Monday, December 26, 2011
Christmas is such a stress fest for so many people, some out of choice, some not. I consider myself fortunate in that regard and particularly pity those who work in retail. We went on a ridiculously late food shop the other night in prep for Christmas dinner just for a laugh and got chatting to the cashier who was definitely feeling the pressure of work and having to balance this with Christmas shopping and caring for and cooking Christmas dinner for her ageing dad. I find it sad that Christmas has been turned into this: a bunch of boxes you have to tick, expectations you have to meet. As you will be aware if you've read any of my previous Christmas posts, I do love all the trappings and the tinsel and the carols and the mince pies and the excuse to cook and eat yum food and see family. But all this rush and stress that comes along with it for some people, just for one day.,, just seems ridiculous.
I am so aware right now as I listen to the traffic this Boxing Day morning, that in our culture, we need rest, we need space, we need to "Be still and know God", we need to know that these words you see on Christmas cards "hope, joy peace, love" aren't merely platitudes but are fully available and there for the taking, in and because of that Godwhobecameaman baby in the story. Come in God, interrupt our busy lives and open our eyes to the reality of you.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
I got one of those once in a lifetime chances to play in the band in a minority languages competition described rather favourably here. It's a long time since I've seen such incredible views on a flight and every single one of our four flights had them, one breath-taking sunrise, plains-worth of clouds from a top-down view, two lots of spectacular mountains! Udine itself was a medium-sized, quirky, Italian town nearer to Slovenia than Venice, friendly (sometimes too friendly) locals, delicious hams and wines, some pretty architecture - and we had a lot of fun there!
In Udine and in other places there has been much good music, both getting to play, getting to listen to and getting to dance to enjoyed. Genres to dance to have included some crazy drums at a jungle-stylee worship night, and Austrian Croat reggaerockrap.
After about 6 weeks without it, thanks to a belated visit to the doctor's, I have finally regained my sense of smell. I am soooo appreciating this right now. I had been drinking mostly hot ribena because tea smelt of nothing and tasted bland (heart-breaking when you have a large and eclectic tea collection) I hadn't realised how much the lack of smell was affecting my taste-buds (there's a thought in that!), I've been bowled over by just about everything I've been eating - and I'd like to keep that level of appreciation up!
I also am very grateful for the variety of good times spent with good friends. I love every moment I get to spend my with my Chinese mums esol class:- I always come out of there with a massive smile on my face! I am feeling very appreciative of my roomie right now having spent most of the last 2 weeks without him.
I am also especially grateful to have a God who doesn't give up on me and who is always always always faithful and loving - flipping amaaaazing!
Friday, September 30, 2011
This working thing and trying to balance a timetable with an uber-busy husband makes it a bit more difficult. But I think it's just a mentality thing, I think I'd just forgotten that life wasn't all about being busy. I made myself a list of things (mostly creative) that I want to do on a regular basis/over the next few months. It includes going to a gig (not just one I'm playing at) at least once a month, perfecting a beautiful piece of classical music on both cello and piano as well as having fun with the band, having people round a lot, painting, learning to sew better, taking pictures on the theme of "rain" (thought it might be help me to appreciate Glasgow rain better, finish putting together our wedding photo albums (yes a year and a half later and we still haven't finished it!) So far I've managed to sew a book cover (a big achievement for me!) and take some rain photos.
Making beautiful things helps me to better appreciate the God-made beauty around me, in the things that he made directly like the rain, but also the beauty that flows out of the creativity he put in people. (plus it will help me to watch less iplayer). I want to live life fully with wide-open eyes and an open heart.
On the subject of "Beautiful Things", here's a beautiful version of a song with that very name.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
I have been inadvertently using:
- the past tense of jump "jamp"
Friday, August 12, 2011
See that distance,
That hypothetical, distant, not so distant
horizon of days, months, seconds, hours.
Minutes merge into one colossal cloud,
Potential struggles, breaks, ups, downs, probable mistakes;
looming over, crawling skin, twisting heart strings…
Catch your breath.
Cast fear aside. That’s it.
And take another look.
See the hands that hold, adventure ahead.
Listen to love.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Then you pass through the town of Dalkeith and as you come out and hit the coastline again, there are some rocks (if you're quiet enough you may come across an unsuspecting merman), and an industrial relic/musical instrument.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 06, 2011
- Mull is pretty but very hilly. Therefore, cycling long distances having not cycled for a while can be very painful especially when cycling against the wind.
Friday, June 03, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
But you have to talk about the future sometimes. And my fear of this has at times bordered on the ridiculous. To the point of not wanting to talk about a coming year when Mark needed to book holidays in advance. I am getting better at this kind of thing.
But the deep-rooted fear is still there and it's fear of failure. I'm afraid of making "the wrong plans", afraid of messing up. My head can barely cope with the idea of me being older and doing "scarier" things that "older" people (and people my own age) do! Mainly because I'm convinced that the me I know now, wouldn't be able to cope in those situations.
Why am I bringing this up today of all days...? What has this got to do with Easter Sunday?
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know he holds the future.
And life is worth the living.
Just because He lives."
I've had those old hymn lyrics in my head all day.
It's not just because "He lives", it's that he died and rose again - that's a big deal! But what does Jesus rising from the dead have to do with my future and life in this world? At least some people probably know that generally Christians say that they don't have to fear death because they know that by dying on the cross, Jesus simultaneously defeated death and took the punishment meant for us so that we can have eternal life - life beyond physical death (heaven and all that). But it's more than just that.
Jesus died and rose and because of this: I am completely set free from sin and guilty and shame - that doesn't mean past sin is forgiven. It includes present and future. And it means that he's gradually changing my default setting which had once been set to messing up to living a life of grace and hope and joy and love (I like this new life very much!).
And... I get to be in relationship with GOD. I can talk to him, hear him, know that He is always with me. This is BIG! He has enormous love and grace and patience for my weaknesses AND he knows and "holds the future" AND he helps me through it; leads me by the hand through thick and thin. (AND AND AND...)
I can trust him absolutely. I have trusted him thus far, and yes bad things have happened, tough things that at the time I haven't been able to understand, some of which I still don't understand. But even when I've felt I couldn't cope, I have got through because he's helped me. I look back now and think, min a few years ago I never would have imagined being capable of doing all the things I do day to day now.
Jesus died and rose again. YAAAAASSSSSSSS!!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I was so excited about this I had to blog about it!