Jesus is my best friend, my backbone, my foundation, my ears, my shoulders... There I said it. It's so cool to be Holy!

Here's something from poet Carol S. Wimmer, something I find solace in =)

When I say..."I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are all too visible,
But God believes I'm worth it.

When I say..."I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartaches
Which is why I speak His name.

When I say..."I am a Christian"
I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority.
I only know I'm loved.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Good Mother

We all want to be good at something. It makes our life worth living. It gives us a sense of purpose, a sense of meaning...

I've always known what I want to be good at. I've always wanted to be a good friend, so I try to be there for my friends often, I try to be fun, I try to be cool. I've always wanted to be a good student (well, at least in the first few years of Primary education), so I try to score, I try to respond to my teachers the way smart students do, I try to be obedient. I've always wanted to be a good singer too. So I try to, well, sing well. I've always wanted to be a good writer. So I try to figure out what matters most in my writing, and the answer turned out to be honesty.

Not that I planned ahead on becoming a mother, but I've always known that I would someday, someday, would love to have children, and I knew even back then, that I want to make a good mother, when I finally become one... And now I am a mother. It's only been 7 months since I became one, and already I feel so inadequate. My son, Micah, had fallen sick more than twice now. He is constantly bloated. He fell off the bed and chair numerous times and there was one time the fall was so had his lip bled. I still can't get anything ready on time, like his baths, his diaper changes. My temper has never been shorter. My desire to smoke is just constantly tagging. My self-centredness of wanting to let go and relax or party sometimes, exists. I just feel so unworthy of this... Like I'm not cut-out for motherhood, for Micah... Does that make me a bad mother?

What does 'a GOOD mother' even mean? More importantly, does it even exist? Who first coined the word 'good' or 'bad' to the title 'mother'? Who or what initially put such a definitive meaning to something so subjective? What does one mean when he or she says, "She's a bad/good mother,"?

Honestly, it worries me what others think about my mothering skills, especially other fellow mothers. Everytime I'm out there with my baby, I feel so judged, hence the constant self-judgment habit; does my baby look fine? Is he neat enough? Are there traces of bread crumbs on his face that I forgot to wipe out? Does his shirt match his pants? Is he behaving like a good kid (owh, whatever THAT means. Good kid is an oxymoron)? Oh no, he's crying too loud! They must think I'm a bad mother!

But above all that assumed criticism, I want to be a god mother because of my son... I want to be a good mother because I want him to be safe all the time from all harm, seen and unseen... I want to be a good mother because I want him to grow up in the right and fun environment... I want to be a good mother because he seems like a great kid (although he's still a 7-moth-old infant) and I want him to have that greatness in every aspect because he deserves it... I want to be a good mother because I want him to be alive, not only physically but also spiritually, emotionally... I want to be a good mother because, I LOVE HIM...

But like the other things that I want to be good at, I can only try... I am but human... I make mistakes, I fail, but I can also succeed... And for that, I try to be the good mother I've always wanted to be...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

To Write Or Not To Write

The SPA exam last Saturday gave me something to blog about. Well, not really. This is just cause. Ha ha.

It was a 9am to 4.20pm exam, with a single one-hour break (1pm - 2pm), and for someone who last seated for a real exam was approximately 730 days ago (equivalent to 2 years. Using 'days' instead to describe it gives it more volume *grin*), that, is mind-blasting, in a not so good way. The one I anticipated for was the 2nd part, Mathematics. Not because I'm good in it, but because once that part is over, the rest of the ride would be 'kacang'. I ended up with 15 vacant multiple-choices rows on the answer sheet (which was later filled-in with the help of my intuition).

The main reason why I wanted to post this entry was because I'd really love to tell you guys about the details. But come to think of it, I'm not sure if we can do that, as the examiners took back all our question papers, which I assume is their way of hindering us from 'sharing' them with the rest of the world (or it could be that they're practicing environmentalism, recycling the papers and all). Ha.

Anyhow, roughly, the last part (before the self-assessment tests), was English Essay (the one before that was the Esei Bahasa Melayu, which I refuse to talk about because I laughed throughout the entire time I was penning down my BRILLIANT ideas), and there were 3 questions to choose one from. The first one was about social networking sites (go figure), while the 2nd one was about... Can't remember. Don't bother. Nothing interesting. And when I got to the 3rd one, I knew it was my niche (it was regarding UNITY). I was like, "Aha! This, I can talk a lot about!". But before I could even jot down my first word, I changed my mind so quickly, as this is an examination to join the government force, yet my thoughts and opinions don't really go in the same direction. So, there goes nothing.

All in all, it was a pretty good experience. My parents are hoping so bad that I'd pass it and go through all the levels of interview, and be a government servant. I nod and smile everytime they say so, but really I was hoping for something else.

Oh well, let's just wait and see what the results would be.
Cheers!