Blessings From Obedience

I’ve been on a bit of a journey the last few months. I have been learning to trust God even when it makes no sense. Even when you can’t see the end result, when God say “it’s all okay, I have this covered” but your mind is saying to your head, “how can this be”.

Let me tell you about it.

Mid last year I got a new boss at my work, and lets just say I wasn’t my new bosses favourite person. I’m not sure what I did or didn’t do but this person just really didn’t like me, it made for a really unpleasant situation. I did a lot of praying about the situation I found myself in and God was pretty clear, he said I needed to leave before things got out of hand. Sadly though I couldn’t get beyond the fact that I would be resigning without a job to go to. My head took over and all I could think about was how we would pay the bills. Yep I totally wasn’t remembering Gods words in the bible about not being anxious for anything, in fact they didn’t even cross my mind. word press 1

So I stayed at work and God again told me, when things got worse that it was time to leave. Now you would think I would be wise enough to listen the second time, but no, apparently I thought I knew best. So I continued down my merry own path assuming it would all get better. Little did I know that in a few weeks time God would give me a very clear message that it was time I started listening to him and leave my job. Now I won’t go into the dramatics of it all, but lets just say when God said go for the third time, after a situation that left me upset and rattled, I listened and I went.

I have never walked out on a job before and as the realisation of what had happened started to sink in, so did the doubt that perhaps I had got this wrong, I mean I now didn’t have an income, yes I had some long serve leave but that would only go so far. I was technically unemployed for the first time in my life. Was this really what God wanted?

What was the big picture here, I was desperate to know, I had a family to feed, bills to pay. We were a double income family, now all of a sudden we were a single income family. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the favourite person in our household at this time, after all my decision had put us in the position we now found ourselves in, but I was sure I had heard God right and I knew I couldn’t go on the way it was.

So again I prayed, “please God show me I got this right, give me anything that lets me know it’s going to be okay” I was out on a limb in a place that was so unfamiliar, I had to totally trust that God had this worked out. I applied for job after job and got nothing, I was now questioning my decision to not update my nursing qualifications instead of me starting a Ministry Diploma. The only thing I could do was to trust.

I finally got a job in retail, but to be honest it just wasn’t me, the hours were semi okay, but the promise of 16 hours a week didn’t happen and it soon become just 3 hours a week. Again God said to resign, honestly I really thought God was just playing with me now, resign from another job! He can’t be serious, apparently though he was, and resign I did.

Well back to square one, no job, no income and no clue to how this will all end. I was so far out of my comfort zone that I just didn’t care any more, really things couldn’t get much worse. I got a few interviews here and there, but then God said rest. Really rest? oh come on God, I’ve got bills to pay. “yes you do have bills to pay” he said to me, “but you also have had a stressful 18 months with your dads death, you need to rest”. For once I decided to listen and I took a couple of weeks to rest, just potter around the house, do some gardening, spend some time colouring, and work on my uni assignment. Surprisingly it was the most relaxed I had felt in years, I really did need to rest.

doorWhile I was resting, God was working in the background, he was going to honour my obedience in ways that I could never of imagine. He was working on opening doors that only he could open, he was working on showing me his faithfulness. It may of taken me a few goes to be obedient in the beginning, but God would still honour that.

As a sit writing this, I can say that God has been totally faithful, I started a job two weeks ago, back in a semi nursing position, an area that I had tried a few times to get into to, but had always had knock backs. This door was flung open by God, not only is it a job I love but the hours are great, the pay is great, and its permanent. Doors are being opened for some of my family, again doors that only God could have opened. The peace and nearness I feel to my father in heaven is something I have not experienced for a long time.

God honours obedience! Yes it’s hard when you can’t see all the pieces and nothing seems to make sense. I have learnt from this experience that I don’t need to see all the pieces, I don’t need to know the end and be in control. All I need to do is trust and when things get rough, I trust some more.

 

Christmas, more then presents and food.

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Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

Christmas is a week away and I’m having a bit of trouble getting in the spirit of it this year. 2018 just seems to of sped by, blink your eyes and all of a sudden it’s the end of the year. It’s been a bit of a crazy year for our family and I’m sure that’s why I’m having trouble with the whole, deck your halls, jingle bell thing. A lot has happened this year and to put it bluntly, I’m tired, and not feeling overly joyous.

