Posts Tagged With: identity

Why I don’t write

I often have a conversation with myself as if I was writing for this blog. I so want to update this and write what is going on. And yet, I find myself with countless unfinished posts. There are a few reasons why the posts never get published. And one of them is not that life has become dull. On the contrary. It is rich. We are still seeing miracles and salvations. We are still seeing devastation and sadness.

The real reasons I have not been writing, I will try to explain here. And maybe a few will get it… and the others of you may just think I have clearly lost my head ūüôā

1. It (meaning life in the Alice) has all become so normal that it feels that I would be writing about the mundane, regular (which is by no means a lot of people’s regular) routine. Ok routine is probably too strong a word… but the rhythm of our life although to others hectic or bizarre, just feels the norm to us… so I struggle to know what to tell that would be of some interest.

2. It has become more personal. More real. Most of the people I would want to tell the stories of have become deeply connected to me and my family and to their families. Sometimes, I feel like it is sharing secrets (and although I have always as much as I can sought permission to share what I do) I don’t know how to explain some of the stuff I see. It is much more involved and complicated than it first appears.

3. I don’t trust what some people will do with what I have written. Some people like to take things out of context. Some people like to glorify it, and use that as an excuse about why they are not living a ‘naturally supernatural’ life. Others, use my posts as a way into the people’s or their families lives and do more harm than good. And I know there are others of you that are just encouraged and encourage me: so please for those of you in that category forgive my rant ūüôā ).

and lastly,

4. I haven’t known how to say, that as good as it is here, and as wonderful as it is to see God move and transform lives, ¬†there is also a whole lot of bodgy stuff going on here, and I’m not talking about the non-believers… and that sickens me and saddens me and angers me, and I have been seeking the Father what I do about this that will help bring change and I know for this to occur I will need to do it in His Spirit as it won’t be effective otherwise, I will be merely joining them in their self-glorification, etc…

So… maybe now this is off my chest, new things will merge. new posts will appear… I want¬†to share some of the testimonies, just not sure how or when.

Let me say how grateful I am for those of you who pray for me and my family. We seek in our lives in all things to honour Christ, to love people and to be transparent. I expect that other believers will do the same, and find myself hurt when they aren’t and don’t. But I suppose that gives me more opportunities to forgive, just like Christ forgives me :-). (Perhaps I should be like some of my friends who say they never have any expectations on people and therefore never get hurt or offended- but I don’t seem to be able to do that without shutting people out emotionally). A wise friend of mine has said we have to learn to be expectant without any expectations. When I have achieved that, I will let you know ūüôā in the mean time, please continue to uphold me in your prayers and I too will uphold you in mine.

Bless you,

Reb

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the year that was

So apparently 2013 has come and gone already. Wow. What a year.

We have been in Alice for almost 2 years now and this was definitely packed in and a time of growing and learning. I had a read of my personal journal entries from last year, and was interested by a post written in January. I felt that God had said that it would be a year that I would need to hold on tight, and had the verse ‘those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, they will not be moved (or shaken)’. Oh my, if only I had knew what truth that verse held for the year to come!

Allow if you will for me to reflect on some things I have learnt and/or been reminded of in this last year.

1.¬†Jesus when he was on this earth never put much weight on whether people approved of him or not, because it says that he knew their hearts and how fickle they were (are ūüôā ).

This has been helpful for me to remember when I’ve found people flattering me or when they have been outright slandering me, or the one’s that think they are above me. Jesus’ response teaches me to get to the place where I can respond in the same way (not that I have fully achieved this, but that I am aware of it is on the way). Jesus knew where to get his worth ,from his Father… and me? I’m working on doing the same, because the Father’s thoughts on me are unchanging.

2. Doing things scared is much better than not doing it at all.

2013 was a year of me starting to take risks again. I did things I would have done years ago, but that I had  stopped because I had let fear of man and failure creep in. I went in a 24 hr dance marathon with some friends (turned out to be one of the highlights of my year), I sung solos, I entered a 24hr film comp, I directed and performed in a drama in front of thousands of people.

