Coffee along the way

Coffee along the way
Coffee along the way

December 13, 2016

How would you give a Definition of yourself?





How would you give a Definition of yourself? Starting with your name and then ________?

Take a minute to really think about it. Will your definition include how you look? What you do for a living? Who your husband/wife/kids are? How much (or how little) money you have? Would it be something funny to cover an embarrassing fact about you? Will it be harsh or flatteringly? Will it be truthful or maybe slightly deceiving?
What will it be?

The Definition of myself by myself. Hmm. Possibly quite the hardest thing to do. Also quite revealing. What does define you? And what happens to that definition when what does define you, changes? Hard questions for this time of year, for sure!

I could define myself by what I do. Easy. Missionary. Mom. Homeschool teacher. Occasional Physiotherapist. Cook. Baker. Cleaner. But what happens if I cannot DO any of these things? Kids grow up and move away (too soon one will fly the nest!), the house can become smaller, or I could lose the ability to clean, cook or move around. Then what? Who am I then?

How I look? Oh, my, that changes quickly! Hair turning white at an early age is quite a shock for the Image if that is important in your definition! A few kilos gained leads to devastation. Wrinkles can cause a few wobbles in how you define yourself. Getting old may seem a terrible thing if how you look defines you.

Money? Status? All can be lost. Same goes for the people you associate and define yourself by (spouse/kids/friends).

I was looking sideways into the mirror at my prematurely (haha) gray-white hair and thinking that I need something more solid to state my Definition on. Looks won't do it. :) Looking at Gap year options for my eldest makes me re-evaluate that part of my definition as a homeschool mom. Being put into a certain income category because of being a missionary, helps me see that that won’t be a good place to start my Definition either!  

The thing is – all these things we so naturally use to state our own personal Definition is temporary, not lasting and not good at all in the long run. We need something Unchangeable, Someone Unchangeable!
We need God’s Definition of us.

And what is that? In my humble opinion we are all looking for love and acceptance. If money gives it we try and hold onto that. If looks does it, we go there. If family, status, etc gives it we try that. But essentially we all search for the ultimate place of love and acceptance. We can only find this with God. He has unconditional love for us. Just think about it – God loves us no more today than He loved us yesterday. We cannot impress Him, we cannot earn His love. We have total acceptance from Him. Jesus made us whole with God the Father again. Through Jesus we have exactly what we are looking for. But we don’t believe it. We don’t live it. We try useless things.

At the end of this year, I think I am ready to start really living this. It has been a hard year but always God is there, whispering I love you. I approve of you but I kept looking at things that made me acceptable, loved and to no avail. I guess 2016 can be summed up by Deeply disappointed by Life in general.

No more. I choose to start my Definition by stating I am a child of God! I am loved by the Creator of the Universe. I belong to the Best Father ever. I have purpose. Nothing can change that. No hurt, no circumstance that this life throws at me can change that. God will always love me. Always.

As we celebrate the coming of Jesus this year, let us think of what He did – how He changed literally Everything! How He made it possible for us to have this amazing relationship with God! Unconditional love.

Bella





"Guard your ❤️ for it is the wellspring of life."



I realised recently that Bitterness is also a fruit. We tend to think that only the good things are fruit - like gentleness, compassion, self-control - but actually we can have many fruits that are grown from sin in our hearts.

Being unforgiving, making sure you never say you are sorry, holding grudges, keeping score of the wrong, etc; all of these will grow into solid and nasty fruit. With roots so deep and seeds so tenacious that it is really hard to get rid of them!

Bitterness
Rage
Hatred
Revenge, the List goes on!

These are all Fruit of the unwholesome kind and i can grow them right in my own little garden hot-house. By dwelling upon hurts, by letting these hurts or whatever wrong that was done to me - wrongly or rightly - take root, nurturing my hurt feelings and taking care never to let go of them, i will have quite a harvest of bad tasting, ugly looking and horribly smelling fruit.....

How do i get rid of these invasive growths with horrible fruit? How do i keep my heart sweet? How does one "guard" ones ❤️?

 The easy ones are those where you have caused hurt - ask for forgiveness! Say you are sorry - nobody so far has died because they said "I am sorry, please forgive me."

The more difficult ones are where you have been hurt. All of us have had our fair share of it!

I think for me the word Dwelling really coins it. To dwell on a hurt means to quite literally, live there. Living in it, with it - constantly. Dwelling. Mulling it over and over. This is a sure way of making sure it takes root and it will definitely soon bear fruit! Some hurts go so deep that, if you keep dwelling there, you can build quite a sturdy skyscraper or vast neighbourhood! No. Stop! Something needs to be done.

The opposite of Dwelling is To Move! The only way to move out is by letting go, moving on.....by Forgiving.

Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of Life. Don't make lists of wrongs 1Corinthians 13 says.

Never easy, but worth it. Jesus, as my ultimate inspiration, as He was being crucified, prayed....Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Forgive them.

Love. Forgive. Live. Become free.

Bella

December 07, 2016

Reality of life as a missionary



“This was the true light, which gives light to everyone entering the world. He was in the world — the world came to be through him — yet the world did not know him. He came to his own homeland, yet his own people did not receive him. But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God, not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God.”
‭‭John 1:9-13‬ ‭CJB‬‬

I was sitting with clenched fists at the weekly Bible lesson. Probably the worst missionary ever. I was angry. My white fists a sure sign of just how angry I was. I truly hoped it was a Righteous Anger, but as i continued to just sit there this anger grew in me.....not very righteous at all.

The lesson was on Jesus' crucifixion and then His glorious resurrection. What a wonderful story as we are in the Advent leading to Christmas - being reminded that Jesus, sweet as He was as a baby, was meant for so much more and would face severe pain before returning to His Father, mission completed! But no. It was not going well and thus the clenched, white fists in my lap.

I was sitting on the women's side of the little grass-roofed shelter and they were paying rapt attention? No. They were really interested? Nope. They were actually having the time of their lives and laughing at everything! If a rain drop fell through the thatch roof it was funny, if a little baby screamed her lungs out, it was something to laugh about, if the wind blew cold and wet air against them it was snickered at. They were all giggling and talking in whispers and laughing at everything! This was all still bearable, i mean free choice and everything, but when the picture of Jesus hanging on the cross was passed around and they found it hilarious it really got to me! Why was This Scene funny? And when His broken body was taken down from the cross it caused them to nearly die of laughter.....?

I felt so shocked and saddened all at the same time. Do they not hear? Do they not see? Are they all laughingly choosing death instead of Life? How could they treat my King this way?

But,
Jesus was betrayed. Mocked. Scorned. Dismissed. Laughed at. Pointed to. 

And as He was nailed to a wooden beam, His life ebbing away, in agony He still prayed....Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

And it touched my hardened heart and i too pray....Father forgive them......

Bella, heartbroken