It’s hard to believe that July has been and gone, and there’s only a month before the arrival of spring. But before we get carried away in anticipation of spring, here are a few of my discoveries in July.
Booknook and Bean opened in Topham Mall around the corner from work, and it’s my new favourite place for a hot chocolate, a pre-loved book, or a little yummy treat (or all of them together!). On the pre-loved book front you can donate books or buy them (there’s an honour system – just pay what you want between $2-$7 per book). All profits from the books are invested through Kiva, providing micro-loans to people around the world so they have an opportunity get out of poverty. What a great idea!
I came across this beautiful song “Light” from Gungor about their daughter who was born with Down Syndrome. They named her Lucette which means light, and if you need a little light right now watch this video (oh, and you might need some tissues too!). The full lyrics and a little more of their story is on the You Tube page (Light).
I also discovered that the service at Apple is pretty impressive. I’ve had my iPad Mini for about a year and love it. Unfortunately it stopped working about a week after I arrive home from holiday. I took it into the Genius Bar at the Apple Store and they ran some tests, determined there’d been a hardware failure and swapped it for a replacement on the spot. You’ve gotta love that.
For the last month I’ve been trying out the Bullet Journal system, and so far I’m finding it very helpful to have one place for recording tasks, events, phone calls and meeting notes. All you need is a notebook and a pen. I’ve tweaked it a little for my own needs, particularly at work, where I keep it open on my desk and also take it to meetings.
Before we move into May, here are a few things I’ve appreciated in April:
Chris Tiegreen– I think Chris will be featuring here pretty much all year. Here’s my favourite (and challenging) quote from April (13):
If we want to hear God’s voice, we need to understand that He will not speak so definitely that no faith is required to follow; yet He will speak definitely enough for faith to have some direction. The key for us is to move forward when we think we’ve heard him. Some of us don’t do that. We wait until our hearts are absolutely certain – a waiting that never comes to an end because, underneath it, there is a fear of acting on faith. But God is looking not simply for our ability to hear. He wants a believing response.
For a limited time only, the Hungry Hippo Board Game Cafe has set up shop in Hindley Street, Adelaide (next to Uni SA). The cafe has shelves and shelves of games to choose from, and plenty of options on the food menu too. If you like board games and a fun night out with friends this cafe is worth a visit.
Apparently Google didn’t like my old blog theme – which it deemed as “not mobile friendly.” So Flourish! got a makeover with a theme called Penscratch. I rather like it and I hope you do too – especially if you’re reading from a mobile device.
I was reminded how photography helps me to look at my surroundings differently, to pay attention and look for things I might not otherwise see in the busyness of life. And it’s a great way to slow down and just breathe.
Last, but by no means least, I’ve been captivated by Jenn Johnson’s song In Over My Head. It’s on the Bethel Music worship album We Will Not Be Shakenwhich I mentioned in Monthly Musings for January. It’s a song that speaks to my heart and challenges me at the same time. Check out this video of Jenn talking about writing the song:
It’s a new year, and I’m trying something new here with a monthly round-up I’m calling Monthly Musings (unless I – or you – come up with a catchier title). So what did I discover, experience, try, or learn in January? Here are a few things I’d like to share with you:
#OneWord365 – my word for this year is TRUST. I’ve felt the Lord whispering in the quiet corners of my mind, nudging me when the muscles in my neck, shoulders and back have begun to tighten with worry or stress. Being naturally inclined to want things under control, trust and I don’t have a good history. One of my prayers for this year is to walk more closely with the Lord, learning to trust him with the large and the small things of life; to rest in him. Let’s face it, rest is not really an option without trust. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6.
Frozen (the movie) – Granted, I’ve been a little slow to discover this one, but better late than never. Along with the music (and Olaf the snowman), I loved how it dealt with the theme of fear creating barriers that shut people out, isolating us from those we might love instead. As an introvert who struggles with fear, it was good to be reminded that isolation is not the answer.
The One YearHearing His Voice Devotional by Chris Tiegreen. I’ve been appreciating the wisdom in these pages all through January. Here’s a little taste from the entry on 15 January: “…listening to God’s voice moment by moment is necessary for our spiritual lives and growth. If we don’t hear Him, we don’t thrive.”
Bethel Music has just released a new worship CD/DVD: We will not be shaken. I’m currently playing it on repeat at home and in the car, so it’s safe to say I’m loving it. The opening lines to the title track (which is also the first song on the CD) are: “For we trust in our God, and through his unfailing love, we will not be shaken.” That’s a good start right there.