Worthy of contentment

Have you ever been at peace? I’m not talking about being quiet and still. I’m talking about being content. Are you content with what ever you are going through at this time in your life? Are you happy and satisfied with the moment that you are in?  Well, if I answer this honestly, I’m not.  And that hurts me to say this.  How can I not be content with what I see in front of me?

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I take a look at my life and see all the wonderful things that I am fortunate to have. I have a wonderful, lovely husband who is so caring and loving, and I love him deeply.  He is not only my husband, but he is my soul mate.  He is one of the greatest gifts from God that I could ever be blessed with. He has been a rock in my life and I know I wouldn’t be where I am without him. I also have 3 other little gifts from God, and that is my 3 beautiful children.  Ok, so they test me to the limits at times, but what kids don’t? They are full of energy, mischievous, funny and absolutely adorable. I have a lovely house with a big, beautiful back garden. The type of garden that needs a sit on lawn mower to cut the grass! I also have a great job that I really enjoy doing. 

 

I hear you say then, ‘Why are you not happy?’ Why then do I feel like there is something missing. I feel empty. I feel a deep longing for something to fulfil my life. I feel a spiritual emptiness in my life at the moment and I am not satisfied. This is not to say that I am not a Christian anymore, or that I don’t love God, because I do. I feel that I have good intentions…I am reading devotionals…praying more…getting more into my worship, but there is still something missing. A couple of Sundays ago, when the opportunity arose to receive the Holy Spirit, I stepped forward to receive and felt nothing. I expected to have this warm sensation inside me. My heart was beating so fast, but inside I felt nothing. How demoralised I felt afterwards.

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What my problem is, is that I am not content with what I have  in front of me and where I am in my life. I need to be content with the present moment that I am in. I need to do this so that I can live life to the full. The reason for me not being content though, and this takes a lot for to write this, is the way that I feel about myself.  People look at me and probably think I am this ‘hard’ Northerner that doesn’t worry about what she says to people.  I don’t mix my words.  I tell it to people straight, and what you see is what you get!  If you want an honest answer to something, rest assured I will give it… and it doesn’t matter who you are either! Why then should I have problems with self worth?  Why do I feel insecure about myself?

 

I feel that I don’t measure up to be a good mother, or the good wife that I need to be. I often feel that I fail in these areas and don’t then cope too well. Working full time, looking after three young children, tending to the family home and then coping with the general demands of life make feel like I am worthless at times when it doesn’t all go too well. Truth is, I am probably doing ok actually, but I am too hard on myself to realise this.  I need to do what Matthew says and not worry about what others think of me.  I should concentrate on what God thinks… He loves me for who I am… His precious daughter.

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Matthew 6:25-26 – “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?”

Watching my mouth!

I have decided to write about what comes out of my mouth!  No, I’m not referring to spit…or even food.  I’m referring to foul language and dirty innuendos!  For anyone who knows me, you are probably thinking, “you don’t swear that much…not really!”  I suppose, compared to some people I know, I probably don’t.  I do have a “dirty mind” though.  What do I mean by that?  Well, I could be deep in conversation with people about the most innocent of subjects and someone would say something that I could completely take the other way and put a sexual connotation on it.  What’s so bad about that? As a Christian, what comes out of my mouth really matters, whether it may be the mildest swear word going or taking another meaning to something else.  Line breakIn my last blog I wrote that I had been having headaches.  I still have them, but they’re not as bad though, which is good.  I’ve now stopped counting the days!  After a few weeks of going backwards and forwards to the doctors, and getting medication that did nothing for the headaches, I went to see a different doctor.  He told me that I had a lot of stress and tension in my back which is travelling up and causing the headaches.  What I needed was a good massage and rest!  Far better than pain killers.  Anyway, before I got the final diagnosis, my frustration was growing.   I wasn’t handling things very well and I so wanted to explode. Well, I did!  Not by shouting at my children though, or getting irritated with my husband.  I swore!  And it wasn’t just to a few friends either, but more or less to the whole world on Facebook! Ok, maybe not the whole world, but to all my friends that bothered to read my status.

 

Cross on Bible

I used some colourful punctuation marks to hide a few choice letters. I thought that this would be a little more acceptable to use instead of actually writing the word. How wrong was I? Not only had I probably shocked a few people, both Christian and non-Christian friends, but I deeply hurt someone I love. This is not me.  I knew it was wrong to do and this is not the person I was and is certainly not the person I want to become.  I felt really ashamed of myself afterwards for writing it.  Here I am, trying to be a godly woman, trying desperately to do what is right by God in order to help others, and I failed.  I am deeply sorry to those people I hurt, especially to those that I love.

