Lessons from Motherhood · My Faith · Scripture

Burdens

Matthew 11:18-30The other day I was out walking with my Mum with little S in the pram. We walked through the woods and little S had a toddle, he became very tired though so I lifted him and put him in the pram, he was asleep within minutes. On the way back we came to some steps. I turned around and started to pull him up them. My Mum offered to help but I was weary as she isn’t used to the weight. I’m used to my little boys weight I carry Him everyday and He still can sometimes get too heavy for me. But it’s a shock to anyone who isn’t used to his weight to try and lift him so I don’t always say yes unless I really need to.

I wanted to share this because there is someone who carries my weight daily and the weight of all those who know Him, that is our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Unlike me with little S He will never grow tired, He will never need to put me down or grow weary of my weight and my burdens. No one else is used to my weight, no one else knows everything little thing that weighs me down, no one else can take it all, only Him.

We spend so much time and energy looking for people to help us, we place a lot of pressure on people, doctors, nurses, police officers, friends, family members and we grow frustrated and upset when they can’t help or live up to the expectations we have placed on them. I know, I’ve been there, I’ve burdened those I love heavily and I am now sorry for it. They aren’t used to my weight, they don’t carry me everyday like my Lord does, they are just human and its not fair to place so much on them.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t share our pain with others or ask for help from professionals, we should but we should also be aware that God is the only one who can truly help and those who have helped me the most have prayed with me when I can’t, helped me to turn to Him in difficult times and reminded me of what the Bible says about Him. He is the one I trust when I go to see a doctor or a professional, I take their advice because I pray about it first.

And that is how we should deal with our weight, take it to Jesus, give it to him, tell him everything and ask him to lift it from you. And He will.

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My Faith · Uncategorized

Confidence

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I recently read a blog post by a fellow sister in Christ about self esteem, its a good post as she stands against the self esteem movement that seems to be sweeping the Christian community. http://biblelovenotes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/self-love-is-bad.html

This post caused me to meditate on this issue as I find it troubling. Before I repented and made the choice to follow Christ. I had no confidence in myself and well, I still don’t. I used to be terrified to go out anywhere, talk to people, go on buses, go to the shops, talk to a group of people, speak up. Its something that has got worse as I’ve got older but even as a child I was scared to speak up, of being laughed at, I would wear thick jumpers and coats in summer and hide in the library hoping no one would notice me. I used to say horrible things to myself and about myself to other people, I believed that everyone didn’t like me and that they were right to.

Like I said I still don’t have any confidence in myself…but I go out, I talk to people, I share my testimony to groups of people, I get the bus regularly, I no longer say horrible things about myself that aren’t true, but this has nothing to do with self esteem or confidence in myself.

Its to do with Jesus. My confidence is in Him.

God doesn’t love us because we are wonderful or beautiful, it’s true we are made in His image and everything good in us is because of Him but we chose a different way and rebelled against Him.

God loves us despite of who we are (sinners) and when we see this, repent and trust in Jesus as our saviour and commit to follow him daily then we are clothed in HIS righteousness.

I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. – Isaiah 61:10

It means we can fully give everything to Him. We don’t have to rely on our own confidence, we don’t have to be wonderful or likeable or think highly of ourselves to be somebody, we are God’s children, He has made us somebody by the shedding of His blood. I find that so freeing, I don’t have to think about myself I don’t have to like myself, or even care what others think of me, I am loved by God, despite my failures. Isn’t that amazing?

Because of this I can talk to people, I can sing in front of people, because I do it for Him, for His pleasure, you don’t have to have self esteem if you esteem Jesus above yourself.

Because I have done this, the Holy Spirit lives in me, my body is a temple of Him, it doesn’t matter what I look like as He sees what is inside. Before I didn’t look after myself, I thought I was worthless, I didn’t see the point in even  dressing most days but now I am worth something because of Jesus, He has made me a daughter of God, and so I look after myself. I keep clean and look after my clothes. I am not attractive, I have hair growing out of my chin due to PCOS but I am more concerned about whether or not my heart is attractive. (This doesn’t mean I’m not tempted to be vain because I am and I’ve had to turn to Jesus for help more than once)

Before I felt I was useless, I couldn’t work so that meant that I couldn’t contribute but now I work for the Lord and He can use me no matter who I am or what is wrong with me, I can be housebound, in prison, I can be in hospital unable to move or talk and He can still use me, I am still precious to Him and I am still His and destined to be with Him.

This confidence is so much better that the shallow confidence the world offers and what is sweeping though our Church. It’s real, it’s deep and it’s rooted in Jesus.

Paul said it best when he said everything he had was loss compared to knowing Jesus, this man was esteemed highly in the Jewish community and he was highly educated. He said this:

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ – Philippians 3:8

Knowing Christ to Him was higher than everything else, including all the things we strive for in order to have self confidence. It’s all loss compared to knowing Jesus, you can think as highly of yourselves as you want but knowing Jesus is the only thing worth anything.

