Summing up the year in books

I’ve neglected the blog this autumn and early winter. Now its January already. I thought I’d give a run down of some of the best books I read this past year.

Firstly are two books by Brenè Brown.

Daring Greatly

In this Brenè weaves in stories and takeaways to put into action about vulnerability and shame. The main takeaway for me was realising areas in life where I let shame take over instead of being vulnerable. She talks in depth how to practically outwork shame resilience in both our personal lives and at work. She has really built on the work in The Gifts of Imperfection.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” Brenè Brown

And also this..

“The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.” Brenè Brown

Its how I endeavour to begin each day and especially on days when I’m finding things tough.

 

The Gifts of Imperfection

I’ve just finished reading this. It was my final read of the year. It had been on my to read list for a few years. I love how open and honest Brenè is. Aside from practicing being vulnerable one of the main areas I’m looking to work on is what meaningful work looks like for me.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” Brenè Brown

Also this quote inspires me to choose bravery over fear in my everyday life. Often we can let fear run amok instead of just being who we are.

 

Come Matter Here: Your invitation to be here in a getting there world by Hannah Brencher

This was one of my most favourite books. So much so that I gave my copy away to a friend. Its got me to understand the value of staying present both physically and mentally too.

“I think we worship these stories of leaving it all behind and going somewhere new, but I’m beginning to see that every one of those stories has the same truth holding up this romantic idea of leaving: The stuff you’re not facing will follow you. It will get in the car too. It will pack a bag too. Leaving isn’t the key; changing is. I’m learning that life isn’t about the destinations we can boast about getting to; it’s about all the walking in between that feels pointless when you try to take a picture of it because no one will understand it like you do. It’s the in between stuff that fleshes out a story—gives it guts and transformation.
It’s not about the scenery changing or the person you say good night to. The traveler must be the one to change. That’s what makes the story good.” Hannah Brencher

This I can relate to so much. I’m learning to see the value and learning in staying in the little town I currently call home. Also right now that looks like having the unknown coming for the ride to. I’m learning to continue to live life curiously and be open to what comes along the way. It’s not the easiest way but worth it. Also learning to not take people’s expectations for my life to heart. I find that when I do that the consequences are that I feel like a failure. Which is not true but it’s what the little voice in my head says.

 

Everybody Always by Bob Goff

Oh I just love Bob’s stories and his latest book is a cracker.

“Jesus talked to His friends a lot about how we should identify ourselves. He said it wouldn’t be what we said we believed or all the good we hoped to do someday. Nope, He said we would identify ourselves simply by how we loved people. It’s tempting to think there is more to it, but there’s not. Love isn’t something we fall into; love is someone we become.” Bob Goff

It really got me to see that even the people I can’t stand need loving too. That is still very much a work in progress. Also that loving people is no one of thing but what life is about.

Searching for Sunday Rachel Held Evans

I so loved reading this.

“Imagine if every church became a place where everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable. Imagine if every church became a place where we told one another the truth. We might just create sanctuary.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

This was the main point that I took away from reading this. Its one of the things I love about the little community I have here. Its so good to have a place where I can be myself and feel included and valued.

 

 

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Forest views..

Picture taking whilst landing at Oslo airport yesterday afternoon.

Wednesday Adventures

A week ago we went on a little adventure by boat train and car. It was a Noah and Grandma and Auntie day. We all had so much fun. Sometimes little adventures not far from home are the best kind.

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He’s off..

Then we took the little ferry across to Fell Foot Park from Lakeside.

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Looking out across the lake.

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He was desperate to go on a little boat..

So…

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Boat rides with Amber dog.

and Grandma did a fantastic job at rowing. We even sang ‘Row row’ too.

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Mum rowing.

Then we took the little ferry back and the steam train from Lakeside to Haverthwate.

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Steam…train fun.

 

Saturday evening thoughts

Lately I’ve been musing on what home looks like. I’ve written on this topic before but coming at it from a different angle this time. In the past five years I’ve called Barnstaple, Plymouth, Bradford, Vienna, Trondheim, Shipley, Lancaster and most currently a little town called Ulverston home. I love the quirkyness and all the little independent shops and most recently the opening of this place Cut The Wrap. As amongst many things I’m doing my best to cut down on my use of single use plastic. I use a metal water bottle instead of throw away plastic ones. The same goes for metal straws instead of plastic ones. In actively working to reduce my use of single use plastic I’m realising that sometimes it a hard task as so many things are packaged in plastic when there are other options.

