It’s a wonderful world!

Imagine my delight to see a delivery of manure on the allotment . Yes I’m blogging very excitedly about a large pile of crumbly well rotted horse poo.
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Theirs a Richness to this manure. It’s full of potential, nutrition and fertility.
Beneficial bacteria, fungi and other organisms have the job of breaking down this organic matter.
It’s hard for some to imagine this transformation as beautiful. But it truly is!!
Fungi Mushrooms represent rebirth, rejuvenation. Fungi transforms and generates soil that gives life.
It’s a hidden microscopic miracle that is constantly happening, causing our world to change around us.
Curiosity takes us on journeys of discovery, awakening us to the world we cannot see.
Viewing this beautiful transforming changing world can only happen when we stop to learn its language. When we make ourselves available to enter the world in which the invisible inhabits.
Opening our minds takes us on a journey through the diversity of creation, that in turn opens our hearts to God.

Genesis 1:31 The Message (MSG)
31
God looked over everything he had made;
it was so good, so very good!

Hope.

Love : I know love heals, I know love hurts. I did not really understand just how much love gives hope.
Friday I attended a service of remembrance. There I felt and saw the love that gives hope.
Gods unquenchable, unstoppable love freed my heart opening my eyes to the abundance of love that filled the church with hope.
Hope allowed me to smile when I wanted to cry. To feel the wind of Love that comes from knowing God.
The words in the service echoed the words in my heart and mind. Weaving prayers, poems and memories with love so powerful it become visible.
Visible love traveled in conversations, It filled a church, It provided sandwiches, cakes and tea and coffee.
It’s no surprise the wonderful lady we came to remember was very gifted in making God visible. She really knew and understood what it took to love. She never stopped, even when she hurt and was in so much pain herself she still loved. She still smiled, still found time to make fairy cakes with chocolate buttons on the top.
Her love will never go away, she has touched so many lives that her love will last forever. The work she has done in our community’s will continue, taking on a life of its own.
She never changed the world, she helped change the worlds of the people she meet.
It was a privilege to have known this beautiful lady, that her world touched mine.

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Doing things different.

This picture was taken in 1976, a 5 year old little girl presenting the lord mayor with a flower button hole. The occasion was the grand opening of the church’s Christmas sale .
The picture is staged for the local press. Everyone smiling and the little girl is doing just what is expected of her. The newspaper cutting shows us how life has changed. Lord mayors opening the Christmas fete is surely something only happen in years gone by.
The little girl at the front is me .

I had forgotten until recently about this photo. I can’t remember the day of the church sale. I can’t even remember the photo being taken. But I do know I was a member of a church community that loved me.
The photo shows me before I started school, before the education system started to erode the person that I longed to be. I was painfully shy and that made me different. Struggling with school work, daydreaming, instead of engaging with the written word.
I was told I was not good enough, told I did try.
These comments shaped me, shyness slowly developed into fear, and lack of confidence .The fear of words and shyness would start to rule over me.

I have been reconnecting with my childhood journey of faith. The child that still lives strongly within me is taking me back. Showing me that God has always been with me .
We are each called for a particular purpose, we’re supposed to be wildly different. We are called to show God’s love for us. Show this love in our actions / doing things different, the way we spend our money, the TV we choose to watch, the conversations we have.
The coolest thing is when the Holy Spirit lives within us we connect to our creative child within ourselves. We never lose our sense of wonder our world just gets bigger and more full of love.

Valued and Loved.

Day 33- Lent challenge – Give

We need four hugs a day for survival, Eight hugs a day for maintenance 12 hugs a day for growth.
We really don’t hug enough. Twelve hugs a day for growth that’s almost one hug for every waking hour.
There’s something about the raw simplicity of a genuine hug. There’s beauty in that simplicity. It’s love compassion and peace. A gift that holds you in the moment. A hug is love in action, love without language. It’s love from within spilling out from our hearts into our arms.
Theirs a human connection in a hug. Jesus touched the untouchable, embraced the children. Jesus did not wave from a distance, acknowledge our pain with a dutiful smile. He did not love and heal with an a understanding nod of his head. He embraced.In that embracing opening a way to God, forming human connections and expressions of love. To hug and love each other is profound and real. A living connection to God. A loving connection that children by their very nature understand. A connection as adults we forget.
I defiantly think we should hug more.
I read the other day that a hug is an outward sign of an inward grace. It expresses our spiritual oneness with God and each other.
What could be more beautiful?

Todays blog is a thank you to a very special person. A humble friend with a big heart. They give the warmest most sincere hugs. It’s a gift to be able to hug as they do. Being loved by God while being held in their loving arms. Held in the moment, valued and loved, it’s a transfer of emotions.
I need to challenge myself to hug more. Reaching out to those I love and those who need to feel love and compassion .
Remember we need four hugs a day for survival, Eight hugs a day for maintenance 12 hugs a day for growth.
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Matthew 11:28-30 Good News Translation (GNT)
28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. 30 For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”

Growing From World To Word.

Writing this blog has been for my benefit. The writing started when I went through a life-changing event. It’s helping me try and process my thoughts and feelings. When the pain was at its strongest pressing the publish button was a short-term release.
Sending my pain into the ether dumping it on the world helped my grief, gave me focus and purpose.
When I first put pen to paper I was scared.
Fearful that: I would no longer see the beauty that surrounds us, forget how to smile, scared I would not see beauty in creation, frightened that my grief would totally consume me.
That’s why the title of my blog is “ It’s a beautiful world “ ( read more and all will be explained )
It helped me, amazingly people read my blog! not only that they took the time to like my blogs even leaving thoughtful comments.
Every blog takes a lot of time and effort. Spelling and grammar is a constant battle, I am so determined it will not stop me writing.
I have had to learn about sentence structures, going back to the basics learning what I missed out on at primary school.
Learning to find ways around my dyslexia has improved my writing. Conquering my fears has seen my confidence grow.
I have also learnt that when the blog was created I misspelt world and that my blog is called it’s a beautiful word ( not world ).
When this was pointed out to me I saw the humour in this. The humour was short lived when it seemed more purposeful, growing from world to word started to take on its own meaning.
When I started my blog it was all about seeing everyday beauty in the world. Writing and journeying with my blog I have discovered that words are beautiful too, not something to avoid or be afraid of.
My blog is my journey from the visual world to the deeper inside world of me, my spiritual journey, the word of God guiding, inspiring, pushing, almost shouting me along.

When big things happen it’s writing that gives it some certainty conforming my thoughts and feelings.
One big thought has been on continuous repeat in my head for many months “ is God opening new doors to me in a way that seem impossible.”
The person ( me) that started this journey was petrified of words. I left the library book club due to my fear of being asked to read aloud. Avoided writing whenever possible, if their was a card to sign I would never sign it ashamed of my handwriting /spelling, this is all slowly changing.
It’s God that’s pushing me forward changing my beautiful world and allowing me to see beautiful words.
As the fear very slowly eases so the direction all this is going is starting to unfold.
The calling I have to be alongside people in our communities is overpowering. Exploring the possibilities of being called to ordination is the path that I am walking.
It seems totally bonkers, repeatedly asking myself can this be real. Can I, Could I be called to be a Deacon? Is this even possible?
This is not my plan; it’s coming from God. I am going to have to push myself every step of the way acting out of my comfort zone beyond what I ever imagined and believed I am capable of.
Last night I sat with lots of people that have a calling and was not afraid to be their ( Three years ago I would never have gone ).
I was not afraid of who I am and what I believe.
The best thing about last night I felt comfortable with the conversations. I was quiet but learnt so much listening. Just like the written word the spoken word will take me time for me to practice it before I see and feel its beauty too. But the best bit was I felt like it was the place God wanted me to be.

1 Samuel 16:7The Message (MSG)

But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”

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I will Never.

Day Thirty Five – Imagine  – lent Challenge

I never imagined I would be able to say goodbye to my babies that died, I never imagined there would be the right place, or the right time.
I never imagined I would have the strength to let them go, the courage to face the realisation that I can’t hold on to them for ever. This was all made possible by the faith I never imagined I would have .
The right place was the Lady’s Chapel in Exeter cathedral, the right time was 8th of April 2017.
The strength and courage came from God and prayers.

The service was beautiful and very moving acknowledging baby loss as something you never get over but something you need to learn to live with.
The poem ” I will Never ” by Clark- Coates / Fossberry was read out and afterwards a hand bell was passed around during the playing of Pie Jesu recorded by Katherine Jenkins .

I held the bell knowing I would chime it 5 times, a chime for each precious life, it felt for the first time that they were babies .
I prayed for God to care for them until I can be with them again, I looked at the candles burning in the chapel, as the flame flickered it reminded me that although they are gone the flame in my heart will never go out but remain lit and burn brightly.
The chimes allowed me to let go and pass my pain to God, I have carried this pain for a very long time and the time has come to allow God to carry the pain and leave me with warmth and love .
The beautiful stained glass window In the chapel showed Mary holding Jesus as a baby cradled lovingly in her arms. The little baby that she had once held in her arms died crucified on a wooden cross, and pierced her heart. Jesus was her son and she was his mother .

In the presence of God I said my goodbyes, God who knows my needs, hears my cries and heals my wounds .
The hymn Amazing Grace was sung and radiated around the little chapel, the light of the spring day cast colourful shadows of light over us as we sang. The warmth of this sun gently soothing my pain and drying my tears .

I Will Never

I will never get to hold your hand through a storm.
I will never get to wipe your sticky fingers.
I will never get to teach you to tie your shoelaces.

