Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Gold In The Darkest Moments #7

It's been far too long since I sat at my laptop and thought about the things in my life that have made me smile recently.  I went through a stage when my Gold In the Darkest Moments posts were my favourite posts to write.  But then life got busy and I was also struggling to think of what to write for these posts.  But after my bible study this morning I realised that it's not just the big things I should be thankful for, I should take the time to share the little things that have made me happy as well. 

I'm currently sitting in my pj's cuddled up on my giant teddy bear (thanks for that Mhairi!), while feeling a little sorry for myself cause I've been choked up with the cold for a little while now and it's making me feel pretty lousy.  But, I'm going to push my icky ill feelings aside so I can share with you some of the things in my life that have made me happy recently. 

1.  My new slippers.
Like I said, you need to be thankful for the little things in life!  I got some lovely new slippers from George by Asda because my old ones had seen much better days.  These slippers are so cosy and after a long day at work I love putting them on and unwinding with a good book.

2.  Delight & Be
Delight & Be is a website and blog for young Christian women who are interested in the creative arts.  From baking, to fashion, to photography, there's something there for everyone!  This site has been so great for me growing in my faith, but also with improving my photography and my writing style.  I'm part of a few of the Delight & Be Facebook groups and I love these girls so much.  They're all so happy to listen to each other, pray for each other, and love each other.  Their hearts for Jesus are so wonderful! 

3.  A day in St Andrews
If you follow me on instagram (a cheeky little hint for you there) then you'll have seen a few of my photos from my recent trip to St Andrews.  I went there for a day to see my wonderful friend Annie who I'll be staying with in Australia next year.  We had such a lovely day together, and although the weather was windy and so, so cold we had such a wonderful time exploring St Andrews.

4.  Cosy nights in. 
It's winter so I'm spending many evenings snuggled up in my pj's, watching movies, listening to Christmas music, and doing Christmas crafts while it's socially acceptable to be snuggled up in my room all evening. 

5.  Frosty mornings. 
I had a lovely walk down to the bus stop the other morning, frost covered the ground and I could see my breathe.  Everything looked so crisp and fresh, it's got me very excited for Christmas!

6.  My mum, dad & sister.
I've been feeling pretty homesick recently so when I chatted to my mum and dad on the phone for quite a long time the other night it made me feel a lot better.  I also stayed with my sister a few weekends ago, it was so nice to properly catch up and go to church together. When I was younger I didn't appreciate my family, but now I'm realising how fortunate I am to be blessed with such an amazing family who make me feel so loved. 

7.  for King & Country
I love finding new music to listen too.  I sometimes struggle to find Christian/worship music that I enjoy but then I happened across for King & Country and I've been listening to them whenever I get the chance.  I absolutely love their newest album "Run Wild. Live Free.  Love Strong" their style of music is unlike anything I've heard from a Christian band and lyrically I think their relevant and raw which is great.  They've also released a Christmas EP this month which is so lovely!

8.  Free To Be Me by Staci Eldredge
I got this book at the beginning of October when I was back home for a couple of days.  I had heard of Staci Eldredge before but hadn't read any of her books but when I saw this at the Faith Mission bookshop I had a feeling it would be good for me.  So far I'm really enjoying it and I've learnt so much from this book, Staci writes in a way that you feel like you're having a chat with her in a coffee shop which I really enjoy. 

9.  Hot Chocolate.
It's the kind of weather that makes me drink countless hot chocolates.  I'll also never refuse marshmallows and whipped cream to go along with it, what can I say, I like to treat myself!

I hope you enjoyed this post, I'm really enjoying looking at my life in a way that I wouldn't otherwise do and appreciating the things that make me happy.  Let me know in the comments what's made you happy this week, I'd love to hear from you all.

This post is part of my Gold In The darkest Moments series, you can read the other posts from this series by clicking here



Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Delight & Learn To Skate

I love ice skating.  I've been going ice skating since I was really little, I've only ever done it for fun, nothing professional but I still really enjoy it.  Although I really like ice skating, I am so, so bad at it.  I grip the wall of the rink and drag myself around, I shuffle along the ice and if I slip even slightly I freak out. 

I went ice skating a few weeks ago with a couple of my friends and it was really good fun.  We only had half the rink so this meant I could shuffle round the edges quicker than normal!  I went with two of my friends, one of who used to play ice hockey and he's been trained in figure skating, and my other friend had just spent a few months in Canada going skating regularly with experienced skaters.  So it's safe to say I felt a little out of place. 

But, I decided to try and make the most of the two hours we had on the ice by hiring hockey skates for the first time and occasionally letting go of the side for a millisecond.  I was doing pretty well and was quite pleased with myself, until one of my friends decided he'd lean against the side so I'd have to let go of the side to move around him.  I freaked out. 

I tried to persuade him to move but he was pretty determined that I was going to let go of the side, after all I had had a death grip on the wall for the best part of an hour.  So, I tried to be brave and let go of the side, but next thing I knew he had grabbed my hands and was helping me to skate round the middle of the rink.  Although I was pretty scared at this point and was digging my nails into his wrists while squealing, I was pretty excited to not be dragging myself round the edge anymore.

But then he let go. 

I was left in the middle of the rink.  By myself.  The girl who cannot skate to save herself was standing in the middle of the ice rink scared beyond belief.  I was freaking out, trying to persuade one of my friends to come and help me out, but they left me in the middle willing me to be brave. 

I've been thinking about this day a lot, and about how so often I'll be heading one way and then God will step in because He wants me to go a different way.  I'll stand there and try to argue with him and I'll be stubborn and think that pulling myself along the edges of life is what I should be doing. 

But God grabs both my hands and pulls me into a big life adventure that I find so terrifying, but He's there holding my hands and guiding me along the whole way.  But a part of me doesn't trust Him, so I let go of His hands and I'm left alone, at least I feel like I am.  But as I struggle around like Bambi on ice He's there the entire time, He's watching over me carefully and if I fall He's the first one there to help me up, just like He has been my entire life.  So why do I still struggle to trust him the most? 

Yep, you heard me right.  My wonderful Father, God and Saviour is the one who I struggle to trust the most.  He's never given me a reason to not trust Him, in fact He's given me so many blessings and reasons to trust Him completely.  Yet, I'm still scared to hand over parts of my life to Him.  I'm scared to stop pulling myself around the edges of the ice rink in the little routine I've developed, I'm scared to let Him take things in a different direction. 

In a recent post I talked about how I've been struggling to trust God, to know that He has a plan for me that is bigger than anything I can imagine.  Although I am doing better at trusting Him and gradually building a stronger relationship with my Father, there's a part of my heart that I'm struggling to give to Him. 

I trust other people far too easily, I allow myself to be vulnerable and open, yet I can't give my heart over to my Father who will care for my heart better than I could ever imagine.  Even better, he will give me a completely new heart to love Him with and serve Him with.  I need to make Him the absolute centre of my heart and try my best to get rid of the things that are pulling me away from Him.  There are so many things in my heart that are taking His place and I want to change this, I want to have a Jesus centred heart. 

The thought of giving my heart completely to God is one that is daunting to me but I've recently learnt that my God is so powerful and magnificent that the thought of not completely giving my heart to Him is ridiculous. 

Yes, even if I completely give my heart to Him there will still be days when I feel like my God's left me alone in the middle of the ice rink, when really He's there the whole time watching over me and taking care of me, I just need to trust him with my heart.


I'd just like to add a little note at the end to say that this post is dedicated to my wonderful friend Laura for putting up with me and my antics, as well as being an absolutely amazing friend and a true sister in Christ to me.