Saturday, 1 October 2016

Stepping up in leadership- the series begins

My experience of stepping up in leadership has been similar to a rocket blast. If you had told me one year ago that I would be transitioning into the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Western Australia State Coordinator position, I would have told you that you had the wrong person. I had no concept of the journey I would find myself on this year. One year ago, I was on the leadership team at my local MOPS group and helping out with organising the State Conference as my friend had taken on the Conference Convener role. Shortly after the conference in October 2015, I was approached to take on the Regional Coordinator role for the Northern suburbs of my city. This mainly involves being a support to the Coordinators of the groups, training them and helping to resolve issues. The decision to say yes to this position was wrestled through. You can read about it here and here. Before I had been a Regional Coordinator for a term, I was asked to consider taking over the State Coordinator role for the following year. (That phone call literally had me sitting on the floor in shock!)

I have already learned so much in the process of considering and beginning to transition into this new role. This new step has only just begun. The more I discover, the more I have questions and ponderings to be answered. I make no claim to be an expert in leadership. I can only share the experience and knowledge I have gained in my journey so far.

This series is part of the Write 31 Days Challenge. I aim to post every day in October. This is my third year writing for the challenge. I was undecided about participating this year after an intense few months leading up to October. Three weeks before the challenge, I was attending the Fresh Leadership Conference. I had been sick and barely made it to the conference, feeling strongly that I needed to be there. Within the first hour, I had a download experience with the concept and basic outline for this series. When God speaks in that way, I have to choose to be obedient.

Through the next few weeks, I want to take you on the journey with me to explore what I have learned about leadership, the challenges I’ve faced, the resources I turn to and what I still want to learn. Maybe you have been in leadership for a long time and want to see through fresh eyes. Maybe you are like me and are taking steps to a new level of leadership. Maybe you don’t even see yourself as a leader but something inside of you is drawn to this concept. My heart is to inspire and encourage you while I reflect and learn myself.

I would love to know the questions and topics that you would like to hear about throughout this series. Leave a comment below to let me know.

I take the privilege of being granted access to an inbox seriously. I do not want to overwhelm anyone with the volume of emails that a 31 Day series could generate. I will be sending out a weekly email (in addition to the current Thankful Thursday email) to allow you to connect back to these posts. If your interest has been piqued, please subscribe below so that you don’t miss any of them.

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Thankful Thursday

When you are reading this, I will be out in the Australian bush camping with my family and some friends. No internet access. No electricity. No phone reception apart from trips into town. These times of unplugging and slowing down are invaluable for our family. Our souls unwind and we are more intentional in our connections with each other. It may not all be perfect and nerves are rubbed at times but that builds deeper relationships as we navigate those times together. 

I am thankful that we have taken steps to set ourselves up with the camping gear we need to make these trips possible.
I am thankful for my husband who plans these trips and ensures our family has holidays together to build memories.
I am thankful to be out in the midst of nature. I never fail to feel more connected to God when we are out camping.
I am thankful for the opportunity to go camping with friends for the first time. They have a daughter the same age as my daughter. I look forward to seeing them playing together- something my only child is not always able to do on our holidays.

I am thankful that the Write 31 Days challenge is about to begin, despite not feeling prepared this year. I may be stretched by this topic but know growth will come from it. You can find out more about my series and subscribe to the posts (likely a weekly email) by clicking on the image below.

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Thankful Thursday

What a week! September continues to live up to the anticipated intensity but the end is in sight. This past week has come with busyness, anxiety, mum guilt, beautiful and inspiring moments, family memories, sickness and relaxation. 

  • The MOPS Western Australia leaders conference came together beautifully. It marked my commissioning into the State Coordinator role. I learned many lessons for running conference next year and inspired me anew in this ministry I am privileged to be part of. We have so many amazing women giving of their time and resources to invest in the mothers of our state. The gala night on Friday was beautiful and full of sparkles. I had the opportunity to share some of my journey and share the hope I have discovered along the way.

  • After a weekend of setting up, running and packing up a conference and being away from my family, Sunday brought special family time going to the Ashley and Friends train day at Whiteman Park. Despite the cold and drizzly weather and a very tired little girl, we created memories together.

  • I love how sickness can force a slowing down and time of connection. Following hard on a full weekend, my daughter developed a cold. We have spent some special time together and I have taken a slower approach to life. 

  • I took the time to indulge in a bath this week. This requires planning and forethought as we don't have a bathtub at home and go to my parents' house for this. A bath with a bath bomb and a book is still a favourite way to unwind. One of the bath bombs I received as a thank you for the conference was the perfect addition. Fragrant, sparkly and lusciously colourful! My daughter got to play in the coloured, sparkly water too. 

  • Preparations for my Write 31 Days Challenge series are well under way.

I would love to share this series with you. Sign up below if you would like to keep track of this series, starting in October.

Stepping Up In Leadership series

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  • We are only days away from the launch of the Five Minute Friday book! Stay tuned for details on how you can purchase a copy for yourself and help support two amazing charities in the process. 

What good things can you find in your days this week? Share them in the comments or the link up below.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Thankful Thursday and an announcement

My time this week is short. I won't let that stop me from taking these moments to be thankful and focus in on the good things in my life. I encourage you to carve out a few moments in your day to look back over your week and notice all that you have to be thankful for.

