Welcome to my attempt to live fully and honestly, to sing out the song of myself, to truly know who I am......

.....either that or the ramblings of a barely coherant, tired out mum of two!!

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Baby Blogger - Potty Time!!


It's been a long time since we chatted.

My big acheivement is that I can use my Potty and haven't had an accident for almost two weeks. Mummy and Daddy are very pleased and bought me some big boy pants with Noddy on. Ellie still has to wear nappies because she's just a baby and I'm a big boy!

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

My First Sermon

Well the day is almost upon us - the day I deliver my first sermon as a reader-in-training.

The reading is Hebrews 7:23-28.

Can you imagine what it was like to make animal sacrifices at the Temple day after day?

I don’t know about you but I find it really difficult. This kind of sacrifice is outside of our experience. We are separated from it by time, geography and culture. We can only try to grasp what it might have been like. The sight of animals being bound and ritually killed, the sounds they might have made. The smells of animals and people and death and burning.

Every day the High Priest would look on while a lamb was butchered and burnt. One in the morning, and one in the evening. One for his own sins and one for the nations sins. Every day. Day after day, year in and year out.

It was a bloody and messy business and it happened on every day of the year. On special occasions, such as the Day of Atonement, the people would bring their own sacrifices to offer for their own sins. Even more blood, even more mess. Year after year.

So day after day the High Priest made his sacrifices for himself and his people until the day he died. As we read in our extract from the letter to the Hebrews – there were many of these priests because death prevented them from continuing in Office. After his death another Levite would take over and continue to make these sacrifices year in, year out, month after month, week after week and day after day.

So what are you thinking?

I’m thinking ‘what did that achieve?’, ‘what difference did it make?’

The point of the system of animal sacrifices was to two-fold. Firstly it kept the sin of the nation and a persons own sin ever before them. The people were forever and constantly reminded that they were sinful, and that sin was a serious matter. Secondly, the sacrifices provided a limited forgiveness, it was a sign of the peoples sorrow, an apology, a recognition of their sin and an acknowledgement of God’s mercy since the animals sacrificed came from what God had given to them.

Since the sacrifice was repeated every day, year after year, we can assume that really it was a pretty inefficient method. The priests were not able to stop the people from sinning or fully absolve their guilt since they too were guilty. The priests were called to live a sinless life but they, like us, were weak and unable to keep themselves from sin but God was still able to use them and many were influential in the Old Testament story.

Under the old covenant priests had a useful but limited ministry with mixed results. They could not remove the peoples sin and sooner or later, no matter how good they were, they died.

Something – someone else was required. A new covenant, a new method, a new way of doing things, a new Priest.

The Jewish people had waited a long time for a new priest, even longer than we here at St Peters.

The new priest was not of the tribe of Levi, Though fully human He did not sin and even though He died – He lives still.

The New Priest is Jesus.

Jesus became the sacrifice – not only for the Jewish people but for the whole world. He is the sacrifice for your sin and for my sin.

Unlike the sacrifices of the days gone by Jesus has no need to offer Himself time and time again. He does not need to die every day.

Jesus is both the Priest and the sacrifice. He gives Himself, once, for all people, for all time. His giving of Himself, His sacrifice, is perfect because He is perfect.

Jesus became the Lamb without stain or blemish. The perfect offering. The perfect sacrifice. His death was bloody and messy and we can only imagine what it must have been like. The sight, the sounds, the smells of a violent death.

His sacrifice was perfect because He is perfect. Because He is perfect Jesus does not need to make a sacrifice first for himself and then for us and there is no need for repetition. Jesus does not need to die again and again, day after day. His sacrifice is made once for all, for the sins of the whole world. For your sin and for my sin. His sacrifice is extremely efficient and effective. Jesus death removes the stain of sin from humanity. His death frees us from sin, past, present and future.

In the risen and ever living Jesus we have everything we need in a High Priest. He is holy, pure, set apart from sinners and exalted above the Heavens.

Jesus lived a holy and pure life, dedicated to God, and though He lived and worked amongst sinful people, he remained blameless, free from sin.

Jesus lived a life on earth with all of its joys and all of its sorrows. He wept at the death of a friend, he lost his temper with the traders in the temple, he shared meals with friends. Yet through all that life threw at him he remained faithful to God, faithful to his purpose and ultimately faithful to us.

Verse 25 of our passage says that Jesus forever lives to intercede for us. It’s easy to miss what this is getting at. What it is the author is actually saying.

Put straightforwardly Jesus is always praying for us. Constantly and without end. He lives to pray for us. He lives to bring our needs to God. He lives to ask God to forgive us our wrong-doing. He died to save us from sin and now He lives to save us from sin. He is our sacrifice and our priest. And he is able to do all this because he knows what it means to live on this earth. He knows the trials and the frustrations, he knows the challenges and the struggles. He understands our successes and our deepest failings. He knows because he lived it too.

So, what are you thinking?

I’m thinking ‘what did that achieve?’, ‘what difference did it make?’

Jesus is our eternal priest and as such there is now no need for an endless string of earthly intercessors to make sacrifice first for their own sin and then for ours. Jesus death and resurrection marks a turning point in history. We go from BC to AD, from the Old Covenant to the New covenant from animal sacrifice to a sacrifice of thanks and praise.

Under the law of the Old Covenant none could be made perfect but now all who come to Christ are made perfect in Him. The old system of animal sacrifices brought a temporary relief from sin, an easing of the conscience, but Christ’s death brings freedom from sin for eternity.

The priests of the Old Covenant were weak and sinful and eventually died but Jesus lives forever. His priesthood never ends.

Although Jesus made His sacrifice a time and a half ago in a far off land, in a far off culture, it is not a miss it and its gone event. His offering of Himself was, and still is, made once for all, for all time. It is not stuck in a particular time, or a particular culture or a particular people. It is now, it is for you and for me, for Radford and Nottingham and for all who would come to sit at Jesus feet.

We still make our sacrifice week after week, year after year, ours is a sacrifice of praise. The Old Covenant animal sacrifices were costly, giving up precious animals was not cheap, and they always gave the best, without spot or blemish. For us too, our sacrifice of praise can be costly. We come to praise God when we want to and when we don’t. We come when there is nothing better to do and when we would rather be elsewhere. We come not because of who we are but because of who God is.

We come not to ease our conscience for the sins of the previous week. We come not because we hope to somehow earn a little forgiveness. We come not to earn brownie points with our church leaders or God.

We come because Jesus invites us to. We come to remember that we live in the grace of God bought for us by Christ’s perfect offering of Himself. We come in praise and thanksgiving for the hope we have in Jesus.

In the Eucharistic service Jesus invites us to come and sit with him as his disciples sat with him in that upper room so many years ago. We gather around and share a meal with Jesus, our friend and our redeemer, our sacrifice and our priest. Like millions of Christians before us we share in the bread and wine, living symbols of Christ’s selfless act of love.

We add another act of remembrance to the long line of similar acts stretching back to that upper room, where Jesus gathered with His friends and said ‘do this in remembrance of me’.


Friday, 29 September 2006


Those of us who have suffered abuse at the hands of their fathers or other trusted male relatives carry within us a strange and painful legacy.

We find it hard to trust or we trust too much too soon.
We hold ourselves back or we give ourselves away to readily.
We are quiet and reticent or we are loud and brash.

We come in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of coping mechanisms and unhealthy addictions and pathologies.

We hook up with the wrong kind of guy or we resolutely stay single.
We eat, or smoke, or drink, or talk, or shop, or exercise or was and clean too much and we are nearly always afraid of the dark.

With us life is unpredictable or planned and routine to the max.

We have similar experiences, similar stories, but we are all different. We survived the only way we knew how and we carry the positive and negative effects of that survival for the rest of our lives.

We do not ask for pity, or sympathy or handouts.

We do ask for a sprinkle of understanding and a pinch of patience.

We do ask that we not be lumped together and dismissed.

We do ask that you try to hear us, even if the story is one you have heard a thousand times, it is unique to us.

Thank you.

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Poem #4

Poem #4
Little Girl

In her hands
She holds the key
From shadowy realms
She call to me.

She has the answers to the questions
That I'm afraid to ask
She knows the person I hide
Behind the mask.

She used to be so silent
Hidden in the depths
Now her screams
Haunt my dreams
Yet I refuse to hear.

A little girl with golden hair
A little girl with her painful stare
A little girl who holds the key
To the person who is me.

To Tell or not to Tell.

A while ago I read somewhere that it is essential for the person to tell all that has happened to him/her in order to heal. I was horriied.

Firstly it is not necessary for a survivor to tell in explicit detail any part of what has been done to them for healing to take place. For some it is more important to concentrate on the feelings and emotions not the acts themselves. For others telling in broad strokes the nature of what they have suffered is enough. Some may need to go over the events in great detail. For some a mixture of approaches will work best. All these ways of healing are good and valid.

Secondly no-one should be forced to talk in detail about their experiences - this is abuse. It gives the green light to those who get a kick out of hearing this kind of stuff to put pressure on those who need help. Talking in detail against ones will is akin to being abused all over again. Those who have testified in court will understand what I mean.

What is important for a person to heal from abuse is someone who is willing to listen to the said and the unsaid. Someone who will come alongside and gently support while the person finds a way through the darkness. Someone who will not judge you but gently and insistantly whisper 'It was not your fault'.

Please - if someone reveals to you that something happened to them as a child - be ready to listen and go at their pace. Do not judge. Be gentle.

Thursday, 27 July 2006


What are your foundations built on? Who laid your foundation stone?

For many of us it is our parents that lay down the groundwork on which we build our lives. If our parents weren't too screwed up themselves and were up to the job most of these stones will provide good foundations. Things like knowing right from wrong, respect for authority, belief in ourselves.

Sadly for some of us our parents were not able to provide such solid foundations and in some cases they may have deliberately used shoddy materials. Abuse whether it is physical, sexual, mental or emotional can leave us adrift on ever changing foundations. Just as we figure out how the world works we find the foundation stone is faulty and what we thought we knew turns out not to be true or reliable.

We have to re-lay our foundations, perhaps through counselling or the love of faithful friends and partners. Sometimes we need help to realise that the way we look at the world isn't the way most people see it. As a Christian I have tried, and often failed, to replace my dodgy foundations with the foundation stone that is the triune God.

God never changes and His foundations are true and solid. He can be relied on, even in the darkest times. Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

One Day At A Time

Poem #3 really is an end of the line type poem. It was during one of my darkest times and I had no desire to continue my existence but could see no way out. I would go to sleep hoping that i just would not wake up again. Of course, I always did.

There was no joy and I was scared to cry in case I found that I could never stop.

Poem #3

So Hard.

Life, so hard to live
Love, so hard to give
Tears, so hard to cry
Death, so hard to die.

Me, so small inside
I've nowhere to hide
Life, so hard to live
I've got nothing to give.

Dreams, all unfulfilled
Hopes, have all been killed
Fears an unending stream
Anger, a silent scream.

May 1993.


Poem #2 is the other side of the coin. I spent my time swinging violently from a desperate need to tell all and find caring people to support that journey to an all consuming need to be small and hidden away from prying eyes.

Some people had by now realised that I was in deep trouble and were tentatively offering their support. Sadly I was too far gone and couldn't cope with even the gentlest probing. My need to hide was overwhelming and I struggled even to leave the house.

Thank God for those who did not give up on me.

Poem #2


Building a wall
Around my life
Keeping me safe.

Each new hurt
Providing a brick
Keeping me safe.

The wall is so high
No-one can break through
Keeping me safe.

My wall is strong and firm
Keeping you out
Keeping me safe.

Inside I'm weak and scared
Hiding inside my wall
Needing to be safe.

You can't get past my wall
I won't let you
But I'm still not safe.

May 1993

Surface Relationships.

I wrote poem #1 at a time when I was surrounded by well meaning christians, who though they were lovely people seemed happy to only touch the surface.

I was looking around for people to connect with, people who could offer some kind of support network as my sanity and ability to cope were becoming dangerously close to fracturing and disintegrating.

The poem sums up the questions I wanted to ask them but I was too scared that they would turn and run. Occasionally I allowed a little to slip out and some of them did indeed do a runner (figuratively speaking).

It seemed to me at the time that Church was full of nice people who would willingly share the peace with you and participate in communion but don't you dare tarnish their beautiful lives with your pain and misery.

I no longer think that it is quite as bad as all that but there are those who will only ever desire the surface relationship and will never want to know anything about the real and deeper you. I think this is sad. What is even sadder is that sometimes I am guilty of the same thing.

Poem #1

What Do You See?

What do you see
When you look at me?
Do you see the fear
Wrapped around my heart?
Do you see the pain
Concealed within my smile?
Do you see the heartache
Deep down in my eyes?
Tell me, what do you see
When you look at me?

What do hear
When I talk to you?
Do you hear the years
Of doubt, of trying to be free?
Do you hear the chains
Rattling as they hold on to me@
Do you hear me screaming?
Do you want to?

November 1992

A Life Survived In Poetry

When I went through my decade of depression I wrote poetry. I wrote to survive and to leave something to explain my demise if I could no longer go on surviving.

