What you need to know about making plans in 2014

5:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

what you intended for evil God used for Good
 Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Genesis 50:20 (MSG)

In January 2013, my husband and I had a plan for the year. 

In February, we discovered my husband’s cancer wasn’t in remission and all our plans for the year didn’t matter much anymore. In their place were hospital visits and chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.  

In the middle of all our plans going awry I realised that even when my life seems out of control, God knew the plan the whole time. 

Part of me asks, “If you know the plan, God, then why do you let bad things happen?” (tweet this)

I’m pretty sure Joseph wondered that quite a few times too. 

The Bible tells us in Genesis that as a child Joseph was his father's favourite son. The problem was he had ten older brothers who hated him for this and decided to kill him. At the last minute, one of his brothers saw an opportunity to save Josephs’ life and instead, the brothers sold Joseph into a life of slavery. 

As a slave, Joseph was unfairly accused of sexually harassing his master's wife and sent to jail. Right about now, I’m thinking God “allowed” a lot of horrible stuff to happen to him. 

Then, things started turning around for Joseph. 

A prayer for the times when your plans go pear-shapedPharoah began having dreams he didn’t understand, and he heard that there was man in prison who could unravel the meaning of dreams. So he got Joseph out the dungeon, gave him a bath and a shave, and asked him to interpret his dreams. After telling Pharoah that the country was going to have seven years of good crops and then seven years of drought and famine, Joseph was put in charge of all the crops in Egypt. 

The Bible says Joseph stored up so much grain it was like the sands of the sea. When the famine came, Joseph not only fed all of Egypt but also ended up saving the lives of his brothers, who had thrown him into slavery. 

I find this comforting because an awful lot of bad stuff happened to Joseph but God turned it around.  

Despite the questions and the uncertainty and the pain, I do find it heartening that whatever happens, God – who loves me – has the last word. 

God has plans to change the things that were intended for evil into good things. (tweet this)

I’m sure if I could see the beginning from the end, I’d see that God’s last word is always better than my best laid plans. 

After all, the part of my life I see is much smaller than the part God sees. (tweet this)

Ponder: What plans are you making for 2014? If your year turns out differently to the way you are planning how do you think it will change how you believe God is in control of your life?

Pray: God, please turn every evil plot against me into good. Amen. 

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Top 10 Devotionals of 2013

5:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

At the beginning of 2013, my husband and I thought that the cancer chapter of our lives was behind us but by February it was back. 2013 turned into another year of cancer treatments. It was also a year though where I was reminded of how much God loves me, loves us. How he is present in all the hard stuff and near in the joyful stuff. As I reflect on the year I thought I’d share the 10 most popular posts on ILoveDevotionals.com this year.  

How To Pray When You're Angry
Someone made me so angry today that I just wanted to fight. I wanted to shout angry mean words at them. And tell them how I felt. But then I remembered that isn’t what Jesus would do. 
Read the full devotional here.







Does Your Relationship Status Define Your Life?
I stumbled across a friends profile on Twitter the other day. “…Married…” I wasn’t surprised that she was married I was surprised that she wore it as a status symbol. There is so much more to life than a relationship status.
Read the full devotional here.




What Do You Do When Your Circumstances Seem Bigger Than God?
These are big things. Just one of these things happening at a time would be a big thing. In addition my grandfather passed away a few weeks ago. If I allow myself to think about all the big things I’m dealing with, it is easy to begin to think that my circumstances are bigger than God. 
Read the full devotional here.


That time I Had A Breakdown & God Was Silent
I pray. I ask God to speak. To tell me what is going on. Request that he at least whispers something beautiful to me, something that will still my soul. Nothing. God is quiet. I’m having a breakdown and God is silent.
Read the full devotional here.





When prayer is more than a nice idea
In medical terms my husband is going to be born again that Friday they infuse life into his dead bone marrow. His old blood will be gone and a new life begins. I spoke to someone the other day about how this procedure is a medical marvel but I didn’t really feel that way, to me this procedure is something that scares me. Something I need prayer for. 
Read the full devotional here.


Can God save broken dreams?

For three weeks I left my husband in an isolation ward and went home alone. 
This wasn’t the way I dreamt our marriage would be. In my wildest dreams I never imagined we’d spend two of the first of three years of our marriage facing down cancer
Read the full devotional here.


Do you want God's greatest blessing for your life?
I whispered this prayer beneath a canopy of trees on my wedding day,  “Lord, take me to the place of your greatest blessing.” Eight months later I prayed it out between sobs when my husband received his cancer diagnosis, “Lord! Take me…to the place of….Your. Greatest. Blessing.”
Read the full devotional here.




If you feel unloved, unimportant or insecure
The year I turned 13 my parents asked me what I’d like for my birthday. 
I could have asked for anything but I requested an “I-Love-You” box. 
Read the full devotional here.







