Breathe In, Breathe Out…Kylie Evans











{December 24, 2009}   My Mum – The Epitome of Sacrifice

I’m sure that most girls think that their Mum is the best Mum. And really, so they should!  My Mother, however, actually is the best.

My Mother, my Mum, my Mummy.

She is the epitome of sacrifice to me.  I have seen her grow and change over the course of my life and I have seen how she has loved and cared and sacrificed for her family as well as for people whom she barely knew.

I have grown to see that the things that my Mum did for me as a child did not go unnoticed, but they often did appear to go unappreciated.  That’s what sacrifice is.

The ability to do things, day in day out, without thanks and without demanding anything in return.  My Mum has been my example in so many ways.

My Mum has taught me the value of seeing people beyond their circumstances.

She taught me the value of people and that you never really know their value until they are gone.

My Mum taught me to push through the tears and to keep going – the sun will rise.

My Mum taught me the ability to sacrifice time and resources – the ability to be generous with what you have.  My Mum made clothes to fundraise for school events without thanks so that other children had the ability to participate.

My Mum sacrificed her time and her energy to make me the most fabulous clothes – I was in a league of my own and never had to worry about wearing the same as any other person.  My Mum was so skilled and talented.

My Mum went out of her way to do special things to celebrate special times.  She got me out of bed late one night to celebrate an award that I’d been given because friends had arrived and she was proud of me.

My Mum taught me to embrace everyone. My friends were always accepted and loved as if they were Mum’s kids.  They would spend time with Mum if I wasn’t home!

My Mum taught me to give beyond what I have and to go beyond where I thought possible.  She showed me that I have a great capacity because I first saw it in her.

My Mum taught me how to work – you do the best that you can at everything that you do.  Be proud of your efforts and give your best. Mum taught me that it’s important to work hard and to persevere at tasks until they are completed.

My Mum taught me to respect myself – my appearance, my words, my ethics.

My Mum taught me the value of spending time learning to enjoy things that others enjoy doing.  She spent time doing things with me – we learned how to do craft together and she taught me how to sew, bake, garden, paint, and how to journal.

My Mum dreamed ideas into me that are now becoming a reality in my life.  She sowed ideas and interests showing me greater things than I could think on my own.

My Mum will never really realise all the things that she has taught me.

So much of what I have learned has now only been realised as I have grown older.

Now that I am married and have my own family, I understand in such an incredible and humbling way, just what My Mum did for me and her family.

I understand this because now I want to do the same for my family.

We have laughed and cried and spent hours talking and learning together and building a friendship – a true mother-daughter bond.

My Mum is an incredible woman.

She is a generous woman.

She is a beautiful woman.

She is a caring and loving woman.

She is a sacrificial woman.

She is … My Mum.

I love you Mum.

Advertisements


{November 9, 2009}   Breathing in Love…

As I write Breathing in Love...this tonight, I am laying on my beautiful bed.  Next to me is my empty Chai latte mug, my Bible and my current devotional – Daily Steps for God Chicks.  As I look around me, as I recall the things in my house, I’m reminded that life is good.  My life is full.

Because of Who my God is, I lack for nothing.

Because I am a daughter of the King of kings, nothing is missing from my table.

My table is set before, prepared since the beginning of time.  I simply need to reach out and lay hold, gratefully, of the things that my Heavenly Father has so generously provided.

These things, as I continue to look around and reflect, are incomparable really to the one item that takes pride of place in my life.  My Bible.

My Bible, as read and ragged as the edges and pages are, is my greatest possession.  It is the greatest item that I have, next to salvation.

My Ted, my loving husband, is my most cherished gift from God.  But, even he, in his handsomeness and loveliness, does not compare to the God who loves me and is given to me in the pages of my Bible.

My Bible gives me the ability to know His incomparably great riches and His unending mercy, love and grace that abounds to me, around me and for me.

