Sunday, February 24, 2013

God's love

For the first time today, I went to New Creation Church at Star Vista. After hearing about a few of my friends who have joined their services, and even my sister who comes from a traditional background spoke positively about the sermon, I finally gotten my lazyass off my bed on Sunday morning to attend the service. When I was there, I felt at peace.

Since years back, I've heard from many skeptics about NCC. I don't know if things have changed, but I felt the message shared today was truly focused on God, and His love for us. In fact, after today's message, I really felt more confident about whatever lies ahead. 

I learnt about the importance of knowing how much God loves you. 
When you know that God loves you, you will have the confidence that everything in life will work out, and you will need to seek security in the wrong places, and from the wrong people. 

1 John 2:15-16 "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Because we don't know how much God loves us, because we haven't experienced that love...that is why we put our focus and confidence in the "world",  like money, power, approval from men.

However, if we understand how much God loves us, we will not need to seek approval from people. The same way, if our parents continually assure us that they love us, and that we are beautiful, what others say will not matter to us. We will then have the confidence to go through life without compromising ourselves.

Through that, I also realised, in my past experience, when I was hopelessly in love with my boyfriend, many things didn't matter. It didn't matter that I was struggling to make a career, it didn't matter if we didn't have plans, it didn't matter if things were boring, it didn't matter whether I dressed up or down. When you have the full assurance of love from someone, you know that no matter what you do, he/she will still love you the most. He/she will still find you beautiful and what you share together will be important. When you have the full assurance of love, people may judge you and say things about you, you have the confidence to not let them affect you because it does not matter.

God loves us... and has given his Son to redeem us, so that we can live life abundantly.

No matter what situation you are in, He has a plan for you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning

A colleague forwarded this article the other day. It was an instant call for action, for me to sit and and ponder about what is important to me.

Here goes the article by Peter Bregman, who contributes to the Harvard Business Review Blog Network:
I was late for my meeting with the CEO of a technology company and I was emailing him from my iPhone as I walked onto the elevator in his company's office building. I stayed focused on the screen as I rode to the sixth floor. I was still typing with my thumbs when the elevator doors opened and I walked out without looking up. Then I heard a voice behind me, "Wrong floor." I looked back at the man who was holding the door open for me to get back in; it was the CEO, a big smile on his face. He had been in the elevator with me the whole time. "Busted," he said.

The world is moving fast and it's only getting faster. So much technology. So much information. So much to understand, to think about, to react to. A friend of mine recently took a new job as the head of learning and development at a mid-sized investment bank. When she came to work her first day on the job she turned on her computer, logged in with the password they had given her, and found 385 messages already waiting for her.

So we try to speed up to match the pace of the action around us. We stay up until 3 am trying to answer all our emails. We twitter, we facebook, and we link-in. We scan news websites wanting to make sure we stay up to date on the latest updates. And we salivate each time we hear the beep or vibration of a new text message.

But that's a mistake. The speed with which information hurtles towards us is unavoidable (and it's getting worse). But trying to catch it all is counterproductive. The faster the waves come, the more deliberately we need to navigate. Otherwise we'll get tossed around like so many particles of sand, scattered to oblivion. Never before has it been so important to be grounded and intentional and to know what's important.

Never before has it been so important to say "No." No, I'm not going to read that article. No, I'm not going to read that email. No, I'm not going to take that phone call. No, I'm not going to sit through that meeting.

It's hard to do because maybe, just maybe, that next piece of information will be the key to our success. But our success actually hinges on the opposite: on our willingness to risk missing some information. Because trying to focus on it all is a risk in itself. We'll exhaust ourselves. We'll get confused, nervous, and irritable. And we'll miss the CEO standing next to us in the elevator.

A study of car accidents by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute put cameras in cars to see what happens right before an accident. They found that in 80% of crashes the driver was distracted during the three seconds preceding the incident. In other words, they lost focus — dialed their cell phones, changed the station on the radio, took a bite of a sandwich, maybe checked a text — and didn't notice that something changed in the world around them. Then they crashed.

