I wanted to get revenge.

Have you ever felt angry or hurt by someone and just wanted to get revenge? I know every person in this world has had a moment where they have been wronged, even my 3 year old son!

When I was in my last year of elementary school I stopped going because I was getting bullied. My Mum started taking me to work and I begged her to let me change schools. I went to a new school, made some friends and enjoyed going.

The first year of college I had my new friends to hang out with and I felt confident that the people that used to make me feel so low, deserved to feel the same way as they had made me feel. I would call them names, shout stuff at them at lunchtime, pull their hair in class and throw the top seal of my yogurt at them. At the end of the year one of the girls gave me a Christmas card and a small present and I had this flood of guilt come over me. I had acted out of hurt and resentment but It made me more angry and more bitter and not a nice person at all. I made the decision that the next year I would show love, forgiveness and kindness to people around me and not try and repay the feeling that I had felt back, why would I ever want someone to feel like that anyway! Even at the age of 14 I knew I was suppose to live and love differently than what the normal is.

Recently, I have been reading about David in the Bible. King Saul who was his father in-law, the king that he had helped get through many battles, his best friends father and the one he played music to make him calm, was determined to kill David. Chasing him and sending armies after David. Because Saul was Jealous of David he tried to take his life. David hid in caves and literally ran from his home to stay alive.

What really spoke to me in this all of this how David responded, when David got the chance to kill Saul he chose not to but instead said these very words “As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,’ so my hand will not touch you.” ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭24:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

There are so many chances to repay evil with evil, but God has called us to repay hurt with love and forgiveness and when we do that, we can live free lives, free from the weight of holding onto Past hurts, “I should have said this” or next time “I’ll show them.” We can’t control other peoples actions, but we can control how we respond and act. Let God be God in your situation. Don’t dwell on the wrongs that have been done , don’t let yourself be weighed down by a chance to get revenge, but look at the good and that Jesus has set us free, He wants us to live differently, go to Him for healing not holding onto the chance for revenge because he doesn’t want that to be our burden or our responsibility. Instead of cursing, love. In place of  hate, bring Gods ways into every area of your life. God will have his way fully in your life because you have let Him. 

And now that I think of it, if I had never felt the need to move schools, I may have not made one the the most precious friendships that I still have to this day.

Ecclesiates 3:11 “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

 

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You are doing it wrong.

I went to the park with my son who must of been about 1 and a half at the time. We had a small local playground at the end of our street which consisted of two swings and a slide.

Koa really wanted to go on the swing but it had been hitched up so that it could swing higher for bigger kids. I started trying to untangle the swing and get it to come down a few notches, and I just couldn’t do it. After a few minutes a little voice came out from across the park which said “Your’e doing it wrong”. It was a little 5 year old girl who proceeded to show me how to bring the swing back down again.

I just got schooled by a five year old. She knew more than me.

How many times do we feel like we don’t know enough to give something of value to others, or that others may not have enough “experience” to teach us something.

I really learnt that day that I can learn from anyone at any age and I always have something to give this earth that someone needs. No matter what stage of life that they are in.

Don’t limit yourself by looking at others without value, you may just learn something from them, and don’t limit others by holding back what you have inside to give!

Our experiences and lives may all look slightly different and that’s what makes us all important for helping each other out. Remind your kids that, remind yourself that and always be ready to be a student and teacher.

 

1 Timothy 4:12 New International Version (NIV)

12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Why I gave up my religion

We walked into the basement of the venue….late, my husband and I got off at the wrong train station and then we walked over 20 minutes to where the church service was being held in Yokohama, Japan. I didn’t really want to go in the first place. I had not been to church properly for over 2 years and my plane ticket to Japan was suppose to be a ticket from people asking where I was on Sunday or if I wanted to go to church this week. Yet, here I was walking in late to a service in the middle of the city in Japan.

That day I gave up my “religion”. The realness of Why we were there and Why I had felt such a draw to Japan was in this very moment. As soon as I walked in the room with band playing, my heart felt home. And I knew THIS IS WHY. I had crossed the open sea and God was waiting for me.

Religion comes in a lot of forms. I think as a Christian I have to be careful that I don’t fall under the mistake of following a religion but living my beliefs and realities with Christ. Growing up knowing “right and wrong” and just trying to live right won’t be enough, and we will always eventually fail and feel guilty, instead I started pursuing Christ, reading his word, discovering what He wanted for me, acting out of obedience and love to what I thought was my next step towards greatness and every time falling more and more in love with Jesus and less and less with “Religion”.

It’s not about following “rules” (religion) but about following Jesus (life). God doesn’t want us in pursuit of following rules and doing everything perfect, He wants us to discover his huge love and passion for us no matter where we are at and from that everything else will follow.  I wasn’t sharing Christ with others because I had to, but because I wanted them to discover him. I wasn’t showing up early  to set up at church because someone expected me to, but because it was a privilege and I was excited to, I wasn’t reading my bible and worshiping God to tick it off my list but to genuinely hear from Him. The church is suppose to be there for us to gather around our passion for Jesus and how He can transform lives, don’t go to show face, don’t go to make yourself “fell good”. Go to discover, go to be around people who will build you up, go to build up others, and number one find your relationship with Christ, worship, read his word and don’t be afraid of failing but be ready to fall in Love all over again, because there is nothing more refreshing that new love.

