Solo journey: Day 5

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This is week 1 of my devotional journal through Solo (by Eugene Peterson). This 2014, I hope to learn much as I bare my heart and continue working on being consistent in my conversations with God (and with you). I’m fairly new to this so I’d appreciate your thoughts; very excited to hear from you all! God bless everyone~

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Day 5: The bread God has given (Exodus 16:9-16)

What do I complain to God most about? Now that I think about it, it has always been about this unquenchable desire of mine to find something that will make me happy, fill me, excite me, challenge me, something that I’ll love with all my heart and fill my days with joy (I’ve always thought career and relationships would). But God knows better. He knows that He’s the only one who can do/be that and who’s worthy of all of me.

Am I perplexed of His answer to my concerns? I think not. But the stubborn part of me is still so extremely dissatisfied most days, so wanting. And I have to keep on remembering that all that God allows in my life is His “bread from heaven—exactly what I need”.

So, while I’m in this new job, though I have countless concerns and uncertainties (not as promising as my previous role, planned company restructuring, upcoming permanency review), I believe that all will be well. There’s a lesson to learn (humility, stillness?), things to rid myself of (full schedule, career certainty, comfort zone?), and important habits to form (prayer, sleep, exercise?).

God, please help me be continually reminded of your being enough for me. Always. There’s no need for me to desire other things, because only you can satisfy. Amen.

Solo journey: Day 4

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This is week 1 of my devotional journal through Solo (by Eugene Peterson). This 2014, I hope to learn much as I bare my heart and continue working on being consistent in my conversations with God (and with you). I’m fairly new to this so I’d appreciate your thoughts; very excited to hear from you all! God bless everyone~

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Day 4: Learning to pay attention (Exodus 3:1-6)

God is holy, and I should be holy, too. This I find easy to understand, but what does removing my sandals mean? I think it means that I should rid of myself of the very thing that touches this world, the thing that seemingly protects me from danger (heat, cold, sharp objects, etc.), the thing that takes me places, the thing that people see and judge.

Yes, I should rid myself of my sandals if I wish to be with God, to keep myself near to Him who, by grace, keeps me holy. O God, please help me live life paying attention to you, that I may see you as you reveal yourself in a fresh new way everyday.

Comparison is the thief of joy

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Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead (C.S. Lewis).

I always assumed that money has no firm hold over me. When I was about to leave my previous job and interviewing with new employers, compensation was not really the most important consideration for me. But remember the saying that we’ll never know how bad we really are until being bad is the only option left? How true! And how painful the truth is for me!

Just today, I discovered something that caused me to black out for a second (from the enormity of the numbers, I guess). I learned how much my managers are earning, which is waaaaaaay beyond what I ever imagined for their levels. And I felt bad, jealous, dissatisfied with myself even. I feel ashamed of how I feel. And I realize that the reason why I feel this way is because I compare myself against them and put too much pressure on myself to achieve as much in the future, if not now. But I know I don’t have reason to do this. We each live different lives, have had different experiences and have different passions, so it’s but natural for us to take varying paths and get to our destinations at varying timelines, too.

I suddenly remember Paul’s example of being content in all circumstances, but I have to admit that this new knowledge makes contentment extremely hard to practice. I need help! So tonight, I will spend time surrendering my fears and dissatisfaction to God and sincerely hope that tomorrow, I’d feel better. I don’t know if I can fully go back to my simple, less ambitious, contented self immediately but I hope I do, because it was a better version of me.

*Sigh* Time to claim God’s promise that his grace is sufficient for me. Please pray for me, too!

Solo journey: Day 3

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This is week 1 of my devotional journal through Solo (by Eugene Peterson). This 2014, I hope to learn much as I bare my heart and continue working on being consistent in my conversations with God (and with you). I’m fairly new to this so I’d appreciate your thoughts; very excited to hear from you all! God bless everyone~

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Day 3: A picture of forgiveness (Genesis 50:15-21)

This strikes me—“When Joseph received their message, he wept”. This tells me how hurt, how broken Joseph still was in spite of all that has passed, all his successes. And what truly mattered to him still was forgiveness.

And I learn that yes, it’s good to forgive—and on the other side—to know that one has been forgiven. Today, I realize that whatever hurt is keeping me back stems from not forgiving fully, and from not knowing for sure that I have been forgiven by people I’ve pained (not God, for I believe his forgiveness is perfect). To forgive and be forgiven then is freeing in some way. And I guess I’m not yet free.

What should I do now? Should I follow Joseph’s brothers and initiate reconciliation? Lord, you know that I know the answer, but it scares me. Please help me God.

Solo journey: Day 2

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This is week 1 of my devotional journal through Solo (by Eugene Peterson). This 2014, I hope to learn much as I bare my heart and continue working on being consistent in my conversations with God (and with you). I’m fairly new to this so I’d appreciate your thoughts; very excited to hear from you all! God bless everyone~

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Day 2: Wrestling in the night (Genesis 32:22-32)

When I read these passages, what resonates with me? I guess that because of my ambition, my pride, what resonates loudly is my wanting desperately to be blessed. But I know God that it is so much better to ask the second question—“What’s your name?” To know you O God, that is what’s important.

