Tuesday, January 3, 2017

True Colours

 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7

Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other. Romans 15:32

The other day my husband and I decided to surprise our 4 daughters and take them to see the new Trolls movie. WARNING: There may be a few spoilers even though I tried not to.

There were a few things that were a bit dodgy in it but overall I enjoyed the message.
The Trolls are super happy all the time so much so that the always sad Burgens (huge ogery type characters) think that to become happy that they need to consume a Troll to be happy. They create a holiday called Trollstice and on that day they have a Troll feast.
Without giving too much away and then spoiling the movie for you, the overall message is that happiness is inside of every one of us. We do not need to consume to be happy. It doesn’t come by external means.

I thought about how so many people think that when they buy this thing or that thing then they will be happy. When they have that thing they aren’t truly satisfied. The Burgens thought that by swallowing a Troll that this would make them happy and it did for a while, until they needed their next fix of Troll.

Sometimes we can feel very unhappy and really sad and slip into depression. It is very difficult to get out of it.
One of the Trolls had something traumatic happen to him the result is a rather paranoid and grey looking Troll that doesn’t give hugs and doesn’t dance or sing. He is about as unhappy as a Burgen.
His other friends help him and get him to talk about his problems and he then gets shown how to be happy again. How to find that happiness that was buried and hidden away.
Later on the Trolls lose their happiness and turn grey and sad. The once unhappy Troll then sings True Colours.

You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then
Don't be unhappy, can't remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there
And I'll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

Having friends around you that can help you up when you are down and have lost your happiness is very important. I know that we don’t always feel like we have friends when we are depressed. The world becomes this small dark place.
Happiness. What is happiness really? We have happiness that comes from something funny that we saw or heard. We have happiness that makes us feel good for a bit until a new emotion hits like sadness. The one I am talking about is that state of being that trumps any other emotion. Joy. I know I have written about joy before and I am still trying to figure it out. But one thing I know is that joy is always there. I always have access to joy. I never have to eat a troll or buy a new handbag to get joy.
Life overcomes us though and sometimes we need a friend to come beside us and remind us where to find our joy maybe even remove the darkness that is blocking our joy.

Truth is we need friends in our lives. We need people praying for us and not judging us. People who don’t attack the way you act but who call out the joy. People who can see past the fa├žade and who see the hurt and try and hug it away and take us by both hands and pull us out. People who will fight for us.

Grief, loss, shame, hurt, guilt. Some of the worst feelings in the world. They tangle through our very being. They pull at who we are and try and unravel us. They leave us in a state of depression that we feel we will never escape from. Just when we thought we had reached a point where we have them dealt with we round a corner and they are there ready to assault us again.
Grief. A feeling that sits under the surface of your every day. You never know when it will come to the surface. Maybe a memory, a smell, a favourite flower. Sometimes in the quietness of the night. It sneaks up and pounces and goes through your heart and up out of your eyes in floods of tears. When it has been around a while it doesn’t come out in floods, it ends up sitting like a lump in your chest, refusing to move.

Loss. Similar to grief but disguises itself as something innocent but really it is fuel for grief. Loss reminds you. Loss tells you, you are alone. It tells you that you will never love again. You will never open your heart again. Loss breaks your heart and tells you it will never be mended.

Shame. Shame is that little creature that lives on your shoulder telling you that you are a terrible person for feeling bad and not knowing how to act properly. Shame tars your soul. It moves in and makes itself comfortable in the guise of self-improvement. Shame confuses and blinds. It steals your identity and robs you of your joy.

Hurt. Cuts deep. It aches and bleeds. Hurt leaves you gasping for air as it tries to expand in your chest. Unable to contain it you think you may burst, until you do and tears flow. Hurt is messy. It never puts on a well contoured, bronzed make-up tutorial with winged eyeliner. Instead it stirs up anger. It stirs up moods you didn’t even think were possible to express before. It makes you less likely to trust again and twists your view on reality. Something someone did or said will replay over and over in your mind and hurt comes back to remind you.

Guilt. Justified or unjustified, guilt is the knife that stabs you in the back. Guilt shouts ‘If only you…’ If only you had not done that or said that. If only you had it all together and you weren’t such a mess. If only you had told them you loved them one last time. If only you had gone and seen your friend that day. If only you hadn’t left them alone that day. If only. Guilt attacks your mind making you feel like you aren’t acceptable. Like you aren’t good enough.

Grief, Loss, Shame, Hurt and Guilt are deadly. There is no overnight cure. It takes time to work through these emotions. There is forgiveness. Forgiving yourself and others. But it is a process. Sometimes it needs to be a daily decision to forgive. There are times when you forgive and that is it you move on but when it is 3 degrees deep even surgeons know that you need to add extra stitches on each layer and then there is still the healing after. Some hurt, grief, shame, guilt and loss are not superficial. It can be layers and layers going deep down.

How do we heal these wounds? I found the only way is time, love and understanding. Not everyone knows or can know what you are going through just like you don’t know what others are going through but with a dose of compassion and genuinely caring for the other person you can dive into those dark places and bring hope to a dark situation.

God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He brings healing and He knows the best way to do the surgery that is needed. His hands are skilled at removing dead tissue and cleaning wounds from infection.

I know that in my own attempt to fix someone’s problems I have gone in with a spoon and tried to dig the hurt out of them. Like a bull in a china shop I have done more harm than good. Had I just shown love and looked passed the person’s anger or frustration. Had I look at the heart as God does and seen the hurt buried deep in their eyes, the grief that has lined their face and the heavy load on their backs. Get alongside people and help them up so they can see clearly. Find the gold inside and let it shine brighter than the ties that bind.

We all just want to be happy and have joy. Some have just been on a journey that has smothered this. That is why God gave us each other. To encourage when shame takes seat. To hug when grief leaves you speechless. To fill the gap loss has left. To bring hope when hurt has harmed and to absolve when guilt accuses.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Why I am all for Choice

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

I have been meaning to write this for awhile. It is a sensitive topic in a way and not one I take lightly. I don't wish to condemn anyone. That is not my intention. This post is not only about this one choice but also about the other choices we make in life.

You could say I am pro-choice however I am not pro-abortion. I am pro-life. I am not against the fact that you have the right to make a choice. We all do and that is how God created us. He created us with the ability to make choices to decide for ourselves.

In order for us to understand this gift of choice we need to first understand who God is.

Firstly God is Love. Love is free and cannot be demanded. God gave us a choice to love Him. He has the power to demand that we love Him but He understands that love is far better and more genuine when given freely. He loves is freely and unconditionally so when we mess up He still loves is because His love is not based on good behaviour. I love my children even when they mess up. I love them freely and they love me freely in return. I have never needed to demand that they love me. I wonder what would happen in our relationship with our Heavenly Father when we really understand His love for us and return it freely.
What would happen if we chose to love others the way God loves them, freely and without strings.

Secondly God is forgiving. He has already forgiven every one of our sins the moment Jesus took them upon Himself on that cross. Every single one of your sins. It doesn't matter how terrible or how small. We have been given a choice to forgive. We can choose to harden our hearts toward a person and suffer the consequences of unforgiveness or we can choose to forgive those who wrong us. Sometime that choice can take time and sometimes you will need to make that choice everyday until you come to a point where you have given it completely over. But you can make that choice. It is healthy for you to forgive and that is why we have been given that choice but again it is not forced upon us. We don't have to forgive but we need to forgive.

God is patient. He is so very patient with us. I am so in awe of how patient He has been and still is with me. He was patient with Moses and the Israelites for 40 years in the desert. If that were me I would probably not have been that patient after one year. Again we have been given a choice to be patient. We have been given the choice to throw a tantrum or to be patient with others. Often we look at others sins that they have been walking into over and over again and we get impatient with them while we with our so called minor sins continue to do the same. Going down the same road over and over. The same choices over and over. Patience with each other and our own individual journeys without judgement when we do not know the full story and we have not walked in the same shoes as another. Patience is a choice. If God has freely given us a choice of patience it is because He knows it is something we are capable of,

I could go on for days with who God is and I encourage you to look in your Bible for yourself all the things that God is and what He isn't.

The point is we have the choice to choose how we live our lives. We have God's Word that shows us how to live our best life. Choosing to love, forgive, be patient, extend grace, use our bodies wisely, be kind, care for our bodies and care for those who we have in our lives.

Some choices are easier than others to make. Loving my children is easy. Loving people who are nice to me is easy.
Then there are the not so easy decisions. Quitting smoking. Quitting a sugar addiction. Quitting drugs, alcohol. Choosing to abstain from sex, Choosing to wait for marriage. Choosing life. Choosing not to end a life.

Making these choices are not easy but they are possible. If they were not possible they would not have been given to us as a choice.

God has set before us the choice of life or death. He hasn't done that to be mean. He has done this because He loves us and wants us to freely choose Him. Without choices we are only mindless robots that do whatever God says. No one wants to be in a relationship where we have no choice. A lot of people are in these kinds of controlling situations and we protest this kind of oppression.

