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

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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

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?