Glitter?

Anyone who knows me, also knows my love for all things beauty and all things glitter. I love make up and how creative and artsy we can be with it and the confidence it can create. It is the subject of many quips within my family over the amount of make up I have accumilated over the years! Ahem…. there may be a fair bit, but I am not owning up to anything!!!

It also saddens me to still see in 2017 body and makeup shaming towards both men and women. This is a seriously outdated and extremely old fashioned way of thinking, and needs to be stopped. No one has the right to condemn or judge anyone for looks or body shape. It is nasty, horrible and very disrespectful.

I am happy with how I look and me in my own skin. I love my face, my eyes, my nose, even my brows which seem to be unrelated to each other! I do not use make up to conceal who I am, but to create different looks which mostly work, and sometimes dont. Thats the beauty (pun intended!) of makeup. And I belive it is ungendered.

How can we love our neighbour when we cant love ourselves? How can we love ourselves when we are putting each other down all the time? How can society learn to love each other with disrespect and hate for what is different to others everywhere we look? How can the church be a welcoming place when we accept that this happens within our buildings? Are we blind enough to think its not happening around us?

I have wanted to bring my boys up with respect for all, and I think we have acheived it as a whole. I dont want to hear shaming of anyone near me, and my house is a body shaming exclusion zone. We are all created equal, and in Gods image, so who has the right to call another? No one thats who. Not one person has the right to pull down another. Not one.

I hope this subject is brought to the front more in media and social media circles so it can be made unacceptable. Because it is.

I am not going to stop wearing makeup, and neither should anyone else who wants to. I am beautiful in my husband and Gods eyes. Thats all that matters to me, not any unjustified and undignified comments from people who have an opinion of what they think they should be seeing.

God loves all for who they are right now. So why dont we?

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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.