Tag Archives: Christ

Newly Married And Expecting


So I have a confession to make. I am expecting! 

Not a baby,(although I have been asked a lot lately if I am, FYI I AM JUST FAT) but 2017 is bringing new life experiences that are likely to change life as I’ve known it. I have big plans for the year to come, one of which is taking that first step onto the property ladder. As I sit in expectation I ponder on the thoughts that many people experience whilst expecting.

 

What if I’m not ready to look after what I’m giving birth to?

When you’re about to take a step forward, whether that be a promotion at work, a new side-hustle project or a new business venture, you can’t help but evaluate how well you have managed with less responsibility. It’s a small indicator that you aren’t ready to take the next step if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed in your present situation. God, however never moves us up when we feel completely comfortable and ready for the next step. God says ‘you definitely can’t achieve what I have planned for you without relying on me for your every need.‘ And that’s ok. It’s ok to need God completely and trust him implicitly. If God is moving you forward you probably aren’t ready, but God is ready to carry you through.

What about the pain? Delivery could be difficult 

Once you are on the expectant train it’s hard to avoid the inevitable… when the thing you are expecting comes to pass. That first day of your new job, the day that has been set for completing on the house, ultimately that transition into newness that we are oh so aware is not always smooth. We have heard the horror stories, and when it’s us expecting, it’s only the horror stories we remember. I don’t know what you’re transitioning through but in as much as there are people with terrible tales of their journey, there are people with positive stories and if God has done it for them he can do it for you.

I don’t want my body to change. What if I don’t like this phase of my life?

I don’t know any pregnant woman that doesn’t at some stage think that they’re fat. As they grumble about feeling the size of a house your friend duty kicks in to tell them just how great they look, to emphasise how clearly pregnant they look and to highlight that being this size is a passing phase they don’t need to let get them down. Anyone who doesn’t give up their seat for said friend on the train is explained away as having no manners rather than mistaking her for fat and even the lasting stretch marks you encourage should be viewed with an element of pride. You remind her that at the end of this process she will have brought new life into the world and that every stretch mark is a battle scar that should bring pride when the victory that they were part of is considered. 

Are you facing a transition that you fear might leave scars ? We can look at change negatively but each scar leaves a reminder of what it takes to arrive at the promised destination God is leading us to. Your season of uncomfortable change is just a passing season.

To everyone reading expecting a baby congratulations, God is going to bring you the strength for each day of your pregnancy. To everyone else, whatever you are expecting, remember that you can’t exclude God from the process. Life isn’t a test of what we can do on our own but of what we can achieve when we surrender all to God and except that we need him for all of life’s changes.

Love lots,

Dani

5 Worries You’ll Have In Your Early Twenties

1. Is my job making me happy? 

Life is hard. It can take us weeks, months, even years to finally get that first ‘real’ job out of university, and before you know it we are faced with the re-occurring thoughts:

“Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?” 

“Am I using my brain enough?”

“Does my job mean anything in the grand scheme of what’s actually important in the world?” 

You can go to work Monday to Friday and get so engrossed in work, go to church on a Sunday and after the service  nothing seems worth doing if it isn’t spreading the love of God and telling people just how great Jesus is. Suddenly work seems futile and time at your desk is weighed down with soul searching questions.

2. Are these my swan days because I really expected my blossom to be better than this?

I say this without even a hint of a chuckle. Those of you honest enough to admit you feel like this to, Kudos. I remember being in my early teens and dreaming of the days when I would be in my prime, the peak of my beauty, turning heads as one of those exquisitely dressed business women before living life to the fullest took its toll and the wrinkles set in. Now I’m in my early twenties, hurriedly dressed without the slightest hint of effort being put into my appearance thinking if not now, then when. It seems trivial but insecurities about our appearances plague us all from time to time and it comes to a point when we have to re-evaluate what we take comfort in, whether that be make-up, the words of affirmation we receive from others or the fantasy of beauty to come. 

3. When will the one find me?

I won’t labour this point further because even having to list it gives me a heavy heart, but alas the relationship centred conversations that crop up time and time again make it quite clear that this worry is rooted in fearful overthinking. If you read between the sarcasm and joke cracking you can hear that people are really saying 

“How long will I be lonely?”

