Christian Cailín

Pursuing Proverbs 31 Pre-Marriage

God will provide…

This has become something of a mantra for me growing up, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know its exact origin. My guess would be Philippians 4:19 which says  “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”, or Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”, but feel free to correct me! For me it is something that Irish Mammies say in tough times when one can’t see a way out of a financial situation. The faith behind this little statement though is what gives it its power.

Psalm 23:1

I have said in another post that I am on a very limited income. Anything outside of the norm must be scrimped and saved for and that’s just the way things are. I know that when something really important comes along, God will provide for that need, if He sees fit. If He deems it unnecessary, we live and learn and move on. Now I usually apply this to things like spontaneously required doctor’s appointments, or emergency situations where I discover there’s no foo in the flat and I have nothing to eat. In these cases, God has always provided for me. I have never gone hungry, or been left in ill health. However for more frivolous things it becomes more complex.

The youth group that I work with are performing in a Christian Concert in Dublin tomorrow evening, and I had been trying to put by a little each week for the cost of the ticket but I just couldn’t manage to put it all together. The tickets cost €20 and that’s what it costs to fuel my car for a whole week… It’s hard to justify spending on things like that as a student.

Anyway, I was driving home from Dublin yesterday listening to my favourite radio station Spirit Radio, and I was resigning myself to the fact that I just wouldn’t be able to go. I was trying to think of a way to tell the girls (Ci’s sisters are performing and I was on my way to visit them) that I would have to miss their big night. I started to get a bit upset by this, as I didn’t want to let anyone down. I was wiping away the first few disappointed tears when I heard an ad for the concert on the radio. My first reaction was ‘well that’s just depressing’ and I was about to switch the radio off and wallow in my own self-pity, when the presenter starting talking about a giveaway they were doing that very day. I pulled the car over into the hard shoulder (not the safest move in hindsight) and sent in my text entry for this pair of tickets.

I drove the rest of the way home knowing that if I was supposed to go to that concert, that this surely was God’s way of providing. This gave me a sense of peace and I immediately dismissed the thoughts of disappointment I had had earlier. As I approached the village where I live the presenter announced the winner for that hour and… it wasn’t me. At that moment I said aloud to God, ‘Father thank you for providing me with peace here.’ It is easy to praise God when things are going well, but I am learning that I have to praise God for the decisions He makes for me, whether I feel delighted about it in the moment or not. I am far from perfect and of course I was a wee bit disappointed that I didn’t win the tickets but I could say in that moment that it was not God’s will, so I let it go.

I broke the news to the girls and they were so sweet, saying they would do a private rendition for me next weekend and not to worry. After the obligatory cup of tea and catch up with Mammy D, I sat down with one of the girls to do a bit of study with her for school.

Mid way through the lesson, my phone rang… Go on guess who it was! It was Áine from Spirit Radio telling me I was their winner for that hour and that there would be tickets at the box office for me! Explain that, if it’s not divine intervention?

I am thrilled that I get to see my girlies in the concert and as I have the extra ticket, their big bro is coming with me to support them. I’m sure the girls are going to raise the roof, along with all the other kids from the youth group and the schools around the country.

I cannot say for sure, but my feeling is that had I not been thankful to God for His will, I wouldn’t have won the tickets. I always say:

~Positive prayer yields positive results~ 

but what do you think? How has God provided for you? I would love to hear your stories.

-Katie

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Discipline Challenge – Week 3 – Spirit

Well, it’s safe to say that I am a terrible blogger. I hope that everyone starts out so poorly and that I’ll somehow be transformed into a much better (more consistent) blogger with practise. Such is my self discipline, that this week I had to cold turkey Facebook and blogs so that I could get some assignments done! I’m arguing that I had the discipline to use Cold Turkey but I think my logic is questionable!

This week, the discipline challenge is in relation to Spirit.

Women Living Well Discipline Challenge

This is a very interesting challenge for me, as you will see. This week, Courtney challenges us to soak up His word, for at least one minute, first thing in the morning, before we do anything else. Courtney has a wonderful way with words and she explains it here.

