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...

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.

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


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?


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...

IMG_1247 (1)

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...
IMG_1248 (1)

And this week's - 34 weeks...
IMG_1287 (1)

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