Thine Heart Humbled

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Stricken by lightning, torn down by the flu, mocked by dearly beloveds, scorned by passers by. Weathered and beaten by the hem of her sleeve, she was done. What a way to please the world, she thought, and she did it with every vibrant, vulnerable beat.

She hid no feelings and everything and their powers ruined her for it.

She staggered, bruised and downcast across the cotton wrinkles. The creases of her shirt felt like valleys and trenches — Agonisingly, withering, she walked away from the edge bleeding uncontrollably… The green zig zag slowly faded. The tinnitus beep followed thereafter. The field won this round…

Stoic. Is this what you want from me?

Numb. Is this what you want from me?

Plain. Is this what you want from me?

Mute. Is this what you want from me?

There was clearly a chemical imbalance. Deoxygenated maybe? Muscle failure. Sharp flutters, she was fading, slowly; a disconnect from her source.

Disengaged. Violated, wallowing in her blood a voice calls out, “Live!” Naked and bare, she begins to beat again. New life was birthed in her, truth was spoken over her.

She fled back this time, her thuds were excited. Her black hole welcomed her, it was warm just as she had left it. The body was one and she was at peace. They thrived in unity, each part serving the another faithfully. They appreciated her on her return; “Thine heart is back, may we live on!” the victorious cry from the mouth piece announced! A jubilant breath filled the lungs, the hands clapped and the feet stomped, were they glad to see their heart back in place.

*

The heart goes back into the body and learns to work with the body to glorify God.

Not only is it glorifying God, but it is learning how to love. To love properly. Love is not selfish in thinking of itself and its own freedoms, love gives, works together; love is whole.

For love to flow, love first needs to be poured into, poured into by a continuous wellspring higher than itself. A cistern, dedicated to fulfilling the heart with more and more of itself. That wellspring of love is God.

~ G

Thine Heart on Thine Sleeve

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HOME

Home is where the heart is, they say. Home is the dwelling of a nuclear family or the alternative one. Home is belonging; peace, a humble abode.

What if where you are right now was not home? What if all you have ever known was a lie, a figment of your imagination, a web of dusty dreams?

A few days ago I walked along my usual pathway home and processed my surroundings differently. As the wind blew and the wind shook the leafless trees I had somewhat of an epiphany. The only thing true is God. And there it dawned on me that everything we see, touch, smell, taste, regardless of how tangible it may seem does not compare to how real God is.

Eternity is home

Thinking about this helps me to better understand the tug God has put in the heart of every human being. The gaping hole which longs for more. The vast deeps which can not be filled. Not at least by anything earthly anyway.

You see, in our hearts God has placed eternity. It’s what we truly yearn for if you really give that thought more than a few minutes. Eternity is home.

But one of my friends kindly reminded me of the hint of home. Sometimes we can feel at home in the presence of other believers. That quieted my soul for a moment because it made me remember that yes, God is in the believer, He lives among us through His Holy Spirit.

Home is found in companionship and love and conversation. Home is found in the sweetness of an act of kindness. Home is found in the eyes of those who share your same hearts cry, to be one with God in eternity and to enjoy Him forever.

Home is not always here. At least not for me.

Where is home for you?

~ G

How The Winter Weather Affects My Mood

 

Crisp mornings, sharp breezes, tingling cheeks and chappy lips, yes, these all too familiar descriptive words tell us all the tale of season change. The long weeks of heat and sun are a distant memory for us Brits. Winter is here!

Who doesn’t love the autumn look, though? The layers, the scarves, the ankle boots, the turtlenecks and the corduroy (which I am 100% digging atm!). Or the winter look; the hats, the fur, the puffer coats and so on. And what about the question that seems to always be on the tip everyone’s tongue by November, “Will it snow this Christmas?”

In the same breath, season change in the UK brings dark mornings and even darker evenings. The sound of cars driving over wet roads, murky puddles, overcast skies, ear muffs and not-so-effective gloves are all marks of winter being in full swing.

I find it hard waking up during those mornings and even harder getting out of bed. Knowing it’s cold in your room and knowing it will be even colder outside can make you just want to curl up and pray your alarm just went off a bit too early…

I find the clearer skies more easy to bear with during the winter months than the dreary ones. Oftentimes, I find myself thanking God for the blue skies and having to encourage myself to thank Him for the grey ones too.

