Monday, 15 September 2014

When trusting God is all you've got

Bible verse about trust
 In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. Psalm 25:1 (NIV)

“And babies?”

It’s a common question I hear these days.

It’s slipped in between, “How are you?” and “What are you up to?”

Each time I hear it I think back to our whispered fears and hopes outside a sperm bank: 
“Do you want to do this?” Xylon asked.
“No…do you?” I whisper.
“Not at all.” He says.
“Ssshall we go?” I stutter.
In reply, Xylon turns the key, and drives out of the fertility clinic.

My husband and I drove all the way to deposit sperm after he was diagnosed with cancer, and then we couldn’t do it.

We’d talked about it, we’d prayed about it, we’d researched it and met with doctors about it.

We wanted to be wise about our fertility.

We didn’t want to play games with the future generations God might give us.

But in the end we couldn’t go through it.

We turned around and left, because we felt that God was telling us to not only trust him with our lives, but with our fertility.

I don’t know exactly what that means for us.

All we decided was that we were content to allow God to determine how we become parents of the children he has for us.

I don’t know if it means we’ll have birth children one day, or whether we’ll adopt, or whether God has something else planned for us. 

I don’t know the stresses and strains it might put on our relationship or how it might change us.

quotes about trust in God
All I know, is that in that parking lot we decided to put all our trust and hope in Jesus – to trust him completely.

I have learnt “We’re trusting God for X” isn’t a guarantee that I’ll get what I want or even what I think I need. 

Sometimes I use “We’re trusting God” as euphemism for “We’re going to get what we want.”

I don’t think that’s what trust it, I think trust is more a quite confidence that God will always give me his best (even if I think that looks like the worst possible outcome).

When I don’t know the outcome, or when the situation I hoped would turned out for one way turns out differently to what I hoped that’s when I’m really trusting God.

I’m learning that when I wonder if I can trust God in something, I can whisper like David: “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.”

Ponder: Is there something in your life that you need to trust God with? 


Prayer: In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.


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In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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Photo Credits (Creative Commons): Baby feet: gabi_menashe Background: Pink Sherbet Photography Pegs: Jsome1 | Design: Wendy van Eyck


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Does diversity matter? I’m #GoingThere

God looks on the heart 1 Samuel 16:7
But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 (MSG)

I grew up in a country where apartheid wasn’t just a word it was a policy. 

I grew up in a country where at 9 years my best friend had skin darker than mine. And we spent our Monday afternoons with a dozen or so kids who spoke a mother tongue that grew out of African soil. 

I never knew that my actions, that my families actions, went against the policy of the government. I never knew that by embracing diversity I was breaking some kind of taboo. 

In 1994, when I was 11, South Africa had its first democratic elections and became the “rainbow nation”: a group of people with every skin shade and a dozen or so languages embracing each other. 

Over a decade later, I met a man who looked nothing like the husband I thought I’d marry. Xylon was dark, where I thought he’d be light. He was short, where I thought he’d be tall. 

And he was handsome, kind and full of grace for the people who struggled to see bones covered in white skin and black skin holding hands. 

Xylon invited me to join him in pursuing a life that would not be ordinary. A life where I would learn to look past the colour of a persons skin to the colour of their heart.

Recently, I gave Xylon the book of the “Colour of Water” to read and told him how in the book a little boy asks his mother, “What colour is God?” And his mother replies, "He doesn't have a colour… God is the colour of water."

Then last night, he said to me, “If God is the colour of water, than wouldn’t that mean that he sees all of us as the colour of water too?”

I thought about what Xylon said, and about 1 Samuel 16:7, about how our hearts are all the same colour under our diverse skin tones.  

diversity #GoingthereAnd how, if our eyes saw hearts instead of bodies how different our idea of human worth would be. (tweet this)

I know, because of my countries past, because of my past, that diversity is a choice. 

Relationships don’t happen by accident, they happen by choice. And if I'm honest right now, my friends all look a lot more like me then they look like my husband. And if it wasn’t for him my world would be pretty vanilla. 

I don’t want to live in a world of my own creation. I want to live in a world where I reach out to people who are different from me, who look different, who do different jobs, and who think different things. 

I’m praying that God will open my eyes to see hearts. I’m listening when people who are different to me speak. And I’ve decided that to be intentional about pursuing friendships with people who are nothing like me. 

And I’m allowing the words of tobyMac to challenge me and change me: My world is diverse, because I wanted it to be, because God placed that in me. If we’re ever going to be the shining city on the hill, we have to be a “diverse city.” I think we’re more beautiful diverse than we are separated and divided.

Ponder: How diverse are your friends and family? What stops you from #GoingThere? 

Pray: Lord, give me your eyes to see hearts instead of skin. Give me your ears to listen first and speak second. Help me to be a good friend to people who look nothing like me. 

I have friends online who are #GoingThere. Deidra Riggs is a woman you should get to know online, and she’s been #GoingThere for a good long while now. But she’s getting tired. So others are coming alongside her and throwing wide their fears and slips of the heart and extending the conversation. Others like Lisa-Jo, and Jennifer, and Alia, and Kate. And they’re inviting you to go there, too.


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{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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Photo Credits (Creative Commons): Heart: takacsi75 Daisies: jasohill Paint: jenny downing  | Design: Wendy van Eyck



Monday, 8 September 2014

When you realise that there is hope for your tired body and soul

bible verse I'll refresh tired bodies
I’ll refresh tired bodies; I’ll restore tired souls. Jeremiah 31:25 (MSG)

Are you tired?

Are you weary?

Have you got that September feeling? The feeling that this year has been long enough already, and that it’s time for a holiday, and time for new things to begin. 

The feeling that comes with a to-do list that keeps getting longer but never seems to get done.

I’ve got that feeling. 

Even this year which has been a pretty easy year for my husband and I with no cancer treatments is beginning to feel long. 

This morning when I read Jeremiah 31:25 my soul sighed, whoosh:
I’ll refresh tired bodies; 
I’ll restore tired souls.

My soul let out a breath I didn’t even know I’d been holding because I realised that God can refresh my tired body and restore my weary soul. 

I don’t need to add refresh body and soul to my to-do list I can leave that in God’s hands. 

Whoosh.

Ponder: Do you need to leave refreshing your body and soul in God’s hands?

Pray: Lord, thank you that you’ve promised to refresh my body and soul. Come and revitalise my body and soul. 

{Other places I’ve been writing}
I’m over at Blessing Mpofu’s site, I am Jonah today, writing about why I sometimes find it hard to speak to people who believe in Jesus. Read the full post here.

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You can share this devotional on twitter by clicking here. I’d also love for you to connect with me on my Facebook and twitter pages or if you're viewing this via email you can leave a comment by clicking here.

{Get my book}

In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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to receive my free ebook
and a NEW devotional in your inbox every Monday and Thursday

Photo Credits (Creative Commons): Water and Palms: unsplash.com Shell: A Guy Taking Pictures  | Design: Wendy van Eyck