Lessons learned: Sometimes saying no is better

29 02 2012

I help out at a kids club at church, and last week, the guy due to do games this week said to me that he was away this week and would I mind doing it.

I have real difficulty saying no here. If he’d said would I like to, I probably would have said no, but he asked if I minded. Big mistake.

So, this week came around, I had a couple of game ideas in my head, people at work had helped with some ideas and I thought I might just about manage it.

I got down to kids club, sat with them through the craft, then went to the kitchen while they had drinks. By this point I’d realised how scared I was getting. I was too scared to even talk to them. My game ideas were falling apart due to not being right for their age, not having the right number of kids, not having the right equipment, and generally, just having boring ideas.

Someone came up to me and asked if I was ok and what my plans were, and quite frankly, I fell apart.

I’m a wuss and I’m sorry.

They told me it wasn’t a problem, someone else could do it, and I spent the rest of the evening with the older group which actually went really well.

But. How much easier would it have been for everyone, (particularly the wonderful people who stood in for me) if I had said no the week before and maybe caused inconvenience for someone, but at least would have given them 7 days to prepare rather than 7 seconds.

Pathetic isn’t it? But I think I learnt a lesson tonight.

Everything glorious

24 02 2012

I’ve been binging on the David Crowder*Band back catalogue a little bit lately. I reached the album “Remedy” a couple of days ago and revisited a song I’ve known a long time, but hits me every time.

Read this lyric, think about what that really means – wow!

“You make everything glorious, and I am Yours. What does that make me?”

That’s a challenge, hey? Here’s the whole song for your enjoyment and inspiration!

Thing’s I’m happy about

23 02 2012

As I left work today I was suddenly overwhelmed by how many things I’m happy and grateful about, even just over the space of this afternoon

  • Today was brilliantly sunny, and even though I didn’t get to go out in it, just the knowledge that this is the beginning of the end of winter is enough to make me happy – summer is on it’s way!
  • I work with some incredible people, and was reminded of this massively today as we prepare for one of them to go off and have a baby
  • I had to take my coat of driving home due to the weather and forgot how freeing that feels
  • I’ve rarely been more busy at work but actually it feels good!
  • I left work a little late after helping clear up from the baby shower and finishing some bits off, and yet it was still light! didn’t even need headlights on initially
  • I have a free evening!
  • I have great friends at work who agree that payday is definitely a good enough reason to eat out tomorrow
  • I wore a skirt today, and while it looks like something my mum would wear, it was fun 🙂
  • For lunch I ate just meat, crisps, a strawberry and three pieces of cake. Oh, and a mini egg later.
  • Someone has invented a folding plug!

I’m aware there’s nothing there about a roof over my head, food on the table or God’s incredible love, mainly because today it was just so many little specific things that stood out to me that I thought it’d be fun to share 🙂

People who know me will be aware I can bit a bit of a habitual whinger, so hopefully this makes a change 🙂
Do you see how sunshine lifts my mood a little drastically?

What random things are making you happy right now?


My proudest moment

22 02 2012

I guess graduation was a pretty good day, the day I got my silver Duke of Edinburgh award was a bit special (especially when my leader announced the the whole church that no one had thought I’d ever even manage bronze!) and the day I passed my driving test was a proud one too. However, one of my proudest moments is definitely less ‘substantial’ as it were, but equally real! …We played a game with the kids at church tonight that reminded me of it!

I’m a bit of a giggler. When I was in my early-mid teens I giggled and squealed in a generally annoying way for most of the time (some may say that nothings changed). Utterly no self control when it came to laughter.

At one of our youth weekends away around that time, we played a game. Everyone sat in a big circle with one person stood in the middle. That person had to go up to anyone in the circle and say “If you really love me honey, then please, just smile”, that person then had to reply “I really love you honey but I just can’t smile”. All. Without. Laughing.

I know what you’re thinking, absolutely no way Ineke would manage that, and normally, I’d totally agree with you. But get this: I did it.

Picked yourself off the floor? Good! A girl said the line to me, and I replied, completely straight faced. The gasp that went round the room was shocking. I think it’s that gasp I’m most proud of. Completely destroyed peoples assumptions about me there!

Could you manage that game?! What crazy little things in your life are you proud of that aren’t so run of the mill?

Love and Forgiveness – it’s not easy!

18 02 2012

At the moment at church we’re going through a series on Revelation 2-3, the letters to the seven churches, and our prayer meetings each week are reflective on what we’ve heard on the Sunday. Last Sunday we looked specifically at Chapter 2 verses 18-19, the beginning of the letter to the church at Thyatira, and we’ve really been looking at love. Love for others, love for God, but all in all, how He loved us first, that’s the only way we can love! Outstanding.

But what I wanted to share was what I heard at this week’s prayer meeting. There was a bit of focus on sacrificial love, but that wasn’t the bit that really stood out to me.

Sometimes I get annoyed by people, they might do something that I find irritating, and especially if it’s something recurring. There, I’ve said it, I admit it. I know it’s not right, but that’s where I am (at the moment!)
With that in mind, the verses that stood out for me were:

  • “If anyone says, I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” – 1 John 4 v 19
  • “[Love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” – 1 Corinthians 13 v 5
  • “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3 v 13
  • “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” – Matthew 18 vv 21-11

You may see a theme there. There are people I struggle with, and I think the attitude I ended up on was one of “Well if I’m not rude to them but just minimise interaction with them, then surely that’s enough”. The thing is, while I may think that, I’m still simmering, there’s still “a hint of bitterness”, and frustration.