My God, because of my relationship with the Father, whispers to me each moment of the day as I breathe that I am loved.  My God breathes life into me and as a result, I feel myself breathing in Him.

I feel the cares of the world and the desires of and for the future float away as I meditate on the simple yet almost incomprehensible truth that I am loved and that I have always been loved with a love that has never been and will never be tarnished.

I revel in that knowledge.  As I close my eyes and breathe deeply, it gives me confidence that the hurts of the past, that both Ted and I have endured from others, are covered in God’s love, for His love covers a multitude of sins – those committed by others as well as ourselves.

What a wonderful thought to end a fabulous day on – I am loved.

I am held secure in God’s hands.

I am covered and abundantly filled with God’s forgiveness, His grace, God’s mercy and His love.  Most of all, His love.

I pray that you, too, would know and experience His great and powerful love.

Love.  Selah.



{August 31, 2009}   Dad – You Set The Pace

-171I was a Daddy’s Girl.

I even had the t-shirt should anyone think to question my position!

I knew who I was and my Daddy did too.  I knew right where I was supposed to be and how to get there.

My place was next to my Daddy.  No matter how old I was, or how old I become, I will always be a Daddy’s girl.

My Dad read to me.  He walked with me.  He took me everywhere (and I mean everywhere!).  He did everything with me.  Where Dad went, I went.

When he was racing cars, I was there cheering him on with mum.  Whilst he was doing the repairs, I was wearing his helmet.

When he came home from work, I would massage his feet.  This has never changed, even though I’m now married and living in another town, whenever Ted and I see Dad, the same lines are spoken…
“Chook, can you rub my feet?”  It’s not really a request anymore, but simply a statement confirming the connection and strength of relationship between us.

You see, it’s never really been about what I did or what Dad did, it’s simply about the fact that we did things together.

Dad is an avid, mad keen really, fisherman.  As a teen, I couldn’t stand the thought of getting stinky bait on my preciously manicured fingers.  Ugh!  However, as I grew older, I began to realise that it was something that could easily bring us together – it could solidify our friendship and our relationship as Father and Daughter.

So, I began to go fishing with Dad.  As a result, we would talk.  Dad would share and so would I.  Some of the most in depth and lengthy conversations were had over a fishing line!

My Daddy would always affirm me.  I was always beautiful in his eyes.  I was always good enough.  I was always just right.  I was always encouraged to be and to do my best.

And so, as a result, I did.

I learned that it didn’t matter what I looked like, but it was who I was.  My character would speak louder than my appearance if my character was strong.

I learned that my self esteem should not come from what others say, but from what I know and believe and from the love of my family.

I learned that as long as I did my best and gave everything that I had to all that I did, then nothing else could be required of me.  My best was always good enough to Dad, even if I fell short in my own estimations.

I learned that power was in words and the ability to reason and discuss was important.

I learned that station is of little importance and that people are more than their station in life.

My Dad, as the first and most predominant man in my life, set the pace in my life in so many ways.

My Dad gave me the ability to stand, to think, to express my feelings and thoughts.

My Dad taught me how I should be treated – with dignity, with honour, with respect, with kindness and most of all with love.

My Dad taught me that I was due this treatment because of who I was (and who I am) – his daughter and a woman.  He also taught me that to demand these things actually diminishes their truth and their significance.

Dads, you are the first man that your son and your daughter interract with.

You are the one man who can set the pace of how they are to be loved by their future partner.

You are the one man who can set the pace of how they are to love and treat their future partner.

Your children are a direct reflection of you.

Your character, with or without words attached, will speak loudy to your children and they will reflect what they see.

The old adage, ‘do what I say and not what I do’ holds no weight or credibility.  Your children want you to say, “Do what I do and say what I say.”

What image are you growing each day in the mirror of your child or your children?

Is it a reflection of a Godly character?

A reflection of integrity?

A passion for the presence of God?

A reflection of a character that will hold them steady through any and every course of life?

Is it a reflection of love?

