Monday, 28 October 2013

Together

People have told me that when they meet me for the first time, I come across as being a very 'together' sort of person. 

I appear (I'm told) calm, self-assured and relaxed. 'Quietly confident' was how one person put it. 

Ha. 

I have no idea how this illusion came about, but an illusion is what it is. It has always been so. Teachers at school complimented me on my calm and orderly attitude and over the years, I've started to accept - indeed rely on - this impression that I give. 

Inside is a different story. If on the outside I'm cool blues and mauves and soft and reassuring tones of green, inside I'm a jumbled mix of clashing colours and pessimistic purple and grey overtones. 

I don't like crowds. Or at least, I don't mind crowds, if I am allowed to be anonymous in them, it's when I'm supposed to interact with them that I have a little internal panic. I don't much like groups of people ('Now, get into groups of about six or eight,' is a phrase guaranteed to strike fear into my heart) because such a group discussion makes necessary a degree of engagement. I don't know what to say to people I have only just met. I am not good at small talk.

A friend of mine will vouch for the truth of this as I am often found, limpet-like, at her side in territory that demands skills that I don't have (but she does, in spades). She introduces me, gets a conversation going, and then I'm sort of ok, but left to myself there's a good chance it'll founder.

I like one to one, and then usually with people I know. I am a creature of habit, routine, familiarity. My comfort zone is my well-worn groove. If I have to climb out I am looking from left to right for predators but it's unlikely that you'll notice. I appear to have it together. I can try hard and hold my own. I can do what is necessary. I can do it, but it wears me out.

So, the knowledge that I come across as together even when I am falling apart, is reassuring in a world where it is not always possible to retreat to a small room with a big window, books, coffee, and a computer with WiFi and stay holed up there indefinitely. 

I'm hoping one day to find that I've grown into my togetherness. I'll wake up one morning feeling just the same as always but I'll walk into a crowded room and find it easy - no - joyful to plunge into getting to know people. I will relish social situations. I shall be as together as I appear.

Until then, it's my secret.




Linking up with Five Minute Friday in a better late than never sort of way. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A safe place


Come to me, all you who are weary and weighed down. Come to me and I will give you rest. I will gather you to me and hold you close and you will feel my warmth, my strength, and the beating of my heart.

This is a safe place.

Come to me, even if you don’t think that you’re worthy.

I know how small you feel. How inadequate and inferior. I know how little you think of yourself, and I want to tell you something today. I know you’ve heard it before but you don’t believe it. I will keep telling you until it sinks in.

You are a masterpiece, just as you are. I made you, deliberately, carefully – there is nothing about you that is an accident. When I’d finished making you I looked at you and smiled – you are just right. You are my child and I am delighted with you.

Yes, you. Don’t look to the right and the left, thinking that they are more qualified, more beautiful, more talented, more gifted, better than you are. It’s not true. I wish you would stop comparing yourself with them. You are unique. Be yourself, because that is who I created you to be. It’s who I want you to be.

I approve of you already. Stop trying to earn my approval. You have it already. There’s nothing you can do to make yourself worthy of my love – it’s been done for you. Let my love wash over you.


You are accepted. You are loved. I know you through and through; I know what you did, what you said, what you think, and I love you anyway. I know all about the things that you regret, that you would do differently if you only had the chance. I know the very worst secrets – the things that shame you, frighten you, threaten to swamp you, and still I love you.

Come to me.

Come to me if you’re afraid. If you’re afraid of the future, or if you’re afraid of shadows from the past. Come to me, and I will protect you. I will take your hand and walk along with you and things are not so scary when I am by your side.

I know what you’ve been through and I know how tired you are. I know that you’ve kept going, and kept going, and sometimes you feel that you just can’t go any further. I know that you go to bed and sometimes wish that you could sleep forever, and in the morning you wonder how you’ll make it through the day.

Come to me, and know that you are safe here. You are understood. I see you.

Come to me if you’re sad. I see past the smile that you wear to disguise the pain. I see inside to the deepest part of you that doesn’t dare to hope any more.  I am reaching for you. Come to me. This is a safe place.

Come to me, if you’re hurt.

I know what happened and I understand your pain. I know what they said, what they did, what they didn’t do. I know that you’re afraid to trust any more because you’ve been let down too often.

Come to me if you’re grieving, if you’re broken, if you are convinced that nothing will be right again. Come to me if you’re at the end of your strength, for I have strength to spare.

