Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Big Steps and Stillness

There are some times in my life when it feels like God is really trying to teach me something. Though sometimes when you have those life changing experiences you need to remember them, and particularly my blog (in general, not just this post) is about that – remembering what I’ve learnt or thought about.

I’m not really sure what started this blog post – it may have been something I read on Jill Baker’s blog but I was thinking as I drove through Wales on Friday about moments of stillness. There is one part of the journey, driving through a valley (obviously said with the welsh accent) that the radio goes off, and it’s just me and my thoughts.

At one of my many interviews this year I was asked about my hobbies and I talked about training for the 5k, blogging, and how I enjoy driving. They – the interview panel – commented that these were all individual activities, ones that I do on my own, and asked if I was contemplative. Now I currently live alone – well kind of, I’m currently looking after a lot of animals for some friends / colleague. Living alone means that my spare time is used up by myself, I’ve already talked in other blog posts about how connected I am, and how I’m never really lonely.

I’ve not always lived alone. I learnt a lot about myself when living with people. I had a friend staying with me for quite a while earlier this year and their stuff has all been moved out today to make room for my next house guest.

On Sunday morning the preacher (Rev David Easton of Island Parish fame) was talking about finding stillness, times to focus on God, for some people that’s by being in the beauty of creation, for others is a holy place, for some it needs to be silent, for others that is distracting.

I was in Wales this weekend for the wedding of two of Boyfriend’s Housemates from University. Now over the past 15 months Boyfriend and I have been to 8 weddings. They have all been very different but I must say this weekend has to be one of my favourites, plus Boyfriend’s University Town will always be a special place.

I spent yesterday getting my house ready for Boyfriend to move into the spare bedroom. I’ve spent a lot of time working out what all this means, and we’ve spent time working out some ground rules. There are two things that worry me about living with Boyfriend; being too much like a married couple and falling out completely. My last no distance relationship only lasted a few months and that was years ago.

No one can accuse me and Boyfriend of rushing into marriage for one thing, and it worries me that by living together that when we get married that will be the only difference, so I’m taking steps to ensure it’s my house that he’s staying in, we have separate bedrooms and it is only short term. So if anyone knows of a place Boyfriend can live please let me know!

Like when we have to find places of stillness to listen to God it is really important to have moments when we talk about the serious things in our lives, set the ground rules and work out how we fit our ideals to the practicalities that life throws at us.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Second Best?

I’m not sure what reminded me, but earlier this week I was thinking about a time that feels like a life time ago now. Back at about the Easter of 2006 when I was just a Lower Sixther I applied to be Deputy Head Girl. I don’t remember the boys side of the role, and to be honest off the top of my head I can’t remember who actually won it, but I know I didn’t – but that’s not the point I’m getting to.

The other three girls who were in the race all went for both roles; Head and Deputy Head Girl. Therefore we voted for Head Girl first, that was announced and then we voted for Deputy Head Girl. It struck me, watching the women’s hockey team (did you really think I wasn’t writing about the games in our, well my, capital city) play for bronze. It’s not often we think about athletes playing for bronze, generally we want them to get gold! But I’ve spent loads of time these past couple of weeks shouting at presenters saying ‘give them a break, they are incredible, 2nd best in the world! – no one else can say that.’

I don’t know if the other girls who applied saw getting Deputy Head Girl as 2nd best, the consolation prize. I applied for Deputy Head Girl as I prefer to be in the background, making things happen, getting alongside people. I’ve been told this week, partially because I’m short but also as I look young that I need to be more assertive, and worry less about making people like me. Maybe I do, but maybe this is just my personality type, my leadership style, my passion for participation showing through in what I do.

But it was okay, that I didn’t get the Deputy Head Girl post, because about 6 months later was November 2006, and that’s when my life completely changed.

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Plan

Warning – my proof reader has described this blog as messy, I think this is because I’m still working through this – or I’m still shattered from Soul Survivor. I think it helps make the point I’m working towards, even if I don’t totally get to where I think I’m going, this is one of those posts where I’m leaving you to work out the ‘moral of the story.’

God’s plan isn’t always our plan.

If you’d asked me 5 or so years ago, I was going to uni to meet my future husband, get married when I graduated and live happily ever after. I think I even had a life plan, working out when I’d have my 4 children working around the summers that Breakout would happen...

I was partially right, I did meet my boyfriend during the uni years, he just didn’t go to my uni. And actually I’ve had more boyfriends from his uni (two) than my own (none).

You will probably know I recently had seven interviews in eight weeks. I’m now very good at the rejection phone call. It’s been hard but I think I’ve learnt a lot. This came to an end when my Circuit decided they couldn’t continue without me and talked about and finally agreed to keep me on, upgrading my Circuit hours to full time and therefore ending my searching.

This was strange, I was so ready to move on, for a change. But no, I was called to stay. It didn’t make much sense at the time.

However! Or maybe 'But God’...

While I was away at Soul Survivor, Boyfriend was busy going to an interview which would mean he’d get to work, and therefore live, close by. And yes he got it!
So now it all makes sense, I needed interviews to know what I was lacking, I need to stay so boyfriend could get his new job which should be a great stepping stone in his career.

So there you go. It’s always nice when God’s plan becomes obvious.
Though there’s a part of me that’s in shock. Not that I didn’t believe God knew what (s)he was doing, but that this wasn’t part of my plan. I was never expecting to live near (or with – but that’s a totally different blog post) boyfriend, my plan was always going straight from long distance to marriage. I’m not complaining at all, I’m excited about being so close, and now have new things to plan!

PS – something this year that has gone to plan was that I passed my grade 5 theory in music!!!!