Saturday, 31 October 2015

My Ongoing Journey


It seems unbelievable that this is the last post in this year's Write 31 Days challenge. I did it! I actually wrote a post for each day of October. Reflecting on My Journey of Increasing Capacity has been emotional, uplifting and even surprising at times. The words have flowed in a way that they haven't in the past. A recurring phrase in many of my posts has been "a work in progress". My journey is far from complete (is it ever really done as long as we are alive?!). It is ongoing.

So what now? For the first time I have been consistent in writing and posting and am loving it. Daily is not sustainable for me in this season of life but I want to keep this momentum going. I am exploring turning my Thankful Thursday posts into a weekly link up where other bloggers can join me in my quest to develop gratitude and notice the goodness in my life. I have printed out a month blog planner page (check out the planner I use below) and have started dreaming about what writing will look like for the rest of the year. One series I can guarantee I will be writing about is Advent. I love the traditions that we have been developing as a family and will share more about them. I have taken a brave step and signed up for a local blogger/writer workshop and meet up in November.

In leadership, I will keep developing my role at MOPS and at work. I am praying through my involvement in the committee organising next year's State Conference and another conference that I've been invited to help out with. 

In parenting, we are about to enter a new season. Next year I will be the mother of a kindy girl (first year of schooling, part time here in Australia). We had her orientation and got her uniforms yesterday. So many mixed emotions and I know that this signals the start of a whole new phase of parenting!

In rest, I continue to look at reducing my technology dependence and be intentional with my down time. What is going to energise me? What will recharge my batteries long term? 

The lack of overwhelm and excitement to keep going shows me how far my capacity has already stretched. A dear friend had a picture for me of the elastics game (the big loop around a couple of people's legs). Instead of going upwards when one level had been achieved, they stretched backwards. It is a perfect picture of what this journey is like. Onward stretching I go!

This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.

Friday, 30 October 2015

My Capacity as a Writer


This is the second last post in my series for the 2015 Write 31 Days Challenge. I actually can't believe that I've done it. What is even more remarkable to me is that people in my real life and those I've met online have been encouraged and responded to my words. I write to bring God glory for what He has done in me; I write to share encouragement with others; I write to know myself better. For the first time ever, I am starting to consider myself a writer. 

From a young age, I loved words and putting those words together. I have won awards for pieces I wrote in primary school and was even a finalist in a national competition in high school. Despite all this, I have never regarded myself as a writer. I have received three prophecies from five prophets (two individuals and a team of three) in two different countries over the course of my teen years. Every single one talks about me writing a book one day. It is something that I have filed at the back of my mind but could never bring myself to believe. 

Then when I veered far from God's path in my late teens, I was convinced in my core that I had forfeited all right to these prophecies. It has been 12 years since that tumultuous time in my life. God has done some incredible healing work in my life over that time but there has still been that niggle deep down that I will have to settle for second best in His plans for me. I don't think I realised how much that is still inside until I sat down to write this post and the tears started flowing. That belief is a lie. 

I am a writer, as God created me to be. I don't know what that will look like in the future. There may be seasons of very few words. I do know that the ability to sit and have words flow out this month has been energising, uplifting and brought joy in my life. My capacity as a writer has come leaps and bounds in this challenge. I am more confident to seek out opportunities to further this in my life. I recognise the need for this avenue of thought to have space in my life, although I don't think that will be daily after this month is over! 

So now, I keep leaning in to God. He is the source of truth, grace and wisdom in my life. Without Him, my words will not have the foundation that I desire. I choose to be open to how He may use me in the future, whatever and whenever that is. 

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.



Thursday, 29 October 2015

Thankful Thursday


My thankfuls for this week:

  • MOPS conference- after so much prep and organisation, it was wonderful to see the visions in my head coming into reality. I loved the time getting to know others in my team better, as well as chatting to people from other groups. I love the new theme and catching a renewed vision for my own life and for MOPS next year.