What an incredible journey, adventure and fun I have with Christ. Discovering everyday a little bit more of what he has in store. Even now I find myself looking ahead with great anticipation and expectant to see more happen in my life. It is sweet and beautiful and sometimes scary, but  living with Christ is the best and surely when I gave up my “religion” and started a full on pursuit for Christ, everything became more fruitful and I didn’t just grow fuller but my fruit could help others too.

 

1 Corinthians 10:31 New Living Translation (NLT)

31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Don’t be fooled

There’s a common thing that happens to surfers when we go out into the sea, after checking the surf, we paddle out and then while waiting for a set of waves to roll in, looking down to our left or right and the waves look like they are breaking better and more frequantly, If we paddle down and look where we just were, guess what? The waves look like they are breaking better and more frequently there! If you’re not careful you can end up spending your time paddling to and from and just wishing you were at either place!

I have to remind myself in that situation not to be fooled, which is sometimes so hard.

Quite often if I am patient the waves will come to me or it’s just an illusion that it’s better either side of me.

Hello, real world. What about our life situations?

We may feel when we look to the left or to the right at someone’s else’s life or on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagra, other families , lifestyles that life would be better “somewhere else” or our situation would be so much more fulfilling doing what “someone else is doing”.

The thought “if only” will kill your joy and ability to enjoy life where you are at.

If only I had a partner who was like this.

If only I had this thing.

If only I lived in that country.

If only I had a family like that.

If only I had more money.

If only I had more time.

If only I was taller, smarter, funnier, more talented.

Then I would be happy.

Setting goals and pushing forward towards your best is such a great and powerful thing to do, but it is also important to learnt how to find joy and happiness where you are now, enjoying being patient, achieving things, being content with what you have, because unless we learn how to be able to be filled with joy where we are at now there is no job, no partner, no place, no material thing, that will make you find it because it comes from within.

Enjoy your place now.

Enjoy your relationships now.

Enjoy where you are at in your life now.

Be content and see how much it can transform your life!

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I only have this…. 

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:17-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Oh how many times have I felt like this, being asked to do something or help someone beyond what I feel I have to give. 

In the scripture above Jesus was asking the disciples to feed thousands of people, and in their eyes they wanted to send them away because they “didn’t have enough”.  

Yeah, if I was there I would be thinking the exact same thing….” but we only have this”

When I first started writing this blog weekly this was exactly how I felt. I really want to impact people, share Gods love and lift others up. I was honestly asking myself what platform I could use…I had only limited time, limited resources, limited opportunities to share. I said to Jesus “I only have this, but I give it to you and if it impacts one person that’s enough for me”. It’s been about 8 months now and there’s been over 2000 people who have read something, I have had so many people message or tell me how they have been impacted by the blog, being ready to draw closer to God again, realize their value in him and other stories of healing because I gave what I had to be used. 

Jesus asked the disciples to bring whatever they had and give it to him and when they did he blessed what they gave, they handed it out to the people and there was more than enough.
When we find ourselves saying “I only have this” and give whatever small portion we do have to Jesus, he multiplies it through us. Supplies what others needed but doesn’t leave us without, actually we are left with more than what we started with. 
Whether it be in friendship, sharing Gods word, money, time, resources, prayer or talents, whatever it is that you feel God asking to give to him to bless and help others just do it! Of course what we have is not enough, or else we wouldn’t need faith! 
But with Him we have more than enough. 

Could you imagine yourself impacting one person with what you have….how about thousands? There’s really no limit to what God can do through you! 

Things start out small 

When we plant any seeds, in the natural we expect a harvest. 

I tried gardening once….it was pretty bad. I don’t have a green thumb that’s for sure and to be honest I’m pretty neglectful and lazy when it comes to watering, weeding and getting rid of bugs. My landlord once saw my garden and felt sorry for me, it was pretty funny. The next day my Landlord came and planted a whole lot of tomatoes that he had grown from seeds, he would care for then every day and of course they reduced beautiful tasting tomatoes! 

When we plant in our lives in differnt areas we will get something from it.

You want better friends? Sow seeds of good friendship, stop and ask “Is this going to be a good seed or am I planting a weed?”.
For friendships:

Praying for our friends, encouraging, giving, to them, spending time together. You want better environment at work? What seeds are you planting? Is this word I’m speaking or Attitide I have and am I saying good things about my work collegues or boss. 

Is this a Good seed or a weed?

We can plant seeds daily towards many areas of our lives; work, love towards others, love towards self, relationships, healing, finances, gift development, spiritual, goals.

No one has a garden and decides to plant weeds. So why do we do it so many times in our daily lives? 

 Asking God to take away the bad more room for good is a great way to “garden” our lives. 

I’m sure we all want greatness and good stuff in our lives and the results always come from the small seeds that we plant today. Keep planting and being aware of what “kind” of seed you’re planting and have vision to see something big and great come from it! 
“Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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