Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Just enjoy the moment.

Hi friends how are you?! :) After a few weeks travelling along Alaska's Inside Passage visiting Haines, Wrangell and Prince Rupert then through the Rockies, I'm now in Vancouver. Ah I love this city. Well, it does help that it's summer and the weather is stunnnn-ning at the moment :) 

So do you ever find yourself thinking ahead and planning for the next thing, while you're actually still in the middle of something else? Well I do. It's kind of like I'm half enjoying the moment, but then I'm half in the future at the same time. Do you know what I mean? Anyway, last night after a few long travel days, I went for a run along the waterfront. I wanted to make the most of the balmy summer night and it was just so gorgeous. After running for a bit, I sat down on a bench overlooking the marina at Coal Harbour, when suddenly my mind began to tick. 
One second I was running along the water, the wind in my hair, enjoying the moment, and then all of a sudden I was in a spiral of thoughts twirling around and around like a tornado. Thoughts like, "okay tomorrow we're doing this... and then next week I have to arrange this... and then next weekend I'll be getting to New York... and then oh my gosh I have to arrange that..." What the heck?! And all the while I was sitting on a stunning harbour, looking at this view...

Then I heard that still small voice say... 
Nat, stay in the moment. :)

Oh my gosh! That very second I wanted to slap myself! There I was watching one of the most breathtaking sights of my adventure thus far... and my mind was off with the pixies! So right away I captured my 'slightly-psycho' runaway thoughts and I stopped. As if talking to a child I said to myself, "Natalie, look where you and let's just stay here for now!" Instantly my eyes were drawn to a boat sailing away in the distance. Then to some ducks swimming leaving a ripple behind. Then I spotted some girlfriends walking along laughing. Then along came some kids skipping. I inhaled a big breath... and just sat.
How much more is there for us when we actually stay in the moment? We need to be aware, because tomorrow often tries to rob today of it's joy. But let's not worry about tomorrow, or next week, or next month. 

"Let us not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition, definite requests with thanksgiving, continue to make our requests known to God... 
And his peace shall be yours. That peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."  What a promise hey. :)

So let's stay in the moment today. Take a moment to go for a walk... Grab a coffee on your own and just people watch... Put your phone away and look up to the sky (it's amazing how gorgeous the tops of buildings are if you just look!)... Go to a new park at lunchtime and lay on the grass... Spend ten minutes chatting to someone new... Stop and take in the view around you...

You don't have to rush ahead. You have permission to stop and enjoy now, because all too soon that moment will be gone. I have four days left leading this tour, but I am not thinking about what's ahead, I'm thinking about now. We are about to head out on a city tour of Vancouver which will be fun. So I am going to stop in each moment, enjoy every new sight and smell... and hang out with some amazing people.

Have an awesome day my friends. Sending you lots of love from Canada :)

Nat xxx

Ps here are some pics from my Alaska and Canada journey so far... 
(more pics on my Instagram - @thewritersink)

Bears eating salmon at AnAn Bear Observatory. (Wrangell, Alaska)
About to jump on a light plane and fly up to the Arctic Circle. (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Real live glacial ice! (Shakes Lake, Wrangell, Alaska)
Mendenhall Glacier. (Juneau, Alaska)
Relaxing by the creek. (Denali, Alaska)
The colours of Dawson. (Dawson City, Canada)
One of my favourite views. (Wrangell, Alaska)
The leaning tower of Dawson. (Dawson City, Canada)
 The stunning Chena River. (Fairbanks, Alaska)
 Cute Pioneer Park. (Fairbanks, Alaska)
 A little friend I found along the way. (Somewhere in Alaska)
 Stikine River jet boat cruise. (Wrangell, Alaska)
The gorgeous Canadian Rockies
A little blurry as this was taken from the train, but this is with NO filter!!

Stay tuned for more fun pics :) xoxo

Images - all Nat Box

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Beauty where you least expect it.

Aloha from Alaska my friends!! It's been so so long and I have missed you SO much!! How are you? This is me in Haines the other day... it's such a pretty little town on the top of Alaska's Inside Passage (just north of Sitka, for those who have watched The Proposal... it's totally like that!) Anyway, I hope this blog finds you well, I have been thinking of you guys lots over the past two weeks :):)

It was actually a few weeks ago in Anchorage that I got the inspiration for this little post, so I pray the timing is right for you and that you are encouraged! :) After a gorgeous walk along the coast path in Anchorage (it was sooo sunny and pretty walking along past all the beautiful wildflowers and overlooking the water), I was on my way home and I took a little shortcut. I had been feeling a bit discouraged about a few things that day and I asked The Lord to speak to me, I often do that just to hear what he is saying about things. Then as I walked up an alley way, I saw the back of this old building. 

Pretty ugly and boring right? But then something stood out to me. There amidst the piles of rubbish and weeds growing, stood one lone flower. It was as if it was standing there with such purpose, determined to bring beauty to it's boring surroundings no matter what it took. How pretty is it?!

Immediately as I held this little source of life, surrounded by such an ugly scene, I heard God whisper to me. :) 

"Nat, wrapped up inside every season, every discouragement, 
there is always something beautiful". 

Right away my heart was encouraged and I began to see differently. Do you ever find this happens to you too? Life happens, things are messy, you look at a scene in your life from afar, and all you can see is the rubbish, the junk, and everything just looks ugly. Well, God's promise is that "He has made everything beautiful in it's time", which means in all seasons, good or bad, there is something beautiful to be thankful for. 
It was only after my eyes were opened that I noticed the flower. When we look for it, beauty is always, always waiting to be seen. After I'd admired this pretty little thing, I stood back and looked at the same scene again, but with new eyes. Everything looked so different and this time.
So let me encourage you, always be expecting beauty. Stop and look around you this week because I guarantee wherever you go it's already there, waiting to be found by you.

To see more of my travels feel free to check out my Instagram :) (@thewritersink) 

Just in case you missed my fabulously inspiring Interview with Camille Styles here it is!

Sending love from Alaska... have an awesome week!

Nat xoxo

Images - Natalie Box

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