Now I would love more than anything to say that I stuck to this rigidly this week… But I didn’t. I am in the final weeks of my final year of college and my assignments have had me up to all hours of the morning and I don’t want to think about how many times I overslept this week :0

However, there is another reason that this is not an easy challenge for me… I DON’T OWN A BIBLE! I know you’re thinking that I couldn’t possibly call myself a Christian and not own a Bible, but hear me out first. I am but a poor (or thrifty!) student. My income at the moment is around €30 a week, sometimes a little more if I get some babysitting work or tutoring and this goes towards supplies for college, car tax etc. At the moment, I put €20 petrol in my car to get to my flat and home again, and I spend €10 on food. And that’s it! I walk to college every morning,  make my lunch everyday and bring some herbal teabags in my travel mug. So as you can see, there isn’t a lot of spare cash left over.

Which brings me to why I do not own a physical Bible – I can’t afford one! Pathetic excuse I know, but this means I had to be creative this week- It’s not called a challenge for no reason people! I was fortunate enough to receive a Kindle for my birthday, which is fantastic, as now I can read all my favourite e-books on the go. It also meant that I could download a free version of the Bible on Amazon! So now, although I can’t leaf through the pages, or ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in what page I read, I can read the Bible on the go, in bed, in the kitchen… everywhere!

Now, as I stated, mornings were manic for me this week, so I did not diligently take the time to read my Bible in the morning. I was lacking in discipline through the semester, and now I’m paying for it… oops! I was also lacking in the discipline to get to bed on time and the diligence to dedicate a bit of time each morning to reading the Bible.

So, I carefully wrote out some verses that I thought might help me in this area.

Diligence:

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

-Romans 12:11

Self- Discipline:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

-2 Timothy 1:7

(Both NIV)

And I also wrote this out, as I came across it in a time when I was feeling very overwhelmed by all the work and errands I had to do.

The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

These words that I wrote, sit on carefully cut-out clouds, on the ceiling over my bed. So now I wake up to God’s word every morning (however bleary eyed I am) and I read the Bible on my Kindle between lectures, at lunch time, in bed at night… I just can’t get enough. Courtney, your post was the spark that ignited the passion for His word in me. Thank you.

However you do it, make sure that you take some time to read His word everyday. In one week, this simple action has given me a knew perspective and made me more accountable for my actions. It has given me strength when I needed it and a shove in the right direction at times too. His word has provided for me in ways that I never imagined. If like me, this isn’t something you would normally do, try it for just one week. I promise you, when you see the answers the Bible gives us, for every eventuality, you won’t want to stop!

And for those of you wondering- I cannot wait to buy a real paper Bible, (I’d really love a leather-bound copy!) but I am content that God will provide in His time.

~Positive prayer yields positive results~

-Katie

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The Ironically Entitled Discipline Challenge- Week 2

Understandably, it would appear from my blog that I have little to no discipline! However, bear with me, I am new to this blogging world and it’s going to take me a while to get into the swing of things.

Last week was not a good week for me. I have been in and out of hospital and in a lot of pain and so I was unable to partake in my exercise regime and won’t be able to for a couple of weeks. However the Lord has provided for me in so many ways this week and I have encountered some wonderful healthcare professionals who are really trying to help me manage my condition better. On the flip side,I did get lots of rest and drank lots of water.

This week is all to do with Time Management and there is no excuse for me not to work on this, as in my incapacitated state, I have plenty of time to get things in order!

Time Management in my greatest challenge, and it is purely down to my self discipline. I put everything on the long finger and I often find myself under pressure for tasks that I know I have had loads of time to do. One resource that I have to recommend is Time Management 101 from Money Saving Mom. It is a comprehensive ebook looking at all matters of Time Managemnt and how to create a Time Budget. You can download it free as well so don’t hesitate to get this resource!

Courtney’s challenge this week can be found here.

I’m not going to state all my priorities here but one thing that I’m struggling with is my Bible study and the time I spend studying other Christian resources. I find it difficult to fit it into my day and I usually leave it until the evening when I would much rather sit down and chill out with my love, or watch some telly! Now I work hard at college and I don’t go out often so I don’t want to begrudge myself some down time. However, I am learning that it is far more important to get my priorities in order, before I indulge myself.

