Taking time

Why are we in such a rush? Instant society.

For those who follow me on social media you may have been eagerly following the journey of our magi as they travelled across the piano to the fire place, until today they reached the manger.

Today the Church celebrates Epiphany, the arrival of the magi, but their journey had been so much longer, and there was so much studying before they even started the physical,journey. All of that time, was worth it, to reach that final destination and to be a part of a story we still tell today.

I have known my husband for over 17 years. In fact, this month we will be celebrating 17 years since he finally asked me to go on a date with him.

This year he bought me the most perfect presents for Christmas, my favourite perfume, a book of games from one of our favourite quiz shows, a cushion for the sofa because I keep falling asleep on the sofa due to my new tablets (and in my favourite colours), and a book – because he knew I would like the cover (that’s another blog I’m sure).

No hints were made, apart from possibly the perfume, he just knew what I needed and what I liked. He knows me.

All Relationships are hard, they take time, to develop to understand.

Everything takes time…

The question is are we willing to give it?

What change?

Are there things that always get on your nerves? Things that drive you crazy?

I imagine the answer is yes, as I haven’t met anyone yet for whom that isn’t the case.

For me at the moment, the ‘thing’ is me!

E got a rather bizarre text this morning telling her that I didn’t send her an email last night. The email was written when I couldn’t sleep, but I never sent it.

Throughout the last few months I have been one of those people posting photos of beautiful autumn leaves, but I currently feel like the one in the photo above. Holding on, recognisable, but broken, and not complete.

This was essentially what the email to E was about, it really wasn’t a happy email – and I didn’t come out well at all.

E did tell me that I could send her the email, but I deleted the draft. Why? Because when I read it this morning, I realised there was nothing that anyone else could do, it had to come from me.

This was then confirmed twice throughout the day, at lunch when the mother in law shared some advice she’d been given that when it’s the same thing that is ‘getting’ to you then how are you going to change the way you approach it. And then through the joy of social media an alternative version of the serenity prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.

It is very easy to come with excuses for why I am not the person I think I should be, medications, brain issues, changes at work, but the only one who has the capacity to change my approach to the things I don’t like about me is… me.

I, however, am also so aware that although I am the one who needs to recognise the problems (possibly the most important), and make the changes. I am not alone. That leaf may look battered, bruised, and broken, but there is still that element of green, of life because it is attached to the tree.

I may feel weak, but I have been promised that I can be changed through the power of the Holy Spirit, should I choose to ask.

The Lull

I’m a bit lost.

I’m slightly overwhelmed.

I’m… well… I don’t really know.

Social media has been inundated with people’s accounts of the last decade, which, not surprisingly gets you thinking. My decade… my year… so much must have happened and yet… it also doesn’t feel like it – especially when looking at friends.

Then of course there is looking forward to the next year, the next decade… often there is a sense of what could be occurring, where things could be heading… but I’m at a loss. In terms of health, work, and other areas I’m very aware of how unsure I am of what is going to be happening.

So I find myself in this weird lull, trying to snap myself out, and failing miserably. The definition of lull is a period of inactivity, and I can promise that’s what I’m accomplishing at the moment. Maybe because I don’t know what is to come, and because I feel I need to accomplish something (other than the lull).

In the summer one of my A-Level pupils gave me a book – ‘a year with C.S.Lewis’ – its as if I talk about Narnia a lot in my lessons! Anywho, I read the first reading today. The readings are short, manageable, and meaningful. This was more of a present than I realised.

I get overwhelmed easily, and I feel like haven’t accomplished much easily as well. I need to not focus on the last year/decade and not focus on the next one but take each day making it manageable and meaningful.

Relying upon those that provide me with strength and power when I can’t find it for myself

Going through the motions

On Christmas Eve I went for a walk with my mum and the dog. The last time I’d gone for a walk in these woods was in August with the husband. As you can imagine it was rather a different experience in December to August.

But whilst I was walking around, very carefully, I was reminded of the walk in August.

