Saturday, 31 May 2014
The Lord has been impressing upon me over and over lately a concept of being clothed. I like that. Clothed in Him. It sounds nice. It sounds lovely. Ah yes, that lovely radiant robe that He drapes upon me when I walk through the doors of Church and I suddenly feel amazing. Light. Free. Secure. Okay, but truth is. Sometimes Im left wondering how come Im walking around in something that feels more drab than fab. And why my insecurities seem to be on parade, instead of the confidence I have in Christ. I was talking to a dear friend in Church today about thanksgiving. She made a comment "A garment of thanksgiving is something we have to put on". Isaiah 61:3 Ugh. How real a truth!! We often forget that if we are to walk clothed in the righteousness of God, and under His beautiful radiant robe of royalty.. we must actually put it on. And that requires us first, to take something off. Our pride. Im going to get real here. You know that drab garment of shame that you wear for comfort, because someone falsely accused you, misused you and said all kinds of nasty things against you?? ..... You know why you hold onto it so tight? Because of your pride. Inside your screaming "I dont deserve this". Yet acknowledging the undeservedness, you somehow cant get rid of it. It seems to hang off you like a repulsive odor from which you cant smother enough talc or perfume to rid the stench. The truth is. How undeserved the treatment was, inside your pride cries out "Im worth more". The Word says this: Philippians 2:5 "You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had.. he made himself nothing". NOTHING. Harsh words, criticism, pain, wrong treatment. They are inevitable. Yet you have a choice. You can run around like a mad nutter in self defence and hurt, unforgiveness and with a determination to right the wrongs, clear your name, give your side of the story..... OR You can stand before your foe, the Enemy, and say "you are right, I am NOTHING. I may not have been guilty of what you accuse me of, but I am guilty of so much more. Amy Carmichael has a quote that has profoundly changed my life.. "If I feel bitterly towards those who condemn me, as it seems to me, unjustly, forgetting that if they knew me as I know myself they would condemn me much more, then I know nothing of Calvary love." Condemnation is from the enemy of your soul. It is the most strategic attempt to have you rushing about and pouring all your energy into reminding yourself why you are worthy of so much more. Jesus has already paid the price for you. He already has ready for you a garment, a robe of righteousness that is UNDESERVED AND RADIANT in Him. Want it? Then choose to put it on. How? Take of your filthy garments of sin. Ephesians 4:20. Envy, pride, anger... Give thanks! 1 Thess 5:18 Know whose you are, not who you are Psalm 45:13-14. Dont buy into the fear that will try and cripple you into being who they think you are. It wont work to know who you are, or to 'find yourself' or even to just 'be yourself'. When you know you are child of God, a daughter of the King, when youve spent time at His feet, your behaviour will follow accordingly. It wont be contrived or performed, it will be an overflow. Rest in His faithfulness Deuteronomy 29:5. His garments never run out. Ever.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
“If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about the one who has disappointed me; if I say “Just what I expected,” if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary Love.” ― Amy Carmichael, If. Sam and I were talking last night. Our conversation was on the tendency to grow old and disillusioned with man. In general. I have friends who I know find it near impossible to trust people. Ive heard more times than I dare count "I dont trust anyone" and I have had a huge number of people tell me increasingly, their despondency towards Church function and its emptiness. And I get it. So we asked ourselves a question... how do you come through 'alive'? How do you accept others, but not carry their 'junk?' How do you trust, but not go to your grave disappointed? How do you reach out, but not be trodden on? How do you believe all things, but not be made a fool? How do you hope all things, but not be left despondent? How do you love, and not walk in hatred? What if you dont want to be a doormat?.... So what is the answer???? John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. What if you went to your grave: Treated as junk. Disappointed by others. Trodden all over. Believed to be a fool. Hated. And what if you found that Jesus was glorified in those things. That He was enough. That you were so consumed in His love, that nothing could quench your desire and boldness to live out love as He lived it. What if you chose the low road, so that others could climb higher. What if you chose to be a doormat, so that someone could have cleaner shoes for the journey. What if you were okay to be hated, so that someone could seek wholeness. What if your expectation of man was faith. All the time. What if love believed the best...... Choose to be the 'if' today.
