Thursday, 21 September 2017

Success = Sacrifice + Difference

I dream of being a successful woman in all that I do. That wherever I put my hands and attentions there will be an abundance of fruit to show. My dream for success isn't for my own gain but for the benefit of others. Sure, who wouldn't want a bank account loaded to the brim! But even the wealthiest people can be unsuccessful in life. I guess it all depends on how you measure success.

Now hear me, I'm not bagging on the wealthy and I have no problem with large bank accounts, heck lets be real a favoring of finances is an on going dream of mine, but I don't want to just have loads of money and no fruit to show. If that's how I measured my success then at the end of life I'd be standing up there with Mother Theresa and Jesus saying "Yeah I was so successful because I had loads of dollars" I can almost see the looks on their faces thinking "and.....other than your bank account what fruit do you have to show for it." Instead I'd like to stand with them looking back on the many many people that have been changed and impacted from being in their worlds. That to me is success. The wealth, time, stuff, skills, talents, they are all beautiful resources that we are blessed with to be able to help and make a difference in the world - resources to aid in our success.
I said I dream of being wealthy but wealthy in time, character, dreams, resources, faith along with money. I don't want to just walk through life, loving God and knowing I will go to heaven. I want to be like a firework, I know my destination and I'm going to get there one day but how much colorful mess can I make along the way. How can I change the world, who could I take along the ride with me.

Making a difference in the world is something I have recently come back to pondering as I have been through the busy season of having children. I love that every day I get to make a difference in their life, in my husbands and my families actually even my own! But now I would like to widen that sphere and make a difference in the world.
So how do we do that without going for the classic beauty pageant "end world hunger and bring peace to all" line?

Joyce Meyer has a great starting your day right devotional and as I was reading one recently it was just about doing good. How God asks us to do good to one another, to love one another, forgive one another
I don't know about you, but I think I can manage doing good. Following on from this thought I went along to an Egroup run through our church where we spoke about Sacrificial Love. Giving of yourself at a cost. For me that looks as simple as, surprising my husband with a coffee at work. 
How might this be sacrificial love you may ask. Well let me tell you. My husband is an amazing server and is always going over and above for his family. I confess there have been many times that I have thought to surprise him with a coffee but have talked myself out of it because it means getting children out of the car, taking them into the shop, trying to get coffee and children back in the car....I don't feel like doing that. There are a lot of times where he probably does'nt feel like doing things for us but he does. So my goal for this week was getting him a coffee regardless of how I felt.

Jesus is another great example of sacrificial love. He was purposed to be an actual sacrifice for human kinds sins (thank you Adam and Eve) Before Christs sacrifice, the only way people could connect with God and seek forgiveness, relationship was through the appointed priest who would carry out the animal sacrifice. However, God made a way for his people to connect with him by sending Jesus to die. Sacrificing his son, meant that all mankind, every person could have a personal relationship and access to God through Christ. When He created Adam and Eve he walked with them in the Garden. That's been His desire since, that we would walk with Him again. So that's why Jesus came, to show us how to live, how to love others, how to do good to others and how to walk with God. But in order for us to follow we needed access so he sacrificed his life, he became the ultimate death sacrifice for my sin, your sin so that we could walk with our creator again. The interesting thing is that all God asks of us, is that we simply believe with our hearts Jesus died for us, that God loves us and that we would choose to live life with him. They did all the painful sacrificing. 

We recently had Pastors Wayne and Libby Huirua visiting out church and Pastors Wayne had this great image that I'm sure he wont mine that I share. He was talking about church, church is made up of people and we are all sinners. If Jesus hadn't died and been the sacrifice, that would mean that we would all go to the church building but the only way we could get in is if we were pure and had not or will not commit a sin because inside this building is God and because he is so Holy and Pure he can't be in the presence of sinners, so we would just have to go home. But Jesus he comes, puts a cloak of salvation over our shoulders and says "Its all good dad, hes/shes with me, They are covered by my blood" because Jesus was perfect. 
He had to be, we needed a perfect sacrifice. 
God our Father had to make the choice to send his only son, perfect son who had done no wrong to save us because he desired so much to be connected with his people again. God wanted to walk with us just as he intended. He could have wiped the slate clean and started again. Who knows if I'd even be here then, but he didn't he sacrificed years of heartache, his own son to put a plan in place to connect us with him again.

Now that is success to me. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit saved man kind from a life of hell for eternity. The difference in my life from sacrificing a life led my me, to living a life led by God trusting that he knows the desires of my heart, is phenomenal. Walking with God on a daily basis isn't easy but its OK because he is right there in the hard. God saved me from ending my life, he is healing me of depression, he has come through financially for my husband and I when there seemed to be no possible solution, his joy was right there at the birth of my children, his love around me on my wedding day. The testimonies of my life and how God has walked with me through it is a book and more.
God has made a difference in my life through other people. So that's why I want to do good, I want to live with sacrificial love for others, I want to make a difference in peoples lives using the resources I have, so that they can live as blessed as I do. That's how I am going to have a successful life.

Won't you join me!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Return from the Shadows

I'm pretty sure my last post, however long ago that was, I wrote about having Faith in the Shadows. Now I return to the blogging world and at the same time I feel I am returning to the real world. I have been sharing bits and pieces of my recent life journey which has been having children and walking through post natal depression and anxiety. I will hopefully one day soon unravel that ball of mess but today I felt inspired to share about returning from the shadows.

This has been a long time coming and after four years of ups and downs, confusion and loss I am emerging from the darkness that has covered me so severely. What a RELIEF!!!!!


I don't have much more to write today, just that I am arriving out the other side, a different woman.

There is Hope, there is an end. Have Faith in the shadows and you to will emerge.

Faith in the Shadows

Monday, 10 April 2017

Faith in the Shadows

Transitioning into parenthood is a blessed challenge. Its a journey like no other and I found that my whole world was flipped upside down and over. Something I really struggled with was maintaining a faith through this transition. I never got to the point where I stopped believing - after experiencing and seeing unexplained things from God, that is not a question for me. But, walking with him closely and daily was a struggle. Overcoming guilt and condemnation was sometimes crippling.

My faith seemed to be in the shadows, hidden, cold and wanting to be in the light so close but impossible to get to. What I mean by the shadows, I felt that my heart and relationship with God was covered by darkness that hindered me from connection with Him and His creation. Sundays was like being a lamp that had forgotten to be switched on, there was no connection.

I struggled with this trying to understand what I wasn't doing right, how this was happening, was it the depression, did I not have the time. My brain struggled to process the Word of God or to even pray the way I used to.

Then one day I decided to have a tea with Jesus. I heard about people doing this all the time, going to a cafe, ordering a coffee and spending time with God. I didn't really get that. However, I was desperate to connect, to be a role model of a healthy relationship with God for my children. To be healed and healthy in my mind. To enjoy life with Him.

So I gave this tea time with God a go, and you know what once I got over the feeling of seeming strange, talking to an empty chair, something shifted. Hearing myself speak what was on my heart, I started to make sense of what I was feeling. At the time I simply felt like my faith was in a shadow, I can explain the emotions and thoughts now because I have processed this time. But at the time there was no explanation for me, just a shadow with a struggling intimacy in my faith.

I said to God "What am I suppose to be doing? I can only manage reading one verse from the same book in the Bible, writing in my journal is such hard work, I can utter a simple 'help me' for prayer. Why can I not connect with you?" then there was this stillness in my heart, and I heard clearly God say to me "That is all you need to do, you are connecting the best you can right now and that is all I ask." Immediately I was filled with peace, the sun was shining and I could breath relief. I said to Him "Aren't I suppose to be serving your Kingdom, but I am always at home. What should I be doing." the reply "You are doing what you are suppose to be doing, you are in a season of motherhood your priority is loving your children and enjoying your life, this is serving my Kingdom. Your dreams will come in good time. For now, love me, connect as you can, rest in this season of mothering and I will take care of the rest."

Mind equals blown!!!

The weeks following I continued to process this conversation and my perspective changed as I took the pressure of being the right christian follower off my shoulders and simply loved God and who He is to me the best way I could each day. Some days were deeper than others, other days were walking through the day thankful and then there were days I just knew He was there.

There was still this feeling of my faith being in a shadow but as my heart was changing and relaxing and I was enjoying life I soon realised that it was not a shadow of darkness but I was resting in the shadow of my creator, my father, my savior, my King.

He knows exactly what I am walking through better than I know myself and I don't need to explain or justify why I might be struggling. This experience taught me that He loves me in all stages regardless of what is going on and all He expects from me is to love Him and allow Him to walk with me through it.

