Wednesday, 28 August 2013

MISSION Gabriel's Oboe

I was reading this awesome post today..

So awesome! I think I could well describe our marriage mission statement, its been 10 years in the refining and ever comes back to the Cross. But I think Sam, the head and leader of our home, would be best fit to articulate that mission. I did pause, however, to stop and consider what my wife mission statement looks like.

For a moment, I felt like I was dreaming of wedding vows again. It thrust me back to ten and a half years ago, and the day Sam and I decided we would attempt writing our wedding vows. Alone with our note pads, we scrawled out words and the purposes of our hearts. We attempted, somewhat youthfully, to articulate the commitment we were making to one another in full. And then we came together again and read our vows out. The truth is, we shed some tears, and laughed some... there were so many words and we had visions of our audience sleeping through it all.. so after all that, we came back to the traditional vows, as we felt that they articulated our own, without, well, so many words.

On our wedding day, I walked down the aisle to Ennio Morricone, Gabriels Oboe, The mission. My mission! To love Samuel James Cahill. We managed to hold back the tears long enough to say our vows with all gusto. Perhaps only Sam and I really understanding how much was behind everything said.

 Ten and a half years on, I think those vows define my mission statement as a wife, more aptly then ever:

Samuel James Cahill, I take you to be my husband
I take your name, I take the honour to be your bride, your prize. And in doing so, I purpose to be one that reflects the vision and nobility of your life- that all who see me, will know that you are a good man, a God fearing man. I purpose to seek Gods Word to live my life to His glory, and in doing so, to esteem Jesus, the champion and cord of who we are. Proverbs 31:23

To have and to hold from this day forward
I give you all that I am and purpose to guard sacredly all that you are. I purpose to care for my body as belonging to you, and to care for yours, and belonging to me. I will guard our intimacy as a secret garden, keeping my deepest emotions and thoughts hidden in Jesus, that it may be a place of beauty and colour for you and you alone.

For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health
I purpose to be your greatest asset, no matter the circumstances;
to smile in the storm, and let my face warm your day
to keep my voice tender and sweet
to affirm and encourage you with wisdom
to grace our home with faith, peace and joy
to pray for you daily and seek God to be the greatest cheerleader to you
to be industrious with my hands, efficient with my time, and use our resources to His best
to be content with little and with much
to minister to you with all my heart, even when you are unable to return it

To love and to cherish
I purpose to hold the Cross centre of all I am, all I do, and to love you unconditionally, as He has loved me, I purpose to create in our marriage a place of flourishing and life. To seek God with all my heart, that our marriage will nourish you, and be a place for you to grow in the Lord. I purpose to hold nothing back from you, to allow Gods Word to create in me a place where every delicacy is held for you. Song of Songs 7:13

As long as we both shall live
As long as I am alive, my love, I will count it my greatest honour, my highest mission and calling, to be Mrs. Samuel Cahill... and then let there be no more me.. just Jesus you see.

I love you.
Your flower.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Did not our hearts burn?

One of my favourite passages of scripture is in Luke 24. The Road to Emmaus.
Two men on a road discussing everything that hapenned with Jesus just being crucified. Everytime I read this next line, the hairs on my arms stand up.. "As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them".

As I sat to read and spend time with the Lord this afternoon, the words kept jumping out at me "come to me". It wasnt some half hearted call of small engagement. It was a beckoning of my soul for complete and surrendered reliance on Him.

How does that reliance actually look? I could not word it any better than Oswald Chambers; 
"We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self consideration enters our lives and down we go.. the things surrounding you are real, but when you look at them you are immediately overwhelmed, and even unable to recognize Jesus... you will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklnessness - being willing to risk your all."