The world is changing fast and if we don't stay focused on the road ahead, resisting the distractions that, while tempting, are, well, distracting, then we increase the chances of a crash.
Now is a good time to pause, prioritize, and focus. Make two lists:
List 1: Your Focus List (the road ahead) What are you trying to achieve? What makes you happy? What's important to you? Design your time around those things. Because time is your one limited resource and no matter how hard you try you can't work 25/8.
List 2: Your Ignore List (the distractions)
To succeed in using your time wisely, you have to ask the equally important but often avoided complementary questions: what are you willing not to achieve? What doesn't make you happy? What's not important to you? What gets in the way?
Some people already have the first list. Very few have the second. But given how easily we get distracted and how many distractions we have these days, the second is more important than ever. The leaders who will continue to thrive in the future know the answers to these questions and each time there's a demand on their attention they ask whether it will further their focus or dilute it.
Which means you shouldn't create these lists once and then put them in a drawer. These two lists are your map for each day. Review them each morning, along with your calendar, and ask: what's the plan for today? Where will I spend my time? How will it further my focus? How might I get distracted? Then find the courage to follow through, make choices, and maybe disappoint a few people.

After the CEO busted me in the elevator, he told me about the meeting he had just come from. It was a gathering of all the finalists, of which he was one, for the title of Entrepreneur of the Year. This was an important meeting for him — as it was for everyone who aspired to the title (the judges were all in attendance) — and before he entered he had made two explicit decisions: 1. To focus on the meeting itself and 2. Not to check his BlackBerry.

What amazed him was that he was the only one not glued to a mobile device. Were all the other CEOs not interested in the title? Were their businesses so dependent on them that they couldn't be away for one hour? Is either of those a smart thing to communicate to the judges?

There was only one thing that was most important in that hour and there was only one CEO whose behavior reflected that importance, who knew where to focus and what to ignore. Whether or not he eventually wins the title, he's already winning the game.

I could identify with the email checking habit... and acknowledge that I have given myself to distractions many times!

Technology has made us so very efficient, and yet given us so many distractions at the same time. We think that by being kept busy with constant email checking, we are clearing work. Sometimes, to the contrary, we end up answering requests and end up not being able to complete what we were supposed to do. Worse still, we might be so overwhelmed we miss our window of opportunity for something we always wanted - yet to distracted to remember. It's time to get my focus right, and hesitate each time the email alert or phone rings.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
No matter what I say or do, I still feel you here 'till the moment I'm gone.

You hold me without touch.
You keep me without chains.
I never wanted anything so much than to drown in your love and not feel your reign.

Set me free, leave me be. I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I'm supposed to be.
But you're on to me and all over me.

You loved me 'cause I'm fragile.
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone.

Set me free, leave me be. I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I'm supposed to be.
But you're on to me and all over me.

I live here on my knees as I
Try to make you see that you're
Everything I think I need here on the ground.
But you're neither friend nor foe though I
Can't seem to let you go.
The one thing that I still know is that you're keeping me down
You're keeping me down, yeah, yeah, yeah
You're onto me, onto me and all over

Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long

Friday, December 16, 2011

You will give so much, and love your all, until one day, you can’t give anymore.

It’s like karma biting back at me. Loving someone so much, and not getting the same measure in return. It feels like you have ran a mile, and the other person have only inched across the room.  When you give your best and expect heartfelt appreciation, you only get a “Thanks”.

You will give so much, and love your all, until one day, you can’t give anymore.

Why do we love? We love, to be loved in return.
In our purest of hearts and most naïve of minds, we love more, thinking we will receive more love in return.

And when we don’t get the measure of love we think we deserve, we put more effort in loving.  And we try even harder. The harder it is, the more desirable the other person seems. And time after time, we stretch our capacity to love, in hopes of reciprocation at a level we expect. What more, since so much effort had already been put in! The cycle continues – Love, expect more love back, didn’t meet expectation, love more, expect more….

Each time the expectation is not met, disappointment accumulates. With each disappointment, your expectation decreases. As your expectations drop, your efforts dip.

