10 Myths of Perfectionism

By August 15, 2019 Blog

This is one from the archives.  But it seems appropriate as September looms and I start obsessing about new pencil cases and Getting Everything Right. Perfectionism porkies: 1. It makes me into a better person. Actually, no. It makes me a real pain to be around. Grumpier. More critical.  More self-focused. And lonely (because ‘friends’ are actually competition). 2. It helps me perform. The reality – it stops me even trying. 3. I feel better knowing that I’ve done my …Read More

Tantrum training

By June 27, 2019 Blog

The first time Ruby’s brother had a tantrum, she looked aghast and covered her ears. ‘Mum,’ she shouted,  I DON’T LIKE THAT NOISE.  STOP IT!  STOP IT!’ I knew exactly how she felt. When a toddler or baby cries, there’s something in you that starts flashing.  High alert, sirens wailing – a burst of panic that spreads across your body. Half of you wants to run away and the other half wants to join in the screaming. Neither works. Here’s what …Read More

Treasures of darkness

By June 13, 2019 Blog

Everything I’m reading at the moment seems to point to the necessity of Christian suffering.  It’s not a message I’ve been seeking. In fact, I keep trying to post it back. I turn the pages of the bible.  I put on a different song.  I pray, ‘Ok God – but not for me. Not now and frankly, not ever.’ This week I even picked out a book entitled ‘Joy’ as an antidote. (It turned out to be about the joy that comes …Read More

Our Father’s Voice

By May 21, 2019 Blog

I love my dad. He’s smart and kind and honest and — brilliant. ‘You take after me,’ he says. I smile;  but I don’t believe it.  I thought you knew me better than anyone, dad.  Why don’t you see it? How can you get me so wrong?  I’m not the girl he thinks I am. ‘Take heart,’ he says, but I’m scared. ‘Rest,’ he says, but I run. ‘It’s OK to be you,’ he says, yet I pull on a …Read More

You are not your mood

By April 24, 2019 Blog

you are not a mind reader. No-one else is thinking about how weird you are.  Odds on, they’re thinking about how weird they are. you do not have a crystal ball. It might feel like catastrophe is imminent, but you’ve had those feelings before (many times perhaps), and you’re still standing. Daily bread is what you need. And daily bread is what you have. Don’t worry about tomorrow. it’s really ok to have mental health struggles. That makes you one in …Read More

Lies believers believe

By March 5, 2019 Blog

It’s not OK to be me. It’s not OK to be weak. God doesn’t want to hear from me. My friends don’t want to hear from me. If I try I will fail. No-one else struggles like this. God can’t use me. Definitely not right now. Having needs makes me pathetic. Naming my desires is too dangerous. I must have what she has. I should be where he is. I know what they’re thinking. They should know what I’m thinking. …Read More

How To Stop Hating Yourself

By February 11, 2019 Blog

1. Know that God doesn’t hate you. Self-hatred is not God’s plan for your life.  He is not calling you to focus on all the reasons why you’re odd or rubbish or stupid or shameful. He’s not waiting in the bushes with a long lens to capture your mistakes. He’s not scowling at the front of class or sniggering behind your back. He is not condoning the critical voiceover that punctuates your waking moments. Think of how you feel when …Read More

Warning signs (and what to do)

By January 28, 2019 Blog

  The warnings: crying at almost everything. Choosing what to wear. Spilling sugar. Opening the blinds. Talking to another human being. Putting the duvet cover on.  Finding the right change. not being able to cry.  Or feel much of anything. Everyone and everything is behind a thick pane of glass and their words are muffled and you’re too tired to keep shouting ‘WHAAT?’… and anyway, your words are slow and not joined up and folks squint at you when you …Read More

Green trainers and the gospel

By January 14, 2019 Blog

My daughter loves wearing trainers, so I took her to buy some new ones. The sales assistant offered her three options in her size. Purple ones (with glitter), green ones (with a robot trim), and finally, navy ones.  They all fitted – (and they were all fabulous),  but she wasn’t keen. ‘No, no, no.’ It was late and the shop was closing, so I asked, ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Yes.  None of these.’ ‘Ok,’ I said.  ‘If you’re not going to wear …Read More

Coping with anxiety

By January 8, 2019 Blog

It’s January; the month of resolutions and regimes.  The month of trying harder.  Do everything differently.  Begin again. There are times when we need to make big changes. For example, a habit that’s become an addiction; or a pressing health concern that won’t be ignored. But, in the main, I’m in favour of little changes.  Over time, a tiny tip on the rudder, completely alters your course. don’t put on a brave front: talk to trusted friends and family.  If …Read More