Gods desire for me is to enjoy the life I have, to trust Him with my hopes and dreams. So now I live knowing that He gives me strength and peace.

My hope for you reading this is to be encouraged. If your not yet a Christian I expect alot of this to sound strange, trust me when I read over it and see the language it does sound strange. But I want you to know that God is real, He is gentle and He is loving. I cant explain to you how He does what He does, how I know in my inner being how real He is, the best way for you to find out what I am talking about is to discover a relationship with God for yourself. All I can do is share my journey, my joys and struggles in truth. My truth is that God saves me, loves me guides me through it all. So test the waters, go to a church, ask the questions, challenge Him and allow God to reveal whats true to you. Find your friend who lives with Christ and talk with them, pray with them. See what He shows you.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger so why should I tremble?"  Psalm 27:1

I don't believe there is a wrong and right way to connect with God. Our relationship with Him is unique to us. For me, I have recently discovered that my connection with Him is through the creative. Painting, writing, music. This is where I connect with my God, His Word and where I talk with Him. You've just got to love Him, be still and allow Him to teach you how to grow your relationship with Him. And if you feel like your in the shadows, you might actually be in the Shadow of Him so rest there.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Puddles in Socks

Our day started at 6am like most days with the slow rise from bed as our parental duties start to commence. Soon the slow start catches up and we become frantically packing the family and all that goes with it into the car hoping we can get Hubby to work on time. I stop for 30 seconds to realise I haven't even given him a proper morning hello, so we finally make eye contact reminding each other what we look like and make sure we affectionately connect with our last 5 seconds while the little ones watch and giggle... then its game time once more.

I get so swept up by the frantic every time it visits, its almost like frantic blinders go on and all I can think and see is what needs to be achieved now and quickly even when the rush has passed, frantic has forgotten to leave! Those blinders fool me every time as I wonder why Miss 3 has to walk slowly up the drive, how all three of my gorgeous children seem to be hanging out with frantic and little people do not like frantic. They don't want to be rushed, they want to have fun.

Miss three (who today is an elephant) and I fuss around getting bags on hooks and lunch on shelves (this is no quick task when you talk like an elephant and walk like an elephant) with the kindy routine when I go to glimpse at what Mr two might be doing....there is a grin on his face....a puddle....gumboots by the buggy....batman socks....wet! What can I do? Well there are a lot of options with that question but I stopped, removed the blinders, took a breath and said goodbye to frantic.

The blessing of children in my life. They cause me to stop so many times and to check my view. When I stand to see the fun Mr two is having with his sock feet in the puddles, hearing Miss two giggle and laugh at her funny brother I am thankful I didn't allow frantic to rob me of such joyful special moments.

One of the lessons I am learning through my children is yes, there are times to hurry along with frantic but there are more times I need to switch of the 'to dos' and enjoy the process. Frantic fools me me into thinking that everything needs to be achieved now or else....or else what? I cant answer that question.

My days should be full of joy, laughter and peace not just with my children but in every aspect of life and people. How many moments have I missed stressing out about getting things done, how many missed opportunities have I collected from thinking I was in a hurry and how often have I stopped to kick off my shoes and jump in the puddles with my children.... in my socks!

Life for me needs to slow down, I'm not actually in a hurry as much as I think I am. Today I might take a page out of my children's book and distract myself with a puddle or crawl through the house like an elephant just because its fun!

My opinion is that we need to learn when to shut the door on frantic and welcome in the fun. I know as a mother I hang out with frantic a lot more now than I have ever done in my life before. I don't want a frantic family, I want a family that can enjoy the process together.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Peace in the Shelter

I came across this image in the study I am currently reading. I sat for a moment and thought about this scripture. No words came to my lips for prayer just a simple image of sitting under the shelter and care of someone who cares for me so much I have nothing to worry about. Peace filled my heart knowing that everything will be ok. I don't know how and I don't know when but resting in the presence of my maker is all I need right now. No questions, no instructions, no pleading just simple, undisturbed peace. In that moment I felt I could breath.

That wonderful mystery of God. Having faith that he is real, that he is here and that he cares. Knowing that he is the one who gives me the strength to get out of bed every morning.

