Tuesday, 31 January 2012

I Thirst

Not quite sure where January has gone, but here we are on the edge of the 2nd month in 2012. I want to take a moment to reflect. At house group tonight we were talking about Water. It was started with 6 glasses on the table. I've found that since being involved with MWiB that I've noticed worship areas more and more, and this was simple, just one glass for each of us.

I didn't realise I was thirsty till I was given a glass. However, as soon as I was holding it I wanted to drink.

Similarly when I got back home I could see a whole sky full of stars, Orion's belt, a saucepan and the fast moving planet known as Boeing. But when I'm indoors I don't think about what I'm missing because of my roof.

Again its the same with friends, there are some people I talk to most days, and if I don't chat with them for a few days I look forward to Tuesday mornings when I know one of them will be back at work. Or there is the family who have taken me in, and my extra grandparents who I miss if I don't see each week really. There are other people I talk to less frequently and I don't miss them so much as I don't see them to miss them - if that makes sense.

One question tonight was about how the Holy Spirit can quench our thirst for Living Water but for me I think its more that I need it to make me realise I am thirsty, that I need the living water, to remind me to pray, to spend time in God's presence.
My aims for 2012 are about me spending more time for the people around me, for the world and for God. I'm not doing great on running, but I blog when I feel I have something to say, I've taken up music theory (and enjoying it mainly) as I'm failing at not being Marriage obsessed. Twitter is helping me to pray - with the @yr_of_prayer prayers every morning. And so far so good on Fairtrade stuff - well most of the time.

So there you are, there was my January. Bring on February, with more of the same, but I hope I will realise what I am thirsty for.

Friday, 27 January 2012

what if... say yes.

I started writing a post yesterday about some stuff, but think that needs more time and wanted to reflect on something that happened in my youth work session this lunch time.

We had a guest with us so after bop it I got my question ball out and had a chance to find out a bit more about the girls I work with. One question was name 3 significant times of your life. The girl wasn't sure what significant meant so I explained it as important. So she mentioned 3 important times but it got me thinking.

I was chatting the other day with a friend about which moment do you get back to if you think about what if. Mine takes me back to standing in the door way of my parents old house - a place I called home for 11 years when a church Member - Sue, came to the door and persuaded me to go to MYC back in 2006. I don't know if she knows what a difference she made to my life. There are so many moments and decisions that can change us, and that one didn't seem so big, but really was. It was the first time I went away without feeling home sick - preparing me for Uni, it was the first time my lovely boyfriend saw me - and a year later at the same event when we met, its the place I met some of my best friends who are practically family. I couldn't imagine who I would be if that hadn't happened... imagine me in 2008 without the YPS!

Its like the doctor who episode - about which way Donna turned at the end of the road in her car. So after the most recent post about learning to say No, I hope you say yes to the things that will truly change your life.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


I mentioned a while ago I was going to a retreat where I would have to split my life into 10 chapters. And last Saturday I went on aforementioned retreat, was a great day and I loved having the time to reflect on my life. I may come back to the 10 chapter titles but right now I'm going to focus on the one I labelled 'No.'

'No' was the from MYC 2008 to the start of Feb in 2009. It was the time that I stopped doing a lot things and actually learnt to say no. I stepped off of the YPS reference group, and exec finished, I didn't become a DYE. I was offered a position at a group at uni and decided that it wasn't right for a number of reasons so said no to that too. This time ended with me agreeing to take the job I have now. But those 3 months where I said no prepared me to start saying yes ago. I would like to point out I had just started a relationship at this time - saying yes then was good! :D Also during this time I watched the Nooma Shells which I thought sums it up well.

My aims for 2012 have a mixture of Yes's and No's in them. Saying no to non-fair trade chocolate isn't always easy, but I am really trying!!

I've nearly been here 3 years and with the change over of staff I've spent more time reflecting over my time here to enable the new staff to understand my role. Quite a lot of these conversations include me saying, well there was work there but I stopped it, or it ended. Maybe that is my place, to stop things, give it some time and enable work to restart refreshed in the future. One example of this is I let one of my volunteers sit down, I had a meeting cancelled one evening in January 2010 and went round to see this volunteer, we chatted and she talked about how she wanted to step down and was actually planning to move out of the village - and country! That evening when I could have easily been at home or elsewhere meant that she could step down from a role she had had for many years. And yes we coped without her, it has enabled others to take a lead so it all worked out well.

In the same way my new youth club has just started up and has 10 on the books in 2 weeks!

Things must end, there must be a time to rest and then new good things can grow in the place.

I've found saying no generally does more good than harm, as long as it gives you the chance to say yes to the right things.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Taking things for granted.

I'm ill.

I'm a rubbish ill person, I need to be entertained all the time. I've luckily got a friend visiting at the moment who was very good Sunday morning when I woke up with next to no voice and about to do my first all age worship at a brand new church. I had thought on Saturday night as my throat started to hurt what I would do if my voice went. Sunday morning was a bit of a rush, finding a new prayer of adoration that would be easier to get someone else to read for me, printing another copy of the call to worship so the steward could read that too. I had taken it for granted that I would be able to lead my service by myself.

