Sunday, 23 December 2012

So I completely forgot about how busy Christmas is. Buying presents, seeing people, eating delicious food, stumbling around trying to squeeze myself into the only pair of tights I own that are without ladders ... honestly, my time has been so filled with Christmas this month that I've barely had time to sit down. And when I've been sitting down, I've been surrounded by scraps of wrapping paper with sellotape stuck to every surface.

In the rare moments of peace and quiet, my mind drifts back to God, and faith, and how I can never drift that far away from Him without feeling the urgent need to come back again. I've taken to describing it like Pringles. Once you pop, you can't stop ... (it's true. When it comes to Pringles I literally cannot stop). But once I had that moment where I said yes to Jesus, there literally was (and is) no turning back.

I've been reading a book about Mary, which is really interesting (and seasonal!) my only regret is that I didn't start it earlier, because I don't think I'll be able to finish it before Christmas. It's a thin book, but I like to savour it.

Things are good. I could be better. But life is good. Life is full of fun and family and laughter and jokes and sleep and tiredness and colds and sniffles and camera flashes and opening cards and saying thank you and singing carols. There's an anticipation in the air that grows bigger and bigger, like the pile of presents underneath our tree. It's nearly here. It's nearly here.

I'm anticipating something else, too. An adventure filled 2013. A time of growing closer to God and rooting myself in His word.

I'm thinking of this too:

'Our lives in Christ are like rays that continually expand and extend from that one stunning moment when his glorious light overtook our darkness. Each arrow could be likened to a ray of sunburst of light and warmth and exploding from that punctuated time.' - Lisa Bevere, Lioness Arising.

Merry Christmas everyone. xx


Monday, 3 December 2012

I've had loads of ideas floating around in my head recently for photoshoots and blog posts, but my ideas are outstripping my time and energy. I've been praying and thinking about what it means to be feminine. About humility and grace, but also about being dangerous in prayer and living with purpose and fire. I've been thinking a lot about being a 'nice girl' and whether that's really a good thing or not.

It turns out blogging is a bigger responsibility than I thought and I want to make sure I'm careful. It also turns out I have a lot of thoughts on this topic and a week isn't really long enough to think about it.

In the meantime ...

I'm making the book my home again.

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” - Romans 15:1-2, MSG


Saturday, 24 November 2012

I met up with the girls this week and we talked a little bit about the blog. I made the joke, 'I've already posted once this week so I don't have to do it again yet!' trying to be self-deprecating but also revealing how unbelievably lazy I really am.

So fear not friends! Here I am, posting again. It's gonna be profound!

Well, if it's gonna be profound, its because of an email I got this week. I had some advice from a very good friend about my general lethargy towards God and faith and stuff, and her response was pretty much what I needed (but not necessarily wanted) to hear, and I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her:
 Faith is a choice - you choose to believe whether you feel like it or not, you choose to trust, whether it feels logical or not, you choose to follow, whether or not you feel rebellious ...
I love the truth in that. I hate it too, obviously. But I love it more.

So today, I chose to listen to a podcast by a church whose teachers I trust whilst pottering around the house, instead of curling up in a ball on my sofa and watching back to back episodes of IT Crowd. I chose to pick up my Bible and, although I only read one passage, I still felt it.

It's that feeling I get, when I pick it up and feel the weight of the knowledge and heart inside it. When I run my thumb over the creases in the cover and remember all the times I have desperately needed these words before. When I flick through it and find passages highlighted and underlined and little notes to myself written in the margins. When I see particular passages with loads of numbers written around it.

It was John Lancaster that got me onto that: putting dates into my Bible, when I have relied on a particular passage or found it to be profound or challenging. I listened to him preach at our church, and he was talking about how to get into the Bible, which translations to trust, etc, and I sat there, pen in hand, but I was so interested that I forgot to write anything else. I only remembered to scribble: write down dates. Now, when I flick through my Bible, most of the time I can't remember for the life of me why, on the 22nd of August 2009, a particular passage of John really stuck out to me, but sometimes I do remember. Sometimes, though, it's just enough to remind me of the journey that I'm on with God. It's enough to remember that there's history there, that this story is unfinished, and there is more excitement to come.

But much more than my personal history, I get a feeling of awe when I sit down with my Bible. Like: this book has spoken to the hearts of millions of people across generations. There is an army of people before me, having walked this earth and travelled this road. I guess I feel a connection and a kind of reverence. To those that have come before me and to those that will come after: the truths in this book will remain the same. It's timeless.

If you hadn't realised by now, I'm an emotional woman. I feel things more strongly than perhaps I should, and sometimes I can't get a handle on my emotions; I let them take over me instead. However, emotions like awe and respect and wonder are exactly those that I'm happy to let run riot, so here's to much more of that in the future ;)

I just pray that, even on the days when wonder is placed by confusion/headaches/boredom/tiredness ... I'll still make the choice to open this book.

A little side note ... I'm hoping for a higher photo:text ratio in fututre posts ... I was more inspired to write today :)



Monday, 19 November 2012

I address my first post to my two categories of readers: my accountability pals, Adele, Sam and Sarah, whom I love. Let me say this: hi! Also, how amazing are you guys that I can be totally honest with you and not fear the consequences? Pretty darn awesome, that's how much.

To my second group of readers (otherwise known as the imaginary ones) I will explain who I am and why I'm here and all that.

I'm on a journey with my faith that involves ups and downs and lefts and rights and stopping and starting over again. It's like I've learnt to drive, and suddenly forgotten, and I keep stalling and trying again. You know? It's like I keep going a little bit further and then I have to stop for a rest. That's not good enough for my God, and that's not the kind of woman I want to be. I want to be the kind of woman that stays at her post; I want to be the kind of woman that keeps on praying and reflecting and reading and loving even when times are terrible. Even when times are amazing and I don't feel like I need God. Even when times are in the middle and I'm lukewarm.

I feel old, and tired. Which is silly. I am young and healthy I should be living life like a celebration. Like the song, you know: 'You taught me how to live rejoicing everyday.'

That's the girl I want to be. I'm realistic, mind: life sucks sometimes, and the last thing I want to do is praise God when the times get tough. Even if sometimes it's through gritted teeth, though, I want to do it. I want to wake up. I want to open my eyes. I want to see Him in the smallest and quietest of things as well as the biggest and loudest.

I want to be creative. I want to be intelligent, but I want to be sensitive: I want room to be nostalgic and silly and philosophical and 'deep'. I want to chip away at the hardened, cynical, sarcastic part of me that is growing bigger by the day.

I want my relationship with God to be real. Tangible. I want God's love to beat with mine, I want His love flowing through my veins, I want to feel Him with every breath I take. I'm asking for a lot, really, a lazy Christian 'I-praise-only-on-a-Sunday' girl like me, but I believe in Him, and I believe in miracles, and I believe in unfailing love despite my own weaknesses.

So there we go. That's who I am, that's where I am, that's where I want to get to.

Maybe I'll meet others going on a journey too. A 'get-serious-about-God' journey. I hope so, that would be kind of cool. As long as I'm keeping this public, I promise to be honest, without endangering myself or others, and I promise to be real.

Sarah, Sam and Adele - keep me on track, will you? If I don't post at least a photo once a week, I'm probably not doing that well.

Love you guys!

God bless,


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