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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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 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 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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Giving words from my heart

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

We chanted this in the playground, walking arm in arm, in a military march style but it wasn’t until I was an adult I acknowledged the impact words had on me.

Words hurt, words wound, words break hearts, words destroy relationships.

My heart has been hurt with words more than any sticks and stones that have broken my bones. Words have hurt you too, I know.

James 3:10 (NIV) says “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

We speak without thinking, we think without speaking – words hurt.

BUT …..

Words can heal, words can soothe, words can calm, words can mend relationships.

Ephesians 4:29 (MSG) says “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”

These are the words my heart longs to hear, I chose to speak them from my heart to others who need to hear them too.

I will give with my heart.

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