Off the grid

Picmonkey

I am resting in these verses today;

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139: 7-10)

You can never go off the grid. God is always, always right there.

It is such a blessing to have the hand of a father that holds you wherever go {even if you have the tendency to wander like me}, to have his heart as your eternal home and his love that wraps around you like a warm blanket. In every season of your life, whatever you might do or have done, He loves you and nothing will change that. He walks right by you every step of the way.

Dwell in the comfort of this verse, it has brightened my day and infused me with happiness and a thirst for living a fuller, happy life.

Join us for a cup of Coffee for your Heart

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Currently {Volume 2}

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Thinking about:

Nothing really. I have been feeling pretty blue all week for a variety of reasons. I don’t adapt very well to change and a number of changes are being thrust on me and there are some I must make myself. I am praying for strength from above to get me through it.

Reading:

You’re going to be Okay by Holley Gerth. I have read the book once through already but I am aching for it again. {Yes. It is THAT good}. I am also still working my way through ‘A fault in our stars’. I have heard that it can be quite emotional so I am considering putting it off for a bit. I have also discovered some lovely fashion blogs {see HardtShapedBox and TheBowTie if you like as well}

Listening to:

A really loud generator in the distance {quite annoying} and chicken sizzing on a pan {Yummm}

Watching:

The wind blow my curtains, my sleeping puppy curled up on the carpet and old interviews

Thankful for:

The lunch I am about to have, days off from work {which means more time to blog! Yay}, my closest friends who are the best girls in the whole world and I am so lucky to have them.

Goals for the week

1. DO that big scary thing I really want to do {big, scary life-changing decision}
2. Take a nice long bath
3. Go for a nice long walk
4. Yoga 5 hours + 3 hours of cardio
5. Spend more time in prayer and soul rest

A Mama Collective

Five Minute Friday {Bloom}

Most of us are familiar with the parable of the sower (Matthew 13). One of the things it teaches us is that the soil is critical to a good, abundant crop.

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Our hearts are often closed off to relationships, growth and happiness due to something that has happened in the past or a fear of the future. In order to bloom, which is God’s will for your life, no matter where you are, it is very important to tend to your heart soil.

If past circumstances have caused you to build walls, tear them down with prayers to God ,the treasure of his Word and the support of people you trust.

The absence of these walls guarantee an entry of fresh oxygen and refreshing ventilation.

If people have hurt you in the past by their words and actions, release the weight into the arms of God, forgive them and respectfully detach from them if you feel reconciliation is not what God desires for you.

The absence of past hurts leaves your heart free of weeds.

Fear is incredibly common (I feel it myself, several times a day}. The remedy for fear is truth. And this: Perfect love drives out all fear (1 John 4:18). God loves you. Inside and Out. Old and New. Nothing you have done can stop Him. Let go of the fear.

The absence of fear allows the seeds to take root.

Take care of yourself. Cultivate the tender soil in your heart.

Laugh as many times as you can throughout the day.
Dance/Exercise at least once a day. Take care of the body that God gave you.
Read, believe, soak in the rays of hope.

Then unfurl your petals to the beauty of the sky.

Bloom.

Five Minute Friday

Finding Spiritual Whitespace: A Review

Plenty of books will tell you to look ahead or look within to motivate you to move forward in life. Bonnie Gray encourages you to look back, to face your fears, unresolved feelings and restlessness head-on.

Bonnie’s book narrates her intensely personal journey, focusing on her difficult early years and the repercussions of suppressing her hurts. In every instance, she points out God’s hand on her life and her realization that His call on her life is to experience the beauty of resting in him. As is.

The story is beautiful, relatable {to me, definitely}, the honesty is breathtaking and the underlying theme of whitespace in art weaved cleverly into the narrative is impressive.

The prompts at the end of each chapter are thought-provoking and her general faith is audible in nearly every sentence.

I enjoyed the book immensely, racing through the text, savoring the truth in her words while at the same time aching for the little girl she once was, wishing I could hold her and tell her she is loved, special and unique.

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I would recommend the book to women who are working their souls and bodies weary in order to feel significance or mask the scars of their past. To women who are exhausted, violated, battered or uninspired. To women who feel less like themselves, consumed by/ crumbling under workloads, laundry, approval or pain.

I can guarantee that you will feel lighter and lovelier.

Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Still Saturday: Surrender

I don’t know how many of you thrive when you feel like you are ‘in control’. Perhaps that’s the only time you feel you can thrive. The only way you feel ‘strong’. So you add as many items as you can to your lists, take on more responsibilities and feed into the misconception that the faster you run, the better you feel. Unfortunately, the overwhelming feeling you are left with (and I have been there myself) is exhaustion.

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The truth is that being still is much harder and requires more strength. But it’s not physical strength you require or one that you can display.

It is quiet, mental strength that is born of surrender. Surrender to the one who calms storms (Matt 8: 23-37) and encourages us to be still to foster communion with Him (Ps 46:10).

Embrace stillness.

Rest.

Linking up with Sandra and Bonnie, two wonderful daughters of God who have helped me understand the power and necessity of sacred stillness

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
Faith Barista

A love for all seasons

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There is a calm settling over my heart slowly but surely. Seasons are fighting, summer weakens, gives in to the monsoons. I am finding a lovely appreciation for the indoors. I alter my sleeping patterns, waking up later than usual, sleeping curled like a prawn under the folds of two warm blankets. I drink more tea, read longer, think deeper. My own version of hibernating.

In the summer, I will revert to running outside, frequenting the beach and sipping iced lemonade.

Our lives experience seasons as well. Periods of deep loss, longing, fulfilment, intense searching, dreaming or even boredom and vegetation by the TV.

Sometimes a number of these seasons mesh together, resulting in a heart of multiple hues.

If there is one thing I have learned this year, it’s that we are wired for change.

How boring it would be to stay indoors all the time under the covers, drinking the same old hot tea!

It would be exhausting to be out all the time too.

You wouldn’t see as many different colors, flowers, animals, or people.
You wouldn’t smell the rain or the ocean.

Read Eccl. 3:1-8

We need each season because it allows us to experience new things. It gives us a hunger for what’s coming and an appreciation for what we already have.

Whatever season you are experiencing, it will be okay.

I remember reading/hearing this somewhere. That in the equation of life, change is the only constant.

May I add another?

God’s love. That will carry you through. Help you enjoy yourself.

Embrace change and embrace the constant love of God, guaranteed for every season.

Linking up with God’s wonderful daughters here.

community brew link up

Currently {Volume 1}

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I am a lover of lists, goals and planning. Sadly, I hardly ever follow through with my initial plans, often taking many detours, procrastinating and forgetting the little things I want to do/enjoy in-between. I can be intensely focused on something, channeling all my energy towards completing a to-do item, achieving a goal. In all my list-making, I realize now that I had lost myself by being focused more on results, than the joy of working towards something. Then I read an amazing book sent from God straight to my stressed-out heart (review later this week :))

I am a recovering people-pleaser, taskmaster and perfectionist.

I still like making lists, but they are less dry and more delicious: more joy-filled, topped with extra grace.

Example: see below!

Thinking about:

What to buy my friend for her birthday
Making a good financial plan
My exercise routine for tomorrow
All week I have thought about how lucky I am to be a daughter of the King, my loving heavenly father. Everywhere I look these days, I am swept away by His constant reminders of His love for me.

Reading:

The Fault in our Stars
Restless

Listening to:

The whirring of a fan
Television in the distance
Bethany Joy Galeotti (One man to love)
Boy (July)

Watching:

Random interviews
old reruns of reality shows
Fun lighthearted movies (Pitch Perfect, The other woman)

Thankful for:

Beautiful books from wonderful women of God
A weekend of rest
A cuddle from my adopted doggie
Safe travels
Projects successfully completed at work

I am looking forward to a week free of scary lists (only absolutely essential things will be recorded), deadlines and general anxiety. I hope to spend more time with God this week, learning and growing into the woman He wants me to be.

Linking up with amamacollective. Join in?

