Monday, 1 September 2014

When you need eyes to see God's love in hard things

Bible verses about God seeing me
Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps? Job 31:4 (NIV)

There is light dancing on my wall.

Shimmering. Playing. Shifting. 

Each morning for the past week I’ve been waking up to the sight of sunshine filtering through the trees and projecting the waving branches on my wall. 

It’s a beautiful sight. 

As I’ve sat mesmerized looking at it I’ve felt like God has been painting light on my wall as a gift to me. 

Surprising me with beauty and inviting me to share a few moments just appreciating the splendor of what he has created. 

For a few minutes each morning the dancing sun has broken my morning routine. 

The beauty in the sunlight has left me thinking how if I open my eyes, God is visible in every moment.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been praying, “Lord, show me how to love.”

Maybe it’s because I admitted to God that I don’t know the first thing about love, about God – but that I want to. 

Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading an advance release copy of Stormie Omartian’s new book, Choose Love

I’ve found that when God is trying to get my attention about something he puts that thing in my path all the time. 

So when I was offered the chance to read Choose love I thought, “Okay, God we’re on this love journey, let me see what you’re trying to tell me with these words. 

Stormie Omartian quote from Choose LoveOne line in her book really got my attention: 
There are so many things we do not appreciate in our life until we recognize God’s love for us in them. (tweet this)

I’ve let that sentence dance around my head like the light on the wall trying to figure it out. 

In so many ways it makes sense to me. The patterns on the wall painted with rays of sunshine were just that till I saw them as God’s love for me. 

And then in other ways it doesn’t, because what does that say about my husband having cancer, where was God’s love in that? 

I let the sentence play across my thoughts and then I begin to think of all the ways that friends and family loved us through my husband’s cancer treatments. 

The meals, the shopping, the cleaning, the notes, the little gifts, the kind words, the lifts. It’s not a short list. And as I write it, I begin to recognize all the ways that God’s love for me is evident in them. 

Sometimes it’s seems silly to me that God would try and get my attention with some light play but then I think about Job 31:4, which says: Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps?

And I think, if God pays attention to how many steps I take then I’m pretty sure he cares about how light on the wall delights me and draws me to him. 

Ponder: Think of one surprising place or time that saw God’s love today?

Pray: God, please open my eyes to your love in the easy and hard stuff in my life. (tweet this)

Read Part I, Part II and Part III of what God is teaching me as I pray, “Lord, show me how to love”. 

The last third of Choose Love is all about how to choose to love others in a way that pleases God. If you're itching to put some actions to your thoughts or see God is bigger than your hard stuff why not join hands with Lisa-Jo Baker as she invites us to fund a kitchen and community hall for a community in Maubane, South Africa. Just 20 people donating R250 ($25) will make this a reality. Are you in?


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I will randomly select two subscribers to my blog to win one of two copies of Stormie Omartians' book Choose Love. If you would like to be in the draw please subscribe. All subscribers who have authenticated their subscription will be available for the draw. Draw will take place on 7 September 2014.

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

One thing to remember when you are afraid of what lies ahead

What to do when you are afraid
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) 

One thing no one told me when Xylon was diagnosed with cancer was that we’ll never really get over a diagnosis like that. 

It sticks to me. 

Even after Xylon had a clear scan, cancer lurks at the back of my mind. 

When we dream of the future there’s this cloud of cancer that hangs on the edge like a thunderstorm gathering on the horizon. 

These “what if’s” that are linked to the next scan, the next doctors appointment, the next simple winter cold. 

Bible verses about a spirit of fearWe make plans for the future. 

We just bought a new house. 

We’re planning on moving cities. 

And we try not to talk about the “what if’s” about the cloud that threatens to burst. We hope and pray that the wind will blow the storm clouds away. 

And I’m not alone in this. 

I’m not the only one who fears an unknown future. 

It’s not even something that only affects cancer survivors and their families. 

A reader sent me this letter this week and I asked if I could share it:

Have you ever been afraid to open the Bible?

I have, I am…Recently on a woman’s everyone received something amazing. So did I, it’s just that I am afraid of what I got.

“You won’t ever have the comfortable life you desire. You have shared your testimony openly and freely, now I will start molding your new testimony and so it will go on.”

Since then I have been afraid of reading my Bible. 

So I am afraid of what lies ahead. I am afraid for my kids and every day I ask that should this be my road, God, keep my kids blessed and cared for. I am so scared though and I am trying to be spiritual about it all because I know God and I know His teaching. I just never thought I would be confronted with something like this and be so afraid.

She asked me what I’d think if I were in her situation. And I thought back to Xylon and I, and the fear that multiplies like unwelcome cells. 

One thing I’ve learnt when I am afraid of what lies ahead is that the fear I feel is not from God. (tweet this)

Bible verses about fearI believe this because the bible says it. 

There’s a verse I memorized as a kid, 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

It’s a verse Xylon and I have been praying over our fear, verse that reminds me that when God is in control I don’t have to be afraid. 

Because God doesn't give fear. 
God gives a sound mind. 
God gives love.
And there is no fear in love. (tweet this)

God stands with me, and looks at the horizon and whispers, “I’m with you, you don’t have to be afraid.”

Ponder: Are you afraid of what lies ahead? How would that feeling change if you realised that God does not give fear? 

Prayer: Lord, I believe this fear is not from you. Take the fear and replace it with your love.  


[An addendum: This morning I saw Idelette tweeted this:
Wherever there's fear in my heart, 
there's no room for Love. 
And I thought, it only took her 11 words to say what I've been trying to say in 100's.]


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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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Monday, 25 August 2014

I’ve been hiding all the ugly (or a reminder for when I need courage to be myself)

You are priceless to meYou are priceless to me. I love you and honor you. So I will trade other people for you. I will give up other nations to save your lives. Isaiah 43:4 (NIV)

Our home went on show this Sunday. 

We spent hours preparing it for strangers to traipse through and put a value on it. 

I’ve been hiding all the ugly. 

Shaking out cushions that have lost their life, putting bins in the cupboard to open up the space, placing shampoo out of sight and appliances in cupboards. 

We’ve been making our house look perfect. 

As I hid the laundry bin in a cupboard I thought about how my instinct is to hide the ugly too. 

My nature is to hide the things about myself that I think other people won’t like. 
I am priceless
I edit myself for others all the time. 

I laugh at what I think others will laugh at. I only wear certain clothes in public because they hide body parts I don’t like. I often hide the “crazy” from people because I think if I show the side of me that dances like a white girl and sings out of tune no one will like me. 

And I spend hours preparing for strangers to put a value on me instead of realizing that 
because God is my father, I am priceless. (tweet this)

Maybe I need to write Isaiah 43:4 on the full length mirror in my room, and read it whenever I feel like hiding the ugly:
You are priceless to me.
I love you and honor you.
So I will trade other people for you.
I will give up other nations to save your lives.

It’s pretty crazy to think that God loves me that much, that he loves me just as I am, even with all the ugly hiding in the cupboards. 

Ponder: Are you allowing strangers to put a value on you instead of God? 

Pray: Father, help me to live like I am priceless. (tweet this)

Other places I’ve been writing lately:
I'm also sharing what I learnt about my husband from our first kiss over on Arleen Spenceley’s blog today. Click here to read the post

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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.

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

Photo Credits (Creative Commons): unsplash.com | Design: Wendy van Eyck