Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Art of Easter

For this Easter...something different. My husband and I were invited to offer some work to an art exhibition held at our church over these days of Holy Week. The whole building has been turned into a gallery, and the collection has been put together beautifully, with the theme 'Love.Loss.Hope: The Art of Easter'. You can see a little more here. If you are in the Highlands, do visit! My piece is a photograph entitled 'Cross Light'.

For me, it represents my walk with Christ. He calls me to 'take up my cross' which has something to do with surrendering myself and sometimes walking a hard path in trying to follow Him. However, the reality is, wherever I go, His light and presence is there. On the cross, He has already been to the darkest place imaginable for a human, and whatever I experience in life, He walks with me through it, giving me light and love all the way.

Friday, 21 March 2014


How time flies! Life continues to be full-on for the Featherglen family, but I thought I'd pop up to say a wee hello. There hasn't been time or energy to do an Easter Club, which I'm a bit sad about, but some other good things have been happening instead. Lent is being lived here in a very simple and low-key way, so I'm grateful to have L'Arche as a place to live it out in Community.  I'm still doing Godly Play here and there, and managed to get the stories of Jacob and Joseph made.

I also made these little characters, with inspiration from this lovely book. I made them as a gift for some very kind friends, who enjoy celebrating the Jewish festival of Purim each year. Like us, they are not Jewish, but as I have discovered this year, it is a wonderful way to spend an evening. We were invited to dress up in fancy dress, the children were given craft activities, including mask making, while the adults read aloud the whole story of Esther, a fantastic biblical story of courage. It is the only story in the Bible where God is not overtly mentioned, so you might say he is hidden, despite being present in the life of Esther, hence the dressing up to celebrate! We went on to share lots of good food and to relax with friends. You might enjoy this song about Purim - and some other brilliant covers by the same group, The Maccabeats. Emily also shares her experience of celebrating of Purim here.

The peg dolls were a very enjoyable project, and I found a nice box to put them, so they could be used to retell the story or just have as decorations.

In the meantime, happy springtime! We've had the mildest winter for years here in the Scottish Highlands, but ha, ha, today it snowed! They call it the 'lambing snow' here, and it can hit us any time over the next two months. However, the garden has resolutely decided it is time to flower, and I'm loving making new discoveries each day,

Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy New Year! Happy Epiphany!

After a lovely Christmas, holidays and many visitors, it's time to settle back into our usual pattern of life. However, one lovely tradition my husband brought into our family is the French way of celebrating of Epiphany, and this is a wonderful way to round off the holidays - the final feast and gathering before easing back into school and work.

Epiphany marks the later arrival of the wise men to visit Jesus. Having packed away the other Christmas decorations, it's nice to have something to cheer up an empty looking house. I also like to have a flowering bulb to put on our table after Christmas - just to help point us toward spring and to take the place of the Advent wreath.

The little boxes contain Frankincense and Myrrh . I used them in our final Advent Club. I think the children enjoyed discovering their scents. You can hold the grains in the flame of a candle and they release a scented smoke. I love the smell of Frankincense, it is so rich and beautiful.

This year I remembered a story for Epiphany. As a child we welcomed a young woman from the Bruderhof Community into our home for a while. She gave me a copy of this book 'Behold that Star' which is a Christmas anthology of stories. Most of the stories are folk tales but with Christ at the centre. Lovely black and white illustrations accompany the text. I lost it during a move so I was thrilled to discover it still in print a few years back. One of the stories, 'The Three Gifts' explores what might have happened to the gifts the wide men brought.

Along with some simple decorations and a story, the thing we enjoy most is a 'Galette des Rois'. This is a truly scrumptious French concoction that my husband makes for us each year. A recipe can be found here but we usually omit the rum. It is topped with a gold crown and a bean or little clay model of the baby Jesus is hidden inside. We always invite a few friends or neighbours to share it with us. The youngest sits under the table and calls out everyone's names as the cake is served. This ensures total fairness! The person who finds baby Jesus in their slice is the wise man - or woman.  

That person can either keep the crown for themselves or give it to someone else to be their king or queen. One of our neighbours found Jesus, and with the wisdom of Solomon offered the crown to my two sons, to have for six months each!

I must confess that I'm not really one for New Year resolutions, as I'm dreadful at keeping them. But this year I have decided to get more into the Gospel of John, and I've already bought 'Water into Wine' by Stephen Verney which was recommended to me. Ann Voskamp has produced some lovely printables to help memorise some chunks of John, so I will be heading over to her blog often this year. And you? Any hopes or plans for this coming year?