Zoom in before Zooming out

Do you ever just scroll through Instagram or Facebook and get so upset with yourself because your house doesn’t look like that? Or because “they” have the perfect flat lay of baby toys and clothes, while you are struggling to keep anything clean and nothing you have matches.

What about when you see those pictures of the perfect quiet time… A bible and a coffee, laptop probably, the latest book that’s a must read and of course the perfect clean background, either a clean work space or even better a clean bed with white sheets…

But let me tell you a secret… shhh you’re not allowed to tell anybody… these photos are just a zoomed in focussed picture of something somebody has set up…. There is a reason they have zoomed in and that’s because if you zoomed out of that picture this is what you would probably see… you would see messy tables, messy floors, messy kids and a mama who is a complete hot mess! And who really wants to see that in a photo?

I am guilty of the perfect quiet time picture… I take them regularly to post them to inspire and encourage people to get into the Word…but if I could zoom out a bit let me tell you what you would find… Let me use an example…

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This might look like the perfect quiet time but when you zoom out…

Zoom out and you will see a messy table that is crying out in neglect. With piles and piles of homework, junk, and pieces of paper that look important but who really knows, or remembers.

Zoom out and you will see clean washing needing to be put away, not just some washing but what I like to call Mt. Washmore, a mountain that even the most daring of mountain climbers would hesitate to climb.

Zoom out and you will see kids watching Sesame Street, for the 100th time this week just to get some peace and quiet. Yes, I use the TV as a babysitter sometimes.

Zoom out you will see a house with a chore list not getting any smaller. In fact the longer I sit here I can physically see the list getting longer and longer.

But what if, for just 5 minutes I choose to zoom in. I choose to not look around at my circumstances or busyness, but I choose to stop – Selah – and breathe and Zoom in, this is what you would find.
Zoom in and you will see that I took 5 mins to catch my breath. A much needed breath like the one taken while swimming, between diving under the waves again.
Zoom in and you will see the moment that I listened to God and what He had for me in that breath. Hearing what God says about me and my purpose as a Mum and as His daughter.

Zoom in and I could realign myself with His Spirit and check myself and my attitudes. Those selfish thoughts, those poor me moments, and those horrible slip ups of anger filled responses to the kids and husband, and ask for forgiveness so I can move on and walk in freedom.
Zoom in and I got to prepare myself for the afternoon onslaught of homework, hungry children, bath and bed routine… cause you all know that we need every bit of God in those evening routines!!! Can I get an Amen??!?
So I chose to Zoom in for 5 minutes and it changed my day!! – It really did!! And sometimes when all is calm in the Moala Tribe and I get to take more than 5 minutes it is pure Luxury!!

I just want to encourage you today… take 5 minutes if that’s all you can and chose to Zoom in… Choose to take time to zoom into what God says about you, what He can help you with. Let Him give you the strength to get through the next few hours. Take that well needed and deserved breath before the next set of waves come pounding in.

Then, when you have to, zoom out and tackle each little task as you always do but with God whispering to you and cheering you on. So remember when you see those perfect Instagram photos to be encouraged and inspired but don’t lose the sense of reality.

Choose to Zoom in before Zooming out!

5 Ways to involve your children in your time with God.

*Disclosure – Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to yourself, I will earn a commission if you purchase.

My times with God are so precious to me. I crave that alone time with God everyday. I try to have my times alone with God every morning before the kids wake up which you can read about here. Sometimes this doesn’t happen because of different reasons, so rather than neglect my time with Him for that day and try to take on the day in my own  strength, I have to find another time during the day to spend time with Jesus. Usually this means my kids are around, sometimes I get them busy doing something so I can have focussed alone time with God but sometimes it doesn’t matter how exciting the activity is that I set up for them, they only want to be with Mummy. Plus I love that if they are involved with me in time with God I am training them in the ways they should go, as well as having quality time with my children.

involve children 6So I have some ideas here of how to involve your children of any age into your times with God. These are activities that I have done with my own children (7 and 4 yrs old) they were successful and everyone had fun. So here are 5 ways you can include your children in your time with God.

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1.Read your Bible to your children out loud and then ask them questions. You can read whatever scriptures you are up to in your reading plan, children can understand way more than we give them credit for. I have found when reading to them from my Bible that they ask some great questions, and also begin to see how stories in the Bible fit together. For example, I have read them a Psalm and then explained that this was written after Nathan had come to David, and they were so interested and asking questions, which lead to reading the story of David and Nathan.

