JOY

I linger over this little word joy. I love its rounded lettering. Joy is often shaped into Christmas with gold, forming a hanging for decoration. I have shared quotes about joy from authors and bloggers. Joy is more than a decorated piece. Folded away till next time. Joy in my mind is a fierce little word with courage in its heart. Joy is our daily choice. Found in the day-to-day. We choose with our thinking. Daily reading Joy over our ordinary day.

Joy, it is that deep rooted thing inside me that is influenced by faith. By the Holy Spirit.
It is the inside me that needs to know exactly where my identity rests. Therein is Joy.

This joy is not dependent on the affirmation of others. The need to be validated or to be qualified in any way. Joy is the journey of appreciation with grace.

This joy sings in my sorrow, dances in my delights, lightens up my inkyblue mood. Joy brings the ballerina and the singer into my stumbling feet and baselike tones!

I can be me and joy is there. I can drift into a world of wonder and joy is there. I can craft failure and joy can lift me up to try again.

Let me choose Joy as the dawns orange glow lifts itself up from the night sky. Let me choose Joy when I eat my cheese sandwiches at lunch. Let me choose Joy as the moon brings it’s button buttermilk smile to the blackness of the nighttime sky.


The Word in and the word out.

The fruit of the spirit is Joy.

Rejoice always

Let Him sing joy over you

💐

Hilary Yancey writes,

When I resist anxiety, even for a moment, I can catch a glimmer of the songGod is singing over my life : JOY.

Pete Grieg inspired me by his post that encouraged joy in the mundane,

Tears come uninvited to us all in the end. But joy does not. It is a butterfly, a melody waiting to be named. Our surprising, unsolemn duty, therefore, is not just to weep at life’s tragedy but to laugh at its bounty. To marvel at the simple magnificence of so many mundane things; the ephemeral light through a dirty window, that eternal moment between the first and second mouthful of chocolate cake.

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”  Keats

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”  Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

Naletu on Unsplash

Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments.

Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.

A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy. That would eventually become unbearable.

I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.

Brené Brown

John Piper writes a definition of joy from his thoughts on Philipians  –

Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world. < img src=”https://rachnotes.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/img_9331-3.png&#8221; class=”size-medium alignleft wp-image-1035″ height=”1772″ width=”1772″><<<<<<<<<
y joy, it  gives me the opportunity to  slow,  to wait, to capture with my iPhone camera, a little beauty in a form of art that is within my grasp. A fading flower, an autumnal leaf, steaming strong coffee. A book with beautiful paper pages.

Word in word out

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace

O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you. ~ Psalm 84:12

Oh for the Joy before Him, He endured the cross.

Joy comes in to view and can help me appreciate when I look back and reflect on the journey traveled thus far.

A deep quiet soul taking a  journey that has taught me where true joy is rooted right where I am, found there in the place where love truly abides.

Joy is that simplicity seeing light sparkling in the washing up bubbles, bringing the steaming  strong coffee  in to grateful cupped hands.  Perhaps maturity shines a bigger light on these things. Bringing value to the most important small.

Time to gather the beauty of Autumn. Let poetry and a thousand falling leaves fill my being with joy and profound gratitude.

The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
n the ordinary mundane living. Slow up my frames of living lettting me notice the unnoticeable.

Notice the segments in your clementine. Notice the lady as she shuffles her feet towards her goal with determination. Notice the blind young man unperturbed as he  gets on his train to get to a destination. The taste of lemon cake zesty and sweet. The water cool and sipped slowly. The rainbow as you drive the curve in the road and its thick short band of  colours fills your mind before it disappears and you walk into the office. A hug in life’s grief. Words texted to a friend saying hello.

Notice joy in the breaking of bread as a believer rises in faith despite the pain and challenges ahead.

Joy triumphs this comes out of authentic thankfulness .

Let’s choose Joy.

Happy October

Love Rach xx 🍁🍂

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My Rucksack 


I have a new fabric rucksack.  The big block patterns are dark blue and green It's small light and comfortable to carry. 

It holds  the essentials; tissues, bottle of water, a purse and a mobile phone thus enabling my hands to be free. 

I carry other loads mentally. I carry grief, aloneness, disappointment and the struggles of overthinking!!

I journey this year reading bible in a year. Just today I'm reminded how to rise above my head stuff! 

I love the Psalms, penned from his experience, songs of David that resonate within me, 

‘I will be with you in trouble,

I will deliver you and honour you’ (Psalm 91:15b)

The words whispered something deep into my disappointments. When the dreams fade and the hopes you had are not realised, everything looks different. I feel the crazy maze of  grief  the girl  inside you cries because the feeling aches some more. The words that inspire hope,  honouring work, right into the tears of your soul. Honour. 

