Saturday, December 31, 2011

Greater Love


As this year comes to a close I can truly say that my plans have not changed, as they are not mine but Gods.  I have set my goal as one not achievable this side of heaven, but one I will reach for none the less.  And so I am sure that my New Year's resolve will not change from one year to the next but instead grow in it's intensity, much like a consuming fire that cannot be quenched. 

I determine to continue pursuing God.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.(John 13:34)

I have tasted the fruits of this life and would not choose to live in any other fashion, but the best that He has for me.

When I call out to God and follow Him daily with all of my heart, my soul, and my mind, then he breathes His love into me, to a point where I am overcome with the sweetness of the perfume.  And then when I am called to love my neighbor, it is effortless, as the perfume of heaven is that which envelopes my friends, family and neighbors, even the stranger on the street.  If I have been in the presence of the King, I reflect his radiance and this is what people will see and desire.  To love the unlovely becomes simple as I see them through God's eyes. 

'There is something different about that one', they might say.  'I can't put my finger on it, but she has something I want.

It is my desire that others might see Jesus in me, and taste of heaven upon the earth.  For I in myself am nothing.  To strive in my own strength will leave me worn and disillusioned.  Instead I choose to focus all of my effort on God who holds my days, and let Him live in me, that we may see many more faces for all eternity.

Yes, this year I continue one step at a time onward and upward reaching out for greater love, that the small world I live in may be given new life.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Victoria's Beauty

Let the rivers clap their hands in glee! Let the hills sing out their songs of joy. (Psalm 98:8)

Today's adventure saw us meander through the areas surrounding Warburton - the tangled green underbrush, sky scraping gum trees, and the bubbling Yarra River.



Follow the winding track upward and you find yourself immersed once again in the green slopes of Mt Donna Buang, where the rainforest wraps around you and you breathe in the crisp and vibrant air.



You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength.(Psalm 65:6)

 Continue to spiral upward and you will find yourself at the summit of Mount Donna Buang.  The open eucalypt forests whisper of the secret beauty of the High Country.  Frames from the 'Man from Snowy River' come flashing back.  In the Winter months these mountains and the vegetation below are blanketed in thick snow.  We have made a promise to return in six months and see this mountain carpeted with it's Winter coat.  And the view...well I will let you decide for yourself.





Today Jesus whispered to me...

Come away with me into the wilderness.  Feel me embrace you with the fresh mountain air and reinvigorate your spirit.  Just as I wandered into the wilderness, it is in these quiet times you will be overwhelmed by God's presence.  See His majesty displayed here atop of these mountains which were lovingly crafted by His hand.  All of heaven is mirrored here upon the earth in His creation.  The beauty still lingers here, and will until I come again.  It delights me to share this with you, there is so much you need to see my love, so much I desire to share with you.  Breath deeply.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bushwalking

The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit.(Genesis 2:9)

 In the last few days we have been delighting in the creation that is around us here in Melbourne.  The Dandenongs, and Kinglake have been our most recent visits.  Today we bought a child carrier for Sam, as he does not walk very far. Even after sitting and being carried, he is exhausted at the end of the walk and goes to sleep in the car.  Jack is enjoying spying wildlife and trees with his new telescope (monocular), and we have even manged to find a few wombat burrows. The weather is gorgeous and so we are making the most of each day.  At one of the parks we were surrounded by hundreds of orange and black butterflies, and we have had some often close encounters with Rosellas and King Parrots.  In this time we are finding our selves renewed and refreshed with each step we hike.  The last six months have been tough and God is teaching us how to laugh and have fun again.














 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. (Psalm 1:3)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Life In Abundance

God has given us a promise for Sam and his life. The first part of that promise is John 10:10

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.   


His words to us were 'Sam will live and have life in abundance.  He will tell the nations about my healing power.'

In the last few days I have been prompted to study these words more closely and God has been speaking to me about what it means to have life in abundance.  The rich vibrancy of the original Greek language brings a whole new understanding of the words, and clarifies God's promise to us. 
I came that they may have life (egw hlqon ina zwhn ecwsin).

Imagine a thread that is woven throughout the fabric of time,  one that has no beginning and no end.  The thread has always been and always will be.  For a time we were/are separated from the thread of life because we have changed colour and have chosen to move in a different direction.  Sadly our thread will end while the thread of life continues on.  Then by grace alone we are invited back to the the thread of life, just when our end is in sight.  We are invited to be grafted back into the thread of life, to continue to weave a picture that is wrought by the hand of the Creator himself.

'ecwsin' is a present and active word, speaking of the life that Jesus gives.  It is not that Jesus came to give life for a season, He came to bring life that is eternal and perpetual, it will never end.  This passage not only brought hope to those whom heard the words with their own ears, but to every other soul who will accept the words and receive them.  How truly marvelous is the truth that is not bound by time.

And may have it abundantly (kai perisson ecwsin).
Water is a life giver.  I love to bask in the water and feel it swirl and refresh my body and soul.  I wonder if you have ever tried to hold water in your hands.  To bring your hands up through the water and watch as it slips through your fingers.  Our hands cannot possible contain all of the water that surrounds us. 

This is the picture God gives me of the word 'persisson', which means to have surplus and overflow.  The word that follows is 'ecwsin' which  reminds us again that the overflow is continual and will never end.

Life that God pours out into us cannot be contained in our hands but is held in our spirits and overflows to impact and touch the people around us.  God has told us that he has hidden eternity in the Human heart.
...He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end (Ecc 3:11).  This eternity is found in knowing Jesus and the more we know Him, the more abundant that life is. 

I watch my son Sam, and I see God's word fulfilled in his life and ours as well. It is my hearts desire that we would continue to live in the promise that God has given us. 

God spoke to me of this abundance of life when Sam was in ICU with his chest still open, I could clearly see his heart beat.  He reminded me that he chose to use the Doctors hands to work on his heart, but it was his spark of life that sustained Sam's heart and makes it beat.  It is his breath of life that ensures that Sam's days will go on, and it is His son Jesus that guarantees that our lives are eternal and full of abundance.

God continues to speak to me almost daily of his abundance.  To be overflowing with life we must spend time dwelling with the Life Giver.  There is no place that I would rather be. 

Reference: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/robertsons-word-pictures/john/john-10-10.html

Monday, December 19, 2011

Light and Bright

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.(John 1:5)



This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...let it shine, let is shine, let it shine.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Anticipation

We love to celebrate Christmas in our home.  Our Christmas tree goes up sometime in November and gifts begin appearing under the tree soon after.  We delight in remembering Jesus in this way, and the excitement that comes with the celebration.  I am aware that people celebrate Christmas in many different ways but this is a valued part of our family's celebration. It's not that the gifts are extravagant but it is the expectation that builds while waiting, that quickens the heart and sharpens the spirit, while warming the soul.

I love the excitement and anticipation that comes in the lead up to giving and opening those blessings.  For weeks before our children long to receive and open their gifts.  Over time they learn to be patient and wait, even though it is difficult to contain their excitement.  And the surprise on Christmas Day is always worth the wait. 

Our society does not like to wait for anything. We have a become a people who watch on demand, and look for instant gratification of our desires.  I love that this little part of our Christmas tradition calls on us to have patience and wait.  Because there is much in the life of faith that is all about waiting.
We wait in anticipation for the return of our King Jesus.  We wait for Him with great excitement building in our hearts.  The bible counsels us to not grow weary in waiting but look forward to the day of our great reunion.  Oh, what delight awaits us all on that day!  The day that we get to look upon the face of the one who saved us.

And what is anticipation?

HOPE

When I gaze upon the star that adorns our tree, I behold in my minds eye Jesus returning triumphant and bright in splendor.

When I see the presents under the tree, I remember that God's presence is with us always. Emmanuel 'God with us'.

The glitter of lights and twinkle of glistening decorations reminds me of God's glory that rests upon us, by the power of Holy Spirit.

Yes, HOPE is renewed at Christmas. The flame of of my steadfast faith is fanned at Christmas and I feel my spirit not only remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus, but also His imminent return to embrace His people.

May each one of you be at peace this Christmas and make many new memories to take with you into the New Year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Land of Promise

It's time to live in the Promised Land.




The World Is Too Big

When the world suddenly seems much too big...



do not be afraid...



perhaps you just need a little change of perspective.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Crab Dinner

Yesterday I traveled to Lilydale in search of two crabs for our anniversary dinner this evening.  Crab is one of the things that Don and I love to taste and never have. Crab is just not available in Yarra Glen, there is no such luxury.  I returned home yesterday empty handed but ended up doing something else in town that is also a God story, which I shall keep for another day.I  have to tell you that we had a bit of a full on day today, I ended up at the doctor with a mild case of conjunctivitis (which I have not had since I was a child), Jack's kindy break up was on and Don had a big clean up day at ACMA.  He arrived home this afternoon after 5pm and we had nothing planned to celebrate our 11 years together.  So off to our local supermarket we went in search of something special for dinner.  As we wandered in, a gift was waiting for us...............................................................................you guessed it there in the deli department sat two blue swimmer crabs.  I almost danced with joy.  This is a deli that only ever has frozen seafood, a handful of prawns and a few fillets of fish, and today they had for sale two crabs.  Heaven heard the prayers of my heart and God provided for us a little taste of paradise.


God honoured the desires of my heart with a crab dinner.

Tonight we honoured Him as we delighted in each other.  We shared a meal with our children and all had communion together.  Jack even made sure we had a chair for Jesus. 

Simple, full of love and sprinkled with blessing from our God. 

Thank you God for the 11 years that I have shared with my husband.  He is truly a blessing to me in every way.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lost and Found

The last few weeks have been challenging for us.  I have gone very quiet on the blog and also on Facebook and the like.  Generally this means we are doing some soul searching. In the last weeks we have had much doubt flung in our faces in regard to our application to MAF, Sam's heart, my writing, and Don's study.  We must continue to apply to serve with MAF, knowing that Sam may need to endure more surgery in the next 12 months.   No stone has been left unturned.  It has been turbulent and one of those times where there is no better place than flat on your face in front of God's throne.  So if I have been absent of late, this is where I have been.  These times are a battle plain and true.  We emerge from them feeling worn, fatigued and battered by the enemies lies.  And yet when we lift our eyes to the hills we can see we have stood our ground and that the liars have been forced back.  The only place to win the battle of the spirit is in the spirit. 

You might think I have lost the plot, but in fact this is very real for us.  The warfare of which I speak is not some strange and wacky thing at which to lift your brow.  People struggle to understand because they look with their human eyes and not their spiritual ones. And once again we have had to lay everything at God's feet.  Even our application to MAF is held loosely, in the event God redirects our path.  We know his call is true without doubt, what he decides to do with us after our obedience is his decision. 

