May Reflections

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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.

I was honoured to have a piece featured in Ruby Magazine and to guest post at Busy Being Blessed as part of the Lights Of Hope series.

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.

Whispers of Rest header

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!

May Playlist:

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.

purposefulfaith.com          Holly Barrett  

porch stories        chasing community

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19 thoughts on “May Reflections

  1. Lovely! Thanks for these reflections and links : ) Going to visit you on 5 Minute Friday. Happy belated birthday Lesley- I’ve had that voice say similar things, and love the verse in Ephesians. God chose us out of His good pleasure. Thankful for that reality and the truth that our loved ones often aren’t connecting with or celebrating us for any reason other than loving us, too : )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Belated Birthday, Lesley! Yes, you DO matter! I am blessed to have “met” you! That last line of that verse – “This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” – really comforts my heart. To think that He actually WANTS to. And not only that, but He has great pleasure in it! Such a wonder! Thank you for sharing the highlights of your month and for your encouragement. I love that you keep us attuned to what God is teaching you this year about “voice.” Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lesley ~ I love that you’ve reconnected us with your word for the year. It’s too easy to lose in the shuffle.

    And I’m with you, I really enjoy reading and writing these monthly reviews. Whether serious or fun, they bring a good sense of satisfaction, joy, and gratitude, don’t they …

    Blessings, friend …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Linda. Yes, it’s helpful to write these monthly reviews and interesting to read other people’s. It has helped me to keep focused on my word by including it in the review each month.

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  4. Happy belated birthday, Lesley. I love how you point out that God doesn’t bestow grace just to “be nice,” but because He chooses to do so. I was really interested to read your Five-Minute Friday guest post … first, because I’m always interested in people’s writing journeys, and second, because I’ve been toying around with joining FMF for awhile now and just haven’t taken the plunge yet. Some day you’ll see me there, I think … Love your monthly reflections!

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  5. Lesley, it sounds like it’s been a beautiful month for you! And I didn’t realize you are a May baby too. What day?

    I loved what you said about learning to hear God’s voice more clearly. One of my boys struggles with the concept of hearing His voice. A friend gave the perfect explanation for me to share…God’s voice often sounds like our own voices in our heads. It’s often a quick thought, or reflection or warning. When I shared that with him, he seemed to “get” it, which was refreshing.

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  6. Beautiful reflections, ‘Leslie’ 😉
    I am happy the break paid you off. Great to have you back.
    I tried once with guitar and piano…I hope your lessons go well
    Thanks for the videos you linked here.
    Happy Birthday…..and Happy New Month too

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Belated Birthday, Lesley! I’m so glad you were able to celebrate the beautiful woman and daughter of God that you are this year. You deserve it. 🙂 And yay for the guitar playing. My husband and son play. It’s a talent I don’t have, but admire those who do. Great article on the FMF site. I’ve never seen that site before. — Thanks for sharing today, Lesley. And, yay for winning the drawing at #ChasingCommunity this week! Send me your preference of the journal or mug and your address and I’ll get it right out to you. ((xoxo))

    Liked by 1 person

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