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!

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

‘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

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 –

God’s best

One of the lessons that I feel God has been impressing on my heart is that His best for me may not look like what I, my parents, my friends think is best for me.

His ways are higher than my ways afterall.

He has given me countless examples of this in my own life already.

My parents thought the best way for me to stay in private school was to get a scholarship and somehow pay the rest of the way. God closed those doors because He had a trust fund arrangement in place already.

I thought the best way for me to do my tertiary studies would be through a double degree at my preferred university. God closed the door on that because He knew I probably would have dropped law had I done it straight out of high school.

Friends, family and I thought it would be best that I get a priority job offer from the firms I’d worked in. God closed all those doors because He had a better fit in mind.

In all these and other examples, He has shown himself faithful and He’s not about to change now.

So when it comes to the area of relationships (the serious forever kind) I’m trying to keep an open mind knowing that who He has in mind, may not look like who I have in my mind. The circumstances in which I hope we will meet may not meet my expectations but what He has planned and in store will be even better than I could ever plan or fashion for myself. 

I am committing once again the pen of my love story to Him. Each time that I’ve tried to manipulate or push the friendship boundaries out of impatience (lack of trust in God really), I have fallen flat on my face lol.

God’s been gracious though each time and given me back the friendship that I’d abused and gently reminded me that it was a gift from him that I shouldn’t read anything more into at this point in time, if ever.

Not going to overthink it or assume anything.  Just gonna enjoy the journey He has me on and relax in the knowledge that He’s got this ;).

– Ames –

singleness is a gift

If God leads you to marriage, you may never again know a time like the one you’re in right now. A season of singleness is not merely the minor leagues of marriage. It has the potential to be a unique period of undivided devotion to Christ and undistracted ministry to others.

Single, Satisfied and Sent:  Mission for the Not-Yet-Married

I love how God has changed my perspective on marriage over the last few years.  He reminds me to find my satisfaction in Him alone.  He reminds me that singleness is actually His gift to me that can be used today for the advancement of His kingdom.

Today I was asked to make a commitment to assist in a worthwhile project.  It made me reevaluate what I already had on my plate to do and honestly, there’s not really much room for anything extra right now.  So I guess I wonder whether my ability to say ‘yes’ to the spontaneous (point 2 for the above mentioned article) is as strong even as a single person.

Hmmm. Point to ponder.

The article is worth a read so do click through.

Not much else to say except that I really need to start sleeping earlier.  Apparently, lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain – according to talkback radio this morning. lol, ok randomness means time to sleep!  Sorry to end on a moot point.  I guess this is just to get back into the habit of writing for leisure again.

– Ames – 

chaos and being vulnerable

HELLO!  Does anyone still read this blog??

It has been a long while since I’ve posted here… lots has happened.

In many ways, I’m not sure what there is left to write on this blog.

Since starting work, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m no longer just my own person.

What I send out in to the world, what I write could potentially be a representation of my firm.

I have to be careful of what I say, or at least what I write when it comes to communicating with clients.

And that’s why I feel at times, I can’t be as vulnerable here as I used to.  I’m not even sure if this is a safe place to direct people to anymore.  A lot of emotion has been put on display on this blog.  Is it still a good idea to keep it out there?  To still be linked to it?  Perhaps it would help if there is a bit of anonymity.  Perhaps it means making this blog password-accessible only.

I dunno.

My mind just seems a bit all over the place lately.  There have been some amazing highlights but there’s also so much that needs to be done around the house, with church commitments, piano teaching, managing the commitments of the trust fund… I feel like I’m in the midst of chaos.  Funnily enough, work is probably the thing that I find most comfort in.  Even though it has its challenges, at least I always have a to-do list that I can just systematically go through.  If I need help, I know I can ask – there’s something consistent and regular, even if the work can be different from day-to-day.

