The Weaver and the tapestry

Our place in this world is unique. Each and every single one us has his own place in this world. There is not a person to many or too little. Everyone is exactly where he/she is supposed to be. It is like a tapestry. Each wire has its own place and function but the tapestry could not exist without each and every single threat.

When one comes face to face with an approaching death within the family, life somehow becomes much clearer. As my mom is battling cancer (a battle she is going to lose according to the doctors), I start to reflect on my life more than usual. Questions like; what is important to me and what do I really need, are going around in my mind. Looking back on life I can clearly see God’s hand in everything. Every moment in my life was carefully coordinated by His mighty hand. Before I was born, my life was painted into great detail. Not a single color or brushstroke was left out. Every word was written down. When life happens, it is very difficult to see that you are a part of a great tapestry. Your life really matters! It is the moment when life comes to a halt that you start to see the full picture (or after something bad happened).

We have these moments in life when we look back over our shoulder and suddenly see the full picture. As if we have always been looking at the bottom of this tapestry. All we could see was the knots and chaos in the threads. Nothing seemed to make sense. But suddenly you get a small glimpse at what the other side looks like. You can see the Weaver create every detail in this enormous tapestry. Every color and every thread is handpicked.

To me it is very comforting to know that Someone is in control. God is the Great Weaver who has put all His blood, sweat and tears into this masterpiece. Sometimes the knots hurt. Sometimes we believe that the threads are supposed to be at a different place or preferably not there at all. Sometimes we believe that we could do a better job, if we had a say in it. But looking at the tapestry of my own life, I personally disagree. I could not have done a better job at my tapestry than God. Even though I have been hurt, I can clearly see how much God loves me. God the Father has never allowed a single knot or thread at the wrong place or the wrong time. I can clearly see moments where evil tried to destroy or put the wrong thread in the tapestry and God stopped it.

Looking at the tapestry of life, all I can say is, God the Father did an amazing job. I can feel His love in every thread of my life, in every fiber of my being. Life isn’t easy and sometimes it seems unfair, but I believe that God sees the bigger picture. A picture I can not yet see. Sometimes I get a glimpse but I can never see the full tapestry. Still I only trust God with my life. I only trust God with my tapestry because I know that He does see the full picture. He knows where I came from and where I will go. He has created me and wove me into a unique masterpiece. Whenever life gets difficult and all I can see is chaos, God shows me His love in numerous ways. I can always talk to Him and He always listens to me. His hand holds mine and He never let’s go. His hands hold me up when I cannot stand anymore and His wisdom guides me along the way.

Even though I cannot see the full tapestry, I can see the Weaver.
Even though I do not understand all the knots and threads,
I do know that the end result will be breathtaking!

Read & Learn

When I was 25 years old and I just started writing again, I wrote a lot with rhyme. Most of my earlier work is also based on bible verses, because I didn’t know what to write about. I wasn’t getting that many dreams and visions and I wasn’t that well trained either. This is exactly the reason why I also want to publish my earlier work along with my latest and , in my own view, better work. It is so important to know that when God gives you a gift/talent that you develop it. I wasn’t able to write, the way I do now, over night. Through practice and repetition I became better and better.

If you have received a gift/talent from God then please don’t expect to be perfect at it right away. It will take a lot of hard work to become better. But if you do it with joy, the hard work won’t bother you that much.

The poem I want to share with you today is called ‘Read & Learn. It is based on the bible verses 2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 

I hope you like it!

Read & Learn

A strong voice with a tender heart,
From One who loved us more,
Than anything or anyone,
Has ever done before.

Spoke words of true compassion,
And bundled it with grace,
To show us our transgression,
and the hurt upon His face.

So in everything you do today,
Just take that book and read,
learn what He has done for you,
and simply let Him lead.

Dealing with the negative side of life

Do you remember my blog posts, ‘How I deal with anxiety and stress’ & ‘Optimism is the key to a happy life’? Well so do I! I am an optimistic fighter by nature because I always feel that with a little bit of work and patience, negative feelings go away by itself. In the last few weeks however I came to an unexpected question. What if it doesn’t? What if all my wisdom fades away in a thick mist and nothing I ever learned helps me anymore? What then? In the last few weeks I hated to admit it to myself that I was stuck. I could not deal with it anymore. Not on my own. The stress and anxiety had taken control over me and everything I tried remained futile. On top of it all I developed a sinus infection, and due to the amount of stress I unconsciously kept tightening my jaw muscles, which are now probably overburdened as well. In short I am dealing with a large amount of fear, stress and pain.

