i want to be better

grace demands change2

I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote over the past few days“God will take you as you are, but the gospel demands change – grace demands change” Todd White. (since I posted this in my Friday favorites).   

It has made me think about how it can often be perceived that you have to “change” to be a Christian. That there are all these strict rules you have to follow or that you have to change your whole life to live this “new” way.

I don’t think it’s about having to change just because you’ve found Jesus.

I think it’s because you HAVE changed, that everything else ends up flowing from that.

You want to live your life better, you want to treat others better, to treat yourself better and BE better – because you have been saved and you know that God loves you!

It’s no less than life changing in the best possible way. Especially so because you just keep changing for the rest of your life because Christ keeps growing within you!!!

It’s not complicated, it’s actually really simple.  It’s about kindness, empathy, gentleness and treating others as you want to be treated.

It’s a wonderful feeling of being reinvigorated daily. To keep trying to be the  best version of yourself as possible because you have God in your life.

hi i'm finley

how are you today?

how are you today - in it for love

When people you love and who are close to you are going through full on moments in life – cancers, sickness and life and death situations – it’s so hard to know what to say.

It’s incredible how we end up internalizing it though.  What do “I” say to them. “I” don’t know what to do say, or sometimes it’s easier to just say nothing and wait for them to say something.  And I think all of these, in their own way, are fine.

It’s funny because I do go through this, and as humans we often revert back to our own situations when others are going through something.

I really struggle with whether this is a good or bad thing for the actual person going through it but I do know (here we go) from my own experience, that the asking helps. The “how are you”. The “can I do anything” helps.

Because even though it doesn’t feel great at the time or may not help at that point in time and is often a redundant question, to me, it helped later.

When my dad passed away when I was 16 it was a numbing time and I don’t remember taking a lot of what people said or did around me. I just felt like I was going through the motions.  The questions and statements,  they all seemed sincere, yet to me, hollow at the same time because I just wasn’t taking it in – but that is obviously to be expected.

Now, some of my most prominent memories from my dad passing away are of those who asked these questions.  I remember the gentle touches from friends and strangers when I went back to school for the first time.  The kind words and messages from friends and family.  I remember the faces of those at his funeral who were there to support us and really I feel comfort from those memories.

It’s sometimes impossible to help those who are sick or in drawn out life and death moments. They are in God hands and He has it covered in His master plan – whether good or bad, but it’s the ones who keep on living who need the questions to be asked, despite how awkward it makes us feel.

I remember reading about someone who had a loved one going through cancer treatment and they admitted that those questions were painful at times, and it was more how it was asked that mattered. To ask “how are you TODAY” instead of generally how are you, because every day is “a day at a time”.  They aren’t focused on the future, they are focused on the moment, the day at hand.

Of course, how trivial are these feelings of feeling awkward asking someone how they are in the grand scheme of things?! They are nothing in comparison to what those directly involved are going through or the person whose life is on the line.

The biggest thing I’ve realised we can do for someone is just be there when they need, whether they want/need you or not – you just have to ask – and that is free for anyone to do.  Ask them these questions whether you feel uncomfortable or not.

Just simply asking “how are you today”,  to ANYONE (because lets face it we are all going through something, whether its big or small) and sincerely listening when they tell you, can end up meaning the world to someone else: and that is what really matters.

hi i'm finley

I have to be grateful.

romas 1212 - initforlove.net

So often you can sit and wallow in your own circumstances when things don’t go as planned – I know I do. 

Sometimes its hard to remain positive when others around you can pull you down with their own negativity, demands or mood swings – this happens far more easily than I would like!

Other times its hard to pull yourself out of disappointment when your expectations of others isn’t met – this is a big one for me, I push my expectations onto others!

There are so many things in this world that can make you feel down and instantly change your mood. Stupid little things that we know don’t matter in the long term but can change in an instant!

Often times its out of our control when we deal with people on a daily basis. Your mood can be affected just by someones response…or no response. It’s incredible!

I know I have to keep reminding myself to snap out of it and instead look to all the things I am grateful for DAILY!

To not let the moods of others change me – they are their moods not mine!  Instead constantly be that positive person who continues to smile and laugh, even through irritation.

With that comes a lot of patience and I’m learning more and more that patience is a habit. You have to routinely do it for it to become second nature. That may take me till I’m 60 or more, but hey, I’m still going to try.

For me, it’s also about finding strength outside of myself, outside of my circumstance and for that, I pray. I have to take myself away from that situation, find a quiet spot (sometimes a bathroom) and pray for patience, pray to be understanding and pray to be kind through every moment!

Its definitely a growing process and I’m so happy that I’ve realised recently that I don’t have to have the answers to everything, that I shouldn’t have to spend time anxious about situations I can’t control – I just have to;

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” Romans 12:12 NIV

hi i'm finley