I know I often talk about my routines, and the importance of routines, but do we sometimes make the mistake of thinking we’re following routines when actually we’re just going through the motions.

Let me explain, or attempt to explain my thought process.

When we were walking in August I was very aware of the butterflies, the sheer amount of them. Why so many? Because they were in the right environment for them to flourish. This encouraged me about my job, the reason I had gone in to teaching, what my role was. But then i forgot, I started going through the motions

This week we weren’t able to go as far as we wanted because we weren’t wearing the right footwear, because we weren’t really sure where we’d end up.

When you’re just going through the motions, at lot of stuff gets done and that’s not a bad thing. But could you, and other go further and flourish more if you just took the time to stop and think “what am I doing and why am I doing this?”

Twists and turns

I had a hospital appointment earlier in the week. It’s the first time I’d really been to this hospital, and had asked the husband how long it would take to walk. He said it would be about the same time it takes us to walk to church. The first part of the rout was the same but then I needed to turn left rather than crossing over the road.

I allowed a bit longer for the journey, but I was starting to get worried, as it seemed to be taking a lot longer. However, the husband was actually correct, it did take about the same amount of time.

Why my concern?

I think it’s because the route to church involves going down lots of different roads, lots of twist and turns. Whereas the road to the hospital was one long straight road. When it’s just one long straight road, it seems longer, you’re not having to think about where you’re going, crossing roads, there isn’t really a change in scenery, and don’t always feel like you’re actually making any progress. However if you’re going down different roads, having to turn corners cross roads, it just feels like you’re going somewhere and makes it go quicker.

So often we talk about a hope for our paths in life to be made straight. And in the Gospel reading today it was actually suggested that we should make our paths straight for the Lord. But I think there’s a difference between trying to live a good life, and hoping that everything that goes smoothly.

I’m not suggesting that we should celebrate and hope for the things that knock us. However, I think those twists and turns that take us away from the path we had planned are good. They add to the journey, and make us who we are. It is often through the twists and turns that we become more aware of what is going on in us, around us, and helping us on the journey.

Creating the joy…

This week has been… well… there was an utter breakdown causing complete embarrassment as well as a lot of hibernation. I have felt that I am living on a knife edge, and it really doesn’t take much to knock me off that edge. The problem is once I’m off, it takes a HECK of a lot to get back on to the knife edge again.

I’ve mentioned numerous times about hibernation, and about how I try to avoid situations that may exasperate anxiety etc. But this wasn’t working (not enough anyway) so I needed to think of something different, prevention…

Yesterday I made a decision… I needed to try to place myself in to a positive, to almost at least stick myself to the knife edge, avoid the knocking off in the first place!

How did I do this I hear you ask?????

I wore a glittery jump, to bring a bit of sparkle. And I only drunk from the mug shown above.

Did it work?

Yes! It was a GOOD day.

I have no idea how it worked, or if it will work again BUT hey I’m not going to knock it either!

Clearer

My mind seems clearer today than it has for some time.

Over the last few days the views have been astonishing. The sky has been clear, and the sunrises, sunsets and general beauty of the world has been awe inspiring.

It has also been a LOT colder than it has all year. Colder because of the lack of cloud, but that is what causes the awe inspiring beauty.

Today I had an appointment. It’s an appointment I’ve been waiting for for some time. It was a very frosty and cold walk up to the hospital, but it was also bright and sunny.

I didn’t get any answers at the appointment. My mind is clearer following the appointment because I feel like I’ve made the first step on the journey that will lead to some answers.

Sometimes we need to experience the cold, to see the beauty. We know we can get through the cold with layers, but we need to try and focus on the beauty.

In the same way as we go on whatever journeys we’re on we need to surround ourselves with layer of support, to be able to take the journey and see the beauty on the way.

The photo above was taken on route back from the hospital as I was processing everything that had been said – whilst I was wrapped up with loads of layers, listening to my music, and stunned by the beauty.