Welcome to my attempt to live fully and honestly, to sing out the song of myself, to truly know who I am......

.....either that or the ramblings of a barely coherant, tired out mum of two!!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Spring has sprung!!

The sunlight is finally here - I'm in short sleeves, the windows are open, the flowers are looking beautiful, so many blessings.

In the midst of the beauty of the sunsoaked English countryside I pause and thank God for his many blessings and bring before him the needs of those here and around the world for whom the sun does not shine so bright.

For my friend and colleague and her husband enduring the grief of separation brought about by alzheimers.
For Japan - the bereaved, those made homeless, those affected by radiation, those bravely facing life threatening danger to make the nuclear plants safe.
For Libya - for those standing for justice, for the wounded, for the bereaved and yes even for Gadaffi.
For the People of Bahrain and Yemen.
For Israel and Palastine.

So much sorrow and violence but our God is bigger and stronger and loves all that he has made. Amen.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

New Wine Ladies Day - Harrogate.

It would be impossible for me to describe the New Wine ladies day in Harrogate last Saturday. Oh there are plenty of superlatives - fantastic, wonderful, awe-inspiring, amazing etc etc. And whilst all of them are true none seem quite adequate to the task. They are not superlative enough.

It was my first ever New Wine event and so I didnt really know what to expect. In many ways it offered the standard fair for this type of event - Worship, talks and call to prayer. Nothing out of the ordinary for a big, Christian get together.

I guess the thing that made it so great for me was the state I entered the venue and the state I came out.

I did not realise how depressed I had become. For months now I have been going down hill - finding each day harder to cope with than the last. I had thought that after my last bout of depression I would be able to spot the signs if it ever came back. I was wrong.

The depression slipped in one day, unannounced, unnoticed, uninvited. It slipped in like a sleek black cat and made a nest in my heart. Slowly over the months it spread its influence, blocking the light and sucking out all the colour in my world.

The tiredness grew and grew until I was barely functioning. I lost the ability to enjoy my kids and just grew more annoyed by their noise and exuberance. I forgot how to laugh and enjoy life.

Then I went to Harrogate.

As we entered the building I was aware almost immediately of the atmosphere. The place was heavily packed out but my usual fear of crowds stayed away. There was a buzz of excitement and expectation and a palpable prescence of God.

We found our seats and the worship began. I didnt know any of the songs but was able to sing them anyway. There was a talk and then a break. I felt safe and happy - a feeling that had not been mine for quite a long time.

Then there was another talk and a call to prayer. Usually with this kind of thing I sit in my seat thinking 'I'm not going down there - you can't make me'. But this time I was up and clambering over the back of the seat before I knew what was happening.

A week or so ago I filled in a 'Spiritual Gifts' questionnaire. The session had been about spiritual gifts. My questionnaire result had placed 'Prophecy' at the top of my gifts list - much to my surprise. I told the lady - her name was 'Sharon' too - about the questionnaire and she prayed and I prayed and everyone was praying. Afterwards she said she had seen me dressed in armour with the words 'Warrior of God'. Me?, a warrior?, lol! I wondered how this could be since I am so unsure of myself, so lacking in self confidence. Then we had lunch.

After lunch there was another session. It was about how women often suffer self confidence issues.....
She told us that we are daughters of the King of Kings.
We are clothed in righteousness.
We are strong and courageous women.
and we are commanded to be confident.

Another call to prayer and again I was keen to get to the front. We were prayed over. We were encouraged to take a step forward - to step out of the chains and the shackles of the past and to step into a new reality where we see ourselves as God sees us. I stepped.

They prayed that we may have Gods steel in the core of our being. That our backbones would fill with steel to make us strong and courageous. My neck felt warm despite the fact I was standing under an air conditioning unit. The warmth grew and flowed down my spine. I unfurled and felt 10 feet tall.

I entered the venue under the cloud of depression. Tired, bowed down, deeply unhappy.
I left several hours later into the bright and shining Son light. walking on air a daughter of the King of Kings, clothed in righteousness, a warrior of God, strong and courageous.

I am still smiling, though the tiredness remains I know His grace will give me strength enough for today.

Our God is a great big God and He holds us in his hands.

My humblest and most heartfelt thanks to the facillitators and speakers on Saturday but my biggest thanks are to the God who loves us and will not let us go.

Lent 2011

I decided this year not to give anything up for Lent.

I decided instead to do more of the things that are good for me.

I have bought Tom Wright's 'Lent for Everyone - Matthew - Year C'.

I have dug out my 'Common Worship - Daily Prayer'

I am listening to and singing with two New Wine worship CD's.

I am being more aware of God - attempting to walk more closely with the God who loves me. I am trying to listen harder for that still small voice and when I hear it to do or say what he tells me to.

I am learning to cast off all the baggage that has held me captive and step into a new reality.

Pray for me, with me as I begin this new way of doing Lent.