Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah






Thursday, 2 April 2015

Swan Song: Identity, Security, Holy Spirit leading my way

I have so enjoyed writing this blog and learning and growing through the writing and sharing of it.
I have loved hearing from some of you who've tuned in, sometimes weekly, sometimes occasionally, but sometimes.
Some times change. This is one of those 'sometimes'.

For some time I've known that I should be focusing on fiction writing, living and not so much on sharing on a weekly basis. But it has taken courage to give up the writing of this blog. Now, I know as hard as it is, it's time.
Thank you to Jeannie, most faithful of followers - faithful to me and to our Saviour most of all. Thank you for the nomination for the Liebster Award which you won and then, true to form, you honoured me with a nomination.
Thank you to others, who've said or written their interest, thoughts and/or thanks.
Thank you to Becky Tun and Google for leading me to and providing Blogspot as a platform.
Thank you God for giving me this vehicle to use to share my thoughts and now, for releasing me from the commitment to continue.

As a final post, I'd like to share about my sense of identity and security, where it comes from and where I find my rest.

(Warning: this blog has a lot of God-talk)

Security in Christ:

I've been writing this blog for anyone. Friends - tangible and network - have been invited to join. And in that vein, I've written so as not to pour out religion or politics, though there are some leaks from time to time.

Today, I'll be pouring out about faith. Some call that religion, though I do not. So, if you want to learn what I really, really, REALLY think is the core of our security, here it is: With God all things are possible, when our security is in Jesus we have total assurance and peace, and joy is a gift from the Holy Spirit, who gives spiritual life to those who Believe.

We who have chosen to follow Jesus know in our heads that our security, our assurance, our deepest source of love and acceptance comes from God. But do we always know it in our hearts? There is a difference between our minds being aware of what we have in Christ, and our hearts living the truth of it.

When we receive Jesus and accept him as our Saviour and our Lord, everything he is and has is made available to us. He gives us his Holy Spirit as our comforter and our counselor, our source of power and of peace. But are we living in the fullness of his love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faith, patience and self-control? Not likely. I'm not, though I long to be. Life is a journey and all these good gifts are available to us and we are in the process of them being perfected in us. That's Biblical and that's fine!

Jesus loves every one of us, just as we are. He is the embodiment of unconditional love and acceptance. And though from time to time we need to learn some things, I've never experienced him to get harsh or condemning, because that's not the sort of person he is. He is our strength. And yet, we haven't perfectly received all he has for us... and wouldn't it be wonderful to have more of his love in us, more of his power perfecting us, more of God's embrace toward us?

How do we do that? ..... We don't. God does. He does it when we ask. That's the whole point of this post: to say that God does all the giving and we the receiving. If we could only grasp that, our perfect security would be ensured.

Each of us knows, in our heart of hearts, that we are not perfect. We who believe and follow Christ know this. And yet those of us who follow Jesus need to live in the awareness that what God sees in us IS PERFECT. We need to recognize that the spirit that is within us, our spirit who has been reborn through Christ, longs to be directed by the Holy Spirit, with our souls surrendered to His Spirit (rather than it's persistence to lead us). God doesn't see the junk we bear. That junk is dead; Father God only looks upon that which He has perfected through His son, Jesus. By His Spirit we are not only alive, but also perfect.

Recently, I had a conversation with a fellow Believer about the living spirit that resides within us. In the Bible, when it mentions 'heart' it is referring to that spirit living within us. There is a clear distinction made between our minds and our spirits. And our spirit is not the same as the Holy Spirit.

Our spirit is just as unique to us as is our mind. It is not our soul (i.e.: mind =  intellect, will, emotions) nor is it the Holy Spirit, although it is the Holy Spirit that brings life through faith in Jesus. It's important to recognize that the spirit that God gave you at conception has been made alive through Jesus (otherwise it's dead as a door nail) and as you surrender your mind/soul to your spirit, there is greater ease in maturing, growing, transcending the insecurities and fears of this life, and in dwelling closer to the Father. With your spirit surrendered to the Holy Spirit, there is deeper communion with God than with our minds. We are saved by grace in either case, but as we yield our minds to our spirit and our spirit to the Holy Spirit, there is freedom and power by His grace and truth.

There is no formula in our journey with God. And you must test my words as you'd test any, by prayer, and the study of God's word. But if you are reading this and your heart is testifying that this is true, go and test it. And, if your mind is getting enraged because you disagree, go and test by studying, not by reading other peoples' writings but by looking into the Word for yourself.

Our security comes from Jesus and his saving love. Our confidence comes from the truth that God loves us unconditionally and sent his son to show us His own character and love toward us. We have the Holy Spirit to show us spiritual matters and the truth in the Bible. But maturity comes from allowing ourselves to be surrendered to God, not only through our mind, but through our spirit that has been made alive through Christ.

God bless.

And remember, this blog, though it may not contain new posts for the foreseeable future, will remain on line. You can visit any time. I will be notified of comments and can reply. And if it is God's will, I will return to post again. In the meantime, "But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10)












My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com See posts on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.

Also, posting may continue on my LinkedIn Sarah Tun Larus Press profile (but you need to be a member of LinkedIn to access them).





Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Raising Children Part 5: Out of the tunnel and into the light

Do you have a willful child? I do. Do you have a bright, willful child? I do. Do you have an expressive, bright, willful child? I do.

