I was reading a few great verses in the Bible this morning.
One that stirred my heart was Ephesians 2:10. “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I love this verse, because I really do believe that God has a specific plan for each of our lives. He gives us a circle of influence. He puts us in roles unique to His plan for our lives. Then He gives us little opportunities to be faithful and to listen to His direction.
For me, I don’t work. Maybe you do, and who knows what opportunities God has set right before you to love and encourage those you sit next to each day?
I, on the other hand am a ‘stay at home mum’….but who really is a mum who specifically ‘stays at home’? 😆😂🤣 Am I not allowed to leave my house? That’s hilarious!
Part of my season of life is raising my beautiful children. And I know that God gives me mini opportunities each day to “do the good works He has prepared for me in advance”. Like livng a life of faith and trying my best to listen to God’s little promptings. These are usually little moments or thoughts that are from God. Like: “You should go see this friend today” or “Maybe I could write this person a little card to remind them that I love them.”
I think most God moments are simple, little demonstrations of loving others and being thoughtful. Because God is love.
I can pray for my friends at play group. Or i can just listen to how their week has been….Because God has placed a specific group of women in my life during my years of raising 4 little princesses.
I can pray for my girl’s school, because 2 of my girls go to school. I can have a coffee date with a friend who is also raising little ones, and who knows how God can use our conversations to support each other?
There is also a verse that says: “Let each generation tell it’s children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.” Psalm 145:4
In my days of looking after my girls, I can live out this verse! I can tell my children about God’s mighty acts! Firstly, I can read them stories from the Bible about the miracles God did since the beginning of time.
But my favourite thing is to tell them stories about what God has done for our family! Like God giving us our first baby naturally, when the doctors said that I couldn’t ovulate without medical assistance.
I also love to tell them about our journey to Africa…and how God made that possible.
This past week, I got to tell them another story of the goodness of God.
I told my girls that our dog Rosie needed dental surgery. We adopted Rosie recently, as she was my mum’s dog.
The vet said that Rosie’ s teeth need removing, that they are so bad that they are being held together by tartar or decay. The surgery would be very expensive. Our family didn’t have enough money, but I felt convicted that we should do our best to take care of her.
So, one morning I wrote a prayer in my journal. I prayed: “God, please cover the cost of Rosies dental surgery!” Even though it seemed impossible when I wrote it.
“But guess what, girls!?!?!” I said excitedly! “God answered my prayer!” By the end of that very day that I prayed, God had provided the money. A bill that I was expecting to pay, came in WAY under what was originally quoted. So much So, that I had enough money set aside that could now be used for the surgery. How incredible is that?????
My girl’s eyes lit up!!! And I felt so grateful that I could share this story with them, about the goodness of God and the power of prayer.
So the question is… What good works has God prepared for you to do today?
Who can you love on or encourage in a simple way?
And “What stories can you tell your children about God’s mighty acts?”
Saying goodbye to my mum is strange. Tomorrow will be the 28th of January, one month after mum passed away.
Some days I feel fine. I’ve felt peaceful and calm. Like God has buffered the grief. But these past few days, I can feel the sadness and loss. You know those times when you can feel the tears forming just close to the surface? Like they could spill out with just the smallest nudge?
How can this be it???
I often walk past a photo of my mum in the hallway and wonder: “How can she be gone?”
My mum was such a courageous woman of faith. She made me proud. She loved to laugh. She loved life. She raised her kids well.
I guess grief is something that you feel bit by bit. It’s unpredictable and strange.
One moment I think of mum in Heaven, with God and I feel good. Another moment, my mind remembers parts of the past few months and I re-live the trauma of loosing my mum to cancer.
It was hard. It was exhausting. And it was emotional. I cried a lot. My brother James cried, too. How grateful I suddenly feel to have siblings. I have 2 brother’s: James and Ali.
