Thursday, 23 December 2010

Resolutions

If I'm honest I don't usually make resolutions at New Year. Last year, however, I thought that maybe I should.

Although looking back I kinda wish I hadn't bothered. I suppose that's what happens when you have a baby and your life gets turned upside down. In other words, I totally failed at my resolutions for this year!

So this year...

Well, I have decided to have only one resolution/prayer/hope for the coming year.

"Go ahead God, inconvenience me, disturb me, use me."

If you haven't seen 'The Nativity' on the BBC then I strongly recommend that you try to see it. Tonight is the last episode of a 4 part series and it tells the story beautifully. Even though I know the story I have been sat on the edge of my seat completely enthralled.

It has really made me think about Mary's role in the story and her willingness to be used by God despite the pain and suffering and inconvenience it meant to her personally. And it has revealed to me how wonderful God is at creating stories which take ordinary people and give them purpose...supernatural, extraordinary purpose.

If I ask for one thing next year it is to be part of God's story here on earth today. Because I know that it will be nothing less than beautiful, enthralling, full of purpose.

For nothing is impossible with God.

I am the Lord's servant, Mary answered. May it be to me as you have said.

Luke 1:37-38

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Friday, 17 December 2010

Expanding, Being Everything and Being Unsure

I live in this place where I'm not what I was, but I'm not yet who I want to be. So I just kinda 'hang', waiting for something to happen, something to change. Waiting to become what I see in my mind.

But what if the image I have of what I'm meant to be is wrong, misinformed, distorted?
How do I sift through the endless list of 'ideals' to find which ones are actually me? And why do I have a list of excuses and other people to blame for anything that doesn't match up to my ideals.

The first person on my 'blame list' is usually me but that's because I'm very self critical.

For example, I'd love to read more, sew more, write more, study more, fellowship more. I end the week and find that I haven't managed to do anything more than usual. If I'm honest I've realised I'm naturally a lot lazier than I'd like to think I am (but I'm currently putting a lot of that down to really enjoying my maternity leave and having a very cute and distracting son!)

But I have to wonder whether I want to do all these things because I see others achieving so much and begin the comparison game (the one that no one ever wins). The more I compare the more I try to become everything I see in others and the more I become unsure about what and who is really me.

So, in order to expand on my previous post...and before I go on so long I bore even myself...I'm currently sitting in a place where I feel a bit mixed up. I know that I'm not what/who I used to be but I also know I'm not what/who I want to be. But I don't know how to get there and if there is even the right place to be going. In short, I don't think I've really completely figured out who I am...or have completely defined it yet.

Which is why this post by Bianca both inspires me and challenges me.

I pray that I will 'be who I is' day by day as I learn more about 'who I truly is'.
And one day I hope to inspire others to 'be who they is' too.

Mixed up

If I'm honest I'm a bit of a mix up at the moment. I haven't written anything on here for a few reasons. As soon as I think of something to write about I then have a conflicting thought and decide not to write about anything. You see, I'm a little mixed up.

Maybe it's the weather (maximum temperature of -8C today people...freezing!!) or the fact that I can't believe I'll be returning to work in about 3 weeks (which brings up mixed feelings).

Anyway, I hope to get back to some kind regular posting soon. And hopefully some photos too!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

It may look pretty...

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...but it's absolutely freezing!!!

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

I'm not a celebrity...

..but I have been sucked into watching a certain reality jungle themed tv show!

I've only caught bits of it, but enough to follow what's been going on. As I watched the post-final-this-is-what-happened-after-it-finished-show (they don't half managed to drag things on!) it struck me how all the participants had grown together. How they had come to appreciate and need each other.

Without the comforts and securities of their normal lives, I saw people learning to live together in community. People of different ages and backgrounds, with varying life experiences, sharing all the ups and downs of life in difficult circumstances. Helping each other, supporting each other, listening to each other.

But it only happened because they were made to spend time together. There was no hiding behind walls, no running away, no pretending.

How different would our communities be if we chose to spend time with each other? If we exposed our real selves and allowed others to do the same too. If we stopped hiding behind our comforts and securities. If we shared all of our lives even in the difficult times.

And we don't even need to eat bugs or sleep in the jungle to start!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The view...

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...although this doesn't accurately show just how much snow we've had in the last few days!


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Proof

that I'm a very funny person!


