Saturday, 26 December 2009
Monday, 21 December 2009
I am very short sighted (sometimes in more ways than one)
I am very sure about some things
I am currently unsure about other things
I am loved
I am different
I am silly (sometimes)
I am sensible (most of the time)
I am organised (or at least I try to be)
I am currently being quite lazy
I am creative
I am usually hungry
I am always thinking about desserts!
I am found, but sometimes still a little bit lost
I am always wanting more time
I am always wanting to read more, study more, learn more, do more
I am shy
I am talkative
I am always having ideas
I am usually not getting round to doing the ideas
I am very blessed
I am emotional
I am not always where I want to be
I am not always who I want to be
I am growing
I am learning (sometimes slowly)
I am careful
I am excited
I am a little apprehensive
I am looking forward
I am not sure I always make sense
I am a mixed bag
I am not sure why I wanted to do this today
I am just me
And I am currently wishing I had more photos to liven up these posts and share on here!
I have a few from the very cold and snowy weekend and a few of some (very slow) Christmas crafting. I shall endeavour to get them posted soon (hopefully before Christmas!)
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
I’ve long felt that wherever I am and whatever I’m doing I just don’t quite fit. Like people don’t totally get me. Don’t get me wrong, I have great friends and family, and I have great times with people and getting to know people. But there are often occasions when I feel like I just don’t properly connect with people, or that they don’t truly understand me or ‘get’ the whole me. I think that this is related in someway to the previous post on crying whenever I’m at church recently.
A couple of days ago, I read an interview from a pastor’s wife who is involved in ministry and leadership and one of the responses she gave really resonated with me.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started in your area of leadership/ministry?
I learned early on that the higher you go in ministry/leadership, the fewer amount of people you personally relate to. When I started working in ministry full-time as a college student, I thought something was wrong with me and wondered why I felt disconnected with those around me. Usually it was because they were in a completely different place spiritually and we just didn’t think the same way. When I realized it wasn’t personal- against me or them, but a fact of leadership, it helped me in the way I relate with others and minister to them. I have a lot more grace towards them not expecting them to see things exactly the way I do.
I had kind of realised this before but I don’t think that I’d actually accepted it or come to ‘know’ it for myself. I have been involved in leadership in church before, and I fully believe that I will be again, even just in small ways. Plus, I am a leader in my family and other circles of my life. But I don’t think I ever fully realised what that could mean for other parts of my life and for me personally.
Sometimes it bothers me. I am a people person and I like to feel understood (just ask my husband!). So the thought that there will always be parts of me that people don’t fully understand can upset me.
But at the same time it makes me appreciate just how important it is for me to set my eyes on God and what He thinks and knows of me. He created me and knows every part of me. My likes, dislikes, skills, talents, failures, worries, passions, desires…He knows them all. And He fully understands them all. Even when I don’t.
If I place my understanding of myself, and my happiness and self value, on what I think others think of me then I will never see a full and whole picture of myself. I will always feel incomplete, misunderstood, disconnected in some way.
But if I place my understanding on what God thinks of me, then I can begin to build a proper picture of myself. A true reflection of all that I have been created to be and do. And I can have a value in myself that is whole and complete and connected.
I know that this is something I will always struggle with in some way. But I pray that I will learn to look to God sooner, rather than later, and that I can teach others to do the same. That together we can build up a generation of people (men and women) who truly understand and value themselves because they hear what God thinks and feels about them. That we would build up a generation of leaders who are bold and strong but also kind and gracious. Who understand the purpose God has for them, but who also understand that others will misunderstand them sometimes…and that it’s ok!
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Now I’m generally a crier anyway. Soppy films, weddings, lovely emails...all get my tear ducts going. And I know that being pregnant probably won’t help, but I just don’t feel that this is a hormonal or emotion thing.
I have cried practically every time I have been to mbc, from our initial visits while we still lived in Yorkshire, right through to us moving here, joining the church and becoming part of the family. I have felt a whole mixture of things over the last 18 months – lost, alone, challenged, encouraged, overwhelmed, befriended, stretched, comforted, challenged some more. It has been hard…and I have cried lots.
But the last few weeks my tears have felt different. I can’t really explain or describe it. I don’t really understand it myself. I just have a sense that there is something more. More friendships to be made, more experiences to be had, more life to live, more fullness to be had. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, or why it is, but I feel it.
On one hand I feel anxious. I don’t really like the unknown, plus I struggle to feel like I’m stuck, like things are all unclear and I don’t know what to do. But on the other hand I feel quite excited. I know that the future has good things in store and I want to embrace all that is ahead as fully as I can, with wide open arms.
Most of my journey into work this morning was cold and crisp, but the sky was clear and bright and you could see for miles. As I turned the corner to head down the hill to work I was met by a fog. I couldn’t even see 200 yards ahead. I turned around to see where I had come from and sure enough I could still see for miles. I turned back to be faced by the fog that seemed to come from no where. It both hid but also gradually revealed the path I was to walk.
I felt that God was really speaking to me through what I saw. I still don’t really understand what I feel or why it brings me to tears so much. I don’t understand why the next few steps seem so unclear. But I trust that God will reveal the things I need to see and know at the right time, and one day I will look back and all will be clear.
Friday, 4 December 2009
So, what do I do? I use protection!
I wear gloves when I’m out and about to reduce the exposure to the cold, nasty air. I use hand cream to keep the skin soft and supple.
I have miss-timed the application of hand cream on a few occasions and this has resulted in some mildly entertaining moments. Think tea cups slipping out of hands, bags of goodies remaining unopened as my fingers slide across the packaging, writing like I’m holding a pen for the first time as I loose all sense of grip!
Anyway, today I was thinking…I take such a proactive and practical effort to protect my hands and keep them nice and soft…but what about the rest of me?
I was reminded of the armour of God. I often think of Sunday school crafts and games when I think of the armour of God. Tin-foil swords and helmets and breastplates, and reminding 8 year old boys that the sword of the spirit is not for stabbing fellow soldiers with!
But yet I forget that everyday we are able to protect ourselves in a very practical way against the enemy, the cold nastiness of the world, and keep ourselves soft and supple. To stop us from getting dry, flaky and cracking.
Soft hands are nice to touch. It would be great to be able to touch others with our soft lives too.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
I have taken to liking my bed and liking sleep even more than usual.
But this morning I was especially rushed.
I had a few errands to do before getting the bus to work and I was already running (or rather not running) very late! So I hopped in the shower, got dressed as quickly as I could and proceeded to apply my make-up (aka ready-to-face-the-world-war-paint) as quickly as I could. And then it happened.
I smudged a great big blob of mascara right across my eyelid!
Argh! The traumas we create when trying to do life (or apply make up) at 100 miles per hour!
Our pastor, Karl, often talks about the speed of God being 3mph…walking pace. And yet so often we find ourselves running from errand to errand, from appointment to appointment, from job to job.
When we rush from one thing to the next we fly past people, circumstances and opportunities that are all being carried out at a less than superhuman pace. God is a true superhero but he chooses to work in and through us at a human pace. And he does that for a reason.
Maybe if we just slowed down a little, lived life in less of a rush we’d be available to walk alongside some of God’s amazing plans. And maybe we’d end up with less mascara all over our faces (ok, maybe that’s just me).
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
We had the 20 week scan last week and all is well. The baby slept through most of the scan apart from a couple of times when it yawned, probably to let us know we were disturbing its sleep. Its already so much like its daddy!!!
I hope to get back to a regular posting of my growing midrift but things are a little crazy at home at the minute. My lovely assistant is studying hard for an exam and its quite difficult to take a picture of myself! I think my camera thinks its in trouble as its been used so little recently. I must rectify that soon!
Happy Tuesdays xxx
Monday, 30 November 2009
I first visited Scotland in my early twenties for work. I remember driving round the streets of Edinburgh and thinking to myself, ‘hmm, it would be quite nice to live here’.
Fast forward a few years and I’m now living in Edinburgh, right near to where I first visited. My life has gone through many changes and transitions over the last few years and I truly believe that God’s hand has been on it. Moving to Edinburgh has been a real journey of faith, but I can clearly see that God has brought us here for a purpose and I’m excited for what the future holds for us here.
