Is it just me or is this year travelling at warp speed? It’s the end of September and here are a few thoughts for the month.
Spring – The blossoms on my ornamental plum tree are long gone, but the crabapple tree is just starting to bud. A few more days and it should be a cloud of pink.
Friends – I’ve been reminded of the pleasure of time spent with friends. This month I helped friends and family celebrate their birthdays, enjoyed dinner and conversation with a close friend, and began to make a new friend over lunch. Good food with good friends – one of my favourite things.
Books – Do you love books? Choosing books? Reading books? Talking about books? It wasn’t until I read Emily P. Freeman’s latest blog post asking for book recommendations that I realised that I don’t have enough book conversations in my life. Coincidentally the only book I’ve actually finished this month is Emily’s new book Simply Tuesday: small-moment living in a fast-moving world. September has been an inconsistent reading month for me. I’ve added a number of new books to the reading list but they’re all still works in reading progress.
Here are a couple of quotes from Emily’s book that resonated with me as someone who needs time to process things. Maybe they will resonate with you too.
Productivity skills have helped me meet important deadlines and release unnecessary perfectionism.
The problems come when I foolishly try to apply these same skills to my inner life.
The soul and the schedule don’t follow the same rules.
Many people are in a season of speed, a time of movement, of action, and go. But that is not where I usually am. And I cannot wait for the world to stop to embrace my permission for slow.
What part of your personality seems to fight against your own perceived ability to succeed? What might happen if your stopped bullying your personality into submission and instead began to welcome it as a kind friend?
So here’s to you, my fellow slow-processors. Take the long way home. Embrace the silence to consider. Give yourself permission to think, to listen, to be sure.
Writing – And as October is waiting in the wings you may remember that last year I joined the Write 31 Days challenge to write on one topic every day in October. This year I’ve decided to take on the challenge again, and I’ve chosen a topic that’s particularly relevant for me at the moment. Check out the first post of the series tomorrow.
Learn how to listen.
Make time to listen.
Be intentional about listening.
Give honour and respect, don’t bring your own agenda.
This is not just about getting instructions for the next thing to do.
This is about relationship, knowing, intimacy.
This is about heart-sharing.
This is about transformation.
That was over two years ago. I was asking the Lord how to foster a more intimate relationship with him. Slowly, I’ve been learning; inclining my ear towards him.
And still He whispers, “Listen.”
The truth is that while there have been wonderful moments of listening and receiving, I’ve also been dodging and weaving, ducking and diving.
I want to share my heart with you, but you need to listen.
The truth is that I haven’t trusted his heart for me. I’ve too often tightened my grip on my own agenda. And I’ve been afraid of what I might hear.
The truth is that his love is unfailing.
His faithfulness is unwavering.
His grace and mercy are unmatched.
His gentleness is unsurpassed.
And I am his beloved.
An intimate relationship is only possible if I will listen. This is the path set before me. The invitation.
As we enter into a new year, this is the path I choose. To listen to his word, his voice, his heart, his creation.
I want to find out what happens when my first priority is to listen.
What is God whispering to you?
Image sourced here.
Original image sourced here.
Original image sourced here.
It rained today, and when I pulled into the driveway, there were snails everywhere. There’s nothing unusual about that, but on my way to the front door this little hitchhiker caught my attention.
This little baby snail reminded me again of the wonder of God’s creation; the vastness of his starry galaxies, and the tiniest details, even those hidden from the naked eye.
I’m reading Margaret Feinberg’s book Wonderstruck at the moment, and she says it so well:
The sky, the land, the vegetation, the animals all speak of the power, the majesty, the goodness of God. They remind us of God’s presence in our world, strengthening our faith, comforting our soul, and encouraging us to continue pursuing him. The vastness of creation trumpets God’s transcendence and immanence – allowing us to bask in the wonder of both God’s enormity and infinitesimal intricacy.
When I look around at the colours and the diversity of nature, when I feel the breeze on my skin and smell the scent on the air, when I gaze up at the stars, I am reminded of God’s love. And I am encouraged to keep pursuing Him.
What is creation saying to you?