Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Delight & Trust His Plans


The past week has been quite up and down for me.  I was working a seven day week from Tuesday to Monday, and I was exhausted by Saturday evening.  I visited my friend Sarah during my break on Sunday and told her how I had been feeling distant from God that week and how lost I felt because of it.  We talked for a long time and Jeremiah 29:11-14 came into my head and stuck with me for the rest of the day. 



My God has a plan for me.  And this simple fact is incredible.  I am so undeserving of His love and His care, what have I ever done to deserve this from my creator?  But that's the thing, it's not about what I've done, it's about what Jesus has already done for me and this is something that I forget.  I should be living my life to bring glory to Him because of what He's already done for me, He died and rose again for me, so I should be after His heart and following His plan for me.   

I've realised that I don't want anything else for my life except His plan for me, because anything else feels worthless without Him. 

I need to learn how to live my life for Him on a daily basis.  To do the littlest of things for His glory, whether it's helping to cook a meal for eighty campers, hanging up washing, writing a blog post, taking photographs, talking to my friends, I should be living for Him in everything that I can.  This isn't going to be easy because I'm human so I'm going to make mistakes and have grumpy days, but I need to focus on Him above everything and know that every day is a part of His plan for me. 




If my heart isn't centred on God then I can't follow His plan for me, even if His plan scares me, even if this means travelling to the other side of the world by myself (which I'll be doing next year), even if it's doing something I'd never imagined I would do, then if it's for Him it'll be worth it and the outcome will be for Him. 

But I'll only be able to live for Him if I have a relationship with Him.  I need to learn to listen to God, to talk to Him, and to read His word every day.  To turn to Him with the simplest of things instead of letting my own worries get in the way.  If I turn to Him first when things are getting to me, and I hand my burdens over to Him then following His plan for me will be so much easier if I have Him at the heart of everything I do. 

I've spent so long overcomplicating my faith and trying to make it out to be this big, philosophical, inspiring thing.  When really all it's just God loving me, and me loving Him, learning to trust Him and walk in His light. 



Carolyn 
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Monday, 19 September 2016

Delight & Learn To Be Fearless



I'm quite a worrier, I get anxious easily, and I'm scared of the day I never saw.  I will spend hours worrying about situations that are yet to happen or might never happen.  But over the past couple of weeks God's been challenging the worrisome mind-set that I have.   He's telling me to stop being scared, and to trust in Him.  For me this is turning out to be a lot easier said than done, but I am slowly learning. 

Since the start of summer I've felt distant from God until recently when I learnt a very important and difficult but simple lesson.  And that is to give it up.  Whatever it is that you're carrying, that secret you've kept for years, that battle you've been fighting for months, that thing you've been struggling with but you're too proud to ask for help.  Give it up.  Give it over to God, let it go and let Him take care of it.  Because He's your Father and if He can't take care of it, then who can?

I've been stumbling my way through these past few months, and gradually hurting more and more, and feeling sorry for myself in the tough times I've been in.  But then my friend shared James 1:2-4 with me and it was something I needed to hear. 


This was an encouragement because it reminded me that everyone goes through low points in their faith, we're human and we mess up so it's impossible to constantly feel on fire for God.
It was a bit of a slap in the face because being told that the difficulties you're facing are a "sheer joy" isn't really what you want to hear when you're feeling completely hopeless and lost in your faith.
But, this passage was the kick up the butt that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself, hand my fears over to God and start making more of an effort to face challenges and life in general with Gods love fuelling me rather than my own fear, because I've learnt the hard way that that won't get me anywhere.

When we feel like we're facing a constant battle in our faith, we can sometimes feel like we're hanging by a thread of faith.  That thread of faith is better than no thread at all because faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.  And although we might only be hanging onto a single thread, God has a stronger thread hanging onto us constantly. The thread of God's love is constantly getting stronger as he does everything He can to bring us closer to Him, even when we feel like this this thread is invisible.  Even on the days when we're crying out to Him in loneliness, He's there watching over us and working in us to make us stronger. 

I'm trying my best to hand my fears, my anxieties and my worries over to God.  Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it has crazy outcomes. 

One thing is teaching me through fearlessness is to feel content within myself.  Although I still have days when I look in the mirror and my attention goes straight to my flaws.  But I'm slowly learning to accept my jiggly thighs, flabby tummy, and spotty skin as who God has made me to be, and if I really want to change this then it's up to me to do it.  I'm accepting that I giggle far too easily, and far too loudly.  I'm learning that I talk far too much, and I talk far too quickly.  I'm learning that to love myself I need to fill myself with a love for God, and then everything else, including contentment with who I am, will gradually fall into place.  This doesn't meant that I'm suddenly going to stop worrying, or that I won't face trials, it just means that I'm facing life with God by my side and He's teaching me to be fearless.



I'm learning to say yes to things that scare me and to try my best to not worry about them before they come.  Because God wouldn't make me feel like I should do these things, if He wasn't going to give me the courage and the words to say.  Which is why I'm going to Australia for a month next year (INTERNALLY SCREAMS IN DISBELIEF!!), I'm leading a Bible study tonight that I've only been attending for a few weeks, and I'm trying to tackle my hospital appointments with God instead of by myself. 

I'm slowly but surely learning to trust in God instead of being controlled by my own fear.  It's not easy but the outcome is beautiful because I know it's Gods will and that feels amazing. 


Carolyn
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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Carolyn's Simple Life | The Re-Brand to Stained Glass Stars



So, you might have noticed that Carolyn's Simple Life has changed over the past few days.  It's changed A LOT.  Firstly, I've renamed my blog (internally screams!!!).  I've been thinking about this for a long time and finally decided to take the leap of renaming my blog.  I've been so scared to do this because I don't know how this is going to affect my blog/networking and all those bloggy things but, I outgrew my old name. 

I've been wanting to have a fresh start on my blog without starting all over again, I feel the best way for me to do this is to have a new name, a new design, and hopefully a new motivation for me to get back to posting regularly.   Although in the process of doing this I've managed to lose all my 280 Bloglovin' followers for my blog which has been quite upsetting.

To be completely honest with you guys I'm absolutely petrified to be doing this because my blog means so much to me.  This is my little space online which I've come to know and love, so the thought of letting go of Carolyn's Simple Life is a difficult one.  But, I think it's time for my blog to 'grow up' in a sense and so that's what I'm doing. 

I think back to when I started blogging, I did it because I was lonely and needed a hobby which meant I didn't have to leave the comfort of my bedroom.  If you had told 16 year old me where I would be now I wouldn't have believed you but the fact is that I have done a lot of growing up over the past two years.  I'm not the attention seeking, selfish girl that I was then.  I've moved away from home, I have a full time job that I love, I've grown tremendously in my faith as a Christian, and I have a group of close friends that I love like family.   

I've matured, and I'm ready for my blog to catch up with me now.  Thanks to the amazing people over at pipdig my blog now has a gorgeous template that I think is sleeker and that I'll slowly be personalising over the next few weeks. 

So, why Stained Glass Stars?  Two reasons, the first being the Bible verse that's picture below.  The second being a song called Stained Glass Eyes & Colourful tears which I really like. 



My posts won't be changing, I'll have mostly the same content, I'm just hoping to post on a more regular basis.  If you'd like an idea of some of the posts I'll be working on the you can read my last post

Also, I have anew Bloglovin' address, so please go and follow me on there. 

I'm looking to writing posts that aren't just updates for you guys, I'm so excited to be writing posts for both me and (hopefully) you guys to enjoy.


Carolyn
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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

New Bloglovin

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18229779/?claim=kbtxgq7nb4e">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
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MINIMAL BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig