When I think…

when I think of God loving me unconditionally as I am, I am transported back to codecils and addendums, of footnotes. I am taken to a place where I first understood in my heart what this hessed was. How I felt engulfed by waves of love.

When I continue in this thinking I look at now. I look at the person He has made and I smile. I am loved as much as anyone else by God the creator, God my friend, God my comforter.

Too much thinking leads an unhealthy introspection of self that is prevalent in the world today. There is a balance to sort out between looking inside, breathing in and looking outside, breathing out.

Knowing I am loved by the living God.

Knowing this I can be a love song in the world for Him and his glory

My cup runneth over

Thank you Lord for the changes wrought in my life.

That I know I am loved.


vintage button

Button heart

Sewing a button, a mundane task but one that was needed. The button had popped off at his dad’s funeral and he was getting ready to set off for his uncle’s, tomorrow. He just asked for thread and a needle, he would do it himself he said. But I opened the button box and I was transported once more to my childhood. The button box is actually a very old tea caddy; metal on the outside and wood on the inside to keep the tea damp but not too damp. Grandma had always used it in my lifetime as a button box and I would play with them when I was at her house. She taught me to sew and helped me with school embroidery that my clumsy, chubby fingers could not fathom. It was one of two items I requested from her house when she passed away.

Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man.

The biography of the man himself cannot be written.

Mark Twain

Sean is the eldest son, the only one living in Ireland so he is representing the entire clan back in England. None of the children or I can go due to school and work commitments but we had a time of remembering and sharing uncle yesterday. Ross and I had the shared memory of a sliced pan, 1lb of sliced ham and fresh butter, Smudge and Airbag had other memories and Sean still more. From his childhood he recalled the bog days, the hay days and market days, it was not that long ago and yet, last night seemed so far away.

I sewed the button and prayed for Sean as he travels, the family who are gathered and the family members who cannot make it. I had to move the button a half inch to counteract any potential popping. Sean was disgruntled and pulled his stomach in, but there is only so much pulling in can be done. He went to make tea so wasn’t that offended.

Writing is like sewing together what I call these ‘buttons,’ these bits and pieces.

Sandra Cisneros

Mundane tasks give us the opportunity to remember, to pray, to think of others, to experience the presence of God as our mind flits over the day or week or month. There is a silence that descends and a peace that opens wide and we can know we are in the presence of the living God.

He doesn’t just care about the big things like grieving the loss of a dad or an uncle, he is there in the mundane, helping us look at memories with new eyes, the eyes of maturity.

At some point in my life when I was describing playing with buttons, it was suggested to me that I was encouraged to play with “girl” stuff, with the equipment of womanhood – buttons, cooking utensils etc., but that I wasn’t encouraged to do “boy’ stuff. The memory was tainted, it is only now in maturity that I can reclaim these memories as special times with my grandma.

All the women who were skilled in sewing and spinning prepared blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen cloth.

As I sat sewing the button, I imagined her voice, telling me how to do it, explaining endlessly with infinite patience how the needle, thread, button and cloth interacted and worked together. Maybe we can learn from the needle and thread as much as we learn from the buttons in life.


I logged my latest new book into the library and checked the status. I have 1440 physical Christian books in my home. The number bounced around my head as I thought of all the other books on the shelves.

There are 1440 minutes in the day, I wonder how many books I would browse before I found something that would engulf me for 1440 minutes. I read five books all the way through last week so that I could effectively review them for Amazon, Goodreads and Librarything, but I could’ve read more.

Then I was thinking of how to express a day as part of a minute – well here is the math:

1/1440 = 0.000694444444444

A minute looks so small in comparison to a day. But as we waste many minutes we also waste many days. This week I have been focused on walking more than 10000 steps as often as I could. With two days missing, my daily average is 9350, so I think it was achieved. I loved doing it but it made me get behind with chores and other stuff.

There was a time I got paid to walk 10000+ steps a day and then I’d go kickboxing and stuff. Trying to get back to that level of fitness is so hard as I get older.

Balancing reading and activity reminds me of the balance we are each called to maintain of social action and holiness. I got some help from an old schoolfriend who has found something to fight for. Her call to action whilst putting her own self centred worries and moanings to one side is inspirational:


What I really want for my 50th Birthday – PLEASE read to the end


To celebrate my birthday I was planning to travel down to Leipzig and race a Half Marathon. Due to insufficient training due to pressures of work and to injury I will not be racing – but I will still be running and I would really appreciate the support of ALL of my fb friends.


I will be running next Sunday to celebrate the fact that I’m 50 , can still run a half marathon, can run in a beautiful and safe environment and can run just because I want to. I will run and enjoy it because I can and I will run and with every step I will be thankful for so many things that allow me to have a wonderful life. And I will run every step and reflect that it is all random and all because of who I am and because of the luck of what part of the world I was born In and I will be TRULY GRATEFUL !