Sorry for the poor quality. It was taken at night on my mobile phone...just had to get the moment!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Hormental

I was the raging bull and anything he said was the red rag. I wanted a battle and I wanted to win, and apparently I didn't care how much pain I inflicted in the process.

How is it that a few chemicals can turn us from a calm, graceful, gentle swan to a honking, biting, chasing goose?!?!

And why is it we (I) only realise we're being totally horrible and unreasonable after the event?! After the verbal punches have been thrown.

How do I, as a woman wanting to reflect God's love and grace to the world, show the fruit of the spirit when my hormones are making me spit venom? When the only self control I display is eating one tub of ice cream not two.

I think next month I'll just lock myself away for a few days! With the ice cream!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Sucker punched

Just as He had my attention He delievered the blow. And it hurt.

Sometimes, when God is trying to tell me something He says it numerous times. Even when it's something I think I already know. Especially when it's something I think I already know.

But twice in 5 minutes has got to be a new record!

Just as I came to a realisation about a few things in my life I read the words that literally winded me. And they hurt. Because I knew they were right.

What I'm lacking right now is not the vision. It's not the direction or the effort. But the desire.
The desire that outweighs comfort. The desire that overcomes insecurities. The desire that only God can give.

And the desire that I need more than anything else if I am to truly follow Jesus.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Numbers Game

There everywhere. You just can't get away from them. But when did they start to rule our lives?

Not all numbers are create equal it would seem. We give some far greater importance than others. Take the ones that stare back at you from the scales or the labels on your clothes. Or the ones that appear on your bank statement. Or even the ones that tell you how many 'friends' you have online.

When did these numbers change from being a matter of fact to something we allow to define us, and even control our decisions? And why do we see some numbers as 'better' than others?

Playing the game is hard. We want some numbers to be smaller...others to be bigger? Will we ever find the right balance?!

Maybe there's a reason why the things that are most important in life cannot be measured numerically...love, kindness, health, happiness, peace, grace.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Fall...

So, September has almost been and gone and I feel as though I've completely missed it.

The temperature has dropped, the leaves are turning various shades of yellow, orange and red, and the night arrives quicker every day.

I've been more than a little distracted from blogging this month due to some sad family news. But there have been many wonderful moments this month too.

My amazing partner-in-crime celebrated another year of his life and Ethan has continued to bless us in many many ways. I hope to update/bore you with many photos soon.

Personally and spiritually I feel that I am letting myself down a little (ok, more than a little) but God has been so gracious and has surrounded me with some great and encouraging friends, old and new. I'm hopeful that this autumn, as the leaves begin to fall, my faith and fervour will not.

xxx

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Alright now

Ok, so yesterday I threw myself an over-tired, over-emotional pity party for one.

Today I'm having the official pity after party!!!
Only joking! But I am sorry for my emotional dump of a post yesterday.
I can't promise it won't happen again, but hey, at least I was 'keepin' it real'!

And today's reality is that shoe shops suck for people with very long very slim feet :(

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Sometimes...

...when your baby wakes up four times in the night...
...when you don't get breakfast until 12 noon and lunch until 4pm...
...when all you need is to talk to an adult but no ones available...
...when you can't decide whether you need food or sleep more...
...when you wear your sunglasses for every reason other than because its sunny...

...life is hard!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Seeing...but not really seeing

We stepped up to the pedestrian crossing at the same time, and she pushed the button to signal our intentions. We stood there silent, waiting for the red man to turn green.

Then she stepped closer and asked if she could follow me across the road. I said "sure', or "yeah" or something else equally pleasant and casual. She explained that although she could see the lights she couldn't tell when they were red or green and she didn't want to venture across without being sure it would be safe. I had a baby in a pram so she could be sure that I wouldn't be charging across the road or dashing between any vehicles.

We were only stood together for about 90 seconds. But it was long enough for her to open up about her failing sight and the worry and fears that brought. It was long enough for her to seek help/comfort/support/safety.

The lights changed and we set out, side by side, across the road. She thanked me and then we went our separate ways.

As I continued on my journey I thought about my sight, or lack of it.
Physically my sight is poor. I need glasses just to get out of bed in the morning.
But even with my physical sight corrected sometimes there are things that I just cannot see or don't see properly.

I could worry about my lack of sight. I could worry about the things I might miss. I could become anxious about the dangers of poor sight.

