I’m going to put this under my answered prayer bit because my prayer about my oak tree picture (read 3rd-9th October) is being answered and I felt I should share this:
Over the week my mind kept flitting back to the oak tree image from the other week and I had another image of me sitting against the trunk of the oak tree this time. My back was against the trunk and my head was buried in a book.
I think that it symbolises how I’ve moved more into God’s embrace but also how there is a way to go, my head needs to come out of the book and look around…baby steps.
Monday was my day off – definitely a welcome break. I’ve started to come down with a bit of a cold although it’s getting better quickly, thank goodness! I spent the day watching TV and having a day where I allowed myself to feel ill and just rest – it was nice to do that and know I had the right to do that (I reckon I could get used to spending more time on myself!).
In the evening Alex and I went to young adults and in the prayer time I really felt like God has some more things he needs me to work through – it’s exciting to be in this process of continual change, to be constantly ‘under-construction’. That isn’t ever going to change though, even as an 80 year old woman I will hunger to be changed and renewed by God, continually learning more and more about God’s heart and spirit. Don’t lose your hunger, and don’t for one second think that God is finished with you, He is constantly moulding you to be more like Him – why deny Him that pleasure? Is He not the safest risk that you’ll ever take?
Tuesday was a team meeting, so that went on for a bit, I’ve got some time off in November which will be really nice – means I can see my family (I know they’re dying to see me). We started off the meeting by studying the passage 1 John 3:1 ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called Children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him’. We all focused on a part that stood out to us – I focused on the word lavish. As someone who loves words and their etymology I was straight in there finding out what the word meant.
I’m focusing on the highlighted bit – torrent of rain (isn’t torrent a great word?) – God’s love is raining down on us in a torrent, He’s literally flooding everything we are with His love. How great is that!?
The whole ‘torrent of rain’ reminds me of a picture I was given back in August when I was struggling to see how much God loved me:
God’s love covers us completely, but also, we have a choice whether to stand under that cloud. Perhaps you’ve just got an arm in the cloud, maybe you’re not fully in God’s shower of love, perhaps you’re not under the cloud at all and you’re stood outside looking up at the cloud and seeing the love but not feeling it touch you. I get that there isn’t necessarily a quick fix to this for some of you, but I challenge you to pray that you will be bold enough to live in the torrent of God’s love, that you will be washed by the flood of God’s love for you and that you will be confident enough to take that step under the cloud.
On Tuesday evening Alex and I made a birthday card for Jack – it’s super cool, like a guitar and it’s got some funky plectrums with bible verses on them – hopefully we’ve nailed it.
Wednesday was sorting out the unit which was fun, I really enjoy sorting with people (as long as it isn’t my stuff!). In the evening Alex, Rebi and I came home from work and did a really quick Aldi shop (we’re calling it a spaldi – speedy Aldi) so we could bake a carrot cake for Jack’s birthday, we timed it to perfection and everything, the cake was baked just in time for us to grab the chinese and get to Pete’s for the evening. We played articulate which went on forever but it was a really good night – even though we missed the Bake Off.
Thursday was Jack’s birthday so we got into the office early to put up balloons and banners (we even made him a birthday crown!). We ate the carrot cake, oh my goodness, don’t think I’ve ever tasted a cake as good as that! The recipe is HERE if you want to see what I’m talking about! We spent most of the day sorting out the unit which now has a fabulous meeting room in the corner. It was hard work but definitely worth it to see how tidy it can be!
Friday was my study day. Every other week I have a study day with Alex which is going to be hard for me as I’d really like them to be introvert days – it gives me a really good chance to re-energise and spend time alone with God, purely focusing on my relationship with Him.
A couple of years ago I was given a picture of me with a stone heart but also the reassurance that God wanted to break away the stone from my heart and give me a new one so I can love as readily as I used to. Last week when I went for coffee with Jack and Rebi I realised that this was still pretty evident, the stone wall I’d put around my heart was definitely still there protecting me from any sort of harm from anyone who could possibly get close to me. In my suggested study stuff it was looking at the heart. I felt totally distracted and subsequently infuriated at that distraction because I wanted to give my full attention to this issue so I could try and make progress with working through it. I think that the distraction was an attack from the enemy simply because He knows that my heart is an important component in God’s plan for my life and while I’m not addressing that issue I’m not a threat – I want to be a threat, a dangerous woman who is not going to take anything from the devil, I’m hanging up the phone when he calls, I’m not listening to his lies, he called the wrong woman of God – WRONG NUMBER!
Saturday Alex and I had a nosey at this place called Jones of Shropshire, it’s basically a long shed that sells vintage things, sadly we didn’t find anything although there were some really lovely things. We then saw a banner for a flea market in Shrewsbury – being new to Wolverhampton we had no idea what sort of direction/how far away Shrewsbury was and so we decided to take a trek. Turns out it wasn’t that far away, about a half hour drive. It was a little disappointing, we think a lot of the stalls had packed up and gone but you win some, you lose some. We took a trip into the town afterwards so we could get some lunch – we ended up in M&S for lunch (I felt so classy) before having a look round the charity shops and a quick look in paperchase for a 2017 diary. I found diary and even got a jumper and a top from a charity shop! All in all we had a successful day! Alex and I then took a trip to go and help Rebi a little bit while she was babysitting which was fun, we played with them for a bit before bath time and dinner. We then came home and made dinner before sitting down in front of the TV to watch Devil wears Prada. All in all, a very good day!
Sunday. My first week at church! I’m being taught a few things about church already. The first thing is that God is not always at church, that I won’t always find Him there so I need to stop relying on my routine of church each week in order for me to get my God ‘fix’. And secondly that community is church, that friendship is church, that evangelism is church, that church is not the building. I already knew that church was not the building but it was something that I regularly forgot, I really enjoyed going to the building. My first Sunday I didn’t go to a church building and the same for the second Sunday and the third Sunday. By Sunday number two I was already feeling uneasy about not going to church regularly, it felt weird to me, that was how I connected with God, at least that’s how I thought I did. Turns out that God works in more than one way (mind-blowing, I know!) so church for me is a weird thing, its no longer an imperative on a Sunday but I don’t think it’s lost its importance either.
This week I did manage to make it to church, I went to St Matthew’s where Rebi was speaking. Guess what, she spoke about heart issues – funny how God speaks to us isn’t it! There are definitely some things I need to work through, although they are unclear at this point in time.
Having recently done St Matt’s church weekend away meant that I already knew a handful of the congregation which was really nice. One thing that really made me realise how much of an impact Pulse had had on those children that weekend was how when they saw that I was at church they ran over and gave me hugs and said hi and showed me their bracelets from the weekend. It made me realise that I had influenced these kids more than I knew and when you do a weekend and then leave it’s really easy to forget how much you may have changed a child’s life, it’s really easy to think that actually your teaching was rubbish that week and they probably haven’t taken anything away from what you’ve said but this week I was reminded of how God was using me to speak into their lives. I am in this year for a purpose bigger than I know, I was not thrown here randomly, I was handpicked for this year. It astounds me how God blesses me each day and how He chose me specifically for this year, it fills me with joy to be able to do this for God’s glory.
- That I am protected from the devil’s attempts at stalling me.
- For clarity in those things I need to deal with.
- Prayer for those whose lives I speak into, for those who I reach out to, for those who have met God through me, that their relationship with God continues, that their hunger increases.