Wednesday, April 28

Great Expectations

We all have them. Good or bad they are there. Expectations for a day, a moment, a year...

Now reality doesn't always meet our expectations. Sometimes it exceeds, sometimes it is far below. When this happens we can't let this moment of disappointment stop us from having an expectant heart! For I think it is terribly dangerous to live without expectation.
Expectation motivates us. Gives is the push to do, to act. It guides our preparation. It is our preparation for the unknown.

This past Sunday was Anzac day and it got me thinking about what the Anzac's would have been expecting as they prepared for the battle at Gallipoli .
On the one hand they could have been expecting the worst; fear, pain, isolation, hunger, death. On the other hand; victory, heroism, greatness.
I imagine that thoughts of all of these ran through their minds, all wrapped up, gripped tightly in the fear of the unknown.
For many young men this was their first taste of war. The unknown of reality was hidden to them. But they weren't there alone, they were led by men who had been there before. Men who knew the realities of warfare. These men were able to instill a degree of expectation into the younger men. Teach them how to prepare, where and when to focus their strengths.

If these young men went in blind, with no expectations they would have been prepared for what they then faced. Their preparations would have lacked the essential components that would strengthen them, protect them in the battle.
Living without expectation would have been the death of them.

In a similar way, we too face death if we live without expectation. Not a physical death, but an emotional, spiritual death.
We battle each day. Some days, months are easier - we don't see any war. Other days we feel it, and we feel it hard. The day ends and we're battered, bruised wondering how we will face the new dawn.

How do we face the new dawn?
1) We remember that it is a NEW dawn.
A fresh day, new expectations [I want to point out that I'm talking about our own expectations for the day, not  the ones we feel from others]
With the new dawn you get a fresh expectation for victory.

Its a new dawn, a new day, a new hope.....

2) We remember that we are NOT alone.
Warrior soldier, you stand to face this day shoulder to shoulder with others. Each hoping and expecting a new victory in the new day. each warrior has walked through life gaining experience to share.
They are all able to help build your expectation for victory, prepare  you for the battle, teach you where and how to focus your strength.

Some days it's hard, nigh impossible to focus on the positive. To have great expectations. But you CAN do it! You ARE strong enough!
Maybe you don't feel strong enough today to face the battle. Take the time instead to encourage the warriors around you. Teach them what you know, because you do have something worthwhile to share. You have past experiences you've learnt from, you can share and teach other warriors of what to expect, how to prepare, where to focus their strength.
I bet as you start to tell your story you'll start to see the strength. The strength that is in and always has been inside you.

You can have great expectations. And see great results.
There is a saying:
Blessed is the man (or woman) who expects nothing. For he (she) will never be disappointed. 
can I add;
and never will he (she) see the fruits of achievement, the potential of the day.

If we don't expect, don't hope, or have vision for great things tomorrow - we will never be prepared to act, we'll never make it happen. We will never see it come.
Without that first expectation [dream, hope, vision] we will not see the great things we are capable of.

No matter the hurts and disappointments of your past there is still hope and vision of good for your future. Give room to again have an expectant heart. Trust God that you will see your dreams come.

Expectation gives room to preparation; preparation for strength to face the challenge of making your dream a reality.

Sunrise over Brisbane ANZAC morning.

Thursday, April 22

Go. Be. Love.

I'm not totally sure of all the blogging ettiqutte rules, but today for your little slice of inspiration I'd like to direct you to my friends blog:

Go. Be. Love. The world needs you.
As I'm here at the library, speed reading to catch up on blogs I miss read it at first as
"go be the love. the world needs you"
Either way it is a beautiful call. The world does need you. The world needs your love.
Maybe the thought of the whole world is a bit big for you. But you can change the world of at least one person around you.
You don't need to try and be everything to the world. You can be the world to one person.

Sometimes, I've found that when I take my eyes off of my own situation and look to my hands and look to others. I realise that I have a lot to give. As I stop focusing on me, and start to look up and out I realise that I really am blessed. I am able to be there for the people around me.
Maybe it`s the distraction from your everyday, but when you look back your situation, which appeared overwhelming before is now not so big. Now you have the fresh perspective needed to conquer it.

Loving on others, going, being. Small things Big effects - on you, on those around you.

Tuesday, April 13

Apologies in advance:

Hi there readers,
I just wanted to let you know that my posts for the immediate future may be coming much more infrequently.
I am in the middle of changing internet providers [well i've ended my current agreement and haven't found a new one yet] and so for the next little while I will be sponging off of friends and their internet, whenever and where-ever I can.

In the meantime I encourage you to keep searching out your potential. Believe in yourself. You will succeed :)
I'm sorry I can't be here more for you.

all my love,

 But you have made me as strong as a wild ox, you have anointed me with the finest oil.
 Psalm 92v10

Saturday, April 10

Confident and Strong.

I love the wind blowing through my hair. Absolutely adore it. When I'm away from traffic I'll wind the windows down, turn up the radio and drive fast [not speeding, just fast] just basking in the pure joy of feeling the sun on my skin and the wind in my hair. Having needed to tighten my budget recently I can't just go for a drive anymore.  But I did find a substitute.
Swing-sets. :D

Twisting and turning, spinning around. Swinging so high you think you can fly. Leaning right back so all you see is the sky.
It doesn't just make me happy, doesn't just make me smile. It touches deep down into my soul. It gives me a confidence in the knowledge that I am beautiful.
Feeling my hair whisk around in the wind makes me feel like I am Pocahontas.

Pocahontas would probably be my favourite of all the Disney princess's, a strong and independent women. Standing up for truth and justice for all. She may be a cartoon, but she can still be a role model.
She goes through life confident in who she is. Not conforming to someone else's agenda. Pocahontas stands tall in all her glory. Her society demands she act differently, it wants her to stop being who she is and fit their mould.
That I think may be her strongest attribute. Not bending or swaying to the desires of another. She didn't wish away her days, hoping desperately to be like someone else. She ran through life embracing all the good it offered, reveling in the natural, confidant and strong.

Confidence, its a theme here. A theme for good reason. Far too many people lack confidence, and in lacking confidence we lack strength.
The more confident I feel the better posture I have, my walk is more assured and direct.
The more confident I am in an answer to trivia the stronger I hold my ground.
The more confident I am in my message the stronger my voice holds and carries.
The list goes on and on
Confidence and strength go hand in hand.
So what makes you confident? What is it that makes you feel on top of the world? What is it that when you're in that moment you smile, your eyes close of their own accord, its like your soul lights up in that moment.

I want you to always remember that moment. Always hold on to that memory. This is your point of reference, when the world is pulling you in every direction, you hardly know which way is up. You remember your confidence. Your moment of pure joy and confidence.
With your confidence comes your strength. So no matter whats going on, you are strong. You can hold onto your values. You have the strength.

Thursday, April 8

Embracing my inner hippie

So during the week we [my flatmate and I] were chatting with our neighbour, as the conversation flows along it comes up: "Esther's a hippie"
"no I'm not".... Just because I wear tie dye and listen to country music.....
After some reflection on my defense; I realised that deep down, I actually do embrace some of the philosophies.

Now this realisation, this epiphany if I may call it that came to me as I was on the swings at the local park. The park where I've been going this week so I can just pause, breathe in nature and for a while pretend I can't hear the cars on the highway. The only thing that could have made the day better was if 1: I actually was far enough away to not hear the traffic and 2: if I could have stayed a little longer, spending the time with like minded people.... in our own little self sufficient community....... :D

If this makes me a hippie, then I guess I am one.
We really should care better for our environment. We should use less chemicals unnecessarily in our homes. We should eat locally grown foods, grown without chemical pesticides. We should use less electricity and water. Home cooking does taste better, because its made with love, something mass production can never bottle. We should take the time to appreciate the simple things in life.

