September Reflections

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I’m getting in early with my reflections this month because of a special project I’m going to be involved in throughout October, which I’ll explain at the end of this post. Like most of this year, September has flown in.  It has been a month with challenges but also with moments of beauty.

New discoveries/ highlights:

One thing I have enjoyed the most this month is the chance to be creative in different ways.  It began when I was away for a couple of days with work and as the place we were staying was beside the beach I had some time for an early morning walk.

I’m no photographer, but I was pretty pleased with this:

Scoughall

Then as I was walking and praying, I felt that I should make the word “hope” from shells and leave it there in the sand.

hope

I wasn’t sure why at the time- I just hoped it might encourage someone who found it, but later I had the idea to turn it into the header photo for my blog Facebook page. I feel this expresses quite well what I want to do here:

Blog cover photo

My other attempt at a new form of creativity came in the form of a flash fiction challenge from the organisation hosting the writing conference I will be attending in October.  The challenge was to write a story in 100 words or less, beginning with the sentence, “There was complete silence as she entered the room.”

I thought it would be fun to have a go even though I haven’t written any fiction in several years.  The aim of the challenge was to make every word count, and I know I can be far too wordy at times so I thought it would be a useful exercise.

Here’s what I came up with:

There was complete silence as she entered the room. People gazed transfixed as she walked towards the bar, their eyes widening with horror.
For a moment the only sound was the clacking of her heels across the marble floor; then came the crash of crumbling crockery as an elderly aunt’s cup of tea slipped from her shaking hands.
Approaching Martin, Laura smiled:
“I never like to miss a good party.”
Martin’s eyes flicked from his wife’s face to the funeral programme in his hand. Was this a ghost and, if not, who was it they had just buried?

As someone who regularly publishes blog posts it was ridiculous how nervous I was about sharing this on the group’s Facebook page, but it was well-received.  I’m not even sure if it is meant to be creepy or funny but it was fun to write, and I’m inspired to keep experimenting with new ways to be creative.

My word for the year (Voice):

No major new developments here, but lots of reinforcements of lessons I have been learning this year:

  • An excellent talk at church on listening to God and the challenge that if we want to hear from God, we have to put ourselves in the right position for that by making time to be quiet and listen.
  • The challenge to speak up when you feel it is the right thing to do, even when other people don’t like what you have to say and would rather you stayed quiet.

I also reviewed two excellent books around the theme of “voice”:

“Sensing The Rhythm,” the inspiring autobiography of America’s Got Talent finalist Mandy Harvey, who has known great success as a singer despite being profoundly deaf, and “Sing!” by Keith and Kristyn Getty, which explores the use of singing in worship in personal and family settings as well as in church.  It highlights the importance of singing and includes lots of helpful practical tips.

September Playlist:

No Other Name- Hillsong Worship

“Lift up our eyes, see the King has come,
Light of the world reaching out for us.
There is no other name,
There is no other name,
Jesus Christ our God.
Seated on high, the undefeated One,
Mountains bow down as we lift Him up.
There is no other name,
There is no other name,
Jesus Christ our God.”

And so to my plans for October…

I am planning to take part in Write 31 Days again this year.  If you haven’t encountered this, it is a challenge to write a post every day for the month of October, based around a single topic.  You can find out more here or find an index for my 2016 series “31 Days of Songs and Stories” here.

If you could see my diary for October you would probably think I was absolutely crazy to be doing this challenge.  In fact I was planning not to take part this year, until God put a topic on my mind that refused to go away.

I’d love if you’d join me throughout the month of October for 31 Days of Kintsugi.

31 Days of Kintsugi button

You can get a taste of what is in store by reading this post, but we’ll be spending the month exploring how God can restore brokenness and transform it into beauty.  Look out for Bible reflections, songs, guest bloggers sharing their stories and lots more!

First post this Sunday!

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34 thoughts on “September Reflections

  1. Lesley,
    I enjoyed your September reflections! Love the reminder of hope that you left for others at the beach. You never know who might wander by and need that “God wink”?! I was intrigued by the intro to your fictional story….hope there’s more to come?? Good of you to take inventory on your word for 2017. Sounds like you’ve been exploring “Voice” on a deeper level and speaking into others. Happy Fall!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bev! I’m glad you liked the reflections. I’d quite like to try continuing the story at some point when I have time. It was fun to try something different! Happy Fall to you too (or Autumn as we say here!)

