Thursday, 23 August 2018

Treasures everywhere

At the writers' weekend at Scargill this year we had the opportunity to write a parable. A narrative that held a deeper meaning; one that could be read on different levels, allowing the reader to pull out truths as they saw them, embedded in story. Here's my attempt:

Come and say hello over at the Association of Christian Writers' blog, which is called, 'More than Writers'. I post there on 23rd of each month, all being well. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

All the colours combined

 A while ago I went 'prayer weaving'.

No, I hadn't heard of it before, either. There's a little loom which consists of a series of removable prongs in a wooden base (five, in our case - just weaving something small). You take a ball of wool, or strips of fabric, ribbons - whatever you can make into strands - and weave it in and out of the prongs across the loom and back again. Knot two pieces together to change wool or texture, and then when the loom becomes almost full, pull the prongs out, threading the attached piece of wool through your creation. You can do this several times in order to make a piece that's as long as you want.

By the end, my piece of woven fabric was about eight inches long and about four wide. After removing it from the loom for the last time, you cut the warp threads (the vertical ones) and tie them off, and there you have it.

It's supposed to be a prayer.

The idea is that you have a conversation with God as you weave. You choose your colours instinctively and without too much deliberation in order to allow God to speak to you in whatever way He sees fit; through colour, through texture, through metaphor, through ideas or thoughts or words in your head.

I went along to the session feeling quite down; a prevailing mood for a while now. If I hadn't committed myself to begin there I suspect I might not have gone at all, and to be honest, I wasn't particularly up for having a conversation with God. I wasn't in the mood for more pep talks about persevering, or about counting my blessings. I was making up the numbers and, if nothing else, I'd decided that an hour spent doing something crafty might be a bit of relaxation time, and since my creativity isn't doing so well at the moment, I'd give it a go.

God started work a little bit before I did.

Continued over at the Association of Christian Writers' More Than Writers blog, which you can find by clicking HERE.
I write something on the 23rd of each month. Come and have a look round. 

Monday, 23 April 2018

On sticking your head above the parapet

Not for the first time, I've read a blog post by Deborah Jenkins and she has inspired me to write my own post. Not for the first time, this little nudge has come at exactly the right time; and not for the first time, it's been when I've been feeling very much in need of a bit of encouragement. 

I make heavy weather of things, I know. Life in this 'season' for me is definitely more like a slog than a gambol and writing, while very precious to me indeed, is regularly elbowed out by the mundane and the immediate. When time and head-space are both acutely limited I have to make sure that I read the Bible daily and spend some time writing in my journal because I have found these to be life and sanity savers. For long periods it's the only writing that I do, but I've kind of made peace with that. Anything over and above is a bonus.

I got something written a few months ago. I was pleased with it. When it was all finished I knew that it wasn't perfect, but so much work had gone into it that it was as good as it could be. I was satisfied. I was happy to say that it was mine. Every writer knows how difficult it is to let the world in and risk what they might say or think. It's very hard to be so vulnerable.

I showed it to a trusted friend. 

Continued over at The Association of Christian Writers' Blog, More Than Writers where I post on the 23rd of each month. Come and visit. There's some good stuff. 

Friday, 23 March 2018

Aggressive lemons and divine reassurances

I had an idea the other day.  I was in the middle of writing something and an additional idea at that moment was inconvenient.  I was completely focused, and then this idea sneaked up and wanted my attention. I swiped it away, fobbing it off with 'In a minute...' and it was so offended that it disappeared and hasn't been back.

I knew I should have written it down. I should have humoured it. I should have made a mental (better still physical) note of what I was doing, suspended that thought process for a moment or two and scribbled down the idea before resuming task one.

Silly me.

Continued over at the Association of Christian Writers' blog, which is called, 'More Than Writers'. I post there on the 23rd of every month - come and check it out. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Swimming in the Ocean - a penny-drop moment

Well, January not yet done, so is it alright still to be mulling over New Year Resolutions, do you think?

My New Year Resolution, if you can call if that, is to love God more. I thought I'd go for something big this year. Specifically, to try to see what it means to love Him with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind. I suspect this is a life's work, if not more than that, but the last few years have led me here, and I think that everything that's important kind of stems from this, the first and greatest commandment.

Years ago, I read a book by Margaret Silf, called  'The Gift of Prayer: Embracing the Sacred in the Everyday'. I've no idea why but my eye was drawn to it again the other day. I had asked God what I could do to love Him more, and I think He began to answer me my reminding me of the wisdom in these pages.

The author talks about prayer as a belonging, a coming to stillness; it's about listening and learning to live reflectively. Each of the little sections is beautifully expressed but the one that stopped me in my tracks was the heading:

'Prayer is a Gift, not an Achievement'

Continued over at the Association of Christian Writers' blog, More Than Writers, where I post on 23rd of every month.  Come over and say hello? 

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