A Mama Collective

Bliss {and a (b)link}

As young women, often we allow other people to place expectations upon our shoulders; and so we take things very seriously; one of them is safety.

Women are protectors; we spend a large amount of time investing in a safe career, building a safe home, cultivating safe relationships and generally, making “safe” choices.

This is beautiful and a key fundamental attribute to your Godly design.

Howeever, our God also encourages risk. He asks you to live out dreams that will push you out of your comfort zone, meet people who aren’t your normal crowd and walk to unbeaten path.

I have been intensively involved in writing for a few weeks and this is what I have learned.

Creativity isn’t safe.

It pushes you, exposes your work to the hands of others, encourages you to be curious, and be inspired. My, is it exhausting.

But oh my goodness, it is incredibly fulfilling.

This is what I have learned: that our mighty God is a magnificent artist (just look at the twinkling stars, butter moon or your pretty fingers) and to invest time in creative pursuits is to try and become like Him.

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Creativity is not selfish, it is worship.
It is not look at me, but instead look at God, look at how he has blessed me so that I may bless you.

With the intention of being creative this week (today, in fact) I wrote a little something and would love if you hopped on over to read it.

I am also linking up with Bonnie.

”Whitespace

Successful souls

I have a friend whose facebook “likes” escalate daily. There are always new updates- wild things she does, faraway places she visits and funny sarcastic conversations.

Most comments on her updates read something like this – ” I wish I (looked like, traveled like, laughed like, etc. you get the drift) you.

But is that how you measure success?

The number of stamps on your passport?
The number of dream jobs you have landed?
The fabulous spouse who is the envy of your girlfriends?

This is where we get confused:

We count blessings and confuse them with success.
We grab gifts and parade them as achievements.

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So what makes someone successful?

1. Fill up on Love

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)

All your soul. This is the measure of success: 100% Love for the Lord.

2: Pour out service

Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. (Matthew 20:26)

Service is a result of a God-filled soul. A soul deeply connected to Christ.

Service is not always speaking in a pulpit or holding a hand.
It is also bending to the ground and washing feet.

What gets in the way of our ability to serve is usually muddled priorities, laziness or pricking pride.

To be truly successful, love the Lord and allow your soul to reflect that perfect love in service.

And don’t forget to allow yourself grace. Because a healthy soul needs a good measure of that too.

Linking up with Holley Gerth today at holleygerth.com

Out with the old..

I remember those days, clearly. The smell of soap and talcum powder, the school hall echoing chorus and little children with our heads twisted up and tiny mouths squealing in worship?

I loved those happy-go-lucky Vacation Bible School days. The freedom from school uniforms, songs, crafts, memory-verse competitions and final day shows.

We did not fully understand then. The weight of the words or the magnitude of mercy or glorious grace. Yet, our lungs bellowed and we were thrilled to pieces.

One year, I learned this verse. It was the theme that year. And it changed me forever.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

As a little girl, every time I read this verse I imagined myself running a race and angels cheering me on, with my Father Jesus smiling at the finish line. In my head, I always came first (although I was incredibly competitive I wasn’t so great at sports. My little head was thrilled that this was a race I would win).

To be an incredible at sport, you have to train young. Work hard, long hours, pushing your body to its limit until pain becomes the norm. You have to remember rules, plays, instructions, code of conduct.

As I grew into a young woman and realised the mental and physical effort that it takes to run a race (and the many times and ways I have and could fail), as I imagined this bible verse, I often saw myself slow to a crawl and barely make it until the end. I saw the angels looking bored and maybe Jesus looking away.

Today, it suddenly hit me. Verses 12 and 13.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead

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I had let the past and trials of the world stop me from participating by convincing me that I was unworthy. Until these verses leaped out at me.

I don’t have to be perfect.
I don’t have to have a great past.
I don’t have to hold it all together or know everything.

All I have to do is run.
Forgetting what is behind.
It is too heavy to carry as I run. So I lay it in its rightful place. At the foot of the cross.

Now I can really run.

I hear the singing of angels and see His loving eyes.

Image courtesy: Holleygerth.com