I’ve had quite a few people recently say that I’m quite nomadic. Which given my tendency to move locations makes sense. I often find myself feeling really restless. But having less days like that lately. Which is refreshing.

I’m learning more and more how important meaningful community is. And that is something well worth investing in. Both in person and in the digital world too. I’m also realising more and more that I need to carve time to spend on those things that calm me (for me thats knitting, baking and time spent outdoors). In those moments it’s easier to be present and in the moment rather than amongst crowded thoughts.

Going to sign off for now but I’ve a feeling I’ll be back to add to this post again.

 

Tuesday evening thoughts

Since haven’t written on here in a while I thought it was high time I did. I’m writing this with a cup of peppermint tea by my bedside table.

I’ve just finished reading a book called Everybody Always by Bob Goff. Been challenged yet again what love looks like. In particular how to love those who are difficult, different and those who are hurting and in turn hurting others. How these are the ones who need loving most. To choose to respond in kindness rather than lashing out. To choose to forgive even when I don’t feel like it. In that there is real freedom.

Jesus talked to His friends a lot about how we should identify ourselves. He said it wouldn’t be what we said we believed or all the good we hoped to do someday. Nope, He said we would identify ourselves simply by how we loved people. It’s tempting to think there is more to it, but there’s not. Love isn’t something we fall into; love is someone we become.”
Bob Goff, Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People

‪“There’s no school to learn how to love your neighbor, just the house next door. No one expects us to them flawlessly, but we can love them fearlessly, furiously, and unreasonably”‬
‪BG

Still learning how to live this out. Especially when I’m fearful, worried or scared. When I feel like that I need to remember who’s I am and who has my back! Also need to pay more attention to those little nudges. Often times that looks like being inconvenienced and for someone who likes to be on time that is a challenge at times.

That its okay not to know what is next. Just to continue putting one foot in front of the other. And keep knocking on doors, taking risks and daring to dream big dreams. And that setbacks are so valuable to growth and facing challenges. I’m thinking of answering the “What do you do question?” differently these days. How about something more along the lines of asking who we are?

Also this

“I think a father’s job, when it’s done best, is to get down on both knees, lean over his children’s lives, and whisper, ‘Where do you want to go?’ Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us.” BG

Also thinking that I’ll be re reading Love Does again soon! I’ve a feeling I’ll be adding more to this post.

Thanks for reading.

🙂

Footprints and journeys

Leave footprints wherever you may go

Sparkle and sunbeams

Scatter as you wander

Memories flying past like 

paper planes 

Grateful for the journeys taken

Places of growth, pain, joy 

and learning 

Some things last longer than intended 

But the path taken was the 

right one and finished  

at the right moment.

Where learning meant

Speaking up for yourself is okay

Finding calm in the frantic 

Seeing children smile with joy.

 

C.Farish 01/04/18

Wednesday evening scribblings

Some evening thoughts.

No title as yet.

Untitled

Some days I linger in the present

Enjoying what is now

Like smiles and laughter

Hugs and tea time

table drumming

But at night I often

Find myself wishing I

was someplace else

Seeds of discontentment grow

Of feeling alone

And wondering where home is?

I see things often that I like

and stop myself

Cause I don’t have a place to call home

I’m discovering there are

some down sides to

restlessness

Finding belonging is one.

Still something I struggle with

Growing up I was the kid most

comfortable with my head

in a book

Than being in a crowd or

Spending time with others

Reading was a place of escape

comfort and adventure

And it’s still one of the best travel

companions.

Am still being the one to wear

my heart on my sleeve.

C.Farish 21/03/18

Journeys

Sunset embers
The rattle of the train
Bright evening skies
Blissful

Searching for golden moments
like this

Mesmerising in their simplicity
Pockets of wonder
Captured in a split second

Monument silhouette
Against a blazing furness
Slivers of silver on the horizon
as dusk approaches.

C. Farish 19.03.18