brain farts

In the quiet

It’s time to smash out a new blog post!

Do you ever find yourself in a place where, suddenly – aaaaaall the things you’ve been preoccupied with and busy running around like a headless chicken doing have come to an abrupt but peaceful halt. You sit on the couch. The sun shines through the window. A bird chirps.

Now what…?

This is me right now. In this moment. Legit. I’m sitting here, knowing that the calendar kicks back into gear in a matter of hours, but in this moment there is just peace and stillness. It’s times like this that I feel the need to write something. I feel the need to make more headway in my creative pieces – to write some cards or letters – to type up a blog post or a to-do list. Or even write in my diary! I know, outrageous right? During the busy times, I often let a lot of important things slip off my radar in favour of what I feel are more important activities. Unfortunately, this extends to my quiet time with God and my personal reflections…

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How is it that I have elevated everything that I have to do over what it means to be with God in every moment? I often find this frustrating about the way I operate. The moments of stillness and quietness dwindle more often than I’d like and I find myself running to a clock, to a schedule, to a to-do list. If there’s time in my day, I’ll read a devo. If there’s time in my day, I’ll write in my prayer journal or my diary. And it gets to moments like this where I realise all this in hindsight.

Getting things done is crazy-important, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for not being a lazy sloth every hour of every day – that’s not ‘quietness and stillness with God’ at all. However, there has to be a marriage between doing and being…and I have yet to work that out! It’s a learning process, right? 🙂 and today, I make another step towards fitting those two elements together to work more cohesively so that everything I am doing is because I am being who I am meant to be, for God.

How do you go at making sure you’re still having time with God in the small, quiet moments of each day?

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brain farts

Turning fear over

Let me ask you…do you ever feel afraid? Do you ever feel nervous? Do you ever get that churning sensation in the pit of your stomach when you know there’s something coming that you’re anxious about? Now think – do you ever confuse these feelings of anxiety, fear and nervousness with feelings of excitement and expectant anticipation? You know, when you think you’re terrified of something, but in reality, you’re just really excited about it because it’s new or interesting or an adventure??

This is how I feel right now! There seems to be a constant cloud in my head, filled with images of

fear

me not being good enough

anxiety

pressure

people judging me on my performance

And on top of this, is the knowledge that these next few months are going to be very full! So add the cloud to an almost overflowing bucket of ‘to-dos’ and what do you get? This poster in every room of my house!

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I’m joking, of course – but that’s what it feels like sometimes. Often the overwhelming sense of ‘unknowns’ – whatever they may be – can take over and block out the view of the sun…or should I say, Son? (See what I did there? Yeh, clever…) it was only just in the last little while – and I mean that literally, as in hours – that it dawned on me…

Through Christ I can do anything…

In a very real way.
And on top of that?

He is able.

So. What does that mean for me? Well, my to-do list isn’t shrinking. However, my ‘mind cloud’ (yep, it’s a thing) can be altered to better complement my to-do list. Each of those fears, anxieties or nerves can be partnered up with a different feeling. Excitement. Anticipation. Peace. I might not feel great all the time, but if I bring each of those feelings to the feet of my Infinite Helper, He has the power to use them for good and change them so that I can be who I have been created to be.

Yes, I still have to get up in front of a class of fresh faced students next week and attempt to deliver a vocab lesson while my mentor teacher assess me – but the anxiety I feel can be cast over to the One who has the power to use me as an effective educator in their lives…even if it’s just for a moment.

Are you feeling anxious, fearful or nervous about something? Bring it to your Father and ask Him to transform it into something more useful…He will 🙂

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(Images courtesy of Pinterest)

*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…

*new blog series*

Week forty five – ‘no sunglasses’

There’s something about sitting still and listening to the silence. I haven’t done this for a long time. So when we were given the space to just be with God, not necessarily speaking but just being at the young adult’s retreat, it was a fresh experience.

I walked down the road and found a spot to sit. This was my view:

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In the sitting, I suddenly became aware of my surroundings. Magpies warbled. Something was rustling in the undergrowth. Tiny flies were flitting around my head. Ants were scurrying about in the dirt. The air was crisp and new. Bugs scampered around my shoes. The sun ducked in and out of clouds. A dog barked. The smell of freshly cut grass wafted on the breeze.

