Saturday, 26 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Ok, so Christmas Day was yesterday but hey, I was busy celebrating with my family!

So here are just a couple of photos of the recent weather we have been experiencing and one of a tree decoration I made.



Monday, 21 December 2009

What I am...

I am currently very cold (not much difference there)
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


Well, after a few days of absolutely no thoughts or inspiration I now have a head full of stuff trying to work itself out! So, in order to help my brain sift through it all I thought I’d put some of it here.

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

Tummy Tuesday - 23 weeks

So, here it is...the most recent bump photos taken literally 2 minutes ago using the ironing board as a tripod!!!


This is my 'I'm pregnant and have a sore back give me a seat' pose!!! So far only used at team meetings, but I'm perfecting it for the many busy bus journeys in the New Year!!!

I'm still totally amazed and bewildered everytime I feel it kick and move. I could actually stare at my stomach for hours on end...if I didn't have to work and sit at a desk in an office with other people!!!

Happy Tuesdays xxx

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Foggy Tears

I don’t know why, but recently I have been struggling to be at church or come home from church without crying. Sometimes crying lots.

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

Chapped Hands

When the weather turns cold my skin starts to get very dry and chapped. It’s usually worse on my hands as they’re exposed to the elements more than the rest of me. They can get so dry that the skin starts to flake and crack, and that can be sore.

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

The Tale of the Mascara Blob

This morning I was in a rush. Most mornings seem to be conducted in a rush!
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

Tummy Tuesday - 20 weeks

This weeks Tummy Tuesday is actually from last week as I'm 21 weeks along now. And it is an inside view of what's going on in my tummy!

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