It’s not a tick box exercise.

I was writing out my to do list and adding little ticks next to the ones I had done, it made me feel quite good and got carried away, I was about to add to it Bible reading and prayer time, when I heard the Lord say to me “it’s not a tick box exercise”.

How many of us do this? Wake up and speak to the Lord as an exercise that just has to be done,  like cleaning the bathroom or making packed lunches for the kids. When each day is made up of blocks of time along with a matching task list, we can quite easily slot God in to that tick box exercise, that we are doing out of duty.

The fact is, it is not a duty, it’s a true honour. Spending time with God should be something I look forward to, like when I was first dating my husband, my first love, getting butterflies in my tummy, an expectancy that I just can’t wait for, hanging in the every word, a pamper time but for my mind. Psalm 37:4 tells us to take delight in the lord and He will give us the desires of our hearts. Wow! He does too, many a time I have been completely bowled over with what He has done in my life….. Even the small things.

Last week I was preparing food for a party which quite frankly should by rights have stressed me right out, thankfully I leaned upon the Lord and said “God, I can not do this on my own, you have got to help me!” 

A British buffet really isn’t a buffet without good old cheese and pinapple sticks. So there I was 9pm on a Friday night jabbing cubes of cheese and pineapple with cocktail sticks. When I got to the bottom of the last tin of pineapple chunks, I looked down to see just 2 pieces left and there on the chopping my board were 2 beautiful equal chunks of cheese!! I was totally in awe that Jesus cared so much about this party He even gave me equal pineapple chunks for my cheese……I know you have just read that and thought I’m crazy, but let me give you some context. 

This party was a last minute decision, it was a surprise for a beautiful friend of mine, I had been in prayer a few weeks earlier and really felt on my heart to do this for her, the thing was there wasn’t really anyone available to help me organise it, so in the natural it should have been a complete burden. But, because I had bought it before the Lord and asked Him to intervene everything went wonderfully, and this was His way of showing me He was in it all.

I delighted myself in Him, gave Him praise and was in wonder at His beautiful work, the party went smoothly, an enjoyable night had by all, the people turned up, my friend was totally surprised, cried tears of joy, the food went well, and I didn’t melt down at all, all because I went to the Lord with a humble heart and told Him exactly what I needed, He loves to answer our prayers, the little things are the things that are the most special to me, I pray that I never go a day and miss where He is at.

Certainty


How often do we ask for advice? 

My husband is constantly asking questions, it used to be a bug bear of mine, he was always interrupting my programmes to ask something I deemed as irrelevant! Now though, it’s something I quite admire him for. He’s brave enough and confident enough to ask questions at all times, he’s courageous enough to say when he doesn’t understand something and as a result he is always learning, growing in wisdom and knowledge at every opportunity.
I’m not quite sure what happened in my life to stop me from asking people their opinion or advice, there must be some reason I hold myself back but I’m unsure of it at present. This is an issue though, and God knows it.
He often uses my 6 year old to speak to me, He knows my ears will prick up when he speaks. A few days ago I was debating an issue with God, I’d prayed about it and was conversing with the Holy Spirit in my mind, the boys were sat on my bed watching TV when my eldest suddenly pipes up with ‘let it go!’ I knew that it was God speaking through him to me about the issue I’d asked Him about!

Without asking questions I won’t learn, I can ask God but He also wants me to seek advice from Godly mentors too, if not He wouldn’t of put them there, I can see by remaining quiet and fearful not only am I holding myself back I’m also holding on to pride, the fear of sounding stupid or asking a silly question is there because I don’t want to make myself look stupid.

This scripture also tells us that we can make our own plans, but the lords purpose will prevail. This tells me that I can take advice, I can seek counsel from the Holy Spirit and try to decipher what He means, but ultimately if I get it wrong He will make sure what He meant WILL be revealed.

After hearing a sermon last year about using our natural gifting for the His glory I decided I would start planning lots of fundraising events for the church. I was so excited to get on and do things for Jesus I made a couple of early day mistakes. The first mistake I made was to not pray about it,  was this His will? The second was to not ask anyone else if they thought it would be a good idea, I ran in excitement to the leadership team and said “I’ve got all these plans to raise money and I’ve booked these dates!” Thinking back now I should have known not to go ahead by the look on my pastors face. You can guess what happened next! 

The first event came around and whatever could go wrong, did go wrong! The rain came lashing down, the roof started leaking, the electrics were at risk of blowing, people didn’t turn up, it was a complete shambles! Needless to say I had to repent for my hasty decision and cancel all other events until I had the go ahead from the bossman! Note to self, never, ever make a move without dilligently praying first.

