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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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)

 

 

Morninngggg !

Some days  …

You just wake up and have the comfort of realising just how much you are loved by God …

Today  .. Is one of those days ..

I awoke to a beautiful message. Including some precious photos that I’d never seen before .

Wow … what a beautiful start to my day …

The kindness of the person who had sent them – truly made my day .. and I hadn’t even got out of bed yet ☺

To know that God puts people in our lives – who touch our hearts with such generosity of spirit is a blessing.

A surprise card .. or a phone call.
A text message. A spontaneous coffee catch up.

These acts of thoughtfulness are a reminder of the fact that we aren’t doing life alone.

I love that !

It also makes me want to reach out to others.
To notice that they are hurting .. or lonely .. or that they might need a friendly, listening ear.

These last few months, life has been really tough.

I lost my beautiful friend.

No words can possibly describe how her death has affected me.
Grief deeper than I’ve ever experienced. Or ever thought possible.

It has brought changes and decision making. Appreciation of people and of my surroundings.
It has left me feeling let down, uncared for. People have surprised and shocked me.

I realise that this roller coaster of emotion is due to the fact that my friend knew how to be a friend. Knowing her has made me a better friend to others.

Her legacy lives on …

So .. I say .. hug a friend today ..

Arrange that coffee date.

Send the text.

Write that card.

Don’t hold back .

It could be just what the Doctor ordered !

For them and for you 🙂

It even says so in Proverbs 25:11

‘ A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed ‘

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 🙂

You gotta have friends …

Well … I am not really sure where to start …
So I guess that I will just jump right in !

I heard a story the other day – from a wife .. married for 50 .. Yes F I F T Y ! Years …

This lady and I engaged in a very brief conversation, but what she said to me has left a lasting impression ..

Our interaction happened in the course of my day at work – during a very basic retail transaction.
I think that she felt ‘safe’ as there were no other customers around to overhear what she must have been bottling up – wanting to share with a stranger.

This lady had been keeping this story inside for 8 looong years.

She and her husband had purchased a lounge together – tried many different types .. sat in them – and decided together that they had found ‘the one’.. that was right for them – BOTH – of – them …

When the couch arrived – it was just what she had anticipated .. and she was very happy with it .. but somehow – between purchase and delivery – his recollection of their choice had somehow changed – and he had insisted that the couch that they now had in their lounge room was Not the one they had ordered ..

So .. as the story of ‘stubbornness’ unfolded … the gentleman in question had refused to even sit on the couch ..
For eight looong years – he had sat on the arm of the chair – next to the couch – or the coffee table – she explained to me ..

BUT NEVER ON THAT COUCH

I tried to absorb her words .. I have mulled them around in my head over the last few days … I have struggled to grapple with the fact that the man in question has sticking power greater than a feisty toddler …

feisty
1. full of animation, energy, or courage; spirited; spunky; plucky:
“The champion is faced with a feisty challenger.”

2. ill-tempered; pugnacious.

3. troublesome; difficult:
“feisty legal problems.”

Then as my thoughts wandered .. I realised that I – too can be stubborn – and – feisty … and although I may not be able to stay off a lounge chair for eight long years .. I have other things which I hang onto .. like being a ‘right-fighter’.. I am like a dog with a bone … when I know that I am ‘right’.. I want others to know it too ..

Or if I disagree with my husband .. I REALLY want him to know it …

Then .. as my female mind wanders and my thinking process speeds into overdrive … I whirl into the black hole of thoughts – dredging up my own flaws and faults ..

From there – I somehow ended up turning my imperfections into the fact that I am a bad person, bad friend .. don’t deserve any friends, least of all the most precious friend I have ever known … before I know it I am this teary mess … WHAT ?? How did this happen ???

Well – part of my thoughts emanate from truth – the part that makes me realise that although I am a perfectionist in many ways…. I am not perfect

and although I also realise that I may not ‘deserve’ good relationships – thankfully I am very blessed to have them …

Best of all … this whole dramatic scenario – led me to a healthy conversation with my wise and trusted friend ..
Then, in turn – gave me a greater appreciation of what a healthy relationship looks like … and ..
WAIT – THERE’S MORE …
I realise that no relationship is perfect – they are constantly ‘Under Construction’.. no matter how long you’ve been at the building site .. Five years .. or Fifty years … whether it be a Marriage, a friendship, a parent/child or sibling relationship .. It requires integrity.. and courage .. and a renewing of our mind .. our thoughts .. words and actions ..

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV