Saturday, April 26, 2008

some random cryptic thoughts

see title.

  • i made the decision without being made to so now i should probably listen when you tell me to do things according to the decision. otherwise i'm just fighting against myself.
  • i wonder how you find more happiness doing that then i do, doing this.
  • i still think what i did was right. sorry.
  • i hate watching you do this, you should probably open your eyes a little bit. or a lot.
  • i wish you would listen.
  • thanks for answering my questions but even if you answered them a thousand times over, it still wouldn't make it ok.
  • if i dont know why it matters so much then should it matter at all?
  • i'm trying to figure out why i care so much about what you think. and i know that because i care i'm going to get hurt.
  • it makes me really uncomfortable when you judge me so do you mind not analysing my actions and please stop imposing your stereotypical views on me. conforming to them would probably make things easier but i can't conform. believe me i've tried.
  • i actually wish it was your fault. just so i could rightfully blame someone.
  • i lied. a lot of times. sorry.

hmm this is a bit of an emo post. that's what happens when you listen to too much Damien Rice. i'm debating whether to publish it or keep it private. well now i'll have to publish it otherwise i'm now talking to myself.

on a happier note, last night was really really funny.

i had my sober spyware going on and i'll admit it wasnt a pretty view.

highlights of the night:

>james taking a picture of his todger when i asked him to take a pic for us
>a certain (nameless) someone: we caught you with your hands down his PJ bottoms :P
> emily tripping over the wall
> georgie. enough said.
>nicki after opening her present: "Mum look what they got m... you knew didnt you"
> laura: "jade you're make up is smudged" jade: "laura you're wearing PJs" (be there thing)
>the girl who started chasing Jade for confiscating her alcohol
> stop right now, thank you very much...
> daisy and mark's 'making out'
> michelle: "i'm not that bad. hick"
> nicki: "is it ok. are you sure? is everyone having fu... no but are they having fun... ooh do you want a doughnut?"
> nicki: "put the pics on fb yea... (5 mins later) fone, keep takin pics, put them on fb yea... (5 mins later) fone... etc"
>jade: "we're gonna wee ourselves on the carpet" voices from inside toilet "f*** off"
> another nameless person caught walking off with a rather 'excited' looking someone else
> claire flashing at everyone
>doing grease. drunk. translation: 12 people tripping over each other running around.
> someone pulling down Rachael's trews.
>the (half) human pyramid

*runs and hides before getting hunted down by a hungover mob*


www.edwardmonkton.com

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Can I have my name back?

I am not looking for a rich boyfriend between 12 and 54. I do not listen to David Gray. My biggest fear is not losing my GHDs. I am not "down for whatever" when it comes to relationships. I don't care which sex in the city character I am like. I do not use "da" and "dat" in replacement of the and that. I don't spend time laughing at "sum stupid fuckr whoz out walkn n dat frezzin dr little ass of." I don't watch stupid videos on youtube of little kids being weird. I don't write blogs with *~*~*Luv 2 ma homiez*~*~* all over them. I don't spend time getting drunk, posting pictures of it on the internet then pasting all over my bebo page how much I love "bein pisd". I don't even have bebo.

I'm not from Glasgow. Or a student nurse, photographer or executive director. I don't cost £65. I'm not a member of reunion.com. And I am certainly not a 36 year old character from a book who starts up a travelling library in Africa, using camels as my transport. My phone number is not 02075393094. I'm not a store director of Specsavers. I'm not an industry strategist and I dread to think what that even means.

Ok, now it actually is me.

^This is what I found when I googled myself. (I'm having a break from revision not procrastinating.)

What worries me, is with this big furore over employers and universities googling people to see if they are suitable, someone might google me and think I actually am a drunken golddigger who can't spell.

I'd like my name back please so I can decor it with a little dignity.

FIONA SWEENEY.

There.

Now when you google, this page will come up.

And all those employers might actually learn the truth.

And next time all the other Fiona Sweeneys google their own names, they will see this page and understand how ridiculous they are making all the Fiona Sweeneys of this world sound.

Hmph.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"The 3 Frustrating Apparentlys"

Apparently I think things through too much.
Apparently I turn everything into a problem.
Apparently I pick and choose my personality.

Ouch.

I'm not trying to be bitchy. Or sarky. Or trying to make a point.

I'm just genuinely hurt by these comments and I want to defend myself.

1) Yes. I do think things through a lot. That is the way God designed me. It is the way my brain is wired. I don't like jumping into things without thinking about them. I actually take pride in the fact I am a profound thinker. Imagine if someone went up to Ghandi and told him he overthought about things and as a result he said "why yes, you're right. I should stop thinking". Not that I'm comparing myself to Ghandi *shifts eyes* No seriously I'm not but the big thinkers in this world are just as entitled to their thinking as the spontaneous, 'taking life as it is' people. I like thinking about things and I don't think it is possible to overthink something. Anyway, I shall stop before I put myself in danger of overthinking this 'apparently'.

