Friday, December 28, 2007

So that was 2007...

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before? Took communion for the first time...went to Spring Harvest...sang in church...went on the London Eye...

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for 2008? Er, no, and no. Well, actually, I might. I might make myself work really hard and get my First. I might read all the books for just one of my courses. I might have a 100% attendance for a lecture series. But then again...I might not.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yep!! Mrs Warren-Heys had little Emily, our CT baby, and Mr & Mrs Burns had their little one in July :)

4. Did anyone close to you die? Thankfully not this year.

5. What countries did you visit? Um, Skegness?? Nothing exciting this year...I took root in Egham instead.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? Ah who knows. To be brave enough to stand on my own two feet would be nice...would give Richard & Gings a break at the very least!!

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? my birthday, which was as close to perfect as its ever been...Spring Harvest, which was just amazing (Cooked Breakfasts will never be the same again)...Ashburnum, which was a turning point for me in so many ways...the FLOODZONE, which caused me THE most stress I've ever felt, but was so amazing that it more than made up for it...the Royal Albert Hall with Matt & Hodge, which was totally awe-inspiring and helped me make up my mind about getting a real job

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Flying solo on the Sound Desk

9. What was your biggest failure? Getting flu and ruining my attempt at 100% attendance of my lectures (N.B. It was a pretty good year as they go, clearly!!)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No major dramas

11. What was the best thing you bought? Its blatantly going to involve some sort of clothing or shoes...

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? Anyone who's come in to contact with me for managing to put up with me and the dramas that seem to surround me?? lol. But seriously, assorted surrogate parents who deserve BIG medals for not giving up on me, RJ for being generally fantastic and keeping me (more or less) in line, Mr Hoe for being the best Godfather a girl could have, and Little B for just being my Little B. Oh, and Namy for not killing me at a number of different points throughout the year :)

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Er, lets not. Not helpful.

14. Where did most of your money go? Clothes. And shoes. And clothes and shoes. And Cafe Neros.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? LOL where to start?? Erm, in no particular order, my birthday, Sound Desk Training (yes Richard, also the first time my name appeared on the Sound Rota), Strictly Come Dancing (because I'm actually totally tradge), going on the London Eye...there's blatantly other things; I'm sure the usual people will feel the need to add to this list.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2007? "Go Peaceful" coz of Ashburnum, anything by MIKA, but mostly Grace Kelly coz of the Alpha Bus of Fun, the Fratellis from my extended road trip down the M4 with Ria.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder? Happier :)
b) Thinner or fatter? Thinner :) I never sit still for long enough to put any fat on these days!!
c) Richer or poorer? Significantly poorer. But the babysitting money always comes in useful!!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Uni Work, as ever. But even so, I still figure life is too short!

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Panicking and stressing...I'm sure there are others that feel that too!!!

20. How did you spend Christmas? Trying not to kill my brother at my parent's house.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? No, not really. There's still time though...

22. How many one-night stands? I can safely say none at all.

23. What was your favourite TV program? Need you ask? Really?? Saturday nights in our house will never be the same again (a fact I fear Hannah will be rather glad of...)

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? The worst thing you can feel is indifference...hate means you still care.

25. What was the best book you read? Harry Potter 7, no question.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Mika. And The Fratellis.

27. What did you want and get? Again, it probably involved clothes and shoes. And Nigella Express and Casino Royale on DVD.

28. What did you want and not get? A MacBookPro.

29. What was your favourite film of this year? Atonement. No question.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Had a party chez ours, all dressed in red, and I was 20.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Various people dropping off the face of the earth?? No?? OK then, a first would have been nice!!

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Generally fantastic.

33. What kept you sane? Jacks Fish & Chips. I kid you not...when all is going wrong, they could be relied on, 100%.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Tough call between Matthew Cutler and Daniel Craig. Both eminently attainable I would say...

35. What political issue stirred you the most? the fact that The West Wing isn't real

36. Who did you miss? Keren. Like CRAZY.

37. Who was the best new person you met? Without doubt, my Spring Harvest girls (I know that's more than one, but I can't leave one of them out, that would be mean!!)

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007: that I actually can stand on my own two feet. I surprise even myself at times.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"Simply to the cross I cling
Letting go of all earthly things
Clinging to the cross
Mercy’s found a way for me
Hope is here as I am free
Jesus You are all I need
Clinging to the cross"

Friday, December 07, 2007

You know you belong when you are missed...

