7 Secrets for a Mindful Christmas – Circle the Cracks

Breaking old habits and forming new ones always takes time, but it is worth it in the end.  – Joyce Meyer.

Some of the benefits of mindfulness are being able to respond more effectively to difficult situations and becoming more resilient.

One of the ways to facilitate this is by first recognising what is not working in your life right now and making efforts to reconcile it.

Sometimes in order to grow as a person, and to become more mindful,

We need put ourselves through a bit of a ‘life detox.’

And one way to do this is by acknowledging that there has been a crack or an area of weakness that you just need to get right.

Cracks are those things that eat away at our subconscious but that we rarely do anything about (because we’ve put them in the too hard basket, or the for another day basket!).

Things like bad attitudes, toxic relationships, negative self talk, bad habits and unhealthy lifestyle choices.

The list goes on.

By circling the cracks and simply giving attention to these,

We give ourselves a fresh chance to evaluate and envision our lives in a different light.

Some people call it personal growth,

Others healing and restoration,

But if you see it as like a detox for the soul,

Or a spiritual and mental cleanse,

It should make spotting the impurities easier.

So questions I often ask myself when looking for cracks are these:

Are there toxic relationships that I am involved in that need to be removed?

Do I have bad habits that I’d like to see less of in 2017?  eg. Am I an emotional eater, do I indulge too much in ‘mum guilt.’

Do I harbour negative attitudes about myself that inhibit my growth as a person and as a contributing member of society? eg. do I have ungodly mindsets about my identity, do I have low self worth?

My questions for you this Christmas are these:

  1. What cracks do you have in your life right now?  Be honest with yourself.  Try and list 5 habits, relationships, attitudes you currently have that you need to put a big red circle around and call it quits on.
  2. What new habits, relationships and attitudes would you like to see put in their place?  Try and replace these with 5 new ones.
  3. Go and buy yourself something that will signify the end of the the season of ‘that crack.’  It might sound like a crazy idea, but every time you look at it you’ll be reminded of the decision you made to end that thing in your life.

Cate x

Cate is a mum, wife, singer, song writer, pastor, teacher and blogger.  She is the Founder of The Inspire Collective – a creative network for women in Perth and is one of the writers for Kinwomen and 98five Sonshine FM.

Cate signing b&w

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7 Secrets for a Mindful Christmas – Chart Your Course

Look closely at the present you are constructing.  It should look like the future you are dreaming.   Alice Walker

What decisions are you making today that are going to impact our tomorrow?

Are you making wise choices?

Are you thinking about how these choices and decisions will impact your future?

Are you creating a future that you want to live in?

The Christmas season is the perfect time to reflect on the way we are ‘charting our course’ or the direction we are taking our lives in.

Are we charting our course well, staying on track,

Or are we straying from our dreams and calls?

Doing the same things expecting different results is called insanity.

Is it time to start doing things differently in order to see the results you are yearning for?

If you want to see things come to pass in your future that are but dreams now,

They are not going to happen by themselves.

They will require deliberate, intentional actions that will see them begin to manifest on the horizon.

As Lisa Terkeurst says,

Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices.  Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.

So my questions toward a more intentional, future focused Christmas season are these:

  1. What direction are you travelling in with your a) relationships/friendships b) spiritual life c) finances d) marriage e) job f) other
  2. What new paths do you need to take to ensure that you end up getting to where you desire in these areas?  Take some time on this question.  It’s a big one.

Cate x

Cate is a mum, wife, singer, song writer, pastor, teacher and blogger.  She is the Founder of The Inspire Collective – a creative network for women in Perth and is one of the writers for Kinwomen and 98five Sonshine FM.

Cate singing

7 Secrets for a Mindful Christmas – Clear the Clutter

Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions, says Barbara Hemphill.

Did you know that too much clutter can impair your memory and stop creativity as well as increase stress?

A study done by a team of UCLA researchers found that in all of the 32 families they observed,

The mothers’ stress hormones spiked during the time they spent dealing with their family’s belongings;

You know, the things we can’t find a place for and that encroach on our physical space.

They determined that physical clutter overloads your senses and makes you stressed,

As well as impairs your ability to think creatively.

As the kids start coming home with backpacks full to the brim with school books,

Half chewed stationary filled pencil cases and all sorts of other goodies,

Perhaps now is a good time to get a handle on the clutter factor in your home.