If you are relying on your own self esteem or thinking of yourself more than Jesus or others, if you are doing things in His name but for your own glory or ambition then I urge you to turn to Him today and ask for forgiveness. He will forgive because He is the one who is great, not us and He wants to do great things though us all. For He loves us all the same.

 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

 

 

 

My Faith

First Fruits

Today I gave my toddler S an apple for his snack, he loves apples, all I have to do is core it and give it him and he will munch his way through it.

Something he loves to do is put some to my mouth for me to have, he isn’t content with me pretending, he doesn’t give up until I have taken a big bite then he carries on himself, gives me a bit more and it goes on until it is all gone. He gets great joy from doing this, laughing and giggling as I take a bite.

It made me think about how I use the fruit that the Lord gives me, do I keep it to myself or do I share it, do I give it willingly back to the Lord knowing that he will give me more? My little one is confident that I will not take it completely away, that he will not be left hungry, that I will give him the food he needs to grow and be healthy. Do I have that trust with my heavenly Father? Do I keep giving the fruit He has blessed me with knowing that He will continue to bless me with more? That He wont leave me hungry, that He will always sustain me and feed me?

S didn’t buy that apple, his parents did, his dad worked so he could pay for it. But he still gave me some, he still gave back to me what I gave to him, what he loves and desires because he loves me. Not only that, he gets joy from doing it! Do I do that? Everything I have is given to me by my loving Father, it all belongs to Him, do I just say thank you very much and keep it or do I use it, and give it back to him to use for His kingdom? Do I do it begrudgingly or with a joyful heart seeing Him use it and enjoy it? Me and my son laugh together doing this, it brings us closer and we both love to share this way. God wants us to have that kind of relationship with Him, He wants us to enjoy Him as He enjoys us. He enjoys our company and gets great joy seeing us laugh, love being with and sharing with Him. How awesome is that??

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

The Lord has blessed me with both spiritual gifts and natural gifts and I am overwhelmed by everything He has done for me and I know that He is pleased when I desire to give my gifts and the fruit He has blessed me with back to Him, that I use it to further his kingdom and give Him  glory.

S giving me His apple

 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine  Proverbs 3:9-10

My Faith

I called out to my Lord

I just want to thank those who have shown me kindness for my last post, I was in two minds whether or not to share these feelings but I do believe in order to be honest about what God is doing we need to share those things that aren’t very nice, the things that He is working on.

I said I was going to pop over and keep sharing Gods goodness to me and something happened yesterday that definitely shows His love and care.

I woke up feeling unwell and very tired, I was shaky and struggling to get up, I had a couple of nasty vertigo attacks which frightened me. They are a little more scary now I am pregnant and I worry I will hurt my baby by falling or walking into something. I knew I needed to get up to eat so I prayed and I kept praying I asked God for help, I knew there was no one else I could call on and as I walked down the stairs I kept praying, just as I got to the bottom there was a knock on the door. My Mum stood there on the doorstep in the pouring rain and I wept. She came and sat with me and we prayed together then she did a little housework for me while I had quiet time and then shared with her. She said that she came that day as she was in town but as she walked up the road she said to the Lord, I have a feeling I am meant to be here today. She doesn’t normally come to my home when she is in town as it’s a bit of a walk.

As I read my bible yesterday I got to the part where Jesus walked on the sea and got into the boat with the disciples. In that verse it states that they willing received Him and I saw that Jesus is always there nothing can storm Him from coming to our aid, we just need to ask for help and receive.

16And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

John 6:16-17

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My Faith

Trials

It feels like it been a long time since I posted something here, and it actually wasn’t. Its just a lot has happened.

Things are continuing to improve and I am still getting out more, I have managed some walks into town alone (wow) and have been out shopping with family a couple of times too. I am still seeing more of my family, we had a lovely bonfire night celebration at my sisters new home.

We are still continuing to do home improvements and are starting our living room at the moment. The garden is all packed up and hubby has a couple of pumpkins that he is very excited about trying.

However I am not sure if that’s all that I should be focusing on anymore. It is so wonderful to share how the Lord has been helping me in practical ways and I do love to share (and still will!) but it’s what happens in my heart that is more important.

The past month I have been fighting tiredness, fatigue and confusion again, I am not very motivated and I have been feeling a little down as I haven’t been able to do as much as I was and I haven’t done much at all in the way of creativity, there are reasons for this that I am not ready to share just yet. But I do really want to battle this though and the only way to do so is by immersing myself in Gods word, worshiping Him and thanking Him for the blessings He gives me. That is why I have come here as doing things like this online helps to motivate me and encourages me to be a little more disciplined. I have to say though this is nothing compared to what I have been though before and some of the reasons I am going through this are good ones. I know this will pass and I just want to use it as an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus and I haven’t been doing that. I am hoping blogging about it will help me.