Many times upon the road of my walk with Jesus, I have failed, like the two men headed to Emmaus, to see and recognize my Saviour walking beside me. I can identify with their sense of dissapointment, loss, confusion. My preoccupation with how I think things ought to have gone. v.21 "but (I) had hoped"

I vividly remember a time my expectation of how God might show up, was so challenged. It was weeks before my exams were looming and I know nervous trepidation was filling me. Perhaps having it drilled into me that my whole life course was held on the hinge of my academic success, had something to do with it. But I had been praying and I just wanted the Lord to speak. One evening, my parents asked me to join them for dinner with a couple in ministry, who had a son a little younger than me, who was down syndrome. This wasnt how I wanted to spend a potential study evening, or make new friends either, but I decided to honour my parents. I politely engaged in conversation throughout the evening and towards the end of the evening, I got into a small conversation with this guy. Not knowing anything about my circumstances, he suddenly told me "I feel God wants to tell you..." and proceeded to speak into my life. What he said, was clearly from the Lord, and changed me forever. From that day on, I decided, to never pre-judge the means and measures which God would choose to speak to me. 

I still need to remind myself however. 

Because circumstances dont always look how I thought they might look. And the ways in which Jesus speaks to me, arent the ones I would expect. Sometimes the disruptions, the inconvenient phone calls, the broken routine, the small, mundane, tiring, unglamourous, perplexing, emptying moments, are the very means by which Jesus chooses to reveal Himself to me.. where heavenly victory is forged. And He calls me not to question what He is up to..  but to be recklessly abandoned to the knowing that He is God.

Like the two men on the road to Emmaus, when the Word and truth soaks into my being, and I align my heart with the truth, there is communion. v31. "Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him"
They asked each other: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Dont you just hunger to know that burning? That fresh knowing that He is RIGHT HERE! The revelation of His Word in your life, real. More real than than anything. More real than your understanding of what the present circumstances could possibly mean.

He wants that for us. But it requires of us that we are willing to more than just wander a little down the road and ponder what we see. Ecclesiasted 11: 4 He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap. Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.

Dont look at the ground, or the signs of things around you, for a measure of how recklessly abandoned YOU should be to what God is speaking to you. Move forward, and know He is going to meet you. You will know He is there... your heart will burn within you.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


The other night, my eldest 9yr old son remarked that a storm was going to hit Tauranga. Not one for accuracy, he had overestimated the weather report. Still it was obviously enough to instill fear in my little 6yr old son, Ben, even though he didnt say anything.

The following morning, Ben appeared, he blinked his eyes open "hey mum, the tornado didnt ruin anything". We laughed together, I told him it had barely even rained.

He then told me how he had a dream that night. That a tornado was going to hit our home. I stopped in my tracks when he said "but there was a man in our house. He was big like daddy, no bigger than daddy, he was like daddy but it wasnt him. He wasnt one of us. He even let me snuggle him whenever I liked.   Here he paused, as his eyes lit up and his face glowed.. and he continued... and he kept our house safe. The house creaked a little, but it was fine" and off he went to pour himself rice bubbles.

But I, I could barely hold the lump in my throat. I blinked back through tears.

Imagine. Imagine a father that never minded you to climb onto your lap for snuggles, never minded you to seek comfort.. that was there for you, no matter how big and scary the storm outside.

And we have that Father!

God spoke to not just Ben, but to me. The accummulation of 'stuff' lately for me has felt tiring. I have felt my soul beginning to cower, diving for cover, trembling of the threatening storm. Its not one thing, just an amass of little things that mount up to a ominous weather report, hand delivered to my door by Satan himself.

The unfamiliarity of his knock is disguised by the messengers he sent earlier, to distract me. Im too busy weighing up how accurate the accusations of undeservedness are, that were thrown against me, to consider if his foreboding message is true. Surely, I tell myself, I have allowed and brought upon myself . Its me. If I could only do this, or do that, better, I would better have control of life?

Joy seeps out of my life, robbed from me with every accusation that the enemy drives in further.

So it was yesterday morning that I whispered to Jesus "can I climb on your lap?"

You know what he replied ;
"I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears. 
 Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame."

