Beautiful, Scars And All

Scar – The Strength Story

by Denise Kennedy
November 17th

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As I sit here writing to you, the very first snow fall has started outside my south Dublin window. I am mesmerised by the fluttering white flakes as they chase each other to the ground below. They are each so different and beautiful in their own right. Winter is here early, and the white visitors contrast against the backdrop of autumn colours that my trees display; it is so beautiful that it is hard to keep my eyes from the window. So I stopped writing, wrapped my warm faux scarf around my neck and opened my window to really feel the white wonder, and breathe in the crisp cold air. So refreshing.

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Today I am relishing the thoughts of an impromptu walk I took yesterday in our city’s main central park. It was unplanned and turned out to be perfect. I found my deer friends, and captured a few beautiful photos of them, as I always do. Today I want to introduce you to one of them, he’s one of my favourites. I call him Scar.

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When I go to the Phoenix Park, I always look out for Scar. This time I was more concerned about him because of a recent deer culling in the park, and I was not sure he was still with us. I was glad to see him. For some reason he tends to be a loner and wanders off on his own, something I love to do too. If you look at his face you will see why I gave him the name I have. To me, even with his scars, he is beautiful. And today, my friend, I want to tell you the same incredible truth is true about you.

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When we look at Scar, we see his outside wounds, and the proof that he has been hurt, but we also see that he survived what it was that hurt him. The battle left its mark on him but he lived on, and so will you dear reader. Scars are a sign that you are strong, that you overcame something that tried to take you out. Your battle may include disappointment, divorce, the loss of a dream, the realisation that life sometimes gives you what you do not ask for; and you have a choice to make.

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Your scars may be on the inside, where nobody can easily see them, they may be wounds that truly only you and those who you allow to come close can understand. Let me tell you that these wounds, whether internal or external, are things to be proud of because they are proof that you are stronger than the hurt, tougher than what tried to knock you down, and more resilient than the battles you have endured. Your scars tell others to hold on, and not to give up. They shine around your neck like a medal of honour, and you should see your scars as a sign of great victory, even in days of loss or pain.

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“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ― Kahlil Gibran

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Look at this beautiful Fallow buck, who I have rightly named Scar; he is majestic and strong, and will hopefully live through many more battles, bravely using the skills he learned the hard way in previous encounters. In the same way dear friend, so are you. You are a strong soul with a mighty God who wants to walk through every battle with you. He promises to never leave or forsake you, but to be your refuge where there is found rest in and from the storms of life. Even if you already have scars, you are a display for His Kingdom, shouting gloriously to the world, that you never gave up or surrendered. Your scars tell a magnificent story!

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Scars are evidence of life, of risks, or trying new things, of fighting for something you believed in. They are proof that you moved out of your comfort zone and decided to be brave. So today, instead of hiding your scars, whether they are seen or unseen,  choose to find someone who needs the story of courage that you carry in your heart. Tell them how you struggled, but that you are overcoming. Remind someone who is close to giving up, that they do not have to. Look for those who feel so isolated in their battle, and remind them that they truly are part of a great army of those who did not give up. This army may be scarred in many different ways, but their courage unites them. Each has a battle cry put in their heart by the Creator himself. Each one is as beautifully unique as each snowflake falling outside my window.

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Dear scarred one, your scars are the signs of strength and someone who feels weak today, needs to hear your story of strength!

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“Scars show toughness: that you’ve been through it,

and you’re still standing.” -Theo Rossi

Be A Goose ツ

Be A Goose…ツ
The Truth About Geese
By Denise Kennedy
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Geese are elegant, intelligent, loyal, majestic and creative. They soar through the sky with a sense of destiny and beauty. I recently captured this photo of them as I walked along the port area of Dublin city. I stood there as the sun rose, watching them fly together in a unity so incredible I held my breath.

So allow me to share some of the stunning things I have discovered about geese, that quite frankly distinguish them from lots of animals or birds we have; and to be honest, I found myself wanting to be a lot more like our feathered friend than I had ever imagined before…

  • Geese mate for life and will live a loyal life of faithfulness to one partner, even after their mate passes away.

  • A group of geese is called a gaggle – if they are flying they are known as a skein or wedge.

  • They choose to fly in a”V” shape so as to increase their flying power and range by at least 70%. By sharing the air space they make the flight easier for those flying with them. They look out for each other.

  • When the goose in front tires or grows weary another goose takes its place and then the tired goose moves back to rest, and into position to complete the formation.

  • While they are flying in formation they honk at each other to send encouagement to each other on the journey.

  • Geese care for each other; they look out for the other geese in their gaggle, to see if they are okay. If one gets sick, is attacked or hurt and drifts or falls from the formation, others will also leave the “V” shape and go to protect the injured goose. They stay with the sick goose until it recovers or dies. They will not leave it alone.

  • A young goose will find a mate for itself when it is only 3 years of age. If one of the pair dies the remaining goose will live many years without finding another mate. Most times the widowed goose lives the remainder of its life without a partner.

  • Male geese prefer to show very protective and kind behaviour towards the females in the group. They have been known to stand or fly between danger and the female in the situation; so beautiful and so courageous.

  • Geese choose to vocalize their messages to each other in a variety of ten different ways; it depends on the situation but they can stretch their necks or make loud honks in order to send a signal to others.

  • Geese live together and hatch a new gosling yearly, then both parents are involved in minding and taking care of the newborn.

The list goes on…

So…which characteristic was your favourite? Possibly, like me, you chose a few. One thing I found myself thinking as I read this list, is that I want to be more like geese. I want to love deeper, care for loved ones in a more devoted way. I want to be known as one who is faithful to the mate I choose for life. I want to go to rescue the hurting and stay with them until they can fly and join the group again. I want to be known as one who looks out for the dangers that are lurking and preying on my counterparts. I want to be so much more like a goose than I had ever thought of before…

If you feel the same then let’s honk and make the choice to stick together…

If my little thoughts today have inspired you then please give me a share and a like…every ‘honk’ lets me know that you are with me…and we are looking out for each other…

‘Honk! Honk!”

Denise

Time To Trade Up ⇅

Time To Trade Up ⇅

by Denise Kennedy

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“Be careful that you do not create what you fear.”  – These are pretty powerful words aren’t they? They stopped me in my tracks today. They arrested my attention and commanded my analysis and response.

What are we afraid of? What keeps you awake at night, feeling afraid or overwhelmed? Write it down right now…clearly, boldly and honestly. Okay…now on the same piece of paper I want you to write down any behaviour that you are currently endorsing in your life that in anyway contributes to these fears coming to pass in your life. Is there something you are doing, or not doing, that will help these feared circumstances actually becoming your very real reality?

It is time to trade up…it is time to trade in your fears, change your behaviours and dramatically change the course your life is on. In order to have the life you dream of you must be all in, there is no halfway commitment to what is required.

You are amazing. You have capabilities beyond what you can even believe. You have strengths and competencies that make you the valuable and precious person you are. If there is a chance that this short little blog stirs you, then please act on it. Let August 1st, 2016, be the day the game changes. What is it you are losing to? What is taking you off track? What is more important to you right now than achieving the lifelong dreams you carry around in your heart every day? Begin to believe in the person you are, and in the potential you have.

I wrote these words for you today, as much as I need them myself too. Even the most successful people you know, need a gentle push in the right direction sometimes. So here it is, a gentle push from me. Make the changes, even if you are white-knuckle riding for a while. Decide on the destination you are dreaming of and make it happen. Your life will pass you by, so make it the kind of movie you want it to be.

I believe in you. It is time to trade-up. Trade in your fears and change the route you are on. You can do it. Let today be the game-changer, the day it all begins. Be careful that you do not create what you fear…don’t let self-sabotage ruin all the great possibility that you possess.

Let’s connect on Facebook

=) Denise

 

Your Uniqueness Has Value

I’m delighted to be writing for The Irish Academy of Public Relations

Here is a reminder of just how valuable your uniqueness is! Have a look at this week’s blog…Your Uniqueness Has Value

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In this age of digital and personal development, many have thrown around the term USP, or otherwise known as your Unique Selling Point. Some folks find it easy to identify these incredible strengths in others, but struggle to evaluate these attributes in themselves, their talents or their business offering.

As entrepreneurs, communicators or anyone with a dream, it is vital that you know what your unique strengths are, and utilise them in all of your business endeavours.

Let’s break it down into smaller parts and evaluate the significance of this term.  When you are asked about your business, your skills, your capabilities or accomplishments, do you struggle to see what makes you unique? If you do, don’t worry, you are not alone in this dilemma. But if you do not challenge this weakness it will hold you back in every area where you seek to be successful. It is like carrying out a SWOT analysis on yourself, while determining where you are most likely to achieve your business goals.

So take a pen and paper, and jot down the words that come to mind as you answer these questions: There is no wrong answer, just be as honest as you can.

  1. What differentiates you from what your competitors are doing or offering?

  2. How do you add value in the industry or market you are currently in?

  3. If you were not doing what you are doing, what would your consumers or customers miss out on?

  4. When you wake up in the morning, are you motivated by the thought that you can make a difference in your work day, and if so, how?

Okay – how do you feel in the pit of your stomach right now? Are you chasing a goal that actually has no real value to your heart? Is there a possibility that you are stuck in your comfort zone and are no longer excited about what you are doing? If this is the case, then make the decision today to ‘unglue’ yourself from this place of underachieving.

