Recently, however, I have had many things I could write about. I mean lots has happened, lots of thoughts have shifted, I've read loads of things, been encouraged/inspired, had opportunities etc. But then that pushed me to the other extreme of having too much to say and not knowing what to focus on. What should I say??!
So I felt like I had better crack on and just write something.
Naomi's Dec/Jan in an overview.
- Had some excellent youth work sessions doing fun things - outdoor laser tag, bowling, chinese buffet
- Decided to move out of Braidwood Road
- Enjoyed some quality family time over Christmas and actually just stopped for a while
- Had opportunities to catch up with a number of people in the run up to and over NYE
- Started by making some new friends
- Found a new house
- Temporarily living with a family who have 2 little girls - means I have had a Personal Trainer for the trampoline and a Hair Stylist.
- Spoke in Belmarsh Prison
- Sorting things for Spring Harvest 11-14's in Easter
- Trying to make life more sustainable
So there's some general info.
More specifically I think that God has been talking to me a lot about life and how to stay connected. He's been challenging me on my attitudes and thoughts. Like yesterday I was driving home from Church (of all places) and I got through some traffic lights just as they were changing. I was thinking "wooo go me" until I saw that the car behind me had whizzed through too - totally running the red light. So then I turned it into a little race between me and that car, making sure I wasn't breaking the speed limit, but driving "defensively". Then when that car got caught at another set of traffic lights and I got through I broke out into this crazy laugh - imagine evil villain in a film and that was pretty much what my laugh was like...and then I realised what I was doing and was like "how are you so weird?!"
In January we generally use the time at the start of the month for reflection on what we want the year to look like, what we want to change and what we want to achieve. I totally did that! I was thinking about the type of person I want to be, the boxes I want to be able to tick...and then I really just felt like I needed to chill out.
I don't know if you ever do this thing where you set really ridiculously high expectations for yourself and then get really annoyed/down when you don't reach them or when life doesn't turn out how you expected? I feel like I have a lot of lessons to learn from 2014 about myself and about God.
I think in the past I have put a lot of pressure on myself to try and be this super-giving, super- serving, super Christian person. Generally the motives have been right - I do want to help people, I want to love people the way God does and I want to be able to bring truth and life to people. However, behind all of this trying I was getting bitter about how even though I was giving everything life wasn't turning out how I was planning. I was getting more and more drained trying to give and serve and love thinking that that was the good Christian thing to do...but slowly realising that God hadn't asked me to do half the things I was doing.
You probably know if you read this often that I love the Christian Pastor/Author called John Ortberg - and recently my pastor lent me a series of talks that Ortberg had recorded on "Restoring Weary Souls". More and more I think I'm being reminded to be a Mary instead of a Martha. I've always lived my life with lots of action, not necessarily knowing how to just "be". But I guess that is my aim for this year - I don't want to pile on loads of pressure but I think maybe if I can just "be" with God then he will show me what I need to do.
Practically I've tried to work out how I connect with God more and I don't think I'd realised how much I love being outside and reading. I've always known that I love being with people which is still true, but trying to push into some of these other ways of "being" is just an experiment really.
Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas from those of you who are well practised in "being" are welcome
(photo courtesy of Nom and Malc Photography)