I ended up having to move my blog, it looks a little different now, I simplified it so I can just concentrate on getting through this down time and, hopefully I can share how knowing the Lords helps this. Just because I have become a Christian doesn’t mean that bad feelings go or illness or pain yes, He does take these things away for some people, but I don’t know of any instance where He takes it all away. I have a few theories why, but who am I to know or question this? However if you wish people to come to you because they want to know and love you, giving everyone what they want isn’t really going to achieve that. Plus, how do we grow and change if we don’t go through trials? How do we get stronger in Him, how do we learn to care about others if we don’t understand what it feels to hurt? And the wonderful thing about knowing the Lord is He carries out burdens when they are too great so we don’t burn out and we can come out stronger for it, leaning in His strength.

I know that if I have the right attitude about this I will come out with a stronger faith and a closer walk with Him. I have to admit my attitude hasn’t been great so far but everyday is a new day.

So, one thing is, I am going to start a gratitude journal again, I am ashamed to admit I have fallen into some old thought habits and have been a little self piteous. There are so many people suffering so much more than I ever have and have a better attitude than me and I have a great many things to be grateful for.  I shall share them here as I go along.

God bless

 

Month in review · My Faith

August

I am a little late with my overview of August. It has been a very busy time and so I am now very tired. However I am finding I am recovering so much quicker than I used to.

A few more milestones were reached in August though that I wanted to share…

This month I reached a huge milestone.. and that was I actually ate a meal out! I went to my in-laws for dinner, for the first time in 6 years and a week later I went to MacDonalds. I am actually not a fan of MacDonalds truth be told but it was the only place we could think of where I could try to sit down in a public place and eat where it would be quick and I could leave and not worry about leaving the food behind and wasting money. I haven’t eaten a meal out with husband since 2007. It was hard, I will admit. Even though I am slowly getting better, I really believe that, I am left with anxiety and agoraphobia. I am not surprised by this given how long I was isolated. But, with the Lords constant help I am getting out more. I really couldn’t do it without Him.

I have been spending some time at my sisters new house as she and her husband are refurbishing. It has been pretty amazing as it wasn’t that long ago my Mum moved and I couldn’t even go and visit her new house as I felt so unwell let alone help with the jobs of moving. They actually bought me the hatch to the loft to clean just because I felt so bad that I couldn’t help. And this past month I have been helping strip and prepare walls for painting, doing tip runs with hubby and generally trying to provide support to both my sister and her husband as it is a very stressful time.

We celebrated a birthday this month, my nephew turned 5! Usually I know we would say it went by quick but considering what has happened in that time and the fact that my life used to go by painstakingly slowly I have to admit I don’t feel that way 😉 It is wonderful to be able to spend time with him on his birthday though, before I would spend a maximum of 20 minutes there and be so poorly afterwards it would take a long time to recover. I was there 3 hours and even played pass the parcel.

I am still continuing to go into shops and that is going from strength to strength I have been wallpaper shopping with my sister and I have done a couple of weekly shops with husband, which, to be honest I am still struggling to believe.

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 Our lovely new heart, above our bed, a pressie from Little sis and her hubby.

We decorated our bedroom, we have lived here for 7 years and never decorated our bedroom, for many years it was left in darkness for somewhere for me to go when my symptoms became unbearable. Now as I sit here typing the curtains are open, the windows are open and it is clean and looking nice again.

I have still been doing a little exercise and have actually been out a couple of times for a jog! I never even did that when I was well! Starting off very small but even small was too big for me at one time.

I am still working hard to get my uni work done and a few more jobs in the garden have happened. Plus I am trying to do more around the house and lift husbands burdens he has been carrying for so many years. I am finding I am having to stop for periods at a time as I am getting very tired. I am still sleeping a fair amount during the day especially the mornings. It is a long process but one I feel more and more confident about each day.

Doing normals things is such a wonderful privilege denied to so many, I am finding that being able to do things such as house work, paint a room, go for a walk, go shopping, all things that used to seem like such chores and like there were better things to do now are such a wonderful things to me. Everything I do I do for the Lord. He sustains me, He renews me, He builds me up and He comforts me. When I get tired I know I can spend time in His word and talk to Him and He will guide my steps and reveal Himself to me He will speak to me and answer my prayers, relive my worries, and comfort my soul.

