Late last year, my husband and I attended the Alicia Keys concert supported by John Legend in Brisbane. It was an amazing night with two phenomenal artists performing. I wasn't familiar with all of Alicia's songs from her latest album. During the concert she started to sing her song, 'Brand New Me' and I was awe struck. As I listened to the lyrics, it was as if she was seeing in to my very soul and sang about me. I closed my eyes and let the words flow over me. So moved by the music and lyrics, I lifted my hand. Not in worship to God, but as if to say, "Yes!" to every word. It was a beautiful moment. And I determined in my heart that I would be brave, and embrace this brand new kind of me, and brand new kind of free.
Sunday, 16 March 2014
Monday, 3 March 2014
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” ― Mary Oliver
The past 12 months turned my world upside down. Having found myself suffering from depression again, I can honestly look back and see that it was a gift. As I leaned into the darkness, instead of fighting it, a lot of things came clear. Two things in particular, became clear to me in the darkness:
1. I felt closer to God away from church
2. Going to church was bad for my mental health
And having been to church most Sundays for the past 20 years, these 2 things caught me by surprise! I know a lot of people that thrive in church, and I am in no shape or form saying that church is bad. I am just saying that for me, on my journey, it was doing more harm then good. Religion was killing my spirituality.
Saturday, 25 January 2014
I wrote this on my 'About Blog' page a few years ago:
"I got to a point in my life where I was so sick of playing church and craved an intimate relationship with Him.
I am learning the unforced rhythms of grace and am now recovering my life. By keeping company with my King, I am learning to live freely and lightly. I have learned that my King is not interested in religion or what I can do for Him. He just wants me to be me - and that is so liberating."Fast forward to now, and after stepping off the religious merry-go-round I found myself on again, I spent most of 2013 with my head spinning, wobbly, and not knowing what direction to take.
I was given the book The 10 Second Rule by Clare De Graaf, as a gift for being a long time customer of Sonlight, sometime last year. It sat on my shelf for months as I couldn't bring myself to read another Christian book at the time. I picked the book up a few weeks ago and have been working my way through it. I really enjoyed it and realised, that the 10 second rule (“Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do.”(and do it immediately before you change your mind!)), was what I was doing as a new Believer.
Thursday, 16 January 2014
"Mum, how do we know that Jesus is the right way and not some other religion?" The question hung in the air for a moment and I think I may have stopped breathing. I was prepared for my sons to question my faith when they became teenagers, but I was not prepared for it at the age of 10. And yet, here I was, with my 10 year old son, with a question I wasn't quite sure how to answer.
When I finally took a breath, I said to him, "You know it's OK to question whether or not Jesus is real. I have asked the same question myself. God is big enough to handle our questions. I don't know what to tell you son, except that I know Jesus is real, because so many times over the years He has shown Himself real to me in a very personal way. Why don't you ask God to show you Himself?" I want my boys to feel safe as they wrestle with the things of God. I want them know that it is OK to question things. I want to create a safe place for them to find their own faith.
Sunday, 12 January 2014
2013 saw me thrust into a wilderness of sorts. Not physically, but spiritually and emotionally. After 3 friendships collapsing in a matter of months at the beginning of the year, I soon fell into a depression, with the wounds being deepened when my church failed to care for me in my dark state. After all, healing can only take place within the church walls on a Sunday right? If you stop going, well you are out of sight and out of mind. With everything stripped away, I found myself deep in the wilderness with nothing, and hope seemed to be but a distant memory. I was in Heartbreak Valley.
I have been reading Brene Brown's book "Daring Greatly", this summer. It has been a real eye opener to vulnerability and shame. In the chapter 2 I read:
"....there is one particular sort of betrayal that is more insidious and equally corrosive to trust.
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
A new year begins, and I let out a sigh of relief, happy to say goodbye to a difficult 2013. I breathe in the freshness of a new page. A brand new diary and dream about what 2014 may hold for me. I speak a word over my new year - brave.
adjective: brave; comparative adjective: braver; superlative adjective: bravest
Friday, 8 November 2013
Just sitting on the steps......having a coffee and taking 5 minutes to breath. I started to think about the year that was. At the beginning of this year, I declared the word, "simple" over the year. It wasn't a New Year Resolution, but rather a desire of my heart. I yearned for the simple life. My life was anything but simple and running away to an Amish community seemed very attractive. Fast forward to now as we enter November, and almost at the end of the year. I marvel at all that has taken place this year, and just how, well, simple life is now!
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
|A love heart that naturally occurred in my coffee. A love note from Him.|
Friday, 1 November 2013
This weekend I turn 40. This is no small thing! Having had so much happen in my 30s, I can honestly say, that I am looking forward to shutting the door on this decade, and look forward to all that my 40s will bring. As I pondered on this milestone, I started to think about the last decade, and all that I had journeyed through. The decade was jam packed with a lot of heartache and struggles, There were moments of joy too, but overall my 30s were marked by a lot of hard times. I believe that these trials have not been for nothing and as Joseph said to his brothers, I say to the enemy of my soul, "You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done." I believe that my story will be a life line to those suffering from depression, chronic health, grief, hurts from people and self hatred. I pray that my story will give people hope.
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
It felt strange to be in church again after so many months of not going. During the sermon, the visiting preacher spoke on this verse: