This week, I wanted to do something a little more lighthearted. At the moment, our minds are overwhelmed with a lot of information and trying to find routine. For this wrap up, I want to share with you some of my favourite things from this month. What I have been enjoying, what I have been reading and what I have been learning. I hope you will enjoy this different style of blog; that it will be a calmer read for you. I have been trying to simplify my life and letting go of my more chaotic nature. I share the beginning of finding a slower and more steadier way of living.
I have been doing more reading this month. I adore reading. I am thankful for the time to enjoy pursuing one of my greatest passions. I have been reading a mix of non-fiction and fiction. Regarding non-fiction, I have been reading a few books to deepen my faith and help me with some issues I have been struggling with. I have found these books a huge comfort, through this time. I will list them down below and I highly recommend these books. They are well written, biblical based and it is like having a friend mentor you the whole way through.
- ‘Uninvited’ Lysa Terkeurst. I would highly recommend her books, especially her book ‘It’s not supposed to be this way.’
- ‘Remember God’ Annie F Downs
- ‘Present over perfect’ Shauna Niequist.
- ‘Get out of your head’ Jennie Allen. This is a current read. I can see the positive impact it is having on my faith and my mindset.
My Fiction favourites:
- ‘The lightkeeper’s daughters’ Jean Pendziwol
- ‘So Lucky’ Dawn O’Porter
I do understand that reading is not a favourite pastime for everyone. For me, it is something I have been loving having the time to do. Whatever you may be passionate about, I hope you use some of this time to read or to watch videos to deepen your knowledge and to develop skills.
Journaling is something that I have been getting back into. I have a whole blog post on the topic of journaling as it is something I have done for many years. I haven’t stopped journaling but what I had noticed, was in February I had stopped journaling Bible verses and what I was learning through my faith. It was more emotion based and I could see that my mindset was not as healthy. I am all for working through emotions, but I could see that the way I was dealing with it was not in a positive way. I started a daily practise of writing down one bible verse that had stuck out to me. It did not necessarily relate to the situation I was in, but it did remind me of the truth of who God was. Some of the books I studied this month include 2 Samuel, James and John’s gospel. It has been nice to flip through my journal and see what I was learning through them. Some of my favourite bible verses from this month include:
2 Samuel 22v29 ‘You, Lord, are my lamp, the Lord turns my darkness into light.’
2 Samuel 14v14b ‘But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.’
Proverbs 12v25 ‘Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.’
Psalm 27v14 ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.’
John 16v33 ’I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
I would encourage you, as I have been in my previous blogs, to use this time to spend intentional time with the Lord. I have been finding it helpful to mix up my routine, from simply praying or reading or listening to worship music. It has helped me to stay calm and connected. It has been refreshing for me.
Regarding some of my favourite music at the moment, I am loving the new albums that have been released by: Steffany Gretzinger, Upper Room, Rend Collective and Vertical Worship. These albums have been uplifting while speaking the truth into my mind and heart. I am thankful for them. I have linked my praise playlist down below, if you would like to give that a listen. I have been loving re-listening to a lot K-pop. I used to be more up to date with it, I have kind of let it slide the past few months. I will also link that down below, if you are into K-pop or would like to listen to something new.
I have been enjoying learning to live at a slower pace. I try daily to at least go out for one walk, to refresh my mind and to take in some fresh air. In slowing down, I have enjoyed it being quieter and that has led me to turning off my phone more often. Allowing my mind to focus on one specific activity at a time. It has led to my mind being less frantic and more focused; I feel like I can achieve a lot more. This month I have been focusing on slowing down and not trying to fill my mind with unnecessary troubles. Two quotes that I love from this month:
‘Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.’ Shauna Niequist.
‘We run at breakneck pace to try and achieve what God simply wants us to slow down enough to receive. He really does have it all worked out. The gaps are filled. The heartache is eased. The provision is ready. The needs are met. The questions are answered. The problems are solved.’ Lysa Terkeurst.
I have been learning to be at peace and when I struggling to come to the Lord first. To lay it all before him and allow him to guide me into the truth of the matter. I know for sure; God knows I overthink every little thing. I have found this time to be full of grace and freedom. It has allowed me to lift my eyes off of myself and be more focused on the need for prayer all around. There is such a desperate need for faith and prayer at this time.
Lastly, I have been enjoying watching a few TV shows. One of my favourites at the moment is Itaewon Class. It is heart-warming while also being frustratingly good. It is a K- drama and it has been one of the best ones I have watched in a while. I also enjoyed the second series of ‘The spilt’, which is devastatingly good BBC show. In regard to social media, I have been loving ‘Girl and The Word’. Her channel is calming, and her content is peaceful and captivating to watch. Following on I have been loving ‘girl in calico’ because her videos are warming and beautifully produced. Finally, my two long running favourites are Bubzvlogs and Rhiannon Ashlee Vlogs. These are all much slower channels, but they are all such a pleasure to watch. When it comes to personally choosing, what I want my mind to be focused on it is content that creates a more peaceful and meditative state.
At the moment, when everything feels out of out of our control and we feel lost. I hope you will hold onto the things and people you are already blessed to have. To dust off that which has become a bit stale and to get back to your roots. Cherish the things that make you, you. I have been working on improving the gifts I have already been given. One of those is my blog, that is something I hope you will begin to see changes in through the coming weeks. April will see a series of blogs on the promises of God, which I will be uploading weekly. I hope it will be a timely encouragement through this season.
I hope you have a blessed week. I pray for you all, who are struggling through this uncertain season. Keep the faith. God bless, Victoria.