Even though this was all taking place, my eyes were opened to something important. The fact that optimism leads to happiness is still something I highly support. But what if it isn’t that easy? What if it isn’t that easy to shake it all off. On social media I read a lot of quotes from public speakers (mainly christians) that if you just believe in God enough, fear will never be able to reach you. If you believe enough God will protect you and fear will not be a part of your life. The sentence, just be happy, was used a little to easy for my liking. In ways it even upset me! I live very closely to God and I still have a fair share of stress and fear to deal with. Does this mean that God doesn’t love me? Does this mean that I am not a true child of God because otherwise I would not be feeling this way? Or maybe God just has something against me and doesn’t want me! Or a last answer could be that I simply don’t have the Holy Spirit inside of me. Well in my opinion this is just nonsense! I have to believe in that otherwise I lose the only rock I still stand on.

God is a God of love! He does not hurt people. He does not punish people. I refuse to believe in an evil God that simply doesn’t like me. Jesus loves me and that is a fact! My stress and fear are not an example of God’s absence, on the contrary, I start to believe it is the proof of His presence. I may not see it or feel it right now but when I look back later on in life, I most certainly will. I believe that God can heal me with one word, and I still fervently hope that He will! But what if God allows me to experience this frantic panic, deep-rooted fear and overwhelming stress to teach me something. If God would heal me overnight, would that teach me something? Or would that be an easy way out? Something inside of me tells me that it would.

Last week I started therapy again. In a little while I will get EMDR treatment to help me get rid of the fear. After three psychologists, two assertivity treatments and one anxiety course at an earlier age, this is my last resort. My last resort to break free from whatever fear is holding me in its grip. It may sound drastic but I have lived with fear my entire life. I cannot remember a moment in my life where I wasn’t afraid. And through all that fear God showed me so many dreams and visions! He was with me every step of the way. He is still with me today, nudging me forward. God loves me, fear and all! In fact He loves me so much that He does not want a quick-fix. In fact He loves me so much, that He wants me to go through this fear because only then, I can come out stronger on the other end.

My therapist said it so beautifully, “Fear is the greatest suffering a human being can go through”. She is right. Out of everything I experienced it is the fear that was the worst. Fear leads to so many things. It leads to physical, emotional and mental health issues which are triggered by stress. And stress comes from fear. At the moment I am stuck in a depression. One moment is better than the other. One moment I cry the other I laugh. My emotions are like a swing set rocking back and forward. But with God’s help, going through treatment yet another time, I will be healed. Maybe not overnight but in time I will. If God taught me one thing it is this; good things come with patience. If you want a long effect, you will have to put some time and effort in it. Only with patience and effort, I will come out stronger on the other end.

When depression strikes it is not the end of the world. When depression strikes it is not the end of a book but merely the beginning of a whole new chapter. When you are going through anxiety, stress or depression, just like me, let me tell you that God is with you. You are not carrying this burden alone. God didn’t stop loving you somewhere down the road, even if that is how you feel right now. Keep holding on to God’s love. Keep praying, keep fighting and keep moving forward. You will come out of this and much stronger than you were before. Don’t give up and if you need prayer, send me a message through the contact section on this blog. You are not alone! I guarantee it! God is with you!

A poem about truth

One morning, a couple of years ago, as I was sitting in the silence of the morning, I felt a deep desire to get my notebook and write. I felt the Spirit of God dance inside my heart as I wrote the following poem.

Truth is Freedom

Questions ask Questions,
through the answers multiplied.
Answers calm the soul,
but only for a little while.
The answers we want to hear,
lead us walking in circles,
endlessly.

Where the truth shines his light,
human eyes are blinded by its brightness,
but if we dare to open our heart,
the truth will set us free.

Truth answers questions.
Peace calms the soul.
The two are undeniably connected,
for truth and peace give acceptance,
and broken circles give a narrow road,
until we learn how to walk in truth.

Questions ask questions.
Answers question itself.
But the truth is a rock,
steadfast and unshakable,
where we can lean on in times of trial.
The truth is the Light that sets our mind free.
Eternal freedom that sets us in the Light.

