christmas · Testimony

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift

1 Corinthians 2:15

When this time of year comes around I like to remind myself of all that the Lord has done for me in the past year. Around this time last year we decided to try for another baby and now not only are we celebrating Christmas with little S we have a 3 month old as well!

When I had my breakdown at the end of 2009 I had the worst Christmas of my life. I genuinely thought that things would never improve. If someone had said that I would be celebrating Christmas 7 years later with my husband and children, estranged family and wonderful friends I would not have believed it.

Christmas used to be for me a time of panic and pressure, a time when I was reminded of how lonely and isolated I was and how difficult my illness made it for my husband. He wanted so much for me to enjoy it and I felt like I just kept letting him down. I would go online and see my family enjoying Christmas and I would be bitter and angry that I was so unwell I struggled to even get out of bed.

Now I know Jesus Christmas is a time that I am reminded of my assurance of salvation in Christ. It’s a time where I feel incredibly grateful for all I have. I now feel excited when I think of my future instead of dread and fear.

I can do things, get out, go to parties. I can enjoy the company of those I love and go shopping for gifts on my own!

However that pales in comparison to how wonderful it is to be in the care of our almighty God, knowing He loves me and has forgiven me through His wonderful son and my saviour. So thanks be to God for this indescribable gift, the best, the first and the only gift that matters. This time next year most of us will have forgotten what gifts we received this Christmas but God’s gift to us is eternal and will never fade, break or rot. Have you accepted this awesome gift?

Happy Christmas!

Lessons from Motherhood

Tantrum

Romans 5:8 Christ died for us

We are going through a season of tantrums. Since little A was born little S has been pushing his boundaries more and more.

Most of the time he just has a little moan but sometimes he will go off with full force on the floor screaming, arms and legs flailing oblivious to everything around him. I have tried to comfort him but that seems to make things worse.

It breaks my heart to see him like this and no amount of talking or offering comfort seems to work, all I can do is sit and wait for him to calm down and realise I’m there.

The Lord says,

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28)

But, like little S I ignored His offer of comfort and got myself into such a state that I felt there was no way out. It’s only now I understand that that would have broke His heart.

Are your circumstances overwhelming you? Has sin and guilt got you so tight you feel there is no way out? Are you desperate for comfort but all you can do is hit out at those around you?

He’s waiting for you, He knows your pain, He has the answer. You just need to go to Him, ask for forgiveness and you will be saved. Believe me there is no peace like it.

Lessons from Motherhood

Smile

Little A is now starting to smile, I can see his eyes beginning to focus in on things and when he sees me, he beams. It’s beautiful to see. He’s been looking around for weeks, following our voices and trying to see us.

One of my favourite hymns is written by Fanny Crosby, called my saviour first of all it talks about opening our eyes and seeing Jesus and knowing instantly that it’s Him.

Much like when little A’s eyes focus in on me and I almost see him realise I’m his Mum, the one who has been gently holding him and talking to him since he was conceived.

Seeing the joy in little A’s eyes reminds me of the joy to come when I open my eyes and see Jesus. Right now I see through faith, I hear His voice in His word and see His creation. But one day everything will be clear, I will have understanding, I will be held physically by Him, I will be able to put my head on His chest, like John did at the last supper.

Meanwhile I wait in anticipation while seeking Him, speaking with Him, reading His word and enjoying all the pleasures He has provided including my beautiful boys wonderful smile.

A Christians guide to the internet

Ways Christians Can Share Online

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord

So far most of the posts in this series have been about avoiding pitfalls on the internet and learning what it actually is. I thought I would move onto something else in this post and that is how we can use the internet as Christians to share, to learn, to connect and deepen our walk with the Lord.

This week I want to share a few ways you can share Christ and your life with Him. We have talked about practicing discernment in what to share in a previous post, so what sites are there available for us to share on?