But instead I chose to pray. To pray for better sight. To see things/people/situations as God sees them.
I prayed that others with poor sight would be drawn to the one who can truly open their eyes. And that I may be a guide for them. That even in short 90 second road crossing encounters, I can be available to help them find the one who gives the best comfort/support/security.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Hopefully the sun will shine...

Well, we're off on our summer holiday today! I can't wait!
Hopefully the weather will be good.

We're heading to Polzeath in Cornwall for two weeks of resting and relaxation and lots of fun. I love Polzeath, it is a place of many good memories for me.
I hope to bore you with many photos once we're back!

Happy Holidays xxx

Monday, 26 July 2010

Some more pink...

Now that I'm outnumbered on the girly front, I try to make an effort to top up my pink quota on a regular basis!!!

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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Monday, 12 July 2010

what do you do...

...when you see other people doing the things you dream of doing?

Mope, sulk, spend all day thinking how unfair life is?!
Yep, I can throw a pretty good pity party when I want to!

But instead I'm going to try and change my perspective (really, how can I think I got a bad lot in life?) and get ready. I'm going to prepare myself so that when the time is right I'll be on top form.

But of course, that requires hard work and patience...!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Friday, 28 May 2010

Loosing my Life

It's 2am and I'm awake. I'd like nothing more than to turn over and go back to sleep. But a little bundle has other ideas.

It's 2pm and I'm hungry. I'd like nothing more than to sit and eat my reheated-three-times-turned-into-a-mush lunch. But a little bundle has other ideas.

What I've come to realise over these last 4 and a half weeks is that my life is now not my own. And at times its not easy.
But thanks to God's continuing revelations (usually at 2am feeding times!), I have a new perspective on the following...

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."
Matthew 16:24-28

I've come to realise that loosing my life is not what I thought it would be - it's not having no life. Loosing my life is a sacrifice, its difficult but it's amazing at the same time.
I've come to realise that gaining life (or gaining a new life) means giving of my life, my time, my resources to meet someone else's needs.

Babies make it obvious when they are in need. And it's usually relatively easy to work out what's bothering them and sort it out (I say usually!!!)
But as adults we've become cultured into thinking that we need to be self sufficient. That people with needs are weak. So we cover up our brokenness or our need for help. We're also not as open to people to find out if they have needs or not.

So in order to find your life...what can you give of your life?
And if you are someone that has a need...be open about it...allow someone to give of their life so that you can both find life in the process.

It's hard work but so worth the rewards!

Friday, 14 May 2010

It's funny...

...how quickly things can change.

Just a few weeks ago I spent several hours of my day sat in front of a computer wishing I was doing something else. Now I'm lucky if I get to the computer at all in a day.

But can you blame me...?
It's jut so easy to be distracted when you have this cute face to look at all day!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Ethan Robert

Born Tuesday 27th April at 23:54 weighing 8lbs 12oz!


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Timing...and trust

So, here I am. 41 weeks pregnant. Wishing that this baby would please decide to make an appearance sooner rather than later. But, unfortunately for me, it's something that I have absolutely no control over.

I like to have a plan. To know what's going to happen. To be organised and prepared. But you can't do that when waiting for a baby to arrive.

Everything in me that wants to be able to control what is going to happen is struggling with each and every day that goes by. All the not-knowing, all the wondering, all the waiting.

Exactly one month ago I ended up spending the weekend in hospital. Again, I struggled with the not-knowing, the waiting, the not understanding what was, or might be, going on. God reminded me of a scripture that I have held onto for many years now, and I continue to hold onto as these hours and days pass.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

I don't know and I don't understand why the baby has decided to stay put for now. But God knows when the time is right. So, I just have to trust Him in that...even though it's very hard!!! It's hard for me to not be able to plan and prepare. But if I keep my trust and focus on God, who has blessed us with this amazing baby, then I'm sure I'll know what to do when the time comes...I hope!!!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Tummy Thursday - weeks 35 to 40!

Ok, so this is like well over due...and missing a week...but I hope you'll all forgive me!

So, the last time I posted a tummy photo was week 34 and, as that was so long ago, I'll post it again here as a reminder.

34 weeks...
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Now on to the new photos...35 weeks...
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36 weeks...
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37 weeks...
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38 weeks...
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39 weeks...I didn't take a photo! Naughty me! I am now finding that I'm far more comfortable in my pj's than in normal clothes and so spent most of last week in pj's and didn't think they were suitable to photograph and post on here...sorry! But sometimes comfort has to come first!

