Friday, April 24, 2020

Feeding of the Five Thousand

24th April 2020

The Day of the Picnic

I remember the day well, everybody was talking about Him.
We could see Him with His friends so some of us followed.
Others joined us on the way. What did we expect to see?
So many stories, I wanted to see for myself.
Three men in Bethany claimed  He'd cured them.
One, Joseph, he's my cousin, he was lame,
he'd never walked,  lame since birth
but now, I saw him myself, both legs good, walks upright.
Feeding of the 5,000So yes, I followed Him to the mountain, I was at the front,
crept near His friends, heard Him ask Philip
where they might get food for the people.
I remember the blue sky, way up high crows in silhouette,
the hot sun ,  His look,  those eyes,
 those eyes loving all they fell on.
I looked around , five or six thousand standing around,  waiting. .
Is He mad, I thought.
Philip was saying it was  impossible, what could they do
with so many?
The other disciples asked around, did anyone have anything?
Shaking of heads, shrugging of shoulders, nothing doing.
But one disciple, Andrew,  found a boy who had  two barley loaves and five fish.
He brought him to the master.
Why did he bother, what could be done with that small offering?
I laughed to myself.
But He took the boy's gift and He thanked Him for it.
The boy smiled . He was happy to help.
Then the master prayed, He prayed over the meager pickings
And began to hand it out to the people,
And continued, and kept going.
He came to me, His eyes soft,
like He knew me. Weird.
He offered me some fish and a piece of bread.
But how? How was it I could have, we all could have this food?
How did it not run out?
Was it a trick, were my eyes deceiving me?
I took it, I didn't understand. I don't understand.
I looked around again.
Everyone was eating, licking their lips chatting together,
having a picnic.
And when we'd all finished the leftovers were collected,
twelve baskets full.
No waste.
I'll never forget that day.

If I bring the little I have to Jesus and offer it to Him, He will multiply my efforts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

22nd April

22nd April 2020

A Virtual Writing Morning

I was delighted , this morning to be able to link up with The Writer's Hour via Zoom.
Isn't Zoom a wonderful tool at this present time?

There were more than seventy of us in the meeting.
I tried to link up yesterday, but technical difficulties got the better of me,
so today I was determined not to be beaten.

With my husband's tablet - my laptop is too old,
apparently - I was signed up just in time for the 8.0 am start.

We introduced ourselves and sent messages in the chat to say
 what we hoped to do in the hour.
" I'll be journaling," I wrote, others said the same.
Some were working Image result for pictures of writing journals
on chapters in their books and still more were writing posts on their blogs.
At 8.05 we were muted and set to work. I found it so interesting,
like being in a huge workshop together.
I could see some of our group on the screen, about twenty.
They all had heads down , beavering away, which gave me the impetus to start
 and to continue to the end.
But I found that an hour is too long to be journaling. I lost interest after
half an hour, which is the usual time I would give to my "morning pages".

So, tomorrow, I plan to be better prepared, maybe start with my journal ,
 but have either my blog or, if I feel brave enough, my memoir at hand as well to
keep me busy for the whole time.
It will be good practice to work for an hour at a stretch. It's not normally how I
do things, unless, of course I get so into the writing that I forget the time . Don't
you just love those times.

A little bit straight form my journal this morning:

Image result for picture of woman walking along the sandBut I will  take one step 
at a time,
one after another, just one
no rush.
Sometimes that step will be
a baby step, imperceptible,  
but it'll be there.
One step after another
and in the end
I'll have gone a mile
And that mile will turn 
into two.
The pilgrimage will end,
but not till I take
my last breath.
Only God will count 
the  steps.
Only God will know
 how many miles.
I will just take each step
one at a time.
And I will enjoy each step
As if it's going to be
the only one
I will ever take.

 Till next time...

Monday, April 20, 2020

Nicodemus Comes to Jesus by Night.

