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  • Another Year Over!

    31st December, the last day of the year.  A day to pause, be it only fleeting to look back over the year that's gone and remind myself how blessed I have been.

    It has been a year of extremes - the good bits so much better than I might have imagined, the not good bits so much harder and more painful than I would have anticipated.  Personally, locally, nationally and globally a year crammed with events and experiences - too many to name, too many to reflect upon.

    A year ago I was frantically trying to get my conference paper finished to go to New Zealand - and what a great adventure that was.  A year ago (+/- a day or two) I was visiting the friend whose funeral I will conduct in just over a week, admiring her new house, hearing her plans for the garden.  A year ago I had spent part of the Christmas period visting in hospital two church folk, who were in the same ward as the one I have been visiting this year.  A year ago I had the Commonwealth Games to look forward to and the Referrendum to try to get my head around.  A year ago I was planing a holiday in Finland and hearing of young folk planning weddings. And so it goes on.

    As the year draws to its close, I have very few regrets, and those I do are probably becuase I am too hard on myself.  It has been, for me, a good year.  Tinged with the sadness of losing friends and losing Holly Cat, shot through with moments of near uncontainable happiness, challenging, rewarding, demanding... and in all of it the awareness that life is precious and wonderful, the sense that, In God's good time, all will be well.

    However your year has been, I wish you the blessing of health, hope and happiness for 2015.  Go well, and may God go with you.

  • Trending...

    I often wonder what it is that makes something on social media 'trend' or go 'viral'.  This year it was something done by a group of women aged under 45 who were undergoing chemotherapy, and for a laugh posted photos of themselves with "chemobrows" for Chrismas... antlers drawn on, ribbons stuck on, holly leaves... you name it they did it.  And somehow or other it tripped that hidden switch and went wild.

    31st December 2010 was my final dose of chemo, and I had no eyebrows, in fact four years on I still have very sparse eyebrows rather than the lush ones I had enjoyed for 47 years.

    So, in celebration of being four years further along the road, and in the spirit of seasonal nuttiness, I present you with Catriona's Christmas-and-New-Year Chemo-plus-4yrs-brow

    #christmaschemobrow

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  • Ministry is...

    ... nothing like the job spec, if there was such a thing, which there isn't.

    The last few days have been totally off-script and maybe a tad off piste.

    But today, as I exercised a ministry that is not in any theological text book or pastoral care course, I was reminded that this is precisely what ministry is: privilege.

    Privilege to share the most personal and significant moments in the lives of others

    Privilege to share with the most vulnerable of people

    Privilege to expend your energy and love in situations that really matter

    No amount of "sound doctrine" or "worthy preaching" counts for anything unless it finds its expression in love lived... faith without deeds is, as James so well expresses it, dead.

    Time off totally failed... need to be careful and pace myself... but it is being pretty special right now.