Still Life No 3

Yesterday was a very busy day. We were out for lunch and I spent most of the morning and most of the afternoon applying for jobs. I’m looking for work in the UK teaching English at Summer Schools or at Language Schools. Mr D did some serious sitting down and looking at our budget – something we’ve not done for a long while – and discovered that, unless

1) I earn more

2) He gets a job and/or earns more

we won’t be able to carry on living where we are for much more than 18 months. So our plans for a lazy-ish summer and a holiday over near Floss’s part of the world have morphed into Mr D doing mailshots to places that might want websites and thinking about starting a market stall, and me applying to spend 6 weeks in the hectic busy atmosphere of a Summer School. Yikes! I might have to become active!!! Of course, my age is against me – I suspect these places value youth and fitness over age and experience, but I might be pleasantly surprised. There are a couple I fancy more than others – one in Glasgow, and one in Liverpool. These are with adults and older teens, and are not residential. But, of course, don’t pay as much! We shall see.

I have spent a couple of nights lying awake worrying, which is a little foolish. It’s not a case of send-us-food-parcels, or being-thrown-out-of-the-house, (not yet, anyway!) and it won’t be for quite a while. But we do need to work harder at earning money and spending less (my 240€ a month petrol bill doesn’t help!)

So, I need to bring my worrying mind to rest and try to trust God – not that I think that it’s his job to get us out of the situation, nor to “send” me a job. Lovely though it would be, I don’t expect a parcel of anything to drop out of the sky. It’s our situation and we need to sort it. But, even though I think all that, I still need to trust that God will lead me/us to making the right decisions to move forward. I need to rest in him, to let my soul be still, and to remember that Jesus said:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

In my “Still Life” book for the first week in May there are two quotations. One printed:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”.

The other is something I have written on 4th May, 1994. I don’t know whether it is a snippet of a poem that I read, or something I composed myself:

There is a God, some say; a deep but dazzling darkness

Aha! When I typed that into Google I was taken to a website that tells me this is a phrase from a poem by the metaphysical poet, Henry Vaughan. The poem is too long to reproduce here, but this is a link to the poem which is called “The Night” .



4 Responses to “Still Life No 3”

  1. Ian Says:

    I love the metaphysical poets, ever since an English teacher introduced me to John Donne. “The Night” is beautiful.

    My prayers and best wishes for work and the finance situation. And thank you for the reminder to attend to today, and no be overly anxious about the future, for God will lead me where I am to be, and is with me now, as always.

  2. Nancy Says:

    My mother and I had a difficult time financially when I was in high school. We had just moved out from her parents’ home after two years of total dependence on them. Mother was in her early 40’s and totally dependent on my after school income from a part time job and her pin money she received from teaching kindergardeners in our rental home. Anyway, all this to say that I remember her saying so many times that God would take care of us, because he took care of the sparrows and arrayed the lilies of the valley. And God always has, and will, do the same for you and me.

    Another wonderful post and I am going to refer back to your posting as I write a blog today on THE THRILL OF WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE.


  3. Jackie Says:

    Sorry I only just saw this – although I’m not in that position any more, I have been in the position of wondering where the next week’s/month’s money is coming from, and it was both exhilarating and scary. I’ll pray that it works out for you, as it did (eventually) for me.

  4. Floss Says:

    Well, here’s me turning up late. But better late than never, I hope. Thanks for your honesty here – we have also made some difficult decisions and are constantly paring-down expenses, although two ‘new’ cars in two months hasn’t helped things much… Ben tries to do our accounts very thoroughly each month and that regular (or semi-regular, hem hem) checking at least keeps us aware of the situation. I know you’re doing your interviews on Skype. I do a fair amount of my lessons by phone. Is there any chance of that kind of work for you, as it really keeps the fuel bills down?

    I think Jackie’s comment above is very interesting. I’ll be praying for you too.