Last day of the year post- Five helps for the new year

Today’s post is based on the “Five Helps for the New Year” given by Bishop Michael Ramsey to his clergy, which our own church has adopted for the new year. It came to me via a message sent out from our church to all members.

Five Helps for the New Year

  1. Thank God. Often and always. Thank him carefully and wonderingly for your continuing privileges and for every experience of his goodness. Thankfulness is a soil on which pride does not easily grow.                                                                                              I think this is a marvellous thought- I am so prone to becoming proud. Take a simple act like driving a car. Driving a car to work each day is a hazardous task for me, the roads and the wild traffic being what it is. It is a miracle each day that one gets to work safe and sound. But there are days when I think, nothing can happened to me- I am a good driver- I am skillful- I am bold and can and do get away with risks. See how pride has started creeping into my thoughts. If only I would take the time to thank God that I have a car, money to put fuel in, my co-drivers, the good roads and even the ability to drive without any health issues- I am sure pride would not have a place to come in. I need to work on this.
  2. Take care about confession of your sins. As time passes, the habit and tendency to be critical of people and things grows more than each of us realizes. Again, I am guilty here. I am one of the most critical people around. Ask my husband-there is not one person, or thing I might not have criticized. I can criticize people like I am being given a topic to debate on and am in a competition – this is another of my follies which I need to work on.
  3. Be ready to accept humiliations. They can hurt terribly but they can help to keep you humble. Whether trivial or big, accept them. All these can be so many chances to be a little nearer to our Lord. There is nothing to fear, if you are near to the Lord and in his hands. Learnt this the hard way recently. Humiliations can come from lessons that others might teach you because of your wrongdoing or because of things that do not happen the way you want them to be.  Humiliations can be taken as lessons in humility and keeping you grounded- ask me. Two weeks after the humiliating incident in my life but the hurt is still rankling. But I am getting there and the lesson learnt, though hard, will not go away in a hurry.
  4. Do not worry about status. There is only one status that Our Lord bids us be concerned with, and that is our proximity to Him. “If a man serve me, let him follow me, and where I am there also shall my servant be”. (John 12:26) That is our status; to be near our Lord wherever He may ask us to go with him. I have to think about this one but if anyone can offer some input here, I would be grateful. 
  5. Use your sense of humour. Laugh at things, laugh at the absurdities of life, laugh at yourself. I agree- I need to do this more often. My face is often like I have all the sorrows in the world on my head. I take myself too seriously. I think I am the only one that matters in the world. When will I learn ?

I think there is scope for at least 4 New Year Resolutions here. And I am going to work on them.

The week after Christmas

We had four days of paid leave granted by my University for Christmas and post Christmas celebrations. It was a well needed break.

Christmas Tree 2016.JPG

Our Christmas Tree at home

On the Sunday of Christmas, I managed to go to church after a long time here. I had been to church a couple of times in the Summer and once in Birmingham but not here for a long time- so it was an event worth the celebration. Being a working day, the people who attended were not as much as might have been expected on a regular Christmas that fell on the weekend. But my daughter who had insisted on going, was happy because she could sing carols along with the choir. The choir is seated on a terrace above the church so we cannot see them from the pews below. But every now and then, when the pianist played with a little more force than usual, we saw people turn up and look at the choir. At first, I wondered what was up there but I soon perceived  the variations in tone of the piano. But in keeping with the Christmas spirit, it made sense as when a particularly meaningful verse was sung, there was more emphasis given in tone.

My daughter had  her Physics mock exam on the 27th, so she needed to get back to her books at the earliest after the service, which ended at 12:30 pm. So after the regular Fellowship they had in the church hall, which was cake, chips and coffee for those who wanted it, we rushed home. I started up a vegetable fried rice and my husband popped over to learn how to make a chicken roast as he is leaving soon to live alone for about half a year and will need to cook food on his own. Our chicken roast is spicy and not at all like the English or American chicken or turkey roast. The chicken is cut in small pieces, marinated in a lot of spices, a gravy made with plenty of onions, garlic, ginger and tomato and the marinated chicken is allowed to cook in the juices from all the vegetables. It takes some time but is well worth the effort and goes well with a rice or roti or a naan bread, if you have some handy. For sweets, my daughter’s ginger bread men came up and they were made gluten free considering she is off wheat because of polycystic ovarian tendencies she might have. The flour was millet flour- unusual tasting  but edible.

The rest of the 25th and 26th, we spent studying physics together. I was glad I didn’t have to take leave from work and we could manage to study with the official time off from the university.  The Physics exam went well on the 27th- I went to school to collect her after the exam, which again is a privilege I don’t often get, as I am at work when her school finishes. So I am grateful for that mercy.