  • An amazing husband who not only released me to participate in the conference (which meant very long days with set up and pack up) but also showed me again what a wonderful fun dad he is. Our daughter loves him beyond words and so do I.
  • Parents who live close enough to babysit and make themselves available for that.
  • The end of the Write 31 Days challenge being in sight. I can't quite believe that I only have 3 posts left in this challenge and that I haven't missed a single day. It feels amazing to have set this brave challenge for myself and be within reach of achieving it. 
What are you thankful for this week?

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Soaking in His Presence




Taking the time to stop and rest has revealed even more how much I needed it. I underestimated how depleted I have become. I sat to write the post I had originally planned and there were no words. I don't want to have words on a screen for the sake of it. If they are not from my heart and containing encouragement or a purpose, I don't want to put them out there. I have been loving soaking in God's presence today through listening to two albums from Bethel music: "You make me brave" and "Without words". I share a small of part of that with you in the videos below. May you take the time to soak today and allow Him to touch the deep parts of your soul.



DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Embracing Rest Today


It has been an intense few days and I am physically and mentally exhausted. Emotionally and spiritually doing pretty well as everything I was doing was filling up those areas, although I will admit to some irritability and lack of patience thanks to the tiredness. I wrote about the steps I have been taking to increase my capacity to rest here. Today needs to be a rest day for me if I have any hope of having the capacity I need for the rest of the week.

These are my plans for getting rest today:
  • focusing on the bare essentials of housework and allowing myself to leave most of it for another day.
  • listening to the new albums from Bethel that I purchased- feeding my soul and spirit
  • spending time colouring in the Scripture Meditations book from Lorien Atwood, an activity that I can share with my daughter (although she has to colour her own books and is definitely not allowed to touch mine! Maybe I will try to earn some good mum points by printing her out a copy of the one I am working on)
  • not leaving our house for any errands or to see anyone- this introvert needs some space to recharge!
  • spending time writing
  • maybe do some gardening, planting the seeds that I got at the MOPS State Conference
  • reading a novel
I would LOVE to soak in a bath with a bath bomb that I have been hoarding but that would require a lot of effort to pack up and get us to my parents' house and then keep my daughter occupied!!

How do you plan to include rest in your day today?


DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Inspiration Monday: My Community


Finding "my people" has never really been easy for me. I am friends and acquaintances with many but have often struggled to get to those deeper levels of friendship with people. There have been a few spread over different seasons of my life. It takes vulnerability to allow myself to be me and real to foster these friendships. The community that I have around me now has kind of crept up on me. There has been a natural deepening of friendship with a few key people. I know that my capacity wouldn't be where it is now without the support, encouragement, prayer and wisdom of these people.

I am so blessed to have these people in several arenas of life. I serve on my MOPS team with some, work with some, am in a connect group with some and have watched our kids grow up with some in a mums group. Not all of these relationships have the same level of depth, but each plays a role in my life. 

A focus on my community would be woefully incomplete without talking about my family. How do I put into words what they mean to me? Their love and support, their practical help, their encouragement and their challenges to me are beyond valuable. I love them all dearly. I would not have been as effective in some of my roles without the extra babysitting at times from both sides of grandparents either!!

My husband has released me to step grow and accept new roles and tolerated the extra time this has taken away from family. (That kind of sounds like he had me in jail but I hope you understand what I mean!!) I am so grateful to have had almost 12 years with him, 11 of them as his wife. 

Community is the soft place you come to land, the equipping and comforting place you come to heal, the challenging place of conflict that causes you to grow and the encouraging place that launches you into your purpose. 

What do you value most about the community of people you have around you?

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Sunday Scripture


Created using the Bible App- Jude 1:20-21 MSG


The unending, real life. These verses are a picture of how I want to live. Arms open and outstretched, right at the centre of God's love seems like a good way to increase my capacity!

How closely does this reflect your life?

This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

"Be You Bravely"- reflecting on the impact of this theme on my capacity


For those of you who are not involved in MOPS, each year there is a theme and verse to focus on. For this year, it was "Be You Bravely" with the theme verse from Isaiah.

