A little black moleskin journal has travelled with me on many a plane trip. It has been tucked in my back pocket as I walked distant places and lately, it has gotten a little dusty. One could say even cynical. The elastic has stretched out of shape. A little like my body. The edges are a little worn and bent out of shape. A little like my heart.
There is something so comforting, however, to sit with the letters I have penned to myself over fifteen years.
Last week in the trenches of school holidays and winter, my husband asked me to do something really simple. He said “Babe, write a list of all your wins this year. Everything; your parenting wins. Your writing achievements. The times when you said yes when everything in you wanted to say no, you know all the little things.”
And so I did.
I wrote all the things that made me smile. Like the moment when we finally got our daughter back on the toilet and my sons face when he started Tae Kwon Do. Planting herbs in our very own garden. my list went on and on. Simple, private little wins that only our family could have celebrated. As I sat on our bed, with my list written on a simple piece of paper, a smile rose from within.
Just one step closer. One foot in front of the other. Finding perspective in the midst of letting go. Again.
The next day I went on a treasure hunt to find this journal. Each year on the 31st of December since 2004, I have written a word that describes and sums up the year just gone.
As I remembered all the different seasons that have come and gone over the last fifteen years and the art of remembering moments of victory and the feeling of utter lostness blossomed across the tension of years.
Prayers left hanging.
Space and time help us to remember moments where we were rescued in the midst of our trembling ways. Depth and story reconnect us with the breadth of what really is important. The art of reminding ourselves of how far we have come. Memorial stones of faithfulness where we have travelled the valleys and landing in spaces where the majesty of the One who has gone before us and brought his weaving colour in the midst of our canvas.
In this little memory keeper, I write every year the lesson learned. I also write the high point of the year, the low point of the year. Then I write myself a little note to remember.
A long time ago a leader, a fearless man named Joshua, came to a place when he was spent. He had seen years upon years of war, famine and fighting. They had waited for forty years to see the realisation of their hopes and toil. Miracle after miracle. The story that begot story after story. The rolling stone of faithfulness in the midst of season upon season, that could have easily been forgotten once revelling in the promised land.
So this leader of thousands commanded his troops to set upon a mountain top twelve stones, so that generation after generation would never forget the faithfulness of the one who had rescued, came close and stood from afar. He asked twelve leaders to carry memorial stones up mountains and place them one upon the other. So future generations we look at them and ask why were those stones there and what is their purpose.
The art of reminding ourselves how far we have come.
Do you feel dislocated?
Do you feel unsure?
Do you feel disconnected?
Find a way to reconnect with the stories, tales and adventures across of long period of your life and remind yourself of how far you have come. Reconnect back with your story from fifteen years ago. Remember what it was like back then and set yourself a memorial stone.
Then turn towards the future remembering the times that you have overcome and breathed deep in the satisfaction of a new season. This winter, find your voice my dear friend and remind yourself of how far you have come.
It is a powerful way to recalibrate your tomorrow. With the memory of the ways, you have been shaped by your yesterday.
It was a cold Autumn morning, much like the weather today here in Perth, WA. I had a little newborn baby and a story that made my throat tighten. I sat in our little apartment by the sea and my heart heaved with grief from letting go of the season that had just passed.
My husband walked in the door with a sneaky smile and glint in his eyes. With a Tiffany bag hidden behind his back, he presented me with the gift of necklace with a key on a long chain, that has become my constant companion ever since. As he gave me this gift he whispered: “Babe, the best is yet to come”.
I wasn’t ungrateful for the season of Motherhood that had been sprung surprisingly into my life, it was the letting go of the person “who I was in a previous season”. The girl with the career, the titles, expectations, responsibilities and the car parking space. When I worked full time, I understood what my role was. I thrived with my KPI’s, I strengthened under mentors and leaders, it was where I really found my voice.
What happens when the season shifts and we let go of everything that held us secure?
Your big shift could be chronic illness. Your season’s end could be redundancy. Your career change could have been burn out.
My question for today is this…
Have you ever felt the silence and grief of letting go of a season that was?
I have had and it nearly broke me.
Here are three ways that I have learnt to rediscover vision and voice in seasons of change.
We need to realign our reliance on others to give us our sense of security. It is so easy to base our perspective on what others think of us to get our confidence and voice. In this new season of rediscovering my vision and voice, I have had to readjust how much I rely on others to affirm my sense of purpose. I love it when Paul a writer from the New Testament says it this way.
Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
Philippians 4: 11-12
Contentment with our little or a lot is an ever-shifting balance. We need to ask for feedback and we all need encouragement to step into our greater tomorrow. When we rely on these voices, however, to be our anchor, in times of storm and change, when those voices are no longer available, we are like a boat in rough seas, trying desperately to find the shore again.
We must be willing to constantly reinvent believing that the best is yet to come. I have seen many people become extremely stuck when a season ends. Unable to reinvent what the discovery of their purpose and voice looks like for tomorrow, because they are facing the past rather than the future. When we can only see the fulfilment of our dreams and promises by the way it was outworked in our past, we become very stagnant.
This quote challenges me deeply.
When we make a change, it’s so easy to interpret our unsettled ways as unhappiness, and our unhappiness as the result of having made the wrong decision. This is normal. This is natural. This is change.
Any change is relentless in its overwhelming unsettledness. However, every time I have surrendered to the power of change in my life positively I have rediscovered my voice and vision in ways that I have never before. Are you willing to reinvent your life? I mean everything? Then maybe on the precipice of this awakening, your voice will be strengthened like never before.
Who do you rely on to begin again? For me and my house, we seek a Greater voice. Every time I have stood at a door wondering whether it will open when I seek the perspective of a higher power, the peace that surpasses understanding is always overwhelming. That is the power of inspiration. A breath of wisdom coming from a greater knowing of the future and its power. I believe strongly that the best is yet to come because I believe that my life and its vision and voice was designed with purpose.
Rely on God to begin all over again, every day as if nothing had ever been done.
The key that my husband gave me reminds me daily that there is never a dead end in the Kingdom of God. It is an unfolding, miraculous journey of hope and discovery. Every time that we think something has ended, it is the seed that brings the beauty of tomorrow.
Are you in a place where you can see no beauty in this season?
Firstly, realign your reliance on what others say about you. Take the time to strengthen and remind yourself of your strengths.
Secondly, reinvent your perspective of the power of change in your today.
Thirdly, have the courage to believe and trust in a greater perspective, one that designed and perfected you, before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb.
These three simple truths will profoundly shift the way you enter into seasons of change.
What if this season could be the greatest shift and adventure of your life?
Ps- If you are in Perth and have a couple of hours free on a Saturday afternoon, come and join me with this small, personal workshop. The whole idea is to spend a couple of hours, working on our vision and ideas for the future in a super creative and fun way. Come and have coffee and cake with me, I’d love to meet you.
February rocked me like I’m not sure anything has before. Moments, memories and reminders of the past came knocking and I stood there at the door completely surprised by their arrival. I didn’t realise becoming a full-time School Mum, would require so much emotion and intention. I kind of expected a quick transition, lots of cafe time and a whole heap of silence.
Have transitions like this ever left you reeling?
Unsure of who you can trust and what is fact versus the rolling hills of movement and change.
March found me human again and each day I have been unpacking what it means to walk my family through difficult seasons of change.
We have all been there. The seasons when we would rather stay in bed. When the thought of showing up for our friends and family is overwhelming. We send sharp replies over text, we pull away hoping our closest people don’t notice and more than ever we seek comfort in the mundane.
My husband and I have been reviewing our intentions in this season around the sacredness of space and safety in our home. Creating rhythms that keep our fortress safe and knowing that once again we will rise.
