Determination! :)

Can you start your day with the same kind of determination as this dog (which, seems to me thinks he’s a lion! 😉 ) waiting for the waters to be still enough for him to pounce and seize this ball??! Carpe Diem….have a great day….pursue excellence with intent and determination! 🙂 x

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An insight into my home and heart…

A WordPress writing prompt I came across goes as follows:

“Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?”

So here goes….welcome to my world….

I find myself awakening in a room that is new, curious and unfamiliar to me. I wonder where I am and how I got here, and I feel a bit like ‘Goldilocks’ inhabiting someone else’s space. You can tell a lot about a person by the things they keep, the books they read for instance. I am seated on an olive green sofa that is covered with a fresh white throw. To the left of me there are books strewn, a photo album, a notebook and a beautiful cushion with the face of a doe eyed deer, with a mix of bright and inspiring colours. What did you say? The books, oh, yes, let me see. I love the smell and feel of books. There is a particular little treasure here. It seems to have been gifted by a friend, for there is a personal note written inside. I shan’t read it…the note I mean…wouldn’t be right….don’t you think? Anyway, one is told not to judge a book by its cover, however this cover is so lovely that I can’t help but judge that the contents must be beautiful too. Let me describe it to you….it is a hard back, almost square book, just over half the size of an A4 page, nice and compact, but not small. It has a ‘dust cover’ (is that what they’re called?) with the same distinct illustration on it as the hardback cover. It is a very unique illustration, by a person named Jago. At the top is a strip of colour: purple fading into dark blue, into green, with a crescent moon in the corner, bright white shimmery stars and brown clouds that nicely lead the eye downwards into the main part of the picture which is that of a rising sun, mountains, a tiny horse galloping, three tiny pink flamingos by the water’s edge, an even tinier zebra in the distance, a little giraffe, and what looks to be an eagle soaring in the sunlight. The title of the book in beautiful brown font is: “Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing!, and just underneath the flamingos is a river with two swans silhouetted, the author’s name, and then a strip of deep green giving home to a dark deep sea whale. I would not necessarily know from the cover straight away, but opening up the book it seems to be a beautifully illustrated devotional book aimed at children, but equally delightful to adults. What else? let me see….a rather hefty paperback the size of a brick….can you guess? “The Great Novels of Charles Dickens”, oh and one more: “Solitude – A neglected path to God”. Now isn’t that curious! It is no doubt a lady who lives here, the home is so very feminine, cosy and thoughtfully put together with something personal and unique, even at times ‘quirky’ in every nook and corner. There is so much to this space, modern and bright yet with beautiful wooden furniture like a tall sideboard, among other pieces. And it is so very hot in this room, the tall patio windows are open, and the gauze material billows softly with a gentle breeze. I should have told you….the view! Wherever I am, it is quite high up….ten floors up I would imagine…not up in the clouds, but I can see birds fly and swoop and soar, in the distance there are mountains and trees….but this is not the countryside…not by any means….there is a motorway bridge, and cars slice seamlessly over it, gliding home or to wherever they are going. There is a river in front, and a hotel that is lower down than this building….this is the city! and yet, I don’t feel far from the things of nature, although this is far from being away from it all, and yet, somehow this little place in the sky does feel a bit like a retreat. She has plants…flowers, three of them in little pots, gently vibrant, one is flowering yellow, the other orange and a third light pink. A violin….a bag….cherry blossom decals on the wall, a string of fairylights surrounding the windows, draped artistically over the sideboard, oh, and there’s more in the cosy kitchen area, I can just glimpse into as this is an open plan space, but she has divided the area nicely to feel like two separate spaces. I feel like there is so much to explore, so many personal treasures to discover…but perhaps I have had too much of an insight so far already…what do you think? Would you like me to investigate and explore further and tell you of what I find? There might be mysteries in this fascinating little home, like Narnia, just waiting to be discovered! ……

Take Your Time…

NB: So sorry that the formatting has gone awry! I don’t know what happened there….at first the content disappeared entirely, so at least, despite the red strike throughs, there is still something (hopefully encouraging) to read! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

🙂

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My dear friends,

Once again I meet you here…lovely to spend some time hanging out, thinking about life, and stuff 😉 And once again I begin another blog post by tentatively acknowledging the fact that it has been a little while since my last post. And that’s ok. And it’s not only ok, but it is an opportunity for us to mutually encourage each other.

Some wonderfully disciplined people, for whom perhaps blogging is an income stream for them (unlike myself, as I do this as a hobby and don’t make any money from it, plus I don’t really know how all of that works yet anyway ~ feel free to enlighten me! 🙂 ) may have regular schedules for creating and uploading content, and that is admirable. However, this blog post is not really about blog posts at all…it is about you….and me.

It is a gentle reminder (just as a bud seldom blossoms overnight)  to Take Your Time….

Take your time and take the pressure off yourself by taking a moment away from your seemingly endless ‘to do’ lists.

Take your time to heal. My heart and mind have required decades to even begin to heal rather than merely cope, and sometimes things feel worse before they get better, so take your time. No one can put a schedule on your healing, on your heart. Don’t block it out, but take your time to gently go through the process you need to as you discover your worth, and find greater awareness of Truth, Love and Peace. 
Take your time to focus on just one thing at a time….your brain will thank you for it! 🙂
Take your time to intentionally be kind to yourself, and to others.
Take your time to acknowledge how far you have already come.
Take your time to ask yourself and explore the deep, searching and difficult questions in your life and seek the Truth that will set you free.
Take your time to grieve, or to comfort those who mourn.
Take your time to pause and really appreciate the good things in your life….someone else may be longing for what you have begun to take for granted.
Take your time to acknowledge that you are not your work. Your work is what you do, but it does not determine or define your worth.
Take your time to take a lunch break. Leave your desk, your computer, and go out in the fresh air for a while.
Take your time to walk in nature, and listen to the natural, more gentle, healing rhythm and pace around you, far from the madding crowds of human existence!
Take your time to be by yourself, and if need be to learn to be comfortable by yourself.
Take your time to evaluate your year so far. Is this the direction you really should be going? Do you need to make a change? Do you need to stay where you are? To grow in contentment of the riches and beauty of your life just now that you only need to open your heart and mind to to more fully discover? When we look for a get-away, are we not really looking for a state of being, rather than in itself a place to be?
Take your time to love, and to accept love.

