Why would you read the Bible? Bus adventures

 

So, sitting on the bus today reading my kindle and this lady comes and sits next to me. She starts chatting away which I don’t mind and we ended up talking about a lot of stuff. It was really nice. Then she looks at my kindle and asks,

what are you reading?

I answer :”The Bible“.

She looked at me with surprise in her eyes, looking like she was trying to figure out if I was joking but when she saw that I was serious

she asked “why would you do that?”

I said because “It teaches me about Jesus and it helps me in life. It’s kind of like a life manual, you can find many answers in it”

“Oh” was her only response.

She fell silent for the rest of the journey (prolly thinking that I’m a nutter, like some do…)so, I just prayed for her. I don’t care what people think, I care about how God thinks of me.

 

Not so ‘Wordless Wednesday’ : Wireless Communication

Wireless Connection

 

How long has it been since you sent Him a text, a BBM or a Whatsapp if you prefer, just to thank Him or to give Him praise? Most of our prayers are to ASK Him for something, but He deserves our praise and our thanks. Send Him a text today…right now. Just think of all the things you are thankful for and praise Him for it! I promise, you will have a whole list of things you will like to talk to Him about. Concentrate on thanking Him today. We usually end up asking Him for help and things, at least most days we do, but today, let’s just give Him PRAISE!

Basking in self-pity

Today, the song “Great I am” was playing in my head while I was working. The chorus goes:

“Hallelujah, Holy Holy …God almighty, Great I am …Who is worthy …None beside Thee …God Almighty …Great I Am.”

It began as a quiet whisper in the corner of my heart and then gradually increased in volume until I was practically shouting the words of the song at the top of my lungs: “NONE BESIDE THEE…GOD ALMIGHTY…GREAT I AM”

Thankfully, I was alone in the office during lunch break (but God) had to listen to my slightly (okay majorly) off-key voice.

Funny thing is, I’ve felt a bit disappointed lately. Disappointment feels like a heavy rock sinking to the bottom of my spirit. I’ve felt disappointed in many situations – things that happen at work, out of my control. Or the lack inspiration when working on my blog moments, or when one of my children fail to do something important. Right now, I feel disappointment each month since my husband and I have married last year month with something that just isn’t happening yet. If you are a woman, you will know what I mean.

Then yesterday, I forced myself to read one of my daily devotions, not thinking that anything could lift my spirits. So I was going through my iPhone trying to decided which devotion to choose from when I got to my Mars Hill app, and there it was “Look up” by Pastor Tim Smith . LOOK UP!

“Look Up” a daily devotion by Pastor Tim Smith

“I will give thanks to the LORD  with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1

 

God was using others and technology again, to grab my attention. In short, the post was about how we tend to forget to look around and see what God has done. All the great things, all the changes, all the miracles instead of all the bad things you think are happening in your life.

Do you end up thinking that there is something or someone you NEED (besides Jesus),so that your life would be complete? If you could just have that job at that pay, life would be so much better. If God would just open your womb, the emptiness would finally be gone. If He would just heal your broken, cold marriage, your heart would be joyful. If He would just fulfill that lifelong dream, you would be content.

There are times that with all of our prayers He seems to answer “no” or at least “not now”. It is here, where our desires crosses His will. That we have to trust the Father who knows best and that every gift comes from Him. Every time, in His time, the gift is good and perfect.

I have seen God’s perfect gifts in my life as I have waited on Him. Waited on Him to heal my pain of a previous broken marriage. Waited on Him to help me find my birth family. Waited on Him to draw my kids to Himself, Waited on Him for the loving husband that I now have… I see my history with Him and I’m going to choose to keep on waiting for His good and perfect gifts.

I’m glad that God caught my attention yesterday evening and that instead of basking in self-pity, today I am singing His praise!

 

My kids and me (1996)

God loves the pregnant teen

Wow, your little brother is so cute” …said a couple of elderly ladies while peeping into the baby the carriage that I was pushing around during a shopping trip. I took a deep breath like many times before and said;

“Well thank you, but he’s actually my second child”.

