Thoughts for today

I didn’t sleep well last night (I often don’t). Last night an alarm was going off really loudly and I could not get to sleep. It got me to thinking that I am very much like an animal. My primeval instincts are that of a dog I reckon. The main thoughts running around my head during the day are of sleep, food and walking. They are the three things I love to do. Yes, I like to see my friends and family, sometimes I like to do other hobbies or past times, but I would be fundamentally quite happy if all I ever did was eat, sleep and walk. I definitely should have been a dog!

What makes you tick? What do you love to do?

I am starting Lent with another blog post. I am not going to promise to write every day like I did last year for Lent; my time management ability seems to have gone astray and I seem to constantly have more that needs doing than hours in the day!!! I will however, write at least one or two a week. If it only gives me five or ten minutes to do something I love to do, then I think that is time worth spending. I am also following the 40 acts challenge for Lent. If you haven’t seen it before, try Googling it. They set you a different challenge each day and it is about doing Lent generously and thinking of others first (something we all, I’m sure, try to do but maybe not as often or as completely as we could). How could you live life differently for the next 40 days?

New Year

So it’s the start of a new year and many people will be thinking about what they can change or improve in their lives this year. Having a fresh start is always good, like starting a new book at school. A chance to start over, do neater writing, make better choices and so on. It helps us to re-focus and re-purpose our lives. Looking back and reminiscing and then thinking about how we can move forward is a positive step for most people. I don’t make resolutions as such, but I do like to think about fresh starts and am trying to be more positive as we go into 2017.

Recently I have been to three funerals, one of someone I knew fairly well and two were parents of friends. One I had only met briefly, but went to support my friend. Whilst listening to the service, the ‘eulogy’ and the story of their lives and journey’s, I got to thinking; what would my eulogy be, how would my obituary read? You may like to consider this (or not as the case may be!) What will people say about me when I’m gone? None of us knows when our time is up. Most of us don’t like to think about it. It could be today or tomorrow (hopefully not). What will they remember when we are gone?

Many people believe their legacy is their children or grandchildren – their lives will live on in those they leave behind. But, not everyone has children, what about those of us who have no child? Each of us leaves a mark, an imprint on the world around us, on the people whose lives we touch.

What are our priorities, what truly matters to us and how do we show it? Will our legacy be that we helped others, took time to make memories with our loved ones, were kind, generous, honest, reliable or … something else? Will we have taught someone something, supported someone in their hour of need, planted a tree, cared for a child, nursed a loved one, helped a stranger??

On our deathbed and in our going no-one will care how much money we made, how big a house we had, how much ‘stuff’ we owned. They will remember only what kind of a soul we were, what we stood for, did we make them laugh or cry, did we touch them, were we there when they needed us?

Have a think about what you will leave behind; not in a will but in a memory.

If it is not what you want it to be, now is the time to change!!

Happy New Year everyone 🙂

 

# Bored

So I work with kids and they often like to say they are bored. This is something I find quite strange. I can honestly say I am never bored. I can always find things I have to do, or even better, things I want to do or learn or explore and try. I think I probably said I was bored as a child and my Mum would just say “go and find something to do then.” I would often then read a book or draw or write something.

I was surprised at work today when I asked a colleague if she had enjoyed her Easter break from work and she said not really, she had been bored. I am astounded, do people not have hobbies any more, do they not dream of doing different things when they have some spare time? My ‘to do’ list is always long and I honestly never have time to be bored. As I mentioned before, I have to make time to do the things I want to do, among the many things I have to do. I’m sure this is true for many. I however, do not want to wait until I retire to do the things I love or to fill my life with all those things I want to try. What if I never get the chance? I do not want to waste a single opportunity. There are so many things I want to have a go at. Life is short and there is simply no time to be bored.

However, I think it is not a bad thing for kids to sometimes be bored. Boredom can be the start of creativity – a very valuable asset for anyone. My nephew recently created his own card game. We like to play games as a family and he knows lots of board games and card games. He is a clever boy and obviously had some time on his hands (restricted from his electronic toys) and he came up with his own card game. I have played it twice and it is good; all ages can play, from his nearly 7 year old sister to his 70+ year old Nanna. It is a simple concept but then so are all the best games. He also created a paper game (related to his favourite Minecraft), but at least he was using his thinking skills. We need to encourage boredom to some extent because this will encourage creativity.

Day 46

The end of Lent

Easter Saturday marks the end of Lent, as tomorrow we remember and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. I finished Lent as I started it – with pancakes – yummy! It also marks the end of my promise to write something every day of Lent; I succeeded – hooray! I have really enjoyed sharing my thoughts and hope you have also enjoyed reading them. To date the blog has received 821 views with 360 visitors. I am quite amazed by that (you can trace it on the WordPress site I recently found out). The most popular day was a Friday.

Now, I know many of my Facebook friends and family have logged in and read but I don’t have 360 friends!! So, some must have viewed when I have shared it on the 40 acts (for Lent) site. I am blown away that people that don’t even know me have taken the time to read what I have written – thank you.

To my friends also, thanks for reading, and some of you for commenting. Hope it has been of interest and maybe a little thought provoking. Do sign up to follow the blog if you want to (it will e-mail you when I update it), or let me know if you want me to continue to share it on Facebook.

I am definitely going to continue to pursue my writing (though may not manage it every day!) I hope you will continue to read.

Have an amazing Easter and be blessed!

Day 45

“Good Friday”

I was teaching the children at school yesterday all about the first Easter and we were talking through the story. A little girl (aged 6) asked me “Why do we call it Good Friday?” Wow, this showed me that she really had grasped the essence of the story – how could remembering such an awful death be considered ‘good’?? Of course at 6 years old it is a lot to grasp, indeed it is for some adults. The fact that Jesus died as a sacrifice for my sin and yours – that is where the ‘good’ bit comes in. It is “good news” that we can be redeemed through the awesome sacrifice Jesus made. We get to spend eternity in heaven rather than eternity in hell – if we so choose. Sounds good to me.

For Christians we remember Good Friday rather than ‘celebrate’ it – that comes later. We experience again the love of God in giving up His only Son for us. We feel again that forgiveness and mercy for every single sin. That same forgiveness that we in turn must then extend to others. That same love that must burn within us for our fellow man and woman.

I for one, am still in awe of all that Jesus did for me and I will be in Church this Easter remembering and celebrating and basking in His love. Today  I will be walking with fellow Christians through our town and praising God in the town centre, reminding others it is a religious holiday and not a secular one, where eggs and bunnies abound. I will thank God for my redemption through Jesus’ blood and I pray you will all have a life changing encounter with God this Easter.

Day 44

There is a misconception among believers and non-believers alike – that God loves us because of who we are and what we do. However, this is not true. God loves us because of who HE is. He loves us despite what we do.

Some Christians live by ‘rules’ – some of which are God given; but others are given by men trying to understand what God says. Sometimes this is misinterpretation. This is not an excuse to just go around doing whatever we like. God does want us to be more like him; however this is not so much about obeying every rule that ever existed and getting hung up about it when we fall short and make mistakes. I know – been there, done that, got the t-shirt and beaten myself up about it! God knows we will make mistakes, we are human – we are not God.

God wants us to have a heart like He has – a heart of love. If when we act or speak, we are acting out of love, then we cannot go far wrong. If we are acting out of some other emotion – anger, hate, jealousy, greed, fear – this is where we can run into problems.

We do not have to do certain things to ‘please’ God. We do not earn God’s blessing – His grace and mercy are freely and lovingly given. They are freely given to all – so the sinner on the street- the one we may look down on because they are not’obeying the rules’ – God loves him or her too. He needs us to understand this so that everyone can be reached by His love. No-one is so bad that God (and we) cannot forgive them.

More on this tomorrow.

Day 43

‘Fresh air’

I am a big believer in the benefits of fresh air. I think it has massive health benefits, especially if we can get out where the air is cleaner, for example; a park, field, the countryside or seaside. I go out at least 3 times a day whatever the weather ~ I have a dog so it is kind of compulsory. However, even without a dog I would still go outside a lot, I feel so much calmer and at peace outside and away from it all. Studies are now showing that time spent in ‘nature’ or natural surroundings is so good for us.

I personally think that it is healthier for mind and body. I get fewer bugs and colds than many people who spend their lives in centrally heated houses and air conditioned offices – and I work with small children (well known for being breeders of germs!). I have probably built up some immunity; but also believe the fresh air enables me to clear out my lungs – replacing unclean air with fresh, cleaner air.

When my grandparents became elderly (in their late 80’s and early 90’s), we reluctantly resigned ourselves to a nursing home. However, during their time there, one of us would go every day and with the exception of a very few days when they were too unwell, we took them outside for a walk ~ every single day! We would wrap them up in blankets in the wheelchair and off we would go around the gardens or occasionally the street for a change of scene. They lived to 96 and 98 and a half years old. Not bad going in my book. They lived much longer and were healthier than most other people in the home. I like to think the fresh air helped!

It is free and good for you!!