Lessons from 40 Something

Sometimes the ideas that tap dance around my head are worth a full-blown exploration, other times it’s just some facts to put out there, statements of belief, nuggets of current truths. Like these 5 for example:

  • Leave it alone. Some things are made to be broken. Some things can’t be fixed. Rules, laws, social customs, even people in some cases. Not every problem needs you to attend to its resolution. Sometimes broken is the way it should just be, let it alone.
  • Just get it done. Yes there is an official way to fold a fitted sheet, no it’s not important. Just fold the sheet however you can and walk away. The same is true for many things. You can obsess forever over the right way to do something and making sure it’s just so when the reality is that done is all it really needed to be. So, you…

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Keys To Change

“Sometimes you hold onto keys that are from the past. I found a ring of keys from my old house. I don’t know why I save them, and there were so many!

But none of them fit any of the locks of where I am now dwelling. Many are trying to use old keys in the new place God has brought them. It’s useless to try to use old keys in your new place.

You need new keys for where you are now. Don’t be afraid to let go of old ways of doing things. “It worked before” you say! But this is a new day.

And you are in a new place. Let go of what you’ve been holding onto that is no longer working, and reach into what God has before you.” – Barbara Lanzdorf

It was a jaw-dropping moment when I read this on my facebook’s newsfeed. These were my thoughts exactly today. Amazing how there’s no escaping when there’s a lesson to be learnt!

It’s clear procrastination is not serving me any more–not that it ever has.

But it was allowed ‘cos the pleasure of seeing results gained in the last minute outweighed the pain. My mind associates this bad habit with a sense of reward!

The pressure from leaving things to the eleventh hour forces me to focus in that few remaining hours to get the job done–and it works–at the expense of sleep.

The problem with this habit is that deadlines keeps getting pushed and you find yourself making excuses you know you shouldn’t be making. The worst thing is that time is wasted on all sides and my body suffers for it.

Monday, on the train on the way home from work, I could hardly keep my eyes open and was transformed into a human pendulum. Every time I shook myself awake, I could see the guy seating across me watching and wondering what’s up…

Discipline and Focus are two traits I deeply admire and desire for myself.

2013. Let this be the year I discover how disciplined and focused I can be!

ps: What’s Discipline and Focus got to do with Love? Everything. It’s part of Self-Love. You know it’s good for you, so choose what’s good. It’s part of Respecting Others and Yourself, which again boils down to Loving Others and Yourself enough to do what’s right, i.e Keeping Promises Made. This is one aspect of Love that I / We get to work on this year. I mean, I know I’m not the only procrastinator in this world… come on now! 😉 So yes, I’m talking you and me both! 

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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Love is a gentle sorrow…

Despite the sadness, there is no crushing guilt.

Despite the longing, there is no condemnation.

Despite the pain, there is no despair.

Despite the grief, there is no need to blame.

In quietness and in solitude, the tears flow, but willingly so, for having experienced the Joy of Love, and of being Loved.

In darkness and in waking, the heart sighs, but gratefully so, for the Gift that was given, and the days shared together.

In gentleness and in love, the spirit mourns, but freely so, for assurance from within, that your beloved in Heaven is free at last, to live a life of true Happiness, as such that can’t be imagined, while here on earth.

And so, looking up, I realised, more than anything else, I am happy thinking of how happy Pebbles must be right now…

…Love is a gentle sorrow.

So I’ve…

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‘Coincidence’ as the Jewish say ‘is not a Kosher word’ and as I sit here stretched out on this chair, 1052 kilometers from the last place I knew as home, looking out onto a crystal blue bay so close I could maybe, just maybe disturb its mirror surface with a pebble if my right arm summoned the strength, I can appreciate that the Jewish rabbi who first uttered the words which became that well known saying was not necessarily being as tongue in cheek as the modern text claims but rather he must have known something which I am just now beginning to grasp: There are no mistakes in life, there is only purpose and our purpose unfolds before us disguising itself in ‘accidents’ or ‘coincidences’ or ‘disappointments’, getting troubling news or ‘missing out’ on an opportunity. I can see now that purpose has to hide within these so called…

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MINDI JO FURBY

Photo By: Mindi Jo Furby

If someone tells you the Christian life is easy and all your troubles will magically disappear if you surrender to Jesus, they’re lying.

We have peace, not perfection. We live with purpose, but not without persecution. We access truth, but often fail living it out. We get hurt, disappointed, depressed, annoyed, peeved, sad, angry, frustrated, and livid just like everyone else; and sometimes, we just want to curl up and cry.

