IT’S OK TO CRY ON MOTHER’S DAY       “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.”   PSALM 126:5 NIV     I’ve been asking God for months about what I should write this Mother’s Day. I have wrestled with many ideas and yet nothing stuck. Then my best friend called me yesterday, and when the topic of Mother’s Day arose she encouraged me in her usual practical wisdom to write from the place I found myself. To use my messy discomfort and write from my imperfection. Her words not only shifted me, reminding me who I am, but caused the clutter of ideas that had been swirling around in my head and heart to beautifully sift into one precise and unexpected idea.  Tears.  I would write about tears.  Awkward. Messy. Uncomfortable tears.  So here's a question....  When was the last time you cried?  For me it was only a few days ago. I’d had a bad day, after a tough few months, on top of a rough few years. I just so happened to cry at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and around the wrong people. It was awkward and uncomfortable, and I felt embarrassed. When I arrived home I felt like I could have cried some more…so I did. When I received a text message encouraging me to apologise for my tears that had flowed a little too freely, I cried even more. I cried for many reasons, but mostly because I was tired. Tired of trying to be strong when my heart felt weak. Tired of standing in a warzone. Tired of waiting for breakthrough. Tired of feeling sick. Tired of life feeling hard. Tired of feeling tired. My heart felt like it needed a rest from feeling, so it wouldn't break so easily, making me cry at the wrong time and making people feel awkward enough to want an apology for my tears.  Then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “Gemma, it’s ok to cry. I give you permission to cry.”  And so I cried some more...     In the last nine years of waiting for a baby I have cried many tears. Some of those tears have been collected by my pillow in the pain of the midnight hour, others have gathered on the meadows of my cheeks leaving a salty crunchy afterglow, while others still (perhaps the more dramatic sort) have been wailing sobs collected on my husband’s t-shirt as he tried to hold me close enough to soothe the pain.  There are all sorts of places that tears collect on the earth, and for every kind of reason—from bedroom floors and hospital corridors, down to the humble tissue and every place in between. Yet of the vast oceans of tears soaked up by the thirsty earth on a daily basis, the scriptures speak of a less porous and more preserving kind of tear collector, different to the common pillow, t-shirt, and cheek varieties.  The scriptures tell us that God has assigned supernatural bottles to gather up our mortal tears, and angels to pen their existence into an eternal book. It is a picture that gives meaning to our sorrows when we are faced with confusion, so that our tears are never in vain, but rather divinely recorded on eternal pages telling of a wondrous narrative of redemption.   “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”   PSALM 56:8 NLT  Psalm 56:8 cracks open a door in heaven for us, giving a glimpse of a captivating storeroom of hope, filled with stacked-high walls of heavenly bottles that lovingly catch and collect human tears. A treasure-trove room storing the heart-cries of every human soul like precious gems, as though they were substance far too valuable to just be absorbed and abandoned by the thankless atmosphere of earth.  Tears that are collected and valued by the Creator God.  In ancient eastern culture, when King David penned these words, it was customary to collect the tears of those experiencing heartache, grief or loss in bottles. It was custom to mark the moment with remembrance. King David in Psalm 56 was taking this custom to a new level and recognising that God was doing it for him, by remembering, valuing, and putting purpose to his tears of sorrow.  The scriptures tell us that King David and his soldiers wept a lot. The Psalms of David are full of tears, showing us tears are okay with God, especially as David was remembered for having a heart after God's own.   In 2 Kings we also see the power of tears in the life of Hezekiah, when he was sick and told that he would die. 2 Kings 20 tells us that Hezekiah cried out to God, who heard his prayer,  saw  his  tears,  and granted him a longer life.  In 1 Samuel, Hannah cried out in prayer to God, and He answered her prayer for a son.   In the gospels, when a sinful woman anoints Jesus with costly perfume mixed with her tears, Jesus calls her act beautiful and worthy of remembrance. (Luke 7:38.)  These stories are just few of many that tell of God's value of tears.   While in ancient times bottling tears was an external practice of remembrance, in modern times it seems to have become an internal practice. We don't value tears as scripture does, or ancient culture did. Yet we still bottle our tears. Rather than collect them in external bottles for remembrance, most of us bottle up our sorrows deep inside our soul. And it damages our souls. Our tears, sorrow and pain are actually too heavy for the human heart to hold.   Allowing ourselves to cry tears is one of the most healing things we can do, both physically and spiritually. It is scientifically proven that tears when shed release emotion, grief, pain, stress, toxins, and ninety-five percent of all bacteria. They increase the body’s production of endorphins, and are physically beneficial and healing, which is probably why in the presence of God it is so easy to cry… That and because God desires to collect them!  One of the most powerful - and shortest - statements of scripture is this: Jesus wept. (John 11:35) Jesus could have avoided showing us this act of emotion, but He knew how important and valuable it is to us. He created space to weep. Not just for those close to Him in the moment to witness, but also for us today. He wanted us to know it is ok to cry. He wanted to show us God is not uncomfortable or awkward with our sorrow. The book of Revelation tells us that God will personally wipe every tear from our eyes in compassion and love. Tears do not make God uncomfortable as they have found a practice of doing in our modern culture. Tears are not an expression of weakness to God. They are eternally significant enough God would collect them.  (After all God chose to create us with tear ducts.) Although it might be more socially acceptable not to cry, it is more eternally helpful for us to cry.  So today I want to do something unusual. I want to give you permission to cry. Maybe no one has ever told you it is ok to cry.  One of the greatest gifts I’ve received in my nine years of infertility is a shoulder to cry on and a friend that has said “You can cry, and it’s ok.”  Today I want to be that friend to you!  Maybe Mother’s Day is difficult for you? Perhaps you’ve lost your mum. Maybe, like me, you are waiting to become a mother yourself. Maybe your children live far away, or are estranged from you. Maybe you have lost a child to tragic circumstances, or your womb has never physically carried children, and you feel it's too late now.   Maybe today, for whatever reason, you feel pain.  If you do, it's ok, and it's also ok to cry.   Because the kingdom of heaven carries a different currency to the earth.  A currency that counts tears as a valuable commodity.   Because tears don't last forever, and those who sow in tears will reap fields of joy!      “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry”     (Psalm 34:15)    

