Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I've been thinking a bit about negativity in the last couple of days. We have a very negative society here in Australia. It is a very common thing to put ourselves and others down. Especially the "tall poppy syndrome" where if anyone gets too high up or big for their boots, they deserve to be put back in their place and brought back down. I know that I'm guilty of being negative towards others as well as myself, which is something I am trying to change. I was having a chat with my friends Tim and Carly last night and we had a bit of a discussion on negativity and trying to change ourselves to be encouraging and building up instead.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

Tim was explaining how at his work , they were all learning how to use a new, difficult piece of equipment. His boss has created a positive environment where no one is allowed to say statements such as "I'm never going to be able to do this", putting themselves or others down in any way.

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
Maya Angelou

I heard about the above woman, Maya Angelou earlier this year when I found another quote of hers that I quite liked. However, I hadn't ever actually looked into who she was, and what sort of life she had, beliefs and things. I googled her today. Don't you love google? ;) I discovered that she is a black American woman who has led a very interesting life and written a few different books. I read an interview between her and Oprah, where she talked about where her confidence came from. Very interesting interview. Anyway, at one point she says the following:

"I believe that a negative statement is poison. The air between you and me is filled with sounds and images. If that were not so, how is it that I can turn on a television right now and see what's happening in New York? That means sounds and images are in the air, crowded, jammed up like bats. I'm convinced that the negative has power. It lives. And if you allow it to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when the rude or cruel thing is said—the lambasting, the gay bashing, the hate—I say, "Take it all out of my house!" Those negative words climb into the woodwork and into the furniture, and the next thing you know they'll be on my skin."

Maya won't accept negativity in her life or others, in any form. She will leave people's houses, or ask them to leave if they are disrespectful, are rude or put people down. An extreme approach? Some people might say so, but I think she has a valid point with what she is saying.

Anyway, I guess a challenge for myself and others is to be less negative towards ourselves and others - building up and encouraging more instead.

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Monday, May 24, 2010

No Regrets

Funny, isn't it? How such "big" decisions are so easy? Or is that just me? I mean, nearly 6 months ago, with a click of a button, I made a split-second off-the-cuff decision to buy a ridiculouly cheap ticket and go to vietnam. One of the best decisions of my life I'd say!

Well, now I've done pretty much the same thing. I have just purchased another ticket. This time cold wet England is the destination I'm heading off to. The only difference is that, this time I am actually letting people know that I am going 2 months in advance rather than 2 days in advance....

At the moment in my parents house in Springwood, there is a piece of paper sitting on the coffee table, with some details about a prophecy that we all individually received while living in Africa. I remember this particular day, I was told that I was fearless in crossing nations and boundaries, instant in and out of season. I guess that is true. Moving is easy, its staying thats hard.

So, back to where I started.. let me fill you in on how this all eventuated. I am interested in working in developing countries as a dietitian. I've applied to a few different NGO positions over the past year or so, but most of them want more experience, or further qualifications. I've been thinking about doing a masters in International Public Health and because I didnt know where I'd be located, had planned to do it by correspondence. I had actually filled out most of the paperwork before I went to Vietnam in February, but forgot to send it in the end! I'd been looking at Curtin University, but the 4 years FULL TIME masters put me off a little bit... So last week I had a look at what Sydney Uni had to offer as a friend last year had told me you could do public health at USYD.

Syd Uni did have a MSc Int Public Health, but because I'd be starting mid-year, there are quite a few subjects I wouldn't be able to do because the pre-requisites are in the first semester. Then, mid week I had a random thought about studying internationally. I hadnt really ever thought about that before. I had always wanted to do an exchange at either school or uni, but it never really happened at any point. So I did what any good uni student does... I googled what uni courses there are in the UK!

I came up with a list of about 24 different degrees around the UK. But, the first and most important and definitely the most relevant that I found, was at the University of Westminster in London. They have a 1 year MSc in International Public Health and Nutrition. Perfect! Its even focusing on the area that I work in and am interested in. I'm applying there, and if I get in, thats what I'll be doing from September. But I am moving in July and working in the hospitals there for a couple of months first.

So I am now stepping out in faith a bit. I have no money (ie I am currently selling the few things I do own), and no definite direction about what is happening next. But I know God is in control and he is watching over everything I do, He will make the most of it and use whatever happens to his glory.

There are many things wrong in the world. But things will never change if no one actually does anything about it. I want to make a difference with my life. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to manage that, but that's what I want to do. I saw this quote somewhere the other day and thought it was pretty cool:

Be the change you want to see in the world

Mahatma Gandhi.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coincidence... or not?

I haven’t written any thing in a while.. This blog is a big of a amalgamation of random thoughts and things that have occurred in the past fortnight.

For the past 2 Sundays since arriving back in Australia I have attended two different churches who coincidentally happened to both be working on Exodus in their sermons. I ironically happened to hear the Exodus 3-4 message preached two weeks in a row! There were some slight differences in the main points brought up during the sermons, but still it made me wonder about signs

Last week I had 2 different friends ask me to move in with them. I know I shouldn’t particularly be looking for signs about what to do with my life, but it still makes you wonder doesn’t it? Is this a hint that I should stick around for a while??