Her Study Table 

On the 29th was her English exam, and she planned to write the exam without preparing too much for it as she wanted to sleep off her tiredness after the Physics exam and also learn some Biology for her Biology exam which would be on January 3rd. The English exam went well- so that is ok.

For me, I worked on a crochet project during these days- a wrap made in multiple colors. Most of my work seems to end up in multi colored hues as I run out of one color of yarn after I have started the project and then need to make do with what I have.  I will post a picture soon. ( A Bob Wilson project)



Bob Wilson crochet wrap

Inspired by my crochet success, I went to the yarn shop yesterday and spent about 500 of our currency which would come up to about 100 $ to buy yarns of three different colors and hopefully in sufficient amounts. My daughter has asked for shawls which she could wear while she sits in classes where the AC is turned on high even in winter.


All my new yarn

I had to work yesterday but there were very few at work-most preferring to take a leave for the one remaining day of the week and then coming fresh to work on January 1, 2017


Reblogged from thechickengrandma

The Chicken Grandma

the-path-gooseberry-falls-mnGooseberry Falls State Park, MN

There are days when blogging inspiration is hard to come by.  Today is one of those days. It seems small seeds of ideas pop into my brain and scatter before they have a chance to take root.

I am not sure why this is an issue today. Maybe it is because I was already a day late with my Monday post and my brain just can’t quite reset to the normal blogging schedule. It is hard to get my thoughts back on track.

Much of life can be like that.  You find a perfectly good path to take (at least you think it is a perfectly good path.) and before you know it…..your good path has taken twists and turns that you never expected.

What starts out as an easy hike quickly becomes a test of endurance and perseverance. I find when those paths starting getting a…

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Would You Like To Partner With Me? — Dream Big, Dream Often

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Accepting humiliations

I was reading about the recent wedding in California where a woman died after a tree fell on a wedding party. The woman who died was the mother of  the bride.

I have a relatively uneventful work situation these days. Except for the occasional contribution from the difficult co-worker of whom I have written in previous posts, life is quite passive here. I enjoy it for I don’t enjoy drama- perhaps there was a time when I would have but not now.

Yesterday I was called up Building Operations and asked to visit their office. Like a six year old girl, called to go to the Principal’s office, I waited with trepidation. On one side, I was thinking maybe they were calling me for a Christmas celebration and on the other side, I was thinking like that six- year old trapped inside a 47 year body.

At 2, I dutifully kept my appointment. I was asked to sit down and the woman there asked me to sit down. I was surprised when she closed the door, as though she wanted to discuss something confidential. I was even more surprised when she said, whatever we talk here will never go out of this room. And then she told me. The matter was embarrassing, so embarrassing that I can’t share it here. Suffice to say there was a complaint against me and I needed to pull my socks up or face retribution. My gut feeling was right- I was in trouble.

With a red face, I crept up to my office. I was red in the face and couldn’t face any one. I was thinking why me God ?

Then it struck me to say ” Thanks”. This is what I have been doing for about 3 months now. I say thanks God for anything and everything that happens in my life- good or bad, beneficial or non-beneficial. And it has helped me take a positive attitude to life and I know that God is in control. Also I don’t feel like taking refuge in food and again, I don’t need to carry my official baggage home as I would have done previously because my heavenly father and I know what has happened and that is enough.

Last night sleep eluded me as I was distressed but again I said Thank you God.

Now a day later, after analysis, I have come to the following conclusions .

  1. I was getting complacent in my relationship with God and even though I said ” thanks” a lot, it wasn’t enough- my relationship was still superficial. So this incident made me rethink my bond with God and that I needed to really be in touch with the heavenly father rather than mouth a refrain of Thanks, when I felt like it.
  2. And again, it made me think that perhaps I am getting complacent in another domain- getting too comfortable in my job- I have lost my ambition.  I think God was reminding me that I need to get back on my feet and start using my brains once again. My job is very mechanical and does not involve much use of my grey matter – perhaps I need to start looking at my talents and see if I am rotting inside and get that drive back into my life. Who knew ?
  3. And as Danny of Dream big, Dream often wrote yesterday, I needed to take a break and learn to laugh at myself just like others might be doing. I am insignificant in the wider scheme of things.

How is all this connected to the wedding in California ? A good day, a wedding day, started off on a beautiful note but ended in a tragedy- who knew what course life was going to take that day. I started off yesterday as any routine day- happy, carefree and see how I ended it- heavy laden, embarrassed, worn with burden. Anything can happen to any body at any time. There is nothing that can prepare us for what will happen. Embarrassing moments come in the life of the most careful and carefree person but it is how we deal with it that ensures how we go forward in life.

Do you agree ?