Friday, 28 December 2012

End of year

Must admit as January looms, the enormity of the next few months seems overwhelming
Two kids getting married sacramental theology module, trip to Hungary to speak, church law essay
Hopefully Ordination at ome point in  between, not to mention wedding invites, dress fittings, hen dos andim tarting to feel a bit overwhelmed( before I even think about training the puppy). Also have slumped into a bit of a downer. Was asked to be n a play and I suddenly realised no one to willingly and happily help with my lines happy to record my cue lines so I can learn as I'm out running with my I pod on. My first year without David to share and encourage me at so many milestones. So a wee sad thought as I drove home tonight I miss him. :(

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


Well in the lead up to Christmas I've attended around 10 Nativity plays eight school assemblies sung countless carols and assisted at or conducted six services since Sunday morning! The one that will remain in my mind is Sunday nights Carols by Candlelight. Every one was given a candle going into church and at the beginning of the service the church was darkened elders came for ward with tapers-to the only source of light in the church, on the advent ring candles the minister lit each taper and they in turn moved to the end of each pew lighting that persons candle who then passed the light to he next person and o a great wave of light spread throughout the church as the candles were lit. It was, for me, a very special and moving symbol of the light of the world spreading through the world.  It w as very much a community and church event  in a town that doesn't have the best reputation locally but where that night, the light of God was seen and shared. Definitely a high point of Christmas for me.  From experience I've  found I can't do watch night I'm not a night person, so while I can il go to bed, but I did Lucythedogsdads service on Christmas morning, then went onto my old attachment where the minister  and I do a double act each year which is all very informal. The youngest child came with me to that one and we both raved about the revs aftershave Gucci pour Homme  remarking
 To him how " hot" he was smelling. During the first hymn he turned to me and said are you turned on! Referring of course to the radio mike, needless to say we were both useless for the rest of the hymn!, it was lovely to be back  but funnily enough I could have happily gone to my placement with no qualms. Seems that God  is preparing me for the future. In spite of missing my Oldster very very much, it was a happy day. I came home to a new addition to our family, a little brown Cocker Spaniel, organised by the youngest child and the middle child ( who really just wanted a dog again)  in fact as I write middle child a total guy is nursing her like a baby! So much underhanded ness has gone into the procurement of this pup I will never trust them again! Fortunately it was love at first sight, y own Christmas baby, called aptly Holly. All advice re training etc gratefully received. Happy Christmas and my you know peace and joy and love

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Love this thought

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically  liberates others." It amazes me that God can use me. " even me" especially me and this morning I was looking at the verse " you are fearfully and wonderfully made" and  it suddenly struck me Who my maker is.  I feel like I'm rambling a lot this week, sorry!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


As I look back to probably one of the darkest periods of my life this time last year, I can't but marvel at how God has  brought me through a year when I've gone from the lowest point to the highest and then somewhere in between. There were times last year when I railed at God, why when I was so sure of His will had He let me down and sent me into the wilderness. Only now do I realise how much I learned during that journey, when everything was taken away there was no where to go but up. I still remember the turning point  when God again affirmed my calling and I can honestly say I did grow and learn that even though the path isn't always straight, God is always on it with us. Just thinking about the past  year now, the times when I was so conscious of Gods presence as I sat by David's bedside   He was almost palpable, and looking back at the privilege of sharing that final journey with him holding his hand as he passed from here to eternity. I can look back now and see that God was right there with us in the room,  it's funny how at the time so many other things distract you but it's only now as I'm rambling on I appreciate just how close I was to the presence of God that  week.  As someone who finds it hard to sit still for a minute and  runs ten miles a day, that was a period of solitude with God, and made me realis, as I did, in fact, read Henre Nouwens book Out of Solitude at that time, how much we need  to spend time in Gods presence, in quietness. I don't know why I'm rambling on this morning, it wasn't intentional just that God reminded me as I took five minutes break, where I was this time last year. So thank you God that you never change and never leave us. And thank you for those you send to journey with us.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Busy week!

It's been a funny week  busy from start to finish. School assemblies funerals session meetings and so much travel I don't know whether I'm coming or going. But it's been a good week, it's been a week when yet again God has confirmed His calling and affirmed me in a very special way, and just when I needed it most, can't go public on that yet but hope to soon. As the weeks pass I'm becoming happier and happier at my placement and apparently they are asking for me to be their locum when my supervisor retires! Lovely compliment.  As our first Christmas with my Old Man approaches I sometimes find I'm overwhelmed by sadness  and there's so much I miss sharing with him, just today I put on my Christmas present from last year from him a lovely advent purple coat and noticed two round white stains just at the chest. I'd only worn it twice and couldn't think what the marks were, then I realised the last time I'd worn it was to his funeral and the marks were salt stains left from the tears I shed. Not the best start to the day! Worship at both churches was choir led with carols interspersed with readings by my supervisor and I he'd warned me these could be dull services and the readings were all from fifth century writers so I tried to embrace the feel of the service and the readings and it worked after all Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever, and the Truth holds fast today. I rounded the day off back " home" at my attachment at the nine lessons and carol service  where I  thoroughly enjoyed being in the congregation singing some good old carols and a catch up with friends afterwards,  one of whom mentioned she'd had a card from soneone at  my placement who said the congregations had taken me to their hearts, which is exactly how i feel, and so on into a last week of busyness and new opportunities hopefully I'll embrace every new opportunity that God brings my way!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


My supervisor was delighted with Sundays conduct of worship. He askedvaccouple of questions about my hymn selection and also commented on the fact that I'd given some historic background which he always thought was a good thing. He's quite an academic hence I was apprehensive. So all went well whew! After that is at in on the session meeting giving a brief report on what I've been p to so far and the proposed roll of OLM in our presbytery. There was a really supportive atmosphere and apparently the session are keen for me to be their loud when my supervisor retires. All in all it was an affirming experience confirming my calling and Gods Grace in supporting me.  My supervisor is extremely supportive and looking back at my reluctance to leave my attachment yet again, surprise surprise, God was right!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

First assessed preaching

Well Sunday was my first time preaching at my placement with my supervisor in attendance.  Funnily enough I was very nervous all week in spite of constant reminders from the family that I've done this thousands of times. I've led time for reflection at Scottish Parliament, I was still very nervous. We  use the lectionary so it was John the Baptist, a brilliant passage. Since one of my goals on my learning and serving covenant was to try to involve the congregation in  responses etc. I led them in a short mediation visualising being baptised by John, thinking that was far enough to go! Although I was nervous, as soon as I stood up to speak I was so aware of the peace of God and of being in His will the sermon just flowed. There are two services 9.30 at the rural church and 11 at the town. Feedback at the door was really good, with people commenting on how moved they'd been. The first thing my supervisor said was " how did you feel it went' that threw me a bit, but I said I thought it went well and people were very positive at the door. Feedback session tonight with him so we'll see how that goes. On th e positive side it seems that everyone  ( including the retired lecturer can hear me fine) so that's a plus.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Back at attachment

Funny day yesterday, had really really late night  on Saturday at a ceilidh with the family, involving some ill advised alcohol consumption then it was back at my attached church to conduct  the whole 9.30 service. We were on SU material with Mary and the Magnificat. The whole service as we reflected on what she went through,  was poignant and moving. The young man who was on intercessions became quite moved during the prayers, causing me a moment of anxiety as I'd a 16 mile trip to my placement for 11am where I was taking part in the service, and its anincredibly twisty icy road but it all came together and I made it with time to spare. Our 9.30's are. Lively informal and have lots of kids, at my placement it's very traditional, not always kids there and very formal, but each in their own way worships God and celebrates the same message. Though I've preached there often, this week I'm  preaching as part of my placement with my supervisor in attendance! Nervous already! On the lectionariy so it's John the Baptist.

