Monday, 15 November 2010

Time to rest

I am now counting down the days till the major reconstruction of my left knee, next Monday I have to be at the hospital for a 7am start and will be in for 7-10 days including my birthday. I am just beginning to get a little unsettled about it. Before then I have college to attend, a Bible study on Philippians 4 to write and lead, worship for Sunday to prepare and lead and a first aid course to teach, but my mind is definitely wandering back to the hospital everytime I try and concentrate on anything else.
I didn't publish this at the time but it makes a good link to my next post.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Reflection on September

What a month - Joe started "big school", Ash left for Uni, Hana and I started final year studies. I'm back on placement this time in the Worthing circuit, very different from Dorset Gardens!!
I am spending most of my time at Offington Park with James, one day a wek with my mentor Ian and about two or three sessions a month with Andrew. It has been fun working with each of them, they are very different and have very different styles of ministry, which has been a good reminder that it is such a personal calling.
I have helped at youth club, led a bible study, helped at "Church with a difference" taken out extended communion, been into school, been to Toddlers, washed up at a coffee morning, preached, led worship, attended the September=too many meetings, had regular reflective practice sessions and done some less formal reflections and above all met and chatted to loads of new people.
It has been great to be with a selection of supervisors and to be allowed time both to do and to be!!! I am really looking forward to the journey through Advent and Christmas with them all.

Monday, 20 September 2010

All change

Wow, I knew it would be hard when the first of my children left home - but I was completely unprepared for how hard.
Yesterday we drove Ashleigh to Docklands and helped her sort out her new room, unpack all her things, fill in a host of forms, and start to settle into the new phase of her life.
Then at back at home some bedroom moving took place as the other three settled into their new spaces and roles, Kate and Joe finally getting their own much needed space, and Hana realising that now she's the "BIG" one.
I had had a few tears during the day, after a couple of loving messages from friends enquiring if I was ok, and as Ash hugged me to say goodbye, made harder by the tears of the others. But it was much later when the ache started as the enormity of what had happened hit me, things here will never be the same again.
I hadn't realised that there would be an actual physical pain like a bereavement, and I was unprepared for the flood of tears that came. I thank God for the friends that stood with me in the dark moments last night, and today of course looks brighter with the dawn.
Things won't be the same here again, but we will soon learn how to live with the changes.
I'll finish for now with the words of the song that helped me through the pain, a prayer that all Christian parents have for their children. 'Find your Wings' by Mark Harris.

It's only for a moment you are mine to hold
The plans that heaven has for you
Will all too soon unfold
So many different prayers I'll pray
For all that you might do
But most of all I'll want to know
You're walking in the truth
And if I never told you, I want you to know
That as I watch you grow

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings

May passion be the wind
That leads you through your days
And may conviction keep you strong
Guide you on your way
May there be many moments
That make your life so sweet
Oh, but more than memories


It's not living if you don't reach for the sky
I'll have tears as you take off
But I'll cheer as you fly


I did indeed have tears as she took off, but will cheer the loudest as she begins to fly!!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

New Year

Been a long time since I wrote in here again. A time really mixed, between rushed off my feet busy as I finished placements and college for the year, and really quiet and peaceful during the holidays. I caught up with several friends - many that I haven't seen since last summer holiday!! I watched many special friends get ordained (last ones this Saturday) and know that as I start my final year training it will be very different without my starting year group around for support. And I spent some very special times with the family, including the wettest holiday going to add to our memories of being together!!
September is going to be a time of great change in our house, today Kate started at Upper School and the beginning of the road to GCSE's, and my youngest started at senior school - no more little school and a very different phase in our lives. Hana starts her final year at college next week a year in which she has to make some quite big decisions about what she wants to do next, these are somewhat complicated by the fact that we are moving house next year as well.
On the 19th the biggest change to hit the family since Joe was born 11 years ago will happen, Ashleigh is leaving to start at East London University, I am very proud of her and love the young woman she has become - she will be missed by all of us and we must learn to live with a new family dynamic.
This time next year I will start my new job, this year I have just started a new placement in the Worthing circuit - life is about to speed back up to frantic for a while I think and on top of everything I have to find time to fit in two operations and then recover from having my knee done.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Direction, knees and DG

