Four ways to make a difference

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Pic by my late friend Andy Carrie (someone who helped inspire my vision).

 2017 is the year to shine, a year for taking no prisoners.  This is your year!

We are notoriously accustomed to entering January charged up and rearing to go.  Our resolutions and goals are noted and our dreams are alive – we intend to change but our plans often remain just that, good plans.  Our lack of “know how”, our feelings of inadequacy or our habits of comparing ourselves to others slowly start to erode our good intentions.  We are left with a sense of disillusionment when we look back, suddenly aware that four months have passed and we’ve become caught in the web of busyness, not having actually achieved much at all.

As a working mom of three little children (with one that still wakes up through the night to be breastfed. Don’t worry, it will stop soon, just haven’t had the strength to wean her!) this feeling is all too familiar.  But this year it is going to be different.

This year I am stirred with not only a dream but a vision.  Inspiring author, Andy Stanley, says: “Dreamers dream about things being different.  Visionaries envision themselves making a difference.” 

This statement for me was a catalyst for change.

The light was turned on when I realised the significance of a vision. The difference between who you are and what you want to be, is what you do, and a vision guides that “what you do”.  What you do to make a difference to not only your own life but the lives of those around you, is the very essence of what will put you in the place you dream of being. My mom has a beautiful saying that she truly lives by – she says “there is nothing more therapeutic to the human soul than to do something for someone else.” (Quote by Nadine Wright)

  1. Find out what dissatisfies you the most. Let this stir you from deep within.

I believe that a vision comes from a place of angst.  It may be injustice, people with unrealised potential, inequality, poor service in your industry, bad creative content, stupid ideas or over-complicated processes.  Whatever it is that dissatisfies you the most – herein lies the key to the vision that will cause you to rise up.

  1. Have a strategy, a detailed plan and a set of goals.

I believe that the recipe to achieving your vision is a combination of a clear strategy (which is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim), great faith, great connections and a whole lot of passionate prayer.  If you don’t pray, maybe you should try!  Wonderful things always happen when I pray detailed and specific prayers.

  1. Fan your flame of passion

When one is fuelled by passion and driven by a clearly defined strategy one can walk confident, unperturbed by what others around might say.  Passion fuels perseverance, courage and character and these qualities are what you will need when life throws curve balls.

How does one stir up passion?

Surround yourself with passionate people.  Read passionate books.

My good friend of mine says “find ways to do what makes you come alive and make time to do these things, not only on the weekend or when on holiday, but every day.”

  1. Be generous with YOUR gifts

There is a scripture in the bible (Proverb 18v16) that says “a gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”

Use the gifts you have been given as these are the very tools to unlock the God-given purposes in you.

If you are an accountant don’t dream of being an artist (unless you are gifted at both art and accounting – there are some of those).  Don’t compare and wish for the gifts of another, walk boldly in the talents and abilities that were given to you.

If you don’t know what these are then ask those closest to you to help identify them.  We all have gifts and they are meant to be “given”, not stored up but generously displayed for the world to see.

I think it’s time. Let’s change the world together…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A love letter to my daughter

Dear Mila

Four years ago at 5h10am, after 27 hours of labour and a failed epidural, I gave birth to a miracle- that miracle was you.

My heart almost stopped beating when your limp and tired body was taken from mine.  The nurse was instructed by the doctor to rub you in order to get you to cry.  Hot tears flowed down my cheeks as they suctioned your nose to get you to breath.  When they handed you back to me, your naked skin on mine, I knew my life was changed forever.

You are the delight of my heart.  Each moment I look into your flawless face and dark brown eyes, I stand in awe of a God that is a God of purpose, of intention.  He searched you and he knew you even before you were conceived.  He knew that one day He would create a child that was so full of passion and desire to love and be loved.  A sensitive soul with an inquiring mind.  A creative genius who would one day think up ideas others never had, a child who would hear the whispers of Heaven and follow their trail toward greatness.  His eyes saw your unformed body and he mapped out your days in His book, even before any of them came about.

Then, in a secret place, when the time was perfect He began His work, His masterpiece.  He had planned everything to perfection.  He knew exactly what to do.  He knitted you together in my womb and spoke words of life, blessing and praise as He pondered over the joy you would one day bring, immeasurable, unquenchable joy to all around you.  He saw His work and beamed with pride at how wonderful you are, how fearfully and wonderfully you had been created.  He then spoke and said, “Her name must be Mila Grace, which means favoured one, covered by the unmerited favour of God.”  He then made a declaration over you that could never be broken and it was this:

” I have searched you Mila, and I know you, I will know when you sit and when you rise, I perceive all of your thoughts from afar.  I discern your going out and your lying down; I will be familiar with all of your ways.  Before a word is on your tongue, I will know it completely. I will draw you into me on every side and I will always have my hand upon you.  You can’t run away from my Spirit, my thoughts for you outnumber the grains of sand in all the universe.  I will search your heart and know you, I will create in you a pure heart and I will renew a steadfast spirit within you.  You are mine, I will never leave you.  Look to me, my radiant one and your face will never be covered with shame.  You will have choices to make.  I will set before you blessing and curses to choose, but CHOOSE LIFE.  As you make me your delight I will give you all the desires of your heart.  Ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.  Anything you ask of me, according to my will will be granted.  The price has been paid in full, you are free.  I have called you for such a time as this so go, run free.  I will make your feet like the feet of a deer so that you may reach the very heights of all that I have to offer you.  Do not hold back, Be BOLD and very courageous. Do not be afraid, remember I am with you and I will never leave you nor forsake you.  My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, they are yo give you a hope and a future.  You are mine.   Adventure with me Mila on this journey called life.  It will be wild it will be good.”

We love you more than words could ever express and we praise God for giving us the privilege of raising you as our daughter.  It is a job we do not take lightly.  We have dedicated you to Him and pray that you would always choose to run free in the paths of His commands, the paths that lead to a life of fullness and joy.

I will love you forever, unconditionally, immeasurably much.

Love Mom

The words of promise from God to us, are taken form the following scripture references: 

Psalm 139, Jeremiah 29:11, Deuteronomy 30:19, Psalm 37:4, Matthew 7:8, Acts 1:8, Psalm 2:8, Galatians 5:1, Esther 4:14, Psalm 18:33, Joshua 1:9, Deuteronomy 31:6
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Mila at only a few days old.  Pic’s taken by my beautiful friend Kristy Carlson.