With Deepest Sympathy

I can’t blog about what I have done this week without acknowledging the horrors of 13th November in Paris.

I’m angry over the fact that terrorists can take a faith and twist it so that they truly believe their violence has Divine approval. It does not.

Today I have candles burning in several windows as my personal sign that only light can drive out darkness and only love can destroy hatred.

I have faith in God, and as such I pray that the authorities do come up with an effective plan to stop this senseless violence once and for all.

To Paris, with love and tears and prayers, from Me xx

Categories: Fear, Hope, Life, observations, Rants | Leave a comment

The waiting is over

Many moons ago, I started blogging on another site and the title was “Raecheybaby’s Allotment” and it was to be about the things I did, the things I grew, the things I cooked yada, yada all to do with this allotment I wanted. Well, I waited four years in Bedford and never heard a word back about getting a plot to dig.

Then I moved to Rugby and when the turmoil of losing Dan and losing my job and losing my grandparents died down a bit, I looked into it again, and some time in May last year I put myself on the waiting list for a plot somewhere near me.

Finally, almost 18 months after putting myself on that list and writing lists of everything I might possibly want to grow and trying to think of the equipment I’ll need and who might help me, I have a letter in my hand announcing that I can call a lady and arrange to see some plots! So sometime next week I will be committing myself to growing veggies – the positives of this are getting outside more often, losing weight due to eating more veggies and losing weight through the sheer effort required to dig and tend my plot

I can’t wait!

Categories: Allotment, Beginning, Dan, Food, Hope, Plans | Leave a comment

Wonderful Sleep

I haven’t slept properly for a long time. I think it’s probably related to the loss of Dan, but that aside I was getting more tired and more intolerant and nastier by the week.

My brain just wouldn’t stop. I’d be at best on pause for a few hours and then my brain would pick up from exactly where it left off.

Until last night. during the day yesterday I spoke to a few friends who stated the obvious to me (obvious to any christian anyway): get someone to pray for me about it.

So I did. I got two friends, a married couple who have children my age to pray with me over the issue of not being able to get good quality sleep. I didn’t feel much difference, no great emotional anything, but I did notice that I felt rather calmer than I had before.

Come the end of the evening, I got home, made a drink and headed for bed. Going to bed late frequently means I won’t sleep well, that I’ll wake even more often than I would otherwise. I didn’t turn off the light til just after midnight. I did wake before the alarm but when I noticed the amount of light in the room and the time I wasn’t bothered at all: it was 06:30, I’d slept all that time without waking once.

I’m still quite tired, its been a busy weekend, and I was supremely tired before, but I honestly believe that the insomnia is gone and that I will catch up the rest of the missing sleep over the coming days.

Thank you, loving heavenly Father for giving the gift I most needed when I asked for it.

Categories: Church Event, Dan, Hope, Life | 1 Comment

RAW 2012: of muddy knees and great days


My final RAW event has happened and passed. It was good.

There were the trials of pitching a tent in the rain and trying to dry out and warm up, of sorting transport on a daily basis having arrived on foot, growing more tired as the broken nights got cold.

Then there were the amazing moments like finding that someone was willing to help and cheerfully doing so in the face of my tired and frustrated grumpiness.

The meetings were inspirational, truths that I thought I’d learned years ago becoming new and vibrant again.

RAW outdoors was fun, out in the city centre both days, singing, testifying, dancing, handing out sweets, bungee run, all sort of fun things to to that make everyone smile.

But this is it, I can’t report on next years’ RAW event as I’ll be too old to attend. I’ve been putting in some thought on this and that fact is actually not a bad thing.

We never stop learning through our lives, and RAW is for a specific age group. Its now time for me to go on and learn new things and build on what I learned before. Nursery is fun but you don’t learn to read there, that’s for the next stage, primary school; and at primary school you don’t learn complex maths, that’s for secondary school. In other words, I learned a lot in JGen, but I have to move on now as there is work to do with what I learned and more to learn yet.

So even while I wipe my tears at the end of an era, I’m already looking to see what’s coming next.

Here Goes!

Categories: Church Event, Hope, observations | Leave a comment

Finding the way again

I haven’t let many people into my home lately, the winter blues have combined with a few other things to ensure that I felt awful enough to let the flat get in a horrible state.

However, I’m beginning to find the way again and feel more in control. I hope I can keep it going, but I’ve managed to cook something today and do some clearing up.

