Seasons 

As we start to get ready to move from Japan after 5 and a half years of living here it’s made me think a lot about seasons in life. 
So here is some advice for myself and anyone else about seasons and change.

1. Get rid of stuff that is not useful for your next season. At the moment I’m literally throwing out bags of stuff I don’t need. Great things or even holding onto “junk” past problems or unhealthy relationships will stop you from moving forward and getting the most and being the most you can be in your new season.
2. Keep the important and useful. Right now we are preparing to do two months in Bali and then go back to NZ summer, what use would it be if I brought all my winter stuff with me? On the other end of the scale it would be silly not to bring my summer gear or my surfboard. What does that look like with regard to seasons in life? Keeping great knowledge, training and experiences for the new season. Getting rid of the bad, hurts or titles. 
3. You can know the what of the next step but sometimes you may not know the how. How can I afford this? How will I do it? What it will it look like? That’s why the bible says “His words light our path” 

4. Whatever it is you’re doing and whoever you are doing it with, the people you impact is not just for the season you did it in. There can be seeds there that grow for eternity.

5. Trust in God and prepare. Maybe God’s calling you to a new job, a new country, there are changes happening in your family or or workplace. Whatever it is, do your homework and be prepared and then trust God to do the rest. 

We should trust in faith and take action.

5. Walk into the next season intentionally. I know, sometimes we just really want to hold onto summer, it’s like we don’t want to let go but it’s inevitable. So with seasons in our lives.  In Japan there have been many seasons and I remember clearly at one point saying “This is so awesome, the people around us are so awesome, I wish it would stay like this”. But if it did, my friends wouldn’t be married, or have kids, I wouldn’t have a son, others wouldn’t have the opportunities that they do now and of course so many other things I could not imagine at that time! If we held onto and resisted the change.

 6. Wherever you go, show people they are appreciated and loved. It’s a priceless thing and travels over many distances and time lines. 

7. Each season is preparation for the next.

8. With Jesus the best is always yet to come and that is a very exciting way to live! 

“but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”‭‭Psalm‬ ‭1:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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Why I stopped posting negative stuff.

I used to air every annoyance, or complaint that I had, something that someone did against me or something I didn’t like to someone on social media.I’d try find humorous ways or just blatantly say it. I mean who gets harmed by my negativity anyways……
If you follow any of my posts or social media you won’t find anything negative on there. Not a story, a complaint or a joke. Years ago I decided to stop.

Why? 

I realized I have the power to impact people in a positive or a negative way, I can show the good that’s happening in life or talk about the imperfections. 

I believe part of the importance of being a Christian is showing hope, joy and the choice of happiness in this world rather than soaking up and spilling out the negativity which is everywhere.

I’d rather be around someone who uplifts me and leaves me feeling great than around someone who leaves me feeling angry, hopeless and annoyed at the world around me. 

Before every lifegroup we ask “Who has good news”. Why do we start like this? It’s to make us start by focusing on the good that happened this week and shift our eyes to gratitude. 

Are we gonna be the darkness? Or are we gonna be the light? 
I wanna be the light! The world is full of darkness, but darkness doesn’t inspire or give life, light and love do. 

That is my why. 
When people see what I write, what I post, I want their eyes and souls to be soaking up something good and not bad. So what I choose to put up is what I’m choosing to give others and what I choose to read is what I’m choosing to feed my soul.

This scripture pretty much sums it up. 

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”‭‭ Matthew‬ ‭6:22-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So you’re lucky enough to know my weak points.

Why does it seem that people are able to talk about someone they hardly know so well but those close to them are full of weaknesses?
It’s actually a privilege to know someone’s weakness. We often can see someone’s good points very fast, it’s almost like they are highlighted to us and as we get closer we see that this person is full of blemishes. 
If someone knows me very well and they choose to be my friend and love me despite my imperfections then I’ve just found a good friend.
What we choose to do with our overall knowledge of this person is where the level of friendship and Gods love comes in.
Do we choose to shine light on this persons strengths to others or do we tell others what we have observed or know about our friends faults. 
“Oh yes, she’s super generous but she doesn’t know how to save”

“She’s a good singer but she isn’t good at this and this”

“Yeah she’s got a high paid job but she talks about it too much”

What we decide to say shapes other people’s images of our friends and families.
We choose what words come out our mouth and what we choose to say to others. 
I want people to find out that I have been taking behind their back but in a good way, shining light on their good points and speaking life about them. 

How amazing if someone finds out you have been talking about them and they say “wow she really said that about me” and instead of feeling hurt they are feeling uplifted and empowered. 

There is no perfect person, no perfect family, no perfect church, job, husband or wife. The closer you get you will know and see the amazing and not so amazing parts and it’s a privilege to see those things.

Let’s choose to shine and give life to people, whether they are in the room or not. Speaking life and love about our relationships. 

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Is it bad or is it good? 

I recently read a story about a lady who had young children and was struggling trying to juggle getting her kids to the beach while carrying all their stuff, while passing an old man he said to his wife “wow weren’t those the days?”. While she was having a hard moment, the man relaxing on the beach was remembering similar situations as cherished times.

It is so easy to simply look ahead or behind. Sometimes thinking and waiting and struggling that this could not a time to look back on and enjoy, but it is. This could be the moment you look back and say “I remember when I had nothing, when my children always wanted me, that I had to study so hard, when I overcame, when I had time. Believing the best is today and that there is purpose in it for our lives is so important!

We can shine through having an Attidude of Gratitude.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

We all have stuff to do. If we do it with a good attitude and being excited to do it, it’s gonna bring a possitive result.

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” ‭Philippians‬ ‭2:14-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It says when we do anything without complaining we stand out….we shine.

It’s doesn’t say: when we try be super holy or when we pray or  sing super loud at church. It’s saying when we live day to day with a good attitude we stand out!

Some people always seem to have a problem and some people always have a good story to tell of a victory or something good that’s happened to them. I don’t think “bad” things always happen to the same people and “some people are just lucky”.

It’s all Based on life attitudes and if you read the stories in the bible God really doesn’t like it when we grumble and complain.

If you take a look in the story of Moses it talks about a whole generation of people missing out on the best thing and seeing the promised land because they complained about their situation.

How many great and best things or promises have we missed because we were too busy grumbling about the journey to get there?

Getting a good emotional hygiene is just as important as body hygiene.

Brush teeth – so they are clean and don’t smell, wash face – so you’re clean and fresh, have a shower, stop complaining and put on some of that grateful lotion (it smells really good).

Having dishes to do means food on the table, rent to pay means a roof over our head, report for the boss…. a job, busy studying means the opportunity to get an education, coming early for church a chance to use your gifts, stuck in traffic equals a car that’s working, taking a test another time for progress.

It’s going to effect us and those around us and most importantly who we are as a person when we see things and live with this perspective.

The grass is always greener on the other side……it probably rained a lot over there.

What can you be grateful for and what areas do you need to see God in your situation?

I know so many areas I need to thank God for! I know he doesn’t owe me anything yet he continues to give me so much.

Let’s choose to shine bright like the previous scripture said and if you find yourself in a bad mindset wash some of that negativity off by finding some things to be thankful for.

I wonder who we can impact just by having an attitude of gratitude?