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 … 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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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 soft heart

(This is not the post I expected to write today but it is the lesson I learnt instead)

It was my privilege today to volunteer at my youngest son’s School Spring Fair. His class was selling helium filled balloons and temporary tattoos. We were expecting excellent sales and running a successful fundraising stall for the school. BUT another stall set up and offered face painting, a local vet clinic came and gave away free balloons  – and my heart started to complain.

I took a few minutes away from the stall and started to cry. “God, we prayed this morning for a good day, for a fun day, what is going on? Why is this happening? How can we be successful with all this competition?”

A voice in my heart said “I still love you”. And my heart softened.

Earlier this morning I read Psalm 136. It has 26 verses, each verse ending with ‘His loving kindness endures forever’. (NIV) The Message translation reads ‘His love never quits.’ That’s 26 times we are reminded ‘His love never quits’.

God had to remind me 27 times!

By the end of the day, sales had picked up a little, and plans were made to make use of the helium balloons and tattoos at a later date so all is not lost. The children showed up on time for their rostered slots, were enthusiastic sales people and had a ball. BUT  I think the greatest moment of the day was when the teachers said “Today was a great day. Last fair was so stressful, and we made very little money. This year we got to chat with parents, relax and enjoy the day.” And my heart softened.

I could have allowed the circumstances of the day to see only what was going awry and I would have missed out on what went right.

I will see with my heart.

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A willing heart

Nothing is impossible to a willing heart – John Heywood.

The Collins English Dictionary defines ‘willing’ as ‘done, given, accepted, etc, freely or voluntarily’.

The Thesaurus states ‘willing – the act of making a choice’.

Is my heart willing? What am I willing to do? What am I willing to give? What am I willing to see? What am I willing to feel?

I often think I don’t have a choice. My thoughts, my actions, my feelings are dictated to me by my circumstances, the people around me, my daily routine.

BUT if I was willing, what would I do differently? How would today be different for those around me? How would today be different for me?

How would it be different for you?

As John Heywood said – ‘Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.’

I will see with my heart.

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A hard heart

It would be easy sometimes to bundle up the pain and the hurt, build a wall around my heart and never let anyone in.

Words thrown around like darts, striking sharp pain in my heart. I don’t want to feel the hurt anymore so I “keep a stiff upper lip, develop a thick skin, turn the other cheek”. Before you know it, my heart is hard, immovable, unable to share or experience love and I am alone.

Being alone is different from being lonely. One is where you push others away, the other is when you feel pushed away by others. Both can bring a hardness to the heart. People with hard hearts don’t want to be reached, who don’t want to be loved. They’ve been hurt so much they can’t bear to let anyone else into their heart anymore.

Hard hearts are not always easy to see. It can be disguised as apathy, aloofness, arrogance – just to name a few examples.

People with hard hearts need love the most, need much love – a love with grace, a love with hope, a love with truth.

What I can do, I will try to do.

I will see with my heart.

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A wounded heart

“The heart is the only broken instrument that still works”.

I don’t know where I first read that quote but I memorised it. It was a salve when my heart was broken and brought a hope that I would recover from the pain.

I did recover and went on to love again even though my heart bears the scars.

Medical miracles can stop a heart beat or relax a body to stop it from feeling pain but what can we do when our hearts feel beyond repair? Hearts can be broken or wounded by thoughtless words, misunderstood expressions, silence. Few hearts remain unscathed.

You can see their hearts, the pain, the grief, the hurt, the rejection. It all hurts. When you hear of a heart that bleeds, you don’t always see it happening with your eyes but you can see it with your own heart.

These wounds can take a long time to heal but we keep on loving others while we wait. That’s just the way it goes.

Is there anything that can be done to mend a wounded heart?  There is no special cream or even a band-aid you can use on a broken heart.

Again, a quote I memorised “Time heals all wounds” is probably the truth of the situation but what I can do, I will do. There are so many people needing a gentle word, a smile, a friendly ear to listen or a heart to feel what they are feeling.

I will see with my heart.

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