So, 40 weeks...the official end of the pregnancy...the due date...not that the baby is taking any notice of that!!!
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Hopefully it won't be long before I'm showing photos of the bump's occupant!!! Although you might get a 41 week photo if it decides it still cosy in there!!!

Although I'm now getting a little impatient and desperate for this baby to come out so we can meet it and start the next part of the journey, I have enjoyed being pregnant and there are some parts that I will miss. Not the terrible sickness at the beginning, and not the lack of energy and general uncomfortableness at the end. But it has been wonderful to feel it move around inside me and respond to voices and poking (gentle of course). It has also driven me crazy and paranoid when it has been less wriggly...which I'm sure is only a sign of more crazy mum worries to come!!! Seriously, I didn't realise being a mum would be so stressful already!!!

Anyhow, I've rambled on far enough now.
And I need to go and spend some serious time in prayer begging for this baby to come soon!!! He he he!!!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Lazy Days

I know my presence on this blog has been a little less than regular or frequent over the last few days/weeks. I'm sure you're all thinking that I being super busy getting everything ready for the arrival of the baby. Or that I'm relaxing and enjoying the last few moments of 'me' time before my life is turned completely upside down! Or even that the baby has arrived and I've been far too busy to remember what a computer is. It's true, I have been doing some of both of those things (not the baby arriving bit unfortunately) but mostly...I've just been pretty lazy!

It maybe that I struggle to 'relax' without thinking about all the things I could/should/ought to be doing which makes me feel like I'm being lazy. Or it maybe that my heavily pregnant body is unable to do anything at a normal pace or with any form of comfort unless it involves sitting down or eating! But I have really been struggling with the fact that I just feel like I'm being lazy...and that I feel that is wrong!

I have watched the whole of Ugly Betty Season 1 though (it's only taken me like two years) so I have managed to achieve something!!!

Anyhow, I will endeavour to get this weeks tummy Tuesday posted as there are many weeks to catch up on... and I'm hoping (wishfully thinking) that it'll be the last!

Thank you for being my therapist today!!!
Happy Tuesdays xxx

Monday, 29 March 2010

Just because...

...I have been terribly slack at blogging recently and because someone reminded me of this photo at the weekend and it made us laugh...
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Now that I'm on maternity leave (!) I will hopefully be a little better at keeping this thing up to date. I have lots of pictures to share for Tummy Tuesday (I'm about 4-5 weeks behind I think!) as well as lots of thanks to give for a lovely baby shower I was 'thrown' this weekend. And a few stories to tell of what's been going on around here.

Happy Mondays xxx

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Brain Dump - Me, Myself and I

Warning: this post is likely to be long and rambling and generally not make much sense. So if you’re after a very well constructed work of literary genius…I’d look elsewhere.

I’ve been a little quiet here the last few days as I’ve been working through some stuff in my head. Well, I say working through…really its just all sitting in my head like a big thought stew. There is no order, there is no logic, and there are not many conclusions. Just thoughts. Some random, some less random. All in my head!

You see, I thought I knew myself pretty well. But it appears that I was just scratching the surface. The things that lay deep inside were, and still are, a bit of a muddle and a bit of a mystery.

Several things have happened over the last few weeks and months that have really shaken me up…in a good way…but in a difficult-to-process-while-you’re-going-through-it way!

The current teaching at church on flying has been great and has really challenged me. Recently Karl quoted a headline from a newspaper that read something like ‘No scan, no fly’. It was regarding the new security scanners that are being introduced at airports. The ones that see everything! The article was discussing how to fly in the future; you will have to be willing to be scanned by one of these machines. You will have to give your permission to allow someone to see everything about you!

In the same way, for us to fly as God intended, we have to be willing to be scanned by Him. To allow Him to see everything, so that we can remove anything that will stop us from flying.

But sometimes we don’t even realise the stuff that we are carrying, the baggage we have packed, the things we need to take off and leave behind, until it is scanned and revealed to us.

I think this is where I am at.

I have opened myself up because I desperately want to fly. I don’t want to be grounded by things any more. I want to experience the life, in all its fullness, that God has planned for me. I want to see my dreams and the things that are in my heart become realities. I want to live and love out loud, and serve God with all that I am. Heart, mind and strength.

