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  1. Psalm 116:2In my Boxing Day post I mentioned there are quite a few people in our family gathered together this Christmas, which can be a challenge for me as an introvert. So tonight, everyone else is downstairs in the games room, (apart from Baby Bear who's tucked up in bed) whilst I'm enjoying quiet time with my journaling Bible by the log burner with the hounds. Just soaking in all the goodness from the Psalms, which are so full of great truth and very easy to dip imams out of if you don't have much time.

    I really love the ESV translation that my journaling Bible is, however every now and then other translations hit the nail on the head a little bit more for certain verses. Tonight's I've been meditating on Psalm 116:2. In the ESV it reads: "Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live." Whereas the New Living Translation reads: "Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!" Personally I just love the visual conjured up by the NLT.

    Because he bends down to listen

    Firstly the idea of God bending down to listen to me, like a Daddy bending down to be on the same level as his small child - possibly because I see my husband doing this with our daughter a lot at the moment. Even though she cannot speak yet, he still bends down to listen to her little chatterings. Which in turn reminds me of myself and God. Sometimes I feel like I cannot put into words what I need to say - but I know He still listens and in fact He has given the Holy Spirit to us to express when we cannot (Romans 8:26 "...the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words").

    Secondly the idea of praying as long as I have breath - so dramatic, but so true! My Lord & Saviour is loving enough to bend down to my level and listen to me, of course I will keep praying!

    Recently as a family we have seen some wonderful answer to prayer. I was very specific in my request and things played out just as I requested. There's a lot more prayer needed as these things unfold further over the next few months and I will keep praying - and praising God for the answers we have already seen! At the same time there are prayers I have prayed daily which we still wait to see answered... and I will keep praying them as long as I have breath!

     

     

  2. Psalm 25:1&2Seven adults, one baby and three BIG dogs all in one house is a lot, for most people I would have thought. Even if they are your family and you love them! As an introvert I can find it rather overwhelming at times! So I have to grab whatever peace I can. Morning nap time I stay with baby bear whilst she sleeps and have some quality time with my journaling Bible. Reading Psalm 25, verses 1&2 really grabbed me, before I Even turned over to read the rest of the Psalm.

    "To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul,

    O my God, in you I trust;"

    I just thought, what a great way to start the day! I think I need this written out beautifully to stick on my mirror as a little reminder each morning. Put the day into His hands and trust!! (I haven't read the rest yet, but if it's as good as verse one and two we are in for a treat!)

  3. Advent ReadingMy advent book finally arrived at the weekend [very rarely do I pay extra for express delivery, but whenever I do I'm always left feeling like it was a total waste of money!] and I cannot help but feel I have rather missed the boat this year. So caught up in looking to and preparing for baby bear's first birthday, I have missed the run up and looking towards Christ's birthday! And this does make me sad. I know there is still time and to be honest this fabulous book by John Piper is in such delicious bite size pieces, I could quite happily read two a day and almost be caught up for Christmas day! I will be pleased when hubby finishes for Christmas, we can breathe out a sigh of relief and start thinking about Christmas as more than just some frantic shopping, but as a time with family celebrating the birth of our saviour.

    Isaiah 9:6
    "For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
    And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

  4. ThankfulBearOver the weekend we celebrated baby bear's first birthday. I can hardly believe a year has passed already, although at the same time it feels like she has always been a part of our lives. The last few days have been full of #thistimelastyear moments, the actual moment she was born, coming home from the hospital etc. As with any anniversary, as well as remembering it has made me think about the future. I have been trying to think about ways I can improve in the future. How can I be a better Mum? Pray for baby bear more and make sure she's growing up knowing The Lord. Am I appreciating and thankful enough for her and the blessing, the precious gift, she is in my life? Which got me onto thinking about other gifts I have and if I am appreciating and really utilising them? What am I doing to try and stretch and grow this gift of the prophetic God has entrusted to me? How can I develop it, how can I bless others with it and how do I step up into the things he has spoken over me that I'm not yet walking in? So far I have a lot of questions flying about my head and not many answers! But at least I've started to think about it and challenge myself! That's a start...

    As a child until my mid twenties ironically I prayed and prayed asking The Lord to make me prophetic, having really taken on board 1Corinthians14:1 "Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy." [ESV] - I say ironically, because for years I was prophetic and did not realise. I dreamt about the future and when it happened in reality thought "cool, I dreamt that years ago"! I saw pictures and visions, but just assumed everyone did and that these were things for me, not realising that they were intended to be shared!

    Over the last decade as things have been explained to me and I have started to understand - actually you are prophetic, this is your gift and this is how you can use it... it's been really exciting. I've been privileged to be taught, encouraged and discipled by some fantastic prophets. But what is next? Where do I go from here? I strongly feel I am meant to start doing the discipling and teaching part from the other side now, but when, with whom and how I'm not sure. I want so much to be doing all this regularly once more, nothing gives me life more than doing prophetic ministry - not even baking (& eating) cake! To know you have shared something of God's heart for a person with them - is such a privilege and a joy.

    I need to work out how to balance my two biggest roles, of "Mummy" & "Wife" with the role of "Prophet". I want to achieve the super woman that is Proverbs 31... But one step at a time!

  5. Pslam 140ESV Journalling Bible

    So following my last post a few people have been asking which journaling Bible I use and which pens I like etc etc… so if you read my last post and are interested in which journalling Bible I have etc here is some more information...

     My Bible - personally I bought the single column ESV journaling Bible which is hardback with a red cover and has a handy elastic strap to keep it closed (it looks a bit like a fat Moleskin journal). (I bought it online in the uk from <a target="_blank">Eden.co.uk</a>) ISBN 9781433536045

    I chose it as I love the English Standard Version translation, but also because of the fact it was hard back, yet opens completely flat. I also LOVE the fact it's a single column Bible - that makes it so much easier to read in my opinion. Also I read <a href="http://www.bibledesignblog.com/2013/05/crossways-esv-single-column-journaling-bible.html" target="_blank">this review</a> and that sold it to me enough to order one without seeing one "in the flesh" first!

    You can get some really fun looking NIV ones, and at the moment seem to have a lot of them on sale...

    Cryola TwistablesPilot Frixion Pens

    For highlighting - Crayola twistables, sounds crazy using crayons in your Bible, but it works. You can highlight text without bleeding through to the next page and still read the text you've highlighted through the line.

    For note taking - I use Pilot Frixion pens, they come in a range of colours and the best thing is they are erasable!! So if you make a mistake you can sort it out. In the UK you can get a fair range of colours, but I found a huge pack with massive range of colours in Japan! Brilliant.

    Stamps

    Stamps - I wanted some big letters, the best I found were by Amy Tangerine at American crafts. I have upper and lower case. It wasn't the cheapest option, but I'm thrilled with them. Personally I love Versasmall ink pads as they don't take up much room and come in a fantastic variety of colours. 

    Blogs, Instagram etc for inspiration - so many! Check out my Pinterest board which is full of ideas and links ... Then these are probably my top three peeps on instagram!

    @shannanoel fabulous blog.. http://shannanoel.blogspot.co.uk

    @Marine_parents not sure if these guys have a blog, but their instagram feed is great!

    @valeriewieners - see her amazing artwork on her website... http://valeriewienersart.com