Faith

Forget eggs, take freedom

This last 12 months has made us value freedom, but I wonder how many of us are truly free?

Whether you realise it or not, there is a battle going on for your soul. You and I are the target of an enemy who wants to seduce us with power, kill us with comparison and distract us with a distorted truth. The devil wants to keep you bound by lies but Jesus gave everything to set you free.

Today marks the day that you and I were set free for eternity. The death and resurrection of one man saved the souls of millions, it is a gift given for everyone, forever.

Jesus took the nails, gave His life, went down to hell and took the keys of Death and Hades. He took the power that the devil once had over you and I. Jesus gives us His gift of freedom not just for right now, but for eternity

The devil knows who Jesus is and what He has done, and he is waging a war to make sure we stay distracted or stray away from the truth. The enemy couldn’t care less whether you acknowledge Jesus or not, as long as you don’t invite Him into your heart. Because when you invite Jesus in, the enemy is powerless over your soul.

And who the Son sets free is indeed.

So will you choose freedom today? Will you take hold of the hands that took the nails for you? Will you open your heart to the One who allowed His to stop in order to save you?

This Easter, forget the eggs and accept eternity. It is the best gift you will ever receive.

If you feel led to, please pray this prayer with me

Father God, thank you that you don’t want to be separated from me for eternity which is why you sent Jesus. You knew I would make mistakes so you sent your Son to live a perfect life and die a perfect death, so that when I invite Him in to my life, you see me as made right, made new, made clean.

Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you gave Your life for me. Please come into my heart this Easter, by your Holy Spirit, show me who you are and stay close beside me. I want to be free in Jesus name for eternity. AmenūüôŹ

P. S. If you prayed this prayer please please message me, I would love to speak to you!

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Faith, Lifestyle

He who holds the stars

Are you a perennial planner? A self confessed striver? Busily plotting your life to the nth degree then panicking when things take a detour? Yup me too.

I like to know where I am headed, what I need to do to get there and how long it will take. But so often this doesn’t take into account God’s opinion on the matter.

Our future is something we obsess over, yet we so easily forget that the One who flung the stars into space has our life in His hands. We hope, but He HOLDS. We try but He TRIUMPHS.

We hope, but He holds. We try but He triumphs.

Funnily enough God has been whispering this into my soul over the last few weeks and months but today at church I felt like He sealed it in for good.

Our current sermon series is all about Peter, and today we looked at the last time he met Jesus after the resurrection. Jesus had told Peter that he would be the rock on which Jesus would build the church, yet Peter had denied Jesus three times. We pick up the story where Jesus is risen, but hasn’t visited the disciples in a while. Peter is sat in his fishing boat, heart heavy and head in hands after a long and unsuccessful night of fishing. He must have been thinking to himself, “What now? I thought I would be a great fisher of men, yet I can’t even catch a fish. I let Jesus down and everyone know it.”

It can be so easy to beat ourselves up when things don’t turn out as we planned. So often we get despondent and downhearted, but this isn’t what Gods wants for us.

There is no point trying to know every turn and plan every step. That is not faith.

There is nothing to gain when we do things in our strength. But God’s gets all the glory when we let Him take over.

We are called to follow Jesus, to watch where he walked and place our feet in those footprints. Why follow Jesus? Because we can trust Him. Our happiness is His priority and He will take excellent care of us.

He who holds the stars will hold our hand. He always has and always will.

So wherever this finds you today, won’t you stop and be still. Stop striving and start living, because Jesus didn’t die so you could find your future. He died so you could find freedom. And that my friend, is a gift that you can enjoy right here, right now.

R x

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Faith

Finding me

All I have ever wanted is to belong. Isn’t that what we all want?

I grew up surrounded by abusive relationships, marriage breakdowns and bitter individuals. I have seen families torn apart by anger that was incited decades ago. I was fought over in the courts. I have never known, nor perhaps ever will know the full story behind the turbulent childhood I had. But what I do know, is that I have always sought to belong, to be accepted, to be approved of.

Thinking I could rectify the past with good works, I have always strived to be good – good at school, good at horse riding, good at art. I was always in the top sets and always pushing myself but this was never enough to gain the love and acceptance that I craved.

