Well it does seem that spam has its uses! Having been bombarded with spam comments over the last few days it has brought me back to my blog! (I’m not sure for whom this is a good outcome of spam, but that’s another matter!). I was also a child of the 70’s so ‘spam’ also means to me spam fritters on the menu at Primary School, and I loved them! So Spam – not all bad!
Yes, no more of the ‘poetic attempts’ for a while… instead… have you ever seen those T-shirts that say: “Jesus may love you but I think you’re an a*sehole”?! The first time I came across that I did have to smile to myself! I am a Christian, I try and love my neighbour, be nice (not that niceness is necessarily what it’s all about), bless those who curse me and all that. But you know it’s not so much being ‘cursed’ that provides the challenge – I don’t think that happens too much – it’s more “bless those who irritate you” that is more of a necessity. I posted on my other blog about those kinds of minor irritations but I reckon the challenge is to love the people who seem to fit that T-shirt bill, and of course to become less and less one of them myself – with a bit of help from above!
Having seen a variety of ‘time management’ and ‘anti-procrastination’ type helps in various places I thought I’d put together my own little ‘help’ list…
1. Hide laptop, mobile and other technical type gadgets.
2. Get off bum.
3. Make a list of the actual things that need doing.
4. Do one of them.
5. Do another one of them.
6. Do the rest of them until the list is full of ticks or crosses or lines through (you can decide on your own method for this bit).
7. Reward efforts with a nice cup of tea.
I hope you find this insightful resource as life changing as all the other ones you come across promise to be!
…Well perhaps “she’s not a poet and she knows it” would be slightly more accurate, but I do love making attempts at writing so I’m going to make a little resolve to poeticize* more! (*are budding poets allowed to make up their own words or is that cheating? Though I think that is possibly a real word!). There are a few of my poetic attempts dotted about at my Chelley’s Teapot blog and on this one somewhere too… but I’m going to try and dig out my ramblings and see what they add up to. I do have to smile when I open the file on my desktop computer and remember the poem I wrote a few years ago, entitled “Today I feel like an a*se again” – obviously not a good day confidence-wise when I wrote it!
My blog world has been extremely neglected of late (and that’s quite a big ‘of late’). In my mind, the neglect stemmed particularly from the change of parish and increase of responsibilities, but I realise that I’ve been here (the here where I live that is) for *four years* now so it can’t be entirely for that reason as my blogs didn’t grind to a halt all that time ago. I think it would be good to take this opportunity to revisit the sense of life balance and maybe having to find other-than-ministry things to blog will make me live other-than-ministry bits of life!
Thank you for the welcome back comments… it’s nice to be back! I was just thinking (having already mentioned the dust that’s gathered around here through long neglect) that it’s a good thing someone hasn’t come along and written in the blog-dust, like you might on a dirty car! I wonder what it’d say if they had! [Nope… after some pause I didn’t come up with anything amusing or post worthy!]
So, perhaps a little update is called for… another 10 things….
1. I still support Spurs (of course) and am rather chuffed that Harry’s staying for another 3 years.
2. Vicaring is hectic but a real joy.
3. I am supposed to be doing housework at this very moment, that being an exotic way to spend my day off (does cleaning the dust off here count?).
4. I love the prayer conversation we get to hear between Adam (The vicar in ‘Rev.’) and God. I haven’t watched the latest episode yet though.
5. Five is the new 10 as at this moment I can’t think of anything else to tell you so the others will have to follow in the next installment when I think of something vaguely interesting to say!
It’s a bit dusty round here (in fact looks a bit like the classic cobweb scenes from ‘Great Expectations’!) but that’s not surprising seeing how long the dust has had to settle on my wiblog!
(And of course by ’round here’ I don’t mean the beautifully sparkling wibsite but my little bit of it here).
In times past I used to dwell in that place that feels like it’s on the edge of everybody else’s world. The place that feels like everyone else is connected, but you’re not, the place where “nobody cares”. It’s not a place I dwell in any more – I’m pleased to say, although there are strange little moments when I seem to pop back for a visit!
This week is one of those times. All sorts of silly and really, insignificant things keep popping up before me that remind me of that place where I am insignificant. Things that mean nothing on their own but that together make a big pile of rubbish!
