LET THERE BE LIGHT
The beginning of my blog.
Also the beginning of married life and a new season. This is here to remind me of the joy that life is, the ideas that are passed on and the inspiration that always surrounds us... It's great to have you here!

I remember this.

Hello old blog, your very sweet, so full of nice things.

My new blog www.dearfriendlondon.com is very different. Its not supposed to just be about me, its supposed to be about whatever is good and praise worthy. Its meant to help people dwell on such things. I don’t know if it does…

So much of my life, my beliefs, my values are centred around my faith. My faith gives things life and meaning. My motive is Jesus. So how do I try and change women using a secular approach when I don’t believe there is any point doing anything without a saviour. 

I love because he first loved. Its not me, its Him.

How do I communicate this without communicating anything that makes people feel uncomfortable. Or maybe I just want people to stick around so my viewer stats keep growing. Or maybe uncomfortable is good. Or maybe I need to learn to communicate Jesus without saying his name.

Im not sure why God works the way he does. We just found out that we didn’t get some funding we applied for. This funding doesn’t mean staying or leaving, but it did mean living life a bit more comfortably. I think we were kind of assuming we would get it, so when the electricity will went up loads we weren’t worried, when our rent went up a little we didn’t fret, I got a more expensive phone contract and I started having this mindset that actually after we get this money we will be in ‘the promised land’. I would be able to go out for coffee whenever, we can go to the cinema without saving for it, no need to budget each food shop to the penny. These things would be nice, the money would have given us more stability and meant that Matts position would still be there when we leave. 

I know that we are not now turning to plan B. With God there is no Plan B.  We are not now just gonna take a different route to the same place. We are going to have God’s best. I trust that God’s best isn’t coffee, cinema and expensive ingredients. I trust that his best is joy and contentment and peace and love and freedom. Nice things can be part of that, but I’d take God over all the ‘stuff’ any day. If God’s not coming with us then i don’t want to go. Thats what Moses said to God when they were wondering around the desert in search of the promised land. God said I’m not coming with you, but I will send an angel with you. Moses said no, if its not you I don’t want it. I don’t want the promised land, the thing we’ve set our whole lives upon reaching, if you are not going to be there.
So today I say. If its not you, then I don’t want it. I can take or leave the promised land, but there is no way I will carry on without you. Show us what your best is, I will be waiting here, excited and expectant. 

Hope Engaged photo shoot link-up

When Katie first invited me to this link-up in July I instantly thought, well thats vain! Taking pictures of myself, on purpose, and deliberately putting them in a place where other people will see them, no!

 
Since that first reaction I have felt quite challenged on the subject. Slowly i realised that actually its not vain, that people do it all the time, its just me thats judging. I read blogs often, and love seeing the pictures that bloggers post; self styled photo shoots, mums to be and new outfits.  So actually its just ME judging ME. Ridiculous. Anyway, I am starting a Social Enterprise and needed to do some publicity stuff, in particular I needed to have a photo for the new blog intro. I put off taking it for soooo long. Eventually i set up my tripod and camera and Matt wired it up to a screen so I could see the pics I was taking. I think I stood there pressing the shutter button for like an hour. I changed my hair, smiled a different smile, changed angles, but I did not like ANYTHING about ANYTHING! eventually i couldn’t hack it anymore and ran over to Matt in tears. 
 In retrospect this is madness, how can I have something so deep-rooted in me about the way I look that I will cry over something so small. I have never felt unconfident about the way i look, I’ve never struggled with it until the idea of deliberately taking pictures of myself and wanting them to look good. Hello fear of vulnerability.
Matt prayed for me, I calmed down, thankfully by then my face was pretty puffy so I had an excuse to stick with whatever I had already shot.   
I have since come to terms with the fact that I’m gonna need to do this more often so I had best deal with it, and that I actually love the idea of being creative in self-portrait photography.
 
I think there are 3 things that I have learnt from that experience (and other similar things that have arisen recently), and from praying over it after.
1. Failure isn’t a bad thing, pain is the place we learn to GROW and challenge ourselves. As Mr. Henry Ford said ‘Show me a man who has never failed and i’ll show you a man who has never achieved anything’. BRAP.
 
2. I can’t afford to be scared of judgement, fear of man is not something i was made to live under. I was created to only look for the affections of my heavenly father. Its in THAT knowledge that I have freedom.
 
3. MY HUSBAND IS AMAZEBALLS
 
So here are a selection of unedited pictures from that shoot. 
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So there we have it, the story of my first photo shoot.

Thanks for reading x

PS. I CANT WAIT to tell you more about the social enterprise and promise to in the next week!

Hot sand on toes, cold toes in sleeping bag

There are some memories that we will hold dear forever. The past 2 days are such memories. We did miles and miles and miles of kayaking, ending up on a beautiful sandy beach, scavenged for fire wood and set up camp. The sky was clear and the sunset burned red as we ate our fire cooked smokey pasta. We then put our tins of rice pudding in the fire and ate it as the full moon came fully in to view. As we let the embers cool we got into our sleeping bags and settled down in our tents on the sand with life jackets for pillows. I drifted off to sleep with the sound of water lapping scarily close to my ears.

In the morning I woke with the sun, we climbed out of our tents shook off the stiffness and embraced the freshness of morning. The sun was rising in the east and the tide was far away. Just sand between us and the sea. We rekindled the fire and made morning coffee with which to enjoy the view. A few friendly dog walkers passed by with a wave and we started to prepare for a longer paddle back to home with a brief coffee shop stop. I brushed my teeth and rinsed my face in salt water. On the way back we saw seals and shoals of fish pass under our canoes, the water clear enough to see all the way to the sea bed. As we made our way along the final stretch of coast a beautiful sandbank stretched out in front of us, new sand shaped by the current. We ran through the shallows, pulling the canoe along, laughing and splashing everywhere, as fast as we could to stop the sand closing in around us as the tide went out. We made it across and dragged the boat up the beach before diving in for ourselves and letting the water wash away the smoke and heat, so happy-hearted.

‘Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
I’ve come to know that memories
Were the best things you ever had
The summer shone beat down on bony backs
So far from home where the ocean stood
Down dust and pine cone tracks
We slept like dogs down by the fire side
Awoke to the fog all around us
The boom of summer time
We stood
Steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted
And the warmth rang true inside these bones
As the old pine fell we sang
Just to bless the morning’
Ben Howard-Old Pine

Family

I really do feel privileged to have the family I have.
My heart swells with pride for my bother and sisters. I am the oldest therefore feel protective and slightly motherly over them.
The age gap between myself and the youngest is 7 years. I still remember waking up in the night when I heard her cry and going in to give her a cuddle. I also remember sleeping in the room next door and hearing her cough then not being able to sleep. I had to check that she was still breathing and happy before I could rest…. I really hope I’m not so paranoid when it comes to having my own children or I will never sleep. But I guess that comes with the territory.

These are a few pictures I took in half term, like I said, we fitted EVERYTHING into those short few hours with my fam. Including my favourite coffee place with the Fam and Grandparents. Who do you reckon got genes passed down from my mums parents?


In this picture Jon and Grandad and figuring out how to suspend the plant pot on the table from the umbrella string pull thing…. much to Grandmas distaste.

Everyone is looking at mum as she sneakily takes a chair from a band set-up on the grass

We then went for a nice walk and Dad taught us all how to make grass trumpets. Jon and Bea did some climbing, Bea had to be rescued by Dad.
A lovely afternoon :)

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