Tuesday, 30 March 2010

'Life is a dance toward God'

"God bestows three blessings on man: to feed him like birds, dress him like flowers, and befriend him as confidant. Too many take the first two and neglect the last. Sooner or later you figure out life is constructed specifically and brilliantly to squeeze a man into association with the Owner of heaven. It is a struggle, with labor pains and thorny landscape, bloody hands and a sweaty brow, head in hands, moments of severe loneliness and questioning, moments of ache and desire. All this leads to God, i think. Perhaps this is what is on the other side of the commercials, on the other side of the curtain behind which the Wizard of Oz pulls his levers. Matter and thought are the canvas on which God paints, a painting with tragedy and delivery, with sin and redemption, Life is a dance toward God, i begin to think. And the dance is not so grateful as we might want. While we glide and swing our practised sway, God crowds our feet, bumps our toes, and scuffs our shoes. So we learn to dance with the One who made us. And it is a difficult dance to learn, because its steps are foreign".

From 'Through Painted Deserts' by Donald Miller. p91

Sunday, 28 March 2010

this week in pics

meet Amber, the newest addition to the Pike family in Oxford!


Runaway princess!

Tilly's shoes :-)



Friday, 26 March 2010

job??

This weekend i was at a wedding and at a family 'do', both full of people I'd never met before. Hence the question, "So what do you do?" was a decidedly common feature. I'm still never sure quite how to answer...

well, in the space of the last 4 days i...

- have written (almost) a 2500 assignment on creativity [student?]

- hung out with 14-16 year olds at an after school youth club, playing volleyball [youth worker?]

- helped deliver food to about 10 different projects in Brighton and Hove [charity volunteer?]

- telephoned various projects to carry out a survey for FareShare [researcher?]

- washed several hundred 3D glasses in a bath tub [uhhh...??!!]

- cleaned someone's bathroom [cleaner?]

- edited wedding photos taken last weekend [photographer?]

- manned church office [receptionist/administrator?]

- looked after friends' children [babysitter?]

I guess that's the cool thing about not having a job persae; or not being PAID for anything i do. It makes me able to bring in the variety of things i do during the week in answering the question (that is, when i think the person asking is genuinely interested. Usually i must admit i say something vague like 'working for my church'). Most people do plenty of interesting things that they may be more passionate about and that define them much more as a person than their 9-5 (or whenever) waged work. But often nobody asks about that! We just seem to want quick, easy answers that allow us to label people, classify them in grades of interest, intellect, ambition, etc. When we're probably only skimming the very surface!

and even with all the doing listed above i think my favourite parts and what i think are some of the most important things in life are the cooking for friends and catching up and enjoying being together...

Monday, 22 March 2010

wedding photography...


Have just written about my first 'official wedding photographer' experience for my friends' fab new online magazine: "Dressed in the Dark" - for ordinary people living creatively.


Check it out here...

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

from the very beginning, they danced

Those who sketch the truest history of dancing would tell you that in the first generation of all things the dance grew up, appearing together with ancient Love. In fact, the circling motion of the stars and their intertwining with the fixed planets…are signs of the primeval dance.

(Lucian of Samosata, Antioch, 125-90 AD in 'The McDonaldization of the Church' by John Drane, p.104)

Sunday, 14 March 2010

time to celebrate

I am still having to learn (or to accept!) that life goes up and down, seasons change, we cry, we laugh, we lose, we find. When you're in one season sometimes it's so hard to imagine life being any different - whether that's good or bad. This week, anyways, I am celebrating. Aware that next week i might feel once again that the sky is falling. But that is not today. and today there is much to be thankful for. My sister was given an offer for medical school. Woo! So Proud! Some friends at church have been given legal permission to adopt and by the end of the month they will have a son and another precious person will be added to our church family. Oh, and i am so grateful to be a part of that family of simultaneously very ordinary and fantastically extraordinary individuals who express truth and life and love in a thousand unique ways. Which leads me to something else i am overwhelmingly thankful for. and that's FRIENDS. oh what a great invention! phone calls and cups of tea and long chats over dinner and late night tired-slightly-surreal-conversations and hugs and honesty. i am rich beyond measure in terms of the people's whose paths have crossed with mine, regardless of whether we are walking side by side right at this moment. And i am celebrating with those who over the last few weeks and months are discovering new levels of freedom, who are discovering who they were really created to be and daring to living it out and finding that they are enjoying it and suddenly realising how much they are loved. Praise to the One whose very words create; the author of life.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

longing



"How lovely is your dwelling-place, O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh cry out for the living God"
Psalm 84:1-2

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

thanking

when i am pushing a heavy bike up a big hill after a long day of food safety and bathroom cleaning and it feels like winter again because the sun isn't shining and i'm tired tired i will remember the many good things from the last few days....

live music * Faye's voice * llewellyn * hugs from friends you haven't seen in too long * phonecalls to sisters * colourful tights * performing poetry from the heart * being real * encouragement * curry * houses you feel at home in * long sleeps * sunshine * still streets * cycling downhill in almost spring air * HELOISE! * beach * catching up * a new cafe that feels comfortingly old * taize * inspiring books * Hollingbury golf course * chorizo * potato wedges * cooking for friends * breakdancing * ...

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

i'd like to live more like this...

"when we read the lives of the saints, we are struck by a certain large leisure which went hand in hand with a remarkable effectiveness. They were never hurried; they did comparatively few things, and these not necessarily striking or important; and they troubled very little about their influence. Yet they always seemed to hit the mark, every bit of their life told; their simplest actions had a distinction, an exquisiteness which suggested the artist"

E. Herman Creative Prayer p.16 in Ordering your private world by George MacDonald p.155