Saturday, April 27, 2013

Envy

I admit it. I am highly envious of many of my fellow bloggers. I feel like they seem to pour forth beautiful streams of words day after day, while I have to squeeze myself like a toothpaste tube for a little splutter that seems to take a couple of months to gather.

You can tell I'm feeling sorry for myself, can't you? But perhaps I should work from the point of view that this is about me, not about them. After all, I can't really a blame them for already being what I wish I was, can I?

But the problem is that I do. Not my fault that I never want to get online when I get home from work. Not my fault that I am too tired to think about what to write. Not my fault that reading interesting articles and books that would broaden my horizons and stimulate my brain is taking second place to the fast food style, easy fix that is reality television. Never my fault, never ever my fault...

I don't see any of this changing for me anytime soon. Just because I can recognise the symptoms of a disease doesn't mean I know how to treat it - yet. Though the medicine is usually pretty hard to take. But instead, let me turn my envy to joy.

Let me say, not that I wish I were you, but instead, thank you for being you. For being a writer who does post, who does say profound and eloquent things and who lets me know that it is possible - it may just take a bit of work, a bit of time and a lot of courage.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Distance Between

I experienced something rather odd today. I work with children who have life threatening and terminal illnesses. Each year, some of them will succumb to the disease that is ravaging their body. It has been a long time since I have cried over a death, even when I have seen that child regularly for a long time. You can't cry, or you won't be able to get up and go to walk and talk to children and parents facing the same disease and stay sane.

But today, I cried during a movie where a child died from an illness much the same as those I see. It seems strange that I would cry, when I don't even know the sick person. But perhaps it was because it wasn't going to affect my work that I could cry without worrying, and mourn for all of those dead children who I wasn't able to give my tears before. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, and then let it all out.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wishes for Peace

I have been pondering the tragedy in Connecticut and whether this - or any other - will affect the way the American populace as a whole think about guns.

I watched Bowling For Columbine when it came out many years ago. While I don't know that I agree with everything that Michael Moore say, I was completely floored by some of the information it presented. And I continue to be astounded that many of these things have not changed.

Why do many Americans continue to believe that having a gun in your home makes you safer, when it most instances the person shot with that gun is likely to be not an intruder but a member of your family?

Why are civilians permitted to purchase high powered weapons? Do you really need to annihilate the deer, rather than shooting it? Are you planning to fight World War III on your front lawn?

Is there sufficient restriction on the purchase of weapons? Are people allowed to purchase and use a gun in the heat of anger or jealousy - or does the process take time to assess if they have no criminal record, that they are of sound mind and are planning to use it for a legitimate purpose?

And I know Americans make much of their Bill of Rights, and in particular their "right to bear arms". But I ask you, for those of you who call yourselves Christians - when will you lay down your rights?Do you think one day you might put trust in God as your protection, more than your strength of arms? When will you follow the example of your Saviour, who came not as warrior brandishing a sword in vengence, but as a servant - a slave even - showing the way by taking up his cross first, and calling us to follow after?

Do you think the heart of America will ever truly hold peace, while it continues to cradle a gun in its hands?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Once Was Mine

It is strange coming back to a place you used to go all the time or doing an activity you used to do regularly. It's all so familiar, and yet... it's just not 'your thing' anymore.

I used to catch the bus home from work every day. It was a route so ingrained that I could have done it in my sleep. First the walk down the road to the bus stop - an often sun-lit meander down the road, getting some vitamin D and fresh air. Then the first bus ride, a little people-watching experience as factory workers, school students, executives and mums with prams all crowd in together to be driven into the centre of town. Here we all disembark, to go our various ways. Some to the train station below, many to the towering shopping centre. A few head to wait for another bus, as I do. The next bus ride is a little longer, a chance to pull out a book or type a quick message to a friend. And then finally, it's time to ring the bell and a short walk and I'm home.

That feeling you get, the one they call nostalgia. How do you describe it? It's not so much a feeling of missing something, but that you have said goodbye to a part of your life because times have changed, you've changed. What's that saying they have? You can never stand in the same river twice for you are not the same person and it's not the same river.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just Breathe

It's strange the way we think sometimes. Especially as women, we so often feel like our little worlds will fall apart if we are absent even for a little while.

I was ill during last night, but I left my alarm on and challenged myself that if I could manage to eat breakfast then I was able to go to work. I could not manage more than a few mouthfuls of tea, so I shuffled back to bed, calling my boss on the way. After sleeping a few more hours, I woke up and was convinced that I should be doing something. My wonky brain logic went something like this: God let me get sick. He must have intended for me to stay home. He must want me to get done all these jobs that need doing at home. I should get up and start doing them. This is using your sickness for good. It doesn't matter if you're tired and it hurts.

I don't know why I think like this. I don't know the will of God. I don't know if my getting sick was to slow me down to have a rest, so I could do those jobs at home, so I could spend some time with my mother, to remind me to look after my health better or to absolutely no purpose at all. I will probably never know. What is important is that I still have joy and contentment wherever I am placed and that keep serving God whatever the circumstances.

And for the moment, that means staying in bed, getting some rest, breathing in and out and talking to God about all our mutual friends.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Never fair...

Today, Mama was effectively told that she was being made redundant, not because her job was no longer needed, but because her boss wanted to give her hours to people he liked better. Just hearing Mama tell me how the meeting went made me furious. Just seething. I wanted to walk up to this man and tell him that I think the way he has treated my mother makes him lower than pond-scum.

It's so hard, forgiving the wrong done to us or to someone we love. How do you take all this anger, this resentment and give it over to Jesus, and let the Prince of Peace be the bringer of justice?

To trust that God has it sorted - that is my leap of faith today.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bitter Lemon

I've kept a journal for many years now, a record of the flow of my days. Sometimes it's a recount of the day's activities. Other days, it's emotional response to something or someone - an outpouring of grief or joy or anger. Someday, I even get philosophical.

More and more often though, I find on looking back through the pages of my journals, that many of the entries seem to drip with bitter vitriol. I rage against family members, against colleagues, against clients, even against friends.

And then I step back and wonder - is this really me? Am I truly this acerbic, intolerant, unloving young woman? When did I become so full of criticisms and complaints?

I don't want to look back in 10 years time and think this is who I am. It's time to focus on joy. To see the good in people, even when it's difficult. To live celebrating all the good and perfect gifts God has blessed me with.