Ahhhh, rest :)

So, things have finally settled down. The steps I took towards a less busy life are coming into effect and I’m finding I can breathe again. And it’s lovely 🙂

I am so enjoying not having any monkeys on my back whispering of the other things I should be doing when I am doing literally any activity. I am even enjoying doing those extra house keeping things that I never in a million years thought I would enjoy doing!

I’ve also had time to quietly roam our little patch of the world and stop and ponder life and capture some of the small things with a macro lens on the camera.

Here’s a few of my favs 🙂

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Getting off ‘the facebook’

So on Monday, I deactivated my Facebook account. Shocking I know! I still have an account for work purposes so I’m not fully free of it but from a personal and social point of view, it’s gone. I did it for a few reasons, the biggest being the need to simplify and to stop the incessant noise that is social media.

Keeping in mind my word for the year, I’m looking for ways to rest in all aspects of my life so that my whole being is leaning towards that rest and not just my physical body. I’ll admit, it felt foreign at first, to not have the meme’s, the satire, the cute and fluffy videos, the ‘connection’ to people I know. But oh my goodness, to not see every latest political disaster, every cause that needs my immediate attention, the spiritual posts that remind me how far short I fall (constantly!) – to just have quiet has been bliss! And to realise how often, when I had a few spare minutes, I would pick up my phone and just trawl Facebook mindlessly…well, it’s embarrassing to admit but it was A LOT. Now, instead of reaching for that button on my phone, I can just sit and think, refocus my mind on God, say a short prayer of thankfulness and allow my mind to….rest 🙂

It’s funny too, I now have more coffee dates with friends set in my diary after removing myself from Facebook. See Facebook gives us the impression of connection and community (and I do think there are circumstances in which that connection and community are very real indeed but that’s for another post!) but often comes up short. Nothing, nothing, can replace face to face connection with other people. People may not be able to tell from a status or online chat how we are really doing – put us in front of each other though and you can tell if that smile doesn’t quite reach their eyes or if their hands are shaking or their shoulders are slumped.

We need to actually see one another in order to really ‘see’ one another.

So am I advocating for everyone to get off Facebook? I guess I am! But I’m also realistic and know that the likelihood of that is pretty slim 🙂 I wasn’t disciplined enough to just cut down and limit my usage but maybe you are. All I know is that in our current world, we are generally overloaded, stressed and feeling isolated. Seek real connection. I dare you.

And now for a year of…

…rest. Apparently.

So every year I try to have a word that is my focus and after waiting on God for this years word, I pondered what the year looked like (so far): two jobs, both needing my full attention, studying, continuing in various roles within church groups and, obviously, I still have a husband and family.

And the word that God gave me? REST.

Yeah, right. I thought it would be something like focus or intention or efficiency. But no. Rest.

rest 1 |restverb [ no obj. ] cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

So I’m trying to rest. I really am. And I’m discovering the true rest that only Jesus can provide – “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Finding rest in this life, this world, is tricky and often unsatisfactory. But I know the One who made it all and if He says that coming to Him and resting is the only way I am going to manage this year, then that is what I will do. I will relax in His presence, refresh myself by remembering Him and all He is and I will recover strength by drawing on His spirit.

And I’ve changed the photo on this blog to serve as a reminder to rest, for there is nowhere I feel more rested that amongst His creation and in particular, when I’m near the ocean.

I’m grateful for this word. Not surprisingly, it turns out it actually is the perfect word for this year 🙂

 

 

I did it!

Yesterday, I took my last photo for the Grateful 2016 book 🙂

The book is so full it won’t close. And it’s representative of the year which has been full to overflowing too! And as I flick through it’s pages, with dodgy polaroids, crossed out words and often indecipherable hand writing, I truly am grateful for 2016. It hasn’t been the easiest one, by far. It has challenged me, caused me to look at myself with stark honesty and it has shown me that, aside from God, I really am capable of nothing. He has sustained, comforted and been by my side through the adventure of this year.

And as I look down the barrel of 2017, there are things on the horizon that scare me, things that I know will bring me joy and plenty of ‘normal’ life in-between. Perfect 🙂

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Day 323-326

It’s been a lovely few days, which started perfectly with wine, cheese, crackers and antipasto on the deck with our neighbours, then it was a garden project on Saturday, church related activities on Sunday, including one of our favourites – young adults bible study, and after work today, we finished off the garden project and planted the herbs into their new beds. All in all a most satisfying four days for which I am grateful 😊



Day 319

This evening we took a country drive in hopes a great view of the super moon. It didn’t turn out quite as planned but was lovely nonetheless 😊 And the Polaroid camera just did not pick up the moon at all! Oh well. 

Grateful for all the marvels of His creation! 


I also took this iPhone pic where you can just see the moon 😊 I loved being in the countryside regardless of what the moon was up to! 

Day 316, 317, 318

The last three days of gratefulness centre around the heat because it’s been up around 35 degrees for most of this week. Current temp as I type this is 38. So swimming at all hours and piña coladas, also at all hours, is the only way to go. 

Grateful for pools and inventors of yummy cocktails 🙂 


Day 315

As our uni semesters finish for the year, I’m so grateful for my live in study buddy/tech support/encourager who has definitely made my foray into student life easier and fun 😊 

Thank you Charli-girl, you rock this uni thing and I’m so proud of you! ❤️