And there it was. The expression of stupor upon these ladies faces. I’ve come to anticipate this reaction and have grown used to it.

Still to this day, 18 years after my eldest child was born, I still notice the ill concealed shocked faces when telling people the ages of my children.

By the age of 17, I was a mother to two children. Having had my eldest at 15 years old and 11 months. Her brother quickly followed 22 months after.

In those days, I’ve always seemed to be an oddity. Nowadays you will regularly hear about teenage pregnancies, they even make shows about them as if it has become normal and as if it’s a glamorous life. But when I was a young mom 18 years ago, it still was pretty much the scandal. I had people staring at my belly while waiting in line in the grocery store and I had kids yelling foul names at me in the street. It left me feeling ashamed, yet, I couldn’t wait to meet the little girl growing inside of me.

I’ve had many people come up to me and ask the same questions over and over and you can see that people stereotype teen parents. They usually think of us as stupid, irresponsible, selfish, promiscuous and more, regardless the situation we are in and without knowing us.

Here are some recurring questions (and answers) that people would ask me.

  • “How old are you?”

People usually ask first how old my children are and then ask me how old I am…then you quickly see them making the calculations in their mind. So I quickly tell them, yes, I was almost 16 with my first and 17 with my second —SHOCK!

  • “Do they have the same father?”

This question really baffled me at the start. What does that have anything to do with anything? Or how could someone actually ask it, it seemed really rude to me and still does. The answer is yes, they do have the same father and someone actually responded “Oh thank God”…I’m still trying to figure out why, I guess it’s the assumption that we are all promiscuous.

  • “Did you want to have the baby or was it an accident?”
I didn’t plan my first baby. I was on birth control, but apparently not taking it properly. I’ll save you the details. Our second baby came naturally, I wasn’t on birth control so I knew that I could get pregnant again. We (the parents) were by that time living together and the baby was welcome.
  • “Where you scared when you found out?”

YES! Plain and simple.
  • “Did you ever consider abortion?”

Others considered it for me. Being an adoptee and not having the best of experiences while growing up with my adopted divorcee mother, adoption was out of the question. Not an option I had to fight my mother allot , but in the end, it was my choice to keep my baby and no one could force me otherwise.
  • How did the father react?”

I rather not talk about him out of respect for my children. He has always been a part of their lives but we separated around the time of the birth our second child.
  • “Don’t you feel like you missed out during your teen years?”

Missed out on what? The road that would/could have been mine, didn’t look that great. I was living with my adoptive mother who is an alcoholic and was very abusive. I needed to take care of myself since my parents divorced when I was thirteen. I had to take care of myself because ‘the mother’ was constantly in and out of psychiatric wards and when she was home, she was either in the local pub or passed out in the couch. I was planning on ending my life before finding out that I was pregnant and still to this day, I see my teen pregnancy as a blessing. I see it as an event that has saved and changed my life.
Because of my daughter, I had a reason to live. I had a reason to fight in life and that’s what I did. I didn’t feel alone any more because I had someone who was actually a part of me, my blood and whom I knew really loved me.

My kids and me (1996)

