Don’t Text When You’re Drunk

I blame laughter and Sauvignon Blanc;
Friday night, an inept DJ.
I wonder how you read my misspelled words.
Did they whisper or shout at 2am?
Mute in the light; grey and painful,
Each idiom deciphered, pored over.
Now expectancy fills the space in my chest,
Heavy and humid like my damp flat.
Present residue, just as unwelcome.
Your silence is unfamiliar; jarring as a 10cc engine.
Immersed in the pounding silence,
I realise…it matters. It saps the energy to shrug.
Another minute goes by, void of you.

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Blasé about dirty windows

I hit a learning curve today.

What happens when you roll out of church at 1.30ish on an extremely sunny Sunday and realise you’ve not made plans to see anyone that day? Panic?

Another thing to add to the list of things i miss now that i’m not in a relationship. To be honest, i’d not really thought about it until now. My weekends are mostly filled with friends or family. But..today was different. On the one hand i really wanted to sit in the park and just chill, by myself and enjoy the last bout of sunshine. And on the other, i didn’t want to do it alone. (I know, how sad?!)

I’m a lazy friend. Actually, no, I’m being harsh on myself. I may have mentioned before, I’m just not used to having lengthily phone conversations. This stems from years with parents who were very conscious of phone bills and basically banned me from long inane phone calls with friends. ‘You’re going to see them tomorrow aren’t you?’

Therefore, as an unconscious rule, I use the phone solely to confirm arrangements, make arrangements – anything that’s basically specific. If I haven’t got something to say to say. I won’t call you. (i hope i’m getting better at this now. I especially make an effort to text).

So, having left a couple of messages with my closest friends, and realising they were astute enough to make plans..i took the bus home from Church.

On the bus from Oxford Circus to Vauxhall, I was thinking about how much I miss my sister; and the true reason I couldn’t be joyful about her pregnancy. (I’ve not mentioned this before, but yes..she’s pregnant with her new bf) We’d only just started hanging out again.. I mean. Really hanging out. I could have called her …after her Charity Run…and gone round to make Sunday lunch at hers. Or, better still..she could have come to mine, but…

As I flicked from Facebook to Twitter, from my emails and text messages through the long journey home, I suddenly felt extremely lonely as I imagined everyone else out and about, or having barbeques. But mostly lazing in the sunshine. I suddenly felt rather empty.

If i’m brutally honest i’m just not as blasé about my meeting with CM as i’d thought i would be. But then..do i ever learn my lesson? We’ve talked it over. And because he’s thoughtful and kind i realise that the sanity check wasn’t just for him. He was actually concerned that i was ok about it all. I said, yes. I was. I don’t think it’s computing at the moment though.

Unfortunately I suddenly feel rather empty.

Belligerently i put my FB status as ‘dumping chores for sunshine’. But because I couldn’t bear sitting in a park by myself i decided to stop at Tesco and buy a whole chicken on discount, salad and rose wine… (see my drift?)

I put the chicken in the oven to roast and cleaned the windows of my flat (although I could only reach halfway so the top of the panes are still shoddy!) and vacuumed. I then ate the chicken with a lovely potato and green salad..and drank far too much Rose, on my own.

In hindsight, I’m slightly worried about the wine, as i can ‘see’ I’m obviously on a ‘downward’ mood. I have the ‘restructure meeting’ to consider on Tuesday. It’s been the weirdest two weeks, having the consultation period. No one at work really talks about it. It’s like this massive elephant in the room at every meeting?

On a plus, i’ve FINALLY ordered prints of my digital photos, and framed some of them to put around the flat. It looks like someone ‘lives’ here now. I’d noticed that the first thing that people do when they come round is look around. Especially at my bookcase, and the sparse and impersonal ‘fashion’ photos I have up. Now I have friends and family to spark conversation. It feels nice.

Despite the bout of loneliness, the TV has been off all day and I’ve been listening to my old iPod. (repeat – My OLD iPod…we’re talking The Feeling, Usher, Counting Crows, Jamie Foxx, Peter Gabriel and Elvis..not to mention concertos saved for wedding march ideas..!) I feel productive, so I can’t deny how good the day has been.

I wonder how, if i unexpectedly find myself at a loose end again, that i stop worrying about it and just enjoy it?

I asked for little things at Greenbelt

So, God is talking to me. From the moment a work colleague, Luke told a story in the Morning meeting about not forgetting to ask for the little things…I’ve been hearing Him.

Luke, who staggers his work hours to avoid crowded tube’s after 7/7, makes a point of noting who is sitting near him in a carriage. So when the tube he was on pulled into a station, and people left and refilled the carriage, he’d actually taken the time to ‘look’ at the comings and goings around him. The next person to sit next to him found an iPhone on the seat, and asked if it was Luke’s. It wasn’t his, but Luke had immediate an empathy for the guy who’d lost it…who, incidentally…Luke remembered.

