Capture

 

This morning, I was passing through MacDonald’s (not my normal route), to get to my bus stop. I can’t help but notice an old lady sitting at a corner, drinking from her mug. Catching a quick glimpse of her, I was about to hurry through the exit, when something made me stop and turn around. I walked back to the old lady in the corner. She was scruffy, with an umbrella, a walking stick and 2 large bags of what looked like garbage (or perhaps scrap paper and cardboard for recycling?). I just felt prompted to do something for her. So I asked if she needed anything. Initially she declined, I asked again ‘Can I get you a burger?’ She replied ‘fish burger’.

As I trodded back into the front of the counter and started queuing, I had no idea why I was doing this, it was a work day morning and I was hurrying to work. So there I was standing in line and I thought, ok, I’ll just buy a burger, pass it to her and get on my journey. However, I heard a voice telling me ‘get yourself a breakfast, sit and eat with her’ I replied ‘God, I already have breakfast in my bag, I’m in a hurry’ Yet, I felt I had to go sit with the old lady, so I bought breakfast.

Returning to the old lady, I sat down, passed her the burger and a hot tea. She started speaking ‘You know girl, I can take hardships.’ I was lost for words. She continued to pour out to me, how she was working a cleaner and used to have 4 to 5 jobs a week but now she’s only left with 1 job due to weakness in her leg. To add on to her troubles, an unknown man had been taking money from her and she felt compelled to give to him, a few dollars at a time. She told me she didn’t understand why but she could not resist giving him a few dollars, not that he threatened or solicited from her, just that he would always say something nice to her.

As she talked, I asked God to help me, give me the words to say to her. When she paused, I looked her in the eye and asked ‘Do you feel lonely?’ She looked surprised and said, ‘How do you know?’ She teared as she said ‘Every night, I feel I’m getting mad from feeling so alone.’ This had me fighting hard to control my tears, I am familiar with the sting of loneliness too. At this point, I asked her did she believe in Jesus, she said yes. I told her that Jesus loves her and asked if she wanted to receive Jesus Christ into her heart, to which she was hesitant. Then, I asked if I can pray for her leg, she replied ‘Yes, and not only for my leg, can you pray that God will take my loneliness away?’ I said ‘Sure’. Holding her pair of hands which were slightly deformed by arthritis ( I wondered when was the last time someone touched this pair of hands), I prayed for her physical healing, and that she can come to experience God’s love, joy and peace. As I prayed, I felt God sees her as His precious daughter and I spoke that out to her. She revealed that she had been hoping to meet someone who can help her with the loneliness problem. Showing deep appreciation, she said she felt a load had been lifted up from her. I assured her God is always with her and He cares for her, she just has to call out to Him.

 

Before I left, I tried to ask her for a contact number but she said she had no phone and was reluctant to reveal much about where she stays. When I left her, I only knew she stays around the neighbourhood, I’m not sure if I’ll meet her again, but I trust God will heal her physical body and her heart.

While I continued on my way to work, I marveled at this ‘divine appointment’. It wasn’t in my plan to be there at that time, at that place this morning, but I happened to be. I’m thankful that I can be a messenger of God’s love. If a fish burger and 40 minutes of my time can make a difference in someone’s live, I’d gladly do this any day.  This is what makes life worthwhile, not wealth, not getting hitched, not having kids, not career achievement or wining the lottery. The satisfaction of doing something that counts for eternity surpasses any sense of achievement this world can give.

The Father’s Love

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Dear Beloved Child,

 

My love for You is unconditional, it does not depend on what you do or who you are, it’s all about who I am. I am God, I am Your Father and I am Love. To Me your’re worth more than a million stars, you’re totally worth it.

If you only knew how much I love you, you would not be living in sadness, worries, regrets. I’ve loved you since the beginning. I am the same yesterday, today and forever. Nothing can separate you from My love as I have loved you with an everlasting love.

My heart’s desire is to heal broken hearts.  I am the creation of Heaven and earth – nothing is too difficult for Me. I am the author of time – nothing is ever too late for me, My timing is always perfect.

I know you have burning questions, shattered dreams and broken promises. Give them to me and in exchange live for me. When you live your life totally for me, you shall have the answers. I delight in you and desire that you delight in Me too. When you delight yourself in Me, I will give you the desires of your heart. Trust Me, I cause all things to work for good and I am making all things beautiful in My time.

 

Love

Your Heavenly Father

Psalm 37:4  – Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Hope for the Broken Hearted

beauty,ashes,hope,broken hearted

 

For there would be no sunrise without dark nights, … , no restoration without brokenness.  

 

Life is unpredictable.  The only thing constant is change, just like the four seasons.  And much like the many parodies of life, the human heart is so intended for contrast that, without one, we would not comprehend (appreciate) the other.  For there would be no rainbow without the storm, no child birth without pain.   If we follow this reasoning, it is possible to grow seeds of joy in the soil of sorrow!

As the famous author C.S. Lewis so aptly put it – a heart that is so sheltered from the possibility of wreckage “will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

What’s wrong with an ‘irredeemable’ heart?  To answer that question, rather let’s ponder on “What good is an irredeemable heart?”  Can it spread forth unconditional love; is it capable of genuine magnanimity, let alone, even appreciate true love?   See the picture?  An irredeemable heart is a heart of stone, impervious, insensitive, and incapable of growth.

Hence, perhaps we need to suffer the agony of a broken heart before our heart can be restructured and restored into a more beautiful heart.  Given that, I’ll gladly have my shabby heart wrecked and shattered.  So it can be restructured into something more splendid than before!

