surrender.

It’s 8:44am right now and I’m enjoying this moment of solitude in the school. Most of my classes usually start at about 0930 or 1030 and I have this tendency to come like one hour before my classes. I just like being early and planting myself somewhere to give me time to get ready for school.

These past few days I’ve been learning how to commune with Jesus all over again, especially on the way to school. It’s always never easy to focus on 1 thing especially when I’m a huge multi-tasker and it just makes me super distracted half the time! hah, talk about self-control. That’s something I’m learning also in this period. The essential idea of self-control that comes with waiting and not giving in. Control has a lot to do with our self-centredness because we want things to go the way we want it – as if our world collapses if they don’t. But truth is, the surrender of control often brings about a lot more clarity. And in the midst of learning how to surrender control and reducing self-centredness, we find ourselves on a road of sanctification.

This morning, I find God putting these words in me,

Help me to love You more than yesterday and sanctify me each day.

And loving Jesus more takes intentional effort and divine interference. I need the Spirit to draw me close to Him and I need to respond to that pull of the Spirit. And loving Jesus is hard, especially when my actions and standards don’t match up. Yesterday morning was tough. I overheard a conversation about ____ feeling upset that only his boss remembered his birthday and that broke me. Because I knew deep down, I was guilty of not expressing what I feel – I couldn’t even bring myself to wish _____ a happy birthday because I felt awkward and I didn’t know how to. At this point, there really were a lot of various emotions inside of me – awkwardness, uncertainty, fear and pride that stemmed from self-centredness. I have struggled with this for the past 9 years of my life and more, and everyday I find myself asking Jesus, what do You want me to do? How do I love in a manner that still keeps me safe?

Jesus sure is gentle and patient, slow to anger and abounding in love. As I made my way to school, helpless and upset with myself, He spoke to me. Haha it was really funny ok because my mood resembled the skies so much. It was a gloomy day, not much blue, but lots of clouds, keeping the sun out of sight. man, Jesus u know me. HAHAHA. But yeah so I began reading and praying and He reminded me through the devotionals that God helps me to do the things I cannot do. I cannot do the loving but in His love, I gain the strength and capacity to. (I know it sounds all easy and all but it really isn’t. It kills me everytime I fail to do it)

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In John 15:5, Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” So we really are paralysed. Without Christ, we are capable of no good. As Paul says in Roman 7:18, “Nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” But according to John 15:5, God intends for us to do something good – namely, bear fruit. So as our strong and reliable friend – “I have called you friends” (John 15:!5) – He promised to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves.

And with that, I pray. Pray because I surrender my control of what I feel and what my flesh would rather me do. I pray because I so need the Spirit to give me the urge to do what is necessary.  The thought of Jesus speaking immediately to my situation just made so thankful that He is real. God truly does speaks, only if we listen and we ask.

I’m also beginning to realise and learn a lot that love is costly. Love doesn’t just cost me my time, effort, heart, you name it. Love also cost me – a lot of myself. A lot of self-denial and a lot of patience. And I’m not just talking about loving our friends and loved ones. I’m talking especially so, about loving people that’s very hard to love for various reasons.

And then Jesus gently reminded me, “Perfect love drives out all fear.”

Oh guess what, dear friend Claire Carter just sent me a quote in time to end this post. HAHAHA.

“The meaning of our lives emerges in the surrender of ourselves to an adventure of becoming who we are not yet.”

– Brennan Manning

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that same morning :’) The sun still shines through.

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mentoring

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Alternate Fridays with Sherlyn :’)

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I think we’ve come a long way since last year? But I am so happy to see you where you are today! 🙂

Mentoring sessions with Sherlyn help me to learn alot! I learn how to let the Spirit speak! (especially when random questions come my way heh) I learn how important it is to discover the beauty of God’s word together with each other. (recall learning about Stephen and how his face was radiant with the glory of God and learning about John the Baptist, *cues the wilderness and wild honey* this man is a forerunner) I learn, most importantly, how to share life as friends and listen as well. ( cue “true friendship happens when…you choose toastbox over subway because ellie doesnt like bread”)

And I remember watching some Gospel Coalition video about mentoring girls that they do not have to come with excessive preparation but sometimes just simple hearts of coming to open the bible together and pouring into it. It’s so true!! But of course, preparation is still required nonetheless 🙂 heart mentally emotionally and spiritually.

There’s always much to offer, from her life and mine and how God has shaped each one of us! I also love how we can do Brennan Manning’s book together and just discuss about those words, and allowing them to strengthen our faith together!!

As I type this post, I am also extremely thankful for mentors in my life, whether unofficial or official, have loved and been there for me!! For being there and sharing their wisdom and experiences with me and just journeying with me as a friend, a sister and a mentor. For that, I am eternally grateful.

🙂 God provides people to journey with us every step of the way, through the various seasons!!

week 7

It’s Week 7 of school already and wow, pretty intense 7 weeks. Just submitted another assignment and was out researching for my next paper. Took a short break and watched some videos of Todd White in Israel and man, they were so encouraging :’) I was reminded immediately to be praying for exchange, to ready my hearts for the people we are going to meet, the lives that we can potentially touch and vice versa. Not just a matter of walking the land Jesus walked, but learning how He walked amongst His people.

These days I’ve been praying for alot of clarity and discernment and a realisation that I’m so bad at identifying what I feel. But that aside, I am so thankful for 6.15am days and reading Elisabeth Elliot’s Be Still my Soul that Judith got me! I figured that my body will be dog tired by the time I reach Fridays and the weekends. Need to do something about that.

One good thing though, I’ve been enjoying poetry and creative writing class so much :’)

this afternoon was a first.

first time feeling defeated

first time almost bursting into tears.

first time I almost wanted to just quit.

But thankfully, I feel better now. I kept asking myself why it mattered to me that I did well for the presentation even though everyone’s pretty much MIA and that made it so tiring. To be honest, I’ve never gone through a horrible presentation before and this was a first. And I disliked how I had to carry the team even though I’m not good at the subject and I asked for patience to deal with group members who don’t seem to care. And then I just wanted to show some grace.

Yet at the moment of the presentation I think something inside of me snapped.

I kept singing “Jesus everything I count as loss – just to know You and to be known  as Yours” over and over again, to remind myself that all these too, shall pass. All these too, are vanity under the sun.

Eternal perspective, dear heart. 

tis so sweet to trust in Jesus

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

truly the sweetest thing to trust You Jesus 🙂 my favourite spotify playlist is piano hymns and I play them while I study!

Many things coming my way this week but trust and obey.

conversation and cost

Woke up at 0530am this morning. My eyelids felt extremely heavy. Read chapter 2 of Be Still My Soul and went right back to sleep. Got up again at 0610am, had breakfast and went back to pondering on Counting all things as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; which includes my sleep and weariness, time to produce work.

Am I willing to waste time to worship? To pour forth. Extravagant love.

The Lord says count. He doesn’t just call. He calls us to count first. What does it cost you? Is it worth it?

And I’m still counting. 


On the sidenote, I had a good conversation today with my creative writing tutor on the way back home till Jurong. I’ve learnt so much from him in the short half an hour. His heart especially for the pursuit of creativity and his passion for writing and photography as well. This writing class that I attend is extremely out of my comfort zone because it requires me to unlearn everything that I know about writing and restart from scratch. Its filled with technicalities and I’m often left feeling very, very inadequate. But the conversation made me less fearful of the subject, because I know the person teaching all these has a great passion for pushing beyond the ordinary and seeing beauty in the normal routines of life! That gives me great encouragement 🙂 but through classes like these, I’m often forced to say, not I, but Christ in me. Christ, the hope of glory. Christ, made perfect in my weakness. I really need to walk into class and pray that God will partner me in class HAHA.

 

 

time

And we may note similar “natural” work-rhythms which attend other rural or industrial occupations: sheep must be attended at lambing time and guarded from predators; cows must be milked, the charcoal fire must be attended and not burn away through the turks …

I love reading about the concept of time this morning for histo class! About how time came to be and how the idea of divided labour time is such a recent concept due to Industrialisation and obviously no thanks to capitalism.

“Time which arises in such contexts has been described as task-orientation. Perhaps the most effective orientation in peasant societies. First there is a sense in which it is more humanly comprehensible than timed labour. The peasant or labourer appears to attend upon what is an observed necessity. Second, a community in which task-orientation is common appears to show least demarcation between “work” and “life”. Social intercourse and labour are intermingled – the working day lengthens or contracts according to the task – and there is no great sense of conflict between labour and “passing the time of day”. Third, to men accustomed to labour timed by the clock, this attitude to labour appears to be wasteful and lacking in urgency.”

EP Thompson

People in the past perceived and organised time differently. Not everyone had access to clocks and watches that were luxurious items, though of course people spent a huge amount to get them. But the whole idea that the farmers had a certain way of telling time, the fishermen as well, made me :_)

this morning, I read Elisabeth Elliot’s Be Still my Soul which says “For Christ bearers, there is no dichotomy between secular and spiritual work.” there’s no intense need to segregate and distinguish between the two. Likewise, when I did my readings about EP Thompson’s chapter on time, work-discipline and capitalism, I was actually captivated by how the peasants in the past perceived and made use of time. For these peasants, it was straightforward. Time was not segmented. Time was what needed to be done. There wasnt necessarily a demarcation between work and life because their work is life – they fished for living, they led peasant lives and probably worked in farms and waited for harvest time when necessary. their concept of time thus became very seasonal and periodical, very unlike our concept of time.

There was not so much a hurry, but a quiet trust in the time to come and the work to be done.

Fishing and seafaring people must integrate their lives with the tides.

Oh may we as Christ-bearers, sync and align our lives with His.

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just a little note; reading the quote above made me smile because I get a little glimpse of what my fisherman grandpa used to do – integrating his life with the tides. that’s so cool!! Missing him 🙂