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I am a special education teacher in England, working in a mainstream academy with a centre for children with learning difficulties. I teach a class of 7 students of secondary age with profound and multiple learning difficulties. These include autism, visual impairment and sensory integration disorder. I love love love my job. It inspires ,enthuses .and lifts me and I never intend to retire. :)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Resolutions? Not for me!

 This was a timely reminder to myself that I discovered.It brought to mind my ofttimes enthusiasm for change,in my life and in myself which then relapses into apathy :( . Timely ,as I am now writing this post and if I can write it when not feeling great,and even believe  it , then I will so much more easily live it with Gods help and strength in the coming months .

New year .The time for reevaluating and for making resolutions.Lose weight, exercise more, work harder, stop moaning? I'm not going to though.Absolutely no resolutions this year .Resolutions tend to be things to do, maybe what you want to achieve, how you want to behave in a different way.Instead, I'm going to focus on who I want to be ..I read somewhere [out there on the Internet where I can't remember and therefore I'm sorry, but I can't credit where I got it from ] about asking God to give you a word for the year ahead  A word that focuses on being, not doing,, on relationships with God and people ;that will, through prayer, become a natural part of who you are and will reflect Christ to the world in a way that is specific to you I have my word from God ...;its HOSPITABLE

By hospitable I mean so much more than welcoming visitors to my home, inviting people for meals and offering food and drink. I am currently studying t he rule of life of the Northumbrian Community as a novice and hospitality is an important part of being available to God and others . My current module describes it as not only the open door "but the open heart offering acceptance and love,it is the open mind ready and willing to listen , to receive and to exchange insight" Powerful stuff! powerful as it's challenging and exciting . I am discovering, with God's help what this means for me personally.

Mt primary calling is to be hospitable to God. It sounds strange but we do need to be hospitable to Him .He doesn't force his way into our lives. I will endeavour to welcome my Lord into my daily life, hourly, in fact by practising His presence . I will see how much of each day I can grasp for God by remaining open to His loving presence.. I will also spend quality time with Him daily.I have found that this daily time with God is the main way I can manage my depression as He ministers to me. If I leave it for a few days I quickly spiral downwards.

The Celtic Church saw all strangers and friends as the visible incarnation of the invisible Christ. They therefore welcomed all people as they welcomed Christ with Joy. As I am an introvert, who restores my energies through silence and aloneness, I can see people as a distraction from prayer. I fit much more easily into the cell of the monastic life than the open door. This is a challenge for me but one God wants me to take and I think for me even accepting invitations is part of that challenge. By receiving I must welcome the relationships of my friends. This is hospitality of the heart.

We Christians can be so bad at acceptance of others . I cringe when I consider my youth and the rules and beliefs I thought were important for others to have before they were accepted as part of our narrow group.True hospitality would never seek to burden any person with our expectations and demands as a condition of our acceptance, neither would it criticise or judge those that are not like us . God is so practical when he speaks to us in prayer at times and he told me a few months ago to stop nagging my husband about smoking. I stopped, and Alan is so conscious of God love shown through that small change in attitude. In a much bigger way I am more concerned to be a welcoming person in my relationships than to be right or get involved in a competition about what is truth. I often post articles or posters on my face book page that are anti gay bashing, and I make no apology for this. I am determined to love and accept all people as Jesus loves and accepts all people

In my hospitality I want to welcome the people God brings to my life as they are, where they are and who they are, with no ulterior motive to convert them [only God can convert anyway] or change them .I want my house, my heart and mind to be a space where others can find God and a change can take place. I want to share peoples life and listen to their story ,

All this excites me , It makes me say Yes to God at the core of my being. But then I remember without God I am nothing. I live with depression , constant ill health and exhaustion. Many times social phobia . If I am to be hospitable I must be there in prayer, be there in service to others and even simply be there with others at all. I am willing Lord .Help me and Your strength will be made perfect in my weakness.

           In the homes of Jairus, Matthew Mary and Martha Jesus was always the guest.
           At the meal table of the wealthy where he plied the case of the poor;among the religious
           where he spoke of life ...he was always the guest
           Upsetting polite company, befriending isolated people, welcoming the stranger, he was 
            always the guest

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