Here’s a list of my favourite things from the last 7 days. It’s an exercise in gratitude and appreciation. Because I’m a linear thinker we’ll start from last thursday, which strictly means 8 days but hey ho here we go.
Last Thursday was the last evening at the NLC, the National Leaders Conference for the Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland. This year was my favourite favourite one. I loved the teaching, I loved worshipping together and I love that I’m apart of this growing, messy, vibrant family. I loved the hugs, the tears, the laughing (as usual we, the Irish, were by far the most raucous), I loved feeling connected. I loved listening to some of my most loved people in the world, some on, most off the stage. I love that I belong to this tribe. Not the best, not the most trendy, not the only, but my tribe that I love and have the joy of belonging too.
My favourite thing about Friday? Coming home to our boys, to a clean house (both Mum’s did a shift with them) and to large pot of my Mother-in-laws Irish Stew. Every Irish Mother has her own version, Sylvia taught me hers but when she makes it, it’s better somehow.
Even though I had a sermon to write on Saturday, I managed a nap in my favourite chair in the snug. Perfect spot don’t you think? That was my favourite part of the Saturday.
Sunday! I loved Sunday. I preached about something I absolutely love to do; worshipping Jesus and then we worshipped Jesus. I can’t quite believe that preaching is one of my favourite things to do, but it is. I fight with myself when I’m in the writing stage of the week and there are times when I hit walls of self-doubt when I’m up there, but mainly I feel the most alive when I’m speaking about Jesus, to my church. Can you believe this is my job? Me neither.
So Sunday gets 2 favourites, the second was a tasty Indian dinner with friends that we love, dreaming about our trip to India next month. And yes you WILL be hearing all about the trip as it unfolds.
Monday’s favourite moment was making a weekend dinner on a Monday night that my boys all loved. Considering that we are raising boys with discerning palates and a readiness to offer their opinion, this was a good result.
On Tuesday morning I had a real treat, I woke up to snow, drove through the beautiful snow laden Northern Irish countryside to see one of my dearest friend for coffee and a real-life catch up. We see each other sparingly so when we do the time is precious and the conversation reserved for the bare truth lavished with the grace that exists between loving friends. B.L.I.S.S.
Yesterday, Wednesday was community. I love our small group. I love each and every one of this eclectic group that gathers in our house on Wednesdays. I love the banter, the easy conversation and the moments when we gather round each others lives and invite Jesus to come and do His work as we pray.
Today we had the privilege of meeting with other church leaders from a variety of denominations. Extended family. Words of encouragement. Connection. Cheering each other on. What’s not to love about that.
Have you noticed a theme or 2. Family. Love. Friends. Food. My heart is fuller at the end of this post quite simply because I’ve viewed my week through the lenses of gratitude and appreciation. It sounds like a cliché but I live a truly blessed life everyday and yet there are many days when I fail to realise it. Maybe I need a new pair of glasses with the 2 lenses inserted for everyday use.
I set you a challenge. You do the same. List your favourite things of the last week, and see how much more full your heart is after you’re done.
PS you can listen to my sermon from Sunday by clicking HERE