2) My entire life I have lived in a house where problems aren't problems. For some people this is ok and they get through life just boxing up their feelings and turning everything into a non event. So yes, I do turn things into problems. Because that's how I cope with life. And I've spent most of my life not being able to do this and now I am happy to embrace my problems. Which doesnt mean I make up problems just for attention but I do treat obstacles as problems. That way, sometimes a 'problem' is made into a problem but on the other hand problems still get treated as problems. Just to recap, if I turn everything into a problem and sort them out as if they are real problems then at least that way the actual problems are sorted. Which I think is better then turning everything into a non problem and so never dealing with things that actually are problems Anyway, I shall stop before I turn this 'apparently' into a problem.

3) I'm 18. I don't know myself inside out. So forgive me, for sometimes contradicting myself and saying one thing when I seem to actually be another way. So I say I like lying in one day but the next day I say I like early mornings. Don't tell me I'm picking and choosing my personality... I'm not, I just don't really know whether I actually am a morning person. Stupid example I know but the point is I am not conciously picking and choosing a personality for myself and I am not being one person for one set of people and a different for another. I'm just learning. Anyway, I shall stop before I contradict myself and so am obviously picking and choosing my personality.

I'm just writing this to say that words can hurt, like really hurt.

Let's accept that we are different and stop criticising each other (I know I'm just as bad). Please?

So I'm not gonna stop thinking about things 100000 times over.
I'm not gonna stop confronting things that upset me, talking them through and dealing with them as if they are a problem regardless of if it is or not.
I'm not gonna (be able to) stop contradicting myself in my quest of self discovery.

And I dont think theres anything wrong with being someone who takes life as it is without thinking about it too hard, or being someone who doesnt see little issues as big problems or someone who has a strict personality they can always be trusted to adhere to. If that's who you are then great...

But it isnt who I am so please accept me for who I am.

The End

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More midnight blogging...

11 minutes into April 19th...
watching: Dawn... gets naked...
kinda minging... having to hide behind my pillow at every penis. But I'd watch anything with Dawn Porter in it. Cos she's so seriously hilarious. And I want to be her. Minus the nakedness.

I must recall a conversation between me and Jade from earlier. So seriously funny.
[Looks up from magazine and prods Jade]
Me: Omgsh me and Brooke were watching this well funny girl vlogging last night on youtube.
Jade: Vlogging. What?
Me: You know, video blogging... anyway me and Brooke were both watching her at the same time and talking about how much we wish we were this amazing girl.
Jade: You are the biggest dork I have ever met.

Then followed an argument over whether I really am dorky or not. I say that just because something isnt what Jade likes it doesnt make it dorky. She says no, it doesnt but vlogging actually is dorky.

So I would maybe have won in the "am I dorky" debate until I made another fatal slip up.
Me: Oh.My.Gosh
Jade: what? what??
Me: Guess what's happening tomorrow night...
Jade: what what what???
Me: Dr Who night!!!!!!

Oh dear. OK. Fair enough. Maybe I am a dork.

Speaking of Dr Who. Life is looking up...

Mr Sexalicious Tennant is now...

Single....

What do u reckon??
Reckon I've got a chance?
Lol ok maybe not.
However much fun having a boyfriend with a sonic screwdriver would be. And no, that is not a euphemism.

25 minutes left of the naked Dawn programme.
I actually love that woman.
What a legend.
Although she's just moving onto all the 'airbrushing has brainwashed us' mumbo jumbo. Get over it. If you don't want to be measured against fake celebs then don't buy the magazines.
I suddenly feel so naughty for going to Sainsburys solely to buy magazines and then to dedicate an evening to sitting reading them.

I actually am looking forward to going back to school next week.
This week I have:
Got up past midday everyday.
Lived on a diet of hot chocolate.
Ignored my revision.
Spent nearly all day everyday online.
Spent more money than I own.
Gone to bed past 1 am every night.
Done almost nothing worthwhile

Hopefully being back at school will bring some sort of structure and I might remember who Piaget actually is. And I might remember I actually have friends. Cos I havent actually seen them for weeks, maybe even months. Well, it feels like it anyway.

Jade reckons I should write my blog in code. Ok Jade:

goojeemoojeewobbobobbo.

Ok, that was nonsense.

