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Foraging, Faith & Food: Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Autumn conkers in London

I popped out for a 'quick' walk with my son Tuesday (in-between exam study a quick walk is always the tonic) We came across the most generous Horse Chesnut tree and how could I ignore these shining beauties, no I could not, and neither apparently could Jonathan as I turned to see his arms laden. Well, now what to do, of course I must capture their shine before it fades, they do lose their sparkle so quickly. I was going to simply pop this image up on my Insta account but it was too stunning to constrain to that little square, I hope you can view this on a big screen.

Take a moment, let us gaze in wonder together at the detailed veins in the folds of the dying leaf, the shine of the acorn, the gnarly piece of wood that's been well feasted on, the touches of lilac of the heathers. It is an autumnal delight!

Speaking of delights, my Italian 'bella' friend dropped off some goodies from her allotment this week, a bag full of unripened tomatoes and a bunch of rhubarb. So yesterday was spent gloriously prepping my antipasto under her expert guidance via WhatsApp and last night, a rhubarb and apple crumble.

I've learned over the years that when I'm in a busy or focused season it's so important to leave margin for these types of pleasures, making, baking, creating - they're good for my soul. I believe something delicious is good for mental health period and it's good to know Elizabeth Goudge agrees:-

"Thoughts of death do not flourish in an aroma of baked beans

and belief in God is strengthened, not weakened, by a well cooked ham"

- The Castle on The Hill

I used to have no understanding of margin, whenever free time presented itself I'd fill it with more activity but that kinda defeats the purpose right! If you haven't read Margin and find yourself frazzled regularly you might enjoy this book. A light bulb moment I had reading this years ago when I used to be involved in a lot of pastoral care was that I had no emotional margin, who knew such a thing existed? When you're a feeler type and care deeply about people and issues you can easily find yourself playing God Jnr and taking people's cares on as your own. Exhausting! Not noble, not saintly, not even Jesus expects this yet I was doing this to myself daily. It's very freeing to learn your limitations and know who God is.

I'll be sharing the step-by-step of these recipes today over on my Instagram if you fancy hopping over and making yourself hungry!

Thank you friends for your feedback and entries for the book giveaway, Kim was our lucky winner this time. I love to give books so keep your eyes peeled for more to come!

Much love,


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