Thursday, February 19, 2009


I was having a chat with my Littlest One the other night about habits and why they're so hard to break. I've got to be honest...I am probably THE worst person to talk to about changing habits - I am appallingly bad at changing the way I think about things, even if it would be much better for me to do so. This personality trait leads to the infuriation of my friends (at best) and large amounts of hurt for me (at worst) but it is, even so, a habit in and of itself I suppose.

Its easy to talk about things with my Littlest One because she really is like the other half of my brain to the extent that her brain can unscramble what my brain is trying to say (and quite often say it back to me in a way that actually makes sense) so when she was met with the comment "it might be a bit broken but at least it definitely still functions so why try and fix it" she knew what I was trying to say - often we don't change our habits because we don't want to *quite* enough. It doesn't hurt *quite* enough to force us through the process of won't benefit us *quite* enough to warrant the effort...its not *quite* what we really want to do, even if its right. And we all do it. And we all suffer. And most of us never learn. And even if we do learn, we never learn *quite* enough and, oh. We're back there again.

Sometimes, however, there is incentive enough to overcome that barrier, and in my experience, its sadly only either extreme pain to ourselves or to those we care about that can make the change. Our worst enemies when it comes to changing our thoughts and habits are our own brains, and it takes a LOT to change how they're wired. For example, when I had Glandular Fever (mono for all you Yanks) I got depression and a wierdy death complex that prevented me from ever being alone (including at night) or I started having panic attacks. This, at the age of 17, was significantly NOT. COOL. I had school counselling. I had church counselling. I had peer counselling (of a VERY rough and ready variety) but nothing worked until one day out of desperation, I chose to rewrite my brain. I wore, for 3 or 4 months, a hair elastic round my wrist - one of the ones with the little metal bit on it - and pinged it against myself every time I started to panic. Believe me, it HURTS (if you don't believe me, go try it. Not fun) and eventually it worked. My brain started to associate its irrational thoughts about death with that pain, and eventually it changed the way it thought. The pain was enough to overcome the habit.

A more recent (and slightly happier) example is The Drummer quitting smoking (for which I am SO SO proud of him for doing) He gave up, full on cold-turkey on New Years Day and for 15 days didn't touch a cigarette. A minor indescretion occurred the night before we got together that ended up in a few cigarettes being smoked. Bean will testify that I lost the plot. Tears were very nearly shed. I was so disappointed for him because he'd done so well BUT the knowledge of how upset it made me means he hasn't smoked since (possibly also the COMPLETE certainity he has of not gettting kisses if he tastes like an ash-tray) Jokes aside, he knows how much it upsets me, and that's helped him overcome the habit. To the extent where, when I said if he ended up smoking with the boys in Canada, that would be ok as long as he didn't come back and not be able to stop again, he said he still wouldn't (yes, he's amazing. I know) (and all mine)

Those were genuinely the only examples that came to mind for reasons for having changed habits which is a bit sad. Plenty more examples came for people who want to change because they're hurting other people - why why WHY does it come to this before we find the incentive for change??

I can answer my own question there - because its so darn hard. And it is. It really really is, even when it comes to the good stuff - I know people who have struggled so so much with the concept of God loving them enough to forgive them anything they've repented of...I know people who struggle to accept the love of their other half, even when everyone else around them can see it a mile off. I'm totally guilty of that one myself - its a constant surprise that The Drummer misses me/cares about me/wants to be with me as I do him, and I totally put that down to damage caused by previous habits I could never quite change - that's my incentive to change how I think about myself: the damage caused to my heart and my thoughts by my old habits could seriously jeopardise the present (and that would really REALLY suck, because I kinda like this one!)

You've got to look around and see who else is hurting too. Hurting FOR you, because you don't hurt enough for yourself. And you have to also believe you're worth the change, because those people believe it of you, but that's not quite enough. The change, ultimately, comes from you. Because you ARE quite enough. You have quite enough in you to do it.

