Thursday, 30 March 2017
Even a small burden can become heavy if you carry it for too long. You only have to stand with a small weight in your hand with your arm extended to find that out. Which is why 'confession is good for the soul' and 'a burden shared is a burden halved.' These may be clichés, but that is because they carry some truth.
When we share with each other, being vulnerable, truthful, authentic, we don't have to carry our burdens alone. We can confess our failings, receive forgiveness and support, and put down the heavy load. We find that we are not the only one carrying difficult things, struggling with stuff, or feeling dogged by our past. And when you know that you are not alone, the darkness lifts. When you know that you are understood, forgiven, and freed, you can put the burden down and move on.
Don't carry a burden alone, even if it feels like something small right now.
Joining in the fun at Paint Party Friday.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
The rain and the clouds pass. The sun is always there.
It's just that we can't always see it for the clouds and the rain. Sometimes our pain and troubles block the view. They lie to us, telling us that the light has gone and life is now just wet and miserable... and that it will never change.
But, whatever the weather, the sun is still there. Don't listen to the lies. Hold on to the hope that you will see the sun again.
Sunday, 26 March 2017
Friday, 24 March 2017
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
It's arrived! Here is a tote bag with my own art on it from my Redbubble shop (see link in the sidebar). Below is the original journal page that it is based on.
Here are some of the details from the bag - I'm impressed with the detail and how the brush-strokes and the under layers of collage still show through. Maybe I should order a phone cover next...
Sunday, 19 March 2017
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.
Friday, 17 March 2017
What's been planted in your heart?
Do you believe all sorts of criticism, letting it take root, and nourishing it until it grows and produces fruit that belittles you?
Or do you let people plant seeds of love, encouragement, and trust in your heart until it overflows with a riot of colourful flowers?
Are you letting bitterness put down its insidious roots, or do you pull it up as soon as you realise it is growing like a weed in you?
Do you have a dream that is starting to grow and produce a spreading tree?
Which seeds do you let grow up in your heart, and which are you pulling up? Which are you nurturing, and which are you making conditions unsuitable for?
Your heart is fertile soil. Be careful what you allow to grow there.
Joining with the fun at Paint Party Friday.
Sunday, 12 March 2017
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.
Thursday, 9 March 2017
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.
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Sunday, 5 March 2017
"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.
Thursday, 2 March 2017
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.