Monday, 24 April 2017
Well, I've reached that time of life where my arms will soon be at the point of not being long enough for me to read. So I am now the proud owner of reading glasses. How nice it is to not have to work on the computer at arm's length :) Thankfully that is the only thing wrong with my eyes. They are otherwise in perfect shape.
Friday, 21 April 2017
Shrug off conformity and leap into authenticity. Be who you are even if it messes up the neat categories that people want to slot you into.
When I stood back and looked at this page I saw that all the circles were lined up except for one. All there in a neat row. I don't usually do that. So what was that leaping circle trying to tell me?
I remember a time when my husband parked our car in the middle of a car park where there were no markings. There were no other cars in the place when we arrived. When we returned to the car, several other people had arrived, and all the cars were neatly lined up alongside ours. But they didn't have to be! There was plenty of space and no lines marking spaces.
How often do we line up and fulfil the expectations of other people instead of being who we were made to be? As a vicar's wife, it can be easy to let expectations weigh on you. I remember talking with a friend about one interview they went for. All the way through the interview she was asked things like, 'The last vicar's wife played guitar for Sunday School. Will you do that? She played golf every Wednesday with a group of us. Will you do that?' Instead of seeing her as a person bringing her own gifts to the role, they saw a role with a particular shape and wanted to force her into it.
You don't have to line up with everyone else. Leap up and fly!
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
You never know what seeds might have been planted until it rains.
We all have times where it feels like we are just going along in life, day following day, with nothing much happening. But then something does happen, and you find your reaction to it completely different to how it would have been had that thing happened a couple of years ago. Instead of collapsing in a pity party, you find that you are able to shrug something off. Resilience has been planted and now it's bearing fruit.
What has shown up in you when the rain came that surprised you?
Monday, 17 April 2017
Life isn't all clean lines and unmixed colours. That's what makes it beautiful and precious and in need of love, grace, and mercy.
Colours are very much a question of personal perception. Is this turquoise more blue or green? Is that purple reddish or bluish? Does it really matter? Don't we just accept it as the colour it is?
As much as we might like things to be black or white, most of the time it's shades of grey. Instead of trying to classify each grey as more black or more white, let's make our first reaction to those grey areas the love, grace, and mercy of acceptance. That would make a jolly good start.
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Carry your peace within. Peaceful surroundings mean nothing if you're in turmoil within. If you're peaceful within, your surroundings don't matter.
There are some people who seem to be calm and peaceful no matter what is going on around them. Yes, they may worry, but it isn't all-consuming. They carry an inner peace.
And there are other people who seem to get riled up at the slightest thing. There is no peace within them and they carry their anxiety into everything. You know who they are. No matter how serene the surroundings, how well things are going, they cannot settle and just enjoy, because they have no peace.
A peaceful heart can carry you through a lot.
Monday, 10 April 2017
I really didn't set out to make a landscape with this page, but when I put the colours on, it just spoke to me of desert. Even the collage elements in the background looked like rocks.
In some ways I feel like I'm in a desert at the moment. Things are growing, but so so slowly. The ground is hard. The light is shining on me and exposing those things I'd rather not look at and there's very little shade to escape to.
Time in the desert feels hard and long, but it is also the place where there are few distractions and you come to the end of yourself.
And that's when you start to hear, to see, to learn.
Time in the desert always births something.
Friday, 7 April 2017
Don't let the clouds obscure what's really there. Behind the clouds is the sky, the sun, at night the stars and the moon. Just because you cannot always see them doesn't mean they aren't there.
Sometimes we let our circumstances cloud how we feel. We forget what is real - that we are loved, that we are seen and heard - and let the cloud become all that we see.
We have to learn to discern what is eternal and what is fleeting, what is important and what will pass.
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Don't let other people tell you how you should be - be yourself!
It is so easy to think that you 'ought' to be a certain way, think a certain thing, dress in a particular style. But who sets that 'ought'? Where is the pressure coming from?
You were made to be you.
I've been re-reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. In one chapter she talks about how, in Job, the snow is told to fall and the rain to hammer down. It does what it is made to do and nothing more is asked of it. And it is the same with us. We are made a particular way and we need to be ourselves to live in the sweet spot.
Be who you were made to be.
Be yourself, no matter what everyone else is doing. After all, you're not everyone else. You're you.
Monday, 3 April 2017
The sun appeared on this page just at the point when I wondered where it was going, and as I pondered what it was all about, I realised that it was either rising or setting.
But which was it?
If you think about it, it's a question of timing and direction. If the 'sun is going down' on something in your life, it is finishing. It is at the end and about to go dark. It is behind you.
If a 'new dawn' is coming, the light is coming to chase away the darkness and you are heading towards that new light.
Ending or beginning?
Towards or away from?
Timing and direction.
So where is the sun going down in your life, and where is there a new dawn?
Friday, 31 March 2017
Even a small burden can become heavy if you carry it for too long. You only have to stand with a small weight in your hand with your arm extended to find that out. Which is why 'confession is good for the soul' and 'a burden shared is a burden halved.' These may be clichés, but that is because they carry some truth.
When we share with each other, being vulnerable, truthful, authentic, we don't have to carry our burdens alone. We can confess our failings, receive forgiveness and support, and put down the heavy load. We find that we are not the only one carrying difficult things, struggling with stuff, or feeling dogged by our past. And when you know that you are not alone, the darkness lifts. When you know that you are understood, forgiven, and freed, you can put the burden down and move on.
Don't carry a burden alone, even if it feels like something small right now.
Joining in the fun at Paint Party Friday.