lethargy, energy and resolutions?

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It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between tiredness and lethargy as one gets older. This has been a main focus of my New Year deliberations.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the difference lies in being decisive, having definite goals throughout each day, not just a vauge”to do list”  seldom refered to. My energy is more limited than it used to be, but that is all the more reason to use it (and my remaining time) constructively – to plan rather than drift. It’s not really about doing more, rather about focusing when I’m doing. When you’re tired you tend to let your life drift following circumstance rather than being in control. It’s tough to explain. It’s like there’s a switch you turn on, a possitivity switch almost – you take control. It’s not that you were negative before, rather that you are drifting, but drifting leads to apathy and apathy to discouragement and worse. It’s having a vision pursuing those dreams etc. regardless of how much energy you have to spend each day. I find not only my happiness, but my energy rises a when I’m focused. Hope that makes sense!

My resolutions?

1)To stop each morning to jot down a plan for the day, including some neglected areas.

a) Doing something for my body and appearance. Unlike most women I hardly think about these things other than to stay clean and tidy. As my body gets older it needs more care and thinking what to wear (I’m 99% in the same rotated jeans and T shirts).

b) Doing something for my flat, though always clean and tidy, housework is not a favourite of mine so I tend to do the minimum. How inspiring to see the cupboards tidy and organised etc. (I just might find some long lost items lol!)

c) Actually plan what I’m going to eat. Like with the clothes, I eat the same old things to save having to think about it. This goes hand in hand with my next item.

2) I’m sick of being just slightly overweight. Yes, most folks are bigger at my age but that is no consolation when I look in the mirror and see my flabby chin or little waist doughnut. I lost weight during my move due to stress. It wasn’t a healthy weight loss so it went straight back on, but I remember looking in the mirror and seeing what a big difference it made. I want that – but healthily and planning meals is a part of that.

3) Having found a possible agent for my book I’m keen to plough through the suggested revisions and hopefully get it published. Along with that I want to finish the sequel. This last being the easiest resolution as I’m all fired up to do it.

Wishing you all a very happy New Year full of love, change, vision and your hearts desires!

 

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The freedom of being a christian!

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Mark Batterson makes a statement at the beginning of his “Wild Goose Chase” series (if you haven’t heard it you really missed something!) He speaks of how a zoo just isn’t the same as seeing creatures in the wild. He ponders whether churches, well meaning, may shelter “caged Christians” safe, secure but no longer free. It’s a question to ponder.

In my own experience finding Christ was the ultimate in freedom. Free of worries for my needs or safety I could go anywhere, do anything! Being “born” outside the religious system I took His words quite literally when He said, “My God shall supply all your needs,” or “the angel of the Lord encamps about those that fear Him and delivers them,” etc. I lived on the promises and He met every one, wonderfully! In my innocence I knew no other way.

The verse, “He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly” does not (as it is often misapplied) mean we’ll get rich. It means when we receive His spirit in our hearts our new (spiritual) life begins, right then, overflowing with power, joy, and love. But even the life-giving spirit of Christ can be quenched if we bottle it up and turn off the faucet through fear.

I find it strange many non-believers view Christianity as restrictive. The opposite is true. Jesus sets us free, free from sin, from fear, even from convention. I suspect many might be surprised at my mental picture of Jesus – in action, overflowing with life, joy, love and power. My favourite Easter picture (above) shows Jesus racing from the tomb, full of power, eager to begin His future work. He often makes me laugh (usually at myself) and tells me I’m too serious – a worry wort lol! He really is a “free spirit” in every sense of the word.

I love that His first recorded miracle was to save a party by turning water to wine, that children loved Him. I love how he picked fishermen – even a tax collector – for His disciples. Even more I love that he roamed the land with no home, no job, no official stamp. He even had a notorious prostitute as a close follower! He must have gotten dirty, probably smelly, definitely not a member of “respectable society”, but love and power flowed from Him, healing, freeing, inspiring. That’s certainly not the image non-Christians have of the average church member.

Have we become caged, tame Christians, docile pets of the status quo? It’s a dangerous question to pose – it was the “status quo”, not the Romans that had Jesus killed – the Romans were just the tool they used. Being a real Christian is highly dangerous, but oh the thrill of adventure!

 

Choose to live.

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For me, the best New Year quote was given in the movie Braveheart. He says, “All men die, but not all men truly live.” Many go through life chained to circumstances, living according to “the pattern” of expectation, quenching their dreams, sweet childhood racing hearts reduced to spiritual poverty, disabled by fear.