Thursday, 29 November 2012


Once again it was presbytery and once again though I've been a ministers wife for thirty years, I was shocked at the lack of grace between some of the ministers at presbytery. I'm fairly new to active presbytery and committees and so the ill will and refusal of some ministers to move with the times for the good of all has saddened me. I travelled with the presbytery elder from my previous attachment whose totally new to church court, is a retired GP and is now appalled at how the CofS conducts itself. The high point was the travel though. This guy has he most amazing vehicle. It's massive I literallyhad to climb into it. It's got heated seats ( bit disconcerting till he told me) its got surround sound, the acceleration felt like being in a plane taking off! I told they ought child he ws going mr a lift, her retort better wrap up well then in case it's the Harley! Yep he's got one of those too. How cool would that be turning up to presbytery on the back of a Harley  Davidson!!  I mentioned to the retired Doc what she'd  said and his reply. Great idea for the summer! Yay canny wait!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Pleased to be there

I was struck by a revelation on Sunday as I arrived at my placement. I was really pleased to be there. I have started to really settle in to both congregations and feel at home. In fact on arrival at the first church I was told there was a present for me with my coffee in the vestry. A box of  walnut whips arising from one of my " bits in my own churches news letter!" It's a long story! But I was really touched.  On top of that my supervisor asked about a funeral I'd taken 2 weeks ago and said they'd asked for me again because having buried the wife, the husband has now died and the family want me. To conduct his funeral, talk about continuity.  I mentioned to my supervisor how settled I was feeling yesterday and he agreed that it seems like I've been there forever. So positiv.e thoughts. We also tackled the learning and serving covenant to be in aSAP whew that was a task! Next challenge Advent Assembly at Academy tomorrow my most exacting audience!  And presbytery tomorrow night.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bible Study

Pleased with the way the new Bible Study  my supervisor got me to start, is going. Numbers up from 6 to 12 great group of people who genuinely want to learn about Gods word. They also were all really encouraging about the service I took on Sunday and  gave lots of positive feed back which was lovely. At the end a man ( the only man) asked for a word in private. He then proceeded to tell me he couldn't hear much of what I said on Sunday and he used to be a lecturer and could lecture to a hall of 300 people and could tell if one person wasn't picking up what he was saying.  He also couldn't see me. I'm  not quite 5 feet tall. The church is HUGE they all sit at the back. The voice I can do something about though I've never had that comment before, the height? I suggested perhaps sitting nearer the front would help. I should have left feeling up beat and positive having had a good night. What did I go on about to Lucy the dogs dad when I got in. The one negative comment from the whole night had pulled me down. So now I know I'm not used to criticism ( not when I'm preaching  anyway) and perhaps I don't react well to it. Definitely need to work on that!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Clean sweep

Took both services as pulpit supply at my probationary placement. My supervising minister is in Israel! Services both went well and I feel I'm getting to know the congregations now. They are both very supportive especially the second town charge who seem to  feel an affinity with me and an affection for me. The only glitch was the sunday school wereat the second service and my supervisor told me a few weeks ago they wouldn't be in church again till Easter! Anyway at shot notice managed to recall a suitable talk which went down well with both adults and kids. I felt the services ran smoother yesterday mainly because there was just me and we didn't have to faff about with changing the microphone over, it was very busy week last week so finding blogging time difficult, but maybe I need to look at my time management. Took time out last night to go to cinema to see Breaking Dawn with the kids. Brilliant piece of escapism but soo tense. With so much preparation for services, Bible Study, school assemblies its quite a discipline to keep time for personal reflection with God, so there again, need to look at time management and what I can "reasonably" do. But lectionariy passage allowed me to talk about my passion for vacuum cleaner yesterday, sad but true!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Settling in

Have really enjoyed this week at my placement. Been into the schools with supervisor,  met head teachers etc in preparation for next couple of weeks when supervisor's away and I'm covering. Looking forward to it. Conducted such a sad funeral on Wenesday, the widower has advanced Parkinson's and his wife was his primary carer, with her death I think the responsibility will fall to the youngest daughter who still lives at home. I think there's a definite pastoral situation there, I felt such a burden for her, having been a carer myself.  I'm working my way through my grief but the amazing thing is when I'm preaching, conducting funerals, school assemblies Bible studies I feel such a peace and confidence that I'm right where God wants me to be at other times I'm a total wreck. Rewind to Tuesday when I arrived in town to go shopping looked in my bag, no purse... But a pair of furry pink slippers. Where was my purse? At the bottom of the stairs! Put flowers on my Oldsters grave today in spite of the fact that I know he'd not approve as t he rabbit population dessimate them as fast as they appear but I did it anyway. Graves are funny things I mean I know he's not there and it goes against all my Christian beliefs and I didn't even feel closer to him. Confused about this!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Back to earth

Seems like I've been lulled into a sense of false security. Even before we left cold blustery but utterly peace inducing Troon, my supervising minister was on phone asking if I'd do funeral on Wednesday. I said I would be home later and would check diary. Now it seems I've got attendance and participation in Sundays service, a funeral visit a debriefing meeting on Monday, leading Bible Study on Tuesday, funeral on Wednesday, primary school assemblies on Thursday and Friday, now it might seem like I'm about to have moan but every trip I make to my placements a round trip of thirty odd miles, funeral will be sixty odd as its a cremation, my placement including preparation is ten hours a week, somehow I'm thinking this isn't going to add up. I've also to show him notes made at pre funeral visit. Then take my service notes inc prayers to go over with him next week. Also he may make an appearance at the funeral. Now I am moaning. I've conducted around a hundred funerals in the past six years whilst doing pastoral cover and also by request of families. I know I sound grumpy but I'm supposed to be observing and deepening my understanding of the sacraments, for the past six years I've led weekly school assemblies in my attachment so I'm feeling frustrated at what seems to e very much a backward step I'm wondering if I'm being taught a bit about humility anyhow, travelling expenses are going to o through the roof! Trying to figure out what's going on and do i need to sort out an attitude problem.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Total R& R

Thanks to my brilliant youngest child and middle child. I've been sent away for a break in the wake of  caring/ bereavement etc. so youngest child and I are at Troon, enjoying total chillaxing. My family have been so supportive over these last months and I know I'm truly blessed. I've thought a lot about how different my life is now. We've actually booked in for an extra day (i could never have done that before I'd have to get back for my oldster) I miss him so much. He encouraged me in everything I did, I bounced ideas off him, we laughed about the scrapes I got into (often in my case) and I always phoned him when I was on my home from wherever I'd been. It's a month tomorrow since he died how long will I feel so bereft and is tis normal. I try to steer my thoughts away from him when I'm on my own as I miss him so much it's like a dead weight.  Everything is tinged a bit with a deep sadness and that makes me feel guilty.  Just realised how positive this blog began and how it developed, sorry folks:(

Monday, 29 October 2012

Probation/ Communion / all Saints

I had first feed back with supervising minister last week. I read the OT reading and did first prayer and announced hymn. I did this kind of thing eight years ago, anyway I know I have to do this so I am open and willing and seeking to learn new things, experience God in new situations, so yesterday  there was Communion at one church and a Baptism at the next. Opportunity for learning/ participating as much as possible? Unfortunately not observe and get into the moment my supervisor advised. So I did and I did get I the moment till two of his officiating elders decided to conduct loud conversation beside me on the chancel while the bread was being distributed so I was beamed right back from the upper room to the chancel in the church feeling annoyed and disgruntled ( not good at Communion) Feedback next week will be interesting. In contrast last night I was back at my attachment leading along with the minister, the service we have each year when the bereaved are invited and we remember and give thanks for all who have died in the preceding year. It's always a poignant service and was all the more so because one of the names I was reading out was my own Oldster who I miss more and more with every passing day. But it was a beautiful and moving and comforting service to all who were there and I managed to get through enabled by a strength beyond me.  My supervising minister was keen to analyse my experience as a mourner asking would it affect the way I conduct funerals from now on. While I believe every life experience impacts on our ministry I hope I have always been sensitive and offfered best experience in my past conduct of funerals. In the wake of all I've gone through I've been sent courtesy of youngest and middle child to " recuperate " by the sea from the window of the hotel I can see Ailsa Craig and watch the planes taking off, so a few days R& R then back for real only problem is I've too much time to think so probably be blogging a bit!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

First Sunday

Started at my probationary placement today, which was strange as its a church I've done supply in many times, to be back as a "student" was odd. They were very welcoming to the extent that some f them hoped I'd be their locus when their present minister retires next year,  very flattering for me!  We did a short explanation as to why I'm there etc. but what most people commented on was the fact that I'm brunette now and I've always been blonde!  So much for hanging on every word of my sermons!! It's strange to be back in a supervised role after being responsible for leaving worship solo for last six years. It was also first time I'd been back without my Oldster keeping me company so that was sad. Miss his company on my journeys:(  meeting for feedback/planning etc. with supervisor this week, think we'll get on fine, and so the journey begins. A mixture of excitement that at last I'm up and running again tinged with sadness and loss, at the moment everything is veiled in a sadness that's almost tangible. I'm  in the grip of a restlessness  that I can't get to the root of , think I need to take to heart the scripture verse "  Be still and know that I am God" meantime I've a Bible Study to organise on the first chapter of Mark for this Tuesday. Apart from that, had a monumental walk with  youngest child and middle child, got lost and ended up walking from our village to the next town through the forest and Lucy the dogs dad having to come and collect us. Great walk though:)

