16/07/2016

Obstacles to Time With God

Zacchaeus wanted to meet Jesus, but there were obstacles in his way.
He was short, and there were lot of people inbetween him and Jesus making it impossible for him to see.
So what did he do? Did he give up?
No, he found a way to overcome both obstacles! He climbed a tree. So simple, a little unusual, but it worked!
And guess what? Jesus not only spotted him in the tree, He stopped, talked to Him and went back to His house and spent time with Him.
What happened as a result? Zacchaeus was a changed man.
(Luke 19:1-11)
I can relate to Zaccaeus. I don't find it so easy to get close to the Lord at the moment. 
As a busy mum and wife, I find there are many obstacles in the way of spending time with God. Life is more busy than usual at the moment with a 'high need' baby, and at the time of day I would like to be reading my Bible, I have a baby to get fed and medicine to prepare and give her etc. One night I was feeding her and I had my Bible open next to me. I read this story of Zaccheaus and it straight away spoke to me. Zacchaeus found a way to see Jesus even though it wasn't the normal way. God blessed his efforts and spent time with Him. God will also bless my efforts to spend time with Him. When I make an effort to spend time with Him, He will meet with me. He knows the obstacles. He knows what its like to be a Mum and wife with many things that have to be done. But He also wants me to make Him a priority.
We can find creative ways to overcome these obstacles. At the moment, instead of reading my Bible, I mostly listen to it. I downloaded it for free on http://www.bible.is/download/audio  I listen to it while I'm feeding my baby or folding the washing or whatever else. The Daily Light is another great tool for Mums, as it is short and easy to read but pure Bible.
Don't feel bad if you don't have a set time to sit down and spend time with God because it just doesn't work for you. But do your best to find some way to pray and hear or read God's Word. You may have to be creative, but God will bless it and you will change.

07/07/2016

Impossibilities

Yesterday at the breakfast table I read the story to my children of  Peter walking on the water to Jesus. When he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the storm, he was overwhelmed and afraid. He started to sink. But when his eyes were on Jesus the impossible happened.
I can relate to Peter. Life is often overwhelming and I am afraid I won't cope. Specially when there are complications added to the normal chaos. On difficult days coping well can seem as impossible as walking on water! I can feel like I am drowning.
And yet it amazes me how with God we can do the 'impossible!' With God's help we can cope on the bad days and difficult seasons. of life. We may need to ask for or accept help. We may need to simplify and prioritize, but we CAN cope! We don't have to drown in the busyness and stress.
A while back our baby was in hospital for a very long time. We were separated from our children half the time and a long way from home. Staying cheerful and making the most of the time seemed an impossibility! But although it was very hard and nightmarish, the impossible happened---I was able to cope! It amazed me. On most days I was able to laugh at our situation even though it was far from funny. I was able to be cheerful and make the most of the moments with our children. The whole thing to me was an impossibility but with God all things are possible!
And now back at home with a very busy life, I often wake up in the morning overwhelmed and wondering how I will keep up with all I need to do. Sometimes it seems impossible. But if my eyes are on the Lord, He helps me. He helps me in many different ways through different people and means.
If I focus on all the difficulties and the impossibilities, I 'drown!'
And when I am 'drowning' God hears my cry for help and pulls me up.
God is so good. His goodness amazes me again and again.
What difficulties are you going through right now? Are you overwhelmed and wondering if it is possible for you to cope?
With God impossibilities happen! Keep your eyes on Him.


18/06/2016

Reflections of a Mother

These words are on the wall in the children's ward in our local hospital.
They are so true! We can't save our children and make them turn out right. But there is so much we can and should be doing, and then we should pray for God to do the rest.

28/05/2016

Rejoicing, Patient and Praying

(These posts are not written to make you feel sorry for me, but to share how good God is and the blessings He brings in our hard times. It amazes me over and over how in the dark moments I can feel like I can't possibly take any more, but the next thing I know I am filled with joy again! God's grace doesn't run out!)

Did you know it's possible to miss housework? To crave physical work like washing dishes and vacuuming?! For the last seven weeks I haven't done much physical work, especially when the children haven't been here with us. I have things to fill my time, but I am feeling more than ready to go home and do normal activities again.
The last few days I have been desperately wanting to go home so that is what I've been praying for. A few days ago the heart specialist told us it may not be long if Lydia keeps doing well. But because that is what I am hoping and praying for, I get upset if there is the slightest setback with Lydia. Thismorning I felt like maybe I should stop praying about it and just leave it in God's hands instead of praying hard and getting frustrated. Isn't praying about things supposed to give you peace?  And aren't I supposed to keep praying?
I was feeling rather confused, so I asked God to show me how to pray and think about this situation.
I opened up my little book of encouragement that I have made, and the page I opened to had this verse in big letters
"Rejoicing in hope;
Patient in tribulation;
Continuing instant in prayer;"
There was the answer to my question!