Truth is freedom for the soul!

The last few days I was reminded by this poem. As if a voice whispered the title into my heart and soul. If we learn to walk in the truth, we will find the freedom that we long for.
But what if the truth is not what we wanted to hear? Are we still willing to walk the path of the truth, if the truth is not what we expected? I think that is a question that will ultimately answer itself. An answer that will lead us to the door of our heart, that will show us, what is really inside.

 

How I deal with anxiety and stress.

This time of year is a busy one. We hardly have any time to relax because we are simply too occupied with too many things. Work, Christmas preparations, children (if you have them) and more. There is no time to breath. I don’t know about you but this is my reality. For the record, I do not have children but I do feel very busy. So busy in fact that I feel something, or rather someone, inside of me plea for a break. A moment to relax. Some peaceful time. And I would truly love to give myself a minute but too many things are asking for my attention. But do they really? Or is it my own desire to show the world a perfect picture of myself?

This is the question that has been going through my mind in the last couple of weeks. The reason why I started pondering about this subject is because a month ago I felt the Holy Spirit ask me to cancel something from church. I felt miserable, especially since I do go very often. I hardly ever skip. It bothered me so much that I felt anxiety attacks coming up. Something inside of me was whispering that I had to go. What if I miss something important? What if they will stop liking me because I didn’t go? Seriously the craziest ideas came to mind. Ideas that forced me to stop myself and think very carefully!

In my early twenties I was diagnosed with a General Anxiety Disorder. Even though I haven’t noticed it for at least five years, I gradually recognised that it is back. A year ago I had to have a wisdom tooth pulled out and it was such a traumatizing experience that my anxiety disorder came back in full force. My mistake was that I ignored it for too long. I know the signs and symptoms but I stuck my head in the sand. Until I was in it so deep that I couldn’t ignore it any longer. A stupid act on my part, especially since I have the skills to deal with it. (skills I learned in therapy) If I would have applied these skills early on, it would not have gone this far.

The skills I learned are easy. Whenever I become afraid I ask myself questions. Why am I afraid? What happens when my fair becomes a reality? And what is so bad about that? After asking myself these questions, I search for ways to turn my thinking around. By slowly changing the thoughts in my mind, I change my perception also. For example; I am afraid to cancel a get-together from church because I am afraid that people will stop liking me. The first question I ask myself is, what will happen if people indeed stop liking me? Well I would feel pretty bad about myself. I would also feel very alone.
Okay, next question. What happens if you feel bad about yourself? What happens if you feel alone? Nothing. Nothing would happen.
Another question. Is it rational to be feeling these feelings? No because in reality I am not alone. If some people won’t like me, I still have plenty of other people left who will. People like my mom and dad, brothers, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, grandmother, my good friend. On top of that I will always have God. God will never stop liking me. So my feelings aren’t rational.
By repeating these questions, I can slowly change my perception. In the end, the fear will become smaller and smaller, and often even disappear.

What also helps me is to reduce stress by planning moments of rest. It can be tricky at times but it is so valuable. Our bodies and minds need rest from time to time in order to recharge. Without rest, we would be developing a burn-out in seconds rather than minutes. I am learning therefore that it is good to say, “No” at times. In this case, I said no to church, to give my mind a moment of rest. You know what the point is? Our bodies may be able to handle a lot of stress but that doesn’t mean that our minds are the same! Sometimes we can physically deal with a lot of work, while we mentally feel tired and weak. We have to try and find a balance in our life, where we can be meaningful and stress-free at the same time. A balance between duties (work, activities, family etc.) and rest.

I started my blog with a question. Am I really so busy or is it my own desire to show a perfect picture? I say yes. I am trying to show a perfect picture. I am trying to prove myself to everyone. I am trying to prove that I am worth it. But is this a rational thought? No because I am worthful for God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I do not need to prove myself in order to be loved. God the Father said it Himself two months ago, “I love you regardless of what you do”. I do not have to earn His love. I receive it for free.
And you know what! My parents also love me. And so do my brothers, even if they forget to show me sometimes. I have God (three-in-one) and a loving family. What more do I need? The only person I need to convince that I am worthy is myself. It doesn’t matter what other people think of me. What is most important, is what I think about myself! If I keep on finding my own inner happiness, I will be just fine.

