deep clean ruminations 

It’s been a while since I’ve cleaned my room. The last time I did a deep clean (besides the deep clean we had to do during the last week of Track 1 at IHOP-KC) was about a year ago. And when I say ‘clean’, I mean a deep clean – going through EVERY SINGLE drawer and box and compartment and shelf I can see and deciding if what’s in there is worth keeping.  I came to a conclusion about myself in the midst of the piles of stuff around me – I hoard stuff. I REALLY DO. I keep anything that has the tiniest amount of sentiment attached to it. If a kid gave me a little flower made out of paper, ready to fall apart, I keep it. I found farewell gifts given to me before I moved here to Australia. I found little notes that were at least 10 years of age from my high school days – those have already fallen apart and were held together by tape and prayers.

Sure, those things reminded me of the good ol’ days when life was a bit more simple and less stressful. Except for high school though – high school takes adolescent dramas to a new level. My high school years taught me a lot of things about myself and it has molded me into the person I am today, but really, I am so glad to be out of that season because I do not want to sit through all the teenage dramas again.

But that’s besides the point.

My point is, no matter how much sentimental value those things had, they accumulate and they eventually become junk. They take up unnecessary space in my room where better things could’ve been. To be honest, there comes a point when we’ll have to choose between keeping them or getting rid of them. They don’t decrease in value in terms of sentiment, but it merely decreases in importance.

So two hours later, I ended up sitting in the middle of my room with piles and piles and piles of stuff around me. The stuff-I-decided-to-throw-away pile was A LOT TALLER than the keep pile. It’s amazing sometimes how we just keep stuff and we forget that we had them because it was that long ago.

I also came to the this realization – our hearts are like this too. We keep and treasure memories of the past, constantly reminiscing and wishing that we were in that season again, or hoping that season would come back again. But then what happens is that it never happens.

We keep going back to the past and we never fully appreciate the present. 

We get so caught up in the ‘have-been’s and we push away the ‘can-be’s  and ‘could-be’s. 

The ‘have-been’s take up space in our hearts where the ‘can-be’s should be.

Friends, I find myself doing this so often to be honest. I keep reminiscing about my season at IHOP, without knowing that me being melancholic and reminiscint takes my attention away from the present and from the future I should be investing in.

This stops today. I’m going to turn my eyes away from worthless things (in all sense of the word) and fix my eyes on the things that matter in the present and the things that will matter in the future.

Funny what a deep clean can do.  😉

Love you all, D xx

Halfway Through (and I’m 22!)

Halfway through this track and I am loving it. 🙂

My body is definitely used to the change in time zone and the NightWatch schedule now.

NightWatch and everything it stands for is a challenge but I’ve come to the realisation (thanks, Mike Bickle) that it is a wonderful privilege too to stand in the night and intercede on behalf of the people (believer and pre-believers) and to give God the honour He definitely is worthy of when no one else wants to.

God also has been revealing so many things to me and I felt like the 2 years of waiting definitely positioned my heart to receive what I was meant to receive here… He’s been giving me an upgrade (like, literally) because I’m so different to how I was before I arrived – in a good way though. I no longer have gastric pains, my tendinitis is gone, my spirit has received so much in the past few weeks. My perspective on life and God has shifted dramatically and I see Him (His nature, His ways, His methods, His heart) in such a different light. Knowing how much He loves me as His precious daughter makes it so much easier to love Him and to trust Him during the tumultuous seasons (within and away from IHOP).

Since arriving here, I’ve learned so much about Americans and what they stand for and believe in.

I learned that American ‘thongs’ and Aussie ‘thongs’ are very different from each other, Aussies say ‘car boot’ and Americans say ‘car trunk’, Aussie potato gems are American tater tots, among many, many, many others.

For the first time in my life, I know what negative degree Celsius feels like. Cold, but surprisingly pleasant… so cold that it’s pleasant…?

I’ve also fallen in love with the London Fog latte they sell at Higher Grounds Cafe (IHOP), which is basically earl grey tea with steamed milk and vanilla syrup. I’m DEFINITELY making this often when I get home.

I love hanging out with my fellow Track 1 interns – listening to their life stories, their God stories, and the revelations God has been giving them in this season. I realised that God is constantly telling me stuff through other people – it could be a passing comment, or an action, or a revelation God has given them that’s being passed on to me. EVERYTHING about these people inspire me and keep me going during the hard times. I have AMAZING housemates who are awesome and fascinating – they have quickly become sisters to me and they challenge and push me every day to become the best I could possible be. They also decided to spoil me with surprise birthday presents so that’s a nice cherry on top. 😉

I also realised that NOTHING IS INSIGNIFICANT,
and NOTHING IS A COINCIDENCE.

The spiritual atmosphere here is so soothing and peaceful, and heightened too. In this kind of spiritual atmosphere, it felt like such a thin place (the barrier between heaven and earth here in thin). Because of that, nothing is insignificant. There were so many times when we’re praying for someone and God would give several of us the same picture but in a different phase. With this, the Holy Spirit would work in such a way in directing the session to the point where the picture He wants to unfold to the person we’re praying for would be revealed bit by significant bit. It’s fantastic, seeing it unfold. It would usually be in order too so it is exciting to see where else the Holy Spirit would take our prophetic parties (and everything else).

Anyways. I’m excited to bring what I’ve received back to Perth but I’m very reluctant to leave at the same time. I want to get to know my fellow interns so much more through Track 2 but I guess if God wills it, I will see them again after the track ends. I wouldn’t mind coming back to America though for another trip. I know I will miss everyone so very much (just thinking about it makes me teary).

I’m glad God placed all of us in this track because we’ve all grown so close in the space of 6 weeks as a cohort. It’s not home, but it feels like home, being with these people. 🙂

Love you all,
D x

New beginnings

So hey everyone,

It’s been about 3-4 weeks since I traded the comforts and familiarity of home for a completely new environment and way of life. It’s a temporary season, but I can’t help but feel like I could be doing this for the rest of my life, standing in the gap and ministering to God every day from 12am-6am when the rest of the community is asleep. A majority of injustice and dark deeds are performed in the dark and cover of the night and it is such an honour (a scary honour) to be doing this with a bunch of like-minded people who are equally passionate about pulling heaven onto earth and to partner with God and His heart to bring justice.

To be honest, it’s only been a few weeks and I can hardly recognize myself in the mirror. My thoughts are different, the deep-seated strongholds in my life are quickly losing their foothold, and I’ve never felt so alive. Like, really alive. I love reading the bible now (which is a miracle in itself), I’m more fascinated with God than ever, and I love it. My roommates are amazing – they are such gems and there are so many international students too which is so encouraging because I don’t feel so alone when I encounter something I don’t know about American culture (and there is so much I don’t know). It’s been an eye-opener but I LOVE IT! It’s so pretty here in Kansas City too and it’s been amazing, going on walks with newfound friends and bonding over coffee and birthday cake Oreos.

I do miss my friends in Perth and the culture and the food, but yet I don’t miss it at the same time? It’s a weird sensation but I’m okay with it. 🙂

I’m looking forward to see how God is going to work in the next few weeks.

Love you all,
D xx

// short and sweet //

Wow. It’s been a while. Apologies, my dear readers – I’m not usually this tardy with my writing. Things have shifted and changed since my last post, some of which were self-imposed, and the others were all outside of my control.

However. Change is good though. I like change. It keeps me going and it propels me towards greater things.

Speaking of change and greater things, only 4 days left and counting till I leave my home sweet home (and all of my beloved Perthians). I will, instead, be spending 3 months at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, dedicating that time to growing in the things of God and seeking out His heart. I cannot guarantee you that I will not return to Perth unchanged, because I think when you’ve set aside 3 months (or even 6 months, if God wills it) to chasing God and beholding His face and Presence, you cannot help but become what you behold.

For that alone, I am excited. 🙂 I will hopefully post updates while I’m in the US of A (I would like to) but only time will tell.

Until then, my dear readers, do what you do best – BE AWESOME.

Love y’all ❤
D x

Free To Dream

I believe that God is a God of promises. He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. He promises things to His people throughout the Bible and modern history, whether large or small, and we see these promises come to pass when these people stood by the promises given to them and were anchored in the Word of God in the face of adversity and doubt.

I’ve had many friends who have recently gotten pregnant or given birth (one of them gave birth to a handsome baby boy today!) and I’m reminded again and again as to how being pregnant in the physical realm is so similar to being pregnant with a promise within the spiritual realm. When God placed a promise inside of my spirit, it took about two years for that promise to grow and to mature [it was given to me about this time of the year in 2012 and it came to pass at the beginning of this month!]. As pregnant mothers have to eat for themselves and the child developing inside of them, I also needed to ‘eat extra’ in the spiritual sense. As expecting mothers are to avoid alcohol and drugs etc and certain activities to protect the wellbeing of their developing child, I also needed to take precautions to ensure that dream stays safe and alive in my spirit. It was hard, especially when I shared my dreams and hopes with others, for me to keep believing that God will come through with His promise. I stumbled and fell countless times in the past two years when I forgot the promise I was carrying but every time, God picked me up with His grace, brushed the dirt off me, and sent me off to do His will again.

