Satan knows what lies to tell us. The ones we are most likely to believe. I am one of the organizers of our women’s ministry and sometimes co-ordinate or speak at different events we hold. The thing that I am most afraid of is that people may believe I am attention seeking or want acclamation […]
Why couldn’t it have happened to my second girl? She is amazingly social, loves everyone she meets and makes friends in moments. Why, oh why God did it have to happen to my eldest? (Who shall be referred to as Miss Pants)
New school for Miss Pants this year which to a 9-year-old is like a whole new world. What you need to understand is that she choses her friends carefully, and only keeps a few select close. This is mostly because despite her very best efforts to appear strong and confident (overly so at times), she is actually very sensitive and anxious. She has three close friends and if you ask her, she is happy and that is all the friends she needs.
There were three things she held onto as summer passed. That one of her close friends who is in her grade would be in her class, that if she was placed in a split it meant her second close friend could maybe be in with her as she is a year older, and that a neighbour who is familiar and is an expected teacher in her grade, would be hers. But none of those things came to pass.
This morning she waited anxiously to find out and she discovered that the one close friend her age was not placed in her class. In addition she had been placed in a split, with her being the younger grade, but her older friend was not placed in her class. Finally the teacher she knew would not be hers. Nothing. Not one known for her to hold onto. Insert her heart breaking here….
Why couldn’t it have been my second child? She would have said ‘oh well!’ and moved on to see what this adventure would bring. But that is not the heart of Miss Pants.
My husband was there, I was not. It doesn’t matter though, I can see the expression on her face – I know it well. It says “I know I need to be brave, I know it will be alright, but right now, in this moment, my heart is a little broken”. He said she fought back the tears….and so did I.
Even now as I sit here typing I am still holding back my own tears. I feel torn that I should have gone with her instead of going with her younger siblings to their school, but know that her father is more than capable of handling this situation and he loves her just as much as I do. I just want to drive over there and pull her out and bring her home to keep her safe – however I know that is not the solution.
I sit here asking God how I explain when she comes home that there is a plan in this and it will all be okay, when I am uncertain of that in this moment.
No one explained that parenting would break me like this. Leave me feeling helpless and heartbroken at watching my children hurting. No one explained the crippling humility that comes when you realize there is absolutely nothing you can do to change things. All you can do is walk with them through the sorrow.
And so, as always do when I do not understand God I will trust Him. I will lean on him and allow myself to be comforted in Him. Amazing isn’t it that having God, and all He offers us doesn’t eliminate the pain from our lives, just allows us strength to make it through.
As I share this a friend has just messaged me to let me know her daughter is in Miss Pants class and listed a few other familiar faces. It will not make things okay for her, but it may make it easier, and so for that I am grateful.
Maybe it will be alright and she will figure it out and have an amazing year (that’s what everyone says). However, there is a very real possibility she will have a difficult year, and a very lonely year. I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that God is working in her through every moment, and I need to do my best to help her without getting in His way.
Courage to all the parents who are trying to navigate a similar path. Who in the end just do not know what to do. God is with us all and for all our sakes I pray the following scripture:
“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.” Psalm 25:4 (NLT)
I had the privilege in May to speak to a group of girls in grades 6-8 at en event we called Raise Them Up. The purpose was to let them knew were special, loved by God and designed with a plan. Recent interactions in my life have made me realize maybe it is not only our young ladies who could be reminded of this message. So below is an edited version of what I said to them.
I remember when I was younger…I was confident, but at the same time afraid I didn’t know myself. Mostly happy, but at the same time constantly feeling in distress about one thing or another. I was trying to figure out who I was and more importantly who I wanted to be. I wondered if I mattered, what I was supposed to be doing in life and how to even figure any of that out.
I was feeling everything and nothing all at the same time.
What I hope to share, from my experience, is the knowledge that God made us all different, that we all struggle sometimes, and that, in some way or another there is someone else who has experienced a similar moment to where you are now. Most of all, I want to secure in your heart and mind a confidence about how exceptionally valuable you are, that you do matter, and to remind you where your value comes from.
Growing up, I collected comic books and baseball cards. Other people might have collected figurines, stamps or coins. None of the items I have really acquired any particular value because I did not know enough at the time to choose items that were hard to come by. That were unusual, or unique in nature. So, I have in my basement today a selection of the same cards and comic books as hundreds if not thousands of other people, and so their common nature takes away from any exceptional worth. What I didn’t know when I was making my selections is a fact remains uniform through any collector group – the value of the item is directly related to the number of items issued. Simply put, the less there are of something, the more value it holds.
So what does that mean for you? There are hundreds of women just like you right?
No. No, there is not.
You see, whether you believe it in this moment or not, whether you understand it, or are willing to even consider it – there is only and will ever only be one you. You are incredibly valuable, because God made just one. And what I want you to really hold onto is that it is the things that set you apart and make you unique that matter the most.
One of my cherished verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 1:5. When God called Jeremiah he said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”
When I was young, I was different. I looked different with my red hair and freckles. I had a different home experience than most of my friends, though they didn’t know it. I was very energetic, talked a lot and could be very loud. I was everything I didn’t want to be. I was unusual and I felt isolated. I wanted to be just like everyone else and I spent a lot of time trying to be, but it always ended in disappointment. I didn’t know that it was those unique qualities that in time God would use and work with and mold me to His plan and purpose.
You see just like me, you are a completely and totally unique person. A set of parents can produce almost an innumerable number of DNA combinations, and only one of those combinations would create you. And God knew you before that combination was set in motion, He knew you and He chose you. And in his workmanship He made an irreplaceable treasure.
There was never before and will never again be another you.
Really, what it was I wanted when I was young was to be deemed worth something by the world around me. I thought if I was a certain way, either by the way I looked, or the way I acted, I would find that value. What I didn’t know was my worth was hard-wired in the one of a kind design God has made me to be.
So then, in those moments where you might feel like you don’t know who you are, or why you act the way you act, remain encouraged that the God who created every detail in the vast universe had in front Him almost endless possibilities of what person He could create and He chose you and only one of you to be a part of His world.
Let that sink in for a moment.
(Ephesians 2:10). Says…For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them
So we have established God chose you to be you. He is the creator and designer of the rare and precious woman that you are. This verse reminds us than in His creation there is ‘good works’ that have been prepared for us.
You my friend, have purpose. God has a plan for each one of us. Sometimes our path is easy to find and our feet fall comfortably on each step. Other times we can become lost and confused and start to wonder why are we here or where we are going.
In those hard moments remember…There is within you all the capacity through God to do His great works. Can you imagine that of all the people available to Him, He is at this very moment asking you, asking us, to be part of His plan and purpose.
Do not under-estimate what God has planned for you. Don’t try to control His purpose and don’t determine for yourself if you can or can not do it. I did a Bible study once and the title of one lesson has stuck with me. It was “God does not call the qualified He qualifies the called” what that means is that God may call you to be part of something that you feel you are completely unable and incapable of doing. Something that seems so far beyond what you want, what you need or can even imagine. But IF God has called you HE will give you everything you need to fulfill that task. By His call to purpose you are qualified.
You are good enough because God says so.
Sometimes we make God small in our thinking, however, understand this – the possibilities of what He has in store for you are limitless. You just need to trust and believe in His purpose for your life.
People often see me and think I have a gift for speaking in front of people or that I must be very confident. What they don’t see is the great anxiety I work though daily and someone who has battled depression. Someone who rarely sees themselves as capable of great things. Someone who feels like she is always catching up and never winning the day.
However, I am also someone who trusts God, leans on Him, has committed myself to be obedient to him and knows that if He calls me – He will qualify me for the job. If you recall, I said I was different when I was young – I talked a lot and could be loud. Turns out those are really good skills for public speaking. God has placed a skill set in me that I was unable to understand at the time. He has used the things I didn’t really like about myself many times for His glory. For that I am grateful and that is why I write this now, so excited to be sharing with you that He may have the exact same thing in store for you.
You are valuable and precious in the eyes of God.
This world is going to for the rest of your life put things and opportunities in front of you and try to convince you that in those places is where value, importance and worth lies. It will tell you if have something, act a certain way, look a certain way, do certain things that you will be good enough and deserving of acceptance and love.
What this message is about is reminding you that you are already LOVED, more than you know. You are loved by a God that made you, that wants you just as you are. The world’s approval and acceptance will always, always, come with conditions and expectation. God loves you and all of us just as we are.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God sent His Son to die when we were still sinners, (still making mistakes, still not perfect, still messing up) but He did it anyway because you were that valuable and that loved..
I want you to hold on to God and hold on to the knowledge that there is a plan for your life, whether you see it or not. Sometimes, it will be hard. There are things in my life and the lives of many women I know that have been hard, times that have tested us to the very core of who we are. There will be times where it will seem impossible, where it might hurt but I can with all confidence say this: no matter what the world has for you it is Nothing compared to what God wants for you. Do not compromise your value or purpose for anything!
Remember, you DO NOT need to find value – you HAVE value, now share it with the world. Set your standard high and don’t lower it for anything or anyone.
Here is what I want to leave you with. You Are amazing. I am privileged to get to share this with you today. You cannot not do anything to gain value or earn it. God loves you…you are the daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You are designed and purposed by Him to love and live following Christ. You already have value and you are Already treasured.
While the world is trying to have you prove your value Christ already died for it.
Believe it today my friend and go confidently out into the world to share all that God made you to be.
Have we completely forgotten how to love?
Love bears all things…
And yet people can not even seem to handle having a difference of opinion between friends.
Loves believes all things…
And yet there is mistrust, doubt and bitterness rampant in many marriages.
Loves hopes all things…
Yet there is less and less the ability for people to believe the best in people and circumstances and to find genuine joy for the success of others.
Love endures all things…
And yet people give up on each other every day.
Love never fails…
So what are we doing wrong?