But what I didn’t expect was the continual revelations. All the stuff that has been exposed, uncovered, revealed to me in the process.

The stuff that has kept me bounded. The stuff that I thought I was over. The stuff that I didn’t even realise I’d picked up. The stuff that weighs me down, speaks untruths to me, traps me, boxes me in and keeps me grounded. Where did all that stuff come from? How, and why, have I collected it? Why have I been holding onto it? And what can I do to get rid of it?!

One night, while out for a drink with Phil, we were discussing some of the recent teaching at church and the process we have been going through with the new missional expressions. We discussed the things it has made us think about, the way it has made us feel, the challenges we are facing, and why it makes me cry so much!

Then Phil said something to me which literally stopped me in my tracks.
‘There’s nothing wrong with people wanting to continually improve themselves and do better, but why do you want to change who you are?’

I cried. He was right.

All this stuff I had picked up and was now carrying around with me had impacted the way I see myself and what I thought of myself. I wasn’t trying to become a better me. I was trying to change me completely. I was trying to become someone else, anyone else, that I deemed to be better, cooler, more together than me.

But why?!

I knew in my head that this stuff was wrong, but in my heart I was still fighting battles I thought I’d left in the school playground. I was comparing myself to every other living female. And I was longing to be all the things that I wasn’t, and punishing myself because of it.

Instead, I want to be able to embrace, enjoy and celebrate all the things that I am. And all the things that I am loved for being.

I recently heard it said that where your greatest struggle is, that is where your greatest calling will be. And I really hope that is true. I have a deep longing to come alongside other women, of all ages, and encourage them to enjoy, celebrate and embrace who they are. To connect with their creator and see themselves how He sees them. To grow and build a community of women who love and support each other. Where there is no comparison, no competition, no mould or template to fit into. So, it seems kinda daft that it’s something I am struggling with so much right now…but maybe there is a reason for that?!

So, I feel like I’ve rambled on enough for now. These things are still going round in my head a lot, and I’m starting to see and way through. I’m learning to deal with the things that need to be dealt with, and to just put down the things that need to be put down. It’s slow, it’s painful, it’s full of snot and tears…but I’m getting there.

I wanted to share a video that I saw the other day that totally touched my heart. Jasmine Star is an amazing photographer. But more than that, she is an amazing person with a beautiful heart. Can I encourage you to follow the link and watch her latest video? Although it is a promotional video it is so much more than that. Again, it made me cry because it is how I want to feel about myself. It is what I want to be able to share and encourage with other women too. And it is so beautifully done.
http://www.jasminestarblog.com/index.cfm?postID=798&wppi-promo-video

p.s. if you’ve made it to the end and read all of this post…I give you permission to congratulate yourself and celebrate with some chocolate or ice cream!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Tweet Tweet

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Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

It's the simple things...

...that make me smile.

Like sunshine and laughter, tea and cake, and getting this number from the ticket machine whilst queuing at the Council offices...

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Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Tummy Tuesday - 33 & 34 weeks

So here it is...the fortnightly update on the growing belly!

I'm not sure how much you can tell from these photos but I really feel that I have expanded loads particularly in the last week. My bump is becoming more round now and less pointy as the baby puts on some serious weight.
And I have to apologise to Alison...I forgot to get the tape measure out, sorry! Maybe next week!

So, here's last week's record - 33 weeks...
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And this week's - 34 weeks...
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Can you see the difference?!

I'm starting to get very tired again now and stairs or uphill inclines have become hard work! Eating and breathing have become a bit more difficult too as the baby grows further and further into my rib cage! And waking up with a foot in the ribs (on the inside) is very weird!

I'm still really enjoying all the wriggling and kicking. Sometimes it's a little uncomfortable and I've started to yelp a little, which I've been kindly asked to refrain from doing as Phil keeps thinking I'm going into labour!

Ooh, and I've also found that the bump is a now a great place to hold a plate, bowl or bag of goodies (chocolate/crisps/healthy snacks!) whilst sitting on the sofa! Happy Days!

Happy Tuesdays x

Monday, 22 February 2010

Stress Head

Ahh! I feel like I have so much to do this week and so little time!

We're off to celebrate a big family birthday at Center Parcs this weekend...very nice.
But I have tons of stuff to do and get ready and pack before Thursday and not much free time to do it all in...not nice.

