Saturday, 6 June 2015

It is well...

Photo - Janelle Leanne

My heart sings with joy though my body is weary with uncertainty.  Unsure of so many things yet sure of His providence.  My soul dances before Him in worship even when I can barely stand. My heart sings for joy at his name, even when I am silent.  He sees through the uncertainty, through the pain and through the tears.  He knows when my heart is full and when I am in need of His abundant grace.  He has set a path before me.  In my weakness I find His strength.  He cares with a deep love that I cannot fathom within the confines of my own humanity.

photo - Janelle Leanne

Be encouraged!  God does not forsake you.  He never leaves you and will never let you fall... He still has a plan no matter what comes your way.  I am a living, breathing testament to this fact.   He loves you!

It is well with me...

Love Nel  xx

Friday, 15 May 2015

Learning to pray again

Prayer… what is it and how does it work?  You would think that having grown up in the church I would know the answer to this one.  Oh, I could rattle off some theological explanation that may or may not impress but there’s got to be more to it than that. It’s got to be real. It’s got to affect you and it definitely has to change you.

Going through any sort of crisis in life can rattle the foundations you have built your life upon.  We all go through crisis at some stage.  Some bigger than others and some that seem to come all at once just to make sure you're well and truly on your knees and sometimes even laying prostrate on the ground.  Needless to say the last 18 months has well and truly rattled mine in ways I did not see coming.  But this is not about the past, it's about moving forward.

I struggle with prayer, who doesn’t?  But I need prayer, I need it in my life for so many different reasons.  Not just for me but for others too.  I am not at the point yet of having much to give out but if I can pray, something, then I can grow and heal and slowly get back up on my feet again.  
I have made physical changes in my life in moving home but the funniest thing is the baggage goes with you.  Huh!!  Who would have thought ;)  It’s not that I didn’t expect it to I definitely did and I love where I live.  My point is that now I am here, I have stopped running and need to face my spiritual, emotional and physical reality… that I am tired.  I am ok, but I am tired

That’s why I am going back to basics.  Taking off all the baggage and laying it at His feet.  Falling to my knees not physically but in the spiritual sense.  I don’t know how to pray in this season of life but I am going to try.  

I love Max Lucado.  What a wonderful writer he is and what a great place to start in being encouraged by someone who understands the realities of life!!  His book ‘before amen’ is where I am starting.  It is such a simple, beautifully rich read on the basics of prayer as inspired by Jesus.  Where do you start?  “Abba, Father”.  It’s that simple and some days it’s all any of us can muster.  And the beautiful thing is I am learning that that is OK!  

Love Nel  xx

Friday, 1 May 2015

Life in Robbo...

It's no secret amongst those that know me well that I love taking photos, love going on adventures and love sharing it with others.  I have had a handful of friends suggest over the last couple of years that I should blog more regularly and share my photos and stories of my adventures and life in general.

Well... here goes!!

I'm not really sure what it will look like but I guess half the fun is seeing it unfold.  I am excited about sharing my photos and stories of places I visit in and around home and on adventures a little further afield.  I am loving exploring my new surroundings, going for long drives or little trips on my motorbike as I gain more confidence!  Now I intend to make sure I always have my trusty camera by my side and my notebook.

So if you're interested, you're welcome to come along for the journey :)  I'll post as regularly as time will permit but aim for once a week.  It may be as simple as going to the local markets or heading off road to see where a new and unknown path will take me.  Who knows where we will end up!

Look forward to sharing my next adventure with you... J xx

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


A simple word loaded with meaning.  How courageous we think we are until our true strength is tested in a weak moment of life's circumstances.  I knew this word would be a challenge yet I also knew at my heart, I was courageous.  Not in my own strength but in who I knew I was created to be through Christ and his love and his strength at work in me through the power of his Holy Spirit.  The love of a Father...

Phew... sometimes I need that reminder.  That I am not alone, I am not without purpose and I am not a mistake.  I love that God constantly reminds me of those things in his plans for my life and I love that when I doubt what I am doing and where I am that he confirms it through others.  He encourages me through the words of others who have no idea how much that word is needed at that very point in time.  God's timing hey!   It's perfect :)

It's funny how I see myself rushing in to get my life in order, to gain some sort of purpose or reason why I am where I am and when I stop for just even a moment, I see God's plans slowly, so slowly and gently being worked out in my life.  He hasn't forgotten what he promised me, I have.  He hasn't forgotten I am useful, I have.  He hasn't forgotten I need hope, I have.  He hasn't forgotten anything, I have...