When my son is happy, he's a delight. When he's sad, the world knows. He's been adjusting to a transcontinental move; it has... and he has been difficult.

But in this time, he has faced challenges he otherwise never would have. He has discovered so much about himself and relationships, about people and culture, about challenges and opportunities he may otherwise never have faced or at least not so early in his life.

When we see our children suffer, we may be tempted to try to shield them, but often the suffering is part of the journey they must experience to grow into capable, compassionate adults.

In our transition the worst is past. I see that my son is sharing, questioning, enjoying life more. He has matured through this process, though for a time I wondered if we would ever get through this time of transition.

The point of this post is simply to say that when things look really, really difficult, remember they will pass, so long as we keep loving, keep committed to helping our children to grow, and to find consistency in their own character and the challenges that they face.



Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Raising Children: Part 4 - Love Languages

There is a series of books written by Gary Chapman, PhD, some of which he has co-written with Ross Campbell MD. The original of these books is called, The Five Love Languages.

What are the 5 love languages? Touch, Words of Affirmation, Deeds of Service, Gifts and Time.
The basic premise is that within each of us is a predisposition to receive love best when it is expressed through one of these basic love languages. When  love  is expressed toward us through our preferred language, we recognize it and feel unconditionally loved and affirmed. When we do not receive love as expressed through our fundamental love language, we do not acknowledge it nor do we feel loved. It doesn't really matter how much we are loved, when it is expressed in a manner different from our fundamental love language, it doesn't quite reach us.

Children need large doses of love expressed through all of the love languages until they are at least 5. If we do not express our love in varied ways, they will hunger for love and be left unfed. If they receive varied expressions of love, they will grow up more secure than if they do not.

I have found the premise behind The Five Love Languages to be very helpful in being a parent. I've learned that by expressing disappointment or discipline without withdrawing my love toward my son, even if he has been deliberately badly behaved, he takes his consequences better and learns through inner conviction his error, and changes his behaviour or attitude more readily, than when I punish, withdraw my affection or explode.

I am learning my love language and that of others. I am discovering myself and how to identify the love languages of others by observing them and listening to them. I am adjusting my parenting as my son grows and reveals his love language: Time.

Both my husband and son share the love language of Time. According to Chapman, this means as wife and mother I need to devote fully engaged time with my family members if they are to receive the love I have for them. This is difficult for me as time, to me, is not as important as kind words (Words of Affirmation) or hugs (Touch).

I'm learning how to love better and am discovering that my life is full of time I didn't know I had. I'm receiving more of the love I like too: hugs and words of encouragement. Our household doesn't always 'hum' but it's better as I give my time and attention where it is needed and valued.

Thanks Gary Chapman for your book, The Five Love Languages



Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Raising Children: Part 3 Increasing your Child’s Emotional Intelligence:

How to Increase your Child’s Emotional Intelligence:
Article by Sarah Tun, layperson, teacher, parent

I am a step parent and a parent. I have read voraciously of psychology, inner healing and personal growth (including some words I've authored myself). From my own experience, I share below...

When my child was an infant and toddler, I taught him to see himself – what he was wearing, including the colours and how they matched. I encouraged him to look at his facial expressions and mine... had him smile, frown and attach words to the expressions. 
As our children grow, we can teach them to notice other people’s expressions, and show them pictures of people and ask what feelings are shown on the faces of the people. We can correct them if they are way off base, by gently steering them in a direction that is more accurate.
Can we build in our children the ability to express and describe how they feel at any given time as they are growing up? When we use moments where emotions are strong or dynamic, and give a label to the feelings being expressed, this helps a child to develop vocabulary to match the different feelings he experiences or sees in others.
As your children are growing up, ask them to observe other people and to think about how the other people might be feeling based on their posture and facial expressions, and  the words or tone of voice they are using.
From time to time, ask what she is thinking about and how she's feeling. Help him to describe how he feels and encourage him to stretch his vocabulary about feelings. Can you share with your children how you are feeling, whether you are feeling cheerful, scared or sad? To help to identify words to express different facial expressions, energy levels, or vocal volume, will enable children to grow in their emotional awareness. Can you be open with them (to an age-appropriate level) if they express an awareness toward your feelings, so that their innate ability is encouraged? Children will have an ability to sense your feelings, and personally, I advocate encouraging that ability, even when it might not be appropriate to give details about your own emotional state. We don't want to burden our children, yet we don't want to confuse them either, and being honest is the best way to help them trust their own innate sensitivities.
Let's encourage our children to discover the range of emotions that they feel, a variety of expressions that they use, different energy levels that they exhibit. Why? Because a child who is not only able to express his emotions but to identify them has the potential to become more sensitive to others, and kinder and more compassionate.

A word of caution: It is possible to develop a child’s EQ to the point of their being preoccupied with themselves. Let's also ensure they recognize the feelings of others as well. Remind them to look out and to look up, at their world and toward the sky and heavens, so they are taken outside of themselves, becoming aware of the world around them, and reminded that God is witness to their experiences and that they are not alone.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Raising Children Part 2: Parents as Mentors

Recently, my son changed schools. He now attends a private academic school and loves it! I've wanted him to have this opportunity so that he can flourish. It has meant that I have to let go and allow him to go beyond where I can lead him. It was an easy choice for me, but also a bittersweet one.



