Blasé about dirty windows

I hit a learning curve today.

What happens when you roll out of church at 1.30ish on an extremely sunny Sunday and realise you’ve not made plans to see anyone that day? Panic?

Another thing to add to the list of things i miss now that i’m not in a relationship. To be honest, i’d not really thought about it until now. My weekends are mostly filled with friends or family. But..today was different. On the one hand i really wanted to sit in the park and just chill, by myself and enjoy the last bout of sunshine. And on the other, i didn’t want to do it alone. (I know, how sad?!)

I’m a lazy friend. Actually, no, I’m being harsh on myself. I may have mentioned before, I’m just not used to having lengthily phone conversations. This stems from years with parents who were very conscious of phone bills and basically banned me from long inane phone calls with friends. ‘You’re going to see them tomorrow aren’t you?’

Therefore, as an unconscious rule, I use the phone solely to confirm arrangements, make arrangements – anything that’s basically specific. If I haven’t got something to say to say. I won’t call you. (i hope i’m getting better at this now. I especially make an effort to text).

So, having left a couple of messages with my closest friends, and realising they were astute enough to make plans..i took the bus home from Church.

On the bus from Oxford Circus to Vauxhall, I was thinking about how much I miss my sister; and the true reason I couldn’t be joyful about her pregnancy. (I’ve not mentioned this before, but yes..she’s pregnant with her new bf) We’d only just started hanging out again.. I mean. Really hanging out. I could have called her …after her Charity Run…and gone round to make Sunday lunch at hers. Or, better still..she could have come to mine, but…

As I flicked from Facebook to Twitter, from my emails and text messages through the long journey home, I suddenly felt extremely lonely as I imagined everyone else out and about, or having barbeques. But mostly lazing in the sunshine. I suddenly felt rather empty.

If i’m brutally honest i’m just not as blasé about my meeting with CM as i’d thought i would be. But then..do i ever learn my lesson? We’ve talked it over. And because he’s thoughtful and kind i realise that the sanity check wasn’t just for him. He was actually concerned that i was ok about it all. I said, yes. I was. I don’t think it’s computing at the moment though.

Unfortunately I suddenly feel rather empty.

Belligerently i put my FB status as ‘dumping chores for sunshine’. But because I couldn’t bear sitting in a park by myself i decided to stop at Tesco and buy a whole chicken on discount, salad and rose wine… (see my drift?)

I put the chicken in the oven to roast and cleaned the windows of my flat (although I could only reach halfway so the top of the panes are still shoddy!) and vacuumed. I then ate the chicken with a lovely potato and green salad..and drank far too much Rose, on my own.

In hindsight, I’m slightly worried about the wine, as i can ‘see’ I’m obviously on a ‘downward’ mood. I have the ‘restructure meeting’ to consider on Tuesday. It’s been the weirdest two weeks, having the consultation period. No one at work really talks about it. It’s like this massive elephant in the room at every meeting?

On a plus, i’ve FINALLY ordered prints of my digital photos, and framed some of them to put around the flat. It looks like someone ‘lives’ here now. I’d noticed that the first thing that people do when they come round is look around. Especially at my bookcase, and the sparse and impersonal ‘fashion’ photos I have up. Now I have friends and family to spark conversation. It feels nice.

Despite the bout of loneliness, the TV has been off all day and I’ve been listening to my old iPod. (repeat – My OLD iPod…we’re talking The Feeling, Usher, Counting Crows, Jamie Foxx, Peter Gabriel and Elvis..not to mention concertos saved for wedding march ideas..!) I feel productive, so I can’t deny how good the day has been.

I wonder how, if i unexpectedly find myself at a loose end again, that i stop worrying about it and just enjoy it?

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Carrots, Eggs and Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her
about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know
how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of
fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new
one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots
with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to
boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed
eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit
and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She
fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the
eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out
and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘ Tell me
what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the
carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then
asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the
shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.
The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then
asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced
the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The
carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being
subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg
had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid
interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside
became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however.
After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity
knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or
a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems
strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and
lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but
changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death,
a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become
hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside
am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes
the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the
water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are
like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and
change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and
trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee
bean?

************

This was sent to my inbox today – most poignant to me because of yesterday’s lunch-time service at All Souls Church, Langham Place (every Thursday from 1pm) which was taken by Heewoo Han on Luke 12:22 – 34 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A22-34&version=NIV). Then, my reading from Every Day with Jesus today was from the VERY same reading. Incidentally, yesterday’s reading was Matthew 6:25…yes – the SAME teaching again, but from a different book/disciple!

I’ve been praying and praying as a lot has been happening this month. Not just with the wedding plans and worrying how we’re going to pay for everything; but also with my sister splitting from her husband, my Grandad being ill and work issues.I think someone is trying to tell me something, and this puts these little things sharply into perspective!

God bless
x

Finding my Passion

All Souls has been talking up ‘a Passion for Life‘ – the Nationwide initiative starting in March next year that’s set to draw churches together for a series of evangelical events. I’m looking forward to it. It reminds me of Billy Graham, back in the 90s, the reason that my family started going to North Cheam Baptist Church.

And so I picked up a couple of ‘London’s Biggest Survey Ever’ leaflets and gave it them to the girls back in the office. The younger, a Celebrity Exec, was genuinely inspired by it. “Only one questions?” she asked..”But what if I have more than one?”
I laughed, “Fill in two surveys then!”

I’m still waiting to hear what my boss thinks of it all? She says she’s Catholic..

We got to talking about what ‘a Passion for Life” would be like, and she watched the short film on the website which explains everything – and eventually the conversation turned to Christian music. – would there be celebs there? Famous Christian bands? We counted a few, sorry to say, uninspiring celebs we knew who are Christians; Cliff Richard, Whitney Houston (but she’s probably not a practising Christian? right?..Unfortunately she’s not heard of the likes of Tim Hughes, Delirious? or Casting Crowns

She’s into rap..and found a REALLY bad video on Youtube – i’ve been traumatised, sorry and can’t remember who it was, but then she found this fantastic rapper called God’s Block.

I listen to the Worship Central podcast every month – which i think is mainly for Worship Leaders (of which i’m not) – but i LOVE it! I only know of one UK Christian Radio station – Premier Radio doesn’t feature more contemporary – i know they pop a couple medium paced worship songs into Inspirational Breakfast – but what of Christian Rock, or Rap? I’d love to get the survey results on who the Premier Radio listener is.