Tuesday, October 20, 2009


ever looked in the mirror and simply been horrified at what looked back at you? Listening to the sermon on intimacy with God, preached by (she says ever so proudly) my lovely man last Sunday, I couldn't help but think about how my faith is reflected in my everyday life...and consequently, having to consider that actually, sometimes, in fact a lot of the time, the way i am in 'real life' doesn't really reflect how I am 'on the inside' - or at least how I strive to be. For example, the inner me is calm, peaceful, takes joy in the detail, works tirelessly and uncomplainingly. The outer me freaks out on a regular basis, is boisterous, bossy, big picture, and loves moaning (well maybe not but I do it often, and loudly). Is this the me I want to see reflected for the world to see? Oh no no no...but what to do about it? Still working on that one. In the meantime, I guess I'll have another chamomile tea (yeah alright, another glass of wine...) and suck my tummy in another 2 inches...

Friday, August 21, 2009

simplify, simplify

It's the new great fashion in life coaching.... clear out the house and make room for good things to come into your life. I have my own theory (of course I have!) which has, I am shocked to discover, been stolen by less wise mortals like Oprah, and Dr Phil, and the Good Morning show. Clear out the physical rubbish, and the spiritual rubbish will follow. There's nothing more liberating (for me anyway), that having a good sort out, giving away stuff, and creating space. And that applies to the physical, the mental, the spiritual. Around 6 weeks ago I went on a real binge, figure I gave away maybe 4 trailer loads of 'stuff'. Emptied folders on the computer, sorted the towel cupboard, went through my makeup bag...you name it. Ended, painfully, a wonderful, timeconsuming, but ultimately doomed friendship. All the while, I think, subconsciously preparing myself for something big and truly amazing to come into my life. And it has. Hallelulujah!!!!

Friday, August 07, 2009

The midlife faith crisis

It seems to me that everyone I have spoken with (on a meaningful level) in the past 6 months or so is going through some kind of faith crisis... either feeling disenfranchised or emasculated by the formal church structure (that's the minor stuff!) or seriously questioning their own belief set.

Not that any of us are questioning the existence of God, the credibility of the Bible, or any of those really fundamental issues...it's more the 'life' questions.... - where does the discipline and habit of going to church fit into my life? - do I have to do this to help grow as a Christian? - What am I getting from it (and what can I give?) - Are there some big questions that aren't being answered?

A discussion today with two long-time Christians, both in ministry, didn't really come up with any conclusions, other than to suggest that the 'church' (as in the corporate or community sense) is probably not meeting the needs of people like me, and those mentioned above. Men feel unsure of their place, women feel stressed because they are balancing their home life and church life (often without the support of a partner), singles feel alone, the recently, and not so recently separated feel unsupported.

Where do we begin to address this? Perhaps the first step is to remember that the Christian walk is, by and large, a plod...day by day, no great epiphanies, no amazing events to speak of most of the time - just daily miracles (that we made it through the day?!), taking joy from the everyday. Secondly, reminding ourselves that it is right and normal to challenge long held views, even Biblical to do so.

As long as (and this is the key I think) we are prepared to view them in light of our own faith and journey - and then step up to do something about it. Thirdly, acknowledging that no-one is perfect, not least 'the church' and so we don't really have the right to pick and choose the bits we want to keep or discard. Viewing it as an overall experience and opportunity for growth is of more value that identifying the bits we don't like or want and using that as a reason not to get involved Lastly, but challenging, and possibly discarding the dogma, and meaningless ritual we can so easily get immersed in (sometimes quite grudgingly), and start to think of our faith in real, personal terms.

How do we do that? By acknowledging our shortcomings, really studying ourselves and identifying our gifts, testing all things, and being open to God working in our lives in a minute by minute way. I need to think, really think about what I beleive in, what are my deal breakers, what can I offer others, what are my limits? Remember that God is with me even when it doesn't feel that way, that just because I am, on a particular day, feeling cross with Him, or separate to Him, does not mean that He is not there, waiting for me to look to Him.

Surround myself with likeminded people, feel my soul, nourish my spirit, stretch my mind. Have spirited and honest discussions but not be swayed by the opinions of others. Measure myself daily....

