Emotional Nesting.

My life has become filled with Nine different journals, coloured pens, books, leaves twigs and wool. Journaling, painting leaves, cutting and sticking are all outlets for an emotional creative energy. An energy that’s remarkably intertwined with cleaning!
I’m preparing and waiting for something new.

I’m behaving totally out of character. One strange behaviour this week is ironing. I’ve surprised myself at how much time, care and love I can put into ironing .
My clothes remain creased, possibly more creased than before they where ironed. BUT I have ironed my clothes, Un-neatly folded them and placed them carefully away.

It’s not just the iron that has been subjected to this emotional energy. I’ve cleaned parts of the cooker my cleaning cloth has never reached before. Extreme vacuuming has become the norm .

The Emotions flying I around my body are so overwhelming I clean, cook, write, create and crochet. In preparation for something new: ‘ I’m nesting ‘.

This nesting instinct is preparing a nest for what every God has planned for me.

Nesting is also for learning to embrace the gifts God has given me today and learning to understand the decisions that have and will been made.

Nesting is learning to trust that God is at work behind the scenes birthing and creating something new in my heart even when I don’t yet see it.

Nesting is calming.. as a draw crochet and create my mind wonders to prayer.

Fear can drive me to some very unhelpful places, but faith waits and this journey takes time.
It takes time to build an emotional nest.

Learning it’s limitations, finding a space to creatively ponder with the new before it even arrives .
I am rooted and grounded in Gods love and I know that what ever decisions are made this month ‘ I am loved’.
I am turning the page to a new chapter and finding the space to nest and rest… I need this time!

Paul says, “Consider your own call”.
1 Corinthians 1:26
“Brothers and sisters, God chose you to be his. Think about that! Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence, and not many of you came from important families”.

Reminding me that my calling is unique, my gifts are unique. My calling is uniquely me.
I’m building my own colourful emotional nest. Constructed of pens. paper, words and wool.
I’m going to stay here a while taking the time to rest and create something uniquely beautiful while preparing for others to consider my calling…..

My nest is seasonal
When it’s time to fly…. I will leave my nest behind.
I might fly in the wrong direction.
I might even fall.
But..
God is faithful and will guide me.

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Germinating an Adventure of the Imagination.

We believe in an obedient, realistic and informed orchard.
A fruitful place where the word of God is alive and active.
Strong roots silencing the whisperers of self doubt.
Obeying the formational changes etched in our bark .
We lay our hearts open to love.
No matter what.

Grown on the rootstock of my forefathers.
I am seen and cultivated world wide.
Purposefully cross pollinated.
Persistent and Versatile.
We are the diverse family of Malus.

Before you could articulate my name .
My seeds where firmly placed in your hand.
Germinating an adventure of the imagination.
Growing without end.

Under our knotted wooden frame,Merlin received the gift of prophecy.
I am a symbol of poetic immortality.
A ping of peace.
On the twelfth night it is customary to wassail our elder .
Blessing the fruit, that’s yet to come.
Yet I know that God works in me.
He has called me according to his purpose.

Blown by the Holy spirit to the marginalised forgotten orchards.
I am called to sow seeds that will bloom and blossom.
To dance quietly in the deep pink scented snow.
I cherish and work within nature’s limitations.
Creatively discovering spaces to share the story of Jesus.

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Wisdom of the Silver Apricot.

We believe in one family.
The ancient family of Ginko.
Rooted in a earthly wisdom.
Of all that is fossilised and unseen.

We believe in a unique spirited planted growth.
Flowing from the streams of Eden.
A collaboration of perceived colouration.
Two lobed, never Green.

We are deciduous.
Our nakedness seasonal .
We stand without shame in the presence of God.
We are born out of nature herself.
Out of the changing seasons.
Our love of the sun, and fresh air are reflected in the silver apricot .
Evoking a powerful sense of liberation, joy and freedom.
An innocence of openness to the world.

Eve reached high into our canopy.
Arms stretched, she took a sliver apricot.
She tasted the wisdom.
We too taste the wisdom of Eves first bite.
Lived through the seed of freedom.
Flowering a hope of choices yet to be made.

