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.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Look Up Again

Genesis 15:5 Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”

My youngest daughter has been taught about stars and is constantly looking up at the sky and spotting the stars in the sky. This got me thinking.

Children look up. Children look around themselves and experience the world.

Early this morning I had the worst heartburn. I simply could not sleep and so I decided to get up and make myself some tea. While the water was boiling I looked out of my kitchen window and saw the stars. They were so beautiful and reminded me of when I was younger when my favourite thing to do was lie on my back outside and look at the stars. It still is but I don't look up that much anymore.

It got me thinking about Abraham.

When God told Abraham to look at the stars He was making Him a promise. My God keeps His promises. He only told Abraham to look up into the sky and count the stars. God did not put a condition to His promise because when God promises something He will follow through. He does not say that He promises only if.

That night when God spoke to Abraham He gave him a dream. He planted a vision into his mind of what the future held for Abraham. He allowed Abraham to dream big. I wonder if Abraham actually sat and tried to count the stars. I can only imagine that in his excitement he might have tried. If it were me and my dream I would've been sitting there until the stars withdrew one by one with the coming of the dawn.

There is something exhilarating about a new promise. When God whispers a dream in your ear or fans that little flame burning inside. But all too quickly that first little flame and revelation of your dream becomes easily robbed away or forgotten about with the grind of daily life.

Those days of dreaming of becoming a nurse or firefighter are replaced with bills, financial trouble and responsibilities. It is almost as though a bucket of cold water was thrown on your dreams and what you are now left with is a memory of what was hoped for.

I am sure Abraham and Sarah must've felt this way. They were well past the fertile age for having children. The stars began to wink out with every year that they waited. They may have asked themselves over and over if they had heard right. Was it even real anymore. What ensued from their questioning was doubt. Doubt swallowed up the dream and they took it into their own hands and devised their own plan.
But oh if they had only looked up during those dark times. If they had only counted the stars once more instead of looking down on their situation.

Does it feel as though your dream and promise from God has winked out? Don't look down and forget the promise God made you. Instead look up and count the stars. Keep on believing. It is through faith that we please God and He never forgets His promises to His children.

I guess that is why I love rainbows. I don't know if you have noticed but wherever there is a rainbow it is usually during the rain or after and always there is the sun shining. There have been storms in my life but one thing I could always count on was that the light of my God's glory was always shining with a promise. All those thousands of years ago God promised Noah that He would never again flood the whole Earth and as a sign He sent a rainbow so that we would always remember His promise. What sign has God given you?

Let me encourage you to look again at your dream and promise that God has given you. Look up at the sign of His promise. Do not let the stars wink out. Count them again. Remember the promise again and remember the excitement as though you are hearing and seeing the dream for the first time.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Process

I have tried to write this post several times but I just can't seem to get things down quite right.

I am just so excited about things right now.

The last few years have not been easy. I can't be 100% grateful for the tough things that I have had to go through. I have really had to dig really deep to cope with things in my life. But if because of all those things I have become stronger and a better person then I am grateful to God for carrying me through.

I have never really know what I wanted to do with my life. I always love drawing and telling stories. From a very early age I have wanted to be married and have children. When it came to my final year of school I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I applied to become a nurse but did have enough credits (or whatever they call it) to get in and they closed the nursing school that year. There was no one to marry and there was nothing I really felt I could pursue. I decided on taking a year off to do all things I loved to do. I painted, played my guitar and sewed. It was great but I still was looking for my calling. I was looking for my purpose. It was during this time that I fell in love with this really cute guy. Not just in a 'oh he looks nice' kind of way but I just knew I was meant to marry him.

We got married 18 months later a month before my 20th Birthday. A few months into our marriage and thinks got really intense. I learned just what I was willing to fight for and I learned a bit about myself but I also prayed for help a lot. Not many people believed me when I tried to get help and that was really difficult. I learned that I am not ever responsible for the actions of another person. It is not my fault and I am not the cause of someone else's behaviour.

