those two tiny words

I don’t want to pack. The task of laying out everything I need for two months on the floor, and then trying to fit it into a suitcase that only weighs 23kg is not something that makes me jump out of my bed and rush to do.

How am I meant to know what to take for two months, how am I meant to know what will happen in that time? I’m writing mainly as a distraction from it all, the packing and the cleaning…but also because I have figured that I haven’t written much in 2016. I haven’t given time to it or made it a part of my life. I swore to myself that I would on January 1st – that writing would be something I did regularly. That it would be good for me. And then as with most things I promise myself I forgot and I got too busy with other things.

I have been having this conversation with various people over the past few years about the word ‘no’. The word which somehow kids seem to learn early and say all the time and then when we reach adulthood some of us forgot it exists. I’m often a yes person; ‘yes’ i will help you out, ‘yes i will come to that event’, ‘yes of course i have time to do all of the jobs you are giving me’.

It has lead to me not necessarily making wise decisions over the years. It has lead to me having experienced some form of burn-out, encountered panic attacks and generally being tired more often than rested.

I fully believe that sometimes you have to say yes when you don’t want to, or when it might be hard. But I also know that the word ‘no’ is just as important. Learning to say ‘I’m sorry but I can’t come’ or ‘I’m sorry but I don’t have time to do that as well as all the other things’. Because when I say ‘yes’ all the time, and i don’t think this only happens to me, my yes becomes a mess of tiredness and half done jobs or helping out, and seems to lead to disappointment, and broken promises.

I mean Jesus said it best:

 “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Matt 5:37

It seems this isn’t just a modern day problem, but something humanity has been struggling with for a while.

But I think, very slowly I’m learning when to say yes and when to say no, and how to do it all in the best way. I should have said yes to more writing this year, yes to more of the words flowing out of my head than being stuck there for months swirling around. I should have said no to a lot of the things I have done and taken on. And right now I should say yes to packing, so I can fly back to England tomorrow.

So if you know me and you start to hear the word ‘no’ more often, please encourage it, I’m sure in some ways it will lead to a more healthy way for us all to live.

R/

*image from http://beautifuffle.tumblr.com/post/145521297441

 

candy coated unicorns are hard to find…

i took up running in February…okay so maybe jogging at a push, but consistently 3 times a week before work i have met up with the beautiful Tori and run around our little town.

so when our friends suggested a 5k colour-run we signed up along with them. Queue a bus trip to Timisoara, a walk across the city, crazy dance music, tutu’s, temporary tattoos and a crowded warm-up….5k later we are covered in chalky paint, sipping beers waiting to be told its time to throw the paint packs in the air and be covered all over again.

it’s worth doing, i promise…the tag-line as the happiest 5k might actually be true. We ended the day tired and happy, vowing to make this a tradition.

not until you look behind 


It happens so quickly this time thing. The seasons change behind you as you move through day to day and suddenly it’s ‘how many weeks until you fly?’ ‘When are you coming back, are you coming back?’ And ‘how do we finish this well’.

The summer crept up on me this year, somehow the endless blue skies didn’t give it away. There have been fewer goodbyes (thank you Dumnezeu) and no thoughts of a summer alone in a house. This year has passed a bit like a dream, one dreamt a million times over which you only realise actually happened when you are looking behind you. 

The time moves on and on and somehow I’m here, planning time off to sleep and dream bigger, travel a bit and then return…hopefully with more fire in my belly and better language skills and dreams and plans a bit bigger and wider and higher than before. 

We sat on the balcony of the green/blue house the other day; Looking out at the view, praying for this time apart that we have before us… And I found myself being in awe that somehow I had become one of them. The ones who just stayed a bit longer, and suddenly in 3 months I’ll be into the fourth year here… the one who is meant to know how it goes. 

Working with these people, I don’t know how to explain it, it’s beautiful, heart breakingly, joy bringingly beautiful. I’ve realised more than every now that change happens slowly and gently and often in a way you don’t realise until you look behind you. 

I’m spending the week at Tauț, helping with cleaning and organising and making sure the visitors have what they need. It’s a different type of work and it’s the most beautiful place to be. 

R/

rushing waters

brain tired of thinking, simple tasks becoming mammoth mountains, and these words ringing in my ears….

‘if the world started with a ball of energy, and the only thing that existed before that was God, then surely He is the source of all energy…’

home; candles, music, paints, bible, blank pages, and breathing it all in.

trying to gain some of His majestic energy, His creator energy, resting in Him.

and processing it all, here in this space, this tiny corner of the world wide web.

r/

the hands of a clock

Before I knew how a clock worked, before I knew that minute hands and second hands existed, I remember asking my mum to do something with me, she told I need to wait for an hour when she was done with whatever she was doing. She told me to wait until the hand had gone all the way around the clock.