This sounds so very intense, but maybe my little being away from me five days a week has created the space that I required to really unpack the pain left dormant from the past. Maybe facing my primary school once again every day has confronted my forty-year-old self, with thoughts from my five-year-old self. And maybe giving myself permission to fall apart when my little person doesn’t need me as much anymore.
Today as we drove home from school in the rain and my mind swirling with questions, I remembered the foundation that my little home is built on.
Allowing ourselves to unpack and recover,
And Kind Words.
Cuddles and Candles.
Soft, Gentle Words,
Faces and Eyes that Smile.
Sorry’s that tumble quickly,
And tallies of wrongs not counted.
Just like my Father in whom I trust and rely upon. When people confuse me and let me down, He is my fortress, He is my deliverer.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
In these days when we find it difficult to know which way to turn and how to recover from the weight of our season. What if we created a fortress, full of light and love?
What if those closest to us, became our hiding place, rather than the people we hurt with our words?
What if encouragement became the bedrock of our homes, building up, rather than tearing down?
What if we were the ones that made our homes the safest places on earth?
Yesterday was a bizarre old day with many a challenge. The greatest one being we seemed to loose a poo. Yes, you read that right. Maybe four and a half years of having two little cling on’s roaming around everywhere with me has casued this, but my blog has now sunk to new levels.
The case of the missing package began when I was having my five mins with Kym. She is one of my coping strategies as a Mum and most days we have a five-minute phone conversation. Yesterday I needed my five minutes. I wanted to talk about something other than aeroplanes, nappies, trains and shopkins. And especially I did not want to talk about the potty, the toilet, wiping your bum or flushing the toilet, singing a song that included washing our hands and be on our way.
I snuck away into my bedroom for five minutes of peace and as I popped my head around the corner, I saw that there were remnants of the former present, left as a clue that a game of poo and seek would now be required. I quickly said goodbye to my friend after only three minutes with Kym and ran quickly to check my new lounge room rug and breathed a sigh of relief.
My rug had survived another near tragedy and I began to search. I looked in every corner, in every toy box, I searched under the rug and offered bribes to both Miss nearly two and Mr four and a half. The case of the missing present lasted for three hours. Three long hours of searching every single corner in my house, with the case remaining left unsolved.
It wasn’t til late last night as I shook my head in confusion that it dawned on me what might have happened to the unwanted load. Maybe she took it off to its rightful place in the bathroom and flushed away its existence.
I have been teaching her this for the last three months.
Did she actually “gasp” do what I had shown her?
As I laid there in absolute shock, I quickly thought about this little scenario. How often do I believe the very worst, than the best possible explanation for one’s behaviour?
In life, I think we might be saved a whole heap of worry, fear, searching and procrastination if we just believed the best, rather than the worst. We live in a world that is unravelling at its seams and every single day we are bombarded with problems and justified arguments, sad stories and divorce.
What if we just believed the best case scenario and worked the rest out later? With our children, with our husbands, in our workplaces and schools.
I love what Audrey Hepburn says;
I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
I am starting to realise there is so much more that I believe in, than what I hate. But so often I am inclined in this season to swing straight to the tragedy, than believing the very best.
I love humans and I want to be known for loving them right down to their very ordinary moments. I want my kids to know that they are loved, that they are accepted right now, even when they do the craziest stuff.
Why didn’t I believe that my daughter would do something as simple as the things I had already taught her too?
Why do I often go straight to worse case scenario and spend my whole afternoon looking for something when the answer had been just so simple.
I am learning a lesson from the case of the missing poo…Maybe I should believe that the very little, seemingly ordinary and repetitive moments with my little humans is actually sinking in.
Maybe, unless I find her little package somewhere like at the back of the pantry.
But for now, I am on a mission to believe the best, rather than exploding into the worst case scenarios. Every single time.
And so very sobering.
Happy Tuesday my friend,
Tuesdays are for dancing