January blues?

I wonder why January is such a bad month for so many of us? I know most of us have nearly impoverished ourselves trying to make the perfect Christmas yet again. Maybe we spent another year without making the perfect feast, maybe it’s the darker days with nights still so long, maybe something more.

I know there won’t be all that many of us ending 2017 in a much better place financially or emotionally than we did the year before. How many grew as a person or as a parent? Did we learn from mistakes previously made and promised we wouldn’t do again? How much pressure do we put on ourselves in January to make a difference, losing weight, looking into expanding in our careers, being a better and more caring person, reading 20 chapters a day of the Bible, praying 3 hours a day?

This pressure on our self is so self destructive, and can leave us feeling a bit of a failure really. What for? Why do it? We have the whole year to make small changes to help our lives be more productive and satisfying. Slowly starting a new hobby. Losing those extra few pounds in a more sustainable and enjoyable way. Spending a few extra hours with the family and friends. Trying an extra few minutes a week, and building time up if we can, in reading the Word and taking some time with God. It shouldn’t be a burden. So, don’t make it one.

Enjoy January.

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Testimony

I was fascinated watching Doctor Who from the Christmas 2017 episode. It was a weepy for all who have followed the Doctor for the decades he has been time travelling and saving Earthlings from various alien invaders and Daleks. This episode was introducing the next in line of Doctors and adding a very PC, but brilliant choice of new traveller.

The ‘Testimony’, were from billions of years in the future and went through time collecting memories from everyone at the point of death, so that person lived on in the form of shape shifters, who could become anyone who had ever lived throughout space and time. The thinking was, that people’s memories were who they were, and were important enough to make the massive jumps through history to collect them before they disappeared with the person’s last breath.

It was a very good and thought provoking episode. They were basically talking about our souls, the essence of who we are as a person, as human beings on the giant plant in a giant solar system of other just as giant planets and moons. Our memories contain who we are, have been and who we ended up becoming. Our memories make us and keep us going forward. They show what we are saved from, who we loved and our personal memories of who we also have lost over our lives. Our memories keep others alive inside us, good or bad, pets we have loved, teachers we remember for the help they gave. Our memories are everything we have at the end, and the memories we make are so important not just to us, but those we live with or just meet on a day to day basis.

Some of us have extremely bad memories from childhoods we prefer not to have in the memory bank in our heads. They also make us who we are today, and can help us know what we do not want to become. We might want to be better parents than our own, become social workers,  teachers, doctors, anyone who was less than the best in a striving to help the next generation not go through something we ourselves went through. Yes, it was awful for us, but it won’t be for another child along the line, maybe even our own, we will make it better for someone out there. It’s then that I can see the gift of memories. They change people. They make better and better people and situations out of what has gone before.

This is what I see is Testimony. This is what we leave behind.

Christmas again?

I know I’m getting older, and I don’t mean my age, but by how quickly each end of year comes round. No-one told me that once I became a “proper” adult, that most of the excitement of the Christmas season would disappear, replaced with manic stress, crowd pushing, trolley diving chaos.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the whole of this season. I love the lights and music. There is a feeling that we all get at Christmas that can’t be put into words, it’s just there and has been for as long as we can remember. Once we get to the big day and all stuffed and feeling slightly more chubby than when we woke up, I have a sense of regret that I allowed stress to get in the way of my enjoying what this last month of the year brings. Another year that I let other stuff invade all the emotions and excitement.

Well, I tell myself, not next year, not again.

I want to be with my children, my hubby, my cats, my family and just be. Just taking some time to enjoy those around me and time that I can spend with them.

What better time of the year is there that I can do all this? The time where we think of each other, want to give to each person we love, think of Christ and why He came, celebrate and rejoice.

Coming and going

This is how it feels my head has been this last couple of months. It’s been busy in a good way, but has meant that I have been a bit abcent from Word press for which I am sorry. But…..

I am so excited to tell you all that I have spent time writing my first devotional 21 day book! I am releasing it as a Kindle ebook and should be available soon. I am keeping the price low to make it as affordable as possible. 

I will let you know as soon as it is available and will try to link it through my page. 

It has given me some new perspectives on things while writing. Giving a lot more thought to what I am putting down in my notes and my pages, has had made me think so much more about my own head and what others see in me. Do I care or should I care? Should I only care about what God sees? 

Thank you to all who have supported me on this journey, and all the lovely messages I gave received. They mean so much to me. 

Blessings to you all.

Slumber?

So I got to thinking overnight about all that was happening in the world and how many people were living in the hold of terror and fear. There are so many attacks, wars and hurting on Earth that it’s a bit of a daunting task to even pray for them all never mind wonder what they are going through. It’s also very easy to forget about it all when we can turn off the news or turn the page of the newspaper. They can disappear, blurred by the next celebrity scandal or weather report. We live cushioned lives mostly in the western world in this regard. We do have attacks as we saw in the UK over the last month. We can see some horrible stuff within the western world for sure, but how quick do we move on?

It can feel like God is not watching or has closed His ears to the desperate cries from His people. There are prayers around the world going on even as I write this for those who are hurting or who have lost everything. Is God looking and listening to something else? Has He even noticed?

The bible says that God never slumbers or sleeps. He is ever watching us and He hears every prayer. The book of Revelation tells us that every prayer or cry to God rises up like incense and God breathes it in. No prayer goes unheard. No prayer actually goes unanswered. It might not be the answer we were hoping or desiring to hear, but there will be an answer there if we are open to receive it. 

There is no real answer as to why God hasn’t stepped in and stopped things from happening. All I think about is the last time God stepped in to change the way the world was going, meant we had the flood in Genesis which destroyed everything.  So is that the only way He can stop events? Take away free will? Stop sins consequences? 

