Thursday, 5 December 2013

Life Lessons

We were having our writers meeting and I had been given a label from an item of clothing. The exercise was to write something about it. Looking at the tag the word ‘indigo’ jumped out at me and as I looked at the string attached to it I was struck by the colours. Red and yellow and pink and green: the colours of the rainbow.
Life has been quite colourful lately. Daughter’s departure to York to start Uni in September, I have to admit was met with trepidation, but for all my concerns I feel blessed that she has good people around her and is enjoying her course. Then in October we had Son’s trip to hospital. That was a completely different colour, but to be honest it gave us a glimpse of another side of life. It made us aware of how precious life is and as individuals when vulnerable just how precious we each are to God. Let me share;-
My son came home from work with toothache; he described it as ‘being hit round the face with a shovel’ and said he was going to bed which was very unusual for him. Dosed up with painkillers he managed to eat and sleep that night. A visit to the dentist the next day revealed a mystery, there was nothing untoward and they could not understand why he was in so much pain. To cut a long story short by the next day son’s lip looked as if he had a quadruple dose of botox: making his lip far from attractive, look more like a beak! And by now his cheeks had become quite puffy. The doctor checking his vitals said despite his appearance he seemed healthy. It must be his teeth and because of health and safety regulations suggested we revisit the dentist. I felt we were going round and round in circles! Four days later Son was in so much pain the medication given seemed to have no effect and I noticed his eyes had started to look quite bruised.
As I mother I felt his pain alongside my own anguish as to what the problem was. All that was left was to continue to pray. I felt my son was losing his faith. ‘Where is God? I can’t stand this pain anymore!’ was his anguished cry. At this I felt my resolve rise up. ‘Enough is enough! I am pulling Heaven down to Earth right now in the name of Jesus.’
Suddenly there was like a deadly hush, then a stillness filled the room with what I can only describe as peace. Peace descended upon us right there and I suddenly recalled the words ‘be still and know that I am God.’  I looked at my son; I could tell he felt it too. ‘The pain has gone’ he said. 'Praise God!' I replied.
Downstairs listening to a CD and drinking tea I suddenly heard a bit of a clatter. It was Son he was showered and dressed and said God had spoken, he was not to be a defeatist. However, I still felt unsettled, something told me this battle was not yet won and in the early hours of the morning I was proved right. The pain was back with a vengeance and I was worried Son would take too many painkillers, he had three hours to wait for his next dose which I knew to him would seem like a life time so I said I would keep him company for a while. It was then a funny thing happened, it seemed like only a few minutes had passed when my son started pleading again but in actual fact three hours had passed! Both of us were amazed!
After Son took the medication Hubby felt an urgency to get him to the hospital. We expected a long wait due to the Friday night revelers, but it proved not to be the case, yes, there was a long wait but it was filled with the elderly, apparently they couldn’t get through on the help desk! What is our country coming too?
Seven hours later much to our surprise Son was admitted. I gave a sigh of relief and as Son settled in his bed he even said, ‘You can’t put a price on your health.’
I pondered on this as we drove home. I know the enemy is out to rob and steal and to keep us away from God; obviously because God wants the complete opposite for us, He wants us to have our best life; to be happy and whole; to savour it and experience it with Him. I also believe He turns all things around for the good if we will just trust Him.
 So if I have learnt one lesson from this experience it is that life is not always predictable. It has also taught me something more about the character of our Heavenly Father; although He is always faithful He is not predictable either. He is life itself, like the different colours of the rainbow and the different facets of a diamond there are many different facets to God. As we walk through life He wants us to share and savour some of those many different colours of life together, so that He can bring out the best in us, to make our character more like His.
Because I believe it brings us closer. Heaven can come to Earth. There is nothing like being in the Presence of God.
 We need it.
 He knows it.
One touch from Heaven is all it takes to change a life.

I felt my Spirit stir and say,
‘You paint a pretty picture!’   