You know, the enemy will always drive us to look inside ourselves. Occupied by our complete inadequacy, we either get sidelined by fighting back to prove ourselves, or in drawing away in hate of who we are.
The answer to the storms in our lives, is never that we need to try to muster some internal change or attempt a renovation of our circumstances. Right in the midst of it, He lifts our eyes heavenward.. and there, and there only, is a security. And what marks me? RADIANCE! No accusation sticks, no shame, no fear, no measuring of who I am... but a life that reflects Him! 

Just like my favourite story "You are Special" by Max Lucado, the stars and dots dont stick. And all that matters is that we know we are His.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Dare Ye Ask?

Writing out my love story prompted me to pull out my journals from of old.
They are records of my conversations between me and Lord.
Reading through them, a smile crept over my face.
Sweeter than my love story with Sam, is my love story with Jesus. Nothing compares!!
And although I smile at how God weaved mine and Sams hearts together, what marvels me, is how HE alone fulfilled the deepest longings of my heart.

One of my favourite diary entries is marked on the 25th of January 2002. Less than a month before God whispered to me "Sam is your husband"..

God had already been speaking to me about trusting Him for that future man, that He delights in me, that He crowns me with love.. and on that day, I sensed God saying to me "Fleur, I cant wait to show you what a generous God I am"... and the prompting of my heart was this: DARE YE ASK?!

I know I must have had a mountain of desires I would have wanted to utter. But in my own handwriting I write "Lord, A Garden, please give me a garden to grow and a place to meditate upon You"

Can you just imagine it from Gods perspective. I can imagine Him up in heaven beaming with excitement
"Oh Fleur, wait till you see the garden I am preparing for you". I couldnt see it. In fact, my journal documents a feeling of being stripped, a knowing that doors were closing and a choice to trust my God, even when I didnt know what was next. He knew all the true desires in my heart and I knew that. I knew I could trust Him with what He deemed best.

Sam and I were engaged on the first day of spring 2002. On that morning, not knowing what was ahead, God gave me this verse

"See! The winter is past;
 the rains are over and gone. 
Flowers appear on the earth; 
 the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
 the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”

As if Jesus was leading me Himself blindfolded to a meadow and saying "Fleur, here is your garden!". 
Later that day, Sam surprised me and aptly proposed to me up in a tree. 

On our wedding day, Sam spoke to me these words "Fleur, your name means flower, you bring colour and fragrance to others lives, but most of all mine".

Reflecting on the story of my garden, I cannot help but love God more. My heart sings with gratitude!!

His orchestration of details and the knowledge of my heart... He was faithful to hear the cry of my heart and to take a simple offering of a prayer, a willingness to place my hand in His. And He honoured and blessed it FAR more than I could imagine!!

And if thats what He can do with a love story... imagine what He can do when we trust Him for every area of our lives. Imagine how He can weave His beauty in every area of our lives! We have only begun to taste of His goodness. We have only yet had a glimpse of what He can do, if we are willing to yield our will to Him and seek Him!


Luke 11:9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.


Thursday, 1 August 2013

My husband *is* my soul mate

Thats going to go down like a lead balloon I know.
But its true.
In the light of the popular viral email regarding there being no 'The One', Id like to beg to differ.
Id like to present my story...

Sam and I met on the doorstep of a home in Paparoa. Our meeting was divine in itself.

My brother, Chris, had travelled half way around the world to Texas to do a missions course. Sams eldest sister, Kathy, had travelled from where they lived in England, to Texas to do the same course.

A few years later, Kathy and her family decided to emmigrate to NZ. Kathy came out first and caught up with Chris, and met my family. Kathy herself said that from the outset, she thought I would be a good match for Sam.

Eventually the rest of the Cahill clan travelled out to NZ, except Sam. Our families got on great. One autumn day, my brother and I travelled up to spend time with the Cahills in Paparoa. And so it was, that on that day in1997, that I knocked on the door, and Sam answered and we met for the first time.

