Moved to tears | playing savings

Have you ever saved up the last of something you loved just because you didn’t want it to end? From Easter chocolate to money, stickers, jewellery or the tastiest morsel on my dinner plate, I have always been a saver.

A few years ago I refused to watch the last episode of Scrubs. I played savings. I know, I know – it’s just a TV show. But I was involved, and I couldn’t face the fact that it was over and there would be no more seasons.*

I recently decided that I was ready to see it, and last night we watched the final double episode. With ‘The Book of Love’ by Peter Gabriel playing in the background, I was moved to tears by the closing epilogue scenes. The scenes give a glimpse of the future – as JD and Elliot finally marry, have kids, and everyone reunites some time down the track for a Christmas celebration. The montage of happily ever after scenes gave me closure. I was moved to happy tears and it was good.

I am working on the ‘playing savings’ thing, and these days feel it’s better to use the things I have now, not wastefully, but also without fear about what the future holds.

This post was inspired by Moved to Tears over on the daily post.

* They did make Scrubs Season 9. We started watching it tonight. Some of the same characters, but a different writer and vibe.

A very good book

I have been reading this book since I was a little girl. And as long as I live I will never finish reading it. It never gets old. There are sections I haven’t yet read at all, and others I know by heart. There is always something new to learn or a truth I need to remember or a challenge to change something in my life.

It isn’t just a good book. I think it is the best book.

I received this copy of The Message Bible as a gift at a recent conference. I usually read from the NIV or ESV translation when doing Bible studies or my quiet times. But I’ve started reading from this translation, before I go to sleep. It’s a blessing to read this beloved book in fresh, every day language.

The Bible is the best book because it’s all about the best thing in the world – God’s mission to bring people back to relationship with himself through sending Jesus, his son, to die on the cross and rise again.

Advent Blog Day 18 – Negotiating our differences

Why no Advent Blog yesterday? 

After an office clean-up had me away from my desk with my head in dusty boxes during the day, and a family Christmas BBQ in the suburbs, the husband and I thought we’d have a nice, long, intense discussion which started in the car and lasted until 12.30am this morning. Do other married couples have their most serious, difficult (and most growth-producing) discussions into the early hours of the morning? Or is that just us?

Last night we started talking about how we would spend our precious week off over Christmas and New Year.

The Planner vs The Spontaneous One

Spending time with people vs Space for being creative with music

His ideal week would be essentially blank. Mine would be mostly filled with seeing people and tasks I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. At times navigating these differences can be difficult. But I firmly believe that through them, our characters are being refined and our marriage is being strengthened. I’m more spontaneous than when we started dating and he is probably more planned.

Two helpful conclusions from last night…

  1. I want to refocus my passion for spending time with people on how I can intentionally bless them, not just fill up my schedule for my enjoyment. And as a bonus the purposefulness will help Adam to be willing to sacrifice some creative time in order to spend time with others sometimes.
  2. Remembering that people with creative minds can’t be creative on cue. It’s not helpful for me to plan spontaneous time. I started reading Living with a Creative Mind not long ago and it was truly gold for helping me understand Adam better. Creative people need lots of expectation-free space and time in order for their mind to wander and imagine and source new ideas.
us in Spain

us in Spain

I’d be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on resolving similar tensions and differences.

Advent Blog Day 17 – may grace increase

I was pleasantly surprised to hear our intercom sound this morning – I knew it could only be a Christmas present I had ordered for a family member on Friday. Talk about fast delivery. But when the delivery man cheerfully informed me that there were not one, but two packages for me, the surprise was of a different nature.

The identical parcels both contained the item I had ordered. And I flipped out. I immediately assumed that I’d clicked to place the items in the online shopping cart twice, and was feeling pretty guilty about wasting money.

But when I checked my emails, it was clear that I had only ordered one! It was their mistake, not mine.

I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but as I reflected on my reaction, I realised that when something around me goes wrong, I almost always have one of these responses:

  1. Assumption of error – I did something wrong, I am guilty, and I must profusely apologise and/or suffer as a result.
  2. Deflecting blame – No, I definitely didn’t do something wrong in this case – and so I want to make sure others know I am innocent.

My response seems to be either brutal or defensive, and I think this stems from pride and a fear about how others see me. It’s not pretty. Where’s grace? God has forgiven and continues to forgive me, so I want my default to cease being this assumption of error and blame, and start defaulting to grace – to others and myself.

