Bananas May Contain Children.

When I imagine a drive in movie, I think big American, cars rock n roll, poodle skirts and the movie Greece.

I don’t really think much past that image . Until I saw a shared post on Facebook . Cardboard box cars all lined up containing children watching a film. This allowed me to not only reimagine it but when shared it become a reality . On Saturday our community had its very own drive in movie night.

Its such a simple idea, children make cars out of cardboard banana boxes adding embellishments. With plenty of imagination the boxes were transformed. After making the cars and parking them up a tea was provided . The children soon settled into their cars and enjoyed the film.

It has made me think how we label and stereotype often not being prepared to see past what we already know.
The children sat in boxes clearly labeled bananas. To everyone in that room they sat in cars.
The boxes had been beautifully crafted by the children. Adding paper wheels, some even had cup holders. Cars were unroad worthy some even multi occupancy but they were obviously cars.
Sitting enjoying the film my mind started to wonder. It made me think how Jesus does not label us, and how much we label .
On the outside boxes are clearly labeled bananas . So we should expect to find bananas on the inside.
Why would we find anything else? Its obvious why we have to label boxes.
But why are we so keen to label people ?
No one wants their identity boiled down to one thing, even if the label is a strength, a talent, or a gift. Even positive labelling restricts us . Puts us in a box that’s hard to get out of.
The way we label people is something I have always felt strongly about even in my teenage years it frustrated me . Caring for a little person with additional needs and finding my faith has strengthened my feeling about the way we judge and label people without much thought or consideration to them.
We can make decisions so quickly. Putting people into categories because of their jobs, looks, religion or race. It’s easily to do, we have all done it. It’s only by getting to know people and genuinely wanting to be with them understand them do we remove those unwanted labels.

Labels can really hurt, keep you from being who you really are.
I need to live my life by what I feel inside. Not the labels that others give me, or even the labels I give myself.
The labels I have carried and given myself are no longer significant, they no longer limit me in the way they used to . I am learning to see and live beyond my labels.
Jesus set me free from my labels allowed me to peel them back.
I am so much more than a label. I am a child of God and that’s all I am and who I am.

We could have described our drive in movie afternoon afternoon as “A fresh expression of church lead by an evangelical team ” it could equally be “Community family drive in movie night” .
Its was all those things but it was just simply to me one thing God at work .
Its being involved in lives of the families in our community.  It’s The conversations we have, love we have for them, the love of Christ that we want to share with them. Jesus loves us and that’s the message I want to share. “ you are loved “ . Loved without labels, loved on your good days and bad days . It’s good to loose the long words that not everyone understands and think just about what’s at the heart of what we do.

Psalm 139:14Good News Translation
I praise you because you are to be feared;
all you do is strange and wonderful.
I know it with all my heart.

IMG_7476

Advertisements

Horologist Needed.

Only a few blogs ago pain suffocated and consumed me. Deep penetrating pain from the person I love. It hurt me in a deep way I never thought was possible.

The only way I can describe what happened is by thinking of it as a clock. A clock that keeps getting wound up. Winding it when it has not had time to wind down. Winding it when it did not need winding . Pushing and stressing the internal workings of the clock. Yet it keeps getting wound. It’s gets to the point as much as we try to turn the key it not longer turns. The clock cannot take anymore but we still keep trying to turn the key. All that that inward wound up energy and it has to be realised . Months and months of overwinding explode outwards. Bits of clock exploding at force in all directions damaging all that’s in its path.

The clock is painfully broken.

I don’t know how to mend broken clocks . I can pray and I know that prayer works. It does not work in ways I always imagine. I have been learning that . Prayer does not put right a wrong .

The clock is painfully broken spreading its broken pieces far and wide. But it’s not beyond repair. With love and prayer we can pick up the broken pieces .
I pray that that as a community, professionals and individuals we can all work together to find all the broken pieces of my beloved clock.
I pray that as each piece is put back with love and prayer it works better and stronger than before.
I pray that this new renewed clock will run on faith and love not anger and pain.
Prayer allows me to ask others for help without saying why? It allows me to say this is far to much for me to handle God please take this from me I can’t deal with it.
Prayer means I am not alone. It’s a place to cry to be held and fall asleep.
Prayer is the only time and place that I feel completely understood.

God feels my pain. I can’t completely describe my pain to others but with God it’s just known.
With God it’s shared without words.
Some days like today prayer and God is just all to overwhelming, words are replaced with tears.
Holding the broken clock and praying for it to be mended is sometimes all I have to hold onto.

I have just read for the second time Max Lucado’s book “Before Amen” through the pain and joy of the last few weeks it’s been the pocket prayer that has punctured my day .
Saying bits of it or all of it as part of my ongoing conversation with God thought out the day.

Father
You are good
I need your help, heal me and forgive me.
We need help
In Jesus name
Amen.

I am normally not very good at praying or myself. I pray for everyone but myself. I am learning that in order for me to take care of others I need to look after myself too.
Since the clock broke I have only had the energy for prayers for me and my clock. Each word and the silence that is God has only been for us.
Without us their is no moving forward . Its the us that helps make me. It’s the us that makes me smile and laugh. Its his honesty in all that he does that I love. His outstanding way of making sure everything he does is done to his best ability with fairness and accuracy.
I can’t imagine a world when my clock does not tick. We have to repair this broken clock with love and prayer. I pray when it comes to its first gentle winding I have enough strength left to turn the Key.

IMG_7459

Philippians 4:6-7The Message (MSG)
6-7 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.

Someone Else’s Fear.