Only a short missive today, but I really wanted to get back into posting again.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: Hope, Life | Leave a comment

The enormity of it


Last weekend was our annual Church Growth conference. I missed the last one as I was working all the hours God sent and then a few more. I was looking forward to it, the chance to see my friends and generally catch up and hear more about the vision for the church.

The day was a good one: meeting people, looking after people, being challenged and uplifted. Then there was one of the highlights in an already fairly good day. I managed to chat for a minute with Tom.

I don’t see T0m very much any more, but I used to do domestic work where he lives and saw him from time to time. Tom was blind and waiting for a guide dog.  Except that now he no longer needs a guide dog. The morning after I posted “Dear Dan” Tom woke up and realised he could see. After six months of blindness, the precious gift of sight, given back to him. I’ll spare you the details of the condition, but the likelihood of this happening was so remote it just wasn’t going to happen.

Back to the point. I literally only got a minute with Tom, but I suddenly realised that he had never seen my face. He was blind in one eye when we first met and within a few weeks was totally blind. I remember tweeting a few minutes later “The miracle of it. Tom with his sight. Walking around, greeting people he hasn’t seen in months even though we’ve seen him.”

Even now, five days later my eyes keep filling with tears. I love a God who is capable of returning sight to a blind young man. I’ve witnessed the healing. I saw him before, shellshocked and frightened and isolated. I saw him on saturday, walking without guidance, smiling and laughing, greeting people.

My God, how great You are.

You can read a first-person account of the Monday Morning Miracle here.

Categories: Church Event, Hope, Life | Leave a comment

The Traditional Thoughts and Plans post

What do you know, I caught another virus. It’s left me with very little voice again so I’m tempted to believe its the last one trying to revisit but I’m building resistance as well as eating better than I was.

It’s at this time of year, immediately after Christmas, that I start thinking about the new year coming and what I want to achieve in it. I usually manage to do at least one of the things on the list, and the fact that I’m still keeping the living well promise to myself  bodes well for what I decide around now.

I seem to have overcome the seasonal/semi-regular depression fairly well so it’s possible to look at things that are achievable without thinking that I’m looking at Ben Nevis or the Bedruthan Steps!

I want to keep a clean and tidy home that anyone can visit. To do that I have to care for myself properly so that depression doesn’t stop me in my tracks. I’ve already got a mental list of how I want to get things in order; and I shall do one thing at once, I promise!

I want to get my weight properly under control. I’ve been comfort eating a lot lately and my trouser waistbands are shaming me. Before anyone protests, I am only after reaching a healthy weight for my height, within a stone or so.  Slimming World is the plan here!

I definitely want to go camping at least twice next year, and I want to visit Scotland or the Lake district. I go south a lot and yet I crave the epic scenery of the north, so this year I want go there and soak it up.

I want to post more regularly on this blog and maintain my blipfoto album (that has been sorely neglected for far too long!).

Something totally new, I want to see if I can do more handmade and home made things. I made ketchup and brown sauce this year, but there’s jam, soap, handcream, bread, cakes, cards, letters, not to mention sewing and knitting! I’m not particularly thinking of homegrown as I’ve never been a gardener. I love looking at them, not getting muddy hands!

Finally, having managed a year without a major crisis (those who have read back will know what I mean) I’d quite like another year full of building on the meaningful friendships that have grown this year.

Happy New Year everyone!

Categories: Beginning, Hope, Life, Plans | Leave a comment

Not one moment

Last week was pretty hectic. Starting with someone’s fatal road accident that prevented me from getting home one day, continuing through the first week of a New Friends course at Church, and ending with a busy weekend spend partly on the M6 and partly in Liverpool. It was good but I was Tired!

I’ve been trying to catch up on sleep and housework since then and it hasn’t been easy. Ever tried doing laundry with your eyes shut? Don’t. You’ll find that your best black trousers are staining a boil wash and your favourite white top is irretreivably ruined (not really but comes close!)

This evening I found myself in tears while a conversation about a friend’s new baby went on around me. A whole box of memories and emotions suddenly exploded inside my head and I had no defence against them. Over the meal two of my best friends managed to help me smile again and over the dishes some others had me laughing like a loon. It was good.