I really don’t know. These are just my thoughts and ramblings. I just know I have to trust God and know He is in full control of my future and the events which impact me and those I love and pray for. That’s all I take my rest in and knowing I can slumber and be confident in the knowledge that God never does.

Prayer works?

What a chaotic and scary week our little Island has had over the last couple of weeks. We have seen terror strike and try to rob my beloved UK of her peace and love.

I love my country and very proud of my nation. I’m proud of my city and the street where I live. It is full of people who are filled with love and warmth. We are all created in the same image, and noone is better than anyone else. The UK needs lots of prayer, not just for today or even tomorrow, but for the next months and years. This country needs to be filled with prayer and covered with the wings of God.

But in our daily life, does prayer work, or are the smaller things of life too insignificant for us to bother God with? Our bills, lack of food, clothing? What about our banged up car going in for its MOT? Is that too small for God to see? A parking spot in the hospital car park when our child is unwell? What about funds to go to a conference that we know would help us to grow spiritually but is really expensive?

These can seem silly things to maybe pray about, and how many times do we leave prayer as a last resort? A tool to use only when we have exhausted every other avenue of help. I know I have done and still can do this at times. I wonder why?

In 1 Kings vs 2-6, we read of Elijah who has fled from the city into the wilderness when he received a death threat from Queen Jezabel. He had nothing with him, no clothing, no Prada suitcase with his belongings. No rucksack full of trail mix and Red Bull for energy for the journey. Nothing. Not a thing. Not even his favourite pillow.

God needed Elijah for further work for the Kingdom. He provided Elijah with ravens who brought him meat to eat and a stream nearby for fresh beautiful clear water to drink. Yes, it wasnt the most amazingly thought up meal, but it was exactly what he needed right at that moment to keep going, and it helped him not to be so down about his circumstances.

Its very easy to get down about the next huge bill to come through the post, the broken washing machine and all the things that can build up and cause us to lose sleep with stress or worry.

We see the power of prayer all over the world. Big things, like people being raised from the dead, healing from life threatening diseases, safety in the most horrible of places. We can see God working in the persecuted church and the blessings they are living in.

But what about me and my daily life? God still wants to work in the small things within us just as much as he wants to raise from the dead the other side of the world. Everything in our life and in us is important to God, and I want you to know how loved and worth everything you are. If it bothers you, it bothers God. If it hurts you, it hurts God. If it makes you happy in Him, it makes God happy. No prayer goes unheard. No prayer is more important than another. There is no hierarchy system in the Throne room. All prayer is described as lifting up to the Throne room as insence which God breathes in. Its a beautiful picture of how God listens to all prayers in the Book of Revelation.

Dont ever settle for mediocrity. You are not mediocre, so why accept it. We are all children of the King, and He is with us always and walks with us in our life. He sees what we do, and how we do it. He never gives up on any of us, and provides in ways we cant even imagine.

Rain or Shine

Oh the weather in our beautiful Britain is of constant talk and constant change! We Brits are known for talking about the weather all the time and there is a very good reason for it, Its always changing so a subject of immense “talkability” and nosiness! One day we could see wind and rain, the next a hot, cloudless day where we get sunburn! We can have snow and sun in the same week as thunder and rain! Its never the same and can’t really be relied upon seasonal months besides.

So, imagine a beautiful sunny day, no clouds, just a hint of breeze to stop it becoming too humid or too hot to enjoy the picnic we have planned with the family. We wake up and the sun shines through the windows and the family are up and ready to enjoy the day. Its a great one. We are happy, and feel great. At home we scroll through the photos on our phone and feel a sense of joy and pride as we see the laughing faces of our kids splashing  in the water or burying their Dad in the sand when he fell asleep. The amazing ice creams we shared still around their mouths as they kiss you and thank you for a special day. They drift into sleep dreaming of the fun they have. We feel blessed and can almost tangibly feel Gods touch on us and the blessing He gave us of family and the day we had.

Another day, we wake and its dark, cloudy and we can hear the rain pounding on the windows and the wind seems to want to break the door down. The kids are bored as they can’t play outside and arguments soon erupt all over the house. You want to scream by lunchtime and hope the rain at least stops so they can go visit their friends down the road. The day drags so slowly and you don’t feel like you get anything done with separating the kids all day and cleaning around them as they move from room to room. The rain doesn’t stop, and by evening you have yelled more times than you can remember. You all go to bed that night cranky, and you feel guilty about yelling so much. Maybe something could have been different? Maybe we could have changed something? The last thing we feel is blessed and that we had a productive day. We don’t have good memories of the day and no pictures to remind us of spending the day with the children God gave us. Maybe it will be different tomorrow?

How many of us live our lives in these loops? How many of us live our spiritual lives like this also? We base blessing on good times, and lack of it on the bad. God shows favour In the good and not in the bad? Is that how God works? Yes, we see spiritually high times, and all seems to be going well, we don’t have problems praying or bible study. But, what about the times when we seem to pray to the ceiling and like walking in mud? Is God any further away at those times? If He is, is it because we have moved, not because He has? I think at times of struggle and darkness, God wants to be closer to us to get us through what could be a spiral of loneliness and separation. He never wants to be away from us. So, if God is still with us and by our side, even more through the bad times, who is it who moves? Every time we sin, we move a little away from God, and the sin starts to separate us from Him. Repentance closes the gap again, and brings us back close to Him.

In the rainy seasons, check yourself, talk to God, make sure there is nothing that can place a wedge between you and Him, especially in what could be a very dark windy part of your life. You need God more than ever then,

In the sunny times, keep in His presence and thank Him for the blessings we can see with open eyes. The blessings are there both rain or shine. We just need to see them for what they are. Gifts.