Have you ever noticed the pattern of gifts that are so eloquently sewn in to your nature? I find it fascinating. We are all made so unique, each with intricate detail, differences and personalities. I love to people watch and observe the giftings in others, I’m naturally an encouraging person so when I see a gift in someone I have to tell them. Sometimes I go a little over the top, but I just live in awe of the fabulous way God has made people. 

Occasionally this can be a problem, I can spend so much time looking at others and their gifts I start to feel a little envy growing inside of me, comparison can be a slippery slope and a foothold for the devil to work with.

When I was about 13, I spent most of my school holidays staying with my Grandma, I loved it there and I had a friend about my age that lived next door, we both had the same name, I loved to call on her and spend time round at her house, she was so pretty, so confident and had lots of friends at school. 

One summer that I spent time with her she revealed to me that she had started smoking, she asked if I did, desperately wanting to be just like her and accepted by her I said “yes!” We spent the holidays hiding at the top of the garden puffing away on vile fags, do you know I didn’t even like the taste! I’d even hang out of my bedroom window at Grandmas thinking they wouldn’t know, just to look super cool, I wasn’t, and I’m ashamed to say it took  22 years to break that stronghold on my life. Thankfully, Jesus saved me and I’ve been smoke free for just over 12 months.

In conclusion I take 3 things from this scripture that I’m working toward implementing in my life:

1.) Ask questions, be confident. There is no such thing as a stupid question, and if there is and you ask it, laugh! There is no fear in perfect love, Jesus wants us to approach Him like children, look at the questions they ask, I read somewhere they ask about 300 a day! Jesus wants us to gain knowledge and wisdom.

2.) Don’t rush in to things, Pray for purpose. We each have a set of unique gifts that God wants us to use but without prayer and knowing what He wants from us we will keep on falling down.

3.) Don’t compare myself to others, it’s fine to give praise for people’s gifts but getting hung up on their purpose in comparison to mine leaves an opportunity for the devil to catch me in a snare.

The truth is, we are each made fearfully and wonderfully and God wants to use each and everyone of us, united we are stronger. 

The world tells us that to lay down our own lives and ambitions for others is weak, God tells us it’s not, and I chose Him over the world.

I choose to accept the unique gifts that He gave to me. Those gifts + a heart for Jesus, a teachable mind and I am set. God really will prevail with His plan for my  life in His time, thank you lord. šŸ’•šŸ™

Open Doors

How do we know when or if to walk through a door of opportunity?


How do we know when or if to walk through a door of opportunity?

When I was first saved I had many plans, mainly for myself I admit, I was going to build a huge marketing agency and earn lots of money, well it wasn’t quite that shallow but all the same I had BIG plans.

I was stopped completely in my tracks by the Lord and I entered a period of stillness, at the time I thought this was laziness, all of my creative faculties started to shut down and I found that I couldn’t think, all I could do was turn to the word God and discover.

I soon started to discover Who I was, Why I was here, and What I needed to do, BUT, I had no idea how that fitted into my previous plans. So there I was, still wandering in the wilderness with no direction, no inspiration and no creativity.

I wasn’t listening! God asked me to start to delve into my old plans and compare them to the discoveries I had made about WHO He said I was, WHY I was here and WHAT I was sent to do.

I soon discovered a pattern, a very unique pattern. It was unique because this pattern was displayed in all I had done my whole life, from a tender age of nursery school right up to this present point in my life. Those business plans I had were NOT about making myself money, they were about helping others to achieve their goals, from the customers I served to the staff I had planned to employ, each element was about other people and how I could help them to achieve what they wanted.

Proverbs 16:9, tells us that In our hearts we plan our course, but the Lord establishes the steps.

No wonder there was a pattern, it wasn’t the actual industry, job, or physical task that would be my calling, it’s what that physical thing would enable me to do in the name of Jesus. I was sent to encourage, inspire and teach people that through Christ we can achieve all things!

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.- Proverbs 37:4

Once I discovered this I soon started to recognise doors that began to open, not just in my business but at home, in my marriage, in my husband’s business, at church, with my friends, even this blog. I just had to be courageous enough to step out and say what I knew God wanted me to say or do what He wanted me to do.We just have to be bold enough and brave enough to walk through that open door. 

Receiving this courage comes from renewing our minds with His Word, it’s there to give us confidence that in Him all things are possible. He tells us in John 10:10 I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. He doesn’t want us to be miserable!

1 Corinthians 16:9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

The words above from Paul tell us that it won’t be a smooth ride, but irrespective of the opposition he faced, he continued to move on, continued to walk with God and live out what he knew in confidence the Lord wanted him to do.

Since these revelations, I’ve been so much more comfortable in my life with making decisions, and when I make those that are aligned with God’s will he confirms I’m on the right track with His wonderful favour, I feel peaceful and joyful inside and I have a consistent smile on my face. Life is just easier with God’s word in it. Life is just easier with God in it!

My prayer today is that anyone that may be struggling with their calling in life, or recognising God’s open doors, that they feel the spirit of God fall upon them to inspire action.

I pray, Father that each and every person that is questioning a decision right now, that they feel your presence, they hear your voice and you give them courage and confidence in you and your word.

I ask you, Father, to reveal to them their calling in life, give them desires in their hearts that won’t let go until they act upon them, and when they do Lord I ask for fulfilment, comfort and peace to outpour into their spirit.

Lord I pray that they seek your will and glorify your name by living a life filled with abundant joy.

In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

The good news is…..

One of my common behaviour patterns is positivity, another is the activator. So translated I am always looking on the bright side of life and I like to get things done, so when I am around someone that can’t make a decision and when they do they pluck out the negative in a situation it frustrates me!

The good news is our precious Father left us with The Bible filled with fabulous news.

 I remember a conversation I had with my mom who was struggling one day to understand the death and morbidity in the world, she said to me “If God so loves us, why do we have to see all this pain and suffering in the world?” 

My answer to that is simple. 

We are in the world not of the world, Jesus told us it wouldn’t be easy, but what is promised to us is eternal life, not only that, John 10:10 tells us he came so that we might live a life of abundance and joy. 

I often wonder how I can repay Jesus for the sacrifice He gave for me to live and love life. There is absolutely nothing compared to it, there is nothing I can do, apart from live as he instructs me to, fearlessly and with confidence knowing that he goes before me and is behind me – and that is my answer to dealing with worldly trauma.

I know I have a God of peace, that is consistently intervening with my life, so that I may enjoy his perfect will, as long as my mind is fixed upon this nothing can bring me down!

Walking in alignment with God.

Over the last six to seven months, many things have been manifesting in our family life, things that have been a real challenge, we had some big decisions to make, and if I’m honest I could have quite happily remained paralysed on occasions, stuck in the same old, the fear was just too much to face.

walking-inOver the last six to seven months, many things have been manifesting in our family life, things that have been a real challenge, we had some big decisions to make, and if I’m honest I could have quite happily remained paralysed on occasions, stuck in the same old, the fear was just too much to face.

Lucky for us we have a God that will deal with our fears head on when we seek His perfect Will for our lives.

Knowing there were changes to make we started to pray over the situations causing the challenges, we prayed long and hard for what seemed like forever! There were times I thought God wasn’t listening, there were times I thought He didn’t like me much, there were many moments I prayed with what my mom might call attitude, you know the stance – when your arms are folded, your bottom lip is sticking out and you have that tone in voice, the tone that says, I know you don’t want to answer my prayer and I know it’s for my own good but all the same I’m asking anyway, with an eye roll and a big TUT at the end?!

Despite sometimes wanting to give up we continued.

After around 5 months, we started to get answers, albeit they weren’t the ones we thought we would get. These answers were going to push us out of our comfort zone and were to have us confront fears we had carried with us most of our lives. In actual fact these answers had been there for some time, we just didn’t think they were from God, they seemed to make perfect sense but we thought they were of the flesh not of God. He was showing us that we had done the right thing and He wanted the best for us, He loved us and wanted us to flourish for the glory of His Kingdom.

I thought that a lot of the complications we had were a result of our own flesh, I thought that I had a hardened heart and it was my actions causing all of this discomfort. As a result, I was seeking His will, for all that time, to help me to change, when in actual fact what God wanted to do was to change the situation for us.

Although this wasn’t going to be easy. It meant we had to do some things that would cause some discomfort, face our fears and be courageous. See, this was one of the many problems I grew up with, always thinking I must try harder, and blaming myself for not being good enough. Which I think is a problem in many of us, I certainly share that with my husband.

The good news is our loving Father doesn’t want that, he wants us to love ourselves just as he loves us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, in His image, for a very unique purpose to bring glory to His Kingdom. This, in turn, gives us the ability to love others with His wonderful love and encouragement, and when we really seek His will for our lives He uncovers some miraculous things for our future, things we least expect – But, we have to action them.

Even though this time was tough and I could have quite easily turned my back on everything, buried my head in the sand and left myself wide open for the enemy to take control, I chose to take back His territory and declare that in Jesus name I would walk on – No matter what!

Things can be hard, but as long as we continue to lean on our Father and rely not upon our own understanding all things will come together for good, no matter how awful it may seem we must trust him in all we do.

I’m very happy to report that is all now behind us and these situations are now testimonies we can use to encourage others as well as ourselves, we can hold on to them for the rest of our days and remind ourselves when struggles arise that He came through and took control, showed us what to do, and in our obedience, He has richly blessed us with many things to confirm we did the right thing.

Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful patience and understanding, Father, thank you, that despite our not listening, You always persevere and show us in you loving gentle way that all will be ok. Thank you, for always being there, and preparing the way for us despite our shortcomings and our disobedience, Lord thank you, for always waiting with your arms wide open for us to arrive, no matter how long that may take. In Jesus name, I pray that we will forever be aligned to your perfect will. Amen.

No longer a slave to fear.

And hope does not put us to shame, because Gods love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5 – ESV

I love this. The previous blog that I wrote was raw, it came following a night of emotion, conviction, questioning, fear, all following some hard words from a fellow believer.

Sometimes people can say the most hurtful things without realising, the words from our mouths can cut like a knife, little do we know where the injury lies once we have spoken.

We’re so blessed that we have such a loving father that can soothe those sores.

I lay in bed that night tears streaming down my face asking my father “How I could be so bitter with his Holy Spirit dwelling within me?”He said “My child, you asked me for patience, you asked that I heal you, this will take time”.

I use writing as a way to express my raw feelings so, I lay and wrote the words that were on my heart, an open letter to my all loving, all knowing Father.

See, God uses all things not matter how good or bad to come together for the good of his children, I can see now in all the areas of my life, even before I committed it to Christ, that He was hard at work.

Once I’d written it God asked me to publish it:

“WOW! You mean to say I have to take my raw emotion and publish it for all to see?”

I was scared. Scared of the humiliation, scared of the past, scared of people judging me and my life, scared of the many worldly opinions I may have to endure. There were many worries and concerns running through my mind. I was told by a friend not to worry because He goes before me, so I did as I was asked.

Then, after a night of wondering, this morning I had a dream, in it I was asked to look at Romans 5:5.

I woke up, sat up, opened up my bible and was instantly blessed. My Heavenly Father wants me to be settled as walk on through this day.

I have no reason to fear humiliation, Jesus took all that for me on the cross. Jesus also said that we would be sent the comforter, the Holy Spirit, an out pouring of our Fathers perfect love.

As I walk forward today in all that I do, I can hold my head up high knowing that I walk with His Spirit. I’m producing Christlike character within me for all to see.

The work I do with my children is blessed, the people I talk to will be blessed, the work I do in my job will be blessed, my heart is filled with love and I have nothing to fear, Thank You, Father for your everlasting love.

I pray that you do the same today, in all that you do today call upon the name of your Heavenly Father to help you, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and start talking to the one that created you. In Jesus name amen.

God bless. Xx

Defied All Odds

Father, Dad, Daddy, I want to know you as that, I want to come and sit on your lap. 

I want you to wrap your arms around me and tell me all is well. 

I want to please you and do as you ask, but I can’t hear you. I think I can, I do what I think you have asked but, it seems it’s the wrong thing to do.

I know that you are a good good father. You have blessed me in so many ways. 

I had a good mom and a good dad although I felt I’d been brought up unloved.

I could of travelled a road of drug addiction, theft, bullying and sadness but you had other plans for me. You told me I was better than that.

I went and served as a caring person to those in a vulnerable state, you blessed my work and my relationships then again I went along the wrong path.

You blessed me again to my dad and showed me how it could be, a family unit I always wanted. 

It was destroyed by evil then bad things began to happen, I turned back to the path of destruction.

I was lying there on the bathroom floor, the toilet bleach curdling in my stomach, found incoherent with foam at my mouth, you saved me from death.

I found love in a lost soul and a little one, a family I could call my own. Evil came again. Smashed my joy to pieces on the floor, but You saved me yet again! 

You showed me my strength as I walked away, I found a job that you blessed and Independence all of my own, the years I lost to bruises and battery you gave me back in freedom and fun.

Happy again I met another love, that wasn’t to be, evil struck again and took him away, Back to the patch of destruction for me. 

Another weak soul, just as lonely I found, we sat and drank the feelings away. I destroyed independence, my weaknesses revealed I was cheated and lied to and left on my knees.

Again you shine, you showed me my strength and gave me authority to walk away. All those years lonely you gave to me back, fun and freedom again was mine to be had.

Then along came my soul mate, as lost as I was we built up each other and strengthened our souls when you saw it fit we then became 3.

Along came our gift,a bundle of joy, our very own little baby boy. The family we longed you blessed us with and we were happy again once more.

Just a few month down the line again it was time, for another blessing of joy, here was another missing piece to our puzzle another beautiful baby boy. 

Father, your love is so good, we are so blessed beyond, carefully and wonderfully made. 

To become like your son in the image of Christ, our job here on earth is to shine.

I pray when it’s time you prompt us to rise, and do all you planned us to do. 

Until it arrives father I ask for your guides to help me to be who you planned.

The world made me hard, my heart longs to unwind, and soften just as you planned. I ask for your voice to echo in my mind as I walk through each day with your love.

I thank you o lord, you are my special guide and love me, as me that you made. I don’t need to compete, I am who you planned, unique and special to you.