Enough said really… go ahead, be beautiful in your own unique way X
Tag Archives: Body
Masters of the Masquerade
The most courageous decision I have ever made was the moment when I decided to take off my masks… my social mask, my school-mum mask, my corporate trainer mask, my church mask and every other ‘face’ that was not the real me.
Max Lucado, in his book Six Hours One Friday, describes our desperate desire to disguise our true -self…
“We are masters of the masquerade. Cars are driven to make a statement. Jeans are purchased to portray an image. Accents are acquired to hide a heritage. Names are dropped. Weights are lifted. Yarns are spun. Toys are purchased. Achievements are professed”.
In the depths of despair I had no energy for playing charades, the blessing of this desperate place was that the real me, the amazing strong woman I was created to be, was finally allowed to come out of hiding… it was literally a case of being strong enough to show my weakness. For most of my life the real me was hidden behind a painted smile, I believe we all spend our time wearing costumed faces. The fear of rejection, fear to be ourselves pervades out thoughts until the real self is forgotten. May I encourage you to remove your masks, silence the fear and step into the freedom to be you. You do ‘you’ perfectly!
Hey Cows… I am Back!
Passion creates freedom regardless of circumstance, for example; when I was in depression my will every morning was to stay in bed and literally curl up to die, however when I made the choice to get passionate about being well again I began to challenge my ‘will to stay in bed’… remaining a prisoner to my thoughts.
I recall asking myself “what action would I take if I didn’t have these thoughts?’ my answer ‘I’d put on my shoes and get out for a run’ well, revelation hit me like a tonne of bricks! In that moment I had realised regardless of how I was feeling, regardless of my circumstances, there was freedom to be found in the simple act of putting on my running shoes. I determined to challenge my depressed will, dragged myself out of bed, put my joggers on and went for a run.
I cried every step of the way, a mix of emotions swung like a pendulum, sad with grief one moment then overwhelmed with joy the next. I remember running out amongst the hills where we live, I made my way down a dirt track toward a herd of brown cows. Before my season of depression, I would take a daily run on the same route, the cow paddock was my 20 min turnaround point. Often I would stop at the cows and enjoy the simplicity of chewing the cud and just being what they were created to be, no striving, just being. This run was different, it was almost as though I had found a long lost friend, a friend whom I was convinced would never return… I had found me! When I reached the cow paddock I stood and watched for awhile all at once I felt ‘normal’, even a bubble of joy in my spirit, in that moment, I cried out to the cows ‘I am back’!.
There’s something powerful about rejoicing in the midst of problems, by the simple act of doing what previously (before depression) would make me feel good, something in the atmosphere of my depressed state began to shift. Joy is a powerful weapon, despite how you may be feeling start to take steps to partake in things that use to make you feel good. Once I had decided to make it my passion to get well I continued to take action by choosing to get into life as I knew it. Gradually the depression lifted I began to experience hours, days and eventually weeks of feeling happy. Often times I would be overwhelmed with thoughts of giving up, ‘joy will never be mine it just won’t last’ then the Holy Spirit would bring to mind the story in Luke 17:12 there were ten lepers crying out to Jesus ‘have mercy on us’. “So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.” Vs 14 (NKJV) Healed as they went!
Belligerent faith must become the very essence of who you are, passionate to be well, eager to fight for complete healing and restoration even when nothing much seems to have changed. Just like the ten lepers, you will be healed as you ‘go’, go out and engage in life, go to read your Bible, go run – go!
Super Sweet Blog Award
What a lovely surprise and thank you so much, Ellie from New Creation Ministries for the unexpected nomination of Super Sweet Blogger Award! Ellie is a wealth of inspiration and encouragement check her out at;http://newcreationsministries.wordpress.com
So as expected, I am to follow all the simple rules for this award and with that goes the pleasure of nominating 13 other sweet bloggers.
Rules for this Blog Award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer five ‘Super Sweet’ questions, listed below.
3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award Icon in your blog post. (simple, copy image above)
4. Nominate a baker’s dozen, so cute (!) 13 other deserving bloggers.
5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.
My Five Super Sweet Questions for this Award: (You Answer the Same One’s)
1. Cookies or Cake?
Cookies… with a cuppa
2. Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate… very dark 🙂
3. Favorite Sweet Treat?
Dark Lindt chocolate ball… or ‘balls’
4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most?
Once the kids are in bed… peace & quite = treaty time!
5. Sweet Nick Name?
Ducky… my blonde hair as a kid, teamed with wearing yellow made me look like a little duck (apparently)
Here are my nominees:
Win the Battle against Negative thoughts
The biblical term for thoughts which are negative is referred to as a stronghold, an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking . For example a daily negative thought pattern for me, when suffering depression, would run like this: “life is not worth living, I am worthless and I will never be happy again”. This train of thought would play over and over in my mind keeping me oppressed, depressed and in bondage, a prisoner held captive by my thoughts.
