Sunday, 19 November 2017

Finding Laughter

This week I read something that made me feel sad.

Children laugh, on average, 150 times a day. Adults laugh, on average, only six times a day.

Wow - I think I miss out being an adult!

Only the day before I read the quote, I was listening to the children laughing and stopped to think what a beautiful sound it was. One because, if I can be honest, it made a change from bickering and two because it sounded so free.

It seems crazy to think that as my life has progressed my ability to laugh has reduced. It does not seem quite right that for every one time I laugh, my children are capable of laughing 25 times. A statistic I would like to be different - I would like to be more like a child.

That is something Jesus also suggests, to be more childlike. Children are curious, they explore - often with their eyes wide open, searching and usually finding something to satisfy their curiosity. Children love without expectation. Often they are very forgiving and generous. Children are able to give of themselves, simply because that is what they wish to do.

Maybe, because children are so willing to receive, they freely find joy and happiness which leads to lots and lots of laughter.

Maybe my laughter is less as I am much more complicated and far less free. I over think, I come with expectations, I am wary of being curious or exploring something new. I struggle to give of myself as I am unsure of what I might receive in return.

I do not want to be average! Instead I choose to find laughter. I wonder if it may not be an easy choice as it will mean letting go. Finding real laughter and the freedom that it brings means letting go of expectations and overthinking. Curiosity will have to take the place of planning how things will turn out. As I take each new step, I will have to be free rather than bound to what has been.

I very much imagine this will involve one step forward and then a few steps back - I will not be hitting the 150 mark straight away!

It will be worth the effort and I will persevere because laughter is beautiful, it is contagious, it is uplifting and freeing. Average is simply no comparison.

Monday, 6 November 2017

I Choose To Notice...

If I am honest, it does not take much to make me cry. I can well up at the smallest thing! Someone shows kindness - not necessarily to me - and tears appear. Words spoken or sung can, on occasion, have a similar effect. Watching a DVD and my eldest will turn to me and ask, "Are you crying mum?!"

However, the other week, I was not expecting that a journey in a lift would cause me to cry. Usually I take the stairs, although as I was short on time, I went in the lift. It was one of those lifts where there are doors on both sides. So I entered the lift, was ready to ride up when a lady got into the lift from the other doors. We exchanged pleasantries - not that I can really remember what was said - and when we reached the next floor, the lady went to leave the lift. As she walked out she turned to me and said, "I hope you have a great day." This was when the tears came!

So how was a lady I had never met before able to make me cry? Simply because she noticed me. She took the time to see me and gave a small part of herself in order to make a difference to somebody else. The lady showed kindness that took little effort yet was so significant. 

This simple kindness made me stop and think. How often do I rush through the moment, the day or the week, so preoccupied with all that I need to do, that I fail to notice the many opportunities that there are to show kindness?

My encounter with the lady in the lift challenged me to consider all the many people who cross my path each day. Do I really notice the people I see or even talk to as I go about my day? 
The lady who I see as I walk home from the school run, the shop assistant, the people who I work with, the mums who come to toddlers, the teachers, the person waiting to cross over the road, the lady at the post office, my children, my friends and family?
Do I notice them or am I too busy rushing from one thing to the next that I persuade myself that it is OK not to notice?

What if I did choose to notice? To give a small part of me to make a difference to somebody else. To share a smile or even take time to share conversation. To give a helping hand even though it might mean a slight change to my plans. To encourage somebody with a kind, thoughtful word or maybe even two, or three or four!

Choosing to notice might mean I have to go out of my way and maybe my plans might have to change, well hey, why shouldn't my plans be interrupted? If I spend my day looking out for me and all I feel I need, the only person that gains from that is me. However if I am willing to let kindness get in the way of my day, well hey, then that would be great! It also has a wonderful knock on effect...the lady in the lift was kind to me, therefore I wanted to pass that kindness on. 

So tomorrow, as the new day comes, I choose to notice and I hope by making that choice my day will be interrupted by opportunities to bring something brighter to those who might need it. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Something Brighter

This was the view as I turned a corner this morning and then, as I continued on, turning another corner, I noticed that my view had become a grey sky.