I went to university to study, one of the first in my family to do so, and I thought would impress, but it didn’t and I left without graduating.

I felt like a failure. But God.

He didn’t need me to do anything to impress Him or make Him take notice of me. God had watched me all along, He never took His eyes off me. He knew me inside and out, and He was insanely jealous for my affection. When I turned to Him, aged 21, He became the Cornerstone in my life, the anchor for my soul.

But I still strived. It’s all I knew to do.

I thought I could make up for the past by creating the perfect family. I pinned my hopes and dreams on creating the perfect home, the perfect family. I married an incredible man and we begin to build our family, but even so things began to unravel.

Sometimes it’s only when we are on our knees that we remember to look up

I found myself spiralling in anxiety and depression wondering where it had all gone so horribly wrong. I found myself floundering, utterly lost and asking Who am I? What am I here for? Do I need to be a Wife? Mother? Speaker? Writer?

I cried out to God and His reply was simple; You are my daughter.

Ever impatient, I asked, so what am I supposed to do?

His reply; Do what you love.

I sat back reeling, because I didn’t know the answer. What did I love? Jesus, family, friends? No the answer to finding me wasn’t in who I loved but what. And slowly over the last five years God has been peeling me back later by later, to rediscover my loves.

Do what you love ~ Father God

When we bought our first house, God whispered into my heart to get a piano. I found a beautiful vintage one on FreeCycle and arranged to collect it. My husband thought I had gone insane and that it was a fad that I would get bored with, but three years on I still play my piano almost every single day.

Our house is in a busy area and it wasn’t until we lived somewhere so urban that I realised how much I craved the great outdoors. We make an effort to get the children outside the city and into the woods, fields and mountains as often as possible. Both Dave and I grew up in the countryside and we continue to feel such a pull towards a simpler, rural way of life.

And then there is my writing. I have written as long as I can remember. Poetry, stories, songs and later blogs. But only in recent years have I realised the power in sharing my musings. I have always searched for a niche, not feeling that I fit into the usual parent blogger or lifestyle blogger categories. God gave me incredible tools in essential oils to support my emotional and physical health, and lately I have used this platform to share more about my wellness journey with others.

So what have I learned in all this? That God has given me gifts and talents. He has given me hopes and dreams. And He doesn’t need me to ‘be’ anyone or ‘do’ anything. In the same way that I take delight in seeing my children come alive in their giftings, so too does God delight in me. I don’t need a label, or a category. I just need to rest in the knowledge that I am a child of God and do what I love.

I am still finding ‘me’. But there are less layers to peel back and she is starting to peek through.

R x

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Essential Oils, Faith

Finding my purpose

I’ve written so many blogs but not published them. I’ve poured my heart into pages and pages of notes. I’ve felt Gods presence so powerfully and cried so hard while writing that I’ve had to catch my breath.

Many of these words need never be read by anyone other than Jesus. Like many prayers that we just can’t find the words to express or the energy to utter; they are heard in heaven.

So tonight as I sit in my garden, thinking of the rollercoaster that has been the last 12 months, hot tears of gratitude fall in place of grief. No longer am I lost and overwhelmed, not knowing where I belong or to whom. I know that I am a daughter of the King, a precious child of God blessed beyond measure.

And I am blessed to be a blessing.

You see, if I hadn’t have gone on this journey, if I hadn’t experienced the rollercoaster I wouldn’t have found my purpose.

I believe that God has called me to help others. He wants me to come alongside His children and support them, pray with them and empower them. I’ve been told by some lovely people that my blogs have encouraged them, and to hear that as a writer just blows me away.

But God didn’t just give me a gift of writing, but a gift of communication and compassion. He has also brought some beautiful people into my world who have supported me physically and emotionally through Young Living Essential Oils. I was sceptical at best when given some oils to try but when they helped me sleep for the first time in weeks I was sold. I am now completely in love with the products and am building a business to support my family financially just by sharing what the oils did for me.

Sounds crazy huh? But it feels so right. I feel like my blogging and my business go hand in hand; I can communicate what God reveals to me, show compassion to my lovely readers and also care for them practically by offering oily support suggestions.