You’d think that Christian’s don’t get affected by a small thing such as the weather, right?! Well I’ll hold my hands up high and say I certainly do.

Christians can be affected by anything in the same way an unbeliever can be – the difference is how we simply approach and deal with it.

Before I go on, let us read the definition of the acronym SAD (Season Affective Disorder).

Seasonal Affective Disorder

noun

depression associated with late autumn and winter and thought to be caused by a lack of light.

Let’s face it, there seems to be a name for everything in the western world, I get it. But the factors, ie ‘a lack of light’ do play a key role in the drop of our mood, as the definition named it ‘depression’. I wouldn’t outright label myself with this disorder, but I can see how certain symptoms I have may correlate to the definition. However, these causes and effects are a real thing and yes, even (some) Christians deal with this. Is it an excuse to sin? Of course not. By no means! Should we allow such labels to define us? Of course not. By no means! Scripture encourages us in the general sense to pray without ceasing, right? Thus, during my low spells, I have found that it is good for me to be consistently and intentionally and quickly airing out my thoughts to our Heavenly, loving Father, whose ear is attentive to our prayers.

All throughout Scripture we are reminded that God is sovereign and that God is indeed good and to be trusted. So all things any given Christian will go through is for their good and ultimately for the glory of God! …Including enduring Downcast British Weather.

We are called to lay down our burdens before God. Maybe that burden is dealing with the fact that you don’t want to do the day because it’s dark and gloomy, in that moment you therefore make the choice to give over that very thought process to God and ask Him for His strength to meet you there.

I am reminded that it is in our weaknesses that God truly shows Himself in our lives to be our strong and mighty God.

Though I thrive better when I see a sunny day, I can still be comforted by God’s presence and His faithful Word on a cloudy day. Even more so, I press on to visit that friend after work or head to fellowship mid week because there’s nothing like being surrounded by people in the faith! I am so encouraged by God’s gift of His body, which He used to strengthen me. During those cold evenings, I am reminded that in my very weakness God truly shows Himself to be my strong and mighty God.

Christ is my light. His Word illuminates my grey days and even greyer mood. He is the lamp onto my feet and picks me up when I stumble. Jesus the Christ came and embodied ‘God Being With Us’. He gave us His Holy Spirit to live in us, who shines His light on our dark path and produces joy in the heart of the believer! Though I may be weary, He gives me wings to sore. Truly, there are days I walk through and by the end I say, “It is only You Lord who brought me through today, Jesus, thank you.”

This blog post is both an encouragement to you and to myself and a testament to God doing His marvellous, relentless work in me in this area. Even such a thing as weather the Lord can use it to refine His children and draw our lowly hearts closer to Him.

Grateful for you reading

G x

 

 

The Happy Black Woman

Pray against the perception of the angry black woman

The angry black woman

The angry black woman

Fight against the behaviour of the angry black woman

The angry black woman

The angry black woman

Have the mentality of the happy black woman

The happy black woman

The happy black woman

Then people at work will see the happy black woman

The happy black woman

The happy black woman

And God will give joy to the happy black woman

The happy black woman

The happy black woman

And the worlds view would change about the angry black woman

The angry black woman

The angry black women

Because all they will see is the happy black woman

The happy black woman

The happy black woman

~ G

*

#TheHappyBlackWoman

Exploring The God of The Old Testament

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It’s so interesting how a question or a thought process you have been having with yourself is expounded upon on the pulpit. I love that! How intimate is God that He is aware and in tune with our needs and the needs of the local church! The idea of God being transcendent and yet eminent is a concept my mind has floated around with but not grounded it with specific words like those. God is holy and high, able to hold all things together by the Word of His power and yet is near and close to the believer, able to hear our Words to Him and speakt o us through His written Word – what a comfort!

Of recent, I have been pondering on the thought of approaching God in prayer knowing Who He Is. If I know this God; His character and His works, just a little bit better, my faith in Him and stance in prayer would be completely enlighted and anew. I’ve seen in sermons, worship lyrics and Scripture that God is good, God is able, God protects, God loves, God builds, God acts, God saves. All these things and more are so true and we thank Him for them in prayer, praise and worship. But I have been thinking – what are the things God has done that has assigned all of these great words of His character to Him?