I'm starting to get a little stressed about getting everything done...and still remaining sane!
Like, all the washing I need to do. Having a limited maternity wardrobe is sometimes helpful (i.e. I won't spend hours deciding what to pack) but sometimes it isn't (i.e. I feel like I'm washing the same few clothes all the time!)
Like, the drying and ironing of all the washing that I need to do. Maybe on this occasion I can forgo the ironing and do it when we get there (my fussy perfectionist self can't believe I'm even suggesting this!)
Like, filing my nails. They're growing so fast at the moment (thank you pregnant body) but I can't file them in close proximity to the husband...he hates the sound. And I happen to be spending every evening with the lovely chap this week! I might have to resort to locking myself in the bathroom to do it!
Like, packing! With pregnancy brain at an all time high I am convinced that I am going to forget something/many things! I think I need to make a list (I love lists!)

Work is crazy busy this week with a client meeting and lots of deadlines to meet and numbers to crunch and designs to draw (which is why I'm writing this instead...erm!)
And we have something going on every evening this week until Thursday (maybe my small group will help me iron/pack?!)

When will I sleep?!?!
When will I eat?!?!

I have managed to paint my toes nails...bigger achievement than it sounds! And my cake baking went down very well at work today (despite several near disastrous moments in the kitchen yesterday!)
And somehow, getting some of my stress out here has helped me calm down a little. Like therapy!

Now, where to start with that list......?!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Happy 1st Birthday!

Well, as of today this blog has existed/been alive for one whole year! I can't quite believe it!
12 whole months of my ramblings and randomness!

I'm not sure if it was the excitment of Pancake Day yesterday or the knowledge that today was a blogiversary...but Baby E treated me yesterday and I was able to get a great video of some wriggling!
So, to celebrate today's anniversary, here is one wriggly baby!
video

I wonder what the next 12 months will hold, and what will make it onto the blog?!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Tummy Tuesday - 31 & 32 weeks

I seem to be getting into the habit of taking the photos each week but not reporting on them for two weeks. Maybe I should rename this 'Two-weekly Tummy Tuesday' but that would be a bit of a mouthful!

Anyhow, on to the important bit...so this is last week's photo at 31 weeks.
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And this is this week's at 32 weeks.
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There doesn't seem to be that much difference between the two this time, but today I feel like I've expanded by another 2 inches or so over night!

Other things of note this week:
- I am still sporting an 'inny' belly button much to my surprise.
- I really need to paint my toenails this weekend:
a) before I go to Center Parcs next weekend and
b) before I can no longer reach them!
- I am being taught by my unborn child to sit up properly. Whenever I slouch I get a kick/punch/nudge/wriggle in the ribs!
- I still haven't managed to video any wriggles. I will try harder this weekend!

This last week has also brought the arrival of the first stretch mark...which made me cry!
I had a huge battle with myself about the whole thing but I think I'm getting over it now...kinda.
I'm saving my thoughts on this for another time. I don't think they're profound...just too long to add onto here!

Anyway, more importantly...today is pancake day! Yay!
I can't wait to get home and munch on lots of pancakey goodness :)
(And obviously think serious thoughts about lent!)

Happy Pancake Day xxx

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Being with You

To my soul mate,

I just love being with you.

Thank you for everything.

Your ever grateful wife xxx


Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Renewal

Ok, so recently I’ve been a little down on myself.
I am grateful for the work that God is doing in me and how He is revealing some of the stuff in my heart. It’s hard and pretty messy, but it’s also necessary.

God is taking the time to do a few things in me. To deconstruct the wrong thoughts, beliefs and ideas I have about myself. To heal the hurts and brokenness this wrong thinking has caused. And to reveal my true identity.

My character, personality and uniqueness. As He sees it…in His own words…

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
Deuteronomy 7:6

I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
Isaiah 41:9

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
Ephesians 1:11-12

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
2 Samuel 22:20

The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:11

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.
Psalm 149:4

The king is enthralled by your beauty; honour him, for he is your lord.
Psalm 45:11

God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!”
Jeremiah 31:3

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14

Are there areas that God needs to work in you?
To deconstruct wrong beliefs?
To heal any hurts?
To reveal your true identity?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The Mooditude

Yesterday, someone did something very nice for me. They included me and went out of their way to let me know they were thinking of me and wanted to be with me.

But because things didn’t go completely how I wanted, I left with a stinking moody attitude. I went home with a big fat mooditude*.

