clink

completely uninspired to life at the moment zzz. and by that, I mean that this 3.5k essay due in 2 weeks is not happening ungh doom doom. just wanna sit around and talk to people about life without living mine. donch know where this is going.

last night I dreamt that Julie Andrews was my mum and Carol Burnett was my long-lost aunt and we had like a lunch together or something and had fun and laughed and I was so happy I had Carol for an aunt. And I told her I thought Harvey was cute and she laughed. also I wasn’t me. I was some little girl with brown hair and blue eyes. I was white. not that it bothered me much. because I was still me inside. someone has been putting up new Carol sketches which may or may not explain these dreams. not complaining tho.

living life only half conscious of late. just drifting by everything and doing things without thinking.

dripped some water onto my computer and now the mouse moves by itself like its possessed so I’ve been using brother’s the whole week. I’m pretty sure I dripped water on it before and it recovered after the water evaporated but it didn’t work out this time even after I hairdried it. death by careless owner. tragic.

need to write chapter nine of fanfic before I reach one year mark of not updating in three months. all the numbers.

bought this huge ass humongous poncho from uniqlo and I love the hobo feels. gonna wrap myself up in it wherever.

watched and fevered over Sense and Sensibility by Emma Thompson and gang. it was real yummy. then went on a Thompson spree and skimmed her in Wit where there are too many feels. watch it.

had an interview last week and it was really fun. I talked so much and I felt so validated when I left and then I looked back on what just happened and got hit by so much cringe. but it was fun. so. I think it just feels nice to be able to talk and tell people about yourself and have them be really interested in you. even if only economical. but I don’t think they were just being economical.

also played some question card game for leaders retreat where we went straight into conversations about our opinions and things we cared about in pairs. I asked questions on white lies and school, tattoos and the moon. my partner asked about make up and God and other stuff I can’t remember now. that was fun too.

had really good conversations with people I don’t usually talk to where I just sat and listened and actually cared. refreshing. good week. good weekend. busy week. busy weekend.

thoughts to the metaphorical proverbial penny.

Spew

I feel like it’s time to write (and then not really because it’s already past 12 and not the most ideal time to start spewing thoughts).

Condensed thoughts:
How I really need to sink my roots deep and drink in from the streams of living water because I need to be nourished to nourish and grow and bless. Not enough nourishment=keeping all the good stuff for self-preservation=not enough to give and love people.

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers. 

Psalm 1:1-3

How to be planted? Meditate on his law day and night. Actually intentionally spend time with this person I claim to be my Lord and God and savior and whom I pledge love and devotion to. Actions, actions.

Fixing my heart and mind on the heavenly and spiritual things. Away from all the worldly thing and desires of my own heart.

I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a tension about this. Spirit and flesh having one of those tug of war things again, and not necessarily about my destiny either. Spirit is holding out but the flesh is putting up a struggle in its losing fight. It’s tired, even on the winning side. And sometimes the line smudges and I trip a little but it’s all good because I come back at the end of the day. Still feeling vulnerable-ish. Like I’ll fall at any wind that blows by. But not yet anyhows.

Everyone was sharing their testimonies at cell this week and it was really refreshing because for once, not everyone started with “I grew up in church”. It’s so good to see how God draws different people to Himself and to hear their own experiences with Him. It’s just great. I usually don’t like these “how did you meet God” things because I never had that pin drop moment where God became super clear to me/ I accepted Him at this certain point in my life and then my whole world changed. My story isn’t dramatic. It’s not even a story; it just happened and I’m still in the process. Sometimes, I’m kind of envious about other people’s great story but I know that everyone has their own struggles and stuff. And it’s interesting because I felt like my story was just something archaic/fixed in the past and just something to share when people asked me. I’ve formulated my testimony and I wonder what else I missed in keeping my testimony short and story like, and questioning myself why I chose to mention certain things over others.