We are a robust memory keeper.
Rooted in scripture and prayer.
Retelling the stories held within our family.
We have survived some of the darkest moments made by man.
Those that have tried to pollute us, have failed.
We will regrow.

For us to freely grow.
He came down from heaven
By the power and love of the Holy Spirit .
We see and believe in Jesus .
Setting our minds free to think truthfully.
So we can live a life of a true graceful peace.

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Ackiba’s creed.

WE BELIEVE in one master weaver.
Who shapes and intertwines
The stories of the Gospels held
Within our chocolate vine.

We are woven into creation.
Rooted in the ground .
We are the princess of the mountains .
Walking towards the promised land.

We have held Moses in his basket.
Journeyed down the Nile.
Long tendrils lead us to your vision.
Signposting us the way.
Reaching for the light.
Through him all things were made.
We have held bread and fishes.
Shared the jug of Red wine.
Please listen to our story.
As we weave through your time.

These are stories of salvation.
Of prophets, people and kings.
And all of the one God that knows everything.

Dancing through the seasons.
Weaving flowers, leaves and vines.
We might not always see .
Just how these weavings intertwine.

Supported by the Trellis of Pentateuch.
Hang Chocolate leaves of Grace and Goodness.
We believe as we climb through the Gospels.
Are woven into the psalms.
You weave us to your completion.
It’s your shape, your stories .
That we intertwine.

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Princess and the Phoenix

We believe that love is a action that comes from God.
Radiant love informed by our past.
A relational love of creativity.
Simultaneously connecting tears, laughter and deep joy.
A love that is seen when we hold what we feel in our hearts.

We believe that growth comes from a spirited change.
A rooted way of doing. A creative way of being .
We believe as our seeds are carried by the strongest winds.
Passed though the deepest waters. We will not be overwhelmed.
When our homeland is destroyed by fire.
The flame will not consume us.
Through God the father we can regrow .

Rapidly growing, seed dispersing, story telling.
Soil enhancing , shade giver, disciple facilitator.
We are the paulownia family.
Pioneer Princess trees.

Under our wings of dark green leaves .
Woven into our being sits KHOL the Phoenix bird.
A renewed life, symbol of the resurrection and the redemptive power of Christ and eternal life in heaven.
When her time is fulfilled KHOL builds a spiced nest of frankincense and, myrrh.
She enters the fires dies and rises again .

We believe Gods love is sending us to the most unexpected of places.
We call this place home.
A place discovered in shared memories. A shared hope for the future.
Our dispersed seeds will carry the stories of land in which we live and love.
Nibbled leaves, snapped branches, exposed roots, an outward sign of our inward brokenness.
We have the courage to make home in these unexpected places.
Be the first to grow something new.
We are upward growing, challenging, risk takers.
Seekers with Questions.
We look for and find God at work in the most strangest of places.
Jesus offers us an upside down inside out back to front world of love and grace.
We dwell and grow together in this alternative beautiful reality.

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Unknown ornamental.

We believe that our branches will have enough strength to support
our flowers as they blossom and fade.
We believe our flowers and fruit show only of what is seen.
Our creed is rooted in all that is unseen.

We are nourished from the deep scented springs of Israel.
Sheltered beneath her canopy of love.
We are as fruitful as an olive tree grown in the shade.
We are a unknown ornamental.
Named but misunderstood.
But through God our father we are made.

We thank God for the droplets of sparkling dew that rest on our Golden leaves.
Hope giving, thirst quenching, spirit filled water. Falls slowly into a hungry and thirsty fertile earth.
We grow to give hope, shelter, love and peace to our creators biodiverse creation.

Gods golden molten love is poured into our wooden hearts. Softening us, transforming us.
Blessing us with a sustaining rooted love of hope .
A steadfast love that produces an enduring determination.
If cut down we will regrow.
Through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
“ We will grow in love “
A spirit filled growth that grows within our limitations, shoots that accept our vulnerabilities. Shoots that will not cease.
Growing for the glory of God. Growing towards the kingdom that has no end.

We believe our roots will sustain us as we grow on the margins.
Our daydreams will be firmly established in love.
We pray for self confidence.
For a voice that can be heard.
As the wind dances over our golden Green leaves we look to God for the strength to stand up to what we perceive to be right.
We acknowledge that we are not ornamental. We Silence the voices that say we are not good enough.
We believe all creation is a treasure to be cherished.
We are rooted and grounded in love.
loved infinitely.

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Muddy footprints saturated in love

Marginal plants are those which grow around the margins of a pond where the water is shallow. They usually have their roots and crown underwater, and sometimes their lower foliage as well.

This is especially true of the skunk cabbage ( Lysichiton americanus ) . You very quickly learn to see past it’s unpleasant smelly yellow flowers, and it’s unflattering name. It really is a magnificent wonder of a plant .

Many years ago I purchased two small skunk cabbage plants . Planted with love and care in the best environment I could create within my garden. They survived have produced some insignificant flowers and have no significant growth. I ignored my horticultural inner voice of reason. Followed my eyes to desire a plant that would never grow well in my garden.

The reflective pools and springs in the Bishops palace gardens, provide the perfect conditions to grow marginal plants. Architectural leaves of the Gunnera , bright yellow flowers of the Skunk Cabbage, Ferns, Hosta’s, Primula all carpeting the edges of the reflective pools / wells.
The still waters bouncing back the images cast by these beautiful plants perched on the waters edge devoured my thoughts and held my emotions.

The deafening silence that surrounded the waters edge was profoundly comforting. My heart was plunged deep into the soil inviting me listen and follow.
Freedom to travel within myself to the edges of the well, to those that lived on the margins.
Wondering with Jesus into a fresh beautiful individual way of learning. journeying with the one who knows and loves me, looking no further than my heart.
Listening to the familiar voice of the head Gardner. The voice of love calling and challenging me to go to the margins to those living on the edges of our society .

This unique environment is not self sustaining, it’s unpredictable fragile and vulnerable .
God already loves those on the edge, on the margins. When Jesus walks with us to the edge we reflect Gods love .
God’s love is sustaining and supporting everything that exists in the universe – every person, every plant or creature, every mountain or river or sea, every planet, star or sun, every moment of every day. All of it is held together, sustained and supported by God’s love.

Love

God’s love lifts the blinders from my eyes and shows me his presence and activity in the world. LOVE that holds everything together.
It’s slippery muddy and dangerous on the edge. I need to learn to tread carefully and thoughtfully as I walk with love. Balancing on the edge is dangerous and often ugly. This is never going to be an easy walk.
When I look beyond the danger I see the God’s LOVE who has brought all this into being and who is now holding it and caring for it. LOVE that never changes. LOVE that never fails us, forsake us, or forget us.
It’s Gods remarkable love that transforms and changes lives. It’s the voice of reason that outlines my shadow . Listening and walking in Gods love will sustain me as I tread gently in the boggy ground.
As I learn to plant seeds of full of endless possibilities . Leaving muddy footprints saturated in love.

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John 4-14
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”

I’m tired.

I’m tired of holding it together.
Being the one that has to be strong.
Fighting for the simple things and feeling I don’t belong.

I’m tired that I am trying
To be the best person I can be.
I’m worn out by my limitations.
That keep on holding me.

I was tired when she prayed for me.
Cried when she held my hand.
She whispered I was good enough
To step into this strange land.

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Should we risk Creating?