I’ve come to realise that I struggle with feelings of being rejected. I know in my head that I am loved and that there are lots of people in my life who love me and want to spend time with me. But I get so easily upset in my heart if I feel that someone is choosing to do something else, or be somewhere else rather than being with me.

For some reason I think that it is my fault. I think there is something wrong or undesirable about me. I feel that if I was different, if I was better then this wouldn’t be a problem. People would want to spend time with me more than anything else or anyone else.

I struggle with this so much that on occasion I have allowed it to affect my mood, my attitude, my heart. And I have given it permission to mess up times, moments and occasions which were actually really nice. Like last night (insert gestures indicating frustration at self, such as banging head against wall, slapping forehead etc etc!)

So I’m asking God to heal my hurt in this area. To fix my brokenness and restore my wrong thinking about myself. In fact, to stop always thinking about myself!

I’m asking God (and my enduring husband) to forgive my awful, rotten mooditude.

And I’m asking God to give me more of His grace for myself and for others.

I’m so grateful that God is so gracious and patient with us. Can you imagine if God got into a mooditude every time we chose to do something else or spend time with someone else over Him? Every time we didn’t go out of our way to let Him know He is number 1 in our lives? Every time we don't recognise when He shows us how much He loves us and wants to spend time with us? I think I’d always be in His bad books!!!

*yes, this is a word…I know cos I just made it up. And I’m allowed to do that cos this is my blog!!!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Going Nowhere

I can’t run on a treadmill. At all. It’s true!

It’s not just that I don’t like running on a treadmill, or I find it hard to run on a treadmill. I actually can’t run on a treadmill. At all. I find it impossible!

Don’t believe me? Ask the guy at the running shop where I bought my trainers! I felt like a right wally that day! I don’t know what was worse…demonstrating my complete lack of ability to run on a treadmill, or running up and down the street outside with my trousers tucked in my socks so that the guy (and everyone else sitting in the traffic) could watch me run!

I’m not sure if it’s a mental thing. You see, I don’t really see the point of running on a treadmill. It seems a little unnatural to me to run and not go anywhere. For the ‘ground’ to be moving but you’re staying still. To be working so hard and going great distances, but be inside and surrounded by the same things.

When I run I like to run outside, I like to take in the surroundings and enjoy the view. Even though I start and finish at the same place I like to feel that I have been somewhere. I like to see my progress in physical terms, in relation to landmarks. I like to run with friends, to have a natter and a giggle and enjoy the company.

I’m not a massive runner. I trained for 5 months to run 5.5 miles of the Edinburgh marathon last year. And that was an effort. Then I got pregnant and just getting out of bed became my daily exercise!!!

Anyway, I was thinking about some of the recent teaching at church on flying. Or rather the bit about not flying but ‘taxiing’. The idea that we have the potential to fly, we know about flight, but we spend our life sat on the runway not actually flying.

This really struck a chord with me. Well actually, it really hurt to hear it. To know that this is how I feel and that, to be honest, it sucks. But it also hurt because I feel like I have been working hard trying to fly but not really getting anywhere. A bit like an aeroplane ‘flapping’ its wings to get off the ground! Totally ridiculous!

God spoke to me in the last few days. He showed me a picture of someone running on a treadmill. I laughed as I thought about my inability to do such a simple thing and God spoke to me some more.

I was not created to run on a treadmill (thank goodness!). I was not created to work so hard and yet not go anywhere. And I was not created to wear myself out trying!

I was created to fly! I was created to go somewhere, see some things and have some great company along the way.
But with God being my energy, power, strength, lift, ability, source, guide and pilot, not me.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Tummy Tuesday - 29 & 30 weeks

I was bad last week, and though I took photos of the tummy I never got round to uploading them. So this week there is a slight catch up.

The first two photos are from last week - at 29 weeks. There's the standard side on view along with a slightly different angle...just for a change!
Blossom

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(Please ignore the messy hair and slightly gormless look!)

Then this one is this week's entry - 30 weeks!
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So that means...10 weeks until the due date! I can count that down on my fingers and thumbs! That makes it slightly scary and real and close! (I am aware that the likelihood of it arriving on it's due date is slim to none but that just makes it all a bit more scary!)

