Saturday, September 25, 2010

Refresh 2010

This weekend I am away at Refresh 2010- Womens conference. This is a weekend of many firsts.
It is my first ever womens conference.
It is my first time away from my children.
It is my first non illness/ non hospital admission time away from my husband in 17 years of marriage.
It is my first time away with my sister ( or any girlfriend)for more than a daytime trip in almost 20 years)
It is the first time I have ever looked at something and said I NEED to be there no matter what- this is for me right now!
The theme is "Living Victoriously amidst life's storms". Sound like God smiled when He in His amazing way worked this conference info into my hands?
Jill Briscoe is the speaker, Jill is someone who I have admired and read her works for years. How I came to know of the conference was making an enquiry for one of her books "A little pot of oil" -a particular book, a particular journey, a particular need- God smiles!
I am being challenged and changed as she reveals God to us in new and personal ways- a deep hunger is building in me that I thought had gone. I am drawn to prayer by her Godly example, knowledge and her personable warmth and her palpable love for Jesus!
I am so thankful that I am here.
I am so thankful I am sharing this time with my sister,
I am so thankful there is more tomorrow,
I am so thankful for the lovely Godly women & their openess to talk with us & embracing us,

I am most thankful there is Jesus!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Words, words, words

Last week my 13yo DD had a conversation with her teacher when she insisted that DD “Join in a Prayer right now!”

DD explained that she was confused about the nature of the prayer and didn’t feel comfortable and so she was actually just being quiet when the others were praying aloud and the lack of participation apparently deeply offended/irritated the teacher and a firm reprimand followed.

As a result there was tears, confusion, embarrassment (as DD was left sobbing in front of her classmates)

I admit the mumma bear in me got a little ruffled up.

I was in a position that I had to make a choice if my words were going to work to resolve the situation or if they were going to stir up the situation.

I didn’t really FEEL like having my words “be apples of gold, in settings of silver,” (Prov 25.11)

I was more in a rant and rave kinda mode. Someone has wronged my baby!! – thankfully (due to afterschool activity and a late pick up the school office was shut and I was graciously given the night to cool.

I had a choice to make.

I found out I can actually chose how to act and I had ALOT of prayer to make a right decision. Gentle answers actually do calm a situation and harsh ones do stir the situation up- (- who knew!!)- seems pretty simple but in deciding how to have this consultation this verse gave me alot of grounding. I had some desires that were very different but I also had to show my DD how to be able to use the verses we read in our everyday life.

This week we had a meeting with the Teacher and the Principal and the issue of whether or not a person is allowed to be silent in times of community prayer and whether or not miming or speaking the words and not meaning them was appropriate. These were difficult discussions that have caused alot of discussion about why we say things and what do we do if we have different opinions within a community. Hmmmm.

I have given alot of thought to how our words are used to bring praise and prayers to God , how they are used to control and manipulate others behaviour and how they are used to build up and sustain community.

Ultimately though our words reflect our heart. “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6.45) and I believe that our words need to bring Glory to God first and encouragement to those that hear them second. I am struggling with this.

Do you think it is appropriate to speak aloud in prayer what is not in your heart to benefit others? Would you find someone remaining silent during a time of community prayer to be offensive?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Morning Coffee

Come sit awhile and have a coffee, Im glad you stopped by.
I sat and had my morning coffee with my King this morning, I thought over what some of my greatest needs are and I also thought over what some of my greatest answers to prayer are and they are almost the same.

I remember the days of waiting on God for answers, miraculous answers to prayer- struggling through hardship in a season of IVF and feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy and desperation, to be blessed so miraculously with this lil baby- a lil baby that I should have never been able to have, a lil baby that showed me God cares about the desires of my heart, she is indeed a pure gift of God.

