》HONOUR《

In June we are exploring HONOUR. (Also- It’s June whattttt- this year is flying!!) She Spreads Light are hosting our very first event at the end of the month based on honour so we thought that this would be a great theme to be exploring and digging deeper into what honour really means to us.
In the Oxford dictionary, honour is defined as  “High respect; great esteem.”, “The quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.” Or “Something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing pride and pleasure; a privilege.”

In the Bible, Honour is described through all of these definitions. The commandments describe honour in the terms of high respect..  E.g “honour your father and mother” – Exodus 20:1

By the definition of morals the bible says; “never tire of doing what is good” -2 Thessalonians 3:13

And finally in terms of privilege, firstly Jesus is a privilege, this world is a privilege, your life is a privilege. A verse that describes honour in terms of privilege is Ephesians 2:8-9- “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

I’m a person who likes to understand every definition of aa word and be able to relate it to something so apologies if you knew the words inside out, but it’s always nice to give your memory a refreshment!

So having all the important stuff out of the way. What does honour mean to me? I would associate honour with the first definition mostly- respect and esteem. So here I am talking about honouring your body and I’m excited for this. There’s many aspects to honouring your body. Today I’m going to be focusing a small part of the physical and mental aspect.

•physically•

As a physical approach, the body is what you see as a normal person and not a surgeon or even a radiologist. Real life isn’t Grey’s Anatomy, sadly but quite thankfully too. The bible tells us that our bodies are temples (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and we should treat them as we would a temple. We wouldn’t tell a temple it is ugly, nor damage it, and we wouldn’t leaves it to rot and wear away if it somehow gets damaged. Honouring our bodies are hard a lot of the time. It’s difficult to love yourself and it is difficult to believe that you are a masterpiece at times but it is the truth. I’m currently feeling like a massive hypocrite telling all of you to love yourselves when there are days when I don’t, and there’s days when I don’t believe that God wanted to make me this way. I know the truth but sometimes I don’t want to believe that truth. But so many of us are like this girl or boy, man or woman and quite possibly cat or dog.

When I was younger, my granny always gave my sisters and I £5 pocket money. I always would have been so excited to go to the shop after leaving to buy a new magazine. Although these magazine were aimed at pre-teens and teenagers. (think of TOTP, shout etc.). These magazines had covers and pages filled with celebrities, I remember getting a magazine and there was a poster of the High School Musical cast. I admired that poster with an admiration so deep-looking back it is so embarrassing. I remember wishing that I  could sing as good as Vanessa, I wish I had golden blonde hair like Ashley,  and I wish I was as intelligent as Monique, never mind being as pretty as them and as thin as them. Even today I still find myself looking at the magazines in a shop like cosmopolitan, vogue and glamour in which the covers are of beautiful, perfect, photogenic women, who have perfectly tanned bodies, clear skin and have no sign of fat or flaws. It’s so draining to try and love yourself in a world which doesn’t want to you love yourself, and a world which portrays women as having to be perfect and a world which poses a fake reality. I never saw any magazines which showed real women, which showed women who had problems.

As someone who has a body littered in scars like how an arena looks after a concert or how a field looks after a festival. It’s almost fake to say that your scars are beautiful. As a girl who’s scars are mostly intentional writing about honouring your body is a little bit or probably a whole lot laughable, but kind of a complete turn around and kind of humbling to know that I can still honour my body even after everything done to try and damage it and after every hateful thought towards it. Knowing that as much as I may have hated my body, it loved me back so incredibly much that it heals itself from minor bruises and cuts, it fights common infections, it keeps breathing it keeps going. Its comforting knowing that I am forgiven for ruining a masterpiece and that my apology to my body is accepted wholly. The body God made for you is a miracle in itself. Healing is another theme in itself so we’ll leave that for another post.

I am constantly amazed by the fact that god created us and handcrafted us to perfection, he even knows the number of hairs on your head. And I know you’ve probably heard this a billion times but its so incredible. I would hate to see a beautiful building falling apart, or a piece of art destroyed it would hurt my heart. So much. Even imagine your favourite, most sentimental, most beautiful thing you own getting damaged. This is what I imagine God feels when we don’t honour our own bodies and when we don’t love ourselves enough.

Looking at yourself in a different perspective can help you honour your body. For example, when your dress shopping for a big event, find the things that you like about your body in the dress. Or when you think things like I wish I was as thin as them or I wish my nose wasn’t like this. Tell yourself things like I love my eyes or I like that I’m short. Lets get one thing straight but. Beauty is not outward appearance.

Honour your body by doing the right things, like exercising, feeding it right and caring for it when it’s hurt. Rachel’s category, Take Care of Yourself is a really good read to dig deeper into the physical perspectives of honouring your body in a fitness aspect that I would honestly have no idea what to write about.

mentally

The first time I asked for prayer for my mental health I was 15, I was trembling , sweating and my voice was shaky. So shaky that I’m surprised that the girl could understand what I was saying. I was honestly expecting her to look at me and say “you look put together and happy, plus you’re too young to experience mental health issues; wise up. Is there something else you want prayer for?” but she didn’t; she went on and prayed, so deeply with so much love and so much passion. After she was finished we talked for a really short time and she was so supportive and really lovely about it. I’m honoured that prayer happened that night and massively proud that I plucked the courage in my introverted, shy, anxious being to get up, because it was a night which changed my perspectives on how the church really does view mental health and issues surrounding it.

Mental health is something not widely talked about in the church, but I think that’s it’s not that the church doesn’t want to support , more so the fact that it’s still a taboo and there’s still a stigma attached.

A word I remember so clearly from that prayer is joy. She prayed that I would find true joy in Him. True joy is unexplainable. It’s kind of like being with your best friend, at your favourite place, eating your favourite thing, listening to your favourite music and wearing your favourite thing- when nothing goes wrong and there’s no deep sadness that overrides that joy- but so much better. It like the adrenaline pumping through your body at a concert before the main act comes out- then they come out- then there’s screams- then they begin singing- then pure silence- pure peace. Joy is beautiful and divine.  Impossible to describe accurately. Joy is that peace that god provides. I don’t know about you but I don’t think I experienced true joy for a long time before I loved Jesus. See that concert and the favourite things those aren’t everlasting, they’re not going to be there forever after a few hours the adrenaline gone and the lights are back on and the arena is left littered and empty. Sure, there are a few dark days in-between the  joyous days, but He is ways there no matter how dark it is.  The joy He provides is permanent and eternal. A friend of mine explained Joy much better in a beautiful and honest post last night have a read to explore it more.

Peace is found in Him. Find Him and you will find peace. It’s so important to take care of your mental health. Honouring your physical body enables you to also honour your body’s mentality. Speaking love to yourself and speaking hope and speaking peace. Allowing gods voice to overrule the negative thoughts and allowing the worship to take over. Practicing self care is so good. Self care is as little as brushing your teeth in the morning to going for a run. My go thing for self care is pulling out my bible and flicking through the pages I’ve wrote in sand drawn on and also pulling out a box which holds all my letters, notes and just things I want to keep and reading them- some I read more than once or twice. Here’s a huge list of self-care.

This month I pray that God would break your heart for what breaks His, especially in how you see yourself and how you respect yourself as a person and body crafted by the one who loves you with all of His heart. I pray that you would honour yourself with such a deep love and respect that you would believe you are beautiful and that you are worthy and that you are a masterpiece. I pray that you find peace on god and allow him to overrule the negative and the things holding you back from living the life of love and the things holding you back from living for him.

We love you all so much and we are so excited for the rest of this theme to unfold into the incredible Honour event.

Lots of love, SSL. xo

Filling the void

20170418_182214Most of us have a period of time when we’re journeying through life with Jesus, that we feel distant and feel unloved. No matter how much faith I have and no matter how much love I have for  Jesus, there is always that one patch, that week or month or however long, where you still love Jesus and you still have so much faith, but there’s something wrong, there’s something that is stopping the love of Jesus from filling you up and you start to feel unloved and abandoned. I remember when I first became a Christian, I loved it, I was so filled with joy and felt so incredibly loved, but not so long after, it disappeared, it was almost like Jesus just left me in the middle of the night with a note to say He doesn’t love me anymore.

I found things to fill the void that I thought Jesus had left. Going back to things that were so evident that I wasn’t okay and I wasn’t happy. Some days are harder than others and that’s okay, making mistakes are okay because his grace is so good and He has an undeniable mercy for each and every one of us. But that doesn’t mean that we should go and do these things out of anger or hatred or because we’re feeling unloved, and we shouldn’t keep going back to these things because they might fill the void, but they won’t give you the joy that Jesus gave you before.

***

Dear Hosea,

I’ve left.

Don’t come looking for me. I don’t love you anymore. I’m exhausted with you, I’m sick and tired of the kids and changing nappies and cleaning up puke in the middle of the night. I’m sick of you loving your God more than me, and giving him more attention than you ever gave me. I’ve left the children with the neighbours and left.

Bye.

-Gomer”

That’s the letter I left to Hosea. My husband, the man I thought loved me.  I mean he did love me, I think he did. He saved me from the utter mess of my life, he said the vows “till death do us apart.” I don’t really know what love is, but it felt like love, until recently. I didn’t feel loved. I was completely exhausted and tired of him, his preaching, how could I be a preacher’s wife if I didn’t even know God if I don’t love him and he didn’t love me? Hosea loved to preach and loved to give his audience more attention than me and his kids. I don’t understand how he could name his children “unloved” and “not my people”, how heartless could you be? Yeah, maybe I did cheat, maybe I was unfaithful to him but I don’t understand how he could know that, so surely it wasn’t that.

Hosea left for work one evening. I got the chance, and I took it. I left the kids next door, wrote a note and left. I went back to my old life. I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t wait to see everyone again and be welcomed with open arms and smiles. I thought I was the easy way out. I thought this would be the way it would be. I thought the paths would be straight and flat, with no obstacles in the way, but they weren’t, not like usual. The paths I knew so well became paths that felt like I never traveled before. I was completely and totally lost. I didn’t know where to go. I couldn’t go back to Hosea. He would never forgive me. So I was homeless. Left completely alone on the streets. No shelter, no clean clothes, no money. Nothing.

“Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now.’”

Hosea 2:6-7

Then something amazing and unbelievable happened…

~Gomer.

***

You see, we are more like Gomer than you would ever believe. If we said that Gomer was us and Hosea was God, would you relate? Definitely. Gomer felt distant, she felt unloved, she felt exhausted. Gomer Felt these things. She wasn’t these things.

These things she felt made her feel somewhat empty, so there she went and found something to fill that void. She left her world behind. Her husband, her children, her home, her new life. And she went back to her old life. The miserable, homeless, poor life where she spent her nights sleeping around just to get by and buy a meal. She filled the void by sleeping around and getting just enough money to eat.

Hosea loved Gomer incredibly and abundantly, just like God loves us undeniably. We often find things to fill the void whether it be alcohol, relationships, sex or drugs when we feel distant from God and when we feel he isn’t with us. It’s so important to know that when we feel like this, He is still with us and He does still love us and He wants you to be happy. We know that He will never leave us, so why do we allow the devil to make us believe it? He is always there and He will always love you. Stop looking for something to fill the void and start looking for Jesus. I Promise it will be completely fine!!

SSL. x

*It was an absolute privilege to carry on in Shannon’s Legacy for part 3 of the last 2 parts. I pray that I didn’t take anything away from her beautiful adaptation of the story, or indeed the Original story and I hope you enjoy part 3 as much as I enjoyed writing it and as much as you enjoyed Shannon’s posts.

– Katelyn.

 

 

Slave To Son

So Seshan gave his daughter in marriage to Jahra his slave – 1 Chronicles 2 v 35

When Seshans daughter and Jahra got married the daughter would have been seen as adding to Jahra’s family in more ways than being a wife. Therefore the young man was expected to give something to componsate.  Yet Jahra became a son and a husband. “Now Seshan had no sons… but an Eygptian slave”. Jahra in one swoop changed from a slave to a son.

Under Roman law an adoped son was recognised in the same way as a natural son – at the time of adoption all of the records of the sons previous life were destroyed. The son  became a new creation with all the inheritance of a natural son. You know where I’m going with this…

Being reborn is becoming someome you have never been before, this new identidy is spirt level not flesh level. It turns our identidy from sinful to righteous. Jahra turned from a enslaved, orphan to a free, son with all the inheritance Seshan could offer. SO often we as christians believe we fall in love with God, he saves us, we do a few miracles by Gods grace and go to heaven. I’m not diminishing that but that is not all there is. God called you to be a new creation because he longs for you to reach higher heights than you ever have before. When we decide to do this life thing with God that means we have the creator of the universe, all powerful, all knowing on our side – If Gods love doesn’t change how you live that definitely should. He longs for your identidy to change from sinful to righteous and that you would truly know what that means.

For you dear one were bought with a price. An expensive price – tears, beating, death and mourning. You were bought with the biggest price – life. SO that you could not only go to heaven but that you could live a life full of freedom. Recognising your true identidy as an natural son or daughter of the one who created you.

xo

Will Be

11 “People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. People did the same evil things to the prophets who lived before you.

