Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Lessons in the kitchen

I have been listening to a lot of worship music this week, trying to get my focus back on God and the amazing things He has done for us. One song in particular touched me, and while its words aren't exactly my situation, I knew it was something I wanted to think about more. 

The song is 'Porcelain Heart' by BarlowGirl. 

I think it is talking more about the healing of a broken heart, but the  two lines that really touched me were

'Creator only You take brokenness
And create it into beauty once again'

Let me tell you what happened... 

Today was going fabulously well... At least it was until I started to make dinner! I got up this morning with a spring in my step, a list of things I wanted to accomplish and a desire to get something done. I left the boys into school and came home ready to get going. 

1. Make the beds and open all the windows
2. Switch the laundry and put away any dry clothes
3. Do the basket of ironing and put away
4. Sort the boys wardrobes out and pick up any rubbish in their rooms
5. Clean the en-suite and the bathroom
6. Make a healthy lunch and don't eat any chocolate!
7. Collect the boys at 2pm, 3pm and 3:45pm from school
8. Prepare a chicken casserole for dinner

WOW!! I managed to get everything on my list done - and done well - until I hit dinner. I was making a chicken casserole and I had everything cut, prepared and the sauce made when I moved the casserole dish the wrong way and sent the sauce flying all over my kitchen floor... And I mean ALL over my kitchen floor. 

I was gutted - this is a favourite meal in our house and it just wasn't going to be the same!! I felt like I had worked hard all day on things that aren't seen or noticed and then the one thing I was likely to get a compliment for went wrong...

But as I thought about it, I realised that everything today was wrong because I had forgotten (yet again) to focus on God and do it for Him rather than for my own praise. I looked at my desire for a "good job mum" or a "you've worked hard today" from my hubby and I saw the ugliness, selfishness and brokenness that is me. Because this has always been a problem for me - laziness mixed with selfishness and a desire to get praise and glory for doing very little. Taking rather than giving. Only doing the bare minimum to get by.

And then this song played in the background, and I heard that line...

'Creator only You take brokenness
And create it into beauty once again'

and once again I was reminded of the love, mercy and grace that my Creator God showers me with, making my brokenness into something beautiful. 

In the end the boys likes their tea and my husband did notice that I'd worked hard. But the real success of today came in the fact that I ended the day focused on God and safe in the knowledge that as I work through my brokenness and faults and failures, He is there right beside me turning it into something beautiful. I can't wait to see what lesson tomorrow brings!! 

Keep shining... 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Whatever happened to Shine??

So I thought I should probably write you all a little note and let you know what's been going on at chez moi! Over the last couple of months I've been on a real roller coaster ride and at the start I ignored it especially in the light of so many tragedies and sad sad stories of illness, death and just bad things happening to wonderful godly people. I kinda thought that my stupid wee issues weren't anything to write home about and were pitiful in relation to these major life changing events, but I was wrong. 

In the last couple of weeks my eyes have been opened to a lot of lies that I was telling myself and believing. I truly believed everything was ok and that all my thoughts were just silly. But no. I managed to end up burnt out, useless and physically wrecked. Now let me explain what I mean by this. I truly believe what I read somewhere - that a Christian can never be burnt out if they are living in the centre of God's will for their lives because He gives them all the power and help that they need to do exactly what He wants them to achieve. It's when we strike out on our own, leave His will for our own desires and start to let our relationship with God fail that we end up burnt out - and that's what happened to me! 

I have been running on empty, trying to do things in my own steam, in my own strength and not listening to God's still small voice. In fact rather than listen for it, I ignored it, and pretty soon didn't even hear it. I was so excited to start this session of GMG, but by the end of the first two weeks I knew that all was not well. I wanted to start a series on here and it just was so hard to begin... But as I said, I ignored these signs and went on.... 

I can see when I look back at the last 2 months that my relationship with God went downhill very quickly and I think that I felt it was too much work to try to get it back and do things right. I struggled fitting in with people and started to get mini panic attacks again. And no matter how many times God stepped in and said 'I'm here' I didn't hear and didn't cry out to Him. 

About a week before my birthday I started really looking at my life - you know when you get to my age that you start getting all 'reflective' before birthdays!! :) Well in my case this was a wonderful thing! I started looking at my life in real terms - being honest and really thinking about what I wanted to change or fix in it. I took stock of what I was doing, how I was feeling and how my actions were impacting those around me. And finally, after months of ignoring Him, I cried out to God to help me. 

And then I started a secret blog!! (As you do!!) This blog is my own personal diary of what I hope will be a life-changing year for me. I cried out to God asking for help in all the areas of my life, but mostly in the following - 

1. As a daughter of the King
2. As a woman
3. As a wife
4. As a mother
5. As a housekeeper, provider of a haven, cook and laundrette!!
6. As a daughter, sister, friend...
7. As a worker for the gospel

I devised a plan (wouldn't be me without one!) of how to tackle these, knowing that first and foremost my relationship with God had to be first and the most important thing this year. And all was good...

And then I went to Passion 2013 at Green Pastures Church... And the whole weekend - all 5 sessions - were God's personal message to me! I went with a friend and even she couldn't believe how everything that was said and covered was something to help me and a personal message about my year ahead. I even bought the box set because I knew that these were messages I was going to need to hear often over the next while. 

God is amazing - I've always known that and most of my life I believe it - but in the last few weeks I have experienced it in a way I haven't ever before. It's exciting and scary at the same time. But I know He is in it all and I trust Him with my life and my hopes and my dreams and my plans. 

I have no idea ministry wise where I am going this year. I want to continue doing the Luke study with the GMG group, but can't lead it. I would like to continue my Shine blog - especially as I am going to look at what I believe, but again I don't know - and if I do I will be taking it easy and not putting any pressure on posting etc. I'm praying over everything I do and seeing what God thinks! But for the meantime I'll ease into it with some pics, verses and tunes to encourage you and maybe a few links to posts I have read and loved. 

Thank you for continuing to 'like' my page and for your patience. I pray that we will all remember to put God first and make sure that above all else, we are living only in the centre of His will for our lives.