Monthly Archives: January 2013




Intentional pursuit of freedom

In myself,

In others.

I’m sad when I see

people settling.

Settling for less freedom

than they could have.

Tied up, restricted,

a shadow of their full selves.

Not accessing

what’s freely offered to them.


Not a licence for chaos

Not a license for selfishness or boundary-less-ness

which could hurt others,

or ourselves.


from what holds us back


from fear, from sorrow, from bitterness, from past hurts, from anger,

from stuff we don’t have to settle with.


to be all we can be.


to be the fullness of you.

Don’t settle.

That freedom is available.

Pursue it.


All poems and original writing on this blog are Copyright © Hilary Murdoch 2013

My own is not enough



I need you.

Aware of my own frailties,

limitations, insecurities, weakness.

I need you God.

I need your love,

to give to others.

My own is not enough.

I need your strength,

to push through.

My own has run out.

I need your security,

to anchor me.

My own is unstable.

I need your wisdom,

to see the way ahead.

My own is tainted.

I need your presence.

I need you.

Fill me up

with all that you are.

So I can be

all I’m created to be.


All poems and original writing on this blog are Copyright © Hilary Murdoch 2013

My own New Year reflection



2013 reflectionI recently posted a few questions for reflection at the start of a new year. I scribbled two A4 sheets of colourful illegibiliy myself which greatly helped me to process what happened last year and get my head around the next.

As I look back

my heart overflows

with gratitude

and with joy.

His kindness so evident;

His provision so generous;

His presence so tangible.

So grateful

for kind words and encouragement

for opportunities, a light burden

for special times with family and old friends

for fun and connections with new

for community and diversity

for the beauty of nature

for creativity reignited

for restoration of joy

for fruitfulness without striving

for peace enlarged

for healing confirmed

for trust defeating fear

for all I’ve learnt

for how I’ve changed

for confirmation I am where I’m supposed to be.

Even in the challenges,

the frustrations, the concerns,

I can see growth

I can see resolution for good.

As I look forward

my heart is at peace

looking with anticipation.


of community deepened

of adventure entered

of learning received

of creativity spread

of momentum gained

of growth recognised

of fulfilment realised.

So thankful

to my constant companion

the one who lays the road ahead

and who also walks on it

with me


hand in hand.

Looking back, Looking forward… A New Year Reflection


New Year: a good time for reflection.

A good time for looking back, to see where you’ve come from, what you are grateful for and what you have learnt.

looking back 2

And a good time for looking forward, to be intentional about where you are going.


For the past few years I’ve taken a day or half day out, on my own, sometime in January to reflect and have found it incredibly helpful. You don’t have to go away to reflect, an hour or two in a park or coffee shop may be sufficient for you. You can write in proper grown up sentences, or scribble and spider diagram in colourful scrawl, whatever you like (I personally prefer the latter). I have shared below a few questions for reflection that might be helpful.

I’ve written before about the value of stopping to reflect. If you are looking for a place to go on a retreat in the UK this is a useful site. In South Africa there are also many retreat places but one I particularly love is Volmoed, near Hermanus. Two books I have found really helpful for retreats have been ‘May I have this Dance’ by Joyce Rupp and ‘Landmarks’ by Margaret Silf.


1.       Gratitude

What are you grateful for?… all the little and big things that have been special to you in the past year, the people who have been kind, the unexpected treasures, the beautiful things you have seen in nature and in people, the ways you have grown and changed…

2.      Challenges

What were the challenges and difficult things? – List them and think about how you feel about them now. For each of them spend time reflecting on whether you have learnt anything through it, or grown through it… is there anything good that has come from it? For some of the challenges you’ve listed you may not be able to see any good from it yet, that’s fine, you may see it with hindsight later.

3.      Learnings

What were the themes of what you have learnt about yourself, others, life and God?

Are there particular words or a phrase that sums up the year?

If you want to, talk to God about the things you’ve written down

–          thank him for what you are grateful for and what he’s teaching you

–          talk to him about the challenges… ask for his help and healing and thank him for where there is good that’s come even from difficult things.


 1.      Fears

What are you fearful/nervous about?

2.       Hopes and Dreams

What are your hopes and dreams for the coming year?… in different areas of your life… home, friends, family, work, community, spiritual journey. Are there any changes you need to make or actions you need to take this year to move towards these hopes and dreams?

3.      Invitation

What positive growth do you feel you are being invited into in the coming year?

If you want to, talk to God about the things you’ve written down

–          Tell him about your fears, tell him how you feel. Release each thing, situation or person to God, placing it in his hands and choosing to trust him in each area.

–          Share your hopes and dreams with him, invite him into each of the areas of your life. Ask for his help in the areas of your life where you know you need to make a change.

–          Talk to him about his invitation and what he wants to do in and through you this coming year – choose to step into the new year with him, to see his good plans come about.