Come to me if you’ve been betrayed, wounded, rejected. It happened to me too and I remember how it feels. I want to pull you close into me and whisper truth to you to counteract the lies. I want to hold your face in my hands and look into your eyes and breathe healing over you.

Come to me if you’re full of bitterness and hatred. Come if you can’t forgive. Just come. Don’t let anything keep you away. I’m not waiting for you to be perfect to come to me – I would have waited forever, and so I came to fetch you. To bring you home. To this safe place.

Tell me. I know already the secrets that you’ve hidden away, and I know how heavy they are to carry. Let me help you. Talk to me. You can tell me anything. Tell me how angry you are, how disappointed, how confused. Tell me about the injustices and regrets. There is nothing you can’t say to me.

People try to work out what they think I want to hear and then they bring me their prayers in sanitized bundles, but you don’t need to do that.  I know the things that you leave out, the stuff that you can’t find words for, or think that you’d better not say.

I want to hear what’s on your heart. You don’t have to pretend. There’s nothing you can say that will surprise or shock me. Tell me, and see how I can help.

There’s no point in pretending with me; I see you, I understand you. Lay it all down in front of me, no matter how messy and grubby and awkward. See how much better you’ll feel. You’re not alone.

You are never, ever alone.

You are safe, here. You can shout and scream and cry. I will gather up your tears and gently lift your chin and I will help you smile.  I will.

I am always listening. I love your voice. I just like being with you.  

Come to me, even if you’re full of doubt. I see the dark corners of your heart that are unconvinced, sceptical, fearful. I am not angry when you find it hard to believe. I’m just glad that you came. This is a safe place. I will not criticize you or laugh at you or berate you. You are welcome here. Come and learn more. Let me melt the hard bits and warm the cold bits.

I’m not angry with you. It’s ok. Come even if you think I’m not talking to you.

Just come and see what happens. Leave it to me.

Come if you can’t help it. Come if you don’t understand. Come if you’re not sure. Come if you feel worried, fearful, tearful  or defeated.

Come to me if you’ve known me for years, or if you’re still not sure who I am.

I know you, and I love you, just as you are.

I want you to hear me when I say that. Really hear me.

Just as you are.

When I look at you, I see my precious daughter. You think that I see your imperfections, your inadequacies, your smallness, but I just see my lovely, spotless child. I’m delighted that you’re here.

Lift your eyes to mine. Let me help you understand who you are.

You are a beloved child of the Living God. You are family. I love you more than you can possibly imagine.

Come closer.

This is a safe place. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Real People

Here's my entry for the ACW/BigBible #DigiFaith competition 'Christian Writing in a Digital Age'. 
It didn't win, but I'm delighted with my 'honourable mention'. I also received some precious feedback, for which I'm very grateful. 

So, waste not, want not, here's my entry:

Real People

I am alone. Just me and my computer.

Correction: there are two of us.  Jesus and me.  He sits next to me and He helps me bring the words out of my head. He sees my heart and he holds me tightly when I pour it into my writing. Joy, pain, hilarity, confusion. He inspires me; patient when I have to work hard to find my words and cheering me on when I can’t get them down fast enough.

He understands that I sometimes don’t know what I think or what I feel until I express it and He’s happy when I find peace by laying it all in front of Him. He laughs with me, cries with me, and He never leaves me.

I press ‘Publish’. It’s a personal thing, an intimate thing. Just me and Him.

Correction: The two of us and two billion internet users.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have two billion visitors to my blog, though the spam sometimes feels as if I do. What I have done in that quiet, understated moment with the ‘Publish’ button is post the contents of my heart by a thoroughfare where any of those millions of people might pass by.


Some do.  A few stop to read. Some of those realize what I’m about and back away rapidly. Some look and sneer; engage for a while then melt away to find other battles to fight.

A few reach out and take the hand that I’m holding out.

And those people are just as three-dimensional as I am. I might never meet them in person, but they are real, and their lives and struggles are real too. Sometimes that reality is reflected in my words and they might emerge from their anonymity and whisper, ‘Me too.’  When that happens my heart mends a little and our hands hold each other a little tighter.

Sometimes my new friends and I laugh together, for ‘Me too’ moments don’t only happen in times of angst or anguish. We compare notes and exchange wisdom. Much has been said about the superficiality and banality of online life but I have found the reverse; if you are real, you find real people. If you are honest, you are met with honesty. If you offer encouragement, you’re encouraged.

And Jesus smiles. He’s outside time, so moving with it is no problem. He knows the person behind each avatar and it’s as easy for Him to introduce us digitally as it is in the frozen food aisle at the supermarket.

He loves that He can bring together sisters and brothers from all over the world. It’s His Kingdom, and we are family, even behind our screens.





Read all the other entries at the DigiFaith website.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Cubes of carrot cake

I cried today, in a cafe. 

It took me completely by surprise. Two ladies came in and sat down at a table not far away from me. One was elderly and frail, and the other, I think, was her daughter.  

She settled her mother at a table, helping her into her seat, tucking her walking frame out of the way behind her chair, and then she went to fetch coffee and cake. 

I watched the old lady as she breathed out the exertion of the walk across the cafe from the lift and looked around her. She hadn't put in her teeth today, and so the lower half of her face was soft and misshapen. Her hair was thin and wispy and her skin translucent and spotted with age. Her eyes were pale and vague. 

Her daughter came back and unloaded a tray onto the table. She placed a milky coffee in front of her mother and sat down heavily as if she was weary. Then she reached over and cut the older lady's slice of carrot cake into cubes with the side of a fork. The old lady smiled and said something and began to eat her cake with a trembling hand.

I found I had tears on my face. It wasn't just the tenderness of a daughter for her mother, and it wasn't just the frailty of the old lady. It wasn't the obvious enjoyment of a slice of cake, an outing with her daughter. It was something more.

It sounds obvious, but it hit me powerfully. 

That old lady was young, once. 

She was fit and vital and energetic and on the ball. She had all her teeth, all her hair and all her faculties. She cut up cake for her daughter. 

And now she's old; now the world sees her walking with assistance, hesitant and frail. The world sees a walking frame and a hand on the elbow and a mouth of gums. It sees dryness and transparency and confusion. It sees not-yet-but-soon. It sees and it assesses and it discards. 

I know an elderly lady with a pacemaker and a history of cancer surgery and a limp who's out of breath with a bag of groceries, and she used to be a speed skater. I heard that for the first time and I raised my eyebrows and laughed. Why?  Because I see an old lady. 

We look at people and we think that we see them. I looked at the lady in the cafe and I saw dependency, difficulty, age and infirmity. I have no idea what else there was. That lady might have been an acrobat, an actress, a solicitor, a campaigner. She might have written bestselling books, or painted pictures, or made stained glass. She might have walked the country to raise money for charity, or jumped from a plane with a parachute, or been in the running for a Nobel prize, but I saw that her daughter cut up her cake for her and that her hand trembled as she raised a bite to her mouth. 

We think we know what we see. What do people see when they look at me? They see an overweight middle aged woman who doesn't want to be looked at. They see a woman who hurriedly brushes her hair and puts on some make up in the morning then rarely checks it until she takes it off at night - and yes, she wonders how long it's been smudged. They see my shape, my clothes, my expression, and they think they know who I am. They don't see what's inside.

They see a harassed mum, rushing round the supermarket, waiting at the school gates, frumpy in jeans and cardi. They see the heavy woman in the queue favouring her left leg because her right hip hurts, if indeed they see me at all. Why should they? I don't have arresting beauty or youth or really anything that catches the eye. Why should anyone even notice me?

They don't see a heart that burns for you, Lord. They don't see the ideas, the hopes, the dreams, the intensely important things that only you see. They don't see the essence of me. 

I am full of protestations that there is more to me than meets the eye. And I saw that old lady and wondered who she was, who she used to be, and then realised that I'd done exactly that thing: she is still the lady she used to be. She's still the girl who walked down the aisle with that young man. She's the mother who rocked her baby all night. She's the woman who cooked and worked and laughed and loved. 

And dreamed dreams. I'm sure she still does. I hope she still does.

We think we know who people are, and we make our instant judgements based on the little we see. We accept or reject with so little information. We look and look away.

But there's so much more. Everything that's important is invisible. 

In this world, we decay. Lips get thinner, waistlines fatter. Eyesight fades, hearing declines and soft, smooth skin discolours, dries and wrinkles. In this world we shrink as we age, and our value diminishes until our worth is negligible. Not so with you. 

What comfort that is. What a comfort to know that you see beyond the obvious; you know the soul deep inside. We are not defined by the world's assessment of us. That when the outside of us lets us down, as it always, inevitably will, we are still precious. Still valued. Still seen

I am so much more than the woman surreptitiously wiping away tears in a cafe. That lady is so much more than a walking frame and a tremor. 

