Teetering on the edge of ... something.

Monday, 16 February 2015

I'm still here! I'm finding lack of time to blog to be a problem, so I thought I'd do a quick update for you.

I am in the middle of a couple of really lovely and busy weeks. It's been about deep heart to heart conversations, loads of family time, booking our holiday (Lanzarote - eeek! Can't wait), going to see The Room at the Redgrave Theatre with the Bristol Bad Film Club (I can't say I've ever laughed, screamed and shouted so much whilst watching a movie. Also I've never lobbed handfuls of plastic spoons at the screen before), catching up with old friends that we haven't seen in a long time, playing lots of board games, jumping up and down in muddy puddles ... etc.

It's been awesome.

If a bit busy.

I am in the midst of a huge, brutal de-clutter of our house at the moment, and so it's even more chaotic than usual here. I'm also dealing with my beautiful, clever, funny daughter, who along with a huge brain boost of learning new words, has also had a huge brain boost of understanding human relations, i.e. 'how to manipulate people to get what I want.' or 'how to throw a mega tantrum when Mummy says no to something'.

She is very strong willed, my daughter. When she wants something, she wants it. NOW.

But she's very cute.

Still, it's definitely a blessed time (yes, I used the B word. I think it's appropriate here). I look at my clever, crazy child sometimes and she literally takes my breath away - as in, for a moment, I forget to inhale. I'm almost shocked by how much I love her. I'm also feeling a real, deep appreciation for my family. When I see Jellybean jumping in puddles with Nanny, or sitting on her Granddad's lap eating chocolate buttons and reading stories, I feel these huge surge of joy in my heart, along with a bit of desperation. Like, 'I want this moment to last forever.'

And I miss my Grandparents.

I'm so happy Jellybean has hers.

Anyway, I'm writing this on paper right now. Mad red pen scribbles on a piece of A4 paper, standing next to the hob as a saucepan of cabbage spits and hisses at me, their leaves all glossy, the smell of garlic wafting up. I am finding time for what I love, just about, but for once my priorities are right. I have to be flexible, weaving writing in and out of all the other life things that happen. Making the less important things squeeze up a bit to make more time for people. And more time for God. More time for Sabbath. More rest - real rest.

Please, Lord, more Sabbath.

(Funnily enough I stopped writing here to sit down, rest, and eat dinner).

(Also I can't stop staring at that dude on the back of our cereal box, I've never noticed him before).

I feel that I am teetering on the edge of ... something. But I'm not sure what it is. Chris and I keep talking about our faith and what it really means. We talk about action and deeds, society, faith, salvation, Christian culture. That makes us sound all deep and thoughtful, but that's not really true. I take lots of attempts to get to what I really want to say. We waffle a lot and get distracted. We talk whilst feeding Jellybean and washing up and shuffling cards and stuff. Our chats can be disjointed but we carry them on later, which is nice.

Anyway, I'm fed up of getting tied up in knots over little things. You know? I've noticed it sometimes in Christian culture. We (and please understand I include myself in this) get so hung up on little issues that we forget about the big ones that we're supposed to be doing something about. And we get so caught up in society that says 'me, me, me, everything for me and everything about me.'

I feel like my life should look really different than this.

You know, if I really appreciated, deep down, what Jesus has done.

If I really did what He did.

If I really loved people like He did.

My life would look so different.

I would be so different.

Christians get a pretty bad rep sometimes through The Media and stuff, but you know, Jesus was so not as He's painted to be sometimes. He's ... counter-cultural. Caring beyond surface level. Incredibly just. He defended the weak and helpless, befriended the social outcasts, ate meals with known sinners. He didn't try and climb the social/religious 'ladder' of the day. In fact, He kind of despised all that. All the rituals and the niceties and the desperate concern for looking good to others.

He was shocking to people.

I want to do what He did. As in, the stuff He told us to do and then did it Himself to be an example. The caring. The standing up for people that need help. The desperate concern for the state of the world.

Action, that's what it was. It was words, and then action.

If I really did as He did, my life would look different, for sure.

I love my life. I've been blessed down to my bones. I've been looking back on where I've been and how much I've changed and I feel gratitude like a little explosion somewhere in my stomach: woah. I forgot I used to feel that way. I forgot I used to do that. I forgot that I was that weak, that cowardly, that afraid.

I still am, obviously, as far as I've come, I'm nowhere near perfect. I still remain, sometimes, in some ways, weak and cowardly and afraid. But I don't feel so ashamed of it anymore. I feel liberated. I have issues, but they're not going to defeat me. And actually, I can come along with baggage and issues and Jesus will accept me anyway.

Baggage and issues don't make us exempt from being able to work.

Not for salvation. My salvation is done and paid for. But ... for love. Why should I live in my blessed bubble and not care about anyone else? That's not the way I want to live. My time on Earth should count. Not in a big, show-offy way. I don't think I'll ever be well-known or do anything wild or dangerous like travel across the world and evangelize or anything. I've never been on missions like most of my church friends have. In fact I've never been to a big Christian conference, either. Don't tell anyone, I might get exiled.*

*That is obviously a joke.

I don't know. I just know that I feel conviction stirring in me. Jellybean does this thing right now where she grabs my hand and leads me somewhere, and she's actually really strong for a little person. You have to go where she's leading you.

That's what it feels like. This conviction feeling.

It keeps cropping up. Similar themes. Of conversation and things I read. I opened up my Bible today and found a post-it note stuck in a page with a highlighted passage (and I have highlighted it for you like it is in my Bible):

"Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - 
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and He will say:
Here am I.

If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday."

~ Isaiah 58:6-10

Really this is the kind of thing that Christians like to highlight because it makes you feel all inspired and fired up, but WOW, that's hit me today. 

Teetering on the edge, of something. I don't know what.

Maybe I just need to kind of jump and see what happens.


Sorry for the wiffle waffles, this is one of the most rambling self-indulgent posts I've written in a while. It just helps to get my thoughts down, I guess. And out there, because it's harder to ignore things once you've said them to other people ;)

I'm reading two completely different but equally awesome books at the moment that I can't wait to write about soon. I'm also really desperate to make my blog look a bit nicer but with no idea where to start. Also, I've got some more specific posts lined up ready to go. So hopefully there will be lots coming up soon.

Thank you for listening as always!

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