Thursday, 23 July 2015

Dear Younger Self

Dear younger self,
You were so totally excited after that life changing mission trip and you couldn’t work out why no one else was, not even your dad who went with you.  You were running forward and no one could seriously keep up.  You kept expounding on destiny in those sermons you were allowed to preach at the church where there was no pastor and everyone took a turn, and people sort of looked at you blankly because maybe they were living their own quiet destiny and not every season is one where you are turning the world upside down.
You said you were going to ignore boys until you were 18 and find one on the mission field, giving it all for God, and that wasn’t exactly God’s plan.  The week after you got back he put one in front of you, except he wasn’t really a boy, he was a grown up man, 8.5 years your senior and no one believed it would amount to anything.  But you heard God whispering and so did he, ‘You’ll get married one day.”  And he knew for sure cause his dad had a vision of you years before, and you weren’t sure and everyone thought you were too young to be talking about boys, and all those dating books you started reading, your dad thought it was advice on how not to get involved with a boy till you were 32.
And it was a hard rocky slope to learn the meaning of HONOUR YOUR PARENTS.  The courtship that was going to bomb proof your marriage, because you had to deal with everything before hand in about 8, 6 hour prayer ministry sessions to keep moving forward.   You dealt with so much, and I’ve looked back having thrashed through it all, and though it was messy more than romantic, you both grew and laid down the marriage you so wanted, and waited for God to come through.  
Taking that 2nd and 3rd trip to PNG was the best thing you could have done, to breathe and grow a little in your own identity without Stephen. 
But then in marriage you didn’t know how much having a baby was going to change you, change the way you looked at life, and the revved up change the world attitude, slowly faded into the background of stinky nappies, till you learned that God really loves everyone no matter if it’s changing a nappy or running a church service.  If it’s done for Him, it’s done right.   
Now with a bit of pride knocked off the edges and a whole lot more compassion, He’s rebuilding the foundations of how you look at life, so that you can go change the world, listening to Him instead of charging ahead like a young wily sheepdog.   You’ve had your spell of training, following quietly, listening for the commands, and soon, you can go round some up, gently herd them back.  You can still change the world, and you will, but it’s not always in another country. 
You packed a lot of learning into the last 10 years, I can hardly believe it’s been that long, and now the most important lesson of all is about love, God’s love for you and it’s changing the way you see life, and it’s good, the way God intended you to see life.  
So here’s to another ten years, better than that last, a season of restoration of the things you lost, the evangelism that fell flat on it’s face cause it was birthed out of fear, that’s going to be birthed out of love and be better, the writing is going to change lives, and words are going to change the world, not only yours, but the words of so many people who are also learning the same lessons.

Linking up at: Suzanne Eller   
 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

5 Uses for Vanilla Beans


So today is Day 2 of Five Days of Five, which I'm spreading out over two blogs.  On our first day, we looked at Five Things I'm Loving.
Today I have five uses for vanilla beans.  I have friends who bring me back organic vanilla beans when they go to Papua New Guinea, and did you know, if you live in Australia, and buy my book through this website, not only will I sign it, I'll also send you two vanilla beans for free!
 
So here are the 5 ways I use vanilla beans
 
1.  Split one open length ways and boil in chai tea, sit in brewed coffee and or hot chocolate, oh yummy!
 
2. Steep five cut (lengthways) beans in 250ml of vodka in an old maple syrup bottle, and use this as vanilla essence.  This is the real stuff and little bottles of this make great presents. This can be added to tea, cakes, ice cream, whipped cream, custard, anything you like really.  I stopped using the fake vanilla essence from the shops when I discovered that it came from a beaver's anal glands.  Hmm yuk, no thanks.
If I can afford to, I make my vanilla essence in bulk,
directly in the vodka bottle.
 
3. Leave the beans out to dry in the sun for several weeks, put in the dehydrator or oven to dry and then grind up in a blender, pour into jar and use as vanilla sprinkles, for all of the above mentioned foods. 
 
4. Boil them with milk in rice custard, or just milk for a shake, though I prefer to use the ground up bits, or a splash of the vodka, for less wastage. 
 