 And 

“Will I find love before my body clock stops ticking?”

4. Am I achieving success at the right pace?

We all have milestones that we’d like to reach but it’s not only important that we reach them, when we do is crucial. You hear about child geniuses taking their GCSE’s aged 8 and teenage entrepreneurs becoming millionaires and you wonder just how they’ve managed it. If someone has achieved something then it’s clearly humanly possible and you have to wonder what makes the over-achievers get so far ahead. We plod through life thinking about how we measure up to others, relieved that some people are ‘further behind’ than we are and curious about all the people that are ahead. It’s a sad truth. Money is all relative and your house is only big in comparison to your neighbours. Stand alone achievements just aren’t enough if we can’t be seen as better than someone else.

5. Am I good enough?

Now you’re in your twenties you are old enough to know better but young enough to feel like a bad choice made every now again isn’t the worst thing in the world. Every so often I evaluate my recent actions and worry about whether I was nice enough, if I could have been more thoughtful in the way I said something, if I stuck up for myself enough, the list goes on. Christian or not, we want to be “good” people and then as Christian’s there’s the added pressure of ‘what would God expect me to do?’ This is usually followed by a major sigh because it often means we have to bite our tongues, lose the argument, let the grudge go, alas, be the person we feel way too young and carefree to be.

So where is the light in all of this? Here are some things we should all remember.

1. We aren’t all called to be missionaries, some of us are placed into the corporate jungle to bring light where there isn’t any.
You can think yourself beautiful. God thinks you’re a work of art so let’s take a leaf out of David’s book and praise God for our looks (Psalm 139:14). The sooner we start thinking it, the sooner we’ll start feeling it.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down oneʼs life for oneʼs friends.”‭‭John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬. Your love story has already begun.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬. Your time will come.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither do we one day just start living perfectly. You gave your life to Christ and began the journey but never forget it is a journey.

Love y’all

Dani

Xxxx

23, Married, And Looking For Love


From very early on in our lives we are taught not to look for love in the wrong places. As girls we are told that our self worth shouldn’t be attached from what a man thinks of us and we are encouraged to love ourselves before we go looking for love. It’s funny because concepts like ‘loving yourself’ are never really explained and so people internalise this very differently.

Does it mean treating myself to that Mulberry bag that I’ve wanted for years?( I’ve literally wanted this £800 bag for so long I’m not even sure why I really want it but I just can’t justify spending that much on a bag, (no judgement if you can))

Does it mean putting yourself first? This one is really a yes and a no, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t depending on if you’re listening to camp “you deserve it,” or team “the world doesn’t revolve around you”

Maybe it means doing the things your future self would approve of? The health fanatics would justify their gulping of kale-filled green smoothies as loving themselves and so could those burning the midnight oil in the library for that qualification that might just change their lives.

Either way, I am none the wiser as to how best to ‘love myself’ and by the time we reach our twenties, the concept seems to become less and less important as we focus on finding someone else to be loved by. So much so that people are willingly volunteering in their thousands to take part in the social experiment ‘Married at first sight.’ I have been glued to the screen watching the USA version of this show and every episode I am in utter disbelief by the idealistic views of marriage and that people can feel so ‘ready’ for marriage without having ‘fallen in love’ or connected with someone, in the hope that marriage will bring them the love and unbreakable connection they strongly desire.

For those of you that don’t watch the show I shall explain. Thousands of applicants apply to the show in the hope that they will be found a partner that is their ‘perfect match’ by a series of experts, to be precise- a clinical psychologist, a sociologist, sexologist and spiritual adviser. Once they are matched (there’s 3 couples per series) they get planning for their wedding, first meeting their mystery other half at the alter. The couples are given 6 weeks to make their story a happily ever after as the nation watches in wonder. Madness. I know. More interesting than the concept #shoutout to the producer for such an intriguing show are the hopeful contestants and their ideologies about marriage. Frequently used lines:

‘I’ve achieved everything I want to in my career, the only thing missing is marriage’

‘I see the marriage of [insert parents or grandparents or friends] and I want that for myself’

‘I have so much love, I just want to share that with someone’

I’m not against marriage (quite obviously) I just find it interesting that people assume it will solve their issues of loneliness and help them find an outlet for all this love they have to give. You can be lying next to your husband and feel lonely and you will not always be in the mood to show them love and affection, because like all humans, your spouse will make you laugh and cry and sometimes you’ll feel like hugging them and other times giving them the silent treatment because they’ve upset you. Such are relationships.