Choice is a gift.

So this why I am all for choice. But I do not feel that it is God's nature that He is happy with the choice we make to end human life. He forgives the choices we make that go against His best for us but for our own good and for our own health it is wise to choose the best choices for our lives.

People in my life have chosen to end their own lives. That choice did not only affect them but it affected everyone around them.
I could've chosen many times to end my life when I went through depression. I thought about it more times than I care to admit. It felt like the easy choice at the time. The harder choice was to fight for my life and do everything possible to get out of that hole. Relying heavily on God during this time was the best choice. Not easy but the best choice. There are times when the battle is to hard for people and it can send them over the edge and put them in a hole the will not survive. What happens in this is case is between them and God but He is a loving God and He looks at the condition of our hearts. He is compassionate to the broken.

A friend of min Kirk and his wife went through a pregnancy that made his wife very ill. Watch their story here. Instead of aborting their baby, they chose, despite the circumstances to trust God and go through with their pregnancy regardless of the outcome.

I have never had to make the choice to let my child live or die so you probably think that I don't have the right to judge and you would be right. I don't judge your choices but I am concerned because I only want the very best for you. I want you to get the very best out of this life.

Sometimes the hardest choices to make are the best choices. They build character and make us better people. Maybe the very thing you have struggled with and have overcome may be the very thing someone else needs to hear and be encouraged by.

Again I am not here to condemn you but to encourage you to hear God when it comes to making choices. Look to Him and not the circumstances. Circumstances today won't be the same in years to come. Life keeps on moving. New choices to make come up everyday. If you seek wisdom to make these choices you only need to ask God.

So what if you have lived a life of one bad choice after another? Well the beauty of God is that He is also a God of Redemption. He forgives your sins but doesn't leave you as you are. He always leaves you better than you are. He created you to be a whole and unique being and that is how He sees you and what Jesus came to do was to redeem your life to restore you to the person you were created to be.
But God uses everything. He turns all things to the good. What you struggle through and overcome He will use to help someone else who needs it.
You are not a lost cause. You are not beyond redemption. You do not to be perfect before you come to Him. You just need to freely choose to hand all your choices over to Him understanding that He desires the best life for you. He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you if you would only choose Him and invite Him into your life and every choice you make.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Compassionate Heart

John 11:35 Then Jesus wept.

I come across so many people from different walks of life, ages and conditions but when it comes down to it, right down to the person's soul and spirit these things are just labels. Age, health conditions and what has happened to you does change you but they are labels that people can look at and think they know you.

I met an elderly gentleman today who clearly had some form of dementia or health problem. He walks into the bookshop where I work and I have such compassion for this man. In his prime he must've been many great things. Admired and loved by many.

But today he did not feel welcome or loved. His family don't want to travel with him because his condition makes it difficult for them and I could go on a rant about this but I do not understand the circumstances that his family are in but I do find it a little sad.

I just felt so sad for this man, who now needs to deal with something that is out of his control. He is alone but he isn't alone because his faith is still there. In his walk of faith he met Jesus and Jesus is still there.

He quotes scripture about being the light of the world. That light being manifest through us and it being our responsibility to shine that light and be that light to others. I really hope that I was a light to him. That somehow I made his day brighter and happier. Maybe even eased his burden a little but I also pray that today he will have many more happy encounters today. That at the end of this day he will have a smile on his face and not a tear in his eye.

Compassion for others is a good way to live. Look past the exterior things of the life. The illnesses, the age, race, gender, history and look into their eyes. They eyes are the window to the soul. We do not look at a person's eyes enough. We don't really see a person for who they really are.

We can learn so much from each other. There are people out there really hurting and who feel so alone but we look at the exterior of their lives and think that they either have it all together and have many friends or that they are a mess and it is because of their poor choices and it is what they deserve.

Not everyone has it all together. In fact those who do look like they have this life sussed probably are struggling more than most of us to keep it all together and feel like no one really gets them. The person who is a mess and is falling apart and keeps on making the same mistakes may not listen to your advice today or even 10 years from now but one day they will remember your kindness. One day they will understand that you cared enough and didn't give up on them and that your prayers made a difference to them.

For the elderly who have lived full and active lives now slowed down by age and conditions, ask them about their lives. Most of them are willing to tell you what their lives were like when they were younger. How they learned from their mistakes and what they took away from it. How they lived their life for Jesus and if they haven't maybe you can be the one to be the light in their life and give them the hope they have been seeking all their lives.