3. Forgiveness isn’t the same as denial, it is freedom.

This year I came to some realisations that people I had cared for deeply, didn’t care the same for me, and my expectations of them to care had just allowed hurt to fester in my life. Other people had treated my family badly and still treat us with disdain even though we weren’t at fault. We have been let down countless times and the list goes on… I assume you could all write your own stories :-)… BUT God was teaching me a deeper forgiveness than I had experienced before. It was literally like he was walking me through some very¬†dark places ¬†but we did not stop there. I felt raw, but could feel his deep healing working as he unveiled truths (not always pleasant truths, but truths nonetheless). These truths are to allow me to still be in contact with these people but go in with my eyes open, deal with things in my own heart and guard against attacks from without.

4. Don’t get distracted.

Look after the people God has entrusted in our care. Keep the main thing, the main thing. Protect the sheep from the wolves but let God deal with people with their own agenda.

5.¬†God’s grace IS sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in weakness.

Sometimes I have felt so tired and not enough time to stop. But it is in those times, when I have not much of myself to give, that I have seen God work in His miraculous power. I’d pray for someone and they would begin to get excited and they would be healed. Or they’d ask what they might do to be saved. Or there’d be a stack load of kids turn up hungry for learning the Bible. Or the latest one, he would multiply our dinner to feed all the people who just randomly showed up at our doorstep with nothing. Just love how our God does that. Mostly, it reminds me, it’s not about me… It’s about HIM… It’s always about HIM ūüôā

AND lastly but not least

6. Laugh. Lots. Let your hair down. Never forget where you come from, but don’t get stuck there.

 

Bless you all. Thanks for taking this journey with me. I pray that 2014 is a year you say yes to God and what he is doing. I’m going to give it my best shot. And if last year was the year of ‘hold on’ or ‘stand firm’, ¬†then this is the year of ‘thrust’,20130911_160722 of moving forward, of breakthrough. Get ready to run. It’s going to be fantastic!

Reb

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relief

The following is the lyrics of a song I penned whilst sitting at the edge of¬† Todd Mall. Every now and then I get this sense that the Holy¬†Spirit wants to share with me something and I’m going to need to write it down. I had been asking God to show me what is going on with the people I had been seeing and watching (I am a people watcher, it is a hobby of mine, I love it. It¬†was honed when I was at acting school). This song is not my feelings, but the sense I got from the people I saw that day as I sat at the edge of the mall. Maybe one day you will hear the tune, and maybe not.¬†An extremely rough version is recorded on my phone so I don’t forget it.¬†I don’t often share my lyrics, but after some events today that I am not at liberty to share, I found them relevant.

Want some relief

But don’t expect me to change

Want some water for my thirst

But not enough to quench it

Can’t resolve to take the leap

that would place me in the River

In that healing place

Would rather drown in my sorrows

Get lost in my pain.

 

Find myself all alone

In a place full of people

In a sea full of faces

Wont take the leap to that flowing water¬†….

 

It’s just the way it’s always been

It’s just the way I’ve always done

Life

trying to find it

trying to hide from it

trying to

breathe

want to start living

want to start believing

but do I dare to take

a chance

What if I fall

completely down

Who’s going to catch me

if I fall

completely down

I am interested to see how God through His Holy Spirit woos these people. How many times have I been scared to trust or hope because at least I know the pain. When we used to work at Teen Challenge we saw many people who just wanted relief. It is quite often the same here.

 But GOd wants to do more than that. He wants to change us from the inside out and heal the pain and get rid of our excess baggage. He wants us to LIVE not just exist. Jesus came so we can have life to the full.

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I just can’t fix it.

I think the hardest thing about being a parent is when we see our children sad or hurt and we can’t take the pain away. This morning I read out a post by a friend from the Barossa thinking my kids would be excited for them, but they got instantly sad, and one of my boys trying to hold back tears said “I’m sorry Mum, but I just miss my friends and going to Kids Club so much”. We are over 1500kms away and yet my brain started to think of ways to get them to Kids Club this Friday. I know, a little silly, but I wanted to ease the pain in his heart. I know that pain oh too well. It takes a while to foster a friendship and they had some lovely friends back in the Barossa. I felt guilty that we had again moved our boys on just when they were beginning to feel at home.

We were pleasantly surprised with how our boys have settled in to Alice. They seemed to not be too sad that they were gone. They talked of their soccer mates and Kids Club friends and cousins, but they said “that’s ok, we’ll visit them”. When we had left Young for the Barossa it was a different story. They had forged some extremely close friendships with some boys from there and so they found that move very hard indeed. So when we came here, we braced ourselves for the same, but it didn’t come.

