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Are you being tested?

Many things look good until they are 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝.
Many theories look good until they are 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝.
Many software applications look good until they are 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝.
Many people look good until they are 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝.
Any piece of rope will hold when there is no weight on it, but we also need to know that we can count on it, when the heavy weight it was designed to carry, actually holds.
We have to test everything that we produce because things can go wrong.
And like things, we too are frequently tested in all kinds of ways in life.

Life is the field of tests.

We are living in times of great testing. No one is exempt from life’s trials.
I do not believe that it was intended that our earthly experience would be a smooth and easy one.
It is my experience that tests always come.
Accidents, illness, old age, the loss of a loved one, death, unhappiness, depression, tragedies, financial loss etc.
How do you see you life now?
Sometimes it may seem that life will bring some unexpected challenges – almost daily at times.
Tests are designed to show our strengths and our weaknesses.
We cannot choose most of the tests we face in life, we can however choose how we’re going to face them.
Facing up to every challenge, every test, is a chance for you to become the person you are meant to be.
These moments truly define us and prove what we are really made of.
Personally, I know that when you face the tests of life, when you learn from them and grow with them, you can become that person you are meant to be.
Always remember to put things into perspective, tests always eventually pass.
I am grateful for well proven guiding principles of faith, obedience, work, morality, honesty, persistency, integrity that always prove themselves when they are tested – when they are required to perform.
Turning to a family member, a friend, a work colleague or to your faith can help.
Who do you turn to or what principles do you follow, to help you through your tests in life?
#tests #life

Improving!

“Wees niet bang om fouten te maken, iedereen die een nieuwe taal leert, maakt fouten!”

In other words, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, anyone who learns a new language makes mistakes!

After a few months in the Netherlands, words to that affect frequently run through my mind.

That said however, I had a funny experience at Schiphol Airport last week, whilst picking up the new arriving missionaries.

Whilst Monic and I, along with Elder Ornelas were waiting for the final missionary to arrive at Gate 2, I was approached by a complete stranger, looking for directions to the other arrival gates 3 & 4.

Having just come from gate 3, I gave him the directions in my best Dutch, pointing at the same time…

“Ga rechtdoor, dan rechtsaf, 100 meter rechtdoor en dan is het aan u rechterhand”

He thanked me and then headed off in that direction.

I turned back to Monic and Elder Ornelas, and it struck me that this was very similar to that moment when Elder Calhoun in the movie “The Best Two Years” directed a complete stranger at the railway station.  For those of you who have seen the movie, you will recall that precise moment.  If you haven’t see the movie – then watch it, it has to be one of the best movies about life in the mission field.

We laughed together as we talked about the movie and Elder Calhoun!

In that moment, I realised without thinking that my Dutch is improving!!

What is improving for you right now, that you may not have noticed?

Its all a matter of perspective

Recently, on a couple of instances, our attention has been drawn towards crickets.
Departing Eindhoven on Sunday, a cricket landed on the bonnet of our car, and stayed there for a few moments even after we drove off.
A few weeks earlier whilst in Belgium, we were momentarily distracted by a large cricket as we sat chatting with our hosts Angelo and Candice. We were assured that this was a small one, but for Monic and I, we thought it was huge!
It’s all a matter of perspective, I thought.
Some things look much different when you are up close.
Perspective is the way we see things, when we look at them from a certain distance. In that brief moment, we saw the true value of this remarkably large or small (depending upon your perspective) insect.
Each of us see things ever so slightly differently, dependent upon our own personal experiences in life.
For Monic and I our familiarity of crickets in life, has been almost nil. Thus this cricket was huge! Yet, for Angelo and Candice, it was at the opposite extreme on the spectrum of cricket experience and thus the cricket was small!
Fascinating!
In that brief moment, our eyesight drew us close to this captivating creature. Yet there was more a sense of awe, wonder and an appreciation of beauty in those few seconds of time, before it hopped off to find something much more interesting than our gawking eyes!
In this fast paced life, do we ever pause momentarily, just long enough to enjoy the simple little things?
Why not pause, reflect and stop long enough today, to really see some of those things that really matter most of all. It may just give you a new perspective on lots of things.
Enjoy your discoveries!