Friday, 19 October 2012

A week later

It's only a week since we had my Octogenarians funeral service. There were many tears but there was also so much laughter in a wonderful fitting tr ibute to a man who was not only large in stature but larger than life. Lucy the dogs dad almost didn't manage to compose himself to give the tribute , the first time that's happened in quarter of a century in the ministry but my Oldster was a very special man. It's been quite a week. I've swapped my big wheelchair transporting car for a tiny Peugeot 107, I've visited my oldest child in London  and thought a lot about the last few weeks, and how bereft I now feel. Nothing in my conduct of about 80 funerals and dealing with bereavement prepared me for just how bad I feel. Of how such a bereavement leaves you feeling isolated ( no one knows how you feel), physically exhausted, from the preceding weeks of physical care, inability to make even basic decisions and trying to get yourself together again and take up the reigns of life.  I start my probationary placement this Sunday and was a bit hacked off when my supervising minister said " this will be a learning process for you" maybe so but am I wrong in thinking he was being crass and insensitive, this was someone I loved.  Looking back over the last seven weeks in particular I know I could never have got through that time in my own strength I know at the times when I faltered God held me up and was there with us every minute of every day. I'm not a naturally still person,  buti have discovered a stillness within from the hours I sat waiting with my Oldster. So in the bewilderment of bereavement I've achieved much this week ( the London Underground! Eek) changed cars ( need to remember I now have a hand brake and no speed limiter ) and I've been so supported not just by family and friends but also the brilliant district nurse and doctor who were our mainstays. Not through the woods yet but still standing.

Thursday, 11 October 2012


Almost a week has passed since my Old Man died and tomorrow we all join together to say our farewells. Lucy the dogs dad is giving the tribute. This is going to be one of the worst  and saddest days. I miss him so much, having spent all of my time caring for him latterly and now there's a huge gap in my life. My supervising minister has told me not to start at my placement till the 21st but I need to know I can stand up in front of a congregation without bubbling like a baby so I'm doing the readings and intercessions this Sunday at my placement where I'm among people who know me (and knew my Oldster) I've so much time on my hands now but no inclination or ability to string coherent thoughts together. It was strange to have visit from one of the district nurses who nursed my Oldie ( his and my favourite) and to be on the receiving end of a pastoral visit instead of being the one doing the visit. We were so well looked after through his illness and now they are still being so supportive of me. So tomorrow looms and I'm not looking forward to it but he deserves the best send off so as he takes his final bow. I will be sad but so privileged to have shared so much with him.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Life through a haze

It feels like I'm living life through a fog at the moment. Things just" happen ". The youngest child was remarking last night about the way Lucy the dogs dad and I talk about funerals we're conducting and said it just made her realise that we were dealing with families feeling how we feel on a regular basis. I know I'm learning so many lessons "first hand" as I go through this, experiencesthat i'll draw onin the future as personally ive not suffered a major bereavement for over thirty years when my dad died? The  Old Man and I were inseparable and such was his level of dependence on me it's strange to have so much time on my hands. Time that I don't want and don't know what to do with. One of the district nurses (his favourite) popped in to see me yesterday which was just lovely and she was so in awe of how the Oldster and I managed and the sense of fun we managed to always have. I'm not in a great place and not looking forward to Friday I'm going to try not to let him down and be dignified but I'll probably be a bubbling wreck.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Life love laughter

Have been overwhelmed by the letters e mails etc. offering condolences and sharing nod memories of myOld Man. So many residents of our town remember him from Sunday school where he was superintendent for over thirty years
In fact just before he died I told him someone had been asking after him saying she remembered him as her Sunday school teacher and he said what a wonderful thing to be remembered for. And what a wonderful legacy to leave behind. Seeds sown in young lives through years of faithful service to God.   I am struggling with so many conflicting emotions and just feel totally wiped out is this normal, shouldn't I be rejoicing that he's been " called home" not feeling that at all. Am thankful for my family rallying round supporting me. Am supposed to start my placement this Sunday, can't see that happening. He was my encourager, best supporter, my adviser my confidante and the best friend I ever had he made me laugh he loved life and noemi rambling. Goodnight fellow bloggers

Friday, 5 October 2012

Famous last words

     I Like this quote I dislike this quote

A paraphrase “

"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something i must always remember. i am braver than i believe, stronger than i seem, and smarter than i think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. you'll always be with me”

So sad

So this morning at ten past six I sat and held my old mans hand as he passed from this life to the next.     Although there's a profound sense of relief that his suffering is over I am numb with grief. I've sat by his bedside for these past weeks putting everything on hold to care for him as best as I could and now I feel lost. As he wanted it was just him and I at the end, no Marie Curie nurse last night as I kept him company through a long night. It was strange to deal with the undertaker as a mourner  when usually we're colleagues. It was a traumatic morning making sure he was ready for when they came to take him away and much to my surprise, giving him a last shave as he would have been mortified at having two days stubble and waiting for his family to arrive.. There's now a whole week to wait till the funeral and I don't know what to do with myself. We were so blessed in the care we both received from our district nurses, Marie curie and GP who went the extra mile in their care and support of both of us. I know the start of my probationary placement awaits me a week on Sunday hopefully I will begin to refocus. So to my Dear Dear Friend, Godnight &God keep you in the hollow of His hand x

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Day 2

I am amazed  that I am still here sitting by my Old Mans bedside how can the human body go on with no food, little fluid but with a heart that continues to beat. It was a very peaceful night. I was aware of a deep sense of peace. Apparently hearing is the last sense to go so I waited till I was settling down for the night before I took his earring I'd out  I chatted to him and said goodnight fully expecting every time I woke up to find he'd stopped breathing, I've come to realise that our lives are very much in Gods time and He wills the span and the time, I'm supposed to take two services on Sunday doing pulpit supply at the church where I take up my probationary post hitherto following week, dilemma do I call them today and say I won't be able to take the services  ( will I be in any state emotionally) don't know what to do but think I want to be at my own church receiving instead of ministering.

Monday, 1 October 2012

End times

Have been on emotional roller coaster today it's a strange place to be " waiting" for someone to die hoping it will be soon yet dreading the inevitable pain that comes with separation.  Birth is a messy process and unfortunately the end of life is sometimes not so straightforward. It's been a long journey for my dearest old friend but thankfully I can say I'm keeping him company.  And so I pray that soon death will be behind him and he will be with The Lord with no more pain and no more suffering.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Post probationers conference

I had a moment of clarity during the conference when realisation struck me WOW I AMA PROBATIONER. I felt so humbled, overwhelmed, blessed, amazed. So much to reflect on from the conference, high point had to be Doug Gays session on the Eucharist, so much to think about in there, and George Whyte, who made church law so interesting and user friendly,  so I'm back again blogging from the bed side of my Oldie who was so pleased to see me I just pray now for a peaceful release for him,  and that he finds his rest at last. So many issues came up at conference the weekend flashed passed and though I was disappointed at being at the Rob Roy it actually meant 2 full nights sleep which I've not had for at least a month and going by some of the faces this morning there wasn't a lot of sleeping time in the house last night, so, so much to reflect on  and learn from,  and so much diversity within our kirks we heard from one minister who preaches for 10 minutes 15 tops then later in the morning another who preaches for FIFTY minutes to an HOUR every week and spend TWELVE hours in preparation ( that's one hour for every five minutes spoken!) hmm!


