Monday, 23 May 2011

A Productive Day

Spud is doing a full day's work at the nursery today, and so I've found myself with a full day on my hands for the first time in ages! I thought, initially, I would crack on and see if I could get some writing done, but I am now halfway through the day and haven't done any writing at all. I don't consider the day a loss though. In fact, it has been a very productive day in other areas of my life. 

I had a nice long lie-in until 9.15am (yes, that is a "long" lie-in for me), and then enjoyed some quiet time in prayer and worship. This lasted a lot longer than anticipated, and made me think that rather than launching straight into writing, I should just take the day as it came. So the next thing I did was to get my flute out and have a good practice. Treasure heard the music, and we ended up having a mini jamming session with her on the piano. We played through "Lord of the Sea and Sky" together. It made me realise that I am ready to offer my flute/playing to my church again. 

Spud paid me a surprise visit at lunchtime as he's only working a mile or two down the road and was given a whole hour for lunch. I may do some writing this afternoon if I feel inspired, or I may do a few other practical things like tidying and organising my room so that next time I have a day to myself I am more likely to do some writing (my motivation is greatly affected by my surroundings, and I am less likely to write if my room is messy and disorganised). 

I just feel completely revitalised. Sometimes if I dedicate a whole day to writing, I don't get anything worthwhile written down and feel rubbish at the end of the day, so it's good that rather than straining for inspiration, I have instead pottered around and taken the day as it comes. And maybe some inspiration will arise later on...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

All Change

Spud is now one step closer to finding employment. He has just started working voluntarily in a nursery, 3 mornings a week, which will hopefully lead to either bank work or a more permanent position. 

I have an interview on Saturday for a part time administrative post at Sainsbury's. This is a line of work I'd prefer to go into but have been prevented from doing so due to my lack of experience. Sainsbury's aren't asking for experience as the successful candidate will receive full training. My only disadvantage will be the competition I face.

My parents are both applying for jobs, one internally and the other two counties away! (Don't worry, this isn't due to relationship issues - it's more to do with desperation due to appalling management in the work place). 

My brother is coming to my city to study (provided he gets the grades). Only last week he was veering towards Bath Spa which was originally his first choice. 

My other brother took his first GCSE exam yesterday and will be starting sixth-form college in September. 

My Grandpa is showing small but definite signs of improvement. He now has the energy to sit up in bed and read. 

My granny, his wife is adapting to the prospect of being housebound for a while, rather than gallivanting across the country/world like they used to. 

My other grandma is adapting to life as a widow, and for the first time is able to return to bed when she's not well, rather than struggling through the day in order to care for someone else. 

In other news:

My strawberry pot has produced one seedling!

I'm settling into my new job!

I'm looking into doing some voluntary work like Spud so that I can gain more work experience!

I'm also looking into how I can develop my writing career!

And despite working nearly a third of the hours I used to work, I still don't have time to do anything! Lol

So there you are, a complete and thorough update.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Church Family

Last night at church I did something that was quite brave for me. I stood up at the front during "testimony time" and spoke to the congregation. I didn't say anything profound. I just said thank you to everyone for making me feel so welcome, and that finding a family at church has both helped my move and my spiritual growth. 

I say this was quite brave for me because this very act is one of the things that I find most terrifying. I am not a good speaker, particularly when called upon to speak to a big (or even small) group of people. But it's something that God has been urging me to do for weeks now. Every time "testimony time" has come round, I've remained rooted to my seat, feeling like I didn't have anything important to say and so therefore it didn't matter, when really God has done so many great things for me, things that others need to hear. 

I know I was shaking from head to toe and stumbling over my words, but at least I did it. God gave me the courage and the kick up the backside that I needed, and the loving smiles from the congregation assured me that I was loved and accepted, and that what I had to say was well received. I am so happy to have found a church where I belong (I never felt this way about my last church which I attended from the age of three) and to find a family there! I am really excited about finding out how God wants me to serve there. 

Last night was the first step, and hopefully with time I will become a more confident speaker and learn to really profess my faith verbally. 

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Girl Talk With God

Girl Talk With God by Susie Shellenberger is a series of transcripts of private conversations between teenage girls and God. I wasn't quite sure whether these were complete works of fiction, or whether they were based on real conversations, but through these Shellenberger tackles many different issues that teenage girls face every single day, including eating disorders, fashion and relationships, and demonstrates how God can challenge and comfort even in the midst of these. I think it's a book I would definitely have appreciated when I was younger. It certainly provided answers and guidance that may have benefited me at the time. 