Do we love wrong? Or do we not understand what it is to love?
The Bible does not say God is the source of love. It says God IS love. We need to believe that, cling to it and allow that love to fill us so full that it moves right through us and into the people we encounter. If we do not have God, we do not have the love we need to share.
Love isn’t scheduled, planned and often it is inconvenient. Love however, is intentional.
Love does not mean we blindly believe in everything someone is doing, or that it will always be received and accepted in the way WE would choose. We love because God loved us first, period. Not for the response it creates…we leave that with God. By planting the seed of love in their lives we are planting God in them. Have you considered that?
When will we stop seeing colour, race, class, attitude, circumstance, mental illness, addiction, life choice, and just see people who need love? When will we stop assessing if they deserve it, if they have ‘got themselves in this mess’, or determining they will never change, and just start loving on them?
Love, being God, has NO limitations except the ones we choose to place on it, often in the form of excuses.
Everyday I pray God will blind me to what the world wants me to see in people and remind me every time I look at someone that I am to love them, that is all – not change them, just love them. Agree, disagree, same or different, kind or cruel, all I am asked to do is love them. And I pray and repent that it seems so hard to do, when so much love was extended to me.
Let us then ladies – love them. Love them all! Every neighbour, colleague, family member and friend. Love the ones who are unloveable and the ones where we come left feel battered and bruised from the effort. Love them intensely, passionately and ask God to refill Him in us so we can continue to pour out without ceasing.
Let us love them all.
I sit and look over my calendar of the next few days. In the moment I find myself racing in my mind figuring out why I agreed to it all…how to I get out of it…and there is part of me that wants to run away and hide from it all.
I cry out in my heart to God for time, energy and determination to get through everything I need to. Somehow I am expecting Him to make what looks like a daunting week of activity into a relaxing, easy-going week of fun.
Then in my heart I heard Pslam 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
A Shepherd does not provide a weeks of water and food for His flock and leave it be. Daily He watches and provides, moment to moment He meets they every need.
And so, today I will not ask God for a weeks worth of solution, but a moments. I ask him for one task at a time. One need at a time. I do not need to conquer the week…just this breath and then the next – and I have everything I need to do it.
There is peace and strength in the word go God. Small simple phrases that remind me of what I already know in my heart but the world is so strongly trying to pull me away from.
God (at least in my life) rarely turns the dragon into a unicorn, rather He fashions me a sword and breathes into me the courage to conquer the beast before me.
Hope you have an amazing week ladies,conquering dragons…
As many of you know recently my dad went in for a procedure on his brain. It was elective and he never made a big deal about it, but still at the end of the day they were working on his brain. He had a very new procedure that used a highly focused ultrasound beam to burn out 3mm of neurones in his brain that were mis-firing causing an involuntary hand tremor. The tremor had been there as long as I can remember, but in the last years got much worse to the point that holding a hot drink or signing his name would become difficult on an off day.
I asked for prayer support on the matter and as I sat waiting for the 5 hours the procedure too I found myself in conversation with God many times about him, the medial staff and the technology and equipment involved.
When the procedure was complete it had been a total success. Dad’s hand was an still as anyone’s and he was sitting there feeding himself Jello with a goofy smile on his face. As anyone would I shared the good news with the world and thanked them for their prayers. More than once in person and vis social media I heard these words “God is good” and I always replied “Yes, He is!”.
As I was driving home though, I froze. In a moment of conviction and correction my heart was seized with one single thought. “What if the worst had happened? What if the turnout had been less than desirable? What if you were in mourning, not in celebration? Would you still be calling me good? Would you still be hearing “God is good.” and replying so eagerly “Yes, He is!”
The truth is so often I fall into the trap of equating God’s goodness with the good things happening in my life. When something positive comes my way, prayer is answered (how I expected) and life is good. However, what I know but forget to sometimes consider is that God IS good. Goodness is not an attribute of God. Rather the complete and pure essence of good is sourced wholly in God. Whether my life and plans are what I think they should be, whether I am sining on a mountain or devastated in the valley does not determine the level of good that comes from God. Who God is and His goodness is the same yesterday, today and forever.
In my story at the beginning of this message, God was good. There was nothing wrong with me celebrating and being thankful for His choosing to allow victory in the moment. However now, I find myself more grateful that He chose to use that moment to check my heart, test my spirit and remind me that God really IS good.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO FOLLOW THIS BLOG AND RECEIVE EMAIL UPATES, I HAVE STARTED A NEW COMPLETELY SEPARATE SITE. I HAD NO IDEA UNTIL TODAY THAT BEING ON THE SAME ACCOUNT AS MY WORK BLOG AND JUST A DIFFERENT SITE THAT SOMETIMES MY WORK DESCRIPTION COMES UP AT THE BOTTOM! I DO NOT WANT THIS IN ANYWAY CONNECTED TO WORK SO I STARTED A WHOLE SECOND ACCOUNT TO AVOID THIS. THE NEW ADDRESS IS:
PLEASE COME FOLLOW ME THERE….