 

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A tiny part of me was being a little rebellious. A Christian being rebellious? Surely not! Well…yes…it is possible. We are only human, but this still doesn’t make it right though. OK, so I said a few choice words.  This may not be such a big deal to some of you, but for me as a Christian it is.  At the end of the day it shouldn’t really pass out of my mouth.  I used my pain as a ‘get-out’ clause for swearing. I am responsible for my own actions though. Using other words in place of a swear word, or colouring it up so it doesn’t look so bad, still brings the audience to see it for what it really is…a swear word. It doesn’t matter how I disguise it, it is still a swear word. My motive was still the same whether I wrote it nicely or not. As a Christian, this is not what the Holy Spirit wants.

 

 

Ephesians 4:29-31

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

 

 

Do you know what though? Me being a Christian does not mean that I won’t stumble and say a different meaning to something or not swear again. Of course I will stumble…I’m only human at the end of the day. I just need to remember to pray to God if I feel angry or upset next time and ask Him to guard what comes out of my mouth…or from my hands to the computer!

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips”

(Psalm 141:3)

A Pain in the Head!

I have had a headache now for twenty-one days (not that I am counting).  IIMG_4440[1] suffer with headaches generally, but they don’t usually last for this long.  To say that I am slightly irritated with this is a little bit of an understatement…I’m sure that my husband and friends can vouch for this!  I have been so moody and snappy with almost just about everyone I know, especially with those that I love. This is so unlike me as well.  I know I’m not the most diplomatic of people and I say things straight to the point. Well, I’m your typical Northerner I reckon, so I see that there is no point in mixing my words or beating around the bush.  At least you know what you get with me!  I try not to offend anyone, which I know is sometimes hard to do. For those that know me though, they know how to take me, which is with a pinch of salt!

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Anyway, with these headaches, I have been even more diplomatic than usual! NOT!! I have tried over-the-counter medication (the strongest that I can get without going through a doctor) and that has not helped.  It numbs the pain for maybe an hour if I am lucky, but the pain soon comes back with vengeance. I tried to resist having wine, but in the end I succumbed to it! For anyone who knows me, they will know that I absolutely love a good red wine.  It did help to numb the head a little, but only in the short term.

 

Anyhow, I finally resorted in going to the doctors. When it comes to the doctors, I will put everyone else in my family first and make time for them, but I don’t do the same for me.  I am always too busy to take care of myself.  If one of my children were ill, I would be straight up there without hesitation. I would drop whatever I was doing and then suffer the consequences later.  I would either have to make up the time owed at work, or whatever I was in the middle of doing would have to be finished off later. When it comes to myself though, I make up excuses.  When I have three children that are dependent on me; work full time; the upkeep of the home to attend to; other commitments outside work and home, then I just simply do not have the time to go to the doctors when there is so much to do.

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I can’t fault the doctor in anyway.  She was so good and checked me out really thoroughly.  It turns out that my blood pressure is a little on the high side, which may be the reason as to why I am having headaches.  Not good at my age really.  I’m not even 35 yet, and I have the small possibility that if I am not careful, there could be something more serious happening.  Am I worried?  You bet I am!  Who wouldn’t be?  I should try not to worry though.  So much energy is wasted on worrying, and my energy should be used for much more positive things.  I am finding at the moment, with all this worrying, that I am a little bit more negative about myself and situations I am in.

 

The devil loves it when I am like this…and oh boy does he take it to his advantage!  Peter has it all sewn up though when he tells us what to do with our worrying.  Basically, give all your worries to God, and be aware of the devil and what he is doing around you.  He is watching you, and ready and waiting for you to make any wrong move.  In my case, worrying about my headaches is causing me to snap at those people that love me dearly.  I need to hand everything over to God and to let him do His stuff.

1 Peter 5 7-9

Still Waiting…

I am still being taught the art of patience. How long can this go on for? Everyday something happens to remind me that I need to either slow down or I need to have more patience.

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I subscribe to receiving e-mails from Joyce Meyer. If you have never heard of her, well, you need to! She is such an inspiring woman. She has been through so much in her life and she is using it now to show people how God can turn ashes into beauty. Anyway, yesterday’s e-mail was entitled ‘The wait is over!’ How apt is that? She says that God is passionately waiting for us more than we are waiting for God. She writes the following…

‘We each have things we must do to align ourselves with God. Things like putting Him first, receiving His grace, letting go of bad habits and negative mindsets, forgiving those who offend us, and trusting God with our circumstances. And as we become determined to do so, that’s when great things start to happen.’

Flowers at Langley ParkAs I wrote my first blog a couple of days ago, I let a few people know that I went “live”. From that moment I was constantly checking my e-mails, looking on Facebook and accessing messenger to see if I had any updates or if they had seen my message. Who would be the first person to respond? Would they like what I have written? Will they reject me and what I stand for?

As I write, this is quite obvious to me now that checking my e-mails, etc could be a really bad habit to get into. A friend of mine, who has been blogging for 5 years now, was a little nervous for me as she knows how emotionally draining it can be to get all this started up. She didn’t have anyone there to tell her that it was going to be hard, so I guess she was telling me some hard hitting stuff to help me out.  “You are going to be disappointed,” she wrote. “It is more often than not, our own expectations that set us up for disappointment.”

Psalm 27v14

I need to learn to trust God to reveal His plan to me in His own time. For now, I will write and be creative because that is what I love to do. I love to find the hidden beauty that is all around me. I need to focus on Him in all I do, to let go of the bad habits and to be obedient to what God is asking me to do.

Patience Is A Virtue

When it gets to that time of day…lunch time…my son seems to have an inbuilt mechanism in his brain (or his stomach) and he often asks, “Is it lunch time yet, Mummy?”  We have lunch around 12:30pm, so I would then tell him how long he needs to wait.  It’s usually not that long, maybe 20 or 30 minutes, but with my son being only 4 years old he has no concept of time.  From that first time he asks me, until we sit down to lunch, he must ask me at least a dozen times before I serve it.  My reply to him would usually be, “Just be patient!”

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My eldest daughter, however, has a better idea and will work out that she would need to count to 60 for one minute to pass by…she might count it a little bit faster though than what seconds should really be counted for.  She will then realise that she would need to do the cycle 20 times for 20 minutes to pass by.  “But Mummy, that is far too many times to count to the number 60.  That would take me aaaaages!”  She would start, but then after a few rounds she soon gives up.

A virtue is a positive trait or a quality deemed to be morally good.  This is  why we hear the saying ‘patience is a virtue’.  If we learn the art of waiting, we also learn how to be more disciplined and obedient.  Well, that’s what I have read…it is so hard to be patient sometimes and I have certainly not mastered it!

My life at the moment has been all about being patient.  It’s taken me three months to get to the point of making my blog live with my first post.  My husband thinks that I am really patient.  I guess I am when it comes to the obvious things like having patience with my children (most of the time), but when it comes to wanting to know what to do with my life and where its going, I want to know right now what is happening.  I guess it’s probably because it’s to do with the unknown.  I don’t know where my life is going to at the moment.  All I know is that I have a passion and I want to do something about it.

I am currently reading a book at the moment by Sue Monk Kidd, “When the Heart Waits”.  I bought this before I went on holiday at the beginning of February, and guess what? Yep, I am STILL reading it!  It’s worse than that though… I am only up to chapter 3!!  I like reading, but first of all I need to find the time to read.  Secondly, I need to find the patience.  Sitting down to read a book is the last thing on my mind when I have three children, work full time and do the usual home stuff.

Dafodil

She writes some insightful stuff though about learning the discipline of “active waiting” in a time where life seemed to have lost its meaning for her.  She mentions about some daffodil bulbs that she had planted, but had planted them too deep. (That’s the kind of thing that I would do!). She compared though the bulb that was planted deep into the ground with that of her own life.  The shoots of the daffodils breaking through the deep soil to form a beautiful plant.  Was there something deep down within her own life that was wanting to break free?  Something that would turn out to be so beautiful?  Only time and patience would tell.

James 5 v7 8

I guess this is what it is like with my own life at the moment.  All I know is that I have something deep down within me that is bursting to reach the top and break through.  I just need to be patient and spend time with God in prayer to cultivate whatever is growing.  Hopefully, over the next few months we will see some fruition.

 

Let me know if there is something in your life that you feel you are waiting for?  Do you know what you are waiting for?  How long have you been waiting?  Are you a patient person?

Reflections to encourage hope in our broken world

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