Saturday, 29 June 2013

In-between {5 minute Friday}

Arghhhhh, so this is my first time at taking a stab at the 5 minute Friday writing frenzy!
Tad nervous but ready for the challenge...so.....here goes!

In-between! I think I, and you reader, are constantly living in the in-between.
In-between dress sizes, in-between meals, in-between school drop off and pick up, in-between jobs, in-between appointments at the hospital for that next transfusion, in-between friendships, in-between with the children...when they're not yet a teenager, but no longer a baby, in-between moments of pure joy in our marriages and moments of staleness, in-between church meetings.....in-between.

The in-between stage really used to bug me to be honest. I admit patience has never much been my gifting....when I want something, whether that's done or bought or cleaned or erased, I want it done now...no time for delaying, no time for the in-between....
Until now! This season of life sees us selling our current home and buying a new one....it's a lonnnnnng process, not one that can be completed in the click of my fingers, not a process I can speed up....a process that has many in-between stages. Usually I would be tearing my hair out waiting, stressing over the "what-ifs" and "not yet done," but I made a decision from the start to trust God, to seek His wisdom, patience and gratitude each day and focus on what He can teach me in the in-between.
Because He can teach us much in the in-between stages. If only we could shift our perspective and stand rooted in what Joshua 1:9 tells us about God being with us at all times. He stands before us in every circumstance. He never leaves us. He never wastes the in-between times.

Love, Peace, Patience, Gratitude, Faithfulness, Friendship, Hope, Joy, Answer to prayer....these are all the things I've experienced so far in this particular in-between stage. Had my perspective and focus been self absorbed, I think I would have missed out on good things....so lets embrace the in-between stages....even when they feel hairy scary! Because God never starts something He doesn't have plans to finish...God does the in-between stage well, and we can too when we know the outcome is in His hands :-)

Be Blessed x






Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Second chance.....


                                          

I saw the above question on a social media website this morning, and for reasons initially unknown it really touched me and got me thinking.
"Stacey, do you ever wish you had a second chance to meet someone again for the first time?" 
My initial thoughts were about people...my husband-the first time we ever met was in HMV on Bond Street in London...a random encounter that 16 years later sees us married with five hobbits children and living a manic nice little life together....my friends-various different stories of connecting over joint hobbies, having children the same or similar ages, school events, church ministries and so on...my parents-I can't recall our first meeting...they hopefully can! A parent, child relationship that has seen us share tears and laughter over the decades....my children-I can definitely remember meeting each of them for the first time- of course I had scans in my pregnancies and got to see their alien developing features-but NOTHING beats actually physically meeting and holding, smelling, cuddling you baby for that very first time. Yes, in some of these cases, I do sometimes wish I could experience that first encounter all over again. Why? Well because life sometimes sucks the excitement and wonder out of relationships. Not that you stop loving, or liking someone necessarily, but dynamics in relationships change over the years....routine sets in, schedules clash, people move on, people don't move on... but you do, seasons come...seasons go....Except for one!
There's another being I've had the pleasure of meeting for the first time, and that is Jesus.
Unlike my earthly relationships and first meetings, this wasn't at school, in HMV, a delivery suite or church. This was sitting on the edge of Roberts sofa when I was 16 years of age. Feeling vulnerable, scared, abused and lost by circumstances that I now know weren't my fault, this gorgeous young guy who liked me and cared for me, led me in prayer to have my first meeting with Jesus. It was emotional, it was peaceful, it was....perfect.
I think the reason I felt emotional when reading the above "quote/question" was because I knew straight away that I've been so blessed to have had many second chances in my life, especially my Christian life. So many times I've messed up, so many times I've slipped up, so many times I've wanted to give up and run and hide behind a very big tree! There's only one thing that's brought me through these times....continues to bring me through these times, and that's the love of God...that knowing that despite first accepting Him into my heart at 16, He already had a hold of me...He'd already had His first meeting with me, long before I knew it....and that today....I have a second chance with Him over and over again. 

Just last Sunday at a worship event, I sobbed my way through 3 hours of songs...and felt a renewed connection in my heart and spirit. Another second chance at "first meeting" with my loving saviour.

Maybe today, this question: Do you ever wish you had a second chance to meet someone again for the first time? - stirs up emotions in your heart. Perhaps you feel like you've continually messed up and "blown it?" I'd love to encourage you, that like me, you haven't. No big fireworks, no grand gesture from normal, old me...just two simple words....YOU HAVEN'T! In Gods Kingdom, when our hearts fully seek Him, there are many second chances...it's called Grace... Grace:the free and unmerited favour of God shown towards man! I'm so thankful for it, I'm so thankful for Him...the only One I get to encounter, sometimes in a refreshingly new...meeting or atleast understanding for the first time....kind of way. It makes this life so much sweeter!

Be Blessed :-)





Monday, 10 June 2013

Difficult times....

Psalm 42:5   "Why, my soul, are you downcast?
                     Why so disturbed within me?
                     Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God."


This may come as a slight shock to some readers, and may not be the news you want to hear on this early Monday evening in June - but living a Christian life does not mean you won't experience and live through challenging, difficult times! In fact, I'm quite confident in saying, the "harder" a person presses into Jesus, the "harder" the challenges!
No-one goes out seeking tough times, but ready or not, here they come. They find us...they rock our "comfortable" little existences....they make us vulnerable.

Lets be honest here, who do you know who hasn't experienced a deep disappointment, the loss of a loved one, a testing season with a child, been let down by a good friend, financial difficulties, career worries, poor health, a relationship break down, marriage stresses...and the list goes on?

A man after Gods own heart, David knew his fair share of difficult times. He often wrote openly about them in the Psalms. But David also knew that God never wastes our time, God never allows for a situation or circumstance to hurt us to a point where we can't - with His help - overcome it. David knew that God uses every circumstance to build us, grow us, develop us, and use us for greater things!

I don't necessarily know your circumstance today, but I want to encourage you that God does...I also want to encourage you that I have my share of testing situations at present, and would say this: We can choose to let them define us, break us, stop us and defeat us....or we can choose to join David in his prayer...and even if our soul is "downcast," even if our soul is "disturbed" whisper these simple words:
"Oh, my God, my hope is in You. Oh, my God, I will Praise You!"

When we make this our perspective, I believe He can and will ignite our hearts and bring us through!

Be Blessed :-) .....and remember: