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Tuesday 12 January 2016

Thursday 7 January 2016

A new season

It's been a while since we last blogged. Life just did that weird thing where it got super busy and we had to slow down for a bit. But, it's a new year and a new opportunity to get back into the habit of doing things we love once again. 

Well, 2016 came around fast. One minute it was summer, and then Christmas and then suddenly the 1st of January again. And if I'm entirely honest, I'm not too sure how I feel about this year at all. It's the year I will graduate. Three years of university complete and then I'll be thrown into the real working world, and figuring out life in a city. It's the year I will properly leave home to live in London and juggle things myself. It's all an exciting thought- like when you dream about it as a child- but then it really happens. You find yourself applying for jobs, no longer have to writing essays and saving for a mortgage (or an over-priced flat). 

Coat- Topshop// Trousers and jumper- Zara// Trainers- Adidas Neo 

There's this rush of excitement which comes with the beginning of every new year. Everyone goes out to buy fancy leather diaries (I got mine last week), and gets super organised with lists of things they want to achieve (my sister even got this snazzy 'to-do' wall hanger too.) It's interesting to see how long that lasts though. My diary usually stays neatish until February, then it's some kind of biro blur as life really kicks in. 

I'm not really one to make resolutions, as I try to keep to the same ambitions almost every year. Things like work hard, eat right, make time for yourself and read more are ones are like to carry with me every year, and are simple to keep too. Going to the gym everyday, for example will never happen, so what's the point in setting that as a goal? (I admire you if you have stuck to that resolution though). I just see each year as a new opportunity to give more, love more and pursue your dreams further. We don't know what the year will bring, so let's make the most out of each season. Learn, grow, love. Be you. 

Friday 20 November 2015

Learn to love who you are

Can you honestly say that you love every part of who you are? Your failures, your weaknesses, your body after Christmas? It's not always easy, right? Of course we'll love who we are when we're achieving our dreams- when everything is going according to our plan. But how we love- and talk- about ourselves is a pretty big deal. Even when we've messed up. 

The times when I was most happy with who I was has shown: I was confident, didn't feel the need to compare, I knew who I was and didn't let the surroundings I was in change me. People can tell quite easily if you're happy with where you are at. They listen to how you talk about yourself.  Or how you rise above a challenging situation and refuse to let it define you because you know who you are, and that obstacles will only shape you for the better. 

It makes me sad when people say they hate themselves. When they hate their weaknesses, their past mistakes, their job, their body. It's OK to dislike who you once were- but please, love who you are right now. Even with all your weaknesses and struggles, you deserve to love yourself.

Ephesians 5:29 says "For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church." Maybe it's time we started to nourish and cherish ourselves and who we are- with Christ as our example. 

Perhaps we should accept who we once were and step forward believing that what we are currently facing will be for our good; that these small moments in time (although difficult) will not rob us of joy. 

Loving who you are starts when you stop comparing yourselves to other people. Being someone who you were not purposefully created to be will hold you captive and drive you crazy- I've tried it, and honestly, it's no fun. I'm much happier, freer and more confident living as the person God made me to be. And, accepting both my strengths and weaknesses. 

Friday 13 November 2015

Be the change

Earlier this week I was walking through my local town hurrying to meet my friend for a coffee. Coming towards me was a woman on two crutches struggling to push a trolley full of shopping. I glanced over, saw her and carried on walking. God reminded me of Deuteronomy 15:11 which says "give freely and spontaneously. Give to your neighbours in trouble; your poor and hurting neighbours." And so, despite craving coffee bad, I turned around and went to help her. 

"You must be a nurse because no one is this kind around here," she said as I offered to carry her shopping to her car. How sad, I thought. How very sad that she had never experienced random acts of kindness. Why was she so surprised at me offering her help? 

Everyday I hear of inspiring stories which encourage me to be more generous, more giving and more selfless. The fact that this lady had never experienced kindness from a stranger before really opened my eyes. I must admit though, I'm often too busy to notice what's going on around me. I rush through life not really stopping to see who I can help. What this lady with her trolley taught me is that if we want the world to be a kinder and better place, then we need to be attention to those around us- we need to be the change. 

Maybe if we weren't always rushing through life we would actually notice those who need us the most. 

Let's be a movement of people who recklessly give. Give freely because Jesus freely gave to us. If it's as simple as taking someone's shopping to a car, then think what kind of an impact we can make where we live. Deuteronomy tells us to give spontaneously. That means when you least expect to give. So always be alert. Be in tune with God's love for humanity and you will find yourself giving recklessly even on your busiest day. 

Be the change you want to see.