Procrastination….

We’ve been doing a series of studies in James over the past few weeks,  I would say I have enjoyed it but actually I’m not sure if enjoy is the right word!  I’ve been challenged,  felt a bit uncomfortable  and occasionally downright awkward…. but I’m not too worried because as our Pastor pointed out, there’s something in James to offend everyone!    But it’s good to be made to think, to be taken out of our comfort zone every once in a while.

One of the things that has stuck in my mind is that life is short!  Maybe that’s because I’m getting older and had a ‘significant’ birthday this year or maybe its that I still feel there are so many things I would like to achieve and I’m not sure how I’m going to fit them all in.   I remember reading a proverb somewhere ….. ‘Don’t leave until tomorrow what you can do today!’  I also know the ‘counter version’ of that proverb …… ‘Never put off until tomorrow what you can possibly do the day after!!’

The second of these has always seemed most appealing to me,  but as I rack up the years I am beginning to wonder if the first one has more sense to it.     I could appreciate the message of it as I stumbled downstairs this morning, bleary eyed in search of coffee only to be met by last nights dishes still sitting in the sink waiting to be washed.   Not a pleasant task to face first thing in the morning but I tackled it as I waited for the coffee machine to bubble  and bloop into action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is something to be said for tackling jobs at the right time,  if I’d washed the dishes last night I wouldn’t have been faced with a pot whose contents seemed to have turned into super-glue overnight and required about 5 minutes of scrubbing instead  of a quick 30 second  wash when it was newly empty.

However, menial tasks give you time to think, and I had a  good few minutes to think things over in the early morning light.  I wondered how many other aspects of our lives are the same?    When we don’t deal with a fall out or an argument right away, does the hurt and upset become ‘crusted on’ bitterness that is much harder to shift?    When we say something hurtful in haste or in the heat of the moment it is much easier dealt with quickly but so often we try to gloss over it and pretend it hasn’t happened, its so much harder to revisit it later and scrape off the dried in mess we’ve left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Grandfather apparently liked to quote well known phrases and proverbs,  one of his favourites was “Procrastination is the thief of time”   I don’t think I really understood it before but I can see the sense of it now.    I don’t know how many years God has appointed for me on this earth, none of us do, but my thought for today is to use the time we do have wisely and not waste it…… better get off this computer then and get the dishes done!!

A week in the life …..

Wow!  Where does the time go?  Life has been busy over the past couple of weeks for a lot of reasons, at home,  at work and at church.    I’m involved in a few ministry areas  in church,  including the teaching team and this morning I was preaching at our morning service.     It’s a big responsibility and not one that I take lightly.    I’ve spent the last few weeks studying and preparing for this message which  is part of a series on James.   My text was James 4: 13-17 , the title ‘Boasting about the Future’, the message in a nutshell ….. don’t focus your life on making money….. life is short, use it wisely ….. hold all things lightly and be prepared for God to change your plans.      I have to admit that I  enjoy the preparation and study for preaching and teaching assignments and I like crafting the words together into something that I hope and pray will bless and challenge others.

Tomorrow is busy too…. I will be at work  during the day ( I work Monday – Thursday)  and tomorrow I will be running a lunch and social club for older people.   In the evening I swap hats and become a  Compassion Advocate and head into Edinburgh to be part of the team ‘manning’ the stand at the Tony Campolo & Graham Kendrick event.   I have to admit to being really excited about that, I love being an Advocate for Compassion especially at events and from the feedback I’ve heard from other dates on this tour,  tomorrow  promises to be a great night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday is catch up day at the office, it’s the only day in the week that I don’t run groups so I use it to catch up on paperwork, meet potential volunteers and do planning and development.    Then in the evening I am teaching a bible study at ‘Inspiring Women’  one of our church women’s groups.

 

 

After that the week quietens down a bit and I can catch up on housework : (   and get some crafting done  : )       In between I need to meet up with friends to discuss what costumes we need for this years’ Dickens, Christmas Carol evening (22nd December)  and our Victorian Craft Fair (8th December)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suddenly it doesn’t seem too long until Christmas….. that must mean I’d better get my Christmas mailings for my sponsored kids in the post pretty quickly.     Better add that to this week’s ‘to do’ list!!!

Momma said there’d be days like this……

This has not been a good week.   Sometimes no matter how hard you try you just can’t get on top of things, some days you just feel like you are buried at the bottom of the pile.  That said, there have been good things happen this week too, things that have lifted my spirit and encouraged me.  But this week I’ve lived under a cloud of  having to deal with stuff that is outside my comfort zone, make decisions about BIG stuff that I feel ill qualified to do, but I’ve had to do it anyway and pray that it will be ok.    It  has made me feel tired and anxious.

You see my Mum passed away a little over a year ago and I miss her, nothing really prepares you for losing a parent, you think they are immortal, but sadly they are not.   And there is still ‘stuff’ to sort out, legal stuff, house stuff, the sort of stuff that needs ‘someone who really knows what they are doing’ kind of  stuff!!

