As part of my work as a community pastor, I have started an online magazine all about self care and things to lift people up. I thought you might like to take a look…
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.
Your thing, is your gift.
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.
Join in if you live in Gillingham Kent…
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
We have moved (round the corner, via six weeks with my father in law while we waited for the chain to get in with it). It’s my 20th move in 25 years, but we are finally settled.
It’s a lovely house, one which our boy will have room to grow up in. And we are friends with some of our neighbours, which I have never experienced before – it’s weird, but really good.
In the meantime I now have my plants in the ground. I can’t begin to say how much joy and peace this gives me.
We are still painting and unpacking and will be for a few weeks yet, but we have taken root… Finally.
It has been seven months since I last blogged and to be fair there was a fair bit of faffing around before then.
But I really miss it. It has been a vertical learning curve figuring out how to be me now that I am a mum.
It’s the ongoing challenge of time management and prioritising.
I have got as far as volunteering at church, delivering my four week course “stress proof your life” which has been great, but it’s time to find time again, for reading and writing.
We shall see how I do.
It’s book review time!
Usborne “That’s not my” touchy-feely books are such a lovely way to introduce your child to books 🤗
My boy has been enjoying them so much – he has that’s not my… Unicorn, squirrel, duck, and now Monkey!
He has enjoyed learning to turn pages and interact with all the different textures in the books – we started when he was very young and now at 14 months he still thinks they are great 💕
There are 56 titles (£6.99 each) as well as colouring books (£4.99) and gift sets (£16) which include a soft toy.
You can buy them here: https://org.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/karen_sbooks
The “Busy train book” review 🤗
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)
You can buy it here: https://org.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/karen_sbooks/
Its been a while since i blogged properly… I have been busy growing and delivering our first child.
Small T is our miracle boy and today he is six weeks old. I cant even begin to tell you how grateful to God i am for his arrival.
So as you can imagine its all change in our lives, and yet we are still who we always were.. Just minus lots of sleep.
In it all i had a 30 hour labour and an emergency cesarean, while R had spinal surgery on a back injury which had left him in excruciating pain.
You would think we were disheartened and down, but the joy of small keeps our perspective and we both enjoy the good things of now and have hope for the future.
Now we have a son to share what matters to us with. Our faith, our care for God’s world expressed through being vegan and living as lightly as we can in relation to the planet.
And fun stuff… We will forever be a geek household.
So expect future posts on all such things and our adventures as parents: