Saturday, March 29, 2008

why is this so difficult?

Today I was walking down high street. I was on my way home after a lovely birthday brunch with the girls. I decided to pop into Gap on the off chance they might have a red t-shirt Emily got in London that I really liked. Since I wasn't really expecting them to have it, I stopped at H&M on my way. There was a really pretty purple t-shirt that I decided to try on and then decided to buy it.

I thought I would skip Gap, but I was too curious, so I went in there too. They didn't have the t-shirt but they did have this really pretty light-weight sweater in the same color, on sale. So I looked at it longingly for a minute but left. Then went back in to try it on. It was beautiful. I thought, "I'll just take the other one back cause I can't have both." Then I heard, "Why not? Why can't I be extravagant?" I ended up not only buying the sweater but also a blue cami that I had seen in London and was now on sale.

I've been wrestling with whether or not I should take something back. The thing is I don't need three new tops. I don't even need one new top. I can't really afford one either. At least that's what wisdom would say. But I'm caught by the possibility that the Lord is the one who asked why he can't be extravagant with me. It might've just been me, my own desires whispering to me in a moment of weakness.

I've been re-reading Captivating recently and I just read this the other day: "This is how we trust him. We accept what he has to say. We let it be true." And so, I have decided to keep all three new tops. It's a rather reckless decision. Not much wisdom in it at all. But even if I'm hearing wrong, I'm making the decision to trust. If that was my own thoughts and not the Lord's I'm trusting that he will take care of me, provide for me, anyway. And if it was him, then I'm full of thanks that he cares enough to want to give me something so silly and completely unnecessary.

Monday, March 24, 2008

sister's visits and a snowy easter

So, I've been quite busy the last few weeks. It's been a happy sort of busy. My sister Laura came to visit for a week. Part of the time she spent here with me and part of the time in London with Emily. I spent her last day (Wednesday) in London with them. We discovered the wonders of the restaraunt chain Giraffe and the glories of their Waffle Banana Split in Guildford and repeated the experience in London. Beautiful, simply beautiful!

Easter was fun, Emily came out for the weekend. No floral dress or white patent leather shoes this year. I did manage to wear a skirt, but only by wearing long underwear underneath cable knit tights. A thick wool sweater and bright green wellies completed the ensemble. We went to a sunrise service on the top of one of the numerous hills outside of town. Our feet were aching with the cold! Then we went over to the Nicholsons for breakfast and sat in the warm house watching it snow for the better part of an hour. It was great!
After my hour slot in the prayer room we went over to the Slinn's for a lovely lunch and lots of fun and movie watching. Good times were had by all!

Friday, March 21, 2008

keep it simple

"Man was created to love God and enjoy Him forever."

Just a little reminder...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

it's funny

All my life my dad has listened to country music. Not country as in Garth Brookes and Dolly Parton, country as in Americana, Folk, Bluegrass. And I hated it. Rolled my eyes at it. Cringed everytime I got in his truck. Then came "O Brother Where Art Thou" and everything changed. Now I probably have more folk music than any other genre. And I have more fun singing along with bluegrass than just about anything else. This is one of my favorites:

if you want to know more about patrick

Relevant Magazine have a good article here:

Monday, March 17, 2008

patrick's blessing

The Blessing of God upon you all,
Men of Erin, sons, women,
And daughters; prince-blessing,
Meal-blessing, blessing of long life,
Health-blessing, blessing of excellence,
Eternal blessing, heaven-blessing,
Cloud-blessing, sea-blessing,
Fruit-blessing, land-blessing,
Crop-blessing, dew-blessing,
Bessling of elements, blessing of valor,
Blessing of dexterity, Blessing of glory,
Blessing of deeds, blessing of honour,
Blessing of happiness be upon you all,
Laics, clerics, while I command
The blessing of the men of heaven;
It is my bequest, as it is a Perpetual Blessing.

Friday, March 7, 2008

ballet shoes

One of my favorite movies is "You've Got Mail." I know it's a rather typical girly movie, but I'm not even going to classify it as a guilty pleasure, I just really like it.

In one of the best parts Meg Ryan's character, Kathleen Kelly, goes into the children's section of the chain store that's putting her independant children's bookstore out of business. She just sits and looks around, quite sadly. Then, she over hears a conversation between a customer and a rather unknowledgable sales man.

Woman - "Excuse me, do you have The Shoe Books?"
Sales man - "The Shoe Books, who's the author?"
Woman - "I don't know, my friend told me my daughter had to read The Shoe Books, so here I am."
Kathleen - "Noel Streatfeild. Noel Streatfeild wrote Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes, Skating Shoes, and Dancing Shoes. I'd start with Skating Shoes, it's my favorite. Although Ballet Shoes is completely wonderful, but it's out of print."
(She's fighting back tears by this point.)