Mum was the last of that generation of parents, aunts and uncles so now my generation of brothers, sisters, cousins are the ‘older generation’,   the elders in the family.     How did that happen?  I’m not ready to take on the role of one of the older responsible ones, not yet, it’s too soon, I need more time…. but time marches on relentless, it makes you take stock.

I started to write this post last night and when I woke  this morning the first light of dawn was stretching its pink fingers across the sky.   I am blessed because our bedroom is in the attic with east facing windows and I can lie in my bed and watch the sun rise.    As I watched the clouds gradually change from grey to  pink, orange,  purple, gold …..  and become alive, light with colour and beauty it took my breath away.    Suddenly in the silence I was aware of hearing God speak, not an audible voice, but that still small inner voice that you just know is His.

As I sat, awestruck at the beauty of the sunrise He spoke to me of the clouds.    Without the clouds there would be no beautiful sunrise, it is the clouds that reflect the sun’s light, create the stunning colour and patterns that amaze us.    I pondered over this thought…… last night I was worn down by the ‘cloud’  hanging over me.  Today I know this cloud will pass but maybe, just maybe I can use it to reflect the Son’s light….

Life at the madhouse!!

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you expect…..

Take our pets for example…. there is Bonnie the Golden Retriever who doesn’t retrieve,  Emma the Cocker Spaniel who likes to tap dance and our ginger cat called Garfield (what else!!) who doesn’t eat lasagne…… more on this later!

Then there are those brilliant ideas that once you try to put them into action don’t seem so brilliant after all.   It all started a few weeks ago when I noticed that our pets beds were looking decidedly shabby,  and being the mad crafter that I am I thought I should make new covers, only the stuffing was looking a bit flat and worn too and since it wasn’t washable maybe that needed changed too.

So, basically I set myself the task of making new beds.    No problem to a multi-tasking supermum like me!!   One trip to the craft store later  I am on my way home with a bag of polystyrene beads ( I figured polystyrene was more hygienic).  Pleased with myself for deciding on the better priced LARGE bag ( an absolute bargain!)   and only slightly anxious that I can barely see out of the back window of the car,  I drive home  thinking that I at least have enough to make 3 new pet beds with a bit left over for other craft projects.

After wrestling the bag out of the car and into the house  I cut out some calico to make the inner liners and sew them up remembering to leave a gap to put the filling in ……  have you ever tried filling anything with polystyrene beads?

The plastic tumbler was no use,  I should have realised  it would cause static….. a glass jug will be much better ….  or maybe not!

Determined to finish what I had started (and justify to dear husband why I had bought such a large bag of pb’s)  I filled bed No 1 stitched it closed and threw it on the floor …… hmmmm needs less filling  or the dog is going to be sitting on top of a mountain ….. I unpick stitching and empty some out, spilling large quantities on the floor, empty more out….  and more….. it seems you only really need to half fill it with pb’s so they can move around.     Much later….. bed No 2 completed, covers and all, and there is barely a dent in the bag of pb’s   😦

Never mind, the dogs are going to love their new beds ……. we are entering the realm of mythology now ….. both me and my conservatory look as if we have seen the wrong side of a snow storm and are Bonnie and Emma grateful?  Not a chance!   From the looks on their faces the dialogue goes like this “actually we liked our old beds best …… these are very noisy,  they smell funny and when you stand on them the earth moves …. we are not impressed!!”

This comes from a Golden Retriever who arrived in our home over 6 years ago as very cute 8 week old puppy.

The only problem was that she came with attitude!   And come to think of it she’s been ‘not impressed’ with beds before!

When you ask Bonnie to do something she gives you the hands on hips look that  says something along the lines of “make me”!    Dogs love to chase after balls and sticks right?    Wrong!!  Bonnie (Golden Non-Retriever) will go and get a ball once for you but if you are stupid enough to throw it again …  you get the “you threw it , you get it”  look.    Bonnie also ‘talks’ and has no problem letting you know when she is not happy with the service provided in the establishment.

Emma on the other hand is very much a lady, probably due to the fact that she was my Mum’s dog and we ‘inherited’ her when Mum passed away last year.  Emma’s preferred method of communication is akin to morse code where she taps out messages on the wooden floors.   She is small and pretty quiet except when we pass our neighbour when he is out walking his five (yes 5!!)Rottweilers  then she decides that attack is the best method of defence and barks at them while making threatening lunges towards them, not the sharpest tack in the box!!

Garfield,  is of the opinion that pet beds are beneath him

and that anywhere has the  potential to be a bed……

So life at the madhouse continues….. Emma has decided she prefers anything to the hard floor, Bonnie continues to eye her bed with disgust,  and I still have a very large bag of polystyrene beads ….

Suggestions and patterns gratefully appreciated!!!

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