During the few weeks before we moved here I ended up spending several days in Edinburgh on my own interviewing for a new job. I really don’t like being on my own and usually struggle during these times. But I remember finding the people so welcoming, and the service in shops and cafes so nice. I never felt that I was inconveniencing anyone when asking for directions or other random questions. I never felt that I was a hassle to someone when buying something in a shop. The buses were so cheap and easy to understand (I must’ve looked like a tourist!). And I loved walking through the streets and imagining I was in some period drama (I still do that sometimes!). The buildings and architecture are so amazing!
I think I was blessed to have visited during the spring and a few days of good weather. But I feel the same when I have visited other places in Scotland. The landscape has a real beauty and peace about it (except maybe the gale force winds, hail and torrential rain on Arran!) and I love exploring it!
I love beaches and being by the sea too. So I thought I’d finish with a picture of one of my favourite places, Elie in Fife. This place has a very special place in my heart for many reasons.
Monday, 23 November 2009
Yesterday my insecurities were played out on a large screen for all to see…literally.
A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I would mind being filmed discussing my reasons for joining a particular ‘Missional Expression’ at church. And although I hate being filmed (or photographed) I said ‘sure, why not’. I am excited about the potential of these ‘Missional Expressions’ and I’m excited about the particular area I want to get involved in. And I hoped that I might encourage others to be excited about them too.
So, I did the filming and it all seemed to go well. Or that’s what everyone told me.
I knew that it was going to be shown at church yesterday so I got there early enough to get a seat on the very back row. I already wanted to hide.
Then came the film. I knew it wasn’t going to be amazing, but I was at least hoping I would look and sound interesting, excited, passionate…normal. Instead I looked terrified, embarrassed, blotchy and I sounded slightly boring. I hated it.
All the things I had hoped and prayed it wouldn’t be it was. And all the feelings and insecurities I had about myself, the ones I thought I was over, came flooding back. Literally. Tears welled up and began pouring out of my eyes.
I cried because I felt humiliated, vulnerable, exposed.
I cried because I wasn’t what I wanted to be.
I cried because it reminded me of all the times I’ve felt ugly and unattractive before.
I cried because I felt like the girl who got things thrown at her on the school bus (yep, I was that girl!).
I cried because I knew I was living under my insecurities.
I cried because I felt it wasn’t something I could be proud of. Ever.
And that is why I was crying. That’s where my tears were coming from. My pride.
It was hurt. And it was hurt bad!
Then Karl preached on James 3 & 4 and spoke about wisdom, our insecurities and humility and I cried some more. (This is why I sit at the back at church!)
I felt so crushed and vulnerable (and slightly silly for being so emotional) that I didn’t even stay to the end of the service. I couldn’t face seeing anyone and breaking down into more tears. So I went home. And I cried it all out with God, and my amazing husband. (I’m even crying writing this – flippin’ pregnancy hormones!)
I am nothing without God and I can do nothing without Him.
And although I may not look beautiful on the big screen, or have a video I am happy to watch and share with others, I can be beautiful in the way I live my life. And in the love I share with others.
Recently I have felt that God is doing some real work in me. Stretching me, pulling me, revealing things in me, restoring me. It’s hard, and it’s not nice. And it usually induces lots of tears and snot! But I know that it is because God is calling me and is going to use me. And so although it is hard, I long to be challenged because I long to be used by God and see amazing things happen because of Him. I long to share His beauty and His love with others.
I follow a few blogs of photographers and I love this line that Jamie Delaine wrote a few days ago. It has really meant something to me recently.
“Life doesn’t have to be glamorous to be beautiful”
Friday, 20 November 2009
My friend had just had a baby about one week before, but her home still looked immaculate. Like a brochure or a magazine. Just with baby clothes and congratulations cards here and there.
I love my friend’s home. It’s beautiful, tasteful, warm and welcoming. But I sit in it wishing my home was like that too. In fact, I sit there and begin to dislike my home, even though I know I don’t really dislike it!
I sit there and I compare my home to hers. And I judge my home against hers.
Why are we so quick to judge ourselves against others? Why do we jump to conclusions about ourselves based on our comparisons? Why do we assess our value and worth from these judgements?
And why do I fall so easily when it comes to comparing myself?
Thank you Lord that you create each of us to be unique, as an individual. Thank you that you love us as we are and that you lift us up when we fall down. Help us to look to you when we are tempted to compare ourselves to others.
