A friend said quite a while ago now (in May I think) ‘have you listed your 10 favourite things?, it’s a really good thing to do’. I thought about doing it and wrote a couple of bits, but then left it. They mentioned it again when I was last in England, and I thought today, I’ll do it. He clarified it as things you are grateful to Him (God) for – ‘just recall your childlike happy moments. That explanation really helped.
I’ll give a couple of mine, not all of them. Then I’ll tell you what surprised me about it.
1) lying in the sun on the beach/outside with my eyes shut. Listening to the sounds around.
2) wandering around on a nice day, just being, watching, listening.
3) the bedroom at night, when it is dark and quiet.
Simple things, that I’m grateful for and love. There’s many more. Although beef crisps are on there too…. Some are slightly more energetic and there are more than 10. It’s weird but I feel like it’s starting to change my thinking..
What surprised me was it made me really think about what I actually do like/love/enjoy and it wasn’t any of the stuff like Facebook, using my phone, tv. Running around doing activities… Some of which I do, a lot. It probably shouldn’t surprise me but it has caused me to think quite deeply over how we spend our time. When I say we, I’m mainly speaking about myself and the children.
It was a really good exercise to do. Questions I suddenly had for myself were, are my kids being given the opportunities to simply ‘be’, to play, to enjoy the simple things in life. Things that we maybe took for granted growing up, but aren’t always there now. Things like time… with people, with me, and to be by themselves, to explore and experiment, to simply be our/their selves. I also think that sort of lifestyle can open you up to God, hearing Him and becoming aware of Him. I was listing things that I enjoy, simple, lovely things and was aware that I don’t do them very often! So my kids probably aren’t either.
It may look like an idyllic life for the kids here sometimes but you really don’t see the full picture and the TV has been on a lot since we’ve been here. It’s been stressful and there have been periods when it hasn’t been good. (Interwoven with good of course). There are choices to make and we can make good ones or bad ones. How we spend our time is probably a good topic to think about.
It may surprise some, but I’ve been thinking about quiet a lot since we came here. Almost craving quiet times and silence. I love silence, even though it isn’t actually silence, it’s so full, so God filled. So beautiful.
The start of the poem Desiderata kept coming back to me the other week “go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence”. I think it is possible to have a life that is not completely rampant with ‘stuff to do’ and schedules and worry, governed by business (and other people’s business), I really do. I don’t mean people shouldn’t work, or prioritise, or do lists (I really like lists), we should, I just think we could look at our lives differently and maybe look at what is good for us, ask ourselves tough questions on what actually does fuel us and what is good for us and take it from there. How has God made us to be? Make some space to hear what is really important. Just be us. Learn to be in the moment.
God also gives us peace in the midst of anything and everything if we come to Him.
In Philippians 4:4-7 it says this:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So it seems like it’s a sort of exchange really, tell God everything, ask for what you need, thankfully, in fact when I looked up supplication it said it meant ‘the act of asking or begging for something humbly or earnestly’, and He will give you peace you do not understand. Is that not one of the best exchanges ever?
Bye! Do your favourite 10 things list if you’re so inclined..if not, well, there’s other ways for God to talk to you.