Saturday, 25 June 2016

Rest: A Five Minute Friday post (and pausing Thankful Thursday)

Intention to write and sitting to put words down are two different things. I had planned to write my usual Thankful Thursday post this week. Then I woke up on Friday and it wasn't done. I thought about doing it late for this week but can't bring myself to do it. This shows me that I need a rest from it. Writing has been taking a back seat for me of late, at least public writing has. The inspiration isn't flowing. I realise that the rest I am taking is not actually restoring me or inspiring me. I get so frustrated with myself at the end of the day when I look back and vow to spend my time more productively and my rest time in a different way. I vow to do better tomorrow but keep doing the same thing. I know that this is a sign of overwhelm for me. I am seeking escapism rather than true rest. The bigger the tasks and to do list, the more I procrastinate. A vicious cycle! 
I am choosing to take a rest from a few things. I am still working on what those will be but Thankful Thursday will be part of that for at least the next 4 weeks as I wrap up the term and our family undertakes a massive road trip squeezed into two weeks. I still love the idea behind noticing goodness and encouraging others to do the same. 

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This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt word "rest". You can read more posts from this week's Five Minute Friday here.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Thankful Thursday

This week has felt heavy and dragging. I have been struggling to write a Thankful Thursday post when all I see looking back is the hard. I am reminded that gratitude is a discipline that I need to work on. If I want to see the good in my life, I have to be intentional and focus in. It may have taken me all day to come up with this list, but it is worth it despite what my feelings may say in the moment.

  • I have finished writing all my reports for my class that are due in this week. I know all teachers can relate to the relief that comes from completing this task. I had not realised how much head space at the back of my mind had been occupied by it. It is freeing and feels one big step closer to being ready for holidays.
  • A weekend of being able to rest when I needed to and care for my injured back. Entwined in this is my gratitude for my husband who was able to step in the gap with caring for our daughter. I love their relationship.
  • A husband who is willing to invest time into our marriage. We are doing a marriage course together once a month and I am loving the new discoveries and restoring of previously strong areas. After eleven years of marriage, it is easy to slip into bad habits and allow everyday life to smother the communication and intimacy. We are working together to ensure this doesn't continue.
  • The ability to laugh at myself when I accidentally leave the house in my slippers and only realise when I am sitting watching my daughter's swimming lesson. 

Maybe you relate to that feeling of a hard week where it takes effort to see the good. Maybe you are abounding with gratitude. I would love to hear from you.

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Thankful Thursday

  • Life has a habit of throwing up the unexpected. I sit here with an ice pack on my lower back following someone rear ending my car yesterday. Given that I have a history of a traumatic car accident, this could have sent me into a tail spin. It hasn't and for that I am thankful. I am thankful that my daughter was not in the car at the time. I am thankful for how calm and accepting I have remained. I am thankful for insurance. 

  • Today I had the privilege of visiting another MOPS group to share my heart and experiences of noticing goodness. Despite being an introvert, I really love speaking to groups. I loved the response from the mums there and the discussions that were generated. I left feeling energised and knowing that I am definitely in the role I should be in right now.

  • Yesterday morning I passed a field of kangaroos grazing in the golden light of the still rising sun. How Australian is that??!! It reminded me of how grateful I am to be living in this country.

  • Last weekend was a long weekend here in Western Australia. Despite feeling sick, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Saturday was filled with special family time making memories. We started visiting the Model Railway and Lego Exhibition a couple of years ago and kept that tradition going. I love watching both my daughter and my husband enjoying the displays. We extended the day by going into Fremantle to explore the markets and town and have lunch. Sunday was church and more family time with my side of the family. Monday was productive and relaxing at the same time. I felt more on top of the housework going into the week while also spending time reading and recharging.

  • I read TWO novels over the weekend. I haven't done that in so long and I loved it. This was made even sweeter by being a trip down memory lane in many ways while still being new (to me) books. Did you ever read any of the series of teen and young adult books by Robin Jones Gunn? I used to love them for a quick, light hearted read that didn't fill my mind with junk and still pointed me back to a Godly perspective. She has followed some of her characters through their high school and college years and now have a series of their married years. These were the books I read after seeing them recommended by Amanda White on Instagram. What an indulgence to read!
What are you thankful for this week? Join me in the comments or link up your blog post about being thankful.

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Thursday, 2 June 2016

Thankful Thursday

Mostly this week, I am thankful for cold and flu medication, sleep ins thanks to my hubby and asthma medications. As that list may indicate, I am not well this week. In the midst of illness, there are still things to be grateful for.

  • Unexpected private swimming lesson for my daughter after everyone else didn't show. She has come so far in her swimming this year and loves it so much.

  • Fun at Issy's kindy open day where I was able to spend time with other parents. That doesn't happen too often as I am usually rushing off to work.
  • A friend who generously made and sent a package of clothes for my daughter's teddy bear. She has been asking for pyjamas for her bear for ages and she finally has them. Isabel was absolutely thrilled to be receiving a package addressed to her and even more so when she found all the outfits and pyjamas inside. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

What I Learned in May

May was a jam-packed month for me and left little time for reflection. I have felt behind and only just succeeding in juggling the many responsibilities, to dos and heart pursuits. Are you like me and still occasionally (or more often) write 2015 in dates? It's like a part of my brain hasn't caught up to the fact that we are in 2016. Has the middle of the year caught you by surprise too? I genuinely started to write "What I Learned in March" as that feels far more suitable! In the midst of this busyness and season of stretching, I have had some deep revelations about myself, taken some brave steps and identified areas for future paring down.

  • This picture sums up the huge AHA moment I had this month:

What is INFJ? It is the most rare personality type. And it is me. Reading through the descriptors of this personality with its challenges and internal conflicts has brought me to tears more than once this month. It is the first time all the seemingly opposite parts of me have come together as a whole. It explains why so many other personality tests have left me confused with mixed results. It explains why I struggle to connect with people, why phone calls seem like a huge task and why I have often felt like I do not belong anywhere. A small glimpse is captured in this infographic I found on Pinterest:

If you are interested in what personality type you are, the website I used is which is based on the Myers-Briggs theory. They also have descriptions of INFJ there (and all the others) if you are interested to read more. Maybe you identify with what I've written or maybe you are one of my friends who wants to get this weird unique person that you have stumbled (or more likely worked really hard) into friendship with. It is also fun to look through Google Images or Pinterest at some of the images that people have created, like this one:

  • A random conversation with a colleague tied in and was a precursor (maybe even catalyst) to seeking further insight through the personality test. We were discussing our roles at work and some of the tensions and ideas we had. She made the comment that she is a "pioneer" type and loves setting up new programs and ideas but struggles with the monotony of carrying out the role past about two years. It hit me that I identified with those feelings. It put into perspective the angst I have been sensing internally despite loving my work. I have since discovered that stability in work and being in the same role long term are known issues for my personality type. What to do about this is a matter for more reflection, discussion and dreaming.
  • A four year old can have some intensely disturbing nightmares, with no indication of where those ideas came from. We have long known that she suffers from nightmares almost every night. She is now able to articulate what her dreams are about. Her anxiety during the day is barely detectable most of the time now and has shifted in presentation to be housed in dreams. Those dreams have a significant impact on her emotions and moods, particularly in the mornings. Another parenting challenge to navigate!
  • I have been searching for something of a lighter variety to share this month and am coming up blank. Apparently it was a deep month for me!
Linking up with Emily Freeman here.