21 Jul 2011

Go go go

People often say to me that my life is really full of activity, that they rarely see me sitting still. I have generally always tried to quash this idea by just saying that they only see me when I'm doing something. However, today I have realised that I am in fact a bit of a mentalist when it comes to things going on.

I have been moved home for 20 nights now; I have only actually spent 10 of those sleeping at home. The other 10 have been spent camping, in London and in Manchester. Tomorrow I am going camping for the week at a Christian conference (New Wine) and when I get back I'm home for 3 nights before going camping again for another 5 nights. 

All this has led me to think...why do I relish in activity? Why do I find it hard to sit still? 

Well I guess firstly I should throw it out there that I'm a huge extrovert...I'm energised by people. I love spending time with friends old and new. So being by myself isn't my idea of fun. 
Also I quite like feeling like my life has purpose. There is nothing worse than being sat at home with nothing to do feeling like you are impacting noone and that your life has limited meaning. Me doing things generally keeps me from that feeling of being lost without direction. I love helping people.
Lastly, I think that I like activity because it makes me feel wanted. When you get involved with things people want you around. They see you as a friend and an asset and don't want to lose contact. 

Now out of those reasons only reason one is really a semi-justifiable reason for the level of stuff I get up to. The other two while they may be true aren't really the best motives for life full of adventure. 

As I've been writing I've been thinking of the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible (Luke 10:38-42) I am so so so like a Martha. Like I barely sit still ever to listen to what God has to say to me. The fact is that God gives my life complete purpose and meaning because he uses me in his plan to redeem all of creation to himself. Now THAT is something I want to be a part of. But I rarely give God time to speak into my life and to tell me what he wants me to do. The times when I do stop and give him time are so precious and powerful!! I don't know why it is that I don't give him more.

I'm thinking this is something I defo need to work on. 

I need to work on learning to stop working. Ha.

19 Jul 2011

Down to business

Right so over the last few days I've been thinking about how too much of the time I see things in my life that I don't like/need to work on, but instead of actually doing anything about it when I see this I just think right I'll get on with it later. 

For example: You may remember that I was thinking about integrity a couple of weeks ago; well I have recognised this as something I need to work on. I want to be someone who sticks to their word, who people can actually rely on; someone who is transparent in all that they do. Now I saw that this was a need in my life but have I done anything to actually implement change...nope.

So today I have been thinking about the excuses I make for not getting on with things. Far too often busyness is blamed - eg. "I'm too busy to deal with that now" and then there is never a time when I'm not too busy. Also I can justify behaviour being like "Oh yes it's something I need to work on but it's not that bad". Basically just trying to make it into not a big enough problem to actually tackle. 

Well I've been trying to get practical because there is no point in just talking/thinking about things you want to change if you never actually get around to putting things into action. 
SO - in my bid to improve my integrity I am going to be:

  • Only agreeing to things I know I have time to do well
  • Not boasting about myself
  • Not gossiping
  • Not exaggerating
  • Telling the absolute truth
  • Trustworthy
  • Sacrificial with my time/energy
7 points - one to work on each day this week. 

Anyone got any other excuses they use to get out of actually changing things?

13 Jul 2011

I love Esther...

...the book of the Bible and my friend Esther who is sitting next to me. Also Tom her brother and Bekah who I love like a sister. 

So as I write this I find myself in Plumstead, Greenwich. I've been here since yesterday because I've been shadowing the team at XLP that I will be leading come September. And OH MY WORD! What have I let myself in for?! 

All I can say is I am going to be insanely busy next year. Lewisham is a massive borough with 25% of the inhabitants being under 16 which means my work is never done. As Team Leader for the Borough I will be in charge of deciding what we do in schools (lunchclubs, lessons, assemblies etc), and what we do on various estates in the Borough too. I'll also need to be the key contact for stakeholders in the community (Police, Youth/Church workers, Social workers etc). From what I have seen it looks like the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. There is SO much going on, we do 3 lunchclubs, lunch pastoring, an after school club, 3 bus projects, a cooking club, a girls group, pre-coach classes, in class support and various lessons. 

I have been to 2 lunchclubs and 1 after school club. Have loved the kids I've met - they love the current team so it will be hard to live up to their legacy. But I am quite excited about it all. At first I was pretty apprehensive about it all, I barely feel old enough to be considered a grown up, let alone responsible enough to be a team leader! I'm feeling a bit more chilled about it now. Have to keep remembering that anything that's out of my depth is not out of God's depth. 

Talk about God he is being SO faithful! Like it is actually ridiculous. When I started applying for jobs I said to God that I wanted to be where he wanted me - that I would be obedient to where he took me. So I applied for about 15-20 jobs and said "right the ball is in your court now God"...I got 1 interview and 1 job offer...that made it pretty clear! and then as soon as I got the job a lady that I know had set me up with somewhere to lodge in Catford for cheap...win! Like he is just making the way so clear for me. Also my laptop died this year from old age (I swear you could hear the men running around turning the cogs inside it) but I found out I get a laptop as part of the job...and a blackberry! So really I am set up for the year. God is good.

Being here in London has really just made me realise how big a job there is in just creating community. How do you create community when: 
people commute so far and don't invest in the places they live? 
people are scared of the people who live around them?
people want to remain anonymous?

Any thoughts on the importance of community/how to create it welcome.

8 Jul 2011

Easing into it..

Ok, so yes it seems I'm not a natural blogger...it's been 2 weeks since my last entry. The fact is it's not that I haven't had anything to blog about...it's that I have had too much! And not enough time/will to sit down and write about it.


I am determined to attempt to be disciplined and crack on with this.

Right so since my last post I have:
  • Had my last Sunday at my Church (Elim Pentecostal) in Aberystwyth (emotional but fantastic to be with my Church family one last time...i will be visiting!)
  • Got a job! PRAISE GOD! From September I will be the Lewisham Borough Leader for the youthwork charity XLP (http://www.xlp.org.uk/)
  • Had my last day at work - EMOTION CENTRAL. Oh my word saying goodbye to the people who work in the Guild was really really hard. Even though I've only been there a year it seems like I have known them for a lot longer. Parting with my team was pretty tough - we have been so close this year and to not have them around anymore is really odd.
  • Went to see Mumford and Sons and Arcade Fire in Hyde Park for a friend's birthday. Was actually immense! Had so much fun bopping away in the park and we made a friend who gave us free cider! Ha.
  • Helped at my Church kids camp for 7-15 yearolds. Was in charge of teaching the youth lessons and looking after a tent of girls...also in charge of hosing the kids down after they had a trip to the swamp...I have LITERALLY never seen kids more dirty than these. It was actually minging - did mean I got to have fun with the hose though.
  • Been to Aberystwyth and back in a day to move out of my house. Sad times. Was really surreal moving out...I don't think it's sunk in yet as I kind of feel like I'm just on holiday and that I'll be going back in a few weeks. I'm sure once I move to London the reality will hit that I'm not in little Aber anymore.
  • Been to see my friends Jennie and Luke play an acoustic set in a local pub. Also playing that night was the most rocky acoustic performance I have ever seen. I genuinely was concerned that they were going to break their guitars they were strumming and headbanging so hard. 
  • Booked to go to New Wine in a couple weeks time (it's a Christian Festival/conference thing) I'm going to be working on team in Venue 1 - not sure exactly what that involves but I'm sure that counts as adventure finding out.
  • and then today....I have had a fantastic adventure! Yesterday my friend Kirsty came to stay and for her birthday I had brought us tickets to go see Phantom of the Opera. We decided to make a day of it in London and so packed loads in. We saw the changing of the guard, took in the National Portrait Gallery, visited the V&A Museum, the Hummingbird Bakery and Rainforest Cafe, before hitting the theatre. Oh my word if you get a chance to see it totally do because it was EPIC. Not going to lie - everytime I go to the theatre I always wish I was up there on it - looks like so much fun! Ah well who knows, maybe I'll turn my hand at some amateur productions. 
Tomorrow I'm going to my friends' (Hannah and Dave) wedding. So keeping pretty busy on all accounts. 

That doesn't mean I haven't had time for thinking. I've been thinking about integrity. What it is, why we need it, is it even important? Any thoughts/comments on the topic would be appreciated.