Permission for Rest

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again.  I’m not good at resting.  My mind prefers to work and ticking off the boxes on my to-do list can seem to be the ultimate satisfying goal.  But my to-do list easily becomes my idol and expectations (usually self imposed) become more important than walking daily with Jesus.  Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 9.08.06 AM.pngI’m still trying to figure out what this means practically for me.  Finding that balance between productivity and trusting in the ultimate care of my gracious savior.  Struggling against the lie in my head that tells me I’m lazy or unworthy, when I know that I am a beloved child of God.  Coming to a place where rest is not guilt inducing but instead sweet and rejuvenating.

Please pray with me and know you’re not alone if you also struggle to find peace and rest.  Know that you’re not alone if a call to create margin in your life induces anxiety and worry.  Know that we were not created to bear the burden and weight of the world on our own shoulders.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

University Bible Study

It’s the end of the semester and our final official day of class, so today was the last UWA Bible study I will be attending for awhile.  This Bible study met every Tuesday and started working through 1 Peter.  Cultural Note: Australian’s say One Peter and Two Peter.  This has taken some getting use to for me but everyone still understands when I say 1st Peter or 2nd Peter.
Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 3.36.00 PMI loved connecting once a week with a different group of students, especially since they are mainly undergrad and in a different university world.  It was nice to have a break in between the craziness of classes to pray, read the Bible and have some fellowship time together.  I hope my schedule next semester also allows for another Bible study time and this group could potentially stay together.  I’m thankful for the opportunity and the privilege that it is to meet with other Christians on a regular basis at a public university.

Easter Around the World

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 10.43.36 AMIt’s been fun watching people celebrating Easter around the world.  From the comfort of my own home, I’ve watched videos and seen pictures from celebrations in Papua New Guinea, Japan, Bulgaria, Peru, different parts of the US and all up and down California.  The pictures included here are from some Easter traditions that I missed not being in PNG or California.  In Papua New Guinea a sunrise service is held and a cross is decorated with flowers that everyone brings.  It is beautiful!  And in Camarillo the sunrise beach service is always wonderful.  Such an amazing visual reminder of light overtaking darkness.  Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 10.54.18 AMMaybe we’ll have to start a sunrise service tradition here.  Easter was very low key, with a typical service pointing to Jesus and the resurrection but we enjoyed a wonderful relaxing afternoon.  We hope you made more family memories this year and enjoyed your Easter traditions new and old.  I’m thankful that Jesus is alive, although we remember it especially during Easter, it’s true every day of the year!

 

Anticipating the Resurrection

Today is our last day of waiting.  40 days of remembering, learning and anticipating.  Tomorrow Christians all over the world will celebrate Resurrection Sunday, the day that marks Christ rising from the dead.  Our God is not dead.  He’s alive.  Hallelujah!  Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 4.53.29 PMSo today we went to the park and sat, enjoyed the beautiful day and remembered.  We’ve read devotionals for the past 40 days, learning more about scripture and the final candle has now been blown out.  Palm Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week as we anticipated the events that had to happen in order to fulfill the prophecies.  We celebrated with a Passover Seder, ate and drank and remembered.  We heard a beautiful sermon on Good Friday, Christ was dead, buried and in the tomb.  And now we wait.  Because tomorrow we know what happens but that doesn’t make it any less marvelous.  He is surely alive.  Hallelujah!

Tomorrow we will light all the candles, we will sing songs of His glorious resurrection and we will celebrate Christ overcoming death.  It was worth the wait.  Hallelujah!

Ryan Preaches on Palm Sunday

“Hosanna to the Son of David!  He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Matthew 21:9Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 6.30.33 PMI’ve been looking forward to Palm Sunday all year.  Since I love Easter, I am disappointed when we miss or overlook all the amazing things leading up to Resurrection Sunday that anchor our faith in history and point us towards Jesus as he fulfills prophesy.  Palm Sunday does both and Ryan preached a great sermon reminding us of the impactful history of our faith and pointing us towards Jesus, not just as the one who fulfills prophecy but the one who died to save us and loves us so much that he weeps when we reject him.Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 6.28.28 PMAfter church in Brookton, we always share a morning tea, which is feeling more and more like a family gathering.  Today we had all sorts of treats that included leftover birthday cake, fairy bread, muffins, other goodies and the special Easter hot cross buns.  We prefer ours sans fruit so I just make them with lots of cinnamon:-)  Fellowship and treats are always a sweet way to spend a Sunday.screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-6-31-17-pm.png

Visiting York

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 6.49.25 PMIt’s been 3 years since Ryan and I have visited York.  This little town of about 3000 people is about an hour north of Brookton.  It was one of my favorite towns along the 120 and I’m excited to get to spend more time in this part of the Wheatbelt.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 6.50.02 PMSome of the members of the church in Brookton live in York, therefore it has been decided that the weekly Bible study will try occasionaly to meet in York.  Although I usually stay home and study for my University classes, I’m going to accompany Ryan out to York today and we’ll spend the night with friends after the study.  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and participating in the Bible study too.  York here we come!

Bible Study Routines

Post-it notes remind me of prayers.  When I started attending Ryan’s Bible study in Camarillo while we were dating, it was already a routine.  At the end of every study he brought out post-its and everyone wrote down a prayer request and then these were passed around.  You write a post-it and then you take someone else’s post-it.  It could be anonymous or you could put your name down but either way that request was prayed for over the week.  I know a few people who would put the post-its up on their bathroom mirror as a reminder to pray.Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 5.19.44 PM.pngOn Wednesdays Ryan now drives out to Brookton.  He teaches the Bible study and each week brings post-it notes so that everyone can share prayer requests.  Even though I don’t usually attend, I’ve started writing a prayer request to send with Ryan because I enjoy getting a prayer request back to pray for during the week.  I love being connected to this community through simple, weekly prayers.  Post-it notes have a lot of other uses but for me, they will probably always be connected to prayers.  I look forward to seeing what God will do through the prayers that will be written on these post-its.