Friday, 29 July 2011


After my rather, shall we say, less than positive last post, I thought I might write a list of the things that make me really happy, or at least have done this week.

  1. God. I've had a fairly usual week but there have been some real exciting moments where I've just had things leap out at me when reading the Bible, and a couple of Holy Spirit encounters whilst out and about. Being a Christian is never boring. 
  2. Good friends, good food and good films. I love my friends a lot, they're pretty snazzy, and wonderfully weird so I like chilling out with them.
  3. Reducing my caffeine intake and not going to Nero once this week. That's progress. However, tomorrow is Saturday and entirely for social reasons I may be venturing to the caffeine house...
  4. Finishing a good book, and starting an even better one. It's meaty but I think I'm going to love it - I'll keep you up to date with my progress.
  5. Sleeping. I love sleep; it makes me feel alive and healthy, and ensures I don't look like a zombie. I've had some early nights. Tonight will hopefully be another.
  6. Church; lots of people spent a day helping me out. It was very lovely to see their servant heartedness.
  7. Achieving things on my to-do lists. I had lists of things to get done as long as my arms, if not several arms sewn together, and I think I've got everything done. AND without having a total meltdown. 
  8. Listening to some old 'new' music that I found on my iPod and forgot I had.
  9. Going rambling over the Purbecks. Dorset is beautiful and I don't see enough of it, so it was great to get a chance to go adventuring as well as catch up with a friend.
  10. The West Wing. I genuinely think this show is phenomenal. America. Politics. Idealism. Wit. Humour. That is a good list of ingredients.
Now, time for some relaxing and sorting in prep for a busy weekend followed by a crazy week of camping with nearly 7000 young people. I need to find my sensible leader brain and pack that too... Hmmm....

Hugs and such

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Things That Annoy Me

A short list of things that irritate me...

  1. Incorrect use of grammar, and poor spelling. There are no excuses, use Google Chrome and it checks everything for you.
  2. Terrible sales. Wandered around the summer sales in the hopes of finding a cheap dress for a birthday. No such luck. There was nothing, I repeat nothing, around that was nice.
  3. The expensiveness of toiletries.
  4. Boys.
  5. Rain in July. And the prospect of rain when I am camping for a week at the beginning of August.
  6. The increasingly sad and depressing secrets that are posted each week on 
  7. The slowness of megavideo when you're trying to watch something and have a limited amount of time.
  8. Being left piles of washing up that aren't mine, but I can't ignore because I need to cook dinner.
  9. Not having enough time to have fun and see friends.
  10. My inability to finish a book quickly at the moment because I keep falling asleep when I sit down to read.
Despite all of those things, today was fairly productive and not at all miserable. But, what are blogs for if you can't rant and use bullet points.

Happy Tuesday People!!


Saturday, 23 July 2011

The beginning of the end

Over the past weeks my life has begun to take a slightly different shape to what it's looked like over the past year. It's now the end of July. Schools have broken up for Summer. And, things are beginning to end.

FP training is done. Brighton is done. And, as of tonight, working with our youth is done. I'm sad, I know good things are ahead, but, I love them, I love the fun we have, and I'm really going to miss it.

Tonight we left with a bang. Or, in sound terms, something more along the lines of a splat. 'Make a Trifle' is a great game if you have a lot of space and are willing to get messy. Throw fruit, jelly, custard and cream at a bowl from a distance...and, almost immediately, things will descend into a food fight worthy of cave men.

The chaos of being a youth leader is a nice opposite to the responsibility and organisation of the rest of my life. Where else do I get to throw food around, have eggs cracked on my head, and foam at the mouth with alka seltzer tablets and lemonade....?

And so, the beginning of the end is undeniably HERE. It's arrived like a rude person banging on the front door, determined to be let in.

Time to un-do those locks and bolts and accept the unchangeable.

Also, time for sleep.


Monday, 18 July 2011


Sadly TOAM is not just the aldi version of MAOAM sweets...actually it's better than that. Together on a Mission has been the yearly conference I've attended for the past four years in Brighton.

I've been home for a few days now but what with a wedding, church and general Sunday madness, and then back to the office today it's been a little like life is on fast forward.This time last week we'd arrived in Brighton, entered our beautiful 12 person apartment on the seafront, with views over the beach and the iconic Brighton pier. We'd had a rather tasty meal if I do say so myself (I cooked) and were busy chatting and chilling out, little aware of what was ahead of us.Early mornings, a mad scramble to get into the showers, and the laughter as we fell out of the front door, rather late, and hurried to the conference centre. I've always been a little confused by those people who seem to know everyone in a crowd of over 6000. Now, I'm not saying I know that many, quite the opposite, but what with doing FP, going to about a billion different meetings and conferences this year and visiting a lot of different churches, it was pretty great bumping into so many people, catching up and seeing where people were at. I think I'd forgotten just how many new people I've met his year. Insane. 
The teaching this week was phenomenal. Some of the things I heard were genuinely life changing. God showed up and totally did something in the Spirit that I wasn't expecting so I'm feeling a little giddy in terms of where I stand with things. Ever have that moment where you remember JUST how much God knows your heart? I was given the joy of seeing that a couple of times this week with things God said to me directly or through others who don't know me. Incredible.

