Pursuing a God-sized dream is a fairly serious matter in terms of intent, dedication and commitment. It can alter the whole course of a life.
But there needs to be a time for resting and appreciating how far we have already come.
Holley has requested us to get in touch with our playful side this week as she’s encouraged us to “do something creative. Snap a picture. Build a Pintrest board. Make a craft. Read a book. Bake a treat. Wrestle with your kids. Whatever energizes you…sometimes along the way to our dreams we just need a little time to play.”
Soon after I read these suggestions this thought hit me with great awareness:
I have signally failed to factor fun into my life for far too long now (try saying that quickly) and my life has been all the poorer (and far too intense) as a result.
Chronic sickness and fatigue, as well as lack of practice, may limit my options somewhat but I will do my best to re-introduce play/enjoyment even if it will take a bit of a gear-shift mentally and a bit of working out creatively!
So here’s a snapshot of some things that have brought me pleasure this week.
In this week’s assignment are you asking us to do something: Frivolous Unnecessary Naughty to try the Fantastic Unlimited New or to Find Unexpected Nuances in our daily lives? Maybe all three.
Whatever follows is going to be presented while kicking perfectionism out the door and opening myself up to freedom of expression without worrying about what others may think of me. Taking that attitude alone should be fun (she says through gritted teeth!)
A Limerick – Ode to Holley
Sweet, encouraging Holley Gerth
helps us pursue dreams for all they are worth.
She sets a weekly task
and this one’s a big ask
for she wants us all rolling in mirth.
Actually, rolling around with mirth, giggling and breathless, is desirable but optional. Having fun is just doing more of what gives us pleasure, enjoyment and relaxation. Sometimes it’s okay to act your shoe size (mine’s 3.5 – 4 UK or 36 – 37 European) and not your age.
I love to write and have introduced fun into it by writing in a new way recently. Five Minute Friday encourages us to attempt 5 minutes of free flow writing on a given topic. So here is a 15 minute exercise instead (on a topic from a book I’ve been reading) of non-edited, as-it-comes writing:
When I am at a crossroads, I….
When I am at a crossroads I hesitate, dither, and try to remember which way I should be going.
Uncertainty kicks in like an unwelcome stranger beside me. How to choose?
Too many choices only serve to confuse. Is life governed by the ‘shoulds‘ and ‘oughts’?
Would it really be so terrible if I gave in to “What if..?”
As long as the question isn’t fear-based, then it is a road rich with potential of unexplored avenues, pathways to pleasure, roads to ruin, or streets of secrecy and shame, sheer delight. I remain rooted to the spot. Certainty shadows my thoughts and beckons with a sense of concrete calm.
Go with the familiar is Certainty’s refrain. Seems sensible. Logical. Doable.
Though I can’t avoid the fact it seems dull and pedestrian too.
What if…I gave in to a desire for pastures new,
took the left instead of forking right,
blindly stepped out into my fate and my future?
Would that be so terrible?
Crossroads have an intersection. A meeting point.
Here, thoughts bundle together like traffic colliding.
Being sure of where you’re heading is no bad thing. Being grown-up and responsible.
Secure. Safe. Yes, okay, a tad boring and predictable too maybe.
My inner child longs for safety. It’s more about the heart being stable than the road being less than rocky. Lush green pastures are not the usual stopping place for me.
I’ve become accustomed to the wayside, the dark path, barely enough light to step ahead.
Lived for far too long in Safe Pastures in terms of fear of embracing the new.
A narrow gate for the Faithful.
A broad road that leads to destruction.
I can traverse any conditions if my Guide is with me.
He beckons me forward. Make a choice. Go where your heart and spirit lead you.
Dare to step out into the Unknown.
When I am with you you’ll be safe, no matter what.
His the voice I choose to heed. Push back Fear and Uncertainty.
Welcome in New Beginnings. See…I am stepping out…
looking around me…putting one foot in front of the other…
Freedom and Adventure are calling me and I’m going to follow willingly…
Energy levels very low today. But I am rejoicing in having a husband who has a Jesus-like servant-heart, still loves me as tenderly as he did when we were starry-eyed young lovers, delights (usually) in doing the multiple household tasks I cannot manage, and always makes me smile with his great sense of humour.
I am needing to rest a lot physically so have turned to an activity I love: reading. Since joining social media and starting blogging, a lot of my reading is done on-line these days and I lack energy to read much else, though books still play a big part in my life; it just takes me much longer to finish them than it used to!
Jasmine Absolute, Bergamot, Patchouli, Basil and Yylang-Yylang
to soothe away the cares of the day
Cheered and encouraged by these words that speak of all we do in life being seen by God:
“Your work may go uncelebrated, but it will not go unrewarded. God has put you exactly where He needs you. You are fulfilling His purpose every day. Once you accept that, you’ll find joy and meaning in what you’re doing” ~ UCB ‘Word for Today’
Though I rarely make it to church, ‘church’ makes its way to me via TV programmes and music. I particularly enjoy sermons by Charles Stanley, Paul Scanlon and Charles Price, to name but a few. It really helps me to connect to God by playing worship songs and singing along to the lyrics.
My taste varies depending on whether I need quietly contemplative, rocky, soulful, contemporary or traditional sounds. Today, I am listening to the lively Newsboys album,‘God’s not dead’ and finding it so uplifting.
I love ‘The King is Coming’ song for its upbeat music and positive lyrics. It highlights the fact that Jesus is going to return and we need to ‘Make a way for the King’ in our hearts and lives. You can Click on this to have a listen if you’d like to.
Another lovely thing I enjoyed today was having our first Skype video-call conversation with our youngest son and daughter-in-law via my new laptop. It was great to ‘see’ them as they live at a distance and trips to visit one another are far and few between.
I wanted to go out and take a photo of a magnolia tree as it is one of my favourites and the sight of them in bloom lifts my spirits. We don’t have garden space for one, unfortunately, but they are in my neighbourhood. Sadly, my camera is broken and I lack the fitness to make an excursion. Nevertheless, I have ‘borrowed’ photos instead.
Close-up of the blossoming flower
The tree in gloriously full bloom
Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net
Indulged in child-like ways with a chocolate mint lollipop as dessert tonight!
To close – another limerick ode to Holley
A delightful young lady called Holley
always look friendly and jolly,
for she’s found a great scheme
to help you follow your dream
and to ignore her advice would be folly
I also attempted ‘Open Office Draw’ as I wanted to learn how to add words to images on my computer. Sadly, I didn’t quite master the art enough to enable me to share anything. Though it has encouraged me to find up my old (physical) drawing materials and have a go once more. Perfection is overrated, after all – she adds blithely.
This week has been eye-opening for me and I’m determined to keep seeking ways to enlarge the capacity to enjoy my life, whether resuming old hobbies or taking up new ones.
The things that have brought me pleasure and enjoyment are minor and may seem insignificant to most, but they added liveliness and colour to my life. I have welcomed the emphasis on experiencing the richness of abundance from God who freely gives us all things to enjoy.
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with eternal pleasures at your right hand” ~ Psalm 16:11
Hope you have seen His hand of grace upon your life too in the ‘chill-axing’ moments.