5. Steep in a carrier oil, eg jojoba or almond for 6 weeks to make a scented massage oil. 
 
Do you have any other uses for vanilla beans?
 
Linking up at: 
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Monday, 20 July 2015

3 Mums Share: Kids and Quiet Times

 

 

 
There's so much to learn about God and His plan for us, let alone passing it onto our children, but these 3 Mums have spoken into my life, and been like mentors and older sisters to me, that I really wanted to hear how they were teaching their children to grow in God.  
 
 Each of these Mums have 6 children of various ages and I've known them for about 5 years, in fact I lived and worked for 2 of them as a homeschool graduate, minding their children and helping around the house.  
 
Mandy and Di are sisters-in-law, living on the same farm, with houses about a km apart, Di teaches flute and piano, and Mandy teaches violin and piano, and it was Mandy's renovated train that I would live in while I worked for them.  (It was also Mandy's bridesmaid dresses that I rounded up from toy boxes around the country and used for my wedding.)
 
And Racheal is Stephen's cousin, who first inspired me with her courtship story, while Stephen and I were in the same stage.  Racheal has deep, organic wisdom and while the other two ladies live 5 hours away, I often drive out to Racheal's house at any time of the day or evening for a cup of tea, and often a meal, if we stay that long. 
 
One of the things that stood out to me that several of the women mentioned, was how reading aloud to your children or getting them to go sit quietly with their books really calms the atmosphere in your home.  Gosh I'm even finding that with my 2 yod.    Now I'll let you gain the wisdom that is so beautifully shared below, and if you like this one, check out 9 Mums Share: How I Spend Time With God

 





Mandy
1. How you are currently spending time with God each day, eg do you have a routine, snatched prayers, a chapter a day, a devotional you love, whatever.   

 

 
5:30am-Early morning prayer & Bible reading/meditation. There are hard seasons when for whatever reason I can’t get up early enough and I know that it will pass. LOVE praying during an early morning walk…my favourite!! I spend time in the bathroom with God or any little moment I might get during children’s rest times etc. Andy & I are making sure that we spend time together in specific planning and prayer on a Sunday evening ready for the rest of the week and find that it is helpful.
 
 
Doing a Beth Moore bible study on a Thursday with Ladies from the church and are finding that a great blessing-it involves a lot of homework. LOVE praying in bed aloud of an evening. I think the older I get, the more I realise that it’s not about keeping any particular schedule because God knows what our lives are like and how we feel after a sleepless night…it’s about being willing to stop and listen at ANYTIME during the day that He whispers to me.

2. How are you teaching your children to spend time with God, what does that look like in your home?
 
We have had great seasons of lots of Bible memory verses (I put them to rhythms), they are invaluable but do not happen all the time.
 
Bible reading and family prayer after dinner…always seems to get interrupted but VERY IMPORTANT. A lot of the time Andy forgets, which has made me feel upset in the past but I’ve learned to get over that and just suggest it myself (because I know that he really is happy to do it, just usually so tired!). Just recently I made a rule that whichever child can remind us to do the Bible reading after dinner gets a date (the fruit kind! Special treat!)…so far, we haven’t missed one!
 
I’ve been really encouraged lately to share with the kids, at any time, but usually dinner time, the ways that God is answering my prayers or growing me-I’ve seen it build their faith which is exciting.
 
At 6:30am the three oldest kids (14,11,9) join Andy for a Bible study which lasts for 15min. They take turns reading a verse for a passage and then discuss the meaning.
We are trying to bring the Bible into their lives in a way that is disciplined and routine to try and establish good lifelong habits. However we also don’t want them to feel guilty or burdened if they don’t enjoy it-just for them to know that it is healthy and the best thing for them.
 
I am struggling to find time to spend with each of them individually at night to pray and talk with them specifically but praying that God will continue to grow in me in this area.
I am trying to get scripture around the home and into their rooms which apply to the different areas they are struggling with. I want them to know about the power of God’s Word and how to use it.

 

 



What is the most profound thing someone has ever said to you about your time with God, or that He Himself has said to you?

My dad once said about reading the Bible, there are times when it just feels like you are not getting anything out of the word and nothing is really applying to your life and it’s just going through like a sieve. That may be the case, but even a sieve gets cleaned by the water that falls through it. There have definitely been dry seasons when I have just had to trust God that His Word is cleaning up my life whether I really feel it or not. 
 
Also, that whatever we choose to do with our time on a daily basis, or even an hourly basis, that is what will eventually make up what our lives look like. If I’m always waiting for that special long afternoon that I will finally have to myself to spend time with God-It will never come…what we do today is what our lives will look like!!! Listen to the little ‘God promptings’ that come each day and act on them straight away.

Is there anything God is challenging you to change about your time with Him?
 
I am going through a rich learning/growing time at the moment. I’m being challenged to memorise more of God’s Word and more intense Bible study (early mornings!) and giving Him more time to hear His voice.
Other times when life is tougher, my challenge has been to sleep in and let things get a bit out of hand and just rest and trust!


What is God currently teaching you in your time with Him?  (If you don't mind sharing)
 
To believe Him for my life and believe Him in the lives of others around me.
To quote Beth Moore- 
1. God is who He says He is         
2. God will do what He says He’ll do         
3. I am who God says I am                
4. I can do all things through Christ                                                   
5. God’s Spirit is alive and active in me!
To hold my tongue, not to try and justify myself (to myself or others) but to let God be my judge and defender
To seek and speak His word of life and truth into every situation of my life and my families life (and to have it memorised before that!)
 
 


Dianne
Kids ages: 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 15.


1. How you are currently spending time with God each day, eg do you have a routine, snatched prayers, a chapter a day, a devotional you love, whatever.   
 
I try to spend time with God early before all the distractions of the day kick in.  Now that my children are older, this is easier in theory although I still need to be intentional about focusing on the Lord and how He is speaking into my day. 
 
I use Jesus Calling by Sarah  Young as a devotional at the moment and I’m careful to ensure that I actually read the scriptures before reading the comment to ensure I am listening directly to God via His Word. 
 
Recently I pray with my husband first thing in the morning although that has taken years to establish and does not always happen!
My homeschool Bible reading with the children in the morning tends to cover a lot of Scripture, as well as family devotions in the evening, usually lead by my husband.
Prayers are often snatched throughout the day as the Holy Spirit brings things to my mind.
 2. How are you teaching your children to spend time with God, what does that look like in your home?
 
I schedule time for them to be alone with a Bible each day.  Just looking at pictures for 5 or so minutes quietly when they are younger and directing their reading when they are reading.  As they get older I will chat through with them, making suggestions or helping them.  One of my children likes to read through the Bible, while another uses Jesus Calling and another is fairly random. 

3. Whenever I was in your home it was always very ordered and calm, what was your secret?
 
Both my husband and I enjoy order and calm, we function better that way.  I realized early on in my parenting that if I wanted to teach and reinforce character, the children needed to know what was expected from them.  When it all became too much, which it did many times when they were small, I would get them to read quietly until everything had settled. So I have a basic flexible plan for the day and slowly teach the older ones how to manage their time while fitting in with the family.  A family with more outgoing parents may function well in a more relaxed way.

4. What is the most profound thing someone has ever said to you about your time with God, or that He Himself has said to you?
 
God is with me throughout the day – I choose to recognize His presence moment by moment and to abide in Him via believing Him, humility & thankfulness.  He gives me grace for each moment as I walk by faith.  It really is this simple and this profound!
 Is there anything God is challenging you to change about your time with Him?
 
I would love to walk/jog & pray simultaneously.  To make pray my default in good times and tough times both.

 
 
Racheal
1. How you are currently spending time with God each day, eg do you have a routine, snatched prayers, a chapter a day, a devotional you love, whatever.   
 
With a 6 month old that wakes up somewhere between 4:30am and 5am most days (and still wakes for a feed during the night too), I don't worry about getting up early to spend time alone with God.
 
I do pray with the children, and read a chapter or so of the bible each school day with them. But I find all the pre-motherhood years of walking with God, reading His word and bible college have really been like a spiritual storehouse in me...so that in this season where there's not a lot of time to myself, I can still have His word in me and the character that's been built up over the years by Him to sustain me.
But that doesn't mean I'm just living off the past experiences with God. He speaks to me and some days that's what keeps me going! 
 
