Monday, 30 June 2014
All go at Martha Towers. Aged mother taken to car boot and out for breakfast. Although am still recovering from conversation last time we took her out.
Mum That's a nice dress
Me Thank - you
Mum Makes you look slim
Me I think I am quite slim - all things considered (Two babies and a fondness for Lemon Drizzle)
Mum No, no you have quite a belly on you now but that dress helps a lot.
I have known people in counselling for less!
On returning, sit down to book theatre tickets for trip to London with offspring. Decide to go and see well reviewed play with Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy. All goes well when booking, plenty of seats available, (This should really have been a red flag to me) and I come to the payments page and find that 4 tickets - including one student - comes to £546.00! How much? Do I get to come and share your lovely home with Marcus Mumford for a week for that? I think it out again and we will be going to see The Commitments.
Off to church Sunday pm. Manage to get myself sat next to lady who spends first half of meeting sobbing gently into her hanky. Try to convince myself that it is hay fever but realise that it probably isn't. Toy with idea of putting caring hand on shoulder but lady is with husband/son/glamorous Spanish paramour (am not sure which) and he appears blissfully unconcerned so feel this would be interfering. Get no help from HOH who is pretending to be totally immersed in worship. Think meeting cannot get more uncomfortable when worship leader instructs us to break into groups and share something to pray about. WELL THANK YOU! Can I just say, I would be more impressed with that idea if you got off your safe space on the platform and joined us lesser mortals sitting next to woman in middle of fully fledged nervous breakdown. Try to catch eye of lady with tissue that is now very nasty but she turns her back to me and points out Bible verse to her chap. Reassure myself with probability that God is dealing with situation and turn back to HOH. Spend pleasant five minutes with heads together, in approximation of prayer, discussing how badly Brits generally deal with pew based mental collapse.
As meeting ends, lady leaves with speed of bullet fired from gun, proving herself immune to my pastoral caring face which I am wearing in case she needs it. We also leave, as soon as FOW2 has chatted for several hours.
Retire to bed. Am going back to work. Am quite tired - again.
PS If you could just add Adrian Plass to your prayer list as he has recently had a stroke. If there is a Christian in Britain who has not been blessed by this gentleman, I have yet to meet them. He is fantastic and funny and wise. Please pray for him and his family.
Thursday, 26 June 2014
Having been in a sort of blah place where nothing is wrong but not much is right either I have asked God what to do when, to be honest, I didn't really want to do anything. I have thought that I might come to a place where I leave all this blah feeling behind immediately, stepping out of it like a pencil skirt at the end of the day and becoming free. Instead, I am finding that I am moving forwards again, albeit slowly, as circumstances change and I actually do some stuff.
First, the hole in the ground by our pipes has been filled and the phone is mended. Call me a surface kind of person and you would essentially be right. Had as I try to rise above my circumstances, when things are suffering then so am I. Cue improvement in mood.
Then, nose to the grindstone and get the work done that needed doing. Procrastination is all very well when there is football to watch but when I have stuff piling up I start to feel a bit like that woman on the advert for laxative pills - you know, a bit bloated and flabby. So catching up with stuff I HAD to do, both at home and work and being able to give it a satisfying tick in my ticky book also helped my mood.
On a slightly more spiritual note, and requiring slightly more effort from someone who has not really been hit too hard with the spiritual Christian stick, is a morning ritual. In this case I am defining ritual as a religious habit which I don't think is the dictionary definition but don't bother me with trivialities.
For better people than me the shower is where they do their best thinking. For me, the shower is where I get my revenge. I make some of my best "No! You listen to me..." speeches in the shower. It's not a great way to start the day. So when I came across this in Chronicles
They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord.
1 Chronicles 23 v 30
It made me think. I am doing the standing already. Maybe it would be better to fill my head with God, every morning, rather than than worry and fear, while I stand, in the shower. It's a ritual. A habit. Something good to follow. Something that lets God in and helps me start the day with him rather than just me. It's a bit wet but I don't think God is bothered.
Monday, 16 June 2014
I have been, as my Grandad used to call it, "A bit mazy". Life has made me a bit woolly at the edges. There is nothing wrong with me but life and then more life have left me a bit ..well mazy.
Nothing too horrible or anything but work has been hard (I think it's supposed to be) Parent has needed support (not her fault - that is also supposed to happen) House is full of exam activity. (All done now) and our pipes need digging up and the insurance company is giving the situation its full attention. (Or it will be just as soon as it runs out of excuses not to)
I'm doing all the right things. I'm eating well (If you don't included a mega packet of Aldi Crisps on Friday night) Sleeping well. Counting my blessings (and they are many) and just getting on with it. Still, there are times when you just need to hold the line, remember who you are and what you believe and wait for God to perk you up.
2 Timothy 1 v 12
I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end
Sunday, 8 June 2014
So it's my birthday and we wander off for breakfast at Secco in the Royal William Yard. See above for view. All very lovely and Plymouth is tres bonny non?
Anyway we are driving back from breakfast and conversation turns to Carole King's Tapestry album as I suppose it does for everyone really. And I say "I've never owned it but every song is a winner I think" Then we get home and open my pressies and from FOW1 is yep Carol King's Tapestry. WHAT!!?? And they say there isn't a God. (Actually can't make any actual sensible connection between this and the existence of a God but it made me smile)
While I am on the God type of subject have a look at this link. Prayer - so flippin huge and so very rarely treated with the awe it deserves.
Sunday, 1 June 2014
I read a good interview with Tim Vine this week. He was talking about all the choruses he sang when he was a child and I knew them all. Unfortunately, I also remember that I was a teenager rather than a child when I sang them As you probably know, I am a bit of a hymn person, although I do like a chorus when it's done good and noisy as God intended, if you get my drift.
Anyway was thinking about this
"Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry - everything to God in prayer."
There is so much truth here that I am prepared to overlook the strange memories I have of my Mum's version of this by Slim Whitman (a bit singy for me)
I can't speak for you lot but, as usual I have so much going on here and the last thing I think of doing is praying. Really - it is last on my list. Only when I am really desperate and can't find a way out will I pray. Good grief, I bet even the atheists do that! If I spent as much time in prayer as I do thinking "What am I going to do?" or making "Get my own back" speeches in the shower, I would be giving Daniel a run for his money in the prayer warrior stakes. So, with a view to putting that right, I give you the things that are doing my head in, just as I am giving them to God. Some are real, some are imagined, some have happened, some may happen, some may not. Whatever, they are God's for the doing with whatever he wants. I spect he'll be better at dealing with it all than I am.
Work, Daughter's exams, Son's dissertation, HOH work, HOH knees, Wet rot, Dry rot, Dog's bowels, elderly parent, old car, finding new car, double glazing, pensions, writing, feeling knackered, church, rendering, finances, summer holidays, thinking of what's for tea, drains being dug out, Christians chained up while giving birth, not getting enough sleep, finding time to read the Bible, trying to like people I don't like, struggling with forgiveness, wondering if God gives up.
Fraid it's not all there but that will do for now I think. No pressure God.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
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