The Gloves are Off

Thirty eight days ago a writing friend emailed me to ask me how my writing was going. I didn’t reply for two reasons. One: I haven’t been writing. Two: I wasn’t ready to face the fact that I haven’t been writing.

Two days ago a poetic friend pointed out that a sentence I’d quoted in a comment didn’t make sense and that I hadn’t noticed either while reading it or while reproducing it.

I started thinking that it’s time to get my write on again.

Continue reading

Coal & Socks

I remember when receiving a bag of coal for Christmas would have been considered a punishment and receiving a pair of socks would have been boring. 20+ years later (and with a real feel temperature of -6c last night*) I’d be delighted if someone treated me to coal **and socks***. A change in perspective determines how you respond to your circumstances! Continue reading

Gently Held

Interrupted by a Goldfinch
This afternoon as I was working in the living room I heard a thud against the window. Looking out I saw a dazed looking goldfinch blinking rapidly on the ground. My protective instinct instantly kicked in and I slowly crept out to see if I could help.

I picked him up as gently as I could, making sure not to crush him, and placed him in my hand. He was so dizzy that he couldn’t even stand. His little toes were curled up and he leaned awkwardly on them. He still had a piece of fluff in his beak for nest-building and as I held him I could feel his heart rate increasing.

How on earth could I communicate to this little bird that I was not going to hurt him or eat him?! Continue reading

Authority and Submission

Come Dance with Me?
A few years ago I was walking through St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin’s city centre and heard music coming from the usually abandoned band stand. That day there were twelve couples salsa dancing in that tiny space!

Each couple wore their own clothes and had their own steps and style. There was no sign of formal co-ordination yet they moved seamlessly around each other, even with no elbow room.

One couple in particular caught my eye. He was tall and held her close, so close that all she could see was his chest. They danced as one. There was nothing awkward or forced about their movements yet I wondered how she didn’t knock into anyone when she couldn’t see around her! Continue reading

29 Thoughts as I Turn 29

Yesterday I turned 29. I am no longer completely wet behind the ears, nor am I particularly wise or experienced. In no particular order, here are 29 things I’ve learned in my 29 years.

1. Independence is a myth. If you were truly independent you wouldn’t need to shop at the grocery store.

2. Interdependence is a skill. It must be learned and it requires trust.

3. You can always find something to be thankful for.

4. You can always find something to complain about.

5. You never deserve grace and you will always need some. Continue reading

This is My Confession

Recently, an organisation asked me to submit my personal statement of beliefs, not a copy-and-pasted version from a website. After reading the Nicene and Apostles’ creeds, I sent a very slightly abridged version of the following:

God
I believe in God. Not in just any god, a byword to which people attach whatever attributes they choose, but in one God- the Creator God who invites us to call Him “Father”. Continue reading

I Too Decided to Write

Systematic Reading Leads to Specific Leading
With RT Kendall’s recent article and Wolfi’s favourite phrase doing laps in my brain (“Systematic reading leads to specific leading”), I sat down to read the next chapter in my Bible reading plan: Luke 1.

I didn’t want to read it. I’d read it countless times before! Sulking, I opened my Bible and ran head-first into God’s heart for me that day. Continue reading

Doing Dishes, Wall Climbing, and 10,000 Hours

In spite of deeply-rooted introvert tendencies, having family together this week showed me that life really is better (and a heck of a lot more fun) when it’s done with other people.

Doing Dishes

Parents, two brothers, and me- we’re only together about twice a year, and this time I got to spend quality time with each person.

Mum and I made soup together, baked cheesecake together, did dishes together (how did I manage to forget that washing up with someone else is much more fun than taking turns?). Dad and I watched dog-training videos on Youtube and films on TV (everything from 1960s war movies to the Hobbit).

I don’t play video games, but I sat beside my brothers as they played while I knit a hat. Even though we weren’t doing the same thing, our proximity allowed us to talk in ways that we don’t get to during the year. Continue reading

More Student Weekend Stories

Here are the full student testimonies that I couldn’t squeeze into my tiny newsletter!

The Every Nation student weekend is one of the most exciting and the most mind-blowing experiences I’ve ever had in my life. It was like a complete explosion and expansion of the way I saw God and His plans. From the very moment our relationship with Him was separated because of the first sin, He already had everything planned, to give us Jesus Christ to bring us back to Him. His love for us is that great and I thought, how crazy and wonderful is that? It completely blew my mind and it made me realise that there is nothing to worry about because all is God’s plan. All I have to do is take that step and tell God, “Here I am”. A.O. Continue reading