Sunday, 1 June 2014

Striding out and baby steps


I completed a 5k a few weeks ago. I've done it before but this time I was fundraising for Breast Cancer Care. I was quite nervous and felt like I trained quite hard but the truth was that once completed I felt almost ashamed at how easy it had felt especially as so many people had sponsored me (a massive thank you to all of you, I raised over £400) I think the reality was I really loved doing it because I was going at my own pace, unconcerned about speed, just wanting to finish.

So I now have a much bigger goal. In 2016 I turn 40, and I want to run a Marathon (those of you who know me can stop laughing uncontrollably either at the running or the fact that I turn 40). The problem is that at the moment I only really jog. In fact when the lady on my running app who gently cajoles me in my ear to keep running and "slow down if you need to" I laugh, because I don't think I could physically run any slower without stopping! 
So my only option is to speed up. My husband told me that I must stride instead of jogging and so I set off this morning to stride instead of my morning jog. I hold my hands up, I ended up walking quite a bit but I definetely stride/strided/strudled and it felt good. At the end I realised that I had covered pretty much the same distance as always but in a much quicker average speed despite more stopping and an increase in little steps. 

Here is the big link. This week I finally registered as self employed so that I can truly set up Raise as a business and already there are lots of opportunities being presented to me on a daily basis. I am really striding into my role and what I believe to be my calling but I know that I will still want to and need to take baby steps.
 I have a baby who has just learnt to walk so I can tell you first hand how awkward and hilarious baby steps are especially when they set out on a definite mission only to fall flat on their faces! But my baby knows that I am watching him, ready to protect and encourage him and  I know that amidst his strides he will need to stop and walk. But he's moving forward. 

As a Christian I believe that God is holding my hand so that whether I'm striding or taking baby steps He won't let me fall. Whatever your belief it's good to make sure you have a support network and some people cheering you on! 
My challenge to you today is in your current situation are you striding or are you taking baby steps? And my bigger question is does it matter as long as are you are moving forward? And a slightly smaller question is what is the tense for stride....

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Nothing more than feelings......?


I went on a retreat the other day and found myself wanting to do just that- retreat. I wanted to give up and give in; tired of struggling and fighting. At first I couldn't work out what I was fighting against or how I was feeling but then I realised that it was feelings themselves that I was, and have been struggling alot with recently. I've found that since mum's death i can easily get out of doing things by saying that I don't feel like doing something and I can use it as a means to get out of doing what God wants me to do too. But I realised whilst on retreat that no matter how powerful your feelings are- and they are powerful!!- His grace is more powerful. Below are some creative thoughts that I've had about feelings, and grace.


Feelings are so tangible;  like blocks, like boxing gloves raining blows on every part of my body.
Feelings are a wrecking ball, a steam roller, a hot air balloon with no sandbags. 
Feelings are sky high- the silken webs that trap me tightly, a bungee cord that makes me fly.
Feelings are family and loss and heaven and hell and endless......

But the truth is that feelings are flimsy, ethereal, transparent and paper thin- they can be torn through damaged and fragile. Feelings are only as high and as deep as you measure them. 
Feelings unkind and unhelpful when they are placed above the true treasures of life.
But....
 Grace is all sufficient, all abounding, all surrounding -the strong and silent type. A gentleman He puts his coat down across the puddle allowing you to remain clean and dry. Grace is a wedding ring, a promise, a rainbow. Grace opens the door for you says you before me, gives you the last Rolo, the window seat, the best seat in the house. grace is rest, pools of tranquillity a spa that is paid for......

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Today there is sadness

Today there is sadness

I'm often quite happy
I feel quite alive
My friends and my family, my faith are my life
It's natural to laugh and be child like and fun
I choose to see joy through the life of my son

But

Today there is sadness
Today there is loss
Today I feel weighed down and tired out and cross
Today there are burdens 
Today will be long
Today there is sadness
Today she is gone

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Choose life.

I am finally admitting that I'm finding life hard. My mum has died. My fish has died. And a bit of my drive and motivation has died too. But I'm finding life in other things. My family immediate and extended, my friends and my creativity. I have found that through opening up I have become vulnerable and full of pain, so much so that tiny little things are painful. But through my opening up others have too, and that is soothing and healing. Everyone has different views on mental health and dealing with it. This is mine right now. 

My favourite things 

Raindrops on roses and sunshine for running
Sleep with no wake ups so I don't feel done in
Thoughts of free time once the microwave pings
These are a few of a my favourite things 

Hair with no sick in (and clothes for that matter)
Facebook debacles and 3am natters
Strictly, X Factor and creative springs
These are a few of my favourite things

When I'm lonely
When I'm anxious
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember these favourite things and then I don't feel so bad! 

Head space and floor space
And hearing Seb "talking"
Giggles and wriggles 
And more goes at "walking"
Days when grief's distant and memories don't sting
These are a few of my favourite things

Learning with hindsight and sharing with others
Sundays and in laws and fantastic brothers
Long conversations when hubby is in
These are a few of my favourite things

When I'm faithless
When I'm hopeless
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember these favourite things and then I don't feel so bad! 


Thank you for being part of this new journey I'm on. In death, I choose life.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Why ARE we waiting?


Most of you will know that I'm pregnant with our first baby. Actually I'm now overdue by 5 days and quite frankly I'm getting fed up with waiting!!
I've done all the things people have told us to do but no lasting signs as yet, and my question every day is "why ARE we waiting?" 

