Not much of a TV fan to be honest……

I’m not much of a TV fan to be honest, most of my free time is spent reading, doing stuff online or doing something creative.    I posted a few months ago about my favourite place in the house being my conservatory, that’s where I spend a lot of time and it has been declared a TV free zone, by order of the management ( well by me, that is!).    However in the UK there has been a programme on over the last few weeks that has tempted me to sit in front of the box (although I suppose they are not really boxes any more …. but let’s not get technical).

You may wonder what could have enticed me to do such a thing?   The good ol’ Beeb  (BBC)  decided to bring sewing out of mothballs and created a competition type programme called ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’.   All I can say is that I am thankful I recorded it and am looking forward to watching it again in a marathon 4 hour long viewing session, accompanied by copious amounts of tea and biscuits and maybe the odd cucumber sandwich.

What a breath of fresh air, a competition that was marked out from the rest by the grace and kindness of not only the participants  but also the judges were kind, encouraging and well mannered.   I may be biased because of my great love of sewing in any shape or form BUT it is one of the best shows I have seen in years!   The contestants all produced brilliant work and when the winner was announced no-one was left sitting with their jaw hanging open wondering if the judges had been watching a different show.   The finalists all created work of a superbly high quality but one person’s work was of a consistently high standard throughout the series and she won……. how refreshing!

Great British Sewing Bee3

However, there is another side to this, I am a keen sewer and have many and varied projects on the go at any given time.   I have many PhD’s   (projects half done)  and there are frequent sightings of UFO’s    (un-finished objects) in my workroom (aka: the conservatory) but I don’t mind a  bit.      I’m a fabric ‘collector’ ….. my husband tries valiantly to distract me  when we pass fabric shops, it rarely works, I can sniff one out a mile away ….. but then he’s a bit of a wood collector so I think that makes us even, and my fabric takes up less space!

But this programme enthused me, and this from someone who is already over-the-top enthusiastic about sewing.   So  last week I had an overwhelming urge to start a new project ….. which I am delighted to say I also finished in a couple of days.  I made a handbag out of some beautiful Harris Tweed, which I bought when we holidayed on Harris a couple of years ago, and I am thrilled with the result.   And I’m sure I was not the only one in the country who was inspired to pick up a needle as a result of this programme either.

Harris Tweed handbag 001

There is something so deeply satisfying about creating things with your own hands, whether it is with fabric, paint, or any other  medium ….. it does our souls’ good and for me it can be a very spiritual experience, I can get lost for hours working on a project, deep in thought, enjoying the freedom of not having to focus on mundane need,  but revelling in the joy of creating something beautiful.     I believe creativity is innate in all of us, we may not all be Monet or Da Vinci but we each have the ability to create something beautiful if we will allow ourselves the time and space to explore our potential …… when was the last time you followed your heart to create something new?  Carve yourself a bit of ‘me time’ and experiment , and as well as doing yourself some good, you might really surprise yourself with your own abilities.

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I’M CHANGING MY NAME!

Names are really interesting; I wonder why you were given your particular name?  I was given the name Linda,  I quite like it now but there were times, especially in my youth, that I wanted to change it for something a bit more  trendy like Samantha, I guess that probably gives away my age a bit!   I think my parents gave me my name because they liked it, I never thought to ask and it’s too late now.  But my hubby and I gave our children their names because we liked them and for most of us, we choose a name because we like the sound or the association it has, or perhaps to honour one of our family or friends.

In some cultures, particularly in biblical times names had great significance and said something about the child or person who was given the name. For example when the ageing Sarah gave birth to a son he was given the name Isaac, which means ‘laughter’, because Sarah laughed when God said she would conceive.  At other times God changed a person’s name to correspond with a dramatic life change as when Saul, chief persecutor of Christians, became Paul disciple of Jesus.

At our homegroup recently we were asked to share a gospel story that we identified with in some way.  I chose to share the passage about Jesus’ visit to Martha and Mary (Luke 10: 38-42).  My honest response to this story was that I was firmly on Martha’s side!  Often when we have guests I feel like I’m the one rushing around organising food, tidying up, washing dishes etc while everyone else sits and chats with our guests (to be fair the family do help, but I always feel very responsible for the preparations).   I do this in my life generally even when we don’t have guests, I buzz around making myself busier and busier until I am dizzy with activity and then I complain that I’m so busy I can’t find time and space to spend with God because of all the other things I have to do.

christ teaching martha and mary anton dorph

However, over the past few weeks this passage has kept rolling around in my head, and if I’m being really truthful, I felt a little disappointed that Jesus seemed to rebuke Martha and favour Mary.   I would love to sit at Jesus feet but who would do all the ‘stuff’ that needs to be done?   Finally it bugged me enough to go and have another look!   Isn’t it strange that you can read a passage over and over and over again and suddenly one day something just jumps off the page at you!   I had one of those moments that Archimedes may have described as a ‘eureka’ moment ….. but I think for me it was more of a Holy Spirit moment!

 ‘But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came and said to Jesus,   “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.   Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”’      Luke 10: 40-42

It struck me that our lifestyles today are incredibly busy and we are often busy doing things that are good ….. helping others, supporting good causes, serving in the church, looking after our families, following favourite leisure pursuits….   but it reminded me that Jesus said that what Mary had chosen to do was the better thing, she had chosen to  sit at her Lord’s feet and listen.   It’s good to remember that we can be so much more productive when we take  time to listen to Jesus’ plans for our lives instead of frantically trying to make up our own.

I love the painting above;  I want to be like Mary, sitting at the feet of  Jesus, gazing intently into His face, listening to what He has to say, so……. I’m changing my name I want to be a Mary not a Martha…… I want to choose the better thing.

Would you describe yourself as Martha or Mary?

 

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