Time to draw breath and catch up again, I am now three months into my placement at Dorset Gardens and am having a wonderful time, it is going so quickly and I will be sorry to say goodbye - I have met some very wonderful people, shared in the worship, fun and fellowship of the Church, I have led worship, played with the toddlers, had fun and made cards at art club, eaten tea at Cameo and drunk enough cups of tea to satisfy any Methodist Minister.
I have even met someone brave enough to take on the role of my Spiritual Director, we had our first meeting today which was great I feel much less guilty about things and I have been left with many things to reflect on this week.
The news of the bionic knee grows more complicated, I have had a third of the graft removed as it had become loose, it is now incredibly painful, I have to go back to see the specialist in July to assess the pain and see if it has settled down, if it has then they think I will be able to live with the smaller version of the graft if it is still this bad then they will harvest a new set of cells and grow and insert a new implant. So it could be a complicated final year at college - good job I'm such a pro on the crutches after 32 years of knee trouble - but hopefully they will fix it before I'm stationed.
The good news is that I only have 5 more pieces of work and one service to do before the end of term on June the 20th which is great because the last few months have been completely hectic and I could do with a few minutes to catch up with everyone

Friday, 12 February 2010

First day

I started my placement today at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church - what a joy to be in a place of true inclusivity - a Church where all are truly welcomed and shown that God loves them. Never before (I'm sad to admit) have I been to a Church that lives out what it preaches in such an obvious way. Today I joined in with the parent and toddler group, attended the Midweek Prayer service, went to the Brighton University Art College Chaplaincy, and spent a while at the Art club. I met some fascinating people and am looking forward to the next 4 months there.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Busy couple of weeks again

I seem to spend my life trying to slow down and take things a bit easier and then I end up writing on here that it's been really busy and I've had no time to write. Since the day of the scan, it has been all go again as I try to finish another college assignment - the write up to my pastoral placement, before I start my next placement in March. Three months at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church in Brighton. I have three more services to take beforehand -
Tomorrow I am at Uckfield - talking about Jeremiah following his call, being chosen before he was born and how God wants us all to be more confident about our skills and gifts rather than saying - "I can't do that......." and offering a heap of excuses.
Someone once told me that we should start by preaching to ourselves and I think that tomorrow's sermon is one aimed as much at me as any member of the congregation.
I am at my own Church on Valentines Day and at Cafe Luke on Feb 19th with a talk called '25 things to do for Lent instead of giving up Chocolate"
Hopefully February will be a bit quieter that January - because I need to get some work done, and once the bathroom is all in next week, it will need decorating before the new flooring arrives.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

London Again

Today I went for a second MRI scan on my broken bionic knee, as the one taken in Eastbourne was not in the right direction!! So I travelled to Stanmore to have it done the other way!! I left home at 11.30 and got back at 9 all for a 40 minute scan. The RNOH was just as spooky as I remember it being when I was there for my operation although it did seem to have endless work going on. When I got there I was told they were running half an hour late and did I want to go and get a coffee - I found a really old fashioned "cafe" just like the WRVS ones used to be before they were themed up. The elderly volunteer made me a black coffee "be careful dear it's hot!!" and a strange cheese and ham toasted sandwich in a strange bag!!
Knee pictures are safely done though and now I have to wait to see the big guy next month to see the results.(that's him in the picture!) Back to London tomorrow!!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Back at the GCC

The Methodist Cohort met this weekend - a group designed to gather together the Part time students in our area who attend Anglican institutes to learn some just Methodist stuff and have a chance to discuss some of the joys and hardships of training as a minority group. It was really good to catch up with old friends, but very strange to be back at the Guy Chester Centre without the rest of my Foundation Training group - Methodist weekends are always less pressure than SEITE ones as there are no essays attached and there is as much emphasis put on socialising, talking, praying and walking alongside each other as on formal lessons. It seems a shame that we are only meeting twice a year, but it is nice that the Church have recognised some of the added pressures of training part time and funded something to help. We did do some work - some reflective practice and some Methodist history.
Today I led the evening service at Greenfield, only three more services (well two really and speak at Cafe Luke) to do before I go on placement in the Brighton and Hove circuit in March (can't wait!!)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

