Celebrate

My celebrations come from the heart today. I celebrate, grey hairs, laugh lines, a certain amount of pain in my joints and lessons well learnt…. and I celebrate wisdom. Wisdom is a good thing. It is because of wisdom that I know to stay close to my God and to learn from the past.

 

Today I celebrate my 50th birthday with joy and peace in my heart. I am so thankful for the years God has given me on this earth.

As a baby I was born too early and as a premature baby, my introduction to this life was one of fighting to stay well. 10 months later I contracted Golden Staph in my lungs, again I fought for life. It was the prayers of a young Pentecostal minister who came and prayed for me that saw me go home a few days later. God fought for me too.

I realized this week that I can celebrate “the fight”. I have finally figured out that I actually enjoy the fight. I am not talking about arguments and confrontation – I run from them. I enjoy taking on the battles in life with God by my side. Not every fight has been won, but every fight has won in my heart. Every fight has been a point of growth in me as a person, even the losses. Today I celebrate the “fight”.

I also celebrate today my God. He has been everything to me. I cannot go through this life without Him. As my Father, Saviour, Friend, Counselor, Protector, Guide and Provider, He has been with me through not only the darkest deepest valleys but has climbed to the mountaintops too. I have seen Him to be true, faithful and loving.

“He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.” S of S 2:4 (NASB)

My family are my next celebration. I have a husband who loves me and supports me in all my endeavours. He has been with me through thick and thin and sees me for who I really am. I am blessed with two young men who I am privileged to be able to call my sons. They are amazing young men who enrich my life and fill it with joy (and the need for patience). I have a sister, mother, and two brothers – they are courageous people with stories to tell of survival. I could tell you of aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, all of which have placed something into my life, even if just a great memory that brings joy. I can celebrate these people I call my family.

Finally, I celebrate my closest friends. These women are the best of women. I love all of them. They range from a friendship of 32 years to 10 months. They are incredible, beautiful, courageous, strong, encouraging friends – an amazing pride of Lionesses. Their feet hit the floor every morning and they are conquering their world. I am blessed to have these women in my life. Every single one of them are so very different yet so alike. I looked around the table of those who could come to my party and I also saw those who could not come. Each and every one of these women have allow me to be my best. Sometimes life and distance gets in the way of having time together, but that is ok too. At the moment I am exploring the friendships of three other women who fascinate me and inspire me. I meet with two of them today and look forward to finding treasures yet unknown. I also meet with my newest beautiful friend who is walking with grief hand in hand. She is yet to know how beautiful and strong she is. She too is surrounded by Lioness friends who are there for her, I see this and feel blessed.

My celebrations come from the heart today. I celebrate, grey hairs, laugh lines, a certain amount of pain in my joints and lessons well learnt…. and I celebrate wisdom. Wisdom is a good thing. It is because of wisdom that I know to stay close to my God and to learn from the past.

I think God for all of this. I celebrate my life so far and laugh at the days to come (Prov 31:25b NIV)

 

 

Just a little reminder

Have you ever received a text or email and it starts with “This is just a little reminder…”

 

Have you ever received a text or email and it starts with “This is just a little reminder…”

Over the past few weeks there have been some … interesting moments and experiences. Some really good and some interesting and some bad.

I was hanging out the washing this morning, when the Lord placed each and every one of these time in my head. It seemed to go in slow motion, almost like movie in slow motion. As each memory passed through my head I suddenly saw God’s work across all of them.

Then (almost in the background) the Holy Spirit spoke, “ I have been reminding you how to live.”

Interesting indeed.

I know that each and every day I want to live the way God wants me to live, but God was showing me how He was living through me. Over the past 10 years God has been teaching me a “better way” of living. Showing me a “better me”. Revealing the He is the “better God” if I let Him. I have had to lean and rely on the “better Counsellor” and trust a “better promise”.

In each of these things it has required me to listen and be obedient to the Holy Spirit and to God’s Word. To trust, have faith and believe. It has also meant that I have to shut my mouth and watch how I speak and what I say. It has always been about a better

Very interesting.

I have been reading the book of Hebrews in the New Testament. It is all about a letter written to Jewish people about a “better way”. I was pondering yesterday the words. “the word of God is living and active” and “it divides between soul and spirit, joint and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitude of the heart.” It seemed that God needed to show me how this had worked.

Over the past few weeks as things hit my life in full force, I have had constant times when I went to do something or say something, and a lesson that I have learned came to mind. It seemed like all the things that God has spoken to me about, or had shown me, came to my mind.  I found myself following the thought and doing exactly that. I didn’t at any of the time realised that the it was the Holy Spirit speaking… it just seemed like memories coming to my mind.

Now here the Lord was telling me differently. God…living…in…me.

God is good. Amazing!

He loves me being a better me, He loves it when I follow His better way. The Holy Spirit has left imprints all over my life.

In Joshua, God speaks to Joshua and says, be strong and of good courage. God repeats it a few times (verses 5,7, & 9) but at the last He says to Joshua “have I not commanded you? Be strong and very courageous.” It was like God needed this to be very, very clear to Joshua. He said it, then he resaid it, then He reminded Joshua that He commanded it.

In Isaiah 46:9, the writer is speaking to a wayward and rebellious nation. I love the way the Message bible says this verse.

“Think about this. Wrap your minds around it. This is serious business, rebels. Take it to heart. Remember your history, your long and rich history. I am God, the only God you’ve had or ever will have— incomparable, irreplaceable— From the very beginning telling you what the ending will be, All along letting you in on what is going to happen, Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll do exactly what I set out to do..”

Wrap your mind around this – God place in front of us all the reminders we need. Reminders of His love, of His mercy, of His Word, reminders that He was and still is Almighty God, Creator and King…even if it is of your own life. God seeks not only to change our hearts and lives, but for it to remain changed and keep on changing.

Thank you, Father God, for the reminders of You. Thanks for the newness of every new day when we find that we failed. Thanks for patience You have for us and how You long for us notice You and want You to be part of us in everything we do. Thanks for the memories and the reminders. Most of all Father, thank you for Your Son, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit who counsels us so well. Amen

Ask God for the ears to listen and the heart to respond. He LOVES the better you, and so will you.

God…living…in…you.

Think about it. This is truly serious business.