Just thought to let you all know that since we are moving house at the current moment, I won’t be free enough to blog. However, there is plenty to read if you want to check out the archives section on the home page.
I’m thinking of you all….
I will be back as soon as I can manage a spare moment to write something worth reading 🙂
I’m not entirely sure where this blog is going to end up, I only hope that I can write it somewhat close to what is going on in my thoughts. As it is quite challenging to be able to write thoughts down for others to read and make sense of, so here goes……
The past few weeks have been a mixture of fun school holiday activities with my 9 year old, the usual housework and study. Oh and maybe one blog or two? This past week I spent an afternoon/evening with my eldest son and my granddaughter. Whenever my son rings me to catch up I never take it for granted. After he got married and he and his wife had a baby they have been very busy setting up their own little family. This son was the first one to fly the nest. Whenever I get a call to catch up I always take it as an unexpected surprise, given that he lives quite a drive away from where I am and he is a very busy young man. Spending time with him and my granddaughter always puts a smile on my face like nothing else can.
UNEXPECTED….. This is the main idea I want to centre around and write about from my own journey in a positive light.
Wouldn’t we all love to have more of those special moments? We may believe the unexpected surprises don’t come around all that often however if we narrow those moments down a little and forget about the ‘Oprah’ kind of surprises, we will be surprised to find out that unexpected moments in any given day happen more than we realise.
Don’t you just love it how kids are so full of expectation; they are innocent and have not been tarnished by the struggles of life just yet. By the time you are an adult you realise that to expect anything amazing to happen is just fantasy most of the time. As an adult you get bogged down with bills, chores, work, study, kids, marriage, shopping, bills, kids, chores, bills, bills, obstacles and so forth.
Unless you have a big large treasure chest of money in the bank$$$ it is all about juggling and priorities. I certainly don’t have a big treasure chest except for perhaps an illustration in one of Camerons books! Let’s face it life CAN and DOES get draining at times. There are so many demands on families these days to keep up with life financially, emotionally, relationally and physically.
This is why we need to remind ourselves of the unexpected surprises! Ones that are realistic of course, perhaps even more valuable than winning a car in a raffle.
During the past few years I have begun to take notice of the unexpected moments and surprises. I treasure them. For me these unexpected surprises can mean something as simple as spotting a beautiful flower in the garden that I had never planted or seen during the time we have lived here in this particular house. It immediately puts a big smile on my face as that random beautiful flower sends me a message of the unexpected. It gives me hope that in the midst of life’s challenges good things can come out of them. I would love life to be amazing every day but it isn’t.
Which is why we need to remind ourselves….as I am reminding you right now 😀
When I was still a teenager I had an unexpected surprise after going through years of loneliness and confusion. I simply had no idea where I was headed or what the purpose of my life was? I struggled with depression, low self-esteem, negativity and on and on I could go with all the hard stuff.
Then one day at work the unexpected happened and to cut a long story short I ended up in a church of all places. I grew up declaring that I would never go to a church or marry a Finnish man. I did both!
Unless you have had your own personal experience my unexpected moment may not touch you quite the same way it did me, but this particular evening as I sat there in this church I felt as though someone had come along and opened my eyes. The more I listened to the message the more my heart was melting to the truth that I was not alone, that there was a God who loved me and even had a purpose for my life. I eventually ended up going to a youth group at the Finnish church and was unexpectedly surprised as I felt such a strong pull towards giving my heart to the one that created me. No longer did I feel so desperately lonely, I had someone on my side who had been there along.
About six years ago I got to go back to Finland with my mum, dad, three sisters and their husbands, my youngest child and my nieces and nephews, it was a big group travelling together to go and visit the country that my parents and I were born in. Finland took me by surprise. I was amazed as to how connected I felt despite the reality that I had been living in Australia since I was five months old.
There are so many unexpected moments I could tell you about and I am most certain you have your own unexpected stories, the ones that mean the most to you.
When we consciously stop for a minute and start to think about the ‘unexpected’ we may find ourselves surprised as to the sheer number of them. The unexpected is not about winning lottery, or raffles it is about appreciating the everyday moments we can so easily walk past.
Even a simple smile from a stranger can be unexpected these days as not so many feel like smiling anymore. It can be a simple thankyou from someone. There are no limits to these unexpected surprises.
For me right now it is Monday, and often you hear people joking about Monday..itis etc… It is usually not the most favourite day of the week in general. With a new week ahead putting all challenges aside for a moment ‘remind yourself of those unexpected surprises’. How they made you feel and take that thought into the week ahead and LOOKOUT for some new unexpected moments. They are out there, we only need to be reminded to see them to appreciate them.
Here’s hoping that this week’s blog puts an unexpected week for you into motion,
Firstly to all the guys, my apologies this blog is not a discussion about handyman jobs around the house. Although if a piece of expensive jewellery vanished down the drain you could be summoned by a significant other to grab any tool you can get a hold of leaving no time to spare in order to save your investment. It is quite a scary thought to imagine an expensive ear ring dropping into a dark drain never to be seen again.
How about if a piece of jewellery worth only a couple of dollars dropped into the basin?
I don’t normally take my ear rings off above the bathroom basin however for whatever reason I did the other night. I took the ear ring off and there it went down the drain! My reaction was quite minor as that ear ring was a cheap one. Had it been expensive I would have been screaming OUT LOUD!
After my cheap ear ring vanished from sight an interesting thought dropped into my head as I stood there wondering why I had picked that spot to take the ear ring off in the first place.
I suppose it could have been one of those automatic pilot moments, when you go about your routine unawares that you are actually not really thinking about what you are doing.
Have you ever had one of those automatic pilot moments?
Changing the topic a little from bathrooms to kitchens, on a particular night a few years ago I had one of those automatic pilot moments with a hand held mixer. I was mixing up butter and sugar. The butter got stuck in the small sharp blades so I decided I would help them get unstuck. With one hand I held the mixer and with the other I started grabbing at the butter. What do you suppose happened? The hand that was holding the mixer suddenly decided all by itself to press the button and turn it on while my fingers from the other hand were in the blades!
OMG I freaked out thinking I had cut the tops of my fingers off, NO thank God, the blades had only hit my thumb nail. Nothing too serious, however it took me at least a good hour and a half lying on the floor to recover from the shock.
OK so back to the cheap ear ring dropping into the bathroom basin scenario.
Had this ear ring been expensive then it would have been a costly exercise that night both financially and emotionally.
So with the topic of drains and expensive items in mind, how true is it that in our everyday lives we can start living on automatic pilot mode and take people or loved ones for granted?
Money can’t buy people or relationships back yet somehow we can lose sight of the true value of people. When a relationship with someone goes down the drain we can be left standing there wondering why we had been so absent minded about taking care of the friendship, marriage, sibling’s, a mum or a dad.
Can we really blame ourselves for being absent minded considering the distractions and busyness we each have to navigate through each and every day. Sometimes we don’t even take the time to stop for ourselves let alone stop for another person. The morning alarm goes off and we are focused on getting through the day.
How easy is it to be living on automatic pilot and not take the time to notice what is really going on in the lives of those around us. We are usually ok with saying hello, but then it can ever so easily stop right there.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and noticed that they were looking around while you were talking to them and it was as though the person was there but no one was home. Ahhh that is the most frustrating situation ever!!!
If people are more valuable than money why do we so easily neglect connecting with our families or the people in our community? Has the true meaning of relationships with others sort of dropped into the drain so to speak? That all we can muster is a quick ‘like’ on a social media site yet when we notice a person we have on our friends list we can’t even talk to them or even acknowledge them face to face.
Don’t worry, im guilty too!
It is not hard to understand why loneliness is increasing and people are doing desperate things amidst their pain.
What would happen if people decided to snap themselves out of automatic pilot zone and consider others a little bit more?
We can never be there for the whole entire world but we can be there for those in our circle. We can choose to engage in conversation with people beyond the five minutes and choose to listen to what they are saying. Not just listen but really hear what they are saying.
When I was going through some of my tough seasons I remember how I felt when I was desperate to just talk to someone and found that people were almost too scared to hear me. We shouldn’t be scared to hear what someone is saying. It wasn’t as though I was expecting an answer I was just looking for reassurance from people I thought were wiser than me, people that had possibly been through stuff. As a result of experiencing too many of those sorts of situations I stopped talking to people about anything too deep. Hence my passion to listen and reach out!
Don’t underestimate the power of stopping and listening to people. When you stop to listen you may just hear what someone is really saying. You might be the person who is at the right place at the right time for that moment with that person who desperately needs to be reassured that they will be ok.
Perhaps it’s time to go beyond listening and really start hearing.