What’s the point, then? Why do something crazy like give your life to Someone if we don’t get any perks in the here and now? In short, the “here and now” is exactly that: here and now. Not there and then. We’re all moving toward there and then (eternity), but what happens in the here and now determines the location and exaltation of the there and then.

Giving your life to Christ is amazing, but it’s only the first…

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a hospitable soul

As I reflect on 2012, I hadn’t yet allowed myself to see all of the ways my words for 2012 were weaved into this blessed year. As I pause to reflect, I see “mystery” and “creation” have done a work in me in unexpected and rich ways.

I appreciated reading more about the mystery of God. Currently in the church there seems to be a return to an appreciation of mystery that I believe is a powerful movement leading people deeper into the Spirit of God. There is something so beautifully mysterious and unexpected about the ways of God. To drink it in deep and to search out its ways is not a journey that will be in vain. 

Throughout the year, I chose to be okay with the sacred confession of “I don’t know”, serving to remind me that I am human and my voice isn’t nearly as…

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“Don’t Give Up.”

He spoke fluent English. And even Malay. With a mop of white hair and big grandfather glasses, there was something about this man that told me he wasn’t always a taxi driver. True enough, he says he’s been driving for 6 years.

“What did you do before this?”
“Civil servant.”
“Are you a teacher?”
“Researcher.”
“Oh, you work in the science lab?”
“No, I research Malaysia’s rubber trees… anything you want to know about rubber trees I can tell you… from the seed to the latex to the Rubberwood…”
“Rubberwood?! You mean they actually use the wood of rubber trees?”
“Yea! Your furnitures are made of Rubberwood. Rubber trees are known as Malaysia’s Oaktrees!”
“…I didn’t know that. At least I learnt something new today.”
He also tells me that rubber seeds have been modified. It used to take 7 years to grow a rubber tree. But if it’s only latex they’re after, they can make a skinny rubber tree grow in just 3 years.
“There used to be a rubber plantation near where I lived. Where are the rubber plantations now?”
“…most of them have been turned into housing estates.”
“Yea that’s what happened to the one near my area.”

Now we’ve passed the massive jam and were halfway to my train station. Something my boss said this afternoon came to mind.

“…the years have seen much that the days haven’t, my boss said today. I am sure you have lots of wisdom and have seen much. If you could give me one advice on… life… or anything… what would it be?” I was really curious what this old man might say.

“Don’t give up.”

“Hmm. Why? What does “don’t give up” mean to you?”
“Don’t give up means don’t give up.”
“I know what it means… but why is it meaningful for you? It must mean something for you to pick this–out of so many things–to advice me… does it mean something to you?”
“…don’t give up even when you have problems… I have lots of problems!! A fountain high!!!”
“…Oh. Is it financial?”
“I am in heavy debt!” 

He tells me about his problems with the Ah Longs (the illegal moneylenders in Malaysia). It sounds like he’s blaming them for his own decisions. But I can imagine his distress and anger, and needing a point of release. I kept trying to ask why he’s in debt.

“Is it a habit?” (I deliberately avoided using the word “bad habit”) He wouldn’t say. And I wasn’t expecting his next revelation.

“Two days ago, I wanted to commit suicide!” And then he recited the prayers he prayed before planning on dying.

Next, he said, “Do you know the best way to kill yourself?”
“…err… no?”
“Hanging! Do you think hanging is good? There’s no place to hang yourself!
Poison! Do you think that’s easy? You’re going to suffer so much pain before you die.
Cut your wrist! 3 days ago, a taxi driver cut his wrist and died. Do you know how long it takes before you die when you cut your wrist? It takes too long!
Jump from the building! Do you know a man who gambled in a casino in Singapore jumped from the building but landed on the net? You want to jump and die–but you can’t!

So do you know the best way to die?”

In the midst of this, I was beginning to panic a little. Hence the little distress message on fb. Apparently nobody cares hahs.

“No I don’t. What’s the best way to die?”
“I won’t tell you… But this morning I saw a doctor… and I changed my mind! I won’t give up! I’m going to fight back!”

He tells me his plans. And it’s not a very good one. “What’s your name uncle? I want to pray for you tonight.”
“David.”
“What’s your surname?”
“Chong.”
He has no idea… these two names combined, is significant to me.

“I’ll pray for you. I pray that you’ll find other ways to solve your problems… I know talk is easy and your situation is hard… but I’m sure there are other ways and God can help you find it…”

May I invite you to send out a little prayer for this man, David Chong. He’s very old and he’s still out there on the road. He may deserve his problems–but he deserves compassion too. Pray for him.

ps: If you actually took the time to finish reading this, Hello to you! We’re only 4 days into the New Year. I hope your day has been worth smiles and filled with wonder. And if not… “Don’t give up.”

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture