Overwhelmed But Not Overcome

Faith

Do you ever have one of those days where everything just seems to happen at once? First, you wake up late, then you forget to take money for lunch, you forget to bring in the one piece of homework you’ve actually done and then get about 5 hours of homework for the next day? Me too.

It’s a little-known fact that I did not handle stress well during A-levels, I was always super chill in public only to then go home and cry about everything I had to do. Productive, I know. But the great news is, God hasn’t called us to live a life like this, he’s called us into a life where we know where to put our fears. Now, take note I didn’t say that we’re to live a life without problems, Jesus himself says:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (NLT)

So, if Jesus tells us that we are going to struggle in life, why should we bother becoming a Christian? The above passage comes in the context of Jesus telling his disciples that he will soon be leaving them, he says that “you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me… you will grieve but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.” Jesus is explaining that there is a purpose for the pain that he will go through on the cross, even though in the moment they will not understand why such a thing should happen, the pain Jesus endures is only a pathway for incredible love to be uncovered. And though forgetting your lunch money may not be that big of a deal, you can read and apply John 16:33 to the bigger storms in your life.

Look at the underlined portion of that verse, the phrase ‘take heart’ is another way for Jesus to say, ‘remind your heart of this’. The word of God is not something that we should look at once, highlight and then move on from. We should constantly go back to it and remind ourselves of the promises that God has made over us. Promises such as “…you are fearfully and wonderfully made // The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still” or even “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.Reading these verses weekly/daily/hourly remind us how great God is and how much he cares for us in little but incredible details of our lives!

He says that he has ‘overcome’ the world, which means that it doesn’t matter if our battle is with anxiety, stress, insecurity, anger or illness; the truth is that, in the end, we win because God has already won. Winning doesn’t mean an easy road and it certainly doesn’t mean that we won’t struggle (I know I do), but it means that we can struggle hopefully, pray confidently, and work practically to move forward.

-A.

 

Featured Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

10 Reasons why Monday’s are actually great

Lifestyle
  1. They offer a new start every week.

    A fresh start with healthy eating, your new hobby that you promised yourself you’d start but didn’t, your promise that you’d be nicer to people, your new Gym routine, getting 8 hours sleep every night. It’s like having a New Years every week.

  2. Re-find your motivation

    Monday gives you an opportunity to get motivated again. Get moving, do what makes you motivated and excited, make sure you have the best week yet!

  3. Perfect time to set new goals

    Break old habits, set a mark that you want to get on your exam, a length you want to run. Monday gives you the perfect place to start these new goals and work towards them.

  4. You have a whole week to accomplish what you want to get done.

    You have a brand new 7 days to accomplish absolutely everything that you need to accomplish, which all start with Monday, your first day to get things sorted and solved to organise yourself in preparation for the following days.

  5. TV shows

    Everyone knows that all of the best TV shows start on Monday’s, there is always at least two decent shows on a Monday night.

  6. Hating it doesn’t help

    You can’t go on hating that much of life, hating 52 days of the year will not help with dealing with the day anyway. 

  7.  Clean hair!

    Yesterday was Sunday. Sunday means hair wash day, so Monday means clean and shiny hair to flick around with pride!

  8. Monday means less rain

    According to statistics, Monday is the least rainy day in the week, giving you all the more reason to get out there and do something that you would previously be putting off because of the weather.

  9. One step closer to the weekend

    Yes, only 4 more days before the weekend start, you’ve done one get up, what’s four more?

  10. All the other reasons

    There will be over 5,000 weddings, 10,000 childbirths and 42 million hugs. 600 people will get a promotion, 600 dogs will be adopted, 35,000 balloons sold and 800,000 skittles sold. Finally, the words ‘I love you” will be said over 9 million times. Enjoy Monday.

    -L

5 Things to do with all your Christmas chocolate 

Lifestyle

Chocolate, sweets and money are the 3 most common things my family buy me for Christmas, so by January time I’m obese but slightly rich. So, here are 5 things that I have previously done with all my chocolate that save me eating my body weight and means that other people get a little treat too.

  1. Chocolate Fondue – the best thing for a cosy night in with friends and family. It’s practically healthy too if you use fruit, I mean can you really have strawberries without chocolate? All you need is your favourite chocolate, a microwave, some fruit or marshmallows and some skewers and you’re all set.
  2. Chocolate cake – cupcakes or a big cake it doesn’t matter, this way you get to enjoy some baking and get to spread some love in this gloomy post-Christmas period. Just make sure you have some cute cupcake cases to go with it.
  3. Brownies – I don’t know why these haven’t made it to the top of the list if I’m honest but oh well. Brownies go with anything, custard, cream, ice cream, hot and even cold. Plus you can put endless amounts of chocolate in it so you can get rid of a lot of your chocolate in just one go. For the best brownies, I use BBC good food brownie recipe.
  4. Cookies – who doesn’t love a good cookie? Warm, gooey, melt in the mouth good cookies. The perfect way to light up anyone’s day, and use up even more of your chocolate. I find American recipes are the best, but any work.
  5. Smore’s – perfect for any time of the year, marshmallow’s, biscuit (chocolate digestive is THE best) and a little fire.

Hope this helps with having 10 Kilos of chocolate,

Enjoy,

-L

Responding to God

Faith

Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the LORD, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally, Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?” And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else.
1 Samuel 10:21-23 NLT

A bit of background, a couple of chapters ago Saul had been chosen to be king and as amazing as that opportunity was, he had to wait a few years before he actually became king of Israel. No doubt within those years he would have had to go through some training and have someone to advise him about the massive role he would take on.

I have a confession to make, I’m not so great at sticking to things. I love painting but the style that I admire requires years of practice. I love music but chord learning is all I have the patience for on the keyboard. I like quick and easy solutions to my problems and sometimes I’ll even quit something because I feel like I’m just fine knowing the basics. Saul was a little like me in a way, in 1 Samuel chapter 9 when Saul meets Samuel (the one who God tells to anoint Saul as king) for the first time he quickly replies with:

“…But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?”

1 Samuel 9:21 NLT

That word, only, we’ve all thought it before if we’ve been asked to do a certain job, maybe someone asked you to speak in assembly or your team to play against the current top of the league teams. It seems like Saul was quite happy at the level he was at, where no one knew him and he could live quietly.

It’s a normal response to go into hiding just like Saul did in the first passage, remember when Moses tried to wriggle out of approaching Pharaoh because he thought God couldn’t have possibly been talking to him? This tells us that, all those biblical heroes were human too, they got scared, they didn’t believe in themselves but God used their weaknesses and strengthened them. They didn’t have to have themselves together before he used them, just a bit of faith.

Most of the time when God calls us to do something, it’s uncomfortable, and you feel a bit like Saul standing out in the open; head and shoulders above everyone else. Remember that he’s not asking for your perfect self – he’s calling your ‘only’ and your ‘but’s’ and saying “hey, I’m here. Let’s give it a go together.”

So let us paint, play, dance, sing, write poems, write blogs, encourage others and love to the best of our abilities.

You are not too messy, your opinion is important, you will never be ‘ready’. If God has put these things on your heart then the only thing for you to do is respond.

-A.