“I see the sunflower in you. And all I ask, is for you to see it to”. (From the poem ‘The Sunflower, spoken to me by God the Father)

A work in progress!

The other day I was visiting a friend of mine to meet her newborn baby. It is her fourth child and the sweetest little thing, as most babies are! I showed her my blog and she asked me a question. “Do you do all of the things you write about yourself”? “Yes I do”, I told her, “but I am still a work in progress though”. It is good to have a friend like her! A friend that is honest with you and not afraid to ask the right questions. I try to do everything I write about, however I am only human. Sometimes I am better at it, then other times. Especially when my fear is getting in the way.

When I was in my early twenties, I was diagnosed, by a psychologist, with a general anxiety disorder. After I had therapy, it died down until a year and a half ago. I had a traumatizing experience at the dentist and ever since it is back in full force. Again I am fighting a high dosis of fear every day. A fear that was almost gone. I know, with the help of God, that I can overcome this fear but it takes a lot of patience. And patience is one of my weak spots. Often I want to rush things when I should actually take it easy. I want things to happen right away, when God asks me to wait.

Fear will always be a part of my life…unfortunately. However often I have prayed for healing, it is something that I have come to terms with. After all, Jesus was afraid too when He was praying in Gethsemane garden! Right before Jesus was taken captive, He prayed to His Father if the cup could be taken from Him. Or in modern day language, if He could please be spared from what was awaiting Him. You know, many people say that Jesus was not afraid anymore after that. That after that prayer, He knew what to do and He did it without fear because He knew His journey. But you know what, I believe that He was still afraid. I don’t think the fear left Him. I believe that He simply decided to go through with it, regardless of His fear. And with the fear in His hands, He climbed on that cross. His love was bigger than His fear.

His love being bigger than His fear is something that I recognize. When I like what I have to do, it is easier than when I have to do something I don’t like. When your heart is passionate for something, fear reduces to a tiny flame, making it easier to do it. But the tiny flame becomes a huge fire when your heart is not fully in on it. Of course there is a difference between a healthy fear, like before a speaking engagement, or a fear that goes through the roof. Sometimes I can control my fear but there are also moments that I cannot.

For example, after the traumatizing experience at the dentist, I tried to ignore my fear for a long time. I went to the dentist again and even though I had a much better experience, the fear was so big that I could not control it anymore. The trick that God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit taught me is; with patience and relaxation you can overcome it. The fear never goes away overnight. This is a fact that I have to be fully aware of, but it will go away in the end. This thought gives me a lot of peace already. The second step I take is becoming rational. I tell myself to calm down. Jesus loves me and there is nothing on earth more important than that. I also skip things from my agenda when I feel in my heart that I need time for myself. To plan moments of calmth is very important. I am not superwoman. I cannot do everything and that is okay. My life is not easy and God is keeping a lot of things away from me, like a family. Just because I am not married and I don’t have children, does not mean that my life is easier. I have not been requested to do it all, but to do what I can. I focus on my talents and gifts and not on what I am not good at. But the biggest of all remains patience! With a lot of patience, and a lot of faith I overcome my fear. I cannot let it go away but I can make it smaller and that gives me room to breath.

Life remains a battle. Yet in this battle it is good to remind ourselves of one very important thing. Jesus love for us is everything! It is more important than our fear. And with that in mind we can overcome anything. Jesus’s love makes me get up every morning. Just the thought that, besides Jesus, I have a Father in Heaven who loves me so much, makes me want to try again. Of course I am not capable of doing everything. Like I said, I am not superwoman. There are some things that I am, and never will be, good at. But that is okay. God accepts me for who I am. And if I do the same; if I work hard and focus on the gifts and talents that the Father, in all His goodness, gave me, it will all work itself out in the end. Fear may be an ever present companion but at least I can shut him up whenever he talks to much!

A little more gratitude

As I was walking my dog this afternoon a Dutch children’s song came to my mind. I just couldn’t stop singing it. The song is about a helicopter. It is a request to the helicopter if you could please fly along with him because all you want is to be up in the sky. On and on I kept singing this song until it really drove me crazy. But when I really looked at the lyrics, I started thinking. In life we are all exactly like this song. All we want in life is to fly higher and higher. The highest place isn’t high enough. We want to be more successful. We want a bigger house. We want more money. We want more recognition. We want more friends. We want more fun. We want more adventure and so on. It is never really enough. When are we finally going to be grateful for what we have?

