Friday, 31 May 2013

Mix Tape

I thought I'd give anyone who reads this a little summery treat! A break from my random ramblings, and instead some tunes that have been putting a smile on my face and will hopefully put one on yours.

MUST be played loud!

and chill...

and finish with some pure class...

Hope you like it. Let me know if you do :)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sticky notes!

So I was left home alone for a week as my parents went on holiday. Most of the time I've been working or out somewhere but some nights I got my friend Megan to stay over as I'm not very good at being on my own. Megan is a whole heap of fun when she comes, but even more so after she's gone! I hear what you're thinking, what can I possibly mean by that? Well, I leave for work early in the morning so I just let her sleep and get up and go when it suits her. On Monday evening when I got in from work, I found the following:

As I continued to walk through the living room, I read an exciting tale about a completely fictional character, 'Bethandra' and her journey to 'lushest city' and the scary encounter along the way with an 'ugly trolley'! This definitely put a smile on my face after my first day back at work!

Then on Thursday evening, I came home to find my laptop plastered in interesting 'facts'!

This again was lovely, and made me chuckle quite a bit but it actually got me thinking about the power of sticky notes! I mentioned in my holidays post about reading a book called 40/40. It's a really cool little book with a kind of interactive devotional for the mornings and a quick reflection before you go to sleep, and as the name implies, it lasts for 40 days. I really like the devotionals because they're short enough that you can fit them into your routine easily, but they're not wishy washy, and they're designed to keep you thinking about the theme/passage throughout the day. 

There are 7 sections: read, reflect, pray, ponder, chat, write and action. I'm going to blog just about the 'write' section. Each day, in the 'write' section, the writer suggests something relevant to the reflection, to write on a sticky note and put in a specific place. For example, on day 1, the writer suggests to put 'Jesus the light of the world' on a light switch you use regularly as the reading included the following:
'In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.' John 1:4-5
 At first, I thought, 'Oh I won't actually bother doing that, I'll just think about it.' But actually, when left to just think about stuff, our minds are not naturally going to stick to helpful truths and encouraging words. If I'm honest, I'm most likely to think about food or guys when left to my own devices! So maybe there really is something in this sticky note thing and I think the key reason is simply that they're small! Small enough to put anywhere; I'm not going to read the Bible in my car, but I might notice a little post-it on the dashboard. They're also small enough for my mind, I think little encouragements and nuggets of truth are just as important as deep, complex theology and philosophy, and most of the time, they're all my busy mind can take hold of.

So thanks Laura for the book and Meg for the messages, they're transforming my mind for the better :)

Over to you now readers, what would you write on a sticky note and where would you put it?

Friday, 10 May 2013

'Thank God for' Friday

It's another thankful Friday and I am feeling very blessed. So I'll get straight into it and thank God for...


I got back last night from a week's worth of fun in the sun in Crete with my friend Laura Whitmill (who I am also extremely thankful to God for). Technically I booked the holiday, and the nice people at Thomson delivered it, but there are so many ways in which we saw it was actually God's provision and blessing throughout the time. Firstly, the timing, both of us had had a pretty hectic lead up to it and were running out of steam, which we couldn't have foreseen when booking it. We both kept saying how amazingly relaxed and refreshed we felt, and how needed that was.

So relaxed on a (free) pedalo enjoying stunning scenery.

Secondly, our safety, there are many things that could go wrong when you venture abroad but we were kept safe while travelling (even when our plane was hit by lightning on the way back) and during our stay. The place felt so secure that never once did I worry about where I'd left my things, and we both remained healthy and uninjured for the whole time, even in the more extreme activities (which I'll get to later!)

Loving life at Disco Dijonossos!

We were also hugely blessed to be able to spend time with God and be refreshed by the Bible. Laura had bought us both a copy of 40/40 which is all about renewing your mind and guides you in biblical reflection. There are so many truths that I was in need of being reminded of and it did so in a really refreshing and engaging way; truths such as God's goodness in creation, the way that He sees us, His faithfulness and perfect planning, the way that He transforms lives and more.

You can never really be sure what a place will be like when you book, but we struck gold with our resort. The location, buildings, facilities, staff, food, drink and well, everything, was excellent. I'd definitely recommend Nana Beach to anyone, regardless of age group or interest as there was so much that you could do, or not do and there were several pools, restaurants and bars to suit all preferences.

Nana Beach really looked after us, they even gave us an Easter present!
Last, but definitely not least, we were blessed by each other. We really wanted the same things out of a holiday, and so every decision was unaminous! We enjoyed doing the same things and liked the same ratio of rest to activity and we had lots of laughs. We also did lots of crazy things like learning the handshake from the Parent Trap, going Paragliding and going on a rubber ring ride towed by a speed boat! Moreover, we talked about lots; things that only matter a little bit and things we think are really important, things that we're struggling with and things that bring us joy. Certainly, speaking for myself, I found these conversations so encouraging, inspiring and challenging and God certainly used Laura to help me understand and love the gospel more.

We had a similar sense of silliness! Night time in the kids' pool!

So today (what's left of it) I am thanking God for all his goodness over a wonderful holiday.