Catch the wind

It’s been months since I’ve written on here.

Come to think of it, it’s been months since I’ve written anything. 

As I’m sure many of you are aware in July our family made the move from Cornwall to Scotland. It’s been such an interesting and emotion filled time loaded with highs and lows for all of us. Full of joy filled glorious moments as we build our little church community, and lows as we settle into this new season.

I was prepared to leave Cornwall, I knew I would miss our friends and family, I knew it would be a big upheaval for the kids.

But I was not prepared for how hard it would be as a parent to watch our children suffer. To see them cry as family left, to leave them at the school gates looking lost, to watch them be overlooked at the park and to gaze over at them as they withdrew into a book or a film not wanting to tell us how there day has been….it’s been brutal on our hearts as parents.

Yet it has produced good fruit. Beautiful, diverse, lasting faith and hope filled fruit. We’ve prayed with more passion for them. We’ve taken time to listen to them individually and love them with more intention. In difficult moments when I don’t have any words to bring comfort I’ve sought God for wisdom of what to do or say. We’ve been teaching them about God being their refuge and in those times at school when we can’t physically be there for them, they are learning for themselves that God is always with them. In our little church community, and out and about I watch them be kind and inclusive as they seek to make others welcome.

The fruit is as beautiful as the process has been brutal. The beautiful exchange as we give God what is hard and painful He transforms it into something good and lasting. 

As hard as it is, the fire really does refine, and in parenting there is always opportunity to this played out.

For me personally I’ve been driving deeper into who God is and what that means to me as a daughter and a follower of Him. I’ve found massive inspiration and challenge through Melissa Helser’s story. (Check out some of her testimony on YouTube) Rarely a day goes by when I’m not declaring the lyrics from their new album over our household.

My feelings have been all over the place and I’m trying (and failing often) to make good choices with my thoughts and my words despite the circumstances or how I might feel. Eventually peace and joy are found at the end of a good choice.

The other thing that has really helped and boosted my soul is intentionally seeking out the beauty and good in my everyday life. It’s a habit the kids are learning too. 

Autumn has been glorious here in East Lothian, and as I drive and walk about from one thing to the next I take time to breathe in the fresh air, to notice the array of changing colours in the leaves or point out birds to the kids…..

Despite the stories on the news, the illness of friends, the difficult circumstances, the loss and loneliness we can all feel…..good can always be found, and our souls need it.

Look for the beauty today, and catch the wind!

Em x

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Finish the exercise!

  
As most of you know I recently qualified as a Pilates instructor, even though I hold the qualification I am only at the beginning of learning all there is to learn. I choose to still train twice a week with a great instructor much further down the road than me, this helps and inspires me greatly.
At my session this week she observed that I never finish each repetition fully, I’m always rushing on to the next one. Often in the final parts of the exercise is where the benefits are found. I joked in response that I am like that in life so it’s no surprise it floods into this part of my world too.
See I’ve always been a great starter….not so good with the finishing! Like so many of us I struggle to keep the momentum going once the excitement has passed. 
So it’s funny really that I have fallen in love Pilates, because in Pilates there are no short cuts. There is no rushing to the next thing. There is no winging it! There’s only discipline, commitment and concentration. 
I love how the natural reflects the spiritual. When we invite God into everything we do he speaks to us. For me Pilates is something that has exposed so much of my character flaws and given me a great opportunity to deal with them. As I face them in the physical I find myself dealing with similar things in the spiritual.
All around my life are half finished projects, piles of not quite sorted paperwork, half completed books and studies…eating plans I started but never finished and it leaves me feeling disappointed and wasting the gifts and opportunities I’ve been blessed with.
Children learn from example not from what we tell them. Now this doesn’t mean we have to strive for perfection and be guilt ridden at every mistake, but actually once something has been revealed to us we have an opportunity and a responsibility to try, and to overcome things is a beautiful thing.
So for me, I will be trying to slow down and finish what I’ve started, whether that be a leg circle, an eating plan or a book.
Being open to listen and learn from our day to day life is invaluable. At my church small group at the moment I feel like a sponge to soaking it all in, hungry to listen and learn. The realisation that I have far to go, and much to learn is one that brings excitement and expectation into my heart.
Sometimes we hide from our flaws or feel condemned by them, but that’s not how Jesus sees it. He is always ready to help us and sustain us and walk with us through it all. Life is an incredible journey and by valuing and humbling ourselves we make the journey that much richer and more fruitful.       
So maybe your crazy busy like me with kids and general life and you don’t have much time to stop, listen and consider….maybe try intentionally praying and asking God to speak to you through all areas of your life….
That’s a prayer you will definitely get an answer to!
I’d love to hear from you if you do post a comment to encourage others
Love Emma x 

