Thursday, 24 October 2013

Self-Talk: Destruction vs. Development

Lately, it seems I’ve been struggling with negativity a lot. It’s difficult to focus on the positives when so many things seem to be going wrong… and even when nothing’s going wrong, our minds can still find something to be negative about!

With that in mind, I’m going to share an article that I wrote about two years ago about Self-Talk. I need to remind myself of this every day, and I’d like to share it with you all today.
    “If you're anything like me, you know that your mind is always talking to itself. Making decisions, remembering stuff you have to do, thinking, planning, daydreaming, going full throttle. I want..., I need..., it seems..., how come..., when..., I have to..., did I...? Unfortunately, if you're anything like me, a lot of your self-talk is negative. Most times we don't realize it, but did you know that negative self-talk has the same effect as someone saying something negative to you? In other words, if you tell yourself, "I'm so dumb. I'll never get this right," your mind takes it as seriously as if someone said the actual words to you. Sounds pretty serious, doesn't it?! With that in mind, maybe we all need to pinpoint some of the destructive, discouraging self-talk in our lives and exchange it for positive, encouraging self-talk!

"I'll never be like..." Why do you want to be? Imitating good traits from a positive role model can be a good thing, but God made you with your own unique personality...don't try to change!

"I can't..." Why can't you? Are you trying hard enough? Do you even need to? If it's an area of development, resolve to work harder at it. If it's something you physically cannot do, or an area you don't excel in, tell yourself, "I may not be good at this, but I have strengths in other areas!"

"I never..." Really? Or does it just feel that way right now?

"I'm so stupid." God gave you a host of talents in all sorts of different areas. Just because you struggle in one or two areas, does not mean you are lacking in intelligence.

"I'm going to fail." How do you know? Just because you've failed in the past does not mean you're going to do it again. You have at least a 50% chance of success if you try... and a 0% chance if you don't try.

"Nobody cares about me." That's an easy one to believe, but trust me, it isn't true! Lots of people care about you, even if you can't see them. For one thing, God definitely cares about you. For that matter, so do I!

"I always mess up." No, you don't. You do a lot of things right. Even if you do mess up on occasion (and trust me, we all do!) tell yourself, "What can I learn from this? How can this make me a better person?" 

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

My First Letter From Mbula!

Today I was so excited to receive my first letter from 18-year-old Mbula, who lives in Kenya. Mbula was assigned to me when I requested a correspondence child aged 14 or up from either Africa or Asia. He was assigned to me on May 31st. Four months and one week later, I received his first letter. I was excited to see that he responds to several things I mentioned in my first letter. It was also my first letter in English, which I was thrilled about; no worries about translation errors! Although a translator did look at the letter to check for errors, of which there were none. Mbula writes English very well!

Here’s the letter:

“Dear Hannah,

Hallo my friend! It’s my hope that you are fine with your family members. On my side, I’m fine too. I thank you for being my sponsor. I thank you for the letter you send to me.

In our family, we have three brother and one sister. I would not mind anymore if you would like to be my second sister in our family. (in my first letter, I told him I had no brothers or sisters and asked if I could call him my brother. I’m glad he said yes!)

In our school, I am doing well in my studies. I would request you to pray for me in order to go on well in my studies. In my school activities, I like participating in volleyball as well as football. (the translator added, “soccer.”)

In our church, I like participating in singing and dancing. (me too!) I would like also to share the same verse from Joshua 1:9. It says, “Be strong and of good courage, don’t be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (This is the same verse I sent him in my first letter. I’m glad he liked it enough to share it again!) I would also request for you to pray for our Kenyan athletes who are participating in athletic competition in Moscow. (I asked him to tell me more about Kenya, so this is interesting! I’ll have to look it up online and see what else I can find out.) May God bless you and honour you.

This letter was really exciting in so many ways: my first letter from Kenya, my first letter in English, and the first letter that responds to questions I’ve asked in the first letter. I’m glad to see how much room is on the Kenyan stationery for writing… Mbula sounds like he will be a chatty and interesting young man to get to know!

I love my Kenyan brother!