Thursday, 13 December 2012

A Waiting Poem.

'advent calendar'

He will come like last leaf's fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud's folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.
Rowan Williams

Saturday, 1 December 2012

I have been a bit absent of late...

I would apologize but its a really good thing!

I have a JOB!

Here, praise the lord!!

and I fell in love with my best friend!

 (I swore I would never sink to this level of cheese but there we go..!!)

So this is just a quick check in to share what's bringing me joy at the moment (aside from the aforementioned obviously!!) 

This is an incredible design project done by a guy from my old church Rich Wells, he took it upon himself to make one piece of biblical artwork a day for 100 days and this is what happened...

A Sample:


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

How a rusty old hoop made my day..

 Look what I found just round the corner....

Its in a hidden little spot and looks like its seen better days (are you surprised that I love it?!) I am very into basketball (aka I am very into lobbing a basketball energetically and uncoordinatedly at said hoop)

It also happens to be quite mossy which combined with the month of November, left my hands looking like this!! I've always said that ending up a bit muddy is just a sign that you've had a good time!!

              Also spent some time with my gorgeous god son this week, look how CUTE!!

Just some phone pictures: dawn this morning in Pitsmore.

My beautiful pal B franx enjoying a sick day off work (!!)

And Burngreave cemetery on an autumn day.


Monday, 22 October 2012

My heart is tender and its time to write again, Its been so long that I'm not sure what to share.

Possibly about my new house; often full to the brim with people and laughter, food and gin (!)
But equal parts lonely beyond belief as I job hunt by myself during the days and battle off a feeling of worthlessness as I sell myself on paper.

Or I could write about this place i've given myself too, full of litter, people, people always occupying the space day and night. Sometimes in a mellow and sometimes in an abrasive way.

I've been amazed at the openness here, a man who drives an ice-cream van gave me a cone for free just because I stopped for a chat and to ask him his name. then there's the man on my road who sings ABBA to me as I walk home from work because he once caught me singing Mamma Mia to myself...!

Its strange to be living somewhere intentionally,

 I don't think I've ever done that before. Its not easy, I'm working hard to commit to it. As Autumn gets into its flow I have a deep aching feeling, remembering the adventure and promise of this time last year.

What I wouldn't give to run away to the Alps again.

Lord there is pain in this offering.

Every time I get a little bit too tempted he gently reminds me that me and him have things to do here. A life to shape, a community to transform. He longs for unity and healing in this place and I think I'm catching some of his heart.

My community is a saving grace, a family whose similarity is less in looks and more in the commonality of heart and dreams. We have a rhythm of eating praying and adventuring together. Its very beautiful.

Of course I tend to shake my head, put out my bottom lip and wobble rather at the enormity of it all. But then I reach up to him mainly in desperation, he is both the safe harbor and the wild storm,

and I will learn to trust him.

Some recent Autumnal pictures and some of Pitsmore:

Family Peaks Adventure....

Pitsmore on a sunny day...

And a quick shout out for the Bennigsons who had baby Zach christened recently, gorgeous family!

Saturday, 1 September 2012


My last night here, sitting with my feet out on the roof, the moon very nearly full, the familiar silhouettes of the trees.

No one takes a picture of me as I sit where I have sat since I was ten. No one has jumped to record the final time so I make a word picture for myself.

In this family we were taught to love real and fierce and not to wrap up too much affection in bricks and mortar.

And I don’t.

Not really, but I will miss this sloping roof and my eucalyptus tree.

There’s a box downstairs with my name scrawled over it, but that itself is not my childhood,

It cannot be labelled or constrained.

It is timeless placeless and wild, it spends a lot of time outside singing loudly, up trees and imagining things.

It informs a good deal of my present.

So, you see it isn’t really the last night at all. This isn’t the last time I will sit with my feet dangling out of a window enjoying the night air and the moon.

I will always find comfort in the smell of a eucalyptus tree, and smile when I find myself somewhere the street lamps turn off at midnight.

Friday, 31 August 2012


Its time for a new chapter......

Since I wrote this post here I've been in 5 different places doing at least 3 different jobs.
 Its been an incredible season where God has taught me loads about trust and the joy which comes from throwing doors wide open and seeing where they lead on to.

I've met amazing people and been surprised by the christian communities who seem to pop up wherever he's taken me. I've also some phenomenal experiences working with teenagers at The Challenge and Lee Abbey.

In fact the only thing really missing in this past season was Roots, Church and my boyfriend.

So I am moving back to Sheffield where these things are in abundance! I'll be living in a new area which I honestly know very little about right now! I feel called to live there with a precious community of friends who go to my church. Learning how to practice a wider missional community with the people around us.

Shane Claibourne in his book 'The Irresistible Revolution' writes this;

'It is a beautiful thing when folks in poverty are no longer a missions project but become genuine friends and family with whom we laugh cry, dream and struggle.'

This is what's on my heart for the next season, its a massive change and adventure. I'm ready to commit to Sheffield in a new way, particularly as my parents have sold the family home so there will be no more skipping off to Sussex when it all gets a bit too real!

Some graffiti art in Pitsmore by a guy called kid.acne, love it!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Challenge

Over the past month I have been a senior mentor on a summer youth program called 'The Challenge', and it has been the best job i've ever had. The teenagers under my care were as varied as they were interesting but without exception each of them taught me something and brought something amazing to the team. To see a group of 16 year olds go from an awkward initial meeting of 11 strangers, all from impossibly different backgrounds, to a tight knit family who both know and celebrate each others uniqueness was incredible.

To see them learn to support each other, encourage and rely on each others strengths whilst compensating for the inevitable weaknesses, was nothing short of an incredible privilege. In fact, the more time I spend with teenagers, the more convinced I become that I can learn an inexhaustible amount from their openness to share, not only their struggles and their hearts, but crucially their amazing supply of reach for the sky dreams.

It was incredibly humbling way that they allowed themselves to be corrected and were so open to learning new things, something I want to mirror in my own life. I'd previously thought myself to be quite a non-judgmental person but seeing the acceptance these guys showed has caused me to reassess.

I was deeply moved by a story one of my boys had to share. Often judged on his skin colour and clothing, he is arrested constantly for no good reason. Since people obviously have this expectation of him, I think its nothing short of miraculous that he's fully committed to a crime and drug free path. Having got to know him its obvious that he has a massive heart and is both incredibly laid-back, and a natural leader, a rare combination.

I was constantly astonished by the maturity I found in these teenagers, and the wealth of experiences they have to share already. They fully embraced learning about each others cultures, quickly showing great understanding and respect to a Muslim member of our team whose commitment to prayer and fasting was admirable.

Conquering fear is a daily accomplishment for the challengers, whether it be abseiling, public speaking,  or spending time with an Alzheimer's patient. Without exception I saw each of them rise to the expectation to challenge yourself.

This has been an incredible experience for me and I hope for the teenagers as well. I know that what I've learned this summer will stick with me and most of all I want to take away the openness to embrace people whatever and the clear truth that life is not a decided thing! So much is yet unwritten and its not to late to change attitudes or expectations.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Katherina Von Bora

I was just listening to a Mark Driscoll sermon which referenced Katherina Von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther aka the main man of the Protestant Reformation.

I didn't even realise he was married, let alone that it was such a brilliant story so I thought I'd share..

Its 1523 and Luther has released a pamphlet entitled 'On Monastic Vows' which shares his views on the vows of celibacy that nuns and monks make. He was radically separating from the Catholic church and part of this was promoting the idea of marriage as a Godly, worthy option rather than simply as the preserve of the weak willed. 

Now, this pamphlet found its way into the nunnery where Katherina had lived since she was a little girl. her and 11 other nuns read it and thought that they would quite like to give the marriage thing a go. So they sent ML a letter which I imagine ran along the lines of 

'Dude, bust us out of this joint'.

So Luther sent in some barrels of herrings and the Nuns duly escaped. Somewhat miraculously given what I can only assume would be their strong fishy body odor, Luther proceeded to help find all of the nuns either good husbands or respectable occupation, 

all except one.

Our heroine Katherina has a bit of a reputation for not being the most compliant of women (I like her already). She does have some suitors but it doesn't work out. 

Justifiably annoyed at her somewhat precarious situation (and I can't confirm sources for this but I really hope this is how it went down!) she stomps up to Luther and basically says 'Your stupid pamphlet got me into this situation and you can flipping well get me out of it. I'll marry either you or that Nikolaus von Amsdorf character.' 