I don’t want my blog to become a sales pitch. Far from it. But I do want to share the Good News – of the gospel of Jesus and of a way to live a healthier, happier life using the very things that God created.

Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing – Ezekiel 47:12

Never heard of essential oils? I’d love to share them with you. Want to get your own? I’d love to hook you up with some.

I am hosting my very first oily event – An Evening of Summer Essentials – on Saturday 14th July 2018 and I would love it if you could come! We are planning a relaxed, fun evening of treats and pampering so you can come and be spoilt, hear my story and go home with a goody bag, for just ¬£5! We have only 30 tickets available so book fast. Click this link to register free online then please forward payment to me via PayPal. (We are a fledgling business so haven’t paid for the Premium Eventbrite package where they charge us per ticket booked!)

I would love to see you and meet some new faces for the first time!

Until then my friends

R x

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Faith

Put it down

“That’s not yours, put it down”

If I had a pound for every time I say that to my boys. They grab hold of everything, fighting over¬†toys, books, magazines you name it. They always seem to want what the other one has, and rather than receive the gift, toys or sweets that I have kept aside, intended for them, they would rather clutch tightly to what doesn’t belong to them.

“Like mother, like son then”¬†God whispered to me.

You see I am so quick to hold on to something that wasn’t intended for me. I may have grown out of holding on tightly to a toy or a teddy that I didn’t want to give up, but I have a hard time releasing my grip on habits that I should have dropped a long time ago. I cling to relationships that I cannot redeem and I continue to carry baggage that could have been unpacked a long time ago.

When we are holding something in our hands that does not belong to us, we are not free to receive what we do deserve.

God intended for me to be free in a bound society, to be full of joy in a negative atmosphere and to be a light in a dark world. Jesus died so that I could live life and live it to the full, (John 10:10) and the Holy Spirit lives within me to encourage and empower me. The God head three in one did not intend for me to be weighed down with worry, to be burdened with bad relationships or to be fearful of my future.

As a parent I urge my children to drop what they don’t need or what isn’t theirs so that their hands are free to hold what I want to give them. Our Heavenly Father operates in exactly the same way with us, His children. The burden of guilt¬†or shame is not yours to bear, the weight of financial worry or wayward children is not yours to carry, the heaviness of grief and loneliness should not lay upon your shoulders.

It was and is all carried by Jesus on the cross.

I don’t for one minute want to assume that the Christian walk is an easy one, much less that you can click your fingers and forget all your troubles. But instead, can I encourage you my friend to lift your eyes to Jesus and lift your arms so¬†that He take the load from you. In return He will place in your free hands His peace, His love and His strength, in even the most dire of circumstances.

Jesus knows what you are going through, He knows the muscles you have developed from carrying this unnecessary load over the years will not release your load without a fight. Jesus knows it is not easy to change your habits and start shedding the weight, but shed it you must, because when your heart is humbled and your hands are empty, it is then that God can place the greatest gift in to your hands; The Present.

And this is truly a gift to be cherished each and every day.

 

R

 

 

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Faith

Time to let go

I am an eternal optimist always searching for a silver lining, but there are days when finding the little ray of hope in your heart is like finding a needle in a haystack, even for me.

I know I am profoundly loved, I know that I am profoundly blessed. I know that I have an amazing network of people in my life who build me up, spur me on and encourage me to fly. Even so, as a thirty something married mom of two, there is still one whom I seek approval from. There is still one that has a permanent place in my heart, one that I want to please, to make proud, to find approval with, yet I fear that may never come.

It is hard to hold on to hope after decades of heart ache. It is hard to not lose grip when your knuckles are blanched and your cheeks are stained with tears. It is hard not to lose heart, lose your temper and throw caution to the wind.

But it is harder still to let go.

In my mind, letting go implies that you don’t care, that you are better off alone or that you think you can do better. This couldn’t be further from the truth, but sometimes letting go is exactly what we need to do, because in holding on to something with both hands we can’t reach out and grab the opportunities in life that are passing us by.

In holding on to a relationship that is not reciprocated we can limit our lives. In clinging to the coffin praying for a resurrection, we could find ourselves inadvertently buried too.

God didn’t create me to hold onto someone else’s coat tails or hang on their every word. He created me to stand tall, be who He called me to be and step out into my own God-given destiny.