If you’ve read a post before you’ll know where I’m going with this… there isn’t a marriage shaped hole in your life and it just isn’t wise to assume that the beautiful institution we call marriage will ‘complete’ you, because like all things, once married you will find something else in your life that needs fixing, and desire that. 

I love my husband probably more than I love myself but I can be simultaneously head over heels in love with him and completely empty on love for myself because like it or not, no-one can love me like Jesus can. There is nothing my husband can do to give me that reassuring completeness that Christ does and I hope that you will not fall into the trap that so many do of thinking that your spouse can.

Falling in love is lovely and marriage is a beautiful symbol of that, but the love of God…that’s sublime, incomparable to anything humans have to offer, and a relationship with God is quite frankly the only relationship that we should desire with every ember of our being. I may be married but I will always be seeking God’s love and affection.

Love you loads

Dani xx

The Problem I Had With My Marriage

  

One of my favourite parts of A level sociology was learning of the changing attitudes of women from the 60’s to present day and the affect this had on every aspect of society. With a movement that promoted equality of opportunity, women started to believe there was a career after childbearing and slowly began to see themselves in roles previously reserved for their male counterparts. Before you knew it women were running countries (Margaret Thatcher) running unions (Angela Merkel) and setting world records (Dame Kelly Holmes). You look at a world in which women’s aspirations are not curbed by their gender, well at least not to the extent that existed in the time of our grandmothers and mothers, and you can’t deny that there have been huge change. What hasn’t changed is the representation of women in the Bible and the roles that God’s word promotes we adopt.

The bible states some brow-raising statements that feminists would shun and many Christians struggle to find a modern day interpretation that fits into their understanding of equality between genders.

To list but a few…

‘Women submit to your husbands as you submit to God’
‘A man is the head of his wife’
‘Women are bound to their husbands as long as he lives’

So what is a women to do? You’re Christian and want your marriage to exemplify the teachings of the Bible, but have been brought up believing that women can do just what men can(and sometimes better). How are we supposed to look at our husbands like our bosses and still love them?

Going to marriage counselling caused the inner feminist in me to explode and I had to revisit what I understood God’s overall message to be and the kind of wife I wanted to be. Here are the two conclusions I came to…

Submission doesn’t mean slavery

In God telling us women to submit, he isn’t sentencing us to a life slavery. God is letting us know whilst all opinions are important, when push comes to shove, someone has to have the deciding vote. I know that has made every mild feminist squirm.

Why does that vote have to lay with the husband? 

Why not a mutual vote?

Why ? 

Why? 

Why?!

I want to give you an answer palatable with modern day feminism but the truth of the matter is that, that is the way God intended it to be. And besides, a good leader never assumes their own opinion to be superior to that of others, marrying a man that understands this should mean in essence a mutual vote or a vote that takes into consideration both opinions.

Men have an unequally difficult responsibility 

We read scriptures on submission and fail to consider the mother of all tasks that husbands have been given:

‘Husbands love your wife as Christ loves the church’

Reading that scripture made every seemingly sexist statement click and quietened my inner frustrations. Husbands have to love their wives unconditionally, following the example that Christ sets. God is trying to use marriage as a microcosm of his relationship with us his children. If anyone has had even the shortest of flings with Christ, you will know that we as God’s children have definitely not pulled the short straw, despite the seemingly unbalanced nature of the relationship we have with God which means we live a life not according to our own desires but God’s.

When I think of my own relationship with God, the infrequent effort I put into it, the times I’ve neglected him completely and when I’ve kept committing the same sins because I knew God would forgive me, I can’t believe that God would ever want a relationship with me, let alone tell my husband to stick it out. Loving someone unconditionally is a mammoth task that husbands are burdened with.

So to all my ladies reading

God isn’t subjecting you to a marriage of inequality. 

