A prayer for wisdom to say the right thing


We all have different conversations ahead of us, but no matter what words need to be spoken chances are high that many of us need wisdom. 

The desire to speak life into our relationships is there but we've failed so many times before that we fear to open our mouths and say the wrong things all over again. 

We want to speak with gentleness. We want to speak kindness. We want to speak hope. We want to speak truth. But our tongues feel heavy and hard to tame and sometimes our emotions get the best of us. 

Forgive us for our addiction to speaking without listening. 

Forgive us for caring more about sharing our ideas than listening for your guidance. 

Forgive us for forgetting that you’ve promised to give us wisdom, generously, if we’d only ask. 

So we’re asking, Lord, we’re asking for your wisdom to dwell richly in us, to be present in all our conversations.

We’re asking for discernment about the timing of every hard chat we have to have. Help us to know when to speak up and when to shut up. 

We ask you to go before us and prepare the hearts and minds of those we need to speak too. And we ask that you would help us to see where we are getting things wrong and need to be open to the truth that others are trying to speak to us. 

We know that we won’t always get say the right things so give us the courage to say, “I’m sorry” and start again, to not hold the hurtful words we hear in our hearts, but let them go. 

Lord, you’ve shown us the power that words can have help us always use them like you to speak light into darkness. 

We ask today for your words to be always on our lips. 

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If you're feeling weak and broken today, read this

God's strength in my weakness

He binds their wounds,
    heals the sorrows of their hearts.
Psalm 147:3 (VOICE)

On my parent’s mantel piece there sits a small wooden bowl.  It is not large; it fits easily in my hand. 

Last year, my parents saw it sitting on a market table. They sent a photo of the bowl on the day they bought it. 

A dear family friend, Elena, turned the bowl from a Jacaranda tree. And when the bowl was done she noticed a flaw in the wood that would make it weak. Usually, wood turners will try to patch or fill the flaws; they will try to hide them. Instead, Elena chose to make something beautiful out of it.

Every time I visit home I run my fingers over the bowl. I let my fingers linger on the smooth wood and run the pads of my fingers over the wire. 

I can’t look at this bowl and not think of God. 

Every time I see this bowl I’m reminded of God’s love for me: how God doesn’t hide our flaws but he redeems them.

How God puts me back together in the broken places and makes me stronger.


Each little stitch across that bowl reminds me: 
God finishes what he starts (Philippians 1:6)
God binds our wounds and heals the sorrows of our hearts (Psalm 147:3)
God makes us strong in the broken places (2 Corinthians 12:9)

All of us have flaws, places where life has left us weak, I don’t know what caused yours, but I do know that God can turn them into something beautiful. 

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Welcome! 
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What I've been reading


I read a lot of books. Most of the books I read are historical fiction novels. They are easy, light reading that helps me relax after a work day but very rarely are they the type of books that I would tell a friend asking for a good book to read. Every now and again I find a few stand out novels and you'll see a couple of those here.

In amongst all these novels I scatter a few memoirs and non-fiction in for good measure. These are the books I read when my brain is feeling fresh or I feel I need some stimulation. I've added a couple that I've read recently in to this list.

I don't have a large book budget so I wait for a book to go on sale before I buy it. I subscribe to gospelebooks, modernmrsdarcy and bookbub to find out what books are on sale (or sometimes even free) for Kindle. I find almost all of the books I read through these three sites.

Here are 5 books I've read in the last few weeks that I've loved and would recommend to you to try. 

While I bought these books on sale that doesn't mean they're still on sale so please check the price of the books before purchasing. 

Full disclosure: if you click on a link and buy a book I will a get a small percentage from the purchase which I'll probably use to buy more books. So if you feel inspired to make a purchase thank you!

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Xylon is so tired of hearing me talk about this book. Of all the books I've read this year this one is having the most profound effect on my "well" journey. I've known for most of my life that I'm an introvert and that unlike extroverts I don't draw energy from socialising or spending time with others. This book is allowing me to feel that it is good to be an introvert from the very first page I felt myself nodding and thinking, "Someone else gets it." If you're an introvert or love someone who is I'd recommend this book. 
At the time of this post this book was still on sale for around USD2. 

Memoirs
I will carry you - Angie Smith
Trigger warning: Miscarriage, Infant death
This book is about grief and joy. It's a hard read but then isn't every book about loss going to be that way because they make us look at our immortality through the lens of someone else's pain and hope. I have a friend who carried a child to term knowing that it wouldn't survive more than a few hours outside of her womb so I read this book with her in mind.  I Will Carry You tells the powerful story of a parent losing her child, interwoven with the biblical story of Lazarus to help those who mourn to still have hope.

Fiction
Gods and Kings - Lynn Austin
This is the first book in a five part series. I've only read the first one so far but I loved how it brought the bible to life for me and reminded me that it's not just a story but a book about real people. Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country.
At the time of this post this book was still on sale for around USD6. 

Veil of fire - Marlo Schalesky
This is novel but it's based on an actual historical event - one of the worst fires in history - a blaze that destroyed six towns including Hinckley and killed 418 people in four hours in Minnesota of 1894.  In the aftermath of the fire, the town of Hinckley rises from the ashes, its people determined to rebuild their lives. But in the shadows, someone is watching, someone is waiting, someone who knows the secrets the fire lay bare. A rumor spreads of a mysterious figure that haunts the hills; monster, a ghost, or a memory? It's one of those books that is so well written it has you savouring the turn of phrase, as well as hoping that the story won't end. It's a suspenseful thriller (that won't keep you from sleeping if you're like me and tend to get freaked out by weird thriller type books). 