Think about it! Are you really grateful? Or are there things that would make your life just a little bit better? If I may answer this question for myself, I am not grateful enough! For the past month I have been complaining to God about my life. When God the Father audibly told me that He loved me, all I could think of was the things that aren’t going well in my life. Things that I hadn’t accomplished yet. Things that were still missing in my life. In reality I didn’t really listen.

Even when Jesus said, again audible, that He loved me, I started complaining about the fact that I haven’t gotten my book published yet. As if the publication of my book is more important than Jesus’s love for me. Of course, looking back, I can hit my head into a brick wall with piles of shame piled up on my shoulders but that is not going to help me now! Jesus taught me once, “An apology is merely a collection of words, only a change of heart can redeem the soul”. So I know that, especially with Jesus, an apology doesn’t really work. What Jesus rather sees is that I change my actions into the right ones. However that isn’t easy!

It is so difficult to not want more. In our own minds we simply need it. We need a roof over our head, food on the table, clothes to wear and, preferably, a stress-free life. And how we get it appears to be as important as what we get. We don’t settle for less. It has to be new. It has to be big, it has to be enough to our own standards. And in a way we do need all these things. We do! But God already knows that. God knows our needs long before we do! The point is that sometimes we just aren’t grateful enough. Instead of enjoying the moment, we are looking for our next problem. We keep searching for requests that we can lay down before God’s throne until we start making them up. But when are we going to stop and say, “Thank you”. When do we stop our lives and realize what we already have? When are we going to let the helicopter go without us because we have enough already?

A few years ago I made a rule for myself. During prayer I would thank God for at least one thing. In the evening for example, I would go through my day and thank God for as many things I could come up with. As time went by it became easier and easier to come up with things. In moments of difficulty it is extremely helpful. It allowed me to consciously think about that what God has given me. It made me see that God gives me more than I am often aware off. Maybe it can help you to? Another thing you could do to become more grateful is writing a prayer journal. You write down each prayer that you pray. Looking back on the prayers you can see what God has done for you. And so there are many more ideas to be more grateful.

Once a year we celebrate thanksgiving. It is a different date in most countries in the world. And each country celebrates it differently. In the United States for example it is highly celebrated with family diners. It is a public holiday that everyone celebrates. In Holland however, it is only celebrated in churches. Only Christians have a thanksgiving day. We don’t get a day off to celebrate and we have a church services in the evening. And I am pretty sure that some other countries don’t even have a thanksgiving day! But do we need a thanksgiving day? Do we need one day a year to be grateful? Maybe we do. However I think it is very important to be grateful every single day of your life.
Stop looking at what you don’t have and start realizing what God did give you. A little bit more positivity can brighten your soul more than you are aware of.

For me it remains a work in progress. When I feel down and alone it is a lot harder for me to be thankful for what I have. Those are the moments when I complain to God and I get frustrated with myself and my life. In those moments I will have to remind myself to look at what I do have, even if it is only one thing that I can come up with. Because I still believe that God is good and that He knows our needs! Besides, Philippians 4 verse 19 tells us, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” He is with us, taking care of us every day, to the very end of the age! And that alone is something to be grateful for!

Psalm 100

A psalm for giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Are you allowed to get angry at God?

Are you allowed to get angry at God? It is an interesting question, isn’t it? I wrestled with this question a lot when I was younger. As a teenager I had the feeling that anger was a sin. I wasn’t allowed to get angry at the people around me and especially not at God. I looked at God as this almighty being, high on His throne and judging the world. I had based this on the stories of Israel in the bible. The amount of times that God the Father got angry at the Israelites was downright astonishing. Read the old testament and see how often God gets angry after people made mistakes. The old testament is filled punishments in order to get reconciliation. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that my opinion of God shifted.

