Sunday 25 April 2010

Good Shepherd Sunday

I know it looks like this is swiftly turning into a 'religious' blog....but it's not really. It's just been another one of those weeks which has run away with me. You know the sort.

Anyway, as it is Good Shepherd Sunday, I wanted to share my absolute favourite devotional from my 'downstairs Bible'. (Don't ask).

Some years ago I spent several weeks in England. One afternoon we took a drive in the country. A sudden storm came up, so we pulled off the road to wait it out.

In the distance I saw a man standing by a huge rock. He had a large cloak on and a shepherd's crook in his hand.. He was calling his sheep. They came, bells tinkling, from different parts of the field. The shepherd never moved in all that rain and lightning, but stood steady for his flock to gather round him.

That scene has been forever engraved on my memory. The shepherd didn't leave his sheep. He didn't abandon them. He didn't let them find refuge of their own. But neither did he take them out of the storm. Instead, he bore the storm with them. He provided them with safety and security by his presence.

So God, our shepherd desires to do for us. In times of crisis, in the midst of a storm, let us not try to save ourselves. Let us run quickly to the shelter of His arms, where we will find refuge, and let us stay there until the storm passes by.

Ann Spangler

Sunday 18 April 2010

Cracked Pots

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old woman smiled: “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my cracked pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Monday 12 April 2010

That Was The Week (and a half) That Was....

3.45am, Wednesday 31st March

FF: Mum, I'm in a taxi on the way home. I think I've broke my arm

She has come out with numerous similar comments over the years.....
.....MUM!! I'M BLIND!!!....(shampoo in eyes)

....MUM!!! I'VE BROKE MY METATARSAL!!!.....(stubbed toe)

.....MUM!! I'VE GOT CRUCIATE LIGAMENT DAMAGE!!! (twisted knee)

.......and so on..... I wasn't unduly worried......

.....until I saw it.

It swiftly became clear that, since her wrist was in one place and the rest of her arm was in another, my usual diagnosis/treatment of 'Run it under the cold tap and have two Panadols' was not going to be much help.

So, off to Casualty we went. Again. For the second time in two weeks.

It needed an operation to re-set it.

The Football Fanatic was not amused. There is only one thing on earth which strikes fear into her heart. General anesthetic.

So she did what any normal, sane person with a deformed arm would do in the circumstances.

She discharged herself.

Many, many hours of persuasion, a different hospital and a surgeon who had re-set Ryan Giggs' wrist later and she signed the consent form.

If only that were the end of the story.

The surgery was then cancelled FOUR TIMES during last week, which meant four days of starvation, four days of assuring her that yes, she really would wake up and four times of having to tell her that it wouldn't be tomorrow after all.

It was finally done on Sunday morning, by which time I felt like a bit of chewed string.

Anyway, it is done. Over. She woke up. Her arm is back in the right place, albeit held together with two wires and she is back home.

I plan to have an extremely boring week.

I deserve it.

And I have seen enough of these..........


.....and these....... last me a lifetime.

Thank you to everybody who was praying for her.

I have had a Mass said for your intentions.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Easter Sunday

We've got a lot going on here (for which your prayers would be gratefully received) so I've got no time to stop and chat.
Just wanted to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Easter..........

..........and of course to show you my new Easter bonnet!

Friday 2 April 2010

Good Friday

The other gods were strong, but Thou wast weak,
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne.
But to our wounds, only God's wounds can speak,
And not a God has wounds, but Thou alone.

From 'Jesus of The Scars' by Edward Shillito

Sunday 28 March 2010

It's Been a Trying Week....

....what with trying to stop The Noise from causing any more damage to her already broken wrist.....

......inordinate amounts of cleaning for the way, has anyone else had to carve dried- on ice cream out of the bathroom bin?.......

.......scouring brochures in an attempt to actually find a holiday which costs less than the National Debt.......

(As usual, this picture is wildly inaccurate. Real life has found the Father of This Lot spending every spare moment in the Mare and Foal, coming home and asking 'Have you STILL not sorted it out....?)

.......praying through most of Thursday, that the Football Fanatic, who had gone to Alton Towers, would not be tempted to go on the new ride, in case she died of heart failure..........

(It didn't work - she did go on it and pronounced it 'rubbish - not even scary')

Today is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, which means that I may as well move my bed into church due to the amount of time I will be spending there.......

......and to top it all, the Father of This Lot has managed to get himself a bout of manflu.....

I hope nobody else wants me for anything, as there is not enough left of me to go round.

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Saturday 20 March 2010

Lovely Bones?

My Spring Cleaning week was hampered slightly by a phone call from The Noise's school to say she had 'had a bad fall and was a bit shaken up' and would I come and collect her please.

A rather suspicious looking lump on her wrist meant that a trip to Casualty ensued, and a mere four and a half hours later she emerged with a wrist brace and an appointment for the Fracture Clinic the following day.

It turned out to be a hairline crack which didn't need a cast - she's just got to keep the brace on for three weeks. And no more football. Told you they should have all been boys.

It hasn't stopped her racing around like something on speed. It is her birthday on Monday, so today I have taken her and four of her friends to see 'Alice in Wonderland'. Just short of fifty pounds to get in, a whopping £25 for drinks and popcorn and another £20 for the minibus home.

And....they are all staying the night, so I have fed, watered and entertained them and they are now playing an extremely noisy game downstairs.

I would probably get a headache....... if I didn't already have one from two hours of wearing 3D glasses.