Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Hi friends! Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a moment already this year to sit down and reflect on all that you have lived through this past year and what opportunities lay before you in the new year.
Before I plunge into the New Year thoughts I’m going to swing back to Christmas.
Being my first Christmas away from my family, I was pleasantly surprised at the fun we had on the ship. The ship tradition is that everyone puts their shoe outside their cabin door on Christmas Eve to be filled with treats, cards and small gifts from friends.
After attending the Christmas Eve service on board, I headed down to my friends’ cabin with a bunch of friends and we played games together. While we were playing people began filing past the door, some stopping to put down a little gift. By the time I walked down to my cabin there was a little pile of cards and treats outside my door! The hallways were covered in little piles of gifts. I snuck around the ship too, placing little hand-made gifts out.
Originally I thought I’d wake up on Christmas morning disappointed that my stocking (pillow case if I was in my parent’s house) would be sadly empty, but with this little ship Christmas tradition I had quite the little pile and then a few gifts from home that had lovingly been posted and saved until Christmas. It was truly abundant and my heart was full reading the Christmas cards that had been posted from all over the world and from all over the ship too. Instead of feeling sad that I wasn’t with my family, my heart was full of love for my ship family present and those who’d been my ship family before and were now home, but hadn’t forgotten me.

My friends and I met up in the dining room where we enjoyed a wonderful brunch and spread of food, before retiring to my single cabin where I was cabin-sitting (like house sitting) where we opened gifts together, just like I would have done with my family at home.
We joined up with a bigger bunch of friends in the evening to make pizza and eat together and then watch a Christmas movie to finish out the day. For a Christmas away from home, it was truly a good one.

Apparently the traditional Christmas cracker is a commonwealth country thing

A couple of days later, I headed out with friends to a beach about an hour away from the ship to camp overnight. We drove out to a deserted space where there was no one else around and we set up camp, one tent and eight hammocks. We enjoyed swimming in the strong waves, strolling along the deserted beach, soaking up the sun, reading, napping, eating, chatting and even some beach cricket after Jasmin found a piece of driftwood shaped like a cricket bat.

We spent the evening by the camp fire and gazing at the stars, shouting out when we saw a shooting star. It was a wonderful time of chilling out, being off-ship and away from our workplace.

The new week began and New Years Eve was upon us! Again there was group of us who trekked off to the beach, this time to stay in a house, to enjoy time off-ship and time together to celebrate the New Year.
I took some time out to sit and chat with God about the year gone. I thought over what I’d walked through this past year, the places I’d been, lessons I’d learnt, how I’d grown and changed and then wondered and asked Him about the year 2014 and what it’s going to hold. I don’t have a plan past June really and still don’t have any divine inspiration about whether to move back to Australia or carry on with Mercy Ships or to change direction completely. I’ll have to wait on that one.

This week is also my birthday. My life looks nothing like I imagined it would at this age. I feel like there are milestones that everyone hits at certain ages, like walking and then going to school and then getting your driver’s license and then suddenly there are ‘milestones’ like getting married and having children, but there’s no set age and even when you’d like it to happen, it doesn’t have a time frame. When I was school aged I thought by my age it would have happened already, but it hasn’t. I wouldn’t change my life to have it happen differently, I just wonder if it ever will and when it could. Only God knows what my future holds and I trust Him for I know He has great plans.

Happy New Year friends! I hope it brings you a fresh new look at life, renewed hope for the future, for relationships and friendships and a deeper relationship with your creator.

Thanks for the photo Vanessa!

Goodbye from my 26 year old self. Hello 27.

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