Both Wayne and I lost our last surviving parent this year, the boys no longer have Grandparents so we celebrate Christmas this year for the first time with the realisation that it’s just us and my sister and her family. While it’s great we have my sister and her family to celebrate with, it does feel like something is missing. They, who ever they are, do say that the first of all celebrations is the hardest. I’m not so much as sad, it’s more of an empty feeling, a bit like when you complete a jigsaw to only see that a piece is missing.

But while it may feel different this year, I need to remind myself of what Christmas is really about, yes the food, presents, friends and family are all great and important, however the really important thing to remember is the birth of Christ. For this is what the true celebration is all about. If we didn’t have the birth of Jesus, we wouldn’t of had the death of Jesus, which means he wouldn’t of taken on my sins and the sins of the world.

That tiny little baby, born in a manger is the reason I have managed to get through all that 2018 has thrown at me and my family. Being able to go talk to God and ask for his help has been the single thing that has kept my head clear, when really I just wanted to scream and let loose.

I get and accept that many people don’t see Christmas the way I do, and I respect that, but for me I need to focus on the birth of Christ, I may still not feel overly joyous and I may shed a quiet tear come Christmas morning as I remember being a kid and celebrating Christmas through the eyes of a child. But what it does mean is that the birth of Christ brings me hope and faith, that despite all that 2018 has dished up, Jesus walked every step with me and my family and that is why come December 25th we will be able to smile and say thank you God for sending your son.

So if you find yourself a little like me, and not feeling overly joyous, can I suggest you find a church or even just a quiet place, sit and reflect on that tiny baby, that baby that came into the world so we can all have life and life to the fullest, both through the good and the bad.

Merry Christmas xx

Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Sprinkle The Ashes!

Sometimes in life you just have to do things that you may not really want to do. A few weeks back my sister and I found ourselves in this position as we travelled back down to our home town to take care of mum and dads last wishes. This had been planned for a while but none the less we knew it would be our final goodbyes.

We boarded the plane, took our seats and were ready to fly. I was particularly clumsy that day and after it took me some time to sort out my glasses, Kindle, phone I finally settled into my seat ready to go. Next to me sat a young business man in an expensive looking suit, obviously flying for a meeting of some sort.

We were about fifteen minutes into our flight when the cabin crew came around offering drinks, “I’ll have a tea with milk please” I replied and really I should of thought better since I had already struggled just to get organised before takeoff. But no a tea with milk I got, that was tea and two of those tiny milk containers. Now the business man beside must of had an early start as he was already asleep, and totally unaware of the struggle that was to come. I have my tea, I have my milk now to open the milk. First little container opened and poured in my tea, and really that’s where I should of stopped, but no I wanted more milk. The second container didn’t fair quite as well and somehow exploded as I attempted to open it, covering me with milk and just a drop on my still sleeping business man. I looked at my sister, she looked at me and we both burst out laughing. I knew right then that this trip wasn’t going to be sad, but one of memories and laughter as we take mum and dad home.

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Beautiful Sydney harbour looking toward the city and the Opera House.

We stayed around Sydney the first couple of days, went on a real estate hike to north Sydney and took in some shopping. Again laughter came as we walked through Myer looking at some outfits that I’m still wondering who actually buys this stuff and why would you pay hundreds of dollars for such little material. We some how found ourselves walking past a section that had outfits to ‘spice up the bedroom’ I took one look at it, turned to my sister and said “if Wayne came home and I greeted him with that on, I’m sure he would wonder where the real Christina went, not to mention by the time I worked out how to get whatever the garment was meant to be on, I’d be to exhausted for anything else”! I’m sure the shop assistants didn’t understand the blank looks on our faces and the snorts of laughter we both had.

