There was a day not so long ago that I call ‘The fateful mint aero rocky road day’.
My lovely friend Mhairi had successfully made a delicious treat which I loved. I asked for the recipe and was excited to make it for my friends coming round. I am 35 years old and have worked out some of my strengths and weaknesses. While I am first to admit my many failings I am fairly confident in my cooking abilities. This recipe looked like a breeze. I tried, I failed. I bought more ingredients, I tried again, I failed. I bought yet more ingredients… I tried, I failed… do you see where this is going?
I cried, I wailed, I swore, I declared in a loud unwavering voice “This rocky road will not defeat me!” (In case your wondering it did) I wholeheartedly overreacted when my husband gingerly suggested I stop and maybe just buy some cookies and I shouted things like, “I can’t do anything else in life! This is the only thing I am good at and now I can’t even do this - I’m a complete failure!” I slammed doors wasted more money on something that didn’t matter. This rocky road was becoming a battle I was going to win and after spending over £20 on ingredients I finally admitted defeat. It had won. I couldn’t do it. I felt a failure. I had not only wasted money, swore at my husband and acted like a raving lunatic in front of kids crying into my seized chocolate I had surprised myself.
The things that I said about myself, did I really believe them? I thought I had embraced Gods grace for me. How could a traybake shake me so much. Did I really base that much of self worth in my cooking. What was so awful about buying cookies?!?
It’s a funny story and looking back I can laugh. But I had to answer those questions. Who really cared about the traybake? My friends didn’t. It was pride and God was teaching me through this. Niki, you can’t be perfect. It’s not about what you can do. Accept my grace.
I was sure I had dealt with these insecurities already and I shocked myself.
Tonight as I remember this day I am reminded of the words of a song, “You’re not finished with me yet! By your power, I can change I can change. You’re not finished with me yet.” These words that are circling round my head.. and I’m am not so tunefully singing them and can’t stop tears welling up as I think about Gods grace and abundant love…God is not done with me! He has pruned me, moulded me, pointed out the stuff I’m not proud of, shone light on the darkness and lifted me out of the filth! He’s saved my life! And yet he’s not finished! I am so grateful! He’s never done with me, he is never going to stop loving me..I literally am tired of my own voice saying sorry at times, I’m tired of making the same mistakes and repeating the same patterns but He never ever ever tires of forgiving me! He adores me. I am the apple of his eye! And he’s not done!!! In fact I believe the best is yet to come! Instead of sitting still and having my story stop here I will run forward and press on and into what comes next!
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -- Philippians 1:6
How exciting. So yes, a mint aero chocolate rocky road may still reduce me to a potty mouth lunatic but there is grace for me!!! He’s not done! In his goodness he says keep going , keep pressing on toward the goal. My story isn’t over. It’s still being written. My worth is not found in what I can do but who I am in Christ and what he has done for me! I am not defined by my failures and disappointments. Today I had those same friends over for lunch. I love cooking for people and I really enjoyed preparing and making them lunch and for pudding…. I bought some cookies. I am learning it’s all about grace not perfection!
P.S. My beautiful and talented friend Carol Anne was also defeated by the rocky road recipe but she didn’t swear!!! She kindly sent me a picture of her separated chocolate and told me I wasn’t the only one. Don’t you just love friends like that?
I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I will press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -- Philippians 3:13-14
Love Niki x
Welcome to Falkirk Vineyard Ladies blog!
As our first entry I want to introduce myself, the team, where we have come from and our vision for this ministry.
My name is Lyndsey Henderson and I am married to Blair, we have a little girl, Grace and our second bundle is due any time now. I have been leading this ministry for 3 years and am constantly amazed at how God is blessing us and the work we do. Our ministry started from a few friends at church wanting to hang out, this turned into our first ever Craft Night. We invited our friends to a night of sharing ideas and teaching crafts, it was held in my house and we had about 16 ladies. After that we had a Clothes Swap, which was about 15-20 ladies. Fast forward 3 years to April 2017 and we held our annual clothes swap with over 60 women in attendance, the majority who were not from our church. ISN’T GOD AMAZING!
We now have an awesome team of women who work so hard to provide events which we can bring our friends to, help us to build relationships with one another and have fun! The team for 2017/18 is Mhairi Sargent, Sandra Innes, Jennifer Franklin, Joanna Orr and Joanne Kilpatrick. These ladies have such a heart for women and serve with enthusiasm and joy and I am privileged to have them serving in this ministry.
God is now challenging us to grow, expand our tents (as our Pastor Andrew McNinch says) and to step into what God has for this ministry.
But don’t worry, our events will run again this year, only bigger and better! We have another 5 events for you to enjoy with your family and friends. Our vision is to provide opportunities to build authentic and loving relationships with women inside the church, outside the church, women we know and women we don’t.
This year we will also be holding gathering events for those women in our church to get together and spend time talking about our lives, God and everything else in between. There will be three opportunities and we will have food, a lovely lady will share what God has been speaking to them about (5/10 minutes) and we will spend time encouraging one another, praying for each other and hearing from God. What better way to grow in our faith and in friendships.
There is also a small movement starting, where women are meeting up in a mentoring role. This is for women who feel they would benefit from having someone to talk to about life, problems, God, studying the bible or if you just need a listening ear. If you are reading this and thinking I would really appreciate someone just to meet up with and chat with, someone to listen to or help me through something, then please approach any member of the women’s team and we will take it from there.
Proverbs 27 v17 ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’
And of course our fantastic blog has started. This is an opportunity for women to encourage each other and share stories of God in their lives. It will be updated at least once a month with a story, thought or reading from a different women in our church. Helping to come alongside one another, encouraging and spurring each other on.
I hope you have enjoyed reading the news of FV Ladies and are excited for the year ahead. Follow us on Instagram for updates and news and know that we are so excited for what God has in store for you women this year!
Thoughts, experiences, and encouragement from the ladies of Falkirk Vineyard.