Do it again Lord

Apologies for this week’s blog coming late; to say I have been distracted is an understatement.

With coronavirus spreading, life currently is unrecognisable compared to even a week ago. Our new structure and routine consist of home all day, every day.  Makes me kind of regret every mumble I had about never having a minute in my busy mum life to this point. I’m still a very busy mummy, just confined to one building with a serious lack of social interaction.

Confession time. All the great encouragement I am always so quick to give about praying everything through and reading the word, I must confess that all the hype from the coronavirus has had me in a right pickle. My head feels like a bucket of worms. The more I read the news and hear stories of others, I feel completely overwhelmed. I’ve found myself googling the news twenty times a day for updates. I’m struggling to compose and position myself for time with God and I quickly get distracted when reading the Bible. I find myself in complete despair when I sit down to pick a podast, and end up scrolling the news. I feel numb and uninterested about almost everything; coronavirus news has infected not my body, but my brain.

Because I’m struggling to be still with God, I wondered would it help if I got busy with God. So, with a bucket of hot, soapy water, I got down to clean my kitchen floor with a tiny scrub brush (so therapeutic). I whispered, oh God what am I going to do? Everything is a mess and I’m half scared to death that my kids or me will get sick or die from this. I know I have not been given a spirit of fear, but these are scary times.

Right there, on my knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, God reminded me that we had been here before. We as in me, and God was right beside me. A quick nose scrunch as I recalled the early days when I first got poorly with my kidney. I was all fired up and steadfast in my faith and certain that God would see me through but, as my illness progressed, my faith got a little weaker, as my symptoms got worse it got hard to pray, as my meds increased, it got hard to concentrate, and the more I heard the doctors say they couldn’t understand, the less I wanted to hear from God.

It’s so similar to now with this nasty virus, every day as I read the news. I feel what God wanted to remind me of is that, in the times of uncertainty, pain and despair, through my illness, God was there, he was faithful and he saw me through it and to the other side, my life was better than before, but my faith needed to be restored and strengthened.

“See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord GOD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.””
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I feel like God was saying remember how faithful l I was then, Terri? And I will be again and again and again. God reminded me of how I fell into that pit of fear and hopelessness. And he is saying I didn’t let you down before, and I’m not about to start now.

Today we hung our rainbow drawings in the window to share a little hope. Well, as God has proven Himself faithful before I know to place my hope in him. He is my Hope, my Light, my Strength, my Comfort, and in him I find Rest.

Now, if I can let God get on with his job, I think I need to get on with mine. Caring for my kids and being well for them. I think I need to make some changes. Like reducing my time on social media and the news, resisting the urge to go to bed late and sleep in. I need to, for my own mind sake, get up, get showered and dressed and try and not munch my way through the day, but eat sensibly. I need to carve out solitude time with God every day and I need to keep my mind focused on what I know to be true.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Will you join me today fixing your thoughts on this one truth, that God is faithful and he never has and never will let us down?

Here’s a super cute video of my kids from a few years back that just melts my heart and has put the biggest smile on my face today.

Peace and love

Terri xo

Time to SHINE

I remember back when I first became a Christian, I went along to a ladies’ conference. I was so inspired by the guest speaker; I remember so clearly praying for God to use me, please use me! My heart ached to understand what God wanted to do with my life so that it would have significance and purpose.

Many verses in the Bible promise me that God created me with purpose. Even without God, I think it’s a very reasonable thing to want to have significance in life. So I don’t believe that it was unusual for me to get excited about how all the hardship I had been through in life could have prepared me, and been used in some way for God’s glory to advance the kingdom.

I guess for a long time, I searched for the thing God would place so heavily on my heart. The thing my heart ached to make right, or the talent or gifting I would shine bright with, and really make a difference in a specific area.

I admit I probably gave growing and developing that desire, priority over growing my relationship with God. But God is gracious and, as the good Gardner he is, he pruned those little, unnecessary sprigs away that I had been trying to grow myself. Then I began to focus on our relationship and my understanding of his heart for me.

This week

As news of the coronavirus spreading all over the world, and the effect and devastation sending shockwaves through every element of society; it seems to be the hot topic on everyone’s lips.  I found myself getting really irritated by the fifty conversations a day I’m having about coronavirus. I’m not a doctor, or scientist, or a politician. I’m a Christ-follower.