There is a promise of persecution. That is true but there is also a promise of joy. Verse 11 says “will be” not could be or might be but “will be”. That there is joy even in times of persecution for us to claim.

I have never felt the pain of true persecution I live in a country of freedom yet I know persecution on small scale, between school and family. And you know what sometimes its hard to be strong and authoritive in your faith when the people you love the most are not being the kindest; but God did “not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of sound mind.” Know in your spirit and heart today that people are partnering with you. That God holds you by the palm. That he see’s you, that he cries with you. That he only ever wants what is best for you because he is a good God. That going through the fire refines us it doesn’t break us. You are a whole lot stronger than you could have ever thought that you are.

Know today that whatever you are facing Joy is possible. Always. Not fake smiles, but contentment and true happiness even when you find yourself in a situation that you wish not to be true. When you find yourself broken and battered know that joy is still and always will be possible. Figure out who God needs to be for you today and find it in the word. Recite it over and over and know that he is ALWAYS Faithful.

For in the darkest of days all star shines, whether dimmed or bright. Just like the stars you will keep shining, and God will keep supplying your every need. I promise.

 

 

Misery or Miracles

Jesus in his misery still put others first.

John was murdered. His head was out on a plate and his body was now in the grave. He had been killed because of a woman and Herod thought that he was the risen Jesus.

Jesus went to be alone. As most would if you’re best friend just got murdered because of you… But still a crowd followed him.

This is one if the only times in the bible Jesus went to be alone so why did these people follow? Because Jesus has healing in his wings.

They followed because they knee their past was no shame to the risen God they new that if they only stood in his shadow healing could and would come about. They followed because they had faith.

How many times do we ask for things but never actually have the faith to believe it. We think we have faith, we know we love Jesus but do we really have the nitty gritty faith to get down and dirty with our prayers?

Jesus in his misery felt sorry for the people so he healed those who were sick. He is compassionate. How many times does God break you’re heart for someone? Are you numb to the world we live in or are you a being whose heart breaks for everything.

Today have the faith to believe for the people who God has broke you’re heart for. Even in you’re misery have the faith and the compassion to pray anyway.

Love

image

Working 9-5

When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that there were no more breaks in it—even though I hadn’t yet installed the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent this message: “Come and meet with us at Kephirim in the valley of Ono.” I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this: “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?”
Nehemiah 6:1-3 MSG

Yes God has called us to rest but also he has called us to work. Millions of years ago God designed you to do a specific work for the kingdom, be that singing, drawing, talking or fixing things. He called you to do what he set out for you years ago. He called you to love. To life & to things that are so much better than what this world has to offer. He called you to life and life to the fullest. But to reach that life we must go through this life. When my brain gets all muddled I like to concentrate on simple truths like Jesus loves me & he loves you even if I do something that he doesn’t love. The truth that his grace is enough and that I am forgiven. When I really sit down and think about it this life is about one thing and one thing only God. GODS LOVE. CHARACTER&FORGIVENESS. My destination may not be determined by my misdirection but it is determined by my savour. The one who bled died and rose again just to set you & I free.
So I will work morning and night to rebuild the wall. The wall that is faith in Jesus in my city, school, work and community. I will rest when God says rest but untill that day where I meet Jesus face to face. I will work for the kingdom of God and no man else.

All my love x

Clothes Matter

Proverbs 31 v 21-22

21 She does not worry about her family when it snows,
    because they all have fine clothes to keep them warm.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
    her clothes are made of linen and other expensive material.

Recently I have been reading Be Committed by Warren W. Wiersbe, within one of the passages it talks about Ruth and how when she went to meet Boaz she prepared her clothes. “In scripture clothing carries a spiritual meaning. She was put off by the garments of a sorrowing widow and dress for a wedding. Ruth probably didn’t have a large wardrobe but she would have one special garment for a festive occasions.” In Luke 15 v 22 and Isaiah 61 v 10- “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Salvation is pictured as a change of clothes and Christian living means taking off the “grave clothes” of the old life and putting on the “grace clothes” of the new life. What we wear matters, how we present and dress ourselves. If you dress up, you feel up. Doesn’t make sense, but wait, when I make effort to look a certain way often I feel better about myself. When I clothe my day in  prayer, it sets me free and gives me peace. God paid the ultimate price in order to clothe you in the most expensive things of all, grace, freedom and love. You were bought with a price and he freely gave his life so we could live in relationship with him.

Isn’t that incredible.

All my love x