A couple of years ago I felt a bit of a prompting to start up a young women's bible study amongst some of the girls I know and love from the Mountains. At the time it didn't end up happening because I got a job in victoria and ended moving abruptly.. anyway the thought came back to me again today. Like all things, we will see what happens.

I have spent the last week up the coast at Forster helping Jon, a friend of mine who is building a house up there for his parents. So I’ve been spending my days sanding, oiling, varnishing and doing all the odd jobs related to finalising a house. I was asked if I wanted to go to Gilgandra next week to help with the restoration of a church out there, but I’m not going to go on this particular trip. I might go on the next one if I’m still around. If. I don’t know what i’m doing. I don’t find that particularly all that frustrating, but I guess it would be good to have a little bit of an idea about what is going on! I'm debating some further study in international health, think I will have a chat with the uni coordinator tomorrow about that while I'm in Sydney.

I”m still reading this book “Don’t waste your life” by John Piper. I’ve just read about Louie Giglio’s “268 Declaration.” The number comes from Isaiah 26:8—“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts”

“Desire that your life count for something great! Long for your life to have eternal significance. Want this! Don’t coast through life without a passion.”
But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.
What is the one passion of your life that makes everything else look like rubbish in comparison? Oh, that God would help me waken in you a single passion for a single great reality that would unleash you, and set you free from small dreams, and send you, for the glory of Christ, into all the spheres of secular life and to all the peoples of the earth.

I am passionate about alot of things. I was thinking about this a few days ago as I was chatting with Sandra, Jon’s Mum. She was diagnosed with diabetes last year, so we were chatting about that, ways it had impacted her cooking, and a couple of other nutrition related issues. She was telling me about a lady she worked with who had been diagnosed with a hiatus hernia and diverticular disease and how there were all these foods she’d been told she couldn’t eat. As we were talking, I found myself getting quite worked up and annoyed at GPs and practitioners who tell their patients and clients inaccurate information. That can really get my back up. One of the many things I get passionate about.

I also get passionate about music, singing, dancing, injustice, segregation and people being left out. Just to name a few things.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

colour my life with the chaos of trouble

I am so ridiculously happy right now. Have you ever been so happy you could cry? It is extremely bizarre. I can't quite explain how it works, or the reasoning behind it (no there is no boy involved in this happiness). I think that I am just at total peace with myself, and thats why I am happy. I am happy with who I am, happy with God, happy being wherever I am, happy being single, happy whether I get to see people or not. I'm just happy :) Side note, I've now written the word "happy" so many time's I am questioning whether I am even spelling it right... weird hehe...

I've thought this a few times, but the thought came out loud and clear on thursday night after I had been hanging out with some old friends of mine Erin and Jared. It was great hanging out with them again, and good to see that some people in life don't change and are always there regardless of how long it has been since you last got to catch up. We chatted and also watched the movie 500 days of summer, which is where my blog title came from - it seemed to adequately describe my life in general!!!

On Friday I helped out a friend, Wendy Konemann at her scripture classes (year 4 and 5) at Glenbrook primary school. I hadn't really prepared anything and at last minute was asked to take my guitar to sing a song or two. I really enjoyed it, the kids were characters - some real attention seekers but they all had things to say and ask. Some of them have the most deep and theologically confronting questions, for example there was a question about whether when parents genetically altered their baby to look the way they wanted it to (eg blue eyes, blond hair), did that mean they ruined the 'perfect' child that God had designed, or was the one the people designed the right one?!! One kid answered in a way that nearly made my jaw drop there was so much thought in it (I guess even I am guilty of understimating how smart kids are these days...)!! I sang a couple of songs for the kids, and they also sang me a couple in return - actions and all! They all really got into the songs! I love how music brings people together. Our society values music so highly, however there is such a limited amount of singing that we do in our culture - it is not the norm. All in all, it was a fun and challenging experience, thinking on the spot and reasoning why I believe what I believe.

I've also been able to catch up with Justin a musician from Katoomba who I met in Chiang Mai. We got together yesterday with his producer Laurie out in Lithgow and made a bit of music which was great fun. We stayed up to the early hours of the morning, singing, drinking lots of cups of tea, eating cake, playing guitar, watching youtube clips of people exploding, hurting themselves and failing to drive properly and writing random silly funny songs. Loved every moment!! :) I also discovered that they are both Jehovahs witnesses.

So at the moment I am still figuring out what to do. I had an interview for a job in Geelong the other day and also have an option of a job up in Cairns as a community dietitian working with Aboriginals. I haven't really had much to do with that population, and the job would involve a fair bit of health promotion and flying around in little cessna's and things. Not really the clinical stuff I have been doing. It sounds good... But... Full time PERMANENT job = scary. I think I may have mentioned something about this earlier, but I am pretty sure i am scared of commitment. At least I definitely shy away from it alot.

