Do you remember?

Remember his goodness

It’s days like this that I know I need God in my life.  Hard work, agonising parenting moments, stress, long hours and little sleep.  But do you know what?  We all have those days.  But as time goes by days like this will be forgotten and seem like a dream we once had.

Being able to forget the bad days can be a real blessing, but unfortunately that’s not all we can forget.  We can forget the great days, the fun times, the beautiful moments and miraculous events.  When we’re going through hard times, bad times, sad times or just plain boring times we can forget about the good stuff, and even more, the God stuff in our lives. 

I’ve been having a seriously amazing time reading through Deuteronomy.  I’ve been marking up my Bible like never before.  Did you know that the word REMEMBER is written 16 times in this book?  I’ve been highlighting each one.  In chapter one God finally reveals the Promised Land to Moses and the Israelites and declares that now is the time to go for it.

But there’s one problem.  Because of the Israelites terrible attitudes and bad behaviour they’ve roamed in the desert for 40 years so God could knock off a whole generation and wait till the next generation were of age to inherit the great promise given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  But they don’t remember why they need the Promised Land.  They’ve become so comfortable they can barely remember the mind blowing, universe changing miracles that God did in Egypt when He delivered them from slavery.  They can barely even remember being slaves.

Moses begins to recount every sign, wonder and miracle God did for the nation of Israel.  He gets them to remember so that they’ll stand up and take what’s being given to them.  When we can’t remember what was lost it’s hard to see what we’ve gained.  

There’s no more terrifying a place to be than complacency.  The Isrealites were chosen, set apart and declared Holy because of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The Isrealites did nothing but moan, rebel and sin against God from the day he delivered them from slavery.  They were so comfortable where they were they couldn’t imagine anything better.  They didn’t remember the pain and suffering of living as slaves so they took for granted the freedom and provision of God.

We can easily forget.  But never forget the goodness of God.  When we’re going through tough times we can easily forget that we serve a GOOD God.  When we’re happy and satisfied we forget that we serve an ABUNDANT God.  God is always good and is always wanting to give us more.  There is no end to his love and mercy.

Don’t stop where you are.  Don’t get stuck in the wilderness of disappointment and complacency.  God has so much more for you!  Remember his goodness, remember his miracles, remember his love and remember his never ending mercy.

Don’t stop, keep going.  Don’t delay, push on.  His love never fails.

What can you remember about the goodness of God in your life?  Have their been miracles in your life that you’ve forgotten?

What Every Woman Needs to Hear

Well I’ve been back a week now from my weekend in the Isle of Man and I feel as if my feet have barely touched the ground!  But I couldn’t let any more time go by without capturing all that happened while I was away.

It was a truly special time away.  The Isle of Man is a beautiful Island that honestly felt exactly like Horsham.  Very well kept and very friendly people.  I would love to take my whole family next time as it really is a great place to explore with lots of history and super friendly people.

My favourite thing about the entire weekend was spending time with all the ladies.  I was excited to be going to a new place and meeting new people, but getting to know all the ladies I went with on a whole new level, laughing and crying together, sharing adventures and making great memories was the best.

We went to the Living Hope women’s conference and the theme was Belong.  Now I’ve been to my fair share of women’s conferences and I absolutely love them.  It can seem a little intimidating at first, as you know how us women can be, and it’s because of all that insecurity in the room that at every women’s conference you’ll hear the same thing – you are loved.  This is a fundamental truth that will be spoken because it is the deepest ache of all of our hearts – to be loved.

We doubt ourselves on so many things and even those of us who are blessed with husbands and/or children who adore us we still sometimes have a hard time loving ourselves.  That can be the hardest part.  I loved all the fun times with my friends and I love getting to know their hearts desires, their dreams and aspirations, likes and dislikes.  Each of them is special, unique, kind, passionate, funny and loving in such different ways.

But for some reason we can get blinders on our eyes so that we can only see everyone else’s ‘beauty’ and be completely blind to our own.  We are loved by our creator and Father God and the more we know and accept this the more we are able to love others.

Another big highlight from the conference was hearing Rob Parsons from Care for the Family.  Hearing about all that they do to support marriages, families of any size and circumstance and those who have experienced bereavement.  It was a little heart wrenching at times, but their philosophy of not just helping those in crisis but preparing for what’s ahead truly gripped my heart.  I decided to partner with their ministry and was given an amazing resource bundle which I can’t wait to get into (more on that later).

