Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Fri, September 25, 2015 23:35:35 Movement can be seen in all places, the sea is one place movement is abundant, it can move gently with swirls and spirals, or fast with energy and power. The sea can be safe and it can take it out your comfort zone.
I find I can look at the see all, as loads of different emotions run through my body I can feel them disipitate outwards and away. Not matter how stressful a time it has been, some quiet time by the sea sorts me out pretty quick. But the sea and beach is also a place I go to move, I find so much inspiration - from the swirls of sea in the sand, to the water crashing in the rocks and throwing spray everywhere, to the little bits of driftwood that have slowly been worn down from a rough course piece of wood to a smooth, steady, strong piece of wood.
I'd like to introduce Challenge Saturday. Small challenges or thoughts I'll share regularly (not necessarily every Saturday), to encourage you to put your faith into action in a different way. I'm a practical person when it comes to my faith, so I love to find different ways that I can explore and go deeper on my journey, hopefully this will help some of you to do the same.
So this Saturday I want to encourage you to use this picture for inspiration to create some movement thinking about how your week has been, and consider the lulls, business, stressfulness and peaceful moments you might of had in it. Everyone's week i different, and everyone has a different level of 'movement', so you can make this as big or as small as you like.
The picture shows several different states of the sea - - Dry sand, not been soaked in water - Sand which received water but is no longer covered - Water that is receding away from the sand - Water that is building to crash down onto the beach - Frothy bits of water where the water is all churned up. And much more!
So it’s been awhile since I last sat down and wrote here.
Since my beginning of the year post, I have welcomed my baby daughter, Isabella
into the world. Who now at three months is full of smiles, giggles and lots
I find this time of year, one of my most exciting, not only
do we begin to see examples of new life springing up all over the place, daffodils,
lambs, flowers, leaves on trees etc. But we also celebrate Jesus’ death and
resurrection. In so many ways, this act of someone dying on the cross for us is
incomprehensible, and yet it’s true. Jesus did die and rise again, something
that is cause for immense celebration.
God is with us in our darkest and lightest moments,
sometimes it’s hard to step out and trust him, to believe that he has
everything in control.
Earlier in March, Blurred Edges, one of the SEED (Sharing,
Encountering, Encouraging, Dance) groups of Living Colour shared their ‘Oceans’
Dance at a women’s breakfast. The morning was about seizing creativity and
choosing to step out of the boat with the gifts God has given us.
On Good Friday when we reflect on what Jesus did for us, the
pain and suffering he went through, I wonder whether we can choose to step out
of the boat and trust God through our pain with what he has planned. Allow the
spirit to lead us? Jesus died for us, surely to step out isn’t too much for God
to ask of us? Maybe consider an area in your life at the moment, an area you
are struggling with and not sure where to go with it, step out and allow God to
‘Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me
walk upon the water, wherever you would call me…’
Have a lovely and blessed Easter, enjoy the video, and
hopefully over the coming weeks I will be starting to post a bit more regularly
I love this picture, and I love phrase that came with it. 'Dance your way into 2015'.
Yes, 2015 really is here, which I find really hard to believe, my bump has still not turned into a baby, so I feel like I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for this to happen and yet at the same time am ready and raring to do a bit of dancing! Not quite possible as I can't bend in the middle!
I went quiet on the blog towards the end of 2014, as there was rather a lot to organise. uC Grace has a new base in Odiham, Hampshire which we moved to at the end of November. Now more or less settled we are looking forward to what the next chapter and 2015 will bring.
I have a deep love for the Happy Feet films, simply because of the perseverance that Mumble has in all circumstances and the positive side of things which are always put forward (as well as the music and tapping feet). Sometimes in our lives we can get so drawn into things that our focus removes some of the wonderful things around us. Whilst it's healthy to hone in on some things so you can give them your all. It's also important to remember to look around sometimes, and explore something different.
Mumble goes on a great adventure to find where all the fish have gone, but along the way he takes in the stories and experiences of other animals that help influence who he becomes. Think about your great adventure, or the adventure that you maybe heading for in 2015, it won't all be about you. There will be lots of other people, events and circumstances along the way that will want to help you and unknowingly help you.