Finally, you come to a point where you do not expect anymore. Then it doesn’t matter whether the person reciprocates anymore. You have also given up loving.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lessons during this period of "alone-ness"

Last night, I asked God to show me if A really loved me.This morning, I saw a friend post this:

Come afternoon, I was speaking to him and I got all frustrated about our distance, how long we haven't seen each other, and I started crying and telling him how it felt like I was putting in so much effort, and he was putting little.
He told me to stop worrying, and that he loves me, and is trying to work things out. He doesn't mind waiting this out and then we can finally move together once he gets settled with his cafe business or career, if the former doesn't work out. 
He said he got a little frustrated as well, when I told him about other guys giving me attention and that I was always giving him ultimatums. That was precisely because he does not seem to express himself, and when I don't know, I start imagining stuff. And me telling him all these things was in hope to get a reaction from him, to get more attention and love from him.

How would I know what I do not know, feel, or hear?

I felt better after the phone conversation. He sent me a text, and said that he was probably "quiet" because he didn't know where he was heading, or what to do with his life. He said that he loves me, but this would take a while for us to be together.

After that, I think God spoke to me. 

It is not something entirely new, but He revealed something else through this situation.

Right from the start, this relationship with A was a reminder to trust God. Precisely he was not a believer, I couldn't take things for granted, like I used to. I couldn't just lean on him or any man, like I used to lean on Rallen. I had to learn to trust God.

What happened today reinforced that, and also that I had to learn: Patience

I was reminded of what J shared last night. During her previous relationship with an unbeliever, she prayed to God and gave him permission to take that guy away from her life. Ouch. that is painful. She went through a period of mourning, and waiting. But look at what we have now? Her, happily attached to D, and they are both happily serving in His house.

At my work desk, I silently thanked God that Rallen left. It is painful, but it was for the better. Look at what I have experienced in the last 8 months? I discovered new-found joys for dance, travelling, made many new friends, became more confident in myself (my self-worth is no longer in him), learnt to enjoy time alone, had the most fun I ever had in years, and most importantly, discovered who my real friends were, and appreciate my family more.

Back to Patience.
Good things are worth waiting for. In life, we don't always get what we want. It is only when we work hard for what we want, then it becomes something that we truly cherish. 

I thank God that I still have a few years ahead for me, before I need to get married. For now, it just means, that loving someone doesn't mean that I have to be with the person all the time.
The distance will tell if you really want him or her, or vice versa.

I'll use this 3 years to focus on my career, and get myself refined in the arts. Meet more people, learn more, experience more. And hopefully, by then, I'll be ready.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

You can know so much, yet not know at all.

I used to think I know it all for myself.
I used to know what I want for my career, and how to head there, and even if it means much hurdles, I already had a part of me fulfilled, in the form of Rallen.

Dan said it was about finding the right person, whom you know you can trust, and loves you.

I thought Rallen was that person. With him, I thought I knew love, I knew what commitment was, I knew what it means when someone really loved you. Cos when someone really loves you, he would do anything for you right? He did so much for me.

Yes, he did many amazing things for me, but I have realised he couldn't actually do anything for me.

He was my encourager, my motivator, my counselor, my best friend, my companion, my strength. I went to him for everything. I probably tired him out, since he is just human after all.

I shared all my dreams, passions, needs and wants with him. I got lost sometimes, but he would always bring me back to where I started out. And right now, I have no one to bring me back to where I should be.

I don't know where I should be.

I tend to think that I am happy now, away from him, because a part of me says that it is time that I leave Singapore, and nobody should hold me back. I want to travel, and see the world. I want to meet people and experience life in different countries. This part of me could never materialise when I was with him. He did not share the same type of joy that I could find in the beauty of nature, the excitement in themed parks, the simplicity of wandering around aimlessly.

But a few has said that I am just running away from reality.
I am not sure if that is true. Am I trying to be a totally different person? I may be...but what is wrong with that?

I just want to be happy.
And maybe, happy means putting aside everything and live life simply. Maybe all that I used to want, they were not meant to be. Maybe, I gave them all up because there are too much memories. Well. I don't know anymore.

They say home is where the heart is. My heart is not here, it is not at peace. Maybe I will lead a nomad life, and make a home wherever my heart leads me. I will go, where the wind blows.

Feels like my life is on hold.
No career prospects ahead, not enough money to travel, nothing to pursue.
I need a breakthrough.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

two of the things that light up my life - reflections of my current, past and future.

This was done by Rallen, given to me on V-day this year. It makes my room a happier place. It's the first thing I see every morning when I wake up, encouraging me daily to look to the future, yet not to take the past for granted.