My Dad set the pace for how I was to be loved and how I was to love.

My life is blessed and full because of the pace that my Dad, the first man in my life, set for me.

Thank you, Dad.



{August 5, 2009}   Man – Stand Up and Lead!

PC150032I think that quite possibly, I am one of the few female, male chauvinists around.  I believe in men being men and women being women.

Peter Pan.  Ginger Meggs.  American tv show Dads and husbands.  Homer Simpson. 

These are the depictions of man that have been allowed by our society.  Not only allowed, but endorsed, encouraged and even emulated. 

In watching only the adverts on television for mid week shows, it’s not hard for any one with any sense of morality and righteousness to see that we live in a world that does not in any way value or respect the role, place and even gender of the man anymore. 

Husbands and Dads are presented as idiotic and incompetent.  Lazy and slothful.  Inept and unable to carry out the most basic of tasks.  These are not only the inferrences of the media, but also the direct comments and scripts.

This is not how God designed it! 

MEN – Stand up and take your place!

God called you to be the HEAD of the house.

God gave you a three-fold ministry as you chose to become one with your wife. 

You are to be the Prophet, Priest and King of your house.

End of story. 

For too long, too many men have struggled to understand that they are supposed to lead, not laud, but to be the one who is the strength and the one who comes before God to account for his family.  For too long, women have been allowed and have even chased the role that God intended for men.

Like it or not, we are different and we are supposed to be different!  Men are supposed to be strong, dominant (not domineering). determined, and protective.  Regardless of what many women might say and what propaganda might have been propagated over the years, women actually want to be pursued.  We want to know that you are stronger than us and that you are going to protect us –  and that takes confidence, strength and determination.  Men, it takes tenacity!

In Genesis, God called the woman to be the helper…not the man.  He is to lead and she is to help him do that well.

Prophet.  Priest.  King.

As the Prophet you are to bring guidance and look to the future.  You are to give encouagement and paint a picture that shows your wife that you are looking at your future together and that you are planning for it – with her in mind.

As the Priest you are to stand before God in prayer and devotion for your wife and your family.  You are to ensure that her spiritual needs are being looked after.  You can not control her actions, her thoughts or her spiritual life, but you are responsible for creating the place for it to bloom.

As the King, you are to look after your wife.  You are to care for her.  You are to love her. You are to provide for her.  This may not be financial in this day and age, yet it is in every area of your thinking and your whole belief structure.

I believe that Man, as God created, has slowly been hammered out of our society and we have been given a watered down, “get in touch with your feminine side” version of a man.  

God called you to lead.  It’s not easy.  You are fighting a constant battle.  At work.  With the temptations and trials that are presented at you from every angle of society.  With your mates.  The last thing you need or want is to have to come home and fight.  Your ego is so strong yet at the same time so incredibly delicate that you have almost lost the will power to take on the fight that is the most necessary and significant of all. 

Perhaps if your wife would stop, think and realise that you are actually intelligent, you do actually have answers, you do actually care (when she stops nagging you to listen) and that you are actually supposed to lead her, not the other way around, she might allow you to actually be the man she wants to you be in the first place!  She would realise that more often than not, you are actually right – she just isn’t ready to hear that yet.  But she will be.  Persevere. 

Now, as I said to my Mum just recently, only being a young bride does not give me credibility in the area of marriage.  However, as we continued our conversation, we both agreed that my thoughts on marriage, men and women have been strong for many, many years and have only been concreted since being married.

Men, don’t give up.  Don’t back down.  Don’t stop trying.

But.  Do it properly.

Don’t raise your voice – even if she does.  You are the King, remember.  You are leading her and setting the pace for how you want to be treated and how you believe that she deserves to be treated.  Treat her well – she is your queen.

Don’t ignore her – even if it is what you really want to do.  You are the Prophet, remember.  You are to speak life and encouragement into your marriage and her life.  Give and it will be given back to you.  Think about what you are giving.

