Tag Archive: Five minute Friday


Tonight is my last night at the vicarage, it’s my last night being mummy to a gorgeous black Labrador.

Its been a really hard fortnight. Starting after a week off sick with antidepressant withdrawal and while my parents were visiting. The dog immediately setting off my asthma so my peak flows were at 50% meaning i went from no asthma medications straight to a blue and brown inhaler and oral steroids!!

I’ve felt low, I’ve felt suicidal. I’ve been in tears. I’ve felt well and truly unwell. Plenty of time lying on the sofa in front of the TV.

My workplace has moved offices and my car wouldn’t start. The alarm has gone off while i was out. I’ve rescued kids from A&E when their mum needed treatment, occupying them and feeding them. I’ve driven to the neighbouring city (about 20 miles and a journey I’ve only done once before). I’ve been cooked dinners and cooked for others. I’ve learnt to make scones. I’ve had a pay rise.

I’ve woken up to the dogs timetable, scared head would soil the cage. I’ve dealt with his ‘accident’ following munching too many apples. I’ve picked up poo and observed his toileting habits. I’ve given him his meals and played with him in the garden. He’s sat on my feet and wagged his tail against my legs.

Now in the last 24 hours, I’ve filled the fridge, hoovered and started to clean. Tomorrow I will make their dinner, clean and washing my bedding. I’m scared it won’t be clean enough, that I’ll put things in the wrong place, have eaten something i shouldn’t have and that they’ll still be able to feel dog hair on the floor. Then I’ll disappear before they arrive, aware that they don’t really want other people in their home, their private space and that i was the only option left to look after the dog. The last resort.

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My Story is imperfect. To me its a story of failure. Failing to get the grades. Failing medical school. Failing assignments. Failing placements. Failing to get a job after graduation. Failing to be confident in my profession. Failing to recognise workplace bullying. failing to stand up to the bullies. Failing to defend myself against accusation. Failing to stay strong…falling into depression. Failing to stay put, instead running away from my home in a ‘foreign land’ to friends who loved me. Failing at my job, ultimately leaving for the sake of my health. Failing to work the hours, failing to get the graduate salary. Failing to stay in touch. Failing to keep my home tidy. Failing to find a husband. Failing to come off antidepressants (just for now!)

But with God all things are possible. He can take my failures, and use them for his glory. He can use my story to encourage others. My story tells of God’s faithfulness and love towards me. I can trust he has already written the rest of my story…and my story fits neatly into a page within His great story.

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker

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So I spent last week on a silent retreat, checking my phone and all the feeds on it only twice a day. Then the chaos, my thoughts and feelings got too much…a choice between running away, staying in bed (which I then couldn’t cos the builder needed to work in my room) or making a concession to myself that I could use my phone, check Facebook and twitter as much as I wanted, text my closest friends to ask them to pray or to rant about how awful I felt.

Problem was…by the end of the day my phone broke, not just broke, it died. I have since had an enforced retreat from the connectedness a mobile phone gives you. Since last week, my phone refuses to turn on at all. And I don’t mind the peace and quiet, there’s something positive about only being able to be contacted via Facebook. It’s also when I realise just how much we rely on our smartphones – a constant link to Facebook, twitter, blogs, emails. Connecting to others, letting them know how we are, that the train’s delayed. A monthly calendar, an agenda, photos, a way to download podcasts. Without a phone or an internet connection its easy to feel invisible.

First my phone broke, and I was breaking. I finally broke when my 3 out of 4 trains on my journey were delayed and I had no way of contacting my friend to inform her of my new arrival time. The train managers let me use their phones to call, but when my final train was also delayed and customer services wouldn’t let me call, I broke, the tears flowed, and then I had to remember how pay phones work.

Me – friends that love me, returning home and discovering more about God’s love for me is healing my brokeness.

My phone – visited phone A&E today, is currently in the Clinical Decisions Unit, and is looking likely to be sent away to the inpatient ward. Perhaps in a weeks time I will have a phone again.

What does it mean to belong?
Am i in…or am i out?
Is belonging reality…or just what i understand in my head?

An easy one…family…I belong…whether i want to or not.

But how about church?
So often I’ve felt i didn’t belong, invisible, a magical doer, but not accepted just to be.

As a teenager, us church kids somehow got overlooked as they worked with teenagers who had joined from outside the church.

As a student, I wasn’t an impressive enough christian to be invested in. Always feeling on the outside in each church until one day someone told me I was actually in. The reality and my perception were totally different.

So today as i head off on retreat, i hope to rediscover who i am, what God thinks of me and where I belong in His big story.

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I’m ordinary.

But God sent his son down to earth to die for me…

So He could stand in my place, take all my sin upon him, die on a cross and create a way for me to know and be known by the Father…

So I could be filled by His Holy Spirit…

And take ordinary me and make me extraordinary…

So he can work in my life to do ‘More than I could ever ask or imagine‘.