When we forget our value or what we bring to the table, it helps to encounter new opportunities and meet new people. It is time to follow your dream, so let the journey start today. At the Irish Academy of Public Relations, you will find new career ideas, training courses and opportunities to up-skill in many areas such as, Event Management, Journalism, Social Media Marketing, Mobile Journalism. There is something there for everyone.

“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.”Jim Rohn

Your skill set may be perfectly matched to the industry you are working in, so it just may be the case that you need to sharpen your focus in a more dynamic way. Either way, unless we challenge these thoughts, we can find ourselves drifting along with no real motivation and certainly having no lasting impression on those we desperately want to impact in business and life.

It’s up to you! Check out the Irish Academy of Public Relations today, and start to sharpen those amazing skills you already have. It’s time to make the move!

Guest Blogger – Denise Kennedy

The In-between Day ✞

The In-between Day ✞

by Denise Kennedy

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In-between… [noun] Also known as in-betweener – a person or thing that is between two extremes, two contrasting conditions, such as yeses, nos/or noes, and in-betweens.

Sound familiar? Today, Easter Saturday is certainly that day for the entire calendar, but none more than the very first Easter Saturday, when nobody knew yet, that Sunday would be the day that the game changed.

Today, it feels like the world celebrates the waiting factor of being in-between. I wish I could embrace it as enthusiastically in my own personal life, but that is not always an easy thing to do. Today, when it feels like we sit and wait to celebrate tomorrow, Jesus was in fact demolishing the powers of darkness, grabbing keys and unlocking doors, setting captives free, and changing our eternity, for eternity. Heaven rubbed its hands together, in expectation, just like my mum does when she is waiting for an apple pie to bake in the oven. All the angels in heaven were  anticipating the day He would rise; they saw the in-between day as a day of great victory.

So what are you doing today? Are you celebrating the in-between day while you wait for Sunday? Are you stuck between two extremes, or contrasting conditions? If so, please know that you are certainly not alone in that place. Even if it seems like a dark place, remember Jesus conquered darkness, even your darkness. He sees in the dark, and darkness is as light to Him. You may not see Him there beside you, but trust me I know He is there with you.

Are you stranded between yours or someone else’s yeses and nos, maybes and delays? As Jesus moved through the depths of the earth dismantling everything that could ever come between you and Him, don’t you think that He too can handle the yeses and nos of our lives? I understand, it is easier said than done, but isn’t that what faith is? Believing without yet seeing! Remember the dearly loved followers of Jesus as they waited for Sunday, nobody had even risen from the dead before.  It had never been done in the history of time. What faith they must have had. Even His enemies watched in fear, in case He would actually do it. The eyes of faith must look at something as if it has already happened. Believe me, I am learning to do this as much as you are my friend.

Today, as I remember what kept Jesus busy in the depths of the earth, I am grateful that He walks through the dark seasons of my life with me. I see Him as the greatest Superhero ever. He wielded His powerful sword of truth and demolished every lie, stronghold and fear that tries to ruin my life. He tore down every obstacle that stood in our way. He disarmed the kingdom of darkness and opened the gates of splendid salvation for us.  Today, way back then, was a busy day where Jesus stood in-between two very contrasting days, two extremes, two very contrasting outcomes, and changed the world forever. Never before had the world calendar been divided into BC and AD.

AD is an abbreviation for “Anno Domini,” which is a Latin phrase meaning “in the year of our Lord,” referring to the Christ’s birth. BC means before Christ.  It was not actually developed until 525 AD, when the entrance of the Christ into the world was recognized as being the turning point of history, and our calendars were made to reflect that. Today, can be a turning point for you too.

So this Easter, may our lives reflect what happened on the in-between day. The day where all of hell woke up to the power of heaven let loose on them. The world was in-between two very contrasting outcomes, and nothing would remain the same.

May you know, that just as you walk through yeses, nos, and difficult days, Jesus walks with you, right in the midst of where it hurts, and He promises to never abandon you. Today, may be a day of waiting for tomorrow, but it would also be a good day to get busy remembering exactly what He did in the darkness, and that He is busy walking us through the in-between times too, and all power is His.

You are much loved, from one in-betweener to another. We are held firmly by the greatest In-betweener the world has  or will ever know!

Xx Denise K

Easter Saturday

2016 AD

Rock Flowers ❀ ✿

By Denise Kennedy (February 19th 2016)

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“TOUGH TIMES DON’T LAST – TOUGH PEOPLE DO!”

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I took this photo here in Ireland. It’s a beautiful little pansy growing from solid rock. Beautiful things can grow in hard places… so chin up buttercup!

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We all go through tough times, where life is literally as hard as rock, and everyday feels like we are walking through quick dry cement. Look at this pansy: it is fragile, delicate and easily broken, yet it has somehow overcome the obstacles presented to it by the surroundings it is trying to grow in. Feel familiar?

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Are you trying to overcome the tests of life? Are you determined to rebuild what circumstances have demolished? Has your courage been ravished by disappointment  or heartache?  Are there just too many whys and not enough answers? You are not alone in this tough place. But there is always a lesson to learn, and the things that happen on the outside, can bring about a tremendously precious lesson on the inside of us. Changes around us can become the perfect soil for growth on the inside, where nobody sees, but God. Right in this moment of pain, there are gems awaiting your embrace. It’s hard, and absolutely overwhelming, but God will not leave you alone. You may be trying not to be lonely while you are alone, and that could be exactly where God will meet you and change everything about you.

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“God gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.” C.H. Spurgeon

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You are not alone, you are not alone, you are not alone! You must choose to embrace this painful season, and keep believing that this too shall pass, and one day you will smile again. Not a fake, pretend smile, but a real smile that comes from a truly happy place.

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God knows how to get you there. He knows how to get your tender, delicate roots through the hard cement of life, just like the little pansy. The amazing thing is, that although this pansy was in fact tiny, I still saw it. Even in what seems like a season of ‘smallness’ in your life, God will cause the right people to see you, (really see you) and He will show you the why of it all.

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Hang in there…even in this hard place, you are still beautiful, inside and out. God sees you and He is guiding you with His eye.

Keep growing,

Denise ❀ ✿

Abide 👌 👌

By Denise Kennedy

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As I type, I am surrounded by construction work, drilling to the left, drilling to the right, and even drilling on the street outside my house. Everywhere I look there is rubble, or walls being torn down. While there is a lot of noise, in the midst of it there are things being quietly built back up: foundations being laid, walls being secured, and new designs being drawn. It is a noisy mixture of tearing down and rebuilding, in three different places. As I sit here, sipping my green tea and sharing a few quiet moments with God before the rest of my day kicks in, I am quietly reminded that our lives resemble the havoc that surrounds the place I currently call home.

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Maybe you are in a season where all is being stripped from your life and things feel shaky and uncomfortable for you? It could be that there is a sense of old things dying so that they can be returned to you improved or mended? You may be struggling to surrender control over someone whom you wish you could change, or someone is trying to convince you that you yourself need to change too? Maybe you are in a glorious place of rebuilding and new things are appearing all around you, filling your heart and life with excitement and happiness? It is safe to say that all of us travel through these seasons at varying times in our lives, and we cannot always determine just when they will happen.

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In the last few days, the word ABIDE, has grabbed my heart and invited me to be still, and to come away from the madness around me. This word reminds my soul that even in the midst of construction work, (whether internal or external), there is a place of deep peace. It is not found in rushing around glorifying busy schedules, but in the solitude of a quiet moment of surrender and reflection.  Abide…Abide…Abide!

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Are you rushing around in a state of mayhem, losing your grip on everything because you are trying to carry too much? A lazy man’s load never works, even with the things of the heart! Let it all go…surrender it to God. Choose to ABIDE in the knowledge that the only person you can change is yourself, and that God is walking and working with you to bring order to your life. I am right here with you…learning to ABIDE, when all you see is disappointment and change. Take a breath, put everything in His great big hands. Trust Him with the process, the outcome, the journey and even the tears. You are His masterpiece, so choose to abide, and let the Master take over…I know I am.

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From the pen of a grateful Irish girl,

Denise 👌

❣ You Know You Want To ❣

by ♡ 𝕯enise Kennedy ♡

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    Have you ever found yourself in an unexpected place, where everything seems unpredictable? A place where virtually anything could happen next?

It could best be described as the most spontaneous, amazing, fearful, wonderful and challenging place your feet and your heart could ever find themselves; well I am there, right smack bang in the middle of it. Just the other day I penned the following words; “Sometimes too many choices are just too many!”     (A Nisey’original)

I eagerly reach ahead to grasp the future, yet my heart holds on tightly to the memories the years have made, but hope pulls me closer and commands me to lift up my head with earnest expectation and anticipation.  I can sincerely say that I am finding these days the strangest and scariest I have yet to walk through.  I rarely live life with no map before me, or at least an idea of what may unfold but lately the temptation to lock my heart away is overwhelming at times ~ to live from a place where it is safe, pain-free, careful and predictable (and boring, well at least to me) is as real as the chair I am sitting on right now…. but I cannot ignore the deep desire in me to do something crazy and unpredictable.