Watch your words – she has an ego too.  You are the Priest, remember.  You are to love her – like Christ loved the church.  You will not find anywhere in the Word of God that gives you an example of speaking poorly or detrimentally or in such a way that causes pain for the intentional purpose of hurting.  God corrected, convicted and brought teaching when and where it was needed.  He was also gracious enough to allow His people to make mistakes, but always wooed them back with open arms.  Do the same. 

Use your hands to show your love – remember 1 Corinthians 13.  Learn it and then put it into practice…one verse at a time.  It will take you both a life time!

Use your wife as your benchmark for everything – she should be the pinacle of everything in your life.  She should be your best friend – she should know more than your mates.  God made you and your wife One – not you and your mates. 

Include and invite her – make her a part of your life.  Invite her along to the things that you do, the things that are important to you – build your friendship!  Find out who she is too – go along to something that she likes – make her feel important and valued.

There is so much more that I could say!

I have a husband that fits these categories and these requirements and more!  I’m a blessed woman.  We are growing together and we are learning together, but that’s the point.  We are doing it together.  I know Ted and Ted knows me.

Don’t allow the worlds perverted, shallow and deprived perception of what a man should lower himself to be to conform you.  Stand up and Lead as God intended you to – with love and with strength.



{April 24, 2009}   Wife – The Original Feminist

Love

WIFE – Washing, Ironing, Food and Entertainment!

 

For some, this would cause such controversy and I can almost feel the hairs on some women’s necks standing on end! 

So, relax.  It’s a fun thing that Ted and I use to make life interesting and have a laugh every now and then! 

 

However, in all seriousness, there is a very specific definition and role that comes with being a wife.  Ladies, you can either agree or disagree, but ultimately God set it up this way!  And, you can know that if God has set it up, it must be good and it will work provided we do things God’s way. 

 

 

 

 

Genesis.  The beginning.  Unadulterated.

Adam.  The first man.  The first husband.

Eve.  The first woman.  The first wife. 

 

The Message Bible, Genesis 2:18-25.

God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” So God formed from the dirt of the ground all the animals of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the Man to see what he would name them. Whatever the Man called each living creature, that was its name. The Man named the cattle, named the birds of the air, named the wild animals; but he didn’t find a suitable companion.

God put the Man into a deep sleep. As he slept he removed one of his ribs and replaced it with flesh. God then used the rib that he had taken from the Man to make Woman and presented her to the Man.
The Man said,
   “Finally! Bone of my bone,
      flesh of my flesh!
   Name her Woman
      for she was made from Man.”
      Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. 

They become one flesh.  The two of them, the Man and his Wife, were naked, but they felt no shame.

 

Feminism has done a tragically marvellous job of turning our eyes away from the original plan that God set in place. 

Women, more specifically, wives, were created to help, to be companions and to be one with their husband.  Be offended if you will, but God, Himself, said it first! 

 

The very nature and role of a wife is to support, encourage, respect, honour, pray, submit, care, cover, guard, see to the needs of, have relationship with, be open and honest with, effectively to be naked in front of (body and soul), and ultimately to love. 

None of these characteristics, or those that Adam and God speak of in Genesis 2, refer to a woman, again a wife more specifically, dominating, controlling, manipulating, being submitted to, calling the shots or blame shifting. 

A man, in this case a husband, was not created to suffer at the hands of his wife. 

 

A companion is exactly that – one with whom you keep company.  One with whom you have relationship.  One with whom you have absolute trust and transparency.  One with whom you would entrust your life without having to think about it.  One with whom you don’t have to always be looking behind your back to make sure that they are with you.  A companion is one with whom you enjoy time – no matter the activity. 

A helper is exactly that – one who helps.  One who shares and takes responsibility.  One who makes the most of your strengths and helps with your weaknesses.  One who makes way for your gifts and allows for your growth and your development and does so with sincere enthusiasm. 