Haha this is my ridiculous ability to be unable to concentrate on one thing at a time. I can't just watch Dawn... I've got to do something at the same time. So I will resort to typing complete crap which means nothing.

dijsdipjfspijgspmgk;smgfsp]#gklspmgs#,]#adks;mkgtal;m,gt;

Tomorrow (or today I suppose it is) is Saturday. Im having a cup of tea with my 2nd mummy tomorrow :) Although I feel a little sorry for her cos I have so much Im gonna moan about. :S
Then I'm doing nothing. Fun. I'll probably shuffle around my revision notes. Then give up. I need to plan Climbers on sunday. Worrying, but I've run it about 5 times now and I dont think I've ever planned it earlier then the night before. And I dont think it's been that awful yet.
Then in the afternoon P150... yay singing... Last p150 rehersal I had a cold and couldnt sing. But now I can offend the world again with my... 'singing'.
Then woooooop DR WHO night.
The best feeling in the world= snuggling up on the sofa with my mummy and daddy, wrapped up in my duvet, with my hot choc watching Dr Who.
Annd it's tomorrow night :)

Oh gosh. This Dawn program is nearly finished. Not sure how many more breasts I can cope with.
Some classic quotes though.
Dawn: I can fully assure you I will not be doing any cartwheels while I'm naked.

My procrastination has taken many worrying forms this week.
I tidied the house. (Even the hoover got involved)
I put on loads of make up and took a photo to use as my profile pic on facebook. (What a time waster)
I played the tetris style game on my phone for hours.

But even more worrying than those procrastination methods is my new addiction to The Weakest Link.
I put it on BBC iplayer then try and shout the answers at the computer screen before the contestant has answered. Oh the overwhelming fun. I'm sure the neighbours think I'm going loopy when I shout EARTHQUAKE at the top of my lungs.
Ive even got as far as watching repeats cos iplayer uploads them at a slower rate to my watching.
Allow facebook, it'll be the weakest link that causes my exam downfall.

Anyway, I think I have successfully sat and written about random crap for an hour now and I really should go to bed even though I'm not at all tired on account of the fact that I only got out of bed 12 hours ago.
Exactly 10 minutes before my haircut.
Smooth.

Good night.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

[insert some rude expletive here]

Oh gosh.
I am quite literally failing to understand how I am going to make it through the next 3 months.
I know I am only 1 in hundreds of thousands if not millions who have a hard few months ahead, but all the more people to gripe on behalf on.
It's April 16th. Well 34 minutes into April 16th. I have until May 23rd going to school everyday whilst revising in the evening. Trying in vain (well hopefully not in vain) to learn:
1) Loads of theories about how people work and their critiques, not to mention hundreds of studies... and their critiques.
2) Hundreds of crazy German grammar rules. And thousands of crazy German vocabulary words.
3) The plot of Hamlet, French Lieutenants' Woman and Wuthering Heights. Not to mention the characters involved and their roles and effects on readers. As well as the devices the authors use.

How am I ever going to learn all of that well enough to get AAB?

Seriously how?

Then 23rd May- 6th June= all day every day revising.

6th- 19th June= EXAMS.

Then oh.my.gosh... my blood pressure will literally drop. My heart will rest at a steady pace. I will stop trembling at the sight of a German word. My hair will no longer stand on end. And I won't feel guilty for actually enjoying life.

That's me wondering if I will get through the next 2 months.
That's only the exam side of things.

How am I going to get through all the other things I can't cope with at the moment?

Does someone:
a) want to be my companion so I'm not lonely anymore
b) want to give me money so I can afford the thing I really need
c) want to find some miraculous cure for the thing I need cured
d) want to tell me whats going to happen in my future so I can stop being so damn worried about it.
e) Pay for Dane to move here so I don't have to lose my best friend for a month.

Haha... the only place you can moan this much is a blog.

Or a diary...
but it doesn't provide much sympathy.

Erm ok quick I think I need a happy list.

Good things happening in the next 3 months:

...
...
...

erm... well this is hard...

1) I'm getting my hair cut on friday (gosh that's pathetic :S)
2) A few good parties coming up
3) It's getting warm(er) and sunny(ier)
4)
5)
6)

Anyone want to give me some happy things to put in my list?

Please?

I need just a little happiness...
?

:(

Oh well. At least June the 19th I will be ecstatically happy. And 19th June-July 19th (ish) I am quite literally bumming around doing absolutely bugger all. :)
Then I'm going to New Wine for 2 weeks :)
Then I'm helping at holiday club :)

Then it's results day :(
That's not going to be fun.
At all.
Unless I actually revise and know I've done well.
Then it could be quite fun.
But that so won't happen.

Then I'm going to soul survivor which I am properly happy about. Me, Hannah, Rozi, Laura, Jade, Elisha, Laura, Rozi, Andy, Matt, Ben and Cat :) and probably a few other people I've forgotten... It's gonna be pretty immense really. I just wish it lasted longer than 4 days.

