Monthly Musings: December

December is a month that feels different from any of the others. It is a month for completion and a month for preparation. A month for celebration. As work and school is finishing for the year for many, there are also preparations for Christmas celebrations and summer holidays.

A month for rest and relaxation. A month where we rush at the start to slow down at the end. There’s a reason why it’s called the Christmas rush, but once Christmas Day is over, there’s permission to rest and relax, to enjoy the summer.

A month for reflection and anticipation. To reflect on what the year has taught us, and to anticipate what the new year will bring.

This year the most popular blog post on Flourish! was actually one from a previous year. With every ending comes a new beginning seems appropriate for New Years Eve, so I want to share it with you again:

Endings and Beginnings

Whatever endings you are facing today, whether you’re feeling happy or sad, exhilarated or terrified, relieved or just plain tired, may new beginnings be fresh air for you.

May your every breath be blessed.

Now, and in the year to come.

31 Days: A blessing for Rest 


Proverbs 3:13-20 

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. 

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

May wisdom show you the paths of peace, may you find rest in the presence of the Lord, and may you be refreshed like morning dew on the grass.
The Rhythm of Rest

This is Day 24 of The Rhythm of Rest series (Write 31 Days challenge).

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31 Days: And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy

Genesis 2:2-3 

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

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May your day be blessed and may you find rest and joy in the presence of the Lord.

The Rhythm of Rest

This is Day 11 of The Rhythm of Rest series (Write 31 Days challenge).

Monthly Musings: Three discoveries in March

Autumn Scene

I know it’s a little late since we’re already a week into April, but here are a few of my discoveries from March (in no particular order):

  • I really like lemon iced tea (and not just the bottled version), but I still dislike the taste of hot tea, even when it smells wonderful. Go figure.
  • Adelaide Writers’ Week introduced to me the short stories of Cate Kennedy (Like a House on Fire) and the micro fiction of Angela Meyer (Captives). I’ve tended not been a great fan of short stories, but after sampling the work of these two writers, I think I’ll be back for more. Clever, insightful, entertaining and thought-provoking.
  • Luke 9:51 “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” A friend recently noted that she had always interpreted that verse as “the time approached for him to be killed … to die …” but that’s not what it actually says. And I realised that I’ve always interpreted it that way too. Yes, Jesus faced death on the cross as he headed toward Jerusalem, but I don’t think he was focussed on that. I don’t think that’s why he was resolute. Hebrews 12:2b tells us that “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” I think that when Jesus resolutely set his face to Jerusalem he was looking far beyond the cross. He knew what the outcome would be. He did not falter, and we receive the blessing of his sacrifice.

What did you discover in March?

Image sourced here.

“Are we there yet?” – Waiting on God

Anyone who’s ever travelled with children, knows how challenging that can be, especially over long distances. If you’ve watched and enjoyed Shrek 2 you’ll remember you’ll remember how Donkey produces that exquisite pain brought about by the familiar refrain, “Are we there yet?”

Even as adults, we’re not really that different from Donkey, are we?

Starting something new often brings with it a good degree of energy and enthusiasm. Be it a project, a relationship, a journey, or a dream; whatever it is, we have hopeful expectations of something good, great even. But somewhere along the way, if our expectations aren’t met, if things seem to be taking a lot longer than we anticipated, our attitude starts to change. We start asking the questions that seem to have no satisfactory answer.

Why is it taking so long? Why am I still waiting? Why is God holding out on me? How much longer? When?

We hate waiting. We hate waiting, especially in this age of technology, credit, fast food and instant gratification.

Nevertheless, waiting is a fact that none of us can avoid entirely. Recently the official teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie was released on YouTube. Already it has been viewed over 38 million times. And all those millions of fans will have to wait until December 2015 when the movie is released. That’s a year of waiting.

Birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas are also events which require waiting (although perhaps not always with the same level of anticipation and excitement as one might for a wedding day, the birth of a baby, or the release of the third instalment of The Hobbit.)

At least with these events we know when they are coming. We have a date to look forward to. Years ago, a friend had a daily countdown to her wedding day. It was a one year engagement, and on any given day she could tell you how many sleeps were left before the wedding. My friend was anticipating the day she would walk down the aisle and say “I do.”

But what about those things we long for, where there is no date? When we have no idea how long the wait will be? That kind of waiting is hard, no question.

And in the midst of all this unwelcome waiting is the opportunity to wait on God. A “seek His face” kind of waiting. A listening kind of waiting. A worshipping kind of waiting. Waiting on God, and not just for God, takes us  into a whole new place in our relationship with him.

This is the beginning of a new series: “Waiting on God.” (My thanks to Alicia for the idea.) I hope you’ll join me for what I think will be a really interesting and challenging subject to explore. May we experience the wisdom and blessing of the Lord as we learn how to wait.

Waiting on God

Photo Credit: alexcoitus via Compfight cc (title text added)

Waiting with Attitude