Thoughts from Thursday's Child

Thursday's Child has far to go

A beating heart that lives …

These 31 days of a beating heart became more than a writing challenge. It became a focus on what my heart is saying with each and every beat, being purposeful in listening to my heart and taking action to live a life with each heartbeat.

Moving forward, I am going to Live my List.

What is my List? It is things I want to accomplish, change, make real in my life as my heart beats with a purpose. Lots of people plan their list as a goal to achieve before they die – place to travel to, adventures and challenges to undertake, dreams to fulfil.

Who inspired me to consider to “Live your List” ? Most people would say the movie with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson but I haven’t seen it yet. (Maybe I should put it on my bucket list – ha, ha!)

No, it was Ryan Eller and Jerrod Murr with their #LYL – Live your List podcasts https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-live-your-list-show/id829161251?mt=2 that challenged me to live an intentional life, to encourage others and to make a difference.

How can I stay the same when I know there is so much more out there that I want to do, see, be, accomplish, share, embrace, live and love?

So, here’s the start of my list. It’s a work in progress and a challenge I will daily need to take up if I am to keep listening to my beating heart. The list is in order of when I thought of what I wanted to do, not in the order I am going to accomplish them which makes it all the more exciting, I think.

Here goes …

1. Complete my children’s photo albums.

2. Spend more time at the beach with sand between my toes, the sun on my face and listening to the waves.

3. Start up my card writing business.

4. Exercise for 30 minutes every day so I can get my heart to its best health and stop taking the medications.

5. Host a Neighbour’s Table regularly in my backyard.

6. Learn to sing, enough to be able to perform one song well in public.

7. Be a successful writer whatever form that writing takes.

8. Learn to say ‘no’ when I need to say ‘no’.

9. Hold a Moonlighters silver service dinner with my friends in the middle of a roundabout like I planned when I was in my early 20’s.

10. Visit Russia and Hungary.

11. Visit Egypt and Ethiopia.

12. Finish tracing my family tree.

13. See a movie being filmed on a ‘real’ movie set.

14.

I’ve had to stop writing on this list, I am starting to cry.  There are things my heart is telling me it wants to do but fear is holding me back from even considering putting them on a list. I don’t know if the pounding of my heart is for the desire  in my heart or the fear that stops me from trying to accomplish those things.

How would you write YOUR list?

What would you include?

And what would you leave off?

I want to live with my heart.

 

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Writing on my heart – with a chisel

Sometimes my heart feels hard and cold. If it stays that way it could protect me from the hurt and the pain….. but it doesn’t.

I can’t live with a heart of stone. It weighs heavily on my chest, making it hard for me to breathe, making it hard for me to speak, making it hard for me to move, making it hard for me to love, making it hard for me to live.

Has your heart felt heavy like that? My heart has.

I’ve been overwhelmed with life and adult responsibilities, pained by the words and actions of others, struggling to keep my head above water, hardening my heart to the plight of those around me while I try to deny my own problems.

How do you write on a heart of stone? The first thing I think of is with  a hammer and chisel (ala Fred Flintstone).

What should I chisel on my heart of stone? Words of truth, affirmation, encouragement, peace and strength for the moment.

Lies, words of criticism and other negative thoughts need to be removed. The most permanent way to delete these words is by breaking the stone that has become your heart.

How do you change a heart of stone?

Allow God to write on your heart.

 

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Writing on my heart … in ink

Psalm 40:8 “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”

I know quite a few people with tattoos. It’s an art form nowadays, no longer a sign of rebellion and non-conformity.

Bank tellers, police officers, school teachers, nurses, bikers, athletes, grandmas – I am sure someone you know has at least one tattoo.

Have you ever thought about getting one?

I have.

An everlasting inked reminder of something significant in my life with words like ‘Carpe Diem’ or a favourite scripture verse.

Tattoos are a permanent display based on a momentary quick thought.

I think too much which is probably why I haven’t made it inside a tattoo parlour yet. LOL!