How have you changed?

Arriving home, fighting my tiredness, my bed was screaming my name… “get in Daryl, you’re exhausted!” It was only 8.35pm!
Last week, I was back on the road for the first time in forever.
After 16 months of being in my own bed every night, it felt a little strange to be in a hotel for a couple of evenings once again.

Things have changed…

After a very long drive on the motorway for hours on end, the relief of the services and ultimate arrival at the hotel were eagerly anticipated. However, COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions made the whole experience a very different one from times gone by.
Everywhere was busy, and everywhere we stopped was clearly understaffed and heavily bounded by limiting restrictions. This in turned placed a heavy burden on those who were working to fill a multitude of different roles. They were doing their best, yet it was clearly difficult.
All that said, it was just good to have change of scenery, meet people again, enjoy new experiences and be with family and friends.
Be that as it may, I was never so glad to climb into my own bed on Saturday evening and fall into a deep slumber once more. It was bliss!
I am certainly out of my old routines for sure. Driving that far and staying in hotels again for a couple of sleepless nights in a strange bed wasn’t as appealing as it used to be. Maybe it’s just old age creeping in!?
Perhaps, after years of travel, I’m changing too.
Are you?

A new chapter

As one chapter in life draws to a close, another is set to begin…

One morning earlier this week, I was about to head outside to post a birthday card, when our youngest daughter Cristi was also just departing for school.  I asked if I could join her on her walk to school and she agreed that I could.

All at once, memories flooded back of the many times over the last 20 years of walking to school with our children. Walking through the rain, wind, snow and sunshine have all been experiences we’ve shared together.  The days of holding each of their hands have long since gone.  Tiny steps, eventually grew into strides together.

Walking with Cristi, I recognised quickly that this was likely to be the very last time I walked with her on part of her journey to school.  Her school days are swiftly drawing to a close, with only a few days left to go.  We talked, we laughed and to be honest, I did get a little emotional. Just for a moment there was a little tear in my eye.  I realised that the school days of our children chapter of our life together, was now rapidly drawing to an end.  As we reached Dot, the lollipop lady, we wished each other well.

Our Book of Life

Like a book, life has a beginning, and end, and a lot of chapters in between that push us forward from one event to another.  Each of us will begin many new chapters in our own book of life.  Some chapters are challenging and difficult, others are fun and exciting.  Momentarily, a little bit of sentimentality also played into my own book, with this little walk for sure.  Another sweet memory was added into my own book of life.

Ultimately change happens for each of us.

Accepting change can be hard and exciting too, as we turn the page of a new chapter in life.  For us, there are a whole new set of adventures ahead, Belgium/Netherlands beckons!!

What changes and new chapters are you set to write about in your very own book of life?

Endurance

ooh, ouch, Ouch! OUCH! 𝗢𝗨𝗖𝗛!

Maybe I’m just a little adverse to Dentist and Doctor surgeries. I’m not a great fan of either, getting prodded and poked isn’t high on my list of favourite things to do. A wimp, I hear you say!

I had to have blood taken for a medical test last week. As instructed I’d come fasting and hadn’t eaten or drank anything for about 15 hours. After some pleasant introductions, it was time to take the blood. I wasn’t anxious about it as I’d given blood for tests a few times before at a Doctors surgery. This time was to be a little different.

He started in my left arm. The first attempt, no joy. Then to my right arm, again no success. Back to my left arm, once again, it was fruitless! Back to my right arm, another attempt – still nothing. “Bone dry” he said! By this time, I was starting to feel like a pin cushion. “I’ll have to take it from the back of your hand” the Doctor said (5th attempt). A little more painful for sure, but finally, at last, the blood started to flow! What a relief!

There are many challenges in life…

Sometimes we all just have to endure some pretty painful experiences for a little while, before the results start to flow!

What painful moments have you had to endure?