For one moment the sky looked beautiful and bright and then, in the next, it was grey and dull.

It reminded me that life can be a bit like that. I might be standing in a moment that is bright and good, then as I take the next step the view changes, the brightness fades and it all looks very different.

This morning those two contrasting views were almost in the same space and this gives me hope. I take courage from the truth that no matter where I am standing, there is always a view to be found which will brighten my situation.

The view may be one of many things - a remembered word, a beautiful child, an encouraging friend, a recollected truth, a hope breathed in, a kindness shared, a moment given - whatever form it might take, it will be there. If I am not able to see it straight away, then I have to keep looking. It is up to me to keep searching until I am able to clearly see that better view.

Being able to find the brightness in the grey, dull moments is a treasure that I should hold on to. It means that when those grey moments come into view, they really are only moments. Instead of seeing everything as dull, I can choose to search until I find that brighter perspective which breaks through.

With every sun comes a new day to journey through and as I do this I know that when the view becomes dull, there will be something brighter just moments away.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

I Hope You Dance

'And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance...I hope you dance'

I like to dance! I'm not fantastic at it, although I'm not terrible at it either! Recently I had a wonderful time dancing at a friend's wedding and it was great to discover that my youngest has a real passion for disco dancing! Whether it's dancing at a wedding, a birthday party, at Peppermint Park or Ritzy's or in my kitchen, for me, there is a feeling of joy and of freedom. I cannot remember ever dancing and feeling grumpy and weighed down.

There are moments in life when there is the choice to either sit it out or dance. 
Right here and now, I choose to dance. 

The easy option would be to sit it out and refuse to dance. I could be the one sat at the edge of the dance floor, with my arms folded, shaking my head, rejecting the offer of a dance. 
Today, I choose to dance. 

As I dance, I can let go of all that weighs me down. When there has been the occasion to dance, I have not planned a routine in my head, I simply dance the steps...however the music might lead! I realise that there is freedom in allowing someone else to take the lead. For me, that is allowing God to guide my steps. 

I know that, at times, my choice has been to sit it out. Refusing to see the joy there is in dancing and instead focusing on the hurt and the pain. Maybe I was hoping for the perfect dance partner to come along. 
However, I now see that I have always had the perfect dance partner. 
So today, I choose to dance. 
I am able to do this for I know, as I dance, I am loved. My steps will not be ridiculed and when I mess up those steps, I will gently be given the opportunity to try again. 

My dance will be new, it will be unique! Sometimes it will be a bit crazy and maybe messy, yet it will be all that it is meant to be. It will be my dance.

I no longer wish to sit it out as that will take me nowhere. I step out, in faith and hope and love and in knowing that this dance, my dance, is going to be good.  


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Being Mum

I love to read, although I most definitely do not have time to read as I used to! Once upon a time I would stay up to the early hours of the morning to finish a book. Nowadays, I find myself re-reading the first few chapters as I am unable to remember what I have previously read - either because I have left it too long to pick up the book again or I fall asleep as I read! 

However, I read what I can and because there is not so much time to read, I try to read what is helpful and useful. Sometimes I find that I am not really reading the words in front of me as my mind has wondered off to another place or is distracted by something else that I feel I need to do. There are times, though, when the words I read almost jump off the page as they have really hit home. These words stay with me all day and are words that I really hope to hold on to. 

Today was one of those times. I was reading an email from Proverbs 31 Ministries which had the title, 'When You Feel Like a Bad Mum'. I took a lot of encouragement from what was written, yet what really stood out was that I am meant to be mum to my 3 children. Within me there is the ability to raise my children. Within me there is everything I need to be mum in the way that my children need me to be their mum. 

Being mum is the biggest responsibility that I will ever be given. I mess up, I say and do the wrong thing, the choices that I make are not always great and patience and kindness are not always part of my parenting.  Yet when I read those words this morning, I felt so encouraged as I am able to find within me, all that I need to take on my role of being mum with boldness and a new determination. 

