Sunday, March 30, 2008

Learning new things.

A couple of years ago, as we sat in a group of missionaries in Ecuador, we were discussing things that people didn't know about us. My friend stated that when he looks around he sees/hears music. Everything he looks at is reflected by the music that he hears. I think some people had no idea what he was talking about but I have reflected on this a bit this year. I realised that in my world everything is colour and texture. I love, and I mean love, to touch fabric as I walk through clothes shops. I love to look at different colours, how they play together, how they enhance the form of something, how they just glow. I see colour everywhere. It is always the colour that is the clearest when I am lookng at something and then it is it's texture. I just adore it all!

I think that inside of me there has always been a frustrated artist wanting to escape. She has so much to express but really no idea how to do it. Ever since I was in high school I have wanted to create but never had the opportunity. I have dabbled in different craft things over the years but often felt that there was more that I needed to "say". So this year I have taken the plunge!!!! I now attend night school classes in painting with oils and acrylics. There are just 8 of us in the class, all with varying degrees of skill in this whole painting area. I think I have already decided that my painting will be abstract in nature. I'm not into fluffy details or leaves and mountains. I'd much rather create a colourful, textured painting. I'm hoping that through this whole learning process I might find my niche. I'd love to be able to express my relationship with God and the world through art.

Who knows how it will all turn out but I'm having fun in the meantime.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Twinkle, twinkle...."

This past weekend we have finally managed to score a couple of days off. YAY! It has been a long 3 weeks where we have worked every single day. We have been hanging out for this weekend for ages.

On Friday Nige and I went to the movies. I love movies :-) I had been trying to get there for weeks so it was nice to be able to enjoy it with my hubby. We saw "The Bucket List" which was a wonderful film. It stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two men who become unlikely friends when they are both diagnosed with terminal cancer. The bucket list is a list of all the things they want to do before they "kick the bucket". Needless to say there was a lot to giggle about and also a few tears.

One of the lines that I loved the best was when a woman that Morgan Freeman was talking to said that the stars are like "little holes in the floor of heaven". I thought that was very cool. Imagine, lots of little holes in the floor boards of heaven which allow the glory of God to sneak through and shine down upon us. How cool is that? His glory must be soooooooo bright that it shines bright this far away. I just loved the thought of it.

So how about it? Next time you look up and see the stars just think about God's glory and how amazing He truely is.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The West Coast of New Zealand has a rugged coastline but it is quite stunning. Some of you may remember the film "The Piano" which was filmed near Auckland at Karekare beach. Just beautiful! This past weekend we had a camp for people who are preparing to head off overseas and those who are currently home. We stayed at a campsite here at Piha Beach, the one next door to Karekare.

This was the first camp of this sort that we have had in a long time, in fact since we began in the office over a year ago. There were about 60 people in total, including kids. The weather played ball and even though it rained at times it was only during session times.

To be honest we wondered how this weekend was going to go. We had had a couple of extremely busy weeks leading up to it and at times we felt quite unprepared. We have been dealing with many a difficult situation including working with a long time missio who has been recently diagnosed with cancer and has weeks to live. It has been emotionally draining to say the least! We were very tired, even more so after the weekend but it was all worth it.

This morning my team debriefed from the camp. We were able to identify many a good thing that happened. God moved in the lives of those who participated and we had some really good feedback. One long time missio told us that it was the first time he had felt such a freedom to share and talk about the struggles of ministry. That was fabulous for us to hear. People really connected on a deep level and many email addresses were swapped for further contact.

The theme was "jars of clay". In one session there was a quote from Carl Jung. It challenged me. It was about recognising that Jesus calls us to "love the least of these" but what if the person that needed our love and care was ourselves? It spoke to me about how I often put others way ahead of myself and am not very good at looking after me. I learnt that it's ok to have time off, it's ok to rest, it's ok to say no. Guess it's time to practise it. I'm so not good at this stuff but I am committed to trying.

So, I began today. I left work on time, even though my list of things to do seemed to be getting bigger and not smaller. For me it was a major step to actually walk away. It will take me a while to work out what caring for me actually looks like but I have high hopes that I will eventually get it.