A real help to us all this year has been reading some 19th century Christian historical fiction. The children are getting not just history lessons, but training in character, Godliness, love and life with God. I've been amazed how many times the book we're reading together has really spoken to me heart and been an answer to prayer or a huge encouragement for the day.
 
The best series in this respect has been the Life Of Faith Series by Mission City Press. 
 
I've also found that reading the biographies of heroes of the faith, especially missionaries, to the children has made a big impact on them and their faith. Speaking the wondrous works of God to them is faith building and uplifting. And they do remember these stories and apply that same faith to their own lives. I've had some of them try to raise dead pets like chooks from the dead, because they know God can do it!
 
2. How are you teaching your children to spend time with God, what does that look like in your home?
 
I kind of answered that in question 1. I'd add that praying with them is really important, so they feel more comfortable praying themselves. Having said that, a few of mine are still very shy about praying out loud in front of others. But I know I felt exactly the same as a child...so their confidence will grow in time.


3) How do you keep an ordered and calm home?
Routine. I used to hate it, much preferring to just wake up and take everything as it comes. But with a large family, that kind of philosophy was just getting me to the end of each day and look around thinking "Did I achieve anything today?" I read a book called Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman (mother of 9). She has set days for everything...laundry day, kitchen day, office day etc and by knowing your purpose and objectives for each day, things really do get accomplished!  (Review by another blogger here.)
 
 The other big part of the picture, is training the children to help. One of my daughters hangs and brings in the washing each day. Another daughter folds it all. My eldest son sweeps the floor each morning. And my husband oversees them all washing up after dinner. The younger ones have easier jobs like picking up their toys or taking out the recycling.
 
It was a good friend and mother of 7 who loaned me the book and I'd always been in awe of how neat her home was, clean her children were (I sure haven't mastered that part, but living on an acreage with outdoorsy children is my excuse!) and how much time she seemed to have for her hobbies! She was amazing, and when I read the book too, I could see how she did it. Organisation. Of course we can't plan out every detail-something always comes up...injuries, nappies to change, surprise visitors...but by knowing what your priorities are for the day, you can get stuck into it rather than look around thinking "What should I do now?"
 
As for the calm part, I don't know what you're talking about...hhahaha! No, it's not that bad. We certainly have a lot of volume here at times, but on the whole things are pretty calm. I actually think the reading together as a family helps with calmness. They love those times, and there's an automatic hush when the current book comes out and I start to read. That time together seems to fill up their love tanks and they're not as desperate for attention then.


4)  What is the most profound thing someone has spoken to you about your time with God.
 
Years back I had a vision of a newborn baby with this blue light over it's forehead forming the word 'prayer'. Might sound strange, but God said to me prayer is like that baby. If you don't feed it, it will eventually starve and die. It really gave me the encouragement to pray. But it's not always going to be a certain length of time praying, or a certain time of day set aside to pray. Imagine if I only spoke to my husband between 5am-6am! It'd be a strange relationship. Same with God...we need to commune with Him, but that can be made up of lots of snippets of conversation throughout the day. And sometimes it will be longer conversations.


5) Is there anything God is challenging you to change in regard to your time with Him?
 
Not with how I spend it, but I guess the last challenge I had was when praying about a potentially dangerous problem I saw in someone else, and straight away he highlighted something very similar in my own life. Which is good, keeps me humble. And I;m thankful He can reveal areas like that to us in such a simple and gentle way.
So maybe it's best to remove the plank before looking at someone elses speck!
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Linking up at Titus 2Tuesdays
 
 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

What is Joy Really & a Printable


 

Mid last year I was at a mother’s group organised by my friend Michelle, who had it in her heart to dig deeper in conversation than you would at a normal playgroup and to really bless each mum in their relationship with God.  Before we left she asked to pray for each of us, and invited us all to contribute if God laid something on our hearts to pray for the person in the middle.

When they all prayed for me it was like they shone a torch on a million little issues and concerns I had in my heart that day, and one thing I remember was that they prophesied that I would become an incredibly joyful person. 