Then a week free to bum around.

Then GREECE. I have many apprehensions about this. But I know it'll be fun.
Unless I've failed my exams.
In which case it won't be so fun.

The 3 weeks of bumming/ packing for uni (hopefully).

And of course the arrival of Baby Bare is so exciting.

Anyway. Then uni. Hopefully.

Which is supposed to be "the best time of your life" yada yada yada. I'm not too sure.
Bye friends, familiarity and family. Don't know if I can cope with that really.
And loads of work to do to.
After my long summer of bumness.
Lol I bet I last 2 weeks!

:S

Haha I am in an incredibly negative mood. Apparently.

Hmph.

Honestly... if anyone wants to help me get through the next 3 months in any way whatsoever then it would greatly be appreciated cos at the moment I really can't see beyond the mountains of work and the general despair.

Why has life boiled down to exams and money?

Seriously, what happened to the good old days when people used to learn things which interested them and didnt have to go to uni unless they were some nerd who was actually clever enough not to have to worry about "getting the grades".
Why cant we just go back to working in factories.

:S

Well writing this blog is successfully putting off the time I have to go to bed. Cos I dont want to go to bed. Cos the sooner I do the sooner it'll be tomorrow. A great theory for days like Christmas eve or the night before Easter, not so fantastic when tomorrow= revision and feeling like utter [insert another rude expletive cos crap isnt quite strong enough to convey the despair]

I wish I had Bernard's watch. With a rewind function.

I'm sure life was never meant to be this complicated or hard.

I feel sorry for all the happy little preadolescents who have no idea what's gonna hit them.

They'll end up suicidal/depressed/plastic/ robots/ constantly dissatisfied/ athiest/ homosexual/government serving machines/slaves/mass murderers by the time they are 20.

Thank God (literally) that there is hope.

:(

Can I have a little bit of it please?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Oooh I'm an Innovator


http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/whatamilike/index_5.shtml?personality_type=innovator


I thought this was a pretty cool title... then I read the selection of things I could have been:


Big Thinkers
Counsellors
Go-getters
Idealists
Innovators
Leaders
Masterminds
Mentors
Nurturers
Peacemakers
Performers
Providers
Realists
Resolvers
Strategists
Supervisors

Now I'm not sure how satisfying an Innovator is

:S

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What Could It Possibly All Mean?

Team Teen.
Pillow Fight.
Chain Drinking Tea and Coffee.
Late Night Girlie Chats.
Midnight Prayer Meeting.
Talking to People You've Never Met Before.
Making Giant Bubbles.
Hearing God Speak.
Crazy Old Women.
Crazy Little Kids.
Dancing.
Facemasks.
Toilet Rules.
Playing Buzz.
Straightening Hair.
Facebooking on the Sly.
Sleeping in Rickety "Beds".
Sheep Running Free.
Being Entertained by a Clown.
Getting Knock-Down-Gingered by 7 Year Olds.
Serving Communion.
Waiting for "The Song".
Listening.
Learning.
Praying.
Worshipping.
Irritating Preaching. (From me to the girls)
Amazing Preaching. (From the front)
Trying to Remember the Door Key.
Forgetting the Door Key.
Being Insulted by Little Children/Lizzie.
Taking Photos.
Trying to Sleep.
Failing to Sleep.
Turning the Thermostat Down.
Turning the Radiator Up.
Thinking Things Through.
Having Prophecies.
Creating a Mess.
Holding a Baby.
Having No Signal.
Drizzling Showers.
Mature Conversations.
Immature Conversations.
Makinf New Friends.
Crying.
Laughing.
Singing.
Dancing.
HAVING FUN!!

What could it possibly all mean?

It could only mean one thing...

The Weekend That Was...

St Peters Church Weekend Away.

Immense Stuff...
Can't you tell :)
x

Friday, April 11, 2008

Farewell my fair Dane

*Sob sob* Today Dane is going home :( So he's come over for his final goodbye. We're making him goodbye badges and singing him songs.
No really.

Dane, i'll give Jade a proper copy for you when she goes over to you
xxx

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Nicki.

video

This is me after drinking diet coke. Don't worry it's not mania.

This is also me having the most fun I have had in a very long time.

:)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Life is Random

Sunny day. Pretty daffodils. Me cruising along on my bike. And a snowman. Tell me life isn't random when a snowman becomes part of the scenery on a April afternoon.


I went on safari today (just carrying on the random theme there with a random change of topic).


We actually saw 2 lions getting jiggy. I am not joking. Honestly. This massive great big lion just mounted this poor little defenceless lioness (well i hope it was a lioness). Amusing. We also took a picture of the event:








We took a video as well but due to unairable comments made by Jade and Dane, I won't even think about posting that up.

