Some people equate being steady to being boring. If you’re constant, where is the excitement? Where is the inspiration? Where is the thrill? I would say, however, being steady does not have to mean being boring.
Steady does mean there are some fixed aspects in life that should be constant and unchanging. These fixed points cause things to be stable, balanced, and firm. Without these elements life becomes chaotic. Life becomes a whirlwind with no fixed point, or anchor, to bring peace and calm.
Being steady does not mean taking no chances. Being steady does not mean to not be inspired. Being steady does not mean you are doomed to a life of boredom with no excitement. Being steady does mean there are set anchors in your life that will not change or move. Being steady means there is a tenacity you possess to stay constant in all situations. And this produces stability, balance, and firmness in you. This is confidence and a courage that heroes are made of.
So, what things become those unchangeable, anchoring points? This is where we look at our values. This is where we understand our vision, or as some say, our “end game”. These are the type of things that shape those “non-negotiables” in our lives. “But”, some may ask, “shouldn’t we be open and willing to change with other’s rights and beliefs?” Respecting others is not the same as compromising our own beliefs. If we want to be stable, balanced, fixed, and firm in our lives, then we will have to possess elements in our lives that are constant and unchanging (not moved by public opinions or desires).
We are in a time where many things have been shaken in the lives of many people. It is in the shaking times of trials and difficulties when we get a clearer view of what is unshakable in our lives…what is steady. If nothing is steady or if what we thought was unshakable is shaken, then we lose focus, balance, and a sense of hope for tomorrow.
Some questions to consider:
When we can say YES to being STEADY then we are ready to make a difference in our world…in this generation.
Some of my non-negotiables:
In Vietnam you will see some beautiful trees that produce some beautiful flowers!! At certain times of the year, different types of flowering trees are brilliant with lavender, red, yellow, orange, or purple blossoms! These various blossoms can release such sweet fragrances, too.
When John and I first came to Vietnam, I would often stop in wonder and delight to enjoy the beauty of these trees and their flowers. After living here for a longer season, however, I realized that I have to purposefully be aware of and enjoy this wonder and beauty that I live in.
This phenomenon is so true in many other areas of our lives. How many times do we think “the grass is greener on the other side,” when truthfully we have just forgotten how beautiful the grass is on our side.
This is a good time, right before spring begins to blossom in the States, to remember to purposefully engage in the wonder of the world around you. Instead of speeding through the day to get the tasks done and to get to the end…stop. Take time to experience the beauty of the world around you. That beauty is not only in nature, but also in the people in your life. It is in the relationships we have.
Enjoy the season of your marriage. Enjoy the season of your children. Enjoy the season of your parents. Enjoy the season of friends. Enjoy the seasons of your life. Seasons change. You may think they will last forever, but they do not. Enjoy the season while you have it. Move through each season with the idea of “no regrets” as you leave one season to enter into another.
Here are some pictures of the beauty of different seasons I have walked through in the past few months… Take time and enjoy!
A basic definition of friend is a person you know with a mutual affection between you. Seems so simple, and at the same time, it can become quite complex. Complex? How is that? Well, not everybody is my friend. Especially someone that I do not share ANYTHING with! Or someone I only know about through another person, so I don’t have the experience of engaging in conversation and life events with them.
Then, in a big pool of people I know, not everyone will become my friend. You see, another part of the definition of friend is one who is attached to another by affection or esteem. A friend must become someone who shares a level of kindness and respect towards me. A person who belittles me; a person who is ashamed of me; a person who ignores me; a person who uses me for their own personal gain; a person who abuses me…this person is not a friend. We are not engaged in a relationship of mutual affection or esteem for one another.
Now, I must say that friendship for a 5-year-old will be different than a friendship for a 55-year-old. And at the same time, even the 2-year-old begins to learn the basic concepts of kindness…that building block of relationships called “sharing.” In a friendship there is a mutual affection and esteem for one another—in other words, a shared affection and esteem.
Here is a beautiful vision of friendship at its highest level:
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Living this expat life and having to navigate many changes over the past 7 years, friendship has been a major cornerstone in making it through! I have come to value the idea of friendship even more. Both to receive the supply of help and support that friends give and to be that avenue of supply and help for others! Learning to esteem the gifts in others and the value of their differences. I may not always want to agree or be in an extremely vulnerable relationship with some people, but, at the same time, I want to value them and to do them no harm.
So…let us think about FRIENDS. What kind of friend do we want to be and who do we actually bring into our world of friendship. Let us not cheapen this idea of being a friend by the influence of the social media concept of “friends”. Let us keep the higher vision in focus both in the friends we choose and in the friend we will be.
Cindy writes about her adventures, observations, and other nuggets from living in another nation. She and John live in SE Asia. She will also share nuggets from her 58 plus years of life.