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Monday, 24 July 2017

Monday, Monday

Monday Monday. It’s been a day of housework and washing and ironing and all the rest that goes with changing over house guests. The blessing with ironing is listening to the Bible in One Year app, which I so often miss hearing. Today the lesson was on how much God loves each of us. I think maybe I needed to hear that. 

Then I had three renditions of Hillsong’s Still, and then the ironing was finished. I’ve sat down now with the chorus echoing through my mind, reminding me. I will be still and know You are God. The God who hides me beneath his wings, and gives me rest.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Who needs words?

Who needs words?

These much-loved faces say it all. It may be pouring rain out there; there may be a few things not quite as I’d like them to be, but when I open my computer and see these two beautiful faces, I smile every time. 

A wee boy who can’t yet speak in words but is eloquent in smiles (and tears!), and his nearly-93-year-old Great Gramma when they were blessed to spend time together in June. 

And a wee girl who first met Great Gramma Lyn when she was a baby.

I am so grateful to our dear Lord, who loves families. After all, they were his idea.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

L'Ange du Sourire

Outside my window is a bush with delicate pink flowers.

As I sit and admire the bush, I become aware of a team of busy bees darting from one bloom to the next, gathering nectar. I can only see them when I sit and gaze, because many of the blooms are tucked away from sight.

The bees are denied the opportunity to appreciate the bigger picture. They are busy, frantic even perhaps, as they work away diligently. They can’t see that theirs is but a small part of an overall sweep of beauty, so focused are they on accomplishing their tasks.

I can be so caught up in the needs around me that I become a bit overwhelmed by them. Perhaps that elevates me to a level of self-importance which is just plain false. Certainly it heightens anxiety and can lead to short-temperedness, I’ve found. Don’s probably found that in me, too!
I’ve got a postcard from a dear French friend, Isabelle, which perches in my prayer window. It is a picture of L’Ange du Sourire, a statue in the Cathedrale Notre-Dame in Reims. Carved around 1230, it shows an angel, flashing a beatific smile. I love it, because it speaks of a gentleness in the heavenly realms, a joy and a sense of peace. There is a sort of wisdom conveyed there, emanating from someone who can see the bigger picture. 

I smile when I see the busy bees in the bush outside. I can see the beauty of the bush, as well as the beauty of their activity. God smiles when he sees us, and in all our activity he sees the bigger picture. The bigger picture is beautiful, even if we miss a few of the flowers we think we need to tend to today.

Oh that I might remember what I am writing, and lead a wiser life as a result!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

In God is Rest

There was an audible sigh as I drew the curtains this morning to see a second day of uninterrupted blue sky. Although a breeze plays in the leaves of the trees, there is no driving wind or edge of incipient rain. The day feels settled.

Here on an island the weather is capricious, restless as the waves that batter the coasts. It can be tiring, even emotionally, to live in constant change. So nice to feel the contentment of a settled day. 

Jesus invites us to come to him and rest. In him is peace. The Father promised Joshua that he would never leave him nor forsake him. In God is rest. Whatever the weather, whatever the family turmoil, whatever the political upheavals, whatever the doctor’s diagnosis, in God is rest.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Perfect Blue

The sky was a perfect blue, but skimming towards us was a dark grey mat of a cloud, threatening rain. Mary headed out for our walk in a summer blouse. I had a sweater and a summer coat. She saw the blue sky. I saw the grey cloud.

Two miles later, I clutched my coat in my hand, sweating. Mary had read the sky right while I had made assumptions based on the sort of summer we’ve had thus far. She had listened to the forecast where I hadn’t bothered.

Jesus challenged his followers to keep an eye on the signs of the time, and he used the weather as an illustration. He warned that there will be trouble ahead, but that when we are walking with him, he will guide us: blouse or jacket. God speaks, as he always has, through his Bible, through human beings and through circumstances. I need to practice my listening skills.

Friday, 14 July 2017


In the summer time, when the weather was fine, (in Southern California anyway), I could be found sawing away on my cello for two hours every day. We had three months of summer vacation so my mom had devised lots of things to keep us out of trouble. But for that discipline, I am very grateful.
Because now, decades down the line, I can still pull out my trusty cello (which has been my companion since I was about 9) and coax a reasonable sound from it. I’m rusty and sometimes feel frustrated that some of the concertos and so on are beyond me now, but to be able to join in with Sunday worship on this lovely instrument is a joy. So a big thank-you to Mom for keeping my sister and me practicing. (Note to any parents struggling to keep their kids practicing music: persevere.)

Bring up a child in the way she should go and she won’t depart from it, the Bible advises. I don’t think the writer had the cello in mind, but if the verse fits ...

My sister Judy and I had so much fun, sometimes trying out duets (with her on the violin) and sometimes trading instruments, which wasn’t all that lovely to listen to! Remembering dearest Judy today, 31 years after she went home to Jesus. Still miss her like crazy, maybe even more now...

She was such a Francophile, that it brings a sad smile to my face to think of her being released from her disease-wracked body, which had become a virtual prison for her, into the freedom of heaven, on the day the French celebrate the storming of the Bastille prison and the release of so many political prisoners languishing inside. God is good, even in the horrible times.