I did manage to capture a few moments on my phone and if you followed me along on Instagram or Facebook will have seen a few of these already.  But here are the best parts of  my weekend away on the Isle of Man.

 

 

 

What Happens When We Don’t Agree

what happens when you don't agree

I’ve been learning a lot about unity in the last year.  I’ve always known it’s right.  And I’ve witnessed first hand how God blesses unity.  But why does God need unity?  If we’re all created different, unique, individual why do we all have to agree, work together and have one purpose?  Isn’t that contradictory to how God made us?

That is completely selfish thinking.  It’s all about me!  Why don’t I get to do what I want to do.  Why do I have to do something I don’t agree with or serve someone I don’t believe in?  Why must I submit to my husband if I know he’s wrong or don’t like his approach??  So, so selfish.  But isn’t this how we think.  Don’t we all struggle with issues in our life because we don’t agree with it.

Let me show you how God sees unity.

In Numbers Moses is once again trying to get the Isrealites to go into the Promised Land and once again the Isrealites are discouraging people from listening to the word of God because they don’t want to go to war.  They’re happy with the land they have, why fight for more?  This is how God responded to that division.

Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Numbers 32:11-12

Wow an entire generation was passed over to receive God’s promise because they didn’t wholeheartedly submit to God’s will.  This really challenged me.  I’ve always been taught about submission and respect, but surrendering wholeheartedly to someone I didn’t agree with, that’s another story.

Am I stopping myself and others from receiving God’s promises because I’m not standing united with my husband, leaders and church?  Am I discouraging others from doing God’s will because it doesn’t sound like a good idea to me?  Am I causing division rather than unity.

The Isrealites were in division over taking the promised land not just once but twice and they were very close to having to live another 40 years in the dessert.

If you turn away from following him [God], he will again leave all these people in the desert, and you will be the cause of their destruction.  Numbers 32:15

We are all responsible.  If we want to receive all that God has promised we must be united.  We must submit to God’s will wholeheartedly.

Wholeheartedly, what a great word.  With every bit of our heart we serve, surrender, submit.  We don’t hold back, withdraw, reserve or discourage. We do it anyways to see God’s blessing for all, not just for us. The Isrealites had been in the desert for so long they didn’t even want the promised land.  They wanted to stay in the desert.  How sad is that.  We can get so used to where we are we say no to God’s blessing because it’s too much work to move forward.

I’ll have to move house, sell my car, travel farther to church, wake up earlier, take a pay cut, cancel my holiday, give more money, give more time.  All reasons we may not want to  take the promised land God has waiting for us.  God wants us together, united.  It’s an act of love and worship to God to stand united even if we don’t agree.  And it’s in unity that God can bless us.

Do you have a hard time submitting to your husband or leaders/boss because you don’t agree with them or think they’re idea isn’t as good as yours? Pray that God will help you to submit and surrender your opinions and ideas so that your whole family/
church can be blessed.  I’m praying this too, we’re in this together!

 

God, are you there?

God are you there?

I’ve been working hard.  I mean, really hard these past few weeks.  And sometimes when the clock ticks past midnight, again, and my head finally hits the pillow I wonder whether it’s all really worth it.  Is my business really going to grow, is my writing really benefiting anyone?  God is this really what you have for me?

Oh yes, I have doubts, like I know you do.  Is this all that God has for me, am I in the right place,  am I going in the right direction, is God even in this?  It can plague me after every failure, disappointment and epic work/family day (because it’s never just one or the other!).

I pray about my life, my family, my marriage, my kids and my future.  I pray over it because I want it to have meaning, purpose and success.  And I know to get anywhere I need to follow God’s lead.  But it’s hard, long days with blood sweat and tears thrown in from time to time.

As I was going to bed Tuesday night those doubts starting stirring in my head again.  I’m just so tired God, please tell me this is your will. As soon as my head hit the pillow I felt this burst of faith inside my heart and I heard God speak his love and will over me.

I’m proud of you, I love you, keep going, I’m with you. 

Wow, it doesn’t get much better than that.  And instead of going to bed deflated and defeated I went to be with the biggest smile on my face and woke up bursting to tell my husband the word from God.  And it gave us faith, focus and hope for the day of work ahead.

