Monday, 25 April 2011


N.B. If you are any sort of regular reader of this thing... which I doubt you are... then you'll know that every now and again I just have to let it out. This is one of those blogs.

Overwhelmed. That's how I feel today. And for once, I realise a little bit why. I'm 22, and I'm not yet in charge of my own life. My life has; thus far; been dictated to me. And even now as a student, much of what should give me independance... doesn't. I am constantly at the beck and call of deadlines, assignments, stuff I have to do for work, when I get paid (or don't.), when I can have time off. The Government tells me what I have to pay, what opportunities I have for my life... how the future is going to be. Culture dictates what makes me cool (or not cool is more the point). Adverts tell me that if I don't have the latest iPhone/Blackberry/Dell computer then I am a loser. (And well... I guess that makes me a loser.)

Actually, all of that doesn't really matter that much. I guess that's why I also have this underlying feeling of complete and utter guilt. Because all of these things that are making me feel a bit pants shouldn't. Because ultimately, God is in charge of all of those things. But I guess it's that this feeling is stopping me doing what I want to be doing - amazing things through and for God. Right now I am powerless and completely penniless... and there is nothing I can do about it. *sigh*

Saturday, 23 April 2011


Whilst reading the 'Enough' book, it spends some time suggesting how modern people can break out of the pressure of desperately needing more and more things to be fulfilled. One suggestion is to learn to be grateful for things that we so often take for granted. John Naish (the guy who wrote the book) talks about the Three Beautiful Things blog in which the author writes each day about three things that she is grateful for. I've read a few entries and I really like the idea. It is similar to the daily thankfulness I tried last year, (when I used my FB status each day to give thanks for something instead of complaining about something), and also the 1000 Awesome Things blog which is also highly amusing.

Sometimes they seem really random, but I think that in learning to be grateful for that which we have, we un-learn the need to have 'more' in all areas of our life. So I thought I'd give it a go and see how I get on. I guess for me it all seems highly fitting in this time of 'reassessing' my needs - and learning to let go of so much that has made life comfortable over the 22 years, 3 weeks and 2 days that I have spent on this earth. So here goes.

Today I am thankful for:

Sunshine alarm clocks.
Both in my flat in Southend and when at home-home in Brentwood, an alarm clock is a rather over-rated thing, as Mr Sun will often do the job just as adequately. But there is something deeply warming about waking up to sunlight on your face that sets the day up to be something wonderful.

A Toddlers Secret Language
I love my niece. (Have I mentioned before?) In a year I have gone from being 'Amamama', to 'Ami-sh' to 'Amana', and I think I am at last Auntie Ami. But there is something about the time I spend with her that is refreshing, heart-warming, and most of the time, deeply hilarious. At only 2 years, 4 months old, she hasn't quite grasped the English language in all it's fullness (well, who has?) and so much of the time, conversations with her often require a great deal of guessing or bluffing. Today we had almost a ten minute conversation with me having absolutely no clue at all what she was saying. She didn't seem all that fussed. My bluffing must be good! Anyway, I love that when she says 'oooff-gho', I know she means 'Let's go!'

Today I spent some time with my cousins, whom I haven't seen much of in the last few years, mainly because of me being away in Southend. Anyways, they're 12-year-old triplets that I used to love spending time with when I was younger, and today, I spent a few hours reminiscing with them and telling them all about funny little things they used to do. It was great fun. It's strange really though, having family whose parent is a sibling of your parent (meaning they grew up together) and yet often cousins have lifes completely different to yours. Anyways, it was so cool, spending time with these 12-year olds who I used to see really often, and realising all of a sudden that they are people who have their own ideas, opinions, but you have this weird deep connection, even though you haven't seen each other for ages... and you could actually have some kind of an impact on how they see the world. I mean, when I was their age, I looked up to the older cousins of the family, but I've never really thought that the Triplets might do that to me. In a way I hope they do, and I hope that I teach them something fantastic about the world. I dunno... It's something I'm thankful for.

Okay, that's it. I'm gonna shut up now cause I've blogged more in the last few days than the last year altogether! May God bless you and may you learn something fantastic about His love for you this Easter.

Friday, 22 April 2011


N.B. The following is apparently the Purpose Driven declaration, by Rick Warren. I found it on a piece of paper in my memory box, read it, and decided yeah! That's it. That's what I'm doing! So even though I could probably quite easily copy and paste it from the internet, I'm not going to. Because I mean every word, I'm going to type every word.

"Today I am stepping across the line. I'm tired of waffling and I'm finished with wavering, I've made my choice, the verdict is in, and my decision is irrevocable. I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!

I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory. I will use my life to celebrate His presence, cultivate His character, participate in His family, demonstrate His love, and communicate His word.

Since my past has been forgiven, adn I have a purpose for living, and a home awaiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying. Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.

Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, "we" over "me", character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position and pleasures. I know what matters most, and I'll give it all I've got. I'll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.

