My one thing

My one thing

The other day I wrote about intentionally living in the moment. Every day.

I can, and do, live here and now because I know where I’m from, where my strength comes from, and where I’m going.

I’m really enjoying the new Hillsong worship album: Open Heaven River Wild. I actually love pretty much everything any of the Hillsong bands release and love that there’s always something to lift me up, carry me through, bring me back to earth, send me into a worship party or whatever my day needs. Yep, they really do it all!

Anyway, a lyric jumped out and hit me in the face this weekend.

all I know is
everything I have
means nothing
Jesus,
if You’re not
my one thing

It’s so true. There have been times when I’ve been less than intentional about my faith and it’s not pretty – and I’m not talking about just stopping going to church (I’ll write on that another time). Jesus is my rock. When He’s my focus, my ONE THING, I have everything.

I can remember when I was a really new christian, I didn’t understand that. I didn’t understand how a pastor could ask me to put my relationship with God ahead of my family – ahead of my daughter. Like what?! I was a single mum at that time and my girl was my world. I actually thought I would never be able to do that.

But I grew.

And as I got to know God and have a personal relationship with Him, I finally understood that putting Him first, makes me a better mum. A better person. A better everything. If you could see the difference on my inside – the forgiveness, the peace and true joy experience I now have, you would never be in any doubt that what I say is true.

Jesus is my ONE THING.

Red lights

Red lights

Today I drove through a red light. Seriously, not just, the light was amber and I made a call to sneak through. Nope, the light was red, I didn’t even see it, I just kept driving. At an intersection I drive through daily! Man did I get a fright.

I’m so grateful for God’s protection on my life. That could have played out very differently.

I am far too tired. And I little freaked out that I could do that. It’s so not me, I’m not (usually) a careless driver. Sigh. Roll on the next specialist appointment and working out what is wrong with this body of mine so we can make a plan and take back control!!!

Blessed to live, live fullyI definitely received a reality check today.

A good reminder.

Life is uncertain, we don’t ever know what is around the corner.

We must treasure every step, every experience, every opportunity.

Every. Single. Day

Touch the sky

I’m just loving this song at the moment. Actually, the whole new Hillsong United album, Empires, is working pretty well for me.

These lyrics, such a truth!

Touch the sky Hillsong United

My hope

Hope found in God

This quote speaks for itself but can I just say, if you’re looking for a great devotional resource, visit She Reads Truth, which is where I found these words. These study plans are written by a variety of authors – they are so genuine and heartfelt. I have the free app on my phone and am using it daily to help me delve into the Word in a new way. I’m loving it!

Abbie x

Watering your dreams

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.” Lao Tzu.

photo credit: Stourhead (National Trust) via photopin (license)
photo credit: Stourhead (National Trust) via photopin (license)

My dreams are big at the moment, although I can’t say for sure what they are, I just know there’s something bubbling. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next step in God’s plan for me is. I’m determined to hang on to this hope and optimism – patiently (not my most well developed trait)! Rather than get bogged down in the details, and the everyday, that can suffocate dreams.

I know the rights doors will be opened and closed at the right times but I’m not going to sit back passively. I shall water my dreams with prayer and persistence.

Abbie x

Sinking Deep: Hillsong Y&F

Music moves me. No question. There are lyrics, songs, albums and artists that define periods of my life.

I have no doubt that Hillsong Young & Free is going to be the music I look back and identify with this early part of 2015. My entire adult life has been about trying to control everything. And worrying what people might think about me. But this is the time when I’m (finally) throwing myself with complete surrender into my relationship with my Lord. Now, without fear, I am His and I am letting Him lead my life.

I am so undeserving of his love, mercy and grace yet He continues to offer that to me. To all of us.

I’m grateful. I’m humbled. I’m excited. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Y&F We are young and freeI want and need my music to express that.

Which is why I can’t get enough of Hillsong Young and Free at the moment. We were lucky enough to worship with Y&F live at Cloud Festival in January. That was a truly awesome experience. I might not quite be their target demographic (I’m, um *cough* a decade or so older than they probably pitch at) but I got in there and loved every second of the worship.

This album offers me the opportunity to praise and worship. It goes fast and takes me to a happy, shout it out and dance worship, then it drops slow and and reaches deep into my heart pulling out genuine love.  You will often find me dancing around the house while doing housework, or ‘wunning’ (walk/run – I walk really fast) down the river tracks in the morning with Y&F in my ears. It’s equally likely I’ll have it plugged in for a quiet journal session in the evening.

The song that speaks to me most is Sinking Deep. The melody and the lyrics just tug my soul. This is what I yearn for, this is how I’m being called at the moment. It’s beautiful and I love it.

Standing here in your presence
In a grace so relentless
I am won by perfect love
Wrapped within arms of heaven
In a peace that last forever
Sinking deep in mercy’s sea

I’m wide awake, drawing close, stirred by grace
And all my heart is yours
All fear removed, I breathe you in, I lean into Your love

Your love so deep, Is washing over me
Your face is all I seek, you are my everything
Jesus Christ, You are my one desire
Lord hear my only cry, to know you all my life

I’m also listening to a lot of Jesus Culture, Lauren Diagle, Julia Grace and Newsboys.

Abbie x

Sharing

I stumbled on this quote during my Pinterest wanderings this week and it kind of freaked me out as it, almost word-for-word, says exactly what I’m working on in a draft post at the moment! I guess somebody out there is thinking the same way that I am.

So here’s a sneak into a post that will be coming up next week(ish)…

Share your story

Abbie x

Scripted Sunday: Can’t Stand The Rain

I love Lady Antebellum – driving, baking, house-working – their music just seems to work for me when I don’t know what else I feel like listening to. The lyrics of the song “Can’t Stand the Rain” really jumped out at me this weekend when I had a particular friend on my mind. She’s a very dear friend and I hope I am her umbrella – not just because she’s journeying through a storm at the moment, but all the time. I love her to pieces and miss her lots.

Can’t Stand the Rain
Lady Antebellum

The storms of life are gonna blow through, baby
You know we’ve all seen a cloud or two
But I meant it when I promised I would have your back through sky black or blue.
Do you remember how we swore forever till the sweet or the bitter end
Well, this is what they mean when they say you got the real thing in a friend.

With arms open wide
I’ll be your umbrella when you just can’t stand the rain
I’m there by your side,
I wanna be your shelter when you just can’t stand
When you just can’t stand the rain

I don’t know where the road you’re on is gonna end up
Or what this crazy world will put you through.
But don’t you worry about me, baby
You just go and do what you gotta do.
I’ll still be here for you

Umbrella
photo credit: Ulf Bodin via cc

December is here – the first Christmas post

This is the first Christmas post, it will not be the last. Something to get us thinking…

#Christmas #Grinch #DrSeuss

AbbiesBabble

Scripted Sunday: The Voice Within

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a Christina Aguilera fan. She has some terrifically strong lyrics in her songs – not to mention she’s one heck of a singer!

I remember hearing this song ‘The Voice Within’ well before I was a mum, and always thinking ‘this will be a great song for my daughter some day’.

Turns out I was right.

As we negotiate the water of being almost eight, and my girl is learning who she is, while dealing with some real nasty girls, these lyrics couldn’t be more true. We all need to trust the voice within us, trust our instincts, and don’t forsake ourselves, be true.

I’m glad I remembered this song today. I’m going to put it on my daughter’s playlist.

 

The Voice Within
Christina Aguilera

Young girl, don’t cry
I’ll be right here when your world starts to fall
Young girl, it’s all right
Your tears will dry, you’ll soon be free to fly

When you’re safe inside your room you tend to dream
Of a place where nothing’s harder than it seems
No one ever wants or bothers to explain
Of the heartache life can bring and what it means

When there’s no one else
Look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend
Just trust the voice within
Then you’ll find the strength
That will guide your way
If you will learn to begin
To trust the voice within

Young girl, don’t hide
You’ll never change if you just run away
Young girl, just hold tight
And soon you’re gonna see your brighter day

Now in a world where innocence is quickly claimed
It’s so hard to stand your ground when you’re so afraid
No one reaches out a hand for you to hold
When you’re lost outside look inside to your soul

Life is a journey
It can take you anywhere you choose to go
As long as you’re learning
You’ll find all you’ll ever need to know

You’ll make it
You’ll make it
Just don’t go forsaking yourself
No one can stop you
You know that I’m talking to you

Young girl don’t cry
I’ll be right here when your world starts to fall

AbbiesBabble

Scripted Sunday: Overcomer

This is my daughter’s favourite song. Which I love for her – awesome lyrics. Not that I’ve created it, I’m going to print this and put it up on her noticeboard…

Overcomer

AbbiesBabble

Books books books! (a roundup)

Flying BooksAs a baby, my mum used to put me on the potty to read books. I guess that’s a form of toilet training?! I have always gained a lot of enjoyment out of it (reading, not the potty, just to be clear). Now, as part of my ‘live a life I’m truly happy with‘ I’m making more time to fall into the pages of books. Especially at lunchtime when I get 30mins at home between my paid job and picking up kids. It’s not hard, books a like an addiction for me anyway.

