confessions.

Well I’ve broken into my box of Kit-Kat Chunky peanut butter bars, i have swapped all my stuff from my old purse to my new beautiful green one and I have worn my new shorts (funnily enough, they’re green too).  I woke up this morning feeling so much better so that’s a belated birthday gift in itself.

I was reminded today (totally random thought as well) about a conversation I had with a friend when I was, hmmmmm, about 15.  We met when a load of young people descended on my home church to do a weeks youth mission, and she was L.O.U.D.  I’m talking seriously confident and charismatic.  This conversation happened a little while after we met and she admitted that SHE had felt INTIMIDATED about ME.  Yes, I wrote that right.  Now you need to understand that I am way more confident now that I was as a teen.  I was so shy around new people (ok, maybe I’m not that much more confident now because I still feel like a right lemon around people I don’t know).  So it knocked me for six.

I don’t like the idea of anyone being intimidated by me.  I’m so easily intimidated myself, I know how it feels.  So I’m here to remedy this problem – if anyone else was to be so out of their minds as to feel intimidated by me.  You know when you’re nervous of public speaking you’re supposed to picture the audience naked?  Well don’t you dare picture me naked!! The whole point of that is to make them seem less powerful to you and therefore you can find your confidence (isn’t it awful that it always seems to be a battle of power?! ) And there is no better way to make yourself powerless than to throw confessions onto the table.

So for one night only, here are 5 real and raw confessions.

1. I have no idea what people are going on about when they use the word instagram.  I know it’s something to do with photos but after that you’ve lost me.  When it pops up here and there I just nod and smile.

2. I am petrified a teeny weeny bit afraid of old-school posters.  It doesn’t matter where you go, they’re always staring at you.

3. I cannot add up in my head without using my fingers.

4. Some people think I’m really tough for labouring and giving birth twice with only gas and air but truth is I was too out of it  with the gas and air to ask for anything else.

5. When we hadn’t been going to Emmanuel long, one Sunday morning I came back from the toilet and Rob whispered to me that he had told one of the leader’s I’d do a bible reading later on in the church service.  I was so horrified and self conscious I grabbed the car keys and legged it.  Yes and I’m a paid member of staff now.

So there you are.  five reasons why  not to feel at all intimidated by me.

caffeine, cake and growing up.

Yesterday was my birthday. Anyone who asked was told I’m still working on perfecting 21.

I was actually unwell, a nice ol’ mixture of back/leg pain, accidentally drinking caffeine and maybe a virus.  It didn’t stop me enjoying a white chocolate and raspberry muffin, shopping for a while with my ma,  and heading out for KidsZone and The Hub in the evening.

There was a serious amount of love floating around the Emmanuel building.  Our young people brought cakes, chocolate, cards and gifts.  The cakes were like a modern day ‘5 loves and two fish’ – people sniffed them out from all over the building and filed in and out to get a slice and at the end of the night there was still half left of each.  A miracle I tell ya.

Had it been anyone else’s birthday I would have filled the post with pictures. But it was mine and so none were taken.  I keep trying to refresh my mental photos because I don’t want to lose them – the kids singing happy birthday, a stolen flower (from one of the vases) tucked in my hair, the looks on the faces of those who handed over gifts and cards, a little girl handing over a ‘birthday medal’ she’d made me. Sigh.

I wouldn’t have wanted to have been anywhere else.  People keep telling us how they appreciate te work we’re going with the kids and young people.  It’s humbling because we kinda feel like frauds.  The fact is it’s us that are grateful to be a part of something that is growing way past the efforts of a brummie boy and a mackem girl.

Gush gush gush and more gush.

So, 29. I need to sit down with a cup of tea and look at this list of mine.  I’ve not thought about it for a while so I dont remember what I’ve done and not done.  I might change it – some of it may not be as important to me as it was a year ago.

We were starting to make plans for a family holiday.  We found one that was perfect and were ready to book  it and send off for passports in the morning.  But when morning came and we were honest with each other, neither of us felt at peace about financial cost. So the decision was made that we wouldn’t go. Uh, I hate being sensible.

29.  I think I might just have turned into a grown up.

 

cherish.

