Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 4

Had another crazy day with Mum and her sisters. Found some bargains in Primark, and therefore spent money I don't have.

In the afternoon Uncle Mel came down with the triplets. Until today, I never realised that a two year old was capable of putting a DVD on. Literally, every little step required - they did with no help. Even finding the right AV channel! Scary!

I seemed to make a friend today too. My little cosuin Ryan decided I would be fun to play with (?!?! - he has a lot to learn!) It actually freaked me out a bit! Here is a child asking me for my attention! What do I do?!?! I got through it in one piece - just!

Watched the film Deja Vu tonight with Mum and Dad. Oh my word, that was one frustrating film. I am now trying to stop myself writing a letter to the writers demading an expanation as to why they left so many loose ends, unanswered questions, and obvious discrepencies and inaccuracies in a film. Other than that it was quite good! (I am kidding by the way - I wouldn't really write a letter!)

I have got about a third of my Christmas (and birthday - grr Dad and Tracey!) shopping done now, and I have ideas for most of the others. Hopefully tomorrow I should get a lot of the rest of it done.

I can't believe that tomorrow is the last day of my holiday. I didn't imagine I would be saying this but I could have managed a few more!!!!

Day 3

I got up at 9:00 am (an hour after I planned to!) and drove to Southend to spend the day with my mum and my aunties and two of my cosuins. Every year before Christmas my mum and her sisters (there are 5 sisters) get together for a few days to do all their Christmas shopping, and a lot of their wrapping up and so on. My Uncle Mel usually meets them for a day too. Its a brilliant idea, and they always have a great time. They don't all get to be with each other that often as everyone lives so far apart, so they make the most of it. Sometimes, if any of us are free, some of the cousins join in too.

If anyone has ever been in the proximity of these sisters when there are at least two present, you will understand the mayhem that ensues when they are all together for the first time in a year. They are mad as hatters, and yet so much fun to be with.

Its surprising how much fun a 25 year old can have when spending the day with a mum and 4 crazy aunties, wandering around shops such as QD, Wilkinsons and Bon Marche! What scared me even more was that I actually liked some of the stuff I saw in Bon Marche!!!!! Help? Am I getting old? Maybe I was spending too much time with my aunties!

This evening I spent with three friends who I love to pieces, and its been ages since the four of us spent time together so that was truly wonderful.

This holiday is turning out to be actually fun! Who ever would have thought?!?!?!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 2

At 9:30am I went to the hairdressers. I was uneasy as I was trying a new hairdresser for the first time in 6 years. I emerged three and a half hours later with a haircut exactly how I had asked for it. I was going to add a picture of the end result, but I have no camera (and besides cameras are one of the biggest evils in the world after carrots and spiders), so if you want to see it you will have to make sure I get to see you sometime soon!!!!

Not sure yet whether I really like it. It wasn't helped today by the stupid rain. (Who invented rain? What do we need it for anyway?!!!) and until I have attempted to do it myself I am still unsure of how it is going to actually look. However - anything is better than the, 'I haven't had it cut in six and a half months and I have tons of split ends and it is so long I will always end up putting it in a ponytail rather than making an effort with it' look! So it will do!

I had some friends come round in the afternoon for a chat, and then spent the evening with a bunch of people from my church talking about Hope 08, and ideas for mission in Romford, with a particular (but not sole) view towards what we will start to put into place when we move into our new building, and how can we work together with the other churches in the area in meeting the spiritual needs in Romford. I also got my two pennies worth in about prayer!

A bitty, but very productive day.

Day 1

Ok, its the end of day 1 of the official holiday, and so far it has been FABULOUS! Dublin is great. I wish I could live there. Those beautifl Southern Irish accents get me every time!!! Dom, Twig and I had great fun, and I had a bit of a giggling fit on the plane, (AT Dom), which was made even worse by my embarrasment when some man was watching me laughing so hard that I was crying - and lauging at me!

I am absolutely shattered, but looking forward to day 2.

