It’s hard to believe that another month has flown past, but I am enjoying this practice of pausing at the end of each month to reflect and look back at what I’ve learned.
New Discoveries/ Highlights:
I benefitted from a two week writing break at the start of May which gave me more time to focus on other things. At the same time, I’m glad that some guest posts, which had been written previously, meant that I wasn’t completely absent from the blog.
However, my writing highlight was having the opportunity to guest post at the new Five Minute Friday site, sharing a bit about my writing journey so far and the significant part that Five Minute Friday, and the whole blogging community, has played in that. If you haven’t read this post yet, I’d love if you’d come and visit me there.
Aside from writing, taking part in the launch team for Whispers Of Rest by Bonnie Gray has helped me to slow down a little to take notice of and appreciate the beauty around me, as well as making time to be still and listen for God’s gentle whispers.
It has also been good to find some more time for other things I enjoy like reading and cross stitch, and to finally follow through on my intention of learning to play the guitar! I began this around two years ago but then writing took over my life and it lay untouched for several months. It has been fun to take it up again, and I even played in front of people for the first time, accompanying simple songs around a campfire at a youth weekend away!
My word for the year (Voice):
As I made the effort to slow down and listen, I quickly realised that this opened my ears not just to God’s voice, but to the other voice in my head that speaks against it.
It was my birthday this month and it’s a time when the voice of the enemy always seems to be amplified. The idea of a day just to celebrate the fact that I exist triggers all kinds of self-worth issues.
“You don’t really matter. Why would anyone care about that?” the voice yells. When people want to arrange celebrations or invite me to do things, it taunts me: “They’re only doing it be nice, or because they feel obliged. They don’t really care.” I know in my head that none of that is true but it plays on my insecurities and, if I listen to the voice, I very quickly want to withdraw from everyone and everything and ignore my birthday all together.
However, recognising what the voice is saying also gives me the power to fight against it- to call out its lies and to choose to hold to the truth. So this year, there was cake at work, a trip to theatre with a friend (riding in a convertible like Thelma and Louise!) to see another friend perform in a show, a dinner with family and even a free bunch of flowers from my local supermarket! And as I fought the lies and held to the truth, the feelings slowly began to follow.
One of my favourite verses in the Bible is Ephesians 1:5: “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (NLT)
That last line gives me so much comfort. With God’s grace there is no sense of duty or obligation, or “just doing it to be nice.” It is what he chose to do because it is what he wanted to do, and being in relationship with us gives him pleasure! What an amazing truth to hold onto!
Fighting Words- Ellie Holcomb (I’ve featured this before here but it’s worth another mention in light of my reflections above!)
Be Still My Soul (In You I Rest)- Kari Jobe
Rest- Matt Maher
How has May been for you? Feel free to share a reflection or highlight in the comments.