Intentional Living 

I read a tweet by the author Shauna Niequist. Her essence was let’s do less social media and do more presence work. This captured my thinking and challenged it. 

Mostly the young folk get addicted. Mostly the young folk pay attention to social networking sites. 

As I watched my habit and affirmations of likes I recognised that this need for favour sat heavily on me. 

In the quiet corner of the library you’ll find me there. In the ones and twos you’ll see me there. In the solitary and pen I’ll hunt out the notepad and park. 


If you want to talk over the phone, I’ll make myself scarce. 

Find me a camera and sunrise, the opening cord to the day or a closing symphony as lights dim and a golden glow floods the world with spectacular aura. 


Slow up the world let it dream of beauty not shame, joy not sorrow, transformation not death. Bring some uniqueness and contemplation. Hush the judges and betrayers. Bring the artist to the table. Let her share her art without condemnation. Let her sculpt her craft and be who she is meant to be. 

Let her song of love be the birdsong to someone’s heart. Let the fragrance of her garland surround another, bringing colour and essence of joy, being peace to the mind so desperately needed. 

Script by @ hollyjoyholt

When she seats herself on a chair to declare a truth and make a difference in the world, let her radiate the Christ. To the child of God who cannot see, to the man for whom life is too much. To the dying and the confused. Don’t give up on the one who needs you most   

Rise up into a new day. Rise and rest into a closing day. Rise to be loved. Rise because you are lifted and guided to a light that is beyond space and time. 

Be light. Be His light. Shattering shame with truth and liberty. 

Be yourself and let that be transparent in all its complexities and uniqueness. 

Don’t be afraid. Be you. Be the change that’s needed where you are in your street, in your coffee shop, in your world. 

Be intentional. Be intentionally you. 

Be present. Be the listener. Be the best carrier in your world, offering Hope clothed in humility that extends the arm of care. Right there inside your people.

Live intentionally don’t be crushed, be beautifully you in the life you’re living. 

Amen 💐

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Kindness is the new black 


I love words particularly if they are poetic. A run on line, onomatopoeia. Ann of Green Gables with her lake of shining waters . And valley of white lace. It’s memorable and beautiful. 

I learnt scripture through reading and hearing the Authorised Version of the bible , the King James with its Thee and Thou. 

So many verses to me are still preferred in this translation. 

Accepted in the beloved.  Is not improved on. 

The Message is poetic with great language so I enjoy the language of it all. 

Recently I went to Leeds where I attended the Cherish Conference.

We were blessed with great speakers and worship leaders. During the talks I’m always poised with iPhone and notes open ready for the words that speak to me. 

Darlene Zschech led the session, It is well with my soul. 


The words that I typed into my notes were, Kindness is the new black. It’s a hashtag too!! Musing about this I considered the meaning and concept of this phrase. We were encouraged to be sure if what we believe and deliver kindness. Bringing our presence to anything or anyone means we bring Christ too. 

Throughout the conference two things were prominent to me one was He is the Glory and the lifter of my head and secondly we were to live intentionally. 

Intentionally is a favourite word of mine anyway. One of my favourite hashtags is #alifeofintention. 

Kindness is the beautiful gift we can bring to our world . The Holy Spirit Orchard fruit. It’s in us. We need to carry it to others to be Kingdom People. 

Kindness is being generous and considerate. Thoughtful. Intentional with those whom we are with. 


Fruits are evident. Kindness is God inspired. Kindness can come about because we are intentional with the Lord Jesus. We live a life of intimacy, integrity and expectation. 

Grace is an expression of kindness. The best is seen at the cross in the kindness and cruelty of the cross. Grace thrown over us because we fail at kindness but we keep rising again to live it out and spill it over into others. 

The Voice version speaks it out; kindheartedness, joy, peace, self control. 

The black being the essential peice. Kindness expresses itself in love being the tool to live intentionally for God. 

It glorifies and transforms ugly into value and worth. 

Know kindness, the cake that says I care, the considerate way we conduct ourselves benefitting others and enriching their lives. 

Daily I exchanged a glance with a pretty lady in a wheelchair, we smiled with our faces and our eyes. The kindness exchanged filled me with hope. 

Kindness is the new black. 

Be a prayerful paying forward of kindness,  wearing it like the essential peice it is. Be filled up to scatter it about you like glittering twinkling stars. 