And yet in the midst of the turbulence there is great renewal and new found hope.  From the plundered battlefield we glean treasures of unearthly value.  We have received a new revelation of God's word, new promises for a new season.   I now value Sam's relationship with God more than the healing of his heart.  I now can go to my God with unmasked love, knowing full well that he holds our future in his hands.  Yesterday As Don pushed Sam higher and higher on the swing, he called,

'It's Desus, I see Desus!  He's so big!'



'Wow, what's he doing?'


'He's opening the window. He's opening the window so we can see.  Look! Can you see?'

Sam opens his arms wide. He continues to beam at the sky, talking to Jesus. 

I don't have to worry about my sons because Jesus has it covered.  I choose not to worry about the next twelve months, because God's promises are unmovable.

I want to encourage you today.  If you are in a situation that seems you are in a fog, and you cannot see the forest through the trees, it may not be that you are lost and without direction.  Perhaps you are just where you need to be, flat on your face in front of God's throne.  Where you feel lost, is the place you are found. Trusting God when you cannot see the end of the road is the very essence of faith.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)
 


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Catching Your Heart

Today I had a conversation with Sam that I need to share.  Something that brought a grin to my lips and new curiosity to my spirit.  I was sitting at the computer, we had all just finished having lunch.

I sad Mum, I wanted to show Jesus my heart.  I lost my heart.

What do you mean darlin?  Jesus is looking after your heart.


No, I lost it, I really wanted to show Him.  Now it's gone.

Where has it gone?


It was up on my head, but I couldn't reach it.  I couldn't catch it and now it is gone.  I wanted to catch it and put it in my tummy, to show Jesus.

Absolute silence from me.


Suddenly he sees it, the heart, again.

I just watch him, as he jumps around trying to catch the heart.

He catches it on the floor, and then lifts up his shirt and puts the heart in his chest.

There, I got it.

He walks  away smiling to play with his brother.

Ok, so I am the first to admit that Sam has a very active imagination.  But I also know this is way outside of the realm of 'normal for him'. Did he receive some sort of visual promise from God, I can  believe that, because he speaks to me this way also. 

What a strange and beautiful walk that God has called us to, that my son can dance around the house catching his own heart.  That God talks to my children in ways that I am still to understand.  I am so honoured to be a mother, so honoured to be able to love these little boys

Monday, December 5, 2011

Don't Wait Until Christmas

Over the past few days I have been reflecting on the gifts that I have been given this year, and the good news is that I didn't have to wait until Christmas to open them.  They have been scattered liberally throughout the year, by a God who is the most lavish and prolific giver of gifts.  He sees deep into the recesses of my spirit and he knows what I need and desire.  I want to share with you a sampling of the gifts that I have received with love this year.

New Mercy Everyday
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lam 3:23)

I know Jesus better now than I ever have and I love him more with each passing day, but I can tell you my faith and actions will never be perfect this side of glory.  I cannot count the amount of times I have made a royal mess of things this year-relationships, attitudes, actions and words I cannot take back.  Thankfully my God's forgiveness and faithfulness never end and his mercy is new everyday.  Nowhere on this earth will you find this kind of love and forgiveness, but in the arms of Jesus.

Another Happy and Healthy Year with my Family

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.(John 10:10)
This year we have had no hospital visits as inpatients.  We have had some patches of common illness, but we have been preserved from serious illness and injury, and I can tell you that I want to dance!  What a joy to celebrate 12 months of health and life with my family.






Amazing Friends and Family

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.(Prov. 27:9)

God has surrounded us with people who love and pray for us, laugh  and cry with us.  We thank God for this gift everyday.  Even though most of our married life has been spent many hours from family, God has always placed people who become our family wherever we venture.






God Given Opportunities

They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power.(Psalm 145:11)

There are too many to count but the release of Sam's Heart was something we would never have dared to dream. This combined with our call to Mission Aviation fellowship, have been life changing and have given us completely new direction for our lives.   God takes the impossible and makes it a life changing reality.






I wonder how God has astounded you with his gifts this year?  What could you give Him this Christmas that would bring delight to His heart and a smile to his eyes? 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Love The Giver, More Than The Gift

 As the Christmas season of gift giving approaches, God is speaking to me about His gifts to us.  Not only has He given His son for us, He has gifted us with faith, hope, love and eternal life with Him in His Kingdom.  As if that isn't lavish enough He also gives us gifts daily, blessings that fall upon our path, people that we meet, answers to prayer, encouragement and favour.  Another gift that God pours out abundantly upon us are His miracles, and that is what I want to talk with you about today.
miracle n. An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.
Miracles are an everyday part of life for our family.  There is no such things as big miracles and small miracles in God's Kingdom, if God does something in your life by His hand, then you have received a miracle.  We like to rate gifts according to size don't we?  We all seem to want the biggest gift under the Christmas tree.  Thankfully we have learned that size is not relative to blessing in God's Kingdom.  We repeatedly see God make a way when there seems to be no way, and I am so thankful for his gifts to us, because I know we cannot live this life without Him.
Sadly, I confess, there was  time when I loved the gift more than I did the giver.  I would look for God's miracles everywhere.  Searching everywhere for Him to perform miracles and wonders, signs that would set the world back on their heels, especially when it came to our son Sam.  There was a time when every time I spoke to God, the words that were always on the tip of my tongue were about Sam's healing.  I could not hide it, every time I went to Him in prayer, my heart betrayed my true thoughts and intentions.  I wanted to love God more than what He could give me, but I struggled with my own selfish desire to see my son live a 'normal' healthy life.
At one point God spoke and said: 
When you go to the marriage bed with your husband, do not go with other things in your heart and your head.  You must go there only to focus on showing your love for him.  So it must be with us.  Come and dwell with me because you love me and all of these other things shall be added to you.
I knew that what I was doing was wrong and I so I repented, focused on God and laid aside my own wants and needs in order just to love Him more. I read psalms and sang songs that spoke only to Him, not of my own desires.  I asked Him to help me love Him more than His gifts.  The scripture that God gave me still rings daily in my heart and on my lips:
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.(Matthew 6:33)
And so now when we spend time enjoying each others company, I go with eyes and a heart only for my God.  I come to Him as one intoxicated by His presence, and I know I can trust Him with my desires. I implore you today to not make the same mistake as I did.  Do not put you own desires at any point above your love for God.  For He is above all things.  Love His miracles, yes, but always, always, always love Him more.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Videos