Honour. Like a rainbow over the grey sky the honour given is a lift up a stony crag. Its a coffee on a long day. Its a morning sunrise, lifting the eyes to the sky. It is a hand held securely that says I'm with you forever. 

The journey with the eternal one is not plain sailing! 

Grit. We need grit! Endurance. Perseverance. Vision when the way looks lonely. A new dream when the road bends. Ability to carry the rucksack along the road of life. To keep going. To strive on. To know the burden is light yet the way can get tough. 

My aunt and uncle reach their diamond wedding Anniversary . I observe the great teacher and baker tiring, yet the grit of endurance is clear. They still love. Its the most powerful thing. Metaphorically they have stopped carrying some stuff but their rucksack is still on their backs. The greatest is Love. Love beyond everything. 

So what shall we say then. 

Keep carrying your rucksack for the kingdom. Bring a lot of heaven to earth by loving one another. 

I'm reading a great book Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber, she writes with such art and delight in a discovery of Gods kingdom . 

Quote - the reason I wrote this book reports Carolyn is this;

To take away from the book that we are absolutely beloved of God and each have a meaning in His story.

I carry my rucksack , the grit conveying strength of character with determination and endurance. Knowing I'm beloved, part of  Gods story and honoured. 

Keep on Keeping on. Rucksack on. Beloved. 

The verse says , take my yoke, it's a light one.

The daily reminder into your heart and mine, to know whose we are,  the purpose we exist and carry our own rucksack in this world.

To be love and share the beauty and ongoingness. Keep doing the next right thing.

Remember- 

… your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit’ 

1 Corinthians 6:19 The Message. 

Let's keep sharing in our journey.
Keep on keeping on, carrying our rucksacks .
Love Rach x

Hope in the dark


She gathers the words of the song 

*We’re gonna break into the night

She hears Laura’s words on Radio 4 

The ache of living goes deep into her belly. 

The Hope instead of despair

The healing instead of broken-hearted 

The bouquet instead of ashes 

Grace emerges

She offers it up 

A sacrifice of praise

She weeps into the darkness 

Sings the songs as a child of God 

She knows Hope 

The now and not yet 

**WHAT YOU DO IN THE PRESENT – BY PAINTING, PREACHING, SINGING, PRAYING, TEACHING, BUILDING HOSPITALS, CAMPAIGNING FOR JUSTICE, WRITING POEMS, CARING FOR THE NEEDY, LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF – WILL LAST INTO GOD’S FUTURE – GOD’S KINGDOM…

With prayer we build with our songs our poems our buildings our projects our art, our listening.

Justice triumphs 

My Note :-

Did you hear the woman on Radio 4? Laura Rutherford a Samaritans volunteer interviewed by Julia Bradbury. Supporting clients who are suicidal . A moving inspirational commitment to care shared there. 

How we need a hope inside us. 

How daily we need refreshing into our Hope. 

How much we need to encourage one another to rise . 

As I drink my coffee and pray, I find  a space to breathe and a hope rooted inside me that in the days I struggle, and I do, I can know this Hope that is Christ in me. 

Be rooted and established in love 
Ephesians 3:14-19The Message 

My response is 
to get down on my knees before the Father, 

this magnificent Father 
who parcels out 
all heaven and earth. 
I ask him to 
strengthen you by his Spirit—

not a brute strength 
but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. 
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, 
you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus 
the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. 
Reach out and experience the breadth! 
Test its length! 
Plumb the depths! 
Rise to the heights! 
Live full lives, 
full in the fullness of God

Notes :-


*Song  words quoted is from the above album 

City on Fire

 by Joel Barber

**Start Strong: Resolve to be Different – Jessica Bailey – 25 Jan 2017 -Prayer 24/7 – quoted Tom Wright 

Celebrated


Celebrating a birthday is a beautiful occasion when faithfulness, love, encouragement and pink fill the balloons!🎈

Rise

How’s the word turning out so far?

Rise to be celebrated!!

Dare to rise to feel worthy to be celebrated! 

Rise in the beauty and wonder if it all! 

Drink the cup 

It’s dark and sweet

Eat the bread 

It’s brokenness and fullness 

Celebrating the journey and adventure 

The not so good days when you’ve gone wrong 

Still you’re celebrated 

The days when art flows 

The days when the snow piles high or the rain pitter patters

Be celebrated my dear 

You were won 

Ransomed 

Restored 

So Celebrate the awesomeness of you 

Winter Sunset at Exmouth

(blog post –

Inspired by my 365word and my birthday in January! 

Cake made and designed by my friend Suz and photographed by me  just prior to eating!)

Hello to 2017


One year whizzing past. 

Another approaches with similar speed. Hello 2017. 

What does this year ahead view like from here?

I began a 5 day daily meditation on the bible app. Bridging the close of the advent readings by Ann Voskamp and the start of HTB bible in a year. 