Almost on the home stretch initial disappointment in that there are so many of us some of us were sent to stay at the Rob Roy which didn't engender such good fellowship. Highlight has been the Eucharist with Doug Gay, it was so though provoking and so rich in ideas it was also delivered in a humerous engaging yet deeply informative manner!  Church Law eek there 's been so much to reflect on and here on the last day my Old Man is still with us and I must admit  I'm anxious to be on the road there's so much to info in the brain at the moment I think I'll have to take the quiet times this week to unravel it and that was with only half of me in attendance! Now I just want to be home next conference in March is the week before the youngest child's wedding so no pressure there either:)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

C day

Today's the day I go off to probationers conference leaving behind my dear Old Man who is tenaciously hanging on to life. My dearest wish is that he's still here when I get back on Sunday, having journeyed this far with him I'd like to be with him at journeys end. I'll have to rely heavily on God this weekend to keep me focussed and trust in Him, I've a three and a half hour drive to get to Gartmore so ill need t be alert not easy after many nights of broken sleep but I hope and pray ill get the most I can from the weekend and not spend the time wishing it away,  highlight of the last week was when he and the youngest child sat looking through binoculars at the neighbours across the road to see which paper she was reading, so many happy memories and laughter even these last weeks.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Probationers Conference

Going off to Gartmore on Friday. Big wrench leaving my Oldster behind when I've been with him constantly for what seems like months and just waiting ESP since the syringe driver was fitted a month ago, I just pray that nothing happens while I'm away, I'd be gutted! On a practical leve, I've never been to Gartmore is it cold, does it have a kettle in the room. Hope my brain receptors get in gear because it looks like a very full programme. I am looking forward to it just hope I can be positive and focussed, and Gods never let me down yet!

Monday, 24 September 2012


Anyone else having trouble posting? I keep getting an error totally frustrating

Jelly babies

Service went really well yesterday especially the children's talk about. Jelly babies and their secret code, there was some really encouraging feedback at the door. Only four sleeps till probationers conference and a urge document to read! also had meeting this morning with placement supervisor, not sure this is going to be a positive experience, he's extremely liberal and thers no half way so will need wisdom and confidence also to remember he 'll be writing my report. Got to stage yesterday where I felt I was juggling too many balls also watching Oldster getting more frail and confused is upsetting little problems take on huge significance:( need to keep perspective and focussed on God, as well as that since the upgrade came in for I pad it's been nothing ut problems, lost all my history and book marks grrr

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Moving moment

The youngest child was with me today keeping the Oldster and I company. I'd been doing something and came through to find her moisturising his hands with hand cream. She is so patient with him and so caring towards him it was quite a moving moment. A bit later I heard them both singing scales well the oldster was the child is completely tone deaf  ( she says in her head she sounds like Adele!). It was a relief to me as he'd said yesterday he didn't feel part of the world ( think its the drugs) then a wee while later they each got binoculars to see if they could identify which newspaper the neighbour across the road was reading!! He still has his humour and is as quick as ever. It was almost like Godwas assuring me that there is still quality of life there, it was good to see his interest perked even for a short time between the long sleeps. Only 6 sleeps till probationers conference and there 's a huge document on The Sacraments to be read I can't say I haven't got time but due to sleep deprivation don't know if I'll manage not to fall asleep while reading it!!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Another week

And so to another week, must admit I found Sundays service hard going but the feedback was very positive. I had the day away from my Old Man but as usual had separation anxiety nevertheless had a lovely time with the middle child all on our own. I wonder at my Oldsters determination of spirit and the strength that keeps him going, he reposes mostly in the arms of Morpheus but still moments of clarity and the sense of humour is ever intact. I wonder what God is teaching me through this. One thing that has amazed me is I'm a " doing person" I hate inactivity so the fact that I can sit and not " do" anything is I'm sure by Gods grace. Only ten days till the probationers conference and I am so worried about leaving him ( if he is still here) though Marie Curie ( family etc) are all in place the thing is I want to be with him when the time comes, I know it will happen in Gods timing but as I look at him for his sake I wish it was over.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A long day

Time has taken on a new meaning just now. I seem to spend a lot of time just sitting, sometimes reading, sometimes praying, sometimes just looking, doing nothing really. Today has been a long day. A pressure relieving mattress was delivered for my Old Man and it's humming away as I blog, a reminder that he can do so little now. Apparently when he had the syringe driver set up ten days ago he was only expected to live for a few days. He still makes inappropriate remarks to the nurses along the lines of you show me your I'll show you mine when asked if she could look at his behind. His humour is unquenchable, his charm undiminished his optimism undimmed. After giving him a drink or something yesterday i asked was he happy, of course I am he replied why wouldn't I be. Again I say it is a privilege to keep him company on this journey and to be conscious of the prayers of many supporting and sustaining. I know I shall have many happy memories from these last days.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Sunday as usual

There's been nothing"usual" about life this past week but today I'm off to conduct worship as usual. Life over the past 7 days has been largely popping out to the shops and back in a quick ten minutes  but I've been conscious of God being right three close to me. So it's completely in His strength I" ll go and take a service  and hope too my tattoo talk with the children goes down well,, since the youngest daughter showed me how the temporary transfers I got work! In the midst of dying life goes on. My Old Man has a peace about him no ,matter what indignity he's undergoing and is in his own words " very comfortable and quite happy" with my amateurish but well intentioned  nursing skills so onwards today knowing that I truly am an empty vessel for God.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Dignity and Independence

No Marie Curie nurse last night or tonight but all went ok, till 4 am when my old man decided someone had just come in to the house. He almost had me convinced. I was so sure at some points he was almost gone last night, I just sat praying he would let go. This morning he was in great form and. As I offered to help him with a drink said loudly in front of the district nurse "dignity and independence!" we had to laugh, it's a privilege to be able to spend this special time with him as he makes his journey home. It's also prompted me in future to be more aware of the isolation and loneliness of carers and that's something I'll take from this and hopefully remember in the future

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


Its an immense privilege to share this journey with my old dear friend, knowing that this is his last wish. In between the long drugged interludes, there are also incredibly lucid moments and moments where is trademark humour is still apparent.  no Marie Curie nurse last night just me and him and I was really sure at one stage he was about to go it was just so incredibly peaceful and I felt the presence of God. Thought I'd feel afraid but I don't I just feel surrounded by Gods love and presence

Monday, 3 September 2012

Feeling a failure

     I Like this quote I dislike this quote

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.”

Keeping my dear old friend company on his final journey and tonight he asked me to pray for him and all I could do was cry. I can tend all his physical needs it seems but when it comes to spiritual I failed him miserably I was so caught up in my selfish grief at not having him around any more.  Why was it so difficult to offer a simple prayer when I do it almost daily during visits. Not an easy shout this, but. He wants to be at home till the end so I'll need to get some back bone and not let him down.!

End days

My dear old man is now on a syringe driver, I'm sitting beside him as I have been all night  remembering all the happy times we've shared, it's been a privilege to have known him, he's enriched my life beyond measure and that of my family, this is such a cruel illness I know I should want his suffering to be over but I selfishly still want him here with us, all I can do is sit as he makes this journey and know thr privilege it is.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Crowns and walnut whips

Had great day with youngest child and bridesmaids getting the dresses sorted out. Headed out for cocktails and a meal. All was going well till I got back to granny's where we were staying. Too many cocktails impaired the judgement and on discovering granny's stash of walnut whips in the ridge I succumbed to temptation unfortunately my crown right at the front succumbed to the walnut whip! Next day shopping I was motified at missing affront tooth couldn't smile a people talked with hand over mouth felt awful. Fast forward to this week and I'm humbled by our athletes with severe disabilities overcoming unbelievable odds and disability and I'm ashamed by my embarrasmnt  obviously I still need God to remind me it's what's inside that counts, funnily enough tho one of my wee kids from school asked me if I was a stranger, cos I had the same voice but my hair was a different colour, observant wee chap for a six year old but that made me LOL

Friday, 24 August 2012


Have spent a lot of time reflecting on last weeks service, which was a celebration of our holiday club. The passage already set was Paul's letters to Timothy and I looked at Paul's mentoring of the young Timothy encouraging the congregation to be Paul's to young Christians and commending the ones ho already were I was relieved the circuits guy who ran the kids sports against us wasn't here thatday ( guilty conscience? Maybe) but the passage had been set by SU material. I'd had a bad / terrible week with my old man. I felt the pits but therein the. Middle of the service I felt Gods presence and assurance and power. I just felt so enabled by Him and can honestly say I was standing there by His grace. At the door the feed back was extremely encouraging and over the week people ave spoke to me about how affected they were. My minister always says in our weakness He is strong. It's been a good week for my old man a very good week hopefully in a wee period of stability which would be great for him( and me!) off to Glasgow today wedding dress/ bridesmaid dresses I hear the rattle of copious amounts of cash leaving my account! Then cocktails to recover:)