Jesus didn’t die so that I could be held back by someone who won’t hold me. He died so that He could hold me in His own arms, so that He could take my hand and lead me through the valleys to the mountain tops.

Jesus’ love is like a balm that soothes even the deepest wound, however amidst my own sense of injustice I suddenly remembered that Jesus loves them as much as He loves me. He doesn’t take sides, He sees them through the eyes of His loving Father, He sees their hurt and heartache too, He knows every hair on their head and He wants to wrap His ever-loving arms around them as tightly as He can.

Love isn’t easy and it sure isn’t pretty. I am called to love and love is what I will do as long as I live, but loving doesn’t mean limiting myself. Loving means forgiveness and the liberty to move on, regardless of whether your loved one chooses to follow suit.

I wrote a song this week and here is a snapshot of the lyrics that poured out of my heart;

After all this time, you’d think I’d realise
After all this time, you’d think I see the lies
After all these years you’ve brought me tears its true,
Now the time has come, I’m done chasing you.

(Chorus)

But oh, I still want to make you see,
The woman you made in me.
The one who holds her head up high, The one who looks to the sky,
But oh, now I know, its time to let you go.

I will never ever stop loving, and I will never ever stop living in hope that things will one day be different. But until then, I need to let go of what won’t hold me and reach out to the One who will.

Thank you Jesus that You will never ever let me go.

R

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Faith, Parenting

Put your hands up

“Mommmmyyyyyyyy!!!!” came the urgent cries from my two year old today, whilst I was washing up the dishes. I dried my hands and hurried to the kitchen door to see what mischief he has gotten himself into and I was greeted by the sorry sight of a very tangled up little boy. We have a small goal post in our garden, that is more often than not used as a net to catch monsters or to hang toys off of rather than to field incoming goals. My youngest had been playing with his ‘arrow’ (tin opener… go figure) and had somehow managed to get his hi-top clad feet hopelessly entangled in the goal net and was now stood in the middle of the garden with tears of frustration streaming down his cheeks.

Goal

I ran over to him to assess the crystal maze-esque task of getting him out of the goal¬†as he pulled at the ropes wound tightly around his legs. “Its OK baby” I soothed, “put your hands up and Mommy will pull you out”. Keen to escape the confines of the goal post, my son immediately put his hands in the air and reached out to me as I pulled him up, clear of the net without a struggle.

As I pulled my son close, God whispered into my spirit “If only you put your hands up to me so quickly. Daughter,¬†I love you and always want to help you, I can see when you are struggling and if only you would reach out to me I would pull you out of every situation that you find yourself in.”

My heart quickened as I recalled the many times where I have inadvertently gotten myself in to a tangle, and rather than calling out to God and reaching up to Him to pull me out I have picked at the knots and strings entwined around my life getting more and more tangled and increasingly frustrated.

When my son was in his tangled moment, I had the vantage point of being above him, I could clearly see where the strings were wrapped and how to move him so that he would be freed. God has the ultimate vantage point in heaven, He knows all things and sees all things, and He can see the things that bind you right now. He can see the situation you are in that you think is impossible to leave. He sees the financial burdens that keep you locked in to place, unable to move forward. He sees the physical limitations that sickness and chronic conditions have over you.

But He wants to set you free.

He wants you to move freely, unbound, unshackled, moving forward into all that He has planned for you.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb” Jeremiah 1:5

If only you would put your hands up. Put your hands up to the one who formed you in your mother’s womb. The one who created you and ordained every single day of your life even before time began, the one who loves you so much that He sent His son Jesus to die for you. If only you would realise¬†that by putting your hands up to the loving Father, He will take your hands and pull you up and out of your situation. Just as we love, nurture, protect and rescue our children so too does our heavenly Father, but we must be willing to surrender, to reach up to God for His love, His help and His protection in our situation.

Friend, please don’t give in to fear, shame, guilt, debt, sickness, relationship¬†breakdown, abuse or addiction. Instead give it up to God today.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11

R

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Faith

Bindweed and the Bible

The devil loves nothing more than to see lukewarm Christians bimble through life.

