Saturday, 30 June 2012

Why does the Holy Spirit make me cry?

I wish I knew; not to stop it necessarily, but to understand.

It happened today at the ordination service; tears galore during the ordination, the sermon, the prayers and some of the hymns.

It rarely happens at church services any more, but often does when I'm preparing services or kids sessions.

Does anyone know why?
Give me a clue.

Useful Bemba Phrases

Bemba is the predominant language of Ndola in the Copper Belt Province of Zambia. Ready for our trip on Wednesday I have gathered together some useful phrases.


Hello - Muli shani

Good morning - Mwashibukeni

Good afternoon - Cungulo mukwai

Goodnight - Sendamenipo

Goodbye - Shalapo / Pitani bwino

Thank you - Natotela

What is your name? - Niwi ani shina?

My name is…- Ishina lyandi

Yes - Ee

No - Awe

Be positive with your child - You are a star

You will go far
You are a star

No matter what
Give it a shot

You can not fail
It's not your tale

Aim for the top
Don't ever stop

Believe that you can
I'm your greatest fan

Keep on trying
You're nearly flying

Never say never
You've got forever

I'll love you always
For all of your days

On days when things are bad
Remember the good you've had

No matter what you do
I'll always completely love you

God opens doors

Today was my dear friend's ordination; she is now a Deacon in the Church of England in the best parish I know. It was a joy and an honour to share her special day with her and it brought back all the awe, wonder and excitement that my licensing did 6 months ago. Fantastic.

I was hit with inspiration time and again during the service and one if the things which became very clear to me ... God opens doors.

When times are tough and doors keep closing; God will open new ones.

When life is good but you aren't hearing His will for you; God will open doors and beckon you through.

God opens doors; we just have to look out for them and walk through.

30th June 2012 Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”. Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”. The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”. Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

Jesus Heals Many
When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”

I am so taken by the centurion's faith especially after a day where our lovely Libby became Rev Libby and a curate at our church. She believed, she followed her calling and she did so even when the times got hard. She inspired and inspires me as did this centurion.

Today I thank God for the blessing of those who follow His plans for their life.

#caacc week 2 - smell a flower

I have stopped to smell flowers a few times this week but none of them really inspired me to photograph them and write about them. Not until I found this very unassuming flower in a car park.

I was just checking my phone messages with my car door open and suddenly smelt a really strong scent, I looked around and there was a bush covered in tiny white flowers.

It's scent is heady and sweet; it is like honey and strawberries mixed together with a bit if orange. Lovely.

I have no idea what plant it is, but you'll know it if you smell it.

This is shared as part of

#365photoproject day 192

Title: We have a curate
Date: 30th June 2012
Location: Christchurch Cathedral Oxford

Friday, 29 June 2012

Who likes Sports Day?

I hated most sports days as a child; mostly because I knew I'd come last and be laughed at and let my house down. I only started to enjoy it once I found I could throw a discus.

And now as a parent? Well I still loathe them; it's the pushy parents, the overly competitive kids and the rain. But these are not things I'd share with Rachel, no no no; I want her to enjoy sport.

And I thought it worked, she loved last years' sports day, but she was anything but keen this year.

"I will have to watch things because I'm not good enough to run them" she said.

Suddenly she's at the age when she's aware of other people's abilities; and she's not the quickest in her year - but she's also the youngest!

I muddled my way through this with comments including....
Try your best
Support your friends
Enjoy the experience
There won't be any proper lessons

My heart wasn't really in it, I was trying to convince myself as well, but it worked. She had something to focus on and she had a role to play.

Fast Forward Four Hours.

Well here's a turn up for the books; she enjoyed her sports day. She didn't come last in her races. She had wonderful hockey skills in the dribbling race, she managed to get the coat hat and scarf on for the dress up race, she was great commando style under the parachute, she galloped like a horse elegantly over the hurdle and she flew with the skipping rope.

How proud am I?!

And you know something else?
Watching her enjoy it meant I had a fun morning, despite the rain and the competitive parents.

You ARE good enough

I saw this picture on pinterest and I just had to blog about it because I agree with the beginning but certainly not with the end.

Let's break it down. I agree with
the moment someone tells you you're not good enough is the moment .....

.... You question yourself
.... You question their motives
.... You ask God for guidance
.... You seek counsel for the truth

No one has the right to put someone else down. No one should ever be told they're not good enough. No one should be arrogant enough to think they know someone else and their purpose in life completely. But it CAN be an opportunity for learning and self growth; with help from people who love and support you.

