Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Month: April 2014

Friend (and Housework)

Five Minute Friday

Every Friday, bloggers all over the world join Lisa-Jo Baker in writing for five minutes on a particular subject, without pausing to edit or self-critique our work. The topic this week is: Friend.


Housework is something I don’t enjoy at all. I love it once it’s done, I really love that clean feeling you get in yourself when the carpets are free of crumbs and dust, and surfaces are gleaming. But I don’t enjoy the process. Consequently, I am prone to look at a room and see everything that needs doing in it, sigh and think: ‘I’ll do that tomorrow.’ I give up before I’ve even started. Unless a friend is due to visit, in which case I fly around like a demented creature vacuuming and polishing, and shutting the doors on rooms my guest isn’t likely to venture in to.

But my friend Jackie, who visited this morning, has inspired me with a new, fun way of doing housework. Over freshly-brewed coffee and homemade cheese scones, Jackie enthused about her method of staying on top of the chores (we didn’t spend the whole visit discussing housework – that would have been sad). She has a ‘lucky dip’ box in which are slips of paper with ‘small but manageable’ tasks written on them. So one task might be cleaning the bedroom window or washing the kitchen floor.Housework Box

So, I’ve decided to try out my friend’s idea for myself. Hence my very own ‘lucky dip’ box!


I’m Grateful!

I’ve been working this evening on the book I’m writing about my illness and healing/deliverance; I’m always amazed at how horrible the illness was and how the goodness and kindness of God shone through. It often feels as though it all happened to someone else, not me.

This evening, I wrote about going to Sara and Nathaniel’s wedding. They’d asked Adi and me to pray for them during the service and we were chuffed to be asked. Sometimes I would get confused and forget how to speak or muddle up my words, so I wrote my prayer on a card which I gave to Adi so that he could read it out for me if needed. But it all went horribly wrong. When we got up to pray, my whole body began shaking uncontrollably, I forgot how to speak, I lurched to the side and would have fallen if Adi hadn’t been holding onto me, and it took an age for him to help me shuffle back to our seat – which was only on the third or fourth row. It was an utterly mortifying experience over which I had absolutely no control.

At first I was angry with God. Why had He allowed me to be so humiliated? I chuntered in a one-sided rant at Him in my heart. But gradually I realised that He would never have allowed such humiliation unless He had a very good reason for it. I didn’t have to know the reason, it was enough that He did. It was hard. But He had been teaching me that summer that to know Him even though I was ill was far better than not knowing Him and being in perfect health.

Me in ChiChi

Before that incident I’d sometimes wondered if I would ever get back to ‘normal’ life or ever do any public speaking. That incident showed me that life would never be ‘normal’ again unless God intervened miraculously. The specialists tried hard but couldn’t help me, and they were fast running out of options. Only God could help.

I am so grateful that God did intervene miraculously and heal me. So very grateful! (THANK YOU LORD!)

Likewise, I used to be bogged down with guilt and with striving to be acceptable. I was trapped in certain addictions that dragged me down and which I hated doing but couldn’t keep myself from doing them. I made excuses that it wasn’t really wrong, that I could stop if I wanted to, that this would be the last time. But it was a lie really, I couldn’t do anything to help myself.

But Jesus died so that I could know true freedom. God’s plan is for me to be completely free so that I can enjoy Him. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has the power to break any addiction and set us free. And that is what He has done for me. Because He paid the full price for every single thing I have done and ever will do wrong, there is nothing left for me to feel guilty about. In place of guilt, Jesus has given me His peace. I don’t have to strive to make myself acceptable any more. God accepts me as His beloved daughter, and that makes me absolutely secure.

This God who spoke the universe into existence and holds it together by His powerful word has forgiven me, set me free, and given me peace, hope, security. And He is my healer and deliverer. He is incredibly generous and lavish with His love. Knowing Him is utterly life-changing and I am so grateful to Him!

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