My amazing co-writer emphasises that protecting the dream is as important as finding/perceiving it – there are some things that can permanently damage your dreams or your faith. It’s crucial then to stay alert and block out harmful speeches or ideas that you should never have to hear. Since you can’t unsee something you have seen, it’s in your memory forever. Even if you were/are subject to those things, make a choice to brush them off, shake it out, and keep your eyes fixed on the God who gave you your vision and your dream.

If you know what God has shown is authentic and supported by the Word of God/Bible then you won’t even need confirmation from other sources or approval to get to the place where you’re so sure and rooted of that dream. Although I have found that when you do ask God for confirmation, it usually happens because it is easy for God to confirm something He has said.

As I mentioned before, protecting the dream/seed is important as you would your own child. Maybe that’s why an amazing idea that has come to fruition is usually called a ‘brain child‘…

My character and faith matured in the process too as I believed and stood firm by the belief that my dream, no matter how crazy and counter stereotypical it was, was going to come true in a world filled with cynicism, unbelief, and dream-crushers.

Dream BIG! Don’t limit a limitless Creator to human concepts, dimensions, and ideals. Luke 18:27 says ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God‘. Just because you can’t justify the means to accomplish such a big dream, it doesn’t mean you should downsize the dream to make it more viable or easier to achieve. God gives us crazy dreams and equips us to trust Him to bring those dreams to pass – divine appointments, life-changing opportunities, doors being opened, promotions, and many more! I believe we were also given these dreams [that may seem crazy and irrational to the rest of the world] so that when these dreams do come to pass, they may be used to show God off and His goodness to those who don’t believe. In 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, Paul talks about how God will deliberately set up a seemingly impossible situation and then come out flying high so that no one will question that it could only have been God.

Dream BIG! Don’t limit a limitless Creator to human concepts, dimensions, and ideals! 

Proverbs 23:7 says ‘For as he thinks in his heart, so is he‘, so it’s also evidently important to embody the dreams that God has given you and to not forget or misplace them. In the process, the dream also becomes part of you, like a baby would as it develops inside of the womb, and you develop a strong emotional/physical/spiritual connection to the child/dream. It becomes the very thing you think about in the morning when you wake up, it occupies your thoughts throughout the day as you share your dream and go through the doors of opportunity opened wide for you.

Giving is definitely a big part of achieving your own dream. To fulfil a crazy-awesome dream one must play a part in helping others fulfil their own crazy-awesome dreams. Luke 6:38 said ‘Give, and it will be given to you with good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use/give, it will be measured/given back to you‘. What we sow is what we reap, in any area of our lives. When we invest in the dreams of others, there is a good chance that they will invest in ours too. We create connections, heart ties, and friendships when we sow into the lives of others, and we’re investing in heaven and its plans too. Find and keep people around you who would stick by you when it seems like the big crazy dream is just a fantasy, who endlessly encourage you when the going gets tough, who would run the race with you and keep you going, and ultimately, those who love you and is passionate to see you fulfil your crazy-awesome dream. 🙂

Even if you don’t get a direct return when you invest in the dreams of others (which happens sometimes), it is important to keep pressing on, because at the end of the day God sees your heart and He rewards accordingly and exceedingly. Sometimes, His rewards may come as a surprise or it may be shown in ways that we have never experienced before, so keep a look out for them! 😀

A also mentioned this – Everyone should also take some time to just sit with God and dream those crazy-awesome dreams with Him. It is also important to step back sometimes and look at the big picture, otherwise it would be easy to get lost in the details and logistics, forgetting the reason why you’re going through those details in the first place. This occurred several times in the past few days when I’m arranging my visas, flight tickets (my dream involves travelling) – I’m starting to get caught up in logistics, and also getting slightly frustrated I must admit. I’m reminded to thank God again and again and to trust Him even with the logistics.

I read this somewhere a few months ago:

You do the dreaming, and God will do the calculating.

Looking back, the seeds for this dream were sown about 8 years ago but I kept it buried and I kept smothering it because it seemed too ridiculous at the time and I needed to focus on school and uni. I let it die in my spirit. But God is a God of life and second chances and I’m truly thankful that He gave me another chance. He breathed life again into that dream inside of me when I was ready and willing to nurture and protect it. And now it’s come true and I couldn’t be any happier! 🙂

For this week I’d like to challenge you to dream with God and write it down somewhere where you can see it. Trust that He has your best interests at heart (He does!) and He knows the desires of your heart. Perhaps you had a dream but you thought it was too ridiculous like I did mine – I want you to know that it’s never too late to revive that dream.