I hope it was good carrot cake. I bet it was not as good as the one she used to make. 



Tuesday, 8 October 2013

A letter to a teacher

To my teacher

I was in your class for English, and English was the first lesson of my first day at senior school.

To start with I sat at the front because I wore my eleven year old enthusiasm right out in the open and I didn't realise that my eagerness to please might be more sensibly hidden somewhere the mean kids couldn't see it. As the school years progressed I chose a seat further back, but the enthusiasm didn't wane, and my goody-goody keenness was justified.  This was my thing, and I loved your lessons. 

You took my appetite for stories and fed it with rich, nourishing food. You introduced me to the big guns of literature in such a way that I was seduced, not overwhelmed. You tempered the giants with new voices, mixed poetry with theatre with prose and left me dizzy with delight.  You took away fear and replaced it with curiosity; you showed me that Shakespeare was funny, scary, inspiring, moving, but above all accessible. You told me that nothing was beyond my reach - that it was up to me to decide. 

You revelled in language and so did I. You made me believe that I, too, could make it work for me, and showed me how to analyse, deconstruct, understand and build marvellous things with words. You insisted we learn poems, passages and soliloquies and I remember them to this day. Walter De La Mare, Richard Kell, Wordsworth.  Lady Macbeth, Richard II, Julius Caesar. Treasures in my head forever. 

You encouraged, criticised, jollied and accepted no nonsense. More often than not your eyes were crinkled into smiles but you were stern when it was warranted. Nobody took liberties in your class, and homework was done on time. We behaved. We listened. We tried hard, and we were rewarded by generous praise given in good measure.

I loved your range of voices, from John of Gaunt strident on his deathbed, Wuthering Heights' Cathy, wild with grief, or Subtle the Alchemist, sleazy and suggestive. You strode round the room with theatrical gesture and your energy fed mine; your lessons gave me life. I read everything I could lay my hands on and stored it up carefully.

I wanted to make you proud. Your advice was heeded, your criticism accepted, your encouragement wrapped up carefully and stored away. 

On the day I picked up my exam results you held my hand for a moment. The world is your oyster, you whispered, and you smiled a wonderful smile. That was a good moment, and I wanted to build on it.

A quarter of a century later, I saw you and we chatted. You'd been gardening and you had leaves in your hair. Smaller, older, greyer, but those eyes still smiled. You remembered me. I told you that I was writing and you clutched my arm with both hands and cried, 'Oh, good!'

That, too, was a good moment.

You did it again. 

I hoped one day to hand you a signed copy of a book I'd written, but that won't happen. 

I was at your funeral a while ago. There was standing room only; the place was packed with people who held a bit of you in their hearts. 

That inspiration that you gave to me? You gave it to others; you gave it away freely, and lots of people received it. People remembered the smiling eyes, the firm-but-fair, the way you threw back your head and laughed. You had many interests and brought joy to so many people. Everybody spoke of your infectious enthusiasm, your energy and your joy. You left behind many, many people who would miss you badly, but when they think of you, they smile. 

What a legacy.

For me? You took the raw and unformed and moulded it into a something that could grow. You saw a mixture of enthusiasm and potential and gave me the tools to make something. You told me that I could do it. You made me believe it. 

What a precious thing is a good teacher. I've been blessed with a few, and they made a huge difference to me, but none as much as you. You were exceptional. You made a real difference to my life. 

I pray that my daughters might find a teacher who sees them in the way that you saw me. Thank you. 

Rest in peace. I look forward to seeing you again. 

With love and gratitude

Helen



Linking up with Ruth and Sabrina at Letters to...
This time the prompt was 'A letter to a teacher'.




I am from...

I am from Chesterfield, a town with a crooked spire and Roman history, celebrated market and too many Tescos. Peak District hills and dales and moors and crags. I am from the county furthest from the sea in a small, crowded island that can sometimes feel big.

I am from 1930s bay window dormer bungalow, back garden photographs, chunky legs and a scowl in front of the conifers in the garden, tiny then, towering last year, now gone. I am from endless summer, 1976 drought, bathwater slopping down the garden to water the vegetables. From snowmen and snow-in-your-wellies and cocoa in blue and white striped mugs.

I am from bucket and spade, hunt for seashells, scared of seaweed, little flags on a sandcastle holidays. Caravans and car journeys and endless photographs. I am from pub-lunches and motorbike rides and leapfrogs and awful school dinners.

