Saturday, 30 June 2018

...And That Is Enough

Every morning just lately, I have taken the time to sit outside at the very beginning of my day. I read my Bible, write a few words, read other people's helpful words, pray, think and sometimes get distracted by the things I need to add to my to-do list. Perhaps I need to take my to-do list outside too, then I can write these things down and be less distracted!

A very lovely friend of mine suggested starting the day outside and what a great suggestion it was. Fortunately, the weather has obliged by being dry, although I often need to wrap a blanket around me, which somehow adds something.
Being outside is just so peaceful, with nature so near as the birds flit about the garden. I've noticed a pair of pigeons that often have an early morning squabble!
I'm finding it is a time to pause and refill.

Today, I did the same, yet it was different. I knew I needed something more to get me through the day, and WOW! that something more was given. In that moment, all the pieces, the words, the thoughts, simply fell into place and all I needed was there.

In the newness of the day, I knew I could approach the day with strength because I know God will make things right. I know all I have to do is trust. It is not for me to work out the how and the why because all that is in God's hands.

I am held, I am loved and that is enough.


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Ebb And Flow

Over the last couple of weeks, I've spent quite a lot of time at the seaside. The majority of the time it was very grey and little of the seaside could be seen. Although on my last visit, the sky was blue and bright. Being there just made everything OK.

Why is it so easy to let the ebb and flow of the tide, soothe everything OK? I find it quite freeing, just sitting there, almost mesmerised by the constant, rhythmical movement of the waves. 

Perhaps it is just that. It's easy to fix on the waves as they move forth and back, forth and back. It is almost as though I get lost in them, everything else just pales into insignificance and, in that moment, everything is OK. The steady, continual flow of something so capricious, somehow brings security. 

So which is it? Freedom or security?! For me, watching the waves flow brings to my mind constancy, faithfulness, strength and might. It reminds me of the Hands that hold me. Hands that are constant, faithful, full of strength and might. From that comes freedom. As I journey on, taking each new step into what is unknown, I can choose...
...freedom to try, even though I might fail
...freedom to love, even though I might lose
...freedom to achieve, even though the climb is tough
...freedom to hope, even though it might hurt. 

The stakes seem high and surely it would make sense just to choose the easy path and maybe what might be seen as the safer path. Yet, if I chose not to try, love, achieve, hope and all the other things that come with brave steps, then how will I grow? If I dare not fly, then how will I discover that when I fall, there is always One there to catch me? God's unfailing love is my security. His grace is my safety net, that bounces me back up on to my feet, ready to try again. 

Just as the ebb and flow of the waves continues on, so too can I. As the movement of the sea remains constant, so do the Hands that hold me. I may be changeable, just as the power of the sea is changeable. However, there is One who is not changeable, One who is faithful and for that I am so thankful. The One in whom I find security and also the strength to fly. The One who makes me brave. 


Psalm 18:16, 18-19
‘He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
…the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.’

Friday, 9 March 2018

You Rock My World

I'm fortunate to be someone who has (mostly) good memories of school and now, I love the fact that I am still learning. I believe there is always something new to be learned. This happens in such a variety of ways and through a multitude of things - people, books, TV, circumstances, the world wide web and so on.

At the moment, I am discovering that, as each new day comes, I do not have to be defined by the days that have gone before. My thoughts should not be held captive by my past.

How am I discovering this? By the fact that there are so many people who have and continue to 'rock my world'.

I'm awake now and I would rather be asleep! However as I have laid here, thoughts of the previous day run through my mind. As I go through the day I am almost overwhelmed by the way in which people have taken the time to 'rock my world'.
- words that have been spoken which encourage and uplift
- people putting their trust in me to do a particular job
- someone asking to print my words and thoughts in a local newspaper
- a stranger who stopped to look after me
- a school mum who helped me out and showed such care
- a lovely friend who blesses me almost daily and is love in action
- my family who go over and above to help support me
- each of my children praying for me - WOW
- another wonderful friend, who encourages and is always by my side even when she is miles away

All that in one day, how amazing and how very blessed I am. Maybe that is why I am awake because I needed to be reminded that people are good and kind and thoughtful and loving. Also to realise that people are willing to take time out of their world in order to rock mine - in a great way! If I was to look back over today, the truth I see, and was reminded of time and time again, is that people are wonderful and compassionate. So, that is the truth I will take forward with me into the new day.

Hopefully, I can now fall back to sleep for a couple of hours. I also hope that when I wake, I will remember these thoughts and as I go through the day, look for opportunities to rock someone else's world.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

He Knows My Name

This morning, as I was getting ready for the day, I opened up Spotify and because of the music I had been listening to yesterday, I was given a few choices of things I might like to listen to. 
So I had a look through and decided on a female singer who I like, her name is Francesca Battistelli. Then, I had one of those moments where I just knew I was meant to see her name and then listen to the particular song I chose. 

It was so great to stand in the middle of the kitchen, singing the words of the song and to feel absolutely covered in love. I am so thankful that this is the truth I can stand on, 'He knows my name.' 

Sitting here at the end of the day, I can say, 'It's been a great day!' Perhaps that is because of the wonderful truth I was able to listen to as I began the day...


He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli
Spent today in a conversation 

In the mirror face to face with

Somebody less than perfect

I wouldn't choose me first if
I was looking for a champion
In fact I'd understand if
You picked everyone before me
But that's just not my story
True to who You are
You saw my heart
And made
Something out of nothing
I don't need my name in lights

I'm famous in my Father's eyes

Make no mistake

He knows my name
I'm not living for applause
I'm already so adored
It's all His stage
He knows my name 
I'm not meant to just stay quiet

I'm meant to be a lion

I'll roar beyond a song

With every moment that I've got
True to who You are
You saw my heart
And made
Something out of nothing

He calls me chosen, free forgiven, wanted, child of the King
His forever, held in treasure
I am loved




Sunday, 25 February 2018

Strength!