Often, being mum can be a huge challenge and I feel as if I have run out of words, skills, and strategies. However, if I am able to pause and remind myself that 'I can do this and I have all that I need to do this'; if I am able to take courage knowing that I was purposed to be mum to my 3, then challenges and difficulties can be met, head on, with positivity. 

With every sun comes a new day and the choice to speak this encouragement over who I am as a mum. I can choose to stand strong in the knowledge that I am where I should be, I have been created in just the right way to raise my lovely children in the ways that they need. 

As I write these words, I feel a bit big headed! However I am just saying that, who I am and all that I will be, simply goes together, rather wonderfully, with all my children are and all that they will be. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Be Kind

I found myself in a situation where I was really struggling to know what advice to give my beautiful daughter. And in the first instance I don't think I did the best job!! However in the middle of the night it shouted out to me. The answer was simply to 'be kind'. 

Whatever situation I'm in... I can be kind. Regardless of how others treat me...I can be kind. Wherever I find myself...I can be kind. 

Another lovely lady, who I have the privilege to know, also reminded me recently that it doesn't cost anything to be kind. 

Kindness costs nothing, however it brings great rewards. Showing kindness is a strength and a quality that I am capable of when I decide to put the needs of others before my own.

In choosing kindness, I believe we create a ripple effect that touches the lives of others, especially if, that kindness is unexpected or unusual.

If I choose kindness then hopefully this will bring positivity into the lives of those around me. Maybe I might even be bold enough to seek those opportunities where I can show unexpected, unusual or extraordinary kindness. By making the effort to respond with kindness, even when this is not the easiest or natural choice, I hope to be able to make a difference. If I am saying and showing I choose kindness, in spite of the situation I find myself in, then this may encourage my daughter to find the strength to also choose to be kind.

If I am to live what I believe then kindness should be part of who I am. To be honest, though, kindness is not always easy. Yet, I should persevere and find the strength to pause and respond with kindness rather than in kind, and repeat this response. Hopefully the impact of such actions will be positive and possibly even transforming.

So as I reflect on being kind regardless of others, I can see it will take time and effort to make that choice. It will take practise. I do not believe it will be my natural reaction and I may have a battle with my will. However, as I choose to be kind, my daughter may also see this is a good choice. It's a choice that has a positive knock on effect. Choosing kindness may bring change, there is always the hope that all things can be made new.  

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Life Is What You Make It

Today, when I turned over my calendar this is what I read, "Life is what you make it, always has been, always will be." As I read the quote, I smiled to myself as it was exactly the reminder I needed.

My life may not be where I would have liked it to be, however it is where it is! So instead of dwelling on the why and the what if's, I choose to learn how to embrace this season I find myself in.

How exciting could each day be, if I live knowing that my day will be what I make it?!

It is not possible to go back and make alterations to what has already been. However, I can make a difference today. Instead of looking to others to make a day good, bad or somewhere in between, I should be looking to myself to make something of each new day.

That something could be seeing new opportunities in the day ahead - committing to speaking kindness, love and encouragement over the people in my life, committing to putting someone else's needs before my own. Seeking to make the most and the best out of all this new day brings. Opening my eyes to living life differently and choosing to have hope in this brand new day.

Choosing to accept that 'life is what I make it', let's go of expectation. No-one, other than me, can knock my day down when I accept that I am the one who is making my life what it is. When the knock downs come, I can take a deep breath, let it all go and remind myself that I am 'making' this new day.

For me, the best part is that I do not have to do all this on my own. Each day brings along moments which are new and bright, I believe that I just need to open my eyes wider to see and to not believe that I already know it all.
The One who encourages me to see each day as new, is One who is trustworthy and good - my God who walks right beside me as I discover more and more that, "life is what you make it, always has been, always will be."

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

100 Days of Thankfulness

I think I am a cup half full sort of person. Most of the time I do try to see the positive in a situation or person.

Just over a week ago, at Church, we were challenged to spend the next one hundred days being thankful - to find one thing from the day that we could be thankful about. We decided to take up the challenge and have begun to include 'thankfulness' into our day.

