Thursday, 27 August 2015

All The Fun Of The Fair!

I am very blessed with my family and it is great that we are fortunate to all live close by each other. Once a year in the summer holidays we enjoy an outing to the sea side and the fun fair. Yesterday was the day. Different plans had to be made because of the rain and special people were missing, however we made it to the fun fair, well two fun fairs, following four very excited children! And maybe one slightly excited teenager?!?!
We got wristbands for the cousins and a few tokens for the grown-ups who had to accompany the children on some of the rides!

We enjoyed the evening, rushing from ride to ride. There was some disappointment from not quite being tall enough...yet! But more enjoyment, many faces of wonder and smiles of achievement from going on the BIG rides!
We walked past the biggest, most thrilling ride - the one that takes you upside down, spins you round and completely lifts you out of your seat. Having been on it once before, I foolishly said, I love that one. My neice then suggests that we might like to go on it together! I reply that I can't as I have not got any tokens. My sister says, I have - use these ones!
I dither. My sensible head says NO! I can't do it, I'm nearly 40! I can't do it, I'm scared! However, at the same time, my not so sensible head says, You go girl! Do it - it will be amazing. You might not get the chance again.

So my sensible head lost and I went on the ride. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I think the whole of the fun fair heard my screams and when it finished I thanked my neice for taking me on the ride. 

I was so glad I did not talk myself out of it or give in to being scared. I had no idea how I would feel hanging 20 metres up in the air but I did not let the unknown stop me. In truth it felt exhilarating, my screams were with excitement, it was great to share the thrill with my neice and the view, even though upside down, was fantastic. 

How often do I miss such opportunities because I stick with the known, with what is safe because I am too scared to take a step in a different direction? 
How thankful was I that my sister gave me the tokens so I could appreciate the experience of the ride? 

Often I feel prompted to take a step in an unknown direction - to make a decision differently to how I have made it so many times before and like the ride, it has led to great blessings. It is not always instant like the thrill of the ride, but persevering in those unknown steps is leading to a better view. 

When the challenge comes to take those unknown steps I hope I am bold enough to not listen as I try to talk myself out of it, because as I take those unknown steps, and as you might take them also, there are...
...blessings of joy
...blessings of true relationships
...blessings of new views
                                             ...for us all to share in. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Better Choice

Last October when I watched 'The Croods' for the first time, the opening lines from Eep really touched me, especially the line, 'A hope that things will be better today than they were yesterday.' Over this past year, there have been many nights when I have thanked God for getting me to the end of the day and been hopeful that tomorrow would be a better day.

Would I, if it had been possible, avoided the day that I had just journeyed? I don't know? I know I would rather not face the pain and the hurt and the disappointment but on the flip side, I'm thankful for the precious moments I share with my children, my family and my friends and I'm thankful for the things I am learning about myself. Also, I know that if I went back over that day, there would be at least one blessing to be thankful for.

When I get up in the morning I have no idea what is going to come my way that day. I might plan to do certain things or go out to a particular place but really who knows what might happen? What I do know is that it is up to me how I respond to the different things that come my way. Things might happen that are not my choice but it is my choice how I react. I cannot and must not blame anyone else for the choices I make.

I make that choice and it might be that I react in the heat of the moment or it might be that I consider long and hard how I should respond. However the choice is made, it is my choice - no one else can be held responsible for the choices I make.

If I am honest, I make wrong choices and sometimes respond to things in the wrong way and because I get it wrong, I know I cannot criticise or judge others for the decisions and choices they make.
I suppose what I am trying to say is, that it is my choice as to whether 'things will be better today than they were yesterday'. I can make the more valuable choice to learn from the things I got wrong yesterday and use that experience to make today better.

It's a big ask to make the better choice and it is hard work but when you succeed it is so worthwhile in so many ways - ways that we may not even realise.

With every sun comes a new day and the opportunity to walk good steps, to make meaningful choices whatever that new day may bring.

I can also, if I choose, walk into that new day in the confidence that I am not alone and that I never will be. I can hold on to the One who has already walked my new day and I can listen for the whisper of His direction and pause to consider His guidance and unfailing love which helps me to make the better choice.
'Whether you turn to the right or to the left, 
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 
"This is the way; walk in it."'
Isaiah 30:21 (New International Version)