Surprised at how much this sentiment, “don’t think that because your parents are Christian, you automatically become a Christian too”, was so strong in shaping my journey. I hate hearing this as I was growing up because it negates all of my thoughts and experience with God in one sweeping generalization, in that it’s not mine. My walk was not my own. It was my parents’. So undermining. I understood where it was coming from, of course, but as someone who was actually questioning if I really did believe God for myself (and whether for the right reasons at that), this just riled me. Not all of us want to ride on our parents’ walk with God ok. Not everyone thinks like that. I wanted God for myself, to know Him myself and to make this walk mine. I don’t know why this defined me so much. So much I left out but I guess it’s because the walk isn’t finished and I’m still learning so.

After the sermon on our destinies, there was an altar call and a few of us lost and clueless twenty somethings went up together. I was wondering what I ought to pray, what I wanted, what I should tell the prayer lady when she came to me. Turns out I didn’t have to tell her anything, she just went and did her thing. The word was that I needed to slow down and re-look at my priorities (which was surprising because I thought I was already very slow moving lol). And I went and offered up what I had been intending to pray for: mostly direction in the 101 ministries and open doors, direction career wise (eek), and above all, to know His will for me, to want His will for me and to have the courage to follow Him in it. Don’t want to be faithful without purpose. Don’t want to have purpose but not be faithful to it. I feel like I’m both zzz.

I went up there to get prayed for, not really so much of the expectation that bam, God speaks to me and tells me something like “gurl, you gonna be a ____” or “do this and this” even though I did go up to pray about my destiny and stuff like that. How shall I say it… the general sense I got after it all was that I may not know the plans per se but I know the one who is planning my life, and maybe at that moment, that’s all I needed to know, that’s what God saw fit to give me in that point of time to meet my worries. I know what it’s like having to make big life changing decisions and wanting to honor God in that decision by choosing what He wants. I know what it’s like to pray about it and then not hear anything, or anything specific in what He wants you to do. It’s frustrating, especially if you gotta make decisions NOW. After all, the Bible doesn’t tell you what job you should take and what schools you should go to and who you should marry etc. But I dunno, silence/non answers doesn’t mean you stop praying about it. It doesn’t mean for me to stop seeking God about it, or that I shouldn’t even try because I won’t get an answer. I pray for loads of things and God doesn’t give me all of them but that doesn’t mean I stop praying to Him when I want or need something. I feel like, just going to Him, even out of a want or need, shows that you still recognize who has the power and who is the Giver of stuff. And maybe it is through prayer as a process that helps you get a clearer picture about God’s POV and how you should move on from there. Maybe it’s not a matter of getting an answer but the changing of your heart and POV to be able to see that this certain answer makes sense. I dunno.

Pray without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Still difficult to do and sometimes I don’t want to pray about decisions because sometimes I don’t hear anything and I just end up doing whatever I want. So I dunno, it’s still a bit of a question mark for me. But God has revealed decisions to me, almost never straight out, but very slowly, and sometimes not at all. But my job, at least, is to come to Him with it in the first place, and let Him be God and do His god thing at the expense of my frustration because He doesn’t meet my human expectations. Ha.

Strange space of talking to loads of people at once and wanting to be so emotionally invested in all of them (and I am, really) but I dunno how good a friend I’m actually being to them. Please don’t mind me friends. Thanks.

Not as condensed as I might have liked but it’ll do for now ugh.

React

just an off-the-bat response to, um, something:

what about judging others for good things what about judging on judging what about loving before judging where loving does not mean accepting everything someone does what about judging as a way of loving because there is still right and wrong what about the extent one can or is allowed to judge what about simply having opinions how about the freedom to have standards kept which is something you get through judging a piece of work for quality what about the freedom to improve which also comes through some form of judgement how about judging the product and not the character and not mixing them up to consider that judgement as malice

#triggeredslightly

Augh no fair Ryan you got closure and I didn’t augh.

Waheva. Too lazy to go on.

I’m in the auditorium now and it’s like I’ve come home at last. It’s been too long. Didn’t have any classes here last sem so I’ve virtually not been here for a year. Oh how I’ve missed this. Childhood. Year one childhood.

