Good reads

IMG_6177IMG_6180

You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner.

You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every single day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and let the colors fill your mind until there is nothing left to do but explode. There are no wrong answers. Inspiration is everything. Sit back, relax, and take it all in.
Now, go out and create something.” Jac Vanek

There is a never ending flood of books coming into our house at the moment. When Greg brings another book home to read a little part of me groans and says oh no. I groan because I am thinking that I am not even half way through the last book he passed on to me to read and I groan because I am thinking how am I ever going to get all these books back home with us to Australia!  But… each time he hands me another book to read, I read it and it always has the most powerful affect on me.

I am on a journey, a life long journey, of always learning, always growing and always seeking out more pearls of wisdom and reading has been a big part of this journey. Here is a list of the books that I have read so far that I have loved and learned from.

In no particular order…

Sun stand still by Steven Furtick

Greater by Steven Furtick

Crash the chatterbox by Steven Furtick

Compelled by love by Heidi Baker

Experiencing Fathers embrace by Jack Frost

When helping hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

When heaven evades earth by Bill Johnson

Hosting the Presence by Bill Johnson

The happy intercessor by Beni Johnson

Supernatural power of forgiveness by Chris and Jason Vallotton.

What books have you loved and learned from?  Please leave a message and let me know as I would love to read them too.

Out of hiding

 

Out of hiding by Steffany Gretzinger….

Come out of hiding
You’re safe here with Me
There’s no need to cover
What I already see
You’ve got your reasons
But I hold your peace
You’ve been on lockdown
And I hold the key
‘Cause I loved you before you knew it was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave
Now rid of the shackles, My victory’s yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There’s no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You’re not far from home
I’ll be your lighthouse
When you’re lost at sea
And I will illuminate
Everything
No need to be frightened
By intimacy
No, just throw off your fear
And come running to Me
‘Cause I loved you before you knew it was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave
Now rid of the shackles, My victory’s yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There’s no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You’re not far from home
Keep on coming
And oh as you run
What hindered love
Will only become
Part of the story
Baby, you’re almost home now
Please don’t quit now
You’re almost home to Me

I just love this song by Steffany Gretzinger and I had to share it with you. Read the words and listen to her sing, it is so beautiful. I can just hear heaven crying out baby you are almost home now so please don’t quit now! 

I am in such a busy, emotional and exhausting season at the moment and sometimes I just feel like sitting down and not getting back up again. No more reading, nor more meetings, no more unraveling myself, no more laying myself bare.

As I hear her singing I am encouraged to get back up again, to remember that He has unending love for me, the veil has been torn for me to come close, so draw close. I am encouraged to let go of my fears, the unraveling has its purpose.

I am encouraged to just keep running baby.

Anchors for the soul

IMG_3138

Recently I attended a conference and they were talking about anchors for your soul. Soul anchors are the things that keep you steadfast when the wind and waves come during the storms of life. They are the things that you do to get you through.

Soul anchors could be…

…fixing your eyes on Jesus, not looking to the left or to the right but focusing on His promises and His good character. Not to retreat but to remain steadfast in Him.

… to read and memorize the word of God. Psalm 1 tells us that those who delight in the law of the Lord is like a tree planted by a stream of water. It draws from the water and it is fruitful, it’s leaves do not wither.

…. drawing close to God and entering into His presence where you can draw from His strength and be filled once again.

You discover the things that anchor you as you journey through life. You can look back and see the things that you did that got you through your storm. Look back on the things that sustained you, that you have tried and tested and that have worked for you.  I encourage you to discover these things and write them down so that when the wind and waves begin you can turn to your anchors to help you through the storm.

a proverb

I came across this in the book of Proverbs…..

Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but it’s The Lord who will ultimately direct your steps. We are all in love with our own opinions, convinced they’re correct, but The Lord is in the midst of us, testing and probing our every motive. Before you do anything put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed. The Lord works everything together to accomplish His purpose. Proverbs 16 v 1-4 (Passion Translation)

This is so good for the start of a new year when we begin to make New Years resolutions, when we start to dream dreams and have hope for things to come. This reminds us not to solely trust in ourselves ( I love how it says we are in love with our own opinions!)  but to listen and to trust in His plan for us. He has great things, wonderful things, things we can not even fathom in store for us and even better, when they are His plans they will succeed.

So dream big with God. Listen, align your heart with Him, trust and then step out and watch your plans, dreams and hopes succeed.

This year…

IMG_9435

A new year has begun. A new year means fresh beginnings, a chance to start over, an opportunity to try again. A new year to me means new opportunities, more possibilities and more exciting adventures waiting for me.

In the lead up to the new year I  began reading and meditating on the sermon on the mount found in the book of Matthew. It was a chance to reconnect and remind myself about what Jesus left for us to do. I really want the word that Jesus spoke to be tattooed on my heart and walked out in my every day life.

He called us to be meek and to hunger and thirst after righteousness. He wants us to be merciful. To not be angry with one another, to not seek out revenge but to show one another forgiveness and to be a peacemaker. To love and pray for those who may persecute you, or who persecute anyone for that matter.

He wants us to be salt and light to the world. For us to shine in the darkness so that those who surround you can see you displaying Gods great love and their hearts would turn to Him.