I always thought I would have my life’s direction figured out by now, a road map to potential happiness with all the boxes checked along the way.  But life has not worked out like that and I am learning lessons in hard places, yet finding unexpected joy in the crazy unforeseeable changes life brings.   I guess we all go through seasons where it seems fearful and yet wonderfully adventurous.  One of my favourite things to do is head off on a road trip, to wherever the road goes.  Having been on some amazing road trips in Ireland, America, New Zealand, Australia, and various places from Belgium to the Ukraine, I know the thrill of these shared adventures.  The sense of spontaneous decisions and the thrill of seeing where we end up tickles me pink!    I love living life like that.  And yet bravely and courageously my heart is saying, “Seize the adventure again Denise!”…. and so I must listen to my heart and let my passion and creativity lead me to where I really want to be.  And to the ‘me’ I really want to be.  Scary isn’t it?

During these past months (plus some), I have been tempted to abort the mission my heart longs for, to turn around and settle for less than I know is genuine, thrilling and passionate.   I have toyed with the idea of giving up on the picture I had of the future, and settling for a less challenging route.  At first I felt peace, calmness and collected repose.   It is easy to feel peace when you are no longer challenging your fears or advancing into new territory in your life.  Yes you feel peace at first, when all resistance fades away into living a life more ordinary, but not for long for soon that unsettled feeling of boredom will raise itself to the forefront of your heart and you know you cannot turn your back on what you need to do and really want.

So, what are you sacrificing? What dream are you abandoning and trying to live without?  Maybe it is time to pick it up again? I am choosing to do it differently now.  To take hold of the strength that I know God gives me daily, to speak to my dreams and my hopes, my talents and my skills to come alive again!  Do you need to do the same?  You may think that it is easier to ignore the longings of your heart, to run away from the deepest places of your soul, but it isn’t.  May I gently and lovingly tell you that you will turn into a person who is bored silly with life.  Joy will drain from you and all you dreamed of will be sacrificed for a false sense of security that you will grow to resent.  Trust me, I know.

So…..right now…..think quietly ~  What is it you really long to do with your life?  What is on your bucket list?  What wakes you up and puts a smile on your face no matter what the weather is like?  What is it that you do that makes you sigh deeply with the realisation that this is what you were born to accomplish?  You know it and you feel it, you live, breathe and think about it every waking or ‘should-be’ sleeping moment.  You have tried to banish it away like a vapour, thinking it is easier to live without it, but you are not living abundantly by hiding it away and ignoring it.  Take some time to write it down, remember it again, realise it is possibly the thing that will rescue you from a place of unfulfilled living.  Inside each of us there’s a Superman T-shirt or brave hero longing to be revealed.

Can you hear it? A whispering excitement beginning like a soft drum in your chest…. a beat that wants to sound loudly to you that there are new things to call forth from you.  It is time, the clock ticks, and it waits for no one.   I want to see you, the real you, shining forth in all your great yet humble talent for the world to see.

Come on…come alive!  It may feel like you are stepping out onto nothing, not knowing really where you are going, but you will find it easier after you take the first step.  I am beside you, cheering you on (and myself).  Take my hand if you need to.  Look for others in your life who have stopped living from their heart, encourage them to speak tenderly again to their dreams and listen to the deepest longing within them.

You know you want to…

♡ 𝕯enise ❣ ~~ ♥ ~~ ♥ ~~

Peace In A Broken Place ☕.¸¸.•*`*•♥

By Denise Kennedy

Rosie Afolabi

In recent days, I have had the privilege of sharing deep, honest, and raw conversations with people who are struggling through tough situations. I must say that your heartfelt transparency reveals a beautiful mystery.

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The concept of finding peace in a broken place carries with it a contrast as striking as a solitary dove sitting in a broken window; sometimes there is peace in simply choosing to be still.

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At times, life calls us to navigate through uncharted waters and unfamiliar paths. We may not have chosen this direction but must employ the greatest courage and strength in order to endure it. If you are a strong person, then strength is your default setting, but even strong people may still prefer to take an easier route. Unfortunately, in a broken place, there can be moments where you would rather break down than break through!

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They, (whoever they are), say, “what does not kill you, serves to make you stronger“, and it is not until you find yourself in a broken place that you can honestly put these words to the test. What is a broken place? It can be a place where a promise has been broken, or a dream has been shattered. You, yourself, may feel broken, or overwhelmed by the road that lies before you, or indeed memories of days gone by. Circumstances have possibly left you tired or drained by this broken road of unwanted outcomes.

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You may remember a recent post I wrote titled: Broken Crayons Still Colour, where I reminded our dear hearts that even in our broken seasons, we still possess the same incredible qualities and strengths that make us who we are. We can still find peace in a broken place, because the One who gives us peace still reigns and orders our steps. We may not have all the answers to our questions, nor the strength to wait patiently for those answers, but nevertheless, God is still who He said He is and He will never abandon those He is committed to. He sees what our weak human eyes cannot. He hears the unspoken prayers of our tired hearts. He listens when you sigh in the dark and pray for a way through the circumstances you find yourself in.

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He knows. He hears, He cares, and He will make a way. It is in these hard circumstances that He will reveal new things to you. He is able to create something amazing where there seemed to be nothing visible or possible. He will reveal new things in His relationship with you, that will help you to trust Him, even when you are weary from wondering.  There is a place of peace in this moment for you, even when all seems lost. You can walk through this situation with absolute assurance that God is walking with you and carrying you through every weary step, unforeseen challenge, and daunting decision.

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Stop right now, and quietly surrender every aspect of your life to Him. Quieten your heart and allow His peace to come into your confusion and mayhem, and carry you. It is a daily choice where surrender and gratitude walk hand in hand. You don’t have to deny how you feel, but in bringing it to Him you allow the divine exchange to take place; where He takes your burdens and gives you His peace. I don’t write these words flippantly or easily; as I too am walking a road where I must decide to trust God even in the unknown. I write these words to let you know that you do not walk alone, for there are many of us walking this path with  you. Others may never see the hidden disappointments and fears that we are encountering and overcoming on a daily basis, but God sees.

Even in this broken place, His peace can be your constant strength and companion.

I may not know you, but He does, and today I am praying for you.

Denise  ☕.¸¸.•*`*•♥

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Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction,  ends up being the biggest step of your life!” → Unknown 📷 👣 ⛵

Peace In A Broken Place ☕.¸¸.•*`*•♥

September 2015

I’ll Be Back ♱

by Denise KennedyI will be back

My richest gain I count but loss…these words swirl around my heart today…all the vain things that charm me most… I sacrifice!

WOW! Today, the day when darkness gripped the world at the exact moment a man on a Cross exasperated his seemingly last breath. He gave His all, His very life, for a world that scarcely appreciated His great gift. As darkness fell, so the tears of a mother who watched her son die, fell to the ground. Those that loved Him stood in silent grief and dismay. Little did they know that while darkness engulfed their grief-stricken hearts, behind the scenes God was working His amazing brilliance and preparing the greatest story ever told. Jesus, in His last moments on the Cross, uttered words of pain and anguish. He questioned why His Father had abandoned Him. He felt separation from God for the very first time. He did this so that we need never experience that separation ever again,

They thought it was the end of everything, every hope, every promise, and every word He spoke to them. They bowed their heads in sorrow, but God was about to roll up His sleeves and astronomically reveal the grandeur of His great love for us. Time stood still, but not Jesus. He was busy disarming the powers of darkness and getting ready to reveal who He said He was.

Then He came back… He demonstrated His awesome love for us on the Cross. He stayed there because of love… If you don’t know His great love for you, I hope that this Easter, you will open your heart to really say yes to His invitation to know Him…and to experience His incredible new life in you.

When Jesus died He screamed though nail-pierced hands “I Will Be Back!”, to a lost and confused world. We can barely comprehend this amazing love, for we have no other love to compare it to. He did come back, and all He said is true.

Do you know Him?

Right now He waits for you to just believe…and everything will change.

He whispers softly yet triumphantly to you: ‘I love you with an everlasting love…simply believe. I came back for you!”

Do it now, it’s the perfect time.

From the pen of a grateful Irish girl…

Denise ♰

The Sound of Life… ☕ 🎧 🍝

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As I sit here writing to you, I hear the soft flickering of my open coal fire, as heat radiates and the smell of warmth fills the room. I am grateful. Over in my kitchen, a freshly prepared, by yours truly, pot of Irish stew gurgles and bubbles as it cooks on my brand new stove. My nearby window, slightly ajar, lets me hear the birds singing to each other from their branches, and the funny screams of sea gulls as they soar in the sky.  The sound of life!

Some of you know I have moved, and many of you have asked me to tell the story of how it all happened. First, let me take a sip from my freshly brewed cup of brilliance, and I will begin to pen the tale.

The story is long, so I will keep it brief and pertinent to what really matters. I needed to move, and time was running out on my lease. Days, weeks and months were flying past, with no real success in finding my new abode. I remained resilient and positive, but meanwhile back at the ranch, my heart was growing wearisome and tiresome. You know the feeling.

So, on a seemingly ordinary Tuesday morning, way back in November, I awoke with a sense of destiny, urgency, optimism and a certain, “Je ne sais quoi.

I went through my usual morning routine, breakfast, reading, quiet time, etc etc, but all the while I knew today was the day I would find it. I decreed it in my heart, that today God and I would find it, as if God needed my help, and the day commenced.

Soon I was out walking on the street, in the south city suburbs of Dublin, with no real place to go, just watching people and looking for opportunity. This particular day, opportunity came wearing overalls and holding a paintbrush. He was a stranger to me, but I soon found myself interrupting his work to inquire if he may possibly be the landlord of said property. He wasn’t. But quite resolutely he took me into the house to meet the landlord of this lovely Georgian house. To cut a long eventful story short, I spent about half an hour chatting with a landlord, who had nothing to offer me, but took the time to offer me friendly advice and hear my story. He had just come out of a three hour meeting, yet gave me much more than the time of day. It was inspiring, but even more so, when he simply said, that he wanted to give me some timely and encouraging advice…”Don’t lose hope!..”

He said it calmly and resolutely. So much so that the tired heart in me was lifted up. I blinked the tears from my eyes and thanked him for this kindness and time. And ventured out onto the street again.

Moments later I saw another gentleman in overalls. So, yes, you guessed it. I did. I gingerly approached him on the front steps of another Georgian building, and inquired if he were possibly the landlord. And, guess what? No, he wasn’t. We chatted a bit about why I was out stopping strangers and the like. He then decided to call the landlord of this property to inquire on my behalf. And low and behold, he had just driven in around the rear of the building at that moment. So, had I arrived at this second property thirty minutes earlier, things may not have lined up so perfectly for me. I mused to myself, thank God the other landlord took thirty minutes out of his day to be kind to a stranger.

Soon I rushed round the corner to meet another stranger, who now is my current landlord.

It all did not go as smoothly as planned, and there were a few delays and hiccups to test my faith, but soon after, the keys to my brightly new refurbished from floor to ceiling, Georgian studio were in my hands. I moved in well before Christmas, with the help of family and friends. I have all I need, plus one extra, a real open log fire! That part was a pleasant surprise. Blessed with brand new fixtures and fittings, a new cooker, fridge and utilities. And this is where I write to you from, sitting in my own antique nursing chair, by my heat-yielding flickering fire.

And although there are challenges afoot, and things that greatly challenge my heart today, I can look around me and be grateful that I have more than some, and less than a lot, but I have what I need. I am ready to move on to the next adventure, wherever and whenever that is. Today the sound of life is beautiful, and I am grateful for the journey, and for the strength that tears can bring.

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Anyway, I better go, the sound and aroma of my homemade stew bubbling signals to me that it is ready, and so am I. Oh, there is one more important thing I must tell you; remember when I met the second landlord? Well, he was not planning on advertising this property, so the only way I would have found him is if I met him on the street. So, there you have it. Get out there and meet people. Take risks, go out on a limb and see what happens. I did, and it changed everything.

Denise

 

The Giving Thanks Season ღ¸.•*´¨Thanksgiving!

by Denise Kennedy

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As I sit here at my office table writing to you, I am surrounded by half-packed boxes and disordered belongings…all of which are screaming for my attention.

My freshly brewed coffee steams beside me, swirling amidst the scent of my favourite pumpkin spice candle, and the birds chirp and dance outside as the frost melts in the November sun…

So I choose to be still. I choose to be thankful. It is easy to be thankful when all about you is splendidly perfect and testing times have come and gone, but when you are in the midst of true battles it can be a difficult thing to choose. I understand my friend, as I too am in that place. Between the now and the not-yet can be the scariest place to find yourself, or the grandest adventure ever. We can either see it as an opportunity or a threat.

I am moving, well getting ready to move, to a place unknown to me. As I prepare, I have been reminded over and over to be grateful for the things I have, while waiting for the things not yet seen. We have a choice to make…we can wallow in fear or we can flap our wings and use the winds of adversity to take us only higher. I want to choose the greater thing, the activity of winners, of fighters, of eagles. Today my friend Katie Taylor won her fifth world boxing championship title. What a legend! And as I watched her interview after the fight, I was overwhelmed by the expression of pure joy and relief on her face.

I couldn’t help but think of all the times she must have felt like giving up, or quitting. There must have been days when the sacrifice seemed too hard or too costly, but it all paid off today.  And what a day of thanksgiving it is for her and all of us who know her and love her.

So, my friend, today we must decide to be brave, to be thankfully courageous, and respond with strength, boldness and faith. We can let the fear of the unknown overcome us or we can choose to respond with determination and perseverance. In this season of Thanksgiving it can be hard to be thankful when things are not as we would love them to be, but when we start to focus on the many beautiful things in our lives, joy will come and fill our tired hearts.

As we embrace the winds of adversity and change, thankfulness and bravery can be our companions.  Choosing to be thankful creates a strong foundation in our lives that becomes our default response, even when circumstances are completely challenging. It is not easy but it is possible. I am sure there were days when Katie Taylor had to fight to believe that she could achieve her dreams, and today she celebrates where discipline and training have brought her. We can too my friend!

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I invite you today, to be thankful, to be bravely thankful! And now back to my boxes…the adventure awaits! ¸.•*¨) Nisey K

The Hope of Marketing ¸.•*”

written by Denise Kennedy

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20140423_090056Satisfying the hope of your market, makes business a sweeter experience!

Maybe the word ‘hope’ drew you to this blog today, or possibly you are a keen marketer and advocate for all things digital? I am currently studying the history, life and power of digital marketing, endeavouring to better my own knowledge of the subject, helping others do the same, and also strengthening my brand platform. It is a vast subject, but what has grabbed my attention from the starting line is the whole idea of the ‘hope’ we seek to give our customers, followers and readers.

As marketing advocates, our deepest desire is to strengthen the trust relationship we develop with others through our web content and everything we do. We want to create a platform where our brand is trusted, relied upon, purchased and engaged with in a deeper way. We long for longevity and commitment from our audience, ensuring that they will see us as a profitable, reliable and trustworthy investment.

So when people interact with your brand or service, do they come away feeling positive or disappointed? When you promise something are you absolutely sure that you are delivering what they expect? This brings me to the introduction of two important words, ‘hope’ and ‘expectation’. You should desire to build a reputation with your audience where they believe in you, have hope in you and  become loyal to you. We cannot control the internal expectations of our target group, but we can try to understand their expectation and then incorporate those things into our media campaigns, wherever it is possible. We have direct control over the message we deliver and strive to build. If a customer becomes disillusioned with our brand they will abandon us and relinquish any relationship with us. As you develop and strengthen your relationship with the target market, it is imperative that you do not offer what you cannot deliver.

Marketing is a powerful form of communication, finding much comparison with our own personal and professional relationships. You will cause a person to lose confidence in you if you continue to promise things that you have no intentions of delivering. One of my pet hates is the failure of professionals to follow through on their promise and falling short in communicating about important issues. Here is where the strategies of project management are vital.

So moving forward, as you build your brand or product campaign, be sure to critically  analyse the things you are promising, while continually striving to remove any doubt in the heart and mind of your target market that you can deliver. Let this also permeate into your personal and professional relationships, and the sea you sail on will certainly be a smoother one!

Denise ¸.•*”¸.•*”¸.•*”

Your Follow Through ⛳💖⛳

by Denise Kennedy

May 28th 2014

Everywhere I turn this phrase is following me… be it on a greeting card, in a movie or a conversation… ‘Make sure you follow through.’   Any golfers out there will know how vital that is to your swing and your game of golf! Well, I am learning that is it equally as vital to my game of life!

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Sometimes we have to stand still before we can move forward, and I am reminded of the days gone by where I thought I could not possibly take another step in the direction I knew in my heart I needed to go, but I did.  So here I stand again, at the junction of more decisions where truth begs for my attention, despite what my heart may say it wants. I love truth, but some days we are led by our desires for what we want, rather than what may be the chosen path by God for us right now. He wants obedience, He wants surrender, He wants my willingness to trust Him despite my disappointment. HE wants my ‘follow through’.  And deep down in my heart, so do I.

A wise old saint once said, “Never doubt in the darkness what God has told you in the light.” We are not God, hence our reason for needing Him. I am learning that there is a blessing in not knowing it all, in not having all the details of what comes next. All I have is NOW, and I must follow through despite my feelings on the matter.  Today while reading the book of John, I was reminded of the truth that God wants our ‘joy to be full’.  Okay, so for some of you that is old news, but sometimes God resurrects a phrase of truth to hammer it home a little more, and to serve as an anchor of hope when we are being tossed about my life, and today He did just that for me. He cares that I am joyful, and that matters so much to Him that He wrote it many times. How beautiful!

So hang in there… the breakthrough comes when you survive the breaking point… The bumps are what you climb on, they are the things that you hold onto along the climb to the mountain top. Yes there will be sacrifices that you will not understand and days that seem so hard to fathom, but He is there, cling to Him. Make a choice to ‘soul-cling’ to Him. Your breakthrough is coming, and God will follow through on all that He has promised.

In the Free Dictionary by Farlex, Breakthrough is defined as “to change direction or move suddenly”, how beautiful a thought that is! We love ‘sudden moves’ once they are good for us, but sometimes God brings a change of direction that we may find difficult to embrace. That is where the rubber meets the road of our journey of faith, and we must choose to surrender and trust.

For once we make it past the breaking point, our breakthrough will come!

So ‘follow through‘ and ‘break through’.

From the pen of a grateful girl,

Denise 💖

All rights reserved. Copyright by Denise Kennedy. May 2014.
Np part may be copied or reprinted. Feel free to use social media links to share.

A Graceful Interruption 🎵 🎶 🎼

Written by Denise Kennedy

May 1st 2014

My eyes opened, and immediately thoughts captured my waking moments with busyness and today’s to-do list! My feet had not hit the floor yet and already I was running around in circles in my mind. It is the first day of May, and I have lots to do. I determined to silence the chaos that tried to envelope me in panic, and allowed myself five more minutes of duvet time, as it was only 7am. I listened to the birds in my garden singing victoriously in the rain. The heavy downpour that most likely was pelting them on their little heads, did not seem to bother them at all. I smiled.

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Then I arose, and greeted my day with faith, hope and intent. I prepared my cup of brilliance, and sat at my table by my window. The sun was not shining this morning and somehow I actually welcomed this cloudy day by lighting my favourite vanilla bean candle. Ahhh aroma and flickering light, a beautiful combination. Then I quietened my to-do list and hushed the busy thoughts that clamoured for my attention. Instead my focus turned to my God, and surrendering my entire day to Him. I waited, read, prayed and pursued stillness. He came, whispered hope, promised strength, gave encouragement and reassured me with His presence. “Today is Yours God”, I whispered with great loyalty, love and expectation. Then I reached over to open my window further as glimmers of sunshine broke through the clouds. I sat back down and closed my eyes and let my Saviour’s peace take precedence over my morning.  Then it came, the most beautiful interruption imaginable. In the still air came these beautiful melodic lyrics, accompanied by a choir of voices and instruments:

“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see…”

I held my breath with surprise, my brain curiously trying to figure out where this music was coming from. In all the years I have sat by this garden window on the third floor of this building, I have never heard a song fill the air like it did this morning. I sat there, soaking up this incredible truth, as the song continued to play, hauntingly and boldly through the south city air. It was amazing. Yes it was amazing grace. The lyrics continued to pour out upon the unsuspecting audience:

”Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.”

I was silent, as tears fell down my face, this beautiful interruption was so perfect. So brilliant in its magnitude, that the truth of these words overwhelmed my soul with hope. I felt like God orchestrated the whole encounter, and serenaded me with the reminder of His “Amazing Grace”. Moments later the song ended and no other song or music followed it. Even now I hear no radio, or further song choice filling the air. Just one song played, and the only one necessary.

As I sit here, I continue humming the tune as I type. Still moved by the incredible truth of its lyrics. Did anyone else hear it? I have no idea. All I know is I am glad I was silent enough to do so, and that my morning became still enough to receive the beautiful interruption of a message from heaven. My heart has been reminded of the multitude of ways God wants to invade my ordinary moments and fill them with His beautiful masterpieces. I am in awe of the mysterious timing of His glorious ways, and the reminder that it is His Amazing Grace that carries us on.

Be still enough to hear it, the sound of truth trying to get your attention, and fill your day with grace!

Nisey

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Whistle In The Dark °•○♬ ♪

Whistle In The Dark…

by Denise Kennedy

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Life is like a river, sometimes you are merrily merrily rowing your boat and life is but a dream…other times it seems like you are battling to paddle upstream in the torrents of a force five flood.  I can relate to both, as can we all. At the moment I find my vessel in the second description, and having experienced that exact real life event several years ago, I know it to be exhilarating but also totally terrifying.

The other night, while lying in my bed in the stillness of midnight, the phrase ‘Whistle In The dark’ grabbed my imagination and planted a curiosity in me that led me on an inquisitive journey.  The phrase ‘Whistle In The Dark’ has a few definitions and idioms. Here are a few I pulled together to enlighten us further…

1. To pretend to be unafraid

2. To be confident that something good will happen when it seems not at all likely (thefreedictionary.com)

3. To attempt to summon up one’s courage or optimism in a difficult situation (dictionary.com)

4. The notion that one should whistle in difficult circumstances to show that one is not concerned or frightened can be found in Robert Blair’s The Grave (1742): “The Schoolboy…Whistling aloud to bear his courage up”.  From the Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).

 

To choose to ‘whistle in the dark’ can best be described as deciding to be cheerful or optimistic when you are walking through a situation or circumstance where cheer or optimism cannot be warranted or expected.  Haven’t we all walked through these seasons of life? It is a great strength to be able to muster up the courage needed to lift your heart up by whistling or singing in a dark and lonely place.  Those of us who believe in God, call this FAITH. Whereby we focus on the power of our omnipresent God who holds our lives in His hands, believing that nothing happens to us that He is not infinitely aware of and involved in. Faith is choosing to trust, even when we cannot see where we are going or where our feet will step next.

 

My dear friend Roxanne, (from Louisiana), shared with me a beautiful illustration of the powerful workings of God’s hands: She recounted that should our feet be walking on or down a path that God does not wish for us, that God is mighty enough to literally reposition our feet and direct us down the batter path of His choosing. A door will open, a road will appear, a way will be made clear for us to take. I breathed a sigh of relief, for although we all know this to be true, sometimes we need a fellow traveler to come along side us and cheer us on.

 

Are you in this place? Are you ‘whistling in the dark’, hearing nothing but the lonesome sound of your own efforts to take courage by whistling your melody of faith? I am there with you, but more than that, GOD IS. Even the thickest darkness is as  light to Him. He can see clearly and is working all things together for good, whether we can see it or feel it.

 

So lift your head up dear one, with tears if you must, and lean your heart into His today knowing that He is right there beside you, and He hears your whistle of faith. Whistle loud and boldly, forgetting the doubtful voices of those around you who may not understand the reason for your courage. There is One who cherishes this sound of faith you make, this song in the night, your desire to boldly trust Him on the road less traveled. He is near, He is with you and He will come through for you. He hears you whistle and to Him it is a beautiful sound of precious trust from a heart determined to believe in the goodness of His hand to do what He has promised.

 

Soon we will see. God is getting us ready for something new.

 

It’s a beautiful day for a breakthrough!

 

💕  Denise  💕

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✿ ❀ …ن٥ﻻ ﻉ√٥ﺎ ٱ ~ I do!

 ن٥ﻻ ﻉ√٥ﺎ ٱ… ~ I do! 080

He whispered it softly one day.  He overwhelmed me with gentleness, kindness and affection. I was stunned by the loving voice of the very One who holds my whole world in His hands.

Then He said it again… ‘I Love You!”

I stood there with a microphone in my hand and a song on my lips, before a packed room of hungry worshippers who wanted to lift His name higher. I kept my focus clear and my voice on the melody, but inside a torrent of water was drenching my weary soul.  To all those present it was an ordinary Sunday morning, but as the following moments unfolded I knew I was encountering a depth of intimacy that I neither had to initiate or control. And God spoke again…

I cannot speak yet of all of the things that He shared with me that morning, and it has taken me several weeks  to even try to put it on (virtual) paper.  But my life has been changed by a simple yet profound question. It is for you that I share this account, because it is He who wills it and He who wants you to know, that yes, there is more, much more for you than what you have experienced up until this moment wherein you stand… He waits, He calls, He asks. Come with me as I try to take you on the journey…

I stood there, holding my breath and continuing to sing, not easy to do at the same time. God had crept up valiantly and hi-jacked my heart, stolen my attention in a magnificent way, and it was beautiful. The discourse that took place began with an invitation by the Almighty to surrender my heart in an entirely new way to Him. He simply said, “Denise, will you marry me?”  Yeah I know, not the kind of words you expect to hear from God.  But what then unfolded was a beautiful portrayal of what it means to really trust, commit and surrender one’s life to the Creator.  It’s all about our vows.  And that’s exactly where God brought me…to a place of renewing my vows to Him and His will for my life.   The magnificent voice of God whispered to me: “Will you trust me and be true to Me in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health?  Will you love and honour me all the days of your life?  Will you walk with me for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer?  Will you keep your vows to Me even when life makes no sense and you are walking through difficult times?

I stood for a while as tears ran down my face…then soon found myself kneeling on the stage, unaware of what anyone else was doing around me, yet continuing to sing with the team.  But I was in the presence of Greatness, a mighty Lover who wanted ALL of my heart, right there, and forever more.  I thought about the wedding vows normally exchanged by couples on their wedding day, and how they take each other by the hand and the heart and pledge to walk together through all of the seasons of life.  And although I have not stood there at that altar as so many have before me, I now found myself standing at a different kind of altar.  And I answered ‘YES”.  Yes God, I will trust You in all of the seasons You walk me through, through all of the losses and gains, joys and sorrows, thrills and tears.  I will trust You, knowing that even in death, we will not be parted, because that part of the vow ‘until death do us part’ is not true for those who love God, as we know when we pass from this earth we simply change garments, names and dwelling places to be transported to a Heavenly Kingdom that never ends.

Maybe God is whispering to you right now, a quiet yet provoking ‘Will you?’ ~ Maybe you desire to know Him in a greater way, and find your heart pounding in your chest as mine did?
Later that day I did some research on wedding vows and wrote my new vows of love and trust to my God. While doing so I found a beautiful wedding song used by the Eskimos, which goes like this:

Eskimo Love Song

You are my husband, you are my wife
My feet shall run because of you
My feet dance because of you
My heart shall beat because of you
My eyes see because of you
My mind thinks because of you
And I shall love, because of you.

