dorothystewartblog

about writing and life and God

When you walk through the storm

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” maybe – but also season of storms! Today is a brief respite before the next bank of storm clouds roll in and let rip with rain and wind.

I confess I enjoy storm. Maybe it comes from being born and brought up on Scotland’s rocky — and very stormy — north-eastern coast. As a child, I loved to watch the wild waves soar white-plumed into the air and then crash back over the harbour wall.

Suffolk doesn’t do rocks the way Caithness does – but it does bear the brunt of the North Sea too. and on Friday afternoon I treated myself to a brief visit to a very stormy Southwold. I needed to walk my angst out!

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Back today, for coffee at the Pier cafe with my husband this morning, the view is completely different. As am I. And it reminds me that life’s storms are also temporary and — if we’ll let them — short-lived.

Trusting God to hold our hand and never let go, we can face the storms of life – and the autumn and the winter too. As Psalm 23 puts it  (and I need it in the Authorised Version, the way I first learnt it!):

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me;

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.”

And Jeremiah 29: 11 (NIV this time): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

So if you’re currently going through storms, reach out for the comfort God offers and hold fast to hope!

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Making God smile

I like autumn. I love the blaze of colour – the defiance of the season. No going down to winter tamely! And that’s how I want to be as I get older and approach the autumn/winter of my life.

So this afternoon, getting ready to be guest speaker at the local Methodist Women’s Fellowship meeting, I chose shiny black knee-high boots (with heels), a flirty black cord skirt (reminded me of Regency novel covers with heroines in riding habits!), bright pink roll-neck, black and white herringbone tweed jacket – and one of my favourite brooches.

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Yes, he’s a bat. A shiny black bat with sparkly pretend-diamond eyes.

I have just checked my concordance and it appears that the bat appears twice in the Bible – both times in a list of birds not to be eaten by the Israelites. The texts are Leviticus 11:19 and Deuteronomy 14:18. Leviticus even goes so far as to say that the bat – and the other birds in the list (eagle, vulture, kite, raven horned owl, screech owl, gull, any kind of hawk, various other owls, the stork, any kind of heron, and the hoopoe) are not to be eaten because they are detestable.

I find myself straying into controversy here – although I definitely don’t like vultures. I do think they are detestable! However, in light of the New Testament and God’s explicit revelation to Peter in Acts 10:9-16, repeated three times to make sure Peter got the point, while I wouldn’t like to eat any of these birds, I’m happy not to have to detest them.

And I like my bat. When I lived in Somerset, we would get virtually silent flights of pipistrelle bats around the front of our house on hot summer nights and we’d stand outside trying to spot them winging past, their little mouths open to gobble up the night-flying insects attracted by the house lights.

My bat brooch amuses me. I wonder did God make quirky things for His amusement as well as ours? Giraffes, for example. Clown fish. God’s creation makes me smile.

I’d like to make God smile.

Wearing my brooch to a meeting of His people – maybe that’s a tiny step in the right direction?

 

 

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Back on the air

The last time I posted on my blog, I’d been interviewed by the lovely Lesley Dolphin at BBC Radio Suffolk. Today, I found myself in what is possibly – even probably – the most scenic radio recording studio in the UK: the Casino on Gun Hill, Southwold, overlooking Sole Bay.

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It’s been a glorious day and there were lots of people on the beach – even people swimming. The temperature in the studio – with the door open – was 23 degrees Centigrade. What a fabulous place to work!

I was interviewed by Sylvia Jagger for her magazine programme at 12 noon. She had read my book, Still Caring, and she had some experience of coping with loved ones in residential care so her questions were well-informed and sensitive. This isn’t always the case! I must admit to building up quite a case of nerves before live interviews like these. The interviewer can ask anything and there’s no going back!

Blyth Valley Community Radio, broadcast on 105FM, may be a small concern but I was impressed to learn that there are apps for listening on tablets and smartphones as well as a website(www.blythvalleycommunityradio.co.uk) and listeners come from all over the world.

Being interviewed in Southwold on a sunny day, I just had to allow enough time for a stroll along the beach. And as I walked through the little Monday market on the way back to my car, I stopped off at the fish stall and bought a dressed Cromer crab to go with new potatoes and salad for my lunch.

I reckon that’s a good day’s work!

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