I was thinking about what to write this time and realised my best option was not to write much/anything this time. I have not been well having been diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia (one day I will learn to easily spell that … I hope). It has meant that I have started on a new drug which I slowly have to wean onto to get to a dose which will control the pain I have been experiencing. I read a description of one of the side effects of this med by someone taking it as having a marshmallow head ie really foggy. That is what I have and thinking is just not happening. So my apologies, but no blog this time.
If you are a person who prays, please join with me in praying that my body would continue to get used to the med and that the pain would be controlled soon and well.
I recently met Hagar. Yes, Hagar from Genesis 16 and what a privilege it was to meet her. I have also met other ‘Lost Women of the Bible’ in Carolyn Custis James’ book of the same name. So why did I enjoy meeting Hagar?
Hagar was Abraham’s concubine ‘given’ to Abraham by Sarah when she sought to bring about the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham. This promise was of him being the father of many nations. Sarah had concluded, and reading the story not without good reason humanly speaking, that she was not going to bear Abraham a son. Then when Hagar did become pregnant, she was despised by her mistress. Go figure? She was a slave, Egyptian and with no value in anyone’s eyes.
This is where it gets interesting. To escape this situation she ran away but God sought her out. She had gone into the desert to die and this is where God found her. She had amazing value in God’s eyes as do all His children. Even more amazing to me was that God told her to return to Abraham and Sarah! I think if I were Hagar I would have preferred the ‘You poor thing. I will care for you’ option from God. But He told her to return … and she did!
She also gave God the name of ‘El Roi’ – the God who sees me. It is the only recorded time in the Bible of anyone giving God a name … and it was a woman who did so. So it was great to meet Hagar.
Are there times when you feel invisible, be it as you are on campus ministering, a mum, someone who is sick or just caught up in the busy-ness of life? I’ve been there many times. Please know that God sees you!
He is El Roi – the God who sees me.
How are you going relating with God?
How are you going relating with yourself?
How are you going relating with others? Yes, this is THE third question.
This answer requires you to do some self-evaluation on a different level. Specifically, what ‘wake’ do you leave as you interact with others? I found this question a little daunting when it was first posed and potentially don’t ask it of myself a lot. So it is actually good to write this blog and ask it of myself again.
Wake? Imagine you are on a cruise liner looking out over the stern. That’s where you will see the wake left by the liner. Sounds romantic? Generally yes but sometimes it is not a pleasant vista. Now imagine you are the cruise liner and the wake illustrates what sort of impression you leave. Are people bobbing around enjoying a smooth wake or are they struggling to stay afloat in a tumultuous wake as they relate with you?
In some respects, only you can answer this question. But a trusted friend may be able to help you evaluate this area. Please take the time to do this as you live life. How you relate with others can so influence your ministry, witness for Christ, and even yourself.
So the third question? How are you going relating with others?
How are you going … ?
Last time I ‘muttered’, I began with the first of three questions I wanted to ask about relationships. So how have you been going in your relationship with God?
Next question? “How are you going relating to yourself?” I must admit that I was a bit shocked when first confronted with this question and in Matt. 22:40 we are commanded to “love all mankind as we would love ourselves”. Love ourselves? That sounded a little narcissistic?
Of course it’s not. We are God’s workmanship. What is there not to love about God’s creation? If only it was that easy? Circumstances can very much dictate so much of how we relate to ourselves. We know also from the book of Romans that creation groans. But we must value ourselves. Nurture this relationship. Cherish this relationship.
(I am in hospital while writing these thoughts. I need to be very aware in this relationship.)
Take time to consider how you are going relating with yourself. This can, and does, influence so much in our life – our health, our ministry, our relationships
In life we are juggling relationships, sometimes well and sometimes not so well. Now before you begin wondering why Mandy is muttering in this area, please be assured that I am not talking the ‘boy meets girl and they end up living happily ever after’ relationship. I am going to ask about three important relationships in our lives, but one at a time.
Question number 1… How is your relationship with God?
How are you going in this area? Is it an area of intimacy, a struggle or somewhere in between? Do you feel at ease in this relationship or perhaps feel distant from God? My experience is that how I am going with God certainly impacts the rest of my life.
In thinking about this, I am thankful for the journey God has had me on. For years as the MS very much limited my ability to read…actually to do much … I struggled to spend time with God on a regular basis. (I am very thankful for the technolopgy that now enables me to read from a Kindle or PC.) Yes, there were ways I could have done this but I think my default setting became that of not persuing this relationship as well as I coukld of. I was almost relieved to have my eyes opened to this fact and to learn to value the time I spend with God and the freedom this has given me.
So how is your relationship with God? If you are struggling or overwhelmed, try reading a psalm a day. Be honest with God. He wants us to be open and honest with Him. Talk with a friend and ask them to journey with you during this time.
So how is your relationship with God?
For anyone reading this who doesn’t have a relationship with God or is seeking God, have a look at the webste www.everystudent.com.au
A friend asked me a number of years ago ‘How is your heart?’ I had never been asked that before and I don’t think I really understood what was meant by the question. God sure did! God knew I needed to have that question asked of me and has been shaping the answer in my life ever since.
She also shared Deuteronomy 30:6
The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
Various Authors. Holy Bible (NIV) (New International Version) (Kindle Locations 8491-8492). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
It was interesting reading this verse and ‘daring’ to ask how this could apply to me or should apply for me. God has shown me heaps about my heart – my attitude, my lack of love, and my ‘need’ for control. As the word ‘circumcised’ implies, there was pain but I am so thankful to have been and continue to be on this journey … so thankful for the healing that has occurred.
So ‘How is your heart?’ As you seek to do life, as you seek to be involved in ministry, as you seek to be a daughter, perhaps a mum, a sister, a friend, a coach, a mentor and most importantly a daughter of God, how is your heart? Is being a Christian just an external thing? How are you going in the intimacy of your relationship with God? Are you open to the circumcision of your heart?
Years ago, actually on the other side of the world (I live in Australia now), I began a blog – Mandy’s Mouthpiece. It was not long lived and it was begun for different reasons than this one. So why start anew?
I have actually changed the name of my blog from Mandy’s Mouthpiece to Mandy’s Mutterings. I desire to be God’s Mouthpiece, not my own. I also wish to encourage women, especially those women working with Power to Change in Australia in their lives and ministry as they seek to live for Jesus.
So will you join with me as I start again. I would so appreciate your insights and input in different areas I may go. And yes, things will be presented from a women’s point of view but men, would you join with me too.