I dont know that I believe in love at first sight. But I will never forget that day. We immediately hit it off. We talked, we related and conversed as if we had known each other. I remember thinking of him "its like Ive known him forever". We brought mugs together on that day.. I still have mine! Sam told me he knew from that moment that we would marry. I distinctly recall having a conversation with God about this new guy, and how 'kindred' our spirits felt. And God whispered to me "come away with me, let me hold you in the secret places till its time to bloom".

It was many more years before God brought us together. And until then, my feelings for Sam sat sleeping, not even I, aware of them.

In the interim, yes, I did have my list for attributes I wanted in a future husband. But it wasnt on paper as much as it was in my heart. I cannot find any list in any journals, but I did keep a careful scripted journal of ways in which I was preparing my heart for 'The One'. Prayers I prayed, decisions I made to choose best over good. Commitments I made to honour him 'all the days of my life' before I knew him. Mostly my journal was a record of Gods work in my life, things He spoke to me. Sometimes I specifically asked God how to pray for my future husband.. and there were times He did show me. Some of those times, I now know exactly what was going on in Sams life there and smile at how I was a part of it  :)

I admit, I did believe I was going to marry a pastors son. It was ridiculously cliche, yet what I knew I wanted, was a man who loved God with all his heart. And this was my youthful definition of what that man looked like. I also knew I would marry a foreigner. Dont ask me why, I just knew.

Years and maturing hapenned and it was now 2001. Kathy was getting married. Sam had been over in America doing a Bible college course for 3 years, but was home for his sisters wedding. And I was her bridesmaid. We met up again at the engagement party. Sam ignored me for most of the night then eventually sat beside me and pulled out an album of his recent missions trip to China. It was obvious to look through his photos, that he was in love with Jesus. I determined to never act in a way that disrespected his passion for the Lord. To me that meant keeping my feelings buried, but my heart was falling for the Sam I was getting to know. We had many long conversations and each time we did, I grew more and more to respect this man.

Still I refused to allow myself to get caught up in any girlish notions or whims, and to treat Sam as a brother. The night before Kathy's wedding I sat on my bed upstairs in the Cahill home, reading and praying and wrote in my diary "God I want to marry someone just like Sam". A few moments later, Kathy sent me downstairs to grab a vase of water for her. It was late. I crept down so as not to disturb anyone, and there was Sam, coming to meet me with the hairbrush Id left out. We sat in the lounge and talked for a long time. About life, where we were at. .

The following day was the wedding. I worked hard to hide any growing feelings, but I was surprised at how warm Sam acted towards me. Towards the evening, I looked over at Sam and God spoke to me "He is your husband".  I reprimanded myself not to let my heart get ahead. The wedding was a special time of ministry for me and in particular, God had spoken to me about His faithfulness, and how He is able to bring good to me, even out of my mistakes. Kathy had chosen a song by Sara Groves called "He's Always Been Faithful". I loved it and purposed to go out that week and buy the CD.

That same wedding evening Sam arranged with my dad to come down a week or so later, "to help paint the walls" in our lounge. My curiosity of that situation was overtaken by how God had spoken to me through the Sara Groves song. My heart was lost in Gods tenderness and I decided I would go out and buy the CD. I was perplexed however, that when I went to buy it, I felt God tell me to wait.
That Saturday Sam turned up at our home to help me dad paint our lounge, and I immediately found myself 'girlish' in his presence. I drove off to my workplace, then as a Church secretary, and spent literally all day, tucked inside the office on my day off, keeping busy and determining to myself not to be distracted.

Finally my dad rung me late in the afternoon "sweetheart, you need to come home. I dont think Sam came to paint the walls honey". It was late that night, tense and tired from fighting this growing love, that Sam sat me down in my parents lounge, ready for 'the talk'. I was armed. I had my speech ready. I too had read the dating books and knew what to say. He would ask me if I had any feelings and I would reply "I am saving myself for 'The One' and until then, sorry, I do not want any dating relationships". The only caution I had in my spirit from the Lord was to be completely honest. That was all. I felt hugely confident in how this would unfold.

