Tag Archives: love

Decisions decisions

30 Aug

Every day we are faced with choices. Choices about our day, our outfit, what we will have for lunch, whether we turn up for work, whether we press snooze on the alarm for the 10th time….. and then there are the bigger choices. Choices that shape our future. What will we do? What course will we apply for – what do we do if we get accepted. Who will we follow, who will we worship?

You, sitting here now reading this blog… are a sum total of all the choices you’ve made so far. Some of them were totally unconscious, some decisions have come as easily to you breathing. Some of them – you wish you could time-machine yourself back to choose the other option. Yet some have caused great stress and anxiety as you have battled to weight up the pro’s and cons.

Let’s focus on John 5:30 (NIV) ‘By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me’. John is expressing his desire to please his God and not others in the decisions he makes. Decisions can be incredibly powerful things. They can set people free or oppress. They can abuse or love. They can forgive or grudge.

So how can we be more Godly in our decision making? How can we be more God led?

– Invest in your relationship with God. Decisions become so much easier when your desire to please God is more than your desire to please the world (Anso Coetzer).

– Pray about decisions. Seek accountability and be open with one another

– Explore what decisions you might not be taking the responsibility for. Choosing not to make a decision is also a choice! We an either accept things as they are or choose to take responsibility for making them

– When you have a big decision to make, question your motivations and the place from which you make them. Are the outcomes supportive of Christ-like values?

– Remember that whilst you can’t often choose your circumstance, you can always choose your attitude! We can let circumstances harden us, or we can let them change and be catalysts for growth

– Choose life and say no to slavery! Sometimes the choices in front of you are so hard to make because you find the wrong choice far more attractive than the right one. Ask the Holy Spirit for the strength to choose what will be life giving, rather than that which may pull you further into a mess – making it even harder the next time

Life will always be changing and you will find yourself in all sorts of circumstances. But growth – both spiritually and personally is optional. 

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Foot massages in the cowshed

22 Sep

Right. I like my feet. They are fine. They serve me well.

I also like giving massages.

Growing up, massages were our currency. “I will cook dinner for a five minuter”. Or, I will endure your chick-flick/action-man/awful film for a good shoulder rub. The tradition lives on, and now my husband and I enjoy almost daily massages in front of the TV (I get extra long ones when I ‘watch’ football). Everyone’s a winner right?

That is until someone utters the words…

“Please can I have a foot massage?”

My instant reaction is to pull an unattractive face and scarper. If I love you –  then you may get one on the following condition –

socks stay ON.

If I REALLY love you, then you will get your fully fledged foot massage and I will suppress my grimaces. To me, that is real love.

Before you accuse me of double standards, I don’t even like massaging my own feet, so on principle, I don’t inflict my feet on another. Therefore, do not worry friends, you won’t find me knocking at your door requesting a foot rub anytime soon.

That of course, comes with one exception.

You let me pay you.

My lovely brother & sister in-law bought me a pedicure for my birthday. Not just a simple 15 minute get-your-nails-looking-shiney one, but a whole hour of scraping, exfoliating and massaging.

So last night, off I trundled to the very chic (albeit oddly named) Cowshed spa in Soho to meet the poor therapist assigned to spend the next hour tending to my runners/walkers/heal-wearer feet.

It was delicious. She did her thing, whilst I felt like a princess on a fluffy white throne reading shiny magazines. Although, I must mention a slightly awkward moment in which she asked whether I minded having my ‘feet drilled’.

Not wanting to seem out of touch with the pedicure world (of which I am – very) I nodded. After a fearing i’d been lured to a dentist under false pretenses, I discovered that a ‘foot drill’ is an electric foot sander. Nice.

So there I was, reclined in my blissful state, playing this little loop over and over in my head. It went like this:

1- I feel so sorry for her.
2- No! This is her job
3- Yeah but my feet aren’t nice
4- She is getting PAID
5- Yeah she’s seen worse
6- Eugh like that woman next to me
7- So relax and enjoy
(Insert a few minutes of pure relaxation – interspersed with feigning the desire to jump out of the chair due to ticklishness).

And repeat 1-7.

So after an hour of relaxing/reasoning with myself, I left. The owner of the smoothest, pampered and prettiest feet in London.

Massage-able, touchable feet.

So husband, if you’re reading this. I’d like a foot massage tonight please. And before you start getting ideas about reciprocation –  in return – i’ll make you dinner.


My relationship with bearded Greek men

16 Sep

I have a life philosophy. And i’m quite proud of it.

If being philosophical means reading books by bearded Greek men, or sitting under trees musing single sentences and contemplating the meaning of life – I’m not very philosophical.

I do think alot though, not too much, not headache-inducing, think-yourself-into-oblivion amounts, Just nice, comfortable amounts. On journeys, whilst procrastinating, and in those odd, surreal moments just before you slip into sleep.

It began when a single sentence (from a youtube video) got stuck in my mind, playing itself over like a jammed record. And this sentence was:

‘To be known is to be loved”

It reminded me of the feeling of home. I’m not talking about the bricks and mortar ‘home’ but that feeling of being ‘at home’. For me, that feeling of home, is being relaxed around people who know, understand and love me. Family, friends, people who have taken the time to really get to know me – how I tick, what I hide, what makes me grin like a cheshire cat….

Allowing people to know you requires vulnerability.

Vulnerability and a decision to offer insights into the very core of who you are. Your story, your stories. And as you share little pieces of who you are, you may be surprised. Surprised that people don’t run, or laugh, or dislike you as you may have expected.

Because isn’t it true that we often love the people we know most

More?

We know dark places and pasts, intricate stories and shameful secrets. Vulnerabilities and insecurities. Yet we understand them more, love them more.

An in that uncomfortable place of vulnerability, you begin to feel comfortable in the vulnerability that comes with being known.

No rose tinted glasses.

No soft-focused images.

No need to invalidate the love you receive by mutterings of ‘yeah, but if you really knew me’

Because to be understood, is to be known. And to be know, is to be loved.