We've just started our Advent series: 10 Things I Hate About Christmas, and the message on Sunday was on Joy. Brett did an amazing job with the sermon on Sunday and I just want to say that I really enjoyed the service. And Brett, you always do a great job! Anyhow, it made me think about all the things that have added joy to my life this past year. I do apologise in advance if I miss anything but I'll try and get them all down. So here goes...
- Being able to call cessioncommunity home. cession has helped me grow in ways that I never knew I could. It helped with the move to NZ and settling in. The people are so encouraging and friendly.
- Friends. I have the most amazing bunch of friends through being part of cession. They keep me sane, keep me accountable and help me to have fun! We share the good and bad times. They are a great support group that I am so dependent on.
- Gaining a mentor. Melissa has played a big part in helping me in my journey of discovering who I am, what part I play in cession and just helping me be a better me. I love how she is just always has challenges up her sleeves waiting to unleash them onto me.
- An accountability partner. Sarah, I met about June/July this year and we just got on like a house on fire. We then decided it would be cool if we started an accountability relationship and it's been going well. We catch up as often as we can fit each other into our busy lives.
- Discovering that how cession works is what I have always needed. cession is real big on authenticity and community. Being real with each and everyone means we have an honest relationship, no hiding behind masks. The leadership is so different but it works! There's non of this "I'm better than you" nonsense. We are all equal and have all been put in this world for the purpose of furthering God's kingdom. But we all have different parts to play.
- Having to opportunity to be a leader. Being a leader within cession has helped my personal growth and I'd like to think that I have helped those I'm leading and those that lead me grow in their walk, too. And next year, Juanita has passed on the privilege to lead cessionchow (this is the ministry I have been co-leading) to me.
- Being part of the different ministries I am involved in. cessionchow is such a great ministry. We are the first people that you see each week as we serve you dinner. We are the first to ask how your week was and the first to meet new faces. cessionconnect is where I have learned to be a better singer and more importantly better worshipper. It was great to be back singing again this year after a 4 year break. Reminded me just how much I missed it. cessioncontact just reiterates how each of us can be of help to others. I was asked if I wanted to be part of it and I said "Most definitely". This is a way that I can offer my help to others that may be in need of help-baby sitting or a meal on the table.
- The great girls I coach. I have left them but they have been a great blessing to me and made coaching at a crap club slightly more enjoyable. Just watching them improve each term and winning at competitions is such a great thing. There is nothing that can describe that feeling better than JOY.
- Doing what I love. Stuyding something I actually wanna study makes such a difference. I absolutely love going to uni despite the 5am starts and 9pm finishes. How cool is it to be able to do something you love so much rather than doing something coz you just have to?
- Realising just how much Melbourne means to me. I do miss Melbourne very much but the move has helped me appreciate all that I left behind. I didn't realise just how much I took everything I had in Melb for granted until I moved. The gym I love so much, the friends I made and had great times with and just the memories...
- NZ isn't as bad as I thought it was! Well, I know...you think I have gone insane. I haven't. God has just made NZ such a better place by surrounding me with the most amazing bunch of people I have ever come into contact with. I couldn't ask for anything better.
So, I think that's me and why I am so filled with joy. It is mainly thanx to cession. By being involved in cession, the joy I found there has permeated into the rest of my life. And Brett, thanx for a great service. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.