Archive for July, 2012

At the start of this year, I shared with you my aims for this year (Welcome to 2012) – not my new year resolutions, but what I aim to achieve this year. Then at the end of each month I’ve given you an update on how I’m doing. So here’s my July update:

  • Eat healthier
    • Pretty good again this month as on the whole I’ve been eating a lot of fruit and drinking a lot of water…I was nearly tempted a couple of times to have something really unhealthy at lunch time, but I managed to resist!
  • Lose some weight
    • Yay! I’ve lost pound. I know that’s not much but at least it’s still another loss.
    • I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the last few weeks as I’ve managed to fit back into a few outfits which had been a bit too tight for me, so I’m delighted!
  • Spend more time reading my bible
    • Started off quite well with this in the first part of the month, however since Dad went into hospital and have been visiting everyday I must admit that have just not had the energy to sit down and spend any quality time reading my bible.
    • I really need to organise myself better to read my bible at a point in the day before I become too tired…mind you some days I have no energy at the start of the day, nevermind by the end of it!
  • Don’t let pain rule my life
    • Still struggling quite a lot with pain levels this month. Mind you I’ve been so tired with all the running about I’ve been doing that it’s no surprise my pain levels haven’t improved, as I usually seem to need several days of doing absolutely nothing to potentially lessen my pain.
    • Having said all that, just because my pain levels have been very high has not meant I’ve given into them. Indeed it’s been the complete opposite, as I’ve had to support Mum through some difficult decisions regarding my Dad’s future, his subsequent admission to hospital because he wasn’t eating or drinking, Dad falling and breaking his hip while he was in hospital…and on top of that hubby not been too well either…
    • It been another very tough month again
  • Get back to playing tennis as stopped playing in 2003 when I first wasn’t well
    • Not managed this yet last month as life’s just been a bit too tough to bother about tennis
    • Also as my pain levels were still so high it really would have been daft to even think about attempting to try to play tennis while in so much pain.
  • Put aside a minimum of 5 minutes each day to spend some quiet-time with God
    • This month continued in the same vein as last month, in that while I managed to spend some quiet time with God, much of it was spent crying
    • As the month progressed and I had to deal/cope with various situations/events relating to my Dad (see above), I found myself spending no quiet time with God at all
    • My excuse? I was too tired! Pretty lame isn’t it, as if I really wanted to spend quiet time with God, I could have accommodated it, but I chose not to…
    • Having said that, this hasn’t stopped me from spending a lot of time crying, and feeling sorry for myself
    • I need to remind myself regularly that when things are bad, I need to turn to God rather than forget Him
  • Get back to playing the piano regularly as it’s been a while
    • Continuing not to make any progress with this one!
  • Go on holiday – we’ve not been away anywhere since 2002
    • Again, no progress on this one yet!
  • Keep on top of the housework (especially the ironing mountain!)
    • Still failing miserably at this one again.
    • As I’ve said, it’s been a tough few weeks physically and emotionally and that just means I’ve had to put things like housework on the back burner.
  • More patience and understanding of others
    • Failing miserably at this one this month – I think it’s all down to my high pain levels and how tired I am
    • I know these are just excuses on my part, so I definitely need to pray for patience!
  • Stop procrastinating
    • Doing ok with this one still as not really had any time to procrastinate!

So that’s my honest answers to how I’m getting on with my aims for 2012 – To summarise my progress to date…it’s continuing to go reasonably OK, although there are still some areas which need a lot of work. There’s still plenty of months to go in 2012, so I’ve still got time to achieve them all before the end of this year!

How about you, are you succeeding with your aims for 2012 so far?

Whatever your aims for this year, I pray you may be making progress in your aims for 2012, and that come the end of the year you will have achieved all God had planned for you this year!

I read the following quote recently on Twitter, and it challenged me:

We see not what we are looking at but what we are looking for – Unknown

It also reminded me of the following saying:

Sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees

Yes, I found that both these quotes/sayings reminded me that sometimes we only see or hear what we want to, and not what is actual there/audible. We can often be most guilty of this when it comes to listening to God‘s directions or instructions for us, by pretending we don’t hear Him or convincing ourselves that it’s not really God’s voice we hear.

We must stay focused on reality and more importantly, focused on God, so that we see and hear His instructions for us. Don’t ignore what God wants you to do, as after all He knows best for you and has been looking for you to make a difference in His world.

How many times have you to tried to do something, but either because it’s been too difficult or it’s taken too long to achieve, you’ve given up?

You have not failed until you quit trying ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Some things time lots of practice and lots of time to achieve, and it’s through hard work and dedication that we can achieve those things. But please remember that just because something is difficult to achieve don’t give up, because when you give up and stop trying, you fail, and failure should not be a word that is part of our vocabulary.

God never gives up on us, or labels us failures, so let not allow failure to become part of our language, let’s keep trying to achieve our goals, and more importantly, God’s goals.

 

I’m sure many of us have been horrified by the recent events in Colorado, when a gunman opened fire in a crowded cinema and killed 12 and injured many others.

When needless tragedies such as the one in Colorado happen, many Christians can find themselves questioning their faith. After all why would a god who says he loves and cares for each one of us, allow such dreadful events to occur. But we must remember that it’s not a case of God letting such events happen, it’s  a case of people going against God’s will.