I just heard the news - I try not to watch it often as I get mad and shout at it. There was something today about petrol, and how people shouldn't panic buy, but it might be that there is an issue in a few days. Now I drive for a living - I love driving and after my first lesson I decided to quit school and work as a driver in one way or another after my I had taken my test - obviously I didn't, but did find a job that enables me to spend hours on the road. I take being able to fill up with petrol whenever I need for granted. I've always lived within a mile of a petrol station. I'm working on the other side of the district on Saturday and have half a tank at the moment but what do I do, join in with the panic buyers, or trust that there will still be petrol when I need it later in the week?

What else do we take for granted?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Missing, Marriage and soul Mate

Was just chatting to a friend who is in the early months of a long distance relationship and she is missing her boyfriend. Now I remember those times, wanting to visit Matt again. I'm not saying I don't miss Matt, but its now different. We can go longer not seeing each other without it being so dreadful, and actually right now I'm not sure when I am going to see him again - should be sometimes in March, and maybe Feb, but who knows - and that doesn't worry me like it used to.

Now its more about longing to be with him always. Which is why I'm marriage obsessed. This is why I have my wedding planned in my head. Don't get me wrong I love visiting him and spending time with him. But now its actually more about wanting to spend my life with my other half, not a few days with my boyfriend.

I realise this may not be profound but my friend's comment made me reflect and notice the difference.

update on jogging and music.

So I took a few days off jogging due to lack of motivation, but did learn some new Zumba steps on my wii. Then yesterday went for a jog/walk to the shop, doing about half the distance I'm meant to - and still on week 1 of the couch to 5k plan. then walked the mile ish back - with pizza for tea!

After that I had my first music theory lesson. The teacher was lovely though does want to hear me play at some point (what is it with music-types and wanting to hear me ruin songs. It looks like I will be taking the exam in June. We did basic things like key signatures and clefs. Think its going to take me a few weeks to get back into it, but its all good fun.

I'm doing the theory as its something I wished I had done years ago when I had the opportunity but didn't due to holiday clubs. I'm also taking this on as I'm already failing one point on the aims for 2012, so am compensating for that.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012



I'm really suprised at the amount of you reading this - or the last few posts anyway, I've had so many comments about this blog and for them I am really grateful that you are interested in reading what I'm saying!

So here goes.

As part of my aims of 2012 I'm hoping to get healthier. So far I've not managed breakfast every day - which has been hampered further recently by finding someone who will deliver take away - don't think cold pizza really counts! This is a major thing to me, I'm learning how to live in a rural community, and part of that is for the past 12 months I've not been able to order take away. I'm still rural - though that was a major part in my definition. I can walk to 2 cafes (one with crazy golf) 2 churches, and a post office within 10 minutes. There is then a shop, another cafe and my adoptive grandparents who are all 20 mins or so walk away, and that's about it! I love rural living and that's part of the reason I am taking up jogging as part of my fitness plan, as its something I can do from home.

Saturday I decided to walk to aforementioned adoptive grandparents - a lovely couple who have taken me in. It was a nice sunny but cold day so decided to walk and then jog back. On the walk there I was feeling impressed with myself. Earlier that week I'd been at a Bible study I wasn't expecting to be at - mainly cos my lovely car decided it didn't want to start. I missed the start so don't actually remember the starting point but the group got to discussing self confidence. Now I'm a confident person most of the time - or at least I portray that, my mum's saying of 'you are an alright person and all things pass' works well for me. I worry and I get nervous about new things. If you knew me 6 years ago you will be see the difference - I used to get so homesick for even the shortest stay away. This Bible study group seemed to say self-confidence is a bad thing. I understand if its self-confidence in a bigging up myself way that it can put other people down, but we all need a certain amount of confidence to enable us to feel ok in our skin and get on with what we are asked. At a recent interview I tried to explain I'm not a mouthy up front person really, but that's who you have to be at an interview. The Bible study group was more about having God confidence. And to be fair a lot of my confidence comes from knowing I am loved, by my parents and family, by my boyfriend, by my friends, and by God.

So this takes me back to my walk, and rural living. I live close to the railway line, and I love hearing the trains speed past, reminds me I'm connected to the bigger world, as well as the baaing of sheep and the tweeting of birds. I get to see God in creation. As part of my district's year of prayer there is a journal and week one's task is see where you find God in everyday things. For a look at the journal check out this link. http://www.lancashiremethodist.org.uk/prayer.html

And the jog back was ok, not as far as day 2, just need to keep going, and I really should be honest with you I've not been out since Saturday - its now Wednesday, but I have done Zumba on my wii.

Friday, 13 January 2012

who knows...

You need some background to this blog. (but you probably do know all of this)

I'm an adult. I'm on my second car, I have a full time job, and rent a place to myself. I pay council tax. I accidentally moved out of my parents house about 3 years ago when I got this job and therefore haven't been back for a long period of time since then.