And then in the dark in the car it all came back. Six years of dealing with memories and laying things to rest was back in a moment and I was fighting the tears and painful memories again. Then the CD player kicked in, and it was a track about not being alone. I remembered the truth of some of the facts. Yes its been a hard road and yes there are scars but you know what? Not one inch of that road was walked alone. Not one moment of this horrible few years has been lived alone.

God has seen it all, cried through it all, walked with me through it all. I was never alone and that is why I’m doing as well as I am, I’m emotionally battered, true; but I could have given in to the pain and gone in a different and much worse direction.

God has taken many forms, the arms of brothers, sisters, parents, friends. Phone calls to and from people. Everything has meant a huge amount to me and no matter how small it was I know it helped me walk the next step.

Truly, I am blessed and grateful.

Categories: Church Event, Dan, Fear, Hope, Life, observations | Leave a comment

Learning to be thrifty

I’m learning the hard way how to be thrifty these days. My pay is about two-thirds of what it was, and I’m having to learn how to live more thriftily than I ever have. Initially it’s not been fun, I can’t be generous in the way I used to be. Brands that I used to buy routinely are now being replaced for cheaper ones or not bought at all, depending on how important something is to me.

Living thrifty affects everything, but I’m determined to live well with it, so imagination is going to play a large part in this. How to live well and spend as little as possible, how to make cost savings in as many places as possible while still living well and maintaining my hobbies as far as I can.

Walking costs nothing and it’s something I still enjoy doing. I’ll still go on holiday to the campsite I’ve been to before, although I’ll be there a day or two less than usual. I still enjoy knitting and actually I want to resurrect the crochet that I used to do as a little girl. I’ve heard of recycling charity shop knitwear, so as my wool stash goes down I shall be hunting for prizes that are a nice colour and fibre but aren’t necessarily a nice item to wear that I can unravel and reknit or recrochet into something better.

I do fully intend to continue with my real coffee habit; but it’s likely to be the only one I pursue,  most other luxury foods and drinks I have no objection to replacing. I’m already seeing pain ahead with not allowing myself to buy clothing that I don’t need and keeping book shopping as the stuff of treats and celebration. I suspect that this blog is going to become a place where I post what I learn about how to live well for less.

Take care.

Categories: Food, Hope, Life, observations, Plans, Shopping | Leave a comment

Planning in the spring sunshine

I’m sitting outside in the sun with my coffee right now. It’s my day off. I actually have laryngitis and can barely speak, but the beauty of the internet is that I don’t have to say a word and don’t feel the need to try to, as opposed to being at work and out with friends where I constantly want to speak and communicate. In some ways the internet is fantastic like that. It gives me a means of communication that allows me to rest at the same time. I hope that made sense!

The cats are making the most of the warm weather and my day off, spending every spare moment outside rather than trapped in the flat. I have to say that one of the few down sides of this flat is that there’s no way to fit a cat flap so my poor moggies have had to adapt to being mostly indoors. I can’t leave a window open while I’m at work all day, it would be far too much of a security risk.

*short break to check laundry and pour a fresh coffee*

I’m still sitting outside in a sleeveless top and bare feet. It seems a little hard to believe now that only a few weeks ago we were dealing with freezing temperatures that haven’t been experienced in my lifetime. The birds are at it, I saw an eggshell in the grass just a few days ago, the daisies and speedwell are rocketing out of the ground, magnolias in flower, on the list goes. Most importantly, my mood is better. I’m a nicer person when the sun comes out. I’ve always said I was a winter person, I see now that while snow and ice are all very well, actually the short days and foul weather do get me down a lot, and I have to really fight to keep my head up.

Oliver is doing what cats do best, sleeping on the path in the sun!

It occurred to me while I was trying to chat with my neighbour that I’ve been in this flat a year now. Exactly a year ago I was signing contracts, collecting keys and wishing that the cat hadn’t peed all over me and the van seat. It was a nice day that day too, Dad and Paul helped me pack the old house into the van and Chris and Erica helped us all unpack at the new flat. The flat looked almost as bad to start with as the house did before I started emptying it into the van. Come to think of it, I could do with tidying up a bit now.

I have a lot of plans this year. I do find that now is a good time to be planning, not new year. It’s the bleakest and lowest time and all I want to do is keep one foot in front of the other and get through the dark. One of those plans involves Church, getting more involved with it. Exactly how that will pan out we will all find out together.

Take care and enjoy the weather!

Categories: Hope, Life, observations, Plans | Leave a comment

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