The app reminded me of how to consider God in the present moment. 


How often we dwell overly on past pain and loss or even a past preferred life.

Then there is the panic of unknown days ahead, the approaching challenges and adventures of a new horizon ahead. 

To dwell in the now of life causes us to be still,  to take a breath, to abide. To trust with our whole selves means it’s possible in the now. We trust God with our hopes and fears we trust with our today. 

Matthew 6:34The Message

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Getting overwhelmed by life becoming anxious about life often is a result of a panic inside that pictures the project in its entirety. 

Slow – slow – slow. 

Or as I am quoted by my sister now – stop – stop – stop. 

The addiction to hurry and activity wins a feel good factor. 

I’m intentional about how I can address this is my own life.

Listen to the birds song in the moment. See the sunrise. 

Make choices that unclutter my world outside and within. 


Trusting in promises, avoiding over focusing on the distant view, instead investing in the present that puts trust in charge. 

Rise, she is such a little word. 

I am embracing its hope in countless ways already. 

Seeing my present as the time to rise. As one sunset and one moon already risen brings grace into a world that aches for light I see it already breaking through. When feel I can’t cope I see the oneword being air to me. 

Rise my child 

It was whispered into my soul as a young woman and it’s whispered still. 

Rise into 2017 with the strength that’s greater and wings that fly higher. 

Rise spoke Jesus to the child. 

In that present moment 

She took His hand and stood up. 

Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up HSCB 

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.

Matt 5 NKJ 

She chooses to take the hand and rise. She is not ignorant of life’s losses but grabs gratitude and grace by the hand and skips with childlike faith into 2017 knowing the one whose she is is always alway with her. 

Offering _

As we move into our new year I offer you no judgement and ask this same grace in return.

 I offer you the gift to share in the present.  

I offer you hope in which to rise up to your dreams.

I offer you courage to bear the greys of our days. 

I offer you a Saviour with which one can rise because the righteous right hand sustains .

My offering is my prayer for you to be encouraged in a journey step by step with the good shepherd, rising daily into outrageous grace and abundance of blessings_ 

There will be joy in the morning therefore rise 

Happy New Year 

Love Rach x 

#oneword365
rachnotes_

Upheld


She chooses her word 

The rising of the child 

Talitha Cum

Rise 

Like a kite soaring 

She can rise 

Enabled 

Wind blows 

The Kite flies 

Rise because a hand 

Reaches out 

Majestic 

And 

Counsellor 

Author 

And 

Cross bearer

Paradox 

And 

Simplicity 

Rise 

On the wings of the wind 

Rise 

against the conflict of mind 

Rise 

Because love holds you 

As you do 

Let love be the reason 

Every season 

She rises 

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.

~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

When she gets to the edge of herself – 

Forgets the manual and the love that’s won her. She frets and feels alone. She needs to slow her breathe and be still and know God. 

She drinks again the words of life water that quenches and restores. The tangles of entwined greys unravel into words that hold her.

She needs to be there more. 

Stopping sipping slow at the masters feet inhale the words of honey and sharp sword truths. Strength for the journey-

She can rise then. 

Only then. 


‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Isaiah 41:10 NASB

rachnotes_ 

But it’s Christmas 

 When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm; you will not be engulfed in raging rivers. If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs, keep going; you won’t be burned

But it’s Christmas! 

And yet 

The adverts for Samaritans display their telephone number. Friends share it too on their time line. 


Aleppo features in the prayers of many. The comfort of our Emmanuel is near. 

But it’s Christmas! 

She listened to George Beverly Shea and thought of her Dad singing those carols in his tenor voice. Harmonise the chorus. 

It’s a romantic notion of a long lost Dad and a childhood of security. 

But it’s Christmas and shouldn’t it be decking the halls with boughs of holly and being jolly. 

But it’s hope filled with mission. 

She awoke this morning to a feeling of struggling in water, limbs heavy unable to rise, coming out the pool is so much effort . 

She mused as she turned the corner to church of the dream and her examen. What’s the Holy Spirit saying today?

It came to her the verse . 

She chatted to a friend who with life’s opposition was in the midst of homesickness and loss yet he says, ‘ but God is with us.’

But it’s Christmas. 

She thinks of the Bethlehem story with less perfect Pinterest  and more bales of straw and draughty doors!

But it’s Christmas. 

She thinks how growing up and seeing the world with a viewpoint that colours everything differently. 

But it’s Christmas!

The colours look less red and green and gold 

But it’s Christmas!

The colours are red and gold . 

But 

Silver,  chocolate brown, pink, grey and black are necessary too. 

Life is colourful and it is Christmas which is a hopeful reminder of the love that births anew in her heart so she can rise to bring her bouquet into this world of many colours . 


