We’ve had grey weather for a few days so when the sun came out to play yesterday afternoon the girls celebrated in style. off went the clothes, up went the umbrellas and on went the hose. Funny what nice weather makes you do.


challenge 30

Thirty seems to be a universal milestone. There are things people expect to have expereinced by the time they get to the big 3-0. So on the bandwagon I’m- a jumping.

Today I turn 28. I have two years – 24 months to stumble through my list.

A lot of things you’d imagine on such a list like, I’ve already been blessed to experience. Fall in love? Check. Have you heart broken? Check. Pull an all nighter? Check. Own a house? Get married? Have kids? Check Check Check.

I don’t say this lightly. I don’t say it arrogantly. I say it gratefully. Even having my heart broken was character building…!

I’m also reluctant to put pipe dreams on here if I know there’s no way I’ll be able to see them come to reality. I’d love to go to America. I’d love to get to Canada to see part of my family there. But right now they’re beyond my grasp. God is bigger than my circumstances though, so if He see’s fit, I’ll let you know!

So here’s it is. My humble list. My Challenge 30.

1. Do something that scares me

2. Grow and eat my own potatoes

3. visit a day spa

4. Have whole morning to myself with nothing to ‘do’

5. Work through every Friends episode from start to finish (not all in one sitting!)

6. Climb ‘The Ben’

7. Visit Peppa Pig World!!!

8. Learn to do something I couldn’t do before.

9. Sew something on a machine from scratch

10. Have my blogs to date printed to have on my bookshelf

11. Complete challenge 52. (twice???)

12. Read every book of the bible

13. Revisit Les Miserables in London’s West End

14. Master Photoshop

15. Go looking for the loch ness monster

16. Watch steel magnolias

17. Take the family on a train ride

18. Watch the star wars films

19. Go to the top of Blackpool tower (or the eiffel would do)

20. Learn to play a song on the guitar

21. Discover a new ‘favourite’ place to eat

22. Bake someone a cake for no particular reason

23. Take the kids camping

24. Watch the spiderman films

25. Make homemade icecream

26. Watch a sunrise

27. Have Afternoon Tea At Betty’s

28. Watch the matrix films

29. Knit something other than a scarf

30. Go to Disney

secret mess

I bought a new handbad for my birthday tomorrow. I can’t wait to use it. When he saw it, the husband’s rational reply was:

“So if you have a new one will you throw out your old one?”

I didn’t merit that rationale with a response. Selective hearing. But I did have to empty the old handbag.

Yes. That is a spoon. Yes. That is a roll of cellotape. And amongst the rubbish there are around 12 pens and three felt tips in there. I’m not proud. In fact I’m shaming myself into being tidier with this new bag.

It got me thinking.

If you looked at the outside of my old handbag you’d have thought it was a bit tired but overall pretty neat, smart and organised. But lurking beneath the surface, behind the visible: you find a real mess.

We’re ok with people seeing we’re a bit tired. But we don’t want people to see the messy states of our hearts and minds and lifestyles.


We try to hide mess. If we can’t see it, it’s not there. Pretending makes the mess go away. The truth is denial does no spring cleaning.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard or read was that it’s ok to not be ok sometimes. It’s ok. In his book Uncensored Grace, Jud Wilhite wrote that “we are all a mess, but God loves messy people.”

I love that God loves messy people. It means he loves me, because I’m messy. I’m rough around the edges. I don’t want to keep those edges rough. I’m grateful that I have One who is smoothing them.

Every so often we all need to empty our bags.