O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Open our eyes
To see the things that make Your heart cry
To be the church that You would desire
Your light to be seen
Break down our pride
And all the walls we’ve built up inside
Our earthly crowns and all our desires
We lay at Your feet
Let hope rise
And darkness tremble
In Your holy light
That every eye will see
Jesus our God
Great and mighty to be praised
God of all days
Glorious in all of Your ways
Oh the majesty the wonder and grace
In the light of Your Name
We will shout for Your glory
With everythingWe will shout forth Your praise
Our hearts they cry
Be lifted high above all names
For You our King
We will shout forth Your praise
'With Everything - Hillsong'
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
It’s only been four months…terrible I know! Anyhow, onto the important bit…
1. assigned task – a special task given to a person or group to carry out
2. calling – an aim or task that somebody believes it is his or her duty to carry out or to which he or she attaches special importance and devotes special care
3. group of representatives – a group of people sent to a place to represent their government, business or organisation
1. word or phase that communicates an idea
2. the communication of thoughts or feelings
Ok so I cheated a bit this week. I didn’t come up with the words totally by myself. In fact these are a couple of words that are being used at our church at the moment.
As we look to become a church that truly serves our community and doesn’t just fill the pews on a Sunday we have been looking at ways we can get out into the city and meet people’s needs where they are.
So far, this process and the resulting groups/actions/ministries have been called missional expressions. At first I struggled with the name – it is a bit of a mouthful to start. But also I had a very short term view of the term mission or missional. Like, when we go abroad for two weeks on mission. Or when we hold local missions for a week or so. But in looking at the meaning of the words further I like what they describe.
I like the thought that we are a group of people representing God, representing the Kingdom of God on earth, going out to communicate God’s great love for all people. It is our task. It is our calling. And not just for a couple of weeks.
As the groups develop I think they will all begin to form their own names to better describe what they are doing. But at the moment I am excited for the potential of these missional expressions. I am excited about the potential in the church, in the people, to live by faith and see amazing things happen across our city. I am excited to join with others and represent God, to fulfil our calling and communicate God’s love and peace to a generation of people who need to hear/see/feel/know that love.
A couple of other thoughts around the same theme:
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:26 (NIV)
Thursday, 29 October 2009
So, I have this habit. It’s a bad habit and I have no idea where I got it from or when it started. But I have it, and I do it, and I’m not proud of it. What is it? I pick my spots!
Sometimes they don’t even have to be spots. Blackheads will do! And I know that whilst I’m doing it, I shouldn’t be doing it! I stand at the mirror chastising myself whilst in the very act! But sometimes it’s just so satisfying, and sometimes it helps me de-stress. Is that so bad?!
As a large, sore, red lump appeared right on the end of my nose a few days ago I promised myself that I would keep my naughty little fingers away from it. Which I did…for a few hours! Somehow that evening I found myself in front of the mirror, far too tired to be carrying out such a technical procedure, but giving it a go anyway. What’s wrong with me?! Will I never learn?!
I’ll tell you what’s wrong with me…I struggle to leave things alone and let them take their natural course. I try to speed things up to make it better but often, in fact nearly always, I just make them worse.
The big red lump that had appeared on my nose was nowhere near ready to be touched in anyway. And all I did was make it redder, sorer, bigger and less likely to be coverable with concealer! Stupid me!
As I dragged myself off to bed, annoyed that I hadn’t listened to the first voice in my head telling me to leave it alone, I thought about the other things I struggle to leave alone. The other ways in which I try to ‘help’ things along. Or the things I loose patience about, waiting for them to take their assigned course.
And I thought about the things I might have stopped God from doing in and through me because I was in a rush to get it over and done with. And I thought about the damage and pain I had caused in the process by trying to do it my way.
Sometimes life is not pretty. And sometimes things in life hurt. But trying to speed up the process or deal with it our own way is not the answer and can bring about more damage and pain. God knows where we’re at and what life is like and He can bring healing and soothe our pains. We just have to take our hands away and ask Him to do His thing.
(Dear God, please take away my spots. Amen)
Friday, 16 October 2009
2. The lovely sunny, clear weather we've been having. It just makes the beautiful leaves look more stunning!
3. The opportunity to wear snuggly clothes and scarves and not have your husband look at you like you're weird (I tend to wear snuggly clothes and scarves regardless of the season, hence the looks of weirdness!)
