What’s your Everest?

Browsing through the library it caught my eye, It was Bear Grylls book, Mud Sweat and Tears, I wanted to read it, it seems an odd choice for me as I had been sewing all winter and love all things floral and girly and usually love a good fiction book but on a hunch I booked it out, popped it under the pushchair and headed home. It was a good hunch!

As christmas played out, the lights, tree, the endless chocolate and treats (and therefore calories, which Im trying not to think about..) the presents and the fun, I was often found sat in bed, hooked turning page after page of this brilliant book. One of the many things he talks about is Everest and his climb up that glorious mountain. He talks of the beauty and of the risk, the awe inspiring views and yet the fear, the passion and with that the pain, the determination and the exhaustion. He is honest and real about what dreaming about Everest looks like and what Everest was actually like to climb, the whole experience. If you get time to read the book, do it its an incredible read. It got me thinking…

What’s my Everest, whats your Everest?

The reason?

Our dreams and plans and hearts desires I think are often a bit like Bear’s trip up that mountain.  We dream our dreams and we hold them in our hearts,  but when the time comes, it can be amazingly wonderful but it can also be hard sometimes, it can require so much work and endurance, faith and self confidence, an ability to push through when you feel like giving up.

We can have moments of pure joy and moments where the tears flow easily. Often it doesn’t look like what we thought it would look like, things take longer than we thought it would, the reality a little different from the dream. It is still glorious, and we have and enjoy top of the mountain days, but then sometimes we are climbing and climbing hard.

I think for me the heart is this, when you have a dream hold onto it with both hands, know there will be days you feel like giving up and days when the excitement is exhilarating. Both days, keep going, keep pushing through because when you get to the top, the journey will be complete and it will all be worth it.

Your everest may be raising a family, working on a marriage, a career, loving your family, getting out of debt, forgiveness, learning a new skill, building a business, starting something new or starting over completely.

Whatever it is I pray with all my heart that you and I will have the strength to see it through and enjoy the climb, the good bits and the hard bits, the joys and the tears, and inspire others to whip on their backpack so to speak.. and take that first step.

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Christmas! What are you giving the king for his birthday this year?

Have you ever read something that makes you think outside the box? I did a couple of years ago and it has stayed with me every christmas. Christmas is such a beautiful time of the year. I love everything about it and I celebrate with all my heart. A couple of years ago I was reading a book by Anne Graham Lotz and she said something I fell in love with, she said:

“Each year as I approach the christmas holidays I ask the king what he would like for his birthday.”

Bam wow it hit me, what a refreshing and different approach to christmas, not asking only other people what they would like for christmas, but asking the king himself.

Anne then goes on to talk a little bit about some of the things he has asked her to do. One of them was write the book I had in my hand, that my dear friend Ruth had bought me as a gift “A Vision of his Glory” for his birthday! Incredible. she writes:

“Anne for my birthday this year, I want you to give me this book. I want you to write it yourself.”

From that year on it became my tradition and my heart to do the same. I love to to ask the king what he would like for his birthday as does the lovely Anne.

I am incredibly thankful to her for sharing such a beautiful piece of her heart and relationship with God and It has been an exciting journey as he has given me something to do each and every year, to him and only for him.

I encourage you as we are getting near to the run up to christmas try this little prayer, ask the king what he would like this year, you may be surprised at what he might say 🙂

I would love to hear too the adventures he sends you on and the fun you have too!

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Kindness and Goodness will always shine!

do all the good

This quote has really blessed me lately. I love its simplicity and yet the power of it. It is a quote that is like an anchor. When we hear such sad stories going on in our world, or surrounded by suffering, it is something we can all do.

We all have different means, different lives, different connections, different skills but we can all do good. It doesn’t have to cost anything. Sometimes it can feel small. I know at times I feel like what difference can I make? Or when I go and do something it feels very small, but like Mother Teresa said:

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. – Mother Teresa.

What you and I do is important whether it is small or big. In the midst of the chaos, in the hard times, in the difficult days, goodness will always shine.

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Why do we write?

why journalling and writing is beautiful

This week something awful happened. My journal ended up in the washing machine!!!!!! If you love to write you will understand my horror! As I gathered the wet paper from the machine, wondering what on earth it could be. Then I saw it, my beloved journal. I immediately burst into tears, thankfully my husband was there to give me a big hug. Now I know that compared to most problems this sounds like nothing, but to me it was and it got me thinking about writing, and why we do it, why our journals are so precious.

