Share Four Somethings: April 2022

I don’t know about you, but, to me, this year seems to be flying in! It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of April already, but it’s time for another monthly review with Share Four Somethings.

Something Loved

There has been lots that I have loved this month: my first full-length residential with young people in three years, some beautiful sunny spring days, a week off work, and two trips to the theatre.

I think a particular highlight has to be Easter Sunday. As we gathered for church, there was a real sense of joy and celebration. Obviously we were celebrating the Resurrection, but since we had only been able to gather online for the last two Easters, there was something particularly special about celebrating together in person this year.

It was also the first time I had been at church when we didn’t have to wear masks, and it made such a difference to be able to sing properly together and to be able to hear one another in conversation!

Something Gleaned

I discovered an article a couple of weeks ago that really spoke to me. I read a lot of wonderful articles online, but rarely do I go to the effort of printing a copy to highlight and reading it multiple times!

The article is “Pastor Your Own Heart First” by Anthony Kidd, and, while it is aimed at pastors, there is a lot that is applicable to all Christians. It is a challenging reminder not to get so caught up in the activity of ministry that we lose our love for Jesus.

I’d encourage you to read the whole article, but here are a few parts that stood out to me:

“I was so focused on feeding others with the Bread of Life that I neglected to feed on him first.”

“God showed me that he empowers a man [or a woman] to be suitable to the calling of public ministry through a vibrant and ongoing walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. I discovered that doing for Christ to the neglect of being sustained by and reveling in Christ is a recipe for disaster.”

“Our usefulness in ministry is inextricably linked to our delight in Christ. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can overlook the condition of your own heart and still be helpful to others.”

Something Braved

For almost five months now, I’ve been dealing with various issues with my flat. I won’t bore you with the details, but it has been an ongoing saga, made worse by the fact that the vast majority of tradespeople have been incredibly unreliable about showing up when they were meant to or doing what they said they would.

The whole thing has taken up way too much of my time and energy, and has been far too stressful. I’ve definitely made some progress now with getting things sorted, but there’s still a long way to go!

Something Achieved

I always find this the hardest category in Share Four Somethings, and I don’t think I’ve achieved very much this month!

However, one thing comes to mind, which is a small achievement but potentially significant. On two occasions over the last couple of weeks, I have said no to things that people have asked me to do.

Obviously these aren’t the only times I’ve ever said no, but the nature of these situations was such that in the past I would definitely have felt obliged, out of “politeness,” to do what the people were asking me to do. Neither of the asks were unreasonable, but I also had very valid reasons for wanting to say no, and it feels like a small triumph that I actually managed to do it.

In one of the situations particularly, I was very worried about how the “no” would be received. I doubted the person would understand, and I was concerned about being thought of as selfish. However, as I prayed about it, I felt that God was saying, “You don’t need to explain, and you don’t need to defend yourself.”

In both cases, the people I said no to completely respected my answer, and I think it has boosted my confidence that there are situations where it’s ok to say no.

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

Linking with: Inspire Me Monday, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragements, Let’s Have Coffee, Recharge Wednesday, Tune In Thursday, Grace & Truth

30 thoughts on “Share Four Somethings: April 2022

  1. This year does seem to be going by exceptionally fast. That article makes a great point. It’s so easy to be caught up in “doing,” even for the Lord, that our focus can shift without our realizing.

    It is important to learn to say no sometimes. What helped me most was to realize that if I said yes when I shouldn’t, then I was keeping the person who was supposed to do that thing away from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lesley, I am sorry you are struggling with issues over your flat, things like that really do create distraction in our lives and take up so much time! Congratulations on your achievement of saying “NO”, that is HUGE. It goes right along with the article you shared about pastoring your own heart, and caring for yourself so you can better care for others!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lesley, sending prayers regarding your flat. I’m a people pleaser, I find it hard to say no sometimes too. It’s difficult for me to be firm when setting boundaries, but I’ve had to do it many times. I’m over joyed you were able to say no when you needed to. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It looks like you’ve had so many wonderful things happening lately, Lesley! I’m glad. We all need some wins these days. 🙂 Congrats on saying “no” when it was the proper thing to do! I have a hard time doing that too, but am proud of myself when I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad you were able to fully enjoy Easter this year, Lesley. I’m sorry about the flat issues, I pray you have competent people assist you in the future. I’m so glad you were able to say no and that your no was well received and respected. That is huge!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Leslie, sorry you are experiencing issues with your flat, and hope things get fixed and work out in a more timely way. And I so agree with you, this year seems to be passing way more quickly than usual!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yay for learning to say no! I had to learn it a few years ago and have been teaching and encouraging other people. We only have so much time to give and we have to be able to take care of ourselves as well. Every time I go out in public without a mask I end up with a cold or something so I will continue to wear it when I am with a group of people. My church hasn’t had masks in over a year. Glad you were able to enjoy Easter without one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cindy! I’m glad you’ve learned to say no when you need to as well. I knew we were behind most other places in losing the rule about masks but I didn’t realise we were so far behind!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s an ongoing learning curve to have the wisdom to say no… Isn’t it!
    As there’s always new requests that seem to have great need.
    But that often another can meet if we allow them. 😉

    I like to put it this way Leslie, saying my ‘best Yes’.
    Which is to say ‘no’ to the requests I simply can’t meet (but in the past would have done anyway & literally burnt myself out!).

    My best yes is to look after my own physical, mental & spiritual health now. Like putting on the oxygen mask on a plane. I can’t assist others if I haven’t first looked after myself!

    And it’s not selfishness, it’s wisdom! For our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit! We burn out if we don’t refresh, rejuvenate & use our energy wisely 🤗

    I know I’ve learnt the hard way in trying to be God’s hero instead of His child & am now living with chronic health conditions as a result! Great post!
    Blessings my friend,

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Definitely something achieved – to be to say no….especially when we feel the Lord would have us do so. You would think at my age, I would not struggle as much with this, but I do. So nice you were able to go to church without a mask!! And praying all works out with your flat!! Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Easter was wonderful for me too, Lesley. I’m so glad you were able to enjoy the service and singing mask-free. 🙂 So sorry you’ve had all that frustration with getting work done at your flat … I hope the recent progress continues. Hugs, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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