What I can't agree with is
... You know you're better than them
Who are we to judge or rate someone? The moment we do that then we are as bad as the person who passed judgement in the first place.

So I'd say;
You ARE good enough, never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Remembering Bomber Command

Yesterday I had the BBC News Channel on whilst I was preparing the gifts for Zambia. I switched on just as coverage started of the Queen visiting somewhere or other. (I thought it was probably somewhere in northern Ireland again after the historic handshake yesterday; but she was back in London.)

Over the next five minutes I became engrossed in the events that were unfolding. The Queen was unveiling a memorial to all those who died in Bonber Command. 70 years these servicemen and their relatives have waited for a memorial, I can't imagine the pain of such waiting.

So many men died fighting for their country, from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and also from Germany - there were brave men on both sides.

Don't get me wrong; this doesn't change how I feel about war and how I long for peace in the world. But these men fought for their countries when they knew their chances of survival were slim. These men need remembering; just as men and women in the forces now need support and love.

The memorial is mind blowing; seven men ready and kitted out to board a Lancaster bomber and fight in the skies. In a special area of Green Park it truly marks all that so many men gave for their country.

I watched the whole service; a simple and moving service of remembrance. And then the last of the Lancaster's flew over and dropped a poppy for every life lost from Bomber Command.

All those poppies
All those lives
We will remember

#365photoproject day 191

Title: crayons for Zambia
Date: 29th June 2012
Location: ready to be packed

29th June 2012 Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”. They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”. “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”. Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”. Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

There is such power in these words, such clear presenting of joy for Peter's knowing of Jesus entirely. And I am reminded of Peter's later denial of Jesus. He had been the most faithful, the clearest believer, yet he denied when in fear.

It is such reassurance to be reminded how real the disciples were and how often they made mistakes or turned away. Even Peter. It helps me come to terms with my own mistakes.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Getting a little perspective

This image was posted on Facebook by a friend of a friend with reference to something, I can't remember what. It hit me between the eyes immediately and had stayed with me through the day,

I need to get a little perspective:
I am choosing to go to Zambia.
I am away for a mere 11 days.
I will have a lot of fun.
No one at home needs to fear for my safety.

Men and women in the armed forces are away for months at a time, this boy waited over 200 days to hug his mum. I am going to suck it up a bit, or at least I'm going to try.

Come as a Child Challenge #caacc week2

Welcome to the second week of Come as a Child Challenge; a weekly chance to see the world through the eyes of a child and share what the experience was like.

Each week I will give you a theme for the challenge, send you away to explore the world and report back on your blog with a link here to share with everyone else. This week I'm asking you to find time to ..... smell a flower.

Sounds easy doesn't it; and that's the point, it is.
But how often in the last week have you made time to smell a flower?
Over this coming week please go and find a flower, give it a sniff and blog what comes to mind. Then come back here, link up and see what other people found.

And remember to have fun.

Please Go Visit them

At the Brilliance in Blogging Awards last week I met some fantastic bloggers who I had never found outside the blogging networking.  I would be here all month if I tried to name them all, so I am sharing five today and encouraging you to Please Go Visit them.  And here's a challenge; then go name five blogs you recommend and let's see where we can lead each other.

The Start Up Wife won the Snap award for brilliant photography and she absolutely deserves it.  She takes the most magical photos and pairs them with her life experiences as the wife of a serial entrepreneur and mum.  She has inspired me to try and take better photos.  Oh and she's a lovely lovely person who I was thrilled to meet last week.

Dorky Mum is right up my street; she's a self confessed dork (although she's so not!!) and a mum (and a good one at that).  She writes as she talks and that's what I love to read.  Her blog is a fantastic sharing of her life and it completely helps me feel normal.  Go and see her, you'll love her.

I love reading and I love books, I even love writing books (it's the writing more than the publishing which I love).  Rachel also loves books and I find it hard to keep her stocked up with new ones.  Is it any surprise therefore that I love the blog Playing by the Book  Brilliant Booktastic.

Julia's Place is the must go place for anyone who loves to write, just for fun or professionally.  Julia is a retired teacher and the founder of the 100 word challenge (for kids at schools) and the 100 word challenge for grown ups.  Rachel and I both join in when time allows and I have met so many wonderful writers of now and the future through these.  Go and Visit Julia please.

You might have seen me write for R2BC - Reasons to be Cheerful; well this is the child of Mummy from the Heart who is someone you need to read.  She shares her life, her struggles, her weaknesses and her strengths; she inspires me and she was a thrill to meet last week.