I have written everything down for as long as I can remember. It started with a diary when I was younger. I would say goodnight to everyone, go upstairs and switch my lamp on and begin to pour out my heart on paper. My way of processing the day whether it was a great day or a bad day and then close the book and go to sleep. My passion only grew, If I saw an amazing quote or a fantastic paragraph in a book, I just had to write it down! I would be the one in meetings scribbling down everything, then when I got home, journal about the day and how great, hard, challenging or joyful it had been.

Writing is safe and can become a safe place for many, a place where you can process things and be completely honest, you don’t feel you are burdening the journal and you don’t feel judged by it. You are free to write whatever you like and if tomorrow you feel differently thats okay. If I couldn’t quite find the prayer to pray. I will write it. Its amazing how many of my written prayers have got answered. It amazes me that God knows even every word that we write! So you can see why I burst into tears. It reminded me of the joy of writing and the relationship we have with it.

For some the writing grows and they write books, stories, sermons and all sorts of other great things. they bare their heart and soul in word and bless others with it. Chances are it started with a journal or a little diary, so today I am celebrating writing, the safe and wonderful gift that it is to me. I am hoping to start a new journal soon with a fresh appreciation of how much it means.

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Have you touched heaven today?

Gratitude

I had a dream once that each time we were thankful, it reached heaven. If that is true then its pretty awesome!

Your heart is so precious and the brilliant thing about gratitude is you can’t go wrong with it. It is something you can’t plant enough of in your heart, because the fruit that comes from it is beautiful, it is wholesome and very good.

We have so much to be thankful for, so many things.

I actually learnt about thankfulness when I was in a really dark time. I can’t remember where I read it but I was struck by this truth that I needed to thank God in the mess and find things to be thankful for. I set myself a challenge! My challenge was that every night I would find 10 things I was thankful for and speak them out. As I said earlier it was a really tough time and so it felt hard some nights. I would list, fresh air, trees, flowers, family, friends, food, water and so on. Anything I could think of that was good. Over time the list grew and grew and it felt easier to find things, I actively started looking for the things in my day that were good, even though things were hard. It became a fun part of my day and so I have done it ever since. Remembering the things I have been given that are good

It is good for the soul to remember and to list them off. Some people have thankful journals, or maybe you could post thankful pictures on social media, another idea is to write to the people you are thankful for and tell them why you are so thankful for them, or maybe like me you turn out the lights at the end of a weary day or a great day and scan your day, what was good, what made you smile today? What made you laugh? What made your heart sing? What are you thanking him for?

I am only human and sometimes I fall short. Sometimes I find myself focusing on what went wrong, the things I still want to do, the obstacles I haven’t overcome. I focus on the tiny things that went wrong in my day rather than enjoying the miracle of it.

Writing this is a timely reminder to myself that being thankful is a seed and `I need to diligently sow it. It is so lovely when people are thankful if they are blessed by someone. It is possible God sends so many lovely blessings to my day and then at the end hears only complaining about what didn’t happen and what went wrong. Lets sing a different tune, one that sings thank-you over and over and over again.

I pray that you will have so much to be thankful for whatever season you are in and that your thankfulness  would indeed touch heaven.

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Its time to sparkle..

sparkleAs I made this picture it makes me think of all the incredible people I know that do this so incredibly well. The people who are truly themselves. The people who are pursuing their God given dreams.

The people who are not trying to be somebody else, not comparing themselves, not jealous, in fact they celebrate other peoples success and cheer them on. The people who choose to be passionate about something whether others are passionate about it or not and pour themselves into that passion.

The people who work jolly hard because they believe their dreams are important and valid. The people that enjoy their life. The peacemakers. The Joyful. The passionate ones. 

We are all made to sparkle.

What makes you sparkle? 

There is only one of you and you have something special and something incredibly unique to bring to this earth. Don’t ever let anyone dull that sparkle, your passions, how you look, things your good at, they are all unique to you.

In our society we can be encouraged to think that only certain people are allowed to sparkle like celebrities and that we should just sit back and admire them. This is so not true. You have something beautiful to give.

Its time to get on your lane, fix your eyes ahead and run your race and sparkle and shine.