Share Four Somethings: March

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Well, it’s fair to say that this month hasn’t turned out how I anticipated!  I’m pretty sure that’s the case for many of us as we’ve dealt with cancellations, lockdowns, and a lot of changes to everyday life that we could probably never have predicted even at the start of the month.

As always though, it’s good to pause and reflect so, as usual, I’m joining with Heather Gerwing and friends for Share Four Somethings.

Something Loved

malory towers

When I was a child, some of the books I loved the most were from the Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton.  (I know that’s quite common among British people, but I have no idea if overseas readers will have heard of them!)

The books are set in a girls’ boarding school in the 1950s, and as a child they were my escape and my comfort.  They were full of exciting adventures, midnight feasts, and several funny and relatable characters, and they were set in a world where, in the end, truth and justice always triumphed.

At the start of this week, just as the UK went on lockdown, I heard that a TV series had been made of Malory Towers.  It was due to be released at the start of April, but, because of the lockdown, the whole series has been released early online.

I realise that I am way older than the target audience for this series, but it has been fun to remember the books and watch the stories brought to life, and I know I’m not alone in welcoming a little bit of joy and nostalgia as Malory Towers becomes a comfort and escape for many of us once again!

Something Read

off the clock

Do you ever look back and feel like God must have been laughing at your carefully-made plans?

At the start of this month I was geared up for busyness.  New ventures and additional responsibilities meant that I knew I was going to have to take time management seriously, so I was excited to read Off The Clock by Laura Vanderkam.

As I look at an almost empty diary it seems that I may not have the chance to put all that I’ve learned into practice for a while, but, on the other hand, a time to pause can also be a time to begin forming good habits before the busyness resumes.

The book is full of helpful insights.

“Time is finite, so we must make smart choices about it.  But time is also abundant: there is enough for anything that truly matters.”

Vanderkam suggests tracking your time for a week so that you know where it goes; then taking time each week to set goals, and each day to identify three priorities to focus on.  Investing time in relationships and things that bring us joy, finding small ways to make the day memorable, and avoiding cramming our calendars with activity are other approaches she advises.

I found this a really helpful book.  It provides plenty to reflect on as well as lots of practical advice, and there are definitely strategies I want to adopt, especially when life gets busy again.

You can find Off The Clock on Amazon at these links: UK, US.

Something Treasured

All I can say is that one thing this introvert has discovered this month is that she values social contact way more than she realised!

Although I’ve been well-connected with phone calls, Zoom chats and lots of social media (for which I’m very grateful) there is something special about actual face-to-face contact, and the general lack of it has made those little moments when it is possible something to treasure:

Passing a friend on the street – you know you can’t stop to talk but just a friendly wave and a “hello” mean a lot.

Having a woman from church join the supermarket queue just behind me – it was fun to have an actual real life conversation (from a distance) as we waited to enter the store.

When normal service is resumed, I think I will treasure a lot of things I’ve probably taken for granted!

Something Ahead

Who knows?

I’m not even going to try to guess.

This month has been one of constant change.  Just when I’ve thought I’ve adjusted to one thing, something else has changed it all again.

I’m taking on board the words my pastor shared with us this morning and finding comfort in the fact that God knows what’s ahead even when we don’t:

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”  (Matthew 6:34 The Message)

What about you?  How has this month been for you?  Feel free to share a highlight or a prayer request in the comments.

Inspire Me Monday

    Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up          Tell-His-Story-button-newest-200x200  purposefulfaith.com     

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32 thoughts on “Share Four Somethings: March

  1. I enjoyed Off the Clock. I love that she doesn’t give ridged time management rues, but she gives aspects to consider as we use time.

    I’d not heard of the Malory Towers series. But I enjoy children’s or YA books that are well-written. I agree with C. S. Lewis that a good children’s book is good for adults, too.

    I’m hoping my cocooning isn’t going to make it harder to get back out there when the time comes.

