Tag Archives: dispair

Decisions decisions

30 Aug

Every day we are faced with choices. Choices about our day, our outfit, what we will have for lunch, whether we turn up for work, whether we press snooze on the alarm for the 10th time….. and then there are the bigger choices. Choices that shape our future. What will we do? What course will we apply for – what do we do if we get accepted. Who will we follow, who will we worship?

You, sitting here now reading this blog… are a sum total of all the choices you’ve made so far. Some of them were totally unconscious, some decisions have come as easily to you breathing. Some of them – you wish you could time-machine yourself back to choose the other option. Yet some have caused great stress and anxiety as you have battled to weight up the pro’s and cons.

Let’s focus on John 5:30 (NIV) ‘By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me’. John is expressing his desire to please his God and not others in the decisions he makes. Decisions can be incredibly powerful things. They can set people free or oppress. They can abuse or love. They can forgive or grudge.

So how can we be more Godly in our decision making? How can we be more God led?

– Invest in your relationship with God. Decisions become so much easier when your desire to please God is more than your desire to please the world (Anso Coetzer).

– Pray about decisions. Seek accountability and be open with one another

– Explore what decisions you might not be taking the responsibility for. Choosing not to make a decision is also a choice! We an either accept things as they are or choose to take responsibility for making them

– When you have a big decision to make, question your motivations and the place from which you make them. Are the outcomes supportive of Christ-like values?

– Remember that whilst you can’t often choose your circumstance, you can always choose your attitude! We can let circumstances harden us, or we can let them change and be catalysts for growth

– Choose life and say no to slavery! Sometimes the choices in front of you are so hard to make because you find the wrong choice far more attractive than the right one. Ask the Holy Spirit for the strength to choose what will be life giving, rather than that which may pull you further into a mess – making it even harder the next time

Life will always be changing and you will find yourself in all sorts of circumstances. But growth – both spiritually and personally is optional. 

Option paralysis

18 Sep

Right, I have this problem.

As a female I am good at many things.

(Staunch feminists – turn away now)

Multi-tasking
Chatting
Cooking
Looking after my husband
Making our flat sparkle
Being a friend
Organising
Making things look, sound, smell nice

But there is one particular thing I am terrible at. Awful.

Shopping.

Not just any shopping. The usual mooching around the shops is my specialty. I’m good at it. Bargain hunting is in the genes, and I actually find enjoyment in the weekly food shop. But this isn’t about that type of shopping, the type of shopping I’m talking about is a very specific type of shopping.

Rush Shopping.

Give me a tight time scale, and my decision making skills take a dive bomb into the swimming pool of non existence. Yup – they do a runner. Out of sight. Completely. Whether my list contains 10 items, or simply ‘dinner’ – I am likely to be found traipsing around the shops – dawdling.

Any onlooker would think ‘that girl obviously has the luxury of time’ as they watch me move from aisle to aisle, shop to shop, picking up and putting down. Oh yes, for a while I look chilled, calm and collected. But inside i’m screaming.

My worst is ‘dinner’. One word, so, so many options. Shops full of options, aisles full of options. Do I want a cheap dinner, a treat dinner, a healthy dinner, a lazy dinner? And don’t even get me started on the cuisine – Italian, French, Indian… you see where i’m going with this? After almost an hour or more of increasingly frantic shopping and desperate phone calls to the husband, all I am left with is the option of a ‘quick microwave’ dinner – as I have just shopped my evening away.

Let’s take last Wednesday for example. My list was ‘birthday card’. That’s all. One tiny little item and enough change in my pocket – I didn’t even have to waste time with the old chip & pin machine. So, how long could you do it in? 5 mins tops?

Let’s set the scene.

Time: 15 minutes (more than enough)
Location: Waterloo station
Potential shops: WH Smiths, Paperchase, Perfect presents, M&S….

Should be fine. In the words of the Meerkat – simples. But for me? Not so simples. The very first one I picked up was perfect – Marylyn Monroe pouting over a huge, tantalising birthday cake. Complete with birthday glitter. Any normal person would have paid the cash and gone on their leisurely way (plenty of time you see) to catch the train.

Me?

Nope. Every card was a possibility, every one had to be bettered. Too many cards. Too many. Far too many. As I wound myself up, hopping from shop to shop – time  did it’s thing and…ran out. Not satisfied, apparently, with any card that Waterloo’s mass of shops had to offer, I frustratedly jumped on the train. Just about.

Next was Clapham Junction station. An equally large amount of potential card shops crammed into one building await. With minus time on my hands, and whipped into a completely self-inflicted frenzy, I dash into two shops. Finally, after reading an entire books worth of funny lines and pictures, I settle on a card.

Marylyn Monroe pouting over a huge, tantalising birthday cake. Complete with birthday glitter.

Yes. I know.

Goodbye airs and graces. Goodbye British-ness

14 Sep

I have seen three couples arguing in the streets today. Three! Not just having tense conversation in stage whispered tones. But arguing, really arguing. Picture the girl crying, tears and snot streaming. Ranting passionately, angrily, whilst the bloke is standing there (in one case) arms outstretched in confusion as to why his girlfriend feels it appropriate for such a display of emotion in a such a public place.

Why couldn’t she wait until we got home? Or at least drag me down a side street for some privacy. Where are these tissues all girls are meant to carry around in their ridiculously large bags. This is embarrassing.

And it made me think.

What is it about arguing outdoors, in clear view of people? Us Brits who blush at the thought of a wardrobe malfunction or a huge, angry, red spot. Who would, on a normal day, do everything in our power to avert glares and chatter from passers-by. Passion, that’s what it is! Despair and anger that seem to override social awareness and the ability to go red in the cheeks.

But there’s something about the vulnerability of a girl’s tears and shouts being displayed so publicly. And the thing is, it was never meant to happen that way! I imagine they set out for an enjoyable day of sightseeing, until hormones or late busses, downpours of rain and tired feet turn words into accusations and ‘final straws’.

I don’t know why I’m siding with the men on this one! Maybe it’s because these blokes seemed so unsure and surprised by this display. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, and yes I’ve been there. That sense of urgency and despair, the lack of brief questioning as to whether this is really the time or place (albeit neither), the poor guy trying to satiate me whilst I make an unabridged public display. The tissues? I didn’t even bother looking.

Once the sobs subside and the post bawl headache kicks in. So do the red cheeks and the fear that someone you know may have seen you. The British-ness returns and you promise yourself that you will never ever do that again.