My Little Dandelion

Bursting through the doors, she lets her hair hang loose. So no one will see her face, no one will see her tears and no one will see her pain.

She’s the kind of girl who’s smile could light up an entire room, she has the rosiest of cheeks but past all that is her eyes, eyes filled with suffering. Not just her own but the world’s.

She is delicate like a dandelion, it would only take one blow for her to fall apart. Their words were sharper than they knew. They came out so quick yet they still made a dent. As if someone had kicked the dandelion and it was now on it’s side.

Foo

She falls to the floor. She was filled with so many wishes, so many hopes and dreams. Her chest feels tighter now as she tries to take a breath. All she can hear is their words spinning round her head. Her eye catches the sharpener on the desk, she knows what it is capable of. It’ll make it all stop. She takes a step closer, it’s almost as if it’s calling her name. Slowly her hand stretches out to reach for it but she doesn’t.

Her eyes have been drawn to the dusty old book in the corner. The book that once meant so much, that once was her everything.

Foo

The dust flies through the air. Randomly she opens up the book at psalm 118. The bright fluorescent highlighted verse reads; “In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free.” She falls to the floor just like before except this time she cries out to her Father.

Foo

She rises to her feet again. She is no longer alone, she no longer carries her grief but He does. Now just like my precious dandelion she floats through life unfazed by the words of others. All because Jesus carries her.

Our words matter. They have an effect on others, sometimes a good effect but often a not so good effect. Do you still remember that time someone said something hurtful to you? How did it make you feel, do you still feel that way? You could be having that effect on someone. Maybe you think it’s okay because they did a horrible thing to someone else. But we can’t use someone’s past mistakes to excuse our words.

“Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

Proverbs 15v4

“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Proverbs 16v24

It darkens are soul, and can cause us to become negative. Not only does hurting others hurt them but it effects us. We were given a voice to help others grow and not to hide away. So why don’t we strive to encourage, build up others instead of trying to tear them down. Fill their lives with hope. Impact someone, and plant your seeds of kind words. Don’t make it a rare thing, Dandelions are seen in most places and so your caring words should be heard everywhere you go.

Today I challenge you to write out the words that have made their mark on you. Then tear them up or put them in a fire. Let them go, place them at the Father’s feet. Allow Him to free you from this burden you’ve been carrying. Before you speak; ask yourself will this help or harm the individual. Your words matter.

xx

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So much more

Valentine’s Day. What’s your first thoughts that spring to mind when you hear those two words? For me it’s couples, flowers, chocolates and love. But why do we automatically think that we have to receive something today in order to feel loved. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and there’s all kinds of love so why do we think Valentine’s Day has to be a celebration of romantic love.

The bible talks of four kinds of love:

Eros- a romantic love

Storage- a family love

Philia- a friendship love

Agape-God’s love

About a week or so ago I was reading a devotion by UCB The Word and at the end they sometimes give you an activity or challenge. At the end of this devotion it encouraged readers to read over 1 Corinthians 13v3-8. I’ve read this passage before but this time I found myself reading it in the message version and I absolutely feel in love with how it was worded.

“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies.”

1 Corinthians 13:3-7 (MSG)

Anytime before when I read this passage I always thought of Eros; a romantic love. But now I see it’s truly about Agape; God’s love.

You see just because your not in a romantic relationship doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate or enjoy Valentine’s Day. There’s three other kinds of love you can celebrate instead.

Today I’m choosing to celebrate Agape love and I challenge you to do the same. How do you do this? Why not write a letter for God instead of sending a card. Instead receiving a gift, why not receive God’s word; reading over 1 Corinthians 13v3-8, John 3v16, Romans 5v8 or even the fathers love letter. Instead of going on a date, have a date with God; whether that’s in worship, prayer, reading, bible journalling.