Anyway, there's more to the scene, but you get the point (one of them being I've seen this movie a lot). And my point is that working at the OxFam shop this week I found a copy of Ballet Shoes! I had never heard of the books outside of the movie, didn't even know they were real. But apparently they're classics in British children's literature. I'm so excited!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Last night at our Boiler Room meeting we talked about mission. Some of our friends, Phil and Anna Evans (blog link to the right) are preparing to go to Skopje, Macedonia in January/March 2009. We spent the evening hearing from and praying for them. Then, towards the end, there was a call for all of us to be missional with our lives. Phil reminded us that the question is not, "Should I go?" but "Can I stay?"

I spent the end of the meeting crying. I already know the answer to that question for me. I can't stay, I have to go. But sometimes, although I am so close, I still feel really far away. My heart breaks for Ireland. It's been a while since I've cried about it, that used to be a regular occurrence. It's really reassuring for the tears to come back.

I was just reading Brian Heasely's blog ( he's a leader in 24-7. And his post this morning was on mission. He made a list of places that he would like to see communities planted. Guess what was #1... Ireland. Apparently it's the least evangelized English speaking country in the world. I didn't know that. It's not that surprising.

I'm aching to go.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

i have the smell of his feet in my hair

I've had that lyric in my head for days, it's my favorite part of the song. (see previous post) The thing about it is, there's a lot in the song and in the story that I don't relate too, that it's hard to identify with. But the one thing I can identify with quite easily is her desperation for Jesus. I can definitely relate to being in a place of absolute and total need and Jesus being the only one who can make me whole.

A lot of my prayers sound like this song by one of my favorite artists, Rosie Thomas. "Tie me ever tightly to your side so I can go with you wherever you reside." I always pray like that. Keep calling my name, don't ever stop. Give me the strength to hold on to you, don't let go! Come close, be near. I sound so needy most of the time. But with Jesus I think that's the best place to be. Honest, simple, desperate.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

creative project

I heard He’s up there in that room
I’m afraid—I don’t know what to do
If He only knew what I’ve done He might never even look at me
I have to climb those stairs
I have to find His voice
As I make my way through the crowds nobody sees me, nobody notices me
I walk up those stairs and through the window I hear Him talking—telling parables
I can hear Him telling parables, I can understand what He’s saying
I should have changed my clothes
I’ve had this dress on for almost two weeks now and it’s stained in my sin
My sin—it’s like stains all over this garment but I have to climb those stairs
The room is crowded and I can’t see Him
He’s kneeled down and He’s talking in parables again
I just make my way over to the right and I lean against the wall
There’s an opening between the phrases
And I make my way, I make my break and I run and throw myself at His feet—and I weep
I have this perfume
I know it’s a gift from my lovers—it’s the only thing I have
So I break the neck of the bottle and start to pour my life
My mother forgot my name
My father disappeared when I was just a girl
I was used by everyone, abused by everyone and I was angry
So I ran and hid in the darkness—can you smell my darkness Lord?
Can you smell my sin, it’s being poured on you
And I worship you here at your feet
I hear them talking about me but I keep pouring
This is my one chance, this is my one hope, I have nothing left,
I’m gonna give you everything
Because I heard you heal the sick
I heard you give sight to the blind
I heard you would father the orphan
I heard you would be a husband to the widow
I heard you would forgive my sin
Demons will flee when the fragrance is lifted
Restoration comes when the fragrance is lifted
I’ve never known anyone in my life to look at me the way He is right now
He rebuked them in my presence and took my face in His hands
He looked in through my skin and said
“The fragrance is lifted. I can smell your worship daughter. You are free”
So I dance in a circle and I laugh out loud for the first time in my life
Cause the fragrance has been lifted—the fragrance was lifted
And I have the smell of His feet in my hair
Where He walked I can tell
Because the fragrance is lifted
-Rita Springer

Saturday, March 1, 2008

just a few things

1) Spring is peeking in around here. I've seen three bumble bees and too many daffodils to count. The flowering trees are beautiful and remind me of home.
2) I'm going to London tomorrow for a dinner party at my best friend's new house wearing a new skirt I bought at a charity shop for 3 pounds 50.
3) We had a lovely (read challenging and thought provoking) Training Block Thursday and Friday on Justice and Mercy. I became much more emotional than expected when sharing a creative project I did about the woman who anointed Jesus' feet, key word: Identification.
4) I have lots and lots to think about right now. Training Block tied in with the book I just finished (Express Community by Phil Bowyer) tied in with creating a job description for want I want to do with the rest of my life... just a teensy bit overwhelming!
5) Check out this cool video for a 24-7 Prayer Week being held I have no idea where:

6) My room is very cheery at the moment as I spent most of the day cleaning, washing and redecorating the walls, washing the sheets and making the bed, having the window open, and burning a lavender and lemongrass candle. I did all this while listening to several hours worth of teaching on Jesus' part in God's Story.