I am from 'Jesus' sandals, sensible shoes, gabardine raincoats, falling down white socks, wonky fringe, cheese and beetroot sandwiches, skipping ropes, grazed knees and space hoppers. From shoe buckles snagging on the sofa cushions, from wax crayons and writing stories in tiny notebooks. From beans on toast, pikelets with melted butter and canned fruit and ice cream. My mum's rice pudding; the best in the world.

I am from Sunday lunch at Grandma's, chicken and gravy and grown up conversation and rhubarb-from-the-garden suet pudding. I am from rocking chairs and setting lotion and cigarette smoke and bags of sweets and leaving my comfort blanket behind and insisting that Daddy goes out in the night to fetch it. I am from kiss-it-better and it won't always be dark at six and if at first you don't succeed... I am from reserved and English and stiff-upper-lip and a smile costs nothing.

I am from Enid Blyton and Helen Dore Boylston and Nancy Drew and Jill's Gymkhana. I am from Bunty magazine, and my brother's Beano and then Just Seventeen and Mizz and Cosmopolitan. From shopping with Mum, saving up for things, giving things to Dad to mend rather than buy new.

I am from Listen with Mother and Magic Roundabout with my Dad and Andy Pandy with my Mum and Mary Mungo and Midge. From longing for a Blue Peter Badge and from Jim'll Fix It and Why Don't You...? Jacques Cousteau's Undersea World and the dull bit at the end of The Two Ronnies. From staying up late on New Year's Eve watching The Sound of Music for the very first time.

I am from eager to please at school, english lessons easy and maths lessons hard. I am from too much homework to do each night and ice on the inside of the bedroom window above my desk. I am the bullied, the insecure, the fearful, the betrayed, the distrustful. I am from adolescence in the company of boys, not girls, much more straightforward that way.

I am from hotbrushes, big hair, hairspray and Sodastream fizzy drinks. From rolled up jacket sleeves and 'Flashdance' and 'Pretty In Pink' and 'The Breakfast Club'. From Slinkies and Sindy dolls and Pippa and thinking that ET was not remotely cute and being unmoved when he nearly died.

I am from Atari tennis blip blip electronic games and Donkey Kong. From three TV channels and no video. From the girl with the teddy and blackboard when the telly was finished. I am from the days when we had our first phone installed and it went bring bring and we sat on the stairs to talk.

I am a teenager in the middle of a crowd on a hot, hot day listening to an evangelist introduce me to Jesus Christ. I am one of those struggling past rows of knees to get to the front, self-consciousness forgotten, to turn my tearstained face upwards and say, yes please to Someone who really saw me.

I am from church youth group, boyfriends, church camps in the Lake District, boyfriends, exam-passing, teacher-pleasing (mostly) and the first in the family to go to university. I am from Bronte, Hardy, John Clare, Keats and Shelley. From Shakespeare, Chaucer, Jonson, Rosetti, Milton and Byron.

I am from churchy, goody-goody, black and white, right and wrong, finding out about the grey the hard way. I am from broken heart, church work disillusionment and faith on the back burner. From broken friendships, loneliness and confusion. I am from knowing what I want, changing my mind, changing direction, worrying my parents.

I am from leaving the country, running from decisions, backpacking, bewildering long haul flights and sleeping on coaches, brushing teeth out of a window, getting by with language, camping under the stars; geyser fields and sunrises, waterfalls and air so thin it's hard to breathe. From the beauty and the grime and the wonder and the riches and the poverty.

I'm from Newcastle upon Tyne, Liverpool, London. From old friends, new friends, new town, new university, new boyfriend. Anatomy, physiology, sociology, psychology. More exams, romance, wedding magazines and flowers. I'm from happy, holding hands, holidays and freedom. I'm from uniforms, paperwork, hospitals, holding hands, mending bodies, teaching skills, ticking boxes, climbing the ladder, striving, achieving, trying so hard but wondering what else there is.

I'm from sentimentality, memories, diaries, journals, fragments of stories. Creative writing, photography, bereavement, childbirth. I am from fractured sleep and crying babies and confusion and despair. I am from post natal depression, lost and lonely and fearful, and then found and comforted and held tight.

I am from coming home to church and finding that it was not God who went away but me. I am back to live in the house with the beautiful back garden with the people who mean the world to me.

