For a number of years now I have been reflecting on my previous year and setting intentions for the year to come. In more recent years I have set aside a day to come and see my friend Amanda and go through those reflections in an intentional and structured way.
I was in the middle of severe grief due to miscarriages, and I found this book called Bittersweet. I don’t recall what made me pick it up. Whether it was the picture of the crumbled chocolate on the front or the subtitle; ‘thoughts on change, grace and learning the hard way’.
Either way, it found its way home with me. As I read it, often with tears in my eyes, I was so grateful for this author Shauna Niequist. She managed to articulate her own pain in such a way that she gave me words to express mine.
As you finish this season a little tired, a little weary, a little over it all. Continue reading
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
This often quoted passage from Isaiah foretells the birth of Jesus, calling him the Prince of Peace.
We only have to glimpse the headlines of the news today to see a world of hunger and need, war and death, terror and tragedy.
As we all sat around the dinner table, he asked how my day was. So I listed the tasks that had made up the hours, one after another in rapid fire: the class party; the baking of mince pies; the washing; the playdate. I ended with, ‘… and then I said goodbye to my good friend who is moving away, so yeah it was a hard day’.
Sometimes I live so much in my head that I don’t really inhabit my body. Yes, it gets me from place to place, but often I rush from thing to thing and I don’t pause long enough to notice my body. And then I wonder all of a sudden why I am so hungry, or tired, or my shoulders ache. I don’t pause long enough to notice, really notice what my body is telling me.
At this time of year my life is marked by the never-ending internal list. You know the one cataloguing presents purchased, food to be organised, the Christmas shirt required for the end of year concert, etc.
Add to that the everyday chores and I find I am subject to a constant internal dialogue that means my mind is extremely loud.