Did God get it wrong?

Standard

When I was young I envied my mum and sister’s movie star legs. Why did I get my dad’s short muscular ones I queried? Why couldn’t I have been beautiful instead of OK, brilliant instead of smart, talented but not the artist I dreamed to be, and most of all why wasn’t I one of those social types at ease in every situation, bubbling with small talk and confidence?

I got a clue on my first medical examination.

“You’ve got great legs!” the doctor told me. “Never going to have trouble with those legs.”

“But…” I mumbled, uncomfortable with the compliment.

Later it became clear as my mum’s legs soon grew subject to varicose veins, while at sixty six, in spite of multiple pregnancies and excessive use, I can still wear shorts without embarrassment  . Around the same time my friend, who happened to have the 36 double D bust I’d coveted, shared how she could never find a dress that fitted, found running painful and, most of all, wished guys would look at her face instead of lower down. Being more observant I slowly realised being “drop dead beautiful” had it’s down side. People too often judged by the exterior resulting in the beauty becoming vain and shallow or frustrated because she wanted to be loved for her inner self. If I’d not been dyslexic to offset my smartness I’d not have made a good teacher, have changed so many little hearts to believe in themselves. Being OK but not beautiful, smart but not genius, talented but never quite perfect, kept me humble but not despairing.

I now picture God with his weights and scales, his tweezers even, getting everything just exactly right and balanced for the role he created me to play. There were no mistakes. Much as I lament my inadequacies I see they are all part of my balance. Even the social awkwardness I still suffer means I draw closer to him in a way I never would have done had I been little miss popular. The only way I can conquer my social awkwardness is to focus on the needs of others to overcome my shyness. This has poured my life into a mould of happiness and fulfilment.  Those focused on others are rarely troubled by depression and tend to enjoy a depth of friendship the bubbling socialite may never know.

Though I was in rebellion, I see now with hindsight God didn’t get it wrong. Nor does he expect from me what I am unable to give. I am as he made me and in that is content and peace.

Advertisements

My garden in the sky.

Standard

Back to my personal place, the place that’s me, where I can watch unnoticed all that passes below, partake in the vibes of distant conversations without being burdened by understanding or reply. A place where the sky fills two thirds of my vision, and surprises me in sudden glimpses of breathtaking splendor, where I can see the far off hills, be aware of the old church, rooted through the centuries, without the need to visit. Here were God seems closer than my last week away.

Yes that house is far bigger, it has not just a balcony by a beautiful ornate garden, not just  bathrooms, but outdoor hot tub. It’s far more beautifully furnished than mine, has spare bedrooms, a library and study, even a working fireplace and chimney. All these things I love, yet it seems empty even when all the  family are there. The dog is my comfort, we sit, each missing in our different ways. I rub his ears and watch too many movies in an effort to pass the time till my duties are over and I can pass it all back to its rightful owners.

They like it here, anyone would, it has everything ones heart could desire, all but one, my little garden in the sky is the place God and I chat, a place of renewing, somehow his humility doesn’t sit well with opulence – neither does my heart.

It reminds me of a favourite song:

“Make me the king of a vast domain,

With cups of pleasure to ease the pain.

I’d hate it all without Him…”

Life is like that, things can never fill the empty place within. It’s so good to be home where everything reflects our life together, small, cosy, warm spirited – here I can write again.

Age adjustments.

Standard

Don’t worry – less is more! Almost all the things listed come naturally along with retirement age. It’s a time of quality not quantity, of sipping life in small sips rather than downing shots. Appreciation flourishes, patience matures, humility takes the edge off pride as you pass the torch to others, your sense of what is important becomes heightened in the knowledge that your remaining time should be spent wisely.

I can say in honesty I do not crave to be younger, each age has its merits and this one outdoes the others as the taste of a rare vintage   entices the pallet as a new wine never could.

As spring turns to summer

Standard

IMG_0059

(View from my bed)

I linger this morning taking in the sunshine and gentle breeze. Grandson departed for the weekend, it’s just me and the sunshine. Nostalgia gone this morning I’m basking in English spring (remembering there is no real spring in China where I lived just rain, more rain, then the heat of summer). In South China beauty reigns in autumn but in England in the spring.

I think it was Kipling that wrote from India, “Oh to be in England now that April’s here,” (and May and June…)

It’s a time to be here to see nature awaken and blossom, to feel the chill winds turn to cooling breezes. I am reminded that where ever I am to be content, to take in the beauty that surrounds me and to breathe it out to others, sharing these breaths of nature’s bounty. The hand of God is everywhere!