Becoming a clutter free ninja is no mean feat.

And let’s be honest,

How hard is it to find places for things like your kids’ first drawings

Or the bridal bouquet you have stored in a shoebox,

Or the collection of birthday cards shoved in the corner of your daughter’s top back shelf?

Clutter is a nemesis for one of two reasons.

Either the object has an emotional attachment to it for us,

Or we simply can’t figure out where to put it!

If you’re anything like me,

When my house, mind and spirit are ‘clutter free,’

I am more energised and able to stay focused on what’s really important.

In the lead up to Christmas, perhaps it’s time to clear the clutter.

After all, you’ll probably need to find more space for those presents that are going to start rolling in from around the 25th of this month… 😉

My top 3 steps for creating a clutter free environment in your home are these:

  1. Decide what you are going to tackle.  Is it going to be the laundry cupboard, your office (too hard basket!), your junk drawer?  My advice – figure out what is bugging you the most and start with that. If it’s your whole house, good luck with that 😉
  2. Get organised.  I love a resource I found on Organise My House.com.  She made labels (I know, a lot of work right, but still, great idea just the same).  She laid the labels out on the floor of the area/room she was sorting and then put them in piles so that she could distribute it to the right place when she was done.  The labels were: Rubbish, Recycle, Give Away, Sell, Mend, Keep, Charity, Different Room.
  3. Get into the habit of doing 10 minute tidies.  It sure beats chucking things in a draw and then having to sort it all out a year later.  If it can be done in under 2 minutes then do it straight away.

Stop postponing the inevitable.

Make the decisions today that you will have to be making tomorrow.

Sort it now so that your mind, spirit and emotions can be free!

Cate x

Cate is a mum, wife, singer, song writer, pastor, teacher and blogger.  She is the Founder of The Inspire Collective – a creative network for women in Perth and is one of the writers for Kinwomen and 98five Sonshine FM.

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7 Secrets for a Mindful Christmas – Cap Your Commitments

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.  Socrates

Ask anyone how they are and most often the answer will be, ‘Busy.’

And this seems to be especially true during the build up to Christmas.

On an unprecedented scale,

Our generation seems to have mastered the art of procuring a busy life,

And in the process, forgotten about leading an intentional and meaningful one.

So I’ve been on a war path to Cap my Commitments!

As mums, wives, employees and so on,

We need to exercise wisdom in our current culture so that we don’t get swept along with the tide of increasing busyness that so often robs us of our energy, and even our joy.

Busy doesn’t have to be the new normal,

And no where does ‘being constantly busy’ equal being successful.

I am making fairly dramatic attempts in my own life to replace the busy with calm, calculated decisions, that reflect a sober minded view of my life and the things that I really want to invest in.

I am trying, as Craig Groeschel points out, to say NO to many small things in order to say YES to a few big things.

Why don’t you try it with me?

Instead of constantly running around fixing the urgent,

I want to be seen as someone who prioritises the important.

The urgent will always be present.

The important is what we need to begin to seek out and identify for our own lives.

What’s important in your life?

During the lead up to Christmas,

Why not reflect on whether what you are actually doing is urgent or important?

You only have so much time allocated to you in a day,

In a lifetime.

Are you using it to invest in what is important (the long term, the big picture, the meaningful?)

Or is your time being devoured by the urgent (the trivial, the temporal, the small?)

To say no to many small things requires self discipline and making hard choices sometimes.

Yes, you will let people down.

Yes, it can be an unpopular choice.

No, you can’t please everyone or do everything.

But when you look at the alternatives that equal frantic and over committed,

That steal time from your family, your top priorities and your mental and emotional health,

You really have no other choice.

Instead of stressing yourself out and attempting to juggle multiple tasks,

Perhaps it’s time this Christmas season to focus on 3-4 things that you can do well.

Perhaps over these next few weeks,

As the year is drawing to a close and we begin planning for another year,

It’s time to begin saying NO to many small things in order to say YES to a few big things.

Big things that will leave a legacy not only in your life but in the lives of those around you.

Big things that will mean you are more centered and fruitful,

Instead of being found running after your tail all the time.