I'm from middle age and aching joints and calorie counting and calorie ignoring, comfort-eating and exercise regimes started and discontinued. I am from self-conscious and struggling, from the land of low self-esteem and distorted self-image; but I am awake again to the truth of how much I am loved, and I want to tell the world: if I am loved like this, then you are too.

I am from gratitude and awe and tearful thanksgiving. I am from hands-in-the-air worship and head-bowed in prayer. I am from closed-fist to open-palm, from rags to riches, from darkness to light.

I am wife and mother and daughter and sister and friend. I am reader and writer.

I am a child of God.




Linking with She Loves Magazine for the Synchroblog on 'I am from...'

Friday, 4 October 2013

Dreams and dead things

Ok, so here's a thing. 

I don't like autumn. I know, every time I say that (and I have mentioned it before) there's a collective groan from the people who see it completely differently. They speak of vibrant oranges and yellows and reds and the exhilaration of kicking their way through piles of gorgeousness on brisk, bright mornings and they eat pumpkin and make chutney and so on. 

I don't do any of that. Today the rain keeps on coming down and it's mid-morning but still hasn't become properly light. It's dank and miserable. Everywhere the world is getting darker. Death is all around me. The leaves are starting to fall and blow into brown drifts. The plants need cutting back to clear away the dead stalks, spent seed pods and rotting foliage. Autumn is a time of decay, shrinking, dying back. 

I sit here with both hands round a cup of coffee and I listen to the rain on the roof and contemplate the long months until the days start to get longer. 

I know, it happens every year. You'd think I'd be used to it. Perhaps I should stare at a white screen for a while until I get my share of daylight. Alternatively perhaps I should shut up and look on the bright side. 

It'll soon be Christmas. 

Ha. 

Anyway, I think I'm growing up. I've realised something about autumn. 

Leaves are falling from the trees onto my flower beds. They will eventually make a blanket over all the sleeping shrubs and bulbs and the blanket will help keep moisture in and protect the ground from frosts until it slowly composts down into the soil. The drifts of fallen leaves will dissolve into leaf mould, leaving my heavy, clay-ey soil richer and conditioned. 

Underground, I imagine the roots and bulbs snuggling down for a winter sleep and taking on board the nourishment from the soil around them. Undisturbed by footballs and footsteps, the garden rests. Takes a deep breath and sighs. Relaxes before the brighter sun, warmer temperatures and longer days start to signal that it's wake-up time. Spring rise-and-shine time. 

But autumn is for snuggling down. The tree lets the leaves fall to protect itself from the relative dryness of winter - it's a survival mechanism. The dead stuff that falls and decays and is so often the focus of my autumn grumpiness is essential to the cycle of the plants in the garden. 

Things fall and die. As a result of their death and decay, something new can grow.

And if that's not a life lesson, I don't know what is. 

Lately I've been feeling as if I'm stalled. I want to move forward with plans and and yet things aren't going my way. I had some ideas that came to nothing. God is asking me to wait, and I feel as if I've been waiting too long already. I'm ready for the new growth, that moment in spring when you look around you as if you were seeing for the first time and suddenly there are bright, impossibly green shoots everywhere you look. I want that. 

Rapid growth, dramatic development, shoots and buds and blooms. Colour, not darkness. Not the leaf-mould, mulchy, sodden ground wait, wait... it's a slow process. 

Maybe it's all a slow process. Maybe there's a place where dreams go to die and as they fall, limp and lifeless, they start to enrich the soil around them. Perhaps God is saying that something has to die for something to be born. The dead thing isn't lost, wasted, useless; it's a catalyst for something new and beautiful. I didn't realise that my plans were the leaf-mould of the future and it hurts to watch them disintegrate and slowly turn to compost, but I believe His way is best. 

His dreams are bigger than mine. 

So the soil of my life is being forked over by the Gardener. He's digging in some of the leaf-mould as things die and decay. He's digging deep, and it's not comfortable. If I am the soil, then my instinct is to stay dense and full of clay, but things don't easily grow in soil like that. The good stuff needs to be worked in until the whole texture of the soil changes. Until it is transformed into something fertile. 

Who'd have thought that the good stuff turns out to be the stuff that gets thrown away? 

So I am soil, and I am in need of nourishment. I am claggy clay, but partially leaf-mould and I am waiting. I am changing, slowly, imperceptibly, into soil in which God will make something grow. 

All in His good time. 

It turns out that there's a reason for Autumn. 




Linking with Nacole at Six in the Sticks for Concrete Words: Finding the abstract in the concrete. This time the prompt was 'Soil'.




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