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Archive for the ‘Standing up straight’ Category

To make a plan. Let me explain.

This morning when I was praying, I asked God to change me – please take away my control-freak nature God, it’s making me miserable because I expect others and things to happen the way I want them to. Well, if you live in the real world you’d know that it hardly ever happen this way.

At that moment I sense a nudge. “This is your gift, it said, give thanks for it.” That’s right! Our God never makes mistakes. What He has given us we meant to use it for His glory, His purpose. “Make it yours, my control-freak nature. I am a good planner and that is Your gift for me.”

Just the other day I thought about my various moves around the globe. I moved back to Malaysia after my graduation, much reluctantly. The same sentiment when I moved to Sydney almost 7 years back. The reason? I had to start knowing people and community all over again, to establish new links and friends. I was very successful in establishing my network, I got to know many close friends – some have changed my perspective in life, many have shared my laughter and tears, others gave me unconditional support whenever I voice my needs. How did I do it, I started to wonder. It was because I gave myself a mission, and I did it because I persevered and I did what I set out for myself to do.

My journey to stand up straight will need the same perseverance and putting together a good plan. Both elements happen to be my “talents” – so I would say that I am in good shape.

Plan – not to be affected by circumstances or those around. Now, I would need some distraction. How about some worship music? At one stage I sang to myself the hymn “Give thanks” but that sort of died off after awhile. OK, time to put perseverance into play.

Nike says this “Just do it”. So will I.

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One of the most important steps towards standing up straight is to be able to be comfortable with my own thoughts and decision.  It’s not straight forward for me most of the times because others’ opinions tend to shake my footing an awful lot.  On my dresser mirror I have this list of “things which makes you miserable” and one of those items is “others need to agree with me at all times”.  There you go, my first and most common stumbling block. 

For example, a good mate might come up to tell me about what she would do in my situation (often that sounds to me like “you should be doing this in such situation!”).  It probably was a kind and helpful piece of “advice” but it could recede into my thought process, triggering doubts.  “Have I done the right thing?”, “She is the second person to say that to me, why does everyone else think that way… but me?”, or “Maybe that IS the right reaction!  What should I do now?”.  These thoughts would throw me off balance instantly.

I thought about it a little more today and I think that’s something I need to address, because it invades the peace I have within.  It also down-played the confidence I have in standing up straight. 

What then is the important step towards standing up straight?  Confidence.  What confidence – self-confidence?  Yes, and no.  It’s about having the confidence within us to allow us go out there to do what is right and true to ourselves.  Who then can give us that confidence?  It is whatever (or whoever) that gives us our worth that drives the confidence within us – it could be your spouse, friends, family, work, status, finances and belief. 

My confidence used to come from people – my peers and mother.  It was very dangerous, because people change and we each different individuals – what works for them may not work for me the same.  Furthermore, each one of us has different purpose in our lives, so drawing confidence from her couldn’t bring me to what I should be doing for my life.  So, at other times, I draw my confidence from work and status – I would climb the corporate ladder and of course that too landed me into trouble.

I then discovered God – being the Creator He should be my stronghold.  He never changes.  He knows who I am.  He has given me a purpose for living.  That would be a pretty good bet for confidence, don’t you reckon?

Lord, thank you for examining my heart.  Let my mind be still in You because You alone is my stronghold.  Help me to stand firm by my choices because they are decisions made with You in mind.  Make my steps firm and my faith strong so I can be confident in You.  May Your name be glorified because of what You have done in my life.  Amen.

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Another thing to remember about standing up straight is to remember this – today is a gift…. so treasure it.  Not letting people, things and circumstances grip me is one big step towards standing up straight.

I have a very funny mind – it goes off tangent when things do not happen as I expect them to – it’s as if I can’t flick the switch off and the broken record (of really bad feeling, off-putting words and negative thought) keep playing in my head.  A few things which help to keep me sane (and block off those junk) are:

  1. meditating on God’s words (takes some effort…)
  2. sing or hum to myself
  3. putting the music in the car on full-blast and I would start talking to myself (or self-counselling as I’d call it)
  4. (alternative to #3 above – when the car and time doesn’t permit) write down the thoughts on paper

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I have survived the recent holiday season.  Only just.  It was a holiday I didn’t wish I had.  But with every “hardship”, it comes with its lesson.

The lesson is to know how to stand up straight.  When I lean on another person, there is pressure being applied to him or her – my emotion, action, decision; these are dependent on him/her.  This person will not be able to enjoy the freedom he ought to have, because all of a sudden he has a dependent!  Imagine this – when one becomes a mum, she cannot choose freely if the decision is going to have an impact on her child.  This is the same when I live a life dependent on another – I strip this person of his freedom.

Today, I began to transfer the important information from my 2008 planner diary into the 2009 book I just bought.  As I flipped to the 2008 new year resolution, I realized that I have not worked on what I had hoped to do in 2008 – to stand up straight.  This has been an aged-old issue for me and I have masked it by constantly moving from one activity to another – through staying busy I lose myself.  God has used numerous opportunities to nudge me, but I have dragged my feet….  This may just be the year I would quieten down and let Him do the healing.

“I am the way, the truth and the life…”  Said Christ, and none other will bring me the life God intends for me.

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