What I've been learning about lately is that I'm good enough, just as I am. In Genesis 3:6, I read that Eve believes a lie about what's to be gotten from something she deep down in her heart, knows isn't good for her. But somehow she thinks she's not good enough. If she just has that one thing, then she'll be complete and happy. And it will be good for her husband too! And if you're well read, you already know how the rest of the story goes. But what a whopper of a lie that was, the lie planted in her heart that she wasn't already good. God said she was. And what a heart breaker, as you read on in Genesis 3 :9. The first recorded question God asks of man in the Bible; "Where are you?" I believe God is still asking that of us today. He's saying, "Where are you? I love you. Accept the offer of My Son and come home to me." God is good and the source of every good thing. We live in a world where there is cruelty and oppression but this world won't last forever. Our souls will. Where do you want to spend eternity? In the presence of a loving God who seeks your presence even today? Or in the presence of the liar who tells you you aren't good enough? The choice is open for everyone to make. You alone are responsible for your eternal destination. 🌻
You may have heard of different acronyms for the word, fear. The one I like best is False Expectations Appearing Real. The Corona virus is real, of course it is. Nothing false about it. The false thing is that everyone is going to die from it. Not true. It's a virus and it's agressive and some people are more at risk than others for developing serious complications. That's true. And it's good that the governent is taking it seriously and that we're looking out for each other. My 90 year old mother-in-law said this reminded her of the situation during World War 2. The difference is that then they could seek comfort and solace by each other. Now we're all told to avoid others. That's a huge difference!
So how to keep a cool head during this time of crisis that we're going through?
Firstly, remember that we're going through it. It won't last forever. Another thing you can do is try to focus on what is staying the same, what's lasting and what's real. Your relationships, for instance. You may not be able to go for a visit, you can send a card, call, e-mail or text each other.
And as a Christian I would also say, focus on God's love for us. No matter what we go through, we're not alone. God is with us. He's not a feeling. Someone who's blind can't see the water in the river, see the green grass or the faces of their loved ones. They can however know that the loved ones are near. We in the same way, can't see God who is a spirit. We can know He's near.
So, in closing: I wish you a calm spirit and a lot of strength in the coming weeks and months!
Psalm 23, verses 1 and 4:
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
And even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me.
Walk without F.E.A.R. through the valley of the virus.
The virus won’t last and we are walking through this valley together.
Maybe you've heard of this: Behaviour - Emotions - Thoughts - Results, or: BETR. The theory is that you do something or something occurs, and emotions or thoughts get triggered and a result follows. The result can be new (often negative) behavior, other negative thoughts or emotions. It's a chain of events that happens instantaneously.
So what to do about the unwanted thoughts? What to do about getting caught up in an emotional whirlwind that seems out of place, when you consider the trigger that got the emotions going? How to deal with that? And honestly unwanted thoughts just crop up in the most inopportune moments.
Recently I was reminded of this quote by Viktor Frankl, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” These three sentences are quite liberating.
Just imagine all the space between action and reaction. But to use the space, we need to break out of our automatic way of doing things.
Here are three ideas that may help with that:
When considering what to call this blog post, I just decided to call it “Better”. We all strive to be our best selves, don’t we? We all want to ‘get’ better or ‘be’ better. Maybe being or getting better also includes just being kind to you. Giving and creating for yourself some space!
2020, it’s a new year with new chances and opportunities! Have you made your new year’s resolutions yet? Well I won’t be making a new year’s resolution in 2020 and here are three reasons why.
1. I’ve made resolutions in the past and sometime in the middle of January I would remember the resolution and realize I hadn’t thought of it since January 2’nd!
How many times have I, around 8:30 pm, on January 31’st, said the following: “my resolution for next year is to eat fewer snacks.” It just makes me cringe to remember all the times I haven’t been able to find the resolve to stick to it. We always have snacks left over from Christmas and New Year’s Eve and what am I going to do? Throw everything away? Give it away? To whom? I would feel like a feeder if I gave snacks to someone else. No, I would just rather eat them myself. You see my conundrum.
