Friday, 14 January 2011

Pointless, but hey.


I thank God for the friends on Facebook who prayed with me and for me when I had to do the telephone interview with the radio people on Friday.  They made it so special, like they were right there with me.  I thank God for the internet that has woven our lives together and made friendships that would never have been blossom into something beautiful and real.

I thank God for friends who have encouraged me as a writer and bought my books and said lovely things about what I have written, and can have no idea of the hope and happiness their kindness brings.  Otherwise it would be lonely ad disappointing, but they make all the hard work worthwhile.

I thank God for my daughters in these last few days when my mother has been moving house to live just nearby, helping with cooking supper and being welcoming and kind and sorting out her new place and making our home tidy and pretty and clean and looking after me when I get tired.

I thank God for my dear husband, and the kindness in his face and when I wake up in the night and he is there beside me; and he is faithful and cheerful and hardworking - and generally everything you always hope a husband will be, really.

I thank God in these winter days that we have a brand-new highly efficient furnace and a woodstove that makes our house friendly and toasty warm and an open fire in the other room as well to be beautiful and make the house smell like incense.

I thank God for the bright happy colours of the crocheted blanket on our bed that chases away the gloom and makes our bedroom look homely and happy.

I thank God for the prettiest ever dress with little purple flowers that Daina at The Kings Daughters made me, which is the nicest garment I have ever had.   And for the warm soft flannel nightgown she made me which is just the thing for these January nights and has to come back from the wash as quick as ever possible so I can wear it again.

I thank God that despite the usual whirlwhind of familiness and all-purpose life I have managed to get a new novel started and will make twenty thousand words by the end of the weekend and it is taking shape okay and looking like it might work out as I hoped.

I thank God for my grandson Mikey who makes me laugh.  His mother shows him his darling fluffy teddy-bear and he lets rip with a terrible snarl because Mikey Knows About Bears. 

I thank God that in a world where people are hungry and cold and  homeless and lost and hate each other even to war and bombs, we have a pantry full of food and a fire in the stove and a calm and loving home all dry and clean and welcoming.  And I thank God for the Lord Jesus who walks every day with me so wise and patient and loving, and blesses every silence with the warmth of His grace.

I thank God for the Hastings Quakers, darling motley crew, whose silence is full of kindness and whose ministry is plain and honest.

I have so much to thank God for I could go on all night... but mainly I just want Him to know that I have noticed all this love and blessing that cascades around me like golden light and blesses my life, blesses my home, blesses my days, blesses my heart.  There are things to pray for, troubled and frightened and tired souls to lift into the Light, of course there are.  There is work to be done and the usual mountains to climb, of course there are.  And God keep them, God hold them, God receive them.  But most of all, my Father,  I thank Thee, oh I thank Thee, for the outpouring extravagance of Thine all-surpassing love, which lifts me up and carries me and shines on me, from the hearts and eyes and lives of my friends and family, and from the circumstances of every single ordinary day.

22 comments:

Ganeida said...

Amen. ♥

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

All wonderful things to be thankful for! Love and huggles!

Julie B. said...

He is an amazing Father and His blessings too numerous to count! I like to try to count them anyway. And you do too. ;)

Ember said...

:0)
Hi ladies.
How go the floods Ganeida? Are the waters starting to go down now you are past the king tide?

Ganeida said...

Temproary reprive. ☺ It has stopped raining; this lot of water is receeding; the clean up has begun. Bad news: all the water from Rocky is yet to head this way & there's a cyclone forming up north. Never rains but it pours. lol

Bean said...

A lovely post. When we count our blessings we are blessed. The Lord is Good.

Tina said...

A hearty Amen!
Goodness personified through His children on your behalf...brings tears to the eyes :)

kat said...

Beautiful thoughts Pen - even for a pseudo wooly zen pagan like me!! xxx

Ember said...

A woolly pagan! Oh, man! You don't see many of those about any more now, do you!

Hi Kat, Bean, Tina - lovely to see you! Ganeida, I hope and pray the folks have time to get their breath back enough to deal with the next wave :0(

Cora said...

I'm with Kat...beautiful and meaningful even to us Pagans :-) I think the title of the post needs to be changed because this is anything but "Pointless".

Ember said...

;0) Hi Cora!

Linda said...

I have just started reading bits and pieces of your sidebar about the way you dress. The end of this paragraph alone gives lots to think about.

"It is my choice, and it is worn as a still small voice of witness. But it is not a holier-than-thou statement: I have no criticism to make of how you dress, and I am respectful of how you have chosen to express outwardly the inner reality of the person you feel called to be."

I was watching a Jewish? preacher on the Australian Christian Channel this morning and it was a surprise to me what the people who wore to church, they looked very English in a lot of ways, though perhaps American, but some wore fancy things, makeup etc. etc. Like what you would wear to the pub I guess.

I have been trying to dress better, have no money for a clothing budget really. Have gone off on a sidetrack of Trinny and Susannah because of a book I got at the op-shop. Back in July I went to a school reunion. I bought clothes especially. Had worn windcheaters and found the cut too short, (have had 5 children after all.) New jeans as the others were baggy. Have lost weight because of money issues too. So had to buy new shorts and I bought a $10 t-shirt that looks nice and what T&S would have me buy lol. At the reunion and at the bank this morning, get weird smiles as I haven't had before. Does this mean they think I have finally got it to dress nice, or they didn't think I had it in me to look good. I wonder if you have seen this smile. It was from women. Very strange. People are strange. It is no wonder I told my Nana I wanted to be a nun when I was 17 even though I am not catholic, I thought I could be another sort of nun lol.