As a family, we often think about being thankful, however making a point of going over the day and then writing down our thanks for that day has made such a difference. For me, looking back over the day in a thankful way has really changed my mind set. It brings the opportunity to consider every new day through brighter, more positive eyes. As the day comes to a close the challenge to look back with a thankful heart really lifts my spirit as I see so much to say thank you for.

Tomorrow is #10 and I am excited about what the next ninety might bring. I hope that I will become a person whose cup is full to overflowing with thankfulness.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

It's OK Not To Be OK

Honestly, of late, there have been a lot of times when I am not OK. Life has taken me down a very different path to what I had expected and it feels like there have been far too many moments that have not been OK.
At times, life hurts or it can feel just so unreal or it is simply just really hard work!

However, overtime I am realising that it really is OK to not be OK. 

There are times when something hurts and my immediate response is to push it aside whilst putting on a brave face. Or, I find the strength, in that moment, to be still - to breathe in and out and then let it go. 
Yet there are times when I am not able to hide the pain and the hurt and I know I am not OK. I may be alone or I may with be others and the 'not being OK' is about to spill out...
What I am beginning to appreciate is whilst it is OK for me to not be OK, no-one else should have to bear the reaction to my hurting.
Yes, I might get frustrated, however if I overstep the mark with my words or my tone then I must apologise. I should also consider how I would like to be spoken to and speak to others in this way. I may feel overwhelmed and even though I pause, I am unable to find the strength to let it go, so instead I can try to show gentleness in my response. 
The day may be a tough one, yet I must remind myself not to take that out on the people around me. However if I am honest and admit I am struggling they may well respond by supporting me through a hug, a prayer, a kind word or a smile. 

In choosing to be open about not being OK, I am choosing to be real and true. I am choosing to accept that in that moment, there is pain, however I also choose to hope that in the moments to come there will be things that are brighter and new. 

There is vulnerability in standing up and saying, "in this moment, I am not OK." I guess I would rather people thought I had it all together, yet the truth is I do not! I wobble, I stumble, I hurt, I cry, I shout and I despair. 

Through it all, I am so grateful that I have discovered the beauty in knowing that with every sun comes a new day. For I know even though this day may be one that is not OK, tomorrow is a brand new day, full of opportunity for things to be more than OK. 

Friday, 12 May 2017

What Takes Up My Space?

I think Pinterest is fab! A search on Pinterest can lead to the discovery of all sorts of wonderful things. Pins that help in so many ways - being mum, my job, and even what nail colour I might have next! What I find particularly helpful is, that as I scroll through the home page, the quotes and verses I come across can really lift my gaze or bring a smile or even make me laugh out loud!

Just this week I realised that sometimes I really do not do myself any favours. I have given too much space and time to negative words and thoughts even to the point where I had started to believe them. Setting off from a negative place where insecurity had begun to guide me, was not proving useful and my steps were not very productive.

So as I was scrolling through Pinterest I suddenly realised that I am the one who allows this negativity room in my thoughts. Each of these positive quotes and verses should be the truth I give space to. Instead of being discouraged, I would like to be encouraged - then I am able to encourage others. Rather than allow myself to feel that I am not good enough, I shall stand on the truth that tells me 'I am loved' - then I am able to love others.

With every sun comes a new day and what I find exciting is that there is opportunity to keep discovering something new. The negative thoughts and words are still likely to come, however when they do, I hope to run from them and instead run toward truth along the brighter path.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Take The First Step...

Over the last few days I have been reading the story of a man called Joshua, who was the guy who took over from Moses. Joshua was given a task to do and not only was this task absolutely huge, it may also have sounded a little bit crazy!

God asked Joshua, along with his army, to march around the city of Jericho for seven days and then the walls would fall down and Joshua and his men would take the city. These walls were between four and five metres high and almost two metres thick.
I wonder if I was asked to do the same whether I might have just laughed out loud?!?!

Yet, Joshua did as he was instructed. They marched around the city once a day for six days and then on the seventh day they marched round seven times and at the sound of the trumpet and at the shouts of the men, the city walls collapsed! WOW!