But Saturday came and down we drove to Wollongong to do what we had come to do. First stop was Lake Illawarra, now it didn’t occur to us to check the tides before we planned our day, Lake Illawarra is a big lake how low can the tide go. Well apparently very low on this day, and there we stood, two containers of ashes and a lake that was at dead low tide. Sprinkling them off one of the many jetty’s wasn’t an option, we somehow figured the fishermen may not of liked that. We drove around till we found a suitable, secluded spot and down we went. Now here comes problem number two, we couldn’t get the plugs off the containers. “Never fear” Vicki announces, “I have a knife” and out she pulls a huge craving knife, “couldn’t of brought anything bigger Vic” I said but it did do the trick. Out we walk to where the water was, Vicki with mum, me with dad. Vicki went first and then I followed. Now my dad had a good sense of humour so really we shouldn’t of been surprise that just as I was about to sprinkle half the ashes a gust of wind blew, and yes dad is now not in the water but down my leg. I stood up looked at Vicki, shook my head and I do believe the words “oh for shits sake” may of left my mouth, to which Vicki just laughed.

Next stop was the Mt Keira Scout Camp. Mum and dad were both very involved in scouting, in fact that’s where they met each other. Now mums Will, bless her had very precise instructions as to where she wanted to go. It read something like, northern side of the Lodge, two steps to the right, then six to the left. Vicki and I never did scouts so we figured mum would be happy with just some where in the scout camp. Again we didn’t think to check to see if anything was on at the camp that day, so it was with surprise that as we drove down the one way road to the scout camp walking up the road toward us were two leaders and a trove of young scouts. Pretend we’re lost I suggest to Vicki, so that’s what we did and the nice leader gave us instructions where we could go to turn around and drive out.

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Scout camp entrance

We ended up at the entrance of the scout camp where a brick arch leading to the camp site was. We decided this was as good as place as any, there’s a nice garden, lets just do this before some else comes. Out we got, Vicki took dad this time, I took mum and off to it we went. Now mum may have been just a little annoyed we weren’t where she wanted because she seemed reluctant to leave the container, so as I was ‘gently’ persuading her to co-operate Vicki loudly declares that some old cranky man in a scout uniform is coming over, with a chair! I did what any little sister would do in this situation and hid behind the bricks and let my older more wiser sister deal with the situation. Long story short he was totally okay with what we where doing and he actually knew who mum and dad were. Once I knew all was okay I came out of hiding. But again that wasn’t the end, as this nice man was chatting to us, he tells us we might want to leave soon as a bus with wedding guests was about to arrive, along with a bride who had to walk up the same area we just sprinkled ashes on. I looked at the path, looked at Vicki and motioned it was time to leave. Once in the car Vicki says “there’s ashes all over the path” my reply “dad liked a good wedding, he’ll hitch a ride up on the brides train” and again we just laughed.

Well with all the sprinkling done we headed to the lookout that overlooks Wollongong to take in the view and then back down to the beach for an ice cream and to take in the view of the water.

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My home town of Wollongong, from Mt Keira look out.

Our day ended with a fantastic dinner that brought together three generations of three families, that grew up together as kids, went to school together, laughed and cried together. Memories were shared, wine was drunk, food was eaten and a surprise birthday cake appeared for Vicki and myself. Such a wonderful way to end our day, and I’m sure mum and dad would of loved it too.  cake

Some may read this and think it’s all rather morbid and a little disrespectful, but really it’s all okay. Mum and dad would never of wanted this task to be one of pain and tears, they would of loved to of  heard the laughter, and watched their two girls working together to do a task they had requested them to do, and that’s exactly how it happened.

Because You’re My Dad!

dad6In life you have two choices. One, you can forgive those who have let you down or two, you can hold on to resentment and let it eat you up and make you unhappy. Personally I think the first option is a much better and healthier choice.

dad 2So what has this got to do with my dad? My dad passed away 6 months ago after going down hill very, very quickly….37 days to be exact from the time he moved from his home up the coast, into a care facility closer to my sister and I. After having to travel around 400km each time you wanted to visit dad, to having him a 15 minute drive away, I was looking forward to being able to pop in after work for a coffee, or pick him up to bring over for a BBQ, for him to be here at Christmas and birthday celebrations, but sadly this just wasn’t how it turned out.  dad 1

Over the past couple of years, dad wasn’t the easiest person to get on with, he missed my mum terribly who had died 6 years ago and well without sugar coating it, Dad drowned his sorrows in a few two many glasses of wine. Sadly he became a hard person to like and be around, BUT he was still my dad and my sisters dad. To be honest it was not only frustrating but also heart breaking to see a man who gave so much, to be not taking care of himself and become someone I wasn’t sure I even liked, the emotional rollercoaster ride was exhausting. BUT he was still my dad and my sisters dad.dad 3

I’ve had plenty of time over the past five months to decide just how I will remember dad. Will it be the short few years where he upset me and made life hard or will it be the life long memories of a loving father. I’ve decided it will be the life long memories and here are some of those.

