Thursday, 18 April 2013

The stranger on the pitch!

Today's been a normal kind of day...nothing dramatic to report other than an episode of projectile vomiting from son number 2.... nothing overly exciting to share asides from the fact I lost 2lbs this week.....but for me, there was one moment that really stood out. A moment that re-confirmed to me that we are doing okay...that God is answering prayers of a mother & father just trying to do their best...and that it's all worth it....

Thursdays are now the start of 6-7pm seeing us at Westmorland Park for an hours footie training. This was our second week as our eldest son Joshua spends time training to make an U10's team in the upcoming new season. It's an exciting time for him, and I've got my head around the fact that on Thursdays like today when the hubby is working a late shift, it's me and the five little ones doing the footie routine.
Thankfully this evening has been gorgeous weather so whilst Josh was training, sons number 1 and 2 played together in another area of the pitch with a ball and son number 4 and little fairy princess  were with myself in the lovely park there, running around. Towards the end of the hour we all regrouped to watch Josh and the other team members play a mini match. It was a lovely hour together...fresh air, lots of space and content mummy and kids.

At the end of the session the coach for that team came to speak with me, and said how great Josh was, and that he wants to snap him up for the team, but needs to see if the other U10's team Josh was with in week 1 want him...great news for my boy....wish you could've sent he huge beam on his face!

Then as we walked back to the car another mum joined me in step.

"Hi, I'm Laura, ****'s mum. I just wanted to say I also have five children...and like you have four boys and then a little girl. All similar ages too by the looks of it. I just want you to know that despite not knowing you as yet...but I hope I do get to know you more...that you are amazing. I've watched you and your children for the last 20minutes or so, and I am in awe. And I want you to know that I get it...it being the time, planning, energy, and faith it takes to raise five children. Keep doing what you're doing, it's so worth it, and you're a brilliant mum!"

I was surprised to have felt so emotional at her words, but there at 7.10pm in a now slightly chillier field, I could have hugged this stranger for totally making my day....she did get it...she really did...and by her getting it, I was made to realise yet again that having my five beautiful little hobbits is nothing but pure Godly genius...it's okay...it's happening...it's working...it's going to lead to an amazing future for each one of us! The tiredness, the constant whirlwind of activities, chores, homeworks, illness, birthdays, squabbles, noise levels, and privacy invasions (think, trying to have a wee in peace!) are all worth it...and there in that small moment, God used a stranger who I really hope I do get to see again, to speak His confirming words into my heart!

It doesn't take much to encourage someone.
It doesn't take much to be kind.
It doesn't take much to let another person know that you "get it!" Whatever that "it" may be!

I'm feeling so thankful tonight.
I'm sitting here now with a hot cuppa and soon will have my dinner whilst my five tired children are asleep/drifting off to sleep in their beds.

Quietness surrounds me...I feel at peace...not for any other reason than I know God has this family firmly in His hands. I don't know what my day holds tomorrow, what my family's futures look like...but right now, in this here moment...all is good! Thank you Jesus...and thank you Laura, the other brave mummy of five who made this girlie feel fabulous after a pretty normal day :-)



Friday, 5 April 2013

Opening doors..

May 2004... 22 years of age, married for 2 years, mummy of a 16month old, half way through my pregnancy with baby number two.
We had just moved to Bracknell and had the scary job of joining a new church...despite asking Jesus into my life at the young age of 16, my journey as a Christian really began after the birth of our eldest son, so I was quite new in my faith, believe it or not, a little shy around new people and very overwhelmed and in awe when we walked into Bracknell Family Church and it was like no other church I'd been to.

We became members after a few months of attendance, impressed by what we experienced and eager to see our family grow amongst other local Christian families....but the feeling of being overwhelmed didn't leave me for a while. My desire was for God to use me....use me for His purpose....use me in the life of others....use me to glorify His name....but my insecurities and past hounded me like a  flea.
"God won't ever use me here," I remember saying to my husband..."I'm not as good as these people!"

Robert has always been my biggest re-assurer and he didn't fail me that day, encouraging me to rest in knowing when the time was right, God would open the right doors for me....it wasn't about being as good as others, it was about His giftings in me, His love for me and His plan for me.
"Stace, just appreciate the small platform He gives you...and watch it expand as you stay obedient and humble in your serving!" Wise words Robo!

Shortly after, I joined the parent and toddler group and slowly gained the confidence in volunteering myself for little jobs...a year later I gained the confidence to sign up and volunteer to serve in the 5-11's age group of children's ministry and a little while after that I joined the core team for the toddler group. Never over trying, just resting in what God could and would do.
Another year later, my husband and I became course leaders for a ministry called Freedom in Christ...something we still have the privilege of leading 6 years down the line...