The most well-known sites are the social networking ones, these are sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, etc. there are many more but these are biggest and most popular right now.
Facebook and Google+ are sites where you have a profile that you can choose what to put on, you can share about yourself, where you work, your education and photos, and also you can go on there and update your profile as many times as you want with a ‘status update’ which will show up in your friends (Facebook) or circles (Google+) newsfeed. You can make your profiles private so only those you accept as friends or into your circles can see them or you can make them all public, or you can do both when you write a status or share a photo you can pick the option of who can see it.

Some ideas of what you can share on these sites are:
Events from church, or publicise anything that is happening in your area and or church. You can share your testimony, both in status updates and or in the info about you on the profiles and you can share photos or pictures. You can share the Bible and any links to other sites that share Christ or have good information on them that you feel would be useful to others. I am sure there are many other things you can share also, it all depends on you and what parts of your life you want to share. Or whether you just want to share the gospel on its own.

Twitter is slightly different as it is basically just status updates, you only get so many characters to say what you wish to and once again you can share this with the public or just those that follow you.
It’s a good site for publicising charities and events and sharing quotes etc. I know people who use it for bible studies and sharing the gospel which is wonderful but be aware that the characters are limited and can very easily take things out of context which can cause confusion.

Instagram is a popular photo sharing site that is just on your phone. This is good for sharing photos of your life and you can write a decent amount under your photo as well, it can be a good place to share the gospel and your testimony and life with Jesus.

If this is something that interests you I would recommend praying about it first. And when thinking about which site suits you best ask yourself, how much time do you have to spend on this? What exactly do you want to share? Some people prefer to not have any information about themselves and just share the gospel, some people want to share about their relationship with Jesus which includes sharing about themselves also.

It can be tempting to jump in on them all but, over the years I have found that at least on one site you share on try to take notice of the people you share with, some of them may be real life friends and family some of them you might not know that well but it is nice to actually connect with people and show them the love and care of Jesus, don’t just share, but read what others are sharing about their lives, do they need comfort? Do they need prayer? Remember they are human and Jesus died for them also. How we treat others online is just as important how we treat them off.  Just because there will be a lot of people who aren’t authentic with what they share and say doesn’t mean we need to follow suit or avoid putting ourselves out there. People appreciate it if we let them know we have taken notice of what they have to say, even if it’s just a like.

I have made some wonderful friends online, not all Christians but all of who I care about deeply, I pray for them and I check in on them if I haven’t heard anything for a while, and they do so for me. I may never have met them but that doesn’t stop me from caring. And when I came to Jesus He gave me more love and compassion for those people and put more into my life whom I care about very much. I am someone with a long term chronic illness who has spent many years unable to get out and meet people and for people like me meeting genuine, caring people on the internet has helped me a lot.  The internet has meant I have been able to connect with family I haven’t been able to see and find out what is happening in their lives, pray for them and with them and, as I can’t get to church often the same goes for my spiritual family as well.

The Lord has put people in my life who have been a great blessing to me so don’t forget to ask Him to guide you and bring others into your life that you can connect with. If you pray this and mean it, He will bless you for it. We live in a fallen world, which is reflected online and, even if those you talk to reject the gospel outright that doesn’t mean we should stop caring about them because God never does.

I hope this series has been of some use and do feel free to share it with anyone you feel may find it useful. Also if there is anything else you would like me to talk about please do leave a comment.

Lessons from Motherhood · My Faith

Thankful

Psalm 100:4I was chasing Little S around to put on his jumper before we left the house, he was not happy with me and protested vigorously.  Finally I was able to distract him and get it on, after many tears once it was on he tearfully and quietly said ‘thankyou Mummy’. I smiled and gave him a hug and said ‘thats ok, sweetheart’.

Gratitude is something that has been on my mind recently, its something that has been bought up in my fellowship group also.

In the Bible it says in 1 Thessalonians 16:18:

16Rejoice evermore. 17Pray without ceasing. 18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 

It is Gods will for us to give thanks in everything, whether pleasant or not. Little S thanks me and others a lot, weather its because we’ve given him a drink, an ice-cream and sometimes when I’ve done something that’s good for him even if he didn’t want it at the time.