When was the last time you cried? For me it was only a few days ago. I’d had a bad day, after a tough few months, on top of a rough few years. I just so happened to cry at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and around the wrong people. It was awkward and uncomfortable, and I felt embarrassed......

      HER  DESERT  WILL  BLOSSOM  LIKE  EDEN ,  HER BARREN  WILDERNESS  LIKE THE GARDEN OF THE  LORD.   Joy  and  gladness  will  be found   there. Songs  of  thanksgiving  will  fill the air.       Isaiah 51:3       Last year on Mother's Day I wrote this post because I could not shake the leading to do so. I knew that if it helped even just one girl stand back up, press on, take courage and feel encouraged it would be worth it.   For me, Mother's Day does not affect me as most would assume. Although my husband Jonny and I have walked the road of infertility for over eight and a half years, on Mother's Day I feel deep joy, excitement, and expectation. Now before you stop reading, I want to assure you I am human. I have real feelings, I have dreams I am waiting to see come to pass, and the truth is it has been a journey for me to get to this place. For those who have read my book PROMISE you will know there have been days I didn't feel this joy, expectancy and peace. I instead experienced a deep grief that I could not explain. A grief that daily felt like it took the breath out of my lungs, causing my heart to feel pain that I could be sure filled my entire being. I hurt deep. I didn't understand the emotions I was experiencing, and as a result was confused. One in six couples today struggle with infertility, and so  more  than one in six women carry this same deep burden and pain. More than one in six because, within that statistic single girls who have the same longing for motherhood are not included. One in six is a large percentage and so, in saying that I am well aware that there are millions of other girls today, on Mother's Day that are in a different season. A season where Mother's Day hurts. It hurts deep in a place you never knew could hurt. A place deep in your heart that I am convinced when God formed woman, He placed the seed of a mother.  A seed, that within He placed gifts and desires to nurture, love, and reproduce.  A seed that holds an intrinsic instinct and desire that is not learned, it just IS.  A seed that was with Eve in Eden at the genesis of time. A seed that would blossom in greater measure than the garden she physically found herself in.  A seed that would bloom into a calling to mother that would cover the earth!  It didn’t matter that Eve very well might have felt unqualified for the prestigious role of motherhood, having never had a mother of her own, or more challenging still, never even been a child. It didn’t matter, because she was created a mother, she was created with that seed, just as every woman is.  So today I want to acknowledge that seed.  I want to acknowledge The Seed of MOTHERHOOD.  I want to acknowledge it by acknowledging the women that carry that seed.  I want to acknowledge all the single girls who dream of not only the day they will meet the man of their dreams and husband they pray for, but also the babies they dream their arms will one day hold.  I want to shout out to the girls who have tried and tried and feel like perhaps they are malfunctioning in some way as a woman because they cannot carry a babe to full term. I want to assure you friend, you are perfect. You are loved.  To the woman struggling to conceive, and feeling as though perhaps God has forgotten you, or that there is something wrong with you. Today hear these words of heaven, that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and there is no fault in you. God has a plan.  To the ones who have conceived and lost. Whether miscarriage, still birth, or through tragic circumstances after birth. May God comfort you as only He can, and give you fresh hope for the future.  To the ladies on the emotional journey towards adoption. May your hearts remain strong and steadfast as you wait. God is with you!  To every woman with the dream of motherhood. Heaven acknowledges you, and today so does the earth.  You are seen. You are loved. You are valued. You are not alone.  You are a mother. Your heart holds that seed. A seed that is on its journey of germination towards a flourishing fulfilment.  The scriptures are full of women that carried our same struggles, our same burdens, and God failed not one.  Every. Single. Woman in scripture that cried out to God to fill their empty arms, He filled. He did not fail them, so I promise He will not fail you if you reach out to Him.  Over and over again the women that waited, were women that would go on to birth sons that would radically change the world. Sons that grew into great men of faith.  Sarah who’s womb was considered dead, conceived Isaac.  Hannah who prayed year after year birthed the prophet Samuel.  Rebecca although barren birthed Jacob, who would become Israel.  Rachel struggled for years with infertility, yet gave birth to Joseph.  Ruth who was widowed after 10 years of infertility, not only found new love, but birthed Obed the grandfather of King David.  Elizabeth who was well beyond the age of childbearing conceived and gave birth to John the Baptist who would lead the way to Jesus Christ The Savior of the world.  Each one of these women had a journey of waiting. Each one of these women questioned God. Each one of these women at times felt forgotten, yet God was working through all their waiting weaving a powerful testimony in every moment. He was planning to use their journey filled with impossibility to move supernaturally. He was planning to move in such a powerful way that scripture and history would record their lives, and their children’s lives as a testimony to inspire every generation to come.  These women's stories encourage us that the waiting rooms of life, (no matter how uncomfortable,) can be supernaturally transformed from places of frustration into fulfilment. From places of pain into promise, and seasons of struggle into strength.  So beautiful friend, be encouraged today that you are cherished, valued and loved in the wait. You are not alone, we are in this together. Today on this Mother's Day you may not have been gifted flowers by little ones, but God is preparing the ground of your life to hold a flourishing future. Today He has endless seeds of promise He wants to sow into your heart so that you can not just survive this season, but thrive in the midst of it.  And as I encourage every woman in her wait, I do it not to discredit or take away from all the mamma's out there on this Mother's day knee deep in crazy doing the hard yards on the frontline of motherhood. We love you, we value you, and we walk beside you as women carrying the same seed, cheering you on as you selflessly serve your families.  Let us all flourish together.  Gem xx

For me, Mother's Day does not affect me as most would assume. Although my husband Jonny and I have walked the road of infertility for over eight and a half years, on Mother's Day I feel deep joy, excitement, and expectation. Now before you stop reading.....

