De-Clutter Mind Map

In the past 2 hours, I have stared at a blank word document page… and now I have 150 words written down…  I have an article that is due tonight, and while I’m excited to be writing this article, my mind is so cluttered that I can’t seem to focus.  In the past 2 hours while I’m suppose to be writing, I’ve thought about my grocery list, my plants, my upcoming trip to the east coast with my dad, my upcoming trip up north, my business, my finances, my future plans, my future plans, and my future plans.  No wonder I’ve only managed to write down 150 words (one paragraph) in the past 2 hours.

I realize that I’m self-absorbed.  I keep thinking about me, me, me, me, and more me.  I need to clear my head.  I had started the day by opening my computer.  I decided to go back and catch up on my devotional.

Spending time alone with Me is essential for your well-being. It is not a luxury or an option; it is a necessity.

Instead of scanning the horizon of your life, looking for things that need to be done, concentrate on the task before you and the One who never leaves your side.  Let everything else fade into the background.  This will unclutter your mind, allowing Me to occupy more and more of your consciousness.  Trust Me to show you what to do when you have finished what you are doing now.  I will guide you step by step, as you bend your will to Mine.

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”  (Proverbs 19:21)

This is like a vicious cycle in my life.  I clutter my mind with a lot of “what-if’s” and thoughts of the past and future rather than focusing on what’s here and now (especially nowadays).  We’ve all heard that “today is a gift.”  How often do we really live in the present?  How often do we go through the day with cluttered minds?  I, for one, need to de-clutter and focus on what’s in front of me.  Alright, time to go back to writing!

Don’t Run Away…

Doesn’t Amy Grant have a song called “don’t run away?”  haha…  well, now I’ve come to a point in my life where I need to seriously pray about some major decisions in my life.  As I’ve looked back upon my life, I’ve had to make few major decisions that may have altered the course of my life… In hind-sight, I can clearly say that God was at work in every one of these situations… but at the time, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.

For example, I think choosing to go to UC Berkeley over UCLA was a big decision.  My dad and I fought over this decision for weeks.  Although I was being defiant, I wanted to prove to everyone that I WAS UC Berkeley material… My dad kept insisting that I go to UCLA so I could be close to home (which made me want to go further away even more).  The night before “intent to register” paperwork was due, inside I felt like I had to go to UCLA because I hadn’t sent anything in anywhere… but the stubbornness in me kept telling my dad that I wasn’t going to go to UCLA EVER!  That night, my dad gave in and said that ultimately he wants me to be happy, and that he’d be proud to have a daughter who goes to UC Berkeley.  This was the craziest thing I’ve seen my dad do–we went to the airport the next morning, bought tickets up to Oakland, and turned in my “Intent to Register at UC Berkeley” in person!  Wow…  I think back to that time… I really was just being stubborn and defiant… and I really didn’t know what I was doing… but that decision changed my life in a huge way!!!  I think being at Berkeley really had a huge part in shaping me to be who I am today (some would say for the worse.. haha).

I’ve had to make few other decisions since… some good, some bad… and although I don’t feel stressed, I do feel the anxiety of having to make possibly life-altering decisions soon.  I feel schizo at times…

DO NOT RESIST OR RUN from the difficulties in your life.  These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth.  Embrace all the circumstances that I allow in your life, trusting Me to bring good out of them.  View problems as opportunities to rely more fully on Me.  Most of the situations that entangle your mind are not today’s concerns; you have borrowed them from tomorrow.   “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

I’ve read those words over and over and over and over again…  everything sounds so good and holy… and while I’m trying to put everything into perspective, I can’t seem to get rid of this anxiety that I feel.  And for all I know, I could be premature in feeling all this anxiety for nothing.  However, bottom line is… I’m at a crossroads in my life, and I do need to make some major decisions… and while it sounds exciting, it also sounds daunting…

I keep telling myself, “don’t run away…” and “find peace in God.”

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.  (John 14:27)

Unpredictable Life…

“Many things feel out of control.” – First paragraph of today’s devotional, and it immediately caught my attention.

“Your routines are not running smoothly.  You tend to feel more secure when your life is predictable.” – BINGO!  That’s me!  I’m all for adventurous life… but I’m a controlled risk taker… and I like controlled adventure!  One thing that’s for sure, God has thrown a lot of curve balls in my life, and my life is NEVER without a dull moment!  This is alarming for a control-freak like me… but over the years, I’ve learn to let go of things I CANNOT control, and learn to laugh through life!

“When you are shaken out of your comfortable routines, grip My hand tightly and look for growth opportunities.  Instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort, accept the challenge of something new.” – This is exactly what I’ve been trying to do… but it’s a lot easier said than done.  I can’t wait to find out God’s new challenge for my life… but some days, I’m more riddled with anxiety than trust.  I shall dwell on this for the rest of the day… while life throws me more unpredictable, uncontrollable curve balls!  Learning to go with the flow, and trusting in God.

From the ends of the earth,
      I cry to you for help
      when my heart is overwhelmed.
 Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
      for you are my safe refuge,
      a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
 Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
      safe beneath the shelter of your wings!  (Psalm 61:2-4)

when thoughts of my future overwhelm me…

yikes, it’s been ages since I’ve posted… that’s what happens when I manage to keep myself busy with this and that… slowly but surely, I’m thinking more and more about where God may be leading me in the future… it’s almost daunting to think and even to pray about it… but read few words from Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” that really encouraged me, and helped me put everything into perspective:

Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me.  I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that.  Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go.

Stop judging and evaluating yourself, for this is not your role.  Above all, stop comparing yourself with other people.  This produces feelings of pride or inferiority; sometimes, a mixture of both.  I died for your sins, so that I might clothe you in My garments of salvation.  This is how I see you: radiant in My robe of righteousness.  (Isaiah 61:10; Proverbs 3:11-12)

Bring Me your prayer and petition with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6) saying: “Thank You, Jesus, for this opportunity to trust You more.”  Though the lessons of trust that I send to you come wrapped in difficulties, the benefits far outweigh the cost.

Many voices vie for control of your mind, especially when you sit in silence.  You must learn to discern what is My voice and what is not.  Ask My Spirit to give you this discernment.  Walk closely with Me each moment, listening for My directives and enjoying My  Companionship.  My sheep know My voice and follow Me wherever I lead.  (John 10:4)

Refuse to worry!  In this world there will always be something enticing you to worry.  That is the nature of a fallen fractured planet!

Make friends with the problems in your life!  Every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I created you to be.  The very same problem can become a stumbling block over which you fall, if you react with distrust and defiance.  The choice is up to you, and you will have to choose many times each day whether to trust Me or defy Me.  The best way to befriend your problem is to thank Me for them.

Even if you falter as you journey through life, I will never let go of your hand.  Instead of approaching the day as a blank page that you need to fill up, try living it in a responsive mode: being on the lookout for all that I am doing.  This sounds easy, but it requires a deep level of trust, based on the knowledge that My way is perfect.  (Psalm 37:23-24; Psalm 18:30)

Walk by faith, not by sight!  If you live your life too safely, you will never know the thrill of seeing Me work through you.

Don’t take yourself so seriously.  Lighten up and laugh with Me.  You have Me on your side, so what are you worried about?  I can equip you to do absolutely anything, as long as it is My will.

I’m learning what it means to find joy in the journey, and enjoy every step of it!