For most of us who are parents, we've come to discover that parenting is a series of episodes of 'letting go'. We who teach our children to ride a bike know quite literally that there is a point at which we must let go in order to let them cycle ahead. We can't run as fast as they can ride once they've mastered the skill. And yet, isn't there that moment when they do take the bike faster and further than they could when we were holding on that we both celebrate their freedom and achievement and ache - just a bit - for their dependence and helplessness?

I am finding that parenting is like mentoring, as my child becomes more independent. 

A good mentor wants his students to go beyond his level of expertise. He gives all of his knowledge, experience and wisdom; he sees in his pupils gifts, abilities and promise that go beyond what he has. He wants to inspire and not to limit their progress, and hopes they will excel beyond what he can give them. So it is with good parenting.

As my son grows into the gifts and abilities he has, he will excel in areas I cannot access. Quite the scientist, he will have opportunities I never had, and balanced with his aptitude he will certainly become a better scientist than I. But I want that for him. I'm excited for him. There is a cost in that I may not grasp some of what interests or intrigues him. I may not be able to share the nuance of his discoveries. There is in me a twinge of loss or trepidation, but that is more than surpassed by the gratitude I have that he has this opportunity. And I hope that whoever he is and in whatever area he chooses to excel he will find nourishment, excitement and joy.

I take great delight in knowing that I am, by my definition at least, a good mentor.

See you next week with more thoughts and discoveries about raising children.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Raising Children: does technology prevent development of self awareness

I am discovering, as I navigate this new life in free-fall, that my mind is becoming decluttered! That includes the details of day-to-day living and looking out for a child. I hope, in turn, the child's mind will become less cluttered too. Today, with available technology and entertainment at an all time high, and transportation making real travel to the far corners of the earth (and even beyond) feasible, we have too much clutter.

Henry David Thoreau said, "Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify. Simplify." He was born nearly 200 years ago. How he would be balk at the extraneous distractions we are now surrounded by!

It isn't easy to simplify nowadays, is it? We're a consumer society; we have friends and virtual friends around the world; technology allows our work to demand our attention 24/7. When have we time to see the flowers, never mind to stop and smell them? The complicated life is the norm today. But I've opted to let go of the distortion of my time. I've chosen to leave some of the avenues available to me untrod. Quite literally, some of my boxes from the overseas move (read the previous 9 part blog series beginning here ) have been left in storage - unopened and, for the most part, not missed.

Clutter is the enemy of the mind. I'm going to go out on a limb and preach about how clutter- in the area of technology at least - is a risk to our kids.

There are all kinds of stats on child development as regards technology. Too much of it messes with their eyesight, their attention, their fitness. I get all that, and personally, I've chosen to er on the side of caution, in raising my son. Even though he might lag behind his class in technological sophistication, it's a relatively small price to pay, I think, because I'm of the view that too much screen time means too little time for children to get to know themselves.

Playing alone, playing with other children, reading, participating in sports, learning skills including music, all these activities are tools that help a child to grow in their talents. But even more than that, they are means for children to get to know themselves. To learn likes and dislikes from a variety of activities, to meet a range of people and have to find ways to get along with them, these are just a couple of examples where people develop a sense of themselves in the universe. And time for boredom is important too. It's my personal belief that we all need time to just sit with nothing to do. Our world today doesn't seem to allow for much of that.

So, as I simplify my life by aiming to live without a set agenda for each moment of the day, I aim to enable my child to have 'nothing to do' sometimes and plenty of time to reflect and play.

The quiet mind is the peaceful mind. I hope my child will learn to enjoy peace, quiet, rest for his soul, so that he will wake up as an adult knowing who he is, where he wants to go in his life, and he'll have the personal development and self awareness to get himself there.

I've been posting a lot lately. You can catch other new stuff at:
Life from the Lighthouse and http://www.laruspress.com especially a post called: The Internet The Void

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Living in Free-Fall: Part 7 Being spontaneous

Though no one replied last week with their own introspection, I hope it has inspired some private thoughts.

As for me, every day is new. I am reminding myself to live it as a new day, not to get into a routine or to over plan... which, for me is: odd, challenging, tricky, possible. It is possible. I am open to possibilities and people. It's exciting and I embrace it!

Each new day is a gift, isn't it. Has someone already made that a 'famous saying'? It certainly sounds like a cliche. Well, I looked it up and no one famous has penned it - accept on Facebook and other social media. I suppose that expression isn't going to rock anyone's world!

There is an oddity about living in free-fall, which is that having no scripted routine means allowing myself to dig deep and draw from the bottomless well of ideas to discover what to focus on.

To be totally honest, I'm not great at spontaneity. I suppose if I were, I'd have cracked this 'free fall' thing years ago. Recently, my dear hubby said, 'you've got to live what you write'. Yup. Guilty. I aim high and reach for the stars but my arm is relatively short and my grasp is only to the trees. My solution? To start each day with the aim to be vulnerable, exposed, unscheduled, so that who I am gets seen, and what I'm destined to become has room to grow. Does having to remind myself mean I'm failing? I think not. What I do know is that no one won a noble prize without many failures. Living in free-fall means risking failure to give myself opportunity to succeed. I believe allowing myself to be open to the gifts of the day is the route to self-discovery, relational wholeness and perfect interchange between the world, other people and me.