Sometimes we get angry at little things in our life, especially when we are stressed out or worried. But sometimes we get angry because we got hurt. In that case anger becomes part of a grieving process. Through anger we learn how to deal with something. And in other occasions we get angry because things aren’t fair. We feel a high sense of unjust at something in our own lives or in the lives of others. I think we can all recognize one of the three. We all get angry whether we like it or not. It is part of our sinful living. But is anger always wrong? I think not. I think we are allowed to get angry when we see or experience injustice. When I see the amount of children living in poverty, I get angry because I think it is unjust that the world has such a lack of equal sharing. If I hear that a mom died of cancer, leaving behind young children, I can get angry because it is unfair in my opinion. When I get angry, I am not saying that God is mean and didn’t do the right thing. Not at all! I get angry because of sin. Because we live in a dark world and we still didn’t learn how to listen to God and do His will. But this is not an answer to the question if we are allowed to get angry at God.

Look at the story of Jonah. I love this story. This is one of the few stories in the old testament that shows us how God responds at our anger.
Jonah was called by God to go to Nineveh. The citizens of Nineveh sinned so much that God was pretty much done with them. Jonah had to go to Nineveh to tell the citizens that in three days God was going to destroy the city and all its inhabitants. Jonah however wasn’t willing to go. Instead He fled onto a ship that would sail in the opposite direction. But God wasn’t easy to fool. He provided a storm and Jonah was thrown overboard where a big fish swallowed him up. Three days Jonah sat in this fish to think about his actions. And Jonah ended up going to Nineveh after all. After Jonah told the citizens of Nineveh the message of God, he patiently waited for God to destroy the city. But God did not. The citizens of Nineveh changed their hearts and turned back to God. Because of this, God had mercy on Nineveh. This is where Jonah gets furious.
And what does God do? This is the part that I love so much. God calmly explains to Jonah exactly why He did what He did! God does not get angry at all, in fact He takes this moment of anger to teach Jonah more about Himself. Isn’t that amazing?

This story tells us that God does not mind our anger at all. In fact He takes it as an opportunity to teach us more about Himself. God’s heart is 100% love and God operates out of this love. His love is so big that we often don’t understand it.
Besides if God taught me one thing through my poetry, it is that God rather wants us to be honest! Our honesty, regardless of whether we are happy, sad or angry, means more to Him than anything else. We can keep a pretty facade but God knows our heart. If we would not be fully honest with God about what is going on inside of us, we would be lying to him. If we give God our anger and hurt, He is able to do something with that. God does not act unless we ask Him to. This also applies to our anger. God is fine with us being angry at Him as long as we keep an open mind to what He will do with that.

To me that is exactly the love of God. God loves us so much that He even wants to put up with our anger. For if we give our anger at Him, He can do something with that anger and turn it into something much more positive. So if you hold any grudges towards God, let Him know. He wants to do something with your anger. He wants to explain to you why He did what He did, but He cannot do that unless you tell Him. God is a God love, who will never force himself onto you. It is up to you to trust God. It is up to you to trust Him with your anger and your pain. He is already waiting for you, to shower you with His love and mercy. So don’t be afraid! Give God everything that you have inside your heart He is listening!

 

The changing of the hour

This weekend we are turning the clock one hour back. The days are officially getting shorter, and slowly winter is approaching. But not yet, because autumn is still here in all his glory. I love autumn. The changing of the colors, leaves slowly falling down, candles are being lit again and somehow life becomes a little bit cozier. Or as we famously say in Dutch, ‘gezellig’.

This entire change reminded me of a poem that I wrote a year ago. It was autumn and the hour was going back in a couple of weeks and I felt as restless as I do today. I was impatient. Impatient to get started with my work for God. But God gave me a dream to let me know that I was still early. It wasn’t His time yet.

In fact I was so eager to start working, that I ignored God’s message and decided to get up early anyway, to start my days writing more than I did at the time. It was my plan to wake up at 7 am, whereas I usually woke up at 8 am or 8.30 am. Planning my days with chores and writing, I was set to begin my new regime. Ready to go, I set my alarm clock at 7 and went to sleep. It must have been November by that time. But when I woke up the next morning my alarm clock hadn’t sounded. I was 100% certain that I did set the alarm because I checked at least three times the night before! I didn’t wake up during the night either. That’s when I got a vision. I saw in my vision, that Jesus entered my room. He walk straight to my alarm clock and turned it off. After He turned it off, He gave me a kiss on my forehead and left. It wasn’t until a few months later that I realized, that not only did He turn off my alarm clock, His power also broke it down. My clock still functions perfectly, my alarm clock however just won’t budge. And my alarm clock stopped working after the morning that Jesus turned it off!