I became a mommy when I was 22. It was the best day of my life. A beautiful baby girl. We sold our house a few months later and moved to New Zealand. We coped on our own for 3 years and in that time had another little girl who had silent reflux. It almost drove me crazy. when she was 8 weeks old I was at the end of my rope. Either there was something wrong with me or there was something up with my baby. When she was diagnosed and given medication things improved greatly. It was around this time that we had quite a few prophetic words spoken over us. From where I was standing I could see none of it. I could not see how God would do any of these things. In those 3 years I had a miscarriage and then fell pregnant with our 3rd daughter. We moved closer to family when I was 20weeks pregnant with her.

She was born a healthy 9lbs 2oz later that year an full 8 days late. At 3 months old she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. For 8 weeks she wore a harness that kept her legs in a froggy position. Fortunately it was only for 8 weeks and she was rolling and doing funny little things in no time at all.

When she was 10 months I found out that we were expecting our 4th little baby. My family was complete. 4 little girls and a marriage that was really good. What I had always wanted and still do. I would not give it up for anything. There was always something missing though. What was I meant to do once my children were grown and out the house. What was my calling? I was happy if motherhood was it but I had this constant pull that there was even more. I felt not to discard the words spoke over me and my husband.

I started trying to find my place. I may have done it wrong so many times. I chose things I was really not any good at and I had so many things I was carrying on my shoulders. I just couldn't sit and do nothing. I felt called to something big. There were a few things I did right though.

This process so far has been painful and stressful and I am sure that the future won't be all peaches and cream. I know that to live is to learn but I really look forward to it anyway.

As of this moment I am feeling so blessed. I really feel like I have taken a step into my call. I can look ahead and make that 5 year plan.

God uses what the small things you have to do great things. He will always multiply the meager and heal the diseased things,

I am now an author about to publish her first book (this Blog) and working on drawings for an Adult Colouring Book. I have three of my Blog posts published or due to be published in 2 different books and one of my drawings is on the cover of The Word For You Today. 25 000 copies have been mailed out to the whole of New Zealand.

When I think back I look forward to what is to come. The process brought me this far and I know that God will use the next season's process to take me further. I am so in awe and so thankful that God loves me and that He has called me to this new and exciting season.

God will use a process for you too. He will shape your character and strengthen your foundations so that you are prepared for what He has called you to do. Trust Him. He is faithful and trustworthy and really knows what He is doing. He will be with you in the dark and He will help you to switch on the light and He will be with you through the mess and He will celebrate every success with you. In your life you cannot out Party God. He loves you so much and delights in you so much.

I can just see Him right now when I got my copies in my letterbox of the books with my cover on, dancing and clapping His hands seeing how excited I was and still am.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Will Trust in You

1 Peter 5:7  Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

I am going to write today about surrender. This Blog is called A Walk of Faith and Trust but have I really been trusting God with everything?

Let's see, I have surrendered my call and my gifts to Him. I have kneeled and said take it all and use me Lord as your will be done.

He asks us to give up everything and follow Him and so I did or so I thought. He also says to cast all my cares, worries and burdens on Him and He will give me rest and I thought I had done that but have I really? Have I trusted Him with my gifts, my skills, my sin issues, my offense issues, my relationship issues?

While I was away at a church conference this week I have had times of struggle within my soul but I reached a point where I didn't like what I had become and I really didn't care how God worked in my life to fix it.

Surrender is not what I thought it was. It is not about being broken before God it is about giving everything that isn't yours to carry to Him so He can make you whole. At this point I didn't care about whether I was right or wrong in a matter. I didn't care about how I got this way I was seeking a way out of it. I could've listed all things everyone had done wrong to me or I could ask God to fix me so that I am the person He wants me to be.

You see I got to the point in my life where all the small offenses had piled on and had helped build a wall. I tried to fix myself. I was trying with all my strength to figure out why I was so bad, why I was so wrong and why I was always being picked on. Why did all this bad stuff keep on happening. I was sick of it but mostly I was sick of living with me.

Yeah so people are mean, so what? You cannot please everyone and you cannot make everyone like you but it isn't about that. It is about loving anyway.