I’m now more aware of how valuable it is to have someone who shared the same parents as me, and who miss the same people. When I was worried about my mum, James was right there feeling the same thing. And in the times when I want to remember something special about my mum, I know that James will laugh along with me or understand the depth of my loss.
We have both shared so many common experiences. Maybe that’s why God created family. Not just parents- but siblings. I didn’t see the value as keenly as I do in this current season!
On the note of siblings, it reminds me of what my best friend Catherine (katt) & I used to say to each other: “You’re the sister God forgot to give me!” 😘😊 bit cute, Hey?
I think sometimes friends get adopted into the role of family too. Like my bestie, Katt. I never got a biological sister, so we just claimed each other as sisters!
Or my aunty Shirley. She’s not my aunty by blood, but by heart….and she has been adopted into that position since I was young.
Then there is my aunty Jean and uncle Tom. They were my first pastors growing up, but now they are adopted family. Love them so much!!!!❤❤ (& the list could go on and on).
❤❤Even amongst the hard times and the grief, there are precious gifts worth celebrating.❤❤
Sometimes we can’t control the sad things that we face. However, we try our best even though we still face pain and heartache.
Yet I’ve seen God do a thousand miracles in my own life! So why didn’t mum get healed like we had prayed? I have no answers to that.
But I do know that God does heal some people. So, I will keep praying for other people to get healed….just like my mum never stopped praying for others.
And I know that God sees the bigger picture.
Today, my children reminded me of this simple truth.
My baby Haven, who is 1 years old was grumpy at me today. She desperately wanted to follow me outside to the backyard, while I went to hang up some washing on the line. I put her in her play cot with toys instead. She screamed in frustration!! I explained to my 7 year old, Ariella, that Haven couldn’t understand my reason for not letting her follow me. But I knew that if she walked outside, her feet would get burnt because it was such a hot day! We also have no grass to protect her feet from the scorching dirt. It would be a nightmare! So, I was protecting her even though she was too young to comprehend my motive.
It doesn’t mean that I’m not crying and frustrated, just like Haven was. But I know that God loves me. So, there must be something I can’t comprehend yet…
“God, please help me when I miss my mum. Please support me as I think about how much I’ve lost, now that she’s gone. Give me joy in my memories, instead of this stinging sensation that makes me feel like I can’t catch my breath at times. You know that I’m just a little girl at heart….who misses her mum and needs a cuddle.
When I meet you face to face in Heaven, could you please show me what I can’t understand right now?”
This year Will and I just want to focus on Jesus. We don’t want to get to the end of the year without knowing more about who God is. Actually, I don’t want to get to the end of my life: and not really know who God is!
So, we put the TV in the shed! I’ve deleted my Facebook. Well technically, it is deactivated for 30 days and then they delete it. But you get the point. It’s only been a few days, and I feel more peaceful. More able to listen to God’s little promptings. And because I am less distracted by technology, I’m going to bed on time. Then I’m waking up earlier, and spending the quality time with God that I need. How quickly I can see that little changes are making a big difference.
You see, I want to live a life of faith! I really do want to live a life that pleases God. I want to stand before my creator and Heavenly Father one day and hear the words: “well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)
My question is: “What does it look like to be a Christian wife and mum of little children?” Or big children…
If I really put God first in my life and chased after Him like He was the most valuable person in my life; how would my life look?
I have lots of friends that I admire and are full of faith. I have friends that love God and are consistently trying to love Him more. But, when I hear women preachers who inspire Me, I’ve somehow missed the messages about motherhood and faith. About seeking God in the middle of nappy changes and morning routines. I want to be inspired! I want to see God’s heart for mums. I want to see how God can transform a home: from the parents, through to the children. I want to see the possibilities! I want to live out the possibilities in my own life!!!
Don’t you???? Don’t you want to know what your life would look like if God was the focus of your day? Don’t you want to see what God could do if you gave Him your attention and “Yes”? I think it would be amazing….I think we would be filled with joy and wonder.
