Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wrap your arms around my love handles

Okay, I’m getting on my hobby horse.

One of them.

As a kid, as a teenager and then as a young adult I was taught to think that being single was some kind of temporary affliction. Temporary because everyone gets married and affliction because single = lonely, unfulfilled and not yet fully mature. People would say “don’t worry, God’s got someone out there for you” or (and this is my favourite) “when you’re ready, it will happen”. The first assumes that God’s plan for everyone is marriage and the second, that being single is a result of immaturity.

I felt I could never be happy while I was single, that great moments were marred because there was “no one to share them with”. I felt I was missing out on my great purpose because I was single.

Total rubbish, all of it.

It was like a lightening bolt of truth when I realized the loneliest, unhappiest women I knew were married. These women who kept telling me when I was ready or when I stopped wanting it I’d find someone, they were so unhappy! Somewhere along the line, I was being hoodwinked.

My early twenties were rough but as I drew closer to God, things got better and my life opened up. I left my old church and found safety and inspiration elsewhere. I made new friends. I went to University. I started to make plans that were all mine and no one else’s.

I am absolutely content, utterly happy and excited about the future. I am never lonely. I never feel unfulfilled. I am passionate about my life, my friends, my calling. I have so much to do and see.

Marriage is great, but it’s not for everyone. We assume that everyone will marry, save those unfortunate souls no one wants. What utter rubbish. Paul said: if you can’t control yourself then get married because better that than fall into sin (!). But, he said, if you can stay single, do, because then you can give your whole heart to God.

Well, I like being single. I actually don’t want to meet anyone. I mean, if it happens, it happens. But often when I think of the reality of being in a relationship I realize I don’t want it because it would disrupt my life. This may change and I may meet some lovely man who I want to share my life with. But if not, well, all is well because whatever God chooses for me is what I want.

I think we need to stop assuming that getting married is God’s plan for us unless we hear otherwise. Marriage is not a default setting. We should be seeking God and asking Them (Father, Son, Spirit) for guidance.

You Lead Me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Just in case

Just in case someone didn't know what 21 kilos looked like.

(Or someone shoot that fat woman).


I've shrunk!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm back.

I'm back, again. I have a huge journal thing to do, but the library is so warm and I feel sleepy. So I am blogging - giving you, my readers, my very best!

I'm supposed to be writing about old age as it relates to globalisation and the politics of need. Not the most inspiring topic.

Instead, how about I tell you that I went to 'An Inconvenient Truth' which you can read about here. It's about global warming basically, and very well presented by Mr Al Gore. It is excellent really - heavy on facts, but they are presented so well that its not overwhelming. It is, I think, probably overly optimistic. I am not certian that we can actually prevent the disasters that Mr Gore terrifys us with. I mean, perhaps it is physically possible, but I think not actually possible in reality. Hope I'm wrong!

I felt like crying most of the way through it. I just love this earth. It's so indescribably beautiful and perfect. So thoughtfully put together. It fills me with grief that we may so destroy it. And for what? Material wealth. It's such a tragedy to me.

Meanwhile, as part of my course, I also watched this doco on sustainable farming in New Zealand - well it was about organic farming. It was so thrillingly inspiring (yes, I am a geek). It makes such perfect sense. I would like to be an organic farmer. After I've cured world poverty and been a museum curator.

So much to do, so little time! If only I had been born when we still lived to 900 years old.

So I'm back. I should actually say that HOPEFULLY this week I will have reached a bit of a milestone in my life. Since April I've been working hard on diet and exercise, and I've somehow managed to loose almost 20 kilos. Well, this week hopefully I will reach 20. It's a massive undertaking for me, not so much the diet and exercise, although that's pretty major. More mentally and emotionally. I knew when I started that this had to be more spiritual and than physical. There's this verse in the Bible that says that physical discipline has some merit, but so much more does spiritual discipline. So right off I knew that was the key for me.

See I have this huge mental mountain inside that says I am physically not good enough. Partly because I see myself as obese and disgusting, but even more that I believe I cannot make my body do what I want it too. This is why I never pushed myself physically, because I thought there was no point. However, I've started to challenge this core beliefs, and slowly and painfully they are starting to change. It's very hard. You see, much of the time, when I look in the mirror I cannot see any difference, even though I know that 20 kilos is a heck of a lot. I am starting to be able to see it, but it's very hard. That is quite devastating for me, because I feel sometimes like it's been pointless and I've achieved nothing.

However, I'm slowly changing - mostly thanks to God's working in me.

He whispers "I am always with you".

My life lights up.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'm supposed to be STUDYING

But the blog links are all lined up so nice on my links toolbar, and they just want to be clicked.

My gripe.

Oh I have so many, reading blogs is an exercise in frustration at the moment. This one persists: the tendancy of people to surround themselves by those who are just like them. There should be balance. I have lots of friends who think like I do about the world. In sum, hate GWB, hate poverty, inequality, American political tactics, racism, capitalism and the 'system' in which we find ourselves. Like: nature, recycling, the enviromental movement, sustainability, New Zealand and rather left wing politics. You get the picture. This is a good thing, because my ideas are refined, my friends accept me and we don't have constant arguments, and I see myself positively reflected in them. This reinforces my idea of self, and REALLY helps with the old persisting self esteem issues.

However, I go to a rather right wing, prosperity preaching, happy clappy pentecostal church. That's not the whole story, there's lots of artists and cool cool people that I totally love, but on the whole that's the set up. Sometimes I get so cross I can hardly stand it. The temptation to go find some leftie greenie treehugging church is strong. To find some alternative 'emerging' church. But if I did that I would surround myself with people who think JUST like me, and my ideas would never be challenged. I would forget that rich people are people to. I would forget that there are other agendas out there, other important values and truths, and other ways of thinking. I would forget that those are just as valuable and valid as mine.

So I stick at the church that rubs me up the wrong way sometimes, and I believe in it. It is so good to be challenged, even if it hurts sometimes.

And finally, as someone once said, we have to BE the change we want to see in the world. If I want my church to be more lefty greeny tree huggy, then I better start effecting change instead of just whinging about it on my blog!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Crisis of Representation

Yes, I am dying of assignments.

So one moment I have stolen to post a it if you will. It's me.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006



We went tramping to Lake Daniells - that is Me, Simona, Danielle, Shaun, Brodie and Brenna.

It was so great to be out in the 'wild places' once again. So exciting to be free of concrete for three whole days.

The photos tell the story.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's not what it looks like

Why do we believe the bible is the inspired word of God?

I don't get it. I mean, I love the bible, and I read it everyday. But I don't know WHY I'm supposed to think that this is the word of God, perfect in everyway. I mean, there's no proof. Well, not that I know of.

A bunch of MEN I've never heard of decided what is and what is not. Were they really Christians? And even if they were, were they right? And is there even such a thing as the Perfect and Inspired word of God? I dunno.

It puzzles me.

What would it mean if the Bible WASN'T what it's supposed to be?

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Crazy Idea

I have this crazy idea. My idea is to start a Christian Women's Society. Every month we would meet, and have some food and listen to a speaker. Maybe we would do some fundraising, maybe some social activisim. We would have some fun events and maybe even a retreat or two. It would be a space for Christian women of all ages to meet together and hear about other Christian women's stories. It would be a space where we could support each other and pray for each other. It would be a non-denominational, non-church thing. We could swap ideas, feelings, experiences, recipes, heck even some garden tips. Older women could share with younger women and vice versa. It would not be about evangelism, although that might occur. It would not be about mentoring, although that might happen to. It would be a safe space for Christian women to be Christian women.

This is my idea.

What do you reckon? (If anyone even still reads my blog, not that I deserve it)

Rice, Mice and Men

First, some pics:

Top one is me and Sumo on the waterfront in Auckland, second is me in the Melbourne Gaol and third is Sumo expressing herself at Parachute.

Haha doesn't she look ridiculous.

Love it.

(I like the top one cos it makes Simona look bigger than me, but trust me, that's just an optical illusion)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thanks Mum

Seven Things To Do Before I Die
1. Visit Italy, France, Norway, Germany, UK, Greece, Turkey, Canada, Shannon, South America and Easter Islands.
2. Spend 1-2 years in Africa serving people .
3. Buy some land and build a totally eco-friendly house.
4. Live in the country.
5. Spend 6 months in some remote place in NZ writing poetry.
6. Publish my poetry.
7. Go Fishing

Seven Things I Cannot Do
1. Watch Violence on TV/Movies
2. Each broccoli/cauliflour.
3. Reach my goal weight/Stay at my goal weight/Care enough about my weight to diet.
4. Go Parachuting/Bungy Jumping/Rollercoastering
5. Give Blood (I'm under weight)
6. Do Danielle's Walk of Death
7. Not be scared of dogs

Seven Things I Say Most Often
1. No I'm kidding/just kidding.
2. Sorry
3. Yes
4. How's it going
5. I'm hungry
6. No I can't eat that, it's bad for me (see #1)
7. Hello Alfie!

Sevcn Books I Loved Reading
1. I Heard an Owl Call My Name
2. Exodus
3. The Robe
4. Whats so Amazing about Grace
5. Winter of Fire
7. The B.I.B.L.E. (yes that's the book for me)

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again
1. Oceans 12
2. The Thomas Crown Affair
3. How to Loose a Guy in Ten Days
4. Any Documentary
5. The West Wing (TV/Movies, whatever)
6. Himalaya
7. Pride and Prejudice

Seven People I Would Like to Meet for Lunch
1. God in all his/her variations
2. C S Lewis
3. J R R Tolkein
4. Bono
5. My Grandparents
6. The original settlers from my family who settled here.
7. The really hot guy in my Anth class.

Thanks to Mum

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sing with Me

Anyway, so Mum asked about the format of my fantastic quiet time. Its a format that I have been working on for a while, trying to find something that works. There are three key elements.

