You have made the seasons:
winter, summer, autumn and spring.
I live them each day of the year;
praying for a heat wave
(of which we Brits have had enough after one day),
and longing for snow each December.
Every season following the last,
because You have promised that summer and winter, springtime and harvest will never cease.
You have made the seasons in my life:
winter, summer, autumn and spring.
An autumn of pruning, a laying down of ministry,
quiet time to wait on You.
There is beauty to be seen even in the shedding.
A winter of waiting, of chronic illness,
the bleakness of no ministry, no fruit, loneliness,
what’s my purpose?
Then a spring of fresh hopes cherry blossoms on a tree,
For me it was a spring of healing,
of new dreams and possibilities.
Summer fulfils the promise of spring,
new ministry, fruitfulness,
a sense of being Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.
Not boring, religious stuff either.
But adventures with Jesus, growing in faith,
laughing for joy that I’m Your daughter!
I celebrate the seasons Lord,
You have given a time for everything.
I’ve loved looking at Rahab’s life these last few days. She was a ‘woman of the night’ who sold sex to men. Someone it would be easy to look down upon, but God had His sights set on her.
God loved Rahab from the depths of His heart. He had plans for her life: to rescue her out of the brothel and bring her into friendship with Him. Although Rahab couldn’t have known it at the time, she played in integral part in the Jews’ history. Her son Boaz married Ruth, a widow from a despised nation. Ruth was an outsider, but Boaz had been taught by his parents to welcome those who are ‘different’.
And God chose this family line through which to send His Son. What astounding grace to a prostitute! No one seeing Rahab working in Jericho could possibly imagine the wonderful plans God had for her.
How amazing it is to know that God has plans and dreams for us. He has good things for me, and He has good things for you.
I have dreams and hopes for myself. Some of those dreams I’ve had to lay down: the dream of having children. Does that mean God has a second-best plan for me? Or that He doesn’t love me as much as He does someone else to whom He has given children? No way! He is crazy about me. It just means His plans for me are far better than the best dreams I have for myself.
I love that God plants hopes and longings in my heart, and then fulfils those desires. And He always has far better planned for me than anything I can imagine.
Knowing Him is to know true life. It really is. And so I celebrate God today, and the way He fulfils my heart’s desires and that He dreams over me good plans. Whoop! What a God! Yee haaah!!!
This is my 300th blog post!
If not for Adi, this would never have happened. He persuaded me to start blogging, back in October 2008. It took me a while to settle into the groove and find my ‘voice’, and there were lots of doubts and angst. Through it all, Adi believed in me and in my God-given gift to write.
This blog started as a memorial of our tiny twins’ extremely short lives. They were only about twelve days from conception when we lost them, but it seemed wrong for their existence not to be acknowledged. Today, I celebrate our precious Two and Three. You can read more of that story on my About page.
I celebrate my readers. Thank you for every ‘like’, retweet, and comment. You are such an encouragement and blessing.
I celebrate the seekers who have been directed to my blog specifically because you can identify with some of the issues I write about. Thank you for getting in touch and trusting me to pray.
Writing itself is a way to rejoice in who God has made me and what He’s done in my life. Without my fingers tapping on the keyboard trying to keep up with flowing thoughts, there’s every chance I might explode. Being able to share my reflections in this blog is such a privilege.
And finally, I must celebrate my Jesus. He has chosen me, made me a royal daughter, calls me His very own. Why? So that I may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called me out of darkness into His marvellous light.
Adi and I have just been watching the documentary He named me Malala. It made me realise again how much I have for which to be thankful.
I had an education. Maybe not the best (my senior school has since been bulldozed), but I got my GCSEs and went to college.
There is freedom of speech in the UK.
I’m free to be a follower of Jesus and to pursue His present calling on my life to write and to work with women in the sex industry.
