Share Four Somethings: April 2021

As we approach the end of another month it’s time to join with Heather Gerwing and friends for Share Four Somethings.

Something Loved

I wrote last month about the Easter trail I was helping to organise for my church on Good Friday, and it is definitely something that I loved. It was even better than I would ever have expected.

90 children took part (plus all the parents and other accompanying adults) and the weather was perfect – the first really lovely spring day of the year. As well as the families from the church and the friends they’d invited, several passers-by joined in, and I was surprised by how much they enjoyed and appreciated it.

On reflection, I’m pretty sure it’s because for months there has been so little to do and so few children’s activities available. Our trail was really nothing special, but I think people enjoyed the chance to take part in something bigger. Even though they were restricted to groups of two households, they got to see others as they passed by in the park. it felt like it brought our community together and it helped people see our church as something positive.

Also, I got to talk to more people face-to-face that day than I had in the whole rest of the year so far, so that was a big highlight for me!

Something Read

For a long time, I was happy to live without a smartphone. People would try to persuade me of the benefits, but I was content with the phone I had. It had served me well for 12 years(!) and I didn’t see any reason to upgrade. It actually took my phone being destroyed by a hotel cleaner dropping it down the toilet to finally make me succumb and get a smartphone!

Almost five years later, I can’t imagine life without it. How did I ever find my way to unfamiliar places without Google Maps? How did I keep in touch with people effectively without WhatsApp?

There have certainly been lots of advantages to having a smartphone, but I also discovered certain disadvantages – the difficulty of switching off, the temptation to mindlessly scroll, the distraction it can cause…

I was interested to read this book by Tony Reinke to reflect on “12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You”. It is a small book with a lot of information, and it is very thought-provoking.

I like that the book considers both the positive and negative impacts of the smartphone, and that it doesn’t prescribe a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with the challenges. Instead it prompts the reader to reflect for themselves and consider what to put into practice.

It is a challenging book, but very worthwhile, as these quotes illustrate:

“Those who feed on little nibbles of immediate approval from man will eternally starve. But those who aim their entire lives toward the glory and approval of God will find, in Christ, eternal approval.”

“Every morning we must take time to stop, to be still, to know that God is God and that we are his children. Digital technology must not fill up all the silent gaps of life.”

It also contains a very helpful list of questions for online content creators to consider before posting online, for example:

  • Will this ultimately glorify me or God?
  • Will this stir or muffle healthy affections for Christ?
  • Will this misrepresent me or is it authentic?
  • Will this build up or tear down?

I’d definitely recommend it if you have a smartphone and you’d like to reflect on the impact it is having and consider your habits.

You can find “12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You” on Amazon at these links: UK, US)

Something Treasured

In the darkness of the January lockdown, I wrote a list of things I hoped to do in 2021. My 2019 self would have laughed because every single thing on the list is something that I would have considered part of normal life, but many of them are things I haven’t been able to do in at least a year.

This month, I finally got to mark off three of the items on my list!

First our “stay at home” order was lifted, which meant we could travel for non-essential purposes, but only within our local area. This meant I was able to drive ten miles to walk by the sea. It is something I always find relaxing, and it was lovely just to be able to walk somewhere different.

Then a surprise announcement meant that, a few weeks later, restrictions were eased even further. We were allowed to meet outdoors in groups of up to six people, and travel restrictions were eased completely within Scotland. This meant that on one day I got to have an in-person meeting with four work colleagues and I got to travel to visit my family.

It’s wonderful to finally be able to do some of these things again!

Something Ahead

Still uncertain, but looking a little more hopeful…

We have a provisional date in May to resume in-person church and, looking slightly further ahead, there’s a chance that my band rehearsals might be able to begin in June.

My birthday is next month, and I will be able to celebrate with others this year. The next month should hopefully also bring my turn for the vaccine, so it looks like we’re heading in the right direction.

It seems strange to be filling up my diary again!

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

Linking with: Inspire Me Monday, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragements, Let’s Have Coffee, Recharge Wednesday, #HeartEncouragement Community Linkup and Grace & Truth.

42 thoughts on “Share Four Somethings: April 2021

  1. I love the sound of your Easter trail and that there was such a positive response to it. And I think we are all counting our blessings and just enjoying being able to get out and mix a little more. Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to the beach – walking by the sea is good for my soul 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a blessing to live 10 miles from the sea! That would be a dream come true for me. I was wondering where you were living when you said restrictions are starting to lift and you can finally go out for non-essential things! I am in NC and we have started easing restrictions a lot. We have been back in church since the end of May 2020 (although I did not start back then), simply because we were without a pastor and members of the church did not feel that the government could tell us to meet or not. Anyway, I enjoyed reading your post. The book sounds intriguing, I will have to look into it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cindy! I live in Scotland. We have been in lockdown since Christmas and only started opening up this month. We’ve had several restrictions since March 2020 so it’s been a long time. I hope you like the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would love to visit Scotland someday.