So I sat, in our hallway, in front of the piano staring at the clock. But as I didn’t understand the complex notion of the hour, minute and second hand, I decided that the slowest moving one was the one I was to watch. That it had to move through every number. I decided the hour was actually a whole day. That my mum was asking me to wait that long, and it seemed like it was forever.

But the joy of the moment where it was sooner than I thought. That was sweet.

For no reason at all, that memory stayed with me, always and forever it seems. And it creeps into my brain when I begin to complain about waiting. Waiting for anything. Waiting for food, or people, or life events to happen.

Waiting is a game I hate playing. (so maybe that is the reason I remember)

Anyways in some areas of life, I feel like I am waiting. Waiting for promises and waiting for dreams and waiting for events to happen. Waiting is hard, and beautiful and weird and exciting.

I’m still figuring out how to do waiting well, how to use the time, how to rest in the before, how to not wish away the time, how to be content, how to stay happy, not be frustrated…All the things.

But maybe sometimes it is okay to sit and stare at a clock for a while. To acknowledge the frustrations and the pain in the waiting. And maybe to ask the people around you to stand in those things with you. To let you rant at kitchen tables while they cook (and you eat off their chopping board). To just give the time to acknowledge that waiting is a hard game to play.

R/

 

We didn’t take any photos 

Alice came to stay. 

The sweet beautiful girl I shared the top floor with for two years, and my heart with more times that I can count. 

She booked a flight, packed a bright yellow bag and flew across Europe to walk in step with me for 5 days. 

She met everyone all at once, because it happened to be a birthday party weekend, and pancake day celebrations. 

She churched and worked and slipped wonderfully into the life I live here. 

I didn’t plan anything special, (apparently I’m not that type of host). But it was perfect and simple and life breathing. 

When someone knows you for so long there is a different perspective they give. One that says ‘hey, i know you, you’re doing okay here’. 

We didn’t take any photos, I guess it kind of got forgotten, we were too busy talking and living life together again for a while. 

Alice, come back whenever you want: mattress, sofa or whatever I can offer you. I’ll fold some sheets in a draw with your name on them. 

R/ 

Prayer

cb1

Around three months ago I sat on a chair in front of a group of people and talked about prayer. I talked about what I had learnt as I looked at Jesus and his life. What I saw in his prayer life, in his daily actions.

Intimacy basically. The quiet, hidden, behind closed door place was where I ended up.

And then I got busy again. Busy trying to fit a thousand thoughts and actions in a day all the while missing what I spoke about on that day.

But here is the thing, I don’t actually think I was that busy.

I had a job to do, and life things which take time, but I was not actually busy or stressed. I just didn’t know how to manage my time, prioritise the important things, or live in a routine.

And as I traveled back for Christmas, and New Years and time off I thought about how little time I had taken to spend in the quiet, in the hidden intimate places.

The time where you get to sit at the feet of God and lay it all out, and read his word and his guiding. And slowly as my holiday and rest came to an end, I began to make lists and plans.

Figure out the ways in which I can prioritise my time. I have found myself realising that so many times I blame everything around me for making my life ‘busy’ or ‘stressed’ forgetting that I have the capability to stop, breath and take a bit of control.

I think maybe I have brought into the lie that rushing around with 1000 things to do is what makes you successful, and that being a busy person means you are valuable. Some where along the line I think I decided that to be loved, to be accepted, to be someone, then you need to have a life where your diary is full and your to-do lists are longer than your arm, and so I looked to live life in that way.

And as I start 2016 I think it is time to let go of that lie. To see that spending time behind a closed door, sat with a bible and listening to God is so much more important than anything else.  You cannot claim to have a friendship with someone who you never make time to speak to, and you cannot give out when you are empty.

So I want to be slower, be quieter, be more aware of the stillness that is needed. I want to loose track of time sometimes, and not worry about the to-do lists.

R/

One thing

I have been sick all weekend. Cancelled plans and all. And as I sit in bed at 8pm about to shut down lights and technology in the hope of waking up better for the Monday morning start, I am listening to a song…

“You are the one thing that I need, You are the one thing that I need.”

I haven’t written in a while, (which was not my plan in the last post I wrote I know) I haven’t really been able to get out of my head everything that has changed or moved since September. But above all else that has changed and adapted in those few months these lyrics could define them.

I am realising more and more than there is one thing above all else that I need and that is God. It is Jesus. It is time with him, spent sitting waiting on him. It is not a new revelation but it feels like an urgent one. One where I know more now than before that I really truly need it.

I don’t think we necessarily ever leave seasons of being molded but for sure Isaiah 64:8 is ringing in my ears over everything right now.

 “And yet, o Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.
With each new week I can feel myself being stretched and pulled in the best of ways: the way a potter throws his clay around, making it the right texture before molding it… in the way that you know everything will feel different in 6 months.

Currently my brain feels full of cotton wool but at some point maybe I will try and put together the words to explain everything that has been going on in my head.

R/