I am in no way, advertising teenage pregnancy because it’s not glamorous, it’s not easy it’s not something you should plan. I’m just trying to share with you, how I experienced it. I was scared, ashamed and emotional and unfortunately didn’t have the support I needed from my parents at that time. My father living across the ocean and my mother was just not capable and still isn’t. I felt like God hated me and that I would never be close to Him again, because there was no one around to explain to me that this is NOT how God works. Instead, people chose to judged me.
What I really needed to know then and what I would like share with other girls now is that no matter what, God loves you! It’s not because you made a mistake that God will leave you, He will be there on your new journey into motherhood, if you will just let Him. There is nothing that you can do that will make God stop loving you. Nothing. All children are blessings from God and He has a plan for each one (Psalm 139:13-18). Even if the circumstances in which they come may be less than ideal, that child is as precious and loved by God as any other.
And the pregnant girl is just as precious to God.
To you parents dealing with a pregnant teen, I want to let you know that God does give the best direction to follow. He can show you how to respond and flourish in spite of the less than ideal situations. He will guide you to make good decisions, He will work miracles that open up hope where none existed and through it all He will be a constant companion who will bring peace in your heart. I know this because He has done it for me and He made us a promise in the Old Testament : “For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never forsake you’” ~ Hebrews 13:5
Put your faith in God. You will never be disappointed!
God is a powerful God and He can even make a blessing out of our sin. The biggest blessing in my life are my children, He has made me how I am today, through them.
“and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Making God your number 1

You shall have no other gods before me ~~ Exodus 20:3 (ESV)

I’ve been at home for some weeks now due to my back. I’ve been enjoying this restful ME-time. In the morning once the kids and hubby have left the house, I’ve tried to make it a habit to have God time first. You know, have a cup of tea and read the bible. I actually use the ESV program online and turn on the narrator because lately my attention span is left for wanting and so the narrator helps me to concentrate. I use the daily bible ready tool. Two chapters in the OT, a couple of verses in Psalms now and then two chapters in the NT. Once I’m done with that, I read up on my daily devotions subscriptions and then I feel like I’ve done what I needed to do today. There you go God, now it’s me time. Talk to later, before I go to bed.

That sounds wrong, doesn’t it? That’s not the only thing wrong in my routine lately because, instead of first ‘God time’, I’m doing ‘web surfing’ time. I first read the newspapers online (I’m a news freak) while the kids are having breakfast, then I mosy on over to Facebook to see what’s happening there, then I wish everyone a good morning on Twitter and then of course I have to read all the tweets. Then I see an interesting an headline “Murder by starvation” A Victorian depiction of the gang’s cruelty causing the death of Harriet Staunton and her son Tommy…and so of course I HAVE to google all I can find out about that story, because I am a history nerd as well, then wikipedia..and on and on and on!

Does this sound familiar? Or am I a nutt case, lol. Anyway, that’s what was going on this morning when God reminded me of His presence. If I tell you how, you will definitely think of me as a nutt case, so I’m keeping that for myself, for now. But let’s just say that I have become finely attuned to when God is trying to say something.

I’m not going to lecture people on how and when then should have God time, I just want to point out that God wants us to put Him first, that’s why He said in Exodus that we shall not have any other gods. Meaning that we shall not have other idols. Idols ? Yeah, things that keep your focus off of God. Usually it’s things you think you can’t do without. Addictions, those are idols. A person, that can be an idol too. Money? Wanting more and more to whatever cost? Definitely an idol. For me, one of my idols, because I have many that I try to repent of, is the internet. I’m addicted. I need to have my iPhone, iPad or laptop somewhere in the vicinity. Travelling to Canada this summer is already making me nervous because of the lack of WiFi on the plane (yes, I looked it up). So, when God nudge me this morning, I turned again to prayer. Wow, two days in the row that God has humbled me and shown me the points I need to improve. He is to be our number-one priority, with no exceptions. That means that God is over me.  His wishes come before mine.  I must choose to go His way, not my own.

Why is it wrong to worship God AND another idol? Well, just see what the bible has to say about serving two masters in Matthew 6:24 and in Luke 16:13.

Crazy, right? Sounds unfair, right? Sounds selfish of God, right? Well, it might sound like that but it is biblical. Jesus did it, so if Jesus did, you know, the guy who died on the cross for us, well if He did it, then I choose to follow His example because friends, God wants to know that we love Him. I believe that when we make physical idols our number one priority, we are neglecting Him. The proof is in the text of John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

So today the house will be filled with worship music and I have finally gotten down to making ‘table talk conversations’ for our family. Subjects : Teen stuff, Pre-Teen stuff, Funny Stuff, and of course, Godly stuff. I can’t wait to use it this evening. God will be the centre of our home.

My Table Talk Starters

Dear Father God,

Help me today to make to focus on you Lord,  just you, with no worries and other things bewildering my train of thoughts. Thank You for Your amazing grace. I hope I show it with every conversation I have and with everything that I do today. But when I blow it, thanks for giving me an extra measure of grace and letting me know. You rock!

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What idols have you placed before God?

How are you planning on making God your number 1 today?

Want to know more about idols? Or just about God and Jesus. Then you should definitely check out the ‘Got Questions‘ website, very very useful.

My husband’s personal prayer warrior

I’m feeling a little hormonal this morning, so I’m apologizing in advance for what may be the end result of this post. My intentions are good however, so fingers crossed. I’m going to share with you why I’ve decided to become my husband’s personal prayer warrior.

I’m one of those people who love to work on themselves. Self improvement! I read loads of books and how to better your life and I pray daily to God that He would give me grace when my teens are acting up or to help me get my butt to the gym more often. Me, me, me!

So, when I see other people (husband) not growing spiritually as fast as I would like them (him) too, well, then I get pretty frustrated and self righteous I guess. Bad bad me.

The mornings are the worst, it seems like the little evil side of me tends to show itself after a bad night’s rest and my husband, unfortunately, has to be the victim of my whining then.

We were being very childish in saying goodbye this morning and so when he left I marched up to my computer and was drafting up an email with all of my complaints. Yep, I was going to send my husband hate mail.

That’s when God thankfully stopped me. I was thinking to myself, what am I doing? Is this how I’m helping my husband? Is this by any way building up our relationship together and with God?

I tend to forget the Proverbs 31 woman. There was a time in my life that I would even laugh and think it impossible and unfair to be such a woman. But growing in faith has helped me see that God has given His instructions so that we could have a full life.

Proverbs woman

Instead of whining and nagging my husband, I should pray more for him instead of asking God to help me eat healthier (please make me thin again God).

I sometimes lack faith in all that He can do, even though He has done miracles in our lives before and still does.

So I’ve decided to make it my mission to be become my husband’s personal prayer warrior. Ta-da-la-da!

What will I be praying for? It won’t be for God to put it on my husband’s heart to take out the trash without me having to tell him. Because this would be a `me´ issue again, not that praying for yourself is a bad thing, heavens no. But it shouldn’t be our main focus either. Right?

So what should we pray for? We should pray for anything that God has put onto our heart when we are in prayer first of all, then we should pray for that our husbands faith will grow and that he will become the spiritual leader God want’s Him to be. We need to pray for that our relationship will grow strong and need to ask God to help us be more like that Proverbs 31 woman He wants us to be.

I use a bookmark that you can download over at imoms and I find it very useful when I’m feeling at a loss for words. You can click on the image and it should take you there.

But right now, I’m just really thankful that God has stopped me before I sent out anything more hurtful and damaging to our marriage. Instead, I surrendered into prayer.

 

Father God,

I want to please You by the way that I love my family. Today, I choose to see my husband through your eyes of love and mercy. I will wage peace in my marriage. I will be quick to forgive and slow to condemn. I will encourage my husband with my words, my prayers, my love and my time. Sometimes I can get so caught up in my silly little lists that I lose perspective of the true meaning of life. Help me to live my days glorifying You with every breath that I take and step that I make. I want my home to be a safe place filled with kindness and compassion, a place that illustrates Your presence and power. Today, I choose to trust my marriage and family to you God.
In Jesus’ name, A-M-E-N !

 

God and Palm Trees

If you are a Christian like me you will probably have experienced moments in your life that you feel far from God. I’ve been there and I know of many others whom have experienced it too.

Now, you can wonder why it is or JUST surf the internet for solutions as how to remedy this. You only need to type your sentiments into Google and you will be hit by thousands of pages relating to your feelings of abandonment from God. You see, your not the only one.