The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 3:20-21

Amen. May grace increase always.

walkontherocks

Advent Blog Day 15 – Saturday sanctuary

There was a time in my life when not having something sociable and exciting on a Saturday night would have made me sad.

Oh how times change. After being at a work conference in Katoomba today (great spending time with missionaries, but very tiring doing almost four hours of driving in a day), tonight was a different story.

Our night consisted of Thai at a very basic but bustling takeaway restaurant, and doing our weekly grocery shopping. No sadness, no shame. It was a brief but much-needed little sanctuary.

 

Advent Blog Day 12 – One year at CMS

It’s a year today since I started working as the Communications Officer at CMS. As I reflected in November 2011, I started in the job with a great sense of God’s leading – it wasn’t my plan, but his.

I had to hit the ground running when I started, and though I’ve taken some holidays along the way, it is by far the busiest job I’ve ever had. The deadlines just keep coming! Quite a contrast to my experience as a solicitor – when I would often have to drag my feet around the office asking for more work, which was actually quite demoralising. Busy is definitely better – especially when the work is varied and fulfilling!

I have spent a large chunk of the year working on CMS’s quarterly publication, called Checkpoint – and along the way have learned a lot about working with and communicating with people. Like how do you tell someone you’ve never met in person that the article you have already asked them to re-write once is still not appropriate? That was not my favourite day, but I have learned from the experience.

Some of my favourite times this year have been training new missionaries in how they communicate with churches and supporters, when missionaries have popped into our office to say hi, and the opportunity to spend time with some missionaries in Spain when we went there on holidays. In the last few weeks I also got to try my hand at writing kids’ activities, which has been a new and satisfying

There have been some challenging times over the course of the year. Sometimes being the one female on a team with two guys can be hard – but I have learned to expect the weird looks I get from time to time! I have no doubt that there are more challenges and opportunities for growth to come.

As I look back over the last year I am deeply thankful for a job that’s usually not hard to get up for in the morning, where I can serve God using my passion for writing and editing, and also help others as they reach people for Jesus all around the world – from Germany to Cambodia, Namibia to Chile and many places in between.

my editor's sign-off!

my editor’s sign-off!

 

Advent Blog Day 10 – FFM Christmas fun

Now that my friends and I live all over Sydney, we all try to get together at least once a month (usually on FFM, the First Friday of the Month), to eat takeaway and catch up on life.

Except in December – when we have a Christmas Party of course!

This year two of the girls organised and catered the evening with a Christmas theme, including a photo booth. So much fun! Here’s a little taste…

FFM group shot!

FFM group shot!

FFM group shot #2!

FFM group shot #2!

I’m so thankful for my beautiful, precious, fun-loving FFM girls! We have been through so much together over the years – the highs and the lows. Love you very much xx

Oh, and here’s one of the husband. What a catch…

my grinchy and I!

my grinchy and I!

 

Advent Blog Day 9 – goodbye house!

20121209-232906.jpg

Today I said goodbye to the home where I did a lot of growing up. My folks are moving house this week. Mum and Dad built this home in the late 90s when I was in high school, and we moved in when I was in Year 11.

We made lots of happy memories there – 18ths, 21sts, engagement parties, the home I left when I got married, Dad helping us learn to drive by reversing up and down the battleaxe driveway, ‘studying’ for uni exams by the pool and many family Christmases.

I can remember moving there – excited about the new place but really sentimental about leaving behind the only home I’d ever known. I even wrote a message inside my bedroom wardrobe.

Now, having moved my own home several times since getting married, saying goodbye today felt odd, but I didn’t feel the same attachment to the place. Over the years I’ve learned that home is about the people rather than the house itself. Home is where your family is. The new place (which i might add, is just around the corner from the old one) will still be the family home – just a different one.

Advent Blog Day 8 – living local

Today we had lunch in the sunshine at a local café with good friends and their cute kids, I did some grocery shopping while Adam had some emergency dental work, then we had our first swim in the pool in our apartment complex and this evening we tested out our new BBQ.

Now I’m sitting on the couch listening to the crack-crack of fireworks I can’t see.

I love ‘local days’ like this – days when I don’t have to leave our local area. And today I really needed a simpler day. We are always glad to visit friends and family who live further afield in Sydney, but I’m thankful for a highway-less day on the weekend. I think it’s good for the soul.

three cute kids

three cute kids