And friends are getting serious about their relationships or getting engaged or married left, right and centre!  I’m very happy for each and every one but it does cause one to reflect on your own stage in life.  I guess I’ve hit that age where marriage is no longer something that is a distant dream but a tangible reality that people around me are beginning to experience.  Though I know I’m not in a position to make a commitment to another person yet, I’m still curious as to who God is preparing for me.

There have been a few outstanding guys who have come into my world lately.  I think I always get a bit starstruck when I come across guys who are fully devoted followers of Christ – those who endeavour to live a Christ-centred life and walk the faith they profess.  I stand back in awe because they seem like a rare breed.  At least in my world at the moment.

A seed of hope will start to bud and then the mind likes to run free… but I’m not the kind of girl to pine after someone if the guy shows no interest.    I was told once that if a guy doesn’t make an effort, then he probably isn’t interested.  Of course there is disappointment, but as I come to that realisation, I stop watering the seed, it dies and in its place, God plans a seed of friendship.  These friendships have been good so far – no residue emotions. It is particularly easy to stop watering the seed when you find out they have become attached lol.

There is one situation that I am still unsure of… a plant of friendship has been flourishing for a while but when the other person is also single and seems to start making more of an effort, when is it time to start taking a step back?  There’s a thought that seems to be running through my head lately: “Don’t play with his heart.”  If you can’t see a future, why beat around the bush, cause confusion and break hearts?

Hmmm… is this being too vulnerable, too transparent?  Yeah, perhaps posts like these need to be password-protected from here on in.  If you would like to read further posts of this nature, please leave your email in the comments and then I’ll let you know the password if I’m comfortable with you reading it lol.

Let’s leave it here.

– Ames – 

no regrets

I had someone ask me recently whether, in terms of relationships/dating, I had any regrets.

If I had my time again with the benefit of hindsight, would I have done things differently?  Absolutely.

Would I have stopped things in their tracks before launching into something that was not of God? Absolutely.

Would I have listened to the godly counsel and wisdom of my parents and those around me?  Absolutely.

However, am I glad for the lessons that I’ve learnt from my past experiences?  Absolutely.

For whatever happens in the future though, I want to approach relationships with the question:

How can I maximise the glory given to God in this relationship?

Inspired by this video:

“You’ll never regret the things that you didn’t do.”

So here’s to a future of no regrets.

– Ames –

Do opposites attract?

One of the downsides of switching phones has been that I have yet to find a good Google app that sync my music and podcasts in a way that I can listen to just sermons or music when I want to.  But a positive to it is that I’ll sometimes stumble upon a message that grabs my attention.

Today it was something that Craig Groeschel said from his series The Vow (Part 3).

Key points:

  • He made a statement about how opposites tend to attract in many relationships and then after marriage the opposites attack!
  • However, God wants the differences to ‘complete’ rather than ‘compete’ the marriage.
  • Marriage is not a contract but a covenant.
  • He also addressed the passage that has been made controversial by our society (Ephesians 5:21-33).

It was the ‘opposites attract’ thing that hooked me in to listen in to the rest of the message.  I guess it makes sense in a way because even with my own parents I can see how they are polar opposites but their strengths compliment each other.  However, it just made me wonder whether or not I’m praying for the right things to see in my future husband.  There are a number of things I hope we have in common but does that mean then that I may miss whoever it is that God brings along? Am I overlooking someone who could be potentially be the answer to my prayers simply because they can’t sing in tune or speak my language? *shrugs*

Lol, this is probably over-sharing so I better stop!  One thing for certain is that he’ll have to have an unshakeable faith in Jesus Christ. That is something I could never compromise.

♥ Ames

Be the right person

“Are you who the person you are looking for is looking for?”

Be intentional about becoming the right person rather than looking for the right person.

Practicing LOVE (1 Corinthians 13) in your relationships is good preparation for ‘happily ever after’.

I seem out of words today, so for more on this topic, watch Andy Stanley’s message, ‘The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating’.

♥ Ames