I want to encourage you to have feet like Mumble, that dance and move about, literally would be fantastic. But what I mean is that they have a willingness to participate and share with others on your adventure. That they 'twinkle' or 'shine' walking the path you have before you with grace, love and mercy.
So join the party, step out and move about! :-) Happy New Year!
I'll be updating the blog as regularly as I can over the coming months, with plans for this year. So check back regularly. In the mean time, be blessed - You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16.11
I don’t know about you but the past week it’s definitely turned more autumnal, bursts of rain and then lovely sunshine where the different colours of the leaves shine through. Plus the feeling of being cold in the mornings and needing to wear a jumper!
Today I was driving south with Danny and we had the typical journey of driving through rain, sunshine and traffic! However, when we reached the M25, an amazing rainbow appeared on the horizon which really displayed all the colours. I was keen to get a photo (I wasn’t driving) but it proved a little more tricky than I thought. I eventually succeeded.
As many of you will know rainbows and colours feature quite heavily with uC Grace, so to not make a mention to the sight that was seen is just not me! Somewhere over the rainbow there is always something good, and positive to remember and the rainbow is an amazing sign from God of the promise that he has made to each of us.
Where has the month of September gone? It’s the 1st
October, and I'm sitting bathed in sunshine streaming from my little window in my
study and wondering how long this glorious weather is going to last for! Before
I chat more about how you've found your Gratitude month, let me bring you up to
speed with my final few gratitude’s!
Day 28 – Conkers
Who has memories of conkers when they were younger? Where I used
to live when I grew up, we had several conker trees at the top of road and my
brothers and I (I have 3 :-)!) would traipse up the road and scavenge
underneath the trees to find the best ones. Either so we could drill holes in
them, put them on a string and play conker wars or just so we could see how
many we could collect. One year we also managed to plant them and watch them
grow into little trees in tub in a garden.
This year I noticed that there were loads of conkers trees
near where I live and in the September sunshine I couldn't resist regressing
back to my childhood and collect some. Admittedly I couldn't do a lot of
bending down, so Danny had to do a lot of it for me, I did however shake the
trees and watch with glee as they all dropped down.
It was great to remember those memories and begin making new
ones, there was another motive to collect conkers and that’s to keep spiders
Days 29 – Prayer
Last week I spoke about the patience needed to trust God
with Dannys career in the RAF, how we had had to be patient with the many
different changes that came our way. Today I am grateful that we have the
capacity to pray, to keep praying and knowing that God listens and cares about
where we are life and what is going to happen. He wants the best for us no
matter what and His timing is perfect.
It’s amazing to see prayers answered and mountains moved,
but we need to continue to be prayerful and trust God with what is to come.
Day 30 – God is
Yesterday we had received some really good news about the
next stage of our move and Dannys posting and were so grateful to people who
had been praying. Today however, was a hard day and the good news of yesterday
seem to come crashing down.
When you have a day that seems to be so full of negativity
it’s hard sometimes to see the positives through it. However what we cling to
and we need to remember is that our God
is Faithful no matter what.
So our 30 Days of Gratitude are now at end. How have you
found it? I found it challenging to always try and recognise things that I am
grateful for and verbalise it in some way. I am sure we are all good at
thinking in our heads about the things that have gone well and what we want to
be thankful for. But to mark it down, or say it out loud sometimes takes a bit
Day 20 - 5 smooth stones Sometime ago whilst reading I came across something called ‘5 smooth stones’. These are 5 Bible verses that you hold on to no matter what is going on and are the bits of Gods word that you can cling to to keep going because you them so well.
I was reminded today of my 5 smooth stones and how grateful I am that there is Gods word to turn to when things seem a bit rough. Here are mine…
What would you pick as your 5 smooth stones to help you keep going when things get tough?