So, as I am determining to get my head filled with better and brighter things, all of a sudden, I find myself really struggling with the anger I am feeling. It has surprised me and with this anger, there are thoughts that are not particularly kind.
The struggle intensifies as I don't wish to feel this way. My journey has not been easy and at times it feels like this anger could destroy all the positive steps I have made.
It may be that the day has started well, then all of a sudden something happens and it feels like all the effort I have been putting in to getting myself to a better place seems worthless. It all comes crashing down around me and I feel like I am back to where I started. Without realising it, I am gritting my teeth and I have had enough!

I find myself in a place of turmoil and I no longer wish to be feeling like this.

What do I do? I know I do not want to give into the anger that I am feeling because being consumed by angry feelings is not a place a wish to be in. However, if I am honest, sometimes I feel scared it will get the better of me and that I will become bitter and resentful.

By admitting, out loud, that angry is something I no longer wish to be, maybe I have taken a step in the right direction. Also, by acknowledging that, I realise I must replace that anger with something better, I have taken another good step.

What then should I be magnifying? What would take me in the opposite direction to anger? Calm and peace seem to be much more helpful paths to tread.
It is not easy as it means letting go of the hurt that accompanies the anger.  However, if I am trusting that God is bigger than any situation I face, then surely it makes sense to give the anger and the hurt to Him. His hands are far more capable.

I am also grateful for the people by my side who hold me accountable. They remind me of what is true and good. As they do this, they enable me to make a better choice which I will not regret and will keep me on the path which brings peace.

When things happen and there is that split second where there is the pause - the smallest opportunity to right my thinking and to resist the pull of reacting to my feelings - I hope that the thing I choose to magnify is strength. Strength to turn away. Strength to trust. Strength to change.



Sunday, 18 February 2018

Head Space!

This year, for Lent, I have chosen to give up TV and screen time, that for me is unnecessary. Which means I am not able to play Suduko instead of watching TV!

I felt challenged to do this because I would like my head space to be filled with better things. I am learning that the only way my head will be filled with better things is if I make a change. It is necessary for me to find the time and put in the effort to shift my thinking.

Lent has only been happening for five days so nothing major has happened yet and also with a busy half term, I have not yet really noticed that TV or screen time is not an option. However, as I write this, I realise that I do not wish to get to the end of Lent having made lots of excuses as to why I didn't make the effort of filling my head with better and brighter things.

I have also been challenged this Lent to think about what I give, rather than just thinking about what I give up. It seems to make sense to fill the time I would have spent watching TV with something useful. By giving up, I then give opportunity to pursue something valuable. If I am willing to invest in making a necessary and positive change to what I give head space to, then surely that will be of benefit to those closest to me.

I'm choosing to take time out to discover how to focus my thoughts so that when they become anxious or unhelpful, I can change the direction of those thoughts to a place that is more peaceful or positive. When I find myself fixing on lies, I hope to be so secure in the truth that I can trample out the lies. I'm choosing to give effort and determination because I would like to find myself in a better space.

There is a verse in the Bible that talks of being rescued and brought into a spacious place. A place that is safe and where there is delight and there is joy. This is what I hope for my head space! That I will be resolute as I journey to the place of safety and truth. I will be bold as I take each step to filling my head with brighter things and that eventually I will be running into that spacious place to grasp hold of that truth...that is where I hope my head will be at!


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

It's Not About Me!


Walking into the supermarket, I straight away noticed the vast array of Valentine’s Cards. I turned away not wanting to see them. In my head, I’m telling myself that it’s only for a couple of weeks and then they will be gone.

I obviously spend far too much time in supermarkets, as it was when I was in another supermarket, again the first thing I took notice of was the stand of Valentine’s Cards, yet this time it did not feel so bad.

Surely it is good that people want to celebrate their love for each other or secretly declare their love for a special someone. So, I told myself off! It’s not about me! Why shouldn’t people be able to take the time to show someone else that they are loved.

In giving myself a talking to, I began to see things a bit differently - instead of wanting Valentine’s Day to quickly come and go, I could take the time to show someone that they are loved.
Then, I realised something really quite wonderful! If Valentine’s Day is about celebrating the people I love, actually, I could send quite a few Valentine’s cards! How great was that feeling?! How very blessed am I to have more than one person to whom I could send a card.

However, I’ve settled on sending just 3! By putting the grumpiness that I initially felt to one side, I give myself the opportunity to pour some love into someone else’s life.

I know how amazing I feel when someone shows me that I am loved and this Valentine’s Day, I am determined to pass that feeling on.

Often I am overwhelmed by the love that others show me, through their words or through their deeds. Although the greatest love I am shown is by the One who holds me. The safety and security I find in this Love that never lets go, never gives up and is given to me without condition enables me to love others. To know that I am loved so much that my name is written on God’s hands. I am significant enough to find my name engraved on the palm of His hands.


That blows me away! Why me? Why not me! As I stand covered by that love, I choose to share that love. As I send my 3 cards tomorrow I hope that I can use my words to convey how very much my precious 3 are loved. They too are significant enough to have their names written on the palm of His hands.

 I am choosing to put the grumpiness to one side and to make the day about love. A generous, crazy, extravagant, you first, kind of love. It’s not about me – it is about them and I hope that by the end of the day I will have trod better steps which have demonstrated that.
And that I will continue to do the same as each new day comes.