Monday, February 25, 2013

A Pause in Lent

It's not a very spiritual Pause, but I've had an enforced pause today, which is probably quite a good thing!
It snowed hard (by southern French standards) today, and my morning and lunch time lessons were cancelled. After a weekend getting sorted after the operation etc, it was odd and not entirely welcome to have next to nothing to do! The boys are on holiday but Son 2 has gone to play in the snow with his friends (and is now staying over night) and Son 1 is quite independent around the house except when he needs a pain killer! I tried adding a Pause in Lent Bloggers list to my sidebar (I really do want your contributions shared and recognised, folks) but Blogger isn't playing. So, hmm... pause..!

I did visit some Pause in Lent bloggers and Fiona, who has her own busy life at the moment, suggested praying. Yes - I'm tired, I'm drifting, I felt tearful when I saw Son 1's operation wounds when the nurse dressed them tonight - prayer it is. Thank you, Fiona. Thank you, Pause in Lent. Thank you, Jesus!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Reflection at the end of a busy week...

The rose I was given in Intermarché on Valentine's day is still looking wonderful on our table.
The new-to-us stove (once belonging to Ange) is warming the back of the house (including the room where I teach),
and the big fire at the front is necessary too - it's -1.6° outside!
The hellebores don't like the sudden cold snap.
And the violets aren't too convinced, either.
Rosie, Holly and Annabeth are just fine in the cold,
but next door to them Valkrie is sulking, mainly because her friend China the silky bantam
has been broody all week! Pook, pook, pook, she says...
There are daffodil buds and a muck heap in the garden - lots of work to do!
Non-essential things (like housework) have been put to one side this busy week, which started with Son 1 and me spending three days in hospital, and has continued  with normal working hours, nurses' visits and new brace-care for Son 2, who has had his own medical intervention to deal with! Ben had a migraine yesterday - everyone has taken the strain in their own way...
But we're beginning to put it back together! The boys are on holiday now, Ben is taking some muck to a friend before starting to spread it on our own garden, and I'm off to keep on with the housework catch-up! Tomorrow or Monday - my first Pause in Lent. The catch-up continues!

Monday, February 18, 2013

I'll be writing my Pause in Lent ASAP, but Son 1 has just got out of hospital following his (hopefully) final knee operation, so I'm catching up slowly... for details of the other bloggers who are writing for a Pause please see the comments on the post below.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sign up for A Pause in Lent 2013!

Phew, thanks to Ang for reminding me - Lent starts tomorrow!

And thanks to Jane, who posted this wonderful Lenten reflection last year, which I suggested could be a theme for this year! Let's post as usual (on Sundays or Mondays in Lent, starting this week), and take the meditation Jane posted as a rough theme:

Fast from - Feast on

  • Fast from judging others; Feast on the Christ dwelling within them.
  • Fast from emphasis on differences; Feast on the unity of life.
  • Fast from apparent darkness; Feast on the reality of light.
  • Fast from thoughts of illness; Feast on the healing power of God.
  • Fast from words that pollute; Feast on phrases that glorify.
  • Fast from discontent; Feast on gratitude.
  • Fast from anger; Feast on patience.
  • Fast from pessimism; Feast on optimism.
  • Fast from worry; Feast on divine order.
  • Fast from complaining; Feast on appreciation.
  • Fast from negatives; Feast on affirmatives.
  • Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
  • Fast on hostility; Feast on non-resistance.
  • Fast from bitterness; Feast on forgiveness.
  • Fast from self-concern; Feast on compassion for others.
  • Fast from personal anxiety; Feast on eternal truth.
  • Fast from discouragements; Feast on hope.
  • Fast from facts that depress; Feast on verities that lift.
  • Fast from lethargy; Feast on enthusiasm.
  • Fast from thoughts that weaken; Feast on promises that inspire.
  • Fast from shadows of sorrow; Feast on the sunlight of serenity.
  • Fast from idle gossip; Feast on purposeful silence.
  • Fast from problems that overwhelm; Feast on prayer that strengthens.

William Arthur Ward (American author, teacher and pastor, 1921 -1994.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Decorating with light

In the UK it's hard to imagine that someone would build a house with deliberately shaded windows, but in the south of France that's a traditional building style which still makes a lot of sense - our house is a haven of cool on a hot summer's day...
... but seldom light and bright, especially in January and February. It was Ben's idea to start dealing with this by building up a collection of mirrors, but I think my collecting drive has kind of overtaken his... he bought me the carved bone one on the left, which is a great shape, and I carried the middle two back from Edinburgh trips (the left middle mirror is a secondhand Ikea find, while the right middle is genuinely vintage, blogged about here). I found the final, 'feminine' mirror in a Vide Grenier - it's French and dates from 1964.
In front of the mirrors are an earthenware chipmunk, one of a pair my sister and I bought our mum in the '70s, a miniature portrait which I've always loved, also inherited from my mum, a silver gravy boat which was a wedding present from an antique dealer uncle and another wedding present, a modern decanter which reflects the light most beautifully.

It's what's UNDERNEATH the mirrors that's a bit surprising... I was in the utility room looking for anything reflective, when the gleam of a coffee tin caught my eye! We save all the coffee tins (our Fair Trade decaf comes in tins, there's no alternative) and we use them for all sorts of useful things, particularly seed storage, but I'd never thought of decorating with them before. But one of them gleamed at me, and, well, why not? The light is bouncing around the dark entrance area like it's never done before, and the coffee tins will stay there a while...