“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

This morning I had a quiet reflective prayer time. I was struck by the reading from 1 Corinthians 10 which had the following:

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ For it is not those who commend themselves that are approved, but those whom the Lord commends. (NIV)

I had read a bit of someone else’s blog (we follow each other) who had commented about someone else publishing a book and she hadn’t done sufficient with her book to get it published. This led me to think about my efforts. I still feel a little ambivalent about publishing my work due to some of the sensitive and very personal nature of it. Would I be leaving myself open and vulnerable? Yes. Would I be self-promoting and boasting? I could be. BUT, as Paul wrote in both his letters to Corinthian Christians, if God has done great things then we need to tell others. So, once again, I decide that it is right to continue. Today I will try and have some time to work on it, but first I want to spend time reflecting on the week. This is something I want to try and build into my Saturday routine. Some weeks it won’t happen due to ministry pressures, but this week I can do so.

I am reminded of the last verse of the hymn How Deep the Father’s Love by Stuart Townend:

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.

I have been aware of God’s guiding presence this week and feel very blessed and encouraged in ministry. I have also had some time and space to draw and get on with practising calligraphy. The workbook task was to write out a saying and decorate it. So I did a verse from scripture and, after a slow start of not knowing how to decorate it, produced something that also combined the suggested word from the Sketch a Day app that I’ve been using – load. (I’m really pleased that today’s word is Wings…. more of that later)

Looking at this, I am getting a better idea of what my picture of me dancing will be like. I want to be on a seashore and there be a rainbow. So this is another bit of preparation for the painting. I probably won’t include labelled burdens at the cross, although God has done enormous healing of those things. He has healed a broken heart, he has forgiven and cleansed me of guilt and shame. He has indeed girded me with gladness and brought me into a good place. There will be boulders, rocks, pebbles and sand in the painting (if I can manage it with my limited artistic skills). They will refer to one of my poems that I know others have found helpful.

Another sketch that I was particularly pleased with this week is of a statue of mother and child that I had bought on holiday from Portugal many years ago. I had been immediately drawn to it in the shop, imagining that I was being held in God’s arms. It is now on my bookcase and visible when I have my prayer times. The image of God as mother is helpful for many people, especially those who have been hurt by men. My father was great – I am blessed that he was a loving and good dad. And there is no reason why this figure couldn’t be a father holding a child.

I did that sketch on Saturday. I hadn’t slept much the night before – no particular reason – but I lay awake, praying in a vague sort of way and probably in and out of sleep. So in morning prayer Psalm 63 seemed appropriate, especially verses 6-8:

On my bed I remember you;

I think of you through the watches of the night.

Because you are my help,

I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I cling to you;

your right hand upholds me. (NIV)

The translation used in morning prayer had: “under the shadow of your wings will I rejoice”. So that will be today’s sketch. I did one years ago and so is on my list of pictures to revisit in prayer.

So, it is now almost 10.30am and time for a change of activity. I will resume this later.

It has been a good day. I spent some time doing some editing on my book and then read quite a bit on healing of memories in preparation to write a paragraph or two for my book. However, that was curtailed by my lovely husband taking me for a short walk and a drink. Fortunately I had already had some lunch. I got home just in time to change and go out again to visit a family to discuss a memorial service.

Upon my return I did a few things to prepare for tomorrow and then had my evening prayer. I decided to use the Northumbria Community one mainly because of the song In the shadow of your wings I will sing your praises o Lord. I did the Examen (looking back on the day in prayer.) I finished off my prayer time by doing today’s picture of wings. I found a picture on Pinterest to give me the shape of the person under the wings, and this is the result:

And now my husband has prepared something for us to eat and I will go and join him downstairs.

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