And even if you don't always believe in yourself, He does. Always has done, and always will.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"
2 Corinthians 12v9

Love, etc.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A New Perspective

“Most people fail at whatever they attempt because of an undecided heart. Should I? Should I not? Go forward? Go back? Success requires the emotional balance of a committed heart. When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape. A committed heart does not wait for conditions to be exactly right. Why? Because conditions are never exactly right. Indecision limits the Almighty and His ability to perform miracles in your life. He has put the vision in you — proceed. To wait, to wonder, to doubt. To be indecisive is to disobey God.”
Andy Andrews

I came across this this morning, courtesy of Little Miss. I have to be honest, I've never ever thought about it all like this before. And I think Mr Andrews might be right. If I think about it, without God (via St Johns) (and associated opportunities), there'd be no knowledge of sound engineering, let alone such a passion for it. So why do I doubt that there's a long-term plan involving it??

Enough waiting. Enough wondering. Enough doubt. Time to DO (and that goes for the rest of you too...its not just me getting my butt into gear...come join me)

Love, etc.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I am, at heart, a cynic. About a lot of things. And Valentines Day is definitely one of them. I'm well up there with the best of them - why should there be just one day of the year when your other half is reminded by every shop they go in how much they love you/how lucky they are to have you/what you mean to them. Oh, and that they NEED to be reminded of that?! No thanks.


After yesterday, I am forever converted. As most of you bloggers/tweeps know, The Drummer is snowboarding in Canada right now (something to do with it having been booked months before we got together when he was still pretty sure I wasn't going to go out with him) (long story to be shared another time) (if he lets me) so I knew that I wasn't even going to be able to talk to him let alone see him and spend Valentines Day with him. It was still the best. one. ever. I thought 2 years ago when I got a Lego rose from my sister that that was pretty cool, but no. On Sat
urday, I was woken by Interflora delivering these:

For a cynic, I was very very tearfully happy.

Yay, real flowers from my boy for Valentines Day :) But not just that. Not even mostly that (although they are STUNNING and keep making me smile everytime I walk in my room) For the record (and those not in the know), tulips are my favourite flowers, and pink/purple are my favourite colors. I have friends of many years who couldn't tell you that, but The Drummer (after just 1 month!!) got it spot on. It wasn't the gesture that converted me - it was his knowledge of me and his desire to show how much he cares about me by getting it right for *me*

Maybe Valentines Day isn't about subscribing to commercialism, its not about gifts, but is a day of the year set aside in our hectically busy lives to remind people to tell their other halves how they feel. Its not actually just one day out of 365 - you can be sure that the memories of this our first Valentines Day will last much longer than the flowers and chocolates - even from the other side of the Atlantic, he made me feel like a Princess. And that, as far as I'm concerned, is worth all the commercialism. If he's not careful, I'm going to fall in love with him.

Love, etc.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm right here...

I'll be honest - I wasn't paying attention to the sermon this morning. I had a million and one things flying through my (very sleepy) brain and I just couldn't persuade my brain to pay attention to a sermon based on a reading from Job.

I did manage, however, to listen to his last example, which I assume summed up his whole sermon in 2 minutes (seriously...why do preachers do that?!) It was basically a story which ran as follows:

There was once this rehearsal of Hadyn's oratorio "The Creation" where the conductor decided that having the actor singing the part of God would do better singing from one of the balconies to give the effect of a voice from the heavens. By the time he'd trekked around back stage along corridors and up and down stairs to get to said balcony and realise that he couldn't see the conductor nor hear the orchestra properly, the rehearsal was running late and they pressed on. Eventually, he was so out of time and missing so many cues that the conductor was beginning to lose patience, "God? Where are you?" "What is the hold up God?" "GOD...WHY ARE YOU NOT RESPONDING TO YOUR CUE?" and the like. Much to the amusement of all who were watching the rehearsal. The actor decided eventually that enough was enough and traipsed all the way back down, through backstage and round back out in to the auditorium just as the conductor finally lost the plot... "GOD?!?! WHERE ARE YOU?!? WHY AREN'T YOU LISTENING TO ME?!? ARE YOU EVEN THERE?!?!" and the actor playing God stepped forward, put his hand on the conductors arm, saying "I'm right here"

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what his point was by telling that story (apart from diva-esque nature of most conductors...) but maybe its something that we could do with being reminded of now and again. Sometimes He's not as far away as you might think.