Joshua faced a monumental task yet he doesn't appear to argue, instead he simply follows the instructions he has been given and also inspires others to do the same.

I would like to find the courage to follow Joshua's example. I believe he saw with eyes that were wider than the situation he found in front of him. Joshua had a faith and a trust that was steadfast because, when faced with what seems a crazy solution to the situation he and his men were facing, they still marched on out.

As they stepped out to take new ground, they went boldly because within them, they had confidence in what they knew about God and what they had seen Him do - deep inside of them must have been the courage to trust. This gives me confidence as I step out into a new chapter of my life.

Sometimes thoughts overwhelm me as do my feelings of fear and insecurity. I can get caught up with feeling that I cannot possible take on this huge task in front of me because I feel that I am not good enough.
However, deep within me, I am able to find the strength to trust and to know that is simply not true. I am able to step out and collapse my wall.
With every sun my faith and trust grows and my eyes see further than the situation I find myself in. My heart has hope and I feel able to march on believing and experiencing that I am held.

I do not know where my marching will take me, yet I will continue on because I know that the One who marches alongside me has also gone before me. I will bravely step out into the newness with expectation and with hope because He makes all things good!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

What I Think

There are times when I just want to not have to think. When I would like to switch off my brain because all the thoughts running through my head are 1) taking me in the completely wrong direction and 2) painful. 

Usually, in moments like this, I will reach for the iPad and play Suduko or watch something on TV - although TV is not currently an option as I gave it up for lent and I have come to the conclusion that I play Suduko just a little bit too often. 

So, I have been trying to use these moments more constructively. Sometimes it works other times I manage to convince myself that I really do need more practise at placing the numbers 1-9 in a square!

Although when I do persevere it often brings blessing. There have been times when I have picked up a book instead of the iPad and I so needed to read the words of that particular chapter. Sometimes it may be a chapter I have read before but because I could not remember where I was up to, it is now a chapter I have read again! Yet, those words were meant to be read again because they were the words of encouragement I needed to be running round my head - far better and more helpful than the negativity and fears that had been chasing around previously. 

It is an effort, however when I talk myself into talking to God rather than just listening to my voice, I find myself fixing on truth rather than on unhelpful uncertainty.  

When things happen of which I have no expectation or seemingly no control over, the first thing I tend to do is think. These thoughts often go into overdrive and when there is no one there to interject or to give support, then there is no telling where these thoughts may take me. 
However if I stop. If I change direction rather than just trying to switch off then I give myself an opportunity to find those better thoughts. 

It's almost like having a little supply of 'good thoughts I can go to when negative ones are dragging me down'!!

If I choose to not make the effort to read and absorb these words of truth, then how will I top up my supply of what is good? Instead, if I build up that supply I have a better chance of being able to deal with whatever it is that is causing the need to feel I want to switch off. 

This treasure that I am learning to build my foundation on provides the opportunity to fix on what is good and true, which can then bring peace. When fear and worry is chasing round my head I do not have peace. Thinking negatively is not helpful and leads me in completely the wrong direction. 

One of these treasures I am continuing to learn is that with every sun comes a new day. So in this new day I will aim to not take myself to a place where I feel I need to switch off my thoughts. Instead I will switch my thoughts to what I know is true and good and I will hope to keep these things running round my head, however tricky that might sometimes be. 

Friday, 31 March 2017

Fixing My Mind

As I look back over today I see that on a couple of occasions I could have reacted completely differently and my day could have been a whole lot worse than the good day that it was. I am not saying that I got everything right today as I so did not! I most definitely made some not very good choices as well!

Often I find myself at a place where I need to make a choice. On the odd occasion that choice is made with no thought as the response I choose is 'just something I do'. Yet, more often than not the choice needs more thought and consideration to make the better response. Sometimes I need to give myself a real talking to in order to make the better response. 

Today, almost unexpectedly, I found myself quite overwhelmed by everything. I could have fixed on being overwhelmed and let my day become a gloomy one, however encouraging words from a beautiful friend meant I was able to lift my gaze and not be swept away by my emotions. This conversation happened at exactly the right time and because they were brave and kind enough to take the time to speak those words, in that moment, my day took an upwards turn rather than a downwards one. 

I am realising that I have the potential to determine in which direction my day goes and all this can happen in a split second moment. I also realise that it is not always easy to make the better choice. So do I just hope that on the majority of occasions my choice will be the right one or is there something that will help me along the way?

Yes, I believe there is something...fixing my mind on what is true and on what is right and on what is lovely. Filling my mind with things that are excellent and praiseworthy surely leads to a better place. A place that gives strength so that when my gaze falls, as it certainly will, I can find so much to lift it back up again. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

It's Going To Be OK

As I sit here life is not what I had imagined or hoped for. At times I feel tired, weary, sad and hurting. However I can still find peace - in this moment I still know that I am OK. I hold on to the promise that it will be completely calm.

I may feel all these things however I choose to not be defined by these feelings. I am able to look back and see that feelings do not last, they may be fleeting or they may hang around for a while...yet they change.

The way I feel about things today is not how I felt in my yesterdays, therefore I can almost guarantee that I will not feel the same in my tomorrows.

Here and now I know - and it is not just a feeling - that it IS going to be OK. I have no idea what 'OK' looks like, yet I absolutely know that is where I am going. What I would like to hold on to even more is that actually I am going to be more than OK because with every sun comes a new day...

Sunday, 12 February 2017

My Story So Far...

In June 1984, when I was almost 8 years old I made the decision to give my heart to Jesus. 

Billy Graham had come to Norwich City Football Ground on the Mission England tour. 

I was sat with Dad in the choir and when they gave the opportunity for people to respond I went forward knowing that I wanted Jesus to be my friend. I knew that I wanted Jesus to be part of my life. 

There wasn't a dramatic transformation and I continued on going to church and bible club. I also had the privilege of going to CUTS or Bible Club Camp as it was known then. 

Each year, Mum and Dad took us on holiday to guest houses that were run by the Methodist Guild. It was great as we made some fantastic friends, some of whom I am still in touch with and I would always look forward to going just to meet up with our friends - although I did always try and go to the morning prayers! 

To be honest I wasn't the easiest daughter in our household and I was a times a little bit rebellious. However I never let go of God, I may have ignored Him or chose not to listen or do His will...yet He stayed faithful. 

As I look back now I can see that God has always been building on to the foundation of my first choice to have Jesus in my life. What I might have seen as routine or just what Christians do, kept adding to the work that 'He began in me'. 
...going to Church
....having Christian friends
....reading the bible 
...listening to Christian music
...knowing that people were praying for me
....going to Spring Harvest, on Christian holidays, to a music conference
...attending House Group
...being involved at church 
And more recently having the privilege of working for our church.

Without all this I wonder if when my world fell apart I may have chosen to run in the other direction and leave God behind. 

However, that is not what happened. I know that God is faithful and God is so good and all that He had provided in those first 30 years of being a Christian gave me a strength that I did not know I had.

Over the last couple of years my relationship with God has gone deeper. I thought I was doing ok as a Christian when actually what I was doing was keeping God in a box. I was the one in control of our relationship. What God did in my life was on my terms not His. 

Now I want God in every part of my life. I am thankful that I am discovering more and more of who God is and how much I am loved. 
A couple of weeks ago I heard someone speak about how Jesus wants to come into every room of our lives. I know that is what I want. I know that my life is fuller with Jesus in every part.

I have learnt that by inviting Jesus into every room, every relationship, every hurt, every circumstance I find myself in, means that I am held. It means I find peace. 

There is a verse in the Bible that says...

I am learning more about what it means to live by faith, I have no idea what my future holds however I do know who holds the future! 
 I am thankful that when it feels too much of a struggle God provides what I need - a hug or words or a smile from a friend, a reminder from His Word or through the wonder of creation - God knows what I need. 