I know that my God is with me.  His hope is an anchor for my soul and I feel that now more than ever in my life.  He is my centre, my focus and my goal.  I have Christ in me, the hope of glory.  For a long time I couldn’t understand why His glory would be MY hope?  Because, like my wise father shared with me today, without faith we have nothing.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6

When in doubt, chose faith.  When you’re buried in the work load, lost in your indecision or failing to find a pursuit – chose faith.  Be anchored by God and seek him with everything you’ve got.  He’s right there with you and he’ll show you the way.

Can my dreams come true?

can my dreams come true?

Do you dream about your future?  Do you think about where you’ll be in a year, 5 years, 10 years, even 50 years? I do it all the time.  I was certainly a daydreamer growing up and would get lost in it, but now my dreams are much more focused.

I was reading to the kids before putting them to bed and we were reading about Joseph.  It suddenly dawned on me that God inspires our dreams.  Not just our sleeping dreams, but our visionary dreams of our future.  You know those moments where you see yourself years ahead in the future doing something so different from what you’re doing now.

Our dreams can have a divine purpose and be a prophetic image for what’s ahead and that our dreams can come true .  We may see things in our future that seem so out of place, beyond our capabilities and even a little bit strange.  Is my dream too big?  Would God really give me all that?  God gave us imagination and he uses it to envision his plan for our lives.  When He gives s a vision for our future He works His will and His way in our lives to get us to where he needs us.

As my birthday went past I thought about all the things I’ve done in 28 years.  The plans I made when I was 18 and where God has brought me.   God went above and beyond all that I asked and imagined.  He has blessed me beyond my comprehension and given me new passions and vision for my life.  He has stretched my faith and gifts beyond what I ever thought capable.  But I know that it’s all because of Him.

Joseph dreamed dreams.  They were strange, grand and impossible.  But God used them to bring hope to Joseph when he was in slavery, wrongfully accused, and forgotten in prison.  He dreamed a dream of greatness that only God could fulfill in his life.  And God worked all things for His good (Romans 8:28).  The dream was not just about Joseph becoming mighty and powerful above his family.  It was about saving the entire nation of Israel from starvation.

Don’t be afraid to dream.  Let God stretch your imagination beyond where you are now to see where He is leading you.  It may seem impossible, too big and far away to ever reach, but He is always at work in our lives to get us to where He needs us.

We can so easily cling to our insecurities, our failures and our shortcomings to allow ourselves to see beyond where we are to where He is taking us.  Trust in God to take you there.  Don’t be afraid to follow where he leads and believe in His capabilities.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

6 Secrets to Dress Your Kids on a Budget

6 Secrets To Dress Your Kids on a budgetI remember when I was pregnant with my oldest I would walk into Mothercare at every chance I got and look at all the beautiful things that would surround our baby when she was born.  Only when my beautiful baby came we had absolutely nothing to give her but our love and devotion.

And when our second baby came the dreaming continued. I dreamed of dressing my little girls in matching dresses and pyjamas and how cute and adorable they would look. But again, that never happened.  They were clothed in hand-me-downs, cast off’s and birthday gifts.

We now have four kids being dressed with hand-me-downs, cast offs and birthday gifts – and we have clothes coming out of our ears! When I do the laundry I am overwhelmed by how many clothes they have, where did it all come from?!?

Having a small (minute, miniature, minuscule, microscopic) budget has made me have faith that God is our source and not Baby Gap – seriously, that store is like heroine for mothers.

Every pair of shoes, socks, pyjamas and onesie is a testament of my Father’s love. My children are truly in my Saviour’s care. Here’s what I’ve learned from having to dress my kids with faith and not money.

1. Don’t buy anything

I remember my mum calling me while I was in Mothercare one day (yeah, I was there all the time) and telling her about all the gorgeous and absolutely necessary baby items they had.  She got very serious with me one the phone and said -Don’t. Buy. Anything!!! I walked out empty handed and never had a need to go back to Mothercare.  

2. Pray for your needs 

Don’t be anxious (distressed, uptight or fearful) about what you don’t have. Take it to God in prayer and trust in His faithfulness to provide for all your needs. And don’t go running to Next every time your child gets a stained t-shirt. Remember rule number 1 and put your faith into action.

