Monday, 28 August 2017

The air that I breath….when running on empty

I wake up on the eve of a really big weekend that I know I’m am not ready for, a marriage retreat I am  co-leading and I am not as ready as I would like to be and am feeling like "Who am I to be leading this ?" ……..

But the day begins......
My morning view......thank you Lord.

My husband is stressed about some big decisions and jobs hanging over his head today…so I comfort him and encourage him, kiss him and say I believe in him.

My son is wondering around the house stressed because he has lost his car keys and he is late for work  …….I am feeling cold, only in my pjs, no shoes on the cold floor, I have just walked into the lounge and I drop what I was doing and wander around looking for his keys……I find the keys hidden in some clothes in the corner of the room…..he grabs them, says thanks and leaves.

I wake my daughter….who opens one eye and says  “ I don't want to do this monologue at school, I am not ready” ..I sympathise with her ….knowing exactly how she feels, because of the weekend ahead…..knowing that I am partly not ready, because it was her 17th birthday yesterday and the whole day was spent with her (my desire and choice of course) and the house still is left with the aftermath of the party we had last night for her……but I know this moment is about her……so I hold in my own thoughts and say “I know it is tough, but up you get and lets get you ready, I know you will do your best…..thats all you need to do”.   

I kiss my husband as he leaves out the door….thats two gone. 

My smelly dog follows me around, wanting breakfast. She is smelly because she is way overdue for a bath, but I haven't had time to do that lately, and lets be honest if I don’t, no one will. 

My daughter calls out, because she needs an assignment to be printed out on the computer and it is not working. SO, I drop what I am doing again and go and fix that ……okay fixed……..I get her lunch ready ….and then drop her off to school with all her props for her presentation for the day……I just grabbed my shoes and put them on….my hair is wet and a mess, I am not dressed probably, but that is okay I am just dropping her off. 

We get to school and she has no one to help and there is so much for her to carry. So I get out, grab some stuff and help her.  I look a mess as I run into the main school office….but who cares……I kiss her goodbye and tell her she will be wonderful. 

Thats three gone……..I begin to drive home… car is on “empty”, I know I will get home…….just….It is 8:32am, I am running on empty already and the day has only just begun. 

I walk in the door, to find the dog sitting, waiting for me …….patiently sitting…..waiting…….I feed her and put the jug on for a cup of tea, that will be nice to start my day…….I receive a text from the RTA….your car’s rego runs out in 2 days ……just a friendly reminder……

Great…..I am supposed to leave sometime today in my car, full of gear to lead a two day marriage  retreat, upon which when I leave on the Sunday at the end of the retreat….my car will be out of rego and I will not be able to legally drive it home.

I sit in silence….with my cup of tea……in a messy house, with messy hair, running on empty and just BREATHE. 


……..and everything is alright….I know it will be. I love my life, my family, the opportunities to serve. This is the life of a mum, a wife, a person of faith. It is what we do…..most days it is not always this full on….but many days it is……I know I am loved and valued by my father in heaven and my family here on earth. There are days when it feels like everything I do goes unnoticed and yet I don't do it for that. There are special times when they stop and say thanks…I mean really say thanks. In fact my daughter gave me a card this past mothers day that said all I needed to hear ……it is days like these that I get it out and read it over and over again:

“I love the little things you do….It’s in the small everyday things that I receive your love and it means more than anything. It’s how you make me pizza for school, drive me to the bus stop, wake me up every morning when I could just have an alarm, want to spend time with me, wait for me in the car at singing, love my friends and always willing to listen to me whether it’s about my day at school or ranting about people. You are always there, doing the little things that could be taken for granted, and I’m taking this opportunity to thank you for them all. Not only do I love the little things you do but that’s one of the ways that I feel you love strongly”

AS I breathe that in….I am ready for the day. What do you need to breathe in to get you through you day?

Monday, 14 August 2017

Choosing the Safe Harbour

I was walking the other day around my local, beautiful and peaceful harbour. It is only small, but that is part of its beauty. It was so calm this day, so peaceful, so safe.  Outside the rocked wall the waves were crashing and rolling in. As the sets came in the surf was strong and the sea’s force of nature could be seen and felt. Yet, in the harbour it was calm. 

Maybe your like me, lately I have felt a force of waves and even a storm raging around me, but when I choose to stay in the harbour it is calm, even though the waves crash against the rocks just outside the walls. 

I feel a deep burden and ache for those around me who are in storms, and are being taken by the waves and seeming to be smashed against the rocks. It seems lately the texts, the calls, the stories, the pain is all around me, in my family, friends, community, the news, the world. I am called at times to step into the storm with others, and even into my own storms, and yet lately I have felt a CALM I cannot explain, a PEACE I cannot deny, I safety that helps me hang in there, at a time when others are falling apart. 

The view I saw today as I walked around, amidst texts coming in and messages on Facebook that kept pinging on my phone, was a reminder of the calm, peaceful, HOPE God always longs to bring, if we would simply turns our hearts toward the harbour, instead of sometimes choosing to ride the waves of the storm. 

I know it is not true always, because there are some things in life that we have no choice over. They are painful and hard to endure, but I wonder how often we actually do freely CHOOSE to step into the storm, the places where we truly feel like we are drowning and then begin to scream “help” and get angry at God, shouting, “where are you?”

The lighthouse doesn't move. It is steadfast, stable, secure, always shining. We simply need to come to the light and enter into the safe harbour. It is mostly a choice for the captain of a boat to choose where to sail. To choose to go with the wind, to head toward safe places or to head into the storm and take their chances.

I have often felt that in any situation, no matter how rough the storm, we still have a CHOICE ... the free choice that God always gives us. It is seems too simple, but actually even in the wildest storms of my life, I know I have always had a choice of where to sail, how I approach any storm, and the choice to turn towards the harbour whenever it gets too rough. Whenever I have chosen to turn towards the safe harbour, either physically or emotionally, God’s safe harbour, His peace and comfort has never failed me.

So, right now I sit and walk with many in their storms and my biggest heartbreak is when others choose to head into the storms, away from His safe harbour and then wonder why they are drowning? And at the risk of mixing metaphors , the parable of the sower (Luke 8:10) challenges me,  for when all is said and done we are simply called to “sow the seed”, His truth and love, HIs promise of a safe harbour that has never changed or moved even though the world’s storms seem to be stronger and feel more tenacious than ever before.  When the disciples asked “why are you telling this story” (Luke 8:9), I can relate to them as I feel like I am constantly asking the  question today “Why are we not seeing more breakthrough and people turning to you God?”, He simply answers: 

“Their eyes are open but they don't see a thing, 
Their ears are open but don't hear a thing” 
(Luke 8:10)

Jesus says to me, “I simply called you to be a light in the darkness (Luke 8:16-18) drawing people to the safe Harbour, reminding people that we always have a choice. His truth has never changed, His love is constant, His peace is always available. If we would just choose to turn towards the safe harbour, instead of head into the storms, which of course means choosing to surrender to Him and allowing Him to captain our ship, I believe His faithfulness will never fail and He will always bring the HOPE AND CALM AND PEACE we long for, even in the roughest of seas.