 

Husbands were given the instruction by the Apostle Paul to love their wives, maybe because sometimes it would take that much more effort and leading comes naturally. 

Wives on the other hand, were told to submit to their husbands, maybe because it would take that much more effort whilst loving comes naturally.

 

No matter if you are married or you are single, the simple yet profound fact remains, a woman in her role as a wife is not depicted in any accurate way by the feminist movement.  A wife is described beautifully and honourably by God.  And, if she would honour this and follow His leading rather than that of the world, what an amazing transformation we would see! 

 

Happy husbands, fulfilled wives.  Successful families and strong marriages – God’s design.

I may not have been married long, but I do know my place!  My place is beside my husband.  This does not demean me as a person nor does it mean that I have no voice or no calling or place in society.  In actual fact, it strengthens me and my place knowing that who I am is set in Christ, not by my career status or how many men I have by passed and dominated over on the corporate ladder.

 

I am honoured and fulfilled and my husband is happy and content.  What more could a girl ask for?  God is good!



{April 17, 2009}   Know Your Place!

ContentmentIn a world full of propaganda and media manipulation, it is no wonder there are so many confused, sad and unhappy people trying to live lives that will hopefully bring them some semblance of happiness!

Jesus alone (no, not whilst there was no one around, but simply He as the only person) said that He came to give life and life to the full (John 10:10).  No one else can provide the internal emotional and spiritual satisfaction and contentment that people everywhere seem to be chasing – the ellusive “living the dream” life! 

What does it mean to live the dream?  Who has generated this ‘dream’ for you?  If you are chasing a Hollywood lifestyle, the perfect partner (you know, the person who fits your imaginings and your desires – a puppet partner), the perfect life (where of course, everything that you want to happen, oh my goodness, happens!), I’m sorry to say, you are going to be sadly disappointed and you are likely to hurt and disappoint others along the way.

Jesus never said that He came to do our will, but that He came to do the Father’s will.  When we look at our lives from that perspective, it should change our thinking and our way of behaving.  Rather than trying to get people to fit our moulds and our desires, we should be more focussed on ensuring that we are fitting the mould that our Heavenly Father has for us – holiness, righteousness, forgiveness and ultimately, perfection. 

If we only knew our place, and I mean really know your place, we would see that it is more about who we are than about “who we are”.  Your name and your fame really mean nothing – God is no respector of man.  Your integrity, your character, your love for God and people is what will count.

Your place, quite simply, is not defined by money, by status, by who you are or were married to, by what you have or by how many letters you have after your name.

Your place is defined by your relationship with our Father – the only one whose opinion really matters.  Who you are is determined also by your relationship with Him.  So, how is your relationship?  Do you know your place?  If not, embark on a journey, not of ‘self-discovery’, but of God discovery.  Only in Him will you find everything that you are looking for…and then more!



{March 4, 2009}   My God He Is Faithful!

My God He is faithful, it’s easy to see. 

My God He is faithful, His hand is on me.

This is part of a song that Ted taught our church last year.  In a nutsehll, it says it all. 

My God is faithful. 

His hand is on me.

I have no doubt that God works, not in mysterious ways to confuse and frustrate His people, to bring about His purposes and His plans.

My God works to achieve His plans, His purposes and His desires.

My God is faithful to His word.

My God will not be mocked, nor will He be insulted without consequence or conviction.

My God is faithful to complete the good work that He has begun.

My God is faithful to give me the grace that I need to walk through life in such a way that He is glorified and honoured in everything.

My God is faithful that when my life needs correction, He does so with such compassion and mercy that condemnation and discouragement are not ever present.  Conviction and contrition are the result of God’s grace.

My God has the ability to soften hearts and change the minds of the most arrogant, ignorant and sadly blinded people in order that His kingdom will be advanced.

My God is faithful to build His church.

My God is faithful. 

My God makes the sun shine and the rain fall and the wind blow.  He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings.