I have the tattoo picked out, I just don’t know where to have it placed. I want to be able to hide it at work but be able to see it for myself.

There are some permanent words emblazoned on my heart.

Some have been harshly spoken and have become part of who I am, others are fresh and permanent. I am holding onto them in my heart to last me a life time of good memories.

I don’t want to erase them.

I don’t want them to fade.

I have them inked on my heart as a constant reminder of people I love and who love me, of grace, of hope and of a future.

What would you write on your heart as a tattoo?

Allow God to write His instructions on your heart.

 

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Writing on my heart … in pen

Psalm 40:8 “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”

I love writing with pen and paper. Something about letting thoughts flow onto a page rather than a computer screen makes me feel connected to the words.

And birthday cards – few people post cards these days because you can send an all singing, all dancing, lights flashing card in an email.

Post-it notes have a special place in our family. I leave messages on the bathroom mirror, in lunch boxes and on the fridge, flourishing my black pen with flair and style.

At least, I did until the children commented that they couldn’t read my writing! Cursive is no longer a style of writing they are taught in school…huh???

With the speed and immediacy of social media and text messages, are we missing out on the intimacy of a handwritten note? And where does that leave my black pen?

Love letters, birthday greetings, my diary, advice to my child, encouragement for a friend, shopping and to-do lists – these flow from my pen onto greeting cards, notepaper, blue lined journals, the back of envelopes.

The permanency of words written with a pen on paper speak to my heart, my mind and my spirit, helping me recall special memories of loved ones, shared celebrations, memorable family gatherings. They don’t fade with time, I can re-read them often and share them with others.

I have kept countless cards and letters sent to me from grandparents, parents and friends over the years as a record of their writing, personal messages that touch my heart and bring me joy.

What joy has been written on your heart in pen? Are you sharing special moments and memories with others that leave an imprint on their hearts?

Allow God to write His instructions on your heart.

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Writing on my heart … in pencil

Psalm 40:8 “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”

I love doing puzzles like cryptic crosswords, regular crosswords, word searches and Sudoku.

My 12-year-old son asked to do some of my Sudoku puzzles the other day but decided he needed to complete them in pencil in case he made a mistake.

This may not come as a revelation to many people but he surprised me with his logic. Up until that point I have always done my puzzles with a pen. I hadn’t given any thought to what I would do if I’d made a mistake.

When you write in pencil it is easy to rub it out, erase the mistake.

Have you ever made a mistake you wish you could erase?

Of course not! I’m the only one who would ever want to do that …lol!

What is written on your heart that you wish you could erase?

Harsh words, lies, bitterness – you can erase these.

Forgive the one who wrote on your heart with that hurtful pencil.

Clean the slate.

Erase those words from your heart.

Make room for new words to be written there – words of joy, peace, contentment.

Allow God to write on your heart.

 

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Take heart for I have overcome the world …

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)

Do any of us ever really go looking for trouble?

My 12 year old son would roll his eyes at me for that statement …”Oh.mum! I wasn’t looking for trouble, it just sort of followed me home …”

Financial troubles, relationship troubles, parenting troubles, work troubles – trouble seems to find me when I’m not looking for it. And I feel my heart tighten, crushed, overwhelmed. I wonder if I will ever see light at the end of the tunnel, an end to this trouble I find myself in.

It’s His peace that I need to find a place for in my heart – the calm in the storm, the green pasture, the cool water to rest beside.

He’s given me fair warning that life was going to be like this, there will be times of trouble (please, let them be short times and not weeks or months …) but there is a sense of relief some days when I realise I don’t have to do it on my own, all alone, by myself.

I can take my heart to Him, take my trouble to Him and have peace. I don’t need to go searching for His peace, I can just have it. It’s there waiting for me already. I just need to take my heart to that place where He has overcome the world and there is His peace.

I will have peace in my heart.

 

 

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God will give you the desires of your heart …

Psalm 37:4 New International Version (NIV)

4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

I used to take this verse to mean that God would give me what I wished for. Very simple, very straight forward, very selfish. I shouldn’t have been surprised that it didn’t come true.

My selfish heart has done a re-think recently and I realised it’s a verse about God and not about ‘me’,

GOD will GIVE me the DESIRES of my heart.

God doesn’t give me what I WANT – He gives me the DESIRE in the first place.

A desire to serve others, a desire to serve Him, a desire to see justice upheld, a desire to cook, a desire to write, a desire to teach, (you get the idea …)

We each have a purpose and a plan for our lives but it may take us a lifetime to discover where that desire (or passion) lies.

Don’t wait that long …..

He will give you the desires of your heart, if you are looking for a plan and a purpose for your life. He’s not in the business of ‘granting wishes’ but of seeing us live a full life with hope, peace, joy and love. We each have a purpose and a plan for our lives but it may take us a lifetime to discover where that desire (or passion) lies.

I will see with my heart – will you join me?

 

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Give thanks with a grateful heart ….

It’s easy to be thankful when things are going well.

It’s easy to be grateful when things are going great.

But what if they are not?

Can we still be thankful & grateful for the season we are in? For what we do or don’t have? For what is going on in our lives?

Maybe it’s what our heart sees at these times that can stop us being grateful.

If I look down all I will see is dirt, if I look up I can see the horizon and its potential.

If I want to have a grateful heart I need to be seeing things I can be thankful for.

Some days being grateful that I’m breathing is all I can manage …

At other times, my heart shows me simple things to be grateful for – a hug, a smile, a flower, a bird song, food in the pantry, a roof over my head, tissues, glue, a book, a friend … you get the idea 🙂

I am sure my heart would be grateful if there was a Lotto win coming my way some time soon but, you know what?  Even if I never win, I can be thankful for those who do (and be grateful I don’t have to worry about what to spend all that money on … ha, ha!).

We all have struggles (sometimes daily) of things that would try to steal away our hope and our gratitude for life.

Let’s change what we see ….

I will see with a grateful heart.

 

 

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A happy heart

Proverbs 17:22 Amplified Bible (AMP)  A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing,

but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

The Bible also describes the heart as ‘cheerful’, ‘glad’ or ‘merry’. Suffice to say, it’s when we feel good – better than good, we feel great!

Do you recognise when your heart is happy? Does your heart forget to find joy within itself? Is your body struggling with a heart being pulled under by heaviness?

What does your heart need to see for you to feel glad?

Reading ‘A Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp was a gentle reminder to me to find joy in the journey, live a life of thanksgiving, let my heart beat with gladness and joy.

To see myself with new eyes, to see others from a new perspective, to see life as a gift to cherish and celebrate –  to have a happy heart.

I will see with my heart.

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A hidden heart

We lived in a remote area away from family and friends when we had our first child. I struggled learning how to be a wife and a mother without family support while my husband worked shift work.

There was a fabulous Child Health nurse who held a weekly morning tea for new mums. It was the only social event I attended for months. She would make us sandwiches and sweets, hold the babies, chat with us and would always ask “what have you done for yourself this week?”

At that stage, my greatest accomplishment was having a shower and getting to her weekly morning teas but I couldn’t let the others know that – they were all capable, accomplished mothers with perfect children so I hid my heart.

Have you noticed how often people hide their feelings, their pain, their struggles?

Why do we do that?  What does it accomplish aside from isolating us from those who might be able to help?

It took the birth of our second child  two and half years later to highlight the postnatal depression cloud I had been living under. I hid my heart, my struggles, my insecurities. I mistakenly thought it was just me. Everyone else coped with being a new mum, adjusting to parenthood and I was left behind.

It was a lie. I was not alone. I was not a bad mother. When the struggle in my heart was revealed, my world changed. As I learnt about myself and my child, parenthood became manageable and eventually a joy.

Now, when I see the hearts of new mums, I recognise some of my own insecurities. I offer words of encouragement, take time to make them sandwiches and sweets, hold the baby and ask ‘”what have you done for yourself this week?” I also see their hearts when they can’t answer, and I know how to answer that call too.

I will see with my heart.

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