One Word 2017

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I can’t believe that we are already in 2017. It feels like yesterday to me when I was writing about my One Word for 2016.

For those who do not know this, a few years ago I started praying at the end of the year and asking the Lord to give me a word that I will meditate on and apply it in my life. In 2014 He gave me the word: “Sufficient” He taught me throughout that entire year that He was more than enough for me. In 2015, He gave me the word “Trust”, I thought I trusted Him in all things but all through that year He showed me I needed to truly Trust him not simply with words but with my actions. In 2016, He gave me “Joy”, teaching me that His Joy is my strength no matter the circumstances in my life.

Truly each year has been a great lesson and a huge blessing. I am seeing a connection between these words which lead to my ONE WORD for 2017- “CHANGE”.

Once you come to realize that He is Sufficient for you, you learn to submit entirely to Him and trust Him, no matter what may come your way “It is well”because He is your joy and His joy is the strength we need. So this year will be a year of “Change”. It will be a year of transformation both inwardly and outwardly. Just like a butterfly; before it becomes a beautiful butterfly it is a caterpillar that crawls on the ground. When it is changed/transformed it flies!!!!!

So I am truly anticipating to see what this year of Change will bring. I am still searching for a job, nothing has opened up yet. I still need to lose some more weight to reach my goal weight. Many issues around me that are still unsolved. He knows. He keeps telling me for the past 2 years “I know the plans I have for you…”Jeremiah 29:11

I hope you join me on this new journey in 2017. I will be writing here once again. He never allowed me to shut this blog completely. He always brought an obstacle in my way each time I would consider deactivating it permanently.

I am so grateful for each and everyone of you and I am also blessed to have you all in my life, even though we are many miles and seas apart with many of you.

May you all have a blessed and Joyous New Year! Build memories with loved ones! Get rid of bitterness and hatred and spread love! Draw nearer to Him who gave His life for you because He loved you and still loves you extravagantly!!!

 

 

 

We are never alone – Δεν είμαστε ποτέ μόνοι

“Blessed [art] thou, O Israel; who [is] like to thee, O people saved by the Lord? thy helper shall hold his shield over thee, and [his] sword [is] thy boast; and thine enemies shall speak falsely to thee, and thou shalt tread upon their neck.” Deuteronomy 33:29

This is a post I wrote about 3 years ago… I was going through some of my writings and fell upon it. It was truly something my soul was thirsting for… I hope it touches and quenches your soul too..

In this dry and desolate valley there are many days I feel so hopelessly lost. My mind is like a yarn of wool which is tangled and I can not find the thread. So much anguish in my heart and soul. There are many impossible situations around me. If I try to even begin to solve them with my mind, I feel that I am at a dead end. Can’t go back, can’t move forward.

But the Lord is so loving and faithful. He is the only one I can turn to. Reading His word today which was the above passage in Deuteronomy, I realized that even though I feel so hopelessly lost, He will come to my rescue. He will intervene in my impossible situations. He will release me from all my bondages, anxiety and loneliness.
He wants us to bring all our feelings, thoughts situations to Him. He is ever present to remind us of His unconditional love and faithfulness. We can talk, turn to Him anywhere and anytime. We can read His Word the Bible and find promises that fit to all our needs of the moment.

When I quietened myself in His presence today He reminded me through His Word that He is my shield, sword and helper. In this dry valley where I need Him the most even though I may feel He is faraway, He is not! He is ever present close by my side. He is always with me.

He is always with us!

May the Lord be with all of us guiding our daily steps to a closer relationship with Him.

 

«μακάριος σύ, ᾿Ισραήλ· τίς ὅμοιός σοι λαὸς σωζόμενος ὑπὸ Κυρίου; ὑπερασπιεῖ ὁ βοηθός σου, καὶ ἡ μάχαιρα καύχημά σου· καὶ ψεύσονταί σε οἱ ἐχθροί σου, καὶ σὺ ἐπὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτῶν ἐπιβήσῃ.» Δευτερονόμιον 33:29

Αυτό το είχα γράψει πριν από περίπου 3 χρόνια. Σήμερα καθώς ξεκαθάριζα κάποια πράγματα μου το βρήκα. Το διάβασα και άγγιξε την καρδιά και την ψυχή μου. Ελπίζω να αγγίξει και την δική σας καρδιά και ψυχή.