Monday, July 13, 2009

knocked sideways

I have often talked of the past year or two of my life as being my 'Jonah' experience. I stamped my foot and raged at God, spent quite some time in the fish's stomach, and was finally washed up on a new and beautiful shore.

The island certainly had it's dangers (don't they all) but I have felt an ongoing peace that I was, at last, on God's path. To that end, I have launched myself into growing in my Christian life, catching up on 15 years of average-ness in Him. Surrounded by others who could support me and I could support, I have seen myself grow and flourish in the past few months. By concentrating on how I could best serve God, I have met some amazing people, been instrument in some minor miracles, and felt God's presence like never before.

It has been an amazing experience for me and there have been many lessons along the way, some uncomfortable, but not many as challenging as the one I face now. By nature a trusting person (perhaps too much so), I tend to rule with emotion and probably would consider myself more of a giver than a taker, sometimes to my own detriment.

I have this week been confronted with something I never, ever thought I would. And it has completely knocked me for six. Wise counsel has got me no closer to understanding why I am in the situation I am now in, and I can only conclude that this is a 'human' experience that I have been subjected to and not a Godly one. It is hard to understand why God has allowed me to be ripped from the sense of peace and security I thought I was enveloped in. I had with earnest heart asked Him to protect me from this very thing, and truly believed that He was doing so.

Because many people are affected by this experience, not just me, and that is the hardest part to bear. Re-reading through an article by Blaine Smith (nehemiah.gospelcom.net/perfect2.htm) I have to conclude - just because I think something might be perfect for me doesn't mean that God does - I have no control over the behaviours of others - sometimes crappy stuff just happens and it's what we do as a result of that, that counts. But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, and and it is hard not to take personal rejection, personally!

I have spent much of the past 4 days crying out to Him, and asking for His peace. There have been moments when I have truly felt this surround me, and others when it seems I may never find it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

40 days in the wilderness

The past forty days have been my own personal wilderness. The year started with great and exciting promise, beginning with a kind of covenant/faith renewal service on New Years Day. There was also a fledgling relationship which I had a quiet confidence in, I was over 'the hump' of turning 40, the housing market seemed to be picking up (meaning the possibility of a house sale), and I was at my all time best in terms of weight and health.

And then..... By the middle of January it starting turning to custard...and now, 40 days (or so) on, I feel that maybe, just maybe, the wandering around in a daze might be coming to an end. Ironically right in time for Lent. The relationship has turned out not to be as mutually satsifying as I had hoped (unfortunately I am still rather emotionally attached and working my way through a gamut of feelings, mostly consisting of feeling hopelessly hopeful...), the housing market plummeted again, although finally, finally, is sold with an extended settlement (but hurrah for finding a tenant), 41 is looming but not as scary as I thought, and I am delighted to find I have not gained an ounce over Christmas!

I have withdrawn from some of the commitments I had last year (turns out filling ones life to avoid reality is a good short term solution but not that sustainable for sanity!)..but kept on the ones I feel most drawn to, and am now thinking about what this year could bring. My spiritual journey is long and rugged but I feel I am slowly but surely going forward rather than treading water as has been the case for so long.

Some new friendships are in their fledgling stage, a few old ones have been...not relinquished - but partly retired. I have also realised that I need nourishing as much as I need to nourish others, and this has been an interesting insight. As a serial rescuer and helper I have not really given myself the opportunity to be cherished and looked after. And I can finally acknowledge that this is something I want keenly for myself for this coming year. Bring it on!

Friday, January 09, 2009

questions still burning

how frustrating. my most profound blog and it didn't publish properly. and now nearly a year down the track the questions come thicker and faster than before.

it has been quite a year for me, including separation from my husband of 14 years, finding a new home for the chlildren and I and undergoing somewhat of a faith transformation. as my 'exterior' life has been transformed, so has my internal soulfulness and reliance on God. How profound that I discovered that when I was unable to fix everything myself, and that by immersing myself and reliquishing myself in God, my life started to come together.

Slowly and sometimes in circles it must be said, but looking back now I can really see how life has come together. And I feel happy that some of the good memories can outweigh the pain.

And that they all can remain in a past that no longer defines me.