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Reconnecting with self and others - Pastor's Pen for 30th July 2023

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries wrote; 'International Self-Care Day is marked on the twenty-fourth day of the seventh month each year. It reminds us that self-care isn’t a one-time task, but is a practice we can incorporate into our lives, 24/7. What rhythms of self-care ground you in your daily life?'

I feel very blessed in this neighbourhood with all the opportunities for fresh air and pleasant views. It's no surprise to you that I balance ministry life with getting out and about in nature. Also just recently, I've reconnected with my cousin in England, and my Mum's cousins. I'd been feeling a bit guilty that we hadn't really kept them in the loop regarding Mum and Dad, their memory loss and their move to Napier.

My mother (and her mother before her) had an extensive Christmas card list that kept us connected with the family back in the UK. Unfortunately, the memory loss has caused this to evaporate. Anyway, it was so wonderful to catch up with the the folks in the UK via phone, text and email. And yes, they had been wondering what had happened to my parents. I'm so glad to have put things right, and kind words were shared between us.

I suppose having another birthday got me thinking that time was ticking along and if I didn't reconnect with 88 year old Aunty Mary (Mum's cousin) it would soon enough be too late. We are sometimes too busy to slow down and take stock of ourselves, let alone other people.

I find dealing properly with things that niggle is a form of self-care; sorting out the pantry, ringing Aunty Mary, putting something right. All these tasks seem transitory, but if taken as part of a bigger picture, they can locate us in what God has for us. I keep returning to the teaching of Psalm 103, which is so meaningful to me;

'As for mortals, their days are like grass;

they flourish like a flower of the field;

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting

on those who fear him...' (v 15-17)

Our sojourn here is transitory, but our permanent home with God anchors us and encourages us to care for ourselves and others.

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