God has been speaking to me for a while now about producing short vidoes for the blog.  I am doing this in an effort to make a more personable impression and put a voice to the writing.  So yes, I am stepping out and being courageous.  I have much to learn but I am enjoying the challenge.

This is the first one welcoming you to the blog. 




The second video is  sharing with other a little bit about Sam's Heart, the book. 




I hope they are a blessing to you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Forgive Yourself

Most of us have learned the lesson of forgiving others.  There are times we have been hurt, offended, let down and condemned and we have had to be able to forgive those who have wronged us, and give them back to God.  It is clear in the bible that if we do not forgive others, then neither will be be forgiven by God.

What I want to speak about today is much more sinister.  It stops us from spending time with God, and it is the devils number one tool against mothers.  It is called guilt.

You know of what I speak. I hear the nagging whispers condemning me, they tell me,

'You don't spend enough time with your husband, you don't spend enough time with God, you need to do more for your children, you are not as appealing since you have had children, you don't exercise enough, you don't spend your time wisely, you don't write as well as your peers, you don't pray enough, you can't rest your home isn't clean.'



I want to remind you today that if the whispers you hear are putting you down and condemning you, they are not the whispers of your Saviour.  God will not condemn you.  God will speak and ask you to change parts of your life.  He may say,

'Your husband desires you so much and he needs you, I would love to talk with you I am here anytime, look at the smile on your son's face as you play with him, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, exercise will help you clear your mind and strengthen your body, invest you time in Me and I will use it for my glory, your writing glorifies me and I am pleased with you, I long to hear your voice in prayer, work a little but then rest and listen to me'.

Firstly we must stop listening to the lies of the enemy.  Secondly we need to forgive ourselves before we can go to God and ask for forgiveness.  We need to let go of the guilt we carry around in our spirits.  It is a roadblock that stops us form being intimate with God.  It also allows the enemy to have a foothold in our hearts.  We must forgive ourselves, ask for God's forgiveness and then live life guilt free, in truth and love.  For we must remember:

Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.(1 John 3:20)

As God told me today, I encourage you:

You will never be any more beautiful to me than you are at this moment.  This moment when you come before me guilt free, washed clean by the blood of my Son.  Do not conform your mind to the lies of this world, listen for my voice as it beckons and calls with great love and affirmation.  I am a  God of love words.  Even when I correct I do it in love.  Be at peace and come sit by me, I have much to share with you.  There must be nothing between us, guilt cannot stand in the presence of my perfect love.

Guest Post CWD

Today I invite you to visit Christian Writers Downunder.  I am a regular contributor to their blog.  My post there is titled:

Nothing New Under The Sun

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Question Worth Asking

Yesterday I was checking the Sam's Heart website, and as I did I listened to the interview I had done with 89.9Light Fm.  Sam was having morning tea at a small table next to me as I worked and listened.  In the beginning of the interview I am asked by the radio broadcator what the options were for Sam's treatment after diagnosis of his heart condition.  I proceed to give the three options that were given to us, termination, palliative care and surgery.  After the interview had finished Sam stood up and walked over to me and put his hand on my leg.

'They wanted to die me. They wanted to die me.  I don't want to die Mum.'

(Insert wanting to cry here, instead I suck it up)

'Yes, they did. But we fought for you and God has saved you.  (I lift his shirt and show him his scar). You had these operations instead, and the doctors helped save you. That's why you have this on your chest'

He nods his head, and looks at me.

'I love you Mummy, I'm alive.'

'I love you to little mate.  And God loves you more.  He has big plans for you.'

He goes back to watching ABC Kids, quietly playing with the scar on his chest.


I sit there in silence.  A million thoughts race through my head but one was most clear. 

I would love to have put a professional medical practitioner in my place just now, so that my son can lay a hand on their leg and tell them.

You wanted to die me.

I wonder if it would make a difference to the need for this abhorrent 'choice' in pregnancy.  I wonder if those poor parents that lost their babies this week would have gone along with the advice they were given, if they could spend a day with my son, and take a few steps in our shoes.  I don't pretend to know the circumstance surrounding the loss of two little lives this week.  I pray for their everyone involved, that they would receive mercy from God, and that they would know his forgiveness.  Read the story here.

What I do know is that it makes me even more passionate to reach who ever I can and tell them that there is always hope, God keeps his promises, and every life is precious no matter how long it is lived.



Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.(1 Cor 13:7)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lemon and Lime, Hold the Bitters


The last few weeks have been monumental.  Don has been continually studying/cramming for the last 7 weeks.  He passed two exams only to fail the third.  The boys and I have been to Qld, where I attended the Word Writers Conference in Brisbane and then had a few days holiday with family.  Since we have arrived home we have been very busy, and the boys and I have had a head/cold/fever.To top it off Centrelink called yesterday to inform us that they were decreasing our payments as they had made a mistake with their calculations. Oh dear.  I am sure that you have days like this, sometimes weeks even, where everything just seems to go pear-shaped.

The world suddenly becomes much to big for it's boots and you feel like you are about to be buried under a pile of rubble. 

Do not despair, God is there.

He has not gone somewhere just because things are not going swimmingly in your life, in fact if anything he is closer than the air your breathe.

Do not allow bitterness to settle in your heart, but let yourself be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2)

Do not compare yourself and your situation to others around you.  Each of us is on our own unique journey, and though we may encourage and uplift one another, comparing will do you no favours.  People will always be better off than you, people will always be worse off than you.  Your problems are as significant as the next persons and your troubles will not overcome you, if you give them over to God in prayer.

God can take what is broken in your life and turn it around for your good.

Harbouring self pity and bitterness in your heart bind God's ability to help you.  He will not force you to choose him.  He has always given us free will

I am not rebuking you today, I am reminding myself and sharing with you in the process.  I will not pretend to be more than I am.  I would be nothing but for the mercy of God.

We know many families going through life changing circumstances and unimaginable heartaches, we know people that are struggling to pay bills, have ongoing depression, some who are watching their kids struggle daily with their health, and some who have lost them this side of heaven.  But I will not take on their burdens or they will crush me.  Only Jesus was designed to carry the weight of the burden of sin.  He did it all on the cross for us so that we would not have to crushed under the weight.  I warn you, as I warn myself, do not harbour disappointment, anger, resentment and offence in your heart.

I will cry with them, I will laugh with them in victory, I will carry them to God in prayer.

'Father God refresh my mind and heal the wound left by bitterness in my heart.  Forgive me.  I love you.  I wait for your joy in the morning.'

Friday, November 18, 2011

Time To Take A Dip


I have tasted life without God.  It is like sitting in a  rock paddling pool and enjoying the cool of the water, but there is no room to be free and swim. It is not deep enough to put your head under the water and feel the freshness on your face.  But it is all you know, and you are comfortable in your little pool, all the while wondering if there is anything better.  You hear rumours of others saying that they have splashed in rivers and some crazy religious nuts even telling you that they have plunged and basked in oceans.  But life is too busy, to get carried away with rumours and fairy tales.  And then one day you become frustrated with your pool, the thoughts of what others have said might be true, inspire you to look over the rock wall that has blocked your view... and your breath is taken away, as you behold the endless sea before your eyes.  For so long, it had been blocked from your view by the wall separating you.  And now you know the truth, and you can't go back to the pool.  You know the ocean is real and is within your reach.  And although it is daunting, you edge your way out to the sandy breakers and wade out into the depths.  As you dive beneath the emerald green waters, you wonder why you spent so many years in the paddling pool when you could have been basking in the open sea.  You have been transformed and you know your life will never be the same again. As you emerge from under the surface and draw breath, it is like you have never truly breathed before.  You have become a new creation, you have a new home and a new outlook on life.

Want to come and swim in the depths of the ocean with me?

I know a God...

who paints the sky with the sweep of his hand and the breath of his mouth, to delight me and take my breath away.

I know a God...

who has felt every emotion that I have ever had to endure and comforts me in the very depths of my spirit.

I know a God...

who never leaves me, and laughs and cries with me in every season. He truly has the most profound sense of humour.

I know a God...

who fights for me every inch of the way. He goes before me each day and clears the path by the Word of his mouth.

I know a God..

who sees me when I raise my voice at my children and when I fail to help others in need. And he still loves me anyway.

I know a God..

who disciplines me when I am out of line, and does it with such authority and love, that I am left undone by his grace.

I know a God..

who takes my lack of anything and turns into into a feast for the glory of His Kingdom.

I know a God...

who strokes my face while I sleep and speaks to me in my dreams. He shares his heart with me like the closest of lovers.

I know a God..

who is not afraid of my emotions and hears both my praise and prayer with a compassionate heart. His grace and mercy never end.

I know a God...

who is transforming me day by day to live and dance in a Kingdom of light. A Kingdom where there is no sickness, disease or death and where He will reign forever. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Faith, Flying and TV

Yesterday I was offered the opportunity to fly to the Sydney Foxtel Studios, and pre-record an interview for 'Wesley Impact!'  I was so excited, to be asked to do such thing.  As you would know by reading my previous post, it was also an answer to a dream that the God had given me.

For those who have been following, you would know that we had Sam's appointment the day before, and once again God brought me to a place where I was empty of myself.  Any control that I believed I had over Sam's future, or ours, was once again erased.  All I had left after that day, was my hope.  And this is my hope:

So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.(Heb 6:18-19, emphasis added)

Hope is not some intangible thing, something that we can possess. Hope has a name, His name is Jesus. 

So yesterday morning I arose to find that the previous day's nausea, had now emerged into a nasty gastro bug.  What would you have done I wonder, knowing that you have to travel in a car, aeroplane and taxi, to a place far from home, and the safety of your own lavatory? I made a choice to believe God's word, over the circumstances I found myself in.  So armed with his promise and a box of Gastro Stop, I drove the hour to the airport and boarded the plane to Sydney.  By God's amazing grace, I made it to the studios with my dignity.  He is so merciful!

