12 Ways Christianity is Different to Spirituality

By September 22, 2016 Blog

Sometimes when I talk to others about Christianity, they say, “don’t worry, I’m very spiritual.” This can mean lots of different things.  It might mean that they have an appreciation for the immensity and beauty of the universe.  It might mean that they have a strong sense of morality or social justice.  It might mean they believe in angels. It might mean that they don’t want to offend me, (or want me to shut up about Jesus). It might mean that they have …Read More

Say What You Mean (But Don’t Say It Mean)

By July 14, 2015 Blog

I just tell it like it is. (I’m rude. I don’t care enough to think about your feelings before opening my mouth) I have to be true to myself. (I’ll do what I want and stuff the consequences) It’s just the way I am. (It suits me to be like this.  I don’t want to change and therefore I “can’t.”) Can I be honest with you? (Let’s drop the pretence of being nice) With all due respect, (which is none..) …Read More

Crash Landing: Guest Post

By May 11, 2015 Blog

An enormous thank-you to Catherine, for this brilliant guest post: “I don’t know if you can imagine losing your mind. My guess is that if you have never struggled with mental illness, you can’t. Speaking out of personal experience, my brain was probably the part of me I trusted the most, and took completely for granted….until it broke. And when mine broke, it was horrific. It felt horrific. “Legs break,” people will say earnestly, trying to explain and to comfort: …Read More

It’s Ok Not To Know

By April 13, 2015 Blog

Depression is a beast. Sometimes you can spot it coming. But often, it sneaks up and grabs you from behind. At these times, the normal weaponry – self-care, support from friends/GP, comfort TV, maintenance meds – feel like sword-fighting with a plastic spoon. Or it would if you were up for a fight.   Which, (along with other tasks like getting washed, cleaning your teeth and breathing), you’re not. A friend comes to you and says that they’re struggling. ‘Tell me this will end.’ ‘I can’t believe anyone else …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

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

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

Meaningless Motivations

By December 1, 2014 Blog

There have got to be better ways of motivating yourself than wall hangings and Disney quotes. Most of ’em make me want to trample on fairy wings. Plus, they don’t make sense. I give you; Be Bold.  Be Brave.  Be You. I can do the third one. But I don’t see how it’s linked to the first two. You’re the One who Can Fill The World with Sunshine. On a typical morning, I struggle to fill my coffee cup. Choose A Life Less Ordinary.  1.I like …Read More

Armchair Critics

By November 14, 2014 Blog

If you don’t like carols, are you even a Christian? I ask because I’m sitting in Starbucks, where they’ve been pumping out festive tunes since October. And quite frankly,  I’m ready for the hills. This means that the news of Band Aid 30 re-releasing ‘Do they Know It’s Christmas?’ doesn’t fill me with great joy. They’re doing it to raise funds for Ebola victims and that’s important. But seriously…Messianic pop-stars crooning about the West rescuing Africa- is that the best we can do? I’m ready to rant.  But thinking it …Read More