Christian growth · Lessons from Motherhood

That flat

Recently my husband and I invited some friends over for dinner and the subject of our first flat came up. We loving refer to this flat as ‘that flat’. They were curious as to why so we told them about our first home.

To put it nicely it was a fixer upper, the landlord knew this and told us to do what we wanted with it. The walls were crumbling, the windows leaking, the doors falling off, it had a huge hole in the toilet wall looking out to the street. It was also very cold and damp so every morning there were trails all over the carpet from slugs and snails roaming around, we could hear rats in the basement but it was our first home and we think of it fondly.

As we talked about this my husband said that it was an opportunity to learn about DIY and I loved this because its true, he learned how to fix the windows, he rebuilt one of them, he learned how to seal in the bath, put up shelves, he rebuilt a door frame, we decorated and put in door fittings, plus other things I can’t remember now.

As life has gone on I had forgotten about this and how those first experiences have shaped our lives today, hubby is very good at DIY now and confident in learning how to fix things. Because our home is a lot nicer now I think it is easy to forget how those more difficult circumstances shaped us for good.

Gods word puts it a lot better than I ever can, in Romans 5 it says:

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

My husband could’ve just seen it all as bad and not used it as a way to learn but he didn’t, he chose to learn and grow and this is what the Lord wants from us, He knows that it isn’t easy and we can’t do it without Him so He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us. (John 14)

At the time living in that flat was very hard, and there was no way I would’ve seen it as a positive thing like I do now and I know one day I will lovingly look back on my children’s early years and when I do I hope I can see the growth in me from allowing the more difficult days to shape me and teach me about how to be more like Christ.

Meanwhile I find this promise helps me:

Philippians 1:6

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Christian growth

New year, fresh start.

This is the time of year when there is a lot of talk about fresh starts. We look forward to a new beginning, to a better year, a better me. We make resolutions to change, we make goals to grow.

I used to do the exact same thing and even now I find myself thinking about changes I want to make but I put pressure on myself and I get to February and the diet is gone the goals forgotten as life takes over, surprises happen. I feel bad and like I have failed.

The bible says:

“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Making plans is not a bad thing but we must remember it is God that is in control, we must pray and involve Him in all we want to do. His desire is that we have close fellowship with Him and He cares about everything we want to do, He wants to guide our paths. I find this so humbling as I don’t need to pressure myself I just need to seek my Lord first. His burden is light, anything heavy is of our own making. Matthew 11:28-30

I have no idea what is going to happen in 2018, all I want is for my fellowship with Jesus to be the forefront of my life. I ask for Him to change me to be more like Him, for His peace to reign in all aspects of my life. I pray that He gets the glory in everything I do.

The new year may be a fresh start for many but when we know the Lord every day gets to be a fresh start.

The word saysLamentations 3:22-23

No matter what happens God’s mercy and compassion is fresh every morning, how awesome is that? I don’t need to pressure or burden myself, I can start again anytime of the year. Everyday is brand new when we know Jesus!

Christian growth

Water

Woman by the well with Jesus John 4 bible verse

 

I have a confession to make, I am really bad at eating and drinking what I should. And when I feel under the weather the first thing I do is stop eating and drinking. I know, right when I need it most as well.

This week I’ve had a bit of an illness, high temp and sore throat and, true to form, I didn’t eat enough and didn’t have enough water. I woke up feeling very weak and dizzy which frightened me. I finally had a bottle of water mid morning and some lunch then realised I was feeling better. This really made me think and start investigating what happens when I don’t drink enough water.

Apparently if we don’t drink enough water we become dehydrated and just mild dehydration causes headaches, fatigue, foggy brain, dizziness, anxiety. Chronic symptoms include poor digestion, increased hunger and weight gain (as your body starts to mistake thirst for hunger). The more severe symptoms are scary and include brain swelling and seizures (source).

John 7:37-39 says this:

37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Here the Lord describes the Holy Spirit as living water and what does water do?

It refreshes, it restores, it keeps us alive, our body uses water to maintain our temperature, to keep all our organs working properly. It is very very important to keep drinking water.

It is also very very important to keep drinking of the living water as it will keep us spiritually healthy, it will also refresh and restore and fill us with the joy and peace that only comes from knowing the Lord.

All that the Lord requires of us is to be thirsty, however as we can ignore our thirst for water and start to mistake it for hunger we can do the same spiritually, ignore that thirst and don’t seek and ask for the Holy Spirit then that thirst will go or we will seek fulfillment elsewhere (which will leave us unhealthy and unfulfilled). I am so grateful that The Lord gives us as much of His living water that we ask for, we never have to go thirsty again and I pray that as I need to remember to keep drinking water I will also keep asking the Lord for His Holy Spirit and receive all the wonderful gifts that that entails. Thank you Lord

 

 

Christian growth · Lessons from Motherhood

Moaning

As little S is now in full toddler mode, he is becoming more independent and insisting on his own way. This has so far been a learning curve for me and Im finding it hard not to be frustrated and to practice patience. Being 8 months pregnant does not help with this 😉.

