fresh blank pages

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It’s a new year! Inevitably I’m looking back over 2017 and looking forward to the writing adventures to be found in 2018.

In 2017 I got stuck into writing monthly devotions for a Christian SEND family network over in the States, and it seems that 2018 will introduce me to a bigger team, and bigger audience, over there as  ‘Snappin Ministries’ joins with ‘Key Ministry’ and I continue to contribute as a writer with them. I’m not sure yet what that will look like but am excited to be part of something as it grows and expands it’s support of families like mine and the churches that they seek to be part of.

In the spring of 2017 I piloted a school experience day based on ‘My Easter Egg Hunt’. We had a lot of fun delivering it, and had some wonderfully positive feedback from children and from teachers. The story opened up the meaning of Easter very naturally. This material will be made available in the coming weeks – I’ll keep you posted!

I celebrated ‘My Jesus Family’ at Pentecost…

Of course another highlight was also launching ‘Angels Singing’, and being encouraged by stories of people of all ages finding it to be a book that created space for them to reflect and be still with God. We also explored the possibilities of communal contemplative colouring, and loved the way it included so many, often those on the edges.

So what will 2018 bring?

I am waiting to hear back from a publishing company about a submission – a book I am very excited about which explores what the Bible says about God answering prayer. So again I will let you know when I hear what’s next for that one!

I am working on collecting together more contemplative colouring, and imagining the possibilities of producing materials for children’s scrap-booking with God.

As I’ve said I will be writing regularly with ‘Key Ministry’, but am also talking with a UK based network to see how I might contribute too.

And then of course there’s the back burner project that I’m hoping to revisit this year – the book that began this whole writing adventure for me. It’s about time you met ‘My Curly Granddad’.

Plus all the little sparks and ideas that happen whenever I see a fresh blank page. I am officially loving this adventure – who knew there was a writer in me waiting to get a word in edge ways!

 

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Gift idea

Looking for those last few gifts? A contemplative colouring book will give someone the gift of space and time to reflect, think and find some ‘me time’ with God.

There is still time to order and receive ‘Angels Singing’ before Christmas.

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Each beautiful illustration is presented alongside Bible verses

full of the love and hope of Christmas.

A gift for all ages.

angels singing front cover

Angels singing!

I’m very pleased to be able to let you know that my latest book – and my first contemplative colouring book – is now available!  

Colouring scripture creates safe space to rest in God’s presence.

Add to the drawings and express your thoughts and feelings, let it become a prayer.

Be reminded of the wonder and joy of Christmas; Jesus is Emmanuel – God with us.

An invitation to celebrate, contemplate and colour! 

Doodling

IMG_20170821_230737_047 I have been so enjoying doing some designs for Christmas ‘contemplative colouring’ – don’t know if that’s a phrase in use already, if not I think it should be!

I find the process of doodling with a passage of scripture or a thought, or phrase from a prayer or worship song creates a space within me – and in my day – to contemplate things with God. New thoughts and insights occur to me, and I find my emotional responses to the words can be expressed in new ways.

Am so looking forward to finishing the last few that I have been putting together, and then I will be making them available through amazon, and perhaps other places too – will keep you posted!

Celebrating!

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Pentecost!! The birthday of the church…

Time to celebrate My Jesus Family!

Resources:

  • A group of family and friends; young and old, and in-between!
  • paper people cut outs
  • glue
  • scissors
  • coloured pens
  • scraps of patterned paper & fabric
  • imagination!

The challenge: to dress the paper people and talk about many of the wonderful friends we each have in our Jesus Family where we live.

The result:

  • fun
  • together time
  • celebration of people in our churches and what they mean to us
  • discovering new things about each others’ gifts
  • moments of thankfulness for being part of Jesus’ Family

Afterwards we settled down to read ‘My Jesus Family’ together. With characters we could relate to, with all their feelings and strengths we found we were chatting together about what we love (and what we may find difficult) about being part of this amazing family.

Why not celebrate Pentecost this week!

 

Church is ….

So, how would you describe church?

Dictionaries say this:

(Oxford Dictionaries) Church

NOUN

  • building used for public Christian worship.

