Happy New Year!

By December 31, 2014 Blog

Hello folks, Thanks so much for reading this year – and for your prayers, wisdom and support.  They’ve been a lifeline: and it’s a privilege to be part of such a loving and diverse community. So, as the new year rolls around, whatever 2015 holds, we’re in it together…and thank God, we have a beautiful Saviour who goes ahead of us, carries us and lights the way. I’m heading off now for some holiday/maternity leave – so there’ll be no …Read More

New Year, New You?

By December 29, 2014 Blog

Made any NY resolutions?  Here’s some reasons I’m not a huge fan: 1. It’s January.  The worst possible month to set yourself new challenges.  Focus instead on breathing, staying warm and digestion.  If you really must, then December 28 is an excellent day for Life Change – and – goodness me, it’s a whole year away. 2. You don’t need a guilt-inducing list or a chorus of Auld Lang Sang to make change possible.  You’ve got the Holy Spirit, which means that every day a new …Read More

What Gives Me The Fear

By December 28, 2014 Blog

1. giving birth and having responsibility for/screwing up another human being. 2. depression. 3. letting people down. 4. exposure. 5. January. 6. unconsciously committing The Unforgivable Sin. (This one, not so much since chatting it through with Glen and others.  But still…) 7. eating disorders. 8. seeing people I love hurting and not being able to make it better. 9. having too much or having too little. 10. wasps. 11. being laughed at. 12. being taken seriously. 13. clowns. 14. expectations (other people’s and …Read More

I Thought It Was Just Me

By December 27, 2014 Blog

Thank God for friends who are honest. It’s like gulping down fresh air when you’ve been stuck in a lift. A big jug of iced water when you’re melting in the heat. Or finally letting out your breath when you hadn’t realised you’d been holding it. The overwhelming, exhilarating relief of it.  ‘You too? I thought it was just me.’ And not because your situations are necessarily identical.  Or you’re facing exactly the same struggles.  No, it’s something else. The joy of letting down …Read More

Bloody Nativity

By December 24, 2014 Blog

This time 2000-odd years ago, where were Mary and Joseph? Nesting, I’m sure. Clearing a space for their newborn between the animals and the filthy hay. Getting the manger just so. Top quality straw from Mothercare.  Harrod’s finest flock. Or perhaps they were still on the road, looking forward to a nice warm inn and a cup of tea. ‘Not long now, sweetheart – hang in there. Nice Travel lodge, just around the corner, I can feel it…’ The truth is, they didn’t follow …Read More

Words of Life

By December 23, 2014 Blog

From Nehemiah 9:   You alone are the Lord You give me life. By day you lead me and by night, you give me light. You give me heavenly bread for my hunger You give me water for my thirst You forgive me You are gracious to me You show me compassion You are slow to get angry with me You show me abundant love. You hear me You rescue me You deliver me. You will not desert me You …Read More

Boxed In

By December 22, 2014 Blog

One of the things I like most about Christmas, is boxes.  Lots of boxes.  What’s in them is irrelevant.  It’s the box itself that’s beautiful.  Clean lines and corners.  Sealant and staples.  Neat.  Tidy.  Contained. Perfect – until you unwrap it.  And then – MESS!  HORRIBLE MESS! Sellotape and spillage and then, not even bubble wrap but those pointless snow ball things you’re still hoovering in May. The solution is obvious.  Don’t Open The Box.  Keep it, shuttered and secure, somewhere dark, where only …Read More

Grace and Failure

By December 21, 2014 Blog

I think in grids.  Lists.  Deadlines.  Monochromes. Good – or bad.  Worthwhile – or useless. Perfect – or pathetic. This works well in the Maths classroom.  But not in life. I cannot be perfect.  I can do my best – and that’s a lot.  But it’s not the same thing. It’s not what God wants for me.  It’s not what I want for myself.  Or my marriage.  Or my child. It’s bad enough when it’s just me. But when it’s someone …Read More

Wobbly Faith

By December 18, 2014 Blog

In yesterday’s post I wrote a letter to shame.  And the responses reflect my own experience – a mixture of “praise God, He has nailed my shame to the Cross” and “Yes, but why don’t I feel it?” I don’t think the two are incompatible; in fact, I think this wobbling, trusting, yearning, frightened hope is often the shape of the Christian life. For one thing, what’s the prayer of all Christians? “I believe Lord, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Jesus …Read More

Dear Shame

By December 17, 2014 Blog

Dear Shame It’s me, Emma. You’ve been telling me who I am for a long time now. But I thought it was time I said something back. Feels like we’ve known each other – well, forever.  But tell me,when were we first introduced?  Was it at infant school, when I wet myself during story time? Or when my next-door-neighbour caught me stealing strawberries from her garden? Was it when my body started changing?  When my boyfriend broke up with me? Or …have …Read More