He was a father who provided for his family, encourage me as best a man could back in the seventies, eighties etc, after all times were very different back then. A father that had a joke for every situation to make you smile, a ditty that would make you laugh even if it was the hundredth time you had heard it.

A man that loved his four grandsons and even if he didn’t say it, was immensely proud of the young men they were growing up to be, a man that would move earth its self if it was going to make my mum happy. A man that gave a lot of his time to various community organisation. The father that along with mum spent Friday nights by the pool at swimming club and then driving me to tennis on a Saturday morning or afternoon. A father that taught me to drive and calmly suggested that free wheeling with the cultch pushed in, going around a corner a little to fast was probably not a good idea, or the time I took out a whole six foot brick fence when I ‘bunny hopped’ my car straight into it. Rest assured I drive much better these days, but honestly I doubt I would of been as calm as my dad was if that was my son.

A father that proudly walked both his girls down the aisle on their wedding days, in the same suit that he was married in many, many,  years before. A father that would give piggy back rides and dance with us balancing on the top of his feet, usually while humming or whistling the ‘Blue danube’. A dad that would untangle my fishing line from what ever tree I had managed to cast into, and then ten minutes later need to do it again. And a father that loved ‘his girls’ with all his heart and never stopped calling us ‘his girls’ even when we were well and truly adults with children of our own.

Yes that’s how I’m going to choose to remember my dad, I’m going to choose to forgive those short years of heart ache and remember the many years of love and laughter, because age, long term grief from missing your wife and dementia can change a person, and who am I to judge my dad because of that, and quiet frankly neither can anyone else judge him and make comments, because the last few years don’t define who my dad and who my sisters dad was. There is a life time of loving, happy memories, and those memories are what define who my dad was.

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So yes dad I forgive you, I will always love you and I will always miss you xx

Serious Kingdom Business

In 1991 Amy Grant released a song titled ‘Hats’. In the song lyrics it talks about the different ‘hats’ women wear. hats

‘One day I’m a mother, next day I’m a lover, what am I supposed to do’

Even though this song is over 20 years old it could still be just as relevant today, as we juggle all the different ‘hats’ we as women wear. We are mums. wives, workers, aunties, grandma’s, nanna’s, students the list goes on. It can be very easy to lose sight of who you really are and what your identity really is. Throw in a good dose of ‘reality’ TV with unattainable expectations and we can be left thinking and wondering just what do we need to do to measure up to societies standards.

God’s been talking a lot to me lately about my worth and identity and just where I see myself and to whom I measure myself against. Is my worth and identity measured or seen in my ability to be a loving wife, or is it how well I do at being a mother. Is it my job, am I judged by society for being less now that I don’t nurse anymore and work as a School Officer, a job I love but very much different to the responsibilities I use to have on a busy post-op surgical ward. Do I get a mark against me for having a child on the Autism Spectrum? Some parts of society would like me to believe that it’s my fault…..it’s those vaccinations I carelessly gave him you know!

You know how it is, with the world at our feet by simply pushing a button it can be very easy to fall into the trap of measuring yourself against those not only physically around us but those many miles away that just happen to pop up on our Facebook news feeds. I think we as women really need to put down our phones and pick up our bibles and read how God sees us.

So lets look and see how God sees us.

“It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from inside you –the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. That beauty will never disappear and it is worth very much to God.”
— 1 Peter 3:3-4

So God isn’t worried wether I have the latest look, because God sees my beauty from within, he sees and is more interested in what my heart looks like.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.   Proverbs 31:26

Does God need me to have an all powerful job? No, I can speak wisdom and show kindness no matter what my occupation, this is what God is happy with.