So, I won't write further about free-fall beyond this point. I haven't found any simple answers. What I've found is hope in the smallest moments and in surrender. Experience teaches me that depth of relationship lies in being vulnerable to the ebb and flow of life, rather than in trying to be its master. Free-fall is letting go of control and trusting in my inevitable path. Hard work matters, and is included in free-fall, but that touches on another aspect to life I've only just let go of, and so am not ready to tackle it in a new context. Not just yet, anyway.


Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.







My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Living in Free-fall Part 6: How do I see me?

The fact is I've been navel gazing today. In an ultra reflective mode, I've been wondering today, with whatever have been my ambitions, dreams, education and experience, how am I seen from a bird's eye view? How do others see me, or how am I seen from far above... from Heaven?

This is what I've come to recognize - it's  totally subjectively of course. I' think:

I am thoughtful. For the sake of others, yes; but what I'm really referring to is that I'm deeply meditative-  as this post demonstrates. I wonder about the things that happen now, and how they will be interpreted in the future? How will struggle and pain be turned into joy (because it always does)? How does experience breed wisdom and how can I convey what wisdom I've acquired to others? What words shall I apply - what vehicles shall I use - in the Public Eye today that will be significant to someone's predicament tomorrow? These are the sorts of things I think about.

I am solitary. If I spend too much time alone I get low, but largely, I enjoy the time I have on my own. It centers me and focuses me.

I am creative. I dance. I sing. I write. I express myself, in the hope to release others to discover who they are, and how they are seen in Heaven.

I am committed. I will not give up on myself or another, who seeks life in abundance and truth for their lives.

I am surrendered. Life has been about striving. Now, I realize, life is available to come to us, if we relax and enjoy it as it comes.

I am trustworthy. My yes is yes. If I say I'll do something, I stand on my responsibility and see it through.

I am volatile. This is unfortunate, but accurate. Effervescent or explosive? Ask my family.
.
I am sensitive. I cry easily - in joy and in sorrow. I laugh fully. I hope earnestly. I care deeply. I live passionately. Nothing is casual for me. Everything is important. I'm enthusiastic and always looking forward. I always hope for the best - in people, events and circumstances.

How does Heaven see me?

Hungry to be useful. Prophetic. Expressive. Worthy of trust. Committed. I know these things are true because they are bigger than I am, just as Heaven is bigger than we are.

And how about you, Reader? Will you take time for yourself: to sit down and list 5 or more things about yourself that are deep within you that, when consolidated, make up who you are? Surrender leads us to ourselves: the 'place' where knowing ourselves is a step closer to knowing how others experience us. That is a step toward discovering life, full of its lovely surprises and necessary challenges to face, which makes your life richer and more fulfilling.

This is the place where surrender has led me. Will you surrender too, to find who you are and how Heaven sees you?

Until next Thursday......

And in the meantime:



END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for the Kingdom of God and the New Earth.




Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Living in Free-fall Part 5: Surrender!

When the white flag is raised it's time to usher in the new season. Victory for one side means peace. So it is with us.

Surrendering our time, talents and tasks brings with it peace. Who's on the victor side? We who surrender. How's that? Because the two forces at odds have both been aspects of ourselves. When the WILL gives in to the HEART, synergy begins and life takes on a new dynamic and a new perspective. That's what I think, anyway.

Years ago I worked as an actress. I was up for a part I wanted very much. The director had narrowed it down to me or one other woman. He wrestled for a while, and after a few days he called me to say he'd made his decision. He followed his heart rather than his head - and chose the other woman. Rats! But I couldn't argue. Weeks later I went to see the play. The actress hired did a decent job. Of course, I would have chosen me. And I didn't find her performance particularly awesome. But, I couldn't argue with the director's choice. I understood it. He went with gut instinct - rightly or wrongly - rather than with reasoning.

I've always been at odds with myself. As a young woman I let my heart rule my head and didn't do well on the romantic relationship track. But when I talk about surrender being about heart over will I'm not talking about romantic or passionate heart versus cool head.

When I refer to surrendering to our hearts, I mean - our hearts' desire (that which fulfills us) rather than our determined will (that which we think we want or need). Letting go is not easy for some of us. Order before chaos, sense before sensibility, reason before instinct. In my early romantic life I had plenty of will and this guided - even dictated - my decisions.

Now, I am letting go of my will. That means letting go of control. I surrender my plans. I surrender my people, even family, husband, child. I surrender my possessions and my position. I'm seeking to discover what's deep inside me. 'Heart' in this sense has nothing to do with romantic relationships; 'heart' has to do with my spirit, with who I have been created to be. Surrender means letting go of control over situations and relationships, and allowing room for 'what is meant to be'.

On my journey of free-fall, I'm learning to surrender my will to my spirit, every day, every hour. My will is feisty, opinionated, confrontational, close-minded. On the other hand, my spirit is at peace: still, quiet and at rest. This is a different way to live.

Allowing my heart to lead is risky for me. I feel more vulnerable. But then, I'm better placed to share on a deeper level with others.