But God's not finished
Sometimes I am tired of waiting. Done with everything. Over waiting for medical results. Frustrated that I don’t know when this whole cancer treatment thing will end.  Sometimes I feel finished. Which is why I loved discovering this verse about how God is not finished. 
Read the full devotional here.



For the days when life isn’t a fairytale (or how can I stop bad stuff happening to me?) 
The perfect place for my husband to end the story would probably be when he marries the girl of his dreams (me) and sets off to travel the world. But life isn’t a fairytale. The next chapter of his life is the one everyone has gathered to hear. It starts with the retelling of the day he heard he had cancer… 
Read the full devotional here.


Leave a comment and tell me what your favourite devotional of 2013 was?

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God's gift of kindness this Christmas

5:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

kindness quotes bible verse about kindness
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! Ephesians 2:7-8 (MSG) 

“It’s the small acts of kindness that so greatly touch our lives.” (tweet this)

I remember reading the words on a pink square of paper as a child. There were two teddy bears on it and one was patching the leg of the other one. 

I’m not sure why it stayed with me but it did and often it comes back to me. 

I recalled these words after I gave some colleagues a small Christmas gift.

Afterwards one of my colleagues came to me and said, “Thanks for the present. I really appreciate it. In all the time I’ve worked I’ve never received a gift.”

That broke my heart. 

Tore it into pieces. 

There was nothing great about my action. 
It was small. 
It cost me very little. 

Yet it touched someone’s life.

I often find myself thinking about small kindnesses in relation to God: the kindness of rain to water the garden, or a stranger giving me space to turn into traffic or waking up next to my husband. 

God’s kindness is so prevalent that I often miss it. (tweet this)

Christmas quotes I miss the kindness of God in sending his son as a delicate, fragile baby whispering to my soul that at my most vulnerable, God births new things. 

I neglect the kindness of God choosing to have his son born in a manger, choosing to reveal to me that my background, my status and my address are nothing to him. 

And then there is the kindness of God that allows two confused, human parents to raise his son, uttering that I am enough, that I can be trusted to make good decisions not only with my own life but with the gifts God gives me. 

It is the kindness of God that so greatly touches lives. (tweet this)

Often I take that kindness for granted, I don’t see it as a big thing, I don’t see God’s kindness as what it is: a gift. 

Ponder: Where has God shown you kindness in your life? How can you show kindness to someone today?

Pray: Lord, give me eyes to see those in need of kindness and hands that reach out to offer it. Amen.

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Does it feel like God’s love has failed you?

10:25 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Devotional about how God's love never fails
God remembered us when we were down, His love never quits. Rescued us from the trampling boot, His love never quits. Takes care of everyone in time of need. His love never quits. Thank God, who did it all! His love never quits! Psalm 136:23-26 (MSG)

Sometimes in my life, it has looked like God's love has failed: my husband’s cancer diagnosis, for instance, or when a car knocked down my brother’s best friend and he died from his injuries. 

It looked like God’s love quit on the day my friends were told, after three dead babies, that by a fluke of nature, they both carried something in their genes that meant their children would never live more than a day or two. 

On days like those, it looks a lot like God’s love has walked out on me and the people I love. 

When I read Psalm 136, I think the people involved must have sometimes felt like God’s love had quit, too. 

It says, “The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn. His love never quits.” 

Where is God’s love in this verse? I’m pretty sure the Egyptians, and those that took care of the Egyptian first-born children (most probably Israelites), must have felt like Gods’ love failed them.

When I read, “The God who marched his people through the desert. His love never quits.” The Bible says they walked around for forty years in circles. I'm pretty sure that at some point someone started wondering, “God, where is the love?”

Through the recounting of all these bad things, this Psalm tells me, not just once but 26 times, that God’s love never fails. 

God’s love never quits. (tweet this)

In fact, it takes it one step further and says, “Thank God, who did it all! His love never quits!” 
This chapter asks me to believe that God’s love never quits, and it tells me to thank God even when it feels like his love has failed. 

The Bible tells me to offer God thanks when my husband is diagnosed with cancer, when my brother’s best friend dies, and when my friends are faced with infertility. 

Really? Am I meant to say then: “Thank you that your love never quits.” I think that is what the Psalmist is saying. 

I think this Psalm is reminding me that when the storm rages, when my worlds’ are crumbling, when life sucks, I don’t have to be afraid because I can know that God loves me. (tweet this)

I can know in hard times that God is working ALL things out in love. (tweet this)

This Psalm recalls the story of the Israelites. It is a story of great pain, great suffering, and great love. God showed up time and time again in their time of need. 

Prayer for anyone who feels like God's love has failedTheir lives weren’t easy, but it is plain to see that God loved them. 

Interestingly, this Psalm wasn’t written in the midst of their struggles but penned hundreds of years later with the benefit of hindsight. 

I can’t always see God’s love in my life, especially when I’m going through hard things, but that doesn’t mean it has ever quit. 

The more I read this Psalm the more I comprehend that God is whispering the same thing to my heart. 