I think this time, one they were older, but two there were many distractions. They came in Summer, and so we could swim every day. They met a family full of kids that they were able to hang with a bit and we were exploring.
But now… the realisation that this is not just an extended holiday, but a place that we are staying has just hit home.

I held my boy in my arms (as well as I could with how big he was getting) and told him it was ok to cry. Grief is ok, if we let it out. When we don’t let it out it becomes unhealthy and we can become irrational and not really know why.

I know to some of you this post may seem a little menial. Some of my friends are going through tough times. I can’t imagine¬†how they are feeling as they are watching on, trying to comfort their son who is¬†under three as he battles leukemia, and another friend whose adult son got hit whilst riding his bike and is now in critical condition. Other friends that are doing life with children with special needs and one day it’s all good and the next it feels all has been undone. Next to these things, my boy’s pain could seem a little trivial. But I know in a stress test they liken moving to being as high on the list as a death or divorce… and from personal experience I know matters of the heart can make or break someone.

So I comforted and reassured my little fella that everything would be ok and I prayed that God would heal his broken heart and bring new friends that he could do life with. And I prayed that as a parent I would know how to nurture and foster these little men as they grow.

I am a person who likes solutions. Who likes to see things fixed. Iknowthough, that some things aren’t instantaneously fixed, problems don’t always get solved and this side of heaven, things aren’t always rosy. But as Ben always used to remind me when we were walking through what felt like the valley of the shadow… “God is still on the throne”… So glad for it.

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Jumper leads

Another random thought about the Christian life when asked by a neighbour to jumpstart their car:

I’ve realised that the Christian life is about hooking people into the correct source to get their batteries recharged. Sometimes that is literally: you have to jump start their car, or give them food or clothing. And other times it’s about jumpstarting their spiritual journey back to the Father.

Either way requires faith in action, and a bit of a jolt to achieve the desired result.

And so we don’t get drained, we need to remember, we are merely the leads… not The Source itself.

 

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If you die tonight… what would become of the leftovers?

When we die, unless we have some Lazarus experience it’s what I would call final. Complete. No turning back.

What then becomes of our leftovers? In this instance of course I am not primarily talking of food (though I suppose if you died in the middle of a meal then I could be talking literally ūüôā ). I am talking about one, the things we have accumaulated, two, the activities we have engaged in and three, the relationships we have fostered (or not). Left-overs are the part of the meal that is left when we have finished up the original meal. Other people will be the ones to partake or throw out our leftovers and once we have had the meal (this life) we cannot decide what becomes of leftovers.

Are the things I am spending my time, money and emotions on worth passing on to someone else to continue to partake of? Or are they destined for the rubbish, the smell pungent as milk left out in a sundrenched car or worse- off fish. Have I left the feeling of others wanting more and wanting to duplicate what has been my meal?

I heard that a beautiful old man spent his time asking: If you were to die tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity? But I don’t think that is the end of the questions. If you have chosen to make Jesus Christ your God and know that heaven with Him awaits you, then I think that there are further questions we must begin to ask ourselves.

Does my life reflect the One I follow? Will my lifestyle and the choices I make cause someone to seek out my lifestyle?¬† or be non-plussed? or even repelled by it? I read in the Bible today in the book of James that it says that “anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes and enemy of God”, it says that when we ask God for things we do not recieve them because we ask with wrong motives, so that we can spend our money on sinful pleasures.This passage is not talking about locking ourselves up in our room and never interacting with other people. It is talking about when we live for our pleasures, when we seek out things with selfish ambition. When we fill our lives with lust, drunkeness, witchcraft (no matter how “tame”), jealousy, hatred then we become an enemy of God. Our leftovers are not one that will leave a legacy for our children and definitely not draw people to know our Christ.

In all honesty, how do I stand out from those that have no belief in our Jesus? Am I quick to forgive because I have been forgiven much? Do I choose to stay away from things because it might cause someone else to stumble? Do I choose to fill my mind with things that are¬†pure, noble, trustworthy or just what will give a laugh, what will get me ” popular”? Have¬† I seared my conscience that I can’t hear the Holy Spirit when He says, walk this way, don’t watch that, DO talk to that person etc… Am I more concerned about ME and the enjoyment I can have on this earth that I have forgotten that it carries no weight for my future destination not to mention future generations. Have I been more consumed with accumulating wealth on this earth for me that I have forgotten my hungry brothers and sisters?

