I managed to read a couple of books on holiday last week.
The first was A Million Tears by Paul Henke
It is the first book in a series of books telling the Griffiths family story. It starts in Wales in a coal mining village in the 1890s. They decide, after a tragedy, to move to America and seek their fortune there. The book was good and it captured your attention. I shall have to get the rest of the series now.
The second book I read was for our book group this month - The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty.
This is the first book I have read by this author and I enjoyed it and it was a nice quick holiday read. Cecilia, marrried with 3 children, comes across a letter in the attic written by her husband with the words "to be opened in the event of my death". She opens it and her life spins never to be the same again. I can't say any more without ruining it for you. I found it gripping and enjoyed it. It sort of asks the question what would you do if you found such a letter?
So that has been my holiday reading, have you read anything good recently?
Last week we went away for a week to Elie on the Fife Coast and had a lovely relaxing time. Made even better as we sent Andrew our youngest son to Scripture Union camp at the same time! We did some walking along the Fife Coastal Path, lots of reading, knitting and watching DVDs.
Well here we are at Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week. Here is the poem from Stephen Cherry's book Barefoot Prayers for Palm Sunday
It's not like me to shout -
it's not like a Messiah to come -
hear our hosannas today.
Hear us and help us.
Hear us and heal us.
Accept all that we throw at you:
that come from our hearts, our
sharply broken hearts.
Heroic Son of David:
heal us, and
give us the hope we cannot grasp.
Holy Son of David:
heal us, and
open the gate of heaven.
Humble Son of David:
heal us, and
let us follow.
I have enjoyed joining in again this year and reading other people's posts, you can find them on Floss's blog and I wish you a good and blessed Holy Week.
This week in the Barefoot Prayers we move to think about Virtues and how we can ask God to help us grow in certain virtues so that we might be better able to do God's will here on earth. The poem I am sharing today is about patience - which is a virtue that I struggle with and which God has been given me strength in over the past year, as things and events happen over which I have no control and so into which I must be patient.
Patience - Stephen Cherry
This is a big ask, but I dare to ask for patience for myself.
For a sense of the right pace and
the right time.
Help me to develop a deep sense of the way your providence
unfolds, its moments
and its seasons.
Take from me the nervous desire to hasten.
Banish from my lips all unnecessary
talk of urgency or rush.
Remove from my actions all that projects busyness.
Help me to be prompt and punctual without rushing,
and to know when to move on when things are stuck
or time is being squandered.
Lord of all time,
help me to inhabit time calmly, attending to the pulse
of your grace, the season of your
Spirit and not my own
Give me confidence and dignity
whenever I am required to wait.
Calm my growing agitations when waiting seems long,
and distract me with glimpses of your purpose
Reconcile me to the present moment
and the slow but certain dawning
of your new future.
Think this week about which virtue you would like ask God help grow in your life.
This coming week in the Barefoot Prayers book we are looking at responses. How do we respond to things, do we really take things in, do we really pay attention to the world around us. This poem caught my attention as it is about Rain - something we have been having a lot of recently!
As the raindrops drum against the windowpane
and drill on the tiles,
we give thanks for precipitation falling as drizzle
or in storms
to water the earth,
feeding and freshening by day and by night.
We pray for all who live in dry
and drought-affected places;
for people living with dust and desiccation.
We pray for those who are deluged;
we think of those who are constantly damp.
We pray for those in danger of flood or coping with its aftermath.
We pray for those living with the difficulty of frozen water,
slippery paths, broken gutters.
We pray for good, wetting, watery rain whereever it is needed by humankind.
And we pray for the gratitude that informs our
attitude and makes us good stewards of your life-giving,
indispendsable gift of water.
We thank you for this day of rain;
let its rhythm help our alleluia to dance.
I think this poem also shows how we can use the ordinary little things as prayer with God. So this week why not be aware of the little ordinary things in your life.