It’s hard to believe it is time for another round of monthly reflections already! May has been a busy month for me, but there have been lots of good things happening. As I have done the last few months, I am going to follow Heather Gerwing’s Share Four Somethings format as I look back and reflect on May.
It was a lovely surprise earlier this week to receive a copy of Daily Bread Bible reading notes containing an article I’ve written!
The deadline for the piece was last August so it was like reading it afresh all over again.
It was exciting to see partly because it is by far the largest number of people that will ever have read my words so far, but mainly because it was an opportunity to share about some of the work I do with young people, helping them to explore the Bible, and I’m hoping it will encourage others to get involved.
I can’t share the whole article here, but you can find Daily Bread on Amazon at these links: UK, US. I also shared a bit on a similar theme in a recent post for Gracefully Truthful so if you missed that post you can check it out here.
I mentioned earlier this month that I had the joy and the challenge of being invited to answer questions about faith from a class of thirteen year-olds, many of whom had little knowledge of the Bible or Christianity.
I’m planning to write more about this in a post next week, but thank you for your prayers! It went well and they had some great questions – many that I had anticipated, and several unexpected ones as well.
Here is a sample of some of the things they asked:
- What is the difference between Catholics and Protestants?
- If you’re christened as a baby, does that make you a Christian?
- Do Christians ever fast?
- How many times a day do you pray?
- Have you ever heard God speak?
- Is it true that there is a dragon in the first edition of the Bible?
- Who wrote the Bible?
- Who is your favourite saint?
- What is a Christian’s daily routine? (That one made me smile!)
Daunting as it was, it was also great to have the chance to share with them and to help them understand a Christian perspective a little more.
This is something I’m still learning on an ongoing basis, but I have definitely made progress this month!
I knew that May was going to be extremely busy and that it would be easy to get overwhelmed so this month I have been seeking to find a balance. It has meant prioritising things I feel are important, it has meant cutting back on some of the other things I usually do, and it has meant being intentional about taking time out to rest in the middle of the busyness.
So somehow I managed two theatre trips with friends this month as well as finding time on a work trip to go for a walk and enjoy some beautiful scenery.
I think finding the balance between work and rest has been one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned.
I had heard so many good things about Emily Freeman’s writing, but this is the first time I had read one of her books, and I agree with all the positive comments I’ve heard!
If you ever struggle with making decisions, then this book is full of helpful insights! Rather than a lengthy review, I am just going to save some of my favourite quotes to give you a taste of the book.
“Rather than a life plan, a clear vision, or a five-year list of goals, the leper, the paralytic, and Jairus and his wife were given clear instructions by Jesus about what to do next – and only next. Perhaps he knew something about our addiction to clarity. He knew if we could somehow wrangle a five-year plan out of him, we would take it and be on our merry way.”
“The decision is rarely the point. The point is you becoming more fully yourself in the presence of God.”
“God often gives a faint vision of things before they ever come to be. It’s not a full form, more of a shadow, not focused or clear. It doesn’t come with steps or money or sure things, but it does come with hope. And hope is what keeps you going in the fog.”
“We can start down the road of doubt and questioning if we want to. But just because the doubts show up doesn’t mean you have to let them sit down.”
“As we make plans, fill our lists, and do the things that need doing, may we remember still to remain open to surprise.”
Finally, thank you for your encouragement about the piece I shared last week which I entered in a writing competition. Some of you asked me to keep you posted about the result. I didn’t win – not that I expected to as it was my first time and I knew several of the other entrants were much more experienced. It was a piece I really enjoyed writing though, so I’m glad I was able to share it with you here, and I have heard that the adjudicator of the competition will be providing feedback to all the entrants so I’m sure that will give me some helpful advice.