Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Quitting When You Need to Push

John 16:21  It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.

Yes I know this is a very strange title and scripture. I am going to write a bit about birth and what I experienced when I had my 4 babies and how that applies to what I am going through now and what I feel some of you are going through now.

I have 4 daughters and had 3 of them without any painkillers but for my first I did have a bit of pain before I had an epidural and even then I could feel the contractions faintly. I will spare you all the gory details but I was reflecting on this this week.

I have felt like quitting what I am doing right now. I have asked God to use me and now that He is and I am about to "birth" something new in my spiritual life I want to quit. The exact same thing happened when I was in a transition in labour with each of my girls. Baby was just a few minutes away from being born it was all going to be over very soon and I was going to feel the joy of meeting my little baby. However I had this irrational thought to get up and walk out that hospital. There was no going back at this point but I had gotten to a point where I felt I just couldn't do it.

The words "I can't do it let's just go home" came out of my mouth between contractions but it was those around me who encouraged me to keep going and I said a little prayer and I think I prayed in tongues too for extra measure. Something rose up in me and I resolved to push through (pun intended). I pushed through and very soon after baby was in my arms.

I have had some many dreams of being pregnant or birthing and as some of you know dreams about being pregnant or giving birth is about a new ministry or new thing that God is bringing into your life.

I asked God why I was feeling like quitting. Should I quit and if not what am I to do about this?
This is the answer I have been getting through the week and on Sunday at church through the messages that were shared at both our services.

First question was why do I want to quit? The answer, because it is about comfort. I want to quit so that I can go back to being just stay at home mum and housewife when life was more comfortable than it is now. This is interesting because I really felt that why I was just a SAHM and Housewife that there was more to my life. Being a mum and a wife are very important but I felt God was saying I had a capacity for more.

Motherhood is great and so is being a wife. They have their challenges but I am now other things too. I have grown and been stretched. But now it is time for a new wine skin and to extend the tent pegs.

Labour is painful and it is at it's worst right before the baby is born. What I am saying is that if you feel like quitting maybe it is because you are tired and in pain and feel like you can't go on but that is because you are almost there. You may just be one last push away or one last step away from seeing the fruit of your labour.

We need to see beyond the here and now and see the more that God has for us.

So the answer to the next question "what am I to do?" I am not going to quit. I am actually quite excited to see what is around the next corner. I am going to press on a little bit longer until the anguish gives way to joy because of the new thing birthed in my life.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sing With Your Heart

“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.”

A photo I took of the clouds 'Open Heaven'

The dreaded flu. That is what I have had for the last three weeks. This is also the reason why I have not written anything in the last three weeks. Even though all I could do for two of those weeks was type as I had lost my voice. I couldn't even sing which was probably the worst of it.

I love talking to people and I love singing. Two of my most favourite things to do. I went to a conference on the second week of being sick. I was sick yes but I had no fever and had already missed out on the retreat for a course I am doing so I didn't want to miss this.

I could not talk to people very well and so that meant I didn't really get to make new friends and meet new people (insert sad face here). Also Christian conference called Shout and I had to whisper throughout it Oh No! I love to worship and sing but I could not sing a word. My singing voice was completely gone. Tragic. But this is what I discovered.

My passion comes out of my mouth. When I sing a song I think about the lyrics and I mean every word I sing. There is an amazing thing that happens in the atmosphere when we worship in spirit and truth. When our voices go out into the air. The presence of God inhabits our praises.

When I was unable to sing  (I still am battling a little) there was something else that happened deep within me. The passion didn't come from my heart and out of my mouth but it came from my heart and welled out of my eyes. I cried with passion. I couldn't express my love for my Saviour with my voice but I was still able to worship.

I was still and knew who my Father is. I was still and knew that He was near. I was still and and yet He came and touched my life.

I felt so blessed during that week. Yes it was frustrating being unable to sing but it is something I could so easily take for granted and I was grateful that God showed me through this time that worshiping is not about a good singing voice but an attitude of the heart.

You don't have to be great at playing an instrument or singing to worship God with all your heart. You just need a heart that is sold out for God. Willing to honor and serve Him in every area of your life including how you worship Him.

I see many people who don't sing in church. Whatever their reasons are I pray they do start to open their mouths and let their hearts out to worship. There were a few deaf people at the conference and being deaf did not stop them from singing. They signed the words which I thought was really beautiful and sang whether they were good at it or not. I had no voice but I tried to sing a bit even though I couldn't hit all the notes and sometimes nothing came out at all but when I had to be silent my heart still sang.

What is your reason for being silent? When you don't sing is it because your heart too is not singing? Throw yourself into worshiping God because He is worthy of all the praise. Anyone who knows Jesus and has Him as Saviour over their lives has something to sing about. Don't forget what you have been saved from and who saved you from it. Don't forget Who's you are. You are the child of the one true King. He gave you a voice and when you use it darkness runs and hides. Your voice is a blessing don't take it for granted.