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Time on our Hands

Tightrope WalkerI don’t know about you, but the isolation was okay at first. I am used to working on my own, and being responsible for my own timetable, so with the unexpected exceptional gift of hours, I settled easily into getting on with tasks that I had put off or abandoned a long time ago, but as weeks have turned to months, I have struggled.

I’ve completed the easier tasks, that needed little effort but some application. Now there are still tasks that I must do...plenty of them, but they need concentration and I can’t seem to settle. I’ve spent most of the week procrastinating, doing very little, except to be frustrated with myself at the end of each gloriously sunny day.

Like most of the world, I am struggling with time, no longer juggling it but learning to walk an unfamiliar tightrope that doesn’t seem to have a platform to land on at the other side. 

Maybe in these unfamiliar times, some have been struggling with how to occupy vast swathes of unexpected time, not quite knowing quite what to do with it all amidst restrictive rules. Conversely, others may be grappling with how to fit in expanded work hours amidst the chaos of the unknown, risking their lives to save others.

We never know what is just around the corner; how one small thing can change the course and predictability of our lives in an instant. But as Christians, even when we do not know the outcomes for the future, even when there seems no way back to the times we knew before, and the only way is forward into the unfamiliar and unknown- we can believe in these words...

“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands...” Psalm 31: 14-15a

IMG 1520 cropped enhanced web sizeRainbow Remembering
One of the advantages of having projects cancelled is that I have been able to complete several abandoned projects! One of them is a now completed design started several years ago during my “Dwell” series of artwork. Back then, it emerged unexpectedly after creating “Promises”, for which I had fashioned many different coloured knotted pieces of fabric to create the effect I wanted. 

I found that there were lots of leftover fabric knots and It seemed a shame to waste them, so I stitched them into a colourful crown of thorns, and began to use seed stitch to create symbolic representations of the many promises given to us as part of the Biblical narrative of the redemption of God’s people. It wasn’t a difficult design to complete but, oh so tedious...! I’m not particularly good at repetitive tasks, so I abandoned it for more interesting things...

Three years later, with a global pandemic creating enforced isolation and a need for something that didn’t tax my brain, I have found solace in the repetitive stitch, recalling the many promises contained within God’s word.

IMG 8942 croppedLessons from Geese...
One of the things that makes me happy this time of year, is when I hear the geese flying back for the warmer season. It’s a sign of better weather coming, and really makes me smile, lifting my spirits in expectation of warmer summer days.

We have a lot to learn from geese. They are social creatures and look after each other through many a difficulty...

1. Learning to Uplift Each Other
As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow, so by flying together in that classic “V” formation, the whole flock adds around a 71% greater range than if each bird flew alone. This is how geese manage to fly such great distances across the world.

So, if we share a common sense of direction and are part of a community with others, this means our individual efforts can work together to reach shared goals quicker and easier. In traveling together, we can uplift one another too, sharing the strain of the journey.

I wonder in these strange times, how we can each uplift one another?

6 Lessons from the Sea

Over the last few months, after the blessings of a lifetime of good health, I’ve had a run of unexpected physical health issues, that have had me visiting a plethora of hospital departments. Thankfully, none of them so far have been life threatening, but it has unnerved me, and at times I have felt in the midst of a circling, stormy fog of grey, further exaggerated by the severe seasonal storms we have been having lately, across the country. My experiences have made me think...

stormy sea on rocks

 

Unexpected...
Unlike our ever-improving meteorological weather forecasting, the storms of life often come when we are least expecting them, and we may feel completely unprepared for the demands that they make upon us. So, what keeps us safe, when turbulent tempests roar unwelcome, into our lives?
It seems to me that as in the case of a real storm at sea, preparation may be the key...

 

web size 2 love 3061483 1920

Some enjoy Valentines Day as a way to show how much they care for someone they love, but equally many find Valentine’s Day a difficult one, especially when supermarkets and shops relish turning red each year as they roll out an increasingly commercial festival with blatant emphasis on couples.

So let’s get some things straight...

  • Love is not limited to couples. Love is for ALL...regardless of marital status, age, ethnicity, size, ability, gender or anything else....we all need to receive love, and to give love, but there are so many ways to do this.

  • The word “ love” in the English language is terribly restrictive , when there is so much more depth to the word. We can all love each other in different ways, to make our communities and the world a better place.

  • Love is often not pretty or surrounded with flowers. It can be difficult, complicated, and messy, but it is strong and when we are betrayed in love by one person then it can be the love of others, in friends and family and the love of God that strengthen and enable us to go on.

  • Human love is fallible, but God’s love is not. What amazes me is that, despite my flaws and faults God not only loves me but sent his Son to die for me. “...God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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