I can't do anything in my own strength.  I can only do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I have gotten frustrated with not seeing fruit in my calling. I got frustrated with not seeing what God had called me to come to pass. I strived and did a lot of things to make my call happen but what I didn't realise and what I realise now is that although God has called me to live life big and do amazing things but in order for me to be prepared for my call He was working on my character.

God didn't cause bad things to happen to me but He was watching how I reacted to them. He was building my character. He watches how I love people and my attitude as I spoke to myself about people and situations where things weren't perfect. I could blame so many things and people for the way I turned out and I would be right but what God wants from me is to surrender all these people and situations, all my imperfections and faults and ingrained sins, all my needs and wants, all of it to Him.

Faith comes through hearing and trust comes though surrender and hope is what I receive when I have Faith and Trust in God.

God is a good Father. Do you want to know how good? We have quoted John 3:16 so many times it has almost lost meaning to us. We use it as a way to show non-believers all that Jesus has done on the cross and what they need to do to be saved but read the first part. For God so loved the world. Your Father loves you. He loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus to reconcile you to Him. Sin kept you apart from Him. That relationship were always meant to have was broken. There was a huge wall of sin between us and our Father. When we surrender our rights to Jesus we are pulling down that wall to our Heavenly Father. Father God loves you so much right now and He wants to see you whole.

If you have an offense or want to hand over some stuff and truly trust Him and allow Him access to work on your character I ask you to bow your head now and hand it all over. Choose a different reaction, action and thought life.

When we give Jesus anything He never leaves it the same He always heals or multiplies. The 5 loaves and 2 fish didn't stay 5 loaves and 2 fish and He doesn't ever make just enough He is a God of abundantly more.

My car has been out of action for 2 months. We got rear-ended on one of our family trips. It should be fixed next week but I handed it over to the panel beaters 3 weeks ago and it still not repaired. Does this mean it will never be repaired? No. Was it going to get repaired if I kept on driving it and never handed of for repair? No. Did I decide after weeks of it not repairing it that  I wasn't going to hand it over I could do I better job and fix it myself? No. Did I park it off and hope that it would magically fix itself over time? No. Then why do we think if we do these things when life bashes us up. Only God can heal your wounds so take them to Him first.

I know that I will probably mess up a few more times in my life but I pray that I will be quicker to surrender every matter to my Father first. That I will only tear down the walls of offense in me and not tear down others or myself.

I pray that God will give you the same revelation He has given me on this. If you feel tormented or cage up by your past and your present habits and offenses then choose today whom you will serve. Are you going to serve your tormentor with your thoughts and attitudes or God?

It is time to surrender our hurt, and our sins and our call to Him. It is time for us to become whole so that we can bring wholeness to others.

No matter what comes your way resolve in your heart to Trust Him because He is busy developing your character so that you will have the capacity for your call.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Dreams and visions of things you want to do and see happen don't always work out as planned. It can be very depressing and discouraging.

My dreams haven't changed so much as evolved. I don't have it all figured out exactly but it has to be bigger and more mind blowing than where I am now. It has to be because I simply cannot live what I feel would be a mediocre life for me if I stop dreaming big.

If that means I fail and look like a complete egg, so be it. I got out there and tried something. If I succeed but it morphs into something I didn't expect but it is still a failure, I will press on to the next bright idea. But oh what if I succeed and it is awesome?

Where have I been the last few months? To be honest I have been... struggling. Struggling with failure, mistakes and disappointment almost to the point of quitting dreaming altogether. I have been testing the waters of my dreams and ideas that are constant within me.

I got so angry about finding my calling and my purpose that I was resigning myself to just being a mom and wife forever. (which isn't a bad thing but stopping dreaming is not a good way to live a happy life, it will just make you resentful and bitter)

What is my biggest downfall? Dreaming big, thinking big and jumping in without a thought but guess what these are also my biggest and greatest strength.

This Blog may be in for a bit of and overhaul as I figure out where this path is leading me.

When I started this blog I had so many things running through my mind about what God was saying to me. He is still speaking to me about things but I am reconsidering how I blog about these things or even whether to blog about it at all. Most of my posts have been based on a scripture and what I felt God was saying at the time about that scripture and relating it to what I was going through. This did not mean that I had fully processed or even applied what I wrote but rather that I was putting my thoughts down on "paper" and in doing so hopefully helping someone else in the process.