I think I decided today that I don't want a permanent full time job because I don't want the restrictions it imposes. I like chaos (ie: my quote title). I like spontaneity. I like freedom. I like being able to make decisions on the spot, and change my mind just as quickly. However, I still want to be reliable - is this a total contradiction? I want my 'yes to be yes and no to be no' where if I say I'll do something then I'll do it. For example, if I have told someone I will meet them at a certain day/time or whatever, actually following through and doing that. But still, I want freedom, complete freedom..

I know that one time I will probably have to settle down, but at this point in my life I am definitely not ready for that. During a chat with Wendy after the scripture class, she brought up the fact that the continual restlessness could be either me running away from things (which I have been accused of alot), or it could be a blessing and a gift. I'm not sure. Any thoughts???

Monday, May 3, 2010

life in suburbia

is very safe, sanitary and overly comfortable, I have noticed. ie. vaguely boring, if I am allowed to say that which i'm going to be indulgent in doing so since this is my blog and all... I went to a wedding over the weekend (the main reason why I had returned to Australia) and found it a bit disheartening in one sense as I watched the lack of mingling between different groups of guests. I don't mean to put any one down by any means, it was just an observation i made that people very much kept to their distinctive groups. Ther was no interaction at all, or attempts to meet people from other circles of life. Why are we such an inwardly looking society? I don't understand some of these things. But I doubt i particularly think (or act) in a 'normal' way of our society.

I find that insanely frustrating, how cliquey and exclusive people are. Me, well I feel a bit lost (as usual) trying to find where I belong (or most likely, don't) and am willing to chat with anyone and everyone. I realise that alot of people who are in these exclusive circles have no idea that they are being so exclusive, but sometimes I wish peoples' eyes could be opened and their "blinkers" as I put it, taken off. I feel for people when they are excluded from situations. There were 3 young adults at the wedding who I spoke to, who knew no one else because they were old family friends. I tried to include them as much as possible in the small dance circle where we met, but there is only so much that you can do.

Since I've been back in Australia, there have been a couple of random things that I've had to remind myself or check myself about. Simple things that most people wouldn't even take a second thought about. For example, the fact that toilet paper is in fact actually allowed to go inside the toilet (rather than in a bin next to it), that I can drink water straight from the tap (and shower) and that I should probably check the road BEFORE I cross it - rather than just crossing without looking.

I fear that I am going to be too blunt for society here, too open or abrupt or seem uncaring. I don't mean for that to be so. I think I've just gotten to a point where I'm happy to say pretty much anything to anyone without reservations (but I'm sure there is a limit to that). Some of the people I have been interacting with are rough characters and you just get used to it. We'll see how I go.

I've just looked back over some of my earlier entries where I mentioned some of my aims or hopes from travelling through asia. One of my major goals was to find some sort of conclusion towards what I want in life. I still don't know entirely what I want. I do know however that I love meeting and interacting with people, exploring new places and music. The last 2 months especially I have become more and more addicted to music, playing guitar and singing. I think I mentioned something briefly in my last blog how i was being approached on the beach every night by random people telling me I needed to do something with my music, recording. It is amazing how you can reach people through music. I am seriously addicted. I was going to bed between 4-6am every night in phi-phi islands and since getting back to australia I have been getting distracted in the exact same way by my 'real' guitar and playing playing playing until the early hours of the morning. Subsequently I have suffered a bit more jet-lag than I probably should have, as Thailand is only 3 hours difference to Australia! I do love music and wonder what I should do with this. I did make some contacts with people who want to record with me over there, and what people said to me reflected what other friends and family said to me before I left Australia. I guess it is another option of something I can branch off into. I just dont know if its the right one or not!!

"I just want God to move me, change me, grow me, make me more than what I am today. Somehow I think this might help." This was a sentance I wrote before i had left Australia. I can't say for sure how much I have changed, but I can tell that I have in at least some ways. I have become so much more sure of myself, more confident in letting others know that I am a christian and for standing up for my values, not letting people influence me in ways I don't agree with. This trip has definitely opened myself up to being more free in expressing my christianity which I think is a major bonus!

I got to go to church last night for the first time in 3 or 4 months which was great! Travis is an awesome speaker and easy to listen to. They were speaking on Exodus 3, the story of Moses and the burning bush. The point that most stood out to me however, was how often we need to act in faith before getting a sign of what we should be doing - stepping out in faith and God will confirm later that was what we were sposed to do, and if not, something else will eventuate. Other points that stood out to me were to not doubt the word of God, and not denying the abilities that God has given me.

All these points are quite relevent to me at the moment as I am at crossroads yet again. I am not a person to settle down, that is quite obvious and clear to both myself and others. I struggle being in one place for a long time. I was speaking with a friend from church last night about what my "plans" and where I was going to be over the next while and she told me straight out that I wouldn't stay (in the mountains that is). Right now I have many options or possibilities of what i should or could do and I am at a loss as to what to do with any of them, whether to branch out into music, get into a ministry in the backpacking scene(something I felt a definite call towards while I was away), return to vietnam to complete an internship at a dive centre I have contacts with (as I really really really loved diving) or to work full time in australia for a while. I'm not sure! But I do know that God will help me work it out and be there supporting me 100% of the way regardless of what I choose or what paths I take.