Other things of note this week:
- I wish I'd documented what has turned out to be the fascinating changes of my belly button (for my personal entertainment only)! Seriously, I had no idea a single belly button could change shape, size and form so much. So far it's still an inny...but I think the progression to an outy is not far away!
- I have tried in vain to capture the various wriggles and kicks for your viewing pleasure, but it would appear that my unborn child is as camera shy as it's mother. It's also too smart for it's own good already and always stops wriggling just as I press record on the camera. How on earth does it know?!
- oh yeah, and I've started to get to the point where certain parts of getting dressed and undressed are a bit more tricky than usual! Putting on socks and shoes is a particular effort. And, as I found out in the middle of the supermarket the other day, picking pennies up off the floor is a complete faff and totally not worth the struggle. If only I'd known it was just a penny before I made such a plonker of myself!

Happy Tuesdays xxx

Monday, 1 February 2010

Flying, Fears and Bumble Bees

How would I define the last few days?
With tears and snot and lots of tissues. With confusion, frustration and lots of struggling. With openness and hurts and lots of vulnerability.

"Life is about change. Sometimes its painful, sometimes its beautiful but most of the time its both." ~ Smallville*

To be honest, it’s been longer than the last few days. But every now and then the pain of change comes to a point where it needs to be released and the tears start to flow, and don’t always seem to stop.

I’m grateful for the great teaching we are receiving at church right now. For the challenge to work through and break down those things that keep us bound so that we can fly.
And I’m grateful for the challenge from Bianca to be honest about ourselves and our struggles. For the call to face our fears and be real, genuine, authentic.
I’m grateful for the work that God is doing in me and hopefully through me. Revealing the ungodly beliefs and insecurities, restoring my true identity, healing my pain and fears.

But flippin’ ‘eck! It’s tough. And it hurts. And it leaves no space for false masks and cover ups. The tears would only soak through anyway!

Slowly I’m learning to let go of the things the world says I can and can’t do. I’m learning to listen to what God thinks of me, not others. I’m learning to live according to His potential in me. Free, unbound and flying.

“Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it keeps flying anyway” ~Mary Kay Ash

Bumbly Bee

*I would just like it to be known that I don’t actually watch smallville, I’m too old and uncool for that. But I read this quote somewhere else and had to use it and I’m too honest to let people think I came up with it myself!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Big Word Wednesday #9

It’s back!
Yay for the return of Big Word Wednesday!

Restoration
- the restoring of something that was removed
- the restoring of something to an earlier and usually better condition

Restore
- to return something to its proper owner or place
- to bring something back to an earlier or better condition
- to give somebody new strength and vigour
- to re-establish or put back something that was once there but is no longer

Life can be a mixed bag. Sometimes things are great. Sometimes they’re not. Sometimes we love who we are and how we are. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we can understand and see God working in us. Sometime we can’t.

In our humanness we cope, we survive, we deal with life by putting up barriers and building walls. Or we give of ourselves and loose parts of who we are in our search for acceptance, for love, for belonging.

We get to a point where we are beaten, broken, crumbling and generally just a wreck. We plaster over the cracks so no one will see our mess. We put another wall up to keep the brokenness private and inside. We retreat from being our whole self into occupying just a corner or who we were created to be.

I love the programme Grand Designs. My favourite episodes aren’t those where people have crazy, wild ideas for new, innovative, space-age houses. But those where they take an old wreck, a dilapidated chaos of what was once a structure. And they lovingly bring it back to life so they can live there. They take the time and care to understand the building, to understand the original structure and its uniqueness. They bring about restoration by removing things that shouldn’t be there. They replace details that should be there. They reveal the original beauty of the building, and in doing so allow themselves and others to fall in love with it even more.

Although I don’t always see it, I was created as a beautiful temple. In my weakness I have put up walls to help give me strength. In my insecurities I have closed doors and covered details to keep things hidden. In my faithlessness I have become broken and cracked.

I need restoration. I need a restorer.

I need a God that will be my strength when I am weak. I need a God that will see my unique details and reveal them. I need a God that will heal my brokenness and renew my faith.

In what ways have you tried to alter your original structure? What walls have you put up? What doors have you closed? Where are you broken and cracked?
What dreams have you hidden? What treasures have you allowed people to take away? What mess are you trying to cover?

Will you allow the God who created you and understands you to take time and care over you? Will you allow Him to remove the things that shouldn’t be there? Will you allow Him to replace and reinstate the details and the dreams that should be there? Will you allow Him to bring you back to life so He can live in you? Will you allow yourself to undergo a restoration?


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