Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Why I blog.

Cartoon courtesy of

Last week saw a first for me. Something that I wrote seemed to really hit a chord with my friend and regular reader Gaynor, she went on to write in her own blog which you can see here . The post that influenced her can be viewed with this link . It is very easy to sit here on my sofa tapping away the thoughts that come into my head. However when you read that something you have written has had an influence on someone it really does make you stop and think.

I have always viewed this blog as a way of writing a diary, helping me to be accountable to myself. Being the undisciplined being that I can be I have never managed to succeed in doing this privately no matter how good my intentions have been. I don't advertise my blog widely, just occasionally putting a link on twitter, and telling a few friends who I think might be interested, because I have never really considered that I write anything worth reading about. However just knowing that there are a few people that keep an eye on this blog helps me to keep at it, even if that means occasionally posting very short bits about what I have been up to rather than how I am feeling.

One of the unexpected advantages I have found from blogging, is that I find it extremely cathartic. I do manage to 'let go' of stuff that has been bothering me. In a time when I often feel as though I am not achieving anything, a new post is suddenly an achievement. It has also helped me to watch my tongue. This has had a knock on effect in the 'real' world in which I live, helping me to be more discerning about what I say and to whom. Let me assure you this most definitely has not been easy. It has left me often feeling stifled and frustrated when there are things that I want to shout about - however knowing it would be inappropriate to write about it on here has also helped me to know it would be inappropriate to talk about it with others.

So today I am thinking Thank God for blogging. It has certainly brought me a lot of peace and satisfaction. You may also have noticed I have also finally learnt how to add a link!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Facebook Scrabble

Today is one of those days when I thank God for Facebook Scrabble! Scrabble you say, are they not more worthy things to thank God for than Scrabble? When every move you make burns and pains you, the light tap on an easy keyboard is my contact with the outside world.

I don't know whether I am coming down with something or whether I am just starting a nasty flare up of my rheumatoid arthritis but I have really struggled to move today. It's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario as I know if I don't move I will stiffen and struggle more, but if I move too much I become soooo tired. Today I only managed a walk to school and then had to go and lie down and slept for a couple of hours. For those that know me, I do not sleep during the day (I struggle enough doing it at night!).

So I have to just wait and see what the next few days brings. In the meantime, I shall happily play scrabble and try not to think of all the other things that I really would like/need to be doing!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Ethical and Environmental Living.

I talking to a friend yesterday about Christmas cards, yes, I know far to early to be even considering this! What we were actually discussing is how we felt about receiving non-charity Christmas cards. My friend was expressing her surprise at how many non-charity Christmas cards she received last year, and how hard she was finding it anticipating the same thing happening again this year, but just not knowing how/if there was anything she could do about it.

About two years ago I stopped buying clothing or goods where I could acquire such items either locally, organically or where the goods were fair trade. This has had several significant impacts:

1. I no longer get the desire to go out on big spending sprees - on line shopping never has quite the same 'comfort' as physically going to the shops.
2. Because my choices are limited (especially with regards to clothing) I only try and find things when stuff either wears out or a new need is identified.
3. Though I have to pay more (generally) for items of clothing, I am quite sure I am actually saving money because of points 1 and 2!
4. My children and husband are totally behind the whole project, and are getting very adept at finding 'fair trade' labels!
5. Despite many disparaging comments from folks saying that the whole 'fair trade and organic' thing is a 'fad' - I am absolutely delighted to see Cadburys carry out their pledge to make their dairy milk chocolate fair trade this autumn. (We did write to them asking them to do it!).
6. I never have to put on my clothing and think 'was a child forced to pick the cotton for this instead of getting an education'.

Going back to the Christmas cards, I have made my own cards for the last 10 years, it is something I really enjoy doing, I have tried to encourage my children to only use charity cards when they want to send them. I do believe that we should not be too 'scared' of upsetting people by letting them know how we stand on ethical and environmental issues. However my experience has now shown that as with many things (especially my faith) the best way of attracting other folks to causes that you support is to set an example that is true and honest.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Se A Vida E (That's The Way Life Is)...

The link above takes you to a video of a song titled as my title is. My husband put this on in the car this morning and it got us into a great conversation.

When someone says to you 'that's the way life is,' do you automatically conjure up a negative picture? I realised listening to this, that, that is what I normally do, however, this song totally turns it round for me. Maybe it is the fabulous Latino beat accompanying that makes it impossible to see it as anything negative. Certainly when you watch this video you can't take it as being anything negative.

It suddenly sounds like an extremely positive fact....'that's the way life is!'. Just as 'that's the way life was!' is how I have to view events from the past. At the moment that gives me a real sense of liberation. So much has happened to us in the last year that it can sometimes be very easy to focus on it still being hard. Reality is however that we have some real blessings going on as well. This morning my husband and I got to spend some really lovely quality time together. No pressing jobs to get done, but time to do a few bits of shopping along with going to the bank and stopping for a lovely fair trade coffee at Starbucks in our favourite bookshop (and managing not to buy anything!). Then shortly after arriving home a letter came telling us we were going to be given a large (for us) sum of money by the RAF benevolent fund in back payment for money we have paid out decorating our nieces room and clothing her! My morning had been good, no matter what else happens today no one can take away the fact that this morning was good. Praise God!!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Coping with Change.

image courtesy of

I have always considered myself reasonably good at coping with change. I might even dare to say that I have sometimes relished changes. I have always been rather smug about my ability to cope, especially in comparison to my husband when changes are afoot. However the last 10 months really have challenged this opinion of myself.

I have come to realise that I have a real limit to the amount of change I can cope with even when I think that I am letting God in to support me. Interestingly is seems that it is changes in my physical abilities that are always the point at which I finally cannot resist letting God in and surrendering everything to Him. Physically I am in a state of limbo at the moment. I have still not fully recovered from the knee surgery I had over 10 weeks ago. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that the surgery has not worked and even when 'recovery' is complete I will still be in the same state as I was before surgery. As far as the medics are concerned there is going to be no more discussion until November when the option of knee replacements could become more real. In the mean time I have to do some research of my own so that I am not bamboozled with information when I finally go and can ask questions more fully informed. I really am not looking forward to doing any of that and am putting it off daily.

So that is the physical change that has brought me back to fully surrender my all to God. It is not easy, I keep trying to take it back. I keep trying to bury my head in the sand. Without God I am nothing, even with God I have moments of feeling that I am nothing. What I am sure about is that He is Everything, and what humbles me most is to know that during these times of great change he is constantly showing me how much he cares for me. Thanks Be To God.