God birthed creation, birthed breath-taking beauty of earth and sky. Some of this beauty we may never get to see. The fish that swim in our deepest oceans or the flower of Queen of Andes  that blooms every 100 years. Yet we can be blind to the beauty that’s right in front of us.
It takes only a little effort to see Gods creative beauty that surrounds us ; dazzling metallic colours of the dragon fly , ewes nursing their lambs, sticky horse chestnut buds in springtime .
Creativity is the ability to make new things, to reflect God’s love in all we do.
Creativeness takes time; a dragon fly life cycle completes in six short months . The ewe carries her lamb for 145 days . The horse chestnut tree takes 20 years to grow just 8 meters.
We can stop this process of growth, but it’s so obvious that we should never stop this beautiful expression of God’s love for us and creation.
It would be unjust to kill the dragon fly Larva, to stop this insect before it could dazzle us with its beauty.
It would be inhumane to stop a newly born lamb from bonding and suckling from its mother.
It would be nothing short of vandalism to deliberately up root a horse chestnut sapling. We know its wrong.
Equally why would we want to restrict someone from learning? Supporting a loved one through grief and pain. Is it right to find ways to restrict their creativity ?
When I share and cook a meal, pray, dance or write poetry. When I paddle in the sea or plant a seed: I create.
All of us create or think new things.
Creativity is risky, uncertain, open-ended, painful and extremely uncomfortable, possibly hurting or costing more than we could imagine.
Yet I don’t stop.
I trust in God; listen and discover the journey with all the twists turns and dead ends that happen to all of us.
Gods Creativity reveals more than I will ever know or imagine about the world and myself. New concepts, perceptions, and knowledge, giving love, life, hope and meaning.
I need time to create and to be creative. To pay attention to my passions, to grow my relationship with Jesus. To connect with creation, to connect  with the mud ( earth ) it stirs and awakens me. It sparks my imagination.
I am always improvising making this connection possible where ever God sends me. Touching the leaves of a growing sapling on a busy road. Wrapping my arms around a large mature tree in a national trust park. I use what’s available . Constantly changing my direction, morphing new ideas, each encounter is unique . It’s my prayer time.
Connecting God through my passions creates and awakens me to a world of hope and unlimited possibilities .
Protecting this creative space is costly and risky. It’s this space that reflects God. Helping broaden and expand the world and myself.
We all require a space so we can hear the whispers of our creator. Our personal journey’s and stories are revealed when we risk creating.

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Romans 8:28
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

Cotyledon / first leaf.

In my last blog I wrote about waiting ( I was waiting for the outcome of the Church of England pioneer panel). The wait is finally over and I have been approved as a pioneer within the Church of England.
This amazing news was shared with me by a phone call, followed a few days later by a letter from the Bishop. I was delighted, relieved and excited to have this news confirmed to me.
It’s the word confirmed that has made this news ever so scary. It’s the realisation that others see and maybe even understand how passionate I feel about mission. They not only possibly understand some of my heartfelt ideas, they actually believe in them and in me. Attending the pioneer panel has been such a positive experience in which I have felt understood; my strengths and weaknesses fairly identified.
I feel like a seed that has just grown my first seed leaf (cotyledon).

There’s a recognition of my growth and potential. The classification of my future ministry has been identified but yet the shape is not yet fully obvious.

The presence and type of seed leaf is also important in determining the classification of the plant that will grow. For instance, monocots have only a single seed leaf, which often stays in the ground. Dicots, on the other hand, have a pair of seed leaves that usually appear at the top of the growing stem and are then replaced during growth.

Most seed leaves are almost identical regardless of the type of plant. These narrow leaves are delicate and fragile. Its an embryonic leaf supporting and providing nutrition for the growing plant. Theirs so much strength in the leafs weakness.
These first leaves are supported on a stem so fragile if handled incorrectly the plant may perish. The total utter weakness of any newly germinated plant is its greatest strength.

My weakness has not been a barrier or an obstacle, it’s not blocked out or stopped me following my calling to God; instead, it’s the heart of my calling, the very thing that has allowed God to work most effectively through me.
There are times when I focus on my weaknesses and inadequacies, my failures and sins. They try to overpower my thoughts, taking me to places I’d rather not be.
The beautiful reality is these weaknesses are often my strengths. They are gifts from God, a constant reminder confirming to myself that I need to give myself completely and wholly to God, looking for God’s greater strength to do in me what I cannot do myself.
It’s overcoming my weaknesses and trusting God that has pushed me and drives me. It’s God’s strength and love that has grown me.
Strengthened by his love and power at work within me. Taking each passing moment as an opportunity for surrender to God’s Love. To give thanks for my strengths and weaknesses. To show others the joy I feel spending time with Jesus. The relationship I embrace is not just an emotion I feel; it’s an action, a calling, of who I am meant to be.

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Galatians 2:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.