This will not come as any surprise to those of you who know me well but I moan a lot, I also expect a lot of myself and others, I shout a lot and I am not very good at keeping it to myself if things don’t go the way I think they should.


I moan about how much work I have to do – ( I have a job I love, through which I have met some incredible people, made friends for life and which has enabled me to give my children a great education)


I moan about my house that is falling down around my ears – (We have a cosy house that is warm, dry and safe)


I moan about my disrespectful kids- (Ok they are not perfect but they are decent kind amazing people who have shown me more love and joy than I knew was possible and have taught me more than I could ever have imagined – a lot of which I didn’t really want to know :0) )


I moan about my health – (I have a neurological condition that with easily accessible health care and the support of my long suffering husband I have learnt to live with – I’m still running races (slowly) and playing football (badly) but I still can.


I moan about money – (I have no idea how I will pay for my daughter and next year my son) to go to university – but I will and know that I also have the support of some amazing family and friends who are in a position to and willing to help when the going gets rough.


I sit and moan whilst thousands of people are fleeing their homes because they have no food, no medical care, no way to protect themselves or their children from the atrocities going on around them and no hope that if they stay anything is ever going to change for them. I sit and moan as children are dying in their parents arms and there is nothing they can do to stop it . And I sit and moan because it is all so unjust and unnecessary but I can’t do anything to stop it.


I could go on and on and on but what I am trying to say is that I am going to be 50 and I have sooooooo much to be grateful for and life is good – and whilst I am enjoying my race and celebrating how lucky I am there will be other people crammed into the back of a lorry, fighting for breath only to be left dying on the side of a motorway as the Mercs and Audis and VWs drive by full of people like ME moaning about how bad I have it. And there will be mothers and fathers desperately swimming for miles, holding their children’s heads above water swimming with only the hope of survival and nothing else keeping them going.


I sit, I comment , I empathise but I can’t change it and so I do nothing


But that has got to stop!


I can’t stop it – but I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE and so can YOU.


I know a lot of you are already doing things that take you out of your comfort zone to help others and donations are on their way causes that are close to your lives and will make a difference to other peoples lives.


I was thinking of asking of sponsorship for my run to donate money to one of the charities supporting the refugees but have decided not to. I would however still ask for your support. I would be really grateful if everybody who reads this could just think about something that you can do to help somebody less fortunate and how you can make a difference in September.


I have signed up to help out a couple of times a week doing something hands on at our local homeless centre and will be donating what I can and what is really needed to the refugees that have just arrived in Bad Godesberg – I know this is merely a drop in an ocean but I also know that however small a gesture it will still make a difference to somebody’s life and if everybody I know (and everybody they know ) makes some small donation of money, time or goods that together it will make an impact.


And as a final point I want to give a shout out to my brother, who – despite his infuriating self righteous attitude, appalling dress sense, horrific sense of humour and chronic bad temper – is the most socially minded person I know and has inspired me to get off my very comfortable back side and actually put my money where my mouths and actually DO something instead of just talking about it



And I look at my calendar for September, my 43200 minutes, or, 2592000 seconds and I wonder how many of those minutes will get wasted. How many of the minutes could be used in social action?

During Lent I do the 40acts from stewardship.org and continue it through the year as much as I am able. I am working 3 extra days this month so I can give more to help with the migrants pouring in to Europe, I don’t know how yet and I am doing the Christian Aid walk next week, there will be a van load going to Simon Community.

Because of my 50 year old friend I am now trying to get creative of how I can do more. Where can I volunteer my free time this month? I have five free days…

As part of my discussion on 1440. If I worked for 40 hours in a week that’s how much I would earn, that is one euro for each minutes of one day. So I sit and write and realize I am truly blessed to have access to safe work, when it is necessary, I have a roof over my head, access to water, a beautiful vehicle and don’t get started at how blessed I am to have my family all around me. Why wouldn’t I do something more for those who in this season are in dire straits.

What about you?

Surprise cancellation

My last words to the guy tonight were, “well, we have a God of surprises.”

The evening hadn’t turned out the way we had planned it, instead God made it epic. The path we had chosen was full of technology and path we were given was of hearts meeting, lives being touched, moments of grace.

I had almost cancelled the meeting altogether, I could fill my time doing something else but I remembered the guy saying how he looked forward to it. So I cancelled everything else and hauled ass to meet.

Solving one technological issue and about to start another, a sound disturbed the techie talk. On investigation, we found two ladies who wanted to join us. Technology was left behind as we instead delved into a letter written a long, long time ago. 