As I read it I was reminded that because of the breath of my Creator in my lungs, and His life in my bones I can say that He makes me do all of these things I sometimes take for granted! The Father of creation loved the world so much, that not only did He die for us, but He died ‘as us’… (Bill Johnson – Hosting The Presence)  God uses the symbol of marriage to describe the love He has for His Bride, in the same way He uses it to remind us of the sacredness of a wedding between two people.  May today be the beginning of a new love romance for you, may you find yourself whispering to your Creator…’I do!’

For we know that on the Cross, God has already screamed ‘I Do!’ to a world He loves.

All my love

Nisey

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☺♥☺ You Know Me ☺♥☺

☺♥☺  YOU KNOW ME ☺♥☺

Written by Denise Kennedy

One of my trademark sayings (so I have been told), is my regular use of the brilliant phrase “God Knows!” – Yes, I admit that it rolls off my tongue quite a lot and usually when I have unanswered questions on my mind. ☺♥☺

Who knows you? . . .  I mean really knows you?  Has that question provoked a slight awkward nervousness in your heart just now?  Maybe it brings a calming sense of well-being and peace because you know you are loved unconditionally and completely?  Possibly it challenges you to the core of who you are or aspire greatly to be?   Well today God sent a lightning bolt (as real as the one about to flash again outside my window), a gunshot, a bow’s arrow straight into this heart of mine .. .. .. I was asked the same question.

God challenged me to look at the things my heart hungers and thirsts for.  Some moments later, I answered Him.  It came through a song.  It came through painful realization.  It came through the acknowledgement that ONLY one person can truly ‘know’ every single facet of me.  Though I choose to share different parts of myself, my life, my thoughts, my desires, my dreams, my jokes, my writing, my cooking, my achievements, my longings, my laughter, my creativity, my love, my affections and my passions with people in varying degrees of intimacy, truly there is only ONE who really knows the real me.  He knows the “me” with no barriers, no pretending, no masks, no hidden motives, no insecurities, no fears, no vulnerabilities or barriers.  He loves me despite my weaknesses, sins, frailties, failures and vulnerable ways.

He jumps right into each day with me, longing to make me even better than the version of me I was yesterday.  He proudly comes alongside me to help me in my attempts to improve on yesterday’s performances and choices, because He knows my heart truly longs to be the best me I can be for Him and those I do life with.  He giggles at my childish jokes, and loves the unique traits He has given me –  He calls into being every dream and desire that resides in my heart;  He gently holds me when the storm rages and I have no solution for the circumstances my little boat sails through; His name is God.  He whispers goodnight as the moon hangs in the midnight sky, with His promise to never leave my side; staying with me through every twist and turn the road may take.  Nothing surprises Him, and nothing about me is hidden from His eyes.  When I have days where I would rather run from Him and life seems to dare me to give up, He will still be there, here, beside me.  He is ever present, He never slumbers or sleeps.

Hunger (whether physical or psychological) is not a game; it can lead people to do crazy and dangerously soul-destroying things.  You may be quite familiar with your own “hunger games” and the cravings of your own heart.  Maybe you don’t believe in God? .. .. .. but truth be told He believes in you.  He created you with a void that only He can fill.  He sees the amazing dormant potential in you, that awaits for His breath of life to create a new and amazing detour to the road you currently walk on – is there a hunger in your heart, even now, to be ‘known’ – truly known?

He sees you weep when you feel the floundering winds of change sweep you to a place where life is scary or hard to understand.  He holds your arms up when you are tired or weary from the fight.  He cheers you on when life is victorious and hugely rewarding.  He is God and He does not miss one solitary moment of your life.  Even in a crowded room, where you are surrounded my many, He does not miss one thing about you.  He knows you, but He also loves you!  Sure many others can touch your heart, occupy space there, impact you deeply and love you there.. .. .. but there is  truly only ONE who can know every facet of your life, your mind, your thoughts and your soul – GOD!  Wisdom tells us to choose carefully the ones we allow into our hearts, to select these special ones wisely and cautiously, but we are always better off the closer we walk with God.

Today this truth hit me like a bolt of lightning .. .. .. like a dart aimed for the bulls-eye, like a perfect 180 shot straight into the dart board of my heart.   I’ve experienced a lightning bolt to my heart before,  but this is not the time to share those stories –  all I can say is that upon reading a challenging piece of text today, I realized that God was speaking loudly, directly, clearly and seriously into my heart, asking me “Denise, do you know that I know you?  You are not one of the ‘unknown’, you are not forgotten or undiscovered by me – I see you” ~

Can I be honest here?  Well, I will be anyway and hope that you too will be honest with your own heart.  I really forgot that God knew me .. .. .. that He both wants to and desires to, and is delighted to know me!  The God I sing to and speak daily to, this amazing God that I daily surrender my life to, knows me. WOW .. .. .. think about that: The God who flung stars into space, knows you. The One who has seen and will see everything about this Universe; the One who sees when you win or  lose – knows you.  He knows exactly how many hairs are on your head, how many tears you have cried, how many years you have lived, the breaths your life will amount to, the past, present and future for you – He knows your name!

Maybe the land of being “known” is already a land you frequent a lot, sharing glorious moments, hours and occasions of great joy and strength in His beautiful presence? but for some it is a land where they feel like an alien; hungering to be accepted unconditionally.  Well, today I remind you, invite you, beseech you, to find a quiet place (like I have), to take a realistic look at the activities of your life – who do you do them for?  Are these activities a reflection of the desperate hunger in your life for acceptance and love?  God does not want your life to be one series of relationships, endeavours and “hunger games” after another, where you seek to fill your life with anything rather than emptiness.  He wants to fill you with the greatest acceptance, love, favour and romance you could ever know.

Close your eyes, listen, He is already here.  No more hunger games, no more running, no more pretending; It is time to experience the liberation of being known by Him, and in that place you will experience God loving what He knows about you; and making you the best you possible! =)

Then go and feed others – show them how being unconditionally loved by God satisfies beyond any other source!

Xx Denise

What Are Mercies Anyway?~~ ♥

 ♥ by Denise Kennedy~~ ♥

Did you ever have one of those days, weeks or months? I am not really sure how to describe the feeling…but it is when you long to depend upon something that will not move, even if you lay all of your weight against it, it will not budge even slightly.

There are great moments in our lives when we feel like we can conquer Everest, and then there are those other days when we need a rock to lean on, or strong arms to hold us, or a calming voice to remind us that everything will be OK, even if the comforter cannot tell you how things will turn out, it is enough to just hear those words that everything will be alright!  Well today I found myself whispering softly, “Thank you God that Your mercies are new for tomorrow, because today I think I used every last one of them up!” … and I heard myself asking my own heart, “What are mercies anyway?” And here is where I am. So if you want some mighty encouragement then tag along and find out! =)

Some of the definitions of MERCIES are: ~ Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one’s power; clemency ~ A disposition to be kind and forgiving: a heart full of mercy ~ Something for which to be thankful; a BLESSING undeserved ~ Alleviation of distress; relief: well needed peace ~ A relieving or welcome occurrence or state of affairs.

Unceasing care! – Great goodness! – Tender mercies! – Loving kindnesses! – Mighty support! – Unending love! –

~~ ♥  Another dictionary states;

Mercies

  1. Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm:

  2. An event to be grateful for, especially because its occurrence prevents something unpleasant happening or provides relief from suffering.

If someone in authority shows mercy, they choose not to harm someone they have power over, or they forgive someone they have the right to punish.   Mercy is used to describe a special journey to help someone in great need, such as people who are sick or made homeless by war or other catastrophes.
If you tell someone who is in an unpleasant situation that they should be grateful or thankful for small mercies, you mean that although their situation is bad, it could be even worse, and so they should be happy. Choose very carefully the timing of such advice, sometimes when a heart is broken it needs a tender heart response far more than a dismissive head response.

Take a moment to let the following words wash over you, sit under them as if you were relaxing beneath the refreshing invigorating pure waters of a waterfall in the midst of a remote forest….You have no where to be, you are in no hurry, you just have time to be still and bathe your whole being from head to toe in waves of mercy…for as long as you want ~ these waters will never run out! ~~ ♥

~~ “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I will hope in Him.” ~~~ Lamentations 3:22-24 ~~ ♥

To be comforted by God…is the sweetest comfort of all. To be cherished by God and also those we love, is the cherry on the pie, the cream on the cake. It is a gift to savour and relish. To be comforted and shown mercy when you are weary is a precious thing. Sometimes I know that my own expectations get in the way of anyone getting near me, or having the intimate opportunity of really knowing what is going on in my heart…If there is a season where I think things should happen this way or that, and they have been delayed, then I am in a place where I need new mercies to wash over me and revive hope in me again. If you are honest we all need that I suspect.

There is a thirst in us for something deeper ~ a soul quenching experience that only God can supply. Many of you have probably drank deeply of various pools and cisterns, and tankards of various liquids, all to no avail! We can run away and chase many things to fill this void, but our pursuits only leave us further away from the place we really want to be.

