Worship Wednesdays

Anyway

This week I discovered the Paradoxical Commandments written by Kent M. Keith. Now I know what they are and I’ve learnt about how even Mother Teresa had them on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta, I’m actually a little surprised I’ve never come across them before….

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centred.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favour underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

As I moved down the list it was so easy to think of examples of times I didn’t focus on the bolder instruction and used the smaller statements as excuses to give up on an idea or dream. But that’s not what God expects us to do, he wants us to…

Give the world the best you have anyway.

There is so much I could write about these Ten Paradoxical Commandments (I’m hoping to maybe do a wee series of posts)  but today I want to look at the ANYWAY approach when it comes to our faith in God’s power and ability. God never promised us an easy ride just because we have a personal relationship with him (sorry if that’s shocking news for some people), I’ll admit it is one of the hardest things to get your head around when you choose to walk with the Lord – why doesn’t everything work out the way I think it should and why do I face challenges and difficult people who want to steal my joy and dreams? I shared a post the other day about how my big baby bird got excited about the rain coming because it meant there would be a rainbow. During difficult seasons and when I’m having bad days (we all get them right!?) I like to think of it in that childlike way – as the legend Dolly Parton once put it…

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

I remember as a relatively new Christian attending an all night prayer meeting to pray for a family friend who was battling terminal cancer. I wept as I got down on my knees and begged the Lord for a miracle – I genuinely believed he was capable of shocking the physicians and curing that beautiful lady as she said her goodbyes to her husband,  daughter and wider family circle. But it wasn’t to be – I don’t think I’ll ever really understand why but since then the Lord has answered hundreds of my prayers and I can honestly say it didn’t stop me from turning to the Lord in prayer the next time I needed him. Just like in Daniel 3 when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were put into the fiery furnace we should always believe in God’s power to deliver us; and here’s the hard part… if he chooses to – BUT IF NOT we must hold on to our faith and trust in him ANYWAY…

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Today’s Worship Wednesday track really struck a chord with me as I thought about the ANYWAY approach of the Paradoxical Commandments. It’s sung by one of my Dad’s favourite artists, Martina McBride and it was inspired by the Paradoxical Commandments. I love how she strongly reminds us how Great our God and Constant friend is at the beginning of the chorus…

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good
When I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway

 

 

 

Little life snippets, Thoughts & Ponderings

Beauty Comes From Within

Every Saturday morning I have an internal debate with myself about whether or not I should wear make up or give my face a break. The answer usually depends on where I’m going and who I’ll be seeing – there is an unwritten acceptable list of people who I don’t mind seeing me bare faced (strangers surprisingly make this list!). This morning as I had the debate in my head about whether or not it was acceptable to drop Evie off to a birthday party bare faced I saw this really interesting article that shows celebrities without make up…

http://uk.businessinsider.com/actresses-no-makeup-photos-2018-1?op=0

I felt a mix of emotions as I scrolled through but mainly it made me a little cross – cross because the photos that are rammed down our throats every day in the media with make up are the ones that women everywhere (including me) measure themselves against and they’re not real life or attainable unless you spend two hours in makeup being pampered. The rare glimpse of bare faced celebrities is encouraging and gives us all food for thought but let’s face it we’re not likely to do it all the time unless the celebs start walking down the red carpets like that.

So today I want to share my bare face in the hope that others might do the same to encourage women everywhere to embrace their natural beauty that God has given them because let’s be honest, regardless of how much the world convinces us that we need to be caked in make up and hide every blemish we have – the Lord is very clear that beauty is more than the outward appearance. That’s something I admit I struggle with – especially when as a teen I was called names because of my appearance but my husband loves every inch of me and more importantly God loves me regardless so why should I really care what other people think?!

Instead of spending time trying out new beauty products to make me look as good as the celebs maybe I should be spending more time ensuring there is beauty within!

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

#BeautyComesFromWithin

Worship Wednesdays

Redeemer

Thanks to a free subscription from my phone network I’ve recently discovered the world of Spotify. It’s great for discovering hidden gems in the daily mix section that throws up random tracks based on what you’ve been listening to. Tonight I had a different song in mind for Worship Wednesday but I’ll save it for another time as this brilliant tune came on during my drive home this evening and then I saw the most awesome moon and I knew this was the one to share with you all…

Who showed the moon where to hide ’til evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?
Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testify
As spring arrives I always get a real punch in the face reminder of how beautiful and amazing our Earth is – creation really does testify that our Redeemer and Constant Friend lives and is the one who spins everything in orbit…

The very same God that spins things in orbit
He runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken

So if you need gentle hands to hold you or to carry you – or maybe you’re full of the joys of spring; look around you tonight and remind yourself to have faith in our powerful God who has everything in his control. If he can tell the sun and moon when to show up he can control any situation you need him to.

 

 

 

Little life snippets, Seasons

#MeYouDontSee

Today we went for a quiet family lunch in a nice restaurant like normal people do – this photo my hubby took while I wasn’t looking pretty much sums up how that went.

It wasn’t what I would call fun to be honest but the food was nice – poor Hubby ate his lunch one handed while trying to keep control of the littlest one and the big one spent a lot of the time moaning before they discovered the window sill for dancing! Thankfully the place wasn’t very busy and no one complained. Don’t get me wrong, I love my girls with all my heart and I appreciate how truly blessed we are to be their parents but like everything in life there are difficult moments and situations. If I only shared with you the picture perfect moments I’d be living a lie and pretending that I don’t have challenging days.