Anyway, enough about that...



As I mentioned the word 'bike' already, I may as well rant about that as well. So twice this year I have been out on my bike. First, was about a week ago. I was out of breath by the end of my street. Not a good start. I think I got around my estate about 3 times before dying* and giving up.


*not literally



So the second time was yesterday. I thought I'd cycle to town. Now, getting to town from my house if fine. You sit on the saddle, lift your feet off the floor, and you roll there in about 20 minutes. Getting back however, is a whole different ballpark. I discovered a great method of cycle for two minutes, walk for 5. No joke. I actually could not get up the hill home.



Anyway, I'm trying it again tomorrow. Wish me luck and hopefully soon I'll be back to my 3 hour long bike treks I loved going on last summer!



Hmm... dunno what else to write about.



Looking forward to going on our church weekend away this friday. When Lizzie and Heather (and now Bryony too :) ) said I could share a room with them I don't think they quite realised what that means :P

I have an amazing tendency (ask anyone whose ever been on a sleepover with me) to get stupidly hyper just at the time everyone else is falling asleep. So I end up giggling to myself, keeping everyone awake and then I'm grumpy the next day. Not to mention the fact I am so, so messy that I can leave my brothers house strewn with my clothes from top to bottom when I''ve only taken one small bag with me. (It's alright, my jeans and tshirt were eventually returned to me once theyd been retrieved from their strewness) So, good luck to those girlies, if you see them on monday they might just be a tad irritable :P



Erm, what else to say? I am going to go and get a cup of tea and think of something interesting to write. Talking of tea, tea and coffee are my new revision aids. I have done revision (9 hours and counting!) and I've been drinking continuous cups of tea and coffee the whole way through. My cupboard is a joke: coffee in 2 different strengths, decaff coffee, tea, decaff tea, all the diff herbal and green teas, and then obviously hot chocolate. My kitchen resembles Starbucks. If only my kettle didnt have the ability to make any cup of anything taste like shampoo. (Not that i've ever tasted shampoo)


Erm so yea,
the end and I will try and think of anything else that might be amusing and add it.
And in case you were wondering, I am indeed drinking tea at the moment. happy times

Sunday, April 06, 2008

he gets it and He gets it

Give me any angsty female teenager and i'm right there in being able to identify with them... one of my first port of calls when I feel crap is to go to other people who also feel crap and have a good moan together. But, I've been trying lately to read my bible when I feel down instead of just dwelling in my misery with other distressed individuals. Anyway, who would have thought that I would find mutual understanding with a middle aged man who lived 2000 years ago.

Paul wrote this:
Romans 7:21-25 (the message version)
"21-23It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different."


I like this passage because I think Paul displays the desperation which is so common to everyone. Since every Christian should be striving to be more like Jesus, it is a real let down when we fall short of our own standards, let alone God's.

BUT

Romans 8:1&2 (NIV)

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death"

Isn't that awesome that because we believe in Jesus, we are no longer doomed on account of the times we slip up and sin. Guess it absolves Paul's (and our) guilt over what we've done wrong.

All through chapter 8 there is just message after message of hope:

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God
"16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

"26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness."

"28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[
j] who[k] have been called according to his purpose"

"If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"


I don't really know what quite alot of what Paul is on about in these chapters but what really matters to me is that when I feel down I can open my bible and find all these messages of hope and it just helps me realise that:
1) I'm not alone in my struggles
2) God's in control
3) God's gracious if we do slip up...

I love the way a bloke from 2000 years ago is able to sum up, in a few books what every Christian from the past 2000 years has felt at some point and I think it's incredible it applies to so many people, across all ages, genders and cultures. I guess I see now why people suggest reading the bible when you feel down!

And just to sum up, the words of a song which i feel is pretty apt.

In the Light DC Talk

I keep trying to find a life
On my own, apart from you
I am the king of excuses
Ive got one for every selfish thing I do

Whats going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That Im still a man in need of a saviour

(chorus)
I wanna be in the light
As you are in the light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, lord be my light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the light
All I want is to be in the light

The disease of self runs through my blood
Its a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control

Tell me, whats going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That Im still a man in need of a savior

(repeat chorus)

Honesty becomes me
[theres nothing left to lose]
The secrets that did run me
[in your presence are defused]
Pride has no position
[and riches have no worth]
The fame that once did cover me
[has been sentenced to this earth]
Has been sentenced to this earth

Tell me, whats going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That Im still a man in need of a savior

(repeat chorus 2x)

[theres no other place that I want to be]
[no other place that I can see]
[a place to be thats just right]
[someday Im gonna be in the light]
[you are in the light]
[thats where I need to be]
[thats right where I need to

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Praise God in the storm

"Praise You In This Storm"
By Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Thursday, April 03, 2008

An update on my progress of the big fat to do list

So... I wrote before with my whopper long list of to-do ness.

http://lookingforlimerance.blogspot.com/2008/03/my-big-whopper-kill-me-now-eek-grr-to.html

This is an update of what's done and what's still to do.

