Tuesday, 20 February 2018

A Settling Heart

It's strange how quickly He can make my heart settle.  Even when I fight Him, even when I'm reluctant, even when I just want to dip my toe in He pulls me head first into the deep end.  He forces me to trust and shows me the beauty in being brave.  He shows me that He is faithful even when I am faithless, that He is with me even when I am unlovable, and that He is gracious even though I am so undeserving. 

He settles my heart with the sunlight that's dancing on the wood, the way that it tugs at my heart and reminds me of home.  Something so simple yet it solidifies the moments for me.  Reminding me that I am here, in this moment, and so is He.  My heart aches for home yet He brings me comfort; joy in the unexpected and a love for Him that far outweighs my fears and anxieties. 

He is at work in my heart in a time when I am learning that He alone is home, that His grace is unbounding and that I need to get up and keep trying no matter how many times I fall, that He is holding me so much closer than I can understand, and that he has blessed me far beyond my worth. 

It's strange how quickly He can make my heart settle.  Yet at the same time it simply makes sense, that He alone, my Heavenly Father, can settle my heart. 



Tuesday, 26 December 2017

2017 // Trust & Courage

1.  reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. 
2.  confident expectation of something; hope.

At the end of 2016 Kristin encouraged the girls in Delight & Be to have a word for the following year.  This is something I had never done before, it was something I had considered but had never applied.  The thought of having a particular word to pray over, to grow in, and to be challenged in was daunting.

After a lot of prayer the word 'trust' kept coming back to me.  A part of me wanted to let this go, to forget I'd considered the idea, and to just face 2017 like every other year in the past.  But deep down I knew this year had to be different or my faith would continue to remain at a surface level.  Trust is a part of my faith that I had never wanted to challenge, I like to stay in my comfort zone and to remain there.

The past twelve months have seen my trust in God pushed in ways that I could never have imagined, but looking back I can see that God has been working in the most beautiful ways throughout it all.  Although my trust has been challenged, learning to take shakily obedient steps has seen my faith grow beyond what I expected.

Reflecting on this year, I'm filled with awe when I remember the ways God has been at work in both the big and the little things.  Proverb 3:4-6 are verses that have repeatedly shown up this year when I've needed encouragement and to be reminded that God is in control, and that He is with me.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 

This year has seen me travelling to other countries, leaving a job I loved to move to a different part of the country, and applying for college abroad next year.  These haven't been easy steps to take but in hindsight I know that the difficulty was necessary; the moves have led to new relationships and opportunities, I've been blessed to experience other cultures, and I'm finding myself growing and maturing both in my faith and as a person.

Looking ahead to 2018 I know that my trust in God will continue to be pushed and challenged, but that another word will be joining 'trust', and that will be 'courage'.



Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The Light in the Dark

Waking up in the dark has been unsettling, disorientating my heart and making me reluctant to start a new day.  Choosing joy has taken me more strength than I have, and I feel as though I've entered winter a little unprepared and forgetful.  Forgetful of how it can target my heart.  Unprepared for the sudden waves of anxiety.  Forgetful of how I am so easily consumed by the darkness that comes along with winter.

My eyes are being opened to the ways that God is holding me in this season; an unexpected friendship, a busy seasonal job, and time with family and friends to look forward to.  But placing my hope in these things is leaving me feeling empty and questioning my worth.  Finding the balance between thankfulness for these blessings and looking to them for satisfaction is a fine line that I'm shakily walking.

Trying to cling to these things for hope has been like catching smoke, it's consuming my energy and leaving me with empty hands and a disappointed heart.  When the darkness consumes from the inside out, I'm left sitting in my shame and struggling to lift my eyes.

In a season that is meant to be filled with joy, my heart is edged with fear over the seasonally affected disorder that is stealing me yet again.  I feel like a shell of who I want to be, disappointed that my fear is overtaking my faith, and slowly the bitterness becomes who I am.

Yet He's there, willing me to look to Him, to let go of the people and the things that so easily disappoint and to hold firmly to His grace instead.  My shame and my stubborn heart are holding me back.  But He is there, reaching out His hand and willing me to lean close, to press into Him and to place my hope in Him alone, my God and my Saviour, my Love and my Best Friend, my Light in the dark.



Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Thankful // The November List

November has been a month filled with the unexpected; writing and receiving letters, last minute visits from friends, and times of tears, laughter and food with my church family.  God has really opened up me eyes and my heart this month to how He can do the impossible, even in the little things and in ways that I didn't even know that I needed Him to do so.
I'm thankful for the last four weeks and the beautiful happenings that have pieced it together.

1.  My Church Family
From going for coffee with my pastor, to tearfully sharing with my church God's plans for me next year, to having an afternoon of food, laughter and fellowship.  Sitting on a hardwood floor playing with children and their toy cars, learning the beauty of vulnerability, and hearing of how God wants to do His extraordinary in our ordinary.  I'm thankful for my church family and the time I've spent with them this month.

2.  Heather & Finlay
I am beyond blessed to have this couple in my life.  Not many people will drive a couple of hours so that they can take you out for a hot chocolate after work, make you feel like a best friend rather than a third wheel, and pray with you absolutely anywhere about absolutely anything, yet these two share God's love with me in the most wonderful ways.  I'm so thankful for them and the time I was able to spend with them this month.  It was a last minute plan yet God knew that I needed some time with them even though I didn't, and He made it possible in His perfect way.

