I love writing as I am sure you know by now. But I also love reading. So that is today’s blog. My reading tastes have changed as I have gotten older. I now love a psychological thriller, although I also think this needs to be counterbalanced because it can get a bit addictive!
I find reading relaxing and therapeutic. In a world of the internet, it is lovely to turn the pages of a book. I have never really used a Kindle very much and love old fashioned bookshops and bookcases. In fact most of the oliticians who speak on television usually have a backdrop of a bookcase. Has anyone else noticed that?
My Winter plan is to read and read more. I n a pandemic, reading is a lovely way to while away the time. So if another lockdown happens; I’m ready for ya!
Please share what you like to read and any recommendations. I would love to hear from you. In another blog I will do a review of som ehopeful books.
Today’s recipe of hope is to carve out some space to have a good read and relax. Treat yourself to a new book. And let’s hear about it.
Today I was filled with hope from two of our clothes bank visitors who kindly agreed to be videod. This is in relation to wonderful funding for the Community Outreach Project from the National Lottery Community Fund and part of the Government’s £750 million support package for charities#communities can.
Two of our wonderful service users spoke about how the clothing bank has helped them. Just because people are vulnerable, doesn’t mean they need to be pigeon holed as scruffy. These two individuals have a lovely sense of style and are fashionistas in their own way. It is lovely to provide them with clothing, so they can express themselves.
Homelessness is not about not having a permanent home. In many senses, it is about stigma’ lack of choice so an individual feels ‘done to’ rather than being able to select a style and colour of clothing they may wish to wear. I will never forget the twenty year old very trendy young man who showed me the very female child looking hat and glove set he had been given by a charity, purely because they had nothing else to give. I could see he felt humiliated rather than helped. Let’s treat people with the respect they deserve, not as ‘charity cases’ to make oursleves feel like we are doing good.
These days I am asking myself tough, hard line questions regarding my motives for things. I am questiuoning many things. I feel life in Covid times demands a new approach. The old ways seem stale and irrelevant in so many ways.
Today’s recipe of hope is to think out of the box and try a fresh approach; to life, to charity, to something you have always done. Do something different. And please share it with us.
Thank you to writing presence, for inspiring today’s blog. Her comment was so inspiring I am using it today. I think we can sometimes forget how special and unique we are. We need to carry a torch of hope for ourselves and keep it shining bright. This will inspire others.
This is today’s recipe of hope for us all:
I would love it if you wrote a gorgeous letter to yourself, when birthday time approaches, listing the best attributes of you. Or even, do this any time! (Lots of times!)
Then seal it, date it, and hide it away safely. Next time you need a morale boost, you can take that letter out, read it, and carry it close to your heart ❤
I can be an overthinker. I admit that and it isn’t helpful. However, I also need time to think and plan and reflect. I need margins.
In our busy world it is easy to rush about doing this and that and going from thing to thing so that our to do list is reduced. But margins are extremely important. Time slots to rest and reflect and mentally recharge. I love having a good think. I can note down what needs to be done, check my calendar and diary and it makes me feel organised.
If we are crazily rushing around, it isn’t good for our stress levels and it certainly isn’t good for our mental health either. We need to have time to recharge and plan. A friend of mine starts every year with a plan of things she would like to achieve in that year. And she is one of the most focussed, organised people I know.
Time spent planning is not wasted. Planning goals and dreams. These are the building blocks for a hopeful life.
Today’s recipe of hope is to sit and carve out some time for planning. If you have got caught up in rushing around, slow down. Plan some breaks in your diary. Plan some rest and relaxation time.
May we all learn to live in a balanced and peaceful way X
I have been doing a lot of thinking during this year. About hope and about help and about how to help people find hope.
I think in these times, we all need to be refreshed in our hope tank. And we all need to rethink what life is about and what we need and do not need. I have ceased from my desire to buy clothes, or nice items for my flat, because I do not need to live that way anymore. My focus is now on keeping healthy, keeping up with friends and helping people who are suffering during this time.
I see so many people in trouble, using a foodbank, struggling financially, or living on the streets. Many are barely able to feed themselves or their children. And this is not a few. It is countless souls across the UK.
I ask myself whether the empty church buildings scattered across our land could be used during this time. Could they offer shelter to the people in woods, on the beaches. Can empty buildings such as closed shops be used to temporarily shelter people. Let’s rethink the purpose of empty buildings, when people could potentially die out there in the cold. Maybe they will mess up the lovely buildings, but actually so what. Aren’t people more important than a perfect looking empty shell that could be a life saver?