I say all that to say this….find the waterfall of mercy. It waits for you. Soak your tired weary self in the

rivers of acceptance and forgiveness, where all shame and loss are restored ~~ ♥ There is a shoulder waiting there with a place for your head; And a hand  waits to hold yours; There is a place there for you to be yourself, fully loved, completely accepted and cared for! There are new mercies for you! You don’t have to live on yesterday’s strength. So right now where ever you are, let your anxious shoulders drop, relax more than you usually do and ask God for the mercies He has in abundance for you today. And guess what, tomorrow He will have a new waterfall for you to come and sit under for as long as you want and need. There will always be room for you, a place made just for you. 

Shhhh, can you hear it? A waterfall, I’m breaking into a run,and I’m jumping right in!

*SPLASH!!* ~~ ♥

❀¸.•* Too Much Spring

❀¸.•* TOO MUCH SPRING ❀
Written by Denise Kennedy
What’s your favourite season? When do you find it easier to bounce out of bed and be you? Is that an easy question for you to answer or are you like me, loving certain characteristics of each season?  It is true that every season is bird-chirping weather, but most of us chirp easier in certain seasons.
Here in Ireland, it is winter now. Although, one would scarcely know at times because some days have been so beautiful and mild. It would appear we have not really had our typical blustery, snowy, cold winter at all. I am not sure we will have it this year. True, some days have been icy cold of late, but nothing like the terribly Icelandic winter we had last year. So when I say winter, certain words, or adjectives come to our creative minds: stormy, cold, white, blustery, slippery, wet, windy, beautiful, freezing, cloudy, subzero, frosty.  And some more descriptive phrases come alive too; open real log fires, cosy romantic nights, arctic conditions, dangerous black ice, foggy visibility, sparkly crisp  mornings, Christmas memories, hot dinners, woolen gloves, heavy coats, and a warm hand to hold. The list goes on. Some of these are my favourite things in life.
For the calendar’s sake, I should jump to spring now, but allow me to come back to it last, humour me at least for now if you will.  There’s a reason for my delay!  Maybe you are the summer type? You have a bright personality and all you see is blue skies during any season, even if it rains now and then. So many people hate the darker months of winter, especially sufferers of  S.A.D  (Seasonal affective disorder, it is a type of depression that affects a person during the same season each year. For some it causes them to become very down in the winter but they feel much better in spring and summer.)  Some people live for summer. So much so that they spend their lives literally following the sun wherever it is shining, spending 6 months of the year in sunny climates or beach homes. I wish I could afford such a luxury, but truth be known I would miss the cosiness of colder weather too. So then summer comes, with its sunny blue skies, pleasant beach walks, soothing chilled ice cream cones, hot sand underfoot, fine midnight walks, awesome surfing trips, the scent of coconut suntan oil and poolside barbeques, bikini holidays and cloudless warm starry nights. For some people, summer is harsh with its belting heat and soaring temperatures, and they actually move to cooler climates until it passes. Not me, I love the sun, but in moderation; having spent part of my childhood living in Australia, I remember the heat of the sun all too well. The summer brings to me, memories of some of the songs of the 80’s, “The Boys Of Summer” and my favourite Beach Boys album. Everyone has their unique summer memories that never seem to grow old.

 

There are those who adore autumn, or fall, depending where you live! Autumn is when we change our clocks again, where every leaf becomes a flower, when wonderful yellows, browns and reds light up our world. The days are cooler and the evenings seem more enjoyable. We tend to squeeze the life out of autumn, knowing full well that soon winter will be here to wrap itself around us! The schools re-open and our routines all change again. The media begins its Christmas countdown and suddenly time just flies by. The breezy mornings awaken us and nobody really knows what way the weather will change throughout the day. Here in Ireland, we could have all four seasons in a 24 hour period.
Oh but autumn is so beautiful, I can pull out my warm boots and sweater for the odd cooler evening. The sun still shines a lot but the temperatures are far more kinder to our skin.  The crisp autumn air seems to freshen me up in the morning, while some days still allow me to wear my colourful t-shirts and flip-flops. Autumn prepares you for winter, and you are forgiven for lighting your first log fire at night. Autumn reminds us to gradually change the clothes in our wardrobe for warmer and more accessible choices. To me, there’s nothing as lovely as sitting near my window, reading a good book and listening to raindrops gently hitting the fragile colorful leaves outside. This year we were graced with one of the longest autumn seasons I have yet known, whereby my walks to college were splashed with amazing colours and the light crunch of leaves under my feet made me smile.  Autumn really is a multi-coloured garden of life.

 

Ahhh at last, here it is SPRING! You tell that for some reason it is my season today! I sat down the other night exhausted, having finished a very busy week, crammed with assignments and exam preparations. I rarely turn my TV on, but with a similar busy week stretching before me, I needed some relaxation.  So I lit my candles and settled in to watch a movie I had picked up on the way home from College. To be honest, the movie was less than average, and I would not rate it at all, but what moved me was the name of a play mentioned in the movie. Its title was “Too Much Spring”, and I whispered to myself, “I could never have too much Spring!” ~ the movie finished eventually, and I soon rested my head on my pillow to go to sleep, but instead I thought of spring; it brings to life the birds in the air, the bees buzz from out of nowhere, lambs begin to playfully fill the fields and hills. Flowers appear in our gardens, trees begin to open up their blossoms and the 40 shades of green seem to find even more shades to display. When I think of spring, these words and phrases literally ‘spring’ (lol) to mind ~ new things, cleaner air, the first smell of freshly cut grass, random sunny rain showers, unpredictable weather, brighter evenings with promising red skies, windy days with colourful rainbows, warmer mornings with softer rain. In springtime is seems that eagerly anticipated things seem to bring new hope in us, a time of transition allows us to redefine our plans and dream again. Spring speaks to me of HOPE! Floral bouquets decorate most patios and the hedges wear their prettiest dresses. It is lovely, bright and beautiful. Joy filled animals and dancing flowers, newborns and newlyweds. Spring brings Easter and with it comes the reminder that new life is ours.

 

I could never have too much Spring! If I was told I must choose one season to live in for the rest of my days, I think it would be spring. It allows me the cosy rain showers of winter, the warmth of the summer sun, and the vibrant colours of autumn all rolled into one! Almost every day in spring, no matter what your plans are, you can open your eyes and say “Well, it certainly is a beautiful day for it!” ~ Spring I welcome you from afar, although I must say, this year, winter has allowed you to sneak out and play with us in the most spontaneous and unexpected ways. Yes the calendar shows me it is winter, but inside it feels a lot like spring! And though my life is not exactly where I had hoped it would be, nor has every dream or wish come true yet, I know that spring will somehow make it easier to hope again.  To quote our furry friend Winnie The Pooh, “Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you.  And all you can do is go where they can find you!”  ~ Every season spills out its own wonder on the earth, but none is as magnificent nor astonishing as spring.  So although it is still winter technically, why not go get some poetry and hums, and let spring come out to play in your heart, where blossoms and butterflies and April showers make you shine!

Don’t Say “Some Day.•*”♣

DON’T SAY “SOME DAY”¸.•*”♣
written by Denise Kennedy
A cloudy day can sometimes provide the perfect atmosphere for thinking……hmmmm don’t you think?
Well today it did just that for me. Sometimes it is not so easy to put your fingers on those humble laptop keys, to try to communicate what it is that you want to share with the blogging world….and does anybody care?
I believe it is still worth the risk….of opening up your heart, letting the lessons you have learned reach out to the lives of others and choose even to share your vulnerability and also strengths. As you pour out those words, it is like placing soft footprints in the sand….for others to see, not only where you have been but where you are going. Don’t underestimate the words you write, for they can be the bright shining star in a darkened sky that a fellow traveler desperately needs to follow. God uses your words, He uses your hard days as well as your best days, to show others that we all walk this path in weakness and in strength,  but together.
The following words motivated me to write today…
” I will get around to it some day….”, I heard her say as she passed me by on her cell phone. A total stranger to me, yet our hearts were linked simply by the phrase she used.       A phrase we often read, or say. We plan to do it, we plan to achieve so much but rarely make it a reality. Today I decided, enough of the putting things off until another day…or the famous “some day” of my future!
“It is time to arise.” I told my head and my heart…It is time to awaken the dreams, the promises you made over the years, to your very own heart. Time to arouse the gifts, the talents, the exciting future that you believed you would see. It is not too late! Either you do it or it won’t happen, and it certainly will not happen if you do not try.
So I took time to really look at what is in my heart….What am I waiting for? What are the things I really want to see happen either in my life, or through my life to impact others?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I took a nose dive and plunged deep inside my own passions and took a good look at what was there. I blew the dust off and tore down the cobwebs of my own making.  To be honest, I battled against what I saw. I came face to face with the closed up boxes of my heart. The undiscovered oceans of my course. I stared at all of the unfulfilled plans before my eyes. Immediately I wanted to run away. I was afraid to feel anything.  To dare to dream again. It is easier to live with no expectations I mused to myself.  It is safer to close the door to my heart and decide to not live from that place.  But curiosity drew me back to look inside.
This is what I saw…I saw the unpublished books, the unseen adventures and the many undeveloped photographs…the unsung songs, the people in my life that love and need the “real me”…I heard the unanswered calls to take a risk. I saw it…all there in my heart. It displayed itself there before me….and my dreams extended an invitation to me…to the adventure of a life time. Of my life time.
And my future waited. It waited for me. It asked me to reply to the invitation to live the adventure. But it wouldn’t always. I realized that the ‘some days” of my life are running out….I think I have all the time in the world, but really “some day” is in fact TODAY. So after this long stare at my heart, I took a deep breath, I inhaled courage again, and determination.  Everyone wants a hero, a prince on a white horse, right? It is the age old wish of every princess. I still believe in romance. But today I urge you, to be a valiant hero in your own story. Lean over and kiss the lips of your own sleeping beauty, the sleeping desires within you. Reach out and awaken the noble steed inside you. Get ready to gallop. Gird up your loins for battle, the battle to see your dreams come true. You are not alone, the host of heaven cheers you on. The God of your heart goes ahead of you to make the way possible to achieve the dreams He has placed in you. Your companions are COURAGE and BRAVERY….They stand mighty beside you to protect you from DOUBT and FEAR!
I know them only too well, those days that you hear yourself say “some day”.
Well  those words rob you of your future, and steal your reward. They chase away the very joy of life from your heart. You must banish those words from your mind,   and decide that it is a new season. Open up your heart and say YES to the adventure that calls to you. Be a hero in your own story, in your own life. Be a hero in the lives of those around you who also need to chase those words away.
Time is too precious. You are a treasure.
Sleeping Beauty has been asleep too long! =)
Come on,  I have the horses ready!
xX niseyk ¸.•*”♣

A Lesson From Alice In Wonderland * ♥`•.¸¸.•♥ by Denise

Written by Denise Kennedy ♣¸.•*”♣¸.•*”♣
You are never too old to dream……
(SIDE NOTE ~ Even though I wrote this a while ago (in 2009 actually) I somehow felt it may touch someone today who needs to read it!)
It was early one February morning. I was on my way to work. I took a detour through the Westbury Mall
(off Grafton Street)…Dublin city centre..=)
As I sipped my vanilla latte & searched my bag for the keys I needed…my eyes were distracted by a huge poster hanging on the lower half of a children’s clothing store in the Westbury Mall…Giving it only a quick glance I kept on walking, not giving the details of the big white poster with heavy bold writing on it much attention. But….As I kept walking I “felt” I should go back and read it, that there was something in it I needed to see – But I still kept walking to work…Eventually I stopped in my tracks, I could not ignore it, for some reason I had to walk all the way back to the shop to see why I was supposed to read this poster.
….BUT…….before I tell you what was written there…I must tell you of the thoughts that filled my head on my stroll from where I live to the city centre that morning….
I was thinking over & over about the future, about where God wants me? What shall I do next in my life?…and about many people in my life…Well to be honest I had myself all tied up in knots by the time I got to the Mall – thoughts were looming over me, fears of the future, the economy (although there is no recession in Heaven) and how will I provide for myself etc etc…I am sure you all get my drift.
All my questions seemed IMPOSSIBLE to answer for my heavy heart and tired mind! Then…..I walked back to read the poster that seemed to stop me in my tracks…this is what it said….(Keep in mind it was hanging on the door of a designer Children’s clothing boutique…)
~~~~~~~”There is no use trying,” said Alice.”One can’t believe for impossible things .”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” replied the Queen ,”when I was your age I always did it for half an hour a day. Why ,sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast !!”
(from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.) ~~~~~~~
WELL as you can imagine tears welled up in my eyes…I felt so reminded by a seemingly insignificant shop poster that the GOD of the Universe sees me – knows me and more than that HE wants me to believe for IMPOSSIBLE things – no matter how hard things ever seem with my limited vision – HE SEES ALL THINGS and with HIM all things are POSSIBLE – Suffice to say that before I even took another step from that door, I began to believe for impossible things…and all before breakfast!!!
If we would only take a few minutes to notice the seemingly insignificant things around us, God may actually be trying to use them to remind us of His truth!
“All things are possible to him that believes.” Mark 9 v23
(“,) with childlike faith…believe for the impossible! DREAM A BIG DREAM!!
It is never too late to start!
✟ღ◄♥*´¨`*♥*´¨`*♥♫ ♫ ♪
Denise
 

THIS IS A COPYRIGHTED ARTICLE & NOT TO BE COPIED OR SHARED….
Thanks! If it is used it will violate my future publishing rights to use it. Denise

Strength Will Rise ♣ by Denise

 ~ written by Denise Kennedy

“Hello Sunshine!”…I said as I stood on my bed to open my bedroom window as far as it would go without falling out…and then lay in the early morning sunshine that seemed to promise it would be a glorious blue sky day. The sun streamed in my window and warmed my skin as I eased in to the day with my daily reading and God time. I love days like this when I can be still and quiet and waken my mind to new ideas and plans. My attention drifted as I turned the page of my current devotional, to the sounds of life outside my open window….I thought of God and His creation, and the amazing bird song that filled the garden below.

A huge bumble bee buzzed loudly as it hovered at the entrance to my window, I stared at it intently, and it seemed to stare right back at me as it pondered what to do next. It was so big I am not even sure how those tiny wings actually kept it in the air at all. Finally I won the staring game and it buzzed off to leave me in peace, for if it had come in surely there would have been  a contest between us, and I would have won.

Then the most incredible sound rose from the trees in my garden, a melody so beautiful filled the warm summer air. A lone voice with pitch and accuracy sang a song of frenzy and excitement.

It made me smile. I wondered what birds think as they sing? Do they think of the Creator who made them? Do they think of the next juicy worm they will catch?  Do they wake up eager to fill those lungs with air and belt out those amazing tunes of life and celebration at the dawning of a new day?

I would like to think they do. I guess on a stunningly beautiful day like this, that a song is never hard to find. That it is easy to sing, with such enjoyable and peaceful surroundings as your stage.

No microphone was required, all that is needed is a branch and a key to start. And so it sang and I found myself staring at the incredible blue sky above.

Moments later I returned to the next page of my book and was soon lost in the challenges and truth of the writer and allowed my mind to be consumed with the lesson at hand.

Pages turned and minutes past, and a sound of a different kind drew my attention to the window opened wide beside me…a fresh cool breeze blew and the warmth of the sun vanished…I left my book aside and crawled up on to my window sill, just catching the final ray of sunshine as it disappeared behind a cloud….not just one cloud, but the largest thickest black cloud you could imagine. What a contrast to the scene I had last enjoyed. Just then the rain started, no subtle drops or gradual introduction, it came hard and fast upon an unsuspecting garden. I could smell it in the air…serious rain! The sun was nowhere to be seen, although shining above the clouds for sure. The rain was furious, racing down to kiss the earth, nothing was untouched, it pounded the pathway to the clothes line and bounced off the window sill, inches away from where I sat inside. As I looked I dragged a warm fleece blanket around me and just watched it, it kind of entertained me. I giggled and thought to myself how glad I was to be this side of the window pane.

It was a downpour, of monsoon proportions, huge drops that flattened the grass and weighed heavy on the leaves of the trees. The flowers and summer buds danced along with little choice or option as the rain clearly led the way. Soon came the loud thunder in the clouds, it almost commanded attention with its sudden outburst. I jumped a little as I didn’t expect it. But I still remained on the window sill, as if testing the elements. I was strangely relaxed on my own perch.

Then I heard it, a beautiful response, coming from the heights above me…in the tall trees near by…the birds still sang!  Though everything had changed from a peaceful morning-glory to a darkened wet storm, the birds still sang! I dragged my legs close to me and wrapped my arms around them, huddled and warm and dry under my blanket, as the birds still sang in the rain. Their surroundings were harder now, it was not so easy to sing now as it had been moments ago. This was the kind of rain that would  cause shoppers and cyclists to stop and take shelter in a shop or nearby bus shelter….but no, not the birds, they still found a reason to sing!

If anything they sang louder, as if in competition with this very wet imposter who dared to cause them to be silenced and flee for safety. They sang out the sweetest victorious refrain, and now there were many of them, all joining in together…all different pitches and squeals and twitters. It was magnificent.

I thought to myself, it is a lot like life….the storms come to try to silence the song in us. The rain comes suddenly at times, when we least expect it, and tries to cause us to run away and hide.

But I want to be like these birds, when the storms come, and they will my friend, I want to find a voice deeper with in me that will not be quiet, that will find a way to sing, no matter what I see!

I want to celebrate the rain as well as the sun, for each must come in order for there to be life.

In the storm I want to find strength, the kind of strength that rises from weakness, the kind of strength that finds a song come shine or come rain! The kind of strength that turns in to a song that rises from the lungs of a vessel that knows God is in control and will never fail, never!

I thought of those melodious birds, as the harsh rain drops pelted them on the head, yet they opened their beaks and sang their sweet song, despite the elements or circumstances that surrounded them. Were they taken by surprise by the sudden heavy rains? I doubt it, and even if they were, I think they would still have chosen to respond with their victory song. They know the One who looks after them, who feeds them and clothes them. They know the One who never lets them down, in every season of life. I want to be more like these beautiful songbirds, to sing in every season, a song of trust!

To choose to trust whether sudden or expected changes come my way. Whether I understand my circumstances or not, whether the morning brings joy or the night brings tears.

I know, I am sure you do too, strength is rising! I can hear you now, opening your beak (lips) to sing……=)

Written by Denise Kennedy

June 13th 2011

♣¸.•*”♣¸.•*”♣¸.•*” THANKS for the follow! =) NiseyK

 


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