You shall be safely lead

What would I do without Jesus

When the days with their shadows grow dim

When storm billows roll sweep over my soul

What would I do without him:

 

Keep on believing, Jesus is near

Keep on believing there is nothing to fear

Keep on believing this is the way

Faith in the night as well as the day

 

He knows the untried way

He sees each step ahead

and by his guiding hand

you shall be safely lead

 

~Ethel Bell

 

 

Ezering Along

I have recently started a new job in the sunny land of ENG, a.k.a, England.

Who’d have thought?

I’m not gonna lie, leaving France felt (cue exaggeration) like losing a limb. I can’t remember a time when I have cried so much over something. It was experiencing lack of direction, indecision, confusion and loss all at the same time.

Well, apparently, the old me already had a feeling that I would end up in England, because if you recall my previous posts, you’ll see I’ve written (joked ^^) about returning to the UK and working in my mum’s local Tesco.

Funnily enough, I’m not working in my mum’s local Tesco – yet again I’m working in a school. This time though, I’m no longer the teacher, but the teaching assistant.

Thank goodness.

I’m enjoying my more-or-less free evenings; last year’s constant lesson preparation and activity research but a distant memory…

How delightful it is to wake every morning. To wake early, with purpose. To have somewhere to be, people to interact with, and a LOT to learn. (Being unemployed was just a bit of a drag…)

This is what I love about the education environment: It feels a challenge. It IS a challenge, rather. Yet this challenge means that every day is a privilege, as every day, little old me gets to learn. I get to learn pearls of wisdom from other newbies or experienced professionals, from the children, or more often than not, from my own mistakes. And mistakes, my friends,  are proof that you are trying.

I’ve read the book Captivating recently. In the book, Stasi Eldridge explains how as women we are created to be helpers. When God made Adam, it wasn’t enough; Adam needed Eve! Eve is Adam’s helper, she is his “ezer”. Not only is “ezer” used in the context of Adam and Eve, ezer is used in the Bible many times, meaning to help (helper), or to support.  And as a Teaching Assistant, I am convinced that God is teaching me about having more of His servant-heart. A heart created for helping others, a heart which is ready to help others, and rejoicing in the work.

Don’t get me wrong – rejoicing in the work is easier said than done a lot of the time. The first few weeks of my new job were (and still have recently been) quite up and down, and I still do, and will of course, experience down days.

What has been an encouragement to me though, are verses which I have recently (re)discovered thanks to one of Alyssa Joy Bethke’s blog post, Psalm 84:11-12:

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I feel as though I almost grasp something new, and then, unexpectedly, this exciting spark of something new, slips through my fingers. Whether it be a new experience, a different job opportunity, a new friendship, a new love-interest(ha!), a new hobby, or anything else, there are times when I feel like I’m missing out on what I’ve never had. Or almost had.

Then, there are the times when I dwell too much on missing what I once had.

So rather than seeing me feel all sorry for myself, I’m pretty glad that God chose to speak to me through Psalm 84, reminding me that He will “withhold no good thing” from those who continually seek Him. Psalm 84:11 confirms to me that right here, right now is where God wants me to be, and that right here, right now, is nothing less than His best for me. How cool is that!? And although sometimes I’m full of doubt, waking every morning with this encouraging truth does nothing less than lift my spirits, helping me to rejoice in the new day and in this current season of life.

So right now, let’s trust in His ways, and not miss out on our Father’s best for us. Remember His words (Isaiah 55:8):

 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways

and be blessed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Grace :)

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness ~ Lamentations 3:22-23

If you’ve read my previous blog posts recently, you’ll know that I’ve been questioning my actions and life-decisions a little – questioning What’s NextWhat’s my one next step along the world? 

Encouraged, the blog & book of Robin Jones Gunn remind me of the positive truth that we are not a victim of circumstances; rather we are a victim of grace.

I love the way that with Jesus, grace and hope can shine through any situation. Ta daa!

Here’s a lil paragraph about grace on Robin’s blog (http://www.robingunn.com/victimofgrace/):

“How have things been going for you lately? Are you feeling discouraged due to circumstances that seem out of your control? You’re a victim, you know. It’s true. Not a victim of circumstances. No, you are a Victim of Grace. God is accomplishing His purposes in you and through you regardless of what is going on around you. He has His heart set on you”

I love it! I would encourage you to read her book, “Victim of Grace”, especially if you’re already a RJG fan. For me, it’s a real page turner, a true account of a few of Robin’s life chapters, full of pleasant truths.

What situations are you going through in your life right now?!

Be encouraged – God’s love and grace for us are bigger than our circumstances!

Where sin increased, grace increased all the more ~ Romans 5:20

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord ~ Romans 8:39

Write?

Just cooking a late lunch and delighting in the sweet taste of blueberries, when I had a thought.

Excuse me for writing in a previous post that our lives are ours to write: “we’ve just got to write them well” …blah blah blah…Who was I kidding?!

God is the author of all our stories. Accepting that He holds the pen/keyboard/feather is a daily struggle, but remembering that He has the control takes a whole load of pressure off my shoulders today.

Thanking the Lord for that today.

We may be the protagonist of our story; we are not the author of it.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:2 KJV

So guys, take a minute (although-girls-I-understand-it’s-hard-to-when-it’s-your-time-of-the-month-and-you-feel-like-little-minions-are-throwing-small-punches-at-you-I-know), slip off those shoes and put your feet up. Get back to that To-Do list in a bit – relaxing in the knowledge that Jesus has got it covered.

