When I stop and think about it…


I discovered yesterday that my beloved bicycle had been stolen. I’d forgotten to put it away in the garage and someone had sawn through the lock during the night.
When I made a report to the police they asked if I felt vulnerable and needed support. I replied not at all, I just felt mad. Thinking this over I realised I wasn’t really mad though. Thankfully God is good to me and I can buy another without denting my savings too much. It is an inconvenience, but not a big one, since I no longer need to cycle my grandson to school every day.
I figure something like this always carries its own punishment. If the person has a conscience it will nag on them causing guilt. If, as is often the case, their conscience has been hardened the punishment is in the kind of person they have become – how sad and lonely to become such a soul.
Bikes are usually taken to a “cash express” apparently in hopes of trading them in. If the employees follow procedure and check with the police before purchasing I could get my bike back and the culprit be apprehended, but if not it’s not the end of the world. There’s a bike shop around the corner and I can buy another (and be more careful this time around). Perhaps the person that stole it is more to be pitied than me after all.


Try the “done list”!


Perhaps you are like me? I have a bad memory so “post its” and their occupying “to do” lists are ever with me and have been close companions for many years.

Yesterday however tired of the never ending little pink or yellow lists always at my elbow at my lap top, I decided instead to make my first ever “done list”. As I breezed through the day I jotted down relevant items I completed (leaving out the obvious, brush teeth, eat breakfast etc.) By mid day I was amazed at all I’d packed in (It was an average day, I didn’t make a special effort or anything). My perception of myself changed. I’d for a long while pictured myself as kind of lazy, as age took its toll. A glance at my list totally eradicated that notion! It was renewing! Why not give it a go?

Here’s my morning list (love to see yours too).

  1. Chill time to pray and meditate on God’s word (always a first on my list).
  2. Edited and posted a new flash fiction story on my blog.
  3. Wrote another section of my book.
  4. Picked up shopping and checked for movie tickets for a grandson treat.
  5. Picked vegetables at my allotment.
  6. Walked around the lake (about two miles).
  7. Made a healthy lunch.
  8. (My afternoon wasn’t as busy (I’m a morning person and take a rest in the early afternoon – a habit from living in the tropics) but it also had a few more items to add.



strange bonding.


He had to go – one last time, while he could still make the climb.

His companion was not the best, but everyone else “had commitments”. He’d met him in the park sleeping rough, a turbulent young fella Chase was, with hard, rebellious eyes.  He hadn’t understood but he’d been willing, for the pittance Jim was able to pay, (already sleeping rough, what had he to lose?) He was sullen, but, considerate of Jim’s aging frame, he carried the rucksack, appreciative of the new sleeping bag and use of bed and shower as they prepared.

The slope steepened, the going was harder. Jim had to stop frequently to catch his breath.

“Why are you doing this?” Chase asked. “If I were your age I’d be curled up in an armchair.”

“ You’ll see when we get there.” Chase thought the old duffer mad, but he’d been kind, besides he liked crazy folks, he was half crazy himself. He didn’t care. Help the old duffer up the mountain and maybe he could doss with him for a while after, till things turned sour…

The road lay far behind, the car a matchbox toy. Things were quiet up here. They sat and ate sandwiches feasting their eyes on the growing panorama.

“Wait till we get up.” Jim whispered, “It takes your breath away.” It was beautiful, Chase thought, but not worth this whole expedition – Jim must be in his seventies, maybe more! A cold thought hit. Suppose the old man was to peg out up here, would they hold him accountable? He’d have to leg it if something happened…

Nothing did happen. They camped under the stars, Chase gathering wood, Jim starting the fire. Chase watched the flames as the bacon and sausages sizzled on their sticks and the foil wrapped potatoes steamed. Jim knew what he was doing that’s for sure.

“You must have been a bit of an adventurer when you were young?” Chase ventured. He wasn’t much for conversation, but he was curious.

“You could say that,” Jim beamed. He went on to tell tales of his youth and how he’d found this place. Chase listened entranced. Despite himself he liked the old duffer.

“So why the mountain?”

“I was pretty wild back then. I could be myself up there. It puts everything in perspective, everything is small, seen from up there, only the important things are big – like the sky! … and you can see the horizon…”

They made the summit next afternoon. While not requiring much in the way of hard climbing it had been long and arduous, Jim was exhausted.

“Just help me on that big rock up there and I’ll rest a while.” Chase was concerned. Shedding the pack he picked Jim up in his arms. He was surprisingly light.

“You’re a good lad Chase,” Jim whispered. “Don’t let folks ever tell you otherwise.”

Together they sat above the world looking down on scattered clouds, distant hills, and swathes of pine forest. Chase gasped, awestruck, head turning to appreciate the 360 deg. horizon.

“I think I understand now,” he breathed.

“I thought you would. It’s not something you can explain, but I just had to feel it one more time before I go, kinda get me ready.” Chase looked alarmed. “Now don’t worry son, I’m not gonna peg out on you, still got a bit of strength left. I just need to rest a bit”

“Just as well, ‘cos I’m sure not gonna carry you all the way back,” Chase teased. Then he realised – yes, he would if it came to that, and bugger the consequences. He liked the old duffer – he liked the mountain too.

Stop and look at the stars.


My father was always trying to get me to look at the stars with him, but as a child I found them just too big and scary. Now I understand. Sometimes you just need to stop and realise your own insignificance, that the world will continue to turn if you just stop and rest.

This quote picture really spoke to my heart. I’ve been very busy and burdened of late. I didn’t realise till I entered the end rest of my yoga class (something I’ve skipped the last two weeks) just how stressed I’d been. The world wide refugee situation etc. has been much on my mind. Then there’s my sweet personal “refugees” – my daughter and her 3 year old who’ve been staying with me since August, having finally decided Mexico was just too dangerous for their family. They’ve had more than their share of battles, sickness, finding a job/nursery, getting all the paper work organised and working on temper tantrums when daddy isn’t here to cope with it but instead translating for refugees in a bullet proof vest.

I was given the gift of empathy, to love, to care, which has been a great blessing both as a teacher and volunteer worker,but sometimes, if I don’t keep giving it up to Jesus, it can become overwhelming.

As I lay back and slipped into deep relaxation I pictured the clear starry heavens and peace encompassed my soul. God has this, I realised.