Friday, 29 February 2008


N.B. Jess' 18th birthday party was awesome. Can't believe they didn't play Britney's new song though... :(

I don't go out to parties very often. Even more so since I moved to Southend. But last night, as I happened to be in Brentwood, I went along to one of my best friends 18th birthday party. I wasn't feeling too good about going, but after much persuasion from Rachael, I went along, and actually had a really good time, and Jess was really thankful that I'd actually made it.

I always said I'm not a party kinda person, and I don't dance either (despite being forced along to dance lessons by my mother for 5 years.) It's in that kinda situation that I generally feel extra self-conscious, especially as I'm normally the only girl wearing jeans. But, I duno. As the night went on, I found myself caring less and less about what other people were thinking of me (and that wasn't because I was drunk because I wasn't.) I didn't know half of them anyways. I was with some people that I've missed so much since moving away, and I got the chance to have a laugh and enjoy myself with them. And yeah sure, I probably looked like a right donkey trying to dance, but hey. I don't care. I had fun. Besides, it wasn't me that everyone was looking at....

Thursday, 28 February 2008


N.B. I watched 'The Holiday' last night. It's been an emotional time...

Recently I have realised that there is one person in my life, that no matter HOW much he is actually in my life, I never seem to be satisfied. Every time I see him, or even hear his name it makes me smile. He means loads to me, and even though I haven't known him all that long, he can be accredited to a unique part of my spiritual growth and learning. We became good friends after the first time we met, and since then we have shared deeply in each others lives, the parts that have been hard and difficult, but also the good times, made better by sharing in them with friends.

It has never been anymore than friends, although for some time, I have wanted it to be. These last few weeks, I have not been so sure. I can sense a big time in front of me; a time when I need to grow and change, and let go of some things that I should have left in the past. And I didn't know what to do with these feelings. I normally don't deal with these kinds of feelings well. This time, I decided to just be honest.

And I wasn't entirely sure how or what would come out of it, to be completely honest, I wasn't expecting anything. I just wanted to share my feelings with someone who I knew would understand me, if only a little bit. And whether that turned out the way I wanted or not, it didn't matter, because I just needed to know that I had been honest with this person, so that in the future, I would not look back and realise I missed the chance to tell them how much they really meant to me.

And through being honest, I realised that maybe I really don't know what I feel anymore. There would have been a time when I would have been absolutely devastated if things did not work out the way that I wanted them to, (which they haven't) but I have realised that actually, what I want more than anything else is for this person to be happy. He mean's the world to me, and maybe I haven't appreciated the fact that we are actually really good friends, and that is enough. There are plenty more times for sharing ahead, and adventures that we shall enjoy together, because it a long journey ahead. But we are both on that journey together (along with lots of other people) and I know we'll both be glad of the company. =)

P.S. I hope you don't mind me sharing. Remain strong in Christ, remember who you are, and never believe anyone who tells you that you're not worth it. Remember the music that made us smile. And thank you.
With love, Ami. x

Monday, 18 February 2008


As I was walking today, it was fairly foggy, and as a result, I could not see anything that was more than a few metres in front of me. Obviously, this was slighty scary and daunting as I did not know how much further ahead each turning or crossing was, or how much further I would just be walking, not knowing where the road ahead led to. However, all this week I have been listening to the Soul Survivor Live CD from 2007 and as I were walking, the words from one of the songs came into my head, and I couldn't then stop singing them until I had reached my destination.

"The road I'm on leads nowhere, without you.
And the life I live finds meaning, in surrender."
'Living For Your Glory' - Tim Hughes

Over the last few weeks, its been such an important message to me, that sometimes I am not going to know about what lays ahead in my life, whether that is over the next week, month or year, but it is so important for me to realise that God is going to be there no matter what, and even though I may be scared or worried or anxious, I should remain close to God and trust that he has it all in hand. My assembly is tomorrow. I am so nervous, but I know that I cannot do it without God's help. Everyone is praying, because it is outside of my strength and skills - whatever happens tomorrow, happens because God made it so.

And in general, what a lovely reminder that although sometimes we are unable to see the road ahead, God knows it. He knows the path he has set before us, the path that is right and true, and then, whether we choose to follow that path, with God's help, is up to us. I have no doubt that God has something exciting planned for me over the next few years, and whether that is here in Southend doing youth work, or somewhere else, doing something else, I am choosing to submit myself to the will of God.
I leave you with some lyrics from one of the songs I heard the first time I went to Soul Survivor:

"We must go, live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken, we must go
Stepping forward, keep us from just singing
Move us into action, we must go."
'God of Justice (We Must Go) - Tim Hughes

Friday, 15 February 2008


N.B. It's going to be a long one. Sorry. x

So my Lent resolution this year was to take up having a positive attitude. When I thought of it, I knew that it was going to be a challenge, as I know there is a part of me that always fears the worst. Blame it on things that have happened in the past, or whatever, but I know I don't enjoy being a pessimistic person. I actually want more than anything to enjoy the life that I have in each moment, because I know anything could happen tomorrow or the day after next that could take that all away.

So I've used every ounce of energy in my body to have a positive attitude to the way things are turning around me. At times, that's actually been really hard, and maybe it's highlighted; for me especially; the area's of my life in which I really do tend to worry and stress about things that I should give over to God's hands.

During the worship session at Training this week, Lukey D (who was running it) encouraged us all to write down the things that we were worrying or stressing about, and then at the end of the session we were going to rip up our pieces of paper, drop them into the middle of the circle, and dance around them... (ok, we were just going to pray over them) At first, (being in my positive mood) I could hardly think of any. But then, as I began to think long-term about what I wanted to get out of this week, this month and beyond, I realised that there more things I was worrying about subconsciously than I realised.

So, basically, I'm going to lay myself bare and write up here as many things as I can remember, because I think for some of them, I'm going to need as much prayer as I can get. So if you could remember a few of these in your prayers this week/month, I would really appreciate it. I'm still looking positively to the year ahead, though with slight anticipation, but I am ultimately trusting that God has it sorted.

Being Confident: for as long as I can remember, I have struggled with talking in front of audiences, or even when people are looking at me in a certain way. I have mentioned this many times before, because actually, it is something that really affects the conversations I have in my day to day life, and I am trying not to let it affect the conversations I have with my young people on a one-to-one basis. One major issue is coming up, as I have to give an assembly (albeit to 5-7 year olds) at a school on Tuesday. I am actually terrified beyond comparison.

Accepting Myself: sometimes I have a hard time accepting that people like me. Maybe its just a teenager thing. I don't know. Most of the time, I'm fine being who I am. But occassionally the self doubt kicks in and I give everyone a hard time for being nice to me.

Adjusting To Changes: I'm not scared of change anymore. But sometimes I have a hard time adjusting to it. Quite a few things have changed for me recently. Its made me evaluate and re-evaluate things. I'm still struggling to see where I fit in, where I need to change, where I need to adjust, and give way. I'm struggling to find my place in certain groups, find my role in certain situations, and find when I can just be me.

Letting Go: I'm sure there are situations in your life that you've had to cope with. And months/years down the line, you finally think that you've sorted yourself out and that you are actually ok with everything. But then something happens, and you realise that maybe you weren't as over it as you thought you were. Yeah. Thats me.

Fear: I've admitted this quite a few times this year, but I have an unexplainable paranoia that I am going to die. I think about it nearly all the time, walking down the street I think that every car is going to have a drive-by shooter in it, when in a car I worry there will be a driver not paying attention that will crash into us, going to bed I think I may not wake up, you get the picture. I constantly see things around me that could cause my demise, and it's actually beginning to freak me out. I can't remember when it started, but I know that it's serious.

Next Year: Yeah. I'm unsure of where I will be. I made my mind up, and then I changed it, and now I am just confused. Some guidance would be appreciated, preferably by God.

Good Leader: Linked in to the worrying about who I am, the thing I fret the most about in this job is whether I am being a good role model to the children and young people I work with. Sometimes I really worry that some of them idolise me too much, because I know that it's easy to do, and absolutely devastating when you finally have to realise that your idols are human, and just like everyone else, they make mistakes. I want the best for my young people, but most of the time, telling them what kind of life they should be living isn't enough; they've got to see me living it first.

Sacrifice Of This Year: Sometimes I don't feel like some of my friends appreciate the sacrifice I made for this year. I knew it was going to be hard, living away from home, not being around a vast amount of people my age, not being able to take vast amounts of time off at holidays and the such. When I signed up for this year, I did it because I wanted to give some time back to God, to give him a chance to develop me into the person that I was supposed to be. But I think for a lot of my friends back home, they don't understand that, and still expect me to be able to take time off to meet their needs. Don't get me wrong, I take every opportunity I can to catch up with friends and check they are doing ok. I send cards, texts, emails, myspace messages, facebook messages, I do everything I can to ensure my contact with them is not lost. But sometimes I really feel like it's a one way street with some of them. And I'm running out of energy to keep it up. Which brings me to my last one.

Tiredness: To be perfectly honest, I'm zonked. New circumstances mean a bit more travelling than usual, and it wears me out. The days are long, I'm dreaming a lot which means I'm not sleeping well, and I'm just running out of energy for everything. But I don't think it's a matter of getting more sleep, I need the energy that only the Lord can give.

That's me, and all the shadows that are lurking in my mind. Now I'm off to my sister's to spend some quality time with her and her fiancé. Should be good. If you managed to read (and pray) for all that then thanks.

God bless. Take care. x

Thursday, 14 February 2008


N.B. I'm not a great fan of Valentines day, due to the way the restaurants hike up prices for meals strung with red decorations and heart shape steaks, and how everyone gets depressed if they haven't got a partner... but if a guy wants to be romantic right now, I may just give him the time of day.

So it's Valentines Day. And I'm in, with Shmoozles (otherwise known as Susie) watching Pirates of the Caribbean. Its been a good eve so far, and as soon as I get my butt of this laptop I'm sure hilarity will ensue. (If last year's events are anything to go by....) I love spending Valentine's with friends. Probably much more so than if I (in the future) were to spend it with a boyfriend/fiance/husband. Because my friends mean the world to me, and to spend special time with them is all I could ask for, and because I am sure that the relationship with my true friends will last longer than any other kind of relationship. This is why I do not bother to get depressed on Valentines Day. Because even if I don't have a boy/man in my life, I have plenty of friends that make well up for it.

My Lent is still going well, ish. As I have actually found myself being pretty much alone for the majority of the time these last few weeks, so its not been hard to be happy when I get the privelege of spending some time with other human beings. However, tiredness is beginning to take its toll and so the challenge is getting harder. I press on.

Saturday, 9 February 2008


So last night after Boys Brigade I was chatting to some of the boys...

Josh (aged 4) - "How old are you?"
Me - "How old do you think I am?"
Josh - "100?"
Reuben (aged 6) - "She's 18. It means she's nearly married."
Me - "Errr... I don't think so. I have to find a husband first!"
Josh - "I know who you are going to marry."
Me - "Do you!? Whose that then?"
Josh - "Me!"

Ahh. This is exactly why I love working with kids. Never a dull moment. =)

Friday, 8 February 2008


N.B. I still haven't had pancakes. One bummer for not living with my parents anymore...

So Lent crept up on me quite suddenly this year! I only actually realised it was Lent on Tuesday evening, by which time I didn't have much chance to decide what to give up. I thought about maybe going down the giving up something negative, ie. chocolate/ fast-food/ swearing/ myspace/ facebook/ internet/ TV road... but I've done all those in the past without much success. So I scrapped that idea. And thought that I would take up something positive instead. And what could be more positive than a positive attitude. =)

So it was all going pretty good. Until Wednesday morning. When I rediscovered my hatred for British public transport. (I won't go into that now...) But actually, something that seemed so rubbish and pants on Weds morning actually turned out pretty good once I allowed God a chance to get in on the situation. And Wednesday turned out to be a really good day at Training. I had a really productive personal time, and just chilled out in God's awesome creation. It was such a beautiful day, I couldn't help but smile. And actually, I found that being content with life is really not as hard as I thought it was going to be. Its been getting easier and easier each day! And then I had a most awesome prayer session with some follow Vizzy's. It was great. God can be so subtle, and yet so amazing sometimes!

Thursday was my day off, so I decided to chill out in Southend. But instead of getting the bus the 4/5 miles into town, I walked it. It was awesome. I had two hours to think, to enjoy the sunshine and the lovely weather, and to spend more time alone with God, undisturbed, undistracted. I really enjoyed it. And I found that I could actually be content with being on my own. Because that's something that I normally really struggle with; even more so since I've left Brentwood. Any length of time on my own is normally time spent worrying, upset, anxious. But the last few days I have been on my own the vast majority of the time. And I've been happy. And I've found that I'm actually not that bad to be around - when I'm being positive. =)

So yeah, Smile! Have a good day.
Muchos love and blessings.
Ami =) x

Saturday, 2 February 2008


In an honesty exercise this week, a number of my friends anonymously (or so they thought) told me that they like my eyes. After the initial shock of being totally freaked out about people staring at my eyes, I began to understand myself a bit better, and saw that actually, it made real sense.