I can breath because of him!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Welcome to Planet Earth

I sit here wondering, 'How do I even start to write?' Its been a four year journey having three beautiful children with my amazing husband. I feel like now, after Mr Three, that I have returned to my home planet and have commenced the slow journey of touch down! The past four years has been an incredible, exciting and challenging adventure almost as if I had taken off into the unknown space above us, discovering new life and overcoming challenges I never thought I would have ever faced.

As I reflect on this Sci-Fi imagery I am reminded of the early days when Miss One was a newborn and we were learning on the job about feeding and sleeping through the night. It took us at least an hour minimum to have her fed, burped and changed before putting her back down and it was the original Star Trek series hubby and I watched at each feed that got us through the tiresome three hourly life style. Now we have Mr Three and we are some what feeding and sleeping pros as the confidence has grown and the ability to allow the children a short time of protest no longer phases us or pulls on the heart strings. Seems old James T Kirk is neglected at this parental growth.

Today I felt the urge to come back to the blog life, something I enjoy, and start to share the journey of life with others or simply help me to process what has happened in my world and make sense of it all.

I don't know what this beginning journey of family building is like for most people but for me it has been a time of great joy, mass amount of love growth, marriage making but also isolation, and loneliness bought on by depression and anxiety. Some days life is about simply surviving until my number one gets home from work or being able to form some sort of a smile to a friendly stranger. There has been days where I have wanted to jump in the car and run, stay in the bed under the covers or cry all day for no real reason. I've had friendships sail to a greater distance away due to lack of understanding and my faith has been shaken as trying to read or even pray becomes to much for my brain to process. But through the battle of ugly I have won and come out the other side to land in a beautiful world that has transformed and flourished underneath the fight above. Now its the exploration part, I step out of the ship that has felt like my place of holding for four years to explore the new and beautiful mother, wife and woman that I am.

Although when I look back I see darkness there has been an abundance of Sun shining hot and bright melting the troubles away. A lot of these moments are to do with my family, yes this might be the time where I start to seem like I am bragging or being biased, but if I did not have my children or my husband to wake up for every day, I know there were times where I wouldn't have. As well as my family I know that my faith in God is also the only place I could draw true strength and peace often seeing where God has intervened by the right person at the right time, being able to pick up the phone, send a text or just remind me in a simple breeze that he is there and I will be OK. He helped me to laugh with my kids, love them abundantly and to lean into my husband instead of to run. I know I have heard his soft and gently voice prompting me, guiding me and encouraging me. Most importantly he allows me to connect with him where I am at with no pressure or unrealistic expectation to give what I don't have.

The journey is what it is, sometimes its easy and sometimes its not. But its the village that supports and loves you and the hope you hold onto that gets you through it.

Having children turned my world upside down. What I thought I knew about myself I had to relearn. I had to be vulnerable to people and discover new friendships not to mention getting to know what young parenting looks like! But we made the beginning journey in one piece and have the blessing of a family and now greater excitement is on the other side of the door to my ship and its time for me to step out and close that door behind me taking everything I have learned, and the beautiful moments of fun, laughter and joy forward with me. I hope that my journey can be an encouragement, I know I have been encouraged by many who have shared with me.

Welcome back to planet earth!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Spreading the Love

I don't know about you, but there are some days that I just do not feel like sharing anything with anyone. Those days that seem to have started from getting out of the wrong side of bed, the munchkins are pushing the boundaries and you've got a list of things to get through. We all have one of those days or one of those weeks however that looks. 
Now in saying this, I recently felt the pinch of challenge against my attitude. You see I sometimes find I can get stuck in the self focused thinking and no room for thinking of others. Almost like I start feeling sorry for myself for the tough day I am having and want some pity sent this way. I was having a conversation with a friend and she was sharing how she had heard this message at her church and it was simple - can you love...just one more time? 
Pondering on this thought made me think about how often I get so caught up in me I can easily forget to show love to someone else just one more time regardless. It's not that what I am going through isn't important but when I started to remember to slow down and let genuine love flow to every person I was encountering all of a sudden my day got better, I felt lighter and all of those things I was feeling down or worried about didn't seem so stressful anymore. Not everyday is one of those days but taking a moment to challenge myself, can I show some love just one more time makes a huge difference to how I interact with people. Changing from making the shop teller see I'm stressed and hurry up to wanting to know how their day is going.
So this is just a little quote to ponder and hopefully inspire some love spreading in your worlds because we all know our world needs loving!