Autumn Reflections

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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.

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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.

Autumn Playlist:

O Come To The Altar- Elevation Worship

“Are you hurting and broken within? 
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.
O come to the altar
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.

 

 

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34 thoughts on “Autumn Reflections

  1. Hi Lesley, what beauty and strength in your words. I needed to see and hear that verse in Ecclesiastes. Thank you for sharing your journey here. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for prayer for my weekend speaking. His presence was in the room, moving and working. I am sorry if I missed your Five Minute Friday post. Glad we are connected beyond that. I look forward to hearing more of your voice in your writing. Blessings on your Monday. In Christ, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lesley! And as you’ve ‘found your voice,’ we’ve all benefited from your life experience and wisdom. I love that you have superb, supportive people to work with … how very blessed to have that kind of companionship in the work place.

    Where did the fall go? Where did 2017 vanish off to?

    ;-}

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lesley! I remember hearing about ‘finding your voice’ in writing too. At first, I didn’t really know what that meant. I think I know a little bit more now, but for me, it’s always a work in progress.

    Fall here lasted quite a long time, we had very mild weather, so the leaves really didn’t change much. I did have the opportunity to go away with my sisters in early November, so we did see a lot of fall colors then. The season has also been a good one for me to rethink my direction in writing, and speaking too.

    Congratulations on being accepted on the new website! That’s such great confirmation that what you are doing truly makes an impact. God bless!!
    Ceil

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ceil. I agree, finding our voice is an ongoing process. I’m glad you had some time away and got to see some autumn colours, and to think about your direction for the future too! Thanks for your encouragement! Blessings to you!

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  4. Lesley, what good news about being accepted to contribute for that site! Way to go, friend. Keep writing. 🙂 I love that quote: as you write, you find your voice. Autumn for me has been a time of growing deeper in God’s Word, lots of challenges around me, yet God renews me morning by morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The more I join you here, the more I hear your voice. God is using you greatly through your words and I am thankful. Your 31 days series on brokenness was beautiful.

    You have a unique voice and one that needs to be shared. I am praying for you as you begin to write for Graceful Truths and as you continue to share your words here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lesley, it’s exciting to see where God is taking you with your writing. 🙂

    It’s interesting how, when those challenging seasons come in the workplace, we can put our heads down and plow forward. But, it’s strengthening if we are working through those seasons with co-workers. It can be surprising how weary one becomes after the challenge is resolved. My hubs went through a draining season earlier this year. Sometimes, you just need a little time to refresh your spirit.

    I so enjoyed doing Jennifer Dukes Lee’s gratitude challenge. Some days really made me think. But, it was so, so good.

    And lastly, my youngest introduced me to “Hills and Valleys.” What a great song! And now it’s in my head. Which is probably a good thing. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! Yes, I think often we just keep going while facing the challenges and then it hits us afterwards. I’m glad you enjoyed the gratitude challenge too- I enjoyed reading some of your responses!

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  7. I always love to hear updates on how you are finding your voice, Lesley. I can feel it throughout your posts that God is truly working in you to let your voice be heard. And I am so blessed by it. Congratulations on the new calling God is leading you into. I look forward to hearing your contributions. What a blessing to have coworkers you can stand together with and support each other. Thank you for all the encouragement you give here to broken hearts, both today and always. Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I absolutely love that song by Tauren Wells! A friend shared it with us a couple of months ago and I’ve listened to it over and over. “Voice” was such a beautiful word for you all year. Thanks for sharing your voice with us. We are grateful for you, Lesley!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just yesterday I listened to Tauren Wells sing with David Crowder on Crowder’s song My Hope Is You. I even posted it on my blog today. There we go again with being on the same track 🙂 I get what you’re saying about the supporting co-workers you have. That’s a comforting blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “As you write, you find your voice.” That’s SO true. I’m three years in and I’m just now making final choices for the blog. I relaunch in January and God’s had me on such a beautiful journey. So glad you’re a part of it. I really enjoy learning from you Lesley! Happy Advent.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the songs you’ve chosen to share, Lesley, and congrats on being chosen as a contributor to Gracefully Truthful! I’m also glad you’ve been able to find silver linings in the cloud of your work situation … such a blessing to have good friends at work! Hugs, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations, Lesley, on becoming a regular contributor to Gracefully Truthful. Love your word of the year and how God has used it to proclaim His truths through your voice. Thankful your challenging season is over and you have seen the blessings God has given you, especially with friends to do live with.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations on the contributing writer opportunity, Lesley. Look forward to reading. So glad the weight of these two hard months at work is behind you. Isn’t it so true that you don’t always recognize how things drain you until you’re not carrying the weight of them any longer? Hope you and your family have a wonderful advent season. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lesley, ahhh thanks for sharing this. I resonate with this, of finding one’s voice through the discipline of writing. God is using it in so many ways, healing was always the number one for me. I appreciate your honest sharing. May you have a blessed Christmas. Prayers for you as you walk in faithfulness.

    Liked by 1 person

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