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Archive for May, 2015

Ecclesiastes 3:4 ‘…  a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

For the last three years I have been involved in a Restorative Justice program. I have been part of the program at two different prisons and have seen first hand how restorative justice can work. Being a victim of crime, I share my experience of the long road to recovery, the financial and emotional burden on myself and the family, and the personal victory that came about through sheer hard work on my part.

The course runs once a week for 7 or 8 weeks, and involves a select group of 10 -15 prisoners and a group of around 7 victims of crime. Each week stories are shared and for all of the prisoners, this is the first time they have heard from the perspective of a victim.

As you can imagine, there are some heartbreaking stories on both sides, and tears have flowed from the most unexpected people. After I told my story one morning, one of the prisoners left the room in a bit of a hurry. Minutes later one of the other prisoners came to get the Chaplin who went and spoke with him. When they both came back, the prisoner asked to speak to the group. He said he was aware that many of the participants knew he was a bit upset outside, and he wanted it to be known that after hearing my story, it was the first time he’d ever wondered what his victim had gone through and thanked me for telling my story.

…a time to weep and a time to laugh… The emotional roller-coaster of this course is often peppered with laughter too. That’s what makes our stories so special.

DJ

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Ecclesiastes 3:3. (there is) a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build.
Monsieur Charles de CatA few years ago, our 16 year-old cat, Charles, developed kidney problems and his body could no longer process the protein from food. He grew thin and was in pain. I took him to the vet and held him as they injected him with a lethal dose of aesthetic. I shed a bucket load of tears. He’d been part of our life since he was 5 weeks old. I vowed that I couldn’t go through that again. No more pets. I thought I was going to miss him forever. Rev

Over the coming year my grief did heal, and about 18 months later I decided that I wanted another cat. So off to the Animal shelter I went, and come home that day with Revv. He’s been an absolute delight and I have no regrets about bringing another fury friend into our lives.

Time really does heal if you let it. Healing can also be a matter of opportunity. If that opportunity presents itself, grasp it with both hands (or head and heart) and move on.

 

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photo of Donna RoseFollowing on from last week, verse 2 of Ecclesiastes 3 reads: (there is) a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and aMum time to uproot.

Births and Deaths. These two pictures are of my mother. The first was taken when she was about 8 years old, I think. The other was the last formal picture taken before she died at the age of 52. Next week she would have been celebrating her 78th birthday. She didn’t change much in those 44 years, did she?

Even though she’s been gone for 26 years, I still miss her very much. I often catch myself thinking ‘Mum would have loved this.’ She died when our youngest of 4 children was just 1-year-old.  That child now has two children and we are looking forward to the birth of our 8th grandchild. It saddens me to think of all that she has missed out on.

gardenPlanting and uprooting. The seasons are changing so fast, that if we don’t hurry up, we’ll not get our next season of vegetables planted. We had to ‘uproot’ the last of the celery and capsicums in order to fill the raised garden beds with wonderful rich compost. I’m excited when I look at this and imagine what it will look like in 3 or 4 months time. Before we know it we will be enjoying the produce.

Planting and uprooting can also be looked at in another context – that of moving to a different house, or town – or even country. If this is you, try to put down roots and grow where you are.

A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.

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AnzacDayRemember

Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Here in Australia we have just remembered our fallen and serving military personnel. Now is the ‘season’ of remembering those who fought for our freedom. An emotional time for many.

 

The word ‘season’ is usually used in the context of weather. Tornado season, Summer, Fire season and so on…

But life has seasons too. For a while, I was a daughter and sister. Then I became a wife and mother – while still being a daughter and sister. My parents both died and I was back to being a sister, wife and mother. Now I’m a grandmother, Aunt and Great Aunt.

For a ‘season’ I was a correspondence teacher to my children, I’ve been a secretary using my typing skills, and the list goes on…

This is called LIFE. And what ever is going on in your life at this time is simply a ‘season’. So look out a window or up at the sky. What happened when you did that? Your chin lifted :) So, chin up and enjoy your season.

Love to you all,

DJ

 

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