The staff at the studios was amazing.  They were so understanding and prayed with me, and brought me to a room to relax.  It was here that I met a man who was sent by God.  He was also being interviewed that day and was a chaplain and worker with the homeless.  He proceeded to tell me that a homeless couple that he is working with are due to have their first baby and would be born with HLHS, the same condition as Sam's.  Oh, there is no coincidence, only God incidence! I was able to give him a copy of our story and encourage him in the amazing things that God can do.

I was given a good dose of make-up by a lovely make-up artist, who has worked on many different TV shows throughout the years, including Better Homes and Gardens, and Water Rats.  This helped to mask my somewhat less than glowing complexion on the day.

And finally the victory came, and I got to share with  Rev. Keith Garner, and soon whoever else may watch, the faithfulness of our God in every season.


I also had the privilege to share with both of my taxi drivers, and they also told me some of their stories.  I got to pray for one of them, and he was most encouraged when we parted.  He did not know God, but I could hear God calling Him. 

Late in the afternoon I flew home again, and though I was very weak in body, my spirit was at peace.  I had not been able to eat throughout the day, but God had sustained me and filled me with all that I needed to succeed in what He had called me to do.

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.(2 Cor 12:10)

Because I know He filled me and sustained me yesterday, I know that the hearts this program touches will not be because of anything I am.  But instead they will see all that He is, and for that I am thankful.

Thank you for your prayers over the recent days.  I am still recovering from this illness, but it will not remain long.  I bless you all in the name of Jesus.  I can do all things because He is my anchor.

This program will go to air on Mother's Day 2012.  You can read more about Wesley Impact here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sam's Heart Review - We need your prayers

We approach the hospital, we see the familiar corridors, the smell comes flooding in and I suddenly detest McDonalds...


What are we doing here Lord?  Why have you brought us back to this place?

We attend the clinic for Sam's Heart check...inwardly we cringe but keep bright and cheery, keeping Sam excited to meet his new doctor.

 I feel sick but I smile, because I have just seen the faces of so many parents who are broken and weary, wafting in and out of the Heart ward with the 'hospital look' that says, 'I am existing, but I am a shell.'

As we sit and wait in the waiting room, a teenage girl sits across from us, cannula still in her arm, she has tears sliding down her face and hangs her head low, she is broken.  Can anyone see her?

Where are you Lord?  She needs you?  

We go and Sam has his ECG and Echo. He is so brave and climbs up onto the bed by himself, he even helps remove the stickers.  I encourage him to lay still so they can take a good reading.

I'm holding on to you Lord.

We wait for another half an hour to see his new doctor.  We greet and Sam is happy to meet 'Dr Foormer' (Dr Andreas Pflaumer).  He tells us that Sam is doing fine, that all is well. Then, that the leak in his tricuspid valve has increased and that if it has not changed over the next 6 months then intervention may be needed.  That they want to start talking about the Catheter and the Fontan, because we are talking about going North in the next few years. Through the doctors eyes this makes sense, I can see his reasoning.  But I am not a doctor, and I am not reasonable about anything that means that my son must endure more pain.

What!  Where are you Jesus?  Is this your idea of a miracle?  Do I have to see him endure more pain?  Do We have to endure more pain?  I know you can take all of this way by just a word from your lips.  So where are your words?  Surely this is not your plan for us. 

We walk back to the car in silence, buying coffee from nasty McDonalds to get home.

As we drive home, the ache in my throat intensifies...

I can't do this anymore, I am weary from the fight God, not just weary, I have had enough.  I don't want to hold onto the hem of your garment anymore, it hurts too much.  You know I don't have the strength to endure this again. My spirit is crushed by the thoughts engulfing me, and cannot be made right by human hands.

I see a picture of a hand coming out of the heavens dangling a white hankie, the miracle we need, and me jumping like crazy to reach it, but it is just out of reach. I think I jumped most of the way home in the car.  The ache moved from my throat to my heart, as I look at Sam asleep in his car seat, worn out from the big morning. 


I am sorry Lord, I can't do this anymore.  I am meant to go on TV tomorrow and talk about the God of miracles, and I am not feeling that right now.  I am feeling angry, and like I am about to suffocate.

When we arrive home I slept for two hours.  I had nothing left.

When I awake and as I write He speaks:

Remain in me, you have tasted of my goodness and you know I will no let you go.  Remember the new promise that I have given you.  Claim it today and watch the new day come.  You may broken now, but it will not last for ever:

Restore our fortunes. Lord
as the streams flow in the desert.
Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
But they sing as they return with the harvest.
(Psalm 126:4-6)

So this is where we are, right now at 4pm in the afternoon.  Pray that God can heal my ache, so that I may go and tell the world how great He is.  For He is above all things, even when I don't FEEL like it.


As I write this I have a voice whispering to me that 'the result was favourable, that I have no right to complain, and that there are many others out there that are far worse off than what we are'.  I would like to say that each of us is on our own journey, and despite the fact that we are all in different places, does not diminish the fact that the battle is any less real, or hurtful or significant.  God bless you for praying for us when we really need it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Max's Place Needs Help

When we were in Melbourne to have Sam and through the surgeries that followed, there was a special place that we called home. It was called Max's Place.  It was our home for 5 months, while we were going through one of the toughest times in our life.  And now the owners of those units need our help.

