Football Season

Football season is about to start for this year. Yep, see you all in September!!

I don’t mean sitting a watching football on the TV. I mean that my young men, my sons, play Rugby League. I will spend the next 7 months as taxi driver, nurse, cleaner, canteen volunteer, and their number one fan and cheer squad.

My two boys are at their first football training session this afternoon. I suspect that they are going to come home sweaty, stinky and exhausted. It is still very hot this afternoon, I also suspect that they are also going to come home desperately needing to shower and cool off.

One day, I asked both the boys what they enjoyed about playing such a rough sport. Their answers amused me. My eldest one said the fitness and the team comradery. My youngest one said that he got to smash other kids and to tackle. (note my pained expression) BTW, the picture that heads this blog is of my youngest son. He loves to tackle!!

As a footy mum, I will spend the next 7 months running the boys to various locations around our large district, and cleaning mud and dirt from their clothes, shoes and our car. I will buy oodles of strapping tape, painkillers, heat rub and food.

Oh… and did I mention food?

As I have said before God speaks to me through very simple things in life.

I am the type of mum that cheers them on in their pursuits in life, encourages them and pushes them to keep their commitments, all the while holding my breath every time they get injured. There are times that I turn away with tears in my eyes when I see them hit the ground and take their time to get up.

The Holy Spirit encourages me forward, helping me to my feet when I fall. Scripture floods my mind when I hurt and gives peace when I am troubled.

I watch the boy’s coach pat them on the shoulder, and encourage them to push harder. The coach will help them with their flaws and weaknesses and place them where their strengths are more like to be used to the max.

My Heavenly Father reminds me that I have made a commitment to Him, that my heart must remain in the game with Him as my coach. He will place me where He can help me in my weaknesses and where the strengths that I have are providing the best for those around me. He will also let me know when I have let the “team” down, and remind me that through Him I can do what He knows I can do.

While footy season to my sons, is about the team and the game, the season for me is about making sure they get their rest and pace their busy lives well.

Often to me life is about the everyday, making sure every family member is looked after and getting things done that I rarely seem to have time for. My Father -He knows the bigger plans. He is watching me and reminding me that I can rely on Him when I get exhausted, when I am in pain and when I simply do not want to run onto the field to play one more game. I watch as He paces my life and stops me from getting myself too busy.

This blog has just taken a turn…

My two sweaty teenage boys have come in and walk past me. Their faces are red and they complaining that they hurt all over.  Even as fit as they are, they are going to hurt tomorrow. I think my words to them were something like this – “You feel it now, but give it a few weeks and it won’t hurt anymore.”

I can feel God nod His head in my direction. “yes, Father, I too hurt.”

“I need you to do some training.”

Oops…didn’t think He noticed!!

So, before Him now I have handed Him two situations that are really hurting me right now. I feel the pain as He trains me in the area of forgiveness. I really wanted to leave it alone and pretend that by sitting on my backside it would go away.”

“Walk Ruth,” I hear Him say, “Walk with the decision to hand it over this that you carry. This is faith. Do you trust me to work through everything in your life? Even those that seem to have no change?”

(Oh my goodness.. those faith muscles again!!!)

“I have trained and trained in this area so many times, Father, nothing has changed. I have given it to you before.”

“Yes, but does it hurt as much this time.”


“Was it easier to hand it to me?”


“How is your faith?”

(I flex it, it feels stiff), ”Yeah..ok, I didn’t realise that I would be so stiff!”

“Remain trained in the area of forgiveness, never stop forgiving. Anger and resentment do not seem to cause you to be unfit, but it stops you from being your best. I will continue to enlarge your faith, until eternity, without this you will not continue forward.”

I know what He means. He is now silent. I am grateful for the best Coach, Counsellor, and God that shows mercy and knows me well.

While I know, there will be times when my children hurt and are in pain, I will be there for them. There are times they want to give up, but I will not let them. There are times when it is too early to get up, but I will pull there blankets off them and give them a hot drink to wake them. There will be times when the drive is long, but we will do it anyway.


Because every achievement is good and is better when you do it as a team. While they must play and train, I go through it will them.

My God does the same. He cannot walk this walk on this earth for me, but He is “doing this life with me”. He is fully here with me in everything.

For that, I am eternally grateful.

Be blessed

Promises, promises!

Often while I am praying God reminds me of the promises He has given me, and why He gave them to me. Two weeks ago He reminded me again.

About 6 months ago, I was going through a particularly difficult part of a three-year battle. I was tired and exhausted and I was certainly not in a confident place. God reminded that He needed me to remember both His word and His personal promises to me.

Some beautiful friends  had come over to visit, and after hearing my weariness and discouragement, sat down and prayed for me.  They specifically asked God to set a time and place for the end to the battle I was going through. I could feel my Spirit lift as the renewed peace flowed through me. My mind cleared of the earlier discouragement, and suddenly a vision suddenly became so clear, I could have open my eyes and still seen it imprinted on my brain.  I can I still see it, even while writing this.