Created with the You Version Bible App

This verse was the verse that God had given me to focus on at the beginning of last year, 9 months before I was asked to join the MOPS leadership team. That caught my eye from the start! The focus on courage to take flight and be fully me was challenging and inspiring. It was the perfect message to give me the boldness to look at increasing my capacity, take on greater leadership roles and feel comfortable in my ability to lead when in partnership with God. I had to forget the feelings of inadequacy from the past and the deep down niggles of belief that I had missed my time and opportunity for what God had for me to take these steps of faith forward. The hope and promise of the new thing I had been waiting for actually beginning has been thrilling. I can see in part the ways that God was preparing my heart for this year long before.

It takes courage to take the faltering steps into increasing capacity. It takes courage to admit that you can't do it all in your own strength and need God's grace. It takes courage to become comfortable with who you are, who and what God has called you to, to be you bravely!

What comes to mind from the phrase "Be You Bravely"?

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.




Friday, 23 October 2015

What I've Learned from MOPS Leadership


For the first year of my daughter's life, MOPS was a huge part of keeping the small shreds of sanity that were left. It was a very challenging year and the encouragement, commiseration and space to breathe were exactly what I needed. I was sad when one of my work days ended up being a Friday and I had to stop going to MOPS for a couple of years. In that time, I stayed in touch with participating in craft nights, helping to do AV for the State Conference and chatting to the mums at church who went. I missed it! I had already started considering changing my work days for the following year (this year) to allow me to go back as I knew my days of being eligible were numbered since we aren't planning a sibling for my girl. I mentioned this to a couple of friends who were in the leadership team at MOPS while chatting one Sunday and they were enthusiastic in their agreement with this idea! I felt such a strong tug in me to go back. I felt that tug was wrapped up in other promptings from God and messages of growth and increased capacity coming. 

A few weeks later I got a call from one of those friends inviting me to come on board the leadership team for MOPS. I felt the immediate confirmation in my spirit and accepted on the spot (sorry to my hubby who really should have been part of this decision but who has made space for this in our lives). The enthusiasm may have taken a hit in the reality of carrying out the responsibilities but I have learned and grown so much. This extended when I was invited to be part of the committee organising the State Conference for the leaders. 

Servant leadership- a phrase that is bandied about often in church but I am growing in my capacity to live this. The title of "leader" doesn't make me any better or different than any of the women I lead. It simply puts me in an opportunity to serve those women around me in a greater way. It is about supporting the leaders and women that I have been given the privilege to serve in practical and emotional ways.

I don't have to do things perfectly to have an impact- I started off trying to tick off every responsibility and suggestion in the handbook I was given. A good recipe for stress and feeling completely incapable of fulfilling this role! I have had to learn to focus on a few key areas, strive for the rest but give myself grace in the development of my skills and role. This is especially true as our MOPS group has only implemented the discussion group part of MOPS this year, so everyone is adjusting and getting our heads around it. We are starting to see the impact of the groups in allowing more reserved women to open up, friendships forming and increased ability to know when practical and emotional support is needed.

I need a thicker skin- I recognise the tendency in me to take things personally and get defensive quickly. There have been a few issues come up in the process of adjusting to assigned groups that I had to learn to separate myself from and deal with as an external problem not an attack on me!

It's all about the team you serve with- the others in the leadership team and the discussion group leaders I oversee have made all the difference in my capacity to lead. This community has become such an integral part of my life this year. I need to dedicate a whole post to this so stay tuned for that!

I'm sure there are many more things that I don't even realise I've learned yet. The growth process has been so incremental over the last year that I don't always have a conscious understanding of it.

What have the leadership roles you are in taught you?