The first is the intro. I have a great love of poetry, and I find such connection in it, so I begin by reading a poem. I have a book called "Essential New Zealand Poems" and every night I read one. The absolute Key to my quiet time is that I have stopped putting pressure on myself for everything to mean something. I just read it, and let it be what it is. I like it/I don't like it/I connect with it/I don't connect with it. Whatever, it just links for me the world of my ordinary life, and the world of my relationship with God. So I read one poem, ONLY one. If I REALLY like something, I might underline it, and sometimes a line from the poem might stick, and then it gets written in my bible. "What he sees in my meandering mind I do not know" (James K. Baxter) was a sticker. It's written in there above Joel 2.

Part two is the Prayer. I'm not naturally a prayer. That is, I have the attention span of a butterfly. I can maintain prayer for about 2.5 min on my own. Much better with other people. But pre written prayers REALLY help me. Psalms are just the best prayers I ever pray. Basically any song. So finally I thought, what's wrong with that? Maybe its not ideal, but it REALLY works for me. I have found this amazing book of prayers called "A Diary of Private Prayer" (John Baillie). They are beautifully written and intensely challenging. I can pray them with ALL my heart. I have never had such a real prayer life. So that's part two.

Part three is the Bible. Again, the key is letting it be what it is. I have a pen. I have a bible. I read one section a night. ONLY one, even if its only two verses. I read it, REALLY read it. If I think something is strange, I put a question mark by it. If it's great it gets an exclamation mark. I write things in the margin, I underline ANYTHING that strikes me in any way. I really READ. I don't try to apply it to me, I don't try to get the message. I READ it, and LISTEN to it. What does it SAY. Not what is the message, is it meaningful, anxiously trying to see what secret message God is trying to convey to me. I just read it. And, of course, I get more out of the bible than I ever have. I finally hear its voice. I see themes, I hear echoes, I see it work itself in to my being, into my life. Ah yes, finally it has meaning, now that I've stopped trying to give it meaning. What a relief.

So I read a poem, a prayer and a section. Not a random section either. I read through books, and through genres. I have read through the New testament, Job and now through the Minor Prophets. Jonah is hands down the strangest book I have ever read. Read it one day, without your Sunday School Glasses on. It is just the most ridiculous story. What it means I don't know yet, but it certainly struck me. It takes practice, this reading without the self induced internal pressure, but I am getting the hang of it. It takes a while for the meanings to sink in with me, that's what I've discovered through this process. I wont get it tonight, or tomorrow night, but maybe next week I will realize what these words mean.

I also write my own poetry somewhere in there (which you can read here) and most nights I read a section out of a great devotional that my Mum gave me "Water from the Rock". It sounds like a cliche but its crazy how often all of the elements combine and speak to me with one Voice.

So this is my format, apologies for the long windedness.


I have pain in a place I would rather not have pain.

I went biking yesterday with the Commune out at Bottle Lake. Let us say, I was petrified, but I pushed myself, and I actually really enjoyed it. So me and Simo packed the bikes again on the car and went out biking down Hoon Hay Valley, better known as the Valley of Peace. Beautiful it was, but a bit painful down below. I still have my (very) old biking muscles from years of biking to school, so I found it much easier than I had expected. It was awesome to get out into the beautiful world, so nice to be in the country only five minutes from my house. I love Christchurch....everything is so close. Then we came back and did the garden - pulled some weeds (quite a few), tied up the tomato and dead headed the roses. Now not only is the house incredibly tidy and organised, but the Garden is too. So, after my blog, I am going to toddle off and find some sites about organic gardening. I got inspired watching a program with my parents about Prince Charles' organic farm.

I am worn out at the moment. Just worn out. I carry a burden I don't know what to do with. The pat answers don't work for me.

Why do I never blog when I'm just happy? You can see, I am happy most of the time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Presidents of the USCA

I'm back at Uni, and it feels good. Other than the inevitable stress of the great 'assignments' unveiling, looks to be an exciting and interesting year. My assignments this year will definitely push me outside my comfort zone - I have to do a photographic essay and a structured controversy among other wild and wacky things. I know, I would choose Sociology as a discipline, full of overly well meaning lecturers who are not content with the standard (and not particularly accurate) methods of assessment. It means that I will stress about assessment, but also that I will get way more out of the course. Which is good. Last years 2nd semester was a real learning curve for me, because I didn't really put in the usual amount of effort, and I am so disappointed. My marks were okay, but I didn't really get enough out of the course. I did one called Sustainable Development, which is precisely my field of interest, but because I didn't put in the work, I missed out so much on the content. I got a pretty okay mark, but I didn't LEARN. So it was a good lesson.

Holidays have been....interesting. Some parts good, some not so good. More valuable lessons, and some hard disappointments to deal with. My plans did not eventuate, but I need to learn again to trusts His good plans for me (over and above my own).

Spiritually things are good. I have finally found a format for quiet times that really works for me, and a way of reading the bible that makes it meaningful. I feel like I am growing. There are always frustrations - I am frustrated with my own inability to live up to the standards I set myself. I am frustrated sometimes in my church community. But on the whole, I am contented. I am growing, and that is a great feeling. I can hear His voice again, and that is the best feeling.

Emotionally, I am a little battle worn. I am tired and a bit strung out. Finding it hard to process some difficult emotions. But again, learning curve.

On the whole I am happy, and excited. Looking forward to studying, learning, growing, and (more immediately) having a tidy and organized house!