Where I find my inspiration

I love this Britmums prompt:
What keeps you ticking as a writer, blogger, parent and yourself? Share the things/people/events that have INSPIRED you to be, do and create.
Life itself is what inspires me as a blogger; the events I see on the news, the things I see in my life, the people I talk to, Rachel and her questions, Mike and his doubts.  I walk through life with my eyes and ears open and invariably I feel inspired.

Rachel inspires me to be a parent; she is easy to love, easy to spend time with (mostly) and a sponge for everything possible to learn.  She started asking questions as soon as she could talk and she hasn't stopped since.  Last night I found myself somehow trying to answer questions about gay relationships and whether they could have children; I didn't expect that one to be on her radar yet.

God inspires me to minister and just be me; if He can love me with all my faults then how could I do anything but love and help those I meet? 

In the same way, children inspire me; I adore spending time with kids and being able to provide them with fun and love and learning; it is a blessing.

Friends, Family and Feelings

It's less than a week to go
Til I leave our home behind
It's definitely too late to say no
No matter what excuses I might find

My friends are all rallying around
With playdates and support for Rach
Opportunities and help abound
Even if Mike's journey gets made late

The family will of course be fine
It'll be great for Rachel and Mike
But I'm still walking that fine line
Between joy and worry for my tike

I am equal parts excitement and sadness
Looking forward to the trip and all that it'll be
But dreading the leaving and causing distress
To God I hand all these feelings, be with them and me.

Jenny Matlock

#365photoproject day 190

Title: baby hats for Zambia
Date: 28th June 2012
Location: ready to be packed

28th June 2012 Matthew 7:21-end

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Do you build you house on rock?
Or is it sandy and too soft to sustain the building?
Do you pray and read your bible?
Or do you wing it, hoping God will keep you on track?

I know what sand feels like, it's fun and free and silly; but I know it leaves me with weakness and I fall down.

I know rock is solid and requires work to shape; but it holds me firm and keeps me supported.

Which would you rather have?

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

#365photoproject day 189

Title: a flower for me to take to Zambia
Date: 27th June 2012
Location: home

27th June 2012 Matthew 7:15-20

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

By your fruit you will recognise them. Do they see care, compassion and goodness; or do they see judgement and intolerance.

We are called to be true prophets and to be and share the fruit of the spirit.

Polly put the kettle on #100wcgu

Polly put the kettle on
"We'll all have diesel"
Suki take it off again
"No, I meant unleaded"

Polly put the kettle on
"My car needs LPG"
Suki took it off again
"I'm not sure we have it"

Polly put the kettle on
"anyone for premium"
Suki took it off again
"can you do an oil change"

Polly put the kettle on
"I'd like my windscreen washed"
Suki took it off again
"I'll go and get a cloth"

Polly put the kettle on
"I should stick to making tea"
Suki took it off again
"Too late, they've all gone away."

This crazy poem was written as part of the #100wcgu at Julia's Place. Each week we are tasked with writing 100 words on a prompt given to us. This week the prompt was a picture; now can you see where my mind went?

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

26th June 2012 Matthew 7:6,12-14

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Treat people as you'd like to be treated. Don't judge or assume or condemn or right off; if it would upset you then don't do it to others.

That includes gossiping; who likes being the subject of gossip? I don't, no does anyone really. So let's make that the first thing to go.

#365photoproject day 188

Title: aqua beads flowers
Date: 26th June 2012
Location: home

Monday, 25 June 2012

Do you talk or act?

People love to talk, especially in western 21st century society.

We talk about tax,
about government,
about charity,
about children,
about teenagers,
about the elderly,
about schools,
about churches,
about hospitals,
about the welfare state
and about the weather!

There are complaints, debates, ideas and possible solutions all thrown around in houses, pubs and churches around the country. What a lot of talk. But what action is ever taken?

Do you volunteer locally?
Do you give to charity?
Do you vote?
Do you write to your MP?
Do you sign petitions?
Do you find out facts?
Do you see how you can help?
Do you act?

Jesus calls us to talk less about the problems we encounter; instead he tells us to take action to help provide solutions.

Here's a challenge this week; take an action on something you talk about a lot. Good Luck.

#365photoproject day 187

Title: it's nearly the Olympics
Date: 25th June 2012
Location: home

Destruction or Ressurection

I saw this photo in a paper the other day and it really struck me in two very different ways.

First I felt the fear and sadness of the fire and the destruction of the forest and any animals, people or habitats that were in it's path.

Secondly I felt the joy of new beginnings, clear ground, fresh air and the resurrection of life which comes about after a fire sweeps through a forest.

How clearly this picture and the event of a forest fire demonstrates the way resurrection follows destruction.

Forests are destroyed by fire and resurrected by nature.

Hearts can be destroyed in bad relationships and then resurrected by pure love.

Jesus was destroyed by man yet resurrected by God.

As we struggle through the bad we need to hold onto the faith that goodness will win through.

25th June 2012 Matthew 7:1-5

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Doesn't our society love to criticise; it's gossip this and judge that and constantly comparing everyone.

Why do we do it?
Does it make us happy?
I think not; I think it makes us feel judged ourselves and makes us introspective with no catalyst for change.

Accept others; never judge till you've walked in their shoes. That's how I try to live each day.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

A whine at what time?

It's the middle of the night
I am curled up tight
Deep in deepest sleep
Not even counting sheep

Then I'm up like a shot
Body moving, brain in shock
There's a scream burning in my mind
It's (not) an amusing little whine

"Mummy mummy mum"
"I'm coming love", I run
"it's OK baby girl?"
She can't talk, I hold her so

Eventually she calms
As I hold her in my arms
She eases back to sleep
I stay there, not a peep

Morning rolls along
I ask her what was wrong
She has no memory of her call
Sleep talking, that was all!

Don't look back in anger

In fact, don't look back at all.

I'm not saying that we should obliterate the past and all it was for us, I'm not that mean or miserable. I'm not saying that we shouldn't learn from our mistakes.

I'm saying that what was mean or makes us feel miserable should be left in the past. We are moving on in life and the way to do that best is to keep facing forward.

Don't look back in anger,
or grief,
or regret,
or pain,
or denial.

Look forward in hope,
and faith,
and love,
and optimism.

Follow me (John 1:35-46)

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael. The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote —Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”. “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip

Do you listen?
Or don't you believe God calls YOU?

Do you hear?
Or does the possibility of it scare you?

Do you follow?
Or do you think that's for someone else?

We are all called by God and He calls us all by name; we just need to remember to listen when he says ...

Follow Me

God made us, God loves us (Genesis 1:26-31)

God created us in His image.
God made us and He loves us.
God knows our faults and accepts us.

When we doubt, when we find this hard to believe, when we feel unworthy or less than; all we need do is look at our own hands and remember...

God made us
God loves us

Words of Wisdom via Winnie the Pooh

I love the stories and poems of A.A.Milne; their rhyme and rhythm and truth. And I adore Winnie the Pooh; he has a very special place in my heart with his simple, loving, innocence and desire to do his best.

Here in these words you hear Winnie the Pooh's special person - Christopher Robin - reminding the bear of very little brain what IS amazing about him. Words we can all do with hearing every now and again.

Why I became a Christian

Of course the process of turning to Jesus and loving him wasn't as straight forward or simple as one moment, event or word; but this picture from GodVine is as close to spot on as possible.

I believed in God
I read the Bible
I prayed
I was 99% of the way there.

And then the truth hit me!
God loves me as I am, even with my mistakes; unconditionally, completely.

That was when I fell in love with God and felt His love entirely. I love Him with all I am for this gift.

LLM Calling in the Reading Paper

I was amazed on Friday to see that this lovely blog of mine was in the local newspaper. What a thrill.

Blogging Mum Makes National Final

A mum from Lower Earley has been named as a finalist in a national blogging awards scheme.

Emma Major, a licensed lay minister, is a finalist in the 2012 Brilliance in Blogging Awards.

Her blog, LLM Calling, is an account of her life as a minister, mum and serial charity volunteer.

The blogger said: “I am thrilled to be a finalist, especially since LLM Calling is the first Christian blog to be short-listed.

“I love the process of writing the blog and sharing my faith and life with my readers; it is a very real part of my ministry. It is so touching to know that people enjoy my writing enough that they nominated and voted for me in these awards.”

Mrs Major started the blog in 2009, intending to document the process of selection and training for lay ministry in the Church of England.

More than 50,000 votes were cast with the minister’s blog featuring in the Change category.

The awards will be held on the first night of the BritMums conference in London on Friday.