Sigh.  I don’t know where to start.  Around about a month ago I signed up late for Cherish2012.  It’s a women’s conference.  First off I signed up when I was still in so much pain I couldn’t balance all the meds I had to take.  Crazy I know.  Plus – I’m not the women’s conference ‘type’.  I thought there’d be lots of…’fluff’, you know? I can’t explain it, just fluffy stuff. AND I’m so rubbish around people I don’t know very well.  It’s like I’m socially schizophrenic, I turn from a confident woman into a ridiculously immature introvert that forgets the art of conversation.  So why I jumped at the chance to go to Cherish only God knows.

But it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

I’m not good with numbers (and these are poor images taken on the balcony) but this gives you a good idea of how many girls came to hang out for a weekend.

DSCF3005-001DSCF3006

What grabbed my heart straight away was the effort that went into making us feel welcome and important.  There were so many ‘little details’ that I couldn’t begin mention everything.  They covered the place with tiny butterflies, paper pom-poms and a big message for everyone walking through the car park.

DSCF3029

 

DSCF3024DSCF3025

DSCF3030DSCF3022DSCF3026

 

No massive reason for it, just to love us, appreciate us and embrace all things girlie.  Each woman at the conference received a gift, delivered by a team of amazing suited-up guys who served us the whole weekend (the gift was a veeeery pretty candle holder).

 

DSCF3013

Gifts – and no strings, it’s pretty counter-cultural right?! And another thing – no ‘fluff’ in sight!! Just a team of ordinary (but very annointed!) women who love Jesus pouring truth, affirmation and a spiritual ‘kick-up-the-butt’ to hundreds (?) of other ordinary woman that love Jesus too.

We even had a free afternoon to head into Bradford city centre for a bit of retail therapy!

DSCF3009

Becky didn’t go for the batman top in the end Smile.  I shared the weekend with a handful of women – some that I already knew well, others not very well at all.  I came home loving every single one of them, and blessed that I get to do life with these lovely ladies.DSCF3018DSCF3020

I couldn’t think how to get this picture in – but it can’t not, its too funny! Yes that is two grown women sitting in the boot.

DSCF3001

 

I ‘ve gone through the notes I made from the weekend and I’m committing to work through them over and over until they’ve settled nicely into my mind and my heart.  A weekend that made you feel special, where you are able to just be filled up afresh, spend time with some awesome friends and enjoy some ‘ mummy-off-duty’ time – Even the pain in my back couldn’t spoil it.

On the closing evening I had a tap on my shoulder only to turn around and see my old youth pastor standing in front of me.  Tears, laughter and lots of hugs followed and it was the perfect end to a very memorable and special weekend.

 

 

DSCF3016

green stars, tears and cupcakes

Last week I totally spoilt myself because La Redoute had some gorjooooose clothes on a ridiculous sale.  So I bought me clothes.  My favourite I think has to be this one.

I mean, who doesn’t have space in their wardrobe for some green stars?

This week has been hard.  My back has been hurting, my ears have been hurting and the house is upside down from getting some decorating done.  But way more than all of this was the depserately awful news that a lady I knew from various Emmanuel outreach programmes had died suddenly, leaving a husband and two very young children.  I tried to write about it twice this week and after staring at the screen and deleting every word I typed I figured it wasn’t the right time.  It’s still not.  But it can’t be ignored either.  I was to scream at the unfairness of it all, but choose to trust in God when I don’t understand.  I’m choosing to appreciate every day that can so easily be taken for granted.

It’s Chloe’s birthday sunday so we’re making it a bithday weekend.  I really didn’t want to fork out for a typical class party at a soft play like she had last year.  I’m glad we did it then because it’s good for a child to experience something like that and she loved having all her class around her.  But I was over the moon when Chloe opted for a ‘fun day’ with a handful of her girlfriends.  So much more fun.  I’ll be baking cupcakes for me the girls as a pre-birthday cake. That’s tomorrow, and Sunday will be family time with a pub lunch and a bigger birthday cake.  No doubt Sunday night I’ll be over-reflective that my baby girl is six and I’ll indulge in all the cliches about how time flies.

Oh and I found my coral nail varnish that I though I had lost.  Result.