Yes, more procrastination.

My mother is watching some TV show about identity fraud... I'm worried it's putting ideas in her head and feeding her paranoia :S Meanwhile, I have just finished watching "Dawn goes lesbian" despite my sister's warnings that I'd be finding out things I really didn't want to. It's ok, my innocence is not as shattered as after Dr Cav's lesson about mutant boys.

There are also 2 more lessons until my whopper 'spring break'. However I know already the entire two weeks will comprise of gym visits and revision, not so exciting really.

Anywho...

Number one on my to do list last week was my Martin Luther essay. it's officially (almost) finished. I still have the joy of referencing which would be a lot easier if the site I used was still working.

Number two was to write my baptism speech. Managed that one, the typed version is here: http://lookingforlimerance.blogspot.com/2008/04/baptismal-reflections.html

So far so good. Sadly. It all goes downhill from there.
Next thing (number 3) was to learn my psych stuff. Looking through the textbook today that doesn't seem quite so simple. :S

Number 4 was to lose some weight. I don't think I have lost any (def due to my hot chocolate addiction) but I don't think I've put any on either... so we're ok...

Tidy my room. All I can say is, as if...

Make up with my sister. Well I didn't really do anythign in order to make up but we're cool now however.

Finish the book I'm reading. Well, actually, I've started another one now. I got 8 books on my baptism and I've decided to plough right in. Sadly, I only understand every other word in this first one as I don't think the author is capable of writing words with less than 20 syllables. But I'm sticking at it and hopefully it'll make me a wiser person.

Learn my germa oral. *Shiftily looks around and at the floor* I apologize in advance for when I come up to you speaking in German as I have a feeling it's going to become my mother tongue soon. Passing the oral is my only hope of a B considering my dire grammar in written german.

Understand Hamlet. People live then everyone dies. Sorted.

Buy a cucumber. i did this one. Although sadly it wasnt a very nice cucumber.

Go to school. I've been loads this week. Ive been to every lesson. Shame I've been in bed for every free. I would tell a great story here but we were told this morning about the importance of being discreet with what we share on the internet so I won't tell it. But do ask if you're interested.

Wash some clothes. Nope, just onto my uber unfashionable side of my wardrobe.

Devirus my comp... meh

Send off the forms I need to send off. This'd be great but I can't remember which forms I'm talking about. They can't have been that important then... could they?

Figure out what I want... hmm yes and no. Doh!

Ok soooo still got soooo much of my life left to sort out.

Other things to do:

Book my ticket to see Avril Lavigne! yay :)
Dye my hair.
Figure out why my teeth hurt so much.
Hand in my coursework!!
Do something productive. Anything at all would be great.
Finish reading my polysyllabic book.

Oh dear, time is a-ticking. And I need to do my referencing. I told myself earlier I'd do it as soon as I got in. Oops. Same as last night wiht my German essay. Was given it a week ago. Scribbled it this morning over breakfast.

Speaking of which. Horror story this morning. There I was, greasy hair, PJs, last nights make up smeared across my face, feeling particularly grunty and trying to do my 45 minute german essay in 15 when in walks this perfectly pruned, very posh woman. (I'm treading easy here, you never know if she'll en up reading this. Gosh, I hope not) Thanks Dad for inviting your friend over and giving us no warning. My dad attempted communication and I grunted 'go away' creating possibly the worst impression of myself. But I couldnt help but wonder why the hell she was in my living room drinking coffee at 8:40 in the morning. Figuring out where I am in the morning is confusing enough.

Lunchtime was also vaguely entertaining. I told my sister I'd go and pick her up from the tattoo parlour in Marlow. I sm slightly worried I am becoming renowned for taking the wrong directions to places and did I do this today? Yes. So after taking almost half an hour to get into Marlow I then had an entirely stressful time trying to retrieve my sister and it resulted in us crossing paths and missing each other about 6 times. Anyway, I did make it back to school in time to discuss cannabis, monks and inflation. In german of course. This was then topped off by my resounding E in the practise paper we did last lesson. Less than 10 more german lessons and I am still only getting E's in the practice papers. I shall remain calm. AAAAAAARRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH

Anyway, wish me luck with revision and if you havent already, read my baptismal reflections cos it took me flaming ages to write out all my thoughts and I promise it is the most profound you will ever catch me.