Monday, 13 August 2012


Major dilemma every year for past nine or so years we've run a very successful holiday club in local primary always at this time.  At start Of summer I asked guy who does our circuit class and come to church I'f he'd help this year. He said he couldn't as he was running a festival of sport 2 weeks our town two weeks another town and final two weeks one where else not to worry tho he wouldn't be clashing with us the upshot is it didn't take off anywhere else so he's doing this week in our town in THE SAME location and only let me knowon Sunday night and of course all the kids who'd normally come to holiday club are at the sports. We had two kids yesterday as opposed to  usual 35 I've got ten helpers we've bought all the SU material on your marks we've had planing meetings etc. dilemma do I cancel this years club or run with two kids, how do I exercise Christian grace when I'm mad as hell at this guy been awake all night alternating between praying and raging . Don't know what to do

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Home communion

Had the undeniable privilege of sharing home communion with my Oldster yesterday. The Rev came in and conducted, for all three of us, a most moving special poignant communion service, there was a real sense of " communion" and of the presence of Christ within the room, it gave me a glimpse of real privilege of Ministering the Sacrament of Holy Communion, it also bound us , three friends at different stages of life and acing death, as one in Christ.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Quiet Space

At a chaplaincy team meeting this week along with the rector and depute rector we addressed the fact that we're not engaging with the kids at the assemblies and discussed various
Different approaches to introducing today's teens to spirituality I vaguely remembered from a readers co Berenice hearing about a school chaplain who'd set up a quiet space within the school with different sensory areas, I pods pebbles for writing on etc, that was the gist of it and it worked a treat, so guess who was appointed to get similar p and running, problem is I can only recall the basics, any bloggers out there know what I'm talking about and can you give me any advice, please.

Probationers conference

Big sweat over dates of the two conferences I've to attend, one at the end of September ( no problem) one in March eek youngest child gets married in March date of conference the weekend before the wedding! Response from Edinburgh " just think of the stress we've saved you from that weekend! O well that's one way of looking at it. I was slightly surprised to see the uptake on Sacramental
Theology has meant an extra lot of classes to be run in semester two, which I've been assigned to. Given that I'm caring for my Old Octogenarian the timing of that couldn't have been better, sometimes God gets on our case even before we ask.

Thursday, 2 August 2012


Feeling better about the Old Man, and amazing thing happened, on the way back to take over
Looking after him again, I saw a man walking along the road, nothing unusual there but last time I'd seen him had been in hospital, unable to walk to the door of the ward after a heart attack. Previous surgery had made further surgery imposssible and he said his only hope was a transplant and he was too old. Before I left I said a short prayer with him here he was now out and about. When I saw the old man I was shocked, he was so I'll. He was in pain and dehydrated hadn't eaten the whole time I'd been away, he was pretty sick. Later I remembered my journey in, almost as if God nudged me, so while he was sleeping I prayed for peace and freedom from pain. He slept all that night and by the time the Doctor came in he decided he wasn't admitting him to hospital. Not only that but as I prayed I'd a tremendous sense of Gods presence and peace in the room. Sometime I forget just how much power we have when we trust God.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Spa spoiling

Away with the youngest child for a few days, booked at hotel, arrived had been upgraded to a suite and the oldest child had had wine ent to our room and booked s spa treatments for our birthdays which are both this week, feel totally blessed, but, throw into the mix my old Octogenarian is ill and I'm not there, feel torn in two, he needs me but can't let my daughter down. Praying for a healing for my old man till I can get back to him:((

Strange funeral

Conducted strangest ( or so I thought) funeral ever. Just me the widow the pet dog and the deceased at the crematorium. This was a couple who had lived an insular life, 47 years together, no family. I thought it would be strange, the undertaker offered to sit with the widow but she said she was fine. In the end it was poignant and moving as she walked to the coffin during the playing of a favourite piece of music and took her farewell of her husband, while the dog wandered around, it was, I felt, a fond farewell and nt in the least strange.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Bad Habits

So did the service of Kirkin the Cornet on Sunday which went well, the word went well and was well received and I think, was appropriate. The whole service was filmed and I've just watched the DvD and I've got a " habit" I fiddle with my hands, all the more apparent because I was in the pulpit and the man filming was in the gallery we had classes years ago at college where you were filmed and your " habits" discussed I didn't have any then so I must have picked them up over the years. I know there's nothing more distracting than a " habit" in the pulpit so I'm going to have to work on getting rid of that. My minister at my attachment touches his specs and moves from foot to foot which everyone finds very distracting so I dont want that to happen, so any advice on getting rid of bad distracting habits gratefully received, also it's good to be made aware of your foibles so the use of a video at a service might be helpful once in a while!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Kirkin the cornet

Had two services today, usual 9.30 looking at Shadrach meshach and abednigo it went fine except guy I'd asked to do intercessions went on longer than sermon! In spite of fact I'd asked him to be brief Agghh! Second service traditional with the added Kirkin of Cornet where the re nenactment of the town becoming a royal burgh is remembered. So a huge congregation. Sermon has to be pitched at non church goers as well as regulars and lots of teens and twenties. It seemed to work well, but I felt I was truly challenged as I'm running on empty at the moment and feeling very emotional, my oldie seems to have given in sinc e he's found out how ill he is so whatever came through was all God, service was filmed so be interesting to see. Just feel so desperately sad.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Found out yesterday that the old friend I look after and who we've made part of our family has widespread cancer, not a totally unexpected result but still really upsetting for me. We went from his consultant straight to the cancer unit and discussed palliative care and his wishes re resuscitation ( which was very unexpected) he's so pragmatic about the whole thing and I'm a quivering wreck) but he cdoesnt want sad faces! I was really worried that in my emotional state I had a funeral to conduct today when everything was so raw still I don't know how I managed but all I know is I prayed and handed everything over to God and it was absolutely fine and everyone was really appreciative and nothing was amiss. My dearest wish now is that he lasts to see me ordained but I know realistically it's very unlikely but that's my prayer.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Highs and lows

Busy week with services and funerals and calls to hospital to see those in extremis, the most moving visit was last night when I prayed with a very old lady who was dying as I held her hand she reached out and pulled me to her for a hug. I was so moved and so privileged to have shared that time with her. It's times like that that just confirm Gods calling. On the other hand went to pieces tonight at service when someone asked about the Octogenarian, going to see consultant tomorrow and prepared for the worst. Hard to be professional when involved personally how do you get over that one?

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Strength in Weakness

So Ileft home thinking I'd find leading worship a challenge today.apparently though according to the comments as people left I had preached one of my finest sermons, and I think that was because there really was nothing of " me" there I was totally reliant on God. When we're preaching we have to listen to what Gods saying to us, two weeks till " the boss" gets back then Lucy the dogs dads away for three hmmm.

Hard Call

Its a hard call this morning. Off to take service, preaching on lectionary passage about Jesus healing Jairus daughter and the woman who'd been bleeing for 12 years, talking about the healing power of touch and my old Octogenarian is fading day by day becoming more and more frail as his illness spreads, so today in my weakness and frailty feeling I've nothing to give ill go in the strength of God who promises in our weakness He is strong. It's different dealing with the sick in the course of " work" when you have to call on your training to deal with how ou feel it's hard when you're involved so Lord in your strength I go.

Friday, 22 June 2012


At the conference we were asked how we'd deal with conflict situations or if we'd been in any and how we'd dealt with any we'd been in. My thoughts were on someone I've come close to conflict with before. And last night she let me have it with both barrels. I organise our holiday club each year. It runs for a week in the summer we have games etc and use SU material. This particular person organises games. She's good at it the kids listen to her, she complained last year shed been doing too much so this year I thought I'd free her up to do JUST the games, she erupted, she CAN'T do the games what it really boils down to is she doesn't want to the irony is this years theme is how we are all in Gods team and can work together in a team! I was totally taken by surprise at the aggression in her and the fact it was aimed at me. So I clarified the situation ie ( she doesn't WANT to do the games) which leaves us with a problem. So do I now let her do what she WANTS to do or do I suggest she takes a year off ( she's citing her health as the reason) I want to be gracious but I don't want to be a door mat.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Flood

After the rain last weekend, the youngest child and I went for one of our power walks round one of our usual routes, the sun was shining it was a lovely summer evening and we were having a lovely walk, till we came to " the flood" right across the road. We had two options, turn back and walk the five miles we'd already come or go through it, I was wearing my new Converse Hightops there was no way I was wading with those on and the idea of turning back wasn't appealing to to the child so we negotiated and she gave me a piggyback! The irony wasn't lost on me it was a case of role reversal I used to do that with her! The situation wasn't without a laugh? My first attempt to getonher back brought her down bum first into the water fortunately I was too busy laughing to get the moment on film:( But life is like that isn't it. Sometimes we are there to carry others ut sometimes we need to admit we need a hand. God didn't intend us to live in isolation He meant us to be there for one another. And it's gt to work both ways. it takes a strong man/ woman to accept a helping hand sometime.

