Monday, 26 July 2010


I was thinking last night about how different I am in Nottingham to in Sheffield. How slow-paced the holidays are, how little is achieved, how little fruit I see, how little I look for. Why does my life stop between semesters? How has this become an excuse? Am I so dependent on organised and bureaucratic events like text-a-toastie to tell people that they're loved beyond belief? God, I hope not. I know, it can be about the way you're living, just loving people day to day. I guess I just feel a bit like I'm taking a break from where I'm supposed to be. Although to be honest, I'm not sure anymore. I think there needs to be a shaking up. Yes please. I want that sense of urgency, that passion and that divine energy to do something about it.

In other news, My Epic's new album Yet has been played in my ears repeatedly since I received it on the 8th of July. I cannot describe how good it is. Every day lyrics reflect my heart, my failures and my regrets, my awe and my gratitude. I may go as far to say that it is my all-time favourite album now, which is not something I'm in the habit of professing. The songs are often more challenging than sermons, contain more succinct lessons of who God is, who we are, what life is like trying to reconcile these two. Just beautiful, painful, honest emotion of desperate hearts. It's haunting.

I know with each breath I come one closer, but death is just a hook behind the door where I’ll leave my dirty clothes....

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


In a relatively unimportant aside, I can't run without ridiculously intense stomach pains. It's the second time it's happened now. I'm not bad with pain, but this made me cry. And dizzy. And sick. There's something cozy about being in the fetal position on the pavement of a main road though. We'll persevere. But I hope it gets better soon because, hilariously, the marathon is in about 7 weeks.


"I'm tired of striving to be who You already say that I am".

The past few weeks have woken me up. I'm tired of conforming to the pattern of life around me. I got so wrapped up in fitting in that I changed shape somehow to do so. I've been reminded of the things that have been put on my heart, what makes me passionate, what makes

I long for things that I don't have, and disregard those I do.

I now long for longing. I would rather strive for the unattainable, reach for the unreachable, than concede. There must be more than this.

There is.

So you know what, I'm going to Africa in ten days. And I am so ready to face this. Break me, shape me, anything, just take me and use me and make me all Yours.

I've just counted through the money people have been giving to fund the trip, and up until 2 weeks ago it was not looking likely that I would raise enough. In the past week alone, the amount has doubled. God is so incredibly good, and the people He's made to be so generous are beautiful reflections of Him. I will tell you also, that money has literally been appearing, with no explanation or discernible source. Awesome. If you wish to donate (I have no idea who reads this), feel free at And wait for the stories of how God's worked through us and in us out there when I return.

I'm quietly excited about quite a few things at the moment. September in Sheffield. Bring it. This year is going to be very different to last year. But more of that later, because I have songs to sing right now...

Ah but lastly, a friend just sent me some songs they've recorded, and I have no idea when the last time was that I was that happy. So joyful. Very grateful. My friends are wonderful.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


There are a few things to be thought about, and this is where it's happening.

First issue. A while back I wrote about being broken for someone in a hopeless situation. Their life, or lack thereof, twisted up my insides so much that I wept and sang out to God like I haven't for another person in a long time. Every time I picked up the guitar, I'd sing out a song of prayer to God to release him, heal him, give him peace of mind. I told my cell group about what God was doing in me through it, how He was making me into a woman of honest prayer and passion. They (beautifully- I could not ask for better friends, even though I barely know them) offered to pray for this guy with me right there and then. For three weeks, I had been praying for him. I'd known him all my life, but only just realized how desperate his life was, how loosely he hung on to the world like rags on a skeleton. Last week he was found dead on the street. Why this happened now, I don't know. Why didn't I pray before, I don't know. Why when I'm believing for change it doesn't come in the way I'm expecting, I don't know. I've not told many people. The few I have ask me how I feel at the death of this man. All I can answer. "Confused".

And that's as far as I'm prepared to ponder that subject tonight.


Tonight I was at Philly for the first half of the service before having to leave to get the train back with Damo to Nottingham. I love Jesus and I love my church. Anyway, the smallest of phrases from the beginning of the sermon caught my heart. Anne said, "I've been following Jesus since I was 4". This made me smile. The immediate mental image of a small girl running in the shadow of her lord just a step away from her, growing in that intimacy and knowing that path, made me smile immensely. I thought, "I've been following Jesus since I was 14"..."ish". But have I? Yes, in the sense of I admitted that I believed in Him, in what He's done for me. I say, "I gave my life to Jesus", but in a lot of ways I seem to have kept a hold of it for myself. There have been some things that I've given to Him, some aspects of my life I wouldn't live out if it weren't for Him, some decisions that would be different were He not a factor (the factor). But I wonder how obvious it is that I'm following Jesus. I wonder how hot on His heels I am. Not overly. It's more like He's walking and checking back over His shoulder for me, me scampering around getting distracted by interesting toadstools and shiny objects and the like, wandering where I want really, just keeping Him in sight enough to reassure me that I'm still doing swell.

That's not good enough for me anymore. I'm quite excited about the prospect of following Jesus like a shadow, attached to His feet. I want to be open to His voice every hour, not every year when a decision has to be made. I want to answer, "because this is what God's telling me to do" when people ask me "why here?", "why now?", "why not?". I don't want it to be a mumbled last resort, grudgingly conceded. I want it to be my justification, my reassurance and my confidence. I want my life to be so strongly based on His guidance that no funny looks or sensibilities can shake my resolve. I don't want to meander casually along. I want to follow.

And finally, I found out that there are penguins in New Zealand, and thus my desire to live there has increased a good ten-fold.