But this is just one side of me. One facet of my complex being. So I shall embrace this side of me as I embrace all my other facets. We all need to embrace our quirkiness. We were made with love purpose and care. It wastes too much energy to fight who we are....

Peace Love and Happiness man  and Hope. Never forget Hope. 

Being the busy person

I can't think of anytime there was someone cruising through life, doing the barest minimum to get by who ends up doing something great. Maybe there's someone in a movie, but I don't know of anyone in life who has had this happen.

Theres a saying that goes "if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it" . I believe it. At one point in my life I was skeptical of it, but I really believe it is true.
I think that success must somehow nurture motivation. I guess this is what busy people thrive on, they see something to completion and they want to do the next thing. They're always eager, maybe sometimes overeager to be multitasking.

I have all these ideas of what to do with my life. But not a single one will happen if I don't get up off my butt and do something. I may not have a job to keep me busy, but there are plenty of tasks around me that I could turn my hand to. We are people of purpose. I want  you to see your potential, to be able to grab it with both hands and let it take you on the wildest ride of your life. I don't want you to see it, and wave as it goes by. You have the strength within you to grab it. All the little things you've been doing, the experiences you've had, the emotions that have rocked you. They've all been making you stronger. Giving you the strength to grab onto your potential.

While you may be sitting at home thinking you are miles away from your potential, miles from reaching your dreams. You are actually in the perfect position. I know it sounds crazy right? Even as I write this it sounds strange. But stick with me - it will make sense.
Right now you are growing your mind with whatever it is you're doing.
A job that seems left field of your dream? Our dreams have  a funny way of requiring a skill learnt in a place we'd never have thought we would use again.
Maybe like me you are 'in between' jobs. The perfect place, slightly challenging as we go through the task of practicing, trying new things - as random as you can imagine. Our challenge is to do this with limited if existing finances.
One thing I'm learning is how to trust God, and time and time again I'm being shown how much he cares, and he will always provide.
I am fortunate enough to have the time to be artistic, to nourish my soul with good Bible teaching, to explore different avenues of where I may go next.
Now I don't think it is absolutely necessary to be outside of the workforce while I do this, but for me, that's the way its happening. For you it may mean you spend your weekends with one more hobby. Just work within your situation.
Right now you are building towards something you may not have even dreamed of yet.
The thing to remember is that you can learn from where you are. So tuck it away in your memories, you never know when you'll need it.

Where ever you are, you have the ability to find the balance. That perfect balance for you [the tipping point is unique to us all] where you are taking time to relax and at the same time be busy with many things. I have been lucky [hmm is lucky the right word?] enough to see where both ends of the scale are for me. Now I'm working on finding that centre- its not easy. But then whoever said figuring out life would be easy?

When we are busy, doing what we can where we are. That's the perfect place for life and for God to give us the open doors to more. Once we are showing that we can use what is in front of us, be faithful with what we've got, then we'll be given more to work with.

Success nurtures motivation. Its so true. How many times have you heard it said "if I can do that, I can do anything". Gosh I've been saying it so many times this year. Its amazing what can happen when we open our eyes to the new, embrace the challenges of the new.

Maybe you need to start yourself small, an easy target that you know you will reach. With that success under your belt you have the power of knowledge that you can. With that power you can race up the staircase of challenges you will face. You'll get to do the victory dance. [are you getting a mental picture of rocky going up those stairs too?]  :)

I don't know what you'll do, but my challenge right now? Is to draw. To make a number of quality artworks that are worthy to be displayed. I have 1 week from today to get this unknown quantity done. Because once I've succeeded here I will know that I am capable of creating enough to hold a stall at the upcoming market in 5weeks time. From a one off stall...... who knows where things could go.

"if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it" I don't know about you, but I want people to think of me as someone who gets things done. 

A work in progress.....

Monday, April 5

If the boot fits.....

I like that we don't need to conform to meet God.
He doesn't want us changing who we are to try and fit some mold. Instead he meets us where we are, and how we are.

I was fortunate enough to get to meet Greg Spears while I was in Texas in winter 09/10.
I find it so encouraging to see God making a way. The article outlines how cowboys have felt out of place in the church. How many times have you heard that before? That the church is irrelevant, old fashioned, out of touch.
" It has been his experience that cowboys just don't feel comfortable in church and many social situations, but do relate to things that are culturally relevant to their experiences."
Being the loving God that he is, there is now a way, a place for the cowboys of Texas and all of America to come together.
People often ask, "why are there so many different churches and denominations?" Theres probably a million answers. We could spend years debating the theology and doctrines, rather I think the best thing to do is not compare the Christian churches, but embrace what they are doing. They are reaching God's people. He knows where you are comfortable. There's a church where you fit. With all these choices you can find one that is relevant to you, fits your life, is in touch with your experiences.

How good does it feel to know that God has taken care of even the seemingly small detail of where you can go to church, all so you can grow. So you can be yourself.  Hiding who you are, conforming to someone else's ideals is uncomfortable, painful even. It's like wearing a pair of shoes 2,3 sizes to small. It hurts! It cuts off the circulation and if worn for too long leaves lasting damage to your feet. Compare that to the sheer bliss of slipping your feet into a pair of shoes that seem to be made specifically for you. The comfort, the walking pleasure....

So go ahead and give yourself some relief, wear well fitting shoes. Be all you can be, be all of who you are.
Embrace your desires, gifts and talents. They make you who you are. Never hide them to "fit in". Let your life shine.

Friday, April 2

Dance like no ones watching, Sing like no ones listening.

And I will praise you with a new song. My heart will praise you LORD.

This Heart inside me beats because, you loved enough to take my cross, now I'm Alive.

Sing of his love in the morning, and his faithfulness, his faithfulness at night.

Make a Joyful noise unto the LORD for he is worthy to be praised. 

If I don't praise you the rocks will soon cry out. cry out. cry out. 

Sitting in the park, while I ate my lunch today, these lines from songs kept running through my head.
I opened my notebook, and found this verse staring up at me from some past notes....
Isaiah 12v2-6
2Surely God is my salvation; I will trust & not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation
5 Sing to the LORD for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world
6Sing aloud and sing for joy people of Zion for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. 

Praise, and i think possibly even song itself, is more powerful and significant to our lives then we let ourselves believe. Have a think about how you go about changing your mood, you most likely put on some music, how do you set the mood? lights and music.
Music, Song is all around us.
Its in the warble of the magpie, the rustling of the wind in the trees. I guess that's natures way of praising their maker. They make noise how they can.
Nature, without a voice cries louder then I do!
How come this is happening?  Simple answer? - Fear.
With all my knowledge of God's power, the power in me, the power of prayer. Somehow, I let myself become afraid of the potential waiting to be released. Somehow when I see what I could do, its seems impossible, or stupid to have even thought of.
And why? why be afraid, in essence, of me?? Now that is something silly.
What is that famous quote, goes something like this:
Our greatest fear, is not that we are weak, But that we are capable far beyond our measure. 
One the one hand, I am shocked that what is holding us back, is ourselves. On the other hand, I 100% agree and identify with that.

How can I combat this fear?
I guess, the same way I fight the dark - I turn on the light. 
And at this point in my life, that means putting my words out there. 
Opening up my voice, allowing God's word to speak through me to you. To encourage you. 
And while I'm away from the computer, how do I keep the light on? well, I think I've got to hang on to that confidence I have when I'm singing in the car......
You know, when your cruising down the highway, music pumping, no one can see you no one can hear you, you singing along at the top of your voice, no holding back. In the car you are a rockstar, the best voice, a Grammy winning star. 
We may not all have record selling voices, but our potential is our song. When we do what we were created to do. That is as a sweet, sweet song to our maker's ear. 

This week, be bold, don't hold back. Sing like no ones listening. 

No one else can sing your song, No one else can say what you have to say. Be bold, I know there is boldness inside you. I believe in you. You are valuable, worthy to be heard.