One of my most visited websites has to be Book Depository. I’ve been a regular shopper over there for years – the irony does not escape me that it’s cheaper to buy books and have them shipped half way around the world from the UK for less than half of what I’d pay retail here in NZ! It’s crazy, but I’m all about a bargain so online book buying for me it is. Again and again. I’m old school, I have tried eBooks but it just doesn’t feel right.

I thought I’d share a few books on my read and to-read piles. An eclectic mix of titles to be sure! I do love hearing other people talking about books and often buy  titles based on what I read in blogs. Don’t be looking for official reviews, just my #keepingitreal thoughts…

Lately I’ve Read…

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

I first read To Kill a Mockingbird for High School English (so a couple of decades ago, sshhhhhhh!). I remember that I enjoyed it but was really keen to read it again from an adult perspective. I’m so glad I did. It definitely has to be on my all-time top 10 because reading as an adult, I understand what a rich novel this truly is. Harper Lee’s language is stunning and her character development just brilliant. I never forgot protagonist and storyteller Scout, but it was a joy to get to know her, and her family again. This is a fairly simple story that tackles serious themes of racism, social separation, prejudice, justice, good vs evil, and acceptance of difference. Atticus Finch, Scout’s father and a key character is a wise teacher: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it”. He was ahead of his time, his lessons are there for us all to learn…

Heaven Is For Real – Todd Burpo

My daughter brought home the children’s version of this book from the school library which prompted me to read the full text – that and I always like to read the book before I see the movie. I found this to be a really well told story of one family’s account with ‘the other side’. For me, it didn’t challenge my beliefs, but it did make me think a little deeper, especially hearing this from a child’s perspective and having recently said farewell a very young family friend from this earth. All in all, an easy and enjoyable read. It’s non-confrontational and I would suggest suitable for anyone who is in any way interested in what happens after this life.

Bridge To Haven – Francine Rivers

I love Francine Rivers and I’m always excited to pick up one of her new novels. This was no exception! The story centers around a girl and the extensive searching she needs to travel (physically, emotionally and spiritually) to find herself in God. True to form, we do wind to a fairly predictable conclusion but the journey there is full of lessons for the characters and ourselves. Another quick enjoyable read.

 

 

 On My bedside Table:

The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom

Looking forward to reading the words of this super-inspiring woman who was a hero, sacrificing her own safety to keep her Jewish friends safe from the Nazi’s, ultimately landing herself in concentration camps.

My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece – Anabel Pitcher

The review I read ended with “In conclusion, I reiterate: Read this book. You will not regret it. (You might cry though.)”. It sounds intriguing. My Sister is about a family learning to deal with loss in the aftermath of Terrorist attacks in London, which I’m sure will bring in tears and some touchy themes. I’m in…

Whatever After Series – Sarah Mlynowski

This is a new series I’ve stumbled on which seems to mix up the well-known fairy tales a bit. The first book in the series is winging its way to me, if it’s any good it will appear in my daughter’s (age 7) Christmas package (my kids ALWAYS get books).

The Imperfectionists – Tom Rachman

This book is set in Rome. I love Rome. But I think it was this line in the overview that tipped me over to buying it: “The Imperfectionists touches on the fall of newspapers and the rise of technology but, above all, it is a wise and moving novel about unusual, endearing characters”.

Shantanaram – Gregory David Roberts

Recommended to me by the lovely Amanda, a fellow blogger, I’m pretty sure she said something like this being one of the best books she’d read in a long time. Starting in Australian (close to home for me) the story moves to India where it seems to introduce a truly rich, international cast. I’m excited by this one.

 

So there you go, a random lot. I’ll keep you posted on the ‘to read’ books in the future. With summer holidays coming up (four weeks of work and counting…) I anticipate a bit more reading time. A good thing that, there are still 28 books on my Book Depository wish list!

I’d love to hear what you think of any of these books, or, if based on these, you can think of any others I might like…

AbbiesBabble

Scripted Sunday: This I Believe

This morning in church it was so wonderful to be led in worship by the kids worship band. Their young voices (none of them yet at high school) were equally talented and genuine. I have no doubt there are future worship leaders in that group. So great to see friends of our own children up on stage.

The kids sang one of my current favs, a Hillsong Worship song. The Creed. These lyrics just hit me every time I hear them and I want to worship with every part of my being.

This is exactly what I believe.

The Creed. This I Believe

AbbiesBabble

A new page of Babble: Quotes

This morning I added a new page to abbie’sbabble. Quotes – see it up there ↑ in the menu bar? Well if not, you can get to it here.

This new page is a collection of the images I have created with words, lyrics, quotes, sayings that I find inspiring. I think words are incredibly powerful so I try to keep mine positive. As well as keep a steady flow of positivity in what I read and listen to.

These images/words have all appeared in abbie’sbabble before. It’s nice to have them all in one place to browse through though. I sure do go for those nature backgrounds don’t I?!

One of my many wonderful discoveries in this blogging journey has been that I do love playing with ‘design’ programs. I say ‘design’ like that as I use the most basic, free, online versions, and I am by no stretch of the imagination a designer. But I am a very visual person and creating the imagery for my blog is something I really enjoy. It’s not something I’d done before and it sure is nice learning a new skill, albeit at a basic level.

Hopefully there’s something there that speaks to you. If you’d like the link to a post for a specific image, drop me a line: abbiesbabble [at] gmail [dot] com

Enjoy.

AbbiesBabble

 

Scripted Sunday: Youer than you

This is one of my all-time favourite quotes. I’ve done this today for my daughter who is having challenges at school with a bully. It’s hurting her self-esteem in a big way so we’re really trying to affirm at home that each one of our children is special, wonderful and amazing in their own way. And as the four kids are different, so are they different to every person they meet in the world. And this is ok.

Your than you

It’s always good for me to fall back to my handbook for life as well. The Bible. I love Psalm 139, especially the verse “I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful (v14)”. How cool is that?!. Each one of us is unique. Our amazing Creator, took time to make every single of us different. In His eyes we are all special. Cherished. Loved. And as our girl struggles with self-esteem, we’re trying to help her find the things that make her unique that she can stand firm on. And to remind her that no matter what, she is loved and cherished by God and by many people. It’s just unfortunate the attacks of one girl have done so much damage.

AbbiesBabble

Scripted Sunday: beautiful brokenness

Beautiful

No commentary today, this relates so closely to the sentiment of last week’s Scripted Sunday which you can read here.

Image background: Aitor Agirregabiria  cc

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Scripted Sunday: Healing in my wounds

Finding healing in your wounds

I’m a firm believer that good can, and will, come from bad. It’s quite possibly that mindset, along with my faith, that has prevented me from becoming a blithering mess several times this year. I think it’s also why this quote from Rick Warren screamed to me when I saw it on Pinterest.

I think it’s fair to say I’ve had a bit of tough stuff to deal with this year. Having lost my Gran recently, on top of losing my mum, who was followed to heaven by our friends’ young daughter, I’m just kind of sitting here thinking is this it, am I done now, can I start to move on from this grief place before being kicked back to the beginning? But even if I can’t, even if my grief journey has many more roundabouts and roads to travel, I want to continue to carry myself with authenticity, dignity and as much as possible, with strength.

Why?

Because I know my children are watching me. And now that I’ve opened myself up on here, others are too. I want people to know it’s okay to fall apart. But it’s also okay to carry on. The two can happen companionably.

And I want people to see that my strength and my healing comes from my faith, my family and myself. Myself, because it’s something I’m working on – I’m not just waiting to get ‘better’, I’m being intentional about this (hopefully without pushing myself too fast).

If someone can look at me and think ‘if Abbie can do it, I can do it’, if someone reaches out to God because they saw something in my story, if in some way I can influence someone on their journey for the better, then good has come from my sad. And I’m more than happy with that.

 

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Now is the time

I firmly believe this. I refuse to delay ‘living’ any longer.

NOW is the time to create happiness, to create memories, to be joyful and thankful.

NOW is the time to live.

I have more posts coming on this, including why I quit my job this week…

Waiting for life

By the way, if you haven’t checked out Hands Free Mama, you really should – it’s an incredibly heartfelt blog from a mama who is intentionally living in the now. It is beautifully written, with amazing insight. I find it extremely inspiring and would say there’s something for everyone, not just for the mamas out there. And no, this is not a paid endorsement, she doesn’t know me anymore than you 🙂

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