3. Accept every free gift 

In our world of choice we don’t like not getting what we want. But if you say yes to a bag of baby clothes, shoes, bedding, toys etc. then the next time that person is getting rid of something they’ll think of you first! One bag of baby vests could turn into years of hand-me-down kids clothes.  It all starts with saying yes. 

4. Receive gifts with a grateful heart

When I get offered anything I always say a massive thank you and get all excited about what treasures could be waiting inside. My kids get super excited too and can’t wait to take the bags home and see what’s inside. This may sound really simple but you’d be surprised how easy we can get defensive about accepting a free gift. Be thankful that you are getting stuff completely free!!

5. You don’t have to keep every single item

When we get home we pull out every item from the bag. I check the size to see who it will go to, then I check for any stains or tears and weigh up how badly we need it. You will be amazed the treasures we’ve been handed down. Nearly new Clark’s and Start Right shoes, Monsoon dresses that have never been worn and even the very pyjamas my girls have been praying for.

6. Ask for what you need

I’ve only had to do this a couple of times, but when I’ve been needing something particular, like a certain shoe size or school uniform, I’ve simply put a little one-liner on Facebook asking if anyone has something they don’t need any more. I don’t ask for “Clark’s shoes only please” or “must be like new”, I ask for whatever they have spare or need to get rid of and I take it. People are usually so happy to get rid of unneeded stuff in their homes and know it’s going to be put to good use.

I have a reputation for taking whatever I’ll get, so guess what – I get offered stuff all the time. And I’m so thankful for it! Without the generosity of others we would be living proper Amish style. If you’re trying to figure out how to manage a family on a tight budget this is a great place to start. If you don’t have to buy so many clothes, shoes, toys, books and every other item in Next and BabyGap think of how much money you’ll save!!

We’ve been given beds, sofa’s and even cars! Two to be exact. Believe that God really does take care of your needs, even the most basic one of clothing your kids. 

I tell you this: Do not worry about your life…Do not worry about what you are going to wear…Is not the body more important than clothes?…Why Should you worry about clothes?…God clothes the grass of the field…How much will He give you clothes? Matthew 6:25-30

What Did Jesus Ever Do For Me?

What did Jesus do for me?

Have you ever wondered what all the fuss about Jesus is?  Do you find it hard to lift your hands in worship, sing at the top of your lungs or pray out loud, tithe in church and live your life by Jesus’ example?  Why do we do all this?  What’s the point?  I was reading in Numbers today (yes, it’s August and I’ve only made it to Numbers!).  Not the most inspiring book of the Bible, it’s God’s law written down in every single detail.  And boy – are there a lot of details.  A rams head for this, an unblemished calf for that, a bit of wheat flour and clay for that and a little goats blood for this.  Clothes, food, marriage, adultery, murder, stealing and on and on – each one had a written law and way of coming to God to ask for forgiveness.  It’s tedious to read, but how much more tedious it must have been to live by!

When I was a teenager I loved God, but couldn’t understand how other’s seemed so thankful for Jesus dying on the cross.  Why some would cry every time they worshiped God or read the Bible out of pure gratitude and thankfulness.  How do you serve a God when you feel he hasn’t done anything for you?  But Jesus did something for all of us, even if don’t know it.  

When Jesus died on the cross he removed the ‘curse of the law’ (Galatians 3:13).  Living under all those rules and regulations was a curse of Adam and Eve’s sin.  It made it almost impossible to live a holy life and be worthy of entering heaven.  They had to watch every word, thought and action and if one was out of place they had to usually go kill something to say sorry.  That’s pretty extreme and must have gotten incredibly tiresome.

But Jesus’ death removed all of that.  He was the ultimate sacrifice.  The shedding of his blood was more than enough to sacrifice to forgive every sin for eternity.  That’s why we Christians no longer slaughter sheep, goats and bulls and splatter blood and burn incense and spend weeks asking for God’s forgiveness.  We are living in the freedom of Jesus Christ’s grace.  That alone is something I will sing my heart out in thanks for!

So REJOICE!!  Be thankful to God that you are free to live life in the grace of his new covenant.  You have instantaneous forgiveness of sins when you repent.  You have immediate access to the throne room of God through the Holy Spirit.  We all now get to enter into the ‘inner room’ for we have been washed by the blood of Jesus.

So what are you thankful to God for today??