     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     "It is finished, my Bride!"  John 19:30 TPT       At the genesis of time. At the dawn of creation. She was on His mind.  Without her creation would be incomplete. For she would be its crowning jewel.  She would be His Bride.  She would be born not of woman, like Eve, born of Adam, she would be born of the second Adam—born of her husband.  She would be born a bride. Born a mother. Born to raise the sons of God.  She would be born radiant. Born pure. She would be born the magnificent church of Jesus Christ.  At first her captivating identity would be concealed under the garment of flesh. The garment of an imperfect humanity. She would know the sting of sin and shame before she would know of her great worth. She would first reach out as Eve did, and eat the apple of knowledge, good and evil. She would walk out of the garden of perfection, where life began with her beloved.  The broad path of a broken earth would be the one her precious feet would travel, and along the way her heart would discover not all love is equal. Not all love is the same. Her heart would know broken, tattered and tethered. And she would hope for more. Hope for a Savior.   And at just the right time, each facet of her heart would come together—the hearts of humanity would turn to discover LOVE without rival. On a Good Friday, she would discover her beloved. The one who breathed the universe into existence and came to her rescue. The darling of heaven who stepped down from His high throne, put on the flesh He created, to pay the price for her mistakes. The price for eating the apple, the price for walking away from The Father. The price she could not pay.  He would pave the way for her to take His heart and come home. He would win the war for her to find the narrow path her feet were created to walk.  She would discover her value—that she was fully known and fully loved all along.   Jesus her beloved would wear a crown of thorns on this Good Friday, so that She, His Bride, The wife of the Lamb—you and I, could wear a crown of eternal life.  He would be crucified, dying a sinners death,  so that we could be made right.  He, the spotless Lamb of heaven would be sacrificed, so that we, His hearts undivided affection could come home to heaven.  So that the grave would loose its power over us.   So today, friend, you will find me in a posture of thanksgiving and worship. Because Jesus Christ resurrected is my every day revelation and reality—but the cross is where He won my heart. Where He won the heart of His bride. The hearts of you and I.   Thank you Jesus!! We drink the cup, and eat the bread today, and remember the price you paid for us.   Take our hearts and weave them eternally with yours.       His left hand cradles my head, while His right hand holds me close. I am at rest in this love.   Song of Songs 2:6 TPT           

At the genesis of time. At the dawn of creation. She was on His mind. Without her creation would be incomplete. For she would be its crowning jewel. She would be His Bride. She would be born not of woman, like Eve, born of Adam, she would be born of the second Adam—born of her husband. She would be born a bride. Born a mother. Born to raise the sons of God.