Marriage is a sacrifice, that women and men have to keep making

If you’re going to have to submit, it doesn’t make sense to marry someone that isn’t submitted to your God- (this deserves a whole other blog post which will land soon)

God loves you unconditionally and doesn’t view you as a second class citizen 

The word husband cannot be exchanged for all men- in the workplace, in your dreams and ambitions, in your friendships, God is your only master

Would love to hear any thoughts you have about gender equality in the Bible
Love you all lots and lots,

Dani xxxxxx

Why We Should All Come Out of the Darkness

  

There is something quite disheartening about people not practising what they preach. They’re at the ready with advice and guidance when you share details about your life with them (and even when you don’t) but you are yet to see these pearls of wisdom make a difference in their own. The situation becomes abysmal when not practising becomes not even believing. I’m sure you’re thinking of that friend you know that fits the bill I’m describing but have you considered looking a little closer to home? We make claim to so many things when we’re at a church service or with the Christian gang, everybody’s telling there neighbour and ‘can I get an amen-ing’ in agreement with all the things we’ve learnt about our faith, but when the church bubble is popped by the real life bubble, how much of that church lingo is still standing strong in our minds?
I’ll jog your mind with a few examples:

‘We are blessed to be a blessing’

‘My God will supply all my needs’

‘In Christ I’m a new creation’

‘I cast my burdens onto God, because he cares for me’

‘I do not have the spirit of fear but the spirit of love, power and a sound mind’

‘Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden is light’

‘I’m not doubting because of what I can see, but trusting God because of what I can’t’ 

‘Who Christ sets free is free indeed’ 

We can be a pillar of faith and full of solutions when we’re ministering to our friends in need, but how often do we go home, carrying the burdens we’ve encouraged them to lift up, struggling to live a life that’s different to the one we lived pre getting saved and wondering how we’re going to make ends meet.

On Saturday our very own Joy put on her very first play in a theatre and reminded the audience that we have got to start believing the things that we roll so easily off our tongue when we’re with our Christian crew. Out of the darkness creatively explored the belief most Christians share that we are free in Christ however don’t live in freedom because we are bound by the sins we aren’t ready to forgive ourselves of. Yes we can preach that Christ saves and he forgives, we will continue to encourage friends to forgive others, but yet we live in constant unforgiveness of ourselves. 

As we explored the lives of two young adults at different places in their faith but both bound by sin, the message hit home that so many of us are not experiencing the freedom we’re supposed to have in Christ. I went to the theatre expecting to see a play about people coming to Christ as a life without him is usually described as one in darkness, but I was intrigued to discover how aptly the metaphor of darkness fits the place so many of us live in when we just can’t let go of the things we have done. We can all look at our sin and feel that we have really gone too far this time or we just keep doing the sane thing and can’t keep expecting God to forgive us, but that just isn’t true. God’s forgiveness is unconditional and ever present, he lets it go the moment we ask for forgiveness, so we have to follow suit and do the same.

Whatever you have done, you are free

No matter how you feel, you are free

If you’re worried you’re going to do ‘it’ again, you are free

When you gave your life to Christ, you walked out of the darkness into his all encompassing light. Don’t live a life bound by sin that God has long forgiven you for.
Love lots 
Dani xxxx

Why I Stopped Nearly Having Sex

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I like to live life on the edge. I don’t know what it is about the adrenaline rush that has me handing in coursework (worth a third of my grade, don’t know what I was thinking at university) one minute before the deadline, but every deadline I make the same-must-submit earlier-promises and every time I break them.

I even do it with crossing the road, although I really have met my match on that; I cannot count the amount of times the Boyf has dragged me across the road in front of a double decker, or some other towering motor vehicle, big enough to shatter all my bones at the point of collision. It’s like I get a buzz having just made it. Could have died but I didn’t=huge sense of achievement, (how twisted is that?!) It’s also the cause of my procrastination; I can never seem to motivate myself to do something unless I have given myself a deadline that I can somersault to meet.

Somehow I always end up rushing and somehow I always make it, (hence the lack of forcing myself to change), but today I’ve decided to hang up my adrenaline junkie lifestyle and get serious about staying well within the boundaries that have been set. I can play around with work tasks (don’t take this too seriously possible future employers, I really am as hardworking as it says on my cover letter) but I have to stop living life with “just made it” as the mantra for my walk with Christ.