'In memory of their precious Heart Angel Max Round, the Round family sold their family home in Adelaide to help other families dealing with the devastating impact of Congenital Heart Disease.  They purchased Max's place, 3 units directly across the road from the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne where many families must come for life saving surgery, often for up to 6 months.

Max's place provides a home away from home for heart families which is safe, private and at no cost.  Having somewhere to call home during these difficult times and not having to worry about accommodation costs helps support families in a practical way which is greatly appreciated by all who are lucky enough to get into Max's place.

These units require renovations and funds are desperately needed, will you help!  Please click on the fundraising link and sponsor Terri Hanlon's marathon run for heart families.
http://www.everydayhero.com.au/terrihanlons

I have been after a way to support Max's Place now for the longest time. These little havens have been home to countless families and I delight in being able to help them in this way.  When we left Melbourne we had very little money left and we gave the Round's the last that we had as a token of saying thank you. 



When we were at Max's Place the room we were in was water damaged, due to a unit above us setting off the sprinkler system and flooding their unit.  We managed to clean it up, but their was still damage that needed repair.  We spent our first Christmas with Sam in Max Place, and it will always hold a very dear place in our hearts.  And the people who look after these units are God's hands and feet upon the earth, helping families in some of their darkest days.

If you are able, I would ask that you consider popping over to the everyday hero website and sponsor Terri on her run, a few dollars will go a long way to providing hope to families like ours.

http://www.everydayhero.com.au/terrihanlons

PS.  I am not in the habit of asking for donations from anyone, but this is very near and dear to my heart.  Thanks for listening friends.
 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Something Amazing to Share


Last weekend I had a dream.  One that I have not shared on the blog, as I was waiting on God to reveal the truth behind it.  I would like to share it with you now, if you will spend a moment with me.

I was walking down to the beach, holding hands with Jesus.  It was on dusk, and the sky was a myriad of colour.  The breeze was warm and the sea was calm.  We sat near the waters edge, next to one another, our legs curled up onto our chests, looking out to the vast ocean.  Occasionally I would glance over at Him and admire his features, and how his hair blew in the breeze, and then I would look away quickly.  He would do the same, as we delighted in each others company.  It was like we were on a first date, and enjoying just being together.  It was such a  special time.  When our gaze met finally, he smiled (oh that smile can light up a thousand worlds), and motioned with his eyes and hand, to look down at our feet on the sand.  The waves had been lapping at the sand exposing large pebbles by our feet. The pebbles were brilliant and golden, still partially embedded in the sand.  As I picked up a pebble, it's highly polished surface reflected the face of a woman getting out of her car.  The picture was not still but moved like in a film.  I was watching someones life.  I looked back at him amazed,  he threw back his head, and laughed and asked me to pick up another.  As I looked down, and then along the beach I noticed that these were hundreds of these stones that had been exposed all along the sand.  As I looked at the ones at my feet, I saw more faces, a women in her kitchen in a robe, and a man asleep on his bed.  I looked to Jesus and  he answered my questions without opening his mouth, 'You must go and talk to all of these people.' He knew my mind and we seemed to be able to communicate without speech.  I felt such peace at his command, but was very curious as to how this would eventuate. When I awoke, I thought to myself 'How could I possibly reach that many people?' God spoke and told me to 'Wait and see.' 

I share this with you not to exalt myself, but to exalt God that can do anything. We serve such a creative and limitless God.

Well this time I did not have to wait for long, for God's plan to unfold.

God has opened an exciting door in the last few days.  I was contacted by Wesley Mission to appear on their television program called 'Wesley Impact!', to share by interview our story with Sam and God.  The program is prerecorded and will go to air on Mother's Day in 2012.  How amazing is God!  This is how I will speak to many people.

Next Saturday I will fly to Sydney to the Foxtel Studios to record the interview.  Wesley Mission is even paying for my flights.  I will get to share our God story and encourage others, and I give all glory to God for the honour.

I ask for your prayers, that God would give me the words to speak. Just as he promised the apostles that they need not worry about what they will say, but that  Holy Spirit will give them the words.  Please pray that the recording will go well and that the travel to and from Sydney will be blessed.  And most of all pray that hearts will be touched, and lives transformed by God's workings in our own lives.

When I think of his delight in surprising me, and the curiousness of his request, I sit in wonder.  When I think of all of the faces I saw,  and how he loves each one of them, it overwhelms me.  When I think that he has chosen me for such a task is unends me.  I am nothing, He is everything and that is enough for me.
Hallelujah!!

PS.  Sam's heart review at the Children's Hospital is the day before I leave to record this interview.  God's timing is perfect for all things.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Watching Sam


I watch him play,
and I delight in seeing him create games and characters each having their own voice.


I watch him eat,
carefully with small mouthfuls, never enough to make a chubby tummy,


I watch him share,
laughing infectiously with his big brother, a secret game.


I watch him swim,
in the bath like a crocodile, full of excitement.


I watch him talk,
and share his ideas and plans with the world.

I watch him pray, 

every night  for God to fix his Mum, when he knows his own heart is broken.


I watch him accept,
his medicine every evening, wondering how it will affect his growing body.


I watch him test,
his own blood, with apprehension and then courage.


I watch him run,
with exuberance, and then get puffed and flop down.


I watch him do all of these things,
and then I look to God, because He is watching too.


I watch Him smile,
because He has the plan for our lives in His hands, and it delights Him.


I watch Him laugh,
as we overcome each hurdle, by he power of His name.


I watch Him rejoice,
As we walk this path in victory, because He knows we have won.

