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Thought For the Week by Revd Sandra - 11 June 2018

The past couple of weeks I have had the honour of officiating at two weddings. One was for retired teacher Judy Hilton’s daughter Kimberley. The walls of St Martin’s were bursting with the rich sounds of a soul/gospel singer and throaty saxophone and the urge to dance was irresistible! The other was a farmer’s daughter who arrived on a tractor and left on a tandem and the church was filled with the glorious scent of flowers arranged in wellies. Both weddings were a total joy!  It’s a sad fact of life that in the midst of joy there is also sorrow and I have also helped grieving families arrange funerals and say their final goodbye to loved ones. Life is a wonderful journey with peaceful, maybe even boringly mundane stretches punctuated by the peaks and troughs; mountains and valleys. It can often feel like a roller coaster. It is true that many of us will at times feel overwhelmed by what life can throw at us. These days especially we are under a lot of pressure in life - expected to do so much, achieve so much, and we can feel that visible ‘success’ is everything. Like the old Beatles’ song Eleanor Rigby we can keep a jar by the door for the special smile we put on as we go out to face the world.

It is important to remember that we can get broken and to be kind to ourselves. To find the things and the people that feed us peace and renewal. One of those things for me is time spent doing mundane tasks at the stables, sweeping and mucking out with the dog by my side; taking time to pause and reflect and just notice the good things around me. My father was hard working but spent a lot of time doing nothing, just leaning on a gate and watching the world go by. That’s where he found peace. Where do you find rest and peace? We aren’t made to go at 100 miles an hour all the time and if we do we can soon get overwhelmed and find ourselves sucked into and drowning in deep water. I know this has and does happen to me. These are the times I call on Jesus to hold me and help me; to be the hand I can grasp and find safe footing again. Psalm 73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with you: you have taken hold of my right hand. Be kind to yourself this week.