Every month I try to write a monthly reflection/ round-up post. However, because of my Write 31 Days series and the writing conference I attended, I missed my post for October, so this is my reflections post for both October and November.
New discoveries/ highlights:
I won’t go into detail here, but these two months have been a very challenging time in my work situation. There has been a great deal of pressure and uncertainty, and it’s only in the last week or so, since it has finally been resolved, that I’ve realised how much it had worn me down.
However, it has not all been bad. I knew the team I worked with was strong, but this season has revealed to me just how strong. Along with two of my colleagues in particular, I’ve seen the truth in these words:
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT)
I know that many people don’t enjoy that kind of relationship or support in their work situation and I am so grateful to God for these women- for the trust and openness that characterises our relationships, for the love and encouragement we share, for the fact that we can laugh together even when it’s tough, for the way we’ve stood together through this time to the extent that others looking on have been surprised even though it has seemed natural to us.
These months have highlighted the importance of gratitude. It is something I have been focussing on all year by writing down a few things I’m thankful for each day, and it is amazing to look back over 11 months worth of blessings and remember good things I’d otherwise have forgotten.
Partly because I knew November was going to be challenging, I decided to take part in a 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge for the month of November. It was designed by Jennifer Dukes Lee, and it provided a prompt for each day, helping you reflect on a variety of blessings.
Some were straightforward- asking you to identify a song, a memory or a person you’re grateful for, some called for finding gratitude in stories, characters or promises from the Bible, and others prompted you to think a bit differently- being thankful for ordinary objects, household chores or hours of the day.
It was fun to take some time each day to reflect, and then share some of these blessings with others.
My word for the year (Voice):
I was struck by a statement which was made at the writing conference I attended in October: “As you write, you find your voice.”
That has definitely been true for me over the last couple of years. I am so glad I set out on this journey despite having no idea where it would lead. As well as helping me discover my writing voice, it has increased my confidence in giving voice to my thoughts in other situations too, and an area of focus for me these last couple of months has been making an effort to do that- whether with difficult emotions or encouragements for others- being intentional about speaking it out.
Developing my writing voice has also been a focus, and I received news this week that I have been accepted to be a regular contributor to a website called Gracefully Truthful which provides daily Bible studies encouraging women to go deeper into God’s Word in community! It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting started. The first post won’t be until after the New Year but I’ll link to it here when it is published.
O Come To The Altar- Elevation Worship
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling.
Have you come to the end of yourself?
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling.
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ”
Hills And Valleys- Tauren Wells
“On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain aft, didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!”
How has your autumn been? Feel free to share a highlight or reflection in the comments.