Love, etc.

p.s. And before you all get concerned about the million and one things flying through my brain, once I've organised a few of them into coherent thoughts, I'll blog again. Worry not my loves, all is well. I promise.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing...

One of the things I try and make sure I'm thankful for while I'm unemployed is my time. Just 2 months ago I was so busy I could barely tell which way was up most days and now I literally have all the time in the world. A coffee date here, dinner there, occasional visit to Egham & the like - I am very much my own boss (and starting to like the cooking/ironing/scrapbooking/sewing/card-making a concerningly large tradtional-housewife-esquely amount) (not that that's a bad thing - I'm very much looking forward to it one day, just not yet!)

What I struggle with, I guess, is the waiting. I was reminded by this beautiful lady that everything happens in His perfect time, which is often subtly (or even majorly) different to ours. Or even to our perception of His time. I'm more guilty than most of this I think, as I like to look at my life and go, "well, I'm here. Listening. Waiting. Go for long as I don't have to do X, Y or Z and don't have to leave Egham" I forced myself over that barrier by leaving Egham through my own choice, but am still struggling to relinquish X, Y and Z and just wait and see what He wants. I can't imagine that I'm not meant to work with orchestras and in Sound Engineering - He did, after all, bless me with those talents and skills and desires - but the big answer as to how and when has yet to appear. There are, however, enough pointers to show me that I am doing the right thing to (try and) wait and see.

Its hard, while you're doing that, not to wish. Or, at least, not to become regretful & full of if onlys. Its hard not to wish I'd done a different degree that would make applying for jobs easier, its really hard not to wish I was still in Egham & its nigh on impossible to not look back at some of the jobs I've applied for and really regret that I didn't get them BUT to have those wishes fulfilled would have meant not being at RoHo, which would mean no St Johns, which would mean no RJ, no Sound Man and no Mr Skins, which would equal no training which means I would never have realised how much I love Sound Engineering. Still being in Egham would mean no shiny new exciting relationship with The Drummer (yeah, I get the irony on that one...ask me about it sometime...too long to explain now) And having got one of those jobs would mean that the perfect job He has for me would have been missed and overlooked.

I'm not saying don't dream dreams - sometimes its just the best thing to sit and think and dream - just don't miss the world and all the opportunities around you at the same time. And never say never to God**

Love, etc.

p.s. Don't suggest that now is the time to be aforementioned tradtional housewife. I (and The Drummer) will get far too scared and probably run away :p

** This is also a blog topic all of its own. To be saved for a future special occasion, as befits the topic.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Incase you've forgotten...

Do you ever have those days where you get a gentle reminder that encourages you beyond belief?? Most of the time, God has to literally kick my butt to get me to realise things, but since coming home, its been gentler and more subtle (I am more than willing to put that down to a change in my attitude, both over seeking & listening and in being more receptive to the answers to said seeking & listening)

My biggest biggest problem with leaving Egham was leaving St Johns...I'd never really done the whole God thing properly anywhere else, and was kinda scared that it wouldn't happen anywhere but there. God's been pretty consistent in reminding me that He lives elsewhere other than just St Johns...the sermons I've heard at my parents church have been amazing, and despite their style of worship being just about the furthest from my preferred style/comfort zone that its possible to be, my first Sunday there we sang the shining streets of glory song (a gang CLASSIC) and last week, In Christ Alone.

After an amazing day with The Drummer yesterday, I was in a bit (quite a lot) of a missing Egham grump this morning, and really only went to church because it was easier to go than explain to my parents why I didn't want to. Instead of leaving me in that grump (as I *so* deserved to have been left) God chose to bless me with THREE reminders that I'd done the right thing. Such very very simple things - a particular song, the message of the kids talk and a sermon based on 2 Corinthians 12v9, which is my all time favourite Bible verse - but just reminders that He is very much there with me and for me, regardless of where in the country I happen to be.

Its the simple things that are the best really...I can never understand why we make life so difficult for ourselves!!

Love, etc.