(Incidently, I also had a rather wonderful weekend visiting Sarah in Wetherby, and although it is not part of my official holiday week - it was certainly worth mentioning.)

Friday, November 23, 2007


1 more day to go till the dreaded, (and yet so desperately needed) holiday. What shall I do?...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I want to be googled!

I am meant to be praying. Instead, I am trying to find my blog on google. Its Liz and Glyn's fault! I was reading through blogs and Glyn has a Mitchie award on the side of his blog for his post on Andi Peter's. (Its been there for ages, but I re-noticed it today!) This concept made me laugh, so I decided to re-read through that post - (anyone would think I had a lot of time on my hands. Like I say, I am meant to be praying - Facebook fasting doesn't appear to be having its desired effect!!!). Anyway, I couldn't find it on his blog so I tried googling it, and found it straight away. This really impressed me and reminded me of Liz's blog, where she said she accidently found her blog on google. It made me want to find my blog on google. I have been trying for ages - but to no avail! I decided to try some other bloggers.

I got upset at this point that mine was the only one I had tried that I hadn't been able to find, so I stopped to write this and vent my frustrations!

What is the secret? More adventurous titles? More blog readers?

Ok, competition time - if anyone can find my blog on google, they will get a prize! (without searching for the actual blog address of course - that would be cheating.)

Actually going to pray now! Not about googling my blog! (More likely about not feeling the need to google my blog!!!!!!!)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My humble prayer

Today I have sat here at my computer for ages, knowing that I had something to blog, but not being able to get it out. I don't struggle with writing down my thoughts very often, but today, I really did. Perhaps it is because I have become very aware of a problem in my life recently, and I was trying to define it, and describe it and work it out so that I could do something about it, without doing the obvious thing and taking it to God.

I ended up re-reading the prayer of freedom I blogged about ages ago, and trying to pray it. As soon as I opened up to God - the words just flowed - in the form of a prayer rather than a blog. Definitely the best way round!. Now, having already prayed this prayer and having meant it from the bottom of my heart, I wanted to share it with all who are interested. Perhaps you can keep me accountable to it. I am learning lessons about the true meaning of humility, and right now, I desire it with all my heart. I pray that the desire will remain strong.

Lord, at work where there is potential to receive admiration
Help me to see only you

Lord, when I'm tempted to try to earn love from my friends
Help me to see only you

Lord when I find myself seeking attention
Help me to see only you

Lord when my eyes stray and start seeking success and achievement
Help me to see only you

Lord when I am desperate for someone to tell me I'm doing ok
Hankering after feedback
Seeking approval
Help me to see only You

Lord I am often tempted to use the worlds standards to measure myself. When those temptations come my way, please remind me that I have no need to measure myself. That all I need to do is see you, rest in you and wait upon you, and that as I do so, your Spirit will gently mould me into the person you created me to be.

Lord I am often frustrated that I don't understand what is going on in the world; that I am not sure what you are doing - what you are waiting for. Lord my frustrations stem from a desire to be let in on your 'secret plans' for this world. What are you up to? Where are you going to take us; where are we headed; what are the aims and objectives I am meant to be working towards, and how will I know if I am achieving them? Lord when those frustrations start overwhelming me as they often do - please humble me, and remind me of my position at the foot of your cross. Please remind me that it is my pride talking. My pride telling me that I can be part of achieving something big for you; my pride telling me I should be part of some great big adventure; my pride that wants to be rushing on ahead and getting to the action before you have even declared a battle. Please Lord help me to rest in your control; to believe that you are, and will be involved in this world; to trust in your timings and to wait for your call. Take away my blindness; my 'I'ness; and help me to see only you.

Lord, someone once told me I look at the world through God tinted spectacles. Lord make that a reality - help me to live like that. Truly seeing everything according to your perspective, looking up and seeing you in any and every situation. Help me to see only you Lord. Only you.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sex Shop News!