Saturday, 16 June 2012


Getting ready to conduct my first Final Preaching Assessment tomorrow, feel the weight of responsibility that everything is done according to Gods will. I feel for the reader just now who's perhaps nervous ( join the club!) so I'm praying I'll conduct this in a competent manner aware that in our weakness God is strong!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Looking back

Ive begun a journal to pass to my daughter when she gets married, just with a lot of random thoughts and stories that often get lost with the passage of time and revisiting those memories has brought home to me how the important things in our lives aren't the acquisitions and " things" we've gathered over the years but they're the people and happy memories of times shared together that are special. We place so much importance on succeeding we sometimes lose sight of the things hat really matter. Looking back I wish I'd spent some of my time more wisely but with Gods grace I'll try to prioritise things better. Make the most of every day:))

Sunday, 10 June 2012


Feel I'm in a funny hiatus at the minute between having been accepted to transfer to oLM and starting the further training. Have investigated Aberdeen and Glasgow for Sacramental Theology course.
Aberdeen is distance learning and video conferencing. Glasgow you have to be there on a Tuesday night. I'm a hundred miles from Glasgow but thinking I'd rather go there and have a real live lecturers and real live students to interact with, only problem is travelling through the winter months. Busy couple of months on the horizon before this kicks off. My attachment minister is going away for three weeks, he'll come back then Lucy the dogs dad goes away for three weeks, he comes back and neighbouring minister goes away for two weeks i do the cover for all of them. whew! Having said that attached minister NEVER takes his full time off so deserves a good long break. In the middle of this I've got children's summer mission for a week and my interview with Ministries council in July and next week my first assessment as Final Preaching Assessor. Help! O well as Douglas says. He doesn't call the equipped He equips the called.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


I was taken back in time tonight, about thirty odd years when an elderly couple were leaving the restaurant i realised they were my minister and his wife who were instrumental in leading me to the Lord aged only 14, a couple who truly lived out their faith in a difficult ans deprived parish, a couple to whom I owe a great debt for their nurture of me as a young Christian, in spite of their own difficulties and a couple who still exhibit the love and grace off Christ. Tempis Fugit indeed! How lovely to meet a couple who were so influential in my formative years and who have in spite of the fact their youngest son died four years ago aged thirty six remained grounded in their faith. I was really humbled to meet them again and reminded of how supportive they were of me through my teenage years. So Dennis & Norma thank you.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Chill axing

Having had the run up to assessment then four funerals in a week the youngest child and I have come away for a few days to relax. Funny day yesterday with three services, the usual two in the morning which went okay then the big jubilee service for the area in the afternoon. The church was packed it was an all age ecumenical service with EVERYTHING scripted. Did it hit the spot? Well as a celebration of the queens jubilee I suppose it did. As a Christian worship service it was sadly lacking. Am I being too critical? Maybe so perhaps let's just say it brought the whole community ( and more) together and the choir was great singing Rutters arrangement of For the Beauty of the Earth. We certainly know in our wee town how to put on a celebration! So now for a few days relaxation and reflection then home to prepare for my first outing as a Final Preaching Assessor I need to look as if I've done this loads of times am feeling huge weight of responsibility eek!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dare to Dream

Eek funerals piling up again one today two tomorrow one on Friday. Services on Sunday with one being a special community event for the jubilee celebrations, phew then am off on Monday with the youngest child for mum daughter bonding break for a couple of days I plan to do absolutely NOTHING. I was thinking about last Sunday's. Sermon and prompted by today's reading. I realised I'd said it's better to attempt something great. And fail than do nothing and succeed! ( someone also probably said it before me) and when you think about it if we don't chase our dreams, and goals they'll never happen, we've got to take a risk and go for it then at least we can say we've tried. Who knows what will follow, just look at how successful the disciples were when they took a risk the Early church took off in spectacular fashion. I'm glad that prompted by God I followed my dream instead of being too frightened, scary though it was. Off to the crematorium now.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

What a week!

Our Presbytery Clerk passed away yesterday after a long and dignified battle with cancer, he dealt with his illness with courage and dignity and he continued working as long as he could even attending Heart & Soul on Sunday. He officiated at Lucy the Dogs Dads ordination and induction twenty four years ago and then at my setting apart five years ago. He was a man of true Christian faith who carried out his duties diligently and inspired confidence in you. He will be missed by so many people but most of all by his wife and two sons. Sometimes you just have to think, life is tough! I'm now in a run of funerals one today and three next week plus a service on Sunday eek where's all the time going to come from. Had a heartening ( and humorous experience) yesterday. I'd taken the Octogenarian fr coffee then stopped to take him for a walk but couldn't get the passenger door of the ancient courtesy car open, it was well and truly stuck. There was no chance of him chimmying over to the other side and climbing out. The temperature outside was 24 it was HOT. I could only think of the slogan dogs die in hot cars, when suddenly a knight in shining armour appeared and spent a good ten minutes freeing my trapped passenger, the ups and downs of life eh!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Life goes on

Spent the day preparing for Sundays service and thinking that we really should make more of " the birthday of the church" Pentecost should be up there with Easter and Christmas but we've really diluted the power of what actually happened on that day 2000 years ago and lost the enthusiasm and fire that swept through the church and transformed the disciples from a quivering fearful broken bunch of men to lionhearts! The trouble is if the fire did actually fall there'd probably be an outcry from the fabric convened at the risk to the building! I seem to be racking up the funerals too one on Thursday and one so far next week so looks like being busy. Am really excited to find out how my training will be organised, I'll really miss my "attachment" congregation but looking forward to a new challenge:)

Monday, 21 May 2012


I hear fromLucythe dogs dad that Heart & Soul was awesome. Amazingly when I walked into church yesterday the band were rehearsing and the words on the screen those who wait on the Lord shall not faint but soar like an eagle. Isn't God amazing, people were so chuffed for me so the first service was lovely to be able to just sit and worship and relax. I was beaming like a mad woman all through the second service which I was taking I'm sure visitors must've thought I was some mad deranged woman! My lovely kids were waitng outside church fr me and had organised a champagne celebration so it was a barbie, champagne pimms and then Cranium, normal service resumes today!
funeral visit awaits.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Can't sleep too excited and thrilled. At the same time I'm aware I let my feelings take the place of faith. I was sure of my call yet this last couple of weeks have been anxious for me ( and the family) have e mailed and phoned friends and everyone's chuffed to bits fr me. Am conducting the 11am service tomorrow and the lovely thing is the scripture reader who is on the rota to read was my preaching reference and the peron leading prayers of intercession was my personal reference it's going to be a special service. I'm so grateful to all my friends, family who've supported me and encouraged me especially when the going was tough and they kept believing for me and most of all to God whose led me this far and will continue to lead.


I have an acceptance, am soooo pleased so thankful, so blessed!

Tapas & Cocktails

Came up to Edinburgh with the youngest child yesterday cos Lucy the dogs dad is at GA had a night of cocktails and Tapas. New experience for Lucy the ogs dad, me and the child know how to live, of course everything's overshadowed by the awaited letter. Back home tonight as I'm taking service t omorrow, had a really weird dream last night turned up to take the service wearing my jeans sweat shirt and SLIPPERS woke up in a sweat! Funny to think the OLM thing started a year ago, wish I was home for the post, though it might not arrive till Monday, trying to keep focussed
On the passage that God has given me such comfort from, those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength they shall rise on wings like eagles. I've certainly waited!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Not feeling very positive today. Got sermon done ish need to tweak got magazine article done ish. I feel my life is very "ish" at the moment waiting for a letter about a decision that's been made already, it's a horrible feeling. Am now convinced I've failed just want to get the letter and get it over and done with:(

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Passing the time

Its a long week I'm trying to stay calm and focussed but of course everything is geared towards THE LETTER. In the midst of this life goes on I've a service to prepare for Sunday and just realised this morning the deadline for our monthly magazine is THIS Sunday. I have to come up with the usual witty thought provoking BIT that goes on the back page and causes great interest in the community and embarrassment in the family ( taken in great sporting fashion). It's at time like this that I remember that it's when we have nothing of ourselves to give that we're of greatest use to God, so even though my own life is in a whirl at the minute I have to keep looking at God who empowers and strengthens me. Sad this morning cos the Octogenarian wants to talk about his funeral, tribute etc. that's all so easy to do when you don't know the person that well but this is too close:( he's already said he wants Lucy the dogs dad to officiate.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