To truly live demands courage. One might meet an untimely death! At best we stand to fail sometimes, become a target for gossip, have our “friends” desert us. I’ve trod the path, I know.

The alternative to embracing life, is to live a humdrum existence, to “arrive safely at death” dreams stored away lest you fail. I did this at first, till at 17 I exploded, unable to contain it any longer. I hurt some people (especially the boyfriend I no longer wanted to marry). The truth can hurt, but I would have hurt them more in the long run…

I cracked the – 1960s council estate, London suburbia – mould, getting a job in downtown London, I pursued my talents, eventually earning a fine art degree and being ostracized by former friends and neighbours for my audacity. I questioned everything, began to travel, to teach, and best of all (after a great many adventures and going through hell for a while) discovered God was real. From that point on, though there have been battles to fight, I led an enchanted life of total FREEDOM!

During this time, I was continually told these things were impossible for me, a poor girl from a council estate where no one could dream of more than shop, office or factory work, scarcely knew other options existed. Even my school advised against my staying on to take GCSEs (I was dyslexic – a condition unrecognised then) so I left school and started work at 14 years old. I see in retrospect God always had a hand on my life.

Well, that’s my story and it has repeated itself in my children, each conquering “the impossible” in their own way. My advice to anyone with a burning fire? If you hate your life, be brave! Step out on the water like Peter. Sure, he sank when he looked at the waves and the wind, (as we often do) but Jesus lent a hand and together they walked on the water. Peter, a simple fisherman, is remembered while the richly endowed of his time are forgotten. Not for his intellect, talents or wealth but due to his courage to risk everything. So, step out, pursue those dreams, but, if you’d be wise, take God’s hand you may need it sometimes.

A pregnant pause.

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I’ve always felt the days between Christmas and New Year a time of evaluation, a time to reset my compass. It could make sense to celebrate new year on the 23rd of December, winter solstice, when night recedes, and days begin to lengthen, but perhaps it’s better this way. No one knows when Christ was born, but Dec. 25th seems a good choice, when “light comes to the world”.

He didn’t come with a trumpet blast, a sudden dramatic arrival. Rather He slid in quietly, as a tiny babe. (Much like our deepest resolutions, known only to those closest). Though greeted by angels and shepherds, and later prophets and wise men, his arrival was unknown to the vast majority, who were unaware of any change.

It was thirty years before His big public ministry began. Isn’t that how change usually comes? Begun by a define choice, a point of time we commit to a course of action, it’s manifestation appears slowly. Often there are things we must learn and experience before we can fully embrace our goal.

Christmas was commitment when Christ took the first step, by being born in the flesh. He had yet to expose himself to public scrutiny, to heal the sick, to walk on water, to die for us. He had choice as we do. At any point in those 33 years he could have thrown in the towel and walked away to hide in obscurity, but birth was his first commitment, when it all began.

So, I like to take time to ponder my path. Heart cleansed by the remaining gifts of Christmas, love, compassion, unity, I pray about my path and reset my compass for the year ahead.

The morning after.

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The morning after Christmas dawns

The tree bedecked with lights adorns.

But loved ones scuttled to their homes

No more the joy and laugher roams.

Only photos mark the place

And filial love and fun replace.

 

And yet, if I’m to answer true

My head is pounding, and I rue

The ceasless round of food and drink

I’ve got too old for this I think.

 

Not too old for joy, and hugs,

Not too old for cuddle bugs.

Love each moment with my kids

And their offspring and their vid’s.

 

But at my age I need to pause

Rest, recuperate from chores

Listen to the still clear vioce

That makes the inner me rejioce.

I am so blessed in all you see

I think old age is suiting me.

the message of christmas.

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To believe the unbelievable, and then to find it true.

To turn on the colour in a world of shades of grey.

To feel joy growing in your heart till it gushes out embracing all around.

To have a light, a candle, which, though it may flicker, can never be extinguished.

A flame to kindle others, as stars bedeck the night sky.

Happy Christmas from songbird! But, if not…

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Wishing you all a wonderfully happy Christmas full of love, joy, hugs and kisses from those you love.

For those alone this Christmas, for whatever reason, may the Prince of Christmas himself fill your heart with the joy of his presence, that never leaves, always loves, forgives, cares. No matter where we find ourselves in life he’s just a prayer away each and every day and would love to spend Christmas cuddled together with you, bringing with him the magic innocence of childhood and the implicit wisdom of the ages.

From this little birdie let me add my own love, brother, sister, and a long lingering hug to any that may need one. xxx