brain farts

Shallow Hal

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Have you seen this movie? I watched it again recently and I remembered how much I loved it the second I hit ‘play’! There is so many great lessons, observations and truths in this movie that I just wanted to share.

If you’ve seen this movie, you’ll know that Jack Black’s character is basically a superficial jerk when it comes to women – he sees only what is on the outside and judges the women based on what he thinks is beautiful. Then he gets ‘hypnotised’ and sees more of what’s on the inside of women he meets – their inner beauty outshines anything on the outside that he would have previously turned his nose up at.

He meets Gwyneth Paltrow’s character – he sees her as a trim, leggy, stunning young woman and soon falls in love with her…but his image of her comes crashing down when his ‘hypnotism’ wears off and he sees her as the world sees her.

This movie is such a great portrayal of all the issues of ‘image’ and ‘identity’ that we face in the world. We are oftentimes unconsciously trained to judge a book by its cover – what is she wearing, what is she eating, how often does she exercise, where did she get that haircut? It’s always outward focused, that we forget the outside is merely the beginning. The story of who a person really is goes so much deeper than what we see at face value.

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I love when Jack Black learns this lesson. He loves Gwyneth Paltrow regardless of what society says is ‘beautiful’ – in his eyes now, she is the definition of beautiful because he knows her, he doesn’t just see her.

This movie was a great reminder for me to make sure that I am knowing those around me, not just seeing them. That I make the effort to connect on a heart & mind level – to know what makes people tick rather than writing them off and being judgemental on what I see on the outside.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1 Sam. 16:7

Have you ever disregarded someone based on what you see of them, rather than getting to know them?

*new blog series*

Week fifty two – ‘(*Fin)’

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Feels like you’re miles from here,
in other towns with lesser names.
Where the unholy ghost doesn’t tell
Mary or William exactly what they want to hear.
You remember the house on Ridge Road
told you and the Devil to both just leave me alone.
If this is salvation, I can show you the trembling.
You’ll just have to trust me. I’m scared.

I am the patron saint of lost causes.
Aren’t we all to you just near lost causes?
Aren’t we all to you just lost

Tommy, you left behind
something that will mean everything right before you die.
What if you gained the whole world?
You’ve already lost four little souls from your life.
Widows and orphans aren’t hard to find.
They’re home missing daddy who’s saving the abandoned tonight.
Wish your drinking would hurry and kill you.
Sympathy’s better than having to tell you the truth.

That you are the patron saint of lost causes.
All you are to them is now a lost cause.
All you are to them is now, causes.

Billy, don’t you understand?
Timothy stood as long as he could and now
you made his faith disappear.
More like a magician and less like a man of the cloth.
We’re not questioning God.
Just those he chose to carry on His cross.
We’re no better, you’ll see.
Just all of us, the lost causes.

Aren’t we all to you just lost causes?
Are we all to you lost?
Lost causes
So all we are to you,
Is all we are, is all we are
All we are is all we are

[Choir:]
Patron Saint, are we all lost like you?
Patron Saint, are we all lost like you?
Patron Saint, are we all lost like you?
Patron Saint, are we all lost like you?
Patron Saint, are we all lost like you? (Lost causes, all we are is all we are)
Patron Saint, are we all lost like you? (To you, lost…)

Patron Saint, are we all lost like you?
Patron Saint, are we all lost like you?
Patron Saint, are we all lost like you?

Take what you will, what you will
And leave. Could you kill, could you kill me
If the world was on fire
and nothing was left but hope or desire
And take all that I could bring forth, is this hell
Or am I on the floor over-desperate?
Hold hands streaming of blood again?
And then take full weight of me
Guard my dreams, figure this out,
It’s me on my own. Helpless, hurting, hell
Will you stay strong as you promised?
Cause I’m stranded and bare.
Meanness is washed up in all that I am
is God. Take this and all,
Then grace takes me to a place
Of the father you never had
Ripping and breaking and tearing apart
This is not heaven
This is my hell.

One of my absolute favourites by Anberlin

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…and it saddens my heart that along with this being my final blog post in this blog series, Anberlin have their final Australian tour in a couple of months. I thought a brief spiel about my love affair with their music would be fitting for my final blog post in this 52 Week Blog Series I started last year.

Initially, I began it as a way of expressing thoughts, feelings, learnings and the like from my studies – but it evolved into much more and I’m truly grateful to any of you who have read one of my posts 🙂 it’s a true thrill to think I’m reaching so many of you across the globe!