Two more people came in, urgently in need of prayer. And so our night became something special where heaven and earth kiss. Bonding of hearts across denominational barbed wire, moved hearts as we shared our witness, as stories were shared and prayers prayed.

Seven random people crowded my life today, only one of which I knew before today. None of whom knew the inner turmoil I had faced in the last twenty four hours. All brought blessings with them, all, I believe sent to utter wordlessly ‘onward sister onward.’

I finished today with a missive to a lady who wanted one more card, I wonder where that will lead us both…

4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. Romans 12 (msg)

fretting about the rain


Believe it or not people think I am a bit weird. I can hear them saying as they read this “A bit?” to celebrate weirdness today, I am going to share a secret. I like rain and I love fog.

When I was small, summers were spent in the beautiful bleak North East of England, along the coast between Lindisfarne and Alnmouth. I got to love the excitable waves that burst over the rocks, as each week went by I got closer and closer until completely soaked.

To be close to a tempestuous sea, there is a always a chance of rain. The North Sea loves to be chased by the wind and the wind pushes clouds some bearing sweet water overhead. Being showered by salt water or rainwater is invigorating and I used to relish it.

I was caught in a riptide once and almost drowned, not the only time I almost drowned but the one when I became aware of God’s presence. I never had any hesitation jumping back into the water because of this feeling of complete safety.

The North Sea creates something very special, sea frets. This phenomenon is seen elsewhere in the world but the East Coast of England has the perfect conditions for a prolonged, thick fog.

Grandma used to tell me of the fog in London, a pea-souper, that was most prevalent in autumn and winter due to the air pollution caused by every chimney hurling smoke into an already polluted sky.

Sea frets though, lasted for days and it made most people miserable. The beach was out because of the damp and there was little else to do in a fog. I, however, was enchanted by fog. I was able to get lost in the mist, the gentle covering of fine rain, it was like dancing in spiders’ webs.

Today I was reminded of these child memories as I walked along Inch beach. It rained twenty different kinds of rain. As we were in sight of the Surf School and houses it suddenly changed to extremely hard rain that was almost hail, the sky closed in and we were engulfed in mist. I could no longer see the vehicles parked on the beach and Lorelei stopped chasing around and walked at my heel.

We dug in and walked faster into the wind and I smiled, I felt like dancing – whirling around in a mad frenzy of happiness. Why?

Because I was thinking about the sea frets of my childhood and tip toeing through the mist. And I was thinking of another mist last year that displayed a spectrum across it and I was just reminded of the very personal way God allows his presence to be known.

My companions, without these memories, grumbled and moaned till we got back to civilisation, happy to get home and in the shower as quickly as possible. Me? Well I wanted to strip off and go swimming in sea.

Come Dwell

Lord of Lords

Come dwell with us

As we gather here

Come dwell with us


Not just for a minute

Not just for a sec

Come dwell with us O Lord


Give us rest

As we hang out here

Give us peace

As we settle here


Dwell with us O Lord

Dwell with us O Lord

Come dwell with us this day

resting vs busy


So often we get this so wrong.

What is it about our lives that we don’t take the time to smell the roses? (we even call that smell the coffee now.)

These are a few scenarios I encountered today, there is no judgement, it is a chronically first world issue. We all get it wrong – just to different degrees.

A toddler was having an epic tantrum in the supermarket but it was a holiday so both parents were present and one lifted the child and took him out of the situation. I was in the queue at the checkout and engaged with the lady in front about the child because I have been there in a supermarket with a toddler inconsolable because I couldn’t afford whatever it was they wanted. I endured the looks of sympathy, the shaking heads, the angry heads. But I needed to stay in the situation because otherwise I was setting myself up for years of misery.

A toddler was in a buggy with his parent sitting outside a café. The parent was engaged in conversation with a friend, the child tried to get the attention of the parent and so the parent passed their phone to them.

Another toddler was watching a video on an ipad.

Our toddlers are getting busy – when they could be resting and they are learning it from us.

We spend our time on our phones, we collect emails constantly, we reply to text messages instantly, we play games when we are not doing any of the other things. We are always doing something, if not two or three things at a time. We juggle our time as though we had control over it and we get tired, so very, very tired.

There is another way of living, a different way, a way that turns busy upside down and changes everything. We may not be toddlers but we have to stop. Toddlers have little control on their choices, but we do.

We can choose life with God, we can choose a life of living and living well. When we ask the Lord come dwell in us, we can being to breathe in a restful manner. Sitting in a comfy chair, opening our bible and reading God’s living word, opening our hearts to the inbreathing of the Spirit changing our thought processes, changing our heart processes as we fix our eyes on Jesus and become as we grow closer and closer to the Lord and more and more like Jesus.

It is to him we look when we investigate how to balance a very busy life with a restful spiritual life.