On the last day of this year…
and what a year it has been
I will take a breath and be grateful for the beautiful moments, and there have been many
I will close the chapter on this year – triumphs and disasters, victories and regrets, marvellous and mundane
I will look forward to a new page tomorrow and I will take heart that I am not writing this book but I am participating in its unfolding drama.
I can trust the author and finisher implicitly even when I do not understand it twists and turns. When the way ahead seems unclear I can be secure I have not been abandoned and nor will I ever.
Good bye 2011 I open my arms to the adventures of 2012.
(Photos of the portrait of the boys hanging on the ‘family’ wall and a new display of needlework.)
Flip has been saying for so long – ‘We need to have a family night’
So inspired by Cat’s cool family night I stole her idea.
We talked about the Creator and how we see amazing things in the way we are made.
How we see all the incredible variation in trees, people, animals…. things that remind us God didn’t just ‘make stuff’ he is incredibly creative.
And we know he made us like him (in his image) so we are creative too.
And just to prove it we made our own creations using only 2 things toothpicks and mini-marshmallows and even with such a limited set of things to work with we all made something different. Some of us worked fast (Bounce) some of us had strategies and descriptions of what we were doing (Flip) but we all created something.
Creativity is something I would consider a core value – something I want my boys to understand and enjoy because I think it enhances our lives to experience and explore.
It was great to spend some focussed family time together. Thanks Cat for sharing your night and inspiring ours.
What if our children grew up to be exactly the people they heard us describe them as? Not the comments to them but the ones we say about them to others in their earshot.
The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit.
This is not motivated by any thing – just a musing from my heart I hope you will consider too. x
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown.
Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.
And that about sums it up for me.
I hope your Easter is full of the peace that death bought for us and the hope that came with the resurrection. May you know the love of heaven – today and always.
I originally got this idea from Sophie Gray.
You take a cheap ($2 in my case) hollow egg, mine are 70 g each.
You split it along the edges – not as simple as it would seem!
Then you fill it with treats.
Then you re-seal it along the edges – not simple when you have made a dogs breakfast of the splitting.
And decorate around the seam along the edges – not applicable in this instance.
So I used the rest of the melted chocolate to create a ‘diversion’ and put sprinkles over the top.
Any resemblance to anything real or imagined is purely your own imagination at work, but I do thank you for thinking there might be some reason or artistic design!
I made 4 – Flip, Bounce, Daddy and Grandad who is spending Easter with us will all find one for them at the breakfast table. Not to be eaten until later though because…
We have an ‘annual’ Easter egg hunt with friends tomorrow at 8am before church. I love that. I also love that they make awesome Hot Cross Buns for the grown ups.
Easter has begun. I have made more hot crossed buns from this lovely blog. I added a little bit of honey to my crosses as well.
Good Friday the worst possible day, the most amazing day.
Today I’m including some quotes from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis. Part of the Narnia books these books are a series I read every couple of years. I love them.
Have you forgotten the Deep Magic?” asked the Witch.
“Let us say I have forgotten it,” answered Aslan gravely. “Tell us of this Deep Magic.”
“Tell you?” said the Witch, her voice growing suddenly shriller. “Tell you what is written on that very Table of Stone which stands beside us? Tell you what is written in letters deep as a spear is long on the fire-stones on the Secret Hill? Tell you what is engraved on the scepter of the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea? You at least know the Magic which the Emperor put into Narnia at the very beginning. You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to kill…. And so that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property… unless I have blood as the Law says all Narnia will be overturned and perish in fire and water.”
“It is very true,” said Aslan, “I do not deny it.”
Then later in the same book after the killing of Aslan:
At that moment they heard from behind them a loud noise—a great cracking, deafening noise as if a giant had broken a giant’s plate…. The Stone Table was broken into two pieces by a great crack that ran down it from end to end; and there was no Aslan.
“Who’s done it?” cried Susan. “What does it mean? Is it more magic?”
“Yes!” said a great voice from behind their backs. “It is more magic.” They looked round. There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
“Oh, Aslan!” cried both the children, staring up at him, almost as much frightened as they were glad….
“But what does it all mean?” asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.
“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.”
Weds 9th of March officially marks the start of lent.
Being a ‘modern’ church kind of lass we often miss out on the wonderful occurrences in the church calendar and I have wanted to be more involved in celebrating the significant events of the church year.
So this year I decided to ‘do lent’. Traditionally it is a time to give up something/fast as Easter approaches.