20th April 2020

Today's Gospel:
John 3 1-6

There was one of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a leading Jew, who came to Jesus by night and said,
"Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who comes from God, for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him"
Jesus answered: "I tell you solemnly, unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Nicodemus said, "How can a grown man be born? Can he go back into his mother's womb and be born again?"
Jesus replied: " I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God; what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised when I say you must be born from above. The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. This is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit."
NICODEMUS YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!" "There was a man of the ...
My thoughts:
I wonder firstly why Nicodemus wanted to visit Jesus in the first place. His words and actions had attracted him,maybe. He goes by night, telling me he is a bit frightened to show his interest in this popular leader. How long did he think about this meeting before he snuck out to find this man in the middle of the night.
I am with Nicodemus here. Sometimes I find it hard to admit in broad daylight my huge interest in Jesus, how much I love Him.  What will people think of me? Nicodemus says  some very complimentary things to Jesus. He recognizes that He comes from God.
But Jesus tells him that he needs to be born from above,  Born of the Spirit, before he can see the kingdom of God.
Again I need the same thing. This new birth. And every day. It is being born of the Spirit that will give me the courage to meet Jesus in the daylight. To live with Him and for Him in the joys and sorrows and little difficulties of my daily life. Being a Christian means staying close to the fire.
Come Holy Spirit live in me this day. Thank you Holy Spirit for coming to live in my heart.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Ten things of Thankful April 18th 2020

18th April 2020

Today I'm joining the blog hop  for ten things of thankful.

Hearing the latest figures for people who've died of the coronavirus in the UK reaching over fifteen thousand and still being in Lockdown, now for another three weeks at least, I thought I'd try and look at life with a more positive  view.

Ten Things of ThankfulWe've still got six days of total isolation in the house because we've had some symptoms.

So, my ten things:
I am grateful that I am feeling much better and I am now clear of  symptoms, so I look forward to Friday  and getting out and going on a long walk. I find it hard to be motivated to do anything productive.
I am thankful that my husband seems to be recovering now from his operation. I find the tension that built up in my shoulders slowly releasing
I am thankful that we live near the sea and my  walk will be along the coast. I've taken for granted this  wonderful natural resource we have so near us. I will make up for that by breathing the sea air deep into my lungs as the music of  waves soothes my soul. I am looking forward to it so much.
I am thankful that we have enough food in the cupboard and when we don't we have family to help us fill it again. I am particularly grateful to a son who shopped for us and delivered everything we needed four days ago. There were a few things we forgot, like peas. We have got peas in the freezer, but we won't be eating them. I used them as an ice pack when my husband was burning up.
I am thankful for my writer friends who are meeting  up on Zoom weekly to talk about the writing we've been doing . We share our writing by email first so we can  read it beforehand, then come together to discuss it. I find these impromptu workshops both inspirational and encouraging. In fact that's the reason I'm now writing on my blog.
I am thankful for my garden with the beautiful statue of Our Lady which I ponder on more than normal at this weird time.
I am thankful for so many good memories of camper trips. When all this is over we'll be off again, maybe to Cornwall for a few weeks. So many adventures to look forward to as we discover new places and people.
But before we go anywhere we'll catch up with all the family . So lots of visiting, seeing grandchildren. Can't wait.
I am thankful and also immensely proud of all my children and grandchildren -  everyone unique, caring and loving.
I am thankful for the churches who are live streaming masses everyday, keeping us close. We are finding it comforting and grounding and sometimes we get a really good homily to keep us going throughout the day. We have "been to" Canada, Ireland, London, Walsingham and many more places.

Well, that's it for this post.

I pray for all those who've died with Covid 19 and those who will die in the coming weeks , and also for all their families who suffer so much at this time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Easter 2019 , 2020

15th April 2020

A bit of a Ramble

Life looks very different today than it did this time last year.

