Monday, 25 February 2008

think deeply, speak gently, love much, work hard, give freely and be kind

Someone sent me a chain email today - these are things that I usually do not read but on this occasion I did. Here it is reproduced and adapted in to something more 'Sue shaped'!

'The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.
Old age, I decided, is a gift.I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the stretch marks and the saggy boobs. And often I am taken aback by that older person that lives in my mirror but I don't agonize over those things for long.I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, or my loving family for less grey hair or a flatter tum.
As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've be come my own friend. I no longer chide myself for an impulse buy or for eating a bar of chocolate, or, for that matter drinking an extra glass of port! I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon, before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 & 70s; and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love... I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is a comfortable fit over a curvaceous body, and will splash about in the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the ‘beautiful people’ …they, too, will get old one day.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the import ant things. Yes, over the years my heart has been broken but broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning grey, although you would never know amid the blonde streaks my hairdresser so lovingly put in my hair, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into the lines on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself harshly anymore but I do make myself responsible for my own actions. I've even earned the right to be wrong but not to judge others.

So, to answer your question, I like being older. It has set me free and I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day, buy port and chocolate and trashy novels. I shall think deeply, speak gently, love much, work hard, give freely and be kind.'

Monday, 11 February 2008

Sing for Joy

Copied below is a blog by Ruby Beech.

Ruby is the Vice President of the Methodist Conference and, more importantly, one of the people whose life Joy had touched. Joy and her husband Philip used to run a Youth Club and Ruby was 'one of their girls' (Philips words not mine!)

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Sing for Joy
Yesterday morning found me back in Mansfield for the funeral of a wonderful godly woman, Joy Johnson. We had visited her back in October when I went “home” to the Nottingham and Derby District and had a lovely few hours with her. Joy had contracted ovarian cancer in 2005 and eventually this spread with the bone cancer giving her the most pain. She died peacefully on Thursday 31st January.We arrived early at Bridge Street Church and this banner on the wall caught my eye. It seemed so appropriate as Joy had been a music teacher and after having her own children had carried on working with children and young people in churches and schools to spread the Christian message through music.For me Joy and Philip had given real support and encouragement in the early years of my Christian life when I was a teenager. Joy was so calm and so loving, a very special person.The funeral was very moving and many a tear was shed. I found that singing “All for Jesus” was particularly poignant for me. I had not sung it for years and then I had sung it twice in a few weeks – the previous time being at the memorial service for Rob Frost. What a lot I owe to so many people who really gave their all for Jesus.My prayers are with Philip and their children Wesley, Iothe and Matthew and grandchildren Isaac and Seth and all those who mourn this amazing woman who gave her All for Jesus.

Friday, 1 February 2008


Joy's life with us drew to completion last night.
She slipped away peacefully about 10pm.

I know that we have no need to fear death and this last event in our lives leads us to something richer...but on the other hand, when we have loved deeply and received love, especially when this love has been lasting, the grief and pain felt is extreme.

'If we live, we live for the Lord;
and if we die, we die for the Lord.
Whether therefore we live or die,
we belong to the Lord.'
Romans 14:8