We all lead such busy lives, and as we enter the Christmas season, it can get even faster. Added in of course this year are the pressures covid19 bring.
So it might seem odd for me to be saying, “take time to breathe” but actually, a moment each day where you can decompress a little, will provide great benefits to both you and those you love. Allowing the stress level to go down a bit means you have more energy for everything else.
It doesnt have to be anything buig or long – perhaps a cup of coffee and watch clouds go by, or a warm bath at the end of the day after the kids have gone to bed. Or perhaps a chapter of your favourite book or half an hour given over to a craft project you have forgotten.
I haven’t written for five months, and it has been erratic before that. I regret it, and its time to claim back writing time, even though there isn’t any.
But that isn’t really what I want to talk about. Are there things in your life which people say “oh that’s just [you]” ?
You know, your passion for pretty teacups or the PS4 (give it a couple of months and it will be PS5). That way you always buy fair trade and try to encourage others to, or your utter passion for endangered frogs.
The fact that you went to all the trouble to rescue a Romanian street dog or your habit of picking up every littered crisp packet you see. Your love of all things Kawaii… I could go on.
I am 100 ideas before breakfast girl. It’s pretty much the running joke when ever I have a new idea. It can lead me into inaction if I try to follow every idea, or to burnout. But I have learnt to wait, pray and think, before i embark on any practical action towards a new idea. And it is a gift which means I can encourage and lift people with possibility they may not have seen.
And because I can see the whole, from the start, it means I can paint the vision for other people. That vision of what could be, has kept me going even when all has looked lost, because I can see what beautiful blessings could be had for those around me.
You may feel that your “thing” is just yours and that no one else need be bothered. you may feel its important for everyone but you keep getting passed over because its “your thing”
But you know, your thing, is your gift to the world.
We cant all be everything to everyone. And besides, humans are made to live and function in community. When the Apostle Paul was trying to explain how everyone’s “thing” was important, he put it like this:
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 New Living Translation One Body with Many Parts 12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
It’s an important text. It means that just because other people see your gifting or interests as something “We regard as less” doesn’t make it so in the eyes of God.
You are a gift, made with loving care by the creator and given for the moment and the place you find yourself in.
Who you are, what you love, where you place your energy, matters. Without all that good stuff you bring to the place and people where you live, that community, would go through life with a limp.
Never think your “thing” is just you. And dont let people dismiss you with oh thats just you.
This lovely purple flower is the latest thing to arrive in the garden. It is in fact tiny… I out an arrow to it so you can see where it is. There is always something new in the garden every day, nature is always in the move. And yet at the same time it all takes so much longer than the current pace of human life. The peas which at the moment are plants of maybe five leaves will be a couple of months growing before we get to eat any peas.
And this is what I am asking God at the moment. How can I be always on the move for him, while also taking proper time in order that I might stay healthy, and produce good fruit for Him at the proper time.
I know it has to do with less is more. You don’t need to keep fiddling with plants, you just water them, remove a weed if it pops up and leave the rest to God.
I know it has to do with making proper time to be with the One who had made it all anyway.
As I seek to write down my personal outworking of the vows I intend to take later in the year (it’s called a customary) I am asking God to help me keep in step with him. To always be about honouring him, while walking at his pace, not at the pace our consumerist driven mad mad world.
And in the meantime I shall watch the bees enjoy the lupins in the garden.
It just goes to show, that nothing ever remains the same. We entered 2020, it seemed fairly normal… and now the country has shut down, thousands are wondering where their next pay will come from and the government is wrestling not only with the virus but people who are either unbelievably selfish or dealing with the whole covid19 thing by pretending it isn’t happening.
In the meantime there are many truly decent human beings reaching out and helping their neighbours in any way they can.
As a household we have been so very grateful for the people around us and further away who have supported us either through prayer or bringing food to our door.
A week ago both my husband and I went down with covid19. For some it has been thankfully mild, we believe our two and a half year old may be one of them.
But for me, it has put the flu we had over Christmas into the shade. I have never felt so ill in all my life. I have never felt so empty handed.
Never was “there by the grace of God go I” more true.
I find myself coming to Jesus and all I have in my hands is an old carrier bag with a hole in it. I’m so broken and sad, I wish I had more.
I thought perhaps he would exchange my tatty old carrier bag for something glorious. But he hasn’t. My hands are still empty, I’m still broken and I have yet to rise from the ashes.
He has instead given me His arm to lean on.
I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am. His dear presence, His love giving me strength for the day. I find myself living the truth that we can do “nothing apart from Him.” John 15:5
Covid19 will eventually leave our house. But may the presence of Jesus remain, because “In Him we live and move and have our being” Act 17:28
This is such a lovely book! Not only will your little one have hours of fun playing with the train, but it will be a perfect opportunity to chat all about what the train is passing.
And of course eventually as they read it themselves, they can explain it all to you 💕
A book that keeps on giving. (£14.99)