I have written out a list of things that I think are important that I incorporate into my daily living. I prayed on this list and funny enough, it has changed a bit. With some thought and prayer, our priorities often change. For example, I now go to bed a half an hour earlier and get up a half an hour earlier. God wants me to make time for my Bible study, I know that! But I need to give it my best and that is not last thing at night. My new priority is to read my Bible and other resources first thing on the morning. I have established a new morning routine and this has made such a difference to my days. The way we begin our day sets the tone for the rest of the day.

I am excited to share with you that I have learnt, making time for God IS making time for me. They are the same. I no longer feel the need to watch brainless rubbish on the telly. My evenings are filled with more of His word and I am enjoying my time spent with the Lord. I have even starting sharing some of His word with my love and while he has not accepted Jesus as his Saviour, he listens with and open mind and this means so much to me.

My next aim is to make some more time for sharing my experiences and my new journey with the Lord with all of you.

How are you arranging your time more carefully? Does spending more time with the Lord actually result in a more productive day?

~Positive Prayer yields Positive Results~

-Katie

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Discipline Challenge- Week 1

So yesterday I spoke about making resolutions following Easter. This morning, when I checked my email, it seemed that Courtney from Women Living Well  had a similar (but far more inspired) idea and so I am linking up with her today. Hop on over to her blog to see the complete explanation of what this challenge entails.

5 weeks - 5 disciplines

What a wonderful idea! It is the push I have been waiting for to get my act together. I suffer from a condition called Hypermobility Syndrome. It is a connective tissue disorder that means my joints dislocate very easily and are often very painful. There is no cure for this- ironically the only thing that can aid the symptoms is… you guessed it- exercise! I don’t do any exercise at all at the moment. I have become so lazy. I use the pain as an excuse not to exercise even though sitting around doing nothing, makes me more stiff and the pain worse. Then that decreases my chances of getting up and actually doing something. When I wirte it down it sounds like a pretty poor excuse! Really I have no excuse, my issue is, I have no self-discipline!

This is why I love Courtney’s idea so much! We can hold each other accountable and progress through the challenges together. Courtney’s challenge to us this week, is to choose one healthy habit we would like to create and maintain over the next five weeks and so here is mine:

I will do 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, drink more water and get eight hours of sleep every night.

It doesn’t seem like much but I know it will make a difference to me and to this body that the Lord has given me to reside in. I plan to find some creative ways to enjoy my exercise more and some creative ways to fit it into the day also. I will keep you posted on my peaks and lows and hopefully encourage some of you to undertake the challenge as well.

Blessings,

~Katie

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Easter Resolutions

Isn’t it a wonderful and joyous day to be a child of Christ? It is the day of His resurrection, the reminder that Jesus died on the cross to give us eternal life. For me this is a reminder of how much Jesus has given for me and how much I owe Him for this. It is a day to remember what it means to walk with Jesus. It is also springtime, when our gardens and parks are laden down with the evidence of new beginnings.

Typically one makes resolutions at the beginning of a new year, but for me, Easter seems like an appropriate time to make some resolutions too. I am not going to compile a huge list because I never seem to stick to things when I overwhelm myself with changes.

However, one issue that has been weighing on my heart, is the way in which I react to certain situations. I have a short temper and a tendency towards irritability and irrational responses (and not just because I am a female!). I am upset with the way I react and behave and often find myself looking back after a situation has erupted and thinking ‘Katie, why did you react like that?’ I don’t want to be a moody and grumpy person who always has something to complain or give out about. I want to be a joyful woman, who sees the good in life and in people and who reacts positively even in situations that may cause irritability. In Proverbs 21:9 it says:

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. 

Now I am not yet a wife, but I am a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend and a housemate and I do not want to be quarrelsome or nagging in any of these roles. So I am resolving to revolutionise my actions and reactions. I am resolving to speak with kind words, with patience and with other people’s perspective in mind.

So, how do I plan to stick to this resolution? Simply put- accountability. I have asked all those close to me to ask me a question when my temper rises, when I use harsh hurtful words, when I dismiss someone else’s opinion or when I become defensive.

Katie, is that how you want to react?

It is such a simple question but difficult to answer. If in a situation my response is not Christlike, then I am not honouring my King and I have to respond with a no and rethink my reaction. This, I assure you, is easier said than done. But I am going to try. I am going to try so hard to break this cycle I have become trapped in.

How do you monitor your responses?


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