Saturday, March 22, 2008

One More Day to Go ...

I just had my last office ciggie-break with my colleague this evening … we even took a picture to remind us of this! We do have so much fun during all our ciggie breaks… sigh. I had a mixed emotional moment of relief plus despair plus excitement …. My dear girl, who is a good friend and fellow smoker asked me “You are mentally prepared for this right?” How true, this is not something that you can say “Ok, that’s it, I’m not doing it anymore” I’m not only mentally prepared, I am spiritually, emotionally and physically prepared. Not hundred percent fool proof preparation but it’s my best shot, with help from above.

A few people have asked me this: “Why do you want to quit?” I have a lot of reasons and they are all
jumbled up in my mind. I need to organize my thoughts, here they are.

Why do I want to quit smoking?

  1. Obedience to my God and King to not defile His temple.Quoting 1 Corinthians 6:19 - 20: Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, whom lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
  2. I’m tired of being a poor testimony or constantly having to defend my right to do as I wish with my life. A defensiveness which is driven by guilt. That is no way to live.
  3. I want to be rid of this habit, I am enslaved and addicted and that is not living a victorious life.
  4. I feel terrible that friends and family have to put up with my smoking habit, and I am also damaging them as second hand smokers. Every person DOES have a right to breathe clean air. That's the way God intended it to be.
  5. I’m tired of waking up with a wheeze and tightness in my chest. I want to be rid of my asthma and not having to be dependent on my inhaler so much. I am an asthmatic who smokes, go figure. So eventually I can save more money as I won’t be buying cigarettes and less inhalers too!
  6. I want to conceive this year and that is good enough a reason! My baby is worth it!
  7. Smoking no longer attach the cool imagery of being sexy, bohemian, hippie and rebellious. Hey, wake up, Woodstock is so over. Who I am now and where I am now, this is really bad for my rep. It’s totally uncool and downright repulsive and shows that I am weak minded, undisciplined, living a double life and I cannot be taken seriously. I can’t even bring myself to serve in church now. Gosh, what will the children and teens think if they catch me smoking outside?
  8. A new identity! An identity in Christ, a child of God! Look, I know God loves me, no more, no less whether I am a smoker or not. This is by no means any judgement on any Christian who smokes. You can smoke and be Christian and love God in your own way. I am just convicted to take this to another level, this is a very individual thing. I repeat, there is no judgment here.
  9. I need to get my singing voice back. I lost my singing voice ever since I started smoking. That is so depressing.
  10. I will have better skin, my beautician will be thrilled to hear this.
  11. I need to be able to run for at least 30 mins without having to stop to puff my inhaler or catch my breath. I can work out more and have better stamina. Bodypump class, here I come!
  12. I need to get rid of this addiction to fund my other addictions, as it is I have addictions aplenty: coffee, shopping, books, shoes ...
  13. I want to look back and say: I quit, I did it with Jesus’ help and give all glory back to God!
  14. I need to quit now so then I can encourage my husband to do the same

My practical action plans:

  1. I told my colleagues about my quit date and my decision and my reasons, so they will not be inviting me to smoke breaks and we will go to smoke-free places for lunches.
  2. I will avoid all clubs, mamaks, clubs and places where everyone is smoking, until I am stronger and have gotten over all the cravings and addictions, got to avoid tempting situations. What makes it worse? ALL my friends smokes (I mean like 8 out of 10 at least and that’s mighty plenty!)
  3. I will get a huge store of healthy snacks this weekend to munch on when I have the urge to put something into my mouth. I’ll buy Patchi chocolates if I have to.
  4. I have the nicotine gum ready to chew on. This might prove useful when I am caught in a company of smokers and I can’t tell them to not smoke. This reminds me, coming trip ton Singapore with my MD might be a challenge …. Groan.
  5. When I am pissed and angry at work and need a release, I will …. chew gum, eat chocolates, blog, sing, leave early and go to the gym, or leave early and go shopping!
  6. I told cell leaders and trustworthy Christian friends so the can pray for me this few days. This is not merely a flesh battle, and I need prayer warriors to back me up.
  7. I will reward myself; for the 50 bux or so I save each week, I will buy something really nice for myself, hmm … let’ see, I will start with Patchis, followed by really expensive gourmet coffee and clothes, lots of clothes. And a good book. No, make it a couple of good books.
  8. I will go and hang out at all the non-smoking cafes and restaurant which I used to avoid; I’ll start with Banquet at Bangsar Village.

The Lord is fully aware of what I am going through ...

  • So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36 NLT
  • Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Matthew 26:41 NLT
  • May He grant you your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers. Psalm 20:4 – 5 NLT
  • Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55: 22 NLT

I know I have the whole world backing me up on this; good friends, colleagues, church friends and leaders. Smokers and non-smokers alike want to see me succeed. I am deeply encouraged. It helps to have friends who cares and want to back you up.

I did entertain thoughts of "What if I fail? Stumble and fall?" All my lofty thoughts and plans ... but I cannot. I must press on and win this. And even if I do stumble, I believe in second chances.

So … one more day before I take on a new identity …

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