For that, I realised the wealth and value and depth of the stories – the truths – found nowhere else other than in the Old Testament books of the Bible.

I will not say that I have cracked it. In fact, I have merely scratching the surface. But I desire to get so engrossed in the stories of the Old Testament. This is indeed History! HIS-story. How God created. How God saves His people. How God redeems His people. How God was patient towards rebels. How God was, again, patient with rebels – rebels like me.

I need to know these things about God so that I can trust Him. Really trust Him. I need to know these things about God so that my praise is not mere words but I believe that yes He is great and yes He is mighty to save and yes He is an ever-present God! Let everyone who agrees with this say amen!

God is so full of wonderment and He should be explored. He has left us a book full of His Words which shine a bright light on Who He Is – He has chosen to reveal Himself to us through His Son and through His amazing Word in Scripture. What else shall we do with our time and energies but to get to know this God that we think about here and there and pray to here and there… He deserves to be known and He has invited us to know Him. Let us do it, willingly, gladly and obediently.

Jesus, help us.

~ G

Letters To You Only

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Dear you,

When you’re tired, I know. When something is on your mind, I know. There’s a distance, a muteness. A withdrawal of oneself, I can feel it.

I believe them when they say two hearts can beat as one. I believe them when they say love can be instant.

I am fond of you. I am. It’s true. There is no denying my fondness for you. I can’t shake you off, and I know you have told me why…

It is because I love you. And you are right, I do. I always will.

Yours only

Dear you,

When you write to me, I smile. I open your letters and our conversations continue. I remember your voice and I am glad again, my heart is filled with joy.

Your handwriting shares a little bit about you. You are thoughtful and an avid reader. The words you use sometimes I need a dictionary to define them.

You are special. There is nothing hopelessly romantic in that. It is truth. I would give as much as I could to be with you but we both know why that can’t be.

Yours only

Dear you,

When we meet I hope you look at me. I hope you remember your words and you say them to me. When your eyes drift it’s because they are shy.

Don’t be shy of me.

Yours only

Dear you,

You know me all too well, I blush. Even now as I look over your letter I hide my face in my palms.

I am torn in my soul. The boats dock once a month and the window to board only an hour. But there’s a wedge in the door, a thorn in my path. This ache won’t get rid.

My heart is heavy. You always see the light at the end, my sight is a little less clear.

Save that fine ink in the draw of your desk for a sunny day. I have rained and rained and have drowned.

Yours

Dear you,

There you are again with your colours. Brightly arrayed you are in a mood. Perhaps tears have fallen, but your beauty still kept. You are wonderful.

I know when your emotions have gotten you and when your thoughts have plagued you. Alas, my dear, relax.

My love for you will never dwindle. My thoughts of you will never fail. With every one of these letters folded in that leather satchel of yours and swung on your side, I long to see you again. I love every drop of ink I use for you and I won’t tarry until you are in my arms.

Till then, I will wait for you.

Yours always

~ G

26 Pure Joys

1. The sun rise

2. Prayerful friends

3. Words of affirmation

4. A genuine smile

5. Unshakeable loyalty

6. Words of encouragement

7. A hearty hug

8. A hearty meal

9. Deep affection from a love interest

10. Lemon drizzle cake

11. A warm bed after a long day

12. Laughter from the belly

13. Beautiful singing voices in harmony

14. Truly letting go of a wrong

15. Morning walks with The Lord

16. Getting to know someone new

17. Exploring an unknown territory

18. Clear mind space

19. A well taken photograph

20. The company of an old friend

21. Listening to the stories of an elderly person

22. Knowing you are forgiven

23. A nicely fragranced person who walks by

24. A polite and well-mannered child

25. The sunset

26. Knowing the truth

~ G

Thine Heart On Thine Sleeve

Her armour was invisible to the naked eye. She wore her bravery with dignity. Between her chest, black, hollow, vacant; no signs of an organism lived there.

The cages were barren, only her lungs breathed and filled the spaces. Each breath gave way to the life she always had in her. Oxygen could get through to her brain much easier this way. Each thought was fuelled passionately with every inhale. No strain. No irony. Just magic.

There was room. The beating drum was free. Free to Rome the fields. Free to love, free to fly, free to dance, free to be all the life-giving wonderment it could be.