I am also in a long term committed relationship (and no we aren't about to get married before you ask)

Today I had another chat about my future, this isn't unusual, my contract at work is coming to an end, and I'm now at a point where I get to make the next big decision. Probably as big as which Uni I went to. It's really lonely making decisions. Often its easy, particularly when it is just me - do I feel like rice crispies or frosties today? Which type of bacon shall I buy? But which job to apply for, whether to try and stay here, or move are all big decisions. My boyfriend isn't sure what he wants to do next, and we are kinda waiting for me to know where I'm going so he can plan around me - that's a lot of pressure on me! I'm not having a go at him, I'm just feeling a bit fed up about being constantly asked about jobs, marriage, where to live. I have some great friends and my parents are helpful but in the end its my decision - or is it?

Even when I do find the job that I think is perfect for me, they (the interviewers) may have other ideas...

Who knows - the Old Man in the Mountain does that's who!

Or maybe God. As much as I'm not sure where I will end up in 6 months time, God does. So I shouldn't worry, or obsess, as my time isn't God's time, and (s)he knows best. (that nearly rhymes, I apologise it wasn't intentional.)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

running day 2

I'm following a plan that suggests I run 3 times a week, which means after a Tuesday off, I was back on the road today.

Was much happier with my performance, though still needed my inhaler afterwards - wonder if its worth taking it first!

Including the 5 minute brisk walk to warm up I traveled a total of 1.5 miles :) 0.3 of a mile more than Monday, and managed to do the 60 seconds jog, 90 seconds walk for all the way there and back (1.2 miles) compared to 0.4 of a mile Monday as I walked back then! and there being further away this time!

Also decided with a friend we shall do race for life together! :)

Monday, 9 January 2012

day one running

Quick update on running!

I decided as part of my 7 aims (or 12 point plan) for 2012 I am going to run a 5k! Which means I have to get fit! I've given myself a week to get settled into 2012 so today was the day!!!

Important fact you need to know: I am very unfit!

Today I tried to start, with a 5 minute brisk walk, some quick stretches, then 60 seconds jogging, followed by 90 seconds walking (which is meant to be up to 20 mins)
7 mins into the jogging walking thing I decided I'd had enough - but still had to walk most of the way back. Its harder than it looks. and its difficult to count to 30!

Now sitting at home after taking inhaler, had some bread and butter and now a cup of coffee.

Though just checked the route on google maps and I went 1.2 miles and was out the house for about 20 mins, so all things considered I don't think that was too bad. Will have to try again on Wednesday... though need to find my mp3 player.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Covenant and weekendiness

This weekend has been very weekendy! Pancakes for tea on Friday with a colleague, Babysitting / night in, then Saturday with the family I'd been sitting for the night before, including watching 7 year old win Man of the Match for being an incredible goalie! Chips for lunch, board games in the afternoon. Out with a friend for tea which turned into a girly chat about the W word on her sofa. Then Church today, followed by an afternoon coffee with my 'Forton Grandparents' before dvds and films tonight.

As I mentioned the other day I think when I'm driving and today on the way to Church I was thinking about the Covenant prayer I would be saying about an hour later. What more can God want from me!? As an employee of the church - though maybe only for the next few month, and a trainee local preacher, as a volunteer and a friend who hopes to show God's love through my gifts and talents (AKA youth working my friends), what more can God really ask? But then there are parts of the prayer that are hard, its easy to do God's work when its your whole life, and paid to do part of it. What if I am to be out of work? To be troubled rather than at peace...

So maybe its not about stressing to do more, but on being in a relationship with God where I am. Covenant is not the start of the relationship but the continuation of it. A recommitment, not about new years resolutions of how I can do more, but a moment to say, I am still yours God. Journey with me as I keep going trying to do what you want in my relationship with you.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lonely Sunday

You would think that I might get lonely.

I was thinking on Tuesday when I did get home that I might blog about Daemons and being lonely, but I never got home. I got stuck on the M6 as a lorry had gone over and they had closed the motorway, so I stayed with a friend in Warrington and finished my journey on Wednesday.

There aren't many times when I am actually on my own. The interconectivity I talked about recently (ish) means that even when I'm physically on my own I'm still generally talking to people - and its strange when it doesn't work. I also have a few families who will take me in and make me coffee and sometimes even leave me in their house while they go off to drop someone off or collect someone, and to them I am very grateful.

Hurts' song Sunday, talks about the downside of long distance relationships - and probably not the best thing to be listening to on Tuesday as I was driving away from my lovely but far away boyfriend. There's a point whenever I'm driving away where I realise I'm too far away to turn back. That has always felt like I'm being torn in two and I'm leaving part of me behind. Reminds me of in His Dark Materials when Lyra and Pan (her Daemon / Soul) are being pulled apart.

I have a busy life, with working full time, and Local Preacher training, MWiB stuff and sustaining my relationships I don't have much time alone, I'm on my phone when I walk and on my laptop when I'm at home so actually the only time I get to think is when I drive - just need to find a way to write my ideas down at that point!

I love my house and the spare bedroom means that friends can come to stay and I've got one visiting for the next few days which is lovely, just means even less time on my own.

So no, I don't have time to get lonely!!