Yours Truly

Other inspirations can be read in ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’ by Julie Prentice.  Available on Amazon or email for stockists. Follow us on twitter JulieJules07 on facebook page Beauty & Belief

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Do Not Be Downcast

I was having my quiet time, I like to sit and spend time where I can reflect on matters of my heart and do what I need to do to keep me feeling tick-eddy-boo (as my dear old aunt used to say)
Being honest there has been rather a lot of changes in our household over the last 6 months. A continual prayer of mine has always been for me to be a good mother and wife and lead a good life and I pray for the hearts desires of my family. 
Well I feel a major prayer was answered with the arrival of a certain young man from London. He got chatting to my daughter on the internet on Valentines Day (can you believe it!  I don’t think God could have given me a bigger sign that this was heaven sent!) Within three months their relationship was official and our house soon became consumed with their love and laughter! Such a blessing I have to say, love is such a blessing, but as you probably well know love stirs up all kinds of emotions and not all of them make us feel so fluffy. Saying goodbye to daughter as she started her new life at University was one such occasion. Although excited for her I have to be honest as a mother this does tug at the heart strings somewhat, but I rest assured that this is all part of the plan. A month on and independence seems to be good for her, she is enjoying her course and settling in well. Good friendships have already been made that I sense will be longstanding and inspiring for her.  
However there are certain aspects of life that can be quite crushing to the heart. I don’t want to come across as a moaner or in any way negative. I always like to start my day off in a positive way, but we all have times where we have to clear out the junk don’t we? We need to have a ‘De-clutter’ every so often, if not we would have no room for the new. So today I am having my 20 minute’s worth and that way I can be rid of it. ‘Cast your cares upon me for I care for you,’ it says in the word, so to cast it from my mind I must first pray about it and then simply give it to God - hand it over to Him.
As I finished my prayer I felt that soothing sensation, like a hush and then a rush as memories unfolded before my eyes. Pictures that reminded me of precious times that consume my heart and soul; like the time on holiday, dancing with my husband; I saw that look of love in his eyes that really said it all and really touched deep down in my soul. The time when my Son was troubled and I had to fight back tears as I watched the pain in his eyes, even though I knew it would be fleeting.  Talking with daughter’s boyfriend about a birthday surprise and reading a message from her on face book that really warmed my heart. Visiting my mum and dad after a hospital ordeal and suddenly realizing that although by no means frail, my parents are getting older. Yes people are precious, and many are sent to bless us. So when things get you down pray, ‘God let not my heart be downcast, guide me always, because I believe we are all set apart to share of your heart.’  
Have any memories stirred your heart?  Does your soul feel soothed?
Always cast your cares upon Him so that you can see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.                                                
Bless you.
Yours Truly 

P.S. Rant is now over, peace has been restored and revelation has been revealed: - 

Always focus on the best not on the bad.
'But what if your best is not good enough for some?' My inner voice probed
Well sometimes we have to decide that enough is enough. Leave it with God. He knows best. 
'And the rest' I heard my spirit jump up and reply.
Message received;-
We can only do our best - we have to let God do the rest.

Other inspirations can be read in ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’ by Julie Prentice.  Available on Amazon or email for stockists. 
Follow us on twitter JulieJules07 on facebook page Beauty & Belief

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Off Days

I am having one of those days; you know where I feel someone is trying to steal my peace. I am sure you have them too. So I pondered what to do?
Decided to have a read of the devotional that I had been writing; well still am writing actually, I started it way back in 2008! How time flies, can’t believe it was five years ago that I began it. But I must say I do get comfort from it on days like today, when life seems a bit uncertain and plans do not seem to be taking shape in the way I expected them to.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to sound ungrateful, if we had been having this conversation a couple of weeks ago it would have been a completely different story, I remember having lunch with a friend and she had said, ‘ it was lovely to meet your sister and her daughter the other evening. You are very lucky, as we get older our families usually get smaller but yours is getting bigger.’

