This half of term has felt like a long haul, with challenges on several levels, as well as much for be thankful for. I feel that during this season we are in, we will increasingly face challenges, and I’ve felt God impress upon my heart a few strategies for walking well through them.
We want to stand strong (Eph 6:10), and be men and women of courage (1Cor 16:19)). I regularly pray for a sound and renewed mind (2Tim 1:7; Romans12:2). And it’s so important to praise and thank Him in all circumstances (Phil4:6). I pray the armour of God on us each morning (Eph 6:13-18) and need to remember who I am engaging with in the battle, in order to pray effectively (Eph 6:12). Also, to make time for Sabbath rest; to ensure our souls and bodies are replenished in those areas where they have been depleted.
So, here, mainly in picture form, are the some of the many times we are thankful for, and moments in which we’ve found peace and beauty and seen God’s abounding grace.
Autumn harvest of veg
and fruit. This is not to be taken for granted in a world where so many go hungry.
Harvest festival…these are harvest mice made for a mouse hunt!
Beautiful walks in the woods which sparkled even more in the midst of so many grey and drizzly days.
Collecting cookers, foraging for blackberries and delighting in the vast array of colours.
Dewy autumnal mornings feeding the pigs
and picking some fruit.
Autumnal rhythms of making sloe gin
saying tearful goodbyes to the pigs and then curing hams and making and sausages.
Small celebrations of pumpkin soup,
autumn poetry tea
and Rosh HaShannah. This is Jewish New Year when it is tractional to eat apples dipped in honey. The apples represent God’s provision and the honey the sweetness of the coming year. It’s easy to do and the kids love it!
Time spent with individual children; taking Rhythm Dude to one of his rugby matches. HWH usually does this, so I really enjoyed this testosterone charged, muddy, male, interlude. A change form the ballet and gymnastics which are generally my remit! I was so proud of our tall, strong son.
A far too rare afternoon with Lanky Dude, attending an entertaining and informative talk at Wells Literary Festival followed by coffee and cake. So special to spend time with our eldest, adult son.
A fun girls’ morning at a local wildlife rescue centre, a gift from a friend and perfect for our animal loving daughters, followed by a visit to a local church to see the “Knitted Bible” exhibition.
A week end paddling down the canal in Wales. It may be a fair amount of hassle to load up the six of us and two canoes, but definitely worth it!
As we head into the second half of term, with its new set of challenges and the fun and busyness of the run up to Christmas, my prayer is that we will stand strong; we will be able to make wise decisions in both the big and the small, and thus we will be able to live daily under the shelter of His wings.