    ‘the church was largely rebuilt at the end of the 15th century’
    ‘some people go to church every Sunday’
    ‘after church we went to a restaurant’
    in names ‘St Luke’s Church’     

Christian denomination:

‘the Methodist Church’…

Christians worshipping in a particular place

‘She is a member of this church.’
What would you say? How do you talk about church with your children?
what is church word cloud
‘My Jesus Family’ can start conversations, and has bible verses to look at together. Think about church from a child’s perspective…
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available now through amazon

Lent with ‘My Easter Egg Hunt’: holy week

So, we’ve made it through lent right to holy week, and now we set out again walking in the footsteps of the events of that week, tracing the events with our remembrance and letting the reality and significance of them come alive in our hearts afresh as the Holy Spirit leads us into the story and we meet with risen Jesus.

Since I was little I have been led through this week by my parents. They shaped our holy week, setting in place a pattern, a rhythm of remembrance that caught up our actions, our feelings and thoughts. The noise and celebration of Palm Sunday all gathered together with the church family, bursting out of the church building into the streets. The family togetherness of Maundy Thursday and the sense of shock as we stood at a distance and, with the eyes of our hearts watched Jesus and his disciples in the garden. The somber, heavy quiet of the remembrance of Good Friday. The quiet, long wait of Saturday (which was unusually quiet in our home, a large musical family!). And waking up to the joy and relief of Easter Sunday, gathering early with the church family to eat together and shout out our praises in song, then back home to sunshine, laughter and celebration!

There was a ‘set aside-ness’ to the week as I grew up. It was unlike any other week. Ordinary things, like music and dancing, the radio, the TV, our toys, meeting up with friends, the topics of conversation – all learnt to fit into the shape of this week, guided by parents setting boundaries and encouraging or discouraging particular activities.  Partly because of my parent’s ministry, my Dad the Pastor of our local church, it was the events of Holy week that shaped our week not our week happening as usual with some extra church events fitted in. I’m glad of that, even if perhaps sometimes I wasn’t at the time!


How can I bring my children along with me as I walk this week?

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hands on!

I have spent an afternoon making and shaping salt-dough holding crosses (and of course some hanging Easter decorations too). We had fun rolling, shaping – seeing them before and after drying out, and then painting them. I found a recipe and instructions on how to dry it out using a microwave here at Rainy Day Mum, and so the whole process could be completed in one go.

I am planning that these holding crosses can be carried with us this week. Their tactile presence will bring our thoughts back to the significance of the week, the heart of the story. We also left church yesterday with Palm crosses, not pocket sized but definitely out and about in our home this week as a visual prompt.

Our activities this week will enable an opportunity to be drawn into the story. Some will be challenging, but for this week we have shaped life this way since they were little – leading messianic Passover meals with baby on our knees and the travel cot at the ready behind us! We join in as much as possible, Palm Sunday, Passover, Good Friday, Easter Sunday (though I have yet to help our children all join in the dawn service!).


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wondering and chatting

Throughout I hope to talk with my children about what these events mean to me. What they remind me of, why that story matters to me, what I see in Jesus as I am drawn into the story again and meet him.

I hope to encourage them also to enter into the story, teaching them the difference between literal seeing and hearing and seeing with the eyes and hearing with the ears of our heart – our faith eyes and ears if you like. Those eyes and ears that are alert in prayerful imagination. When we listen to the story inviting the Holy Spirit to guide us, showing us how we are part of the story, enabling us to meet Jesus there in our imagination.

I hope to stay expectant myself! Not simply achieving and getting through the events of this week, but entering in expecting each event to be a place of encounter with God, an opportunity for growing in faith, growing in closeness to God, growing in understanding.

I want to ask the question that faced Phoebe at the end of the book. What does a Phoebe thank you to Jesus look like? What does a T, an A or a B thank you look like this year?


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time to read

Reading the part of ‘My Easter Egg Hunt’ where Phoebe chats with Asher right through to where she is sleepily chatting with Mummy as she is tucked up in bed.

There is also an opportunity to read the Bible accounts of the events of this week, taking it one small bit at a time. This year I will use the Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones.