Thanks to Joyce for a brilliant set of questions for this week’s Hodgepodge. If you would like to give this a go, please click on the badge below and follow Joyce’s instructions. She wants as many linkies as possible so don’t forget to link up on her blog too!!
Here are my answers to this week’s questions~
1. What question do you often ask yourself?
I often question myself when it comes to motivation and getting over that initial inertia in a project or job. For example, I know that I tend to leave things to the very last minute before I tackle them and it usually leaves me stressed out and I have let myself down with the quality of the job I’ve actually done because I left it so late. I have never yet missed finishing or doing something (that I can think of) but all too often I get to the stage of “that will have to do for now and I’ll wing it tomorrow”. That’s especially true of planning Sunday School sessions or organising things for church. Many a Saturday evening has been dominated by preparing things for the kids to do in the morning and I am berating myself and asking the question “why didn’t you do this earlier????!!!!”
2. Do you grow roses? What’s your favourite colour of rose? Ever been given a dozen roses? Where was the prettiest rose or rose garden you remember seeing?
We do have roses growing in the front garden – I can’t claim to “grow” them, they just sprout each year and I get to watch them bud, flower and then flower again each year. They are a beautifully deep red colour and the surface of the petals are the texture of a newborn baby’s cheek. I have never been given a dozen roses (of any colour!) but I would absolutely love to receive them one day.
As Joyce as already hinted, roses and rose gardens grow prolifically here in England and it is difficult to choose my favourite one. My family and I are very fond of visiting stately homes and historical places so we have seen some lovely rose gardens. We’ve seen some spectacular ones too, and judging by Joyce’s picture, we simply MUST make it a priority to see Hever Castle sometime soon!
3. Do you read the freshness dates on grocery store products? Will you use eggs past their ‘use by’ date? Take medication that’s expired? Buy a dented can?
I don’t mind food being “out of date” generally because I depend on my own sense of smell and taste to tell me whether it is stale or has gone off. I don’t trust supermarkets when they use “sell by” dates, or “use by” dates because I think they try to panic shoppers into throwing away fresh produce in order to buy more. Call me a cynic but I think some are guilty of using them as a marketing tool. I admit that we regularly eat “out of date” yoghurts, stale bread (it tastes just as good as fresh bread when it has been toasted) butter that has a “use by” date on that has gone way by, eggs that are supposedly out of date etc. We have even been known to just cut the mould off the edges of bread before we eat it but that’s usually when there is more month left at the end of the money than is comfortable! We are careful with shopping but even so, sometimes stale or supposedly out of date food is the only option. I have to say though, that it has never done us any harm and we hardly ever get stomach complaints or anything like that. Dented cans – well, it depends on how badly it’s dented, what the product is, the quality of the brand in the first place, how quickly we’re planning on using it etc.
Medicines are different, and I would generally say NO, I wouldn’t use them if they have gone past their expiry date. That’s because a medicine has a shelf life of efficacy and I trust scientists to tell me the truth about their products much more than I trust the supermarkets. I need to know that my medicine is first of all going to work and second of all that it won’t do me any harm, and I trust the lab-rats whose job it is to put a shelf life on medication.
4. Should athletes be role models?
It’s human nature to look up to those who are superior in ability, and I think that in today’s world, athletes and sportsmen are as much celebrities as film stars are. The trouble is that because they are in the media so much in that celebrity bracket they are automatically role models whether they like it or not. Certainly the top sportsmen are, and as such they have a duty of care towards the people who support them to behave in such a way that is not detrimental to their sport or their fans. Whether it is behaving well when they lose, or not being photographed falling out of nightclubs at 2am, they have a duty to project a positive image to their fans.
However, I do believe that being papped at every opportunity is not fair and that they do deserve some privacy to pursue their personal lives away from cameras and the prying eyes of the public. Unfortunately as long as our top sportsmen and women are paid huge sums of money to endorse products or simply for doing their job then the very human traits of greed and poor judgements will come into play, and their position as a role model will be called into question.
5. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the top of Mt. Everest on this date (May 29th) back in 1953. What’s something you hope to achieve in your lifetime?
I want to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
6. What would you do if you had twenty acres of land and the money to develop it any way you choose?
I would build my dream home – lots of room for entertaining and relaxing as well as workshops for the both of us to pursue our own craft projects and a BIG reading room with big comfy chairs to lose yourself in – and I would use the rest of the room outside for growing vegetables, keeping chickens and brewing my own beer.
7. If I invite you to a party with a 7 PM start time, what time will I actually see you there?
Tricky question – parties don’t tend to get going till well after the “start time” but I don’t like being late AT ALL. If we were having a meal and I was invited to be there for 7pm to eat at 7.30pm then I’d be there just after 7. If it was a meeting or something else I’d be there at 6.45pm.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
We had a brilliant evening tonight at church learning and thinking about things being “broken”. It is the feast day of Corpus Christi tomorrow, which is a celebration of the tradition and belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist, or communion feast. As Christians the world over know, at the last supper Jesus took some bread and when he broke it he told his disciples that it should be to them as his body, broken for them.
We explored a bit more about the celebration of communion, or the Eucharist, and we looked at the passage in the Bible that tells us of the time when Jesus fed 5,000 people with just 5 loaves and 2 fish. We looked at how there was a huge foreshadowing of the Last Supper right there in that story – Jesus took bread, he gave thanks to God, he broke it up and gave it to the gathered people. Isn’t that what we do when we have communion in church? Isn’t that what Jesus did in the upper room at the Passover feast?
I prayed for the group as Eddie (our minister) laid out a picnic on the church floor that we then shared as communion. It was a really powerful experience – the very practical task of breaking up a couple of loaves of bread to share between us whilst sat on the floor was a great way of helping us understand more about what Jesus was asking his disciples to do when he said “when you do this, do this in remembrance of me”.
Eddie likened the human life-stage journey to the process of the Eucharist and he broke it down into four stages:
Take – Thanks – Break – Give
As babies, we are programmed to take. We take nourishment, we take affection etc but then as we grow we learn to give thanks. Who as a child doesn’t remember adults handing us things and prompting us to say “ta”, or “thanks”? As we grow through childhood and adolescence we tend to break things – toys, furniture, bones, hearts of others – and then when we are adults and in our middle years we finally learn to give. Not just give because we are taught to, but because we want to and it is right to.
That process is exactly what Jesus did at the Last Supper and it’s exactly what we do when we celebrate communion: We take bread; we give thanks; we break it; and we give it to each other.
My prayers tonight were:
Lord, hear us as we pray for brokenness around us.
Brokenness in the world…the distrust, the disharmony, the disconnection.
Brokenness in our lives…through illness, through injury, through injustice.
Brokenness in our relationships…our families, our friendships, in our fundamental care for others.
Brokenness in our promises…our lies, our letting each other down, our leaving of one another.
Like the butterfly who breaks its chrysalis, Lord break open our hearts that we may receive you and we grow in love and life.