tired but not burnt out… yet.

It has come up a few times this year.

Probably for the past month I’ve felt it more than ever before.

That sense of being weary and journey-worn.

I’m sure more than once I’ve mentally responded to the usual, “How are you?”, with “I’m tired.”

It’s been a big year.  More so than anticipated.

I think I underestimated how draining full-time work can be on the body, mind and soul.  I’ve only just realised that I’ve been trying to play Superwoman for most of this year and it hasn’t been a healthy outcome.  I’ve been stressed, I’ve felt like a failure when I can’t execute tasks as well as I thought I should be… so close to burning out…

BUT not yet.  And let’s hope never.

It’s time to change strategies.  Actually, it’s time to change the mind, or more importantly renew the mind.

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single and brilliant!

Recently, a friend was praying for me and she said something like, “I find it so hard to believe that she is still single!”

I’m sure she meant nothing more than for it to be an expression of exasperation in the prayer, but the line did stay with me.

So I asked God, “So really, why is it I am still single?”

And then the reply that came back was: “There are still things that I need to work in you, out of you and through you.”

The verse that came to mind was:

 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

I know that there is a purpose for this singleness season… here are just a few things I’ve discovered lately:

So, what is it that He has got to work in me?

I think that one of the things he has been working in me is to develop a greater sense of what each of us is meant to do on this earth.. that is, to display God’s glory in all that we do.  It’s no longer about what I want, but what does He want out of my life?  What does He call me to do?  I feel a growing desire to die to self daily in order that Christ may live and display His love and grace in my life.

What has He got to work out of me?

By the grace of God, I’ve come to understand myself a lot better this year and recognise that I have many flaws lol.  I still have a lot of the ‘fear of man’ in me which often leaves me paralysed in situations where I know I should speak up against blasphemy or injustice.  He still needs to help me overcome feelings of being rejected by society because of the fact that we have a family member who has autism.  So much growth and lessons to be learnt effectively apart from another individual.

What has He got to work through me?

One of the revelations I had the other day is that, “You know what? As a single person, I’m a highly valuable asset to the Church!” I really liked this article because it highlights a sad oversight in most churches and that is in the area of encouraging those of us that are still single.  And I don’t mean encouraging them to go out there and find themselves a good Christian guy/girl to marry!  But rather that: you are not at a disadvantage at being single – that this is actually such a valuable opportunity for you to be completely and utterly devoted to Christ alone!  That you don’t have to wait until you are married or partnered up to reach your potential as a person or a follower of Christ!

I remember a conversation I had with a friend recently about how to set boundaries when it came to interacting with someone of the opposite sex.  I lamented that it would be so much easier if I was already in a relationship because then it’s like a safe guide or something. But my friend told me that it doesn’t necessarily make things easier.  You’d still have to battle through the same temptations and keep yourself accountable.  I believe her words were something along the lines of: “Just because both parties are in a committed relationship doesn’t mean that you are free from impure thoughts or actions!” That is true.

I think this is a life message of sorts: You can be single and brilliant!  It’s a message I think that needs to be heard and lived out… more to be said on the topic but these are just some of the reasons why I believe God has me single right now – and I’m going to embrace this season for all it’s worth!

– Ames

P.S. This is not a put down of marriage – I still want to get married one day! – this is just a start to regaining an appreciation for the season of singleness!

golden years

Beautiful Lord.

Thank you.

My heart is so full right now with thanksgiving.

I thank you that you’ve blessed me with the knowledge of you in my life from such a young age and that I’ve been able to serve you since my youth.

I thank you that you’ve also been protecting my heart all this time even as I began straying down the wrong path.

Having recently heard one friend lament how hard it is to have a long distance relationship, I’m glad I’m not in one.

Having heard another friend talk about a guy who likes her, she likes him but he has a bad past… I’m glad I’m not in that situation.

Another friend is wondering if she has crossed the friendship line… been there, done that lol.

I thank you for the revelation (perhaps once again hehe) that these are my golden years.  These are the years to cherish.  Being uncomplicated-ly single is a beautiful thing.  There is a special grace on these season.

No need to consider another’s schedule or finances.  No mortgage.  No kids.

These are the years that I’ll be able to serve God in all fullness and passion.

I feel a sense of release and freedom to do all He has called me to do.

To love Him without inhibitions.

To serve Him without restraints.

To go wherever He calls me.

To give generously whatever He quickens me to give.

To be completely satisfied and content not because of earthly blessings but in Christ alone.

Help me, Lord, to treasure these golden years.

– Ames –

He loves me enough

This has been one of those trying weeks.

Emotions seriously out of whack, crying unnecessary tears of disappointment.

But in the midst of the pain and anguish, God’s shown that He does know what is best for me.

And He loves me enough to withhold from me something that I thought I wanted but was completely out of His plan.

Sometimes we place unrealistic expectations on those around us, whether it be our friends, colleagues, spouses.  We put them up on a pedestal  and we begin to link our happiness and sometimes our contentment to how they treat us or respond to us.  I know I did.

