Saturday, 9 September 2017

Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse - Podcast


My podcast series is on going over on my authors website, but I had to share this recent one, a conversation with Crystal Sutherland. Crystal has such a gentleness about her and so much of our conversation has stayed with me. She is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and she has shared her story in her book, Journey to Heal. This book outlines seven steps for hope and healing for anyone who has been a victim of sexual trauma. She has an online bible study and leads retreats and conferences for women. In this podcast we discuss her journey, her book, what the church can do to help survivors and a lot more. I am grateful to Crystal for sharing her story, and for sharing it so that the body can receive truth about sexual abuse. You can listen to this podcast over here:

 

Friday, 25 August 2017

FMF - Girl Guided

Five Minute Friday, I'm writing on the word "Guide," so let's see what comes up! GO!


When the word guide comes up, I'm suddenly sitting with a picture in my mind of girls in pink, ribbons in their hair, sticks in hand. Call them the girl guides, it was a huge trend to join the guides when I was little. I never did though. But I'm super sure guides was useful, teaching you how to trek, build fires and tie knots. When you grow up though, you soon realise there is no ultimate guide for life, no manual, no how to, and you are left feeling a little bit scared some times. Overwhelmed with the questions or experiences life gives to you. The passed few weeks I've allowed myself the needed step back, to step in to Gods presence, not only for guidance, but for togetherness. I've felt confused about a number of things, and it has been good to be there, to be present with God. I think the discipline of presence, is a worthy pursuit. So is the reality that prayer is an experience of pondering, reflecting, and often just stillness with the Almighty. While life deosn't offer open handed answers, I know Yeshua does, and when He doesn't answer, He leads, He guides. It's a journey, an adventure, a place of travelling, life is often uncharted but I think we are all girl guides, learning truths that can guide us further. If we learn from todays lesson, tomorrow may be a little easier, and eventually we  will become an instructor helping others through the swamps we once fell in to....
STOP!
Linking with Five Minute Friday

Friday, 28 July 2017

FMF - He Stops Here

Five Minute Friday! A time to write from the heart for 5 whole minutes, here goes! 
 


Wednesday was going to be a busy day, time spent driving from location to location, place to place, to my hairdresser, to my moms work, to the beautitian, to the doctor, to the mall, to hubby's hairdresser and then home in the traffic and to sneak in some food somewhere. As hubby and I got in to the car, I prayed and asked Father to bless our day, to not let it be stressful or crazy but for us to enjoy the day and its busyness. As we drove through the thick traffic we barely made the first appointment in time, poor start I thought. But as I sat in the hairdressers chair, the same one I've had for ten years, she asked me some questions and our conversation turned towards an area of life I had not spoken much about. A new something brewing in my heart. She listened and then poured honest, sincere encouragement all over me. We have totally different spiritual beliefs and lifestyles but her words were refreshing and God was shining His love through her to me. I felt inspired, and peaceful. When I finally got to the doctors room, the doctor I was going to see had left so I saw the other doctor, I had seen once before. She was kind and we spoke for such a long time and something drew me to share with her, some private thoughts. She empathised in sincerity and we spoke about our common faith, she knew what I was facing internally and I felt safe, at peace, inspired, refreshed and so so grateful. I smiled the whole way home. God had really travelled with me from my morning prayer and through the flesh and blood people I had seen. Such love and encouragement, I barely expected it because to be honest, it doesnt happen often with me. God knew and He still does, He knows what we need, what you need and He shows up in greater ways then we imagined, to encourage, refresh and to inspire and through that I am truly truly grateful!

Stop!
Linking with Kate M 
 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Stepping back in to the World


Gates slam, voices scream, and somewhere someone bangs on a metal bar. She lies on the bed staring up at the ceiling, her fingers opening and closing. Her lips press in a heart-shaped pout, and she jerks at times. It could be shock at the deafening screams that make my ears ring, or part of her reaction to the drugs still in her system. Whatever the case, I want her to look up, because I have brought her new clothes. I wonder if she’ll notice or if she’s unmoved because of her innocence. Does despair hold her soul because she’s doing time for someone else’s drug crime? I touch her abdomen gently, and she responds with movement. She shows no hint of despair; that’s the emotion I project in picking her up. This innocent prisoner of nine months, a baby behind metal bars....

There are prisoners we never think of, babies, orphans, broken women serving a prison sentence for defending themselves, and as I began to think about this, I knew I had to find out the truth about their lives. So I vitied a home for female ex-offenders and it was such a blessing, come read about this over at 
 

Friday, 14 July 2017

FMF - When you Decide

Five Minute Friday, writing for 5 minutes, Here Goes!




Comfort. I'm left thinking about the Tour De France stage today, of course I'm watching so much of it everyday that I even dream about bike racing. But comfort looks this way to me.....the leader of the race suddenly looses his lead and the yellow jersey goes on to the shoulders of someone else. The following day your team performance is the best and while you are sprinting through the mountain descents, you are also pushng hard up the steep climbs. All the while you are staring straight ahead at the yellow jersey, something you once had on your shoulders now rests on someone elses, discomfort. There's nothing comfortable in finding a way to undo that reality, sweat dripping like water, every inch of you aches and you pain, that's what I came here for, that's what I've trained for, what I've waited for, what I've given everything for. And what if it doesn't work out, what if there's a sudden plot twist, a change of pace, your legs won't go, there's nothing comfortable about this, uncomfortable. Close your eyes, you ignore the flash of yellow you suddenly decide to pass and you turn your face left. Right next to you is a team mate shouting across race radio into your ears; "you've got this, take the gap, believe in yourself, I'm right along side you." You look around and notice no one else has a team mate with them but you do. He wears the same jersey, the same yellow helmet, he rides the same bike and you know him. His voice crackles in to your ears and you go, attacking that yellow jersey, suddenly you believe in yourself. And your ability to tackle this plot twist. You don't need a yellow jersey to believe, you only need your Team Mates voice and your own belief. Comfort. This is what you came here for, what you've trained for, it looks different but you're a racer after all, so you decide to race, with your Team Mate alongside you, so keep on racing....
Stop!
Linkng with Kate M

I've written alot about the lessons I've learned through watching cycling, you can see them here:
 
Cycling Life Lessons // Cycling Songs:
When you've Only Got One Gear 
Crashed Out 
The Penultimate Climb 
Cobblestones of Hope 
Walk the Plank 
A Legacy on Tour

Monday, 10 July 2017

When you've only got one Gear


July equals Tour De France and that means cosying up in front of the telly with sweets, blankets and watching cycling. It's a fun reality I've learned to embrace because of my hubby's love of cycling. I'm okay with the fact that I first started watching cycling because of him, I used to think girls were strange when they did that, not any more! To be honest I learn a lot about life from cycling, it's the one sport that has opened my eyes to a lot of different truths about life. I've blogged about them one year (I'll put the links below!) and this year it's the same. 

Yesterday's stage was gruesome, ugly and crazy, and I lost my favourite cyclist to a bad crash. But the main story that touched my heart was the stage winners story. Rigoberto Uran is a cyclist from Colombia, at the age of 14 his father deserted his mother, so Rigoberto had to take to the streets selling lottery tickets to help his mom. A local cycling team took him in and helped him, he started riding and he went up the ranks, today he's an amazing cyclist.

Yesterday however, there were a number of bad crashes on stage 9, during one crash a knocked down cyclist hit Rigo's bicycle and the gears on his bike got stuck. Stuck bike gears means no gearing whatsoever, and Rigo's bike got stuck in the highest gear possible, which meant he was riding at his maximum output all the time for 20 kilometres against the toughest and strongest men in the race. And guess what, Rigo won! He came across the line and he humbly accepted the win. Minutes later I watched an interview with the sport director of his team. In the interview the director said how intelligent of a rider Rigo is, how he calculates things, works it all out and often that means he gives up at certain times because he feels he cannot win based on calculation. That morning his director told him, "Rigo today is your day, don't think about it, forget and do it." Because Rigo had only one gear, the hardest one, there was no space for over-thinking, over analysing or calculations. He had nothing to lose and so he just did it and he won. 

I was left thinking how that speaks to life. We doubt ourselves, left with the calculations on who deserves the honour, who deserves grace from God, or for their God - dreams to become a reality. Left calculating our options, instead of risking it all and sowing our talents wholeheartedly. We all do that and it's nothing to be guilty for, it's just who we are sometimes, the calculators. Until God decides to stick us in one gear and we have to climb, we are forced to face ourselves and what we see is not a loser, but a winner. We see our worth and our strength, our abilities, we see that we are worthy and chosen and loved. We see that we have more then enough for the road of life. Sometimes that stuck gear looks like a job loss, that takes you in a different direction. Or a closed door that leads you to write that book, the one you've been dreaming about for years. Or it looks like growth and self-belief, stronger faith, better relationships or the wished for things suddenly becoming reality. It's not just self - doubt that can cause our delay in believing in who we are, humility also does that. That may sound strange but I have recognised how humility is a character trait some people carry from their childhood. Humility is a great trait, it's present in the best of people and often the greatest individuals in the Bible were the most humble. It's just a lesson to learn how humility can co-exist with greatness, as Holly Gerth once wrote, "discovering who we are should lead to praise, not pride." Humble people are often afraid of great triumphs because they fear pride, so to learn how triumph leads to praise not pride is a sigh of relief. Whatever holds you back from believing today dear friend, kick it, give it all you got, today is your day, it's time for the win. Believe! Because you really can!

Cycling Life Lessons // Cycling Songs:
Crashed Out 
The Penultimate Climb 
Cobblestones of Hope 
Walk the Plank 
A Legacy on Tour 

 
I'm sharing with Holley Gerth
And Susan Mead

Friday, 30 June 2017

I will Double It - FMF

Five Minute Friday Writing, on the prompt "bless," Go!


I had this memory pop up today while I was brushing my teeth, while pondering on the very real questions and fears about some new nudges I feel towards the unknown things. I remembered how when I still lived at home, I travelled a lot. And as I saved towards my trips, my father would say to me, "child whatever you save up as spending money towards your trip, I will double it." And he kept his promise everytime. I knew it wasn't about the money, but it was about working hard at something, he wanted to teach me what it felt like to give of myself towards something. My father could have given me the money I needed, but he didn't. Instead we worked together towards a common goal, in this we had a sense of oneness and co - working, unity and a goal in sight. I would work hard to save every penny and when I would bring my savings to him just before a trip, he would smile, pleased. And then he'd give me not double, butwhatever I needed in total for the trip. I never took this for granted, because he could have changed his mind, but he didn't. In some invisible way, we were working together. And my dad is no saint, in fact we had a lot of hard times, and we did not get along that well, but he still gave me many good things, blessings. I guess I am reminded of that scripture which says; "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him" (Matthew 7:11). With all the uncertainty within me towards the new unknown, perhaps this was not a random memory but a reminder. A promise, a nudge.....

STOP!
LInking with Kate