DREAM BIG. Dream CRAZY-AWESOME dreams. 

Love,
D ❤ xxx

(Many thanks again to A for contributing his two-cents to this post)

Choices (Pt 2)

Choices (Pt 2)

Choices. Choices. Choices.

We choose whether to respond to our alarm (snooze or stop).
We choose whether to get out of our beds or to sleep-in.
We choose our outfits in the morning for a day out (although it is harder for us ladies compared to the male kind).
We choose what we’re going to eat when we’re out and about.
We choose locations and times (this is what schedules are for).

————–

All of these seem so normal and easy for us (and that’s just grazing the tip of the iceberg!), but yet we struggle to choose between:

// Being secure in our looks and personality, or being insecure or choosing to let others define the way we see ourselves// Helping someone who has injured themselves on the road, or ignoring that person because we’re already running late to work or school// Our past and/or present experiences, which in turn makes us struggle to see beyond our past into the future//

Choosing to keep loving on our family and friends when they hurt you or to hate them for eternity//
Choosing to listen when a loved one tells you something that will change the outcome of your struggle, or to ignore it and continue living in defeat because it’s unpleasant to hear//
Choosing to live, when it seems easier to die//
Choosing to love, when it is easier to give in to hate and negativity//
Choosing to look beyond what you see, or to be consumed by your present reality and demons//

———————————————————————————-

To paraphrase Mr Jung here (and some additions):

You are not what happened to you in the past, nor are you defined by your present circumstances and situations, you are what you CHOOSE to become. There are times when the sacrifices will be monumental and it will be hard, but take heart, God’s love will lead you through the night.

Blessings,
D ❤ xx

Choices (Pt 1)

Image

Sometimes, it’s hard to continually be loving.

Sometimes, it’s easier to continue being angry at a loved one (or anyone, really) rather than to forgive them.

Forgive and forget’ – DEFINITELY easier said than done.

Forgiving isn’t easy. Forgetting isn’t easy. Especially when that person has hurt you more than you could ever imagine. But you have a choice. We are given free-will for a reason, and with that free-will we make CHOICES.

The easy road – keep a grudge.

The hard road – let go of that grudge.

I find that, no matter what happens, no matter what others have said to you out of spite and malice, no matter what you’re going through, it is a choice we have to make, day in, day out, to love the unloveable, to bring peace to those struggling with their personal demons, and to ultimately, bring life to their barren wastelands.

‘It’s not complicated. Just love the one in front of you.’

– Heidi Baker

When the world crashes down around you, when it feels like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, and your safe haven is smashed to smithereens by the cares of the world, it is easy to rail against humanity, the world, and everything in it.

Despite all of this, you always have a choice.

When I was going through the deepest, darkest times in my life, I realised this is the choice I have to make – to turn to the world and everything it offers (drugs, sex, alcohol, food bingeing, etc) to numb my soul and lessen the pain, or I could turn to and find comfort in the One who never leaves or forsakes me, knowing that my faith in God and His loving nature will help me through the painful process of letting go, forgiving and forgetting. No one can make me choose one or the other – it is entirely up to me and me alone.

The choice is yours and yours alone.  

I cry out to God in my darkest moments – when my soul has been poisoned by things others have said, when I don’t know who I can trust, when I get severe bouts of insecurity, when I feel worthless – He has always answered in my time of need.

Most of the time, it was through others – my friends, family, a random person on the street somewhere. Their arms were always open to me, and their minds were usually a lot clearer and less muddied than mine, and they could usually see the bigger picture when my own eyes were blinded by grief and anger. Sure, what they had to say wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was most of the time what I NEEDED to hear. And it was painful. Gosh, it was painful indeed. But looking back, I realised that without those friends and companions by my side, keeping me accountable and loving on me when I didn’t love myself, I would’ve gone to the dark side of humanity a long time ago.

Friends, you have a choice to make every day from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep – you can choose to love, or to not love. You can choose to let love compel you, or to reject love. You can choose to fall for the vices of the world and let them consume you till there’s nothing left, or you can let God do His thing in you. You choose whether to forgive and forget, or to hold onto the things that will eventually cause your downfall in life, love, work, relationships, etc.

You choose life, or you choose death, in every sense of the word.

I chose life, what about you?

Love,
D xo