Luke is a social media freak. (maybe freak’s too strong a word) but he’s always on his iPhone. He lost his once, and I think a little piece of his world crumbled.

He prayed that the guy and his phone would be reunited. And felt silly about this, because God obviously has a lot going on at the moment what with Isreal and the Arab Spring, the England Riots and the end of Col Gaddaffi’s regime.

But God answered. Luke and the stranger got off the tube together. The stranger went one way, saying he would hand the phone in. And Luke went the other..making his way to the exit. Suddenly he noticed a man running desperately towards him with the aim of getting on the tube. It was the man who’d left his phone on the seat.

Luke grabbed him as he was about to shoot past him and said simply, ‘you’re phone just being handed in.’

I’m telling this story as a sign post to my own experiences while at Greenbelt this year. A number of my prayers have been answered. Firstly being the actually ticket to the festival. I’ve always wanted to go, but financial situation I’m in at the moment meant that I wouldn’t have been able to afford it…plus the cost of buying camping gear.

My ticket was provided by CODEC, which meant I worked a couple of hours on their stand, and then had the rest of the time free to explore the festival! My sister knows someone who works in a camping shop…and got 10% off my tent…which ended up being £10. I borrowed a sleeping bag from my mum; and a kettle and camping stove from work. [Thank you Father for providing through friends and family]

The only thing I didn’t have, which would have been nice and saved me buying coffee, was a thermos flask. But then, one morning I was talking to the Communications guy from the London School of Theology when he stopped and said he had a ‘random act of kindness’. He gave me a box, which contained (did you guess?) a thermos flask! [Thank you Lord for hot coffee while i was working on the stand]

I had a really interesting conversation with a guy called Daniel. He’s doing a phd in something like theology and blogging. CODEC is the Centre for Christian Communication in the Digital Age (I know, the acronym doesn’t quite work does it?) but we talked about the impact of social media on Christendom etc. And then I asked where he was from. His Church is in Colliers Wood. I was stunned. I live up the road from there. He then asked if I went to St Nic’s. Which I don’t, but I’ve been wondering about going to a local Church…

I only had around £30 spending money fir the long weekend. And it was enough. Just.
Collecting my car from my parent’s house, I had half a tank. Although, on my way out, my dad had told me to put an extra £10 petrol in, to be safe. And, foregoing a round of beers, I took his advice.

I really wanted to keep £10 aside, just in case. But after rounds had been bought for me at the Jesus Arms by the lovely people i was with and had met, I felt obliged to buy one.

I said goodbye to Greenbelt on Tuesday morning. Looking at my petrol gage, I suddenly felt very silly for spending that last £10 on beer.

I started to pray. Very hard. Hitting Oxfordshire i saw a man at the side of the road hitchhiking. He was holding those temporary number plates they have when they ferry cars from one part if the country to the other. I passed him, thinking about safety before petrol. I got to the M25.. And my gage was on empty. I just prayed.

What with my bank being in a shambles, I’m still unsure if my AA cover is still live. I called the 2nd emergency service…(my parents) to warn them of my predicament. I felt so bad for worrying them. But, to cut it short, I got home. With an empty tank I managed to park on my dad’s driveway. My parents were so surprised to see me.

Headstrong

You miss me most when you’re craving
Your heart of discontent
And then you cry you’re worth saving
On this, i daily lament.

It hurts to see you head strong
When your heart is so very weak.
All sacrifice seems worthless. I long
For the prayer which you never speak.

All I ask is that you love me
I made grace so very easy for you
look away from your pained reverie
Trust my strength will see you through.

29.06.11

Carrots, Eggs and Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her
about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know
how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of
fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new
one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots
with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to
boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed
eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit
and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She
fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the
eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out
and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘ Tell me
what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the
carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then
asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the
shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.
The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then
asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced
the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The
carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being
subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg
had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid
interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside
became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however.
After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity
knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or
a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems
strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and
lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but
changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death,
a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become
hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside
am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes
the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the
water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are
like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and
change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and
trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee
bean?

************

This was sent to my inbox today – most poignant to me because of yesterday’s lunch-time service at All Souls Church, Langham Place (every Thursday from 1pm) which was taken by Heewoo Han on Luke 12:22 – 34 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A22-34&version=NIV). Then, my reading from Every Day with Jesus today was from the VERY same reading. Incidentally, yesterday’s reading was Matthew 6:25…yes – the SAME teaching again, but from a different book/disciple!

I’ve been praying and praying as a lot has been happening this month. Not just with the wedding plans and worrying how we’re going to pay for everything; but also with my sister splitting from her husband, my Grandad being ill and work issues.I think someone is trying to tell me something, and this puts these little things sharply into perspective!

God bless
x