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Attitude #1 of a Giant-Slayer – Staying Connected With God

15 Mar

This was written by my pastor at His People Joburg, feel free to follow her on Twitter @CarolGossman, she most certainly follows hard after God!

David stood defiantly before the King. “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear,” he began, challenging the King’s doubt that David was old enough to fight Goliath. “This uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine!” he bravely declared. We are not told what David was feeling inside but it is obvious that he was determined to fight Goliath and that he was convinced he would win.

John 15:4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

We were all meant to live in partnership with God. That is, agreeing with Him about situations, remaining filled with Him, being led by Him and tackling life knowing He is with us. When we try to live outside of Him there are some warning signs that quickly appear – fear, stress, jealousy, depression, high levels of temptation. Gosh! It just shows how often we step out of the partnership…

David had a history with God, in which God had helped him protect his father’s sheep from a lion and a bear. He knew what God had done in the past and was convinced that God would do the same in the future. We all have a history with God in which He has done wonderful things for us. He has saved us, rescued us from the grip of sin and even set us free from pain and hopelessness. When we face difficult situations it is tempting to feel that this one is like no other – impossible, unconquerable and sure to defeat us. David, instead of giving into fear, reminded himself of all the previous victories that he and God had together.

REMEMBERING WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US IS THE FIRST KEY TO REMAINING IN FAITH.

Caleb was excited about the potential of the land that he and the other spies had just seen. Bunches of grapes so big that more than one man was needed to carry them, beautiful fields and mountains able to sustain great numbers of people – the land was perfect for the Israelites! Unfortunately, 10 of the spies did not agree. They were afraid of the giants that lived there and quickly informed Moses that it would be impossible to take the land. Caleb could have bowed to the popular opinion and given up his dream. Instead, the Bible says, he silenced the people and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it!”

The greatest hindrance to your being who God wants you to be and accomplishing what He’s called you to is: listening to and agreeing with the negative report that others bring. I have been told many times by well-meaning people that I would not be able to run a prophetic ministry or lead people or have a happy marriage or… the list is endless. If I had stopped to listen and had agreed with just a few of them I would be depressed, defeated and frustrated. Nothing in life that is worth achieving comes without some level of battle. The battle is usually centered around our attitudes and thought life. The devil is trying to discourage you so that you will give up because he knows that your victory will bring many others into their victories also. But Caleb silenced the negativity and encouraged Moses and the nation, “We can certainly do it!” With God nothing is impossible, and as we remain partnered with Him nothing is impossible for us either!

SILENCING NEGATIVITY AROUND YOU AND ENCOURAGING OTHERS IS THE SECOND KEY TO REMAINING IN FAITH.

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I can’t begin to tell you how much I love you

7 Aug

Baby boy, you don’t know how much I love you…

I love you from the depths of my soul. I loved you before you were conceived. I am fascinated by you and love watching you grow and develop into a little drama king  which only seems to happen when grandpa’s around – you father says you get that from my side of the family but I beg to differ. You surprise me sometimes with little kisses and I can’t wait for the day when you tell me that you love me – between you and me, I know without a doubt you do!

When I look at you, I can’t begin to imagine how someone would want to intentionally hurt little people like you! How adults would even consider abusing or harming you! It makes me pray that any prying eyes look past you, that you become invisible in their sights because I couldn’t bear the thought of you somewhere foreign and being abused.

My love for you is so fierce that I wouldn’t give a second thought to give my life for you! Your life is that important to me. I always knew that one day I would be someone’s mother and I’m so blessed that I get to be your mom.

As you grow, you will definitely disagree with decisions your dad and I will make regarding your welfare and I accept that but one thing that I cannot stress ever enough, is that you don’t just understand with you head, but that you KNOW in your heart – everything, but everything that I will ever do in my life and yours will be because I love you to death and that I will always want the best for you!!! As a child, you don’t see things the way they always seem but when you’re an adult and more so a parent, you will certainly understand where I’m coming from (very wise words from you granny). There will never be a sacrifice that I have made or will ever make that will be too great for you – you, my dear child, are worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tear I will ever shed. I’m back at varsity at 30 because I want a better life for you and your dad, thoughts of you spur me on when sometimes it gets too overwhelming.

One of your aunts said that as a mother, you can’t begin to imagine your life with children before you have them; and then you can’t imagine your life without them once they are here. You will understand the depths of that statement in time – I never want my life to be without your little charming self in it.

You are such a good child, you give me nothing to complain about. To my one and only son, you are the apple of my eye, the beat of my heart and a big reason for why I live…. I will love you until the day I stop breathing and beyond….

Love you always and forever, mom, xxx

 

 

 

Gratitude is the open door to abundance

4 May

It still amazes me how the mind is a powerful servant, yet a cruel master. If you learn to change your thoughts, you literally can change your world.

My latest post on feeling guilty about all the stuff that’s been swirling around in my head and heart, seriously got me down when in fact, there is still so much to be grateful for.

Other than what some people would refer to as the obvious, like the lovely weather in our beautiful country or the great opportunities woman in general and specifically of colour have been afforded, that I wake up every morning and have a roof over my head; family support that’s invaluable; a husband I am genuinely happy to be married to; girlfriends who are amazing; a new chapter in my life are all things to be grateful for.