And remember,

Saying yes all the time won’t make you wonder woman, it will make you a worn out woman.  Lisa Terkeurst

My 4 steps/questions to help you Cap your Commitments today are these:

1. Write down as many commitments/values you are currently involved in. eg. worship team at church, housework, mother’s group, job, writing a blog, making an album. Be warned, this list can get really long 😉  But that’s ok

2. Then, create a ‘To-Don’t‘ list.  I want you to take 5 (or more!) things OFF your current list of busy goings for ONE WEEK and see how you go.  Be ruthless for a week.  Take off those things you don’t have time for anymore, that no longer fit in with your current season or that are no longer needed or relevant.  At first this is a daunting concept, but once you’ve done it and then actioned it, it’s very freeing.

3. Next, list your top 5 commitments.  What 5 things rank as your highest values? (normally it will be those things that you think about just before you go to sleep every night 😉  eg. family/marriage/cooking healthy meals/friends/your kids/your career/God.

4. Lastly, schedule in to a weekly calendar, how you will give attention to these newly recognised commitments/values/priorities.  Write in each of your 5 values/commitments, nothing else right now.  Write realistically how long you will spend doing each thing.  eg. date night with husband 6.30-9.30pm Tuesday night.  *Need a babysitter.  Be as specific as possible so that you can see that in a week, you have made time for the 5 values dearest to your heart.

Cate x

Cate is a mum, wife, singer, song writer, pastor, teacher and blogger.  She is the Founder of The Inspire Collective – a creative network for women in Perth and is one of the writers for Kinwomen and 98five Sonshine FM.

Cate singing

 

 

7 Secrets for a Mindful Christmas – Choose Calm

Take a deep breath, get present in the moment and ask yourself what is important this very second.   Greg McKeown

Do you need to find your calm?

Has the end of school year craziness and manic Christmas buying, celebrating, consumerism and busyness already sent you spinning?

I felt I needed to do a 7 day series on some secrets to finding a healthier, more mindful approach to Christmas and so I’m starting with number 1 – Choose Calm.

And let it be known,

I’m talking as much to myself as I am to anyone out there in computer land! 🙂

As part of the series I’ll be looking at topics like Clearing the Clutter, Charting your Course, Capping your Commitments and Circling the Cracks.

They’ll be short and sweet and will finish by asking you some key questions in the hope that they will revolutionise your Christmas season this year,

And hopefully start a new tradition!

So we are starting today, by simply taking a step back and asking, How do we choose calm?’

Taking a breath and looking at our priorities this silly season and at what is ACTUALLY important, that’s how.

When we lose our calm and get caught up in the rush, in over consumption and in things that don’t really matter or that have no real lasting value,

We lose our peace.

An important part of having a mindful, healthy Christmas is keeping our peace.

So how do we do it?

One way is to keep mindful.

Mindfulness is simply paying whole hearted attention to what is going on around us.

Mindfulness is about being kind to yourself and therefore extending this compassion to others,

Which is a huge help in this season of heightened stress.

So stay aware and know that by simply giving room for life to happen around you,

You are contributing to the success of a healthier Christmas.

Secondly, sprinkle your Christmas season by doing things you enjoy.

As mummas and business owners, parents and wives/husbands,

Things can very quickly get stressful.

We need to remember to schedule ‘time out’ in our daily to recharge.

Have a bath.

Have a nanna nap (no guilt!).

Have a glass of wine with dinner.

Take yourself to a movie.

Do something that feeds into your soul so that it doesn’t dry up but continues to be able to give out in this season.

And lastly, pray.

Set time aside every day to thank God for His blessings this season and commit your ways to Him.

This kind of meditation and prayer has all sorts of health benefits on top of keeping our hearts in the right place with God.

It can slow our blood pressure,

Help maintain our focus and clarity of mind,

As well as keeping us operating out of the fruit of the spirit such as love, joy, peace and patience,

Rather than anger, crazy, impatience, psycho and rushed off our feet!  🙂

All of which are ‘other’ potential fruits going into the silly season of Christmas,

That will no doubt surface if we don’t choose to get our calm on!

So my 3 questions designed to help you orchestrate a healthier, more mindful Christmas are these:

  1. List 2 things you are going to be mindful of today and write them down.
  2. Plan 3 things between now and the 24th December that you are going to do for yourself and actually schedule them in your diary. (no guilt!)
  3. Plan prayer into your day.  When is it going to happen and for how long?  Write down 5 things that you want to commit to prayer over the next few weeks that will contribute to a healthier, calmer Christmas season.

