Five Minute Friday: Abandon

Woah… it’s late Friday night And I almost forgot to post my YAY!!!  It’s Friday Five minute Friday!  If you have no idea what than means… well firstly welcome… and secondly you can read about it with the hyperlink above… or you can read my last one here…

Today’s prompt is abandon… and I have 5 minutes to write about it… no guidelines, no pressure (other than the clock…) but just a reason to post something… here we go

Abandon

So… the prompt is here and I am lost for words… abandon is such a loaded word, such a heavy word… yet thankfully one that I don’t really understand in full. I don’t think there has ever been a time I have ever felt abandoned… I am blessed, I have been surrounded by good, loving people all my life… I belong… I am not alone… I also know the one who knows me best… I know I am never alone because I walk with Jesus.
Yet there is another type of abandon that keeps popping into my mind as I type… the type of abandonment the Hillsong song ‘The Stand’ takes about:

‘I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned,

In awe of the one who gave it all,

I stand, my soul lord to you surrendered

All I am is yours’

An abandonment by choice, a decision to walk away from my desires and to step into His with no other agenda…

I guess I wasn’t lost for words after all… I am thankful not to be abandoned and to be able to stand abandoned from the world in His glory…

Five Minute Friday: Purpose

YAY!!!  It’s Friday which means it’s also Five minute Friday time!  If you have no idea what than means… well firstly welcome to my blog… and secondly you can read about it with the hyperlink above… or you can read my last one here

Today’s prompt is Purpose… and I have 5 minutes to write about it… no guidelines, no pressure (other than the clock…) but just a reason to post something… hope you get as much enjoyment out of what I write as I do writing it.

Purpose

I really like when God is super obvious and everything just lines up… all the prompts, all the teaching and all the songs… that has been my experience this week and I shouldn’t have been that surprised when I saw what today’s prompt was… because this word has been one of the key themes of my week this week… I have used other words for it like… intentional, deliberate, goal and plan… But really they are all the same.

This week I have been super challenged to do two things… 1. Give all of my plans over to God, because even if mine are good… His will be better and 2. I need to live with purpose.  I need to be an intentional kingdom bringer and I need to seek him deliberately.

These aren’t new concepts to me by any stretch, but they are the ones that I constantly need reminding of.  I often try and do it all my self, I think I know best and often think that if my plans and purpose are good (according to me and often the Word) then I am set… but my good isn’t always God’s.  His calling and purpose are far greater than I will probably ever understand… but that’s what I need to seek and I need to do it with purpose.  I need to be intentional, even when it is hard and my good plans aren’t the course my life seems to be taking.

I need to pursue my purpose with purpose.  I am called to be set apart, I am called to bring the kingdom and above all I am called to love, because he first loved me.

So Long Summer…

Um… I know I was late to the party with my January post, but I can’t believe that I am already sitting here typing up a reflection for February… how does this keep happening? Time running away… faster and faster… It does seem fitting that I should be typing this so late tonight though… Right now it is 11:07pm and I have just got home from a wonderful evening with my friend Lisa.  An evening that we have used to soak up the last of the summer warmth as we sat outside and enjoyed delicious food and honest and refreshing conversation… the world needs more people like Lis.  After missing the heat of the day today being in an office for almost all of it, it was really nice to spend these last moments of summer outside and warm.  I am hoping that the end of summer doesn’t mean a quick end to the heat… and looking at the forecast, there seems to be some more ‘summer’ days to come… but hey!  This is Melbourne… consistent, appropriate weather is not our strong suit.

The end of summer also means the end of a month… so in my attempt to keep my list posts up to date, to reflect on things in the moment and to celebrate the little things it’s time to say thanks to February and give you all an update of the list adventures that it brought with it.  February has brought some super fun events:

And… My list game has stayed strong this month too… maybe not as strong as January… but not too bad considering it’s almost half a week shorter… and well… life…  But I have managed to cross another 5 things off the list and here they are:

30. Get a Haircut – completed: 03/02/2017
I know this doesn’t sound like a big achievement, but it was… even though I have previously confessed my love for my time at the hairdresser (in fact I have written about the hairdresser 3 times… that’s a lot for a topic that I don’t think about anywhere near as often)… my apparent blog love for the hairdresser has not equated to any kind of consistency over the past 12months… in fact, I did not do anything to my hair for almost all of 2016… in March last year I got a haircut… there was some rescheduling issues… I decided to be a little tight and now… fast forward to Feb 2017… my hair is crazy long and I am so ready for a life changing haircut (and by life changing I mean a small change that I can handle… and not much more).  So here we are… the first free appointment for my hairdresser in 2017 and I am back to me… regular standard long hair Emma… Rapunzel length no more… it was really really long… there is a picture hiding here if you want to check….

26. Have a spa of some sort – completed: 12/02/2017
You can’t really go to Daylesford and not visit the springs… well you can, and I did a number of times while living in Castlemaine, but when you are there for a romantic weekend away, you should enjoy it all I say… so we did, Dave and I visited the Hepburn Bathhouse and while it wasn’t quite a spa… it was kind of… it is beautiful, relaxing and the water is apparently magical… what more could you want for a spa.  Plus it was a good reason to cross something off the list… and I am unlikely to convince Dave to just go on a whim…

12. Go back to school – completed: 17/02/2017
My first call in this year and it feels good to be back.  I had been feeling a little nervous going back to school, there are lots of children… and sometimes just the presence of lots of children sends me to a sad place where I think about all that we should have had with Josh… going back to school was also the last ‘normal’ part of my life that I needed to go back to, so I felt like jumping this hurdle was kind of a big deal… but now it is done, I not only survived the day, but I also survived 2 hours of MacBeth and I think I may have finally worked out the story… so that is 2 wins.

44. Use my new outdoor reading chair – completed: 25/02/2017
For a little while now I have wanted a ‘relaxing chair’ for the backyard, somewhere I could just read or watch the world go by and for Christmas, my brother Dustin and his wife Jess fulfilled my wish.  They gave me a super cool, yellow outdoor chair. Since Christmas I have sat in my chair, I have looked at my chair, but until now… the last week of summer, I had not stopped to read in it… but that is also now rectified… I have sat in the chair and read and loved life… stopped for a little ‘me’ moment… I need to do this more… especially while the weather is still warm.

18. Go on a Picnic – completed: 26/02/2017
On Sunday, I not only had a picnic, but I picnic’d in style at the ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ at Rippon lea Estate and it was wonderful…  There was not a cloud in the sky, and because I am a lazy picnicer I had a food truck lunch on a picnic rug supplied by my lovely friend Annie and just enjoyed the day.  I also got to sing some Jazz standards with the Salvo Big Band for the first time in a number of years and I loved it.  I just loved the whole day… I loved singing, I loved eating, I loved seeing all the teddy bears, I loved the weather, I loved hanging out with Annie and the band… it was just a great day… Probably not the picnic I had imagined when I added it to the list, but a great picnic all the same.

So that’s the 5… I am really enjoying the simplicity of the list this year… just some good old fashioned fun… Oh and just like in January I have been really good at taking my photos and doing my one second video… so here is February in photos….

And one second video snippets:

February, I am sad that reflecting on you means that Summer is officially over, but I have really like you… thanks!

Five Minute Friday: Slow

It’s Friday… I am home from work and it is time for my Five minute Friday (if you want more info you can read all about it here, or you can read my last one here)… Today’s prompt is slow… and just like always I have 5 minutes to write about it… no guidelines, no pressure (other than the clock…) but just a reason to post something.

Slow

There are three things that came immediately to my mind when I saw today’s prompt…

1.  I am slow… I am not a sportsman by any stretch of the imagination and slow is the category of all things physical I feel most comfortable in.  I am not particularly sad about this… it’s just the way it is and that is ok.

2. I need more slow… while I was on extended leave from work life slowed down, the daily stress and pressure of work… well even just having to attend a job was no longer part of my routine and I had time to do odd jobs, clean things out, take my time and enjoy some simple pleasures… like having a leisurely breakfast on our back deck… Now that I am back into real life… I want desperately to get more slow in my life… I want to extend my summer feeling of less, relaxing and taking my time.  I know some of this is unrealistic… but surely I can find a better balance than all or nothing.  I need more slow.

3. And… while I was thinking about no. 2 as I typed my intro, the lyrics of one of my favourite worship songs popped into my head.  They have been and continue to be a constant reminder to slow down…  It is a song that has come out of Bethel Church… I am not really sure who wrote it, but the version I have is sung by Kristene DiMarco (I think it her’s… and I am hanging out for her/them to releases it)… these are the lyrics:

Slow down, take time
Breath in, he said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in his mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal all to come

Take courage, my heart
Stay steadfast, my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold on to your hope
As your triumph unfold
He’s never-failing
He’s never-failing

Sing praise, my soul
Find strength in joy
Let his words lead you on
Do not forget his great faithfulness
He’ll finish all he’s begun

And you who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep your promise to me
That I will rise in your victory

What a great reminder… Take courage, slow down, He has got this… I am not sure why all of these Five Minute Friday’s have ended up being about my faith journey… but I am glad they have… I needed this reminder again today….

I will leave this Five Minute Friday with a the video of the song… maybe take some time, like I will be once I push post, to stop and just soak in the lyrics and His goodness… May your weekend be filled with the best kind of slowness…