Also got a jumpstart on my readings and finished Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. So many feels. So. Many. FEELS. Ungh love Ibsen. Loved his Dollhouse. Loved this. Still trying to sort out thoughts.

Basically. I think. Everyone has their vested interest yes, as evidenced by everyone’s support/betrayal of the doctor. Majority doesn’t mean truth, as per what the doctor said. But minority doesn’t mean it either. The number of people believing in something doesn’t qualify something as truth. Then again what is truth. It’s odd because I feel that context wise it’s science=truth vs tradition/majority and I agree with the doctor’s arguments for the science part but I don’t agree with the wider repercussions of science vs others. Because my truth lies with the others. Actually my truth intersects both. So agree with the thought process, but iffy on the content and what that means on a wider scale.

Actually I don’t know. I just thought it was intense and dramatic and real and modern and I loved the angst minus the iffiness.

And iffy where Petra was talking about the English book she was supposed to translate where it was described to be about “a supernatural power that looks after the so-called good people in this world and makes everything happen for the best in their case – while all the so-called bad people are punished.” Only talking about this because it sounds like something someone might say about the Bible. I say might because I don’t honestly think anyone who reads the whole Bible would sum it up in such a way. Like, you can’t just walk away from reading the Bible and just draw such a small conclusion, or that kind of conclusion anyhows. It would be a complete missing the forest for the trees. I just can’t grasp that any General Intelligent Reader could possibly come to that summary.

Also got lost at the last act where everyone was counter-offering the doctor to retract his statement. But love the angst. Loved how the doctor decided to stay. Loved how everyone didn’t dare to do anything because of “public opinion”. LOVED CAPTAIN HORSTER. 够讲义气. Can’t decide/haven’t thought through the sentiments of curs and all that breeding animal stuff yet.

Some stuff about gender and feminism around the doctor’s wife and her interests in protecting the family/the children while standing up for her husband. Some more stuff about society and the free individual’s rights and responsibilities.

I think I should do these spews more often. And then maybe another round when I’m more enlightened after tutorials.

Today, Scottish prof was amiable and gave out cans of soft drink, Irn Bru, at a 9.30am class which is apparently Scotland’s second national drink after whisky (which he had to restrain himself from giving out because then he would get the sack and he still has to support his family…Ibsen reference!). Prof shaved and he looks like Harry Potter now. And he looks so much happier being in a small class teaching solely Scottish Lit so I’m bought over to give him/Scottish Lit a chance. Hwaha.

Sensibility and Romanticism prof was so cute too.

So much history today cos intro lectures.

Need to do stufff.

Review Preview

Just something about the newness of the year that make people feel all fresh and sparkly and hopeful. How sad that that gets lost along the way and good intentions just disappear. How about hanging out with somebody who not only gives you new life but sustains it and keeps you new and pure like every single day? 😀

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

John 4:13-15 (NIV) [on the Samaritan woman at the well]

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

Really wanna do this but don’t know if head and heart are in the same place. We’ll see.

So I did this back in 2014 but I didn’t get round to it last year because of the whole exchange panic. Really enjoyed doing it tho, plus Sam wanted me to do one so here goes~

Challenge number 1: The biggest lesson you learnt this year.

Hmmz this is a toughie. I don’t think I learnt a big lesson but many little lessons throughout the year, as usuals.

Toughest seasons were adjusting back to life when I came back in June, dealing with my physical health and most recently, trying to figure out what all the open/closed doors placed in my life mean. More commitments, more places to serve in ministry. Hmm. Ok, now that I think about it, biggest lesson learnt is that it is a privilege to serve.

So I’ve been called to step up in a lot of things and I’ve pestered friends for opinions, for them to run through practical pros/cons with me and pretty much advise me on what I should do.

There are a lot of things that come to mind when God opens doors.