I wrote and wrote and from time to time I revisit it and marvel that I ever found a way through. But I did survive and what is more I eventually learned how to live and to love.

From to time - perhaps even a lot - I will reproduce some of these poems - the good and the not so good - here. They will help to tell my story.

A Poem


Red, orange, Gold.
Proclaiming God
He exists, He lives.
How Can you look at
and tell me God is dead?

Red, orange, Gold.
Announcing the day.
He exists, He lives, He loves you.
Do you see?
God is alive in you and me and

May 1991

Tuesday, 18 July 2006


If people were honest and only asked the questions they really wanted answers to - what would the world look like?

Can you imagine it

'Oh hello, how are you today?'

'Well the kids had me up all night and I feel kinda tired and the cat gor run over and I can't afford a vet and I've got this pain around my heart that won't go away and yesterday I buried my best friend and I can't quite get over the trauma of the past and I would really like to talk and I would really like you to hear me'

We ask the questions but we don't really want to hear what the other person really feels and what is going on in their lives. That would somehow be too messy, too personal, too close.


Sometimes I am woken by screaming only to realise it is me.
Sometimes I am too scared to close my eyes and sleep for fear of what lurks in the darkness.
Sometimes the tears fall for no apparent reason.
Sometimes silence is terrifying.

Sometimes I hope for a better future.
Sometimes I find joy in just being alive.
Sometimes my children remind me of all that was stolen from me.
Sometimes my children remind me of the beauty of living.

Sometimes the Son shines into my darkness.
Sometimes the Light threatens to reveal my secrets.
Sometimes I welcome this.
Sometimes I cower in the dark corners afraid to come out.
Sometimes I think I understand.
Sometimes I know I never will.


One would think that it was fairly easy to write about ones own life. Just start at the beginning and move forward through history until the present day is reached.

It isn't that easy. Much of my childhood is lost in the trauma of survival, some is jumbled and can't possibly be exactly as how I remember it. Some memories only exist in a series of photo like images that flash into mind and then are gone before I can really understand them. Others are two painful to contemplate and yet they will not be still, they will not be silenced.

It is time I think to allow them to speak, sometimes in the small voice and sometimes to shout. to give voice and words and articulate-ness to the inarticulate scream of a frightened child. She will not be silenced, not now, not anymore.

Come forth Child, for here you will be heard, here you will be safe.

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Baby Blogger - Urgh!

I have conjunctivitis in both eyes and I am teething and I am a bit miserable! Apart from that I am happy and healthy and I am now 13 months old! We are going on holiday next week - I don't really know what that is but Peter seems very excited about something called a beach and the sea.

Love Eleanor xx


I have had a new splint but my foot still does not seem right. I am at the hospital on friday so hopefully that will help.
We are going on holiday on Saturday but I have not yet got a bucket and spade. Mummy says she will definately get me one.
Ellie is cute but she cries when I sit on her - I don't quite understand why!

Love Peter xx

Monday, 24 April 2006

Health ....or not!

My husband Shane had the first of two ECG's yesterday. This was the sort done by a nurse who doesn't actually look at the print out but sticks it in a file and says the doctor will get back to you. His next ECG is one of those full blown exercise and at rest ones where they have you doing all sorts of stuff presumably to see if they can induce some sort of attack.

This all stems from the pleurasy he had at Christmas. He has been left with chest pain and shortness of breath. He has been given an inhaler for asthma and a GTN spray for angina, none of these conditions have as yet been confirmed.

My health remains rubbish. I was put on to different types of medication for the diabetes. My readings remain too high and the side effects of the drugs have resulted in almost constant diarrhoea. I am still extremely tired and increasingly frustrated.

On the up side the children have now recovered from their bout of illness and seem to be doing well. Peter is due to get a new splint for his left foot next week as the present one is now too small. He seems to grow at an alarming rate but is still in clothes for 18month-2yr old even though he will be three in June.

Eleanor gets cuter by the day. She is a real ray of sunshine with a smile that just blows me away. However bad things get I am a truly lucky woman to have such wonderful children. They keep things bright and cheery despite all the negatives of life at the moment.

Wednesday, 4 January 2006

The Mayfly Project

Blog hopping I came across a link to the Mayfly project. This basically is a site where you are invited to sum up your 2005 in 24 words or less. The lifespan of a mayfly is 24 hours.

Heres mine:

Pregnant.Baby Girl Born.
Stress, tired
Husband Gives Evidence in Murder Trial.
Maternity Leave Over.
another birthday.
Christmas is coming!
Husband has Pleurisy--Great!