Exactly where I need to be…

Recently I’ve been starting to wonder if I’m too “comfortable” in my relationship with God…

I’m not feeling challenged.

I’m not feeling uncomfortable.

I’m not feeling edgy.

I’m feeling loved, and contented, and safe.

I’m not feeling “on fire”.

I’m not feeling called to “do” stuff.

I feel as though I’m “being”.

But then it struck me that the well known and well loved Psalm says:

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters…

He makes me lie down, he leads me by quiet waters. Yes, there are valleys of shadows that need facing, but there are also green pastures to lie in.

A good shepherd isn’t always challenging his sheep to go higher, further…Yes, if it’s necessary for food, or for safety, then he will lead them somewhere else, but if they need to lie and recuperate, and “be” then he allows them to do that.

In the past couple of years I’ve been through quite a lot: my breast cancer, the treatment, the recuperation, the going back to work, the side effects of the hormonetherapy, the worry of Mr FD’s unemployment benefits ending, some financial crises, the changes at church that have meant I’ve taken on more preaching responsibilities… All of these things have taken their toll on me, and I think that God is telling me to just rest, and relax and enjoy the peace.

I am exactly where I need to be.

And instead of fretting and wondering and thinking about what I think I should be doing, I should be resting, as my Shepherd wants me to do, and feeling contented in the love of my Father.

Youpi! C’est le weekend…

TRANS: Yipee! It’s the weekend! Let’s do the laundry, the shopping, the housework, the paperwork, the accounts, the ironing!!

****

We’re a bit like that this morning – cleaning, and doing cat litter trays. It’s taken all morning.

But thankfully, Mr FD is as unfussy about dust and stuff as I am…so if it’s not done today, we’ll leave it. Saturday afternoon is for more fun things, like cycling (him) or crafting (me)/ Though, if I’m honest, I do have to do some ironing.

Still, this is the reality of being in a house where we both have jobs. And that is certainly something to be thankful for!

Still here!!

Hello Dear Readers! I hope you have all had a splendid Christmas season, whatever you were doing. Our Christmas day was quite quiet – we went to Friend Alison’s for lunchtime drinks, but otherwise listened to the radio, watched TV and enjoyed a meal of capon – which Mr FD cooked beautifully. While it would have been nice to share it with MiL, which had been the plan (it came to naught when she found out how much it would have cost!), with the industrial action going on in France at the moment, things like getting home would have become too difficult.

I was working on both 23rd and 24th, which is a departure from my norm, but as there was – for the first time in several years – a Christmas Eve service at church, I was going to Clermont anyway, so it made sense to put a lesson in as well. The service was led by Revd David Reid, who has fairly recently joined our congregation, with his wife Anne. The service was based around “A Christmas Carol” and you can read his homily here, should you wish to.

The “Twixtmas” period, between Christmas and New Year celebrations has been quiet too – with me starting to get to grips with a new computer! I have a laptop for the first time, so I’m getting accustomed to it. It’s connected to my big screen too, but I want to use it more in my teaching, so I have to get used to it. I keep asking Mr FD (my personal IT helpdesk) rather daft questions, but he’s being very patient.

Things in general are picking up – I mentioned a while back that I was feeling mildly depressed, but the doctor prescribed anti depressants which have really helped. I feel almost back to normal now, which hopefully will mean that I’ll feel more like blogging again. It has been a great pleasure for over 10 years now, and I hope that people also enjoy reading whatever I woffle about, so I’m looking forward to blogging a bit more again in the future.

I’m preaching next Sunday so sometime this week I’ll have to write my sermon, and I’ve also got to sort out my lessons for the following week, but I’m sure I’ll pop in sometime here at the Teapot.

Off Menu

One of my favourite bloggers to read is KatyBoo, over at KatyBoo1’s Weblog

She writes amusingly well and honestky about her trials and tribulations, the books she reads, her mental health issues, and health issues. She’s opinionated – in a good way – and I really enjoy reading her blog. In her latest post she writes about her “Off Menu Menu”inspired by a podcast that she enjoys.

So, for those of you who don’t know the premise, Off Menu takes place in a fantasy restaurant with a genie waiter who can get you any food you like from any time, place etc. You choose still or sparkling water, poppadoms or bread and then your starter, main, side dish, drink and pudding of choice. I liked the idea, so I thought I’d share my Off Menu menu with you, dear readers.

Still or sparkling water- Sparkling water for me, please. People have told me I shouldn’t drink it because it’s not good with a meal, or that it increases flatulence, or other things, but I like it. I have considered a Soda Stream, as the bottles can’t be good for the environlment, even if we do recycle them, but I’m afraid I find it hard to give this up! I’m not a Sparkling Water afficianado, but I like San Pellegrino.

Poppadoms or Bread– definitely bread. And as the premise is that one can eat as much as one likes and get neither full or ill, a big basket of warm rolls, of different varieties- seeded, white, poppyseeded etc. And loads of salted butter to go with them.

Starter – Hmm. There are three starters that I’ve had that stick in my mind, two involving pastry. One was an extremely rich bowl of snails in a creamy garlic sauce with a puff pastry lid, another was a mille feuille of mushrooms. And the third we had recently on holiday in the Cévennes. It was: Tartare de thon, et sablé nois, glace saumon fumé  Which I described as Tuna tartare, with a hazelnut biscuit and smoked salmon ice cream. It sounds weird – but it was delicious! There was more to it – with a wasabi cream and wasabi peanuts, plus something else crispy that I don’t know what it was, and little preserved peppers which were sweet…We kept making “yummy noises” as we were eating it! I think, on balance, I’d go for the last one.

Main Course- I think, in the end, I’d have to plump for duck. It is one of my favourite meats. Cooked in a fruity sauce…Or actually, possibly Peking Duck, with more-than-enough pancakes, plenty of cucumber and spring onion and lashings of hoisin sauce…Yes, I think that, please.

Side Dish – This doesn’t have to complement one’s main course at all (it is, when all’s said and done, a Fantasy restaurant) so I think I might follow Katy Boo’s example and go for an Indian side dish. She chose dhal. I’d go for Saag Bhaji, which I love.

Drink – I like champagne, a good single malt, and various other luxurious drinks – but finally, a good rounded fruity red wine would be fine. It doesn’t need to be expensive.

Dessert – I’m not a huge pudding eater, but I’d want something fruity, and not too creamy. Quite fresh and flavourful. I’m not sure that one could do better than the dessert we had at the same restaurant as my starter: white chocolate with a frozen cheesecake-y filling and a centre of apricot purée, served on a crunchy biscuit crumb with plum compote. Gorgeous!!!!!

 

Time flies like an arrow…

…fruit flies like a banana.

I don’t know where it’s going!! I’ve certainly been a bit busier at work than in September (thank goodness!!) but I still should have blogged.

I’ve been taken on by another company too, so I will have a bit more work – only an extra 4 hours a week at the moment, but it may increase. I will have to juggle hours carefully between two companies now (and not get my students mixed up!!)

Next Thursday will be my 60th birthday (how did that happen?!). We’re celebrating by having a few days in the UK – we’ll be there for Brexshit Day (the day when the shit hits the fan!!) – so we hope France will let us back in!!

We were away last weekend at a friends’. Daniele and Paul used to live in the village, but when Paul died, Daniele moved away to be closer to her children. We visited her in her new(ish) flat in St Paul Trois Chateaux down in the Drome region.

It’s a very picturesque place. She is well situated, within walking distance of the town centre, with shops and restaurants, and also near to her grandchildrens’ schools. It was lovely to see her and catch up on her news.

If I don’t blog for a bit, don’t worry.