It all comes down to my insecurities. The ones that mean that I will hide my true emotions or feelings most of the time behind my mask, in whatever form it takes. But no matter what my mouth or the rest of my facial expressions are saying, my eyes give me away. (And I'm not just talking about when they throw out tears...) If you asked me a genuine question, and managed to hold my gaze long enough to look deep within my eyes, there, you would see everything. And so when in a situation when having to share any kind of feeling or emotion, I will be unable to look you in the eyes. I will avert my gaze to anything, only briefly flickering to see your facial expression. Because it terrifies me.

To think that people could see straight through my protective casing and just delve right into the heart of what I am thinking and feeling. To think, that everything I have built around myself in order to protect the hurts and the worries, might count for nothing, if only someone were to look into my eyes, and see there, years of not believing I was good enough, years of thinking that everything was my fault, years of feeling unloved. To see all those things through my eyes would be haunting. And yet still, it excites me further.

For also, in my eyes, you could see the acceptance I feel from Jesus, the love I share that I have received, the thankfulness of knowing that God has forgiven me. And although the years of hurt and pain have not disappeared, and on a bad day, you could still catch a glimmer of their existence in my mind, they do not rule me anymore. I am accepted, cherished, and loved. And the sparkle or twinkle in my eyes when I laugh and smile will reflect that. My eyes have been changed because my life has been changed.

And maybe, I can change someone elses life. The thing I am most looking forward to about the Philippines is not the opportunity to travel across the world, or to see the marvellous landscapes and horizons that dwell there. But it is the chance to change the haunting look of desperation and hurt in a child's life into a smile that makes their eyes sparkle like stars. To see their faces glow when they realise that we care about them, and we love them, and we are there, just for them. Sharing our stories, and listening to them share theirs. Sharing the love that we have, and allowing them to love. Sharing memories, together, our eyes glistening with tears, or sparkling with a smile.

Friday, 1 February 2008


N.B. The analogy and stuff were intended for married couples, but yeah. Bothered. And yeah, this may be a bit cheesy and that, but, I don't care. I mean it, and you'll get over it.

This week at Training, we had a session on 'Men and Marriage'. Being the tender age of 18 and not being in a long term relationship, means that actually, marriage; and men right now to be honest; are the last things on my mind. However, there was something that the person leading the session said right at the end that really meant something to me.

For a while now, one of my favourite bible verses to quote is in Ecclesiastes. It is the verse that talks about the importance of family and friends in our lives, and how having them there is even better than being on your own. Recently, there is one person in my life who I have been most grateful to have. And I have felt that the feeling is mutual.

That person, is my best friend Susie. We've been best friends now for about 3 years, and friends for a lot longer than that. I trust Susie with my life, because over the last three years, she has always been there for me when I needed her, and she has never let me down. Even though we spend a lot more time apart now than we used to, I can always talk to her, and her, to me. I feel completely comfortable in her presence, as I can truly be myself, in whatever mood that might be, and I love that. I don't think there is a single human being that understands me as well as Susie does. I think she's awesome.

Thinking even more deeply about it the other day, I realised why I value Susie in my life so much. It is because both together, we ultimately strive towards God. We share a passion to put the will of God first in our lives. But that doesn't mean that we have never turned away from God, individually, in our own struggles. But when we did, we always had the other person, holding us up, seeking God themselves. Whenever we began to fall from God, we would remain close to the other, and therefore, still having the light of Christ shining upon us.

I said to Susie that between us, we could achieve anything. Because we have both committed our lives deeply to living how God wants us, and although we feel sometimes like we have let go of God, we know that the other has not, and so we remain safe, until we are able to stand tall again. The thing that Wendy said at the end of her talk was about ropes. Apparently, a cord that is woven of three strands is indeed, the strongest type of rope, as all the threads are touching each other. If you take one of them away, it decreases the strength of the cord. However, you will never add any strength to the rope by adding more threads, as they will not all be touching. (And that matters... apparently.) The bit that really got me though, was that - even if two of the threads are under pressure, and weak, as long as the third remains strong, the rope will not break. It will hold out until the pressure is released on the other two threads.

There may come a time in the future where me and Susie are both struggling with our separate issues, and so are unable to fully support the other. However, it is in those times that we can be confident in the strength of Jesus Christ within us, so that we will not be beaten or broken. Even if the world is against us, I know we can make it, cause we've made it this far, through some really crappy times, and we're still standing strong.

I love you Susie, don't you ever forget that. :)

"Two are better than one,
because they get more done by working together:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
Three is even better.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12