 ” So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11

Which basically means that when we read the Bible it is never going to be a waste of time. Read it and ask them questions and it will be an awesome Bible study for you, I bet you learn something new!!

involving kids 42. Drawing what they hear. Give them paper and colouring pencils and other fun creative tools and get them to create a picture from either what you have read or read while they draw. You can do a family picture and write a corresponding verse and put it up for the week to memorise it.

3. Put on Worship music and have a Praise Party right there in your living room! This one is so much fun, just put on some of your favourite worship and praise music and worship God with your kids!! You can dance, sing, whatever you like, teach them the true meaning of worship and I bet you will be taught a little but about being free in worship!!

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4. Creative Journaling – Painting and Colouring in the Bible. If you like doing Bible journaling and painting and drawing in your Bible, your children can definitely join in there. You can either give them a blank piece of paper to draw on, or make a copy of a Bible page that they can paint on just like you. Or you could let them do it in your Bible, and really enjoy the moment and remember its about the time spent with God not the outcome of the artwork.

5. Pray for the World – Find a world globe like this one or an Atlas and pick a country to pray over with your children. You can get information on the country either just looking it up, or try the Pray Today app, or even the Operation World book.Pray for the children in these countries, or pray for the churches there. My children really love this one, they really love learning about different countries and cultures. This is also a great activity because you can start to teach Biblical worldview and differences in cultures and beliefs to your children.

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There you have it, my 5 ways of including and involving your children in your times with the Lord. Remember that you are your children’s first view of God and that your children are your mission field. So what an awesome way of introducing them to Jesus and the reality of having a relationship with Him!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, these are just a few I have come up with. I would love to hear if you have any other ideas, or ways you have involved your children in your time with the Lord.

*Disclosure – Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to yourself, I will earn a commission if you purchase.

Illustrating My Faith

Hi everyone… I just want to let you know that I paint, glue, stamp and decorate my Bible, and I LOVE IT!!

Ok let me explain it to you. ..

I am not generally a very creative person. I DO NOT have neat handwriting (ask anyone, seriously bad child like writing…) However at the beginning of 2015 I discovered a new way to dig deeper into my Bible, a new way to really meditate and just soak in the word. I found ‘Bible Journaling’.

Bible Journaling in this creative way was started by an amazing lady called Shanna Noel. She started scrapbooking in her Bible and showed a few people and from there a movement began. The movement of Illustrated Faith has just taken off; there are now over 10’s of thousands of people all around the world painting and decorating their Bibles as a form of worship.

For myself I have found that it is an amazing way for me to meditate on scripture. Some days I can spend up to 2 hours, just thinking and dwelling on one passage. IMG_5744_Fotor

So how do I do it? I generally pick a verse from either my morning quiet times, or a passage that really spoke to me in Church, or sometimes its just a passage that I know really well and need to really get into my heart that day. I then find it in my Journaling Bible and begin. Some days if I have lots of time I will use paint, and then using stickers or writing my own letters, I highlight a key sentence or message from it. I usually then add a small area on the page for a little private journaling on it. When I’m finished I always date it so that when I look back it will remind me of what I was going through at that time.

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Remembering that this is all a form of worship, it is not about the end result, it is about the journey of mediating, soaking and journaling. I have made some mistakes, but I am not worried as it adds to the worship experience (just like singing slightly out of tune) God doesn’t sit there judging my work… He just loves that I am spending time in His word and having really amazing times with Him.

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My Bible Journaling Bible is one that I only use for Bible journaling. I don’t take it to church with me, I don’t use it for anything other than decorating, and illustrating my faith in it. Sometimes when I paint, it may cover up the words a little, although I try and make it so that I can still see them underneath.

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Here is a visual that Shanna Noel put together to explain how we Bible Journal. (I did not make this visual, I got it directly from the Illustrated Faith Website)

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So tell me do you Illustrate your faith? If you do how do you do it? Are you a part of the Bible journaling community? Or do you enjoy soaking in the word in different ways? I am so keen to hear how you spend time with God. If you want to get into Bible journaling and don’t know how, let me know and I can point you in the right direction.

Love you Guys

xxoo