Wednesday, 27 March 2013

What we deserve...

Husband and I watched a great film the other evening called The Perks of being a Wallflower! It's a coming of age type of film following the journey of Charlie, a loner who has been through some "stuff."
It's an absolute brilliant film and I highly recommend it to anyone...once the credits rolled hubby and I found ourselves deep in emotional conversation about how the film had touched us and shared how situations in our past had made us feel.

One line that stood out to me in particular from the film was during a brief conversation between Charlie and his English teacher...Charlie asked why good people stay in bad relationships, and his teacher answered: "Because we tend to accept the love we feel we deserve!"

WE TEND TO ACCEPT THE LOVE WE FEEL WE DESERVE!

Wow!
What do you think?
When was the last time you settled for that so called good friend putting you down or making you feel worthless in order that they would "shine"
When was the last time you allowed someone make you feel second best?
When was the last time you accepted being ignored...gossiped about...pushed out...humiliated...made to cry....felt lonely....wondered who really loved you?

Personally, I know I'm loved...by friends, by my husband, my children and other family members...but I also know that whether they mean to or not these people can, will and do let me down at times. And I know I let them down too.

The truth is as humans we will always hurt others...because we live in a world of hurt...we can't eradicate it, ribbon it up or ignore it....it's there, it's here...it happens everyday for many of us.

But, we can rest in knowing that there is someone who loves us unconditionally...who won't ever let us down...who doesn't want us to feel sad, scared, lonely, used, abused, gossiped about and useless.
Jesus came to earth with one purpose...to build that gap that man created himself with God. When we really didn't deserve it, Jesus died so that we could experience a love that never ends, never fails and sees us for who we are in Him.

I believe many people find it hard to connect with God through fear of not understanding true love. They feel they don't deserve good things in their life...they feel if people knew the real them, they would turn away in disgust....the truth is God made us all in His image, loves each one of us uniquely and deeply and wants us to experience His goodness...and through Jesus this is possible.

As we continue in our week leading up to Easter....I encourage you to think about the love you have been accepting in your life. I challenge you to think about what the love you give out looks like, and I share with you the good news that Jesus died and rose again...so that we could experience life and love in all its true goodness.

Don't just accept the love you feel you deserve. Claim the love you know you deserve, and share it out, blessing others and ultimately yourself.

Be Blessed :-)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Flickering Flame...

A young, damaged, vulnerable 16year old...not sure of what the future held.
Threats...people following...domination...scared...worry...fear...need to escape...need to breathe!

Robert... my knight in shining armour... came to my rescue... held me close... showed me a way... love... comfort... peace... escape... Salvation... a flickering flame ignited in my heart!

The wind blows... sometimes gentle... sometimes harsh... the trees sway... their branches bear the weight... the seasons do their damage... the seasons bring great remedy... the trees keep standing...

Life.... sometimes gentle... sometimes harsh... worry... fear... vulnerability... people hurt me... circumstance rocks me... the seasons do their damage... the seasons bring great remedy... my flame continues flickering...

Jesus... my continual flickering flame... the fire in my heart... whilst my faith at times may falter... though my heart at times may feel like it bears the weight... though I know I will never be the perfection that has been expected of me... this flickering flame fights to keep burning... it won't be extinguished... because you, my beautiful Jesus won't ever give up on me...

This flickering flame... The most precious thing I have!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Mirror mirror on the wall......

Forehead too wide....nose too big...face not symmetrical...a random spot....arms, legs, belly, bum...all too big....breasts...no longer as pert as they were pre-children....shoulders too wide...hair...what to do with it "today"....teeth too crooked....cheeks too squidgy....a frown line setting deeper each day....eyes...still a beautiful greeny blue...but tired looking at times now....

Looking in the mirror is a tough act some days!