Actually, I’m still called to forgive these people when they hurt me, and what’s more, to love them! As God forgives me! And for those I feel I’ve forgiven a million times, that doesn’t mean I should stop and give up. The “seventy seven” in the last verse isn’t literal, in some places it translates as “seventy times seven”, and according to the footnotes in my bible, means “times without number”.

One phrase I’ve found helpful with this is that it’s possible to love someone but not like them. If there’s someone I don’t like, that’s ok, as long as I still act in love towards them. – Wow, that’s tough isn’t it!

Now that’s a big ask! This is going to take some work and prayer…. How do you deal with the people you struggle with? Hopefully it’s not just me!

“As boring as the KitKat story”

5 02 2012

A few weeks ago I was giving my housemate Arianne the highlights of my Tesco trip, as you do, which included a little anecdote about how I’d bought a couple of 4 packs of 4 finger kitkats, but when I’d rung them up at the self service checkout, they were listed on the receipts as packs of 5.

Arianne then told me just how boring that story was 🙂

Since then, we have started to use the phrase “as boring as the KitKat story” fairly often…
“Did I tell you about such and such? It’s probably as boring as the KitKat story”
“That was as boring as the KitKat story wasn’t it?”

So yea, my aim is to never be as boring as that! But at least I can now laugh it off when I’m boring by referring to the KitKat story!

Do you have a boring story to share?! (Someone suggested to me a story where they left sellotape in the garden overnight. Full stop.) Do you have any bizarre phrases like that that have become common to you?

What skill would you most like to learn in 2012?

3 02 2012

Some of you may remember last year I occasionally took subjects from “The Daily Post” for my blog. Well now their year of daily topics is over, but I still have all the emails in a folder, so occasionally will delve into them for inspiration… I just found this title and thought I’d use it 🙂

There is a skill I’ve wanted to learn for a while now, and so maybe you can give me some advice. I’d love to learn Sign Language. But there’s a lot of ways to learn! I’ve found a course at a local college, which seems to start in September so I could start in the autumn (this is obviously the expensive but probably most effective option), or I could get the BSL For Dummies book, or even watch a load of YouTube videos. …Or find a friend who knows it and get them to teach me for free!

I taught myself to fingerspell the alphabet a few years ago, and that’s ok, though trying to follow someone else doing that I need them to go pretty slow – but it’s a start!

Have you learnt Sign Language? How did you learn? What would you recommend?

New Year’s Resolutions – one month in!

1 02 2012

A twelfth of the year has gone already! (While we’re on the subject, isn’t ‘twelfth’ a really fun word to spell?! no? just me?! oh well!).
This always seems a good time to see where we’ve got to so far with our new years resolutions so far, whether there’s any we need to kick into gear a bit more, any to encourage ourselves that are going well, or any that we just need to admit are long gone… I’ll give mine a look!
(On top of the list below, I’ve also succesfully kept a diary for a month, which was a sort of New Year’s Day impulse – not like a gushy emotional thing, just a little five year diary. My mum’s always kept one and the useful things she can look up are incredible! It’s been handy a few times lately, so thought it was time to start 🙂

  • Quit Corrie – Going well. Didn’t miss it at all the first couple of weeks, then ITV started showing trailers for Becky’s exit, and while I knew I was allowed to watch her last episode, I found myself wanting to know what was happening. That said, I watched her exit episodes last Monday evening and had no desire to carry on, so that’s good news!
  • Watch less tele – Definite improvement. My housemate and I spent the first few weeks watching a DVD in the evenings (The Harry Potter films and worked through Gavin and Stacey) and then went to our rooms to read, which was a great method, though the last week or so I’d say I’ve slipped a bit around teatime – there’s really nothing on around 7pm! But not watching tele with breakfast anymore, so that’s good! And I think our next evening films are going to be Back To The Future :), I’m currently also working through the DVD set of The Long Way Down
  • Exercise – utter fail: must try harder!
  • Spend more time either on my violin or improve at the piano – until last weekend fail, but I’ve found a song I’d like to teach myself and had a couple of short goes on my keyboard, but at least there’s a more specific target to start with
  • Get my sewing machine back out and use it – going well! got it out two or three weeks back and have got well into a project now 🙂
  • Read more, and not just easy reads – this one was mainly because in the last 6 months or even a year I don’t think I’ve actually managed to finish a book… Pretty much since I started driving I guess! So, to avoid easy reads, this year I started on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, then fairly quickly realised that if I’m going to get back into the habit of reading, it might be more sensible to start with a more easy read. I’m now nearly 200 or so pages into One Day by David Nicholls and loving it, looks like I might manage it! I’ve also cancelled my magazine subscription after March, which should make it easier too…
  • Less of the irritating chattering – not really for me to say, but it’s not good
  • Reduce time spent on social media – not great, but a lot of unfollowing and a little unfriending has happened over twitter and facebook, which means I have less to scroll through which saves some time and means I’m not reading things I don’t care about as much!
  • Learn to love God more – doing better at making time for a quiet time in the morning
  • Learn to think better of myself – a couple of friends trying to help me with this, but it’s not easy
  • Have a more positive outlook – hmmm…