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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Wasting Time?





Another week has come and gone, and this week I'm reminded to make the most of my time.  It's only a matter of weeks now before we make our move to England and I'm getting EXCITED!!  At the same time, I don't want to just wish away the days that are left here, but I do find myself struggling to make the most of what's left.

In a transition time it's easy to see the struggle, but I think it's always there.  I read a great blogger this week that talks about "the pillow test" being her mark of whether she spent her time wisely that day.  She's self-employed and so has the full control of her schedule.  When her head hits the pillow she does a quick check of the day, holding herself accountable to how she spent her time.  She recently took a contentment challenge (take a look here) which I loved reading about as it's similar to my Project 333.  Another of my new favourite bloggers, Katie O'Keefe, just took the challenge too - you can read her story here.  

In the midst of reading these other ladies' experiences of learning to be content, I'm spurred on in my own journey to be content, live in the moment and be intentional with every day, remembering that it is a GIFT. 

So, I'm back to it.  Setting goals for the next few weeks and months to remind myself that if I'm intentional, dream big and seek God for His wisdom in my days, through Him, I can accomplish great things.  The days will not be wasted!

vk

Updated August 1:  Just found this video and it's so applicable to my blog post that I'm adding it here for you to enjoy too... think I'll add this book to my reading list!!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Riding the waves of Joy, Sadness and Amazing Grace...

Photo: Moses Yu Photography

Sit tight, things might get a little deep here, but go there with me, I hope you'll be encouraged...

This is the time our baby was due, and it's been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me.  The joy of celebrating with my two friends whose babies were due at the same time, the sadness at the treasure we lost, and the overwhelming recognition of grace as we look back and also see the starting point to the healing of my body from sickness.

Over the last few days I've been doing a lot of thinking, praying and I admit to some wallowing too, and have been comforted by a few nuggets of Truth that I'd like to share...

I love this quote from Ann Voskamp, who also happens to be the author of an amazing book called "One Thousand Gifts".  She says:

"What messes our life up most -- is the expectation of what our life is supposed to look like"

For me, that's true, and in recognizing the weight of the expectations I have for what life is "supposed to look like" I'm learning to let go and live, thankful for what life does look like, in the here and now.

I'm also realizing the truth that God doesn't promise us a happy marriage, 2.4 children and a dream career to boot.  He doesn't even promise us health, comfort or financial security.  All those things are gifts. They should not be my expectations.  We do receive amazing gifts that are given by His grace.  They certainly aren't somehow deserved or earned and I need to remember that and choose to be thankful for what I do have, rather than focussing on what I don't have.

All this is things I know in my head, but it's in these days that I'm reminded to let them sink into my heart.  I pray you'd let them sink into your too.

Love from Across the Water x



Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Fear of Uncertainty and the Unknown.



Stepping into the unknown is a scary thing.  I recognize my own fear and anxiety in that area comes from an insecurity as I come to realize again my lack of control over life's circumstances.  One of my deepest needs in life is to feel like I'm in control and that there is certainty.  As a child I wanted to know what we would be doing that day and when.  I needed to know what we would eat at meal times and when we were on holiday, what activities we would be doing that day.  In knowing the plan, I found security.  I liked to know what was ahead of me.  In my late high school and early twenties years I had a plan of what my life was going to look like, what job I would have, the car I would like to drive, what age I would get married and when I would have kids and how many.  It was all mapped out!!

Over the last few years my life has taken twists and turns that I never planned or would have imagined possible.  I know now that I was never in control anyway.  Any illusion of being in the driving seat of my life was just that, an illusion.  Now as I step out, knowing full well that life is uncertain, it's a scary thing. Life hasn't changed, but my perspective has.  I recognize my need for certainty and control, and yet at the same time I see that I am not able to manipulate the circumstances of life to be what I want them to be - no matter how hard I try.  So if life is uncertain, why do we have this need for certainty and security?   I believe that we've been created by a God who never changes, He's the same yesterday, today and forever and in Him we can be 100% certain.  No matter what the circumstance, He will remain steadfast.  It's in this truth that I'm clinging to as I nervously tiptoe once again into the unknown, knowing that He won't leave me, and that even if my plans and dreams don't work out the way I might want, ultimately His plan is the one that will prevail, and His plan is the one that is always best (not always most comfortable or most easy, but best).  In this I am certain.
source: unkown


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Taking Care - 2 of My Favourite TED Talks

Our bodies are a gift.  Health is a gift.  I am learning to recognize and appreciate that more and more.  I believe we're called to take care of what's been entrusted to us, and that includes our body.  I've been guilty of using and abusing mine, pushing it to the limits thinking I'm invincible!  Anyone with me?!

Recently we've been really into watching TED talks and I'm fascinated by so many of them!  Here's two of my favourite that talk about taking care of ourselves so that we can be the best we were made to be.

Jamie Oliver's TED talk - Teach every child about food



David Amen's TED talk - Change your Brain, Change your Life.



Wednesday, 3 July 2013

3 months. 33 items of clothing. Join me - I dare you!

Over the last few months we've been made aware of the benefits of living a more simple life and are challenging ourselves to learn and grow in this area.  If you've been reading my blog for a while you may have read my post: 7 reasons why less is more  and my last post on ways to stress less.  In both these posts I've been sharing with you some of the benefits I'm learning of the freedom of living simply and owning with less stuff. 

Today, I've finally taken the plunge to apply some of this knowledge in the area of... my wardrobe!  I don't know about you, but this is an area in my life that could do with some minimizing!  As we packed up our crate to ship to England ready for our arrival there in September, we had the chance to sort through our stuff, so conveniently, I'd already made a start. 

For me, I'm pretty task oriented and goal driven, and so when I stumbled upon something called "Project 333" I loved it.  The Project 333 challenge is to live with only 33 items of clothing for 3 months.  Everything else gets stored away, donated or thrown out.  You can read more in detail at www.theproject333.com

The aim is to recognize the "excess" in our lives and free ourselves up to focus on what really matters most to us.


For where your treasure is there your heart will be also -Matthew 6:21

As I sorted through my collection, it was actually a more sobering experience than I expected.  The latest hash tag trend: #firstworldproblems came to mind, while I realized and let go of my too-strong-attachments to much of my stuff.  After all, that's all it is, right? Stuff.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? - Matthew 6:25


So, for roughly the next 3 months, my wardrobe will look like this:




I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

Will you take the challenge to experience for a short time, in just one area of life, the freedom of living with less stuff?  The reduced stress of simplifying things? Join me - I dare you!

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If you'd like to know more you can read Joshua Becker's tips at:
www.becomingminimalist.com 
and Kate from The Small Things Blog's similar challenge at: www.thesmallthingsblog.com