Today the sun is directly overhead shinning so brightly it’s almost unbearable.
When the sun is not shining, I know it’s still there. Just as I know God loves me even when I might not be feeling it.
Gods love was not on my mind a year ago. I was so trapped, not knowing which way to turn. Those that should have been helping me where not: I was left in an impossible situation.
Twelve months today I was reading “ From fear to love by Bryan Post” a love based approach to helping parent children that have been adopted or in care.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18
I wanted to find out more; just reading the bible passage as part of Bryan’s book that night did not seem enough.
I wanted to read it from the bible. Their was a strong need to want to try understand what was being said and why.
Reading a Bible verse more than once was something that I would not normally do. I read 1 John 4:18 over and over again that evening. Stopping to spend time researching the verse on the internet. Desperately trying to understand why love and fear cannot co exist.
Learning that some of us can be so afraid of love we push it away. I understood that if you feel Gods love you cannot be afraid . God will look after you.
Within hours I suddenly found myself home alone and very scared.
Someone else’s fear had shattered my life and those that I love where also destroyed.
God is so amazing giving me that one verse to hold onto. Curled up on the sofa: crying, rocking and shaking I was not angry only scared. I understood why it had happened.
Through my tears and uncontrollable shacking somehow I understood God was with me.

IMG_6811

Trust.

I wanted to blog about trusting the wrong people. Why do I keep allowing myself to trust and then be so hurt?
The betrayal, the feeling of failure, for having trusted an untrustworthy person keeps happening to me. It raises questions about my judgment; I feel so used and gullible.
The people I trust keep hurting me. They are using my good nature for their own benefits. These are professional people working in the public sector that I keep believing. Believing they will do their job in the professional manner that I would expect.

I keep on praying for a way to forgive them. Wanting the negative energy that it generates to stop; pain to ease and the hurt to be a little less. Repeatedly broken trust that just never seems to get the chance to heal.

It’s hard to forgive when deep down you are no better: I told a very special little person they could trust me. I still cannot move on from the way I unintentionally caused them pain too. The pain of this haunts me every day. It’s a constant reminder of the hurt I caused.

Do the people that hurt me feel the same as I do? I would not wish this pain on them, the constant hurt and questions that go round in my head when I have an idle moment.

I know I will keep trusting and keep getting hurt but it’s the way God made me.
Sometimes I wonder if I am putting too much trust in the wrong people; these people don’t love me. It’s not in their hearts to want to help me. But God does and that’s why I put my trust in God.

Putting my trust in God means I am not alone. God knows me: my thoughts, my fears, my hopes, and dreams. God wants me to put all my confidence in him all the time in everything I do.

I don’t need to get to God through someone else; God is in my heart. I need to learn listen to his voice, the voice inside me that I can trust, the voice that will guide me, help me make decisions, and the voice that will teach me to forgive those I trusted that hurt me.

I still cannot forgive myself for hurting such a special person. I pray that she one day will forgive me, and learn to love and trust again.
Proverbs-3-5-6_Bible-Verse_peacock-butterfly_corn_harvest-mouse_cornflower_wild-flowers_meadow_watercolor_nature-painting_artwork

Rules of love

Day 29 – Live _ Lent Challenge .
The rules and laws set out for us in our modern world seem negative and often their seems to be a gap in how we want to live our lives as Christian’s and what the rules say we can and can’t do.
How often do we read rules ? That include the words love, strength, heart, soul and forgiveness . We are more likely to read rules which include words threat, cannot, restricted, prosecute, judge, illegal and penalty .
Laws and rules are set rigid they do not allow for compassion they do not bend listen or understand circumstances .
Rules that are made in fear , to protect governments , organisations and the population as a whole and do not cater for the individual.
We are a society scared of being sued , scared of each other , so we create rules and laws out of fear.

” Love the lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your strength and all your mind, and love your neighbour as yourself”
It’s a rule for life, away of living ,no negative words, just being told what we can do and most importantly you most do it with love.

Luke 10:27New International Version (NIV)

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.”

IMG_6161

Sowing seeds of love

Day twenty one – patience – lent challenge 

The evening are getting lighter and each evening I spend time with my seedling , picking them out , pinching them , training them .
Separating each plant from the crowded seed tray , making each one a individual , giving them the room to grow , a chance to get its roots down , to find nourishment and grow strong and flower .
I give my plants all they need to grow , they all look the same , but each one is a individual it’s not just down to me if they grow each seedling has its own strengths and weaknesses just like us.
If my seeds that I sow don’t grow I sow again, if I sow a hundred seeds but only two fruit that that’s a success.
But next time a sow I might just change my technique slightly to encourage more growth and maybe produce more fruit. Not all seeds are the same but all require love and patience to grow .

Jeremiah 29:11 the message

I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

IMG_6093

Agony of infertility

Day Twelve –  lent challenge-  Hope
For 21 years, I struggled to conceive . I counted days, took vitamins, fertility chats , blood tests
God has used the agony of infertility to grow and shape my faith I am grateful for my infertility. It is a blessing that took me on a journey of fostering and faith .

If you are struggling with infertility, God holds you close to His heart. I pray that wherever you are on this journey, that God will give you wisdom and peace

When a negative becomes both positive and negative .

We both agreed to start a family
10 months latter baby – easy
21 years pass no baby number two.
Ovulation, pregnancy dominated my every thought .
Positive tests have negative outcomes
Negative tests have negative outcomes .
Positive means pregnant – pain and loss
Negative means not pregnant – pain and loss
Miscarriage’s , ectopic pregnancy’s
Life of folic acid, healthy eating, doctors fertility clinics
Pregnancies that threaten my life.
Emergency surgery – grief , hurt , anger .
Heart full of love for each unborn child.
Children that never grew up,
Children that never cried.
Beautiful loved babies ,
Blessed that I have learned to except
Able to grieve and cry
Never ever giving up hope .

“even tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil – for you are with me – your rod and staff comfort me” psalm 23

IMG_5571