Thank you!

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to say a massive thank you to each and every one of my readers. From the bottom of my heart, I’m so grateful for all the encouragement and feedback. For all the love and support that keeps me going.

Because there have been so many new followers since my first blog. I thought it would be good to share it again and give my new followers a little insight into my story.

Thanks for reading, I would love it if you leave feedback and also subscribe to the weekly blog emails.

love out

Terri xx

How it all started

For the purpose of getting to know me. I’ve included my inner voice in italics, and if you think the italics make rough reading, I should highlight. It has been censored for blog appeal.

About five years a girlie night out with my cousins, took a dramatic twist. A couple of bible bashers from my cousin’s church came waltzing into the restaurant and plopped themselves down at our table. Apparently normal behaviour amongst these church folk. Not so for me. I learnt that not only autistic kids couldn’t read body language, but grown-ass Christian couples that had escaped their kids and were looking a bit of good old Christian banter also lacked the same ability. [scary Terri]

Cue the outspoken Christian. You know the type, I’m going to ask in a jokey tone but I actually really mean it. ( please read in a high-pitched kind of panto drag queen voice) Sooooo “Terri are you going to come to church then”?

( now drop is low and drag it out Kevin and Perry style) No, Moses, I’m not! So run along back to your sandal shop, I think you left your man bag there. [eyeroll]

[fake smile]  No, No, I said. The church is not for me. I would burst into flames if I walked into the church.

Truthfully I grew up in the church. I’d made too many mistakes, I just believed there was no place for me in church.

May I now introduce GodThe Comedian”  little did I know then, but I had just prophesied over my very own life.

God had his eye on the target. He just needed me in position, and he was armed and ready to aim.  He was certainly not going to miss and hit the wall.

So off to church, I went.  I had this sussed. In I’d go, smile at all the nice Christians, move my lips in time with words on the screen. Keep a straight face around the crazy people waving their hand in the air like lunatics. Don’t laugh!! DO NOT LAUGH TERRI. Put my fiver on the plate, oh yeah offering would surely keep them sweet, then id head home and get ready to hit the bar for Sunday club. Then I could say, yep I give it a go. It’s not for me. Now scram, on to your next victim Mary.

But you guessed it. God is God, and he seized the moment, I suppose if your only going to get one shot, be sure to do it right. Right?

I walked in the front doors of the church, and as promised, my new friend was standing one hand on the fire extinguisher just in case. all these God folk are hilarious

I don’t know who tipped off the pastor.  That dude spoke his message that day like he had written just especially for me. He never took his eyes off me the entire message ( not really but God had me in a headlock, so it felt that way) and every word he spoke. Spoke straight to me like daggers to my heart.

So when he read the words, He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge. Psalm 91: 4  my fire sparked to life.

A fire sparked to life in my heart for God. it was just a tiny spark. And as I left the building that day. My head lifted a little higher, my shoulders a lot lighter and my eyes a whole lot puffier. If my head didn’t know it then, My heart surely did, I needed God and his refuge.

Good story?

Here is the part of a good story where it says, and she lived happily ever after, its been all rosy in the garden ever since. All my troubles disappeared, bad habits died, life is a dream, and we all lived happily ever after.  So come along folks jump on board the Jesus train.

[eye rolling,]  Bad News Sadie, doesn’t work like that. Contrary to popular belief, jumping on the God glider is more a case of, buckle up Blondie; you’re in for the ride of your life.

The past five years would be closer compared to white water rafting down the waterfalls in the Amazon jungle. The conditions should list requirements as please bring a change of clothes, especially underwear.

Back in the early days when I danced the two camp tango, I was so sure; I could live both old and new life simultaneously.  Too ultimately snowballing of course, then drag my sorry butt back for some good old fashion, tail between leg repentance. Back on board, There were days that life felt like a high-speed police chase.  Other days it felt like I hitched a ride on the back of my Gran’s mobility scooter.