4. The ability to drink gallons of hot chocolate and be totally justified!
5. Hopefully the opportunity to take some photos of the changing season and the beautiful leaves!
This is my 100th post! I wonder what I'll write in my next 100?!
Happy Fridays x
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
This morning I stood in the shower and thought. I thought about all the things that Babar Ali could have used as excuses for not doing what he does. Here is a boy who is still young, has no money, no resources or equipment, no formal training in teaching. But here is a boy who has been given an opportunity, seen a need and has a passion to help.
The only difference between Babar and the other children from his village was the fact that he was fortunate to go to school. And how desperately the other children want to learn too. An education for these children is vital. For them it is the difference between having a future or not, sometimes even life or death.
Our salvation and relationship with God through Jesus means we have a future. It means we have hope and it means we have life.
Salvation for God’s people is vital. And God’s people are desperate for it.
But how often do we have the opportunity, see the need, and have a desire to help, but then find an excuse to not do anything? How often do we wait for money, resources or training before stepping out to help people? How often do we use our age as a ‘get out’ clause? Or how often do we wait for others with money, resources and training to help those people for us?
God calls us to reach out to those around us. To love them and to teach them the good news of His salvation. We already have all we need to do that. We have our salvation which we can share. And people desperately need us to share it.
God will fill the gaps. He will provide. He can take our inexperience, our inadequacies, our anxieties and He can use them for His glory. If we are willing to be used.
But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9a
So what’s stopping us? What are our excuses?
Or rather, what’s stopping me? What are my excuses?
Monday, 12 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Sometimes I’m great at waiting. But sometimes I’m not.
Approximately 9 weeks ago I found out I was pregnant. And I wanted to tell everyone! Waiting for 8 weeks until the first trimester was over was very difficult!
Now that it’s all a bit more public, I want to have more of a baby bump. You know, to confirm that there is actually something in there and I’m not just making it up! I want to have the scan. I want to feel something (other than sickness!)
But I have to wait. I have to be patient.
It’s really easy to want things to happen quickly, to want the baby as soon as possible and to start the next stage of life. But there is a reason why it takes 9 months to grow a baby, and a reason why we go through life in seasons.
Howies used to have a series of posters that used the slogan ‘grow slow, grow strong’. (I tried to find a photo but had no success)
Sometimes in our modern culture we think fast is better but that’s not always the case. When trees grow slowly their rings are closer together and they produce a much stronger wood which will last longer. It’s the patience that gives the tree its strength and sets it apart from other wood.
I need to wait and let my baby to grow at the right speed because then it has time to develop properly and grow strong. And I need the next few months to prepare myself for one of the biggest changes in my life.
And while I wait, patiently, I hope to grow along with my baby so that we are both ready for the next stage of life. Growing together, slowly but strongly.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
I feel that recently we have become more than just acquaintances, but I'm not really sure that we could be called friends. I have certainly seen a lot more of you than I would care to. And our meetings have definitely been less than pleasurable for me.
However, I can take some joy from our regular get-togethers. The doctor says its actually a good sign! And at least I can be thankful that it means I am very blessed.
You see, I have been visiting you quite a lot because I have a little person growing inside me. And my body has to take care of this little person so that it can grow strong. And to do that I have to be sick for a while.
I hope that our visits will return back to their normal frequency soon. I can't really say I'll miss them. But I promise to introduce you to the little person who has been responsible for increasing the frequency of our encounters (around April sometime).
I hope you understand.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
This is the guy who likes to open his presents as soon as the clock strikes midnight, or sooner if possible! And it was his birthday on Sunday.
And to celebrate we went to Ikea and bought bookshelves! I know how to show people a good time eh?!
It still amazes me that this guy, who has travelled the world and seen some incredible things, chose me. That I get to share life with this guy who has an amazing heart and cares for me so much.
This is the guy who knows how to make me smile...and this is the guy who read my last blog post and made me labels for my shampoo and conditioner bottles!!! See how he looks after me!
I hope that I can learn and grow to love like he does and care like he does and be strong like he is. I hope that I can love him like he loves me.
Happy Birthday Phil xxx
p.s. I believe he's looking so happy/smug/chuffed in the photo because I was sitting next to him in a hot dress! Hahaha!!!