         CARPE DIEM     (SEIZE THE DAY)     "   Abigail didn’t linger. She got on her donkey and, with her five maids in attendance, went with the messengers to David and became his wife."      1 Samuel (MSG)       I love the story of Abigail in scripture. She had guts and grace of equal measure. Oh, how I want a bit of what she had.     Sometimes I imagine writing an entire book about her wisdom, foresight, leadership, and daring nature that didn't dilly-dally at the threshold of opportunity. I could write a few chapters on her donkey alone. Abigail’s life was never perfect; the scriptures tell us she was beautiful and intelligent, yet married a man who was surly and mean. His name was Nabal (meaning fool) and he typified King Saul, and all those who reject the Lord’s anointed. I’d imagine her life would have been a delicate dance to keep the peace, and yet the scriptures remember her for a type of vibrant wisdom of which we could all use a little more.     Abigail’s story is recorded in 1 Samuel 25, and I promise if you read it afresh you will enjoy every second of it. The scriptures paint a significant moment of a breakthrough in Abigail’s life, a moment she increased quickly in discernment to obtain. Abigail didn't miss her moment, and with great courage saved the lives of her household in the process.     In short, her story tells of the anointed-to-be-king David’s kindness toward her family which was greeted with disregard by her brash, hot-headed, disrespectful and ungrateful husband, whose actions placed the lives of his entire house in danger of death. When Abigail heard news of this from a servant, she didn't whinge and whine about her husband’s recklessness, nor did she cry and complain about the mess she had to clean up - she didn't even retreat in fear and run.  Her story tells a more noble account where she moved quickly into action, not wasting a minute, turning her giant obstacle into an incredible opportunity. She ‘carpe diem-ed’. She seized the day! Abigail went to work, loading donkeys with gifts, while instructing her servants to go out before her to meet David and his men. She then followed on her donkey. Abigail rode toward David, risking her life with the same humility and heroic demeanor for which Queen Esther is praised. Abigail bowed before David, taking upon herself full blame for her husband’s wrongdoing, gaining both the forgiveness of David and favor of God. Amazingly, her wicked husband suddenly dies, and David takes Abigail to be his wife. So, in one incredible blockbuster-worthy occasion, Abigail’s life is completely turned around. When we imagine someone seizing the day, it’s more likely we picture a valiant warrior riding a stallion into victory, yet God used a brave girl with a wise heart… and a donkey.    The essence of Abigail’s life is a testimony to the power of godly wisdom partnered with an opportune time, and a ‘carpe diem’ attitude. Abigail’s one wise decision in a tricky situation did more than save the lives of her household that day, it radically changed her destiny by positioning her in a place to ride out of the prison of her past and into the new future God had prepared.     It’s often we can pray desperate prayers, asking God to bring us the kind of breakthrough Abigail received that day, yet with the same breath retreat in fear and apathy when an uncomfortable moment of opportunity arrives at our door asking us to take   the risky route of faith.   Abigail’s actions remind us we can prayerfully ‘carpe diem’ in the hardest of situations. We can seize the opportunity that is ripe for the picking by abiding in the wisdom God gives through the power of His Spirit at work in us who believe. One moment in God can change everything. One wise word, in season from heaven, can turn everything around. And one unexpected situation can deliver the miracle we’re waiting for.           "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."      James 1:5 (NLT)     

I love the story of Abigail in scripture. She had guts and grace of equal measure. Oh, how I want a bit of what she had. Sometimes I imagine writing an entire book about her wisdom, foresight, leadership, and daring nature that didn't dilly-dally at the threshold of opportunity. I could write a few chapters on her donkey alone...

      A NEW SEASON IS ON HER WAY!     Do you have a favorite season?  I'm the kind of girl who  loves  every season. I think each season has beauty worth celebrating; however, the past few weeks I may be reconsidering my summer and winter love...My poor body-thermostat has been wondering what on earth is going on?!  My husband and I flew home to Australia at the beginning of February for my best friends wedding (Congrats Jonno & Mel,) only to be greeted with a big sweaty hug from a gigantic heatwave.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Here's a picture my friend Jess snapped of us girls fanning ourselves at the wedding reception. We weren't trying to appear fancy, those baby fans were helping us circulate the air in what felt like a giant, (but very pretty) alfresco pizza oven. I have never been more in-love with a paper fan before in my life. It was over 45C and if I wasn't in my pretty dress I would have been tipping the ice water over my head like I did the week before at the hens party. Extreme weather calls for extreme measures.  Somehow I think it felt ten times hotter because we had just left a freeeezing Seattle winter. There is something about a sudden and dramatic shift in season that can totally get and  keep  your attention.  When we arrived back home to Seattle just over a week later, we were greeted with SNOW!!! My husband Jonathon and I live on West Seattle harbor, and so snow is not a regular occurrence but when it happens, it's amazing and gets everyone's attention. Especially my little Australian-born attention!     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              I mean, look at this super pretty beach snow at the front of my house!  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Seasons are beautiful and hard, breathtaking and challenging, taxing and rewarding, and ALL the things! But there is nothing quite like the change and shift of a season.  We are about to transition from winter to spring here in the United States. It will happen as soon as the Sun crosses the celestial equator later this month (or whatever that science is?!) What I know is, spring is on her way! The snow will melt and the flowers will appear in a breathtaking combination. It's like in Narnia when Aslan is on the move and winter's power is breaking. I love the scene where the first glimpses of spring arrive and Lucy and Susan glance at the flowers budding upon the snow filled trees.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The moment when the prophecy that Mr Beaver told them begins to come true.     "Wrong will be made right, when Aslan comes in sight,   At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,   When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,   And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."   Oh, how I am totally in-love with this story, and have been from a child.   The thing is, when winter suddenly meets its end, it gets your attention. And in the best possible way. And the good news is: Spring is on her way! And not just for Narnia or the Northern Hemisphere, but for the Church of Jesus Christ, His glorious bride... For you!     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              www.musephotography.net.au/  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


