My reflections this week come after a couple of days at the start of the week when I was feeling quite downcast and I couldn’t quite figure out why. As before, I was struggling, sometimes because of busy days with lots going on, and other times just in terms of not feeling productive enough, good enough or like things were coming together. I’ve noticed that when this was happening, there were a couple of really practical factors that I had neglected that definitely weren’t helping my moods:

– Not getting enough sleep

– Not eating enough (breakfast in particular)

– Depending on caffeine!

– Time not spent with God

There’s probably a fifth one that I could add that would round these off, but it’s basically a text book of how not to feel good! And hilariously, it was actually getting up at 5:30 on Thursday to go to Nottingham that effectively helped me to snap out of it and put the right things in place. Time to reflect, an early start (though that doesn’t solve the sleep problem!), a coffee in it’s rightful place alongside some food, all allowed me to operate a bit more normally. I also found the subject of the discipleship session, silence, to be amazingly helpful. It’s something which is very hard in practice, but after a session of focused time with God, it’s amazing how much better you can feel!

Here were some of my reflections from before the session:

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel, •

and in the night watches he instructs my heart.”

Is this true? Am I really allowing God to instruct me? In times of weakness, my hunger for God has felt like homesickness, like a deep desire to go back home and be somewhere I’m comfortable with. It’s important that this is the basis of my life, in relationship with God. In trying to be full of integrity, I need to make sure that reality meets the perceptions that I’m trying to show people. And for this to happen, I need to keep aware of what defines me. It can’t be the latest brands, apps or productivity systems. It can’t be how I look or what I wear or what I say. All of these things can be so alluring, but they need to be put aside so I can focus on God and get my identity from him.

I was also reflecting on the concepts of ‘peace’ and ‘burden’ and how, if our desires are after God’s, they can actually go hand in hand.

I think I’ve experienced this a bit this week as I’ve found myself first worrying, and then getting things done and feeling an amazing sense of peace! Again, I can’t let this determine how I feel, but it’s interesting to note how much better you feel when you’ve got all you need to done!

On a practical, leadership level, I’ve also been reflecting a bit more on vision and values, based on Stephen Covey’s 7 habits, and this is what I’ve got so far. Thinking about who I want to be (character) and what I want to do (contributions and achievements), this what I’ve come up with:

With the help of God, I will:

Develop as a disciple of Jesus Christ and become more like him

Be faithful as an individual; a husband, friend, follower and leader

Contribute to the Kingdom of God by making disciples, teaching the Bible and showing God’s love and grace.

I will do this by living according to clear values of: Service, Encouragement, Excellence, Generosity, Authenticity and Forgiveness.

I’m still working on this but I’m getting somewhere I think! I’d still like a clearer and more concise vision statement I think.

That’s all for this week!

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