Tuesday, 28 February 2012


These last few weeks we have been plagued by a number of small ailments - nothing life shattering - but enough to disrupt our usual pattern of life and undo our plans. It's easy to get dragged down such happenings, which weary and annoy, leaving me out of sorts and a bit sorry for myself.   At such times I'm grateful for the kindly kick in the rear end that I get from reading this blog. It pushes me towards an attitude of thankfulness, and oh yes, there is so much in life to be thankful for, especially the ones who point me in the right direction.

T. is a great one for spotting the small things, the tiniest of details - a minute plant pushing it's way up into the early spring light, for taking me around the garden to admire the crocuses, snowdrops and other bulbs emerging. New life, always.

And then, I found a little star perched in the tree in our kitchen 'wilderness'. I guessed he had put it there, and asked him about it, unsure of his reply - I know to expect the unexpected with him! "Well", he said, thoughtfully, "It's because God is with us". Then went back to reading his book. As simple as that.

I wonder, was he thinking of this star, that spent so long in our living room at Christmas? But for whatever reason, I am so thankful for this rather unLenten reminder of the truth that I need to hold onto, no matter what is happening in our daily lives - God is with us.

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Friday, 24 February 2012

Our Journey in Lent

Lent has arrived. It isn't something I grew up marking, but as I've got older and explored ways of living my faith, it makes a lot of sense and has always proved to be a rich time. I'll admit I'm not too good at giving things up, but I do like the idea of taking things up, or making time to do things that bring me closer to God. More thinking time, more reading time, more praying time...which I suppose means giving up that time when I might be doing other things. It's always felt like a rich time, rather than a gloomy season. I like the simplicity of Lent.

As a family we are using a figure of Jesus (made by my beloved) in the wilderness on our kitchen table. We'll add a stone to each day to mark the passing of Lent. Then we will make a garden at Easter time. We also shared together the 'Mystery of Easter' last Sunday. The boys seemed to really enjoy it. I really love this story and all the meaning it conveys.

At L'Arche, we met together on Tuesday for our traditional feast of pancakes and I shared the story again. As I had my head in the story, it was hard to tell how people received it, but there was a lot of 'wondering' and interaction as I told it, so I think it went well.

 As a community, we also decided to use the material for the 'Faces of Easter' in each of our Community houses - so I had to prepare no less than six sets of materials! Happily, one house took on the job of cutting out and laminating the pictures. We are using the material from the CD Time and Space to Wonder.  I managed to find some lovely and inexpensive purple fleece for the underlay needed.

Our friendly Episcopal bishop also came to L'Arche to host an Ash Wednesday service. He is very good at connecting and communicating. I gave him a basket of fabric, figures and other props for Jesus' baptism and temptation and then sat back and watched him bring the story to life, along with ashes, oil and water.

Two blogs that I've found helpful and inspiring for Godly Play are hosting a Lenten Link Party that I've decided to join in with. Thank you for the invitation, Wonderful in an Easter Kind of Way and Explore and Express!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

A funny old weekend, but a good one. All my plans for celebrating my beloved's birthday went topsy turvy - starting at about 3am when the sound of vomiting came from our youngest's bedroom....sigh! So some things had to be put on hold...but perhaps that was a good thing. We awoke some hours later to snow drifting down. After such a mild winter this was a beautiful and welcome gift. We spent a restful, peaceful day eating his favourite pains au chocolat, lying around by the new stove, luxuriating in the heat. A bit more food, a bit of snow, cake, balloons and a pile of love - he's easily pleased. A gift of a man.

 And Sunday? Sun and snow, an irresistible combination. We headed out for a walk and our worship, thankful for all the beauty that surrounds us.

Oh yes, and a bit of chicken love too...The man and his cockerel...

PS Sorry about the non-appearances of photos for a few days - took me a while to work out why - I'm just not a techie girl. here's hoping!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Sundays at home

We are at a strange place in our lives - for the first time in years we don't go to church each week. We left a big church in Inverness to be part of a wee church community here in our village. As yet that just meets monthly on Sundays, although we do get together in between times. In the meantime we also wanted to spend more time together as a family, to discover God's path together.

It isn't always straightforward - it feels we left the familiar and known - but we sense it is right for now. We explore and learn and play together. I'm often surprised by how the boys respond - very much as boys (!) - but with glimpses of God too. J has been very faithful in keeping me going through Nehemiah, which I don't think I've read for ages, but has really touched me.

We introduced them to the Godly Play lesson about the circle of the church year. Coming from a  non-liturgical background, I wasn't sure how they would respond, but they were very interested - loving the idea of clock that tells the time in colours - especially red hot Pentecost!

So, it's a bit unconventional, a bit of walking by faith, but it's a good, green, growing season in our lives.

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