Sunday, 25 June 2017

God provides in so many amazing ways!

I'm loving adjusting into life as a married woman, and already it feels like my husband and I have been married forever although it's only been about four months!!!

As I walked through a season of what seemed like lots of waiting for marriage (sometimes it felt as if the season of dating/courting then engagement would never end!) one thing I really struggled to come to terms with was trusting the Lord in the midst of what I increasingly became aware is the really materalistic culture in which we live in. I had a constant battle in my head of how to best live for the Lord - trust Him and take a step of faith into marriage while circumstances were less than ideal, or take a step of faith in continuing to wait for His provision? It seemed to me that there was no one "right" answer!

Obviously, everybody's situation is different so I cannot speak universally here but I do know that the journey the Lord bought me on so far has been worth every single minute of uncertianty! Of course we would always like to know that what our future holds is predictable and smooth (we can all insert our own worries in here!), but what I have been finding is that if it was, where would we be learning to trust God? 

He has been challenging me that in the uncertianty, in the hair raising "it's just not fair Lord!" moments that He wants me to trust Him with an utter and complete and childlike faith that says, "No matter what my circumstances are Lord, I will continue to follow you and trust that You are good and that  You really do love me".

I could ramble on and on . . . but I think that one statement says it all. May you trust our loving heavenly Father no matter what!

Friday, 27 January 2017

As I Start a New Adventure

Today marks the day that I move into my new home, that in a few weeks I will share with my husband once we are married. I feel like I'm on the cusp of beginning a whole new adventure, and I'm so excited to start it, but it was somehow so appropriate and a good reminder that this morning over my cuppa before heading off to start the big shift that I saw this video:

There is so much truth here! Excited as I am about the new journey God is bringing me on, part of me will always miss the preciousness of that time before my young man came along where it was just me and God, and where I was able to press so much into Him and learn and grow closer to Him. If you are in that stage treasure it! And if you, like me, are soon to be married or married already, choose to continue the journey of growing closer to the Lord, with another person there to challenge you and be a part of your journey.

God bless!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Some exciting news . . .

Hi friends and readers of this blog, 

I want to apologise for a rather prolonged absence from blogging! But I have some rather exciting news . . . 

In about two months I get married to a wonderful and godly young man. This explains that I've been somewhat absent (and preoccupied!) but by both the Lord's and my young man's prompting, I've decided to take up blogging again! 

To tell you the truth, in our walk with the Lord we go through seasons - and the last few years have been a real time of being challenged by Him on so many things and humbled in so many ways. I have had to come to grips in a way that I never had to before that I really struggle to trust the Lord. This season has been so full of joy but also of learning that I can loose sight so easily of my first Love, the Lord, and the need to press into Him and trust Him for everything! But over and over and over again He has proved Himself faithful no matter how distanced I may "feel" I grow from Him He is always there. I am beyond blessed to be His daughter!

I can't wait to hopefully introduce some posts by my young man sometime here, if he is okay to share some of his writing and thoughts. I am so excited to start on our journey together as a married couple and I can in all honesty say that the self-sacrifical, God-given love he daily bestows on me as we have journeyed through courting/dating and now this season of engagement has shown me more clearly than I ever knew before how very much the Lord loves me (and to think that can only give glimpse of the depth of that love - wow!)

Anyhow, it is late and that is all I can probably share for now but I look forward to writing more soon!

To close, this song really sums up my prayer to the Lord at the moment as I enter into a new season:

God bless!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Trust Him

I saw this today on Pinterest and it seemed so good I couldn't help but share it! :)

It really made me think: am I truly content to rest in the Lord and His plans no matter what that means or where I end up or how it may differ from how I think things should go? Am I living my life trusting in God and His provision regardless of my circumstances?

I like the descriptions of each of these as well. Having a "yes" and going ahead with something we want is great, it is "much desired". But when the Lord puts an end to or stops our plans from happening it can sometimes be a demonstration of His mercy and grace as we may not know all the implications (he might stop us from being somewhere where a car accident will happen for instance). Sometimes we may want something to happen but it's a case of waiting, and waiting . . . and waiting some more! Then other times there may be no clear solution at all and all He wants us to do is trust Him when we don't have a clue as to what's ahead.

In each of these situations we are given a chance to glorify God - isn't that an amazing thought!? Doubtless we all fit somewhere in there. I for one find myself in the "not yet" category in some areas of my life, and "trust God" in others, and a week or two ago a "no" happened that in some ways is a blessing and in other ways is frustrating! What struck me as interesting though is that none of these are ultimately a negative outcome. Sure things may not happen as or when I want but GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL. He is still soverign! 

Which means that no matter which way things are going my response should be only to glorify Him more for the ways He is at work, to continue to look for opportunities to serve Him. To realize that our ultimate aim is to glorify Him and point others to Him.

I have challenge for myself at the moment. Rather than looking inwardly and feeling sorry for myself, I want to instead be seeing each "yes", "no", "not yet" and "trust Me" as different opportunties to continue to glorify the Lord. I want to be praying that He will help me to fix my eyes first on Him and trust that everything else will then fall into its proper place. :)

God bless!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Emotional Overload!

It's been a weekend to remember but also full of changes that have left me at the end of it feeling a strange mixture of happy yet sad and just generally emotionally overwhelmed.

Something I've been thinking about amidst all of this is how emotionally drained and overloaded I tend to feel when grappling with changes or just dealing with too much at once and facing uncertianty regarding the future. Okay, a lot of it may come down to introvertedness and being a fairly sensitive person, but more recently I've been wondering how much of it actually comes down to my trust in God (or lack of it). 

You see, how can I be truly happy and content with what is happening in my life, the good and the bad, if I am constantly worrying about how things will end up and feeling the need to be totally in control of it all? How can I trust others, let alone myself, when I can't even trust that God already has my future in His hands? It's a recipe for disaster and frustration at both myself and others as well as the Lord when things don't go the way I want or when I simply can't accept how He is working in my life and the lives of others!

Don't get me wrong: it's okay to be more sensitive than the average person and to feel emotions deeply. Its okay to have crying or laughing sessions when trying to adjust to different circumstances or changes in my life. After all, there are blessings in these things too: for one thing being this way has helped me many a time to realize when others may be feeling that way too and need a bit of encouragement. But I've been learning that problems come when I let those emotions be in control and grip me, filling me with fear and a mistrust in the Lord and that He is control and holds the future in His hands. 

Reader, are you, like me in the process of growing up and struggling to emotionally adjust to changes in your life? Maybe you too want to be in control of it all and don't trust that the Lord already knows what is ahead? I don't pretend to have all the answers or even many Bible verses to share but I am reminded of my favourite one: 
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:4-7
Praying that you too are able to continue to trust in Him no matter how you feel or what your emotions tell you!

God bless!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Wisdom from Ruth Bell Graham

I saw this today on Pinterest, and thought it was pretty cute, but also with a lot of wisdom behind it!

God bless!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A Letter I Wish I Could Send to My Teenage Self

Dear Teenage Violet,

I want to write this letter to you today to reflect on who you've become but what I wish I could tell you were I able to sit beside you right now.

I wish I could tell you that now that your older self has her future all sorted out and neatly packaged. It might come as a surprise where your older self is, and that the reality is she doesn't but her life is still exciting while unexpected! At the moment, you might be both sure you have your future sorted out, and be excited at what is in store, and yet at the same time terrified at not knowing entirely what's around the corner! Well, I have news for you . . . that doesn't stop once you become an adult! If anything plans change, you change, and everything becomes even more uncertian! But don't be anxious - focus on the Lord and make Him your priority and trust Him that everything will work out for your good even if it isn't always easy. Realize that all of life is an adventure in learning to trust the Lord and that He's got you and so focus on one step at a time and trust Him with the rest.

Consider carefully once you finish your schooling what you want to do. Don't go to university and get in debt only because everyone else is, or because that's what you are being told to do by society or others. Recognise that your actions will have future consequences but at the same time don't over-think it but again trust that the Lord will help you each step of the way. Persevere with your schooling knowing that it will feel like forever but will really be over in the blink of an eye.

Don't be so focussed on finding your future spouse. Trust God with that part of your life! That day will come eventually if the Lord wills it, and while I know at the moment being of an "eligible" age feels miles away, trust me when I say that it goes so, so fast and before you know it you will be watching friends your age or even younger getting engaged, married and having babies. Rather, invest in the wonderful people the Lord has already placed in your life and take the time to develop life-long friendships. 

Trust that the Lord will bring your man along at the right time and in the right way without you needing to force it to happen. Don't obsess over how your love story will play out or the "right" way to date or court, or be so quick to judge the way you see other people date/court, rather have a humble, teachable spirit especially as you have never been there yet. Be slow to create presumptions as to how you feel this should be done and don't create unrealistic standards for a guy to meet. Expect a best friend who is perfectly imperfect, someone who is a sinner like you but whom the Lord can use to teach you so much about Himself, but recognize that this may not always look like what you expect and be prepared to let the Lord suprise you in this area! Yes, do start to think about your personal standards, as that is so, so, so important, but don't let it stand in the way of being open to let God be at work in your life in new and unexpected ways.

Focus more on grace than legalism. Remember that Christ has saved you and extend the same joy and love you have through this fact to others. Do spend time with the Lord, and allow Him to sanctify you but don't look so critically at everyone else in the process. Trust that He is with you even though He doesn't "feel" near. You've got some rough days ahead but also bright sunshiney ones, so realize that what is most important is not your circumstances but rather your relationship with the Lord. Find your ultimate fulfillment in Him, not in anything or anyone else as only He can ultimately satisfy you, you were made for a relationship with Him, so make your life all about that.

Read as many theological/Christian living/Christian autobiography books as you can now! They will have a big impact on your faith as you grow up and you will never regret it!

Sometimes its okay for you to stop trying so hard to achieve that excellence grade or an A+. Sometimes its best to be avaliable to reach out to other people, especially those who are hurting or just need a friend. Being avaliable for the Lord to use you is far, far more important than just focussing on being the best academically or at work. But don't slack off either, realise that you need a balance of both, but ultimately invest yourself in looking out for people and their spiritual wellbeing and trust that the Lord will help you with the rest.

Try to learn important life skills already and don't be stuck-in-the-mud stubborn about it! Get your drivers licence as soon as you are able and go for it! Please, please learn how to sew and cook and clean, all while you are young. You have no idea how many headaches you may have over not knowing these basic skills one day. 

Don't be so anxious that you loose the joy and peace that the Lord has given you. Never loose the joy - this doesn't always look like a smiling face, but rather that deep seated peace and trust in Him.

But more than anything else, make your life all about God and bringing Him glory no matter what you do or what choices you make. Keep spending time with Him and trust that if you have Him ahead of you, you don't need to fear but He will help you not to stray!

God bless you!


("Older" Violet in her twenties)