One step at a time.

Beauty all around.

I have discovered that I am not a very patient person. For some people, they will not be surprised to hear this. I often have ideas, a plan, and can’t wait to put it all into practise. I am enthusiastic!

God often challenges my plans however. I often need to rethink, to pray, to ponder, to consider what to do, and what is true to my identity as a child of God.

Over Christmas, I had covid 19. I tested positive, I talked to track and trace, I self isolated for 10 days along with my son. I am so fortunate it wasn’t worse, it was just like a bad flu, headaches, feeling achy, a lack of taste and smell, a cough, fatigue etc. It was very unpleasant, and lasted just over a week, until the symptoms started to lessen. I was relieved that it didn’t get worse, and as far as I know, that I didn’t give it to anyone else. I took all the precautions, I used my mask and anti bacterial stuff, and I am grateful that I am here. I so pray for others who have it, that they heal and have no complications.

I am so very thankful, but I do have low energy. I know I need to rest until I feel better. I am doing the essentials at work, and trying to self care. I am learning so much, for even a walk in the park leaves me exhausted, so I need to only do a few things each day. Things I took for granted, are not available to me right now.

And so I need to learn to be patient, to take one step at a time. I need to acknowledge that I rely on God completely, to give me energy, to guide my path, or even allow me just to rest. Resting can be restorative and peaceful, as long as I allow myself not to feel guilty over what I cannot do.

I remember the words of psalm 40:

‘ I waited patiently on the Lord, He turned to me and heard my cry.’

I need to pray, rest, and at the right time, take a wee step forward, and then rest. I am blessed with lovely supportive, prayerful family and friends, with my encouraging dog, with food and water and a warm place to live. I try to use this time to dream, and read and listen to inspirational music. I seek to develop a more thankful heart, and to notice the beauty all around, and for God to teach me to be more patient.

Let us pray, Gracious Father, we cry to You for all who are unwell this day, with covid 19, with cancer or other conditions, chronic and acute. Lord Jesus, we thank you for our incredible paramedics and health care teams, doing an amazing job in hospitals and GP practices around the country. Plesse bless them, give them wisdom and stamina, to care for those who are sick and dying, and for their relatives. For those who are recuperating, please help them to pace themselves, to rest, to breath, to self care. Holy spirit of God, thankyou for the power of prayer. May we pray for one another, to show kindness, to provide practical help, to get prescriptions or shopping. We thanks You for vaccination programmes, and pray that they would protect the most vulnerable. Help us all to be patient, as we seek to keep well, and to make good choices that keep others safe. May we be patient just a bit longer, as we watch and pray, for we ask it in Your Son’s precious name, hear our cry we pray, Amen.

Changing colours of autumn.

This weekend, the weather has been glorious, and the colours rich and vibrant. The soft autumn sunshine, azure skies and soft clouds floating by are idyllic. The sun has been surprisingly warm, and if you find a sheltered spot, it is like being touched by the love of God.

Yet the message of all of this, is that the seasons are changing, that the leaves are starting to turn, and then to fall, sometimes gently, sometimes in a stormy frenzy of whirl.

Autumn brings hope, because it reminds us that change can be beautiful. As human beings, we often seem stuck, stuck in grief or trauma or illness. We get used to it, and forget that there is another way to live.

Jesus was always on the move, going to different places, meeting new people, praying, challenging people as to how they could follow him. He was never static. So we too are called to be open to learning, to explore our creativity, to deepen our spirituality, to be fashioned into the very image of Christ. The Holy spirit is ever at work within us.

When we enjoy the changing autumn colours, I think God is also inviting us to change- to somehow find deeper healing from the past, and the courage to move on. This seems to be slow, painstaking work. We complain as the leaves fall, as there is so much to let go of, regrets, old patterns of thinking, difficult memories, dark hurts. Yet if the tree lies bare for a winter, by spring there is new life, new growth, new colour.

For all those entranced by the melancholy beauty of autumn, may we allow God to search our souls, guide our thoughts, to help us to choose wisely, to establish a new rhythm of life. It might be a painful transition involving reflection and self awareness, but my prayer for all of us, is that we are able to keep going forward

Let us pray, Lord Jesus, we strive to go forward, to move on from the past, but unbidden memories can force their way to the surface. Cleanse us by your holy spirit, and give us the vision of better things that are to come, of new growth and energy. And on days when it just seems too hard, may we just rest in the warmth of your love, and find your gift of deep, healing peace in your rays of light. Thankyou Father God, that we can rest with you, to marvel at Your beauty, and be in communion with You, Amen.

Beauty healing the soul

Beauty in unexpected places.

Dear friends, what a journey we have all been on – the fears and stresses of covid 19 and Lockdown, and the gradual release of restrictions. And as we begin to reflect on all that has happened, we are gradually realising more of the devastation that has taken place, and the impact of this time on our world, our community, and on us as individuals. The ripples are still gradually spreading outward, and the impact of the loss of freedom, employment, health and precious lives is just beginning to be felt more keenly.

Our Christian faith helps us in times of stress and exhaustion, and it seems important to ask for a summer of rest and restoration, to have time for God to repair the damage to our souls, to heal our broken hearts, to give us space to find our healing and equilibrium. Our lives have been turned upside down, and in this time of fluidity, many of us have questioned what is really a priority in our lives. It is a time of soul searching and of seeking God’s guidance as to the way ahead.

My own experiences are still pretty raw, but I know that many people share these same type of difficult memories and pain, so I wanted to offer a few ways to self care over the summer months, that might help us on our journey.

God provides all we need, and He gives us nurture for our souls, as we read the bible, listen to praise music, and ask Him to speak to our souls – he brings us a Word in season. Worship also reminds us of the bigger eternal persepective, which helps us put our own situation into context. The joy of singing ( by ourselves, and for me, with no-one listening!) enables us to lose ourselves in God’s love.

God inspires us in so many ways through Creation- through the grandour of the hills, the roar of the sea, the babble of a stream – and sooths our souls.

God wants us to take care of our bodies also – the temple of the holy spirit – by eating healthily, taking exercise, and resting.

Sometimes sitting with a blanket, a candle and a journal, can create the space, so we can hear from the Holy spirit, and find our healing and peace.

He lets me rest in green meadows, He leads me beside peaceful streams,

He renews my strength.” Psalm 23: 2 NLT translation

Let us pray – Dear God, all wise and all knowing,

Look upon your children, in our weariness and brokenness,

Lord Jesus, grant us forgiveness and grace, rest and peace,

So we can worship You in the beauty of Your holiness,

And be lost in wonder, love and praise,

And know once more, that all is indeed well, Amen

Meditation 5