14 April, 2019

Can We Make a Difference in the World?

Hey friends! It's been a long time, and I'm not sure I can see regular blogging in sight. But I am excited to share what one of my amazing friends, Oasis, shared with me! I appreciate her honest approach and lighthearted way of writing, and she has such a good message:

One of my favourite quotes is "Be the change you want to see in the world," typically associated with Mahatma Gandhi. According to Ranseth, J (2015) Gandhi did not actually say that direct quote, however, the principle of the quote is what Gandhi stood for. So, whether Gandhi said it or not, whoever said it, it's still my favourite quote.

So, back to the question, 'Can we make a difference in this world?' A lot of people are overwhelmed by the question, 'If you could make the world a better place, what would you do and why?'. When asked, they look around and go, 'I don't know, I mean, there are so many things wrong with this world'.

Well, I can't blame them; there are a lot of negative things in this world and we could so very easily just give up, be complacent and say, 'Well, I'm not going to do anything because it's not like I'm going to make a difference'. When people answer with such lack of passion, I feel like pressing a buzzer and saying, 'Brrr, wrong answer'. Unfortunately, I've never had a buzzer handy and have to just nod in agreement with a smile on my face to cover up my disappointment. #Grin&BearIt

To me, the reasoning to such a track of thought is absolutely ridiculous. It's like saying to an environmentalist, 'Oh, don't tell me to put my rubbish in the bin, everyone isn't bothering to do it, so, me doing it isn't going to make a difference'. What has happened to care in this world? Have people lost all hope and meaning in life?

From my perspective, I see picking up rubbish as a movement to making the world a better place. If one puts rubbish in the bin, it's an example that has the potential to lead others to do the same. It may not, and that doesn't mean there is no point in doing it; one less bottle cap in the sea is one less for a turtle to choke on.

So, to make the world a better place, I would start where I am and make my world better. I would do this by giving people I meet in my life - stranger or friend, work colleague or family member, job provider or employer - my time and encouragement. I would make the world a better place by showing others that what they wear, what they own, what they buy, does not bring them value. What makes them valuable is who they are and what they bring to life.

Everyone on this earth is valuable and each one of us can make a positive difference to the world. This may sound whimsical, naive or cliche, but I doubt saying, "A fraction of people on this earth are valuable and only rich people in high places can make positive change" is going to provide the positive, feel-good vibes I'm aiming for, plus, I'd be lying.

Here's another quote I'd like to share, by a woman who I'd never heard of before, but I'd probably be friends with her because she seems pretty cool. 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has' - Margaret Mead. Her statement reminds me of Rosa Parks who started the movement against segregation on buses; apparently she didn't mean to, she just wanted a seat because her legs were tired, but it got the job done! Sometimes, just being yourself and standing up makes a difference!

In conclusion, yes! we can make a difference to this messed up world, one step at a time. It doesn't even mean we have to go out of our way to do so either. Just by putting a bit more love into your work or adding a few extra sprinkles on your baked cupcakes for someone's birthday or picking up a piece of rubbish, could be the positive change that brings a smile to someone's face and your own.

Thanks so much for your encouragement, Oasis! I really like the emphasis on doing the best with the opportunities we have. Changing the world doesn't have to complex and unattainable - it's the little things we do consistently that make the biggest difference. Never underestimate the impact you have!

How do you find yourself changing the world? Are you ever overwhelmed with all the darkness and hate that's present sometimes (me too!)? What's one way someone has lightened your life before? And what's been happening for you, seeing as it's been so long since I've posted? I think of you all often. xx 

21 February, 2019

Reflections on New Beginnings

I’m sitting outside on the veranda. It’s gently raining, calming the dust and wind of earlier, soothing the heat. The sound and smell of falling rain reminds me of new beginnings. It’s kind of late to be talking about new beginnings – ‘most everyone wrote those posts a month or two ago. But this passing storm reminds me that there’s no wrong time to start over, begin afresh, experience new inspiration. 

We’ve had a lot of summer storms the past couple of weeks. I’m not a fan of storms, generally speaking, but the rain, the change in temperature, the freshness it brings to the earth – there’s nothing more refreshing after a morning of dusty wind and humidity as the storm brewed. Maybe that’s how it goes with life as well. There are parts of change, of new beginnings, I dislike. It can be uncertain, uncomfortable. If I could see a clear transition from ‘this’ to ‘that’ with both clearly defined, and the exact steps to move forward, I might let go. But what happens when you feel like it’s a fresh start, but you can’t quite see where you’re going, what it’s the beginning of?

That’s how I’m feeling right now. I’m learning more of what God has for me, but there’s still so much in the haze. I can see a couple of steps forward, but I have no idea about the rest of it, or what the destination even is. For so long this is what has kept me from beginning; I wanted the whole picture so I could plan and organize – and procrastinate and freak out. I am a pro at finding excuses and believing them until I can see no way forward. But that’s all they are: excuses. 