His name is holy and righteous above all else and He is my source and my strength.

Do you personally know His faithfulness?

Do you know His truth that sets the captives free?

Do you know that all things work together for the good of those that love God and are called according to His purposes?

Do you know that He will give you the desires of your heart as you find your delight in Him?

My God is faithful, it’s easy to see.

My God He is faithful, His hand is on me.

My God loves me and I know that I have been called, much as Esther was, for such a time as this. 

I thank God that above all else, He is faithful.



{February 25, 2009}   It’s A Wonderful, Wonderful Life!

Family. Joy, contentment and love.  God's blessings.  Joy. 

Hope.

Love.

Contentment.

Peace.

Each of these are gifts.  But, each of these are also choices that we make.

We choose to have joy in our lives.  It comes from the absolute knowledge that we are right with God and that He is all that we need and all that we will ever need.

We choose to have hope in our lives.  Hope is what we lay a hold of when all else seems lost.  Our hope is in Christ alone as only He will never let fail us.

We choose to have love in our lives.  Love is not a feeling, despite what some would think.  Love is at it’s very essence a passionate state of being.  It is a choice, a conviction and the way that we live our lives. 

We choose to have contentment in our lives.  Contentment says that no matter what I have or do not have, I will be satisfied.  It says that not all that glitters is gold and it understands that the Hollywood lifestyle is only for a very short time.  It is a state of mind – not an appearance.

We choose to have peace in our lives.  Peace was given to us by Christ Himself!  We are told in Colossions to let God’s peace rule in our hearts.  It’s our choice.

Everything that we do has a consequence.  Consequences are either good or bad.  It’s actually that simple. 

Every choice that we make has a consequence. 

We can choose life or death.

We can choose truth or a lie.

We can choose to be committed or to walk away.

We can choose to submit or to rebel.

We can choose to be soft and have a sweet spirit or we can be arrogant and domineering.

We can choose to bless and honour our spouse or we can dishonour and deceive them.

We can choose to live a life that shows the love of God and His promises or we can live a life that is fake and ‘hyper-faith’.

We can choose to recognise that everything that we do in secret will be exposed or we can continue to believe that no one will ever find out.

We can choose to repent and receive God’s mercy and justice or we can be the receiver of His wrath. 

We can choose to use sin as a platform to gain notoriety or we can walk with true humility and allow God to carve out our steps.

God’s ultimate plan was for us to be united with Him – in spirit and in truth. 

It’s a wonderful, wonderful life when we know the power of God’s love, truth and His faithfulness. 

It’s wonderful to know the love and blessings that God has for us because we keep His commands and stay in right standing with Him. 

It’s a wonderful, wonderful life when we just breathe.  Breathe in and breathe out. 

It’s like worship – it’s just like breathing. 

Love, in every aspect is just the same – it’s just like breathing.



{February 22, 2009}   Loving It!

Life has a funny way of showing us just how incredible God is.

For instance, what one would call disaster, another would call divine providence. 

What one would call monstrous, another would call beautiful.

What one would look upon contemptously, another would gaze upon adoringly.

I have been on the most amazing learning curve this past 18 months and have to say, that only by God’s incredible and gracious love have I been able to experience and lay hold of His wonderful promises and gifts.

One persons foolishness just happens to be another persons most delightful gain.

Psalm 37.4 reads that by delighting ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts.

I thank God for His gift to me…the very desire of my heart.

When I married Ted last year, I had every knowledge that I was being given a most precious gift. 

As days pass, I realise even more just how much more than I ever expected God is able to give – exceedingly and abundantly beyond all that I could think or imagine. 

God is gracious.  He is merciful.  His promises do not change.  He is the author of life.

Thank God that even when the actions of others seem to bring total destruction, out of the ashes come beauty far beyond that which was ever thought to be possible. 

Only by breathing in and breathing out, can you possibly experience God’s absolute love and blessing. 

God bless,

Kylie

 



et cetera