Thursday, 17 November 2016

Christmas is coming! Free gifts for you to help get ready

When you read the words "Christmas is coming!", did you feel a bubble of excitement or stress or maybe a bit of both? If I think about the gifts that need to be bought and the tasks that need to be completed by then, I start to feel overwhelmed. When I think of Advent, though, I am re-energised. It will soon be time to start the December celebrations and focusing in on the meaning of Christmas for myself and for my daughter. If you have been around my writing for a year or more, you will know that Advent holds a special place in my heart. This year, I am realising that what I choose to do during this season forms a part of how I lead myself and how I lead my daughter. 

Making intentional choices requires some planning and organisation in this busy season. Once again this year, I've created a free planner for you to use in planning out Advent activities. I have set out two columns for each day: one for the activities for my daughter and as a family and one for the focus I will be taking for that day personally. You could also use it as one for the activity and the other for the resources you might need. I used this planner last year and loved how it helped me to keep on track with my heart's desire to cut through the busyness and commercialism of the season. 

The other resource that has become central to the Advent focus with my daughter is the Truth in the Tinsel ebook. Last year was the first year we did the activities daily and we LOVED it. I also loved the printable ornaments which made this achievable. (You can have a look at our Advent activities from last year here)

For the first time, I am able to offer you an exclusive discount code for you to purchase the Truth in the Tinsel ebook for yourself and your family. I am so excited to share this with you. You can sign up below to receive both the Advent planner and the discount code by clicking on the image.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Common thread: Five Minute Friday

Have you ever experienced that phenomena where every day a common thread seems to run through the messages that you get? I have been experiencing this for the past few weeks. Almost everyday, through podcasts, sermons, social media images, a candle made for me by a friend, I have found the verses from Matthew 11:28-30. The message of resting in God and learning the unforced rhythms of grace has been a resounding boom. It has seemed strange for this to be the common thread of late. This is an area that God has been dealing with me about for years and I feel that I am in a good place in many ways. I carve out time for myself, explore the ways I am most restored in rest and have been spending more time in deeper relationship with God learning to draw strength from Him not rely on myself. And yet, here I am with the verses brought to my attention in a hundred little ways. It makes me nervous in a way as it feels like I am being reminded of this in preparation for challenges to come. It makes sense in many ways as I take on the full role of MOPS State Coordinator and the added responsibilities of this. I pray that these reminders will force the lesson deep within me for those days when I need it most.

This post was written as part of Five Minute Friday on the prompt word "common". The challenge is to write unedited for five minutes on the prompt and join the community of writers doing this each week. 

Friday, 4 November 2016

Journey- Five Minute Friday

This post is written as part of Five Minute Friday, where writers take a prompt word and write for five minutes without editing. After an intense writing stint in October. This is just what I need to get back into writing for November. 

When I saw the prompt word for today, I smiled. "Journey" My week started with a post about the continuing journey I am on in my leadership and writing and it will end with a fast paced reflection of that journey. I have spent the past two days at the Global Leadership Summit here in Perth. I am filled to overflowing with inspiration, ideas and plans. I have so much to digest, chew over, discuss and implement that it will take weeks to work it all through. I have come away with a renewed sense of the life long journey that leadership requires. If I am ever arrogant enough to think I have this all figured out, I pray that I will encounter new ideas and thinking to shake me out of that. 
I was blessed to have my journey intersect with an old friend at the summit too. We were housemates at uni and don't get to see much of each other these days. I was very aware of how far we have both come in our journeys of leadership and life. Despite the times apart and the infrequency of contact, the bond is still there and the beautiful gift of encouragement she has is still flourishing. I love those times that God brings of unexpected connection to speak into my journey right when I need it.