A new year…

So, around February last year I started this blog up again. Since then it’s been growing and growing.

I’ve decided to re-do the site and make a couple of manageable changes. These are meant to help me give you a better blog and to ensure I’m keeping all my commitments.

I’m going to be working with the lovely Kory to redesign the blog, which I’m super excited about!

I’ve also decided that I’ll be posting on Thursday from now on. This way I keep up my schedule and you will always know when a new post is coming.

Occasionally I’ll add something important on other days but until then check back next Thursday for a new blog.

Before you go, many of you know I also write for So Worth Loving and it happens that today you can pop over here and see my new blog post.

Hope you enjoy!

Image

xx michelle

I will be a better me

A better me

1st of January.

I love that day. Growing up in the Northern Hemisphere, January is generally crisp and cool. The air feels clean and clear and full of expectation.

Around the world people are waking up with hope and expectancy. Some have said goodbye to a year of pain and for others the year will begin with blissful memories of a year gone by. Whatever 2012 was, 2013 is a blank slate, ready for the artist to create a beautiful piece of art.

I wrote in my previous post that 2012 was nothing that I imagined it to be; change was the word of the year. Truthfully, I spent most of 31 December excited to say goodbye to 2012. It was not that it was the worst year in the world or that nothing good came out of it, so much good came out of it. It was simply that there was little rest in 2013.

So this year, I plan to rest.

REST

Verb 

1. Cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or to recover strength

2. Remain or to be left in a special condition

Noun

1. An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity

2. The remaining part of something

For me, resting does not mean doing nothing. Instead of being the instigator of more change I will build. A house stands because it is built on a firm foundation and this year my resolutions/goals are based simply around building…

I simply plan to be a better me…in all areas of my life.

I look forward to 2013, with great expectation. I know that there will still be change, that life will move forward, that the unexpected may knock me off guard and I’ll celebrate the joyous moments as well…but I also know that this year is not a year to instigate but to rest, to pause, and to consider…to Selah…with hope and expectation that He who created me, brought me to exactly where I am now and my responsibility is to honor that.

I wonder what YOUR 2013 will be. Is  it a year of change? It is a year of rest?

Why not take some time to stop, think and pray…and consider the year ahead.

do not just let life happen around you.

love x

dear past

A Year Ago You Wish You Started Today

A year ago you’ll wish you started today.

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear that phrase?

For some it might be losing weight.

For others it might be pursuing the dreams they hold deep in their heart.

For another group it might be ceasing to hold onto the past that holds them prisoner.

I don’t know what you need to change, it’s really none of my business, but you do know and I encourage you to start today.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to change in our lives. In 7 days I move to a new country.  Having already done this once in my life, still, overwhelmed has been my middle name the last few weeks; manifesting itself in stress, sickness and unrest. Change isn’t easy but it’s often necessary.

The thing is…if you don’t start today, when are you going to start? One of the things that I am changing is my diet. Over the years I have lost heaps of weight, gotten stronger and healthier and now that I know my body right there are further changes I need to make. However, I know that the habits I have now didn’t happen overnight and instead of getting frustrated every time I have a minor setback I just think about how far I have come so far. My habits are changing, for the good, slowly.

This past Monday was my last Monday in full time work before I go off to do my MSc and start my own company. I called someone close to me and told her that it’s going to be the last Monday I ever work. Of course, that might not be true completely; it is the last Monday I’m ever working for someone else. I want to own my own company, for many reasons that will be revealed later, and if I don’t start sometime, set a post in the ground, when is anything going to change?

Humans can get comfortable. We are creatures of habit who wrestle with breaking patterns, harmful or not. We don’t like when we need to stop eating all that sugar and preservatives and start working out to get fitter. We don’t always like when our best friend falls in love because it means he/she are not around any longer and now I don’t fit in the same way. We don’t want to develop better work habits so we can get that promotion or change jobs.

Of course these are all big statements and not true for everyone or maybe not even to the same degree but I’m trying to show that it’s so easy to remain comfortable where we are and not be better than we can be.

Einstein is famously quoted as saying that insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results.

Personally, I want to move forward in life, living a bigger, better and fuller life. I want to make a difference in this world and I can’t stay comfortable doing it.