I think when we say “Yes” to God, that’s when life becomes more interesting. 😊😄❤❤❤❤
Currently, I am getting up at 5.20am. I get about an hour of reading my bible time and prayer. Then my girls start coming into the lounge room at 6.30am.
They must eat immediately…because they are apparently starving!!!!😆😆😂
Then the day begins…
And I do try to keep Jesus in my mind during the day. I play worship music, and my girls sing with more passion than my ears would like! (But it’s super cute!)
I definitely send quick prayers up to God throughout the day: “Lord! Please help me to not loose my temper! But I can’t work under these conditions! 😆🤣😂” (usually as my 7 year old rolls her eyes at me after I serve lunch or ask her to clean up a mess…that she’s made!)
But….I want More! There has to be More! That’s what I’m asking God for this year: more.
More time with Him. The ability to hear His voice more. My hunger for Him. More passion to teach my girls about Him. I want to stop saying things that would hurt His heart. I want to stop doing things that would grieve Jesus. I want to be different. To live a life with no regrets.
I want to wake up with Jesus on my heart and go to sleep knowing that despite the chaos of my day: I loved God to the best of my ability.
And then I want to be ready. Ready to see what God can do with my decision to Trust Him. And I want my girls to see what miracles God can do when we are willing to be obedient.
“Lord, let me be faithful with the little things. Then, let me be faithful with the bigger things.”
I thought this would be different. Feel different. Loosing my mum.
Like I had envisioned one version of the plan, but in reality what we are facing is very different. I thought even my grief could be beautiful. Like the joy of mum’s life would perfectly balance with the sorrow of her absence.
I thought my faith would help buffer the pain of missing my mum. In a way, it does. I couldn’t fathom doing this season of loss without God. But in many other ways, the grief is just that: grief.
I thought I would feel relieved. Relieved that my mum is no longer suffering. That she is in Heaven with God now. I thought I would feel prepared to say goodbye to mum, because we were grieving already seeing her so unwell.
I don’t feel anything like I expected. I definitely don’t feel relieved, even though she is in Heaven. I’m sure she is relieved though!! No more pain. No more disease. No more sorrow. Just pure joy. Even so…I’m not feeling relief.
I thought I’d feel different. Yet, I don’t feel like myself at all. I feel sad and lost. I feel grief. Especially now that mum has passed away, the weight of the grief of the past few months is beginning to sink in. It’s just….sad. And numb. Sad and numb and strangely enough- in shock! Yes, despite months of preparation I feel shocked she actually died! How can that be?
Maybe it’s ok to just feel sad? To not have to dress up the grief and try and make it look beautiful? Maybe, for today…I can actually just allow myself to miss my mum.
My mum only lived in Alice Springs with us for 9 days. Yet, because of her time in our home everything reminds me of her. The clothes that belonged to her, now feel misplaced as they are left in the draws unworn.
Her room now is lonely, without my mum in there.
Even the calendar she insisted we buy her, brings both joy and sadness. I say joy because mum was planning her future well into 2020. She was so determined that she would have an incredible adventure in Alice Springs. I’m so proud of her determination to never give up! But followed by my admiration for my mum’s courage, is a sadness that she never made it to see in the New year!
My mum passed away early hours of the morning on December 28th.
After living with mum for 3 months, it feels odd not having her here. For 3 months, she was my focus….And now, life is meant to return to normal. But this journey is etched in my heart forever. I’m different. Like the geography of my heart has changed.
Some days feel normal. Some moments are normal. And life will eventually settle into a new normal. But then the moments will come where I feel another level of loss.
Like my first birthday that mum won’t call.
Like the next time I find out that I’m pregnant, and she’s not here to call her to let her know.
Then her birthday. The anniversary of her dying. The next time someone serves me pavlova- and I remember that no one makes pavlova like my mum!!
There are so many moments that haven’t been what I pictured. Some are little and insignificant in the large scheme of things. Other moments and situations will take time to process and grieve.