This year I’ve been asking God if I needed to do something to partner with Him in bringing that prayer to fruition, and I felt I should study all the occurances of the word Joy in the Bible, especially after verses about joy just kept showing up on cards and gifts bags that people would give me for my birthday.  (I even cut one of the gift bags up and laminated it and gave one side to a friend and kept my own side.)

For he shall not dwell unduly on the days of his life,

because God keeps him happy with the joy of his heart.  Ecc 5:20

This verse was such a blessing to me because I had been thrashing over some issues in the past that I felt had not been resolved, things that I hadn’t done right, or had gone differently than I had prayed, and once I had forgiven people involved, I just had to let it go.  I couldn’t change the past.  I needed to move on and be kept happy with the joy of my heart, and the verse underneath is very similar, as I’m a very busy person, motivated by goals, it’s wonderful to know that God accepts what I’ve done and I should be joyful about that. 

Go eat your bread with joy (simchah) and drink your wine with a merry heart because God has already accepted your works.  Ecc 9:7

 

And this verse I’ve pondered on for a long time, especially asking God to restore to me the joy of my salvation, and I believe as I’ve been dwelling on these joy verses, He really has, His truth has been sinking deeper into my heart and putting this printable together and studying it has rooted deep in my heart what joy really is and given me keys and tools to activate it in my life. 

Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation.  Isaiah 12:3

 

Nearly all of the verses talk about getting loud and shouting, singing, and even dancing in the face of our mess, praising God, because ‘ a man has joy by the answer of his mouth’ Proverbs 15:23, and that particular joy is a festival joy or glee.   I’m not talking about a quiet, enduring sort of attitude that I thought joy was, no once I started digging, it seems that our key to joy is verbal and through praise, and counting and thanking God for every good gift we have and thanking Him in advance for the ones He has coming.

I’m really enjoying going back through journals and just looking at the gifts I’ve written down in Ann Voskamp’s little journals.

The gate swinging in our front yard that goes no where

The smell of chicken soup wafting

Loud praise in an empty warehouse


Little things but precious memories and moment gifts.

 

These verses about joy have also just cemented in my heart a confidence in God’s salvation, a confidence that is new, because I’ve always struggled in this area, even since a tween, and it was not until the last few years that I’ve struggled vehemently with this and triumphed through God’s Word.

So shall My WORD  be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish  what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  For you shall go out with JOY (simchah)  and be led forth with peace. Isaiah 52:12

 

Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart for I am glad to be called by Your Name.  Jer 15:16

 

Finally, surrendering deeply into God.  I’ve written about how it seems to get harder to abandon yourself to God the older you get, but this is truly a key to joy. 

Nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my race with joy. 

Acts 20:24

And I’ve really prayed over this printable, that it’s not just a pretty on your wall, I've studied the words hard and it's changed my life.

I pray that these verses sink deep and that they break the chains of depression, and I’ve had my dear trusted friends praying the same, including that Mum who started this joy study with that prayer for me to discover joy,

 that these words, which is the very Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit,

would slay the demons over our lives.  

IF YOU RIGHT CLICK AND SAVE AS, IT WILL SAVE THE WHOLE THING
 
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Linking up at Titus 2 Tuesdays

Friday, 10 July 2015

Interpreting My Dreams: Restoration

I've had a number of dreams lately and I feel stretched to share them, because I believe they contain a message in them, not just for me, but for the wider body of Christ.  I've been having dreams about the future since I was 14, and I've talked about them in my book 'Dad and Me in PNG' where God used one of my dreams to warn our team about not travelling on a boat, and then when certain team members tried to, the boat left early for the first time in PNG history.   
God uses dreams a lot in the Bible to share His messages and it says in
ACTS 2:17  New International Version
"'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
 
I've been researching lately dream interpretation from a Biblical perspective and two of my favourite resources here are Lana Vawser and Doug Addison, who I've found to have very accurate messages to the church about things of God in this time. 
 
Recently I've had a number of dreams where God has restored to me, in odd places, toys that I lost when I was younger, and in the dreams I spent a lot of time sifting through these things, cleaning them up and placing them somewhere I could use them. 
Now toys may not be significant to many people, but they are to me, because many of the toys I had as a child I have kept, because I have built a book around them.  A book that I have been attempting to write for years, that although fictional is going to cover many topics surrounding inner healing gained from my years working in the Healing rooms and with Victorious Ministry Through Christ. 
I've kept my toys as a visual reference of what the people look like, their houses, etc, and just lately, I keep finding in the natural, toys from my childhood, that I've been waiting for to complete this book.
 