I’m no professional or theologist, so I’m not going to lecture you here on the reasons as of why  you might feel far from God. I don’t think that it is my place, neither do I know what’s going on in your life and your relationship with Him. All that I can recommend you to do is to first of all, turn to the word and keep on praying. Even if you don’t feel like it. Even if you think that God isn’t listening. Even if you are full of doubt, that’s when you need to keep on praying.

I was wanting to write this post so that I could share with you something that a friend had once told me. It was told to me when I was experiencing a moment of trial and wondering why I felt like God was ignoring me.

Psalm 92:12
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

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In a hurricane the palm tree can bend all the way to the point where it looks like it’s about to break. But doesn’t break. That is how God made them. During the storm it’s rough, it’s hard. After the storm.. It does not break, actually scientists have proven that after a palm tree has survived through a storm, they actually become STRONGER than what they were before.
God compares the righteous to palm tree’s. Because God created palm tree’s in that special way He created us. When the devil comes and attacks us.. We can go to the breaking point but God won’t let him break us.

I hope this helps somehow.

What has helped you in the past when you were feeling alone?

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The angry adoptee?

Someone recently asked me how was it that I wasn’t bitter about my whole adoption past.

I asked that person what they meant and they wondered if or why I didn’t feel any resentment about the whole situation.

Just to clarify, my natural parents are still together and they have had two children after me. I have a full blood sister and brother.

I guess, when you think of it, one could feel upset by this. Some adoptees often express such perceptions. Many books, such at The Primal Wound and Journey of the Adopted Self, propose that adoptees not only have these feelings, but that they are correct perceptions, and that the adoptee may never heal from these feelings.

Isn’t this one of the reasons why people were encouraged in the past to keep it from their children, the fact that they were adopted? That it would protect them from a “trauma”?

I’ll be honest, while I had a terrible relationship and experiences with my ado-mom, I kind of felt abandoned. When I had my kids during my teens, I didn’t have a loving mom by my side to help me and guide me on my new journey into motherhood. I didn’t have a role model. I didn’t feel loved, I felt lonely…abandoned maybe.

But after being found and getting to know the story, I think we often forget the “trauma” and the bitterness our birth mothers must have felt. My mother couldn’t forget me, even if she wanted to, because I was born the day after her birthday. I can only imagine how she must have felt, counting year after year. I have at times, delicately tried to pry some info about my birth and I would get pieces here and there, but I can feel her pain and then decide that it’s just better to stop. At least for now.

So, do I feel bitter? NO! If anything, my heart leapt with joy when I found out that they were still together and that I besides having the sister who found me, I too have a brother!

Plus God has proven Himself faithful in every place of brokenness and loss during my life and has blessed me with this reunion. God has convinced me that my life was “meant to be”.

Even if you are not a Christian or you don’t have another religion holding you up and I’m saying this because God has and does keep me up, that life is too short to live it in bitterness, sometimes you just need to see the good things in life and decide to be happy. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever be sad, but give it a place. We as individuals can choose our own attitudes at any time.

Oh and on a last note, I really hope that I haven’t offended others by what I said and if it seems like I’m belittling your feelings, this is not my intention and I’m sorry. I don’t know all your stories or pain, but I’m sure there is a lot of it. I do not claim to be an expert on anything but my own experiences and I would like to hear yours as well.

  • The Primal Wound – More Questions Than Answers! (sharonannevanwyk.wordpress.com)
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Do pets go to heaven?

My beloved cat Snowball passed away yesterday in my arms after two days of pain after having had a C-section to deliver her two dead kittens. I didn’t know that I could weep like I did yesterday for a creature, but it broke my heart loosing her. There are no words to explain how I feel and I feel like nobody understands me…

I don’t know if animals go to heaven, but I do sure hope so and I prayed that she would.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21““As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.  Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath (literally “spirit“); humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

Snowball…I’ll miss her pretty blue eyes looking up at me.

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