Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Garden

Stefan plants and tends it, the Lord makes it grow, I relax in it
Here are some photos from our lovely garden. We remade it last year from this:

Last year we plated all the plants, but didn't get to see any flowers:

This year we are starting to see the fruit - or I should say flowers - of our labour. Well, that is it is mostly Stefan's hands that get dirty, while I get to choose what goes in where.

This week I've got to enjoy breakfast in our new patio corner the garden several days in a row. There is no better way than to start the day with a cup of tea in the sun. 

And in the week-end the weather was so lovely that the barbecue/firepit came out of hiding and we had a lovely evening outside. Hopefully there will be many of these evenings to come this summer! 


Friday, 9 April 2010

A Hard Life...

The wonderful weather today was too good to miss! Who want's to sit in a dark library (however beautiful) when summer is in the air? Not me! So today I worked outside at our local and lovely -newly opened- coffee house Jacob's and Field. I felt ever so bohemian as I sat sipping my cucumber and mint frappe while writing on Heidegger's view on the self. Even though I confess PhD-ing is hard work most days, days like today come along...and I realize I wouldn't want to do anything else in the world! May there be many of these kind of days in the weeks to come!

And if you should happen to live in the Oxford area, you really need to go to Jacob's and Field (just next to Waitrose)in Headington. They do the most amazing brownies and cakes made in shop during the morning, wonderful made to order sandwiches on artisan breads, a mouthwatering salad bar and really good coffee - and not any more expensive than Starbucks - only much, much better - not even the same league!  

Have wonderful week-end! 

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

My sisters Blogg!

I hope you've all had a lovely Easter break!

Here is just a short post to let you know about my sisters blog. She makes and sells these fantastic gorgeous earrings with Swarovski crystals and gold/sliver hooks! You just have to see them!Here are some of my favorites:

Friday, 2 April 2010

Everchanging Landscapes

Better late than never.... I'm finally publishing my reflections on the texts for the 5th Sunday of Lent. It was the passage from Isaiah and Philippians that particularly caught my attention.

While some might find the passage from Isaiah encouraging and full of hope, to me I must confess it challenges me in the same way spring sometimes does and how I read it now is very different, yet similar, from how I would have reflected on it 5 years ago. Then I was on the verge of the 'wilderness' or 'dark night of the soul' (rather vague Christian jargon, I know, but I don't have any better word at the moment...). While initially my experience of what felt like the disappearance of God terrified me and left me gasping like a fish out of water, I gradually came to let go of my old, familiar and incomplete conceptions and notions of God and who he is. Like Paul recognizing that all he formerly boasted of - his understanding of the scripture, God and what a Godly life consisted of - he counted it as loss compared to the greatness of knowing Christ and being found in him, by meeting God in the 'wilderness' my conceptions of scripture, God and what a Godly life consisted of was challenged - my righteousness no longer coming from law in black and white propositions and dogmas, but from Christ by faith and identification with his suffering on the cross. The place where the son of God in anguish cries out: "My God, my God - why have you forsaken me?" 

I learned not only to survive in the desert, so to speak, but to thrive there. The wilderness remained wild and unpredictable, God remained obscured by the darkness and clouds, but it became home. A place where God did new things, where he made a way and let there spring forth water from unforeseeable places. 

It is the place Abraham calls home for many years, and is given the promise of being a great nation. 
It is where Isak lived his life and prospered under God's blessing. 
It is where Jacob becomes Israel after wrestling with God - a fight that leaves him limping the rest of his life. 
I have come to love and be grateful for the wilderness.

Now that the wilderness has become familiar landscape, the challenge that rings in me after reading these texts is yet again one of change and continuously being expectant of what God is doing new, recognizing it and welcoming it. Lush green pastures and overflowing wells of water would completely change the landscape I have now over time come to love, and seems to me just as disorienting, bewildering and terrifying as the desert first once was. 

I guess the challenge is to realize like Paul that "I have not already obtained this - the full knowledge of sharing in Christ's suffering, death and resurrection - nor have I already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own." 

It is the challenge of spring - and of Easter - living in the tension between death and resurrection, desert and lush lands. Daring to live and be intimate with both, never stiffening, becoming rigid or too settled in either landscape.

What is it to share in His death?

What is it to share in His resurrection?     



Thursday, 1 April 2010

My Busy March

March has gone by so very very quickly due to all the lovely things I have done and the lovely visitors we have had! Here is are a some tasters of what I've been up to.
A trip to Liberty and Anthropologie in London with beautiful Mary and Di, drooling over pretty things we can't afford, but that were greatly inspiring! 

Most of the things were left on the shelves, but I did take home some cute buttons and a patchwork bundle, which I've already made into  bumper for the cot and a little cardigan for Aline. I've been making lot of different things for her this month. As soon as I get round to taking pictures of them they will be posted.


I've finished Aline's play mat too. Here is a picture of what it looked like before sewn together. (I'm a bit nervous about washing it as I didn't pre-wash the fabrics... I'm too lazy for my own good)

And here is a picture of it after the wash... it shrunk a little and now has a nice wrinkled effect. Completely intentional of course!

Another highlight of this month,well, actually every week is the Thursday market. 

Here are some of my finds in March:

 And a lovely vintage Christening dress for £4! Too good to miss

Finally, a picture of the door at the Bodelain library as I have been rather good and written on my PhD thesis as well this month, though I am realizing that I might be deluding myself when saying I aim to finish the draft for my Second chapter before Aline arrives... 

She says "hi" by the way