A Graduation and the Costa del Sol.... All in a Day's Work

Last Saturday - or was it the Saturday before? My days are all rather topsy-turvy right now - we began our day in London...

DR arrived off the train from Cambridge, where he'd spent a week at the Wilberforce Academy. A quick change later, and he appeared resplendent in his Morrison tartan kilt. 

It was the date for his graduation, and we were all - minus Catherine and John - there to join him in his celebration. It's not often we have everyone all spruced up, so I may as well show y'all some photos of us at our best :)

The graduation was held in the Barbican centre, so all the outside photos have a whole lot of concrete as the backdrop.

Anyway, we weren't there to view the architecture, but to celebrate ...

Calum enjoyed the day so much, and delighted in being able to share in DR's joy.

I love this photo of DR with the Builder,

and then the obligatory one with both parents.

Five years of studying, DR, all seemed very worthwhile all of a sudden! Indeed, according to yourself, the studies still ahead of you are now something to look forward to. It's amazing how success spurs us on to wish to learn more. 

Well, we may have begun our day in London, but we ended the day on the gorgeously warm Costa del Sol, and spent the next week resting, relaxing, and eating in warmth. 

Gorgeous, delightful, delicious warmth. 

Instead of my blethering on about DR's story, I think I'll give him a blog post soon where he can tell his own story. He, somewhat like me, loves to talk ;) 

More of the Costa photos will follow too. I wish to re-live the holiday, so you guys will just have to come along with me. Deal?


Catherine: Loved, Loved, and Loved Again

On our recent trip to Northern Ireland, I was struck by something ... that something kind of has to do with Catherine but really, it has to do with something much greater.

You see, when we arrived at the airport, and these two fellows saw Catherine, they almost devoured her with their love. (Calum is sandwiched in between the Builder and Catherine in this photo!)

The photo captures something of the love by which Catherine was surrounded the whole time we were there.

She loves the Builder, and it shows.

He loves Catherine, and it shows.

Wouldn't y'all say?

There's her father, and her brother ...

...and her husband.

Everywhere, she was enveloped with the love of these three men folk in her life, and I couldn't but think of the beauty of the relationships God has given us in this world. A Father to protect her and care for her and love her unconditionally and lavish all good gifts on her. A brother to come alongside her and adore her. A husband who will love with an incomparable love.

All three of these precious relationships are pictures of the infinitely more precious relationships we can have in Christ.

When we are in Christ, we can say the words, 'Our Father in heaven', and know that our God truly is our Father. How unspeakably precious to have the Lord of Heaven and earth, the One who rules and over rules, who loves us and is able to supply all our needs in Christ Jesus ... as our Father! What a privilege and a joy to be a child of this Father! Much as Catherine delights in being the daughter of the Builder, that pales into insignificance compared with her being a daughter of our Heavenly Father.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God" 1 John 3:1

 Our Saviour also calls His people His brothers, and after He rose from the dead, He told the women at the graveside: "Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me." (Matthew 28:10)

The disciples had forsaken Him in His time of greatest need, yet He calls them His brothers. What an infinitely kind and loving older brother we have in Christ. Catherine delights in the love of her brothers, but how much more can we delight in the love of our older Brother.

And then, there's Christ as our Husband. 

There is no relationship on earth to compare with marriage, and no relationship at all - on earth or in heaven - to compare with our being the bride of Christ. We adore Him, we see glimpses of His beauty and we are overcome with love. We can absolutely say: "His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend" (Song of Solomon 5:16).

But most amazing of all is that Christ looks at us - at His bride, presented to Him in eternity, before the world was ever created - and He delights in us! What love He has to look on us sinners and, instead of ugliness, He sees us through the eyes of His eternal and infinite love and He delights in us. He adores us! 

Our Father. Our Brother. Our Husband.

Catherine is hugely blessed to have these three relationships here on earth. But her greatest blessing by far is that she has these three relationships with the Lord our God. 

The first three relationships, good as they are, are imperfect. But our relationships with our Lord are perfect, because they are covenantal, and are of Him. 

The first three relationships will all come to an end. But our spiritual relationships will never end. Indeed, they will come to their greatest fruition when all the others are ended, and when we behold the face of our Beloved, when we sees Him face to face, and we shall "know even as also I am known" (1 Corinthians 13:12)

What a thought!


A New Morning Walk

Those of you with good memories and who used to read the blog when we lived in treeless-looking-onto-the-Atlantic Ness may remember a post from way back showing photos of my early morning walk. The post can be seen here, but I'll post a photo from that post - just one - to give you some idea of the contrast between the beauty that surrounded me then and the beauty that surrounds me now.

What do you see? Well, there's a whole lot of sky; a whole lot of flat land; and not a tree in sight. 

But that was then, and this is now:

See how different my surrounding countryside is! Amazingly fertile farmland in the distance, some very green grass on which cows were grazing last week, and trees.

If you join me on my walk, you'll see there are lots and lots of trees.

Here I am heading down the hillside, and facing East. To a great extent, the direction matters not, because the sky is hidden by trees. The surrounding countryside is hidden by trees.

Have I mentioned trees? Yes, I've now walked East, North, and am now heading West. As I said ... the direction matters little: we have trees.

But just as I begin to think there is nothing left in the world but trees. Just as I begin to feel I need to breathe, I get a glimpse of the stunningly open farmland beyond the forest.

And I feel like I can breathe. And I am aware of  a spontaneous smile on my face.

And sky! Blue, open, spacious, wide sky. 

I could almost dance! 

I look behind me at the trees, 

and look again to the north-west. I savour every open mile to which my eyes can stretch. I drink it in because I know that very soon,

instead of open spaces, instead of farmed fields, and hints of distant mountains ...

instead of the glorious patchwork of growth, of planting, and of harvest ...

I will soon be walking under an umbrella of trees.

The sun is hidden, the views have gone,

and all I have is greenery and shadows.

If anything shows how much of a Niseach I am at heart, it's my reaction to all the trees that surround us here. Now, don't get me wrong - I love trees ... when they're at a distance. But I can't get my head around why people choose to live in houses surrounded by beautiful countryside which is hidden from view by trees!

I'm quite sure when the good ol' folks planted all these trees long, long ago, they did not mean for us all to spend our lives hidden away, out of sight of the beauty. I'm sure they'd tell us, if they could, to cut them down. Loads of them ... just chop them down, folks!

You see, I'm from Lewis - specifically from Ness, and we don't really do trees there. We like to look out our windows and see. Far. 

Remember when I used to look out our windows and see the crofts, the machair, and then the Atlantic all the way to the horizon. I was used to space.

And much as I love - and I really do love - the scenery around here, I have decided that if and when we end up building a home out here, my first criteria will be that our plot is not surrounded by trees. 

And just before we leave this post, and head back to our daily work, just one more glimpse at another scene I captured on that morning walk all that time ago:

How's that for eye-candy, eh?

Related Posts with Thumbnails