The view from my window

I am following the RevGals prompt  for today, to post a photograph of something I see everyday. It was an easy choice:

   
 
These are the hydrangea bushes in the front garden of the manse. The first picture is their summer colours, the second their current (Autumn) colours. I love these bushes and they never fail to lift my spirits. I walk past them every day from the front door to the car. And I often stand and look at them from my front room window. 

I am very fortunate to live in a lovely tree lined street and most of the gardens around me have these bushes too, in many different colours. My next door neighbour has blue and white ones.  

“Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.” (Romans 1:20)

Stress busting…

Day three of the blogging challenge for November.

I came across this when I was looking for something else, as so often happens: I found it years ago on Kathryns’ blog. I had it pined up on my notice board for a while – to help with perspective when my congregation was going through a difficult time with their buildings (we eventually had to move out, and spent two years sharing with our Episcopal neighbours, until we negotiated a union with another congregation).

So today I share the 10 Commandments for reducing stress.

1. Thou shalt not be perfect, or even try.
2. Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people.
3. Thou shalt leave undone things that ought to be done.
4. Thou shalt not spread thyself too thin.
5. Thou shalt learn to say No.
6. Thou shalt schedule time for thyself and for thy support network.
7. Thou shalt switch off and do nothing regularly.
8. Thou shalt be boring, inelegant, untidy and unattractive at times.
9. Thou shalt not feel guilty.
10. Thou shalt very definitely not be thine own worst enemy, but thine own best friend.

  
Nothing says relaxation more than our cat!

Sunday best – then and now.

 NaBloPoMo is a blogging challenge – prompting us to write a post on our blog every day for the month of November. So I am giving it a whirl 😃.

Today the RevGals prompt was about Sunday clothing – for me, usually a black clerical shirt, dark skirt, Geneva gown and a stole of some kind, sometimes in a liturgical colour.

Zoom back nearly 50 (gulp) years, and my Sunday clothing was very different. Growing up in Presbyterian Scotland, it was your “Sunday best” that came out on the Sabbath. I can remember, even now, the feel and the smell of my smart brown button up coat – and how horribly itchy it was! But Sunday also meant “the muff” . 

It was a simpler time, and in the 1960s it meant this:

  
A furry hand warming thing that hung on a string around your neck. 

I certainly needed one of these in the cold dark church I attended as a young child, where the children of the Sunday School were gathered on the front pew under the pulpit and under the beady eye of the minister’s wife (a woman who terrified the living day lights out of me!)

So my early memories of church were: the cold,  the itchy coat and the warmth of the furry muff in which I clutched a “trupp’ney bit” in my sweaty palm – for those of you too young to remember “old money”, it was one of these:

  
Truppence or 3d to go in the collection plate. 

Ok, now I feel old, and am going in search of the anti wrinkle cream 😫

Getting in the swing again

I am taking up the Challenge to write a blog post every day for November, as I have rather got out of the blogging habit. So much so, that it feels as if I am learning to use WordPress all over again!

   
 
The pictures are some of the 131 shoe boxes which my congregation have collected for the Blythswood shoebox appeal.

The quilt was there to help us visualise a story I used during the service, as part of the dedication of our shoeboxes.  It is well worth reading here – at the BBC news site, a tale about “the man who kept a quilt for 70 years”.

The quilt in my picture was made by my little sister, as an engagement gift for me and my husband. Although  it is not yet 70 years old, it is wearing well in its 32 year! It usually brightens up an old sofa in our front room. It is something I treasure too, because of all the happy associations  that come with it, and the knowledge that it was made with such love and care when my sister was just 15.