I don’t have all the answers; I’m definitely not professing to be some deeply spiritual theologian. I actually couldn’t even pretend to be anything remotely academic in any area, let alone complex theology. What I do know is this, that refuge Pastor Gareth talked about that day. God provided that! Followed with the countless blessings as promised. I’ve a long, long way to go but I’ve come such a long way too. As I got to know God, he has broken chains of unforgiveness, shame, doubt, guilt and rejection that had held me in bondage for years.  I know this, Jesus came before me and laid down some serious groundwork for Me to live in the freedom I do today, this very ordinary, a bit of a shambles, back to front, inside out. Upside down life I’m living.

If a movie of my life came out. I’ve God as Narrator, Jesus, as my action hero. Holy Spirit as my BFF. The Bible as my treasure map. An epic plot, lots of twist and turns, hidden agenda. Non-stop blessings, a great soundtrack, lots of big belly laughs, Some tears along the way, a cliffhanger ending that has you crying out for the sequel; Eternity!

Wouldnt I have myself a box office hit?

Sadly my fifty quid budget wouldn’t stretch to a Hollywood blockbuster. Instead, I invite you to join me on my toe-curling, knee tapping, hip happin [ssshh it rhymes] crazy adventure with God.

 

 

My Joy bomb!

group of people having neon party
Photo by Marcin Dampc on Pexels.com

Not one for bragging, but I really want to tell you all about my very charming middle son Ethan. Ethan has a very unique wee personality; he has the most gigantic compassionate heart. He loves clear, direct instructions and thrives best when he is in routine. Not to mention his dashing good looks and wicked sense of humour that mixes in well with his dry wit to make him very entertaining company. Now please don’t think I’m painting him as some model child because he can model disobedience as well as the next teenager, believe me, and there have been many many consequences to tell the tale. Ethan is very unique though in the way he carries a little bit of joy around with him and just leaves a wee deposit behind him everywhere he goes. On a wet, windy Monday morning, he did just that as I was dropping him off at his bus stop at 7.45am; quite the opposite to his two brothers who are most definitely not morning people. Ethan wakes with a bounce every morning and leaves a little splash of joy all over the place as he goes.

Now as desirable as this morning zest for life is and yes a lot more people could do with displaying it, that is not the point I’m making.

I was sharing with my connect group about how Ethan’s morning joy always leaves me feeling a little more uplifted in the morning.  Then I got to thinking about how joy is a fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians 5 we read,

“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Galatians 5:22-23 MSG

I’m left with no doubt that this same exuberance for life Ethan has is the fruit of the Spirit. Gifts are given to him by his loving Heavenly Father. And just like it says in the passage, these fruit are similar to the fruits that appear in an orchard. And just as these fruits from the orchard carry seeds from which new fruit can grow, Ethan’s fruit of the Spirit carry little seeds which he deposits everywhere he goes. 

So it got me thinking, how do I deposit my little fruit seeds as I go? 

Even more to the point, it got me thinking do I even display the fruit?

I do, I’m sure of it, this is not a time to try and be modest. I do have joy and peace and love, and I’m faithful and so on.. in almost all situations. Ek!

But do I leave a little seed where I go? I have had to wonder that maybe sometimes I’m too concerned about other people’s perception of me to leave my fruit seed.

Confession time, I’m a chronic over-thinker and approval seeker. Yes! it’s something that I’m working on but certainly not a battle I have overcome just yet. I  am constantly analysing how others may be perceiving me and more often than not feel like I need to adjust my behaviour accordingly. 

I know this is not the life God created me to live.  I’m not walking in my true identity, and this is not the life that is most honouring to God or me. It is a constant battle against my own flesh to not give in to the urge to seek approval from others.

So my question is this.. do you carry the Fruit of the Spirit?

How do you deposit your fruit seeds?

And if not, why not?

‘Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord! Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere! As you serve him, be glad and worship him. Sing your way into his presence with joy!’

Psalms 100:1-2