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 –

life investments

Over the last week or so, I’ve been slowly making my way through the book, ‘The Invested Life,” by Joel C. Rosenberg and Dr. T.E. Koshy.  The subtitle to the book is, ‘making disciples of all nations one person at a time’.

The book is based around two simple questions:

  • Who is investing in me?
  • Whom am I investing in?

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about this book are the personal testimonies that pepper the chapters of how the lives of men and women have been transformed because of those who took the time to invest in them and disciple them.

In Chapter 2, the authors highlight three characteristics of a disciple that really come in the form of the people they have around them.  Dr Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary puts it like this:

  • a “Paul” – an older and wiser believer to invest in your spiritual growth;
  • a “Barnabas” – a friend who encourages you, teaches you and keeps you accountable; and
  • a “Timothy” – a younger believer in whose life you can invest.

– mentioned on pg 29, The Invested Life

Lately, I’ve come to better understanding of the role I’ve been given to mentor the “Timothys” under my care.  I know that my life is not my own – in the sense that whether I like it or not, these guys and girls watch how I live and potentially will follow the example I set in how I approach ministry, my work, relationships, my prayer life… it’s an incredible responsibility but at the same time, such a privilege to be a positive influence in the next generation of leaders.  It’s how we leave a legacy that outlasts our earthly lives – we can do a good job of it or just float through life accumulating things and investing in things that have no eternal value.

I’m also so thankful for the “Barnabases” that God has sent my way in the last year or two.  After I moved into my current church home, I thought I would need to join a life group at a slightly bigger church to get the support and encourage I needed to continue serving faithfully at the place that God has placed me.  But, God had other plans :).  Soon after, people I’d met over the years but had not really formed strong or sustained friendships with, started to come out of the ‘woodwork’.  He has pinpointed some individuals who have spoken faith and truth into my life and continues to bring people in to encourage me in my walk with Him.  I’ve recognised that I’m not the kind of person that needs that constant daily contact to keep me on track but every once in a while, a good D&M over coffee/food with a sister in Christ is enough to carry me over for a few more months before I need my ‘hit’ of inspiration so to speak :P.  God is good.

I guess right now I’m still praying for God to highlight the “Pauls” in my life.  I definitely count my parents as my “Pauls” who have invested copious time and effort into my spiritual growth but I know that it’s important to have someone outside of the family context to speak into my life as well.  There is someone I have in mind but I think more prayer is needed before I approach them.  Afterall, life investments shouldn’t be taken lightly…

So, who is investing in you?  And whom are you investing in?

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

– Ames –

I’m a professional

A famous radio talk-show host began to lose his hearing, had drug charges made against him and then started to lose his ability to speak.  He said (as quoted by Jentezen Franklin in his ‘Drag it off the Road‘ message):

A professional is somebody who does what they know they have to do regardless of how they feel.  Do you think I felt like coming into work this morning?  I don’t always feel like it but I do it anyway because I’m a professional.

Sometimes we need to just quit doing what we feel and just be a professional about it.  It’s true for the life of a student as well as a Christian.

Just get on with it.

♥ Ames

Waiting

Beware: random thoughts to follow…

The idea of waiting is kind of growing on me. Society generally has us all in a rush to get from A to B but there’s also that concept of enjoying the moment. Enjoying the season of waiting.

For me, in terms of relationships, waiting means anticipation, hopefulness, mystery, more time for personal growth, opportunity and capacity to invest in others, less angst and emotional drama, being independent of others but depend on God for all your needs.

I feel like there’s a group of people who don’t get much attention in our society: The Happy Singles.  Single people who are loving life and living it to its fullest.  Why don’t we read or hear about them? Because we love the drama, the complicated relationships, the heartbreak of people dating and sleeping around so happy, uncomplicated, unattached single people = boring.

Oh well.  I’ll still enjoy waiting.  I feel like right now, free of all kind of romantic relationships or crushes, I can love fully and freely.  And that’s awesome.

I’m so thankful to get a second chance at living life as a happy single :).  I could do with a few more years of this bliss.

Praise God.

♥ Ames

Learning to say ‘No’.

‘No.’  Such a small word but it has so much power.  It can propel you in one direction or another.  It can bring one person joy and another person heartache.  It can cause you stress or decrease your stress.  All that in just two letters.  Two letters, one syllable that I, at times, find hard to say…

There are a lot of things I want.

I want to be an amazing guitarist.  I want to be a great teacher and preacher of the Word.  I want to go and fight injustice in a third world country.  I want to be up to date with all the trendy restaurants and food joints.  I want to be a top honours law student.  I want to volunteer my time in the community.  I want to be all I can be for my friends.  I want to invest proper time and effort into my piano students.  I want to be an involved sister to my autistic brother.  I want to reach and save the lost.  I want to run a fundraising event for the Trust Fund I started.  I want to be an encouragement to my parents.  I want to be a talented photographer.  I want to cook delicious meals.  I want to have a consistent and dynamic prayer life.  I want to be a super witty and clever blogger.

There are a lot of things I want but I can’t be all of these at once.  Maybe one day I can do/be all these things, but right now, I’m learning how to say, ‘No’. Saying ‘No’ is not necessarily a bad thing… it’s about what is effective.  It’s about saying ‘No’ for a greater ‘Yes’.  I know that it’s better to do a few things well then to do a lot of things mediocre.  It’s about knowing what’s a priority, knowing what God wants me or you to do right now this year, this month, this week, this moment.

How do we know what to do and what should be placed on the back burner?  Make some time, make some space to get still, get quiet and cast your burdens on the Lord.  Petition Him to show you where to invest your time and I guarantee, that as you wait on Him, He’ll reveal His heart for you, to you.

It worked for me :).  Try it and see!

♥ Ames

Goals for 2012

If something isn’t in writing, it’s just a floating idea… HENCE, I sat myself down to write out what I’m going to be aiming for in 2012:

  • Exercise 3+ days per week
    •  pretty self-explanatory; I think digging in the sand for pippies yesterday counts as one day :P
  • Read the Bible everyday
  • Spend money wisely
    • As you can see, this goal started out as ‘to not buy any clothes’ but changed after my dad told me that goals should be positive ones rather than negative
  • Be more bold and courageous in pointing others to Jesus
    • There are still times when I’ve shied away from pointing to the true source of my joy so I hope to make the most of every opportunity this year
  • (Re)establish the Law Students’ Christian Network on campus
    • We had a good start with the prayer group in Semester 2 last year but my goal is to create something that can be maintained and grow even after I graduate
  • Get all H’s in Law School
    • Though clerkship positions will definitely help me on my way to securing a grad position in 2012, it never hurts to do well academically too!
  • To read 12 books cover to cover
    • I have a bad habit of starting books but not finishing them… this will change!
  • Complete Suzuki Piano Training!
    • I’ve done all the practical stuff but just need to quit procrastinating and put down all the written teaching points AND send them off to get full accreditation!!

 I have a feeling 2012 is going to be a big year… bring it on!

♥ Ames