A Thankful Heart, Dear.

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It has recently been thanks giving over in America and it really got me inspired me to write all around thankfulness. Funnily enough, it’s exactly what the Lord has been pressing on my heart to do more of lately.

Psalm 36:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

I am a very happy, energetic and confident person. I have always been someone who chooses optimism and positivity first but if I am honest, the last few months have felt SO opposite to that and it’s been so conflicting. It’s like I  was constantly churned up and every time something wonderful happened I would feel this tug on my heart and this unexplainable sadness filled the pit of my soul.

I have been in this constant up hill climb and I haven’t been able to see the top. I wrote in my last post about my gratitude for my friend Tess. I spoke about how I started to feel like myself again, for the first time in months.

Do you want to know why I started to feel like myself again?… Because the Lord invaded my heart and refilled my spirit with Thankfulness.

We are called to be Thankful in all circumstances of our lives. When we Praise and give thanks to our incredible Jesus we are ridding ourselves of the very thing the devil is trying to hold us down with. When we give Thanks, we receive blessing. When we choose to focus on the good things, we actually reap the benefit of the blessing by just feeling full again.

There is nothing more beautiful than the feeling of pure, genuine thankfulness. Our God wants us to live a life full of abundance and relentless Joy. He wants us to recognise his work and Praise him for everything.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I look at Characters of the bible like, Job, David and Paul. God – honouring men who poured their heart and souls to God with Thankfulness. They were faced with awful circumstances yet still they were able to walk out their day covered in crazy, unexplainable peace, simply because they were Thankful. 

My prayer for you is to always have a Thankful heart, that no matter what you are facing, you choose God and you trust wholeheartedly that you belong to him, the King of the world.

My Challenge for you is to count your blessings. As you wake up instead of scrolling aimlessly on social media, spend time in the presence of God and Thank him for all the wonder and beauty in your life.

What are you thankful for?

How has God moved in your world?

When did he carry you out of that place you thought you were going to be stuck in forever?

Who has he placed in your life that has made a positive influence over you?

I can 100% promise you, you are going to be setting your day up for success when you start it like this.

Beth xx

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I Surrender.

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Story time!

2017 takes the cake for the most change I have ever experienced in such a short amount of time. Around February/March the Lord told me to quit my job. A career I had studied for and worked hard at for 3 years. I had no fall back plan, nothing. Just like Abraham, he told me to get up and move. It was one of the most incredible testaments to my personal faith I have ever experienced. During this time God was also preparing me to serve at camp Sonshine – Nebraska, U.S.A, Where my life changed dramatically in the most indescribable way.

I have been seeking God about what my next big move is going to be since I quit my job 9 months ago. I found the first few months of my waiting season amazing. I was able to do things that I always desired to do but after every high comes a low. I came home from my trip from America and felt instantly lost, direction-less and purpose-less from the moment I landed back in Australia. My waiting season became quite tough and the dark days much outweighed the light ones.

Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

The Lord gave me very, very clear instructions of what he wanted me to do when I got home. He wanted me to rest. But me being me, I allowed my anxiety to get the better of me and I started to plan out what I thought would be best for my life and what would be best for the future. We all know that works… NOT! I burnt myself out to the point of being physically sick. So, began doctors appointments and further tests to find out what was going on with my body. God literally didn’t give me an option of being able to do anything, he forced me to rest.

You would think that would have been a pretty clear indication for me to stop, wouldn’t you? After putting my health at risk I still tried to continue to do things in my own strength.

I hit an extremely low point the other week. I had an anxiety attack and I just went through a stage of pushing everyone away. I preferred to be alone. In my ‘alone’ I was constantly reminded of a conversation I had with my beautiful friend Sarah. She was in a season of transition and she said: “Beth, I am trusting God with everything, I am completely giving my life to him and I have never felt better.” I finally waved my flag and I surrendered. I surrendered.

Lessons Learnt!

I have always been pretty blessed in the sense of not having to spend long periods of time waiting for an answer from God. Everything has always been a fairly quick process. So when I came up against something new like this I instantly thought taking matters into my own hands would speed the process up.

  • Don’t rush a head of God’s plan! It tells us in Jeremiah 29:11…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

Before we were even born God numbered our days and planned out our lives. He knows what’s going to happen today, tomorrow and 5 years from now. All we need to do is trust him through it. When we rush ahead of the wonder he has for us we can miss it and make a mess in the process.

  • Count your blessings in the waiting! 

Ephesians 3:20 – God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! (MSG)

It was coming to the end of camp when this verse popped up for the first time. That was over 3 months ago now. I have received this verse at least once a week since then. God kept telling me he was going to do something amazing and I was getting so excited and looking so far into the future that I missed was he was doing in the process.