I am trying to find out where I belong and to do this I have had to take giant leaps into the unknown. Sometimes I leap without considering fully every possible thing that could go wrong and the logistics of it. I kind of hope the idea would carry me through it. Sometimes I say yes to things I really shouldn't for two reasons: 1) to learn something new and see if I like it or can do it and 2) to be nice and provide a service that no one else is doing.

This year I have stepped back and tried to dream less and to leap less but honestly I suck at doing that. I am getting so antsy already.

Exciting stuff is happening with something that I thought was so plain and easy. Something I do for enjoyment that no one is meant to see. I have loads of art that I have fiddled with and perfected or fussed with. Some I hated and others I loved but it wasn't received as well as I had hoped for art I sweated and just about bled over. Some of my art I could not duplicate. My art has come so far in the last year and yet I am laughing so much right now. I think I am turning into a doodle artist. That is right Doodling.

Here I am saying but but Lord? Doodling? Seriously? I was doodling before I took my art course and before I had my eyes opened to see in a new way that caused my art to jump from level 2 to level 6. Now I am doodling again and it is appearing on the cover of a youth devotional magazine and wining tickets and hanging on walls. I have been working so hard to be Leonardo Di Vinci or Vincent Van Gogh, well not exactly being them but having the same standard as them in the realism of their art but in my own style, that I was failing to find my own style.
But there it was right in front of me. I don't disregard what I have learned because I feel it has helped my doodles to improve and helped me develop my own style of doodle art.

I still only have a small idea of where God is leading me. He has given me the desires to dream big, think big and do life big. I want to break the mould of the things that have been done the same way for centuries. I want to introduce the new. I want to wave my brush and pen on the world and watch vibrant colours flood everyone's souls. I want to spread love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, hope through my art. I want to teach that others can do that to and can create something beautiful too.

How this is going to happen I don't know but one step of faith and another step of trust at a time I will walk this path set before me.

My blog content may change or stay the same. I don't really know. I love writing and sharing my heart with you all. I have had this blog for many years now and have gained many lovely followers who read what I write and have been encouraged. But if you would like to see the other side of me that I keep talking about and if you would like to follow my dream all you need to do is like my two pages. Shameless plug I know but this is where I post my updates. So here they are Tamryn de Laborde - Artist and A Walk of Faith and Trust. Make sure to like and follow so that new posts will show up in your newsfeed.

Tell me what your dreams are. God wants us to dream and imagine and create what we see in our mind. It is what He did when He thought of creating you.

Be blessed and have an awesome week.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Joy of the Lord

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

I have not posted in a while and I have no real excuse. I guess with everything else I have been settling into I have yet to find and commit to a time to write. Hopefully Thursday will be a good day to commit to writing.

A scripture that has been meditating on and chewing over is Nehemiah 8:10. The words at the end of this passage are speaking louder and clearer to me at this time. The joy of the Lord of my strength. I have read this bit of the verse over and over. I thought it meant that God is always joyful and Him being joyful is what gives me strength, which is true but not in the way I thought. I always thought there had to be something else that this verse was saying.

Let me explain. If the fruits of the Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control and Jesus says He gives us peace and not to be afraid in John 14:27 then doesn't that mean by sending us Holy Spirit we have these fruits? We have God's love, joy, peace, patience etc. inside us.

What I didn't realise was that the joy of the Lord isn't external but internal. I have His joy living in me and it is this that gives me strength to say it is well with my soul. His joy is what allows me to praise Him despite what is happening in my life.

This joy that we have gives us not only strength but courage and boldness. We can be bold, courageous and strong like lions. We need not fear or allow our emotions to rule our lives. Happiness, sadness, fear, anger are not permanent. One minute I can be angry and the next I can be sad. Today I could be fearful yet tomorrow I could be happy until I stub my toe on something. But the of Joy of the Lord is permanent. 