I look back to that day when I called out to Him, I was the lowest I had ever been, I felt I had no one to turn to, no one to help me out of the constant anxiety, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, pain, every muscle in my body was so tense and I had forgotten how to relax. Everything moved constantly and had for so long I didn’t know what it felt like to feel normal, to have normal feelings that weren’t extreme and unpleasant. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to relax. But now as I look back I am struggling to remember how it felt to be that unwell. All I remember is that, when I finally turned to Him I was helped though it by my wonderful savior. How he sits with me when I am scared, how He comes to me when I need Him. And how even though I came to him with selfish intent, wanting to be healed He still saved me and took me a better way, a way that brought me to know Him, an understanding of who He is and that all He wants is me to love Him, nothing more. He could’ve have just healed me then and there, I know he could but instead He has strengthened me, He has taken me down difficult paths and with His help He has taught me what it means to be a follower of Him and I am so glad He did this. By revealing Himself to me He has revealed myself to me also, I learned who I was and I didn’t like it.

I reached out my hand

 

Everyone has problems in this life, no one is exempt from pain, grief or worries. It is only by leaning in Him we come to realise that He is the only way to get though these times. And that His only priority is that we have a relationship with Him, forever. So He will use those times to teach us to trust in Him and His strength, He will use our pain to heal us and to change us. And, ultimately we realise it is not, nor ever was about us, its about Him. It was or never is about what He can do for us, but about what He has already done. That is when we come to a place of true healing. He didn’t have to create us, He didn’t have to give us this life, He didn’t have to come down and sacrifice His own life to get us out of the mess we had got ourselves into. He choose to do these things because of who HE is, not of who we are. Forgiveness is there we just need to accept it and receive the true healing of the soul.

Garden · healing · My Faith

Garden

I was going to post this last week but it ended up being quite a busy week as I was helping my sister with her new home doing a few jobs, tip runs with hubby etc as there is a lot of work to be done.

I was glad for the distraction as our pet bearded dragon died early last week and I was surprised to discover how used I was to having him in my living room, we got him not long after we moved here so it felt very strange for a while after he was gone. I also didn’t realise how much I talked to him! (I am not afraid to admit I talk to my pets ;)) not being able to get out meant he was company for me for a long time. Plus I had to face the fact that I couldn’t just leave the house to take my mind of it until hubby was home, I had to face it full on, this was a tough lesson I have to admit.

Anyway. What I wanted to talk about was my garden. Last year I shared how I wanted to grow a few things in pots to get me out a bit and hubby was very happy about this so he bought me a little potting bench for my birthday last year. Well I enjoyed it so much and the weather this winter was so mild that we decided to do some actual work in the garden as it had been neglected for so long. Hubby tried his best to keep the lawns down but holding a job, a business and then studying as well as taking care of me and the house meant the garden wasn’t a priority. But things are different now.

During the work

Hubby did all the big work, he chopped down the back hedge and took out a few trees at the bottom of the garden and we discovered our garden was a fair bit bigger than we thought! He built a raised bed there and we planted onions and potatoes. We bought him a little greenhouse as he wanted to grow tomatoes and they took off that much that we had to by another one just for them! He also seeded some pumpkins in there which have now been planted in the garden, also in his greenhouse he has grown some cucumbers, chillies, peppers and melons.  Plus I still wanted to grow some carrots in my pots again. Also just after my operation a neighbor came over with some peas and bean plants for us so we planted them also. How blessed are we?

How it looks at the moment, except that the onions are now strung and the potatoes are out, plus the trees have been moved as we need to cut the hedge again.

It has been a huge learning curve for us, some things have worked, others not so much, we are both really enjoying doing it together though and walking around the garden together with a cuppa discussing what needs doing next. I have missed doing things with him so much, I think that’s been the biggest blessing.

One of the casualties was a melon and a couple of pumpkins, the one on the bottom right is still going strong though.

God willing, next year we would like to do more work and grow more food, I would dearly love to get him a proper greenhouse if funds allow. I don’t think we will do as many things next year, this year was more about learning, seeing what we enjoy growing and what works and what doesn’t. And we have learned a lot. Though I do wish I had kept a journal on it so I think I might try and do that next year.

Some of the produce we have had from our garden

We definitely prefer growing food to anything else, even though I like flowers I like to have a ‘working’ garden. If that makes sense. Hubby has a couple of trees in pots so hopefully we will have some fruit as well. Though when we go on our drives we like to keep an eye out for apple trees and damsons etc. I will share about that in another post though.

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Almost forgot our peas! Didn’t get many but we have learned a few things if we do them next year.

Like I said there is more work to be done, I really want to get our little outhouse painted and more trees need removing but I am so pleased with the work we have done this year. It feels grand to have a project to do when last year I couldn’t spend more than ten minutes in the garden without feeling faint. I still do feel unwell but my stamina is definitely improving.

I thank the Lord for His provision and I thank Him for strengthening me more and more so I can do these things and get such pleasure from working on His creation. And enjoy spending time with hubby again, time is so very precious with our loved ones and I hope I never take him for granted ever again. I have to say being ill is very hard, especially when it was really bad but it has made me very grateful to be able to do some things again I used to take for granted.

God bless