The Lord God also became frustrated with the Israelites after they were freed from slavery in Egypt. They complained about everything despite the Lord providing food and water and shoes that never wore down.

Listening to little S has made me realise how frustrating it is to provide for someone and then they moan at you. He is such a lovely little boy and I love him dearly but this doesn’t mean that as he grows and pushes his boundaries that it isn’t hard some days to communicate to him when I know whats best.

Thinking on this reminded me of the times I have moaned about things and asked for an easier path. I am so grateful that The Lord is gracious and faithful and kind and patient as I struggle to be and I am reminded how I must lean on him and ask him for His strength to be these things towards my little boy.

2 years ago I prayed for something that I now have and I have been moaning about it, I have been ungrateful for this answered prayer simply because it wasn’t answered in my time and it wasn’t what I expected it to be. Oh how I am just like my little toddler! But God continues to bless me, continues to help me grow and learn in the difficult days so I can be more like the Lord Jesus.

Oh what a wonderful God I serve! One who’s mercy is there for me as it was for the Israelites.

Hebrews 13,8 Belper Coppice 22.11.08

 

Christian growth · Uncategorized

Pacing

I have recently started going out jogging with a friend, she is a lot better than me as I am just a beginner. I never realised how satisfying it is to run and I am enjoying it a lot but I am finding that I can’t go as fast or as often as I want to. But I do not want to give up and I am learning a lot about what it means to persevere and pace myself.

I have found out than when you run you have to set a pace and to me it feels like I am going too slow at first but I have quickly learned (the hard way) that if I start off too fast then I can’t keep it up so I have to start at what feels like a slow pace as, as I go on it does not stay feeling like a slow pace. If I start off too fast I run out of steam and wear myself out.

In Hebrews 12:1 it says:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Here Paul is drawing a comparison between our walk with the Lord and a race and He says we are to do three things, lay aside our weight and our sin and run patiently. When I am running I think of this as I realise that I am in this for the long haul and if I don’t want to burn out I have to pace myself like I do when I am out jogging. Sometimes that feels like I am not doing enough but when it comes to a busier time then I realise that it was wise not to take on any more as I wouldn’t be able to do it all when life gets hard, or I get ill or when I have more things I need to do. And I am finding I need to be more patient at the slower times when my pace feels too slow more so than when it is ‘faster’, just like when I am out jogging.

There is only one way to be successful at this and that is explained in the next verse:

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Whether my pace seems slow or fast I need to always look to Jesus, remember who He is and what He did and He is the one who will get me through.

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Christian growth · My Faith

Cleaning up

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Like all toddlers Little S is messy. He likes to stick his hands in his food and smear it everywhere, he likes to pour his water all over the carpet and down himself, I have to keep crayons and such out of reach because I know he will use anything he can find as a canvas. He loves to play in mud and soil and has attempted to eat various creatures such as snails and slugs. I know this is very normal and He is just exploring and learning about the world around him. I actually enjoy watching it and I love to see him learning and exploring. It does mean more work for me however and I have discovered that if I don’t clean up straightaway I am in for a lot more work later on.

Food goes hard and crusty, clothes covered in water if left in the basket go moldy and well if your little boy has slug guts on his hands and face you just need to get that wiped up I don’t need to explain that one.

As I was trying to scrub up some weetabix off the table from little S’s breakfast I thought to myself how if we don’t deal with sin as soon as it crops up then that too gets harder to deal with later.

In 1 John 1:9 it says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Isn’t that amazing? with the verses before and after it reads this: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.

To know God and His word is to know that we are sinners so there’s no point in trying to hide it or deny it, just confess it all to God and He will forgive us. God will not be shocked by anything you say.

But if we don’t confess it and let it fester, it disrupts our relationship with him, just like Little S’s weetabix your heart gets harder to Him and to His word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We move away from Him and old habits and things we had been healed from such as bitterness and resentment start to set back in, in essence we go moldy like unwashed clothes. Instead of just going to him to be cleaned and cleaned straightaway we mess it right up and make it harder on ourselves than we need to.

As I clean little S’s messes up that he makes because I’m his Mum, God will cleanse me when I go to him as He is my Father, all I have to do is ask.  He wont get mad He will just help me to turn from it and teach me a better way. And He will not give up on me. He will forgive me and we can move on. I don’t remind Little S of his messes and God will not remind us of ours. Don’t let unrepentant sin come between you and your Father, you don’t have to confess to anyone else, just Him. He has promised to forgive and He does not lie.