It’s even starting to be funny!
Back in those days I remember reading Adrian Plass’s “Stress Family Robinson” where family friend ‘Dip’ spoke of her plan. At those times when she felt insignifcant and alone she would retreat and see if anyone would bother to come and find her, if anyone would notice. I remember reading it and thinking, “really, someone else has thought that – not just me?!” And that made me laugh too.
I’m glad to say that God is good at providing a way into healthy thinking, healing from the things that cause us to retreat and wallow… and sometimes reminders of where we’ve come from. I hope this visit won’t last too long.
When I lived more firmly in that old place, but was starting to move away, I felt that God showed me a spiral staircase down which I was walking. And at some point I had to step off the staircase, that’s all, or to put it in the Psalmist’s terms, to step from the mire to the rock. I had to let go of that seemingly comfortable place of assuming I knew what everyone else thought about me and learn some new stuff – which included what God might think, as well as what I’d decided too. And then to live with it, if what I thought they thought turned out to be true! Which seems to bring me back to where I started… on the edge!
When I moved from where I was to where I am now, just over a year ago, I wondered if I’d find any of those gem type places you come to discover and love when you’re familiar with somewhere. I loved my woods for quiet walks and places to ponder. (Some of those pictures are on my flickr pics under ‘Sunday wander’). But what was there going to be moving to just east of east London? Well for starters I have the Thames! Not a quaint little stretch of scenic river but a wide meander in the industrial zone – and I love it. Perhaps during this week’s holiday I’ll be able to take some pictures to post.
But what I’ve also discovered, up the road and into the country a bit, is a Country Park and it has all the promise of space and peace that I enjoyed in my beloved woods back ‘home’. The day I took these photos TeenSon and I had hired mountain bikes for a couple of hours and so explored properly.
Have you ever had one of those laughing fits that threatens to come at such an inappropriate time or place that you have to pretty much stuff your fist in your mouth and try with all your strength to keep it in?
I can remember a good few years ago when I was a table leader on an Alpha course, and my table was for the teenagers doing the course. We were all in the big hall, lots of groups, and our table was right by the speaker. Unfortunately something that was said just hit a nerve and I grinned and it made me chuckle – but then I caught someone’s eye and the hysterics threatened to hit. I was supposed to be there to facilitate the post-talk discussion of course, but also to keep the yoof in good order while we were with everyone else! But through at least 10 minutes of talk I was having to sit with my fist in my mouth, looking at the floor and shoulders shaking to try and contain the laughter. I can’t even remember what set me off on that occassion.
Then there was the time at my friend’s wedding. I was sitting in the middle of a packed church in a row of friends and another friend was preaching the sermon. And one simple line set me off – the passage was Ecclesiastes and my preacher friend was talking about the bride and groom and cleaving together – that kind of thing – and once the image of them as cleavage hit my mind, that was it – fist in mouth – eyes wide in the panic of trying desperately to get control of myself and not disrupt their special service. I saw H next to me with her shoulders shaking too and that just made it worse – look anywhere else but DON’T let yourself see her laughing!!
And then last week, not me this time, but a girl from TeenSon’s college and her mum! We were there for an evening meeting about the UCAS application process, sitting right at the back of the lecture hall when towards the end of the presentation came the sound of muffled noises. I thought someone was crying but it turned out to be this girl having an absolute fit of the giggles and trying to keep it in! I’ve got no idea what hit the funny nerve for her.
And this week. I was taking the communion service, just a little group of us, and we got to the Sanctus – the Holy, holy, holies – and one person just responded in such a way (the nearest I can get to describe it is as if an Irishman started the response a second before everyone else, said “holy, holy, holy” very fast and loud – see, not even that funny!) and it just made me smile as we carried on. But then the thought stayed there and the giggles threatened – at that most reverent moment I had to contain the grin and giggles. Well, I always focus very clearly on the words I’m praying in the Eucharistic prayer, but never more so than that day as I tried to stop playing the voice back in my head. I wonder if God would have forgiven me for suggesting it was ‘the joy of the Lord’ if the laughter had hit?
Hmmm, I’m sure all my laughter doesn’t happen in church, but these ones certainly stick – whatever was God thinking about, calling me to be a vicar?! You have to laugh!