Happy Christmas to you 

Love Rach x 

rachnotes_

Note – Isaiah 43:2 The Voice

Advent Truth 


She folded up inside as she remembers her losses and her shame then she remembered the Advent Hope she writes about and the wonder of one who is the Prince of Peace. 
Right there the Holy Spirit came with a prodding, a gentle hug-if-you-like and she stopped looking at her broken self; her tears are known and noticed so cast your care on Him she knows that the One sees her, who shadows her with His Wing and He, the God who sees, loves with a big measure that surrounds her. 


She breathes deeply, now restored after the lostness she felt. Alone. 

The one who causes her to rise daily, who lifts her up on eagles wings.  Who rescues her daily. The one who never gives up on her and brings healing. Joy in the anguish of life. 
In this world you will have trouble but fear not I have overcome

John 16:33Amplified Bible
33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have[perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.”[My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]


Preparations for a Yuletide season can quite unravel her! 

It’s taken many making of advents to find her soul and how she wants it to look. 

There is a battle of expectations and traditions. Those that cease to be. 

She wants her silent night and her rejoice rejoice to invite the King into her world of anxiety and confusion of a world that’s lost lonely and quite, quite cross. 

She holds her book, the gift and turns her heart towards its redeeming grace. 

Knowing it also means seeking it. 

The presence In the present. 

Simplify was the message preached that year. 

Seeing the peace of God that passes understanding in the days of darkness and candlelight. 

There always will be a longing and a coming.  Let it be the best expression of our hearts. In truth and love to offer the integrity of our inner being. 

To each other. To ourselves. 


Amidst trees and berries and choices and growing in grace. We acknowledge whom we love and knowing in our imperfect selves the splendour of a babe who loves us, diminished His space to rescue us and help us rescue others. 
Isaiah 61 says the spirit of the sovereign Lord is on us

We are anointed to give bouquets of roses and not ashes! 

(The message )

Let’s remember this season of Emmanuel, of Christ’s Birth. 

Let’s remember this radical love spilled out for a world in a mess. 

Great quote here 

By becoming completely vulnerable God expresses a wild, lavish and dangerous love

 :JMichael Gatlin 

The bringer of salvation and unending presence says to us to heal the heartbroken, to bring joy. 

To minister His Grace to the world about us. Small bunches of flowers gifted to those around us in many unique and beautiful expressions of love. 

Radical Love. Advent Truth 💐

rachnotes_ 

x

Sparkle your way by looking up at the stars ..

She simply loves the Rag  doll, in the little blue dress and pointed red hat! 



She loves the white iced Christmas cake. 

Singing the carols holds a special place in her heart. 

Snow flakes gently falling and frozen curling leaves that make beautiful patterns are the best of decorations.

She considers the words of Job 

Can we fathom the treasures of the snow. 

In the mist of time she closes her eyes and sees a faint reflection. 

Traces history and stories. 

Night time in winter holding her daddy’s large hand she skips along the familiar path. 


Her childhood holding magical moments looking up at stars in the inky black sky and feeling safe. 

She ponders this. 

Knowing the Father of all creation is with her still. 

Earthly folk move on, she feels the big gap, aches her often. 

She looks at the stars, they are so fascinating, a mass of sprinkle sparkles of light. 

She loves the wonder that the heaven holds. 


She ceases to decipher it all but instead stays in the faith and peace of the star that lights up her way every single day. 

rachnotes_

Matt 2:10  When that saw the star they were overjoyed beyond measure

Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory. Dr. Seuss

A curtesy of starlight, a hat tip from the moon, a whistle from the wind, signs dawn will dance in soon. Patsy Clairmont 

Lead me to You 

 Psalm 61:2Lead me to the rock

    that is higher than I


She took a stroll in the early morning dark. The sun was slowly bringing something of a misty glow into the first day of December.

She took a deep inhale a breath that sometimes felt so hard to do. She felt the loss nip her heart like the cool bite of the morning air. Christmas songs and decorations once more took her by surprise. 

How quickly that year rolled round. 

She quickened her steps gazing along the road to work noticed the berries and the birds.

She knew she had to push through hard moments like these. 

She knew she could. 

It doesn’t stop the missing and the memory but diversions are good and work will give her that. 

It cannot be rushed through or designed . 

It’s just simply Grief. 

It’s the cost of loving and sharing many moons together.

It came to me the words scribed long ago in holy writ that in my moments of overwhelming emotions I’m led to the rock that is higher than I . 


What is so beautiful that the season of anguish is the season of great joy too. She feels it as the shepherds gather and the angels chorus rock the world. She deeply knowing that He loves her immeasurably and aware how Jesus is bringing joy to the hurting heart of this world that needs hope and the relationship that can be all that. Surely He comes small into our world because he comes in pursuit of us. 

Joy unspeakable full of glory 

Unexplainable 

Love that fills all voids 

One perfect love 

For me

 for you 

rachnotes_