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!

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.

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