If you have wondered about Jesus over Christmas but have only seen him as a plastic doll or a distant figure in a stained glass window or maybe Jesus hasn’t featured in your celebrations at all. But if you have felt a pull in your heart to know Jesus, then where ever you are now, all you need to do is ask him. God loves you SO much. There is no greater love than this. He has made a way for you. There is absolutely nothing you can do or have done to make him love you any more or any less than he already does.
On Sunday morning we were reminiscing with such joy about loved ones who are no longer with us. That evening I received a phonecall with some very sad news. I’ve been walking around doing the usual everyday things but my heart has been floored. Inside I have felt so weak, as if my soul was just a puddle on the floor. While I was washing up I was telling God how sad I was, how my heart hurt for the immediate family, I felt so broken that they were experiencing this devastation and I said “All I can do is rely on you to carry me Lord, I’m so weak with pain” then the Lord spoke to my heart “Why are you crying as if there is no hope?” I felt as if he was gently lifting my chin and in that moment I was reminded how mighty our God is; we have a God who is bigger than all the pain, sickness and death, we have a God of hope. We have a God who understands our worries, fears and questions and is available at all times. We have a God who provides healing, peace and deep joy. We have a God who is in total control. We have a God who we can trust, even more so when we can’t see further than the blur of our eyes that are clouded with tears. He is the inexplicable presence of warmth in times of devastation.
Two verses immediately came to mind and soothed my heart –
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 and
“Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.
When sadness has pushed me down and left me a broken mess on the floor, my hands are up ready for our Lord to pull me up and carry me through. His love leaves no room for worry –
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
He is always with us, pouring out his love and providing us with the strength to go on.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7
Fear has been regularly knocking at my door through the misdiagnoses, scans, appointments, prescriptions, referrals, medications, Internet self diagnoses and handling the increasing severity of pain. I had to get through a lot of opposition to get the right medication but got there in the end. I was praying for just one day of feeling okay, just one day! And now I’m so grateful to have had 2 weeks pain free. There are still tests to do and specialists to see but I’ve learnt so much on this journey. I’ve experienced fear that subtly creeps in, it starts off as a small pin prick but it’s venom spreads through the body so quickly and, with me, at the worst it ends with anger or tears. Sometimes I’ve felt too cross to ask God for help but I’ve known that he is my only help. When I haven’t known which doctors opinion to trust I know I’m already in safe hands. When I’ve let my mind run away with the dread of what could be, he has reminded me that it’s ALL good anyway. When I’ve struggled with daily activities he’s flooded my heart with sweet words of comfort, hope and peace. When a doctor has expressed their irritation towards me, Jesus has instantly healed the hurt; showing me that doctors are only human too, they may feel pressure in their profession and to love them deeply anyway. When I have felt out of control, he has drenched me with the security that he is in control. He has enabled me to be thankful for the miraculous way in which my body works and to see the multitude of things to be grateful for that always far outweigh the difficult stuff. I’ve learnt to lean on him for everything because he really does care about the smallest details in our lives. His comfort and peace in every circumstance is like no other. It’s all been so wonderfully faith building. So fear, what ever guise it taps on the window in; terror, anxiety, post traumatic stress…He gives us the power to flick it away like the annoying little gnat it is. We don’t need to be afraid or even need to exhaust ourselves fighting or trying to control fear, we need only be still, trusting in Jesus. When I feel those first ripples of fear, that is my cue to fix my eyes on our maker.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Cast all you anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19
I love love love The Great Pottery Throw Down, I could watch Keith make pots all day and felt inspired to create something different at our weekly toddler pottery group. I don’t think they’d get Keith emotional but they are fun and simple to make.
1. Cut clay stars
2. Score and stick with slip to stack
3. Make indent to hold candle
4. Get it fired
(5. optional – paint/decorate)
6. Get it glazed & fired
Making them different heights and using different star sizes, they look lovely dotted around the house or gathered together at the centre of a dining table.
I had some left over hessian so decided to make three mini Christmas stockings for our daughters. I asked the eldest two what they would like on theirs and they chose “doggie” and “snowflakes and presents”
Thick wadding or felt
First sketch a basic outline of a sock. Draw onto pattern paper including fold over piece (see below). Add 1cm seam allowance. Cut x2 sock piece and X1 fold over piece.
Draw template and cut simple applique felt shapes. Stick and/or stitch to front sock piece
Stitch the two short sides together and fold over to slot into position on the sock. Stitch in place.
Sew 5cm of bias to make loop. Stitch loop to stocking.
Sew ribbon to hide the fold over seam and tie into a bow.
They are a lovely size for little gifts and little hands and hopefully will last many years.