Faith to move ahead…

I have to apologise for the delay in writing lately. It’s been 9 days since I moved from London to Stockholm and between arriving, meeting new friends, church, orientation and just socialising, life has been pretty busy. This afternoon it’s pouring rain here in Stockholm and after taking a bus tour of the city with a bunch of international students I came home to just chill.

I just took some time to write a letter to my family and friends who, like this blog, I have ignored for at least a week trying to get settled into life in a new country and as I wrote that letter I realised just how much this quote from Philip Yancey is true:

 

I have touched on this topic before but I feel like it’s something I just keep learning, so maybe it’s a reminder I still need as I enter this season of life.

It’s often been said that hindsight is 20/20…that when we look back on life we understand the “why’s” much better than when we’re in the middle of them. It’s so easy to have faith when we know what will happen next, not so much when the only part of the path that is lit is the next step and otherwise all you see ahead is darkness.

I have been reading lately about being in the wilderness, in a time of life where God has allowed you to go through a difficult time, a drastic change in circumstance or season which leaves you questioning everything.

I have found that in these times I have had to learn to trust God in ALL things. Please don’t get me wrong, life isn’t always difficult or challenging, sometimes these changes are exciting but I don’t know why they happened they way they do. Personally, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to leave London after 7 years, with an established career, part in church and incredible family of friends. Instead, I am now living in a new country, with new challenges, exciting opportunities and I’m sure a few hard days mixed in there. What this season has taught me already, is that often we have to trust that what is happening now will make sense in the future.

When I keep my eyes and my heart focused on God even the hardest moments can be challenging. Instead of concentrating on my circumstances I try to focus on the One who loves me, my creator, healer, provider, my all in all.

A pretty simple lesson but one that keeps popping up again and again.

So today, whatever season you are facing, circumstance you are dealing with, or decision that needs to be made, step back, slow down and trust Him. Have faith that you will look back on today and it will all make sense…

 

A Year Ago You Wish You Started Today

A year ago you’ll wish you started today.

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear that phrase?

For some it might be losing weight.

For others it might be pursuing the dreams they hold deep in their heart.

For another group it might be ceasing to hold onto the past that holds them prisoner.

I don’t know what you need to change, it’s really none of my business, but you do know and I encourage you to start today.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to change in our lives. In 7 days I move to a new country.  Having already done this once in my life, still, overwhelmed has been my middle name the last few weeks; manifesting itself in stress, sickness and unrest. Change isn’t easy but it’s often necessary.

The thing is…if you don’t start today, when are you going to start? One of the things that I am changing is my diet. Over the years I have lost heaps of weight, gotten stronger and healthier and now that I know my body right there are further changes I need to make. However, I know that the habits I have now didn’t happen overnight and instead of getting frustrated every time I have a minor setback I just think about how far I have come so far. My habits are changing, for the good, slowly.

This past Monday was my last Monday in full time work before I go off to do my MSc and start my own company. I called someone close to me and told her that it’s going to be the last Monday I ever work. Of course, that might not be true completely; it is the last Monday I’m ever working for someone else. I want to own my own company, for many reasons that will be revealed later, and if I don’t start sometime, set a post in the ground, when is anything going to change?

Humans can get comfortable. We are creatures of habit who wrestle with breaking patterns, harmful or not. We don’t like when we need to stop eating all that sugar and preservatives and start working out to get fitter. We don’t always like when our best friend falls in love because it means he/she are not around any longer and now I don’t fit in the same way. We don’t want to develop better work habits so we can get that promotion or change jobs.

Of course these are all big statements and not true for everyone or maybe not even to the same degree but I’m trying to show that it’s so easy to remain comfortable where we are and not be better than we can be.

Einstein is famously quoted as saying that insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results.

Personally, I want to move forward in life, living a bigger, better and fuller life. I want to make a difference in this world and I can’t stay comfortable doing it.

It may be difficult, but trust me, its worth it…small steps eventually cover many miles…

Make a change today…

A year can change a lot

TWO WEEKS!!!! Yesterday I had dinner with three of my dearest girl friends and as we stood in the kitchen of our newly-married friend’s flat we were all shocked that it in just two weeks I would be settling into my new home in Stockholm.

One year goes by so quickly. In one year I have gotten promoted again at work, been to Stockholm (x4), Las Vegas, New York, Ottawa, Toronto, Paris (x5), Mexico and Italy. Two of my best friends got married. I went into and out of a relationship. I decided to move from the only home I have ever known as an adult. I helped write a book. I started a blog again. I started my own business. I met some of the most amazing people ever in all those cities I have visited. My best friend in Paris told me she would be a mom. I got to be in the greatest city in the world during the Olympic games (and more than once have been squished up between athletes and players on the street or public transit).

