Wobbly Faith

By December 18, 2014 Blog
jellybaby

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
shame2

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

Help, Lord.

By December 16, 2014 Blog
thorns2

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
shoot

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
Real-life-fairy-tale-Snow-White

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
feet up

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
bulb

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
kaboom

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
Guinness World Record Attempt For Longest Chain Of Paper Dolls

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
Happiness

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