We reached the summit

So yesterday the youngest child suggests we climb one of the hills in our area, now neither of us have any sense of direction, so we set off with a huge packed lunch, and drove to the car park. We have done this climb before but didn't retain any of the landmarks in our minds but undaunted we strode onwards and upwards. All went well till we stayed off a path and then onto screel and rocks that needed both hands to pull yourself up then we need up in the mother of all bogs, must admit by this time I wasn't enjoying myself. When we got to the top we realised we were still a mike or so off target and had to negotiate a buggier bog! At the top though, we could see for miles, it was indeed worth the effort as most things that we strive todo are. The descent me on my backside caused much hilarity and the adder that slithered across our path, much hysteria. Life's journey takes the same format, ups downs bogs and scares life and us would be boring if nothing ever upset our routine, that's what I'm trying to hold onto as I wait for my letter it's gonna bea long week

Friday, 11 May 2012

Twenty six years ago

Just back from celebrating my sons birthday twenty six years ago I was the age he is now and I look back and can't see how all that time passed and I never noticed, so many things I meant to do so many opportunities not taken so many people have come and gone, Time passes sometimes unnoticed so we should make the most of every single minute, accepting and appreciating all the wonderful opportunities and people God brings our way before they become part of our past.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Desmond tutu

Was pleased to see someone quoting Desmond Tutu and his belief that God is a a just God who loves us all equally, black, white gay or straight, I read his book God had a Dream and found it to be inspired and inspirational, his reminicences are both amusing and poignant and I learned so much from it, I heartily recommend it he is one of the true greats of our age.
I was at the funeral of a friend and elder today whose husband ( a retired Methodist minister has Alzheimer's) how moving to hear him read 1 Corinthians 13 what cruel disease his illness was early onset and is quite advanced but he paid tribute to his late wife in that moving reading. Au revoir Renee till we meet in glory.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I got the blues

Im feeling a bit of a let down today, huge sense of anti climax and now I don't know what to do with myself ( must prepare for evening service this Sunday but just feel restless also got some bad news about the family friend I am carer to so all in all feeling a bit down I've also to prepare to assess someones final preaching assessment so need to get myself together and get back on top. Of course ivebeen going over the assessment don't feel as good about it today . As I've thought back over the things I was asked and the things I replied I'm now not sure how I did so I can only pray the assessors saw through the nerves to discern the call I feel I have. The minister I work with and Lucy the dogs dad are both off to GA next week so I could be in for a hectic week as the local population seems to be dying off at a quite alarming rate and I'll be looking after two parishes so no time for moping!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

All over

So I'm home, the deed is done. The day went well, I think of ourselves the temptationis to pick it apart but there's nothing I can do now. Was with a really great bunch of people and as Mrs G said everyone is really supportive of each other and the assessors were a nice group. So I'm just praying that for all of us the right decision has been made. We should hear in about two weeks. Off to zzzz land now I hope though my brain is in overdrive!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Today's the day

Spent last night reading over my forms and journal etc. I've changed so much and God has taught me so much over the last months as I've sought Him in this. I've been humbled too by the people who pass through my life and are so encouraging, even when the going was rough they believed in me more than I believed in myself. So here I go in the strength of God conscious of the many prayers supporting me

Getting Ready

So one more sleep to go. It's been a funny day can't Really settle to anything just want to be off am as prepared I think as I can be so can only let go and let God now it's a wild day, not looking forward to the drive and a night in a strange place but excited too. Thou shall keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

I was blessed!

I really prayed that God would speak to me in the service toda. It was Communion what this week is all about. Our first hymn was the God of Abraham praise, verse 3 " I shall on Eagles wings up borne to heaven ascend" and then the las hymn Art thou afraid His power shall fail. " They who wait on the Lord in strength shall still increse" The last verse "On eagles wings they mount they soar their wings are faith and love." I was totally blessed, when I was first aware of Gods calling He gave me that very reading fom Isaiah, 40 28 those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength they shall rise on wings as eagles they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint" I really felt as if God was saying He was right with me and confirming His call it's funny when things
Like that happen I am still so amazed even after all these years at Gods unfailing faithfulness and care for us. For that to happen and at Communion just spoke right into my heart. So two more sleeps and hopefully I'll be able to go in the knowledge that He goes before me with me and behind me!

Friday, 4 May 2012

I survived

Well I survived last night though covered in bruises from lugging a tyre round an assault course consisting of hills to run up, dykes to clamber over a bog to run through ( and I'm so short it was up past my knees! The secrets to KEEP moving) streams to run through and more hills to run up. It was an experience and extremely mucky. In the middle of all the pain ( no pain no gain!) I looked up to see a para glider soaring above us and was instantly reminded of Isaiah 40 28-31 "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall rise up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint." A passage the Lord spoke to me years ago about my call to serve Him. It was as if He was saying I'm still here and it still holds good. A minute later a swan flew over majestic and beautiful a blessing just to behold. So though I wasn't just weary last night I was absolutely knackered I was blessed and renewed in Spirit. God knows just what we need and when we need it. Today I can hardly move am covered in bruises but I feel the Lords on my side.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Secret Location

Ok so tonight my youngest child and I are off to a secret location. Why? Well I'm taking time way from the I pad, lap top, journal and books and going to a mini boot camp ( I think) there's something therapeutic about getting down in the dirt on hands and knees ( bums and chins down too in case of snipers!) that really clears the mind there's also a great mix of Christians from our church and non Christians from the community so it's a great chance to witness as you try to fell them or use them as punch bags. Could this be anew kind of " emerging church!" do the Christians among us " let the others win" well no actually we're all there competing at the highest level we can. Thankfully it's a lovely day and it'll be a great way to use up some of the nervous energy. Last time, the youngest child dropped a telegraph pole on me so if I survive tonight I'll blog tomorrow!!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Muddled thoughts

Can you over prepare looking at all the preparations and thoughts I've gathered I'm now worried I'm in overload, I know all things work together for good and I know God has a plan for my life and He goes with me, it's just that now I'm at the timescale where next week it'll all be behind me and then the waiting will begin for the verdict I'm worrying about all the things I want to say and convey and hope I'll not succumb to nervous babbling as can be my won't! So I'm going over articulating my call ( telling my story) and sharing my journey and boy it's been a long one so the countdown is on! Was thinking about resolving conflict and remembered reading that Christians should always be gracious and courteous but firm in adhering to the principles for them which are non negotiable I was struggling to remember where I'd read it ( cos as Nicky Gumble says its good to have a friend but better to know where the friend lives) when I realised it was from the sermon I'd preached on Sunday! So now I'm quoting myself! Is that bad or good!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Awake and worrying

Beem awake since 4.45 hope I'm not going to do this all week, but as the date of assessment approaches the butterflies are taking up residence! Lying in bed going over my call in my head thinking about all the ways over the years God has brought me to this point of knowing that He's calling me to this. At the same time I'm thinking " me Lord" wow how can this be. So hopefully over the next week I'll get some sleep. Im lying meditating on the scripture Thou shall keep him in perfect peace who's mind is stayed on Thee" and while I don't not have peace about it I've definitely got the nerves! I'm as prepared as I can be and can only hope the assessors see beyond the nerves to the passion and conviction behind what I truly believe is Gods calling.

Blonde or brunette!

So there I am preaching from my heart. A. Message I feel That God has given me thinking the congregation are hanging on my every word, what's the comment that I remember at the door? From all the positive comments about the sermon the comment I remember is the undertaker ( hes a member) saying youve changed your hair, I preferred you as a blonde! So now I have a dilemma are the congregation distracted by my hair, should I cover it or is that a bit extreme and Pentecostal for C of S , butisn't t a shame that that one comment overshadowed all the positive remarks made by people who were genuinely touched by Gods word, it's just a fact that if you're in any form of ministry your fair game for people to comment on your appearance, your clothes and you just have to smile. Hey ho wonder if that's how stars feel when the press slate them on the red carpet. Hopefully though if they feel they know me well enough to be " honest" they'll also trust me enough to believe what I say. Even more bizarre I visited a lady in the last stages of cancer who opened her eyes as I walked in to her room and said you've dyed your hair, maybe a head covering isn't such a bad idea

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Cardinal Keith OBrien

Preached on Daniel 1 this morning, about having the courage of your convictions and not giving into peer group pressure. We need to stand up or what we believe and get some credibility back instead of watering down our faith to suit work environment, social standing or anything else we feel we have to " conform" to we may not all want to wear crosses. It little by little we're giving into pressure to compromise our beliefs our principles and our faith. Thank goodness for men like Cardinal O Brien who have the courage of their convictions a true Daniel spirit lets all be more like them! Dare to be a Daniel!