Seeing this photo got me thinking about something I read about recently – the #MeYouDontSee photo series started by @have.you.seen.that.girl

If you haven’t heard of it I would suggest you search the # and get more info. It’s such a refreshing approach in a world where social media creates false images and expectations.

The #MeYouDontSee in this photo is thinking I wish we’d got a babysitter while trying to keep it together and not lose it with the kiddies who are simply enjoying themselves and their new surroundings. Just because we have kids we shouldn’t lock ourselves away at home or only eat at KFC or Pizza restaurants – as parents we need to try and introduce new social settings into their little lives or they’ll never learn to behave correctly!

The Lord never promised us a smooth ride and there will be times we will be challenged and we will struggle to find the calm within but no one is perfect and all we can do is keep looking to him for guidance and instruction.

“Fathers [Mothers in my case!], don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

#Littlelifesnippets #Keeplookingup #Mummylife #PostBedtimeReflections

Little life snippets, Worship Wednesdays

Sparrows

My eldest baby bird has been experiencing some anxiety lately which has led to night terrors – we talked to her about what was worrying her but we didn’t seem to be able to pinpoint anything in particular. So we’ve started this little ritual as part of the bedtime routine – she blows her worries down the toilet and flushes them away. Every night we’ve done that one little ritual she’s slept through the night soundly without any screaming and crying. And the couple of nights we forgot or she refused to do it she’s had the terrors again. I also spent some time in prayer with her explaining that the Lord will protect her and help her sleep through the night but it takes the physical act of flushing them away for her wee brain to really switch off the anxiousness.

Even as adults it can be really hard to switch off our fears and worries. My life verse is the start of this passage from Psalm 91:11 – it’s my go to in times of trouble, a reminder that I can look back on my life and identify times when My Constant Friend sent his angels into my life to protect me and pull me through whatever I was facing.

He will put his angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways. They will carry you in their hands so that you never hit your foot against a rock. You will step on lions and cobras. You will trample young lions and snakes. Because you love me, I will rescue you. I will protect you because you know my name. When you call to me, I will answer you. I will be with you when you are in trouble. I will save you and honor you.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:11-15 GWT

Today’s Worship Wednesday track reminds us that we never walk alone – even if physically it appears you’re alone, spiritually there will always be someone close by. You just have to keep trusting that he will carry your worries and help you fly – just like the little Sparrow!

 

Little life snippets, Thoughts & Ponderings

Sunday night thankfulness

Back to porridge tomorrow in the ACF house 😩 Big blue eyes has been off school for two weeks and the grown ups have been off work for a week – the little one isn’t going to know what’s hit her when mummy’s packing the car to go to nanny’s at 7:15am!

We really can’t complain though as we’ve had an absolutely smashing time off – we ate too much (mainly chocolate and bread), stayed in a stunning cottage using AirBnB for the first time (we’ve now made our second booking a little further afield for the summer) and had lots of fun and giggles with the girls making lots of memories.

I don’t think I’ve been this relaxed or chilled out for a long time – and I think part of it is down to the Count Your Blessings Challenge I followed with Christian Aid for Lent. Taking time every day to be thankful and appreciate the blessings really helps put life into perspective. Don’t get me wrong, every day I can find something to moan about and I probably do but thinking about how how fortunate I am compared to others can quickly snap me out of it. If you haven’t ever done anything like this before I really would encourage you to think about doing something similar in April or May as it really is a great eye opener and positive thinking tool – even consider doing it for just a week.

Right I’m off to sort lunches, pack clothes for the kiddies for tomorrow and set my alarm for 6:15am. So very thankful for the week we’ve had and I’m already trying to figure out how many days it is until our next week off. Without the tough working days I’m not sure we’d appreciate the time off just as much and we certainly wouldn’t be able to treat the girls to little breaks away so I suppose I should be thankful that I have a job to go to tomorrow! (Not sure I’ll find it a blessing at 8am but a lot of caffeine should help keep me going!)

I hope you all had a fab Easter too!

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.”

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:17-18‬ ‭GW‬

Little life snippets, Thoughts & Ponderings, Worship Wednesdays

This is Living

Oops! Sorry for the radio silence and late posting for Worship Wednesday – we’ll call it Thursday Tune this week!

Easter is my fave time of year – we had an awesome weekend at church. I am part of an amazing tribe at House of Worship and I am so blessed to be able to share such special celebrations with them – from our beautiful Good Friday communion service to our party to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday morning. Then me, hubby and the girls escaped to a remote cottage on the Lough in Co. Fermanagh for a few days and switched off.

Do you ever go to a concert or  a big event and people are so busy trying to capture the moment on their mobile phone that they actually forget to enjoy the moment? Don’t get me wrong, I love taking photos to document special events to remember in the future and I do post a lot of the photos on Facebook and Instagram to share with friends/family or so that when I’m looking for photos for an album or a personalised calendar I can log on and pull out my favourites. But I do sometimes find myself forgetting to live in the moment and make the memory first!

So this week I made a conscious decision to enjoy living the moment first and foremost – finding time for photos only if it seemed natural and it didn’t ruin the essence of the moment.  In doing this and really soaking up the beauty of God’s beautiful creation in the peace of our surroundings – it occurred to me that through Christ and our acceptance of him as our Saviour we are offered a whole other way of living. In the mad world of clashing priorities and challenges we face it can be difficult to remember what he offers us and how truly miraculous it is  – there’s nothing else like it and today’s Thursday Tune captures the amazing energy and unique qualities that a relationship with Jesus brings …

You lead the way, God You’re right beside me
In Your love I’m complete
There’s nothing like living with You
This life You created, I choose

See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turn to color all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found

This is living now