Tuesday, June 23, 2009

View from the other side...

An old friend emailed me out of the blue today admitting that she's been reading my blog and really appreciated the "normal, practical non standard everyday patter" of my blog posts, particularly in relation to her struggle to find and believe in God. I was thinking about it on my way to work, and realised how lucky we are to be Christians - to be sure of God's existance and know that He is there for us.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see"
Hebrews 1v1

Even in bad patches (which we all have, no matter how all together we seem to have it) I know that God is still there somewhere, even if I'm not sure exactly where sometimes. And for that reason alone, we're pretty darn lucky.

Love, etc.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Topical much?!

There's a preacher at our church who I love to *bits* He is truly awesome, apart from one tiny, niggly little thing. When he preaches, which isn't hugely often these days, he always, without fail, picks the one topic that I don't want to think about/am avoiding dealing with and hammers away at it for a good half an hour. Or longer.

I should have known last time as I settled comfortably into my seat last time he preached, thinking "oh the kids will enjoy this - its great to hear him again and have him give them such a good preach" that it was coming - you'd think I'd've learnt by now that God pretty much always uses my sermon-related complacency to whack me around the head with a sledge-hammer.

That night's topic was shalom and chatt'at (basically God's peace and then the very opposite - chaos/disorder) in the context of in our lives, there is a lot of chatt'at, and as Christians, we have shalom, and should bring it to our own chatt'at and to that of those around us. We can pray all we like for God to solve a situation, but sometimes we need to realise He has already sent us shalom - WE are shalom. And we need to apply that to the chatt'at of our lives.

In the space of 40 minutes, he managed to make me feel sad, laugh hysterically, feel guilty and then leave with a sense of hope. And that's why he's the best.

Love, etc.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Seeing Both Sides, or Why Idealising Life Can Be Dangerous...

I've always *always* envied Sound Man his job, despite his constant protestations that its "just a job" - I never understood how the glamour and excitement and atmosphere surrounding gigs could ever become "just a job" but since starting work, I've realised what he meant - its just a job. When you're buck-stoppingly responsible for the lights working at the right time, or the sound being bang on time after time, there's not a whole lot of time left to enjoy soaking up the atmosphere. I can understand how it quickly stops being the most glamourous thing in the world and enters the realms of normality.

On the flip side, however, I was showing a new director and his producer round the theatre last night and the director was so envious of my job and my "office," wanting to know how I got it and where he could get one like it. I saw so much of myself in that comment!

Don't get me wrong - I still *love* it and wouldn't want to do anything else with my time, but I've started to realise things in life aren't as perfect as our brains sometimes make them out to be.

Love, etc.

p.s. Apart from The Drummer. He is, of course, perfect in every way :p

Friday, June 12, 2009

Things I have learnt .. (part 3)

In addition to these things and these things, the following things have been discovered by me to be true...

- its impossible to walk down the road, in the sunshine, listening to Mas Que Nada and keep your hips still...

- the Bible really is right when it says don't let the sun go down on a row. You get a REALLY bad nights sleep, which makes working the next day kinda challenging.

- slimming as it is, Black gets pretty boring as a clothing choice day after day.

- while "just because" may not be a good enough explanation in the classroom, when it becomes the reason for flowers, its more than enough.

- packing, wearing, or indeed simply PLANNING to wear white linen trousers is pretty much guaranteed to make it rain. As is buying expensive new sunny gs.

- when you can go back somewhere after a time away and it really feels like you never left, that's when its home.

- people care about me a lot more than I realise.

- sunshine = blisters from amazingly pretty hugely impractical shoes.

Love, etc.

Just Because...

I like just because.

Love, etc.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Tables Are Turned... (a.k.a Fit For Purpose part 2)

When RJ & Sound Man sat me down and taught me about me about gain theory and condenser mics and sound desks and every type of cable under the sun, I never in a million years thought it would lead to me teaching anyone anything ever. Yet in the space of 2 days, I've delivered a mini-lecturette on pan-pots, instructed FAR too many children in the correct etiquette of a Tech Gallery and been given two prefects to train as Junior Technicians. Oh, and been asked to help deliver the "technical" side of a new diploma the kids are starting in Creative and Media Studies *PANIC FACE*

How can I teach something I barely know myself?? What do I have to offer about the role of being a technician?! Why do people keep treating me like an adult when I'm really really not?! (Clearly I am doing too good a job of pretending...) But in all seriousness - I never expected that I'd have to share what I know in any kind of formal setting, let alone stand in front of 27 kids and start their introduction to Technical Theatre. I've barely finished my own.

