Who is shaping your space?

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I had  a wonderful conversation with a friend the other day about the spaces that we as women dwell in. Would you agree that women have a unique ability to bring change in an atmosphere, carrying life and beauty wherever we are?

I know the idea of feminine qualities can be so controversial in our modern age, but I still believe that no one carries beauty, comfort, grace and life like women do. I fear we have exchanged these for mere exterior counterfeits while on the inside we battle to be all we know we are meant to be.

If you are like me, you have felt like there are some spaces in your life, whether at work, at home, emotionally or spiritually where all you see is emptiness or you feel like you are tripping over so much “stuff” on the inside and there is so much clutter and noise that the notion of bringing life, beauty and pure “Oomph” is completely non-existent.

Here is my question to myself and to you:

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Stay with me here…..

Think about your life like an actual space.

Picture your life as a space, with boundaries and unique traits. Like a house with different rooms each representing an area of your life.

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Or how about a garden. In some areas of your life it may feel lush and green, while in other spaces, you feel empty and it’s pretty dark when no one is looking.

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Whatever space you find yourself in, I want to encourage you by directing you to someone who is pretty awesome at transforming spaces.

Think about creation. This is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. We are introduced to God the Creator. The earth is described as dark and void. BUT! The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the deep. God then speaks His word into that dark, empty space and said “ Let there be light “ Gen 1.

And guess what?

Lo and Behold! There was light!

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Everything changes from that point. The earth takes a new form and has light, life, beauty and breath. It becomes an expression of the character and design of God. All by the breath of His Word.

Think about Jesus stepping into the finite space that earth is though. He came close and brought who He was into our earth space, so that every one who decides to take a step of faith into the expansive, abundant life that is only found in Him, will be shaped anew. And where He is there is life and freedom and beauty and all that is good.

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So Let’s bring this home to ourselves, ladies. Who has been shaping the space within you? Personally, there have been spaces in my life where there has been darkness from my sinful and selfish choices. Combine this with the stuff that happens to your heart when people walk away who should have stayed; and mix in some disappointment, disapproval and discouragement; and you pretty much end up with a big gaping hole that must be filled.

This was me! I say was because to a large extent, God has shown up in my life and is transforming the space within. But I know for sure I have not arrived and I have to step daily into his expansive, never-ending grace. I totally suck apart from Him. And when I do not spend time surrounding my space with His words and His breath, am afraid there is very little of changing any atmosphere (the air, the mood, the quality of life around my space).  Apart from Him, I can do nothing. It’s as simple as that!

So think about! Who is shaping your space? Who is shaping you? Isn’t it time for someone new?

 

Trust is a beautiful place!

 

Trust is a beautiful place
Trust is a beautiful space meant to become home

I have felt it’s touch in the mornings
and the strength of its embrace at night
when the doubts have raged their troubled waters
and memories provoke it’s innocence

Trust stands firm, pure, and unshaken
not faintly deterred by my wandering eyes
nor driven away by my unbelief.
But as a patient and loving mother
Trust’s open arms remain
Ever present, ever waiting,
ever trusting that the day will finally come
when I will finally return home

Trust is my new home and it is a beautiful and spacious place.


Simple by Clarinda

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© Clarinda Sishi

 

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A Spacious Place in 2018!

Last year ended with my heart breathing lighter! Much lighter! So many things had to simply go last year! And the King of my heart navigated me through it all. After all He is the One who came to extract me out of that painful scenes that have played over and over again in my mind. He has been singing over me and surrounding me. He is the One who calls me “daughter of delight”, and the One who creates the space for me to live and move and have my being.

I realized  that the unfolding story of my life begins and ends with one thing: beholding the One who has loved me and known me from before I was born. My story is found in Him and He holds everything together by the power of His word. So my heart is at rest. My heart is lighter because He is the one who carries me. My heart is lighter because it is free!

So, Hello 2018! What has the Father planned for this year! What are His thoughts concerning you and me? What are the words He is speaking over us?

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Spacious!

This is a word on my heart and a prayer I am praying!

spa·cious (spā′shəs) – Dictionary adj.

1. Having enough or abundant space or room; large in area or extent.
2.  Large in area, range and scope!

Spacious makes me think of a wide open sphere of living without barriers, and constrains, without boxes, without the unnecessary, uncluttered, free, with movement, full yet light. Unburdened. Life in abundance. A Life widened by faith.

“LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child [resting] with his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me [composed and freed from discontent]. O (My dear one!), hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.”
‭‭          PSALM‬ ‭131:1-3‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Spacious is the immeasurable grace and goodness of God stretching out wide and deep into my life and yours.! This is what I am leaning into for this year. What is your one word for the year? What are you hopes and prayers? Do you have the courage to write it down or whisper it? Go ahead and do so! One word can light up your year!

Welcome 2018!

Spacious

 

What Grace Looks Like In My Marriage

We celebrated 12years of marriage last month and It was also coincidently my turn to take on the Facebook #loveyourspouse challenge that seems to be doing the rounds. I enjoyed posting pictures of me and my husband for 7 days consecutively. A great way to think about the good stuff and celebrate what we have shared and to remember that this is worth it. BUT, I have a confession to make!

One thought that kept going through my mind during that week, a thought that is both a confession and a prayer at the same time  is that I would not have reached 12years of marriage without the grace and power of God at work in me. Some of you may have come from a rich heritage of great family life and internal good stuff, but in my case, I have needed every bit of help from the Lord in my love life.

It’s not that I did not marry the man of my dreams, or that I totally suck,  but the truth is that marriage quickly showed me that the man that my heart melted for at the altar on the day I said “I do”, also needed to become the man of my reality, the man I fully embrace, and not just the one I “fall in love” with, but also the one I “choose to love”.

The grace of God at work in me, is what has helped me make this transition of daily choosing to love the man of my reality, to learn to grow together and to fight to stay real and connected with each other. And this process is not always pretty, nor is it magical. There are moments when you feel your heart exploding with love and joy. Yep! Those are great. But, there are many times when the pain and disappointment of discovering our imperfections and selfishness are not so great and we fumble clumsily to truly be known and be heard, while the pressures of life compete for the time and energy that is required to stay close. Let’s not forget how all those messed up unresolved childhood expectations come knocking at the door too. Combine all this, and you can understand what I mean when I say that without the grace and power of God at work in us, I am not sure I would be celebrating 12years of marriage with a full heart. But here is courage to the hearts of those who may need this encouragement, as I consider the grace of God and 5 ways I have seen it at work in my marriage.

For me God’s grace in me for building our marriage has been about these 5 areas:

  1. The grace to remember and Cultivate my first love, Jesus. No one can love me like He does, and in turn when I feel loved, I can receive and give love. I don’t enjoy my own company when I am running on empty and I come alive when I stay close to Jesus.
  2. The grace to Stay Connected with my husband. Keeping my heart tender, vulnerable and strong at the same time has been small steps of surrendering and trust that keeps yielding fruits of intimacy.
  3. The grace to Conquer past hurts. Childhood pain can hide so well until love demands your heart to come alive. Forgiving and letting go, constantly frees me up to love without fear and without strings attached. It also creates an atmosphere of freedom around me, so that my husband does not have to pay the penalty for wounds he did not cause.
  4. The grace to Celebrate who my husband is rather than to stumble over who and what he is not. Yes! Its true, some of the things I loved about my husband during the time were courting when the mere sound of his voice was wildly intoxicating, some of those same things leave me slightly irritated and I shake my head with disbelief at how different we are. At some point I had to throw in the towel ( I am giggling to myself now) and give up trying to change him. Anyone who knows my love for makeovers and DiY will understand how hard this is.
  5. The grace to Choose a more glorious future daily. Our dear friends Nigel and Debbie are one of the encouraging examples of marriage life and were our pre-marital counsellors. I remember their encouragement to us as we started on our journey, to always choose to serve each other daily and to show selfless love by choosing the other above our own comforts. Love with sacrifice leaves a lasting fruit of Joy. Sacrificial love grows to become a beautiful tree that many will be blessed by.

    I want to glorify God with every area of my life and with every corner of my heart so that when the #loveyourspouse Facebook posts are long forgotten, and God takes His own pictures of my marriage, His heart will swell like a proud Father and He will delight to see us, His children, take hold of His mercies that are new every morning to build a marriage that brings glory to His name.

 

My Beautiful Feet

I remember myself as a young, curious, and wonder filled child growing up in West Africa, Ghana. I walked barefoot to many places and I could count with two fingers how many shoes  I could call mine. But that never bothered me as long as I could play to my hearts content and wonder off on dusty streets, hoping not to find myself in big trouble when I returned home to my mother’s questioning eyes.  One gaze from my mother’s eyes and I could find some comfort whenever I hung my head low and simply gaze at my feet, as if they were a faithful and understanding companion.

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My childhood memories are a somewhat fuzzy and often the playful pitter patter of feet within my family, turning into heavy steps, and hurried shuffles as my parents went their separate ways and we,their children, were left wishing we could start again.  But everyday, like the rest of the body, we all have to wash our feet and start another day….the heart must forgive and let go of the things the feet has walked away from.

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From Ghana, to Nigeria, to South Africa and now to America, these feet have been softened and strengthened, washed many times and developed their a unique personality, and carved its own bend. As a result, I stand like no other, and I will walk like no other. And all the while, these beautiful feet never cast a shadow of doubt on the value of my existence, nor do they condemn the woman I am, or the one I am longing to be. My feet, the faithful and understanding companion, seeks no prominence or place of honor. My beautiful feet will serve and humbly carry me on the good paths prepared for me. They remain as free as my mind can see,  and as brave as my heart can run. They will walk away from harm and run to embrace love.

My beautiful feet are the most real and humblest part of me. They do not lie about where they have been, nor do they hasten after tomorrow. My beautiful feet will tenderly curl around my husbands feet, and patiently run in circles with my children, and at the day’s end, they will rest …. content to be where they ought to be. My feet stay alive and active and must be  given a voice to tell its stories and room to bring the good news that it carries.

IMG_7956My beautiful feet tell the story of life, of joy, of pain, and of hope. They carry the shoes that I alone must wear.  And everywhere these feet travel, from Ghana to Nigeria, and South Africa to America, and wherever else, these feet will continue to to discover new rhythms as it walks alongside many people and more importantly rests the beauty and grace of learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.