Μέσα σε αυτή τη ξηρή και έρημη κοιλάδα υπάρχουν πολλές μέρες πού νιώθω απελπιστικά χαμένη. Το μυαλό μου είναι σαν ένα μπερδεμένο κουβάρι μαλλιού τα’ οποίο δεν μπορώ να βρω την άκρη να το ξεμπλέξω. Τόση αγωνία μέσα στη ψυχή και στην καρδιά μου. Τόσες αδύνατες προς λύση καταστάσεις γύρω μου. Αν προσπαθήσω να τις λύσω με το μυαλό και τη λογική μου τότε καταλήγω σε ένα μεγάλο αδιέξοδο. Ούτε πίσω μπορώ να πάω αλλά ούτε κι μπρος.

Ο Κύριος όμως είναι τόσο πιστός και γεμάτος αγάπη. Μόνο σε Εκείνον μπορώ να στραφώ. Διαβάζοντας σήμερα το παραπάνω χωρίο αυτό από το Λόγο Του, συνειδητοποίησα ότι ενώ νιώθω απελπιστικά χαμένη Εκείνος θα έρθει να με σώσει. Εκείνος θα παρέμβει στις άλυτες και αδύνατες καταστάσεις της ζωής μου. Θα με ελευθερώσει από όλα τα δεσμά, την αγωνία και τη μοναξιά μου. Θέλει να Του δίνουμε όλες μας τις σκέψεις, τα συναισθήματα και τις καταστάσεις. Είναι πάντα παρών για να μας υπενθυμίζει για την ανιδιοτελή Του αγάπη. Μπορούμε να στρεφόμαστε σε Αυτόν, να του μιλάμε παντού και οποιαδήποτε στιγμή. Μπορούμε να διαβάζουμε τον Λόγο Του, την Αγία Γραφή και να βρίσκουμε υποσχέσεις Του για κάθε μας ανάγκη σε κάθε στιγμή. Όταν άφησα τον εαυτό μυ να ησυχάσει μέσα στην παρουσία Του σήμερα, Εκείνος μου υπενθύμισε μέσα από το Λόγω του ότι είναι η ασπίδα και ο βοηθός μου. Μέσα σε αυτή την ξηρή έρημο εκεί όπου τον έχω περισσότερο ανάγκη κι ας νιώθω ότι είναι πολύ μακριά από μένα Εκείνος είναι εκεί.

Δεν είναι μακριά μου! Είναι πάντα δίπλα μου. Πάντα κοντά μου.

Πάντα κοντά μας!

Ο Κύριος να είναι μαζί μας και να καθοδηγεί τα βήματα μας σε μια πιο στενή σχέση μαζί Του.

Change – Transformation comes through troubles…

The last couple of months or should I say years have been quite difficult and challenging both on personal level and also for the country I live in-Greece. Unemployment rising to skylimits, suicide rates rising like never before, people’s faces and words full of despair.All we hear or talk about are our problems and troubles and how unbearable everything is to handle.

Last night Greek state broadcaster was shut down by the government. Protestors are protesting against this act. Different opinions are being expressed through all social media networks, etc. I have understood that people want change, want transformation but when change takes place and shakes them of their comfort zone they do not like it and are against it. Have we ever stopped to think what the purpose of problems are in our lives? Have we ever stopped to think that a diamond to become the jewel we all see and admire must go through a very rough process? What about glass, gold, metal? They all go through the fire to become bottles, jewelry, etc.

I am not ashamed to state that I love reading my Bible and praying. One of my favorite scripture passages came to my mind while thinking about all these things, so I opened up my Bible to read it again. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28-29”

God has a purpose behind every problem. Each circumstance is used by Him to develop our character. Jesus Himself told us that we would have problems in this world. He told us the narrow path is difficult but it leads to eternal life. None of us lives a problem-free life. Life is full of problems. Some are big, others are small but they are all significant for our spiritual growth. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you”

God uses problems to draw us closer to Him. Just think that in the darkest days of our lives, when we feel hurt, broken and abandoned that is when we turn to Him in humility. We have many examples of this in the Bible. Joseph was thrown in jail, Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den, and the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked three times. Could God have prevented this? Yes He could have but He didn’t. He allowed all these problems to happen, and the result was that everyone one of these persons came closer to Him.

Our problems help us to look at, trust and depend on God. We understand through them that God is all we need. All that happens to us is part of the plan of God for our life. This includes our mistakes, hurts, debts, illness, and sins. Not everything in life is good but He uses everything and brings good out of it.