3.  Lovely Letters
I love writing letters but I also love receiving letters.  There's something about receiving a handwritten letter that makes my heart so happy.  I received a few letters and cards in November, it's so lovely to be able to look back over the words written by people that I care about so dearly.

4.  Delight & Be
Delight & Be is a ministry that is so close to my heart.  This month I had the privilege and the blessing to spend some time in the city with two other Delight girls.  Since the ministry is based in America this was a dream of mine that always seemed impossible, yet God made the impossible possible in His time.  These two girls were just shining for Jesus and it was such a blessing to hear of the ways He's been working in their lives.  I'm so thankful for the beautiful way that God opened my eyes to how He can take my impossible dreams and make them a reality in His time. 

I'm thankful for November and the lessons I've learnt, for the hearts I'm getting to know, and for the unexpected upon the unexpected.  Let me know in the comments what you're thankful for from the month of November, I'd love to hear from you.



Thursday, 16 November 2017

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins | Autumnal Baking

The colder weather has seen me spending more time indoors; reading books and looking through old recipe books.  We have a lot of apples from our garden that need used up so I decided to make apple and cinnamon muffins.  When I was in high school this was a recipe that I used a lot at this time of year so I thought I would share the recipe with you.


250g of self raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
100g of granulated sugar
1 egg
150ml of milk
1 eating apple
100ml of Oil
75g of sultanas


1.  Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and line a muffin tray with paper cases.

2. Sieve the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.

3.  Stir the sugar and sultanas into the dry mixture.

4.  Wash and peel the apple.  Cut the apple into quarters and remove the core from each quarter.

5.  Chop the apple into small pieces then stir into the dry mixture.

6.  Measure the milk and the oil into a measuring jug.  Add the egg and beat well.

 7.  Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour in the liquid.  Stir gently until all the ingredients are combined, be careful to not beat your mixture.

8.  Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they are well risen and golden brown.

9.  Leave to cool and enjoy!

These make great desserts for autumn along with some custard or warm with vanilla ice cream, or for a snack during the day with your preferred hot drink.  For me, these muffins are autumn in food form and I just love them.  Let me know in the comments what some of your favourite recipes are for this time of year.



Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Autumnal Reading

The dark nights are drawing in and providing an unexpected solace as winter approaches.  Time is more available to me than it has been for what seems like forever, giving me the chance to write more and immerse myself in the writing of others.

Books have been a form of comfort for as long as I can remember, but at this time the words hold so much weight and I'm finding myself drawn into stories and writing my own.

The way that words can dance together to create new worlds, travel through time, and provide a depth of insight that was otherwise unreached; it's a form of beauty that is breath-taking and fierce.

Bookstores bring a maze of words and the familiar smell of new paper.  It's warm but quiet, the only company is that of others who are also seeking new adventures and knowledge in the form of a book. A place to get lost in with no intention of finding the way out, the kind of maze that you don't mind getting lost in if only for a little while.

To bring home new stories with a bubbling excitement, to feel my heart warming as I turn each page as my anticipation rises.  My fingerprints brushing the paper as I trace each word, poetry etching its way under my skin and onto my heart.

The dark nights are drawing in and providing an unexpected solace as winter approaches.  A solace of reading and writing, a solace of words that are familiar and new words that are my own, a solace of peace and time passing, a solace from the dark nights that are drawing in.



Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Thankful // The October List

When I take a moment to reflect on the past 31 days my heart is so full; joy, heartache, and thankfulness all mixed together.  October was a month for appreciating the people that I am blessed to have in my life, for growing in my faith and relying on Gods strength, for appreciating the inward warmth of autumn, and in these past few days a time for change and transition.

October wasn't what I expected it to be but I am thankful for it none the less; it was busier than I had anticipated, there were more tears than I had thought, and it's made me realise the pain you can feel when you are blessed to love so deeply.  But nonetheless I am thankful for October and I am thankful for hindsight, here are some of the reasons why.

1.  Time with family & friends
Throughout October God provided me with so many chances to spend time with my family and friends.  I'm so thankful for the chance to spend time with the people I love before moving away for a year in January.

2.  The Scottish Highlands
Moving back to my parents a couple of days ago meant leaving the Scottish Highlands.  Although I was only living there for four months I felt so at home.  I loved the church I was attending, I've had the blessing of meeting some wonderful people, and I'm already counting down the days till I go back for new years eve.  I'm thankful for the past four months I spent there and the chance to go back soon.

3.  Choosing Joy & Grace
This month I started a Philippians Bible study through Love God Greatly along with some of the other ladies at my church.  I'm so thankful for the daily lessons that God is teaching me through this and the chance to study the Bible along with other women from my church in the Highlands.  I'm so thankful that through Jesus we can choose to live in joy and grace that only comes from Him.

4.  A Baptism
At the beginning of this month I had the opportunity to attend the baptism of my three friends.  It was so beautiful to see how God has been working in them and through them.  I'm so thankful I was able to share in this day with them and to celebrate in their joy in Christ.

5.  A Wedding
This month began with a baptism service and ended with my friends wedding.  To have these two God-honouring days bookending the month has been such a blessing.  To see two people come together through their love for one another and their love for God is so beautiful.  It was a wonderful day, I was able to help with the catering which was so fun, and the sunset was the most beautiful sky I've ever seen.

I am thankful for October, for how God is pushing me, challenging me, and growing me in my faith.  The past thirty one days have seen my heart go through all kinds of emotions but I am thankful for these thirty one days and preparing myself for what God has planned next.