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Week five – ‘distinction’

Welcome to the end of the fourth week of Uni and the fifth week of this new adventure…and you know what, I feel like I’ve been doing this for ages! I guess it’s all my original uni memories filtering through! I’m enjoying it though – I really am! I’m even liking the course homework for the most part. Some of the stuff I’m learning – really interesting! & you know what? Self-reflection and journaling is something we are encouraged to do! So how brilliant is that? This blog works brilliantly. High five!

Anyway, I want to share briefly with you about the weekend away hubby and I have just got back from. I’ll try and be as coherent as I can, but I’m pretty knackered, so apologies in advance if I’m boring – haven’t exactly got bucketfuls of mental power! So hubby and I are a part of a Wednesday Bible study group and we all decided to get away for a few days to le beach! Who doesn’t like mini-getaways, especially with friends? I do have to be honest though, I wasn’t super excited to be going initially…I knew I’d have to bring homework with me and so would hubby.

But guess who turned my attitude around almost immediately? God is good! A wise friend of mine made the poignant comment that He cares about the little things in my life as much as the big things. And this was a trivial thing in the grand scheme of things, but God knew I needed to spend time with people who build me up and encourage me in my faith. So as soon as hubby and I were in the car with another friend, heading down to the beach holiday house on Friday night, I was in better spirits 🙂 The weekend, while still holding homework, held hilarity, joy, fun, great food and perfect weather. I couldn’t have felt more blessed by those who came along. Just goes to show that I shouldn’t write things off before giving them a shot.

In other news –

I GOT A DISTINCTION!

Haha! I know I know, bit disjointed throwing that piece of news in here after my first story, but I wanted to get this down! I have an undergrad with a major and a minor in English lit and world history and a completed 6 months of a twelve month teaching diploma…and throughout that ENTIRE time, I’m quite sure I got 1 maybe 2 distinctions for my work. Now, I love studying. I love learning. I love being a student. It’s a bit sad, but I really do! Having said that however, I’m not a great student. I definitely have a credit average with quite a spattering of ‘passes’ thrown in there too. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s just always been that way.

Until now!

I was so pleased when I saw the mark! Even though the paper wasn’t very long or in depth, I was still stoked! Brought a smile to hubby’s face too which made my feel even better! And where does the credit for this ‘D’ go? All God, man! Hands down! He’s the one who has led me to this grad. dip in TESOL, He’s the one that brought those ideas and those words forth in my paper and I’m so thankful! It’s a real morale booster for future work 🙂

So there you have it, feeling quite pleased as we step into this new week. Pleased and expectant to see what God has in store!

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Week four – ‘being thankful’

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I found this picture (courtesy of the brilliant abyss that is Pinterest!) just before starting out to write this week’s instalment…and it instantly struck a chord with me! So much goes on in life that I forget just how blessed I am – I forget to be ever thankful. Often I only remember to be thankful when something big – something noticeable and different – occurs. However, it ought be something much more common in my day-to-day life.

So, for something different this week, here’s a list of the small things that have happened recently that I’m thankful for!
~ the rain we’ve been having. Yes it’s been a lot, and it’s been windy, but it’s beautiful! Refreshing and cleansing.
~ ‘family’ arriving from Japan. They’re only here for a short while, but it’s always a pleasure seeing them
~ a Distinction for a mini assignment. It’s worth next to nothing as a part of my whole grade, but nonetheless – hurrah!
~ my parent’s wedding anniversary – what an example they are!
~ my hubby being so willing to get stuck into his new job to help provide for us! What a champ
~ the friendships of those around me…that’s definitely not a hard one! So thankful for my friends and family
~ the girls that I mentor. I know I’m doing the mentoring but I gain so much from those awesome chicks!
~ awesome bike rides with my hubby – such fun we have scooting around and racing each other!
~ my warm comfy bed!

There you have it – a brief list of things from recent times that I’m thankful for. If you look closely, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Like right now as well – the sun is shining and the sky is a brilliant blue! God never fails to showcase His artistry.

What can I find in this coming week to be thankful for? I’m a day late in getting this post up, but already I’ve got a few things that I could add to this list! Even when things might be looking sour or its already been a bad day, there are small things that the Holy Spirit blows across my path, stirring a word of gratefulness in my soul.

What are you thankful for today?

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Week three – ‘keep calm and…..’

