Lessons I’m learning from: Faith, coffee, books and music.

I like to think that these are the key factors that come together to make me the person I am today. Sure, there are other aspects to my life, but these are the key ones that make me happy and have contributed to how I see the world.

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Faith is important to me because it gives me hope and determination for the day. I have struggled a lot with religion over the past few years, especially how it gives a set view of how we should see God and the world. I have been more determined to grow in my faith, through my own personal reading and exploration. While my faith is that which makes me Christian, I do not follow these beliefs with a blindness. Rather they are truths that I know in my life and truths that I want to live out. Faith teaches me to not constantly beat myself up about mistakes I have made. Rather to pick myself up, learn from it and rectify what can be rectified from it.  I enjoy sharing what I have learned because I hope that it will bless others; with the hope that they will go on to explore it for themselves. It is important for us all to have our own relationship with Jesus. If we just stand in awe of someone else’s or believe we are not worthy of it, then we miss out on our own callings and blessings. I have learned that faith should not be seen as a dry, ritualistic duty. Rather, something that gives me life and purpose, most importantly where I find my joy. Even if my faith looks different to others, that is okay because we all have our own journey to make.

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Coffee, do not get me wrong, I am no coffee snob. Most days I drink Nescafe Gold and that makes me pretty content. I would state that my favourite coffee shop would have to be Starbucks; I love the coffee they use and most of them have a good vibe to them. I am definitely, a highly caffeinated person who should learn to have some control over the amount I consume. Coffee has as special place in my heart because I have had some of the best conversations, read some incredible things and wrote many thoughts. It is my silent companion that keep me stimulated even on the longest of nights.

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Books are the things I could talk about for days. If you ask for a recommendation, I am pretty sure I could give you something you would like. Books have been a part of my life since I could read, no joke. After my first pair of glasses my joy began there. I love being wrapped up in a world that is not mine, where there is such a high level of imagination. Where there are heroes and heroines, hope and love. Even in contemporary reads finding characters that are relatable. In situations that will impact all our lives. Books also have this wonderful gift or bringing different people together. There is beauty in no one reading the same book in the same way, there is always something the individual reader will grasp for themselves. Books enable the reader to understand the world, and people around them better, that is why I believe they are such a gift. The world is blessed with many powerful and imaginative writers; who bring truth or escapism to the everyday reader. I love reading and I want it to be something I can do until I die.

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Music, for me has the same beauty that books do. The impact that music has in bringing people from all different backgrounds together, who have a passion either for the music or the artist/s who has created it is incredible. I wouldn’t say I have a set music taste. I asked my sister and she said that I would fall into the alternative genre, in regards to rock, indie and singer/songwriter. I admire music that deals with mental health and life issues, where the pain is present but there is also the aspect of hope as they overcome what they are facing. I also listen to a lot of Christian music but like the other music I listen to, I like it to deal with depth but also with thanksgiving and praise. It would be similar to the sort of songs found in the Psalms. Music is such a wonderful form of communication which transcends years and countries.

 

These are a few things that I wanted to share about myself as I continue on this journey of life. They are my presents and I hope that even when the years change, these are the things that will remain with me. God has blessed me with a beautiful life, where I have passions and creativity. I hope that as you read this you think of the things that make you, you. That you remain thankful for them and you see them as a blessing to be able to interact with other people.

May you have a blessed week, and may you continuously keep learning. Love Victoria. xx

Lessons I’m learning… (New chapters)

I want to take this blog in a whole new direction and focus it on being a faith journal. Which incorporates what I am learning about my faith but also focuses on what I am learning about life. How life and faith come together. Some weeks it will be what I am learning from the Bible and how that is impacting my faith, in thought and action. Other weeks I will look at passions that I have or what I am learning about life. Then looking at how my faith impacts it and what thought processes it enables me to have. I want this year to be one of growth especially in regards to my life and my faith. I want to be able to incorporate them together, instead of them being two different pieces of who I am. This will be my journey over the next, I hope that it will inspire or help you along with your journey. We should never do life alone, I think it is important to share our stories with each other and to grow together.

Remain Focused

 

Remain focused!

Stop comparing your life to those around you.

Keep your life motivated by your faith,

Keep asking for the Spirit to lead you.

Pray big prayers! For God is far bigger and mightier than you could ever believe.

Keep loving people and learning to grow in love.

Remain focused!

Keep your eyes on God, let him be your guide.

Allow God to take away what is not necessary for your life.

To replace it with his will and purpose.

Remain focused!

Keep the faith.

 

I am easily distracted, and many times misled into things that I should not be doing. I am very easily influenced by other people and what they think of me. We have all dealt with this issue, or like me it is something you are trying to conquer.

 

It has got to the point in my life where I want it to be led by the Spirit. I want my life to be a life lived by faith where I am constantly pursuing Christ. ‘Remain focused’ were two words that came to me when I was flicking through Instagram. I was reading posts about the word or words that people were using to theme their year. Where it would enable them to make further steps within their faith and be able to apply it in their life. I thought it was a great idea, however, it was not something for me. That was when those two words came to the forefront of my mind and they kept coming. I chose to make them my words and that inspired the prayer right at the beginning of the blog.

 

I am sharing with you know some of the steps that I am beginning to take in order to pursue remaining focused. They could possibly be things you could implement into your life or inspire you into your own pursuits.

 

To remain focused means that my life must be more disciplined. One step I have started to do, is to lay before God the things I really struggle with. These are the things that take up a lot of mind but do not lead me on a closer walk with Jesus. Where there is growth there has to be a season of stripping off the bad things. Removing the old to make room for the new.

John 15 is a favourite passage where it reminds us that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. When I choose not to stay connected to Jesus, I cultivate things in my life that I believe are fruitful, but they bear no fruit. The worst thing is I get attached to these things, so I find it hard to let go. That is why I cannot do it in my own strength, I need to lay it before God. To reconnect with Jesus, who is the true vine. ‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.’, (John 15v4)

 

That leads me onto my next step, to keep learning and growing. I was really blessed to begin the year with Galatians. It taught me how little I know and how mighty our God is. It taught me the difference in pursuing the flesh vs the ways of the spirit. To remain focused is being mindful in what I am choosing to pursue. To think, is this a desire of the flesh or is it something that is going to be fruitful. That is my aim, this year, to pursue a life that is purposeful and fruitful. Not in the world’s standards, rather a life in accordance to what God has called me to. To remember that in belonging to Jesus, ‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus has crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.’, (Galatians5v24). There is nothing that can compare to the life that God gives me, it may not be easy, but it will be fruitful.

 

The final step I have begun working on now is overcoming fear, not allowing it to be the driver of my life. I fear a lot, even over the smallest things. Even the way people react with me makes me fearful, it consumes my thoughts because I become so overwhelmed with what I should be doing better and how to keep in relationship with people. I am tired of fearing everything. It is one thing that God is beginning a good work in me. It is the realisation that I cannot change people, situations, etc; however I do have God on my side and that is where I can find my joy and delight. I was reading Psalm 57 and it was the first verse that made me think. ‘Be merciful to me, O God be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.’ Normally when I read these passages, I think of me just resting in God’s presence not actually having to deal with the situation but just letting it pass me by. God revealed to me a new truth. I can take refuge in him but we are not going to stay in the same place. Instead, in the shadow of his wings I walk with God through what I am battling. I continue to do this until I have overcome this battle. This is a continuous process where I find my rest in God through what I am dealing with, because God is weathering that storm with me. It is about me learning to bring all my fears before God. It’s in his power that we will deal with them. Some of my fears may come to nothing and others may take time to face. I am not doing it alone and am not allowing fear to have its control over me.

 

These are the steps that I am beginning to take to remain focused. Learning to grow and nourish myself in the unfailing word of God. To pursue his love for me rather than anyone else’s. It is through his love that he enables me to grow and love others better.

 

Now may be the time that God is calling you to implement a new change or asking you to trust him in a new way in your life. In prayer may you offer up anything that you are struggling with now or something that you want to start happening in your life. Our God is far bigger and mightier than we could ever comprehend but he cares for every minute part of you. May this be the year that you allow your fears to be overcome by victory in Jesus name.

 

May you have a blessed week and I pray that you will all find the direction that God is calling you in. You are so loved and precious, may you know God’s peace over your life. Love Victoria. xx

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(Psalm 48v14) ‘For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.’

Welcome to 2019!

I begin the new year with a fresh journal. For me it represents a blank canvas in which I get to write the next chapter of my life. It is a personal journal which notes down my highs and lows. My cherished memories. Most importantly my faith journey. It allows me to reflect on how life is changing, and God is moving.

I made a promise to myself, that I would go into this year optimistic and determined. That what was the past, has now been left with God. I would not focus on negatives but, rather, that I would see them as opportunities in which to learn. To trust God and rely on his strength, (2 Corinthians 12v9) ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’.

Making God’s word a foundation on which to rest my feet. (Matt 7v25) ‘The rain comes down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock’. I know last year I allowed my life to get messy because my emotions controlled me. That was me allowing my foundation to be built on sand because everything fell to pieces.

I am excited for 2019, I have not planned miles ahead. I have chosen to focus on working hard in my job, my blog, my relationships and most importantly my faith. I want to allow God to lead me to higher ground in my faith, for that to happen I need to have trust and most faith that he is leading me to new grounds for my good. I want to learn further what it means it cherish what I have and to not always be in demand for more. Also, going to willing to be open to new opportunities and not have such a rigid plan for my life.

To you reader, may you see this as your blank canvas. Try not to drag anything into this year that is not a necessity. Allow yourself to breathe. Keep working hard at the things you have been called to. Have passion and determination, do not allow this year to pass you by. Most importantly, allow God to lead you. You may be worried or fearful but trust God. He will truly be your guide forever. God has got your 2019 in hand, allow God to have control.

 

You are so loved and cherished. May you have a wonderful week. Love Victoria. xx