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How to boil the perfect egg

I was chatting with my mother in law recently when she told me the method to boil a perfect egg. As soon as she started talking I paid attention. Their was just something in the way she spoke that made me really listen. When she first heard the technique she was dubious but having tried it 3 times herself she now knows it’s foolproof. 

Her experience instantly validated her words. It’s hard to argue or disbelieve people’s personal experiences, they hold so much more weight than theory does. I left the conversation convinced of its truth, when someone experiences something firsthand, it shines through in their words and their whole countenance…it causes you to pay attention.

I experienced something so tangible in my walk with God last night I wanted to share it. I experienced the theory coming to life…and I just need to share it.

The bible teaches that God walks close to us in difficult times. It also teaches that God brings peace when we turn to Him in a storm. 

Well last night alone in my living room there was a storm. This storm was in my heart and mind. 

I found myself nursing old wounds, battling with familiar struggles and my thoughts were spiralling out of control. 

I absentmindedly tried a few methods of numbing my feelings. Several trips to the fridge to nibble on chocolate, endless flicking through the internet and TV, I even just lay and tried to sleep….it was horrible. The thoughts were swarming and I was close to tears.

I knew God was whispering ‘come to me’ not audibly but somewhere deep in my heart. But I didn’t want to come. I knew some of the thoughts I was battling with were rooted in bitterness and I didn’t want to repent and let them go. I felt justified in them…I wanted to stew.

But eventually I knew I just had to. I put an awesome worship song on, got my bible and lay on he floor. I asked God to help me, I repented and I let the truth of his love wash over me. 

It was instant.

The knot in my stomach dissolved, tears flowed, truth overshadowed the lies, and a sweet warmth filled the room. It was amazing. 

I have had experiences similar to this countless times over the years, you think I would learn to go to God quicker….but I can be a stubborn old thing!

These small tangible experiences are worth 10 x the theory. They bring a  light to my eyes and a confidence to my words. I know about 50% of the people who read this don’t have a faith in Jesus, so I try to be careful not to offend or say things too strongly. But I had to tell this story just as it happened.

Before I became a Christian, my mind was where I really battled, I could never let anything go. Scenarios would just replay over and over in my mind. I still battle with it now….but so much less, and giving it over to God in prayer is the ONLY thing that has made the slightest difference. It’s a freedom and a truth I just can’t keep quiet about.

Just like the egg boiling method….it works every time and still leaves me amazed.

God is there. Not just my bible tells me this, my heart, mind and experience do too.

This morning I awoke with a message on my Facebook from a friend, she had been praying for me. The message contained a link to the worship song I had turned to last night….of all the songs, logically how could she have known? But with faith these things are possible. It was just another small kiss from heaven. God is so with me in my mess.

Oh and in case your wondering, this is how you boil the perfect egg….

You cover the egg 2/3 with boiling water, put a lid on the pan and boil for exactly 5 minutes. You then take the egg out and put in straight in cold water for a few seconds….perfection!

Emma x

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Will you come with me?

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I’ve been trying to slowly sort out our bedroom/dumping ground recently. It always ends up a complete tip because I shove stuff up there out of the way when I’m rushing! and then when it comes to tidying it up there is too much to do so I ram stuff under the bed and in the cupboards etc so it at least looks ok on the surface! Because it’s the room that no one really sees, and it only affects me and Jon, it gets the least attention (sorry Jon!)

The picture above is of me starting to sort it all out, sometimes to clean things properly the process makes a bigger mess than if you just left it alone! You have to start pulling out all the stuff you rammed away with no thought or care, it takes forever and I always end up thinking….why didn’t I just sort it properly in the first place!

As I looked at the rubbish piled on my bed I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me…you need to do this in the spiritual as well, have a good old sort out.

Just like in the natural world we can put our needs last because everything/everyone else is clamouring for our attention….the only problem is when we are living in a mess in our internal world it has a negative impact on the people we love and our external world.

A bit of self care isn’t selfish, if we are supposed love others as ourselves we will struggle if we don’t deal with our own issues. If your harsh to yourself…you will end up treating others that way, or thinking about them critically as a minimum, even if you keep it all looking good on the surface.

Not processing and dealing with all the mess that comes our way. The hurts, the offences and the disappointments. Our own mistakes, words and negative thoughts

We get away with it for a while by ramming them away out of sight but before long the mess starts spilling out through angry outbursts, snappy overreactions and feelings of insecurity, hurt or offence.

The problem is once you start to deal with it all….it makes a bit of a mess and it’s not always pretty to look at your inside world in the cold light of day.

But it essential if we want the freedom that Jesus wants us to have. If we want to walk in the fruits of the spirit, do all He is asking us to do and deal with all that life throws our way.

I feel like Jesus is saying ‘will you come with me into your messy room, and let me help you sort it out.’

The kind of mess in your room will look different to mine….but unless you are Jesus, I can guarantee you there will some mess in there! Depending on how deep you have buried it and for how long (to put on the appearance of tidiness, order and control) will affect how big a mess it is to sort out.

So if you want to take Jesus up on his offer and go with Him, I will leave you with a couple of questions to help you tidy up! You might find some irrelevant but hopefully at least one will trigger at some truth for you;

Jesus what do I hide away so no one will see?

Am I offended at or jealous of anyone? Why?

When I speak to …… Why do I always feel like that?

Have I been agreeing with critical thoughts about myself and listening to shame telling me I’m not worthy or deserving of good things?

This is kind of a big subject area and I’ve only really scratched the surface. I’m no expert or any kind of counsellor …but I am someone who is just giving it a go, and trying in all my mess to just come to God and say….’yes please, I will come with you…..can you help me tidy up a bit, so I can be more truly me and more truly free, even if makes a bit of a mess at first’

How about you?

Love Emma xx.

P.s if this has touched a bit of a nerve with you and want someone to stand with you in prayer inbox me on Facebook and I will pray for you x

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Freedom

I came across this photo of our eldest son this morning. It’s a photo of him when he went wild camping with Jon last year. They had a wonderful adventure together, hiking to a hidden beach, sharing laughter, a roaring fire and late night hot chocolate watching the stars

A time of fun, adventure and freedom.

As I look at this photo of Isaac he looks completely free and full of joy. He is physically manifesting what I long for deep in my soul.

I long to be free.

Free to be myself. Free to love others with abandon and wholeheartedness. Free to let go of control and to trust God. Free to follow my dreams.

I long to be free in the deep places of my heart and mind.

I am learning that this deep freedom only comes as I become more fully surrendered to God. It something I am actively pursuing, but I also know I have along way to go.

It comes as I learn to walk closely with God to his voice and his leading.

It comes as I choose between 1000 tiny decisions of right and wrong every day. When to speak and when to shut my mouth. When to pursue an idea and when to lay it down. When to fight for something or simply let it go.

As I raise my family I know they will live with the fruit of these choices I make every day. The choice I make to pursue freedom will better position them to pursue it for themselves.

Don’t you long to be free and at peace in your heart?

This Christmas amidst the chaos, the demands, the duties and the present buying, I challenge you to look at the Christmas story afresh.

Look at the lengths Christ went to, to come here and set you free.

Look at Mary fleeing Herod

Look at God, who created everything, who spoke it all into being, coming here to die, so we could be free…….

Then ponder it, and chase it and pray for more of that freedom

Because it’s yours!

Have a truly happy, wonderful festive season with your families

Love Emma x

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