There are many more verses that speak of how God sees us, and that he sees us very differently to how we see ourselves, he created us in his image so why would he think we aren’t worthy?

For me I’ve decided it’s time to do some serious Kingdom business. So in December I’ll be heading down to NSW to spend 4 days at the Captivating Australia Retreat. Along with many other women, I’m taking time to be with God, let him deal with the thoughts and ideas I insist on hanging onto. It’s going to be tough, I have no doubt about it. I’m a real home girl so just being away from my family will be tough. I have trouble keeping still long enough to hear God at times, 4 days of this will be a challenge. Apart from one other lady, I’ll be with women I don’t know, staying in cabins with women I don’t know. This will really be out of my comfort zone.cap

But I know this is what I need to do, I know I will come away stronger, more faithful, more happy, more confident and more peaceful in being reassured that God loves me and I’m his daughter and Princess. But for now I will count the days till my adventure begins!

 

 

Conquering Brave!

Back in January I wrote about my word that God had given me for the year, it was the word Brave. I ended that blog with saying that I was sure God was going to take me on an adventure as I lived out my word.

Well true to his word, God has taken me an adventure and I still have five months of the year left! I remember back in January writing that I was certain God was asking me to be brave about a calling he had placed on my heart, little did I realise that I was going to be ‘brave’ in so many other ways.

At the beginning of the year I was happy and comfortable with my life, I was comfortable at church not overly challenged with my walk with Christ but just enough to keep searching, but not to much to make me go searching out of my comfort zone. Fast forward to the start of July and I found myself leaving my church I had called home for the past 10 years and starting a new season in a big church where I knew no-one, not a soul. You may think that this is no big deal, but for me this was terrifying. We knew as a family that this is where God was asking us to go and to many things fell in place for that not to be true, but it also meant that I had to go way, way out of my comfort zone and make connection.

So I found myself a life group, and I put my big girl pants on and went along, to be very honest I nearly didn’t make the first time, I had a thousand excuses for not going, but I did it and I’m happy to say they are a lovely group of ladies who have made me feel very welcome. Any one who knows me well knows I have a heart for Women’s ministry. After meeting the Women’s leader last week, I surprised myself when I emailed her saying once we have settled into our new church home, that I would like to be involved in the women’s ministry in some way, again very out of character for me to just ‘put it out there’ usually I wait till someone asks me.

I know of another situation at present where my view isn’t overly popular, but I will stand firm on my convictions and what I believe. This may cause some to not be overly nice to me, however I will stand bravely and be respectful to those who may feel the need to be disrespectful toward me.

But its just not at church and with my beliefs that I’m being brave. Our family has season passes to the local theme parks. I’m not a huge fan of fast rollercoaster rides and I definitely don’t go upside down. So last Sunday when the words “sure Thomas I’ll go on the Superman Escape ride with you” left my mouth I was starting to think I was going insane. This ride goes from zero to 100km in two seconds, yes you read right two seconds and its up this 60 meter climb that you drop down on the other side. I’m pretty sure people miles away heard me scream as we were shot up this climb, but I did it, would I do it again?….probably not!

Once I had recovered from my ordeal, my loveable boys decided I needed to go on the next ride, this one was an upside down ride. It took quite a lot of encouragement to get me on this ride, but again I found myself strapped in a seat and was swinging from side to side. Okay so this really isn’t this bad I was thinking, but then it got higher and I was being suspended mid air dangling and hoping with all hope that the harness doesn’t come un-clipped or that the ride doesn’t suddenly break down. I do believe the words “I hate you both” to my boys did escape my lips as I was hanging upside down, my boys on the other hand couldn’t stop laughing at me freaking out, neither could the poor stranger who unfortunately for him made up the fourth seat on our ride, he was highly amused at my reaction. Would I go on this ride again? Actually I think I would!

There have been many other stories where I’ve had to be brave and trust beyond what I normally would, and have faith far more then normal, but it’s been good….if not a little, okay a lot scary. The good thing though is I can really see Gods hand in it all, he hasn’t taken me or asked me to do anything that he knew I couldn’t do and he has walked every step with me.

