Before and After

Where to begin…

Perhaps that tomorrow (April 4) is my birthday.

I’ll be a year older- and I cannot describe in words how happy and blessed I am at this most glorious stage of my life.

Last year this time I was a new mommy again with my second baby Sky.

As I look back now those days feel as though I was in and out of consciousness most of the time.

Every day for me was about trying to anchor myself in a life that felt like constantly moving waters.

I had dreams- most were unclear and difficult to articulate-

To be honest most days I was just trying to survive all the demands that were being made on me, non-stop, throughout the day!

But last year around this time I received a tremendous message about growing stronger, more able and even more beautiful as I grow older. This was taken from Moses’ blessing over the Tribe of Asher:

“…and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”

The person who had taught me from this Scripture spoke about how Moses, in his old age, had remained as strong and as able as he had been when he was young.

Then there was Caleb who at eighty-five years of age said:

“I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.”

Caleb was as strong at eighty-five as he had been when Moses sent him on a mission forty-five years earlier!

Then there was Sarah who at eighty and ninety years of age had kings drooling after her because she was so gorgeous!

So last year as I allowed Asher’s blessing to be mine, Caleb’s unwavering strength despite his age and Sarah’s gorgeousness that compounded with age, I swam in the glory of getting older-

My birthday last year was the best I’d ever had.

I remember I spent that day with my baby girl- Never, ever, in all the days I’d been alive had I been that happy.

It was almost as though I’d been injected with indescribable joy-

A year later and I’m fuller than I’ve ever been.

Because God is taking me places I never even dreamed of.

Yesterday I was praying and thanking God for making dreams that I hadn’t even dreamed come true!

For answering prayers I’d never prayed!

A few weeks ago we added a make-over element to my Dream BIG TV Show.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to do this:

Irene Make-Over

Make-overs are something I’ve wanted to do for years- but how they’re turning out I never anticipated.

It’s been hard, almost impossible, for me to articulate to people my heart and vision for these make-overs.

Last week I spoke to my husband about this and told him that there was a new depth to this element of the show- such a depth that I didn’t know how to explain what I felt God was sharing in my heart.

I told him of a few people’s make-up I’d done so far and how happy they’d been about how they looked afterwards.

I shared with him some of the reactions I’d experienced from some women- at times it felt as though the make-overs we were doing on the outside were a metaphor for what the process was doing for them on the inside.

My husband listened to me. And then in that beautiful, profound, way he looks at me when he absolutely connects with my heart he said: “God’s given You this project but He’s the one Who’s going to make these people over on the inside. You do the make-overs on the outside and He will do the make-overs on the inside.”

Isn’t my Guy just Amazing!

Now as I remember my husband’s words- I look back at the past year- and the years prior to that and I realise that I’ve been going through a massive  make-over myself!

God’s been making me  over on the inside!

Some changes have been gradual- others have been Wham! Bam! Drastic!

If someone had told me last year that I’d be producing and hosting my own TV show- I’d have been like: “Yeah that sounds great- but with what money?” Because I was a full-time stay-at-home mom with no income.

Or if someone had told me this time last year that I’d be hands-on doing make-overs I’d have been like: “Yeah- I don’t really have the skills for that.”

Because I’m no make-up artist or hair expert and my sense of style is absolutely zero- I know nothing about trends or what’s in or not- I simply wear what fits- Period.

But here I am doing things that are quite beyond my own capabilities- and knowing every moment of every day that I am doing exactly what God put me on this earth to do-

This has been a major struggle in my life. I can’t even tell You how much.

Since I was fourteen I’ve wanted so badly to do what God created me for.

A few months ago I felt something in my spirit say I would go into full time ministry.

I laughed. Really loud. Because that sounded utterly far fetched.

A while later- it could have been a couple of days or a couple of weeks- I forget which- but a while later I felt God clearly tell me that everything I did was ministry.

What I said, what I did, even what I thought  was ministry.

I heard Him tell me that looking after my children was ministry. Nurturing and caring for my husband was ministry. Talking to a friend on the phone was ministry. Cleaning my home, looking after my family and making them a priority was ministry- Everything I did was ministry.

Here’s what I’m learning: The greatest ministry of all- the number one reason God created me and then put me on this earth is simply this: That He could show me how much He loves me.

The reason God created me was so He could Love me.

The reason God created me was so He could Love me.

The reason God created me was so He  could Love Me.

(Repetition intended). 🙂

People who say we were created to worship God have it twisted. We were created so He could love us. Realising that is  Worship. It really is that simple.

The most important thing I could ever do on this here earth is get that. Everything else is secondary.

Being overwhelmed with God’s love for me is what allows me to do anything I’m doing.

I can honestly tell you, with no hullabaloo, that none of this has anything to do with how good I am or my abilities.

Even my confidence was a joke until I started to realise who God believes me to be. And that is still  a work in progress!

Each day God is taking me into deeper waters.

I see Him equipping me in areas that used to terrify me.

I see Him open doors in completely unexpected places.

I see Him shut doors and He’s teaching me that even the things I want and don’t get are His love pouring out on me-

More and more I’m coming to know that I will receive His full blessings on my life no matter what- My only job is to say Yes and Amen. And Receive.

I’m learning that pressure to perform is not on me- it’s on Him; I believe that’s exactly how God wants us to be- to simply step out because it is Him who makes us walk on waters- It’s Him that parts the Seas- all we have to do is Step Out and Go!

As I write this I hear God shout in Heaven and in all the Universe: “Happy Birthday my Baby Girl!”

And all I can say is Thank You Daddy for another awesome year!

Thank You for my babies and my incredibly wonderful husband; Thank You for my Dad and my Mom and my hard-working brothers; I haven’t known the love one can only receive from a sister and yet you have blessed me with the most wonderful friends any girl could ever ask for- they have become my sisters; Thank You for Dream BIG and this blog and all the people You have blessed me with. Thank You for giving me a home and a family of my very own. Thank You for increasing my strength and making me more beautiful than I ever imagined I could be.

Thank You Daddy for the make-over you’re doing in, on and through me.

I receive Your Promise that as my days so shall my strength be.

 

New Fro
Gorgeous Me a Year Older!

 

P.S.  Hillsong United’s Oceans  has been my Jam this past year. I bought the CD because this song encapsulates my prayer every day. You can listen to it below- If you love the song and don’t have a copy yet I’d encourage you to please buy the CD (if you can) and bless Hillsong United’s ministry.

 

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