I ate some really nice leftovers today. Chicken stirfry from last nights meal. Sometimes I think food tastes better as left overs…. That is the kind of taste I want to leave in peoples mouths when I pass from this life to my destiny. I want people left wanting more, copying and bettering what I had done. Remembered for my love and passion for God, his people and life. Remembered for the sweet aroma that comes from being with someone who has allowed themselves to be purified in the fire. To be laid on the operating table and healed.

And so my question to you today: If you were to die tonight…what would become of your leftovers?

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The long weekend

 

I helped a lady from her seat to walk her to the communion table and she began to cry. She quietly cried and cried. I could feel the presence of God on her. As I held her hand and she was crying, I too began to cry and pray. I prayed for this woman with kind eyes, who looked as though life had been tough for. That was Good Friday morning at our house. I had never met this lady before, but she had wanted to come to church when I was picking up others on our usual bus run and so her and her daughter had hopped on the bus.

It was a beautiful morning. Touching. Moving. Reminded me again of why God wanted us here: to keep our hearts soft.

Friday evening we went to Topsy, a local hostel for indigenous¬†people who come into town from remote communities¬†mainly for health reasons. The people there couldn’t come to our service today because many of them had dialysis in the morning so we came around to¬†have communion and sing with them. It was a lovely time. We prayed together and enjoyed¬†fellowship. One lady we had prayed for the night before was beaming. She had chest pains, but after we prayed, Jesus had healed her. The smile on her face was priceless. As was the smile on the other people’s faces as our boys handed out the bread and juice.

From there we went to the hospital. There is a girl there that has just lost her leg and her brother died a couple of weeks ago. She has been so sad. Today she was a little brighter as her family had been able to take her out to a local footy comp that was on over the weekend. My heart was breaking for this young girl as we shared communion with her, she loved that Zion gave her the bread, he insisted that he serve her. 

Zion loves to visit his friends as he calls all the people we¬†go to see. And they are. They love him as much as he loves them. There is little verbal communication, but much is¬†said. There is one lady that Zion always borrows her walking stick and pretends it’s a hunting gun shooting kangaroos or a bow and arrow¬†etc…¬†

Saturday morning, I went into another hostel where a lady was staying¬†who was also unable to attend the service on Friday.¬†Church is one of the highlights of the week. They¬†get to go out and see their friends and¬†sing so when they miss out they sometimes are quite sad. So we¬†went in to visit this lady, and she was in so much pain she was shaking and couldn’t focus. She said “my head, my head”. I prayed and then we¬†poured communion and partook of the emblems. As she ate the bread and drank the juice the shaking stopped and she began to look clear. She smiled. I asked her if the pain had left and she said it had! I tell you, there is¬†NO power in the juice and¬†NO power in the bread, it is what¬†that communion represents.

There is more to tell of Resurrection Sunday and my findings but it is for another time. Let me just say that once again. I was undone, broken and moved to love how Jesus loved. And was grossly made aware of what we consider necessities and what we take for granted. We need not leave our country to find the poor and undernourished and neglected. It does not take much to befriend the lonely, the unloved, the weak. But it does take some pride swallowing, and some soul-searching. We need more people who are willing to lay down their lives to share Jesus and instil a hope for the future right here in Australia.

¬†See we can try to fill¬†a physical need, but unless we couple that with the hope for the future and an assurance¬†of better things to come then it is like sticking a band aid¬†on a festering wound. It will only do a temporary fix. I do know this is where some of you will tune out and say Rebekah is on her soap box again. aah, did I ever get off it?¬†ūüôā I¬†have seen many feel good, self-healing, fix-the-world things happening, and they are good… but I have seen nothing that transforms a person’s life, like one that has been touched by their Creator’s hand.

The power of the blood of Jesus is alive and well. It heals the sick. It brings emotional healing. It can restore families.¬†I¬†know¬†that this is just the beginning of things to come. I would love to see whole¬†families transformed, and I tell you they are BIG families here. God is not interested in lording it over people… He just wants people to be in relationship with him and experience freedom. He said in John 10:10 “I came that they may have life and have it to the full“.

