Helen Brough, Director of Forge Scotland, lists her six top tips for living in evolving circumstances

 

Love it or loath it, this summer is hot! It’s not exactly what we’re used to…..and presents us with unexpected opportunities and challenges. Who knew that a Scottish summer could ever require more than 3 short sleeved T-shirts or see sunscreen as an “essential”! Whatever the weather, the summer, as the turn of the year, is one of my anchor points for pausing, taking time to breathe and reflect on that which has just gone, space to assimilate the highs, lows, growth and costs – to recover and then begin to dream forward.

This summer has again been one of those times – and yet felt substantially different. As a family we’re in the midst of children leaving home – and all the coming, going and general change in pace that that results in. I found myself grappling with how to rest, reflect, recharge and prepare for the next season in the midst of constant change.

As I wrestled with this, I realised that though there has been much change in our lives over the years, these have often happened sequentially – giving time to assimilate one thing at a time. Life seemed more “simple”. The realisation that this “simplicity” is not there in this season and trying to work out how to rest in the midst of movement was something of a “Kairos” moment[1]. The changes that we are assimilating are in fact running concurrently – and this complex sense of change is, in fact, a new normal. And that is ok!

So how do we restore in the midst of constant change?

Making space to slow down

This takes a level of intentionality that goes beyond that which we had previously required. Choosing a holiday destination that gave both the flexibility for people coming and going, and also provided space and opportunity for us as family to have time together and also do the things that replenish us as individuals was no simple task, but God provided.

Inviting God to show the way…and trusting Him for the journey

When charting new territory, we don’t have a map, or know the steps forward, but we do know the “Compass”. There is invitation and challenge too to continue to follow Him even in our rest.

Know the ingredients that replenish you

Think Lego bricks to construct with rather than something already fully fashioned – it can then be altered as you go in response to the context. Be creative!

Be ready to be flexible

Limits are often a challenge to embrace, be they the external influences (weather, people, location etc) or internal (our natural “wiring” and how tired we are from the previous season). Know that even in limits there is provision and we encounter Him.

Trust Him in the midst.

God is way more invested in us – there is freedom to enjoy rest, solitude, community and provision even when the route is not the expected one.

Dream forward

Taking time to pray, dream and plan for the next season gives opportunity to adjust pace, practicalities and pray for provision for the adventures ahead.

God delights to meet with and provide for us – look, expect and lean into Him.

Be blessed as you kick back and enjoy the summer.

 

 

[1] Kairos is a Greek word that describes time. Often we use Chronos when we think about events happening in order – chronologically – as time ticks by during the day. But Kairos talks about interventions in time, those moments that occur which change our circumstances and how we are shaped by those circumstances.

X