Blog

Hidden Gift

Recently my daughter’s school held a poetry competition, I encouraged my daughter Sarah to enter but she was hesitant. Sarah didn’t think that she could write poetry but one day she attempted a poem, the words flowed out and before she knew it her first poem was written. She researched the structures for Tanka and Sonnets and challenged herself to write for those categories as well. A few weeks later she had a dilemma she had managed to write 2 Tanka style poems and 3 Sonnets. Quite an achievement! The challenge was: which would she choose to enter? It was a huge struggle. She didn’t think she could write poetry and there she was with an excess of poems. She somehow managed to choose the poems to enter and sent them in. I told her I was so proud of her no matter what the outcome was, but we were both ecstatic when she won out of all the grade 9s and 10s who entered. I shed a tear or two of pure pride and joy. Sarah had set herself the challenge of trying something new and discovered a hidden talent! She put a lot of hard work and many hours into refining the poems. I’m so proud of her!

As I reflect upon her story I’m so inspired. I’m on a journey of discovering my hidden talents, things that have been burning in my heart to achieve. The scary thing is, I’ve never thought I possibly could even attempt them let alone achieve them. BUT somehow they keep burning in my heart and I’m encouraged to try.

The voice that says I’m not good enough, smart enough or talented enough is a lie and I’m slowly learning that. I’m grasping hold to the truth contain in Isaiah 54:17 which promises me that no weapon formed against me will prosper, the lies inside my head are being defeated! I’m promised that peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition are my heritage because I belong to Christ!
So grasping hold of that gives me the courage to push on, to hone my hidden gifts and bring them forth!

My prayer for you is that you will realize you have many hidden gifts just waiting to be discovered. I encourage you to try something new today. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Many blessings, Keona

Here’s my daughter’s poem:

Shadow Monster

Monsters

They lurk in the shadows

Hiding among us

Watching 

Haunting

Taunting

Criticising our every move

We are their prisoners

We cannot escape them

We are trapped

For these monsters live in our heads

Sleep in our bed

The shadow that follows wherever we go

The footsteps behind us

For these monster are ourselves 

Written by Sarah Tann

 

Advertisements

Sufficient Grace

Thank you Lord that in my weaknesses the power of Christ comes and completely enfolds me and reminds me that Christ dwells in me!

Lord Your grace is sufficient for me, Your lovingkindness and mercy are more than enough. Thank You that these things are always available to me regardless of the situation!

Lord perfect Your power in me, display Your power in my weakness. For Your glory Lord, I can do the things set before me!

Inspired by ‭‭2 CORINTHIANS‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭AMP‬‬

‘No Longer’ – Matt Redman – YouTube lyrics video
‘Alive In You’ – Jesus Culture- YouTube lyrics video

I’m Reminded

Lord as I gaze upon the mountains surrounding me,

I’m reminded that I’m surrounded by Your love.

As I gaze upon the beauty of the lake,

I’m reminded of Your beautiful saving grace.

As I breathe in the fresh air,

I’m reminded of how Your breath has revived me.

As I hear the birds singing Your praises,

I’m reminded of the song of victory

You’ve placed inside my heart.

As I feel the gentle breeze upon my face,

I’m reminded of the gentle refining that the Holy Spirit has done.

As my body absorbs the warmth of the sun,

I’m reminded that the refining process was painful but Your gentle warming love ensured I was not destroyed in the process.

Many times I felt crushed beyond repair.

Many times I felt as if I was drowning in my grief.

Many times despair tried to overthrow me.

But Lord You have redeemed me;

You have called me by name;

You have entrusted me with a great task;

You have refined me so that I can serve others.

So Lord I as I sit here and reflect I’m reminded of the desire to achieve the Call upon my life, with a great expectancy at what will unfold.

With an immense amount of gratitude for all You’ve done,

I lay down my life to serve You!

I’m Reminded YouTube video

A Rich Reward

I know that I’ve been blessed beyond belief. I realize that I’ve achieved the dream many women with endometriosis are unable to. I’m one of the fortunate ones who has been able to have children. I try to not take that for granted, I try every day to love my kids to the best of my ability and cherish every moment with them.

From around the age of 8 I knew I wanted to be a mum, like most 11 or 12-year-old girls I was blessed with a cabbage patch doll. Her name was June and I was able to practice my mothering skills. I never imagined that a normal part of womanhood would turn into something so hideously cruel. As if the pain and debilitation wasn’t enough the disease threatened to take away my motherhood dreams. One of my earliest diagnosis was that it would be difficult for me to have children and if I did want them I’d need to have them sooner rather than later. Fortunately, I was in a committed relationship so we decided to fast track our plans of marriage, but having kids was still only a thought. At 21 I married my sweetheart.

3 years later we found ourselves at a crossroads, the options were to travel overseas, a dream we had been having for a while, or to try for kids. My health wasn’t great so we knew that we had to act pretty quickly if we were going to hopefully have kids. We sought extensive prayer and surprisingly I fell pregnant much quicker than expected, we were both ecstatic! Unfortunately, I suffered a miscarriage and subsequently my body went ‘haywire’ for months afterwards. My hormones were all over the place and I was just a total mess. Life seemed way too hard and heartbreaking!

As the months dragged on my specialist suggested hormones to reset my body. After one of my scheduled blood tests we got surprising news – I was pregnant! It was really early therefore the Dr wanted to wait a couple of weeks and complete an ultrasound to confirm things were going as they should. Those 2 weeks dragged on and I was so nervous. But great NEWS a nice strong heartbeat was heard!

I was pregnant, the thing I desperately wanted, and I was miserable. I felt so guilty that I couldn’t enjoy it! Physically I was constantly light headed as I had low blood pressure, I felt nauseous, weak, exhausted and highly emotional. I felt totally ripped off! I wanted so badly to be that ‘glowing person’ you hear about, to be floating on a cloud of pure euphoria and joy. I should have been celebrating such a rich reward BUT I I was miserable and grouchy! Friends around us were going overseas or buying new cars or buying new houses as their last big splurge before the baby. I was jealous.

One particularly bad day was when we heard from our friends in Ireland who wanted us to go visit. I simply wasn’t well enough. I was livid. I went to church with a dark cloud of ‘woe is me’ hanging over my head. That day we had a visiting retired missionary lady, she spoke of the great work that her and her husband had accomplished overseas, the amazing places they had been fortunate to visit and all the good they had achieved. She was happy with how her life had turned out, but she said, now being of a very elderly age, she was desperately sad that she was never able to have a family. Her words literally took the breath out of my lungs! I was almost struck to the floor. God clearly reminded me that the world can wait, the opportunity to travel will come at the right time and all the other material things I was desiring are meaningless in comparison to the gift of a child!  I’m sad and ashamed to say that this was only one of the numerous times God had to remind me how privileged I am to be called “mum”.

Another reminder when we went to Melbourne to visit family and friends with a very young child. I was still adjusting to this whole motherhood thing. The friends that we stayed with didn’t have kids so had planned the weekend not really thinking about a young baby being in the mix. One afternoon the plan was for the boys to go off while the girls went to the beach, I hadn’t packed suitable beach gear for our son so I declined. That left me alone for quite a few hours, not the weekend getaway I had imagined. Our son was unsettled, maybe from the travel, so it was a difficult afternoon. I should have been celebrating such a rich reward BUT I was feeling very frustrated! In sheer desperation I put our son down for around the 20th time and took my bible out to the lounge room. I cried. I cried out to God and started searching for encouraging words.

I was drawn to Psalm 127: “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.” Psalm 127:3-5 NLT

Those words cut through my frustration and annoyance! New words suddenly whirled through my head: A gift! A blessing! An inheritance! A rich reward! How joyful!

I wasn’t instantly transformed into super mum but God did start to transform me into the mum I needed to be. But I’ve discovered it’s a continual process. Kids change, develop and grow. Their needs change. What I need to do to assist them changes. It’s the world’s toughest job but I cherish it as the greatest job I’ll ever do.

Today my gorgeous son turns 17! As I attempt to usher him (and his younger sister) into adulthood I’m desperate for God’s empowering more than ever. As I continue to press in for my restoration I need strength more than ever to be the mum I need to be for them.

My family is such a source of pure joy and I’m so grateful God has blessed me with their company.

I love them so much!

Many blessings, Keona

will my small effort really make any difference?