Rejoicing in hope
   There is hope at the moment that we may be able to go home soon. So I should be happy that there is hope.
Patient in tribulation
But I need to be patient until the right time does come and not be frustrated or afraid with the little set backs.
Continuing instant in prayer
I am to keep on praying for Lydia to get better!
 
Rejoicing, Patient and Praying is what we should be.

25/05/2016

Pain and Comfort

Thismorning at 3:00 am I was awake with Lydia who was having trouble getting back to sleep. I was lonely, very homesick, missing my husband and children and wondering how many more weeks or months we will be in hospital for. After 6 weeks, there was still no light at the end of the tunnel.
As the tears flowed, I begged God for comfort. 
Lydia eventually settled and we both got back to sleep.
Looking back over thismorning I realized God answered my prayer through 3 different people!
First, the play specialist.
Lydia holding my finger on her emergency helicopter ride 6 weeks back.
She came into Lydia's room to see how she is getting on, as she does every day. We got talking and she shared how her fourth child had a kidney problem and he needed surgery after birth. She understood the difficulties of being torn between your healthy children and your sick child. She told me that when her children grew up she interviewed the healthy ones on how the experience affected them. I braced myself, thinking she was going to say how much it effected them negatively. But instead she shared how the experience made them more caring and better people. She also mentioned her faith, which was an encouragement.
Secondly, the cardiologist.
On the ward rounds she told me that if Lydia doesn't get any worse over the weekend and can do ok with no drain, we may be able to start talking about getting out of here! That's the first talk of home in a long time. No guarantees, of course, but a little ray of hope!
Lastly, the cleaner.
I have talked to her many times before, but as I was about to go out the door, she just happened to say something about her little boy with Downs! I had no idea she had a child with Down Syndrome! We had a long conversation. She has a 3yr old boy with Down Syndrome, which is why she likes Lydia so much. She also mentioned that she is a Sunday School Teacher.
God is so good!
I was thinking once about how Lydia gets so upset with painful things like blood tests or dressing changes. But how I always give her a cuddle afterwards to make up for it.
We also have our painful moments, but afterwards comes the comfort!
As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you;
Isaiah 66:13


Last cuddle before open heart surgery 2 months back





23/05/2016

Consent Forms and Prayers

Yesterday I had to sign another consent form for our baby. She is having a procedure for her heart today. Over the months I have had to sign many consent forms--every time she has needed an anaesthetic. I don't have a problem signing them. My attitude towards the doctors is "Just do what you need to do." I have told them that many times. The doctors know far more than I do. Even though I know they are human and could make a mistake, I trust them to do what they know is best.
There are other people I know here who find it difficult to trust the doctors because of different reasons. I'm not like that. I don't know if its a good or a bad thing, but it sure saves me a lot of frustration and worry!
Last night I was praying about Lydia's procedure. As I thought about how to pray, it struck me that I trust the doctors more than I trust God.
I say to the doctors, "Just do whatever you need to do," because I know they will do their best for Lydia.
And yet when I pray, I am very hesitant to pray that. Instead I would rather pray for what I want, which doesn't include trials!
Shouldn't I be able to pray the same thing? "Just do whatever you have to do, Lord. You know far better than me or the doctors. You know what's best. I trust You."
I felt convicted and ashamed.
God can't make mistakes like the doctors can. His wisdom is so great. He loves us so much and has our best interests in mind.
 Why then do I find it so hard to pray that prayer? I decided that it is because I naturally want a trouble free life. I know that if I tell God to just do what is best, God's best may not be what I want. I'm really saying, "If I need troubles, give them to me. I consent." For God to do His best work in my life, there are going to be many trials. If I want God to use me, it's not going to come on a silver platter. It's going to hurt! He is going to have to make me usable!
God does want us to be specific when we pray and tell Him our desires, and He doesn't need our consent to do anything. But I'm sure He wants us to have the same attitude of trust that I have toward the doctors. "Go ahead, Lord. Do whatever You have to do. You know what's best."
I pray He will help me with that, and that you may learn the same lesson.