Anyway, with loads of fun together, lots of dancing, lots of bumping into FPers, and a swim in the sea at about 10.30pm on the final night we had a lot of fun... I am still sooo sleepy though!

Last night managed to give me a further boost though, for after watching an incredible film called 'Furious Love' which looked at the way God loves in the darkest of places, when there is no other hope, we had the most incredible spontaneous worship and prayer session...just 20 of us in someone's lounge. 

I've often pondered the nature of love. Is it just a chemical reaction? or an emotion? is it based purely on attraction or need? Or, is it, as I suspect, something almost other worldly, something other, something that comes from God, that has a power and a strength that is unnoticed and undiscovered by so many. Love is like  so many of those other 'L' words; Life and Light. With it, comes connotations of hope and possibility. 

God is Love. Whether recognised or not, any love at all involves God and His Grace. Ephesians 3v17-19
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Less Intense

A less intense blog post for your perusal.

I have had a not so busy week that has involved a lot of trips to Nero. This seems like the usual for my life so perhaps I should stop being so shocked by my caffeine intake and ability to sit and talk about nothing. 

I have baked a hideous amount of cookies and brownies. I only hope my guinea pigs don't die, and by guinea pigs I mean housemates for Brighton. I may have used slightly out of date eggs. 

Speaking of Brighton I am off to that vibrant city tomorrow for five days of uber fun, but probably incredibly intense teaching. I am expecting (and hoping for) some really directional, helpful stuff and as much joy as I can experience without having a heart attack.

So, things in my head currently...

Number 1 - Cookies and how to transport them! Ideas???

Number 2 - This rather cool website a friend recommended. Go here! 

Number 3 - The need to paint all of my nails without getting nail varnish on my duvet when I sleep. Hmm.

Number 4 - This place... Which I think is really cool. 

Number 5 - My need for a new journal, and fear that I have too few pages left in my current one for the week ahead.

Number 6 - My dislike of change. It's like not having real money! Why pay me back with nothingness??

Number 7 - These people that I love very much.

Number 8 - The West Wing, which has occupied most of my evening, and what will happen in the final three episodes of Season 5. Duhn, duhn, duhhhhhn!

Number 9 - Who on earth pays attention to the madness I write and why. I'd like to hear from you.

Number 10 - Why I am still tapping the keyboard and haven't begun sleeping...



Monday, 4 July 2011

From Thoughts to Words to Actions

A week or so ago I started to begin to decipher my thoughts, as FP ended, my friends returned from Uni, and I did the inevitable balancing act that has become my life. After trying to move my thoughts into words, and imprint them upon a page, I realised it wasn't working, abandoned the attempt and picked up a book, deciding to lose myself in some else's thoughts, and another's words.

Book finished, balancing act continuing, and FP still over, and it's probably time to face the things that I'm trying to ignore.

The end of June meant the end of FP Training. We celebrated what God had done in our lives, and spoke about what God was going to do in us. I had that amazing moment of joy as I looked around at 27 others whose lives had been radically changed inside and out. With a social on a boat, and plenty of time to chat and dance and have fun together, it was with a twinge of sadness that we said goodbye to each other, and to the Elmgrove where we spent so much of our time. I can't deny that it was an incredible few days, and for me personally, God spoke some amazingly reassuring, encouraging and challenging things. Of course, me being me, decided I'd write them in my journal and ignore their bigness. I'm beginning to think I might actually have to do something with them though.

Returning to Bournemouth led me to a fun celebration of a friend's birthday, a visit to my nan, and a fun Sunday dancing around Boscombe promenade enjoying the sunshine and the music being played.

Another week began and with a visit to London in sight, the days glided past quickly, until it was early Thursday morning and it was time to get on a coach. I travelled up to London with friends for a mini festival in Hyde Park. Owen Pallet, The Vaccines, Beirut, Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire entertained us from four til eleven, and by the end my feet were grubby, my ears ringing, and a grin was plastered to my face. I love live music with some of my favourite bands.

Friday continued the London adventure with a trip to Camden where I was tempted to steal piles of leather bound notebooks with beautiful plain pages, just waiting to be written upon, and then off to Trafalgar Square for a Nero in the sun and a visit to The National Gallery.

With so much running about, it was a wonder we managed to stay awake on the train home, but that we did, and I arrived back in time to get sufficient sleep that a day at the beach was possible on Saturday.

Spending time in London is an exciting thing in that I get to ponder all of the exciting opportunities I'll have on my doorstep come September, but is also a reminder that London is huge and I'm a shy girl from the South that likes pretending to be a hippy, and hiding in the local coffee shop. A giant city is scaaary!!

Anyway, all of the things I've been up to have slightly pushed actual 'thoughts' outside of my head...or at least to a place I can ignore them. This week I might actually have to look at making some actions come of those musings.

For now, I'm going to make some iced tea and relax in the garden with some Piper.

LOVE xoxo