It’s hard to know what to do when I see overwhelming problems surrounding me. It’s difficult to know what to do when the problem is so huge! Often I wonder: how can I help? what is it that I can do to change things? will my small effort really make any difference?

Edmund Burke makes a challenging statement: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”. If I’ve noticed a situation that needs addressing, if something is brought to my attention, I cannot ignore it or simply assume someone else will do something. The first thing I need to do is pray because. I need wisdom and guidance about what my response should be. That helps me answer my first question – how can I help?

Then I seek God for the ability to outwork His response for me. This is how I deal with the question: what is it that I can do to change things?

The question: will my small effort really make any difference? The answer is that I believe my small effort can become huge when combined with God’s great victory. I need to be faithful in how I’m called to respond and trust God.

I love this following statement by The Passion Translation:

Our greatest gift – new life in Christ.

Our greatest treasure – the Word of God.

Our greatest resource – the Holy Spirit.

Our greatest weapon – prayer.

Jesus came so that all could live a life of abundance – John 10:10. Being a Christian means that I can be a voice for the downtrodden and the forgotten. I can be an advocate for the poor. Jesus came that ALL may be saved look at this wonderful challenge found in 1 Timothy 2:1-6:

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.”

The Amplified version urges us to present to God our specific requests.

Will my small effort really make any difference? Most definitely! Look at these words that have lasted the test of time to become my hearts cry:

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood support me in the whelming flood; when every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in Him be found, clothed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

My voice can be added to 10 others, that 10 others can grow to a 100 and 100 can grow to 1,000. My small voice can join others to become a roar that cannot be ignored. Join our voice with the One who cannot be denied, the One who is above all others, the One whose glory shines brighter than the sun – Jesus and we become unstoppable!

My thoughts and prayers are with those struggling to deal with unspeakable tragedy and those trying to overcome overwhelming situations.

I pray that the small effort I make to impact the lives around me can make a difference.

Keep pressing on! Many blessings, Keona

Norton Hall Band – “My Hope Is Built” – YouTube video

Pcture Cred: Tom und Nicki Löschner

Called Out To The Deep

Lord, You call me out upon the waters

You call me out to the great unknown where my feet may fail and my heart may tremble

But there I will find You in the mystery in oceans deep by faith I will stand

As I step out I will call upon Your name I will keep my eyes above the waves

When the oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace, for I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in the deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will forever be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

I will stand upon Your Word

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters
I will go wherever You will call me
So Lord, take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
For my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior

Inspired by the song Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

Picture from Pixabay, user: Khusen Rustamov

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United – Lyrics

Prophetic Picture

I’m currently reading Ryan LeStrange’s new book ‘Supernatural Access’ and it’s amazing! It has so much wisdom oozing from the pages and I love how he finishes each chapter with a prayer, prophecy and activation. In chapter 3 titled ‘Steward the Voice’ he discusses prophetic images and the activation at the end of the chapter is to find a prophetic picture. As soon as I started reading I was reminded of a dream that I’d had recently, I was walking across ice when I fell through. As I sunk down I didn’t feel panic at all. I declared ‘I dive deep into You Lord. I immerse myself in You.’. In my dream the sensations were so strong, I could feel the cold ice but when I fell through the water was warm and I could feel my body sinking. I remember waking and almost expecting to be in water because it felt that real.

I wanted to find a picture that conveyed that sinking feeling and after a search on Pixabay I found it, posted by the user: Free-Photos. I also wanted to create a prayer using verses:

Lord I want to completely immerse myself in You!

How I cry out to know the vast rich depths

of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

(Inspired by Romans 11:33)

I pray that the God of my precious Saviour,

my Lord Jesus Christ; the Father of glory,

grants me a spirit of wisdom and of revelation.

That I may gain a deeply personal

and intimate insight into the true knowledge of God

as I come to know the Father through the Son.

(Inspired by Ephesians 1:17)

Having this picture and words as a visual reminder has really helped me to focus my days upon delving deep into God.

If you’ve had a recent vivid dream why not try find your own picture and words to express it? If you haven’t started a dream diary then please do, I’m so grateful that I wrote down all the details of mine while they were still vivid and fresh.

Many blessings, Keona

Let’s Celebrate! 