Beauty!
Perfection!
A face that "fits!"
Clothes...baggy...tight...too short...too young...too old....too scared to try something new....!
Want to be liked!
Must blend in!
Don't want to be laughed at!
Want them to think I'm good enough!
Insecurity about looks despite the loud laugh and confident talk!

Liking myself is a tough act some days!

Bulimia...invited itself in at age 10...consumed me for 12 years too many
A journey in teenage years that wasnt intended to be travelled....rebellion... self hate... self dis-respect... trauma... self pity... counselling...

Keeping bulimia and bad memories at bay is a tough act some days!

Through it all....Jesus....my saviour, my healer, my friend, my love, my very present help when the enemy comes and whispers in these delicate, uneven ears....saved by His Grace...made in His image... sharing His love... Stacey not yet made perfect...but learning... transformed by His love... Heart yearning for more... mind constantly choosing to rest on Him...

Resting in truth is a tough act some days!

But I know His love won't fail me...won't leave me...will keep me on the right path...will keep me pressing forward...I know He is pleased with me....I know He cares...He smiles down on me... he accepts me as I am....uses me and blesses me as I am....everyday made new....everyday choosing hope!

"Mirror, Mirror on the wall...whose the fairest of them all?"
"Stacey....stop caring and just be!"

Monday, 4 March 2013

Forgiving the person without a face!

I thought I'd moved on from that episode in my life.
I thought I'd forgiven for all the hurt, sadness and anger that had been moulded in my heart.
I thought I'd fully accepted that what happened in the past doesn't define me now.
I thought I'd hardened myself to letting the person without a face stop reducing me to tears.

I thought.....I thought.....I thought! Maybe thinking isn't enough...maybe it's not possible to ever forget when bad things happen...because those bad things help mould us into the people we are today.

What is a bad thing? What makes my bad thing more serious than yours...or yours more serious than mine? Why does that bad thing have to be my past...my experience to help mould me into this woman who stands here today?
Why do I chose to allow the person involved remain fuzzy in my mind....the person without a face...?

Questions....some answered....some not....prayers.....lots of prayers....supernatural love flowing into my heart...because I can't do full forgiveness by my own strength.
I can't entertain the memories, but I can't erase them by my own strength either.
I can't and I won't! Because I know that before the person without a face entered my life, Jesus already had...even if I hadn't reached out to Him...He was there, loving me. He knew that soon...after the bad thing....I would reach out and grasp His hand.

Forgiveness....it's a journey. It doesn't happen easily in all circumstances. Sometimes, like me, we think we've done it, but then a word is shared, a message flows and 'whoosh' we realise the person without a face still has a hold of a teeny part of our heart. 

Today, I thank God that here I stand...a woman now...a mother...a wife...a friend! He has grown me in so many ways. He has humbled my heart, He has restored my life, He has done many good things that far exceed the bad. He knows....He cares....He listens...He holds....He strengthens....He weeps...He smiles....He loves!
And He helps me once again dust off the cobwebs, and re-tune my mind. Full forgiveness will come, this I am sure...because I won't let the person without a face steal my present or future.

My Jesus, My Saviour, Lord there is none like you!


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Identity....crisis or secure?!?



Yesterday I had the complete privilege of taking my two big boys aged 10 and nearly 9 to a large shopping centre close to our home and spoiling them with some mum time, retail therapy and a stop at our best loved coffee shop for a much needed catch up together!
The deal was we were to go firstly to their favourite shop - H&M in case you're wondering - and they could choose whatever they wanted. This is the result:

Boys being bold in finding themselves!