Imagine if the storm around me operated that way. I don’t feel like raining today – who knows if it will even reach the ground! Maybe nobody will notice it. All my effort will be wasted! Or I might have to go through a wall of dust! That’s so hard and gross! It’s ludicrous to think about. God doesn’t make excuses – He says, He does. Nature carries His word through, even though it’s been thousands of years since He spoke it into action. 

We were made to operate the same way, and deep inside we know that. We feel disappointed when we don’t carry through with the dreams and visions God has given us. This only leaves one option: excuses are from the enemy. He sees the powerful difference for good we have if we follow through, so he tries to stop us. Therefore, if we are facing a barrage of excuses, we can be sure God is up to something good in us. They’re actual proof that something profitable lies on the other side. 

That’s the new beginning I can feel in my bones – a time to not let excuses win. To be like the rain, falling as God wills, come clouds, dust, evaporation. Because with Him, nothing is a failure, nothing returns without accomplishing what He has intended for it. May the same be said of me.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth no thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to th eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:9-11

The rain has come down heavy now, the mist blowing in on my face. It’s cool. It’s refreshing. It whispers the hope of new beginnings. 


It's been awhile again, lovely people - how are you going? What have you been learning recently? How do you feel about the new year?

21 December, 2018

He is the Answer

Kata Tjuta & King's Canyon, NT, Australia

Sometimes there aren’t answers. Call it maturity, maybe, I’ve been realizing there aren’t answers to every question. There are grey areas of faith that have to be wrestled out personally, between us and God. Sometimes there isn’t a ‘thou shalt’ or ‘thou shalt not.’

One of the biggest things about growing up is coming to your own beliefs and understanding. We’ve all been brought up to see the world, God, what we should and shouldn’t do, a certain way. And even if these things are great and true, they are meaningless unless we claim them for our own. Now is the time we take things on, alter some to fit our experience, and leave some behind. 

It’s healthy; it’s a necessary part of growing up and becoming our own people. But it’s also hard. I look at my friends, and we’re all going through the same thing. We’re changing. Some I now have less in common with, and whether it’s right or wrong, it’s sad to lose that. Some I have more in common with and it’s a blessing to connect more deeply with them. 

I’ve been wrestling with questions too. I see the choices others make, I observe the world around, and I notice I’m changing too. I’m an independent thinker, which I’m grateful for, but it leads me to want to know everything. I want the answers to the dilemmas I have, I want solutions to everyone’s problems, and I want to understand why people do what they do. Maybe then, I’ll be able to form conclusions. 

The verse in Matthew which says ‘seek and ye shall find’ came to mind when I was thinking about this. Didn’t Jesus promise answers? There are answers I’ve been looking for years, and I can’t find them. So, I opened my concordance to ‘seek,’ looking for a verse I thought I knew. But look what I found instead:

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Deut 4:29

And thou, Solomon my son, know the God of thy Father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee… 1 Chron 28:9

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jer 29:13

The Bible is talking about something much deeper. God doesn’t always give us all answers and knowledge. Interestingly, that’s what Satan promised in the very first temptation. He zoned in on our idea that to know everything would be like being God. But God is far more than knowledge and information, a big Father Google. He is love, He is peace, He is joy – and ultimately, isn’t that what we’re looking for? I don’t want the answers to my questions as much as I want peace from restlessness. Knowing without rest would only prompt another question. But knowing Jesus hits the root. Yes, I may not know what I think I need to, but I can have rest and contentment anyway. I might not understand why, but I can have peace and even joy. I may not have endless information, but I can have Jesus. That’s the promise. Seek and you will find God. Not necessarily explanations or logic, but God. It looks like I’ve been searching for the wrong thing.

Isn’t it precious to think about? God could give answers – He does give much wisdom and knowledge. He could satisfy our theoretical wonderings and leave it there, but no, He gives Himself. He sees us seeking, searching, wondering, questioning, and he comes to us Himself. 

Here’s the challenge for me, and maybe for you too. If, after all my searching, I find God, will that be enough? Will I allow His presence and majesty to swallow the questions? Will I let His rest calm the striving and desperation to know?

Some things haven’t changed since the Garden of Eden. I still want to know good and evil, but God still wants to share His heart with us in the cool of the evening too. I’m learning that is enough. Next time I get discouraged after praying for answers, and all I feel is the whisper of His voice telling me to draw closer, I want to see it for what it is: an invitation for communion with the Master Creator and Lord of all, who is Himself the answer. As C. S. Lewis said: 

I know no, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?


Have you struggled with unanswerable questions? What do you think their purpose is? How have you found this growing-up stage of life? I pray we can all receive our questions and doubts as an invitation to come and know God more deeply. xx 

P.s I listened to this song again today, and I thought the second verse was especially relevant. Love is the answer.