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  2. I didn’t know you had a FB page for your blog. That picture is lovely and a great addition to your page (now following, of course!) I’m thinking of doing the same. How has this gone for you . . . any suggestions? I admire your grit in doing the 31 Day challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Michele! I’ve had the Facebook page for a while but haven’t really promoted it until now, so letting people know about it would be my first tip! I’m also hoping to post a bit more regularly and make better use of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lesley, love it! You’re picture is wonderful and “No Other Name” song and lyrics are about as powerful as they come. Blessings over your fb page, your writing, and your ministry…God’s favor and anointing and most of all, His glory.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Lesley … I do love reading and writing these end of the month reflections. You are so brave to walk into a new group, an unfamiliar room! I admire that greatly.

    Looking forward to connecting with you over your 31 Days adventure!

    ;-}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Linda! I am quite nervous about going to the conference without knowing anyone apart from having a little bit of contact online, but I am also excited about meeting the people and about what I will learn. So glad you’re joining me for 31 Days!

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  5. It’s neat to see other creative sides of you, Lesley. I love that you put HOPE in the sand for someone to see. Also how you used it to make a banner. Your fiction is gripping. I know I wonder what will happen next… I look forward to Kintsugi posts. I remember the post where I first read about it, and I was intrigued and comforted. In fact, I included it with my Hope Harbor links. 🙂 Blessings and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Trudy! It can be fun to try new creative things. I wonder what will happen next in the story too 🙂
      I’m glad you like the idea of the Kintsugi series and I hope it will be encouraging. Blessings and hugs to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh, that’s a really interesting theme for October!! I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Honest admission: I’ve never done any type of “writing challenge.” I have friends who do nanowrimo, but I can’t seem to balance all the additional writing with the deadlines I already have. Someday 🙂 I love your “complete silence” story…what a fun twist!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Meg! I think you’re sensible to be realistic about whether the time is right to take on challenges like that. I don’t think I could do nanowrimo. I’m only coping with Write 31 Days by writing some of the posts in advance as there are days in October when I definitely won’t have time!

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  7. Lesley, I so enjoyed your September Reflections. GOod for you on braving writing a flash fiction entity! I LOVE the twist you put on it! 🙂 I always enjoy your thoughts and things you’re learning. Thanks for sharing pieces of you and who you are becoming in these posts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lesley, that photo of the sun shining on the water is GORGEOUS!! Good for you to have taken the plunge with sharing your flash fiction … makes me want to read more to find out what happens next. I’ll be looking forward to your October series … I’ve never done the Write 31 Days thing but I always enjoy reading what others come up with every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love how God is leading you to try other forms of creativity. I imagine it was fun, scary and freeing all at once. Your sun on the water photo is beautiful. I also love taking pictures. It helps me to see the world a little different sometimes.

    Your topic for 31 Days sounds wonderful. Anything that has to do with brokenness and God’s redemption intrigues me. I’m so glad you will be participating. I am not but hope to write on a similar topic throughout the month of October. I will be cheering you on and will stop by when I can. Blessings and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Mary! I’m glad you liked the photo. It’s great that we will be writing on a similar topic during October! I look forward to reading your posts too! Blessings and hugs to you!

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  10. Awe, love your “Hope” message you left behind. I think I’m going to try to start doing this when I go to the beach. How fun to wonder about who the Lord might bring along who needs that message of hope. And, love it for a facebook banner too. 🙂 — I might even try this elsewhere, in stores where there happen to be misc letters or whatever. Thanks for the inspiration, Lesley. 🙂 — Look forward to reading in October. 🙂 xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it inspired you, Brenda! I hadn’t thought about doing it in other places but that’s a great idea. I’m sure a little hope being left behind will always be welcome!

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    1. Thanks, Barbie! Glad you like the photos and the story. I understand you not taking part in Write 31 Days this year- it is a big commitment. I’m sure you will find some good posts to read though. Thanks for cheering us on!

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  11. Love your word for the year – voice! One of the first things the enemy tries to silence. Use your voice in whatever capacity God leads you, friend!! The Write 31 days is a new concept to me but I love the idea (and the accountability). Can’t wait to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Esther, and for your encouragement to use my voice! Glad to introduce you to Write 31 Days- it is challenging but very worthwhile and lots of fun!

      Like

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