Take your time to be a friend.
Take your time to live and not merely exist.
Take your time to live out the clichés ~ stop and smell the roses! Listen to the birdsong. ❤
Take your time……to Be.

What else do you need to take your time for? Feel free to share your inspiration in the comments.

Outlander Film Location Tour

Living in Scotland, I had the opportunity last week to go on a one day guided tour of some of the most iconic film locations featured in the television series, ‘Outlander’. If you haven’t heard of Outlander, where have you been? 😉

Hopefully some of you are fans, and will enjoy coming along with me on this journey as I take you through a series of posts of the places I visited and of the fascinating facts I learned and interesting people I met along the way.

The tour was by a Scottish company named ‘Discover Scotland’, and the key highlights included:

A visit to Doune Castle, which featured as Castle Leoch in Outlander.

A photo stop at Midhope Castle (Lallybroch).

A visit to Blackness Castle.

A few hours spent in Falkland and Culross, which featured Geillis Duncan’s House, the town square where Jamie was flogged, and where a little boy had his ear nailed to a wooden post, Claire’s herb gardens, and some other iconic scenes which you can see as we go along 🙂

I hope that you are ready to step back in time with me to visit these places, and to share your experiences of any similar travels that you have been on. More to follow soon …stay tuned, Outlander fans!! 🙂

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My Blog is 1 year old Today! Thank you for being part of the journey :) x

I had a feeling that there was something about this day….an anniversary celebrating not only Kylie Minogue’s 50th Birthday (can you believe it?!), but also marking the very first anniversary of my Blog. It has been such a great adventure so far, and I am grateful to each and every one of you for your part in my journey, in this interaction between us that makes the whole process worthwhile and come to life. Thank you for every button pressed showing your appreciation of my posts, for every comment, and for leaving an essence of yourself in my little blogging world. It means so much. I have learnt a great deal on this journey, and I’d love to write a post soon to hopefully encourage, inspire and cause you to reflect on your own blogging process ~ particularly in terms of your core reason for doing it, your authenticity and purpose, and not seeking after appreciation, but blogging out of love, and allowing the returns to come to you in their own way and timing. My blog is completely non monetised, therefore the ‘returns’ I talk of are more to do with that unique connection between reader and writer, and the knowledge that something more has come of your efforts that may have touched someone else’s life. However, all that for another day. I’ll sign off tonight, and once again say a huge *THANK YOU* ~ now let’s Party!! 😉 Much love. ❤ xx

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Take Time to Notice before the Winds of Change blow in again…

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Photography is a particular hobby of mine that allows me to intentionally slow down and focus on the world around me. To caress moments in time, and capture something of the essence of them, in a world that seems to be incessantly rushing by. There are some rare moments when you capture something that even touches your own heart, and although I am not a professional photographer, I do try to improve and the photographs above, especially the one on the right are a couple of those rare gems that I am particularly fond of. 

They speak to me of the beauty of nature in its changing seasons, and the delicate, even fragile passing of time, the life giving way to death and the sowing of seeds carried almost serendipitously by the wind for new life to be planted wherever it will. 

I wonder if you, like me, crave solitude or at least times of refreshing in a world that is full of schedules and ‘to do’ lists? Time to fully live the season that you are in, and to appreciate it, in this particular moment. There is beauty and grace in the summer and the winter seasons of our lives. And yet, we fear the passing of time, but do we use our time, our lives wisely? 

I don’t know about you, but as serendipitous as a seed falling to the ground may seem, I believe that there is a greater, higher, fascinating order to life. I see so much design and purpose and beautiful intention in nature, that I can’t but allow myself to be breath taken by the seemingly simplest of things. When I really take time to be still, to wonder and ponder at life, I know in my heart that there is a meaning and an order behind it all. We live chaotic lives, but to a great degree we choose to. We choose to close our eyes and our ears to the Love and Peace gently, persuasively calling out our names, compelling us to know that we do have  a place in this grand design, and that we don’t have to live our lives as rootless, purposeless flowers caught and tossed by every wind of change in life. 

There was a time in life when I felt helplessly alone, rootless, tossed by tempest and storms beyond my control, striving to find Peace, but that Peace always alluding me. And yet, now I have an unshakeable Root, a place of belonging, a Love unfailing, and confidence that despite the passing of time, the fragility of my being and of my life, I am held securely both now and for eternity by a God Who Knows, Who Cares, Who sent Jesus Christ in Whose Life I am hidden in God, to die for me, to forgive me, to save my lost soul, and give a purpose and meaning to every fleeting moment of my fragile life. And as I think of using my time, each season, I am compelled to tell you about His Love, His Certainty, His Security, His Peace and Hope, that perhaps someway, some how, by His Grace, these seeds of love will be carried by the gentle, persistently loving winds of the Holy Spirit to take root in your heart and change your life forever, or if you know and love Him already, to deepen your roots in Christ so that you may life a life, each moment, fruitful, flourishing and at Peace in Him, when it is your time to pass from this fleeting life into to the next unshakeable one. xx