There were one or two places that were unbearably cheesy and I found myself inwardly cringing at such moments, but overall I think Shellenberger succeeds in putting forward her message: that God is with us through thick and thin, and desperate to have a deep and personal relationship with each and every one of us. It certainly encouraged and inspired me in my own relationship with God. It also reminded me that as well as praying and talking to God, I should also listen to Him. While I don't think I would read the book again, I have copied several extracts into my prayer journal for future reference. 

I review for BookSneeze®

Monday, 2 May 2011

Wedding Fever

Spud and I were amongst the billions who watched the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on Friday. We felt that as it was a historic event we ought to watch it - it's not something that happens every day. I also absolutely love weddings, and must admit, I was rather drawn in by the atmosphere. 

We didn't participate with any of the Royal Wedding themed celebrations taking place, but watched it in Treasure's living room, just the two of us as she was watching it with her son and daughter-in-law. We sat through the full four hours, and although it dragged at times, it was nice just being lazy and witnessing the spectacle: laughing at all the silly hats, and imagining what was going through the Queen's mind at various points in the day. I liked it that the wedding was a very traditional one, and I think it was good for Spud to see as he's never been to a wedding before!

The event made me all the more excited for our wedding as it will be the next! I know other couples who will be getting married before then, but I will not be directly involved (other than enjoying the photographs on Facebook). I now appreciate just how quickly time is passing, and how soon my wedding day will come around. It doesn't feel like six months has passed since William and Catherine announced their engagement. It doesn't feel like (nearly) two and a half years since Spud proposed! Just think how quickly the next year is going to go by!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Here's One I Wrote Earlier

I wrote this a few years ago and it featured on my last blog and also my Facebook page. It is a piece I am particularly proud of, so I decided to post it again. 

Ten Things I Am

Recognition of my God given identity

1) I am a daughter, a sister, a fiancee, a grand-daughter, a niece, a cousin. I hope that if it is God's will, I will someday be a mother. I am a friend, a best friend, a confidant, a carer, a colleague, a student, a class mate. To some I am a merely a person known only by face. To others I am a stranger, a passer by, someone they might see once in their lifetime, someone they might pass by without even noticing. To others still, despite my lack of fame, I may be merely a name thrown into a conversation

2) I am a person of equal worth to anybody and everybody else in this world, no matter their social status or position. This is because we were all created by God and he holds no person above another. I am by no means superior to anybody else, nor I am inferior. Neither are you

3) I am designed by a loving creator; handmade in his image with love and care (you are too!) I was given life at an exact time, in order to fulfill a purpose given to me. I am a one off model, a limited edition that will walk this earth for maybe up to about 80 years or so until my time is done

4) I am diverse. Nobody else in the world is completely alike, no matter how many ithings we have in common. More than 6 billion people walk this earth, and nobody is the same. No two sets of eyes are the same. When I walk through crowds I see a multitude of colours, an abundance of different outfits, hair styles, faces... The air is alive with a cacophony of voices. I am learning to praise God in these moments

5) I am forgiven for all the stupid things I've said and done over time. I can't turn back time but I can turn my back on the past with the knowledge that it has been forgiven and forgotten. Every new day is a new day because all the bad parts of yesterday have been forgotten. The slate has been wiped clean and I know that this forgiveness will continue all my life. I am free because of this. I am no longer bound by the oppressive, painful memories of the past because I have been released from them by the one who loves me

6) I am beautiful in my own way, just as everybody in the world is uniquely beautiful. This beauty is not necessarily physical, as beauty comes in many shapes and forms. I always have been beautiful even when I have not known it

7) I am learning to be selfless, to serve others in all situations and put their needs before my own. I often get it wrong because I am too hesitant or shy, but I am given new opportunities to give it another go each and everyday. I am learning that servitude is about making time for people, and often about making difficult sacrifices

8) I am an illumination of my shadowed former self. I am learning to step out, to speak up in the name of God, and to fight the good fight. I'm not saying that it's effortless; it's far from it. In fact, it is all too easy to fall back into my old habit of hiding myself, allowing my oppressive shyness to overshadow me once more. It takes a lot of prayer, patience and perseverence to get it right

9) I am loved, not only by my fiance, or my friends and family who show that they love me and like me by wanting to be with me and showing genuine care, but I am also loved eternally and unconditionally by my heavenly father (as are you!) If there is one thing to rejoice about it's that

10) I am a woman of God. And the sheer beauty of this is that total strangers are beginning to see this in me simply by looking at me. His love is transforming me