Monday, 31 December 2018
Are you going to gaze out of the window or walk through the door?
We are on the brink of a new year. Unknown opportunities are out there and heading your way. Will you gaze out of the window and watch them go by, seeing others take hold of their dreams and fly, or will you walk through the door and seize the day?
May 2019 be the year where you step out, take risks, and realise dreams.
Wednesday, 26 December 2018
Coffins are not big enough to contain the ones we love.
If you visit regularly - and thank you, if you do - you may have noticed that posts have been a little less regular in the last couple of weeks. My father-in-law died in mid-December and the funeral was on December 20th. With the travelling and the preparation for Christmas church services, things have been busy for us, to say the least.
It struck me at the funeral, as it has at other funerals, that the coffin never seems large enough to hold the person that we knew. The body, when no longer animated, seems to shrink, sloughed off like a shed snakeskin when the animal needs to grow. The essence and character - the part that gives colour and presence - cannot be contained in a coffin, but is retained in our hearts.
Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Advent is the season of waiting. We can wait in many ways, but some of them are more productive than others.
We were watching The Hobbit part two recently and it struck me how the dwarves gave in too soon waiting for the keyhole to be revealed. They misinterpreted the prophecy, thought they knew what it meant, and when it didn't work out the way they thought, they gave up. But not Bilbo. Bilbo waited it out, trying to figure out if there was another way to understand. He waited expectantly.
When you have to wait, how do you do it? With patience, joy, peace, and expectation? Or do you get impatient and try to fill in the time with busywork because you feel that waiting is a waste of time?
Monday, 17 December 2018
Friday, 14 December 2018
Are you adding water or poison?
Some poisons are slow-acting. You could use them on a plant for a while before any ill effects could be observed, but that doesn't mean that damage isn't being done.
The words we speak into a person's life can act as water or poison. Any damage may not be immediately obvious - we are good at putting on masks - but continuing to pour poison into someone's heart will have its effect. It will show sooner or later.
Before you open your mouth, ask yourself whether your words will water the person you're speaking to or poison them.
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Plant the seed, trust for the growth. I've done an art journal page on this theme before, but as art journallers will recognise, you come back round to the same themes again and again, whether you plan to or not. I guess this theme is about doing your bit and then letting go and allowing things to develop as they will. You can't force growth, you can only plant the seed and treat it well.
This is the latest in my series of small canvases - I'm working my way towards doing 20 of them. The leaves were stamped on to gelli-printed greaseproof paper, cut out, and applied with gel medium. I've done it this way because stamping on to canvas directly can be difficult.
Monday, 10 December 2018
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness, oh Lord.
Taking each day as it comes, not letting worries consume us, can be difficult. Things go round and round in our minds, keeping us awake. When the light dawns again, those worries can seem a little less pressing. We breathe in and start a new day with new patience, new mercies.
Wednesday, 5 December 2018
When you're in the fog, listen carefully.
There are times where I'm not sure of the way forward, when I'm in the midst of a thick fog. Those are the times when I have to listen more carefully for those prompts that will lead me along the right path. Just because it's foggy doesn't mean that I have to stop moving forward. Those are the times when I listen carefully and trust that the fog will lift eventually.
Monday, 3 December 2018
We all come to the end of the road eventually. Sometimes it's a sudden stop and sometimes it's a fade away, but it comes to us all. When the end is prolonged, it can be just as hard - if not harder - on those watching their loved one. The loss of energy and interest, the lack of sparkle in their eyes, the withdrawing and confusion, all these things pain those who have to stand by, helpless.
But those feelings of pain wouldn't exist if there wasn't love involved.
Friday, 30 November 2018
Watch your focus!
When I stood back to look at this page, my eye was drawn to the black lines behind the leaves. Now, you might not have noticed them until I pointed them out, but for me they shouted. I really wish I hadn't put them on there. They are in the layer behind the leaves, but the placing means they show through in a way that makes them stand out.
The rest of the page I love.
So should I dismiss this whole page because of one element that rankles?
No. I need to change my focus. I refuse to allow a couple of lines to take away enjoyment from an entire page. I choose to focus on the bits that I'm happy with - the wavy lines, the scale pattern, the leaves. Taken together, they are most of the page, so why let a small element spoil it?
And such is life. How often do we focus on one small aspect that is annoying us? Why give it your focus and your energy? Look at the big picture instead.
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
When I stood back from this page all I could see was a storm, a tornado, a maelstrom. No need to ask what that was about - this is how I feel inside at the moment. Everything is whirling and feels out of control. It's my age. I'm approaching the dreaded M word - menopause. A time when your body feels like it's not your own and moods swing wildly.
But I'm hanging on in there and journalling it out.