He wants us to give to the needy. To feed and clothe the hungry and the poor. To take care of the widow and the orphan. To show love unconditionally and to cast aside judgements.

He wants us to seek Him out, to pray to him in our secret place. He said that we can knock on his door, ask of him and seek him and He will always answer us.

He wants us to cast aside worry and to pick up His peace and walk in His freedom. He reminds us that only those who do the will of the Father will enter heaven and He leaves us with this “hear these words and put them into action”.

I guess this year for me is all about being more intentional about these things, to go after them more than I normally have in the past. To love unconditionally, to care for the orphan, to pray more for others to be a peacemaker and to show forgiveness.

The end of another year…

IMG_7146edit

The end of another year is here, my thoughts begin to wander back over the events of this past year and I am amazed by all the things that have taken place in our lives. Our year began with quite a traumatic event in Greg having open heart surgery, Our little princess Emily had her first birthday, we finished renovating our little house by the sea, we packed up and moved to California and William began homeschooling.

This past year has taught me so much. I have learned to have great courage and faith even when I felt like my strength was failing. When Greg was going through his surgery in January I felt as though with one wrong turn my whole world could change forever. I was standing on a corner and I could chose to walk in two different directions. I could take the path marked suffering. A path where I could put up the white flag and say that I was done. Where my hope was left behind and my strength and courage buried in the sand. Or I could take the path marked faith. Where I could chose to stand firm and hold onto my hope. To have hope and faith in my God who is bigger than my circumstances and will uphold me no matter what the outcome may be.

I remember going to church just after Greg had his surgery but was still in hospital.  I remember standing there during worship with Emily on my hip and William by my side. We were singing the song Cornerstone. Singing the words Christ alone, cornerstone, weak made strong in the Savior’s love, through the storm, He is Lord Lord of all. When Darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. Words that touched my heart more than they had ever touched me before.

Through this trial my faith was strengthened as friends and family gathered around us and supported us, encouraged us and lifted us up. I felt God close in on us, He was using these people as his divine messengers. They held me up when I no longer could support myself. They were the love of Christ in my life. My God loved me so much, He was my comforter and He provided for me and my family in our time of great need.

I have discovered the importance and power of community. How the people you are walking through this life with can be so valuable. These relationships are where strengths are exchanged. We bring peace to each others chaos, we lend each other strength and uphold one another. They know where you are going and they are going with you. They know your dreams and offer unconditional love and support as they help to launch you into your destiny, into what God has called you to be. I have also learned the value of serving in these relationships. To lay down my life to serve them, to take care of my community so that they are blessed. Serving others is more important then self serving.

I have learned to worship and sing praises always. To sing when I feel like giving up, to sing when I am feeling doubt, to sing when I feel all hope slipping away. There is power in words and what you declare will become. As I stand and sing the words weak made strong in the Savior love, so I will become. As I stand and sing You give life, You are love, You bring light to the darkness. You give hope, You restore every heart that is broken, Great are You, Lord; so He is.

And, most importantly in my journey this past year I have learned to look upon God as a loving father and not as some far off vengeful God who strikes fear in the heart of man. I have come close and seen Him for who He really is, God who is my comforter, who loves unconditionally and shows me his mercy’s everyday. My God who redeemed me, who paid the price for me so that I could walk in freedom and now I am learning how to walk in that freedom. Learning to love myself and see myself the way that my Heavenly Father sees me, to let go of my past – the fears and insecurities that once bound me and learning to walk in the light. Picking up who He created me to be and running with it.

I feel like this list is only a small selection of what I have learned this past year. You never stop learning, you never truly arrive at a destination where you can say that you have discovered all there is for you. Even though this is the end of a calendar year I still feel like I am in the same season which will probably keep on going until we finish up our time here in California. When that time comes who knows where we will be and what we will be doing and learning. One thing I do know is that I am very excited for that next chapter in our lives to begin.

Things to remember….

IMG_9114edit

Recently we took a drive up to the mountains to see the snow. There is just something so magical about snow. It covers the ground like a thick white blanket and everything becomes still and quiet. The snow glistens and sparkles in the sunlight, it is so pretty. I think the thing that draws me in the most is the way that it silences everything. The water stops babbling in the river, the leaves and twigs stop crunching underneath us and the ground is silent, free from the thumping of running and jumping feet. Peace descends.

Peace is something that I am always seeking. Peace in my life, peace in my home, peace in my heart. I read this quote recently – Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time. Lyndon B Johnson.

This is so true. One step at a time in the right direction.

When you put your cares in Gods hands, He puts His peace in your heart. His peace is perfect and it gives life. His peace gives us freedom, freedom from distraction, anxiety and fear. Peace will silence these things.

Our Father wants us to remember these things, to hold them dearly in our hearts so that His perfect peace can fill us.

He will give you rest.

He will strengthen you.

He will answer you when you call.

He believes in you.

He will bless you.

He is for you not against you.

He will not fail you.

He will provide for you.

He will be with you, always.

He loves you.

Meditate on these things, write them on the palms of your hands, hide them away in your heart. May they fill you with peace and strength so that you remain steadfast on the journey of a thousand miles.

You will keep in perfect peace those who’s minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord himself is the rock eternal. Isaiah 26: 3-4