brain farts, Life in youth ministry, Uncategorized

Incomplete

incomplete

Does the word ‘incomplete‘ stress anybody else out? Leaving tasks or jobs or assignments only half-done, or slightly attempted? This is something that really irks me – really pushes my limits. Even if it’s just the laundry – bringing in the dry stuff, but not going the next step and actually folding and putting it away. Bringing it in is only half the job. It’s incomplete. Blegh.

The last few weeks have been filled with assignments, readings, power-points and even some oral presentations as I squelch my way through an intensive Certificate IV. I worked my rear end off in the first 2 weeks to stay up to speed with everyone in my class who was able to attend face-to-face sessions whilst I was not. I submitted stuff, I worked into the wee hours and I bailed on things like vacuuming and doing the dishes.

This meant my house felt incomplete. It meant my weeks felt unfinished because I hadn’t done what I usually do.

Then I got – by the grace of God – to the final sections of this course (which has been a struggle at the best of times) and realised there’s a possibility I may not complete it due to some of the final requirements. So my house is back to being completed on a weekly basis, but now my assignments and my course may go incomplete.

Anyone else feeling that tension? Urgh. The very thought that I worked so hard for something that might now actually not eventuate brings on the tears and the panic and the guilt. The ‘incompletness’ of it makes me feel like I was never going to be good enough to finish it in the fist place, so why did I try? Why did I try something new?

During my latest episode of stress induced guilt and tears (or was it guilt induced tears and stress…?) over it all, this memory flashed into my mind:

image1 (8)

A lovely friend had this made up for my birthday. It’s one-of-a-kind. Hand-made. Unique to me and created for who she knows I am. And you know what? I got a little perspective. I am not this course – complete or incomplete. I am not the vacuuming – done or not done. I am not the washing or the folding or the dishes or the gardening…I’m actually none of the things that I put such incredible pressure on myself to have complete.

I’m the sort of person who gets lost, pretty quick, in the concept that my feelings or my actions or even my thoughts or what someone says about me is what I am.

God’s Word says the opposite though – there’s so much more to who I am in Christ than what I can complete. I am actually enough already, regardless of whether the washing gets done today or not.

And I am enough already regardless of whether I get a full course completion or not. Who am I performing in the course for anyway…? God? Me? The facilitator? My boss? At the end of the day, the skills and knowledge that I learned along the way aren’t forgotten because I may or may not get a piece of paper at the end. The people I met and the conversations I had during that time aren’t nothing. Every experience I have is worth it because I learnt something and it was were I was meant to be at that time…so complete or not, I guess what I’m learning now is that the outcome doesn’t define my worth or competence.

Completing the course doesn’t define my abilities and role as a student or an employee and completing the dishes or the laundry doesn’t define my abilities and role as a mother and wife either…I. Am. Enough.

brain farts, Uncategorized

Dear me…

dear-me-pic

Dear Me,
I’m future you! Fancy that. I want to tell you a few things that these years have shown me and taught me…they won’t change you in the past, but they can help you as the years roll on.

You are beautiful. You already are. You actually always were and it bums me out that you never accepted that. Your clothing size – doesn’t matter. Your university qualifications – not where you find your worth. Your job – not what makes you who you are. Having said all that, I want you to know that being a mother also doesn’t define you…you will love your new role as Little E’s mum and you will learn crazy-amounts about yourself, your husband, your family and your friendships…but it doesn’t make you who you are.

Dear past-me…enjoy life where you are because this version of you and the things you’re doing won’t exist soon. God is shaping and changing you with each new experience. Learn to love the you that you are today and lean in to the changes and the challenges. Don’t try so hard to cling to the past, to the things that you used to know…they served you well and were important for a time, but God is leading you down paths that you can’t even imagine! Adventures await, and if you hold on too tightly, you’ll miss them.

Don’t get so caught up in people-pleasing, following the crowd, doing things you think people expect you to do and trying to fit in…future you knows that those things don’t matter! Future you knows that your time and heart will be too full of better things to worry about the trivial. Stand out! Stand out and stand up – be an example to the daughter who is watching you so intently.

Don’t compare your journey with those around you…there isn’t another you and there isn’t a story the same – so why bother? Focus on where God is taking you, your family, your world and go there! Look up, look forward…

Read more.
Watch less.
Cook more.
Walk more.
Try new things.
Say ‘I love you’ all the time.
Hug more.
High five more.
Laugh more and be silly more…what do you have to lose?

That saying ‘dance like no one is watching’…? Yeh, actually do that, would you? Dance with Little E because one day, she’ll probably ask you to drop her off a block from her friend’s house and give you a nod while her headphones are glued to her ears instead.

Past-me, I liked you. But future-you will be even better because of Who created you. Who you are comes from Someone greater, so you know it’s good! Past-me, I hope you know I appreciate what you did for future-me…you’ve helped me as the years have rolled on.

(image courtesy of pinterest)

*new blog series*

Week one – “give Him time to steep the soul”

“We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken.” ~ Amy Carmichael

So it’s been a week since I had to get up every day at what I like to call ‘too early’! And it’s been a busy week, that’s for sure…went back to my old part time job, cracked into my first online lecture and hooked into the student allowances offered by the government. I got my volunteer placement sorted out and I also organised my volunteering days at the op-shop/vintage wares and coffee shop that I help out in.

