Friday, 29 August 2014

In quietness.

I left home for some quiet time with God this morning.
Ended up in a cafe.
Lovely coffee
Melt-in-your-mouth pain-au-chocolat
But 
SO MUCH NOISE.

I ended up taking photos of my very first 'Stumpy'
Turned out it was a flat-white.

And sending snapchats of a grown man wearing a crown...
(It was one of those days.)
And sharing very silly messages back and forth as a result.

It was fun.
Not what was intended
But fun just the same.

And God?
He was there too.

You know
'Quiet time'
Isn't always possible.

However

'I am always aware of the Lord's presence. He is near, and nothing can shake me.'
Psalm 16:8

Almost....

Friday, 22 August 2014

Acts of Remembrance

It's 2 years today since Dad left this world.
We decided as a family that we wouldn't make a big thing of special dates.

We miss our loved ones every day.
We talk,
Laugh,
And think about them.
And we thank God for them.

They left us a legacy of faith
Hope
And love in many forms.

On Tuesday this week we walked the Gower Coastal Path.
It has stunning views and is a place Dad lived and worked.


I found it quite emotional.
Spending time in 'The land of my Fathers'
Literally.
A pilgrimage of sorts.

As we laughed with friends,
Paused to take breath,
And wonder at the beauty of creation,
I thanked God for my Dad,
And my Grandad,
And my in-laws,

The truth is we miss them all the time.
I'm not sure time makes their absence easier.


I wish they could share in our lives now as the boys grow older.

I don't believe they can see our every move.
Heaven forbid!
But I think that somehow they know...



And are proud.



I guess our act of remembrance is carrying on.
Knowing they are in a better place.
Taking a day at a time.
Trusting the future is in God's hands.

Love you.
Miss you.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Thoughts on today 2. A postscript.

Yesterday I read,
God met me in the wilderness, gave me a microphone and said, "Speak"

I guess my version would be,
God met me in the wilderness, gave me a pen and said, "Write"

And after a few months where I couldn't find my 'pen', the words are flowing thick and fast.

Yesterday I posted about Iraq.
Feelings of helplessness 
Hopelessness.

Then in the early hours of this morning I learnt of the death of Robin Williams.
Rumours are he took his own life
After severe battles with depression.

There are a number of things that have struck me today.

My own battle with depression continues.
Today I picked up my repeat prescription of pills that don't take away the pain
But help me to function.

I also see a counsellor
Take as much space as I can
Practice mindfulness
And exercise when I can be motivated.
I do as much as I possibly can to help me live a normal life.
But the truth is sometimes it's not enough, and I crash.

Today there has been renewed calls for acceptance of depression as an 'illness'.
I won't dignify that with a response.
But I will say this
For every tweet I read,
Or radio presenter that says
If you're struggling call someone
I say no.
Not good enough.
It's really hard being a friend or aquaintance of someone who is depressed,
But if you are,
Please call or text them today to check they're ok as today's events may trigger unwelcome thoughts or feelings.
They won't mind.
But they will rarely make that call themselves.
It's too hard.

The other thing is
I wonder what Robin Williams would have made of the outpouring of love, loss and grief that his death has wrought?
Did he know how precious he was?

Maybe he did
But the pain was still too much to bear.

Tell those around you how much you love and appreciate them.
Speak that word.
Send that text.
Tweet it
Snapchat it
Get the message through somehow.
It might be a matter of life and death.

And finally...!
I posted yesterday that prayers for atrocities can seem futile.
I remembered today that while prayer is often our last resort,
It should be our first port of call.
So the post-it's are coming out!
All around the house
With Pray for Iraq on them.

Maybe set an alarm on your phone.
Every time you drink your coffee
Or visit that little room!
Pray
Pray
And pray some more.
That might be a matter of life and death too.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Thoughts on today.

Women are raped and men are being crucified.
Children beheaded
Or forced to flee.

And tales of people buried alive
And we watch 'distressing images' with everything tensed
As we don't know what's real anymore.

A Christian Holocaust?
Is that what's happening?
In this day and age?

And we pray
But words seem futile long before they've left our lips.

Help us Lord.
Have mercy.
Maranatha
'Come Lord Jesus'

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

On being spontaneous.

I went for a swim in the sea today.
It wasn't planned.
I left home early for a meeting.
When it had finished I fancied a swim;
I remembered I had swimwear and a towel in the boot;
The sea was about 30 miles away;
So I turned left instead of right and off I went.

Sadly, 
all wasn't plain sailing from then on in.
It took longer than I'd hoped to get there.
I couldn't find a parking space.
And the tide was out.

But as I set off down the beach,
wishing I'd stopped to buy beach shoes as the pebbles really hurt,
I felt quite proud of my spontaneity.

And then I faced my real moment of truth.

The sea in the UK isn't always the bluest
Or the clearest.
Talk about blind faith

As I hobbled over pebbles
I was thrilled to feel some sand.
But as the sand got softer
and began to squelch,
I'm guessing it wasn't so much sand,
But mud between my toes.

I gave up hobbling and swam.
Arms only as it wasn't deep enough for leg-kicks.
And I was off.
I'd done what I set out to do.
Swimming in the sea.

But then came the return journey
Through the shallows
The squelchy mud
(Bear hunt anyone?)
Then it got slippy.
And I found myself stood on a rock.
Not knowing which way was safest
Least painful
Less slippy.

Sound familiar?

Yes I enjoyed my swim.
But it hurt.
I was afraid on the way there,
And again on the way back.

It wasn't the most dignified of exits.
I didn't emerge like a goddess from the sea.
But I did it.
And lived to tell the tale.

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
And gave me a firm place to stand."
Psalm 40:2


Anyone fancy a swim?










Friday, 1 August 2014

Five Minute Friday: Begin

Write for 5 minutes.
No editing, over-thinking,
Just write.

This weeks prompt is: BEGIN

"There was an old man named Michael Finnegan
He grew whiskers on his chin-egan
The wind came up and blew them in again
Poor old Michael Finnegan
Begin again!"

And there, my friends, lies the problem.
My mind is full of silly songs.

I sit on a Sunday.
In full view of the congregation.
The band play,
And I hear my Dad,
in my head,
singing silly made-up words
to well-known hymn tunes.
Thanks Dad!

It's so distracting.

And that
of course
is the real issue.

I'm easily distracted.
I haven't written much lately.
Life gets in the way.
Then I begin to wonder if I have anything to offer.
And so it goes on.

So here we go.
The writing begins again.
I took this weeks prompt as a command.

BEGIN!

OK!!

Anything you need to begin?
Again?

*cue music*