Overwhelmed by God’s Grace

Moving provinces has its excitement and its tough transitions. It can be tough navigating a new routine in a new city whilst making new friends. That alone can be overwhelming. For me, the most challenging part was navigating it all alongside the needs of my newly turned 3 year old daughter. In midst of a big change I became overwhelmed in motherhood and I needed to be overwhelmed by God’s grace.

Overwhelmed in Motherhood

I started to focus more on the needs of my daughter and less on my own. The pressure of making sure she was OKAY definitely made me NOT okay. Repeating the phrase, “I am not okay” to my husband. Like any big move, it affects everyone involved and he too had his own set of transitions to work through.

Attending to the every need of my daughter left me exhausted to find time for myself. Mentally, spiritually and emotionally I needed a change – a shift, a refreshment – something! How? Through vulnerability and the grace of God.

Overwhelmed by God’s Grace

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

First, I attended a church event solo and had a pastor pray over me. As the pastor asked what I needed prayer for, I couldn’t get the words out, I just started to cry uncontrollably. All I managed to say was, “motherhood”. Clearly there had been feelings I hadn’t yet processed – overwhelming feelings. There I was, new to the church, vulnerably balling my eyes out, asking for prayer. Asking for help through her prayer to receive God’s grace.

Next, I got involved in a mom’s group at church. At the end of each session there is time of prayer. Again, tears rolling down (into my mask (“the tear catcher”, I called it) I opened up with my struggles and received prayer.

Slowly by slowly, I stayed open to God’s grace, making time to receive prayer. I continued to seek God through the love and support of fellow believers.

The Final Shift of Faith

Third example of staying vulnerable and open to God, I asked a friend over the phone to pray for me. Just like the church event, and the mom’s group, I could not speak without tears. I shared my stresses and I shared my struggles. She prayed over me. Over the phone, the Spirit of the Lord used her to bless me. Her prayer was authentic, heartfelt and filled with the presence of God as she began to tear up herself, talking about God’s grace and faithfulness. Something spiritually in me shifted. I kid you not – it was the final shift of faith I needed to focus my heart back unto the Lord.

Be open to receive God’s Grace

Jesus is the hope we look for in all circumstances – in every pain and in every praise there He remains. I encourage you to align yourselves with fellow Godly friends. People in your life you can go to in times of need or refreshment. It is truly life giving. We all have our moments, seasons and times where we cannot grasp the hope ourselves, we need a friend to grasp it for us.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus

Philippians 2:4-5

Poem and a prayer

Lord, turn my pain into praise,
sorrow into smiles,
united to friends who care.

Fill us up, to pour us out,
To love like you love,
United in Christ Jesus.

Amen.

Happy Father’s Day!

To my husband, you’re one amazing father/man and I’m glad in life its not “I”, but it’s “we”. Happy Father’s Day!

To my father and all the other dads out there! Especially when we couldn’t believe in ourselves, you were there to believe in us, for us!

Rock Climbing
Harnessed in, fitted boots, up on a wall,
The goal of this venture is not to fall,
Cannot feel my toes. The shoes are too tight,
This is one area I just can’t fight…
Its supposed to hurt – they will gladly say,
Not the words I wanted to hear today…
Trying to mimic a pretzel like fold,
My legs and arms shaking on the first hold!
Why is this fun, is it enjoyable?
I will quit! but that’s unavoidable…
So I will try again to reach the top,
Only to tremble in thought of the drop,
Argh! I must prove I can achieve my best!
Which means putting my doubt aside to rest…
Forgetting the pain, and height and the drop,
I forge forward knowing one day it’ll stop,
Oh I’m close! I can taste it in the air!
Thank-you, you thank, my belayer down there,
You gave me guidance and strength to do it,
Scared, yet you assured me I could do it!

Time and Purpose

Procrastination

Learning something new takes time – this is true,
The reading, thinking, the studying too,
Failure then improvement is how we learn,
Unavoidable, yet a good return,
I know I will find my joy by the end…
As for now, I’ll imagine it instead.

The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

Ecclesiastes 4:5

Refusing to work only ruins yourself. Don’t allow procrastination or predication of “what might be” stop you from living with daily purpose. Procrastination tells you, “wait for the perfect time” and God tells you, the time is now (2 Corinthians 6:2). We need to trust in God as He is the creator and ruler of time itself, the beginning and the end. We will make ourselves dizzy like a dog chasing his own tail trying to predict the future or wait for the “perfect time”. There is no time for procrastination and predictions. Time is for purpose and that time is now.

He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

Ecclesiastes 11:4

Purpose made simple by Jesus.

Jesus made purpose simple not complicated. It starts with acknowledging that we are all guilty of sin against God’s judgment and in need of a saviour and in knowing this God gave us Jesus.

Jesus (%100 God and %100 man) died on a cross as a sacrifice for our sins (John 3:16-18), which tore the veil between us and God (Matthew 27:51). Signifying that we can now have a direct right relationship with God Himself. Three days after His death, Jesus was resurrected. He seats in heaven, living today and passes along His living Spirit to all who believe (Luke 24:46-48, Romans 8:9-11).

The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is a perfect act of love that I choose to follow. The moment I repented of my sin, asking for forgiveness and accepting Jesus as my saviour – my purpose for life began (Galatians 2:20).

Although my vocation, location and “dreams” change, my purpose remains the same. I glorify God as the Truth, the author and finisher of my life. So whatever work I choose to do or whatever life throws at me – I do it with the intentional purpose of giving God the Glory because He gifted me hope through salvation and eternal life.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

Time and purpose found in God.

Who created all?
Do we have a call?
Does it just depend?
Who stands in the end?

Striving to win, always getting ahead,
Complaining as we lie our heads to bed,
Just to beat someone else in a moment,
No one wins – everyone’s an opponent.

Only to circle back losing the trail,
Like a dog chasing his own stubborn tail.
The status, fame, followers and fortune,
And then your gone, alone and forgotten,
Wondering, what or whom shall you live for?
It’s God, who knows you, made you, long before.

With questions and answers – this sets us free,
No one can enjoy life apart from He.

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

We do not have to live life on our own. Placing our hope upon things in this earth – as everything is fleeting and a “chasing after the wind”. I think now, is a perfect time to understand your life’s purpose.

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“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!”

Psalm 90:17

Handling our Emotions

Take every thought captive

Urged to respond based upon my emotions, I remembered this verse, “take every thought captive”, 2 Corinthians 10:5. We are to examine each thought that races through our minds and look at it with intent. I notice why I feel this way and ask myself, does this response please the person or please me? Emotions are good indicators of how our hearts feel but reacting without examining them can be destructive instead of constructive.

“Emotions are like toddlers, they’re fun, but you wouldn’t put them in charge.”

Mama Bear Apologetics

God’s counsel

Another verse that comes to mind, when I think about how to appropriately respond based on my emotion is: “count others more significant than yourselves”, Philippians 2:3. Do my emotions want to prove my own right or show love for others? More often than not, we skip the step of quieting ourselves and asking the question WHY? Why do these feelings bubble up so strongly? We need the Word of God, the Bible, to inform, instruct and counsel. To make us wise in our emotionally driven lives.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Psalm 32:8

Poem

emotions
Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Emotions are high and low, but they don’t run the show.
Emotions are up and down, but I still stand my ground.
Indicators of the mind, what my heart lies behind.
I must take the time to stop, so the wisdom can drop.
I take every thought captive, so I am adaptive.
Living well with Christ in me, obedience is key.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Race like You Mean it

A Poem by: Emily Aspinall

How I am to drive, starts and ends with Him.
Every thought and action with every limb.

In-between it all, I choose to follow.
For a victory that is not hollow.

Painted lines on course, keeps me on the straight.
Although narrow, it secures my end fate.

Yet many will not make it, I still race.
Set backs, I pit stop, to recharge my pace.

Never giving up, I drive for the prize.
Already obtaining it keeps me wise.

In passion and fear of going off course.
Like good engineering, He fuels my force.

In control, suited up, I drive with ease.
I’m racing for Him who qualifies me.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

The Embrace of Jesus

Open arms I am embraced by the King
Wrapped in a blanket – is the warmth I feel
Comforted and secured, I walk in peace
Vulnerable yet, I am put at ease
Completely safe and okay to be me
In His arms is the place where I am free
He died on the cross so all was not lost
Saved by the love of the one living God.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

Isaiah 40:11