As the wise Rafiki from the Lion King 1.5 said to Timon, "Look beyond what you can see" Look further, look harder until you really see it and there you will find compassion to develop your compassionate heart.

Pray for someone today that you don't know so well because you are very different from each other and ask God to reveal to you how He sees them. Celebrate that person's life and decide to see others this way too.

Blessings to you all.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Time for an Update

Hi everyone. I am still here. I haven't forgotten about you all. My days have been full of drawing, drawing, drawing and more drawing. There are only a few pages left to go before I can compile and publish my Adult Coloring Book.

With my self imposed deadline I have had to work fast if I want this book ready for Christmas presents.

September has been a busy month with my husband being away and the girls end of term things and meeting new people. It has been a very exciting month. I got back into contact with a penpal I have been friends with for 12 years. That was great. We just picked up where we left off.

This got me thinking a lot about friendships and about God. I have many friends around the world I have not met. Some of my friends live about an hour or so away and I have never met them and I guess that is the power of the internet. You can be in contact with so many people around the world and never meet them but still have a connection.

Although I haven't met God in person we still have a relationship. He lives in me. One day I will meet God in person which will be a great day but God is never far away. He isn't an hour away and He isn't half a world away. He is right here with us. We may not see Him as we would see each other but He is more real. We can have that kind of relationship with Him if we can have a friendship with someone we have never met in person and connect with them and be best friends then surely we can have a great relationship with our Father who is always there and always hears us. If the internet is down He is still there. When the lights go out He can still see us in our darkest hour. When the battery on your phone is flat you can still dial in to Him. When you forget your phone at home or your landline is down you can still reach God. Your line of communication will always be there. It will not be down for maintenance or destroyed by the elements and you never have to wonder whether He still wants to be your friend because of something stupid you said.

Unconditional, unwavering, not distracted, not easily angered.

Yet we take this relationship for granted a lot of the time. We get stressed first instead of praying. We focus so much on a problem that overwhelms us instead of praying about it. We don't talk to Him and then wonder why we aren't getting the breakthrough we need.

Talk to Him throughout the day. I don't know about you but I love it when friends want to talk to me and are in contact with me often and are interested in me. I don't like it when people are too busy to spend time with me and I don't like being too busy to spend time with friends. I can sometimes be too much for people or not enough but with God I can never be too much and I am always more than good enough.

He accepts me as I am. Yes He is working on my character and the Holy Spirit lets me know when I need to stop doing something but as I stand here today I am accepted.

You are accepted as you are right now. You do not need to sort your stuff out first before you come to Him and talk to Him. You do not have to wait for a better connection and you do not have to wait for better conditions. Get on your knees and talk to Him as you would a friend. He is always there for you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Your Calling a Blessing

Romans 8:30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

What is the Call anyway? I have always wanted to know what my calling was. What is it that God wants me to do? What does He want me to be? What am I meant to do now that will put me in the path of my future calling?

This way of thinking was getting me into a bind. I was asked so many times what my calling was. I didn't know and even at the age of 30 I didn't know.

Let me let you in on a secret. What you are doing now is your calling. What you will do in the future is your calling. Wherever God directs you is your calling and it may not be in just one thing.

There are many hats I wear but it doesn't make me many different people with different callings.

Our call doesn't always mean we need a qualification or certificate. God qualifies the called. He is the one that has created you and He knows exactly what your call is. Whether you work in office or at a school, at home with your kids or fight fires, if you are doing what you are passionate about and what you love and are shining your light in this world then you are called.

A call is not a mystical thing. For years I thought it was that one big thing I was created to do. I was looking at the future as a final destination. As if all my life would be leading to one great feat. What I didn't realise was that every little thing that I have done in my life has brought me to this point in time and this point in time will lead me to the next season which will lead me to the next chapter and so on until I am old and I leave this world. My call will never be done until I am called home.

I challenge you to be you. Be the you God has you at right now. By all means look to the future and don't look at your past mistakes and failings but look at what you have right now and how you can use that today to change someone else's life.

Had I not committed to Blogging I would never have had enough posts to put into a book that is now an encouragement to those who do not read on the internet. People who need hope can now read my words in their own homes as they deal with the hard things in their lives and I pray for each person that receives my book as I pray for each of you reading this.

Had I not pursued my love of art I would not have discovered that I enjoy doodling and that I can be of help to those who can benefit from art therapy or the simple joy of coloring in.