He wants to build our character. Each problem we face is an opportunity to develop our character. These circumstances are temporary, but our character will last forever. Think of these troubles as a fire that burns away our impurities. Gold and silver to become like the way we see it and use it has to go through the fire first before it becomes shiny. God wants us to become more like His Son Jesus Christ. He wants us to develop a Christ-like character.

He knows what is best for us. He has our best interest at heart. When we go through the trials we must stop dwelling on them and the pain they cause and dwell on Him. Keep our eyes on Him. Focusing only on our problem will distress, discourage and depress us. Give thanks to Him in all circumstances. His Word tells us to do so. It doesn’t say give thanks only for the good, trouble-free times, but in all circumstances. Of course, He doesn’t want us to be thankful for evil, sin, suffering and their consequences, but He wants us to thank Him because He will use all of these problems to fulfil His purpose for us.

We must be patient and persistent as our character is being developed through all this.We must let go of our Ego and allow the changes that need to be done in us and in the world around us. We must not conform to the bad things around us but even through these things we should try to take the crisis and conflicts and turn them into opportunities.  When facing trouble we mustn’t ask “why me? Why is this happening to me? We should instead ask, “What doYou want me to learn from this?” We must keep trusting in Him and keep on doing what is right. We shouldn’t give up, but instead of being eternal infants we must grow up! We can’t expect to be infants for the rest of our lives. We must learn to walk, run, leap! We must become mature and be transformed.

All throughout History there has been change, transformation or else we would still be living in the age of Neanderthals….

Who can find a virtuous woman?

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I have been feeling well these past few days as you already read in my previous post. This post was kept as a draft for so many months, I had totally forgotten to post it. Going though my posts one by one today I saw it and decided it is time to post it. Here it is:

“These days have been good though because I have had more time to look within me and spend more time in prayer and reading God’s word… I read a passage that is one of my favourite ones… These past couple of weeks I have been trying to surrender my will to His will. It is not and easy thing to do, but it is not impossible and it truly sets you free once

I have been pondering on the verses in Proverbs concerning the virtuous woman. When studying this passage, we see that this woman was not just an ordinary woman. The passage begins by asking, ” Who can find a virtuous woman? ” This means do you know where such a woman is or where she abides? We will try to think of many answers to this question, but the answer is really very simple. This woman is found/abides in God’s will.

She is a woman who wastes no valuable time watching useless television programs, or spending hours on the internet and telephone. She is involved in so many activities from the rising of the sun until its going down.She is a woman of purpose.

This made me look deep inside of me. Am I a woman with purpose? Do I use my time wisely and productively? Hmmmm, I must admit I am way behind in all this….

What makes a woman virtuous? Virtuous means to be good, righteous, honorable, moral, honest, worthy and humble These are all characteristics God requires of all of us. There were many virtuous woman in the Old and the New Testament. 

She places all her trust in God. She knows that only through Him all things would be done. Are we like this? I must say I lack in this area too many times. A virtuous woman trusts wholeheartedly the Lord. When her child or other family member is sick, she is able to say ” all is well” like the Shunammite woman. She is able to pour her heart out to the Lord like Hannah before she received the blessing of Samuel. She possesses wisdom and judgment like Deborah and at the end of the day she knows that she is truly blessed.

She is grateful for each new day and never ceases to thank the Lord her Saviour for His mercy and love. She knows she is the daughter of the King, and yet she is humble. Her outward and inward appearance portray that she belongs to the body of Christ.She is a God-fearing woman.

She doesn’t live in a fantasy world. She knows there will be trials, storms, deserts, strong winds in her daily journey. She knows there will be times when ends may not meet, or sickness may come. She knows there will be times of much pain and heartache. However, through all this she does not lose heart but stands firm in Him and is assured that there will be many times of abundant joy, laughter, and blessings.

This is a time for me to reflect on all of this. May the Holy Spirit my comforter, guide and friend help me become a virtuous woman. A woman after God’s Heart and will.

Blessings to all for a wonderful day!!!!

Pascha (Easter) 2013

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It is late afternoon here on my side of the world…. Sipping my cup of afternoon coffee and working on my term paper besides all the other things that need to be done (household chores, outdoor chores, work, etc), I decided to take a break and finally post our photos of our Pascha (Easter) celebration on my facebook page.