In life we go through different seasons, somethings are just rubbishy and we don’t feel very grateful, but the word doesn’t say we should feel grateful, it says we should give thanks and that’s a different thing entirely. Jesus understands our pain and suffering and He does not enjoy it when we do suffer. However sometimes things are good for us even when we don’t want it. And God is always good, even during those times.

For me, gratitude isn’t an automatic thing but I’ve been thinking about ways I can be grateful and try to look for things to be grateful for, remembering that its the giving of thanks that we are commanded to do. Sometimes it helps to even write things down, then we can revisit when things get tough. We are not to be religious about it we don’t need to force anything, we can ask the Holy Spirit to show us and help us have a grateful heart towards Him. Anything that requires us to lean on Him, is a good thing.

I pray I can be like Little S and give thanks even when I feel grumpy and I am very grateful to The Lord for my little boy and the lessons I learn from being his mum. And the fact that he says thank you!

What are you grateful for? Give thanks to God today and remember His goodness in all things.

Lessons from Motherhood · Uncategorized

My Refuge

7 weeks ago the Lord blessed us again with another baby boy, our hearts are full and our home is complete with this little soul. It has been a very different experience than with little S but my love for little A is just as much, he is a very expressive baby and he has bought us all such joy.

One thing I am finding a bit harder this time is that I am unable to hold him as much as I did little S, I hardly put little S down but, this time I have a toddler to look after as well. However, I hold him as much as I can. Like little S he prefers to be in my arms and sleeps so much more soundly there. He doesn’t like being away from me right now as even though he is only a few weeks old, he knows who I am and that I love him deeply. He knows in mine (and his dads) arms is the best place to be as we provide his food, his comfort, his warmth, we hold him close and keep him safe. We are his entire world and he desires to be held by us. He can’t see us clearly but he knows we are there and that we are the ones who provide for him.

This is how it should be with Jesus, we are His children, He is our source of spiritual food, He is our comfort, Our peace, our safety  and He loves us deeply. He is the one who holds us close and loves to have us in His arms more so than I love to have my babies in mine. Go to Him, He is waiting to embrace you and hold you close.

For I both lay down in peace and sleep, for you, Lord, only makest me dwell in peace. Psalm 4:8

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I drew this one night when Little A had fallen asleep on me as I mediated on this blog post.

Lessons from Motherhood · My Faith

Temptation

Being a Mum has taught me a lot about my walk with the Lord, it has shined a light on many things I do that I had no idea that I was doing.

Little S is now a full on running about, into everything toddler, we have found ourselves moving things higher and higher until even we can’t reach it.

We have a cupboard that had DVDs in it, once little S realised how to open the cupboard he was finding it loads of fun to pull them out, take of the covers and run around with them. So obviously I had to tell him to stop, a few times but eventually he got the picture. One day I watched him slowly move over to the cupboard, open it, and stand in front of the DVDs jumping up and down and getting upset because he knew he couldn’t touch them. I was right behind him telling him it was OK and showing him all his toys that he could play with but he wouldn’t acknowledge me. He got himself in such a state that I decided to move them elsewhere and put his toys in the cupboard instead.

It made me think… How many times have I been faced with temptation and refused to look around to my father who is waiting to help me?

The word says: 1 Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

I was right behind little S ready to help him he was surrounded by his toys all of which he was allowed to have but he still stood in front of the DVDs getting very stressed. How many times has my Father been waiting to help me? How many times have I forgotten all the wonderful gifts and joys knowing Him has brought me because I was so focused on something that I shouldn’t have or do, something that would cause me harm. Forgetting all I had to do was turn to Him?

I ultimately ended up moving the DVDs and I know there are times that The Lord has removed something from my life that was interfering with my relationship with Him and if we do fall The Lord is so gracious and merciful as: