Monday, 28 November 2016

Introspective Much?!

I haven't blogged much this year.  Its not because I don't have much to say.  Its more that I'm not sure how to put it all out there on paper.

There have been quite a few challenges this year.  And, quite a few victories.  I have been so humbled by God's faithfulness and His grace and mercy.  Yet I am unable to speak on it.  I have been devastated by stuff that has come to light and yet overwhelmed by God's hand in salvaging, healing and causing growth and completion in things.  Even so, I am unable to speak on it.  I have been frustrated by the lack of loyalties shown by those who demand loyalty.  I've been struggling to not let that stuff impact my connection with people, but truth be told, it has....

I was reflecting on my word for 2016, and for a minute I could not remember what it was.  Truly!  I had to go to my blog to check.  Ah yes, Choice!  It has been a really interesting word to delve into.  I have come to realise how much choice matters in my life.  It has been a learning curve to realise that my attitude is a choice.  Okay, I knew that, but I don't put it into practice much.  I am trying to be more mindful of my attitude in situations and then choose a right attitude.  I have grown enough to choose how I react in a volatile situation.  I am learning to keep quiet or walk away, or not take offence.  Not easy though is it?!

I'm an emotional eater!  I eat whatever the emotion! 😋 I'm finding it very tough to choose not to be like that.  Easy to say, "just do it".  I suppose it is so ingrained in me to use food as a weapon against or reward, for myself.  I'm trying to choose life in this area and not death!

I have found relationships changing this year.  Old ones I have fought for, new ones I am grateful for.  Appreciating those who accept me the way I am.  Letting go of those whose interest in me is not genuine.  Struggling through some that are exhausting but worth it.

I've decided to figure out who I am and try to hang on to that, and not let others squash it or change to make them happy.  God made me a certain way for a reason and although I never had much of a problem speaking my mind, I have found in the last few years I have lost myself and have wavered in being "me" because I have not been sure who "me" is.  That search is on, and who I am in the Lord is coming back to life, and with the Lord I will figure out what He wants me to do and how He wants me to serve.


I think not truly knowing who I am of late might be why I have backed off from social media and my blogger friends.  I watch, observe, but I don't participate.  Not even with close friends.  I have withdrawn but not to have a pity party 😝.  Its not until now that I am realising that stepping back has been about rediscovering myself and being true to myself.  I can't just say stuff to be heard, I want to say stuff because I mean it, or it means something.  Its also hard to encourage someone when you don't believe it yourself.  So, I have had to push through in my own understanding of things, so that encouraging others comes from a place of truth and belief.

This year is nearly over and although much has changed, and much has stayed the same, I can truly say I am choosing to hang on to what is good and let go of what is not.  God willing, this time next year I will have grown more in all these areas.  It is a journey, a race.  The win is in running it, not in winning it!  I choose to run it better, not faster!  I choose to stop and smell the roses once in a while.

Proverbs 3:5–6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

Philippians 1:6 I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

2 Peter 3:18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.


God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Be content already!!!

(Note:  This is a post I shared on another lovely blogger's blog about 3 years ago.... Still valid, still trying 😉 )

This last week I have spent sooooo much time in front of my computer making changes on my blog.  Firstly to a new domain (or two), then to change the look and after a week of tweaking and primping and changing.... it dawned on me... "The way I had it works better, is more versatile, has more options, etc etc."  Man, how annoying is that.  So then I spent the better part of a Saturday morning (sigh) undoing all I had done!

Really?  And while I was busy undoing I was thinking, "Why did you do all that?"  "What was the goal?"  "What had I hoped to achieve or better?"  And really, I had no answers.  Although, truth be told, my lack of knowledge of computer lingo did lead me to believe I was getting something I ultimately wasn't.  Isn't that the way of worldly advertising?

But, I digress..... (I still love saying that....)

The point is my dissatisfaction led me to waste a WHOLE lot of time.  Had I been content with what ultimately turned out to be what was best for me anyway, I would not have lost all that time.  And I believe that maybe God used all this to remind me about my discontent in general.  Someone asked on facebook last week, "What is your word for next year?"  And I thought, "um, what is my word for this year?" I had to go back and look.  Sad, I know.  And guess what it is?  You got it, CONTENT!



Okay, okay, God certainly has a way of getting one's attention.  So, I did a little soul searching and realized that I am more content, I do leave more in God's hand, BUT.... that has been slowly eroding.

So, today, I stand before you (via a seat in front of my computer, lol) reminded that I am to be content IN ALL THINGS.  And I remind you in-turn, leave all those things you can do nothing about, in God's hands and be content to know that, well, He has got this...

Heb 13 v 5:  Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have.  For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." 

Phil 4 v 11:  Not that I speak  in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.

So, thank you bloggers for reading my post and I would love for you to comment here at my (now re-unchanged) blog!  I always am blessed by your encouraging words

God bless
Tracy

Monday, 31 October 2016

Am I really so Blind?

It has come to my attention of late, that there are so many things, important things, spiritual things, that I have not picked up on.  And, in having not had a clue, people have got hurt on my watch!

Did God allow this to protect me?  I don't know, because in so doing, others got hurt.  I would have preferred to be able to protect them.  In fact I think it would be fair to say that it was my job to protect them.  But, I was clueless, therefore did not extend the protection....

What if God allowed this hurt for a reason?  When you examine the life of Job you can see the point, Job would serve God no matter the cost.  But it all seems like such a senseless game with a man's life, to prove a point?  I don't think so.  I can only imagine that there was and is a much higher plan that God had in mind.  So too here then.  God must have a much higher plan than I am able to fathom.

I feel I should be angry, at myself, at others, at the situation.... But there is no anger!  Just incredible sadness.  Sadness that these things could even happen, that they happened and I was blind to it, that spiritually I never sensed anything.... One could eventually create a huge rod with which to beat oneself up....


And then onto things to which all this world of hurt has led.... the present!  Stuff I again should have been spiritually in tune with.  Why am I not seeing these things?  Is it because its not my life that is being impacted directly and because God has a plan in all this, He keeps me blinded to it all?  I am impacted there is no doubt!!!!  But peripherally...... Its the hurt and damage to others and how it affects them that is affecting me.  I feel its not mine to pick up, not my path to walk, but feel so burdened by what, if anything, I can do about it.  Right now, I just feel I can be there.  But in seeing and not understanding the hurt, I feel I am insensitive to the emotions and impacts and thus not very much help at all.

I can only trust that the Lord has a much bigger plan than I can see or imagine.  I can only trust that what has been intended for harm, God WILL use for good.  I can only trust His word that says vengeance is His and He will extract it.  I can only trust Him... That is all I can do.... and pray!  That too!  A weapon of immeasurable strength and impact!

Gen 50 vs 20:  As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive [as they are this day].

Rom 12 v 19: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord

Rom 12 v 21: Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Isaiah 55 v 8 - 9:  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.  (9) “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.

God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

There are many ways to serve...

Lately, I have really gotten into crochet.  I would never have pictured myself being so wrapped up in it (pardon the pun) but I cannot wait to get to my wool after doing what needs to be done in the day.

Recently I started a granny blanket for my own bed.  I chose good quality wool and colours that I really love.  I decided I was going to take my time with it so that it would be "that blanket", the one you pass down sort of thing (even if that never happens....), something special....

I have enjoyed putting it together so much.  I have a ways to go yet, but loving every stitch,  and of course I post it all over facebook and instagram, like one of those women with grey hair, yes you know the ones I mean.... I am becoming one of "them"  lol!

Then the other morning a friend contacted me  and asked if I would make a baby blanket for her newly pregnant daughter.  Now, ordinarily, I would um and ahh, and make excuses but for some reason I am really excited about doing this blanket.  I put the heirloom in progress to one side, rushed off to the wool shop, chose my colours according to my friend's request, and began project Nunu!


Once home I looked at the name of the colours!  My friend requested grey, white and taupe!  My first question, "what is taupe?"  Come on, some of you asked as well!!!!  When I sat down to begin, the brand's name for their colours was silver, platinum, gold, and for white, lily!  Did you also just get goosebumps?  It sounds so royal!  I let my friend know and she felt it too!  Felt the "prophetic" in it!  We decided that as I crochet this blanket, I am going to be praying for this new bundle of joy and he or she is going to be a royal in the kingdom!