So I wonder what the rest of the year has in-store for me? I have no idea, but like I said in January, I’m sure it will be in adventure!

At The Foot Of The Cross

There are times in your life when you are faced with a really hard season, no matter how hard you try, you just keep getting faced with one struggle after another. Your energy depletes, your optimism dies and you just long for the day you can wake up and not have to deal with yet another problem.

I have been in this type of season over the last few months. When family members start to age and new directions need to be taken but the admittance of needing some extra help doesn’t come easily, it can have a huge impact on those trying to sort everything out. I have found myself totally exhausted both physically and emotionally.

I was pulling myself out of bed each morning just wondering what disaster or problem today will bring. I found myself at times feeling very far away from God, wondering why he wasn’t answering my prayers, surly he can see my pain, why isn’t he taking it all away and making everything better.

I have learnt that in times of crisis there is no point in praying for God to ‘fix’ the situation and then as soon as you have finished your prayer, you just go about trying to fix it yourself. After doing this a few times I remembered some wise words I was told some time ago ‘give it to God and leave it at the foot of the cross’. You see I was giving it to God but I wasn’t leaving it there, so nothing really changed. I was still frustrated, still tired, still trying to fix it my own way.    cross

About a week ago when I had reached the end of my patience and really had nothing left to give, I again gave it to God BUT this time I left it at the foot of the cross. My anger, frustration and efforts weren’t making a huge difference, all it was doing was making me cranky and stressed out. I finally realised I couldn’t do this without God, I needed him to help me with this. There was no guarantee the situation was amazingly  going to become perfect and fixed, but that wasn’t what God was promising anyway.

Jesus never said living a Christian life and following him was going to make everything right. My situation is still there, yes at the moment it has settled but it’s still there. But I’ve left it at the foot of the cross, God’s helping me to have the strength to keep going, to know that he is walking right beside me, carrying me when I’m to tired to walk, wiping my tears and listening to my prayers.

I realise it may be hard to understand, but I feel like a weight has been lifted, it’s as though Jesus has taken what was weighing heavily on my shoulders and placed it on his. It’s like he has said to me, ” I’ve got this Christina, the road ahead may still be bumpy, but we will walk it together, and no matter what the end result, I will not leave your side”

I have had and continue to have the most amazing support from 4 very close friends, one of these friends texted a couple of days ago, my reply ended with this sentence. ” I am genuinely happy” and I am.

I have no idea what you may be facing at the moment. But can I encourage you to leave it at the foot of the cross. I can 100% guarantee you that if you give it all to God, he will walk with you, help you, and comfort you. He will never leave you to battle it all by yourself, if you let him take the lead.

 

Changing Colour of Our Leaves

Season

 

As a child growing up in a colder climate area I remember our next door neighbour’s driveway was lined with Liquid Amber trees. I loved these trees, particularly in Autumn as I watched their leaves turn from green to orange to red before dropping off and leaving bare branches ready for a fresh growth of lush green leaves in spring. I always find myself each Autumn seeking out the few Liquid Amber trees in the area I live now,  being a warmer climate area there isn’t as many, so I can once again watch the leaves change colour and to take in the beauty of my favourite tree.

At times our walk with Christ can be like the changing colours of these trees. We start out as strong excited Christians, full of fresh green leaves spreading our love to others just like the leaves of the trees spread shade in the summer sun. But then life gets in the road and hard seasons come and God challenges us as we learn to depend on him. Our ‘leaves’ start to get tested and our colours change as we learn to seek God. Old habits and ways begin to dry up and fall away, just like the leaves of the tree become brittle and drop to the ground to be blown away by the wind. In the end all that is left is the tree totally exposed of bare branches.

Once our brittle leaves have fallen off and God has blown them away, we too are left with exposed bare branches. But the good news is that just like my favourite tree; our bare branches will again grow lush green leaves, leaves filled with Gods love and compassion ready for us to spread over the people we meet. Leaves that have learnt to seek God and depend on him, at all times. Leaves that are strong and healthy.

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My encouragement to you today would be to let God change your colours and blow away your brittle leaves, be brave and show your bare branches because God will replace your brittle leaves and bare branches with strong lush green leaves as you as seek and trust in him through all seasons of life.