The toys are just symbolic, because to me they are precious, but God isn't restoring useless stuff, God is also restoring to me other things that I've lost, in a spiritual sense.  When I was younger I really wanted to dance, but Mum wasn't happy with the standard of modesty and sensualisation of dance in our town, so she didn't let us dance, with the exception of perhaps a year where a lady at church would put together a dance to the latest worship music that we then showed in church. 
Just recently, God has led me and enabled me to become a qualified ballet teacher, even though I hadn't previously done any ballet. 
A retired ballerina, Beth Baudistel came to our church and saw me dancing with a banner up the back quietly and asked me to join in her teacher training course for FREE.    This lady runs dancing schools all over the world and for some reason she not only gave me all the curriculum but then tutored me privately.  If you would like to find out more about dancing, come over here. 
Another restoration recently has been of joy in my life, after an intense season of depression and fighting for what God has called me to do. 
God isn't just restoring to me, He is restoring to you, and in the Jewish calendar, it is actually the year of restoration, when debts must be paid. 
So will you venture into this new area of blogging with me?  I'm not real sure about this dream thing, but I feel that I should be faithful to share what I have received, and in turn I will receive further. 
Blessings
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Linking up at Thought Provoking Thursday



Tuesday, 16 June 2015

When I Grow Up I Want to Be Brave


 
When I grew up, I wanted to run an orphanage and go to dangerous places and do crazy things for God.
I sang various versions of ‘I Surrender’, and my favourite song was “Centre of My Life” in which one line goes ‘I’m stepping out from the comfort zone…”  Have you ever noticed that it gets harder to sing those songs as you get older, or maybe I’m the only one?   Because as you get older you suddenly realise that not only is the surrendering a continual growing of holiness, but the surrendering to do anything God wants could come at any moment and you’re not sure if you’re really ready to do something crazy anyway? 
Because sometimes you’re standing somewhere minding your own business and God pops in like crazy and makes a wild suggestion of where He wants you to go or a plan for what He wants you to do, and sometimes God’s plans as much as there is the empowering, are hard work.  It’s not all thrills and glory to help someone get out of debt, or counsel someone through a marriage, to run a Sunday School where the children bite and barely remember a thing you’ve taught them and yet you’re trusting that one seed you’ve sown will sprout one day. 
I I’ve been thinking back lately to my teen years and how firey I was about saving the world and making sure everyone was doing their bit as well.   In fact I’m fairly sure that I judged other people in our circles for not obeying the call of God on their life, but then how did I, all of 16 know what their call was when I was barely working out my own?  Regardless, it was not my place to decide whether they were or weren’t. 
So when I grow up, I want to be brave, cause I’m finding those things I wanted to do in my teens are harder now, and my favourite song is ‘You Make Me Brave’ about the grace God gives for the moment.
I’ve recently read Bill Hybels, Holy Discontent, and to be honest, when I picked it up I didn’t think it was a book for me. Bill challenges readers to ask God to show them the one thing they can’t stand in the world that is unjust and then to help them move into that calling.   I’d worked out my life calling, and it was looking good, with just the right amount of adventure, and scant surrender, but I asked anyway, just in case I was missing something.  I always ask crazy things, and my husband wishes I would check with him before I did, but they just come out before I can stop them.

 

Crazy things that it would nice if someone else trail blazed for, but I’ve always been a trail blazer, and why should I think that it would stop now?  Trail blazing because I can’t stand what I see and I’m a writer so I write and sometimes people listen, because Ann Voskamp is waking up the church to ISIS, and maybe I’m called to wake them up to something else, and God asked me just recently ‘If I gave you a platform to write, what would you use it for?’ and I knew it was for something wild. 
That’s why when I grow up, I want to be brave and to step out and do those things that people shake their heads at, and I think that you want to be brave too.  Your brave is not the same as mine, but God knows what that is, your ‘Holy Discontent,’ and maybe you too are secretly discontent with the status quo, much as you try and love your nice quiet life like mine. 
I read in a book recently, Katherine Ruonala’s, Living in the Miraculous which has stirred me back to crazy, how the passions and desires in our hearts are often the very same that God wants to use to stir us up to action, and how we should daydream with God about what the world would like if we stepped into those daydreams, and then to ask for the strategy to live it out.
Fight Like  a Girl - Lisa Bevere
 