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Thankful Thursday


The weeks are flying past! These posts are serving their purpose in making me stop and take note of the moments I have been grateful for in the previous week. So this week I am thankful for:

  • Hello Mornings starting back up. I love the motivation and structure of the study and the accountability of checking in each day. We are looking at the book of Mark for this session.
  • The end being in sight for making decor for our MOPS Western Australia State Conference this weekend. I love being creative and crafty but looking forward to this responsibility to be complete.  I am also so excited to spend time with other MOPS leaders catching the vision for next year.
  • My daughter having a good relationship with both of her grandmothers and having them available and willing to look after her for me. 
  • My daughter getting into playing with slime, overcoming her sensory dislike and finding joy. I also loved being able to share this with another child whose mother (a great friend of mine) struggles with messy play.



What are you thankful for today?

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Letting go of a role


A little over a year ago, I was dipping my toe into leadership again by co-leading a Hello Mornings group. It was a pleasure to be leading with a friend of mine and I loved being able to contribute to a group that had been so key in deepening my relationship with God. I loved the perfect level of commitment it offered for that season of life. I could exercise my skills in accountability and planning, while touching base with people without adding much more to my days. I didn’t have to go out anywhere (apart from a few catch up/play dates at my friend’s house which is never a chore) and it encouraged me to stay on track too. At the end of each session, the Hello Mornings organisers ask you to pray about whether you would continue in leading the following 6 week session. Honestly, I don’t really think I did that most of the time. I enjoyed it and just kept at it.

Somewhere in the end of last year and the start of this one, the session had ended and the call to pray and let the organisers know if you would be continuing in leadership went out. I did an obligatory level of prayer not really expecting any answer and planning to just keep going as I had been, even though I was starting in the new MOPS role. I was so surprised when I felt a clear “no” from God. I didn’t want to listen at first and tried praying again a few times to check. I really struggled to let go, especially wrestling with feelings of letting my friend down. The “no” came with the impression that I needed to step down to allow others to step up, as well as focusing my capacity on the other areas of my life that God was calling me to engage in. I had to hold back over the next couple of sessions too until there was someone else stepping up.

There comes a point in increasing capacity (actually that should be many points) when you have to give up good things to allow space for the best or the next thing. Capacity blockers do not have to be only negative things in our lives. The good can become a blocker when we are unwilling to let go.

Is there anything in your life now that you know you should have let go?

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.




Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Increasing capacity by going smaller


The words “increasing capacity” bring up images of bigger, larger, grander. The paradox that I am learning is that most often increasing capacity has meant smaller in many ways.

I have had to get smaller in my focus. I have wasted headspace and time trying to figure out the “grand plan” that God has for my life and where I could be heading in the years to come. This has not actually been helpful and more an indicator of lacking trust in Him and trying to maintain control. Instead, I have had to discipline myself to focus on the thing God has for me to do in the here and now, which may be doing dishes or playing with my daughter.

Increasing capacity has not meant that I can continue to add more and more roles, tasks, people into my life without letting go. I have had to reduce and let go of some of these to make space for the next direction from God. This has been a hard lesson to learn and I want to reflect on this process more in a post of its own.

To increase my capacity to be organised and content in my house, I have to get smaller in the amount of things I hold on to and get rid of excess and clutter. (So much more to do with this one but baby steps!)

Friendship is another area where I have had to get smaller in my approach. If I want to be able to form deep relationships, I have to put more time into those few people. I tend to be “friends” with many and I end up spread out too thin to really invest in these relationships. I will still make time for many when I can but I have to be more intentional with spending time with those I am seeking to be good friends with. I grieve that this changes over seasons of life and I want to hold on to all friendships at the same deep level forever but this is not the reality of life. In some cases I need to accept responsibility for stepping away and do something to reconnect but mostly I need to accept changes.

Smaller may seem counter to our desire for growth. God has been impressing on me that this is His kingdom way. His ways are not our ways. Check out Emily P. Freeman’s book, Simply Tuesday, for more on this.

What have you noticed getting smaller to allow your capacity to grow?

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!




This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.


There are hundreds of other writers doing the Write 31 Days challenge on a vast array of topics. Check them out here.