Wednesday, 31 August 2011

New philosophies...

Jesus has been teaching me a lot about overcoming temptation recently through two things 1. Fasting and 2. A new wardrobe philosophy. Now I don't want to go into what I'm learning about fasting because it's all a little fresh and maybe I will put it out there once I have really managed to process where I stand on it all but I do want to talk about the wardrobe thing.

Basically I am a bit of a shopping addict.. I mean I shop a lot, I spend far too much money on clothes and the result would be a wardrobe that is bursting at the seems and probably enough clothes that I could survive without doing laundry for months, years even.. it's that bad!!! I am also very attached to them all and generally a bit of a hoarder in life anyway so when I came across this on a fashion blog yesterday I was a little bit horrified 'I have a one in one out philosophy'. Meaning that for every clothes purchase made one item will be donated or sold from the current wardrobe. I felt a bit of a twist in my gut and then the dreaded words came 'Sarah, I want this to be your philosophy too', now I'm not one to dread the voice of the Lord, but this was an unwelcome whisper.. Did I mention I love to shop? And that I'm attached to my clothes? Well to cut a long story short... I had a strop; Ignored Jesus for a good hour and pointedly added things to my shopping cart on the top shop website just to make a point. However eventually I got over myself had a good hard think and realised he was so very right. That it would help me to curb my shopping habit. That it would teach me to be more generous with what I have. That it would teach me to be content and grateful. That it would teach me to be more responsible with my money and stick to a budget. It's still a little bit of an unwelcome thought but I'm coming round to the idea... & today on a shopping trip with my Step-sister I actually took the jumper I would probably of just bought to the changing rooms, tried it on and decided that I didn't love it enough to part with something from my current wardrobe so it went back on the racks and I left the shop empty-handed but feeling successful. I have already learnt that I am capable of making reasonable and mature wardrobe purchase choices when I use my head and not just that part of it that drools over slouchy sweaters and chunky scarves...

& I guess more importantly what I'm learning is that Jesus only calls us to do things that are for our good even if they seem painful and unnecessary at the time. 

(I also know I am probably making far too big a deal out of this and am definitely far too attached to my wardrobe but I'm learning... and well you know me so what do you expect!)

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Sometimes I suck... blogging that is!! Not many other things being rather fantastic and all... I joke with you but in all seriousness I have been unbelievably appauling at blogging and I have a couple of reasons for you. One would be that university is crazy busy and I struggle to find time to write but the second and much more recent reason for my absence would be that (and in the interest of openness I will now share some rather intimate details of my walk with Jesus)... up until about a week ago I have been standing with Jesus at arms length and my back turned in the opposite direction; close enough to ignore I had a problem but definitely far enough away for there to be one. It took sitting by a poolside in the South of France looking out over the most beautiful valley and being hit by God's creation for me to realise just how far away I was and actually pay attention to the slap in the face Jesus just gave me. It was definitely the wake up call I needed. The floods of tears that followed that night as I broke down on my knees on the cold hard bathroom floor was one of the most raw and strangely beautiful moments of repentance and forgiveness that Jesus & I have ever shared and it has change me. Ever since I feel more aware of my own walk, my own spiritual journey and more in tune with the one who made me!

Every single holiday I've come home and strayed a little and it wasn't until a conversation with my old youth leader and dear friend, Anna, today that I realised the reason. I have always been an active Christian; I mean within 3 months of meeting the Lord I was a youth leader, and don't get me wrong this is an incredible thing however, it does mean that the majority of what I know as a Christian is service. So when I come home and I'm not really serving I am a little bit lost in a very big church, then when you add in a non-Christian family and living far enough out of town to make meeting people a bit of an effort, I start to fall apart a little bit. I NEED TO LEARN TO RECEIVE but I didn't realise this until today... so I guess today is the first day for me in a journey to learn to just receive and be OK and not feel guilty about taking a break from serving over the holidays.

When I think about it makes total sense because I am always so busy serving in Winchester that sometimes I get so caught up in being Sarah the youth worker/evangelism co-ordinator that I forget to just be Sarah. This is probably my biggest reason for pre-momentum excitement because I am so looking forward to having loads of time to be with Jesus and just receive what he wants to give me, what he has for Sarah, just his Sarah without any titles and responsibility to get in the way. There's a time and place for seeking his heart for those too but for now it is a time to seek his heart for me. And I could not be more excited :) :)

I can't even put into words how different I feel now I have turned back around into God's embrace but I will say that I have never felt more at peace and filled with joy ever before. I feel like the fruits of the spirit are growing in me; I feel filled and alive!