  • The absolute highlight of the past week was my daughter's birthday. It was not without its stressors and emotions, of course! It was a delight to watch her joy and excitement as the day unfolded and she got to celebrate at her party with family and friends. I am immensely thankful to my family for helping out with preparations, set up and clean up. I am thankful that there are so many who care for my daughter and came to celebrate. I am thankful for the great friends she has formed at kindy.

  • I have loved quiet moments in God's presence that restore my soul.

  • I am thankful that the preparation time for our MOPS leaders conference is almost complete and that we get to pull it all together this weekend.

  • I am thankful (and, honestly, daunted) that I will be participating in my third year of the Write 31 Days challenge. I was undecided but felt God download a series into my heart. It will not be an easy series but I know that I am going to grow through this. Here is what I'll be writing on for 31 days!

You can subscribe to this series below so that you don't miss any of it (and let me know if daily or weekly emails would be best in the comments or email me.)

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I love to hear about what you are thankful for. Join me through the link up or in the comments.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Thankful Thursday

As we approach my daughter's fifth birthday in the week ahead, I have been dealing with swells of emotion. I don't know if I'm ready to be the mother of a five-year-old! Whether I'm ready or not, it is coming. It comes in the midst of the intensity of the MOPS WA conference preparation, parent-teacher interviews, and beginning hand over into a new role. So much on my mind but so many beautiful life moments and gifts to be thankful for.

  • Spring sunshine. It is such a mood lifter and has me wanting to clean and sort. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to do so when the intensity of this season eases.

  • Seeing my daughter's excitement building for her birthday. She is so aware of it this year and has her opinions on how she wants to celebrate. As much as preparing a party is so much work, I can't wait to see it come together and see her enjoyment on the day. It is an opportunity to demonstrate how much I love her. 
  • The Everyday Peace Bible study by Katie Orr. Stress and anxiety have been knocking at the door in this busy time. Digging deep into this concept of peace has been soul-saving. I am fighting for everyday peace through Jesus.

A photo posted by Katie Orr (@thekatieorr) on

  • A 6am sleep in from my daughter! This may not seem like cause for celebration until you know that she is usually awake by 4:30am most mornings. 6am is a very rare occurrence.

  • Special family moments celebrating Fathers Day. I am so blessed to have so many great fathers in my life to celebrate. 

I love hearing about what you are grateful for in your life through comments or linking up. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Thankful Thursday

September has arrived! My brain is trying to resist this knowledge as September is set to be an intense month with Father's Day, my daughter's birthday (and party), our MOPS leaders conference, going away on holiday and preparing for the Write 31 Days challenge in October. Growth and stretching are in process but it is never comfortable to go through. I started the day feeling reasonably upbeat but now sense the creeping in of feeling demoralised and overwhelmed. A perfect opportunity to take the time to look at what I am thankful for this week.

  • Antibiotics! I can talk and breathe again! I try to let my body fight off illness but there are times when medicine is needed. I am so thankful to live in a country where I have very easy access to medical care when needed.
  • I made it to the Fresh Leadership conference last week despite my illness. It was a time of encouragement. The biggest take away for me ended up having nothing to do with any of the speakers. I had been praying about whether to participate in the Write 31 Days challenge this year with the intensity in the lead up and being away for parts of October. I had made the decision to simply do the Five Minute Friday prompts and keep it very simple this year. I told God that if He had a different plan that He could let me know. He did! Sitting at the conference doing the worship, I had a "download" of a whole series. Now to find the time to write it!

  • My grandfather. We celebrated his 80th birthday on the weekend. I loved being part of honouring the legacy of faith, marriage and friendship that he has created. 

  • The adorableness of my daughter in her performance for Father's Day. I had the opportunity to watch the dress rehearsal the day before the evening performance for the fathers. 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Thankful Thursday

So it seems I was a little hasty in being grateful for a brief battle with a cold last week. I have been more sick this past week than I have in years. I am still fighting hard but feels like a while left in this battle. Finding gratitude  has been far more difficult this week.

  • I am so thankful for my husband this week. He has had to pick up the slack to get essentials done despite an injured back. He even makes night runs to the shops to get treats that will settle my stomach and give me a boost.

  • I am also grateful for my mum who has taken care of my daughter, stayed to help with her bedtime and brought me flowers. My dad also made a shop run for me and I know he is praying for me.

  • I managed to write 3 pieces to submit to the Amen Paper Company Advent devotional. With so many writers contributing, I know the chances of one of my pieces making it in is slim but my creativity and writing brain was sparked and sizzling in a way it hasn't in a while. I can't wait for this devotional to be released.

  • My house is filled with flowers at the moment. The ones I received last week are still going strong. I made a bouquet at MOPS under the tutoring of a florist and my mum and daughter bought me more. I love being surrounded by beautiful bits of nature in my home, especially being stuck here so much.

  • Beautiful sunshine days allowing outside play. I wish I could take more advantage of them but love that my girl can get outside and get her hands dirty.

  • The release date of the Five Minute Friday book is drawing closer. One of my pieces is in it along with many other wonderful writers. The best part is the proceeds are going to charity. I love that I can play a small part in impacting lives.

  • I was feeling frustrated with how little I could do this week. I have been wanting to crochet a headband for myself all winter. Hooray for a hobby that requires little energy and can be done reclining. Very happy with the result.

Have you had an easy gratitude week or has it been a struggle? I would love to hear what you are thankful for this week in the comments or through the link up.