Why I Won’t Cry This Mothers Day

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Today’s is Mothers Day, and for many women it can bring up all types of emotions. For some it’s a day of love and happiness, for others it’s a day of remembering. For some mothers the day is a day of mourning, to remember a child that has died, or one, they no longer have contact with.

Some think about the mother they wish they had had, upset at being let down by a mother that just didn’t mother them the way other mothers did with their children. For others the lack of a child in their life is just to upsetting for a day like today, so they tend to avoid Mothers Day altogether.

Then there are many like myself, who no longer have a mum here on earth. My mum died 5 years ago this October, and yes the first few Mothers Days after her death where hard and upsetting, however today I will cry no more.

Some may read this and think, “how heartless”, but no I’m not being heartless at all. I have just come to realise that yes I miss my mum everyday, but that’s my point. I miss her EVERY day, not just on Mothers Day. I think of my mum everyday, not just on Mothers Day.

I have felt guilty at times because there seems to be this idea that I should be sad on Mothers Day and that it should be a really hard day for me. But I just don’t feel that, I have 2 wonderful boys of my own, who love me very much, why would I want to be sad on this day, when I have them. Then I think what would my mum want me to be today?. I can confidently say she would want me to be happy, in fact she would probably say something like ” Christina, why are you sad, look at my grandsons, don’t waste your special day with tears over me, just keep me in your thoughts and rejoice, be thankful for the blessing of your boys”.

There will be some that won’t understand my thoughts, and that’s ok, we all see things differently. But for me, I’m totally okay with not being sad on Mothets Day, it’s taken me nearly 5 years to get to this point. It doesn’t mean I don’t love mum, what it does mean is that I’m at peace with my feelings, my mum knew I did and always will love her, she would be happy knowing I was happy, she never was one to make a fuss about things.

So there wasn’t any tears this Mothers Day, just quiet reflections about my mum I miss, my mum I love, and a hope that she would be proud of the mum I have become!

Forgive Me Father….

words

 

Forgive me Father for I have gossiped…..

Yes that was me two days ago, when God very clearly convicted me on some behaviour I had displayed with a couple of friends. God showed me not once, not twice but three times in the few days that followed just how I had sinned.

I had had a couple of rough weeks, a few things had happened that left me frustrated, hurt and in a very defensive mood. My Mumma hat was firmly on and I was going to fix this problem my way. So, to a couple of friends I vented loudly about how frustrated I was, what I believed needed to happen and how I was going to have my say about it all, I also decided to tell my friends everything else that was wrong and how it should be fixed. Oh yes I was on the war path.

Sadly though I was so busy having my say, that I failed to see that I was now dragging two other people into my sin. Two people that I’m sure didn’t want to spend their time listening to my problems and how I was going to fix it all. Two people that I love dearly, but I had somewhat betrayed our friendship and had put them in a place I’m sure they didn’t want to be.

But like the loving God he is, he gentle prompted my spirit showing me the error of my ways and gave me the opportunity to seek forgiveness. Once I had done that, I emailed my friends, told them of my conviction and let them know I was happy to take the blame for getting this ball rolling, through my own selfish wants. I needed to put this right, I needed my friends to know that I was sorry, that I value their friendship and that it was my fault we got so off track. I’m sure Jesus must of wept as he listened to me and the words I was saying, but he is gentle and forgiving, and showed me how much better I am  then the behaviour I displayed.

Words can build others up or they can cut others down. I have known this for a long time, but this experience has showed me just how easily you can get sucked into using words for gossip, words that cut and pull down. This is not what God wants, and this is not what I want from my life. This is something I will be taking a whole lot more serious from now on. I want my friends to hold me accountable if I start to get off track again, I don’t want to head down the wrong path.

I have had several people comment how God has given me the gift of words, the ability to speak from the heart, use my words for good. I can see now how very special that gift is and how I need to treasure that gift, using it to lift up, not put down. This experience has been a lesson well learnt, one that has humbled, one that has opened my eyes.

So from now on I’m going to try my hardest to use my words wisely, I know it won’t always be easy, but it needs to be down. I’m not about to waste my gift of words, I’m going to use it the way God intended me to…… by using words that lift up!