Thursday, 20 December 2007

Christmas blues

I've been having a good old pity party with Simeon. He was worried that I thought Christmas was all about presents. But when you drill down to it, Christmas isn't the issue. I suppose these lyrics contain it all:

"I Hate Christmas Parties" by Relient K
[Verse]
I hope it snows this week,
A snow flake on your cheek
Would make this Christmas so Beautiful
But that would just bring the pain
Cause things can’t stay the same
These Holidays won’t be wonderful

[Chorus]
I look under the tree
But there’s nothing to see
Cause it’s a broken heart that you’re giving me
I can’t figure you out
Is this what Christmas is all about
Cause it’s a broken heart that you’re giving me

[Verse 2]
I don’t wanna talk
I’m sick of all this talking
A broken heart wrapped up in a Box
This tear drops in my stocking

[Bridge]
I hate Christmas parties,
They offer me some punch,
But I just shrug
I hate Christmas parties
You and the cookie
Tray hear me say "Ba! Humbug"

But yes, besides birthdays, Christmas is one of the most depressing times of the year for a sensitive introvert. It's when you evaluate the friendships you've made, kept and lost over the year. And you start to wonder, "what could I have done better to make it right?" with a sinking feeling that it's all too late.

Sometimes it's alright because you realise that you've made new friends, and kept them. Most times it's not alright because you wonder why everyone else seems to be having so much fun without you.

Maybe it shouldn't matter so much. But it does.

And maybe this is where I launch into the whole "expectations" spiel that I intended to write at about in September but never did. Maybe this is where I say that if you don't expect anything, you'd be far better off because you won't be disappointed. You might even be pleasantly surprised.

Or maybe this is where I just need to sit back, relax and take things slowly. To take things a day at a time and not think too far into the future, or try to preempt what may happen, or may not. Dreams may be good and all, but sometimes it's also good not to think too far ahead.

Overthinking does me in. So does double-guessing. Maybe I just need to get out more.

(And I don't know why the font sizes are so whacked out)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

reflection

2007 hasn't exactly turned out as I wished. It's as if the year has rolled past so fast that I haven't been able to sit down and take a breath.

It started off well enough, I suppose, with a big dream, and an excitement for things to come. But I suppose reality caught up somewhere in between working and writing and trying to kick start CAM. Life and busyness caught up and slammed doors shut. I had this random line in my head while driving yesterday:

Dreams not shattered, merely shelved

Which is true. My dreams haven't shattered. They haven't scattered or broken into pieces. It's not as if it's been spectacularly dashed, and can't be repaired. It's more like the dreams have been wrapped in gauzy paper and placed lovingly, caringly on the highest shelf in the highest cupboard, like a prize trophy.
Either that, or it's merely been slowly buried under layers and layers of depression and hopelessness.
Still intact, but not quite there. Not quite accessible.

I don't know what I was expecting. Did I think that everything would be peachy and work out straight away? No, I didn't. But it's just piled up. And drifted. Like putting a pea in the middle of the road, and then the snow just slowly covers it. Nothing dramatic. Just little by little, it's being buried.

But seeds need to be buried to grow. I hope. I don't know. I just don't want it to end here, on this note. Something needs to change.

Fundamentally, I need to do something about my life.
To be painfully honest, I'm drifting. I'm unfocused. Life is passing by. I still can't believe it's already December and I haven't done anything really worthwhile. I have said a lot of things. But saying isn't doing and things don't get done by themselves. Am I being overly emphatic on doing?
To be even more painfully honest, I don't know who or what I am! I have a vague idea of where I want to go, but no clue as to how to get there. Certain "givens" and "foundations" have been shaken and I find myself wondering, now what?

So now what?

Learning to simply BE. I need to BE without DOING. It may help with the guilt trip and the depression. It may really help to simply understand and hold on to the fact that God loves me anyway. Even when I feel that everything I have tried to do has failed. Or that everything I have ever wanted to do is totally pointless.

I mean, when it really comes down to it, what's the point of all this singing and acting and dancing? It's not as if no one else can sing and act and dance. It's not as if no one else can put on a bloody good show. It's not as if I can or know how to do any of this better than any one else in the world. (I probably know less)
It's just that... maybe one song in the right place, or one play at the right time, or one dance to the right words may touch someone in a way that nothing else can, and open a door to a heart that's run dry. And maybe, that will be the way for Love to rush in.