So, the other night at First Priority Marcus came out with this epic line you know you belong when you are missed. It reminded me of what one of my mates had been saying only a little while previously, and I sent it on to said person and reduced them to tears.

I've spent the vast majority of this week having that phrase running round my head, and having exactly the same reaction Jude did...I think its fair to say...I totally and utterly belong in Egham and you guys have just proved it to me over and over again

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Its amazing what you learn when you actually listen in a seminar...apparently by laughing, we're avoiding revolution. Or something. I wasn't listening that carefully, I just like the quote he gave us at the end:

"laughter could never become an instrument to oppress the people. It always remained a free weapon in their hand"

So, Live. Laugh. Love. Can't hurt, right?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


We Ask Ourselves, Who Am I To Be Brilliant,

Gorgeous, Talented And Fabulous
Actually, Who Are You Not To Be
You Are A Child Of God
Your Playing Small Doesn’t Serve The World.
There Is Nothing Enlightened About Shrinking
So That Other People
Won’t Feel Insecure Around You.

We Were Born To Make Manifest
The Glory Of God That Is Within Us.
It’s Not Just In Some Of Us; It’s In Everyone.
And When We Let Our Own Light Shine,
We Unconsciously Give Other People
Permission To Do The Same.
As We Are Liberated From Our Own Fear,
Our Presence Automatically Liberates Others.

I'm not his biggest fan, but on this one, Nelson Mandela had it just about right

Saturday, June 30, 2007


What I realised today...

the truth of the phrase "a friend is one who strengthens you with prayers, blesses you with love and encourages you with hope"

and also that a hug says everything that words can't.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Having another moment...

Sitting on a slow train to Waterloo means you get through an awful lot of songs on an mp3 player. And getting vaguely travel sick if you read anything means that all you really have to do for an hour is look out the window and listen to what you're listening to. If that makes sense. Normally my music is there to prevent silence, rather than for me to focus on, but just occasionally, like on the train this morning, I'll actually stop and listen to what I'm listening to.

A couple of situations this weekend have made me realise how God has His hand on my life, most of the time without me having a clue, but today I found the Casting Crowns song "In Me" so powerful...
Cause when I'm weak, You make me strong
When I'm blind, You shine Your light on me
Cause I'll never get by living on my own ability
How refreshing to know You don't need me
How amazing to find that you want me
So I'll stand on Your truth, and I'll fight with Your strength
Until You bring the victory, by the power of Christ in me

Says it all really

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why do people let me near a blog when I'm in this kind of mood??

So. That was my second year. I got my pass/fails this afternoon, which means that my second year is officially over. It feels...weird. It doesn't feel like its the end of term tomorrow, but then it hasn't felt like term time since lectures finished in March, so that's hardly surprising. In a way, term a bit of an anti-climax. So much has happened this year that for term to just finish is really odd. Having said that, any of you who have been around me in the past week or so will have heard the comment "term ends on Friday...what have we done this year?" so many times that you quite possibly want to gag me. More than usual I mean.

But genuinely...what have I done this year?? Its gone so quickly...feels like just a few months ago that Johnny & Sacha got married, but it's their wedding anniversary on Sunday; it doesn't feel like a year since we did The Big Top, but now we're full in the throes of planning The Flood Zone (N.B. I feel it is pertinent to point out that this time last year, being the worship Co-ordinator for the Holiday Club was one of the last things on EARTH I would have seen myself doing but, you know, things change...) it doesn't feel like a year since I moved out of Kingswood, but it feels like we've lived in this house forever.

In a way, everything has changed, but in some ways, very little has. I still don't do enough work for my degree, I still procrastinate like a flippin' pro (actually, come to think of it, that *has* changed this year...I've got better at it...) I still have fantastic losses of perspective on life, my friends, my work & just about everything else. But I know for myself that I'm a lot more confident than I was this time last year, I'm a lot stronger than I was this time last year and I sleep a lot more than I did last year (both at night and during the day, just to clarify. Although, probably more daytime nap-age than more proper sleep if I'm honest...)

What else?? Friendships are different...some have come, some gone & some changed beyond recognition. I finally learnt the true meaning of the phrase "friends are for seasons". I always hated it because it meant that some of my friendships would lessen/end at the end of their time. What my special *special* Laura-logic brain didn't then follow it up with was that friendships will also BEGIN in a season when they are needed, when the time is right. I still don't like the idea that my friendships will change, because I rely on my friends so much & they are such a huge part of who I am, but I can also see how some friends are always going to be there, no matter what might happen between us, they ain't going nowhere.

