But God planned it for good …

… those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. Psalm 34: 10

All things work together for the good of those who love him. Romans 8: 28

Sometimes my friends, we find ourselves in the midst of situations where the good the verses above refer to, is difficult to see. There is no specific number of times that after hearing the words above, you can suddenly understand the complexity of what it all means, embrace the bad things, and move on happily to seek God’s good.

More often that not, you aren’t sure what God is doing in the midst of your difficulty and you can’t see any good in what is happening.

We can be certain that He makes even the worst situations turn out good for us in the end.
One of the biggest and most significant differences between God and us, is perhaps His definition of good.

We could question the good that comes out of a situation where a godly man loses his home, his livestock, his children, his wealth and his health. Yet it says of him that he was more blessed in the end than he had been in the beginning.

We would question how good it is for an innocent man to be accused of a crime he did not commit, convicted of said crime and end up imprisoned as a result – yet his story is the one from which we see the phrase emerge ‘you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.’

We could question where the good is, in an innocent man dying because His goodness was too much for those around him to bear.

Essentially what we are looking at is the difference between our definition of good and God’s. Our definition of good is probably very easily revealed when you look back on a day and classify it as having been “a good day”. To be honest, for me, a good day is one in which I have felt as though I’ve done well. And for me doing well sadly often means I did it all. I didn’t really have to rely on anyone – not even God. A good day is a day that I can look back on with pride and a sense of satisfaction. But for God, my Heavenly Father, a good day for me, in His books, doesn’t look like that. A good day doesn’t mean I got through it without Him – in fact if we consider it even on a superficial level, that definition should make for a bad day. A good day for me from His perspective is one in which He saw the fruit of the Spirit rise to the top rather than my pride and my effort. A good day for Him is one in which I was presented with the opportunity to behave in a more Christlike way and I took it, and I leaned on Him, His Son and the Holy Spirit to bring that to pass.
God’s desire, I’ve said it before, (I’m saying to myself again) is not for me to have good days apart from Him. His desire is that my days be spent with Him, the days when I lean on Him the most are the best of days, these are the good days.

I guess what it comes down to, for me – is redefining good.

If we are genuinely seeking Him as the verse suggests then we shall not lack or miss out on good things. Now, the good may be very cleverly disguised and concealed, it may after all present as bad. But we know that no matter how bent on our destruction others may be – they are able to do nothing without the permission of God. God allows bad to touch us in order to bring about good.

So, friends who are suffering at present, can I suggest that we reexamine our definition of good. We know God knows infinitely more than we do, we know that He knows the end from the beginning.

He knows what you would be like had He given you that relationship, career, home, family you so desperately believed would be for your good, He also knows where that would lead, He knows where you would end up and He knows who you then would be. Trust that He knows what is for your good. Take solace in the fact that because of this knowledge, because of His perspective, and because of the massive heart of love He has for you — He has said no, or not now. He wants you to focus somewhere else, He wants you to see Him more as He is, we know He has something that is better for you.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Remember you follow the One who is still waiting for His enemies to be made the footstool of His feet. Remember that we know those who lift themselves up will be humbled, remember that those who set themselves up will be brought low. You might not think right now that He has something better – but remember His better often isn’t just for your good – sometimes it’s for generations who follow after.

Sometimes God chooses to allow good things to happen to us, sometimes He permits the bad, as the psalmist in Psalm 73 suggests – sometimes it’s the bad that gives us the perspective we need. What we do need to know is that the bad is also part of His plan to bring us good. We know this because one day we’ll see the One who suffered the most and on that day we will be brought into the immense goodness that His suffering has brought about for us.

Yet the Lord was willing
To crush Him, causing Him to suffer;
If He would give Himself as a guilt offering [an atonement for sin],
He shall see His [spiritual] offspring,
He shall prolong His days,
And the will (good pleasure) of the Lord shall succeed and prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He shall see it and be satisfied…  (AMP )

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Happy weekend! 


A quick tour of our garden netted these beauties this morning … happy weekend everyone. 

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Out of the depths … 

“Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord, More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭130:1, 5-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

We, each of us, have times we can look back on when we found ourselves at the bottom of what appeared to be a deep pit.
When we’re feeling like we are at the bottom of a pit – we have a few tendencies, one is to yell a bit. And that’s fine…but it doesn’t get you out of the pit. (If I wasn’t being serious now- I’d break into song … (Parks and Rec reference.) but I am being serious so I won’t. When in the pit you can just wait. I really love having to wait – you may have noticed that before now.

I think I’m getting better at it but I’m not sure- others may question that assertion.

When in a pit it’s always a good idea to look to God’s word, for my part, I return as I always must to my favourite of the Old Testament characters/ Joseph.  

God has great things prepared for Joseph – a role to play in the salvation of his family, the rescuing of a nation. God revealed some of this to him, Joseph however may have misinterpreted his own dreams initially – he thought that his role was limited to simply being “ruler” over his brothers and that his parents who would one day bow down before him.

God had more in mind, but as with everyone that God raised up to do great things there is a road of humility to walk first. A road down before the way up. How could we honestly expect anything different? Those of us who do, should reexamine our hearts. Who are we following if we expect to be met with reward upon reward and never have a single moment of difficulty. If our life has been a series of taps on the shoulder, we should take care – the time will come when the path up is actually the way down.

As Christians we follow the one who took the ultimate stoop. The One who literally stepped down. The word of God is replete with people who have been marked for greatness, humbled, in some cases humiliated, proved and then raised up. The word of God also has a little to say about those who are raised up by the people at a time when God was not yet ready.

Maybe at the moment you are in the bottom of that pit. While you are there listen. This is when you will hear that still small voice. Only in humility or as one has recently said humiliation can we truly draw alongside the One who humbled Himself, allowed Himself to be taken, the One who willingly stooped.
Humility is often hard to spot – sometimes it looks like hurt. Sometimes it looks like weakness, most of the time it’s not even noticed, it gets confused for other things … C.S Lewis says it beautifully.

Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.

In a world where self promotion is the way forward – humility falls by the way side. Humility should not be confused with dependence on others, it should not be confused with a lack of vision, it should also not be misdiagnosed as a lack of verbosity, or an unwillingness to put oneself forward… it should be recognized for what it is…

A few people I know have felt the sting of humiliation recently, the truth is there’s nothing that will get you through – there are no words to be said – no one actually knows your unique pain other than the One who willingly took this on Himself so that right now you could come to Him and know that He understands. His humility is what has made Him the great high priest, the One who is touched by the feelings of our infirmities. His humility is exactly what made Him the saviour of His people. His heart was not for himself, His heart was for the world, His heart was for us – the ones who didn’t even know we needed Him, the ones who didn’t want Him.

My friend, let us not forget that your Father in heaven sees what is done in secret – He is the only one who can see into the bottom of that pit and He knows the way out, He will lead you out. He is not one to overlook or forget when the time is right. Our God, yours and mine, is no amnesiac.
If it’s not til the glory days – guess what? You’ll be okay with that.

After all we are yet to see our King in all his glory. I have a feeling though that the crowns of some of my friends are going to have an extra gem or two that many others there won’t have, and I hope that when I see them I can remember where they came from. They came from the days of humility, the days of hurt, the days of humiliation… the days when my friend you leaned on Him and He came through on the promise to bless those who overcome, the days when more than ever you demonstrated to me, to us, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ” …

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Friendship…

I started the day today with breakfast with one of my best friends. We laughed, and for a change this time – I don’t think either of us cried! Yes!!

I traveled there alone with my thoughts (such great introvert time!) and reflected for a while about some of the people I have considered friends over the years. Some, I’ve been close to for a season, some for much longer. This reflection was in part due to a couple of conversations I’ve had recently. Our year 12 students (seniors), at school are about to say goodbye and head off into the world, and as per usual there are some friendships that are starting to wear thin.
The angst that we see daily in the high school and middle school over friendship issues always gets me thinking – as a teenager I didn’t have what I’d consider a large number of friends, maybe just one or two good friends. I remember when I left year 12 I was kind of pleased to say goodbye, that chapter of my life was done and I was keen to move on. I think I found it very difficult to be close friends with people that I had little in common with. School friends were never incredibly important to me. In primary school I had a couple of close friends. As a teenager, I attended a number of different high schools and we moved towns a few times. I had a few good church friends, some cousins I was close to and that was just about all I needed. Maybe this is because of my introversion and the fact that I’ve always been pretty happy with my own company. I really have no friends that I’ve known my whole life – and I don’t think this has effected me negatively. There’s really no one to remember all the stupid things I did or said when I was younger!

I think adulthood is where I’ve truly learned the value of friendship. The value of knowing and being known, and the value of investing in people.