A mega music star - I think it might be Bon Jovi - has said we can choose as artists to either reveal ourselves or to conceal. He's chosen to reveal and believes it is for this reason that his band is successful. Perhaps even more than what is in the heart, what touches people is the sharing of inner truth and vulnerability.

Let's see where surrender will take me.

Until next Thursday....



Arms outstretched: the ultimate posture of vulnerability, of letting go, of surrender. Free to Be offers steps to discover who you are, spiritually, emotionally, socially, and how to be the person you were created to be, free from anxiety, fear, insecurity and shame.
Free to Be website page






AND







END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for the Kingdom of God and the New Earth.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Living in Free-fall part 4: Solitude, Silence, Self-discovery

I am learning that whether as a pastor, an executive, a business owner, or a mother, we need more of solitude and stillness in our lives. Surrendering our time and talent means finding peace and quiet to make decisions.

Living in Free-fall means taking time to connect with myself. It means making time for solitude. The sound of silence is important to finding myself, my rhythm and my priorities.

This week in church I was astounded to discover that statistically, more people will prefer electric shock to being alone, in silence. But I love silence. I love solitude. I love isolation (when it's by choice and not by banishment). Perhaps free-fall is relatively suitable for me. I didn't realize vast numbers of people hate to be alone with themselves. I love to watch paint dry, if I'm the one who's been painting the house. It gives me a certain satisfaction to look at a job and well, just look at it! But now I have heard others hate that concept! Wow! I've been surprised into a new understanding of people.

I'm finding this journey into free-fall is quite exciting. I'm considering daily, and moment-by-moment, what is important (rather than urgent or habit). It occurs to me this week that readers may not realize how I'm actually doing this. First, I'm going into a quiet place. I'm not allowing for any distractions; I'm surrendering my plans for the day, hoping there's time to write what I want to write, but not worrying about it. As a writer for over 10 years, and with relatively conservative breakthrough, part of the reason I'm in free-fall is because I figure I'm doing some things 'wrong' and want to progress. The highest priority for me right now is to discover what I need to write and for whom, so the messages I prepare are for the people who will benefit from them. I'm surrendering, in effect, my writing and my time generally, to reflection and consideration, in order to determine the path I take. For me, surrender means giving my attention - my time and decisions - to quiet thought (and ultimately, to God). Out of the quiet comes clarity from deep within me. I touch my heart and I allow my heart - not my mind - to lead.

Of course there are responsibilities. I have a son who needs to be picked up from school. I have a family to prepare meals for. I have friendships I'm seeking to build... and a car to buy. Life goes on. But in the quiet of the morning, I am attempting to navigate through an abundance of paperwork, ambition and relationships to find - daily - what the priorities are in the bigger picture in these areas too.

I'm trying to make no assumptions and to be deliberate about how I spend my time, to make the most of every moment of every day. I believe we're on this earth for good purpose. I believe I've been missing some of my purpose so far. I'm believing that quiet reflection will lead me to see the path I'm meant to tread for the day and to make decisions that will benefit my ambitions and the relationships around me.

So, I'm slowly getting the hang of living outside an agenda. I'm learning how to surrender my time and effort to what is needed and for whom.

As I write this, I suspect some of you reading will find the idea of letting a schedule 'go' frightening. But I'd like to encourage you... As we surrender our plans, I'm finding anxiety and insecurity goes, and is replaced by contentment and a new sense of identity and purpose.

I hope you'll continue to travel with me. I think the time I'm spending to discover today's steps on the pathway is worth the effort and I encourage you to do the same. It isn't a luxury, I think, but rather a necessity, to make the most out of the gifts, desires, hopes and relationships we have.

Next time I'd like to write more about Surrender. Let's try more of it together.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for the Kingdom of God and the New Earth.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Swan Song: Ultimate Security through total Surrender - Soul to Spirit to Holy Spirit

I have so enjoyed writing this blog and learning and growing through the writing and sharing of it.
I have loved hearing from some of you who've tuned in, sometimes weekly, sometimes occasionally, but sometimes.
Some times change. This is one of those 'sometimes'.

For some time I've known that I should be focusing on fiction writing, living and not so much on sharing on a weekly basis. But it has taken courage to give up the writing of this blog. Now, I know as hard as it is, it's time.
Thank you to Jeannie, most faithful of followers - faithful to me and to our Saviour most of all. Thank you for the nomination for the Liebster Award which you won and then, true to form, you honoured me with a nomination.
Thank you to others, who've said or written their interest, thoughts and/or thanks.
Thank you to Becky Tun and Google for leading me to and providing Blogspot as a platform.
Thank you God for giving me this vehicle to use to share my thoughts and now, for releasing me from the commitment to continue.

As a final post, I'd like to share about my sense of identity and security, where it comes from and where I find my rest.

(Warning: this blog has a lot of God-talk)

Security in Christ:

I've been writing this blog for anyone. Friends - tangible and network - have been invited to join. And in that vein, I've written so as not to pour out religion or politics, though there are some leaks from time to time.

Today, I'll be pouring out about faith. Some call that religion, though I do not. So, if you want to learn what I really, really, REALLY think is the core of our security, here it is: With God all things are possible, when our security is in Jesus we have total assurance and peace, and joy is a gift from the Holy Spirit, who gives spiritual life to those who Believe.

