Monday, 27 December 2010

Aslan, Caspian and Reepicheep

So Boxing Day ended with an impromptu trip to the cinema to see the latest Narnia film, Voyage of The Dawn Treader. Great film !

The closing scene of the film has the main character's at the edge of Aslan's land (paradise) which is characterised as a wall of water next to a beach. Once you enter Aslan's land you cannot leave.

Caspian walks to the edge, puts his hand in the sheer wall of water and returns saying something along the lines of "I've spent too much time wanting what has been taken, and not on what has been given". Caspian wants to enter that land but (somewhat reluctantly) comes back to complete all that Aslan wants him to do.

Reepicheep, the valiant brave warrior on the other hand, throw's his sword away saying, "This is my heart's desire" and runs to the water's edge, jumps into his little boat, then he paddles up the wall of water with a broad smile and clear expectation on his face - and into Aslan's land...never to be seen again in Narnia.

I told the counsellor recently that I felt like I'd walked to the gates of glory....I, like Caspian, had to return; Karena, like Reepicheep, went into Aslan's land....but Aslan (Jesus) was with them both on this tough journey.

I blubbed my way out of the cinema; the parallel's were astounding.
CS Lewis was a genius! I will now re-read the book!

And my favourite Narnia quote about Aslan...."He's not a safe Lion, but He is good"

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Images of Christmas....

Isaiah 9 : 6 "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 Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace..."

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The first Christmas...

I've been trying not to do too much "This time last year...." stuff but it's really very difficult...I naturally remember dates and events with my "Captain-Logical" brain :-(
The whole situation was accurately described to me today as feeling like you've been taken out of one life and dropped into a completely different life which you didn't ask for or want!

This year, Christmas will be different for us - we will be spending Christmas Day with very dear friends and then meeting up with family on Boxing Day - hopefully there will be lots of laughter, and not many tears. I really just want the children to have a good time really!

But as we approach our first Christmas since the great sadness, I'm reminded of the bible teaching about the first Christmas...."The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling amongst us....". (John 1:14)
When you peel away all the hype, all the nonsense, all the fairytale, all the myth and get to the core of what really happened 2000 years ago, the simple truth is that the God of all things, for whom nothing is too hard, was humbled, he surrendered his glory and was made man, in the most outrageous move he could possibly have made....
I read yesterday...."There are lots of important truths in the gospel, but they all depend on this one. The cross made possible freedom from sin, and the resurrection secured it, but the writing was on the wall the day Mary got pregnant. It is not exaggeration to say that the incarnation - God becoming flesh - is the most scandalous teaching anyone has ever given. More scandalously, it is completely true"
That was the first's totally life changing... :-)

PS : Sorry if you were expecting a Christmas card from us this year - I just couldn't bring myself to write 4 names instead of 5 on card-after-card!.....but....we do wish you a very Merry Christmas , and much love to you ! x

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Nuts and stuff....

Today was visit #4 to Grey Squirrel....
I talked and talked for another hour.....about the future, children, work, and moving on generally.
Today though I didn't have a big agenda like I have done on previous visits. Good to do more splurging through!
Grey Squirrel is truly exceptional at listening and interjecting at just the right point....she really is a square peg in a square hole (and I told her so !)

Yesterday I went to talk to somebody about a part time job working at a drop-in centre in Reading, but have decided not to apply for it, but hope to do some voluntary work there in the New Year (if they'll have me!)... When I was out tho, I also saw a giant wooden cross and was reminded of Jesus' words, "Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple..." (Luke 14:27)
Today I also visited a dear christian couple who are both blind and have daily difficulties - the like of which, I have never experienced. I came away blessed beyond expectation just by being with them for an hour.
I wonder what is ahead in this crazy life??!! certainly feels totally nuts sometimes (I'm sure Grey Squirrel would agree!). Tee, hee !
So.....stuff I'm grateful for today :-
  • The unchanging good news of Jesus Christ (life in all it's fullness - John 10:10 !)
  • My eyesight
  • My children
  • Good friends
  • Central Heating
  • Chocolate

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Footprints of Grey Squirrel

Yesterday it was back to see Grey Squirrel (aka Sonia the counsellor) for session #3.
My plan was to talk about fears....

  • Fears I have for my children
  • Fears I have for the future (what if...)
  • Fear of death (the process)

During all my splurging, I recalled Christmas eve last year and listening to a song with Karena and both crying together in each others arms whilst listening to it sitting in the kitchen.

Grey Squirrel later reminded me of the famous Footprints in the Sand poem. The poem is a fair summary of the last year really....the same Lord who carried Karena through her final days is the one who has carried me and the children throughout this massively emotional year.
When Grey Squirrel mentioned the poem, it suddenly clicked in my brain that the very song Karena and I had listened to that tearful day was 'Footprints in the Sand' by Leona Lewis.

Have a listen by clicking here and let the grace of God wash over you as you do works for me, even if it does make me cry. Go on.....STOP, listen and open your heart up to the living God - it's only 4 minutes of your life!!

Today, I've been out with a dear friend, laughing and enjoying life for a change !

Friday, 3 December 2010

Revisiting Grey Squirrel

Wednesday's visit to Grey Squirrel was visit number 2.
I went armed with some photos and a hard copy of my blog covering Karena's journey to glory.

I read lots, relived tonnes of memories (mostly sad), and cried a lot. Another hour of my life over with.

Am hoping that there is healing in all the tears, otherwise I'm totally wasting my time. For the last 2 days since then I've just felt totally flat, fizz-less, without much emotional energy at all.

My fabulous friend Ellie, who's journeyed this same path, says that it's all very normal. Personally I'm not sure I'll ever be 'normal' again.

Back to Grey squirrel for session #3 next week.

Stuff I'm grateful for today :-
  • The unchanging gospel - without which, there is, quite simply, no hope whatsoever!
  • My counselling 'team'- particularly Grey Squirrel, Ellie, Sean and Tim.
  • My Land Rover in the snow (hill starts on snow and ice just for fun !)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A pinch and a punch.....

So, it's the 1st of December...which means Christmas is just around the corner !
Am trying not to think too hard about last year's Christmas - but the snow brings back an awful lot of memories ('awful' being the operative word !).

I went to see Grey Squirrel again today; last session was cancelled - I like to think it's because I'm too much of an emotional challenge, but actually I think she just had a better offer ! More on today's visit to Grey Squirrel on the next blog.....

So, as it's December, we've been out tonight and bought our Christmas tree, so the children have been busy decorating it this evening, accompanied by some very (annoying) cheesey Christmas music :-)
A few weeks ago I had a bit of a panic about the prospect of having to sort out lots of Christmas presents (In all previous years , I've only bought for one person !!), so I decided to start Christmas shopping early!...I then got quite focussed and have now managed to buy all presents, and have even wrapped them all (including stockings) I thought a smug blog was called for...tee hee...all presents wrapped, Christmas tree up, outside lights on (first in the street!), and we even made mince pies tonight (my first time ever !). Am feeling ever so prepared ! I must've forgotten something !

Shhhh - I thought I heard sleigh bells.....