Events such as this tragedy in Colorado can only shake our faith if we allow it to by letting fear get hold of us. So let’s keep fear from ruling us by digging deep into our faith and finding God is still the answer to everything we need.

Sometimes when I look around me at the grass and the tree I wonder…
Why would the same God who made these things choose to love someone like me?
 
Sometimes when I see different animals I wonder…
Why would the same God who made them choose to love someone like me?
 
Sometimes when I watch the sun rise and then set I wonder…
Why would the same God who made these things choose to love someone like me?
 
Sometimes when I look around this world and see how much some people hate their fellow human beings I wonder…
Why would the same God who made these things choose to love someone like me?
 
Whenever I wonder why God would love some like me I remind myself
God made me, and He has promised to love me forever no matter what!

 

If ever you’re in doubt about whether God loves you, have another read at the above, and remind yourself that God made everything around you, including you. He made me, and He made you and just as I’ve said He will always love me, He has also promised that He will always love you too.

And that is “Why Me?”

Grace is a free gift from God!

It can be easy to think at times that just because we love Christ and profess to be Christians, that we will automatically grow in grace, but I’m afraid that’s not how it works!

Weakness is not your biggest problem, God’s grace is sufficient, but it’s delusions of strength that get in the way of your growth in grace

As the above statement says, sometimes I think we are guilty of forgetting just how much we need God, particularly when life is going well for us. We must be true to God during our happiest times as well as our darkest of times, because in doing so we will grow in grace.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Grace is one of those funny words that we hear at church from a very young age, but do we really understand what it actually means?

Here’s one definition that I think is particularly useful:

Grace means you don’t have to hide what’s already been forgiven, or fear what’s already been defeated, or earn what’s already been given

In order to receive grace, me must first receive Christ into our life, and into our heart. If Christ is not part of your life today, I’d urge you to ask Him to enter your life today, so that you can be forgiven for all your sins and receive God’s grace and peace.

Amazing Grace!

Here’s a couple of questions for you:

  • Do you believe in God?
  • Do you believe the God you believe in?

Why am I asking you these questions? Well a couple of weeks ago I came across the following quote by R.C. Sproul:

The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in

It’s true isn’t it, we can believe in God but sometimes we may not actually believe He is there for us, or will answer our prayers. Could it just be that we don’t believe God isn’t there for us or answering our prayers, simply because He hasn’t answered them in the way we wanted?

Not only do we have to believe in God, but we have to believe God always knows best for us, and will never abandon us.

Believe in God, and believe God will be there for you.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.~ Psalm 34:18

In yesterday’s blog post (Getting By), I spoke about how I’ve been finding life quite tough at present, and have simply been “getting by”. I’d probably say I’ve been feeling “crushed of spirit” in the last while, but as the above verse from Psalm says, I do continue to acknowledge that God is with me and is supporting me through some difficult days.

So if you’re struggling with life and wondering how you’re ever going to get through these darkest of days, turn to God, He will always be near you and will help you through these days.

I’ve been finding things quite difficult in the last while, supporting Mum as she cared for Dad at home, and supporting hubby. It’s felt at times as if no-one has been there to support me as I continue to struggle both physically and emotionally.

As you’ll know if you read my blog post yesterday (Even The Simple Things Are Forgotten) my Dad was taken into hospital on Wednesday suffering from dehydration as he wouldn’t eat or drink anything. Having spent hours in the hospital on Wednesday with Dad waiting for him to be admitted and then transferred to a ward, I was physically exhausted and due to the stress and supporting Mum, emotionally exhausted too. Since then we’ve visited Dad each day in hospital and that in itself is tough as he is just lying in bed with his eyes shut unable or unwilling to do more than respond occasionally to things we say to him…he looks so frail and helpless.

The other week I was chatting to a friend and we were talking about all the things that are going on in my life at present, and they asked me how I able to keep going. My honest answer to that question was, “not very easily“! Yes, while I’m in public I do my best to be strong and look completely in control, but underneath I’m struggling to keep it together and be strong for everyone around me. It would be a little easier if I was at least feeling pain-free all the time, but having to deal with all the things going on with various members of my family, and support them, as well as coping with severe pain levels at times is incredibly tough.

As far as how I cope with the situation with Dad, I think my automatic coping mechanism of seeing the funny side of everything definitely kicks in. Dad’s dementia means he has often said and done things which are quite funny on one hand, but when I think about the person he used to be, are incredibly sad and heartbreaking. Whenever anyone asks about Dad I find myself almost smiling and joking about it all the time, simply because it’s how I keep myself together and don’t fall apart. So if you’ve spoken to me and thought I seemed to make light of Dad’s situation please realise it’s just the way I cope with it, as I am deeply upset and saddened by what has happened to him, and I certainly do not find it funny in any way.

So my assessment of how I’m coping with life at present is I’m Getting By.

I pray every day that God will continue to give me the strength and the words to continue to support and help Mum and hubby. It sometimes has felt as though I’m on my own in this, but my faith keep reminding me that I’m never alone, because no matter what I’m facing, God is with me, supporting me.

I pray that if you are simply “getting by” in life too, you will always remember that God is with you through it all.