My One Word.

New year resolutions always seem so full of promise. The reality is they often are long forgotten by February.
From childhood my new years resolutions have always included to stop sucking my thumb.
The reality is this will never happen . The comfort my thumb gives me far out ways the new years resolution. It’s my built in ability to calm and relax myself at any place and time. Why would I want to stop !

“My one word is an experimental idea to move beyond the cycle of broken resolutions. The challenge is simple instead of making unrealistic challenges – You pick one word to focus on every day all year .
One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.

For 2018 my one word is patience .
God is patient , I am not. I have a acknowledged my lack of patience many times over 2017.
The patience of God is staggering, I think of all the times God has been so close to me yet I failed to look.
God is patient towards me as he refines, develops and strengthens me.
I thank God for the patience that is shown to me by others. The patience that at times I do not deserve.
I will blog more on patience as I explore what it means to me.

2 Thessalonians 3:5
And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

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God Knows.

2017 has been an epic journey, full of laughter and tears.
God has held my hand in the pain and the Joy. When I fall holding Gods hand I feel loved. It’s that love that gives me the strength to get back up again.
Feeling  so loved and blessed surrounded by the most amazing people. Some  that know me in person and those that read my blogs.
My one big thing for 2017 is growing from world to word ( you need to read the blog ) and starting to find my voice.
I want to say thank you for reading my blogs and journeying with me .Sending you my love and blessings for 2018 what every it may bring.

The poem” God Knows “ By Minnie Haskins has found its way into my heart three times in the last 7 days . Once on Christmas day listening to the kings Christmas speech 1939. A few days after the full version was stumbled upon when searching for something completely different. Today it was read out as part of the sermon in Church.
Sharing it with you.

“God Knows”
by Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957)
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.
God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.
Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

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Missing This Christmas.

Dad won’t be sat at the Christmas table today.
Joanne will not turn up overloaded with beautifully wrapped grifts.
Dad won’t complain the sprouts are overdone.
Joanne won’t delight us with her stories .
But they will be with us this Christmas .

Our little boy won’t run down stairs to see if Santa has been.
Our little girl will not ask if it’s morning yet.
But presents will be brought.
Santa will come
They will be with us this Christmas.

Mum won’t sit at the head of the table.
Our large family of children will not cause chaos.
Mum won’t refuse us ice-cream and custard.
Children’s delightful faces will never be seen.
But they will be with us this Christmas.

I keep them all alive .
In ways that others might not see.
My prayers today are for them the ones I and cannot see.

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Roast For Twelve Weeks.

From December 1st our morning routine includes the opening a little paper door on our advent calendar. This non chocolate nativity scene is our traditional way to follow the Christmas story. For some this countdown involves the eating of chocolate. This early morning sugar high can often be followed by panic as they are reminded of how little time they have left to prepare for Christmas.
With Christmas preparations for some starting in September we should all have plenty of time to get ready for Christmas.
I am sure even the most disorganised households can’t take 12 weeks to prepare a roast diner, decorate a tree and buy a few gifts.
The commercialism of Christmas takes control. We are constantly being told to shop and indulge in Christmas . We loose the ability to pay attention to what is going on within us and to what is happening around us.

Late on Christmas Eve 1914, men of the British Expeditionary Force heard German troops in the trenches opposite them singing carols and songs they saw lanterns and small fir trees along their trenches. Messages began to be shouted between the trenches.
The following day, British and German soldiers met in no man’s land and exchanged gifts, took photographs and some played impromptu games of football. They buried the dead repaired trenches and dugouts.
They stopped for Christmas .

They stopped fighting I guess we will never know the motivations for such a complex event to happen. Some portray this event as a magical event. Romanticising
the laying down of arms.
I think it was far from magical but in the stopping it showed the humility of war.
The humility that is Christmas .

Christmas is a celebration of God becoming human: -That’s why I stop . To say thank you for Jesus .
The hugeness of Christmas is lost in the shops. It cannot been seen when we over indulge ourselves and others.

Advent for me means slowing down stopping; to make time to feel the silence and the stillness . Christmas for me is a time to rest, grow and pray . Stopping and standing away from the crowd allows me to journey through advent in a way that feels comfortable to me .

Christmas is a gift to us. A gift that needs to be received. Unwrapping such a special gift needs to be done slowly, taking time to discover its beauty and love.

I love writing and making Christmas cards . Its taking the opportunity to pray for and be thankful for friends and family .

To my elderly friends it’s not the card they are pleased with. It’s the time I spend with them when delivering the card.
The best gift I can give to my friends and family this Christmas is time. Given freely and not rushed.
Sharing with them and celebrating the joy of Christmas.

I can give this time because it’s really important to me.
It’s more important for me to take time away from work at Christmas than it is to have a summer holiday .
I don’t want to work flat out to pay for the Christmas that society believes I should have and enjoy.
I want the opportunity to connect with the community, have conversations invite them stop and engage with the Christmas story.