2. I’m not specific enough in what my resolutions are because if I get specific, I might just stick to the resolution.
If I break the snacks down in categories – sweets, chips, baked goods, and then even more specific: candy bars, tortilla chips, baked cakes, I already see a lot of exceptions popping up. I was raised in a family where eating was associated with social activity. And pretty much my whole married life has been a reflection of what I learned as a child. “It’s hospitable to have snacks in the house”, I think. “It’s normal to have chips while at home, sitting on the couch, watching a film on Saturday night.” I know there are homes where these ‘rules’ don’t apply. Getting specific and thinking about changing these ‘rules’ makes me feel uncomfortable. The discomfort is healthy, I’m sure. I realize these are self thought up rules and that rules can be changed. Do I have the resolve this year to make new rules?
3. I’m not clear on what my motivation is for making, keeping or not keeping my resolutions.
It requires a lot of thought to make a good one! For instance, if I was a smoker and had as resolution: “I want to quit smoking”, the motivation would be clear – quitting smoking is better for my health in the short and the long run and quitting would save me a lot of money! But what is my motivation for not quitting (my imaginary habit of smoking)? That requires some soul searching and who has time for that? If I decide to get back to my realistic resolution, “my resolution for next year is to eat fewer snacks”, I think my motivation is also health related. I’m 54 and my teeth are just barely holding on (so thankful that our children got fluoride treatments – another story!). And another thing, I haven’t had a healthy BMI since I was 28 years old. Snoring – when I weigh less, I don’t snore, I’ve been told. But turning my motivation into concrete, lasting action? That tires me out, just thinking about it. ;)
So, that’s why I’m not going to make a resolution this year. I’m going full steam ahead into the roaring 20’s, resolution free. It feels liberating! And you?
If you have the resolve and want to make good, motivated New Year's resolutions and you're looking for some inspiration, here are two good websites: choose from 50 or 10 ideas!
So whether you make and keep New Year's resolutions or not, I hope your 2020 is happy and healthy!
"Ze kwam buiten adem aanlopen. Er was net iets raars gebeurd in de fietsenstalling maar ze wilde niet zeggen wat. Ze bloosde en wilde mij niet aankijken. Ze zei dat ze wegmoest omdat haar moeder op haar wachtte voor het avondeten."
"Ik zou zo graag met iemand willen praten over mijn zorgen over mijn dochter maar ik weet niet met wie. Zij maakt zo een eenzame indruk en ik maak me zorgen dat zij met verkeerde mensen omgaat."
Deze citaten zijn zomaar uit het leven gegrepen maar je kunt je allerlei verschillende gesprekken of situaties voor de geest halen waarover jij je zorgen maakt.
In deze tijd van individualisering willen we misschien de schijn ophouden dat wij de antwoorden in petto hebben en willen we niet om hulp vragen. Of wij willen wel met iemand praten maar weten niet met wie!
Er is een mooie organisatie, De Luisterlijn, die graag jouw gesprekspartner wil zijn.
Van de website: In het holst van de nacht, in de vroege ochtend of op een feestdag. De Luisterlijn is dag en nacht, het hele jaar door, bereikbaar voor mensen die behoefte hebben aan een vertrouwelijk gesprek. Per mail, alle dagen van de week per chat en 24/7 per telefoon. Met dank aan ruim 1500 vrijwilligers die daarvoor training en begeleiding krijgen door deskundige beroepskrachten.
Zou je graag in gesprek willen komen met iemand, aarzel niet om te bellen, chatten of mailen met de Luisterlijn !
Onlangs ben ik gestart met het Nooit te Oud programma van de gemeente Roermond in samenwerking met de ECI. Ik had mij opgegeven voor de cursus in keramiek en moet zeggen – je bent echt Nooit te oud (om iets nieuws te leren!). Het is een laagdrempelige manier om kennis te maken met een creatieve kant van mijzelf die ik al 54 jaar lang niet wist dat ik had!
Heb je zin om ook eens de creatieve handen uit de mouwen te steken? Doe dan mee! Hier is de link voor het project: https://nooitteoudroermond.nl/ Wie weet, ga je ook een creatieve kant van jezelf ontdekken en heb je ondertussen ook nog veel plezier.
I recently started a Pottery course through the 'Nooit te Oud' project in the city of Roermond. It's a fun and cheap way to meet new people and try out new hobby's! While doing the pottery course, I have really surprised myself. It's fun to do and I'm realizing a creative side to myself that I never realized I had.
If you'd like to give pottery a try, or singing, or painting don't hesitate to sign up!
Here's the link for the project:
It's in Dutch, but if that's a problem you can always send a mail to the project coordinator or call the ECI for more information.