The End

P.S OH MY GOSH re Holby Blue...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Baptismal Reflections

To begin with, I'd like to say what a special day this was. I wasn't sure what was actually going to happen (having only found the order of service 2 minutes before) and it felt strange having so many of my friends come and watch when church is not somewhere they would usually choose to go! However, despite my imaginings of what it would be like, the whole experience was quite literally beyond my greatest expectations and I could not have imagined that I would ever experience such a fanstastic day, particularly during this period of my life.

Pictures are here:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9992439849
My testimony is here:
http://www.real-life.org.uk/peoplesstories.htm

So, down to my reflections... Sorry they are so disjointed but there are just to many different little thoughts to try and sort them!

Love
Particularly at the lunch afterwards, many people mentioned how much the morning was a lot like a wedding and Claire joked that it was, indeed, my wedding to Jesus. And this metaphor I find particularly powerful. (Jesus decribes himself as the bridegroom and the church as his bride). To begin with, a wedding is based around the couple's love for one another and the baptism for me was my response of love to the love I have received from Jesus over and over. My tattoo (my baptism present) says "Deuteronomy 6:5" the verse for which is
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength."
Lizzie asked me if God had told me to get this particular verse permanently tattooed on my body or whether I just picked it cos it was nice. Actually, neither, or rather more both. I like it because it shouts "I LOVE JESUS". Something which I would, should tattoos be permitted to 5 year olds, have tattooed on me. It is my way of saying "I LOVE JESUS" and I felt was a reflection of my baptism which also shouted "I LOVE JESUS" yet this should also be followed by "AND HE LOVES ME!" (maybe I should get John 3:16 jotted on my other hip?)

Belonging

The second way my baptism echoed a wedding was the joining into God's family. When my brother married Jennie, me and my sisters found it so exciting to have a new big sister to borrow jewellery off and to be part of our 'Sweeney sisters' brigade. And when Jennie joined our family she acquired us as her extended family, having taken on my brother's name and having become joined to him. In the same way, I have become a part of God's family and particularly St Peter's church. This was particularly special for me as I have often struggled with feeling as if I don't belong and when Mark said "Christ claims you as his own" I knew I really did belong somewhere and not just anywhere but in God's family. In Deeper at the moment we are looking at 1 Corinthians 12 and the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12: 14 - 19

14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

Now I belong to the body of Christ and I know I belong because I have a part in this body.

A great song by Alan Price sums this up pretty succintly:

Now I belong to Jesus and his spirit lives in me
I'm a soldier and a servant of the King of Kings
I'll fight against the wrong I find
I'll serve him with my heart and mind
A soldier and a servant I will be

Make me faithful Lord Jesus
Make me faithful Lord to you
Keep me faithful Lord Jesus
Keep me faithful Lord to you

Worth

I think my baptism was a wake up call about my worth. When comparing myself to celebrities or even just other people, it is easy to find myself worthless and falling off the end of the scale (at the bottom end) as the scale usually begins with a beautiful millionaire and ends with an even more beautiful millionaire. Thank goodness God doesn't have the same scales as society and even myself individually sets. I'm just thinking again about weddings and how back in the day, the wife used to be bought off her dad by the groom in exchange for a juicy bit of land. Even nowadays, women are sold for cows, and women have the humiliation of being judged to the extent that an exact number can be attributed to her worth through the eyes of the groom. However, when we think about the price Jesus paid for us (his life, giving his blood, read the book of Hebrews for more), suddenly it seems so pointless to base worth on these earthly things. Surely if Jesus was willing to die for us then we must be worth enough. I knew all this before I was baptised. But I didn't really think it applied to me. But the whole experience made me feel more special than I think I have ever felt, particularly thanks to all the effort peole had put into it. And now I feel like I include myself in the "world" for which God says he gave his only son (John 3:16) whereas before I was so inclined to remove myself from this group. But now I have been accepted into God's family, become Jesus' disciple, belong in his family etc I know that I am worth enough for Jesus to die for me. And like I really know it, not just know in the way I did before. No more stupid, unrealistic scales :)

Discipleship

Something Margaret (my dunker :) ) encouraged me with before my baptism and also gave me a book about on the occasion, is discipleship. Mark mentioned in his sermon on the day about carrying our cross.

Matthew 16:24

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me

My baptism was a challenge to me. A challenge to be a true disciple to Christ, following him no matter what. I felt this was reiterated by the idea that a baptism is a public declaration of your faith. I now feel I have a responsibility to keep my integrity in check. So that would be a bit of rearranging of my plans for summer then! :P I know now my life is not my own as I have chosen to submit it to Christ and that means I need to remember, daily, that I am now living as a disciple of Christ. Mark's words as part of the liturgy were: fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ. And that, is exactly what I intend to do.