 

Cate x

 

Cate is a mum, wife, singer, song writer, pastor, teacher and blogger.  She is the Founder of The Inspire Collective – a creative network for women in Perth and is one of the writers for Kinwomen and 98five Sonshine FM.

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When the Sun Sets on a Life

The image of his shoes by the back door as dusk settled upon the house.

The radio still playing, unaware that its tunes sang out across a backyard,
To no one.

New saplings, lined in rows, garden ready for the impending meeting of the baby grandson,

Left silent now as the wind sweeps through the trees he had known and tended to so well.

The half finished cross word sitting on the couch,

When only an hour before it had been penned.

These are the haunting images my husband and I will have of a life taken away from all he knew and loved,

Too soon.

69 years on this earth and then gone.

And the finality of it,

The feeling that there’s nothing you can do about it or do to change the outcome,

These are the tidal swells of emotion that catch you off guard and

Now,

Everywhere I look,

The once Familiar,

The routine, the habitual, the everyday,

Is now completely Foreign.

A Stranger.

And I’m finding I have to re-learn seeing life again with unscarred eyes,

Because the robbery of death,

Taints my vision with a mocking that says,

‘Life! What are you? What a vanity! What a farce!

And you ask, What’s left? and what did it all mean?’

Then you choose to snap yourself out of the pity and the grief,

And suddenly,

Everything becomes Sacred.

A smile from my child,

A safe drive to the grocery store,

Watching television,

Doing the laundry.

Because these are the privileges of the living.

These are the things we GET to do,

And we sure as hell don’t want to take it for granted,

To not notice the Sanctity and Sacredness of Life.

Just as much as I don’t want to forget the smell and the laugh and the sight of him,

Of the shoes,

That were also worn by the man who was kind and tender and who loved his grandchildren with an abandoned and delighted love,

Who sat them on his lap and cuddled and tickled as only Poppy could.

And you press the memory into yourself so that you don’t forget the value of a man’s 69 years.

A precious man,

Who has left a precious family to keep living and breathing through the pain and the grief.

And you remember the man who whistled and sang along to those tunes on that radio station,

And who delighted in his garden and who,

Though never meeting his grandson, knew him and loved him and prepared a place for him.

Gone too soon,

Ripped from us,

My husband’s daddy,

My children’s poppy.
It’s a different landscape now,

And I know death meets us all at some point in life,

But the crazy thing is,

You can never prepare for it when it does come knocking at your door.

You can only live the life you have now and soak and bask in the joy of every single moment of it,

Because one minute it’s here and the next, it’s gone forever.

Cate x

Cate is a mum, wife, singer, song writer, pastor, teacher and blogger.  She is the Founder of The Inspire Collective – a creative network for women in Perth and is one of the writers for Kinwomen and 98five Sonshine FM.

Cate singing

Some words over you this afternoon.

Speaking truth over you this Sunday afternoon…

 

You are chosen.

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.  Ephesians 1:4-5

You are strong.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19

You are lovely.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. Song of Solomon 4:7

You are courageous.

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
You are valuable.
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:31
You are made for a reason.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesian 2:10
You are fought for.

The LORD himself will fight for you.  Exodus 14:14

You are delighted in.

Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.  Isaiah 42

You are called.

I have called you  2 Peter 1:3

You are made in the image of God.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  Genesis 1:27

You are known.

Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it. Psalm 139:4

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

You are of royal blood.

Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20

Everything you do will prosper.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—  whatever they do prospers.  Psalm 1

Peace & love,

Cate x

Putting first world problems in their place

I hear myself complaining and I hate it.

I messed up on my diet,

So for the next day all I could eat was 6 apples and drink 3 litres of water.

Boring, tedious, blah.

Losing weight for me right now is like trying to get a natural tan.

Not possible.

Then I tell myself that at least I have clean drinking water and fresh apples to eat.

First world problems.  Perspective Cate.

I’m trying to write songs and they’re not coming out the way I want and I’m getting frustrated and wishing I had a producer who could turn all my ideas into the reality that I hear…

Then I tell myself that at least I have a voice and the ideas to create and the melodies to write and the lyrics to pen and I will get there.

First world problems.  Perspective Cate.

And then I get home and the floors are dirty and I need to vacuum and the walls need washing and the dog needs bathing…

Then I tell myself that at least I have a home, with a floor and a dog and a vacuum.

First world problems.  Perspective Cate.

And then I look to the future and wish it was here,

Like right now,

So that I can ‘get on’ with the life and the adventure that I have seen it will be,

Instead of treading water in the here and now….