Friday, 11 September 2009
But just as I closed the bottle and placed it back on the side of the bath I realised what the problem was. I wasn’t putting shampoo on my hair, it was conditioner. No wonder it didn’t lather. Phew! My hair wasn’t completely filthy after all!
The only problem now was that I had a hand full of conditioner and I still needed to somehow shampoo my hair without wasting this conditioner. Insert crazy one handed bottle holding, squeezing and closing, utilising knees, feet and any other available body parts without involving my left hand! I hope at least God gets a chuckle out of the funny things we do in private moments!
Anyhow, it got me thinking about the things we do just out of habit. Like picking up the bottle on the left first, because that’s usually the shampoo. The things we do without consciously thinking. The things we do just because. Or the things we do because it’s the way we always do it.
I like routine and I like things having a place but do I sometimes revert to doing the same things the same way just because? Habits can sometimes be formed without even realising it. And our habits not only reflect what’s going on inside us but can impact what’s going on around us.
I don’t want to go through my days just doing the same-old-same-old just because that’s the way I’ve always done it. Or because I stopped really thinking about it.
I want to form good habits, healthy habits, godly habits. And that takes time and hard work. It requires thought and conscious decision making. It needs me to stop every now and then and ask why.
Like, why do I get home, and before anything else, sit on the sofa and put the TV on? Which then tends to consume my evening. What else could I be doing with that time? What other habit could I form?
Like, paying attention to the words I say, instead of just saying something as soon as I think of it. What other words could I be saying? What habit could I be building into my interactions with others?
So next time I reach blindly for the bottle of shampoo, hopefully it’ll remind me to stop and think about those things that I do each day without even thinking about it.
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
1 Timothy 6:11 (NIV)
Monday, 7 September 2009
I’m not down or unhappy, in fact quite the opposite. But I’m just having a time of contentment and chilledness that doesn’t seem to encourage any deep or really interesting thoughts. Maybe my brain just needs a rest!!!
I haven’t even been taking any photos to share. I mean, I even let a whole weekend go by with a visit from a great friend, and the camera didn’t surface once. Probably because doing a jigsaw is not the most entertaining thing to document and share with photos…yes, we are that sad! But even so…my poor lonely camera!
Anyhow, just to say hi, and I’m still here and I’m just chillin’.
Maybe there’s some big thinking to do in the future that I’m saving my brain power for!?! Who knows?!
Our small group/house group (I never really know what we’re officially called!) is having a weekend away this coming weekend and I promise to take my camera along and take some photos. And maybe I’ll be inspired with some deep thoughts too…!
Until then, I do have one thought/question……why are there no baby pigeons around? I only ever see full size adult pigeons. Where are the baby ones? Or do they hatch full size?
See, I’m still trying to tackle the enigmas of the universe!!!
Thursday, 3 September 2009
I wanted to cry for the hurt and anguish she must’ve been feeling. And I wanted to cry because I know the person who is the solution, but I just don’t always know the best way to get Him out there.
I get so upset and stirred up when I see images and stories of young women and girls who struggle to feel at peace with themselves. Young women and girls who turn to drink, drugs, eating disorders, bullying, sex, plastic surgery and a whole list of other things to try and fill that discomfort. To try and ease the pain, take away some of the hurt, or become something they don’t feel they are naturally.
And I get upset because even though I think I’m pretty sorted and I’d never resort to some of the things listed above, I still struggle with this myself. It seems that as women living in this fallen world we are constantly at war with ourselves and other women. We strive to find whatever it is that fills the holes we feel. The insecurities, the hurts, the loneliness. And even as someone who knows where to turn to find wholeness, restoration and completeness, I still look in the wrong places first!
Sometimes I’m just such a slow learner!
A nicer house/car/possessions won’t make me feel whole.
The latest fashions won’t make me feel whole.
A big bank balance won't make me feel whole.
A new hair cut might be nice…but it won’t make me feel whole.
The perfect body…whatever that is…won’t make me feel whole.
Drinking until I can’t remember where I am or even stand won’t make me feel whole.
Putting someone else down won’t make me feel whole.
Knowing the latest gossip won’t make me feel whole.
Giving my body to someone else won’t make me feel whole.
Knowing that God loves me, unconditionally, just as I am…can make me whole.
Having a relationship with God and knowing that He has a promise of a future for me…can make me whole.
Calling Jesus my saviour and allowing Him to take my sins away…can make me whole.
Walking day by day with the Holy Spirit as my companion…can make me whole.
Lord, I pray that I learn to turn to you first when I feel I have a hole. That I look to you to complete me and make me whole.
Monday, 31 August 2009
Over the past few days we have relocated from one side of the city to the other. We are now much nearer to our friends, and we live literally over the road from church! We're not quite there yet with the unpacking, and life still feels a little chaotic! But surrounded by boxes and bubble wrap, and amidst all the craziness and tiredness, I can say that I'm happy and I'm thankful.
I'm thankful for my amazing husband who has spent fours days solidly carrying boxes and other heavy objects to the car, from the car and up numerous stairs. I think he's gone to work today for a break! And I'm thankful for his determination to unpack and make the new place a home. He totally deserves a massage and cold beer!
I'm thankful for all the people in our small group who turned up to help us move boxes last Wednesday evening. What they managed to shift in 30 minutes would have taken us (Phil) days! Life is so much better when we are in community and can help each other. I'm so thankful for that.
I'm thankful for the strong men who helped Phil to lift the big furniture. And I'm thankful that I didn't break any nails trying to lift the big furniture!!! Only kidding!
I'm thankful that we are fortunate to have a lovely new flat and lots of things that need moving. We really are blessed.
And I'm thankful that God has taken care of us so well. He has truly provided for us and looked after us. Even when I have had little faith God has been faithful. And when I have felt lost and confused, He has guided me. I am thankful that I can be so excited about my life and my future because I can have a hope in God.
What can you be thankful for today?
Happy Mondays xxx
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Which means that I’m likely to have very little access to the internet for a few days, and therefore likely to be doing very little blogging.
So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some blogs that I love…to keep you entertained while I’m away for a while!
I first came across Jasmine’s blog about 18 months ago, I think. Anyone that knows me will know that I love weddings, so it should come as no surprise that sometimes I still visit wedding websites and blogs! And it was through one of these websites that I found a link to Jasmine’s site. I also have a love of photography and so this site is a great combination of two of my loves.
But it’s not just the photography that keeps me returning to Jasmine’s blog. Her passion for life and genuine openness, as well as her beautiful writing makes this blog one of my daily reads. Alongside her beautiful photography, she shares her heart for God and her family which inspires and encourages me, as well as her determination to ‘keep it real’ and be true to herself. And her willingness to share her knowledge of photography and business has been a great help to me.
Whether you’re into photography or not, I think Jasmine’s blog is a great read.
In the name of LOVE
I was introduced to Bianca’s blog through Jasmine’s blog. And just in case you visit them both and think you’re seeing double…they’re twins!
Bianca teaches the word of God in a relevant and real way to women of all ages and walks of life. Along with Jasmine, her determination to ‘keep it real’ means that her words carry the message of God’s love powerfully as she doesn’t try to please people and hide behind nice words and fluffiness…she says it as it is…and its refreshing and genuine. Her blog is both an encouragement and a gentle kick up the backside just when it needs to be.
One of my dreams is to someday be able to teach the word of God in a real and relevant way and to be able to reach out to women and help them to draw closer to God, to learn about God and to get to know Him better. Bianca inspires me to keep my dream alive…God loves people and He wants to use us to show them His love.
I can’t remember how I came across this lovely blog, but once I did I was hooked! Ruby Ellen is a mum to two girls with a third one on the way! She makes the most beautiful and cute craft items for children and grown ups…check out her shop.
I love her fun nature and the way she makes every occasion so special for her girls and the family. She makes adorable outfits for the girls and themes their birthday’s with lots of activities and creative ideas.
Ruby and her husband inspire me to seek out ways to turn every day into something special and memorable. And I love her creativeness and desire to make presents and gifts rather than just buying something from the high street.
I have had lots of creative ideas for Christmas presents (yes, I said Christmas already and its only August!) and things that I’m desperate to start making since finding this blog. I can’t wait to unpack my sewing stuff in the new flat!