I have always been blessed by the mnemonic WAIT that God revealed to me years ago;

Will 
Arrive 
In 
Time 

and I know in our case baby simply has to come out eventually- there isn't any more room for them! But the problem is I'm struggling to enjoy and utilise the waiting time choosing instead to wallow in feelings of frustration and impatience!

The helpful thing is that as we approach the Easter weekend it makes me think about the wait that Jesus had before He died. People always say that Jesus death was the ultimate sacrifice but I disagree- I think His LIFE was the ultimate sacrifice. After all He lived almost His whole life knowing that He was born to die.  Waiting can become a true weight. It can bring you down and makes you feel heavy- I know I do- but also oppressed and hopeless. But Jesus said "my yoke is easy and my burden is light"- what an amazing example to us all!

Maybe the reason that Jesus felt this was that He knew He didn't wait alone. An amazing friend once wrote a poem where the essence was "Daddy waits with me". Jesus had His Father with Him every single day until He died, where He then went to be with Him for eternity. I am not waiting alone either, countless friends and family are supporting me and my husband, literally keeping us going with their prayers and excitement. So never underestimate how important encouragement is- it literally brings people courage to continue, I'm sure that's what God's words did for Jesus and they should still do the same today. 

But how can waiting become a blessing to ourselves and others? I seem to be spending my days waiting by cleaning, sitting, walking, cooking, sitting, dancing, more cleaning, sorting and more sitting (this baby is heavy you know!) but on the whole it's passive waiting which is causing me to become impatient and frustrated. It seems to be a selfish waiting, understandable but slightly wasted. However Jesus spent His life actively waiting, literally waiting as a waiter would do- serving people by healing, loving, listening, praying, blessing and a whole lot more.

So my question to you is why are YOU waiting? And are you actively waiting like Jesus did or are you passively waiting getting more and more impatient and frustrated like I am very tempted to do as every day goes past? What might God be asking you to do/learn as you wait? How/who might God be asking you to serve as you wait?

Over this weekend as we celebrate Jesus ultimate sacrifice, and enjoy our yearly chocolate binge, take time to thank Jesus for waiting His whole life. 

After all anything truly worth having is worth waiting for....

Why ARE we waiting?


Most of you will know that I'm pregnant with our first baby. Actually I'm now overdue by 5 days and quite frankly I'm getting fed up with waiting!!
I've done all the things people have told us to do but no lasting signs as yet, and my question every day is "why ARE we waiting?" 

I have always been blessed by the mnemonic WAIT that God revealed to me years ago;

Will 
Arrive 
In 
Time 

and I know in our case baby simply has to come out eventually- there isn't any more room for them! But the problem is I'm struggling to enjoy and utilise the waiting time choosing instead to wallow in feelings of frustration and impatience!

The helpful thing is that as we approach the Easter weekend it makes me think about the wait that Jesus had before He died. People always say that Jesus death was the ultimate sacrifice but I disagree- I think His LIFE was the ultimate sacrifice. After all He lived almost His whole life knowing that He was born to die.  Waiting can become a true weight. It can bring you down and makes you feel heavy- I know I do- but also oppressed and hopeless. But Jesus said "my yoke is easy and my burden is light"- what an amazing example to us all!

Maybe the reason that Jesus felt this was that He knew He didn't wait alone. An amazing friend once wrote a poem where the essence was "Daddy waits with me". Jesus had His Father with Him every single day until He died, where He then went to be with Him for eternity. I am not waiting alone either, countless friends and family are supporting me and my husband, literally keeping us going with their prayers and excitement. So never underestimate how important encouragement is- it literally brings people courage to continue, I'm sure that's what God's words did for Jesus and they should still do the same today. 

But how can waiting become a blessing to ourselves and others? I seem to be spending my days waiting by cleaning, sitting, walking, cooking, sitting, dancing, more cleaning, sorting and more sitting (this baby is heavy you know!) but on the whole it's passive waiting which is causing me to become impatient and frustrated. It seems to be a selfish waiting, understandable but slightly wasted. However Jesus spent His life actively waiting, literally waiting as a waiter would do- serving people by healing, loving, listening, praying, blessing and a whole lot more.

So my question to you is why are YOU waiting? And are you actively waiting like Jesus did or are you passively waiting getting more and more impatient and frustrated like I am very tempted to do as every day goes past? What might God be asking you to do/learn as you wait? How/who might God be asking you to serve as you wait?

Over this weekend as we celebrate Jesus ultimate sacrifice, and enjoy our yearly chocolate binge, take time to thank Jesus for waiting His whole life. 

After aanything truly worth having is worth waiting for....

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Mixed up mummies!


Today I have excelled at baby brainitus by convincing myself that the clocks went forward!! Dutifully waking up several times (more due to my little hitch-hiker than me) I faithfully checked the clocks reminding myself that I must add an hour to whatever they said. Eventually at 5.30am it finally dawned on me that as none of the clocks had changed at all and after a wake up call from a friend on FB I was plain and simply wrong! 

 The thing is today is a mixed up day for me emotionally too, this year more than ever before. As I wake up to another Mother's Day I am flooded with mixed feelings; I am going to be a mummy any day now having waited 7 long years, but have no idea when our arrival will appear, so many of my lovely and precious friends are still longing to be mums and aren't and my own mum feels like she's slipping away every day although in reality she is very much still here.

I am aware that for all of you today there will be a mix of emotions too; celebrations for the new mummies, bereavement of the lost mummies, and plodding on for those mummies who are quite simply tired and weary. 

At this point I'd love to say something genius but the truth is it's 6.50am and I still think it's an hour later than it really is so I'll simply leave you with a song that I heard this morning.

"Blessings" Laura Storey

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise