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! 

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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

Why I am not enough

I often hear the saying “If you believe in yourself, you can do anything”. Well, that is definitely not true for me. 

I know I have faults, I am not perfect and need a consistent in my life that would help me through my high successes, struggles, decisions and relationships.

I need favor when there is a job interview or a decision that does not rely soley on me.

Trying to just “believe” in myself would only complicate, disappoint and falsify everything that is at work in my life. 

Believing in God and what Jesus has done for me on the cross I then can do life victoriously and do the impossible.
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭

I am not enough but Jesus is. 
He is enough:To help me to love more.

To show me direction.

To find me favor.

To open doors.

To close doors.

To give me peace.

To give strength.

To take away shame and regret.

To live victorious.

To dream.

To make a way when there seems no way.

To give me hope when hope is lost.

To give me joy.

To give me freedom.

To heal me.

To help me forgive.

To be a better Mum.

To be a better friend.

To be the best wife. 

To comfort me when I am sad.

To rejoice with me when I am happy.

To light my path.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭119:105‬ ‭

Gods words can light the way for each step I take. When it feel like there is darkness all around, He shows me the light and when I feel like there is nothing more in me to give , He pours his love and it overflows onto others. 

With Him all things are possible! 

There is nothing too insignificant or too large for him. 

Not depending on myself but depending on Him!

So if you are feeling like you are not enough…..that is 100% okay, because by yourself you may not be, BUT in Jesus you are more than enough.

I guess I could say “If you believe in JESUS, then you can do anything!”

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭

Who am I?

People find their identity in many things: nationality , History, Social status, What people have said about them, Facebook , Instagram followers, An accomplishment, a failure, Education, Job, Money, Things, Hobbies, Mother or Father, Talents and Gifts, Beauty, Children.

We are not these things, these may be things that we have done or have in this current time but we are not these things or situations.
We should be forever changing….
Let’s take some examples for us from the bible! 

 Who was David? Son, brother, shephard, singer song writer, warrior, king, adulterer, muderer, humble, friend.

Who was Peter? Fisherman, disciple, trustworthy, passionate, betrayer, friend, preacher, martyr.
We can see here that even people who we read about in the bible and look to for examples of people that God used continued to change, they had ups and downs. Sometimes they were good sometimes they were bad.
Sometimes they were confident sometimes they were scared, unsure.

Its easy to ask the question who am I? 

But we can be full of joy because we know God creates in us something that grows inside us and we continue to change. 

Phil1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

We cannot judge ourselves or anyone else based on their lowest point or their highest point because everyone has the potential to make a great decision or a bad one. 
Don’t feel ashamed or believe in something someone said negative about you.
Don’t think that bad decision or lowest point IS you.
Don’t think that that place where you felt great or had a victory is the high point Of your life and that’s that. 

God knew when we were born, when no one else did, HE knew what we are.

So expect more from life and believe God will continue to work in you and walk with you.

Discover him….so you can discover you.

Gods word= our identity.

What does his word say? Gods word brings light to our life showing us who we are and HOW to live!
For me I felt almost misplaced sometimes, Half Japanese- land of nowhere, where do I belong? An Only child, Fatherless, No family around me, A Victim, a horrible person. Married, a Mother, A Daughter, Sushi shop owner, a surfer, a Teacher, a friend.

When we moved to Japan everything was gone, my friends, my reputation, hobbies, what people knew about me, company…

I Just had my marriage and that could have been Easily gone.
But the Closer to God I got the more confident I got in life. There is more adventure in him. We sometimes make mistakes, I have fallen down, but I get up and shine, and I am full of hope and life because he doesn’t change and his view on us does not change.
Psalm119: 105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

We can find our true identity in Christ as Gods child.
You are Highly favored.

You are Fearfully and wonderfully made.

You are a Friend of God….famous in his eyes.

You are Loved.

You are Precious – bought with a price.

You are the Body of Christ – we all are a part of it. You are needed and function as his hands and feet.

You are Given what Jesus has! 

When we can be sure of who we are, it brings a confidence more than what you could have if it was based on something or someone or an action. 

One with Christ- we are not striving to be more of something.
We are not scared of what others think.

We are not held back by thoughts of failure or regret. We Become more confident to be all we are created to be!

I can’t do anything more to be more Gods child, But I want be the best I can be for God because I love him! 

If we base our value and identity on Things that cannot be taken away, we can rise higher and be more than we thought or dream of and God sees it all! 

Discover and be more confident daily, knowing who you really are!