W H A T ….

What happens when someone you care about, seems unable to be reached ???

Your heart is in anguish because you want to reach them … They seem distant – Or are really struggling themselves .. Or just want space .. or time .. or to be alone ?

It is tough .. You may feel spurned or rejected .. Or inadequate .. Or just plain sad, that you know that they are hurting, but still want to unplug or disconnect …

In those moments, days .. weeks .. or even years – How do you cope or deal with this ?

It may be a parent / child relationship – or your spouse, a sibling or a friend.

The pain you feel is no less real – whatever the connection.

As a woman, I believe our hearts desire is to want to fix things

and we ache when this seems to be out of our control.

Or it may be that WE are the ones who need to pull back, because our lives are complicated or overwhelmed and we are being pulled in many directions.

Sometimes these are short seasons of our lives .. and other times, it feels like they will … never … end …

I have no magic solution … I tread the same path as you.

Life is a complex and complicated array of relationships, events and circumstances.

Some days I get up and bound out of bed without fear of what lies ahead, and on others I go through the motions – wishing that I could pull the covers over my head and stay inside my cosy home away from the BIG, wide world outside my four walls.

One thing that I have learned, is that I cannot do life on my own.

I need girlfriends, family, friends and prayer to support and sustain me in the craziness of life.

And even more – this life is NOT all about me … No .. really … it’s not … 🙂

I am comforted to be a part of a Church family who are local and who care. They keep me honest and accountable.

I know that plugging in to the Bible – breathes encouragement into my mind and heart. Yet I often busy myself and it’s not the first place that I turn. I want AND need to get better at this – because based on my own experience – when I make the effort to seek God in prayer and through His word – my life is more balanced and manageable – Please note that I didn’t say easier 🙂

Some verses which I find encouraging , from the New International Version Bible (NIV)

‘ We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;’ 2 Corinthians 4:8

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:9

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.’  Isaiah 40:29

I know if you have a dig around in God’s word – that you won’t have to look far to find more encouragement. Please feel free to share with me – your own favourite verses 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Pure Joy …

2016-12-28-19-48-07   Is there such a thing as P U R E   J O Y  ? 

Look at that perfect rose .. It wasn’t made by human hands ..

I think the saying to ‘take time to stop and smell the roses’ is darn good advice !

The word Joy conjures up a lot of thoughts and mixed emotions for me.

The joy of watching my grandchildren line up for a turn on a HUGE waterslide (pronounced ‘HOOOOOOOOGE’ by Miss 5 ) ..

The smiles on their faces as they get to hang out with their cousin at a movie under the stars.

The giggles that I shared with a friend recently, over the price increase of an ice cream cone at Macca’s (serious – belly-wobbling , tears – running – down – my cheeks, therapeutic – kind of giggles) !

The liberating joy of being understood AND accepted for just being you ..

The joy and building anticipation, of an impending holiday.

A ticket to a movie or show.

Joy amongst the pain and sadness in life – is such a blessing.

How do you find joy ?

What makes you smile ?

STOP .. NOW .. Just do it – I promise the investment in yourself will have lasting benefit.

Finding the good things that bring happiness into our world are so important. It doesn’t have to be a grand and expensive option – it may be as simple as stopping the housework to soak in the pleasure of a coffee with a friend . Reading a chapter of a book . Stopping to admire some scenery on your way home on your daily work commute.

Going for a walk – or watching the kids play …

I don’t know about you, but I can so easily – get caught up with work – or the things that need to be done . Just stopping for Ten minutes can be a reboot !

Definitely worth the effort .. The other stuff will still be there when you finish 🙂

‘Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in you.’

Psalm 86:4 New International Version (NIV)

 

 

Broken and Bruised

So .. I decided NOT to attach a photo to today’s Blog Post …

You may ask why???

Well ….  It’s because I decided that being broken and bruised looks very different to each of us ..

Some days it’s physical and visible ..

And other days it’s emotional – on our heart, or a mental battle – for our thoughts.

It might be all three at once.

However pain appears in each of our lives – it is no less real or any less important.