In all honesty there are some days that I even forget Sam has a heart condition.  There are some days that I am so oblivious, that I have forgotten his medication.  What a  comfort it is to know God's peace each and every step of the way.

(Yes, Jack is missing his front teeth, and he is trying to be funny with his smile in this photo)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Missions Newsflash!

 Celebrate with us!!!!  It is official, Don has finally been passed for his CASA Class 1 Medical!  It is in the post as I type.  It has been a long 4 months waiting for the approval.  We have been praying, you have been praying, and all the while God has been whispering 'It is in my hands'.  We have moved interstate, waiting and believing that God would make it happen, and once again, He has shown that He is faithful..  All glory to God!

The radio interview from Sam's Heart, seems to have sparked a whole new wave of readers, and I have received orders and feedback over the last couple of days, which has lifted my soul, and inspired me to write once again.

Don has his psyche test today and it looks like we will be doing more formal interviews by the end of the year. 

The boys and I, went to get a Christmas tree today, a real one.  It is just perfect for our little home.  We are looking forward to having fun decorating it, over the coming weeks.  On the way to get the Christmas tree, Jack sang to Jesus in the back of the car and told Him, 'I love you Jesus, Happy birthday to you.  We are decorating the house because we love you.' . He has already made the star for the top of the tree.  Now I know why we decorate a tree at Christmas :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mum to Mum Giveaway

Mum to Mum is an A5 sized pocket rocket, designed to fit snuggly inside you handbag.  That way you always have it on hand to read and to give out to friends.  I have been blessed by this little magazine, and so I want to offer it as a giveaway, to two of my blog readers.  Each winner will receive two copies of Mum to Mum, one for themselves, and one for a friend  I have heard it said that good things come in small packages, and that is definitely the case here.  Mum to Mum, is a publication produced by Narelle Nettelbeck, author of Thankful for Dishes and Moments for Mum.  And it just happens to include a small article by me too!

It is no secret that I love God stories.  I am passionate about hearing others share what God is doing in their lives.  These stories are what this magazine is all about.  Aussie Mums, sharing what God is doing in their lives. There are snippets of encouragement, dashes of humour and some heartfelt tales too.


If you feel that this magazine would be a breath of fresh air for you, follow my blog, and leave a comment below telling me what you love about your Mum.  Please make sure that you include your email address so I can contact you if you win.

This giveaway is open to Australian and Overseas followers.  Winners will be drawn on Saturday 29th October at 5pm.  Winners will be contacted via email.

If you would like to order your own copies of Mum to Mum you can do so here.  I have ordered a stack to include with my Christmas gifts this year.

Be Blessed

(¯`v´¯)
`*.¸.*´
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`Nicole

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Riches Untold

I am abundantly overflowing with treasures.  This weekend I had the delight of spending time with God's girls at a retreat, a place where we just gather to be with God.  It is a rare treat for me.  I let alone have times alone in the shower, never mind a whole day.  It was a day that I just got to 'be' with my Jesus.  In the time we stole away together I have returned with a bounty of heavenly treasures, that I did no know existed until I received them.  I spent time enjoying the presence of my Lord, and my heart soared when he expressed His love for me.  It was a time of great intimacy with God, and also a time of great encouragement and uplifting for the women of God.

The last few months have been very busy for me, I have not lingered in the arms of Jesus, in the way that I desire. God knows.  He knows that I was longing for more time with Him, and this weekend He swept me off of my feet.

I would encourage you to find time, to seek Him out.   To let Him confirm and fill your heart to overflowing with his unending and abundant treasures.

One of the royal treasures He gave me, was to remind me of who I am in His Kingdom.  I say this here not to boast about myself, but to boast about what He had done for me.  Seek Jesus and ask him to reveal who you are to Him.  (I must point out that many of us shared our Kingdom identities over the weekend and not one of them was the same.)  We have a remarkably creative and wonderful God.


My name is Nicole Watson. I am a beautiful and vibrant light in the darkness, welcoming in the spirit, drawing others to God.  I am a solid fortress, a rock, with strong foundations, established in the Word of God.  I am calm in spirit and abounding in faith, teaching and ministering to others, bringing honour to His name. I am His precious one.

As we all shared our true selves, it was as if we were finally seeing each other for who we truly are, it was breathtaking, inspiring, and we gave all glory to God. 

Would you dare to seek Him, and share with me your royal indentity?  I would be pleased to meet you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Blessing of Discouragement


It may seem like a strange title, but the more I have talked to God about it, the more I am convinced.

We have had our fair share of discouragement this week, not only in our own family, but also in those surrounding us.  The battle of the mind and will, has been intense and as we have endured this may times before, we know we have to dig our heels in, praise God, and keep walking.
I won't go into details, but there has been discouragement, on quite a number of fronts. We have learned and are still learning that discouragement is a tool God allows to be used, in order to draw us back into His arms.  It may not be that you have stepped out of them, but He just wants to draw you in all the more closer for a season.  Discouragement is almost like a magnet in nature.  Either it will draw you back to God and you will cleave to Him, or if the poles are reversed, you will be repelled and run in the opposite direction.  I can look back now and thank God for times of discouragement, because in them we have learned not to run, but to embrace.  So the reality is for us, that discouragement is a blessing.  Because in reality we know there is no other place we want to be but in His arms, regardless of what is happening around us.  

So instead of 
complaining...we praise

instead of
running...we embrace

instead of 
giving up...we push on

instead of 
withdrawing...we reach out

instead of 


hiding...we shine.
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