I learnt a lot about people this year. I learnt that not everyone sees the world in the same face-value way that I do (some would say naive...I prefer trusting...) (neither one avoids the pain & heartache that comes with discovering you're wrong though...) I've had enough of Christian politics to last me a lifetime (so yes, of course, I've just been co-opted on to the PCC at church...) and I've realised how slow I am to actually LEARN things and remember them...and we're not talking uni stuff. Case in point...I'm having a hysterical moment to someone on MSN, and they go "so this verse has just come to mind that might help you" then quote 2 Corinthians 12v9 at me. I sit on MSN day in day out with that reference staring me in the face, but do I ever actually stop and believe it?? Maybe I should try it sometime. My next stop and think more. Much more. Thinking about others, thinking about myself. Just thinking.

I only realised a couple of weeks ago how much people appreciate the little txts, the Facebook messages, the random crap sent to them to make them smile - I only realised it when people did it for me when I needed it. Until you're get one, you don't realise how much your little action has meant. Its so un-hard to drop someone a txt to let them know you're thinking of them, but only when it happens to you when you need it most do you realise *just* how much that simple act can help someone. People are strange *strange* creatures...we'll never fully understand anyone apart from ourselves. If we ever truly understand ourselves. Which in some cases (especially mine) is a highly doubtful occurrence.

Speaking of doubtful occurrences...things I never thought would happen this year - happily handing over my Presidency, spending so much time in Egham & so little time at home, leading groups at Spring Harvest (Strength will rise as we WAIT upon the Lord), getting so many books out the library and *actually* reading them for my essays, surviving what was, at times, the year from hell. But fully enjoying what has also been the best so far.

How else to sum up this year??
Another year older
A little bit stronger
A little bit wiser than a year ago today

Kinda says it all really. But HA! why write in 3 lines what I could write in *counts* *gives up* a lot more??

And like I said...WHY do people let me near my blog when I'm in this kind of mood??

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Too much thinking...time to act??

Too much thinking can be really really bad for you. No jokes. Our house and our immediate friends went through this stage a few weeks back of fixating on books about relationships...not the healthiest thing I could have done with my time at that stage. Reading a book about how to have a good Christian relationship isn't the best thing to do when you're just makes you realise *just* how much discerning (pickier) we have to be with our guys, and then, obviously, the lack of said guys to be discerning (picky) over.

However, there was also a lot of good stuff in some of the books that I had been putting off thinking about and sorting out in my head, and that time also encouraged me to do that as well as complain (vociferously) about the lack of decent Christian men who weren't already taken or far too firmly entrenched in my mind as pseudo-brothers to even consider in "that" way.

The book that got me thinking the most was Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. It is, admittedly, very American, and a little too cheesy for my liking in places, but there are also some amazingly deep parts that made me stop and think. It encourages us not to cast our pearls (ourselves and our hearts) before swine (people who are unworthy of them). Stasi describes how she interprets the verse "do not cast your pearls before swine" as Jesus saying, "look, be careful that you do not give something precious to some who, at best, cannot recognise its beauty, or, at worst, will trample on it."

I know I'm very, very much guilty of the latter...I didn't know I believed in the concept of *actually* having your heart broken, but after last year, I'm up there with the best of them saying how much it hurts. Its actually physically painful when you give your heart to someone and they don't see how much you are sacrificing to give it to them. I ignored friends, Lani, my parents, God...and they were all right. But I had to learn. I had to realise, albeit in the hardest way, *just* how precious one person's heart and love for another person is before I could appreciate how important it is that next time I am so much more careful.

I can't begin to describe the conversation I had with Lani about this the other day...and I'm still not entirely sure I believe more than half of what she said...I can't see that I have to potential to be a heart-breaker...I don't believe I need to be careful with people's hearts. Don't get me wrong, I know I should be, but I just don't believe anyone has ever given me their heart in the same throw-yourself-in-at-the-deep-end-even-though-you-can't-swim way that I seem to have done. It's not false modesty, or that annoying "I am not worthy" self-effacing thing that a lot of people seem to do (come on guys, you know me, I'm *more* than worthy) (*jokes*), I just can't see in myself what I see in other people that makes me want to give my heart to them.

I spent so long bouncing from wanting one relationship to another that when I started getting the affirmation and love that I craved so badly, I fell very very hard, and *very* fast and it all got really rather messy. I learnt a lot, but would give *anything* not to ever have to go through it again...what it says in Proverbs is true:

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life"
Proverbs 4v23

My friends need not worry, I'm guarding this little heart as hard as I possibly can...I kid you not that it is locked inside a box which I will be surprised to find opening any time soon. Keren got a bit annoyed with me the other night because she said I'd never be happy if I refused to let people in, but I figure that I'm not so much not refusing to let people in as leaving the door ajar.

