Thursday, 23 December 2010
This amazing gingerbread recipe comes from my friend Will, it is a bit of a struggle to make but so so worth it, makes the house smell like christmas!!!
150ml golden syrup
2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
2 heaped tsp ground ginger
2 heaped tsp ground cloves
1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
900ml plain flour (about 600g)
Put the butter, syrup and sugar in a biggish saucepan and melt it all together till the sugar has all dissolved. Take it off the heat and add the spices and the bicarb. Then you need to cool the whole thing down somehow so you can put the eggs in without them scrambling. I usually put the pan in a sink of cold water and stir it round till it cools down. Crack the eggs in and beat. Put the flour in and stir it up. It should be a fairly stiff mixture but quite sticky still. Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours or more, so that the mixture sets quite hard and cold - so you can roll it out. Dust the surface with quite a lot of flour when you roll it out. Take about a quarter of the mixture (which should be a hard block - so you need to hack dangerously at it with a knife to get a chunk) and roll it out really thin. About a milimetre thick. Cut your shapes. Put them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Put them in a 180 C oven for about ten minutes - depending on how thick they are. You can tell when they're done by the smell (they smell hot-biscuitty), and because they turn pale as they cook and then back to golden brown when they're done. Cool on a rack.
My beautiful pal Kerry is currently working for the impressive Chatsworth house. We went to check out the Christmas decorations and were suitably impressed...
'Veiled Vestal' statue
making new friends!
christmas pic of the heavenlies :)
Hope you have a beautiful and very joyful Christmas!
'There is a light that shines within me
There is a hope that burns inside me
Deep within my soul my very existence
There is a being waiting to be freed
A child who knows no fear, pain or rejection
There is an emotion
All encompassing of excitement, joyfulness, gladness and love
The creative potential of laughter
And the undeniable power of an infants joy, live inside me
Immeasurable are my limits for I call You Father.
Unimaginable my potential for You call me son
There is someone inside of me
Waiting to be unleashed
Whom you embrace
Whom I long to be
There is an All Consuming Fire
A light that permeates from my very being
You have unlocked me God
The doors You have opened no man can shut
I will praise You for all my days
For You are good
You have released me God with Your love
You are everything'
- Ian McIntosh
Thursday, 4 November 2010
- I AM wild, I will sing to the trees,
- I will sing to the stars in the sky,
- I love, I am loved, he is mine,
- Now at last I can die!
- I am sandaled with wind and with flame,
- I have heart-fire and singing to give,
- I can tread on the grass or the stars,
- Now at last I can live!
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Sunday, 5 September 2010
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields.
Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.
Whoever has no house now will not build one
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.
Rainer Maria Rilke
I am lately returned from two weeks camping at Lee Abbey. It's a beautiful place in the middle of nowhere which has seen many changed lives over the years, my own included in the number.
I wanted to share about my time at camp but have found it extremely difficult to describe it adequately. The words: beautiful, painful, awe-inspiring and vulnerable don't begin to touch the surface of all it has meant to me. With this in mind i've found a description of the values of camp we were given at the training weekend this year. I think they're beautifully written and pretty inspiring.
Reality: we won’t hide who we are – with all our flaws and failings, because God loves us as we are.
Generous community: we live our lives together and share ourselves with each other. It is a big ask and requires daily surrender to the Holy Spirit. But as a team and as individuals seeking to be a community together it is the only way. It can be costly but it’s worth it.
Simplicity: we live simply – an open fire, coal fired boilers, shared tents, hot but basic showers. And its worth it –without the layers of complexity and pressure of normal life, we make space for God.
Acceptance and healing: camp is a safe place of unconditional love in which people are valued and enabled to find acceptance and healing.
Creativity: we allow each other to be spontaneous and creative and to allow the surrounding beauty to inspire us. We want to reflect the creativity of our father God – the creator.
Space and beauty: we provide space for campers to simply ‘be’: to help everyone enjoy and breathe in the beauty of the creation. The natural beauty of the site shouts the glory of god.
Laughter: we take God’s calling seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously. We believe in a God who has a great sense of humour (after all he wants to use us!)
Thursday, 12 August 2010
this summer has been, in a word: humbling. I spent much of it on my knees scrubbing floors or toilets wearing a fetching blue overall. My spare time has also been quiet, spending time with the few friends left in the village, swimming in rivers and hanging out with my parents and grandparents.
I took and failed my fourth driving test, thankfully with my sense of humor still intact :p
Nothing exciting or groundbreaking has happened, I haven't even really left the village, with the exception of a week in Sheffield to do this;
and yet despite this I feel that I am greatly changed. Quietly and gently in this mundane chapter of my life the Father has been shaping me.
and yes I have known great frustration with my circumstances, despair (a fairly natural emotion when faced with a hopelessly blocked toilet!) and interestingly, a fair amount of road-rage -I'M A LEARNER HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT I'M A BETTER DRIVER THAN YOU?!!!!
From this vantage point I've heard tales of exotic travel, spiritual revelation and romantic engagements, all of which is enough to turn even the most content and godly young woman green with envy. And as I am by no means an example of that rare and delightful creature, Suffice it to say that I was a nice shade of emerald.
Yet somehow in the midst of this he's changing me.
Little encouragements kept me going, reconnecting with families I used to babysit for and seeing how great the now very grown up children were doing. Work writing me a beautiful email to say how much they'd enjoyed having me on the team, my driving instructor becoming a friend and even having a giggle with George the examiner who said he genuinely wished he could have passed me...!
So back to my windowsill and the stars. The scene may not have changed as the years have passed, but my heart has.
Last night as I lay down to watch the stars I was aware that I was being drawn closer to the creator. Even after a summer like this one where I was just putting one foot in front of the other everyday in what felt like a dry and dusty land. I have been learning him better, learning what his voice sounds like, the look of him and the shape of his heart for his children. Still not as much as I want too but closer and closer.
