You are so much more ready to love us than we are to be loved.
I was facilitating a couple of sessions at a quiet day of prayerful contemplation on Saturday. The thing I came away realising/remembering was that God is so much more ready to love us than we are to be loved.
Like the prodigal son, we often approach God with all our issues at the forefront - we carry all the places we have fallen short in front of us like a box because we are keenly aware of them. They get between us and God. We are ready to throw ourselves at His feet and ask forgiveness, when He is standing with His arms open wide to embrace us.
I was reminded that God wants to love us first. The other stuff still needs to be dealt with - and it will be - but He wants to love us first. When we let God love us, we become softer, more tender, and we draw closer. It is when we are closer that the radical spiritual surgery can be done to our hearts.
So let God love you first. Draw close and be loved, Beloved.
Balance is a question of foundation and centre of gravity.
A firm foundation and a strong centre are essential. There may be a little wavering even on a firm foundation, but trying to balance on a layer of sponge is a lot harder.
A strong centre keeps things firm, like a skeleton keeps the soft flesh from being a shapeless puddle.
For me, faith provides the strong and firm foundation I need under my feet and the structure that holds me up and gives my life shape. It brings balance - hopefully making me not always focus on myself but to focus upwards and outwards so that things stay in proportion and the little things don't get overblown.
Each person brings their own unique pattern into your life. If you let them, they can create great beauty where you might expect chaos.
This page is a mish-mash of patterns and colours, but it feels like it comes together as a whole. Where you might expect the patterns to clash, they don't. It can be like that with people in your life. Sometimes we make friends who are the complete opposite of ourselves but it works really well.
There are some people that you only need a little of to make a big impression on you, and others who add a lot of background colour to your life. Each interaction adds a bit of colour, so take a chance and connect with someone new.
"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings." Lao Tzu.
How true! Sometimes, for one thing to begin, another has to end. It's okay to grieve over the thing that is ending, but eventually you have to move on and make room for new beginnings. And sometimes those new things grow to be so much better than you thought when you were consumed with the pain of the ending.
The seed has to break open to become the new plant, otherwise all the potential sits curled inside, slowly drying out and losing its chance to live. And before the seed breaks open, it is buried in the earth, in the dark and damp. At the time when it may feel that everything has ended, that's when it is just beginning.
When I make a new journal I usually go through and stick down some random bits of collage. It's fun to turn the page and find something waiting for you. This page had a couple of pieces of paper that I found uninspiring, so I gessoed over them to push them into the background a bit. However, once I'd stuck down some more stuff and slopped some paint on to the page, I stood back and saw a tunnel, a narrow path edged by those first pieces of collage. And the blue looked like water. I started to see a sort of map, and it was obvious that the narrow way was the only way to go.
The wide highway may be easy travelling, but the narrow way is so much more interesting, so much more rewarding. The narrow way on my page leads to green pastures and blue skies, and it widens out when you get to the other side, which has been my own experience of walking the narrow way.