And how loving is He to care enough that each time I begin to ground my happiness on whether or not someone meets my expectations, He withholds that relationship from me.

Once I refocus and get my head on straight again, once I go to Him as my source of joy and satisfaction, it’s like He allows me to have it back again, keeping an eye on me and making sure I don’t let my own flesh get in the way of something He has gifted me.  He is after all a jealous God – when things or people start to take His place in our lives, He has the authority, power and love to take those things/people away.

You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name.  

Lord, thank you for clarity like never before.  Forgive me for abusing what you had gifted me.  Help me to value and treasure what is presently before me and respect and love those around me within the boundaries you’ve already laid out for me.  Thank you for giving me insight to your grand plans for me and thank you for your patience with me.

“Keep my commandments and live, and keep my law and teaching as the apple of your eye.  Bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Say to skilful and godly wisdom, you are my sister and regard understanding or insight as your intimate friend.” – Proverbs 7:2-4 AMP

– Ames –

P.S. Enjoying this song right now…

Impatience uncovered

Oh wow. I just realised that I have used the word “impatient” at least 7 times in the last couple of posts… *sigh*

I think that being impatient really stems from not truely believing that God’s got the best plan for our lives. We’re impatient because we want things to happen on our timeline, not knowing or understanding that whatever we have before us is there for a reason, His purposes. 

I want to repent of this. I need to repent of this.

Impatience also means, in my view, that you start striving to make something happen on your terms or timeline. That equates to stepping outside God’s will which can lead to some dangerous consequences.

So I’m resolving here and now to be patient with life. To relax and chill over things I choose not to control coz I’ve given Him reign in that area of my life.

To not get too enthusiastic about people I click with coz it might scare them away. To not put unrealistic expectations on others. To take things slowly and be at peace with all those around me. To love greatly and forgive quickly.

I’m not saying I’ll get it right all the time but this is the direction I want to travel in.

– Ames –

this waiting thing

I’m impatient.

Sometimes I wish I could just skip ahead and see how this story is meant to unfold.

But I know it’s here in this limbo “what, when, who” land that I’m having to trust God more than ever.

It’s in the unknown that our faith is tested.

No matter how long it’s gonna take, no matter how long I gotta wait, God, I surrender it again to you (seems like this is becoming a regular thing, no?).

I’m holding my heart out.  

——-

Love, where is your fire? I’ve been sitting here smoking away
Making signals with sticks and odd ends and bits,
But still there’s no sign of a flame
Imposters have been passing, offering a good-feeling glow
But I’m holding out for what you are about – an inferno that burns to the bone
Some urge me to be temperate, lukewarm will never do

[Chorus:]
‘Cause I, I wanna (know I’ll) blaze with you
So I’m holding my heart out to you
Holding my heart out

So I stand, handing out torches
Speaking words that are lamps to their feet
Til’ the time when you come and I’m whole and we are one and the fire in me is complete
Some tell me to be moderate but lukewarm will never do

[Bridge:]
Then a doubt comes to lie at the back of my mind
That I’ll offer you me and you’ll politely decline (no thank you)
So I hasten to mute it, I’ll shout and rebuke it – “away! ”

Love, Where is your fire? Brooke Fraser

– Ames –

selfless love

When God’s love enters the picture, the theme of our lives can no longer be about what we want; it has to be about what God wants, and about what is best for those around us.

Selfish love comes naturally to us – we don’t have to labor to be excellent at it. But God’s love on the other hand is opposite our bent. We have to allow our lives to be remade to exhibit its glory…

Christ-built love is selfless love. It’s noble, it’s pure, it’s tender, it’s dignified, it’s grand . . . it’s heavenly. We all have our moments of selfless nobility, but Christ-built love isn’t a one-time heroic deed. Rather, it’s a lifelong lifestyle of romantic service to our spouse, selflessly considering another’s needs above our own.

You can prepare for lasting romance long before you ever meet your spouse, by asking God to cultivate selfless love within you toward the people in your life right now. It might not seem romantic, but it’s the best foundation you can ever lay for a marriage that will stand the test of time!

Preparing for a Lasting Romance, Setapartgirl

Lately, I’ve felt myself grow impatient for things.  Impatient at times for growth in numbers at our home church.  Impatient for leaders to mature in their faith.  Impatient also (as you can gather from above) for romance to blossom.  I find myself yearning for something that I know in my heart I am not ready to commit to at this point in time in my life.

There is a “person of interest” but no clear indication that he is the life-long covenant partner God has for me.

Yet I can see that I’ve already developed an unhealthy attachment for this person – what does God want in this and what is best for this person?

God’s love in my life means that I must put my impatience for intimacy (emotionally first before everything else) aside and protect his heart as well as my own.  Having broken another’s heart once and had my own shattered before, I feel like it’s an encore performance I’d rather not have to relive.  I feel convicted lately in how I’ve been treating those of the opposite sex.  If my future husband was with me on all those occasions or part of those conversations, would that be honoring to him or to the future wives of the guys I am interacting with?

Time for some reevaluation and some shifting.  It’ll be painful – of that I am sure.  But it’ll be worth it.

– Ames –