Stories of 'seeds of Hope' in the best and worst moments.
It has been a while since I have updated my blog. My youngest started school and I am now finding my feet and rhythm in a very new season. It will probably take me until at least half term. I am not sure that the fact my years as a pre-school mum have ended has sunk in at all!
I am grateful for schools and have admiration for their teachers yet I often feel sad in term time that I may only see the tired and feeling grumpy little people at the end of the day. Its so hard to work on things with them and get to the bottom of what's really troubling them whilst cooking tea, sorting homework and breaking up whatever sibling arguments may arise. I have had so many ideas and strategies over the years to try and connect with their hearts and minds at this particularly vulnerable time of the day. Some of these have worked, some failed, some I got tired of and some they grew out of.
At tea time now we ask two questions of each amidst the encouragement to eat anything other than pudding , these are 'what was the worst bit of your day?' and 'what was the best bit of your day?'. I have found that committing myself to asking these two questions every tea time means often times something they really had been proud of, concerned about or puzzling over is prompted to come out. However small or seemingly insignificant theses events are I have to remind myself if they matter to them they will therefore matter to me and to God,
I am not saying I do this perfectly well often times I do it with
the largest cup of coffee, chocolate bar, feeling upset that my dinner has been rejected and with what feels like matchsticks in my eyes. However God can use these questions and we can connect and share stories or maybe (and I am not saying this always happens) but try and pray over things shared
I love how God has an individual journey and story for each of our days. I love how he is with us through the best and the worst moments he doesn't leave our side. He wants to not only know of these moments but to live them too, to feel the heartbreaking pain or indescribable joy with us. He uses all things for the good of those that love him.
last week I got to answer similar questions myself put to me by Ruth O'Reilley Smith on UCB 2 morning show 'This is my story' . Ruth interviews people so beautifully in the hour between 11 am and 12 noon daily. I often tuned in and been encouraged by peoples individual personal stories of their days with Jesus, their best and worst moments and how Jesus has been with them and often times birthed a new ministry or vision in that story that will bless and encourage others.
The vision of Emily Kelly designs is to use artwork, design, print combined with scripture and its beautiful imagery to plant fresh seeds of hope in what may seem a hopeless desolate moment. This is my story that when I felt hopeless he has spoken through his word and planted seeds of life and hope. One of my greatest joys has been to see him then use the artwork to bless and encourage others and to hear their stories too.
Recently a lady contacted me who had lost her husband, a particular print/ image had become part of her journey, such a privilege to hear her story, an ongoing one with deep pain alongside the closeness of her Jesus who brings peace and joy beyond understanding. Sharing these stories builds faith and glorifies our loving heavenly father who not only holds the universe in place and together but does the same for our lives and eternities too.
The journey is only just starting and I would love you to join me too, my ideas are forming about how to connect with people and maybe share creative time and worship together, It is certainly a work in progress but that's the beauty of it, it is a continuing story with lots of designs and artwork to come still that God will speak through. This is the prayer and the vision so please message me or share any stories of how God has spoken to you through the prints or designs or something else right when you needed it. That fresh seed of hope and life planted, I would love to know and I am sure it will encourage others too just like they do on UCB 2.
If you want to take a listen here is the link. There is also photo of me looking nervous and a list of some values that they seek work through out their ministry. I love these especially 'Stewardship' seeking to use their resources as effectively and efficiently as possible.
It leaves me asking this question 'what gifts and talents has God give you that could bring Hope and how are you using them'? Maybe there are new places to steward or invest them so you can see a greater return or maybe its about being quietly faithful with them where you are. I am asking myself the same question and its not without challenge.
Enjoy the journey and enjoy listening and sharing if you would like!