Today I still struggle and pray for her- the prayers are different- now they focus on managing illness and hope and aches of a mumma's heart. Again I see  the Mighy Hand of God on our life. A lil toddler being restored by His Grace. The daily provision of energy and health that is building her lil body everyday. Healing that is stregnthening her lil mind everyday. We are having more good days with bad patches and slowly and gently God is leading me in lessons of patience and love.

In my prayers for healing for my sweet lil one, God has gently bought healing for me too. He has taken this time of suffering and drawn me gently and lovingly to Himself. I have felt comfort and security coming through the darkest times, a reassurance and a safety that I cant explain.

How can good come from hardship?- in the natural it cant.
But "In Christ all things work for good for those who love the Lord and are called for His purpose" (Romans 8.28)

How is God sustaining you in your current season? I would love to pray for you as we stop for a quiet coffee with the King.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I was sitting with my coffee and thinking about the week- Thankful thursday is a day that I like to purposefully pause and give thanks.

My two aunts from Ireland and England came to visit and again it was very tough saying goodbye. Both these lovely ladies are very strong in faith for the Lord and in a few short days we have prayed, read, talked and encouraged each other to press into God during this season. I am so thankful for their visit and the fun and fellowship we shared.

Today my DH is off to Dubbo to take a university exam for his course that he does at night. I am thankful for the time he has had to prepare and the opportunity he has to redo tis exam ( the last time he sat this exam lil C was very sick in hospital and he has had to wait 5 months to take it again) I am thankful that lil C, though she has croup, she is basically well and out of hospital for this exam week.

I sat and read Julie's blog Come Have a Peace and her post "Showering Hope" on the Baby rescue centre in Gautemala really touched my heart.

This week as My lil toddler was sick, I was worried, I took her to the hospital and she was seen by a specialist, given some medicine, had scans and treatment and we are home. It was worrying, stressful and tiring. I cannot even imagine  living in a place that this was not a reality. Let alone being unable to give my baby food and watching her waste away from hunger and disease. To hear her cries as lil C had to undergo treatment that was necessary to help her was tough- it IS tough on a Mumma's heart to hear her baby cry. But to hear you baby cry and NOT be able to meet her need or know that she was hungry and you couldn't feed her - well that just makes me weep. 

My lil C has been off her food- the dietician has given us special liquid nutrient drinks that she can have to help her. We have a choice of yoghurt and custard and different biscuits to tempt her to eat if she feels like it.
I look around my kitchen this morning and I have so much- I have a coffee in my hand, the breakfast plate scrapings that are going to the chickens and ducks are on the bench, there are two bananas that are starting to go a bit brown, there is the end of the loaf of bread that wasnt put back in the freezer after the toast was made and now is stale and I was thinking about making a bread & butter pudding or taking it out to the chickens. All this -and I overlook it as a true GIFT from God.
What would this mumma give to have what I throw away?
What would it mean to her?
How do I teach a grateful, thankful heart in my children and myself?

I am so blessed and often I am so ungrateful- I dont even realise what it is I have  to appreciate- I overlook it as "normal" and I think this arrogance is actually very sad.

Today I am taking time to sit and realise some of the things that I am truely thankful for.Funny enough the memory verse I taught lil 3yo DD this week was "Be thankful always" and  My list for starters:
  •  the access I have to health care that is helping my daughter
  • the house my husband has built me
  • the conveniences that I have- the tv that is helping entertain my miserable toddler, the microwave that saves me time heating a snack, the washing machine & my wonderful dryer that are helping me keep on top of the washing during this rainy week.
  • the lovely warm load of firewood we have for our cast iron stove
  • the groceries I can walk into a store and buy
  • the family I have that has come to visit and love and support us
  • the ability I have to sit here and talk to you.
  • I am thankful for my blogy friends!!
  • Sweet California Momma has blessed me with my first ever Blog Award!!

  • This a big surprise and I felt very encouraged ((HUGS))

    I could literally take all day and notice things to be thankful for in everything- wow what would my day look like then??
What are you thankful for today??