We who have chosen to follow Jesus know in our heads that our security, our assurance, our deepest source of love and acceptance comes from God. But do we always know it in our hearts? There is a difference between our minds being aware of what we have in Christ, and our hearts living the truth of it.

When we receive Jesus and accept him as our Saviour and our Lord, everything he is and has is made available to us. He gives us his Holy Spirit as our comforter and our counselor, our source of power and of peace. But are we living in the fullness of his love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faith, patience and self-control? Not likely. I'm not, though I long to be. Life is a journey and all these good gifts are available to us and we are in the process of them being perfected in us. That's Biblical and that's fine!

Jesus loves every one of us, just as we are. He is the embodiment of unconditional love and acceptance. And though from time to time we need to learn some things, I've never experienced him to get harsh or condemning, because that's not the sort of person he is. He is our strength. And yet, we haven't perfectly received all he has for us... and wouldn't it be wonderful to have more of his love in us, more of his power perfecting us, more of God's embrace toward us?

How do we do that? ..... We don't. God does. He does it when we ask. That's the whole point of this post: to say that God does all the giving and we the receiving. If we could only grasp that, our perfect security would be ensured.

Each of us knows, in our heart of hearts, that we are not perfect. We who believe and follow Christ know this. And yet those of us who follow Jesus need to live in the awareness that what God sees in us IS PERFECT. We need to recognize that the spirit that is within us, our spirit who has been reborn through Christ, longs to be directed by the Holy Spirit, with our souls surrendered to His Spirit (rather than it's persistence to lead us). God doesn't see the junk we bear. That junk is dead; Father God only looks upon that which He has perfected through His son, Jesus. By His Spirit we are not only alive, but also perfect.

Recently, I had a conversation with a fellow Believer about the living spirit that resides within us. In the Bible, when it mentions 'heart' it is referring to that spirit living within us. There is a clear distinction made between our minds and our spirits. And our spirit is not the same as the Holy Spirit.

Our spirit is just as unique to us as is our mind. It is not our soul (i.e.: mind =  intellect, will, emotions) nor is it the Holy Spirit, although it is the Holy Spirit that brings life through faith in Jesus. It's important to recognize that the spirit that God gave you at conception has been made alive through Jesus (otherwise it's dead as a door nail) and as you surrender your mind/soul to your spirit, there is greater ease in maturing, growing, transcending the insecurities and fears of this life, and in dwelling closer to the Father. With your spirit surrendered to the Holy Spirit, there is deeper communion with God than with our minds. We are saved by grace in either case, but as we yield our minds to our spirit and our spirit to the Holy Spirit, there is freedom and power by His grace and truth.

There is no formula in our journey with God. And you must test my words as you'd test any, by prayer, and the study of God's word. But if you are reading this and your heart is testifying that this is true, go and test it. And, if your mind is getting enraged because you disagree, go and test by studying, not by reading other peoples' writings but by looking into the Word for yourself.

Our security comes from Jesus and his saving love. Our confidence comes from the truth that God loves us unconditionally and sent his son to show us His own character and love toward us. We have the Holy Spirit to show us spiritual matters and the truth in the Bible. But maturity comes from allowing ourselves to be surrendered to God, not only through our mind, but through our spirit that has been made alive through Christ.

God bless.

And remember, this blog, though it may not contain new posts for the foreseeable future, will remain on line. You can visit any time. I will be notified of comments and can reply. And if it is God's will, I will return to post again. In the meantime, "But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10)












My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com See posts on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.

Also, posting may continue on my LinkedIn Sarah Tun Larus Press profile (but you need to be a member of LinkedIn to access them).





Thursday, 22 January 2015

Living in Free-Fall Part 3 Parenting from a new perspective

I'm a parent. I'm discovering that living in free-fall effects this part of my life too. I am becoming clearer about the things I do well as a parent and the things I do not. Opening my eyes, removing the habits, changes dynamics and brings forth awareness about the good and the weak aspects in the relationship between my son and me.

I'm not, for instance, good at letting go. And this is vital for the sake of harmony in the home and the maturity of my son. We are close, my son and I. But I think it's time I partially withdraw emotionally, to give him room to mature.

I'm not one to believe in 'big boys don't cry' and so my son has learned to express his range of feelings. Like most parents, I've always hoped to do a good job at enabling my son to learn and grow into a decent person, and to discover the person he was created to be. But I think we're a bit too connected in this vein and he needs to have room to develop an more autonomous emotional well.

For this to happen, I need to adapt my parenting to today's needs: I need to be more consistent in my expectations of his behaviour and in my own. I need to be more aloof because, while he's getting older, he's not getting more independent, which is not good for him. I need to hold onto lovely memories and be available to discover the new connection we'll make. (It's already happening, it's fun in surprising ways!)
My Active and Athletic Son by Sarah Tun
While I don't want to force him to grow up, I don't want to hold back my son either. Time mustn't stand still for the sake of sentimentality. Rather, even in practical ways, he needs to develop the desire to organize himself, make important decisions appropriate for his age and abilities, and reach out more toward other people.

This hasn't been easy for me to recognize. I wonder if other parents, particularly mothers, find it difficult to see how the relationship between themselves and their children needs to change as their children grow. It seems obvious now, as I write it down, but I'm not sure I saw so clearly before this month, how things need to change - how I need to change toward my child - to be the parent my child needs today.