The moment I was spending in the quiet and stillness of the day couldn’t be captured by an Instagram photo or a status update. There was something REAL in that moment, something that brought a tear to my eye as I thanked God for slowing me down so I could actually appreciate where I was.

I’ll be the first to admit I often live life with sunglasses on – I see things with only shadowed perception and my peripherals are compromised…but in that moment of sitting by the side of the road, at the top of a hill in the middle of a Saturday, I was reminded if the intricate wonder of creation & my place in it.

brain farts

Attitude adjustment

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Recently, God has placed a few things on my heart and in my mind to help me each day and the Holy Spirit has been journeying with me as I try to implement them. I wanted to share these growth moments and also keep a record for myself. There are days when I feel darker than others and these things can help to draw me up and pull me closer to his heart.

The first one is the notion of

Choosing joy

.
Each day, in every moment where I find myself making conscious decisions, I want to choose joy. I want to actively be seeking ways to be thankful, bring praise to His name and be upbeat because I am naturally a glass-half-empty person. So actually thinking those words helps me to stop, suck in some fresh air, calm down and seek to find the positive in whatever I am doing.

The second is a phrase:

Don’t even worry about it!

(Said with a really upbeat, nonchalant tone of voice!) This is me constantly telling myself to relax. Let God guide. He is in control. Nothing matters nearly as much as you think it does. If I start to feel my anxiety rise, my stress peak or my anger flair – I think these words to myself and I try to remember verses like Philippians 4:6-7…

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And the second part of Jude1:2…

?..Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!

Nothing I face in my day to day living is out if the realm of God’s majestic help. Nothing, so why am I such a stress head?! Because I have let it take a hold, and I am choosing – in joy – to loosen its grip on my mind and heart and not even worry about it!

And finally, I have discovered a brilliant list of verses to help soothe and anxious heart which help to choose joy each day and in every situation and to not worry about those situations as much as I do. You can find that list here and a big thank you to the Unveiled Wife community for that one! I have it bookmarked on my Safari app as well as pinned to my home screen on my phone for easy access! I love being able to tap it an scroll through the verses, letting God speak to me.

There you have it – my attempts at an attitude adjustment! One step at a time, I’m learning to loosen my steely grip on this gift of life, give it back to The Lord and bask in His beauty.

(images courtesy of Pinterest)

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brain farts

When you can’t sleep…

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So it’s only minutes away from midnight and I’m anything but tired…I think I’m still running on Philippino time!

Do you ever have nights like this? You’re all ready for bed, tucked up, in the dark…but sleep just won’t come? You lie there for a while, hoping it will find you but before long you find yourself thinking of things you have to do tomorrow, what you feel like for dinner, that letter you still have to write and the party that you have yet to buy a present for. Soon enough, a few hours have passed and you’re more wired than you were before!

These moments never cease to annoy me. I get annoyed at myself because my brain won’t shut down. I get annoyed that I ate that piece of caffeine-filled chocolate too close to bed time and I get annoyed that I live too much in the tomorrow rather than the now. I truly think that’s part of my problem – living in the now and letting tomorrow worry about itself.

Matthew 6:34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

I am the best at not really taking proper hold of this verse, of this command. I’m a planner. I’m organised. I like to be in control. I like to know what’s going on…and to not think and worry and stress about tomorrow feels unnatural to me. Silly right? Because really – how much control can I have over tomorrow? Next to none! There’s no guarantee I’ll even wake up tomorrow! I’m purely running off the assumption that I will, God willing!!

So as I lie here tonight I read that verse again and I back-track…

Matthew 6:25-34 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

God. Has. Got. It.

Today, tomorrow, the next day and the next – He has got it sorted. Yes, prepare, make plans and put things in the diary. Life would be too chaotic if we didn’t…but don’t dwell on it all. Don’t sit there twiddling your thumbs, biting your nails and anxiously rocking back and forth about what is to come because He has delivered more than we will ever fully understand.

And if there is no tomorrow here on earth? Then He’s got that covered too! So as I shut this blog off for tonight and try to get some rest, I hope you find rest too knowing that worry only causes more worry but trusting in a prepared and loving Father means peace and comfort in what is to come.