I won't be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I'll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me. When times get tough, and I get tired, I won't back up, back off, back down, back down or back slide. I'll just keep moving forward by God's grace. I'm Spirit-led, living on purpose, and mission-focused, so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.

I'm a trophy of God's amazing grace, so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for every day, and generous with everything God entrusts to me.

To my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I say, "However, whenever, wherever and whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is YES! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I'm ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway. Whatever it takes Lord: whatever it takes! I want to be used by you in such a way, that on that final day I'll hear you say: "Well done thou good and faithful one. Come on in, and let the eternal party begin!"

So there you have it! It's gonna be hard, uncomfortable, and painful, but boy, it is going to be worth it! Praise God!!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


N.B. Just finished reading this book: Enough by John Naish. Absolutely excellent book that deals with many of the issues surrounding the culture of consuming and gaining more-more more in everything we have  - and gives practical advice to people who have realised that what they actually have is 'enough' and no more is needed - or even people who don't know how to reach the point of 'enoughness' and instead spend countless amounts of time, money and energy continually searching for fulfillment in stuff, information, status, work etc.

The only thing that would make this book better for me is if the guy who wrote it brought in a stronger Biblical reference - many of the things he says are theologically sound, but as a pro-evolution non-Christian sometimes there is too much evolutionary talk and not enough humans taking responsibility for their own actions and acting the way that God has commanding us. I'd love to meet this guy and chat through the deeper meanings of many of the things he says, and get a better understanding of where he thinks the place for faith and the Bible have in the lifestyle that he promotes.

Anyway, I have begun to sort through the stuff that occupies nearly every space available in my flat. That might sound like  I have a ridiculous amount of stuff... I actually don't, but I definately have more than I need. I sorted through my memory box and actually ended up throwing half of it away. I actually find it more rewarding to have empty space than to have boxes full of things that I don't need. And, for most of my sorting I was joined by next door's cat who whenever I have the patio doors open gets confused about where he lives and comes and explores my flat, meowing loudly everytime he comes across something he's not seen before. Bless.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


N.B. I've rediscovered my purpose for life, but reading this book: The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno. It's absolutely fantastic, highly recommended by me!

So, what's this all about you ask, and what on earth is the 100 thing challenge? Well, it is where an individual seeks to live for a certain period of time with only 100 possessions. Of course, it doesn't have to be an 100 thing challenge. It could be the 10, 25, 50, 75 or even 150 thing challenge. The number isn't important really. It's a personal challenge, with rules made up by yourself. Dave Bruno lived for an entire year with 100 possessions. I am going to do the same, if for no other reason than to keep it simple!

The rules for my challenge are as follows:

1) This is a personal challenge. The items on my list will be things that are entirely my personal possessions.
The purpose of the challenge is not to force my views upon anyone, but rather for myself to break free of any remaining constraints of consumerism that still occupy my spending habits. I will decide when the rules need to be loosened, or even broken.

2) Books. I am not intending to purge any of my books. This is for a number of reasons: 1) I have spent a lot of money buying them, 2) most of them are for college/work and the rest are for my own personal development, and 3) getting rid of them will serve no deeper purpose for breaking my consumerism habits as they are books I have bought to enhance myself, (many are ironically about consumerism) not because I think it will make me cool/trendy/ to keep up with the Joneses. So for the purpose of this challenge, I will be keeping 'one' library.

3) I will be counting my bed, chair and wardrobe on my list, but I will not be counting items such as 'fridge, toaster, cooker etc. Otherwise I would get to nearly 50 objects just by counting my cutlery, plates and kitchen appliances. I can assure you all, I do not have an addiction to buying kitchen equipment, and my cupboards are modestly filled with essentials. I am also not going to count items such as 'a screw driver, allen keys, tape measurer'. These will count as 'household items', needed for the times when I may need to change a fuse or measure something...

4) Some items will count in groups - for example, socks, pants, etc. This is mainly because it would be pretty unhygenic for me to live with limited amounts of underwear, especially as I live alone and could not fill a washing machine with only a weeks worth of clothes. I would therefore either have to walk around commando for the best part of a fortnight, or wash half-loads - both of which are harmful to the environment.

5) I have decided to keep one small 'memoribila box' in order to savour things that I have been given over the years by lovely friends and family, some of whom are no longer around. I assure you, none of these things will be items I myself have purchased, and I will be sorting through  and throwing away a great deal of the fairly large memoribila box I have currently.

6) Digital items such as Music will not count, as these are not possessions I can grasp (and many of which are bought for the benefit of the young people.)

7) Most people who buy me gifts will know that for this year, they are not allowed to buy me things. However, in case anyone can not resist this urge, I will allow myself 7 days from receiving the item before it will count towards my 100 things. In that time I will either need to give it away, give it back, or throw something else away in order to keep it.

8) Finally, I am allowed to buy new things. However, I always have to remain under the 100 thing total. If I am replacing something, I have to get rid of the original thing first before I get the new thing.

So, they are the rules. Now all I have to do is get down to 100 personal things before 1st August. Let the purging begin!