I don’t have the power to control prices in the supermarkets; it not my decision to open or close schools or to put the country into lockdown. I’m not in a position to test or treat sufferers or come up with a vaccine and, thankfully, none of that is my responsibility.

But as a Christ-follower, I do have some responsibility. I believe that God is calling me to and that’s to shine

  “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”
‭‭
Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Stand out Don’t blend into the crowd, Stay Calm not to panic and stress, to bulk buy and fight in supermarkets.  Be wise in my efforts to contain the virus.  Pray for the sick.  Love others less well off, to share, and sacrifice what I can, not to be selfish and greedy, but leave enough for others. Respect people in authority and their decisions. Mostly to Trust in God

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭MSG‬‬

If, like me, you have ever longed to know your purpose in the kingdom.

THIS IS IT! you were created for a time like this.

When the world has plummeted into darkness, panic, and uncertainty be different, stand out! Be a beacon of light that shines bright and guides people to the love of Jesus.

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honour. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offence. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-7‬ ‭TPT‬‬

 

PAID in FULL

Not another coronavirus post, yeah I decided I’d leave those posts to those who are wiser and more well informed than me. I’ve never known so many people to have medical knowledge, and political and economical foresight in all my life. I must have missed that train, but anyway, what this has made evident for me, yet again, is my children’s faith and trust in God and his promises. This brings a lovely, calm atmosphere to our home, which is lovely in a time that our culture seems to thrive on chaos and panic!

Moving on.

Quite often, with my blog, I will get feedback about how people love the way I share how God uses everyday occurrences to speak to me, and I have to say, so do I. I love that God speaks to me in the everyday and that I get to, in turn, share it with you guys and then God also gets to speak through that as well, how cool?!

God can get very creative when he is trying to get our attention and that is nothing new. We see plenty of examples in the Bible: we have Jonah in the whale, Moses at the burning bush, Balaam and the donkey, and the list goes on. So it comes as no surprise really that God will use all sorts of things to speak to us today, and he doesn’t just want to talk to us about the big stuff, but normal day to day stuff too.

And the inspo for today’s blog came from stationery no less! Yup, God can use even stationery, lol.

Hang in there, it will all make perfect sense.

So, Wednesday morning my morning coffee had obviously kicked in well and I took a wee notion to give my desk a spring clean after cleaning the desktop and putting my work bestie to shame (because she is too busy doing actual work to clean her desk).

 I thought I would tackle the top drawer which I knew had a gazillion loose paperclips and staples and rubber bands, and whatever other stationery misfit and rejects couldn’t find a tidy home on the desktop. As I started to gather all the paper clips into a new container, I stretched my hand into the back of the drawer to pull all the loose bits forward and, to my delight, found a surprise little box I didn’t know was there. Opening up the box, I realised it was a stamper and, because I’m five, I instantly pulled a piece of paper over and stamped the page.

It said, this account is now overdue. I thought to myself, well that is a pretty wick stamp to find. I’m not sure what I really expected to find, it very obviously belonged to one of the finance team, but still something a little bit more upbeat. As I went to slip it back in its box, I noticed that it actually pulled apart to reveal two other stamps. Again, I stamped the second one, it said paid, and the third I think was invoice received or something along those lines. I thought, much better, and packed it away. As I went to scrumple up the post-it, the one I had used for the stamps, it caught my attention.

The good and the bad and there I felt God press on my heart, isn’t that the devils lies, and my truth?!img_4516

 

There it was, right in front of me, the two comparisons of what God says and what the enemy tells us and the lie in which many, including me, bow under, that our account is overdue, that we still have to pay for our past transgressions, that we are still in debt and what God is saying is it’s paid in full.

I know my story, I know the areas of my life where the enemy tries to muscle in and remind me of past mistakes, to lure me into a pit of shame and guilt or regret. And I know there are times that I need the reminder that it’s already been paid for. Perhaps Wednesday was one of these times, or perhaps it was for one of you guys reading this that needed the reminder. Whether it’s been something you have never been able to lay before the cross, or it’s one of those things that you lay down at Jesus’ feet, and then keep going back to collect. Can I remind you… your account is not overdue but it’s paid in FULL, and that price was Jesus on the cross.

someone said to me one time, if someone bought you a birthday present you wouldn’t take it back to the shop and try to pay for it, would you?

Stop trying to pay a debt that your Saviour has already paid.  It’s stamped PAID, by the blood of Christ.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:7-10‬ ‭MSG‬‬