God gave me a picture of me, I was on my knees and in full military battle gear. The sword that I had once used to fight the battle was on the ground in front of me and there was this figure of a person was standing over me with his sword to my chest. I was looking up at him and not moving. And suddenly the understanding came to me that I could easily take up my sword again, or I could let the enemy win by surrendering and giving up.

The sword that God had given me were the promises that He gave. I was in the place/position, because I was not using what God had given me to fight the discouragement and weariness that had finally overcome my heart.

Before taking on this battle some 3 years before I had specifically asked God what I should do. He had said that He had given me this battle and that I was to do this. Many times he gave me different parts of the promise. Mostly with visions, but all the time with scriptures from His word, and once with a text message from a friend who had no idea that God had just given her the answer to my prayer that morning. I queried God long and hard about taking on this battle, because I really…really… did not want to take it on.

A short while later, another battle started. I asked God and He showed me that He had placed a fire in me…right in the centre of my chest.

BUT… yes…but…  in all fairness to me, God had not warned me that the battle was going to be SO long. Or so hard. Or that there would be two at the same time.

Oh.. and He didn’t say that I would be at the front of the battle fighting it without any experience in the fight.

Mmmm… ok .. He did, actually. I had just forgotten. He had told me that He would train me.

Psalm 18:34-35

He trains my hands for battle;  my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me;
 your help has made me great.

He didn’t tell me that the battle had an intrusive nature that spreads into every moment of my life. But battles have a habit of doing that, don’t they?

Six months ago, when that vision was so forcefully in front of me, I could see two things… I could give up, or go on. In this time of discouragement and overall body and mind exhaustion, I had completely forgotten every promise God had given me. It was a rude awakening indeed. I was so weary that I considered the alternative for a second (gasp), but only for a second. I felt in the second that took up the promises in my mind, that the sword was back in my hand.

This last two weeks, God used this vision to remind me that I need to stay focused despite of the weariness that the battle has bought again.

In the midst of this three-year battle, I am still a wife and mother…and author and speaker. Yet, I find that God often parts the way and allows everything to just fit into place.

Not this last few weeks.

Everything has piled on top of everything else, and there has been no letup of people needing me for something. My children were home too, on holidays. Their need for my parenting, my cooking and my company had been weighing heavily indeed. Even my community work was constant, sometimes people contacting me up to three times a day.

There was one other thing that happened in the middle of it. Someone I am very close to, decided that they wanted to give up on our relationship and it was because of something that I had no control over. That night in tears I asked God what I should do. I felt that the battle I was in was too big, how could I take on one more fight, and was the relationship worth the fight. God promised me that it was, and he asked me to turn to a certain page in a certain book… this is what I read –

“Don’t engage in relational battles and drain your strength trying to prove your point, win your way, or defend yourself…” (Page 94) “His Princess Warrior” by Sheri Rose Shepherd

See, this is the thing that is hard for me. I am not a fighter. I hate conflict and I would rather peace. One day, years ago, God gave me a specific scripture, when I opened up the bible at the verse this is what it read…

I am tired of living among people who hate peace. I search for peace; but when I speak of peace, they want war! Psalm 120: 6 and 7

That was me!! I want peace, but every time I speak peace, they want war. My personality does not like war, I LOVE peace. To be in a constant state of war is not me. I find it wearing and difficult.

BUT. But. I also don’t like leave conflict undealt with. I am always trying to resolve conflicts. Because I love peace, I hate to see conflict.

There are some things that we need to leave alone, especially if God tells us not to engage. I have had many times where God has told me not to engage a battle or enter into a conflict. I must be obedient to this.

This last two weeks God promises are clearly in my mind. I have cried a lot, despaired a lot and have reached a point of utter exhaustion. But God has provided, He has lifted up my weary hands and spoken time and time again. Even a surprise gift in the last few days to allow me some time alone to pull my thoughts together and rest.

I was once asked why I saw what I am going through as a battle.  The question was asked kindly and I saw it as the person asking me what I saw in the very words “battle”.

The type of battle that I am going through is a conflict and a struggle. The dictionary says that a battle is both a conflict and a struggle. The conflict is not going away on its own, and the struggles that come with it are not detached from the conflict. Every time I ask God about this that I am in He always shown me in battle clothes. If I could do this without the fight, I would.

I understand the desire not to fight.

You may be in the fight of your life right now, without any ability to make the decision of whether you fight or not. It may be a failing marriage, it may be the death of a loved one, or even the loss of everything that you hold dear. It could be cancer, or failing health.

You may be a young pastor of a new church, or maybe your ministry with others and the needs of others now holds a new level of intensity or commitment.

Whatever your battle is – stand on what He originally promised you, or ask God to give you an understanding what His promise is to you right now. Then, stand with that promise in your hand and move forward. Do not stop the fight until your work is done. Do not give in to weariness and discouragment.

May God be with you always in everything you do, may He strengthen you and uphold you, may His promises renew your mind and give you a steadiness of heart and mind. Be blessed