Today’s recipe of hope is to use our resources to the max. If we have clothes that we don’t need, perhaps give them to someone who does. If a building, then offer it to a charity. Let’s rethink what normal means. And be prepared to be challenged in redefining it X.
Today I wanted to share the joy of spending time with six bundles of hope. Hercules, Ursa, Juno, Mr Holmes and Nova are five of these little hope packages.
I could literally watch kittens for hours. Their is a spring in their step, a playfulness and vibrancy and a joy of being alive that is infectious. I go in to visit and come out feeling I have been in a lake of soothing balm.
Fur therapy is one of the best tonics to a stressful day I can recommend. Being surrounded by sweet, innocent creatures with no malice, just a zest for life and fun is a joy.
I have so enjoyed getting to know these little personalities. I would love to have one of my own, but alas that is not possible in my current circumstances. But I love to share their company and appreciate them while they are still being fostered.
Today I celebrate Lisa, who is an amazing foster mum to the kittens. I celebrate animal lovers everywhere who care for animals. I celebrate volunteers in rescue centres, vets and veterinary nurses.
Our recipe of hope is to treasure the animals on our planet. They are so important and a blessing to us all.
May we honour those creatures who share the planet with us X
I watched a fascinating programme tonight about the power of artificial intelligence and how we as humans are being manipulated by this and are becoming addicted to social media. Guilty as charged.
At the end of the programme which is extremely worth watching, some very interesting questions are asked, such as deactivating all social media accounts. Very radical, or maybe a way of protecing ourselves from the onslaught that is media manipulation.
As a result of watching this programme, I am going to switch off my phone at a certain time in the evening and read a book, or talk to my family. Old habits die hard, so I am not expecting this to be easy. However I do not want to be brainwashed either.
Working with vulnerable people who are lonely and isolated has made me realise the importance of human connection via conversation. Let’s really talk to one another.
Today’s recipe of hope is to think about our use of the internet or social media. Are we addicted? And if so maybe it is time to develop more healthy habits. And I dare you to switch off your phone for a while and be unavailable.
My one rusty clothes rail has grown exponentially. Donations have poured in literally. Today, a lovely kind hearted solicitor asked me what we were in desperate need of. I said “baby milk”. He cam back shortly afterwards, balancing several cans on top of one another. What a star!
I have recently had several discussions about people exploiting the foodbank, taking too much or even seeling the clothes on. However I will not police this free service. People may take advantage, some give donations, others do not, but I do not want to start rationing out clothes. We have enough to go round and plenty more besides. So I am happy for people to just take free items, no questions asked. Because when some of our donations amount to 2p beause that is all someone can afford, I am not going to start policing our free service. If people want to stick a pric label on then they can give to a charity shop. This is a novel concept and I am sticking to it.
Today a whole box of tracksuit bottoms were put out on our ladies rail. And they all went by the end of the morning (as I knew they would. It poured with rain and still the people came in droves.
We have now given out over 1000 food parcels at the door in 14 weeks, since the foodbank opened. The situation is getting worse and our deliveries are growing weekly as word gets round.
The recipe of hope today is to please support your local foodbank or clothing bank. And if you have some spare clothes, you may like to leave them somewhere for people to take, perhaps on a tree, or a clothes rail. People are losing their jobs in this country and poverty is on the rise. Children are not getting enough food.
Let’s really look to support one another in practical ways X
I wanted to talk about a realtionship with God this morning. Please don’t stop reading if you do not have a faith, because this is for everyone.
I am a Christian and for me that means I love Jesus and have given my life over to Him. It isn’t always easy, but it is nonetheless wonderful. Because I would describe God as loving, compassionate, kind, just and faithful. And Jesus or Yeshua to give Him His Hebrew name, is the same, exactly the same.
Each day I start my day with a cuppa with God. I talk to Him and often read the bible. It really sets me up for the day. I love my conversations with God in the quietness of the early morning. I get inspired, challenged corrected.
I am way off perfect and one lesson I have learnt over my years on this planet is not to judge others. I try my best to veer away from that, especially in my thinking. We all make mistakes and letting people off when they have hurt us intentionally or unintentionally is a good thing. This is forgiveness.
Today’s recipe of hope is to have a conversation with God if you would like to. Even if you would not describe yourself as a believer. And if you don’t want to do that then take some space to be quiet with your thoughts and think about your personal belief system and what it means to you. Ask yourself some questions. And don’t be afraid of new paths to explore, or new challenges to face.
May we all enjoy conversations with those precious to us X