Amazed

It’s January – weight loss season. Everywhere you look there are adverts for weight loss regimes or yogurts that help you to poo more efficiently.

I have been swimming once a week since last June in an attempt to get a bit fitter and I was mega chuffed with my progress. I have to confess that I haven’t lost any weight but my weight has not increased.

With all this talk of weight loss I thought I should check out my body mass index. What a mistake! The words OVERWEIGHT shot out of the screen and to be honest stripped me of my confidence.  Having two kids, little self control (I’m going to blame tiredness), limited time to exercise, and lets be honest having very little time to myself has lead to excess weight that I would prefer not to have.

I know that God loves me for being me, no matter how much I weigh or even my percentage of body fat. I believe he created me and knows me better than anyone – the classic and constantly quote Pslam 139 tells me this but I still struggle.

I have struggled with my body image on and off for as long as I can remember. I guess most people have at some point in their lives. When I was younger I volunteered as a youth worker and met an inspirational group of people who ran a Christian Theatre Company called Dependance. One of the guys, Stephen Riley wrote this song: Amazed. Please take a listen, it really resonated with me (and still does).

I hope you feel beautiful, precious and valued, because we are.

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Sundays

My husband works incredibly hard 6 days a week (not just Sundays as some would think). But yes, Sundays are the busiest day of the week in our house. He’s often up early preparing, reviewing, praying, etc which means that I am responsible for looking after the kids. And for some reason I find this exhausting!

My usually Sunday morning consists of getting the kids sorted and up to Church, managing their behaviour through the service (a growing challenge the older they get), getting them to Sunday Club or Creche, helping out in Creche most weeks, afterwards restricting juice and biscuit intake while trying to discuss issues/catching up with various members of the congregation, getting the kids home, cooking lunch, to hopefully crash on the sofa.

It does feel like hard work sometimes and so I really relish the rare occasions when I get to worship beside my husband and kids, as a family.

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Pub Chats

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If You Choose To Drink Do So Responsibly!

I love chatting in the pub. Its amazing to:-

a) have a drink without your hand being pulled away from your mouth so that you spill your drink down yourself
b) sit down and talk to an adult without being interrupted,
c) laughing, joking and sharing time with friends.

Every now and again I find myself in the pub with my Mummy friends (just to clarify, it’s mainly Mummies simply due to babysitting obligations!). Meeting in the Pub gives us a great opportunity to get to know each other a little better and develop our friendships. Our chats usually start off on safe ground talking about the kids, our concerns, and giving advice where we can.

Once the alcohol starts flowing we usually start to discuss various other topics as you can imagine celebrities, sex, tv programmes, our faiths, films on Netflix (coz we never made it to the Cinema), and just generally putting the world to rights.

This comradery in a pub setting makes me think Church could exist outside of Church building. Not like, a traditional Church service in a pub, but to meet people somewhere they feel confident and comfortable. It would mean my friends could ask questions about my faith. Well, if they wanted too.

 

Being 85 at 31

I know there are stereotypes everywhere but when I tell people that my husband is a Reverend, (before they meet him) I seriously have to wonder how they imagine him to be. Common comments I hear when they meet him for the first time is “Oh he’s a bit trendy to be a Vicar” or “He’s not what I imagined”. I guess as we get older these comments will fade but do most people think of Vicar’s/Reverend’s as being 50 year old?

I was once in mid conversation with a friend and she said “Are you different at church?  It’s just that your not that Churchy.” I honestly didn’t know how to respond. A million thoughts went through my brain:-

Sarcastic comments like “Well, I’m not 85 if that’s what you mean?”
Aggressive comments like “What the hell does that mean?”
A simple embarrassed chuckle.

But all that popped out was “Well….. I am me” (But, lets face it there are some differences in all settings for example I will have a drink in a pub but I don’t drink at 10.30am on a Sunday morning).

I guess what my friend meant (or at least I hope what she meant) was that she perceived me to be like her non Christian friends, simply a friend because I go to pubs and restaurants, I enjoy socialising and chatting to friends, and I even rant when I need to (and then some!). At least I hope that’s how she see me, and that she feels comfortable enough to ask me more questions about my faith.

 

Love

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Do You Love Me?

I know loads of people write about love. My husband is a Reverend and so the topic comes up quite a lot (quite a lot is probably an understatement). You know the 1 Corinthians 13 passage that is trotted out at various occasions such as weddings “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” To me this type of love seems to pure and pristine, almost unfathomable in today’s world. Now something to make clear is that I have not made a study of love, its forms or even what defines it so I guess if you continue reading you will be viewing my opinions and ramblings. I can only apologise!

Like I said my husband is a Reverend which to some, in both church and non church settings can be seen as a ‘2 for 1’ deal. A traditional Reverends wife has certain expectations placed upon her, volunteer in Sunday school, youth groups, run ladies fellowships. My problem is I’m not a traditional Ministers wife. For one thing I can’t cook quiche! I support my husband in his calling but I do have my own interests a) to look after my family and b) reducing human environmental impacts. I guess I have never really felt a calling to immerse myself in church work but that does not mean that I don’t love my church.

So, do I accept the expectations other people place upon me? From personal experience, I have never been very good at ‘fitting in’. So, how do I support my husband, look after my family, while achieving what I would like to? I guess its not just love for others that should be considered when thinking about the subject, but love for yourself as well.