I’ve written a previous blog about an Anberlin that you can revisit here – but these are some fresh thoughts in light of their new album that arrived on my doorstep yesterday and their fast-approaching final Australian tour…

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I first heard the unique and beautiful sounds of Anberlin when I was in the backseat of my friend’s car. Her brother turned the music over to an Anberlin song (which would soon become my favourite of their songs – ‘Paperthin Hymn’)…and from then on, I was smitten. My friend was already an avid fan – I’d now call her the biggest fan I know – and I’ll forever be grateful to her for introducing me to this music. You know who you are! 😉

Anberlin have so many different sounds wrapped up in their various albums that often times I find one song acting as an anthem for a certain situation and the next song acting as a backing track for a completely different situation. There are stories, emotions, truths and beautiful pictures conjured up by each song on every one of their albums, that it’s hard to listen to any album and not be drawn into the lyrics.

On top of this, Stephen’s voice matched with the raw talent of the other band members is just electrifying – I’m often swept away in my own imagination when I listen…and I know I might sound like a dreamer or a bit too obsessed, but when I truly appreciate someone else’s musical talent, it just adds a really magical feel to what I’m listening to.

So as I wrap up this blog series, I also wrap up a tradition of seeing my favourite band live on stage. It’s been a terrific journey, but all things come to an end at some point…I just hope that at these final gigs, my friend packs herself enough tissues so that she can still see them. One. Last. Time.

(Pictures courtesy of Pinterest)

*new blog series*

Week fifty one – ‘ditch the schedule’

I’m a stickler for time. I live my life by the clock, by the timetable, by the calendar. I love schedules – I thoroughly enjoy the sense of order they bring to my world and the rush of peace I get when the things in my schedule are ticked off.

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Can you relate? Do you like having order in your plans and your plans running to order? Do you like things done in a consistent manner – ticking them off, one by one at the appropriate time? I sure do. And there is nothing wrong with this of course…unless the schedule I’m running to complete and stick to impedes upon my relationship with those around me.

I saw this in vivid colour on Sunday. If I haven’t mentioned it already, I co-facilitate a discipleship/fellowship group for young women in their first years out of high school. This year, we’ve been meeting about once a month to reconnect, pray and go through a Louie Giglio series – Boy meets Girl – that you can look up here. This week we would have been at session 3…but after such an extended break, we all found ourselves sharing stories from the past few weeks with one another and genuinely getting know more of each other’s heart beat.

Initially, I was keeping track of time so that I could draw the conversation to a close and we could start the DVD study session…but as the talk flowed, the laughter came and the genuine sharing got a bit deeper, I watched those minutes tick over into hours and by the time it got to our usual end for the gatherings, we’d not even hit the play button. In fact, I’d turned the laptop off.

There was so much in the hearts and minds of these young women, that right then in that moment – I was so glad we ditched the schedule. I was so glad that I got to hear about a recent camp two of them were on, about new job opportunities for another, about the beginnings of the semester ahead for yet another…we played two get-to-know you games that made us think about ourselves and share with those around us. We spoke of prayer points (or as my phone charmingly likes to autocorrect it – ‘prayer ponies’!) and praise points and we able to hear one another out.

I realised on Sunday that sometimes it is good to ditch that schedule, that programme, that plan and just BE. If I’d been a stickler and shut the conversation down to do the study, I wouldn’t know so much more about each one of those who were present, and I wouldn’t still feel such a sense of community today. Sometimes it is definitely worth it to ditch that schedule and simply see what flows organically, see what happens naturally …you might be pleasantly surprised by what God reveals in that moment 🙂

(photo courtesy of Pinterest)

*new blog series*

Week fifty – ‘a recent discovery’

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Those who know me well, know that I am not a big baby person. I don’t much care for the strange alien-look that newborns have…the spit up that 3 month olds deliver…the constant nappy changes…the early mornings associated with crying…the clingyness of the tiny human…the inability to communicate with a little person who has no words……among other things…..

And I am acutely aware I sound like a truly horrible human being right now with a dark heart!

Don’t get me wrong, I see the flaws with how I see babies…I’m not totally unfeeling! However, I’ve just never been into cuddling them or making ‘mooshy’ noises at them in gaga speak……………………..

Until now.

A discovery has been made – a wall inside my heart has begun to crumble and light is filtering into a well-hidden area of my soul. God is at work, softening what I have hardened over the years and boy is He doing a good job! Something is starting to give – albeit, slowly – and I’m discovering… I don’t mind babies so much.

