Bring on the Christmas glitter!!

Merry Christmas

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Dr Seuss

That quote embodies my life as it only seems like yesterday I was sitting in my garden enjoying the odd bit of summer sun. How did we get to the month of December so quickly?

At the moment I am running about like a demented chicken trying to see people, buy presents, organise events, attend the MANY occasions that are on our family calendar (am so disappointed that I have already missed two!!) as well as doing all the normal, everyday things that constantly need doing.

LIFE IS CRAZY!

Life is crazy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Through those I meet I am constantly reminded life is short and fleeting. Although we all plan, pray and hope for it we are not guaranteed tomorrow so must make the most of today.

My young daughter is one of lives giver’s. Her love language is to give gifts. She enjoys giving people things (which can be quite annoying when they have only just been bought for her with my money!!), she gets great pleasure from making people feel happy, despises any type of injustice and can’t bear for people to be left out. She is incredibly loving.

If you didn’t know this about her, if you looked for the obvious ways of showing love and affection, you could easily believe she’s unloving as she doesn’t give kisses (she is horrified by the number of germs that could be on another’s lips) but if she likes/loves you she gives the best hugs as well as lots of craft! I have a box full of lovingly crafted boxes, pictures and numerous weird and wonderful bits she has made me…she is a giver.

Recently, she wrote several encouraging post it notes and placed them strategically in our house (windows, doors, my desk…) knowing I would find them. She then showed amazing patience, especially for someone who shares my genes, as she sat back and waited for me to organically discover them. Below are two of her notes.

Throughout the day as I moved around the house she followed me enquiring “do you notice anything different?” then was incredibly thrilled when I spotted her handiwork and she witnessed how it impacted and lifted me.

Never at any time did she hint there were more notes to be found although the question “do you notice anything different” gave me a strong indication!

At Christmas most of us will notice a difference. Houses are decorated with lights and ornaments, shops are more exciting and colourful, people appear happier, festive songs are played on the radio and the world has more glitter.

Christmas for some is the best time of the year, for others one of the worst and for those going through a trauma the season becomes insignificant but regardless of how you personally feel, you can’t fail to notice Christmas has arrived.

I read recently that an actress called Dale Evans is quoted as declaring “Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” I love this quote! I love the positivity, generosity and peacefulness it inspires.

Christmas, which came about to celebrate the birth of Jesus who gave His disciples through the ages clear instructions on the importance of love, is love in action.

Even Charles Dickens, a social reformer who wrote some of the best but most disturbing novels (five of which were about Christmas), often majored on the importance of sharing lives and showing love.

Love can take many forms dependant on personality, preference and situation but it is always an action…even if that action is as submissive as graciously accepting the particular gift someone wants to give.

So as this will (probably) be my last blog of 2017 I would like to wish you an active, merry, glitter filled Christmas!

Meaning of Life

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Recently I came across this story and it made me stop and think about my life. I tend to be someone who likes to have several projects on the go at once, can easily manage to be active in more than one conversation and whose mind and life seems to run at 100 miles per hour…and I like being like that.

Whilst this means that I manage to achieve a significant amount (if I set my mind to it and don’t get sidetracked by friends, family, TV or food!), it also means that I don’t always have time to sit back and reflect, to delve deeper than surface emotions.

This story prompted me to do just that.

At the last session on the last morning of a two week seminar on Greek culture the professor turned and made the ritual gesture: “Are there any questions?”

He was greeted with silence. These two weeks had generated enough questions for a lifetime, but for now, there was only silence.

“No questions?” The professor swept the room with his eyes. Alas from the back row, “Professor, what is the meaning of life?”

The usual laughter followed, and people stirred to go.

The professor held up his hand and stilled the room and looked at the gentleman who asked the question for a long period of time, asking with his eyes if indeed the question was serious or in jest.

“I will answer your question.”

Taking his wallet out of his hip pocket, he fished into the leather billfold and brought out a very small round mirror, about the size of a quarter. And what he said went something like this:

“When I was a small child, during the war, we were very poor and we lived in a remote village.

One day, on the road, I found broken pieces of a mirror.

A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place.

“I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept only the largest piece; This one.

And by scratching it on a stone, I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine in deep holes and crevices and dark closets.

It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places I could find.

“I kept the little mirror, and as I went through life, I would take it out in idle moments and continue the challenge of the game.

As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game but a metaphor for what I might do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of light.

“I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know.

Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of this world into black places in the hearts of men and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise.

This is what I am about. This is the meaning of life.”

And then he took his small mirror and, holding it carefully, caught the bright rays of daylight streaming through the window and slowly reflected them onto all that were in the room.

If you were to objectively ask yourself what is the meaning of your life how would you answer? Would you even know where to begin?

For many years I felt like I was emotionally wandering in a dry, dusty desert. I didn’t seem to ‘fit’ with my immediate peers and I wasn’t too sure what I wanted from life. To fill this void I shopped and shopped and shopped!

My revelation moment came upon accepting Jesus as my Saviour although I’m aware that this may be a thought that repels rather than attracts you! If that’s where you’re at I completely understand as I was once in your shoes! Conversely you may be wearing Jesus sandals, want to give me a big holy high five and a rollicking ‘Amen!’.

Whatever shoes you’re metaphorically wearing over the next few blogs we’ll work through several steps that will help you to discover the meaning of your life.

Get your shoes on and prepare yourself for the journey!!