Wear the kindness you will rise in the giving. 

Kindness was loved over you. 

God is good, come before Him intentionally on purpose. Wearing the new black as you step into your day.  

Kindness Matters

Kindness is the new black 

Love Rach x 🖤

Ephesians 4:32 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Ephesians 4:32 Amplified

And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

In the here – in the now

Unsplash
Following some precious ordinary moments with a friend eating sandwiches drinking tea and sharing conversation together, I reflected afterward how present I felt on the lunch time bench in her garden. 

Being present is becoming quite a cultural word. We all need to be present. Stopping. Noticing. Being aware of what is happening and not to be distracted! 

Slowing. 

Intentionally living. 

Life’s exciting but often stressful fast paced whirlwind finds us daily lost in the next project, plan, recipe, tragedy ….

I love the scene we find in the bible  of Jesus leaning on the table sharing sea, sand, fish, wine and time together. 

Being in the now. 

In the every day standard do we lose something? 

An awareness of another. 

A tiredness in a friend. A distraction that requires attention. 

A leaf in its unfurling process. 

Ability to embrace quietness to just be with someone. 

As I type these notes to share with you, Easter approaches.

Am I present with its Hope and message and mystery. 

Do chocolate eggs and worries and menus vie my mind. 

Can you not stop and pray for one hour? 

Jesus words to his friends.

Can I move into slow living. 

Taste the food. Hear the sea. Know the words spoken are heard and prayed .

The words echoed here by Emily Freeman who encourages us to 

Celebrate the small moments. 

And by 

Pete Grieg in Dirty Glory

Today may we be granted ‘ Epiphanies of the ordinary’

To slow 

and 

know. 

God . 

For me all year boast the resurrection, I find that I’m always on a quest to know more of Him and the power of this resurrection. 

Suffering and gratitude take their place in it all. 

Yet

I lack not, for goodness and love pursue me, eternal hope and perspective are my view from here in this present spot. 


Your beauty and love chase after me

    every day of my life.

I’m back home in the house of God

    for the rest of my life.

Psalm 23the message 

Psalm 23 💐photo rachnotes_
 
I return to the familiar psalm and find refuge challenge and hope in my sadness as I cope with change all around me. 

A saviour pitched His all for me. 

Likes me 

Daily rescues me. 

In the resurrection I find supernatural Hope sits in with my ordinary being and living . Alongside the miracle we eat fish and talk about love. 

As the song writer put it 

‘This is living now’ 

Happy Easter 💐

Love Rach x 

Hello to 2017


One year whizzing past. 

Another approaches with similar speed. Hello 2017. 

What does this year ahead view like from here?

I began a 5 day daily meditation on the bible app. Bridging the close of the advent readings by Ann Voskamp and the start of HTB bible in a year. 

The app reminded me of how to consider God in the present moment. 


How often we dwell overly on past pain and loss or even a past preferred life.

Then there is the panic of unknown days ahead, the approaching challenges and adventures of a new horizon ahead. 

To dwell in the now of life causes us to be still,  to take a breath, to abide. To trust with our whole selves means it’s possible in the now. We trust God with our hopes and fears we trust with our today. 

Matthew 6:34The Message

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Getting overwhelmed by life becoming anxious about life often is a result of a panic inside that pictures the project in its entirety. 

Slow – slow – slow. 

Or as I am quoted by my sister now – stop – stop – stop. 

The addiction to hurry and activity wins a feel good factor. 

I’m intentional about how I can address this is my own life.

Listen to the birds song in the moment. See the sunrise. 

Make choices that unclutter my world outside and within. 


Trusting in promises, avoiding over focusing on the distant view, instead investing in the present that puts trust in charge. 

Rise, she is such a little word. 

I am embracing its hope in countless ways already. 

Seeing my present as the time to rise. As one sunset and one moon already risen brings grace into a world that aches for light I see it already breaking through. When feel I can’t cope I see the oneword being air to me. 

Rise my child 

It was whispered into my soul as a young woman and it’s whispered still. 

Rise into 2017 with the strength that’s greater and wings that fly higher. 

Rise spoke Jesus to the child. 

In that present moment 

She took His hand and stood up. 

Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up HSCB 

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.

Matt 5 NKJ 

She chooses to take the hand and rise. She is not ignorant of life’s losses but grabs gratitude and grace by the hand and skips with childlike faith into 2017 knowing the one whose she is is always alway with her. 

