Archive for ‘encouragement’

October 11, 2010

Motherhood – So Ready (Not) (via the reservoir)


I was browsing through some old posts and came across this. Oh the things we wish we knew! Lol. But I was right in a way. Motherhood does take a LOT out of you.

Motherhood - So Ready (Not) My neighbours' 3 year old son is haunting me. For some reason, he decided to fall in love with me and has become my self-appointed shadow. This morning he was at my house as early as 6:30 am and clambered onto my bed with me. I had to listen to his constant chat with semi consciousness. He even followed me to my office! Oh, lest I forget, it's the start of the holiday season here. I had to think of a way to shake him off. Shaking him off does not … Read More

via the reservoir

October 8, 2010

It’s all about HIM – Prov. 31:29 (via Being Mrs. V)


We are doing a study of Proverbs 31 over at Beingmrsv.wordpress.com and this devotion really spoke to my heart. Living a life of submission to God’s will is what sets one person apart from another.

I didn't intend to do this write-up today, but something happened to me earlier this evening, which I just knew was tied into the verse. Let's look at the verse before I tell the tale : Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all [KJV] My story goes like this –  I was strolling through the streets of the shopping centre at The Hague Centrum, actually I was leaving to go back to my host's as it was already dark. These two youn … Read More

via Being Mrs. V

August 29, 2010

Choir Practice: My Journey to Commitment


I applied to join the choir at my church and after an audition, I was accepted. This is a big deal for me because choirs and I…we are not really best of friends. This has nothing to do with the choir per se and everything to do with me. But I’ll get to that later.

We were put through compulsory classes on how important worship is in the Bible and to a Christian; and I was reminded that worship is so not the music but more of the spirit – the attitude. It was good to remember. I also learned a lot about worship that I did not previously know.

With all the learning going on, it is clear that I am still on probation. And probation is good. In fact, I just love probation. It means I get to sing each choir practice, be part of a team and not have to be on stage. Yep. That is the crux of this post. The Stage.

The last time I really participated in a choir, I was still in my teens and it was the adult choir of the Anglican church my family attended. That was fine – I got to hide behind those billowing, voluptuous robes. I mean, some Sundays, my friends were not even aware that I had robed; that is how shielded I was.

While at University, I was a part of this mass choir but that was fine. We only performed once a year and there were all sorts there anyway so it was not a problem. And that, I guess has been my problem with choirs. Having to be out there in front of everybody, so to speak.

At the worship class, the choir was called a frontline ministry and boy, is it ever! You are out there Sunday after Sunday singing and practically yelling to anyone who enters the church that not only are you a Christian, but you are committed to living like one. That was my problem.

People who are out there like that are so easily judged. One trip and the next thing is “imagine, and she’s in the choir!” And the choir is said with so much outrage like just because you are in the choir you are supposed to have two shiny wings and an even shinier halo. I was just not ready for that kind of pressure. I am a backstage person. Or that is what I told myself.

What I did not realise was that I was also a backstage Christian. No I was not living a double life, but I could well have been. I did not want people pointing at me and saying ‘she’s got a testimony.’ When I was little, my dad had this computer printout on the Notice Board in this office that said something like this:

Be careful how you live your life; you might be the only Bible someone has to read

I did not want that kind of pressure, believe me. So what changed?

I did. I decided to stop hiding and let people hold me accountable. I have found that going out there each Sunday and praising God in front of so many people is my way of stepping up to plate and making my commitment known. I am not just committing to be a Jesus follower in my closet, I am committing to making every effort to follow Him in everything I do. More than that I am putting myself out there, testifying of Jesus Christ. What I am saying is “Stop me and ask; I HAVE a testimony!”

I am done hiding. It has not done me much good anyway – I usually end up making stupid mistakes I would never, in a million years have made if I had deliberately made myself the cynosure of all eyes.

But I guess I am not alone there. We all hide in various ways. We find ways to shy away from declaring our identity. So mine was with the choir, but it did not stop there. There was also the avoidance of leadership roles and responsibilities. Sometimes, it might even be looking a friend in the eye and asking may I pray with you? Something so simple as that. But we are all so scared of being branded.

I think it is time to get branded for your beliefs. If you are really passionate about something, it will be your brand. Yes, it is scary but I think that kind of commitment is definitely worth it. In the meantime, I am so glad I’m on probation.

August 20, 2010

Being a Mum: Swimming in the Deep End


At the end of the day, past mid-night, exhausted from a day that seemed to be one stress-packed event, it is now time to relax and unwind. Listen to Earl Klugh and take the time to catch up on blogging or maybe read a good book. Life is supposed to be prefect like that right? Wrong.

When you have a little baby in the house, life is just a roller coaster of exhaustion. It rolls over you in exhausting waves which never seem to let up. You are tired, your head is throbbing and it feels like a truck just went over your back. Worse, the baby that should have been sleeping is screaming her head off (though I’m not sure the word scream is correct, she does sound something like a trumpet).

If you are a mum, what do you do to catch a breath. An no, I’m not talking babysitters. If you are a stay at home mum without the option of babysitting, how do you manage? I desperately feel out of my depth here.

August 9, 2010

When God Seems So Far


Living with a baby is an adventure. Like every adventure, it is fraught with uncertainty, fear, sleepless nights and incredible moments. We never know just what to expect. Though, expecting something different each day seems to work for us.

As she grows everyday though, I begin to see myself unravel in her. I am not talking about the physical similarities or even the character traits (not like those are very visible right now). I am speaking more about my relationship with God. I know, it is funny. But if you study a child closely, I bet you will see the way you relate to God reflected back at you.

A good example. Before she began responding to sound, she drew comfort from our presence (mine and her dad’s). But the only way she could know we were there was if she saw us. Sometimes, she would turn her head towards another direction, away from us. Of course, when she did that, she was not able to see us anymore. Then the wailing began. She would cry and cry.

Her dad and I would be sitting just next to her trying to get her attention but she was so fixed on where she was facing, she could not see us. Once I told her, Sweetheart I am here, right beside you. Why won’t you just turn and look at me? But she just got more distressed.

Once I got really frustrated with her and then deep in my heart I heard “that is so you.” That pulled me up short. I cannot even count the number of times I would fall into depression because I could not see God. It happens all the time. I would feel lonely and abandoned or something happens, which for the life of me, I cannot see God’s hand in and then I get distressed.

I am sure it is a situation we are all familiar with. A loved one hurts, betrays us. Career, on the fast track to nowhere. Marriage…God, let’s not even go there! Sound familiar? Then we begin to wail and ask God “Where are you? How could you let this happen?

Could it be that He is there, the whole time but we are the ones facing the wrong direction? Psalm 121:1&2 says:

“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”

Which leads me to the question: Where are you looking?

Many times, we are so busy facing one direction; feeling sorry for ourselves that we forget to look to where we should be facing in the first place. UP. God is right there calling you by name, telling you I AM RIGHT HERE. JUST TURN AND LOOK.

You do not have to see Him but He is there. He is with you. Anytime you start to feel alone make a conscious decision to remind yourself that God is there. His name is Immanuel: God with us.

August 8, 2010

Building My Confidence


I had to lose my ‘self’ anything so that I could gain a Christ-confidence and Christ-esteem. LOL. Imagine that. So now, my confidence and esteem will not be so much centered around my abilities or my thoughts about myself but more about HIS abilities and whom HE says I am. Wow. It is slow but I can definitely say I am getting there.

I have some really good friends (who are more sisters than friends) that I communicate with online. I was exchanging emails with one of them when I had this Oprah Aha moment. I had been struggling with my confidence for some time and did not know how to find my way back to the extremely breezily confident young woman I used to be. A lot of water had gone under the bridge connecting that woman to the one I currently am.

But typing those words, I realised that while self confidence and self esteem have their place, they are not where a child of God is supposed to be. At least not for too long. When confidence and esteem are centred around self, they are bound to come crashing down eventually. Things happen that are beyond our control. Things we cannot help and are helpless to control. When our sense of self is centred around our abilities, what happens when we are no longer able to do?

As a child of God, my confidence should be in God himself and my esteem should be in the esteem in which He holds me. Now that is all fine in theory. How do I relate this to my everyday life?

I decided to search the Bible in order to discover just who God says I am. OK fine, I confess. The internet and the Bible.

In my search, I have discovered certain things:

  1. I AM wonderfully complex. (Psalm 139:14 NLT) As a teenager I always felt that I was complex (actually I still feel that way :) ). I am glad to find that I am finally validated. I am not just a complex being, I am wonderfully complex. So it’s OK if you do not understand me, like I said, I am complex. ;)
  2. I was special from the word GO “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5) To think that even before I was born, I was called and set apart; God had something special for me to do…wow.
  3. I am beautiful. He makes everything beautiful in it’s time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). OK I knew already but it’s good to be reminded.

Those are what I have found personally. Then there’s a list I found here and these particularly spoke to me.

  • I am a child of God. But to all who have received him–those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children … (John 1:12).
  • I am a friend of Jesus. I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father (John 15:15).
  • I have been accepted by Christ. Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory (Romans 15:7).
  • I am chosen, Holy and blameless before God. For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4)

There are a lot more over here but these ones spoke especially to me. I intend to search the Bible for even more of what (or who) God says I am and I will share with you from time to time.

If you are suffering an identity crisis or a low self esteem, I think this is the place to go. When you discover how wonderful you are through the eyes of the Most High, you will value yourself much more. Not because of your abilities or talents, but because of the value the Creator of the universe places on you.

If you know any other verses do share with me. Seriously, I need them.

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