#365photoproject day 186

Title: a deconstructed union jack (apparently)
Date: 24th June 2012
Location: Granny's House

24th June 2012 Luke 1:57-66, 80 - John the baptist

“When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”. They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”. Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Today we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist; we remember his very real calling to be the one who baptised Jesus. We remember how there was a connection between John and Jesus even before they were born.

John the Baptist was called, he followed his calling and he fulfilled his role for Jesus. I have heard people say that his calling wasn't really very important and to that I say RUBBISH!! John had a calling which was needed; as we all do. It is not for us to define what is important to God; we are all needed in his plan.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

#365photoproject day 185

Title: toe-less socks; a new fashion
Date: 23rd June 2012
Location: Barton on Sea

#365photoproject day 184

Title: meeting blogger friends
Date: 22nd June 2012
Location: The Brewery, London

23rd June 2012 Matthew 6:24-end

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Do Not Worry
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I'm sure it wasn't that long ago that we read this reading; perhaps in a different gospel though.

Do not worry.
Do not fret.
Do not panic.
Do not fear.

Clearly there's a message in there for me; I'd be blind not to see it. Now I just have to follow the advice now.

My evening at the @britmums #BiBs

Yesterday afternoon at 3pm I nervously left home to catch a train to London for a totally new experience; a blogging awards evening. I was absolutely bricking it, in fact I am amazed and pretty proud of myself that I didn't back out.

The trip started off positively; the train counter guy asked me if I had my young persons railcard on me. I walked away from that counter £21.70 and 10 years lighter. I love that man!

I caught the paddington bound train, predictably delayed, and promptly fell asleep. It was a fabulous 25 minute nap which refreshed me ready for the ordeal ahead; and I'm not referring to the tube trip.

I know I'm sounding melodramatic;
that this isn't the Emma you expect;
that I happily run sessions for 50 kids.
But this was as far outside my comfort zone as I've been in a long time.

I DO NOT like walking into rooms full of strangers making small talk; I don't do that.

I was brave though; I put on my game face and walked confidently into the venue. I eventually found my name badge and headed off to where the noise was coming from. And whoa, what craziness that was; 500 women (and a few men) all talking to people they knew.

I retreated to something I could cope with; visiting the sponsors' stalls. How I love my comfort zone; I'm good one on one and love to chat and I came away with lots of goodies and things for Rachel to write about on her blog.

Eased in gently I felt confident enough to break into some chatting groups; it was a force of will but by facing my fears I chatted to some wonderful people. I met bloggers from genres so far removed from mine it was like another planet; but we all had the same thing in common - we love to write. That and the fact that we were a nervous to some extent.

At 6pm we all moved up to the huge ballroom where semi naked men served drinks and beautiful women offered canap├ęs. I honestly thought I'd have to run out of that room screaming; it was just too many people and too much noise and no one I knew. But 10 rounds of the serenity prayer gave me the courage to introduce myself to a group and it was all lovely from there.

There was talk of trampolines, chats about twitter, ideas for easier ways to find the people you knew at events. There were people I followed on twitter and others I didn't, but do now. There was laughter and fun.

I met three groups of bloggers over the next hour; and the final group, from Hertfordshire, were wonderful and invited me to sit with them at the ceremony - actually I might have invited myself but they didn't say no. One of these women won in her category for photography - go visit The Start Up Wife - you'll be glad you did.

I didn't win my category, but then I never expected to in a million years. The wonderful Special Needs Jungle won - a very well deserved win indeed. I remain a finalist with a phone; and happy to be so.

After the ceremony I met a couple more bloggers that I wanted to meet in real life; before heading home exhausted and pleased that I'd gone outside my comfort zone.

Would I go again?
I honestly don't know. It was a lot of money to get there; it was time away from Rachel (which is especially precious right now with the trip to Zambia approaching); and it was scary. But it was fun and I met some lovely people and next time will of course be easier.

One things for sure; Rachel would love it and I'd consider taking her with me next time. Perhaps there could be a Brit Kids awards category!!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Looser with a Laptop

Or more accurately;
Finalist with a Phone

At the Brilliance in Blogging Awards today Katy Hill uttered the unforgettable phrase "if you're not a winner then you're a looser with a laptop".

Well I didn't win, that honour went to a woman who I thought would win right from the start. But I definitely don't consider myself or my blog a looser. We were nominated, then shortlisted and finally became a finalist. That's three wins as far as I'm concerned.

So instead I am naming myself a finalist with a phone.

That's what I do; I share my life my interests, my passions and my faith on my blog, mostly typed on my phone in between all the crazy busyness of my life.