September letter 2016 - Steeplewood

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From Revd Laura

The joys of Pick & Mix

August saw my birthday come and go… presents - Yay!! Another year older - Boo!! In amongst the copious gifts of chocolate was another of my favourites… Jelly Beans!

One of my great joys is the wonder of a ‘Jelly Belly’ Pick & Mix counter, here I can choose my favourite fruity flavours, with no danger of the yacky coffee or cinna-mon beans infiltrating my delicious bag of goodies! (‘Jelly Belly’ are the best brand of jelly beans, in my humble opinion!!)
There is much joy in the picking and mixing of jelly beans, and it’s very satisfying knowing that every single jelly bean is of your own choosing, and, therefore, delicious! There are strict rules in my household regarding the eating of jelly beans, definitely no grabbing a handful and eating all in one go. Each jelly bean must be eaten one by one, the flavour savoured!

I suspect many of us wish we could pick and mix our own life, filtering out the things which disappoint and hurt, and holding on to the things which bring joy and hope. It’s a tempting thought, to take away all the things which cause worry, stress, tension and sleepless nights, and yet I can’t help but wonder how life would really be?

I recognize that in my own life the joys of the ‘mountain tops’ are all the sweeter for having lived through the ‘dark valleys’ and ‘wilderness’ times. Looking back I can see that I’ve grown and developed, often to a greater degree, in the living through the times when the going got rough. Life is sometimes described as a rollercoaster, we’ve got to take the ups and the downs!

St. Paul wrote, “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). God works through all things, the good and the bad, and I can’t help but wonder how much we’d lose out on if we were really able to pick and mix, to separate out the joys and the sorrows? So, recognizing that God has, is and will work through all things, I am determined to live each day to the full, embracing all that each day has to offer!
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