A seed must become something

Last night as I drifted off to sleep, I was thinking about seeds. ¬†I know, a bit eccentric, but that’s how my brain functions ūüôā

All seeds have a purpose. ¬†Some germinate and flourish and produce more seeds. Some never germinate. Some germinate but then don’t have the right environment to flourish in and so eventually die or become a deformed version of what they were meant to be.

I am thinking that we are all a bit like seeds.  I am thinking that everything that is within us Рour thoughts, our words, our character, our mindsets Рare also seeds.

Hmmm…Now I am thinking that as I develop and grow into a flourishing and seed-bearing creation, what I bear is going to be what is coming from within me.

So then, perhaps it goes to also say, that I am responsible for those seeds within me.

What I focus on, feeds those seeds.

What I believe nourishes those seeds.

What I say births those seeds.

What am I going to birth today?

After a couple of not so great sleeps this week, and a meeting to go to this morning, I am fighting the desire to allow negativity and self doubt to formulate and take hold of nourishing the seeds within me. ¬†It’s definitely a fight today. ¬†And that’s ok. ¬†I know I’m going to win because I’ve decided upon the outcome.

I’m choosing to receive and participate in only the truth about who I am.

And so with that, I have chosen that which I will allow to influence me, and therefore, influence the growth and development of the seeds within me.  I have chosen to listen only to what God says about me, even if my emotions are not quite on board yet.  I will remain staunch and stoic and maintain my careful guard over those seeds that have been planted within me, that the fruit I birth will be wholesome, flourishing, seed-bearing and everlasting.

So I encourage one and all to take a moment to check the health of your seeds ūüôā ¬†There might be a bit of gardening to do, but as you choose to nourish them intentionally with what you focus on, what you believe and what you say, I think you’ll be pleased with the plants that grow.

Writing through the mire

Well, as I look back upon this last 2 years, I am close to astonished to see all that has happened and how I have travelled through it. ¬†It’s been almost 18 months since my beloved Dad went to be with Jesus and the roller coaster between grief and peace is one I hope not to ride again for a long long time. ¬†I think all in all, I lost a good 4 or 5 months, possibly the whole of ¬†the first half of the year in a state between bewilderment and denial.

Then quite suddenly, once I finally sat down to write out all that I needed to release from the cage inside my broken heart, the heaviness began to lift. ¬†It sometimes peaks in, now and then, and of course in unexpected ways… I suspect that will always be the case, regardless of the passage of time. ¬†But in writing I found a depth of intimacy and release that I had not expected.

It was in pouring out my pent up emotions and my questions and broken heart onto paper, that I could process all that had been holding my life in limbo.  It was through the pen that clarity came as I read back through tear stained glasses, and saw His hand upon every single day of the journey, especially the days that I was sure I would just collapse and never rise again.

My heart is to see one and all freed from the things that bind us and if you are finding yourself trudging through a bit of miry clay at the moment, please know that you are not alone. ¬†Please know that there is One who knows your struggles, your grief and your frustrations. ¬†Be encouraged that His ear is continually tuned in to your voice and as you reach out to Him, He will answer with a heart that loves you beyond any love you’ve ever known.

I have found that during my lowest times, it is the voice of Jesus that draws me back into the safe habour of His heart. ¬†It’s his love ¬†that nestles me back underneath the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91) and it’s His sacrifice for me that brings my mind back into a place of recognition that through Him I can do all things and can walk this sometimes sludgy and difficult road.

So take a deep breath and allow yourself time to embrace His heart for you. ¬†I guarentee you will not be disappointed. ¬†And regarding the practical sense (for those who love a to-do list), grab a pen and some paper, or your laptop and start to let that flood loose. Find a time when you won’t be disrupted and a place where you can release every emotion you need to in the way that just comes from these darker days. ¬†Once you release the latch on this cage, it will be painful. ¬†I know. ¬†I’ve been there and it hurts. ¬†But it’s the kind of pain that once released, frees you to breathe again.

I encourage you, whoever you are, whatever has happened in your life: ¬†you are not alone. ¬†Jesus wants to free you from all that binds you and His heart is to see you unfettered and released. ¬†You are not the circumstances that you find yourself in right now. ¬†You are so much more than that. ¬†Let Him show you – you might just get a surprise ūüôā

Shabbat Shalom…

I find it intriguing that as I wait on God, trying to patiently listen and accurately hear His voice and act upon what I hear, it seems almost impossible to feel any sense of direction!! ¬†All the ‘to do’s’ seem to scream out at me, pulsing like they are a living breathing organism defying my very attempt to try and gain some perspective in my day!