But ultimately, life rarely is what we pictured it to be. Isn’t that true?
Even with the many things that fill our heart with joy and love, life is not a movie scene. It is real and raw.
Life is full of unpredictable moments, so why am I so surprised that grief is any different?
Look at that woman! So beautiful.
As we prepare to celebrate her life at her funeral, I guess I can acknowledge the value of this messy grief. It’s real. People grieve all the time. For many reasons. Right now, it’s our families turn. We can grieve. Then one day…we can comfort others who are grieving.
Ever had a day where you felt grumpy, and it takes you longer than it should to stop being grumpy? 😂 Well, that was me.
I think that my emotions are struggling to cope with the tension building in my heart. That’s why Will has to put up with grumpy Kelly. “Sorry husband!”
I’m struggling to cope with my mum’s disease: the cancer that takes more than just your lifespan.
I’m finding it hard witnessing what the cancer is stealing from her. Like a thief that comes back repeatedly to take more. The cancer cannot resist taking “one more thing” from my mum.
It has taken her energy. Her appetite. It has taken her independence: her ability to cook, clean and even to make a cup of coffee.
Actually, she can’t even drink coffee now! My mum can no longer hold a cup without spilling it. Her hands are jerky and release their grip on whatever she’s holding. Anything hot would spill all over her, and scold her frail body.
Like I say to mum as a joke: “Not on my watch!” I’m content with my track record of keeping mum safe! 😉😆😂😘
I’m finding it hard to cope with the frustration I feel, because now mum is loosing more to cancer.
I think I feel particularly devastated as my hope seems to have fled the scene too.
You see, for the past 2 weeks mum has felt pretty well. Like she was reclaiming some of the things that have been taken from her by cancer.
She regained her appetite for food, and her appetite for life. She felt strong. She felt less tired. She felt like God was giving her a “time extension”, a miracle in the making. I believed it was possible, too.
And while I am forever grateful for these past 2 weeks, now I feel drained. Like our miracle has evaporated before we could actually take hold of it.
At first, we assumed that mum’s decline in health was due to her feeling tired after her flight to move to Alice Springs.
Then we thought that perhaps the heat was sapping mum of her strength.
Maybe a little extra rest would make her feel better?
But then the symptoms began to add up….
You see, mum isn’t just tired. The shaking and jerky hands have kicked back in. Mum’s appetite has disintegrated again. She struggles to get up out of chairs. She’s afraid of falling. Her legs are horrifically swollen with fluid. Her legs weigh so much, and they stubbornly refuse to lift up without assistance.
And now I have to watch as my mum begins to struggle processing things.
Like how my mum struggled to play Uno tonight.
I got excited to play Uno as a whole family. Mum was excited to join in. It was a nice family activity, but her mind betrayed her. She couldn’t do it. Nothing made sense. She wanted to put a red card on top of a blue, without being the same number. She couldn’t focus on whose turn it was to draw 2, once the card was put down.
I felt so sad for her. My mum is very clever, but her mind is struggling to focus.
All of these things make me feel helpless, and hopeless. How much more can we loose?
All that remains is one thing: our faith in God. Knowing that mum and I are on the same team: Team Jesus! 😀😀😀😀😀
I guess what I’m saying is that: I feel hopeless. Yet, I have Hope that pulls me out of the pit of despair. His name is Jesus.
“Lord please help me. I’m so sad. I’m confused. But I know that this story isn’t going to end here. Thank you that cancer can’t change who You are. But please help my mum cope with this next part of the journey. Please comfort both of us. Please be with everyone who loves my mum and is dealing with their own sadness. Please let all those who mourn, see You for who you are: the God who conforts. Please let the hope that my mum has in you be contagious. Please fill us with your peace. Give us hope for a future with you in Heaven.”
You know, I’m not very confident when it comes to explaining the things of God.
How can I capture the message of the Bible and explain it to others?