Friday, 27 April 2012


Had a school assembly ( whole school p 1-7 ) really felt I should speak about Daniel, standing for his convictions how to project that tp 5-12 year olds. Turns out theres been a couple of approaches to youngsters by a man/ men in cars so head teacher gave talk about stranger danger and resisting adults. The wee ones were full of attention older kids probably thought it was above them then I talked about Daniel standing firm against the king relating it to Face book/ Internet twitter etc. and how older kids have to be aware of the danger posed by strangers there and stand for firm for what they know to be right! As usual God gave a word in season, it's sooo encouraging when that happens I really felt it was inspired by God, times flying past with just over a week till A day, hope I'm prepared butterflies taking up residence already!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

In the community

Had a lovely time this morning, bumped into one of our young families with their toddler and 6 day old baby
I was with the octogenarian Eliot the young dad was so nice he chatted away to the octogenarian plying him with questions about the area the octo was of course in his element, a little thing but an old man was made to feel interesting. ( and he is) knowing what he does about the local community and the changes over the years that've taken place ( though offering him a cuddle of the baby was out of the comfort zone!) Jesus made everyone feel valued and special so thanks Eliot for being genuinely interested and making an old mans day and mine too!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A road well travelled

In unravelling my " call" yesterday I came to realise that it goes way back probably to my initial call to Bible College of course at that time I'd have been overwhelmed by such a calling and no where ready to trust God and go for it but the seed was sown and now ready to burst into fruition ( I hope!) reflecting on life changes over the years I'm now on the perfect lace to respond to God fully I now realise and this time of waiting especially recently has mad me look at my faith in a deeper and more reflective way, considering each day how God has spoken to me, opened the scriptures, confirmed He's there rooting for me, have prepared hopefully, and am ready, pressing question now is what to wear, it's all day so you want to be comfortable but at the same time as if you mean business, so major problem here. There's now also so. Much going on on my head I wake in the night with so many thoughts eek, countdown time indeed.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

People pleaser

Had a great meeting this morning just talking through issues relating to my assessment, one interesting point that came up is "
Am I a people pleaser" could be that I am. I need to be more assertive and like Daniel be a God pleaser
Daniel was just a teenager, yet he stood up for his values and didn't compromise in the slightest and most importantly he did it with grace, we're representing God here we don't need to be backed into a corner and " go with the flow" just because we're Christians, we can still lead from the front and bring Godly wisdom and grace into the situation. Felt affirmed and encouraged in a way I haven't for a long time, just need to keep working to address the areas of weakness (tendency to digress etc) and keep focused on the journey and Gods hand on my life. Closing doors opening them, leading me into new things. Scary stuff! But I know He's been with me I can see his hand on my life so I pray all will be well.

Monday, 23 April 2012


Had to think about something I'm passionate about to do my topical discussion on, boy have I struggled with that, am I boring am I odd, ( no need for an answe!)but I find myself struggling to think of anything I'm "passionate" about, this makes. ME worry but when I read Beachblessers blog it was like. Reading about ME. Phew I'm not alone and like her I've always been passionate about my faith so maybe too my call to ministry of word and sacrament is confirmation of that inner passion. I am passionate about what I do in Gods name and passionate about sharing the Gospel and hopefully living out my life as a follower of Jesus so. What am I passionate about. My ministry yay!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Title submitted

Finally submitted title for discussion topic, worrying now it's the wrong thing to all about
O well too late and I think I'd think that about anything. I'm still ploughing my way through the recommended reading list some are inspirational. Peter Neilsons book church on the move, superseded by church without walls and now emerging church, interesting to see eleven years later what changes have still to be made, things definitely move on a different timescale in the church! Me and owner of Lucy the dog didn't see eye to eye on subject for discussion topic
But nothing new there, feel prepared in a way I didnt before, almost as if God is showing me a new thing. On count down now. Circuit training last night left me worried at the violence unleashed by my daughter on the punching exercises realised the last time I felt like that!!!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Bruised not broken

Was just looking back reflecting on earlier blogs whe I read thecfirstone about being bruised etc I had just before that read isaiah 42 1-4 some may say that's coincidental buti believe God knows I need a word of encouragement and that just how I felt. Thank you Lord!

Monday, 16 April 2012

A road well tarvelled

In unravelling my " call" yesterday I came to realise that it goes way back probably to my initial call to Bible College of course at that time I'd have been overwhelmed by such a calling and no where ready to trust God and go for it but the seed was sown and now ready to burst into fruition ( I hope!) reflecting on life changes over the years I'm now on the perfect lace to respond to God fully I now realise and this time of waiting especially recently has mad me look at my faith in a deeper and more reflective way, considering each day how God has spoken to me, opened the scriptures, confirmed He's there rooting for me, have prepared hopefully, and am ready, pressing question now is what to wear, it's all day so you want to be comfortable but at the same time as if you mean business, so major problem here. There's now also so. Much going on on my head I wake in the night with so many thoughts eek, countdown time indeed.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Emmaus road

Was thought provoked this morning on the emmaus rad ( not literally) do we recognise God in our lives caling us to see him and share his love was directed again! To Samuel 3 God calling Samuel to speak to Eli and Samuels faithfulness in passing Auds word on in spite of having to move out of his comfort zone, in a big way. I often wake in the night and think about what God s saying to me. I'm sooo comfy where I am, is Gd calling me out of my comfort zone... Something I must be aware of if so help metro faithful and say here I am Lord send me, scary!

Friday, 13 April 2012

God speaks in the strangest places

Had a great meeting this morning just talking through issues relating to my assessment, one interesting point that came up is "
Am I a people pleaser" could be that I am. I need to be more assertive and like Daniel be a God pleaser
Daniel was just a teenager, yet he stood up for his values and didn't compromise in the slightest and most importantly he did it with grace, we're representing God here we don't need to be backed into a corner and " go with the flow" just because we're Christians, we can still lead from the front and bring Godly wisdom and grace into the situation. Felt affirmed and encouraged in a way I haven't for a long time, just need to keep working to address the areas of weakness (tendency to digress etc) and keep focused on the journey and Gods hand on my life. Closing doors opening them, leading me into new things. Scary stuff! But I know He's been with me I can see his hand on my life so I pray all will be well.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Keeping the "temple" healthy

We're told our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we certainly seem to be trying to keep our temples healthy.
I'm just in from circuit training led by one of our members whe was a trainer in the army loads of our congregation take part
, it's a brilliant witness in our community bringing Christians and non Christians together in fact I think we may be in the majority! I've been reading Peter Neilsens book, A Church on the move, it talks about taking Christ out to the people, it seems that's what we're doing without even thinking about it and there's no wimping out we're all in competitive mode. Be sore tomorrow though!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Clarinda's journey:

Clarinda's journey:
God seems to be directing me towards inclusiveness, reading Desmond Tutus book underlines the meaning of the Gospel of Christ an His ministry to the marginalised, the outcast, how are we as a church reaching out to them

All in Gods time

Friday, 23 March 2012

We're all in this together

Which Jesus are you following is it,

Republican Jesus, Liberal Jesus, Anglican Jesus, Baptist Jesus, Middle Class Jesus, Working Class Jesus, Muscle Mary Jesus, Intellectual Jesus,Gay Jesus,Straight Jesus.

The bible only asks we follow one Jesus friend of Everyone so if your feeling down in the dumps today why not give him a call!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

So just off stage love am dram, we work as a team propping each other up when we stumble over words etc, great fun but also a great Biblical concept of working together for the good of all. Once on that stage you're all relying on one another for cues etc. lot of trust involved there, that's how it should be in the hutch and how it was in the New Testamebnt Church. Wish that's how it happened.

The ongoing journey

So here I am still on a journey that began some years ago, it's a journey that's taken twists and turns, stops and starts and now I'm at a junction again, I've been here before at a scary place sure that God was with me and what happened then? I hit a wall a great big wall, sure I'm bruised but not broken beaten but not defeated and now it's time to set the sat nav again and get ack on the road.