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Elijah

Elijah is our first born. He is eight. He likes all things lego. When he grows up he wants to be a lego designer.

He also loves swimming and riding and soccer. And reading. He reads and reads and reads. I can’t keep up with him. Yesterday he came out of his room and he says “Mum did you know that we have white cells in our bodies that fight the bad stuff in our body”. I enjoy hearing the wealth of knowledge he is obtaining willingly. He started a blog when he was 5. But had a break for a couple of years and has just picked up on it again so the link for that is here http://superelijah5.wordpress.com

He is sensitive. He likes things his own way. He tends to worry and tries very hard to “get it right” all the time.

He loves life and is loud (almost always too loud) and has the craziest laugh. He thinks out of the box and thinks things through.

He loves to devise plans and create secret maps and pretend he is a spy or an agent or a knight.

He is a great big brother but sometimes gets so frustrated with his younger brothers that he doesn’t know what to do about it, but he is protective of them. One day we were at a playground and a kid was hitting Josiah so Elijah stepped in between them and let the kid hit him instead.

This is our Elijah. We love him.

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Who’s who because of what they do?

I decided to go to this government forum today. A tad nervous to rock in by myself into this event at the Crowne Plaza, but I drummed up my old acting skills and walked confidently in… looking around, I seemed to be the only person who had come on my own… not really my preference, but I didn’t have much choice (it was a women’s forum to draft the policy for women in the territory)¬†so I think¬†Ben wasn’t really going to fit in.

Anyway I make it past the woman at the desk, who was very pleasant and I thought this is going to be ok, i’ll go find myself a seat. I found a table with only a few women on it, and some of the women only seemed a little younger than me so I thought that I might¬†give it a whirl¬†(I usually sit with older women, as I find they have much better stories). I introduce myself and ask if I can sit down and they nod and ask “where do you work?” Which I reply with “Nowhere”. Well the look on their faces was gold. They managed with one look and a just audible oh to make me feel as small as a linseed (by the way linseed is really good for you) they then return to their conversations as I suppose they didn’t know what else to say. Another lady walks in and decides to sit on our table. She notices I am not talking to anyone and so says Hi, What job do you do? I say a little reserved “I’m a stay at home mum” to which she smiled that wonderful smile when someone is talking a foreign language and doesn”t understand you but is too polite to say, and she turns away from me and asks the other girls “do you work”which they reply affirmative and then continues conversation with them, disregarding my presence once again. I wanted to scream out my credentials to be there, that I have a double degree and some, and tell them all about my experience in every job I have ever done, but I realised that although that was important to them- that did not make me important. I was just trying to impress them, with what? some letters after my name? I actually was qualified to be there without any education. The invitation was extended to “all territory women” to come and have their say about a new policy being drafted for women. ANd guess what? I am a woman, who has happened to stay at home with my children for now. I must say I was close to leaving, feeling a tad overwhelmed when in walks this lovely woman. She heads straight for our table and sits down next to me and begins conversation about how she nearly didn’t make it and was glad they were starting late and then we talk about ourselves. She asked how long I’ve been in the territory and what brought me here and I tell her about Ben’s job and she asks about the boys school and I say I home school and she smiles genuinely and says it is nice to¬†meet me… ah I said and you don’t know how nice it is to meet you!

Whether we choose to work, stay at home, further our education, or what it does not change who we are…. it is¬† a part of who we are, but it’s not everything…

What we value as society can sometimes be back to front. We say that we promote wellbeing and yet we say the quicker we can get children away from their parents the better. Our children are being “nurtured”by people not their own and we are proud of it. The policy was how quickly can we get the women back into the workforce so they can be successful. My greatest success story will be if my children become giving, sacrificial caring people… but I’m easily swayed by wanting to sound important in other people’s eyes…

I never want to be confined by what I do, or box other people with the same prejudice… we all have a¬†journey and it’s all unique… it’s our ability and willingness to learn from others from diverse backgrounds that will make us more successful and whole.

And of course if you are a follower of Jesus you know that our greatest sense of identity comes that we are coheirs with him. That we are now adopted into sonship (or daughtership) with the Creator of the Universe…!! What credentials are greater than that!

PS. During the course of the day, the other women warmed to me, when I was able to give answers that were half intelligent- we’re funny creatures aren’t we? ūüôā

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