Devotional: Start Doing

Art, Devotional

Start doing_Autumn leafs_-01

An Inspirational ‘lesson’ I have learnt during lockdown

We are currently in a very interesting time. The year 2020 has brought us a fast spreading virus which actually lead our country to locking down for 21 days. Who could’ve seen this coming!

I know this is not the best of times for a lot of people – those affected by the virus, people sitting without an income during this time and the people suffering from depression and are forced to be alone. For me though, I’m loving this lockdown. Living in the city, every day is a rush from point A to point B and back. For the first time in quite a while we have time to spend together as a family and – as soon as my one year old goes to sleep – I have time and energy to spend on those little projects I never have time for.

One of my “projects” was to make painting time for myself – painting is the one activity where my mind can just switch off – and then another “project” was to make more devotional time with God. For this post I was fortunate enough to combine both!

Please note that this was my first ever video post and I encountered a few problems. Learned a lot through this process! Next one will be better 🙂

 

Hope you feel encouraged!

Stay safe. Start DOING and God loves you!

XX

J

Diversity is good!

Art, Devotional

Donkey-01

On 1 February 2020 I wrote the following words in my journal:

“Be different. Be yourself. The one who God made you to be. Don’t try to be like others and don’t compare yourself to others. You will then always feel that you are not good enough.

God gave you everything that you need for His plans. Use your talents and stop complaining about what you don’t have.”

 

These were harsh words to tell yourself! But sometimes that’s necessary. If you want to grow as a person, you will sometimes need to stop and ask yourself earnestly, “What do I need to realize of myself, and what do I need to change.”

It’s so easy to not feel good enough in specific areas in your life, to not feel pretty enough, to not feel sufficient. Why is this? Because we compare our success to the ability and success of others. Example: I love painting. I scroll through social media for ideas, see something that someone else has painted and think, wow, that’s beautiful! Now I want to paint it as well…but guess what, it doesn’t look like their’s and it will never. We are not the same person! We don’t have the same talents. We don’t have the same abilities…ideas…creativity…etc etc – in short: WE ARE NOT THEM.

There’s nothing wrong in finding inspiration from others. God likes community. He wants us to interact and learn from each other. But the purpose is to build people up through it. To build His church. He doesn’t want you to feel not good enough just because you cannot do something in a way someone else can.

Today I want to encourage myself and whoever also needs to hear this. Diversity is good, embrace it. Start looking for your own unique ideas and interpretations of it. Look for help when you need it, but learn from it and don’t see yourself as a failure just because you didn’t know how and will now still need to take time to practice the new skill/advice you’ve received. Remember, someone who is a master in a specific skill has spent quite a few hours to practice their skill. And importantly, enjoy what you are doing! We need to find joy in everything we do. God gave you gifts and talents to enjoy, but more than that, He gave you these gifts and talents for His enjoyment. So use them! but in the unique way that God intended for you to use them.

Have a blessed day!

God loves you.

xx

J

 

DEVOTIONAL: EVERY DAY IS A FRESH START

Art, Devotional

Every day is a fresh start

Every Day is a Fresh Start

Yesterday has passed, we can’t add or take-away anything.  We can’t change anything we said, didn’t say, wanted to say – or do…and to sit and worry or be angry about things in the past not only ruins the new day that started but also ruins the new opportunities that may come your way.  It stops us from smelling the roses, seeing the new sunrise and listening to God’s voice – and we know God is not in the loud noises but in the soft whisper of the wind – so we need to listen carefully 🙂

The author of Lamentations starts off by telling us in chapter 3 about God’s wrath and the bad stuff he has seen, then in verses 22-24 he says this, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’”

Ecclesiastes 7:10 tells us, “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’  For it is not wise to ask such questions.”  When we look back at the “old days” we want to remember only the good things that happened but we forget it wasn’t all good…or we look back and only remember the bad stuff and forget it wasn’t all bad.  We are not objective about the past.  Matthew 6:34 “Each day has enough troubles of its own.”  So why go and worry about yesterday’s troubles or what the future may hold.

No matter what happened in the past when you cry out to the Lord, Psalm 40 tells us God reaches out and helps us. Psalm 40:2&3 “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”  Ecclesiastes 7:14 says “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this:  God has made the one as well as the other.  Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” In other words…life is unpredictable, so why look back or ahead, just enjoy today and make the most of it.

Smell the roses; look at the sunrise 🙂 and search, with optimism and expectation, new opportunities, new excitement, love, laughter and new ways to help those in need.

Have a blessed, wonderful and NEW day!!!

God Bless

XOXO

J

LIFE’S A MYSTERY

Devotional

Life is a mystery..

How do we see life?  How do we see the obstacles and opportunities?  Do we see things that happen in our life in a negative way?  Are we without patience and we want to know what’s ahead, our future, the next step… and it’s more about the end goal than the journey?  “If we could just know what the economy will do, what the weather will be like, what career to choose, field of study” etc….

I heard a 9 year old boy pray the other day and it was so beautiful to hear his outlook on life.  While praying he thanked God that life is a mystery!..and this got me thinking.  The picture of a treasure chest came to mind.  Our lives are like a chest full of unopened “treasures” and it’s an exiting journey – a treasure hunt – to unlock the different “treasures.”  And yes, the “treasure” at the end of the journey is awesome, the bonus, a blessing, BUT the journey should be just as exciting.  Think of your childhood and all of the Easter egg hunts or other activities/games where you had to follow clues and solve problems and “hunt” the end prize.  The prize was very exciting but the “hunt” was where the real excitement took place.

Is this not the way we should approach our lives as well?  Enjoy every step and obstacle, solve the problems with excitement because you know at the end there will be a blessing if you persevere in the journey.  Whether it is to make a big life choice or the little things in life.

I think it’s time we get our childlike faith and wide-eyed-excitement back regarding life. To see problems as opportunities and look for creative solutions instead of more problems and to stop complaining too easily but rather be thankful for all the blessings which we have already “unlocked”.  Change our daily mindset and see the beauty in life again.  Try something new every now and then because you never know if you have a hidden talent or interest.  Stop caring so much what the world think about you and the little box they want to place you in and start standing up for who you are!!!

Remember, you are more than you think you are.  God designed you and your journey – and yes, sometimes we miss a clue or misinterpret the “treasure map” and end up on a different road but if you ask for Godly direction again, you will still reach the finish line. It will maybe just take a bit longer and you might pick up a few more bumps and bruises along the way.

So lets all thank God today that life’s a mystery and that we have the opportunity to solve the puzzle or find the “treasure!”

Lots of love
J