But more than the things we can count, it’s the attitude and the state of our hearts that really makes the difference for me. We need to pay attention to and recognize those feelings associated with our appreciation because that for me is what opens the door to abundance. Not of things necessarily , but of a sense of peace, harmony, tranquility and ultimately resting in the unending goodness of God!

I found this excerpt from a booking I am trying desperately to read, it’s a prayer:

Abundance Prayer by Saint Francis of Assisi

When I am afraid, I ask myself: How can I give more to life?

When I am tangled in past regrets or frightening stories of the future, I bring myself into the present moment and know that I am safe.

 When I am tempted to complain, I choose praise and gratitude. I take a deep breath and look around and see how rich I am in the things that count. I look within and see my unlimited potential and I realize that every moment is filled with blessings and every day I am alive is a gift to be grateful for.

 I remember that God is my source and abundance is reflected in the faces of people that I love and in the faces of those I have yet to learn to love.

Eternally, this abundance says:

Every family is my family

Every success is my success

Every bride is my beauty

Every bridegroom is my Beloved

Every child is my new beginning and every elder is my life ripe with experience.

Every dawn is my new day

Every sunset is my world turning

Every season is good and offers bounty to me.

Every moment is mine to embrace for it is the Eternal now forever expressing in, through, and for me.

I live in forever here that is alive in all.

Translucent Grace shines in us, awake and aware of the beauty we are as we become all we were meant to be.

And so it is: For in giving we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it I in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Have a lovely weekend and remember that there will always be more to be grateful, ALWAYS!

The Heavy Burden of a Mother’s Guilt

23 Jan

“Maybe there’s more we all could have done, but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time.”  ― Veronica RothDivergent

Why is it that a mother feels so pressured, compelled, obligated and stressed to be everything to our kids, partners and bosses; lose our minds, hearts and sometimes for the most part we lose sight of who we are in the bigger scheme of things??? It’s not okay but neither is it easy.

I feel guilty when I wake up in the morning and my husband has left without me making his lunch (I used to when we were a childless married couple but can’t/don’t because I’m so tired)
I feel guilty when my son wakes up next to me and after a few cuddles I reach over to my phone and check out the range of social media networking (bbm’s, whatsapp, FB & tweets) I need to catch up on or reply.
I feel bad that when I go downstairs to greet my helper that she’s the one who feeds, cleans, dresses and entertains my son (most of the time).
I feel guilty that I don’t stay at home with my son because I’m selfish, suffer from cabin-fever and need a break from the hum-drum of where my life is at right now.
I feel guilty because I’ve spent the first year of Sam’s life with him everyday and yet I don’t want to be a stay-at-home mom.
I feel guilty because I’m typing this from M&B when I should be home with my baby boy.
I feel guilty that I don’t physically discipline him when I should because I’ve said no for the 20th time in 2 hours.
I feel guilty that I’ve given him medication to make him drowsy just so that I could sleep for more than a 4 hour stretch.
I feel guilty that he’ll read this one day and somehow hate my seeming distaste for being home with him (and it doesn’t help that his separation anxiety has worsened, IMMENSELY over the last few days).

The sad truth is that I feel guilty for having a failed practice because that was the one thing I had planned everything in my entire towards so that I can be home with him in the afternoons to do homework and extra-murals when the time came; and that makes me feel like a total loser at the core of who I am!

I don’t want to feel guilty. I don’t want to feel depressed. I don’t want the heaviness that it brings. I don’t want my guilt to affect the time that I do get to spend with him.

When I’m with him, I make sure that I’m focused on him (for half and hour at least) and make sure everyday that he gets lots of hugs and kisses because I love him with all of me and not because I’m feeling guilty.

I plan his meals a week in advance to that he has home-cooked meals that are nutritious and made with love, even if they are epic fails, and yet he’ll still eat what I give him.

Samuel is such a good child and I honestly have nothing that I should be complaining about.

I love that he climbs into bed with us in the middle of the night and we snuggle close for me to secretly make up for the time I don’t spend with him in the day – and I make no apologies for it but a king-size bed would be better.

And I insist on and I’m pedantic about using natural remedies when he’s ill so that he’ll have as no harmful side-effects while recovering.

How can guilt not lead to depression? Yes motherhood is intense and I do not by any means have it all figured out by now but I want to leave the burden and heaviness that my guilt brings and focus on the smile I get when I open my eyes because he’s in my face; tickling that little body to hear him laugh; watching the pleasure on his face when I read his one-word-a-page books to him for the umpteenth time; holding him in my arms as he falls asleep at the end of his day; wanting me to comfort him and kiss his boo boo’s or watching him run into my arms when they’re open wide. It’s so important for me to stay in that happy place so that I don’t get robbed of the now-moments that happen right in front of me.

Time is one of the most precious and scarcest resources of the twenty-first century mom. We can’t be in a million places, doing a million things all at once. I may never get to all the practices or games, or tuck him in every night but I can promise to make a conscious effort to be present in the moments that we do get to share.

Samuel, know that I love you more than life itself and that no sacrifice would ever be too big for your dad and I to make for you and provide for your future. You may never always understand the decisions we make but know that they will always be for your greater good. Life is hard, things may not turn out the way we plan and we might not always get our way but your dad and I will always be there for you and we’ll always have your back, you can count on that – I promise. Know that there is nothing you can ever do to make us love you any less or think any different of you EVER!!!

“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”  ― Aldous HuxleyBrave New World
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