Over the years I have been so blessed to gain many many amazing friends in my church family. We have a few more children in our family now (five in total).... The youngest four all born into what is now known as the Kerith Centre, all five had their thanksgiving services at our church and our eldest two sons (now 8 and 10) have both been baptised there...as were both Robert and I!
I feel like we have grown in so many ways during our time at Kerith...as individuals, as a family, as followers of Jesus, in our ministry lives....

And every day I am humbled that God has taken that shy, vulnerable 22 year old and established her through His love and grace into a semi confident 31 year old wife, mother, friend, daughter, leader and encourager to others....I have a lot to learn, a lot to experience and a lot to be developed further in me, but I embrace where I am now...think back to 9 years ago and smile with extreme gratitude.

And the doors just keep opening....just this past week I have accepted stepping up into a brand new role within church that will develop our children's ministry further, and take it to the next level of where God wants it to be. I am humbled...excited...emotional...expectant...buzzing with what is in store. Moving onto and into the next phase of leadership in my ministry world...serving God, children and their families more head on...I know the enemy will come and try to do his stuff to bring us down, but I'm ready for the battle and drawing closer to God each day...

I don't share this post to be boastful or proud!
I share this post because every day I get emotional at the fact God does want to use me in His Kingdom.... I never take it for granted that God has made me who I am today, that through Jesus I am made new, that He knows everything about me and that hasn't scared Him off...
God feels this way about you too. 

Don't let the lie rest that God doesn't have a plan for you. 
Don't believe the voice that tells you you're not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or worthy enough of making a difference...
God takes the messy and broken and makes it alive and fresh in a way only He wants to use it.
He's a wise old cracker and never gives up on us...He continues to mould us, grow us, develop us and love us every day...even if we don't realise it at the time.

So today...appreciate your platform....rest in God opening the right doors at the right time...and just stay being obedient to Him in the small ways you can.

I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I do know that I'm eager to live it, taste it and experience it...appreciating the gift of this life...however tiring it feels at times....thankful for His grace and mercy in me....plain old me....what an amazing God!

Be Blessed :-)

Monday, 1 April 2013

In-betweener!

Easter weekend...commonly a time of fun, chocolate, celebrations and family...and us Omokaros have had all of the above in abundance this past few days!

But one thing that's really stood out to me and has got me thinking this weekend is Easter Saturday.

Good Friday, as we concentrated on what Jesus done for each one of us on the cross, we felt humbled... thankful... in awe... emotional as we meditated on the physical, emotional and spiritual suffering Jesus endured...

Easter Sunday, we had such a lovely day with family, praising and thanking God that Jesus rose and accomplished His plan. That love and truth prevailed...that Jesus's sacrifice on the cross wasn't in vain, that His suffering had now ended and the perfect plan had unravelled....

And in the middle of all this we had Easter Saturday....hmmmm....the in-between day. Well speaking of this weekend, we had a great day...we met with friends...visited Windsor with family....we were secure in the celebrations of the season and having quality time together....

BUT.....

Rewind two thousand years ago...what did this Saturday look like?
Probably quite messy to be honest. A day of great sadness and grieving for many.... accusations.... hate.... unrest.... impatience.... hurt.... regret.... doubt....
The in-between day...

Fast forward back to life today, and I wonder how many of us are living very much in the in-between stage...possibly over the initial grief of circumstance....not yet in a time of jubilee....but unsettled in not knowing the exact next move!
It's a lonely place to be in...heavy hearted by the situation, waiting for the miracle to come, hoping for more than we can see before us...allowing ourselves to be suffocated by the day in-between....

It needn't be my friends....

What if the day in-between has a deeper purpose....what if the day in-between now becomes the day of PREPARATION!

Easter Saturday......the day God was engineering a re-surrection....
Our day in-between....our Easter Saturday....the days God was/is engineering a miraculous breakthrough in our lives, preparing us for something better...grooming us to handle the next level of goodness and responsibility...wanting us to trust in Him and change our perspective...

If we can do it over the Easter weekend when it comes to believing the amazing story of Jesus giving Himself for us on the cross...but it not ending there as we celebrate the over-coming of that day in-between with His re-surrection, then I know we can do implement it in our circumstances today.

God never gives up on a plan half way through...He ensures He completes it to the very end...your life is one of His perfect plans....He hasn't given up on you...don't you give up on yourself or His promises of fulfilment! Keep your eyes on the cross... then on the empty tomb....and lastly on the image of Jesus appearing to His disciples and spending time with them preparing the way.... I don't  know how long your in-between day will last, but I do know Jesus wants to walk the journey with you...

And believe it for yourself....the day in-between....the day of preparation!
Your miracle is coming!

Be Blessed :-)