With regard to my faith I have spent a lot time writing about what isn't.Exploding lies.Debunking myths.That sort of thing.I write about this because it is what I have spent a lot of my time doing in my real life. Unravelling thoughts about my beliefs, chucking out systems that have become constraining.I struggled under the weight of some repressive ideas for a long time.No one forced these mindsets on me. In the way that most things happen it was a mix of my personality, my experiences, my choice, my upbringing, and my pride that combined to intoxicate me with the notion...

A few years back I noticed a book lying around. It was by a Christian speaker, one of those women who talk in authoritative statements, wearing power suits in bold colours.I never read the book, but I remember it's title, which shaped itself as a command.It was called 'Don't Dread'*.Oh, if only it was that easy.I was raised on stories of overcomers. I was told testimonies of people who through their faith had seen the breakthrough. I heard these stories in church on a Sunday, and round the dinner table. All the testimonies seemed to me to have a happy...

My therapist tells me that she believes it probably won't be long until there is a test, a blood test or something, that will tell what is chemically happening in your brain. To ascertain that something isn't right, some chemical or hormone isn't being released correctly or in the right amount (forgive me - I am no scientist).This would distinguish between mental illnesses that requires chemical intervention and those mental illnesses that can be alleviated by environmental changes and talking therapies, without the need for the pills.And although we shouldn't have to prove it, we shouldn't need that validation, it...

Yesterday in church we sang together.We sang the words,"you're never going to let, you're never going to let me down".The words caught in my throat and I fell silent.I couldn't sing the words even though I have found them to be true. He is never going to let me down. I couldn't sing it even though I believe it, and feel it. I couldn't sing it although the core of my being is at peace with this statement.I looked around me and I saw my friends. I saw their grief and struggles, I saw their pain.I saw loneliness and illness,...

It is tempting to want to be a builder; to work with a plan, to know what you are going to produce before you have finished, to be sure about all the details.But better by far to be a gardener; to work with the elements, to be surprised by the things that grow and those that don't, to be malleable and open to change, to have to adapt in order to thrive.Builders have a level of certainty about the outcome. They plan and prepare and Are-Not-Wrong. Rarely does anything happen along the way to change what they are attempting. Sure,...

Recently I've been thinking about the connectedness of everything.About how it is all part of the same thing. We are all substance and soil and soul. We are all atoms and curiosity and magic.And we are all in the conversation.A few years back, we lived close to a big park where I sometimes used to run.I ran to get fit, but really I ran to get out. To leave the house and be alone without children talking and questioning and demanding. I love my children, but by 6pm. after a day on my own with them, I was often ready...

When my girls were little I was always trying harder.Every few months I would come up with a new concept I believed would enable me to be the person I felt I ought to be.Through reading the latest Christian book, or hearing the latest talk on how to live a successful life (spiritual or otherwise) I would arm myself with a list of top 5 ways to improve myself and set to work. If only I could get hold of this idea, if only I could press in for the breakthrough, if only I could be put into practise these...

A few months ago my girls were both involved in a cheerleading competition.Now before you have the same reaction as me, let me tell you what cheerleading is not: pompoms. And let me tell you what cheerleading is: synchronised swimming on dry land, gymnastics and throwing each other into the air.(Still not sounding that appealing? I'm with you.)This competition was a big deal. Held at the local arena, groups apparently came from all over Europe. From the large mascot (species unidentifiable), to the American host whose trainers flashed different colours, the heat of the lights and the surround sound of...

I'm all about the grace. Grace is one of my favourite words.At my darkest of times, when it felt like the world was closing in on me I have known the sweet relief of grace. Grace in the actions of my friends, calling at the right moment, anticipating my needs. Grace revealed in a beautiful sunset, refreshing rain, or the flowers in my garden. Grace for my soul, in the quiet knowledge I am accepted and loved regardless of my mood or actions, knowing I belong.Mercy, grace, favour when I really don't deserve it. Amen and hallelujah.But. But.If Grace is poured...

Some weeks I have a phrase that hovers around me no matter what I am doing.This has been one of those weeks. And the words have been:On Tuesday they got 'magnetic letters' status.Relinquish:to lay down or surrender. To give up ownership and authority over.To release from your grip. To loosen your hold and let go.This week I have had to relinquish control of a number of things: My diary. At the start of the week I had so many things I wanted to get done. So many people I wanted to see.But I hadn't factored Matt or the kids into my plans...