I was so fixated on the outcome of my wait that I didn’t even pay full attention to the fact that he had already begun doing anything beyond my wildest dreams. I was missing all these beautiful blessings he had already poured out on me. I have realised the things he does in the wait is preparation for what he has next. Don’t miss it like I did.

*Everything thing has purpose and plays a part in his divine plan for you, regardless if you understand or you can see it or not.  

  • Stop doing it on your own! 

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (NIV)

I can’t even count how many times the bible talks about the strength of the Lord. Our God is good and he is faithful. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He freely, graciously and willingly gives us his strength. So, why do we constantly try to do things on our own? I spent months doing it on my own, fully aware of what I was doing yet still continued to do it. I can’t explain the complete freedom I am experiencing right now. All because I am allowing God to do what he intended. Since doing this I have also received incredible blessings and the Lord has placed new dreams and desires in my heart because I am at a place of understanding now.

This season has bought SO much growth already, its unbelievable.

  • What does God want you to do for him in the mean time? 

Because I spent so long focusing on what the end result of my wait was I completely forgot to be asking God what I can do for him in the meantime. The in-between stage is where all the growth and preparation happens. I should have been spending more of my time completely open to God’s will for my life and by doing that sooner I could have been used by him in amazing ways.

Closing thoughts!

If you are currently in a waiting season I want you to know you are not alone.

1 Peter 5:9 – Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Take this opportunity to rest in the Lord and his incredible promises for your life. I understand the daily struggle of waiting. As humans we can be really impatient and feel defeated because we think we know what is best for our lives but we don’t, God does. He has a perfect plan for you and he is going to take you to places you’ve never been before. All you need to do is trust the prosess! He’s got you!

Beth xx

How can I pray for you?

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A few weeks ago I posted the image above on my Instagram (@bethcalverley) and spoke about the Power Of Prayer.

I was reflecting on the fact that I have recently started a Prayer journal and the absolute wonders it has done for me and my prayer life. I have been a Christian since the young age of 3 and I have grown up going to church.

Speaking has never been one of my strengths. I am petrified of public speaking, I often find my self stumbling over words, stuttering and embarrassed that I’m not making sense. Unfortunately, those fears were much the same when I was trying to talk to Jesus. I thought that my prayers were pathetic because I constantly compared them to the ones Pastors would say on the stage of a church. You know the ones with passion, the ones where their voices would raise as the band behind them would get more intense with their instruments. There is nothing wrong with that but The Lord has been persistent with me and this year he has taken me on a new journey with my prayer life. He has given me a new and honestly, refreshing perspective.

The bible talks to us time and time again about Prayer. The book of Psalms is one of my personal favourites and such a beautiful example of Prayer. It is simply coming into the presence of the Saviour. This is exactly what David did. He came as he was, with Thanks, with Requests, with Hurt, with Honesty.

As a writer, starting a prayer journal was THE best thing I have ever done. I haven’t been doing it for long but I have noticed a huge difference in my personal relationship with the Lord. It’s a sacred space between only him and I. It has enabled me to express myself in a way that works for me. Not just insecure little prayers when I am too focused on how I sound rather than what I am actually praying about instead my prayers are heartfelt from the very depths of my soul.

1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Another positive and beautiful thing I have found from having a prayer journal is: Because I am physically writing my prayers out I am able to visually see where there is need but also where prayers have been answered. We are all well aware that God listens, cares and answers us according to his will for us. It sounds so silly and simple but I honestly have never experienced recognition of prayer in such an impacting way.

The Lord has been pressing on my heart to share the impact I have had and take it further. This is where YOU come in! Community is really important to me and there is something about being in a community of prayer that makes you feel connected, supported and encouraged no matter what season of life you’re in. With that being said, My simple question is How can I be praying for you? 

Please, If you have certain things in your life that you need prayer for, if you are in a season of struggle, whether that be heart-break, finance, relationships, anything! Let me pray for you! Or maybe you are in a season of thanksgiving and complete gratitude? Let me Praise and give thanks to the Lord with you! I want to encourage you!

Head to my contact section in the drop down bar in my menu located at the top left hand side of my blog. Send me an email or write a comment. I would love to hear from you!

Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

I will finish off this post with a little challenge for you! Prayer is honestly such a beautiful way to connect with Jesus.

  • The first part of your challenge is to allocate a specific amount of time + time of the day set aside for Prayer – Your sacred time with God.
  • The second part of your challenge is to find what works for you. You might be a very verbal prayer, writing might suit you better, you might enjoy praying in the shower or in your car. There is no right or wrong when you are praying. God just loves to hear from his children.

Beth xx

 

Re-visiting my vision.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI have had my blog for about 2 years now and in that time I have learnt ALOT! I really feel that somewhere along the way my focus shifted in a negative way. I was looking more at what I could gain from my blog rather than how I could be completely glorifying God and serving others with my writing.