Christian Living
The story of God's love for you - Sally Lloyd-Jones
I was sent an advance reading copy of this book by the publisher but it ended up sitting on my bedside table for months. For some reason in the last few weeks I picked it up and started reading a chapter every other day or so. It is a beautiful retelling of the bible and it's been reminding me how much God loves me and making me open up read my bible with fresh eyes. My only hesitation in recommending it is that it's seems like it's written for children. I did read somewhere that it is her The Jesus Storybook Bible without the pictures, so it might be worth buying the free sample chapters and seeing how you like it before purchasing the full book.

What have you been reading lately? I'd love to take a look at your recommendations. 

Where are your favourite places to find books to read?

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5 books @wendyvaneyck recently read that she'd recommend to you to read {Tweet This!}

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When following Jesus feels hard


I wrote this in the early hours of this morning while I thought about all the things following Jesus can mean. 

Often I think it means comfort, love and only good things all the days of my life. 

But when I look at the doubts, the hard experiences and the failures of the first people Jesus called to follow him, I'm reminded that the real beauty of the phrase lies in the truth that Jesus invites me to journey through the doubts, the hard experiences and failures with him. 

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Come, follow me.

They put down fishing nets.
Left accounting ledgers.
They discarded meals.

"Come, follow me," Jesus said.

They walked in his footsteps from place to place. They handed out food to 5000 people. They hid from the crowds with him on a boat. They saw Jesus walking on water.

Come, follow me.

Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on water like his savior. When he lost faith Jesus caught him and kept his head above water.

Come, follow me.

They walked to the garden of Gethsemane. They fell asleep while Jesus prayed. And they leaped to his defense when one of his own betrayed him. 

You followed him! Not me! Three times Peter denied trailing the one who called him his rock.

Follow me.

They walked behind him up the Calvary hill. They followed him through the valley of the shadow of death. They heard him cry, "my god, my god, why have you forsaken me" and then breathe his last.

Follow me.

They heard his voice again after thinking they would never see him again. 3 days and nights his body lay in the tomb. But he lives.

Come, follow me to my father's house.

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Welcome! 
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A prayer for strength


God, we don’t feel like facing today. We’re scared, we’re tired, and the unknown overwhelms us.

Teach us, Father, how to let you be our strength in our weakness.

Teach us, how to not be afraid of tomorrow, to believe that you are in control.

Remind us that your grace is enough, that your grace will give us the strength to get through every struggle. 

Fill us up with joy, fill us up with peace, let our lives brim over with hope.

Provide us with exactly what we need, when we need it, to make it through this. 

God, help us to be brave and not give up. Keep us looking for you when we feel like we can’t anymore. May our eyes and heart always be expecting you to get here soon, to revive us.

May your strength be our song and our salvation, we pray.

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Welcome! 
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One simple tip to help you overcome insecurity


A Labrador ran into us on a walking trail on Sunday. 

It had the saddest eyes. We took one look at it and knew it was lost. It ran from group to group looking for the people it belonged too. 

As we walked along the path, we kept asking people if they’d lost a dog. Each person said, “Are you talking about the Labrador? It looks so lost.”

Sometimes I look just as lost as that dog. 

I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling insecure and anxious. In many ways I’m that lost Labrador running around God’s Kingdom saying, “Am I yours?” and “Do you want me?”

There’s a famous story in the Bible about Jesus feeding 5000 people from five loaves and two fish: 
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

I often wonder what would have happened when Jesus fed the 5000, if he forgot whom he belonged to, and grabbed for himself first, scared that there wouldn’t be enough to go around. 

If Jesus had said to his disciples, “You take those four loaves and one fish and hope it’s enough to feed the 12 of you. I need the other loaf and fish or I won’t have the strength to preach.” 

I think Jesus didn’t act that way because he was secure.

When I look at Jesus I see a man who knew whom he belonged to. 

I look at his Son, Jesus, and I know that being God’s beloved doesn’t guarantee an easy life or the outcome that I want. But there is something about the way that Jesus lived his life with wild trust in the one that made him that I want to emulate. 

When I forget that I belong to God I get all insecure. I start to worry about tomorrow. I fear I won’t have enough money to the pay bills and I start thinking that no one likes me. I start grabbing every thing in site and hoarding it for myself – just in case – because I forget God will look after me. 

It’s only recently that I’ve started to feel more secure as a Child of God. 

There is one simple thing I’ve done that has changed all this for me. I’ve started praying, “Abba, I belong to you” most nights as I fall to sleep and that’s made such a big difference to me accepting my identity in Jesus. 

I don’t only pray it as I fall to sleep. I pray it as I wait for big results. I pray it when I’m not sure of the outcomes. I pray it as I walk our dog. 

I find reassurance in the idea that I am God’s beloved. 
Treasured, liked, precious to him. 

Jesus lived out of a place of security, loved out of heart of abundance and gave out of a well that never ran dry. 

That is what security does. Security allows us to trust that God will always have more for us, he’ll always take care of us, and he’ll never leave us. 

If you’re hungry to leave your insecurity behind and trust the one who hung the stars just to take your breath away here’s a prayer to pray: 
Lord, you know I’m still figuring out who I am in you but thank you that I don’t need to wonder around lost looking for a place to belong. 
Abba, I belong to you. I belong to the one who breathed life into my dead bones, paints the sky to remind me of new mercies and provides a safe harbour when storms rage. 
I desire to be more like Jesus. I want his untamed trust in you. He could laugh at the days ahead because he knew you held tomorrow, his finances and fears. 
Today, as I live out of a place of security help me to know in the most hidden parts of me that I am yours and you are mine.
Amen.

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Welcome! 
If you're new here and don't want to miss a thing, 
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Make sure to look out for the link to download my ebook, Life, Life and More Life, in your verification email.