I’d had a busy weekend, and a busy day yesterday, I was rather tired and my body was hurting. I wanted to stay on the sofa for the evening but it was choir night. What to do?
I went to choir, I started going just after Easter, I took part in my first gig on Saturday, I’ve got my second gig this Saturday. I’ve been really enjoying it, and it was worth making the effort to go last night.
How often have you been in that position? Deciding whether to go somewhere, wanting to stay home when there’s something else you could/should be doing?
How often have you decided to leave the house and it has been worth it? Why is that? For me last night it was meeting with others, it was the walk up to the practice, and it was the singing and laughing!
So what do I do next time I feel like I want to stay home? I try to remember how much I appreciated last night, and how it was completely worth the effort.
Thank you to my friend J who had posted a photo on FB entitle Wednesday Wanderings which reminded me what I needed to do! It also influenced me a bit in my title.
I’ve just got back from a meeting where I had to share some of the work a charity I work with does, this was alongside other organisations in the city.
Following what other people were saying and discussions had afterwards I think there needs to be some exploration as a group but also individually as to the best way to move forward.
My problem with this is that I like exploring and discovering new places and things AS LONG AS I have a route and a map to follow. I’m convinced this isn’t that easy… I think it’s almost necessary to explore different things to see where they might lead. This might mean meeting new people, trying new ideas, moving out of a routine, all of which caused me to shiver whilst I typed them!
Exploration can lead to amazing findings, but you have to be willing to step out of the comfort zone in the first place and take some daring steps. Now… how do I do that?
It’s been a while, can’t really remember when, but on Friday I had two seizures. Fortunately I had an idea it was going to happen so I was safely on the sofa, I didn’t injure myself other than muscle and head ache.
It’s so frustrating, as I said I can’t remember when the last one was, and then out of the blue it happens again, twice. I try not to persuade myself that I’m not having seizures, because we’ve been through that before and then… well there’s a reason E has said that she’ll never get in a car that I’m driving… no matter how long I’ve gone without having a seizure.
Today, 4 days later, is the first full day I’ve managed. It’s always a shocker, the pain, exhaustion, confusion. How I used to go into work the day after I have absolutely no idea, but I know I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to stay at home.
We may have had a trip in an ambulance and a few hours in hospital at the weekend. Worry not no one was kept in and the husband is ‘OK’.
When waiting in the hospital and walking to different areas it was easy to get lost, one wall looked like another wall. Yes, there were sign posts and coloured lines on the floor but it was still a bit confusing.
We were incredibly fortunate that some dear friends were able to come and collect us (it’s not easy to get home from especially after 9) We found our way out of the hospital and then whilst waiting I saw these windows above. Not only are they beautiful windows, but it was clear to me that this was where the chapel was.
In a place that can be crazy, but also plain, these windows shine out and represent a place of peace.
Last week I spoke about knowing the environments that encourage us to grow; but we also need to know those places that shine out and bring us peace.
I had the most glorious weekend in Glasgow; spending the weekend with friends I was at school with. We’ve known each other for 30 years, and it was just lovely to spend time with each other. As well as the obvious catch ups and talking about memories, there was also walking, eating and culture.
One afternoon we went to the Botanical gardens, as we were walking around we went in to the greenhouses. There were so many plants that were so beautiful, but they wouldn’t have been able to grow in Glasgow if they hadn’t been in that environment.
Do we place ourselves in environments that allow us to grow?
Are we aware of environments that don’t allow us to grow?
Are we willing to move from those negative environments to those that allow us to flourish?
These are some questions I think I need to ask myself, and you may want to as well. The environments may well change, but I know I’d love to flourish and stand out like those flowers in the greenhouses at the weekend; and that weekend of time with my friends away from my day to day worries has helped me to address things again.
I’ve been doing some cross stitch (nothing new there) and I suddenly realised I made a mistake 😬 it was a tiny mistake – 1 square – but that was made quite a while ago which meant I had to unravel everything I had done since then. 😖
So I started unpicking… one… stitch… at… a… time. SO frustrating. I was tempted at numerous points just to take the scissors to it, BUT that would mean I wouldn’t be able to use the thread again. It took absolutely ages but I eventually made it back to where I’d got to previously and have now got considerably further. It would have been at this point in time in my earlier days of cross stitch that I would have just given in, hidden it away, or given it to me mum!
