Tag Archive: confidence


howardMy strength / weakness
– by Howard James Fyvie, the 1st, son of Andrew, son of Raymond

It took me a while in thinking about this topic because I was struggling to actually identify any significant weakness in my life. I mean, obviously I’ve got struggles and battles that I fight on a daily / weekly and sometimes yearly basis – that humans around the world all face. But when it comes to a specific Achilles heal – I was struck without an answer. And I think in that lies my answer: my confidence.

God has given me heaps of confidence.I truly believe that I could do mostly anything.¬† I think most people can do anything. I believe in the impossible. And I plan on achieving it. If someone challenges me to something, I’d happily go along with that, believing that I’m gonna give my best, and it’s going to work. Whether it’s making a film, leading people, writing music, climbing a mountain, entertaining masses or making a meal: generally, I believe that I can do it. And I jump in with both feet and claim my inevitable victory.

The spin off to this is that sometimes I hit my head hard when I fail. Sometimes I think I can do something, when in actual fact – I’m a long way off. And so this God-given strength of confidence can also be a weakness when I commit to something with all my heart, and then find that I’m actually not going to win. I then crash to the ground in glorious flames.

This has happened on a number of occasions, but probably the most notable was my last relationship. I saw a girl. I had never had a serious girlfriend before because – in my opinion – I was waiting for the right one, and once I saw her, I would make her mine. Duh. That’s how it works. Needless to say – I pursued the girl, at first she said she wasn’t interested, but soon my sheer confidence (and good-looks, obviously) wooed her over, and after no time we were dating. I was sold.

However, things soon began to unravel. Both in my confidence, and in the relationship. After a few months of heart-ache, back and forths, long phone calls and lots of counsel, the relationship ended. I was devastated. I couldn’t understand why it didn’t work. It had to work. Because of my blatant confidence, I was certain we would tie the knot, and had invested my whole heart and mind into the relationship. Today, she’s happily married to her husband, and I learned that not everything in life works out according to my plan. ūüėČ

These days I tend to look at things a bit more realistically. I get some very realistic friends to give me counsel, and I try to listen – now through older and more sensitive ears.

Has my heart changed? No. I still believe in achieving the impossible. I’m still gonna jump in with both feet. I’m still gonna change the world. But I think i’ll just make sure my back-up chute has been double-checked before I jump out the plane.See you in the sky.

Howard James Fyvie,
son of Andrew,
son of Raymond.

[For the next post featuring Jane Lee and her Strength Weakness of Context, click here]

what an incredible psalm.

we know it was ‘To the tune of ‚ÄúA Dove on Distant Oaks‚ÄĚ which makes me wonder what type of genre song that was? is this David at his hip hop best? the title does have more of a country feel to it, or maybe a rock ballad? who knows, but it makes for interesting speculation.

we also know this psalm is from ‘when the Philistines seized him in Gath’ so i’m picturing David sitting with his journal and pencil in a Philistine prison, okay probably not but then how did they write stuff in those days?

but two powerful concepts are waiting for you here:

By this I will know that God is for me. [vs. 9b]

i wonder how many christians believe that.

and maybe if more unbelievers could wrap their faith around that idea they would be more quick to follow.

do you actually really believe God is for you? or is your picture of Him closer to a ‘traditional old testament’ view of God – the angry headmaster just waiting for you to step out of line so he can march you to his office and exact the worst kind of humiliating punishment on you?

but David seems confident – by this i will KNOW that God is for me.

one picture i have of God which i find particularly helpful is the idea of a father standing at the finish line of a 100m race screaming his lungs out in cheering me on. He is not running the race for me, but he is giving me complete support and encouragement and motivation.

the passage that first brought this to mind was Hebrews 12, the first three verses:

‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run¬†with perseverance¬†the race marked out for us,¬†2¬†fixing our eyes on Jesus,¬†the pioneer¬†and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,¬†scorning its shame,¬†and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.¬†3¬†Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary¬†and lose heart.’¬†

Know that your God is for you!

 the second Truth to hold on to or invite is this one:

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 

In God, whose word I praise –¬†in God I trust and am not afraid.¬†

What can mere mortals do to me? [v. 3-4]

trusting God is obviously an important one and knowing He is the one we should run towards when tragedy strikes [and not away from, or towards in blame] but i am more looking at that last line – What can mere mortals do to me?

this week has been a bit of a tough one for me personally in terms of understanding just how easy it is to let mere mortals affect me, but it’s all about knowing that my core foundation stands firm on God. no matter how irritated people get with me or upset with what i say or how i come across, it really doesn’t matter. i know who i am in God and my identity stands firm in Him. when that really kicks in then it becomes so true that what can mere mortals do to me? nothing.

the two go hand in hand – i know my God is for me, and because of that, what can man do to me?’

do you know these two?