      Song of Songs 2:10-12 The Passion Translation says:   "Arise, my dearest. Hurry, my darling. Come along with me! I have come as you have asked to draw you to my heart and lead you out. For now is the time, my beautiful one. The season has changed, the bondage of your barren winter has ended, and the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers. The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived. I hear the cooing of doves in our land, filling the air with songs to awaken you and guide you forth."  Can you sense it?  Can you feel the winds of change?  I can.  The Holy Spirit has tugged at my heart to meditate on this scripture for a long time, (through a long winter season,) and I feel the time is ripe. The time is NOW. I sense it prophetically over God's people. I can hear heaven shouting "SPRING IS ON HER WAY!!" Jesus - The Lion of the tribe of Judah has fought our battles, and winter has met its glorious death. I can see Pastor Chris Pringle declaring "winter is over!" in her beautiful and vibrantly prophetic way, as she did a few years back at C3 Presence Conference in Sydney when she preached on this very passage in Song of Songs. It was so anointed it has stuck vividly in my mind ever since.   Oh yes, winter has been rough, but the season is changing friend. Joy is returning, life is reemerging. The trauma of yesterday is melting away, and winter will become but a faint memory. 2016 may not have been your year.  It may feel like its been a looong winter. But take heart again. God's promises remain. The rainbow is appearing after the rain. The new colourful blooms are covering the meadows of earth. Wait and see what God is about to do. Let this seasonal shift in the spiritual realms get your attention, and let it move you into thankful praise and expectation.      "Can you not discern this new day of destiny breaking forth around you? The early signs of my purposes and plans are bursting forth. The budding vines of new life are now blooming everywhere. The fragrance of their flowers whispers: "There is change in the air."  Arise, my love my beautiful companion, and run with me to the higher place. For now is the time to arise and come away with me.    Song of Songs 2:13 The Passion Translation

A NEW SEASON IS ON HER WAY

My husband and I flew home to Australia at the beginning of February for my best friends wedding (Congrats Jonno & Mel,) only to be greeted with a big sweaty hug from a gigantic heatwave....

      In early 2016, after weathering a season of intense warfare over my life, I felt the Holy Spirit download a healing devotional to me. One major battlefield, of the many I had been enduring, was the area of my physical health. Although I intentionally lived a healthy lifestyle, I had become severely ill. Doctors were mostly clueless as to what was wrong with me, medicine and natural remedies were not working, and so, even on my best days, I felt as though I was dying. It was awful and traumatic and so I clung even tighter to the promises of God, and used any energy I had to dive deeper into the scriptures to remind my soul of the healing power of Jesus that makes us spirit, soul and body WHOLE. From the onset of my extreme physical symptoms, I claimed the promises of God, prayed and declared scripture over my life, and longed with everything in me to see the truth of scripture become a living reality in my areas of deep need.  Although the truth of scripture is that we are indeed healed, it can often feel like healing hasn’t arrived in the way we want it or in our chosen timeframe. So how do we navigate the Journey towards our miracle? We do it with God. Every step we take, and in every moment, we must place our full trust in HIM, abiding in the help of the Holy Spirit, and believing in the healing Jesus won for us on the cross. We walk in the promises of light, despite the darkness we might be facing.  I decided to not publish this devotional in a book, but rather give it to you in parts throughout the year as a free downloadable devotional.     


