The Friday Feeling

I love Fridays…knowing that the weekend stretches out ahead. Saturdays are sort of my favourite day, because I can choose to do whatever I’d like. I can even choose to do nothing, not that that choice lasts more than a few hours before I get supremely bored.

It’s been a long week and I’ve felt like a zombie through most of it – my very late night on Monday took several nights to recover from and I only started to be human again yesterday. It’s weird that even though I did get 8 hours sleep on Monday, because I’d been awake for so long before that (I worked a 17 hour day!) I needed much more sleep, but life didn’t really account for that.

Still. It’s been a good week, even if it’s been long. I’m currently reading “A Voice in the Wind” by Francine Rivers, and it took me a good few attempts to make it past the first paragraph because I was listen to music at the same time. This doesn’t work because even though my eyes are reading the words of the book, my mind is singing the words of the song!

Nevertheless, I’m now very “into” the book. It’s one of a series I’ve borrowed from Faith, my friend and cell leader. It’s about a Christian girl who is enslaved after the fall of Jerusalem, many years after Christ’s death and resurrection. She’s bought by family living in Rome, and I won’t spoil any of the story but it’s dark and sad and disturbing and beautiful and hopeful and inspiring all at once. Some bits can be quite gory, but not just for the sake of it – only as much is needed for the development of the story, and while there is reference to sex, it’s not in a descriptive way (the same as the gory parts) so I would have no issue recommending it to people.

I’m off to my discipler’s house tonight, to help her paint a playhouse for her children. I’m excited. I really enjoy spending time with their family – I wish I’d gotten to know them earlier. It will be a fun night, and then hopefully I’ll have a lie-in tomorrow morning before my free Saturday!

-x-

 

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Last training and a trip to Minor Injuries

This week we had our final Impact training block…I can’t quite believe that it’s over, as it feels like there is still so much to learn and I’m just getting excited about it again! 😦

We had a rocky start on Monday morning (never put petrol into a diesel engine!) as we had to call out the RAC and be taken to a garage to have the engine completely drained and sorted,  but were on the road by 9.30am and arrived in really good time, at 11am  – walking into the training room to see Liam Thatcher throwing balloons at the group and yelling things like “GRACE”, “POWER”, “EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING!”. It was weird. But later made sense, as we were studying Ephesians. Which may be one of my favourite books (although this accolade is bestowed on each new book I read, so will probably change again next week!)

Tuesday was a day on practical (and prophetic) evangelism, which incorporated an afternoon of ‘treasure hunting’ in the centre of East Grinstead. Definitely a challenge to my security in my Father, as you have to really lay yourself on the line in going up and talking to people. It was incredible though, I got to pray with a teenage girl whose mum has heart failure and we were able to encourage her to go to the New Life youth group as well. It was fun, after all the anxieties earlier in the day.

Tuesday evening we had a really fun social time, possibly the last one where we’ll all be together and we ate pizza and played Mafia (I was a Mafia, and I genuinely suck at it because I’m not a very good liar and when I get accused I can’t bluff it out very well!!)

And then Wednesday, our final day, was on Church Planting. It was alternately terrifying and faith building, which I think is a pretty good balance really. I felt very encouraged and inspired, though I don’t feel I’m called to church plant now I am completely open to God preparing me and refining me for whatever He wants…and the day’s training made me feel much more excited about the possibility of doing it one day. And the guy, Steve Petch, who did the training also did a very cool study of 1, 2 and 3 John to give us some ideas about church planting through those letters. I’ve never really heard teaching on 2 or 3 John (we’re doing a series on 1 John at InVision right now) and it was really cool to see how they fit together and what their purpose was in that time. It made a lot of sense. Maybe the Johns are my favourite books!

In other news this week: I had to visit the Minor Injuries Department today because I managed to squash my finger between two massive, heavy catering trolleys and I’ve got a “deep, wide, oozing laceration”. I’ve been steri-stripped, glued and bandaged to within an inch of my life! And I managed to nearly faint twice, even though I’m usually great at blood-situations! (As evidenced by yesterday, when I helped Philippa and Chris at their 5yo son’s birthday party and his friend ran at full-pelt into a screen door, and bounced off it with a waterfall of blood gushing from his poor nose. Apparently I’m calm under pressure, as long as the blood flowing is not my own…then I become a nauseated, near fainting wuss!)

 

Back in the game

It’s been over a month since I last blogged, and in that time many-many-many things have happened…

1) I moved house!! Rosie and I moved into our lovely “apartment” on 30th April and were so blessed by the amazing friends who a) gave us things for our home and/or b) helped us with the actual moving. We are still amazed that our whole home is furnished, and yet the only things we bought ourselves are a fridge (second hand, but practically new) and odd bits and pieces for the kitchen, such as cutlery and a toaster. All the other bits; beds, sofa, armchairs, dining table, wardrobes, were given to us for free!!! Either from freecycle/freegle or by kind people in our church. It’s astounding, but so lovely and such as a great witness to all our friends who aren’t Christians, who can see the love of Christ reflected in how we have been blessed by our church community.

2) Memory Verse Monday was discontinued for a while, in favour of a more specific three week study of verses about joy. God really spoke to me through Psalm 30:5, “weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” … I’ve always liked this verse, since the first time I read it, and it’s always been a source of reassurance because I know that it’s true. However, over recent weeks I’ve struggled to find joy in things – I have really wanted to, and have strived not to allow things to get to me and steal my joy but it has been a real struggle  – hence making the decision to focus simply on JOYFUL verses. I wrote lots out and blu-tacked them above my bed so that I could see and read them every morning and evening.

Despite that, though, I still felt bleugh some days. And I found it hard to believe Psalm 30:5, because when I went to bed miserable or grumpy or stressing, I found I was waking up in the same mood and it was bearing down on me like a black cloud. And then God spoke to me, and it was incredible – He showed me two important words at the centre of that verse: JOY COMES.  It was a little like a light came on, and I saw what I never had before.  Joy comes, whether it’s the morning after the misery before, or maybe two weeks down the line – God revealed that really, when you turn to Him and wait on Him, joy will come. I like that, a lot!

3) I had my weekend off of the term, over the Bank Holiday weekend – almost four whole days at home! It was lovely, really restful and I got to see Jessica and Dad, Michelle and Callum twice over the four days – the girls and I had Jessica round to our house on Sunday afternoon; she was such a treasure! She’s such a happy, smiley little girl…and she was so settled at our house, I was worried she’d freak a little but really she was a star! And I love that she recognises us when she sees us, she knows we are her sisters and it’s great to think of what she’ll be like when she’s older 🙂

4) Only two months left til the end of Impact. I don’t know how I feel about that, really. I’m sad that it’s going to be over, and there are a few things I kind of regret not doing, but I think I am ready for it to end. That sounds awful, it’s not like I’m counting down the days or anything, but I think I’ve always known that this was just 11 months and that afterwards there would be more things to do – and I’m excited to start working full-time and be a ‘proper’ grown-up. I’m quite aware of saying “when I’m working”, in the same way that people say “when I’m married”/”when I have kids” etc. I used to say “when I’m at Uni” and then “when I’m on Impact”, as it that would suddenly ‘fix’ all my issues and I’d suddenly become this amazingly well-rounded and sorted person, but life really isn’t like that! I don’t want to give myself any illusions that working full-time will be the perfect thing, but I think that I am just anticipating this next ‘stage of life’ and looking forward to it knowing that I am armed with the greatest weapons and guarded with the strongest armour anyone can have: the Lord.

 

“Weeping may tarry for a night, but joy comes in the morning”     Psalm 30: 5