You may be experiencing this battle with a negative thought life right at this moment, maybe you have strongholds in your mind, scripts you have been playing for years and you’re not even sure how they got there. Let me encourage you, God is on your side He will not forsake you.
There is a war going on and your mind is the battlefield but here’s the thing, as Satan attempts to build strongholds in your mind rest assured we have all the weapons we need to tear down the strongholds. Strongholds in the mind are, in essence, deceptive lies and false beliefs. The Bible has promised you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). I believe what Jesus was saying is that the truth (God’s word) is our primary weapon for tearing down strongholds. Consider it this way, the opposite to a lie is truth, therefore the more time you spend immersed in truth (reading the Bible, hearing Biblical teaching) the light of God is shed upon the darkness, the lies in your mind.
Without question the truth will dispel the darkness, that my friend, is the power of God’s word! Take a simple example of walking into a dark room, we switch the light on and the dark is gone instantly, light and dark cannot coexist and so it is with truth and a lie so go ahead ‘switch some lights on’ disempower Satan’s ability to influence your thoughts. X
He Restores My Soul
Before we can heal the soul we must first understand what is the soul? God has created us as a triune being, we are spirit which has a soul and lives in a body. In pursuit of healing the soul it is most important to understand the soul consists of the mind (which includes the conscience), the will and the emotions.
The soul and the spirit are mysteriously tied together and make up what the Scriptures call the “heart.” The writer of Proverbs declares, “ Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23 NKJV). We see here that our “heart” is central to our will and emotions, * “ for out of it are the issues of life; of natural life: it is the seat of it, from whence all actions of life are derived; it is, as philosophers say, the first that lives, and the last that dies”.
So in healing the soul we must watch with all diligence, guarding the heart from all that would cause the spring, the stream of life that proceeds from it, to be sealed up. Failure to guard the heart will leave our spirit and soul vulnerable to fear-based living, a heart where no life flows, a life personified as a ‘dead-man walking’ carrying a depressed heart.
Purpose in your heart to continue talking to God about how you are feeling, or simply praise Him for His promises, as you do this your soul will be renewed, or as my counsellor once put it ‘pray, God re-boot me to the manufacturers original default settings’. Think about this, if all the thoughts you’ve had up until this point has not made you feel any better, have another thought. As you pursue God He will eclipse your fears, broaden your horizons, change your perspective and you will have another thought, a thought which comes from His heart and you will begin to see yourself and your circumstances as He does… through eyes of faith, hope and love. Rejoice in this truth – now there’s a thought!
Believe with Unbelief
Faith and doubt are not opposite’s, in fact they’re often part of the same journey. When we wrestle with doubts, not just our own but those of our friends, family and strangers we eventually come to a position of stronger faith well able to provide answers to the sceptics and at the same time having a deeper understanding of those who doubt.
In his book ‘The Reason for God’, pastor and author, Timothy Keller suggests we look at doubt in a radical new way, as such that we see doubt as normal and perhaps welcome our doubts as building block to a stronger foundation of faith: “A faith without some doubt is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenceless against either the experience of a tragedy or the probing questions of a smart sceptic”.
Keller implores believers to look for reasons behind their faith, failing to do so, he writes: “A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she has failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection”. Personally, my faith has been lukewarm for most of my adult life, up until I experienced the tragedy of losing my children, faith for me was something I had inherited, a set of beliefs that were passed on.
Amidst great pain and sorrow my faith did ‘collapse overnight’ I carried doubt and unbelief for at least two years and believed my doubts were an abomination to God. I was certain God would not heal me from depression so long as I was consumed with doubts about who He was and the promises in His word, doubt, I considered, was sin… isn’t it? Not according to Jesus.
Let me introduce you to my favourite disciple, Thomas, also known as ‘doubting Thomas’ his story resonates with many of us that have battled with reasoning, doubt and unbelief.
Now, Thomas, for whatever reason we do not know, was missing when Jesus first appeared, notice in the following verses the grace of Jesus as He was faithful to accommodate Thomas, even in his unbelief.
“ 24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”” John 24 -27 NKJV
In the end it was his doubt, his desire to know Jesus for himself, was what brought Thomas to his faith.
So we see here faith and doubt are not opposites, it is possible to have faith with doubt, to believe with unbelief. Faith and indifference are more opposite than faith and doubt. Doubt is often a key part of the journey of faith. It’s a detour, if you will, along the path of faith. I assure you when you find yourself taking a ‘doubt detour’you’re certainly not alone and most importantly you must know and believe it’s not an indication of you being a bad Christian or a disbeliever. God will bless and honour the very little faith you do have no matter how weak or how small.
Wrestling a Greased Pig!
Most of us find difficulty in believing our prayers or more so even just making time for prayer. Life is busy, we hurry through our prayers (when we remember to pray), our minds drift to thoughts of what’s for dinner etc. our focus is scattered and everywhere but on God.
Prayer is simply conversation with God, no set time or location and minimal effort required and yet so many believers struggle with taking time to talk with God.
Max Lucado expressed our struggle with prayer as: “… you’d think we were wrestling a greased pig”. Prayer is an effective and powerful tool and the enemy knows this, he pulls all stocks in an effort to hinder your commitment to prayer. Our adversary knows what happens when we pray, “We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4 MSG)
Lucado writes: “…Satan seeks to interrupt our prayers. Our battle with prayer is not entirely our fault. The devil knows the stories; he witnessed the angel in Peter’s cell …” be encouraged to pick up your ‘God-tools’ and watch as the enemy cowers, Lucado continues “Satan is not troubled when Max writes books or prepares sermons, but his knobbly knees tremble when Max prays. Satan does not stutter or stumble when you walk through church doors or attend committee meetings.
Demons aren’t flustered when you read this book. But the walls of hell shake when one person with an honest heart and faithful confession says, “Oh, God how great thou art.” Satan keeps you and me from prayer. He tries to position himself between us and God. But he scampers like a spooked dog when we move forward. So let’s do”.
When you pray… be rest assured God already knows what you need. He has a divine purpose for every situation you face, so instead of crying out save me or bless me, may I encourage you to move beyond fear-based praying, disarm your self-interests and enter into a prayer life based on love, for His love will never fail you. Love-based prayers assert trust in a Heavenly Father that is Sovereign and always has your best interest at the centre of His heart…now you go, wrestle those greased pigs! x
Rise Up… Take Courage & Do It!
God wants to heal you from depression, anxiety, shame, addiction and whatever else holds you captive, He wants you to dream again, to dream big and fulfil the God-given purpose you were created for! As the New Year approaches may I urge you to establish a vision for your life that captures your heart and imagination, something so big that you become purpose-driven. For this to happen you must first confront your captors, those past hurts, habits, and unforgiveness must be dealt with before you can launch out into a new life of complete freedom and joy, ready to dream again, to truly live again!. Doing this requires courage, plenty of it! Author Bob Gass writes: “On the heels of every dream there’s a demon of doubt. No sooner is your dream conceived than your mind is suddenly filled with all the reasons why it may not work…” Your inner dialogue may go something like this:, receiving prayer ‘doesn’t really work’, going to a counselor ‘may be a waste of time’, I have been this way for so long now I doubt anything will ever change… this is ‘just the way I am’… “ and there will be folks around you who’ll be quick to confirm those fears. In spite of doubt and fear, you must forge ahead and dream; otherwise you’ll spend the rest of your life fulfilling the dreams of others”. It is time to stand firm and declare you will not stay this way, break free from the shackles of fear, God has more for you than you have been settling for. ‘Rise up; this matter is in your hands… take courage and do it.” Ezra 10:4
He’s Very Fond of Me
If you’ve ever tried to ‘just forget it’ move on, ‘let it go’, you will know that it is very difficult to switch off from the pain associated to hurtful memories. For many years I tried to wipe away painful memories through a season of being bulimic, drinking too much alcohol, hypnotherapy, sessions with new age practitioners calling upon the Universe as if it was some magic genie that would wipe away the past!
All attempts I made to be complete and happy were futile until I came to the complete end of myself, I’d hit rock bottom and from there I found myself running back to the arms of Jesus. In my quite times with Jesus, reading His Word and in prayer, I have learned of His affection for me, His perspective of me and His interpretation of who I am… when you take hold of a Heavenly perspective of yourself it changes everything!
You are His beloved, He delights in you and longs to see you set free; “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 (NKJV).
In these clear-cut words Jesus revealed that the key to freedom lies in knowing Him, knowing what His word says about you and your life. Our earthly reference to love cannot be compared to God’s love for us, the gospel of John defines what love is; “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us”.1 John 3:16 (NKJV). Jesus is saying to you today, you are worth dying for, your worth is priceless, you are loved. Earthly, human love is fickle, people are always falling in and falling out of love but the love of Jesus endures forever. Amazing, awesome… word’s fail to capture the profound expression of God’s love for us, the wonder for me is how would my life change, what sort of person would I be, if I could grasp, I mean truly believed the scripture testimony of God’s extravagant love for me?
Brennan Manning tells the story of an old Irish priest who, on a walking tour of a rural parish, sees an old peasant kneeling by the side of the road, praying. Impressed, the priest says to the man, “You must be very close to God.” The peasant looks up from his prayers, thinks a moment, and then smiles, “Yes, he’s very fond of me.”
My prayer for you is that you will allow God to take your past hurts, be healed of them so as you can really begin to live. In spite of what others say and think about you, may you gain a heavenly perspective of just how amazing and wonderfully loved you are… and yes, He is very fond of YOU x