Had I not followed through with my maternal instincts and had not had my children there would be people out there that would not have met these beautiful girls and have been prayed for by them. I can't wait to see what God has in store for my daughters. Each of them are so unique and each have their own gifts and talents. They are destined to be world changers and prayer warriors.

We have been blessed to be a blessing. You have been blessed with just what you need to be a blessing to someone else who needs love and encouragement today.

If you do not know what your call is then look at your hands and ask what it is your hands have been gifted to do. If you have something on your mind, write or speak it out. If you are good at sport find a way to use that to encourage others either by joining a team or forming one. If you can draw, draw and keep going. If you can cook or bake use that to bake for someone that has been on your mind for a while. There will always be a way for you to help someone else or do something. It may not be the marvelous thing you thing a Calling may be but God cares about the small things and small things always add up to big things.

Dream big, live big but don't forget the small things in life that add up to some really wonderful things that can transform someone else's life.

You are so blessed, be a blessing

Monday, August 15, 2016

What Mary Saw

We all know the story about Mary and Martha. How Jesus came to visit and Martha busied herself in the kitchen preparing the meal alone and how she complained to Jesus that Mary needed to come help already.
I always identified with Mary in a way because I am pretty bad at housework and I like to avoid it as much as possible but I also identified with Martha's frustration over the lack of help because when I do clean my house really well it is usually only me doing the hard work and then an hour later it is messy again.

However there is one thing about the story that we sometimes overlook. This is not a story about who doesn't do work in the kitchen and who doesn't.

Mary wasn't just shirking her responsibilities she was sitting with Jesus. What did she see? I don't think she would be the kind of person to purposefully avoid helping her sister in the kitchen to prepare the food.

Martha complains to Jesus telling Him to talk to Mary and tell her to help. What Jesus says to her is interesting Luke 10: 42 “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I found over the last few years I have been very busy and rushed and attending to all the details. Even my prayers were rushed or were take away meals with Jesus. Come dine with me Jesus while I attend to this thing or that thing. I was so busy fixing this and fixing that in my own life that I forgot that the only thing I was meant to be fixing is my eyes on Jesus.

I felt guilty for not reading my Bible and praying for hours. I was upset that God felt so far away from me. I didn't only want to read my Bible because others were doing it and it was expected of me I wanted to want to read it. I wanted to worship out of a place of relationship and not from trying to be something.

My busyness was mainly a way to smother the difficult and hurtful things in my life. If I only kept myself busy I wouldn't feel so bad. If I keep busy enough maybe the grief won't kill me. If I were to fully express what I was going through I didn't think I was going to recover.

I wonder what would have happened if Martha had stopped what she was doing and sat next to Mary to listen to Jesus.

What would happen if I did that?

Well I did. This year I stepped away from the things I was using to hide my troubled soul. I had reached a point where there was a lot of confusion and torment in my mind and in my soul. My soul had become starving and was trying to fill itself with doing things that kept me busy. Only these things I knew were not what God would really have me do. Now don't get me wrong I learned a lot over the last few years. God used my bad decisions and motives and turned them for good.

As I stepped away and looked closer at my motivations and my decisions, God began to peel away the hard layers of my heart. These layers of hurt, grief, fear and shame. There may still be some left for God to fix but I feel softer. The area is tender and I cry a lot easier now. I cry when I am happy now.

I sat at my Saviors feet look up into His face as Mary did all those years ago and this is what I saw, this is what Mary saw, we saw the Father's love. We saw the one thing to be concerned about about all other things. When you sit at His feet all other things pass away and become meaningless.

If you tune everything out and listen carefully, He speaks and when He speaks you will never be the same again for He speaks healing and peace into your very soul, into your very bones and into your heart. That my friends is entering into His Rest. Entering His rest is not something you do or try. It is when you become hungry for more than just a take-away meal and you hunger for a 5 course meal with Him and "just one last cup of coffee Jesus before I go about my day?"

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Father's Heart

Luke 15:32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

There is something amazing about answered prayer. I have so many people on my heart right now. I guess I always have but there is something different about it. My viewpoint has shifted.

The last two weeks have been a shifting time for me. I am a big sister and the eldest in my family. Most of how I see things is processed through the big sister lens. In Luke 15:20-32 Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son. I would always identify with the older son. I thought it was cool that the younger son came back but could identify with the older son's frustration.

Something has changed in the last two weeks though and it can only be that I have become a mother.
I have been a mother to my own kids for 10 years now and so you would think that this is strange but let me explain.

The reason why the older son was not happy when his younger brother returned is because he wasn't seeing him as his father saw this younger son. He was looking at his brother as a little brother who messed up and was getting rewarded for his bad behaviour. However the father did not care what his younger son had done or how much money he had wasted. Instead he was only happy that his son was back. If the older brother had only seen that the return of someone to the family is something to be celebrated and is of far more worth than being a good person and doing good stuff.

My Father in Heaven doesn't care what I have done wrong. If I am not near to Him He misses me terribly. When I have run away from Him He doesn't hide from me and sulk. He waits for me. He stays where I left from and waits for my return. He stores up His love to lavish upon me on my return.

I used to roll my eyes when people ran away from the good things in there life and the only thing I would wait for was the day they would come back and realise the wrong thing they did and repent.

Today none of that matters. Today I became a mother. Today I see people with the Father's heart. It is good to repent for what we have done but the main focus should always be on the return.

I pray for those that have run away from God to return to Him so they can feel love and not judgement. God wants to clothe the prodigals in your life with a ring of authority, a robe of royalty and sandals of sonship.

In our lives we compete with each other for the love of our parents. Any sibling can attest to this. Who hasn't said "mom and dad love you more than me because of xyz" I must've said it or thought it a few times. It stops mattering when we see your siblings as the Father sees them.

With our brothers and sisters in the Church how do we react? I have acted as a big sister and even as a little sister trying to win approval. My pastor last week said something that I had a good think about. He said that there are people who are looking for someone to be a father to them but what they really need is to be a father or mother to someone else.
There comes a time in our life where we need to realise that we no longer need to be fathered by anyone because we now need to step into a place of being that person to someone else.

Lisa Bevere puts it well in her book Girls With Swords. She was feeling unsure about how to step into the women's ministry God was calling her to. God said to her that all she needed to do was be all the things to these women that she always want from someone to be to her.

I wanted someone to always be there for me, champion me, look over my faults, encourage, support me and love me just as I am with all their hearts.

I really hope now that that is the person I am now. I want to be that person to those younger than me.

I have graduated from big sister to momma bear and I will fearsly and fearlessly protect and love all those God has put under my wing and those He has called me to mother. I want to be Jesus to people and I want to bring the Father heart to people.

God loves me so much. It is only in loving others as a mother that I have come to see just how much He loves me.
Imagine as a mother giving up your own child to save the life of one of someone else so that they can be a part of your family? The concept is foreign but that is what the Father did. He took his very Son who was part of Him and gave Him up so that you and I would know how His heart for us.

I give up my right as a sister and daughter so that I can be a mother if that is what it takes to bring you back to Jesus.

As a daughter and sister I had a right because I was the eldest and I was good and did nothing wrong. I didn't give anyone any trouble therefore I had a right to things those who mess up all the time didn't have. I would get really bent out of shape if I saw a "juvenile delinquent" get promoted over me when I tried so hard and there they are messing up all the time and now look they get a ring, robe, sandals, a fattened calf and a party! It is unfair!

There comes a time when you just want them back. You want to see them succeed and you just want to hug them again and hear their voice. There is nothing sweeter than a prodigal son worshiping the Father.

A friend came to church today. I prayed so hard over the last year for him. I saw him as a little brother. I have a little brother who lives very far away who I love very much. He isn't perfect but I miss him despite the mess. I have a few young people in church that I see as little sisters and brothers because mine are so far away but today when my little brother here in New Zealand came back after I prayed so hard for him I was so excited. I was so happy to see him again. It didn't matter that he was away for that long. I was just so happy that he was there.
I got to thinking about how God saw those who come back to Him. The absolute joy that the Father has for each person that turns back to Him.

I have read in the Bible where it says there is a huge party in Heaven when one person is saved and I thought that was cool but it only full registered today just how amazing it is.

So I was in a puddle of tears today as I thought about all the people in my life I am praying for. Answered prayer is sweet, so so sweet. Unanswered prayer when done without ceasing grows your faith.

Don't stop praying for those who are far from the Father. Don't lose faith and don't lose hope. Keep pressing on and when they return love them like the Father does. Love them as if they were your own child. As you pray for them, pray for them with the heart of the Father.

I thank God for His love for me.

I wrote this bit of a song in church today as I was worshiping.

I thank you Lord
I thank you Lord
I thank you Lord
Your love is Deep
Your love is Wide
Your love is Sure.

His love for you is deeper than any ocean and wider than any horizon. Above all it is sure and reliable and ever present.

My mother heart is always so much deeper and bigger than my sister heart. My sister heart always had conditions but my mother heart is unconditional.