Though the process is painful and uncertain, knowing the end result is reason enough to help me focus on staying hopeful.  So besides having an attitude of joy, I’m journeying on with an attitude of gratitude, in anticipation of the beauty to come.

If this is what you’re going through right now, I welcome you on this trail.  Though our paths may be different, I believe we’re getting onto something more magnificent in time to come.  Never lose faith and Joy!

 

Isaiah 61:3 – he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning,

 

 

Joy in Sorrow – Beauty for Ashes

sun rise, hope,inspiration,joy,life,love

For there would be no sunrise without dark nights, … , no restoration without brokenness.  

– Reflections from the book ‘Overextended’ by Lisa Harper.

 

I’d like to warn you that this post is fairly long, I did not split this into 2 posts as that would lose the flow.  So please persevere and read on to the end …

When things are going our way in life, promotions, financial wealth, good  health, blossoming relationships, lovely new house/ car, and so on… it’s easy to be joyful, singing and dancing, looking to others and wondering why other people are acting like depressive maniacs, self- pity  partiers, low morale mongers indulging in sour grapes.

What happens when events take a turn in life, if we’re stricken with disease, incur financial losses, get betrayed by those closest to us, faced with career setbacks?  When the weather changes from a bright sunny day to a storm, can we still sing and dance in the storm? Especially when the world seems to be passing us by, friends are getting married or enjoying lovely marriages and kids, catapulting by leaps and bounds in their career or financial advances.

Under such circumstances, some people will spiral into depression, wallow in self-pity, become bitter, sour and even resentful of those who are seemingly in the celebration seasons of their lives.  After all, emotions (both positive and negative) are so attuned to our human nature.  I have to admit for once that I am a highly emotional girl.  Even the stormy weather can make me feel gloomy.  Being trained in psychology, I know far better about the colored lenses of depression and how behavior is affected by the cognition..  Nonetheless, that is easier said than done, as I’ve been down that road before (many times).  No matter how I convince myself to steer away from the negativity, I can’t help it!

Yet, there are some people who can still stay steadfast, purposeful.  Though, not all the time smiling, they choose to focus on the positive.  Though they feel down at times, they choose not to indulge in a pity party, more than a slice of chocolate cake.  What is the secret?

Life is unpredictable.  The only thing constant is change, just like the four seasons.  And much like the many parodies of life, the human heart is so intended for contrast that, without one, we would not comprehend (appreciate) the other.  For there would be no rainbow without the storm, no child birth without pain.   If we follow this reasoning, it is possible to grow seeds of joy in the soil of sorrow!

As the famous author C.S. Lewis so aptly put it – a heart that is so sheltered from the possibility of wreckage “will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

What’s wrong with an ‘irredeemable’ heart?  To answer that question, rather let’s ponder on “What good is an irredeemable heart?”  Can it spread forth unconditional love; is it capable of genuine magnanimity, let alone, even appreciate true love?   See the picture?  An irredeemable heart is a heart of stone, impervious, insensitive, and incapable of growth.

Hence, perhaps we need to suffer the agony of a broken heart before our heart can be restructured and restored into a more beautiful heart.  Given that, I’ll gladly have my shabby heart wrecked and shattered.  So it can be restructured into something more splendid than before.!

Periods of trials and tribulations in life serve to strengthen not only our minds but our hearts.  Psychologically speaking, that could be the process of ‘Self Actualization’, thanks to Maslow’s theory.  However, in layman’s term, I believe it’s a process whereby I am the clay and my potter is remolding me into a vessel for higher purpose.

Though the process is painful and uncertain, knowing the end result is reason enough to help me focus on staying hopeful.  So besides having an attitude of joy, I’m journeying on with an attitude of gratitude, in anticipation of the beauty to come.

If this is what you’re going through right now, I welcome you on this trail.  Though our paths may be different, I believe we’re getting onto something more magnificent in time to come.  Never lose faith and Joy!

 

(This post is inspired by an excerpt from Lisa Harper.)

The path to destruction is often paved with good intentions

Quote from Alice in Wonderland.

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to

Which way should I go ?

very often in everyday life, we ponder over this question.

In fact, just today, I was at a loss of which direction to walk to the subway station, after alighting from a bus near a mall which I have not frequented for quite some time.

So what did I do ?

Since there were a myraid of signs just hanging above my head, I looked up for the direction/ road signs and followed the direction of one of the signs which pointed to the subway station.

However, after walking for a few minutes, my instincts or perhaps faded memory was telling me that something was not right.

But shouldn’t I trust the signs?  After all, they were supposed to give directions (with good intentions to help the lost)?

After a few seconds of struggle, I decided to go with my gut feel, turn around and head in the opposite direction.

Surprisingly, my instinct was right!

So what?  You may say it’s no big deal.  But I had a bigger revelation in my mind.

Often in life, we feel lost… be it changing jobs, choosing a date, settling in a new town… the list is endless.   During these times, we often look for some directions from ‘trusted’ sources (books, research, people around us, our elders, our loved ones, etc).   I’m not saying it’s wrong to seek direction from ‘trusted sources’, often they are filled with good intentions.

But what about listening to our own heart?

Do we seek out the still small voice in our heart?  It’s trying to tell us something about ourselves that sometimes we may not even know.

Sometimes we hear that voice, but we silence it when we receive contradicting advice from ‘trusted sources’.  We lose confidence in the small voice, our inner self, trying to reach out to us.

We follow conventional wisdom/trusted sources.  We lose touch with ourselves.  We may trod a path but does it really lead us to where we really want to go ?

It’s just a simple incident today but really a revelation to me.

My friends, which path would you choose?

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