I read some wise words the other day, 'It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them.'
We all have dreams - they may be related to career, family or travel. But we all have dreams, and as this phrase says, it is pleasant to see dreams come true. Imagine how Obama felt 8 years ago on the day of his inauguration. A dream that he had had many years before was unfolding before his eyes. The joy him and his family must have felt. It is pleasant to see dreams come true. Think about hard he would have been working the years prior. The day before the election, he didn't wake up and say 'Tomorrow, I will be the President of the United States.' He would have had the dream many years before and spend time investing in it.
But the second part of these words says, '...but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them.' Harsh sounding, but some of us are frustrated that we are not seeing some dreams come to pass. But there are things, 'evils', that we have to turn away from in order for us to put things into place to see our dreams happen.
'Evils' may sound like a serious word, but let me put it across to you like this. When we have dreams, like I said, we have to invest in them as they don't just fall into our lap. But often times we can get distracted by the 'evils' around us. Facebook, Snapchat, TV. These things are not evil in and of themselves but if they're distracting us from our dreams then... well... we won't see our dreams come true, and that to me is evil.
We should let nothing stop our dreams from coming true, but we also have to make sure we are investing in them. We need to make space for us to dream but make even bigger space to invest in our dreams. Are you making space for your dreams or are you too distracted to see them come true?
Thursday, 16 March 2017
Oh my goodness! I had the most frustrating realisation this week. Are you ready for it?... I can be too consumed by the opinion of others- worrying about what others are saying or what others are thinking. This may not be you but as I've said before I have to challenge myself not to worry and that includes worrying about the opinion of others...and I have to be careful not to let the opinions of others shape me, my decisions and my future.
I have been meditating on this all week... 'The fear of man is a snare'. A snare is a trap and the fear of man does not necessarily mean being afraid of people. But it means being fearful of what people think, say or do. When this happens, you imprison yourself and trap yourself. There's a story I love about a man, a boy and a donkey travelling.
|A MAN and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?”||1|
|So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”||2|
|So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”||3|
|Well, the Man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor Donkey of yours—you and your hulking son?”||4|
|The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the Donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the Donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.||5|
| “That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them:|
The poor man and boy couldn't please anybody- but that's the point! We were not created to please others but we were created for freedom. When we depend on the opinion of others and live to please people we are trapped by the opinion of others. Their opinions can shape our decisions and we don't have the opportunity to live the lives of freedom we were created to live. I love Lecrae's words, 'If we live for their acceptance, we'll die from their rejection'.
Some of our lives are led by the opinion of others. A king lived his life like this and allowed the opinion of others to dictate his decisions and Saul's reign was awful and his death even more so. The king after him was different. From a young age, David knew who he was and knew what he stood for. The opinion of others didn't sway him and consequently he reigned well. His decisions were not always perfect but it wasn't because of the opinion of others!
In order for us to not be affected by the opinion of others, we need to know who we are and what we stand for. David knew who he was and was secure in that. How secure are you? Do you know who you are? When we know we are and why we do what we do, we won't be trapped by people's opinions fighting for acceptance from others. Know yourself and be yourself. 'To thy own self be true'. What's shaping you?
Sunday, 22 January 2017
Guys, I've got a confession. I'm sinking. You know the image of the duck looking cool as a cucumber above water and feet paddling rapidly under water. Well, that's not me. My head is underwater... as I am sinking...
Today at church we were singing the Hillsong worship song, Oceans and the line 'take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Saviour' resonated within me.
This song always reminds me of when Peter walked on water. All the disciples are out on their boats, when in the distance they see a misty figure above the water. Thinking they see a ghost, they begin to grasp their oars and the sides of their boats. As the silhouette gets closer, they realise its Jesus, walking on the water towards them! Peter immediately cries out, 'Lord if it is you, tell me to come!' Then there's a moment of silence before a voice replies, 'Come.'
'He's mad,' someone whispers. Peter grabs the side of the boat and lifts his leg over the side. Keeping his eyes on Jesus, he brings his other leg over the side until he's standing on the water! His first step is shaky but by time he gets to his fifth step, his steps are sure and secure. Suddenly, the wind blows and catches him off guard. His feet suddenly plunge through the water and he becomes fully submerged! A hand shoots into the water after him and grabs Peter, pulling him to safety.
Peter stepped out, but soon found himself sinking. Did he make a mistake? Should he have just stayed where he was? Didn't he know this was beyond his capabilities? Well... no, no and yes. Peter didn't make a mistake, it was good he stepped out and this was beyond his capabilities.
But imagine the conversations he can have now. 'Well, Jesus told me to come and I began to walk on water'. He did something that he had never done before and although he began to sink, his faith was stronger.
Think about when you go to the gym, you don't train with light weights. You train with heavier weights to make you stronger. When we step out, beyond where we are, our faith is being made stronger.
Some years ago now, my husband and I were trying to buy a house. We were on a tight time schedule as we were both living with our parents and needed a place to live in after we got married. It came with many obstacles, and many times I found myself sinking. But a hand always came into the water after me. Nine months after our house buying journey began, we had bought a house. It was ready for us to move into right after our wedding! I know in that situation my faith was made stronger. Now when I'm facing situations, I face them with more confidence.
So now, I'm sinking. I've stepped out and suddenly found myself fully submerged under water. But I know His hand will save me. I also know that in this, my faith is being strengthened and the next time I step out and walk on water, I will walk further. And at some point I'll sink... and then walk again. So step out, walk, sink and walk again!!
Sunday, 1 January 2017
Today is the 1st January 2017. Happy New Year!! The first day of the year for me is always filled with hopes, dreams and goals. I'm like a hiker at the bottom of Mount Everest looking up in awe and wonder, amazed at the adventure that awaits. But not this year... no not this year. This year, I've set no new goals, woke with no new dreams and my heart holds no new hopes. Mainly because I stood at the bottom of Mount Everest, this time last year...and I'm still there now. Granted I have made progress, pitched my tent a few miles into the ascent, but I would have loved for 2017 to hold a new adventure. Not the same one from last year. But the truth is, last year I was scared. The climb of 2016 required more of me, than I thought I could offer so I settled in my tent, where the terrain was flat and the weather manageable. But I have missed out on the great adventure of Everest. I had all my plans and equipment ready...but I wasn't.
So this year isn't new year, new me because so many of us say that, sign up at the gym in January and come July are cursing at the amount of money we've put into the exercise industry and have not reaped the benefits. This is a new year, but I'm going to discover me. I don't change overnight- but I begin this wonderful journey and discover all I have to offer.
This year is about me not being afraid and not being complacent - perfecting any skills I do have and not just sitting on them but developing them. This year is about me finding the courage to start and finish the journey I intended to make. This is not a year for us to make excuses and procrastinate, but this year will be a year of expectancy and adventure! But in order for that to happen... I have to begin to climb. Where are you climbing and have you started? If so, I'll see you at the summit :)
Friday, 23 December 2016
I love going to dinner with my family, but the ordering process can be tedious! Especially when it comes to my sister's turn. After being in the restaurant for what sometimes feels likes forever, when the waiter comes to take the order, she still doesn't know what she wants! When in my head, I'm thinking - make a decision. The funny thing is, I go through the same thing. I struggle to make a decision, because what if I make the wrong one? What if I order something I don't like? What if I order something that's not enough?
There's a story that I love about four lepers. They were living in a war torn country with fighting surrounding them on all sides. They found themselves in a place where they were unsure of what to do and where to go. Finally, one of them spoke up and said, "Why sit we here until we die? If we say, we will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die." What they needed to do was make a decision. The decision was made to walk into the city, and when they entered the city, they discovered that all of the soldiers had fled their camp and left their horses, tents and other treasures. They made a decision.
Some of us have decisions to make in life, but are never proactive in making them. We wait for a sign, or wait for someone to make the decision for us. Don't get me wrong, good counsel is, well, good! But when we procrastinate in making important decisions, we find ourselves sitting uncomfortably on the fence!
They say when we drive; many accidents are caused by hesitations...because decisions weren't made. Sometimes it's better to make a decision and be wrong, rather than not make a decision and not move. I often don't make decisions in fear of making the wrong one. The wrong decision would mean and could lead to mistakes. But if mistakes aren't made, how do we learn? So don't be afraid of making decisions, because even in the midst of mistakes, success can be found. Thomas Edison decided to invent the lightbulb. The first thousand tries could have indicated that he made the wrong decision. But through his mistakes, the light bulb was invented. Don't let fear cause you to hesitate. What decision do you need to make?
Life can sometimes be synonymous with stress - especially this time of year! From home to work, we experience different stressors. But in the midst of the kerfuffle (I had to look up how to spell it!) we don't realise that we're blessed! We don't realise that we're blessed, if in and around us we see lack. We miss what we do have and become ungrateful, however when we see the good things around us, the irony is that it opens our eyes to other things. It's about the position of the heart.
#blessed is about realising that amongst the 'stressings' there are blessings. It's realising that life is actually synonymous with blessing. There are new opportunities and new great experiences to walk into.
Sunday, 27 November 2016
This week, I have an eye test. Not something I'm nervous about, but just a reminder that my eyesight is poor! It reminds me of all the times that I've been rebellious and not worn my glasses or contacts. The amount of times I've greeted friends from afar, only to realise close up that they are strangers! (Should have gone to Specsavers) We underestimate the importance of vision -> not just eyesight but the value of seeing.
Seeing provides us with direction - helps us to see where we are and see where we're going. I don't know about you, but if I can't see, it frustrates me. Seeing provides us with understanding. ("I see," said the blind man.) If I can't see, it means I am in a place of confusion, misunderstanding ... and I just don't like it.
So at this moment in my life, I can't see the Y. I'm in the optician's chair squinting at all the letters, but I can't see the Y. I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do, but I'm stuck in the routines of life. I wake up, go to work, work, go home, work some more, cook, eat, watch TV, think about going to the gym, read a book, then go to bed. And this pattern continues - and I lose sight of the Y.
I've come to realise the importance of Y. There is a reason for everything, even if we don't know it, there's a reason. And some of us can't see the reason for why we do things and so we're stuck - even thinking that we're doing what we're doing in vain. But all we need to do is see the Y. Once we adjust our eyesight and see the Y, it will have an impact on how we do everything. Purpose, direction and understanding will be found. These wise words sum it up nicely - 'Without a vision, the people perish'. Let me say it another way, 'Without a why, the people perish.' So I ask you, can you see the Y?