Posts

Living An Abundant Life?

Image
  I have heard the statements from people of influence saying, ‘live the abundant life.’   The bible says it in John 10 v 10 so you know that this is something that is important, even to God. I believe living abundantly is hard wired in to our DNA.   We all have desires which are either stimulated by positive experiences, or extinguished with negative circumstances.   What is abundance? Abundance means different things to different people but really it all boils down to plentifulness.   Plentifulness is about having, 'a full supply,' and is identified as a way of providing or producing abundance. Over my years of collecting experiences, and wrinkles, I have changed my mind on what abundance is.    At first I thought it was the ability to have a need and not worry about budgeting, but simply go and get it.   I chased that idea for most of my adult life and never got to that position and felt like I had failed to live abundantly. Now I look at abundance differently.

Day of Prayer

Image
I put together The Encouragers Life because I wanted to connect with people like me.  I wanted them to feel like they had someone who understood on some level the pain, confusion and desperation they felt when life became chaotic. I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to choose to connect with me whether they were of my faith or not.   Doing a Day of Prayer event was risky.   I ran the risk of alienating people.   I ran the risk of having people unfollow.   I can imagine its out of several different emotions.   I can assume its because they have had a bad experience with the church, God or a Christian or two.   I can guess its from a thought or feeling that you have to be perfect to pray and so it heaps pressure on people and so they stay away. The fact is, I can only guess why the people from The Encouragers Life community would have felt that way, but I wanted to take this week to talk about it a little.   Hopefully everyone indulges me. When you hear the word prayer you might th

How the Church Can Support Foster Carers- Part 3

Image
  DISCLAIMER AND INFORMATION All of the things I will be discussing in this series are from my own personal experiences and perspectives.   I share examples and stories and so some details have been changed to provide necessary protection. The first week of this series we talked about  gift giving triggers  and then last week we looked at  police checks .  In todays post I am discussing actions and reactions. I think the hardest thing for people who don't foster is that the children aren't atypical children.  Yes they deserve the same things. Love. Safety. A home. Food. Support. But they are wired differently.   This isn't their fault and isn't their responsibility.  It is the adults in their lives that have the duty to nurture  and create an environment for positive experiences.  Therefore you can not blame a child for having coping mechanisms which are difficult, for those on the outside, to understand.   What you can control is your reaction to them. Staring It is

How the Church Can Support Foster Carers- Part 2

Image
DISCLAIMER AND INFORMATION All of the things I will be discussing in this series are from my own personal experiences and perspectives.  I share examples and stories and so some details have been changed to provide necessary protection. Thank you all for reading last week’s instalment of the series.   In part one we looked at ‘gift giving triggers.’   If you missed it you can read it  here . This week we are looking at the importance of Police Checks.   Everyone does it. Don't they? I spent my twenties involved in leading youth work programs and I learned the policy and importance of having staff police checked.   Today in Northern Ireland we call them Access NI’s.   Due to my background, and how normal it was to have anyone that works with young people checked, I always assumed that every body, every organisation and every church upheld this safeguarding measure.   Long story short… I was wrong. I have not called too many churches my home, but I have visited others across di

How the Church Can Support Foster Carers

Image
DISCLAIMER AND INFORMATION All of the things I will be discussing in this series are from my own personal experiences and perspectives.  I share examples and stories and so some details have been changed to provide necessary protection. A good place to start is probably giving you a little bit of a background.   My husband and I were foster carers for 9 years and we were Christians before taking the classes and going through panel to be passed as carers.   We attended a non-denomination church and likely the closet way to describe our faith is Pentecostal.   Due to us relocating we left that church and attended a charismatic non-denominational and Presbyterian during our service. I love church goers and I am not here to hurt but to generate awareness of how actions that are totally innocent can cause ripples that they may never know about.   Don’t worry I am not here to bash any faiths or denominations and each church has different policies etc. My church attending experience a
Image
  I Am Not My Circumstances In amongst the busyness of life we do have moments of pause.  My moments used to be filled with thoughts that were more harmful than refreshing. When you have so much chaos going around it’s hard not to wonder,  ‘Is it me? After all, I am the common denominator.’ Was it my fault? Was it my fault that my old boyfriend hit me? Was it my fault that the man I gave my heart to cheated on me over and over? Was it my fault I was used by men? Was it my fault I upset that person because I didn’t want to do what they wanted me to do? Was it my fault that life was an uphill struggle? And the questions would go on and on. Whilst I acknowledge that I am an imperfect person and do take my share of responsibility for my past actions, the fact is that I wasn’t the only one there.  Therefore I can’t take all the blame.   But I was. I wanted to be good so much , that I took all the blame on.  It was a burden that made me sick, upset, tortured and untrusting because... I am hu