In April 2019 we visited my grandson in Brosely in Shropshire, wild camping for two nights in a car park near where they live and spending one night safely parked up in a campsite with static gipsy caravans and tent pods.
Mr McCarthy, the big, burly manager,  told us the site  didn't take camper vans. I had dragged him away from his dinner, some of which, probably bolognese, still stained his chin.
"Please," I looked him in the eyes, "we just need somewhere safe to park up."
 I offered him  £15 -  a little less than the going rate - and said we'd  be off  early in the morning. He looked us up and down, making me aware of my need for a change of clothes and a good hair wash. He  obviously  felt sorry for us and  let us pull up on some hard standing near the toilet block, a welcome bonus for  us. We filled up the water tank,  had hot showers and brought some hot water back to the camper to give it a bit of a clean. We had the best night sleep we'd had for weeks.
What a relief, especially after Ryan had informed us that wild camping was definitely illegal in their area. Apparently there are more than enough sites to accommodate campers.
The three days we had with them were punctuated with some special moments.
Walking with them all  in the woods, running with great grandchildren, Rose and Robin , hiding behind trees,making dens round same trees with sticks that we'd all collected,  feeding the ducks by the river - never mind that we were getting wet in the drizzle and  going to a cafe in Ironbridge.

                         Ironbridge, Shropshire, England.

 I was able to catch up with both my grandson and my lovely granddaughter in law ( if that is, indeed, a thing). We chatted away, sharing many stories of mum moments and life's ups and downs, we laughed as we realised that not much changes between the generations.
We ate with them, went to Church ( Palm Sunday) with them and when it was time to go I hugged them tight, with an ache in my chest, gulping back tears that wanted to burst through my defenses. It made it even more difficult when little Rose didn't want to say goodbye to us either. I knew it would be another year or more before we would see them again.
The trip to Brosely was the homeward leg of a much longer journey. Before that we'd been to Northumberland to visit my cousin who had cancer. It was more than twenty years since I'd last made my way to Wooler. I'd forgotten how beautiful and peaceful it was. And the sheep , everywhere!
We even made  it to Edinburgh for a night, camping just outside the city and  to Lowfell near Newcastle, where my aunt lives.  I caught up with some cousins and some of their children. Why do I always leave it so long?
But the next stop after Shropshire was  Oxford to spend a few days with my daughter and her gorgeous family. With the camper, our bedroom,  parked on their drive, we enjoy another few days of family stories, wild games and always fun. My soul was  rejuvenated being  around the buzz of youth.There is a full house, with eight children still at home and also my daughter's mother in law living with them.Image may contain: 13 people, including Ryan Stevens, Emma Stevens and Daniella Solis, people smiling

They showed us plans for the new house they were getting with a new granny annex which will make life much easier.
We left them in good spirits and headed home on the Wednesday to  make choir practice for the Easter services, which were to start with The Mass of the Lord's Supper the next evening.
I love the Easter Triduum - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday- it's the culmination of the whole year's liturgy.The joy is almost tangible.  And it was a great pleasure to have our grandaughter, Elouise, a keen singer, join the choir for all the services.

This year, 2020, we haven't been out, haven't seen any family except the two children living with us,  haven't been to celebrate Easter in our Church, although we've been joining online mass which has been something.
And at the moment, we are not even going for a walk, having had some Covid 19 symptoms. We have to stay in,  isolate ourselves.
Although there were only going to be four of us together for Easter, I bought a leg of lamb. I would rather have not had meat , but  my son and daughter wanted to do a traditional lunch and as things are difficult enough...I mean, Peter has just had an operation and then an infection, and has been quite poorly.
 I wanted to create a special time for us together.
Now, what do they sat about making plans?
On Friday I started coughing ( well, that's when I noticed) and my chest was sore.
What to do?
 Shall I just keep quiet and not tell them ? The next day It's obvious I'm not well so I have to tell them.
What to do?
I decide , after checking best advice to self isolate in the small bedroom. I feel guilty. After all, I'm still needed to nurse my husband, aren't I?
That's when my daughter stepped in and took over.
On the Sunday, Easter Day, they brought me dinner in my room and I didn't much care what it was or how they'd cooked it, which, for me, a control freak in my own kitchen,  was telling.
This was a very different day to 2019 when we spent the day with my daughter in Whitstable, with her husband , her six children and her husbands family. Their other grandma organized  an egg hunt, the sun shone, the dinner was a banquet, which fed more than twenty people.

The world is very different today.

But there is a wonderful life that we are hopefully edging back to.