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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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 –

expectation

I have just spent the last 4 hours doing household chores – laundry, dishes, folding clothes, cleaning/clearing, packing, washing the fishtank, making shortbread cookies for my brother (they didn’t turn out that nice – but yummy)…

Why??

There are a number of reasons like I feel like I haven’t been pulling my weight in the household as of late; sometimes all I do after dinner is laze in front of the TV and be ever non-productive.  Gotta help out where I can.  Plus doing mundane tasks like folding clothes is quite therapeutic – no need to use any brain power but you feel like you have accomplished something after a pile of clothes disappear into cupboards and drawers before your eyes.

But the main reason is that we’ll have a special guests visiting our family tomorrow (well, today – in about 12 hours lol).  They met us for the first time 2 years ago and gave me words that marked the beginning of a new journey for me.  Looking back now in the last 2 years, much growth has happened and much of what was said has come to pass.

I wait in expectation at just what God will reveal to me about the path ahead…

– Ames – 

Enjoying moments

I’ve told this story a number of times in the last few weeks. Too many times I think because I feel like a broken record each time I relay it. Yet the revelation given, the perspective that shifted was a turning point for me – one that I want to always remember and look back on when I start to get caught up in the rat-race.

I was having lunch with a friend I’d only just got to know better in the last 6 months. I think it had been a month since I had last seen her but because we seemed to be on the same wave length on so many topics, there was too much to catch up on in the maximum 1 hour lunch break I had.

Even as we sat down to peruse the menu before ordering our food, I was figuring out what was the most urgent thing on my mind to share in the limited time we had. I still felt a bit on edge and in a rush until my friend said grace over the food. I can’t remember word for word but it was something along the lines of: “God, I know that we’ve got lots to catch up on but help us to just enjoy the moment, enjoy each other’s presence and your presence with us over this lunch break.”

Nothing supremely profound but what I needed to hear in that moment. It was like a light bulb went off in my head and all I could hear was, “enjoy the moments I give you” and my mind was flooded with verses like “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” and “do not worry about tomorrow (Matt 6:25-34)”. And all of a sudden, I felt my stress levels decrease. I felt myself relax for perhaps the first time in months.

I only recognised this after a week of this newfound state that I’d most likely been living at a consistent level of hightened stress since I had started full time work. Not cool. I had had nights where I would just cry out to God, complaining that it was too hard to balance all I had on my plate, that I just wanted to give up. It was only once I stopped trying to micro-manage my life and relax in the knowledge that I didn’t need to be in control of everything coz God was/is, that I started to feel alive again. I felt able to give of myself without feeling so drained all the time. I felt like I could in fact enjoy the moment with the people I caught up with, without stressing out over the things I had to do in the next moment. It was incredibly freeing and I’m so glad God used the unassuming prayer of a new friend to give me my wake up call :).

Now I’m not saying I’ve reached a stage where I no longer stress about things. What I am saying is that when I feel my stress levels rising, I know how to counteract them by surrendering those feelings and stressors to God and acknowledge his sovereignty over that particular situation – knowing that each stressful moment is an opportunity to experience God’s grace in my life. And when this shift in perspective happens, that’s when real peace and freedom is found :)

– Ames

Journey: Day 8-10

Sometimes this journey can get a bit rocky, but His word remains my sure foundation.

DAY 8: COMPASSION
Passage: Luke 7:11-17

Reflection – Lord, I need your compassion in my situation. Breathe new life into the places which look and feel dead. Help me to: (Hebrews 12:2 NIV) fix my 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.

DAY 9: ARE YOU THE ONE WHO WAS TO COME?
Passage: Luke 7:18-35

Reflection – Sometimes I doubt whether or not Samuel will be healed in this lifetime. But then God’s word says that all that come to Jesus were healed. It also says that “by his stripes we are healed”. Not only that, there is evidence today of people being healed. These all should lead me to curb my doubts.

DAY 10: RECEIVE GRACE IN FAITH
Passage: Luke 7:36-8:3

Reflection – Lord I need your grace when it comes to my family. I can see that I have been very impatient and short with them lately. Please forgive me. Please restore our relationship and bring harmony and peace back into our family life.

– Ames –

Journey: Day 7

Slowly making progress…

Day 7: LORD, BUT JUST SAY THE WORD
Passage: Luke 7:1-10

Reflection – Lord, please give me the faith of the centurion; help me not just to say prayers to you but to also be still to listen to your response and then have the faith to walk in obedience even when it doesn’t make sense.

One thing I know that you have been pressing on my heart is to quit watching TV programs that do not build up my spiritual life. I’ve been resisting and giving excuses but Lord, I want to do your will. I don’t want to let an addiction to TV keep me from my God-given destiny!  Please help me to overcome the desire to just sit down and vege out. Help me to make better use for my time on a regular basis. Amen.

– Ames –

Journey: Day 4-6

Still keeping up with the Journey devo though been a bit slack with the posts…

Day 4: CHANGING CULTURES
Passage: Luke 5:33-6:16

“Jesus did not come just to ‘patch things up’ but intended to establish a completely new way of living.”

Jesus went again the grain of what culture expected and shook up the religious people of the day. In the same way, as a Jesus follower, we are to stand out of the crowd, marked by a different way of living.

Reflection – things I would like to change:
my gym or lack of gym habits, establish some new routines; help Samuel more at home.

Day 5: IN THAT DAY
Passage: Luke 6:17-26

Reflection – I want to live with fearless abandonment towards God. May my eyes be heaven focused, knowing that this life is just a temporary one.

Day 6: KINGDOM LIVING
Passage: Luke 6:27-49

Reflection – So much in this passage… Loving those who reject you is so counter-intuitive. And yet that is what Jesus preached and lived; living that went beyond feelings. That’s how he calls us to live – only made possible through the revelation of God’s unfailing love.

Lord, let my life reflect yours. Show me areas where I need to empty of self so that you can fill it with you.

– Ames –