Suzanne has challenged me to find 10 words beginning with J to write about that reflect back on my life and interests, this is going to be a challenge!! Please note, these are in random order, it doesn't indicate their real importance.
1. Journey I really believe that my life is a journey on many levels: from immaturity to maturity; from abuse and victimhood to freedom and strength, from pain to joy, from desolation to joy, from brokenness to God, from isolation to love, from ignorance and assumptions to understanding ... I have no idea how far along any of those paths I have come, I know that I have moved forward from where I once was, and, please God, will continue to do so.
2. Justice I care passionately about justice and fairness and integrity. I hate to see the top dogs get away with exploiting those beneath them. This world should not be about every man for himself, it is about servanthood and sharing, and doing what is right even when it costs something. It is about standing up for those who are too hurt to be able to stand up for themselves. I don't want to get into a political rant, but there is much going on in my own country and my ownchurch that I am not happy about: refugees, war, injustice to women .. I'd better move on to my next point!!
3. Joining I don't mean clubs and activities, I'm not much into organised stuff, this is just the closest J word I could find for connectedness. Next to God, friends are the most important thing in my life. I have lots of warm relationships and a couple of really close friends that I can trust my heart to. Without them I would have thrown the towel in long ago.
4. Jesus I didn't want to put Him first on the list because I didn't want the whole thing to look oppressively pious, besides, I don't throw His name around lightly, and I hate the way His name is used to justify all kinds of church and public stances which I don't think represent His heart at all. but anyone who really knows me knows that my faith in Him is the absolute centre of who I am.
5. Jokes OK my sense of humour is another core part of me. Somebody once said that life is a tragedy to the one who feels and a comedy to the one who thinks. I know both halves of that, and seeing the absurd and the ironic in everyday life is one way of staying empowered to deal with the tough stuff. Besides, it IS really funny. I especially love verbal humour, people's careless expressions conjure up amazing pictures in my head! Laughter is one of those gifts we should squander, the more we use it the more we have .. And I can actually tell jokes properly, even my husband admits I can do that and he can't ..
6. Judgementalism another passion of mine (as mentioned before in this blog) is my detestation of all legalism. I hate the way so many people have to promote their own self-righteousness by picking on some minor virtue that they've really got on top of, and making that the measure of everyone, so that they always come out on top. It's pathetic, and very damaging, and when they do it in God's name it comes perilously close to blasphemy, since in his eyes we've all got it wrong and it's His grace in Jesus that is our only way home, and that's for anyone who wants it. That's why my favourite parable is the Prodigal Son.
7. Jewellery (Aussie spelling please!) I always wear a watch and my rings (left hand wedding and engagement rings; right hand my 50th birthday ring, and when i go out I add the 21st ring I got from my grandfather made from the diamond in my grandmother's engagement ring). Around my neck I normally wear a small gold cross on a longish chain, occasionally for dress up i will wear something else instead. And when I go out I wear earrings, I didn't get my ears pierced till I was 38, and wearing earrings symbolises liberation and being my own woman. As you can see, i'm into decoration (I always wear a bit of makeup too, don't feel dressed without it. But I hate heavy makeup)
8. Jabberwocky (!!!) Now I've got you curious, I picked this one because it symbolises my love of words, they have so much power and can bring so much fun as well. I'm into crossword puzzles and poetry, and I love a good pun. words are both tools and toys. And of course, I want to be a preacher, again because I love finding the words that will touch people's hearts and speak grace into them.
9. Jonah I stuck him in because I've been asked to lead a bible study in our church for the next 4 weeks and I've chosen to do it on Jonah. It's flattering that people are looking forward to my doing this, but scary, I don't want to let them down. And yes, just for the record I do believe there was a real jonah who was swallowed by a real fish. Why not? Life's pretty boring if we take out the miraculous! But if you disagree, that's cool, nothing rests on it.
10. Jumble as in I like things just a little untidy. I've never understood "a place for everything and everything in it's place" it's just twice as much work to keep putting it back there. I thrive in what I call creative chaos - just enough mess that I can lay immediate hands on whatever I want to use.