A voice in the darkness

Ever felt like you are stuck in a dark place? Then this post is written just for you….

Gods first words in the human story were words spoke in the darkness – words from the darkness. Spoken by God. Spoken to breathe life into the darkness.

Out of the darkness these words were uttered:

“Let… there… be… light!”

And there was light. The first light in the universe came from the voice of God in the darkness. Gods first breathe in the universe created light.

This was the beginning. The first beginning. The first of many beginnings. This is the work of God in our lives. God enters into the darkness, unperturbed or disturbed, to bring light, growth, love, joy, peace that surpasses understanding, and all other manner of blessings as he wills.

Whenever God wants us to grow he leads us into the darkness where we are led by the spirit into the place of deepening faith and holy trust. And into our darkness He speaks ever so gently… let there be light, and Christ enters our darkness. He walks in it with us to lead us through the dark wilderness into his promised land for our lives.

Where there is darkness today God is already at work. New life will spring up at the sound of his gentle voice. Do not listen for a booming voice in the darkness. Look for the still small voice of the Spirit speaking and breathing the new life of God. God is speaking light into your darkness.

019 How not to be bored or how to be bored (or 7 ideas for filling your Summer with relaxing stuff)

So in our house its the Summer holidays – we are 2 week into the holidays and already we are hearing the cries “I’m bored”. So today I took the proverbial bored bull by the horns and sat down with my kids to come up with a list of things they could do to fend off the beautiful beast of boredom. So here it is, our list of 7 un-boring things to do:

boy wearing black jacket holding electric guitar

Practice that instrument: does your kid play something? Have they a passion for piano? Do they go gaga for guitar, or are they ecstatic about the xylophone? Manipulate their passion to excel in and instrument or in using that wonderful singing voice.  Music fills a place and a heart with joy!

toddler reading book

Read a good book: I’m a mug for reading and for learning and I love that kids are like little knowledge sponges. I think there are few kids who don’t like a good book, but there are a lot of kids who don’t want to read books that don’t engage them. It took a while for my son to find books that engaged him when he was about 10-13 – then he found Lee Childs and BINGO he’s reading like a pro! I love talking with my kids about what they are reading, and more importantly about what they are observing and learning through their reading!

architecture building business cinema

A Trip to the Cinema: Kids climbing the walls? Do you need a break? Treat yourself and them to a movie. Once the lights are down they can enjoy the film and you might even manage 15 minutes sleep without anyone disturbing you, or even noticing.

bicycle bike biker cyclist

Bike Ride: What’s not to love? It’s exercise so its great for fun, health and your mental balance. It might even fill you with joy as you blow off the boredom cobwebs. Who am I kidding!!!! I hate bikes

bridge child children fashion

Go for a Walk: Now I’m back to good ideas. A walk allows you to slow the pace of life down. Choose somewhere you know the kids can run ahead a little bit (allowing you moments of peace). Give the kids a challenge: how many types of leaf can you find and identify? Lie down in the grass and see who can find the coolest animal shape in the clouds. Imagine you’re walking through Jurassic Park (might not be restful, but it wont be boring)

photograph of men having conversation seating on chair

Help your local coffee shop make a profit: Coffee is one of the gifts of God to the world, so it would be a sin not to indulge! My kids love when we go for a coffee, always hopeful that some cake will be thrown into the mix! Coffee shops are great for people-watching – one can learn so much about people and Hipsters when consuming coffee (or tea, or some other drinky thing!).

Bored

Get bored: My kids are ALWAYS telling me they are bored, and I now always respond with “It’s good to be bored – enjoy!” Someone once said that boredom is the birthplace of creativity (Ok, I admit that it’s only me who ever said that!). It is true though – when we allow our minds to wander around in boredom, our minds wander into places they might not otherwise have reached. Boredom allows us to mentally and intellectually go ‘off piste’. It helps us think where and how we don’t usually think. Embrace boredom and you will embrace creativity.

My 8 year old is currently building a house. Yes, you hear that right – building a house! She was bored last week and began to imagine a little house with rooms. She began collecting crafty bits and pieces and yesterday began constructing her house. She’s collected paper for the walls and carpets; loo rolls for cupboards; etc. All this came from boredom.

So I implore you to change how you view boredom – boredom is a pathway to joy. Embrace it like an old friend; wear it like a winter coat; wander in it’s directionless travel through the beautiful fields of your imagination – you never know what creative genius you will find.

we got bored

009 You were made to be creative

Have you ever just looked around you and seen the immense amount of creativity there is in the world? From art to architecture; dance to design technology; fiction to flower arranging – there is creativity everywhere. Why is it that humanity has pushed the boundaries of creativity and artistic expression? It is simply that we are created to be creative. Our minds are designed to concieve of new ideas; words; images; designs; etc.

Creativity is an amazing gift that is wider in humans that in any other species. Beavers can create innovative dams, but they don’t paint, draft plans, or sculpt with clay. Humans can paint; sketch; sculpt; write; design; and so much more. We were endowed with a creative gene. It is in our DNA to be creative. With this in mind is it any wonder that when we create sonething we odften have an immense amount of pleasure and joy? Not only that, we help others to also experience great joy through what we create.

I recall the first time I saw Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night in Paris: It absolutely blew me away! As I entered the gallery the lights were low and my eyes had to adjust. I looked ahead and there it was, directly on front of me, shining incandescently. My jaw hit the floor and I can only describe that moment as deeply beautiful. The original painting in all it’s spendour brought an inner smile to my heart and soul. The joy at seeing it was a truly wonderful and emotional experience for me – creativity can do that for us.

This is not just true for classic pieces of art: it’s true for your own creativity too. When you write a poem; make christmas cards; or sketch your spouse it releases joy within you. Why? Because you were created to be creative.

But why should you be creative? Here’s a few reasons:

Creativity helps you unleash and realise your true potential
Being creative improves mental health
Creativity develops our sense of purpose
Creativity pushes us to be a better version of ourselves
Creativity cvan be a positive outlet for processing our negative experiences
There are many more great reasons for being creative – what reasons do you have? (let me know in the comments below).

Why not also choose a way of being creative. Craft something and then reflect on the feeling the end product gives you – you never know: it might just release some joy within you.

Until next time, keep smiling and live with joy.