We are in the final quarter of 2017. On the home-stretch, nearing the finishing line, and all those other cliched phrases to describe events coming to an end. I haven’t shared my thoughts on here for some time, so thought I would come to you with ten thoughts that are percolating in my mind.
1. Life is hard at the moment
I’ve found this year a struggle. What with Mark’s (my husband) health, and my own as well, going up and down like a roller-coaster, we are reaching this end of the year exhausted, drained, not just physically but emotionally as well. Waiting, waiting for the call for his transplant…has left us in a limbo of sorts. Putting the rest of our life on hold while we wait.
On top of that, my diagnosis of Endometriosis is also weighing on me. I have surgery scheduled just before Christmas to find out the extent of it, but for those who don’t know, there is no cure for Endometriosis. Just ways to alleviate the symptoms, to manage it.
Then there are all the wonderful people I know who are pregnant, or who have just recently welcomed new life into their little families. Children are such beautiful blessings, and a part of me hurts that it isn’t my turn, yet. But, God willing, I will be a mother one day. Guess, I just have to shower my love on the children I work with in the meantime.
Work this year is one of my refuges from home life. Not that I want to get away from home life, but in that the day-to-day routines and joy of my work with the children I see each day is such a blessing to me. I have had my tough days at work too…but, I am grateful for the amazing team there. It’s like a third family.
3. October is my birthday month
I turn 32 in three days. But, my mind is already turned to Christmas. In fact, I am listening to my “Xmas Ultimate 2017” playlist as I write this post. And, yes, I wrote Christmas as Xmas. That doesn’t bother me anymore.
4. Speaking of Christmas…Some of my Favourite Christmas Albums include…
- Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship – Chris Tomlin (2015)
- These Christmas Lights – Matt Redman (2016)
- Christmas Offerings – Third Day (2006)
- Aussie Christmas with Bucko and Champs – Colin Buchanan & Greg Champion (1999/2006)
- The Spirit of Christmas albums – Various Artists (Various Years)
- This Is Christmas EP – Kutless (2008)
- The Australian Christmas Album – Greg Doolan (1999)
- Joy to the World – Lincoln Brewster (2013)
I’ve attempted to write in a journal every day this year. On the train, heading to work, I put pen to page and write whatever comes to mind. I’ve started writing a list of ten points, similar to what I am doing in this post, on each day. Some mornings it is easy to write ten points, and on others I struggle. However, I write as much as I can depending on where my mind is at. Sometimes the thoughts are as shallow as ‘I ate rice at lunch today’, and other times they’re as deep as ‘why am I feeling so low at the moment’.
I do know that it always helps me to arrange what’s going on in my mind.
6. Devotionals – Reading the Bible more
This year, I also set to reading my Bible more. And not just reading it, but really engaging with what God’s Word is saying. I want to understand so I can apply it to my life, and live my life glorifying Him in everything that I do and say. I use an app called She Reads Truth for my devotionals. But, I am also reading through the whole Bible in a year, using a reading plan (also found on She Reads Truth). I am using a physical Bible to read through, highlighting passages that stand out.
It seems that so much of what I have read is relevant to what is going on in the world today. I’ve read Romans at least three times this year…topical especially in this season where Australia is ‘voting’ on marriage equality.
Music is a huge part of my life, and sharing my love of music is something I want to do more of, especially with the children at work. This Christmas season, I’m planning to teach them a few of the different Christmas Carols that we sing at this time.
- Away in a Manger
- Jingle Bells
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas
- Little Drummer Boy
Also, there is a lot of new music that has come onto my radar. Too many to list here. Could be a whole new blog post.
8. TV Shows I need to catch up on
- Daredevil season 2
- Hawaii Five-0 seasons 6-7 (8 is just beginning to air)
- Feed the Beast season 1
9. Fiction and Fan Fiction
Plans sometimes don’t go the way we want them to. At the beginning of the year I said to myself, I’m going to work on my Simple Plan stories. Well, I hardly worked on any of them; only managed two chapters on one story, and one chapter on one of my A7X fanfics. So…here’s to 2018 being the year where I work on more of my stories. I think I just need some inspiration. Perhaps I will write a Christmas story this year?
10. Friends, Family, Church
This year it has been hard to find the time and energy to spend it with my friends. However, the times I have spent with them were all so precious, and hopefully there are more to come before the year is over.
Moving to a new church at the beginning of the year has afforded me new experiences, a ladies get together once a month has been valuable for getting to know some of the women in the church. And for that matter, finding a new church family is a big blessing for both Mark and I.
And, then spending time with my parents. I never want to take them for granted, and every moment I get to spend with them (going for a drive with dad in his Volvo; watching the AFL Grand Final; Tina Arena just recently) is special and I am ever thankful for them.
Bonus – Books I’ve read up to today
1. Dane Swan: My Story [11.01.2017 – 20.01.2017]
2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo [20.01.2017 – 1.04.2017]
3. Did God Really Command Genocide – Paul Copan & Matthew Flannagan [7.04.2017 – 23.04.2017]
4. The Beast – JR Ward [1.05.2017 – 9.05.2017]
5. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins [29.05.2017-2.06.2017]
6. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn [2.06.2017-5.06.2017]
7. Snow, Fire, Sword – Sophie Masson [5.06.2017-12.06.2017]
8. Is God a Moral Monster – Paul Copan [30.06.2017-1.07.2017]
9. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley [13.06.2017-14.06.2017]
10. When the Night Comes – Favel Parrett [16.06.2017-26.06.2017]
11. i am n: Inspiring Stories of Christians Facing Islamic Extremists – the voice of the martyrs [2.07.2017-3.07.1017]
12. To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview [4.07.2017-9.07.2017]
13. The Word Exchange – Alena Graedon [10.07.2017-11.07.2017]
14. The Circle Quartet – Ted Dekker [26.08.2017-21.09.2017]
15. The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert [20.07.2017-31.07.2017]
16. The Dead Sea Scrolls in English – G. Vermes [1.08.2017- 14.08.2017]
17. Girt – David Hunt [15.08.2017-18.08.2017]
18. Blood Vow – JR Ward [19.08.2017-21.08.2017]
19. No Little Women – Aimee Byrd [25.09.2017-29.09.2017]
20. Keeping Faith – Jodi Piccoult [1.10.2017-]
There are less than three months left of this year and I want them to count.
- Planning ideas for Christmas at work
- Planning gift giving for family and friends – what will I get them for Christmas?
- Reading more.
- Keeping my eyes fixed firmly on Jesus
What will the last few months of 2017 bring you?