This sounds like a very scary "I'm off relationships, leave me alone" blog, and it really wasn't meant to be. I've just been thinking a lot about relationships and what I want and how I'm determined to make sure that next time, whenever that is, I'm not going to cast what I'm (very) slowly coming to see as my pearls where they're not appreciated.

Show me appreciation for them, and I'm yours (Oh come on, you didn't really think I'd end on a deep and serious point like that did you?! fools)

p.s. Yes, I do find it mildly ironic that I spent almost 40 mins writing a blog entitled "too much thinking...time to act??"

p.p.s. But if you read it carefully, you'll have realised that I'm waiting for someone else to act this time, so its not all that ironic after all.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Catching up, Confusion and 2 Corinthians 12v9

So, after having not blogged in, lets be honest, forever, I thought it was about time I forayed back into the blogosphere. However, six months of no blog means there's a lot to blog about, so sit back, make yourselves comfortable and enjoy.

Last term was crazybusy, hence, I argue in my defence, the lack of blog-age. If I had the time to sit still and do nothing, I slept. Learnt a lot though. Learnt enough about people and Christian politics to last me a lifetime, and I don't doubt that it will. Learnt that I can't do this all on my own, learnt to ask for help, learnt to rely on God more than I ever had before. Obviously, there were bad times, lots of them if I'm honest, but they've kind of faded against all the good stuff. I know how blessed I am to have St Johns, and every time I think I've got enough people/care/love/support for one time, someone else pops up to look after me. I started this presidency with a Prayer Support email with 4 people on it. I'm finishing it with one with about 12 names on it, all of whom have been so amazing with the amount of support and prayer and love they've shown me over the year. For a while, my biggest worry about handing over CT was that this support would stop, but then I realised I was being a bit daft (in fact, very stupid), so I stopped thinking that and I'm over it now :)

The idea of handing CT over is, if I'm honest, very very sad, but I know that I need to step back and let someone else take over. I'm being called in a different direction now than I was this time last year, and I need to follow that now rather than hold onto the Presidency for old times sake...doesn't mean its gonna be easy, but there are so many opportunities opening to me that tie in so well with the end of my term as President that I'm not gonna have *too* much time sitting around doing nothing (i.e. working on my degree!! lol)

Which, I guess, brings me on to the confusion. Life is very confusing at the moment...having to make decisions about potential life after uni so I can get the relevant experience this summer or whether I just want to teach or what. The only constant that I'm not budging on is the fact that I'm not leaving St Johns when I graduate, but that isn't helping me so much with working out what I want to do for a job to fund living in this area...

What also isn't helping is that I've spent the vast proportion of this week in a permanent state of "Aaaaaaaaaaaah, dunno what to do" about, well, other things, but I think, at this time, the pertinent thing to do would be to keep quiet and wait for things to come out in the wash. As it were. Patience is not a virtue I have been overly blessed with but as they say, if something is worth having...

My other main issue at the moment is time. I recently got told that if I was too busy to spend time with God, I was too busy. Well, yes. That's a given. But its not always that easy. I know if our faith was meant to be easy, we'd never learn and grow, but come on, would a break now and again be too much to ask for?? Hopefully things are going to calm down soon, but right now, life is going far too fast for me to enjoy much of it - where this term is rapidly disappearing to I have *no* idea, but I know I fully intend to make the most of the time I have left - I'm halfway through my degree, and I don't want to miss the rest of it!!!

So we've done catching up, we've done confusion. That just leaves us with 2 Corinthians 12v9

"my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"

which was given to me by a very wise, very trusted friend. Nothing has helped me more since then than that verse. Any of you who have me on your MSNs will know how much I love that verse, and those of you who talk to me about God stuff (and a few of you who don't) will know how much I rely on it. When things have seemed their bleakest, seeing that verse has made me realise that, if that is true, nothing can be that bad. And it is true - I've learnt the most in the times I found hardest as President, and the best things (the people I've come to know and love etc) have often also come out of those hardest times. If there's one thing I want to pass on when I hand over this Presidency, it's that.

My parting thought is a brief summary of all the other things that I've been thinking about a lot (too much??) recently...

"A woman's heart must be so close to God that a man must seek Him to find her"

Says it all really.