The God who Gives

By November 27, 2014 Blog

Hands up out there if you’re a Hoarder. You know what I’m talking about. Hanging onto things (sometimes everythings) a little too long. Buying more of exactly the same stuff (in case the world runs out).  Stockpiling – dvds or nappies or toilet rolls or the stinky cheese from Poundland that always gets snapped up. It’s definitely in me. I’m better than I was, (Exhibit A: mountains of unworn Oxfam clothes, now bagged up and repatriated). But only slightly. Pull open the cupboards and you’ll see …Read More

Cull Your Friends?

By November 26, 2014 Blog

Here’s the theory.  Christmas is approaching. Cards are expensive – and friends can be too. But the good news is, you don’t have to put up with it. You don’t have to put up with Them.   The ones who have been sick for a boringly long time. The ones who ask for more than they give. The ones whose situation has changed; lost their job and can’t afford to buy a round. Had kids and can’t get a babysitter. Marriage break-up …Read More

Parenting Porkies

By November 25, 2014 Blog

At this stage in pregnancy, I’m thinking less of perfect parenting than damage limitation. I keep telling Glen, he’s got to be normal enough for us both. Nonetheless, I’ve been doing a bit of market research on the parenting business – and I’m struck by how fraught with guilt it can easily become. Breast-feeding (Because “Mother Nature” knows best and anything else is short-changing your child) versus Bottle (Because Mummy needs flexibility and Daddy must pull his weight too) Disposable nappies versus …Read More

Hold On

By November 24, 2014 Blog

There are lots of things we might be tempted to give up on: looking for a job a (really boring but worthwhile) book reconciliation with someone who’s hurt us or whom we’ve hurt a work project – like setting up a business a personal project – getting fit or building a shed a family relationship a marriage ourselves It’s hard to hope when that hope is repeatedly dashed.  It’s hard to try when you’re scared of failure.  It’s hard to reach out for fear …Read More

Hard World, Kind God

By November 23, 2014 Blog

Most of the time, I live life like I’m dreaming. Maybe you’re the same. It takes no effort – the minutes propel us forwards, into routines of socks and schedules and sandwiches.  Days, weeks, months…years like waves, lulling us to sleep. Life – unchanging, except for a peppering of balloons and wreaths; anniversaries, birthdays and deaths. But sometimes, something happens to shake us awake. An event.  Perhaps a tragedy. And once we’ve been woken, we can’t go back to sleep.  The world looks …Read More

We Are Family

By November 20, 2014 Blog

Churches are full of humans.  Humans who mean well, but also make mistakes. This means they’re places of blessing; but sometimes also of hurt. If you’ve tried church in the past and had bad experiences there, I’m sorry.  But please – don’t give up on the family that God puts you in. If you don’t go to church, then now’s a great time to visit – or revisit – somewhere new. If you do go, and see someone you don’t recognise, …Read More

Where to Take Your Hurt

By November 19, 2014 Blog

I’ve never been a victim of physical abuse.  Verbal – a little – but not on the scale experienced by many others.  I thank God for this. Especially as I’ve recently had the tiniest taste of what it might be like. A few weeks ago I was sitting in a cafe, tapping on my computer.  An elderly man asked if he could sit opposite and, smiling, I said, yes of course. My phone rang and I picked it up.  Mum, …Read More

Blessed are the Flexible

By November 18, 2014 Blog

How do you feel about change? I’m not a fan.  In fact, I hate it. I hate change. But it loves me. I can’t avoid it.  Though believe me, I’ve tried. I tried it with anorexia – trying to stop time.  I tried it with OCD – trying to control my environment. I tried it with academia – sentences like fences, walling me in.  Safety in books. But loneliness too. So I tried it with relationships – the loved ones who swore they’d …Read More

Stop Press

By November 17, 2014 Blog

Some of today’s actual news headlines:   ‘Record heat sparks health fears for celebrities in (-er) the jungle.’ ‘Lorraine Kelly dazzles in embellished gown with plunging neckline’ ‘Newlyweds Jeff Goldblum and Emilie Livingstone head out for some groceries in LA’ ‘Are the Clooneys set to become parents?’ – (See also ‘Are the Clooneys Going to Button Moon?’ and ‘Are the Clooneys going to Eat Monkeys?) ‘Lovebirds Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux wear Matching Black as they leave hotel’ ‘Strictly No Wheat …Read More

Make Do – or Mend?

By November 16, 2014 Blog

You don’t need to be Irish to believe in confession. But you do, if you’re Christian. I don’t mean incense and chanting. Just this – talking to God (and others).  Saying, “I did something wrong and I’m sorry.” I say ‘just.’  But it’s a choking word, ‘sorry.’  Spiky and tickly.  Burns in the stomach. Sticks in the throat. But nonetheless, essential. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength …Read More