Wednesday, 27 February 2013


I started writing this post a few days ago, and have held back from hitting publish, because it feels unfinshed.  I've been thinking about restoration and the more I have added to this post, the more I realise I have left unspoken. Sometimes things can feel incomplete, and I am learning to feel comfortable with that. So, for that reason, I decided to publish these thoughts, knowing that they only provide part of the picture of what restoration looks like in my life.


As I looked down at my many broken nails, I realised how I have grown accustomed to their brokenness. I think back to the early days of working in an Early Years Classroom and coming to the realisation that my hands would never be the same again. My skin would always become cracked from the constant washing away of germs, paint, sand, tears and many other substances. My nails would always break as a result of doing a job that is anything other than tapping away at a keyboard all day long. As I silently acknowledged my resignation to the state of my hands and nails again in this moment of washing away the residual dirt from the day, resolving to cut back the brokenness and paint them to add a little colour, this question came to mind: 'how do I live a restorative life?'

I bring restoration to my hands through innumerable applications of hand cream throughout my day; through cutting back these nails that will never be long, not allowing the brokenness to stay. But what about the rest of me? It's not jut nails that need to be restored. And I realised afresh. It is in all the small things that I see God and am restored, physically, spiritually and emotionally, little bit by little bit.

Restoration comes through enjoying the skies that proclaim God's handiwork. Over and over again. When glorious light is beaming and streaming, I cannot help but try and capture a little of the beauty, raising my camera to my eye to take yet another photo of the ever changing skies, breathing deep at the beauty of it all. Because time and again, beauty prevails over brokenness.
Restoration comes through holding my precious friend's newborn daughter, looking in awe at her perfectly formed little body, remembering that life is so very precious. Just as the focus of raising a new born is initially solely focused on providing food, warmth and boundless love, these things remain forms of restoration throughout our lives. 
I am restored as I sing my heart out to the Lord again and again. I am no great singer, but something restorative happens in my heart and soul as I sing truth in a way that speaking alone does not do. It's going to gospel choir week in, week out, and never failing to delight in the resonant sound of a chorus of voices singing with all of their might. It's singing with all of my heart and might in my car where no-one except God can hear me. It's lifting up my voice in praise and wonder at Church, along with hundreds of other hearts doing the same and being restored as we fix our hearts on God's beauty.
Restoration comes through reading the Bible, hearing truths that I have heard for my whole life, but continue to remember and discover their truth and power as they renew my mind and restore my heart.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Quick, Quick, Slow.

As the Spring sunshine poured through my window this afternoon, I gathered everything I needed: A forgotten canvas that had lovingly held the table plan for our wedding; reams of fabric bundled in my arms, with so many stories to tell. The fabric scraps from my Granny, decades old, still holding a bright orange hue; the fabric with rows of tree branches, as bare as those I see from my window, telling the story of Winter in their nakedness; a selection of other fabrics, both vintage and brand new, coming together in their variety of colours for a combined purpose. Although the pieces of fabric I needed were just tiny little strips, carefully cut and adhered to pegs, I needed those moments today to add a little bit of beauty to a simple wooden clothes peg. And I loved this process all the more because of the silent stories behind each piece of fabric I used.
Conscious of the fast fading light, I created, with the rhythm quick, quick, slow echoing around my mind as I moved quickly to capture what I was creating while the natural light still shone, but with a sense of slowing down my pace, after all, the very reason I was creating was in light of Lent.

With a focus on slowing down, my eyes looked over each of the 41 Lent Calendar cards, filled with Scriptures, that Jessi had so beautifully designed, with the desire to encourage others to meaningfully and deliberately consider Christ and the Truths in Scripture that speak of all that He has done for us.
The fact that the light was fading made this process all the more enjoyable for me. Instead of the grey, grey skies that have prevailed throughout Winter, I was accompanied by ever changing light, casting bright shadows on our walls before transforming into a sky full of beauty.

{Joining in with Jennifer at Studio JRU and her creative link up for the first time today.}