The lights were low and Sam pulled out a present for me. I opened it up and there was the Sara Groves CD that I had wanted. "How did he know?" I asked myself. He didnt.. but now he had my attention and my walls were starting to crumble.
Next came the talk. But instead of the speech I expected, he asked me simply this "are you attracted to me?". What?! I thought. What does attraction have to do with anything? But I remembered God cautioning me so I replied honestly "well, yes I am". I looked up into Sam's face and an indescribable knowing came over me. I was staring into the eyes of the man I would marry. I had known him all along but never known it was him. Was he everything I wanted on my list? You bet, and more!

Sam and I laughed as we talked and shared how the events had unfolded. His mum and Aunty had been in on the action, already approving his decision to come and talk to me. He had shared everything with his family and got all of their advice and counsel to begin a life with me. The following day Sam sat down with my parents and got their permission to court me with the purpose to marry me.

A year later, we married, our first kiss on our wedding day.

I know that not everyone has such a story. But oneday I will sit my own daughter down and I will want to give her Godly counsel to prepare her heart for the man she will marry.

I will counsel her to make a personal commitment for purity. That like me, she doesnt need a purity ring to mark the occasion, but a willingness to trust God that He has her best in mind.

I will counsel her to believe for Gods best, and to therefore live her life accordingly. To pray for a prince, and to behave as a princess.

I will counsel her to not make lists of ideals, but to share her deepest desires with God, and to keep her emotions, dreams and longings hidden between her and her heavenly Father. To trust that He knows the deepest longings of her heart.

I will counsel her to believe that God cares about the tiniest details and that just as He divinely lead many men and woman through the Bible, that He can also divinely lead her path

I will counsel her to save all of her heart, mind and body for the man who will win her heart

I will counsel her to remember that he is a man, a sinner and saved and therefore she will have to love him sometimes, when he is not loveable, and not find her fulfillment in him, but to be an encouraging strength and beauty in his life

I will counsel her that when she is willing to yield her plans to God and let Him hold the pen, that he can author the sort of love story that is a taste of heaven

I will counsel her to pray for peace that passes understanding and divine confirmation of Gods approval of their lives, because like us, when you have that, you never ask yourself "was this a good choice?"

I will counsel her that 'good' often arrives before 'best'. And to be willing to wait for Gods best. To never allow fear to motivate her decisions, or to worry that she will have to settle for good enough.

And when my daughter comes home from camp and tells me she cant wait to meet the man God has for her to marry, I will tell her "Me too sweetheart. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart". Just like my own mum did.

At this point, I want to take a moment to honour my parents. Mum and Dad, thankyou for never getting caught up in the 'purity ring' craze, or any trendy Christian 'thing' for that matter. I realised that I didnt need to be following any Christian 'trend' to have Gods best. Even when I nagged you and implied that you werent doing the best for me. Thank you for the countless times you quietly pulled me aside and counselled me. For reminding me to be like Sarah in the Bible and not give way to fear. Thankyou for the times you encouraged me to wait and trust God. You never painted an unrealistic expectation of a Mr Perfect who would turn up and be my all, you reminded me to love Jesus first, and that there would be a man for me. Dad, you cherished and loved me, and in return, my greatest expectation for a husband was just to be cherished that way. My ideals were high because you made me feel so treasured. And I was not disappointed.
Thankyou that when Sam turned up, you recognised his character and his intentions. If it werent for that, I might not have ever had that talk with him that night.
Thankyou for welcoming Sam into our lives, for giving my hand in marriage to Sam and for loving us as one.
Thankyou for a wedding day marked with so much beauty, so much blessing and detail. You made me feel like I was a rich and precious treasure and I felt so honoured by all your sacrifice and generosity.
Thankyou for your example and for being the BEST grandparents to our kids that they could ask for.

We love you. xxx