It was clear to me. I simply had to wait, no matter how difficult that was going to be. As all of this took place, I wrote a poem. The poem is about my deep love for the autumn season. But it is also about having to wait. We have to sit out the present season in our life, before the next season will begin. And sometimes that is really difficult. You are ready to move on, but the problems in your life simply won’t leave. You are ready to start a new career but nobody will take you on. You are ready to sell your house and start a new life elsewhere but your house doesn’t sell. Whatever it is, you are unable to move forward in your life. And that is difficult. It is as if you have to wait for the clock to change the hour. You stare at the pointers in the hope that they will go a little faster, if you just stare at it long enough. But slowly the minutes are ticking away. And frustrating is not helping you either! The clock isn’t changing the hour one minute faster if you get angry.

The only thing that really helps is taking your eyes off the clock. Focus on something else, temporarily. It is just like waiting in a waiting room at the doctor. What do you do until the doctor calls you in? You get a magazine and you read a little. Because time passes by much quicker if you focus on something other than the clock. In the same way, we have to switch our focus to something else in order to wait for God’s perfect timing. If we move to fast, things might go wrong and we can ruin God’s plan with us completely. Besides, God won’t budge anyway, and I can tell you that out of personal experience. If God wants you to wait, He will let you wait in whatever form or fashion, He sees fit.

Our impatience is a stumbling block in our way, but if we try to have patience, God might surprise us in a way, we could never have seen coming. Patience gives the opportunity to learn new lessons and see new things. If we would never have to wait, life would simply pass us by. We would never see the leaves changing color. We would never smell the sweet scent of cinnamon. We would never witness the beauty of a sunset. Patience is a life changer and an eye opener!

Here is the poem:

Early autumn

The chestnuts fall wherever they want.
Acorns lose their hats in the process.
The maple collects its juice for the next harvest.
A squirrel hides his food in the grand old oak.
Unshakable is the tree that bears her fruit.

The cinnamon apples spread their warm perfume.
Sweet is the scent that melts my heart.
The autumn sky embraces the strong cold winds,
but the fire in the hearth keeps me warm.

When the honey sweetens the hot liquid,
the words of my heart are kind.
Now the green leaves fall down,
and in the raked pile I make snow angels.
Joyful is the heart that reminds itself to be young.

In expectation of the winter I look at You,
but the clock hasn’t moved the hour yet.
Impatient is the heart that tries to hurry.
In time the feet will triple over themselves.
The lesson of patience is an impatient one.

At the kitchen table I drink my tea,
as You fill my head with happy memories.
And in the warmth of Your touch,
I learn to embrace the blessings,
of an early autumn.

 

 

Love never fails!

In the world today we experience many expectations and convictions. On television, social media, work and in our own hearts. It doesn’t really matter where we are or who we interact with. We either expect something from others or from ourselves.

Expectations aren’t a bad thing in itself. Our personal expectations can be a goal we want to pursue, a dream we want to establish or a change we want to make in our life. In that sense an expectation or a goal can be a good thing. But often we go too far in our expectations. We create many expectations for ourselves. In our looks, work, behavior, financial status. And we are willing to go through great lengths to get there. Even if it means that we have to hurt ourselves!

Also the people we meet aren’t save from our expectations. We meet someone and instantly create a perfect image of this person in our minds that they will simply have to live up to. When they don’t, we are disappointed. Then expectations so easily turn into convictions, for they are not as we think they should be! And that is wrong in our own point of view.

But wouldn’t the world be a better place if we limited our expectations and our judgment? Wouldn’t it be better if we changed our point of view to one of love?  Jesus said, “Love each other as I have loved you”. And Jesus died on a cross because He loved the world so much! He gave His life up so we could have a life in Heaven!

The apostle Paul explained love perfectly saying, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

The answer to our expectations and convictions is love. Love one another as Jesus loved you! Treat them as you would want them to treat you. It doesn’t matter whether someone is rich or poor, healthy or sick, black or white, male or female, gay, straight or transgender, etc.. Jesus didn’t ask to make expectations of people or to judge them. He simply asked us to love them.

Love doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends and share a cup of coffee once a week. No, it simply means that you respect and accept others the way they are and treat them with dignity and respect! If we drop our expectations of ourselves and others, we get room to breathe, room to grow and room to prosper. And all because we chose to love!

May God shine His love over you and give you peace!