I am learning to slow down, to do what is needed one day at a time.  To stop rushing and to  focus on the task at hand.  To not panic because I don't have a job or a plan in place because God has.  To keep seeking him and he will lead me where he wants me and where he needs me!  Closed doors are closed doors for a reason.  Another one will open, in time.  I need rest, I need healing.  Last year sucked in so many ways and the hurt is still as raw and real as if it was yesterday.  I learnt a lesson from a friend the other day who suffered a great loss recently.  His goal is to be independent and strong, one day at a time.  To grieve when he needs to grieve and that's OK.  To  laugh when he needs to laugh and that is ok too!  He is in no rush to be further ahead than where he needs to be one day at a time.  He kept saying the words over to me, 'independent and strong' as if he knew I needed to hear them.  He could see something I couldn't.  He doesn't know the impact they had on me but one day if it's right I will tell him.

It takes courage to be independent and strong.  It takes courage to know you're not alone and to wait for God's plan to be set about in your life.  I am happy where I am and I know it's home for me.  I am also scared... but I am not disabled by my fear.  I still have much to let go of but I have much to take hold of as well.  To embrace and let it fill my heart with a new joy, a new peace and new beginnings.

God bless...   J xx

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


In writing today’s blog post I find it hard to know where to aim my thoughts.  With so much going on in the world I feel at times like my ‘problems’ or ‘complaints’ are very much first world problems.  Problems created by my own choices and decisions that have been made out of insecurity, vulnerability and fear yet also made out of trust, love and desire.  Desire to want to share my heart and soul.  The core or who I am with someone who is willing and has the courage to do the same.  Yes, it’s takes courage to be in a relationship.  Damn straight!  Something that I realise I have been given bucket loads of or I wouldn’t have made it through the last 10 months.  I could not be more grateful. 

So I struggle with writing a post about life here in the western world where privilege and freedom are so much taken for granted, at least by me.  Children are being be-headed, families are living on mountain tops cut off from food and water supplies, the basic necessities of life, because of their faith.  Their life is unfathomable to me and should be unfathomable to them as well, but it’s not.

So how does this affect me?  How do I deal with my own ‘stuff’ in light of what is happening to others in the world and not get bogged down in self pity or not become absorbed by the sadness and weight of what the last 10 months have brought?


I have no other answer nor do I want one.  It is that simple and it is enough for me.  My faith is ‘perfect’ as it is given to me but ‘imperfect’ by the time I live it out.  Gods desire is not for me to stumble or to be afraid but to rest in the faith he has given me, despite my circumstances.  I am not  one for sprouting cliches so please don’t read this as being that.  It is my true experience that faith has got me through.  I have been held.

The next step is just another one along the path I have chosen to take.  One in which I hope and pray that God continues to walk with me.  I am leaving behind everything I know to be familiar to embrace something completely new, foreign and filled with so many uncertainties.  It’s amazing how you can dream of something for so long and when it becomes a reality, it can look and feel so much different to what you thought or expected it to be.  All the positives suddenly become what ifs.  What if this doesn’t happen?  What if I don’t fit in?  What if I don’t find a new church home?  What if I don’t find a job?   What if I'm rejected?  What if I’m lonely…?

What if I stop being my own worst enemy and just have faith and realise it's not all about me?!

(I feel like I need to insert a joke here to lighten things up but I have never been good at remembering them so perhaps just pretend I told a beauty and laugh anyway ;) )

Friday is a big day, but no bigger than any other day.  I will get up, I will drive to my new home and I will embrace what God has provided for me.  The same as I do and have done for any other day.  Yes this is a bit different, it’s a new life, a new home but it’s still God’s provision and he is still with me.  I will be grateful and I will be filled with hope that God has it in hand and for my brothers and sisters who are being persecuted all over the world, I will pray and I will stand strong in honour of them and I will fight for them.

It’s not about my circumstances, it’s about my God.

J xx

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Little Ms Indpenedent

I have always been an independent kind of person.  At times it's had me labelled as stubborn although it's usually when I don't do what the other person thinks I should do rather than allowing me to be me.  As a consequence I have always had to fight just to be myself or make myself heard and was no doubt rather ungracious in my execution...  I was never allowed too  much autonomy in my earlier years.  As long as I fit within what was acceptable then I was acceptable, otherwise I was being stubborn or just plain difficult.  Now I get that there are some things growing up that you just have to do whether you like it or not because others know best.  That's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about being you, making choices and decisions that define who you are as a person.  Gaining respect for who you are and being in relationships where you are loved and accepted for who you are and not having to fit into someone else ideal of who you should be.