For those of you who live in Romford, (and those who are interested that don't!) I thought you might be interested to know that I received the Autumn edition of the Romford Town Newsletter today. (Does anyone else get that? Are you jealous?) Anyway - I was pleased to read in it the following statement:

"A number of residents have approached Cllr. Wendy Brice-Thompson to voice their concerns over the apparent opening of a sex shop of this site. (Former Littlewoods store in Romford Liberty Centre).

As we understand it, the company who own the leasehold for the former Littlewoods store, GHP Group Ltd, do not have a lisence for this type of use, nor have they applied for one. The matter is currenty the subject of on-going court proceedings between Cosgrave who own the Liberty and GHP. Both properties are privately owned and at this stage the council has no involvement. In the meantime, we will be investigating the advertising boards which have appeared on pillars in Swan Walk, which may be subject to advertising consent.

The council and its partners have worked very hard to create a quality shopping environment in Romford and will continue to do so."

I am about to write to the Councellor to ask if there is any way of getting updates on this issue regularly. It seems a bit crazy that there is such heavy advertising for it when they have not even applied for a license. It seems that residents have a certain amount of power over what happens in Romford - particularly when the council are involved. I recently had a letter explaining that they want to open an ALDI and that a liqueor license has been requested. We were able to attend some meeting and make any comments we had about that so I certainly hope the same would be true of opening a sex shop in Romford. If so, I intend to use the opportunity to make as much fuss about it as I can!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Is someone trying to tell me something?

I went away this week with my team at work on a 'communications workshop' away day. Well it was actually a day and a half. I wasn't really sure what to expect, I have so much work to do at the moment, and it was in Chesham - right over the other side of London. So all in all, I wasn't really looking forward to it. However, it well exceeded my expectations. It was so nice to be able to socialise with some of my work colleagues outside of a work context. I wish we did it more. We had a lot of fun, and I lauged a lot.

One of the things that really stunned me was how similar the 'communications workshop' stuff was to a course I took with my church a while ago called Lab 1. Lab 1 was specifically about learning techniques for listening and understanding people, particularly from a Christian context. Since doing the course I have very rarely used any of the techniques I learned, in spite of the fact that I believe that they are very powerful.

I can't think of any way of describing the next bit without being really personal so here goes. For a long time, (a long long long time) I have been very disatisfied with who I am. I have never had the best self esteem, but recently this has escalated to a point that I need to do something about it. Instead of getting overwhelmed by all my weaknesses to the point where it disables me from doing anything about it, I have decided that, at 25 years of age, I am not expected to be perfect. So I will present myself to God, as I am, and ask Him to show me areas of my life that I need to work on, bit by bit. One of the things about my personality that really gets me is the amount I struggle with connecting with people. Knowing how to converse with people, how to have, and show compassion to the hurting. I want people to feel like they can talk to me about stuff and that I will really listen. I want to know what to say to them, and how to make them feel like they have a friend. (Listen to me - "I want, I want , I want!!")

Yesterday I was listening to these people telling us about skills in listening and I was thinking, "I have heard this before, I know this stuff!" so why am I still struggling so much with this issue? Additionally, I mentioned to my boss that I have been on a listening and communication skills course before with my church, and he gave me a look and started to say, "Have you?...then why..." He didn't need to finish! The point had been made. I realised then that I had never put into practice what I had learned, and I had never even considered the possibility of using those skills at work. I was taught within a Christian context, so I only ever thought about using them in the same context...but they are very transferable skills. I should use them. Who knows...myabe if I did I might have had an awful lot more conversations about my faith and deep conversations with my colleagues about their lives - not just the bits that I see every day at work, but the really personal stuff that I would share if I was a real friend.

I really think God had a lot to do with the material we were taught these last two days. I suddenly feel a sense of hope and possibility about my working relationships. I am now going to re-read all my lab 1 stuff, and start trying to use it at work. I will pray that God will honour my efforts and change me to be usable for His kingdom...even at work.