The end of another month, and once again I’m using Heather Gerwing’s “Share Four Somethings” format for my monthly round-up.
I loved getting a bit of a break this month and getting away for a long weekend. As part of that, I attended a writers’ day. It was wonderful to meet with other Christian writers, to hear some helpful talks, and to take part in a couple of workshops.
One of these was on perspective in writing. We were given a picture of Peppa Pig (character from a children’s cartoon series) and told that each of us had to write about the scene from the perspective of a different character.
At first I was puzzled since there only seemed to be two characters in the picture, but then I realised that “characters” also included objects like shopping trolleys, bottles of handwash and cash registers! (The scene was set in a supermarket.)
My designated character was a bottle sitting on a shelf. Initially I was unsure what to write, but before long I got into character. I noticed a similar bottle sitting in Peppa Pig’s shopping basket, and so I wrote about my anxiety at suddenly having my friend snatched away from his place beside me on the shelf and how we were going to cope with being apart.
After about fifteen minutes, we were asked to read our stories out in turn. It was nerve-racking, but extremely interesting to hear about the scene from all the different perspectives, and the workshop leader said she could hardly believe my story about the bottles almost made her cry!
This month’s “Something said,” comes courtesy of a seven year-old boy at a church holiday club I was visiting. Halfway through the morning, after he had just received some sweets as a prize, he rushed up to me and declared:
“This is the best day of my life! Maltesers, marshmallows, AND a gingernut!”
I’d been feeling a bit down that day, and his joy and enthusiasm was a great reminder of the importance of celebrating the little things.
There’s a reason why Jesus said we are to come to him like little children!
Sticking with the confectionery theme, another highlight of my time away this month was visiting a chocolate factory! The free samples were delicious, and we each got to make and decorate our own chocolate lollipop, but I also learned lots of interesting facts about chocolate.
I don’t know if you will all be familiar with the chocolate bar Kit Kat, though I believe it is available in several countries around the world. If not, it is made up of thin fingers of wafer coated in chocolate and it looks like this:
It is popular in the UK, but I learned that the country where it is the most popular of all is Japan! The reason is that its name is similar to the Japanese phrase pronounced “Kitto Katsu,” which translates as “Good luck,” or, “You will surely win.”
Because of this, it’s a tradition in Japan to give Kit Kats as a good luck gift to people sitting exams or going for job interviews etc. There is even a space provided on the wrapper to write a good luck message.
Another fun fact about Japanese Kit Kats is that they come in over 200 flavours, ranging from ones that sound quite nice – blueberry cheesecake, café au lait, chocobanana… – to ones that definitely don’t appeal, to me anyway – baked potato, green bean, or the top selling flavour in 2010 – soy sauce!
My final chocolate fact relates to Lindt chocolate. If you’re not familiar with that, it’s a lovely, rich, creamy chocolate – a little bit pricy, but definitely worth it for a special occasion. Apparently the secret of its success came totally by accident!
It used to be the practice for chocolate to be mixed for around two hours, but one day the Lindt chocolate mixing machine was accidentally left on all weekend. When the manager arrived on the Monday morning, he realised what had happened and feared the chocolate would be ruined, but to his surprise, he discovered that the extra mixing had only enhanced the chocolate, making it smoother and creamier than ever before!
Anyway, enough chocolate chat! Bit of a gear shift now to something much more serious!
We Too by Mary DeMuth is without a doubt one of the most important books I’ve read this year. It explores how the church can respond redemptively to the sexual abuse crisis, and it casts a vision for the church to fulfil its potential in being a safe place where survivors can find hope, comfort, and healing.
I’d highly recommend this book for anyone involved in Christian leadership/ ministry.
The book releases on August 13th and I’ll be sharing a full review then, but I wanted to mention it now because there are some amazing pre-order bonuses on offer! If you order by August 12th you can get five free e-books by Mary DeMuth.