Beauty for Ashes

These days leading up to New Year are ones that I relish.

I enjoy the time to reflect on what has happened over the year, and to pray and seek God for the coming year. Jon and I have always done this both separately and then together, it has become a very special and Holy time in our home. It fills us with hope and vision, and gives us precious promises to look back on and strengthen us as the year unfolds.

You see as much as we can have vision, and hope and expectation. We cannot control our circumstances. This coming year things you hope for may very well come to pass….but also things will happen, good and bad, that you could never have anticipated.

But hope is an anchor in those times.

This year however has been an exception. I feel like my heart has lost hope before I have even made it to the New Year. It’s inexplicable in many ways, not based in circumstances, just a general weariness…and well, loss of heart over the last couple of months, it’s kind of crept up on me.

Anyone who knows me well will know I am not a hopeless person, I’m actually an extraordinarily optimistic person. I enter a competition along with a million other people and I think I’m gonna win! I’m naturally a happy kinda girl…I just don’t know myself recently.

I actually told Jon the other day to just pray and seek God for vision on his own this year,I genuinely believed he would be better off without me participating, that in my weakness I would somehow hold him back. In my heart I was withdrawing, from him, from God, from everybody…..

I think a mixture of exhaustion, hormones and warfare are to blame, along with some disappointment mixed in for good measure.

But alone with my children today, I knew as always I had a choice, to continue to allow my life to be robbed from me, or to press on and try and grab a hold of the truth. To throw the anchor of hope back over in prayer and humility and get it to dig in firmly.

I didn’t want to share it, to be honest, it feels raw and I feel exposed….my heart wants to withdraw and protect itself.

But I choose instead to offer what I have, to Jon, my family, my friends and my writing. It’s not much…but it’s real.

Tonight we are going to come together and pray, there will be tears I’m sure….but as I bring my ashes to God tonight, I know He will have beauty waiting in return…because He is faithful and it His Word is never changing, no matter how I feel.

This New Year, I encourage you to carve out time to just be with Jesus. However busy you are, whatever state you are in, full of hope or not…you need Him……and He is waiting, full of mercy and love with open arms

Happy New Year!

Love Emma x x


Choosing Hope…..Again!!

‘His Mercies are new every morning’

One of the clear things God has always led me to do is to be transparant. To share my struggles and His consequent interevention and help with others, as a small way of offering hope. It is both a privilige and a challenge to do this! I was really hoping God might let the events in my home last night slide, and I would get away without having to share them….however after praying with a beautiful friend and mentor this morning, I knew God was inviting me to share once again, to risk being seen in all my ‘glorious ruins’, so I could then speak of His hope and His love.

I pray this touches at least one heart!

My day started in exhaustion yesterday after very little sleep, and I headed off to church in a daze. Completely lost in tiredness and watching my boys I accidently hurt someones feelings….making me feel awful. I went on to have a nice day with a friend and her children at my house, then out of the blue while having a common bedtime battle with one of my children I had a meltdown. Shouting and then crying my eyes out in frustration. Just to top it off everyone was there, my mum, my friend, her children and Jon who had just walked in on a ‘break’ from work.

Brilliant, I look and feel like a complete idiot!

One by one everyone left and I sat alone on the sofa feeling completly drained. I couldn’t be bothered to pray, or tidy up or do anything, I zoned out to TV for a bit then went to bed. Another sleepless night followed. As I awoke to this new day, this new week, I felt anything but hopeful, those new mercies didn’t just jump out to me and I didn’t choose them. I started to think I couldn’t cope with anything apart from just getting through my days. I decided I didn’t want to see anybody, help anybody, or make any plans…just hide away and feel sorry for myself!…..then I remembered someone was coming over to pray straight after school run, and it was too late to cancel, looked like my hiding away would have to wait!!

What a blessing!!

That person spoke such hope and truth into my heart, and as we prayed the darkness started to lift and hope and light was peeking through, so I made and choice and grabbed it with both hands. After she left as I sat and pondered the scripture she brought me (Psalm 119:25-32, in The Message, an amazing read if you fancy!) Especially ‘God teach me lessons from living so I can stay the course…’

Sometimes breakthrough doesn’t come easily or quickly. Sometimes children dont sleep for a long time. Sometimes we struggle with hormones, or feeling down for an extended season. Sometimes we make the same mistakes over and over again.

What should we do with that?

I think it comes down to a daily choice. Inviting Jesus in, not shutting him out. Choosing hope and life every day no matter how we feel, or what out circumstances are. Focusing on the good and not the bad. Helping others, clinging to promises and remembering truth.

I’m so glad to be heading into the rest of my week with hope. How are you feeling at the moment? Pause in the busyness and ask yourself. Is there anyone you need to forgive? (including yourself) Is there an area of your life where you have lost hope? Is there something God has been asking to you to do? Or a person you need to speak to, and you have been avoiding it? Or maybe everything is great?…remember to invite Him into that as well!

His mercies are new every morning…today it just took me til lunchtime to remember!

I’m off to grab half an hours sleep now, completly guilt free, before Nate wakes up!

I pray you all have a great week, filled with hope, laughter and purpose

Emma x x



The HEART of Faith, Hope and Love

‘Man looks at outside appearance but God looks at the Heart’  (Samuel, The Bible)

I prayed for God to show me what to write over Christmas and New year. I wanted to write something encouraging and inspiring for the mums who take the time to read my blog. But as much as I prayed and listened……nothing came.

I wanted to start the New year full of hope, purpose and direction, running my race well. Instead it started badly, feeling down, demotivated and struggling.

8 days into 2014 and not much has improved from the outside. I’m still kind of moping about, over reacting to things and eating far too much chocolate!

But on the inside God continues the amazing work of refining me and restoring my heart. You see I may not have everything all figured out, but God sees my heart and my desire to become more like Him, more who He created me to be. He loves me and accepts me completely exactly as I am….and I am trying to let that sink in.

From that position of being His, He is inviting me to draw nearer to Him. So in this season of feeling not so great, I am choosing to trust Him more and lean on Him more through my day.

I have no New years resolutions, targets, goals or lists to share with you.

Instead I have faith. Faith that ‘He who began a work in me, will see it through to completion’.

I have hope. Hope that I can ‘cast my care on Him, because He cares for me’

And I have love. His love for me (and you) which is eternal and unchanging.

I pray that as you continue along through 2014 you will remember your heart. Whether you have started with a bang; full of joy and determination, or whether you are facing more challenging times. Remember to give yourself grace when you have a bad day, and remember to offer that grace to others….we never truly know what they are facing. One of my children has been very highly strung recently, shouting alot and being difficult. As I was praying for Him, God led me to consider His heart, what was behind his mood and behaviour . Just before He went to sleep I got my answer, I imagine tomorrow will be a better day for him, because I understood his heart, instead of the external behaviour.

God sees your heart.

He see’s your heart for Him, for your family and for others.

I pray this fills your heart with peace and hope as you journey on raising your children through whatever this year may bring.

A belated happy New Year!

Love Emma x