Today is my birthday! I’m terribly excited for lots of reasons:

  • It’s a public holiday so all of Hobart gets to celebrate with me
  • I’ll have family hanging out with me
  • My in-laws are visiting from South Australia
  • I’m pretty sure my gorgeous hubby with spoil me with food or dinner out (he usually does).

As I contemplate this birthday I’m truly pleased to be here. I reflect back on my 40th birthday and just how miserable I felt. The birthday just after that I was also quite unwell. Last year I was only just starting to feel better so it’s such a blessing to be able to feel excited about life again. To have hope back in my heart is a miracle.

When I think about the picture of me I could point out all the flaws: I’ve got no makeup on; I’m still carrying excess weight and I didn’t really do my hair (it’s been coloured but not styled just wind blown)…I could go on and on. BUT guess what?!  I’m ok with it. I’m learning to embrace the true me, the real me, the no-need-to-worry-about-such-silly-things me. When I was first unwell any makeup irritated my skin and a friend made a comment about me not wearing makeup and how haggard I looked. I was taken aback and quite hurt as I was feeling vulnerable anyway.
I can now cope with makeup for short periods of time but I’m also loving the freedom of not having to feel the need to put makeup on. I’m developing my inner beauty and I hope that it shines through brighter than any glossy makeup. I’m holding onto the promise that I’m progressively being transformed from glory to glory to become more like Jesus – 2 Corinthians 3:18.

I’m gaining my true identity back as I press into God and hold onto promises such as:

“Wherever I go Your hand will guide me,
Your strength will empower me.
It’s impossible to disappear from You,
Or to ask the darkness to hide me
For Your presence is everywhere
Bringing light into my night!
There is no such thing as “darkness” with You.
The night, to You, is as bright as the day;
There’s no difference between the two!
You formed my innermost being,
Shaping my delicate “inside”
And my intricate “outside,”
And wove them all together in my mother’s womb.
I thank You God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking!
It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
You even formed every bone in my body,
When You created me in the secret place;
Carefully, skillfully shaping me
From nothing to something!
You saw who You created me to be,
Before I became me!
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
The number of days You planned for me,
Were already recorded in Your book.
Every single moment You are thinking of me!
How precious and wonderful to consider,
That You cherish me constantly in Your every thought!
O God, Your desires toward me are more
Than the grains of sand on every shore!
When I awake each morning
You’re still thinking of me.” Psalm 139:10-18 The Passion Translation

“I have set My seal over your heart and now I display you to the world as My very own, My masterpiece of love. Can you not see what My love has done throughout your life? Do not look upon your failures and your pain, for in My presence they do not exist. I have placed My glory over your life and call you, My Radiant One!” An extract from I hear Him whisper…”We are one”.

Thanks for celebrating with me. I hope you have a wonderful day. It’s time for me to go celebrate.
Many blessings,
Keona

What A Beautiful Name – Hillsong Worship – YouTube Video

In Jesus’ Name – Darlene Zschech – YouTube lyrics video

Trust The Process

As you’ve probably guessed by now I’m going through an intense process. I’m feeling pretty vulnerable and overwhelmed a lot of the time. This week I felt as if I’d hit yet another nasty bump in the road and I even doubted being able to write this. It felt as if the stumble turned into me hitting my head on the roadblock and I was ‘down for the count’ wondering if I had the strength to get back up again!

Every time I think I’m over the worst I have another bad day. Every time I think I can’t deal with this I’m forced to deal with more! Tuesday I pushed myself to make tea so that I could try to bless my family with food, but the effort left me utterly spent and unable to talk as I feared I would simply collapse into a bubbling mess. I felt like such a failure.

9 days ago I reflected upon the Israelites in the desert, in Psalm 78:13-16 it details what God did for His people: He released them from slavery and oppression; He parted the Red Sea; He fed them with manna straight from Heaven (“It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey wafers.” Exodus‬ ‭16:31‬b NLT‬‬); they followed a cloud of glory during the day and a pillar of fire at night; when there was no water God split open rocks which then became gushing springs; they were walking towards the Promise Land – a land flowing with glorious abundance.

Think about it! Really think about it. How wonderful would it be to have a cloud guiding you forward! How incredible would a pillar of fire be!

