Monday, 29 July 2013

Shell....

This post has the potential to become a random ramble!
I just wanted to throw that in there from the start okay! I know I've been stirred to share a message laid on my heart...but I'm not quite sure of its direction as I type letters into the formation of words that will become the sentences you read...but hey, spontaneity is always good in small doses right...so here goes!

So, most people are aware we are in the process of selling our current home and buying a bigger house in a new area. It has been a prayer point for a few years now, with the reality of it all happening just kind of overwhelming us in awe. I don't quite know why I'm so emotional about our time finally coming to move on and upwards as they say...I mean, when you pray for something, you should know it will happen right...? But I sit here today so thankful and humbled at His goodness over us. I'm always so surprised God would want to do anything good for me if I'm truly honest.

But He does, and here we are almost ready to exchange contracts in our moving process.

This has seen me de-clutter and sort through ALOT of "stuff!" Quite abit of stuff we've got rid of - whether it be to the rubbish dump, chairty shops, friends or others who could benefit from it, some stuff we've laughed at through memories of young love, dodgy haircuts, fun days out, naughty romantic gestures and scribbles that represent our children growing up and learning how to draw and write - these bits are to be treasured of course....and then there's the stuff that will be kept and used straight out in our new home. The stuff that will be kept, now rests wrapped neatly in boxes...boxes now brown taped together, stacked against walls.
My home of ten years, will very soon belong to someone else. And the process of slowly detaching myself from it has begun.
But it is hard...despite the fact that no ornaments or photos adorn our shelves and walls, that no plants blossom on the window sills and no CDs or DVDs rest in their now broken, ready to be dumped racks....this place has my heart. I look around at the bare-ness, and it still feels like home. One thing I had to ensure I kept out, are my two big vases, which still stand - one on the living room mantle piece and the other in the kitchen window filled with pretty flowers. Flowers make me smile, they make my heart swell and my mood brighten.

I am coming to realise that in this life on earth, many things are just shells. A house is just a shell...a shell we fill with "stuff" to make it personalised, more comfortable and liveable. But if you were to come to my home today, in all its bareness, I feel secure in saying we'd have a nice time...I'd make a fresh pot of tea, and we'd snuggle each in our own chair and chat the time away.
If my kids happen to be here, they'd fill the air with laughter, play and squabbles. I think you'd leave having felt at home despite the bareness.

Because its not the stuff that makes a home a home...it's the life happening within it. And my friends, there's a whole lot of life in these walls. Including the presence of an amazing God who fills the atmosphere with His spirit.
The same can be said of us right?! It's not what you see on the outside that makes me a fixture in your life...it's from knowing the true inner Stacey that you want me as a friend I think....I know that if you're here, having tea, that's what I like about you....the INNER you! The part of you that makes you, you! The rest is just a shell...a shell that needs to be cared for, well looked after for sure....but it doesn't contribute to your soul...the you who goes out of your way to share an encouragement, a kind word, a gesture that someone else has missed....YOU! The you that Jesus wants as friend too. The you that God so loves, more than you can ever fathom.

Please don't hide behind your shell. Please don't let your shell determine how much life there is around you. Please don't make your shell fake so the real you can't shine out. Please let your shell just be a thin layer of who and what you are and have to share with those in your life.

So, for now...My family and I are living in our home of a decade....with boxes around us full of our stuff. Stuff that makes life nicer, but doesn't bring life into our walls. And whilst I know, once we are in our new house...this stuff will help us to settle in and make it our own....I have a security in my heart that with God leading the way, and seven Omokaros running wild....life will be there...life will settle us and our new shell will soon become home.

Be Blessed :-)

Oh....and sorry for the random rambling!!!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Belong {5 minute Friday}

It's Friday, which means it's the day to link up with Lisa-Jo Baker for this weeks five minute Friday. The rules are five minutes of un-edited writing relating to this weeks theme - Belong....and to write a message of encouragement to the person who linked up before me.
Sound easy? Hmmmm, more of a challenge really, but one I'm ready to take again! So here goes...

Belong: To fit into a group naturally; to be properly or suitably placed.
(Onlinedictionary.com)

For along time, I so wanted to belong.
Quietly watching...them....all with their talents, their 2.4 children, happy bank accounts and cars that proved it. Perfect little lives where they picked carefully who they allowed in their circles.

"Not good enough...they look down on you....you just don't belong Stacey" the thoughts raged through my mind.

Trying so hard to be like them, at times I felt like a duck franctically kicking its feet under water.

Then...then an encounter with Him...truth over lies...present over perfect...realising my worth was placed in much higher places...understanding that the real me did belong....exactly where He placed me. Not in a place where I had to apologise for being in a mixed race marriage, feel ashamed of being a mummy of five beautiful children, feel insecure that my size 16 body didn't match their ideas of perfect, worry that my humble home and practical car weren't enough.
But instead a place of peace. A place of kindness, love, true friendship, compassion, wisdom and acceptance.

Because the truth...the deep, deep truth is this....if you have to work hard at trying to belong, then my friend...you're not in the right place. To belong, is to, as online dictionary.com tells us; to fit into a group naturally. No hiding, no trying, just being....that's what it feels to belong.

I'm so grateful God met with me at a new level during the 2012 women's REAL conference at our home church. This is where my encounter took place...and my life hasn't been the same since. It's been better on so many levels, and breakthrough in many areas has happened for our family, in my ministry life and especially in my friendships.

I've realised no-one has a perfect life, whatever car they drive or number of children they have. That my thoughts weren't necessarily in line with how others felt about me, that perhaps my thinkings spoke more about my insecurities as opposed to what people thought and how their lives really were.
But, I've also understood that us humans are a race continually striving to be better...appear perfect...belong in the crowd, at whatever cost. But I don't want that...I became tired of that a long time ago, and today I embrace knowing that with my Jesus by my side, I do belong...and I always have!

Be Blessed :-)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Weeping willow...

Weeping willow, I hear your tears;
Weeping willow, I understand your fears.

Weeping willow, your grief is so raw;
Weeping willow, you question, what has it all been for?

Weeping willow, I see hurt in your eyes, but;
Weeping willow, I promise, tomorrow, the sun shall rise.

Weeping willow, this here season, feels so tough, yet;
Weeping willow, I want to encourage you of an unconditional love.

Weeping willow, He can be your comfort and strength;
Weeping willow, to ensure that, He went to a great length;
He knows your destiny, it's in His hands;
Oh, weeping willow, My prayer for you, is you would see His footprints in the sands.

Weeping willow, this time, here and now, it too shall pass;
A life spent with Him in eternity, that too shall last.

Weeping willow, raise your tired, weary head;
Weeping willow, embrace a peace so calming, you feel able instead.

Lord Jesus, we seek you;
We keep you at the forefront of our pain;
I thank you with all my heart and soul;
That you died for us, but not in vain.

You comfort, you strengthen, you ease our tear;
Envelop my dear weeping willow friend;
Make your presence continually felt near.

Weeping willow, I tell you, your burden can be light;
For the battle is won, Jeus took up that fight.

We love you, weeping willow, But He loves you more;
Stop being so frightened, take that step now, and open the door.

Lord Jesus, we thank you, we choose to stand tall;
For this time here and now...you won't let weeping willow fall!





Friday, 5 July 2013

Beautiful {5 minute Friday}

It's Friday...and my second week of having the courage to attempt a five minute Friday through the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker.
The rules...five minutes of unedited writing...link it up....encourage the person who linked up before you and hey presto...you're done!
So...five minutes...the theme is beautiful...here goes:



She longed for beautiful from a young age;
Perfect hair, flawless skin, body older than her tender years.

She sought affection and the "you are beautiful" from all the wrong people;
Compromised her happiness and purity to find false acceptance.

She wore make-up heavy, daring clothes, the pretence of fake beauty to hide the truth;
Eating disorder, cigarettes and cheap alcohol...numbing and damaging.

Until that day...the day darkness was over-ruled by the light;
The day the One and Only Beautiful entered her life.

Stripped bare of all false-ness, introduced to her saviour at the tender age of 16;
Biblical truth detailing her true beauty.

A life changed...a life worth living, celebrating...a beautiful so real;
She....she was me! And today, years further in... I know the truth.

I am beautiful...I am!
Not because of what I wear;
Not because of what people say;
Not because of what I do...
But because of Him...beautiful Jesus....who lives in me!
My God, My healer, My deliverer, My refuge.

Eternally humbled, eternally grateful, eternally beautiful <3 br="">