It’s week three. Already. We’re there. And boy, has the past week been one random whirlwind! The most important and life-altering event was that hubby’s workplace went into liquidation. We could see it coming for a while now, and through the good graces of The Lord, we were somewhat prepared – but still. Bit of a shock to the system!

But in amongst that, was God’s amazingly timed provision of a new part time job for the hubby. How brilliant is that? He knew just what we would need and when and – BAM! God delivers. He always has a plan, always has it under control. In those moments of the unknown; the stresses of the world coming at you, He waits to see where you’ll turn.

That’s always been a big one for me. Turning first to The Lord – seeking solace in His word, His arms and His plans for this life rather than running to Facebook or my friends. Neither of which is wrong, but it shouldn’t be first port of call. The quiet peace of the Almighty should be number 1.

So this past week – like I said last time, I was gearing up for my first session of ‘placement’ at the detention centre…which was a pretty disheartening day overall unfortunately. Very disorganised place, with almost nothing for volunteer types to actually do. So in a sense, it felt like a bust. I’m going back next week, but not for as long so we’ll see if that makes for a better day. I want to actually see and get involved in the English class, conversation corners and homework help. So we’ll see!

The other ‘bust’ from this past week was that I missed out on a job opportunity that had been portrayed as a ‘sure thing’ more or less. It was a disappointing blow and has left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth in regards to that organisation, but at the end of the day – that will be for the best. Doesn’t feel like it right now, but it will be because God will have me head elsewhere. There’ll be somewhere I’m supposed to end up and to get there, that job would have stood in the way. Patience is the key right here…something I am constantly working on!

To top off the craziness of the week, my lecturer hooked me up with a Korean Masters student to help tutor while saying she’s impressed I’m taking on 4 subjects this semester!

I’m sorry, what?!

I thought 4 was the norm…?
Way to not lay any pressure on! Ha!
Never mind. Like hubby said, this is where God has me, so just do the best that you can with what you have.
He’s right.
They didn’t say I couldn’t do 4 anyway! 🙂

So there you have it! Phew! Need a lie down? I do! It’s been messy and hectic and random and busy! But that’s life, right? Full. Life is full of the works of the Almighty, and in Him all things are possible!
Stay tuned…

The view from the detention centre…stunning right? 🙂

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Week two – “do not be anxious…”

Here we are at the beginning of a new week already, and I’d like to share a very well known verse with you…Philippians 4:6. Who hasn’t read that recently, I mean – honestly, who hasn’t?! It’s SUCH a brilliant verse and every time I come across it, there’s something going on that this verse really helps clear up.

Do not be anxious…

Do not be anxious…

Did you see that? The verse starts with a command, not a suggestion. God isn’t suggesting we not be anxious – He’s not giving it as an option for our lives. He’s full-on stating it. It’s out there. Don’t do it. And I love that. I love the simplicity of the guidance He gives us…but I also struggle with it. It’s a million times easier for me to write here that we should not be anxious because it’s something God has asked of us than it is for me to actually live it out.

Do I get an ‘amen’ here from anyone? There are quite a few verses and commands that make me feel like I’ll never live up to it all…but then some simple words from an aunt of mine come back to me –

One thing at a time.

Like with my long list of new assignments for this new chapter in my life, I can physically only do one at a time. I can only read, write, listen to and study one thing at a time if I want to actually understand what I’m learning. The same goes for commands like this from The Lord. One thing at a time. What am I feeling anxious about today? Bring it before The Lord and let it into His strong and capable hands. What am I feeling anxious about tonight? Bring that to The Lord in the same manner. What am I feeling anxious about for next Wednesday? Again, God is waiting for me, arms open and willing to take my fear and anxiety.

The verse then says something about prayer. What was that? In every situation? Is God for serious?! Everything is prayer-worthy? Well, that just makes it a WHOLE lot sweeter! My problems – the situations that I face – are no less important to God than the ones the Prime Minister faces. Or Beyonce. Or the Russian Tzar.

So, tomorrow I have my first day of ‘placement’ – volunteering at a detention centre. And I’m anxious about it. I have NO idea what to expect or what they’ll expect of me. But just writing this blog and looking a little more closely at this verse has given me the courage I need to bring my anxiety before the Holy Creator and trust that His will be done through me. I am important to Him.

This week, let me encourage you to do the same. Bring what eats you up inside to the One who can release the anxiety. Bring it to the One who offers peace. Let this be your journey this week…