I think I can pinpoint the start of God’s transformation of my heart too. A good friend of mine recently had a baby and seeing her and her husband with the little fella just makes me smile…and when the little fella smiles at me there’s a flicker of desire deep inside that God is fanning. They have been an amazing example of first-time parents…and have such encouraging words to share, that I can’t help but step back from my ‘anti-baby’ former self and scrutinise this new ‘maybe-I-want-kids-soon’ person 🙂

So there you have it. A pretty big confession on my part; a pretty big discovery has been made and while I am in no way fully ‘there’ yet – the road is laid out already, God is there, my hubby is there, friends and family are there and if kids is something that lies ahead for us…I’ll know that God was at work in the now to get me to the there.

Is your heart hardened against something? Is God softening it?

brain farts

Dear Girl…

Dear Girl,
I hope this letter finds you well. I hope today, you’re smiling.

I wanted to tell you something. I wanted to let you know…that you are UNIQUE. SPECIAL. IMPORTANT. You are ridiculously loved, and I don’t mean just by people. There is a greater force in this universe than any man could ever put his finger on. There is a stronger power surrounding your life than you will ever be able to fully understand. Your Heavenly Creator sweeps through, laying the stones for every step you take – holding your hand as you walk on. He has such incredible plans for you. He has such unfathomable love for you. He has such a desire to see good come your way and for you to overflow and lavish that good on those around you.

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People will always critique you – we live in a world consumed with being better than those around us. We live in a world that sees any mask you want to wear and judges according to what that represents on the outside. But Girl…beautiful Girl…I want you to know that your Creator doesn’t look at the outward appearance in the same way as people do. The Mighty God of the universe, who spoke every living thing into being – breathed your name too. He looks directly at the beauty within your heart and soul. He looks at you, the created Girl and says that you are good (Gen. 1:31).

So when people ‘rate‘ you; or when people ‘like‘ you; or when people judge you or when people deem you ‘not good enough‘ – always remember to whom you belong and by whom you were created. Don’t compare yourself to others as there is nothing to compare yourself to; you are the only YOU.

Dear Girl, I hope this letter finds you well. I hope today you’re smiling, because there is so much to smile about when you know your value and worth come from Someone greater than this world…

Love, a friend.

(Photos courtesy of Pinterest)

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*new blog series*

Week forty eight & forty nine – ‘seasons’

Shawn McDonald has a brilliant song called ‘Time‘ – these are the lyrics…

There is a time to laugh
And a time to cry
And there is a time to accept
And a time to deny

There is a time to be strong
And a time to be weak
And there is a time to listen
And a time we must speak

For everything there’s a reason
For everything there’s a rhyme
For everything there’s a season
For everything there’s a time

For everything, everything
Everything there’s a time
For everything, everything
Everything there’s a time

And there is a time to say hello
And a time to wave goodbye
And there is a time when that we are born
And a time we must die

And there is a time to build up
And a time to tear it down
There is a time to be lost
And a time to be found

Everything there’s a reason
For everything there’s a rhyme
For everything there’s a season
For everything there’s a time

For everything, everything
Everything there’s a time
For everything, everything
Everything there’s a time

One without the other
Is like a king without his kingdom
Everything works together
It all coincides

For everything there’s a reason
For everything there’s a rhyme
For everything there’s a season
For everything there’s a time

For everything, everything
Everything there’s a time
For everything, everything
Everything there’s a time

Every time I hear this song, I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1 – For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.

There is a time for every activity under heaven…

So what’s the rush? Why is everyone in a hurry? Why do we feel the need to do everything now? Everybody is in different seasons of life, so how can we compare our journey with that of another? How can we say ‘man I’m so behind the times! I should be doing this or that like those people’ when we have our own journeys to live? How can we say ‘you should be at this stage of life now and have all of that sorted by now’ to those around us when our story is completely different to theirs? Everybody is at a different stage of life – in a different season of life – and God is leading each one according to His own timing.

It’s something I have been learning a lot about recently – that the season I am in right now is O.K with me. I don’t need to be in a rush. I don’t need to do what everybody else is doing. I don’t need to copy those around me just to ‘fit it’ because God has my path perfectly laid out for me. 🙂

This verse has been a bit of a rock for me recently…

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A steadfast verse that delivers truth and peace and strength straight to my very core. So when you’re feeling pressured to be, do, say, act or look like everyone else – remember that there is a time for everything and God has your path perfectly in turn with His timing…