We had such a lovely family time this year. We spent it with our dear friend Pola at her beautiful cosy home. Hubby had gone a few days prior to the village and had brought the meat (lamb), fresh eggs, fresh goat’s milk and fresh homemade cheese from his cousin. Boy was everything delicious!!!!

We didn’t put the whole lamb on the spit, but we made BBQ lamb chops (ribs), village sausage, small greek pita breads, tzatziki, oven potatoes and wonderful green salad, red dyed eggs, tsoureki (Greek Easter bread), koulourakia (traditional Easter cookies) and a wonderful dessert with wafers.

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On Holy Tuesday I made our traditional easter cookies (koulourakia) and Holy Thursday I dyed the eggs just like I used to do when I was a child with mum and dad.

All through Holy week the church services were wonderful. On Holy Friday we went to the Epitafio. It was decorated with beautiful yellow orchids. I chanted along with the ladies choir the Egomia… This whole week was absolutely awesome and touching.

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Holy Saturday I prepared the mageiritsa soup which is eaten after Easter midnight service where we all celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating Penticost. I can’t believe how time flies by so quickly…

These special days are made more special when we spend them with our loved ones, holding on to our customs and traditions, building new memories.

Cherish your times with your loved ones, whoever they may be.

New beginnings, New challenges, New opportunities- NEVER GIVE UP!!!

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It has been quite awhile since my last written post. I am so grateful for all of you who visited my little corner.

May is gone and we are in the beginning of June. These past couple of months have been quite busy, challenging and filled with hope, and many opportunities.

I must say though there have been times where I have been toatally worn out both physically and psychologically.

My two friends (partners) and I have worked hours infront of our laptops learning new things, connecting and most of all learning more about ourselves, our skills, our personalities and behaviour as individuals.

We have had great support in all areas from our mentor (business consultant), who has helped us through this entire project.

Between all this, plus teaching English to some students, taking care of the home and family and enrolling back to Uni to continue and complete my studies, I have had very limited time to write here in my little corner.  This is also another issue we are all learning through this- Time Management…. It hasn’t been easy but we are striving day by day to succeed in this.

One of the things this whole project has helped me realize is that we must never give up on our dreams, our goals. There is no age limit in these. Have faith and continue to strive to accomplish the things set before you. It is not easy but it is worthwhile.

Keep running the race set before you, be open to learn new ideas, get prepared to face new challenges as they come but NEVER GIVE UP!!!!

May you all have a wonderful month of June!!!

When floods consume us…..

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Greetings to all my beloved friends!!!!

Seven more days are left until April bids us farewell and May arrives with its beautiful colors, warmer temperatures and fragrances….

This month has been quite challenging… Many difficulties but also many blessings…. In the beginnng of the month my hubby had an accident while he was at work… Thank God he was not injured but our motorcycle which is the means of our salary was totally destroyed. This means we need to buy a new motorcycle soon and with our current financial situation that is quite difficult… He has also had to go and upgrade his Motorcycle license, that means another 400-500 Euros… Our electricity bill came and I was lucky I was sitting down or else I would have collapsed… If that wasn’t enough, my daughter’s bedroom wall is completely destroyed by mold and the entire room needs to be painted along with the house… Yesterday, our kitchen sink broke to pieces…. should I say more…. Nahhhhh…… I am just tiring you all…. It feels as if a flood has just come upon us and is trying to consume us…

Orthodox Easter is just around the corner and I feel overwhelmed by all this… I am a very optimistic person who always sees the cup half full…. Sometimes though, as a normal human being I just collapse and break out…. I am not murmuring or complaining but I could use a break…. I just need to breathe… With our finances at the moment all these things above seem impossible to get done, but when things are impossible to man they are possible for God!!!!

I am blessed to have people around me that although can not help solve the problems are there to encourage and lift me up. I am blessed that healthwise we are all well.. (still fighting these allergies).. I am blessed to have my family and many more daily moments of blessings….

I would just like to ask all of you, please keep us in prayer…. It is the greatest gift and blessing anyone can have in life…. Prayer is so powerful!!! Even if we are miles and miles away, even if we do not speak the same language, God hears prayers….

Also know that if you have any needs and prayer requests please feel free to share and I will be praying for you….

May you all have a wonderful afternoon and week! Keep smiling!!! A smile cost nothing and yet has immense value to those around us!!!!! Be blessed!!!!

Natasha