Renewal

I knew before I was baptised that it was going to be a form of refreshing and renewing but I think until you go through it and actually are renewed, it's hard to imagine how things could be any different just because you've taken a swim. However, I've already mentioned the new sense of belonging, love and commitment that I experienced through being baptised and I have to admit, I was surprised at how tangible this feeling of renewal was.
I read a really cheesy book once. Actually I lie because it was so corny I couldn't bring myself to read much of it at all. It was called "God winks" Or something like that and the author was clinging to his enlightenment that any coincidence surely must be a wink from God. I'm not sure about the extent of coincidence vs divine intervention bla bla but I don't think it was much of a coincidence how perfect the timing was for my baptism. It was quite a few months ago I told Mark I'd like to be baptised and 30th March seemed such a far off date. Yet the clocks having gone forward the night before and the way it's moved into a new month, I feel as if Spring has sprung quite literally which I feel is such a crafted echo of my 'new season'. In my talk I read out of song of songs and described how the lover tells her husband that "the winters are past" and I couldn't have felt that more strongly when the sun was shining through the stained glass windows. I also liked the way Mark summed up my testimony as my baptism being the beginning of a process. Spring doesn't happen one day at the end of Winter and then just disappear, it starts off by being a little warmer than before and then through the weeks the evenings get lighter and the days warmer and the leaves begin to grow on the trees again etc. And so, I can look forward to things changing over time, in fact, over my whole life.

A glimpse of heaven

People talk about recognising God's spirit and the more time you spend with him the more you are able to know his voice and his touch. Obviously, God's presence is around all the time but certain times it is felt so much more strongly, like at Soul Survivor when thousands of people worship God together or when you see an amazing sunset and the hairs on your arm prickle up. I know the feeling I get when I have a 'recognising God's presence' moment and I have never felt it as strongly as I did on sunday. I kept having the thought 'Oh this day is so good I wish this feeling could last forever' and what is so exciting is that it actually can! And to me, that is such a glimpse of heaven; celebrating God's love together in his presence.
Also, any doubts I had about heaven (being boring etc) were stripped away by the watered (excuse the pun) down version of what it'll actually be like. I was half expecting the anti-climax after the service, but even when packing up after the party there just was no down, because the hope Jesus offers is so real that we can hope for more of Jesus and constant reminding of his love and so there never (ever) has to be a comedown. There was also a lack of the usual 'what now?' feelings that can come after any big event because as I said before, it's the beginning of a process and there is no 'now' because now is the rest of my life and whatever happens will happen over time and there's no need to be disappointed if things aren't instantly sorted.

Acceptance

I found the open baptistry symbolic of the openness of God's grace. I love the fact that anyone in this world is just as entitled as I was to be baptised. Any one of the people in the congragation who didn't know Jesus were welcome to turn their lives to Jesus and be given the same experience as I was, and should practicality have allowed it, they were just as welcome to climb into that baptistry as I was and become a follower of Jesus. And I just love this acceptance of God's.

Romans 5:8
8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

As I said in my testimony, God accepts me with all my faults and problems that come with me and I think that that love and acceptance is mind blowing.

Wholeness

I don't want any of what I've written suggest that before I was baptised I was any less of a Christian but to me being baptised has been the last piece of the puzzle. Thinking back to Jesus' baptism, I think about how the whole trinity was present. Again, I believe this echoes the way choosing to follow Jesus makes us whole, and everything comes together.

And just a last thought

I've also been thinking about the question of whether it's actually necessary to be baptised. I always wondered this myself cos I felt like a Christian even though I hadn't been baptised and I wondered what it would actually do. I never came to a particular conclusion about this and my main reason for just going for it was 'why not, what am I going to lose'. There was a greater risk that I'd be losing out by not being baptised than by being baptised. All I can say about all this is that I can see why God wants people to get baptised. It's fun, it's a nice occasion, it's us using our free will to respond to God, it's an opportunity for us to see God's power at work, it's good for the church and also for the non Christians who witness it. It's just a great thing and I'm sure when Jesus took his dunking, it was fully in his mind that his followers would follow in his footsteps.

I've decided I probably think about things far too much, and I hope I haven't baffled anyone who watched my baptism and couldn't see anymore in it than if they had watched me accidentally fall into a river. But I hope that, if that is the case, then it's now a bit clearer that there was a lot more to it (even if some of the 'more' is slightly tenuously linked). I admit that I myself, wasn't even expecting the event to mean so much. It reminds me of in Narnia (I love how everything Christian ever has a link back to Narnia) when Lucy asks about Aslan's next movements, Tumnus tells her "He is not a tame lion" which I believe suggests he just can't be second guessed. We can expect great things from God but we can just never guess when he is going to give us something even greater.