Whilst I was there unpicking each stitch one at a time I got to wondering… and managed to to make some parallels with life!
Our lives are made of individual events, but those individual events make up the collage of our lives! Sometimes those individual events may go slightly wrong, that can be frustrating, but rather than giving up we can work out where it went wrong and take the necessary steps to be able to move on forward! By unpicking I was able to use the thread again, similarly by working out where and why the mistakes happen we can use that to guide us as we nor forward.
So, if we accept that mistakes happen, we can allow them to become a part of our tapestry of life!
This week I was asked “what do you do for you?” Apparently from the look on my face it was clear I didn’t have an answer.
Last night I went to a taster session of a choir. I was stood in a strange room, with a room of people I didn’t know, I was completely out of my comfort zone but… once we got going I had a great time.
I took the step.
I didn’t think about it; I just took the step.
This is not the kind of thing I do. After a year and a half of being stranded in limbo; a life in which I didn’t seem to be able to move forward; I now need to make those steps. My life is going to be very different, I can’t feel guilty for not doing what I was doing before, I just need to work on what those steps are. There’s no need to rush, but I need to make steps to move on to whatever the next part of the journey is. For ME.
This was my view on Monday when I left the house, a double rainbow – it was stunning! Before being a symbol for LGBTQ+ the rainbow was seen as a symbol for hope. I often associate the rainbow with hope because of the story of Noah and the flood, when they saw the rainbow it was a sign that God would never send a flood like that again.
Do you live a life of hope? What do you hope for?
As I was thinking about hope, I started to think that when we use the word hope it doesn’t necessarily make us think that we are confident in a situation. We hope that something might happen but…
Is it just me that thinks that?????? I guess an example might be over the last year I might say ‘I hope everything gets completed soon’ but in my mind I really wasn’t confident it would. Yes it would have been nice but it wasn’t really going to happen.
The rainbow of the story of Noah is a promise; therefore hope should be more of a confidence? Whether that be something we hope for ourselves, or if we are offering hope to others.
The challenge I am taking from this wondering is that I will be confident in my hopes and that I will live a hope full life – and I have to say I am excited to see how that looks.
So… on Thursday I completed a cross-stitch and then I started another one. It’s something I’ve done for years, I find it quite relaxing and love the way that one stitch is just a small part of a bigger picture. I can follow a pattern and I can follow music but a question I’ve been asking a lot is…
Am I creative?
What do you think of when you think of the word creative? I know that I automatically think of drawing, making models, designing clothes etc… I also think this a frequent misconception. One which I make and therefore put myself into a category of not being creative. However…
The dictionary definition of creative is… having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas.
I really have been thinking about this concept of creativity for ages and then this week I was at a meeting and the word creative came up, being creative in the Spirit of God. Also about being creative, not for anyone else but just because. This really challenged me, and the more I thought about I started to be reminded about The magicians nephew, the first of the books in the chronicles of Narnia (which was bizarrely corrected to anaemia?).
The magicians nephew wasn’t the first to be written but it is the one where we find out how Narnia came in to being. Aslan sang, and Narnia existed. The low notes the ground, the high notes the stars ✨ . Diggory and Polly who were observing this said that they could see what Aslan was thinking and it came through him singing.
To me that’s the perfect example of being creative – showing what’s in your mind. I think it’s safe to say that we all have different minds and therefore when we create it’s going to be different.
Creativity does not look the same for any of us, but we are all creative.
It’s taken me a while not only to accept that I am creative but also to work out where that creativity lies for me. Then I realised that my writing was creative; my sermons at church are creative; teaching teenagers had to be creative; overall I think, that a lot of the time I think outside of the box, especially when trying to explain things to people.
I may not have ever been successful in art or technology lessons at school; I may have always struggled with the composition elements of my music courses; but I am creative I have the ability to make new things or think of new ideas, and show that in different ways.
If you think you’re not creative I’m here to tell you you are; it’s worth taking the time to look at your life and see where that creativity shows.
I hope we can all recognise our creativity and that that may help us and bless others.
I’ve had two very busy days this week, they’ve been quite sociable and I’ve been meeting with various groups of people. Sometimes for a coffee, a Mexican, some cake, a beer, a meeting about poverty in canterbury or for prayer. I’ve arrived home pretty exhausted each day BUT I’ve spent the time with friends and I realise how blessed I am.
Take care, good night, God Bless
Keep a look out, there’s a longer blog to come in the next few days.