Happy Tuesdays, and Happy Blog Hopping!!! x
Thursday, 20 August 2009
I thought I'd post some of the photos I took while we were on our (wet) holiday in Cumbria. My brother and his wife joined us for a couple of days too and we had a good time looking round Carlisle Castle, visiting a lovely spot with a stream where Phil and his friends used to camp as teenagers and buying ice creams in Keswick. And the weather perked up a bit for a couple of days as well!
A building with a bit of history...
Art work in the underpass to the castle. The names are of Border Reivers. Clans that used to switch sides of the English/Scottish border. After they'd robbed from one side they'd switch and then rob from the other side!
My lovely sister in law...
Medieval wall art
Even the drainpipes are fancy...and dated, 1717
Patiently waiting for the photographer to hurry up!
Phil's old camping site!
Apparently the stream acts as a natural slide here. Not that any of us were trying it!
There were lots of sheep around
Following the sheep tracks through the dense vegetation...kinda like Bear Grylls!!!
Sheep in a less natural environment...probably looking for the pub!
Poetry in the steps
Happy Thursday x
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Hi, my name’s Lindsay and I’ve been suffering from anxiety.
I don’t know if there’s a 12 step program to help people with anxiety but I do know that I need help of some sort.
I’ve managed to allow a few small happenings become huge overpowering worries and now I’ve become trapped. Trapped by worries I feel I have no control over. Trapped by a fear of ‘what if’? Trapped by a sense of almost panic that creeps up from nowhere but takes over my every moment.
Worse of all I know that it’s not right. Which just freaks me out a little bit more.
And I feel I should be able to conquer it. My logical mind should be able to rationalise and overcome the illogical and irrational thoughts and feelings. My faith in God and knowledge of his peace should calm my soul and quiet my spirit.
But I can’t. Not in my own strength. I need an intervention of the Holy Spirit in such a real way. Whether He takes 12 steps or not, I need Him to come and rescue my weary, anxious, slightly panicked self and renew a right spirit in me.
I need to meditate on the life giving, peace restoring word of God and allow Him to untie my knots and work on straightening me out! I’m so glad God is patient with us every day.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
And when those times come round we can feel so caught up in the busyness we loose track of ourselves and of the things that are important.
I’m currently going through a phase of busyness that I know is going to become craziness as we get ready to move house and tackle the ever expanding list of practical things that accompany relocation.
I know that in the grand scheme of things our house move is not that big a deal. We’re not relocating to a new country (like Alison is currently doing) or even a new city (like we did last year). We’re just moving across town. But things still feel a little crazy!
I wrote a few days ago about perspective and how sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees. I imagine that each element of my life can be represented by a tree. Some are mature and have been there since my life began. Others are new seedlings or young trees just emerging from the ground. Some are strong and deep rooted and will always be there. Others don’t last so long for whatever reason, but were important when they were there.
There are times in life when things are pretty calm and it’s like we’re walking through a field with a few trees dotted here and there. And there are other times in life when things are busy, when we’re juggling many things, when it’s like we’re walking through a dense forest full of trees.
As we look around the tress may start to look the same. There are so many of them, they all blur into each other. But they’re not.
Some of the trees are more important than others. And even when we’re busy and have many trees to tend to, some should still have a greater priority.
As I continue on through my current busyness and into the awaiting craziness, I just wanted to take a moment to stop and recognise those things and people that are the big trees in my life. God, Phil, my family, my friends. I wanted to remind myself to seek out time with these people even in the middle of the busyness. I wanted to remind myself what these people look like so I don’t miss them between all the other trees.
I took this picture while when we were away…it triggered the thoughts above…
...seriously, this guy is like my hero! (It's ok, I'm allowed to say that, he is my husband!)
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
We're moving house (flat) in two weeks and have been packing like ninjas. Which means that access to the computer has been a little awkward at times. I have still over half of the holiday photos to sort out so that I can share them. And we also managed to get tickets to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo last week so I have lots of photos from that to sort through and share too.
Anyway, instead of my waffling excuses, here are a few photos that I have managed to upload. I have been to Cumbria many times but this time I was able to see new places and views that I hadn't seen before. Even though the weather was a little less than desirable at times, I was still blown away by the beauty of the landscape. And although I'm not so friendly with Mr. Rain, I happen to love the Cloud Family for many reasons. It's just unfortunate that one tends to accompany the other!!!
The functional flood plain...