The word of God highlights the importance of good companionship and it’s something that we are trying to help our children with. In an age when social media is constantly highlighting the importance of friends and followers, we need to help them to discern what kind of people we should be looking to being friends with.

The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Friendship is a key theme throughout the word of God, over and again we are reminded of the importance of choosing our companions wisely.

Job suffered quite a bit as a result of the words of his friends.
Just reading that passage today I was surprised to see that the moment at which Job’s losses were restored was when he prayed for his “friends”.

Haman consulted and plotted with this friends and it resulted in his own downfall.

Joseph was left alone and friendless, hated by his own brothers.

Jesus himself was on more than one occasion alone – they all “forsook him and fled”.

We do see however time and again the great gift that friendship can be – Adam and Eve before the fall, met and communed with God daily.

Abraham was called a friend of God.

Enoch walked with God.

Friendship is a great blessing bestowed on us by a God who has designed us to be in relationship with Himself and with each other. Introvert or extravert, we all need people who truly know us, build us up, challenge us and encourage us.
There are still too many lonely people out there in the world who do not know the joy of true friendship. I’m very much in love (I’m not even using hyperbole here) with Netflix’s The Little Prince (based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s book The Little Prince) and the lessons that it has to teach about responsibility, love and friendship.

One of the main reasons I love The Little Prince is that it encourages the reader (or viewer) to recognise that the most important things in life are the things that are invisible. Things like, the love that the little prince has for his rose and his friendship with the fox. De Saint-Exupery encourages the reader to be responsible not simply for self, but to realise that each of us is also responsible in some way for the people in whom we invest, those we “tame”.

to tame something means to establish ties …
… if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world …
One can only understand the things that one tames. Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy ready-made things in the shops. But since there are no shops anywhere where you can buy friends, men no longer have any friends. If you want a friend, tame me …

The book encourages us in a disposable, instant gratification, kind of society to focus on investing in others, in people, in what is invisible.

So my challenge to you this week is: set up that coffee date you’ve been postponing.
So what if you are the one who’s always trying to catch up, so what if you are the one who always makes the first move – just do it. And that person who just came to mind, the person who you think looks a little bit lonely? Maybe he/she is, maybe you should include them too. Or maybe you are lonely, maybe you should make the first step and be a friend to someone who’s lonely too…

Finally my unique and amazing friends, who challenge me, inspire me, provoke me to good, encourage me, lift me up, build up … thank you!! 🙂

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If you are yet to watch The Little Prince,  go and watch it now.

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Stones of remembrance…

Sometimes, you just have to look back and see what God has brought you through in order to step up and do the next thing.

I guess that’s why we are encouraged to share our stories – not to boast about how well we’ve done but to encourage others to see the amazing goodness of God, His unfailing faithfulness and the ways His strength is made perfect in our own weaknesses. Joshua 4 – shows us a very real concrete application of this. Prior to crossing the Jordan, the children of Israel were commanded to:

“Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’ ”

We, all of us, who belong to Him have stones we should have gathered from moments when God allowed us to walk on dry ground in situations that would have, but for Him and His presence, overwhelmed us.

He’s off to hospital again today for the next few days. The next test in the series to uncover the source of the Primary Aldosteronism. Yes, those of you who know our complicated timetable will have worked out that these are our only child-free days of the holidays, and yes, he’s in hospital for them … yay!!!
I didn’t want to do the five days without him last time – I really don’t want to do the two days this time.
He’s packed Finding Peace by Charles Stanley … and I’m right now, dealing with some palpitations. Why, I’m not sure. But I’m feeling really anxious about it this time – and I’m not sure why.

This is not the biggest thing either of us has ever been through – it’s not even the biggest thing we’ve been through together but it’s the now thing – and therein lies the problem.
It’s not my choice for now. My choice for now is for us to actually have two days, just him and me. Selfish? Maybe. I know that we’ll get our time some other way at some time other than now.

For now I feel a little overwhelmed – he does too – neither of us is super keen on the time apart. I guess if we continue to focus on how we feel then it’s not going to be a great outcome for either of us. I’ll be miserable and I might just make everyone around me miserable too add to that the fact that I’m a little inclined to dig my heels in if I have to do something I don’t want to do.
Right now my mother and father, are probably reliving the highlights of my first year at school, either the screaming filled immunisations before school or the weeks when I had to be extricated from the post under the year one building because I’d decided I’d had enough of school. But I guess we can look back and see that five year-old Anne got through another few years of schooling without ill effects, some would even say it was beneficial. And the horror of the immunisations became a distant memory when in the same year at the age of six she was in hospital having an emergency appendectomy.