To the one who is enduring a shock diagnosis,  or to the relative or friend that wants to comfort them ..
The family member suffering depression or mental illness .. a job loss .. an accident .. a struggle at work ..
The Mum raising small children or helping keep teenagers on track .. the Dad doing overtime to make ends meet.
A broken relationship …

Life can be really hard.

There are no quick or easy solutions.

I know – for me,  the loving support of a friend – who – just by listening to me, is often the soothing balm that helps me survive the day ..

Plenty of times I have cried out to God in prayer .. and I am reassured that He hears me even if a solution isn’t instant – or the answer that I was hoping for.
This reassurance has come as I have learned to rely on God .. knowing my own limitations .. flaws .. and failures .. and accepting that I don’t have to be perfect or assume every body else’s expectations of me ..
These things have only come as I understand who God is .. and allow and accept His purpose for my life ..

If you don’t yet know who God is .. I would encourage you to read one of what are called ‘The Gospels’ ,

(Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) ..

I personally have never read the Bible from cover to cover, but have read or studied verses and chapters .. either on my own – or as a part of a small group. Both are really helpful.

You can also buy ‘study guides’.. that focus on a particular subject -and use verses from the Bible – which relate to that subject .. Again – an exceptionally helpful way to understand things from Gods perspective ..

I have verses which mean a lot to me – that I find an encouragement –

‘I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.’

Psalm 16:8

My all time fave is : 

Proverbs 3:5,6

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
 Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

and on a Sunday evening – the encouragement from my Church family is

‘ If God is for us, who can ever be against us?’ Romans 8:31

reading the Bible isn’t a magic formula for happiness and success – but it is the best way to understand who God is, who Jesus is .. and why your story is so important ..

It is accepting Jesus as saviour .. that opens the way for you to have a real and personal relationship with Him .. and it’s the fresh start that we all need 🙂

Sunday …

Serenity

How quickly the weeks fly by ….  So much transpires in one week – that it’s often difficult to keep up ..

I find myself some days appreciating time – and yet others, I think I understand what a mouse feels like in one of those wheels – running, endlessly and getting nowhere ..

Do you feel caught ? trapped ? as if time is passing like groundhog day ??? Alarm goes off – get up, make coffee, feed dogs, put them outside, shower, hair, makeup, jump in car, drive to work, find a parking spot… work, lunch, home, dinner, TV, bed .. HIT repeat … Days off – usually housework and washing …

Sometimes though it’s a walk in the sun, some fun with the family … How that does refresh us .. (we should make regular time for this) …

I don’t know about you – but I think that we often delay the pleasures of life – by putting too much emphasis on all that we need to do today .. and I don’t think that’s the way that we are intended to live – but I am working this out .. and as I think about the reality of my everyday – I realise that this is not a new issue – people have been struggling with the very same thoughts, since the beginning of time – my thoughts turn to these verses in Ecclesiastes .. another fellow traveller trying to grasp how a life lived well actually looks …

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

Ecclesiastes 3 3 -13 (NLT)

Now – I am off to sit in the sunshine with a cup of tea … before it’s time to hop back onto the treadmill of life ..

I shall enjoy the sunshine , watch the birds … appreciate the treasures that God has provided me with today.

I pray that you can use this day for something that makes you smile too 🙂

One Year on …

image

Hammin ‘ it up ..

Ok .. so let’s see how I go blogging from my comfy, armchair on the day after Christmas .. (on my mobile phone) no less.

I am in that .. ‘oh-my-goodness-yesterday-was-really-tiring-i-need-to-chill’ state .. (and I didn’t even have to do all the work) 🙂

It’s about one year ago that I wrote my first post .. never thinking that I might even make my second one ..

But .. here I am .. thankful for having the opportunity (and even blessed with a handful of ‘followers’) .

Last year I posted my Christmas ham photo .. today I am even more blessed to have been able to post a picture of the one that my son cooked yesterday.

(It was wayyy better than mine).

The ham signifies more than just something delicious to eat. It is the family getting together .. the celebration of love … of overlooking our differences .. sharing gifts … watching the joy of children having fun.