I smiled, I have to agree. The Lord has blessed our family greatly this year. Son went off on holiday to visit his cousins in Austria in April, daughter and I had a weekend in London at the Colour sisterhood conference, then Hubby and I had a lovely holiday together in May. We were then blessed when my sister and niece came for a flying visit to the UK this month. It was wonderful for us all to spend time together, what a laugh we all had. Such a crazy time!
As I sat reflecting I had to smile and as I did so I felt my spirit lift and that peace that only God can give us settled upon my soul. Reading my devotional reminded me that I have had days like this before and when feelings of uncertainty surround me it is good to reflect on God’s goodness and all the things I have to be thankful for.
As I finished reading the page I felt the need to share what had been laid on my heart back then.

Day 25

Went for a swim today, I try to go a couple of times a week. I class it as one of my disciplines. As Christians I feel we need to have a sense of discipline about us. As I swam I felt cocooned by the water. As I relaxed against its rhythm I meditated on the Lord’s word. What was on his mind today?
‘God so loved the world that he sent his only son to die on the cross to forgive us for all our sins,’ I felt my spirit say.
 It seems almost impossible to comprehend doesn’t it? Think about it for a moment. Can you imagine the enormity of this? Giving up your son for the world so that all the bad things mankind has ever done may be forgiven and erased from our lives!
The Lord knows the enormity of sin. We have all sinned at some time. Unfortunately it can affect us for the rest of our life. I thought about the elderly people I visited in the home. I feel they spend most of their day living through their memories. Sadly for some, it is probably all they have left.
We all have good memories as well as bad. But the good news is that the bad things of our past have been erased and forgiven. So that just leaves the good things, this is what we should remember. So today let’s reflect, think of a really good time in your life. I am sure it will bring a smile to your face and even a tear to your eye, but most importantly, it will make you feel nice.
It’s nice to feel good about yourself isn’t it? It is good food for your heart and your soul, so how about making it a day where you declare: ‘I will try to fill the rest of my life with good memories.’
Think about one of your cherished memories. Were there other people involved in it too? Do you remember who? I only ask because to have a good life it usually involves other people. So think of your family and think of your friends. Think of something nice that involves them. Maybe it’s just a call or a visit, or maybe a cuddle to someone in need. We all have needs and it’s good to carry out a good deed. I know the good Lord will bless you for it, and we all like to be blessed don’t we? Being blessed by God is a truly enriching experience. So do you want an enriched life? I know I do.
Start making good memories today, and a little tip – the best memories involve love. Who do you love? I hope you can lose count of how many, but don’t fear or be discouraged if you can’t. Pray for the Lord to put new people in your life. Today is a new start.
Let’s make that our aim for the rest of our life – to live in God’s love and create good memories.
And most importantly pray. Pray for the people in our nation and beyond our nation’s shores. Pray to the Lord to help all those that we neither love nor know. Pray he will send someone to love them. 
Wouldn’t it be great if it was you.
I hope you think so too.

‘Because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does.’ EPHESIANS 6 v 8 (NIV)

Other inspirations can be read in ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’ by Julie Prentice.  Available on Amazon or email for stockists. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved

They say a problem shared is a problem halved. I have to confess I have been feeling in a bit of a quandary with my writing just lately, especially since returning home from my holiday. I had such a blessed time; actually it was like a second honeymoon. Yes it was our first holiday without the children in umpteen years and although I missed them it was good to get away, and good for them to have their independence too. Since returning home however, I keep having this thought that I should write another book, friends keep asking me how my writing is going, have I started another book yet?  One friend even asked me ‘what is it called?’ Before I could think I heard myself blurting out a title! Hubby and daughter won’t let it rest either, ‘its not easy writing a book you know! I snapped in retaliation. ‘Well if something is good and worthwhile it’s not going to be easy is it?’  Hubby shot back. ‘Well I still don’t know what to do about this diary thing I have been writing for the last umpteen years.’ I moaned, ‘I still haven’t finished that yet!’
Yes, I feel that is the root of the problem. I like to have a bit of order in my life, and this diary thing is not finished. ‘Why start writing something else when I haven’t finished that yet?’ I complained to myself. Part of me thinks I wrote it to help me with my ministry, 'Beauty & Belief' but then another part of me thinks, ‘should I try to get it published?’ All I know is that I started it to please Him, because at the ripe old age of sixteen I vowed I would never write another diary again. But the Lord had other ideas and in 2008 He laid it on my heart to start one again, with the promise that this one would be different, this one would bring good news not bad.  I will confess it has been picked up then sent back to bed on numerous occasions. Being a person who prays for wisdom each day now that I have completed two seasons I felt led to give it to a couple of my writer friends to read, they have both had published works and write for various magazines. ‘Let’s see what they have to say about it’ I thought!
‘I feel this is something very personal, between you and the Lord,’ my friend replied. ‘Writers should record things, I do the same myself, our writings can prove a great help to us but I do not feel this is something to be published, but thank you so much for sharing it with me. Bless you.’
‘I feel this should definitely be published’ replied my other writer friend. ‘It could be very helpful to someone, I really do not feel this is something just for you, society is changing, people are more open about themselves these day, so many of us are facing problems.’ I think it is something to be shared.
So its back to yours truly, I have to say I agree with both statements. So last night I prayed yet again, and I felt the Lord say, 'Dear child I love you for your questions. Other people have the same questions too. So let’s get to the heart of the matter.'
I was immediately reminded of one of the days in my diary, by the way I’m not calling it a diary its called  ‘Making A Bed of Roses’  and this extract is when I was questioning our calling. I hope it will warm your heart and give you food for thought.

The Heart of the Matter

As I sat sipping my tea I pondered, “Lord Can you please explain why and how you choose certain people to do certain things? Why are some of us called to serve tea while some of us are called to serve a nation? How does this work?” I prayed.
I felt the Lord ponder. “Imagine a field of flowers” He said. “If I asked you to go and pick me a bunch of flowers from the field which ones would you pick?”
I thought carefully about this. “I would pick the ones that look a lovely colour, and look healthy, look as if they would last a long time and obviously I would also pick the ones with a nice smell.”
“Well, imagine these flowers were a person’s heart,” replied the Lord. “You would like to pick the brightest, healthiest heart, full of happiness love and kindness. But as you know, because of things that happen in life, people’s hearts do not look like this. A new born baby’s heart is this way. My desire is to make all hearts this way, to make them pure hearts, full of love and peace and kindness.
So I look at people’s hearts. I see things you cannot see. I see broken hearts, and the more broken they are the more I want to mend them. Make them pure. So I call out to these broken hearts, tell them I want to help them and to mend them, make them mine.  I might do it through another person, through a vision or a dream, through a song or a sorrow or through a written word. I call to them all, one at a time. Some come to me with a yes some will say no, they all have a choice.
But when they come to me with a yes I set a desire in that heart. I see how it responds. We start to work together, their heart and mine because my intention is to make their heart just like mine. Some of these hearts take a long time to mend. Some take only a short time. Depends on the person, the choice is theirs. But those who give their hearts to me become mine. Those who become mine will do great things, more than they can possibly believe or imagine. But with some they hold back, they only give me a part of their heart. If they only give part of their heart I cannot do a full work.”
The Lord chuckled, (I think he saw the look on my face) “Remember, everybody is a work in progress, the little things I love greatly, through little acts of kindness much can be achieved. But the greater the love that heart has for me the greater I will make thee"
'Wow,' I thought, 'How inspiring!'
"How does you heart feel today?" The Lord asked breaking into my thoughts.
"I felt my heart swell as you spoke," I replied.                                                  
Hubby then walked in with a little flower in a pot, it looked very pretty, “To inspire you,” he smiled.   I felt so touched. He always inspires me. With him and the Lord both inspiring me, I so hope I can inspire others!  
How does your heart feel today? Will you stand together with me and pray;
"Dear Lord Jesus, I desire you to do a full work in me. Help me not to stray and not to turn away." 

"Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart."  JEREMIAH 24:7                                                                                                                                                                         

Other inspirations can be read in ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’ by Julie Prentice.  Available on Amazon or email for stockists.