Oh deary, deary me! What has happened?!
Well, first of all a lovely weekend visiting my mum in Liverpool happened. A friend, whose mum also lives in Liverpool, drove to Limoges airport (3.5 hours) and we took the plane. My sister was also at mum’s, so it was good to see her. We spent Friday evening chatting, and then on Saturday did a bit of shopping… I went a bit mad in HobbyCraft, managing to buy something that is totally useless as I can’t use it with my BigShot machine. D’oh! Then we went to the pictures to see “Spotlight” – a truly excellent film.
On Saturday we ate in (a meal deal from M&S) and then on Sunday, my brother came over and we went out for a meal in Southport. It was lovely to see everyone…
But what of the Acts?
Well, as Day 21 was “Global Warming” I felt a tad guilty taking the plane…but actually this was a slightly different take on the problem:
Creation is in trouble. Scientists predict new global crises every other day, and our governments are under increasing pressure to do something about it. But really, much of the problem lies with us. Small things, every day, make a difference. It’s the difference between leaving a legacy of destruction and ensuring life for those who come after us.
Read more here. This is to do with not buying so much “tutt” (As S’rAlan calls it on “The Apprentice”) – so I can feel guilty about my spree in HobbyCraft instead!!) I think a no-spend day would be a good thing, although I may still have to buy our daily bread at the boulangerie (Act N°3 “Roots”!) The problem for me is that most days I have to drive somewhere for teaching, so having a no-spend day becomes a bit trickier, but I should certainly try harder. Thinking before I spend would be a Good Thing also.
Day 22 Essentials: One year, on the first day of 40acts, a lovely lady called Becky sent the team a care package in the post. She knew we’d been working around the clock, so she sent healthy (and a few not-so-healthy) snacks and drinks to keep us going. It made a frantic morning into a happy one. Whose day could you brighten with some essentials today?
Lots of good ideas are mentioned here. Although I haven’t done it yet, my contribution for this will be the next package of socks for Socks for Refugees
These socks really are essential for refugees and I know that they are definitely doing good. I’ll get these parcelled up and sent off tomorrow morning.
Day 23: Last Rolo: It’s often said that the way to tell whether someone loves you is to see whether they’ll give you their last Rolo. Whether it’s our last Rolo or our favourite jumper, sometimes we get a bit clingy about the stuff we have. When the stuff we own starts to own us, it’s time to re-evaluate the situation. And the best solution to hoarding? Giving it away.
I’m not sure about this one yet…I’m not sure what is the equivalent of my last Rolo, but I’m guessing that when this one comes up God will be giving me the nudge I need. But until then, I will learn to share my chocolate with Mr FD. (Most of) the horde will be shared! Maybe.
This took me up to the end of my weekend, but on Tuesday I needed to prepare for Wednesday’s teaching, and also to make a couple of cards, one for MiL and one for her “beau”. You see, Mr FD was off to the UK the following day to pick up a car, which Mike, MiL’s beau, is giving to us. How generous! I know it’s not the car that Mr FD would have chosen, being a bit of a Peugeot workhorse, rather than the slightly sportier Honda Civic he was dreaming of, but one can’t look gifthorses in mouths. So the cards were a Thank You for Mike, and a one-week-late Mothers’ Day card for MiL
This was the card for MiL, made using a die and embossing folder I bought in HobbyCraft at the weekend.
This was the card for Mike. This used a punch that I bought at Noz a few months back. I haven’t quite worked out the best way of using it, but I think this works quite well.
So, being a bit busy I didn’t have much opportunity to do anything other than read the prompt for Day 24. Stand
It’s easy to get weighed down by the injustice and need we see all around us, and to imagine that there’s nothing (or very little) we can do about it. Choose not to shy away from a cause today. Lend your voice to the voiceless, stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, and don’t wait for someone else to be the solution.
I have recently signed a few online petitions with “Change” – for causes that I think are important – but now I get one or two petitions every day popping into my inbox. Usually I delete them without reading them (“I don’t have time”) but I pledge that from now on I will take time to read them, which is hardly an onerous task, and sign the ones that mean something to me.
Day 25 (I think I’m catching up!) Word Up!
Some of us are dab hands at memorising Bible verses. Some of us get them mixed up with Disney and Shakespeare quotes. All of us, though, can probably remember a time when a Bible verse shone an incredible light into our situation. Give that gift of light, freedom and hope to someone else today.
For this Challenge I posted on FB this verse:
which has been important to me for quite some time. I wrote: “This is a verse that is important to me as it reminds me of the fact that God will always hold my hand. It is I who slip away from him, and when I do there is noone to catch me when I fall. But when I cry out to him in pain, or fear, he will come running to pick me up and put me on the right path again.
My earthly father was a wonderful dad to me; how much greater and loving is my Heavenly Father.“
I also took the encouraging verses that 40 Acts linked to and wrote them out (in French) on some Ninja Notes:
ready to put on car windscreens in Roanne. However there was one that I wasn’t sure was appropriate for someone who wasn’t Christian to find, which was
But strangely, that day, I had to pop to the CPAM offices to make an appointment, and I walked back to the car a different way (a not very logical way). En route, I passed the Christian Reading Room, that isn’t usually open (only open on Thursday afternoons, seemingly) but, on Wednesday morning was open. I thought “This is it!” so finding I hadn’t already left the card with this verse on it on a windscreen, I just opened the door, and gave the postcard to a surprised looking guy at a computer.
“Here’s something for you” I said, and left before he could say anything. I don’t know why, but I believe that it was really meant that on that day that verse was important for that man.
Day 26: Bake Off: Apple pie, cupcakes, croissants, chocolate gateau, raspberry roulade, black bean cacao brownies… Whatever your speciality, treat someone to a taste-bud party today. Make it healthy, gooey, rich or gluten-free, and make someone smile.
Despite my good intentions, this one wasn’t going to happen today. But it will…I’m thinking scones for our friends across the road, on Saturday when I may have a bit more time.
And we’re here – today! – Day 27: Worth the Wait
People who dedicate their lives to service roles – whether they are waiting staff, airline hosts, or people on the end of a customer enquiry line – spend a lot of time giving out. It costs us very little to give back to them. Turn the roles on their head today and serve your server.
GREEN:Wherever you go today, treat the person who serves you with dignity and courtesy. Make eye contact, ask and remember their name, ask how they are, and remember to say a genuine thank you. It sounds simple, but a bit more mindfulness and effort can validate that person and brighten their day.
AMBER:What can you do to help? Clear a table in the café, stack the baskets or trolleys in a shop, put stuff back on the shelves if it has fallen off. Yes, technically you’ll be doing a job that someone else is paid to do, but your helpfulness might be making someone’s day a little less stressful.
RED: Leave an extravagant tip, tweet an encouragement about great service or write a complimentary letter to their Head Office/line manager.
I always try to do the Amber act anyway – if I see something on the floor in a supermarket I pick it up, I clear my tray, or take glasses back to the bar. It just seems like common courtesy. I also mention good service if I meet it in shops etc, so I was a bit stymied for this one. But then, I remembered the smiling, welcoming service we received at the restaurant where we went on Sunday with mum. Although it was busy, being Mothers’ Day, all the staff were very pleasant and helpful; perhaps one would think As they should be, which is true, but I suppose it is still good to acknowledge this, so I’ll write to the restaurant & commend the staff. Only a small gesture, but still something worth doing.