There is, however, a part of my brain that is pointing out that that is just exactly what we're meant to do with our knowledge and things that we learn - pass it on to others. I've blogged about the Parable of the Talents before, particularly in the context of my work, so I guess this is just another nudge to remind to stop hoarding and start sharing. Clearly this year is going be very little to do with resting on my laurels and quite a lot to do with getting fit for the next purpose that He has in store for me.

Love, etc.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Straight Talking

The Godfather is one of the few people in my life who can say something how it is, even if I won't like it (particularly if I won't like it!) and get away with it. And even get me to agree with him, 9 times out of 10 (and on the 10th time, I know I'll come round to his way of thinking eventually)

I was reading over my journal today when I was reminded of the time last summer when he left me struck dumb in the middle of Cafe Neros when he asked me whether I thought my relationship with God was starting to resemble that of the (non)relationship I was "in" at the time. Going out of my way to help him, anticipating his needs and being there to do/get what he needed. Being picked up and put down dependent on who else was around to entertain him yet I was always there waiting for him to come back again and again. Taking him back on any terms just to get him back. And so on. And so on. I suddenly could see The Godfather's point. And BOY was it an uncomfortable realisation.

I journaled the following in response that evening,
When its put so starkly that I'm treating You in the same way [he] treats me...I don't deserve any blessings at all, let alone the things I want for my comfort and convenience. When I think about how much it hurts me when [he] ignores me or picks me up and throws me away again at his convenience - I can't begin to imagine how much it hurts You that I've been doing that to You and I'm so sorry...

It was one of those tonne of bricks moments where suddenly you realise that a relationship with God means a relationship. And relationships come with hurt, however unintentional it may be.

I had another one this morning in church (although possibly slightly more shower of pea shingle than tonne of bricks...) when I was thinking about a friends BBQ that the gang were all at yesterday and how nice it was to hang out with my Little One after not seeing her properly for so long. It was a little bit bittersweet though, as I was kind of sad that we've drifted a little far apart since graduation/leaving Egham/starting work. I realised I hadn't put enough time or effort into maintaining the friendship when it ceased to be so naturally convenient and simple. And you see where this is starting to go...

When it struck home the most was when I looked up and saw The Drummer just sitting watching me and I knew that if I'd asked him what he was looking at, he'd say he was just watching me be happy and excited to see all the people I hadn't seen for so long - just the same as God does everytime I go to church. My relationship with The Drummer is hugely balanced - sometimes we talk really deeply and seriously (rare, but we're working on it) sometimes we're messing around and having fun and enjoying each others company and sometimes we just hang out simply spending time being together. I thought when I got together with him that an earthly relationship is sometimes a good model for working on your relationship with God because it makes all the emotions more real and understandable.

That comes with the flip side too though. Something to work on I feel...

Love, etc.

p.s. The Journal from the night I got together with The Drummer? I don't think I deserve him, but thankyou for giving him to me. In the light of what I've just been writing about...hmm. Point made.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


What is an achievement?? Watching The Apprentice semi-final made me think about this quite seriously.

One of the candidates was talking about what it would mean to her to win, saying that she would be able to prove to herself and her family and her daughters that she was more than what she'd achieved so far in her life.

I was surprised at my own reaction to that comment - I have one of the clearest career goals of most of the people I know, and a lot of people would probably think, understandably, that my career is one of the most important things to me in my life. When I heard Lorraine say that though, my first thought was for her girls - maybe its just me, but when I have children, THEY will be the biggest achievement of my life.

Last Night of the Proms will be epic, but my life won't have been pointless if I never get there. I might never get there - part of me worries that I'm not ruthless enough to get to the top, but I know that ultimately, that's not the most important thing to me.

JEB once called me laughably traditional. I think he was probably right. An achievement in and of itself.

Love, etc.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

We're All In This Together

Something I've realised over the last few weeks is that I'm really not alone in anything - in every single aspect of my life in the last little while I've had support and love from every angle, often hugely unexpected places. One of the instances that really sticks in my mind is The Beautiful Dr sending me an amazingly lovely, very wise response to my *ahem* issues. I don't know her overly well...we've connected more over FB, blogging and absences of our respective boys than we did in real life, but her advice was spot on and so very wise :) Another was The Godfather's wife offering to let me visit with her and the little monkeys (and The Godfather if he could have been tempted away from his Mac) over the half-term, knowing how much I'm missing the little ones in Egham and also how much I've just needed a complete change of scenery and pace this last week.

I know I've written it before, but I truly am blessed by the people around me. So often when my friends are struggling with things and feeling God is giving them no answers, I push them towards their friends - I truly believe that God puts the people around you that you need (or at least, within your reach) reminding me time and again that

"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many,
they form one body"
1 Corinthians 12v12

Or, in the immortal words of the HSM kids,

Love, etc.