Offering _

As we move into our new year I offer you no judgement and ask this same grace in return.

 I offer you the gift to share in the present.  

I offer you hope in which to rise up to your dreams.

I offer you courage to bear the greys of our days. 

I offer you a Saviour with which one can rise because the righteous right hand sustains .

My offering is my prayer for you to be encouraged in a journey step by step with the good shepherd, rising daily into outrageous grace and abundance of blessings_ 

There will be joy in the morning therefore rise 

Happy New Year 

Love Rach x 

#oneword365
rachnotes_

My grief observed 

I’m not sure you can observe when you’re the one grieving but this is a post about my grief journey after losing my mother almost a year ago. 

I asked my cousin if there were books she had read. My cousin sent me a book list she had worked through having done her own journey and still on a journey of grief. 

The loss of a mother looks different than any thus far. To me anyway . 

My friend whose observed me has said she can see how I have travelled through the mist of loss and seen me cope in varying stages. 

It’s something one does in small baby steps. 

I make small decisions knowing how I’m overwhelmed. One simple thing I chose to do was simplify daily decisions and activities. Rather extend something than take on something that was too much. 

I keep my routine . I read . I pray. Some things are a necessity . Coffee!

The list of books looks like this: –
A grief observed by CSLewis 

The courage to grieve by Judy Tatelbaum 

All in the end is harvest An anthology for those who grieve by  Agnes Whittaker 

[most books I bought were second hand from Amazon]

What do books bring. I think reassurance that someone understands and that its okay because they feel the same. Some books give a little phrase that help. I dipped in and out of reading, not concentrating for long. Best to use books in the way that fits you or indeed not at all is right too. 
The most helpful quotes to me are : 

Just do today


Work through your grief don’t avoid it 

 

Breathe. In…… and ………. Out . 

Best helps : 

Friends who sit awhile with you sharing conversation and a mug of coffee! 

Being kind to yourself 


Art work by Jennifer @studiojru 

Issues –

For me it was that emotional surge of overwhelming emotion that caused physical discomfort.

 The solution to this is not a quick answer or even a pill, but doing the day at a time thing and not resisting feelings but noting them. It is valuing the times when the sensation was not present. 

Headspace talks about the fact there are clouds present, but the sun still shines in the sky. 

This horrible overwhelming feeling has reduced but not gone. I know that just living daily has helped and that if I felt it was too much to talk about it I focus on just doing the next thing . 
To quote a counsellor friend, “in grief experience it in the body not in the head.”

No one thing is right, we take our own journey without prescription and to me the important thing is to work through your grief, feel it and don’t avoid it as this can have consequences in moving forward or  completion.

THE INVITATION

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.


I am reading a book by Dallas Willard called Hearing God. He writes, we treat God like a celestial aspirin. When we need to be in the work of listening patiently and being close to Him. Willard describes this as shoulder to shoulder with your Lord. This is the Shepherd who is with you always who is present in the green and the dark of life . 


This shoulder to shoulder image captures my imagination of withness. 

It’s keep walking. But your not alone. If we were carried all the time we would never get strong. 

Assurance is how I see it. I need a lot of that. Alongside the comforting presence there is the words of scripture that encourage me to – keep running the race, perseverance, be strong, be courageous. I’m holding you with my right hand. Such wonderful motivation. 

Finally let me share a wonderful children’s book that  captures a phrase I found myself recounting often  . Going on a bear hunt.


The words that I’ve shared and read many times to my boys when they were young. 

You can’t go over it. You can’t go under it. You’ve got to go through it. 

Love it!  The story goes on sharing in a fun way the route to a cave, mud, grass, rivers and hills. 

The words echo a truth that we need, to go through life’s stuff and not avoid the emotional journey, though painful, for we will be stronger for it. 

Daily I embrace Gods peace which transcends the feelings that stop me functioning and I am, moment by moment, learning to live that holy belonging. Uniquely me. Uniquely be you. 


Daily gratitude is my focus. A life lived well is filled with thankfulness. There is always something precious  in the midst of the mundane or indeed in the misty greys of sorrow. 

Embracing our community. Taking Baby Steps. Shoulder to shoulder with the shepherd.  

And 

Remember in the words of Ecclesiasties 3:2

There is a time to be born and a time to die. 

Love Rach