I am thankful that God is always there for me not just when I call out to Him. Like the Lion in this picture He is always singing over me and laughing over me. He rejoices when He sees me taking my first wobbly little steps in my art. He sees me trying to puzzle out His plan for me and He rejoices over you too. He sees what you go through. He sees your successes and your mistakes but He rejoices when you get back up and try again. Success is all about using you mistakes as a ladder to your promise.

Isn't it amazing that He doesn't let us fight out fears alone but that He gives us the joy so that we will be strong enough to overcome and succeed. 

Lord I thank you for your Joy in my heart. I thank you that even when I feel like there is nothing left in me I can still open my mouth and praise you and joy floods my soul and gives me the strength I need to get up and try again. I pray for joy to flood each and every one of Your people who are reading these words and bring a refreshing to their hearts and strength to every part of their being.

Have a blessed week and I will commit to writing once a week again as I enjoy it so much and I always have so much to say. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Death and Hope

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

I am saddened by the news this week. David Bowie and Alan Rickman both taken from this world at 69 following their battle with cancer. There have been many more actors and actresses who have had cancer.
I found out just the other day that Maggie Smith, who is still alive and kicking on Downton Abbey at 81 years of age, had also battled cancer while filming 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'.

Family members, friends of mine have cancer, survived cancer and died of cancer. It is so unbelievably sad. It is easy to lose hope and feel depressed and miserable and totally helpless.

I mean 69 isn't that old. These people thought they would at least live until their 80's. Alan Rickman's plan when he was 80 was to be sitting in his rocking chair reading a Harry Potter book. "Death comes to us all in the end" and that is so true. We are all going to die.

I know I am only 32 and still young but I can't help but reflect on my life and the life I have left and ponder it. I don't have 100 years left anymore if I am to live to 120 as I have planned. I used to. I used to have plenty of time. But now I can say that I remember what my life was like 20 years ago. In 20 years time I will be 52 and my daughters will be starting their families. I expect that their may even be some grandkids by then and well then it is only 17 years until I am 69. (Sorry I do the maths thing a lot)

If you knew at 32 that you only had 37 years left what would you do with it? Our lives are so short.

So where is the hope then? The hope is right there under our noses. Life may be short and we don't know how long we will have left but there is so much we can pack into that time. David Bowie has done incredible things in his 69 years. What is left behind is what people remember about him. His life, his journey, who he was that no one else could ever be.
Alan Rickman has a list of accomplishments that is longer than my arm and a voice unique and one that will not be heard again. His acting was amazing both on stage and on screen.

My hope is that God is going to use me to do a whole list of amazing things that only I can do and be.
I have this written at the beginning of my diary for this year. "You are useful and priceless. Destined for great things.

When I die I will die emptied out of all that I was put on this earth to do. I will pass from this world at peace knowing that I contributed to this world and made it a better place to live in at least to those who heard me and met me. Though my physical life on this earth is just a brief moment in the entire history of mankind, my spiritual life goes on forever.

Don't let the enemy cloud your thinking and tell you that you haven't accomplished anything and that you never will. I have had that nonsense poured into my thinking for far too long. I could fill a book  or two with what I have accomplished and what I am yet to do.
He so desperately wants you too give up and do nothing because he is so scared of you. He doesn't know what it is you will do in your life but he knows that whatever you do will be powerful and will upset his plans in your life and the lives of others. You are known and the Heavens tremble.

Here is to 2016. A year of amazing and great leaps of faith and risk taking. Stepping out into the things we have been carrying and nurturing for so long.

There is hope in death. Live your life to the full everyday. Enjoy your life and be with those you love.

2016 is going to be a great year. Probably the best year we have ever seen. I just sense that there is going to be an increase in healing and miracles, signs and wonders. God is opening up the gates of His Spirit, His power and His favour. It is time. Resist the devil and he will flee. I feel we have turned a corner but more we have done an about-face or U-turn. For years we have been running and resisting the onslaught of the enemy. Going on with our lives just trying to win ground and cope with the next onslaught but this year will be an about-face year. We are turning and facing the other direction. No longer are we on the defence we are now on the offence and the only one running away is the enemy.
You will stop fighting in your own strength, trying to defend yourself against the arrows and you will take up the armour of God and turn and the enemy will flee.