I’ve never been in a war or had to flee my home in fear. There is a scene in the documentary where Malala meets Syrian refugees on the Jordanian border. She could relate, having become a refugee inside her own country before seeking asylum in the UK. It’s so far out of my experience that I can’t begin to imagine what they are going through. But Malala knows, and it showed through.
So today I’m celebrating my life, thankful to God for the generous benefits He’s given me. I am who I am by His grace alone.
It’s Mother’s Day.
I think I prefer the phrase Mothering Sunday.
There are many who ‘mother’ without ever having the official title.
If we use it as a verb, the term means to bring up a child with care and affection.
Millions of women do this.…
They mother those who don’t have mums.
They care for others without necessarily having a biological bond. They’re no less mothers, nor would we think of them as less.
Some ‘mothers’ are grieving today. Some because they wish they’d had a chance to own that title.
Some, because their children aren’t alive anymore. Others because their children are estranged or in other parts of the world they can never get to.
Some of our ‘missing’ is because our mums aren’t here anymore, and that hurts to our very core.
Mothering Sunday is important; a chance to say thank you to those that mother us.
Be thankful for your mum. Be grateful for those who mother you.
Look out for those today who feel the day more keenly and need a little care and love.
I’m so thankful to God for my mum, and also those that care for me with mothering skills.
Spare a thought right now for those who will smile today, but behind that smile are 1000s of tears. Weep with them if you need to, but show them you care.
Mothering Sunday is for us all.
Jesus told stories about lost things being found.
A sheep strayed away from the flock and got lost. The shepherd went looking for it. When he found it, he brought it home on his shoulders, rejoicing.
A lady lost a valuable piece of jewellery but she cleaned the house, moving every bit of furniture until she found it. She was so happy that she invited her friends in for cake and wine.
A rebellious son ran away from home and lived the high life before losing his money and his friends. He crawled back home hoping he might be taken in as a servant but his dad was looking out for him and rushed to give him a massive hug. Then his dad threw a party to celebrate that his son had been found.
The sheep, the jewellery and the son never became worthless or reduced in value because they were lost. They were still precious.
God thinks of you like that. If you don’t know Him, it’s like you’ve wandered off and got lost. But He will never stop pursuing you because He wants to find you, because He loves you. (If you don’t believe God is pursuing you, consider the fact that it’s no accident you are reading this blog post. He’s crazy about you.)
I celebrate You, Jesus,
I exult in You because You’re worthy of praise.
You saw me in my mess,
and lifted me out of a pit.
You set my feet on solid ground,
and steadied me as I walked along.
You put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to my God – yeeee haaaaah! You’re ace!
Many will see what You have done for me, and will put their trust in You.
You’ve broken my chains of fear and rejection,
You’ve set this prisoner free.
My broken heart is healed and made new.
You give me a crown instead of ashes,
You pour Your oil of gladness into my heart,
I spin and dance for You in my robes of righteousness,
I didn’t deserve this, but You gave it anyway.
You call me an oak of righteousness,
a beloved daughter in whom You display Your splendour.
I celebrate You Jesus,
I exult in You.
I love You because You pursue me with relentless love.
WOOO HOOO JESUS!!!
My piggies’ favourite thing in the world was to play in long grass on a sunny day. The second they heard me moving their run to a fresh patch in the back garden, all eight of them set up loud squeaks and squeals of excitement. They could barely keep still in my arms as I lifted them carefully from hutch to run. As soon as they landed on the grass, they raced around before settling in for a day of contended grazing.
Another favourite activity was having the run of our long living room. Once they had gotten over being in such a spacious place, I delighted in watching as they celebrated their freedom: racing around in circles and bunny hopping across the carpet.
They had simple faith in me to meet their needs. So long as the fresh broccoli and carrot came their way every morning along with dry food and water, they were content. But having their freedom was cause for celebration and, boy, did they know how to do it.
Jesus bought my freedom 2,000 years ago. When I get trapped inside a hutch of my own making, He is always willing to open the door and set me free. Over and over again.
Today I’m celebrating freedom in Christ.