We don't want to stress out ourselves even on petty things, do we? If we are affected of things, we pass it on to people around us such as if a teacher gets mad of something, she may show a bad mood in her class (which is unprofessional!). So to get rid of negativity that will suck your energy if any bad situation arises, keep thinking that there is always a positive side in it. I will show you how I have practiced it lately.
First, the microwave oven in our condo we used everyday in our lives got a short circuit that it would no longer work. I called the owner to have it fixed or changed but my complaint fell on deaf ear. So, not to feel upset about it, I think of what my Thai friend told me about the research that microwave can lose the nutrients of food we heat in it. Besides, hubby who got back to coffee drinking after quitting for many years now (together with his alcohol drinking and smoking), felt so comfortable heating his coffee water in the wave as it is very efficient and convenient. I dreaded his going back to it so when the microwave oven was out of order, he naturally quit his coffee drinking as well. I was worried that coffee especially the creamer would increase his already high triglycerides and cholesterol. My reminder just didn't work but the malfunctioning of the oven did. Ahhh, what a relief!
Second, the lift in our condo also stopped working since last week. We heard that the condo management taking care of our building corrupted the money for its maintenance so now we suffer it by taking the stairs to and from the 6th Floor. We were told it will take about 3 months to wait until things get settled so that it will be fixed. But then, all of us in the household turned it into an opportunity so we don't worry of it except for just the inconvenience of lifting heavy stuff such as when we buy our groceries and water, take our baby's stroller up and down, or when we're in a real hurry. Instead of getting upset, we think of the benefits of getting a regular exercise and saving energy, thus helping prevent global warming even in just a little way. Read this Taking the Stairs Campaign which I certainly support strongly.
So, the next time that a negative thing occurs, pause and think of any benefit you can get out of it. It may be a lesson to learn or a hidden benefit you still have to discover. That's optimism or positive-thinking at work!
I'm feeling so sad that I'll be missing one important event in my kids' growing years, their annual piano recital this coming weekend. But I make it a point that no matter what, we'll be together to spend the Christmas holidays and the New Year - at a place my kids are not certain if they miss it - the beautiful city of the generals. Yes, we'll be flying all the way to GenSan not only to attend a wedding of someone close to us but to visit our relatives and friends there we've missed over the years. We have a lot of plans to do in GenSan during our visit there. It includes visiting our kids' grannies and cousins, going to the farm our new family member will see for the first time and the beach our two kids have missed so much as we used to go there when they were still toddlers until their early grade years. Now they're on their early teens. We're also happy to introduce their baby brother to our clans in both sides of the family they haven't met yet. And know what? Our 2 early teens are more excited to introduce their sibling to their classmates and friends than to their relatives. How geographical distance separates kins! This gives me and hubby more reason to make them bond with their cousins and relatives they haven't seen for years. Otherwise, they would become much closer to their friends than to their kin.
Oh, how time flies! I now dread to think of missing my kids' yearning to go with me and their dad wherever we had to go. It started last summer when they were with us here in our workplace that we noticed that they're no longer the same. They would rather stay at home and do their own activity apart from us. Then, at school days if I'm with them, they're no longer the same small kids who would grab my hand pleading me to send them off to school and beg off to pick them up after school. And instead of coming home early excited to see me back home, they now prefer to hang out with their friends. Such a bitter-sweet reality! Now they're no longer worried that dad and/or mom won't be able to attend their recital or their birthday. Anyway, they're happy to see that their friends are around to cheer them up.
Oh, we must accept the reality that our kids are growing up fast! But we must let them grasp the values we want them to embrace especially in tracing back their roots, getting close to their kins and learning to look back where they came from. We parents are bound to the close family ties and we want to pass it on to our next generations at all costs. We should not allow the years to slip by blinded with our busy days making a living and neglecting this family duty to keep the ties. After all, earthly treasures just slip by, too, but the joys shared with loved ones are cherished sealing the ties forever.
Seeing Raissa Laurel, a 23-year old law student who lost both her legs from bombing, inspired not only me but a lot of people to be more optimistic than remorseful even when the worst things inevitably happen in our life.Raissa never blamed anyone for her fate but instead sees some purpose in her life why God allowed such debilitating accident to happen to her. She may not see the good things about it right away but for sure, we will see later what purpose it is for her. Let me share to you this wonderful story, "This Too is for Good" sent in by Rachel B of Philadelphia to
An old story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, " This Too is for Good!"
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This Too is for Good!" To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.
As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way. As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And, so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this."
"No," his friend replied, "This Too is for Good!"
"What do you mean,'This is good'? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?"
"If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you."
I have also tasted my own dose of bitter experiences that have made me a better person. My husband can also readily testify that God works miraculously in our life that He can lift us up and purify us from our old sinful and unhealthy ways by allowing us to go through pains and hardships. Were it not for a pressing and painful condition we were both in before, we would have not grown this much in all aspects of our lives. And we're still growing. Thanks be to God for all that has been and for all that is yet to come to help us keep growing. So, now if anything bad happens, we don't have to panic. Instead we have to be optimistic that the best is yet to come!
Christmas is around the corner with the very cold breeze. We've been told that it's the coldest year here in Thailand. Malls and business establishments have started decorating for the highly commercialized Christmas season to attract more customers and therefore, more profits. But for us, we revolutionize our perspective of spending this season.
Since my kids were born, we as a family have never celebrated Christmas Day on the 25th of December. I explain to my kids that the Bible doesn't specify the exact birth-date of Jesus Christ. But we do celebrate the New Year for family thanksgiving for the past year and for welcoming the coming year with prayers and wishes. Thus, our holiday spending is more reduced. I also don't go for adorning the house with Christmas decors such as tall, shining Christmas trees as we were told once in the church about the pagan origin of such a practice. While Christmas decors brighten up the feeling for the season, our focus may be diverted to the material things around us making us tend to forget the real meaning of Christmas.
On our vacation with the kids this Christmas (I booked air tickets on promo), we plan to spend some time for rural kids who do not have opportunities to receive gifts and eat special foods. We've been doing this since my kids were still small. We don't usually spend it in the city where we live as most of the kids around us can afford to have lots of foods not only during parties. Urban kids also receive gifts often so their joy of receiving gift is not much as those with the rural kids who rarely receive one in their whole life. Thus for us, it's more meaningful to celebrate the season by letting our kids experience the joy of giving simple gifts to the the lowly ones and feeding them without expecting for something in return. It is opposite to the concept of exchange gift and usual merriment our kids have in their school or in the place they live in. It is also easier to please the lowly kids so the price of the gifts we give them is not much. I remember my friend, Ms. G, complaining of a rich girl whom she gave an expensive gift but did not appreciate it. This Christmas season, what we need to remember is the birth of Jesus Christ on a lowly manger, not in a palace or an attractively adorned house.
What I'm saying here is, we can simplify our celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. It is not on the lavishness of the food we prepare and the gifts we exchange or give but it is how we express our thankfulness to God for sending His Son to earth to save us and to show us humility, simplicity and kindness to others without expecting something in return. So my spending plan this season is guided by these principles. I will have my children experience (again) the true meaning of Christmas with some gifts and food to the needy. We can buy more gifts and make more lowly ones happy by cutting decoration budget, unnecessary travels, new clothes and toys, and lavish food for us during the season especially at these times of continuing economic crisis and increasing global warming issues.
We can avoid over-drop in our budget if we reasonably spend this holiday season, within our budget. And we can make a difference if we follow the true reason for celebrating Christmas.
Please check out more interesting Marriage Monday posts related to this at Chrysalis by e-Mom.