Did anyone else find that June seemed to fly by so quickly? I’m finding it hard to believe we’re halfway through the year already!
I’ve been a little bit quieter on the blog this month as so much has been happening elsewhere- nothing bad, just a lot happening all at once, which left me feeling a bit overwhelmed at times and having to cut back somewhere.
New Discoveries/ Highlights:
June is always a busy month for music and I had some kind of performance every weekend: symphony orchestra concerts, the Royal Highland Show and of course various local gala days.
When I confessed to being in a marching band earlier this month, Andrew asked for a video. I didn’t have one at the time, but this one from a gala day this month will give you a little glimpse. (Our band comes on just after the 5.30 mark and I am in the back row furthest from the camera.)
I also spent a week away with a group of teenagers moving into Christian leadership for the first time. It was so encouraging to hear their stories and to see them grow over the course of the week through the various leadership tasks they took part in.
After playing guitar publicly for the first time last month, I actually led worship for a (small) group of people this month. It was clunky and imperfect, and I am still only really confident with two songs, but I am enjoying learning, and it is a good reminder of what worship is really about. It’s far too easy for me to fall into seeking musical perfection and miss the whole point. I’ve enjoyed reading the book “Worshipping God” by RT Kendall, which interestingly doesn’t get into talking about music until chapter 18! If you’re interested in exploring different aspects of worship and the heart behind it, I’d definitely recommend this book!
My final highlight of June is also a new discovery: escape rooms. If you’ve never experienced an escape room, it involves being locked in a room (usually in a group of 4-10 people) and having to hunt for clues and complete various challenges in order to escape. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a lot of fun and there was definitely a sense of achievement when our team of 6 managed to escape in 58 minutes! (The deadline is an hour and apparently only around 30% of teams manage that in this particular room.)
My word for the year (Voice):
I’ve been focussing on listening this month. In my previous church I did training in a ministry called Lifecare, which involves meeting one-to-one with someone in order to listen to them and give them space to work through a problem or struggle. (In some ways there are similarities with counselling, but Lifecare is for people who may not need the same level of skilled professional help but would benefit from having someone to listen to them.)
When I moved on from that church, I was unsure what that meant for involvement in Lifecare. Then I discovered that a new friend in my current church had done the training too and that we both felt called to this kind of ministry in our local area. We met and prayed a few times but weren’t sure how to move things forward. However, unexpectedly, within a couple of weeks of one another, opportunities came up for each of us to meet with someone! At the moment this is through the contact at our previous church and is not in our local area, but it is a good opportunity to develop our skills and gain some experience.
It’s been a huge learning curve. No matter how much training you have done, I don’t think you really learn these kinds of skills until you put them into practice. It’s not always easy to know what to say, when to challenge, when to just be quiet and listen.
It has certainly made me realise my dependence on God in a fresh way. It can be easy to drift along doing the things we are used to, the things we know we can do, but when we are taking on new challenges, out of our comfort zones, recognising our weaknesses and our limitations, those are the times we really realise how much we need God’s strength and help.
I am quickly learning that the key really is listening: listening to the person I am seeking to help, but also listening to God, and seeking his guidance every step of the way:
“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say: “This is the way you should go,” whether to the left or to the right.” (Isaiah 30:21 NLT)
Weep With Me- Rend Collective
This popped up on my YouTube feed only a day or two after the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attack and it has been an appropriate song considering the many tragic events that have taken place in our nation this month.
Called Me Higher- All Our Sons And Daughters
God I Look To You- Jenn Johnson
How has June been for you? Feel free to share a reflection or highlight in the comments.