a new year!

sydney fireworks!

A new year. New hopes. New adventures to be had. New challenges to face.

I’m not really a new years resolution kind of girl.

Although in the back of my mind there are thoughts like…this year I’ll… do more exercise, spend more time with my family, read my bible more often, be a better friend… As I reflect on these things I see that while all very good things to aspire to, they are very immeasurable goals. More than what? More than in 2010? Knowing me I’ll probably feel like I’ve failed at these things by next Wednesday because I tend to think alot in terms of “I should…[fill in the blank with some kind of regret].”

This brings me back to something I have written about in a couple of posts about living from the heart and pursuing that which makes you truly come alive. I have realised lately that while I have been seeking to encourage Adam and others in the desires of their heart, I have been ignoring my own.

One thing I have done to help Adam is to schedule in time in our calendar for him to work on his EP and then try to ‘defend’ that time when other also good things come up. It is easy to support Adam in making his EP.  I believe in him and I think he’s capable and that it is a worthwhile pursuit in line with his passion to make music. And besides I love him and want to see him doing that which makes him come alive.

Believing in myself however, is so much harder. I don’t default to belief in my own capability – I default to thinking up a million reasons why I might fail or it might not be the perfect thing to pursue. I forget God’s promise that when I trust Him and not my own understanding, He will give me the desires of my heart (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I also get sucked into believing that dangerous lie that life should be easy and hard work is to be avoided. Believing this lie is poisonous to living from the heart. It leads to a pursuit of comfort, ease and pleasure and constant disappointment – because the truth is, life is hard.

“Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.”

(Bruce Cockburn, ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time,’ quoted in Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge).

And so I must, we must, embrace the fight, the battle, the hard work. Annoying but true. Especially if I want to live a better, brighter story with my life.

While I don’t have a huge amount of clarity about the desires on my heart, here are a couple of little things that Adam teased out of me last night which I want to pursue (but to date have found reasons not to do so);

  1. I have been eager to play a role in helping our church do Missions for some time now.
  2. I want to apply to be volunteer at the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (I filled out the form a month ago and then filed it away in the ‘too hard’ pile, because I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to do it).

We prayed about them and I have now written them down here, so the plan is that I am going to take the first step towards pursuing them! First step with #1 is to get contact details for our church’s link missionaries & perhaps write down my missions ideas for church. And first step for #2 is to write a covering letter and update my CV, and then submit them with the form.

I don’t expect it will be easy, but just as I am still learning every day, hard work is ok. I’ll update you on my progress soon.

New Year’s PS: We were blessed to celebrate the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 in Bellevue Hill at our friends’ apartment. Here’s a pic of us all down at Redleaf Beach waiting for the fireworks! Amazing!

happy new year - bellevue hill style!

 

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come alive!

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.
– Howard Thurman

This is one of my favourite quotes of all time. Mostly because it is so true and yet not how most people live their lives. I think I cried the first time I heard it.

In some ways it’s easy to go through life doing what the world says you should do. You work hard for good marks in your HSC, then you go to uni, get good secure well-paid job, get married, get mortgage and some day have kids. All these things are good things, but do they make you come alive?

Often to go after that which makes you come alive, you really have to fight for it.

Back in April the National Director of International Teams offered me a job as her assistant because I wanted to help people more. I thought the idea a little crazy at the time but then couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I struggled with doubts and fears and pride. How could I become a personal assistant? I had one! The world told me I should be working my way up the career ladder towards more money and more hours and more prestige.

But as I had conversations with friends, a trusted colleague and family, they all encouraged me to go for it! They knew, like I did, that planning law didn’t make me come alive. And I had a strong sense of God saying – this is the next chapter I have in store for you. I had been praying for a new job for at least 12 months – I thought it would be in law, but hey, God always bigger and better plans!

I still struggle with doubts and fears and my pride often gets in the way but I’m so glad I took the leap of faith. While it is just a job (and as someone in a pub said to me awhile back, even the most amazing jobs out there are about 20% awesome and 80% tough hard yards) it is also a huge opportunity to see God’s faithfulness at work, to be continually humbled and to make a difference for eternity. Even the small task of opening the mail has encouraged me some days as I see big cheques come in and witness people’s generosity.

These things make me come alive! So ask yourself…what makes you come alive? And go do that.