Then I remind myself that the here and now is teaching me valuable lessons and is as much of an adventure as the future will be, so I need to sink into it and enjoy it and thank God for it.

First world problems.  Perspective Cate.

And then I’m on a date with my husband at the movies and watching a trailer about a girl whose only hope at a life of dreams is to become a chess champion in rural Uganda,

And I’m choking up and crying in the dark and wondering why I’m complaining about diets and apples and tiny things that don’t really matter.

And then I’m reading my class a book about children in Afghanistan and the part where the boy gets his legs blown off nearly has been crying in front of a class of 30 kids…

And I realise that there’s more important things in life than the mundane nuances of whether my house is clean or my future is here.

Perspective.

Breathe.

It’s all part of the journey.

It’s all part of savouring the now and letting it wash over you,

Complete with its frustrations and blah days and cries of it not hurrying fast enough.

Because you will get there.

You will get to where you’re going but you have to walk through the now.

It’s all about perspective and it’s all about cultivating an attitude of gratitude,

I speak silently to myself as I crunch on my fourth apple for the day.

Be grateful for what you have.

Stop looking at the lack, the little, the not enough, the wished it was different, the I don’t have time to do what I love…

Instead,

Focus upward and look at what you have in your hands and what has been deposited in your heart already

And know that you are blessed and have overcome and have been graced to lead and succeed and prosper where you are planted.

Cate x

How do you make your dreams a reality?

Craig Groeschel, author of a number of christian books on leadership and influence,

Says that your best ideas happen in the margins.

A margin is a space you intentionally set aside from the daily goings on that fill it,

To seek out the life that you were born to live.It’s like down time or a deliberate zoning out period,

And it becomes a priority in your day as much as cooking the meal or driving to work.

The margin is where creativity soars and where dreams come into being.

The margin is where you reflect and re-posture your heart.

The margin is when you gain the big picture,

Touch the deeper reason for your existence,

When you become most inspired.

Margins are where dreams are created.

For the creative, the margins are where songs are written, books are penned, paintings are crafted.

For the entrepreneur, the margins are where ideas exist, where innovation sprouts, where seeds are gathered into harvest.

For the leader, the margins are where direction crystallizes, where vision is captured and where new horizons are birthed.

If you don’t allow time for the margins,

You will never reach your full potential or discover the depths of what it is you were put on this earth to do.

Are you running from one thing to the next,

Overwhelmed by a busy schedule but never actually kicking goals in the areas that you dream of?

Are you too busy to create?

Is the dream that you have had on your heart still not eventuated,

But you are hoping that one day it will?

These things rarely find themselves.

Dreams particularly are elusive creatures,

And they happen to be found in the margins.

If you have things laying dormant in your life that you keep saying to yourself,

‘One day I’m going to do this,’

‘If only I had time to invest in that,’

Realise that it’s not going to happen unless you intentionally map time out to make it happen.

You will get busy,

You will get sidetracked with the daily goings on of life.

And that in itself isn’t a bad thing.

It’s when you get so immersed in the routines that you forget to look up and see the bigger picture,

That you forget to switch your dreamer back on,

And that makes for a dull existence.

We all need to see the grander scheme that surrounds our lives.

Are you aching to touch that?

Some keys that Groeschel talks about that I have begun implementing in my own life to free up more margin time are as follows.

  1. Create a ‘To-Don’t List.’

As your life increases in busyness,

Some of the things you once did you won’t be able to do anymore.

Groeschel recommends saying no to many small things so that you can say yes to a few big things.

If you want to live a life of influence,

If you want margin time so that you can do what it is you’ve been dreaming of doing,

You have to stop doing everything,

And learn to say yes to the things that you value most that you aren’t doing.

Write down 3 or more things periodically that you can take off your ‘to do’ list and place on your ‘to don’t’ list.

Yes you may offend people,

But learning to respectfully say no to some things is part of growing in maturity and wisdom.

2. Another tip he suggests is scheduling your values.

So often we fill our days with the necessary, but mundane and routine things first.

He recommends putting in your calendar the things that are most important to you first,

Making sure that they’re the things that fill your tank,

And that are high on your value list.

Things like,

Family time,

Marriage and date nights,

Holidays & spontaneous trips out,

Time to work out,

Time for hobbies,

Time with God,

You margin time,

To name a few.