I see in many ways that he's thriving in the transition... more responsibility given to him is translating into greater self worth within him. As I adapt to living in free-fall, I'm discovering that a part of it is releasing the reins on my son, and we're both the better for it.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.





Thursday, 15 January 2015

Living in Free-Fall: Part 2 Set free from living according to Schedule


This week I have been discovering how to let go of my schedule. Just after I'd written the last post, about escaping life on a schedule, I had my resolve tested and... I passed! In other words, instead of sticking to my plan, I allowed an invitation to change my path. Now, I am really encouraged.

For some, this strategy would be the wrong thing to do. Some of us are born to procrastinate. But for me and others like me, I think the 'free-fall' - the attempt to live with a lack-of-plan - is a turn for the best.

I'm thankful for this stage in my life: My study is now set up again for my thoughts to ruminate, for me to mediate and create. Here I am in quiet surroundings - at the top of a mountain in Spain - with a glimpse of the sea and a great deal of open sky. My desk, my computer, and the instrumental music I love to listen to while I write - all are at the 'ready'.

I have discovered this week that so much of what I do in a day is by compulsion rather than by conviction.I feel compelled to tidy up before sitting down to write; compelled to focus on various projects instead of one-at-a-time; compelled to list the people I need to contact, and to catch up on overdue paperwork. Even though much of my work had to be suspended because of our move, nothing bad happened, so I realize some things just aren't necessary for life!

To live by compulsion as I have been doing up until recently, is not a life fulfilling existence. It isn't at least for me. It gave me a superficial sense of satisfaction when physical order was restored or a mental list was recorded.

On the other hand, to follow my convictions - allowing them to arise from the well inside of me and then to take action - there lies fulfillment for me. Followed sequentially, my convictions will I believe, bring me the sense of completion, achievement, even the victory I so long for.

So, as I live in free-fall, my first understanding has become to WAIT rather than to follow what I feel compelled to do. Even as I write this, I'm distracted by that inner voice that says, 'make that phone call now!'

I experience waiting as active, by-the-way. WAITING, LISTENING, ALLOWING my mind to receive the drops of wisdom, guidance, memory, inspiration and understanding from the well that is within me is active.

So, I wait, I receive, then I create.

I love free-fall. It's scary, but its rewards far outweigh the fear factor.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.


See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Living in Free-fall: New Year, New Direction. New Behaviour?

A Lifestyle in FREE-FALL:

I've always liked to be busy. Now I realize it's been a form of hiding - of hiding behind doing so that I don't feel too vulnerable or too useless.

Instead, I wonder: What's it like to live with less planning and more spontaneity?

I feel like I'm in free-fall right now. It is a new year and I'm full of desire to live differently, to live as though every moment has a purpose and not to miss its purpose because I'm busy with my own agenda.

I've never parachuted and I'm not interested in doing so. But I reckon I feel as one might feel after jumping out of a plane and falling; I'm floating, drifting in the air. It's the time before pulling the rip chord, safe in midair. That's what I feel like right now.

During this free-fall, I know I'm not going to die. But I've not got anything to hang onto.

I'd like to be able to live this way permanently.... not hanging onto being busy, but instead being available for what is to come.

I hope to live this way: to behave as though I'll land safely, but not to grip on to planning, organizing, volunteering, doing, as I usually do. Instead I'd rather float through time, waiting for what needs to be done at the perfect moment, and to be easy about the meanwhile. That's how I'd like to live from now on.

There's no New Year's Resolution for me. Instead there is a hope and desire to live differently; to abandon old patterns and to live as though today and tomorrow - time - will pass, and that if I release myself to live through time, I'll do the meaningful things life offers me and be available to those around me who need me.

A few years ago, a particular friend of mine died and I hadn't even known she was ill. I'd not seen her for a couple of years and even with internet we'd not been in touch for as long. When I heard the news she had died I was sad, shocked and I learned a valuable lesson from it that forever changed how I live in relation to people. I don't take opportunities to deepen a relationship for granted. I realize that such moments may not be repeated, so I don't let too much time pass, without keeping a friend informed, or without taking an opportunity to connect.

Just as I learned from that experienced and allowed myself to be changed by it, I hope I'll grow through this year's lesson: to live free of the busyness I've allowed to become a habit and a smokescreen for my inability to be vulnerable.

Welcome to 2015 - the year of living free! I've got no chute, I've got no plan, but plenty of ideas, aspirations and longings. May I surrender these, and wait to see what moments come without unnecessary busyness, and how they will lead me to fulfilled purpose.



END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.





My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Or subscribe to the Soaring Post free newsletter, with issues every Thursday.


See you again next Thursday for Part 2 of Living in Free-fall.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Beginnings - Part 10: Dealing with Homesickness

Waking yesterday morning - New Year's Eve - I felt broken-hearted. My family and I have spent Christmas in the UK and it has been wonderful visiting relatives. Aware of returning to Spain, I feel hemmed in and sad... I miss Canada. How can being in the UK, where I used to live, make me long for Canada, where I no longer live? And how can thinking of Spain, where there is far more space than in England, make me feel hemmed in?

It isn't just the unpacking that I am not looking forward to, or the indoor winter chill that is Spain, because they have no insulation and houses are built to repel heat. It is the sadness of not yet fitting in - of being loved, yet not quite feeling at home and able to receive - that is difficult. And I realize, this is homesickness.

