A voice in the darkness

Ever felt like you are stuck in a dark place? Then this post is written just for you….

Gods first words in the human story were words spoke in the darkness – words from the darkness. Spoken by God. Spoken to breathe life into the darkness.

Out of the darkness these words were uttered:

“Let… there… be… light!”

And there was light. The first light in the universe came from the voice of God in the darkness. Gods first breathe in the universe created light.

This was the beginning. The first beginning. The first of many beginnings. This is the work of God in our lives. God enters into the darkness, unperturbed or disturbed, to bring light, growth, love, joy, peace that surpasses understanding, and all other manner of blessings as he wills.

Whenever God wants us to grow he leads us into the darkness where we are led by the spirit into the place of deepening faith and holy trust. And into our darkness He speaks ever so gently… let there be light, and Christ enters our darkness. He walks in it with us to lead us through the dark wilderness into his promised land for our lives.

Where there is darkness today God is already at work. New life will spring up at the sound of his gentle voice. Do not listen for a booming voice in the darkness. Look for the still small voice of the Spirit speaking and breathing the new life of God. God is speaking light into your darkness.

Self care – the art of burning brightly

This morning I had the privilege of participating (gatecrashing!!) a Twitter conversation on the subject of ‘self care’. Too many of us care for others and neglect ourselves in the process. We end up tired, taken for granted, or at worst… burnt out!

We are not meant to burn out in the pursuit of supporting, teaching and blessing others – we are meant to burn on and burn brightly like twinkling stars lighting the way on a cold dark night.

During the conversation I came up with the following ‘loose’ idea of what self care might look like:

S:upported

E:xercise

L:ifelong-learning

F:uel your soul

C:areful choices

A:rtistic expression

R:hythm of life

E:at healthy

What else could’ve been included in looking after ones’ self?

What does self care look like for you?

Do you look after your own self?

Why is self care important?

Put your own ideas and thoughts in the comments below.

004 Smell

This is a really simple thing that brings joy, and it’s a rather simple one: The smell of                    can bring that little release of hope that sparks joy and causes our lips to lift skywards at the corners to create a little cheeky smile whilst the taste glands within the mouth begin to salivate with expectation!

I’m trying to get healthy and fit again by running each morning and boy do I struggle!! – my legs usually feel like lead; my lungs are bursting; my knee aches (I ain’t as young as I used to be!!). But…

…when I near a certain shop at around 6:30am that all changes. I feel lifted and strangely motivated to keep on keeping on.

The shop is our local bakery and the smell that floats down the street to greet this weary soul is just phenomenal! There is something amazing about the smell of fresh bread that is positively feeds my soul. I would go as far as saying that it is the inspiring scent of hope, inspiration and life. Somehow that smell makes me forget the pain in my knee as my focus is shifted to imagine the taste.

fresh bread

Perhaps that’s the important aspect of a wonderful strong scent: it shifts our focus towards something beautiful. I mentioned in a previous post that we are naturally drawn to focus on what’s not going well. Perhaps it’s because those things have the strongest emotional and mental impact upon us; perhaps it’s because we want to find solutions or resolve.

Regardless of why we do it: it is detrimental to our health and wellbeing to perpetually ponder the anti-positive. A wonderful strong scent can realign our heart and soul and dig out that well of joy which is locked up within us.

I need to say this because we need to know it – really know it:

We all need hope to rise

I recognise that there are times when life is not brilliant – I’ve have my fair share of reasons to focus on life’s problems, negative emotions and the baggage of life from my past – I have lots of that – we all do, but we don’t need to let them keep us down!

hope

We need to fight against them; overcome them and stand stronger and securer in who we were born to be. We were not brought into this world to be overcome. We were made to be overcomers!

We are made to be creatives; innovators; builders; designers.

We were created to write; draw; paint; laugh; love; have fun; enjoy life; fulfil our true potential; share; dance like crazy people; sing with abandon in the shower; etc.

In pursuing joy you are saying to all the problems of life: I. AM. STRONGER. THAN. YOUR. NEGATIVE. POWER. OVER. ME.

The smell of fresh baked bread reminds us of all that life can be: Fresh. Light. Wonderful. It has so much for us to taste and experience that is good. It shifts our focus and can help hope arise – we all need hope to rise.

Can you feel it rise today as you are reading?

Can you feel the fight rise within you for something beautiful and better?

Nurture that desire to rise. Let joy rise and give birth to hope within you. There is always hope. It drifts into our achy heavy-legged lives and gives us the taste for something good in our lives.

The smell of fresh baked bread reminds us of all that life can be: Fresh. Light. Wonderful

What about you? What smells evoke happiness, hope and joy? Perhaps it’s bacon, or coffee, or a certain perfume that reminds you of a happy times?  Whatever it is, savour it, enjoy it, and let it lift you up with hope and joy.

May joy rise within you today as the scent of hope drifts into your life.