This picture makes me smile and conjures up many opinions and thoughts in my mind. Firstly, I smile because I love these little fellas so much. They really are such a blessing to our family and despite having their "moments" we have a great relationship.
Then I can't help but think about their choice of attire...Josh-the eldest....well despite being only 10, he most definitely is a PRE teen. He is like a giraffe in age 13-14 clothes with size 5 feet. He likes the um...skater...hip hop kinda look I guess we could say. Personally, I think he looks a bit chavvy...but it's cool...we go with it, and we celebrate him looking chavtastic  cool and feeling good about himself.
Then there's Adam, age 9, and a little less confident than his big brother. Unlike Josh who spends ages on his hair, takes yonks in the bathroom to get ready and smells like an aftershave counter most days...Adam isn't too fussed on appearance. Also as its clean, fits and feels comfy he's happy. So for him yesterday to embrace choosing this silver Martian helmet cap and angry birds t.shirt was HUGE! 
I did actually LAUGH OUT LOUD when he tried the hat on, but quickly composed myself when he said he wanted to buy it. "Go with it Stace, go with it," I told myself again.....and again!

Why! Why did I go with it? Why did I spend a certain sum of money on clothes I wouldn't have necessarily chosen for my boys had they not been there.
Well the answers simple really. Because I want my children to remain secure in being who God has asked them to be! My boys know they are created in Gods perfect image, they embrace that God has called them to be who they are, serve where they feel led and that they are beautiful in His eyes (and mine, but I'm bias!) We tell them these truths everyday, so they would rest in having Godly confidence everywhere they go, amongst every person they encounter. For me to tell them they are unique, made how God wants them to be, to celebrate their differences, and then tear them down over a couple of innocent outfit choices just wouldn't be right.
We want to be parents who in a safe environment encourage our children to find their own identities and thrive in them. I feel this is so important especially as we are a big family...with four boys so close in age plus a little princess who looks up to them all already, it's paramount they grow up feeling free to be themselves!

In fact I believe my boys can and have taught me about being secure in how I look,the way I serve, the friend I am and the parent I should continue to be.
Why should we care what others think of us? Why should I feel pressurised to have my eye brows a certain width or my hair a certain shade of low light just because others feel this looks good? Why do I continually check out just how big I look in clothes despite losing weight and striving to be healthy?  Why am I worrying about the outfit I should wear to my good friends wedding in a couple of weeks time? Why should I feel boring and sensible in my simple family car, when in fact it's a huge blessing that carries our family of 7 around easily and economically in this season?
I shouldn't! And my friend, neither should you! 
The truth is we all have opinions, we all have different styles and tastes. We all have different giftings, different aspirations and different callings. That's because we are supposed to! We are not here to be clones of one another or to be feeling insecure about what we are. 
God wants us to have confidence in Him and let Him guide us with ALL things...not just the biggie life situations, but ALL things...even our style and materialistic blessings. Why? Because the are all part of the legacy He has created us to be! Before the world was even formed, God knew you...me...my children...and everyone else around us. He knew where you would be right now in your life, how you would look, where you would work, your dreams, your friends, your family...He knew! Whilst some may put life's successes and short falls down to luck, I believe my Heavenly Father had it all Sussed way way before we can even comprehend.

So a little encouragement on this Sunday afternoon. Be more like my two little PRE teens. Happy with who you are, secure in knowing you're made just the way you are meant to be. That you don't need to match up to anyone other than the person who looks back at you in the mirror. That whatever your situation right now in life, that someone bigger and stronger has your back. 
Simply, just be you! That's all God needs you to be in order to use you for amazing things!
:-)

"Lord God, thank you that you have made each one of us unique. Thank you that whilst this can feel over whelming for us mere humans, that for you, it opens up a whole world of opportunities and possibilities. I pray for anyone reading this post today that you would stir something fresh in their heart to rest in your Godly confidence of who and what you have made them to be. That they would look to you to guide them, mould them and place them where you want them to be a blessing to those around them. Open our eyes to the miracle that you have designed in each one of us and help us to embrace how much you love us each moment of everyday! In your precious name, Amen!"

Be Blessed :-)

Oh and a little p.s. My boys were totally encouraging and supportive of me using their gorgeous photo and their names and examples in this post! They even said they could write one on me wearing a nose stud and silly ballerina style shoes!....so there we go...! ;-)