    Someday that will be a possibility.

    I hate COVID. 🙂

    I, too, was forced into a smartphone.

    Nice to see you on Four Somethings.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It made me sad that you downplayed the work that God did at the Easter Trail Event that you helped organize. I think it sounds like a wonderful day. Nothing is insignificant in God’s eyes. “Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me” – Matthew 25:40.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I probably didn’t express what I meant very well there. It was a wonderful day and I actually think it was very significant for our community. What I really meant was that if you look at it objectively it was nothing special (it was literally just walking in the park looking for signs and filling in a sheet) but people appreciated it way more than we expected, and God certainly caused the impact to be greater than we’d imagined.

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  5. I love the idea of the Easter trail you organized for the children of your church. What a blessing! I understand your questions about the smartphone. It is difficult to imagine how we ever got along without them, but we do need to ask ourselves the difficult questions about whether the convenience is worth it. The book seems like a must-read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a blessing “normality” is Lesley!
    An April highlight for me has been to have a lovely ‘girls’ weekend with my adult daughters at the Bay!
    Walks along the seaside, lunch overlooking the spectacular bay & coastline but most of all time with my girls! Such a blessing! ♥
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love your beach picture! I hope to visit Scotland one day as it’s where some of my ancestors are from. My birthday is also next month! So glad you were able to get together in person with people.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great idea, the Easter trail. And yes, after not seeing people, I can imagine all the delight it brought people. The book sounds like one I would enjoy. I have a read a few books like that and they each make me think and be more intentional with my technology. Yippie for visiting the beach and getting together with friends. This last year has taught me not to take others and their companionship for granted. The best thing about April has been the warm weather and plants leafing out and blooms emerging. Oh the hope and joy they bring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mentioned it in my Share Four Somethings last month but I don’t think I gave much detail. The children got a sheet and it was like a newspaper article with “the mystery of the missing body”. They had to follow a trail hunting for clues to fill in pieces of information about what happened to Jesus. Each of the signs also had pictures of Easter eggs with letters on and they had to match them with the pictures of eggs on their sheet to solve the mystery – “He is risen.” When they completed the trail they got a chocolate egg and a craft pack to do at home over Easter. It was lots of fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lesley, I’m so happy your Easter walk was such a wonderful experience for you and so many others! Maybe you can make it a yearly event! I’m also so glad you’ve been able to visit some of your family. What a gift! And oh, to be able to walk along the sea! I live in the mountains and love them buy my, does the sea call my name! Loved reading your lovely April Somethings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cindy! We’re actually planning another trail in May – obviously with a different theme! And yes, it has been lovely to see my family and there is something very refreshing about walking by the sea.

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  10. I’m so glad you are allowed to do more, Lesley. I knew you were confined, but I didn’t realize you weren’t even allowed to drive to a place where you can walk outdoors. That first time at the sea must have been so reviving. I hope you have a happy birthday spending it with loved ones! Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Trudy! I’m fortunate that there are some nice parks and places where I can walk near where I live. Until the start of April we were only allowed to drive if it was necessary to find a safe place to walk. It was lovely to see the sea again and just to walk somewhere different. Love and blessings to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m fascinated that your photo of the sea in Scotland is so very similar to the view from our favorite beach here on the US coast.

    I yearn to go visit my dad’s homeland yet again. Someday …

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lesley, I am so happy your diary is filling again. It’s amazing how, when we haven’t been able to do things, being able to do them again (i.e. go to a nearby beach) fills us up.

    My April has been good. This past week has been filled with preparing for my oldest’s graduation from high school. This holds many emotions for Hubs and me. And I think the other highlight has been unexpected conversations with my husband and my sons. Truly priceless. I guess we share a birthday month! Which day is your special day?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! Yes, there is definitely joy in things we would have taken for granted before.
      I’m glad your April had been good and that you have had good conversations with your husband and son. Your son graduating is a big milestone!
      My birthday is 10th May. What day is yours?

      Like

  13. So much to yay in this post!! I’m so glad you’ve gotten to visit your family, your coworkers, and the beach, and that the Easter trail went so well. Praying all continues well and your church can meet again as hoped for. And wow- I was just thinking about this smartphone I’m on sooo much. I’ll be grabbing that book soon. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lesley, I’m so glad the Easter event went well and that you were able to have some good conversations with people. The trip to the ocean sounds lovely, and I’m hoping with you that your area will continue to open to church and other activities in the near future.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am so happy you got to indulge in a walk by the sea and time with friends. It’s amazing how the darkness of 2020 helps us appreciate the beauty of small things in 2021.

    Liked by 2 people

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