I've never felt homesick before. Never. Not at summer camp as a child, not when I moved to England, nor when I left England after nearly twenty years. Never. But I do now.

It won't last. At least I hope not, because it isn't a nice feeling, and it certainly is not worthy of my attention for a prolonged period of time. I have experienced many wonderful people and sites, since my move to Spain. But heartache isn't easily healed and isn't repaired with logic or psychology. While I've never experienced it before, I think perhaps homesickness is 'fixed' through recognition, imagination and hope.

1. I recognize my state and accept it.

2. I imagine the good and the difficult - the advantages and the disadvantages - of my previous home.

3. I look forward to how I and my family members will grow in our new life, and hope - trust and believe - that the New is full of promise and growth and joy.

There are so many advantages to living in Spain: We are closer to paternal family members, with whom my son can build deeper and lasting relationships. We are nearer to the older and the younger generations of my husband's family. We have sea and mountains to explore, ministry to employ, work and play to discover. And new people.

Relationship is what really moves humanity. We earn a living, we experience hobbies, but it is relationship with others that really touches our hearts as human beings.

I have been missing the landscape and the people that is my homeland of Canada. I have been celebrating family relationships in the UK this past Christmas, after years of being apart. I have been coping with the thought of returning to a new residence - that is not yet home - chiefly because there are not experiences and relationships that have been deepened over time.

Time heals. And in this case, time will reveal the purpose and the plan and the relationships that will grow in this phase of my life and the lives of my husband and son.

I'd like to know my purpose, and to be working and walking in it. But, will it be through this post, some booklet, or through the young people's novel I yearn to complete? Will it be by using past experience or expertise I shelved a long time ago? Or will it take a shape I do not yet imagine? I don't honestly know.

What does the next chapter hold for me? I am ready to turn the page...

Looking backwards, I am gaining perspective, finally. As I have navigated this move to a new country and the changes experienced by my family and myself, I have travelled a road that was sometimes expansive and beautiful: the sort of road that leads to glory.

Often-times though, the road I've travelled along has been narrow and dark with overcast skies.


But no matter the road, I've always known I am right where I am meant to be.

Now, I see partly, yet more clearly than I have for months. My attitude and my hope helps me to 'walk on water'. With my unpacking on track and my hope and confidence for the future intact, I'm developing a new routine. My feet have some direction as I tread new ground but in comfortable, old shoes.

As we look forward into 2015, may we rise to our challenges, be quick to help others, be certain in our purpose and be joyful in all circumstances.

Best to you for 2015!!

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

A Christmas Promise

A Christmas Promise: 

I promise to look upon each person I meet with open eyes and an open heart.

I commit to kindness and patience to every person in my family.

I hope for a meaningful connection with each colleague I have.

I wish for the best outcome in every disagreement I encounter, where neither party feels intimidated, small or weak.

I thank each of you readers for your lives, and hope for your aspirations to be met, if not precisely how you expected, then in a way that is significant and lasting.

And I pray you have a splendid Christmas Season and a prosperous 2015.

A Christmas Blessing: 

May your heart be light, your hope be deep, your faith be strong and your life be changed as you look upward and outward this Christmas Day.
One Snowy Christmas Day by Sarah Tun

God bless,

Sarah xx

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.


Thursday, 18 December 2014

What is Christmas?

What is Christmas? And, how much is 'too much' at Christmas?

Is there any such thing as 'too much of a good thing?'

For some, Christmas is a joy. For others, it is a duty at best, an annoyance at worst. Commercialism certainly thrives on Christmas and many would say it preys on people's good will, sense of obligation or sentimentality.

As for me, there are elements of Christmas I cherish. I love Christmas Carols. I love the idea of giving and sharing with close friends and family. Cliff Richard has a song called, "Saviour's Day" which for me, says it all. I love the song because it puts the emphasis on Jesus, without the holiday fervour or excess of 'too much' eating, drinking or spending.

There is a great gift of Christmas. And I'm not going to say the cliche of Christ. I think in Christmas there is a primary lesson; it is not about tinsel, nor about children, not even about the baby Jesus.

I think Christmas is about love.

We may not like everyone we meet, but we can choose to love them. We can learn from Jesus what he came and shared about love, so that we can get along better and enjoy life far more all 365 days of the year.

Love came down at Christmas in the package of a baby boy. Love grew up and shared his understanding of what it means to love one another on a massive scale.

If we can learn to love as Jesus taught about love, then we can learn to cope at work when the person in the next cubical is annoying. We can accept the choices other people make, even when we believe their choices are bad choices. We can engage with people we seem to have nothing in common with, knowing we are all part of humanity.

As I celebrate the Season of Christmas this year, I'm going to choose to cope with, accept and engage with others lovingly, knowing we are all imperfect people aiming to protect ourselves and share with others whatever part of us we think is best to offer. This is my choice for this day, and for every day.

I won't drop in at An Examined Life next week because it's Christmas Day. I hope you and yours will enjoy - in your own way - the day and the season, in the fullness of your understanding of what it's all about. From me to you, God bless! Personally, I don't think there is any such thing as too much love in the world, so I'm hoping Christmas - defined in that light - goes to excess for all.


Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.