[To return to the Intro page and be connected to any of the other Psalms i have walked through before now, click here]

my friend Megan Donald linked me to this article on the ‘book and i really enjoyed it and felt like it was a message that needed to get more out there and so i emailed Jennie and also BBC newsonline to see if i could get permission to use it and received the confirmation this morning, so here reproduced is the story as shared by:

Jennie Runk: My life as a ‘plus-size’ model

Jennie Runk

When H&M hired a “plus-size” model to show off the range of sizes for its beachwear, the ad campaign caused much discussion. Model Jennie Runk says it’s time we stopped obsessing about size.

I had no idea that my H&M beachwear campaign would receive so much publicity. I’m the quiet type who reads books, plays video games, and might be a little too obsessed with her cat.

So, suddenly having a large amount of publicity was an awkward surprise at first. I found it strange that people made such a fuss about how my body looks in a bikini, since I don’t usually give it much thought.

When my Facebook fan page gained about 2,000 new likes in 24 hours, I decided to use the attention as an opportunity to make the world a little nicer by promoting confidence. I’ve since been receiving lots of messages from fans, expressing gratitude.

Some even told me that my confidence has inspired them to try on a bikini for the first time in years. This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve always wanted to accomplish, showing women that it’s OK to be confident even if you’re not the popular notion of “perfect”.

This message is especially important for teenage girls. Being a teenage girl is incredibly difficult. They need all the help and support they can get.

When our bodies change and we all start to look totally different, we simultaneously begin feeling pressured to look exactly the same. This is an impossible goal to achieve and I wish I had known that when I was 13. At 5ft 9in and a US size eight (usually either a UK 10 or 12), I envied the girls whose boyfriends could pick them up and carry them on their shoulders.

Gym class was a nightmare. While the thin girls were wearing shorts, I was wearing sweat pants because my thighs were the size of their waists, and those pants were embarrassingly short because I was taller than the average adult, but still shopped at (pre-teen clothing store) Limited Too.

I also had thick, curly hair that only drew more attention to me, hiding behind my braces and beige, wire-rimmed glasses. On top of all this I’ve always been rather clumsy, so to say that my adolescence was awkward is an understatement.

Having finally survived it, I feel compelled to show girls who are going through the same thing that it’s acceptable to be different. You will grow out of this awkwardness fabulously. Just focus on being the best possible version of yourself and quit worrying about your thighs, there’s nothing wrong with them.

Jennie Runk

After all, I never thought of myself as model material but then I was discovered at a Petsmart, while volunteering in my too-short sweat pants no less.

I was given the option to lose weight and try to maintain a size four (a UK six or eight), or to gain a little – maintain a size 10 (a UK 12 or 14) – and start a career as a plus-size model. I knew my body was never meant to be a size four, so I went with plus.

People assume “plus” equates to fat, which in turn equates to ugly. This is completely absurd because many women who are considered plus-sized are actually in line with the American national average, or a US size 12/14 (somewhere between a UK size 14-18).

I can’t argue that some styles look better on one size than another.

While the idea of separating women into size categories seems stigmatising, clothing companies do this in order to offer their customers exactly what they’re looking for, making it easier for people of all sizes to find clothes that fit their bodies as well as their own unique stylistic expression.

The only problem is the negative connotations that remain stubbornly attached to the term “plus-size”. There shouldn’t be anything negative about being the same size as the average American woman, or even being a little bigger. Some women are perfectly healthy at a size 16 (a UK 18 or 20).

Jennie Runk

There are also negative connotations associated with thinness. Just as bigger women get called fat or chunky, thin women get called gangly or bony.

There’s no need to glamorise one body type and slam another. We need to stop this absurd hatred towards bodies for being different sizes. It doesn’t help anyone and it’s getting old.

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Jennie Runk

About the author:

Jennie Runk, 24, spent her childhood in Georgia and her adolescence in Missouri. She was discovered in 2000 and had her first photo shoot in 2001.

After studying writing at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, she relocated to New York – with her cat – to pursue her modelling career in 2011.

At a US size 14 (or a UK size 16), she is considered “plus-size” for fashion work.

You can follow Jennie on Twitter at @jennierunk

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[this article shared courtesy of BBC Newsonline, 14 May 2013]

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