“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.
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.
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.
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.
♪♫•*¨*•. In The Hallway .•*¨*•♫♪ by Denise Kennedy
For several weeks now, a phrase I heard has rolled around my head, at times causing me to literally stop all I am doing and let it impact my heart deeply. ♪♫•*¨*•.“Until God opens the next door for you, PRAISE Him in the hallway!”.•*¨*•♫♪
As I sat in the garden to begin writing this piece, and had simply written the quote at the top of my blank page, my cell phone rang…my dear friend shared this exact quote with me as we talked, having had no idea what I was writing about…perfect timing and confirmation!
God opens doors it’s true – sometimes He opens them as soon as we ask, while at other times He chooses to open them whether we ask or not. There are occasions when God seems to keep us in the holding pattern, circling to land, and we wait and wait. Recently a huge open door presented itself in my life, and as I currently walk through it, I’m very much aware of the other doors I want to open in my life. There is a lesson in ‘doors’ and a learning curve in how we handle them.
Is there anything grander than that perfect ‘door-swinging open’ moment? When at last that brilliant big door you have been waiting on, opens wide before you and you rush right through it with heart-beating expectation, and excitement. It is a wonderful time, and we thank God as we run with our arms waving over our head like a giddy child at Christmas. So, what happens when the door seems to be solemnly closed, at least for now, or forever? Do we sit sunken and dispondant in the hallway of our life, dreading the season of waiting? Do we sit there quite possibly drooling at the door handle begging it to open, and tiresomely hating even the wallpaper or paint on the familiar walls around us? In this place our attitudes can become indifferent or non-challant, despairing and forlorn. But read again for me if you will, these thought provoking words: “Until God opens the next door for you, PRAISE Him in the hallway!” ~ read them again, this time slowly and let them sink deeply into your tired heart. Let them rest there unshaken and still.
♪♫•*¨*•.“Until God opens the next door for you, PRAISE Him in the hallway!”.•*¨*•♫♪
What door are you waiting on? Are you imagining a new career which will suddenly bring success and comfort into your life? Is there some new quest or adventure beckoning you on to a place of wonder, that somehow seems out of grasp for now? What or who are you possibly waiting for? Well, stop right now – could it be that in all of the time you are waiting for these doors to open, that God wants you to learn to be content right where you are, with Him in the hallway of your life? With Him in the hallway could be the preparation place for what is behind that yet closed door? There could be amazing secrets, words of wisdom and songs of ascent that He longs to share with you, as you sit in the hallway of your present life. Don’t wish this season away, there are diamonds and gems to be gleaned at your feet.
Have you ever locked yourself out of your hotel room? You sit there on the soft plush carpet hoping a room porter will come along, or you wait on that family member who said they would be with you shortly. You suddenly notice the hallway you usually rush hurriedly down, in a whole new light and from a very different view now that you’re sitting on the floor. You see the beautiful light fittings on the chandelier above you, or you admire the ornate mirrors and exquisite paintings on the walls. You take time to appreciate the flowers in the cut glass vases and the stunning antique furniture beneath them. You see, sometimes God causes the doors to close so that we simply learn to appreciate what is around us, and we begin to praise Him in the hallway of paused moments. True it has to be said, when we finally get inside to the other side of the closed door, we truly welcome it with a greater appreciation, having had to wait for it. The delays can cause a deeper appreciation to grow in us, which will make the grand door opening event a far more delightful experience. Sometimes, what the heart must wait longer for, it also grows to miss and then value much more!
God may open the right door but in a different way, He may even open a completely different door at a time we had not foreseen or planned. He may even lead us through a door we do not want or desire at any time in our lives, and these are the moments that show us whether we really trust Him or not. These seasons reveal to us what is really in our heart – if we trust Him as the ‘Door Opener’ of our lives, then we trust His timing too! You may see others rush through the doors that you yourself wanted, and as they disappear through it leaving you with only the sound of their laughter, you sink again onto the carpet of your life and wonder why? It seems so unfair you feel – but for now, just leave the lives of others in His hands, their journey is not any of your business, let it go. Don’t envy the lives of others, when really only they and God know the journey that took them to that place of His providence. The same God of providence and provision is also with you. He longs to be the One your eyes are fixed upon as you sit in your hallway. He wants to be the One you lean on, run to, sing to, cry to, talk to, laugh with, live with, rely on and depend on! The doors that you walk through are important, but timing is crucial and critical, indeed the right door at the wrong time is a disaster waiting to happen. So whether someone else has closed a door for you, or indeed if it were you who slammed it shut yourself, start trusting God that He can open it again at just the perfect time. If an employer, friend or family member has let you down with regard to a door you were pounding on, stop pushing it! Begin instead to look to the only One who holds all the keys to all of the doors, all of the careers, jobs, plans, adventures, and dreams you’re hoping for in the future. If you’re tired of pounding doors or screaming at them to open, decide to sit down, not in defeat but in strength. For you know that the Key Holder is in control, and at just the right time and in just the most perfectly beautiful way, He is able to unlock that door, sweep you up and walk you through it.
As I walk through doors, and contemplate many new ones, I know that there is a still, quiet place called the hallway – and there are wonderful lessons to learn there, there is strength to be found there, with the Key Holder of my life.
“We have the choice to: Worry or Worship. Panic or Pray. Tremble or Trust.” – Rick Warren ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
There are doors we are called to wait at, keep knocking on or keep believing for – these are the ‘Faith Doors’ in our lives, and we keep on asking and seeking, and God will honour us as we trust Him. But whether the doors open that we want or not, we must learn to ‘Praise Him In The Hallway’, while we wait – God also waits, on our honest response! So sit down in strength, in trust and in the knowledge that the One with the keys and time in His hands, knows what He is doing –
He is doing something in our hearts in the hallway!
It was a normal kind of day, for me. Although I read recently; “There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.” (A. Woollcott) ~ but as I made my way home on my usual power walk from college, the path seemed the same as it always was and I simply soaked in the beauty of spring emerging around me.
~ ❤ ~
As I meandered up the street, birds sang and daffodils waved to me in the light breeze. Then I heard it, laughter and giggling. I wondered who it was. I soon started to smile too, as it was an infectious kind of giggling and it beautifully broke my somewhat lonesome walk. I then turned onto a blossom covered avenue, and there they were; a nervous mother and an excited little lady all of about six years of age. The little princess was rushing to climb onto her shiny new bicycle. Picture the scene; cherry blossoms have lightly dusted the footpath and roadway, as if cheering her on, as a little blonde learner tries to steady herself on her vehicle. She is dressed all in pink from her glittering hair bobbins to the pink and gold runners on her feet. Even her bicycle was a bright hot pink, as it shone in the sunlight.
I walked slowly, I wanted to take it in. I surmised easily that this was a cycling lesson. One nervous mother, plus one giddy courageous six year old and factor in “no stabilisers”, equals a recipe for fun or that of disaster. I stood there, the unnoticed audience at the corner of the avenue. The mother did her very best to stay at the side of her wobbling enthusiastic child. The novice cyclist clearly had never cycled without the aid of her stabilisers firmly supporting her, and although she was excited there was a look of fear and caution in her face. Her mum was wearing a long black jacket which clearly was not a good choice, as she stopped every few seconds to grab it up under her arm so that she could get closer to her adventurous youngster while not getting caught in the spokes.
I looked into the mother’s face, she was scared, yet exhilarated with joy to see her daughter trying so hard to steady herself and not fall. This young at heart mother seemed quite like a child herself, as she rambled along beside her daughter watching her every attempt to stay upright and not collide with any of the parked cars. What a beautiful scene,blossoms, birds chirping and life happening right there in front of me! Perhaps this mother was filled with thoughts of when she first learned to cycle properly? As I stood there, my mind raced back to those days of conquering a two wheeler bike myself. I remember the thrill and the adrenaline of finally chasing the breeze on that country road. Cycling was always one of my favourite pastimes, freedom and adventure were mine then. I remember especially those many occasions when I needed to cycle downhill with my legs on the handlebars so the farmer’s dog could not bite me as I whizzed by. I was scared silly but what a challenge.
So back to today ~ Well the little girl won her battle with gravity and suddenly that fearful little face was full of joy and accomplishment. The nervous giggles I had first heard had now turned to full blown laughter as she took off down the street away from me, with her mother chasing her from behind with a laughter equal in every way to that of her little pink angel, and a determination to stay beside her to keep her safe.
Then came my lesson; right there, on the side of that cherry blossomed road, I realised that I had spent all of that morning grappling and fighting with thoughts about the future, what next? What was I supposed to do with my life? Asking God to come and guide me. That was when the giggling distracted me from my anxious thoughts. So I rested my back against the tree behind me, and let God speak. And He did. He reminded me that I am in some ways like this little girl learning to ride the bicycle of life, I am OK when I know where I am going and how to stay upright and in my lane; but as soon as it seems apparent to me that a change is coming or I must navigate a path I have not cycled before nor chosen, that I become nervous and would rather dismount or run away. Like a movie scene, He showed me so many occasions when I was afraid, how He came along beside me, and never left my side, nor would He ever. As warm tears filled my eyes, I spoke the words out loud “He will never ever leave me!”. Even when I think I can handle it on my own, He is still there, ready to take hold of me when I fall or when I fail. On that blossomed path, He brought it all back home to me, that He lavishes blessings over me in a million different ways every day, some I see and some I don’t. He is the great seer of all things and I can trust Him. I wiped the tears from my face and floated up the road as it were, grateful for this amazing detour.
Maybe you are learning a hard lesson, one you would have never chosen to cycle through in a million years? Maybe you are trying to help someone you love overcome a huge fear or obstacle in their life? But either way, take a few moments to remember the day you learned to cycle without stabilisers, or the day you overcame something you felt you would never surmount; and remember that the same amazing God who walked beside you then, whether you knew it or not, is right beside you now. We all have to learn to cycle without stabilisers, but in our daily lives there is a real Stabiliser who will never ever ask us to meet life’s challenges without Him.
So as I write this, I am continuing to cycle on the path He leads me, remembering that what is unknown to me, is very much known to Him! xx Nisey ~ ❤ ~