In no particular order, if I feel like it’s something I can totally do, I get hit by a kind of self-elevating pride, which consequently leads to a slight sense of disdain for the call. Because sometimes I view it as a liability (it will take up my time and effort etc etc) and I have this not-so-good attitude of “alright, alright, I’ll stoop down and help you poor people. augh I’m a busy person but ok, if you really need people, I’ll do it.” I occasionally do stuff sincerely out of need (i.e there’s no one else to do it and I’m genuinely not confident in it but I’ll help). Most of the time, though, it’s a false humility kind of thing, as if life can’t go on if I said no. Lel.

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

Psalm 127:1 (NIV)

Ok, the verse is kind of the opposite. In the same vein of thought, if God has planned for the house to be built, even if I don’t contribute, the house will still be built by other people. So I’m not that big of a deal at the end of the day. It’s an opportunity for me to be called at all.

The other thing that hits me in being called is fear. Fear of inadequacy, of insecurities, of whether I’d be good at it and whether I’ll be able to cope with it since stepping up = more commitments = less time for other things eg my studies etc. I know that God will bless me if I sought His kingdom first for sure but still, it’s difficult to go all in and just say yes.

For the pagans pursue all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

Matt 6:32-33

I was just lamenting to a friend once. “Why does God give me so many open doors? If He just opened one I would just follow and know that that is His will for me and things would be less complicated.” I’d moaned. And my friend just said, “God is trying to teach you how to discern His will. Besides, wherever you decide to serve in, God will use you and grow you anyways.”

Kind of like the Alice in Wonderland thing.

Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.

Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland

It is a privilege to serve. It really is. I know that but sometimes I don’t act like that. Sometimes I just take God for granted.

It is a privilege to serve. And it’s not just in ministry either. It’s a privilege to be able to love like God. It’s a privilege to be able to know this God so personally and live like Him. The cross is the singular thing that can feel so heavy and burdensome yet light and easy at the same time.

Challenge number 2: One Bible verse/passage to end this year and another to start next year.

For the year that just passed and the season I’m still in:

Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men, because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Colossians 3:23-24

I have been called and I will still be getting called, everyday, to die to myself. Service is something I need to acquaint myself with, so that it will become something so second-nature within me. And that’s hard for me. I love myself loads. So I need this. It’s something to close the year but to keep with me as I enter open doors. Need so much grace for this.

For the new year:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

This verse popped up three times recently.

So just got back from a youth camp where one of the highlights was that I was finally kidnapped as a hostage for a game hwaha. I feel a slight achievement unlocked there because I’m never the hostage and I so wanted a behind-the-scenes/slack time while everyone else had to find us. Turns out hostages had to work to escape too. We had to do a series of challenges and that was loads of fun. One of the challenges was memorizing the verse given to you. This was my verse. Much meaningful. It popped up again in sermon (2nd time) and in a Christmas card I received (3rd time).

I think to continue in something is really hard, sometimes much harder than starting to do something. It can be so tiring to carry on in a way of life that is so contrary to the world, so contrary to yourself. Instead of doing what you want, you have to humble yourself and put yourself aside for someone else’s will, someone else’s way of life. Sometimes, I’d like a break from that, even though I know that He is the only one that fulfils and satisfies and is good. Sometimes, the weight of holiness is so heavy.

But I think that’s where roots matter, constant building up (instead of stagnation) matters, strengthening and using the faith we have been given matters, and in everything, to be thankful. Being thankful is so underrated.

I was playing this card game with a couple of friends once. It was an interesting game, in the sense that you didn’t count the score as the game was being played. You tally them all up at the end of the game. So I could never tell if I was winning or not. And maybe it was meant to be played that way, or I just couldn’t get the rules, but every time it was my turn, I kept asking “Am I winning? Am I winning?” (competitive weenie alert) I got tired of the game pretty quickly because I couldn’t tell if what I was doing was right, and I didn’t get the instant gratification of winning/losing whenever someone did something. I had to wait till the end to find out if I’d won and it made the playing of the game boring.