Each of these areas will be different depending on who you are,

But make sure you schedule them in before putting the rest of your life on the calendar.

You’ll find that it will encourage you rather than drain you and this in turn will create a life that is more inspired.

You’ll notice that these two tips in themselves,

Once applied,

Will begin to free up your life.

We are called to be good stewards of our time,

And being intentional with how we spend it is critical if we are wanting to have the space we desire to dream and begin actioning these dreams.

Dreams happen in the margins.

We need to create more margin time and we do this by scheduling our values and saying no to the small things so that we can say yes to the things that matter most.

Hope this helps.

Cate x

 

 

 

 

 

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What do we Do with the ‘During’ Seasons?

I read part of an article on my friend’s facebook wall a couple of days ago,

And the words I read have been echoing back and forth through my mind and around my head.

Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Love Warrior was recently interviewed by Oprah and part of what she said was this:

Lovely and easy and shiny people are really comfortable talking to people about their problems when they’re over…We’re not allowed to struggle until after we’ve done our victory lap.  That’s fine, but it’s less helpful than hearing from people in the trenches.  How do I show up in the during?  Maybe this all happened to me so I can go out there and be seen in the during.

And who among us isn’t in the during, in some form or another?

I think it struck such a deep chord because at the age I am now,

I’m highly aware that life is made up of Durings.

Befores and Afters, yes,

But also many Durings.

And often the Durings are the ugliest and the most awkward.  The darkest.

Truthfully,

Durings are often a time when most of us going into hiding.

That perennial flower that once bloomed bold and brightly,

Has now died and the work is going on underground.

The bulb is still alive but to the naked eye,

Above ground,

There is nothing left to see of what once stood tall and beautiful.

For now,

In the During,

It smells like dirt and brokenness.

It’s lost hope and is a shade of what it once was.

I think of the Durings.

They’re when you most want to hide and cover yourself until you come out the other side.

What do we do with those we know in the During seasons?

In the midst of separation, of betrayal, of despair, of illness, of unemployment, of depression, of panic attacks, of death, of suicide, of family crises?

We often don’t know what to do.

We find ourselves in the awkward place of having to fix it.

We find ourselves grappling for the right words.

We find ourselves turning away from the pain because it hurts too much to stare in the face of loss and failure and disappointment and hopelessness.

But Durings can’t be fixed and they can’t be worded eloquently and tied with neat bows.

They can only be lived through.

They’re not pretty and they’re not shiny and in the midst of them sometimes even your own reflection,

That person you thought you were,

Can get a bit contorted and you can lose yourself.

Or,

You can find yourself.

But the thing we all know is that no one wants to see you while you’re enduring your During.

Or do they?

Is this true?

Do we need more people showing up in their hardest, most painful seasons and daring to be seen,

Because when they do,

It tells us that though we thought we were,

We’re actually not alone.

It shows us that the During seasons have just as much validity,

And authority, at the table of life,

As much of a voice that speaks with it’s own distinct complimentary tune,

Than the victorious After seasons.

And that to be able to watch this process and to live through it with another,

Is actually akin to watching gold be wrought out of the ground.

What we know is that without a During,

You don’t get to experience hope, life, restoration, beauty, and redemption.

The Durings are the seed bed for the life that you will live victoriously.

Why is it then that nobody wants to look at it?

Is it because it can be ugly and messy and far from shiny?

I really want to be a person who can look at others in their Durings and be supportive rather than questioning how they got themselves there in the first place.

I’m not completely there yet but I’m trying.

Some During situations are complicated and too close to home sometimes.

But I’m trying.

I want to be someone who can look another’s During in the eye and say to them,

‘This During is going to make you become more resilient,

More beautiful,

More courageous,

More resolved to live a more powerful life…

Your roots are going to sink so much deeper into God because of it.

You are going to come out of this shining like pure gold if you let the During work its process.’

And with that perspective,

I hope to be found in the midst of more Durings with others so that when they find themselves in their victorious Afters,

I’ll be able to rejoice along with them from deep down in my own soul,

Because I know what it took to get there and that gives me permission to share in their victory lap.

Cate x

Cate is a mum, wife, singer, song writer, pastor, teacher and blogger.  She is the Founder of The Inspire Collective – a creative network for women in Perth and is one of the writers for Kinwomen and 98five Sonshine FM.

Cate singing

 

 

 

 

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