BUT despite all of these amazing things, the things that we desperately long to see, the people kept sinning. Even though signs and wonders were happening all around them they were still refusing to trust! (Psalm 78:32). 

As I pondered on that I was left wondering how that could possibly be. I think I know somewhat of what they were feeling. I think I’m there now.

I think it’s the fact that they wanted the promise land but they didn’t want the journey. Like me I want restoration and I want the future to unfold and when do I want it? NOW! I don’t want to wait, I don’t want the pain, I don’t want to have to uncover all my deep hurts, I don’t want to have to spend hour after hour on the computer writing and trying to make sense out of my 2342 drafts! But I need to wait, for God is doing a HUGE work that takes time! I need to allow God to deal with the stuff from my past so that I no longer carry it around. I need to write because I need to be a good steward with the words God has entrusted me with!

Desiring signs and wonders along with miracles is not a bad thing, we are encouraged by God to look for them, but it becomes dangerous ground when we say we desire them more than God and even more dangerous when we say something like “well if I don’t get a sign and wonder then I’ll just give up on God.”. That kind of thinking would grieve His heart. It would be like you saying to someone you love ‘I’ll only stay in relationship with you if you do this…..’. What you’re saying is: I no longer love you for who you are, I only love you for what you can do for me.

It hurts to write this because I’ve been that kinda person, I sought healing over a relationship. I started to race ahead in Ministry before being trained.

I realise now that my relationship with God is far more important than seeing His signs and wonders.

What do I want right now more than anything? Do I want God or what He can do for me? What if signs and wonders never come, does that change God? What if they do come but I’m so distracted I miss them? What if they do come but I’m not prepared to receive?

I believe God can and will do amazing things in my life but I need to focus on my relationship with Him so that I’m positioned to receive. I don’t want to be in the wrong place and miss it.

“Sometimes God gives us what we think we don’t want. Often He allows things to happen that we didn’t plan for and we may feel as if we’re missing out on the life we wanted. But God has made it clear that He’s given us everything we need and more to live out the life that He has for us. He is writing a story that is better than one we could imagine for ourselves, and our part is simply choosing to trust Him with the next thing.” Chrystal Evans Hurst

This week yet again it’s been hard for me to trust the process. The immediate circumstances have drowned out the big picture stuff. As I got bogged down in the now the soon seemed too far away and way too difficult to achieve!

But guess what? God has strengthened me to write, where I felt there was no way He made a way!

So I pray that this encourages you to trust the process, to know that God has begun a great work in your life that will continue until the day when Christ Jesus returns – Philippians 1:6.

Many blessings, Keona

Note: The full story of deliverance can be found in Exodus 13 and their journey is detailed through the next few chapters.

Pixabay picture link

Unstoppable God – Elevation Worship – YouTube clip

 

Creative Expression 

I’ve been working on 3 creative expression pieces in an attempt to convey my recent illness and restoration season.

barren tree

 

This piece is to try and express how I was feeling but what was actually going on.

I felt like the barren tree but God was doing a deep work in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

grace love mercy hope

 

 

God’s love, mercy, grace and hope is restoring me!
me face towards God

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the left hand corner is my silhouette with my face turned upwards towards God. As I press into Him, Jesus’ blood washes over me again and again in waves of love, mercy, grace and peace. As I’m filled with more of Him hope arises in my heart. I am transformed from my previous shell of an existence to a person who is vibrant.

 

 

Now I know that I’m no artist but this has been a fun and therapeutic journey.

Here’s a psalm that I was reminded of this week which expresses my journey:
O Lord, my healing God, I cried out for a miracle as I desperately needed help! Oh how can I possibly praise You? For You heard my cry for help and You healed me! You brought me back from the brink of utter despair and death. I was held firmly within the grasp of overwhelming pain, sorrow and hopelessness. Even though it felt like it many times, You did not abandon me. Now here I am, alive and well, being fully restored and made whole! (Inspired by Psalm 30:2-3‬, the NLT, AMP & TPT versions)

I’d encourage you to try something creative this week, it can be as simple as going to the beach and drawing in the sand. Whatever it is enjoy it!

Many blessings, Keona xx

‘Stand In Awe’ – Phil Wickham – YouTube video