Uproot

We’ve just started cleaning up my Mum property this week after years, maybe 10 or more of letting plants just grow. This house is not like your average backyard, it is a pretty huge section with trees, blackberry bush and craziness taking over.

I remember when some of the vines were tiny and picking of a few berries as a teen.

Now the roots run deep, it’s even hard to find where the source is, some vines had pulled down fences and our friend even came in with a digger to rip bushes out. But when we pulled them out and cut, dug, ripped those tree and bushes out we were all surprised how much room there was and how much light was getting into the section.

Oh how much is this like our lives. When we have something undealt with. An issue, hurt, insecurities, areas of weakness, unforgiveness, things we think we can just leave and walk away and months or years later we find ourselves crossing boundaries we have put up, saying, thinking or acting in ways which are not in line with how we would like to live, or helpful for a fruitful life.

It’s almost hard to find the root of the problem or the cause sometimes. “Why am I getting so angry?” …”Why can I not control that area of my life?”…..”Why am I so sensitive to those words”, I don’t know what it is but I know it could be a list of things for many people.

We can’t just leave things to “be” and hope time will make it “go away”.

We need to be open to cut down those brunches and find the source and uproot it. Getting healing and help through Jesus is the absolute best way and he sometimes makes us work through it slowly cutting each brunch and in some amazing points He comes in with that powerful word which is like the digger pulling everything out from the roots.

I am choosing to keep an eye out for any “brunches” that don’t look fruitful, cut them and uproot the source before it gets out of hand and am so excited for all the room there is for growth and fruitfulness in all areas of life as I do this.

It’s a New Year and isn’t that the best time to reflect and decide to do the best for yourself and those around you by letting Him transform you into your best!

Happy gardening 🙂

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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

Emotions

 “It’s just emotions taking me over….” 

One of the songs that were big in my teens. 

As we have seen this week through with goodbyes, tears, laughs, excitement and almost every emotion possible, I know that being ruled by emotion would get you nowhere fast. 

It’s been 5 and a half years since we made our move to Japan. We’ve surfed more than ever, enjoyed real hot summers with BBQs, made incredible friends, fell in love with each other all over again, discovered our gifts and flourished in Gods house. 

The broken couple that came here are now leaving as a family of three with a passion and love for Jesus and His church. So why would we leave? Why wouldn’t we just stay? When God called us to the next season it just had to be followed. We had to be ruled by Gods plan and his peace rather than emotion. 

Seriously, if I let my emotions rule me this week, I would have changed my mind and stayed and back to moving again hundreds of times, I probably would have told my bosses that I decided to stay and keep teaching! 

Our emotions have no steady bounds, it’s like the scripture being tossed and turned like the waves, the sea is beautiful and calm, the next it is full of danger and unpredictable tides and currents. 

I know that it’s easy to not “feel” like doing something or “feel” like saying something but God doesn’t want us to live this way, tired and unstable. 

So what do we do? 

We place our feet and soul firmly on His word. Follow his peace, presence and look for His way in every situation, isn’t it amazing that the Holy Spirit never ever leaves us and he comforts us and cheers us on.

When we feel overcome just talk to him “I need your help, show me your ways” and he will every time.

Let’s see the fruit of faithfulness in Gods ways and continue to build our foundation on his word so we can be steady and firm and ready to face new season, challenges and flourish in this great life He has blessed us with! 

Stuff

It’s been a full on few weeks sorting through our things as we prepare to move out of our house today. 

I am so surprised how much we have been blessed with and how we came to Japan with 2 suitcases and 2 surfboards and we have decided that’s how we should leave…apart from an extra suitcase and and extra human 😉 

We had everything we needed in our little house, beds, fridge, aircon, tv, car…everything and they were so useful for our lives. Now those things are no use to us and have been sold, given away or thrown out as junk. 

It really put into the reality of the importance of not chasing material things, how hard it is to let go of something if you work really hard for it and value it so highly.

These years have been spent chasing eternal valued things like souls, freedom, friendships, a closeness to God and I am so excited that I don’t have to throw any of those things away. 

The perspective of life as a foreigner on this earth is so much more realistic when you are leaving a place you once called your home in which it really wasn’t, it was a temporary place. 

I think as followers of Christ we should always be wise of course of the things we need but also keeping our greatest and most important treasures stored up in eternity, not limiting ourselves for being generous because we want to hold onto something or putting stuff no matter what it is in higher priority than Gods ways.

Trusting, seeking him first and keeping value on things that last, I think really gives peace and power to the person who does it! 

It’s always a good question to ask.

Am I chasing Him or I chasing stuff? 

Let’s let material stuff be stuff and not the reason why we love our lives. 

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭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

Finding my voice again

A few years ago I had to have an operation to cut off some nodules affecting my vocal chords.
The nodules changed my singing, work life and the way I spoke sounded husky and low. I’d lose my voice every couple of weeks and it was often painful to talk. 
After my operation I was told not to speak for 2 weeks…..2 weeks! These 2 weeks felt Like 2 months. I had to communicate by writing . No laughing, coughing or whispering allowed. I am someone who laughs everyday and loves to talk! I felt I had lost a big part of myself.

When it was time for me to get my check up and vocal training, the moment they asked me to speak my heart raced, I was so scared, would my voice sound weird? Would it hurt?
It felt like I was on the top of a cliff trying to jump into a water hole…I am terrified of heights. We just sat in silence.

The Doctor realized I was scared and took me through slow easy excerises to ease me into speaking again. Blowing bubbles through a straw, small breathing and talking. I hadn’t done before, I mean what adult needs to practice talking? 
When I heard my voice I was pretty surprised, I didn’t realize how much it had changed with the nodules. My voice was crisper, clearer, and strangely I was almost more familiar with the damaged state than my real voice.

Slowly, my voice became stronger, I started using my words more wisely, I chose the times where I would sing and when I wouldn’t, when to raise my voice, when to keep quiet, what was worth talking about and what was worth keeping to myself. 
Later that year I had one of the most memorable and powerful experiences, leading over a thousand people in a worship song in Japan, which I would not have been able to do if I have not gone through the operation. 
In life I think is the same, we get hurt, need to heal, change an area of our lives and suddenly we feel scared. Scared to say the wrong thing or to start again, will it hurt? Will it be weird? We are so used to our damaged state that being healed and whole is a little unfamiliar. 
But we need to try again, learning from our past mistakes and finding our voice again. 
Using the pause time to reflect, reassess and see what really is important and what you have been damaging yourself with. 

Part of the healing process is taking those steps forward to use what was once damaged. And like that vocal coach God sees our fears and he sees our uncertainty and he can guide us even in the smallest ways so that we can inturn find our voice again and help others in ways we couldn’t have unless we had overcome. 
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Your voice maybe just showing Gods love though you’ve been hurt.Being generous, though at one point you had nothing to give.Being a great friend though you’ve been rejected by others.It could be writing a song, committing to a church, following a dream. 
Whatever it is find your voice! 

Let’s take on the challenges, smile in the victories, get rid of the garbage, reflect, dream and trust God every step of the way. 
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