Some things are just not worth the risk.

Nothing bad has happened yet so you can exhale. Today I just realised that if I carry on skating so close to the edge, one day I might just fall off, and that long way down which results in everything blowing up in my face, might just not be worth the risk.

I am in the ‘no sex before marriage, actually trying to prevent premature virginity loss’ camp. It’s been a camp I joined right when I gave my life to Christ, but one that I used to be significantly more serious about renewing my membership for. No, I haven’t had sex but like all things in my life, I’m no newbie to skating ultra close to the edge. Then I read my bible (something I really should be reflecting on more often) and was slapped in the face with all kinds of conviction.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭3‬ NIV)

I read this and suddenly all that pride I had acquired from team ‘waiting for the ring’ turned to disappointment at the big hint I had been ignoring. I was proud about something that God was simply expecting. You know when you don’t get credit at work because you’re simply doing your job? Yeah, that. Worse still, I realised that I hadn’t even been doing my job.

‘Not a hint’ means exactly what it says. Not a whiff, not an iota, absolutely nothing to speak about when the topic of sex comes up and you aren’t married. All of this skating close to the edge was a sin in itself. I knew clearly what to avoid and yet I wasn’t being proactive because I felt as long as there was no actual two becoming one going on, I was safe.

I was wrong.

Could you be too?

We all know which hints we’ve chosen to ignore: extended hug- pretty cosy, hand sliding up leg- needs to be: put back in pocket, guys/ slapped away girls . We can’t bury our heads in the sand and wait for the dreaded day when the risk doesn’t not give us the payoff we’ve been hoping for.

From this day forward I’m intending to live a life well away from the edge of the boundaries Christ has set me. And while I’m at it, I’m going to attempt only crossing at green men.

Love you like pounded yam and egusi soup

Dani xxxxx

When Sleepwalking Stopped Being Funny

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I have a slight phobia I’m ridiculously scared of sleepwalkers. I remember watching Tracy Beaker as a child (can I get a witness, Jacqueline Wilson was literally the mother of all children’s writers!) and there was this episode where someone in the Care Home was sleepwalking, and everyone was trying to figure out who it was. Sleepwalkers are one of those funny-it’s on a TV show and they’re unknowingly causing havoc, not-funny- they’re sleeping next to you and “accidentally” strangle you to death because you unwisely tried to wake them up. I laughed along at the show, whilst the rest of clan started pretending they were sleepwalking so they wouldn’t get into trouble when caught doing something they shouldn’t be, and secretly shuddered at the thought of being under the same roof as someone who sleepwalked.

My fears deepened when Channel 4 came along and broadcasted one of their ever insightful documentaries on Sleepwalkers. People were having to resort to putting padlocks on their fridges because they kept unwillingly having midnight feasts and this one guy was on trial for drowning his wife because she’s interrupted him in the middle of one of his walks. It’s weird because when they were awake they were completely normal to people but in that half-conscious state they acted in ways their conscious self would have forbidden.

I started feeling less fear and more empathy for sleepwalkers the minute I realised that I pretty much spent the whole week sleepwalking in my faith only gaining consciousness when a word was spoken on a Sunday that resonated with where was at. Those Sunday’s would be the days I realised the kind of Christian I could be and it was steps above the Christian that I was living as.

Unconscious Christianity is like sleepwalking, you don’t even realise it’s a problem until you’ve wandered a few too many miles from your front door or you’re on trial for a crime you hadn’t intended to commit.

We have a choice, we can either live actively walking out our faith or we can stumble through life every so often remembering that we serve Christ.We have got to wake up from unconscious-Christianity or we won’t ever make the impact we’d like to have.

Imagine trying to lose weight but every night raiding the fridge during a midnight binge. At church we’re reminded we ought to be the light of the world, show our communities the love that christ shows us, but if we leave church and slip into a state of unconscious-Christianity, all of those good intentions will never convert to proactive actions.

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (‭James‬ ‭2‬:‭14-17‬ NKJV)

God requires us to have active faith. The sort that doesn’t just feel something but does something also. If we want our faith to be followed by corresponding actions we’re going to have to wake up from the slumber of unconscious Christianity and do something about it.

Love Dani xxx

Why You Can Fool Everyone Except Jesus

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So I have some old news that has been new territory for me:

 What you seek is what you’ll get.

Nothing will just fall into your lap (apart from the grace of God) so it’s what you actively desire after, that you’ll end up with.

If you know me you’ll know I’m very partial to a good diet. You see, the thing is, there’s only so much weight you can lose calling yourself fat and complaining about your figure. If you want to see change you’re going to have to engage in some form of weight loss, get fit, however you want to phrase it, program for losing weight. Whether it be eating less or exercising more you’re going to have to do something. When was the last time you heard someone received ‘their pinky’ (driving licence)  without having taken lessons and passing the test? Everything we want we have to seek after (which does sound extremely tiresome to me) but good news our Lord says seek and you shall find.

At this stage I should probably mention that it would be a good idea to check the desires of your heart. You wonder why you haven’t grown in your  relationship with Christ or been a blessing to anyone? Look a little closer into your heart and you’ll probably find that they’re not top of the list when it comes to things you’re seeking after. God’s not going to bless you with things you don’t want. It’s really easy to play church and act the part but it’s the desires of your heart that guide the things you seek after. Need I remind you that God sees your heart?

This year I’ve learnt to give God my everything. That really means putting Matthew 6:33 into action. You can plan your life without God, but you’ll end up living a life without him. What I’m trying to say is, you can include God in the plans for your life but they’d still always be your plans. Don’t you want to live a life following after God? How can a sheep be leading the shepherd?

You are so precious to God and yet he grants you the dangerous gift of free will to live as you please and walk as you desire. Without sounding to corny, just remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Live right. Choose Christ. Live by faith and not by sight. Literally close your eyes and let God guide the way because there’s only so much your eyes can see and you serve a God who’s seen your end before you’d even began you’re beginning.

You can say you want to be all the things you hear the other Christians say, but make no mistake: you can fool me but you can’t fool Christ. It’s what you seek after that you will get. Seek him, and you’ll have no regrets.

Dani xx

The Day I Went Completely Blind

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If one more person asks me what I want to do with my life I may just have to go into hiding. (It’s either that or start a fight and seeing as I’ve never had a fight in my 21 years of living, hibernation seems the safest option). Firstly It’s a really unfair question, why would I be any closer to figuring out life just because I’ve graduated?! Secondly, it’s rather intrusive, why do you want to know my 5 year plan, what ideas are you trying to steal? And lastly it’s really unbelievably annoying. Every time someone asks I pause and take a slow steady breath as I figure out how to best put ‘I haven’t the foggiest clue’ in the most creative way. I used to offer, “I see myself in strategy in the distant future”, or “ultimately I’d like to consult charities”, but now I’ve given up trying to convince people that I know what I’m doing and reply with “something that pays my bills” until the other person changes the subject. Shoot me for not having direction but I really am tired of pretending to know where God is taking me.

When I was running my own life A.K.A the time before I met Christ, I could tell you exactly what I wanted to be, but one day I gave it all up (decided to follow Jesus) and the clear path in front of me went from being a fuzzy haze to a pitch black hole. When I was 11 I started to lose my sight, and here’s my version of the benefits of living blindly.

1)You don’t always have a clear sense of direction

I was one of those children that could tell you exactly how their life would pan out if everything went according to plan. From the age I was going to go to drama school, to landing my first major role, I could even tell you when I was going to get married and let having children interrupt my thriving career. Then I gave my life to God and my tune slowly changed. It went from adding ‘God willing’ at the end of sentences about my plans for the future to, actually asking God for life direction to letting God plan my day. I’d wake up having agreed to spend time with particular people or honour invitations to events and when I’d lay my day before God to see what he’d got planned his response was something along the lines of “oh you thought you were going to be doing x, y, and z today… lol nahhhh”.

Now when people ask me where I see myself in 5 years time I want to reply, God hasn’t shown me that far ahead, and be done with the questioning. I think there’s a thin line between waiting to hear what God has to say on a matter and using waiting on God as an excuse for being lazy but we can’t let that put us off seeking God’s face daily.

