Category Archives: Faith

The Work We Are Doing Now Is Part of God’s Mighty Plan

I think it’s safe to say that most of us, if not all of us, had a dream of what we would be when we were older.  A nurse?  A firefighter? A princess? A footballer?  My dream was that I would be a teacher.  I use to sit in my room and pretend that I was teaching my teddies, and sometimes I even roped my brother into playing!

For years I had this longing that I wanted to help other children to fulfill their potential.  I completed pre-teaching courses at college and did a number of work experiences at local schools.  I enjoyed every minute of it and I passed with flying colours.

My dream didn’t quite turn out as I had planned.

I only just got through college with my A-Levels and I never went to University.  The government changed the way that University fees were to be paid, so it was just too much for me to even consider.  So, yes, I wasn’t even going to get a degree!  Trying to sort out what I was going to do with my life was hard, especially when I didn’t have a degree.  I found the options open to me very limiting.

I decided to take a year out to do some voluntary work and to try and get some idea of what I wanted to do with my life.  It was only by chance that I ended up working with the Church Army in one of their Volunteer programmes, and I moved to London.  Now, 17 years later, I have a lovely family with a wonderful husband and three gorgeous children.

What about the dream?

Maybe, some of us still have that dream though?  What do we do?  I think that there is only two options we can do.  We can either do something about it, plan out how we can live our dream and go for it. Or, we can sit here and accept what has happened.  Believe me, I have planned out what I wanted to do…and started it…but it’s just not going anywhere.  I’m not the type of person either to sit around and accept things.

So, maybe there is a third option?

Maybe, it’s not my dream that I should be following. Maybe, this is God’s dream and God’s plan.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8 

What God wants with me and what He wants me to achieve is probably, and most likely, different to what I would like to do.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.  Proverbs 19:21

It’s hard to keep this in mind as a positive perspective though when situations don’t go as well. Especially when family and friends are gone, homes are lost, dreams are shattered…the list goes on.

How do you keep going in the work you are doing then?

I keep this in my mind…

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus Philippians 1:6

God has started something in our lives, and He’s not about to stop now. Our life is not over until He says it’s over, despite of how we may feel and no matter what we are going through. Our best days are not what has happened in the past. With God, our greatest days are yet to come!

God has started something in our lives, and He's not about to stop now. Click To Tweet Our best days are not what has happened in the past. With God, our greatest days are yet to come! Click To Tweet

Wherever God leads us, He will provide for us, and He will meet our needs. We just need to remember that it’s not the things that matter — our job, our house, or what we achieve. We are God’s product, and we are made up of the moments that made an impact for God’s Kingdom – the moments that we are going through now! Hang in there. Your work that you are doing now is in God’s mighty plan.

Something to think about…

Are you in a place where you feel you shouldn’t be? Try and keep in your mind that it may not be for our benefit why we are there. It may be that we are impacting someone else’s lives without realising, and it will be for a greater good…God’s amazing plan!

Prayer

Lord, I have no idea what you have planned for my life right now and what work you want me to do to fulfill your bigger picture. I ask that you send your Holy Spirit to fill me with strength to help me through the times when I find it hard to see what your plan may be. Help me to realise that whatever is happening, it is for your greater good. Amen


I originally wrote this post as a response to the Five Minute Friday word prompt “work”. Click here to see what other people wrote when they were prompted with this word.

I couldn’t stop at five minutes though as this topic is just so close to my heart at the moment. The waiting period that you go through is heart wrenching at times, but I do believe that what we go through now is part of the bigger picture later on.

You Are Not Alone

It’s funny how kids remind you of the simplest of things. My son cried out during the night, waking me up from a deep sleep. I was irritated at first. I love my bed! I got up though. What mother wouldn’t if you heard your child crying?

I clambered out of the bed and stumbled into his room. He was sitting up and grumbled that he felt a bit sick. I comforted him and reassured him that he will be ok. He stuck out his bottom lip and gave such the cutest look (you know the look that Puss in Boots gives in Shrek? It was cuter than that!)

He started crying and said he felt lonely. Lonely? It’s the middle of the night, my son is crying and he feels lonely. I gave him one of his favourite teddies to cuddle and settled him back down. I stroked the bridge of his nose and gently whispered to him that he is never alone. Why? Because God is ALWAYS with him. With this in his mind he smiled, hugged his teddy tightly and gently went back to sleep. My son was at peace again.

Getting back into bed I carried this same thought with me. Me reminding my son that God is with him is just as relevant for me as it is for him. It’s the same for you too! God is with us people. Sometimes we may not feel it, but He is. Just like a favourite teddy bear and a gentle whisper will comfort my son, God is there with us in our midst gently whispering to us…I love you.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

Whether you are going back to work after a holiday, starting a new job, have a new venture, starting back to school again, or even starting a new school…you are not alone.

~~~oO0Oo~~~

Something to think about…

Are you facing a new season right now? Are you feeling scared? Hand it over to God and leave it in His hands. He has this…and He has you! You are not alone in what you are going through.

Hand it over to God and leave it in His hands. He has this...and He has you! You are not alone Click To Tweet

Prayer

Lord, I am scared for what I am about to face today. You know what my situation is God and I am leaving it in your hands. Take away any feelings of insecurity that I have and help me to deal with whatever comes in my path. Thank you for the promise that you have given to me that you will always be by my side. I know that I am never alone. Amen.

God Guides Us Through Troubled Waters

Rocks by the sea

I am currently on holiday with my family on a cruise around the Greek Islands. It’s been a beautiful time away with my family resting and relaxing with no worries. I have left everything behind – the stacks of dishes to wash, the piles of laundry, the endless amount of cooking, and the neverending to do list. This has been the one thing I have been looking forward to, as well as spending time with my family of course (and maybe soaking up a bit of sun!)

I don’t even have to plan how we are going to get from one place to another. This is all done for me. All I need to worry about is what time to get up in the morning and what will I wear!

One day, as we were traveling to our next port on the final leg of our journey home, I was sitting on the open decks reading a book (It was Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee if you want to know). Suddenly, a cloud of thick mist fell around us. It was literally like sailing through thick pea soup (although it wasn’t green mist!) We could no longer see the sea around us.

I then started to wonder if we were going to be alright out at sea as we couldn’t see the path clearly ahead of us. I don’t like it when I am not able to see what is in front of me as it brings about uncertainty. All the “what ifs” start running through my mind and I plan for the worst to happen.

Misty waters

I forgot momentarily that I am actually safe. There are people on the bridge of this ship that are trained for every eventuality. The ship slowed down so that we would navigate the seas more safely. It then started to sound its horn to warn other ships that we were here. The Captain of the ship will do everything in his power to make sure that we are safe, despite what troubled waters we may sail into. We just need to trust in his guidance.

Ship in cloudy seas
Ship in cloudy seas

This got me thinking about my own life. How often do I travel along in misty waters not knowing where I am going or what will happen next? I often try to see if I can navigate the waters myself, but more often than not I struggle to stay afloat, the waters get rough and I start to drown.

Momentarily, I forget Who I need as my lifeguard and Who is The Captain of my ship. He will not let me drown in these deep waters I sail in. He will always navigate a clear path for me so that I am safe. This got me thinking to that amazing miracle when Jesus calmed the stormy seas in Luke 8: 22-25.

And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm.

This is what we need to remember when we are in times of troubled waters. We just need to call on Jesus to save us and He will calm the waters still.

Thought to think about…

Are you going through a time in your life where you are struggling to get your head above the waters and see clearly where you are going? God knows everything we are going to go through, just like Jesus knew the disciples were going to go into a storm. He wants us to have faith though. He will always be there with us through the thick of it and He is there even before we realise it.

Prayer

Lord, help me to remember when I am going through stormy seas that you are there with me. Help me to rely on you as my Captain to navigate me through the rough waters. Thank you for being my constant guide, even when I don’t realise that you are there. Amen.

Forgiveness is Freeing

I have already shared part of my story about what has happened to me in my past and how God has graciously worked in my life. Today I have the blessing of being able to share another aspect of my story with regards to the abuse that I suffered when I was a little girl.

Forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense [and] lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness. Wikipedia

Forgiveness will look differently to each person though depending on what and who they are forgiving. It is not an easy process either…or as clear-cut as Wikipedia outlines it. In reality, forgiveness is hard. However, I can also say, as hard as it is, forgiveness is freeing…


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There I was, standing in a spot where his grave might have been, and I’m griping tightly onto an A4 piece of paper. A piece of paper that held the truth of what actually happened to me during four years when I grew up too quickly.

Looking around, all I see is green grass with very few markings of where graves could be. I expected to see at least a head stone with his name etched into it…something that would make it real. But there was nothing. Only little numbered markers dotted around declaring where each person is buried. With there being no grave stone or a recognisable grave, I concluded that he had no meaning to his life.

To follow the rest of my story,  please join me over at Amy Boucher Pye’s website, and you will see how forgiveness was freeing for me.


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Amy Boucher Pye is an author and speaker whose award-winning book Finding Myself in Britain: Our Search for Faith, Home & True Identity (Authentic Media, 2015) looks at life in the UK through an American’s eyes. Her second book, The Living Cross: Exploring God’s Gift of Forgiveness and New Life (BRF, 2016), engages with biblical and modern-day stories of forgiveness and freedom in a Lenten devotional. She runs the Woman Alive book club and writes for publications such as Our Daily Bread and Day by Day with God.

To find out more information on Amy, then you can visit her website here.

Collect your apples and use them

I have 4 apple trees in my back garden. Each year they produce an amazing amount of apples. You would think now that I would tell you about the amazing amount of food that I am able to bake from all those apples.

Well, for those of you that know me, I’m not really much of a baker. It takes time and energy, both of which I have little of. I have grand thoughts of what I would like to bake though, and they look stunning in my mind – it just never reaches the plate!

What happens to the apples then? Well, I never collect them. I leave them to rot or to be eaten by the birds. Not intentionally though. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve already cooked all these apples in my mind! I just never get around to collecting them though.


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I went out into the garden yesterday and saw how delicious the apples looked, and again thought to myself that this year I must not waste them. Even if I don’t collect them for myself, I’m sure that I have a friend or two that would make use of them.

Daniel 4:12
Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, And the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches, and all living creatures fed themselves from it.

An apple tree was designed to bear fruit. Why then waste what is provided from it if it can bring about further good things. If you have a fruit tree in your garden, why not collect the fruit from the tree so that you can multiply it and give good things to others. Or, give the fruit to other people so that they can multiply it and give good things to others too.

This is the same with our own lives. Each of us has unique qualities and gifts that we can bring to the world. It’s how we use them that makes a difference to people’s lives.

Something to think about…

Do you bear fruit that can bring about good to others? Think about the gifts and qualities that you have and see how you can implement them to help others.

Prayer

Lord, I thank you that you have created each of us for a specific purpose. Help us to realise what gifts we have so that we can bring about a difference into other people’s lives. Amen.


You are reading a Five Minute Friday word prompt. This is hosted by Kate Motaung and is where a group of people write about a given word for that week. The word prompt write is “collect”. (Everything before the line break shows what I wrote in five minutes.) If you are interested in taking part or reading other people’s inspiring writes, then hop on over to the site.