Lord, please forgive me because I clearly still love your blessings more than you, the Giver, my Provider. Oh God, please help me to seek you and your righteousness first and foremost. Teach me to love you more than your gifts.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

Kitten in morning light

It may seem unbelievable but yes, cats represent beginnings for me.

When I was a child, a cat marked the beginning of teaching me about responsibility. I saw how my parents rewarded our cat everytime it would bring along a mouse that’s been feasting on our furniture.  I saw how it patiently cared for its adorable kittens and tolerated their insistent gnawing all day long. And of course, I saw how it remarkably kept itself clean by licking almost all of its body parts!

The same cat also marked the beginning of teaching me to value my limited time here on earth. For when it passed away, we were not warned. It just happened. We woke up and it was no more. 

How I wish that I won’t end up wasting the wonderful beginnings our cat unknowingly taught me. So each day, I hope to live responsibly, patiently, joyfully, knowing that the end might begin anytime without warning. 

I wanna do what I love and stop doing what I don’t

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I’ve been in my line of work for three years, and yet I keep on wondering whether I’m on the right track. I have often heard that God has given us gifts, which make us productive and effective if we practice our gifts in our careers. I believe this is true, but I can’t connect it with the fact that I’m always being asked to change, specifically to be more outgoing, to express my opinions more, to talk more often.

I’m very quiet most of the time (except those times when I’m goofing around with friends), so I’m very tempted to find a job that will require me to accomplish things on my own most of the time (which I notice lets me accomplish much because I can concentrate better this way). My current job requires me to interact a lot with other people, and my boss is often asking for my views and expects answers right away. I honestly feel that I’m not at my best here, and I find it hard to keep up with my colleagues when asked to speak out and give my views on the spot.

On the other hand, I wonder if it’s true that doing this more often will eventually help me be better at it. Some say going out of our comfort zones should be good for us. Has anybody here experienced the same?

Solo journey: Day 1

845ef271973fa81327308e4abf63aa3c

This is week 1 of my devotional journal through Solo (by Eugene Peterson). This 2014, I hope to learn much as I bare my heart and continue working on being consistent in my conversations with God (and with you). I’m fairly new to this so I’d appreciate your thoughts; very excited to hear from you all! God bless everyone~

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Day 1: Desire for reconciliation (Genesis 3:1-10)

Lord, I realize that I’m just like Adam and Eve. You have made known to me your commands all along, you have lavished me with blessings, kept me close, and made yourself accessible to me. And yet, I have chosen to disobey you and I ate of the forbidden fruit. And now oh Lord, I waste my time sewing figs, useless figs to cover my nakedness. I’m sorry God. I feel ashamed of my sins.

Thank you, thank you so much for asking me “Where are you?” just when I need you to. Thank you for seeking me and loving me first while I am still unlovely. Thank you for reaching out to me and for the comfort that you bring.

Lord, I know there’s nothing I can do. No matter how great the figs I sew to hide my nakedness, no matter how high I reach to gain the admiration of this world, all will amount to nothing. Everything is meaningless, unless my relationship with you is restored. Help me, o God. I need you.

Zero-to-Hero Day-1: Who I am and why I’m here

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I love reading. So for most of life, that’s just what I did–read, read, read. To the point that when I was a kid, my mom would keep me from books because I might get dizzy from excessive reading, haha! Unfortunately, I have always thought of myself as the appreciative type; simply meaning, sure I love and appreciate creativity, but I cannot create from scratch :p But it’s a new year anyway, so I decided to challenge myself. And now it’s out, this blog is my attempt at being creative. And oh yes, I do keep a personal handwritten journal, but I thought it wouldn’t be very helpful for this cause because (1) I notice I just fill it with complaints and prayers (2) my life is pretty boring and my needs are fairly unchanging, so I just keep repeating myself to God (3) I receive no tangible feedback. Sooo…I really really hope that some of you’ll be kind enough to help me by giving advice, feedback, etc.  🙂

Since one of my main goals is to keep my eyes on God always, I’ll write about him and how he’s working in my life. Please also watch out for my exciting reading and travel adventures (yey).

I have to admit I’m still a baby at blogging, so I’ll live up to that name by being a dependent/adorable leech. That means I’ll prioritize connecting with people who’ll be of some help by giving me much-needed advice and feedback. Haha, just kidding! I’ll connect with just about anyone, especially anyone kind enough to show interest in my start-up blog. Who knows, 2014 might just prove to be a good year for creative writing…Wish me the best!

Books to love

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When I look upon the kinds of books that I love, I realize three things that unify most of them–spiritual/inspirational, adventurous, quotable. All three exist in the Narnia/LOTR series, so that explains why they appeal to me so much.

Lately though, I notice that I rarely find new books to love, and I catch myself just rereading books that I have already finished. I also find less and less passages to highlight while reading on my Kindle. Sigh, I hope I’ll find new loves this 2014. Book suggestions are welcome!