Felt like this? I would think so ūüôā

So what shall we do my friend?  When we feel like all the signposts are written in an alien tongue and all the roads have been wiped clean of any sense of direction?

My sense, is that in these times, there is one thing we can do that will give us time to breathe and recalibrate.  We carry out what in ancient times was called Shabbat Shalom.

What is Shabbat Shalom? ¬†Aah, I’m excited to tell you that it is something so wonderful and¬†rejuvenating¬†that you’ll want to schedule it into your calendar!

Shabbat Shalom is a combination of two beautiful Hebrew words that were used in conjunction with the Sabbath.  Following is my very raw and unlearned approach to understanding this beautiful phrase.

Shabbat means ‘ceasing or stopping, and is always used in the Hebrew Bible for the 7th day, the Shabbat, the day work ceases for the purpose of rest’. ¬†(Leviticus 23:3).

Shalom means ‘being in a state of wholeness or with no deficiency and it goes further than the idea of peace from war’.

When you put these two words together it translates ‘May your day of no work be peaceful’ and can also mean ‘may you become whole during your ceasing of laborious work’.

So my friend, when we are feeling like the earth is spiralling off its axis and the ability to control the day to day is overwhelming, I encourage you:  take a Shabbat.  Intentionally choose to take a day of personal rest from the laborious and the trite.  In taking the time to truly rest, we are able to allow our All-Wise, All-Knowing Father the opportunity to rejuvenate our weary minds, our strung-out bodies and our time-poor thinking.

We become realigned, recalibrated, restored and re-wired!

Re-fuelled, re-awakened  and rehabilitated!

We are revitalised, regenerated and refreshed!!

Trust Him.  I know that in our culture it is hard to both take time out for rest, and also hard to trust that what you are doing is of more value to your life than striving to complete what we are doing.  BUT I have learned from experience, and years of fighting this notion of rest, that when I choose to allow this time, my work becomes more focussed, my time is spent more efficiently and my relationships are kept in a healthy balance.  I feel in tune with my Maker and my world.

It’s worth it my friend. ¬†Why don’t you get your calendar out and make some time available for your Shabbat. ¬†And let me know what happens!!

Earning Gods blessings?

I’ve been learning recently about obedience, discipline, coming into alignment with the plans of God and understanding how my everyday choices impact my relationship with him.

I tried to fast for the week before our trip to the States. It was a total bust. Farcical really.   I had felt that Holy Spirit had encouraged me to do this, saying that it would impact how I receive a blessing from him.

So I tried. I tried real hard. Actually it was probably quite ¬†amusing to watch me striving and straining to ‘get it right’

Does any of this sound familiar?

So since I totally failed at trying to be the most disciplined, the most obedient I could be, I simply gave up.

When I inquired of the Lord as to why he asked me to do something that I clearly couldn’t achieve, he simply answered with clarifying one really important fact: you cannot earn a blessing from God. You just can’t.

So now as I sit in this massive plane, I have had another epiphany about all this craziness. As I was attempting to understand how I could still be ‘eligible’ for this up and coming promised blessing in Phoenix, I realised that perhaps I had been seeing things backwards.

Perhaps what I was thinking was back to front. Then the penny finally and graciously dropped.

My failure at being obedient and disciplined wasn’t a failure at all. It was exactly what he knew would happen.

And the blessing that he said I couldn’t earn is still most certainly mine because the lesson here wasn’t about being obedient and disciplined as I thought. It was about realizing that I can do nothing to cause the favour of God to rest upon me. It is purely his delight in me that causes his face to shine upon me and his face shines upon me at all times.

So I am always living in his favour. Always dwelling in the blessing.

I think too that the blessing in this case, is partly in the realization that I’ve nothing else to do but sit back and receive.

So as the few remaining hours of our flight begin to pass by, I feel encouraged and recharged. I feel a burden has been lifted from my mind. You cannot earn Gods love or his blessings. He simply is love and as I receive more of him in me, I simply receive more…of him.