When I gave my heart to Jesus I had no idea of what my life would bring. Yet as I stand here now I have so much to be thankful for. For the most part that is being mum to three beautiful children and what a privilege and responsibility that is. 
In Jesus, God has given us so much and I do not want to keep that to myself. 
I hope that as I keep on with my loving Heavenly Father I can share and show Jesus to Kate, Noah and Lily. I don't always get it right, however I am learning that you can never say I love you too much and that I should always be the first one to say sorry. 

I am discovering that I am best if I take a day at a time or even a step at a time. I believe that is all God asks us to do - when he provided manna for the Israelites and when He taught us to pray, it was just for the day. 
I hope that as I continue on in my walk with Jesus I can find the strength to lift my gaze, to know I am perfectly covered by His love. I choose to do His will through the power of His spirit in me and I hope that I can live a life that loves God and loves others. 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Big Box, Little Box...

It has been a bit of a week! My plans were to take a week off from work and get one or two things done, however that was not to happen!

Once or twice during the week I could have crumbled. I could have chosen to make it all about me and say, 'Why, it is just not fair?' 

There was a time when I would have done that. I am not saying that now, I always make the better choice as I most definitely do not. Instead I am learning that no matter what size box I think I am in, there is always room to think outside it. 

My week off did not go as planned, yet it meant...
...I was not preoccupied whilst I was at work
...there was time to think things through
...when I chose the wrong reaction, I could say sorry and spend time considering my choices rather than burying them away
...actually all the things I had hoped to do could wait - just because I thought I needed to do them, it did not make them a necessity. 

A short time ago, I heard somebody say, "It is not 'why', it is 'what for'?"

I did not ask for these things to happen, however they have. So instead of letting them overwhelm and consume me, I shall try and think differently.

Maybe, instead of putting me (and my reactions or responses) in a box, I will put these things in the box. I shall go to them as I need and deal with them bit by bit - as I need to. I will take it a step at a time. I hope to trust and have faith, knowing it will work out as it should. 
Why is not for me to consider. 
If I look outside the box then maybe it is an opportunity for me to grow, to be stronger and to choose a new way.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Why Do It?

Love is not always the easy choice.
Getting out of bed when it is a day I would rather not tread, can be a struggle. 
Refusing to let others behaviour determine my own can be massive thing to do.
Forgiving and then also forgetting can be so very hard.

So why do it?

Loving against the odds.
Choosing the hard path.
Acting justly and fairly.
Forgiving and forgetting. 

Hard work, yes. It can seem like a mountain to climb. 

Yet it does bring peace. It takes away the need to strive and control. 
Instead, purposefully looking inward at my thoughts and actions is what I should be choosing to do. 

Slow, small, steps in all these things - whilst at times hard and I have to stop myself from running in the other direction - is the better choice.

It will bring the brighter day. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Things to do...

You may well have already guessed that I like to write! I write first thing in the morning and again last thing at night - although that does not always happen so easily! I like to write my blog. I write to remember things I have heard and things I should be doing. I enjoying writing as a form of communication and I was the one who would always go over my word limit when there was such a thing on a text message!

A couple of days ago I found myself writing these words, 'I need to let go of all my expectations and just do today'.

If I am expecting, I believe something is likely to happen or someone is likely to do something in particular. 
However, really, what do I know? 
I could spend my time anticipating something is going to happen or expecting that someone is going to do a particular thing yet I cannot be certain of anything. 

Therefore if my thoughts are preoccupied with what I think I should expect, perhaps my thoughts are not as useful as they could be. If I could be brave and do as I wrote and let go of my expectations then my 'somethings' and 'someones' will not let me down. I hope that by releasing my expectations I would also be releasing the need to control my 'somethings' and 'someones'. 

Hopefully, tomorrow's sun will bring a new day and by letting go of expectations and just doing the day it may well lead to surprises. The day may lead to bold new steps that I was not expecting to take. A day without anticipation may bring opportunities to reach above and beyond what I thought I could achieve. 

If tomorrow when I wake, I challenge myself to be free of expectations, maybe I might find myself walking through a day that brings freedom, opportunity, peace and even the unexpected!