I don't think I've quite figured out my faith and belief just yet. I know I believe, don't worry about that. It's just that I don't quite know how. I don't know how to define it, and that bugs me. It bugs me because I can't put it into words, and it's words that hold me together most times.
Sometimes I'm afraid to share because I don't know how to tell you what I believe without thinking that the moment it comes out of my mouth it will sound silly and absurd. There are so many things I'm still mucking about with that if you ask me, I'll just have to tell you that I seriously don't know. Maybe if I can pluck up the courage, I'll write it down. I'll write it down so hard and assuredly that you'll just know and I'll just believe.

But for now.

It's been a year of moderate highs and very deep lows.
I'll just need to climb out of this one soon.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

a vent

Pent up inside
Breaking through
I wish I could say
I LOVE YOU!

---

If God were my boyfriend, I think He would be dismally disappointed (that doesn't sound quite right) with the amount of time and effort I lavish on Him. I mean, Sundays. Saturdays, sometimes grudgingly. A flip through the Bible when I feel like it, or when I'm not too half-asleep. If God were a guy, He would have given up on me a long time ago for not being interested enough.
But He doesn't let go, does He?
I feel Sunday's going to be great, even if she changed my songs again. (Or rather forced me to change it.) I wonder if she does this to others or just to me? Grrrr....

Saturday, 24 November 2007

a love poem

To slip my hand in yours
Watching that smile on your face
As you dream your dreams
Spread your wings
And find your God-given place

To slip my hand in yours
As we take steps into the unknown
Where we'll dance and sing
And vibrance bring
To where the Lord has shown

To slip my hand in yours
With our eyes firmly fixed on Him
To bring the stage
Through culture and age
While on Him we lean

---

I would be your ministry partner, your dance partner, your acting consort and duet, if you would have me.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

11 Nov

Dear God,
It has been a while.
A long while.
I don't know why, I don't know where and I don't know how.
There are simply no words to say, and simply nothing I can do to make it better.
I am distracted. You know why. Couldn't you make it any clearer or am I not reading you right? Am I so caught up that I can't tell the difference anymore?
You work wonders, I know.
Only, the wonder I'm truly waiting for just seems to tantalizingly out of my reach.
I don't want to make the first move. I don't think I should. But all the same, I wish I could. Am I merely being afraid of nothing?
Is this even right?
Sometimes I feel like I can't function anymore.
There needs to be something more concrete than this... living life.
I feel like running away, running and running and never coming back. I'm not handling this right.
I don't think I will ever understand it.
Maybe I'm just not sleeping enough.
I don't want to go on Sat. Not only because I have other plans, but because of what they want to talk about. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to hear about it.
I'm still in avoidance mode, and I know it.
Something's got to give, but I don't know what. I've said this before. But everytime something gives, something else takes it place.
When will this ever end?
I'm tired.
Frustrated.
I wish you could just be here.
Hold me.
Let me know it's going to be okay.
Good night. I'm too tired. I ache all over.
But he was nice today.
And you were good.
So I shall rest happy.
At least.

Yours,
me.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

depressed

What is it about You that makes me want to run?
What is it about Your words that makes me afraid?
I don't want to know. I don't want to know. Idon'twannadon'twannadon'twannaknowknowknowknowknow
What don't I want to know?

I don't want to confront myself.
To see the ugliness I know hides inside.
All the things I should have, could have changed, but haven't.
All the things I should have, could have done, but haven't.

I identify with Moses. I'm frustrated.
I don't know if I'm in the right place, with the right people, at the right time. All I see is the low level of commitment, the idiocy of the people and their irresponsibility.
Kill me, I'm being judgemental. But I can't stand it, and I don't want to care anymore.

Can't I not care any more?
Can't I not feel hurt?
Why do I have to bother to try and gather to let them just... just... ignore me?
Why is this important to me? The church has survived without it for this long, it can go on surviving without it for much longer. It's not like they care, it's not like they want it.

Am I pushing my own agenda onto the Church?

Am I moving too fast in all the wrong places?
Am I even in the right place?