So he can use me, His MASTERPIECE (no longer ordinary) to do good works that He planned before I was even born…

So that although I may look like a clay jar, there is treasure hidden within me…

So I can carry the God colours and God flavours into the world.

So that I carry the fragrance of Christ to the dead and dying…

So He can take His amazing God story, and my story becomes a couple of pages in His book, in the missing pages between the end of the New Testament Letter and the Book of Revelation.

Thank you Father God for taking my ordinary life and making it significant and extraordinary. Help us to write our pages in your big story. Amen

Beautiful….

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God wants me to know I’m beautiful, inside and out…in fact He even inspired my parents to give me names meaning beautiful eyes AND beautiful.

Yet i don’t feel beautiful…

Outside I’m just normal, not ugly, just normal.

Inside though, i am so not beautiful. I’m a mess. I’m sat here in church and my friend has just handed me the wine saying,”the blood of Christ which He shed for you because he loves you very very much.” “well He must have been crazy”, i reply. Why would the son of God come down to earth to die for me, so that God could have a relationship with me…I’m not beautiful, I’m not worth it.

I’m having a wobbly week as I’m coming off antidepressants. Another friend prayed for me and felt led to tell me that i still have a place in Gods big story, that I’m not discounted despite how i feel.

I guess my friends are standing in the gap for me, speaking truth over me, when i don’t feel able to grasp Gods truth for myself, they see my beauty, my gifting, my potential and point me to truth.

5minutefriday

 

I write this blog from a train…in-between home and home. My flat, my space, my sanctuary, rented, small, just a studio, but all mine. My parents home – the place that has remained constant for the last 21 years, full of memories, family, growing up.

A few years ago my friends would tell me off when I said i was heading home…you are home they would say…

But home in one sense talks of permanence, putting down roots, being part of the community, part of the furniture. Partners, children, jobs give permanence.

Where does that leave me…a singleton, no kids, a temporary job? In between being a child but not yet a mother or on a career path. Trusting God to lead me step by step through life, no plans, the plans I once had in tatters.

I guess for me i just have to learn to embrace home as being in the place that God has called me for this season, no longer in between homes, but at home where He is.

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The pressure builds, yesterday my manager said I’m not meeting the targets, today he hassles me for an email that has been posted, but hasn’t arrived. I struggle to put together my training session ready for tomorrow, trying to work out what to include and leave out, without clear guidance on what he wants. Suddenly I decide to check if he has a projector and laptop arranged. I ring him up – you haven’t ordered one…what, who does training without a PowerPoint presentation, projected on a screen. Obviously we come from different generations. The tears start to fall. I get off the phone and text an old colleague –  I wish you were here still for a coffee, not coping today. The colleague next to me suggests I go for a walk, get some fresh air. I’m in no state to return to my presentation. I walk round the building, discover a green space I never knew, a bench in the sunshine. I ring some friends until someone picks up. I don’t want to dump my loser self on others, yet I know I need to hear that friendly voice. Half an hour later I get off the phone, the tears still fall, and my nose is running. At least I now see why this has been triggered, by speaking it out, I discover I have too much on my plate this week and I’m tired, not just the work stuff but a talk for church to write and a report for the members newsletter. I change my task for a while, praying God help me through the day, as my friend suggested. I get through the day, get home, and curl up in bed with a trashy book…

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Joining with Lisa Jo Baker

5minutefriday

 

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Imagine a God who hears our prayers and answers them in a way we can see, a tangible way.

Imagine a God who heals. Who hears our cry for healing, the acute, the chronic, the terminal and heals.

Imagine a God who knows our dreams and fulfils them one by one, a kiss of love from heaven.

Imagine

Yet although God can do more than we could ask or imagine

We don’t see answered prayer, lives healed, dreams fulfilled.

Thankfully we have a God who can cope when we ask WHY??

He’s ok with our discouragement. He’s understands when all we can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Prayers, healings, dreams…nice ideas by those on the stage…but how do we have the faith to continue to ask…as we live in the now and not yet…?

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Joining with Lisa Jo

5minutefriday

Today I’m feeling sorry for myself. Its my second day in bed with a cold, except now I’ve a cough as well. The view gets me down. Clean and dirty clothes litter my studio flat. An overflowing box of tissues sits next to me on the bed. The radio on continuously. A candle lit on the table flickers, next to a dirty plate, my tablets and the post. The kitchen hasn’t been cleaned. Crockery waiting to be put away, and pans to be washed up. That spill I didn’t wipe up taunts me. The bathroom hides the overflowing laundry basket. My poor flat, I have let you down, let you deteriorate, so instead of being my sanctuary, you upset me and show me my failings. 

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