Luther is surprised, though he now fully supports marriage it seems he hadn't considered it for himself. After thinking about it all for a while he comes up with this gem:

“my marriage would please my father, rile the pope, cause the angels to laugh and the devils to weep.” source

How could such a romantic beginning fail? In no time at all the two were inseparable best friends and to all intents and purposes shared a wonderful marriage.

he said in 11 August 1526: "My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty for the riches of Croesus'  source 

I really love the pragmatism of the whole thing, perhaps a new way to approach finding a husband? Single ladies take note!  

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

This Afternoons Walk.


and some new friends...!!

Quote of the moment.... 

'And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music' 


Sunday, 27 May 2012

24 on the 24th

So I turned 24 last week!!

I've been back at home now for almost a month. Its been blissful, time to bake and walk and talk with my parents. I've been so aware of the countless and constant ways that they love me and how precious that is. From my mum patiently putting up with my chaos to my dad investing in walking with me and teaching me important things like driving on the motorway and operating my new camera. They are both endlessly gracious and I am so greatful for them.  

So I've been thinking a bit about what I want from my 24th year and heres what I came up with.

I want to live fearless, doing things to which my knee jerk reaction is NO WAY!

 to love boldly, generously and unconditionally like its going out of fashion

Jump into the community I've been longing for/dreading all my life

To make space in my heart, mind and schedule for daily time with God, 

Find a justice cause which I'm passionate about and support it in whatever way I can

To spend specific time creatively every week 

To go on a photography course

ooo speaking of photography, I got the most beautiful camera for my birthday, heres some samples of its excellent work so far.....

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

In which I Encounter the Trinity.

So the other night I was sad... cry into my pillow in a hopeless and snot filled way kind of sad. I've been living a nomadic existence these past few weeks since returning from France, staying in various peoples houses and sofas and it had begun to take its toll. My clothes smelt disastrous and I was no longer 100% sure where my next toothbrush was coming from.  So, I was weeping into my pillow, feeling worn out and very very alone.

It was in the midst of this dark moment when the trinity elbowed their holy way into my sleeping bag. As I lay there the long arms of mother father yahweh wrapped around me and I knew that I was beloved daughter. Jesus was there too - ungracefully crammed in with his feet tickling my nose and of course holy spirit wrapped around us all and filled every gap in my weary soul.

That night was a picture to me of how the trinity of God works, how they are in perfect community with each other and because of Jesus we are invited to come into that unity, to be embraced by it and covered totally.

As I lay there in the embrace I had no right to experience I became so so grateful for my salvation, for the depth of relationship that is available to me through Jesus. The wonderful and unbelievable truth that I worship a God who is big enough to create the heavens yet makes himself small enough to squeeze into my sleeping bag when I need a hug.

The very second I cried out I was surrounded and shown how I am loved from the stray hair atop my head to the tips of my toes and all the way back up again.

You are too.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Where did it begin this love of yours? I think I saw it start, saw the way that it grew and found itself, the way that your roots wrapped themselves around each other and became somehow both distinct and indistinguishable.

I love sharing you, the way that you are generous with your love, not storing it up afraid to spill a drop but rather defined by an openness where bruised and broken people feel content to rest a while.

Your union? It is one born of many years, so much dreaming and waiting, lives beautified by patience and the possibility of something sweeter. This is the joining, the beginning. I want to write of the star spangled heavens, hung for you, the new horizons opening up, of walking forward together into the vast unknown.

 At the heart of your marriage is a great and shining adventure, a risk and a sacrifice, and the promise of togetherness for always. For you two I wish a depth of joy beyond anything you could have asked for. The grace to remain faithful to one another in the adversity you will face and the sure knowledge that you are held together by a greater love still, wrapped around and carried in it always.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

On My Way

found here:

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Mi Chi's!

Just wanted to check in and share some photos of one of my favourite places to hang out over here, a coffee shop just over the Italian border with some seriously cosy living room vibes. Italian cafes are inexplicably much better and cheaper than the french ones and here is no exception....

doesn't hurt that the hot choc is the same consistency as custard either :)