Sunday, 7 October 2007

questions

Why all the knee-jerk reaction and back lash? What are you still trying to deny or avoid?
Where once there was surety and certainty, you have let your doubts and anxieties seep through to colour your lenses. Think again: is it God, or is it you?
Are you trying to run again, where you've always scattered and fallen?
Or will you pick yourself up, steel your nerves and carry on?
Like the bulldozer you are. And your father before you.
To push through.
To break through.

Monday, 1 October 2007

the church

The question is: is it fundamentally a problem with ME, or a problem with the church?

Does everyone, at one point or another, feel that church just isn’t the be-all and end-all of Christian life? What happens if you decide to leave the church? Or change churches?

I’ve come to a realisation that I actually do not have anything much to tie me to the church I’m in. I have friends, yes. I have acquaintances. I am involved, certainly. The thing is, I don’t know if it’s a fundamentally “me” problem, or if it’s a problem with the church, that causes me not to really bond or belong. It struck me on Sunday that I could just decide to leave, and not feel any emotional pangs or attachment to where I’ve been all these years. What happened?

The people I’ve grown up with have either moved away (permanently or temporarily) or our friendships have drifted apart somewhat. Then again, we never really had that close a friendship in the first place.

The one main bond I had that identified me strongly with the church I’m in was the fact that I was a PK – one of THE PKs. But now all that’s changed – or rather, is in the state of changing.

And there it is again. That thought. I could now, just leave silently, quietly, disappear. And I doubt I’d feel a thing. They may feel it, for a while. But then it would be nothing personal. It wouldn’t be the loss of a close friend, or a close working relationship. It would be just one less singer. One less worship leader. One less actor for a church that doesn’t do drama anyway.

I might have been sad about leaving the CAM, but it’s barely started anyway. There’s no fire. There are no passionate people. It feels like a one woman show. Just me, attempting again, where I once failed. And it may be a bad way to try to start something, but despite the hope and the passion, I have doubts that it will amount to much. I have doubts as to whether the church wants what I have to offer. I have doubts as to whether the people in the church care about what I’m trying to do.

It may really be a problem with me. I don’t fit in. I don’t stand out either. Nobody remembers those who don’t fit. And nobody remembers those who don’t stand out. To a certain extent, I have never really fit into any of the churches I’ve been in. Then again, where I have really belonged has been the CF. They have been a company of peers who have accepted, and made do, and pushed along.

He says not to forsake the company of the saints and the gathering together. Does it make a difference where you gather? It could be in this church, or another.

Would it seriously make a difference if I went or stayed?

The only holding me back right now is, as always, the responsibilities I have taken upon myself for the things I have committed to do.

But how long can mere responsibility tie me to a place I don’t really feel a part of?

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

sloppy living

What can you say when you see your friend falling apart? If I had the faith enough for the two of us, I'd offer him some, but I don't.
I don't understand life either, and I don't understand his problem. All I can offer is to listen and try not to condemn him.
I don't condemn him, but sometimes I feel like I would just like to give him a big slap - which won't do anything for him. I'd just feel a little better. This is why I'm not cut out to be a counselor and why I don't intend to be one.
But seriously - is there anything to say when someone has made up his mind not to care about the consequences of careless living? Is there anything to say when someone has deliberately decided to NOT live a life that is pleasing to God? It's not that he's stopped believing. He says that he does believe. But he just can't handle life as it is. Or maybe he just doesn't want to.
Or do I really mean 'a life that is pleasing to man'? The way we are supposed to live and act are so defined by culture and norms anyway, that maybe all that he's stopped doing is catering to man's expectations.

I've come to realise that I've been living incredibly sloppily for the past year. (To be seriously honest, for the whole of my life would be more like it.) I've been sloppy in my work... sloppy in the way I do things... extremely sloppy with spiritual disciplines... even sloppy with the things I love to do best - drama and writing!
This really has to change.
And it's going to.

To do only that which is necessary.
God, help me know what is necessary.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

necessities

The theme that has been playing in my head has been this:
to do only that which is necessary
What does this mean?
It means that I have to start stream-lining my activities, and cutting down on idle time. It means that I must start to refocus my energies, my thoughts, my activities and all that defines me at this point of time, to that which is necessary - to that which is needful and useful for the Kingdom.