 
 


I link up at Women With Intention

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

How Reading Inspires Your Writing


I seem to have powered through a whole bunch of books this month, not sure why, but it sure is inspiring the writing.  I read in an interview with Ann Voskamp the other day that when she sits down to write, if she has no words, it’s a sign that she isn’t reading enough and I agree!   In fact that statement has so helped me because I usually feel most inspired to write, right after I read, and I always felt that I was just regurgitating someone else’s inspiration, and I should get my own or not write.    I remember when I was reading Ann’s book, A Thousand Gifts, for the first time, I would often wake in the morning with the most profound thoughts in my mind, and I think should go buy another copy of that book because mine seems to have sprouted wings and flown away.  (The very next day I found a copy at a garage sale!)

I think reading, starts our mind a processing and it draws out what we think on a topic, or it causes us to pray about how we see a topic, which then in turn, possibly draws out revelation as we then write about these thoughts parallel to our lives.  
The Scripture in Proverbs 20:5 has been coming to mind lately. 

The purposes of a person's heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. (NIV)

Hearing someone's thoughts on a topic, quite often draws out our own thoughts, and our own words if we are writers.     So these are the books that I’ve read most recently because I’ve found them in the op-shop, and I've commented on each, not just about the book, but how it has inspired my own life, and words. 
1. The Half Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter

I often find Amish books all very similar but Wanda just has knack for giving them all a bit of spice, and this one was brilliant.  An Amish widow giving quilting classes in her home to the general community and I actually never guessed where it was all going, and for once I didn’t read the end first, because it wasn’t so drawn out that the middle was boring and dry.     I really loved how she drew all the characters together and yet switched between so many voices.  I’ve mentioned before that I would like to have a go at this in a fiction piece I’ve been dreaming up for years and I’m really hoping to get into that now that I’ve seen a good example of this sort  of writing, and after my little quote from Ann Voskamp above, now I’m not afraid to use words to inspire my own.     And after looking up the photo of the book to use on the blog, I just discovered that this is now a trilogy, not just a single novel, so definitely looking forward to finding the next two soon.  J
2.  Smith Wigglesworth – The Secret of His Power by Albert Hibbert
Someone left this book on the table in the kitchen at church after a Bible Study so I decided to read it.  Wow, what an interesting and inspiring life Smith Wigglesworth lived, written by one of his right hand men, and yet what stood out to me was how closely Smith listened to God for solutions to problems, how much of God’s Word he had living in Him to speak wisdom into others and how much love was in his heart even though his actions could be perceived as cruel at times.  
 I once made a stupid statement that as Christians we all needed more Fear of the Lord and we were all just bogged down in love, and God has been proving me wrong on that one, so I’m really asking for a love revelation. 
The other thing that stood out to me from this book was that even though we can be inspired by great men of faith, and we should be full of the word and love of God, we need to seek God for our destiny with Him, because we aren’t all the same. 
3. Umerited Favour by Joseph Prince
I talked in one of my recent posts titled “A Good Girl Rediscovers Communion”, about how God is having me lay good theology foundations in this season and this is another book He is using to do this.  The title wouldn’t normally make me pick up this book, because it could make you think of something wishy washy but it is packed full of well studied Scripture, and I believed titled as it is to make it more appealing to pick up for people who would otherwise steer well away from anything theological.     
This book discusses how God defines success and not in the same way we do, and what Jesus actually accomplished on the cross and how to live in that knowledge.   It’s over 300 pages so I’m gradually working my way through it, and it takes a while to chew on each chapter.  To be honest I think I should be writing out little gems from it in my journal and probably re-reading it. 
Actually this book has inspired two or three posts that will be coming over the next few weeks in my series titled 'When You're Theology is Wonky'. 

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 & Hope In Every Season