Help, Lord.

By December 16, 2014 Blog

Hearing about the deaths of hostages in Sydney was shocking.  Especially as today, we start to get a picture of those who were killed or affected – what they look like, their families, their jobs, their character. I can’t even begin to put myself into the shoes of their loved ones; and nor do I want to. Now, I’m reading open-mouthed the news about Taliban attacks on a school in Pakistan.  At least 126 dead; most aged under 16. And …Read More

Ways of Undermining Yourself

By December 15, 2014 Blog

1. Apologising for your existence. “Sorry this is going to sound stupid, but…” If you’ve done something wrong, then absolutely, put your hands up and say sorry. But there’s a difference between taking responsibility for your actions and apologising for yourself – for being you, having an opinion or taking up space. It’s exhausting for everyone concerned and it lands you in one of those excruciating circular conversations… – ‘My fault.’ – ‘No, no mine’ – ‘No, I’m to blame’ – ‘No I’m a …Read More

True Story

By December 14, 2014 Blog

Dad and I are chatting about the new Lord of the Rings film. “Load of old nonsense” he says. “Hobbits. Elves.  Talking trees. Fairy tales for kids.” “Dad,” I say. “You love it! You’ve got Game on Thrones on box set. That’s hardly real life either.” He snorts.  “Yes. But I don’t really believe it.  Some people believe it.” The conversation turned to orcs and banana bread, before I had the chance to respond. But thinking it through, I don’t agree. I think …Read More

Doctor’s Orders

By December 11, 2014 Blog

Last night I woke myself up by hitting my elbow against the bed frame, (In my dreams I was painting a wall and it was a very tricky section). After the wall, I had presents to wrap and a book to write, (note the order of priority – not good). And this was while I was “resting.” Like many folks, I’ve got two switches: turbo-charged and out-of-order. This is not conducive to long life, marriage or good mental health. So I’ve written myself …Read More

Christmas in the Valley

By December 10, 2014 Blog

Christmas is the time to be merry. Count your blessings. Sing carols, eat pies and banish darkness. But what if you’re not feeling it?  What if you’re depressed?  Or lonely? Overwhelmed by the prospect of another week, let alone year? What if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or coming to terms with sickness? Dreading the prospect of time with family? Or far from those you long to have near? What does Christmas say to these people?  What does Christmas …Read More

Where’s the KaBOOM?

By December 9, 2014 Blog

What would you like God to change about you? My list is a mile long. But especially at this time of year, I’d love to be the sort of woman who radiates calm hospitality. Who’s able to focus on her guests and remember what’s in the oven.  Who cares more about folks relaxing than whether she’s toilet-ducked the bathroom.  And who dances on tables at midnight (to Arcade Fire), rather than turning into a pumpkin after nine pm (to Classic FM). I’m still awaiting …Read More

Cosmetic Surgery and the Christian

By December 8, 2014 Blog

I recently received an email from a lady, (Christian), who is considering having cosmetic surgery. She’s asked for my advice, so I’ve been trying to think it through. There are lots of bits of me I’d have like to had altered. I think that’s true for many of us. But as a Christian, I always felt like I couldn’t afford or justify it – at least, not on purely cosmetic grounds. My eating disorder did a similar job and far more damage, …Read More

Diamonds that Deliver

By December 7, 2014 Blog

Waddling through the shops, I’m struck by the different kinds of happiness that are being sold. the ideal relationship (jewellers, perfumers. Now think how half of all UK women feel who are single, having never married) body beautiful (sports shops, health foods, the scary witches ladies in Boots who try to make you buy potions serum) family bliss (pretty much everywhere. We don’t, for example, see ads of happy singles chowing down on champers and opening the jewellery they quite rightly …Read More

Stocking Fillers

By December 4, 2014 Blog

Right.  Forget the Tiffany diamonds, the motion-sensor watches and the Transformer’s Chomp and Stomp Grimlock (google it).  Here’s what I’d actually like in my stocking; a godliness app to make me do my quiet times, explain the hard bits, and make jokes when I’m stuck in 2 Chronicles a humour app for when the cats chew through the phone cables,  untangling tree lights, burnt turkey and translating Glen’s puns, (or – even better, writing new ones for him) a fridge app to conjure delicious meals from what’s actually …Read More

Christmas Means…

By December 3, 2014 Blog

At Christmas Starts With Christ they’re asking what Christmas means to each one of us. Here’s how I answered… When I was younger, Christmas was always my favourite time of year. My family aren’t Christians so we didn’t do church – but we did do Father Christmas, presents, stockings, snowmen and all the trimmings. I loved it. There was just one catch – trying to be good enough for Santa. “He sees you when you’re sleeping He knows when you’re awake …Read More