It may be difficult, but trust me, its worth it…small steps eventually cover many miles…

Make a change today…

Uncovering the wounds

Two weeks ago I sprained the joint between my hip and my spine; the sacroiliac to be exact…I could barely walk, let alone lay down. Even sleep hurt…rest was almost out of the question. Today, the chiropractor was treating me (I am much better if you wanted to know) when she noticed the a muscle was so tight that my arms were actually different lengths. After treatment I was all back to normal but something the chiro said struck me: Often when you injure yourself it reveals other issues that you hadn’t taken the time or slowed down enough to notice. She went onto say that often we’re much harder on ourselves then we realise.

As I walked home those words lingered in my mind. How often does it happen that it takes a seemingly bigger problem or circumstance that suddenly opens up a whole world of hurt, pain and other issues. It’s as if losing your job, getting a bad grade, breaking up, or even injuring yourself can reveal the issues that are deeper down inside. Personally, I was making myself go crazy trying to understand why one situation was making me so miserable…then I realised that it simply stopped me from moving so fast in life and not resting enough to take time and let God (and me) deal with all that which I’d covered up in the past.

It’s so important that we take time to stop, rest and understand what is going on in our hearts. It’s too easy to keep yourself busy and cover up what is going on inside your heart. It’s kind of like sweeping the dust under the carpet. Eventually that pile of dust is going to get so big you’re going to trip over the carpet and all the dust flies out.

A few years ago a dear friend gave me a good illustration of this…she said…picture a long, narrow, gravel path; this is life. You’re walking along and you pass a huge boulder. You can either clammer over it and keep going, ensuring that it’s still in your life, or you can stop, work through it and polish it until it becomes a beautiful jewel.

I am so guilty of rushing through each day, trying to get to the other, clambering past my boulders and ignoring them that I leave the dusty, mess behind me…my challenge this week (and continually) is to stop, take a moment and make sure that instead of big rocks hidden away, I’ll have beautiful jewels.

Live the life you imagined





Note: a couple weeks ago I wrote a blog about taking the next four months and not planning. Turns out I really suck at not planning. And this isn’t even an exaggeration. I think I lasted all of two hours…what I have come to realise since then is that it’s not really about the planning but about setting your heart to something, it’s a heart attitude. I am still determined to make no life-changing decisions until July; however I am beginning to understand what God has been working on with this whole “no planning” thing…
I have made a decision, or rather re-determined to be me…
God has made YOU uniquely and wonderfully made. He hasseen every moment of your life, since the beginning of time. He has put desiresin your heart and given you talents that are particular to you, in your verybeing.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  
Psalm 139:13-16

A few months ago I sat on my bed with a dear friend, where we talked about howcircumstances in our lives, situations, and hurtful moments somewhat changed the way we lived our lives. In particularly we discussed how our very creative sides had been repressed and that we were not using all of who we were to live our daily lives. Then we spoke about how certain people and situations had re-introduced that aspect of our lives and that God was healing us so that we were no longer afraid to be the women that He had created us to be.
How often have you not taken a step because of fear or because someone else put pressure on you? How often did something feel so right, but then maybe circumstances of life got you down and you allowed all the pressure around you to stop that which was so good? When was the last time you sat quietly, stilled your heart and went “Yes, there is a lot of pressure andI’m not sure how this is going to play out but I know I have to do this?”
Look at David. He was a small man who many around him thought that he could never defeat Goliath. His skills, that which made him uniquely David,were in the end what helped defeat the Giant.
I’m not making an argument for God’s will for your life. I believe that His will is to live for Him and to show others His love. I believe that the way you live your life, the partner you chose, the career, the activities and passions you pursue are a vehicle for how you show God’s love to others.
Sometimes we get so caught up in how the world thinks we should be or how others perceive our actions. Or simply in not wanting to hurt othersthat we sacrifice that which might be the best for our future. Recently I was listening to Priscilla Shirer speak about decisions. She said that when faced with a choice it’s often the one that seems the most difficult that is the one that the devil is stopping you from making because it will likely put you on the path that God wants you on.
God has a great plan for your life and remember that you’re living His plan now. Each day, each moment is preparation for what He already has in your future. No one can take that from you. You were formed uniquely and put on earth for this time and place so that you would seek Him and fulfil your purpose (more on that later).
So go, live for today with eternity in mind, start living that life you imagine. Start today because a year from now, you will wish you had.