Day 21 - God’s Grace Provides At church today the sermon spoke about how God’s grace provides in all circumstances, but sometimes the devil will try and get in and take what has been given to us away. Many times when I’ve feel there’s been a step forward with uC Grace or as a couple with Danny, negativity or something difficult has followed straight away. What has got us through those moments is knowing that God’s grace is above all that the devil tries to put in our way, and we need to stand our ground to not let him win.
Day 22 - Breath I did a lot of driving today and there seemed to be a running theme amongst the songs that were appearing on shuffle, they were all about breath and breathing, ‘breathe on me breath of God’.
When we think about the life God has given us and his desire to always support and be there for us, how we act and move in our day to day life can affect how of God we have within us. Think of it like this, when we breathe we can breathe in lots of different ways, to fulfill the needs of oxygen needed within our body. Allowing God to fulfill our needs can be done in the same way. When we choose to take short shallow breaths we are not allowing much of God to get inside us, but if we take long, deep breaths that really sink into our very core, we can allow God to encompass us, fill us, and keep us going.
Do you breath God in deeply or shallowly? With the prospect of a few more changes ahead of me I pretty sure I was at the stage of taking short, shallow breaths, but today reminded me that I need to slow down, and inhale slowly and let God do the rest!
Day 23 - Helping hand On Friday I have Dannys graduation from Air Crewman training and I have to go dressed up! It’s been a bit of nightmare trying to find something to wear and I was taking yet another thing back to New Look that didn’t fit in the hope that I could order a smaller size and it would all be sorted. There was no other size, and I got a bit upset (I blame it on pregnancy hormones), however it was a very kind lady that was serving and she disappeared off around the shop to look in the ‘normal’ clothes to see if she could find something that fitted me instead. She came back with something that was perfect. I was so grateful that she took the time to help me, check things fitted and offer advice on future things I may be trying to find.
I don’t know about your experiences with shop assistants, but they are not always this accommodating, but what this lady did made my day whole lot better and I finally had a complete outfit!!
Day 24 - Laughter For the next month or so I’ve taken on the task of choreographing for the local village panto, Sleeping Beauty. Tonight was the first rehearsal with the cast. It reminded me so much of my time during Peace Child, particularly the shock horror look of adults when they realise that they have got to dance! This particular evening I was teaching movements for the Finale song - ‘Reach’ from S club 7. It was great to see the adults get stuck in to it, and there was so much laughter, and that’s what I am grateful for, laughter got me through the rehearsals and I wouldn’t definitely say that laughter got the adults through as well!
Day 25 - Young People On a Thursday night I have my youth work job on the local RAF base, tonight was one of our busiest nights seeing 14 people come to the club. I realise for some of you who run youth clubs you might not think thats much, but when the average is 5/6 it’s something worth celebrating!
We were making scotch pancakes and having a general hang out session, there was more drama than I have ever known between some of the friendship groups, so i was grateful to be able to be there and share with them and amongst them my experiences.
Day 26 - Patience Today was a very proud day, a celebration of something that has been long awaited. My husband finally graduated from his Air Crewman course at RAF Shawbury. This was a course that he was meant to complete 4 years ago! But due to reviews and re-shuffling done with the military the course kept being put back.
Sometimes with things in life, you want them to happen in your own timeline and at a particular time, however the reality is that God has different agenda to timings and the thing is to be patient to trust that those timings will come to fruition.
I’m grateful that I have been able to support Danny to get this far, grateful that we’ve persisted with having patience with the RAF (very difficult sometimes) and we hope that we can continue to apply that patience as we now move onto the next stage of our life. At the moment that’s being patient for a house to move in to before Danny starts at his new base, Odiham, in November!
Day 27 - Family Time The day after the night before! Yesterday was such a special day and I felt such a privilege to support Danny. Today I am grateful for something I have already chatted about during this gratitude journey, and that is family time, but in particular two families coming together to celebrate something special that someone has achieved and unanimously offer their support.
We are so very nearly at the end of the Gratitude Journey, how have you found it? I do hope it has helped you become more aware of things around you and the things that you do. There are just 3 more days of it left (where on earth has September gone), so enjoy it and keep sharing!!!