In my life there may be many hard times but my life also speaks of God’s great love. (tweet this)

In my time of need, I can bet on the fact that God will show up time and time again. My life won’t be perfect, but it will be plain to see that God’s love has never failed. 

And when I look back, with the benefit of hindsight, I will see that God’s love NEVER QUIT. 

Ponder: Are you in a situation where it feels like God’s love has quit on you? Imagine looking back on this situation in 100 years where would you be able to see God’s love in what you are going through?

Prayer: Thank you God that your love has never failed me. When my circumstances tell me your love has failed me, I know that you haven’t. I believe you remember me when I am down. I am grateful that you take care of me always. I rest in your promise that your love never quits.  Amen.

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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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When God makes something out of pain

5:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Isaiah 66:9
In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born," says the Lord. "If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation," says your God. Isaiah 66:9 (NCV) 

On my desk, a little cactus grows. It has tiny red flowers that blossom despite the stony ground or infrequent watering. 

Her gift is a simple reminder that even in the midst of tough circumstances life and beauty can grow. 

That cactus has become a symbol to me, a picture of that promise: living proof that God births new and good things out of the painfulness in our lives. (tweet this)

Each time a new bud appears amidst tiny thorns, I am reminded that life flourishes in unlikely places and that a God who creates good things can beat the odds and create something beautiful in harsh environments. 

Sometimes life can feel very painful and sore. It can feel like our souls have been rubbed against a lemon zester.  

At times like those, I’m comforted by God's promise, “In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born," says the Lord. "If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation." 

My friend gave birth to a boy on my birthday. 

I wanted to know how he came into the world 15 minutes before midnight. My friend told me that her labour was going well until her son became stuck in the birth canal. 

The final labour, which should have taken about 40 minutes, took two hours. 

In the middle of this, her midwife stayed beside her. She stuck with my friend, she called the gynae, and she spoke my friend through her options. 

Through all this, the contractions kept coming but no baby appeared. 

The midwife tried this and tried that, and after a lot of pain, a new life came into the world. 

My friend's midwife reminded me of God. God stays with me in my pain, he helps with the birthing process, and he finds a way for life to flourish.

hope quotesI know if you’re struggling with pain, suffering, or hardships in your life, Isaiah 66:9 can seem like putting ice on a broken bone. You may still have an ache, but this promise from God does breathe hope into hard situations.  

Some days hope is all you need to see tomorrow. (tweet this)

Knowing that God will birth a new thing, I believe a good thing, out of all the pain and fear and uncertainty in our lives allows us to see past the thorns and glimpse a little bit of what God may see, a slice of a future filled with good things that he has for me and for you. 

When I feel like giving up, I glance at the little cactus on my desk, and I whisper a prayer that God will help me see the new things pain births.

Ponder: Would it change the way you view your current circumstances if you realized that God can use them to do something new? 

Prayer: God, help me to see the new things that you are birthing out of my pain. Amen. (tweet this)

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Have you settled for an average life?

8:51 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Deuteronomy 30:19 Devotional on choosing life
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)

For six months my husband received chemotherapy once every fourteen days. I would sit with him while the drugs fell down the drip in a race to his veins. 

Some days his neighbours would be withdrawn. Other times I would sit next to someone who just wanted to chat for the five or so hours it took for the infusion to happen. 

We met some of the most feisty, gutsy men and women on these days: warriors who lost breasts, bladders and colons but still refuse to let death win. 

On the days when I sat next to someone quiet I would look around the room and remember how fragile life is. 

And how brave, beautiful and inspiring the people who choose life in the midst of pain, suffering and illness are.

I learnt so much about life during my time in the treatment room. 

I realised I can choose life.

In Deuteronomy 30:19 God says, “I have given you the choice between life and death…choose life.” 

So often I have taken that to mean choose God. 

Watching my husband’s fellow oncology patients, I discovered I can either let death steal from me, or I can choose to fight for the life I want. 

These men and women I met each week fought for life. 

On the other hand I thought about how many times I am complacent in my life. 

I’ve settled for the life I have rather then reaching for the life that is possible. (tweet this)

Deuteronomy 30:19 Devotional on choosing life and following dreams
I forget that when I was young I dreamt of a life filled with adventure. I dreamed big for God and expected that he would fulfill the desires he put in my heart. 

God gave me big dreams because he wants me to do great things for him. (tweet this)

Each time I fail to pursue the life I believe God has given me, I am choosing death. 

In the treatment room the choice is painfully apparent: life or death. Often I pretend that I’ll be able to select one of these options forever: life or death.

The truth is I am not able to. It is time to start choosing to fight for the life that I desperately want. 

I am choosing life. Will you join me? (tweet this)

Ponder: What does the life you want look like? What choice have you made recently to fight for the life you want?

Pray: Lord Jesus, I want to choose life. Remind me of the dreams you’ve given me and show me the path you want me to take. Amen.

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{Get the 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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