Our daughter went to Bangladesh and is back later this week.
We have spent much of the last weeks with harvesting fruit and vegetables, foraging and food-processing. The freezer is full of frozen berries, hubby has made several batches of jam (causing a debate whether strawberry jam or blackcurrant jam is the better one!) and several litres of elderflower cordial and elderflower champagne is done, with two gallons of sparkling elderflower wine on the go.
But there is time to blog about all that another time ...
Ramadan started on 8th July this year and, as in previous years, I am joining my Muslim friends in their Ramadan - well, after a fashion, that is.
Last year I adapted the Muslim prayer routine to fit verses from the Bible.
I found that so beneficial that I am doing it again this year. Except, I am veering even further from the Islamic practice (Please forgive me, my Muslim friends!) by not praying five times a day at set times, but by trying to go through the prayer routine once every hour.
Where that's not possible, I catch up with the missed prayers at a later time (for example, if I wake up at 6 am, I pray for the six hours which have already passed since midnight) - but I aim to pray hourly as much as possible and add my prayers to 24 times per day.
I have found this extremely calming and soothing.
Depending on your own belief system or world view, you might have different explanations for this.
Is it God at work in me?
Or Satan trying to deceive into straying from the right path?
Or simply my mind benefitting from taking regular time out from my daily routine and focus within?
I have my own thoughts and you probably have yours.
My Ramadan charity this year will be the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which aims to provide a spiritual home, medical care and humanitarian relief as well as promoting reconciliation amongst different religious groups in Iraq in the face of great difficulties and hardship.
Wishing you a blessed Ramadan! May God work in us all and draw us closet to himself - whoever and wherever we are.