   
     
      
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     To start off the year, we will begin with the devotional titled ‘ The Beautiful Side of Broken’, that I have partnered with the watercolour painting of Mary of Bethany.  I hope you enjoy, and happy New Year!     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The print of Mary of Bethany titled "THE BOUNTIFUL" is available at The Art Shop.     
 
	 purchase "the bountiful"

In early 2016, after weathering a season of intense warfare over my life, I felt the Holy Spirit download a healing devotional to me. One major battlefield, of the many I had been enduring, was the area of my physical health...

        
  
 
  
    
  
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      “For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance,       but the Lord looks at the heart.”           1 Samuel 16:7 (AMP)            King David was an ancient king who lived roughly 1040 BC. A large part of his life is recorded in the scriptures. His life embodied the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”. David began his life as the youngest of seven boys, in a culture that placed favour on children by birth order, making him the last choice of his father. Poor guy. While his father sent David’s older brothers to become trained soldiers for the Israelite army, David was relegated to care for the family’s livestock. However David’s life, that began with a career caring for sheep, turned into an anointed calling of kingship. His life that began on a hillside, would turn into a life appointed ‘The People’s Hero’ and most favoured king of Israel. I don't know how many people in history were schooled in a paddock to then eventually rule a palace, but I do know of one—the ancient King David! Talk about humble beginnings. David’s future would be radically different to his past, and his boyhood limitations would be well and truly exceeded as a man. It didn't matter that no one around him, (not even his family), could see his potential, because God did. God was the author of his days, and David carried a revelation of this truth from childhood:            ‘You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!      Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.’            Psalm 139:13-16 NLT       (A psalm of David)            The scriptures make it clear that David was not chosen by God for his charm, good looks, education, or military training. David was chosen because of one very specific and hidden factor: the deep places of the heart. While people looked at David’s physical appearance, God looked at his heart. David’s heart carried a future that was not limited to his stature, intelligence, birth right, education, level of training, income, popularity or personality type. It held a future unequal to his surrounding and uniquely designed and fashioned by God, the Creator.          On one particular day when he was delivering lunch to his brothers on the battlefront, David saw the giant philistine Goliath opposing his people. David discovered that there was not one trained soldier in all of Israel brave enough to face him! Every single one had reneged on their duty to protect their people. So what did the shepherd boy David do? He volunteered his services! David stepped forward and, just like the famous story tells, killed Goliath with his trusty slingshot and stone, and then Goliath’s own sword. This happened the very same day everyone told him he was just the lunch boy, unqualified and untrained for this moment. The hurtful taunts from those around David, including those of Goliath, didn't deter him from his destiny on this history-defining day, because David had cultivated a heart that magnified the Lord. While his cowardly brothers were supposedly becoming battle-ready, David was on a hillside worshiping God and allowing his heart to become enlarged in its capacity to behold The Limitless God. His heart was filled with an uncommon courage, not learnt on a battlefield but rather a secret place with God.     We can find comfort and encouragement from David’s life because David’s humanity did not define his destiny—the posture of his heart did   .    The heart of a man is a powerful place, and no giant or army can prevail when faced with a heart after God’s own. David chose to hold a different opinion to the crowd’s judgements about his potential, and the realities of his circumstances, because he understood an incredible truth: his future was a process, and that process was in God’s hands.     The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.      But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind.      I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things.      I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”           Jeremiah 17:9-10     The Message                

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The print of David titled, "THE ANOINTED" is avaliable at The Art Shop.     
 
	 Purchase "The Anointed"

King David was an ancient king who lived roughly 1040 BC. A large part of his life is recorded in the scriptures. His life embodied the truth—don’t judge a book by its cover. David began his life as the youngest of seven boys, in a culture that placed favour on children by birth order, making him the last choice of his father…