As I lay there he told me he was giving me five shooting stars. By the time four were gone My eyes were drooping and he told me to close them for ten seconds. On the count of ten I opened them and there was number five rushing celestially across the sky.
in that moment I knew the summer was not a waste. We were in it together. From the day where I sat in a field and cried because I was too discouraged to walk any further, to last night when the incredible truth of God was indelibly burned across my eyes.
so, this is the song this post is named after;
'Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home, a land that i've never seen
I am changing, less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
and i have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day
when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you, you make all things new.'
Brooke Fraser 'Shadow Feet'
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Friday, 16 July 2010
when I was 10 she taught me how to french braid my hair
and now she's imparting the wisdom of a good pot of Jam...
half fruit and half sugar
and a lemon cut up and added to help thicken
heat the fruit til gloopy
heat the sugar in the oven
add the sugar to the Jam
wait to thicken, to test this freeze a plate and dribble some of the jam onto it
then put it in the fridge for a minute. Push finger through the jam and if it
appears pretty solid its ready (eat sample)
add to jars!
voila, extremely delicious Jam, we also made Strawberry and rhubarb (my personal fave) and Gooseberry!
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
You feel cold So I reach for a blanket to cover our
A hunger comes into your body So I run to my garden and start
You ask for a few words of comfort and guidance, I quickly
kneel at your side offering you this, as a gift.
You ache with loneliness one
night so much you weep, and I say,
Here's a rope tie it around me,
I will be your companion for life.'
Love this Poem and the photograph is by Stephanie Rausser who is incredible. See more of her bursting with life pictures here: http://www.stephanierausser.com/www/#
Saturday, 3 July 2010
spending time with these guys
playing the beautiful game
messing around with heart shaped foliage
and listening to some wisdom from this guy... http://mikebickle.org/
In short - having a jolly good time!!!
Happy Summer everyone!!
Friday, 25 June 2010
and on that theme....
'I dream of you, to wake: would that I might
Dream of you and not wake but slumber on;
Nor find with dreams the dear companion gone,
As, Summer ended, Summer birds take flight.
In happy dreams I hold you full in night.
I blush again who waking look so wan;
Brighter than sunniest day that ever shone,
In happy dreams your smile makes day of night.
Thus only in a dream we are at one,
Thus only in a dream we give and take
The faith that maketh rich who take or give;
If thus to sleep is sweeter than to wake,
To die were surely sweeter than to live,
Though there be nothing new beneath the sun.'
It's not really my new bed, rather a very well placed hammock I discovered
on my afternoon walk. I am an extremely fond of it though so will definitely
be re-visiting :) Furthermore I managed to electrocute myself on a fence
while looking for a short cut - turns out that I'm not a massive fan of electrocution
and also was mildly disappointed that my hair didn't stand on end.
what can I say, after 12 years this village still manages to surprise me...!
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7
I think this summer God has enrolled me in a sort of personal peace school. worry is a big problem for me and as soon as I arrived back home I was overcome with fear for all the things I have to achieve and take responsibility for.
this is unfortunate since worry happens to be something Jesus is pretty specific about on a number of occasions;
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes...Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Luke 12
yeah...not much wiggle room there then! I found the Timothy verse last night and I think it sums up what I want to learn this summer - a powerful and disciplined love which knows nothing of fear and timidity but is open to a life full of Jesus inspired chances and possibilities.
ooo and I have a job on the domestic staff of a boarding school! exciting times!
Sunset in St Peters Churchyard.
Friday, 18 June 2010
for the next 3 months!!
I'm (re)learning to drive (which looks a lot less like this;
thank you'd think :S)
also living in my old bedroom and (if i'm lucky!!) working my old job in a coffee shop - in short, i'm 17 again!! except not, because I am a graduand, changed beyond recognition and it's my baby brother doing the A-levels. Madness!
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about all this, I think i'm just letting it sink in for the moment, I don't think it's going to be an easy time, it feels a bit two steps forward three steps back. But I know i'm here for a purpose and I want to be teachable during this time of rest from Sheffield and hopefully go back having drawn strength and wisdom from the past. I'm tired after a long three years and way too worried about the future so there's plenty to be done and I know Jesus will use this time for good if I let him.
ps how awesome is this website...http://improveverywhere.com/
yep. life is definitely too short not to make a scene :)
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Friday, 14 May 2010
'They'd dusk dream in silence. together but not.
I am definitely a sunshine tomorrows kind of girl! But recently Gods been showing me that I have everything I need. He provides for me in every circumstance:
and yet despite his constant provision often I am discontented, I whine and wonder why I haven't been given all that I desire. I don't want this to be the case anymore. As Oswald Chambers says (man I love this guy, he pulls no punches!!)
'May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality—a readiness to face anything He brings our way. The only proper goal of life is that we manifest the Son of God; and when this occurs, all of our dictating of our demands to God disappears. Our Lord never dictated demands to His Father, and neither are we to make demands on God. We are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants.' My Utmost for His Highest.
and I'm learning that there's such joy to be had in this submission of will. I haven't been cheated out of my hearts desires, nor have they disappeared. I'm just learning to be content in the vast riches he has already lavished upon me!
and so! This verse from an old hymn grows in significance daily :)
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of his face,
content to let this world go by,
to know no more of gain nor loss
my sinful self my only shame
my glory all the cross.'
Monday, 10 May 2010
1) my longing for an adventure.
2) my all consuming desire for a Polaroid camera.
3) this amazing picture..
(spotted here; http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/04/28/really-stunning-pictures-and-photos/)
4) 'Truffles' an amazing blog which teams up beautiful pictures and words to make mini snapshot stories.
anyway.....back to work :(