More snow

Just as life was beginning to get back to normal and the colour of the world was reappearing, we have overnight had another heavy snowfall and the disruption of normal life continues. Joe's school is shut again, Kate's is too, my study lesson is back to email - which isn't as good for getting things going!
Yesterday in the clear, thawed bit of the week I went to college and my train broke down and was stuck just outside Cooksbridge for 2 hours in the cold and dark - friends on the two trains behind all got to London quicker than I did, it took me four hours in total.
My weekend away looks uncertain - unless we get another thaw, but it hasn't stopped snowing yet!!

Thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the earthquake in Haiti!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Snow and stuff

It's been a strange week because it's been completely disrupted by the snow, the children have all been off school and college again on what has just felt like an extension of the Christmas holidays. Monday and Tuesday they went back and they have been home ever since. It wasn't a great help with the essay writing, but it is all done now and safely posted, whether it gets there or not is a different matter we've had no post for three days so far!
Tracey and I are doing the worship next Tuesday at SEITE and that has all had to be done by email, we were supposed to have a meeting Thursday to do it. The reunion of our Methodist training group has been cancelled, as was homegroup, coffee morning and my study lesson (essay was checked by email) so apart from sitting here writing I haven't done anything, I haven't been anywhere (except a brief trip to Morrisons today with Keith)and apart from Keith and the children I haven't seen anyone.
I have a reflection on people's behaviour at Christmas, and a service to write this week as well as a weekend in London for the Methodist Cohort. Hopefully either the weather will improve or we will learn to just carry on despite it - the holidays were nice but term time is nice too for very different reasons - some normality back would be good.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

New Year

The new windows are in(and the house has warmed up again), Joe is now 11 (even the cake turned out ok in the end), the decorations are down (just the outside lights to do tomorrow) and packed away for another year. The essay is nearly done just needs some editing with Julie tomorrow and the children are safely back at school (well for now, the snow may change that!) All the excitement and build up and Christmas is over and done with and the New Year has started. I have been to my two favourite services of the year this week (it seems a shame they come so close together) New Year's Eve we had a Watchnight service and Sunday was our annual Covenant service, both services are very Methodist and always give me a great sense of belonging and a feeling of what it means to be Connexional.
The Covenant prayer has become so much more real over the last few years as I have been training.

'IA covenant with God am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours"

Sunday, 3 January 2010


Several people sent me money for Christmas some rather unexpected and I decided to treat myself and the children by buying a Wii. It is incredibly good fun and has given us another thing to do together. I really am very blessed to have such a lovely bunch of children, they all join in and have fun whatever we are doing and it has been nice to be able to treat them a bit - they have all sacrificed a lot during my training both in time and in material things. The Christmas holidays have been real fun - I love having my children around and enjoy catching up a bit with my wider family. This year I may see a bit more of them my cousin will be 40 and Ashleigh is going to be 18 and I think they are both planning parties then in October my Mum will be 60 and I think she might be persuaded to have one too!!
Tomorrow the business of life returns - the children go back to School/college and I return to studying. Three of the windows in our house are being replaced(so today I had to take some of the bathroom tiles off) and some last minute things need doing before Joe's birthday on Tuesday - like making a cake!! - and wrapping the presents!!
I took the Christmas tree down today but Joe would like the lights left up for his birthday, so they are still up - it was nice to get a bit of clearing up done though there is plenty more to go hopefully in between essay writing some of it may get done this week as my diary is quite busy for January already!!(no surprise there then!)
I have a new book for my Bible reading it's called "Purr-ables from Heaven" and is devotions for cat lovers - today's reading looked at curling up on God's lap when things get tough and taking time to rest - so that's what I'm going to do - night all x