I know those were kind of amusing examples and you and I both know darker days have been and gone, and so for now it’s time to look back. To look at the way in which the Lord has brought us through deeper and darker waters than these before. Time to examine the stones that we’ve brought out of those times – and time to remember.

“When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

Yes, it’s time to get in the car and head off again.

And before I go – what are your stones? What are the things that you can look back on that give you strength for the difficulties ahead?

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Dinner plans and the introvert …

We headed out to dinner tonight and the thing I was looking forward to the most was coming back home. It’s not the fault of the place, or the person, it’s me. Yes, I can hear myself, I know that I sound impossibly rude.

If, as an introvert, you are heading out for dinner … is it acceptable to establish, with your less introverted other half, a signal that you may give at some point in the evening that allows you to head home?
My grandmother used to have a trademark saying “I think somebody’s getting a little bit tired!” She never explained that she was the somebody – but would look pointedly at one of the children of the party. Maybe she was onto something? I could try it though our three are likely to protest very loudly that they are not in the slightest bit tired. (maybe not quite in those words but the message would be clear.)

I’m trying to work out if there is some etiquette associated with this type of excursion, or not. I do not think there is; I think what you do is, you accept the kind invitation and behave like you’re enjoying yourself, and sooner or later you’ll find that you are.
Is this an introvert “thing” or is it just me?

There are a few things that I know to be true:

  • Sometimes I really don’t want to go out. If, for instance you are asking me to make plans for dinner and I’ve already been out socialising for several hours – I’m going to be so non-committal that you may wonder if I can still speak and understand English. The truth is at that moment in time I just want to go home. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m all socialised out and asking me to do anything, anywhere, at this point is akin to asking me to donate a kidney on the spot. I feel like I should say yes, but it’s going to cost me… and at that point I’m not sure I can agree to something right now that I might regret later. I’m doing a number of different calculations in my head.

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    Image credit: INFJoe

  • If I know you very well – my answer will always be yes – because I know you so well. I know that if I arrive and upon arrival I’m still introverting – then I will emerge at some point in the evening and I will have a lovely time. But because you know me so well – you know this too. You are probably an introvert too and so all of this is familiar to you.
  • I’m going to be stressed out, especially if I am going to a new place. Will I get lost? If I’m driving myself the answer is yes – no matter how straight forward it is. Even using google maps, I will get lost, and please don’t give me directions in order to avoid this. I’ll let you know now that if you do, I’m not listening, I’m just nodding, because I want to go to a quiet space and prepare myself for all of the things that could potentially happen.
  • I will be fashionably late – because even though I’ve spent the whole day making sure I have the whole excursion planned down to the last second; one of a number of things will inevitably happen
    • I will discover that in fact I should have washed my hair today.
    • I will lose one of the shoes from the pair I have decided to wear.
    • I will spot that when I was shaving my legs I missed one rather long patch that runs the length of my leg.

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      Image credit: INFJoe 

    • I will discover that the outfit I had planned to wear just isn’t quite right, not sure why, it just isn’t. I probably need to wear jeans because of the hairy patch on my leg.
    • I have lost the car keys, or my phone, or both of them, or the bag in which I have placed them.
    • The last minute teeth cleaning has resulted in a toothpaste spill on the second outfit of choice, which means I now have to go back to outfit one which is in a heap on the floor and needs to be ironed … and now I do have to shave that leg properly.
  • I will appear wide eyed and overwhelmed when I arrive – especially if I’ve never been to your place before.

Why? Well, you read the last bit! Also, if I’m new to this place, where are the exits? Not in case of a fire – just in case I need to zone out. In case it all becomes too noisy.

Hopefully you have a pet somewhere that I can go and chat with. Yes, I said with not to. It’s a two way thing.

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Image credit: Adam Ellis

Who else is here? Do I like them? Do they like me? Can I fake that I do? The answer is no… I can’t. I’ll just avoid them, best for everyone.

Am I going to have to make small talk? I really should have prepared some witty comments to make – if only I’d done something exciting today!

Them: How was your day Anne?

Me: Oh, okay, I spent most of it planning so that I’d get here on time.

Them: (discrete look at watch)

Me: Oh yes, but still I managed to be late. I know… ( insert self deprecating comment of some sort that then makes the person with whom I’m conversing feel that they need to defend me – against myself).. conversation trails off … small talk done…

If I’m with my significant other than I just attach myself to him. Think limpet on a rock. He’s the rock. He’s good with people from the start – I need to warm up – and then I become average with people. We’ve reached the point in our introvert/extrovert marriage where he understands I can’t be left,  I have used stronger words in the past like abandoned or discarded to do small talk … I flounder, I accidentally insult, I’d rather come off as cool and aloof than accidentally insult all and sundry. Also, as a HSP I find myself overwhelmed by smells, sounds and sights. My brain tries to take it all in at once – that also explains the wide -eyed look!

  • If I’m going out – it’s likely that I’m dreading going – but underneath is all I know I’ll enjoy it. I’m sorry if my mood to start with is cool and aloof, that’s kind of why I’m dreading it. You will, as many people in my youth did, assume that I’m a snob, and rude. I’m actually totally overwhelmed and just need about 30 mins to take it all in and settle.
  • I find it impossible to cancel plans. I’ll force myself to go – unless I’m physically ill – sometimes even then.
  • My optimistic nature buried deep below all of the above thinks that this person might just be one of the people for whom my quiet 30 minutes is just part of my charm, because one day, we know each other that well. 😉
  • I do want to be invited to things – most of the time… 🙂

So, we headed out, even though I wanted to stay home…and we all had a nice time.

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Still it’s good to be home again … (Processed with Snapseed.)

 

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He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies …

It was my husband who spoke on this at church a few weeks ago, and it has been flitting in and out of my mind ever since. I would like it to rest in my heart. I need it to rest in my heart.

If it would rest in my heart, I know that that rest would spread out from my heart, to my mind and settle in my bones.

I headed to the doctor this week after a few really sharp, five second headaches, it turns out as far as she can tell they are tension headaches. As she said this to me I became conscious that I was clenching my teeth…again!
Find some rest,” she said.
I just stared at the poster on the wall adjacent to me and nodded. I’ve heard this before… I’ve been told it a few times now. I’ve written about it before. I’ve tried it.

I’ve tried to stop worrying about things by trying really hard not to worry – I then worry that I’m not trying hard enough .. foolish, right? I can see it!

As I drove back to school after my visit to the doctor, a couple of things she said were ringing in my ears.
1. You aren’t 20 anymore !!! (Imagine that!)
2. You need to switch off sometimes – you need to find time to rest – or you will break.

I don’t really have time to rest,” is usually the first thing that comes to my mind and then makes its way out of my mouth.
The doctor wasn’t buying that, “you have to. What do you do to relax?
That’s the next question I struggle with.
I don’t know.
You need to find out what it is and do it. Make the time to do it.
At this point in the conversation I’m worried that my transparent face is screaming, are you kidding?! Do you have any idea how busy our life is. Every week that we have three children in our home we have to get them all to do the school work they should have done the week before, and the work that needs to be done this week, and hopefully get a start on the work for the week ahead to save ourselves some time this time in a fortnight. We are the household, that frowned this week on holidays mid-term because we are the household who has to catch up on the work a kid who’s already well behind has to do.
I think she can see it all racing through my mind and she repeats herself again and then adds to it.
You aren’t twenty anymore. You can’t be skipping meals, you can’t be working and forgetting to eat, you need to rest, you need to find rest. Your body isn’t the same as it was when you were twenty or thirty .” (Ouch!! You don’t need to tell me that twice!!)

So yesterday we had a work, and worry, free day. It was great. We did some things that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
We bought the trampoline I promised my son I’d get him about 6 years ago…
See, I told you I’d get you a trampoline one day.
I knew you’d do it Mum! You keep your promises.

There are a few pursuits I have that I find relaxing – music and art.IMG_9405 I find it hard to make the time to do either without feeling guilty. (Something to work on.) Someone said to me this week you have to maintain all the rooms in the house. True, the artistic areas which are so much of an important part of me have been neglected in favour of the serious, more important pursuits. I’ve postponed the study for now. The time is not there.
So, I’ve been for sometime been thinking about getting a mandolin. Thinking it would be much easier to sit in a comfy chair and play a mandolin than it is to sit comfortably and play the piano. Mandolins also have the “portability” factor. I decided the guitar was off limits as we already have two very capable guitarists in the house and what family band needs three guitarists? 😉
FullSizeRender 29So, anyway, yesterday we stopped thinking about the mandolin and made it happen. I didn’t quite play till my fingers bled but I do have a tiny blister to show for it.

We had a good day. We set the trampoline up, we all had a go, and two of us, very quickly became aware that we aren’t in our twenties anymore.(!) IMG_9415

The day was a really good one … but the truth is under it all I had a little sense of dread that things were about to get a bit tricky again.

Then this morning I was thinking about what my husband spoke about “he prepares a place for me in the presence of my enemies.”

The thoughts that he brought out have popped in and out of my head in the weeks since he spoke.

The image of being in a place where no enemy, despite their obvious presence, can disturb. It’s not that they are away from my place of blessing, as I often wish they would be. They are looking on, right there – in the spot where God’s preparing a table for ME! A table for me to sit at and enjoy the abundance of His provision. It doesn’t seem that He’s in any rush here. He seems unalarmed by the presence of my enemies – He’s actually going about the business of preparing me a feast, while they look on.
What a glorious thought… as I sat and thought about it … meditated on the idea of that … I felt the rest creeping in … the rest He desires for me to experience now when I’m in presence of the shepherd with my enemies looking on.
My teeth unclenched again …
I’m not twenty anymore and I’m very thankful for that!
I’m in a place of abundance now that I wasn’t in when I was in my twenties or my thirties.

So my friends, whatever is ahead of you this week, the One who’s preparing a table for you knows about it. And He’s just preparing that table for you.
He’s not worried, He’s not hurried, He’s just making sure that the feast’s ready for you.
He knows that they are there looking on.
He’s waiting for you to sit down and enjoy the abundance of the place and position He has brought you into.

There’s more to this verse here too my friend,

You anoint my head with oil

begone aching,
begone worries,
begone tension,
begone negative thoughts.

You are in the presence of your shepherd,
He has anointed your head with oil, to heal you.

Can you and I find rest? Yes, we can.
What do you need to do in order to rest?

Stop and look around at what is in front of you,

and when you do that, you might just notice this …

my cup overflows.

 

P.S. Check out the many different translations of this verse (here) and find the rest and blessings you have, and need.

 

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The life of a high school English teacher. 

a not-so-perfect original


Week 6, term 3: I call it “adrift in a sea of drafts”. “Drowning in a sea of drafts” was a little too melodramatic even for me! 

I would have taken the time to add colour but for the fact that the time taken to add colour would, alas, prolong my time in the sea. 

Perhaps there will be colour when I reach the island. 

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Wednesdays…

Mid point of the week …
Busiest day of the week for me, a full teaching day.

This Wednesday – the plan was to leave home at 7am in order to factor in three sets of road works on the way to school.

This Wednesday – the foils to us getting to work on time are:

1. Only two of the five of us appear to be actively working toward leaving at 7am.

2. One child kicked his toe last night – naturally it’s “broken”. He’ll need a day off. “No you won’t.”

I then make some jokes about practicing kicking the soccer ball too hard.. He dissolves into tears because I’m “making fun of him”. I remember, too late, how sensitive he is – just like I was at his age. I apologise, tell him I was trying to cheer him up. He doesn’t want to be cheered up. He must now walk with his foot at a right angle to the rest of his body .. I suggest he may do more damage walking like this. To prove me correct he then kicks his toe on something else …naturally he must walk more slowly.

3. Two boys who have realized that they have left their uniforms on the clothes line over night. This means the clothes  are damp and cold. This was discovered ten minutes prior to 7am(!). Thankfully, we have a dryer.

4. The two year eight students have home ec today. Both are cooking different things. I bought the ingredients for both last night. I was under the impression they sorted it all last night before going to bed. Not quite. The bag of cheese in the fruit bowl gives this away.

5. One boy has “lost” his formal shoes for school. Walks around in circles in his now dry uniform for about 10 minutes looking for them. Doesn’t find them.

We leave home at 7:20am.
I write the thoughts above on the way to school. I feel better.

our view on the way to work

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Time for tea – time for me.

Tea cup and saucer from Servant Ceramics


Introverting on a quiet partly cloudy afternoon sitting with my thoughts and a cup of tea.  

Anne with an ‘e’ 
P.S. You can find Servant ceramics here . 

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