But before I get too far off track, let me draw attention to the quote at the beginning – what beautiful and refreshing words! How much does her wisdom make you want to grab the Bible, a travel mug, a journal and set off in the direction if some open space? I just wanted to dash down to the beach and take up residence on a bench, looking out over the beauty of God’s creation…only it’s been raining here intermittently so I didn’t.

But I found those words very reassuring that there is ALWAYS space and time in God’s calendar for me. I’m not bound by the restrictions of this world – I can seek Him whenever and wherever I need and want. And I need to make it more often than it has been. If I can take the time to create more of a Sabbath in each of my weeks, I know I’ll feel better. I’m by nature, a glass-half-empty person.

Unfortunately.

But quotes like this coupled with the words of God in His timeless Book make me want to be more of a positive person. Especially as I head into such change for the next 12 months. I have to stop. Listen. And then just remember that He is a lamp unto my feet, and He shows me just what I need to know and when I need to know it.

This week, I encourage you to step into a space of open air. Pause. Feel the breeze of His Holy Spirit. And just know that He is with you, guiding you on in this adventure. Sowing you step by step, the next part of your journey. Be certain in Him…

*new blog series*

The next step…

Magandang gabi – good evening!

So the countdown is on – my story, my walk with God & my hubby, is about to take a trip down a much more unknown path! Three more full days at work and then that’s it – my contract is up and I’m out of the office! Hubby, who is 1 semester into a 4 year undergrad and I decided that due to the contract sitch, it would be back to the books for me!

So in a week and a half, I’m a student again! Such a crazy decision, but the right one for us.
I will be honest though, it’s pretty unsettling. No steady income…no daily office routines…no early alarms…so many ‘not any more’ moments without this job. It will be sad to say goodbye to my coordinator, the volunteers and my cosy desk that faces all the windows. There’s just something about the security of a job…which is where I realised BIG TIME how wrong my attitude had become.

Did you see that word in there? SECURITY. Big word. Many uses. And I had it totally wrong. For almost the whole time I had this job! Which is why this change in circumstances couldn’t have come at a better time…and God knew this. My focus had shifted from His providence and His gifts and His leading to how could I make hubby and I safe, secure and with the bills paid. I was anxious in my busyness, anxious to make sure that I had it all under control.

So, stepping out in faith – even if its just to study alongside my hubby for a while – is how I’m going to try to rectify that reliance upon God. Lots of changes are going to be happening during this time, so this blog is going to change along with everything else to document bits and pieces of this new journey. Feel free to stay tuned! Can’t promise exciting anecdotes, receipts or ‘how-to’ moments – cant promise fashion advice, relationship drama or exiting photos.

But I can promise honesty. Thanks for reading!

(Picture: Pinterest)

20130716-202713.jpg

Uncategorized

Instalife

I just read an article in Relevant Magazine entitled

Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life

…and at first I wasn’t quite sure how to take it.

It was definitely food for thought, but then the more I thought about it – the more I got confused! Do I Instagram too much of what I perceive to be ‘my life’? Is anybody ACTUALLY interested in the statuses I write or do they simply ‘like’ them because that’s what you do?

On occasion I have found myself ‘liking’ a status without reading it because a) the writer is a friend of mine and b) I’m assuming it’s a good status! How pathetic. I obviously don’t care what this person has to say – why then should I expect others to care what I say?

Makes me think twice before uploading a random brainfart or funny moment from the office…does anyone REALLY care?

So, there come days when I feel very inclined to hit ‘deactivate account’ on my Facebook and Instagram and never again consider joining twitter….but then I remember that my parents and quite a lot of friends live overseas. Instagram and Facebook are the primary means in which I stay in contact with them…

So by deleting the accounts – by NOT sharing photos and thoughts and by NOT ‘liking’ theirs’ – am I being selfish?? Of course, there’s email and the ol’ snail mail. I could get back into the lost art of letter writing – which I happen to adore! Snail mail isn’t always trustworthy however, and not everyone checks email…those are my reasonings.

Am I right? Or am I justifying using Facebook to contact these few and far between friends and family in the hopes that OTHERS will see the ‘life’ that I lead? That it’s meant for the eyes of those I miss, but I secretly hope those around the corner will see it too.

This led me to consider more deeply why I follow certain friends on Instagram and Facebook and not others…and I instantly knew it was because their photos of their ‘perfect life’ filled with its ease, joy and brilliancy make me want to push them off a cliff! Am I this sort of villain for their lives as well then?

How incredibly unchristian – nay, inhumane! – of me! Some friend I am! Jealousy drips from me as I seethe, looking at their beautiful shot of the

romantic stroll on the beach

or the

awesome anniversary present

or the

perfect chocolate cake made in 4 minutes

!!

Jesus is not impressed with this side of me, I can tell you that.

So how does one turn the tables on this almost stalker-like obsession we have with watching utterly everything other people do?? How do I go from wanting to punch the person with the status of

taking kids to shops

and

like this status for a rate

to being at peace in Christ with myself and therefore being at peace with social media? -which by the way, is NOT GOING AWAY, so either get on board or move to a hole in the Simpson Desert! It’s here to stay, people. There is no escape. (That sounds a bit scary doesn’t it! Haha)

Just have to learn to adjust to it…adapt, utilise, and live how we have been commanded to live.

There are aspects of Facebook and Instagram that make it a brilliant tool for encouragement, support and love too…it isn’t all bad. It’s just how you choose to use it I think…..so how WILL I use it…??

Phil. 4:8 “from now on brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.”

Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life