The Lord has been teaching me a lot this year about being more humble. He constantly reminds me “It’s not about you“.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God”. 

This verse has always stood out to me. I am very real, raw and honest in my writing. That means I share a lot of really personal stuff that has happened in my life. God put this verse on my heart at a young age because he knew that one day he would call me to be a comforter and an encourager to others. I want my blog to be a safe place for people to feel open to talk about their troubles, I want to not only write and share my stories but actually connect and be there for people.

In 1 Timothy 4, it talks about our spiritual gifts and our individual gifting from God. I was watching a Youtuber talk about this particular part of the bible and what she was saying was… Imagine if everyone practiced and used their spiritual gifts to glorify God the way he intended. It really struck me and stopped me in my tracks because when I sat and really thought about it, imagine how much work God will do through us! We just have to let him.

My vision for this blog is to have a purpose for others, to inspire people, to encourage people and to push people through my writing, through my photography and through being creative in general. I write because it makes me feel free, because I am able to express myself and be honest with my feelings and if I can reach out, touch people and show them the love of God through doing something I am so ridiculously passionate about then I will be content.

Beth xx

 

I am Delighted in…

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Keep the word ‘delighted’ in your head and let me try my best to give you some insight of the value of this word in my life right now.

I have been a girl that has struggled with self worth and body image for most of my teen years and now into my early 20’s.. I thought this cycle of insecurity and discontentment in myself would have ended by now. I’ve written a bit about a few of my own personal stories in my self love journey in a place of coming out of negative thoughts about myself.

About 2 months ago I found my mind playing tricks on me again, I found myself listening to what the enemy thought of me and I believed it, more than ever this time.

I can honestly say, hand on heart I have never experienced self doubt like I have these last few months.

I know other women can relate when I say that I stood in the mirror and picked at every little thing on my body, I could see nothing good about me. The more I looked the more the enemy filled my mind with lies. There is no worse feeling than looking at yourself and just crying because you are so damn insecure of the person you are and feel nothing but worthless. I was caught in the trap of comparison. I just seemed to be in this rut and I didn’t know how to get out.

I had been back in Australia for a few weeks now from a 4 month trip to the states and I was still in this negative mind frame. I decided to take myself down to one of my favourite beaches and spend some solitude time with the Lord. I opened up to Psalm 139 – A beautiful chapter of poetry from the bible that speaks of all the goodness God sees in us. Normally, this would help me and ease my mind straight away but this time it didn’t.

I love that God knows me better than I know me because when I went to close my bible a highlighted verse popped up.

Zephaniah 3:17 – For the Lord your God is living among you.

He is a mighty saviour.

He will take DELIGHT in you with gladness.

With his love, he will calm your fears.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

I was instantly taken back to week 5 at camp – Reboot.

One of the workshops we sat through was all about how the Lord delights in us.

I’m just going to re write that sentence because a lot of you would have just grazed over it… The KING of the universe, maker of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE takes DELIGHT IN US!

Some synonyms for the word delighted are:

  • Joyful.
  • Very pleased.
  • Ecstatic.
  • Happy.
  • Cloud 9.
  • Excited.

If that wasn’t the biggest slap in the face by God at the beach I don’t know what was. I was still in this proud state of mind while reading that verse because I knew it was God speaking to me but my brain was still believing the negative thoughts that were being fed to me.

I remember thinking why can’t I feel the way I did when I was sitting in that workshop almost 3 months ago now?

On the 3/7/17 I wrote in my journal.

I AM LOVED BY A KING WHO DIED TO KNOW ME.

You are my delight..

Every time I feel ashamed or down on myself I need to stop and ask God what he thinks of me. What is God proud of me for?

We were then given time to sit and listen to God and why he delights in us.

He spoke to me and said:

“I delight in you because…

You are courageous and you take risks.

Because you accept who you are.

Because you are loud and quirky.”

I then told my Saviour why I delighted in him.

I delight in God because..

He is my father.

He forgives.

His love is perfect.

He knows.

He is gentle.

He loves without question.

I am on a journey of self love and re learning to see myself the way Jesus sees me and I am determined to get back to the mind frame of where I was in week 5 of camp, except better.

I am not writing this blog for self pity, I’m writing it because I am the biggest advocate of self love and believing in who you are as a person but know that in different seasons of life come different challenges. Right now this is mine and it might be someone else’s too.

I want to encourage who ever is reading this blog that YOU are DELIGHTED in by a King. Who made you fearfully and wonderfully. He doesn’t make mistakes. He rejoices over you!!! God is Joyful for YOU, He is ecstatic for YOU, he is on cloud 9 for YOU and he is pleased with YOU.

I challenge you right now, Go and sit in a quiet place and write down 3 positive things about yourself. Embrace them and Embrace you!!!!!