Making precious memories .. leaving a mark on others lives that shines to them that they are a priority .. they are valued .. loved .. cared about.
Today I am reflecting on the events of yesterday .. loud .. crazy .. fun filled ..

The thought that went into the gifts .. I was blown away by both my daughter in law and sister .. and their gifts meant so much … more than mere words of thanks could express.

We made a decision several years ago to move to where we currently live .. it was a
H U G E decision .. not just one of logistics .. but a head and heart decision .. to leave friends and jobs .. an established life .. a Church that I was very happy to be a part of ..
Without needing all of the details .. this move has been an amazing one on so many levels ..

BUT …. I was afraid when my husband even suggested it ..

The great news is ..

After 18 months in the new home that we were able to build (with a peaceful and picturesque, bushland backdrop) … after two job changes for my husband .. and three for me .. a tough year in a hideous rat infested, mould ridden, rental property ..
We are still pinching ourselves at the changes .. and the blessings ..

I don’t doubt for a second that God’s hand was on our move .. (although it has taken me some time to be able to admit that) ..

I have been able to a keep precious friendship .. YAY !

Other family members have also made the big move as well ..

And  …as we look forward to the beginning of a new year .. I wonder what it will hold?

I am content to trust that God already has it in His plan ..

Knowing that I have seen just how  ….

‘we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good’ Romans 8:28
The Message Bible

EVERY DETAILthe good, the bad and the ugly ….

Don’t Know .. Or .. am I sinking in the quicksand of life ?

2014-11-20 17.44.56

Okay … I just don’t know if there is a ‘right’.. or a ‘wrong’ time to blog my thoughts ?

Now may – NOT – be – it ..
but I am struggling … Struggling a LOT ..

I am feeling stretched in a million directions .. wanting to BE everything .. to those that I care about …
Wanting to GIVE everything to my new job … wanting to pray, to read .. to just BE …

Life feels like it’s closing in at times and that joy has somehow leaked out of my system …

In my head and my heart I KNOW that God is definitely present .. and that He cares about me … but what I am doing to help myself ?

How do I live each day in the sure and secure knowledge that I don’t have to BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY ?????

This is where my struggle seems to be the biggest … I am hardwired to be the best I can be – I recently realised that I am also competitive – (clearly never in a sporting context though) , but if I do something – I REALLY want to do it well !!!

Life hasn’t felt this hard since I had little kids .. and I fumbled my way through each day .. wanting to excel at Motherhood .. yet knowing inside I was not ‘doing so good’..

Frankly – I feel like one of those Circus performers- who – whilst riding a Unicycle, can juggle, and spin plates on each and every limb – all at once … EXCEPT … I am dropping the plates and my unicycle is almost off balance ..
How long (I wonder) – before I fall off completely ???

In all honesty – I don’t know what the solution is ..

I wholeheartedly LOVE and want to be there for my family … I wholeheartedly believe that I am in the job God wants me in ..may be that’s my problem ???

MY WHOLE HEART ???

MY ….
W H O L E
Heart ????

Maybe it’s enough to give a part of me to each thing ? Allowing God to ‘fill the gaps’???

I think that I may be onto something here ???

I have been ‘caught in a trap’ *insert Elvis’ voice here*

It’s the trap of I-have-to-do-everything-myself aka ‘fix-everything’ …

I could go on about being the ‘over-responsible oldest child in the family’ … but can’t blame that ..(although it IS a part of what makes me , ME) …

Just when I think that I have ‘grown’ or ‘matured in my faith’.. Something comes along that ‘throws me for a loop’.. Which is, in a sense, really good – because It reminds me that I will always be dependant on God .. that I will never be perfect .. and the greatest reminder of all … and the most liberating .. I don’t have to do it all myself …

Now .. this may be a lightning bolt moment .. but one thing that I am sure of is … I will at some point regress .. and God will have to remind me again .. that He is in control …

But for now – I am thankful. I shall pray for those I love (and those I need to love) .. I shall continue to be the best I can be (but remember that I definitely don’t have to be all things to all people) …

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’
Isaiah 40:31 NIV