The greatest gift you’ll receive today is the unfailing, never-ending, self-sacrificing love of God.

xx

Hope amongst hopelessness

I don’t often talk about my grandparents because I think I’ll become attached inevitably making it hurt more.  Sometimes you need to tell yourself to wise up and enjoy the precious moments you have like singing for your granda, actually sitting with your granny and not with your head in a book or even listening to granda as he tells you how precious you are. These moments won’t be here forever so enjoy them and talk about them. This is me sharing a part of my heart not many have seen.

A man came to my granny’s house. Let’s call him ‘D’. How can it be that one day she’s quiet but kind and the next she’s angry and sad all at the same time. D came and stole my granny. The tv tells you men like D won’t change your granny, but obliviously the tv hasn’t met my granny. Long gone are the days my visits brought smiles to her face, I’m not even sure if she recognises my face anymore. The tired eyes, the distant stares; looks like no one is in there. She cries out ‘when can I go home?’, ‘it’s not fair, I’m all alone.’ Not even a new born baby is enough to bring my granny back.

Once again I find him in his bed unwilling to rise and face another day. You see not only D did take my granny, he exchanged my granda for a strange man. He tells me he misses her and is awfully lonely at home. He loves to visit her, except for when D keeps him in his bed. There was a time my granda loved a walk but because of D his new found love is sleep.

D is poop; dementia is poop. I decided to do a little research on dementia. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051. 225,000 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes. 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia, (shoutout to the Alzheimer’s society for their statistics). Reading those numbers honestly broke my heart but it also gave me a little peace knowing I’m not alone and that you probably know someone who suffer(s/ed) from dementia.

Hope? Where is it when sickness keeps throwing hopelessness in our faces. There’s so much hope in the bible but we struggle to listen or believe it because we have become so bitter. We don’t want to hear what God has to say unless it is; my precious child your loved one has been made well. Take a moment now, throw any and all bitterness away. Just for a minute. Listen to what He has to say;

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

Isaiah 53v4-5

When they’re too weak to carry on Jesus carries them!! This reminds me of plaque that I have in my room;

“One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belong to him and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that along the path of his life there was sometimes only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me. The Lord replied my precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you see only one set of footprints it was then I carried you.”

-Footprints

Perhaps you think you’re walking this journey alone or that Jesus has turned away from you and the one you care so dearly for. But I promise you He’s there, holding your hand, and on the darkest He’s carrying you. Not only does Jesus see your pain, He knows your pain. Sickness is not Jesus’ way of punishing us for our sins because Jesus already paid that price on the cross. And because He hung on the cross we are able to be healed. So don’t loose hope for healing, Jesus healed then and He will heal now. Cling tight to his promises like in Romans (I’m a big fan of this verse);

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

Romans 8v18

What a promise! Everything will be okay in the end. Even if we have to say goodbye to some special people Jesus’ promises it will be okay again. We will be okay. Not only will we be okay, we’ll be even better than before. Goodness is coming. When I was writing this blog post I came across a verse in proverbs;

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17v22

I wasn’t sure at first how this was relevant as my granny doesn’t smile anymore never mind having a joyful heart. But perhaps it’s us who need the joyful hearts. When I visit my granda he smiles from ear to ear. Just seeing me is sometimes enough to get up or to eat that little bit more. Maybe my joy-filled heart is the medicine he needs to get up and go. Use your kind and loving heart, it might be just what your loved one needs.

P.s. You can now get emails every time a new blog is posted. All you have to do is hit the follow button below.

xx

Friendship

Have you ever looked back and saw how much God was at work when you thought he was being silent? Sometimes we have to see the outcome of a situation before our eyes can see how much God has been working in the background of our lives.

The summer before I went into fourth year I can remember praying quite a bit for a good friend who would come to su with me. I had always wanted a Christian friend in school as I didn’t have many who lived near by. I needed someone to show me how to live my life boldly for Christ. Someone who would correct me when I was wrong. Someone who would lead me to the cross on my bad days. Someone who would remind me the importance of reading my bible and remaining close to Christ even on the tough days.

