Each year I look back on what I’ve achieved either personally or we as a family, it’s weird really because as you travel through a year you don’t seem to notice the changes, they seem small, sometimes quite insignificant but if, like me, you were to write down the things that are different from the year before it’s interesting to see that infact a year of busyness has indeed been fruitful, amazing and God centred. Looking in on the picture of my life in 2014/15 and now 16 the changes, growth and amazingness that is Gods hand in my life actually throws me into a little bit of an appreciation spin! Well actually a big big thankful spin.
I still struggle with a few things from my former life, I guess we all do from time to time. It’s here I want to start to share Gods amazingness.
After losing our home in Australia a year or so later we purchased this house we are in now. A whopping 4 X smaller than our first home, I mean this house is as big as the ‘rumpus’ room we had in our first home but comparison steals our joy so we won’t go into that! What we will go into is the fact that although the house is 4x smaller (almost exactly in m2) the land this little home sits on is exactly now this is the amazingness ONE HUNDRED yup 100 times larger! If I showed you the deeds it’s down to the wire, it’s exact, there’s no way you could even try to find land exactly 100 times bigger it would be almost impossible! That was 2014, you don’t even notice these things until you sit back, reflect and be thankful.
2015 I thought we just pottered along slowly forming our ‘farm life’ but in fact God answered two very important prayers for Neil and I last year and they came through the most unexpected source, Multi Cultural Bite. A job I kind of got arm twisted to do thanks Thelma Bell!! But a job that I loved and also grew me in so many ways!
That in turn leads me to this year, at my most craziest and busiest time I applied for a job as a coordinator for a charitable trust, little did I know that this job would be so fulfilling so rewarding yet allow me to reach into my emotions in a way I haven’t before!
Now before you think wow how cool for you what about me, the above things are ordinary they are normal things happening to a normal kind of gal who’s heart follows an extraordinary God. With Gods hand on my life, my obedience to him and a whole lot of stretching in so many ways here I am. So very thankful. Thankful for the crazy stretching and the tears, thankful for the tiny house and the copious amounts of land, thankful for getting involved in the community because I absolutely love that part of my growth, thankful for a paid job that sees me work around my kids, thankful for meeting extraordinary courageous people along the way and most of all THANKFUL so very THANKFUL to God because He really sees the bigger picture even when we can’t!
It’s here I want to pop in the good and faithful Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
It’s kind of early to be starting on the reflecting I mean it’s still September for goodness sake but I saw a quote the other day that really made me stop and take a look back into what 2016 has been so far….
‘Realising it’s October next week and you’ve achieved nothing this year’ …. What a weird kind of thing to pop up. But it did make me stop, sit back and reflect… Hence why I’m here writing this.
We all achieve, we all achieve throughout the year but a lot of the time we might not see the actual growth or changes, it might be a year of spiritual growth or emotional growth now those two are hard because looking in at yourself for these two is perhaps only visable to you and God right now but it is an achievement. It may also be the answer to a simple prayer request you have been asking for after all my biggest achievement of 2015 came out of a prayer request for something so unrelated it’s hard to comprehend. Working through emotional stuff is as big as the new house, its the new job it’s just not as visible. Although I’ve had these great things happen I have also journeyed through some crazy emotions and emotional stretching (if that’s what I should call it) that at times has been really rubbish but they too need to go on my appreciation page because growth leads to bigger things….growth is about stretching and stretching is about growth….. Emotional as well as spiritual as well as physical…..
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2
I want to challenge you to write a page of appreciation. Write down this years ‘things’ that seem significant no matter how large or small. Then think about last year and see how you’ve changed, how your circumstances have changed…. We all grow, we all change and we are all blessed with the hands of a mighty God that has so much more for us than we can ever imagine.
A page of appreciation ladies DO IT!!