In it not of it!

I find the whole concept in John 17 of living in the world but not being of it very hard  get and do.

I get so caught up in the day-to-day life of being a married woman, working 20 hours a week and trying to raise 3 little children. Of running a house and all the cooking, cleaning and organising that it entails.  The school run, just getting out the door with 3 kids in jackets, with shoes on and bag packed. The stress of trying to fit in lunch and nap times around the school run.

Just juggling all the practicalities sometimes takes my focus away from what should be our my whole focus. To be able to think of heavenly things. To change my perception of how mundane my life can be.  To look at what I am spending my time doing as a ministry and not just getting through the day in the best way I can. To remember that every moment can be used for His glory. Those moments where I’m stressing can be turned to moments of prayer.

The time out sessions can be times to give thanks. The hour I spend surfing the net and eating lunch whilst the kids are quiet could be spent reading the Bible instead.  The petty school and work politics that I/we get so caught up on are surely not more important than suffering being endured all over the world and the injustices that happen on a daily basis. Why don’t we get more caught up in this.

My attitude is sometimes so normal, so standard, sometimes even sub standard; which sad. I should be more than this, we’re called to be more than this. More loving, more caring, more willing to help, more angry about injustice, more focused and more prayer fuelled.

How do you as a Christian mom, caught up in the humdrum of life keep it Christ centred, keep it real but keep it Godly? To be equal and normal and not create an us vs them mentality and yet hold ourselves to a higher standard?

Fresh eyes

My husband and I were lucky enough to both be able to go to the Soul Survivor Naturally Supernatural conference one night last week. It was such a brilliant time just spending time with hundreds of other like-minded people!! The atmosphere when there are so many people in one place all with the same goal of drawing closer to God is just amazing. It’s at time like this that when I look around and wonder how anyone can say God is irrelevant, outdated, non-existent and has no place in society today.

Yes, it’s not something you see everyday and no it’s not something a lot of people are exposed to often.  It was so lovely to be sitting to a lovely new Christian lady who was seeing the Holy Spirit work in some new ways that she hadn’t seen before! I loved being able to share in the moments as she discovered new ways that He can work and manifest in us. In a non scary and totally loving way!

It took me back to pre children where we were able to go to things like this a lot more often. Admittedly I did feel like the old aunty in the room with so many young people around, and yet all I had to do was look to my left to see a couple who looked in their late 70’s just as excited and involved in the worship as those in their early 20’s!

He is truly a God for all the generations and all the people. And you know what if you don’t believe, that’s Ok, but if you ever get the chance to go to something like this take it! Don’t knock something you’ve never seen or tried. There’s a place for everyone in His house, a church for everyone – whether you like the loud or the quiet, the very traditional or more modern!

Sitting at the conference I was looking at it all through a fresh set of eyes, thanks to the lady on my left, and it made me appreciate again what an incredible, mighty, loving God we serve!

There’s this guy I know…

I meet him over a decade ago. He’s now my best friend. This guy knows me better than anyone, including my husband. He’s someone I talk to when I need advice, and he always gives good advice. It’s not always the advice I want to hear but he’s always right!!

After everything we’ve been through together, all the changes, the good times and the tough times I know he’ll always be there for me no matter what I do or how wrong I get things. He’s just one of those good guys who likes to give second chances, and third and fourth… He’s always around to pick up the pieces and help me put myself back together again.

He’s so much fun.  He loves laughing and having a good time.  He loves giving presents too, and he gives the best ones ever! We’ve had the more incredible times smiling, travelling and having fun. He seems to get on with most people who once they get to know him love him just as much as I do!

He’s the kind of guy that would do anything for his friends. He would give up everything for me, for all of his friends, literally his life.

This guy is so darn special and amazing he has had tons of love songs written about him, and even some books! Now how many of your friends can say that!

I wish everyone had a friend like mine, everyone deserves someone who loves them so unconditionally and without reserve.  Someone you can just be YOU with. Someone who knows you and knows how you are feeling and how you are made without you even having to say a word.

The best thing about this guy? He’s always willing to make new friends, there’s always space in His diary for new people! So go on give him a call, once you meet Him I promise He’ll become your best friend too!

A blessed time of year!

Christmas truly is a time for family, friends and faith and it’s around this time every year I start thinking about how incredibly lucky we are have all 3 of those.  Every year I wish we were closer to family and friends we love but I can’t remember once thinking I wish I had more faith at this time of the year!

It’s a time that inspires faith! It’s a time that makes us remember what makes our/my chosen religion is so special and a time to remind ourselves of why we believe and how we came to that decision!

The inspirational story of a brave young lady, pregnant whilst still a virgin; of a stand up young man who decided to stick with his lady even though her story made no sense and people would have judged him unfairly. Of a special baby born and laid in a manger. Visits from angels, magi and special, magical stars that guided the way.  It’s a story soo unbelievable it’s got to be true.  It’s a story the whole world celebrates – whether or not they believe, it’s a symbol of hope and peace in a world that so badly needs it!

So lets celebrate this year with love, peace, thanksgiving, family, friends and faith! May the magic of christmas touch each and every one of you!

I think Jenna’s prayer tonight so brilliantly sums it all up: “Thank you for Christmas, thank you for reindeer food and Santa. And thank you for Jesus Christ so we can all live for always”.  Out of the mouth’s of babes!!

God bless and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Just a little something to add to top up the Christmas spirit – it just isn’t christmas without a little Boney M!!

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Tuesday truth… Who’s judging Halloween

With last night being Halloween and having to face for really the first time how I deal with that with my children I’ve found myself very confused.

Firstly I don’t really understand the Halloween thing or how and why it came about. Secondly as a Christian family where do we stand on the issue.

So I set about doing a little research.

Yes it started as a Celtic pagan festival celebrating their new year and the end of the season, and paying homage to those who had died in the year previous. In the 8th century a pope moved All Saints day to the evening of October 31st; as an attempt to claim it for the Christians, celebrating those who were martyred.

Ok so yes it started as a Pagan festival but it was then attempted to be made into a Christian festival… mmm…. that doesn’t really help.

I think what annoys me most about being confused about Halloween is that everyone has their own opinion… and most aren’t scared to YELL it at you. I have nothing against people knowing what they believe and sharing it, seriously, but… please take the time to actually know what you are talking about!!

No I’m not a fan of all the gory costumes and glamorization of gore, and for reasons previously stated here I’m not that keen on the whole trick or treating thing. But that’s commercialisation for you!

But I’m not going to shut out the world and condemn those who choose to celebrate. There is enough condemnation and judgement in this world without me adding my shout out to it. Each parent needs to decide what is appropriate for them and their children. So no, we’re not going to be making a big deal out of Halloween – either because we do celebrate it or don’t. So yes our lights were on until 7:30pm and we had a big bag of sweets for those who came calling. Jenna loved handing out the sweets, chatting about if they were having fun and saying goodbye with a God bless on the end!

Maybe next year we’ll add a little note to each sweet, maybe Jenna can open the door in her princess outfit.  You know what we are “not of this world” however we do live in it and need to find ways to deal with these contradictions without alienating and condemning those who choose differently to us.

Lets be consistent too… many other festivals and traditions have their basis in Pagan history… do we dismiss all of those too… even the Christmas tree… Just a thought.

Let God convict you one way or the other, no me.

How did you deal with Halloween… ignore, embrace or compromise????

As a later add on I’ve just found this very interesting article on the subject!