That’s a lot…and that’s not even going into how much I have seen God work in my life. I have gone from what I thought was whole, to broken to whole again. I have reached levels of intimacy with God that a year ago I would have been amazed at and now just realize I’m barely scraping the surface of the goodness and mercy and grace and love of our Lord. I used to think I understood the desire to know Christ better and to be in a deeper relationship with Him and now I only understand that I barely know him. My heartbreak made me understand His. His compassion flooded over me so that I may be more compassionate. His love overwhelms me on a daily, even hourly basis. It’s truly humbling.

One year. Just one.

I’m at the point right now where everyone is asking me about what I’m going to be doing in Sweden, how long I’ll be there and what my plans are while I’m there. Sure, I have a few things worked out but honestly, with all the choices and doors that could be open I can’t even begin to think what one year from now will look like…

My eyes have been opened to the truth that we simply need to be thankful for the days we are given and honor that which is in our hands today. Because trust me, the God who can do exceedingly, abundantly more than you ever hoped for or imagined is just waiting for you to let Him take you for the most amazing ride you have ever been on…

xx M

Words

I wrote this post for SoWorthLoving a few days ago but I wanted to share it here. I probably wrote it for myself as a reminder but today I saw the above quote and thought that I have to be reminded about the words I speak…and even simply think…

When we aren’t careful about what we say in fear, hurt, anger or for acceptance we may say something that we will one day regret…and as the post below reflects, if you’re the target of words said in such circumstances, remember…it’s not about you…

Hope you enjoy…

Mx

Don’t apologize for who you are.

I found out something recently. I discovered that my ex was saying things about me that are simply not true. These things could have really hurt me. They could have devalued my worth. They could have made me feel like I was less than worth loving. They had the power to ruin or destroy the memories of a perfectly good relationship. They could have crippled me as I move into the next season of my life. But I chose to leave them in the past and rid them from my life.

Words are powerful things. And often people do not realise that the words they speak out loud can have a much greater affect on a person than imagined. Words spoken in self-defence, in anger, in fear, in shock can wreck a person…Admittedly, I am just as guilty of this as anyone and for that I am sorry.

However, unless the words spoken over you breathe life, there is no reason that you need to accept them. The best thing I learned is that it simply does not matter what others say about you. In fact, their opinion is none of your business.

People are always going to talk. They will vent, they will freak out and try to defend their actions by blaming you or making you look bad. They may even dare speak badly about your looks, your character or your personality.

In those moments, remember a few things. You choose to believe what is said about you. You have the power to not listen to those words, to not accept bad reports and to live your life as fabulous and amazing as you can ever live. And if anything remember something my mom taught me as a child, “I’m rubber, and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and STICKS to You.”
What others say about you is ACTUALLY a reflection on who they are; not who you are.

You are so worth loving, every ounce, inch, every giggle, word spoken, action taken. Rise up, stop caring what others think about you and conquer today because that’s all we are given.

You say that I’m a dreamer…but so was Joseph…

Back in December last year I thought that August was so far away. I was smack in the middle of a relationship and a super busy time of life. Now it’s August. I’ve now been single longer than I was in a relationship and life has changed in every way possible. I’m changing the way I work, I’m moving countries, moving in with flatmates again and going back to school…It’s kind of a freak out moment, but that’s another story.

A few months ago I wrote about not taking one day for granted; that you really never know what the next moment will bring you. That lesson still stands and how excited am I to see what tomorrow brings?

You’d think I would have learned by now that God’s plans are not my plans, His ways greater than mine…but clearly I have not. I still find myself day dreaming about what’s going to happen next, where life will take me next summer. Maybe I’m just made to always think bigger than where I am at…it hasn’t exactly hurt me yet.

Instead of altering who I am inherently I’m learning to live within who I am while following the only rule book that I know; The Bible and develop good habits every day.

God’s word says that we should not worry about tomorrow, for today has enough worries of its own.

It says that He knows the plans He has for us, that they are good, they will prosper us and not harm us.

He says He wants to give us a life that is exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ever imagine.

I figure I’m actually right on track. Why not dream big? Why not do things that scare me? Why not take giant leaps of faith KNOWING, not just HOPING that God will place me exactly where I need.

So now, just like in those moments where I didn’t have strength left, where my heart broke so deep that I stood in the bathroom and cried out to God to give me all His strength…now, when I find myself dreaming and getting a bit anxious, I will stop. Selah.

And then ask God to guide me, direct me, show me HIS way and give me the peace, wisdom and direction I need to live out all that I can, for Him and to show the world HIS love.

And like the moments where I needed His strength this practice will take time and discipline to become the norm, this too will take time to become a habit and I’ll get there one day.

Until then, I’m having fun of dreaming of summers in France and New York and maybe even Atlanta…and books to be written, companies to be started and lives that are going to change…

What habit do you need to form?