I'm a happily married mum of two boys, aged 17 and 19, and as a family we moved to France eleven years ago. My husband works for a French company, I teach English to French people aged 6 - 60, and English reading and writing to the English-speaking children of the area. We are part of an English speaking church in Lyon. I love to shop for French vintage lace, fabric and household items, and to combine them with my British and global treasures in interesting ways.
Thanks for coming over to my British-meets-French Vintage blog! Please leave a comment - I love to hear from anyone who takes the time to read my posts, and I try to pop back and visit your blogs whenever I can.
If you'd like to know what my blog's name means, click here for the explanation!
I am not a perfect mother or housewife. There is dog hair under the sofa and the boys eat with their elbows on the table, however much they're nagged. I just assume you'd rather see the pretty stuff!
Forget-me-nots from Niki's garden (Nostalgia at the Stonehouse)
Monday, March 25, 2013
A final Pause in Lent, 2013
Well, even though it's been bitty and I've not had all that much blogging time, I've appreciated our Pause in Lent this year - thank you for your contributions and comments! My thought this week has been about how easy it is to define ourselves negatively ('well, at least I'm not...') rather than positively. I want to avoid the comparison definitions of myself, and go for the positive ones, the ones which say what I am, not what I'm NOT!
This led on, strangely but logically, to Jesus's story:
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God." The story is in the book of Luke, and you can find the full version here. The logical connection is that the Pharisee was all about what he was NOT, but the tax collector looked at what he WAS. The strange aspect is that what he sees about himself is negative, and not all the positive cheery stuff I was aiming for! So does that mean that either the tax collector or I have got it wrong? I think not. The tax collector doesn't compare himself to the Pharisee, only to God, and to what he feels he should be in God's eyes. That's not wrong, and Jesus promises that it got him justified by God. I can look at myself and see what I have done wrong, and what I lack in terms of character. I can go to God about it and seek his mercy, without comparing myself to other people. I can also look at myself in the shining light of Jesus' love and forgiveness, and see some wonderful, wonderful things about myself, made in the image of God and redeemed by his grace. I think that this is where the positive definitions come in. As Mother Theresa said: 'For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway'. Have a special Holy Week, if you're commemorating it. And see you for Easter Joy!