Amazingly, just thinking about this has started to bear fruit. I have cut down on some internet time, cut down on day-dreaming... neglected my poor script frenzy play...
and we are going to start promoting CAM in the church. We are going to start with YA. We are starting to move.

To do only that which is necessary. I need to stop wasting time.
Time is precious.
Time is life.
Life is precious.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

write

Write it down.
But I can't.
It's all stuck up there
in my brain
and won't come out.

I don't know what I'm feeling
I don't know what I want
I don't know how to write it down

How do you put into words
Things that are unspeakable?
My heart is full
But I can't tell you what it's saying

Write it down
But I can't
I don't know how
to put into words
these thoughts

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

provocateur?

...You have been provoked much in the faith... you will be one who provokes others... a provocateur... you're so special... When God made you, he threw away the mold... God's put you on a pedestal... it's really not you... but you've become comfortable there... you're wondering what you're doing here...

I don't want to be here.
The pedestal doesn't belong to me. Only to You.
I don't want to be comfortable here.

Why provoke? You know I hate a fight. It makes me upset. It's hard. I don't like it.

I don't understand Your purposes.

And yet, not my will, but Yours be done.

Friday, 25 May 2007

enough

Far too much
My hands won't hold
Dreams too large
For my eyes to behold

My heart's not large enough
To hold all You will
And yet,
Let me be what You want me to be

You've given too much!
I can't handle all
that You want
All that You've said
All that You've given
Unless You handle it for me.

My hands won't hold
they're not strong enough.
My heart won't hold
it's not large enough
and yet You are enough
You are enough
Yes, You are.

Are these dreams of You?
But where else would they come from?
If You've birthed them, Lord,
You carry them through.
You pull them forth.
You wean them.
Nurture them.
I cannot.
Cannot.
Not without You.

Take them.
Use them as You will.

I am deathly afraid.
You are too big for me.
At times, I am too big for me.
I was not made for big things.
I am too afraid.

And yet,
Take me.
I will.
As You will.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

PRAY

I know what you're trying to say.
I just don't know how to start.
I know.
I know.
I've known for a long time.
You've said it so many times. It just sometimes doesn't seem the easiest thing to do.
But I'll try. I'll start.
I need You to move.

IMPortant.
I Must Pray.
In Much Prayer.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Me, Head of Creative Arts and Dance?

That's what it says right there.

FGA Centre
Central Zone
Ministry: Creative Arts and Dance
Ministry Head: Anna Tan

WOW.

I'm struggling between two visions. "Bringing LIFE to the Word" per fireBRANDS D2 team, or "redeeming the arts for Christ."

I need a mission statement.

I need a core group.

This is troublesome, but trouble is GOOD. It's when I feel like I'm digging a hole to bury myself is when I also feel that I'm doing the most, and the best, for God. Or maybe I just like that "frantic" feeling. =)

I need to get out of cruise control. I need to stop this drift. I don't know where the drift is heading, but the drifting is getting bad.
FLEE THIS CREEPING COMPLACENCY!

The question I have is this: But do I know how to birth this dream?
I don't.
But He does.
And that is enough.

Who.What.How.

*dance like no one's watching*

I say, "Dive like you won't drown."

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Hello, God.

It's me again. It has been a rather good day today, hasn't it? Irregardless. You know. =)

Somehow, it's nice to know that there are still people around me that I can really relate to. Thank you for the good people in my life.

Just to let you know, I'm still waiting.

Bring him soon, okay? =)

Good night.

anna.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

passion

What happens to passion forgotten? Does it lie hidden under the trappings of life to emerge one fine day, pressing enough to move you?

What happens to passion ignored? Does it bury itself deeper and deeper into your psych until you throw up your hands and say 'I'll do it or I'll go crazy trying'?

What happens to passion cradled? Does it pull you apart as you try to balance life, and love, and work?

What happens to passion replaced? Does it make you wake up one day, regretting the time wasted on everything else?

What happens to passion? If it is not nurtured and worked on, encouraged to grow, you will forget, and you will replace, and you will wake up regretting.

I stand on the cusp of moving or breaking. I don't know how to press forward. But I can't go back. I can only go. Or fall. And I don't know how.