Recently I’ve realised that there are a host of people out there who are called to people, but are naturally introverted themselves.
This is me. I never realised it was me until I found myself day dreaming of quiet vistas, lakes, forests, mountains and isolation. I don’t know if I changed over the years, or it’s just been highlighted by the fact that I have less time alone due to being a mother, and having a business.
It’s a difficult tension to balance when you are called to connect and to genuinely touch heart to heart with others, while also needing space and time alone and quiet, in order to fill up so you can cope with the people you’re called to!
We are so good at putting ourselves and others in boxes. We don’t allow for people to be. Just be. We have an incessant need to figure out which box we fit best in and can’t deal with it when we meet people we can’t put in a box.
I have just completed walking through the 30-day devotional ‘Dreaming’ which was released in March of this year. Following the completion of the ‘Dare to Ask’ book, I was led on this crazy adventure of God, of not only making the music that the book is about, but also on a journey of understanding that this journey of ‘Daring to Ask’ is comprised of a journey within itself.
I'm spending a lot of time writing at the moment, about being 'awakened'. It's a journey many of us have been through, some of us are in the middle of, and some long for. Some don't even know this journey is available to them! Being 'awakened' is the process of 'waking up' spiritually, to who we are, what our purpose is, and how God wants to partner with us.
I never thought I'd write about being a parent or having kids, but recently I've been really excited to have gained a clearer understanding of my kids and their destinies. Most importantly, what I have learned is applicable to everyone, not just those in a parental role.
Not all of us like to dance. Some people go through all of life without ever giving it a try. Some make a lifestyle of dance and others of us pine for a time where we used to dance as a way of life.
For me, I spent much of my life watching dance, teaching dance and dancing myself. It was when I was crippled by back pain that I started pulling back from the thing I so loved. Now if I see dances and dance movies that harken back to my previous life, I find it upsetting and saddening to think back to how my body used to feel and move.
It's an involuntary action that we do whether we're awake or asleep, thinking about it, or not, resting or running, happy or sad. We all breathe. Sometimes we are more aware of our breathing patterns than at other times. We may try breathing exercises or be intentional about slowing our breathing down for health reasons, but we all go through a large proportion of the day without thinking about our breathing.
What about the breath of God? What effect does that have on my life?
It occurred to me recently how so many of us are essentially sleepwalking.
We go through life, without really participating in it.
We're sat at the game and watching it unfold before our eyes, without ever rolling the dice. We walk through the garden without really ever stopping to see what is surrounding us, and we miss the scent of the flowers, and the feel of the wind on our faces.
Being overcome by something doesn't usually have positive connotations. It implies succumbing to something, giving in to something that is too strong for us to withstand. It's not something that comes with choice, it's something that overpowers us and that goes against our will.
This is a picture painted with the colour of fear, and doesn't appeal to even the strongest of us.
For some of us, waking up and delighting in the Lord comes more easily and naturally than for others. I myself have struggled for years with guilt and a feeling of condemnation that I haven't found it easy to spring out of bed at 5 am in order to spend 2 hours with God.
My attention has recently been drawn to David and his confrontation of Goliath. We know this story, some of us have heard this story since we were small and have grown up with David being a hero to us. We've loved this image of a shepherd boy defeating a skilled, warrior giant! And so we should!
A few years back, I went to a women’s meeting where the topic being spoken about was the desert. I remember that the speaker went into great detail explaining the extent of the process that a caterpillar goes through in order to transition into its new form – a butterfly.
At the start of the year I set myself up for a personal challenge; 'To regularly post a video of me sitting at my piano, playing and singing'.
For me, it is a scary challenge, and is definitely a case of 'biting the bullet'. In my first video, I explained that the reason for the challenge was to do something practical and to 'make a statement' to myself, in order to counteract a lot of negativity I had heard through my life about my voice.
I hate cheesy New Years blog posts that try to convince you that the passing of a new day will somehow magically cause a reset in our lives, and that we get to start again come 00:01 on January 1st.
So this won't be one.
We don't get to hit reset. We have to live with all that went down in the previous year, and although we may have renewed hope that the next year will be better, there is no guarantee of this, and we don't always know how to make that happen.
I just got home from 10 days away on the Ascend Carmel program, where I serve on the leadership team. Many amazing things happened during this 10 days, most of which are not my stories to tell. But the thing that most impacted me about this 10 days away, was the courage that the participants showed in being vulnerable.
Recently I've been thinking a lot about how we have to walk through lessons and seasons more than once. It's a shame we don't learn all we need to learn the first time we encounter a lesson. Like children, it seems that we need constant reminders and experiences that help us re-learn the lessons He needs us to learn.
“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” - John 6:12
This verse is so powerful. Within the context of the story one could pass over this verse and think only of the left over food that the disciples were seeing. But if we dig a little deeper, it can transform how we view the events of our life.
Blind obedience is really hard. I see this in my kids, they want to know why, when, what and a million other questions along the way, but don't often obey blindly. Actually I'm kind of glad, because it means they question things in a healthy way, but there are times when we do just need to plain obey.
Desert is a dry, difficult place to be, with little or no physical refreshment to the body. Hot sun, dry heat, no water, and dangerous conditions, it's not a place to get lost! But for some reason God wants to 'allure' us there.
Life is an ocean. It's full of twists and turns, currents pulling you in directions you didn't know existed, it can get rough in an instant, but can also be so beautiful and refreshing at times too. I don't believe there has ever been a person who hasn't experienced the choppy, tumultuous times life can throw at us, even the most sheltered and luxurious of lives have these times. It's not always circumstantial, it's out inner being that can encounter these waves crashing in, and that is universal.
"Nothing can move me, Nothing can move me, Your joy came in the morning.. Your promise will keep me, Your word it will lead me, From death to life.."
Have you ever fallen in a fast flowing river? I have.
When I was a kid I used to go do water sports in the river which ran through the middle of the city. One time my wind sail caught a current of wind and took me out of the safe area, an inlet, or dock where we did our activities, and took me into the main body of water where I immediately felt the strong pull of a massively powerful river.
The woman with the alabaster jar has to be one of the most well known and loved stories in the Bible. It talks of a woman scorned, who should have been turned away and rejected, in the culture of the day, she was known to be unclean, she was thought to be embarrassing herself, and was a woman. All reasons for her to be forgotten. But she isn't forgotten, she is remembered, and Yeshua said himself that she would be remembered through the generations. For me, this is a beautiful thing which can't be ignored. Yes, she was embraced and accepted by Yeshua, but more than that - she was remembered. Appreciated. Her act was commemorated. Why?
"There is space only for you On the throne of my heart. I long and yearn to sit at your feet. Just to be with you, Just to stand in your presence, Just to see you in your Glory, Just to hear your voice This is all my soul desires"
It's really easy to say that we love God, we adore God, we put no one else before God, we worship God, we serve God, and a thousand other things about how we interact with God.
Ever dreamed of something, worked towards it tirelessly, imagined life as if the dream were the reality, but eventually given up on it? I think most of us have. We all have a deep place in our souls where we dream of what we could be. Our dreams for ourselves were often God's dreams for us, before he gave them to us to dream. I haven't often met someone whose childhood dreams bear no relation to who they are.
"Let the pressure be just right.Let the darkness be fleeting and never lonely,So that what comes forth is pure, and an oil you're pleased with"
On a recent family visit, I had the privilege of seeing my son operate an ancient olive press. He followed the instructions given to him perfectly, and pressed a few (not quite ripe!) olives and we saw the beginnings of oil coming forth from them.