Thoughts from Thursday's Child

Thursday's Child has far to go

It’s all about the faith …

Life is busy, the school year is coming to a close and, with three teenagers it means lots of break up parties, Christmas activities and shopping. I volunteered to participate in the planning of a few of these things so I feel like I’m getting lost in the craziness of it all, searching for a quiet place to hide and regroup.

My mornings start in a quiet time with God but sometimes I wonder if He’s made it to our appointment. Do you know that feeling? When my life gets busy, does God check out of the chaos and leave me to it? When disaster hits, I scream out to Him for help, why does He take His time responding?

Isaiah 8 v 17 (GNT) The Lord has hidden Himself ….but I will trust Him.

As a parent of teenagers, I can’t hover over them, wrap them in cotton wool or lock them in their bedrooms until they graduate (that is so going to be another post …lol!) but my presence is there, they know I am there and, when they need me – I am there.

As my parent, God is there, I know He is there (He’s promised to ‘never leave me or forsake me’ – Joshua 1 v 5 NIV ) His heart is still beating with a love for me, my heart can beat with a hope and a trust in Him.

It’s all about the faith …..

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Thursday is on my mind ….

Thursday

It’s not quite the weekend yet but we are well into the week by the time we realise it’s Thursday.

Do you feel like you live in a Thursday mindset? You’ve come a long way in your life but you still have a way to go to reach your goal, your dream, your ‘ideal’ life?

I recently completed an undergraduate course in jouralism. It was a steep learning curve for me to do something for myself while juggling the balls of marriage, parenthood, work and life.

Now comes the evolution of Thursday’s Child where I hope you will help me develop my writing skills. I want to say what I mean, mean what I say, and share it with others, offering encouragement, invite discussion and change my world, one word, one thought at a time.

My heart is still beating – can you hear it?

 

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Moving on …..

What started out as a challenge for 31 days flowed and grew – now the momentum has ebbed and waned.

Where do we go from here?

My heart is still beating.

My heart still wants to be heard.

I am still listening to my heart.

Will you continue the journey with me?

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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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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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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 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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A fearful heart

Fear takes hold of my heart and stops me from living.

Do you ever feel that way?

I’ve been afraid of what others might think.

I’ve been afraid of what others would say.

I’ve been afraid of how others will react.

Fear can make me stop, stand still, never start.

And then I’m afraid of what I will think, of what I will say, of how I will react if I my heart continues to live a life of hesitation, fear and regret.

Jon Acuff’s book START and a group called 30 Days of Hustle helped me to define the passion in my heart, START to overcome the fear, START to dare to dream, START to dare to live a life with purpose, START to dare to move forward.

I am slowly overcoming the fears that I have lived with for so long.

I DARE you to START.

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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My heart to hustle

Each year I don’t make a new year’s resolution, my heart chooses a word. The word is to give me a focus for the year, a commitment to change something in my life, to MAKE a difference, to BE different. If I don’t change, then things won’t change.

I started in 2011 with my heart’s desire to find ‘purpose’ in my life, to live purposefully.

In 2012, my word was ‘stand’. You need to stand for something, even if it’s just because you believe in yourself.

For 2013 I learnt about trust and peace and how important these two words can join together to strengthen your heart

At the start of 2014 I was determined to ‘focus’ and practice ‘thanksgiving.’

One thing I’ve noticed on this life’s journey, things never work out quite the way you expect – have you noticed that?

I started 2014 by joining 30 days of Hustle with Jon Acuff  (here’s a little taste of what that challenge involved – http://acuff.me/just-say-no/ )

Anyway, my heart led me to pursue my dream, my purpose, to discover my heart’s desire, punch fear in the face and do something about it. Why settle for average when my heart was crying out for so much more?

I chose to focus on my heart’s desire, one I hadn’t shared with anyone, one I hadn’t even dared to think about for so long because I thought my dream had expired.

Did you know there is no time limit on achieving your dream?

There is not a complete map that will get you there. There will be roadblocks and speed bumps, stop signs and bridges, traffic jams and green lights – just keep on travelling the Road to Awesome, Destination Dream.

I am still putting into practice all I am learning. I have a long way to go but I know I will get there.

I will listen to my heart.

 

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