As summer was coming closer and closer to an end I started to doubt God and his plan for me. Even more so when school had started and I still found myself with no Christian friends. If I could go back to fourth year and tell myself something I’d remind myself of this verse;

The Lord has heard my plea, the Lord will answer my prayer.

Psalm 6v9

This verse doesn’t tell us when or how God will answer our prayers but it promises that He will always answer prayer. He has heard our struggles, He will always do what’s best for you.

I was studying R.E full course for GCSE so I assumed there would be someone in that class. None of them seemed to have any interest in a relationship with Jesus never mind wanting to come to su with me. But there was a girl in the corner of our class who’s bible knowledge was unreal and I thought to myself maybe just maybe.

One day I happened to end up sitting beside this girl as she was in most of my classes. We ended up talking and I happened to mention a Christian concert I had been at in summer. And this girl tells me “oh yeah they’re so good, I was going to see them with my friend but couldn’t. Have you heard of Hillsong?” I lifted my head and I promise you I think my jaw dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe I had found someone else in my school who actually knew who rend collective was. Through this conversation I found out that she loved Jesus too and she invited me along to su. She even let me borrow a Hillsong cd. The smallest of gestures can mean the biggest of things to someone.

Me and this girl became best friends. I eventually plucked up the courage to write her a letter and tell her how she had been my answered prayer and believe it or not she had been praying for a friend like me too!!! So don’t loose the faith, God is always working you just might not see it yet. Be bold and tell your friends about Jesus, even if that means talking about that Christian band you like. You never know you might even find yourself a friend like mine.

Till this day this girl is still encouraging me, reminding me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus through everything, building me up and making me laugh till I cry. When I am wrong she was quick to show me right. She is a light for Christ and definitely brought that light into my life. Zoe Gregg you’re a star!!

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul

-Proverbs 27v9

xx

Joy

Have you ever sat back and allowed yourself to feel. To feel joy, to feel guilt, to feel excitement, to feel lost, to feel hopeless, to feel hopeful. To just feel. I think we hold back on feelings because we’re scared of the emotions we might release. We’re scared of the guilt, the feeling of being lost, the hopelessness. But by doing this we’re holding back on real, pure and simple joy. The joy in the little things and not just the big things. The joy that doesn’t come from other people.

For a really long time I’ve held everything in hoping it’ll all work out. Not allowing my emotions to get out. And only finding joy in other people. So when I was alone I was miserable. Nothing could lift my spirits. I longed for joy and not just the kind that lasts for an hour or so. Real joy. Joy so great I could find it even when I was alone. So I struggled and struggled with it. I’d have days where I’d think to myself, ‘Yeah, this is joy’, but really it was just a good day. I wasn’t feeling joy but I was feeling happy. Joy and happiness, they’re not the same. Joy is much more permanent whereas happiness is temporary. Happiness comes from people or things, however joy is knowing that something good is always around the corner. Joy is trusting God to take all your bad emotions; guilt, lost, hopeless and replace them with good emotions; happy, excitement, hope. Joy is much greater than happiness


Today I think I hit a break through. Today I found myself taking in the small things and smiling at them. Today I found myself laughing at a book. (I don’t read?). I found myself going from drained to lively. I found myself walking around the town by myself (I don’t do independence?). I found joy. Joy that didn’t come from other people. Joy that was there even when I was alone. Joy so great it wasn’t like anything else I felt before, I even felt warm inside. Joy that didn’t last an hour or so but something much more permanent. 

As much as I like to say I caused this joy myself, I didn’t. I’ve been reading a book about real and great joy in depths of suffering. This book teaches me to feel. To let go of my emotions to let myself feel joy, anger, sadness, excitement, hope, hopeless, everything. This book has shown me woman in the bible who too have suffered but found joy. 

Let’s take Bathsheba. She became pregnant from an affair with King David. The king kills Bathsheba’s husband to cover up his sin. Bathsheba’s baby died shortly after his birth. She was taken from what seemed a good life with a good husband to horrible life having to share a husband with other women. Bathsheba had felt loss and suffering but God gave her comfort. He gave her a son, someone she could love and encourage. Bathsheba became the mother of the future king. Although she felt pain and misery, God had more in store for her. He had planned great joy for her. It’s the same for us, when life gets tough there’s always something good around the corner. 

I feel as though Jesus placed this book in my hands and not Amazon or the blogger who recommended it. Jesus knew I needed this book to learn to let go and let in. To see the hope. To discover what true joy means and to experience it myself. I hope this post does this the same for you. Let all your emotions out and let God in. 

Also the book I’m reading is called ‘And still she laughs’ if may of you want to check it out. 

xx

I am Growing

It can be so encouraging to see someone grow so much in their faith and it can even inspire you to go deeper in your own relationship with God. Other times it can be a little discouraging meeting someone and seeing how far they’ve come in their journey with God. Especially when you have perhaps been a Christian longer. It can even make you doubt your relationship with God. You might even question God. Why can’t I know you like they know you? Why can’t I pray like them? Why don’t I have the confidence they have? When you face these questions tell yourself this instead; how can I know God better? Everyone prays differently but each way is just as beautiful. The power of prayer is not the one who says it but the one who hears it (God). Ask God to give you the confidence you need. He will provide!! It might take you longer than others to get to where you want to be with God but you will get there. Everyday you are growing. Some days you will experience a huge growth, others might not be as big but just as important. 

A little caterpillar longs to grow into a precious butterfly like his friends. He longs to go to the places they go. He doubts himself. He doesn’t think he has what it takes to be a butterfly. He becomes tired, so he hides himself away in a cocoon. He thinks it’s the end. He thinks his chance to be a butterfly is gone. Many days later the caterpillar awakes and breaks from his cocoon. He notices his beautiful wings. He rejoices and flutters away with the other butterflies. 

Like the caterpillar we too can loose hope in seeing a change in ourselves. Just when the caterpillar was giving up he found his wings. He didn’t grow into that beautiful butterfly in one day. It took time. Although he didn’t know it, that caterpillar was growing everyday into that butterfly. Everyday we too are growing in our faith, we are becoming Christ’s butterflies. The caterpillar was aiming to go to the same places the other butterflies were heading. We are all going on the same journey, fluttering through the race to reach the same destination. Stop comparing and start celebrating how far you have come with God and how you have still to go

xx

I look in the mirror… 

“I look in the mirror, all I see is imperfections, I see worthlessness, I see failure.

I look in the mirror and cry because of what I see. I hate my body. I hate myself. 

I look in the mirror and mange to smile a little. For only a bit, but I smiled.

I look in the mirror and notice my sparking eyes. They have seen dark times. Beauty from pain?

I look in the mirror and I see more than just a smile. Now a loving heart and compassion. 

I look in the mirror and I don’t see myself anymore. I see my saviour smiling back at me.”

 This is poem I found one day and I wanted to share it with you. It can be hard to look in the mirror and be happy. It can be hard to love yourself. You love a nights sky filled with stars? You see beauty in a sunset? You can’t help but smile over the fresh bunch of flowers in your house? If you love the things around you why can’t you love yourself.  God placed those stars in the sky. He paints the colours of the horizon. He planted the seed of those flowers. He created you too. Except He thinks you are worth much more than all these things. The spots on your face, He loves them. Your figure, He loves it. Your smile, He loves it. He even loves your smelly feet. When God created the world and everything in it (including us) he saw it and thought that it was good! He sees the things that we can’t see in ourselves.

Honestly, God doesn’t really care how we look. He doesn’t look at outward appearance but He looks at our hearts. Stop worrying about if your eyebrows are on flick or not and start thinking about how your heart looks. 

‘For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart’

-1 Samuel 16:7

I’m going to finish this with something that find so uplifting. 

‘Do you ever think God gets sad? Like “What do you mean you don’t love yourself, I worked so hard on you”‘.

P.s You are beautiful in your own unique way, even if know no one has told you that before. I’m telling you now. You are beautiful! X