Ember said...

Hi Linda :0)

Clothes! Oh, glory! As a young woman I wore kind of hippy-amish - not a million miles away from what I wear now. In middle age after a divorce and after being widowed I Trinny-and-Susanna-ed myself to restore confidence and recreate a life. Then I stepped up commitment to simplicity and moved sideways into saris - beautiful, modest and very minimalist as to storage. Sari worked well for me in that I had a very public church role at that time - preaching, leading retreats, conducting ceremonies, leading liturgical events etc - and saris moved easily from casual to smart without actually having to change clothes - they're kind of indefinable and my husband loved them. I stopped wearing saris when I discovered that they also send out a strong ideological message, and also drew endless comment and attention - people even used to stop me in the street and ask me about my clothes, and at big church functions is was never long before some guy would wander over and ask me "So - when were you in India?" I began to feel embarrassed and a fraud. Then I went Plain. Then I plunged into despair because I felt so ugly and different from everyone else. So for a while I went jeans-and-jackets Then I tried Middle-Aged Posh Lady and it amused me but it quickly wore off as that's someone else not me. Then I tried salwar kameez - but could only find eye-wateringly garish ones and a comment about "indian dress" left me feeling like I was dressing up in someone else's life.
All the meanwhile I had this tugging call toward Plain and modest - and in the end I just thought, "Oh, to heck with everyone else and their responses and Trinny and Susanna and the duty to look sexy and beautiful - I'm going where my pig is headed and dressing Plain."
This process has been shockingly, embarrassingly expensive, and the greatest beneficiaries have been the charity shops, but I tell you what - I am never ever shifting from this again. I love Plain dress and I feel like me in it, and it speaks to me and keeps me steady, and I have figured out a style of headcovering that doesn't make me feel like a complete dork, and THIS IS IT now - clothe sto grow old in. I only hope I don't do something stupid like put on loads of weight so my clothes don't fit me anymore...
For me, Plain is peaceful, and feels like coming home; so does being a Quaker. But I do think it's a big issue, and possibly particularly so for women. A matter of finding your way - both in terms of your personal style and your heart's calling.

EnglishRuth said...

I wanted to ask you how well The King's Daughter's dresses fit you, the one I ordered was rather big.

Thanks

Ruth P

Ember said...

Thank you for this question, Ruth, because The Kings Daughters dresses take a bit of getting used to.

There are 2 issues.

1) You will find that the fabric may shrink a little when you first wash it. This is true of the cottons, cotton calico and flannel. It doesn't shrink much, but Daina makes the dresses a little big to allow for this. Personally I like dress fabric to be soft, so as soon as my dresses arrive from Daina I wash them about 3 times to beat them up a bit and make the soft, and so they will shrink a tad and therefore fit me. The calico and muslin shrink the most, the cord and linen mix shrink the least. I imagine the poly-cotton won't shrink, but I don't know because I don't like synthetics so I've never bought them.

2) As the website makes clear, the measurements given for the dress size you need to order are the measurements of the woman, not of the dress. When the dresses come, compared with conventional dresses they are very roomy across the bust and around the arms. That's because they are modest dresses, designed to conceal the figure rather than show it off. At first, after wearing standard store dresses, this feels a bit odd. I found that once I got used to it, this felt very comfortable and peaceful. If your body measurements matched the ones on Daina's size chart, then what you have got is what they're meant to be like - after washing.

Because of the roominess of the dresses, it's important to make your attire as a whole neat [see my blog post here http://kindredofthequietway.blogspot.com/2010/11/plain-dress-november-plain-beautiful.html It's the one called 'Plain Beautiful' that appears under the 'Most Popular Posts' section in the right side-pane near the bottom as you scroll down.] If you have a flappy veil and a floppy cardigan and large shapeless boots, the whole effect can end up rather sad. You need to balance with neat feet, a neat kapp of some kind, and a jacket of a structured shape, not shapeless. Then it will all come together.

I ask your pardon for my exceptional bossiness! You must, of course, dress just as feels comfortable for you. The above is no more than my humble opinion.
:0)

Linda said...

I can't do posh middle aged lady very well, which is what I am expected to be as a teacher's wife and what people think my lifestyle is. Feel very uncomfortable even talking to them. Wondering yesterday if I am very slow at growing up lol.

Devorah said...

@Linda: you just cracked me up something beautiful! Maybe that's my problem ~ slow at growing up! Maybe we should form a club ~ The Never, Never Girls or The Peter Pan club?

Ember said...

:0)

Linda said...

Ember, I am sitting here trying to remember why I put or when I put your name into a data base called Debbies Idea. Oh well, sounds good anyway lol.

Ember said...

:0D
Ask Debbie!

Maggie said...

Hi, Ember - Your comment about "hippy-amish" reminded me of something that happened last week. My younger son saw me for the first time since I went Plain (he's been busy with school, so we haven't had a chance to get together for a while). His first comment was, "Mom! You look like a hippy!" It made me smile...

Ember said...

Yeah, man - you're in good company!