Tuesday, 9 December 2014

December Wish List

I'm a 'list' person.
Not the sort of 'list' that tilts me sideways like a ship (well maybe sometimes) but 'lists' as in rows of notes to myself of things to do.
I'm guessing even non-list persons have lists in December though so I'll share mine, as it presently stands:

Organs without wind problems (we're talking musical instruments here people...)
School songs with words that learn themselves.
Carol Services that are annually self-organising, complete with Bible readings which assign themselves to readers and then inform readers of their participation.
People who don't grouse when asked to help out.
Angels who stay where they are put.
Ditto Shepherds, sheep, camels, donkeys and sundry associated Nativity personnel.
Wise Men who are 'wise' rather than 'wild'.
Christmas once every two years.

As you can see that's just the music aspect...I haven't even begun on presents or food...actually I am considering ignoring all that part of it this year and waiting to see what happens.

Friday, 21 November 2014


Sometimes I babysit friends' children for company.

The other evening I noticed Littlest (2 years old) had knocked the leg off a Barbie doll. I waited for distress to ensue but far from it...next thing there's a triumphant shout from the kitchen, 'H. look! I'm playing the bodhrán!' (Irish hide drum)

She'd taken off the second Barbie leg, discarded the doll and was using the legs to beat rhythms on the kitchen table!

It took me ages to get the doll back together as I couldn't see for laughing...and anyhow I think it was a pretty good use of a Barbie really!!

Gives a whole new meaning to 'drumsticks' though, doesn't it?!!

P.S. I'm still laughing!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A Problem?

It would appear that the Infant classes in my school have a gambling problem...

They told their teacher that they would be doing 'Bet the Hen' for the Carol Service.

Although I can't say for sure how God feels about that, I know for certain sure that the Music teacher is in serious bother for corrupting the morals of the Little People.

Welcome to the Christmas: Season of Goodwill, Charity, and Serious Addictions!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Questions Anyone?

When we get to the end of our time in this life, do you think we get an opportunity to ask all the questions which have puzzled us?

And if we get to ask them, would we also get to have them answered?

Everyone asks the huge imponderable questions- why does God allow suffering if he is so loving, or religious wars if He is so forgiving? How do we know for sure there is a God? Why do bad things happen to good people? Define 'good'. How is it there are so many bad rich people stomping all over poor suffering people?

And so on.

But then there are all the smaller questions relevant only to one's own life- why me? I do my best and still x y z happens. Why is this friend so ill with cancer when he has so much to give still, so much life to live? Why did this friend die so suddenly when he was so beloved and worked so hard for his family and the community? Why does God take the people we want to keep and leave us with the difficult, unpleasant, unhelpful ones? Why does this one live a long life doing damage to many and yet this one who was so lovely was taken in her prime?

Why why why?

I don't think the desire for answers is just a religious consideration. It seems to me that plenty of people who either are not religious or who actively dis-believe in religion are also looking for answers. Sometimes it is the lack of answers which drives people from the religion of their birth, and the apparent finding of answers which leads them to a different religion. I guess some people question more than others, but most folk would have some questions.

There's the old 'chestnut' that a Christian heaven would be an atheist's hell, but if there is an Eternity then I hope mine involves a very long question and answer session with Someone who truly Knows.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Overheard This Week


Girl: D'you know what my little sister did this morning, H.? She splouted the toothpaste straight into her mouth without even using her toothbrush! And then she drank the soap!

Well now we know who the cleanest child in Ireland is...on the inside at any rate!!


Teacher: You've Music after Break so leave your Song copy books ready please...(notices one boy frantically emptying bag and rummaging through pencil case)...what's the matter P.?

P.: I forgot to stick my song in!

Teacher: From last week? H. won't mind.

Whole Class: Yes she will, its from three weeks ago!

Aye me! My reputation!!


Rather Damp Boy: Dad had to wash my hair before school today.

H.: Why?

R.D.B.: Because at breakfast my sister put her toast on my head butter side down.

And you let her??

Friday, 17 October 2014

The 11.59 Rule

Waiting is a bummer.

Waiting to grow up when you're little, waiting for the kettle to boil, waiting for the postman when a magazine subscription is due, waiting for Christmas, waiting for something good to happen when life seems bleak, waiting for people to figure that change is needed, waiting for the vegetables to grow...

Many years ago friends and I had a conversation about this and one of them explained it thus:

Everything happens in God's Perfect Time, not my good time or your intended time but God's.Perfect.Time. For God, what may seem to us the last minute for an answer is still His Perfect Time. 11.59 may be panic stations for us, but that too is His Time.

Over the years this has been proved true over and over again, and even when no amazingly obvious miracle or answer has whooshed in at the metaphorical midnight, still things have kind of worked out in the long view. I suppose impatience is a human characteristic- how many squirrels do you see hovering around oak trees in Spring waiting for the acorns to fall?!

Waiting can be productive if I keep a positive attitude, 'the journey, not the destination,' and especially if I manage to keep the long view that 'all things work together for good to them that love the Lord.' Its difficult, its really, really difficult a lot of the time but since we all have to endure I guess it helps to do it with a good grace and hopefulness?

So I am applying the 11.59 Rule: I will live in the 'now' and believe that 'it' will happen in God's Perfect Time; and if it doesn't happen despite all my efforts then either it wasn't meant to or we haven't reached God's Perfect Time...yet...

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Reaping The Whirlwind

'They that sow the wind shall reap the Whirlwind.'

A quote from the book of Hosea in the Bible, although until I looked it up the other day I thought it was from Shakespeare, which is frequently the case with me!

Apparently the most well-known use of this line was during the Second World War when someone used it in regard to violent military retaliation. Reading the news from the Middle East, among other places, it struck me that there are a lot of unfortunate people at the moment reaping a Whirlwind of other peoples' making. It is a beautifully poetic description of potential havoc, destruction and devastation in the harshest sense and although it may be spoken in terms of the 'reaper' receiving just desserts, the more I consider it the more it seems to me that in life people so often reap other people's payment.

In Hosea, it is used as a bleak prophecy to a nation but always there are those caught up in devastation who were just trying to carry on with a productive and purposeful life on the side-lines. I don't need to give examples- look at the war zones, the typhoon and storm damage, more warzones, refugees, displaced persons...

I have to admit that I am also looking closer to home, as in all things one tends to put the huge events in perspective with the small personal ones. My children are still reaping the whirlwind of my sowing with the breakup of the family, much though I try to protect them. I never meant to sow a wind, I did not even realise I was. All the many years I did my best for them and for very many others too and living is reduced to the day to day coping with a Whirlwind of my unintentional making.

I suppose this applies to many, many of us: cause and effect, action and reaction. And it is the people who think who realise this while others don't seem to notice because they are not given to introspection. Which does not make the 'thinkers' more responsible, but does make them more aware.

No one lives a blameless life, no one's actions can ever be taken in isolation, most people do the best with the lemons they are given and their lemonade of life turns out reasonably sweet at least some of the time! But others, intentionally or unintentionally, sometimes through just doing what they thought was the right thing, sow havoc and leave the vulnerable to pick up the pieces. One can not help everyone, or solve all injustice, and that too is a burden, whether we are looking at the world picture or the personal, but somehow we have to still do our best where we are at and trust that in the grand scheme things will work out for the greater good.




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