F is for….FREE!
Come on, hands up, be honest, who doesn’t love free stuff!!!
Recently the Lovely Mr B and I decided we would spend some time somewhere that wouldn’t cost us anything. Now you might think this would be a challenge in an expensive city like London, but you would be surprised…
So, after church we headed straight to one of our local parks-Manor House Gardens in Hither Green, South London. It was a total bonus too that the weather in London last Sunday when we headed out was scorchio!!
We are so fortunate in the South of London as we have so much green space and this is a beautiful park with a small lake in it, a library, and a cafe. I took my camera along with us, so I could continue to nurture my photography skills, and the park was full of opportunities for some great shots with the sun beating down on us.
Manor House Gardens
We spent the time chatting and reflecting on what God is doing in our lives at the moment and all the progress Tim is making in getting back to full health. We also spent time talking about what we are grateful for and what next.
We ate delicious ice cream from the cafe in the park-‘Pistachios’, and bumped into a lovely friend and sat and chatted with her as we ate our ice-cream.
There is so much to do in London and we are grateful for a vibrant, exciting capital city to live in. However, it can be expensive and overpriced but, there are also loads of free things to do if you look carefully. Most, if not all the museums are free entry, unless you want to go into a specific exhibition. There are so many parks and gardens to wander round, big and small. There are guided walks you can go on, you can download a walk on-line and follow it without needing a guide. We particularly love the East End and one of our favourite places to visit is Brick Lane, which is a vibrant, diverse, cultural melting pot, and if you love street art this is the place to visit as the art changes all the time.
With a little planning you can have a great day out without spending a lot and it’s worth taking advantage of what you have on your own doorstep.
Thankfully The Lovely Mr B and I both enjoy walking and being in nature, which helps us to relax and prepare us for the week ahead.
As we progress with our Alphabet Dating, we have begun to notice that we end up talking about all the things we are grateful for.
Gratitude is key to a joy-filled life.
When you are grateful for the small things around you on a regular basis you realise how fortunate you are in life. Those small things add up and make you feel rich.
When you have walked through a difficult season and your world has been rocked you realise more profoundly than ever what really matters in life and you get grateful. You go from looking out for the extraordinary to noticing the beauty in the ordinary. That is where we are at the moment and I don’t want it to change, so we are going to be intentional about making gratitude a lifestyle choice and tell God every day what we are grateful for.
One of the scriptures over our life in this last season has been,
Neh 8:10 The Joy of the lord is your strength.
We have noticed that this painful, difficult season has been one marked with joy, although I’m not going to lie there has been suffering too, but the joy of the Lord has been our strength.
There is a connection-
Gratitude and Thanksgiving = JOY.
I was reminded as I was writing this that we have so much to be grateful for, things we really haven’t earned, but have received by grace (we’ve done nothing to deserve them) and yet God provides so freely towards us, completely open handed and abundant in his giving.
What should our response be, apart from gratitude and thanksgiving?
That we should also give freely with whatever we have. That might be a smile, a hug, a meal, wise advice, offering to pray, babysitting or a million other small things we can easily do every day and they often don’t cost us a thing.
Kingdom principles for a kingdom lifestyle.
Matt 10:8 Freely you received, so freely give.
The Lovely Mr B-The Joy Boy!
Until next time….
F is for…