By Bethany Calverley.

Nebraska.

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for the last 10 days. I’ve been trying my very hardest to describe exactly how I’m feeling. I’ve sat in front of my laptop screen that many times and I haven’t been able to write. All the emotions are right there but nothing flowed like it normally would. I couldn’t understand why.

Last night I became very overwhelmed with all the emotions I was feeling and had been feeling over the last 12 days of being in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska. I came to realise that I wasn’t able to express myself because I wasn’t sorting through all the things I was feeling. I started speaking to my mum, my roommate and one of my new best friends from America about what was going through my brain. I realised I feel torn. I feel torn because I knew that I would absolutely fall in love with Nebraska, I knew it but I didn’t know I would be blessed enough to experience the feelings I am feeling right now. I didn’t know that I was going to make friends with some of the most incredible human beings I’ve ever met, Ones that are kind and genuine, ones that lift you up everyday, constantly make you laugh and give you cuddles whenever you need it, friends that I now consider my family and I’ve know them for less than 2 weeks. I din’t know that I was going to be blessed to live in a host home with the most beautiful family! I didn’t know that Nebraska would be so damn beautiful, the city, the landscape, THE SUNSETS, the corn fields, the s’mores! I didn’t know that I was going to be blessed enough to work in a place where you instantly feel the presence of Jesus as soon as you drive into the driveway. I didn’t know how much I would feel like I belong at camp Sonshine. I didn’t know that my relationship with Jesus was going to go to the heights that it has because it’s just me and him on this crazy, incredible journey. I didn’t know that my heart was going to be filled with gratitude when I hear what my campers learnt through the day, when they pray to God or that they are just as thankful for me as I am for them. I feel torn because I feel like this is home and that in its self is conflicting because how can I feel more comfortable here than I do when I’m back in Australia? I feel stuck because I just don’t want to leave and I don’t know what’s next.

I was having some quiet time with the Lord just praying and seeking for answers.

He answered instantly with three things…

  1. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
  2. Isaiah 43:19 – See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
  3. Genesis 12:1 – “Leave your native country, your relatives and your fathers family, and go to the land that I will show you”.

I’m forever on a journey of trusting the Lord, having patience and having faith. I know that he knows what’s best for me and he knows exactly how my future is going to play out.

I’m embracing this season of Nebraska with all of my heart because I am experiencing more than just happiness being here, I’m experiencing pure joy.

Try and imagine your favourite everything – The things that instantly make your heart bubble up with joy and bring you complete peace. Now times that by 10 and that’s about half of the happiness I’m experiencing.

I am so thankful for this journey so far and I am beyond excited to see what the next 9 weeks will bring if this is what I’ve gotten out of the first 12 days of being here.

By Bethany Calverley.

Called.

If you were to tell me a year ago that I’d be sitting and writing this blog in a host home in Lincoln, Nebraska serving on a summer camp called camp sonshine I think I’d honestly laugh in your face. I love, love, love that most of the time God’s plan is not our plan.

This week we dove straight into training and preparation for the next 9 weeks to come. For my first week of camp I have been placed with 8 and 9 year olds. For one of our training modules we got given time to spend in solitude with the Lord and we were encouraged to think of a vision for this summer. Something that will keep us going, something we can come back to when times get tough and something that can be our very drive to keep going.

God says when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. During my moments of solitude I was challenged. I know that being here is a massive part of my personal Journey and It’s a new season for me but I just really felt God say this isn’t all about you. You are here to serve, I am using you as a vessel for others to know me!

With that being said my vision for this summer is to be an encourager!

When I first got accepted into camp Sonshine I remember going out to mum saying..“This seems like a camp I would have needed when I was younger.”

Growing up I was such an anxious, insecure little being and a lot of the time I was teased or judged for who I was. I don’t believe any child should be made to feel like that.

My purpose for this summer is to help every child know they are loved, worthy, treasured and valued by a King who loves them for THEM. I want to empower them to be themselves and be comfortable with who they are.

Psalm 139:1-18

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

You know when I sit down or stand up.

You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.

You know everything I do.

You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

You go before me and follow me.

You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!

I can never get away from your presence!

If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.

If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day.

Darkness and light are the same to you.

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 marvelous—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.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.

They cannot be numbered!

I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!

And when I wake up, you are still with me!

I know It’s such a cliche thing for a Christian to have a vision like this but knowing yourself and being comfortable in yourself and in Christ is HUGE! I honestly believe it is going to set these children up for a life of abundance and complete happiness.

This week God showed me this journey is not just about me anymore, it’s about others and its about being completely obedient and trusting to his will.

This week I learnt that I have been called to serve, I have been called to be a leader and I now know that I am more than capable of doing this because in his strength he is going to equip me.

What an honour.

By Bethany Calverley.