Wondering Wednesday – on no losing my mojo

mojo

We were given these at Slimming World yesterday evening. I got the significance of giving us something just before Christmas to encourage us to keep on going. However, on looking up the meaning of the word mojo – magic spell or lucky charm I have some further reflections. In a tongue in cheek way I used to joke about waking up slim with good teeth and good hair! That for me would have been the magic spell way of losing weight – no effort on my part!

I don’t have any mojo to lose but perhaps what I do have to lose is a bit of motivation and the capacity to choose wisely or return to old habits I have learnt over the past year or so if new habits slowly lead me back to where I was in my before picture!

But taking mojo as a metaphor for motivation I want to keep it and this little bag is a great visual reminder that I have done it before and can do it again! I now have hope in an area of my life where I have had very little – I thank God for that.

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Wondering Wednesdays – I did it!

target-member
Over the years I have accumulated a lot of badges and certificates for all sorts of things but I am particularly proud of this one – a target member of Slimming World. I have struggled with weight all of my life and have tried most diets going at some point in time. In October 2015 I finally decided I couldn’t do it on my own and joined Slimming World. Fourteen months later I hit my target weight having lost 4st 5lbs and I now have a BMI not in the overweight category!

The test will be what I weigh this time next year I imagine as I have lost weight before only to see it creep back on. Marie who runs the club I go to asked for a before picture and I found some of our silver wedding trip photos from five years ago – there is a big difference! Marie took a picture of me and then showed it to me and it sort of didn’t look like me. The booklet I was given talks about the mind catching up with the body and I know what they mean. I still have some work to do, some of my vocabulary isn’t great – I still talk about being good when what I mean is making healthy choices. I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have had from colleagues, friends and family and particularly to Paul who lets me have a bite of all sorts of lovely things when more than a bit isn’t helpful!

Friday photo – feeling grateful

winterborne

Winterbourne is a place of tranquility and beauty and I went there on Wednesday morning before heading off to Queen’s for my viva. I am grateful that I had somewhere to go which would ameliorate a bit of the anxiety I was feeling, I had read my thesis so many times that I had completely lost perspective on it. If you saw my facebook or twitter post you will know that it could not have gone any better. Five years of my life judged in an hour… Nearly 80,000 words on Landscapes of shame in the church: a typology to inform ministerial praxis. My pre and post ordination study in this one piece of work.

I am grateful for the many people that made what I did possible. I am most grateful to the anonymous people who answered one of my three questionnaires and were willing to share their thoughts and often experiences of shame with me. I began my thesis by reflecting on my own experiences so I know how painful it can be to be reminded of things which impact our picture of who we are, not just what we have done. Two focus groups also contributed deep insights to my model and shaped what I think about what it means to be a priest. And along the way so many people have helped in many different ways. I am so grateful, what I have done is so much richer because of them.

Go the distance – rekindled flame

bletchley
Came across this after reflecting on exploring staff care on a retreat with BCH on Thursday, being with 160 palliative care staff in Scotland on Friday, and visiting Bletchley Park and learning more about the story of those who worked there on Saturday.

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owe deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light. Albert Schweitzer

On each of these days I encountered people and stories who helped to rekindle my flame…

Friday photo – thirty years and not counting…

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This Wednesday, my lovely colleagues at MCYM arranged a surprise celebration for Nigel Roberts and I who have spent thirty years with Youth for Christ.  The pictures are of the scrapbook I was given with lots of lovely words in it about me.  I always find it a little hard to read such words as sometimes how I see myself doesn’t quite match with what others are reflecting.  I am so grateful for the celebration and the opportunity to remember the many people over the years who have been part of my life and who have contributed to who I am and who I am becoming.  I value longevity in ministry which is why we had Mark Yaconelli at St John’s on Monday talking about spirituality for the long haul and I feel as committed to youth work today as I did when I started so many years ago.

I started reflecting on photos in Lent but have carried it on as I am finding it helpful to identify what it is out in the real world that is impacting me.  The opening lines to the Oasis song Don’t look back in anger can be true of me sometimes:  Slip inside the eye of your mind, don’t you know you might find a better place to play.

Finding God in the world around me has become more important and this week I have found a God of faithfulness who has been with me through all the different seasons of life, and who has been gracious enough to help me mediate a little bit of who God is to others.  An amazing week which I didn’t quite expect…

Honest Christianity – what we want for those we serve

ord

I was reading through my (Sally’s) research notebook and found that it also contained some other reflections from my ordination training.  I was reflecting on the idea of what we wish for as a way of articulating blessing and lookng at it now realise that I perhaps don’t say some of these things but they are what I hope for people – in all the places I minister.  For me part of exploring honest Christianity is to identify and name what some of these things are.  This is what I wrote…

I wish you…  The Lord bless you with…

Hope like a mustard seed that grows and reproduces…

Honour in your self-image…

The delight God has in you…

Heart knowledge of being loved…

A sense of gratitude in the little things…

Peace in your heart…

Life in all its fulness…

Seeing the abundance of God’s blessings…

Shalom – a wholeness of life…

A sense of belonging to God’s community…

What should I add to this list?