The consequences of that can be disasterous.  Becoming a people pleaser because that's what gets you accepted and loved.  Not knowing who you are and how to make choices because it's always been done or manipulated for you.  Being easily manipulated.  Afraid to ask for help because you've been told what you should and shouldn't and can and can't do for so long that asking for help seems weak and confirms in your mind you are incapable.  When help is accepted, feeling like you've failed and continually need to show gratitude for putting someone out and being a burden.  I could go on....

Anyone relate?

As a result, I have always loathed asking for help which has made me look like I don't need or want it.  What a complex life we create out of our insecurities.  I have missed out on a lot by appearing so outwardly confident and capable but I have been so badly burned by being vulnerable in the wrong places that sometimes it's hard to know how to get the balance right.

If I had trusted my instincts and listened to my heart and balanced it out with my head I could have saved myself a whole lot of heartache, and not caused so much for others...

I am having to ask for help more at this time of my life than I have ever needed to before.  And that is confronting all of these things.  Am I a burden?  Do people really love me or do they just feel sorry for me?  How do I show gratitude?  Seriously, this should be simple stuff right? 

I need support, we all do, and we need to find it in a safe and loving environment where we know people love and accept us for who we are.  Finding that place can be tough and there can be many dead ends along the way.  I find that starting over in middle age is hard because so many adult friendships have already been established over a period of years and it's hard for them to let someone else in.  You don't have that history connecting you and let's face it, we are all busy and who needs another person in their already busy life right?

I don't have answers, sorry!  I ask myself these questions regularly because I am so aware of trying to do the right thing because that's what I was taught.  No wonder I am tired and sometimes just want to tell everyone to go away (being very polite here... it's how I was taught to be!) 

I know I am capable of many things but I can't do everything and none of us can.  It doesn't mean I am needy it just makes me human.  I will no doubt have challenges in my next move to my new home.  From packing up this one to setting up the new one.  And I will no doubt have to ask for help and I have been very kindly offered help from some wonderful friends.  Accepting it is a humbling thing to do and perhaps that's what I am meant to learn from all of this rambling... be humble, be grateful and be generous in return for when others need help too.  That after all is what relationships are all about.  Give and take, supporting and caring for one another.  Loving each other through the good times and the bad.  I need to start trusting my instincts on who are the right people to share life with.  Looking for God's provision in practical ways and embracing it as an act of his love for me and being his hands and feet for others when they need it too. 

I don't find it easy but I am learning and realising it's ok to be me.  I am ok, even though I sometimes fail.  I am still ok.

J xx

Friday, 25 July 2014

God's sweet spot

Being a Christian is a humbling experience.  At least it should be or there's something not quite right with the journey.  Where to begin...

I'm not up for sharing details, nor do I feel pressured to but I can pretty much guess you have an idea that the last year has been one of the most difficult I have had to endure.  Sure, life has been tough before but there is something unique about this part of the journey that has had me floored and on my knees in ways that I haven't experienced before.  My life has been smashed to pieces, pulled apart and left like pieces of a mosaic lying around me which I have had no idea of how or where to begin to put it back together.  (A vision that was given to me by a beautiful friend 7 years ago!)  Nor have I had the energy or motivation.  Grief is such an all consuming thing and it has been faithful friends who have reminded me that I am way harder on myself than I should be. 

God has me in the palm of his hand, right where he wants me.  Humbled, broken but not alone.  He is the one putting things back together.  He is the one asking me to rest in his 'sweet spot' even though being there means grieving things I have lost.  Even though it means dealing with pain and trusting him alone for my future.  It is indeed a bitter 'sweet' spot to be in.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  Don't get me wrong!  I would love to be at the other end of this crap, I would love to be experiencing pure joy and elation at having come through but there is something in the journey that I don't want to miss.  I don't want to miss his comfort, his walking with me, his overwhelming love, his desire to put my life back together the way he wants it to be.  He is lavishing me with love, grace and compassion and I couldn't be more humbled, grateful or at a loss for words in how to express what he is doing in my life.  I am learning more than I have the time to make note of but he is burning it into my heart and soul.  Funny thing is, it's not just about me.  He is giving me something so beautiful that I know it's not just for me.  When the time is right, He will ask me to share it with others.  He will ask me to open my heart (and most probably my home!) to bring to others what he has given to me.

But for now, he is asking me to rest... and I am learning to do just that.

I am learning to find joy in the little things.  I am learning to take the pressure off and to wait until God's timing has things perfectly in place.  I am learning to trust that if I don't make something happen 'right now' it doesn't mean I am going to miss out.  He's got it covered and will bring it about in his time.  Thank the Lord because I have so far done a great job at rushing and messing up things in my life and yet even that is ok.  He can restore and he will. 

Sitting, waiting, resting and trusting in his timing, his perfect plan and his amazing grace.  There's nowhere else I'd rather be...

J xx