I thought about giving up chocolate but given my current rate of consumption I felt this might be setting myself up for a fall. SO..I have decided to only buy and eat fair-trade chocolate during Lent, and I hope beyond too.
It is apparently widely acknowledged that there is a great deal of child slavery involved in the chocolate trade and I feel so upset that I would be contributing to that.
So this lent I pledge to only buy and consume fair-trade chocolate for myself. (I will probably still bake with cocoa and possibly use cooking chocolate for baking – I hope that’s okay although I will try to buy some cocoa from Tradeaid who do supply f.t cocoa).
This leaves me with Cadbury and Whittakers milk chocolate (which as my sister pointed out barely have any cocoa – hence they haven’t gone fair-trade with their dark chocolate) and the wonderful, amazing and thoroughly worth the extra cost Green and Blacks chocolate.
For me the gift of Jesus and his life were for all people, all ages, all races and for all time so I think this is in keeping with Lent and my desire to build a bit more of Him into the way I shine my little light.
So how about you are you doing anything for lent this year?? I’d love to know.
Part of the privilege of our lives is also part of its biggest challenge.
Had I been born into poverty or abuse or slavery (and yes it is still VERY existent in the world) my choices would be limited or none at all.
But as it stands my life is full of opportunity, experiences and choices. At the moment my current choices have meant that finding time to sit and be and even take 20 minutes to blog are difficult. And this has challenged me to find the privilege in the over-commitment, to learn the lessons about balance and values that I am presented with when life feels out of control.
We had a wonderful faith and family night. On Thursday I thought about my progress and the ‘friends’ I am tracking it with but I didn’t blog about either because I have not had a moment.
I will blog about them – because I want to not because I have to. A blog, my blog is that for me, not an obligation but a measure for me to journey and to share the journey.
I have a giveaway winner to draw and announce (a week late!).
So this week I might not be here much. But I will be working, creating, laughing (I hope!) and journeying just the same.
I hope when life feels overwhelming for you and there were too many yes’s and not enough no’s that you still manage to find peace and you still feel the amazing privilege of being able to become over-committed and stressed out. In that regard – we have choices and choices are evidence of a life of power.
Here I am in my new ‘day dress’.
I think this is a good style for me.
Today it has got up to 38 degrees at our place!!!!!! I am melting.
A bit of a catch up on our faith and family nights:
We’ve had 2 since I last posted
1 was the battle of Jericho which involved us building Jericho from every cushion we could find in the house. I was the Jerichoans? (If that is a word) and Flip played Joshua. He led the silent march and gave the command to blow your trumpets and shout ‘hallelujah’ and down came the walls.
2. This Thursday just been we focussed on the fact that God made our amazing bodies and he knows all about us – even how many hairs are on our heads. We sang a body song. Talked about how amazing our bodies are and told each other what we liked best about our bodies (In a very non-Trinny and Susannah way!). Then we gave God some jumps and claps to thank him for our wonderful bodies.
It has been great to make Thursday our family night. I am so glad we’ve made it our commitment for the year, and hopefully beyond. I can imagine an 8 and 6 year old boys’ trumpet blowing and hallelujah-ing could be pretty LOUD!
Wherever you find yourself today I hope you can look at your body and be really thankful for part of it.
Tune in tomorrow for a giveaway and Make My Week.
Today we officially said goodbye.
I will miss you. I will miss your total delight in our boys. Your total joy in being a grandmother and the friendship we were developing.
I love that you were so enthusiastic about this little blog. How you so enjoyed every photo of the boys and how you encouraged me on my creative journey. Thank you for giving me my first sewing machine – see how far I have come from your generosity to me?
You were in my life for 13 years.
There will be a special space in my heart and my thoughts for you all my days.
Here are some words that say what I hope for you much better than I can. (2 excerpts from Benedictus – John O’Donohue)
May there be a beautiful welcome for you
In the home you are going to.
You are not going somewhere strange,
Merely back to the home you have never left.
And also this:
May your spirit feel
The surge of true delight
When the veil of the visible
Is raised, and you glimpse again
The living faces
Of departed family and friends.
May there be some beautiful surprise
Waiting for you inside death
Something you never knew or felt,
Which with one simple touch
Absolves you of all loneliness and loss,
As you quicken within the embrace
For which your soul was eternally made.
May your heart be speechless
At the sight of the truth
Of all your belief had hoped,
Your heart breathless
In the light and lightness
Where each and every thing
Is at last its true self
Within that serene belonging
That dwells beside us
On the other side Of what we see.
I’m so glad we said the things we wanted to say in each others hearing.
With so much love – M x