Now, why did this get to me so much?  When my babies were, well, babies, there was a little old lady in the church who knitted little pink panthers for each newborn in the church.  It made me feel so special and I decided that one day, I was going to bless parents like this in some creative way.  I think I have found a potential niche!  I'm sure it will change and adapt, depending on the parents wants and how I feel.  When I give this blanket to these new parents, (it is a gift from the granny-to-be) I will make sure I add scriptures that come to mind as I worked on it.  I want to remind them of the blessing this baby is going to be, etc!  Yes, I see this as another way to serve....

Added a little someone extra :)

Gal 5 v 13:  For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another.
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

In what way has the Lord gifted you?  The ability to encourage?  To write?  Wisdom?  Service in church?  Cook?  Bake?  Accounting skills?  In what way are you gifted?  Know that the Lord gifted you in this way so that you can be part of building up the body, and winning souls for Christ!  Even if its just by crocheting, reading, writing, making tea, being available, etc, He gave you this ability for His service!  Go for it!  In faith, use your knowledge, skills, talents and gifts for His service!  He will bless you out of your socks.

God bless
Tracy

Saturday, 24 September 2016

If you can't give it up, its probably an idol!

Ouch!  Right?!  What is it that you can't give up?  For me it is the scale!  Yes, she says dropping her head in shame!  I have to start EVERY SINGLE morning, hopping onto the scale.

Does this influence my day in any way?  A resounding yesssss!  If I lose weight I am happy and joyful and bounce through the day.  But, I also allow myself more freedom to eat - yup - there is that vicious circle thing happening...

And if I put on weight, I am down and grumpy and.... yes, I eat to make me feel better!  But, alas, that so does not work.

Do I have deep-seated issues that need to be addressed?  No, I don't think so.  My eating is not linked to anything awful in my past.  I would definitely say I am an emotional eater.  I eat when I am happy, sad, frustrated!  Funny thing though, I don't eat when I am angry.  I remember many years ago making that connection and refusing to eat when angry.  Now I can't.  Wish it worked for all the other emotions, sigh....

This post is not about eating though.  Its about the fact that my weight, that scale, and the consequent up and down emotions, filled to the brim with food, is an idol.  This is my truth!  I think about food all the time!!!  I wonder what I am going to weigh when I wake up tomorrow.  And I am so over this kind of thinking!

I don't even know HOW to eat anymore for health because all the experts say this today, and that tomorrow, and a combination of both the next day, and so it goes on....


I decided to see what the bible says about food.  Its going to be a long process because I want to read what the Lord says about food and in what context.  I don't want to create a whole new idol with regards to legalistic thinking, but I do want what God's word says...

What I can say is that every time I pray about this issue this thought comes to mind, "BALANCE in all things".  Cutting out a food group is not balance!  Let me just say....

There are many people who succeed at diet but the people I want to be able to learn from are those who said they gave up trying and forgot about the issues, and moved on, and then the weight started melting off.  Why?  Because they no longer made an idol of food and the how, when, what, how much, etc.

Well, in order for me to even start on this road, I have to give up my idols.  That would be my scale right?!  Can I do it?  I kinda think I have to.

Have you ever noticed that when you start exercising after a long time, briefly you first put on weight?  Well that happens to me, and as the scale reflects this, all that feeling good about exercising goes and I immediately feel fat(ter) again.  Now if I don't weigh myself in those moments, firstly I will notice that feel good feeling in my clothes too and I will feel healthier, slimmer, etc and thus respond better to food for that day!

So, I think the answer, for me anyway, is to get rid of that scale.... NOW!

And, to begin mulling over what to eat or what not to eat, I read this in my quiet time this morning... Ps 81 v 16:  But I would feed Israel with the finest of the wheat;  And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.

 Yup, so take that banters, wheat is biblical and that's that!  (insert big smiles here)

Anyway, for those of you who struggle with this stuff like I do, feel free to join me as I discover what God's word says about food and let us pray, together, to be released from idols in our lives that bring nothing but bondage.

God bless
Tracy

Note:  I wrote this post about 3 weeks back and could not put the above into action.  I always think, "Tomorrow I will post this, and then give it up",  or "when I've lost just a little, then I will post this and give up the scale."  Nope, now is the time to act!  Today is the day I let go of this idol...

And, having said that, I hope to fill the empty gaps with God's word and exercise!

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