Sunday, 11 May 2014
Sam is my methodical organised thoughtful husband who comes with a streak which to me, is like the cherry on top.. his spontaneity. It was a surpise I discovered in marrying him and watching him grow into Fatherhood. I wondered how he would cope with the day to day mess and unpredictability of parenting. Just go into his garage and look at how its all set up, and you will get why I may have had a bit of hesitation into how he would adjust. Id be lying if I said there wasnt a small amount of adjustment.... by ME. Alas, it is I who found that little pieces of lego on the ground, diecast cars under loungesuites and unflushed toilets would grate on my patience. I lost count on the number of times Sam came home, stepped over toys and said "ah hun, dont worry about that!". In fact, pretty much the only thing that he cant stand is kids with sticky fingers on windows, walls and furniture. Hence to say we now have a pretty rigid rule of conduct in the food department. But back to spontaneity. Sam loves to do randomn things on the spot. Just for the fun of it. Our years of parenting, hence, have been filled with seasons and sunshine which, for our kids, are the norm. Yet to me, these moments have often been the reason to breathe, smile and treasure the now. On Mothers Day, it seems fitting to simply say, I think its these moments that have made motherhood so wonderful. Theyve been rides on the dolly cart, after dinner walks up to countdown in the dark in jackets and hats, drives over to the ships to sit and watch them being loaded, traipsing up to the quarry to go on adventures, walks to the sandy beach to throw shells and catch bait fish, sliding down the stairs, nerf dart challenges, trasma car races, evening trips to nanny and grandpas for a swim and a drink... I could just go on and on and on. Every season Sam has filled with fun, things he's not done once just to say "Arent I a good dad". Things not just done with half hearted enthusiasm. He loves it and will literally spend HOURS at it, no matter what. Last night was one of those moments. Id had a roast beef in the oven for the afternoon on slow cook. Id just pulled it out and left it to rest and was about to throw on the veges when Sam announced "come on, lets go out for tea". Experience has taught me not to rationalize these moments too much. The meat can be used on sandwhiches and cold for another night and the housework can wait, as can my need of a shower. We threw the kids into thick jackets, hats and scarves and bundled ourselves off in the car in search of a place to eat. I even purposefully left the camera behind. We eventually found a park down town and wandered to the busy local Pizza joint for some gourmet pizza and hot chips. Sitting there with him, looking at them, I found myself pausing to simply admire each of them and relish that they are the loveliest company I could ask for. I couldnt tell you for a second who else was in the restaurant, or what else was on the menu. Our hot chips were to die for, especially lashed in love. And best of all, I wasnt distracted by trying to take photos to capture the moment or prove its authenticity. We were all just wonderfully there. This morning when I woke up for Mothers Day, I was greeted with a son who had made me crackers, a crumpet and a licorice stick in a happy face, for breakfast. The next son gave me hot coffee and a more nutritious offering of peanut butter toast complete with vouchers for pampering to be redeemed at set times throughout the day. And my sweet gift loving son made me a beautiful card and presented me with a hyacinth plant. I smiled as I saw how Sams love of spontaneity had rubbed off on these precious wee men of ours. It caused me to ask... what is spontaneity? I think Sam has shown me that spontaneity is the gift you give of saying "let me give you joy, right now!"... and finding joy in the process yourself. Ive needed that gift much more than even I realised. I wonder how many around me need that gift a whole lot more to: the gift of joy, just because, just because youre worth celebrating life with. We could all do more of that couldnt we?!
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
I love things miniature. I love things good. I love things that make you want to create. I love little happy worlds and happy endings and Sylvanian Families. When I was little, we used to have a small box frame with little compartments that housed copper kettles and pots and eeny mini kitchen things and it pretty much sums up the things I love.
Thursday, 1 May 2014
Last week, after I lost Poppy, God showed me a flash of a picture of her walking through a field. Not just any field,... one where the blades of grass are as delicate as running your hands through fur, where the wind paints gentle pictures in them, like a paintbrush through watercolour, where space is vast and mysterious and peaceful, yet never lonely, where home is the moment by moment enjoyment of all He has made. Poppy was wearing a white robe. Maybe a dress. It neither overwhelmed her or appeared heavy or cumbersome. It was elegant and fitting, and perhaps what caught my eye, was the red cord that sat around its edge. Symbolizing her belonging. Her status. Her price. I was telling Sam about this picture I had. I need to be straight here!.. this vision wasnt an hour long moment of peering into heaven.. this was like a flash of a dream, where what I saw burned across my mind. And one thing in particular: that red cord. Think of the most beautiful deep shade of crimson red you can here on earth. Think of this: if you were to paint it.. if you were to create that colour.. what would you use to create that depth? I was trying to explain this to my husband, trying to put into words what it looked like, or to what I could compare it, when the words came tumbling out of my mouth "its like the blood red that you can only create when you mix it with a shade of black, or a base of black... but in heaven, there is no black". I laughed even as I spoke it. Of course there is no black in heaven. Black is what we call the absence or absorption of light. In heaven, there is no void of light, anywhere. Every colour is deeper and richer and vibrant than all the colours on earth put together. There is nothing to compare. If thats just a brief foretaste of colour, what does it speak of the character of our God? 1 John 5 says "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all". There is nothing in Him that is untoward, rude, unkind, ungracious, impatient, disrespectful, bitter, unyielding, unsympathetic or self preserving. He is simply incapable of it. You will never find a hint of black in His depth, because His nature is the complete opposite. Lets go on... that verse continues to say this: "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another" Want to know if youre lying to God, yourself and the world? Ask yourself this: Whom am I not in fellowship with? What have I done to make fellowship possible with that person? What have I held back from making that fellowship a reality? Oh its easy to presume to have done all we can... its easy to deceive ourselves that weve done enough. But light is a bridge. Light seeks your fellowman out and says "walk me over the bridge of your experience till I understand". Light says "nothing is too much for me to seek to be right with you, I will do whatever it takes". Light holds back no darkness, no animosity, no reserve of graciousness, or withholding of affection or care. Light never gives up. Light doesnt build walls, create excuses, or show dishonour.. It cant!... and if we are His, neither can we. John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.