The beauty of creation is in abundance this time of year. Hedgerows are full of seasonal gifts that add colour and joy . Spending time outside walking and collecting greenery is one of my favourite Christmas activities . I give small gifts that if possible are hand made or made by someone else locally. When I do shop It’s making the effort to support local shops and charities so Christmas can continue on giving.

It’s very easy to quickly get caught up in the Christmas that I don’t want .
It takes a conscious effect to stop.

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Philippians 2:7-8The Message (MSG)
5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Inwardly Imploding.

Almost a year ago I was asked to read Psalm 23 to a handful of people .
I felt as if I was going in inwardly implode. The familiar words that have offered comfort and support, suddenly become my worse nightmare.
Their meaning was lost as I tried to read them aloud.
No one judged me as I raced and though the words. I cruelly judged myself ashamed of my fear of reading out loud.
Today I stood up at the front of the church and read my prayer from my heart.
Thank you God for pushing me to do something I always thought was impossible .

 

This advent Lord, come to the manger of my heart.
Fill us with your presence.
Because of your great love for us before the world began .
We are chosen to be adopted as your children.
We love because you loved us first.
A pure act of faith is to care for your children just you cared for us .
We thank you lord for the open hearted families that make adoption possible.
We Pray for children that are not spending Christmas with their families.
The children waiting adoption. Families waiting to adopt.
Give them strength and perseverance to guide them though the good days and bad days.
Bless them with friends and families that can support and understand their needs.
Pray for the birth families of these children; that they are supported. shown love and compassion.
Adotion is never easy its a pure act faith .
Each unique beautiful child is a gift from God.
Help us to hold onto what is good and true, and follow what leads us into life .
Help us to let go of what holds us back .
Forgive us when we choose the wrong way.
Forgive us when we hold onto what we ought to let go .
Thank you for Jesus,
Who speaks his gracious word to each of us, saying; Your sins are forgiven.
Amen

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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.

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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.

Meeting  Destiny .

Three things happened this week.

I meet Destiny
I built a cardboard wall of Jericho
Had to make a big decision.

I sat with Destiny chatting stringing beads together making bracelets. I made her a Yellow bracelet with the words “ you are amazing “. I made myself a bracelet with the words “No fear in love”.

Destiny explained to me the meaning of her name. We talked about fate and destiny what it meant to us. Destiny excitedly told me her life plan, how she was going to be a fashion designer making Yellow clothes.  She explained to me that as I was already grown up I must be doing what my destiny had planned for me.
It was a big conversion to have with 8 years old. I  think it was a conversation that Destiny enjoyed and has many times over when she meets people for the first and proudly tells them her name.
It was a privilege to meet Destiny. Reflecting on our time together I got an email that required a lot of thought in its reply. My instant reply was  No, I can’t do this.
I have had enough given up let fate take control. I have no control or influence it will only open myself up to more pain.
Whatever happens, happens, and I  can’t do anything about it. Apparently, this is called “fatalism,” and it is not biblical.

I prayed my problems holding the bead bracelet that I made with Destiny. It’s  words spelling out “ No fear in love “.
I asked myself the question is fear saying no?  Am I  just sheltering myself from pain? Am I looking for a place to escape the harsh reality of this meeting and the consequences it might bring?
Running is not going to help, I need to face the pain and the system that caused it.

Still undecided about what I should do I set about the task of preparing my cardboard box wall of Jericho for the children’s group Bible story.
The higher I  built the wall the more I thought about the fun and laughter we would have as I told the children  Joshua’s story. I planned that we would march around the church  7 times shouting, blowing trumpets than knocking down the cardboard box wall.

The message I wanted the children to hear is we need to listen to God. I am going to tell the children the importance of listening to God when today I am too scared to listen myself.

“The walls of Jericho were so thick that chariots could be driven on them. Joshua knew that they could not conquer the promised land until they conquered Jericho. There were many more obstacles in front of Israel. There were many cities to be taken, but Jericho was the greatest obstacle to everything God wanted for them. It was the gateway to their destiny”

As  I prepared the cardboard boxes for the children to knock down I saw my problem as my Jericho wall. It’s one of many walls that I have met on my journey it’s a big wide wall that has until now always been in the distance. Like Jericho, it’s strong scary but it’s my gateway to my destiny.

I need to confront the obstacles in front of me overcome them. Resisting the temptation to walk away, not to compromise.  This is not just about me, I don’t want other families to go through the pain we have. People need to be seen as people and not a piece of paperwork that can be moved from office to office desk to desk.
I am a person with hopes and dreams and with a heart that wants to keep on loving and giving.
We live in a physical world apply and judge on what we can see.  I need to be seen and heard.
It’s the world that is of God that is important to me.  This meeting is not a battle to be won, no winners or losers.
By being honest and open with them. I pray that at as a big organization they will take the time learn by their mistakes and listen to me with their hearts before they make their decisions.

I can only do this because Jesus is with me. When I walk into the room tomorrow It’s with Jesus. I will never be alone again, When I cried out he came to me. The gifts he has given me are the only reason can do this. Fighting for justice I can start to see the suffering and the pain is for the greater good.
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1 Peter 5:7The Message (MSG)
6-7 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.