    Whenever my mind gravitates to “what ifs,” I try to remind myself what Jesus said about today’s troubles being enough. He is taking care of us step by step in the present, and there’s every reason to trust He will in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Barbara! Glad you liked Off The Clock too. Yes, I think different things work for different people but there are some helpful things to consider in the book.
      It’s definitely important to hold onto the fact that Jesus is with us and he knows what will happen in the future even when we don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I only have one plan on my mind once this is over. Can’t mention it here, however, please pray for God’s wisdom, strength, and direction. Thank you. I’ve gotten through March by not watching much if any of the news, going for a daily walk either early in the morning or late and night when the streets are empty, working out daily, sleeping well, listening to lots of worship music and leaning into God. When you realize he’s all you have, you know he’s all you need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Yvonne! Praying for you. Sounds like you have a lot of good habits in place to help you through this. I agree, it definitely highlights how much we need to depend on God.

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  3. I think all of us introverts are realizing just how much we really value social contact—much more than we ever thought! We will be changed when this is all said and done!

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that Matthew 6 verse in the Message, Lesley. I just put it on a stickie and placed it on my home screen to remind me. 🙂 Things are changing quickly and drastically here in SD, but it’s so much worse in NY right now. Lord, have mercy! Love and blessings of safety, strength, and peace to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you found it a helpful verse to remember too! Things do seem to be moving very quickly in lots of places with the virus. It’s so important to keep our eyes on Jesus. Praying that you are safe and know his strength and peace too!

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  5. Ahhh, Lesley, yes this month turned out VERY differently than I could have imagined. We began the month on a snowmobile adventure with our sons. I knew the month would be busy, and I would be preparing to say good-bye to my oldest for about a week as he went to Texas for a competition. Like you, my calendar is now almost completely empty as events, appointments, school were all canceled. Everything big that I had looked forward to in April has also been canceled.

    So, I’m finding this is a good time to connect in a new way with my family, to spend time listening to the Lord, and learning how to keep redefining normal. Because just when I think I’ve found it, something changes again. 🙂

    I’m thankful the Lord has already seen the future, and He’s walking with us in each moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The snowmobile adventure sounds like fun! I’m glad you got to have that time before everything was cancelled. It sounds like you’re making good use of the time, and it is so encouraging to remember that none of it is a surprise to God and he is with us.

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  6. I’m guessing I would love that TV series from your description even if I am MUCH older than the target crowd! I grew up with “Beanie” books. That was the character’s name. I’m going to have to look into them again haven’t thought of them in such a long time. These are strange days but it sounds like you are making the best of them. That’s what I’m trying to do too. Glad to read your Four Something’s and touch base! Take care of yourself Lesley!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think we’re all dangling on the edge with that “What’s Ahead” question!
    And I’m trying to view this as valuable training in an area where I really struggle: control!
    God is good, and he has been faithful in the past. This encorages me to trust him for the unknown.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Control is one of the biggest areas of struggle for me too – this is definitely a powerful reminder that we are not in control! But I agree, remembering God’s past faithfulness does help!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That series sounds so fun, I’ll have to look it up. This also struck me: “time to pause can also be a time to begin forming good habits before the busyness resumes.” Aiming for that right now!! And oh my goodness, the what’s ahead question. I’m glad God knows!! Take care friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. To answer your question Lesley,
    I am enjoying our time in lock down with hubby, this isn’t new to us as this is our norm with both having chronic health issues.
    Though we have both found our creativeness anew! I created a fully lined crocheted tote & hubby is building an industrial book shelf for his study 😀
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  10. well, I’m WAY late to the party, but yes, very little of life these days is what we’ve expected, hoped for, scheduled.

    as all around us gives way, we realize how much Jesus is the same yesterday, today, forever. nothing surprises Him, nothing changes His character. more than ever I’m leaning into His mercy.

    i hope you are well, friend …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I’m even later to respond! But yes, times like these make us realise how much we need to hold on to Jesus when everything else is uncertain. I am doing ok – hope you are well!

      Like

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