Plans better than her own

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps ~ Proverbs 16:9

You know when you’ve made a decision, followed it through and then asked yourself: Why EVER did I do that? WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?

Yeah, well, that’s pretty much how I’m feeling right now. Plus empty, albeit confused. Well, if you want to know how not to do something, you might be able to learn a trick or two from me. Sigh.

Last year, God blessed me with exactly what I wanted. ME. Little ole me. The previous year my heart had been set on going to France, and I hoped to be able to live with Christian girls in a Christian coloc. And what did He bless me with? A job in France, and a home with Christian girl housemates. And SO MUCH MORE.

He gave me the desires of my heart.

 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

Okay, so it was also partly difficult; the work was difficult. But everything else? Pretty much perfect blessings from God. And even the difficult work brought me blessings. So you might be able to understand why I feel confused – as I’ve kinda just walked away from all that. (WHY!?)

I even met a lady in my church on Sunday – a newcomer, new to the area. We talk for a few minutes, and then we stumble upon the fact that I’m leaving the day after. And what do I start doing? Trying to hold back a puddle of tears ready to spill over, I excuse myself. I’ve probably scared the poor family away!

Okay, so as people have said, the door to go back is still ajar. I could go back. Next week even – as I’ve ironically got a pre-booked ticket going back there next week. I honestly have. But now I have no idea where God is leading me. Taking a ‘leap of faith’ has resulted in me feeling like this. Totallyconfused.com.

Have you ever been in 2 minds about something? Or make that 3, no 4, no actually, 7?!?

But it’s promised – that God is not a God of confusion.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1 Corinthians 14:33

It’s promised that when we are weak, then we are strong. That God didn’t call us to a life without suffering, without pain – but that He will be with us wherever we go.

But this doesn’t change the fact, that it’s still difficult sometimes. I’m just looking forward to when I can look back, and see what God has taught me through all of this. I just wish I could see God’s bigger picture now, and not just the one tiny puzzle piece that I see, which just doesn’t make sense on its own. Only in God’s massive plan does it make sense.

Leaving for France on Saturday morning, I read in one of my daily devotionals the following verses:

  • Whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
  • [Abraham] did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
  • The children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the Lord their God of their fathers.
  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
  • Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
  • It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
  • The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
  • Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him. Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
  • There is no want for those who fear Him.

They remind me that I’ve got to continue to trust.

Here’s one encouraging blog post about a lady and God’s plans for her: https://lifeasfine.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/not-my-plans/

Plans better than her own.

Encourage

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Here are two blogs that I follow – Christian ladies who encourage!

  1.  http://lemmonythings.com/ I love this blog by this first lady. Here is a recent blog post re. body image and our infinite value : He maketh no mistake. Just another encouraging post…!
  2.  http://convergemagazine.com/author/amanda-bast/ I also am loving this second lady’s posts. In one blog she writes:“I am 26 years old. I don’t have a husband. I don’t have children. I don’t have a career. I don’t have what people expect I should have, but I am abundantly blessed with absurd, exhilarating, and fantastic things I would have never dreamed up on my own. So please, my dear friends, don’t ask me what’s next. Ask me what’s now.

Read more at http://convergemagazine.com/26-unmarried-and-childless-8736/#qDLj5e2uKeXjgolX.99

Quiet me, Lord

The Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears ~ Zephaniah 3:17

This is amazing! I rummage through some “rubbish” stored away in my old bedroom at my mum’s, and I stumble upon this: a hand-copied poem on a random envelope, which begins, ‘Shelter me, Lord’. (Excuse the untidy handwriting!)

Quiet Me

The title of the poem is ‘Quiet Me, Lord’, and it comes from a daily devotional book for youth, ‘The One Year Alive Devotions for Students’ by Rick Christian, a devotional which I used to read a few years back. It seems that the poem had caught my eye, as I had scribbled it down – probably so as not to forget it – all that time ago.

I googled the first lines of the poem, and straight-away found the page online. I can’t seem to copy and paste the poem, however I will paste an image of it here, and retype it too as the writing may be quite small to read otherwise. You can click on the image to zoom.

Quiet Me Lord

Quiet me, Lord,
From the crash-boom-bam noise of life
That overpowers my ears like the slamming of car doors,
The blare of stereos,
The honk of traffic,
The scream of revenge.

Slow me, Lord
From the hit-and-run pace of life
That overwhelms my peace like the breathlessness of time,
The blur of yesterday,
The rush of today,
The press of tomorrow.

Relax me, Lord,
From the knot-in-the-gut tension of life,
That stews my insides like the strain of broken friendship,
The grind of ambition,
The ulcer of bad habits,
The gnaw of hormones.

Shelter me, Lord,
From the haymaker-to-the-head blows of life
That assault my strength like the slap of old memories,
The sting of sharp words,
The clash of competing motives,
The dig of gossip.

Quiet me with your love, Lord,
Slow me with your patience,
Relax me with your peace,
Shelter me with your Spirit.
But most of all, Lord,
Overwhelm
Me
With
You.

And guess what the date of the devotional is?

August 20th! Today’s date.

It’s pretty amazing that God, knowing I no longer read that devotional, permit me to reread today’s encouraging prayer anyway! Espeically now, during this fuzzy period of job-seeking and uncertainty, where I don’t know what the next day will bring. My future is still rather fuzzy, and I’m a little afraid to take what may be my only available transportation: a leap of faith?