I will never get to watch you catch your first snowflake.
I will never get to know who your best friend would have been.
I will never get to see you fall in love.
I will never get to hear you tell me about your first day at work.
I will never get to hear you tell me ” l’m going to be a grandparent.
But always know ……..
I will never be too proud to ask for help.
I will never be too scared to say this hurts.
I will never be too frightened to declare you matter.
I will never be too afraid to carry on living .
And
I will never forget you
I will never stop saying your name.
I will never stop wondering who you would have been.
I will never stop loving you.
I will never stop remembering the sound of this bell, rung in memory of you.
By Clark – Coates / Fosberry.

1 Peter 5:7Good News Translation
Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.

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All things bright and beautiful

Day Thirty Two  – Friendship  – Lent challenge

Walked to work with lots to think about and pray about, I started in tears and ended in smiles and tears.
As I  walked  the hymn  All things bright and beautiful came into my head and I used it as my prayer .
I just said it out loud slowly as I walked , each word  reflecting on Gods  amazing creation all around me. Newly  formed leaves uncurling, the darkness  of winter was being pushed out with the new life, new beginnings, the blossom the bird song everything was sort of saying, how can you possibly be so  sad  and full of tears this morning when surrounded by God  and all his  beauty?
I  remembered we sang All things bright and beautiful at the funeral of a very special  friend , a true friend and a beautiful lady that had a wonderful and a natural earthy connection to our world.
Her green fingers and warm heart left a huge hole in my life when she died.
It was a friendship of over 30 years  she never talked about her faith to me, until I found mine ( I never told her ) , it was like she knew when I found God . She could see the little change in me that others could not .
I visited her regularly, dropping in shopping and just doing little things , we would sit together and just hold hands , it was being together and time together that counted .
She was brave and strong and had been a nurse all her life, she was no stranger to death and  had nursed her husband and sister though cancer.
When  she discovered she had massive lump under her arm , she knew it was cancer, she did not go straight to the doctors, she did not want to  fight a fight she could not win, she excepted her time was up and she had a wonderful life and it was time to go .
When it was obvious that medical help was needed  she went to her GP and requested no treatment only palliative care and that’s what she got .
As the end grew nearer her faith and her love for God was something I had never seen in her before , death seemed to make it more reachable for her, together we  could share a prayer or just pray silently together my faith was still so new to me but offered me great comfort knowing we both felt the love of God.
My friend was many things to me , she was bright and beautiful , definitely wise and wonderful , she always brighten up my sky’s , she was never afraid to use her lips to tell.
We both wore the same glowing colours and the Lord God  made us .

Psalm 118:24 – The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

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Our Little Boy Is Different.

Our little boy is made in Gods image. Just like you; our little boy is loved and beautifully made just like you.
Our little boy is different just like you.
So please don’t judge him; he is wonderfully beautifully made, loved by God just like you.
He might not conform or behave in a way that is expectable to you. He does bite , kick and spit, and yes the marks on my arms and face are made by him when he lashes out at the world ( not me).
And yes I do love him with all my heart; Just as God loves him .
I am not a bad parent with a out of control child. I am a foster carer that loves and cares for this little boy as if he were my own son,
I know my parenting style might seem a little strange to you, I am reparenting trying put right a wrong .
Please do not label him. He is not autistic, he does not have ADHD, he’s not even naughty he just had a bad start in life.
At 2 years old he already knows what it feels like to be abandoned by his Mummy and Daddy. At 2 years old he has slept rough and been homeless.
One of his first words spoken to us “Mummy police car” he suffers the most terrifying nightmares, he knows what it is to be hungry.
He does not cry when he falls as he has learnt no one comes when he cries. At two years old he is frustrated angry and unloved, that’s why he kicks out as he has no other way.
He never had his mothers love; a mother to warp in a warm soft blanket, a mother to protect him, a father to wipe away his tears, to feed him when he was hungry , keep him clean and change his nappy.
His parents loved alcohol and drugs more than they loved their beautiful little boy.
This little boys brain is wired for survival. He has delayed speech, language and social skills. He developed survival skills instead of learning to talk .
God knew that our little boy would live a different life. He still made him and loves him. He has some pretty amazing plans for our special little boy. God knew that this child would come into our care and turn our lives upside down. God knew that we would love this little boy as our own. We do judge or label him, we just love him.

Psalm 139:14-16The Message (MSG)

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvellously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.

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I Trust Love And Believe .

God is with me I feel it: I am loved, a deep unconditional love that’s so strong it’s hard to describe.
I feel so sad and so broken-hearted I can’t see a way up .
I pray and trust God to watch over me. I understand this process of pain has a purpose and only by trusting God will I come out the other end a stronger better person .
My prayers offer me comfort and security, I am a child of God and trust my loving father .
How do I allow what I truly feel to come out. I want to scream cry and fall into gods arms and be held tight until I am strong enough to get back up.
I want a safe place to allow myself to just let go to cry out the pain to allow God into my broken heart to start the process of healing.
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