It was alive. Alas, she was alive! No longer coped away and defined by the rest. “You must stay in here, you are bound by these courts!” No, she stood alone. Her thuds were valiant, her beats were set free; she was a wild heart.

Thine body did not realise thine strain on thine heart.

Caged away did nothing for the world. Finally unhinged, where better to express than on thine sleeve. There she smiled and she cried and she crashed and she burned and she laughed and she sang and she fought and she raged and she bled and she died and she lived and she survived.

Her rhythm in tune, in sync and to the beat; No better way to live than with thine heart on thine sleeve. No better way to live than with thine heart on thine sleeve. No better way to live than with thine heart on thine sleeve.

~ G

I Make My Own Black

Making art has always been a place of expression for me. Most times it’s intention is undefined. I don’t know what I will create until the end. I look back at it and read into my work. This helps me to fill the painting out more than the strokes do. It is usually why I juxtapose art with writing. And believe it or not, I don’t do it for the audiences benefit, but for my own.

My art helps me pour out what is within through colour, brushstrokes and freedom. My writing thereafter helps me to process the outpouring. Why did I chose to use such heavy handed brush strokes on some paintings and not others or why was I so smooth and particular at this point? These are all ways I get to figure out what I was thinking whilst I was painting. By the end when I look back and sift through my painting, I can read that I am in love or being a perfectionist today or just wanting to let lose on something where no one can dictate to me what.

For a week now I’ve wanted to write but have not known what to write about until I painted yesterday night, slept on it and woke up deeply reflective. I’ve been thinking about the dreams, the mysteriousness of God and yet His revealed knownness. I’ve been thinking about Jesus and the Jesus that comes into my mind when I think of Him. What are the boxes we have created for God that we didn’t even know about until they were pointed out? I’ve been thinking about the law of freedom and what that actually means.

I make my own black literally says what it is. Rarely do I ever use processed black paint to paint my portraits. Nearly always I make my own black. It’s a skill I learnt at school and I held it really closely to my heart. I’m not so sure why it stuck but it did. The depth that comes with the blues and the reds mixed with the hints of yellow is not something that can be found when you stare straight through a black painting. They somewhat seem dull to me, not alive! Mixing my own black brings depth and warmth and meaning like no other. Look at it long enough and you will see the wonderment of all God’s good colours, how regal is black when it runs free without bounds!

~ G

Adulting

Urban dictionary:

Adulting

verb

To carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals (paying off that credit card debt, settling beef without blasting social media, etc). Exclusively used by those who adult less than 50% of the time.

Oxford dictionary:

Adulting

noun

The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks. “It feels really good to step back from adulting and have someone else cook dinner for me”.

adulting-logo1

Gayle’s dictionary:

Adulting

verb, noun, all the above

The time in your life where you have reached adult age and yet are trying to figure the ins and outs of everything that consists within adult life. It is the bridge between the empirical fact of one’s age and the expectations which accompany it and the experiences one is met with.

It is the time in your life where things you would have formerly said yes to as a child or a teenager, you now begin to question, reason with and find conclusions on for yourself.

It is a pivotal shift where you begin to think on your own about matters which other, possibly older, people would have once taken care of. The payment of bills, the decisions on where to live, your management of finances, upholding a job, choosing when to take out the bins, cleaning your home not just your room.

It is a time millennials are experiencing which involves the sharing of information both to our help and to our downfall. Adulting with social media at our thumbs exposes us to the good, bad and ugly, magnifies our proclivity to comparison, intensifies ones struggle in finding joy in the present and glorifies the rise in ‘local celebrity’ culture.

It is a period in your life where you experience the growing pains of, “My decisions matter, my actions matter”. In this time, you must navigate and sift through your thoughts, emotions and attitudes and come to the realisation that life’s paths are determined by your thinking processes. Everything counts. One must choose who will be their influencers, who will they grow with and do life with? Does one believe in a higher power or a power within?

Adulting is the incomplete, work in progress of a human being who makes mistakes which one uses to build into one’s character to be refined and equipped for future adult situations. It is a mission not for the faint hearted and is characterised by the brave.

The quest continues…

~ G

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Memes below are from Google and are not my own. Enjoy, scroll and console oneself…

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