2)You have around 0% control

Have you ever played that game where people are in pairs, one person is wearing a blindfold and the seeing person has to lead the blind one to a destination with just the sound of their voice? If so then you know what it’s like to live according to what God is saying via the Holy Spirit. No matter how tired the blindfolded person is of following and how much they want to be in control, it would make no sense for them to start giving directions. I think we forget that God can see the future because when he’s telling us to turn left, even though we’re busy wearing our blindfolds and so can’t actually see what would be best for us, we decide to chip in and convince God that we should be turning right.

The amount of times I’ve ignored God because what he was saying seemed illogical and then after realising that he was right had to repent, I’ve given up thinking I know better than Him. ( I know, why would I even think that in that in the first place?!?!) What you lose in control, you gain in the certainty that God knows what’s best.

For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord . ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

3) You’re forced to live by faith and not by sight

So there’s pros and cons to living blindly but even when things seem like cons as points 1&2 do, the overall result of living blindly which trumps everything is that: You become completely dependent on God. When you’ve stopped relying on what your eyes can see and started listening to God’s voice it doesn’t make sense to stop listening half way through the directions and decide you can do it yourself. I think it’s because we have such tendencies to take over that God doesn’t reveal every step of the journey before we begin. Knowing us we’d assume we knew better despite the blindfold we’re wearing. Of course everyone likes direction and feeling like they’re in control of their own lives, but handing the keys over to God and sitting in the passenger seat mean you’re being taken care of by the king of kings, lord of Lords, creator of the whole world, alpha and omega who can see your whole life and wants what’s best for you.

And the Lord said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
And Moses said to him, “If your presence does not go with us, do not take us up from here.Exodus 33:14-15

Moses didn’t want to go anywhere where God wasn’t going to be and we can learn a lot from that. For some of us, the way we make decisions is by asking “how much money will it make me” or “what are the chances of receiving an opportunity like this again“, but what about asking God what he wants? Nobody wants to end up half way down a path and realise that they’ve gone in the opposite direction from God’s plan.

Following God does feel a bit like you’ve lost all sense of the vision you once had but what you gain is so much more than the pleasure of knowing where you’re going: knowing that God is with you.

Love ya like yam and corned beef stew

Dani xxxx

What To Do When You’re Falling Apart

falling

At the moment, I’m getting into the Old Testament (OT) – the part of the Bible most young Christians tend to avoid – not because we don’t want to read it, of course, but because it just feels a bit intense and at times, confusing. The New Testament (NT) feels a lot easier to get through, right? It can at times feel like an action movie with the star of the film being our main man Jesus Christ who just keeps doing and saying amazing things.

 Boom! Born in a manger

Boom! Doing Miracles

Boom! Dying on a cross

BOOM! RISING FROM THE DEAD

Such a page turner, right? And of course, once you become a Christian, you’re given the little red NT Bible so most of us just sit with the last 27 books and neglect all the other books. After years of being content with the NT alone, I decided to begin right at the beginning of the Bible. I have just finished reading Joshua and let’s just say it’s been quite the journey.

God delivered  the Israelites out of the Egypt but instead of allowing them to enter the Promise Land instantaneously, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and distrust. The Israelites had no real idea where they were going; there had been ups and downs, disappointments and frustrations. The very thing they hoped would come to pass had been severely delayed.

Eventually, the Israelites reached the land God promised them and in Joshua 22, Joshua their new leader, gave some of the tribes some sound advice:

But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold fast to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.

Joshua 22:5

On the day I read this, I was having trouble holding onto God because I had so many other things in my hands. It had been a whirlwind week, full of moments where things had failed to come together in the way I hoped they would. I wanted to throw myself into my emotions and hibernate under my quilt. Thankfully, this scripture caught me as I was falling apart and caused me to question my response to what most would consider one of the usual setbacks of life.

When we are falling apart that is when we should hold tighter onto God – we shouldn’t let him go because of our emotions.

When everything is going wrong – fall apart hold fast

When things aren’t going your way – fall apart hold fast

When you’re not sure what to do next – fall apart hold fast

When you put all your hope into something and it doesn’t come together –fall apart hold fast

Hold fast to God, He is all we have.

Joy xx