Walking with God’s like that, methinks. Sometimes, the small things that everyone reminds you to do is boring. Pray, memorize verses, do devotion, etc etc. It’s hard to keep up with that over an extended period of time. But when it comes down to what’s important, when you get into one of those tug-of-war struggles between your shoulder angel and devil, all that suddenly matters, all that suddenly adds up to a lot. The points which you never saw in real time suddenly appear and makes a difference. Those are the roots right there, under all that soil. Those are the bricks you’ve placed one at a time that have become a wall, a fortress.

So those are my two verses, both from Colossians. This review preview wasn’t as short as the 2014 one but oh wells, I needed it, I guess. Hope I’ll remember my verses.

Lastly, just to tease in one of the Desiring God podcast I was raving about: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/what-makes-my-life-significant

It’s a very concise pod/transcript, methinks, on what I really believe in and live by and it makes so much sense to me. It’s good stuff. Check it out.

Ok. Go have a great new year friends.

Love love. ❤

Remembering the time I…

was worked up into this worried wreck (either on a Sunday morning which I was serving or an exam) and I prayed and God took it all away and His peace which surpasses all understanding just came and covered me.

woke up feeling unprepared for an exam and had two verses come to me almost immediately one after the other:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27 (NIV)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 (NIV)

wandered out twice in deep, dark evenings with only my other girl friend for company in the UK through deserted parks and parts of the city where anything could have happened and maybe almost did but was kept safe.

was constantly surrounded by good friends and company wherever I went in whatever season.

failed to enrol in three out of four of my modules for the next semester and wormed my way into a couple of others as the numbers went up and down so that I could take a decent amount of credits and hopefully graduate on time.

was given words of wisdom from different people on different occasions that just shed the light I needed.
Continue reading “Remembering the time I…”

Children of the Trains

Overly expired post coming through

Just finished my last lit paper (oh yay), half of which was about trains, railway stations and what that kind of modernity meant. Works referenced: Cafe Lumiere and Newlywed. Was going on about the foetus in a womb of trains in Cafe Lumiere and about how the train modernity was changing people’s values and relationships.

Got on a train. A child starts to cry.

I just watch. I don’t know what I was hoping for really. I know it was along the lines of why, why you crying child, and eagerly anticipating this movie perfect parent-child debrief that would enlighten the child, assauge his worries and make everyone else sigh at this beautiful sight.

Ha. Too many movies girl.

I’ll never know why he was crying because his parents used the one universal solution to address a child’s 101 possibilities of crying.

Oh the smartphone. Why am I not surprised/bored by this uninspiring narrative already?

I used to think understanding the whys to something was the way to fix things. Guess that’s old fashioned.

They say we don’t have creativity.

Yep. You can say it again.

The sinking feeling that hits when you see them put the phone in front of their lil faces, showing them the magic of a tap and a swipe.

I’m nothing short of unimpressed, though, at how the child’s crumpled face smoothes out and dries up, agony replaced by curiosity, in a matter of taps, and I am relieved that he stops making a public nuisance of himself.

But I’m telling you, this is why their comprehension skills are gonna suck. Cos no one is giving him the answer to his problems, not the right kind anyways. Priorities.

And in that moment all I saw was a foetus in a womb of smartphones, or more like, in a world of VR. Foetuses in the Professor X brain thing, the Cerebro. Kinda creepy.

Sometimes, I wonder if we’re all like big kids and the media our surrogate parents who stuff our faces with all that noise, overwhelming us with too many things that we never cared about but are now influenced to care too much.

Got on another train weeks later, swiping my own phone.

A few seats away a voice filters in through my zombified mind. A little girl is sitting with her mum and she’s asking questions and her mum is answering them.

“This is friction.” I hear the mum say, rubbing the girl’s hands on hers. “Friction.”

“Mummy, what’s this?” The girl points to some sort of label on her bag.

“It’s polyester.” And mum shows the girl which part of the bag is polyester.

And it just goes on, back and forth, ‘what’ questions about everything and nothing in particular, and a patient mother answering them all, perhaps not very comprehensively but in a way a child probably can understand best with their current little heads.

Nearly burst into tears at the hope for humanity.