He loves it when he see’s God’s very own children pay no regard to the power and authority that is in them through Christ Jesus. The devil needs to do very little to keep the Kingdom from growing, other than to distract us from the truth of our true calling and bombard us with lies, lusts and to do lists, because as long as you and I are busy doing the demands of life then we can’t be busy being in the presence of God.

God reminded me of this today, as I was pottering around tidying up my garden. After a spot of lawn mowing and fence painting I went to empty the grass cuttings at the back of the garden when I discovered my son’s tricycle completely smothered in bindweed.

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The tricycle couldn’t have been there for more than¬†two or three¬†weeks and I was quite taken aback by the rate at which this plant had taken over the whole frame, winding several of its vines tightly around each handlebar, each pedal, each wheel. As I tugged at the tricycle in order for my son to have a ride, the vines held firm and that’s when God spoke to me.

“The tricycle represents your freedom Rachel, this is the vehicle given to you through faith in Jesus that enables you¬†to move forward, to travel further than you could imagine to experience more of your God-given life and destiny. The bindweed snaking its way around every part of the tricycle represents the things of this world that distract you from Me and My Word. These things stop you from reading the Bible and exercising your faith by keeping you busy doing other things or causing you to doubt your freedom in Christ.”

In the Bible, Jesus himself said; “If the Son sets you free then you are free indeed” John 8:36 NIV.¬†

Freedom in Christ means that you are no longer bound by circumstances or bad habits, you are no longer trapped in sin or repetitive patterns of destructive behaviour, and¬†you are not deceived by the lies of the enemy. He no longer has the power to twist his vines of self loathing, self-pity, selfishness or sinfulness around the handlebars of our lives because “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

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Interestingly, most of the things that limit us from discovering and exercising our true potential in Christ are everyday habits, thought patterns or recurring sins that we deem harmless or think we have under control. I knew that the bindweed was there, yet I didn’t expect it to take over the tricycle quite so fast nor so completely. The Bible warns us that out of that¬†the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45 NIV¬†and so we need to be so very aware of what we watch, read, and fill our minds with as before we know it, it can invade every area of our thinking, attitudes and actions.

The Bible says that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, (John 10:10 NIV) but he often creeps up oh so quietly, and wearing such a clever disguise that we never even see him coming. He will use that obsession over the latest celebrity news, or that desperation to fit in one more episode of Eastenders before you go to bed. He will delight in¬†those hours you spend poring over Pinterest and Facebook, he will relish the extra 10 minutes snooze in bed, because as long as your focus is on these things it is not on the Word of God. Please don’t misinterpret me, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with these things I just mentioned, however when they start to take precedence over your time with God and reading His word, then you could have a potential problem.

The Bible is frequently described as a mighty double-edged sword and whether you realise it or not, the devil knows that God’s Word is powerful. He also knows that¬†as a¬†Christian, who has invited Christ in to¬†your own¬†heart, you have the authority in Him to wield this sword for yourself and do lasting damage to the devil’s schemes as you speak truth in to situations in your world. With a Bible in your hand, and God’s promises in your heart, you have the power to change the world, one person at a time, and the first person to change is you. Let God’s Word penetrate your heart, ask Him for a passion to read the Bible so that it would become the first thing you read and the last thing you think about each and every day. Allow His words to wash over you like a soothing balm, to correct you when you need discipline, to guide you when you feel lost and to restore your faith when you feel out of control. But most importantly, allow it to give you true freedom, so that you move forward into your God-breathed destiny.

If you are feeling trapped by the bindweed of sin or unhelpful habits in your life, use the Bible to cut it down. Cut back the vines of obsession, coveting, jealousy and distraction, pull up the roots of bitterness and unforgiveness that are holding you back, and cling to the promises of God

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11¬†

Clearing the vines away from your life to free your heart and mobilise your faith is not always easy, but a problem shared is a problem halved, so talk to someone and ask them to pray with you. When Jesus said that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, He also added the following beautiful statement:

But I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)

If you don’t know Jesus yet and you would like to know more about having life and living it to the full, then please know that He is just a prayer away. Contact your local church for more information and if you prayed that prayer for the first time today please comment so I can congratulate you, welcome you to the family of Christ and most importantly pray for you!

R

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