I know it in my heart, but when I try to share the good news about what God has done for us- I seem to fail with my words.
But my life testimony cannot ever fail!!! My words may seem silly and clumsy at times, but my heart is on fire and full of Praise for what God has done in my life.
My life story will be that God is real. No matter what we go through: God will never leave us or forsake us.
He saved me from living a life of despair and emptiness. That may sound dramatic or offensive, but I feel it in my spirit.
Firstly, God gave me the gift of an exceptionally incredible husband: William Knott.
The gift of his love was one of the ways God changed my future. Because my highest dreams as a 12 year old girl was to have a baby. I never dreamt a man could ever love me: so I assumed I would have to be a single mum.
My biggest dream was to be a single mum, because I believed my child would love me. Do you see the potential for problems here??😂
Children rarely demonstrate the kind of love a mother needs. Children do love their parents, but if that’s the only source of your love…at some point you will feel completely unloved.
I know that my life had so many opportunities to be a train wreck. The level of my brokenness without God is something I know very well. My self esteem has been minimal since I can remember.
I also come from a background of people who turned to alcohol for comfort. I know that as a single mum, with all of my brokenness and self-esteem issues, I could have easily turned to alcohol for comfort on a daily basis.
But God knew. He knew my weaknesses and brokenness, and gave me a husband that encourages me. God gave me a husband who would hold my hand and lead me back to Jesus, when I was a young girl.
I am still broken in many ways, but God is slowly mending me. Putting back together the pieces of my heart that were fractrured. I still need comfort, but not from a bottle. God invites me to turn to Him for comfort.❤❤❤
I know that I am incredibly blessed to be married to Will. I don’t deserve a good husband or a happy marriage, but I’m so grateful for it. The gift of a Christian husband has anchored me and saved me from my own broken dreams.
God has given me a hope and a joy that cannot be stolen from me. Especially the promise of salvation and forgiveness from my sins. The guilt and shame I’ve experienced in my life would have threatened to crush me without Jesus! I acknowledge that I’m a hopeless sinner without God.
You may not see it from a distance, but I know my own heart. I know my mistakes and sin. My choices that were selfish or caused harm to others. I know my history….But none of that matters in the face of Jesus! That is why I thank Him!
God has changed my life and my future! Any version of God’s plan for my life is better than my version of the plan!
When my explanations fail or my theology is unpolished: my life will have to be a act of Praise to my heavenly Father.
But I need more.
Even after everything I’ve said above: I need more of God in my life. At any moment, my sinful nature could rise up: and it often does.
Then I come back to God and admit that I’m sorry. I need God’s help to change me. I need to ask for forgiveness. The forgiveness that Jesus gave to the world.
That’s the cry of my heart this morning: “Please Holy Spirit, give me more of you!” “Please produce a spiritual life in me that is only created by You. Help me to put You first. Help me to want to spend time with You. Change me”.
John 3:5 (New living Translation) Jesus replied: “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can only reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life”.
John 3:34 (NLT)
For he (Jesus) is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father (God) loves his Son (Jesus) and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life”.
“Lord, please take my life and create something new. Holy Spirit please give me a life full of you! You gave Jesus your Spirit, without limit. And I want to be more like Jesus: full of the Holy Spirit!! Please make me a woman of relentless faith. Joyful faith. Contagious faith.”
It’s not too late for anyone.
Maybe today you could tell God that you need Him in your life, just like me.
Ask God to take away your guilt and your shame. Forgive you from your sins.
Ask God to come into your heart. Change you. Ask God to wash you clean. Make you new.
Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. But the story didn’t end there….
Jesus rose from the grave and came alive again. His gift of forgiveness is a never ending story of love and hope.
Who knows how much joy you could experience, through Jesus?
Not only joy in this life, but the joy that comes from a future in Heaven. Where God will take away all of the pain we experience on Earth. He promises that He will wipe away every year from our eyes. There will be no more sorrow.
God is the God of impossible things, being made possible through Him.